Tiny Tinsel Trees

Small tannenbaums with bold colors and lots of sparkle have a big impact on a tree. Love a good tinsel tree? Create some tiny tinsel trees using metallic pipe cleaners. Keep the kids busy and enjoy some quality time together. - tipsaholic.com #trees #tinsel #diy #crafts #kids #ornaments Tiny Tinsel Tree Ornaments

Small tannenbaums with bold colors and lots of sparkle have a big impact on a tree. Love a good tinsel tree? Create some tiny tinsel trees using metallic pipe cleaners. Keep the kids busy and enjoy some quality time together.

Supplies:

  • metallic pipe cleaners
  • glass beads
  • tacky glue
  • utility knife
  • a cork
  • washi tape
  • pushpin
  • string

Directions:

Form a small loop at one end of a 4-inch length of metallic pipe cleaner. This will be the top of the tree.

Make branches by wrapping six to eight 2-inch lengths of pipe cleaner around the trunk, then trim them so that the branches at the top are narrower.

Adhere a glass bead to the end of each branch with a dab of tacky glue.

Use a utility knife to cut a cork to the width of washi tape (an adult’s job) and wrap the tape around the cork.

Make a hole in the cork with a pushpin, then glue the tree trunk in the hole and allow it to dry.

Add a length of string for hanging the trees.

Featured image and tutorial via Family Fun.

gift boxes         Elf on the shelf        Christmas Wreath

Adult Gift Ideas                     Elf on the Shelf Ideas           DIY Christmas Wreaths

polka dot         8 Cranberry Dessert Recipes - Tipsaholic.com        dreamsnow

DIY Stockings                        Cranberry Desserts                Unique Christmas Stories

Mini Snow Globes

Love the whimsy of snow globes? Now bring the fun home and create your own mini snow globes that can be used as ornaments. Just a few supplies will have you on your way to creating these fun Christmasy ornaments via @tipsaholic #ornaments #snowglobes #diy Mini Snow Globe Ornaments

A drift of Epsom salts helps set the scene in this winter wonderland. Love the whimsy of snow globes? Now bring the fun home and create your own mini snow globes that can be used as ornaments. Just a few supplies will have you on your way to creating these fun Christmasy ornaments.

Supplies:

  • clear plastic shot glass
  • card stock paper
  • pinking shears
  • glue dots
  • small plastic figures (trees, penguins, etc.)
  • epsom salts
  • tacky glue
  • metallic pipe cleaners
  • string
  • button

Directions:

Trace the opening of a clear plastic shot glass(we got ours at a dollar store) on card stock.

Use pinking shears to cut a circle slightly larger than the traced line, then use a glue dot to adhere a small plastic figure to the center.

Add 1 tablespoon Epsom salts to the plastic cup, then line the rim of the cup with tacky glue and adhere the card stock base.

When the seam is dry, glue a piece of metallic pipe cleaner around the bottom of the globe.

Thread string through a button for a hanger, then glue the button in place.

Featured image and tutorial via Family Fun.

gift boxes         Elf on the shelf        Christmas Wreath

Adult Gift Ideas                     Elf on the Shelf Ideas           DIY Christmas Wreaths

polka dot         Christmas-Free-8x10-Printable-the36thavenue.com_        dreamsnow

DIY Stockings                        Christmas Printables                Unique Christmas Stories

Stay Frosty Wreath

Christmas is just around the corner and this is the perfect time to get out the craft supplies and have some fun with the kids. have them help you create this adorable Stay Frosty Wreath. It is easy, simple and can even be used after Christmas and all year long. - tipsaholic.com #frosty #wreath #crafts #kids #christmas #snow

Stay Frosty Snowman Wreath

Christmas is just around the corner and this is the perfect time to get out the craft supplies and have some fun with the kids. Have them help you create this adorable Stay Frosty Wreath. It is easy, simple and can even be used after Christmas and all year long.

Stay Frosty Snowman Wreath

Supplies:

  • circle punches or scissors
  • white card stock paper
  • black card stock paper
  • tacky glue
  • 18-inch-diameter wood wreath form
  • orange card stock paper

Directions:

This snowman won’t melt even on warm afternoons. Using circle punches or scissors, cut about five dozen 2-inch circles from white card stock.

For the eyes and mouth, cut two 2-inch and seven 1½-inch circles from black card stock.

With tacky glue, cover an 18-inch-diameter wood wreath form with the white circles (start at the outer edge, gluing the circles so they overhang a bit).

Roll an 8-inch square of orange card stock into a narrow cone.

Glue on the eyes, nose, and mouth. Add a paper hat as shown.

Featured image and craft via Family Fun.

Here is a little more Christmas inspiration:

Christmas-Skillet-Breakfast-682x1024        dreamsnow         Christmas Wreath

Christmas Breakfasts            Christmas Stories                DIY Christmas Wreaths

6 Ways to Banish Your Family’s Winter Blues

Don't let winter blues keep you cooped up. Find lots of great ideas to banish your family's winter blues with this list of ideas from tipsaholic.com #winter #family #activities #winterfun #kids 6 WAys to Banish Your Family's Winter Blues

If your climate is less than balmy during the winter, you may find yourself dreading the doldrums that can so often occur during the coldest months of the year. So if you’d like to see your family doing more than just willing away the hours in front of the TV or staring at a smart phone, give these ideas for staying happy a try! Banish those winter blues!

1. Get out of the house. While it may not seem ideal when you have to bundle yourself in a dozen layers, it can truly be the best medicine for a bout of boredom. Some suggestions for time spent outdoors:

  • Snow forts
  • Sledding
  • Snow painting
  • Build a snowman
  • Nature walks
  • Winter photography
  • Ice skating
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling or four-wheeling
  • Ice fishing

2. Participate in holiday activities. There are not too many things more disheartening than watching the holidays pass the same as any other time of the year. Get out with extended family or friends and enjoy some of these activities:

  • Visit holiday displays
  • Light tours
  • Caroling
  • Parties
  • Community events
  • Food and toy drives
  • Shopping
  • Finding a Christmas tree
  • Sleigh rides
  • Holiday themed shows, plays, ballets, and more
  • Decorate with friends or extended family

3. Do something creative with your time indoors. Ending every day with three hours of TV and web time is less than enthralling. Keeping every mind busy and full of pleasurable time as a family during the winter can become the glue that holds you together during busier times of the year. Try a few of these ideas:

  • Board games
  • Minute-to-win-it games
  • Baking and cooking
  • Teach someone a new skill
  • Read together
  • Make and watch family videos
  • Learn something new
  • Visit the library
  • Go to a museum
  • For little ones – indoor fast food play areas, other indoor play places (Chuck E. Cheese, trampoline gyms, other indoor activity places)
  • Do a few crafts
  • Try indoor gardening

4. Plan and prepare for the months and year ahead. No time of the year will be more productive if you follow through with a few of these suggestions:

  • Organize closets, drawers, cupboards, etc.
  • Redecorate a room
  • Work on family preparedness – emergency and disaster kits, winter car kits, food storage, fire escape plans, etc.
  • Re-evaluate family goals and rules
  • Talk about family traditions you’d like to have
  • Plan a family vacation

5.  Perform acts of service. Putting smiles on the faces of others is bound to put smiles on the whole family. Even the simplest acts can turn a lack-luster day into a great one.

  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway
  • Write a letter to someone
  • Send a package to a soldier
  • Visit a nursing home
  • Invite someone to dinner
  • Take goodies to someone
  • Make and distribute care packages for the homeless 

6. A few more ideas that will go a long way:

  • Eat well
  • Exercise
  • Spend time in the sun
  • Have dinner together
  • Talk
  • Snuggle
  • Spend time with friends

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

For more inspiration:

9 Ways to Add Sparkle to Your Winter Wardrobe - Tipsaholic          winterhair           snow-globes-window

Winter Wardrobe                    Winter DIY Projects                Winter Kids Crafts

8 Christmas Traditions To Try This Year

In search of some new family Christmas traditions? Here are 8 Christmas Traditions To Try This Year - Tipsaholic, #Christmas, #traditions, #Family, #holidays, #kids, #christmastraditions

 

header

 

For many of us, the holiday season can be a time of chaos – rushing to holiday events, cooking and baking holiday favorites, parties, concerts, family get togethers, traveling, decorating, making, doing, buying… it can be an overwhelming whirlwind if we let it!  It’s important to carve out some time to be with our loved ones and create lasting traditions everyone will cherish.  Christmas traditions make the holidays less frantic and more meaningful.  They strengthen family bonds and provide the fodder for memories that will withstand the test of time.  Chances are, you already practice several traditions that have been passed down from your parents or even grandparents.  If you’d like to start a few new traditions this year, we’ve got some ideas for you!  There’s always time to start something fun and new – and find something that perfectly suits your current family situation.

 

1. Host a Cookie Swap Party.  The holidays can be crazy with Christmas parties for work, church, school, family; but this party is one with a purpose!  For a cookie swap, invite friends and family who enjoy baking to make their favorite Christmas treat and bring it to share.  Everyone takes a few of each home with them for a smorgasbord of delicious treats to enjoy with their own families.  This is a great way to cut down on your own baking, not to mention your grocery bill!  Be sure to provide cute boxes and tags for your guests to pack their cookies in, plus include “free samples” with your party food.  Play Christmas music to set the mood and have warm drinks available like cider and hot chocolate.  Check out this guide on Better Homes and Gardens for more ideas!

2. Make some “special deliveries.” Once your Christmas treats are all baked and boxed up, take some to the local fire station, police station or your family doctors office.  This is a great way to thank them for the service they provide the community while wishing them a happy holiday!

3. Hold a special birthday party.  On Christmas night, when the excitement has settled, host a small birthday party.  Make a cake with a candle and put up a few decorations.  Explain to your family that this birthday party is special, because it’s the day Christ was born!  This is particularly meaningful for very young kids who might night understand the why behind Christmas.

4. Nativity Count Down.  Wrap each piece of the nativity scene in special paper and include the corresponding scripture or a simple explanation and story in the package.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, take turns unwrapping one package each day as a family and read the scripture or story together.  Whoever unwraps the item gets to decide where it will be placed in the stable.  Unwrap the baby last, on Christmas morning.

5. Enjoy the arts.  Christmastime is a veritable treasure trove of performing arts events.  As a family choose one play, musical, ballet or concert to attend in or around your area.  They can be professionally produced or community activities.  Check your newspaper for listings and look online at specific theater venues for their seasonal events.  The spectacle of the arts can really bring the season to life!

6. Rock out.  Create a holiday playlist full of favorite seasonal tunes.  Have each family member contribute ideas and make the list together.  Play it as often as you can (even in the car!) but reserve a special time – perhaps right after dinner – when you have a “dance party” and everyone dances and sings along!  This nightly ritual will be especially popular among kids 10 and under.

7. Christmas Camp-Out.  Have a special Christmas-themed camp-out right next to your Christmas tree.  Have your family bring sleeping bags and pillows, set them up around the tree and leave all the lights on.  Pop popcorn and make hot cocoa.  Read a few favorite Christmas stories and sing Christmas carols.  If you’ve got a fireplace, don’t forget to light a cozy campfire!  You could do this on any night leading up to Christmas, but it would be an especially fun way to end a day of putting up the tree and decorating it!

8. Get Chinese food.  Have you seen the movie A Christmas Story?  One of the best parts is when Ralphie’s family ends up in the Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve because their special Christmas dinner is unintentionally ruined.  You can adopt this into your Christmas traditions!  On Christmas Eve, load up the family and eat out at your favorite Chinese restaurant!  Don’t like Chinese?  You could go anywhere, really, but Chinese restaurants seem the most likely to be open and uncrowded.  No big dinner to make, and no clean up!

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

More Christmas inspiration:

Christmas-Skillet-Breakfast-682x1024        dreamsnow         Christmas Wreath

Christmas Breakfasts            Christmas Stories                DIY Christmas Wreaths

7 Creative Christmas Eve Gift Ideas

7 Creative Christmas Eve Gift Ideas - Tipsaholic

 tipsaholic title divider - xmas eve gift ideas

Many families like to open one small gift on Christmas Eve. It can be hard picking the right Christmas gift for this tradition, since you don’t want it to be too small and kind of a letdown or too special, which should always be saved for the big day. Here are seven creative Christmas Eve gift ideas that will make everyone happy and even more excited for the next day.

1. Christmas Movie Box

This Christmas Eve gift idea should be done as one big gift for everyone to open together. Inside, put in new Christmas pajamas for everyone (or at least every kid) with a new Christmas movie. Add snacks, such as popcorn, candy, or hot chocolate. After opening the gift, everyone gets into the new pajamas and enjoys the snacks while watching the movie!

kids-xmas-box

2. Cookie Kit

This is another Christmas Eve gift idea that comes in one box for everyone to rip open as a group. Assemble a cookie kit inside the present with all the ingredients for your favorite Christmas cookies. Add cookie cutters, sprinkles, frosting, and whatever else you like to add to your cookies. Then everyone can run to the kitchen and spend the rest of the evening baking cookies together.

cookie kit

3. Board Game

If your family loves games, give everyone a new board game and play together on Christmas Eve! Then add it to your family collection. For some great board game ideas, check out this list.

board games

4. Self-Esteem Books

This is a truly special Christmas Eve gift idea that parents can do for their children. Create a photo book for each kid with lots of great pictures and notes that tell them how special they are. Your kids will treasure the books and spend the whole Christmas Eve evening reading their books and feeling so great about themselves.

self esteem books

5. Christmas Treats

A simple but always loved Christmas Eve gift idea is to give everyone a special Christmas treat. Peppermint bark and popcorn caramel are traditional favorites and you could even make your own toffee to give to everyone. For the rest of the night, nibble on the treats and just enjoy each others company.

homemade toffee

6. Gingerbread House Kit

This is similar to the cookie kit Christmas Eve gift idea. Pack a gingerbread house kit, either a prepackaged one or assemble one yourself with the ingredients for gingerbread, candy pieces, and white icing. After the present is opened, everyone gets together to create a gingerbread house for the rest of the night! If your family likes a little competition, you could give a kit to each person or team and have each team create their own house.

gingerbread house

7. Sibling Gift Exchange

If your kids are young, you could have your kids choose gifts for each other that cost around $10 and have them exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve. Each sibling could say something really nice about each sibling before giving them their gift. This makes their small gifts more special since they’re the only gifts being opened at that time and the siblings will feel closer to each other after all the nice words are said.

sibling gift exchange

These Christmas Eve gift ideas are so great, I’ll have a hard time choosing just one of them for this year! What other Christmas Eve gift ideas do you have?

For more Christmas ideas, check out:

5 DIY Christmas Wreaths christmas stockings 20 Tantalizing Christmas Breakfast Ideas - Tipsaholic
DIY Christmas Wreaths Festive Stockings  Christmas Breakfasts

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

10 Cold Weather Dates to Warm Up Your Romance

10 Cold Weather Dates to Warm Up Your Romance - Tipsaholic

 

tipsaholic title divider - 10 cold weather dates

It’s easy to hibernate during the winter but don’t let sleet, snow and wind chills freeze your romance! There are tons of great, inexpensive dates you and your significant other can enjoy together — despite the weather. If you’re looking for fun ideas for an evening out, here are 10 cold weather dates that are sure to warm up your romance.

1. Go snowboarding or skiing

Amp up your adventurous side and don some snow pants and goggles! When you’re finished hitting the slopes you can warm up in the lodge area with some hot chocolate. Never been before? Even better! Trying something new with your significant other can bring you even closer together.

2. Plan a themed movie night

Pick a movie with a very specific theme — try to choose one neither of you have seen. Then make dinner or snacks together that match the theme of the movie. For instance, watch The Breakfast Club and cook up some french toast or pancakes, or My Big Fat Greek Wedding and eat gyros with cucumber sauce. Or pick a movie with a very specific setting (Chicago, New York, Philly, a tropical island) and eat foods native to the area. Make sure to snuggle up close under a warm blanket!

3. Make oven s’mores and hot chocolate

Just roast your marshmallow over the burner. If you have an electric oven or don’t like the idea of using the burner, make s’mores inside the oven on cookie sheets or use the microwave instead. Here’s a great oven-baked s’more recipe. Try this simple, old-fashioned stovetop hot chocolate recipe or this slightly fancier version of hot cocoa with real whipped cream.

4. Warm up with a Hibachi Grill

This Japanese cuisine is also an art form and sure to entertain. Plus, you’re right up close and personal with the grill, so that’s sure to raise temps.  If you’ve never had it before, all the better. You can Google hibachi grills in your area to find an appropriate restaurant.

5. Spend a night at the library

Find your favorite books from childhood, look up love sonnets, read favorite passages from your most-loved novels or choose a topic before you arrive and find interesting books to share with each other about the topic. You might even leave with some new good reads!

6. Grab a sled

Sledding is free if there’s a hill in your area. You could also check out the local ski or sledding hills that have rope tows to take you to the top. These spots are great because there are often lodge or snack bar areas where you can have a warm drink and thaw out.

7. Slip on some skates

You can decide if you’ll brave the elements for an outdoor rink or try a warmer alternative inside, but the goal is the same. Slip on some skates on and impress each other with your best routines. If nothing else, it’ll have you grabbing onto each other for support and laughing at each others antics.

8. Have a picnic

An outdoor picnic in wintertime can actually be a lot of fun. If there’s a lake or something similar in your area that completely freezes over, you can drive your car out on the lake and have a tailgating party, just the two of you (follow safety precautions and rules for your city). Or just find a scenic spot and spread out a thick blanket. Choose a meal that’s nice and warm, like a pot of chili or soup and hot chocolate or tea. Dress for the weather and make sure to snuggle up for body heat! If this idea doesn’t sound appealing, you could opt to have a winter picnic inside, too. Set your picnic blanket up on the floor and add candles for romance.

9. Play games

Pick out a few favorite games for two and have a board and card game marathon. Don’t forget to decide on a prize for the tournament champion beforehand! Some great two player games, include: Sequence, Stratego, Perpetual Commotion, Scrabble, Bananagrams, Boggle, Battleship, Rummikub, Racko, Blink, Qwirkle, Set, Blokus.

10. Have a “tropical beach night”

Set out pictures of tropical beaches and summertime fun. Turn up the thermostat and dress for summer. Make a tropical or summertime meal, like Strawberry Soup, Kalua Pork, or Tangled Thai Salad. Try some yummy frozen drinks like Pineapple, Banana and Coconut Smoothies, Key Lime Pie Shakes, Tropical Slush, or Non-Boozy Mojitos. Dance to tropical or island style music (things with ukulele or steal drums) and make dreams and plans for the summertime months.

Feature image via TGC

Looking for more ways to boost the romance in your relationship? Try these:

6 ways to reconnect with your significant other - Tipsaholic.com 7 Romantic Movies to Watch on Valentine's Day - Tipsaholic.com 12 Love Notes for Your Valentine - Tipsaholic.com
Reconnect Romantic Movies  Love Notes

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Great Examples of Family Schedules

10 Great Family Schedules - Tipsaholic

 tipsaholic title divider - family schedules

Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

Creating a family schedule can often be a good way to keep track of the many things that keeps everyone busy throughout the day. But since every family has unique events and activities, the key to following that schedule is finding just the right one to fit your family’s needs. Here are 10 great family schedules. Even though each one is different, all are good examples of ways to keep a family’s day planned and organized.

 

1. Visual Family Schedule

If you have little ones who cannot yet read, a schedule with pictures, instead of words, is an easy way for everyone in the family to follow along.

visual schedule

2. Colorful Dry-Erase Board Schedule

This is a different take on the Dry-Erase Board, and almost becomes a work of art on the wall. Simply frame colorful paper that complements the decor of the room. Then write on the glass with a dry-erase marker to keep all the days of the week planned out.
family schedule

3. Family Binder Schedule

For the family where just one schedule won’t do, make a binder to keep the various calendars, plans, and lists together. This is a great way to keep it all in one place and easy to find when needed.

Home Binder: Make your own or buy a pre-made kit. Either way, it's a great way to store all the 'lists' (grocery, menu, phone numbers, emergency, home repair, etc.) that we all tend to keep, but can never find.

4. Post-It Note Family Schedule

Make a large daily calendar on a poster board — if it’s big, you can’t miss it — and create a column for each person in the family. Then fill out each activity on a Post-It note. If the schedule needs to be rearranged later (say now Dad has to take the kids to soccer because Mom has a meeting that will run late), the events can easily be changed around by removing the Post-It from one person’s column and moving it to the new place.

A Schedule For Those Who Can't Stick to a Schedule 3

5. Electronic Family Schedule

Using an app like Cozi is an easy way to keep the family schedule at your finger tips. There are multiple websites that offer family calendars, just find the one that is the easiest for you and your family to use.

Electronic Family Schedule

6. Color Coded Family Schedule

Assign each member of the family a color. This way each person can know what they need to be doing at a certain time by looking for their color on the schedule. It also prevents the need to write out the same activity multiple times, if more than one member of the family is also doing the same thing.

IHeart Organizing: 5 Time Management Tips for Busy Families to be that organised is a dream

7. Family Schedule Board

Clipping information onto a board (with colorful clothes pins) will keep all schedules easy to read at a quick glance.

8. Decorative Window Chalkboard Family Schedule

Get creative with your family schedule. One way is to convert an old window with chalkboard paint into a handy way to jolt down the week’s events. There is even left over space for a grocery list and extra things to get finished.

how to make a chalkboard window calendar via housebyhoff.com

9. Framed Family Schedule

With young children or during certain parts of the year, your family schedule can be predictable. Add some style to the day by typing up your family’s daily to-do list and printing it out on a color printer. Framing it gives a finished look to the timeline.

Jen's Tips

10. Store Bought Planner

For those families that would like the ease of a pre-made planner, there are several on the market that can get any family schedule of the right track to being organized.

Feature image via Maker Crate

Looking for more ways to keep your family organized? Check out these ideas:

10 simple home organization tips car organization pet supplies organization
Home Organization Car Organization  Pet Organization

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

How to Create a Family Schedule to Organize Your Life

How to Create a Family Schedule to Organize Your Life @Tipsaholic

family schedule

Follow along with Get Organized Week by clicking here or on social media with #GetOrganized. Or share your own organization tips with #GetOrganized on social media.

For most families there are so many lessons, practices, meetings, social events, school activities, sports games and all the other things that keep a family busy it is hard to keep track of it all. Taking the time to make a family schedule can help, and finding just the right system can keep all of it running smoothly. These six tips to create a family schedule can help you put together just the right thing. Then, you and your family can be on your way to a more peaceful and organized life.

 

  1. Pick the right kind of family schedule for your family.

This is probably the most important step. Since each family is unique, what works for one might not for the other. Getting input from all family members is a great way to figure out what is the right one. Maybe your family is very tech savvy and would like a web based calendar that everyone can access. Or a color coded calendar on the wall might work. Here are a few examples of great family schedules to get ideas flowing.

  1. Keep it simple.

The goal of the family schedule is to keep everyone on the same page and organized. While it could be tempting to add a lot of creativity to this, don’t make the schedule so complicated that you have trouble remembering what it all means. A schedule that is easy to follow and can be read with a quick glance is probably best.

  1. Get the family involved.

If your family is part of both creating and maintaining the family schedule, they will be more likely to follow it. It will help them take ownership of the project, and hopefully they will see the value in it.

  1. Review it often during the day.

Once the family schedule is in place, take time to review it at certain designated points in the day. Evening is a good time, so you can lay out what is needed for the next day, and make plans to getting everything on the schedule accomplished. And with a quick glance in the morning, this will make sure nothing is forgotten.

  1. Add new appointments and activities right away…do not wait.

Keeping all events documented on the family schedule is the key to making it work. By putting everything on the family schedule as soon as it comes up, you can avoid forgetting about something. Hopefully, this will prevent any kinks in the flow of the daily activities.

  1. Evaluate and only keep the most important activities.

Once your family has been using the family schedule for awhile look it over and see how it is working. Since everything is written out it would be easy to see how everyone is spending their day. Ask yourself a few questions: Are too many things being planned? Are the goals of your family being accomplished during the day? Maybe, there is something that you or another family member would rather be doing, and with a little tweaking of the schedule they can do it. By letting the family schedule evolve as needed, it will keep it working for your family.

 

Featured Image: Better Homes and Gardens

 

Need some more organizing tips? Try these:

3 Tips to keep paperwork organized during a move - Tipsaholic.org               tipsaholic-5-ways-to-organize-and-display-travel-mementos-pinterest-pic               tipsaholic-6-fun-and-stylish-home-office-organization-ideas-and-tips-pinterest-pic

Organizing Paperwork              Organizing Mementos               Office Organization

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

5 Hanukkah Activities for Kids

5 Fun Hanukkah Activities for Kids - Tipsaholic.com

 

tipsaholic title divider - hanukkah activities

 

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah with your family or want to teach your children about other cultures and their holidays, here are five simple yet fun Hanukkah activities for kids.

 

1. Read books about Hanukkah

Sometimes the best way to learn about something new is to read a book. Check out an exciting picture book about Hanukkah from the library and read it with your kids a few days before the holiday begins. The book Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah is one great example – it will entertain your kids and teach them about the history of Hanukkah.  After reading the book, your children will know the reasons behind the candles on the menorah and the length of the holiday.

 

2. Cook latkes together

Many holidays are celebrated in part with traditional and symbolic food, and Hanukkah is no exception. Fried foods, including latkes (potato pancakes), jelly-filled doughnuts, and loukoumades (deep-fried puffs dipped in honey), are cooked and consumed during the holiday to remember the oil that lasted for eight days. Cooking with your kids is always a fun (and messy) activity, so try cooking latkes with them using this recipe.

 

3. Play the dreidel game

The dreidel is a spinning toy that is traditionally made of wood but also comes in plastic versions. It has a letter from the Hebrew alphabet on each of its four sides. The dreidel game is a simple gambling game that is traditionally played with chocolate coins, or gelt, and is one of the most popular Hanukkah activities for kids.

 

4. Craft a menorah

Doing something with your hands while learning something new helps cement acquired knowledge in little minds. When you teach your kids about the history behind the symbol of the menorah, you could make a beautiful menorah with your kids using embossing foil and glass votive holders.

 

5. Play with Hanukkah helpers

You’ve probably heard of The Elf on the Shelf for Christmas, but there’s also a Hanukkah version: Hanukkah Helpers. These cute little dolls are dressed in blue outfits and partake in fun adventures during the night. Your kids will love finding what they’re up to when they wake up in the morning.

 

Looking for ideas for decorating your home for the holidays? Here is some mantel decorating inspiration for Hanukkah as well as Christmas.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

Here are more fun ideas for you to share with your kids:

bleach bottle tincanice

Recycle Bleach Bottles                                     Ice Activities                                         Tin Can Crafts

animal button

kidskitchen2papermache

Button Crafts                                            Papier Mache Projects                      Teaching Kids in the Kitchen

 

 

7 Tips for Planning Your Christmas Budget

7 Tips for Planning Your Christmas Budget - Tipsaholic.com

 tipsaholic title divider - christmas budget

 

Christmas is about spending quality time with family and friends while sharing in the joy of the season. It can also be a very expensive time. Don’t let financial stress bring you down during the holidays. To help make this your best year yet, here are seven helpful tips for planning your Christmas budget.

 

1. Create a budget early

Christmas in July may seem a little crazy but it’s never too early to start saving and planning your Christmas budget. Don’t wait until December to figure out how much money you have to spend on gifts, decor, traveling etc.

 

2. Break your budget into categories

Gifts for family and friends are just one expense you have during the holidays. To help account for hidden costs, consider breaking your budget into six main categories: gifts, decor, food, travel, mail/shipping, and donations.

 

3. Set a spending limit for each category 

Once you’ve broken your budget into categories, set a spending limit for each category. If it’s helpful and feasible, go a step further and determine a specific dollar amount for each person for whom you’ll be buying a gift. Doing this ahead of time will help you not be tempted to buy a gift out of your price range when you’re out shopping.

 

4. Download an app

Stay organized by downloading an app like The Christmas List for iPhone or Christmas Gift List for Android. These apps are the perfect solution for keeping track of gifts and other holiday related purchases.

 

5. Use one credit card for all of your purchases

Spending can get out of control when you’re making purchases using multiple forms of payment. Designate one credit card for all of your Christmas expenses so you can see and calculate everything at once. If you prefer to use cash, make an envelope for each budget category so you don’t go over your spending limit.

 

6. Set a deadline for purchasing gifts

Giving yourself a deadline for purchasing gifts will help you to not fall prey to last minute sales or rush shipping costs. It will also ensure you get the necessary gifts in the mail on time.

 

7. Don’t be afraid to say no

During Christmas there are countless activities, parties, and gatherings to attend. Don’t be afraid to say no to an invitation if it requires funds or time you can’t afford. For example, if you enjoy seeing a stage production like A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker, consider going every other year to cut down on cost.

 

Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest after spending three years in Chicago obtaining her master’s degree in journalism. Clarissa spends her days working as a higher education professional helping graduate students pursue their passions. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, enjoying the outdoors, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.

15 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Adults

Have someone especially hard to shop for on your Christmas list? They are probably an adult and here are some inexpensive creative gift ideas for adults via tipsaholic.com #gifts #christmas 15 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Adult

Every year, there is at least one person on my Christmas list that causes me more stress than all the others combined, and I’m willing to bet you can relate. This all-important person on your list tends to fall into one of three categories: 1) this person already has, or is capable of purchasing, everything he/she wants; 2) he/she has great taste in everything and is just plain hard to buy for; or 3) this person doesn’t want you to spend money on them. This list of inexpensive gift ideas ($25 or less!) is meant to inspire you in even the most difficult of gifting cases.

15 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Adults

For the ladies:

Monogrammed reusable shopping bag – Who doesn’t love a little personalization? A gal can get her groceries home in style with a shopping bag like this!

Flavor infuser water bottle – Even the most reluctant water-drinkers will want to give this a try. Use real fruit to flavor water in a flash.

Clip-on shoe accessories – A blah pair of old heels can be made new in an instant with these flashy accessories!

 

Photo reveal mug – Got a friendship that goes way back? Remind your gal-pal of all the good times with a photo collaged mug that starts out black and reveals as you pour hot liquids inside!

 

For the guys:

Paracord survival kit – Got a man that’s always on the go? If he’s got hiking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and all things outdoors on the brain, get him one of these survival kit “grenades” and put your mind at ease while he roams the wilderness.

A themed lapel pin/tie tack – Do a search on Etsy or just a general search with Google. Try searching using phrases like “baseball tie tack” and, if that doesn’t get you what you want, try “baseball lapel pin” in order to get more results. There’s a tie tack for just about any hobby or interest out there!

Smartphone armband – Whether he’s working on cars or working out, this armband and its handy storage pocket will help a guy get the job done.

 This game – If you know someone who’s a bit of a prankster, this game might be right up his alley, especially if he’s willing to give his friends a real “shock!”

 

And if you still aren’t sure what to get… here are a few more ideas that will work for just about anyone:

Personalized photo notepads

Portable iPod/iPhone speakers

Personalized casserole carrier 

Touch screen gloves 

A doorganizer

Bento lunch box

Smart phone wallet

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Here is more inspiration:

 

Christmas Wreath         Elf on the shelf         cranberry-pear-tart-250x250

DIY Christmas Wreaths         Elf on the Shelf Ideas           Cranberry Desserts

Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas

The Elf on the Shelf can be a fun holiday tradition, But have you run out of ideas for posing the elf every night? Here are some elf on the shelf ideas from tipsaholic.com #elfontheshelf #elf #christmas Elf on the Shelf Ideas

The Elf on the Shelf can be a fun holiday tradition for your child. But have you run out of ideas for posing the elf every single night? Never fear – Santa shared some of his favorite ideas with the Tipsaholic gang and, since we want to be nice and not naughty, we’re passing them along to you.

9 Creative Poses for the Elf on the Shelf

  1. Sitting in front of the laptop watching a holiday video on YouTube
  2. Making a snow angel in the kitchen with baking flour
  3. Stuck inside the cardboard tube of a roll of toilet paper that has been rolled down the stairs
  4. Fishing in the kitchen sink (craft a “rod” of a pretzel stick and some dental floss and float some goldfish crackers in the sink)
  5. Hanging from the string of a helium balloon
  6. Sneaking a drink of something sweet (hang the elf upside down from his knees on a shelf, with his mouth positioned next to a bottle with a straw sticking out)
  7. In the freezer, wearing a scarf (a bit of cloth works well)
  8. Playing a board game with some of your child’s other dolls or action figures
  9. Taking a “bubble bath” (position the elf in the bathroom sink and cover it with mini marshmallows and place a washcloth “towel” on the edge)

What are your favorite ideas for the Elf on the Shelf?

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.

Featured Image and Title Image via Amazon.

Here are other fun Holiday ideas:

Christmas Wreath         5 Ideas to Decorate with Candy         cranberry-pear-tart-250x250

DIY Christmas Wreaths         Candy Decor                       Cranberry Desserts

Halloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads

Pumpkins are a fun part of Halloween. They can be messy to carve, but don't have to be. Try a different approach this year to create Halloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads via @tipsaholic #pumpkins #pumpkinHalloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads

Not a big pumpkin carver? There are lots of great ways to decorate a pumpkin without carving it. Paint, washi tape, stickers. The list goes on and on. Today Family Fun is sharing with us a tip for an easy non-carved pumpkin.

What you will need to create Halloween Veggie Pumpkin Heads:

  • garden produce (whatever you have, broccoli, peppers, etc.)
  • pumpkins
  • toothpicks
  • metal skewers

Create a colorful pumpkin clan by securing surplus garden produce onto pumpkins with toothpicks. If the pumpkin’s rind is too tough for toothpicks to pierce, drill holes for them with a metal skewer.

Plan out a face before starting on the pumpkin. Then add to it and really make it an individual. Layering the veggies gives the faces a multidimensional look.

These pumpkins are a perfect no-carve and not scary option for little kids. Plus skip all the mess of removing the inside of the pumpkin.

Featured and Title image via Family Fun.

Love this idea? Try one of these:

40 Halloween Costume Ideas for Babies and Toddlers via Tipsaholic          10 spooky kids crafts for Halloween via Tipsaholic.com         5 Quick and Easy Halloween Party Treats via Tipsaholic

Baby Halloween Costumes   Halloween Kids Crafts        Halloween Treats

Spooky Halloween Decor Ideas via Tipsaholic.com        10 No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas via Tipsaholic.com         Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Carving via Tipsaholic.com

Halloween Decor              No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas      Pumpkin Carving Tips

p3fabrickins        StarWars        b

Halloween Sewing Projects      Family Costumes        Disney Boy Costumes