Every Drop Counts!

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Did you ever want to help a cause but you didn’t think you would be able to do enough to make a difference? Well you can. Even when you think you are doing something miniscule, every drop counts. Mother Teresa said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. Real and lasting change only happens in small increments over long periods of time.”

10425135_10153312018176897_6226962147872051310_nThree years ago, Danielle Taylor, a mother of two beautiful boys and a friend decided to compete in a 6 mile civilian military obstacle course. She wanted the challenge to have a purpose. So she and her childhood friend Jeannine decided to raise money for The Morgan Center.

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medalheader2It’s a not for profit charitable organization that provides a safe haven for pre preschool age kids undergoing cancer treatment. These kids can’t attend regular school because chemo compromises their immune system. They can get a serious infection if they go to regular school. The center relies solely on private donations.

The ladies formed team YOLO which stands for You Only Live Once. Today, the team consists of twenty local moms who are all aware of just how fortunate they are to have healthy children.11953109_10101742706993174_9207076420517135135_nOn Sunday, October 4th, team YOLO will be competing in the Bronx at the “Merrell Down and Dirty.” The 6 mile obstacle course will help raise money for the beautiful little children of the Morgan Center.

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You can make a difference by donating whatever you can to help these children who are fighting for their life.

Support Team YOLO by visiting http://www.crowdrise.com/mompower4tmcthemorgancenter/fundraiser/danielletaylor and donating what you can!

Give what you can. Take a step to make a difference in the lives of others.

Source: Preschoolers Shaking Off Cancer

 

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Blue Mind

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If you are anything like me being near the ocean probably makes you feel calm and serene. I know that it’s the first place I go to when I feel stressed or melancholy. Being near the water always makes me feel at peace. Both the sight and the sound of it makes me feel happier.

7f3ea28b943b634fb66e5285bb3aa666I recently finished “Blue Mind,” a book written by Wallace J. Nichols. He is a marine biologist and conservationist. His book tries to answer questions about the connection between our brain and bodies of water. It looks into the reasons of why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness.IMG_6539

Nichols explores the scientific reasons for why we have such a deep connection with water. He says that there are cognitive and emotional benefits that we get every time we spend time by water. He began hosting “blue mind” seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world. He uses the term “Blue Mind” to describe a state of water-associated peace. It’s in contrast to what one neuroscientist calls a “Red Mind,” an edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety, fear, and despair.

Here are some amazing facts, brain imagining shows that being near water floods the brain with feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.

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Our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, an incredible 75 percent! Nichols says when we see or hear water it triggers a response in our brains that we are in the right place. He says the ocean literally sucks the stress out of our bodies and out of our minds. I have to say, that is true for me. What about you?

The next time you want to relax why not try taking a soothing bath? Maybe you can go fishing, or swimming. How about a walk on the beach? You can also learn to surf, visit an aquarium or maybe place a water fountain in your backyard and just relax there.

Learning how beneficial it is for us to be around water makes a powerful argument for keeping our world’s waters clean, healthy, and free. Now go enjoy a delicious tall glass of water and relax. And while you are doing that be thankful that we have clean water to drink! Nearly two billion people around the world do not.

Think on that, and while you are thinking, here are some great ways to help.

http://www.ilovearc.org

http://www.projecthumanity.org/

http://www.buylifestraw.com/en/

DIY Mosaic Outdoor Table

When we first moved to our home we found some furniture in the attic that was old and we tossed most of it, but some I just liked too much to throw away. This table is one of the pieces that I really liked. The beautiful little girl is my talented apprentice.Cell pictures 3 844The table is too dated and doesn’t fit into my décor but I just love its shape and design. So instead of tossing it, I decided to change it up and turn it into an outdoor table.

I thought it would make a great family project and I was right! My little girl and I had a great time painting the table with a white outdoor paint. The paint brightened it up and protected the table from the outdoor elements. We had a lot of fun painting it, although we did get a lot of paint on each other as well, all apart of the fun!  We let the paint dry for a couple of hours and then applied another coat. We then let the table dry overnight.

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Once the table was dry we used this blue/green tile blend that we found at Home Depot. My husband used pre-mixed adhesive and grout to secure the Mosaic tile onto the table.

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Once the tile was secured on the table, we used a wet sponge to take off the excess grout from the tile surface. We then allowed the grout to dry. Because the table is round the edges were a bit off so we got creative by using some small stones we found in our garden to decorate the edges.

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Here is the final result. I think it turned out pretty great and it was a wonderful little project to do as a family!

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Hope you are inspired to do your own project!

 

 

 

 

Tea Party

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My little girl asked me to create a beautiful tea party for her 9th birthday. She said, “mommy, I just want a few of my friends and I want it in the backyard.” How can I refuse?

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Leading up to the party required lots of planning, creating and togetherness for my daughter and I. She chose seven of her closest friends. She is very aware of mean girls and girls who talk negatively about one another. She wanted to make sure the girls at her party were ones that really cared for her and were kind to her. She is by nature the most sensitive and kindest human being I have ever encountered. I know it’s got a lot to do with her dad. He is also a gentle soul. I would like to say that I am kind as well but I admittedly have a very tough side to me. I kind of wish that my daughter was a little less sensitive and sweet. I would like to teach her to stand up for herself a bit more. It’s something I will continue to work at. Still, I never want her to lose her sweetness.

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She decided that all the girls should come in wearing party dresses, jewelry and their imaginations! I thought it was a brilliant idea. 9 year old Tea party celebration 120 9 year old Tea party celebration 114

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Sophia got right on her laptop and started looking for great decoration ideas and recipes. We decided on oreo lollipops, cones filled with pudding made to look like little tea cups, marshmallow ballerinas along with ice cream cake for dessert. We planned on sandwiches, chips and dips and lots of other delicious extras.

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We filled mason jars with some lovely, colorful bubble gum to give as party favors.9 year old Tea party celebration 124

We are lucky enough to know two older girls who we love and spend lots of time with. They made the party even more amazing by providing all the fun activities for the younger girls. Thank you Samantha and Christina! You two are amazing and will make great party entertainers for lots of children. 9 year old Tea party celebration 059 9 year old Tea party celebration 048

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Needless to say the party was a successl! The weather was perfect. The girls were dressed like lovely little ladies, enjoying the atmosphere and of course all that sugar. My apologies to the parents!

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Despite all the work, I got a chance to spend time with some of my dearest friends and family. Most importantly, I got the chance to put a smile on the faces of some precious little girls! They grow so fast so I’ll enjoy all the tea parties I can get for now.

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I love you Sophia.

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Our children

I love taking pictures of beauty and innocence. I’ve captured some lovely moments with the children in my life. With a blink of an eye they grow and move on to make a path of their own in the world. This poem expresses what it means to have these little gems in our lives for a beautiful yet brief time.232323232fp83232_uqcshlukaxroqdfv3674=ot_2376=44_=648=XROQDF_2_5875933523;ot1lsi

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable. -Khalil Gibran

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Imagination

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Childhood is like a dream to me. I had the most wonderful childhood full of love, fun and imagination. I spent much of my time daydreaming and using my imagination to play with my sister. I would pretend I was a Jeannie or a girl with magical gifts like in the movie Witch Mountain. In my imagination, I saved people as Wonder Woman, the Bionic Woman and bat girl. I remember wanting to be strong and powerful. I wanted to be able to defend myself and rescue those in need. I never imagined myself as a princess but my daughter does. Her favorite princess is Ariel. She also loves that Ariel is a mermaid. That’s how her interest in mermaids began. Now she is obsessed with mermaids in general and always wants to know if they are real. She reads books about mermaids, loves mermaid movies and has had a mermaid costume since she was four years old. I don’t want to burst her bubble, so I let her run with her imagination.

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Now my beautiful eight year old is able to really dive into her imagination with a very authentic looking mermaid tail. She got the great idea last summer from a little girl we met while visiting with my in laws at their summer place in Avalon New Jersey. The little girl was swimming with a beautiful mermaid tail. I’ll never forget the look on my daughters face when she first laid eyes on the mermaid in the swimming pool. “Mommy, you need to get me that mermaid tail. That’s how I can finally be a mermaid!” she said. Well, it took a while but she got her mermaid tail and she hasn’t turned into a mermaid yet but she can really imagine herself as one.

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Of course she shared her new shiny Mermaid tail with her little cousins, she has always loved the pool but now she really loves being in the pool and imagining herself as a real mermaid.

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She swims like a little fish and bobs in and out of the water. She truly looks magical wearing that tail. Makes me wish I was a little girl!

 

How do your kids use their imagination? What do you do to inspire them?