Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life

Monday, June 13th, 2022
How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

Scribd offers unlimited books at an affordable price. Learn why I’ve been listening to audiobooks through the Scribd app since 2013. Here are the pros and cons of this monthly subscription service from a REAL user.

In 2013, I got the opportunity to work with a new eBook and audiobook membership service called Scribd.

What I didn’t expect was that I would convert into one of their most loyal customers who has been a paid member ever since.

A Scribd subscription is BY FAR one of the best book and audiobook subscriptions for your money and is my most used subscription. However, there is a reason I continue to stay with them, and it isn’t just because they have great books (even though that is the most significant part).

Today I want to talk about why I think this is TRULY the best audiobook service for readers and how I make the most of my membership EVERY MONTH.

I want to explore your biggest burning questions like if authors get paid, what the significant differences are between this kind of access versus Kindle Unlimited membership and some particular things that *I* use this membership for (that might be helpful to you too).  

Even if you have been a subscriber for years, today’s tutorial will also offer some hidden benefits to membership.

Let’s get every dollar out of your experience with today’s tutorial.

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life 

Scribd (it sounds like RIBBED) is, basically, the Netflix membership for book lovers. 

For one monthly fee (currently $11.99 per month), you can have access to their entire catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, sheet music, and uploaded documents.

I want to clarify that this is a digital lending library, much like our experience with online tv streaming services. 

You do not own the materials.

You own membership to stream the books you want to read or listen to in their membership catalog. 

As long as you are a member, you can stream these materials.

At this time, Scribd offers these notable items (plus rotating perks)-

  • Over TWO MILLION audiobooks and ebooks in one app (they work with 5 of the biggest publishing houses).
  • Unlimited sheet music and documents (They have over 70,000+ pieces of sheet music available. This catalog includes the classics and contemporary artists). 
  • Unlimited access to podcasts, magazines, and news (including Time Magazine, The Atlantic, Cook’s Illustrated, & Newsweek).
  • Rotating Membership Perks (more details below on some of my past favorite bonuses).

The monthly subscription includes fiction, nonfiction books (like cookbooks), young adult books, and children’s books.

So your entire family can benefit from this service, all with the cost of just one membership.

How to Find and Add Books to Your Library

Well, the BEST place to check would be the Book Gang Podcast (stream wherever you get podcasts) since it celebrates under-the-radar books, debuts, and backlist selections.

Scribd makes it easier too by offering recommendations based on other books you are reading or have on your library list, much like your experience with other online book purchases. 

You can add books by searching the specific title or browse the incredibly curated selections from Scribd’s editors.

These editors’ picks are where I start when I need a little guidance on book selection.

Bookmark the books that you want to save in your library.

Once you decide what you might like to add to your library, you open up the book and read or listen to it. 

That’s it!

Now let’s talk about those hidden features on the app and some of those faqs.

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

The Best Hidden Scribd Features and Frequently Asked Questions

What Device Can I Read My Scribd Books Through?

These books are available across many ebook reading devices, including iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire tablet, Android & the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet.

At this time, the Kindle Paperwhite is not a supported device. 

Is it Unlimited? Sort of! 

Regarding reading, there’s no limit on the number of books or audiobooks you can read or listen to each month. 

You may sometimes notice that a title you have saved indicates it will be “Available Soon.” 

Once your subscription renews for the next month, your library will refresh, and you’ll be able to select from the entire library.

The reason for this is because they can “adjust availability” of books based on contracts with these publishing houses.

In their defense, they claim it is to pay authors fairly based on the contract distribution terms.

It can be frustrating so if there is a book you are, particularly excited to read that month, prioritize it just in case it becomes unavailable until the next month.

I would say that this is my only issue with this platform.

How Do I Download Content When I’m Traveling?

To store content on your device for offline reading, tap on the cover of the book you wish to save, and you’ll be dropped into the book’s summary page.

To download the book, tap the “Download” button on the summary page.

Again, it is up to each publisher what they want to make available to its users. Some publishers disable downloading for specific titles, and the ‘Download’ option won’t be shown for those titles.

You’ll still be able to enjoy them on Scribd, but they won’t be directly downloadable.

Do Authors Get Paid When You Read on Scribd?

As I hinted earilier, Scribd does pay authors for their work.

I am quoting them directly when I share this statement, “Scribd has deals with our authors and publishing partners concerning payment for all membership content.

Basically, every time you read a premium title or listen to an audiobook, we pay the author the full price of their work!

Revenue that Scribd earns from monthly membership fees is paid to the original publishers or authors every time you read their work on Scribd.”

What is the Difference Between Scribd and Kindle Unlimited?

Scribd is a better value and they offer a completely different catalog.

Kindle Unlimited is a library of (primarily) self-published authors.

On the other hand, Scribd works with five big publishing houses- Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, & Macmillan. 

The catalog is updated so well that I can often secure my new release books the week they come out. 

I find with Scribd that their audiobook selection is more robust though than their book selection. 

What is the Difference Between Scribd and Audible?

The most significant difference between these two is the pricing.

Scribd is an unlimited service, while Audible offers a single credit for $14.95 a month. 

Audible may offer a more extensive selection but comes at a higher price.

You can read about their different plan offerings for more specific pricing.

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

What Are Some of My Favorite Hidden Features on Scribd?

Although I wouldn’t consider this first element to be “hidden,” I want to remind you that access to ebooks means you have access to cookbooks and books on health. 

If you are on a specific diet or diagnosed with a health condition, this resource is INVALUABLE for your family.

When my daughter played guitar, we used the catalog of sheet music for her lessons. 

My kids also have benefitted from my membership when assigned summer literature. (Be sure to read how to enable parental controls if you share your account as a family).

I also want to discuss two lesser-known features you might have missed with your membership. 

Let’s start with your Member Perks! 

Scribd keeps a rotating catalog of member bonuses through various partnerships that, in the past, have included NYT subscriber bundles and Pandora Premium memberships. 

Check this page for the included perks for this month

Another fun feature is that Scribd offers a sleep timer on audiobooks. So if you want to listen to a book to fall asleep, try using this feature! 

Just click the icon in the upper left-hand corner, and you can select any chapter immediately!

Select the moon icon on the lower right side of the audio page to use the Sleep Timer. The menu will appear, and select the length of time you wish for the book to play. The playback will automatically turn off once the timer counts down to zero.

Try Scribd for FREE for 60 Days with my Referral Code

This referral code doesn’t give you a 30-day trial- it provides you SIXTY days of reading to try the platform. Activate it HERE

Sound off: What has been your experience with Scribd? Do you have any other questions about this platform?

Looking for more great reading resources? Don’t miss these posts!

How to Use Storygraph For a Better Reading Life
How to Use the Storygraph App for a Better Reading Life
How to Check Out Library Books for Free On Your Kindle
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The 20 Best Family Movies to Stream Right Now

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Pop the popcorn, grab a board game, and watch the best family movies for your next memorable night together. We have you covered with family films to stream on Netflix, Prime, & Disney+.

The 20 Best Family Movies to Stream Right Now

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

My family is not one of those quiet, calm ones (do those even exist?).

I wouldn’t even try to convince you that I always love spending time with them or that hunkering down with my crew is my happy place.

That’s not us.

But while we cannot agree on where to get takeout, whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher, what snide comments about politics are over the line, what board game is the best, or who gets to use the bathroom first in the morning, we can agree to occasionally watch the same thing on the same screen.

Miraculously, we can agree that family movie nights are our favorite nights.

And, more often than not, the same people who were just fighting over who gets to sit in the comfy spot of the couch or use the softest blanket, settle down in front of the TV and have a great time together.

Sometimes, we even share the popcorn bowl without a fuss.

Because family movie night has such a calming and bonding effect on my people (and me), I’m always on the lookout for feel good stuff to watch together. And I’m here to share what I’ve found!

If you’re looking for some great family night movies, I’ve got you covered.

I’m assuming you’ve heard of (and have possibly watched a few too many times) Encanto, Princess Bride, Star Wars and every other super popular kids movie.

These are movies you might not have heard of or perhaps forgot about, and they’ve all been vetted and voted for by my family. 

FYI, my family includes my husband who doesn’t really like “kid movies,” my 14-year-old who would watch Harry Potter and Marvel movies all day long given the choice and also thinks she’s too cool for “kid movies,” and my 8-year-old who [bless her heart] is game for pretty much any movie that brings us all to the same room at the same time.

Some of these picks won’t work if you only have little kids. But if you have older tweens and teens, especially if you have an age gap like we do, you’re definitely going to find your next movie here!

ANIMATED FILMS FOR FAMILY NIGHT

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Abominable (rent on Prime) – A grieving young teen discovers a yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She and two friends travel across China to return him to his home, while trying to avoid capture by a corrupt collector and zoologist. Sweet and fun enough that we’ve watched it more than once.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Leap! (IMDbTV through Prime) – An orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina, so she escapes her orphanage and, after a case of mistaken identity, joins a ballet school in Paris. She befriends both a former dancer who becomes a mentor and a young inventor who becomes a friend. Takes place in late 1800s but feels modern. My youngest adores this movie!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Netflix) – A dysfunctional family embarks on a cross-country road trip, only to find themselves in the middle of a robot war. Enormously creative animation and a realistic portrayal of a family that struggles to get along even though they love each other deeply.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (rent on Prime) – A black teen boy in Brooklyn becomes the Spider-Man in his universe, then has to work with other spider-powered individuals from other dimensions to save the whole multiverse. Great adventure with character development—and incredible animation!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Vivo (Netflix) – A Cuban kinkajou and quirky tween work together to deliver a love letter and song to a famous singer. Fun adventure and sweet story with original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

LIVE ACTION MOVIES FOR FAMILY NIGHT

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Flora & Ulysses (Disney+) – A girl whose parents are separated and struggling finds a squirrel she believes to be a superhero. The family bands together to protect the super squirrel from an overzealous animal control agent. Cute, big-hearted movie I actually can’t wait to watch again.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Lemonade Mouth (Disney+) – A group of high school misfits and mild rebels forms a band that inexplicably makes it big. Adorable with actual great music, and when those kids deal with family and friend issues but persevere for the music, I legit tear up. Every single time.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

The Sleepover (Netflix) – When two siblings discover their mom is a former thief in witness protection, who’s just been kidnapped, they team up with friends to rescue her. Wacky adventure and so much fun!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Spin (Disney+) – A teenage girl struggles to balance the expectations of her multigenerational Indian-American family with her new passion of deejaying. Solid portrayal of figuring out the balance between honoring your family and following your dreams, and bonus points for the diversity of characters.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Yes Day (Netflix) – Kids convince their uptight parents (though mostly the mom, sigh) to devote an entire day to saying “yes” to every idea they have. Of course the family bonds through the fun and the mess that ensue. Fun and, thankfully, didn’t convince my own kids we need to have a Yes Day at our house.

MIXED ANIMATION & LIVE ACTION MOVIES FOR FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Mary Poppins Returns (Disney+) – Of course, Mary Poppins is a classic and for a reason! But this sequel (that mirrors the original nearly beat for beat in a lovely homage) is a blast too. Catchy music that’s bound to become new classics and, like with the Julie Andrews musical, some fun animation mixed in with the live action.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Paddington (1 – Netflix; 2 – rent on Prime) – Is there a sweeter, accidentally wiser bear than Paddington? I think not. Both of these movies are a delight.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Peter Rabbit (1 – rent on Prime; 2 – Netflix) – Nobody’s accusing Peter Rabbit of being sweet and wise, but he (and his animal friends and family) are quite funny. Both of these movies are a blast.

OLDER MOVIES THAT ARE STILL GREAT FUN

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Akeelah & the Bee (rent on Prime) – A tween with a rough home life and community competes in a spelling bee to avoid detention. To her surprise she wins! Her principal encourages her to compete in the regional spelling bee and to be coached by a former professor. This one was inspired by a true story and might be eye-opening for your kids about the challenges other kids face.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Dora & the City of Lost Gold (Prime) – This one isn’t that old, but if you thought Dora was a thing of your past (and were glad), I urge you to give this movie a try anyway! It’s a funny, occasionally self-aware live-action adventure that isn’t grating like the original cartoon.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Night at the Museum (Disney+) – A single dad struggles to connect with his son and hold down a job, takes a position as a night guard for a museum that comes alive after closing. Rumors say a fourth movie is coming out this year or next, so now’s the time to watch the first three!

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Parent Trap (Disney+) – I grew up on the original movie with Hayley Mills, but my family really enjoyed the Lindsay Lohan remake about identical twins who meet at summer camp and realize their parents divorced and then split them up as young girls. The hijinks are just as fun and the conclusion just as sweet in this newer version.

Family Movie Night Ideas From MomAdvice.com

Race to Witch Mountain (Disney+) – My kids and husband would ask if we’re even having a conversation about family movie nights if we don’t include a movie with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. So last but certainly not least is this adventure that unites two sibling aliens, an ex-con, and a scientist as they try to escape evil aliens and corrupt government officials to get the alien kids home to their own planet. It’s a ride, in the best way!

What’s the last movie your family watched together?

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TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Monday, July 12th, 2021

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies from MomAdvice.com

No need to pay for a theatre ticket to see these romantic comedy movies, thanks to their television status.  Try one of these tv shows that are perfect for the rom-com lover with all the meet cute feels that you have been craving.

12 TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Do you love reading romance novels but have trouble concentrating on books right now?

Do you lament the lack of true rom coms these days (you know, the big-budget ones with Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan)?

Did you finish watching Sweet Magnolias or Virgin River or Bridgerton—and now you’re looking for another romantic comedy to fill the void?

I’m here to help!

I have a show for every kind of romantic comedy fan. 

If you love romantic comedies and want a new TV series to watch to scratch that rom-com itch, I have a dozen shows for you. (However, if you haven’t watched Sweet Magnolias or Virgin River yet, pause. Do not pass go. Watch those shows first. They’re both streaming on Netflix, and you will thank me.)

On to the rom-com shows!

 

12 TV Shows to Watch if You Like Romantic Comedies

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

 

If you love time travel…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

TIMELESS — Pictured: “Timeless” Key Art — (Photo by: NBCUniversal)

Timeless is an action-adventure about a team that travels through time to stop the bad guys from changing history.

But also?

It’s about a soldier and a professor on that team who seem like they might not get along, BUT THEN THEY DO.

Of course, you’ll see that coming from the first episode, but the story (like the history and the science in this show) isn’t relatively so straightforward.

It is, however, lovely—and is wrapped up with the prettiest bow at the end of its two seasons. Watch on Hulu.

 

If you love family drama…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Jane the Virgin is a show about a young woman who’s accidentally artificially inseminated.

That plot might hint at the show’s (and character’s) love of telenovelas and all their messy drama.

And this show is twisty and silly and way over the top with the drama!

But also?

What none of that tells you is how incredibly sweet and moving it is.

The characters in JTV grow and change and make you fall in love every single week.

Watch on Netflix.

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Chesapeake Shores is a Hallmark Channel family drama full of old flames and new loves, and plenty of family issues.

It’s like Parenthood, or This is Us, but less stressful.

Watch on Hallmark Movies Now.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The Baker & the Beauty is an adorable show perfect for anyone looking for a quick binge or anyone who loves the famous person who falls in love with an average person trope.

An international superstar meets a baker from Miami, and sparks fly.

Her friends and his family disapprove, but they’re forced to deal with everything that comes with a star-and-civilian romance anyway.

The supporting characters are just as lovely and loveable as the main two characters, and you can’t help rooting for every single one of them (even when they’re at odds with each other).

I still can’t believe this only aired for one season, but it’s still totally worth a watch. Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love young love…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Never Have I Ever is about a teenage girl who wants to be popular and lose her virginity.

At least, that’s how it starts.

But this show from Mindy Kaling is so much more.

It’s about tricky family dynamics, and it’s about a first-generation Indian American girl trying to navigate her family’s culture with American culture and her interests and values.

And it’s about teenagers and falling in love and friendship.

It’s fun, funny, and moving. (And season 2 comes out this summer!)

Watch on Netflix.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has too much punctuation. I know.

But despite the ridiculous name and silly-seeming premise (students at the school where the HSM movies were filmed put on the HSM musical), the show is darling!

Sure, it has plenty of meta, wink-wink-nod-nod references to the High School Musical franchise.

But it also has original characters and just…TRY not to fall in love with these kids!

I watched this with my kids, and we’re excited about the second season, too.

Watch on Disney+.

 

If you love shows about friend groups…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a series (also created by Mindy Kaling; I have a type) inspired by the Hugh Grant movie.

It is not a remake or a reboot, so don’t go in expecting that!

It’s about a group of college friends, some of whom have had or will have romantic relationships with each other.

It’s romantic and funny and, at times, heartbreaking.

I loved it, and I think you might too.

Watch on Hulu.

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

New Girl is one of my all-time favorites, which you might have picked up on (since I’ve written about this show before).

But it fits here too!

If you love seeing friendships develop and grow and fracture and heal, this is for you.

If you love outrageous hijinks and hilarious inside jokes, this is for you.

If you love shipping characters you know are meant for each other or watching two unlikely lovers connect, this is for you.

Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love small towns…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Hart of Dixie is a funny, emotional show about a New York surgical resident forced to work in a one-doctor practice in small-town Alabama.

It’s about a love triangle—no, wait!

It’s about several love triangles!

It’s about falling in love with characters you thought you hated.

It’s Doc Hollywood as a TV series or the Gilmore Girls in the South. (It’s also about a Black man being mayor of a small town in the South, yet nobody ever mentions race. So head’s up on that.)

Watch on Prime.

 

If you love magic…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The Good Witch is another show from the Hallmark Channel, and it’s about a widow who moves to a small town to raise her daughter.

Is she a witch?

Or…not?

The town doesn’t know for sure, but the (handsome) local doctor doesn’t believe it.

And yet, he’s drawn to her anyway.

Of course!

Watch on Netflix.

 

If you love musicals…

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is one of my very favorite shows, and for so many reasons!

It’s about a young woman who undergoes a medical test and suddenly can hear people’s emotions as if they are singing them.

It’s incredible.

The singing!

The dance numbers!

And don’t forget the friendships and family dynamics that are real and hard and lovely.

But for our purposes here today, I assure you: Zoey finds herself in a love triangle, and you will be hard-pressed to decide which guy to root for!

Rent season one on Prime; watch season two on Hulu.

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

The soundtrack is exciting.

It doesn’t feature singing performances like Zoey’s does.

Instead, it has the characters lip-sync and dance to songs that kinda-sorta move the story forward.

That story is about how the lives of seemingly unconnected people in Los Angeles intersect over the years.

I loved the story, and some of those connections are undoubtedly romantic!

Watch on Netflix.

 

 

TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

 

What’s your favorite romantic comedy on TV?

 

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TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies MomAdvice.com

 

 

Don’t miss these other great ideas:

 

 

 

Hilarious Comedies to Watch with your Spouse

 

 

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TV Shows to Watch if You Love Romantic Comedies

#RelationshipGoals from the TV Shows I’m Watching Right Now

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

#RelationshipGoals from the TV Shows I’m Watching Right Now

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

 

When I set out to write this post for you, I made a long list of all the best marriages I’ve seen on television.

Of course, you can probably guess the top couples from tv on my list:

Coach and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights

Ben and Leslie from Parks & Recreation

Adam and Kristina from Parenthood

After all, these are the couples on everyone’s #MarriageGoals list!

As I expanded my memory and my list, though, I realized that I’d written this post before!

Yep, that’s right. Over on my blog, you can read all about my favorite TV marriages and why I think they’re great. https://marycarver.com/2019/02/best-marriages-tv-makes-great/

So today, I’m going to talk about something else.

Today, I’m thinking about the best relationships in the shows I’ve watched recently—including friendships and family relationships, not just marriages—the ones that give me #RelationshipGoals.

 

#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

 

 

 

 

Ted Lasso #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Ted Lasso and Coach Beard

If you haven’t watched TED LASSO on Apple TV+, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.

This truly is the show we need in 2020.

It’s a sitcom about an American college football coach hired to coach a professional soccer team in the U.K., and it is the most delightful, heartwarming, hilarious show I’ve watched in years.

One of the best parts of the show is the deep, authentic friendship between Ted, the main character, and his assistant coach, Coach Beard.

The two men have such a complete understanding of one another that they can frequently speak in their version of shorthand, uttering just a few words to get a complicated point across.

They also support each other, completely and unconditionally, and it’s beautiful. 

 

Psych #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Shawn and Gus

Before the new PSYCH movie came out this summer, I rewatched the whole series.

And one thing that struck me this time around was how completely on board Gus was for all of Shawn’s shenanigans.

Sure, their vastly different personalities mean they approach life differently.

But rather than one roping the other into trouble, they really are—for the most part—equal partners in crime (or, crime-solving).

I also appreciated that when Shawn went too far, Gus called him on it.

True friends speak the truth, even when it’s hard or when they normally go along with things.

 

One Day at a Time #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Penelope and Schneider

I actually adore every relationship in the new ONE DAY AT A TIME, but Penelope and Schneider are my favorite.

Over the seasons, they’ve developed such a deep friendship, partly bonding over their personal struggles and hard-earned through some serious conflicts.

Though they come from totally different backgrounds, they have found common ground, and it’s created an affection and a bond they don’t seem to have with anyone else.

 

Sweet Magnolias #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue

The ladies of SWEET MAGNOLIAS have been friends since childhood, and it shows.

They know each other at a level we don’t always see in newer friendships, and that allows them to accept and encourage one another so completely in everything they face.

It also allows them to be honest, but loving, with each other—a gift to any woman living life and navigating decisions in career and relationships like they are!

 

Holly Hobbie #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Holly Hobbie’s Parents

If you haven’t watched HOLLY HOBBIE on Hulu, I do recommend it!

Sure, it’s a show made for and aimed at tweens like my daughters, but I loved it just as much as they did!

And while the show focuses on the children, I couldn’t help but be impressed and inspired by the parents in this show.

The mom is the breadwinner of the Hobbie family, while the dad takes on more of the daily parenting duties—and I am here for that.

They were supportive of one another and presented a [mostly] united front to their kids, and I love the way the show avoided stereotypes of dumb parents or needlessly contentious spouses.

 

Cobra Kai #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Daniel and Amanda LaRusso

I wasn’t sure about this one.

Every single main character of COBRA KAI, the Karate Kid reboot series, seems determined to make the worst decisions possible.

But while I do not love Daniel nearly as much as I did in the 80s, I do love his wife and her refusal to put up with his crap.

When he acts like a child, she rolls her eyes and gently points out a more reasonable approach to parenting, teaching, work, and his relationship with Johnny Lawrence.

And when his feud blows up their life, she draws a hard line to protect her family and restore some sanity.

At the same time, the series shows them working together as an excellent sales team at their car dealership, working through disagreements in a realistic way, and connecting like actual adults who love each other.

It’s the most refreshing part of this show.

 

Madam Secretary #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Elizabeth and Henry McCord

I will never miss an opportunity to shout the praises of MADAM SECRETARY, including the marriage portrayed by the main characters.

Elizabeth and Henry are two high-powered professional in an intense industry (politics!), but never do they neglect care for their relationship and for each other.

Even when they disagree at work or about decisions they must make, they treat one another with respect and genuine affection.

Almost every single episode of this show (which, though it ended last year, I finished watching this year so it counts) finds the McCords in their bedroom, getting ready for the day or unwinding before bed or even in bed together.

Like a normal adult person love story. (I’d like to stop feeling the need to classify fictional characters as “normal adult people,” but let’s be honest: So many TV characters are ridiculous and unrealistic and childish! That can be fun to watch, but I like the normal adult people, too.)

 

Girl Meets World #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Cory and Topanga Matthews

Most of us know Cory and Topanga as childhood sweethearts from BOY MEETS WORLD in the 90s.

I do, too, but I was re-introduced to them when my girls watched the reboot, GIRL MEETS WORLD.

The new show is just as cheesy and “Disney-fied” as the original, but also?

It’s sincere and heartfelt and lovely at times.

And the way grown-up Cory and Topanga appreciate each other as professionals, present a united front as parents, speak kindly to and about each other, joke and tease and play off each other—well, I loved it.

 

Babysitter Club #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

The Girls of The Baby-Sitters Club

I mean…could they BE any cuter?

The girls in the new version of THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB aren’t perfect.

They are awkward, they make mistakes, they feel and act insecure and jealous, and they are just as different in personality as Ann M. Martin intended.

But, they are also sweet and kind and normal kids who make the choice to develop these friendships they then rely on and nurture and protect.

It’s adorable and lovely, and those are the kind of friends I want for my girls—and myself!

 

The Unicorn #RelationshipGoals MomAdvice.com

Every relationship in The Unicorn

Don’t sleep on this fairly new CBS sitcom.

THE UNICORN is about a friend group of three couples after one of the wives dies.

The way the two couples show their love for both their widowed friend and his late wife is beautiful.

When you think of the phrase, “it takes a village,” this is what you’re probably imagining.

The three families swap carpooling duties and share meals; the kids play together (and sometimes don’t); the married couples encourage their newly single friend to begin dating but balance out their silly advice with true understanding and love.

Again, this is a show (surprisingly) about actual adults, acting like adults.

And the best kind of adults, because they’re just such incredible friends.

To be clear, they’re not perfect and their relationships aren’t conflict-free (that would be a boring show).

But they work through things and come out stronger and more loving in the end, and I think we need more of that.

 

 

So, that’s my updated #RelationshipGoals list! Who’s on YOUR list of best TV relationships?

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#RelationshipGoals from TV / MomAdvice.com

 

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20 Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Family This Year

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Don’t let the crazy of 2020 mess up your holidays. Create new Christmas and holiday traditions with these easy and inexpensive ideas!

 

Holiday Family Traditions from MomAdvice.com

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

“Can you imagine a COVID Christmas?”

“Are we really not getting together for Thanksgiving?”

“The holidays just won’t be the same.”

I’ve heard all those things, more than once, over the past several weeks.

I’m sure you have too.

It’s hard.

Many of our holiday traditions won’t be practical or even possible this year, and even when we hold those beloved customs loosely and know we’re making hard choices for good reasons, we still feel sad.

So, this year, when everything is different and uncertain and just plain weird, it’s the perfect time to create new family traditions with your family!

And take note: Some of these traditions will translate to any year, so you truly can start now and continue year after year.

But others are specific for a season when you’re separated from loved ones and family members or unable to get out and about as much as normal.

While I’m hopeful we won’t have another pandemic holiday season, other things can keep us at home.

So maybe keep some of these ideas in your back pocket for the next time family is out of town, money is short, the weather doesn’t cooperate, or someone is sick during the holidays.

Even though things aren’t the same as usual doesn’t mean you can’t experience something special.

 

20 New Holiday Traditions for Your Family

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Give each other homemade gifts.

You don’t have to be super crafty or artistic for this one.

A “homemade Christmas gift” could be anything from a jar of cocoa mix to a personalized playlist to a decorated frame to hold family photos.

Remember to give everyone involved plenty of notice (and you could even start a group Pinterest board or slack channel for sharing ideas).

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Get—and play—a new board game or card game each year.

My family loves playing Yahtzee and UNO, but I think we’re about due to add a new game to the mix.

We’ll be adding this tradition in 2020.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Let the kids have a Christmas Eve slumber party under (or near) the Christmas tree.

Or the grownups.

You do you.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Celebrate with a “reverse Advent calendar,” filling up a box with a new item to donate each day.

Simply search “reverse Advent” on Google, and you’ll find plenty of suggested calendars and lists to follow.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Go old-school with a red and green paper countdown chain.

Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason!

This might seem like a little kid activity, but I suspect even older kids or adults appreciate the anticipation built by breaking one ring each day before Christmas.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Get outside! Bundle up and take a walk together after a big meal.

Depending on what’s safe and best for your family and community, this might be a way you can see local friends and family without cramming into one home for the meal.

Meet at the park after eating in your own homes.

Wear layers and bring your own thermos of hot cider or hot chocolate!

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Buy a new ornament each year. 

This would be a great way to support small businesses.

Shop for your annual Christmas ornaments on Etsy or in local boutiques.

Pick something personal or something that reflects the past year, or simply select something lovely to hang on your tree for years to come.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Take time to journal answers to yearly reflection questions or make an annual time capsule.

I know several families who do this each New Year’s Eve, asking their kids and each other about the most significant parts of the year and what they’re hoping for in the next year.

If you created a time capsule instead, you could start a tradition of opening last year’s or perhaps only open every five years for a bigger surprise and walk down memory lane!

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Buy—and read—a new holiday book each year.

Or, collect 25 holiday books from the library and your own collection, wrap them, open and read one each day in December.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Have a gingerbread house contest via Zoom or FaceTime with your friends or family.

Don’t forget the prizes!

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Buy a new Christmas mug each year.

Display your collection in a special spot.

 

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Host a virtual movie night with friends and family. 

With the free Teleparty extension in your Chrome browser (formerly the Netflix Party extension), the host shares a custom link with each participant.

Then, you all watch the same Christmas movie at the same time, discussing the movie (or whatever you want!) in a chat box while watching.

Teleparty works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO. (Amazon Prime has its own free app that does the same thing.)

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Practice Jolabokaflod.

This Icelandic holiday involves exchanging book gifts, chocolate, and an evening spent reading. Doesn’t that sound lovely? (Read more about it here.)

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Put together a puzzle together.

If separated, send same puzzle to each person/family and have a contest to see who can complete it first. The winner must provide a photo as proof!

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Watch a holiday movie or special each year.

Some families watch Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life , or Polar Express together each year. Many of us probably watch the Peanuts Christmas special.

My family is a little quirky and since my brother and I were little, we have made time to watch The California Raisins’ Claymation Christmas Special every single year.

Whatever your tastes, it’s fun to have something you watch together each year.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Declutter and donate.

Before adding lots of stuff (aka, gifts) to your house, make room and make a difference while you’re at it.

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Drive around and look at Christmas lights.

It’s a classic for a reason!

Put on PJs if you want, take along bags of Christmas cookies, crank up your favorite holiday tunes, and cruise through those neighborhoods that are famously festive! (Or, drive around a new town or neighborhood and try to spot the best-decorated homes.)

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Buy—and listen to—a new holiday album each year.

Speaking of tunes…!

It’s always fun to hear our favorite musicians sing or play holiday music, but this could also be a way to support indie or up-and-coming artists as well. Who doesn’t love Christmas music?

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

Cook (or buy)—and eat, of course!—a special food. 

This could be a family favorite (I always make my late mother-in-law’s apple cake for my husband and his family at the holidays, and my mom makes her mother’s pound cake for family gatherings.).

But it could also be a food that reminds you of your family’s heritage or simply something you love eating together. (Popular foods showing up in my informal poll were fondue, tamales, and Chinese food.)

 

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Give back.

No matter what kind of year you’ve had or what the holidays will look like, you can find a way to give back—and that will enrich your holiday like possibly nothing else can.

Sponsor a family in need with gifts or a meal, purchase gifts for foster children or children whose parents are imprisoned, take breakfast to a fire station on Christmas morning, mail cards to a nursing home, or purchase and hand out holiday care packages to the homeless in your community.

 

Holiday Family Traditions from MomAdvice.com

Will you be creating any new traditions this holiday season? If so, share them with us in the comments or over in the Facebook group!

 

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Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

You will love these other great Holiday ideas!

 

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11 Shows to Watch With Your Tween

Monday, August 24th, 2020

 

  Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Looking for the perfect show to watch with your tween? Check out some of our family favorites – here are 11 shows that are age appropriate and entertaining for both adults and kids!

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

11 Shows to Watch With Your Tween

My daughters are 12 and 6 years old, and while I know that age gap won’t always seem so large, it feels insurmountable at times.

Times like my annual quest to find matching outfits for family photos.

Times like figuring out a vacation plan that will be fun for everyone.

And, for sure, times like deciding what TV series to watch next.

I get asked often about good shows for tweens because this stage encompasses such a wide range of ages.

So finding something to watch that’s not too baby-ish but also not too mature is tricky.

But because my girls are close to that age range (technically, tweens are aged 8 to 12), and we love watching TV as a family, I am constantly answering this question for my own family—and am happy to answer it for you, too!

Here are eleven TV shows that your tweens will love—and won’t drive you crazy to watch along with them.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

The Baby-Sitters Club

Based on the beloved book series by Ann M. Martin, this show features middle school students who start a business and develop friendships.

This newest iteration is smart, modern, and sweet.

My girls and I all loved it and can’t wait for another season. (And my 12-year-old decided to give the books another chance.)

Watch on Netflix.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Diary of a Future President

A Cuban-American middle school girl journals about her life, growing up to eventually become the president of the U.S.

I’ve only watched the first episode of this show and have heard later episodes have some more mature themes better for older kids, but I did like what I’ve seen so far!

Watch on Disney Plus.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street

Gortimer and his friends are suburban middle school students who go on adventures with a smidge of magic and occasional melancholy, learning life lessons that are thankfully not heavy-handed.

This is my family’s number-one favorite show.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

If you and/or your kids like the original High School Musical movies, you will likely love this new scripted series as well.

It’s about a group of high school students putting on the HSM musical, and they just happen to attend school in the building where the HSM movies were filmed.

It’s sweet and funny and as melodramatic as you’d expect a group of theater kids to be.

Watch on Disney Plus.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Holly Hobbie

Middle-schooler Holly lives in a small town but she has big dreams (and big feelings).

This is a super sweet but relatable coming-of-age show for tweens.

And I loved it so much I wouldn’t let my girls watch a single episode without me!

Watch on Hulu.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Just Add Magic

Three friends find a magical cookbook and work together to break curses and solve mysteries that plague their town and families.

This show is super cute, and I especially appreciated the focus on friendship and family (instead of romance, which sneaks into so many shows for kids!).

Watch on Amazon Prime.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Just Roll With It

A newly blended family learns to “roll with” the changes, both in their family and in the show, where the audience gets to rewrite the script and make the actors do crazy things in the middle of the episode.

Watch on Disney Plus.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Phineas and Ferb

I know some kids resist animated shows as they get a bit older (as do many adults!), but this one is just so funny.

Is it also formulaic and predictable?

Of course.

But it’s nonstop gags and jokes, many of them with references you’ll find even funnier than your kids do.

Watch on Disney Plus.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

Sydney to the Max

A widowed dad raising his middle school daughter remembers his own middle school years.

If you are approximately my age (and therefore the age of the dad on this show), you’ll love the flashbacks to childhood in the early nineties.

Watch on Disney Plus.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

When Calls the Heart

This drama about the Canadian West in the early 1900s is an original Hallmark show, based on a book series by Janette Oke.

We don’t watch it in my house but every single conversation I have about shows for tweens involves someone else saying their tweens love this show.

So, if you like this genre, give it a try!

Watch on Hallmark Channel (and catch up on earlier seasons on Netflix).

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

The Who Was? Show

Do your kids love reading the Who Was history books?

Do you love sketch comedy shows?

Then have we got a show for you!

This sketch comedy series features goofy but educational bits about historical figures, and it’s really a lot of fun.

Watch on Netflix.

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

 

Honorable mentions and sneak peeks:

If your kids (or you) prefer reality or competition shows more than scripted series, I recommend LEGO Masters (Hulu), Brain Games (Netflix), Floor is Lava (Netflix), The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Netflix), World of Dance (Hulu), American Pickers (Hulu), and Home Town (Hulu). 

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

 

And stay tuned for my review of a couple shows I discovered while preparing to write this post. Both The Letter for the King (Netflix, for older kids) and The Healing Powers of Dude (also Netflix, probably good for any tweens) look incredible, and I can’t wait to watch them!

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

For more shows your family might enjoy, here’s The Ultimate List of TV Shows for Tweens and 24 Diverse TV Shows for Kids & Tweens.

 

What shows do your tweens like watching?

 

Shows for Tweens from MomAdvice.com

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter!

 

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18 Hilarious TV Shows to Watch with Your Husband

Monday, July 13th, 2020

Hilarious TV Shows to Watch from MomAdvice.com

 

Looking for your next hilarious comedy show binge watch for date night? Here are some of our favorite comedy tv series to watch with your spouse. We give you 18 hilarious tv shows to watch with your husband.

 

Hilarious TV Shows to Watch from MomAdvice.com

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

I don’t know how it works at your house, but here, it can sometimes feel impossible to find something good on tv to watch with my husband.

Occasionally, he’ll indulge me and watch something I like that he does not (this would include every Hallmark movie he’s ever watched), and sometimes I do the same for him (hello, American Pickers and Pawn Stars).

But we really do enjoy having something we can call, “our show,” something we enjoy together–so I am constantly on the lookout for TV series that I think might fit the bill.

Now, in addition to having very different tastes in what we find entertaining, we also tend to avoid shows with too much violence, sex, or other mature content.

For the most part, we stick to shows rated PG-13 or TV-14. (The exception is a show rated higher because of language.

That’s not something that particularly bothers us.

Obviously every couple has their own parameters and choices!) It’s a boundary we agree on and value, but it does make finding our next show even harder!

If you’re in a similar situation, you’re not alone.

And it’s not actually impossible! I’m here to share some of the shows my husband and I have most loved watching together.

So grab your remote, your snacks, and a blanket big enough to share, and get ready for your next couple binge!

Today I’m giving you recommendations for comedies because, let’s be honest, we all need a little lightness these days.

Not to mention, laughing with my husband strengthens our connection more than just about anything else. So, here goes!

18 Comedies Perfect to Watch with Your Husband

 

Hilarious TV Shows to Watch from MomAdvice.com

 

Comedies about friends

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Community

A motley crew of adults end up in a community college study group.

If you love pop culture references and a heavy dose of sarcasm with your comedy, this often outrageous show is for you.

Watch this show on Netflix.

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

 

Happy Endings

A close-knit group of friends has to deal with one of the friends leaving her fiance (and another member of that group) at the altar.

Awkward!

The jokes in this one come fast and while the characters are sometimes kind of (okay, a lot) mean, they also love each other and you can tell.

Watch on Hulu.

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

 

New Girl

What started as a sitcom about a quirky single gal moving in with three guys quickly became an ensemble about a friends figuring out how to do life.

I love this show so much that I’ve watched the entire thing twice and am halfway through season two with my husband. In case you’re wondering, he loves it too.

Watch on Netflix.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

The Unicorn

This was a new show last fall, and I did not expect to like it.

But I did!

And so did my husband.

It’s about a widowed dad and the two couples he and his late wife have been close friends with for years.

It’s sweet but also sharply funny, and even better?

It is about real, grown-up people (which I can’t really say about the other friend-centric shows on this list).

Watch on CBS.com.

 

Comedies about the afterlife (strangely, we have two options) 

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

The Good Place

This show. It is so good!

After watching the first season, I made my husband watch it and from then on, we watched together.

Starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, this show is about what happens after we die.

And it’s about specific people who find themselves in “the good place” at the same time.

And it’s smart and thoughtful and sharp and hilarious and so very twisty and surprising.

I can’t say any more.

Just watch it!

Watch on Netflix.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Upload

This is a fairly new show (only one season so far) also about the afterlife.

This one is more sci-fi-ish, but it’s also laugh-out-loud funny and moving in a way that surprised me.

Upload is rated TV-MA for language and brief nudity.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

 

Comedies about families

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Arrested Development

You thought your family is dysfunctional?

Wait ‘til you meet the Bluths.

This was another one I watched alone before deciding my husband would love it.

I forced him to watch, and he was glad.

A show about rich, messed up people dealing with the consequences of their insane behavior, this one is incredibly quirky and funny in that dry, sarcastic way that my husband and I both love.

Watch on Netflix.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Black-ish

This is a traditional family sitcom that happens to focus on a Black family and their unique experience.

The kids are goofy and mouthy, the in-laws are around to criticize and offer wisdom, and the parents are juggling a whole lot of important things like parenting, marriage, career, and culture.

Yep, just what you’d expect from a family sitcom–and so much more.

It’s sweet and funny, for sure, but for me (as a white person) I really love how this show gives me another perspective on our world, from politics and history to business and family life.

Watch on Hulu.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Bob’s Burgers

Like cartoons made for grown-ups?

A quirky family and dry humor?

May I offer you Bob’s Burgers?!

Sometimes I need a palate cleanser after watching something more serious, and for me (and my husband), that’s where the very funny Bob’s Burgers comes in.

Watch this animated series on Hulu.

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

 

Kim’s Convenience

This is currently my treadmill show, but I am planning to rewatch with my husband as soon as I finish it!

The Kims are a Korean-Canadian family who own and operate a neighborhood convenience store.

They have some issues, both individually and collectively, but they also love each other a lot.

I adore both the parents and the grown daughter and son, but the supporting characters are lot of fun, too.

Watch on Netflix.

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

 

One Day at a Time

No, not the old one! I’m talking about the reboot, truly inspired by the original but absolutely modern.

The show is about a Cuban-American family — single mom, son, daughter, and mother/grandmother played by the fabulous Rita Moreno — and it is so stinking good. It’s laugh-out-loud funny but don’t be fooled.

This show addresses so many real, hard issues in a sympathetic and authentic way that it’s impossible not to be moved.

Watch on Netflix.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Schitt’s Creek

It might seem a little tone deaf to our current times to recommend a show about a spoiled rich, white family who loses everything and finds themselves facing poverty.

Or, is it exactly right for these times? I don’t know. What I know is that Schitt’s Creek was my husband’s idea and though it took me a few episodes, I’m now the one suggesting we watch it!

Like so many of these shows, it’s deeply funny and moving all at the same time.

And Eugene Levy!

For what it’s worth, the show has given us the best collection of GIFs of anything in recent years.

Watch on Netflix.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

The Goldbergs

Speaking of recent years, that’s not what this show is about.

The Goldbergs takes a look at a middle-class, suburban family growing up in the 80s.

It’s sweet, funny, and all the nostalgia a gal (and her husband) could want.

Watch on Hulu.

 

Comedies in the workplace

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Better Off Ted

One of the first shows I rewatched by introducing it to my husband (and one of the shows I’ve watched, start to finish, most), this is a good one.

It’s a satirical look at a giant corporation, with the most sincere and loveable characters playing all the stereotypical roles you find in such a company.

Quirky, hilarious, and one of our favorites!

Watch on Hulu.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

In our current climate all TV shows about police are being reconsidered.

I think that’s a good thing, but I also hope that this one comes back whenever TV comes back.

It’s a goofy take on the police procedural, but it’s also a show with one of the diverse (and excellent) casts on TV right now.

Watch on Hulu.

 

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

Parks & Recreation

Ahhhh, my beloved Parks & Rec!

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope!

This truly is one of my top favorite shows of all time, and I was beyond thrilled when my husband loved it, too.

The characters are co-workers (at a small Indiana town’s parks and recreation department) who become friends and, by the end, family.

It has some of the cringe humor we know from The Office, but it also has exponentially more heart.

I love you.

You should watch it.

Watch on Netflix.

 

Superstore

If you’ve ever worked retail or have a Jim-and-Pam-sized hole in your TV-loving heart, Superstore is the comedy series for you.

Set in a quasi-Walmart in Missouri, it somehow makes you fall in love with the most ridiculous characters ever.

Watch on Hulu.

Comedies to Watch / MomAdvice.com

 

Veep

If you can’t stomach real world actual politics right now, this outrageous satire might be more your speed.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the vice president, and hijinks ensue.

As so the expletives, so be prepared for incredibly creative (but possibly offensive) language.

Watch on Hulu.

 

 

What TV show have you loved watching with your husband?

 

Hilarious TV Shows to Watch from MomAdvice.com

 

 

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice newsletter!

 

 

 

Hilarious TV Shows to Watch from MomAdvice.com

 

Looking for more TV and movie recommendations? Try these ideas:

 

6 Rules for Watching TV with your Spouse

Rules for Watching TV with Your Husband

 

 

 

5 Reasons I Let My Kids Watch TV / MomAdvice

5 Reasons I Let my Kids Watch TV

 

 

 

17 Movies From the 90's You Must Share With Your Kids

90’s Movies to Share with your Kids

 

 

DIY Outdoor Movie Night / MomAdvice

DIY Outdoor Movie Night

 

 

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

11 Romantic Comedies for Date Night

 

 

How Podcasts Saved Our Marriage / MomAdvice

How Podcasts Saved Our Marriage

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Stuck at home, but still looking for some fun ideas for quality time with your spouse? We have 19 creative and fun ideas for spending alone time together during these crazy days.

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Remember six months ago, when we thought making time to date our spouses seemed so hard?

Or we agreed that sometimes, it’s just not possible to go out?

That because of budgets or babysitter shortages or whatever other reason that wasn’t “the pandemic,” because we had no idea that could be a real situation we’d live through, we would just have to figure out how to make a date night happen at home?

Oh, Six-Months-Ago Mary, you had no idea.

We didn’t know what was coming, but now we’re here and though our whole world feels like it’s upside down, the basic needs of a marriage are still the same.

Married people need time together.

We need the chance to look at our person, right in the eyes, and connect.

We need to remember we’re on the same team. We need everything a “date night,” whatever that may look like in this season, offers–possibly more than ever before.

Now, obviously, I could just list off random activities and add “strip” to the beginning or “by candlelight” to the end.

But in case you need a little more than that, here’s a list of 19 creative ideas for connecting during the time of coronavirus.

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Learn a new board game

Of course, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “play a board game.”

But I can honestly say I haven’t played a board game with just my husband in years, if ever.

I’m not sure he’d be too excited if I asked him to play Scattergories with me this weekend.

But maybe…maybe he’d be up for us learning to play chess together.

Or, you know, something less mentally taxing. I’m going to give it a try!

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

 

Build something with cards or dominoes

Talk about working together as a team! Have you ever tried building a house of cards with a partner?

It takes some teamwork and patience — but can also lead to a lot of laughter (or pride in your accomplishment if you’re better at building than we are)!

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

 

Become a LEGO Master

I know, I know, you just got your kids to put away all those pesky blocks. But why not try to make something yourselves?

Fire up an episode of LEGO Masters on Hulu or Google some ideas for using the blocks you have on hand.

Then get creative! (You could even play a guessing game, where you each make something then the other person has to figure out what it is…)

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Nothing wrong with a good ol’ movie night

Seriously.

I’m all about creative ideas, but the truth is, the go-to choice at my house is always going to be a movie night. (Here are a few movie recs, by the way!)

Make it the real deal with low lights, yummy snacks, snuggly blankets, and no phones. 

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Cook something new

Especially in a time where more people are in our houses more often, demanding more meals and snacks than usual, cooking can be a real chore.

But what if you start with a clean kitchen and make something TOGETHER that you’d never made before?

What if you try a copycat recipe for one of your favorite restaurant dishes?

What if you make something you and your husband will love but you KNOW the kids would never eat?

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Take an online class

You can find an online class to learn how to do just about anything.

From building a birdhouse to giving each other massages, just search. It’s out there.

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Slow dance in the living room

Pick up all the toys and papers and shoes and dishes that have made your living room their home. (Or, I don’t care, shove them in a basket and set it behind the couch! And obviously you don’t have to pick the living room…)

Turn down the lights, light a candle or two, and fire up a playlist of your favorite slow songs.

And just…dance.

It might feel silly at first, but what if you do it anyway?

Is it possible you could connect with your person in a way you both need? Maybe…!

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Break a sweat with a good workout

If you all are the exercising types, why not work out together?

You could even make a plan to try a new fitness video once a week and vote on which ones you’ll add to your regular exercise routine.

Or simply take the opportunity to cheer each other on as you try to break your personal records running around the block.

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Put together a puzzle

Did you know you can make a puzzle out of any picture?

I’ve made a couple out of photos I took in Kenya, but I’d imagine you could have some fun putting together a puzzle made from a photo of the two of you on your wedding day, during a favorite vacation, or simply making a funny face for the camera.

I made mine through Walmart Photos, but most photo printing companies do this.

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Binge a show

It doesn’t to be Tiger King.

But if it’s Tiger King, I’m not here to judge. Haha!

Pick an old favorite you want to revisit, or something that’s all the rage right now, or something that’s been in your queue for a while but you just hadn’t gotten to it. 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Walk around the neighborhood

Speaking of all the rage, neighborhood walks are really experiencing a renaissance right now, aren’t they?

And for good reason. Fresh air, a little cardio, seeing other humans (from a distance!), and reconnecting with the world for a few minutes–it’s all good for our minds, bodies, and hearts.

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Go get groceries

But stay in the car!

Order your groceries online and drive to pick them up.

Wear your masks and use your hand sanitizer. (Or, if this isn’t safe or comfortable, don’t do this one!)

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Support a local restaurant by getting takeout

Be fancy about it.

Set the table with dishes (and, obviously, the candles).

Play some music — bonus points if it’s the same style the restaurant plays!

Put away your phones and enjoy that meal together.

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Tackle that home project you’ve been putting off

Stain the deck, re-arrange the guest room, finally create a gallery wall along the stairs, organize the garage.

Those are the things on our list, things we’ve wanted or needed to do, but haven’t had time.

Well, now we have time. Why not tackle these things together?

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Dream about the future

We won’t be staying at home or sheltering in place forever.

Even for those of us whose finances are being destroyed by what’s happening, times won’t always be quite so difficult.

Together, dream about what you might do when days are different!

Will you go visit those friends or family member?

Take a family road trip?

Go on a romantic getaway?

Make a list if you’re a list person and keep it somewhere special.

On the days you’re feeling trapped or crowded, pull it out and remember that–even if you don’t get to those particular goals–you will get to go somewhere together again!

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Write letters

Together, come up with a list of people you want to reach out to.

Maybe you decide if you simply want to send notes, or a gift card, or a photo, or even a picture you color or sketch.

Then divide up the tasks and get to work reaching out! (My husband isn’t much into writing letters and certainly not excited to get crafty or creative with paper products. But I know he’d help me make a list and stick stamps and return address stickers on the envelopes!)

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Get drinks

At home, though. Open that bottle of wine (or whiskey or whatever your beverage of choice is), and take turns asking each other get-know-know you questions or conversation starters.

Pinterest is full of these kinds of lists, by the way!

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Go on a (virtual) field trip

So many amazing things are FREE to watch and listen to online.

Visit a zoo, a museum, or a national park. Watch a stand-up comic or listen to an orchestra.

We might not be able to physically go out, but we can still experience new places together!

 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from MomAdvice.com

Work together to help others

Assemble care packages for those in need, bake cookies to deliver to neighbors, draw encouraging messages or an elaborate hopscotch board on your driveway, or even sew masks together.

As many needs as there are in our communities right now, there are just as many ways to help. 

How have YOU connected with your spouse during this season?

Sign up for the MomAdvice newsletter!

Don’t miss these other great ideas from MomAdvice:

Rules for Watching TV with Your Spouse from MomAdvice.com Rules for Watching TV with Your Husband

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night Romantic Comedies for Date Night

 

 

DIY Outdoor Movie Night from MomAdvice.com DIY Backyard Movie Night

 

 

DIY Swiffer pads from MomAdvice.com DIY Swiffer Pads

DIY Orange Sugar Scrub from MomAdvice.com DIY Orange Sugar Scrub

 

Weekly Chore Routines from MomAdvice.com Weekly Chore Routines

Recipes from Pantry Ingredients from MomAdvice.com Easy Recipes Using Pantry Ingredients

How are you being creative with date nights right now?

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained Header

Looking for new crafts to keep kids entertained in these upcoming weeks? Today I’m sharing super easy craft projects for kids of any age. If you are looking for super cute paper crafts, diy science projects, or homemade craft activities made from kitchen ingredients, MomAdvice has you covered!

This week happens to be our Spring Break and, I have to say, this is quite an unusual for most families.

I wanted to gather some fun ideas for keeping the kids entertained, if you happen to be looking for a few great ideas for boredom busters.

While many of these crafts rely upon common household items, I do want to share a list of my favorite resources for purchasing craft supplies right now.

Where to Buy Affordable Craft Supplies Online

Where Can I Get Supplies Right Now For My Projects?

First, be sure you are signed up (or signed in) with your Rakuten account to get money back on all your purchases. 

If you haven’t signed up, this referral link should give you $10 to put towards your craft supplies. 

Haven’t heard of it?

Here is a whole post on why this is a great app for receiving cash back rewards, especially as we all have switched (mostly) to online ordering.

Once you have that set up, here are some of my favorite resources to check out!

Bluprint If you are looking for even more craft ideas, Bluprint is offering their classes for FREE through April 16th.

I have taken so many fun classes through this platform. In fact, that’s how I finally got the hang of food photography!

Oriental Trading Company- This is one of the most affordable sites for good deals on shopping for kids crafts.

They offer so much in bulk, which is perfect for bigger families or even splitting the cost on craft materials with a friend or neighbor.

Dollar Tree Did you know that you can order your arts & crafts supplies online from this budget-friendly dollar store? 

In fact, the store has even more offerings online than they care on their store shelves.

Etsy Did you know that you can shop Etsy for your craft supplies? Crafting has been a huge part of my job and one of my favorite discoveries is how affordable it is to buy my supplies in bulk from Etsy sellers.

To make sure that I receive my orders in time, I try to filter by results that are within my own country, just to reduce those long days waiting to do our projects.

Michael’s Of course, this has always been my go-to in town so this will continue to be my go-to online.

Be sure to download their app or subscribe to their email list to receive coupons to put towards your craft supplies.

JoAnn Fabrics Order online or take advantage of their curbside pick-up to grab your craft supplies.

Also, don’t forget to download their app so you can take advantage of additional coupon savings!

Now let’s get crafting!

We have arranged these projects by age groups today.

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained Header

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained

Arts & Crafts Ideas for Early Childhood

Bubble Snakes from MomAdvice.com How to Make Bubble Snakes from MomAdvice

You are going to be amazed at the difference in this solution versus what you buy at the store and the staying power of your bubble snake. Not only are making bubbles and bubble snakes fun, but they are also a lesson in science.

Boredom Busters / MomAdvice.com How to Make Recycled Crayons from Good Life Eats

These Easy Recycled Crayons are a fun project for to do. Plus, you’ll get the bonus of your art supplies getting dejunked and reorganized in the process.

3 Ingredient Cloud Dough from MomAdvice.com 3 Ingredient Cloud Dough from MomAdvice

Here is an easy 3-ingredient Cloud Dough recipe that you can make for your kids! This fluffy dough is a great sensory activity for kids and is so fun to play with that even adults want to get on the action.

 

Boredom Busters / MomAdvice.com Amazon Alexa Games for Kids from Living in a Happy Place

20+ fun and learning games kids can play with Alexa! Get a free printable list.

DIY Chalkboard Door from MomAdvice.com DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Door from MomAdvice

Here is an easy DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Door that I created to entertain the kids! Give your kids some chalk and the chance to create their own welcome sign for your guests outdoors! The best part is the hours of enjoyment they get and the lack of dirt showing on my outdoor door in the backyard.

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Nerf Gun Games with Target Printable from Crafting with Kids

Learn how to create your own nerf wars with targets made from household items.

Homemade Playdough Recipe from MomAdvice.com Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe from MomAdvice

Homemade playdough lasts forever and can be created in whatever vibrant shades your heart desires. This homemade playdough recipe is an easy one to create from items you already have in your pantry and homemade playdough with a big stack of cookie cutters? Well, that just equals hours of fun in our house.

 

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Fizzy Dinosaur Egg Play from Simple Everyday Mom

These fizzy dinosaur eggs are a fun dinosaur STEM project that your kids will want to do over and over again.

 

Shower Curtain Art Canvas from MomAdvice.com Shower Curtain Art Canvas from MomAdvice

A day stuck inside is the perfect opportunity to break out one of my dollar store activities for our kids. I bought a shower liner ($1) and had the kids decorate the shower curtain with whatever their heart’s delight was. I don’t know about you, but my children like to go through a million pieces of paper a day so this was the perfect canvas for their artistic souls.

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Soccer Fun Cootie Catcher from Rock Your Homeschool

Now, your soccer fans can enjoy awesome indoor fun with this free printable soccer cootie catcher!

 

DIY Pom Pom Bunnies from MomAdvice.com DIY Pom Pom Bunnies Craft from MomAdvice

You can create the cutest craft to celebrate spring! We are making DIY pom pom bunnies from a few common items you probably have in your craft supplies and recycling drink containers.

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Easy Salt Dough Recipe for Kids from Unsophisticook

This simple and easy salt dough recipe is the perfect rainy day activity… Kids will master valuable kitchen skills while learning how to make salt dough, and then spend hours playing with it! 

 

Rainbow Science Experiments from MomAdvice.com 3 Easy Rainbow Experiments from MomAdvice

These rainbow experiments are not only fun, but also educational. We know we are guaranteed spectacular rainbows with these 3 fun activities.

 

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Lego Challenge: 30 Days of Play Calendar from That Brick Life

Keep the kids busy with this 30 day LEGO Challenge!

 

Sidewalk Chalk Paint DIY from MomAdvice.com How to Make Chalk Paint from MomAdvice

This is my favorite homemade sidewalk chalk paint recipe. Making DIY sidewalk chalk paint couldn’t be easier and many of the supplies are likely lurking right in your cupboard.

Easy Arts & Craft Ideas for Tweens

DIY Elephant Toothpaste from MomAdvice.com How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from MomAdvice

Who doesn’t love a crazy chemical reaction? Since we have older kids, we have found it takes a lot to wow them so I wanted to create some science fun that they had never seen before. Grab your safety glasses and dive into a fun science experiment with us as we make Elephant Toothpaste and learn a heck of a lot of science in the process.

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com 10 Patterns Perfect for Kids to Embroider from Swoodson Says

Help kids learn how to hand embroidery with one of these simple patterns for kids to stitch!

DIY String Art Tutorial from MomAdvice.com DIY String Art Tutorial with Heart Template from MomAdvice

With tiny nails, embroidery floss, and our free heart pattern, you have everything you need for your first string art project. Learn how to make your own heart shapes with this easy diy project for you or for your kids.

 

Watermelon Pirate Ship from MomAdvice.com Watermelon Pirate Ship from MomAdvice

I have crafted up a watermelon boat that you can share with your kids for your family night together. This fun food craft can be created together, adding your own personal pirate touches, or you can create it to surprise the kids for your family night.

DIY Dream Catcher from MomAdvice.com DIY Dream Catcher from MomAdvice

Here is a DIY dream catcher that is a fun way to capture dreams and wished. This was an easy one hour project that really gave me and the kids some time to bond and talk about our wishes for the upcoming year. 

How to Make the DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe With These Fun Slime Ingredients Header DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe from MomAdvice

Looking for a new DIY recipe for making Fluffy Slime? Making slime is a lot of fun and a great way to teach your children how to measure ingredients.

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Lego Coding Activity from Brain Power Boy

Use LEGO bricks to learn to code! Easy to pull together activity to get them learning coding while being offline.

 

3-ingredient-star-cakes from MomAdvice.com Mini Star Cakes from MomAdvice

Check out these mini star cakes that you can prepare out of just 3 items from your pantry. These cakes are easy enough that your kid can put these together and impressive enough to share with your friends.

 

Pom Pom Flower Bouquets from MomAdvice.com Pom Pom Flower Bouquets from MomAdvice

What could be more fun than a bouquet of pom pom posies that you can enjoy all year long? You won’t believe how easy it is to make pom pom flowers for a special someone in your life. And it is a great way to use up scraps of yarn!

 

Book Series for Kids who Love Harry Potter from MomAdvice.com Book Series for Kids who Love Harry Potter from MomAdvice

I know I’m not alone in navigating the challenge of a tween who loves books and can read at a higher grade level than she’s in – or ready for. So just in case you have a kid who loves Harry Potter (but has already read them all or isn’t ready for the next book in the series) in your life, I’ve got a few other series that might keep your bookworm busy.

 

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.om Harry Potter Brain Breaks for Fantastic Fun from Rock Your Homeschool

Your Harry Potter fans can enjoy magical fun with these special brain breaks. Includes prompts for hands-on activities & to get kids up & moving!

Coffee Filter Flowers from MomAdvice.com DIY Coffee Filter Posies from MomAdvice

I have been dying to make coffee filter flowers and wanted to share with you just how easy and inexpensive it is to make these for a fun table centerpiece or just a few posies on your nightstand to brighten up your room.

 

How to Make a Minecraft Steve Costume from MomAdvice.com How to Make a Minecraft Steve Costume from MomAdvice 

Got a Minecraft fan? Here is a fun Minecraft Costume you can create for your very own little Minecraft-addict. DIY Minecraft costumes are fun to make with your kids and give you a chance to spend time together.

 

Easy Arts & Craft Ideas for Teens

DIY Terrarium from MomAdvice.com DIY Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice

Succulents are my kind of plants because they are so low maintenance and they don’t require a lot of water. Here is an easy DIY showing you how to make a succulent terrarium as budget-friendly as possible.

DIY Book Page Flower Tutorial from MomAdvice

Learn how to make book page flowers out of old books to brighten someone’s day. These book flower bouquets are beautiful to display or to give as a treat to someone else!

How to Dye Canvas Shoes from MomAdvice.com How to Dye Canvas Shoes from MomAdvice

I am such a fan of fabric dying and we wanted to show you a way that you can customize your style. This is a fun way to customize your gym shoes or to refresh an old pair of sneakers.

 

DIY Watercolor + Digital Art from MomAdvice.com DIY Watercolor and Digital Art from MomAdvice

Does your child love to watercolor? Have them create their own water color and teach them how to transform into their own digital print that they can share with someone they love. You can also snag this free DIY Watercolor Printable that we made for you for Spring! 

 

DIY Slowcooker pumpkin spice candles from MomAdvice.com DIY Slow Cooker Candles from MomAdvice

Learn how to make your own DIY candles in your crockpot or slow cooker. Did you know you can make pumpkin spice scented candles at home with just wax, a wick, and essential oils? This easy tutorial will have you make large batches of candles in no time. Just switch up your oils for a different scent!

 

How to Knit an Easy Warmer Headband from MomAdvice.com How to Knit an Ear Warmer Headband from MomAdvice

Learn how to knit this chunky cable knit headband. This is the perfect beginner pattern to lean how to cable. The best part? No cable needles required! Use this free knitting pattern to make these this gorgeous knitted craft, perfect to stash away for people in need! 

 

DIY Book Tote with free printable designs from MomAdvice.com DIY Book Tote with Free Designs from MomAdvice

A good book bag is essential, isn’t it?  Here are some awesome book totes for you to take along using a simple set of canvas tote bags and our free set of printables. Simply print and iron on your own canvas tote bags for a fun craft day! These also make for such a great gift for the book lovers in your life – there’s a grown-up quote, a floral heart and an adorable gal or guy fox to choose from.

DIY Vintage Book Page Art from MomAdvice.com DIY Vintage Book Page Art from MomAdvice

Make some beautiful Springtime art to hang in your home, use for cardmaking or crafts. 

 

Easy Arts & Craft Ideas For Any Age

Create a Family Cookbook from MomAdvice.com Create a Family Cookbook with your Kids from MomAdvice

Have you ever wanted to tackle making a family cookbook with your kids? I’m so excited to show you how we made a scrapbook of our favorite foods and food traditions together. Making a cookbook with your kids is a fun activity that any family can do together.

How to Find & Write Pen Pals from MomAdvice.com How to Find and Write Pen Pals from MomAdvice

Pen Pals are a beautiful thing in a digital age where pen, paper, the process of writing, and waiting are so hard in our fast moving culture. Here is our experience with finding and writing pen pals that I hope will inspire you to find a pen pal of your own for your child.

 

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com 150 Educational Shows to Stream on Netflix from Homeschool Hideout

Create a separate profile on Netflix for these upcoming homeschool days. Name it “School” and add ONLY educational materials to this profile.

 

DIY Herb Garden & Markers from MomAdvice.com DIY Herb Garden & Markers from MomAdvice

Gardening is a hobby that is great to share with children. The herbs are small and easy for them to take care of. You can make extra and drop them off as gifts to neighbors!

 

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com How to Regrow Vegetable Scraps from Simple Bites

Check out this earth-friendly craft for turning kitchen compost scraps into pretty spring greens.

 

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice

Blessing bags for the homeless are such a beautiful act of kindness for those in need. This post will show you how to make homeless kits for those in need. These hygiene kits are handy to keep in your car, for those that live on the street, or can be given as gift bags for your local homeless shelter. Be sure to print out our free printable supplies list for your homeless care kit.

How to Make Car S'mores from MomAdvice.com How to Make Car S’mores from MomAdvice

Have you ever ate a car s’more? No? Well, in my opinion, you haven’t lived until you have tried this fun food activity together. I guarantee that your kids will flip for this and I am betting that years from now my kids will be talking about that one time when their crazy mom let them make s’mores in the car.

Boredom Busters from MomAdvice.com Cardboard Tube Bird Feeders from Glitter on a Dime

Recycle those toilet paper and paper towel tubes into easy bird feeders.

 

DIY Outdoor Movie Night from MomAdvice.com DIY Outdoor Movie Night from MomAdvice

Have you ever wanted to create your own DIY Outdoor Home Theater? We have had this on our bucket list for years and this summer we decided to finally put together our very own DIY outdoor movie night together with our kids and are sharing it with you! There is something truly magical about watching a movie together under the stars and I love that you can do this right in the comfort of your very own backyard.

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Here are some other fun craft ideas from MomAdvice.com: The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

 

 

Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com Chunky Knit Blanket with Free Pattern

 

 

 

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com DIY Yarn Pom Pom Wreath 

 

 

Crafting with vinyl from MomAdvice.com Crafting with Vinyl Records

 

DIY Bike Makeovers MomAdvicce.com

DIY Bicycle Makeover Ideas

Happy Crafting!

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Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Header

Are you looking for some new ways to divide the daily chores and house cleaning? This weekly cleaning schedule teaches kids to participate in household chores and helps them learn valuable life skills. Use these free printable chore charts to motivate your kids to participate in achieving a clean home and learn how we have taught our kids to help at all ages of life.

Before I launch into our household routines, I just want to acknowledge that we are all in VERY different places, both mentally and physically, since this pandemic has descended up on our world.

For me, I have been very consumed by worry for our family’s health, a growing concern for my sister who works in healthcare, and about our extended family members.

This pandemic, in fact, became so all-consuming that I reached out to my physician for some anxiety medication and have found a heightened sense of insecurity with my own safety being out in our world.

Although this week is better, I do find myself hitting big waves of grief, anger over others not doing what they are supposed to, and frustration with communication from politicians.

I do believe these waves will continue, especially as more and more people around me have been diagnosed or as jobs are lost and financial struggles have increased.

What I do know is that, FOR ME, I was also feeling really unprepared with everyone being here all day, the endless food preparation, and our home feeling more and more chaotic.

Can you relate?

My husband said it would be incredibly helpful if I would start making a list of all the things that need to be done around our house and begin to split these duties.

Chore Tickets download my chore and tech tickets for younger kids

When the kids were young, I was big on the weekly chore chart and even made these punchable tickets for tackling chores and reducing screen time.

When I started to have health problems, we decided to hire a cleaning service to help me with our weekly cleaning tasks.

Anyone who has had the privilege of hiring a cleaning service knows that a lot of preparation is required before the cleaning.

I would, honestly, spend an entire day prepping for their arrival and welcomed this as part of our bi-weekly routine. #whiteladyproblems

Hiring them was more about the accountability than just the help with the harder physical tasks of cleaning.

I fully acknowledged, without this visit, our house would start falling apart.

Now that we are all home together (and practicing social distancing), I needed to figure out chore lists that would give my kids responsibilities and divide up tasks evenly so that all the chores did not fall on me.

Family

For the record, my kids are 17 and 14 so they are more than capable of pitching in to assist. I don’t have to worry as much about kid chore charts or making sure they are age appropriate chores, they really are becoming mini-adults.

What I DID have to do though was teach them how to do these tasks so that we could all enjoy our space.

If anything comes out of this awful time it is that my kids are learning some very valuable life lessons about caring for a home, preparing food, and working more as a family unit.

I am sure these are all things that we could have been doing before, but having the space to do them has really helped our family a lot.

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Printable Example examples of tasks for my 17 year-old

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Chore Chart examples of tasks for my 14 year-old

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Example Chart examples of tasks my husband is assisting me with

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) examples of tasks I’m doing each week

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

Make a List of Tasks That Need to Be Done

I started with a lined sheet of paper and wrote down every chore that I would like to see happen throughout the week.

Chores around the house were jotted down, as well as more general tasks like laundry, menu planning, changing the air filters, checking our water softener, moving the cars around, and grocery shopping.

Divide Routine Tasks So They Don’t Fall on One Family Member

Instead of telling one kid that they need to clean out the kitty litter box, for example, each family member is rotating a day on that single task.

This means that we all get a turn cleaning up our cat’s poo-poo.

How fun is that? Hahaha!

Figure Out How You Can Do These Tasks In Tandem Together

The idea of working as a family unit is that no one person is responsible for everything.

Instead of just one person working in the living room, for example, each person is assigned a task in that room or a task that is on that level in the home.

To tackle cleaned bathrooms, for example, we have the family divided working in our two bathrooms and doing one or two elements of that routine.

One person is quick vacuuming the floors, swiping sinks, and emptying trash.

Another person is cleaning the tubs, washing the throw rugs, and restocking bathroom supplies.

We do have to work together to nail the order down of task completion, but this system is already proving to be really effective in not weighing one person down.

To make this happen, I also did have to purchase some more cleaning equipment (welcome to your new cleaning caddy, kids!)  so that we all had the tools that we needed. 

If you are looking for a good online source, this is the site that I would recommend for doorstep delivery. (affiliate link, but should give you a free 5-piece cleaning set to get started!)

Daily Tasks During Quarantine

Try to Make Daily Standing Routines

While practicing our social distancing, I’m trying not to fall into a complete slump with personal hygiene, getting dressed, and moving. We made a list of things that are important to us (like, a daily walk!) that help keep us moving and help us manage our day better.

This was inspired by this incredible guidance on how to reduce anxiety while we are quarantined.

It really is incredible how much this helps.

I also will say that limiting myself to a coffee hour and a virtual New York Time subscription has allowed me to feel informed and not consumed.

These don’t have to be productive routines, just routines that you know will work well for your mental and physical health right now.

Don’t Be Afraid to Rotate Tasks

Even though I have tried to make things as evenly as possible, in our home, I have offered that the kids can switch roles monthly so that they don’t get stuck doing the same tasks over and over again.

If your kids are liking their habits though, don’t switch it up unless it is necessary.

Allow Room for Rest

I don’t want to clean on the weekends and feel like we ALL deserve to put our feet up on the weekend. That means that our routines are just outlined for Monday-Friday. This gives us Saturday and Sunday with the freedom to allow for rest and relaxation.

Once again, you do NOT need to be doing chore charts if you don’t care about this right now.

YOU DO YOU.

For me, establishing routines (even if it is just 15 minutes a day) makes me feel normal and helps give flow and purpose to this time.

I hope this helps inspire you to create your own routines that help you feel a little more like yourself too.

Sending loads of love and protection over each of your families. 

Click here to download my blank chore chart

Click here to download a blank daily schedule chart

Tech-Chore Tickets Free Printable Click here to download our printable chore or tech time tickets

Click here to read how we did our chore charts when our kids were small

Looking for more help around the house? Check out these articles!

how to successfully menu plan

how to make diy swiffer pads

how to clean and stock your refrigerator

How have your cleaning routines changed now that you are all home together?