Category Archives: Holiday

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Set for Your Family

Throughout the year, you do little things to help ensure your kids grow up to become good people.No doubt, they are well on their way, but here’s the thing: Kids don’t always listen. When you try to drive a message home among a million other messages, it can be difficult. That’s what’s so great about New Year’s Resolutions. This time of year offers us a podium.

If you make resolutions fun, the entire family can get involved. Make the process interactive by keeping track on a chalkboard or a website. Hold everyone, (yourself included) accountable, and it may start feeling like a game.

Here are five ideas for resolutions you can set for your family.

Less screen time. Isn’t this always the goal? Maybe this year, your family can achieve it by adding a board game night or a group game of volleyball. Whatever you do, try to keep it simple and consistent, so everyone knows when it’s not okay to turn on the television or pick up the tablet.

More exercise. You can make this a family event where you all exercise together or have everyone keep track of their own goals with something like a Fitbit. Getting your kids in the habit of exercising now will help them understand the importance of staying fit throughout their lives.

Family dinners together. If you aren’t already sitting down at the dinner table together, this is a great idea for a resolution. In fact, regular family dinners are associated with reduced rates of depression and suicidal thoughts in teenagers. Try to sit for dinner together every night, if you can.

Have regular mental health days. Teenage depression is on the rise, and mental health is an issue that has become extremely important. Take one day a week to talk to your kids about their thoughts and feelings. Let them know why this is important. Untreated depression can have dangerous consequences, such as alcoholism, substance abuse, or suicide.

Keep gratitude journals. While we’re teaching our kids to be good to others, we sometimes forget to teach them how to be good to themselves. Show your kids how to create a gratitude journal to express all the things they appreciate in their lives. Especially in the teenage years, kids can get so wrapped up in what’s happening around them that they forget the important things. Gratitude journaling serves as a great reminder. This is something you can even do together as a family.

As the new year approaches, it’s time to set new goals. We may not need to reinvent our families, but we can refine some of the skills we’ve taught and learned throughout the years.

New Year’s resolutions can be a fun way for the children to try something that they wouldn’t otherwise try. If you make it fun, it’s likely to last well into the year. If you’re lucky, these habits will continue until those little ones go off to college!

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily express the ideals or views of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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Create Some Christmas Magic For Your Child With Package From Santa

As a parent, I love seeing the excitement in my little one’s eyes at Christmas. Recently, I found PackageFromSanta.com and learned that I could have a package sent to my child from the North Pole! The package would be addressed to my child and be full of authentic, Santa Claus goodies that are sure to delight.

What makes PackageFromSanta.com so special and set apart from any other company is THEY DO IT ALL (packages, letters, calls and videos from Santa and so much more…) With EVERY Package From Santa sold comes one free call and one free video.

You can see an example of a video we customized on their site below:

You can learn more about how it works by viewing this video. Right now you can take 25% off your order when you use the promo code RED1816 at check out on PackageFromSanta.com. Hurry offer ends December 15th!

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After Luke opened his package, we made the Coca and he looked everything over again. For the rest of the day he showed the stuff to everyone and he is especially proud that he has a piece of Santa’s Magic Suit. He has asked everyone to feel how soft and warm it is. He is really treasuring everything and cannot wait to spread the Reindeer food out on the lawn Christmas Eve!

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You can follow Package From Santa on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know what you think of this, just leave me a comment.

This is a sponsored post and I received a product and or was compensated to facilitate my article. As always, I only promote products or services that I have tried and truly like or use.

 


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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, kids, Review

Living on a Tight Budget? 6 Creative Ways to Be More Charitable

The holidays often inspire people to give back to those less fortunate. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you may not think that you have the means to do some good. Giving can be done any time of the year. You also don’t need to be a professional athlete or Hollywood actor to make your own mark in this world. Here are 6 creative ways you can be more charitable without breaking your budget.

Offer Your Time

If you’re looking to be more charitable, your time can be a precious gift. If you’re handy and do a good job maintaining your home,  you can volunteer to build houses for those in need. For those who love and adore animals, you may want to foster dogs and cats until they’ve found their forever homes. After work, tutor kids in language, math or reading at an under-privileged group home. During the holidays, offer to serve meals or hand out food at a food bank or soup kitchen.

Save Spare Change

Between work and family, your life may be filled with challenges. Money struggles, going through a divorce or being falsely accused of domestic violence can prove devastating. The struggles can even ruin your reputation and hinder you from getting ahead with your career. However, by becoming more charitable, you’ll be bringing good into your household. With the wide number of groups and organizations that are looking for assistance, you may not have the funds to assist everyone.

If you’re limited on cash and have spare change lying around, put it in a bucket. Every time you pay for groceries, clothes or other necessities, you can put your change into this container. As the money adds up, you’ll have enough coins to put toward charities such as the Salvation Army kettle. There are other small monetary donations that won’t make too much of a dent in your checking account. Popular methods include when the cashier at a retail establishment asks you to donate $1 to help a homeless pet shelter or child with cancer.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Your local supermarket or retail clothing store may offer two-for-one sales or discounts on items. If you get an extra set of freebies, think about donating goods to a homeless shelter. The holiday season is a great time to declutter your home. If your used merchandise is in good condition, your local Goodwill center or thrift store may benefit from the clothes, shoes, coats and housewares. Your old electronics may also be valuable as they can be refurbished and sold to families in need. Eyewear can also be costly. Instead of tossing out your old glasses to make room for new, the Lions Club has a sight program that collects used eyeglasses.

Be Kind to Planet Earth

The Earth has taken a beating in recent years as pollution and other contaminants continue to harm the planet. If you’re looking to protect Mother Nature, adopt eco-friendly habits with the family. If you get the paper or magazines delivered, recycle the material. You can also use cloth bags routinely when grocery shopping or tote a reusable mug when bringing your coffee to work. You may also volunteer for your cities trash cleanup program designed to keep roadways and highways litter free.

Get Moving for a Cause

If you’re looking to become more charitable and stay fit, you can walk or run for a cause. There are a number of organizations such as finding a cure for breast cancer and helping the hungry who use walks and races to raise money. Encourage your friends and family members to get more involved and make a day out of the event. The Internet has a host of offerings, and the money to race is typically minimal.

Focus on Your Family

Some say that charity begins at home, and it actually does. Although you may have plans to save the world, offer your family some love and undivided attention first. Instead of burying your nose in your laptop or cell phone, ditch the electronics and focus on your children, pets and partner. Break out the games or get outside and go for a walk or bike ride.

If you’ve stretched your finances to the brink, it can be challenging monetarily to offer your assistance. But giving back to those who are in need doesn’t always mean reaching for your check book. Using the above strategies, you can become more charitable and still stay on target with your budget.

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings. 


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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Mommy Ramblings, sponsored guest post

6 Fun Ways To Celebrate Earth Day With Your Family

Earth Day is Saturday! Do you have any special plans to celebrate our planet with your family? If you don’t, I have some great ideas to share. Earth Day is a special day to stress the importance of giving back to the planet we live on. Teach your children to respect and nurture the Earth and you will be making a difference not only in the next generation but our planet as well.

Go on a Litter Walk

Grab some trash bags and gloves and set off around your neighborhood cleaning up the trash that is around. Explain to your kids how littering like this is dangerous to wildlife. As you pass your neighbors encourage them to join in. Before you know it, you will have a parade of trash pickers and as they say; many hands makes the load lighter.

Plant a Garden

Nothing shows your kids where their food comes from better than planting a garden. From seeds or seedlings, they will see the entire process. Let them help with tending and caring for the garden all season. By the time of your last harvest, you will have some very experienced gardeners.

If if is too cold yet to plant by you, plan out your garden with your kids. You can start getting your garden ready by cleaning up last years plant remains, leaves, sticks and other debris. Then break up the soil. You should pick a soil test kit up and test your soil to see what nutrients it is lacking. The better your soil, the better your garden.

If you don’t have land to plant a garden, plant some container gardens or vertical gardens. There are some great ideas for maximizing your space on sites like Pinterest, so check it out.

Plant a Tree

This is a lot of fun, take a ride down to your local nursery and pick out a tree or shrub. Then go home and plant it together. Again, enlist your children to take part in the planting and care of the tree. Explain how the plants and trees give us something we need to live…oxygen.

Start a Habitat Garden

Did you know that our population of pollinators is dwindling? It is, and our food supply depends on bees and butterflies to thrive. Do your part by researching the types of plants you need to create a habitat garden.

The Monarchs main food source in the Milkweed plant but along with that you can plant native grasses, butterfly bushes, bee balm and so much more. There are also butterfly houses and feeders as well as bee houses you can add to help our pollinators. We visited a butterfly house last year with our kids and learned so much.

Start Composting

Do you compost? If not you should. It will not only cut down on your organic household garbage, it will enrich the soil in your garden. It is not hard and you have a lot of options.

There are countertop compost bins you can use to collect your daily vegetable peels, banana skins, egg shells, coffee grounds etc. Then you can take them out to a compost bin or drum. They have nice units you can buy that make it super easy or your can put up some wire fencing and make a bin of your own. You can read more about the process HERE.

Go For a Family Hike:

See the beauty of our planet by taking a family hike. It is good exercise for the body, mind and soul. Pack along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are resources for your state where you can find recommendations for great trails. Go somewhere new, you might be surprised at the beauty you find and did not know existed in your state.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?


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Filed under Family, Family Fun, Gardening, Holiday, Home & Garden, Outdoor Fun

Send Joy With These Free Printable Holiday Cards!

When you’ve been around for more than 40 years, Cricket Media has some best-loved annual traditions.  And a long-time favorite of Cricket fans has been FREE printable cards for the holidays!
For the 2016 holiday season, Cricket Media has selected 10 of their favorite holiday illustrations and created beautiful cards for you to share and send to loved ones.
 
To print them out, visit FREE HOLIDAY CARDS and 
follow the instructions.  
And, by all means, please share them with your friends and family!
It’s not too late to give the gift of reading this holiday season with a subscription to one of Cricket Media’s award-winning parenting magazines.  To truly embody the spirit of the season, you may want to explore Cricket’s “Double the Giving” Campaign.

Any gift-giver purchasing an annual print subscription to one of four different Cricket publications will also deliver the gift of reading to a child in an underserved community through two award-winning, charitable partners: Libraries Without Borders and Parent-Child Home Program, both 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Award Winners.  Each subscription bundle to BABYBUG (ages 6 mos.-3), LADYBUG (ages 3-6), SPIDER (ages 6-9) or CRICKET (ages 9-14) is priced at $29.95 (regularly $33.95), and is guaranteed to spark a life-long love of reading!
Best wishes for a warm, wonderful holiday season!

 


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Filed under Crafts, Creative Activities, Holiday

Keep The Magic of Santa Alive For Your Child With A Package From Santa!

As a parent I love seeing the excitement in my little one’s eyes at Christmas. Recently I found PackageFromSanta.com and learned that I could have a package sent to my child from the North Pole! The package would be addressed to my child and be full of authentic, Santa Claus goodies that are sure to delight.

You even get a personalized phone call and personalized high quality video staring your child free with every package. There are 3 different packages to choose from! Check out my video of Luke opening his Package From Santa below:

You can learn more about how it works by viewing this video. Right now you can take 25% off your order when you use the promo code RED1816 at check out on PackageFromSanta.com. Hurry offer ends December 15th!

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After Luke opened his package, we made the Coca and he looked everything over again. For the rest of the day he showed the stuff to everyone and he is especially proud that he has a piece of Santa’s Magic Suit. He has asked everyone to feel how soft and warm it is. He is really treasuring everything and cannot wait to spread the Reindeer food out on the lawn Christmas Eve!

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Limited Time Free Bonus!
Keep your child behaving during the hectic (and sugar laden) days leading up to Christmas with a personalized, high-quality, printable 100% FREE Nice-List Guide from Santa Claus. Includes your child’s photo, name, and top 10 behaviors needed to stay on Santa’s Nice List! Personalize your child’s Nice-List Guide here www.freenicelistguide.com It only takes 60 seconds… nothing to buy, now or ever. 🙂 I am making these for my kids so they know how to stay on the Nice List!

You can follow PackageFromSanta.com on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know what you think of this, just leave me a comment.

 

This is a sponsored post and I received a product to facilitate my article.

 


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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Holiday Gift Guide, Mommy Ramblings, Review

Read Christmas Love Letters From God with Your Children #Giveaway #FlyBy

Tis’ the season for books about the true meaning of the season. I have been sharing several books with you that do this and I have another I want to share today. Christmas Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist combines both prose and poetry perfectly as it tells the story of Jesus’ birth. It is written for children ages 4-8 years old but I think children of any age will appreciate this book.

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There is a pop up letter that goes along with each story. There is a space on the letter that you can write the name of a child on. The book has seven stories starting with Isaiah’s prophecy and ending with the visit of the wise men.

It is a lovely book that we like reading together in the weeks leading to Christmas. My kids like to unfold the letter from the page at the end of each story. This would make a nice gift to give to a special child or grandchild to remind them of the real reason for this splendid season.

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The letters are written as if they were written by God especially for your child. God’s Perfect Promise Bible verse accompanies each story. This book will help children remember the love, promises and hope God offers to all of us. You can find this book on Amazon.

Enter our giveaway below for a chance to win your own hardcover copy of this special book!

Giveaway:

Christmas Love Letters From God Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to US residents.

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Books, Christmas, Gifts, Giveaway, Holiday

Home Is Where The Heart Is, Especially At Christmas! #BoscovsHolidayHomeTour

This is a sponsored post and I will be compensated as part of the Blog Meets Brand Network. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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The holidays are upon us, I love Christmas, especially seeing it through my children’s eyes. I look forward to decorating our home inside and out every year. This year will be different, a few weeks ago a leak in our kitchen wreaked havoc on our lives that will change the way we celebrate this season. Our entire kitchen and basement has to be demoed and all of our belongings are being packed up and put in storage.

It will be a long process. We live in a rural location so there are no hotels nearby. The insurance company paid for a travel trailer to be put on site for us to live while our house is being repaired. This means that we will not be able to decorate the way we usually do. I want to make the holiday season special for my kids but most of my decorations have been packed and brought to a location to be cleaned. Anyway, we are making the best of things and that is why when I was approached with the opportunity to work with Boscov’s on their holiday home tour, it was a big blessing.

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Recently, we all headed off to Boscov’s and rode the escalator straight up to the Holiday Shop. My kids’ eyes were as wide as my husband’s and mine. There were so many beautifully decorated trees and displays.

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A member of the helpful staffed named Linda told me she decorated all the trees and many of the displays.  There were indoor decorations, outdoor decorations, ornaments, village houses and so much more. The first thing that caught our eye was the Santa in Sleigh with Reindeer outdoor display.

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I laughed because it was the same one from the movie Christmas Vacation. My husband said it was a great idea since we can still decorate the outside of our home. We also picked up a vintage looking outdoor lighted Snowman with Pipe.

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I found some cute little cardinal and bluebird shelf sitters and a “Have Faith” block sculpture with a cardinal that coordinated. Cardinals are very special for me so I knew these were going home with me.

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Then I found 2 Annalee dolls I loved, a mouse ornament and a mouse standing figure.

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Next, I picked up a tablecloth and headed off to find a ceramic tree that is reminiscent of the vintage kind I remember as a kid. I had to decide between green and white and went with the white.The pictures don’t do it justice. I also picked up a beautiful Lenox silver-plated Christmas tree ornament and a train for our village.

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They had so many nice ornaments, we picked out several that we really liked for our tree.

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Soon we were ready to go and load our purchases in the car.

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Here is a video of my Boscov’s haul:

The tree makes a cute little display with the other ornaments in the travel trailer.

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I did get to at least try my tablecloth on my kitchen table before they took it away. I love the vintage look of this tablecloth.

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The train is so detailed and will look awesome when we add a few of our village houses. Our village will be smaller this year but it will still be festive.

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The outdoor decorations are very nice and with the new fallen snow they look just fabulous.

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The kids really love everything and I guess this all goes to show us that home is where the heart is, especially at Christmas!

 


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Filed under Christmas, Family, Holiday, Home, Shopping

Share “Where Jesus Slept” With Your Child #Giveaway #FlyBy #WhereJesusSlept

If you are looking for a great read aloud book that teaches children the true meaning of Christmas, Where Jesus Slept is a new favorite of ours.

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This book is written in a rhyming, repetitive way that is similar to the style of  This is the House that Jack Built. The story starts with the hay and continues on until the baby Jesus who slept on it appears.

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The illustrations are beautiful and the story about the first Christmas is one that fills our hearts with what Christmas is all about. I love sharing this book at bedtime at least one night a week with my children in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

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It provides a springboard for discussion you can taper to the age of the children you are reading to. It seems every time we read it, there are new questions they have. With all the commercialism of the holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ, this book keep us centered on what really matters!

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About the author:
Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.
Illustrated by Katy Hudson.

Would you like a chance to win your own Where Jesus Slept Book? If so, enter the giveaway below!

Giveaway:

Where Jesus Slept Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to US residents.

 

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Filed under Books, Giveaway, Holiday, Spiritual

How To Decorate Your Home For The Holidays & Save Money #GrouponCoupons

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

The holidays are coming upon us fast. If you are like me, you might be thinking about getting your home ready for the holidays. I was recently browsing Home Decorators. I love decorating for the Christmas season and  I admit, I  squealed with delight when I saw the Martha Stewart Mouse Ornaments. Could they be any more adorable? I can’t see how, they are just precious!

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As I continued to browse the site I landed upon the Martha Stewart Living™ House Advent Calendar Ornaments. I was floored because they are the same types of houses I remember as a child. My favorite thing was decorating a village under the tree with them. These houses look exactly like the ones from my childhood except they have numbers on the front. They are a unique advent calendar, you hang one house each day on the tree from December 1st thru December 23rd.  I just love the idea and want to start this new tradition with my family.

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They have such nice holiday decor, I want everything! I especially like this Chalkboard Joy Sign.

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Check it out for yourself, they have so many great items. They even have a huge selection of artificial trees that look so real! Everything coordinates so beautifully, it is easy to create a home that reflects the splendor of the season.

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Another store I like shopping at is Overstock.com. I have found super deals there. Now that it is getting colder, I like to use flannel sheets. I found their selection of flannel sheets to be amazing. The only hard part is choosing from the many styles!

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Who doesn’t like curling up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies? When I saw these Eddie Bauer pillows, I knew they would be perfect for my family room.

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As much as I like shopping for new home decor, I love saving money on new home decor! Home Decorators and Overstock are having huge sales now but what makes it even better are Groupon Coupons! Do you use Groupon Coupons? If you don’t, check them out, you will be glad you did!

 


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Filed under Coupon, Holiday, Home & Garden