Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Feeding the Hungry—A 6th Grade Christmas Service Project

#LightTheWorld—Feed the Hungry: A Service Project for Tweens & Teens

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry Service Project for Tweens and Teens

Want your tweens and teens to catch the Spirit of Christmas this year? Help them plan their own Christmas service project with their friends.


Christmas is an exciting time for kids—often because they are looking forward to what they are going to find under the tree on Christmas morning. While I do love spoiling my children at Christmas, I don't want their entire focus to be on themselves. I want them to learn the joy of giving to others, too. Each year we try to participate in at least one service project for those who aren't as fortunate as we are, and it has been something my girls really look forward to doing.

We are loving the #LightTheWorld ideas for service. If you go to the website it lists 25 ways to serve others this Christmas season, and even has a calendar and other tools to help you plan your own service projects.

Help your kids to #LightTheWorld this Christmas by letting them organize and execute their own feed the hungry service project


This year, my youngest daughter is in her first year of middle school and I figured she was ready to take the lead on a Christmas service project. I asked her if there was anything she would like to do for a family in need this year and she took me seriously. She came up with a wonderful idea to go along with Day 21 of #LightTheWord—Feed the Hungry.

Feed the Hungry—A Service Project for Tweens and Teens


Sophia decided that she wanted to invite her friends to go to the grocery store with her to purchase food and then deliver it to a family in need. She pitched it to as many friends as we could fit in our minivan, and they were all on board and excited to do it.

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens


When the designated day finally rolled around, I picked everyone up from school and we drove to the grocery store. I handed them a list of things to purchase and told them what their budget was and let them get to business. I followed them around the store at a distance, and only helped them if they asked.

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens


It was awesome to watch them. Some were more budget conscious, but all of them really wanted to make sure they were being as generous as possible. They all worked together to get the items on the list, paid attention to sale prices, and made decisions together about what they would purchase.

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens


They also had a lot of fun in the process. Right off the bat, they chose one of those kiddie car carts and pushed each other around in it. They drew a few looks, but it was also pretty clear that they were doing the shopping. More than one person remarked on my "army of helpers" as I followed them around the store.

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens
#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens


At the check out, one of Sophia's friends was sure we'd gone WAY over budget, so they decided to all guess at how much we spent (who knew this would turn out to be a lesson in food costs and keeping to budgets). As it turned out, they came in a bit under budget, but they were able to get quite a lot of food.

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens

I had previously asked the Relief Society President in my branch for a recommendation on a family who could most use the groceries. Once we were all loaded up, we drove out to their home.

The kids decided on the way there that they would like to sing a Christmas carol to them as we delivered the food, but nobody answered the door (even though we could see that they were home). We just decided to leave the bags inside their front door and leave after knocking several times. Just as we were driving off, we saw them come down to the door.

#LightTheWorld Feed the Hungry service project for tweens and teens


After we were done delivering the food, I had a bunch of hungry 6th graders on my hands so they all came to my house for pizza and had a great time together for the rest of the evening. Once all the kids had gone back home for the night, I asked Sophia what she thought of it all. She said she felt really good about serving and she knew her friends had enjoyed doing the service project more than she thought they would which made her really happy.

A couple texts she received from her friends:

Well, I'm really happy that we all did that. Always makes a person smile when u do something good for someone.

It feels so good to make someone's night like yesterday! Thanks!

I think it's really nice that u thought of doing this. Thanks for inviting me!

It does feel good to help others, and it was really cool to watch Sophia and her friends feel that as they participated in Lighting the World. I was proud of her for coming up with the idea and for wanting to include her friends. This is something they will hopefully remember for a long time, and I hope Sophia will want to do it again next year!

As thanks to her friends, we made some quick #LightTheWorld tags and sent each one home with a cheesecake—there's more than one way to feed the hungry after all!

#LightTheWorld gift tag

This post is in partnership with BonCom.


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Friday, November 24, 2017

Cyber Monday Deals at Amazon (2017)

Black Friday is here! I've been researching all morning to help you get the best deals today. I will update this page continuously throughout the day, so keep checking to see if I've found anything new!

Updated for Cyber Monday

(affiliate links)

Some of the deals may become unavailable throughout the day, so be sure to also check the Cyber Monday Deals page to look through the most up-to-the-minute sales.

Kindle books are all on sale: Browse titles here

Almost all family games are on sale. To browse games, click here: Cyber Monday Games

My favorite games:

Speak Out
Sushi Go
Scattergories
Get a Grip
Cover Your Assets
Snake Oil

The $5.00 magazine subscriptions are one of my favorite annual Black Friday deals and they are still good today. You can get a year subscription to some of your favorite magazines for only $5—less than many of the issues cost retail!

Some magazines available this year:

Better Homes and Gardens
Martha Stewart Living
Popular Science
Real Simple (they have raised their price to $10—still an excellent deal!)
HGTV
The New Yorker
Rachael Ray Everyday
Eating Well

+ many more!

Check below for my favorite Cyber Monday deals!





Circle with Disney—This rarely goes on sale, so if you've been eying it, grab it today. We love ours and it has helped with managing internet use for my teenagers better than any other tool I have tried.

Instant Pot—6 quart plus 7-in-1 multi use instant pot is on for $74.99. This thing has CHANGED MY LIFE this year. If you don't have one yet, make sure this is the one deal you get this year! The 3 quart mini Instant Pot is also on for a good deal today.

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch—These smartwatches seem like such a great way to keep track of your younger kids without having to purchase them a phone.

Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones—This is an excellent price and there are several other styles on sale as well if you don't like these. I like headphones better than earbuds for at home use.

Makeup Eyebrush Set—If you have teenage girls, hop on this one. My girls will go gaga for these brushes!

WiFi Smart Plugs—These are so cool! You can turn on lights with your smart phone, or start a slow cooker remotely.

Silpat Baking Mats—I love these things. They are so much easier to clean than an actual baking dish. Buy a bunch of them for your favorite chefs! This is a great deal.

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker—Apparently these are the hot gift this year. If someone you love loves being in the kitchen, they will probably be thrilled to get this thing!

Ancestry DNA kit—I did mine earlier this year and the information I got from it was fascinating! This particular kit does only the Ancestry DNA, not a health report. But the information is still wonderful.

Kindle Fire Tablets—All Kindle Fires are on sale today. The Kids' Tablet is amazing if you have younger kids that you'd like to have an electronic but want to have a lot of parental controls. Or, we purchased the Kindle Fire 7 for my middle schooler last year which has been great for her.

Kindle Paperwhite—I bought myself one of these this summer since my old Kindle bit the dust. I didn't want a Fire because I can't deal with reading on that type of screen. I'm really loving the Paperwhite.

Amazon Echo Dot—These are on for 50% off today and are a fun way to play music and do a whole lot more. If you've been wanting Alexa, start with a dot. Or, the actual Amazon Echo is also on sale today.

Segway Mini Pro—These things always look like so much fun when I see people riding them. This is a pretty good deal if you think your kid or your husband would want one.

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate—It looks like most Fitbits are on sale today, but this one is the one I have and I love it. I'm addicted to it actually. It takes your heart rate, counts steps and calories, and does a ton more.

Leather wristband for Charge 2—I have some plastic bands and a silver band for my Charge, but these leather ones are an awesome deal and have a totally different look! They come in tons of colors. Be sure you're getting the proper size for you.

Anker Car Charger—I love having a good car charger in my car all the time. Anker is an excellent brand.

Bluetooth earbuds—I love having earbuds that are wireless.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer—Couldn't live without mine. This is 43% off today.

Canon Rebel T6 Camera with accessories—There are lots of deals on this camera today, but this is by far the best. It comes with a TON of accessories, plus you'll get the great price on it. If I didn't already have a Canon Rebel, I would be snapping up this deal.

Pressure Washer—Oh man, I want one of these so bad. We borrowed a friend's this summer and cleaned up our deck and patio and the thing was freaking amazing!

Kano Computer Kit—This is a cool kit for kids who are aspiring coders and computer builders.

Vintage Play Kitchen—This is gorgeous! My girls would have LOVED this back in the day!

Zing Stikbot Stop Motion Animation Studio—This will be so fun for kids who want to try their hand at stop motion videos. Excellent price! For kids who are into Minecraft, try this Minecraft Animation Studio instead.

My First Mind Blowing Science Kit—Way cool for kids who love doing science experiments.

Kidcraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table—Train tables are a fun toy and a great way to store toys, too. This is a great deal.

A running list of the best amazon deals for black friday 2017




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See the linky parties I link up to here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Finishing Touches for Thanksgiving

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com

Thanksgiving is coming in less than a week, and while I'm sure you've been making your preparations for the last few weeks, sometimes things slip through the cracks. Babbleboxx recently sent me a box of Thanksgiving goodness that will help you make sure you have all those last minute things ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Be sure to look for the discounts that are being offered to my readers on a few of these items.



Make your Thanksgiving Day better than ever this year with these last minute finishing touches.

Finishing Touches for Thanksgiving


Appetizers


Edible Arrangements are a great choice for Thanksgiving appetizers or Thanksgiving dessert. I was sent the Autumn Harvest Dipped Fruit Trio to try and it not only tasted delicious, it was beautiful. There were chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered bananas with caramelized hazelnuts, and salted caramel apple wedges (my personal favorite).

Red edible arrangements box containing chocolate covered fruit

These are a great addition to your Thanksgiving table because all you have to do is order them and they are delivered right to your house. Besides the boxed options, they have beautiful fruit arrangements that you can order depending on where you live (they are hand-delivered).

Chocolate covered fruit by edible arrangements


Edible Arrangements is offering my readers a special deal for Thanksgiving arrangements. You can order as late as November 22 to have your arrangements to you in time for feast day.

Use the following codes at check out to get your discount:

THANK17  $10 off $39+ (49+ in CA), valid through 11/22, unlimited use

FEAST $20 off $99+, valid through 11/22, unlimited use

Order your Thanksgiving Edible Arrangements here: Edible Arrangements

Beverages


Sipp Sparkling Organic Drink is a great option for everyone at Thanksgiving dinner. It can be mixed into another drink or used all by itself. I received the Mojo Berry flavor, which is blackberry, mint, and lime and I thought it was perfect as a standalone beverage.

Sipp drinks come in 6 different flavors, are all organic and each drink contains fruit, herbs and is lightly sweetened with agave. So good!

Purchase Sipp sparkling organic drinks here: Sipp Website

Sipp Organic Sparkling beverage mojo berry


Clean Cocktails is a new cookbook (what do you call a book full of beverage recipes? A drink book?) by holistic health coaches Beth Ritter Nydick and Tara Roscioli. They have put a health conscious and clean living spin onto mixology and their recipes use only anti-inflammatory spices, low-calorie spirits, and clean sweeteners.

Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist

My family does not drink alcohol, but even for us, there is a whole section of mocktails that look fun to try. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try something new and different to drink for dinner. I'm looking forward to making a couple of these mocktails for my family.

I also loved looking at the fabulous photography in this book!

Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist

Order the book here: Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist

Don't forget the dog!


Solid Gold Superfood Chewy Dog Treats are necessary so your pooch doesn't feel left out. My dog will sit in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day just waiting to be given anything that she is smelling. These natural dog treats use Thanksgiving-inspired ingredients—turkey, sweet potato, and cinnamon—to make a dog treat my dog loved.

They are also grain-free which is something I look for in a dog treat.

Buy your dog treats here: Solid Gold Superfood Dog Treats

Get $1.00 off with this coupon: Solid Gold Coupon

Solid Gold Superfood Chewy Dog Treats for Thanksgiving


Petlanthropy gift cards are an amazing way to give back to your local animal shelters this Thanksgiving! I always like to have some sort of service project my family can do around this holiday of gratitude, and I love the idea of these gift cards.

You can purchase a gift card from Petlanthropy to give to the animal lovers in your life, who can then choose which shelter they would like to donate the money to. I think it's a fabulous idea and a great way to help your families become aware of the needs of their local shelters.

Cards are available to purchase now and redemption will open on December 1. I am excited to redeem mine for my local animal shelter!

Petlanthropy Gift Card

Take away some of your stress this Thanksgiving with these products and make your day the best yet!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Free Printable Christmas Service Advent Cards

A couple years ago, I started putting service ideas in our advent calendar instead of candy. I wasn't sure how my girls would like that since they LOVED fighting over a single piece of chocolate every morning, but it's turned out pretty well. Now they look forward to trying to do the simple service they pull out of the calendar each morning instead.

Free printable Christmas service advent


Sometimes the service idea is for our own family and home—things like doing the dishes or organizing a family movie night with popcorn. Sometimes the service is for their friends, and sometimes it is for total strangers.

Christmas is such a busy time, and it is often difficult to find extra time to do large service projects, but I want to make sure my kids are thinking of others during the holiday season and this has been a great way to accomplish that. Because December is a crazy month, sometimes they don't get a chance to do every single service, but they sure try! I love seeing how they've caught the spirit of serving others during the holiday season—the joy it brings to them is inspiring to me.

Fun idea for helping kids to serve others this Christmas season—printable service advent cards to put into your advent calendar.


If you do Elf on a Shelf, it might also be fun to have your elf encourage the service ideas instead of putting them into an advent calendar. Any way you do it will help your kids to catch the spirit of the season!

I have teamed up with a few of my favorite blogger friends to give you a whole bundle of Christmas printables—including my service advent cards. You can download all 8 printables at the bottom of this post.


You will receive Christmas printables from 8 family lifestyle bloggers:

Nativity Coloring Pages from Katelyn at What's Up Fagans?:

Bring the true meaning of the Holiday season to life with these 12 fun Nativity coloring pages for kids (and adults)! Use them as a fun way to countdown to Christmas or as something to entertain kids during family get-togethers during the holidays.

Christmas Service Advent from Lara at Overstuffed:

Instead of putting candy in your advent calendar this year, try these cute service ideas and help your children catch the Spirit of Christmas by serving others daily!

12 Days of Christmas from Katie at Clarks Condensed

Use these fun 12 Days of Christmas printables to give secret gifts to your neighbors and friends this year!

Gift Organization Printable from Hilary at Pulling Curls:

This printable will keep your Christmas gifts organized by item, price, and even by hiding place.

Printable Candy Sleighs from Annette at Tips from a Typical Mom:

Use these adorable printables to make candy sleighs to hand out to your neighbors or to decorate your home this holiday.

Kisses Advent Calendar from Jen at Your Everyday Family:

Use these cute printables along with Hershey’s kisses and do the daily advent activities with your kids all month long.

Holiday Coloring & Activity Set from Sarah at Ruffles and Rainboots:

This holiday-themed set includes 3 coloring pages, a seek and find activity, 3 coloring bookmarks, an advent calendar, a printable coloring holiday card, and a “design your own ornament” set. This set includes fun for many ages but will be best for age 2-7.

Gingerbread House Candy Ideas from Lauren at Oh Honestly!:

The Gingerbread House Candy Ideas printable has 25+ items, divided into convenient categories that make it a breeze to decide exactly how you want to decorate your gingerbread houses.

The printables are in a 40-page PDF file. You only need to print out the pages you need.

You will be added to the email lists of each blogger. Each of them regularly send out great information about parenting, pregnancy, kids activities, homemaking, recipes, and saving money.



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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

5 Ways Kids Benefit From Music Lessons

Thank you Fender for sponsoring this post. Learn guitar at home with Fender Play!

Music lessons are a requirement for our children. Perhaps that's just what they get for being born to two professional musicians, but we actually don't expect them to choose a career in music if they don't want to. We require them to learn a musical instrument because music lessons benefit them in so many other ways.



Our oldest daughter is now a senior in high school and I have seen the years of music lessons she has under her belt benefit her immensely. And, while she is a talented musician, her college plans do not currently include a major in music—but they do include continuing to study music by playing in the college orchestras and taking some music classes where she will continue to reap the benefits of playing a musical instrument.

If you're uncertain about putting your child in music lessons because they might not be talented enough or because they won't want a career in music, these benefits may surprise you. Playing a musical instrument will help your child be more successful in almost every other area of their lives. Music is just that cool!

Be sure to scroll all the way down to the end of this post for the opportunity to win a guitar starter pack from Fender and learn more about Fender Play—a great way to get kids online guitar lessons.

Kids benefit from music in MANY ways—ways that help them in all areas of their lives.


5 Ways Kids Benefit From Music Lessons


1. Music lessons can improve academic performance


There have been numerous studies showing how music lessons strengthens brain function. This study from Northwestern University found that children engaged in learning a musical instrument showed larger improvements in the way the brain processed reading and speech. Other studies have shown that kids who are studying music have better verbal memory and a heightened ability to learn foreign languages.

Music is inherently mathematical and can help kids to better understand mathematical principles as they learn how rhythm and other parts of music work.

2. Music lessons teach patience and discipline


Kids learn patience and discipline as they learn music in several ways. They learn to be patient as they start out only being able to play simple pieces and have to wait to play the music they really want to play. They learn patience when their practice sessions do not go the way they want them to. They learn discipline because they must practice often in order to improve.

They learn how to focus better both during lessons and practice. They learn the principle of hard work. Some kids may even learn to sit still for longer periods of time than they were able to do before they began to learn an instrument.



3. Music lessons help to develop physical coordination and motor skills


All instruments require a level of physical coordination in order to learn them. Usually kids will have to learn to do something different with each hand. The guitar, for instance, requires the left hand to finger the chords and the right hand to strum them. This type of physical coordination helps with brain development and coordination in other areas like sports or dancing.

4. Music lessons can boost self-esteem


Learning a musical instrument boosts self-esteem for kids in several ways. First, simply mastering something new helps kids to feel good about themselves. Having the ability to share those skills with others further improves their self worth.

Kids also learn to respond positively to constructive criticism as they take music lessons. Learning to take correction is an essential part of learning to play an instrument and the more they learn to do this with grace, the better off they are. Through this process they learn that correction is not a negative thing but a positive thing that only helps them to be the best they can be, thus improving their self-esteem.

Fender Play guitar lessons are a great way to help kids benefit from music lessons


5. Music lessons encourage creativity


Music lessons not only give kids a way to express their creativity, they also help them to feel more comfortable being creative. Music also helps kids learn to express their emotions in a way that they might not be able to do with words—"music is what feelings sound like" as my music professor husband likes to say.

Fender Play makes getting music lessons easier


I know that sometimes music lessons are not feasible. Maybe your kid doesn't have time for regular lessons, or perhaps it isn't in the budget. For my 17-year-old daughter, both of these have factored into her wanting to learn the guitar. I already pay a hefty sum for her violin lessons and she is so busy I don't see how she would fit in a regular guitar lesson anyway!

Fender Play online guitar lessons


Our alternative was Fender Play and it has been the perfect way for Bria to add guitar to her repertoire on her own time. I love that I hear the guitar from her bedroom in the evening after she has finished her homework, and I really love that I also hear her getting better and better.

Fender Play is an online music lessons system that allows kids to work and learn at their own pace and to play the songs they love to listen to. The videos break their favorite songs down to the basics and the song library is pretty extensive, so there are plenty of options each kid will love. The videos are also shot in a way that allows them to easily see what each hand is doing so that they can more quickly learn the coordination they need to play the songs.

Find out if Fender Play is for you by starting your FREE 30-Day Trial here: Try Fender Play for Free!

Enter to win an awesome Guitar Starter Pack from Fender using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.

Giveaway details:

Prizes: [15] Fender Guitar Squier® Strat® Packs, each containing a Short-scale 24" Stratocaster guitar in Black or Brown Sunburst, a Squier Frontman® 10G amplifier, a pack of picks, guitar strap, and a 10-foot instrument cable (ARV $199.99 each)

Dates: November 13 - December 8, 2017

Entry Options: Readers may enter the giveaway via the widget with the following options:

Sign up for the Fender Play email list [required]

Visiting Fender Play landing page [required]

Tweeting about the giveaway [optional]

Visiting Fender on Facebook [optional]

Following Fender on Twitter [optional]

Leaving a comment on the blog post [optional]

Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by CLEVER and/or Fender by December 12, 2017

Terms & Conditions: The official Terms & Conditions are included in the widget; here is the high-level eligibility criteria:

Age 18+

US resident only

Only one winner per household
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Friday, November 10, 2017

5 Ways to Practice Hygge This Winter


This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com

I recently read the book A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. That's where I first heard the concept of hygge, and I'm sort of in love with it.

Hygge is a Danish word that roughly means creating coziness in your surroundings, which I have found is of particular importance during the winter. I live in one of the snowiest cities in the US, and sometimes the winters are difficult for me, but I love the idea of hygge and look forward to putting it into practice this winter.

We just had our first major snowstorm yesterday, so my box of cold weather comforts from Babbleboxx came just in time! Everything in the box is perfect for helping me to add some Danish coziness to my home this winter.


Hygge is the trending Danish practice of coziness. It's a great way to make winter more bearable, and here are some ideas and products to help you implement the practice.

5 Ways to Practice Hygge in Your Home


Candles


The Danes love to have lots of candles lit around their homes to create the perfect hygge atmosphere. I enjoy candles, but I realize that I rarely actually light them because it's a hassle to do it with matches!

zippo flex neck lighter

This awesome Zippo flex neck lighter makes it super easy to get hard to reach candles lit. I went around my house and lit all the candles in no time at all. The flexible neck can get into jar candles that are almost burnt out, which my other lighters can never quite do without some gymnastics on my end. The Zippo flex neck lighter just got right in there and quickly lit my favorite jar candle that is almost done.

The zippo flex neck lighter makes lighting any candle a lot easier.


The Zippo flex neck lighter is also refillable, which is easy to do with the Zippo premium butane fuel.

Purchase your own here: Zippo Flex Neck Lighter

Chesapeake Bay mind and body collection


This candle from the Chesapeake Bay Mind & Body collection is made with essential oils and it smells SO good. Not only does it help create the hygge atmosphere with the candlelight, it enhances the coziness with the amazing scent.

When my 17-year-old daughter saw this candle, she said, "Mom! This is the prettiest candle I have ever seen." And it is really is a good-looking jar candle compared to others. The scent is also really strong and long-lasting compared to other jar candles I have used.

Get your own candle here: Chesapeake Bay Candles

Tea


I love tea. I especially love curling up and sipping some good tea during the cold winters—what could be cozier than that?

Tea forte warming joy holiday tea collection


This Tea Forte Warming Joy holiday collection of teas is the perfect collection of holiday teas for tea lovers. I loved the fun and unique pyramid design of the tea bags and the way they steeped. It just made them even better to drink.

My favorite tea was the spiced ginger plum herbal tea. I love the spicy blends and this one was SO good.

Tea forte warming joy holiday tea collection

This Warming Joy petite presentation box includes 10 pyramid tea infusers. It's part of a holiday collection that also includes a large presentation box, a tea chest, a petite tea tree, and single steeps—perfect measure single serve loose tea pouches. I love this idea for Christmas gifts for my friends, too. And I would love to receive one, too, so I can get all cozy drinking more tea!

Buy your own tea collection here: Tea Forte Warming Joy Tea

Get 20% off any Tea Forte purchase by entering code WJ20 at checkout. Valid through 12/31/2017

A good book


While I'm all curled up with my tea, I usually have a good book in hand. I love to read and I generally get a lot more reading done during the winter because life slows down. It's good for me to remember how much I love to read on stormy days because it helps keep me happy when the weather might otherwise get me down.

Links by Lisa Becker


If you like fun romance novels, Links by Lisa Becker is the perfect read to get cozy with this winter. It's a cute story about Charlotte—ugly duckling in high school—who runs into her old high school crush 15 years later. She's not an ugly duckling anymore, and Garrett is a pro golfer who is going through a tough time.

I enjoyed the way the author wrote from both character's perspective—a nice twist from the typical romance novels I've read where you only get to hear one person's thoughts. It made me root for the relationship a lot quicker!

Get your own copy here: Links by Lisa Becker

Better sleep


While sometimes it feels like all I want to do is sleep during the winter, I often have a hard time actually doing it. One of the reasons it can be difficult for me to sleep is because for some reason I often get stuffed up and have trouble breathing during the winters.

Stuffy Nose Strips


I've been using these Stuffy Nose Strips for the last week or so, and I really like them! They don't go on your nose like others I have used before—instead they go on your cheeks and they are really effective at opening your airway. They can open it up to 61% vs. 30% for normal nose strips. I don't know if I have allergies going on or what, but I have breathed much easier at night since beginning to use these.

Get yours here: Stuffy Nose Strips

Get 25% off by entering code XECS9243 at checkout

Better health


Right along with better sleep is better health in general. I don't know about you, but I tend to get sick more often in the winter. Nothing ruins the cozy feeling of hygge faster than being sick!

Zoganic vitamin supplements


Keep yourself and your family healthy with Zoganic, a powdered vitamin supplement that you can mix with water or with a smoothie. My kids don't love taking a bunch of pills, and these are a perfect way to help them get their vitamins and nutrients in.

I have just been mixing them with water and I think they taste great that way. But if you or your kids are particularly picky about taste, I tried it in a smoothie and didn't even notice it was there.

Zoganic

Zoganic comes in 4 flavors—each with a different focus. The orange flavor helps to boost immunity—especially important for wintertime. The pineapple flavor helps promote gut health. The multi (fruity) flavor is a multi vitamin, and the coconut flavor boosts energy. 

Get your own here: Zoganic Vitamin Supplements

The Danish are among the happiest people in the world, and the practice of hygge is said to contribute to that happiness in a big way. I'm excited to make my winters more bearable by thinking about and implementing this idea.

And drinking lots of tea while reading books by candlelight.

Hygge is the trending Danish practice of coziness. It's a great way to make winter more bearable, and here are some ideas and products to help you implement the practice.



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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

November 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout

As usual, I loved General Conference last month. This time around, listening to it made me realize I needed to step back and figure out my priorities and really start focusing more on my family. Not that I wasn't focusing on my family before, but I was letting less important things get in the way.

One of the things that led to the decision was the giant emphasis on service during this conference. Perhaps it was just what the Spirit needed me to hear, but I felt like almost every speaker at least mentioned the need for service in our lives. And I realized that my life is too full to do much service!

Even after stepping back, I am realizing that my time is best used serving my family first and then working in my calling. After that, I am hoping to be able to serve more and better—especially during this holiday season.

November 2017 visiting teaching printable handout. Quote from October 2017 General Conference: "God will use you to make the lives of others better." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf


The quote I chose for the printable this month is from President Uchtdorf's talk—the very first talk on Saturday morning—"A Yearning for Home." I loved the story of Bobbie the Wonderdog and the idea that we should all be yearning for home—yearning to put God first in our lives.

This priority shift is precisely what will allow God to help us be an instrument in His hands and use us to better the lives of His children.

"God will use you to make the lives of others better."

For me, that summed up conference. I want to be an instrument in His hands, and that is what I'm working towards now.

The download form is at the bottom of the post—Enjoy!

I recommend sending the file to a photo center such as Walmart or Costco if you don't have a good photo printer at home. I print mine on this Canon printer which does an excellent job. I print it straight onto 5x7 photo paper so it is ready to go into a frame for my sisters.

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November 2017 visiting teaching printable handout. Quote from October 2017 General Conference: "God will use you to make the lives of others better." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf

To download:



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