Tag Archives: fun

12 Activities to Get You in the Christmas Spirit!

Can you believe that Christmas is only about a week away? If you’re anything like me, you’re saying, “No way!” It just doesn’t feel like Christmas! Thanksgiving bumped up to December this year, leaving Christmas cards arriving later than usual, less lights going up on houses, and a mad scramble to get gifts. We had no time to recover from Thanksgiving! So if you are feeling like me and need to get into the festive holiday mood pronto, follow this simple holiday to do list!

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1) Bake cookies. There’s nothing to get you in the mood for Christmas like baking cookies for Santa and decorating them. Grab some friends or your family and insist on baking together, with uninterrupted (i.e. no cell phones!) bonding time. Cooking can inspire conversation and is a great opportunity to get some laughs and just have a great time. Invest in some fun cookie cutters, and use this recipe for simple and buttery sugar cookies.

2) Listen to Christmas music. It may be a great idea to combine our first suggestion to this one, because cooking to music makes the food taste better in my opinion. Even if you don’t have time or just happen to forget to turn it on at home, be sure to tune in to your local Christmas radio station.

3) Sing. Some people think singing out loud is silly, but that often goes out the window when it comes to holiday songs. Everyone can join in because they often know the words, and you may be surprised when your friends or family join in with you. Just let go and have fun, that’s what the holidays are about. To quote the movie “Elf,” “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

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4) Wrap presents. There’s something therapeutic about methodically wrapping gifts and making them look beautiful. Many rush the process, so I suggest putting an hour or two aside to wrap presents especially. Just enjoy it, don’t let it be the aggravating thing that is making you late for a party.

5) Watch the classic Christmas movies. There are tons of cheesy Christmas movies around nowadays, some only made for TV. Though they may be wonderful, it’s the time of year to pull out your family’s old fall-backs and let the happy memories from over the years wash over you. You know, those ones you’d watch every year while opening presents. Be sure to gather blankets, get a cup of hot chocolate, and cozy up!

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6) Make an ornament. When we were kids, we’d often make ornaments in school or an event, but as adults, we rarely make one. You may rely on your kids to make these little handmade treasures, but it can put you in a really festive mood to make one! Check out these easy recommendations from Buzzfeed.

7) Go through old photos. This is the perfect time of year to look back and reminisce about trips you took and things you did over the year and beyond. Look at old baby pictures, birthday moments, and silly memories.

8) Make snowflakes. Remember in school when you’d spend hours cutting up a folded piece of paper, anticipating what it would look like when you were done? Do it again! All it requires is a square piece of white paper and scissors. Simply fold the paper in half (into a triangle) and then again (it should still be a triangle). Then cut fun shapes! Avoid cutting completely down the folded edges, as this will cause your snowflake to fall apart.

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9) Go for a drive around your neighborhood at night. Seeing your neighbor’s homes all lit up is so much fun, especially as you snake your way slowly through the twinkling lights. Be sure to bring some hot cocoa and turn on some of that Christmas music!

10) Enjoy a fire in a fireplace. I know this may be tricky if you don’t have a fireplace, but it’s so nice to get cozy next to a fire and smell the wood burning. If you don’t have a hearth of your own, see if a friend or family will open their home to you. In return, be sure to provide the egg nog/hot chocolate and candy canes to thank your hosts!

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11) Go out and shop. I know most people do shopping online now, but there really is something fun and festive about going somewhere and actually walking through the shops. Christmas music is playing, sales people are especially nice and attentive, and people are generally nicer than usual (though occasionally some may be a little stressed). Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s invigorating to go out and enjoy window shopping.

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12) Give back. See if there’s anywhere near you to volunteer, like at a Senior Center or Homeless Shelter. If you can’t donate your time, then donate a gift or toy to a local drive. Look up online where you can find a station in your area. The mall often has a giving tree with gift tags and suggestions for gifts for children and seniors in need.

As always, SteerList is here to help you from getting into the Christmas spirit to picking up New Year’s Eve party supplies. Get last minute gifts and don’t forget to pick up the fruitcake, all while getting your weekly groceries and remembering to fill everyday prescriptions. SteerList is the ultimate to do list and reminder app… and you don’t need to check it twice!

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Need Ideas for Dinner Tonight? Make Your Own Pizza!

SteerList has got you covered for dinner tonight. The best part? Your kids do half the work! Pizza night can be super fun and super easy, especially with this no-yeast pizza dough recipe. Pick up some toppings and get ready to bake!

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The first part of pizza night is to make your dough. Of course, you can probably buy crust from your local grocery store (Pillsbury makes one) but I personally recommend this easy recipe from cooks.com for fresh dough!

Dough (Good for about two large pizzas):

2 ½ cups flour

2 ¾ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil

¾ to 1 cup water

Simply mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet. I recommend mixing the water and oil together before adding it to the dry ingredients because if you add the oil separately, it balls up. If the dough seems stiff, add a little more water. After adding your toppings, bake at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes.

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 For the toppings, you can pick up your kid’s classic favorites and encourage them to try new vegetables or toppings you don’t normally get on pizza. Two examples I love are peas and almond slivers. Where else can you get a pizza with almonds on it!? Things like that make pizza night special. The nice thing about pizza night is also that you don’t have to have a whole pizza with one topping… if your child is unsure of whether or not they will like a certain topping but still want to try it, just top one slice. You can also experiment with different cheeses, like feta or ricotta. Don’t forget the sauce! Don’t just use plain tomato sauce, Spaghetti sauce can work in a pinch.

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Divide your pizza dough into “personal pizza” sizes and put pre-chopped toppings into bowls (or mini muffin tins) so your kids can access them easily. Roll out the dough and roll up the edges to make a crust, and add a layer of sauce, then let your kids do what they want. If you have extra dough, you can even try to make a dessert pizza!

SteerList is here as your go-to grocery list app! Be sure to note anything you need to pick up so you can be reminded the next time you drive past the store.

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Make a Trip to the Art Museum More Engaging!

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With rainy days becoming a regular occurrence, it’s time to surrender and start moving out activities indoors. One of my favorite rainy day activities is to go to an art museum. There’s something quiet and ethereal about walking into a museum, everything is hushed and everyone walks around in awe almost like walking into a church. Of course, going to a museum can be a different task when going with a child. Here are a few quick ideas to program to your free SteerList app to keep the kids engaged on a trip to the museum.

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1) Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Have your child mimic the pose featured in a portrait (at a fair distance) then ask them questions. Ask them if it’s hard to hold the pose, or how they would have positioned the model differently if they were painting or sculpting the piece of art themselves. If you’re allowed to take pictures, you can take one or two to show off later. Just remember to remain respectful even if a pose is especially silly.

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2) Get inspired. At our local museum, they include art packs that anyone visiting can pick up and use to their heart’s content. The kits have colored pencils, paper, sketching pencils, and an eraser. You can just bring a notebook with a pencil (that has an eraser attached to the end) if you’d rather go simple. I’d recommend a “put everything down before you stand up” rule, or “Hand everything to mommy before you go near the art.” Don’t want any temptations to “add” to the existing art or room for accidents. Like checking the photo policy, it is probably good to ask at the desk if it’s okay to sketch in the galleries. Most museums allow it, but it’s always good to double check.

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 3) Invent games that will encourage kids to take a second look at a piece. Kids can sometimes have a look-and-go policy. Playing a game like “I Spy” can force a kid to stop and really explore every inch of a piece of art with their eyes. They may notice things they didn’t see the first time, or just learn to go a little slower and to fully enjoy the piece. (Can you spot the one lily pad that’s floating on its own in the Monet above?)

All of these things add a little fun to a trip to the museum for a little one, but it also teaches a lot about art appreciation and the concept of art being thought provoking. Always ask a lot of questions, try to lead to a discussion.

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A Spooky Handmade Halloween

If the word “Halloween” fills you with giddy joy, then just taking a look at our spooky Etsy haul for inspiration will definitely make you want to try on your Halloween costume just one more time. They’re great just to look at and get ideas from, but if you plan on ordering be sure to do it soon! It may be too late for some sellers, so be sure to message them to see if they can get it to you by October 31st, or make a note to the seller at the time of purchase.

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 (Photo courtesy of RedHandPrims)

These silhouette lanterns from RedHandPrims add just the right combination of soft candle light and chilling profiles. The set includes Frankenstein and his bride, a witch, and Nosferatu. Great for creating a path or display on your front porch!

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(Photo courtesy of EdelweissPost)

 This stamp pumpkin ads a touch of vintage to your holiday décor and can stay on your table from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Very cute, whimsical, and we especially like how seller EdelweissPost lists “magic” as one of the materials used.

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(Photo courtesy of AllisonHopeDesigns)

AllisonHopeDesigns brings us this fun and colorful wreath perfect for Trick-or-Treaters. If you’re tired of the common black-and-orange color scheme commonly associated with Halloween, try this festive one reminiscent of New Orleans.

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(Photo courtesy of 6miles)

No house can truly be creepy without some candlesticks. Seller 6miles includes this set of three candle holders in three various sizes. Appropriately worn and black, these will add the perfect touch of an abandoned (and haunted, of course) mansion.

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(Photo courtesy of BatcakesCouture)

A costume can be as simple as a really great accessory. If you’re still searching for a Halloween costume that’s appropriate for work without being over-the-top, check out this statement spider web hatfrom BatcakesCouture. You can be the spider or a play on the term “black widow,” or even just use it as a great conversation-starter. Fashionable, dark, and spooky all in one.

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(Photo courtesy of SignatureArtWorks)

Just like the spider hat, a  great mask is a simple way to get in the spirit of the holiday. If blood and guts isn’t your thing, you can opt for a beautiful mask like this one from SignatureArtWorks. The black and red moftif is perfect for Halloween, but if you’re not into the gothic look, there are tons of masks to choose from.

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(Photo courtesy of dellcovespices)

“Pick your poison’ is a commonly use phrase at any party on All Hallow’s Eve. This black rimming sugar immediately turns any drink from “everyday” to a creepy and tragically beautiful concoction. Seller dellcovespices also has lots of other fun things to rim your glass with.

il_570xN.384616006_ef5w(Photo courtesy of BOSSGirlsInc)

Don’t worry, these wine and Mexican chocolate gourmet lollipops from BOSSGirlsInc aren’t alcoholic. Whether you’re heading out with a group of other moms for trick-or-treating or are throwing a big party, lollipops with interesting, more “grown up” flavors is a great way to bring back the old fun of candy on Halloween.

As always, remember to download our free organizational app, SteerList, to help you pull off your perfect Halloween night!

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Easy DIY Halloween Decor!

Halloween is around the corner, and part of the fun is not only dressing yourself up, but your house as well! Whether you just want to add some thrill to your décor or are throwing a big Halloween bash, here are some really easy and festive DIY projects that will make your house look a little creepy, but not over-the-top.

 The Shadow Hand

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This a really cool effect, because we all know the haunting feeling of seeing a shadow move out of the corner of our eyet. All it takes to achieve is scissors, tape, and a pencil (or white chalk, which will be easier to see on the black paper). Simply pick a place and how you want to position your hand (or a partner’s if you’d rather trace someone else’s) then trace the hand onto the black paper. Stop at your nails to make a more dramatic manicure if you want to make it look like a witch’s or woman’s hand. When you’re done, cut it out and tape and you’ll have a creepy shadow that will make your trick-or-treaters do a double-take.

 A Colony of Bats

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As easy as the hand, these bats can make a fun decoration that is what we call “creepy couture.” Simply find or draw your own template (we like this one from onecharmingparty.com) then trace it on to your black paper. Tape however you want, and enjoy the atmosphere of a festive-but-refined haunted house. Tip: You can slightly bend the wings and only tape the body to create a 3-D effect.

Cutie/Mandarin Orange Pumpkins

One of these is more for decoration (though you can certainly munch on them at a party), the other is perfect for a healthy party snack!

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1) Take a bag of Cuties or oranges and grab a permanent pen. Leaving the rind on, draw fun jack-o-lantern designs on the oranges for a fast and easy treat. These are great for a kid’s class party, for their lunch, or even just to have sitting around the house.

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(Photo courtesy of Pinterest, origin unkown)

2) The second option is much more autumnal. If you don’t want your guest to have to do the work of peeling their own orange, simply do it for them. Then, with the segments of your orange exposed and resembling a cute pumpkin, take a small piece of celery and stick it in the top to finish the look! In the photo, they are served alongside banana “ghosts” with chocolate chip features.

Ghostly Hand in the Punch Bowl

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(Photo courtesy of the Simply Stated blog)

I love this really chilling detail. Simply freeze a rubber glove full of water to make the hand-shaped ice. I have never tried this personally, but I’d warn you to rinse the glove a few times first, or run the ice hand under cold water for a bit to get the first layer off. Sometimes rubber gloves have that powdery coating that probably doesn’t taste that great. Opt for a latex-free glove if possible, just in case anyone has an allergy.

Make sure to download our free grocery list and organization app! We use location based reminders so you can get notifications on any of these items or other decorations you might need the next time you drive past the store!

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