Having a Holiday Movie Night in only takes a small amount of preparation to have an enjoyable evening that you can turn into a yearly tradition. Movie theaters are open on Christmas Day every year with some kind of a holiday show for families. But that also requires getting dressed, getting in the car and spending astronomical prices for popcorn. Besides, who wants to get out of their Christmas pajamas anyway? Why not stay in, stay warm and enjoy your vacation at home? I thought you might agree.
-Favorite Christmas show (Polar Express is always a good one because of the hot chocolate dance)
-Sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. Enough to fill the floor.
-Hot chocolate bar on the counter with ingredients like: marshmallows, chocolate chips in several flavors, cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, flavored coffee creamer, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Bring out some cute containers to put everything in and put on the pajamas! Send invitations out to family and friends you make with the kids. When everyone is over, let all of them sit on the pillows and blankets and cuddle up together. Turn out the lights and have just the Christmas tree on and it will feel magical. If the kids fall asleep there on the floor, leave them! What could be more fun than that? (Just not on Christmas Eve, you don’t want to trip on them while delivering gifts under the tree)
Traditions are part of what we look forward to during the holidays. Being able to share those things we cherish with those we love is a great way to give a gift that has no monetary value. It also shows your children what is so important this time of year, being together and growing as a family, extending the hand of friendship and making bonds. Happy movie night!
I hear from a lot of other moms that their husbands have to constantly remind them that they need to “relax”, “do less” and “don’t stress so much”. Do any of us actually do anything to check these items off our never ending to do lists? No. With all of the activities, festivities, driving and cooking to do in the month of December I sometimes wonder if I will make it to January.
De-stressing your holidays might bring thoughts like, “I can’t do that”, “We do that every year” and “so and so will be so disappointed”. But who, besides yourself, said so many things had to be done? Be better to yourself, simplify the to do list. Say “no” to the countless festivities offers. Schedule time with the ones that really matter, and remind yourself that sitting on the couch with a cup of cocoa, a blanket, a movie and watching the snow fall out your window with your honey is a perfect way to spend an evening. Need a few other ideas?
We offer 4 ways to de-stress this Holiday season:
1. Simplify your gift giving with this simple poem: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. Add a couple of things to their stockings and there you have a simple and meaningful list to fill for your loved ones.
2. It’s okay to buy store made treats to give your neighbors. Just add a simple note wishing them happy holidays. Put a cute ribbon on it and deliver. The only thing they will remember is how nice it was to be thought of.
3. Instead of cooking everything at the family dinner, do a pot luck style. Have everyone sign up to bring what they would like, make sure it makes a meal, and enjoy a little more time catching up with those you love at the counter instead of over the stove.
4. Most importantly, if what you have planned to do and give this year takes away from the time you have with your children, let it go. The time we have with our kids is limited and fading away. Let’s all try to remember to not let it waste away.
There will be some busy days over the holidays, lists to make and you will feel like it is never ending. But there is also great joy this time of year. Remember to cultivate an attitude of joy and your busy days will seem to flow better, your lists will not be so daunting and you will sit and enjoy this wonderful season and feel renewed for the coming year.
Holiday get-togethers are memory makers. You catch up with family you haven’t seen in some time, eat as if calories don’t count and enjoy the spirit of the season. But some of us have the absolute pleasure of hosting some of that family for multiple days in our homes and the cooking, cleaning and pure joy that comes with it. Today we offer how to entertain guests during the holidays in small ways to make your life a little easier while you host those you love most.
While your grocery bill is going to go up, make sure that part of that is easy finger foods and drinks for all the kids that will be constantly asking for a snack, and adults. If your kids are anything like mine, if one asks for something to eat, they all do. Purchasing a large vegetable tray is a great way to go because you can set it out and everyone can take from it as they want. Even if it is in the fridge, everyone can take it out, take a few pieces and put it back. No preparation necessary. Add to it crackers, the mini cheese squares and flavored sparkling water and juice boxes and your all set.
Make a meal plan for every meal. Ask guests to contribute to the meals with a side or dessert and then they feel like they have helped in some way and you avoid them potentially offering you money to cover the costs of all the food. Also, clean out your fridge before everyone comes and leave room for your guests to put their own food, especially if they have a special diet.
Have activities in mind to go to or do at your home. Bringing out the board games are great, but knowing about special events happening in your area before your guests arrive is nice to choose from to break up the several game nights in a row.
Finally, offer those you love a room with a lock on the door. Having some kind of privacy will really help them feel better about staying over instead of a hotel. Knowing you can fully relax while vacationing is a gift in itself.
Enjoy your time with family and friends. Here’s to many nights of staying up late, too much cocoa and filling your heart with memories.
For the past several years, my sweet Eighty-something grandmother has volunteered every week to play piano for folks in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She has an incredibly large repertoire of songs, all of which she plays by request for her darling audiences, entirely from memory. This summer, my daughters were able to join her in her weekly performances (at three different facilities — she gets around!), and I wanted to share a little bit about that experience.
First, it was seriously fun to see how much Grandma enjoyed having some fiddlers in her show. She was so excited to have them there, to introduce them to her friends, and to play along with them. My girls inherited their musical ear from this great woman, and it was a treat to see her eyes light up when my oldest finally got up the courage to play an unrehearsed tune in front of an audience along with the piano. The girls loved hearing her play old standards like The Tennessee Waltz, Blue Hawaii, Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue, & Springtime in the Rockies.
Spending Time with Grandparents
Here are some of the benefits my girls gain by spending time with grandparents:
1-Character – having the opportunity to see their grandmother’s example of service helps build their own character. They can see the good she is doing, and they are learning from her to do the same.
2-Connection – shared time is the basic building block of relationships. Just being together provides opportunities to connect, to get to know each other better, and to just enjoy.
3-History – Grandma has seen and experienced so many things in her life, I want my girls to learn as much as possible, and to love being with her. It was so fun to listen to the historic music she loves with them, to see them smile and tap their toes, and play along.
4-Skills – in our circumstance, this activity provided the chance to improve their own performance skills. Getting more comfortable in front of a group of people and gaining confidence in their musical ability is a win-win! Whether it’s honing skills they’ve developed on their own, or learning something new from a grandparent, there are many opportunities for growth in spending time with grandparents!
What are your favorite ways to provide your children with Grandma time?
Holiday card photos. Everyone has a love/hate relationship with them. You love getting family pictures taken and sending them out to friends and relatives, but putting together cute outfits for everyone that match but don’t look too much alike is a chore in itself. Today we offer a few ideas on how to coordinate holiday photos for the perfect look.
Having a range of colors for your theme spread out on each person pulls it all together. Mixing several prints is good if they have a cohesive look and are not too overpowering. Say, for instance, you wanted to do grey, navy, teal and lime green. If each person had a large amount of lime it would be too much. But if Mom had a lime necklace, Brother had lime shoes, Sister had a lime dress and Dad didn’t have any it would be just fine. As long as Dad has the other colors on that coordinate with everyone else, it will work. Polka dots, strips and even tartan can work together if the colors flow from one person to another.
For Christmas pictures though if you have little ones, having a back drop is always extra fun. Going outside in the snow, drinking cocoa, a Christmas tree, some simple lights, the kids building a snowman and so on can add an element of humor and be more personal than just everyone standing together.
For Ideas on adding pattern, texture and color see this great post for Holiday photos
We hope you have fun putting together memorable photos this season! What are some color combos you have tried?
Tell us a little about your family & why it is special?
My family is special to me because I have only boys; 4 to be exact, ranging in age from 7-13. We are a very busy and wild bunch.
What do you do for work/volunteer outside of being a wife and mom?
As an extra income for our family I own a Daycare. After I send my boys to school I have about 9 to 10 children come into my home. After school I have about 14 kids each day. My is always filled with laughter, crying, arguing and playing.
Is there something your family does on a regular basis for quality time?
Quality time is spent at many sports games but our favorite thing to do is movie night.
How do you take time for yourself to recharge?
To recharge myself I run. It is a great stress relief.
What is your go to, never fail, and in a pinch recipe?
When things have been crazy and I don’t have dinner ready the best and fastest thing I do is eggs, french toast and orange juice.
What is the one product you cannot live without?
Microwave! With all the work I do and food I prepare it would be a big pain if I didn’t have one.
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As we end the month long celebration for our 30th year in business, we thought it only fitting that Ramona, Creator of One Small Child, take over for Mom Talk Monday. Her experience and knowledge far outweigh anything you could learn anywhere else. Ramona started this sweet company herself and helped it blossom. We are so thankful to have her here to give up a look into what the last 30 years has been like.
-Starting a business, any business, is a tremendous undertaking. What inspired you to create one that is so hands on and detailed?
I didn’t know it would be so hands on and detailed. Who ever thinks of things like that when they are filled with a passion to create something? I have always loved to create beautiful clothing. I started sewing my own clothes when I was 13 years old. I love the process of visualizing and creating the end result. I love the feel of fabrics and the potential they present to create a beautiful human being.
I love the feeling people get when they look at someone who is beautifully dressed, especially children. I believe it builds a child’s self esteem when they are admired by other people and I create beautiful clothing to enhance how adorable they are. I recently realized that I have always loved art and the idea that I could be somewhat of an artist. I have spent my life’s work, not painting on a canvas with paint, but using children as my canvas for extraordinary clothing. I create beautiful works of art by enhancing their beautiful spirits with lovely clothes.
-How did you juggle your role as a wife and mother while growing One Small Child?
Sometimes not very well. It took a tremendous effort to keep up with the growing day to day demands. My family has always been my top priority, but sometimes I had to make a decision between them and putting out fires at work. I look back with regret on many of the things I missed with my children. I spent a lot of years getting up very early in the morning, working until it was time for the kids to get up for school, then working all day and spending time with them after school. Then, after they were in bed, I would work well into the evening. It was a difficult time and I often felt like I was on autopilot.
My younger children grew up in the shop, having their own room and toys to play with during the day. I interacted with them in between the demands of the business.
-Tell us a little about your family and why it is special.
I was very excited to have children and be a mother soon after my marriage. However, I experienced some difficulty at first. I had a miscarriage about a year after we were married. I felt very sad at the loss. A few months later, I had a tubal pregnancy that required emergency surgery and I felt that I would never be able to have children. To my delight, I was able to have a normal pregnancy and a beautiful baby girl a year later. 4 more children joined our family and I was happy thinking we were complete. Our oldest daughter was about 9 years old when I started designing and sewing a line of tricot slips and dresses call Fluff ‘N Twirl. We started selling them to retail stores around the USA, employing the services of independent Sales Reps. They were well accepted and we began to grow. At times, we operated a retail outlet locally and I’m often told by young mothers today that they loved their Fluff ‘N Twirl dresses when they were little girls. I love that I was able to bring joy to many people and they can tell me about it.
When my youngest daughter was 10 years old, I strangely started feeling sick for a week or two. I very seldom got sick and I thought it must be the flu or something. For some reason, I felt that I should purchase a pregnancy kit and Voila!!, another baby was on the way. I loved the idea of having another baby to love, but I was 42 years old, extremely busy with our business and totally unprepared for this wonderful event. But, what can a mother do? We all just moved over and made space for this darling little boy. The other kids adored him and it was so much easier with a new baby, myself being older, more patient and having built in babysitters. I just picked him up from his bed early in the morning and took him to work with me. I fed him at work, had a room for him to take naps, a rocking chair to read stories in, toys of many kinds. He grew up amongst the sewing machines and the nuts & bolts of a business. I never regretted for a minute the wonderful miracle of him.
-What is your most humorous story you can think of that happened in growing your business?
Late one Friday afternoon, we got a panic call from one of our customers that she hadn’t received her order and the Christening was the next day. We quickly put together another order for her to be delivered the next morning. The UPS driver had already left with the days orders, so my son, Kendall, drove to the Idaho Falls, ID terminal to get the package on the truck. When he got there, he found that the Next Day deliveries had already left for the airport. He rushed over to the airport and saw that the delivery truck was on the tarmac, parked next to the airplane where the day’s shipment was being loaded up. In a heroic effort, he ran over to the fence and hollered at the driver to come over. Kendall tossed the package over the fence to him and it was safely loaded, on it’s way. It was such a good feeling that we were able to go above and beyond the expected customer service.
-Where have you drawn your inspiration?
Angels often give me ideas and inspiration. It’s like someone else takes over my body and creates something incredibly lovely. Vogue Bambini magazine. Brides magazines, Antique magazines and catalogs, old pattern books. I look at attractive things other people are wearing and think about how I can enhance it and make something similarly beautiful, but not a direct copy.
-Do you have a favorite product that stands out?
The Preslee Christening Gown. The first gown I designed that I was able to make with the very best fabrics and trims rather than have to cut back and think of ways to make it less expensive.
-What suggestions do you have for those wanting to start their own business?
Don’t go into debt right away. If your idea isn’t profitable, find something else to do that will satisfy your need to create.
Don’t grow too fast.
Don’t think that more volume is a solution. More volume = more expenses.
If it’s not good for your family, don’t do it.
Learn enough about business so you know if you’re making a profit.
Learn how to do cost analysis.
Don’t forget to add overhead expenses to your Cost of Goods.
Listen to your spirit. If you know it’s right for you, never give up.
If it isn’t right for you after awhile, don’t do it anymore.
Try to sell direct to the public. Selling wholesale is harder and more cost intensive.
-How do you take time for yourself to recharge?
Power nap. When I start feeling bone tired weary, I lay down for 15-20 minutes and breathe deeply, willing the feeling to relax and go away.
-What is your go to, never fail and in a pinch recipe?
Slow cooked Roast beef. Put in the oven at 200-250 degrees and bake it all day ( at least 8 hours). Always comes out pull apart tender. Especially tasty when you sprinkle a packet of dry soup mix over the top.
We all want our home and dinner to look as warm and welcoming as possible this time of year, but it can be hard on top of all the preparations to prepare to get all of the decor up too. So today we are doing a Pinterest Roundup of simple Thanksgiving centerpieces that you can do in a hurry. The end result will be beautiful and everyone will enjoy the warmth you added to the dinner. If you are not hosting the dinner, offer to take flowers and centerpieces to the hostess to help out. It’s a nice gesture and one that will be appreciated.