bobble SPORT reusable water bottle (giveaway)

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 10.38.30 PMWelcome to our week-long, bobble SPORT reusable water bottle giveaway, that we are co-hosting with a wonderful group of mummy bloggers from across the United States.

Growing up as a girl, bottled water that you bought at a store was a thing of the future, instead we just drank straight from the tap. However, in 2014, drinking bottled water is more mainstream, and with that comes a whole host of environmental and health concerns that we may tend to overlook.

According to the website Ban The Bottle;

  • Americans used about 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year3.
  • The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.
  • Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year1. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.

And, what about chlorine?

Chlorine was originally used in our water to combat water-borne illnesses, however we must remember it is a chemical, and absorbing it may not be such a good idea. Not to mention, consuming too much chlorine has been linked to a variety of health concerns like asthma, cancer, heart disease and a higher miscarriage and birth defect rates – scary stuff.

So What Can We Do ?

Using reusable water bottles is a HUGE step in the right direction. Fill up your bottle with water from a tap, and if you do not like the taste of your water or you are worried about impurities, try it with a filter; no matter what, this is going to be a better option than participating in the single-use plastic water bottle epidemic, which also contributes to littering and damaging our planet, but that is a whole other article.

Or, better yet, use a bottle that has a filter built-in….

Replaceable water filter

Replaceable water filter

Introducing the bobble SPORT

The new bobble SPORT bottle is a hydrated water filtration system which uses a replaceable carbon filter, in effect removing chlorine and impurities from standard tap water. Each filter astoundingly equates to drinking 300 single-serve bottles of water!

As the name suggests, the bobble SPORT is perfect for a busy on-the-go Mummy lifestyle, use it at the gym, or fit it perfectly into your stroller cup holder. We never stop!

It has a molded in-grip feature, comes in seven pretty colors, is made in the USA, is dishwasher safe, and has a carry cap lid so you do not lose it, which personally is really handy for me as I always lose lids. It is also free of BPA, phthalates and PVC.

By drinking just under four, 22 ounce water filled bobble SPORT a day, you will easily hit the suggested 8 cup a day minimum of water – easy peasy!

Giveaway Time

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First place winner will win a prize package which retails for $75, including a bobble hoodie, a bobble sports top, a bobble gym bag and a bobble SPORT bottle.

While, 2 additional winners will win a bobble SPORT bottle, valued at $12.

Otherwise, through December the 31st, bobble is offering 20% off on their website, using the code GIVEFUN.

If you are one of the winners, bobble will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse.

This giveaway starts at midnight on Sunday December the 14th, ending on Sunday December the 21st at midnight EST. It is open to the USA only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs, and Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.

 

Green Kids Craft (giveaway)

Welcome to a new giveaway from one of our favorite company’s Green Kid Crafts, that we are hosting with 3 other Mom Bloggers across the United States; Stylish Momme, Baltimore Mom and Michigan Savings and More.

Green Kids Crafts are an award-winning green-inspired toy company who offer monthly subscription box sets, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Science Sets, Discovery Sets, Creativity Sets, and Birthday Boxes. All of these products are targeted towards children from the ages of 3 till 10 years of age.

Giveaway Time!

Want to win something to try it out with a little munchkin in your life? Well today may be your lucky day! Enter here to win your choice of either a subscription box, a one-time creativity & science kit, or a birthday box.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Disclosure: This giveaway will run from Dec 13th 8AM CST – Dec 27th 11:59 CST and is open to the US only, aged 18+. All entries are optional. One reader will win a 1-month subscription box from Green Kid Crafts. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media. None of  the participating blogs are responsible for prize fulfillment.

Winter is her; cold day activities

Winter is well and truly here in the northern hemisphere, and with that means time spent outside is extremely limited due to the cold and rowdy weather. Combine this with less daylight hours, makes for a sudden shift in my day-to-day routine with my Son.

November, and we already have a lot of snow

November, and we already have a lot of snow

As a stay-at-home-mum it’s up to me to plan indoor activities to keep my little boy entertained, as unfortunately there are going to be many days where it is just too cold or extreme to, comfortably, be outside. Take today for example, the wind is howling, and the torrential rain has not let up for hours!  Oh Summer, I miss you so.

Here are some ideas to help spend the days indoors;

Board Games

Board games are easy, and there are many benefits to playing them with children, like;

  • being a wonderful way to bond, laugh and spend time with one another
  • helping with eye & hand co-ordination
  • encouraging recognition of colors, shapes, letters, numbers, places and things
  • aiding with social skills, for example, waiting your turn, being patient, sharing and verbal communication
  • focusing skills and lengthening a child’s attention span
  • using your imagination, to create make-believe scenarios
  • having FUN

My Son is 4 years of age, and is at a point where he is appreciating board games. One of his favorites is bingo. I will say that, he is not so good at following the rules quite yet, and gets quite cranky if things do not go his way, but either way, it passes the time and it is a lot of fun. There are many different kinds of bingo sets, ours is animal themed, which opens questions and start discussions, about the creatures we both share a deep fascination for.

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In the Kitchen

Squaready20140424172910I like to incorporate as many food activities into our “stay indoor days” as possible. It is very important to my husband and I, that our little guy, is exposed to as many different kinds of healthy foods, and is constantly learning new cooking skills. And, it is something that Miles really enjoys!

I do this by picking out recipes to adapt and re-create to suit our dietary needs, and if I see something in the supermarket that is unique and unfamiliar, I take it home and we explore that, like the dragon fruit in the photo to the left. This had to have been one of the funniest experiences with Miles as, initially, he really thought that there was a dragon inside the fruit. These days, he is a little wiser!

Recycling Ideas, and Arts & Crafts

Rather than throw out your rubbish, why not cut costs whilst cutting emissions and pollution, and upcycle discarded items into new things;

  • Toilet rolls become paper tube animals
  • Glass jars become mini terrariums
  • Cardboard boxes become cubby houses

Here are a few other upcycling ideas, for arts and crafts; and I must say I really fancy the cookie cutter idea! Love it.

Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening is another activity for Little Ones when it is too cold to go outside. My Son, has 2 edible & medicinal plants that he calls his own; 1 being an aloe vera plant, and another being a mint plant (who he affectionately calls – Minty). He waters them, and checks on them daily. He knows that aloe vera is a natural option to put on skin cuts, and he also likes to have me make him a tea out of his mint leaves.

When we have “plant time” it always leads to discussions about nature and how everything works. Today, he asked me – “Mum, does Mother Nature have a husband?” and we went from there! Other activities can also evolve; this winter I plan on showing him how to dry mint, and store it for cooking other foods. And, maybe we can add some aloe vera gel to a morning juice to drink.

IMG_9181Of course, there are many other activities that can pass the time when confined indoors due to environmental restraints, these are just a few suggestions. What about you, what are some of your favorite activities.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway, by Green Scene Mom’s

Green Scene Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway features top picks for Eco-friendly and innovative Christmas gifts for moms, kids and babies! Each of these items inspire Eco-friendly lifestyles, learning, and creative expression. Check out Green Scene Mom’s Gift Guides and enter to win these amazing prizes from our giveaway sponsors!

Giveaway Prizes

Buttons Cloth Diapers giveaway

Buttons Diapers – Diaper Cover, 3 Daytime Inserts & Flannel Wipes

Buttons one-size cloth diapers are soft, durable, and leak proof with double gussets around the legs. They fit babies 9-35 lbs and come in many colors and prints. The snap-in inserts are made from soft microfiber or a natural hemp/cotton blend, with a layer of soft fleece on top. Shop @ buttonsdiapers.com.

Oogaa giveaway

Oogaa – Plate, Placemat & Spoon

oogaa designs and manufactures non-toxic feeding products for kids. Their award-winning divided plates are stackable, soft, durable and easy to clean. oogaa’s silicone plane and train spoons make mealtime fun, featuring molded designs that kids will love using! Shop @ oogaa.com.

Yummi Pouch giveaway

Yummi Pouch Brights

Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Yummi Pouches are easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @ yummipouch.com.

Artterro giveaway

Artterro – Collage Jewelry Kit

Embellish wooden pendants, beads and a bangle to create 6 gorgeous jewelry pieces, and proudly wear your own fashions! Shop @ artterro.com.

Pacific Baby giveaway

Pacific Baby – Natural Feeding Plate, Bowl & Cup – Green

Pacific Baby’s all natural feeding bowl and cup is completely plastic-free and made from natural bamboo. It’s strong, durable and dishwasher safe on the top rack. Made from biodegradable and compostable materials, this feeding set comes in several colors and is a stylish way to go-green at mealtime! Shop @ pacificbabyworld.com.

Austin Lloyd giveaway

Austin Lloyd – 1 Month Subscription Box

A 1 month subscription of engaging surprises from Austin Lloyd. Each box includes 3-5 toys and at least one book that are customized to the development stage of your child. Shop @ austinlloyd.com.

Preserve giveaway

Preserve – Mixing Bowl Set – Red

The Preserve Mixing Bowl set includes three nested bowls (2 qt, 3 qt, and 4 qt) made in the USA from 100% BPA free, recycled #5 plastic. Bowls are wide for comfortable mixing with an easy grip handle that aids pouring. Available in assorted colors. Shop @ preserveproducts.com.

Ubbi giveaway

Ubbi – Cloth Pail Liner

This Eco-friendly luxury liner is washable & reusable, pvc-free, waterproof, and odor resistant. Holds 7 gallons and closes with a drawstring. Shop @ ubbiworld.com.

pediped shoe giveaway

pediped Shoes – 1 pair boys or girls

Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort, and distinctive styling have made pediped the fastest growing children’s footwear brand in the United States. pediped is sold in over 2,500 US stores and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 140 designs for boys and girls. The award-winning footwear is available in EU sizes 17 to 36. Shop @ pediped.com.

MAM Holiday Pacifiers giveaway

MAM Holiday Pacifiers

MAM pacifiers are available in boy and girl holiday themed packages. Each pacifier is decorated with fun, seasonal designs and will help keep your little one calm during the year’s most joyous festivities. These pacifiers feature an anti-slip silicone nipple and curved shield with multiple small openings to allow air to circulate and baby’s skin to breathe. Shop @ shopmambaby.com.

Wobabybasics giveaway

Wobabybasics Swaddle Me Blanket & Sweet Dreams Nursing Gown

Whether it is for swaddling, cuddling, warming or playing, this soft blanket will be a perfect companion for your little one. The unique hook and loop strap allows you to secure a pacifier, toy or to transform the blanket into a cozy cape. Mothers will appreciate the convenience of the simple yet stylish, pull-down nursing gown. Wobabybasics provides easy-to-wear, comfortable and practical organic cotton essentials for children up to 8 years old. As the healthiest option for babies and the planet, only GOTS certified organic cotton textiles and chemical free dyes are used. Shop @ wobabybasics.bigcartel.com.

Wishy Life Buddies giveaway

Wishy Life Buddies – Interactive Book Set

Children bring their ‘Buddy’ to life by naming him and sprinkling him with Wishy Dust. The book includes a ‘Buddy’, Wishy Stem, Wishy Dust and seven empty eggs that can be filled with stickers, treats and small gifts. Shop @ wishylife.com.

Wristy Buddy giveaway

Wristy Buddy – Teething Wristband

Wristy Buddy is designed for babies who haven’t developed the motor skills to hold traditional teething objects. It is made of absorbent and non-toxic materials to help keep little faces and clothing dry. Shop @ wristybuddy.com.

Bert&Bratt giveaway

Bert&Bratt pure-Go Portable UV Sterilizer

Pure-GO by Bert&Bratt is a Portable UV Sterilizer for pacifiers, bottle nipples, small teethers/sippy cup tops. NO heat, water or chemicals required. Just push a button to eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful germs in 4 minutes. This small/light sterilizer is perfect for travel and easily fits in your purse or diaper bag. No more hassles to try to find soap and water or do the “drop and pop”. Just grab a Bert&Bratt sterilizer to conveniently help keep your baby healthy. Shop @ bertandbratt.com.

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States entries who have a US mailing address, and ends on Sunday December the 14th

Green Scene Mom Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway
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YumEarth Holiday Giveaway Event

YumEarth Holiday Giveaway Event

Welcome to the Yum Earth Holiday Giveaway Event,
hosted by Easy Green Mom and sponsored by YumEarth!

Have a naturally sweet Holiday Season with YumEarth organic and natural gummy bears and organic pops!  YumEarth offers mouth-watering snacks and sweets made with organic and natural ingredients, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and none of the major allergens, such as gluten, nuts and dairy. YumEarth snacks make perfect holiday treats and stocking stuffers!

You can purchase YumEarth online or in stores nationwide. Find where to buy YumEarth products this Holiday Season here.

You can connect with YumEarth on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Pinterest.

Enter to win!

YumEarth will be giving one lucky reader a YumEarth Holiday Prize Pack Valued at $50.

This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ only. The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm CST on 12/15. 

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the YumEarth. Easy Green Mom and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact amber{at}easygreenmom.com with any questions about this giveaway.

Plant-Based Body Care; Nine Naturals (giveaway)

NN_Partnership-Logos_030313-01Welcome to our week-long giveaway that we are co-hosting with a fabulous group of mommy bloggers from across the United States and Canada.

We are very excited to be giving away toxic-free goodies from Brooklyn (New York) based company Nine Naturals. Forward-thinking Nine Naturals make personal products which are smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. They craft their products using only natural and organic ingredients, which include shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, body wash, sunscreen and lip balm.

Mommy BewareNine-Naturals-Citrus-+-Mint-Nourishing-Shampoo_final_5_3_cap

For a health conscious mother or mother-to-be, most of us are well aware as to the dangers of eating genetically modified foods and foods sprayed with pesticides. We are aware of the dangers of drinking coffee, consuming alcohol, or smoking during pregnancy, and so many other things. However, not a lot of attention is spent on the dangers of slathering disease-causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors on our bodies, which are found in most mainstream personal products. Especially, as these are used on a daily basis!

The skin is the largest organ, and it aptly absorbs whatever is put on it very quickly, traveling into the blood stream, moving around the body, and of course this can affect a fragile fetus growing inside.

So What is Available and Safe to use during pregnancy

New-Belly-ButtersmallNine Naturals are 100% plant-based products, which are free of all the nasties one wants to avoid like, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial preservatives.

All Nine Naturals products are derived from nature, there is absolutely nothing artificial in their formulas. Additionally, all the ingredients have been pre-screened to make sure that they are safe for Mom and Baby, which is very assuring. Nine Naturals also happily disclose all additives that they use, and we love that, as most companies do not tell you what they are putting in their products.

We appreciate that Nine Naturals offer an unscented body butter, as speaking from experience, at one point in my pregnancy there was a stage where I could not stomach a lot of smells! Other essential oil based fragrances that are used in Nine Natural products have been formulated to ease common pregnancy complaints like morning sickness and fatigue – so thoughtful!

screen_shot_2014-10-06_at_12.07.25_pmThe Nine Naturals website is also filled to the brim with information like their handy explanation of all ingredients used in their products which you can see HERE.

You can order Nine Naturals from their website easily. Free shipping is contributed on all USA orders of $50+, a 10% off coupon is emailed to you if you sign up for their email list, and they offer a $5 sample set to try their shampoo and conditioner (just in case you want to try it first).

Nine Naturals is caring small company, who are focused on making a mother’s pregnancy that little bit less stressful but don’t take our word for it, visit their website and check out their energy for yourself!

Giveaway Time

IMG_8700Thanks to Nine Naturals for offering this very generous prize.

One grand prize winner will win the full line of products from Nine Naturals valued at $280, including;

While, 5 additional winners will win a body balm, valued at $15.

If you are, fingers crossed, one of the winners, Nine Naturals will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse. This giveaway starts at midnight on Wednesday November the 26th, ending on Tuesday December the 2nd at midnight PST. It is open to the USA and Canada only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs, and Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.

 

Some tips, on starting out on a plant-based diet

Over a year ago now, I decided to follow a plant-based lifestyle, after dabbling between a pescetarian and a vegetarian diet for 20 years, and it has been one of the most enlightening decisions I have ever made.

Becoming vegan, prompted me to learn as much as I could from a nutritional point, giving me peace of mind that I am getting proper nourishment while on this delightful journey. Additionally, allowing me to discover new and exotic foods and flavors I had never experienced before. It has truly been an exciting time.

Sauteed kale in turmeric and olive oil, with sweet potato and garlic

Sautéed kale in turmeric and olive oil, with sweet potato and garlic

However, speaking from experience, I know that for some it is not so easy to make the switch to becoming a “healthy” vegan. When a person decides to follow a plant-based diet there is usually a thorough thought process behind that, whether it is because of health implications, wanting to reduce toxins in the diet, or like me an ethical choice. But, some just do not know how to make the change properly and as a result may return to eating animals, or become unhealthy, sluggish and overweight. I know when I first became vegetarian 20 years ago I relied heavily on processed carbohydrates like pasta, rice, pastries and breads.

Here are some hints and tips on sports nutrition and how to be a happy and healthy vegan, without feeling the need to consume processed and weight causing carbohydrates.

Make sure you eat enough at one setting, with an ample amount of plant-based protein, thankfully there are so many options, whether you cook at home or eat out;

  • Beans, nuts and seeds, tofu, brown rice, quinoa, farro, nutritional yeast, seitan and tempeh
  • Plant based milks; hemp, rice, soy, almond and coconut
  • Pre-made products which can be bought at a supermarket including veggie burgers, veggie slices, cheeses and veggie mince
  • Protein powders, spirulina and algae with you can add to smoothies and juices
  • High protein vegetables like, artichoke, brocoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, chickpeas, spinach, potatoes, and asparagus.
Pad thai, veggie burger and nachos (all vegan)

Pad thai, veggie burger and nachos (all vegan)

Start compiling as many vegan cookbooks as you can as inspiration, a few of my favorites are,

  • The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out, by Angela Liddon
  • Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Moskowitz
  • The Vegan Cookbook: Feed your Soul, Taste the Love: 100 of the Best Vegan Recipes, by Adele McConnell

Be prepared, and carry snacks in your bag with you in the case you get hungry on-the-go and there is nothing suitable for you to eat. This has happened to me only a handful of times, but during those times I sure was hungry and kicking myself that I did not have something with me! Some ideas are;

  • Trail mix, like this recipe I found with pineapple HERE
  • My coconut chocolate energy balls, recipe HERE
  • Fresh fruit, like a banana
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Kale salad with beans, quinoa, corn and avocado

To boost energy and ‘fill in’ any gaps in nutrition, you can additionally take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement. They are available with built-in probiotic too, which can help with digestive issues and to control stomach bacteria. Most pharmacies, and even supermarkets, carry these supplements: Vegans are recommended to read the ingredients and the information on the box before deciding which is best for their needs. If there are other health issues, it is best to consult a doctor before taking any regular supplement, even if it is over-the-counter.

Following a plant-based diet is better for the animals, better for your health and better for OUR planet, and with the right preparation and understanding anybody can be on their way to a vegan way of life. Just like me!

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Save energy in the home with no-cook chocolate coconut balls

There are many ways to cut energy usage in the family home, and surely taking the time to be more energy-efficient, not only helps our precious planet, it also helps cuts personal financial costs. Double bonus!

Image-1I am a Stay-At-Home-Mum, living in New York City. As I write this we are in the temperature range of the 20’s (farenheit); it is unbelievably cold. The frigid weather has come early this season, as we do not usually experience this kind of cold until January. With these extreme conditions comes a few concerns. Firstly we need the heat on constantly, the fact that we are in a loft apartment and up very high makes the temperatures even colder. Secondly, I cannot be outside with my 4-year-old like we usually do each afternoon, as it is very uncomfortable.

These 2 factors mean that I have to come up with indoor activities instead, to keep my little boy entertained.

There is not much that I can do about the heating, however I can cut energy in other ways to make amends for that. One way is minimizing use of electrical appliances.

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These No-Cook Chocolate Coconut Balls, are really easy to make being a wonderful hands on project for Little Ones, they are also protein packed (almond meal and chia seeds), vegan and relatively healthy. And, all you need is human energy to make them. Love that.

What You Need

  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips (I used Lily’s non-gmo variety)
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • dash of salt

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What To Do

  • Measure out coconut oil and put in a bowl, you want it to melt so it is easier to mix in with the rest of the ingredients, I let ours sit by our heater for 30 minutes and that seemed to do the trick
  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  • Making sure hands are clean roll into balls
  • Place on tray and pop in the fridge until hardened

IMG_8667Yes, it is that easy.

And, what a wonderful idea for school lunches too.

Or, you can just fight over who is going to eat them with your little one…..

….like we did.

 

Visit the PG&E website HERE to learn about further ways you can reduce energy costs in the family home. Some examples are; changing air filters regularly, updating to energy efficient light bulbs, washing your clothes in cold water, opening curtains during the day, programing your thermostat and sealing leaky ducts.

Another resourceful tool from PG&E; take advantage of seasonal every day saving tips which are broken down by no-cost, low-cost and investment solutions HERE.

By all of us being more conscious of the energy we use in our homes we can “Be The Change” accomplishing; less strain on the grid which reduces outages, putting less strain on natural resources like water, and reducing emissions which harm the environment.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Upcycling ideas for around the home

I am always looking for new ways to reuse or upcycle items, that are not needed for their original purchase, around my family home. My husband has been known at times, to call me a hoarder like when I keep pretty glass bottles or jars around the house. But, I don’t know, I just feel a little uneasy throwing out something that can be reused.

If you have a stockpile of old materials lying around, and you have a crafty hand, well then keep reading. Here are 3 ideas, as inspiration for D.I.Y projects, to upcycle something old into something new.

Old T-shirts
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I love the comfort of wearing t-shirts and over the years, more and more of them have accumulated in my closet. Most of them hold special memories making it difficult for me to donate them to charity.
Here are some ways to re-purpose your old t-shirts;

  • Make a quilt by cutting t-shirts into small squares in varying sizes. Make a pattern by assembling all squares in rows. You can choose the number according to your desired length. Sew and join the first rows of squares together following your pattern. Continue on until you eventually finish the quilt.
  • Make a dress out of a t-shirt for that special little girl in your life. There are many ways you can go about this, basically though you will lay your t-shirt right side up and on top of it put the dress pattern and cut. Sew all sides and fastened seam lines as well as the necklines. We love this sundress tutorial from the website Prudent Baby, which you can see by clicking on the photo below. Sure to wow, this is a wonderful handcrafted gift which will surely be appreciated.
    Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 10.39.05 PM
  • Make a stylish baby bib. This is really easy, and what a wonderful idea as a gift, or for you own little munchkin. You start this by tracing a bib pattern onto an old t-shirt, cutting it out and sewing up. Here is a helpful tutorial from C is for Crafty on how to make your own.bib2

Old drawers

My 4-year-old already have a set of old drawers sitting in the basement collecting dust. We used them when he was a newborn, and now they do not go with the theme of his room. My husband would prefer if I gave them away, however as stated earlier, that is not such an easy thing for me to do.

Here are some inspirational uses for old drawers;

  • Old drawers as an under the bed toy keeper.  Repaint an old drawer and place it under the child’s bed to tuck toys away. The website, I Craft with Love, has a fantastic tutorial on how to do this, which you can see HERE.
    Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.43.17 PM

 

  • Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.40.34 PMOld drawers as little one’s room organizer. Nail old drawers into the wall, paint it with color matching the room’s hue and voilà, you have instant organizers, above the floor, to keep your child’s books, toys, hats etc neat and tidy! We love this idea.
  • Another green idea, is to turn an old drawer into an indoor herb garden for a child to nurture and watch grow. As it is a herb garden, this is also a wonderful opportunity to teach children where their food comes from, and how to incorporate the plants into food you make at home.

Old bingo cards

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.23.34 PMGrowing up in Australia, I remember seeing the older folk at the local town hall enjoying their chance to play bingo, and it was also a pastime I fondly remember playing with my brother and sisters while on summer holidays. Much laughter was shared over these simple cards.

There are so many different kinds of bingo cards out there, take the vintage ones, which are a part of a hard-to-find almost forgotten era. If you have some lying around, rather than throw them out or just letting them collect dust, why not turn them into handcrafted upcycled greeting cards, or name tags for presents. You can do this in the form of a collage with a scrapbook feel to it, like HERE. The bingo cards, shown in the picture above, would also make an adorable baby shower congratulations.

The main purpose of recycling is to reduce waste, and while it is better than just throwing waste in the rubbish-bin, it still does take a lot of time and effort for companies to recycle materials to be able to reuse them. Upcycling is more of creating new out of old in a D.I.Y sense, and what a rewarding feeling that is to see one’s ideas manifest without having to do much at all.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Upcycling Makes the World Go Around.

Meditation and Motherhood

My passion for meditation came way before motherhood, or even way before I knew what meditation was, or even before I knew I wanted to be a Mom. But that’s another story altogether.

When I became a Mom-to-be, it became so much more valuable (if that can be said about meditation), or maybe I should say it became more desperately urgent.

IMG_437368957It began during my pregnancy. There I was with a new life growing inside of me, with my body transforming in a way that I could never imagine (although “knowing” a lot about), my life changing drastically and a lot more questions about motherhood, far more questions, than answers.

It was really a very particular moment, and for me, very lonely as well, although not quite, since I was present with the baby all the time.

On top of this sea of emotions and thoughts and distractions and concerns that I created myself, there were the emotions and thoughts and concerns and distractions of other people around me and the “nest creating” craziness: the never-ending nursery buying list (don’t get me started on this one), the house move, the family’s anxieties and concerns, the birth plan, my partner’s own issues.

It was just a crazy mess. And meditation was then in my pregnancy, as it is now in parenting, both my rescue and the lens through which the “right” answer reveals itself. Not that there is a right answer, but one that came with clarity, from the true essence of being (rather than a choice based on fear, or vanity, or over attachment, or anxiety, or mere rationality – to name a few).

In pregnancy, meditation helped me breathe, remember myself, remember that it was ok, I was still there as an integral person – nurturing another life on my body, yes – but still an integral, whole person. Then I was able to decide, to forget about the crazy things, to instead focus my efforts on what made sense to me and the baby, as we prepared for his arrival into this world. It allowed me to bring more serenity into the moment. Even if that meant that in any given day I would just take time to do absolutely nothing, and just be.
maos1
As the baby arrived and we got into a new level of craze. There was this beautiful intense interaction with the baby that is something huge in itself, and then there were baby books, parenting lines ( today it’s almost like you have to “buy” one from a shelf just like you do with a soap brand), milestones, clothes, supplies, help, exhaustion, feelings of being overwhelmed, isolation, breastfeeding (or not, until when, in public or not, etc)… Not to mention the effects of friends and family lovingly giving their opinions that are different from yours. It’s an ongoing list.

I can’t say enough about how much meditation brings my life to balance, and in parenting, even more than that, it brings my family to a more balanced place. With the daily practice, I get more in touch with my essence, without labels, parenting clubs, or any kind of social status – it’s just me, period. Only then can I see my child for his essence, and only then can I make decisions about our lives with more clarity.

The way I just wrote this, it seems simple, but it’s really not. Motherhood and the practice of yoga and meditation have together brought me to a complete new awareness of humanity, and of myself, in a way that is really hard to put in words.
IMG_8490A Simple Meditation

Having said all that, below is an easy meditation technique that can be done without much effort:

  • Find a comfortable seat, legs crossed, seat on a pillow or a rolled towel, or on a chair if that’s more comfortable (or in the toilet seat if you found some minutes of alone bathroom time – mothers???). Hands rest on your knees with palms facing up or down, see what feels more appealing to you right now
  • Close your eyes and find a straight spine from the inside out, pretend as if a cord was pulling your spine from the top of your head towards the ceiling, creating space between your vertebrae
  • Place one of your hands under the opposite armpit, and rest the arm against your body. Now cross the other arm on top and place the other hand on the other armpit. Observe your breath, your mind, and what the technique does to you. After 2 or 3 minutes, change the positioning of the arms by removing the arm that was on top of the other, to under it. Stay for another 2 or 3 minutes here and bring your hands to your knees again – this technique presses against main nerves and energetic channels (nadis) that help balance the activity of the hemispheres of the brain
  • Now observe your breath, as if you were an observer of yourself completely immersed on your breath. An unattached perception, but complete absorption on one unique thing: your breath
  • Do this observation for as long as it feels natural to you, until you reach a point where you might feel inclined to naturally let go of the exercise and just be on the present moment
  • If any thoughts come through your mind you can use the mantra “Om”, mentally chanting it as if it was a gong in the middle of your brain, bringing you back to yourself
  • When you’re ready to come back, bring your palms together in front of the heart, inhale and then exhale chanting a long “AUM”, and visualizing that this energy that you just came in contact with is brought back into your body and your life, represented by a line of energy descending from the crown of the head to the base of the spine (as you “AUM”)

For more re-grounding, meaning, to be back to real life more promptly, stand with your back against a wall (touching but leaving a little space between wall and lower back, protecting it’s natural curve), and step your feet a little forward bending your knees, as if you were sitting on an imaginary chair. Do it in a way that you work your legs and squeeze them together. Lift your toes and put them down a few times. Breathe a few times here, and you’re ready to go. If you feel any anxiety at all, or restless mind, doing this meditation, bring your right thumb and index finger together like a little clasp, and place them into the center of your chest

To know more about the benefits of meditation for life and health, here is a story from the renowned Yoga Journal (but if you google it there are many many reliable sources and studies nowadays).

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Peace, Love and Meditation make the World go Around.

IMG_8492Patricia Borelli is a yoga and meditation practitioner and teacher, who thinks a whole lot and loves to write, as a way to help understand, and live, life.
She currently learns and teaches at Hosh Yoga (Brooklyn) where she hosts a donation based prenatal class Fridays at 5PM, among other classes.
She is also at Ishta Yoga (Manhattan).
Both facilities are located in New York City.