It’s that time of the year again when you’ve got to decide whether or not to order holiday cards. Personally I get sad every year receiving fewer and fewer cards in the mail. There’s nothing quite like coming home to a full mailbox of holiday greetings and warm messages from friends letting me know how their year went. E-cards just don’t hold the same weight, literally and figuratively. Living in a time where e-mails are replaced by short tweets or Facebook messages, it’s often easy to forget how nice it can be do get a real card in the mail.
We’ve always been huge fans of collages. All you need are some old magazines, scissors, and glue and you’ve got an instant arts and crafts project. We found a particularly inspiring project this year on Cool Mom Picks from the new DIY magazine Moomah. You can download a template, which includes an abundant cornucopia and the phrase “I am thankful for….” Look through newspapers and magazines Thanksgiving week to find pictures of characters, objects, animals, or even simply colors that your kids are thankful for. It’s a great way to keep them occupied while you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen. And the results are simply frame-worthy.
Do your kids have a food allergy? Chef extraordinaire Erin McKenna showed us that even the most allergy-prone child need not go without cupcakes. Her bakeries, based in New York, Los Angeles, and Disney World, Babycakes, have made it easy for anyone to indulge in gluten-free, wheat-free, or sugar-free cakes, cookies and donuts. Using healthy ingredients like coconut oil and fresh spices, the treats are a guilt-free indulgence. Her cookbook has made it easy to replicate the recipes at home. And now, an accompanying iPhone App makes it easier than ever to recreate these amazing treats. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has no food allergies, the recipes are delicious and enjoyable whenever, and provide a healthy alternative to more sugar-laden treats.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the East Coast. Residents of New Jersey and New York City are still feeling the intense effects of Hurricane Sandy. The devastating storm has destroyed entire homes in its wake. The hardest hit areas, including Rockaway, Queens, are still struggling to get heat and hot water. The freezing nor’easter last week just added salt to the wound. No matter where you are, there’s lots you can do to help. Recovery efforts have already revealed how strong we are as a nation to pull together after a disaster.
If you’re on the ground, consider volunteering time to help clear basements or distribute donations. You can find the most up-t0-date information at Occupy Sandy.
The easiest way to help out if you already have an Amazon account is to contribute something to the Occupy Sandy wedding Registry. Instead of cleaning out your closet to come up with donations consider fulfilling a specific request. People on the ground are constantly updating what is needed most. You can buy cleaning supplies, hardware, or baby items that will be delivered straight to relief efforts.
Architecture for Humanity is a global community that helps to rebuild spaces, often in green ways, in post-conflict areas.Their recent report just how much is needed to rebuild the coastline. Text REBUILD to 85944 to make a $10 donation.
The American Red Cross is on the ground feeding hot meals to people and distributing blankets. You can contribute directly on the website.
Did you know that 65 percent of kids entering school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t even been invented yet? According to Cathy N. Davidson of Duke University, that means the need to be creative in life is essential. The new site DIY.org makes it easy and fun for kids to start enhancing their creativity skills early on. The website and app presents a multitude of projects kids can create at home. Once they complete the project, they earn virtual skill patches, similar to a Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts badge. They can share photos or video of their project to further enhance the feeling of pride of a job well-done. The projects range from easy and homemade, like making pickles or a smoothie, to medium-skill such as making an animal mask or rock collection, to complex, such as knitting a scarf or even making your own bicycle fenders.
If there’s one thing we love it’s paper. And we especially love when people turn it into art. One new artist takes it well beyond origami, creating gorgeous 3-D art out of recycled paper. Ali Golzad is an artist living in Texas, originally from Göteborg, Sweden by way of Tehran, Iran. With a background as a graphic designer and creative director, his latest project asks us to question how we normally look at waste and see something beautiful: “Over the years I have developed my own technique using various mediums,” he says. “Aside from my formal graphic design training and time spent as a Creative Director you could say I am a self taught artist. My urge to create while still caring for our planet enabled me to look at ordinary objects in a new light and transform these commonly discarded materials into something meaningful.” We love the innovative use of paper techniques to recreate well-known figures. More pictures after the jump.
We recently showed you our favorite DIY paper masks for Halloween. But what if you have a newborn and don’t want to throw away money for a costume on year zero? Fortunately all you need to celebrate the holiday with your newborn is an old onesie, a scrap of fabric, and some. Check out Rachel Low’s costume templates to turn any onesie into a fun costume. You can even increase the pattern size with your printer and make a matching sweatshirt to wear out trick-or-treating.
With 85% of textile waste going to landfills every year, Halloween can have a devastating effect on the environment. While it’s tons of fun to pick out a costume and dress up, any family can make a night of crafting DIY costumes, and avoid creating unnecessary waste. Look around for wornout clothes, old sweats, or too-small garments. Many of today’s costumes can be made by hand if you have a sewing machine. Or if you truly want to make something easy, consider making an easy paper mask to wear on top of a colorful outfit. Paper masks can be tons of fun for kids and adults to wear. There are lots of sites that offer outlines for you to print out. Just color them in, add some sequins and glitter and you’re ready to go. For masquerade style, glue it onto a stick, or for easy-wear just add an elastic band.
Amazon.com, the king of all super convenient e-commerce sites, has launched a new online site dedicated to all things eco-friendly and green: vine.com. The site sells earth-friendly products at super friendly prices across home and beauty, kids and babies, pets, apparel, grocery and more. But the best feature is when you use a coupon code when checking out (HEALTHYCHILD10), you’ll get $10 off your order, free shipping, and vine.com will donate $10 to Healthy Child Healthy World. Everybody wins.
Can a candy bar really be considered healthy? Probably not. But everyone needs a treat now and then. And if you’re going to go down the candy aisle, bear in mind that there is a whole range of candy options from not-so-bad to pure chemical junk. You might as well go for something with minimal junk. Yet when it comes to getting a sugar fix, we don’t always have time to go to the health food store to pick up a favorite like chocolate-covered organic almonds. One company is trying to change all that: Unreal.