40 Things to do this Fall {Bucket List w/free printable}

40 Things to do this Fall {Bucket List w/free printable}

Enjoy this bucket list of fun Fall activities -- perfect inspiration for family time together!

And there's so much to do in the fall (along with yummy new recipes to try - I'm a big baker) so we made a list of festive Fall Activities that I wanted to share with you.

I've included a free printable version below too in case you want to keep one at your home this season -- it's fun to use as a 'bucket list' or even as seasonal artwork to decorate the house!

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Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas for Kids

Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas for Kids

Learn about activities to do during the Solar Eclipse including which glasses to wear, fun eclipse themed food, books to read, party ideas and more!

Where will you be on August 21, 2017?

Chances are -- somewhere "on the dark side of the moon" :)

If you're planning to celebrate the Solar Eclipse with your family or students in your classroom, we've got a few ideas for fun activities & tips on how to enjoy the eclipse together!

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7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

Tips to help you get you ready for the school year & first day of school ideas!

I'm sure you heard a few groans as you flipped the calendar to August.

School will be starting soon for so many of us and I'll be honest with you, I'm not that excited.

I love the unscheduled days of summer, letting the kids sleep in and not having to say "Do you have your homework? Did you grab your lunch?" every morning :)

But I know the kids are looking forward to seeing their friends again and finding out who their teachers will be this year.  And it's always good to get back into the school routine come Fall.

So here are a few tips on how to make the back to school transition a little easier (and fun) for everyone!

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How to Create Memories with Your Kids

How to Create Memories with Your Kids

Ideas for how to create memories with your kids this summer!

Many of us are now ‘officially’ on summer break.

For kids, it’s a time for popsicles, pool visits and unscheduled adventures!

For parents, it’s a time to reconnect with our kids who have been trapped in a school building for the better part of the year.  

It’s also a time to think about what we might do together this summer.

Now I’ll bet you’re thinking this is going to be one of those ‘list’ posts – as in, make a summer bucket list or a what we’ll do this summer list.

But it’s not.

Even though that’s a great thing to do – it’s not the ONE thing I want you to do –

Scratch that

It’s the one thing YOUR kids really need you to do this summer.

 

The item I’m talking about only requires a pen, a sticky note and 3 minutes of uninterrupted time ….

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24 Printable Easter Coupons for Kids & Teens

24 Printable Easter Coupons for Kids & Teens

This colorful set of Easter Coupons for kids & teens are perfect as egg fillers or Easter basket stuffers!

In our house, everyone gets an Easter basket no matter how old you may be!

I guess the Bunny doesn't keep track of age where we live ;)

It was the same in our house growing up -- baskets & egg hunts were the norm well into our teen years -- and I love carrying on that family tradition.

I'm definately more of a 'include something other than candy' type of parent -- there are so many other AWESOME items you can tuck into an Easter Basket or use as fillers for those egg hunts.

And one of the BEST things (I'm told by my munchkins) are Easter Coupons!

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Enjoy an Outdoor Family Adventure {with free printable}

Enjoy an Outdoor Family Adventure {with free printable}

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

We love to go on outdoor adventures as a family!

Sometimes it's as easy as a creek walk at a local park and other times it's trying something totally new (like snorkeling) when we vacation.

No matter where we go, we always find some amazing experiences to share with our kids -- new places to hike, geological wonders -- and most important, those times that 'aren't planned but will be talked about for years' moments when we are in awe of nature.

So when the folks in Gulf County, Florida reached out and asked us if we wanted to help inspire other families to have some adventures this year, we jumped at the chance to get involved!  And also created a free printable "Get out & have an Adventure" activity for your family too!

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How to Use Children's Books to share Family Stories

How to Use Children's Books to share Family Stories

This is one of those week's when sentiment has crept in and taken over.

The first week in April is the anniversary of the passing of two of my grandparents so I always find myself thinking more about them and family at this time of the year.

And it just so happens that I've been reviewing books for our Picture Book of the Day series on Instagram (we have a great group of Kid Lit bloggers who share book recommendations if you're ever looking for some!)

The author of the story we featured this week shared that she "... use(s) bits of my great-grandmother's passport from Lithuania in almost every painting"

Bits. 

Those things that are left to us when people pass on -- family heirlooms, special momentoes and stories.

My grandfather's family was also from Lithuania so this immediately caught my attention.

What bits do I have from him?

And which of those bits have I shared with my kids?

So I immediately started digging through some of my keepsake boxes and books as I thought about the fact that I should be sharing these bits and family stories with my kids more often.

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Where to Send Your Letter to Santa (& how to get a letter back!)

It's definitely that time of the year when I'm sure someone in your house wants to mail a letter to Santa!

Maybe it's your 4-year-old who wants to ask Santa about his favorite cookies.

Or the somewhat doubting 9-year-old who wants to confirm the big guy's existance.

And maybe -- just maybe -- it's Mom or Dad who need to get a letter to Santa to let him know that bringing a pet monkey is probably not such a good idea this year ;)

No matter who wants to send Santa a letter, we've got all the details you'll need (along with some FREE ways you can get a reply back too)!  PLUS, we also have a free printable Letter to Santa paper for the kids to print & use too.

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40 Family-friendly Fall Activities

This Fall, we want to continue to inspire families to connect & make memories together with a great list of Fall activities you'll love! 

Do you know what I love about the Fall and Halloween season?

I adore the fact that adults enjoy it just as much as the kids!  I think so many of us are kids at heart -- heading to the pumpkin patch, the idea of dressing up, a hike in the woods and who doesn't love candy ;)

I know firsthand that it can be a busy time -- school events, sports practices, shorter days and things that need to get done around the house.  My husband & I were just lamenting that it's hard to find time to unwind as a family.  I firmly believe that you have to carve out time to connect -- otherwise those everday tasks begin to take over.

As with The $0 Summer activities that we shared over the past few months, our goal is to help you find free or low cost ideas for family fun this Fall -- and today, we have 40 fun ways you can get out & enjoy life together!

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Awesome Father's Day Gift Ideas for Dad

It's June, which means sunshine, swimming pools and a special day for Dad - which means!

When is Father's Day this year? 

Don't worry, you've still got time -- it's June 19th. 

And for the record, my Dad's birthday is the same week so I've been browsing for some fun and unique gifts for a few of the special men in my life. 

Now, my husband will tell you that the best gift any man could get would be an unlimited supply of bacon (and who am I to argue) but I was thinking of something a little better than bacon ;)

I know, there's probably not much that's better than bacon but here are some unique ideas that I think most Dad's will enjoy.

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100 Free Things to do with Your Kids this Summer

Enjoy more than 100 Free things to do with your kids this Summer with this printable list!

I thought we'd try something a little different this summer -- I'm up for a challenge, how about you?

We usually share a 'summer bucket list' on the blog with ideas for things to do during the next three months. 

But when I went back to look at some of our most read summer posts, I learned that the 34 Ways to Be a Cool Parent this Summer was by far one of the most popular.

It's not surprising when I think about it -- the post is a list of simple ways to make memories with your kids.

And isn't that what we really want to do as parents.

When you get right down to it, the goal many of us have for summertime is to create memories.

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25 Creative Christmas Countdown Ideas

I don't know about you but once December 1st rolls around, my kids turn into math wizards -- they are able to let you know at a moments notice how many days are left until Christmas.

It's amazing considering that the rest of the year they always need to ask me how many days are left in the week ;)

But I'll be honest -- having a countdown to Christmas (which usually includes some of these Advent calendar activities) is just as much fun for me as it is for them.

Because let's just admit it, no matter how much we TRY to keep the month calm and relaxing, the world just doesn't seem to cooperate.

The days begin to fly by faster -- the items on our 'to do' list pile up -- and then WHAM!, it's Christmas Eve and I can't fathom where the last 24 days went.

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Creating an Interactive Advent Calendar for the Holidays

 This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

 

One of the holiday traditions that we look forward to the most in our family is having an Advent Calendar.  I remember having one as a child -- putting candy canes into the slots each day as we counted down to Christmas Eve.  And now we do one with our kids too.

Our countdown changes each year -- sometimes we have a traditional Advent Calendar where the kids open up the littles doors and peek in to find a riddle, joke or fun fact about the holidays.

And sometimes our countdown consists of hidden slips of paper that the kids have to hunt for in order to find out what we are doing that day -- an outdoor adventure, volunteer activity or easy fun at home with the family!

And then there are those years when I'll pull together an interactive Advent Calendar that not only helps us count down the days but also doubles as a decoration.

This is one of those years -- our oldest in a high school Senior this year so I know I won't have another countdown with him at home for the entire month of December.  It's a little bittersweet -- you love to see the kids grow up into confident young adults but you so miss those days when they would crawl up on your lap for a Christmas story.

So this year's Advent Calendar will include all of our favorite things from the past -- and best of all, I'm upcycling so many items as I create it!

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5 Tips for Creating Awesome Halloween Costumes

I did a little math this week and came to an odd realization --

We have 2 kids and somehow over the past 17 years, I've helped them to create more than 50 costumes!

I know -- there's some crazy math there since Halloween only comes but once a year.

However, in the kid world, costumes aren't only created at Halloween.  Sometimes one is needed for a play or fun day activity.

And on some years the school sends home a note letting you know that the costume your child chose that year won't be accepted in the "themed" holiday parade they've decided to host in place of the normal party.

So in addition to cook, chauffeur, barber and chief planner, I can now also add "costume-maker" to my resume ;)

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Aulani: 9 Must-Do Activities at Disney's Hawaii Resort on Oahu

Awesome tips & secrets for staying at Aulani, Disney's Hawaii resort on Oahu!

After a few years of planning and saving, we were able to take a trip to Hawaii this year -- yes, it was amazing! 

We had accumulated enough Disney Reward dollars to stay at the Aulani Resort in Oahu on our first night on the island and it was one of the BEST decisions we made on the trip! 

Being able to stay at an all-inclusive resort and not have to worry about grocery shopping or driving to any activities for the first day after that long plane trip meant a great start to our vacation.

Here's what you need to know if you're heading to Disney's Aulani resort, especially if you're only staying for a short time --

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