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Category: TRADITIONS & RECIPES

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Boys

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Boys

It’s almost Halloween!  Which means that any day now, my parents will ask me what they should get the kids at holiday-time . . . and this year, I’m determined to be prepared with the ultimate holiday gift guide for boys.  Usually, I say “I don’t know! I haven’t even thought about tomorrow, let alone the holiday season that is still a few months away!”  But for all you early-planners, here’s some help.  Whether your kids are crafty or into…

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EASY, FAST DIY Cardboard Box Halloween Costumes

EASY, FAST DIY Cardboard Box Halloween Costumes

Halloween is fast-approaching, and you haven’t finalized the kids’ costume plans yet?  NO WORRIES!  I haven’t either.  We’re right now having the yearly battle over whether they can be something ridiculously scary or not (I say NO), or whether they should dress up as something creative and fun.  Whatever they decide, I know they’re starting to prefer store-bought costumes over my homemade Halloween creations.  But just in case, I’ve whipped up a list of 5 fast, easy DIY costumes made…

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UGH. Another deli sandwich, Mom? 10 simple summer camp lunch ideas to the rescue

UGH. Another deli sandwich, Mom? 10 simple summer camp lunch ideas to the rescue

  It’s officially summer, when my kids seem to excel at the game “How many water bottles and pair of goggles can you lose?” and “Where did that tube of sunscreen go?”  I’m a working mom who works through the summer, which means fun summer camps (with a hefty side of working mom guilt) for my family.  This past school year, I got quite used to the big boys buying hot lunch every day at school.  But now that summer…

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20 Easy Father’s Day Gifts he’ll love

20 Easy Father’s Day Gifts he’ll love

You know when you buy Dad a tie as a Father’s Day gift, but he rarely dresses up?  Or you get your husband a coupon book for various golf courses, and he never uses it because it turns out there are limitations on days and times, and none are convenient?  Yeah, let’s avoid that, right?  It was a thoughtful gift, targeting one of his interests, and reasonably priced . . . but in the end, not really practical.  Time to…

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5 Simple Resolutions Even a Busy Mom Can Keep

5 Simple Resolutions Even a Busy Mom Can Keep

  Resolutions.  Ugh, it’s that time of year again.  Every year I try to make a few resolutions; every year I keep essentially none.  Not because I can’t commit, but usually because I don’t have time to fit whatever my resolutions are into my schedule.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I need to “make time for me” and “take care of myself.”  It’s not happening any time soon as I juggle a full-time job, three sons, a full list of activities,…

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Cupcakes & Kindness: 5 easy steps to spread joy (and frosting!)

Cupcakes & Kindness: 5 easy steps to spread joy (and frosting!)

Spread joy and kindness — it is key to how I’m wired, and something I very much want to instill in my boys as a natural, wonderful, automatic thing to do.  We do kindness projects whenever we can, try to model kind/good behavior, and choose charities to donate to in order to spread joy in simple ways.  Years ago, we started donating to Toys for Tots every holiday season, because I wanted my kids to understand that not all families…

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Thankful . . .

Thankful . . .

Being thankful, even when there’s a lot going on and sometimes it’s hard to see through it, is like finding the golden ticket in a sea of, well, I guess bronze tickets? I’m thankful for this table, and all the mess on top I’m thankful for my boys, and the chaos that won’t stop When I’m tired and losing patience, all I have to see is these boys and all their silliness smiling back at me I’m thankful for the moments…

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Thoughtful Thank-you Notes

Thoughtful Thank-you Notes

We all love to express thanks around the Thanksgiving holiday, but in my house, we try — admittedly sometimes without success — to teach thankfulness as a way of life regardless of what time of year it is.  That includes writing thoughtful thank-you notes. I know a lot of people who actually don’t bother with these at all.  They receive a gift and don’t acknowledge it.  Don’t get me wrong, when I give gifts, I don’t do so for the…

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Family Photo: 10 Tips for a Great Family Photo Shoot

Family Photo: 10 Tips for a Great Family Photo Shoot

Family photo:  It’s the time of year when when we practice our perfect smiles and get the kids new perfect outfits for a family photo, right?  Well, not in our case.  We try to do a professional family photo shoot every few years (for holiday cards, or to frame in the house, or to simply capture some moments of all of us together, without seeing me with a triple chin since most of our shots are family selfies taken by…

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Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe: Baking with Boys (a fall tradition)

Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe: Baking with Boys (a fall tradition)

Making this easy pumpkin bread has become a fall tradition for my boys and me.   The weather is starting to get cooler,  leaves are changing color, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere.  Every year, we make this together — which usually involves fighting over who sifts vs. who pours, licking the batter before I say it’s OK, and a lot of flour on the floor.  Oh yeah, we devour the delicious treat, too (I even somehow justify that this is…

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