Sunday, February 24, 2019

Archangels and Chakras

This weekend I've been doing some much needed dethugging as I work toward moving my Atelier into my living room, and my harps into my dining nook! And painting! A wall, a table top, ... And moving some furniture, filling some boxes and bags to go to a thrift shop or the tip.

Today whilst chatting with a friend, I pulled an archangel Card from one of my decks for her ... And a bit later, a fascinating YouTube video from British healer Amanda Ellis came up on my feed, and I watched a couple. Wow. It's well worth watching!

On February 16, she recorded a piece about having been sick with a double whammy virus,
Archangel Metatron 
that returned just as she thought she was over it!

She works with the Archangels, especially Megatron, and received a teaching about the energetic reset that was giving, rather like a vaccine for our physical bodies to match the evolution of our spiritual bodies, as many shift from 3-D to 5-D. 

Now this concept of illness as a reset is something a one of my daughter's co-workers told her a number of years ago. Her friend sees being ill as a chance for the body to do a tune-up, basically going through all the systems, tuning them to better efficiency, and often forgoing more serious illness. And it's a time to just take it easy, if we possibly can! 

Amanda works with colour, so mentioned several that came up as she was in recovery, resting and staying hydrated: green for Raphael, angel of healing, and a reminder to see illness as something "passing through,"rather than identifying with it ("I am...."), peach and Christ's energy, a feeling of being held and nurtured. Pink and Mary Magdalene, who is a great healer, and a sense of good medicine, a tonic.
And the Rose Gold of the Stellar Gateway Chakra, above our heads. 

Now my ears perked up at that mention! Years ago, a friend who received communications from animals visited shortly after one of my Reiki classes. I mentioned I was surprised my cat wasn't spooked by the dog that came with his person for the weekend, and she said, "oh! Jade is showing me that that wasn't an ordinary dog, he was a Master teacher (!) And oh! He's showing me that Emmett filled the room, well, the whole house really, with this beautiful Rose Gold light! Like a sun, that might kept expanding, till it filled the whole house! Oh, it's so beautiful!, and feels so warm!" 
I have used that image for space clearing ever since! 

Amanda said that Rose Gold purges old stuck energy, so new clear energy can come in. That's exactly the feeling of using the rose gold sun in a house, and I often suggest it. 

Megatron asked Amanda, "Do you see yourself in gold? Do you value your heart and stomach as Golden, divine and pure vessels? Would you put 'junk'in a vessel of gold? Junk food, alcohol, sugar, ..." ...she quickly said she that while she does try to treat her body to wholesome food, (etc), like everyone else, she doesn't alwaysstay on track! ... But this image of her heart, stomach and inner systems as Golden is a powerful incentive! I think of the flower essence California Poppy, "your true gold is in your own heart!"

"Metatron uses sacred geometry shapes to clear and align chakra cetera. Ask Metatron to align your chakras, and the shape moves through your crown and down through each chakra, clearing psychic toxins from your body and chakras." Archangel Oracle Cards. 

Here's the Rose Gold, Cosmic Gateway process she shared (it's about 35-40 minutes in on the video)
  • Get comfortable, perhaps light a candle
  • Breathe in gold, breath gold out...
  • Breathe in gold, breath gold out...
  • Breathe in gold, breath gold out...
  • Breathe gold into your organs, your bones, your liver, skin, hair, finger and toenails
  • When you are filled with Gold, begin pushing it out, to fill the cocoon around you, and to the edges of your Aura (about an arm's length, like an egg around your body)
  • Imagine the membrane around the Golden cocoon - it protects you so lower energies can't enter your field. In front, behind, above, bellow and on both sides, only pure, uplifting energy can enter.
  • "Gunk" can accumulate on the outside of this Gold bubble, so occasionally "hose it down" with Gold or silver, or take a shower of golden light, imagining a showerhead 10" or so above your head. (This is a good weekly practice, more often as needed)
  • I sometimes follow an "energy shower of gold" with a brief shower of violet (1-2 minutes), as violet transmutes energy, so it harmonizes
  • Sense things around you via the Gold Ray (Rose Gold glasses?!) Thinks you touch, people you encounter, and the whole world changes!
These articles from a decade ago include energy shower and several other energy practices I incorporate at times. This one has a quick house and land tuning, incorporating the rose gold sun.

I've been taking immune support, monolaurin and elderberry syrup, and haven't been hit with this bug (yet, anyway, knock on wood!) ...
Amanda listed what she's been doing in her recovery:
  • Drink more water/stay hydrated
  • Meditate, and write down what she's received
  • Rest
  • Colour energies and sprays (which she sells)
  • Working with the angels and guides
  • Sage/ smudge (Paolo Santa would also be a good choice) 
I'd add:
  • Autoimmune herbs /teas
  • Elderberry syrup and monolaurin (the antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial fraction of coconut)
  • My regular supplements
  • flower essences
As I'm in process with my home, as many are right now (the Konmari Netflix series has sparked lots of clearing!!) I am thinking of that inquiry about seeing myself/my home in Gold, and valuing what is here, and what I bring in!! 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Nutritional Diva

Several years ago, a favorite blogger referred to me as a "Nutritional Diva" in his response to one of my posts - and it's true that I've been interested in nutrition since my 20s! 
From the writings of Adele Davis, to our simple La Leche League suggestion to eat "a wide variety of food in close to its natural state," (I strive for mostly organic and locally grown!), my Virgo heart has loved exploring research and concepts for optimal nutrition. I strive for a balance of eatng the best I can and using high quality supplements. 

Here is a peek at some of my favorite Minerals:  

As a massage therapist, Magnesium, with its role in muscle relaxation, was on my list of "must have" nutrients early on. While "Maggie" is crucial for between 400 and 800 processes in our bodies, (including hormone balance, muscles, the nervous system and energy production), between 80 and 90% of the population is low in this essential mineral. 
5 mg per pound of "ideal weight" is the suggested daily amount. Dark leafy greens, organically grown,are one of ought richest sources.

Dr Jonathan Wright and cardiologist William Davis frequently remind us of its importance, and of the widespread deficiency of this vital mineral. Modern farming methods and increasing consumption of grains reduce the availability of magnesium for many people. As a cardiologist, Dr Davis found that when his patients stopped eating wheat, which binds minerals including magnesium, their heart health improved dramatically. He has switched his focus from surgery to preventative medicine.

I've made Magnesium Bicarbonate water, using a few Tablespoons Milk of Magnesia in carbonated water for over a year. It's easy to make, palatable and well absorbed. This is the form Dr Davis (author of Wheat Belly and Undoctored) recommends, especially for those prone to migraines. I also take magnesium glycinate, and a dropper of liquid multi mineral supplement.

Bicarbonate and Boron are two co-factors involved in magnesium metabolism. I've written about the importance of boron before here and here.  Over the two years been making and using Boron Water, I've noticed I'm rarely sore after activity or exercise, and less "creaky." 
Arthritic joints are found to have less boron than "normal" joints, and Spas around the world known for Arthritis Cures have boron (and other trace minerals) in their waters. The US intake is 0-3 mg daily. It seems beneficial to get 3mg or more daily.
Dr Axe wrote this piece on boron, which includes suggested amounts. Boron plays an important role in oral health, and in reducing the risk of gum disease. Dr Flechas video of his talk at an oral health conference offers a great overview of the benefits, and here's another article highlighting some of the research. It's available in 3mg doses, and in trace mineral formulas. A friend who's a naturopath suggests hair analysis is a good way to determine your levels.

Lithium Orotate is a mineral in a supplemental form which I've been intrigued with, and taken off and on for over a decade. The sauna at Breitenbush contains trace amounts, and is well known for promoting calm and relaxation.  
I first read this article by Dr Wright, who also speaks about the values obtained by talking small doses of Lithium on his weekly radio show. I learned about the importance of iodine for hormonal friction from Dr Wright's column in Prevention Mag in the mid 70s, and have have a fan of this nutritionally oriented MD ever since! Lithium is part of the same group of minerals that include sodium and potassium. 

If the only effect of talking small doses of lithium did was to increase grey matter in our brains (something we didn't think was possible in maturity!) it would be awesome! ... 
It does so much more! Lithium reduces aggressive behavior (especially in men) promoting a reduction in homicide and domestic violence, and reduces depression in women.  A client in her 80s confirmed this, saying when her verbally abusive husband took his lithium, he was kinder to her, and if she was taking hers, she could handle it better if he was mean! 
Lithium is protective of the Brain, decreasing erosion, and shrinkage, increasing Neuro transmitters, and protecting against clots! Dr Wright takes 20mg daily, (and recommends 10-20 mg for optimal results) He has also found it very helpful for children whose parents are alcoholics, or have other addictions. 

Iodine is another nutrient we may be low in. Dr Wright mentions iodine on several of his radio broadcasts, and Dr Axe gives an overview here. I've had relief from hormonal woes using Iodine in the 70s, and true to Folk Medicine hero, Dr Jarvis' comments, it "calmed (my) race horse type child!" within two hours whenever he took it! I include kelp in my daily fare, and take iodine periodically. 
Selenium is important for iodine absorption, and both iodine and selenium are low in our Western Oregon soil.

Each of us needs to discover our own balance between choosing food sources and deciding whether to augment withsupplementats.

May you enjoy good health! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Tea Time

My first tea Camellia
I began growing tea Camellias over a decade ago, with pink and white flowered plants which lasted several years. I later found the variety from Sochi, Russia, (near the Black Sea) which does better in our more Northern clime, and my shrub is 6-8 years old. 

My British friend Nikki has a "plantation" of 9 tea Camellias in her city garden, which is a lovely mix of ornamental and edibles. Last week she mentioned beginning this year's tea harvest, and I asked how she processes it, she responded by inviting me over for Tea and a lesson! Nikki is a Brit, with roots in Belgium, and loves her tea! 

Several years ago, Nikki attended a varietal tasting with a Tea Master, was entranced with the different flavors. When nearby Red Ridge Farms, where we purchased our tea plants, offered a workshop for processing green tea at home, she was in! The teacher had lived in China with his wife while she studied acupuncture, and learned from Chinese tea masters, and gave a step by step process suitable for small batches.

Our tea time yesterday began the afternoon before, when Nikki plucked sprigs of the top two or 
Harvesting of tea in China, Tao of Tea
three leaves from several tea shrubs, which she prunes in the fall to produce a tea harvesting "table." My own plant is "wild grown," not pruned, so pruning next fall is on my list!

When I arrived, she brought out the basket of leaves which had wilted overnight, and were ready for the next step, placing the leaves in a wok on high heat, and tossing gently for a bit. Nikki asked me to bring old well washed cotton cloths, and we tipped the leaves onto a square, twisted the ends to form a ball, and rolled / kneeded the tea, while the oven heated to 400°

The next step was several rounds in the oven, in flat pans, then tipping back on the cloths to cool down in between rounds. (3 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute) Each stage includes gently tossing and handling the tea. 
One of the magic bits is how fragrant this fresh tea is as it begins to dry, with a flowery, almost Jasmine odor! Who knew? After the last round, we left the tea on the cloths, while we headed out to the garden, and "plucked" a new batch of tea tips! It sprinkled earlier in the afternoon, we were grateful the sun was back out, and the tea wasn't too damp.

Freshly harvested tea leaves
She'd had me bring a basket without a handle for this step, and we plucked into the basket, tossing the tea leaves frequently. This tossing will continue today, (the leaves are already getting fragrant!) and I'll prepare a second batch this afternoon, on my own! 

After gathering some garden goodies for me, lettuce, artichokes, herbs, ... we came back inside, and had a lovely tea, sipping a brew from leaves she harvested and processed just this week, in glass tea cups from Belgium, which a cousin sent! 
Our tea included thyroid healthy snacks suggested by Medical Medium Anthony William: four banana slices topped with red dulse, several celery slices and a date, (and a bit of dark chocolate just for fun!) 

It was a lovely afternoon, and I'm looking forward to my own adventures in tea making! 
Tea on the drying racks

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Turmeric Lemonade Plus

Throughout the year, my friend Donna has been making a turmeric lemonade brew and shipping throughout the week. I've written before of its great properties for both inflammation, and effectiveness against depression, and though I don't make the lemonade as consistently, I do use turmeric frequently. We're lucky to have fresh turmeric available from a local organic farm, and I get well water from Donna, so I avoid our city's fluoridated brew.

Last summer, Donna began making up boron solution, and adding it to her turmeric lemonade, with even better results! In the fall, she and her husband spent much of two weekends filling the woodshed, and she said even after the second week, she felt just a little sore (rather than spending half the day in bed!!) 

After watching this talk to an oral health group by Dr Flechas' I increased my own boron intake to 10-20 mg daily (1 teaspoon of solution =3 mg boron) Since boron tends to be energizing, it's best to take in the morning. (3 mg boronTablets are also available)

This mourning I'm making a batch for my daughter, using my current recipe, inspired by the one on Lindsay Cotter's blog.

Turmeric Ginger Lemonade
4 cups spring water
1 Tablespoon fresh Turmeric, grated
1 tsp powdered turmeric
1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated
A sprinkle of  black pepper (fresh ground if possible)
   ·  Bring water with ginger and turmeric to boil, summer 10 minutes
   ·  Add a handful of fresh lemon balm in season, steep (can refrigerate overnight)
   ·  Cool, Strain, then add
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of a blood orange (optional)
2-4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or honey 
2 Tablespoons boron solution (optional)
   · Refrigerate, and drink a cup in the morning, garnished with fresh mint

In most of the USA, the daily intake of boron is 3-4 mg, and arthritis plagues over 25% of the population. In areas higher in boron, the daily intake can be 20-50 mg, and arthritis rates drop to 1/2 of 1%. 
In Western Oregon, where I live, boron tends to be low, and this article by our JMHart of the Oregon extension service gives suggestions for supplementing the soil in home gardens: 

A note about boron
Many soils in western Oregon are deficient in boron (B). Several crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, caneberries, strawberries, beets, carrots, etc.) can benefit
from an application of boron.
If the soil test for boron is less than 1 ppm, apply household or agricultural grade borax (11 percent B) at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 100 square feet where boron-
requiring plants will be grown. Apply the borax evenly and mix thoroughly with the soil. 
It may be easier to dissolve 1 tablespoon of borax in 1 gallon of water and apply the solution evenly with a sprinkling can. Apply 1 fluid ounce of solution per plant. You can find borax in the cleaning supplies section of most grocery stores.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Magnesium and you

As a massage therapist for over three decades, a question I commonly ask my clients is, "has anyone mentioned Magnesium?" (umm, no ...) "it's a natural muscle relaxant, and with such tight muscles, you might want to look into taking some, ..." ... "really? Ok, I guess it's worth a try, ..." ...

I've been a fan of "Maggie" since reading Adelle Davis' and Jonathan Wright's books on nutrition, and take it regularly. In 1954, Adelle wrote, "persons only slightly deficient in magnesium become irritable, high-strung, sensitive to noise, hyper excitable, apprehensive and belligerent. If magnesium is severely deficient, the brain is particularly affected" Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit, p 170. Jonathan Wright: "if there's spasm, think magnesium!"
For several years, I've been a member of Morley Robbins' FB group, the Magnesium Advocacy Group, and have found it to be a wealth of information. Thousands of people around the world have benefited from upping their magnesium "the right way,", and following the protocol.

On the weekend, a friends hubby landed in the ER with chest pains, (scary!) Which turned out to be esophageal spasms! He's been having chest pains and migraine headaches for months - a potential remedy for both? Adequate Magnesium

Involved in over 325 functions (or Carolyn Dean, MD, ND and magnesium guru woo says 700-800) all hormone regulation, Magnesium is vital for health, yet 80% of our population are low in Maggie. 
Why? Commercial farming, using high phosphate fertilizers, drinking city water, eating processed, chemical laden, fortified and GMO "foods," experiencing stress, .... the list goes on! 

Enter Morley Robbins, and The Root Cause Protocol 

  1. STOP Vitamin-D ONLY Supplements (Supplemental “vitamin”-D KILLS Liver Retinol that is needed for Cp)  More on Vitamin/Hormone-D…
  2. STOP Calcium Supplements! (Ca BLOCKS Magnesium & Iron absorption)
  3. STOP Iron Supplements! (Iron, or Fe SHUTS DOWN Copper metabolism) More on Iron Toxicity…
  4. STOP Ascorbic Acid (Ascorbic Acid disrupts the Copper < > Cp bond)
  5. STOP High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) & Synthetic Sugars (HFCS Lowers Liver Copper & Raises Liver Iron)
  6. STOP LOW Fat Diet (Saturated Fat is needed for proper Copper absorption)
  7. STOP Using Industrialized, “Heart Healthy” Omega-6 Oils! (e.g. Soybean, Corn, Canola Oils)
  8. STOP Using products with Fluoride (toothpaste, bottled water, etc.)
  9. STOP Taking “Drugstore” Multivitamins & Pre-natals (They contain the first four items above, plus trace amounts of fluoride)
  10. STOP Using Citrate in Foods & Supplements (e.g. “Natural Calm”)
  11. STOP Using Colloidal Silver as an Antibiotic (It lowers Copper status in the body! Nanonized Silver is ok)
  1. START Magnesium (Mg) supplements (Jigsaw Mag SRT, Pure Encaps Mag Glycinate, Mag Oil, etc. See Magnesium Supplement Recommendations) to lower Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) & Cortisol. (Dose: 5 mg/lb or 10 mg/kg body weight.  Be mindful of the Mg cofactors: B6, Boron, and Bicarbonate.
  2. START taking the Adrenal Cocktail (4oz fresh orange juice, 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar and 1/4 tsp sea salt) at 10am and 2pm on an empty stomach to balance electrolytes.
  3. START Cod Liver Oil supplements (1 tsp Nordic Naturals Arctic or 1 tsp Rosita) for Retinol, animal based Vitamin A.
  4. START Whole Food Vitamin C supplements (Innate Response tablets or Pure Radiance Synergy powder: 400 – 800 mg/day (Key source of Copper)
  5. START Using Mother Nature sources for B Vitamins:
    – take ½ tsp of Bee Pollen
    – take 1 – 2 tsp of Rice Bran (be sure to take AWAY FROM other foods)
    – eat 4 – 6 ounces of Beef (or lamb) Liver weekly
    (research shows that several B vitamins are KEY for Cp production. Please get these as noted above:) B2 (Riboflavin) – Key for Cu/Fe regulation in the liver; B5 (Pantothenate) – Supports the production of Vitamin C; B7 (Biotin) – Key for Cu/Fe regulation in the liver.
  6. START Using Silica (Diatomaceous Earth) that stimulates an increase in Cp! (Start with 1 tsp in water at the start or end of the day, and work up to 3 tsp [1 Tbs] each day.)
  7. START Boron (1 – 3 mg/day, or add 1 Tbs borax to magnesium baths) – aids in Synthesis of Cp, and regulation of Fe.
  8. START Taurine (500 – 1,000 mg/day) Supports liver copper metabolism
  9. START Ancestral Diet (HIGH Fat & Protein/LOW Carb) Good for Copper absorption
  10. START Iodine (PREREQUISITE: Mg RBC & Se RBC need to be optimal) Until then, add Iodine rich foods like kelp, seaweeds, scallops, cod, eggs, cranberries, etc. to the diet.
Additional Factors to Consider regarding Ceruloplasmin (Cp):
  • Chlorinated water is hard on Copper & Magnesium, thus is hard on Cp production.
  • High dose Zinc supplements BLOCK Copper absorption, which reduces Cp production.
  • Molybdenum is known to chelate Copper and BLOCK Ceruloplasmin production.
I live in a town with fluoridated water, so I drink and cook with well water at home. I began
making boron solution (7) last year, and notice my shoulders are less "creaky" when I take it regularly. It also helps chelate fluoride, which in turn, helps decalcify the pineal gland.

I use Mag. Glycinate and chloride, and am a fan of Epsom Salt baths. I plan to start making the Adrenal Cocktail. (2) I'm already an "ancestral diet" fan (9), and get lamb from Karen at the Farmers Market. I'm one of her organ meat customers as well
(lamb liver, (5) kidney and heart.)
I just ordered more cod liver oil (3), and do like that form of vitamin D and omega acids. Taurine (8) is the nutrient I.was least familiar with, so I looked it up and found this list of benefits. Note that if you're vegetarian, lack of this nutrient can cause anxiety and fatigue, and it helps regulate insulin, so it's a good one to add! 

What do you think, are you ready to give Magnesium and its co-factors a try? (Watch Morley's "Theory of Everything" video for more inspiration, and an item by item run-down of his recommended protocol.) Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Walk Through

Over the years, my cleaning style has ebbed and flowed; my daughter tells me I could write a book on feng shui, (and wonders why I don't just do what I know, lol!) 

Recently I've been shifting things around, with the goal of moving my Atelier into the back section of my living room, at 10 x 10' it's about 2x the space of my dining nook! My harps and a chair will move into the nook (5x6') and I'm reorganizing the seating area.

I've moved a couple of bookshelves, have a pile of books to donate, and my living room currently looks worse than before I began! But, .... it's on its way.  I enjoy watching Melissa Maker's Cleaning videos, and tips from Rachel Hoffman of UFYH for inspiration.

Living room corner

I especially like Rachel's reminder that "Company ready is good, but you ready is better!" She suggests cleaning in small blocks of 20 minutes, resting 10, (or more) and takes into account chronic health problems and depression, which can form roadblocks to having a welcoming habitat! Her compassionate style is a welcome change from guilt. 

Bookshelf switch
One of the habits that can help keep things clear is to do a couple of Walk Throughs each day. A "walk through" is basically going through a room, attending to things you notice are out of place or trash, and dealing with them. Dishes to the kitchen, throw away or recycle trash, neaten a surface. This is something "neat" folks do automatically, and makes a big difference when we incorporate it!

It's a concept kids can learn, and can help with. A quick check for toys and shoes which need to be put away, and dishes bussed takes just a couple of minutes, who knew?! 

What are some of your favorite routines and tips for "you ready?"

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cleaning with kids

We've all been there, the house is a mess, the kids are up to their ears in toys, gack!

I spent a lot of time in just that muddle when my kids were young, and still go in stages of less and more organized, with all the kids flown! When my grandkids visit, they are good about putting away what they got out, as they know I expect it! And if they mention it's messy, I ask what they want to help clean up, lol! 

A gal in one of my FB groups recently asked for tips, as her husband will be working a second job, they've got a 2 year old, and the house is already messy, meals are haphazard....
Two is a great age to begin to engage a child's help, and instill the idea that everyone who shares the house pitches in! When they help out, try not to correct or criticize, do show gratitude, and admire their work!

  • Go with simple one dish meals, crock pot, stir fry, and have big salads made up. 
  • Choose from your family favorites, and add more as you think of/try them
  • Wash and cut veggies and some fruit, store in lidded containers with compartments, for easy, nutritious snacks. 
  • Look for crackers etc with limited ingredients, and shop the outside isles
  • If you've got a farmer's market, have them help choose new veggies to try, and old favorites. 
Cleaning with a toddler/kids
  • Aim for at least one 20/10 each day (clean 20, rest or share time with your kid for 10) and do another round when you can. Tackle the things that bother you most first.
  • Find an hourglass children's timer, so s/he can set their own.
  • Get the child/ren interested in helping, two is a GREAT age to begin! Carry a dish to the dishwasher, help put silverware away, wipe a table, ...(don't correct things in front of them! It's getting done!) 
  • Partly fill a spray bottle with water and a squirt of dish soap or Dr Bonner's, and invite them to spritz the stove or fridge for you ("three sprays!") My 6 year old grandson LOVES using the spray bottle! 
  • Make a game of picking up before lunch or outside time. Sing a pick up song, and chip in. Make it fun, and something you do daily.
  • Get outside when you can! Walks, a trip to the swimming pool or a park. Holistic docs suggest kids play outside a minimum of 45 minutes a day when they can. 
  • Have a small basket or bin for favorite books, and read! Have the child choose one, and you choose one. Go ahead and read it again! Limit screen time, for them and for you! 
  • My grandkids are 6-18, and I've watched 4 regularly from infancy up. I "use my psychic powers" to predict the chore they will do, the vegetable they'll pick, whether they'll put their shoes by the door or in the hall, ....
  • Hide toys around the room, and see who can find/ put then in the right basket first
  • Have a trash can handy, and invite them to find 3-5 things to throw away.
  • Streamline! Get a shelf unit and containers, from simple with colorful Dollar Store baskets, to an Ikea set! Colors engage kids in picking up, and help code what belongs where. During a break, check out pinterest for ideas that suit your family
  • Rotate toys! Have an area (garage?) you can store categories of toys they've lost interest in, and bring it out again in a few months. When you notice toys everywhere, go through (probably on your own) and stash some away. This is good to do around holidays. (* their special toys excluded!)
  • Have their clothes in low drawers, tops in one, pants/ etc on a second that are labeled with a photo, for easy put away. (One friend's son dumped drawers out when he was a toddler, so they needed to have his drawers in another room! And be sure they are stable and won't tip)
  • My 6 and 12 year olds attended an awesome co-op
    Playschool from 3-5 or 6 and learned social shills and team play and cleaning. I helped in the classroom regularly, and it was great to watch them go from chaos to tidy in about 10 minutes! 
  • Each choose the area they would clean by putting their photo in a chore chart, and they often cleaned an area they weren't in that morning! (Bonus, try learn "I can clean even when I didn't mess it up!!") 
  • Each section of the room was roughly dedicated to something, a playhouses, block area, dress up, touch table, pixels, blocks, art, snack table (with low shelves and dishes to serve themselves) there a way you can do more of this at home?
  • Playgroup!  If you're a SAH mom or dad, find ways to engage with other kids and adults! A playgroup, where kids play and parents observe/visit is awesome. My daughter and her friends met in a childbirth class, 18 years ago, and had a picnic after the babies were born. It has evolved into a playgroup, then as the kids grew into a Moms Group,  with monthly adult get togethers, a summer beach trip, a couple's get away, and several family trips to Disneyland! 
  • to find one, check Bulletin boards, the library, swimming or gymnastic class, local FB groups, homeschool groups, look for the right for for your family! 
You're able to be home with your kids, appreciate the opportunity! That was the norm when I was growing up on the 50/60s, and now I realize how lucky I was! 

I hope you can use these ideas to spark your own, and please share your own tips in the comments!