Love comes in many forms. Through the love of a parent, a good friend, or a sibling. It even comes in the form of unrequited love. But the love between two partners can be quite unique and magical and thus is the story of Elle and Luke, two young innocents in When Time Stands Still.

The path to true love and friendship can be a hard one even for those falling in love for the first time. For Elle, growing up in a desolate home with an alcoholic mom and absent father should have set her up to doom and fall. But because of her circumstances, she chose to arise above it all and desired to be something better than her mom will ever be or want her to be. Along the way comes Luke, a guy so sweet and kind that Elle couldn’t help but fall for. Although she had a daunting past, Luke’s kindness and gentleness made it easy for Elle to open her heart up for him.

In Sara Furlong Burr’s contemporary romance, When Time Stands Still is a story of acceptance and forgiveness and fighting for who you really are. Obstacles can get in the way to the path of true and everlasting love and it’s how you overcome those obstacles to come out on top that really matters. For Elle, she never imagined she could be truly loved by anyone. For Luke, love at first sight really was a thing. When they’re both together, it seems that their insurmountable obstacles are nothing compared to how they love each other and support each other. Luke was the impeccable boyfriend that every girl wish they had – smart, handsome, and pure of heart.

My personal review of When Time Stands Still:

In When Time Stands Still, you get the immediate sense that Elle has self doubt and loss of self worth. In a marriage that isn’t quite perfect nor ideal, Elle receives a call about a past boyfriend who desperately needs her help. Does she leave her husband and job for a few days to help out this old boyfriend? She does indeed, and we sort of wonder why she would if she is supposedly happily married and has a good life.

But everything on the surface isn’t always reflected beneath. Elle doesn’t have a husband who is madly in love with her and we get insights of their imperfect marriage. In fact, her husband seems to be quite a jerk. As Elle confronts the ghosts of her past, so does she reflect on her current life with her husband. Not that Elle does anything to jeopardize her marriage or anything, but as the chapters go back and forth between the past and the present, we see how wonderful Luke is and how truly great he is to her and with her. For me, Elle and Luke seemed like the sweet, young couple that every relationship should feel. A love so clean and pure that you can’t help but fall in love with the main characters as well.

Elle’s reflection of her past is truly sad. She had some traumatic events happen upon her – one whom Luke was able to save her from, the other she still had scars hidden deep within her soul and psyche. But the greatest defeat of Elle was her mom. Her mom, who should have helped her rise from the ashes instead constantly pushed her down, belittled her, and made fun of her choice of major in college. It was in college where Elle met Luke, and that saying about love at first sight was described so sweetly between the two. Luke’s steadfast friendship and support helped Elle believe in herself but as with any tragic love story goes, there is always someone or something getting in the way.

In the story, both Elle and Luke have two great best friends. Snarky, funny, but loyal to a fault, Mena and Monroe are their backbones and “devil on the shoulder” if you may. They are big supporters of Elle and Luke’s relationship and only a most dire situation pulls Elle out of all of their lives for good. Thus began the mystery between Elle and Luke’s breakup.

As Elle helps Luke return to his normal life after the near death accident, she realizes that her heart had never let Luke go. She was still unequivocally in love with him and had only lived a half life after their breakup. We find out that Luke never moved on either and the details about Luke’s amnesiac love for Elle and Elle’s struggle to help him without guilt was beautiful to read. While at parts I would have liked to shake Elle awake to make her see that she was truly deserving of Luke and his love, Elle alas, had to discover it on her own. Was it too late for her and Luke? Or will Elle return to the mediocre life she was currently living in? You’ll have to read the story to find out.

Synopsis of When Time Stands Still:

It’s been nearly a decade since Elle Sloan last saw Luke Hutchins. Close to ten years since she broke up with him over a single phone call, providing him with little explanation. Since the end of their relationship, Elle has done everything she could do to move on, marrying, proceeding forward with her life, almost allowing herself to completely forget about Luke.

Almost.

Out of nowhere, Elle receives a phone call from Luke’s mother. Luke has been in a horrific car accident and, a month later, has just awoken from a coma. However, instead of celebrating, his family is stunned to learn that Luke is suffering from amnesia and only remembers his life as it was before his breakup with Elle. Not wanting to tell Luke that he and Elle aren’t together anymore for fear it may compromise his recovery, Elle is asked by Luke’s family to come to the hospital to see him. Their hope is that she will slowly be able to jog his memory and cushion the blow.

Guilt-ridden over how their relationship ended, Elle readily agrees, finding herself transported back in time with Luke to the life they once shared and the future they could have had together.

Author’s Bio:

Sara Furlong Burr was born and raised in Michigan and currently still lives there with her husband, two daughters, a high-strung Lab, and three judgmental cats. When she’s not writing, Sara enjoys reading, camping, spending time with her family, and attempting to paint while consuming more amaretto sours than she cares to admit.

When Time Stands Still is a contemporary romance novel by author Sara Furlong Burr and can be purchased on Amazon. Blog tour dates run from August 13-17 with further info found on the Xpresso Book Tours website: http://xpressobooktours.com/2018/05/24/tour-sign-up-when-time-stands-still-by-sara-furlong-burr/

Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/EnigmaBlackKindle

https://twitter.com/sarafurlong

http://sarafurlongburr.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590097.Sara_Furlong_Burr

Be sure to also enter in the giveaway for a signed copy of When Time Stands Still and a $20 Amazon Gift Card here:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232581/

You can also purchase When Time Stands Still on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/When-Time-Stands-Still-Furlong-Burr-ebook/dp/B07CW9RF3T/

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Sara Furlong Burr for the ARC and tour opportunity.

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

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | August 6, 2018

Who Do You Want to Be?

 

When I was younger, maybe around five or six years old I wanted to be one of those beautiful and graceful ballerina’s that I saw on TV. I took ballet lessons and proudly earned my Pointe shoes. Then at around ten years old I wanted to be a singer and I took music and voice lessons. I sang every chance I could and even wrote my own songs. When I reached my earlier teen years, I loved drawing and writing. I scribbled on the side of my classroom notebooks and used up every last inch of white space on any type of paper I could get my hands on. Then when I took a creative writing class my love for drawing and writing elevated to creating comic book characters and stories. Then in my later teen years I thought it would be exciting and dangerous if I could be a CIA agent or a spy. It wasn’t until later in college I realized that I needed to find a balance and to stop jumping around so much in my career choices.

Why I remember these changes in career choices helped shaped me to who I am today. And although it might have seemed like I was jumping around in my decisions, I realize now, many years later, that taking all the voice, dance, and art lessons made me see that there is so much out there in the world than what I could ever find studying in a textbook. Life can take you on many different paths and you can have many different experiences, but it is how you use those experiences that can help you grow and succeed.

When we’re young we are shaded by reality, by what the “real” world means. We don’t really see what mom and dad sees and we are protected in our home where dinner is always on the table, the carpets are always immaculate, and the clothes magically wash and fold themselves. But as we mature and go through stages in life, reality starts to sink in a bit more. Perhaps it’s seeing our parents’ tired faces after a long day at work or finding out that the family car broke down and we can’t go anywhere until it’s fixed. All the little instances in reality starts to seep into our mind and experiences until one day, hopefully, we can make wiser and smarter choices in our adulthood.

So while we are all on summer break, let’s take a moment and ask our children who they want to be when they grow up. They might answer you intellectually, “who could I be but myself?” Indeed. Because if we could all be ourselves then this world could be a lot different. But the “who” isn’t attached to a person in this instance. Rather it’s an identity of your adult self. Ask them how they see themselves when they’re grown up and what roles they want to play when they’re on their own. For some kids, they might already have a heartfelt understanding of their calling. For most others, they don’t realize what their true interests are until much later on. It could be a very confusing question to most children, and heck, even adults ask themselves this question every so often. So let’s raise the bar a little and delve more into this important life question.

In a recent conversation with a friend, we were talking about how to ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. There was an online article that my friend read, about why we shouldn’t be asking our kids what they want to be when they grow up. Rather, we should be asking kids what they hope to change in the world or hope to accomplish when they’re grown. While those are all noble and sensible questions, it could also lead to more confusion. Depending on the age, children can answer those questions based on their own life experiences. At five years old, a child might answer that they hope to change the world by making Lego a mandatory class in school. Or an eight year old could answer that they hope to accomplish building the highest tower with Lego bricks. Either way, young children and even pre-teens can only hope to accomplish within their means. I have yet to meet a child who would answer that question with an, “I hope to end world hunger”. Of course there are really no right or wrong answers (unless it’s an illegal career choice) so listening to their opinions and choices might open up a lot of opportunities for them.

In a recent article on thebalancecareers.com, a website that helps with careers, the article talks about how to help children choose a career for their future. Some useful tips include reading about different careers so your child can understand what the career entails. Or helping your children learn about themselves so that they can discover their interests, values, personalities, and aptitudes. Even as young as three years old you can see what your child’s interests are in how they play. Perhaps they like Lego over puzzles. Or can’t stop playing video games. Or even play endless games of “doctor”. Some personalities can give you a better idea of what your child likes to do so that you can slowly guide them into a right career path for them. But what age is the best to start talking about a career choice? That depends on your child and your home situation.

When my sister was five years old, she realized that she wanted to be a doctor. How she felt that calling at such a young age is beyond amazing. But she never faltered in that choice and to this day she has never regretted making that very determined decision. In an article in Money magazine, the author states that children and parents should start thinking about their career choices before entering high school. You have to consider that with college tuition getting higher and higher and jobs nowadays require more than a Bachelor’s Degree, you’d have to start saving up for college the minute your kids are born. Personally, I think guiding your child to a particular career choice as soon as possible can only help and not hinder. Of course, they might change their minds a hundred times throughout their school years and that’s okay. As long as there is some interest and inkling of what they’d like to do in the future then pushing them a bit could help them make up their mind.

US.News recently published their top 100 career choices. Here are the top ten that are most sought-after and popular throughout the United States:

1- Software Developer

2- Dentist

3- Physician Assistant

4- Nurse Practitioner

5- Orthodontist

6- Statistician

7- Pediatrician

8- Obstetrician and Gynecologist

9- Oral Surgeon

10 – Physician

As you can see, these are all pretty high goals to reach and certainly not probable for everyone. Not everyone can afford to go to college or even get a high-demand job. But if your child shows interest in something that garners a college degree then getting them to talk about it or learning more about the career at a young age is certainly recommendable.

When my son was much younger, he was determined to be a police officer. There was something magical and cool in police cars and their sirens. But he was also a Lego fanatic and wanted to work for the Lego company. Now that he’s older, his interests have changed in tune to what his life experiences have taught him. He still thinks that being a police is cool and on occasion the Lego inspiration springs up. As his mom, I’ve had several conversations with him about what he wants to do “when he’s grown up.” And I find that when he asks his dad questions about his job and shows interest in his cousins’ careers there is definitely a gleam in his eyes. And the occasional eye roll of course…

Second chances. Redemption. Acceptance. These are what you’ll find at Chesapeake Bay but for Chrissy Jenkins, being accepted was never attainable. Enter the world of The Chesapeake Diaries where friends and families can either drive you apart or bond you to each other forever.

In the twelfth installment of the award-winning novel series, The Chesapeake Diaries, Dune Drive tells the story of Chrissy Jenkins, the great-great granddaughter of Ruby Carter, the famous matriarch of Cannonball Island. Out of necessity to escape an abusive ex, Chrissy finds the opportunity to return to Cannonball Island to start a much needed new life. Hoping to forget her past yet using her culinary skills in the present, Chrissy starts a new journey in Chesapeake, although begrudgingly.

Dune Drive is written with it’s usual classic wit and ease by Mariah Stewart, a New York Times and USA Today’s best selling author. Set in the iconic and idyllic coastal town of Chesapeake Bay, Dune Drive takes us once again into the small-town family with the heart of gold. This time however, the story centers on Chrissy, a talented yet undermined chef who feels she doesn’t truly belong. But as Chrissy slowly starts to unwind on Cannonball Island, she finds long lost faces and new beginnings.

One of the beauty of reading a book by Mariah Stewart is her incredible talent in letting you see the vulnerabilities of the heroine or hero and rooting for said heroine or hero until the very end. You feel the bumps and bruises which makes the triumphant closure for the characters all the more gratifying. The supporting characters in Dune Drive are just as vividly described and important and helps Chrissy realize that she is so much more than what she thinks of herself. Of course there has to be a dashing, handsome, albeit frustrating hero! In the case of Jared Chandler, he is just as delicious as all the other heroes in Mariah Stewart’s stories.

If you’re looking for a fun “beach read” or an immersive and sweet story about finding oneself and realizing true love between family and friends, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy reading Dune Drive. You don’t have to read all of the Chesapeake Diaries in order to enjoy this installment but it would help in understanding how the quaint little beach-side town of Cannonball Island works.

Dune Drive is currently on it’s Book Tour and can be purchased at any main booksellers and online. Dune Drive and the Chesapeake Diaries is published by Pocket Books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Book description:

Always believing she was an ugly duckling, Chrissy Jenkins thought she had finally turned into a swan when her real-life Prince Charming swept her off her feet. But as his true character began to crack his perfect facade, Chrissy realized that not only was she better off without him, but that she was the only one who had the power to transform her life.

Returning to her ancestral home on Cannonball Island for a family wedding, Chrissy is reintroduced to a legacy she’d all but forgotten. In choosing to stay on the island, she reboots her life, successfully reinventing herself as a chef at Blossoms, an up-and-coming restaurant in St. Dennis. But despite her newfound self-confidence, she still doesn’t trust her taste in men. So when she meets Jared Chandler, a handsome ship salvager staying at the inn while he conducts a nearby recovery operation, Chrissy’s certain she can keep him as a friend—even though he’s everything any woman would want in a man. As fellow newcomers, together they discover the charm of the historic bayside town and explore the idyllic island.

But when Chrissy agrees to be Jared’s date for his father’s wedding, they embark on a weekend that will find them each seeing the other in a completely different light, one that will change their lives forever.

About the Author:

Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens while she works on her next novel. Visit her website at MariahStewart.com, like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram @Mariah_Stewart_Books.

* I was given a galley of Dune Drive for the Dune Drive blog tour.

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

 

Posted by: suzan | July 11, 2018

Natural Outdoor Remedies

It’s been a crazy, tumultuous summer so far. Much like a petulant child, the weather in California has been teetering between extreme humid heat to cold, blustering mornings. When my family and I went on a recent retreat up north, not only did the realization that this summer’s climate is unpredictable but that we are also unprepared for the fluctuating temperatures.

Luckily, I had my friend’s trusty natural homemade skin remedies on hand when we encountered some not so friendly enemies. Not so friendly enemies. Is that even a thing? What I mean of course, are the poison oaks and ivy, the bees, the mosquitoes, and other wild and native breeds we happened upon. That’s the beauty of being outdoors – the other natural and indigenous plants and insects that inhabit our environment. We don’t want to be hurt by them but we can also learn to cohabit with nature in a safe and pleasant way.

I’ve learned that the best way to combat unfriendly fire is to use natural remedies. Sure you can use generic products you find on supermarket shelves. But those conventional products are also made with toxic ingredients that can actually hinder you from getting better. The toxic ingredients seep into your skin and prolong use can cause more damage than benefit.

Natural remedies might sound daunting and unbelievable because most of us are conditioned to buy big name brands that our grandparents grew up with. But in truth, generations before us relied on natural remedies because it was easier and less expensive. Plants such as herbs and flowers were easy to grow and maintain and were readily available in the gardens or on the windowsill planters. Plus, when you make your own, you can make them in abundance and save them for gifts later on.

Let’s start with some simple and natural remedies for when those bug bites or poisonous plants get in your way.

Perfect Ingredients:

Lavender – known for healing and relaxation properties. Lavender has been used for centuries for its high quality abilities as a bug repellent, stress reliever, sleep inducer, and many other wonderful health benefits. Lavender can be used topically and in food. This wonderful scent can naturally calm and soothe you and is great for any age. How to use: lavender essential oils and lavender leaves work best for relieving itching and inflammation.

Calendula – known for skin healing abilities such as insect bites, cuts, and scrapes. It is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for both internal and external uses.  This light scent and gentle healing capabilities is a favorite for children and those with eczema. How to use: calendula essential oil(mixed with a carrier oil) or the plant itself can be rubbed on affected areas.

Citronella – this plant’s main function is its extraordinary anti-inflammatory benefits. Widely known for its ability to repel insects such as mosquitoes, lice, and flea. The strong and pungent scent confuses mosquitoes so they are unable to find their targets nearby. How to use: citronella oil or the leaves of the plant works well in preventing mosquito bites. If you plan on being outdoors for any length of time, burn citronella candles or keep citronella plants in your garden.

Aloe Vera – one of the most versatile plants in the world. Aloe vera includes a wonderful combination of helpful supplements and minerals in its entire plant. It’s great for soothing burnt skin and insect bites and works wonders for relieving poison oak and poison ivy itching. Rub a fresh plant on the affected area of the skin for instant relief. How to use: use aloe vera plants directly on the affected area of the skin. Or keep pure and natural aloe vera gel handy for instant relief.

Peppermint Essential Oil – the essential oil of the peppermint herb is great for soothing itchy skin as well as keeping away certain insects. Rub peppermint essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, or sesame) directly on skin. Never use essential oils directly on skin as it can cause irritation due to its potency. How to use: peppermint essential oil mixed with a carrier oil can be applied topically. You can also gently rub the plant leaves on the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil – the essential oil of the tea tree plant works effectively against poison ivy as it helps prevent secondary infections. Tea Tree Oil’s strong scent also helps repel certain types of insects. Be sure to mix Tea Tree Oil with another carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, or sesame). How to use: tea tree oil can be applied topically on the affected area or used as a prevention from insect bites.

Coconut Oil – coconut oil is great for soothing bug bites and itching as it creates a thicker layer so the skin can heal. It can prevent further infections on the skin and help promote production of new skin cells. Rub pure coconut oil on the affected area on the skin for instant relief. How to use: use high quality coconut oil directly on the affected area of the skin. It can also be used as a sunscreen.

Baking Soda – baking soda mixed with water to create a paste works well in relieving itching from insect bites and many other mild infections from plants or bugs. When I was bitten by a brown recluse once, I immediately mixed baking soda and water to put over the bite after first treating the bite and to prevent infection. Baking soda draws out the toxins from your body and helps relieve pain and inflammation. How to use: mix equal parts baking soda to water to create a paste. Rub paste on affected area and allow to dry. Repeat process throughout the day until affected area is better and healed.

Tea – green or black tea in the pure form can be applied topically on itches and skin irritations. The tannin in the tea is great for preventing and reducing inflammation and bacteria growth on the skin. How to use: use tea leaves directly on the affected area. Leave on skin until leaves dry and change to fresh leaves. You can also use tea bags but be sure there is just enough water in the bags to place on the affected area.

Being outdoors is a wonderful way to connect with nature and have fun. Carry any of these suggested remedies in your bag or backpack for instant medicinal relief. I always like to keep aloe vera gel and some kind of essential oil in my backpack whenever we go outdoors. When in a pinch and you don’t have any medical help then using any of the remedies mentioned above can greatly help reduce inflammation and infections.

*Please note that with any natural remedy, always do your own research and check with a health expert if you have any specific health issues. Use with caution if you have certain allergic reactions and always dilute 100% essential oils with a carrier oil. Buy high grade essential oils for pure potency and efficacy.

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

Posted by: suzan | June 19, 2018

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.

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

 

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | June 15, 2018

Be Good to Your Guts

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Over the years as I’ve talked to people that I’ve met, friends, and family, there seems to be one major concern that is central on everyone’s mind and that is gut health – or digestive health. Our digestive system is made of a wonderful collection of organs, tissues, and glands with each part doing their own specific job. When one part breaks down or becomes weak, the other parts work on overdrive until either all those other parts recover or break down entirely.  Our digestive system keeps us healthy and alive and we wouldn’t live very comfortably if we don’t take care of it.

In order to take care of our digestive system we first have to understand what it is (and here I’m going to have to go a bit graphic with the wording.) The digestive system begins at the mouth and works throughout the body and ends at the anus. Certain parts of the digestive system, which includes the esophagus to the liver to the intestines all work together to turn food and liquids into building blocks and energy that the body needs. Throughout this intricate system of digestive tract the body breaks down every little morsel of food and liquid to turn them into nutrients that our body absorbs and assimilates. When we eat foods that are highly nutritious and beneficial, our digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break them down. And if we maintain the health of our body, the nutrients that we get from the food we eat gives us the important amino acids, sugar, and fatty acids that help keep us going.

But what happens when people get digestive problems such as ulcers, Celiac disease, and IBS? While food is an important factor in improving digestive health, so are other components that can damage or alter your digestive system. For instance, overeating can cause your body to be unable to properly break down foods or take longer than usual. Stress is a precursor to many health issues especially with digestive health illnesses. And eating too quickly slows down the process of enzymes traveling through your body to give it the proper nutrients. So what can we do to help improve our gut health? Well, simply put – listen to your gut. Below I’ve listed ways you can improve your digestive health and can be used for both adults and children.

1- Don’t eat before bedtime. Lying down with a full stomach can push stomach contents back toward the esophagus, resulting in reflux.

2- . Downsize meals. Trick yourself by using a salad plate, and eat until you feel almost full.

3- Chew food well. You’ll activate enzymes in your mouth that help break down carbohydrates, giving stomach acids time to work and minimizing the burden on the rest of the GI track.

4- Decrease stress. Stress can spike inflammation, increase indigestion, and worsen existing digestive conditions. To reduce stress, make a point to exercise, eat a balanced diet, develop a spiritual practice, cultivate a support network, and get plenty of sleep. Try deep-belly breathing for general relaxation and to control anger and anxiety.

5-  Eat more fiber. **The average person gets about half as much fiber as she should.  Aim for 25 to 30 grams daily. It encourages more regular bowel movements, keeps blood sugar more even, and acts as fuel for probiotics.

6-  Adopt Mediterranean diet. Focus on anti-inflammatory, fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. (If raw vegetables give you trouble, cook them before eating.) Choose lean proteins and healthy fats, including cold-water fish, like salmon. Eat red meat infrequently, if at all.

7-  Eat mindfully.  Eating mindfully helps lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. Notice the color, the aroma, and the texture of each bite before placing it in your mouth. Try this for one meal a day, until it becomes habitual.

8- Take probiotics. Probiotics are critical in maintaining healthy intestinal flora, which can strengthen immune response and alleviate many symptoms associated with a range of digestive conditions.

9-  Try an elimination diet. If you think you have a food sensitivity, keep a food diary for at least three days, recording everything you eat and any effects you notice. Symptoms may come on rapidly, or may not manifest for up to 12 hours. Once you’ve identified the likely food culprits, eliminate them for two to three weeks. If symptoms improve, gradually add the foods back in. Eat the test foods twice a day.

I’m a huge promoter of probiotics. I’ve been eating food rich in healthy probiotics since I was very young. Foods with probiotics are the easiest way to get children to eat better and have a healthier digestive system. Long term beneficial effects of regular probiotic food can improve children’s overall immunity and brain health. Probiotics are basically friendly bacteria that works throughout your body to increase immunity and decrease inflammation. Delicious probiotic foods include yogurt (low in sugar), greek yogurt, fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, cheese, sourdough bread, and miso. If your child is hesitant about trying foods that have the signature “sour” taste of fermentation, slowly add these type of probiotic foods to their meals. Try yogurt mixed in with fresh berries or the ever popular miso soup found in Japanese restaurants and markets. The more children are exposed to healthy probiotics, the better it is for them long term. But if they are disinclined to try any fermented foods, then supplements would help as well.

As we get older, our body works slower and harder to digest food properly and to assimilate the nutrients that we need. It’s important to help our digestive system by eating properly and practice proper exercising. For children, especially when they’re young, get them on the habit of eating low fat and low sugar yogurt to aid in their digestive health. Yogurt also contains dairy so it helps with their bones and muscles as well as other important vitamins.

For more info about digestive health, check out Delicious Living Magazine : http://deliciousliving.com/digestion-digest-manage-digestive-issues-naturally

*photos courtesy of KidsHealth.org and Delicious Living Magazine. ** Delicious Living Magazine

 

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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Posted by: suzan | May 21, 2018

Clean Eating 101 – What you need to know

 

Once upon a time, people grew their own food with a backyard full of luscious fruits and vegetables. They knew that growing their own food enables them to know what they’re putting in their soil, how they treat their food, and if any chemicals are used. But as time grew and society purportedly progressed, so did our ability to find clean and healthy food in the markets.

So what exactly does clean eating mean? Is it as simple as washing your vegetables and fruit in clean water? Does it mean making sure your food doesn’t fall onto the ground thus making it clean? There seems to be much confusion to the true meaning of it. So simply put – clean food means food that is unprocessed, preservatives-free, and made with as few ingredients as possible. But many foods are processed and can be hard to avoid. The key is to avoid or limit overly processed foods as they are not considered clean due to the tremendous damage they can do to our health. And as always, choose organic whenever possible.

What’s the best way to start eating clean? Here are five easy steps to remember:

1- Buy fresh produce – organic and locally grown when possible. Fresh produce is the number one rule to eating clean and simple.

2- Buy whole grains and lean protein. Whole grains are still intact with all of their nutrients ensuring you’ll get all of the health benefits. Lean protein with little to no fat are not as taxing on your body when digesting and processing through your system.

3- Make meals and snacks from scratch at home. When you start with ingredients that you are in control of, you know what you’re putting in your food.

4- Use as few ingredients as possible. The risk of eating out or buying cooked food in stores is because of all the ingredients in there that companies need for flavor and preserving. When you make your own food, use just the basics – lean protein, vegetables, salt, pepper, light olive oil, etc.

5- Limit sugar or cut it out entirely. While cutting out sugar entirely might be hard to do, try eating more fruits and using fruit-based sweeteners to sweeten your food.

How can you teach children to eat clean? Try these tips:

1- Take your child to the grocery store with you. Let them start by learning about all the fresh produce that are available. If the stores have samples of the produce, encourage your child to try it out if it’s a fruit or vegetable that they typically don’t eat.

2- Depending on the age, have your child help you prepare the meals at home. Teach them and let them help you cut up from the fresh produce you just brought at the store. When children are involved in making meals from scratch, they feel a connection to the food they eat.

3- Serve up fresh fruits and cut them up in cute shapes if necessary. Mix it up once in awhile by including honey (for children over age 2) or plain yogurt for kids to dip their fruit in. Continue with this style of snacking so kids can learn to grab fresh fruits instead of an overly processed sugary snack.

4- Teach your kids to be mindful of what they eat. Don’t be distracted by the TV, tablet, or phone while you’re eating. Being mindful is an ancient practice to be more aware of what you are eating and how food should taste. It also helps with proper digestion of food.

5- Use simple recipes when it comes to teaching kids to eat clean. The less ingredients used, the more their taste buds can distinguish between processed food and food made with less ingredients. This delicious and healthy noodle dish is fun and healthy for both kids and adults: http://deliciousliving.com/recipes/soy-soba-buddha-bowls?cid=nhbc

6- Teach your kids to read labels. If your child likes a certain store bought food, let them read the ingredient label as well as the labels on the packaging. If it’s a snack that isn’t all too healthy, let them see how many unpronounceable words there are in the ingredients list. You’d be surprised at their reactions to all the ingredients that they don’t recognize.

So what happens when you’re eating out and not at home? Short of driving your server and the chefs crazy, here are some tips to make it smoother for everyone:

1- If you can choose the restaurant, then choose one you regularly frequent. This way you already know what’s on the menu and how the restaurant and staff works.

2- If you know the name of the restaurant you’re attending (but you didn’t choose it), look at the menu online so you can get an idea of what’s available.

3- Get to know your server. The servers at restaurants are usually very accommodating. Peruse the menu first and ask the server ahead of time if they allow changes or alterations to the menu items. If they do, then know ahead of time what you’d like to order. If they don’t then just stick with the basics, such as a fresh salad, dressing on the side, and a fruit plate if it’s available. Then if the server brought out your dish accurately, be sure to tip well as they usually have to be specific with the chefs and food preps.

Whether you’re just starting to eat more clean or you’re a seasoned pro, remember to have a plan on how you want to eat clean. Make grocery lists, search online for ideas and tips such as mine, and have self control over what you eat.

Here’s to clean eating! 🙂

*photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Living and Delicious Living magazine.

 

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

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | May 11, 2018

Cascading Petals Book Tour and Review

Life as a teenager isn’t always what you see in the movies. Designer clothes, luxury cars, and European vacations are all depicted in movies as something every teenager seem to have. But there are also dark sides to every teenager. When pressure from family and friends get in the way of growing into healthy and happy adults, the facade that most teens wear falls away to reveal troubles that they tried so hard to hide.

In Cascading Petals, we are immediately taken into the life of the young heroine, Jewel Hart. Eighteen-year-old Jewel is beautiful, smart, and talented, with a heart of gold and a smile that lights up the world. But overshadowing this brilliant girl is a lifetime of bullying and being ignored by her classmates and school administrative. Written in the voice of Jewel along with other central characters, we glimpse into the not so fabulous life as a teen. With the rise of bullying and threats all around her, will Jewel overcome her pain and doubts as she tries to survive her last year in high school?

Along the way, Jewel meets the new boy in town, Kaiden, who is handsome, intelligent, and self assured. He immediately takes a liking to Jewel, seeing the true “jewel” that she is although she tries to hide it from him. The blossoming of their friendship and eventual love is beautiful to read and was very well written by the author. I felt their strengths for each other as well as their pain in trying to fit into a world where you could easily be treated as a nobody. But Jewel and Kaiden’s support for each other as well as from their families made this story really shine.

Cascading Petals is a story that hits you straight to the heart. My own heart broke towards the end of this story, feeling the pain that these main characters felt and hoping they will eventually triumph through. Cascading Petals isn’t just a book about teenagers going through a hard time in high school or in life. It’s a story that tells of hardship and sadness beginning at a very young age for both Jewel, Kaiden, Amy, and Lexi. While Jewel, Kaiden, and Amy had the love and support of their families, no one can truly know another’s pain, of the fear and angst that lives in those who have been bullied or harmed in any way their entire lives.

There is a lot of be said and learned from reading a book such as Cascading Petals. It’s a good reminder to treat others with respect and to stand up for yourself. Life is usually not fair and we have all been dealt some misgivings here and there. But it’s how we pick ourselves up after the fall and shine brighter than others that help us overcome the bad dealings in life. Teenagers and even pre-teens get a sense that they can do anything in their world, that they can say whatever they want and act however they want. But little do they know that the big world out there can be so much crueler if they don’t open their eyes to their own actions and behavior. Every choice we make has a consequence – be it good or bad. And with young adults, it can be excruciatingly hard for them to know what’s truly right and wrong. Heck, even most adults have trouble with that sometimes.

Each and every one of us have been teased, bullied, or made fun of one way or another. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being human. It’s important to remember that we all have shortcomings and pitfalls. No one is perfect nor should we even try to be perfect. And in the end, does it really matter that you aren’t the prettiest girl in school or the jockiest jock? Does it matter if you have a better car or have designer clothes while the person next to you barely lives within their means? It doesn’t make us better or worse. It should just make us feel compassion and help others understand that life has more meaning than what’s on the surface. I truly hope you read Cascading Petals as it can be a good “wake up call” for all of us.

Synopsis:

Despite the years of bullying in school, Jewel Hart has remained sweet and kind. She has it all—a great life, a great family, and beauty—but she has never been able to obtain the one thing she wants—to belong.

When Jewel meets Kaiden Carter, a good-looking, charming new student at York Mills High, things start to look up. On the surface, he is perfect, but Jewel can’t shake the feeling that everything is not as it seems.

When the devastation of the rising suicides in her school hits too close to home and drives Jewel into a deep despair, she clings to Kaiden’s strength to find her way back. Through the pain and fear surrounding her, she finds hope and the will to go on. But just as she picks herself up, tragedy strikes again, threatening to steal her last glimmer of hope. How will she go on? Can she ever find her place in the world?

Xpresso Book Tours and the author is giving everyone a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD 32g and a signed copy of Cascading Petals here:  https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232436/.

You can also purchase Cascading Petals at these retailers:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CascadingPetals-Jane-C-Brady-ebook/dp/B077YMMLPN

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cascadingpetals-jane-c-brady/1127226558?ean=9781775067634

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cascadingpetals/id1296049260?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/cascadingpetals

And for more info about Cascading Petals Book Tour: http://xpressobooktours.com/2018/02/15/tour-sign-up-cascading-petals-by-jane-c-brady/

Author’s Bio – Jane C. Brady:

AUTHOR BIO:

Jane lives life to the full because she doesn’t want to wake up twenty years from now regretting all the things she didn’t do. She’s an avid traveler who also loves throwing elaborate dinner parties where she wows her guests with gourmet meals. Jane has a passion for writing, interior design, history, movies, board games, and fitness. In her quest  for an exciting life, however, she now draws the line at zip-lining, which she experienced in Costa Rica. Never again!

Jane comes from a family of six sisters and lived in a Tennessee plantation house for several years while growing up. She now lives in Western Canada but dreams of owning a vacation home in South Carolina. She lives with her husband (her high school sweetheart), two teenagers, and two dogs. When she grows up, she’d like to be her brilliant sixteen-year-old daughter (minus the mood swings).

Author links:

https://authorjanecbrady.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17233695.Jane_C_Brady

https://www.facebook.com/authorjanecbrady/

https://twitter.com/authorjanecbrad

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Jane Brady for the ARC!

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

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | May 8, 2018

ISAN Book Tour and Review and Giveaway

In a Dystopian future, the world is no longer as we know. If you’re not the elite, you have to fight to stay alive.

Can it happen to us? Will it happen to us? Find out in Mary Ting’s newest young adult Sci Fi thriller, ISAN.

Mary Ting has quite a talent for writing in the voice of teenagers or young adults. Not many adults (and authors) can put themselves in the eyes and mindset of a younger age without sounding fake or contrived. But with Mary, her young adults books make you feel like you’re right there with her characters, right in their minds and their activities.

ISAN starts off right away with action and you’re immediately wondering what the heck is going on here? Super soldiers? Telepathy? Outer space? It all seems so technical with science fiction and military-like action mixed in. But ISAN is so much more than those things. It’s a genre that is filled with tons of action, typical teenage angst, mystery, dystopian, and romance all mixed into a thrill ride from the first pages to the very last page.

ISAN or aka, International Sensory Assassin Network is a mysterious group that is not quite government sanctioned and not quite military. What they are, are a group of young women fighters who are taken from the streets or the orphanage at a young age to train as silent and deadly assassins. I may be so bold as to say that ISAN reminds me of the Black Widow program where young girls are trained at a very young age to be the best in everything they do. No time for having fun or hanging out like regular teenagers might do. It’s strict training both physically and psychologically.

The heroine, Ava is an orphan and having lived a very harsh young life, gets sort of a “second chance” at life when she is inducted into ISAN by her coach and friend, Russ, who works for ISAN. As we read further into the story, we get tidbits of Ava’s past life when she lived with her mother until her mother’s mysterious death and then put into an orphanage. We learn later on that everything in her life was carefully orchestrated to lead up to her being part of ISAN. Throughout the story, you realize that there is a much bigger picture than what you are initially led to think.
As Ava goes on missions with her team, she gets kidnapped by a handsome and enigmatic young man who claims to be a part of her past. Having no memory of him or his teammates, Ava wonders if she could trust them. But something about Rhett makes her believe in him and she begins to have doubts about ISAN and her role in the organization.

Without giving any spoilers away, know that ISAN is a very fast paced read with action, intrigue, and handsome, smartass guys who could easily be the book boyfriend that everyone always talks about. There is no doubt another book in the series and I am eagerly waiting to find out what’s next with Ava and her friends.

Mary Ting and Xpresso Book Tours is also giving away a signed book of ISAN and some incredible swag.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/48cd2c9a135/

 

Synopsis:

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into our quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her “better.” To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

ISAN is published by Vesuvian Books and can be purchased through these links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/ISAN-International-Sensory-Assassin-Network/dp/1944109560/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/isan-international-sensory-assassin-network-mary-ting/1126846302?ean=2940154723616

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isan-international-sensory-assassin-network/id1263326436?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/isan-international-sensory-assassin-network

A bit about the author, Mary Ting:

AUTHOR BIO:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Author links:

https://twitter.com/maryting

http://marytingbooks.blogspot.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryTing

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4388953.Mary_Ting

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

 

 

If there is ever a day you need to celebrate it is Mother’s Day. Not only should you celebrate it with your mom, but shout it out, party it up, and make it the biggest day she’s ever experienced. Of course Mother’s Day really isn’t limited to just one day, and if you’re going to do one thing special for your mom, Mother’s Day is THE day to do it.

But Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be just for moms. Grandmas, aunts, sisters, friends, and anyone who has been a mother figure in your life can be made to feel special on Mother’s Day. So this year, why not involve your kids to do something extra special for that wonderful mom in their life? Of course if you’re a mom and you’re reading this – just act surprised when your child hands you his homemade special gift!

Here are Top Ten DIY Earth-Friendly gifts for mom:

– Wooden Birdhouse: You can buy unfinished wood birdhouses at craft stores such as Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics for about a $1.00 Have your kids color the birdhouses and/or decorate with stickers. Be sure to use outdoor paint if the birdhouse will be hanging outside. Whether or not birds actually visit the birdhouse, it’s still a fun, educational, and economical gift that’s from the heart.

– Flower Pot: Flowers speak volumes when it comes to gifts. Have your child plant flowers in a pretty pot or a DIY ceramic or terra cotta pot. Best flowers for Mother’s Day are Sweet Peas, Sunflowers, Pansies, and anything that has a beautiful fragrance and are easy to maintain.

– Mother’s Day Coupon Book: Moms are notoriously busy so this year have your child create a coupon book of things you’d like for them to do for you. Coupons can include a “free breakfast day”, “free dishwashing for the week”, or “shoulder massage week” (I’m going to hint to my son that that’s what I’m hoping for!:) ).

– Tea Cup Cozy: If moms love drinking tea (or even coffee), make DIY cozies. Cozies can be made with leather, cardstock, or sewn together with really pretty and colorful fabric.

– Garden Sign: For moms who love to garden or even as a decorative plant stick for indoor plants, make your own garden signs by using rocks, popsicle sticks, bottle caps, wood, and anything else you can find around the house.

– Herb Infused Olive Oil: When it comes to cooking, moms always appreciate high quality cooking oils. So pick up some top notch olive oil and have your kids turn them into gourmet-style infused oils. Simply add organic fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and basil to create a personalized olive oil. Put the olive oil in a pretty decanter glass bottle for best flavor.

– Embellished Mittens/Gloves: Take plain mittens or gloves and decorate them with stitching. Sew on flowers, lace, and beads to make the mittens and gloves extra unique.

– Homemade Sweets: Remember when your mom made you freshly baked cookies and cupcakes? This Mother’s Day treat your mom to fresh cookies and/or cupcakes made from scratch.

– Fragrance Bath Salts: Bath salts make great therapeutic gifts which you can personalize with your mom’s favorite scent. Try bath salts infused with lavender, rose, or any fragrant scent. For a DIY recipe, check out Botanical Alchemy & Apothecary’s Bath Salts idea: https://botanicalalchemyandapothecary.com/diy-bath-salts-mothers-day-gift/

– Special Mom’s Book: Write a book or journal about your mom. Write things about her that makes her unique and all the reasons why you love her. Add photos and drawings to make it extra special.

Remember that showing your mom your love doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It could be as simple as a heart-warming hug or a thoughtfully drawn card. However you plan on celebrating your mom and the mother figures in your life, give it that extra “oomph” by putting your own personal touch to it.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Being a Mother

Being a mother means that your heart

Is no longer yours; it wanders

Wherever your children do.

 

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

 

 

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