Sing for Hope is Going to Change the World

Art has long been considered an outlet for emotions of all kinds, both positive and negative. The effects it has on stress reduction and overall wellness are thoroughly documented. Many people have engaged in the arts to improve their own lives and to put emotions they don’t know how to express into a creative form. However, never before has it been used in an effort to reach out and heal – until now.

Sing for Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to allowing people to explore their creative side, no matter the conditions they live in. Working with underprivileged children, elderly adults, and other groups that are not normally considered artistic, the organization aims to make the world a better place one painting, song, and story at a time.

They invite anyone with a talent and passion for helping others to join them and volunteer. There never seem to be enough people to meet the ever growing need – and the need is definitely growing. Once one person discovers the effect art has on their life, they tell their friends and family, inviting them to join. The love of art and creativity grows from there. However, as more and more people try to get involved, it becomes harder to find enough members to support them all.

The United States has always suffered from an under appreciation of the arts, making them tough to access for everyone. Sing for Hope aims to change this. If you’re interested, do some research and find out how you can help in your community. Even a single person can make a difference if they’re dedicated enough. Don’t feel like you’re unable to change anything because you’re all alone – even an avalanche starts as just a single snowflake.

Click here to find out how to volunteer and to learn more about the group’s work. Can you imagine a world where everyone was free to express themselves through whatever creative outlet they could imagine? Crime rates would go down. Murder and violence would no longer exist. Depression rates would plummet. The world would be a much better place if everyone had a voice. It’s not an impossible dream; numerous groups all over the world are already working towards that reality, one person at a time. Now is your chance to help out, too.

Design Your Own Pre-Paid Card with Card.com

I get tired of my blue bank-issued debit card. I really want something a little more personal or fun. So, when I got the chance to try out a pre-paid card with card.com, I was pretty excited!

The first thing I noticed was the sheer variety of design options to choose from. Right now, there are fewer options than before, but there still really is something for everyone. Here are a few of my favorites:

card cassette

 

card dog

 

card garfield

 

Here’s how it works: sign up for an account, select the card you like and transfer money onto it, either through direct deposit, Western Union or PayPal! If you put $800 on it each month, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived.

I love that you can transfer to it from PayPal since that’s how I get paid! And, since it’s a VISA, you can use it anywhere VISA and MasterCard are accepted!

Tips for Selling Online

With online stores, you have to be careful about how you design your product catalog and the way that you organize products to complement one another. If you have plans to sell online with an ecommerce site, you’re already ahead of many businesses that don’t have an online store as part of their advertising and marketing strategy. However, there are quicker and easier ways to get an ecommerce site set up. For one you, you can sell online with 1ShoppingCart. This is a store builder which usually can get a store online and set up within a matter of hours depending on the amount of items that you have to list online. You can organize your store the way that you want, create categories and search functions, install a secure shopping cart, use SSL certificates and take advantage of mobile ecommerce. If you’ve ever shopped online with your phone, you know how much of a convenience it can be to work with sites that have a mobile interface.

When setting up a store for the first time or even if you are planning a complete redesign, it’s important to consider how you’re going to use marketing tools to increase sales and understand your target audience. With social media and sharing options, it’s easy to see how audiences are viewing and liking your content, but marketing tools take it a step further. These tools allow you to create poignant marketing campaigns based on customer buying and viewing patterns on your store. This is essential for getting ahead in the competitive online marketplace.

The Green-Eyed Monster

We have had a lot of friends lately who have either given birth or have announced their pregnancies. And, deep down, I really want to be happy for them. I really do. But, I find myself getting jealous, especially of those who are having their second or third children.

I don’t know if having another child is in the cards for us. Some days, I really want to go through the whole process again. Other days, Lucy drives me so crazy that I cannot imagine having another one. I feel like I bounce back and forth with wanting another child, and I feel like that makes me a bad person or mother. Sometimes I think that maybe our next child will be a Momma’s girl and will be easier on me than Lucy is. But then, I realize that not only could we end up with another Daddy’s girl who wants nothing to do with her Mom but also one that doesn’t sleep as well from the beginning like Lucy did.

And, while it would be nice to have another occasion for which to get my husband an alec bradley cigar, it also is nice to be able to provide for Lucy without feeling stretched. Do I sound like an awful person? Ugh. At least I know it’s not really in my hands. There is a plan for my life, and if it’s to have more than one child, I will. If it’s for Lucy to be an only child, then one day I’ll be at peace with it. I just have to keep telling myself that.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve

Before we had Lucy, we always went out on New Year’s Eve. Our location of choice was a then-Irish Pub in the downtown area of our little city. It was always a ton of fun to just hang out with our friends at these New Year’s Eve parties.

Now that we’re parents, we typically spend our New Year’s Eves at my in-laws’ cabin in the mountains. We spend the day hanging out and napping, and that night we usually watch movies or read while we wait until the new year to begin. My in-laws don’t have cable up there, so we normally watch the ball drop at Times Square online.

Although I love my low-key New Year’s Eves, one of these days, Joe and I would like to go to New York City for new years parties nyc. I have always thought that would be so much fun to do. However, if we went, we would probably splurge and get a hotel on Times Square and hopefully watch the ball drop from the comfort of our room!

But, this year, like in years past, we’ll be up in the mountains. My parents are coming for the weekend as well, so we’ll all have a ton of fun together. I can’t wait!

Preparing for Pregnancy

When my husband and I decided that we wanted to start a family, I was overwhelmed with everything that I did not know. I was intimidated by the thoughts of pregnancy, childbirth and becoming a parent.

I started searching the Internet for information, but I wasn’t quite sure which websites I could trust. When I found the Everyday Family website, I felt like I finally found a place that provided the information that I needed in a format that I could understand. EverydayFamily.com helped me prepare for pregnancy by explaining what I could do to increase my chances of success for conception.

Once I found out that I was pregnant, I visited Everyday Family even more. The website is a wealth of information about everything from natural childbirth to diapers to breastfeeding. There is a lot of serious and important information at Everyday Family, but the site has fun aspects, too.

Now that I’m a mom, I don’t visit Everyday Family as much, though I probably should because there’s still so much I don’t know. I’m learning something new about parenthood every day. Hopefully, by the time No. 2 comes, I’ll be much more knowledgeable (though you know I’ll still be hitting up the pregnancy websites!)!