This post is written in partnership with Baby Dove, but the opinions and experience are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors who help me to bring you content here at Oh Lovely Day.
I think moms are feeling more and more pressure to present themselves in perfect little squares these days. Perfect lighting, matching jammies, clean homes, all white kitchens, and definitely no messes shown on social media. Ever! It affects all of us, but new moms are especially prone to social media pressure and anxiety. Although piles of dirty laundry, tantrums in public and the realistic issues that parents face aren’t typically included in Instagram’s trending photos, they are the realities that most parents face on a daily basis. While social media generally only presents a highlight reel of life, Baby Dove wants to celebrate the REAL moments and showcase the beauty in the realness of modern-day motherhood. I’m proud to be partnering with them, because you know I am all about keeping it real and have no problem sharing the highs and lows of motherhood with you. That’s what inspired my creation of #battlefieldmotherhood. So I gathered up a collection of photos that I love because of the moments they capture, but actually hesitated sharing initially because they don’t look insta-worthy or might disrupt a cohesive feed of squares.Read More
This post is sponsored by Upparent but the opinions are my own.
My favorite thing about the holidays is having the chance to spend time with loved ones and create family traditions together. But this time of year can also get busy and go by fast, so to make sure we really enjoy the holidays and have lots of family fun, I like to make a list of ideas of activities that I’d like to do before the new year. And this year I incorporated the list into our advent calendar. If you don’t do advent calendars you can just call it a countdown to Christmas or Hanukkah or winter solstice or whatever your family celebrates. Here are some of my favorite ideas for family fun this holiday season, which you can tailor depending on which holidays you celebrate, where you live, and your favorite family traditions. For inspiration on local holiday events happening near you, check out Upparent, a great new resource for parents that shares conversations about family-friendly products, destinations, and events — all in one place. And don’t miss their fun giveaway at the bottom of the post.
1. Go see a local production of The Nutcracker.
2. Make an ornament to hang on your Christmas tree, and then decorate the tree as a family.
3. Have a family gelt hunt and share the story of Hanukkah.
4. Make hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows or go out for hot cocoa at your favorite local coffee shop.
5. Take the kiddos to sit on Santa’s lap (we always went to see the same Santa at the Grove when we lived in Los Angeles, so we’re still looking for our new local Santa tradition here in Columbus and hoping Upparent can hook us up with a good option.)
6. Watch a favorite holiday movie or show your kids one of the holiday cartoons you grew up with like Frosty the Snowman or A Charlie Brown Christmas.
7. Start an ‘Elf on the Shelf’ tradition.
8. Make holiday cookies together – even the littlest hands can help. Bonus points for delivering them to a neighbor or someone who could use a little holiday cheer.
9. Download a favorite holiday song and have a family sing-a-long or dance party. Our family’s favorite is Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.
10. Go to the movies (The Grinch is a great kid-friendly holiday movie this year!)
11. Make gifts or handmade cards for teachers, your mail carrier, neighbors, dog walkers, or anyone you want to say an extra “thank you” to.
12. Walk or drive around to see Christmas lights in the neighborhood.
13. Have each of your children choose one of his or her toys to donate to a less fortunate child or go shopping to buy a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
14. Sit around the fireplace and share your favorite family memories from the year or favorite holiday memories from past years.
15. Make a popcorn garland together.
16. Read your favorite holiday story (like The Night Before Christmas) as a family.
17. Go ice skating, or if you’re lucky enough to get snow, make a snowman, go sledding, or have a snowball fight (or all of the above!)
18. Go to a nearby amusement park or zoo to see the holiday decorations. In Los Angeles, we went to Disneyland at Christmastime each year. Our new tradition here in Columbus is to go see Zoo Lights at the Columbus Zoo. They put on such a great light show and have other fun holiday events and activities. We even got to meet Rudolph, we drank hot cocoa, and it is definitely our new favorite family-friendly holiday tradition in Columbus.
19. Get matching holiday pajamas each year and wear them on Christmas Eve.
20. Give back as a family: participate in a toy or coat drive, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or ring the Salvation Army bell.
21. Write a letter to Santa with your child.
22. Host a Christmukkah party for family and friends: candy canes and cocoa, latkes, and other mixed traditions can be incorporated.
23. Go to a nearby Tree Farm and choose a beautiful real Christmas tree together and chop it down.
24. Get a family photo together during the holiday season: by the Christmas tree, wearing ugly sweaters, playing in the snow.
25. Make a gingerbread house with your family.
If you are looking for more family-friendly ideas, activities and local events near you, Upparent is a great source for inspiration. Since we are newer to Columbus this is how I have found lots of the fun local things we have done as a family. If you aren’t yet familiar with it, Upparent is the new online destination for parents seeking inspiration from other parents about family-friendly recommendations. It is like having a conversation with your mom friends about things to do, places to go, and products to try, but it is online all in one place so it is easy to browse and find new inspiration. You can recommend your own favorites as well!
And Upparent wants to give your family $500 to make your holiday season brighter and help you have even more fun. Enter below to win a $500 Amazon Gift Card!
What are your favorite holiday family fun ideas? What will you be doing with your family this holiday season?
This post is sponsored by Upparent.
The winter holiday season can be such a special time for many families, but can be tricky or even isolating for others. It depends what your religious affiliation (or lack thereof) is, what your own childhood was like, and so many more factors that come into play this time of year. I was raised in a Christian faith (Catholic) but my husband and I have chosen not to raise our kids in a religious household, preferring instead a spiritual path of kindness, love, nature, and being a good human without the religiously institutionalized rules. In truth, we’re agnostics who want to raise good humans to learn about every religion and way of thinking and make their own decisions about what their heart tells them is true and to be more accepting of all people than we often see (or saw growing up) in some religious communities. Don’t get me wrong — I think there is so much that is wonderful about the community you find at church, the lovely rituals and traditions, and the overall idea behind Christianity. But much of the rules and teachings aren’t something that align with our personal social values or what feels right in our hearts as what is right for our family (but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for yours and we respect that too!). So Christmas can be tricky for us, because we don’t celebrate it as Christians. Instead, we use it as a time to talk about giving and service to others, slowing down and spending time with family, and as a teaching tool to learn about what it means to others. But I still like to incorporate Christmas traditions that my husband and I both had growing up (Santa, a Christmas tree, an advent calendar with service projects and family fun activities, etc) into our own family celebration.
Because we don’t default to the Nativity/Jesus’s birthday story, I like to find books that we can read as a family to explain both that concept as well as other religious celebrations like Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, as well as things like the winter solstice. I thought I would share some books that we love (or that are in my cart right now to add to our library this year) that share a variety of stories, a diverse look at the winter holidays, and that give you more than just Jesus and Santa (although they are included too). Some of our more “traditional” favorites are pictured above as well, but I think many of those are well-known and in many of your holiday libraries already. I hope some of the recs below introduce you to a new story that your family will love:
- A World of Cookies For Santa — a look at how the Santa tradition is done in different countries across the globe.
- Christmas Around the World — different stories about how Christmas is celebrated around the world
- Refuge: a new spin on the Nativity story, focusing on Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus as refugees who had to rely on the kindness of others for survival and protection (very topical and a good way to talk to your kids about the current refugee crisis at our southern border.)
- Oskar and the Eight Blessings — a lovely story about a refugee boy, Hanukkah, and acts of kindness
- The Diwali Gift
- The Little Reindeer
- Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins — a classic Hanukkah tale that has lessons of courage, faith, and keeping a good sense of humor even when the world around you is a scary place.
- The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
- Amma, Tell Me About Diwali
- The Tomten — classic story of the Tomten’s nocturnal visits to all of the residents of wintry farm has been reminding children of the promise of spring for decades.
- Hanukkah Bear: interesting facts about the history and traditions of Hanukkah weaved within a sweet story, and a latke recipe is included!
- Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children
- The Lump of Coal (for older kiddos who no longer believe in Santa or if you don’t do Santa in your home)
- The Nutcracker
- Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Power of Giving: A Christmas Story
- Polar Express
- Night Tree — a story about a family who decorates the same tree each year for the forrest animals, rather than cutting one down each year
- Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanza Story
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story — a story that teaches about the strength and courage of a family and the true spirit of Christmas
What are your favorite holiday books, traditional, religious, or more inclusive of all celebrations? We love adding to our library. Do you have any of these books? Do you do alternative Christmas or winter holiday celebrations? I’d love to hear about all of your experiences!
* this post contains affiliate links. when you click on one and purchase a product, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.
So I always find it a hard balance this time of year between celebrating gratitude and being thankful for all that we have and getting caught up in the consumerism that is the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping hype. I’ve really tried to be more mindful of both my own shopping and also what I recommend to you. I don’t want to put out a bunch of content telling you that you need to spend money on a bunch of stuff. But at the same time I get that many of us wait until this time of year to splurge on something for ourselves or to do our holiday shopping. So, I’m going to share a few sales from my favorite brands or some of the things I’ve had my eye on. But really, don’t let the Black Friday craze make you feel like you NEED to buy or spend money that you don’t have. Do you really need it or will you (or the person you are shopping for) really enjoy it? If the answer is yes, then great! But if you are buying something just because it is on sale, then skip it. Ok, hopping off my soap box now 🙂
Black Friday Deals:
Beautycounter: Get 15% off your purchase! Now through 11/26. Guys, this never happens.
- A few favorites for yourself or that make great gift ideas. The Instant Awakening Trio, any of our Limited Edition $30 holiday sets: Lip Gloss + Lipstick Duo, Glow & Go Mini Facial Oils, Holiday Hand Cream Trio, Shimmer & Shine Body Set, and the Best of Beautycounter set.
If you are a follower you know I love this brand so much I became a consultant with them (started for the discount but has turned into a great business!). So for anyone who orders under my site (beautycounter.com/chandrafredrick) during the Black Friday sale I’ll enter you into a giveaway I’m doing for a Intense Moisture Body Duo.
- A couple of my Madewell faves: booties, beanie, puff sleeve top, jeans, sweater, sweater coat, tote.
J.Crew: Get 40% off your purchase (yes, FORTY!) with code TOGETHER now through 11/22.
- Some faves from the Crew: Sweater blazer, moccasin slippers (I’ve had this pair for like 5 years and LOVE them) pink vegan leather crossbody bag, a flask as pretty as it is practical, these cute vintage gingham pjs (I think I’d live in them all winter and since I work from home, I can!) and I’m buying this reusable tote for Charlie’s teacher to add some goodies to (like the Beautycounter hand lotion and a mug). It is $8, plus $10 to monogram, and then 40% off!
ThirdLove: For every bra purchased, ThirdLove will donate one to a victim of the California wildfires
Disneyland Tickets from Getaway Today: Up to $95 off Disneyland tickets (per ticket!) from Getaway Today depending on dates of travel.
Small Shops + Businesses:
Mom Culture: Every year I buy teacher gifts here. They are always a hit. My favorite is the Teaching Tiny Humans travel mug. Throw in a local coffee shop gift card and it’s the perfect gift!
Shop Darling Clementine: Shop the sweetest collection of ethically-made goodies for mommas and littles. Spend $50 get 15% off – get15 / Spend $125 get 20% off – get20 / Spend $200 get 25% off – get25 / Spend $300 get 30% off – get30 11/21-11/26
June & January: Friday only – 40% off most basics, and 25% off on 11/24-25, plus the launch of their new MAMA line.
Nugget Comfort: My favorite nuggets are already discounted to pretty affordable prices (they are priceless, frankly!) but they are releasing new colors! We have Lagoon and love it.
Find Your Voice E-Course: My friend Chrissy launched a wonderful E-Course and she is discounting it by 50%, making it under $250 for a limited time.
Hello, Nourish: Bri is offering $100 off coaching packages AND donating 5% of all packages sold to a collaborative cause fund supporting those affected by the CA wildfires through 12/23. (and if you don’t follow @hellonourish on IG, you should!)
I’ll be adding more small biz sales as I discover them, so check back all weekend!
I hope everyone has a safe and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. xo
Holiday jammies are a tradition in our house, and were a tradition for me growing up as well. It is the only time of year we can get all of our kids (and our spouses!) to dress alike without eye rolls — because everyone loves Christmas pjs 🙂 And if you celebrate a different holiday, you can still get in on the cuteness by choosing a winter pattern or matching grey or blue stripes. The only thing I don’t love about holiday pajamas are that they can be pretty pricey. My kids do wear them beyond the holiday, but since they grow out of things so fast, While my absolute favorite pajamas are from this brand, some families can’t spend that much on pajamas, or aren’t looking for long lasting quality so much as just wearing them a couple of times and are looking for a more budget-friendly option. In case you’re in the same boat I thought I would round up some of my favorite affordable matching holiday pajamas for the whole family.
- Black & White winter fair isle pajamas.
- Red & white candy stripe pajamas.
- Penguin pjs
- Christmas stripe pajamas.
- Snowflake pajamas.
- Family plaid pajamas.
- Elf stripe pajamas.
- Holiday print jammies.
And just because I can’t handle how much they’ve grown, here are the boys in their matching jammies from two years ago. You can find more of my boys in their matching pjs last here in this post and buy some yourself here. These are the best quality and fit pajamas I’ve found, although I do size up for my boys who are bigger than average.
Does your family do the matching jammies thing? Where are your favorites from? And what other family traditions do you love? You can find more of our family traditions in this post and also by following the #fredrickfamilyxmas feed on Instagram.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Kleenex, Lipton, and Theraflu. All opinions are mine alone. #FluSeasonHacks #CollectiveBias
Fall is by far my favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, pumpkin-flavored everything, trick or treating, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes: there is so much to love. But fall also brings the dreaded germ season, and when you have little kids that is the most dreaded season of all. Last year was our first fall/winter living in a new state with true seasons, which will mean exposure to new germs (and lots of them), colder temperatures, and more frequent sickness. I learned a few things last winter, so I’m preparing for germ season ahead of time this year and I thought I would share a bit about how I stock my kitchen in case it helps you prepare for the same. Because when it comes to germs and preventing their spread, we’re all in this together right? So here are some go-to stock-ups:
First, I prepare for germ season by trying to protect us from sickness and building up our immune systems. People have different favorite ways to do this, but I’m a believer in a combination of both traditional and holistic methods. I get a flu shot. I diffuse essential oils. We take probiotics. We try to get enough rest. We wash our hands. All of these things help our immune systems to be strong and ready to fight off any germs that come our way (hopefully). I explain to my kids how important it is to cover coughs and wash hands and to not share food or drinks, and how eating healthy foods and getting enough rest helps us to stay well overall and fight off germs.
Nothing is worse than coming down with a virus and not having the supplies you need to feel better on hand. Especially when it is you, the mom and caretaker, that is sick. Because you definitely don’t feel like heading out to the store for supplies once you’ve already gotten sick, especially if you have to take your kids with you, and you probably can’t rely on someone else getting the supplies you want for you. In an effort to avoid that miserable situation, I stock up at the start of fall so that my sick day arsenal is ready. Here are some of my favorites to have on hand:
- Kleenex® Lotion Tissues: anyone with kids knows you go through Kleenex® in a flash during the fall and winter. I choose Kleenex® because they are dependable and soft, and the lotion variety works great with little noses that get rubbed raw. The Soothing Lotion infused with pure aloe and vitamin E soothes tender skin. I feel better as a mom knowing I can help and comfort my sick kiddos, husband, and myself whenever illness strike, and Kleenex® definitely contributes to that.
- Theraflu Power Pods: Did you know that Theraflu makes fast-relieving pods that fit into most single serve coffee makers? There is both a daytime and nighttime version, but I usually stock up on the nighttime version at the very least. Because when you are sick you need all the help you can get when it comes to relief while you sleep. They temporarily reduce fever and symptoms associated with colds, like aches and pains, congestion, headache, and sore throat. You just push a button, sip, and feel the relief. It is powerful relief without a prescription.
You can save $2.00 on any ONE (1) Theraflu Power Pods through 12/8, via this digital offer.
- The Lipton Wellness Tea: a variety of teas made with carefully selected botanicals and blended with essential oils, which help make wellbeing a part of your everyday routine. I always have the Daily Support on hand, but also recently stocked the kitchen with Soothe Your Tummy. It is an herbal infusion for those times your tummy feels less than its best.* Carefully selected botanicals like ginger and peppermint are blended with natural essential oils that make every cup delicious
FYI: I don’t use both the pods and the tea at the same time. For example, I only use the Tummy Tea when my stomach hurts. And I only use the Theraflu Pods when I have flu-like symptoms — I never use both on the same day.
Last year’s flu season was rough, so this year get a jump on the season and stock up on the essentials for you and your family. Maybe when you stop in for your flu shot, you take the time to get everything you need…just in case. A one-stop shop to Kroger can allow you to feel a little relief this upcoming season, knowing that you are ready for all the coughs, fevers, and sore throats. I know it will help ease my mind.
You can also find these savings on Kleenex for a limited time:
- Kleenex is offering FREE Home Delivery (where home delivery is available) Offer valid 9/4 – 11/11/18
- Check your in-store circular for the 11/4 coupon for .50¢ Off Kleenex Facial Tissue or Wipes.
- Also look for the $1.50 coupon on 4-pack Kleenex Facial Tissues, for Kleenex Germ Removal Wet Wipes.
- And, 11/4-11/24 you can get .50¢ off Kleenex 4-pack bundles and Kleenex Wet Wipes via this digital offer.
You can find all of these products at your local Kroger store.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.
Kleenex – ©KCWW, Lipton – © 2018 Unilever Theraflu – ©2018 the GSK group of companies or its licensor. Read and follow label directions. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older. Use products only as directed.