Holidays Bring Learning To Life by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog found at www.loveandtreasure.com

Holidays Bring Learning To Life

Do you remember how slowly one year seemed go by when YOU were a kid?

 

You savored every season. You were barely done celebrating one holiday when you wanted to celebrate the other.

 

And it wasn’t just those holidays that had a long vacation attached to them that you enjoyed. You enjoyed pretty much all of them, because they gave you the opportunity to celebrate in community.

 

 

Holidays At Home

One of the best things about teaching your children at home is that you help your kids foster a love for learning, and a love for holiday celebrations.

 

Introducing holidays to your kids for the first time is even more special because they’ll always remember (knock on wood) when you introduced them to this holiday. But even if they don’t remember everything you taught them, when they go to traditional school, they will already have a notion about what that holiday is.

 

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7 Factors To Consider Before Sending Your Kids to Traditional Preschool by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog www.loveandtreasure.com

7 Factors To Consider Before Sending Your Kids to Traditional Preschool

While everybody’s situation is different, here are 7 factors to consider before sending your kids to traditional preschool (if you have the opportunity to either send your children to preschool or not send them):

  • The cons of sending your kids to preschool
  • The pros of homeschooling your preschooler
  • Your kid’s desires and the impact consideration (or lack of consideration) of those desires will have on the relationship between you and your child
  • The importance of truly valuing the process of education
  • How to handle peer pressure
  • Listening to your heart and intuition
  • A happy solution for addressing early education

 

Top 5 Cons of Sending Your Kids To Traditional Preschool

As convenient as sending your kids to preschool may seem…. it is important that you fully think-through the ramifications of what sending your kids to preschool can mean for your family.

Let’s start off with the tiny things and work our way up.

  1. Propensity To Get Sick

    • Your kids will be exposed to more germs year-round and this will increase their propensity of getting sick. And getting their siblings sick. And getting you sick. (Bet you hadn’t thought of this possibility thoroughly, had you?)
    • Yes, this germ exposure will strengthen their immune systems, hopefully, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they’ll get sick.
  2. You Will Start To Chauffeur Your Child Around A Year Sooner*

    • (* Or more, depending on what age your kids are when you send them to preschool).
    • This might not seem like a big deal, but it’ll have repercussions on your night routine, sleep (or lack of it), morning routine, time, stress, gas, pocketbook, vacations and end-of-the-school-day arrangements.
  3. They Will Pick Up Bad Habits

    • Umm, how can we put this lightly? The more people your kids encounter, the more ideas they’ll get (whether they’re positive or negative). And no, our kids aren’t saints, but as parents we try our best to minimize their exposure to certain things in life, language, topics, bad habits, ways of being. And when they’re not under our supervision, what they get exposed to is not something that we can control.  And that will be tough on you. But more than ever, character development is important.
  4. You Will Surrender Teaching, Educating And Your Overall Time With Your Children To Someone Else During This Impressionable Age AND Your Authority, Whether You Like It Or Not, May Be Diminished

    • You will no longer be the only one your kids want to please. Take that in for just a second. Yep, someone else can be above you in their totem pole of “the important people in their life” and that will hurt your heart, your soul, and let’s face it, your ego. You will probably start hearing things like, “my teacher says that __.” or “That’s not the way my teacher Ms./Mr. (blank) taught me.” And while yes, there are other adults who can show your child about school subjects, life, and manners… sharing your child’s love, appreciation and admiration with other people may be difficult. Plus, knowing kids, what other people teach them can be used to challenge you.
  5. You Will Miss Your Child When They’re Away

  • And once you let them go to school… it’ll be a constant letting go. That time that you decide that you want them to spend in preschool will be time that you will never, EVER get back. (Don’t you just get teary-eyed thinking about it?)

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31 Questions To Help You Choose The Best Preschool Setting For Your Child by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog that you can find at www.loveandtreasure.com

31 Questions To Help You Choose The Best Preschool Setting For Your Child

One of the most important decisions you have to make in your child’s early life is deciding whether or not you will send them to preschool.

As parents, our ultimate desire is to do what’s best for our kids.

However, what we want to do and what we end up doing can sometimes end up being two very different things.

The reason why this happens is that in our busy-ness, we hardly ever take the time to ask ourselves the tough questions that we need in order to gain the clarity we seek, much less answer them.

 

So, if you have a child approaching preschool age or is already a preschooler, let’s take the time to analyze some questions to start thinking whether preschool is right for them.

 

You will explore questions about

  • The logistics of sending your kids to preschool
  • The potential Pros of sending your kids to preschool
  • The potential Cons of sending your kids to preschool
  • The alternative you should start considering

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What Makes The Mother Goose Time Curriculum Special? by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog at www.loveandtreasure.com

What Makes The Mother Goose Time Curriculum Special?

  • One of the things that I value the most is education.
  • One of my favorite values is intelligence.
  • One of the activities I most cherish is spending time with my kids and teaching them.

 

So, when the opportunity came up to receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum for free in exchange for sharing my experience with this curriculum, I accepted.

 

What Is The Mother Goose Curriculum?

The Mother Goose Curriculum is a curriculum for 2 1/2 to 5 year olds.

 

It is created for mothers to teach their children but it is so comprehensive enough that it is also used by many day care centers and pre-schools.

 

What Do I Love Most About Mother Goose Time?

What I love most about this company is precisely the vision they used to design this curriculum which is for parents to have the opportunity to have “more time to observe, know and be with your children.”

 

Isn’t that great?! I almost want to give a standing ovation to THAT!

 

What’s not to love about seeing your children bloom right before your eyes?

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15 Ways To Preserve Your Loved Ones' Digital Photos by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog at www.loveandtreasure.com

15 Ways To Preserve Your Loved Ones’ Digital Photos

One of my greatest frustrations in life is technology. It so happens to be one of my greatest loves. I love, love, LOVE it. So much so, that when my husband suggested that I stopped using it (since he has the inside scoop on how many issues I have with it), I thought he was out of his mind. 😃

 

So you won’t believe what I’m gonna share with you today! Actually you do, since you read the title. I may very well be the last person that should be giving anybody advice on technology… BUT since I know how very awful it feels when technology fails you, I can’t help but share with you what I’ve learned in the process of losing some treasures… precisely to technology.

 

Of all the things you can lose when technology fails, losing digital photos is probably the worst. There’s no way to recreate the sane exact moment more than once…so when a snapshot of any given moment in your life is gone, it’s GONE.

 

So let’s focus on how to preserve the photos that you have stored digitally (although many of these tips also help you protect other documents you cherish).

 

1) Remember That No Computer and No Device Is Eternal

  • No matter how much you spent on your computer, cell phone or external hard disk… or how many 5 star reviews it had…. the question is not IF the device will fail you. The question is WHEN.
  • I know this sounds dire. Awful. Even cruel for me to tell you this.
    • But I’m the person that had to spend several hundred dollars to fix a failed INTERNAL hard drive on my laptop that SUPPOSEDLY was backing up to a super well-rated external hard disk… only to later find out that the EXTERNAL hard disk had broken down, too. So imagine that! Not one, but TWO hard disks broken at the same time. Sigh.
    • When this happens to you…which I hope it doesn’t (although it will), what you learn is not to trust technology. Which is SUCH a shame because technology is so cool and it allows you to do so much. Unfortunately, keeping your files forever is not one of them.

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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed If Nobody In Your Life Truly Listens To You

Five Reasons You Shouldn't Feel Ashamed IF Nobody In Your Life Truly Listens to You by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure www.loveandtreasure.com

Do you have someone who really listens to you?

 

Like really?

 

If you’re less than lucky, you’re searching in your mind and trying to think of that one person who is a good listener, who you can tell absolutely everything to and still know they will be by your side no matter what.

 

If you were able to think of someone, that friend is more than a friend. That person is a TRUE treasure. And if the person you thought of is a family member, he/she is a double treasure, given the dismantled state of most of our families.

 

But if you’re mentally scratching your head, shaking it and have a semi-frown on your face because you can’t think of anybody who really listens to you, you’re not alone and I want to honor you.

 

I don’t want to give you tips on how to fix this.

 

Let me repeat, I want to honor you.

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide for The Lady Or Guy You Love and Treasure (Gender Neutral Gifts)

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you buy the item using the link, you’ll allow me to earn a small commission for the same price that you would pay by going to that site directly. THANK YOU in advance for your support!

 

In the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, it’s always nice coming across gift ideas for both the ladies and gentlemen in your life because they save time AND they tend to be pretty cool gifts…. that most likely, at some point, you’ll want yourself.

 

Wanna Bet?

 

Take a look at this gender neutral holiday gift guide.

 

For The Techie You Love And Treasure

Other than love and health, at the top of practically everyone’s Christmas list are Apple products. So let’s start with those gift recommendations, which this year happen to have a great line of products.

Apple TV

One of my favorite items of ALL time… like ALL TIME … is Apple TV. It’s SUCH a great product and it keeps on getting better and better. And every release there has been has been totally worth it. Especially the newest release in which the remote allows you to swipe and easily find what you’ve been craving to watch.

 

Every TV in your home needs an AppleTV.

 

Man! If nobody gets me another AppleTV (which they probably won’t since we already have two)… I’m going to upgrade to the new one for my birthday. Why? It’s the kind of gift you just want to give yourself.

 

I watch very little TV, but when I do, I like it to be efficient. Think of it this way, the new Apple TVs that come out are like new versions of the iPhone. You don’t HAVE to get the latest one as soon at it’s released, but it’s eventually a good idea to upgrade.

 

 

Apple Smart Watch

In the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide For The Lady You Love and Treasure,  I shared the Fitbit, which is amazing in and of itself.

 

But, it’s possible that you have someone in your life that wants an Apple Smart Watch. More power to them. But either choice is useful for keeping track of your health and increasing your productivity.

 

 

Apple iPhone


Let’s be real, here. Who DOESN’T want a new iPhone?

 

Need I say more? Nope, I don’t think so.

 

 

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar


Have you seen the latest MacBook Pro? OMG! Talk about a culminating moment after the Mac has been around for 25 years!

 

One of the coolest tech items EVER and especially this year, is the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The Touch Bar is almost like having a skinny iPhone on the keyboard itself.

 

Anybody who you gift this to, is one lucky person.

 

 

And then, there’s the other tech products, which you’ll see are not too far behind Apple’s coolness.

Fujitsu ix500 ScanSnap Document Scanner

How do I say this? This scanner… which is one of the neatest, most durable and most highly rated AND loved scanners on the market is one of those things that isn’t sexy… as a gift (unless you totally geek out on technology)… but man, it’s SUCH a Godsent.

 

If you know of someone who has lots of paper, someone who has lots of photos, someone who has lots of clippings, someone who is in transition to largely reducing their paper records… this is just the thing! It’s useful for the entrepreneur in your life, the professional in your life, the memory keeper in your life or you, if you would like to get a grip on your paper situation once and for all.

 

Look, if you have stacks upon stacks of photos that you were thinking about manually scanning… listen to me… this is the ScanSnap. Why? Because it scans in a snap… one after the other. You put the file of photos in the machine (no matter what their size is)… and swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.

 

It’s an ideal gift for a family your love or your family, if you love them. 😉

 

It’s one of those things that will make you wonder how you lived without it.

 

 

My Audio Pet- Mini Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

Is it just me or would you like to project your the sound of your phone to other places?

 

These speakers are ahh-mazing and awe-mazing. They’re small. They’re cute, but they’re powerful.

 

They really are. You have to try one for yourself and gift another to your friends. Don’t worry, there are several animals to choose from and not fight over.

 

 

Okra 7-Port Hub USB Desktop Universal Charging Station 

If this is not one of the coolest tech gadgets, I really don’t know what is. Like, really! Look at this thing!!! It’s genius, it’s sleek, it’s affordable and it’s bound to be a super crowd pleaser. Not only for the recipient, but for their family as well. 😃

 

Here are just some of the features:

  • It protects against over-heating
  • It works with iOS and Android phones and tablets… so no issues there. 🙂
  • It’s an anti-scratch cradle
  • Comes in crowd-pleasing colors
  • Recognizes the connected devices and delivers the safest and most efficient charge.
  • Great gift for people who have everything.

 

 

G.U.S. Multi-Device Charging Station Dock & Organizer 

If you’re looking for a more minimalist charging station, this might just be what you’re looking for.

 

  • It is made out of eco-friendly bamboo.
  • It offers 5 ports.
  • It’s perfect for the home or for people traveling.
  • Great gift for people who have everything.

 

 

Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover


If you know of a sophisticated, intelligent person who LOVES to read, this E-reader is precisely what they would appreciate and tell you merci for.

 

While, yes, it’s true that there are many less expensive Kindles on Amazon, this one, my friend is ergonomic. It has a bezel that makes it a joy to read. The controls are easily accessible on the right hand side (or if you’re a leftie and prefer to read your book with your left hand, you can have your controls be on the left-hand side. Genius!). It’s super light… in fact it’s the thinnest and lightest Kindle ever.  This makes it easy to take anywhere. AND you can read without ever having to recharge your phone for months.

 

  • It’s lighter than a paperback.
  • It reads like a book, so you don’t have to deal with glare while reading out in broad daylight. AND you can adjust the light to comfortably read in the dark.
  • It’s easy to export notes as a simple file or as a PDF to your email.
  • It doesn’t distract you with the web, social media, email or text messages.
  • You can build your vocabulary by reading a definition that populates on a word you don’t know and quizzing yourself on these words later.
  • You can connect to the Goodreads Community and share, well, your good reads. 😃
  • You can borrow books from your public library. Isn’t that great? It was one of my favorite new discoveries last year.
  • You can buy a Wi-Fi version or a Wi-Fi + 3 G version.
  • You can email yourself personal documents to read them on here.
  • This Kindle holds thousands of books… it’s your personal library in the palm of your hand.

 

The purpose of this Kindle isn’t to spend more time browsing the internet. It’s to read. It has great parental controls, so this could be a good gift for a pre-teen or teen.

 

 

Serif TV

If money is not an issue for you… you might want to gift a classic… that looks like a classic. It’s probably the most elegant Smart TV you’ve seen for a while. IT’s bezel looks like a frame… and it even has a stand that makes it seem like you have a fancy piece of art in your home. And since it’s smart, it has apps, a full web-browser, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I love the juxtaposition of modern and artsy. Investment? $1,500 at www.samsung.com Even if you don’t buy it, you gotta check it out.

 

 

 

For The Adventurer You Love and Treasure

ChicoBag Reusable Travel Pack


Ever since I attended World Domination Summit (WDS) last year, I have been obsessed with my ChicoBag! Like obsessed! It’s so light… so versatile… that I was over the moon happy when I discovered that my Boppy Travel Pillow fits perfectly in here. I use this ChicoBag practically every time my family and I have an outing.

 

And if you give this to someone, they will most likely be super happy to have a light bag that they can toss their odds and ends in when they go out or even when they travel. It’s SUCH a cool gift. And I’m telling you this from experience… given that this was my favorite swag item I received at WDS. (Shout out to the organizer, the amazing Chris Guillebeau).

 

The Chico Bag is eco-friendly since it can make you think twice about using plastic bags for a small shopping trip AND the ChicoBag is made out of recycled plastic bottles. Isn’t that cool?

 

It comes in its own plastic pouch to be at the ready when you need it. And you will. So get one for you and one for your gift recipient.

 

 

PurseNTravel Pillow Organizer

Do you know of someone who sometimes gets a bit of paranoia on the plane when they want to sleep for a few minutes but fear their glasses, phone and passport may fall or may get stolen or left behind? Well they have to fear no more because this memory foam neck pillow has pockets (both zippered and open) that will allow them to store their valuables and literally keep them close to their heart. They can also use this on roadtrips. And if they want to get really comfy in movie theaters… they can wear that there as well.

 

You can buy this for $35.00, or if you use code OPRAH you can get an additional 20% off at www.pursen.net . Or you can purchase them on Amazon.

 

 

Brouk & Co. Travel Cord Rolls


Do you travel with your phone chargers and wired earbuds?  Or do you like having them in your purse to juice up while you’re out and about… here are the travel cord rolls. They’re $20.00 and you could get an additional 20% off with code ORPAH at broukandco.com

 

 

Radden A22 Carry-On Luggage

Now that we’re on the travel theme… imagine your gift recipient not going over their suitcase weight limit. OR having a charging station built-into their suitcase?  You know, like to charge their phone, their iPad and stuff.  I think that just this last feature is enough to protect the beegeezus out of this suitcase. They will probably want the A22 carry-on size, just so that nobody touches it or messes with it. The A22 Carry is $295.00. The A28 Check (the check-in size) is $395.00 and the Carry-on and check-in set are $595.00 www.raden.com

 

As someone who has gifted luggage to my loved ones before, you can rest assured that for the traveler, gifting them luggage is so appreciated. AND, they will be sure to remember you no matter where they go.

 

It has location tracking, 4 silent spinner wheels, water-proof zippers and an integrated TSA lock.

 

The colors on these luggage pieces are just yummy! And the shine on them? Sleek.

 

 

Water-Proof Phone Bags

These little gadgets protect your phone from sand, water, and snow when you travel. But they can also protect your phone from grime, cooking ingredients or regular wear and tear on any given day. Plus, they provide a hands-free way to have your phone by you.

 

In my last post, I recommended some gender-neutral cases. Here they are again in case you missed them:

 

Waterproof Case, 2 Pack iOrange-E Clear Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Case Transparent Dry Bag, Pouch (Snow-proof and Dirt-proof)

This is a universal waterproof case that holds your phone, ID, credit cards and keys and protects them from getting damaged (or lost) in water, snow, dirt, water sports or a chill-out day at the beach. It’s made of a transparent, environment friendly and non-toxic food-grade PVC screen. Wow! That was a mouthful. And in the unlikely event that you drop your case into water… guess what? This bag floats. Isn’t that something?!

 

Since the film on this pouch is both thin and clear, you can use your phone like you normally would AND you can take photos and videos. And… I know what you’re probably NOT even thinking about since you’re so focused on what this little pouch can already do for you, and that is… that with this pouch…. guess what? You can take photos underwater.

 

Now isn’t THAT something?

 

What phones can enjoy such protection… those that are up to 6 inches.

 

So this phone is ready to take a dip. Are you?

 

 

Universal Waterproof Case, JOTO CellPhone Dry Bag Pouch

This waterproof case can accommodate smartphones up to 6 inches… measured diagonally. This life-saver has a cutesy little lock to keep water, dirt, dust and sand out. With this neck strap, you’ll be sure to have your device close to your heart and safe and sound. It’s waterproof up to 100 feet. And, don’t worry, you can still maintain full touchscreen functionality, even while you’re protecting it.  AND since it’s clear plastic in front of and behind your phone you can take pictures, as well. And you can carry money and credit cards. You have several fun colors to choose from.

 

 

 

For The Popcorn- Lover You Love And Treasure

Westbend Air Crazy Popcorn Machine

If you have a movie lover in your life (and who doesn’t?), a popcorn machine might just be the perfect gift. ORRR how about a Netflix lover? Yep, we all have one of those in our life (or (cough, cough) maybe it’s us).

 

They can pop their popcorn not in the microwave or even your stovetop, but with air. Yep, you heard that right, AIR!

 

They can then add as much or as little butter or oil as they’d like and season it to their taste. But then again, if you manage to make something delicious without oil, why add the oil. But if you musttttt add oil… I highly recommend coconut oil. YUM! It’s divine!

 

 

Amish Country Popcorn

 
You know how there’s many more salt types than you ever knew existed?

 

Well, the same thing happens to be the case for popcorn. There are many varieties that come in all sorts of colors.

 

You can gift someone in your life the opportunity to try 3 colors… purple, blue and red of this gourmet popcorn.

 

You can buy this gift on it’s own or accompany it with one of the popcorn makers above. It’s perfect for the person who loves watching movies at home or sneaking in some popcorn from homes to the movie theaters.

 

 

Star Wars R2-D2 Hot Air Popcorn Maker

If you know of anybody who is a galaxy above a regular popcorn maker, then R2-D2 can probably save the day. You can find him… or it? Is he a thing or a person?

 

Anyway, as I was saying, you can find him at www.thinkgeek.com. It makes sense you could find him there, right? 😉 Or you can find him on Amazon… it’s the best shopping place on this galaxy.

 

When it comes to getting the best popcorn maker to suit your needs, you can either go for quality, or for robotic looks. It’s up to you.

 

 

 

For The Ice Cream Lover You Love And Treasure

Jenaluca Ice Cream Scoop Cookie Scoop Melon Scoop Stainless Steel 3 Piece Set


Whether you have a cook, a baker or an ice-cream lover … these scoops can bring added joy and uniformity to the culinary experience.

 

  • These ice cream scoops are chef-quality.

 

  • They can make meatballs, fruit scoops, cookies, muffins or cupcakes… effortlessly. Well, almost without effort. You know what I mean.

 

  • They’re 100% stainless steel (no plastic parts), which makes them eco-friendly… as they would be recycable, should you ever, for some strange reason, want to get rid of them.

 

  • They are also dish-washer safe.

 

 

Jenaluca Ice Cream and Cookie Scoop

If you have an ice-cream lover in your life… I’m sure they’ll want scoops larger than what a melon-baller would do. So this extra-large Jenaluca Ice Cream Scoop may be just what they were needing for their craving.

And you may be thinking… would an ice-cream scoop make a nice Christmas gift? Well, if it’s this nice of an ice-cream scoop, the answer is yes. They come nicely packaged in a gift box. And these ice-cream sets actually have hundreds of 5 star reviews.

 

 

Linom Ice Cream Scoop

This solid stainless steel ice-cream scoop is more affordable than the Jenaluca Ice Cream scoops, but can be a nice stocking stuffer.

 

  • It comes in it’s own gift box.
  • It’s dish-washer safe.
  • It has a lifetime guarantee.

 

 

Endurance Stainless Steel Ice Cream Spoons, Set of 4

I get it, ice cream is great. But the best thing you can do with great icecream is to actually enjoy it. Every. Last. Drop. Of. It. So, what better than to encourage your loved ones to do the same with these ice-cream spoons designed to scrape the very last drop of ice-cream. They’re divine, aren’t they?

 

 

 

For The Person Who WantsTo Be In The Kitchen Or Has To Be In The Kitchen That You Love And Treasure

IQ Smart Wireless Nutri Scale


Also for the health nut in your life, you can gift them this food scale that is able to determine the nutritional value of what you’re about to eat. It works with an app that helps you track your food consumption and meals. You can get it for $60.00 with an additional 20% off with code OPRAH at www.kitcheniq.com . Or you can just get it on Amazon with your Prime Shipping, hopefully.

 

 

Yonanas Elite Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker

If you have a suspicion that anybody that you know will want to keep a tight grip on eating healthy throughout the year, not just on January 2nd… then this sorbet maker will probably be for them. You’ll be surprised how satisfying banana all of a sudden becomes as it transforms into soft-serve-like dessert… just by being its sweet and cream self.

 

This year I’ve made a couple of variations of coconut icecream… and have made banana sorbet… and let me tell you.. ice-cream can lose much of it’s glamour once you have the peace of mind of eating something delicious and nutritious.

www.yonanas.com  It’s $130.00 but with code Oprah it’s yours for $89.00 or you can buy on Amazon at regular price. Why would you buy it at regular price? Because, it’s out of stock on its site and you have to get on the waiting list to get it.

 

Yonanas Elite Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker in Silver with Bonus Cookbook

This is a Yonanas machine as well, but it comes with a slightly more sophisticated look and a cookbook.

 

The choice, is yours.

 

 

Jenaluca Citrus Press Manual Juicer (with bonus zester with Channel Knife and bottle opener)

When life gives you lemons, what should  you make? … That’s right! Lemonade! And with this

 

It’s stainless steel and dishwasher safe.

 

This might just be the last citrus/lemon press that your loved one ever needs.

 

And for those of you who have citrus press shame like I do… because those mighty lemons tend to erode the paint of less luxurious manual presses…. this might be coming to a kitchen near you, if you make the choice to upgrade.

 

 

Chef Remi Jar Opener

One gift that isn’t by any means luxurious, but just super handy… both literally and figuratively is the Chef Remi Jar Opener. Why? Because it allows young ones, old ones and anybody in-between to open jars and bottles more effortlessly. At the time of writing, almost 1,000 people have given this simple, but helpful tool a 4 1/2 star rating.

 

Perhaps you’ll decide not to give this to anyone for fear that they think you’re cheap. Although you could add it to a couple of boxes of pasta, pasta sauce, pasta season, but it in a basket and call it a complete gift.

 

But what you have to make a mental note for sure on, is if you’re tired of losing or tearing those wimpy jar opener grips… then you can bring a teeny-tiny bit of peace into your life by gifting one of these for yourself.

 

You won’t get mad that you can’t open the darn jar, that nobody’s around to help you, that you can’t find the wimpy jar opener grip, that it’s tearing and that you’re not as strong as you should be. It’s a win-win-win for your self-concept, your sanity and your marriage. Less grunting, more enjoying.

 

Oh! And did I mention these lovely save-your-life jar openers have a lifetime guarantee? Well, guess what? They DO! Bye-bye to the wimpy good-for-almost-nothing jar opener grips.

 

They’re dishwasher safe.

 

And, perhaps their best feature is that they provide 10x more leverage. What product have you bought recently or ever that provides this much leverage? Not many, I’m sure.

 

So what seemed like a cheap jar opener, all of a sudden is much more than that.

 

 

 

For The Nature-Lover You Love And Treasure

Fred & Friends Take Out Compost Bin


If you have gardener in your family or someone who is very eco-conscious (aka a tree-hugger, which by the way, there is nothing wrong with) then this gift might just be the thing that they didn’t know they needed or wanted till they saw it. And if they’re a foodie to top it all, then they’ll just adore the quirky compost bin.

 

Despite the fact that it looks small, this been can hold eggshells from a dozen eggs. That’s neat… literally! (And nope, I didn’t know that eggshells could be recycled, either).

 

Urban Agriculture Herb Garden (Organic grow kits)


Do you Have a Health nut in your family? Or do you want to try out your green thumb? You can buy organic grow kits for $17-$19 on the site  www.urban-agriculture.net or for a few more dollars on Amazon, and you get organic seeds, organic soil and a container made of 100% recycled tea bags. And you can cultivate cilantro, cucumber, tomato, lettuce or rosemary.

 

You can grow these kits indoors. Year round. 😮  I know.

 

So, essentially, you don’t need a garden to cultivate these items. Just a little TCL.

 

 

 

For The Person Who Has It All That You Love And Treasure

Glass Straws

The holidays are in large part about thinking about who the people we appreciate in our life are and delighting them with our thoughtfulness.

 

It’s about the big things and it’s about the little things. Speaking of little things… do you know who the straw lover in your life is?

 

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you did, because THEN, you could surprise them with their very own set of glass straws. Yep, glass…. as in that breakable thing.

 

But, instead of worrying about the straws breaking focus on two important things:

1) That they’re eco-friendly… because you’re not using straws and disposing of them.

 

2) That they’re allow you to consume using less plastic…. given that you know that plastic can leak chemicals into your body.

 

If you really want to impress the straw lover in your life focus on what they love to drink using straws. Is it water? Or is it smoothies? Or is it boba tea? (If you haven’t had boba tea Google it in your area and check it out… it’s a thing to check off your to-do list).

 

And, does the straw-lover in your life like their straws straight or slightly bent?

 

I’m telling you, shopping for straws is a feat in and of itself! But the reason this is useful information to know is because they sell different types of straws that are shaped and are wide or slim enough for these purposes. For example, if you’re just drinking water, a straw with a regular diameter opening would be just fine. But if they want to drink tapioca pearls out of them, then a larger diameter would be better.

 

Oh… and if you can’t figure out who loves straws yet…. guess what? This gift is a gift for the people in your life who have everything. Because think about it… what are the odds that they’ll have glass straws? Not high.

 

AND you could even gift a couple or a family these straws because you can find that they can be color-coded.

 

Check out these:

Teenie Greenie Wide Straight Glass Straws for Smoothies and Milkshakes


These will be used time and time again.

 

 

My Cinema Lightbox

 

There’s something about words, or even individual letters that makes things more personal. You’re probably so used to seeing initials on everything from signs, to mugs, to towels, that you’ve forgotten that customizing something and putting it on display is one of the greatest delights you can have… and it’s one of the most thoughtful gift you can give.

 

This lightbox is battery operated and it includes letters and emojis. You can put this in the kids’ bedroom or in the dining room announcing what’s for dinner (as if you had time to prepare dinner and put up a sign, right 😃 )?

 

 

 

For The Person You Love and Treasure Who Likes To Have A Little Bit of Fun

For the game lover in your life, you COULD get a traditional game right off any shelf. OR you could get:

Scrabble Linen Book Vintage Edition Board Game

They’re elegant enough to be displayed on a bookshelf year round and be easily accessible when gaming company arrives.

 

 

Monopoly Linen Book Vintage Edition Board Game


For the Monopoly lover in your life. (Which by the way, isn’t me).

 

 

Now It’s Your Turn

 

What gender-neutral gift recommendations do you have?

Any Christmas tips in general?

 

Share with us in the comments below. 🙂

2016 Holiday Gift Guide For The Lady You Love and Treasure

(This email contains affiliate links. Purchasing these holiday gift recommendations using these links will support this me and this site without costing you anything extra. Thank you for your support.)

 

This Christmas is a Christmas in which that special lady in your life needs a little more love and care than usual.

 

It was a tough year.

 

She’s tough. She’s amazing.

 

She deserves the best.

 

She deserves your love, your recognition and honor.

 

But let me warn you. Perhaps your lady prefers that you spend quality time with her in addition to giving her a gift. Or that you say or write a beautiful message to go along with it. Or that you do something nice for her like giving her a much needed break. Or that you hug her, kiss her and squeeze her more throughout this holiday season.

 

If you’re reading these suggestions and have nooooo idea what your lady would like the most…. because after all, you gotta focus on what SHE would like to receive, not on what you would like to receive, check out The 5 Love Languages.

 

Why? Because gift-giving is a language. And you have to make sure that you communicate thoughtfulness, consideration and a genuine interest in trying to please the other person.

 

I start by saying this because, think about it, the lines for returning items don’t get gigantically long starting December 25th because people have been truly tuning into what we want, but rather, because they haven’t. And truth be told, maybe neither have we.

 

So having said this, here are some ideas that can most likely brighten her day… not only on Christmas Day, but throughout the year.

 

Technology

We ladies love our technology. We really do! Some of us may say we’re not tech inclined, but as you’ll see, these gifts prove otherwise.

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How Words Can Help You Cope With The Election Results by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog which you can find at www.loveandtreasure.com

How Words Can Help You Cope With The Election Results

Before I attempt to say anything…. I just want to hold your hand through time and space, squeeze it and tell you that I know how you’re feeling.

 

If you’re part of my community, it is highly likely that you were hoping that the outcome of this week’s election was one of peace, hope….and love.

 

Turns out, it was one of shock, desolation and hate for MORE THAN HALF the country.

 

For the past couple of days, I have been hibernating emotionally.

 

Hopefully, you have also been doing what you have to do to find your footing once again. To feel more grounded with each passing day. But If you’re on the floor still and need a bit more time to process this all, go ahead. Take your time.

 

 

How I’ve Been Coping, Which Is a Actually NOT The Best Way To Do So

Even though words are my thing, I have said little to very few people. I Whatsapped a friend. Talked to my mom over the phone . FB messages two other friends and my brother. Instagrammed an acquaintance. But I haven’t talked to anyone face to face about it. And it’s felt lonely.

 

And I think that’s how we feel with our emotions.

 

Alone.

 

Torn.

 

Uncertain.

 

Like we put all our hope, all our will and all our might for this result to be a positive one and we were cheated of the win. To say that we were blind-sighted is an understatement.

 

So now, what we’re really left with is suspicion.

 

Of who we can trust.

Of who’s on “our side.”

Of who’s open to love.

Of what’s gonna happen.

Of whether we should have faith.

Of whether we even have any faith left to cling on to.

 

 

What I Learned Really Matters From This Election

Even though words are my thing, it’s almost like there are no words to process this all. And it’s only through really digging deep within ourselves that we can find some answers and make a teeny-tiny little bit of sense of this situation.

 

I get that there are changes that the political establishment needs. I really do.

 

But what’s surprising is that it seems like America snapped and demanded change instead of politely asking for it. And yes, I also understand that maybe politeness in a tense time like these is the last thing you think of. But man! We don’t have to be savages when wanting our voices to be heard, right?

 

“Our desire to be heard shouldn’t have to inflict hurt on others.” – Haydee Montemayor

 

 

Ironically, I think that the best thing we got out of this election is actually several things:

 

  • The notion that we have to be more strategic about how we communicate not only as citizens, but in our own relationships.

 

  • Waiting until we snap….is not the best way to communicate.

 

  • Insulting isn’t either.

 

  • Nor is marginalizing.

 

  • Nor is it minimizing.

 

  • Nor is it making fun of one another.

 

  • Nor is not taking people who pose a potential danger seriously.

 

  • Because when we ignore these things. we run the risk of letting hate win instead of tolerance, unity, acceptable and love.

 

 

So What Did You Learn?

 

As you can see, processing this ordeal takes courage.

 

We need to come to terms with our hurt, how we communicate it and our hope.

 

“Before we can state our hopes, we need to process our hurts.” -Haydee Montemayor

 

In large part, we will have less hurts if we learn how to communicate better.

 

So let’s explore what’s going on inside of you.

 

 

Look Within

 

Before we blame others (which is VERY tempting, especially if you’re in the losing side of this election) ask yourself:

 

  • What didn’t YOU do?

 

  • In what way did your communication fail?

 

 

The 11 Biggest Lessons From The Election Results That I Learned Regarding Communication

 

1) For me, I wish this blog, Love and Treasure, could have reached more people than it has and be more than it is. Since I created Love and Treasure, I knew that love was a topic that deserved and needed the spotlight. And yet, sometimes, I admit that I was worried that everything I wanted to say about this topic would feel cheesy. So I held back a little. Actually, a lot.

 

2) Several months ago, I had the “grandiose” idea of wanting to ask more famous people and famous entrepreneurs to voice their political preference as a way of convincing more people to vote for love, not hate. But I didn’t ask them. Why? Because I thought that I would be an inconvenience and I assumed people were smart, and could see through the candidate that was trying to con them.

 

3) I created a meme about this election that I didn’t promote enough because I didn’t want to be “in your face” about this issue and because at that time, I was a little afraid to speak up more than I did and more than I could have.

 

4) As Oprah says, what we focus on expands.

 

Ummm, yep.

 

I always had a feeling that we were focusing way too much on the guy that we didn’t want instead of the Madame we did.

 

I was guilty of this too.

 

It was fascinated and even mesmerized to see the ineptitude of the guy we didn’t want … and to see how popular he was.

 

It was, and unfortunately is, a very bizarre phenomenon of luring a moth to a flame that I still can’t quite get my head around.

 

For more information on how it literally all went down, I suggest that you reconsider what media you watch.  I loved watching an independent news show called The Young Turks because these guys really DO bravely (not cowardly) tell it like it is… about all of the candidates, and about the issues that most deserve our attention. You should check them out!

 

But I’ve learned that next time, I should focus mostly on what I DO want and be more proactive about sharing my reasoning for moving TOWARD something instead of against it.

 

5) Almost after every election someone comments that there should be an amendment to the electoral college.

 

That’s an understatement, to say the least.

 

Too late now, right?

 

Well,  yes. At least for this time around.

 

6) “Just like being a witness to generosity, brings joy to the heart, being a witness to insults should make you more empathetic.” -Haydee Montemayor

 

We don’t have to be a woman, a Jew, Muslim, a Mexican, disabled, gay or ugly to know that an insult to one of us impacts the rest of us.

 

7) Words written in The Constitution matter.

 

8) What we say we endorse or disavow reflects on us.

 

9) Education matters

“Ignorance is the root of many things, especially the disassociation of that which is really sacred, such as our essence and our heart.” -Haydee Montemayor

 

Said another way,

 

“Ignorance is the antithesis of the ever-increasing potential of the wisdom of the heart.” -Haydee Montemayor

 

10) “The labels we so cowardly put on others are often what we are ourselves. ” -Haydee Montemayor

 

For example, if we call somebody “crooked, ” we are projecting that we ourselves are crooked.

 

The same goes for “dishonest.”

 

The same for “liar.”

 

You can truthfully describe someone. But if you repeat the descriptive word again and again and again, without concrete evidence that you can use as unbiased examples for why you’re calling someone that name….then guess what? You’re not telling the truth about other people, you’re simply projecting what you think they are.

 

It’s like we’re taking our dirty little secret, the characteristic we hard the most about ourselves and momentarily saying to the world, “I’m not ____, THEY are.”

 

And in the end, when we do this, we do one of two things.

 

1) We only fool ourselves OR

2) we attract other fools who have this same issue with themselves to make our projection a little bigger and to think that our way of seeing the world is our absolute truth.

 

But in the end, repeating our projection more and more doesn’t make it a truth, it’s just makes it a more annoying projection.

 

11) And perhaps my favorite lesson is that words of gratitude matter. It is beautiful to watch Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Barrack Obama do so much for the people. To truly become invested in their well-being. And we owe so much to them. And a thank you may not seem enough for everything they’ve done, but it’s much better than nothing.

 

 

So as you live through the many stages of grief, which if you’re like me… Aren’t sequential but all over the place…. Ask yourself: What did you learn about your communication and communication in general?

 

 

If You’re Scared To Look Within, Listen From An Answer From Within

 

If you’re in a state of shock so big that you haven’t really been able to process what the beep just happened… try this:

 

Ask yourself:

What Does My Soul Want To Say?

In my case, it pisses me off when the bad guy wins.

 

Like….ARGHHHHHH!

 

Like what the hell?!

 

I’m all for the underdog winning, not the dog.

 

So What Does Your Soul Want To Say?

 

Listen to your soul.

 

Resist the temptation to sensor it.

 

Simply listen to what is wanting to come through you.

 

And once you’re ready, talk to whomever has earned the right to hear your story.

 

And communicate.

 

Really!

 

“Communicate because words are the way we make sense of the world.” – Haydee Montemayor

 

Communication is your way out of the fog you may feel. Even if you’re only communicating with yourself.

 

 

Rip The Bandage Off, If You Need To And When You’re Ready

If your soul is still resistant to speak up. Ask yourself:

 

What Hurts The Most About What Just Happened?

 

In my case, the result is pretty bad in and of itself. Having to explain it to my son… is just too much! I haven’t had the heart to do it. Just the notion that he lives in a world where this could be happening made it very difficult for me to want to get up on November 9th.

 

Trying to make sense of all of this as an adult… is super hard. Trying to explain it to a little one… seems almost impossible. This is really messed up.

 

Another thing that hurts me quite a bit is this:

I’m sure that people on both the winning side and the losing side have lost in the past.

 

“Losing sucks. Losing unfairly sucks big time.” -Haydee Montemayor

 

You know what I mean?

 

If the electoral college really gave the ultimate victory (which it hasn’t voted on and will do so until December 19, 2016), to whoever got the greatest number of votes, then justice would be made.

 

But instead, we’ve decided to play Bingo and grant the victory not to the person that actually filled most squares of the card, but to the person who filled in the least number of fields. Like helloooooo?!

 

Who DOES that?!

 

Apparently, we do.

 

And unfortunately, we do this more times than they’re acceptable.

Or fair. Or just.

 

Let me explain. Since the beginning of this century… This “phenomenon” of putting the losing candidate into the White House has happened twice in 5 elections.

 

So Let’s Do Some Math, Shall We?

 

2 divided into 5….is 40%

That means, that the people of the U.S. get a leader that we DON’T vote for 40% of the time!

That’s outrageous! Insane! Shitty! Totally, Absolutely and Painfully Unfair!

Yes, of course there are way more years to the century (if we all survive that long, know what I mean? Wink, wink) … But STILL!! Being stuck with someone who you didn’t choose for the second time in just a little over a decade and a half is unimaginable… Preposterous.

 

So it’s no wonder that we’re hurting!

 

How this can happen in a “so-called” democracy beats me! Yes, I know that the electoral votes are the cause behind this, but as it’s REALLY clear, that electoral college system is archaic. It was used as a safeguard that no longer applies. And that quite honestly, reduces the value of the vote.

 

For example… why should someone’s vote in New York be less important than someone’s vote in Oregon? People who live in large cities or crowded states already compete for and literally pay the price for living there. They shouldn’t be cheated out of having their vote be worth less. They shouldn’t have to compete for the value of their vote.

 

So yep, the electoral college should be removed. And when it is, the value of someone filling out the space on a BINGO card, will be exactly the same value as someone else filling in another BINGO card.

 

That, is called fairness.

 

We all need an even playing field . Whether were women, men, someone voting for the 8th time or the 1st time regardless of where we live, what our race is or what our socio-economic status is.

 

So, on the brink of doubting what freedoms you have still and what you can control, take advantage of the fact that you still have the chance to feel and the chance to express your emotions. You still have the chance to connect with yourself. And to extend your hand to someone else who might be needing you to reach out, squeeze their hand and help them heal.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

In the comments below, share with us what your biggest takeaways were from this election. In times like these, like in every “so-called” failure, we can make the “failure” a little less of a “failure” by asking ourselves what we learned and applying those lessons in the future.

Have Breastmilk? Making The Time To Breastfeed Does The Body Good by Haydee Montemayor from Love and Treasure blog that you can find at www.loveandtreasure.com

Have Breastmilk? Making The Time To Breastfeed Does The Body Good

Are you wanting to breastfeed but are telling yourself what is probably the number one excuse we ALL use, (that I really shouldn’t have to tell you because you know it already) which is, “I don’t have time” to breastfeed.

 

When it comes to breastfeeding, “I don’t have time,” can mean three things.

 

It can mean that:

 

1) There so many doubts and hangups that you have about breastfeeding that you FEEL like you don’t have the time to figure out how to breastfeed, why to breastfeed, when to breastfeed, how often to breastfeed and everything else that breastfeeding entails. And don’t worry, I totally get it that that’s a lot of information.

 

2) You are a busy person and literally don’t know when you’ll be able to squeeze in the time to breastfeed.

 

3) You’re just using the phrase as an excuse.

 

 

So Now That You Know What’s Holding You Back In Your Breastfeeding, What Are You Gonna Do About It?

The good news is that when you use the “I don’t have time” excuse for any of the reasons mentioned above, you can actually test these the reasons/excuses by asking yourself a simple question that author of The Work, Byron Katie asks  and that is “Is it true?” If you say yes, then  you ask yourself her second question, which is, “Can you be absolutely know that it’s true?” Or you can take my shortcut and just ask yourself.. “Is that really true?”

 

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