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Starting the Year Simple: 5 Reasons to Hop on the Minimalism Wagon

58e638dd1e2f7.imageThe consumer-driven trend behind buying and accumulating clothes, shoes, purses, toys, home supplies and other items for no reason to then gradually give it all away is out the window.  

As you most likely heard everyone is talking about minimalism. There a tons of documentaries about it, blogs, Youtube videos, posts, you name it. But for those who are new to the world of minimalism, it’s not just a Pinterest board, it’s a lifestyle.

It’s basically the idea that the less you have, the better you’ll be. There are various benefits associated. We put together a little list of the benefits to see if we get you all to be minimalistic mommies and daddies.

DISCLAIMER: Read at your own risk, minimalism get obsessive.

  1. More Happy

Through advertising, TV commercials, Instagram posts, and other avenues, large corporations convince us to buy their products. I’m at fault too. I want everything I see, the long boots, fuzzy pillow, mini cactus, and the cute mugs with quotes. I mean, we’ve been taught that the more we have the happier we are, but happy is a state of mind associated with experiences, not material. Once we realize this, then we’ll be able to make smarter decision before shopping another item we won’t need.

  1. More Space

Did you know that the average American household has over 300,000 stuffs in it? Furniture, paintings, plates, linens, pictures, and memories. Once we get rid of those extra things we don’t need, or keep around “just in case” and just keep the bare minimum, we end up with some desiring space. More space in our home, rooms, cabinets, cars, purses, etc.

  1. More Money

The average American today has over $16,000 of credit card debt. Simplifying makes your wallet happier. When we downsize our belongings, whether that is wardrobes, electronics, shoes, and other stuffs, the next time we purchase an item, we think twice about it. The less we buy, the more money we’ll save.

  1. More to Give

If you decide is time to declutter, as you get rid of things, think about what things you can donate. Not everything we want to get rid off is garbage. Sharing those valuables that brought so much joy with others could be very rewarding.  

  1. More Time

The less things we have,the less time we have to spend cleaning and organizing. Think about how much time we spent washing tons of dishes, or clothes, fixing up messes. Minimalistics moms have more time to be more productive, spend more quality time with the family, try a new business venture or hobby.

Being minimalist parents just means being more practical parents  with more space at home to move around, think and breathe. More money to spend it on things you always wanted to do like family vacations or new hobbies to save and spend it on experiences, more items to donate and give to other. Also more time on our hands to learn new things or practice our hobbies and with all these be more happy. Try it, why not? God Bless.

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“Gimme, Gimme” vs. Giving, Giving

School_BlogOver the last few days we have witness hurricane disasters so now more than ever is important to talk to our children about the power of giving and contributing.  Hollywood Learning Centers, a preschool for little ones in Hollywood, FL put together a list of 5 ways to teach our children to be more giving.

Start When they are Small.

It’s never to early to start. We can’t expect to teach children to be giving in their teens. We have to start when they are young. Even small deeds count.  Parent can begin by instilling sharing habits. This is easier when the children has siblings, but if not parents can try with other family members.

Is your child easy to share toys or his food and snacks with others? Test them, see what their answers are. If it’s what you were expecting, continue to encourage them to share and give to others. Complement and even reward their efforts. Your young child might be happy to help bake cookies for friends or children in need. However, If your child is less likely to give, try to understand them and see where this is coming from. Instead of getting upset with them or punishing them, talk to them about the importance of giving and make a plan to instill empathy in them.

  • Reality Checks

Seeing commercials of poor children or other disadvantaged groups might not the reality check our kids need. If those don’t work, it’s best to take them to see why giving is important.

Take a ride to deprived area with a high number of homeless or to an orphanage for our children to learn why we must share and donate to others (books, toys, clothes, etc). This will not only make those kids extremely happy, but it will teach our children about having empathy towards those children and eventually empathy towards everyone in need as they grow up.

  • Walk the walk

My family has always been one to give. Coming from a poor country teaches you to appreciate and share the blessings given. Be a role model for your little ones. As you know, children love to imitate their parents. If they see us volunteering or donating, they will do it. The passion and dedication we put into giving and sharing to others will reach their little hearts. Not only will they be proud of you but they would follow your lead.

  • Give Year-round

We don’t always have to wait for a disaster to take place to give. Of course earthquake and hurricanes’ victims could use all the help in the world, but giving can be a year-round effort. There are plenty of opportunities to help. Here at Hollywood Learning Center we are always collecting items for disasters victims or feeding the homeless. Not much money or planning is required. When we don’t have a particular cause to donate or contribute to, we buy water and distribute them to the homeless on a hot day or buy dinner and go around looking for someone who might need it. The feeling you’ll get is so rewarding it’ll become a habit.

  • Simplify Giving

Some believe giving, donating or volunteering requires a lot of money or efforts and of course we are all busy parents who work and barely have time.That is not true! Giving can be fun.

For example, buying two bags of sandwich bread, 1 pound of ham and cheese would not even come to $10, but it can feed 24 people. Buying a pack of water for the same group of 24 cost $5. Yet, that might be too much for some families, in that case, we all have toys, books or clothes we no longer use but are still in good conditions. There are also groups that come together to help particular causes.

This week, Hollywood Learning Centers will be collecting items for those affected by Hurricane Irma and to help rebuild Florida’s paradise, The Keys.

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What Can We Teach Our Children While Making a Lemonade this Summer!

Lemonade Post

Lemonade has always been a classic summer drink. I mean, who can really say “no” to this cool and refreshing flavor? Yet, today’s article is not just about making a lemonade, but more on what else can we teach our children when preparing a yummy lemonade.

Budgeting yours Expenses

Any great projects begins with putting all the pieces together. After planning how many people will drink the lemonade (family, friends, party attendees), take a few minutes to make a budget. Encourage your children to brainstorm the supplies needed (lemonade, ice, sugar) and go over the recipe to see how much each of these items they will need. Help them narrow down an approximate cost. Provide the approximate total and take them to the grocery store. Teach them how to compare prices and how to buy the supplies based on their budget, just how we do it in real life.

Putting the Pieces Together

After having all the ingredients, get right to it. For this lemonade, you can use Hollywood Learning Center’s recipe:

  • 10 Cups of Water
  • 10 to 12 Lemons
  • 3 Cups of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon of Organic Honey (Our secret ingredient)
  • 2 Trays of Ice Cubes

Since recipes usually focus on certain servings, use this time to go over portions and fractions when doubling or dividing the recipe to fulfill your family’s needs. For instance, our recipe is for a large group of 10 children. If you family consist of 5 members, help your children figure out how much of the ingredients they would need.

The Importance of Safety

Teaching our children about safety from young creates well-aware adults. Starting with the lemons, make sure they remove the seeds to avoid anyone from swallowing them and growing lemons on their tummies. Also, depending on their age, teach them to use a knife carefully.

As far as water goes, some lemonades are prepared with cold water and others are prepared on the stove in order to dissolve the sugar. When using the stove, make sure to teach your children that they won’t use one until they are 18. Okay, I might be exaggerating, but you know what I mean. Another safety tip you can throw in there is the importance of watching our sugar intake. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in school-aged children.

Last, but not least, let’s not forget the one of the most important lesson, have fun and sharing is caring! You have all summer to enjoy and indulge the many teachings that can come from a simple lemonade project.

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