We all want to give our families that picture-perfect Christmas – just like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Unfortunately, we all live in the real world (and not in a Hallmark Channel movie) where sometimes kids get sick, roads get slick and moms get stressed. Big time. The best way I’ve found to keep pre-Christmas anxiety in check is to avoid these four ways we moms tend to ruin the holidays:
Look at the holidays in the same awe and wonder that a child looks at their tree. Decorating the tree should be about family. The holiday should be about family. It's not the money spent, the presents, or the big meal that matter - its about getting together with those you love, gathering as a family, sitting around a tree, and relishing in the magic of the season. 
It’s never too early to teach your children about giving back to the community, Mueller says, Ringing bells as a family will “provide an opportunity for parents to show their children how to give and become a donor. It is a rare occasion for a child to pass a kettle without begging his or her parent for change to drop in the kettle,” he adds. “Bell ringing really matters. It matters because we can all participate in something bigger than ourselves and teach our children to do the same.”
With three young children, it already feels like we have SO many things in our house for them to play with. Books, toys, stuffed animals, Legos, play kitchen, ride on toys, you name it. While I know play is so important, I get overwhelmed seeing the amount of toys we have. Especially since they are usually ALL over the living room (kitchen, bedrooms, etc.). I think my kids get overwhelmed with all the stuff some days too. While I do try to do a toy rotation at times, it never happens as often as I would like.
It’s the time of year where “giving thanks” is the norm. Well, at least talking about being thankful. Most days we don’t spend our time thinking about all our blessings, but there are so many things to be grateful for - health, home, family…just to name a few. I could go on and on!
We all have at least one person on our list...you know, the person who is difficult to shop for. Or, that person you tend to buy the same thing for over and over. Well, this year is going to be different! Consider this: A gift that comes in a modern circular tin, holding 20 $10 coaster-inspired coupons to some of the area's best restaurants. Oh, and, did I mention it's only $30? Seriously, a gift worth $200 for only $30. Have I piqued your interest yet? If so, you need to learn more about CityTins. It may just be your gift-giving life-saver.

6 Thanksgiving Books We Love

 Add some fun new books to your rotation with our favorites for the Thanksgiving season   Pete the Cat The First Thanksgiving Another favorite about the cool cat named Pete. He stars in his class play about the first Thanksgiving. This educational book...
One fun way to keep our fitness goals in check during the holidays is by signing up for one (or more!) local fun runs. My daughter, who ran a 5K Reindeer Dash with me last December, is totally hooked. She’s already told me that she wants to run the two-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning – even if the race course is covered in snow.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

Keeping Halloween Safe What’s the first thing you think about when you think Halloween? Pumpkins? Costumes? Trick-or-Treating? Candy? What if your child couldn’t eat candy? That would take away a HUGE chunk of Halloween. This was the problem Becky Basalone, a mom...

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