6 Meaningful Christmas Gifts for 2019

girl offering a wrapped gift

You know the drill. Your kiddo sees a toy. They want to have it. They need to have it. You secretly oblige in anticipation of Christmas. Morning comes. They tear through the wrapping paper so that shards of confetti fills the room. As paper flies everywhere, you see the smile on their faces. It’s exactly what they hoped for (insert excited shrieks)! And then weeks pass, maybe even just days, and that new toy they had to have is of no interest to them at all. Rather than storing unwanted toys in the closet this year, give the children on your list meaningful memories instead. Here are six connection-based gift ideas for ages two and up that we love for the holidays and all year long.

Big Life Journal (Ages 7+)

Big Life Journal for Kids helps children develop strong growth mindset skills through inspiring stories, colorful illustrations and engaging guided activities. Children discover how to believe in themselves and face challenges with confidence. They learn that mistakes are opportunities to grow and that they can achieve anything when they're persistent!

Big Life Journal

Why we love it: If you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, relative or friend, you can participate by being a child's  Journal Buddy. Spend quality time sharing, growing and connecting. Some of our inside favs include a gratitude scavenger hunt and the “Follow Your Heart” poem. And they have a special teen edition too!  

Silly Street Board Game (Age 4+)

Silly Street makes character builder games and toys that support cognitive learning and life skills. Silly Street Board Game helps to build qualities of confidence, creativity, empathy, adaptability, and grit.

Silly Street Board Game

Why we love it: This fun family game is pure silliness, just as the name implies. We love creating the board (yes, it’s a fun puzzle). Each card instructs you and your co-players to do fun, goofy tasks. This game gets the family thinking and moving. Be prepared for a good belly laugh!  

GoZen! (Age 5 to 15)

Feeling good is a skill! GoZen! uses animated videos to teach skills of resilience and well-being. Imaginative games, workbooks, cartoons, and quizzes help enrich this unique experience.  Why we love it: This innovative and interactive tool helps break down life’s big skills into bite-sized pieces for kids. It talks about sometimes complex things like feelings, stress and more in ways children understand! The animated characters help children learn to better understand what is going on inside of them using all of their senses and can be used with or without an adult.

Barefoot Books Mind and Body Set (Ages 4+)

This gift set includes two empowering practices that can be shared with children and adults alike. Yoga Pretzels includes 50 yoga activities and Mindful Kids includes 50 mindfulness practices that encourage kindness, focus and calming skills. These fun, powerful tools help build strength from the inside out to support all-around wellness.

Barefoot Books: Yoga Pretzels and Mindful KIds

Why we love it: Yoga pretzels is a great way to get moving (and laughing) with your favorite kiddo. The partner poses and movements are a fun way to build connection as well as inner strength and confidence.  We love Mindful Kids for its whimsical illustrations and easy to follow practices for cultivating focus, love, and stillness --- helpful for silencing the mind before bedtime. Some of our inside favorites are Sharp Eyes, Mountain Rising and Open Ears.  

Kids Cook Real Food (Age 2 - 13+)

This family-friendly cooking opportunity is a multimedia online course designed to help adults (yes you mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, etc) teach children how to cook. The courses are set up for a span of ages, from tots to teens, by offering beginner, intermediate and advanced level meals.

mom teaching her daughter to cook

Why we love it: This is such an amazing opportunity to spend time with your child and co-create meals from the heart. The recipes use real food from scratch, without the processed stuff. The Recipe Book is packed with recipes the whole family can enjoy. Food allergy? No problem. The course provides many substitutions for special diets. The focus of the course is less about the recipes and more about spending time together to learn, create and connect.

Generation Mindful’s Time-In-Toolkit and SnuggleBuddies

Ok, since connection is our jam, we would be a bit remiss if we didn't mention two favorites from our own community -- the Time-In-Toolkit and SnuggleBuddies. The Time-In-ToolKit is a step-by-step guide for nurturing social and emotional skills in children through mindfulness, child-led play, and positive discipline. This ToolKit includes PeaceMakers mindfulness cards and other playful activities that make learning about emotions fun, moving families and classrooms away from time-outs to Time-Ins! Generation Mindful Time-In-Toolkit The SunggleBuddies plush toy collection helps children name and share their feelings in daily playful ways, decreasing meltdowns and helping children feel safe. There are 7 different animals to choose from. Each plush comes with four mood emojis in a back pocket and a laminated feelings poster, calendar/journal. Generation Mindful SnuggleBuddies Why we love it The Toolkit’s superpower is in its Calming Corner, a space you create with your child (you too grandparents)! Together, you have the opportunity to design the space, choose calming tools and toys and further connection through naming and taming big emotions. Bonus, siblings love it too. We love the SnuggleBuddies because they are cuddly, relatable and engaging. The emojis make it easy for even young kids to share what they are feeling inside. The SnuggleBuddies are also great for military families and/or any family who has members living in different households/countries etc. PRO TIP: Grab a SnuggleBuddies and facetime your loved ones! This plush will get your child thinking and talking about their day. ----------------

Generation Mindful creates tools, toys, and programs that nurturing emotional intelligence playfully. Join 100,000 members and receive joy in your inbox each week including four free gifts when you join.

Which Is Better: Smoking Or Vaping?

Crazed Marijuana Vaping (e-Cigarette) Trend The vaping craze took the world by storm and caused a lot of fuss! It is one of the hippest trends and many people have started to use e-cigarettes instead of the traditional tobacco ones. The same thing goes with cannabis usage, as many users have walked away from traditionally [...]

The post Which Is Better: Smoking Or Vaping? appeared first on GC.

Cannasexuality Part 2

Is there perhaps a singular, defined limit to the ingenuity humans have, and the desire for, elevating our enjoyment of necessary and commonplace functions in life? Is there lacking in the ambition of human intellect in order to push past the limits of modernity into the future, mind-shattering realm of entertainment? No, there is no limit to this. There is not a lack of drive or desire for this. Let us continue in discussing the many applications of cannabis in elevating sexual play into this second level of pleasure.

In the conversation with popular, famous options, this strain succeeds. Although less enjoyable tasting, hence the name ‘Sour Diesel’, it provides a particularly insatiable feeling. Do you seek the feeling of hot skin, intensity, and continuous intercourse? This will provide that feeling, elevating desire to no end. However, it is quite potent, so be wary of dosage.

In almost complete foil to the prior strain, there is a certain kind of cannabis strain that is specifically inclined to lower, more subtle effects to achieve a general sense of higher elevation, during actions such as foreplay. Purple Princess is a stealthy strain, that truly gives you buzz and a fascinating high after a while. This stirs about a general feeling of contentment that resonates throughout the body. It’s general scent of that of cannabis, but a faint note of fruit snacks along with it.

Have you experienced surrealism, and desire it to influence the reality around you? Atomic Northern Lights might be the particular item of your wishes, however it may be a tad unclear as to how it affects the world of sexual sensation. This certain high will add a hint of exaggeration and psychoactivity to your session, enhancing the stimulus of light and sounds. Perhaps you may like the deep end of it, and delving into the ‘trippy’ rabbit hole of intercourse? If so, this may be worth a taste.

There is a certain passion to be had in the chess game. Each piece methodically placed, each thought with careful clarity few can recall except when under the pressure of this play. Sex can operate like this, and lead to a satisfying interaction, an attractive clash for dominance. This sort of play, of the rival Switches can be quite elevated with the assistance of the Strawberry Cough. This plant is named for its extraordinary taste and aroma, resembling that of sweet berries, as well as it’s proclivity to making even the most active of users cough. It stirs about a powerful, heightened senses that usually invoke deep conversations, and erratic wild thoughts.

In all of the serious tones of intercourse, mayhaps in the dominance, may be in the sexual chess game played, or just the heavy opening of hearts, some might lose the original, fundamental reason for the popularity of sex and it’s throes. It is a fun time. Enhancing this aspect of giggly, surprising, and fun times of sex can be properly achieved through the use of Kali Dog. It provokes a sense of sociability, excited attitudes, and a massive effect of the munchies. People using this particular strain engage in food play, perhaps strawberries, chocolate, or whipped cream. The options are endless, as well as cravings for food after a dose of this strain.

And yet the possibilities remain aplenty. These are but a few more possibilities to be had with the tool of the green wave at your disposal. Use responsibly, and let your imagination run wild as you explore the elevated pleasures to be had in weed-enhanced intercourse.

Better communication applies to self talk, too

Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:

Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind.  Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life.  Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly.  For every negative message there is positive,  keep looking until you find them.

For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”

Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself.  When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.

Better communication applies to self talk, too

Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:

Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind.  Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life.  Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly.  For every negative message there is positive,  keep looking until you find them.

For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”

Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself.  When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.

Family Law Tips

If you’ve never been through the family law process before, it can be extremely scary, especially when armed only with limited knowledge from stories told by friends and from the culture. Every state has a different set of laws, and every judge has a different concept on how best to address separating family units. Here are a few bits of information about family law in Florida that may surprise you and bring you some relief.

ADULTERY ONLY MATTERS WHEN MARITAL ASSETS ARE SPENT ON THE RELATIONSHIP

In Florida, evidence and testimony towards the extra-marital relationships of a spouse are only relevant when that spouse spends significant money on that relationship. In that event, the court may consider those assets to be part of the equitable distribution of the property that has already been claimed, and will award the other spouse additional funds or assets to compensate. But the bare fact of cheating on a spouse is irrelevant. It doesn’t even factor into the grounds for a divorce.

FLORIDA REQUIRES MINIMAL EVIDENCE OF GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

Almost every divorce has the same small bit of critical evidence: one party testifies that “the marriage is irretrievably broken”. That’s all it takes to get a divorce in Florida. Adultery, abuse – none of that is necessary to end a marriage. Just that one bare statement, under oath, from one spouse. However, the court has the power to order the parties to counseling, and the State requires a 4 hour class for any parents involved in a divorce action.

THE MOTHER OF THE CHILDREN DOES NOT ALWAYS GET ALL THE TIME WITH THEM

When children are involved in a family law action, the most important part of the case is the Parenting Plan. In the vast majority of cases, the parties attend mediation, and through the guiding actions of the mediator and counsel, when involved in the case, the parties reach an agreement. However, if the matter must be ruled on by a judge, that judge looks at over 20 different factors to determine which parent has the better situation for the children, and how time should be divided between them.

PAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR KIDS ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON ONE ANOTHER

The Florida Statutes expressly provide that if a party falls behind on child support, it does not interfere with the time sharing the delinquent parent enjoys with the children. Additionally, child support is only due when a judge or the Department of Revenue orders the payment of child support, so in the absence of such an order, one parent should not withhold the child from the parent they think should pay them. That said, child support obligations can be imposed for up to two years from the filing of an action for support, all the way back to when the parties stop living together as a family.

 

Jake Walter Hannaway, Esquire, is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2009. The primary focus of his practice has been helping parents obtain the best result for them and their kids in custody disputes. He has worked with people across the gender and sexuality spectrums. His practice, Hannaway Law, P.A., has offices in Clearwater and Tampa.

It’s Not About the Nail

What is Alpha-Stim

The brain works on an electrical and chemical process. The chemical process comprises only 2% of the brain’s activity, leaving 98% as electrical activity. Alpha-Stim treatments are safe and effective therapy to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain. Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device delivers a natural level of microcurrent, using small clips worn on the earlobes, through the brain to stimulate and modulate specific groups of nerve cells. The microcurrent so gentle and small, just millionths of an ampere, most people don’t even feel it.

Alpha-Stim treats patients with microcurrent technology using two protocols: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) and Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET). CES process uses a microcurrent of less than one-half milliampere, delivered directly into the brain with ear clip electrodes for 20 to 60-minute sessions and treats anxiety, insomnia and depression. MET used the Alpha-Stim Smart Probes or self-adhesive AS-Trodes to deliver a microcurrent of less than one milliampere through the body with a two to five minute protocol for peripheral pain.

 

Research shows that the Alpha-Stim waveform activates certain groups of nerve cells located in the brainstem. The nerve cells produce the chemicals serotonin and acetylcholine, which in turn can affect the chemical activity of nerve cells located nearby and at distant sites in the nervous system. These cells control the activity of afferent nerve pathways into the brain and efferent nerves that course down the spinal cord. The Alpha-Stim appears to strengthen activity in some neurological systems and neutralize activity in others, creating an increase in Alpha rhythms. These alpha rhythms are accompanied by feelings of calm, relaxation and increased mental focus. While in an alpha state, the neurological mechanisms appear to decrease stress effects, reduce agitation, stabilize mood and regulate both sensations and perceptions of specific types of pain.

What is Kinkphobia?

This term has achieved relevance in modern discussions of the mental health sphere of influence, even making it’s irreversible mark on upon the infamous Urban Dictionary. The term is used in conjunction with the phrase ‘kinkshaming’, or other derogatory terms. But what is Kinkphobia? How is this effect relevant, and why is it important to consider when taking into account the treatment of major, worldwide demographics? The uncertainty mounds, with little avail.

A good stepping stone is the basic, fundamental understanding of the term ‘kink within the context of kinkshaming, kinkphobia, general sexuality, and the like. The term ‘kink’ was a term coined to refer to sexual desires that deviate, or ‘kink’ from the main ‘straight’ or vanilla style of sexual or romantic interaction. Kinks come in a variety of classifications, almost enough to write a dictionary of fantasies.

Sexual deviation, however, has been the subject of harsh, and even murderous, scrutiny in historic times. The traditional attitude of equal, vanilla interaction, or male dominance, was considered a sacred practice, one that should not be violated in terms of ‘integrity’, or avoiding upset of the ‘natural order’. People who were revealed to be kinky violated this order, and so it was natural for them to be socially ousted, excommunicated, the like. However, this has changed dramatically in modern times. There is a vibrant community of kink, composed of members worldwide that help reinforce each other, providing support of all sorts. There are even conventions, entire festivals, surrounding the effort to support and educate all about the existence and legitimacy of kink.

However, every hero to their foil, every action an opposite reaction. The drastic shift into the spotlight, as seen with kink culture, causes a few to feel attacked, and uncertain in the changing world. No matter the good any sort of transition will do, there are always individuals who push back, fearing the safety of their comfortable world being compromised. Consider from their own perspective. When your safe, controlled environment is suddenly altered, out of your will or intervention, by a force unknown to you, it can easily cause one to suddenly transition into hostility, or aggression. You would fear that change, and that fear would blind you from new knowledge or certain facets of reasons, simply based upon the uncertainty.

This bounceback, this reaction, against the kink community’s rise in the modern era is known as ‘kinkphobia’. It is the fear or rejection of kink and nontraditional sexual or romantic interaction, even to illogical or malicious degrees. This fear can lead to ousting of family circles, rejection, mistrust, or otherwise, simply on the basis of how people interact sexually. Many consider this phobia to be rational thought, however it has led to the mistreatment of countless individuals, and unnecessary severing of bonds and relationships. It is a grim effect of them modern age, similar to that of homophobia, or phobia of any kind. But it is something that exists as part of any sort of transition, or culture. Growing pains are a part of life, as well as the life of a society.

Kinkphobia is not a trendy phrase to see upon any headline, forgotten the next day. It is a living, breathing problem that bogs down the acceptance and integration of natural, alternative lifestyles into the melting pot of average society. Society is a changing artwork, constantly developing and shifting to the needs of the populace. Growing pains are an inevitable part of this phenomena, but have a weakness. The major weakness to rejection? Learning, education, and kindness. Spread this, and the term kinkphobia may no longer be a prevalent problem as it has become today.

Cuddle Therapy

What is it that you think of when you hear the term ‘cuddling’? Do you think of romantic excitement? Perhaps a warm feeling of security, safety, or contentment. It is probable that some would think of the term as strange, alien, or uncomfortable. But beyond that, what is cuddling?

The act of cuddling, when examined through a literal and secular viewpoint, is the physical, soothing contact between one and another. You can cuddle another person, a pet, an inanimate object, whatever soothes you the most, or a combination of it. There is, however, a certain emotional aspect to cuddling. When one ‘cuddles’ in a soothing way, the act usually generates a sort of inexplicable feeling. A natural comfort, or I could say a sort of contentment. But rather than just an emotional benefit, cuddling provides numerous little quirks and bonuses to those who do so happily.

The most physically visible effect of cuddling regularly, for the sake of enjoyment and contentment, is seen within the balance of a few different chemicals. An article byVanessa Van Edwards, written for the Science of People, explains these three in conjunctions. The main three effects upon hormones within the body are an increase in oxytocin, a reduction in serotonin, and an increase in dopamine. Strange words, so allow me a little of your time to explain.

Oxytocin is a hormone within the body researchers have been frantically researching for the past 20 years upon it’s beneficial effects to the human instinct of social interaction and ‘love’ when administered as a treatment. So far, researchers have concluded the chemical is a major influence upon someone’s proclivity to being social, to forming a bond, as well as the ability to pick up on social cues. Serotonin is a certain chemical that many would appreciate having less, however is still a necessary part of the psyche. Serotonin allows us to form anxious responses, and feel stress in times of… well… stress. Dopamine, a powerful substance, is responsible for pleasure; satisfaction of the self. When you generally feel a sense of having fun, you feel a release of dopamine. It is exciting, but too much for a harmful substance can form a dependance, also known as an addiction. It is best to obtain increases in dopamine through healthy activities such as exercise, cuddling, hobbies, etc.

Do not be ashamed of the desire to cuddle, even when an adult. Cuddling promotes safety, well-being, and good health for all, and even newborns or sick children. It aids in recovery, and helps mental health. When one inhibits the desire for contact, it suppresses these feelings into pent-up stress. This is no different than when told to ‘suck it up’, or denied the ability to release emotion. There is no shame to be had in the relieving contact with another, or another comfortable entity, for it is healing and allows you to perform your absolute best.