The Reconnect Challenge

Holiday blues got you down? You aren’t the only one. I’m launching the reconnect challenge, a 30-day commitment that will not only help others but fill your heart as well.

the reconnect challenge

No matter what your religion, the holidays seem to inspire love, warmth, and gratitude to people everywhere. But for some people, the holidays are also combined with feelings of loneliness, isolation and even stress. The holiday blues are real and more than ever in this commercialized, digital world, we need the human connection. (Cue Charlie Brown Christmas special)

Feelings of loneliness can creep in during the holidays and there are a lot of reasons for it. Many people live far away from family. For others, the holidays call to mind all the people who have passed away. The holidays can become quite sad when you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are forever changed without them.

Loneliness sets in when we feel disconnected from people. This is why you hear people say they can feel lonely in a crowd. It’s not always about being around people, it’s that there is little or no intimacy. People can feel lonely because they may feel no one truly cares about them or listens to them.

For some people, it isn’t so much sadness as stress. There are lots of pressures around the holidays. Seeing difficult or toxic family members, gift-giving, lack of money and lack of time are always stressors. For some, it is work bogging them down. Long hours and increased workloads can zap the joy right out of the season.

The Reconnect Challenge

That’s why I’m starting the reconnect challenge and I’d love for you to join me. I’m going to commit to reach out to one person for the next thirty days. I’m excited to see what it does for others as well as for me. What people need most is love, compassion, and kindness and I want to spread buckets of that over the holidays. It’s going to be hard with the hectic schedules of the holidays, but that’s precisely why I think people get disconnected. We get so busy, we lose touch of what really matters – relationships.

the reconnect challenge
Courtesy of Pexels

The Rules

  1. Create a list of thirty people (friends, acquaintances, co-workers, fellow churchgoers, neighbors, or relatives)
  2. You can arrange a physical meetup, write a letter, Facetime, or make a phone call. Refrain from texting, which doesn’t lend itself well to intimacy.
  3. You may reach them via direct message on social media if you have no other way of contacting them. But commit to asking for a phone number to stay in touch in the future.

Other Tips

Your list can include people you’ve lost touch with or perhaps people that you’ve seen several times, but never really taken the opportunity to know. Maybe there is an old co-worker on

I included letter writing as a way to connect because I think it bears special weight today. People don’t write letters anymore. Because instant messaging, texting and social media is so easily and readily available there is something special about knowing that someone took the time to write you, buy a postage stamp and walk it to the mailbox. Plus it is so nice to receive something thoughtful in the mail instead of just a stack of bills.

You can even get creative with your letter. If you can keep your letter short and instead tuck some treats in your letter like a tea bag, a bible verse, seeds, poems, crossword puzzle, stickers or even a self-addressed stamped envelope so they can write you back. Even a simple postcard to let someone know you are thinking of them is a great way to reach out.

friends
Courtesy of Pexels

How to Instantly Connect With Someone

  • Show genuine interest
  • Ask questions
  • Remember names
  • Make them feel important (valued)
  • Listen (and don’t interrupt)
  • Learn from them
  • Show compassion and empathy
  • Refrain from judgement

My advice is to be intentional about this commitment. In other words, make a list of the names of people. Write their phone numbers beside them and mark them off as you go through the month. Make it a priority.

A Ripple Effect

I’m so excited you’ve decided to join me on this journey. I would love to hear how this 30-day reconnect challenge has affected you! Please share this post with others and let’s get a movement started!

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays you can do by yourself or as a family to bring the magic of Christmas to the hearts of others.

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays
Courtesy of Unsplash

I try to do acts of kindness throughout the year, but during the holidays I’m especially mindful to do them. As my kids get older, it’s a tradition I love to do with them. I want to instill the habit of doing good in the world.

As a Christian, I believe we are supposed to be a light in a dark world. We should be an ambassador for Christ, showing his love through acts of love, kindness, and mercy. Even if you aren’t a Christian, you can’t deny the affect that kindness has on the world. Whatever the motivation, the holidays seem inspire random acts of kindness.

Choosing What Not To Do

Save Your Judgement

Now before I list some of the things my family does, I want to preface it. Kindness doesn’t have to cost anything. Kindness is as simple as paying someone a compliment or holding the door open for someone. Maybe it is returning someone’s cart or giving someone your place in a long line. Sometimes kindness isn’t what you do, but what you choose NOT to do.

For instance, the next time you see something you disagree with on Facebook, choose to extend mercy by scrolling by instead of hammering someone with your opinion. In fact, one of the places in most desperate need of kindness is social media. Everyone is so quick to judge and condemn others. The world doesn’t need your opinion about everything. Instead, commit to being a peacemaker and withhold your sanctimony. After all, you and me are incredibly flawed. Choose to be kind instead of being “right.”

Forgiveness

Just recently, I’ve seen some horrible acts of unkindness. In one instance, a man at a craft store couldn’t tell where the line started and accidentally cut in front of someone. The woman he cut off, went up the counter and started slamming her fist and screaming at him. The man apologized and explained, but she was unmoved by his apology and continued yelling inches away from his face. The man left broken and shamed.

Another time, I saw an older man come into a parking lot and nearly clipped someone. He parked beside me. The woman he cut off, parked her car directly in front of his, blocking him from getting off and entering the store. She then proceeded to get out of her car and yelled obscenities at him through the window. It was an accident and it’s not like he crashed into her. It was a near miss, but she was determined to draw blood for it.

Things aren’t going to go our way sometimes and when that happens we have a choice. We can respond with kindness or viciousness. Over the years, I’ve learned most people don’t intentionally set off to ruin our day. They’re busy, distracted, or simply make a mistake. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. One way to spread kindness is simply by extending someone forgiveness. Show someone undeserved love. It’s that kind of mercy that inspires others to be kind. It has a ripple effect.

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays

  1. Leave a basket of treats to thank mail carriers
  2. Let someone cut in front of you in line at a store
  3. Organize a group to sing carols at a nursing home / retirement community
  4. Offer to babysit a friend’s kids so they can get a date night out
  5. Bring a crossing guard or traffic directing police officer coffee or hot chocolate
  6. Donate canned food to a food drive
  7. Give a stranger a gift card
  8. Donate a toy towards a toy drive like Toys for Tots
  9. Put up Christmas lights for an elderly neighbor
  10. Make a Christmas care package for a far away friend or relative
  11. Let someone know you’re thinking about them with a holiday card.
  12. Give to a charity
  13. Donate pet food at a local pet shelter
  14. Donate blood or plasma (it saves lives)
  15. Volunteer at a shelter
  16. Surprise someone with scratch off lottery ticket
  17. Donate blankets or coats to a shelter
  18. Volunteer at a food bank
  19. Return shopping carts in parking lots during the busy shopping season
  20. Tape coins to a vending machine and treat someone to a snack
  21. Help an elderly person with yard work
  22. Donate change for bell ringers
  23. Give a server a generous tip
  24. Walk a neighbor’s dog
  25. Pay off a school lunch debt
  26. Host a book drive for Operation Paperback
  27. Donate used toys to a battered women’s shelter or orphanage
  28. Pet sit for a family who is out of town for the holidays
  29. Say a prayer for someone
  30. Hide a dollar in the toy section of a dollar store
  31. Drop off treats to a fire or police station
  32. Volunteer at church
  33. Donate your wedding gown to a baby who has died
  34. Gift diapers to a family with an infant
  35. Pay for a strangers meal or coffee
  36. Give someone your parking space
  37. Invite someone with no family to spend Christmas with you
  38. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic
  39. Send a thank you note to a soldier
  40. Hand out gloves and mittens to the homeless
  41. Pay for someone behind you at the drive through window
  42. Babysit for a single mom
  43. Take a homebound or elderly person to church
  44. When you disagree with someone on social media, choose to stay kind instead
  45. Bring in your neighbor’s trash bins
  46. Call an old friend
  47. Do something unexpected for your spouse
  48. Bring in goodies for your co-workers
  49. Pick up trash
  50. Give up your seat

Being kind is fun and it makes you feel good. I hope you enjoy doing 50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays. PIN this post for later and share on your Facebook wall to get others involved.

Take a look at some of my other Christmas activities in The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

Fun Holidays to Celebrate With Your Kids

Make the average day special with these wacky, fun holidays to celebrate with your kids.

Fun Holidays to celebrate with your kids

I’m always looking for a reason to celebrate and let’s be honest, celebrating is fun. I love getting my kids into the mix by celebrating fun holidays. I’ll be honest, most have to do with food! But a celebration wouldn’t be complete without food. Am I right?

This is a cute way to make ordinary days special for you and your littles. I’ve included some month long holidays as well as daily ones. Here are fun holidays to celebrate with your kids.

January

Monthly

  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • National Soup Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month

Daily

  • 2 – Buffet Day
  • 2 – Science Fiction Day
  • 4 – Trivia Day
  • 6 – Bean Day
  • 6 – Cuddle Up Day
  • 8 – Bubble Bath Day
  • 9 – Word Nerd Day
  • 12 – Marzipan Day
  • 14 – Organize Your Home Day
  • 14 – Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • 15 – Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • 17 – Benjamin Franklin Day
  • 17 – Kids Invention Day
  • 18 – Thesaurus Day
  • 19 – Popcorn Day
  • 22 – Hot Sauce Day
  • 23 – Handwriting Day
  • 23 – National Pie Day
  • 25 – Opposite Day
  • 27 – Chocolate Cake Day
  • 29 – Puzzle Day
  • 30 – Croissant Day
  • 31 – Backwards Day

February

Monthly

  • Black History Month
  • National Cherry Month
  • National Grapefruit Month

Daily

  • 1 – Bubblegum Day (First Friday of the month)
  • 2 – Groundhog Day
  • 2 – Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
  • 3 – Carrot Cake Day
  • 4 – Thank Your Mail Carrier Day
  • 5 – Chocolate Fondue Day
  • 7 – Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • 9 – National Pizza Day
  • 10 – Umbrella Day
  • 11 – Make a Friend Day
  • 13 – World Radio Day
  • 14 – Ferris wheel Day
  • 14 – Library Lovers Day
  • 17 – Random Act of Kindness Day
  • 19 – Chocolate Mint Day
  • 24 – Tortilla Chip Day
  • 26 – Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • 27 – International Polar Bear Day
  • 28 – National Chili Day

March

Monthly

  • Red Cross
  • Social Workers Month
  • National Peanut Month
  • Irish American Month
  • National Craft Month
  • National Nutrition Month
  • National Women’s History Month

Daily

  • 1 – Peanut Butter Lovers Day
  • 6 – Dentist’s Day
  • 7 – Alexander Graham Bell Day
  • 11 – Johnny Appleseed Day
  • 12 – Girl Scout’s Day
  • 12 – Plant a Flower Day
  • 14 – Pi Day
  • 14 – National Potato Chip Day
  • 20 – International Earth Day
  • 23 – Puppy Day
  • 25 – Waffle Day
  • 25 – Pecan Day
  • 30 – National Doctors Day
  • 31 – National Crayon Day

April

Monthly

  • National Kite Month
  • National Poetry Month
  • International Guitar Month
  • Lawn & Garden Month
  • National Pecan Month

Daily

  • 8 – Zoo Lovers Day
  • 9 – Winston Churchill Day
  • 10 – Siblings Day
  • 11 – Barbershop Quartet Day
  • 12 – Grilled Cheese Day
  • 13 – Scrabble Day
  • 13 – Peach Cobbler Day
  • 14 – Dolphin Day
  • 15 – Haiku Poetry Day
  • 22 – Jelly Bean Day
  • 25 – Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • 26 – Pretzel Day
  • 27 – Babe Ruth Day

May

Monthly

  • Asian American Month
  • Foster Care Month
  • National Barbecue Month
  • National Hamburger Month
  • National Salad Month
  • Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Photograph Month

Daily

  • 1 – Batman Day
  • 1 – May Day
  • 1 – Mother Goose Day
  • 2 – Baby Day
  • 3 – No Pants Day
  • 3 – Space Day
  • 4 – Herb Day
  • 4 – Star Wars Day
  • 5 – Cinco De Mayo
  • 6 – National Nurses Day
  • 8 – National School Nurse Day
  • 10 – Clean Up Your Room Day
  • 11 – Astronomy Day
  • 11 – National Train Day
  • 12 – Limerick Day
  • 14 – Dance Like a Chicken Day
  • 15 – Chocolate Chip Day
  • 21 – Talk Like Yoda Day
  • 24 – Scavenger Hunt Day
  • 28 – Hamburger Day
  • 31 – Macaroon Day

June

Monthly

  • Candy Month
  • Aquarium Month
  • Rose Month

Daily

  • 1 – Say Something Nice Day
  • 4 – National Cheese Day
  • 6 – Drive In Movie Day
  • 6 – National Yo-yo Day
  • 7 – National Donut Day
  • 8 – Best Friend Day
  • 9 – Donald Duck Day
  • 10 – Iced Tea Day
  • 11 – Corn on the Cob Day
  • 12 – Red Rose Day
  • 15 – World Juggling Day
  • 18 – International Picnic Day
  • 21- National Selfie Day
  • 22 – Onion Ring Day
  • 23 – National Pink Day
  • 26 – Chocolate Pudding Day
  • 27 – Helen Keller Day
  • 29 – Camera Day

July

Monthly

  • National Blueberry Month
  • National Hot Dog Month
  • National Ice Cream Month

Daily

  • 1 – International Joke Day
  • 7 – Build a Scarecrow Day
  • 7 – Chocolate Day
  • 9 – Sugar Cookie Day
  • 15 – Gummi Worm Day
  • 20 – Space Exploration Day
  • 21 – Ice Cream Day
  • 21 – Junk Food Day
  • 23 – Vanilla Ice Cream Day
  • 24 – Cousins Day
  • 26 – Uncle & Aunt Day
  • 28 – Milk Chocolate Day
  • 29 – Lasagna Day
  • 30 – National Cheesecake Day
Fun holidays to celebrate with your kids

August

Monthly

  • Family Fun Month
  • National Golf Month
  • National Picnic Month
  • Peach Month

Daily

  • 2 – Ice Cream Sandwich Day
  • 3 – Watermelon Day
  • 4 – Friendship Day (first Sunday in August)
  • 4 – Sister’s Day
  • 9 – Book Lovers Day
  • 10 – National S’mores Day
  • 11 – Son & Daughters Day
  • 12 – Middle Child Days
  • 13 – Left Handers Day
  • 16 – Tell a Joke Day
  • 17 – Thrift Shop Day
  • 19 – World Photo Day
  • 22 – Be an Angel Day
  • 26 – Dog Appreciation Day
  • 30 – Frankenstein Day

September

Monthly

  • Chicken Month
  • Classical Music Month
  • National Piano Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Little League Month
  • National Sewing Month

Daily

  • 5 – Cheese Pizza Day
  • 6 – Read a Book Day
  • 7 – Salami Day
  • 9 – Teddy Bear Day
  • 11 – Make Your Bed Day
  • 12 – Chocolate Milkshake Day
  • 15 – Make a Hat Day
  • 16 – Guacamole Day
  • 17 – International Country Music Day
  • 17 – Constitution Day
  • 18 – Rice Krispie Treat Day
  • 19 – National Gymnastics Day
  • 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • 21 – Miniature Golf Day
  • 21 – International Peace Day
  • 23 – Checkers Day
  • 24 – Punctuation Day
  • 25 – Comic Book Day
  • 26 – Love Note Day
  • 27 – Native American Day
  • 28 – Good Neighbor Day
  • 30 – Hot Mulled Cider Day

October

Monthly

  • Cookie Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Seafood Month
  • National Pizza Month

Daily

  • 1 – International Coffee Day
  • 4 – World Smile Day
  • 4 – Taco Day
  • 5 – Card Making Day
  • 5 – Do Something Nice Day
  • 6 – Ocktoberfest
  • 6 – Mad Hatter Day
  • 16 – Dictionary Day
  • 18 – Chocolate Cupcake Day
  • 25 – World Pasta Day
  • 30 – Candy Corn Day
  • 31 – Magic Day

November

Monthly

  • Native American Heritage Month
  • National Adoption Awareness Month
  • Aviation History Month
  • Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Daily

  • 1 – Author’s Day
  • 3 – Sandwich Day
  • 4 – King Tut Day
  • 8 – Tongue Twister Day
  • 10 – Vanilla Cupcake Day
  • 11 – Origami Day
  • 13 – World Kindness Day
  • 14 – Pickle Day
  • 16 – Fast Food Day
  • 17 – Homemade Bread Day
  • 23 – National Adoption Day
  • 26 – Cake Day
  • 28 – French Toast Day
  • 29 – Square Dance Day

December

Monthly

  • Bingo Month
  • Write a Friend Month

Daily

  • 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day
  • 2 – Fritters Day
  • 3 – Make a Gift Day
  • 7 – Letter Writing Day
  • 9 – Christmas Card Day
  • 10 – Dewey Decimal System Day
  • 12 – Gingerbread House Day
  • 14 – Monkey Day
  • 17 – Wright Brothers Day
  • 20 – Ugly Sweater Day
  • 24 – Eggnog Day
  • 28 – Card Playing Day

Looking For More Ideas

Are you looking for more fun holidays and ways to celebrate with your kids? Take a look at some of my holiday / seasonal bucket lists.

5 Things I Want For Mother’s Day

Sure perfumes and chocolate are great. But that isn’t actually what I want. Here are 5 things I want for Mother’s Day. FREE Printable Mother’s Day cards included.

5 things I want for mother's day

Mother’s Day is upon us. I love celebrating my own mother, my mother-in-law, and all the lovely mamas in my life. Presents are wonderful and there are always some things I’d love to have, but it got me thinking about what I really wanted. So here are 5 things I want on Mother’s Day.

5 Things I Want for Mother’s Day

To Go to the Bathroom By Myself

Every bathroom break is like a scene out of the Walking Dead. Hands are banging on the walls. Little fingers poke through the bottom of the door. I almost don’t remember what it’s like to go to the bathroom by myself anymore.

My one year old is in a stage where he loves to pull magazines out of the basket, remove trashcan contents and shred an entire roll of toilet paper in 30 seconds flat. Watching me referee from the porcelain pedestal is quite the scene.

To Eat While My Food is Still Hot

It dawned on me the other day that hot food still exists. It’s been about 4 years since my meals were hot on a regular basis. Every mom knows that you are constantly jumping up from the table to meet the needs of everyone’s last minute meal requests. “More ketchup. Salt please. Can I get more ice? I’m out of water. Is there anymore corn?” By the time I sit down I’ve lost the will to eat.

And if moms aren’t getting up, we spend the rest of our meal convincing little people to eat their food, take sensible bites, and try their vegetables. I used to enjoy meals, but honestly – it’s exhausting. So on Mother’s Day, I’d like some piping hot food please!

To Have Someone Cook For Me

Yes, I want to be taken out for dinner or brunch on Mother’s Day. Please give me a break from the serfdom that is meal making. Somedays, I feel like a human vending machine. I spend a great deal of my “work day” dispensing drinks and snacks to toddlers – who are never on the same hunger / eating schedule. Then there is the constant cleaning, wiping and picking up of counters. Most days, I feel like I never leave the kitchen. So yes, on Mother’s Day I want someone else to take over for a day…or a meal…whatever.

To Do Nothing

Yes, I want to shirk nearly all responsibilities on Mother’s Day. I don’t care how ridiculous, selfish, or lazy that sounds. I want to do as little as possible. The laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming can all take a back seat for the day. Honestly, I don’t want a bunch of plans on Mother’s Day – just let me chill and do nothing. Unless it’s crafts. I’m totally cool with doing crafts all day.

To Be With My Family

Yes, I still want to be with my family. I don’t want everyone scattering away. Yes, I’d like some alone time, or maybe more to the point – some down time. But I love my family and I want my babies and my husband around me, loving me, and hugging on me. I want a break from the responsibility, not the people.

Free Mother’s Day Cards

As a special gift to all you mama’s out there, I’m providing some FREE Mother’s Day cards for the mothers in your life. I recommend printing this on white card stock. Trim on the horizontal dark grey line. Fold on the light grey vertical line. Use an envelope suitable for a 4×6 card.

5 things I want for Mother's Day

To all the wonderful mamas out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day! In the comments below, I’d love to hear what you want for Mother’s Day

The Ultimate Spring Bucket List

Butterflies, flowers and Winter melting away. Enjoy Spring this year by doing seasonal related activities by using The Ultimate Spring Bucket List

The Ultimate Spring bucket list

This post, The Ultimate Spring Bucket List, contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you.

Ah, primavera! Who doesn’t love Spring? After bleak, winter days the Spring is a welcome visitor. Virgin vegetation, budding flowers, and cool breezy days seem to embody the beauty of Spring. And the baby animals? Seriously, there isn’t a baby animal that isn’t cute.

There is only one thing I dislike about Spring. In Texas, we have Texas Live Oak, an indigenous species of Oak that sheds its leaves in March. So just when you think you’ve cleaned up all the fall and winter leaves, the Oak drops buckets of leaves in your yard. But what makes it really awful is all the yellow pollen it drops. It’s like a slow death by allergies. Aside from that I really enjoy Spring.

Planning Your Bucket List

One thing I love to do is embrace every season. That’s why I’ve previously posted on The Ultimate Fall Bucket List and the Ultimate Christmas Bucket List. Come on, did you really think I wouldn’t also do it for Spring?

Ultimately, your bucket list should reflect you and what you enjoy. I’m always inspired by the newness of Spring. Spring makes me want to clean out my house and get organized. It makes me want to be outside before the summer heat gets here. Frankly, Spring invigorates me to try new things and explore nature. Mostly, it encourages me to be outside.

Ask yourself what inspires you. You may feel differently than I do. That’s okay. Make it your own. However, if you are struggling to find things to add to your list, that’s where I come in to help. Below is a list of Spring-inspired activities.

Courtesy of Pexels

The Ultimate Spring Bucket List

  • Buy and plant Tulips
  • Do a Spring Cleaning Challenge
  • Color Easter Eggs
  • Have a picnic
  • Eat al fresco
  • Hunt for 4 Leaf Clovers
  • Bake carrot cake
  • Make an Easter / Spring wreath
  • Have a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt
  • Plan an Easter brunch
  • Bake cupcakes
  • Go for a hike
  • Go bird spotting
  • Make a bird feeder (or put on outside)
  • Visit a park
  • Take wildflower pictures
  • Go to a museum
  • Spot a lady bug
  • Read about the Resurrection in the Bible
  • Take pictures with the Easter Bunny
  • Hang windchimes
  • Do a Spring Craft
  • Go berry picking
  • Host a tea party
  • Make a suncatcher
  • Decorate for Easter
  • Go camping
  • Visit a butterfly exhibit
  • Make a “Happy” music playlist
  • Plant a lemon or lime tree
  • Arrange some flowers
  • Eat some Peeps or Cadbury Eggs

DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS FOR LATER

The Ultimate Spring Bucket List

I hope that gives you a few ideas on how to enjoy Spring! In the comments below, I’d love to hear what you enjoy doing most in the Spring.

Dog & Cat Valentine’s Bag Toppers

Instead of buying pre-boxed Valentine’s, try doing this sweet activity with your kiddos. Download your FREE Dog & Cat Valentine’s Bag Toppers

Dog & Cat Valentine's Bag Toppers

Love day is almost here! If you’re looking to make treats for your kids or to take to their classroom, there is need to buy pre-boxed valentine’s. Personally, I love using things that no one else has. That’s why I made these cute dog & cat Valentine’s bag toppers.

Did I mention, I’m giving them to you for FREE? Everybody else will have pink and red heart themed stuff, but if you’re looking for something that stands out, I’d love for you to try these. Don’t forget to include your little one. Your littles will love filling up the bags.

I’ve made the toppers to fit a 6.5″ wide sandwich bags. I have found these work the best with bag toppers. But don’t worry – you don’t need to fill them up. It’s fine to leave plenty of space in the bag

With all the candy floating around, you can always fill them with non-sweet items. Personally, I love filling these treat bags up with Scooby Doo Graham Cracker bones. I mean, look how stinking cute they are! For the cat one, I love using Goldfish. And what kid doesn’t like goldfish. It contains the 3 major food groups of kids: neon colors, animal shapes and crunchiness!

Bag Fillers

  • Cheerios
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Goldfish
  • Chex Mix
  • M&Ms
  • Crayons
  • Balloons
  • Junior Mints
  • Banana Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Conversation Hearts
  • Reeses Cereal
  • Marshmallows
  • Rice Krispie Treats
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit Loops
  • Dried fruit

How to Use the Bag toppers

  1. Download your bag toppers using the button above

    You’ll need Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later or other .pdf viewing software

  2. Print out your bag toppers

    I recommend using white card stock

  3. Cut out your bag toppers

  4. Fill Your bags up with goodies

    Use the list above for ideas

  5. Seal the Bags

    Seal the ziplock. Fold the topper in half and staple to the top.

That’s it! I hope you enjoy using these bag toppers. I hope your family have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! If you’re still looking for gift ideas, read the post 20 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him


The post, Dog & Cat Valentine’s Bag Toppers first appeared on My Beautiful Mess

Magic Painting Christmas Cards

This post, Magic Painting Christmas Cards, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this post, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you.

Magic Painting Christmas Cards - Usborne Books

If you’re looking for a fun, relatively mess free craft to do with your child, I highly recommend this Magic Painting Christmas activity from Usborne Books. 

This year, we were looking for a quick and easy Christmas themed activity to do with my three year old. It’s really hard to do crafts the way we used to with my infant son. Mommy suddenly doesn’t have enough hands! I also have a need to contain as much mess as possible.

A good friend of mine sells for Usborne books and I so excited to see Magic Painting Christmas Cards as new item and boy was it a great time killer for my little one. We painted all ten designs and then we picked the family members we would send them to. I had my son put on the postage stamps and I addressed the envelopes. Then all three of us walked them to the mailbox (ours is at the entrance of our neighborhood). My son felt so proud mailing his little cards and he loved getting calls later from the people who received them!

About the Magic Painting Christmas Card Set

The pack comes with 10 cards in two designs and includes envelopes. It also includes a paint brush. The only thing you’ll need for this activity is a cup or bowl with water.

My son is 3 years old and he had a great time painting. I love these Magic painting books and activities from Usborne. They aren’t nearly as messy as traditional watercolors and we can take them anywhere. The paper appears white. However, there is hidden water color paint in it that is activated by water.

Recently, we went to Houston because my husband had a business trip and we did a magic painting activity on a table in our hotel suite! That’s how awesomely mess free they are. If anything spills, it’s just water!

Our Story with Usborne

Usborne is a children’s book company that is sold through distributors. I actually have four mom friends who sell them! So I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding them. I have to tell you though, I’m glad I found them. If you don’t know anyone who sells them, I’ve provided a link below where you can purchase it through Amazon (see my affiliate disclosure at the top of the page).

 

They have such a cute line of chilren’s books. My son, much my chigrin, was suddenly disinterested in books when he turned two. Honestly, it upset my husband and I who are both avid readers. My high-energy son just couldn’t stand sitting still to read. But Usborne has lot of options for children who need something to do while reading. They have Lift-the-flap books and my son’s favorite Shine-a-light books. These are books where you shine a light through the page and hidden images appear. If you have a child who is disinterested in reading, I suggest trying these kids of books. My son now enjoys reading and finds books fun! I’d love to hear what fun winter activities you are doing with your children!

Learn more about holiday themed activities in the post The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List

Magic Painting Christmas Cards first appeared on My Beautiful Mess

The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List

Get into the Holiday spirit, by completing the Ultimate Christmas Bucket List.

The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List
This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you.
(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

When my husband and I got married, we decided to start a tradition. We started an activity Advent calendar. Instead of stuffing our advent calendar with sweets or small toys, we fill it with activities. This has really helped us bond as a family. It creates memories for our children and encourages us to spend time together. Starting December 1, we do a Christmas or Holiday themed activity every day as a family.

It’s a wonderful way to get you out of your rut and into the Christmas spirit. We use an actual advent calendar with the activity written on little slips of paper. These are easily moved around if our schedule changes. Every year, I rotate a few of them out. If you don’t have an advent calendar, you can simply write them on your calendar. Alternatively, you can put the slips of paper in a jar or you can use the FREE Christmas Advent Calendar printable I’ve made for you. Just cross them off as you complete them. I’ve listed 75 different activities you can do to complete the Ultimate Christmas Bucket List. Some require planning, while others can be done in a moment’s notice.

advent calendar
Our Advent Calendar

The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List

1. Bake Gingerbread Cookies

2. Watch Home Alone

3. Trim the Tree

4. Make a Christmas Wreath

5. Take a Family Christmas Photo

6. Make Christmas Candy

7. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life

8. Build a Gingerbread House

9. Make an Ornament

10. Visit Santa

11. Read the Polar Express

12. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas

13. Go to a Holiday Party

14. Drink Hot Apple Cider

15. Go Sledding

16. Visit a Christmas Market

17. Build a Snowman

18. Watch Elf

19. Read Twas The Night Before Christmas

20. Bake and Decorate Sugar Cookies

21. Enjoy Eggnog

22. Go Christmas Shopping

23. Send Christmas Cards

24. Watch A Christmas Story

25. Wrap Gifts

26. Listen to Christmas Music

27. Attend a Performance of The Nutcracker

28. Make Paper Snowflakes

29. Wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater

30. Watch Love Actually

31. Drink Hot Cocoa

32. See Christmas Lights

33. Go Outside and Make Snow Angels

34. Make a Popcorn Garland

35. Watch The Polar Express in Your Pajamas

36. Host or Attend a Cookie Exchange

37. Mail a Letter to Santa

38. Hang Mistletoe

39. Watch White Christmas

40. Go Ice Skating

41. Find a Fun Way to Display Christmas Cards

42. Give Gifts to Your Neighbors

43. Make a DIY Gift for Someone

44. Watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

45. Cuddle by the Fire

46. Read the Nativity Story from the Bible (Luke 2 & Matthew 1)

47. Do a Random Act of Kindness

48. Watch or Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas

49. Attend a Tree Lighting Ceremony

50. Watch or read A Christmas Carol

51. Make Sugar Plums

52. Send a Care Package to Someone in the Military

53. Watch Miracle on 34th Street

54. Roast Marshmallows

55. Donate to a Toy Drive

56. Go Christmas Caroling (find carol lyrics here)

57. Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas

58. Thank a Mail Carrier

59. Hang Stockings

60. Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter

61. Watch Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

62. Make Mason Jar Snow Globes

63. Attend a Holiday Party

64. Attend or Host a White Elephant Gift Exchange

65.  Make a Christmas Centerpiece

66. Create an Advent Wreath

67. Watch Christmas Chronicles 

68. Attend Christmas Mass or Church Service

70. Research and Share How Other Countries Celebrate Christmas

71. Make Fudge

72. Watch Jingle All the Way

73. Cut or Choose a Christmas Tree

74. Make Your Own Gift Wrap (kraft paper & paint)

75. Decorate Your Porch for Christmas

Printable Preview

Struggling to Get Organized for the Holidays?

Then you need my Printable Christmas Planner! 25 Pages of Organizational pages. Track your budget. Create a Black Friday Wishlist. Use the Online Order Tracker to make sure all your gifts arrive. Save recipes. Keep all our travel info on one page. And more!