Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

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!

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter

 

 

Holiday Traditions to Start with Family / MomAdvice.com

You will love these other great Holiday ideas!

 

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Homeless Care Package

 

 

The Real Santa Story from MomAdvice.com

The Real Santa Story

 

Giving and Gratitude for kids / MomAdvice.com

Teaching Kids About Giving and Gratitude

 

 

DIY Advent Calendar from MomAdvice.com

DIY Advent Calendar

 

 

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love

Unique and Useful Stocking Stuffers for All Ages

 

 

how to make a burlap wreath

DIY Christmas Burlap Wreath

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Slow Cooker Roasted Turkey

 

 

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from MomAdvice.com

Gluten Free Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

 

 

Sitcoms for Holiday Spirit from MomAdvice.com

11 Sitcoms to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

 

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!

 

Check out these other great ideas:

 

8 Middle School Series Books to Get Your Child Excited About Reading from MomAdvice.com

Middle School Series Books to Get Your Child Excited About Reading

 

 

 

90's Movies

90’s Movies to Watch with Your Kids

 

 

 

Historical Fiction For Middles Graders

Historical Fiction Novels for Middle Grades

 

 

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

DIY Tween Confidence Kit

 

 

 

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids from MomAdvice.com

Gift Ideas for Tweens and Teens

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.

Sign up for the MomAdvice newsletter!

 

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!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our website!

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? 

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

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Looking for some fun family time? Sharing favorite movies from your childhood with your kids is a great way to embrace the nostalgia. Whether you love sci-fi, box office mega hits or an academy award winning tear jerker, 90s movies had something to offer everyone. Here are some of our favorites that we can’t wait to share.

From our marriage & parenting contributor,Mary Carver.

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

A couple years ago I realized my kids were entering a magical stage, one in which they could appreciate some of the movies from my own childhood.

Finally, we could watch non-animated movies together, and they were old enough to understand but not be scared.

And, if I was lucky and played it just cool enough, they were still young enough to be delighted and entertained by the movies I have loved for decades.

Of course, there is no accounting for taste when it comes to my kids (or any kids, I suspect).

The first time I showed them The Princess Bride, they were not impressed.

Inconceivable!

Little do they know I’m planning to give it another try over spring break…

So far, my kids have loved Hook, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Lindsay Lohan version of The Parent Trap.

And while I don’t think they’re quite ready for My Girl, I cannot wait to track down The Sandlot and show them that one.

Head’s up, though: While I don’t know the exact standards for movie ratings during our childhoods versus today, it seems that older movies rated PG include more language, violence, and adult references than today’s PG movies.

So while each one of these movies is rated PG, keep in mind that might mean something different than you remember or expect!

Think you might want to show your own kids a few movies from back in the day?

Start with this list of 90’s movies!

90's Movies

For the sports fans:

Space Jam (1996) – recommended for ages 7+

Bugs Bunny, Michael Jordan, and alien basketball.

Bugs and friends have to win the world’s most important basketball game, so the enlist none other than Michael Jordan to come to their aid. A sequel is coming out in 2021!

The Sandlot (1993) – recommended for ages 8+

Baseball, friendship, and 1960s nostalgia.

In this heartfelt coming-of-age comedy, a new kid is taken in by a group of baseball loving misfits. A reboot is rumored to be coming to Disney+ !

A League of Their Own – recommended for ages 10+

Women’s baseball, Tom Hanks, and Geena Davis.

There’s no crying in baseball! Based on the real-life Girls All American Professional Baseball League founded in 1942. A tv series based on the movie is in production for Amazon streaming.

The Mighty Ducks (1992) – recommended for ages 11+

Hockey, underdogs, and Emilio Estevez.

As a community service requirement, a selfish lawyer must coach a losing youth hockey team. A series based on the film is in development at Disney +.

90's Movies / MomAdvice.com

For the animal lovers:

Free Willy (1993) – recommended for ages 6+

A boy, a whale, and some intense emotions.

An orphan boy befriends a captive killer whale and aims to release him back to the wild. There are three sequels: The Adventure Home, The Rescue and Escape from Pirate’s Cove.

Babe (1995) – recommended for ages 6+

A pig, a farm, and some harsh realities about where food comes from.

Can the other barn animals accept a nontraditional pig? Yes, when he’s as cute as Babe. Oscar winning piglet!

Dr. Dolittle (1998) – recommended for ages 8+

Animals, Eddie Murphy, and a whole lot of potty humor.

Once the animals in town find out Dr. Dolittle has the ability to talk to animals, they all come visit!

90's Movies / MomAdvice.com

For anyone who loves fantasy and make-believe:

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) – recommended for ages 6+

Inventions, adventures, and Rick Moranis.

Whoops! Four kids are shrunken to the size of ants by a shrimp ray and must fight their way through the backyard, while their scientist dad searches for them. A new film, Shrunk, is in production at Disney.

George of the Jungle (1997) – recommended for ages 6+

Abandoned baby, raised by apes, grows up and visits San Francisco.

Just try and get the theme song out of your head. Tarzan spoof action adventure based on a cartoon series. The cartoon is getting a reboot for CBS All Access.

Matilda (1996) – recommended for ages 9+

Clever girl has powers in fantasy based on Roald Dahl book. includes the world’s worst principal – Miss Trunchbull. Netflix is developing a musical reboot.

Hook (1991) – recommended for ages 10+

Grown-up Peter Pan, campy Captain Hook, and kidnapped kids.

Directed by Steven Spielberg grown up Peter (Robin Williams) and Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) must face their old nemesis Hook (Dustin Hoffman).

90's Movies / MomAdvice.com

All about friends and family:

The Parent Trap (1999) – recommended for ages 6+

Separated twins, reunited parents, and little Lindsay Lohan.

A remake of the classic 1961 Disney film.

My Girl (1991) – recommended for ages 11+

Friendship, death, and baby Macaulay Culkin.

Get ready for all the feelings watching Anna Chlumskey play an 11 year old being raised by single dad Dan Ackroyd.

90's Movies / MomAdvice.com

A couple lesser-known (but fantastic) animated legends:

Anastasia (1997) – recommended for ages 6+

Long-lost princess, evil Rasputin, and more fun than facts.

Includes the vocal talents of Meg Ryan, Angela Lansbury, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd and John Cusack.

Hercules (1997) – recommended for ages 7+

Gods and heroes, a gospel Greek chorus, and intense animated action.

Disney animates Greek mythology!

90's movies / MomAdvice.com

Treats for the holidays:

Hocus Pocus (1993) – recommended for ages 10+

Halloween, witches, and spooky stuff.

One of the best Halloween movies ever. Reboot announced for Disney +.

Home Alone (1990) – recommended for ages 10+

Mouthy kids, careless parents, and holiday hijinks.

More Macaulay Caulkin, but this time he is battling Joe Pesci. Also includes the fabulous Katherine O’Hara and John Candy. Yes, also on reboot list for Disney +.

Do your kids like movies from the 90’s? Which ones are their favorites?

Note: Age recommendations come from Common Sense Media.

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter

Don’t miss these other great stories from MomAdvice:

5 Reasons I Let My Kids Watch TV / MomAdvice.com

Reasons to Let Your Kids Watch TV

How to Monitor Tech Time / MomAdvice.com

Screen Time Rules for the Middle School Years

teaching kids the importance of failure / momadvice.com

Teaching the Importance of Failure to Children

Book Series for Harry Potter Lovers / MomAdvice.com

More Book Series for Harry Potter Lovers

Watching TV with Husband / MomAdvice.com

Rules for Watching TV with Your Spouse

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night /MomAdvice.com

11 Romantic Comedies for Date Night

We hope you love this list as much as we do!

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

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

Whether you are trying to avoid the crowds and freezing weather on Valentine’s Day, or just looking for the perfect low-key romance, here are some favorite romantic comedies for date night.

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

When my husband and I were first married, every trip to the video store (remember those) would end in a fight.

He wanted action; I wanted romance. Movies, I mean (although I suppose you could interpret that another way, accurately).

I’m not sure why I was so dead set on forcing him to watch every single romance or romantic comedy in existence, but I was.

Eventually, I realized this was not the healthiest pattern.

And also, as it turns out, I quite enjoy action movies myself.

Long story short?

We didn’t watch a lot of rom coms together for quite a while.

But recently, we’ve started something new.

After almost two decades of marriage, we’ve learned to compromise.

I’ll pause while you gasp in astonishment.

Seriously, though, over the past few years we’ve fought hard to fight less — and it involves a whole lot of compromise.

Of meeting in the middle.

Of me watching baseball movies and baseball documentaries and baseball games, and him watching people find true love in romantic comedies.

It’s been beautiful. (Except for the baseball games. Even my deep, abiding love of my husband can’t make me actually like baseball games.)

Anyway. All this means we can have legit movie date nights at home! (Yes, yes, I realize we could, in theory, watch an action or a drama at home. But, I don’t know, we just usually don’t.)

I realize this might seem silly to you.

Especially if you’re a movie date night at home pro.

But whether you and your husband snuggle on the couch to watch a movie every weekend or you’re new to this like we are, I’ve got a list of rom coms perfect for your date night at home.

All of these love stories are currently streaming, and each one should be a hit with both of you (no matter what genre each of you likes best)!

Check out my list and let me know what kind of movies you like watching with your husband!

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

Set It Up

Set It Up – (Netflix)

Who knew Netflix could make their own sweet, funny romantic comedy?

This was the first one that caught a lot of attention and for good reason.

Snappy dialogue, charming leads, fun premise (two overworked corporate assistants set up their bosses and then make their own connection).

This is a good one! Stars Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell. Rated TV-14.

Always Be My Maybe

Always Be My Maybe – (Netflix)

Seriously, I wish Netflix would quit doing all the other things and just make rom coms.

Because this one is great, too!

Childhood friends hook up once, then don’t see each other for years.

They reconnect later when she’s a celebrity chef and he’s still living at home and working with his dad.

Also, the best Keanu cameo we didn’t know we needed.

Stars Ali Wong and Randall Park. Rated PG-13.

Before We Go

Before We Go – (Amazon Prime)

Two pretty people (including Chris Evans) meet in NYC and spend a night together.

No, not like that!

On an adventure!

It’s sweet.

And bittersweet.

Gah! I’ve said too much.

Just watch it.

Stars Alice Eve and Chris Evans. Rated PG-13.

Man Up

Man Up – (Netflix)

A woman takes the place of a man’s blind date.

Hijinks (and romance) ensue.

This one is so funny and surprisingly sweet.

I’m glad I took a chance on it (after assuming it would be bad, based on the poster and the actors).

Which is, coincidentally, similar to the journey these characters go on.

Stars Lake Bell and Simon Pegg. Rated R for language.

What If

What If – (Amazon Prime)

I wasn’t sure I could see Daniel Radcliffe as anyone other than Harry Potter.

As it turns out, I sure can.

This movie asks the notorious question: Can men and women just be friends? (No. Not in the movies, duh.)

Stars Daniel Racliffe and Zoe Kazan. Rated PG-13.

Plus One

Plus One – (Hulu) 

Longtime friends decide to be each other’s dates to a bunch of weddings.

If you think you know how this ends, you’re probably right, but the getting there is interesting and funny and moving.

Stars Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid. Rated R for language and sex. 

(Another movie with a strangely similar plot is The Wedding Year (Amazon Prime). Stars Sarah Hyland and Tyler James Williams. Rated R for language and drug use.)

Hitch

Hitch – (Netflix)

Why not kick it old school with this classic from 2005?

A dating consultant falls for a reporter who doesn’t know who he really is.

Also, Kevin James dances. It’s all so adorable, really.

Stars Eva Mendes and Will Smith. Rated PG-13.

Date Night

Date Night – (Amazon Prime)

If the grind of middle-age and suburban life is your stage of life, this one will probably resonate with you as much as it does with me.

They just wanted a date night, man!

Comedy, action, and sweet married romance.

Stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Rated PG-13.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society – (Netflix)

If you and your husband prefer something historical, this is a great one!

Is it as good as the book?

No, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess your husband hasn’t read it.

So just sit back and enjoy it as a completely separate and completely sweet story about a writer who connects with the people of a small island following World War II.

Stars Lily James and Michiel Huisman. Rated TV-14.

Isn't It Romantic

Isn’t It Romantic? – (HBO through Hulu or Prime)

A single woman hits her head and wakes up in a romantic comedy, but it turns out that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

This had the potential to be simply silly, but if you’ve ever questioned how love-able you are, this will be as meaningful to you as it was to me.

Also, you don’t want to miss the musical scenes in this comedy!

Stars Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine. Rated PG-13.

Second Act

Second Act  (SHOWTIME through Hulu or Prime)

A working class woman fakes her way into a high-level executive job and both finds herself and loses herself in the process.

This was surprisingly emotional, and the romance isn’t the main part of the story, but it’s all very sweet (and funny, too).

Plus it stars two of my very favorites: Jennifer Lopez and Milo Ventimiglia. Rated PG-13.

Those are my suggestions. I’d love to hear which movies you love watching on date nights! And for more romantic comedies you might not have seen yet, you can find a longer list on my blog

What’s your favorite rom com for date night?

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter

This post contains affiliate links.

 

Looking for some more fun Date Nights? Check out these ideas:

9 Frugal Date Nights MomAdvice.com

9 Simple Ideas for Frugal Date Nights

How to Create Date Night Playlist MomAdvice.com

How to Create and Anniversary or Date Night Playlist

9 Spring Dates for Any Budget MomAdvice.com

9 Spring Date Ideas for Any Budget

5 Movie Date in 10 Days MomAdvice.com

What I Learned from 5 Movie Dates in 10 Days

Happy Valentine’s Day!

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night

Pin It

Mint.com: Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Mint.com: Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget Header

Are you looking for easy ways to earn extra cash for your family? Today I’m sharing budgeting apps that can help you reset for your financial future. This tutorial shares all about the Mint app and a creative robo tool option to reduce your recurring expenses.

This is the third challenge in our Passive Income for Busy Moms series because SAVED money is EARNED money. Be sure to visit our Passive Income Ideas for Moms Series all year long as I challenge myself to find new ways to earn money for our family.

Now that the holidays are over, I am sure that many of us have made resolutions to restore the order in our financial life.

Here is the honest truth. I am an incredible saver of money, but I am terrible about tracking our family expenses.

As a busy mom, this is just one more ball that I have to keep in the air.

While some might not consider analyzing the budget a passive income builder, I am here to beg to differ.

One deep dive into your finances, should indicate hidden leaks in the budgeting boat, that often drain your account month after month.

While I have been terrible about tracking, my husband has done a great job keeping up with our complete financial picture and alerts me when he sees questionable charges on our account.

It shouldn’t be just his job to save money though, especially since I handle the majority of our day-to-day expenses.

After reviewing loads of apps and trying them out, we are still keeping our feet firmly planted in Mint.com, to track our expenses.

Not only is this a program that I trust to help me be my best financial self, it is also a free app that becomes an effortless money manager once your accounts are connected.

Mint App on Phone

Mint.com: Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget

What is Mint And How Can It Help Me?

Mint is an app (available on Android or Apple devices) that you can use to manage your family finances. Mint is currently owned by Intuit that makes many of the financial products that we use for our family and business. You may be more familiar with their other products like TurboTax & QuickBooks.

All that is to say is that it is a familiar company which helps me feel more secure.

While tracking your expenses is an important element of the app, you will also discover lots of other benefits.

Some of my favorites are free access to your credit score (at all times with no penalties), tools to help you establish a budget (that becomes more intuitive with your spending habits), pie charts that illustrate where the heck your money is going, an up-to-date property estimate (through past sales in your area on Zillow), your total net worth, and it easily monitors your investments.

With all of our accounts linked, we now know EXACTLY what we have and where we stand with our retirement.

How many people can say that they know their exact dollar worth down to the cent?

Why is Mint Free?

Mint works just like most online businesses, including the site you are visiting right now.

Mint partners with different companies to offer you additional ways to save. When scanning through the product offers, the majority of these are credit card offers. Additionally, if you want to explore investing, they have partnerships with brokerages that can help you.

Credit Card Offer Disclosures

Here is an example of a credit card offer that is displayed on my page.

You can see the exact disclosure statements that are attached to the offer.

In an online world where transparency isn’t always given, I think they do a great job letting you know that they are benefiting from the exploration of the services they offer.

With over 20 million users, I am sure that many take advantage of these offers and that is what allows your account to be free. Each transaction yields a compensation that pays the company.

Is Mint Safe?

There are tons of budgeting apps (paid and free) and you can’t always know if your information will be safe. I did a lot of research on the security of Mint and found that this article was really helpful in explaining how Mint keeps your data safe.

Most of the top financial gurus would back that Mint is a really secure option for anyone who does not want to go the spreadsheet route.

They do use a multi factor authentication that is explained well in their terms of service.

Will I Be Penalized for Accessing My Credit Report on Mint?

Having access to a free credit score is amazing, but will there be a penalty to have this information readily available to you?

The good news is NO.

According to the Mint site, when you check your credit score, you are performing what is called a soft credit check. This credit inquiry won’t impact your credit, no matter how frequently you view your credit score.

This means you can check your credit score as many times as you like without a penalty.

They also offer you the option to be alerted, via push notification, when your credit score drops.

How Can I Get Started With Mint?

It only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to link your Mint account to your financial institution.

Once you have your bank account linked, you can begin plugging in additional information like any other bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, investments you have made and more.

Once everything is plugged in, you can see EXACTLY where your money is going and your account balances. Mint will do its best to set up the proper category for you, but it will require you to review each of the transactions to make sure it is in the proper category.

This clear snapshot allows you to form a budget for your family.

Mint observes your spending habits and provides an approximate on the cap of each category that you should spend.

Ideally, you can set your own budget and try to narrow down expenses.

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com learn all about ellevest by clicking here

I Signed Up With Ellevest Last Month. Can I Connect My Ellevest Account to Mint?

Good news! You, absolutely, can connect your Ellevest account to Mint so you can monitor your investment.

Also, can I just say how proud I am of you if you started your own investment account. #girlboss

To view your Ellevest Digital/Premium goals on your account aggregator (like Mint.com)- read it all here:

  1. You must be an Ellevest Client – You need to have eSigned on the Ellevest Dashboard to get this process started.
  2. Find your Folio login and create a password. To find your Folio username, log into your Ellevest Dashboard, click the user icon in the top right-hand corner, and select Login from the dropdown menu – you will see your Folio login at the bottom of the page. You’ll also see a link to instructions on how to create your Folio password – if you’re having issues, send us a note.
  3. Look up Folio Investing. Folio is the broker/dealer and custodian for your Ellevest account, and Folio Investing will be the company name you’ll need to search for.

Push Notifications on Mint.com

I’ve Got Everything Plugged In, But How Can I Reduce My Expenses With Mint?

Once Mint has all your financial information, it can use this financial data to send you notifications when potentially problematic issues arise.

This is done through push notifications that you check that you would like to receive. These notifications include spending alerts, credit score updates, bill reminders, and a quick summary of how you are doing.

Should you need financial advice, it can offer that too.

You can adjust how many and how often you receive these push notifications in your Settings panel.

Utilizing tools like these will help you stay in tune to your spending habits and reduce late fees on potential bills.

I plan to take this a step further though to find all of the hidden leaks in our budget:

Recurring charges- Have you ever signed up for a 30-day trial of something, only to realize that you never cancelled it? Do you have any recurring charges for services or apps that you don’t ever use? I plan to find any hidden leaks and cancel these accounts.

Reduce grocery spending- Holy heck, we have been spending A LOT of money on groceries. I plan to try to reduce this expense immediately by being more intentional about what we are eating and cooking from scratch more.

Reduce the dining out- We are a bit snobby about food and that has not helped our budget AT ALL. Fortunately, I can cook and plan to master a few of our restaurant faves so we can reduce this expense more by eating at home.

Analyze our standard household expenses- Are we *really* getting the best deals on home insurance, auto insurance, internet, and our mobile services? I, honestly, don’t know, but this month I plan to investigate.

Trim Financial Services Review

One Last Option To Try- Robo Tools for Adjusting Your Bills For You…With Some Disclaimers

As I was researching for our Passive Income for Busy Moms series, I stumbled upon a service called Trim.

Trim is, basically, a bot service that negotiates rates, on your behalf, to lower your payments. You, basically, give them permission to act on your behalf and see if they can secure your family savings.

I set them to work on our expenses so I could give you a personal review of their services.

Our Comcast internet bill was $80 a month.

Trim sent me a text that they were able to get a fee refund (of $2.32) and they also applied for a promotion for $9.95 off for 12 months.

That is a savings of $119.40 over the course of the year.

What’s in it for Trim? Well, they take 33% of the savings they get on the bill. We were immediately charged $40.17, but we still ended up saving $79 for the year.

They also were able to flag a few things that were monthly charges that we may not want to continue spending money on.

The best part was that they also sent cancellation requests for you so you don’t have to add it to your to-do list.

If you have a lot of personal debt, it also can negotiate credit card rates and they offer premium services, to utilize a financial coach, to reduce your debt and get you on a better path.

You Saved Money with Trim. Why The Disclaimers Then?

I went through a lot of reviews and complaints on BBB, which is why I did not dedicate a separate post to this.

Many people were disheartened about the charges after the bill negotiation (which I think they are pretty clear about) and some people felt that their established services rose in cost in the months that followed.

There were also complaints filed that they could not discontinue services when signing up for premium membership plans.

For that reason, I also signed up with their premium membership, waited a month, and then canceled it.

The cancellation went through with no hitches at all.

I have not had any bills raised since I used the service and I was really happy with the savings of almost $80.

That said, if you are nervous about a bot negotiating for you, start investigating the current deals and contact the cable, phone, and internet company to see if you can get your bills lowered.

After all, the worst they can say is no.

Join My January Passive Income Challenge

Sign up for a Mint account (or similar budgeting app platform) and link your accounts.

Once you have your expenses categorized, reflect on your past expenses and habits.

Decide what your new 2020 budget will look like and check in daily to see how you are doing.

Consider canceling any recurring expenses that aren’t benefiting your family anymore. Do this by contacting companies directly or utilize a bot tool to reduce some of your basic expenses. Be sure to ask about loyalty plans, if there are plans that make more sense for your family (based on usage), or see if you can get discounts if you are requesting to cancel services.

I can’t wait to see what you are able to save with your new habits! 

Think of this as this month’s paycheck for all your hard work! 

Love this post? Here are a few others you might love!

Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms from MomAdvice.com passive revenue ideas for busy moms

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from MomAdvice.com earn money through rakuten cash back

Real Rakuten Results Cash Back Earnings Report from MomAdvice.com do you really earn money with rakuten?

how to invest in yourself with ellevest

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com what I earned from one month with ellevest

 

Don’t forget to follow along on our Passive Income Challenge series. You can head here to see all the posts in one place. Have you used Mint for your budget before or do you use another budget app service? I’d love to hear your experience with budgeting apps today! 

Mint.com Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget

 

Pin It

How to End the Year Well

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

How to End the Year Well from MomAdvice.com

 

At this time of year, it is so easy to only be looking forward to the next big event. This year we are going to try and use the holiday season to make the most of he days left in the year. We aren’t going wait until January to make our resolutions and appreciate what we have.

 

 

Last week I read an article about how to create a dumpster fire ornament, in honor of the year we’ve had. It was hilarious – and sad.

I mean, yeah, I laughed, but only so I didn’t cry.

Because, for a million reasons, this year has been difficult at best and devastating at worst.

 

I know I’m not alone in looking forward to a fresh start as we flip over the calendar.

 

But before we head into a new year, we still have a few days left in this one – and I’m determined to make the best of them.

Rather than simply throwing up our hands in disgust or defeat, let’s take back what’s remaining of this challenging year.

Let’s celebrate what actually worked or went well, and let’s give thanks for the blessings we received in the midst of hardships.

No matter how this year has treated us, I believe we can still end well. Here’s how:

 

1. Make a gratitude list.

I know, I know, you’ve heard this one a thousand times.

But there’s a reason for that: it works!

No matter how bad a situation (or calendar year) might be, we always have something to be thankful for.

Are you healthy?

Do you have a place to live?

Is your family nearby – or far away?

Do you have at least one person to love and who loves you?

Did you read a good book or see a great movie?

Have you created a piece of art or finished a project?

Did you make it through Thanksgiving or the election cycle or a trip to the post office without coming to blows with anyone?

Then you have something to be thankful for!

 

How to End the Year Well from MomAdvice.com

 

2. Look at the photographic evidence.

Instead of clicking over to Facebook one more time, open up the gallery on your phone.

Scroll through your own photos and take time to appreciate those goofy smiles, those messy faces, the trips to the zoo or the doctor’s office, the impromptu road trips or picnics, the selfies and the you-can’t-make-me-smile serious faces.

Remember the sunset, the finish line, the delicious dessert, the colorful leaves.

Whether you’ve already printed all your photos and placed them in a lovely album or scrapbook, or they’re stacked up on your phone (and hopefully saved in the cloud), I bet you have some evidence that this year brought something lovely, something beautiful, something good.

 

3. Find the silver linings. I’m not sitting at a desk gazing out the window to a pastoral scene as I type this post.

Nope. I’m sitting in my living room, balancing my laptop on a TV tray while my toddler sits on my lap smelling slightly of her overnight diaper and watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

And as often happens in our house, Daniel Tiger is sharing a message that is almost unnervingly relevant for our day. Daniel and his friends are singing about disappointment, and here’s the advice they have for us all: “When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.”

Seriously, Daniel Tiger?

Seriously.

You really can’t argue with that preschool wisdom.

And as I’ve reflected on the last year, it really is something I’ve considered.

What are the silver linings hiding on the edges of this hard season?

For me I’ve had to face how my fear of confrontation has led to unhealthy relationships and behaviors. (Which is, initially, still a bummer but ultimately a good thing to realize.)

I’ve also been forced to stop waffling on some political issues as this divisive year has made it clearer than ever what my priorities and values are.

And, most importantly, going through a tough season is always a catalyst for appreciation and gratitude for me, making me more thankful than ever for my family, my freedoms, and my faith.

All of these silver linings come at the cost of some very dark clouds, but I am grateful for them nonetheless.

 

How to End the Year Well from MomAdvice.com

 

4. Give back – and then some.

One of the most encouraging messages I’ve seen following some of this year’s troubles is a call to action.

No matter where you fall on all the issues that have divided our world, every one of us can reach out to others, serve others, love others.

Just like the well-known and oft-quoted advice from Gandhi suggests, rather than complaining about a dumpster fire of a season, be the change you wish to see in the world instead.

The benefit goes beyond what you give to other people, too, because not only does helping those in need combat injustices you perceive, it also helps you adjust your perspective.

It gives you a bigger picture and more accurate way to gauge your own circumstances.

It also gives you a sense of more control and therefore increases your overall satisfaction.

Talk about win-win!

 

5. Don’t wait for January 1.

We don’t have to start a new habit on a Monday, and we don’t have to wait for January 1 to turn over a new leaf of gratitude, compassion, and positivity.

We can do that today.

The world may seem like it’s spinning off its axis some days, but we are still in control of our own choices.

We get to decide how we receive news, how we process situations, how we respond to circumstances.

We get to choose.

Let’s make the best of the days we have, friend, no matter what the calendar says.

Let’s be kind when we don’t have to, let’s be thankful even when it’s difficult, let’s look for the good and be the good.

Let’s end this year well.

 

How to End the Year Well from MomAdvice.com

 

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice newsletter

 

You’ll love these other great posts from MomAdvice:

 

How to Make New Year's Day the Most Romantic Holiday MomAdvice.com

Make New Year’s Day Romantic

 

 

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

How to Make A Homeless Care Package

 

 

Happiness Strategies from MomAdvice.com

Happiness Strategies

 

 

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

MomAdvice Book Club

 

 

How to End the Year Well MomAdvice.com

 

Pin It