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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide – Hers + His

Now that the holiday hubbub has trickled down, we can now focus our attention on the next big day on the calendar: Valentine's Day. Whether you're celebrating with your significant other, your family, your friends, your kids, or other loved ones, Valentine's Day is the most ideal and best time to show the special people in your life just how much you appreciate them. We had fun compiling our ultimate season-of-love wish list. Gifts for her, for him, for them, and yes, for you too.

Heart socks are just the perfect, fun gift. Your Galentine will fall head over heels for them! If you desire a pair that screams sass and cheekiness. I'm a Delicate Fucking Flower Crew Socks fit the bill.

Every year as the big day in February rolls around, reservations at fancy schmancy restaurants fill up, and you think to yourself, "What should I do now about dinner?" Well, from Romeo and Juliet to Saint Valentine himself, you know Italy knows a thing or two about romance. Therefore, there's no better food to treat your loved one and say "I love you" than with a bowl of pasta! Why not cook with the Pasta Grande Silicone Kitchen Tools and create a pasta dish?

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” - Mister Rogers 
We're all unique, and some of us are even more so, haha! Full stop! Let people know you like them just the way they are! It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood when you wear Mister Rogers socksThese stylish socks are filled with Mister Roger's happiness, positivity, and life-affirming messages. WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? We sell her and his Mister Roger's socks.
Games are always fun to play when it is chilly outside. Instead of taking your loved one to learn the tango, why not learn to mango? It Takes Two To Mango Game is an entertaining game the whole family can play. Do you want to turn up the heat on game night? Try this spicy Charade's card game.
 
Find memorable Valentine's Day gifts for your funny Valentine on this special day in 2023! Danna Bananas has unique Valentines gifts for everyone. The best Valentine's Day gifts that ship quickly and affordably from Toronto, Ontario, to all of Canada and the United States

Black woman who fought enslavement honoured with Canada Post stamp

An illustration of Chloe Cooley, a Black woman in Queenston, Upper Canada who resisted her own enslavement is shown on a Canada Post commemorative stamp in this handout photo. In March 1793 Cooley was kidnapped by her enslaver, Sgt. Adam Vrooman, who bound and forced her on a boat that led across the Niagara River to the United States, where she was sold. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Canada Post

A young Black woman who resisted her own enslavement in Queenston, Upper Canada, in the late 18th century is being honoured by Canada Post.

The Chloe Cooley commemorative stamp features an illustration of Cooley and is released in time for Black History Month.

A Canada Post release says Cooley had “a profound impact on the history of enslavement in Canada” and that her actions led to the gradual abolition of enslavement in the region.

In March 1793, Cooley was kidnapped by her enslaver, Sgt. Adam Vrooman, who bound and forced her on a boat that led across the Niagara River to the United States, where she was sold.

Cooley had been known to challenge her slavery in the past, and she fought back hard.

Her screams for help and attempts to get free drew the attention of witnesses who later recounted the violent incident to Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe.

Simcoe used testimony about Cooley’s attack to introduce new legislation, and in July 1793 the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada was passed.

Canada Post says the legislation “set the stage for the gradual ending of enslavement in Upper Canada” and helped create “a legal refuge for those fleeing enslavement in other countries.”

The stamp was designed and illustrated with the help of experts in regional and Black history, archival paintings and other documents.

via Canada Post and Global News

 

Why Black History Month Is Important for Everyone

Here are reading lists for people interested in learning about the history of racism and more. 

“What if we had a white history month? People would be outraged!”

Without fail, every year around the time of Black History Month, I hear this comment. Not just once, either, I hear it said over and over by white people who can’t bear to have a day that isn’t about them. It gets called “reverse racism” (which isn’t a thing, by the way.) It’s said that recognizing the unique accomplishments of black people further divides races, and that, “Why does everything have to be about race?”

It’s generally said by people who consider themselves so not racist, they are “colourblind.” They are people who want to just leave this whole race thing behind us and treat everyone as the equals they are. This is a noble thought, and wouldn’t it be nice if we were there – but we are not. The only people who can afford not to address or acknowledge race are white people. Being colourblind is a privilege. Not having the need for a white history month is a privilege, not a slight.

We need a Black History Month because we have spent hundreds of years actively erasing black history.

We all know the saying, “History books are written by the victors.” The same applies to power and privilege. History books were, and still are, largely written by white men. In this day and age, that means they are being written with a subconscious bias, but earlier in history, they were written with absolute and intentional racism and sexism. Early history books didn’t acknowledge black people as human, never mind documenting their contributions to the world.

As time went on, the work of black people was often passed over and credited to white people. In early America, black Americans who were born into slavery were not permitted to hold patents. That didn’t mean they weren’t inventors, though. Many of their inventions went on to be adopted into use, but they did not receive credit for them.

Black women have been double-erased. Their contributions as black people have been whitewashed, and their contributions as women have been ignored. Consider one of the most well-known cases of this, the women behind the book and movie Hidden Figures: Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan. Their work was vital to NASA, but they didn’t get the credit they deserved until very recently – recognition gained in large part due to initiatives like Black History Month, which pushes us to look for their stories.

Without the active call to look for these incredible stories within black history, many of them go forever unrecognized. When history is documented by white men, and white people want to be “colourblind”, there is no motivation for people with privilege to seek out and learn these stories.

Black History Month shines a spotlight on the void where these stories should be.

In addition to giving these stories, and these people, the justice they deserve, Black History Month is an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn about these incredible people. Public speaker and writer Brittany Packnett beautifully puts into perspective the significance of learning about black people throughout history. “Black descendants of enslaved people across the Americas are STILL HERE. You ever really think about what that means? Don’t disrespect the ancestors. They breathed life into us. No way we’d be here if they weren’t the most creative, most powerful, most triumphant. We were supposed to build their countries and then die off. We were discarded. Here we are, generations later, inventing and reinventing the whole world.”

I grow tired of hearing the triumphs and accomplishments of people who were born into privilege. Yes, these stories have a place in history and are important, but they are well-documented and handed down through generations of grade-school history classes.

Tell me the stories of people who accomplished greatness when the world did not even acknowledge their humanity. Tell me the stories of strength and triumph and survival that are unique to black people alone. Tell the stories so that the descendants of these astonishing people can take pride in their history, and tell the stories so that those of us with privilege that we gained on the backs of these ancestors can hold ourselves accountable.

Being colourblind is a noble idea, but it’s a false solution. We can’t stop seeing race – not while the power is still held by white people who refuse to acknowledge their privilege. “Celebrate all history” is just as tone-deaf as “all lives matter” and “not all men.”

We have celebrated white history in North America for centuries. Spotlighting black history specifically for one month a year will not threaten that. It’s sad enough that we even confine it to one month when black history should be celebrated as loudly and as frequently as the history in our outdated textbooks.

This month, each time you are tempted to scoff at the notion or the need for Black History Month, I want you to stop immediately, and learn about one black person in history and the way that person has bettered your life today.

Learn their names. Learn their faces. Thank them. Then do it again and again until you realize that Black History Month is a gift to people of all races.

via savvymom

Unique Valentine's Gifts

Unique Valentine's Gifts

Valentine's Day is a special occasion that is all about expressing love and appreciation for that special someone in your life. If you're looking for the perfectly unique gift to show your loved one how much they mean to you, look no further than Danna Bananas. Our online store offers a wide variety of Valentine's Day products that are sure to put a smile on your loved one's face. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of our recommended items for your gift-giving consideration:

Heart-Shaped Cake Mold - This unique and delicious gift is sure to be a hit with that special someone. The heart-shaped cake mold, once sliced, makes for a fun-shaped heart dessert that is sure to be appreciated.

Candy Bra - Spice up some sweet one-on-one time with your Valentine with this sporty candy lingerie piece. Wear hidden clothes for a well-timed, ooh la la, sexy reveal.

Heart Socks - These socks are a fun and unique gift that is sure to be appreciated. They come in Valentine’s Day colours in a cute heart-shaped package. We have a wide variety of men's and women's socks if hearts are a little too cliché.

Nostalgic Retro Valentine’s Cards - Remember exchanging Valentines with your classmates in the cute little mailboxes your teacher had you make the day before? Depending on what generation you are from, do you remember the hilarious hand-drawn cartoon-style characters? Well, these Valentine's Day cards will help bring back all those nostalgic feelings.

Overall, Danna Bananas offers a wide variety of unique and thoughtful Valentine's Day gifts that are sure to put a smile on your loved one's face. From sweet treats to cozy goods, there's something for everyone in this online shop. It's a perfect place to find something special for your special someone. So, if you're looking for a unique and special Valentine's Day gift, be sure to check out Danna Bananas!

Check out all of the lovely and unique items in our Valentine’s Day gift collection before it’s too late.

 

 

 

Valentine's Day is less than a month away, the time to panic is now!

Valentine's Day is less than a month away, the time to panic is now!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and it's time to start thinking about the perfect gift for that special someone. While traditional gifts such as flowers and chocolates are always appreciated, why not think outside the box and give something truly unique this year? In this blog post, we'll explore some unique Valentine's Day gift ideas that will surprise and delight your loved one.

The lovely gift of music: "Music speaks when words fail." If your significant other enjoys (for that matter, who doesn't? 😉) music, give them a gift certificate for music lessons. Learning to play an instrument might be something they have always desired to do, but just haven't done so yet. Whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, any holiday is a great excuse to give and receive music gear! Treat someone (or yourself). Do you have a drummer in your life? Hook him—or her—up with this Desktop Drum Set so the beat doesn’t get sluggish. 

A hot air balloon ride. What could be more exciting and romantic than a hot-air balloon ride over beautiful landscapes? This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you and your loved one will never forget.

A cooking class. For the foodie in your life, a cooking class is a great way to spend quality time together while learning new skills. There are classes available for a wide range of cuisines and skill levels. And don't forget the kitchenware, such as the Cheesy Love Songs Cheese Board, cute aprons, and sassy oven mitts.

A weekend getaway. Whether it's a cozy cabin in the woods or a unique hotel in the big city, a weekend getaway is a great way to spend quality time together and make lasting memories. Wherever you may go, don't forget our Travel Size Cutlery. 

A spa day. Treat your loved one to a day of relaxation and pampering at a spa. A massage, a facial, and other treatments will leave them feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. If you can't afford a nice spa outside of the home, try one at home with our Big Night In kit.

Customized jewelry. Show your loved one how much you care by getting them a piece of jewellery that is customized just for them. This could be anything from a necklace with their birthstone to a ring with an inscription of your initials.

A skydiving experience For the adventurous couple, skydiving is an exhilarating experience that they will never forget.

A photography session. A professional photography session is a great way to capture the romance and love between you and your partner. Add that extra pop with the Love Photo Booth accessory kit. 

Whatever unique gift you choose, the most important thing is that it comes from the heart. So take the time to think about what your loved one would truly appreciate and enjoy, and make this Valentine's Day one to remember.

In conclusion, these unique Valentine's Day gift ideas are sure to surprise and delight your loved one. These gifts are not just something they will use and forget; they are something they will cherish and remember for a lifetime. So, it's time to think outside the box and give something truly unique and special this Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day!

 

The Top Toys From The Year You Were Born

Toy shopping has transformed over the past 100 years due to advancements in the products or the marketplace. Stacker searched for products from 1920 to today that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success. The list was curated using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong National Museum of Play. Some items remain curious relics of the past, while others are essentially as iconic now as they were upon their debut. Each one also functions as a window into American culture.

So how do you choose the perfect toy for your family and friends today? If you're looking to avoid tech, you could always opt for one of those historic classics that never go out of style, like yo-yos, Tonka Trucks, or teddy bears. If you want to impress with the latest innovations of the past decade, however, you can choose robot puppies, gaming consoles, or tablets for children.

Here are top toys from the year you were born, counting up from 1920 to today. May they fill your heart with joy!

1920: Raggedy Ann doll

Original estimated retail price: $1

Originally a book character, Raggedy Ann was created by a prolific political cartoonist named Johnny Gruelle. By 1920, two signature handmade dolls—Raggedy Ann and her brother, Raggedy Andy—were sold alongside the book. The result was a meteoric success on all fronts. Many myths surround Raggedy Ann's conception, which is quite fitting given the character's storybook origins.

1930: Mickey Mouse doll

Original estimated retail price: not available

In 1928, Disney unveiled a short animated film called "Steamboat Willie," and audiences everywhere fell in love with a mouse named Mickey. To capitalize on Mickey's meteoric popularity, Disney commissioned a woman named Charlotte Clark to create the first stuffed Mickey doll in 1930. Disney couldn't keep up with demand, and moms at home began sewing their own dolls as an alternative.

1940: Red Ryder BB Gun

Original estimated retail price: $5

Perhaps the most famous BB gun of all time, the Red Ryder BB Gun was modeled after Winchester rifles and named for a beloved fictional comic book hero. Naturally, most folks know it today as the toy the young narrator of "A Christmas Story" pines after, only to be told repeatedly that he'll shoot his eye out.

1950: Magic 8 Ball

Original estimated retail price: not available

The Magic 8 Ball was inspired by the Syco-Seer, a cylindrical crystal ball with two dice inside of it. The item was created by Albert Carter, the son of a professional psychic. Along with his brother-in-law Abe Bookman, Carter unsuccessfully marketed several incarnations of the Syco-Seer before passing away in 1948. Bookman subsequently redesigned the product to the one we see today.

1960: Etch A Sketch

Original estimated retail price: $2.99

Originally known as L'Ecran Magique—which translates to "magic screen"—Etch A Sketch was the brainchild of French electrical technician Andre Cassagnes. Cassagnes shopped his product for a year without having much luck until the Ohio Art Company decided to spend $25,000 on the licensing rights. The toy was renamed in the process. After some choice television spots, the Etch A Sketch shot to the top of Santa wish lists all around the country by 1960.

1970: Nerf ball

Original estimated retail price: $2

Made of "non-expanding recreational foam" and marketed as "the world's first indoor ball," the Nerf ball was an instant smash for Parker Brothers. Over 4 million units sold in the first year alone. Similar products soon followed; eventually, the Nerf football took the crown for the bestselling toy in Nerf's lineup.

1980: Rubik's Cube hits the shelves

Original estimated retail price: $1.99

Hungarian designer Erno Rubik designed a 3D geometric puzzle in 1974 called Magic Cube. By 1980, Rubik's nifty contraption was in the hands of Ideal Toy & Novelty Company, which renamed it Rubik's Cube. The puzzle was an instant success, selling 100 million units within the first two years alone. In the time since, a peripheral sphere of competitions, books, and imitators has emerged.

1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures

Original estimated retail price: $3.99 and up

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rose to fame on the back of a massively popular animated series about witty crime fighters with a appetite for New York pizza. By the time their 1990 live-action movie dropped, the turtles had utterly conquered the youth market with bestselling toys and box office numbers to show for it.

2000: PlayStation 2

Original estimated retail price: $299

While the original PlayStation positioned itself as a leader of the new gaming guard in the mid-1990s, it was the PlayStation 2 that cemented Sony's status as the veritable king of home entertainment. The console took in $250 million on the first day alone, selling out quickly because of manufacturing delays and then fetching extremely high numbers on the secondhand market. Gaming has never been quite the same since.

2010: iPad

Original estimated retail price: $499

Apple's iPad launched in 2010 and quickly found its niche in the realm between laptops and cell phones. A million units sold within the first month. Indeed, the iPad became so ubiquitous so rapidly that when the NFL struck a deal with Microsoft to use its Surface tablets exclusively in 2015, announcers couldn't help but refer to those tablets as iPads on national TV.

2020: Animatronic 'The Child'

Original estimated retail price: $62.99

He goes by many names, only some of which are correct. "The Child," (aka "Grogu" or, incorrectly, "Baby Yoda"), from Disney's "The Mandalorian" had a major moment in pop culture history—a moment that lasted nearly two years since the "Star Wars" series release in 2019. Season two focused on the Mandalorian's quest to return Grogu to the Jedi. This storyline gave fans exactly what they were craving—more adorable scenes with the toddling green character playing off his stoic, mysterious guardian, the Mandalorian. It also gave toy manufacturers the perfect inspiration. "The Mandalorian" toys were included on many curated holiday toy lists in 2020 and this animatronic toy gave children—and let's be serious, countless adults, too—the chance to live our their fantasies of having a Grogu of their own.

For all the in-between years, check out: https://stacker.com/retrospective/top-holiday-toys-year-you-were-born?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email

via stacker

Happiness!

I’m a psychology expert in Finland, the No. 1 happiest country in the world—here are 3 things we never do

For five years in a row, Finland has ranked No. 1 as the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report

In 2022′s report, people in 156 countries were asked to “value their lives today on a 0 to 10 scale, with the worst possible life as a 0.” It also looks at factors that contribute to social support, life expectancy, generosity and absence of corruption.

As a Finnish philosopher and psychology researcher who studies the fundamentals of happiness, I’m often asked: What exactly makes people in Finland so exceptionally satisfied with their lives?

To maintain a high quality of life, here are three things we never do:

1. We don’t compare ourselves to our neighbors.

There’s a famous line by a Finnish poet: “Kell’ onni on, se onnen kätkeköön.” Roughly translated, it means: Don’t compare or brag about your happiness.

Finns really take this to heart, especially when it comes to material things and overt displays of wealth.

I once ran into one of the wealthiest men in Finland. He was pushing his toddler in a stroller towards the tram station. He could have bought himself an expensive car or hire a driver, but he opted for public transportation.

That’s what success looks like in Finland: just like everyone else. 

Happiness tip: Focus more on what makes you happy and less on looking successful. The first step to true happiness is to set your own standards, instead of comparing yourself to others.

2. We don’t overlook the benefits of nature.

According to a 2021 survey, 87% of Finns feel that nature is important to them because it provides them with peace of mind, energy and relaxation.

In Finland, employees are entitled to four weeks of summer holiday. Many of us use that time to hit the countryside and immerse ourselves in nature. The fewer amenities, even to the point of no electricity or running water in the house, the better. 

A lot of Finnish cities are also densely built, which means that many people have access to nature at their doorsteps. I live next to Helsinki Central Park, where I go on regular walks.

Happiness tip: Spending time in nature increases our vitality, well-being and a gives us a sense of personal growth. Find ways to add some greenery to your life, even if it’s just buying a few plants for your home.

3. We don’t break the community circle of trust.

Research shows that the higher the levels of trust within a country, the happier its citizens are.

A “lost wallet” experiment in 2022 tested the honesty of citizens by dropping 192 wallets in 16 cities around the world. In Helsinki, 11 out of 12 wallets were returned to the owner.

Finnish people tend to trust each other and value honesty. If you forget your laptop in a library or lost your phone on the train, you can be quite confident you’ll get it back.

Kids also often take a public bus home from school and play outside without supervision.

Happiness tip: Think about how you can show up for your community. How can you create more trust? How can you support policies that build upon that trust? Small acts like opening doors for strangers or giving up a seat on the train makes a difference, too.

via cnbc

One hundred ways to improve your life without really trying.

Whether it’s taking fruit to work (and to the bedroom!), being polite to rude strangers or taking up skinny-dipping, here’s a century of ways to make life better, with little effort involved …

My thoughts!

22. Laugh shamelessly at your own jokes. I do! 😂

99. Kids are the best. I love kids; I love educating them and joking around with them!

4. Bring fruit to work. I do...a banana!

9.Keep a bird feeder by a window, ideally the kitchen. It’ll pass the time when you’re washing up. My mom had one at the cottage! She loved a Hummingbirdfeeder. 

10. Always bring ice to house parties (there’s never enough). I love to chomp on ice(weird, eh?) and, so does Cartier, our pup!

21. Add the milk at least one minute after the tea has brewed. I don't drink tea with milk! 

24. Start a Saturday morning with some classical music – it sets the tone for a calm weekend. My dad played classical music on Sundays when I was a kid! It got us relaxed and stoked for the week ahead. :)

30.Be polite to rude strangers – it’s oddly thrilling. I always do...and I strike up conversations with a lot of nice strangers as well! :)

31. Ask questions, and listen to the answers. Ask smart people stupid 😉 questions! I've been doing a lot of this lately. You are never too old to learn. :)

45. Text to say thank you. I love saying thank-you! It's just the best feeling!

46. Read a poem every day. Keep a compendium, such as A Poem for Every Day of the Year, by your bed. Great idea!

52. Say hello to your neighbours. I always do!

56. Call an old friend out of the blue. Love my friends!

66. Don’t save things for “best”. Wear them – enjoy them. Love this!

67. Sing! Opera has been my go to! 😂

70. Skinny-dip with friends. I have and it's so much fun! 😍

73. Thank a teacher who changed your life. I am friends with my grade 7 teacher and when I get a chance, I do! She played records in class. :)

75. Keep your keys in the same place. They are!

78. Always book an extra day off after a holiday. I always do, and I also take a day off for my birthday!

79. Ignore the algorithm – listen to music outside your usual taste. Love love love! 

85. Don’t get a pet/do get a pet. Do agree one hundred percent!

91. If in doubt, add cheese. Fuck, I love cheese! :)

93. Do that one thing you’ve been putting off. Move to a town that thrives with small businesses and has the most excellent BIA.

94. Give compliments widely and freely. How can you not?

97. Listen to the albums you loved as a teenager. I still have them and I do: Heart, Blondie, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, The Police, The Go-Go’s, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, The Vapours, The Monks, The Bangles, The Box, U2, Level 42, Hall & Oates, Devo, Madonna, Michael Jackson, R.E.M, The Pretenders, Huey Lewis, Howard Jones, Van Halen, Glass Tiger, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, New Order, etcetera.

98. Relearn something. Piano lessons, here I come! I inherited my childhood piano in 2022. I took piano lessons when I was a kid and practised on this piano. I want to relearn on this piano. It brings love to my heart, and I want to play something other than "Happy Birthday" by ear. I just have to muster up my courage. 😉 

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1 Exercise on a Monday night (nothing fun happens on a Monday night).

2 On the fence about a purchase? Wait 72 hours before you buy it.

3 Tip: the quickest supermarket queue is always behind the fullest trolley (greeting, paying and packing take longer than you think).

4 Bring fruit to work. Bring fruit to bed!

5 Consider going down to four days a week. It’s likely a disproportionate amount of your fifth day’s work is taxed anyway, so you’ll lose way less than a fifth of your take-home pay.

6 Everyone has an emotional blind spot when they fight. Work out what yours is, and remember it.

7 Plant spring bulbs, even if they’re just in a pot.

8 Send a voice note instead of a text; they sound like personal mini podcasts.

9 Keep a bird feeder by a window, ideally the kitchen. It’ll pass the time when you’re washing up.

10 Always bring ice to house parties (there’s never enough).

11 Get the lighting right: turn off the overhead one, turn on lots of lamps (but turn off when you leave the room).

12 Sharpen your knives.

13 Feeling sluggish at work? Try the Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes on, five-minute break, and repeat.

14 Buy a cheap blender and use it to finely chop onions (it saves on time and tears).

15 Keep your children’s drawings and paintings. Put the best ones in frames.

16 Set aside 10 minutes a day to do something you really enjoy – be it reading a book or playing Halo.

17 Don’t be weird about how to stack the dishwasher.

18 Reuse all plastic bags – even bread bags. Much of the packaging you can’t reuse can be taken to larger branches of supermarkets for recycling.

19 Take a photo of the tag you are given when leaving your coat in a cloakroom.

20 Can’t sleep? Try a relaxing soak with lavender bath oil before bed.

21 Add the milk at least one minute after the tea has brewed.

22 Laugh shamelessly at your own jokes.

23 It might sound obvious, but a pint of water before bed after a big night avoids a clanger of a hanger.

24 Start a Saturday morning with some classical music – it sets the tone for a calm weekend.

25 Look closely.

26 Set time limits for your apps. Just go to the settings on your smartphone and add a limit – for example, if you have an iPhone turn on Screen Time.

27 If possible, take the stairs.

28 Always be willing to miss the next train.

29 Eat meat once a week, max. Ideally less.

30 Be polite to rude strangers – it’s oddly thrilling.

31 Ask questions, and listen to the answers.

32 Connect with nature: stand outside barefoot for a few minutes – even when it’s cold.

33 Join your local library – and use it. Find yours here.

34 Go for a walk without your phone.

35 Eat salted butter (life’s too short for unsalted).

36 Stretch in the morning. And maybe in the evening.

37 If you’re going less than a mile, walk or cycle. About half of car journeys are under two miles, yet these create more pollution than longer journeys as the engine isn’t warmed up yet.

38 Sleep with your phone in a different room (and buy an alarm clock).

39 Send postcards from your holidays. Send them even if you’re not on holiday.

40 Instead of buying new shoes, get old ones resoled and buy new laces.

41 Buy a plant. Think you’ll kill it? Buy a fake one.

42 Don’t have Twitter on your phone.

43 If you find an item of clothing you love and are certain you will wear for ever, buy three.

44 Try taking a cold shower (30 seconds to two minutes) before your hot one. It’s good for your health – both physical and mental.

45 Text to say thank you.

46 Read a poem every day. Keep a compendium, such as A Poem for Every Day of the Year, by your bed.

47 Take out your headphones when walking – listen to the world.

48 Buy secondhand.

49 Buy in person!

50 Learn how to floss properly.

51 If something in the world is making you angry, write (politely) to your MP – they will read it.

52 Say hello to your neighbours.

53 Learn the basics of repairing your clothes.

54 Always bring something – wine, flowers – to a dinner/birthday party, even if they say not to.

55 Learn the names of 10 trees.

56 Call an old friend out of the blue.

57 Every so often, search your email for the word “unsubscribe” and then use it on as many as you can.

58 Buy a newspaper. (Ideally this one.)

59 Always have dessert.

60 Drop your shoulders.

61 Make something from scratch. Works best if it’s something you’d normally buy, such as a dress or a bag.

62 Go to bed earlier – but don’t take your phone with you.

63 Volunteer. ​​Go to gov.uk/government/get-involved for ideas.

64 Dry your cutlery with a cloth (it keeps it shiny).

65 Instead of buying a morning coffee, set up a daily transfer of £2 from a current into a savings account and forget about it. Use it to treat yourself to something different later.

66 Don’t save things for “best”. Wear them – enjoy them.

67 Sing!

68 Think about your posture: don’t slouch, and don’t cross your legs.

69 Hang your clothes up. Ideally on non-wire hangers (it’s better for them).

70 Skinny-dip with friends.

71 Switch your phone off on holiday (or at least delete your work email app).

72 Always use freshly ground pepper.

73 Thank a teacher who changed your life.

74 Respect your youngers.

75 Keep your keys in the same place.

76 Ditch the plastic cartons and find a milkman – The Modern Milkman has a comprehensive list.

77 Rent rather than buy a suit/dress for that forthcoming wedding (even if it’s your own).

78 Always book an extra day off after a holiday.

79 Ignore the algorithm – listen to music outside your usual taste.

80 Mute or leave a WhatsApp group chat.

81 Learn a TikTok dance (but don’t post it on TikTok).

82 Cook something you’ve never attempted before.

83 Join a local litter-picking group.

84 Handwash that thing you’ve never cleaned.

85 Don’t get a pet/do get a pet.

86 Nap.

87 Learn how to breathe deeply: in through the nose, out through the mouth, making the exhale longer than the inhale.

88 Buy a bike and use it. Learn how to fix it, too.

89 Politely decline invitations if you don’t want to go.

90 If you do go, have an exit strategy (can we recommend a French exit, where you slip out unseen).

91 If in doubt, add cheese.

92 Don’t look at your phone at dinner.

93 Do that one thing you’ve been putting off.

94 Give compliments widely and freely.

95 Set up an affordable standing order to a charity. RNLI and Greenpeace spring to mind …

96 Keep a book in your bag to avoid the temptation to doomscroll.

97 Listen to the albums you loved as a teenager.

98 Make a friend from a different generation.

99 Staying over at a friend’s place? Strip the bed in the morning.

100 For instant cheer, wear yellow.

via The Guardian

The history behind the song “Auld Lang Syne.”

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is all but inescapable on the night of December 31, indelibly intertwined with New Year’s celebrations in many English-speaking countries. But where did it come from, and what does it mean?

The phrase “Auld Lang Syne” is from the 18th-century Scots language, and translates to “old long since,” or more generally, “the olden days,” according to Vox. The lyrics have famously posed an ongoing challenge to modern revelers who routinely struggle to recall the words beyond the opening verse and chorus. (Here are the full lyrics, courtesy of CNN.) But with the lyrics’ focus on companionship and remembrance, it’s become a beloved part of the New Year’s Eve tradition across the world.

The poem “Auld Lang Syne” by Robert Burns has often been credited as the primary source of inspiration for the song’s lyrics, but the truth is decidedly more complicated — so much so that The Morgan Library & Museum in New York curated an exhibit around the song’s origins and evolution in 2011. 

Burns was an 18th-century Scottish working-class poet and lyricist who traveled throughout his country, learning and collecting the traditional songs he heard. Of his famous poem, Burns himself admitted that he “took it down from an old man,” per RobertBurns.org. 

“Burns said in one of the letters on view that he listened to an old man singing the song and that it had never been in print or in manuscript until he wrote it down from that old man singing,” Christine Nelson, curator of the Morgan’s 2012 exhibit, told CBS News. “He didn’t make any secret of the fact that he was doing what he called ‘mending’ these old songs. So that they could be, you know, given to the public for posterity.”

Murray Pittock, a literary historian, said in an interview with The Washington Post that “Burns denied he wrote it because he didn’t. He edited it, though how much we don’t know.” He later added: “It’s impossible to say how many texts and tunes ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is derived from.” 

Scholars believe there were a variety of source materials, some dating as far back as the 16th century, that inspired and shaped Burns’ version. 

David Hopes, director of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland, shared with USA Today that Burns adapted an earlier version of the lyrics written by another Scottish poet, Allan Ramsay. The museum displays both the Burns’ version and Ramsay’s version so that visitors may compare and draw their own conclusions. 

The song’s present-day tune by all accounts isn’t the original melody that Burns would have first heard, either. It was music publisher George Thompson who paired the lyrics with the music of a different traditional Scottish melody, CBS News reported.

“It fit metrically with the words of ‘Auld Lang Syne’; we don’t have a record of how he made that decision to bring them together, but he did, and that is what we sing now,” Nelson told the outlet.

In Scotland, Burns remains a literary hero whose oeuvre encompasses famous works such as the epic poem Tam o’Shanter. And while he never attempted to pass “Auld Lang Syne” off as his own exclusive creation, it seems it shall remain forever intertwined with his name. 
Click here to listen to a beautiful performance of the song by the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin.

via Nice News

Tick-Tock: Get the Best Last Minute Stocking Stuffers Just in Time for Christmas!

Tick-Tock: Get the Best Last Minute Stocking Stuffers Just in Time for Christmas!

It’s almost time! The twelve (12) days of Christmas have begun......are you done your gift shopping yet? Did you remember the stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. They are plentiful and generally cheaper, so better get shopping before the reindeer starts heading your way. 

Benefits of Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers 

If you’ve got your main gift purchases out of the way, well done; those are the big ones. The stocking stuffers are generally much lower pressure. Almost anything can or will do, be it socks, candy canes, small toys, etc.

What Makes a Good Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer? 

Good question! Anything that fits in the stocking will work. A good price helps as you want there to be lots of items to fill the stocking; sizes do vary. Anything that helps remind the recipient of the childhood joy of Christmas is best, assuming they aren’t already a child, inside or out. 

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids 

Here’s are best suggestion for kids stockings: 

Unicorn Giant Eraser (dannabananas.com) 

Unicorn Liquid Pencil Case (dannabananas.com) 

Stack-A-Doodle (dannabananas.com) 

Enchanted Unicorn Bandages

Snow Stompers (dannabananas.com) 

Unicorn Colour Changing Light Danna Bananas - Canada 

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza(dannabananas.com) 

Imitator Game(dannabananas.com)

Fart The Explosive Card Game(dannabananas.com)

Princess For the Day Inflatable Crown(dannabananas.com)

Silent But Deadly Card Game(dannabananas.com)

Prince for the Day Inflatable Crown(dannabananas.com)

Sketch & Sniff Scented Pencils(dannabananas.com)

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Adults

The best ones are for adults, or at least for anyone with a sense of humour and an appreciation for truly unique gifts.

3 Things Naughty or Nice Adult Party Game (dannabananas.com) 

Fortune Telling Cards (dannabananas.com) 

Jesus Pen (dannabananas.com) 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Sticky Notes(dannabananas.com)

Bob Ross Joy Of Painting Sticky Notes(dannabananas.com)

Jesus Bandages(dannabananas.com)

Bananotes(dannabananas.com)

We Can Wash It Soap(dannabananas.com)

Banana Socks(dannabananas.com)

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Everyone

Okay, these will work for anyone, young and old at heart. We all like to be a little fun and silly from time to time, especially at Christmas around family.

Chicken Flingers (dannabananas.com) 

Finger Hockey (dannabananas.com) 

Tabletop Curling Game - Danna Bananas - Toronto Canada 

Bucket Of Moustaches (dannabananas.com) 

Good Fortune Chopsticks (dannabananas.com) 

Reusable Beeswax Wraps(dannabananas.com) 

Handicorn(dannabananas.com) 

Orange You Glad Wearable Target Hat & Balls(dannabananas.com)

 

Shopping Tips for Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers 

Don’t overthink it! Time is ticking! They will love the quantity, variety, and thought. And hey, if they don't like it, blame the elves.

Where to Shop for Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers? 

Why Danna Bananas, of course! We have tons of selection, great deals, fast shipping, and 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Place your order ASAP to ensure it arrives on time to place in the stocking hung with care.

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