Tag - holiday ideas

Fun and Easy Valentine’s Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate with kids. My girls love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, so basically they cover 4 out of 5 of the love languages. If you haven’t heard about love languages check out my blog post on Exploring Love Languages.

 

Because they have different love languages we do a few things both leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself. Here are just a couple new and old traditions that we partake in to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day Countdown – Make a paper chain, calendar countdown, or think of something creative to count your way down to Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what day you start but here are some ideas of what you and your family can do to count your way down to the 14th.

  • Hug someone in your family
  • Read John 3:16
  • Make a craft with hearts
  • Say one reason you love each member of your family
  • Help cook a family meal or treat in the shape of a heart
  • Look at pictures from past V-days
  • Help someone in need
  • Spend time with another family
  • Invite someone to church
  • Color pictures for extended family members
  • Write a letter to a missionary or military family
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Decorate your home with words of kindness


Valentine’s Day Tree

We found this Valentine’s Day Tree in the dollar section at Target. It was made for the classroom, but I find a lot of great items that we can use at home are teaching tools or made for school. I love how easy it is to love with words of affirmation and kindness using this simple decoration.

 

There’s also something similar on Amazon*, and of course you could make your own as well:

 

Now that I’ve shared a couple of things we do in our home, I would love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day. Share how you celebrate by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you make a purchase I get rewarded too. I would never link something I didn’t think would be a good purchase for my readers. Thanks for supporting MommyB Knows Best and be sure to leave a comment!

Family Friendly Holidays in Charlotte

Having lived in Charlotte for 10 years, our family has been able to create memorable holiday traditions. We also love that new activities and creative events that are popping up each year. Here are some of our favorites that we wanted to share with you!

 

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Holidays at the Garden

This destination is one of our favorite must-visit locations during the holidays {and other times of the year too}. If you are looking for a family tradition, Holidays at the Garden is an event where you’ll be able to make memories for years to come.

Children will look forward to filling out their passport when they complete fun holiday-themed games located around the garden and parents will love the beauty of the lights and spending time around a fire with their family.

With light features changing each year everyone in your family is bound to find a favorite, or two. While the stunning lights may be what brings you to Daniel Stowe this time of year, the live music, fairy village, and ambiance of roasting s’mores over the fire will keep you coming back year after year.

There are several food and snack options there are including food trucks, beverage bars, and of course it wouldn’t be the holidays without some amazingly sweet goodies. This year Sproutycakes Bakery greeted us again with a huge array of Christmas yumminess.

{Check them out: Sproutycakes Facebook and tell them we sent you, you can thank us later.}

While you will definitely want to bundle up, DSBG has done a great job of creating warm spaces for your family whether it’s the roaring fire pits, or the warmth and beauty of the Orchid Conservatory.

Additional activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, visit with Mrs. Claus, and Capture the Magic with Santa. *Some pre-registrations and payments required, please check the website for details.

To check out more details or purchase tickets online at a discounted rate for Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens head HERE.

 

Carowinds

WinterFest

WinterFest is an all-new immersive holiday entertainment tradition, opening select evenings through December 30th.

WinterFest transforms the park into a winter wonderland adorned with more that five million holiday lights, a beautiful 70-foot Christmas tree and festive décor displayed throughout the park.

These words and picture alone do not do the park justice, they really went all out and several park goers outside of our party were in awe.

We loved how the park was divided into different themed areas from Charlie Brown’s™ Christmas Town to Jingle Bell Boardwalk, the ever-so-sweet Candy Cane Lane, and who can forget Celebration Plaza where it all kicks off.

WinterFest activities include a nightly tree lighting, live holiday shows and strolling performers, up to 16 family rides, a special holiday menu, a live nativity and 38-animal petting zoo, falling snow, and so much more!

Additional activities include taking a picture with Santa at St. Nick’s Pics*, decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus*, creating take-home keepsakes at Sally Brown’s Christmas Crafts, , skating on Snowflake Lake* and horse-drawn carriage rides*. *The activities listed may require advance ticket purchase or ticket purchase on-site.

The PEANUTS™ gang, and wonderful winter characters are all decked out in Holiday Spirit {except for Scrooge} and the joy is pretty contagious. With the help of some cheerful elves, Miss C and other excited children, wrote a letter to Santa at the North Pole Post Office.

 

Our family loved the singing and dancing featured in Charlie Brown’s™ Christmas Spectacular, and it was a great way to warm up the entire group, not to mention a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. All through the park is festive, live entertainment both indoors and outdoors.

If you’re anything like our coaster-loving family, you’ll want to take advantage of some extra ride time this season. With up to 16 rides, including Afterburn there’s sure to be a ride for family members of every age and thrill level.

Carowinds’ hasn’t forgotten the holiday treats. There are 20 new menu items just for WinterFest, including Turducken burgers, gourmet mac and cheese, gingerbread-eggnog and chocolate-peppermint funnel cakes, and homemade hot chocolate. {Buy your souvenir mug and get free refills on your day of purchase and $1 refills for return visits.}

Who would have thought, shoppers can browse for gifts at WinterFest too. My favorite section are the booths by local vendors at Artisan Alley. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, or ugly sweaters, the park has those too!

**Don’t forget, guests can visit WinterFest once for free when they purchase a 2018 gold or platinum season pass.

Otherwise, grab your advance-purchase tickets, and check out all the details at carowinds.com.

Billy Graham Library

Christmas at the Library

If you’re looking for a faith-based Christmas tradition Billy Graham Library is rich with history. Parking and admission are FREE. The library is known for it’s year-round Journey of Faith that creatively tells the journey of Billy Graham {this may be a feature you want to save if you have pre-school aged children}. During the holidays the library comes alive –literally– with a delightful live nativity.

Enjoy the sleigh bells jingling while you take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the library grounds {for an additional fee}, or make your reservations for Christmas Dinner and enjoy time with your loved ones.

We loved hearing the different carolers and musical groups that were featured while drinking a hot cup of cocoa. We haven’t been this year, but in previous years the only thing that was a little let down was the food selection and taste. You may want to consider dining out before or after your visit.

Find out more details about your upcoming visit to Christmas at the Library.

Founders Hall – Uptown Charlotte

Leonard Bearstein Orchestra


The Leonard Bearstein Orchestra is located in uptown Charlotte at Founders Hall in the Bank of America Building. This is a fun event to attend, especially if you have little ones. This full animatronic orchestra perform from on the hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. With the exception of Christmas Day.

Founders Hall also has some restaurants, places to grab a quick bite or coffee, and shops if you are planning on making the visit a longer trip.

**Occasionally, a regularly scheduled performance may not take place due to a special event in the hall. As a parent it’s always good to have a back up plan just in case. I always recommend 7th Street Market, ImaginOn, and the Light Rail.

Head here to view the schedule: Bearstein Orchestra

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Speedway Christmas

Speedway Christmas is definitely one of the must-visits if you haven’t been or if you are new to the area. Surprising to me, I’ve found that people either love the experience or don’t. My family personally really enjoys this Charlotte Holiday event, but if you have anyone who doesn’t like being in the car for an extended period of time they may not enjoy this selection as much. {We haven’t used it but have heard that the fast pass to skip the line is worth the additional fee.} There are several days and times that the speedway is less busy and lines are shorter.

We like to go on a day we feel will be less busy, but also one that still has the Christmas Village experience. In the past the village has had an opportunity to visit Santa, purchase Holiday gifts from local vendors, and enjoy yummy food and treats.

In a previous year we’ve enjoyed the nativity/Bethlehem experience and our girls always love the petting zoo filled with a variety of adorable animals. Often times there will be additional activities for an extra charge like carnival and horse rides.

Get your tickets and more information here: Speedway Christmas

 

While this is a pretty long list of some of our family favorites, we have others and know that you do too. Please comment and let us know your favorite local areas to spend the holidays with your family. Also tell us if you agree or disagree, we want to hear from you!!

Thank you to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens and Carowinds for hosting us this holiday season!!

Family Date Night – McAlister’s Deli Kids Eat Free

If you’ve been reading my posts lately you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring Love Languages and how we can learn about our own love language as well as how others like to be loved. I’m excited to feature quality time in my next series installment and with Valentine’s Day around the corner have been thinking of ways I can show my family through quality time how much I love them.

Thinking of the things we like to do as a family and activities that have been successful in the past are great ways to figure out what will be good options for family dates. Each family is unique, so I encourage you to sit down and think of what memories you have made and also consider some new family activities that will show love especially to those whose love language is quality time.

 

 

My girls would eat out at restaurants for every meal if that was an option, not just because the food is good, but they truly enjoy being able to sit down and talk as a whole family. While we always make time for conversations with each other, there’s just something about going to a restaurant that gives us more time and freedom to do that.

At McAlister’s Deli they encourage Family Date Nights and we love that because instead of preparing dishes or grabbing something to add to our meal, DaddyB and I can sit and enjoy more uninterrupted time with our kiddos. I mean what better dates could we ask for?!?!

 

 

We love how at McAlister’s Deli they bring the food to our table and clear our place when we are done, and that means more time to hear the funny stories our girls share. Plus, with great promotions like Kids Eat Free night we are able to enjoy our meal without spending as much.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, McAlister’s Deli is encouraging you to have a family date night with your loved ones. Head to a participating McAlister’s Deli near you on February 14th where kids under 12 eat free.

(More details here: McAlister’s Family Date Night)

Love family date nights??? How does a YEAR worth of family date nights sound??! Your family can enter to win today. Head to: McAlister’s Deli Sweepstakes and enter once daily through February 14th, 2017.

 

What are you waiting for? Start making plans for family date nights. No cooking or cleaning but all the benefits of quality time, plus life is too short not to have family date nights!

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with McAlister’s Deli. Any opinions in this post belong to MommyBKnowsBest.com

Creative Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Traditions with Family

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

Traditions are awesome! Spending time together celebrating holidays and events year-by-year is one of the most important ways to help shape your family’s memory.

Traditions are traditions for a reason, because they’re typically done on a regular basis {bi-annually, yearly, monthly, etc}, however it’s never to late to start a tradition with your family and while you’re at it, why not get creative?!?

Here are some Creative Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Traditions with Family. Miss A helped me come up with some of the things on this list, which make it even more awesome.

Creative Traditions to Celebrate Independence Day MommyB

Flag someone’s yard who has been a great service to our country. Take several small flags and stick them in the ground to show you are thinking about that person. Try to remember not to let any of the flags touch the ground or fall over.

Creative Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Traditions with Family using Flags MommyBKnowsBest

 

Have a popsicle making competition. Get creative or make your favorite flavors. This tradition is almost as fun to do as it is to judge. Here are some great popsicle recipes and ideas.

 

Visit veterans and provide a service to them. Some ideas of services could include making a meal, mowing their lawn, helping run errands, or making thank you cards.

 

Learn about the American Flag – though it’s not Flag Day the American Flag holds a lot of history in it’s stars and stripes. It’s not often that we talk about the American Flag, the stories behind it, and the symbolism. Make this one of your yearly activities and include new games or crafts each year to make this activity fun and fresh.

  • Split the flag up into sections for your family or group and have each person draw a part of the flag. Take a picture of the finished product.
  • Wear patriotic colors and create a human flag.
  • Make your own flag puzzle and have fun put it together each year. Remember to take pictures!

Make a Flag to celebrate our country on MommyBKnowsBest

 

Host a 4th of July family parade. You could include neighbors and friends in this activity. Have fun dressing up as an important Independence Day figure.

 

Bake a cake and sing, “Happy Birthday” to America! Obviously it’s best to make a cake that reflects America, try out some cakes featured on my Pinterest Holiday Board.

 

Explore a new museum or historical landmark. There are so many museums and historical landmarks that we don’t even know exists and some may be right in our own proverbial backyard. Take time before the 4th to research and plan your visit.

 

Decorate your house and sing patriotic songs while doing it. Just like decorating and caroling at Christmas time {if you celebrate that way}, why not decorate with 4th of July decor, flags, and sing songs about our country. How many can you remember?!?

 

Celebrate and use products that are Made in the USA. Did you know that Rayovac alkaline and hearing aid batteries are made in the USA? There aren’t many products from large brands that are still made in America, but by using American made products we’re finding another way to support our country.

 

Made in the USA MommyBKnowsBest

 

 

What do you and your family do to celebrate and create Independence Day traditions???

 

 

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.

Celebrating Father’s Day and the #worldstoughestjob with Cardstore

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cardstore, all opinions and stories are my own.

I have to admit my husband is an amazing Dad. I’m constantly amazed at the “Daddy-Daughter Adventures” he comes up with when I have to be away from him and the girls for work or events. The girls are always filled with excitement as DaddyB grabs his white board and they start making their plans. Whether it’s finding a fun way to run errands or fulfilling a request to head to their favorite play place DaddyB always takes on the challenge and goes above and beyond enjoying his time with our children.

Being adventure daddy is only one of his many jobs. His jobs also include being strong daddy, chef daddy, and birthday party entertainer daddy to name a few:

Worlds Toughest Job Father's Day MommyB

I am so blessed that my girls are growing and interested in celebrating their daddy too. This Father’s Day we used Cardstore to craft a personal {and GREAT priced} card for DaddyB and they helped!! They loved choosing which pictures should go on the front and saying all the things that they loved about their dad to add to the card.

It was super easy to make the card, Cardstore gave us step-by-step instructions plus I LOVED that I could use photos from practically anywhere, my computer, Facebook, Instagram!! Very cool.

Here’s the front of the card we chose after we personalized it:

 

Celebrating Father's Day #worldstoughestjob MommyB

 

and the inside mentioned all the reasons why he is great, one being that he shaves his prickly beard. I bet your kiddos have some fun comments about their dad too.

Check out this video of funny sayings from dads #worldstoughestjob:

 

 

Awesome right!??!

You know what else is awesome?!? Cardstore has created a discount code for you valid until June 9! Use the code CCG4527 for a Father’s Day card at the discount rate of $2.49! 

Also, join me tomorrow, Friday, June 6th at 1p ET on twitter, follow the #WorldsToughestJob hashtag for some awesome conversation and a chance to celebrate fathers. Can’t wait to chat with you then!

 

 

Disclosure: I partnered with Cardstore from American Greetings and The Motherhood for the #WorldsToughestJob Dad Casting Father’s Day promotion and was compensated for my involvement.

Valentine’s Day Breakfast – “Inside My Heart” Fried Egg French Toast

“Inside My Heart” Fried Egg French Toast

Valentine's Day Inside my Heart Breakfast.jpg

I’ve heard it said that you “eat with your eyes” first. I think that’s not only true for adults who instagram pictures of every meal, but also for kids too.

In my experience, children are more likely to eat something that looks fun to them. I remember babysitting a little girl who wouldn’t eat a sandwich unless it was cut in the shape of a star. So, sometimes we have to cater to the kids and get a little creative when it comes to food. That line of thinking inspired me to put together this breakfast recipe, one that might even win the “hearts” of those picky-eaters.

Toast1

Ingredients *Recipe is for 4 servings (4 slices of French toast)

1. 4 slices whole wheat or whole grain bread of your choice

2. 5 eggs

3. ¼ cup half & half (or milk)

4. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

5. 1 tbsp honey

6. 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

7. Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Directions

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Using a cookie cutter, cut out and remove a heart-shape in the center of each slice of bread. Set aside.

Valentine's Day Egg Inside Heart French Toast

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 egg, half & half, honey, and cinnamon

French Toast Mixing MommyB.jpg

4. Dip each slice of bread (with the heart cutout removed) into the egg batter

5. Grease the griddle using butter (or cooking spray), and place each slice of bread onto the griddle

6. Crack the remaining eggs into the heart cutouts in the bread (1 egg per slice)

7. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the egg looks set

8. Flip the bread and cook the reverse side for an additional 3-4 minutes

9. Serve with a drizzle of syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a dusting of powdered sugar, as desired

Egg Inside My Heart French Toast Valentine's Day Food.jpg

Bonus Tip Save the heart shapes you removed from the bread slices and use them to make heart- shaped PB&J sandwiches for lunch!

What will you be making your little sweethearts for Valentine’s Day breakfast??

 

About the author:

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

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