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25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

December 24, 2016 at 11:56 AM • Posted in Coping, Holiday, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on 25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

Christmas Eve is upon us here in the metro area and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably frantically getting in those last minute errands that you’ve been putting off forgotten about, baking holiday treats, and cleaning the house in anticipation of loved ones later this evening (or in my case, first thing tomorrow morning). It’s okay, we can all be superheroes from time to time, right?! Don’t stress out, it’s all going to be fine…right? RIGHT? Thankfully, our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad team member Leah shares her 25 tips for managing holiday stress with us right here on the blog. Take a look…

25 Ways to manage holiday stress

25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

If you are anything like me you are guilty of trying to do a thousand things at once. I find myself being  pulled between trying to locate the “perfect gift”, attempting to stay on budget, pull money out of thin air, working more hours to afford “the perfect gift”, ordering things online, and trying to create time to wrap gifts all while trying to balance my daily tasks. Needless to say this momma is wore out.

The holidays tend to add so much stress and chaos to our already over packed lives. Yet, their intention is to the opposite. This year I am determined to approach things differently. I don’t want my son to judge holidays based around how well I may or may not handle stress. We all know that kids see everything even when we think otherwise. I want to make sure he sees me handle things with grace. After all I cannot expect him to if I don’t.

It really is my goal to learn how to master stress so it does not master me. I know that I will not be able to completely avoid stress. However, that doesn’t mean that I cannot try to handle it better when it arrives. I have found some pretty simple ways to help make your holidays a little less hectic. I hope that you can find one or two them useful.

#1 Take an Epson Salt bath – for an added stress relief add essential  oils

#2 Create a daily gratitude journal- use this to remind yourself what you are grateful for in yourself and others

#3 Go outside for a walk or run- being around the sunlight can improve your mood

#4 Instead of stressing out over dinner give yourself permission to order out

#5 Turn on some good music

#6 Have a glass of wine

#7 Have a cup of tea- there are so many teas out there to help you relax

#8 Give your partner a massage then have them return the favor ( or just book an appointment at a salon)

#9 Go get your hair done… I always feel better after a good hair cut

#10 Set a budget and stick with it

#11 Schedule a lunch date with a friend  and share a good laugh

#12 Turn off your phone so you can get stuff done without being distracted

#13 Try to give out “group gifts” when you have to buy for a family. This will help you stay on budget. You can buy them a movie, popcorn, snacks, etc. Plus this encourages them to do something as a family.

#14 Pace yourself- you do not have to do everything in one day. I find it useful to break my to do list down to a daily list instead. This also helps me feel less overwhelmed.

#15 Take a break and go do something fun as family

#16 Go see some Christmas lights and get yourself back into the Christmas spirit

#17 Light some candles around the house

#18 Meditate – this is an amazing stress reliever

#19 Go to the gym

#20 Call a friend or a family member that puts you in a good mood

#21 Get some sleep

#22 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

#23 Don’t sweat the small stuff

#24 Remind yourself that if something does not get done there is always tomorrow

#25 Listen to yourself- only you know your limits

To follow Leah further please go to her page at  www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

From iFamily to yours,

Leah

leah_ifamilykc_momsquad25 tips for managing holiday stress

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5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

December 23, 2016 at 8:00 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

Happy Friday, Kansas City! We know many of you may be scrambling to gather the last minute presents for friends, family, and neighbors, so our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, came up with a quick (and easy) list of gifts you can purchase from the comfort of your own home. No need to battle the crowds and traffic, just a couple of clicks and you’re taken care of. Take a look…

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

For your favorite family

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

 

Friends of the KC Zoo Family Membership — By far the best deal for families in the city. For just $109 ($169 if you live outside of Jackson County), your family can get 15 months of zoo access PLUS unlimited rides of the train, tram, carousel, boat and sky rides.

 

For your favorite kids

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

Surprise Ride Subscription — This box has a different theme each month and comes packed with fun and educational activities to keep your kids busy. My three kids shared a box and we were still able to milk the content over two evenings. $28/month.

 

For your favorite gal

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

Fair Trade Friday — This is my favorite go-to gift when I want to give something unique. The Fair Trade Friday box includes 3-4 items that are fairly traded and provide employment and empowerment to impoverished women all over the world. Items include things like jewelry, soaps and coffee. Prices vary.

For your favorite guy

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

SprezzaBox Subscription — Don’t worry about fit, this box is full of one-size-fits all stylish fun for dudes like sunglasses, socks, grooming products and ties. It’s just $28/month and is guaranteed to have over $100 in products.

 

For a stranger

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

Kindness Cards — KindCraft KC started this trend and I love it. Make (or buy) Kindness Cards and pair each one with $5 to give to friends and family so they can enjoy bringing joy to a stranger’s day: Pay for a drive-thru order, tape some money to a vending machine, etc. It’s a gift you’ll both feel great about.

 

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdBeckyV2

 

 

 

 

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How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

December 17, 2016 at 10:36 PM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

Now that we’re into the final week before Christmas shows it’s face, how about getting your friends and family together for a little holiday gingerbread house party? Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, has some great tips for throwing an easy and fun gingerbread house party this weekend. Take a look!

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party 

 

Last weekend I hosted a Gingerbread House party.

 

Picture it: 20+ kids. 20+ gingerbread houses arriving in parts and pieces. An unsupervised room full of every kind of candy you can imagine. Bags and jars of icing everywhere you look. A 3-year-old dumping an entire jar of white glittery sugar on his house. (Where was that kid’s mother?! Oh yeah, that was MY kid.)

 

This was by far the BEST WORST idea I’ve had yet. It was crazy, the kids will be on a sugar high for the rest of the week, our Elf on the Shelf was traumatized, but it was FUN. Not only that, but it was probably the easiest party I’ve ever thrown in my life. I was literally walking around my house a good 15 minutes before the party started to see if there was anything else I needed to do. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

 

Want to know my secrets on how to throw a stress-free gingerbread house party?

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

Get off Pinterest and follow these rules:

 

Don’t make the Gingerbread houses yourself. For a hot minute this was going to be my plan before I did the math on how painful that would be.

Do have every child bring their own gingerbread house kit with them to the party.

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

 

Don’t shop for all the candy yourself.

Do make it a candy potluck. I had every parent bring one bag of candy per kid.

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

 

Don’t leave the candy selection up to chance. Assortment is key!

Do create a digital sign-up. A sample from our list: M&Ms, mini M&Ms, peppermints, gum drops, Skittles, Starbursts, Hershey Kisses, mini marshmallows, Twizzlers, Lifesavers, bubble gum, Hot Tamales, Mike & Ike’s, pretzels, red hots and jelly beans

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

 

Don’t just invite the kids. (Good GOD, no.)

Do invite the entire family. The more adults on deck to help construct and assist with decorating, the smoother things will go. It also provides the parents a chance to tag team between their kids’ gingerbread houses and a beer.

 

Do set up lots of tables (including shorter ones to accommodate the little ones) for ample work spaces.

Don’t set up chairs. They take up a lot of space and you can fit more kids around a table without them.

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

 

Don’t try to construct your own children’s gingerbread houses once the party starts because you’ll be busy welcoming guests.

Do construct your kids’ houses ahead of time, buy the pre-assembled one from Costco, or cheat like I did with these plastic reusable houses.

 

Don’t offer drinks in cups. Can you image the number of spills and flooded houses?

Do provide plenty of juice boxes with straws.

 

Don’t serve food that requires you to be prepping in the kitchen or paying attention to oven timers during the party.

Do serve chili (that’s been simmering since early afternoon), hot dogs (that cook themselves—thank you hot dog roller!) and order some pizza for the kids.

 

How to host a Unique & Fun Gingerbread House Party

 

Don’t go crazy with the pizza. I’m a big fan of over ordering, but trust me.

Do consider that all the kids will be stuffed with candy by the time they go for a slice.

 

Don’t worry about the sprinkles, the icing, the hundreds of pieces of candy on your floor.

Do remember it’s just sugar and it all cleans up quite easily. (Exception: NEVER host this party if you only have carpeted rooms.)

 

 

I just knew when I was sending out invitations for this party it was either going to be a one-time event or a tradition my family would share with our friends for years to come. Oh yes, this party is definitely a keeper.

 

Pro Tips

 

  • Sprees and Starbursts won “Designers’ Choice” at our party.
  • This party is the perfect use for your kids’ leftover Halloween candy.
  • Sugar ice cream cones make great trees for the gingerbread houses.
  • Putting tablecloths on all the tables makes clean up so much easier.
  • There’s no need to unwrap any of the individually wrapped candy. Trust me, no kid needs help in this area.
  • Plan the party close to your trash day. You’ll have a ton of boxes to recycle.
  • Smaller tubs of icing with plastic knives work way better than the more expensive squeezable tubes of icing.
  • Beware of the houses sold at Trader Joe’s which have powered sugar you have to mix to make the icing. (What is this, the year 1800? Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
  • Invite your dear mom so she can help your kids during the party while you concentrate on hosting (or drinking wine, whatever).

 

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three and she blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdBeckyV2

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Get Creative With the Santa Present: Host a “Santa Wrapping” Party!

December 15, 2016 at 10:55 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on Get Creative With the Santa Present: Host a “Santa Wrapping” Party!

Well folks, Christmas is right around the corner, and we’re sure you’re busy getting your presents bought and wrapped for the big day. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, had the BRILLIANT idea of hosting a Santa Wrap party to help make those Santa gifts not so obvious. Check it out!

Get Creative With the Santa Present: Host a "Santa Wrapping" Party!

Get Creative With the Santa Present:

Host a “Santa Wrapping” Party!

 

For a couple years now I’ve been pitching this idea of a ‘Santa wrapping’ party to my friends, but hadn’t had any takers. I maintain this is a good idea and lucky for me- this year a few others on the Mom Squad agreed with me! Let me explain this to all of you who are rubbing your head thinking I’m out of my mind. A couple years past my daughter found me using some gift wrap I had left over from the year prior. “That’s Santa’s wrap!” she yelled and then gave me a very suspicious look. “Ah, so it is!” I stammered, “he must have sent an elf to Target.” I giggled nervously. (I am seriously the worst at this Santa business). Graciously, she let me off the hook and walked away, but I still wonder if I am fooling her. A year after that, I realized that buying paper from Costco was a mistake as I will be using this damn wrap on my grandchildren’s gifts one year. It may be some magical paper. It never runs out! Do I have Santa’s gift wrap???

So back to the point, I reached out to some fellow mom friends and said, “Hey, what about a wrapping paper swap party thing for Santa?” They looked at me like I was nuts. I get that look a lot. And here’s my pitch: Every mom (or dad) brings the gifts they have that are from Santa, some scissors and tape and a roll of gift wrap or two. (Don’t bring a bike- just stick a bow on that or you can buy a roll to use up yourself.) Break out some wine, cocoa, snacks, whatever and trade your paper with someone else. That way, everyone has some untraceable paper to use. I’d also appreciate it if someone else could write out the names on the gifts because I’m pretty sure the miniature detective will be able to recognize my left hand penmanship soon. It’s up to you if you want to bring tags and bows or get them yourself (maybe make sure you find people that gift wrap at your OCD artistic level).

As I said, I have finally convinced some lovely ladies to help me out with this and we will be doing our own little Santa Wrap party here soon. I promise to give an update on how this all works out! Maybe during the party we can figure up an official name for this. I’m sure it’s going to be huge and you heard it here first! What do you readers think? What are your stealth tips for this sneaky time of year?

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdDarcyv2

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Check Out this List of Holiday Movies by Age Group!

December 13, 2016 at 11:02 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on Check Out this List of Holiday Movies by Age Group!

Howdy, Kansas City! Can you believe it? We’re down to the last two weeks before the holidays come rolling around again, and I know one my family’s favorite traditions is watching holiday movies. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, gives us a great list, categorized by age group, of some great films to keep you cozy on these cold, winter nights. Enjoy!

Check Out this List of Holiday Movies by Age Group!

Christmas is just around the corner! My kids and I have been watching Christmas movies for the last week or so and we are definitely in the Christmas spirit now! I can’t possibly think of a better way to spend winter break with my kids than with a big bowl of popcorn, Christmas cookies and a holiday movie. There are so many fantastic movies old and new to check out! Here are a list of our favorites broken down by age group, but use your discretion as your child might be ready for any or all of these!

 

Ages 2 and up

Charlie Brown Christmas

Shrek the Halls

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Frosty the Snowman

The Snowman

Merry Madagascar

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

 

Ages 5 and up

A Christmas Carol

The Nightmare Before Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Prep and Landing

The Polar Express

Santa Buddies

 

Ages 7 and up

Home Alone

One Magic Christmas

The Santa Clause

Miracle of 34th Street

Elf

 

Ages 10 and up

It’s a Wonderful Life

White Christmas

Christmas with the Kranks

Christmas Story

 

Ages 14 and up

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Scrooged

Bad Santa

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Four Christmases

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdErinV2

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Give the Perfect Gift with This Sea Life & Legoland Annual Pass Sale!

December 9, 2016 at 8:42 AM • Posted in Deals & Discounts for Kansas City Families, Family Events & Activities, HolidayComments Off on Give the Perfect Gift with This Sea Life & Legoland Annual Pass Sale!

Happy Friday, Kansas City! We are down to the wire until Christmas arrives, and while we all figure out our last minute gifts, why not check out the Holiday Annual Pass Sale at Legoland & SeaLife Kansas City? It’s the gift that literally keeps on giving. The sale lasts through January 15th, but wouldn’t it be great to treat those you love to one of the best experiences in Kansas City? Check it out!

Give the Perfect Gift with This Sea Life & Legoland Annual Pass Sale!

 

 

Give the Perfect Gift with This Sea Life & Legoland

Annual Pass Sale!

 

Give the Perfect Gift with This Sea Life & Legoland Annual Pass Sale!
Need the perfect holiday gift?!
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City &
SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium
have the perfect stocking stuffer for your loved ones.
Right now Single Attraction Annual Passes are currently on sale for ONLY
$39.95  (plus tax)!
It gets better… Combination Annual Passes are also on sale – for just $75.00 (plus tax)!
Sale runs through January 15th, 2017.
To find out more and see what your special Annual Pass Holder benefits include or if you are ready to purchase, please visit either LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER HERE
Either link will allow you to purchase the Combination Annual Pass. Holiday Annual Pass Sale Promo Code is KCAPSALE16
This promotional code is good for both attractions and both special offers. 
Happy Holidays iFamilyKC readers! From all of us at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City and SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium.
Give the Perfect Gift with This Sea Life & Legoland Annual Pass Sale!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Your iFamilyKC Team

 

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25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break

December 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, HolidayComments Off on 25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog

 

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this
Winter Break

 

Winter break to parents mean one thing NO SCHOOL! And if you don’t have a plans, cabin fever can kick in pretty early. So, this winter break, keep the kiddos entertained, save some money and have a great break.

 

Here are a few things you can do anywhere!

 

#1 Build a snowman

Most of the time there is snow on the ground so why not play in it!? Get all bundled up and head out side to build your own Olaf or snowman. No snow? No problem! Make your own indoor snow with baking soda and white hair conditioner!

 

#2 Have a family talent show

If it’s TOO cold to go outside, have a family talent show. My kids love, love, love America’s Got Talent so they are always up to show what they can do! Let the kids practice during the day and after dinner let the show begin!

 

#3 Have a movie marathon

If I could, I would watch Netflix all day! There are so many different movies and shows available it would probably take years to watch everything! So make a list of the ones you want to see, grab some snacks and enjoy!

 

#4 Have a scavenger hunt inside

What kid doesn’t like a game where you seek hidden treasures?! Make a list of little toys, random items or shapes and let the kids explore around the house!

 

#5 Go ice skating

NEED I SAY MORE?

 

#6 Game night

Pull out the classics, make your own or play some of your kids! There are so many games out now, you can have game night often!

 

#7 DIY night

Hooray for Pinterest lol! You could lose yourself in so many different crafts it’s unreal! Pick a theme and once everyone is done, you can even put on an art show!

 

#8 Have a slumber party

Turn your front room into a fort and let your kiddos imaginations run wild! Or if you don’t want to risk losing a night of sleep, wear your pajamas during the day and make little beds in the front room.

 

#9 Redecorate rooms/home

When the kids are older, this one is definitely a go to! They can help with heavy lifting, deep cleaning and even give you a break by decorating their own space.

 

#10 Make a special brunch

Brunch is my favorite so why not make a special one during their winter break! They can invite their friends and you can invite yours! Really feeling hum drum during the break? Make it special with unique invites and dress up!

 

#11 Snowball fight

This one in my opinion is more for the kids themselves lol. Let them burn off some energy with a friendly snowball fight in the yard.

 

#12 Visit a museum

This is probably one of my favorite things to do! Most museums are free and have tons of cool stuff that will keep everyone happy. Check your closest museum for special kid activities, they are sure to have plenty during the winter time!

 

#13 Go sledding

Like having a snow ball fight, this is one activity that is sure to use up that extra energy! I mean they are basically running up hills! HAHAHA

 

#14 Bake cookies

Baking can make your day go by so fast! Plan to make a few different items, play some music and fill your home with sweet smells! Plus the littles love using cookie cutters!

 

#15 Visit distant family members

One sure way to avoid cabin fever is taking trips! Long or short, a change of scenery will keep the entire family pleased!

 

#16 Karaoke party

We love music in my family so we are always singing! So why not take it up a notch and invite some family or close friends over!

 

#17 Read your favorite childhood books

This one is more for me than the kids lol. I love reading classic books I grew up with to my kids. Plus the looks on their face when they hear a new book is always a great feeling.

 

#18 Go to a sport event

Just about every major city has some form of sports team. NFL, NBA, MLB, Arena or Semi- Pro. If you aren’t sure, just look your city up, google knows everything!

 

#19 See a musical or play

There are always special plays or musicals that come to town around this time of year so the pickins aren’t slim!

TIP: want to cut costs on those expensive play tickets, call your local box office and ask for group rates! Get the whole family or group of friends involved so you won’t have to pay as much.

 

#20 Have a dance party

Sometimes you just gotta dance! Forget the dishes, stop folding laundry or whatever chore you have and spend 10 minutes just dancing! You will feel more relaxed and the kiddos while get a break from “boredom.”

 

#21 Invite family friends over that have kids

Play dates are a win win. You can still do an activity with your kids but also have adult to talk to! Everyone is happy!

 

#22 Visit the library

Another favorite thing to do is visit the library! They always have family activities that are educational as well! Plus it’s FREE!

 

#23 Update family photos

Winter break is the perfect time to update those family photos. There are no after school activities, no homework to do and you have more time throughout the day to get the whole family picture ready. Plus, they are usually ready in time for when they go back to school!

 

#24 Go shopping

Taking the kiddos shopping is always eye opening even if it’s only window shopping. You find out what they like, dislike and can even get some ideas for birthday presents!

 

#25 Learn about other countries and what they do in winter

The world is a big place, and whatever you are doing, someone may be doing the complete opposite. Research and discover what other countries are like during winter!

 

As your kids get ready for winter break, I hope these tips give you some ideas on what you and your kiddos can do for a fantastic break!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

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25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog

60 Ways to Add Kindness to Your Holiday Season

December 7, 2016 at 10:01 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 60 Ways to Add Kindness to Your Holiday Season

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! The holidays shed light on a lot of things — traditions, emotions, reflections of the previous year. It also reminds us how important kindness is. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, has a huge (and great!) list of simple acts of kindness to implement this holiday season (and all year round). Check it out!

60 Ways to Add Kindness to Your Holiday Season

 

60 Ways to Add Kindness to Your Holiday Season

 

Life can be scary… life can be mean… and most of all life can be messy. Why not ease the frustration of what life brings by giving back to others? Remember the time when life used to seem a little slower and sweeter? It seemed like people used to literally stop and smell the roses.

Nowadays, we are in a constant rush. We are always running an errand, taking the kids to activities, attending a family functions, etc.

We seriously do the work of a few people in one day. No wonder why we sometimes to simply forget to say, “Hello” as we pass by a stranger. We simply just get stuck in our constant and ever growing to-do lists.

The sad reality is we need those acts of kindness more than ever. We need to bring back the smiles, manners, and greetings like the good old days. But let me break it down for you, talking about it doesn’t change it.

You know what does? Doing something about it. So, get out there and brighten someone’s day. Take a few minutes and educate your children on the importance of human interaction and connection. We are our children’s greatest teachers. Here are some ideas to get you started.

 

60 Random Acts of Kindness

 

  1. Offer to rake or mow a neighbor’s lawn (Or better yet just do it)
  2. Over tip a waitress
  3. Let a manager know when you receive good service
  4. Write your child’s teacher a thank you note
  5. Have your child write their teacher a thank you note
  6. Encourage your child compliment the cafeteria staff at school or have them draw them a picture
  7. Deliver one of your best friends flowers
  8. Mail your parents a hand written thank you card
  9. Write your partner a love letter
  10. Write sweet compliments your children on your bathroom mirror ( with a dry erase marker)
  11. Make your neighbors some cookies or a cake
  12. Leave a bottle water and an encouraging note in your mailbox to your mail carrier
  13. Send your pastor an email and let them know how much you appreciate them
  14. Bring your child’s daycare teachers doughnuts
  15. Send your children’s grandparents your kids artwork in the mail
  16. Mail your family members pictures of you and your kids
  17. Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog
  18. Offer to babysit so a friend can have a date night with their partner
  19. Let someone go in front of you in line at the store
  20. Donate a new or gently used coat for kids (and adults) in need
  21. Leave a happy note in a library book for someone to find later
  22. Write and send a letter to someone in the military thanking them for their service
  23. Write notes of encouragement and leave them on a car window shield in a parking lot
  24. Write encouraging notes in side walk chalk on local side walks
  25. Invite some friends over to dinner
  26. Tell your kid 15 things you love about them
  27. Call your grandparents
  28. Go on Facebook and comment on 20 photos… spread the love
  29. Give your partner a massage
  30. Sign up to ring the bell for the Salvation
  31. Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing, takes no time, and could make someone’s entire day. Don’t just think it. Say it. Who doesn’t love hearing something positive about their self
  32. On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, or any holiday remember any friends who have lost a parent the previous year, and check in with them.  Those will be tough days. Trust me that means the world to get those phone calls or texts.
  33. Put a surprise note or sketch in with your spouse’s or kid’s lunch. My son still has these from over three years ago.
  34. Think of the amazing people in your life. Take an hour to write those people a letter telling them why they’re awesome. Snail mail rocks!
  35. Adopt a family for Christmas
  36. Get the whole family involved in community service.
  37. Find creative ways to support our troops and Vets
  38. ALWAYS say “Thank you” when you see someone in an uniform
  39. Bring your local police station or fire station dinner.
  40. Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give to a co-worker.
  41. Plan a scavenger hunt for your kids.
  42. Donate your blood at a blood drive
  43. Tell someone you’ve fought with that you’re sorry and that you forgive them.
  44. Leave extra time in a parking meter.
  45. Encourage someone who is working hard at the gym
  46. Cook a meal for your partner.
  47. Attend your friends’ kids’ recitals and games.
  48. Offer to pick up your friend’s children after school.
  49. Shower the pediatric wing of a hospital with $1 coloring books and $2 boxes of new crayons.
  50. Give a loved one your undivided attention
  51. Attend an event without your phone
  52. Give your child a two minute hug
  53. Write yourself an “I am proud of you” letter
  54. Buy yourself a journal and use it
  55. Call your best friend
  56. Plan a family vacation
  57. Go visit an out of town relative
  58. Make a funny family video
  59. Support a friends business and buy something from them
  60. Give back locally and shop locally

 

How do you show kindness during the holidays (and throughout the year). Give us your ideas in the comments!

 

You can follow Leah @ www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

 

From iFamily to Yours,

ifamleah

 

 

 

 

 

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60 Acts of Kindness for Families this Holiday Season // iFamilyKC Blog

3 Great Ideas for Teacher Gifts this Holiday Season

December 6, 2016 at 8:13 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 3 Great Ideas for Teacher Gifts this Holiday Season

Good Morning, Kansas City! I know December can be a hectic time of checking off to-do lists and scrambling to find gifts for all of those important people in our life. As you look for presents, don’t forget to appreciate some of the most important people — teachers. And luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has some great ideas for gifts for these amazing people. Take a look…

3 Great Ideas for Teacher Gifts this Holiday Season

3 Great Ideas for Teacher Gifts this Holiday Season

 

I am going to start this article off with somewhat of a controversial comment. I believe with everything in my being that the hardest working person this holiday season is not Santa Claus or the lovely itty bitty 17 year old smacking her gum and judging me at Target for buying the pint of Chubby Hubby ice cream. In fact, the hardest working person is my four year olds’ preschool teacher.

Besides everything that she does with school she also finds time to attend every one of her kids’ recitals, sports events, birthday parties, and comes in with a smile on her face every day. This only makes me think of how great our teachers are, and how dedicated they are to their jobs of making our little geniuses into the people we know they are going to be. It’s because of this reason I feel they need to be rewarded throughout the year but especially around the holidays. Hopefully the below list will give you some inspiration for your own child’s teacher. And if you have younger kids or even if you homeschool; reward yourself this year, because you all are the most important people in the world!

 

#1 Pinterest is Your Best Friend

I have said this before: Pinterest is your friend-your best friend that knows what type of things you like and even sends you little reminders of all the people following you and how popular your pin was on DIY gifts in jars! Let that friend help you give inspiration for what to gift our teachers, and then put your own spin on it. Personalize with a picture of your child (what else are you going to do with those wallets from the school picture packet). The internet has tons of great little printables, in which most are free or at the very least you can rebuild in PowerPoint and print out on your own. If you look up DIY teacher gifts there are great ideas for painting wood shapes and adding the teacher’s name. They could work for desk decorations or even as hall passes, which for some reason are always needed when one gets left in the bathroom!

 

#2 You Can’t Go Wrong With Gift Cards

I think we can all agree that gift cards are always wanted. I used to think that gift cards were impersonal. But now that I am older and can’t make a gift list to save my life they are really a lifesaver! So I think we can also agree that if we want gift cards, our fantastic teachers will as well. I think one to a nice restaurant or movie would be a great start and something they could enjoy over the break. Most teachers don’t get a whole lot of time to themselves and usually have 30+ little ones hanging all over them so manicures and pedicures are wasted money; but if you get them a gift card for maybe a gel polish that will last through a tornado let alone a fruitcake fueled kid it would help! I hate to even write this because it is just a travesty; many of our teachers have to buy their own decorations and learning tools for their classrooms. Every teacher friend that I spoke to jumped at this opportunity to get gift cards to Lakeshore Learning, Wal-Mart, Target or even Amazon so they can purchase things for the New Year.

 

#3 Add a Little Flair to a “Normal” Gift

As this article comes to a close, I realize that I, along with all of you, also have teachers to buy for as well! We actually have five when it comes to all the lead teachers and aides that we need to buy for so we usually resort to the old standby of a Bath and Body Works candle which was on Black Friday special and a candy bar. So this year I am going to take note from what I did for neighbor gifts from last year and gift Red Box gift cards. These were very well received and it would be great for teachers too! You can indicate how much you want the “cards” for (they are actually just codes that you provide the recipient) I then attached the sheet of paper to some hot chocolate and popcorn packets and a movie night was born!

Along this same line, there are tons of other memberships that can be gifted as well. Did you know that you can gift an Amazon Prime membership? What would be better than a year of free 2-day shipping on almost anything, free music and movies right to your device. A membership is right around a $100 so this may be something to talk to your fellow classroom moms and go in on this with several families.(Or you may have some really bad behavior that you need to remedy with a really great gift—I don’t judge!) You can also buy a gift card to Netflix; again free movies and shows what could go wrong? And if they already have a Netflix membership it can just be applied to their regular monthly bill!

Hopefully these ideas help a little bit. I know the feeling, you want to buy the perfect gift for everyone but you may not know where to start, especially with the people that you really don’t know on a personal basis outside of the classroom setting. Like I mentioned gift cards for school supplies is always appreciated and top of list of almost every teacher I spoke to. When that fails there is an absolutely darling printable that I laugh at every time I read it, it says “Our child might be the reason you drink so enjoy this bottle on us!” You never know, wine might be just the ticket that gets you that special place in his/her heart for conferences next year!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

ifam_sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Great Ideas for Teacher Gifts this Holiday Season

Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

November 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

Good Morning, Kansas City! We here at iFamilyKC hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. As we all prepare for the upcoming festivities that December brings, a lot of us probably have fun family traditions that we take part in. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, shares one of her favorite holiday memories: A Holiday Candy party! Take a look…

Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

 

 

Building Holiday Traditions: A Holiday Candy Party

 

 

My favorite holiday memory has to be of my families’ annual Christmas “Candy” party. To me it was truly what the holiday should and were all about. To start at the beginning we have to travel back in time over three decades to the very first party. Imagine a cold December night, where we used the front porch as a fridge because we needed extra space. The house was a little smaller but there were people packed in from the tree in front to the back of the kitchen. I can’t remember too many specifics (I was only a month old and spent most of the night being rocked to sleep!) but laughter and holiday spirit was everywhere. Every year after this the same core group of people would come together to make their candy. After the first few years everyone started to rely on the faithful candy that was easy, as the years rolled on the candy “screw-ups” (and this is the cleaned up version) became more common.

From my perspective, I just got to play with all my “brothers and sisters” run through the house stopping only to sneak a piece of warm candy. See these people who came into my house every year, shared in our Christmas spirit and gave us the gift of true friendship were so much more than friends. They are my second family, my substitute parents.

I am much older now and plan on attending my 35th annual candy party. My families’ house may be a little older too, and now my kids run through the house and sneak treats. My family; their hair may have turned a little grayer and the bodies are fighting battles that only they can see and they hide pain by putting on a smile. The best part is we are all together—every year without fail. They are my family and the only people that I can think of sharing Christmas with—and I would even say that without the candy!

 

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_sarah

 

 

 

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