Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Help Fight Hunger

Today is World Food Day, a day dedicated to help fight hunger throughout the world.  Heifer International is one of many organizations devoted to the cause.  We’ve mentioned them in the past.  Their mission is to help those in need by, among other things, promoting family farming and purchasing farm animals through donations to help end hunger and poverty. They have a “pay it forward” attitude whereas those given a cow, let’s say, will breed the animal and pass the offspring along to someone else in need. They can use the cow’s milk for their own families and also sell it for income.  Heifer also teaches farming practices and sustainability to empower people to prosper on their own.

We encourage you to think about the hunger that may be present right in your own neighborhood.  For under a dollar you can buy a can of veggies or soup and bring it to your local food pantry.  Every little bit helps.  Even one small thing goes a long way toward making a difference.  It is sad to think of anyone going to bed hungry.  Please consider helping out however you can, even with just a prayer.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Fall into the Spirit of a New Season

The fall season is officially here and it took us a long time to finally get out of summer mode (although the weather here in NY has been pretty great) and delve into a new time of year! While we love the laid back schedule of summer, fall brings so many great things to look forward to. Personally, we celebrate a lot of birthdays, but we also have many other celebrations coming namely Halloween and Thanksgiving and soon after we look forward to Christmas! Not wanting to rush anything along, the anticipation of things to come is half the fun. We recently read a magazine article on happiness that said the planning, preparation and anticipation of an event gives just as much joy to people as the actual event (it was a study about vacation happiness but we think it also applies here!)  There is so much to look forward to: pumpkin picking and apple pie a la mode, wearing that comfy sweater, family gatherings and cozy nights in on darker days with a movie or a good book.  Fall brings beautiful colors in nature, cooler nights and lots of anticipation of what’s to come.  Savor the season!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: What Have You Done For Good Lately?

The title for this blog should be sung to the tune of Janet Jackson’s popular 80’s hit “What Have You Done For Me Lately” (We realize that this is an old reference but we grew up in the totally awesome 80’s!) The point of the title is really to make you think about doing some good in the world…for others and for yourself.  A happy person wears a smile that brightens everyone’s day!

In a couple of weeks we’ll be blogging about USA Weekend Magazine’s Make a Difference Day which happens each year at the end of October.  Now is the time to think about what type of volunteering you can do to make a difference.  The day focuses on helping out in your community, but we also love to think about people making this world a better place in whatever way possible.

Please share any thoughts or ideas you have for volunteering.  Tell us – what have you done for good lately?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: It’s OK to Wait

We were on line to check out at the supermarket the other day. The line was long so we took out our phones and began to check: our text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. When that took all of one minute because we are usually timely in responding to messages, we started playing games (Holly can’t get enough of Spider Solitaire, Heather loves Free Cell). Soon the line passed and it was our turn to check out.

We thought nothing of our activity at the time until the next morning when Holly noticed a young boy waiting for the school bus. He looked no more than 7 or 8 and had his phone out presumably checking, playing, or otherwise occupied just as we were at the market the day before. But for some reason, it looked odd. He was so young and flashbacks of bus stops from childhood took hold: playing running bases while we waited, chatting about what the day would bring, etc.

We guess people have always found ways to make the “waiting” go by more quickly but back then, it didn’t seem like waiting was wasting our time the way it does now. We seem to have difficulty just being, even for a short while. We were even honked at the other day when our red light changed to green and the car behind us was not even able to wait one second before we hit the gas pedal!

So what can we do about all this impatience? We try to make a conscious effort to slow down. We take time to read if only on a weekend or our day off. We also purposefully try to leave time to ourselves each week and not overbook our schedules with appointments and plans. Any other ideas from our readers?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Have a Healthy Day!

Are you taking care of yourself? So often we worry about others so much – making doctor appointments for our kids, getting vitamins for our spouses – that we forget to do the same for ourselves. We all need a little exercise, a healthy diet, some down time.  Remember when you feel good you do good. So what have you done to have a healthy day today? Here are a couple of recipes to start your day off right:

Heather’s Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie:

1/2 banana, cut in chunks

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup almond milk

Put all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.  (Sometimes I use maple sugar peanut butter, it gives this smoothie a delicious sweetness)  This is a very satisfying breakfast!

Holly’s Mini Quiches:

1 small zucchini, grated

dash of onion powder

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

3 eggs

dash of dried basil

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray one 24-hole mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Mix all ingredients together and pour a tablespoon of filling into each hole.  Bake about 15 minutes.  Enjoy this “packed with protein” snack!

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