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Mary

Author Archives: Mary

Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Christmas Gift Tags

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Christmas is just four days away! (Insert squeal of joy :) ) If you’ve got some last minute wrapping to do, perhaps these printable gift tags will come in handy. Maybe you’re up late wrapping gifts and ran out of gift tags? No need to make a midnight run to the store to buy more; simply download the PDF and print as many as you need. Easy peasy!
Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Etsy Seller: Sam Osborne

Rare Full Moon on Christmas Morning

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Full Moon on Christmas Morning 2015
Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Many of you might be sleeping at 6am on Christmas morning, but the rare full moon is a good reason to get up early… even if you go right back to bed for a few hours. ;) It’s been 38 years since the full moon occurred on Christmas day, and NASA predicts this won’t happen again until 2034.

The moon will reach its peak at 6:11am ET. Whether you crawl out of bed early Christmas morning or try to catch a glimpse of it before you snuggle under your covers on Christmas Eve, make plans to see the full moon. So, go ahead and mark your calendars or set a reminder in your phone so you don’t miss this extraordinary event!

Frozen Festiveness

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I’m a huge fan of Disney’s animated films, and even though I’m not a child anymore, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying movies like Frozen. The chipper tunes and clever lyrics especially bring a smile to my face! (And I’ve been known to belt out some songs, too. I’m not the only one, am I? ;) ) If you share my affection for the story of Anna and Elsa, I’m sure you too will love these videos of Christmas lights synced to Frozen songs.


What’s your favorite Frozen song? Let us know in the comments!

Etsy Item of the Day: Beau Ties and Beauties

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I’m gushing over the cute bows and bow ties in this Etsy shop, and I can’t get over the clever names! The precious “Beauties” for girls and dapper “Beau Ties” for boys are too much for me ;) If I had kids of my own, I would totally add these bows to their Christmas outfits. Pictured below are hair bows for little girls, and make sure you take a gander at the bow ties for wee gentlemen.
Beauties Hair Bows

Etsy Seller: Bear & Fox Designs

So Many Ways to Drink Hot Chocolate!

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I’m sure someone somewhere has already said this, but I declare hot chocolate the official beverage of Christmas! Perhaps you like a good ol’ plain cup of hot cocoa… There’s nothing wrong with that, but I often want to snazz things up a bit and treat my taste buds to a sweet mouth-watering treat. This handy infographic is a quick-reference guide for custom cocoa creations. Enjoy!

SO MANY Ways to Drink Hot Chocolate!
Click on the image for a closer look! Infographic via SheKnows.com

Do you have a yummy recipe that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments below or add your special recipe to Mrs. Claus’ Cookbook!

Etsy Item of the Day: Printable Christmas Wrapping Paper

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I just love the simple yet fun design of this wrapping paper! This is a digital download, so you’ll receive the file instantly and can print it right away. I really like how the design looks on plain white paper, but you could print it on any colored paper, such as a minty green or holiday red. This Etsy shop also sells adorable matching gift tags so you can complete the look of your wrapped presents.
Printable Christmas Wrapping Paper

Etsy Seller: Das Himmlische Kind

Serving Goodness on Christmas Day (and Every Day of the Year)

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When I heard about what the good folks at Mobile Loaves & Fishes were doing, I knew I just had to share. This non-profit serves meals to the homeless and the working poor every single day of the year. Not only do they provide quality, fresh food, they also provide other items we may typically take for granted: clothing, toiletries, relationships, and opportunities.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Since the organization’s inception in 1998, they have served over 4 million meals! As you can imagine, it takes a lot of dedicated people to make that happen. In fact, more than 18,000 volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to help over the years. How do they do it, you ask? They prep the yummy fares, load up the food truck, and then make several stops around the Austin, Texas area.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes - Trucks Ministry

Serving food and basic necessities is not all that Mobile Loaves & Fishes does for the metro Austin community. They are actively striving to build community and supply people with means to reestablish themselves through their Genesis Gardens, Community First!, and Community Works programs. This short video sums up their mission and the impact that Mobile Loaves and Fishes has on impoverished people’s lives.

To learn more about volunteering for this admirable organization, click here. If the work of Mobile Loaves & Fishes speaks to you, consider supporting them by making a tax-deductible donation online.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes
Mary

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Category: Charities

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Etsy Item of the Day: Peppermint Bark Body Butter

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This peppermint bark body butter is a heavenly blend of coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter with one of my favorite holiday scents—peppermint! The oil and butters have moisturizing and antioxidant properties, which are excellent for your skin, especially during the dry winter months. The yummy minty fragrance is not an artificial additive; it is peppermint essential oil—how great is that?!
Peppermint Bark Body Butter

Etsy Seller: MomME moment

Etsy Item of the Day: Sequin Fish Ornaments

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Each of these darling fish ornaments would look lovely on any Christmas tree. They are donning some sparkly sequins and a bell, so whenever a branch sways with movement, you’ll hear the bell jingling and see the sequins twinkling in the light. What’s more, these cuties are made from organic cotton and available in different colors. Merry Fishmas!
Sequin Fish Ornament

Etsy Seller: Alia Grace Dolls

Loans That Change Lives

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For most of us, our basic necessities are met, and we can easily access the other things we need. But for many others around the world, resources are limited, and they need a helping hand to get back on their feet. That’s where Kiva comes in.

Kiva is on a mission to alleviate poverty by supporting people around the globe. How does it work? People like you lend money through Kiva to help impoverished people grow or start their business, or help with education costs. The loans are dispersed through Kiva’s Field Partners, which are microfinance institutions who interact directly with the lendees. When the lendees repay their loans, you can either withdraw your money or loan it again. In the spirit of giving, we are naturally in favor of lending it again to another person.

Kiva - Loans That Change Lives

Giving is easy and fun! When you visit Kiva.org, you can choose who you want to lend the money to. If you love South American culture, you can choose an artisan or other small business owner that interests you. Have you always wanted to visit Africa? Perhaps you’d like to choose someone from Kenya or Nigeria—or any other country, for that matter! In this way, you can support people and business that are special to you.

If you want to join the millions who lend through Kiva, there are several ways to get involved.

Give Kiva Goods as Christmas Gifts

Kiva Store

Visit the Kiva Store to purchase gifts, such as a water bottle or iPhone case. Sales from the store help support the organization as they spread the word about Kiva.

Create a Campaign

Instead of asking for presents for Christmas (or any other life event: birthday, graduation, etc.), ask your friends and family to donate to your Kiva campaign. Learn how to start a Kiva campaign here.

Send a Kiva Card

Send a Kiva Card

If you know someone who doesn’t need anything for Christmas, then sending a Kiva Card is great way to give your loved one a meaningful gift! When you give a Kiva Card, the recipient can hop on Kiva’s website and choose who they want to receive the loan. The great thing about this is that the recipient can pick a lendee who inspires them. If you’re giving a Kiva Card to a family, I’m certain the children would enjoy selecting who they lend the money to! Plus, because Kiva has such a high repayment rate, the family can lend the money again and again, making this a gift that really does keep on giving.

Dedicate a Kiva Loan

Dedicating a Kiva Loan in honor of a loved one or in someone’s memory is another way to give. There are two big differences between a dedicated loan and a Kiva Card. The first is that you select the recipient of the loan, which means that the recipient doesn’t have to do anything to redeem the gift. The second difference is that when the loan is repaid, the funds convert to a donation to Kiva (instead of being returned to the lender). Personalize a dedicated loan to fit the personality of the recipient: for the coffee fanatic, give a coffee loan; for someone with a sweet tooth, give a bakery loan; for your bestie who loves to travel, give a loan that reminds her of a favorite destination.

Volunteer

There are a few different ways you can volunteer for Kiva, and the easiest way is to volunteer from your own home! Kiva’s Review and Translation Program is operated by folks who volunteer their time translating and reviewing loan profiles. For others who desire a more hands-on approach, click here to learn about Kiva’s Internship Program and Fellowship Program.

Simply Donate

You can also support the work of Kiva by making a tax-deductible donation.

Kiva
Mary

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Category: Charities

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