green wrapping

Green Christmas Presents Also Mean Green Wrapping and Green Cards

GO Green this Christmas !!

Green Christmas presents aren’t just about what you choose to give as a gift – it’s also important to think about wrapping paper and even the greetings cards you’re sending out. Christmas cards are a fantastic way to get in touch with people who you may not have spoken to for a while, and are perfect for sending good wishes to family and friends. However, the numbers quickly add up, and most of us will end up using huge amounts of card for these yearly greetings. There are ways in which you can minimize the environmental impact of the cards you send.

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Make Your Own Cards

If you’re really feeling creative then why not try making your own cards from recycled materials? You can use parts of old greetings cards, or scraps of card, to put together cards that are personal and fun. This is an especially good idea if you’ve got kids who enjoy arts and crafts!

You can also go digital and design your own cards on the computer. This can be another fun project for you or the kids and is an easy way to send out cards without wasting any paper at all! Save the paper cards for only your closest friends and family and you’ll be helping to save a lot of trees this Christmas season.

Wrapping Gifts

A lot of gift wrap is difficult to recycle, especially since it gets torn up and thrown out with other trash! Try not to add to this waste by using recycled materials to wrap your green Christmas presents, such as old newspapers, magazines, old brown paper bags, or wrapping that you’ve salvaged from previous years. Most people won’t mind you wrapping in this way – in fact, you can usually make it look unique and creative with a little effort! If you still want to buy wrapping paper, many stores now sell recycled options.

After Christmas

Once Christmas is over you’ll likely be left with a huge number of Christmas cards that no longer have any use. It’s important that you recycle cards as much as possible – whether this means re-using them for your kids’ craft projects, or dropping them off at local stores who include a Christmas card recycling point.

Although these are easier to recycle, you should also try to save as many envelopes as you can when receiving cards. When it comes time to send cards again, you can reuse the better quality envelopes by using special “reuse labels” to cover up old details. This is a habit you can continue throughout the year, too!

You can also recycle holiday gift wrap. When unwrapping gifts, try to do it carefully rather than tearing it all and you can use it as is. This is the perfect way to turn the presents you receive into more green Christmas presents!

Parents Reading to Laughing Boy

Putting Yourself First

Putting Yourself First – Living For Health and Wellness

Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and modesty, a virtue.  So is it any wonder that moms, work at home moms, and women in general have a hard times taking care of themselves first and setting aside time each day to improve mind, body and spirit?

Parents Reading to Laughing Boy

As a mother, it is especially hard to find time in our hectic lives to pamper ourselves and to de-stress.  However it is of the utmost importance that we do so, so that our mind can center itself, the body can relax and the spirit can be renewed.  And although we sometimes get so busy that we forget to do these things, I would encourage you to somehow remind yourself to take this daily time to yourself, whether by using post-it notes, an alarm clock, and a note on the calendar, or even a computer reminder!

When you take time for yourself, it doesn’t have to be a long time (although, the longer you can afford to relax, the better!), because it is the quality of time that counts, not the length of time.  You start with taking just 15 to 30 minutes every day to let yourself unwind and relax.  This can be really early in the morning before the children wake up, during a lunch break, right before bed, or any other time that fits your schedule.

Here are some ideas that you can use to get started with your daily time to help yourself de-stress.  Please feel free to modify these ideas in any way to fit your lifestyle or personality!

Meditation – Meditating has a reputation for sounding much harder to do than it really is.  Take a few moments to either lie down or sit comfortably and clear your mind of worries, daily stresses, or other intrusive thoughts.  Relax your entire body and try to clear your mind, focusing only on deep, diaphragmatic breaths.  You can meditate for as long as you would like to.

Take a Warm Bath – Water has its own peculiar way of taking away stresses, relaxing the body and helping us to unwind.  But when you are putting yourself first and taking care of yourself, you don’t want this to be a short to-the-point bath.  Take time to add scented oil or bubble bath, fix yourself a cup of hot tea or cocoa, grab a favorite book and have a luxurious soak!

Prayer – No matter what your religious beliefs are, prayer has been shown to relax the mind and soothe the soul.  Take a few moments to pray or simply be grateful for what you have in your life.  This helps you center your spiritual self as well as to focus on you for a while.

Yoga – Yoga is so much more than twisting oneself into a pretzel.  Most beginners yoga poses are very easy to do, and help you to focus your mind, body and spirit all at once!

These are just a few of the ideas you can use when you take time for yourself.  However, putting yourself first doesn’t mean simply taking 30 minutes everyday for mom.  It also means that your own basic needs must be met everyday.  What are these needs?  Abraham Maslow. a humanistic psychologist developed a hierarchy of basic needs that every human being has. Let’s take a look at these needs and how they relate to you as a work at home mother.

1.  Physiological Needs

These include the very basic needs that are the most necessary to a human being.  They are: oxygen, food, water, sleep, and a relatively constant body temperature.  If these needs are not fulfilled they can influence your thoughts and behaviors, cause you to become sick or even cause pain, discomfort or death.

2. Safety Needs

When a person’s physiological needs are met, then the need for safety will come next – whenever one stage is fulfilled, the next stage suddenly becomes more important.  Safety needs include: physical safety (from violence, aggression, etc.), a secure home, secure employment, security of revenues and resources, moral and physiological security, family security, security of health, and security of personal property against crime.

3.  Love/Social Needs

The third layer of Maslow’s hierarchy after physiological needs and safety needs are those involving your emotionally-based relationships, including: having healthy friendships, sexual intimacy, and having a supportive and communicative family.  This includes feeling as if you belong and are accepted, and feeling loved as well as loving others.

4.  Esteem Needs

All human beings have the need to feel as if they are respected and to have self-respect.  Therefore the 4th level of needs include:  self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others.

5. Self-Actualization

The fifth and final level of basic needs is self-actualization, which is the instinctual need of human beings to make the most of their abilities and strive to be the best that they can be.  Self-actualization can best be described as reaching one’s fullest potential.  These needs can include (but are not limited to): morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, and lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

With these basic needs in mind, think carefully…what needs of your own are you meeting?  Which are you neglecting?  At any given moment, think about which layer of the hierarchy you are on at the moment.  Can you improve this?

Even though as a mother, you have a responsibility to meet the needs of your children and family, you also have an obligation to take care of yourself first.  Because, quite simply, you cannot fully take care of others if you are not making sure your own needs are met first.  So each day, keep in mind what your own needs are, and see that you are taking care of yourself first so that you can take even better care of your family and loved ones.

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Article Source: http://www.faithfulgrannies.com

About the Author:  Stephanie Davies is a WAHM from Mid-Missouri.  She loves to read, write, knit, watch movies, build websites and surf the internet.  Her website at http://www.hostingwahms.com provides website hosting and other online services to work at home parents.  She recommends Christian Work From Home Moms and Grandparents http://www.faithfulgrannies.com as a great online source for work at home moms.

Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Moms are very busy and the morning  can be stressful with making breakfast.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, many of us neglect breakfast. And there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that your body and mind will suffer unless you have a healthy breakfast each morning. bfast-makeover-morning-600x411

You spend six to eight hours sleeping. After that time, your body needs fuel to keep going. Without breakfast at home, your options for on the run nutrition may amount to too much fat, too much sugar and too many carbs. And, that convenient run to the fast food joint is not as convenient and time saving as you think if everyone else has the same idea. The fifteen or twenty minutes spent in line could have been used to fill your belly with something good at home.

If you are the type to skip breakfast, here is a solution to starting the day with a good breakfast which will help you keep hunger in check as well as give you the natural energy boost to start your day.bfast1

1. Oatmeal – This food makes a good hot meal that contains lots of filling fiber to keep you from getting hungry later on in the morning. Depending on your taste, you can take five minutes to fix it on the stove or use the microwave for instant oatmeal. Kids tend to like the variety of flavors that come with instant oatmeal. The night before, put together a container of add-ins like blueberries, strawberries and bananas that can be tossed on top for a bit of antioxidant power.

2. Fruit smoothies – These are good any morning but particularly on a hot day. You’ll have to blend the ingredients together in the morning, but the prep work can be done at night. Cube your fruit and place it into a container. Instead of frozen yogurt in the morning, use a cup of plain yogurt. Add ice cubes, a little water and blend.

3. Egg sandwich – The eggs can be cooked the night before and placed in a sealed container. In the morning, warm up the eggs in the microwave. If you want, add some chopped veggies or shredded cheese. Serve on toasted wheat bread. The night before, place two pieces of bread into a Ziploc bag for each family member. They can toast their bread as they get up and place the sandwich in the bag for easy transport in the car to work or school.

4. Yogurt with granola and fruit – Some people like to eat yogurt. But, yogurt by itself won’t keep you from being hungry. Add some granola and a few blueberries to the mix. This makes a great breakfast idea for those mornings when you are running late. Keep small bags of granola and blueberries in the fridge next to the yogurt so you can grab them and run.

Are you fighting the breakfast battle? To get a filling meal you don’t have to opt for too much fat, calories or carbs. These quick and easy breakfast ideas can be made within minutes and are a much healthier alternative to skipping breakfast or grabbing a high fat alternative.

Do Life Different

Faithful Grannies have found another book  for some GREAT Christian reading.

Do Life Different – By Jill Hart do life different

Work-at-home moms bear a unique set of burdens as they attempt to blend job and family commitments under one roof. Maintaining professionalism while wiping noses and convincing outsiders that flexibility isn’ t all it s cracked up to be can put even the most organized to the test. Amid all the other duties of life, the work-at-home mom often discovers that feeding her soul is the biggest challenge of them all. Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.

Order your copy of    Do Life Different

30 Day Prayer Journey For Moms

Faithful Grannies have found another book  for some GREAT Christian reading.

30 Day Prayer Journey For Moms – By: L.Velez

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A mother must pray for her children–no matter what. A mother must pray for her children in the womb, and throughout their lives–through the good, bad, and ugly times. A mother must pray for protection, guidance, blessings, and Truth over her children.

Order your copy of   30 day prayer journey for moms

Avoiding Holiday Stress

Avoiding Holiday Stress

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Avoiding holiday stress this holiday season is a stressful one for most everyone. There’s pressure to create the “perfect” holiday, while somehow keeping your sanity. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season, combined with travel, financial struggles, and family issues can be enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel. It’s impossible to avoid the holiday stress completely, but you can minimize it by following some of our simple tips.

Make a List and Check it Twice

Old St. Nick has the right idea. To make sure all your holiday tasks get accomplished sit down and make a list of all the things that need to be done. Include sub lists of gifts you need to purchase, special holiday food items you’ll need and the names of your Christmas card recipients. The more organized you can keep yourself the lesser the chances something will get overlooked—which will just compound your stress. Lists are an excellent way to keep track of everything, without relying on your over stressed brain.

Another option is to look outside the home for holiday help. Friends or other family members will be going through the same holiday chaos you are so team up with them. Offer to watch any younger children for them while they do their Christmas shopping. While you have the kids get them all involved in a Christmas related task such as helping to bake cookies. Bake enough for your family and the family of your friend or relative. Now switch roles and get your shopping done while the other person takes in your children and helps get some of your baking done. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Shop Smart

Before you purchase a single gift, your first task should be to set a holiday spending budget. Then do the best you can to stick to it. There’s nothing more stressful than going into serious debt due to wild spending habits so make a solid commitment to stick within your means. If this means small gifts, homemade gifts, or down-sizing your gift list, so be it! You don’t want to be juggling credit card bills come January.

While the children of your household will likely have a Christmas wish list as long as your arm there’s nothing wrong with limiting the amount of presents under the tree. Explain to older children that while an idea list is perfectly fine they shouldn’t expect to unwrap every new toy that’s come onto the market since last Christmas. Kids often don’t have a concept of just how much their wish list costs and those asking for presents from Santa will think those toys are free. Explain to them that even Santa has a limit, whether you choose to use space or budget, and that they’ll have to keep their expectations realistic.

Avoid Playing Family Feud

Often times dealing with family dynamics is the most stressful holiday task of them all. When getting together with family don’t pick those times to bring up or deal with past issues. While some members of your family may drive you crazy take a deep breath and try to let it slide. If there are certain family members that are nearly unbearable it’s usually best to limit the time spent with them. This may mean re-evaluating whether or not you really need to spend every Christmas with them or if you can get away with alternating between them and others whose company you really enjoy.

Take Time for Yourself

Don’t be afraid to set some time aside just for you. Those who have children can pick an evening and make it a “date night”. You can choose to spend this night anyway you wish whether that means getting a babysitter and having a nice night out or putting the kids to bed early and just spending some quiet time together at home.

By planning ahead, shopping smart, minimizing family struggles, and taking time for yourself, you can manage your stress this holiday season. After the holidays are over, take notes of what worked for you this year, as well as what didn’t. you’ll be able to apply the lessons learned next year, and hopefully have an even saner holiday!

Web Site: Christian Work From Home Moms and Grandparents

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