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

 

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.

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Summer Garden Ideas for Kids

As we gear towards summer and with the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to start your summer garden plans. As the kids are getting ready for whatever summer activities that you’ve planned, incorporate a summer garden for them as well. Gardening is therapeutic as well as tons of fun! It’s great for getting kids outside and for them to connect with nature. As long as you provide even a small area for them to work on then I guarantee your kids will develop a life long joy in gardening.

There are several different types of gardens but the easiest to start and maintain would be these: vegetable and fruit garden, cutting flower garden, and herb garden. Any one of these three gardens would be great for beginners as they can easily start with seeds or seedlings from a garden store. The benefits of these three types of gardens are that the bounty is usually enough for a full harvest and that they are beautiful to look at in your yard!

Let’s start with the basics:

Tools – small gardening shovel/spade, gardening gloves, small hand held rake.

Seeds – lettuce, radish, cucumbers, beans, sunflowers, marigold, herbs. Try to buy organic as you’ll be eating these plants.

Seedlings – tomato, broccoli, cilantro, wildflowers, corn, strawberries. Try to buy organic as you’ll be eating these plants.

Vegetable and fruit garden:

Vegetables and fruit such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and greens including lettuce, spinach, and kale, citrus fruits including lemons and oranges, beans, radishes, pumpkins, carrots, beets, and bell peppers are all very easy to grow and maintain. These types of fruits and vegetables have been cultivated for years to ensure a healthy growth and popularity. Plus, most of these species are recognized by children and have probably been eaten on a regular basis. Start with the basic and generic varieties and then experiment with heirloom ones. 

Cutting flower garden:

Cutting flowers are ones that usually grow in stalks and can easily be cut to put into vases. Great varieties include sunflowers, zinnias, lavender, daisies, dahlias, and salvia. Notice that there are annuals and perennials so plan according to how you want your garden to look during the year or years. Annuals are plants that have to planted every year so it’s natural that they die out after a couple of seasons. Perennials come back year after year if you remember to take care of them during the various seasons. 

Herb garden:

Herb gardens are probably one of the easiest garden to maintain. Herbs grow super fast and can spread widely if you’re not careful of spacing. Plus, herbs are delicious in meals, beverages, and even to keep away those pesky garden pests! Best herbs to grow are mint (spearmint or peppermint), parsley (try this yummy recipe that kids will enjoy: http://deliciousliving.com/herbquiches), basil, chives, sage, and cilantro. They are all quite fragrant and works well with most recipes. Try fresh mint in lemonades and juice and chopped fresh parsley over tomato soup. If your kids are hesitant about herbs, have them rub their fingers between the leaves and then smell the plant or fingers. The delicious aroma will encourage them to try gardening with herbs and they’re fun to harvest as well.

You can start your garden either directly in the ground or in planters. Planter gardening seems to have grown in popularity and it’s really easy to move the planters around for sunlight and shade. Plus, you can get really creative with your planters such as using soup cans, milk cartons, and tires. Or you can use the traditional planters such as terra cotta and ceramic as they will look just as beautiful and unique. Just remember that most planters attract a lot of heat so keep the plants well watered and fertilized. For in-ground planting, start off with a small patch of space such as a 5’x5′ area and make sure the soil is well amended. A good rule of thumb with any type of planting is making sure that the soil starts off right. If you want the proper type of soil, check out gardening stores and speak to experts on the type of soil in your region. Remember to also water your plants thoroughly and well. Some plants require daily watering while some can grow well with less watering. Take care of pests as well by using natural pesticides so that it’s safer for your children and for your garden. Wear gloves if you’re unsure of what type of soil you have and wear a hat to keep out the harsh sun rays.

So start planning your summer garden with your kids now. Take them to a garden center and let them browse the entire store. They’ll get inspired when they see all the beautiful and colorful plants and hopefully you can take home some plants and seeds that same day. Remember that the garden doesn’t have to be big. In fact, start off smaller so that it’s easier to maintain for yourself and your kids. Once you get the hang of gardening, experiment with rare plants or make your garden area even bigger.

Happy planting!

For some great gardening ideas, be sure to check out Martha Stewart’s gardening section: https://www.marthastewart.com/286309/vegetable-garden-101

And for easy and delicious recipes for the summer, check out Delicious Living Magazine: http://deliciousliving.com/recipes/6-hydrating-summer-recipes#slide-0-field_images-306921

*photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

 

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.

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