“One Line a Day” of Gratitude to Kick Off the New Year

Last year a friend told me about a unique journal called “One Line a Day,” which spans a 5-year period.  Each page in the journal is for a particular month and day (e.g., January 1) and there are 5 different spaces on each page for each year 2018, 2019, etc.  You write an entry for a particular day like January 1, 2018.  The next day you flip to the next page to fill in the entry for January 2, 2018. You continue writing through all 365 days of the year in this manner, and when 2019 arrives, you return to the beginning of the book to fill in the 2nd entry space for the January 1 page.  The beauty of this journal concept is that not only does it make journal writing manageable through simple and short entries, but there’s also an easy mechanism to read your entries over time. Read more

Over 300 Meals for Bay Area Rescue Mission

Yesterday Mindful Littles and MySustainableTable teamed up again for another Cookin’ for a Cause event, and this time we got to make over 300 meals for the Bay Area Rescue Mission. The Bay Area Rescue Mission has been around since 1965, providing food, shelter, clothes and resources for homeless people in Northern California.  In the Bay Area alone, there are over 150,000 extremely low-income people and 35,000 homeless people.   In fact San Francisco has the highest per capita rate of homelessness in any major American city.  In one dinner alone, Bay Area Rescue Mission serves 300 people, and with the help of organizations like ours, we can make a small difference to help the shelter deliver it’s mission. Read more

Mandala Ornaments

Wood Slices

Making mandala ornaments was a really fun and easy mindfulness activity to do with the littles.  I got small wood slices with jute twine from Amazon, thinking it would be fun to make some homemade ornaments with the girls.  When I got the wood slices, I noticed the natural concentric circles on the slices, which immediately reminded me of mandalas so that spurred the idea for our art project.

We’ve had fun with mandalas in the past- doing our own tactile projects with them, and they are always a very soothing and creative outlet. Read more

Holiday Food Baskets for Families in Crisis

Last week we had another Mindful Littles event, where 20 families from our community gathered to prepare holiday food baskets for Bay Area Crisis Nursery (BACN).  BACN is a local nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping “prevent child abuse and child neglect by providing supportive services to families who are in stress or crisis.” They provide warm shelter, food and other services for young children, so that families can manage their emergency or stressful life situation.  This year BACN had a big need for non-perishable food items for the families, so we organized a food drive around this cause.   Read more

Giving $10.76 from “My Very Own Give Jar”

Like last year we are making #GivingTuesday a family affair by not only donating clothes, toys, books, and household items, but by also donating to four charities in honor of each family member. This year our family took our annual tradition a step further and decided to not only talk about the charities, but also empowered our 6-year old to give money from her very own Give Jar.   Read more

Making Mindful Meals for Thanksgiving

Food. One of the most important and basic human needs, and yet 1 in 9 people are chronically undernourished in the world- around 795 million people according to the United Nations.  The majority of undernourished are in developing countries, but there are local communities right in the Bay Area which suffer from homelessness and hunger. Yesterday we had the incredible opportunity to do a very small part to feed some local community members as part of our new Cookin’ for a Cause program. Read more

Wishing our Veterans Peace, Love and Heartfelt Gratitude

In years past I have always spoken of our veterans with great respect and honor, but it isn’t until this year that I really appreciated the human experience of our veterans and their loved ones.  This appreciation goes beyond our political views, our religious views, our differences; it is about understanding the humanness of what a veteran may have gone through in the hopes of protecting some of the greatest freedoms we have in this country. Read more

OrindaCares: Express Kindness in November

November 13th is WORLD KINDNESS DAY and as part of OrindaCares, we have some exciting initiatives planned to celebrate this GLOBAL CELEBRATION during the month of November.  Our November initiative is focused on two major aspects:  Expressing Kindness Creatively and Expressing Kindness for Those in Need.   

With the leadership of some incredible community members to spearhead these efforts, OrindaCares is launching several kindness projects.

What are we doing as a community? Read more

A Grateful Twist to a Pumpkin Craft

Today I had the opportunity to help with my 1st grader’s Halloween party at school.  We did a few simple yoga and movement games, but most of our time was spent focused on some Halloween crafts.   One of the fan favorites was a a simple Grateful Paper Pumpkin Craft which I modeled after this version here.

I shared my model with the kids- reading the things that I was grateful for on this Halloween, which included things like being able to walk or being able to see. 

For the activity, we generally followed the directions in the tutorial above, but did eight strips of paper instead of twelve.  Prior to cutting our eight strips of pumpkin paper, we had the kiddos write down eight things they are grateful for on Halloween.  This took a little brainstorming, but several kids wrote that they are grateful for their families, for trick or treating, for food, their hands and much more. As always, reading the messages that the littles wrote down is the best part of any kindness craft.

After the kids cut the strips, the parent volunteers helped the first graders fasten the brass brads to pull the heartfelt crafts together.  This was a super simple and easy craft to do and a great kindness project idea for the fall holiday season to do with your classroom or at home.