A Smile Experiment for the Holidays

No matter who you are, where you live or what your background is, this time of year tends to be chaotic for everyone. The days are jam packed with work meetings in an effort to get it all in before the holidays; social calendars are filled, often double booked on weekends for both kids and adults; and the shopping trips often create heightened traffic and chaos in our local communities. It’s hard to be zen because everyone is moving in different directions. So many Americans cite the holidays as the most stressful time of year. So, how can we really make this easier on ourselves? Last year, I showcased some of my favorite tips for de-stressing over the holiday season. This year, I want to keep it simple – just smile.

Healthy Gadget Girl: Five Easy Healthy Living Resources

If there was a coronation for Whole Foods royalty, I’d at least be on the court. When I started making small changes toward my healthy aka clean lifestyle journey, Whole Foods was my refuge. I knew that I could explore through its aisles and be safe from hazardous toxins. More importantly, Whole Foods was a castle of wholesome items and ingredients. I spent hours picking multi-colored new vegetables and had many conversations with employees about beauty product ingredients. Not only did I enjoy these research-filled shopping trips, but also used their venue as a gathering place to work or meet friends.

Healthy Gadget Girl: Mindfulness Apps

Through most of my life, I’ve been an optimist. I’ve always chosen to find joy in the little things…a scribbled picture from a loved one, an episode of Days of Our Lives or a goofy gesture from a friend. It was these simple items or acts that originally helped me be present, smile and find the calmness in my life. When my cancer returned, filling days with stress and uncertainty, I sought out Zen practices. I thought about how I needed to find peace from within, rather than relying on these acts/items to provide it. In the last few years, I’ve found small tools that not only increase positivity; they have also helped me find peace and calm during stressful situations. Yesterday, I spoke about this and my favorite smartphone apps that focus on mindfulness on WTNH-TV’s CT Style.

Healthy Gadget Girl: Tools for Holiday Zen

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…insert music and bright flashing lights here. Then pull the curtain back and you see reality. Rushing from urgent work meetings to children’s holiday concerts, then to festive parties and last-minute bargain shopping events, this season is filled with joy and plenty of stress. Being an achiever, I’ve always tried to get it all done with a smile. Though, no matter how many errands I delegate or projects I put off until next year, I still feel a little anxious in the scurry to get it all done. This year, I put my super healthy gadget girl powers to the test and tried a few devices to help de-stress. I even spoke about this, finding a little zen during the holiday season, on CT Style our local ABC affiliate award-winning lifestyle morning show. Below are some of my favorites gadgets and tools.

2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is well under way. If you haven’t started shopping, there’s still time to buy online or run to the mall to beat the crowds and out-of-stock shelves. Knowing many parents start shopping first with kids in mind, we premiered our 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Kids last week. Now, we’re releasing the grown-up version, the 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide. As I mentioned in last year’s feature, since I’ve embraced an organic, low-toxin lifestyle, I always investigate and experiment with new products and services that focus on health and wellness. I’ve attended seminars, events, and researched the latest guides in search of unique gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Here are some of my favorite items that focus on wellness.

KIDS: Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2015

How do you holiday shop for your kids?

Do you urge them to create a list and then shop-til-you-drop searching for those top items?

Or, do you look for the hottest sales and find toys that you know your child will love?

I’ve found a middle of the road approach. I, too, love providing my son with what he really wants. I’m sure this year the holiday ninjas will be dropping a few Ninjago Legos upon our door. However, I’m also on a quest for presents that educate and inspire him to understand healthy living – think toys, games and other kiddie activities that teach a lesson, while focusing on fun. We shared our ideas last year on PrettyWellness.com with our first Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Kids. Since it was a success, we’re making this an annual feature.