16 Tips to do Fitness as a Family

16 tips to do Fitness as a Family @ Tipsaholic.com #family #fitness #exercise

 family fitness title

Fitness as a family is a great way to spend time together and get in some exercise. Here are sixteen tips to get everyone up and moving.

Find indoor activities for those cold or rainy days

  • Roller skate or ice skate at the local indoor rink
  • Turn up the music and dance around the living room
  • Create an obstacle course with chairs from the kitchen and couch cushions from the living room. Use the cooking timer to see who completes the course the fastest.
  • Call out animal names and have the family members act them out. Cat crawling, crab walking and Bird wing-flapping gets everyone moving.

Get moving outside

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner.
  • Make a list of things you might see outside, and as you walk through the local park, have the kids check them off.
  • Plan a day trip to a nearby recreation area or state park where the family can hike on a trail or take a canoe trip.
  • Find a pick-your-own vegetable farm or orchard. Your family will burn some calories and get healthy food to take home.

Change it up

  • Participating in a new sport that no one else has tried before. Volleyball or badminton, anyone?
  • Go old school by teaching the kids hopscotch, red light/green light or kick the can
  • Get out the jump rope and have each family member take turns turning the rope or jumping in the middle. Learn a few skipping rope songs to add to the fun.
  • Next leisurely pool day, challenge the kids to a freestyle swimming race across the pool.

Make Exercise fun

  • Put a small bowl of popcorn on the floor. As you lower yourself down into a pushup, stick out your tongue to get a piece of popcorn from the bowl. Rise back up, and then repeat the push up for more popcorn treats.
  • Play freeze tag. When someone is “frozen”, they jog in place.
  • Have one family member blow bubbles, everyone else does jumping jacks and tries to “catch” the bubbles as they clap their hands above their head.
  • Join a community fun run or walk. An added benefit is your family will be raising money for a good cause while getting fit.

 

Featured picture source: Better Homes and Gardens

 

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.

 

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How To Exercise With Kids

Want to encourage fitness with your kids? Here are several exercises you can do with your little ones that will keep them engaged and wanting more! How to Exercise With Kids - Tipsaholic, #health, #kidshealth, #exercise, #kidsfitness, #kidsexercise

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Looking for some ways to help your kids get more fit?  It doesn’t have to be difficult!  There are many different workouts you can try with your kids – and if you do them right they’ll feel more like playing than exercising!  Ready to get moving with your little ones?  Read below for our recommendations on different types of cardio/aerobic exercise and how to engage your kids!

 

Interactive Video Games – While video games certainly aren’t a substitute for the real deal, they can be extremely helpful in cold winter months, or long rainy days.  They can also be appealing to all sorts of people, and a great gentle introduction to more vigorous and active “real-world” workouts.

Nickelodeon Fit (for wii) – Kids can engage in over 30 different activities – such as jump roping, river rafting, running and biking – with their favorite Nick Jr. characters.  Dora, Diego, Kai-lan and the Backyardigans and others make appearances.  Parents can program full routines and track progress.

We Cheer (for wii) – Your child can create and customize their own cheerleading character, then engage in competitive cheer routines with friends or learn and practice moves on their own.  It’s addictive and engaging gameplay that kids will love as they dance and move to teen pop sensations.

Outdoor Challenge (for wii) – You can really get your heart pumping with over a dozen fast-paced games that can be played alone or with up to four players.  You can log-jump, kayak, dance, ride mine carts, and much more!  There are multiple levels of play from beginner to advanced so all ages can play appropriately and it’s fun for the whole family!

Brain and Body Connection (for Kinect) – Exercise your body and brain at the same time with this fun game for up to four players.  20 different games challenge players to think fast and act faster as they focus on reflex, math, logic, memory and physical activities.  You can train on your own or compete against your family!

Your Shape Fitness Evolved (for Kinect) – It’s geared more toward teens and older kids, but you can construct a workout tailored to your fitness level and there are over 90 hours worth of different fitness options, making it family-friendly in practice.  There’s boot camp, cardio boxing, jump rope, yoga, running, floor exercises, sports-centered prep, muscle-toning and lots of different types of dancing among many, many other exercising options.  You can track progress, set preferences and record goals.

 

Dancing – Dancing in any version is highly appealing to kids.  They love to move their bodies to music and anything with kinesthetics is a great way to grab their attention.  Dancing with your kids can get their bodies working in a super healthy way.  Their are interactive video games to help, or DVD’s and free YouTube videos.  But the best thing about dancing is that there doesn’t necessarily need to be any routine, rules or choreography to be fun AND healthy!  Just put on some exciting music and get moving!

Just Dance Kids (Wii version) – There are over 30 songs and dances led by real kids for a fun and entertaining dance workout!  The lyrics appear on the screen so kids can sing along as they dance.  They learn specific moves to the songs and can create their own playlists for continuous activity.  Kids can dance alone or with up to 3 friends with cooperative play.  There are also a number of different versions of this game that include Disney songs, and different years and genres of music.   This is also available for the Kinect.

Dance On Broadway (Wii version) – This is an awesome family-friendly game that incorporates singing and dancing.  You learn choreography and sing along to your favorite broadway tunes.  With up to 4 players, you can challenge each other to see who’s the top performer!  There are tons of musicals included, with a ton of different songs that will appeal to all ages.  It’s a workout in disguise! This is also available for Playstation 3.

Dance X (DVD) – This fun and easy dance video will give little ones a workout without them even realizing it!  They are guided through 25 minutes of fun cardio centered moves while watching a trainer and five kids of different ages and skill levels energetically perform.  Kids will automatically fall into a skill level represented by one of the 5 performers.  They use music kids will love, including Hand Jive, Disco Rolls and the Monkey.

Fit Kids Club (DVD) – You get two different move and groove type workouts on this DVD – Groove It Out and Cool Moves.  They’re designed specifically for kids and the movements are simple and easily duplicated while remaining full of fun.  Kids will love learning how to dance, plus they’ll get the added bonus of healthy, kid-friendly snack ideas and a wall poster where they can track their workouts.

“Forget You” – CeeLo (YouTube, Kids Dance Workout Video with Benjamin Allen) – This is a fun choreographed workout to the popular song “Forget You.” It’s a simple choreography geared to kids that they can pick up easily.  Plus, it’s a free YouTube video!

I’m A Gummy Bear Song – (YouTube Vid of Just Dance 2) – Several favorite Just Dance 2 segments are free on YouTube videos, which is just the case with this Gummy Bear Song.  Kids love the catchy tune and the fun and simple dance moves that will help them get up off the couch.  Enjoy Just Dance flavor for free, without keeping score.

Circle Jump Dance Game (YouTube) – This video tutorial teaches you how to play the Circle Jump Dance Game with your kids and their friends.  The game has very few rules and allows every child the chance to be the leader – making up fun moves and routines for everyone else to follow.  While kids think they’re just playing a fun game with friends, they’ll be getting some much needed cardio!

 

Zumba – Zumba is an action-packed, high-energy, dance-focused cardio workout that kids will absolutely love.  Kids love to move and groove to music and because zumba is dance-based, they’ll love adding tons of great moves to their repertoire.  Additionally, they can learn the basics to several types of international dance styles.  So not only will they learn, grow, have fun, and be silly, they’ll also get their heart racing.

Zumba Kids (wii game) – This game features easy to follow choreography for over 30 routines that your kids will love.  They use music by popular artists like Will Smith and Justin Bieber along with some classic, high-energy tunes like “Wipeout”.  The routines offer a number of different international dance styles – Cumbia, Salsa, Hip-Hop, Reggaeton, Merengue, Swing, Surf, Disco, Ballet, Tahitian and many more.  You can do it alone or up to 3 friends.  Also available for Kinect – for one or two players.

Move N’ Groove Kids – Two easy to understand and motivating ladies lead kids on a fun adventure to learn dance moves, exercise and have fun all at the same time.  Kids will love the energy in the video and won’t be able to resist following along to the simple but engaging exercises.  The DVD mimics a classroom setting, helping your children feel like part of the onscreen action while teaching them about small group dynamics as well.

Zumba Kids and Kids Jr. (CD) – If you’d prefer to teach your children your own zumba moves and routines, use this CD with 9 awesome songs to help you get your groove on!

Reed and Mock Elementary Zumba for Kids (YouTube) – You can join the Reed and Mock Elementary Zumba Team as they bust out some fun and simple moves.  Kids will like being guided by those of similar ages and will be engaged by the upbeat music.

Zumba Monkey Song (YouTube) – Kids of all ages will be able to groove along to this group of kids doing The Monkey Song.  It’s silly and fun, and your little ones will laugh while learning the funny moves and listening to the funky beats.

 

Yoga –  While not strictly exercising in a cardio-type way, yoga helps develop muscle tone, flexibility, balance and coordination.  There’s also a strong mental component that can encourage thoughtfulness, focus, and groundedness – all important elements for adults and kids alike!

Storyland Yoga (DVD) – This is a fun-filled yoga adventure that teaches kids yoga poses while telling a story.  Kids get to imitate animals while posing and engaging in the storyline.

Yoga for Children book by Lisa Flynn – This book will introduce you to over 200 yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditations for kids.  It’s an encouraging, positive book that will get kids excited about their health and mindfulness.

Cosmickids Yoga (YouTube) – Cosmickids is an all-free yoga program that makes yoga fun and exciting for kids.  Their website includes links to their YouTube channel where you can find many episodes of yoga routines suitable for different age levels of kids.  There’s also ideas and advice for parents, a list of free resources and a guide to teaching your kids yoga.

Yoga for Kids (YouTube) – This one episode from Yoga Today is geared specifically to kids.  They’ll love the gentle, fun approach to learning yoga poses.

15 Yoga Poses for Kids – On this website, you can learn 15 basic poses that you can incorporate into a daily routine with your kids.

 

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

 

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5 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night

Start a fun weekly tradition and your family will be closer than ever. Get tips for a successful family game night and make sure everyone has a blast! 5 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night - tipsaholic, #familynight, #games, #family, #boardgames

 

 

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Family time is important for bonding and maintaining relationships.  Summer is easy to fill with tons of outdoor activities and fun vacations and day trips, but what do you do during the cold winter months?  One great idea is to incorporate a game night into your regular weekly schedule.  Kids will look forward all week to the specified night.  When it finally rolls around, everyone will get in on the excitement.  If you’re looking forward to adding this tradition to your winter schedule, here are some tips for making family game night successful.

 

1. Avoid arguments.  It can be very difficult to agree on which game to play, what constitutes “cheating,” who gets to go first, what snack you’ll eat, and any number of seemingly small choices, especially with young kids involved.  If you’re worried about arguments ruining the fun, make sure to plan some ground rules ahead of time.  Think about problem areas and set rules that will work for your family.  For instance, perhaps each member of the family is assigned a week of the the month to pick the game or everyone picks a game and then votes on which to play.  Perhaps there’s a standing “youngest goes first” rule, or each time you play you roll a dice to see who goes first.  If kids have a hard time with sportsmanship, institute a “no complaining” rule, a “no accusations” rule (for cheating) and a “fair game handshake” for the end of the game.  Present the “rules” in a laid back way, but don’t waver once they’re set.

 

2. Build your arsenal.  Make sure to invest in several group games that are appropriate for the ages in your family.  You’ll want options so no one tires of the same games.  You’ll also want different types of games, from board games to action games, from card games to dice games.  Don’t underestimate the old standby’s of checkers, dominoes, and even tiddlywinks!  Consider looking into educational games as well, which teach children on the sly, without them even realizing!

 

3. Offer refreshments.  Food is always a great incentive to gather and visit, so why not add snacks to your game night, too?  You can plan them together, or pick one family member each week to be in charge.  You can use it as an opportunity to encourage healthy snacking choices, or it might be the perfect time to try out some snacks you normally don’t indulge in!

 

4. Don’t force it.  If there are weeks when kids don’t want to join in the fun, don’t force them to the table.  Let them know you’ll miss them during the game, but that it’s their choice to participate or not.  But don’t let that cancel the activity altogether!  Carry on as normal, no matter who’s missing – even if it’s just parents playing!  Forcing kids to join in on the fun with foster resentment and bad attitudes which can affect everyone’s mood.  Family time should be fun for all involved, and it won’t be if you push it.  Chances are, when kids realize that the fun will go on without them and that they’re missing out, they won’t be absent very often!

 

5. Keep it consistent. You may have to adjust game night at times to accommodate schedules, but on the whole you should make it a scheduled event that everyone plans for at a certain time.  Not only do kids respond better to routine, but it’s more likely to become a fun tradition that you stick to if it’s not always changing willy-nilly for anything that happens to pop up.  So make sure to clear a night of activities (for instance, don’t plan it for a night that there’s usually piano practice or a day when there are often soccer games) and resist the urge to throw extra to-do items into the schedule for that open slot (if you happen to have a lot of extra errands one week, or a friend wants to meet for dinner for example).  Not only will this solidly plant game night into your family schedule, but it will make family members feel even more important if they can’t be easily replaced by book club, jogging with a neighbor or a chance coffee break with a friend.

 

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

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8 Easy and Meaningful Family Valentine’s Day Activities

Never know what to do with the family on Valentine's Day? Looking for something new to try? Here are 8 Easy and Meaningful Family Valentine’s Day Activities via @tipsaholic #valentine #family #kids #valentinesday 8 Easy and Meaningful Family Valentine’s Day Activities

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is mostly celebrated between couples and in classrooms all over the country, but it’s not generally viewed as a family celebration. Change that with these 8 sweet but simple family Valentine’s Day activities you can do with your whole family. They don’t require much work, but they definitely will make for a really nice day with your loved ones and will become cherished memories for years to come.

1. Have a chocolate fondue party.

After dinner, get the family together and whip up a simple chocolate fondue for everyone to share! Cut up various fruits and add a few treats, like cheesecake pieces and marshmallows, and let everyone dig in the chocolate and enjoy the dessert with each other. Try this easy recipe. You don’t have to have an electric fondue maker for this; a stove pot will do the trick just fine. Invite another family over for even more fun and family love.

2. Go out for a special dessert.

Is there a local cupcake bakery in your town that you save for special days? Or a favorite ice cream spot? Pack up the whole family and go out for a Valentine’s Day treat. Often, dessert places serve special Valentine-themed desserts, so this could be a fun way to try a new dessert. Take a lot of pictures, chat with each other, and end the night with full tummies and big smiles.

3. Enjoy looking at family pictures together with a slideshow or photo books.

Use a projector or Apple TV to let the whole family enjoy a slideshow of family pictures you’ve put together. It doesn’t have to require a whole lot of prep; you could just go through all the photos month by month and let everyone take turns pressing the “next” button. If you have lots of photo books already printed out, you could look through that instead — spread out in the living room and bring out all your photo books for everyone to look through together.

4. Make each other homemade Valentine’s Day gifts.

If your family likes to give and receive gifts, you could agree to make each other something homemade for Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas: a decorated picture frame, Valentine’s Day DIY decor, a painting, homemade earrings, and freshly baked cookies.

5. Create Valentine’s Day cards for your neighbors.

Everybody loves to receive a sweet card on Valentine’s Day and that includes your neighbors. Have your family get together and make fun homemade cards for your favorite neighbors and put them in their mailboxes or at their front doors.

6. Assign a dish to every person to cook for a big family dinner.

If you have older kids, you could assign every person in your family a dish to cook for a fun Valentine’s Day dinner. One person could make the appetizer, another the salad, one could do a vegetable side and one could grill the meat, and so on.

7. Play Minute to Win It, Valentine’s Day style.

Have a large family that loves to play games? Play these fun Minute to Win It Valentine’s Day party games for a night full of laughter and hilarity. Be sure to take lots of pictures to capture all the fun you have.

8. Paint a map of your heart.

This is a sweet activity for the family that likes to do art together. Give every person a piece of paper with dots of dried watercolor paint and have them draw and paint what they love. When everyone is finished, you could share your maps to your hearts with each other. This is a simple activity that could be done first thing in the morning or after dinner.

Now I’m really looking forward to February 14! What other family activities would be perfect for Valentine’s Day?

For more Valentine’s Day ideas, check out 7 Valentine’s Day Books to Read With Your Family and 12 Love Notes for Your Valentine.

“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!

 

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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.

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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

 

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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

20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teens

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Are you stumped when it comes to stocking stuffers for your tween or teen?  When small toys will no longer cut it, it’s hard to know what to fill their socks with!  While making your own small gifts is generally more durable and more meaningful, hand making for the 10-17 crowd can leave you flustered.  Here are some cool DIY stocking stuffers your tween and teens are sure to love!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensCustom Sharpie Mug, Pounds4Pennies – If your teen loves hot chocolate, tea or coffee, this cute mug is sure to please.  Even if they’re more into milk and cookies, a monogram mug in their favorite colors will have personal meaning.  Plus they could use it for a pencil holder or even a vase for their bedroom!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensDino Necklace, It All Started With Paint – This cool necklace is super easy to create and makes a fun statement.  Metallics are super trendy, too.  Not into dinos at your house?  You could use any small plastic animal – just paint them up in gold or silver!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensVintage Book Trinket Box, Lovely, etc. – Everyone needs a secret spot for notes, mementos, and other small treasures.  This trinket box looks just like a vintage book – because that’s what it is!  Give them a spot to hide precious items from nosy siblings – bonus points if you can find a favorite book or author to use!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensKitty Studs, The Pink Samurai – Small and simple kitty studs make the cutest little statement perched in your tweens ears!  They’re fun and whimsical, but simple enough to look chic.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensMini Duct Tape Notebooks, blitsy blog –  A mini notebook is super handy for keeping in a purse, pocket or bedside drawer.  Kids can keep track of ideas, inspirations, and notes while they’re out and about.  They are so easy to make, you’ll want to make a few sets for yourself as well!  Personalize them for your teens with papers in patterns and colors they’ll love.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensComic Book Magnets, Crafts By Amanda – For the superhero fan, these magnets are a surefire hit.  They require just a few materials to make and teens will love the fun shapes, sizes and comic theme.  They can put them in their lockers for more personalization.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSwiss Army Key Ring, Man Made – Once your kids start driving, they’re bound to have more than one key to keep track of.  This awesome swiss army knife-style key ring is the perfect solution!  It folds up in a clever disguise your boys will love.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensGlitter Rings, A Splendid Assemblage – Add some sparkle to your daughters’ hands with these cute glitter rings!  It’s an easy and quick project, so you can make one for each finger, or a rainbow of glitzy colors.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensDino iPhone Tripod, Eat, Sleep, Make – A phone tripod is super useful for watching videos, using the internet for homework, taking photos, and tons of other things.  This particular tripod – featuring a fun dino tail – will be a hit with your guys.  Use any kind of dino tail you want; you could even paint it different colors!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensMystery Braid Bracelets, A Pumpkin and a Princess – These leather mystery braid bracelets are fun, trendy and unisex!  Stuff their socks with an accessory anyone can rock!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLego Belt, Delia Creates – Are legos slowly taking over your house?  These tiny building bricks make an awesome belt!  This is a super fast project they can have fun with AND wear for years to come!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensPom Pom Bookmark, Design Mom – If you’ve got any bookworms in your house, this is the perfect little stocking stuffer for them!  A fun, fuzzy pom pom makes just about anything cuter, but these bookmarks top the list.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLeather Sunglass Case, Whimsey Box – Sunglasses can be a fun gift, even in the winter time.  Wrap them up with these DIY sunglasses case.  The neon shapes on the light leather pack a big style punch.  You can customize them however you like so your tween and teen will love them!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensCereal Box Notepads, Infarrantly Creative – Here’s another way to encourage them to keep track of ideas, notes and other things they’ll want to remember throughout the day.  The cereal box covers are bright, fun and quirky – sure to catch the eye.  And you can make a whole set in one afternoon.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLip Balm Locket, Beautylish – This fun accessory is full of charm.  If your girls like a little vintage style, these lockets will impress for sure.  Hidden away inside is some homemade lip balm!  It’s a lovely addition to their trinkets.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSpa Kit, Doodlecraft – Your daughter will feel very adult with her own special spa kit!  Loaded with nail polish, nail file, lip balm, lotions and a bath poof, these tiny jars pack a lot of relaxation and thoughtfulness inside!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensFoxy Kindle Case, Eskimimi Makes – This super cute case is designed to fit a kindle or iPad.  It’s made out of fleece so there is no fraying to worry about and it’ll keep your kids’ devices nice and snug.  They’re going to love the little fox design!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensLeather Coin Pouch, Always Rooney – These geometric and leather circle pouches are loaded with style.  They can be loaded up with all your teens change, too!  What a fun way to keep track of their pennies; and a simple sewing project too.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSnowman Hershey Bars, Robin’s Creative Cottage – You just can’t go wrong with chocolate!  If you want to add a little fun to the treats in your kids’ stockings, try dressing the candy bars up like snowmen.

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teensSnowman Gum, My Little Gnochi –  And continuing the snowman treat theme, why not draw some snowmen on the plastic packs of white gum?  Ok, it might be a little too “cutesy” for your 17 year old son, but at least his breath will be fresh!

 

Find the perfect stocking stuffers for teens and tweens without breaking the bank. Plus some are ones you can make yourself. 20 Cool DIY Stocking Stuffers for Tweens & Teens - Tipsaholic, #stockingstuffer, #Christmas, #gifts, #DIY, #tweens, #teens

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

Looking for more inspiration:

20 Kid-Pleasing DIY Stocking Stuffers - Tipsaholic         15 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Adults        7 Tips for Planning Your Christmas Budget - Tipsaholic.com

Kid Stocking Stuffers                 Adult Gift Ideas              Christmas Budgeting

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.

38 Inspiring Ideas for Family Command Centers

38 Inspiring Ideas for Family Command Centers ~ Tipsaholic.com #family #organization #commandcenter

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School begins and all intentions to stay organized for the year can quickly deteriorate as kids lug home backpacks filled with art projects, handwriting practice, permission slips, sports equipment, and more. Keep things under control by creating a personalized “command center,” where every family member can unload, reload, and store their everyday gear – and Mom can more easily see what, when, and where everyone’s going. Use these 38 ideas to inspire your family’s command center, drop zone, landing zone, organization station, after-school station, or whatever else you want to call it – and get organized for good!

 

 

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Martha Stewart

1. We love this command center setup with its multi-purpose shelf unit for catching loose items, storage, and hanging coats and bags.

 

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Girl Loves Glam

2. Make your own modern organization board with Girl Loves Glam’s free printables and tutorial for making a fun stained backdrop.

 

p4cc3 The Container Store

3. A great idea from The Container Store to use simple labeled bags to corral gear for individual children, plus some tips on what to include when building your command center!

 

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The Handmade Home

4. This organization station serves a purpose but looks amazing too with its fun abacus feature.

 

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BHG

5. If you’ve got two small areas to use for your landing zone, consider some of these ideas and make both rooms feel cohesive.

 

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Pottery Barn

6. This idea comes directly from the Pottery Barn, and although it’s pricey to buy, it could inspire some fabulous DIY-ing!

 

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BHG

7. A couple of simple storage rails or towel rods can go a long way in keeping a small station together. And the corkboard backdrop? Perfect.

 

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iHeart Organizing

8. Use a basic shelf system and some creative accessories (that mirror!) to give your command center some real flair.

 

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The Yellow Cape Cod

9. A hanging tote for each family member makes it easy to transfer items collected during the week to be carried to their rightful homes.

 

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Achieving Creative Order

10. A kids’ art gallery and a fun set of reminder boards? Clever ideas to add to your landing zone at Achieving Creative Order. 

 

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BHG

11. Sometimes all you need is a pretty shelving unit and a collection of bins and baskets.

 

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Simply Fabulous Living

12. Industrial baskets and an oversized clock are great pieces to use when organizing on a small section of wall.

 

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Bliss @ Home

13. Don’t forget to add patterns, colors, and fun details to add some great aesthetics.

 

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ScatterShot

14. If you’ve got some free time and want to try something permanent, this is a great command center to add to a home! Check out the full chalkboard wall and large photo print.

 

 

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BHG

15. A mounted pocket for homework, permission slips, bills, and more make it much easier for busy parents to keep track of the needs of each family member.

 

 

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Ciburbanity

16. Give an unused kitchen corner a useful makeover by turning it into your organization station. And framing recipes from vintage cookbooks? Pure genius when it comes to personal touches.

 

 

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I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

17. Get access to some weathered wood from an old barn or fence and follow this tutorial to create a rustic command center like this one. Our favorite feature is the painted clothespin family!

 

 

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Sweet Aprils

18. There’s a lot to love in this landing zone – the clipboards, family rules sign, key holder, chest… And if the frames and accessories you have don’t match, give them a quick coat of spray paint for instant unification.

 

 

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Tatertots & Jello

19. The base for this project consists of two cheap wooden doors. Paint, textures, and patterns make it a fun and functional part of the home. Simply lean it against a wall or screw it down for a more permanent, sturdy unit.

 

 

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iHeart Organizing

20. A command center doesn’t have to be elaborate to be useful. Choose accessories that make the most sense for the space and fit your family’s needs.

 

 

 

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The Handmade Home

21. Here’s a unique idea for helping kids keep track of their daily tasks, all made with plexiglass so the pieces can be used like dry erase boards. And take a look at the simple string of photos and artwork adding some family love to the wall!

 

 

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Beneath My Heart

22. If you’ve got a lot of space to work with this command center will give you some great ideas! A big chalkboard painted onto the wall and surrounded by a simple frame makes the perfect background for a three month calendar and some practical add-ons.

 

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BHG

23. Sometimes all you need is to repurpose an old piece of furniture. This buffet makes the perfect organizational unit for a command center and a large mirror can double as a message board.

 

 

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The Elusive Bobbin

24. Can’t quite find the command center boards and accessories you need? Try building your own with these instructions from The Elusive Bobbin.

 

 

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The Elm Life

25. Make use of kitchen appliances in a kitchen command center! The refrigerator that hugs this wall becomes a great place for little kitchen extras like a menu planning system and cleaning schedule.

 

 

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The Crafting Chicks

26. Keep things simple with a coat hook and clip for each family member. This organization station uses a magnet board and magnetic clips.

 

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LegacyStudio

27. This great find from LegacyStudio is up on Etsy—you can buy one or use it as inspiration for your own single-unit command center.

 

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Ana White

28. Another more permanent unit, this one can be built and customized with these plans from Ana White. 

 

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Shaken Together Life

29. Check out these creative customizations – chore boards, baskets for snacks and school supplies, and a special notice board for Mom.

 

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Just a Girl and Her Blog

30. We love the artsy details and crisp colors of this command center. A basket for backpacks is a great alternative to mounting hooks on the wall.

 

 

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So You Think You’re Crafty

31. This build-it-yourself unit has a great old-school look and the pegboards add a lot of versatility. See the tutorial for a list of inexpensive materials and all the details.

 

 

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Inspiration Organization

32. Helping kids keep track of their own gear is easy when they can clearly see their names (and initials!) in the command center.

 

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The Lily Pad Cottage

33. Dress up a plain dry erase (or chalk) board by adding painted frames to highlight important lists. Another fun idea – magnets stating the days of the week that can be moved wherever needed.

 

 

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Kikki.K

34. The clean lines in this command center really make things feel organized, and Kikki.K gives five simple steps to creating yours.

 

 

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Oh So Shabby

35. Oh So Shabby definitely gets the award for sweetest accessories! We’re totally in love with the idea of using mini-mailboxes to stash each kid’s electronics and the cute flower and banner details.

 

 

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Living Locurto

36. An in-box and out-box for each family member is another great organizational tool to consider when designing your command center. Plus you can snag some free back-to-school printables to go with it at Living Locurto.

 

 

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Clean and Scentsible

37. If you’re looking for something versatile but not sure how to put it together on your own, get some inspiration from this command center, then head over to Staples’ Martha Stewart section here  to pick your own pieces!

 

 

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Achieving Creative Order

38. As the family grows and dynamics change, it’s nice to be able to make appropriate changes to your command center as well. Achieving Creative Order does just that with her family’s wall.

 

 38 Inspiring ideas for family command centers ~ Tipsaholic.com #family #organization #commandcenter

 

Remodelaholic has 10 more great ideas for Family Command Centers! Check them out here!

 

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.

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

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10 Fun Family Activities for Fall

Fall is a great time to enjoy your family. For lots of ideas check out these 10 Fun Family Activities for Fall - tipsaholic, #fall, #familyfun, #autumn, #family

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As the air gets crisp and you don sweaters and boots, you may be lamenting all the fun your family had last summer!  Trips to the pool, beach days, afternoons at the park, running through sprinklers and fun in the sun dominated your summer days; it may be that family fun seems a thing of the past.  Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall as a family!  You may not be jumping into the lake, but don’t let the chilly weather bring you down.  Here are 10 fun family activities for fall.

 

1. Pumpkin picking.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s something satisfying about finding that perfectly shaped, perfectly colored pumpkin.  Running through the patch with your kids and helping them haul their treasures back to the car can create lasting memories.

 

2. Apple picking.  Much like pumpkins, picking your own apples is a fun and satisfying treat.  Find an orchard that will allow you to pick your own from the tree, rather than simply buy them by the bushel.  Show kids how to find the best apples, decide which varieties you all enjoy, climb and hunt for the perfect specimens, and most importantly make apple pie when you get home!

 

3. Bike ride of colors.  Look on the internet or on local maps to find the best public forests – try state and national parks.  Look for areas with many different trees so you can enjoy the various turning colors.  Pack your bikes and helmets and take a bike trail through the falling leaves.

 

4. Fall picnic.  Picnics can be just as fun in the fall as they are in summer!  Pick a spot that gets a lot of sun so you won’t be too cold.  Dress everyone in layers for warmth, so they can remove clothing if they get too hot.  Be sure to pack all your favorite fall treats – you can use a thermos for hot chocolate or soup, take along pumpkin or apple pocket pies, and find fresh produce like pears, apples, squash and sweet potatoes prepared in a variety of ways.  Don’t forget to pack the flannel blankets!

 

5. Make your own cider or apple sauce.  It may take a bit of prep, but you can buy a cider press or check your local listings for options to rent one.  You could also call around to local orchards as some offer cider-making as an activity.  Making apple sauce is quite a bit easier, as you only need a stove and blender or food processor (try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman).  Cooking together can bring everyone closer and kids love to help creating in the kitchen.

 

6. Corn mazes.  This is likely only available in certain areas, but if you live within driving distance a good corn maze can’t be beat!  It’s a fun, lively activity they’ll love running through, and young ones will be amazed at the height of the corn!  It’s also a great way to get their brains moving as they try to solve the life-sized puzzle.  Plus, they’ll work on interpersonal skills like team work and cooperation.  Check out these famous corn mazes.  Or check online for corn mazes in your own state.

 

7. Leaf pressing.  Go on a leaf hunt with your kids.  Take them to a particularly treed park, or a state forest.  Find leaves of different colors and shapes and collect them gently in a box.  Be sure to collect leaves that are still pliable, not dried and crunchy.  Don’t crumple them in a bag or pocket.  When you get home, place the leaves individually between the pages of a large, heavy book (like a dictionary).  Keep them this way for for a few weeks, then take them out and use them for a mobile or other fun craft.

 

8. Leaf jumping.  Turn a boring chore into piles of fun!  Give everyone a rake and make a giant pile of leaves.  Take turns jumping and throwing.  Have a contest to see who can jump the farthest or fanciest!

 

9. Have a campfire.  If you’ve got a fire pit in your yard, now’s the perfect time to roast marshmallows or sing some camp songs!  A campfire is a great way to get cozy and warm on a chilly night.  Don’t have a fire pit of your own?  Visit a friend or family member with one – or spend the evening or weekend at a nearby campsite!

 

10. Make garlands of dried fruit like apples and oranges to string along the mantel, windows or doorway.  You can find directions here.  Or make pomanders with citrus fruits and cloves, as shown here.  It’s fun to create together, and it will make your house smell delicious!

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 FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

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Holiday Family Photos: A What-to-Wear Guide

Make family pictures easy this year. Holiday Family Photos: A What-to-Wear Guide from tipsaholic.com #familyphotos #family #holidayphotos #holiday
Holiday Family Photo Guide

If you’ve mustered up the courage to gather your [reluctant] family members for a photo this holiday season, you’ve probably been brainstorming about the all-important clothing and accessory choices you’ll be making. This simple “what-to-wear” guide will give you the recipe for the perfect look – and once you’ve got the basics, it’s easy to make it your own by adding in your favorite colors, patterns, and textures!
 Holiday Family Photos: A What-to-Wear Guide

1. Avoid the “matchy-matchy.”

Gone are the days when matching Christmas sweaters on every family member was “cute.” Nowadays, the ultra-matching family ensemble has taken a backseat to “coordinating.” While you probably don’t want each person in a different color, variation is the key to achieving a natural, well-planned look.

 

2. Wear layers.

Consider the potential changes in the weather as you plan for your photos. Layers are an easy way to alternate between staying warm and keeping cool if your climate can be unpredictable this time of year. Layers also allow you to change things up in our photos without having to change entire outfits in the backseat of your car!

 

3. Consider basic neutral color combos with bright seasonal accents.

Neutrals are a perfect place to begin when planning your clothing color combinations. They are flexible, they don’t distract, and they can be paired with practically any color or any pattern imaginable. Great neutrals for the holidays could be blacks, grays, creams, browns, tans, navies, and neutral greens. Once you’ve chosen a base or two, you can start adding in seasonal colors – cranberry reds, holly greens, plums and deep blues. Brighter shades and other colors are also appropriate if you want your photo to look great above the mantle no matter the season!

 

4. Mix patterns and solids.

Striking a balance between patterned and solid clothing can really make a family shine. If a simple outfit needs a punch, add a patterned scarf or cardigan. Dress up a pair of jeans by wearing a patterned top. For guys, layering a solid with a pattern is a great way to go. For the ladies, even jewelry can break up an otherwise solid outfit.

 

5. Add texture.

Putting everyone in cotton t-shirts and jeans can be a bit bland. Add a cozy sweater, layer a button-up over a tee, and mix in jewelry, belts and boots, ruffles, lace, or sheer scarves and you’ll be on your way to the perfect combination for the entire family.

 

And above all:

 

6. Keep it simple.

Clothing with large prints, wording, or characters on it will draw the eyes away from your beautiful faces and should be avoided where possible. It’s also a good idea to repress any urges to run out and buy large jewelry and hair accessories for photos. While they can be fun and conversational in person, bold accessories often come across as a distraction in a picture. When people see your family in that photo, whether in your home or on a holiday card, most of them want to see your faces, not be distracted by what you’re wearing!

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.

Feature and title image via Better Homes and Gardens.

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