Plastic-Free World – Is it possible?

As we enter another year of the plastic free movement in July, I am surprised that through grassroots initiatives and government policies, the world is slowly on the path of enlightenment and progress. Reading news about single-use plastic bans around the world brings a heartwarming and hopeful step towards the right future. For instance, Canada plans to ban single use plastics manufacturing and importing by end of this year, and by 2025 the entire single use ban prohibits the sale of and export of such products. These efforts alone estimates to eliminate more than 1.3 Million tons of plastic waste around the world. Other countries in Asia such as China, India, and Japan also promises to ban single-use plastics within the next 10 years. And California was one of the first states in the US to ban single-use plastic bags in retail stores and just last year, the ban on single-use plastic straws served in public places.

When you think about how other countries in Europe and Asia are moving away from the single-use plastics addiction, we can easily compare the standard of living to the US. Is it because we are too addicted to convenience and the ease of just picking up a bag of chips at the grocery store? We all fall victim to it. To the comfort of knowing that we can buy practically anything in grocery stores in the US. But is it right to be so easily seduced by this kind of convenience?

 

Whether or not we choose to buy things because of convenience or need or both, we must all take a look at why we are making such purchases. Sometimes when I’m at the supermarket picking out fresh fruits, I see packaged fruits sitting perfectly complacent next to freestanding fruits. Why are some of the same fruits packaged while others are not? They were the exact same organic apples albeit a different brand. Are we so accustomed to just picking up a prepackaged bag of fruit, tossing it into our carts instead of taking the time to pick out the ones we actually want? Wouldn’t it be both fun and beneficial to the environment to be able to pick out your own fruits rather than have the store decide that factor for us? While the world governs almost every aspect of our consumer lives, it has become a double edged sword. On one hand, we have become accustomed to the convenience of a Starbucks Iced Mocha served in a single-use plastic container instead of making the drink at home. On the other hand, because society has made convenience a lazy route to the standard of living, how do we branch away from buying things that are so inconveniently packaged? And you’ll know what I’m referring to when it takes more than the usual effort to open up a bag of chips or a plastic water bottle. Essentially, a waste of time and a waste of plastic.

Before I dive even further down the rabbit hole of single-use plastics, one thing we can think upon is how to reduce the use of them. Is it convenient to buy a bag of chips rather than make our own at home? Well, yes, of course. But is it necessarily healthier? Making our own potato snacks means less ingredients to ponder about and less waste for sure. So in the long run, reducing plastic use also enhances our own health and well being. And I’m not even talking about how those microplastics can end up inside our bodies each time we eat something that comes in a plastic container. But wait, you might think – I don’t know how to make potato chips! Well, neither do I but I could also skip a bag of chips when I’m grocery shopping and instead, eat something much healthier like fresh fruits or vegetables. If you can regularly correlate good health with convenience of food, then you can slowly get on the path of reducing the need to buy products in plastic containers.

So how do we reduce single-use plastics dependency? Let’s start with a few easy steps that you can make a conscious effort to change.

Steps to reduce single-use plastics:

  • Choose loose fruits and vegetables rather than prepackaged ones.

  • Choose healthier homemade snacks or buy bulk. Homemade snacks can include sliced seasonal fruits and vegetables, cookies, granola, and anything that you can set your skills to or improve upon.

  • Refuse takeout containers that are in Styrofoam and plastic. Even better, order food that you will only eat at the restaurant or bring your own containers. In certain parts of the world, people easily incorporate this habit when they’re eating out.

  • Store food in reusable containers. Glass and aluminum are the best materials as they last a long time and are easily recyclable and reusable.

  • Drink tea using loose tea leaves instead of tea bags. Most tea bags are not compostable as they might claim. Loose tea leaves are often packaged in elegant aluminum containers or whimsical cardboard boxes.

  • Make your own coffee and fancy coffee beverages at home. Better yet, most coffee places will allow you to bring your own cup. Or take some time to sit at the coffee shop and enjoy beverages with their own cups.

  • Skip the straw while you’re outside. At home, you can use your own glass or stainless steel straws. Unless there is a real need for plastic straws, try not to use them or request them.

  • Skip the use of plastic trash bags. I know it might sound yucky, but you really can use a paper bag to line your kitchen trash cans.

  • Choose plastic free beauty products. More and more companies are jumping on the plastic free bandwagon. Make sure these companies offer a take-back program of their containers where they can reuse the containers for future products. Check out Plaine Products and their goals to reduce single-use plastics: https://www.plaineproducts.com/ref/Suzan%20C./

  • Do a home and business audit on how much waste is accumulated. Check out Plastic Free July’s tips on how to do this: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/get-involved/what-you-can-do/bin-audit/?mc_cid=f1fa6fff3d&mc_eid=594b2f4046

  • Choose food products in recyclable or reusable packaging. While not all packaging materials can be easily recycled, try to buy these products packaged in paper, aluminum, or glass.

  • When vacationing, try to apply these same techniques, especially if certain areas you’re visiting has completely banned the use of single-use plastics.

These may seem like easy and simple tasks, but it takes one step at a time, especially if you’re new or not too keen on reducing plastic use. Soon, you’ll be on the path to improving your health, mentality, and the planet. The point isn’t to feel guilty if you went on a plastic binge or if you never thought of reducing single-use plastics. The goal is to be more aware of your purchasing decisions and where and how you use single-use plastics.

***For some great tips and information on Plastic-free July, visit their website:

https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

*Images courtesy of Plastic Free July

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Earth Month – It’s Easy Being Green

April 22, 2022 marks the 52 year anniversary of Earth Day. What started as a grassroot agenda to educate the world on the importance of preserving our planet, it is now a widespread event celebrated and honored throughout the world. Schools, businesses, and people all over the world come together to honor Mother Nature by leading, guiding, and performing kind acts toward the planet.

Each year I discover something new about our environment and the detrimental effects caused by humans. It oddly feels like we’re taking one step forward, two steps back. Just as we’re on the move to educate each other on the importance of cleaning up our planet, there is always some sort of setback. When will we open our eyes? When will we all realize that this planet is the only one we currently live on?

My favorite motto for people who want to do better for the environment and a more realistic goal is simply, “make just one small change. One positive change can lead to many more positive changes.” You don’t have to be a world leader on environmental issues. You don’t have to clean up the beaches and oceans by yourself. But you can take a small step to recognize that our planet needs help. You might ask yourself – what can one person do when this world is so massive? If we all believe we can’t do anything, then nothing will ever get accomplished.

My best advice is to start at home. Get your children involved. Most young children love to help clean up and learn about how to conserve energy and not be wasteful. But we must set good examples for our children so that they can grow up to inspire and lead others.

Here I’ve listed 5 super simple steps you can do RIGHT NOW. These are all basic steps that work for anyone of any age and gender. Try all of them or even just a couple. Remember – it takes just one small positive change.

5 EASY ECO-FRIENDLY CHANGES:

1- Start by assessing what you have in your house. Is your home filled mostly with single-use plastics such as takeout cartons, snack bags, and plastic water bottles? You can make small positive changes by not using single-use plastic water bottles or reduce the usage and refill a reusable water container for home, work, and school. Reducing your snacks such as potato chips and cookies is not only beneficial to the landfill, but to your health as well. As for take-outs, we all enjoy them now and then but it can be costly to our finances and health.

2- Start growing a small garden. You don’t need a huge yard to grow an edible garden. Many vegetables grow well in planters and pots. All of these can be grown from seeds and harvested within 6 weeks. Easy to grow plants that produce the fastest harvests are: Arugula, radish, turnips, micro greens, kale, lettuce, and cabbage. Try experimenting these in different stages or grow them all at once so you have a continuous harvest.

3- Start by eating less meat, particularly red meat. The road to being a vegetarian or vegan can be difficult and it’s not for everyone. But reducing even half a pound of red meat a day is equivalent to reducing 7.40 pounds of carbon dioxide produced. This is what people refer to as Greenhouse Gas which is the toxic emissions that damages our planet’s atmosphere. You might think – well, why don’t I just drive less? Well, that leads to my next step, and surely eating less meat is also good for animals right?

4- Start by driving less and using natural transportation. What – there’s natural transportation? What I mean is using your legs and feet. They’re as natural as can be. Take days where you are able to walk to school, work, or the local grocery store. Using less gas greatly reduces your Carbon Footprint.

5- Start a cleanup team. In the vast world we live in, you’ll surely see trash littered everywhere. Even if you live in the best community, trash is inevitable. They can be carried by the wind and thrown on the ground which can eventually lead into the oceans and devastate our overflowing landfills. Get together with your friends and family or join a local cleanup group. Check out Keep America Beautiful to find a local cleanup: https://kab.org/

***Check out my Earth Month Survey below!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Easy Ways for Kids to be Environmentalists

Growing up I didn’t truly understand the need to reduce and save. It wasn’t until many years later and living on my own that I realized being wasteful and careless of what I spent and purchased could affect my way of living. For instance, one could easily pick up takeout food ten times a week without thinking of the impact these take-outs could affect our bodies and our environment. Consider the plastic packaging, the miles driven just to get the food, or even leftover, uneaten food because in all seriousness, takeout food isn’t very well kept in the refrigerator.

As we’re approaching a new era of being more environmentally conscious, we’re beginning to see the detrimental effects of global warming and climate change. Unlike decades ago when it was perfectly normal to grow our own food or reuse our items many times until they get thrown away, our society slowly became a “throw away” society and a means for anything that is convenient and easy. But I always have bright hopes for our future generations because they can still be taught to make the right choices when it comes to protecting our planet.

I’ve taught environmental practices for many years and I’m still learning and trying to improve my craft. There are ever expanding knowledge and new techniques on how to save our planet. But can we truly save our planet though? Is it too late? Do we all need to make bigger changes to really see a positive impact? Perhaps. But every little step can lead to bigger ones.

This new year, let’s help our children understand the need to be more environmentally aware and to make little steps to help clean up our world. Below I’ve listed 10 easy ways to be an “environmentalist”.

10 Ways to Help Children be Environmental Leaders:

1 – Sit down with your child and visit some helpful websites to start their process: https://earth911.com/

https://www.ewg.org/

https://kidsgardening.org/

2 – After you’ve visited these sites, write a list of what you’ve learned and what you want to achieve.

 

 

3 – Learn these 5 important “R’s”: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Refuse

Recycle – Look for packaging that are recyclable and check your local recycling municipalities for accepted packaging. Typical recyclable packaging for plastics are labeled with numbers 1, 2, and 5.

Reduce – Reduce your usage and purchases. Do you really need new toys? New clothes?

Reuse – Before you throw something away think about how you can reuse it. Some items can be repurposed or upcycled into something else. For example, plastic bottles can be used as planters or seed starters, old tires can be turned into colorful planters in your garden, or ripped shirts can be cut into pieces for cleaning around the house. There are endless possibilities for bringing new life to your old items.

Repurpose – This is much like upcycling or finding a new use for an old or about to be thrown away item. As stated above, you can find tons of new and useful ideas for plastic bottles, old clothes, and cardboard boxes that your purchases came shipped in.

Refuse – This one is perhaps the most difficult to accomplish, but it’s also quite easy once you get into the habit. Refuse plastic to-go utensils and bring your own instead. Refuse to-go containers especially if they’re in Styrofoam which is detrimental to our health and the environment. Refuse bulk buying unless they’re storable, you’ll use them in a reasonable timeframe, or you plan on giving some away. Bulk items might seem like a great monetary deal, but if you don’t have use for them then they can get forgotten and end up in the trash.

4 – Grow a home garden.  This is perhaps the most fun project for a child. When you grow your own food garden, you are saving money and your health. Start off small if you’re new at gardening and limited on space. You can grow an edible garden in planters or in ground. Check out one of my for  favorite kid-friendly gardening websites: https://kidsgardening.org/ easy and achievable tips.

5 – Start a Green Team club at school. Children as young as 5 years old can learn about saving the planet. I’ve run a Green Team at an elementary school for many years and I’m always amazed at how eager children are to learn and protect their world. Talk to the school principal and administrators first and get everyone on board!

6 – Visit local conservation sites such as the water and power department and recycling centers. If they give tours to the public, you will generally learn how different types of energy are used. Recycling centers are fun and educational and you’ll walk away with new knowledge on how to reduce and recycle.

7 – Start an environmental campaign. It could be as small as a group of like-minded friends or as large as a citywide movement. Your goal is to help people be more aware of taking care of our planet and the proper steps to make small changes that can lead to bigger changes.

8 – Start Composting. Each year, approximately 108 billion pounds of food is wasted  in the United States. Consider that amount ends up in our landfills causing horrendous amounts of greenhouse gas. The air we breathe gets contaminated due to the pollution caused by food waste and our beautiful oceans can hardly contain all the waste that ends up there. Compost is a great way of reducing leftover or unused food. The energy produced by composting the right materials can turn into healthy fertilizers for our plants.

9 – Support local and small businesses. While we still need to buy from conventional brands now and then, consider supporting local businesses that also supports a cleaner planet. But don’t just take their word for it. Look at their website and do some research. Visit their stores and see what they sell, their philosophy on using clean materials that can be traced to their origins, and how they produce and package their products.

10 – Take a stand on helping the environment and don’t let naysayers deter you. Children are wonderful learners and have the ability to see things in a clearer light than most adults. Allow them the room to grow into little environmentalists and they (and you) will be proud of their positive influences in the world.

Remember – the goal is to realize there is a problem with waste in our world. Food waste, energy waste, water waste, product waste, and the list goes on. Start with one or two goals and then the more comfortable you are with what you’ve started, the more you can expand.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

2021 Holiday Digital Gift Guide

As we’re quickly closing in on the Christmas holiday and companies have started their Black Friday deals earlier this year, I wanted to offer you my annual holiday digital gift guide. In this guide, you’ll find products that fits everyone on your gift list. I usually start my gift list in October but have already started picking up gifts here or there if I think the recipient might enjoy it. Whatever you plan on doing this holiday season, know that even the smallest gift can pack a lot of meaning.

Whenever possible, support small business and family-owned. Support environmentally conscious brands and brands that do not use animal testing. Support businesses that give back. And support brands that are conscious of the health and wellness of their consumers. When we shop responsibly, we are also giving back to the world and generate better karma.

GIFTS FOR CHILDREN:

Whether it’s your own children, a relative, or friends, know that children will inevitably want something for Christmas. In the US, regardless of your religion or beliefs, you’ll see Christmas decorations and sales for this holiday season as early as October. To not break the bank this year and to reduce overall waste, here are some gifts that could last them a very long time.

  • DIY craft kits. One of my favorite craft kits is from Green Kids Crafts (https://www.greenkidcrafts.com/). Their craft boxes are great for children ages 5-12, but can be tailored for any child. While it’s a subscription type of gift, they do sell craft kits individually as well as unique single gifts. They focus on STEAM and support whole education for children with their craft kits.

  • Plants. Yes, most children LOVE growing their own plants! There’s just something so fun in watching the little seeds you planted grow into something beautiful and edible. Start off with seeds, soil, and either a small pot or in-ground and you’ll get your little gardener interested in nature very soon!

  • Green toys. What are green toys? They are toys made from non-toxic, renewable, and safe materials. Green Toys (https://www.greentoys.com/) has a delightful collection of fun and non-toxic toys ranging from toy cars, bath toys, arts & crafts, and so much more!

  • Museum tickets. Start children at a young age to appreciate various cultures. Whether it’s the arts, nature, or pop culture, children can benefit from learning about things that can expand their curiosity and intelligence.

  • Books. We are taught to read at a very young age and in school, books are usually required as an assignment. When you get kids interested in reading on their own terms, you help them develop a love for learning. Books, whether on paper or digitally will greatly benefit kids of any age.

GIFTS FOR CULINARY DELIGHTS:

Who doesn’t love great food, especially during the holiday season? But to give some truly unique and delectable food gifts means taking extra steps in finding the right ones.

   

  • Epicure – I recently discovered this fabulous company founded by two women who wanted to share their love for healthy food that’s also delicious and wholesome. Epicure foods are made with simple, organic, and allergy-friendly ingredients suitable for the whole family. Their products range from spice blends, meal solutions, protein blends, nutritional yeast toppers, dip mixes, salad dressings, desserts and chef quality cookware. You can find something for almost everyone of every need. Be sure to check out their specials going on right now: https://debradillabough.epicure.com/en-us

 

  • Gem City Fine Foods – One of the best things about allergy-friendly foods is that you can find new and exciting options. They offer delicious desserts that are gluten-free and vegan so they are suitable for almost everyone. Gem City Fine Foods is currently offering a holiday special on their Holiday Collection which includes gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake and peppermint chocolate torte: https://www.gemcityfinefoods.com/collections/holiday-collection. Be sure to use HOLIDAY21 for 21% off items in the Holiday Collection.

 

  • Popilicious – freshly made and scrumptious gourmet popcorn treats are suitable for kids and adults. These uniquely blended popcorn cakes and popcorn bites offer a truly unique marriage of flavor profiles. From chocolate to pumpkin to peppermint, gifting these popcorn treats and getting some for yourself is a fun way to celebrate the holiday season. Right now, use code HOLIDAY15 to get 15% off: https://popiliciouspopcorn.com/

GIFTS TO CLEAN LIVING:

Clean living is a term for using products made from simple and non-toxic ingredients. From bath products to food to clothing, we can start our journey to living cleaner and healthier and go beyond by supporting brands who live by this rule.

  • Plaine Products. Founded by two sisters who wanted to better the world by reducing plastic waste, Plaine Products carry natural and organically made products for body, face, and hands. Their wide range of products come in reusable aluminum cans and a returnable empty cans option. They have a great gift section suitable for children, men, and women: https://www.plaineproducts.com/ref/Suzan%20C./. Be sure to use code HappyMom for 20% off.

  • Mermaid Straws. I’ve been using their reusable straws and beverage bottles for a couple of years and their beautiful designs and high quality products are always a joy to use. These fun and gorgeous bottles, straws, and gift pouches made wonderful gifts for others and to keep some for yourself too! Be sure to use code SCG_MAMA.15 for 15% off: https://bit.ly/3gEArzH

  • Beekeeper’s Naturals. This holiday season, gift immune boosting gifts that the whole family will enjoy. Beekeeper’s Naturals makes honey products that go beyond just basic honey. With their curated bee pollen and bee propolis which is known for their antibacterial properties, you’re gifting your loved ones honey that tastes phenomenal but is also great for them. Be sure to use code Happymomblogger15 for 15% off: http://www.beekeepersnaturals.com/

  • Gourmet Tea. One of the best thing about tea is their magnificent health benefits. From antioxidative stress to losing weight, tea isn’t just for tea lovers. It’s the perfect beverage for when you want to wake up, wind down, or just have as a regular beverage. Tea Drops is one of my most favorite brands of gourmet tea. Tea that is made with only natural and organic ingredients, Tea Drops tea are adorably shaped into hearts, ovals, and Hello Kitty! My son loves Tea Drops and I’ve gifted so many people with their tea that it’s always a delight for them! Be sure to use code: BA-suzan20 for 20% off: https://bit.ly/34DUWKF

  • Organic Chocolate. For the chocolate lovers in your life or just someone who likes to indulge now and then, gifting organically grown chocolates is a great way to offer something healthy and delicious, but also supports the organic cacao industry. Be sure to check out small farm and fair-trade companies such as Equal Exchange: https://equalexchange.coop/, Alter Eco: https://www.alterecofoods.com/, and Unreal: https://www.unrealsnacks.com

  • Simply Straws. I found this women-owned brand by chance one day and immediately fell in love with their gorgeous glass straws. Once I started using glass straws, I knew it would be an instant addition to my everchanging range of reusable straws. Their glass straws are beautiful to look at and so easy to use. It’s similar to using a glass cup and glass straws look stunning with everything you drink from! Right now, Simply Straws is offering a “12 Days of Gifting” where each day there is a special on their site: https://simplystraws.com/. You’ll definitely find some wonderful gifts for practically everyone on your list!

With this list, you will definitely find something for the people in your lives. Anything from eco-friendly toys to food to bath products, there is sure to be something that will delight your recipient!

Wishing you all a peaceful, joyful, and healthy Holiday Season!

 

Photos provided by websites included in post.

Affiliate disclaimer: some of these links you click through and purchase can provide me with a minimal affiliate commission. I truly appreciate your participation.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Is Raising Your Kids?

When I first started working with children as a preschool teacher, I was amazed at the different dynamics of parenting. I noticed that almost all of the parents who dropped off their children were teary-eyed and reluctant to leave their young kids for several hours a day. Then there were others who quickly pushed their child into the classroom and left with merely a simple “goodbye”.

In retrospect, I was a parent that fell into the first category as I dropped my son off at his kindergarten class with an instructor that was quick to reassure me everything will be fine. As a parent I was hesitant to leave my child with a stranger in a room full of other small strangers. But as an educator, I knew that I had to put my trust into the school and the instructors who were teaching my son.

Years later, I noticed that parenting has changed quite a lot. Whether it’s just a natural process of the changing of times or outside influences, it seems that parents have become incredibly reliant on schools and education systems to “raise” their children. Now, you might shake your head and raise a finger in disagreement. But through years of working with young children the dynamics of parenting certainly has changed. While parents still hold the responsibility of dropping their children off at school and picking them up after, do they really wonder what goes on while their kids are at school? Or do parents just trust that teachers and administrators are doing all they can to teach their children? After all, your kids are at school at least 6 hours a day, every day of the week so there has to be a lot of trust for the teachers right?

Well, right in a way, but wrong in the sense that your child’s teachers are not at school to raise your child. They are there to mostly educate them on basic skills necessary to succeed into higher learning. While most teachers are sort of a surrogate parent, it is not their responsibility to teach your child manners nor discipline them. Teachers do however, have the responsibility that your child learns all that they can in a manner that will help them succeed in the future. While discipline is a natural progression of a classroom setting and proper manners and behavior are expected while at school, many parents have left disciplining of their children solely onto the teachers.

While the past couple of years certainly hadn’t been easy for teachers or parents, some students across America are still struggling to get back “into the groove” of schoolwork. Parents became teachers in a sense while schools were shut down and later moved to a hybrid system. But as schools open up, teachers are back to a full or semi-full curriculum. That leaves most of these teachers trying to cram everything in for the next few weeks until end of school.

As parents, we can all do our part to make it smoother for educators, our children, and for ourselves. This can only happen when we have an open communication with our school and our kids. Below I’ve listed 5 Steps we can take to make the next few weeks safer, calmer, and easier.

Raising Our Kids:

1- Start with MOTIVATION at home. When parents motivate their kids to learn they are giving their children the encouragement to succeed, no matter what age, grade, or stage in learning. If you find motivating a bit difficult at times, even simple words such as, “you can do this”, “do the best you can,” or “we can learn from our mistakes” can help keep the spirits up for both child and parent.

2- Find STRENGTH in your child. Find an area in which your child excels and focus on it. Whether it’s an academic or casual setting, you can help build your child’s self-esteem by highlighting what they’re better at. From there, you can motivate them to try harder and further by expanding what they’ve learned.

3- COMMUNICATE with their teachers. You will hardly find an educator that doesn’t want their student to succeed. But when your child comes home telling you they’re not learning much in class, then that’s a red flag something else is happening. Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher if your child is failing in school or having a lot of difficulties. If there are no learning disabilities, then your child’s teacher should be able to go over their lessons and expectations in class.

4- Resist PRESSURE. In a world where college degrees are highly sought after, it’s no wonder that students and parents feel a lot of pressure. Determine why you are pressuring your child to succeed if they are failing or having difficulties. It could be something personal or school related. Ease up a bit until things are smoother and try to work together on a system that works for them.

5- LEARN at home. Your child’s home should be their safest place to be. It’s also the best place to reinforce the love of learning. If children see that their parents and siblings love to learn (no matter the skill), then they too will see that as a positive influence in their lives.

For more information on guiding your kids through education, check out: https://www.greatschools.org/

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

*photos courtesy of Vecteezy.com and cartoonstock.com

Earth-Friendly Mother’s Day Ideas!

Repost Mother’s Day article.

This year and last year were pretty difficult years for moms across the world. Moms were teachers, principals, nurses, fixers, lawyers, and of course, the main parent that every child comes to when they need something! So this Mother’s Day, let’s give moms and the mother figures in our lives some extra appreciation.

When we think of Mom, images of laughter in the sun, skipping hand in hand, and a kitchen filled with the most amazing aroma conjures in our heads. Nothing is as special as your mother or even being a mother. So this year for Mother’s Day, I’ve come up with some easy and earth-friendly ways of celebrating mom. Whether you’re celebrating your mother, grandmother, aunt, or a woman who raised you, there are some clever and innovative ways to honor her without breaking the bank or the planet. These are all simple to do with your kids and if you want to send these ideas to your spouse so they can craft these ideas to present to you, then go right along!

Aside from the common flowers and cards to give mom for Mother’s Day, let’s spice it up a bit by giving these gifts an extra sparkle while also helping out our other “mother” – Earth. Below are some fun and creative ideas to get the engine running, while also keeping it simple and classic.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS:

– Upcycle gifts. An easy, lovely, and eco-friendly way of giving back to your mom is by upcycling your everyday items. Your mom will appreciate your ingenuity and your talent for saving money! Find some gently-used craft paper, copy paper, or newspapers and turn them into handmade flowers. You can either make them into origami flowers or cut them into flower shapes. Some great ideas can be found here: https://www.origamiway.com/origami-flowers.shtmlhttps://www.marthastewart.com/274777/paper-flowers?slide=3427052, https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/paper-flower-craft/. Take old clothing and turn them into purses, book covers, or grocery bags. And upcycle bottles and cans into adorable and useful containers. You can find tons of ideas online, but here is one that has some super cute ideas for upcycling bottles: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/723038915155498106/.

– All-natural bath bombs. Bath bombs are one of those gifts that are easily enjoyed but people don’t tend to buy for themselves. I get them as gifts quite often but I also like to make them to give as gifts. Bath bombs don’t necessarily have to be used in the bath tub because you can toss them into the bottom of the shower floor and they will evaporate in the hot steam while you’re showering! Here’s a recipe for Lavender Bath Bomb but you can add any flowers/herbs or essential oils to your bath bomb. Find out what your mom likes and include them in the scents.

– Mini Herb Garden. Who doesn’t like fresh herbs, right? Especially when you have a tabletop version in the kitchen or on the windowsill outside. Start with some super easy and super useful herbs such as Sage, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Balm, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, and Oregano. All of these herbs can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes. You can either start with seeds and plant ahead of time (some grow into seedlings fairly quickly) or buy small plants and plant them into adorable planters (perhaps you can even use your upcycled planter!).

– Indoor plants. Studies have shown that certain indoor plants can improve air quality in your home. Certain plants such as Ferns, Bamboo, and Dracaena all have health benefits that can improve your mom’s mood and keep your home free of air pollutants and allergens. You can find these type of plants at your local nursery or online.

– Chore Wish. Ask your mom ahead of time or create your own chore list. Depending on the age of the child, pick chores that they can easily do, such as sweeping the yard, washing dishes, or folding clothes. Your mom will REALLY appreciate the effort you put in and be thankful for taking some extra chores off her hands. Create a wish list on a colorful chart and have your mom check it off as you go.

– Recycled materials. Give mom gifts made from recycled materials. You can find tons of useful and wonderful items such as pretty grocery bags (find sturdy and elegant ones from Whole Foods Market and online), journals made from recycled paper, and clothing made from recycled materials.

– Vegan and/or vegetarian brunch. Give mom the gift of good health and good taste. Vegan and vegetarian food are no longer just salads and crudites. Vegan options are food that are not made with animals or animal by products. Vegetarian food can include eggs and dairy, but just not animal meat or seafood. Check out some of these healthy and delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes: https://www.cookinglight.com/food/vegetarian/vegan-recipes

– Flowers from the garden. If your mom already has a beautiful and bountiful flower garden, then trim some of her favorite flowers to put into an elegant vase. If not, then buy organically grown flowers – organic flowers are not sprayed with toxic pesticides and are healthier for the earth. You can even put the flowers in one of your recycled containers to make it even more unique!

Whatever you decide to do this Mother’s Day, do it with all of your heart and kindness. Your mom after all, worked hard to raise you and teach you all the life lessons that you need to know.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

*photos courtesy of HGTV and CookingLight

 

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