Earth Day, Mother’s Day and Sending Flowers to Someone You Love

***This is a sponsored post, containing affiliate links. I have received free product to review and may be paid a portion of any sale made via the included links. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.***


The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

On this blog and others it is not at all uncommon to find all of the reasons why we need to farm our food in sustainable ways.  But have you ever considered what happens when flowers are farmed commercially?  How many resources are used? How many pesticides are sprayed on the plants? Are the workers on those farms treated with fairness and kindness?

TheBouqs.com is a wonderful, unique flower delivery service that addresses those questions.

When they first contacted me, proposing that we work together, my inclination was to say no. I try to keep this blog focused primarily on homesteading, homeschooling, and encouragement for daily life.  I didn’t see how promoting a florist fit with that.

Then I read more.  Check out this excerpt from their website:

We source only from eco-friendly, sustainable farms that respect the environment and their workers.

The first big difference:

We cut only what we sell. Other providers source from a supply chain that sees 1 in 3 stems wasted. Across hundreds of thousands of bouquets a year, that’s a lot of wasted land, resources, labor and fuel. We cut only when you order, so we avoid the waste.

 We also save energy through our direct-from-the-farm supply chain. The standard supply chain must keep stems cold for up to 2 weeks, meaning hundreds of hours of refrigeration and the associated energy use. We use cold storage for only 4 days from the Volcano, and not at all from California, resulting in a lot of energy savings.

 Finally, our farms provide living wages, childcare, healthcare and adult education. And our growing business supports farm communities, so you can feel good about shopping The Bouqs Company’s flowers.

What’s not to love?!

The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

I read further and explored a little more.  Their prices are very competitive with other online retailers and long-distance flower companies. Especially when you factor in the deals that they are constantly running.

For example, today, on their website , I noticed they are offering TWO DOZEN roses for Mother’s Day for just $50! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better price on a similar bouquet.

They also offer a concierge service. You can set it up to automatically send flowers at regular intervals or program in important dates so you can be sure to never forget a special occasion.

I was convinced that they were a great company that you all needed to hear about so I went ahead and placed my own order.  I had a dozen rainbow roses shipped to my sister – one seriously hard-working single mom who is a constant support and encouragement to me.

They arrived right on time, in beautiful condition.  She was charmed by the fact that they came from Ecuador. (Did I mention that these flowers are grown on the side of an active volcano? That fact alone adds some significant cool-factor points!)  The bouquet was stunning – every bit as pretty as the one in the online catalogue.

Earth Day, Mother's Day and Sending Flowers to Someone You Love | LazyHippieMama.com

Today is Earth Day. It is a day for being conscious of the way we treat our planet.  Supporting businesses with eco-friendly policies is one of the very easiest ways to be a good steward.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and you know your mom would love a giant, colorful bouquet of flowers. The Bouqs will create something beautiful for her.

This year you can celebrate Earth Day by preparing for Mother’s Day. You’ll get a great deal and everyone wins!

Why send some boring bouquet when you can send a Bouq!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates? 

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

We Bought The Farm – A Story Of Dreams Coming True

“If you were to examine our finances, peek at our credit and plan things out it’s really quite unattainable.  On the other hand, Handsome Hippie Hubby and I have never put much stock in the words, “that’s just not realistic.”  Things that are meant to be have a way of coming to pass.”

I wrote those words in August, 2013. I was talking about owning our own little homestead. (Read the original post.)

Today I am over-the-moon to share with you our big news.

We bought the farm!

We Bought The Farm | LazyHippieMama.com

If you don’t believe in the power of thinking out your dreams and writing them down, speaking about them and praying, let me (since I’m a farmer now) plant a little seed.

I know not all of my readers are Christian, but I can’t share this story without including my faith. I hope that you will read it and be inspired and encouraged by it even if your beliefs aren’t exactly like mine.

The dream: “There is a sweet little house with a great big chimney and lots of wood and windows.”

The reality: The house is adorable! It was built around 1870 and has been very well cared for over the years. It’s been added to and expanded (indoor plumbing and all) and it does, indeed, have lots of wood and windows: Lovely, modern, tilt-in, multi-pane widows.  Anyone who has lived in a house with single pane windows from 1870 knows that is NOT the best part of a vintage home.

Sadly, the wood burning stove and chimney were removed years ago but maybe, in time, we can add them back in.

We Bought The Farm | LazyHippieMama.com

The dream: “When you come in you can practically feel the love of the families that lived there before us. You can see their mark in the well-worn stair treads and the banisters polished from hundreds of little hands.”

The reality: This house has been owned, for the past 140 years or so, by a succession of people who are all members of the same family. They are the kindest, gentlest, most loving family you could ever hope to know. We feel as though we’ve not just bought a home but been adopted into this wonderful group of people who really and truly display the Love of Christ and everything good about being Christian in every moment of their lives.  They are the kind of people who truly and honestly love their enemies and give the coat off their back to one who needs it, without question or hesitation.

The dream: “…a room just for music stuff.”

The reality: Just part of a room. It’s a wonderful house but not very large. However, Sweet Hippie Daughter’s bedroom is much bigger than the average bedroom and one end is curtained off. She already has plans to turn it into a “stage” and keep all of her instruments there. Perfect!

No more need to practice in the noisy living room!

No more need to practice in the noisy living room!

The dream: “Not too far from the house there’s a barn with a corner set aside as work space for my random building projects.”

The reality: It’s just like that! With a work bench and pegboard all set up and waiting to be dusted off and put to use.

We Bought The Farm - A Story Of Dreams Coming True | LazyHippieMama.com

The dream: “Around the edges of the property there are lots of trees, maybe even a full-blown “woods” and there is definitely some kind of water nearby.  If you listen closely you can hear the fish and frogs splashing.”

The reality: The yard is just under 2 acres and it’s almost an even split between gorgeous old-growth trees and lovely wide-open spaces. Directly across the street there is a river and, on the other side of the river, a woods.  A drainage ditch runs from our property, under the road, into the river: A ditch where fish and frogs were splashing the last time we were there.

She's already staked out her favorite climbing tree.

She’s already staked out her favorite climbing tree.

 

The dream: “There’s a dozen or so chickens in an especially fun coop, maybe a few goats and possibly a sheep.”

The reality: Our first six chicks have already been purchased and are being kept safe and warm for us until they’re ready to move into their coop.  Admittedly, their first coop is going to be a pretty generic “starter home” but we have all the time in the world to work up to “especially fun.”  Goats and sheep… maybe next spring. I think we have enough on our plate for now!

We Bought The Farm - A Story Of Dreams Coming True | LazyHippieMama.com

A note about baby chicks: these may be the most entertaining creatures God has put on the earth. Who knew?! They are just about more cuteness and silliness than a person can bear!

We Bought The Farm - A Story Of Dreams Coming True | LazyHippieMama.com

Extra bonus features of this house: It is outside the village limits, which means we get to have animals and we can put any size garden we please in any part of the yard. However, it is the FIRST house outside the village limits, which means our street gets plowed for us in the winter and we have BOTH city and well water. Hooray for options!

There is plenty of wide open space and fields but, the property that is adjacent to the back of our land is the school. That means that, basically in our back yard we have a football field and tennis courts, a track, several playgrounds and some excellent bike riding/skateboarding space for the kids.

Since we are close to town, Sweet Hippie Daughter will still be able to ride her bike to her best friend’s house.  Being isolated from other children was one of her biggest concerns about moving to the country. No such worries in this house!

Handsome Hippie Hubby has always wanted his own grape vines. We figured, wherever we go, we could just plant some but these are already mature!

We Bought The Farm - A Story Of Dreams Coming True | LazyHippieMama.com

You may say that anyone can find a place that suits their dream if they look long enough. Perhaps. But I hope you’ll read this part…

Call it manifestation or whatever you like. I don’t get hung up on terms. I believe in God. I believe that He gave us all kinds of tools – from the strength of our minds and bodies to the vibrations of our words – to help us bring about the desires of our hearts.  With that in mind I call what happened nothing less than a miraculous answer to prayer.

We’ve lived in our current house for 3 1/2 years. It’s a nice little house inside the village limits. We’ve liked it very much but it was never “the dream.”

The house is owned by one of the churches in town.  Over the past several months they’ve been trying to decide what to do with the house. Renting has been OK for us and for them but it’s not their dream, either. Being a landlord can be costly at times. They are paying a property manager, taxes, maintenance, etc. Decisions have to be made by a council which can be tricky and time consuming. They have been considering various ways to use the house as a ministry instead of just a rental house. They didn’t want to chuck us out on our bums or raise our rent beyond our means, but still… they have been wanting to move forward.

We’ve been wanting to move forward, too. None of us have been quite sure what that was going to look like.

Several weeks ago they called us and told us that they would like to have some people come tour the house. These folks were from an agency that provides housing for homeless families in our county. We were assured that we weren’t being evicted or anything… the church council was just continuing to consider various options for the future.

Handsome Hippie Hubby and I talked about it. We knew we really weren’t in a financial position to call a realtor and buy a house in the traditional way.  ”When it is time, when it is ours, it will come to us in a perfect way,” He reminded me.

Our prayers, together and individually, went something like this, “God, you know the desires of our hearts. Please lead us to exactly the right home. We don’t want to get in over our heads, so please let this work out in a perfect way that turns out to be a blessing to everyone involved.”

Stubborn mule that I am I started searching the classifieds and trolling the streets for, “For Sale By Owner” signs.  Of course, nothing came of any of that except some wasted gas.

The day after the inspectors came through our house I was working in the church kitchen with two other ladies. As we chopped fruit for an event we were hosting the next day we talked about this and that and the subject of houses came up. I told them that we felt it was getting close to time for us to move but we had no idea where to go.  ”So, if you know of a house in the country, in our price range, that we can buy with our current resources just let me know,” I said, mostly joking.

“My daughter is selling the house you’re describing,” the one woman said. “In fact, I mentioned to my husband just last night that we should tell you folks about it because I know you’ve been wanting to move out of the village limits. She’s been renting it to a friend, but the friend moved out and she wants to sell it now.”

I smiled. That was nice. I’m sure it was a lovely home that we would never be able to get financing for.

Turns out God works His wonders in various ways and we’ll be closing on the sale any day now.  The daughter is out from under the vacant house she no longer wanted to deal with. The church is free to move forward with their plans and their ministry to the homeless. We have our little farm on terms we can afford.

One very happy Hippie family!

One very happy Hippie family!

Blessings upon blessings!

I can’t wait to share with you all of our adventures as we move forward into this new chapter of our lives!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates? 

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

 

 

Learning Chemistry, Physics and Math in the Garden – Part 2

Learning Chemistry, Physics and Math in the Garden – Part 2 | LazyHippieMama.comAgriculture is science. If you’re growing something – whether flowers in a pot on the windowsill or vast fields of vegetables – you’ve got a ready-built classroom.

There are some obvious lessons: What does a seed require to sprout? How do plants “eat and drink” from the soil? Which animals are harmful/helpful to plants? Etc.  But there are other things that can be learned in the garden as well.  A good gardener has a grasp on chemistry, physics and math.

This post is the second in a series of three. If you’d like to read the first to get some ideas on garden chemistry and earth science you can click here.  Part three will be available next Friday, April 25.  These two are a few of my most favorite because they’re both bound to be extra fun!

Trajectory & force

image source: letterstonature.wordpress.com

image source: letterstonature.wordpress.com

We discovered this lesson out of necessity.  Rather than one large garden, we have several small garden plots around the yard.  There are 2 that can’t be reached by the hose.  We needed to figure out how to “shoot” the water further to reach those spaces.

Start by turning on your garden hose, with no attachments on the open end.  The water will just sort of fall out.  What happens if you make the opening smaller by covering part of it with your thumb? What happens if you angle the hose up or down?

Greatest lesson ever on a hot day!

Simple machines

image source: school-for-champions.com

image source: school-for-champions.com

In gardening you often find you need to move heavy objects.  For all of our wonderful modern technology it is still the simple machines that often turn out to be the best tool for the job.

Levers – Stick a long-handled spade deep into the dirt. Have the child sit on the ground and try to move that piece of earth by grasping the handle at the very base. Now do the same thing using the middle and the end of the handle.  Discuss why it’s so much easier to lift the soil with the end of the handle.

Wheel and axle - next time you need to move a big bag of mulch ask your child to carry it. When they see how heavy it is, put it in a wheel barrow and have them  transport it that way. Point out the simplicity of a single wheel with an axle through the center and note how much easier that makes it to move something.

Other simple machines include the wedge (an axe or log splitter), screws, inclined planes (ramps), and pulleys. As these come into use in your gardening, take the time to show your child what you are using and explain why it makes your task easier.  Understanding these basic ideas creates a great foundation for understanding the much wider world of Newtonian physics.

Don’t miss next Friday! We’ll talk about how the garden can help teach some of the trickier parts of math.

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Are We Lonely?

Are We Lonely? | LazyHippieMama.comWe are a society that values the ability to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”  We assume that people should be able to handle the things that life throws at them by themselves or, in the worst case scenario, with their very close, immediate family.  But is that really how humans are wired?

Whether you are talking about breastfeeding and childbirth or food security and housing issues or retirement and caring for our eldest loved ones it seems like we all agree that support is crucial.  We form support groups for everything from mothers of toddlers to recovering drug addicts.  We talk about how vital it is to connect with others. We acknowledge that community is key to success.

Then we, as a society, look down our noses at anyone who has the audacity to ask for help.  Why can’t you buy your own groceries? Pay for your own school tuition? Care for your own children? Why should we have to help you? You are an adult. You should be able to be responsible for taking care of your own basic needs.

Certainly things weren’t perfect in the past. History tells some nightmarish stories of institutionalized orphanages, sweatshops, and hard-working people dying of starvation in the streets.  At the same time, our great grandmothers thought nothing of simply assuming the other ladies in the neighborhood would keep an eye on their children. Our great grandfathers never doubted that their friends would help them build adequate shelter for their family or harvest their fields.  It’s just what you did for neighbors.

I live in a tiny rural town. I don’t even know the names of half of my neighbors and nobody thinks that’s strange.  It’s just the way things are.

People who choose to live communally are thought to be strange or on the fringe of society.

I’m certainly no sociologist. Maybe there is some fantastic evolutionary reason why we need to become more isolated from one another. Maybe I’m mistaken entirely and this is a non-issue in our culture.  I don’t know, so I’m asking you…

What do you think?

Is our society lacking a true sense of community?

Is that hindering us from living life to its fullest?

If so, what can we do to improve the situation?

Lazy Hippie Mama is a Top Mommy Blog

 Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

 

Composting 101

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a percentage of any purchases made.

Composting 101 | LazyHippieMama.comWhether you’re just looking for a place to throw your lawn trimmings or you want to do a full re-vamp of what you’re putting in the landfill what you need to do is start your own compost pile.

If you are like me when you decide to do something like this you Google it.  What happens then is that you get a long list of articles (like this one – except not nearly as fun and easy to understand) that tell you how to go about creating what you need.  Here’s the thing… when I first decided to build a compost bin the instructions I found on many sites were so complicated I almost gave up.  The bin designs included turners and aerators and solar panels. There were websites for buying specialty worms and insects.

Thankfully, I decided to plunge ahead and, as it turns out, everything is working out just fine.

Here’s the main thing you need to know:  Vegetal matter will rot and break down.

That’s it.  That’s the one key to keep in mind.  Now… can you speed up the process? Make it tidier? Balance the nutrients that you end up with.  Yes. You can do all of that and more.  But you really don’t have to do much of anything to make your biodegradable waste turn into black dirt.

On the other hand, there are a few important things you may want to keep in mind.  Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

Note: If I was going to buy a fancy composter I’d buy one like this.  It makes kitchen scraps into useable dirt in just a few days and it is far prettier than what I built out of pallets. You even get your choice of colors!

1) Don’t put meat or animal products in your compost pile.

Meat will attract nasty predators and scavengers.  I’m assuming that you’re not looking to draw anything from rats to vultures to coyotes to your yard.  It will also stink a great deal more than vegetal compost.

2) Do put a variety of other things.

Kitchen scraps and yard clippings, dead leaves, small sticks, egg shells, newspaper, cardboard…  the more variety you toss in your bin the richer your mature compost will be.

3) Locate your compost pile in a place where the bugs won’t bother you.

Insects are a valuable part of the composting process and your outdoor compost pile will be crawling with them.  You probably don’t want it right outside your back door where you’re going to get a face full of flies every time you leave the house.

This is my pallet bin. It was quick and easy to build and it gets the job done.

This is my pallet bin. It was quick and easy to build and it gets the job done.

4) Do make sure the air and water can get to your compost.

This is not the project for a sealed, air-tight, water-tight bin. One of the reasons pallets are great for building compost bins is because the slats let the air in.  If you turn your compost with a pitchfork or shovel every so often it will rot faster.  If you don’t it will still rot.

5) Don’t put dog or cat waste in your compost – especially if you’re going to use it in the garden.

Dog and cat poo can potentially contain some very nasty bacteria and parasites, even if your pet is healthy.  Their digestive systems are just very different from ours.  Those organisms can live in your compost pile and make you sick when they come in contact with food or through handling of the compost.

6) Do add rabbit or chicken poo.

Also, toss in the stuff you clean out of your hamster or guinea pig’s cage.  Cow and horse poop are awesome in compost but if you’re already caring for a cow or horse your homesteading skills are likely so far beyond mine you stopped reading several paragraphs ago.  These types of manure will break down quickly, easily and safely.

7) Don’t expect things to go very quickly.

If you want to compost in 24 hours you need to buy the fancy equipment.  If you just want to throw your scraps in a pile you will still get compost. It will take a long time. Potentially years, depending how big your compost bin is.

Composting 101

8) Don’t worry too much about it.

You’re working with kitchen scraps and poop. This is not the project in your life that should be keeping you up at night.  Your compost pile should be a tool that helps create a space for your waste and generates some fertilizer for your garden. Don’t let it be more of a project than it really needs to be!

Before you go… don’t forget to enter the VivoPrint gift card give-away!  You can win $50 toward some gorgeous custom-designed electronics accessories or photo gifts.

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“123 Tracing” Review – A Great App For Preschoolers

123 Tracing Free - A Review of An Educational App For Preschoolers | LazyHIppieMama.com*This is a sponsored post. I was compensated to offer my honest review of this product.

I am a big fan of keeping young children outdoors and encouraging them to move their bodies and play.  I’m also a realist.  We live in an electronic world and our children need to grow up knowing how to use the technology that is developing at an astounding rate all around them.  For that reason I don’t mind letting my kids – even my youngest – “plug-in” at times.  I consider it extra bonus points when they can have fun playing and the game is teaching them a valuable skill.

I downloaded 123 Tracing Free from the Amazon AppStore onto my Kindle Fire and Toddler-saurus Rex took to it instantly.  He loves anything electronic and he loves to read and count but, at 2 1/2 he hasn’t shown much interest yet in trying to write with a pencil.  This app allowed him to use his fingers to trace the letters and he was absolutely thrilled with it.

The colors and images were bright and clear and simple and the game was easy and instinctive for him.  He was delighted with the praise it gave him.  The hardest part was trying to console him when the battery died on the Kindle!

If you’re looking for a way to introduce the concept of tracing numbers and letters to your child I would highly recommend this one! You can get by following this link to the AppStore.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates? 

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

Learning Chemistry, Physics and Math in the Garden – Part 1

Chemistry, Physics & Math in the Garden - Part One | LazyHippieMama.comAgriculture is science. If you’re growing something – whether flowers in a pot on the windowsill or vast fields of vegetables – you’ve got a ready-built classroom.

There are some obvious lessons: What does a seed require to sprout? How do plants “eat and drink” from the soil? Which animals are harmful/helpful to plants? Etc.  But there are other things that can be learned in the garden as well.  A good gardener has a grasp on chemistry, physics and math.

Each Friday for the rest of the month of April I’m going to be sharing ideas for very simple, low-cost ways to use your garden to explore science and math.

1) Acid or Base?

Soil can become acidic or alkaline over time.  To find out which way your dirt is leaning you can take a handful of earth and mix it with water until it’s liquid mud.  Separate it into 2 cups. Add vinagar (acid) to one cup and baking soda (base) to the other.  Watch for a reaction.  If the mud is acidic the baking soda will create a foamy reaction. If it is alkaline the vinegar will do the same. If it is neutral (or close to it) neither substance will react.

Chemistry, Physics & Math in the Garden - Part One | LazyHippieMama.com

Why does the reaction happen? Because the acid will dissolve the bonds holding the molecules together in the base. That creates energy which is released into the liquid. When the energy is burned up, the reaction calms and the bubbling effect will slow and, eventually, come to a stop.  For a much more thorough (but still quite kid-friendly) explanation check out this website.

2) Absorbency/capacity

Different plants grow well in different types of soil.  Tomatoes love very damp earth. Pumpkins will sprout on a hot compost pile. Lavender loves dry, gravelly sand. The reason for the variation (at least in part) is that each of these plants have a different requirement for the amount of water needed to grow and each type of soil has a different rate of absorbency.

Go around the yard and see if you can find some different types of soil.  You may find that you have several kinds, naturally.  In my yard I have one streak of red clay, a sandy stretch and a lot of black loam.  Get creative. Do you have playground sand? Potting soil? Mulch? Gravel?

Put a sample of each type in a cup or bowl.  Using a measuring cup start adding water to each sample to see which types of soil are the most absorbent.

Wikianswers has a great explanation of why the different types of soil hold water differently.

3)  Erosion

erosionTake a plate full of earth and have your child blow, as hard as they can on the dirt and see if they can make it blow away.  Can they make it into shapes, like sand dunes? Discuss in what ways the wind shapes the dirt.

If you hold the dirt at a slight angle and run a small amount of water over it what happens? Can they cut a valley? Does it wash away entirely?

Now try the same thing with dirt that has something growing in it (like a piece of sod). Can you still move the earth?  How do the plants help “anchor” the dirt to the ground?

These experiments can offer a great opening into discussions about all sort of things. Why do farmers plant cover crops? Why are there stands of trees between fields in the midwest? Why do architects need to know about how erosion works when building bridges over rivers, houses on hillsides or planning cities in valleys?

Come back next Friday! We’ll cover trajectory, simple machines, measuring area and more!

If you liked this post, it would mean a great deal to me if you would click this banner to vote for LazyHippieMama as a great homeschool blog. You don’t have to register or anything. One click = one vote.  Thank you for being a part of this community!

Lazy Hippie Mama is a Top Mommy Blog

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates? 

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

 

No Child Should Go Hungry!

No Child Should Go Hungry - The Hunger Is Campaign | LazyHippieMama.comWhen I was a little girl I never knew that my mother was struggling to put food on the table. I didn’t know how painful that must have been for her until I found myself in a similar circumstance several years ago.  The idea of sending a child to school hungry is a nightmare for any parent. I’ve never known a more desperate feeling.

Thanks be to God our circumstances have improved over the years but there are millions of Americans still struggling.

Here in a land where we throw away literally HALF of all the prepared food available, one in five children struggle with hunger.  Not only do these children face multiple health issues, but studies have shown that their education can be negatively affected.

This is not a problem that is happening in another time and place. This is the reality, right here in the Land of Opportunity.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have launched Hunger Is, a joint charitable program designed to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood hunger in the United States.  The year-round campaign encourages individuals and communities to get involved in solving a widespread problem that too often goes unnoticed.

Funds raised through the initiative will go toward programs focused on eradicating childhood hunger and improving health-related outcomes. During the inaugural year, breakfast programs will be the focus, giving children a healthy start to their day and the best chance to excel.

No Child Should Go Hungry - The Hunger Is Campaign | LazyHippieMama.com

Don’t stand by and let this continue without taking action!

Safeway stores are using April as a fundraising month for this initiative. If you shop at Safeway, please be aware of the opportunity being presented to help a child in your own neighborhood.

If there is no Safeway store near you, I ask that you take a moment to visit the Hunger Is website and see how you can help. None of us can solve this problem alone, but a few moments of your time may contribute to helping a child break the cycle of poverty.

No Child Should Go Hungry - The Hunger Is Campaign | LazyHippieMama.com

***This is NOT a sponsored post. I learned of this opportunity to help children and wanted to share it.***

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

Custom Photo Gifts – A VivoPrint Review and $50 Giftcard Give-away!

bannerOK – if you are my parent or my spouse you need to not read this post. Trust me. It’s for all good reasons.  You’ll find out why soon enough just…. tell all your friends to read it but stop scrolling now. Come back tomorrow for What Do You Think? Wednesday. It’ll be great. Thanks. You guys are the best.  I love you!

Now… everyone else… carry on.

Vivoprint contacted me and asked if I would be willing to do an honest review of their products in exchange for some free samples. I agreed, admittedly a little uncertain. I’ve seen similar products from other companies and been unimpressed.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about.  The items I received were gorgeous!

Vivoprint offers phone cases, electronic accessories, and a nice selection of gift/promotional items.  I was looking at items with the idea of giving them as presents but they would be great tools for promoting a business as well!

For less than $50, including shipping, I was able to get 3 great gifts!  The Vivoprint website is incredibly easy to navigate and the instructions for uploading your photos are clear and simple. The trickiest part was figuring out which photos I wanted to use and editing them to fit the shape of the items I chose.

I sent them this photo…

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

And got this great phone case for my mom.  Her 80th birthday is coming up in just a few weeks and she’s turning into an iPhone master. I love that she doesn’t fear technology. She truly is the youngest octogenarian I’ve ever known! I wish that I had a really great camera that could truly show how sharp the colors are. Any blurriness is due to my camera, not the product they sent me. The images are very crisp and bright. I chose the matte finish for the phone case because the description said it made it a little easier to hold on to. The do offer a glossy finish as well.

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

For my dad I ordered one of the color changing mugs for father’s day. He drinks coffee all day every day so I know he’ll use it and he loves showing off his grandkids. This will make it super easy for him.  The color changing feature fascinates me. I could play with this cup all day.  What can I say? I’m easily amused.

My original (I did have to edit it a bit from this to fit the shape of the cup and add the text, but this is very close to what I used):

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

The finished product:

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

Handsome Hippie Hubby got one too.

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

Everything came out just beautifully!

One other thing I wanted to mention was the great packaging.  Admittedly, the Hippie side of me cringes at all things styrofoam. That said, we’ve ordered things in the past, from other companies, and been sad to open a box full of broken glass when our products arrived.  These were so perfectly packaged I have to think they could have survived even the most severe weary-postal-worker treatment.

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review | LazyHippieMama.com

VivoPrint is generously offering Lazy Hippie Mama readers a 30% discount off of all orders placed before May 30!

Just use coupon code Vivo30 at checkout.

Even more exciting… one lucky reader gets a $50 gift card!

Hooray! I love having the opportunity to give away really great products!  I don’t doubt for a second that you will be as impressed as I was with VivoPrint.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates? 

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 

 

Can Your Period Make You Sick?

Can Your Period Make You Sick? | LazyHippieMama.comI wasn’t going to write anything today because I’m just not feeling very well.  It’s nothing serious. I just have a little springtime cold that’s nagging at me. It makes me feel tired and unmotivated. You know… even more than usual. But then I noticed something and I got curious and did a little research and learned something new so I thought I would share it.

I was looking through the all-purpose-keep-track-of-the-family’s-life calendar that hangs on our wall and I realized that, a few months ago, I got sick with a stomach bug and missed work just a few days after my period started.

It struck me as interesting because I’m fairly certain I’ve been fighting off my current sniffles for a while now. People all around me had colds, including my daughter. I could feel the little tickle in my throat but I felt like my body had it under control. I wasn’t getting sick. I was fighting it off… until my period came. About 2 days in all my defenses fell and I turned into Sneezy Dwarf.

All of this prompted me to think back. I don’t get sick very often but I have several distinct memories along the lines of, “Geez. As if it’s not bad enough that I have a fever of 102, I have to deal with Aunt Flo, too.”

A quick Google search told me I’m not imagining things.  It turns out that a woman’s immune function does drop during her menstrual cycle and for good reason. If she is pregnant, this is the time the egg would be implanting. It’s important that the body doesn’t freak out and reject the egg as some sort of foreign invader so the immune system backs off for a few days.

Science is cool.

But, still. *sniffle,sneeze,cough* being sick sucks.

There are a few things you can do to help yourself. None of it is rocket science. You know how to take care of yourself. Be conscious of the fact that there are certain times when you need to be especially aware of your health.

Taking half a bottle of vitamin C when you start to get sick really isn’t going to do anything for you.  However, making sure that you are eating a nutrient-rich diet all the time will go a long way toward helping your body do the things it needs to do.  This is especially true in the week or so before your period starts.  Eat lots of fruit and veggies during that time!

Don’t go low-fat!  Healthy fats (think avocados, almonds and coconut oil. Not chocolate donuts.) will help your body stay strong. Again, it’s always a good idea to eat well, but make a special point to nourish your system during the days leading up to menstruation.

Do you feel tired and unable to face the world when you’re pre-menstrual? Go with that. Try to give your body enough rest.

Can Your Period Make You Sick? | LazyHippieMama.comIf all fails, try my granny’s famous hot toddy.  There is actually some science behind the ingredients as they are immune boosting and anti-bacterial.  Plus you’ll be too drunk and sleepy to care that you’re sick.  My grandmother was a genius.

One large mug of very strong black tea – as hot as you can stand it.

One (fairly liberal) shot of whiskey

2 TBSP of lemon juice

2 TBSP of honey

Mix it all together. Drink it as fast as you can. Wrap in the warmest blanket you can find (preferably a gloriously soft home-made quilt). Sleep!

Here’s to a healthy spring for all of us!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates? 

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!