Find the Time to do What you Love!

Does anyone else find it harder to carve out some game time now that you have a child? It’s ok, I’m right there with you!

It is challenging to balance providing all the love, support and attention our little ones need with mommy time and/or daddy time, but both are important. So here is my hot take: We all need a time to do what makes us happy to ensure our perpetual happiness around our children. If we are happy and treat them as such, then they will grow in the sunshine of our happiness rather than the cloudiness of our grump. Caring for our children is important, self-care is important.

Playing video games brings me joy and eventually I would love to share that joy with my daughter. Currently she shows some interest, but she’s not quite there yet, so I mostly carve out time to play while she’s sleeping. I wake up early, I utilize her nap time and/or I stay up after her bedtime. There are other things I need to get done too, but If I have the time I will play. I finish games at a much slower pace now, but that’s alright! It all sparks joy!

What brings you joy? When do you find the time to do what you love?

Our New Christmas Family Tradition

Charlie Brown Chrismas Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Christmas tradition:

The Friday before Christmas we will make our own marshmallows and hot chocolate, then sip it while we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

DIY Red and White Striped Christmas Box

Christmas is nearly here and we love celebrating every moment!

What better way to celebrate than having a Christmas box! Now when I first heard of these, they were and are referred to as Christmas Eve boxes and presented on Christmas Eve for the family to enjoy, but then some of the items can only be enjoyed for one to two nights before Christmas is technically over, so I’ve decided to just call it a Christmas box and we can present it a week before Christmas to really enjoy its contents!

SUPPLIES
  • Wood crate
  • White acrylic paint
  • Red acrylic paint
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Matte varnish
  • Embellishments (optional)
  • Hot glue (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Paint every other beam of the crate (outside and inside) with white paint and then allow it to dry.
  2. Repeat step 1 until the desired brightness of the paint is reached.
  3. Once the paint is dry, use painters tape to tape up and protect the edges of the white beams or anywhere else where the red paint may drip or bleed.
  4. Paint the remaining beams and the sides of the crate (outside and inside) with red paint and then allow it to dry.
  5. Repeat step 4 until the desired brightness of the paint is reached.
  6. Carefully peel off the painter’s tape and coat the whole crate with varnish, this may take two coats to reach the desired coverage.
  7. If you have any embellishments like an ornament or two, carefully glue them on with a hot glue gun and allow it to dry.
  8. Fill it up and enjoy!

If you’re looking for ideas to fill your new Christmas box with here are a few to spark your imagination!

  • Candy
  • Cookie mix
  • Festive hat(s)
  • Festive pajamas
  • Festive plushies
  • Festive socks or slippers
  • Gingerbread kit
  • Holiday-themed books
  • Holiday-themed movies
  • Hot Apple Cider mix
  • Hot Cocoa mix
  • Mug(s)
  • Ornament(s)
  • Savory snacks
  • Sweet snacks

Family Friendly Christmas Movies and Specials – PG Rated

Family Friendly Christmas Movies and Specials - PG Rated

Welcome to the cozy and magical month of December my friends!

My family and I have created a list of family friendly Christmas movies and specials for you and yours! Christmas may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Christmas spirit!

This year we’ve decided to focus on movies and specials that are rated PG for parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children. If you are looking for movies and specials that are rated G for general audience and good for all ages, please visit last year’s list – Family Friendly Christmas Movies and Specials Rated G.

Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly (PG-rated) Christmas favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!

Organized alphabetically by title:

Family Friendly Christmas Children’s Books – Ages 5 and Under

Family Friendly Christmas Children's Books - Ages 0 to 5

Welcome to the cozy and magical month of December my friends!

To inspire you and your little ones into the Holiday mood, I’ve curated a list of Christmas-themed books for ages five and under! These selections are simple and festive, while remaining short and sweet for the younger audience.

There are a handful of books on this list with a reading age that start under the age of five and peak at the age of 7 or 8.

If you have a favorite Children’s book for children ages 5 and under that you do not see here, please let me know! I would love to add it to this list!

Family Friendly Holiday Magic Playlist

Holiday Magic Playlist

Welcome to the cozy and magical month of December my friends!

My family and I have created a playlist of family friendly Christmas music for you and yours! Christmas may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Christmas spirit!

This year we’ve decided to focus more on music from all our favorite Christmas children’s movies and specials, with a few other songs sprinkled in that fit the mood.

Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly Christmas favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!

THE POLAR EXPRESS

  • Spirit of the Season
  • When Christmas Comes to Town
  • The Polar Express
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Suite from the Polar Express

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

  • A Holly Jolly Christmas
  • Jingle Jingle Jingle
  • We are Santa’s Elves
  • Silver and Gold
  • The Most Wonderful Day of the Year
  • Christmas Medley: The Night Before Christmas
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  • There’s Always Tomorrow

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN | Frosty the Snowman

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY | The Little Drummer Boy

OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE

  • Ring in the Season
  • That Time of Year
  • When We’re Together

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS

  • Belle’s Magical Gift
  • As Long As There’s Christmas
  • A Cut Above The Rest
  • Deck the Halls
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • O Christmas Tree
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel / Joy To The World
  • Silent Night
  • The First Noel
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • What Child Is This?

A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL

  • Overture
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • It Feels Like Christmas
  • Thankful Heart
  • Bless Us All
  • Christmas Scat
  • Christmas Morning

THE NUTCRACKER BALLET

  • Overture
  • March
  • Waltz of the Snowflakes
  • Sugarplum Fairy
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Candy Cane
  • Marzipan
  • Mother Ginger and Her Polichinelles
  • Waltz of the Flowers
  • Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier Coda
  • Finale

BABES IN TOYLAND

  • Babes in Toyland Overture
  • Toy Land
  • March of the Toys

EMMET OTTER’S JUGBAND CHRISTMAS | Our World / Brothers

KERMIT THE FROG | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

JOHN DENVER AND THE MUPPETS: CHRISTMAS TOGETHER

  • Deck the Halls
  • Christmas is Coming
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Wish you a Merry Christmas

MISS PIGGY | Santa Baby

A CHIPMUNK CHRISTMAS | Christmas Don’t Be Late

DISNEY’S FAMILY CHRISTMAS

  • Jingle Bells
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • The Science of the Season

DISNEY’S MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • White Christmas
  • Over the River and Through the Woods

DISNEY HOLIDAY MAGIC

  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • From All of Us to All of You
  • Deck the Halls
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas

WINNIE THE POOH & TIGGER | Jingle Bells

HANNA BARBERA’S CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG

  • Brand New Kind of Christmas Song
  • Hope
  • Comin’ Up Christmas Time

LOU MONTE | Dominick the Donkey

GAYLA PEEVEY | I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

  • Christmas is Coming
  • Skating
  • Linus and Lucy
  • Christmas Time is Here
  • Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
  • The Christmas Song
  • O Tannenbaum

ELF: BUDDY’S MUSICAL CHRISTMAS | Sparklejollytwinklejingley

ELF

  • Papa Elf
  • Buddy’s Journey
  • Christmas Medley 

Our New Thanksgiving Family Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Thanksgiving tradition:

The Friday before Thanksgiving we will gather and/or create buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans, all the food the kid’s feast on in Thanksgiving Charlie Brown. We will snack on these treats while we watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Our New Halloween Family Tradition

Halloween Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Halloween tradition:

The night before Halloween (or a few nights before), we will carve our pumpkins and light them for the first time. After, we’ll sip on cold or warm apple cider (depending on the weather) and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Homemade Apple Cider
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! Autumn is my favorite season and while pumpkin spice has its charms, I prefer apple cider!

My family and I are starting a new Halloween tradition this year that includes drinking apple cider (check back on Friday for more details) and I thought it would be special to create our own!

Please feel free to use this recipe to create some delicious apple cider for you and yours! This cider is sweet and spiced; I used all Honeycrisp apples, but you can experiment with the combination of apples to change the flavor!

Homemade Apple Cider
HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 medium apples, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cloves
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the apples.
  • Cover the crockpot and cook the contents on low for 6 hours.
  • Once the 6 hours have passed, use a spoon to gently crush the apples, then allow them to cook for 1 more hour.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
  • Slowly ladle and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher, then strain it a second time; discard the solids.
  • Enjoy warm or cold!

Family Friendly Halloween Children’s Books – Ages 5 and Under

Family Friendly Halloween Books

Welcome to the boo-tiful month of October my friends!

To inspire you and your little ones into the Halloween mood, I’ve curated a list of Halloween-themed books for ages five and under! These selections are festive, without frights or scares that could upset a younger audience.

There are a handful of books on this list with a reading age that start under the age of five and peak at the age of 7 or 8.

If you have a favorite Halloween book for children ages 5 and under that you do not see here, please let me know! I would love to add it to this list!