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Mindful Little Spotlight: Olivia and Alex Metz Deliver Halloween Costume Cheer

Kids can be so observant, but it’s not everyday you encounter kids with the pragmatism and dedication to translate what they see into a way to help others. When Northern California siblings Olivia and Alex Metz saw an opportunity to reuse Halloween costumes, they started the nonprofit Costumes4Kids to make sure those costumes found their way to kids in need.

We talked to Olivia and Alex, 10 and 17, about their work with Costumes4Kids and what motivates them to help others, both locally and around the world. Continue reading “Mindful Little Spotlight: Olivia and Alex Metz Deliver Halloween Costume Cheer”

Mindful Big Spotlight: Maya Smith, Executive Director of Born This Way Foundation

When one of the biggest pop stars on the planet invites you to help young people build a kinder world, you say, “Yes!” That’s exactly what happened when Lady Gaga tapped Northern California mom Maya Smith to help create Born This Way Foundation six years ago. Today, she is the foundation’s executive director. Continue reading “Mindful Big Spotlight: Maya Smith, Executive Director of Born This Way Foundation”

Honoring the Changing Seasons: Fall

The autumn equinox recently occurred, officially heralding the return of the fall season. Can you feel fall in the air yet? The changing of the seasons is exciting. Perhaps we’re looking forward to pumpkin spice flavors, falling leaves and upcoming holidays. For many of us, however, life goes on as usual. We don’t always notice the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, and simply continue on with our activities and priorities. Continue reading “Honoring the Changing Seasons: Fall”

Mindful Parenting Round-Up: Halloween

The days are cooler, the leaves are falling – autumn is officially here! It’s October and that means Halloween in all its frightening finery will soon be upon us. Get ready for costumes, candy, parties, pumpkins and trick-or-treating. Age appropriate activities, mindful candy consumption, affordable and easy costumes and safety are the focus of this month’s Round-Up. Continue reading “Mindful Parenting Round-Up: Halloween”

Mindful Parenting Round-up: Celebrating Peace

Today is the International Day of Peace which is a day observed around the world dedicated to “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples” according to the UN website. This round-up is devoted to the idea of Peace and how to help our littles practice peace and promote it in ourselves, our homes, our communities and our world.  Continue reading “Mindful Parenting Round-up: Celebrating Peace”

Mindful Parenting Round-up: Teaching Tolerance & Inclusion

Racial bias, bullying and intolerance, mistrust, hatred, discrimination- all of these issues stem from fear of the unknown. One thing we can do as parents is encourage our children to learn about others who are different from them and learn to respect, and not fear those differences. Here are some ideas we have rounded up to help parents teach tolerance and inclusion at home.  Continue reading “Mindful Parenting Round-up: Teaching Tolerance & Inclusion”

Mindful Parenting Round-up: Back to School

We are trying something new on the Mindful Littles blog! A roundup of resources from around the web with tips and guidance to help us all become the mindful parents that we aspire to be. Topics range from raising kind and compassionate kids, to practicing gratitude and humility, to every day mindfulness practices. So be on the lookout for these posts and hopefully they become an encouragement and challenge to us all! Continue reading “Mindful Parenting Round-up: Back to School”

Fostering Compassion Through “Voluntourism”: One Mom’s Inspiring Story


Mindfulness and compassion have been in Laura Traxler’s blood for as long as she can remember. A longtime Orinda resident, Laura consciously planted seeds of compassion in her two sons throughout their childhood that are now beginning to bloom as they enter adulthood. How did she do it? And what can us mothers of young children learn from her that we can incorporate into our lives now? Here is Laura’s story …

Continue reading “Fostering Compassion Through “Voluntourism”: One Mom’s Inspiring Story”