General

4 Guaranteed Ways to Help Your Kids Sleep on Christmas Eve

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

We all know that Christmas can be a super exciting time for all kids. Unfortunately, though, all that excitement can often bubble over and send them a bit wild. Once they get too excited, there is no chance that they will get to sleep at a reasonable time on Christmas Eve. For many parents, Christmas Eve can become a big battle between them and their kids. The children will want to stay up and try and spot Father Christmas, after all!

Want to make things easier for everyone this Christmas Eve? Here are some great tips that can help them get to sleep quicker despite all the excitement.

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Wear Them Out

If you don’t have anything planned during the day on Christmas Eve, you should spend the day doing something that will wear the kids out. For instance, you might want to go sledding if there is plenty of snow. If not, you could always spend a couple of hours at your local ice rink.

For those in warmer climates, a day at the park or full of a local town’s Christmas activities should do the trick! Look ahead on Facebook Events to see what’s going on in your area!

(Related post: Hello December!)

By the time your kids get home, they will be tired and ready for bed. Hopefully, they will fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow!

Stick To The Routine

Every child benefits from a daily routine, and a bedtime routine is especially important. A set routine before bed at any time of the year can help kids get into a good habit, and it also helps them know what to expect in the evenings.

It’s important that you try and stick to this routine as much as possible, even if it is the Christmas holidays. You might find that it is hard to get back into the usual swing of things if you do break it for a few days.

(Related post: Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Intelligence)

Help Them Relax

It’s also worth taking a couple of hours out before bed so that your kids have the chance to relax and unwind. Giving them a bath is a great idea as this will relax both the body and mind. A lot of moms suggest lavender oils and bubble baths for a bedtime bath to help calm the kids. You will also find that a bedtime story can be particularly soothing for young children as well. Why not read them a Christmas story? Here are 10 great Christmas stories to choose from!

It could also be useful to learn more about scent machines. These can release relaxing fragrances, like lavender, into your children’s bedrooms, helping them relax and drift off as quickly as possible.

Tell Them Santa Won’t Come

If you find that all of the above tips aren’t enough to combat your children’s excitement, there is something else that you can do. Thought a little mean, as a last resort it may do the job. You just need to tell them that Santa won’t come until they are fast asleep.

This should at least get them into bed. They might still take a while to finally drop off, but as long as they know that Santa won’t come with their presents, at least they might pretend to be asleep until they do actually fall asleep. So that will give you a bit of peace and quiet!

And then you just have their over excitement on Christmas Day to deal with!

Christmas, General, Self-Care

6 Easy Ways to Lose Holiday Pounds

The holidays aren’t even here yet, and many of us have already started to pile on the holiday lbs. Shops start selling Christmas treats earlier every year, and we want to fit in as many as possible to make the most of them before they leave the shelves in the new year, so we start buying them as soon as we can. Then, there’s the fact that most of us no longer pound the streets for hours searching for the perfect Christmas gifts, burning off hundreds of calories in the process. Instead the only activity our Christmas shopping brings us is the clicking of a button. So, we’re eating more, working out less and have already gained some holiday weight when we enter December. At this point, many of us give up. We’ve gained weight already; we want to be able to enjoy the holidays without worrying, so instead let’s take a look at ways to lose the Christmas lbs when it’s all over.

Have a Cut Off

Most of us buy way too much Christmas food. Then receive even more as gifts. Try to stick to a limit, and give yourself a cut off date. Allow yourself to indulge until the 2nd of January, then have a clear out. Any treats left in the house, give away or put in the bin if it’s past its best. Then, start eating these healthy weekday dinners that you can make in the crockpot.

Calorie Count

To lose weight, you need to burn off more calories than you consume. 1lb is around 3500 calories, so you need to eat 500 calories less every day to lose 1lb in a week. The best way to ensure you do this is by calorie counting. If you struggle, use an app to help you track your consumption and buy an activity tracker to measure what you are burning off.

Drink Less Alcohol

Alcohol can actually affect your weight over Christmas more than food, and won’t even fill you up. On average a 175ml glass of wine has around 160 calories, that’s about the same as half a burger or 15 minutes running at high intensity. To lose weight in January, try to have an alcohol-free month.

Get Help

Calorie counting, dieting, and exercising can be confusing. Especially if you are busy and tend to eat quickly and on the go. Get help from isolatorfitness.com, and you won’t have to worry about working everything out and regulating yourself.

Enjoy the sales

A full day of sales shopping could burn off 1500 calories. So instead of shopping online, brave the cold and get out there into the January sales.

Make Healthy Leftovers

It’s not just the snacks and treats that can last long after Christmas. You might find yourself tucking into the leftover turkey for weeks too. Try some healthy recipes like soups, salads or a healthy low-fat curry.

The most important thing is not to carry on eating at the same holiday pace well into January. Let yourself fully enjoy the festivities. Then, stop. Even returning to your normal diet and increasing your activity levels slightly should help, any extra is a bonus which will help you to lose your holiday weight faster.

Family, General

Welcome November!

I promise it’s not just Fall. I get excited over every season change! Fall might have “officially” started over a month ago, but to me, November is the true month of Fall. October is just.. the whole month is Halloween, let’s get real. So, what are your plans for November so far?

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We’ve already started some of my favorite things to do this season! I’ve got logs on the fire, apple cider on the stove, and DELICIOUS freshly roasted pumpkin seeds that I can never seem to get enough of. We’ve been surrounded by good company, and have plans made throughout the month.

We’ve also got a movie list! A lot of people do the October horror movie list (we did too!), but my husband enjoyed it so much, we’ve decided to continue it into November. I’ve come up with a list of movies that are on Netflix for us to watch this month, except for the Star Wars movies. That’s just a family tradition we started last year, the week of Thanksgiving we watch the prequels and the original trilogy. I’m not sure why, but we love it!

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I’ve got a LOT to do this month! I have a mommy group Thanksgiving potluck the Friday before Thanksgiving to make a dish for. The next day, I’m hosting a Friendsgiving get together at our house (which means I have to provide the Turkey, oh boy). And then Thanksgiving Day we’ve got to split between my mom’s Thanksgiving, and his mom’s, as well as factoring in how to get our dad’s sides of the family included. That’s going to be a pretty full week.

I’ve also got to start figuring out this months meal plan, which is not the most fun thing for me. But it’s got to be done! Speaking of which, I need to go clean out the fridge and get ready for this month’s groceries.

How are y’all enjoying the season so far? Have thanksgiving plans made yet?

Welcome November! - The Southern Smiths: A few of my favorite things about fall, and our plans for November so far!
General, Halloween

Happy Halloween!

It’s officially the beginning of the holiday season! We’ve had a LOT of celebrating going on in our neck of the woods. Here are just a few things we’ve done this past week!

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Pumpkin Carving

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Kody and I probably like this part more than the kids! Seeing our creations come to life is really awesome to me, even if we are using stencils. The kids pick designs for their pumpkins, and help us gut them, and then Kody and I do the carving! This year Wade’s had an obsession with spiders, so of course, he picked the spider pumpkin. Kade just kind of pointed at an image, but it was fun to do!

Costumes

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Wade LOVES Teen Titans Go. He’s obsessed with Robin, so obviously we had to find a Robin costume (the FIRST year he didn’t pick a cow costume! YES)
We thought it would be PERFECT to do the baby as Batman! Usually, the OLDER brother is Batman, but this was too cute to pass up.

Trunk Or Treat

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Kody and I had a trunk at our Church’s community trunk or treat! It was sooo much fun decorating and getting to see the costumes of all the kids that came out. And of course, the boys enjoyed getting to trick-or-treat early!

They also had a church Halloween party, two other trunk or treats, and a Halloween party with a playgroup this morning!

I’m getting this typed up while we wait to go to Wade’s taekwondo class for the night, and then we’re going to figure out where to do some trick-or-treating before dinner.

What did y’all dress up as? How have you celebrated this week?

Happy Halloween! - The Southern Smiths: Pumpkin carving, costumes, and more!