Category - Mom

Health Tips for Families in the Fall

This is a sponsored post.

 

healthy-tips-for-families-in-the-fall

 

As a parent, it’s important to encourage healthy habits for the whole family. Many American children aren’t getting enough exercise or adequate nutrition, leading to serious health problems later in life. To instill a healthy lifestyle for your children, here are some great tips:

 

Get Moving

Due to an increasingly sedentary way of life, most Americans aren’t logging nearly enough hours of physical activity. Both children and parents usually sit at a desk for up to eight hours per day, so it’s extremely important to add in physical activity whenever possible. With the cooler weather that Fall brings it’s great to take a stroll around the neighborhood or explore a new wooded trail and watch the leaves change colors with the entire family. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and when you’ve gained a bit of fitness, see if you can increase that goal to 45 minutes or an hour. To mix it up, try taking a few group classes like yoga or cycling.

 

Make Breakfast a Priority

Busy families often find it difficult to make breakfast in the morning. If you and your kids currently skip breakfast entirely or opt for something quick like sugary cereal, do your best to re-think your breakfast habits. A healthy breakfast doesn’t need to take a long time to prepare. In fact, you can prepare overnight oats the night before and have a delicious and portable breakfast ready to grab on the way out the door. Similarly, Greek yogurt topped with nuts, cinnamon and ground flax seed is a fantastic choice that takes under five minutes to prepare and hits the spot with Fall flavors. By feeding your children a nutritious breakfast, you’ll rev up their metabolism and keep them full and focused for a challenging day at school. Of course, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone, not just kids. Set a good example and make sure to pack breakfast for yourself, as well.

 

Pack Your Lunch

School lunches are notoriously high calorie and unappetizing. Instead of spending money on lunches that your child most likely doesn’t enjoy, pack a lunch. This way, you’ll know exactly what went into the lunch, and you’ll rest assured that it’s fresh. Easy lunch ideas include lean meat sandwiches on whole grain bread with low calorie, low cholesterol hamptoncreek mayo, and apples are at their peak right now, so try adding few different types to your child’s lunch. For more meal ideas, visit Hampton Creek’s Facebook page or website.

 

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

Busy schedules demand foresight to avoid falling into the trap of eating out every night. When you’re tired from a day at the office and taking the kids to extracurricular activities, dinner is often the last thing you want to think about. While eating out is perfectly acceptable in moderation, you should aim to cook dinner at home most of the time, as restaurant meals are known for their huge portions and high calorie foods. The weekend is generally a good time to sit down with the family and decide on meals that you’d like for the week. Once you’ve mapped out dinners for a few nights, involve the whole family in meal prep. This will encourage kids to feel comfortable in the kitchen, setting them up for meal planning success in the future. Fall is also a great time to use your slow cooker, easy for little ones who are helping, and great for the busiest of days. Once you’ve made a few dishes, you’ll be able to freeze them for low-stress dinners for the upcoming week.

 

Make Mealtime Special

It’s often tempting to grab TV trays and head for the living room at dinnertime. However, eating in front of the television can quickly lead to overeating. Instead, make it a priority to sit down together as a family away from the distraction of technology. Family bonding time while eating a meal that you’ve prepared together is a great way to stay involved in your kids’ lives, as well as promote healthy eating and portion control.

 

Promote Responsibility With a Garden

Many of us aren’t aware of where our food comes from. If you’d like to save money as well as reduce your carbon footprint, start a garden in your own backyard. Start small, with just one or two crops. It takes time to hone your gardening skills, but once you get going and enjoy some success, you’ll be able to branch out and expand your garden. Gardening encourages more outdoor time for both kids and parents, and children will learn respect for the earth and cultivate a greater sense of responsibility. Caring for a garden is a lot of work, but the payoff is well worth it. Fall gardens can yield some of the tastiest and healthiest vegetables.

 

No matter what season these tips can be so valuable in helping your family create a healthier lifestyle. Consider changing your current habits to those above or adding in small changes that will benefit the whole family.

 

Leave a comment: Which of these tips will you work on? Do you have any fun fall health tips to add???

Classroom Central Hijacks First Day of School Pictures – Guest Post

You know those first-day- of-school photos where smiling kids proudly hold up signs to commemorate the big event? Parents often post those pictures on social media to share their joyous moments and celebrate what it means for their children to go to school.

 

Classroom Central launched its first social media campaign, featuring those same first day of school photos of disadvantaged children showcasing troubling statistics to raise awareness.

 

julien

 

 

As you can see in the sign, low-income students are seven times more likely to drop out and three times as likely to be unemployed.

 

The campaign was developed pro bono by Eric Mower + Associates, and it’s designed to get people to donate money and school supplies to low-income students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

 

Right now, the poverty level forces many teachers to spend an average of $500 to $1,000 of their own money each year to provide school supplies for low-income students. Classroom Central helps further. It provides paper, pencils, folders and other materials to more than 82,000 kids, helping support teachers from 200 schools in six districts.

 

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The goal this year is to supply children with a total of 1.8 million of those basic tools. Every monetary donation is matched by The Leon Levine Foundation.

Will you consider giving to the Classroom Central Fund? How about sharing this blog post to raise awareness?

Check out more details here: Classroom Central and consider how you can help these low-income children, their teachers, and impact our community.

It’s an Art Party Review – Charlotte

If nothing else is true it’s that the B girls {myself included} love a good arts ‘n crafts project. Even better why not invite our friends to join us for an art party. Robin from It’s an Art Party was awesome enough to reach out after hosting a party with our friends over at Best Crowe’s Nest.

 

It's An Art Party Logo

 

We know what it’s like to be new at school having switched schools two years ago and always love to host Summer play dates and get-togethers so the returning children can see each other and new students can meet their classmates before school starts to help the new school jitters. As soon as Robin approached me I knew this would be the perfect fit for an art party.

We chose a couple art activities that Robin offers, {for her full list check out her website at itsanartparty.com} and rented a park pavillion. Though we had a little windy weather, the kids had a blast and Robin was a great instructor, teaching them some new techniques most of them had never used before.

The kids had a blast watercoloring using salt and their creations turned out so pretty.

 

It's An Art Party Salt MommyB

 

It's An Art Party Watercolor MommyB

 

The kids were also able to make some fun bubble paint creations, the wind made this a little more challenging but the kids loved this art activity.

 

It's An Art Party Bubbles MommyB

 

It's an Art Party Fun MommyB

 

Overall our get-together was a big success, the kids had a great time creating fun art and running around on the playground while socializing with new and returning classmates. I am so thankful that Robin was able to come and give the class a memorable back-to-school experience.

 

It’s An Art Party specializes in birthday parties, but you can hire them for any of your upcoming events. We really loved Robin’s care and instruction, and best of all set-up and clean-up are a part of her services.

 

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own, honest words. Your opinions may vary.

Awesome Kids Eat Free Deal & Giveaway

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar for this opportunity. I am being sponsored to help lead this campaign, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all claims and details shared can be verified by O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar.

 

I definitely owe O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar a huge thank you for giving this mom a much needed break. As we prepared to get ready for school AND are the middle of a move, my mind has been in a bit of a haze. Remembering my to-do list, and making sure the girls have everything they need for school leaves me more forgetful than I like to be.

I am so thankful that O’Charley’s is offering, (in my opinion), one of the best Kids Eat Free promotions I’ve seen. We experienced this first hand when we headed to our local O’Charley’s one busy day before school started.

 

Kids Eat Free O'Charley's

 

In the midst of packing up school supplies and getting ready for Back-to-School night {where the girls would meet their teachers}, I decided it would make life so much easier to grab dinner out. The four of us headed to O’Charley’s to take advantage of their Kids Eat Free promotion.

The girls loved the kids menu selections and ended up with the #1 kid staple: pizza. DaddyB and I added a side of carrots (not included in Kids Eat Free deal) for each girl, and their drinks were included, of course they chose the pink lemonade.

 

Kids Eat Free O'Charley's MommyB

O'Charley's Kids Eat Free MommyB

For the adult meals, we could have gone the money saving route and ordered regular entrees, but since the girls ate free we decided to choose menu items that were on the pricier side {although all the meals were pretty affordable}.

I got the NEW Filet Mignon with Garlic Butter which was amazing and DaddyB chose the Fresh Cedar-Planked Salmon. He loved his dish just as much as I loved mine and of course the girls were very happy with their meals too.

The food was great the service was fantastic and during Back-to-School season, it is one less thing to worry about. I think it’s fair to say that we are all very thankful for this awesome promotion.

O'Charley's Kids Eat Free Promo MommyB

 

Whether you’re looking to save time (think not having to cook, or clean dishes) or money (for every one adult entree you receive one complimentary child’s entree) O’Charley’s is making it easy for families to dine-in during the back-to-school season. Make sure you head to your local O’Charley’s between now and September 5th to take advantage of this awesome deal.

 

O'Charley's Gift Card

Also as promised… I’m giving away one $50 gift card to O’Charley’s so not only can you get your kids meals free, but you can also treat yourselves as well.

 

How to WinComment between now and September 1st, 2016 with the entree you would like the most and the entree your child would like the most. If you’re feeling generous you can share this with your friends. All you need to do is be 18 years old and a U.S. Citizen. 

O’Charley’s Back-to-School – Kids Eat Free Promotion

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar for this opportunity. I am being sponsored to help lead this campaign, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all claims and details shared can be verified by O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar.

 

School supplies shopping, Meet the Teacher, haircuts, doctor’s appointments, and the list goes on. Any of these tasks sound familiar as the 2016-2017 school year is about to begin? I know we have checked off some items on our to-do list, but have a few more things looming over us before the girls start their first day of 1st grade and 4th grade.

 

I love when companies understand parents, especially during hectic times like Back-to-School. O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar is one of those brands, brands that are making it easier to make it through long days by offering Kids Eat Free now through September 5th.

 

Kids Eat Free O'Charley's

 

You may be thinking, “okay, so what, a lot of restaurants offer Kids Eat Free nights“, but this is not your average promotion. O’Charley’s is offering free kids meals to guests all day, every day during their promotion. The only “rules” are it’s dine in (of course) at participating restaurants and one free kid’s meal for children 10 and under with purchase of adult entrée.

 

The O’Charley’s kids menu offers a variety of choices from the more traditional dinner items like the Kid’s Burger or Cheese Pizza to more unique options like Mini Corn Dogs and Bite-Size Shrimp. This promotion is available at all O’Charley’s restaurants with the exception of the Nashville International Airport location.

 

 

Next time you’re out running errands or heading to Back-to-School events be sure to drop in to O’Charley’s for a quick bite without breaking the bank. For more details on the Kids Eat Free promotion, or to check out other food offerings, head to O’Charley’s website: Ocharleys.com 

 

Also, be sure to subscribe or check back often for an upcoming post featuring the B Family’s experience with O’Charley’s and Kids Eat Free and a giveaway!

 

 

Getting our House Market Ready – Window Genie Review

The Bullocks are moving to Charlotte!

Lately our family has been getting our current home market ready and as we do so we want our home to look amazing for buyers. Our awesome realtor has helped us with staging the home, we hired a carpet cleaner to freshen up some areas in the house and recently Window Genie of Concord paid us a visit.

 

NEW WG Gold

 

Most homes around this time of year need a little cleaning and our home is no different {other than the fact that we want it to look extra nice for potential buyers}. We were introduced to Window Genie Concord and they helped us achieve a beautiful, clean looking home.

If you’re not familiar with the company, Window Genie offers a huge selection of services whether you are getting your home market ready or just want to maintain your home’s curb appeal.

Mark from Window Genie came to our home to survey areas that were in need of care and give us a recommended plan of action. We chose to have the North side of the house, North side of our inside fence, and both front and back patios/walkways powerwashed.

While they were here Mark and his team went above and beyond to make sure our home looked amazing.

Here are some before and after pictures:

 

Window Genie Patio MommyB

 

Window Genie Siding MommyB

 

Window Genie Fence MommyB

 

(No filters were used on any images but as you can tell the direction of the sun changed between photos.)

As you can see the results speak for themselves. Mark and his team were friendly, and professional. One thing I really loved too is that they moved and put back all the furniture that was where they cleaned saving me time to complete other tasks on my ever growing to-do list.

I love how clean the house and fence look and know whoever decides to tour the house will notice as well. We are so happy we worked with Window Genie to help get our home market ready. I’m already making a list of tasks for Window Genie for our new house to make it look just as great as our house now.

 

 

If you want to check them out, they’re a national company, and I can personally recommend the Concord branch. concord-nc.windowgenie.com

Mention MommyBKnowsBest to Window Genie Concord location and receive 10% off!!! 

 

I want to know: What are some things you’ve done or services you’ve used to make your house market ready??

This is a review for Window Genie services I did not receive compensation and all opinions are my own, honest thoughts.

CVS Curbside Pickup

This is a sponsored post in partnership with CVS/pharmacy.

If you’re a busy parent I guarantee that saving time is a top priorities. During the summer months finding ways to make errands shorter not only help me spend more fun time with my girls but also helps leaves me less stressed.

Ever find yourself dreading going in the store? Yeah me too! Sometimes you have a sleeping baby you really don’t want to wake up, sometimes it’s a battle to justify getting everyone in and out of the store, and other times I’m under the weather and just wish I could just stay in my car with my sniffles.

Whatever reason you dread going into the store help is here.

I recently discovered CVS/pharmacy’s new Curbside Pickup, a really cool, time-saving feature.

Here’s How It Works:

Head to the CVS Mobile app or the CVS website. Find a location near you and follow the instructions for Curbside Pickup to start shopping.

 

CVSPharmacy App

 

After processing your order CVS will text you that your order is ready and send you a pickup pass to use once you get to the store. (You can also track your order.)

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Processing MommyB

 

Typical transactions may take around an hour to fill.

Once you receive the text that your order is ready head to the CVS you placed your order with and find the CVS Curbside Sign like this:

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Sign MommyBKnowsBest

 

Then you wait for your order to be brought out to your vehicle.

The CVS employee scans the pickup pass and your transaction is complete.

Quick Details:

· The service is currently available in 3 select regions (with plans to roll out later on): Charlotte, Atlanta and San Francisco

· To use the service, customers can choose from thousands of non-prescription items through either the CVS Mobile App or website, and have them delivered curbside at a local CVS Pharmacy location within an hour

· No markups or added costs (LOVE this!!!)

· You can link your ExtraCare number to your CVS.com account and earn quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards and receive weekly ad sale prices on CVS Curbside Pickup orders (please note: item pricing will vary by store)

My Experience:

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Purchase MommyB

 

The service is awesome. It’s easy to shop and add your items if you know what you’re looking for. You can check out their featured items, search by department, or the search bar allows you to find exactly what you’re looking for.

During my use I put an item in my cart that wasn’t available at my local store. The system texted me right away letting me know I had to update my order and the store even called to clarify. Though they’re working out a few bugs I know I get the service of a live person at the store who is working hard to ensure my satisfaction.

I realized a couple of the items I had in my cart were on sale either with coupons from my ExtraCare Card or the store’s regular sale prices. Yippee!!

 

CVS Express Pickup MommyB

 

 

After placing my order I received the text it was ready within about 10 minutes.

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Ready MommyB

 

We hopped in the car (really I could have taken them without shoes or in their jammies since we didn’t have to get out of the car, hooray!!!) Once we pulled into the CVS parking lot my sister timed how long we waited for our items and it was under a minute!!! I was pretty impressed, and the service was excellent.

Seriously, doing this every time I shop would be a huge blessing. I love that CVS is starting this service and hope that more places follow suit. Now I can grab sunscreen on our way to the park if I forget it or order medicine for a headache and snacks for the kids while I’m running errands. Because we all know even the most well-behaved kiddos sometimes have a hard time “running into the store” and sometimes we just “don’t wanna”.

What’s Cool for You

· READERS/FOLLOWERS: Get $10 off your first curbside pickup order, no minimum purchase – using the code: 10CVSCURBSIDE (Expires 8/7/16)

***This code can only be used within the CVS Curbside service feature within the CVS Pharmacy app.

GIVEAWAY:

CVS/pharmacy is giving 3 lucky readers a chance to win a $50 CVS gift card. All you have to do is try out CVS Curbside Pickup and tell me about your experience. You can post a comment here, come post a picture/comment/video on my Facebook page @mommybknowsbest, tweet me @mommybknowsbest using #cvs and/or @cvs_extra, post an instagram picture and tag @mommybknowsbest @cvspharmacy #cvs, send me a snapchat @mommybknowsbest. I will be choosing the 3 best posts on July 31st, 2016 so be creative and don’t forget you have to try the service in order to be chosen to win a giftcard.

**Must be over 18 years old to enter.

 

I can’t wait to hear how your experience with CVS Curbside Pickup goes. Don’t forget, no minimum purchase required using the CVS app and code here in this blog post AND document and share your experience on any of the above mentioned social media platforms to win!!! 

10 Things I Heart in Winter

I know it’s not “officially” Winter yet, however the things I love all have to do with Winter or the Winter season, so I’m posting my 10 Things I Heart in Winter.

10 Things I Heart Winter MommyB

Here we go!

1. Warm coffee, yummo!!! Here are my favorite varieties:

    • On-the-go –  Starbucks, (My favorite is Hazelnut Macchiato with soy milk)
    • At home – Real Cup Coffee, they have awesome coffees and teas that work great with my Keurig and both hubby and I love. I personally love flavored coffee (see above) and for the Winter season they have a great Winterfest flavor.

Real Coffee MommyB

    • For stocking stuffers – Craft Coffee’s Coffee DNA Project™, if you know a coffee lover this great coffee subscription features coffees you probably won’t find anywhere else in a great sampler size (not too small not too big). Answer some questions, customize or get their recommendations.

2. The Spirit of Giving.

I reviewed and posted about this awesome book last year – The Sparkle Box Book Review and we fell in love. Without giving any of the storyline away the book encourages families to do for others. It not only gives a great incentive to have a giving spirit, but it reminds us what Christmas is all about. I love seeing our sparkling box this time of year and love that my girls desire to fill it up with good deeds for others. Hope you check it out!

3. Smiling Faces, Fun Experiences, and Cute Pets.

Where do all those things appear?? Instagram. Yep, I heart Instagram. Probably my most loved version of social media. It’s less controversial than Facebook can be at times and rather than all the words on Twitter I can see fun, sweet, beautiful pictures that embody the lives of family, friends, and coworkers (aka other bloggers and pr companies).

Recently I received an opportunity to check out #Cube™. Basically it’s a large 8” square LCD touch screen display, that taps into Instagram. #Cube™ delivers real-time and instant continuous delivery of a stream of photos and video clips, has built-in Wi-Fi, free wireless software updates, and is rechargeable. You can put #Cube™ anywhere in your house and move it around easily because it’s wireless (and really cool too.)

Classic_1680_hashtagcube_0008_color9

 

If you know someone who would love this as a gift, or want to buy it for yourself (that’s okay too), head to hashtagcube.com/#cube and for a $15#cube discount use coupon code: CUBE71 at checkout (affiliate link).

4. Christmas Cards

I love making our Christmas Cards each year, but even more so I love receiving them. We’re thankful for any cards we receive this time of year, but I’m especially partial to those with pictures of beautiful families, awesome couples, fun kids, awesome babies, and sweet pets. This month we’ve already received a bunch and I can’t wait to see new ones that come each day and hang them up.

5. Elderberry

Each time we get sick (which I feel like for a family of four isn’t too often, but often enough), I have a couple of dear friends who remind me the power of Elderberry. Well just last month I decided to get on the Elderberry train and I’m so glad I did! I didn’t realize all of the great benefits of Elderberry especially when you’re fighting an illness.

Norm’s Farms (locally in NC but ships worldwide), has an AMAZING selection of Elderberry products, that we used and loved (okay the girls didn’t like the taste but I thought it was similar to cranberry and loved it). My favorite product is their Elderberry Extract which is great for boosting your immune system, and has 2 times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries. They also have some great jellies and jams you’ll want to check out as well.

Norms Farms Elderberry MommyB

I also found some Elderberry products in health stores like lozenges that included zinc which I’ve heard is also another great, homeopathic way to treat a cough/cold. So don’t put it off like me, try Elderberry and then come back and thank me when you fall in love too!

6. Gettin’ Crafty.

Now that my girls are older, they want more hands-on activities and learning opportunities that a coloring book just won’t achieve. We often keep recycled materials in a bin in their “kids’ office” but we also buy science experiment kits, and craft sets.

We were able to try CreatorBox, a built-it-yourself subscription box that includes a new toy each month. The box comes complete with instructions and quality materials and feature some really cool things you wouldn’t normally think to create like a trebuchet/catapult, paper airplane launcher, and smart house.

For us, this was a great project for the girls to do with DaddyB because I often work on arts, crafts and projects with them, but due to DaddyB’s work schedule the quality time he does have is on the weekends. We saved our catapult for the girls to put together with him and they had a blast with it! I highly recommend this for great family bonding, and learning too!

7. Holiday Shopping

We don’t go big for Christmas presents but we do buy each of our girls 3 gifts (want, need, read) and this year we also bought most of our family 3 gifts as well (one thoughtful gift, one gift card, and one handmade gift). While at a recent BJ’s Holiday event, my assistant Lil’ C and I were introduced to quite a few great gift sets and learned a little more about BJ’s Wholesale as well.

Though we were members for several years, mostly buying diapers and paper products, I never realized how much larger BJ’s Wholesale is than their competitors, carrying more than double typically. They also have a great charitable foundation that gives back to the community and each store also participates in several outreach opportunities throughout the season including an angel tree. Did you know that???

Here are some of the great gifts for two-legged family and friends (and some four legged ones too):

BJs Holiday MommyB

 

8. Fun Movies

I love fun winter and Christmas movies, don’t you? The problem with fun movies though is that there are so many to choose from, so I’m gonna try to keep my list simple. Try is the operative word people. In no particular order:

  • Elf, for obvious reasons.
  • Iesodo’s new JOY themed video
  • The Grinch (good lessons in here)
  • Home Alone (and Home Alone 2 but if I have to pick, I’d go with the first one)
  • Any Veggie Tales Christmas, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, Saint Nicholas is a great one to teach your kiddos about who St. Nicholas really was, and the Ultimate Christmas Collection has a bunch of great holiday DVDs in one great set.

9. Goodies

Yep, it’s the season of candy and sweets, cookie exchanges, and delicious stocking stuffers. One of my favorite places to pick up sweet treats for my family is CVS/pharmacy. They have the usual treats like candy canes, gold coins (which I always put in the girls’ stockings), and other great candy bars, nuts, and trail mixes to name a few, plus the sales and prices are….awesome.

CVS Gold Emblem Select MommyB

10. You! 

The biggest thing I love this Winter is you!! I always try to remind you, my readers, that I’m so thankful and blessed to have you stopping by my site, reading, and sharing my posts. I hope that you have a great winter, a Merry Christmas and of course an awesome New Year. Thank you for being so amazing for yet another year end. I heart you!!!

 

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, however I have worked with some of the above brands in various ways and received some product to showcase on my blog. Any and all opinions expressed in the above post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary. 

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family

I know Advent has already started! I can’t believe it’s December already, not only because it was 70+ degrees here in North Carolina, but also because I don’t feel like it’s time for the end of this year. {Tell me I’m not the only one in this boat.}

In lieu of Advent, one of the most awesomest times of year that we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus and show even more love and kindness to those around us, our family likes to honor advent and count down the days until Christmas with a paper chain filled with fun activities and thoughtful acts as well.

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family MommyB

 

Here is our list {in no specific order} of things on our Advent chain.

  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Decorate the house {inside/outside}
  • Donate Food to a local food bank/cause
  • Make homemade presents
  • Wrap presents {with Christmas music and snacks of course}
  • Christmas Craft
  • Invite someone to church
  • Watch Christmas Movie {movie marathon or movie night}
  • Have a holiday playdate
  • Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday
  • Send Christmas Cards {kids help address, stuff, stamp}
  • Take gifts to civil servants, doctors, etc.
  • Head to our favorite botanical garden {we love Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens}
  • Visit a {live} nativity {we enjoyed Billy Graham Library’s festivities}
  • Read Christmas stories from the Bible and check out some great books our family likes to read.
  • Write a letter to Jesus {and leave it under your tree or read aloud and share as a family}
  • Go caroling with some friends in nearby neighborhoods or Senior Assisted living communities
  • Drive through your neighborhood or a neighborhood that’s known for it’s lights display
  • Make paper snowflakes and then display them
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their classmates {we made play dough one year}
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their teachers
  • Send a care package to missionaries, {we’re going to send ours to the Yon family}
  • Celebrate St. Nicholas Day, which just so happens to be my birthday. {Believe it or not the real St. Nicholas focused on giving more than receiving and so this day we plan on doing something kind for others}
  • Have a secret Santa with family or friends but instead of giving gifts write thoughtful notes or draw pictures.
  • Have a neighborhood night in {invite neighbors for yummy food and great fellowship}

Again, those are only a few ideas and the ones we’re using this year, it’s easy to find other ideas online as well.

 

I’d love to hear if you celebrate Advent and how you celebrate it. Also let me know if you decide to use any of these ideas too!!

Matthew 1:21 “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

Happy December!

Keep Your Sanity During Holiday Travel

As an ambassador for Rayovac I have been compensated for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own.

Travel during the Holiday season can be a bit overwhelming. Add some children (maybe even a bitty baby), maybe a pet, inclement weather, traffic, construction, and the stress level can be almost unbearable. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Here are some tips on how my family stays sane during Holiday travel, {hope they come in handy!}:

Keep Your Sanity During Holiday Travel MommyB

It’s electric! Boogie Woogie.

{great now I have that song stuck in my head} Seriously though, we’re not HUGE screen time parents on your average day, but a 4+ hour trip, especially those longer than 10 hours call for some sort of electronic play, at least in our car.

This can be tricky though for several reasons, but here are a few tricks to keep a handle on the situation.

1. Charge EVERYTHING up before you leave. The night before or the day of your trip get your charge on.

2. Bring extra batteries. I recommend Rayovac Alkaline batteries because they’re a trusted brand name AND hold charge just as long as their competitors plus they’re a lower price, great for energy sucking travel toys. **

3. Set time limits on electronics (don’t let the kiddos play on screens for several hours on end or you’ll have crabby kiddos).

** Rayovac has some great coupons available for even greater savings on their already low priced products! Head to the Rayovac Facebook page to unlock them!!

Rayovac Coupons

 

MommyB Happy Traveling Baby

Baby Love

1. If possible, it’s best for someone to sit next to baby. It’s easier (and safer) than stopping the car or trying to reach back.

2. Plan for several stops for feeding and changing.

3. Consider buying a car-safe musical toy or mobile to keep baby entertained on the ride. Bring some extra batteries just in case!

Keep Sane During Holiday Travels MommyB

Game Plan

Decide ahead of time what games and activities you’ll bring or use to keep the kiddos occupied.

1. Of course this varies by age, but we like to bring mini dry erase boards for them and us to write words, draw pictures, and do math problems {bonus points for fun learning}.

2. Other great activities for kiddos are counting cars (choose a color and get counting), car bingo (find great printables on Pinterest), I spy, and any versions of animal, mineral, vegetable (we use nouns – person, place, thing).

3. Plan to stop at interesting places along the way. It can be planned (preferably) or impromptu, but this will give the whole family a break and if it’s an activity something fun to do, and if it’s just a beautiful scenic rest stop something to talk about on the rest of your trip.

 

What tips and tricks do you use to keep your sanity during Holiday travel?

 

Whatever you come up with for your family’s travel plans, just make sure you enjoy it. Not every second will be the most fun or memorable, but taking the good from what can be mundane is what truly builds up our family time.

Safe travels this Holiday season!!!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of my partnership with Rayovac. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.