Winter Reset – Get Ready for Spring

Although spring time is just around the corner, many of us are still dredging through the very cold winter days. Here in California, snowcapped mountains beckon visitors to explore and enjoy the white snow and breezy climate. And while some are adventurous enough to brave the colder temperatures, many of us just want to sit by a cozy fire, read a book, or snuggle with a blanket.

During these cold months, it’s extremely important to keep up your immunity. While colder climate doesn’t necessarily get you sick, it can put a strain on your body’s natural defenses. The best ways to prevent getting ill and feeling sluggish is to find a balance that works for you. Winter going into spring is also a great time to refresh your home and reset your mind. And with warmer days coming up soon, we can plan ahead for a fresh restart.


When we talk about detoxing, we’re referring to detoxing your body and mind so your energy becomes positive and clear. Colder weather tends to make us want comfort food, or food that gives us a lot of energy in order to keep warm. And depending on where you live, fresh fruits and vegetables might not be readily available so we reach for fattier and less healthy food. Instead, stock up on food that builds your immunity and fights off viruses and germs.

According to holistic healthcare, certain foods can boost your immunity while preventing certain types of diseases and illnesses. The following are wonderful food to try during these cold and damp months or anytime throughout the year:

  • Ginger. A root plant that grows deep in the soil, ginger has well known and scientific benefits for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and many other health properties. It’s great for treatment of stomach issues and opening up the sinus. Make ginger tea with 5-6 slices of fresh ginger mixed with hot water. Drinking the tea hot helps balance the QI inside your body and reduces dampness. 

  • Turmeric, also known as Curcumin. Turmeric, much similar to ginger, is a root that has many antibacterial properties. Known mostly to fight inflammation in the body, turmeric has compounds that can reduce pain and certain type of illnesses. 

  • Black pepper. Known as a powerful antioxidant and helps reduce free radicals in your body, black pepper is extremely strong in nature and taste. Be careful with the amount of fresh black pepper you use as high amounts can cause discomfort in the stomach.

  • Cinnamon. Cinnamon is another powerful antioxidant found in nature. Cinnamon can prevent inflammation and helps promote easy digestion when added to food. Try sprinkling cinnamon powder on your coffee, hot cocoa, or milk for a tasty alternative to sweeteners.

  • Cloves. While not the most commonly used herb, cloves boast many powerful health benefits. Cloves is a powerhouse against bacteria. As an ancient health remedy, cloves has been found in natural toothpastes to prevent fungal infections and other bad bacteria. It can also be used as a household cleaning agent. You can find whole cloves or ground cloves in most natural and organic markets.


Study shows that a lifelong habit of exercise is associated with a longer health span, delaying major chronic conditions/diseases, and building immunity. Any form of exercise will suffice, but those that directly help strengthen your organs and bones are more beneficial. Try eastern exercises such as Taichi, Yoga, and Qigong. These slower type of movements target the whole body as well as improve circulation and Qi: the vital life force in any living being.

Proper rest and rehabilitation is important for a healthy mind and body. Take a few minutes each day to relax your mind and soul. Deep breathing exercises and stretches throughout the day improves your blood flow which is crucial for a healthier lifestyle. Just look at cats! They stretch periodically throughout their day and especially after waking up from a nap.


It’s no secret that what we eat ultimately affects our bodies. But let’s not forget food also affects our moods. When you hear the old phrase, “you are what you eat”, nothing can be truer than what we put in our bodies. If you’re ever in doubt, be mindful of what you eat and notice the changes in your body and mind. Do you feel sluggish? Or do you feel energetic and happy? Virtually everything you choose to put inside your bodies can be beneficial or detrimental.

Healthy food choices should include:

Colorful fruits and vegetables. The colors of fruits and vegetables correlate with their companion vitamins. For instance, Vitamin A found in carrots produce a compound that turns certain fruits and vegetables orange and red. And certain colors represent the beneficial vitamins and nutrients important for a healthy lifestyle.

Red fruits and vegetables includes lycopene, folate, and Vitamin C which are important for antioxidant, heart health, and inflammation. Try tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit.

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables includes Vitamin A, fiber, Potassium, Vitamin C, and folate. Try carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and corn.

Green fruits and vegetables includes fiber, folate, magnesium, and Vitamin K. These are all important factors in reducing the risk of certain cancers and heart disease, and among many other health benefits. Try spinach, kale, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and green herbs.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables includes manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. Blue and purple colored fruits and vegetables are powerhouses when it comes to lowering the risk of certain types of diseases and illnesses. Try blueberries, blackberries, red/purple cabbage, and plums.


Yes, life gets in the way. But when we don’t slow down once in awhile our bodies deplete vitamins and nutrients and our regenerative powers get greatly reduced. Our immunity breaks down and we can get easily ill or fatigued. Some steps to taking a break now and then include writing a daily or weekly journal, meditation, reading a lighthearted book, being out in nature, and going to places that bring you peace and happiness.

The only way we can reset ourselves is to be mindful of why we are so busy. When we realize why we get stressed or depressed, we can start a journey to reset our body and mind. 


With all good intentions, we try to keep our homes clean. But that should also include our cars, offices, electronics, yards, and any place that take up space. We all know that a cluttered area creates a cluttered mind. While there are some that thrives on clutter, most people, including animals do not fare well with too many things going on. With clutter, your mind has a harder time separating and breaking down thoughts and ideas.

Start clearing the clutter by making a list of what you want to clear out. Involve your spouse and kids. Decide what you absolutely must keep and donate, recycle, or throw out the rest. If clutter becomes too difficult, try to hire professionals who can help make a better plan for now and going forward.

Remember to take some time to reset your mind, body, and life.

Resources: and 

*These are not medical advice. Please consult a medical professional if you have any questions.

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.

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.


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 ( 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 ( 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.


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:


  • 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: 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:


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: 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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:, Alter Eco:, and Unreal:

  • 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: 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.








Children in the US go hungry

Just the other day I read an article in Parents magazine that deeply touched my heart. It was an article about malnourished children in the United States in the July 2011 issue of Parents magazine. The article points out that one in four children in the US do not have enough food to eat. Wow – one in four children. Imagine a family of four kids – only 3 of them are estimated to eat a meal while the other does not. I think of my brother who has four kids and luckily they all have enough food to eat, but I can’t fathom the idea of one of my beloved nieces or nephews sitting in her or his bedroom starving. Of course, my brother would never let his kids go hungry but what happens when a parent can’t feed all of his/her children? The article also states that in a larger family, it’s usually the parents that end up going hungry just so they could feed their children.

It saddens me to know that while the US is helping malnourished children in other countries, they are forgetting that children in this country are also going hungry. And yes, although third world countries may need more help, we’ve got to find a better solution for everyone – in this country and in other underprivileged countries. Food is the number one priority in almost everyone’s life. Without enough food, we not only go hungry, but we feel sad, tired, and distraught and often that not, we end up doing things we regret. Food fuels the brain and the body, and I’ve read stories about people who steal and hurt others in order to be able to put a plate of food on their dinner table. Parents may go to extremes to feed their hungry children, but it shouldn’t lead to further downfall.

In the Parents magazine article, titled, “The Hungry House”, the author noted that when a child becomes malnourished, the child will need 50 percent more quality nutrition than a typical child does in order to regain his/her health. And unfortunately, that would have to happen rather immediately for their health to recover. Which is pretty ironic when, how do you gain 50 percent more quality nutrition when you have even less of that to begin with? Where will these malnourished children get the extra nutritional help? Fortunately, on some small scale, there are facilities and groups in the United States that can help those who do not have enough food to eat. There are local food pantries, public schools (as long as it’s during school season), and private and public fundings. But as the author points out, what happens to these children when it’s summer? Most of them rely on at least one free regular meal during school season which is provided by the school (or at least a very inexpensive meal), but when school’s out, and there’s no longer free food offered at school, families must rely on their local charity or donations for regular meals. The author also notes that donations for food are usually made around the holidays but what about throughout the year? I see supermarkets with their meal donation coupons of $1, $3, or $5 posted at the checkout and seldom do I see people pick them up during checkout unless it was a holiday. However, I did hear a great story that a cashier told me about last Christmas season. She said that one man came in and purchased $1000’s worth of meal donation coupons without batting an eye. She thought apparently it was quite natural for the man to be doing something so charitable.

Food pantries are great, but they’re not available everywhere and sometimes their food gets distributed so quickly, that they don’t replenish fast enough. And donating the right type of food is crucial as well. Food pantries look for food that are easy to use in most families, have a long shelf life, and are substantial. They want food that can feed an entire family which includes canned beans or any canned vegetables, flour, milk, basic staples such as sugar, salt, etc. and they also welcome toiletries such as paper towels, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. I know whenever we sponsor a family during the holidays, we also include toiletries in the gift basket along with food that families don’t normally get to treat themselves with.

In the Parent’s article, the author notes that states with the highest “food-insecurity” rates are typically Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina but I personally feel that all of America are affected by hunger. It could be a single income family or a single parent raising several children, or just a family that does not have the means to earn enough income to provide a steady stream of food every day. And I think it’s doubly important to point out that when children go hungry and do not get enough proper nutrition, it leads to further complications down the line. America can be a wonderful place, but it can also be a glutinous place. There are many families who wastes food and teach their children that wasting food is all right. I think it’s important to teach kids to know about portion control – kids should take only what they need instead of filling up their plates with stuff they’ll never finish. If you’ll also notice in restaurants, A LOT of food goes to waste when a family could have easily shared their food with one another instead of ordering more than what they can consume. Or take the rest to go and eat them for dinner or for lunch the next day. Every time there’s food leftover on our plates, I take them to go and jazz them up a bit for another meal. You just have to remember that there are families out there who don’t have the luxury to eat out and would do anything for a complete meal.

My suggestion would be that if you have extra staples in your home and you’d like to donate them, then keep a bag handy in your kitchen. When you know you won’t be eating or cooking with that staple, then place it in the bag. Once the bag fills up, take it to your local food pantry. Many times staples such as canned goods or flour or sugar gets thrown out because they expired or because we forget that we bought a truckload of them to stock up on. If you would like to read more about the article in Parents magazine, here is the direct link:

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Organic

I didn’t always know that organic food and products were beneficial to my body and to the earth. When I was growing up, I just ate whatever my parents cooked and indulged in the occassional junk food now and then. My parents came from families who used only natural ingredients in their food and they avoided using chemical pesticides on their fruit trees and vegetable gardens. They themselves, coming from an older generation didn’t know that the term “organic” nowadays mean food and products are not chemically treated and that they are better for the environment and for the bodies. And that’s because food many years ago were not so harshly genetically modified and chemically processed and treated. In a sense, food back then were innocent and more pure.

But with the population and the economy growing throughout the years and scientists and companies wanting to produce more products at a faster pace to meet the demands of the consumer, food became less innocent and pure. The normal foods you put on your plate were getting genetically altered to be bigger but not necessarily tastier, the crops sprayed with chemicals for longer preservation, and our planet depleting in natural resources. People were no longer living green and trying to build a better future for their next generations. It isn’t easy trying to be green all the time or trying to buy organic everything, but here is a list taken from on the reasons to go organic. And perhaps as we learn along the way, we can help ourselves become healthier, smarter, and happier.

1. Reduce The Toxic Load: Keep Chemicals Out of the Air, Water, Soil and our Bodies
Buying organic food promotes a less toxic environment for all living things. With only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land in organic, according to USDA that leaves 99.5 percent of farm acres in the U.S. at risk of exposure to noxious agricultural chemicals.

Our bodies are the environment so supporting organic agriculture doesn’t just benefit your family, it helps all families live less toxically.

2. Reduce if Not Eliminate Off Farm Pollution
Industrial agriculture doesn’t singularly pollute farmland and farm workers; it also wreaks havoc on the environment downstream. Pesticide drift affects non-farm communities with odorless and invisible poisons. Synthetic fertilizer drifting downstream is the main culprit for dead zones in delicate ocean environments, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where its dead zone is now larger than 22,000 square kilometers, an area larger than New Jersey, according to Science magazine, August, 2002.

3. Protect Future Generations
Before a mother first nurses her newborn, the toxic risk from pesticides has already begun. Studies show that infants are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals in utero. In fact, our nation is now reaping the results of four generations of exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals, whose safety was deemed on adult tolerance levels, not on children’s. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurologic and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer, and decrease fertility.

4. Build Healthy Soil
Mono-cropping and chemical fertilizer dependency has taken a toll with a loss of top soil estimated at a cost of $40 billion per year in the U.S., according to David Pimental of Cornell University. Add to this an equally disturbing loss of micro nutrients and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Feeding the soil with organic matter instead of ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers has proven to increase nutrients in produce, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals found in organic food, according to the 2005 study, “Elevating Antioxidant levels in food through organic farming and food processing,” Organic Center State of Science Review (1.05)

5. Taste Better and Truer Flavor
Scientists now know what we eaters have known all along: organic food often tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchers at Washington State University just proved this as fact in lab taste trials where the organic berries were consistently judged as sweeter. Plus, new research verifies that some organic produce is often lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than conventional food. Let the organic feasting begin!

6. Assist Family Farmers of all Sizes
According to Organic Farming Research Foundation, as of 2006 there are approximately 10,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. compared to 2500 to 3,000 tracked in 1994. Measured against the two million farms estimated in the U.S. today, organic is still tiny. Family farms that are certified organic farms have a double economic benefit: they are profitable and they farm in harmony with their surrounding environment. Whether the farm is a 4-acre orchard or a 4,000-acre wheat farm, organic is a beneficial practice that is genuinely family-friendly.

7. Avoid Hasty and Poor Science in Your Food
Cloned food. GMOs and rBGH. Oh my! Interesting how swiftly these food technologies were rushed to market, when organic fought for 13 years to become federal law. Eleven years ago, genetically modified food was not part of our food supply; today an astounding 30 percent of our cropland is planted in GMOs. Organic is the only de facto seal of reassurance against these and other modern, lab-produced additions to our food supply, and the only food term with built in inspections and federal regulatory teeth.

8. Eating with a Sense of Place
Whether it is local fruit, imported coffee or artisan cheese, organic can demonstrate a reverence for the land and its people. No matter the zip code, organic has proven to use less energy (on average, about 30 percent less), is beneficial to soil, water and local habitat, and is safer for the people who harvest our food. Eat more seasonably by supporting your local farmers market while also supporting a global organic economy year round. It will make your taste buds happy.

9. Promote Biodiversity
Visit an organic farm and you’ll notice something: a buzz of animal, bird and insect activity. These organic oases are thriving, diverse habitats. Native plants, birds and hawks return usually after the first season of organic practices; beneficial insects allow for a greater balance, and indigenous animals find these farms a safe haven. As best said by Aldo Leopold, “A good farm must be one where the native flora and fauna have lost acreage without losing their existence.” An organic farm is the equivalent of reforestation. Industrial farms are the equivalent of clear cutting of native habitat with a focus on high farm yields.

10. Celebrate the Culture of Agriculture
Food is a ‘language’ spoken in every culture. Making this language organic allows for an important cultural revolution whereby diversity and biodiversity are embraced and chemical toxins and environmental harm are radically reduced, if not eliminated. The simple act of saving one heirloom seed from extinction, for example, is an act of biological and cultural conservation. Organic is not necessarily the most efficient farming system in the short run. It is slower, harder, more complex and more labor-intensive. But for the sake of culture everywhere, from permaculture to human culture, organic should be celebrated at every table.