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It’s a spacey kind of day!

Apollo 11 spacecraft.

“The Eagle Has Landed”.

July 20, 1969 heralded a new era in space travel. This was the date of the first moon landing. To commemorate this most auspicious day, July 20 is forever known as Space Exploration Day, the date when Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin first set foot on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.

apollo11-crew
The Apollo 11 crew members.

 

 

Upon landing, Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong reported:  “The Eagle Has Landed”.  A few hours later, Neil Armstrong, stepped off of the Eagle’s ladder, placed one foot upon the moon’s surface and proclaimed: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

 

Apollo_11_insigniaEnjoy Moon Day by re-living this historic occasion. Watch a movie on space or read a book on space flight. We suggest the movie “Apollo 13”.

Do YOU remember the moon landing? Where you were?  What it meant to you, to your family? Let us know!

One small Smile for man.
One small Smile for a man.

http://www.spaceexplorationday.us/

 

The smiles behind the Smiles, Part 1!

 

Meet the SMILES!
Meet the SMILES!

At Seeds of Happiness we have always  made it a priority that our customers know their Smiles are “Proudly Handmade in the U.S.A.”.  So, to let you know a little bit about WHOSE hands are making your Smiles, we are going to occasionally post bios. of our team members.  And, first up is one of our sculptors…

Salvador Sophie!
Salvador Sophie!

SOPHIE

Nickname:  The Sophinator

Favorite Ice Cream:  Mint chocolate chip

One word to describe yourself:  Goofy!

Something people might be surprised to find out about you:   I was born in France and moved here as a child with my parents.  After living in this country for 41 years, I got my citizenship.  Parlez-vous francais?

Your favorite things about working at Seeds of Happiness:  I can be myself and I love the camaraderie among the team.

Sophie with her b-day earthquake cake.
Sophie with her b-day earthquake cake.
Sohpie Jen 1
Sophie and Jen sculpting and smiling!

 

 

 

 

Goofy!
Goofy!

 

 

 

Camaraderie.  :-)
Camaraderie. 🙂

Sing out!

How many songs can you think of which have the words “SMILE” or “HAPPINESS” in the lyrics?  Here are a few which come to mind:

LOVE IS ALL AROUND aka Mary Tyler Moore Show Theme Song by Paul Williams        “Who can turn the world on with her smile?                                                                      Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?”

hattoss
Mary can turn the world on with HER smile!

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY by Bobby McFerrin                          “Here’s a little song I wrote              You might want to sing it note for note                                           Don’t worry, be happy.”

WHEN YOU’RE SMILING  by            J. Goodwin, Joe / L. Shay / M. Fisher                                        “When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling…the whole world smiles with you.”

Keep smiling, Louis Armstrong!
Keep smiling, Louis Armstrong!

 

BEAUTIFUL  by Carole King                                              “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face                                                                               And show the world all the love in your heart               Then people gonna treat you better                           You’re gonna find, yes you will                                     That you’re beautiful as you feel.”

What are some of YOUR favorite happy songs which bring a smile to your face?  Please share them with us, we’d love to hear from you!

Share the Smiles, sing the songs!

Born in the U.S.A.!

Red, white, and blue for YOU!
Red, white, and blue for YOU!

July 2nd is “Made in the USA” Day.  This is a day to encourage U.S. manufacturing and the purchase of made in the USA products.  Here at Seeds of Happiness in Kirkwood, Missouri (suburban St. Louis) EVERY DAY is “Made in the USA Day”!   All of our Smiles are handmade here at our studio and, not only THAT, but we also use materials which are USA made: glazes, Missouri mined clay, as well as packaging materials.

photo
ALL of our Smiles are made in the U.S.A.

We are very proud to have even a small effect on America’s economy.  Our employees’ income goes back to local local businesses through their purchasing power, as well as through state and city taxes on payroll and property.

We salute you.

We encourage you to buy American…Share the Smiles, Show your patriotism!

Keep smiling, MOM!

5465125226_c233f8535a_mMother’s Day is just around the corner; this Sunday, May 12th.    Here  are a few stats which should make you appreciate your mom just a little bit more!

Over the course of 18 years, the average mom spends:

8,212 hours on cooking and dishes . . . 5,867 hours on laundry . . . and 11,038 hours cleaning the house. That’s a total of 1,047 days . . . or almost three entire years.

Thanks for all you do for us, Mom!

XOXOXO

SOH Sunflowers
Love and Smiles to all Moms!

Going to the dogs!

Seeds of Happiness mascot, Jake!
Seeds of Happiness mascot, Jake!

When Take Your Dog to Work Day was started in 1999, the organizers asked workplaces and business owners everywhere to become Fido-friendly for one day of the year. But some companies didn’t stop there: According to a recent study by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, one in five U.S. companies allows employees to bring their pets to work. Having pets in the workplace is increasingly seen as a win-win by businesses — it creates a more pleasant work atmosphere for animal lovers and improves productivity and (hopefully) profit margins for management.

Jake is one HAPPY pooch!
Jake is one HAPPY pooch!

Our company dog, Jake, belongs to Mark Borella.  He comes to work with Mark, our boss, everyday.   Jake is a very spoiled and very well-behaved and happy pooch.  He makes US happy to have him at work everyday.  And if YOU come to visit us at The Smile Factory, you will be welcomed by Jake with a broad grin.  Woof, woof!

Jake Santa
Jake and his bestest buddy!

http://www.everydayhealth.com/pet-health/bringing-your-pet-to-work.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Smiling and Staying Green or Earth Day is Everyday!

We think that this post from last year is a good re-read for today, April 22, Earth Day!

Seeds of Happiness Guy cutting cardboard in order to re-use, re-purpose, re-invent, re-do…

Here at Seeds of Happiness, aka The Smile Factory, we do our best to conduct business in an environmentally friendly manner. Just the other day, we scavenged some sheets of cardboard from one of our vendors. Mark Borella cut these down and we re-used the board in some of our Smile packaging. We make every effort to re-use, re-purpose, and recycle materials at Seeds of Happiness. Our packaging and paper products are fabricated from post-consumer waste and are also recyclable whenever possible. How do you “get your green on”?  Let us know. We love hearing new and helpful ideas!

Share the Smiles, save the planet!

Bald is BEAUTIFUL!!!

“Have fun. Raise money. Cure childhood cancer.”

Mark and John celebrate their newly shaven heads with big SMILES!

This is the joyful attitude which is celebrated at St. Baldrick’s…HAVE FUN!  From shaving heads at volunteer-planned St. Baldrick’s events, to running races, and contacting members of Congress, St. Baldrick’s Foundation volunteers are helping kids with cancer in many different ways.  St. Baldrick’s volunteers have made it possible to fund more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization besides the U.S. Government.

Our crew at Seeds of Happiness supports St. Baldrick’s and are charter members of Dawson’s Hairless Heroes.   Some of us have shaved our heads and this year helped to raise part of the total donations of $16,649.00 for Dawson’s team.

How much $$$ can Kenny raise for HALF of his beard?

In addition to making a donation directly to St. Baldrick’s, you can give by purchasing our very special St. Baldrick’s Seed of Happiness.  This handmade Smile costs $10.00, is available all year long and $9.00 will go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Thank you in advance for your support and a BIG Smile to you!

And REMEMBER…

“Have fun. Raise money. Cure childhood cancer.”

St. St Baldrick’s new logo! The “S” and “B” represent “St. Baldrick’s,” while also forming the shape of a four-leaf clover.

http://www.stbaldricks.org/

https://www.seedsofhappiness.com/seeds-stuff/st.-baldricks-seed-of-happiness

It’s a HAPPY New Year…Everywhere!

Check out how different countries around the world celebrate and welcome the NEW YEAR:

Spain
People pop a grape into their mouth at midnight each time the clock strikes. Twelve grapes symbolize good luck for each month of the year.

In Spain it is customary to eat grapes at midnight.

British Columbia, Canada
Traditionally, the polar bear swim takes place on New Year’s Day, where people of all ages dive into the icy water.

Ireland
At midnight everyone goes in the front door and out the back door for good luck.

The French mix health and wealth and usher in the new beginning with a stack of pancakes.

 

France
The French eat pancakes for breakfast on New Year’s Day.

Greece
Children receive gifts on New Year’s Day, also known as St. Basil’s Day, instead of at Christmas.

Argentina
Residents go out onto the streets and make toasts and celebrate with neighbors. At midnight, kids shoot off fireworks.

Jack Straw in Hungary.

Hungary
People burn effigies, or a scapegoat known as “Jack Straw”. The scapegoat represents the evils and misfortunes of the past year. Burning the effigy is supposed to get rid of the bad luck.

Times Square in NYC.

U.S.A.

Probably the most famous tradition in the U.S. is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square, New York City, at 11:59 P.M. Thousands gather to watch the ball make its descent, arriving exactly at midnight. The ball is made of Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter.

The beginning of a NEW YEAR is a time to celebrate and definitely a time to SMILE.   We wish you all health and HAPPINESS with the coming of 2013!

Happy New Year SMILES to you!

http://www.newyearscheer.com/traditions/other_countries.asp

http://voices.yahoo.com/new-years-eve-customs-around-world-different-144186.html?cat=49

Oh Christmas Tree!

Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals.  In the mid 1500’s, Germans began using evergreen trees as a symbol of hope for the coming of spring. In the early 16th century, Martin Luther is said to have decorated a small Christmas Tree with candles, to show his children how the stars twinkled through the dark night.

Martin Luther and family celebrate with a Christmas tree 1536.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions

Washington crosses the Delaware while Hessian soldiers decorate their Christmas trees!

Hessian soldiers decorated Christmas trees here in America during the American Revolution because they were hungry for a little bit of home.  Some accounts even go so far as to credit the Christmas tree for Washington’s success in crossing the Delaware unnoticed. Supposedly the Hessian soldiers were so busy in decorating their Christmas tree with its candles and celebrating that they were paying little attention to their duties!

Fast forward to 1923 when Calvin Coolidge became the president responsible for lighting the First National Christmas tree in 1923.

The first White House Christmas Tree in 1923.

The tradition of decorating a tree at the Rockefeller Center began in 1931. This spectacular tree is often close to 100ft. tall.

 

The Seeds of Happiness family wishes you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year…may all of your wishes come true!

Frosty Lives!

Frosty first came to life on December 14, 1950.

On December 14, 1950 a much loved, classic Christmas song was released. “Frosty the Snowman” was first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys. The song tells the fictional tale of a snowman who is magically brought to life by a black top hat that a group of children place atop his head. Although Frosty enjoys frolicking and romping throughout town with the children who constructed him, the sun becomes too much for him to bear and Frosty is forced to leave town, promising his friends that one day he will return.  “I’ll be back again someday…”

 

Frosty rules!

The song  was subsequently adapted to other media including a popular television special. A lot of us grew up watching the original animated version which debuted in 1969 and was narrated by Jimmy Durante. 

 

 

 

This year, you don’t have to be sad when Frosty leaves.  With our Seeds of Happiness snowmen, you can keep Frosty alive ALL year long. Just like Frosty, our snowmen are handmade; HOWEVER, they will never melt!

Share the Snowmen, share the Smiles!

St. Nick!

St. Nicholas is one of the best know of all of the Saints.

Saint Nicholas Day, December 6th, celebrates the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a fourth-century bishop best known today as the real-life model for Santa Claus.

The legend of Saint Nicholas includes his becoming an orphan at a very young age. Though his family had been rich, Saint Nicholas decided to distribute all of his possessions to the poor and to dedicate himself to serving Christ. It is said that he would toss little pouches of coins through the windows of the poor, and that sometimes the pouches would land in stockings that had been washed and were hung on the windowsill to dry. Once, finding all the windows in a house shut, Saint Nicholas tossed the pouch up to the roof where it went down the chimney.

Lots of goodies from St. Nick!

After Saint Nicholas’ death, his fame continued to spread in both Eastern and Western Europe. Throughout Europe, there are many churches and even towns named after Saint Nicholas.

In Germany, children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and hope to find candy, coins and maybe a small gift in them on December 6.   In the Netherlands, children put their shoes in front of their chimneys in hopes of finding chocolate or a small toy in their shoe when they wake.  And just like Seeds of Happiness,  St. Nicholas gifts are meant to be shared!  Do you celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day in your family?  Let us know how you keep this tradition alive in your home!

Give Thanks!

The VERY first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Thanksgiving is a particularly American holiday. The word evokes images of football, family reunions, roasted turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie and, of course, and the Pilgrims. The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter. In that year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists celebrated it as a traditional English harvest feast, to which they invited the local Wampanoag Indians.

Enjoy your feast!

Days of thanksgiving were celebrated throughout the colonies after fall harvests. All thirteen colonies did not, however, celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time until October 1777. George Washington was the first president to declare the holiday, in 1789.

By the mid–1800s, many states observed a Thanksgiving holiday. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, looking for ways to unite the nation, signed his Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring the last Thursday in November a day of thanksgiving.

In 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November. Controversy followed, and Congress passed a joint resolution in 1941 decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains.

The Seeds of Happiness Team wishes you a Thanksgiving filled with love, warmth and of course, lots of SMILES!

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/tgturkey1.html#ixzz2CotzSvmX

http://www.plimoth.org/learn/MRL/read/thanksgiving-history

Shop Small!

Shop Small on Saturday, November 24, 2012!

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide.  Last year, over one hundred million people came together to Shop Small® in their communities on Small Business Saturday®.  Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Whether you’re a small business owner or customer, want to encourage your friends to Shop Small or help rally an entire town; everyone can help spread the word about Small Business Saturday.  The more people and the more businesses that get involved, the bigger and more beneficial the day will be.  Here are several reasons to shop on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24 this year:

Support your local economy

By buying local, your money stays local. This means more jobs for residents and increased tax revenues for local governments.  According to a study of the local economy in Salt Lake City, an average of 52% of revenue from local retailers returned to the local economy, compared with only 14% for national chains.

We have lots of unique, handmade gifts for your shopping pleasure!

Unique gifts

HO, HO, HO!

You’ll often find gifts in local shops you won’t find in larger stores, like handmade jewelry or artisan foods. These gifts can add a special touch that you can’t get from mass-produced products.

At Seeds of Happiness, we will be open on Small Business Saturday, November 24 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Sale pricing on lots and lots of merchandise including Seeds and apparel.  We look forward to seeing you at Seeds of Happiness.   Smiles to YOU!

Trick-or-Treat!

The leaves are turning, there is a crispness in the air, and the Halloween season is upon us!  Straddling the line between fall and winter, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, (pronounced sow-in), which means “end of summer”,  the Celtic New Year.  During this celebration, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.  The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.  Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating.

Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world.  Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season.  The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish children used to carve out potatoes or turnips and light them for their Halloween gatherings.  Jack was a shifty Irish villain so wicked that neither God nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by both the sacred and profane, he wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest, his only warmth a glittering candle in a rotten turnip.  Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.

We don’t have any potatoes or turnips to offer, but we DO have bright and shiny Seeds of Happiness pumpkins to celebrate autumn and Halloween!   http://www.history.com/topics/halloween                                                            http://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-history