5 Family Fun Activities on a Budget:

Family time is seriously one of my favorite activities. Now had you asked me this when I was a teenager, it probably wouldn’t have been the same answer. 😉 HA! But now that I’m a Mom, it’s seriously makes me so dang happy! So I thought I would share five fun activities to do as a family, on a budget!

FIVE FAMILY TIME ACTIVITIES:

  1. Picnic at the park: This is obviously totally dependent on well, the weather BUT it’s so much fun! We love to hit a good restaurant, grab take out and hit the park! Or right now because it’s winter time, we love to do the same, just indoors with a good movie!
  2. Staycation: Grab all the bedding around the house, blankets, chairs, everything and make a HUGE fort! Snuggle up as a family, put your favorite movie on and make some popcorn.
  3. Out to dinner: This one can get expensive, but it totally doesn’t have to be! I am one of those people that LOVES to go to restaurants as a family and eat. I know, I know, screaming toddler and a restaurant, but guys it’s fine and people get it. We love to go at lunch on Saturday’s, there’s tons of lunch specials and it saves us money in more ways than one!
  4. Local scenery: A few weekends ago, we hopped in the car on a nice Saturday afternoon, filled up with gas and drove around a part of town we had never really seen before. We stopped for milkshakes, played in the snow, watched the “hor-sees” and took way too many pictures. It was so fun to listen to music in the car, dance, laugh and have family time.
  5. Baking: Now, let me preface this by saying, it usually ends up a disaster, but it’s always fun! I’m just terrible in the kitchen. We purchased a couple of kitchen pieces to help with baking from Sears and it’s the perfect way to have family time. Obviously, we dance around the kitchen (we always dance), we make up new recipes, put way too much sugar in our cookies and make the kitchen a mess, but it’s perfect and it always leaves my heart so happy.

How to Involve Your Little Ones in Christmas More

Christmas is seriously my favorite time of year. I am totally the person that goes over the top and celebrates before Thanksgiving and honestly — no shame. It’s just a season that makes me happy and while, it can bring sadness too in moments, it’s still overall great and something I look forward to. So I’ve been trying to involve my little one more this year, now that she’s getting older. So I put together a little list of fun ways to involve your babes in the holidays this year! Some out of the box and some traditional ways!

  1. Let them bake with you! Sometimes it’s nice to just let it go and let them go all in. Who cares if things get messy, let them have fun and create something magical together!
  2. Give them an area of the tree to decorate. This actually worked out super nicely for us this year. I mean, even if it’s a small area — they’re just stoked to be helping! Point out a spot to decorate and set out ornaments they can use for it!
  3. Create fun pictures to hang out! Something I actually saw a friend do that I thought was pretty cute, was she let her little one color a picture, then made copies to send it with their Christmas cards that year. I loved it! We are definitely doing it this year.
  4. Have them help you wrap presents! I’ve been really trying to let go of the “Pinterest Perfect” this year and letting her just enjoy making memories. So if presents are half wrapped — who cares, as long as she had fun with it, I’m happy!
  5. Give back, this is one of my favorite ones. We usually will adopt a family and donate toys she no longer plays with and I love to have her involved as much as possible.

These are just some fun ways to get your babes involved this year. There are tons more! What’s your favorite way to do so?!

5 Family Friendly Games to Play this Holiday Season

One of my favorite things about the holidays is playing games as a family. Seriously — I have all the memories around the kitchen and coffee table of just laughter and fun. I don’t know what it is about games, but for whatever reason they can just lighten a mood and put a whole lot of fun in your day! So I put this little list together of our top five favorites in our house!

  1. Wackee Six: It’s a card game where you basically have to stack cards in numerical order and color. It’s a speed test game so it can get a little intense, but it’s so fun!
  2. The Dice Game: This one doesn’t even require anything, except well — DICE! You take turns going around in a circle, each rolling and if you rolling two numbers that are the same, you start writing numbers 1-100. If someone else rolls the same numbers, they steal the pen and start writing. Whoever gets all 100 numbers written down first, wins!
  3. Boggle: Basically scramble, you have to make the most words out of the letters given in a certain amount of time.
  4. Apples to Apples: A question is given and you choose the “funniest” answer from your six cards to answer it. This one is a huge hit in our house!
  5. Watch Ya’ Mouth: This is hilarious! You wear a mouthguard and have to say phrases while others try to guess what you’re saying.

 

What’s your favorite game in your family?!

Thanksgiving: Egg Casserole Recipe

Since it’s Thanksgiving week, we thought it would be fun to highlight a yummy recipe on our blog today! Once that’s super easy to make and perfect for all the family this week. 😉 It’s the yummiest breakfast casserole! You can even use leftover turkey in it for the day after Thanksgiving. So I’ll just dive right into the recipe!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 eggs
  • ¾ cups shredded cheese
  • 1 bag of Diced frozen potatoes
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • ½ cup butter

Directions:

  1. Set oven to pre-heat at 400 degrees.
  2. Scramble eggs and lightly fry potatoes in butter until they reach a golden brown in a frying pan.
  3. Pour potatoes in a small baking pan, then add eggs on top, sprinkle on diced peppers, add a few shakes of garlic and onion powder.
  4. Slowly pour in whole milk until it rests at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Top with cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  6. Serve with a glass of fairlife ultra-filtered chocolate milk and enjoy!

 

Like I said, add turkey and I guarantee it’s just as good, if not better! 😉

 

10 Holiday Traditions You’re GOING to Love

Traditions are some of our favorite things in my house. We’ve had some of the same ones for generations and generations and I love to try and add new ones each year. Just simple little things, they don’t need to be huge or grand, but special in their own ways. Well with the holidays they come like crazy and we thought we would feature a few of our favorite ones!

 

  1. Open stockings on Christmas eve — obviously this is one to do when your kids are older, but we started doing this and it was so fun!
  2. Watch “A Christmas Story”! I mean it’s on basically every, single, day, all day leading up to Christmas, so watch it as a family!
  3. One that I love that my Mom started and now I do with my little girl, is leaving a new stuffed animal in her bed Christmas night from Santa.
  4. Look at Christmas lights as a family on Christmas eve!
  5. Go to the movies while the turkey cooks on Thanksgiving. We did this as kids and I always looked forward to it. As we’ve gotten older we’ve changed it a little to watching a movie while it cooks, but just the same and so fun!
  6. Elf on the Shelf – you probably know what that is, especially if you have little ones, but it’s equally as fun for the adults to come up with new ways to “find him”!
  7. Camp out under the tree one night in December
  8. Take treats to your neighbors the night before Thanksgiving and Christmas!
  9. Help those in need — every year, about a week before Christmas we go through our things and my little one’s toys and we bag up as much as possible to take to those in our city that could use them!
  10. Snacks for Santa and reindeer food on the grass!

 

What are some of the holiday traditions you do and love?!

The Perfect Way to say Thank You

We love little gestures around her, affordable, simple things that just say thank you to the people we love. So we stocked up the shop this month with some super great items that you can now choose from to say thank you this month to the people you love. We wanted to break them down for you and show you a little peek of each one. So let’s do this thing.

Tossd. Scrunchies:

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The scunchie trend is BACK and we are real excited about it. So these are now available in the shop to choose from for a box!
Coastal Kreatives Candles:

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I mean, how can you NOT love a good candle?!
Borcik Jewelry Moon & Star Ring:

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And of course the cutest little ring option for those jewelry lovers.

 

We also added some new treats, chocolate, hot chocolate, suckers — you know all the good things. So take a moment, think of the one person that you just love so much and want to say thank you to and send em’ a little surprise.

The Gratitude Challenge

You know the one I am talking about, every year where everyone writes on their Facebook wall what they’re grateful for. 😉 Well, we are changing it up a little bit, but giving ourselves and all of you a little challenge. I mean our entire mission around here is kindness, gratefulness and making friendship easier. So this month is our jam and we are so excited to share this little challenge with you. First, you’re going to want to grab a notebook or download an app on your phone, the day one journal is a favorite of mine because it’s super convenient and you can actually get it printed into a book when you’re ready! Every morning or night (whatever is better for you), set an alarm. Trust me, set an alarm or it’s just never going to happen. Make sure it’s during a time that you’re going to have a second and if you don’t for whatever reason that day, make sure to snooze it or re-set the alarm. Then take just five minutes and write down what you’re grateful for, how that thing makes you feel and so on. We’ve even come up with a few thought starters to get your brain flowing and thinking of things you’re grateful for, for each day and turned it into a cute printable, so you can even print it if you want. Each number corresponds with the number of the month. 😉 Think about the questions and let it guide you into what you’re feeling grateful for that day!

 

  1. What was the one thing that brought you pure joy today?
  2. What did you learn today?
  3. Why are you grateful?
  4. What hardship did you overcome today?
  5. How was today?
  6. Did you overcome a weakness today?
  7. What’s one thing that made you stop and breath for a minute today?
  8. What brings you the ultimate joy in life?
  9. Did you tell someone you loved them today?
  10. Where is your focus at right now?
  11. What are you struggling with?
  12. What did you feel grateful for today?
  13. Who made you smile today?
  14. Did you do something kind today?
  15. What was the main thing on your mind today?
  16. What is your current go to jam?
  17. Who did you hug today?
  18. What do you want to work on?
  19. What thing made you breath a sigh of relief today?
  20. Did you help anyone today? If so, who?
  21. Where is your heart at right now?
  22. Where’s your head at?
  23. Did you buy something today?
  24. What’s the weather like?
  25. Have you done something for you lately?
  26. Did you learn any lessons today?
  27. Why was today good?
  28. Who did you spend today with the most?
  29. What goals do you have for tomorrow?
  30. What are you grateful for the most?

 

PRINTABLE:

Goals

A Few Fall Essentials

Fall is totally underway and we are pretty excited about crisp air, falling leaves, delicious smells and all the hot chocolate. Am I right? 😉 We wanted to round up a few of our fall favorites for you, things we love, use and that are definitely staples in our homes this year and from shops we just love! We’ve linked everything under the picture below!

fall essentials

Gigipip Hat | Cuddle + Kind Fox | Gathre Mat | June & January Dress | Arvo Watch |Mindy Mae’s DoubleHood | RubyClaire Booties | Mae Woven Pillow | Fawn Design Bag | Bridgewater Candle

A Few Simple Ways to Turn Your Day Around

You know the days I am talking about, where you just went to Target (basically the happiest place on earth), yet somehow you left in tears, your toddler was in tears, you don’t even feel good about the fact that you just overspent (but can because TARGET) and you’re at your limit. Like, top of the limit, like if my kid doesn’t stop whining I might snap and I swear if they smash one more dang cheerio into their car seat I don’t even know what’s going to happen, but it ain’t gonna be good, I can guarantee you that.

That kind of day.

Clearly — can you tell I’ve experienced it lately, I mean maybe today perhaps? 😉 BUT if there’s anything I’ve learned, especially lately with my two and a half year old going on 13, it’s how to turn that mood right around. Here’s a few things that work in our house for me:

  1. Deep breaths. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Seriously though – put yourself in time out. The toddler can watch iPad, play toys or whatever for five minutes while you collect yourself because well — Mama needs a breath.
  2. Read something inspiring. There’s just something about reading a good quote that turns things around. Pinterest that thing and let’s make it happen.
  3. Music. A good hip-hop song goes a long way and I’m not talking about the stuff now a days. I mean there’s some good songs on the radio today, but I’m talkin’ 90’s-early 2000s stuff. There’s just something about a little J-lo that makes you want to kitchen dance all day and well — you can’t be in a bad mood if you want to kitchen dance.
  4. Sit and watch your little one play. Once they’ve cooled down, it’s actually really nice to just watch them play, ya know, if they’re in a better mood. 😉
  5. Go for a walk. On the days where inside just isn’t cutting it I like to get out and walk around the block or something, plus my little one loves that so it’s really a win, win for all of us.

 

What sort of things help you turn your day around?!

3 Ways to use Brightbox This Halloween!

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Can you believe that it’s already Halloween time?! It’s crazy! Well, first off — have you seen our exclusive Halloween items to send this month!? They’re kind of the cutest (biased) and we wanted to show you three fun ways to use them this month for the holiday!

 

  1. “BOO” – You know the good ol’ fashioned game of “Boo” where you leave a little treat on your neighbors door, ring the doorbell and run! Why not use Brightboxes for just that?! Order a few, have em’ shipped to your door (we do the work for you and they’ll have Halloween treats in them), then grab your kids and play the game! It’s super easy, a great way to give back and spread a little kindness and honestly, what kid doesn’t like the concept of ringing a doorbell and running away? 😉
  2. “SPOOKY SURPRISE” – Send it just the same way you would send any other Brightbox, this time we’ve just got a little theme to it. Maybe your bestie needs a pick me up, maybe your sister is sick or maybe there’s no reason at all but just to say, “Hey! Happy Halloween, you’re rockin’ it at life!” But what better time than a fun little holiday to do just that?!
  3. “FRIENDS/COWORKERS/TEACHERS APPRECIATION” – We’re big fans of spoiling those that deserve it most and well, co-workers, teachers, you name it and they most likely deserve a little pick me up for a fun Holiday. Grab a box send it with your little one to school to give to their teacher or drop it off to a co-worker that you’ve seen “burning the midnight oil”.

 

We love a good reason to celebrate and we love acts of kindness, so why not combine the two for a fun little spooktacular time 😉 Did you catch that? Spooktacular? 😉 HA!