This holiday season let your kids experience nature hands on!
Kind Kamp is a Brighter Future Foundation program for students ages 8-14.
Kind Kamp shares science based information with students in an easy to digest format featuring theatrical presentations, visual arts, and hands on learning in an actual garden and with live animals.
To register and learn more see our Kind Kamp info page.
See you in Kamp!
Are you tired? Overworked? Can’t find your mojo? Could you use a little lovin in your life?
Nature has what you are looking for.
Studies show that connecting with nature can reduce stress and calm the savage beast inside you.
Remember that En Vogue song “Free Your Mind” ….and the rest will follow. Well, its something like that.
Are you a pleasure to be around?
It all plays a part on your health and well being. When you are stressed you might not feel creative or intimate. Generally stress doesn’t make you feel so great.
Love on the other hand does. That is why getting out into nature, the place that supports your very existence, feels so darn good and loving.
To help you feel loved and connected go for a walk in a park or wooded area. Hug a tree and feel the calm power of nature.
Nature is incredibly creative and inspiring. It gives you life on a daily basis so of course its going to give you love when you need it.
Learning to slow down and connect with nature is so positive they should have it as a class in school. Hey, what a great idea. I would call it recess. A break from your regular activities and a chance to re-group and get centered. Brillionaire idea if I do say so myself.
(Brillionaire = Brilliant & Million Dollar Idea combined)
Imagine having a little spot to call your own that helps you relax and connect. Ah, the perfection of it.
Even having a few house plants can help you feel better. Plants like the Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), also know as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue or Tiger Tail are great for cleaning indoor air. Clean air is less stress on the body and mind.
Not only do plants absorb carbon dioxide and give you clean oxygen in return. Some, like the Snake plant have been found to reduce benzene and formaldehyde which can often be found off gasing in everything from carpets to furniture. Less toxins = less stress.
So go for a walk today, plant a garden, or purchase an air cleaning plant. Give yourself a little of that nature love and come back to center. We are part of nature and to find our way inside it sets us right again.
Sending the love right at ya!
Winter can be hard on the body, mind and spirit. Besides the bone chilling winds and frosts, you have less sunshine and that can bring you down. During the winter months nature is doing lots of things to get ready for Spring. Most of that prep involves rest and stillness. Winter is a great time to start a stillness practice and reflect on what you want to achieve in the Spring.
The thing is, being still in the middle of Winter can make you feel the cold even more. So, I wanted to share a few habits that keep me warm and happy at the same time.
Here are 5 Things you can Do to Stay Warm & Happy this winter:
1. Tea Time- The idea of creating a warming ritual can really ease your mind, your body, and warm the cockles of your heart (spirit). The act of making time to sit down with a warm cup of something tasty gives you permission to rest.
It doesn’t have to be tea, it can be a great cup of java or even a cup of soup. After all Winter is a time to rest and slow down, not that many of us do that.In nature, most creatures would either move on to a warmer place or hibernate in the cold region. Since most of us just tough it out and go against nature, the least we can do is give ourselves some down time.
Tea time gives us a rest, it stops the clock, it makes us focus on us without interruption from cell phones, TV, kids, or the computer. Allowing yourself just 5-10 minutes focusing on this interaction, sipping warmth into your body, is a lot like meditating and can set you up for a great day!
I love making tea with my favorite tea cup. As silly as it sounds this little ritual really makes me happy, not to mention warmer! I love that.
2. Fuzzy Socks- Now that I have them I don’t know what I would do without them. When the floor is cold it sends a chill right up your legs straight to your neck. Blah!
Fuzzy socks, with those little rubber grips on the bottom, are a great way to stop that chill in its tracks. Heated floors would be nice too, but if you don’t have them fuzzy socks are the next best thing.
You can find them on sale at places like Marshalls or Ross. For the truly crafty you can even knit some thick ones for yourself. I found this great post on Pinterest that is a must try for this Winter. They look pretty easy so why not?
3. Spice it Up- Warming herbs are the perfect internal treat to create some heat. Try some new spices like Chinese 5 Spice. Its great with string beans, mung bean noodles, or you can be adventurous and make up your own new style of fried rice.
The herbs in this blend, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and peppercorns, are considered warming herbs and help the body warm up. They also taste great. Good food makes most of us really happy!
4. Snuggle with a puppy- Ever hear that saying “three dog night”? Dogs run slightly hotter than us humans, normally around 101 degrees. Their toasty little butts can really turn up the heat. Take advantage of these little fluffy furnaces. Its warm love wrapped in fur.
I love putting my feet right under my fur buddy’s belly, instant warmth. He loves it too, any chance to dog pile makes a pit bull’s day. A dog hug makes me super happy!
If you don’t have a dog, why not adopt one? There are lots of great dogs looking for a forever home, and they come with warming benefits.
5. Old School Heater-This one might sound like I’m being cheap but it really really works better than anything else I’ve tried. Electric blankets scare me. I’m not sure why but the idea of having an electrical device that is heating up fabric while I sleep just does not put me at ease.
Turning the heat up in the rest of the house is a big old waste of energy and my goal is to save energy and not waste resources. But its cold, you say! Yes, I feel it too so I came up with this little ditty.
You boil some water and fill up a hot water bottle. Put the bottle in your bed about 15 minutes before bedtime. Wow! Does that heat up your cold sheets, blanket and the surrounding area. Best part is it stays warm well into morning!
I love this trick. It saves money, is safe, and actually works. I wouldn’t leave it in the bed with a child-it is really hot! However, its a great way to heat the bed up before they get in. I leave my hot water bottle there all night, it heats everything perfectly and feels like you are sleeping on a warm sunny beach-at least in my mind. That thought makes me really happy.
Those are the things I do to stay warm and happy in the Winter months. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with to stay happy and warm this winter. Post your comments below.
So the holidays have ended and its back to work to pay the bills. Birds have bills too but they just keep on singing. Maybe because they know there is a tasty treat waiting for them in the bird feeder.
More likely its because they understand the patterns and cycles of nature, and know that Spring will be here sooner than we think, no need to fret. They just need to eat and push through the winter till the sun warms up the skies.
In the winter, many birds leave the areas they call home to find more food and shelter and to stay warm. For those birds that do stay in the cold areas it can be difficult to find food. That is where you come in. You can provide food for winter birds in your areas by providing them with some extra nutrition.
Suet blocks are a great way to do that. They are also a great way to use up that extra fat that is left over from cooking meat, instead of just throwing it out. If you don’t eat meat then coconut suet blocks are the way to go.
Its easy to make suet blocks for your backyard bird buddies, just save any meat fat scraps and drippings in the freezer until its time to make a block. Birds love the taste and the fat helps them stay warm.
Mix the melted fat drippings (or coconut oil) with organic or wild birdseed, place it in a mold and let it firm up. You can also make your own birdseed with black sunflower seeds, organic corn meal, and many other items. Be creative!
Please use products that are not genetically modified. It doesn’t make much sense to feed wildlife things that will harm them, or their offspring. Genetically modified items do just that-harm them!
Also, make sure that if you use items like peanut butter or processed products that it is made from natural sources, nothing with xylitol or other chemicals. Again, this can harm the animals. Stay with pure ingredients, simple is better for wildlife, you, and your planet.
Once the suet is solid remove it from the mold and hang the block in a nearby tree. I like to keep it near a window where I can watch the birds have a snack and dance around. They really do seem to appreciate the easy food treat.
You may get a visit or two from a local squirrel but don’t worry about that, they need food too and just think about all the nuts (tree seeds) they plant for you in the garden. I like to think of squirrels as the forest planners of tomorrow, and boy oh boy do we need them!
There are tons of recipes to make suet. Check out our Pinterest page here for many of them. Again, try to replace processed ingredients with their natural counterparts. The recipes are good guidelines but feel free to improvise. If you have seeds or berries that fall from local trees include them in your suet. It will save you money and give the birds the much needed nutrients they need. Check first to make sure they are bird friendly and not harmful to the birds or other animals.
Just one caution, look up any seed you collect in your yard or contact your local Master Gardener office to make sure those seeds and berries are not invasive. Birds do a great job of dispersing seeds in their fertile poo. The last thing you want to do is help an invasive tree population increase by giving the birds those seeds.
So even if you have some bills, just keep on singing…. and give some suet to the birds!
Happy New Year!