Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: I Need A Vacation

Every so often (okay, maybe more often than not), I daydream about our next vacation - one that is badly needed for all of us.  It's been almost 4 years since we have had a vacation, and it would be great if our next one was to visit our 'ohana (family) in Hawai'i again.
This photo was taken at Hanauma Bay in 2004.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Frugal Living Friday: Introducing the 2012 Spring Line from Tea Collection

The weather may still be freezing in some areas of the planet, but spring is right around the corner.  And if you're like us and haven't had a chance yet to travel to exotic places, here's your chance.  You may not be able to visit different countries whenever you want, but you and your little kiddos can sure dress like you can.  Every season, Tea Collection offers beautifully designed clothing from different places around the globe, like Brazil, Japan, and Catalonia.
Tea, the drink, is shared in nearly every culture around the world. Being Tea is about experiencing life together, even when we're not in the same place. It means taking the time to understand and honor our differences. In doing so, we become closer.
Tea Collection has put together the most adorable Spring 2012 Collection designed and influenced by the island of Bali. Shop the new collection now and take advantage of Tea Collection's 10% off coupon (no minimum required) with promo code SS12SAS valid through 3/31/12.

I absolutely adore the Dancing Fern Dress for little girls!  Sweet Pea loves dresses, and I know this one would instantly be one of her favorites.  The colors and design make this the perfect dress for a school picture or a casual family gathering.  And my boys would look so handsome with matching Monkey King Tees inspired by the Ramayana Monkey Chant dance in Bali.  Don't worry, Mommies! Tea Collection has even designed a Bali collection for women.  I am already in love with the Artisan Ikat Tunic.  It's lightweight and goes perfect with a pair of jeans.

Be sure to check out the entire Bali Collection.  While you're there, be sure to look over their GIFTS section that includes books, games, accessories, and more.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Seeing Green

Most recent eco-purchases:  EcoStapler and recycled & recyclable Preserve tableware and toothbrushes.

Speaking of seeing green, enter to win upcycled mustard seeds bracelet from Godseeds!
Open to US residents only.

World Thinking Day

This past January, I helped start my daughter's Girl Scout Kindergarten Daisy troop at our church.  Along with getting overloaded with information about leader training, uniforms, camps, etc., I've been learning more and more about how perfect my new role as the troop leader is in conjunction to having a blog that focuses on and promotes sustainable living.

Part of my role as a leader is familiarizing myself with different activities and events that troops worldwide participate in, including an important one today called World Thinking Day.  On February 22nd every year, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide celebrate today as a way to express their appreciation for the international friendships they have made through various journeys they have taken.

I'm especially excited about today's Thinking Day as the theme this year is:  We Can Save Our Planet!  When you have 5 and 6-year-olds in an organization, it's not always easy to teach them about living a green life.  I always hope they will remember something...anything...I have said, even if they don't know what it means.  But, you would be surprised to know just how much they actually do take in.  My 5-year-old daughter (and 3-year-old) son have now become so accustomed to using reusable bags when we go shopping that they have their own bags in the car ready to bring along, even if they come out of the store with nothing in them.

I find myself surprised and proud at times when they showing me an empty box or plastic container and excitedly say, "Mommy, this goes in the recycling bin."  They are familiar with our compost bin in the backyard and enjoy picking up the fallen leaves on our yard, placing them in their wagons and taking them to the compost pile.  The other day while we were having dinner, I went to the living room to turn on the lights as it just seemed too dark in the house.  The kids literally yelled at me and told me that I was wasting electricity having the lights on when no one was in the room.  I guess they have been listening  this whole time when I've reminded them to turn the lights off.  

World Thinking Day is not just for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.  It's for everyone to think just how important it is for us to be careful with our planet.  It's the only one we have, and if we want the generations after us to enjoy it as much as we have, it's imperative and critical that we all do what we can  to keep it green and clean.  We don't all have to recycle, carpool, compost, or have our drinks in reusable cups.  But if we as adults all did one little thing to be more Earth-conscious, imagine the difference it would make for our planet and how much we can influence the younger generation to do the same.

On this day, think about our world.  Think about your talents and abilities and what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.  Think about all the children that can benefit from your choice to live a greener lifestyle.  You...we...can all make a difference!  We just have to the first step towards the right direction!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Minimalist Monday: Unsubscribing To Unwanted Email

Every day, I turn on my computer with the hopes of receiving unexpected emails from a childhood friend, a site telling me that I won one of their giveaways, or a company interested in sponsoring a review and giveaway.  Instead, I log on only to find countless spam mail from people and companies I've never even heard of.  So then I spend the next 30 minutes or so going through them making sure I don't accidentally delete an important email.  30 minutes!

Do you know what I could have done in 30 minutes?  A nice yoga session.  Read a chapter or two from a good book.  Taken a nice stroll around the neighborhood.  Written a couple of meaningful, long awaited letters to family or friends.  Browsed through a magazine from beginning to end.  Posted another blog article or review.  Or...or...slept 30 more minutes!  210 precious minutes every week wasted on looking at and deleting spam mail.  Ridiculous!

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're either laughing at me, because you were too smart to sign up for subscriptions to every interesting site that has come across your screen, OR you just realized that you were nodding in agreement, because you too, have the same problem every day!

So, what do we do?  UNSUBSCRIBE!!!

Before our 3rd child was born last year, I found myself trying to make money by taking surveys online. At first, it wasn't so bad.  I spent maybe an hour or so completing small and easy surveys from about five or six different online sites.  That went on for about a month.  Then, I started my blog, our baby was born, and before I knew it, I didn't have time for the surveys anymore.  But I didn't unsubscribe to them, and I get about 100 or so emails from these sites almost every day.  Talk about annoying!  Along with these surveys, I get emails from coupon sites and drug stores like CVS and Walgreens, but since we've started on a trek to only eating organic food and using all-natural household, beauty, and health products,  I've subscribed to sites that specialize and cater to these new-found interests, thus making my previous subscriptions almost unnecessary.

As you subscribe to new sites, it is easy to forget about unsubscribing to the old ones.  And if you don't, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll find yourself opening up your email box and finding hundreds, if not thousands, of useless email that wastes valuable time you could spend on more important things in sleep!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Color Me Pink & Red

From my daughter going to her first Father-Daughter Dance wearing my dress from 31 years ago to our Little Peanut celebrating his first "I Love You" Day, this past week has definitely been memorable!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway from Twice Creations!  
It's open to all residents WORLDWIDE!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

Minimalist Monday: Taking The Simple Living Pledge

I recently stumbled upon a blog that couldn't be more perfect when it comes to following my philosophy on keeping life simple and minimal.  It's called Kanelstrand, named after Cinnamon Beach in Norway.  Owned and written by Sonya, this blog is filled with lots of posts on simplifying the life of human beings, as her tagline cleverly states.  

On February 1, Sonya started a Simple Living Challenge, and for 3 weeks, she will be going over different viewpoints to attaining a simple life and challenging her readers to follow through with these obstacles.  You can take the pledge and join Sonya in achieving your goal to a more simple lifestyle.  By pledging, you promise to live simple(r) through:
  • decluttering
  • using less
  • learning to be sustainable in all aspects of life
  • slowing down and finding joy in the little things
  • reconnecting with your inner-self
  • spending more time with loved ones
  • elevating experiences above possessions
It's never easy to just step back from our every day lives, slow down a little, and just breathe.  As a parent, there is always something to do.  Regardless if you're working or not, at home or out in the workforce, 24 hours doesn't seem to ever be enough time to finish all of the bullet points on the "Today's To-Do" list.  And when you do decide to slow down, it seems as if you can't ever relax and not stress out about that to-do list, because you know that when the mellow time is over, that list is still there, waiting to be marked off.

To me, this Simple Living Pledge is so much more than just something to motivate me to do what I've always known I needed to do, which is to enjoy the moments in life, small and big.  It's also a reminder that sweating the small stuff in life just takes years out of you, and instead of living life with your children, you're just watching the days dwindle away, taking care of those unimportant things that your little ones won't care about when they're older.  I don't want to be the Mom they remember as the one who does their laundry, cooks their food, or cleans up after them.  I want to be the Mommy who sits beside them as they play with building blocks and puzzles, read a book to them and listen to them learn to read, sing songs with them (off-key), laugh with them at things they find funny even if I don't get it, color and paint their masterpieces, and teach them about life.  And I can't do that when my mind is always on the dishes that need to be washed, the floors that have to be mopped, and the toys that need to be picked up every second of the day.  I'm not getting any younger, and neither are my children.  By taking the pledge, I am making a promise to myself to put all my energy into growing with my children and not just watching them from afar.

If you're ready to live a simpler life and refocus on the more important, intangible things, take the pledge!  I dare you!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Afternoon Tea Addiction

When (and if) I get a little bit of downtime, I indulge in sipping a hot cup of organic green tea and searching for the next mug to add to my collection.  I received this great cup from my Mom-in-law for Christmas.  I love everything about it - the design on the outside, the quote on the inside, and the feel of it in my hands - perfect for a little afternoon delight!

Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway:  upcycled earrings from Twice Recycled on etsy.  The giveaway is open to all residents WORLDWIDE!

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