Weekend Links

After my Advent post, my good friend Tanya pointed me in the direction of the list of Advent Family Fun at the wonderful blog By Sun and Candlelight. I wanted to share it with all of you, in case you’re still looking for some Advent planning inspiration.  Lots of great ideas there – I’m especially intrigued by the idea of cocoa popsicles and I love her “Nature Rejoices” book basket titles.

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends! We’ll be  talking about Thanksgiving, manners, and Hanukkah this week. I can’t wait!

Weekend Giveaway: Back 40 Life

Welcome to a Simple Kids Weekend Giveaway!  This week we are featuring Back 40 Life.

This giveaway away is now closed.

Back 40 Life

Back 40 Life is a beautiful store full of handcrafted signs and wall decals. Shop owner Jodi’s dream of Back 40 Life began as a desire for “…a slower pace that celebrated the simplicity of life and found enjoyment in the everyday.”

I can certainly relate to that!

I have fallen in love with so many of the items from Back 40 Life’s selection.  My favorite is the wall decal saying “The best things in life aren’t things.”  And, how neat is this countdown decal?

You can learn more about Jodi and Back 40 Life at the shop’s website and on their Etsy shop profile.

I’m so excited to tell you that Jodi has offered a $100 Gift Certificate to Back 40 Life for one lucky Simple Kids reader!

How To Win

One reader will win a $100 Gift Certificate to Back 40 Life.  To win, simply leave a comment on this post.

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Four Tips for Navigating the Holidays as a Single Parent

The following post was written by Jaimie.   Jaimie is a single, work-at-home mom to a toddler and preschooler who blogs about her adventures in creating a simple, creative, sustainable life for her family at Two Chicks and a Hen.

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to think about how to maximize enjoyment while minimizing stress.  Here are four simple ways to keep things running smoothly and maintain peace as a single parent during this season:

1. Keep Some Old Traditions; Start Some New Ones

This is especially valuable during the first few holiday seasons as a single-parent household. With ritual and continuity being so comforting for children (and, let’s face it, adults too), it’s important to repeat some of the traditions you had as a family before you began life as a single parent. Your family may not look exactly the same, but small children will value, for example, making the trip to the same Christmas tree farm you’ve always visited to chop down your tree.

Children might remember and think about previous years when the other parent was present, and this is fine. Moments like these may bring some amount of discomfort for you, but it’s nice for your children to be able to verbalize their feelings about the changes in the family. Engaging in pre-divorce traditions helps reinforce the idea that, while some things have changed, the core of who you are as a family still remains.

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Advent Activities: Make the Days Count

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, now that November is here, I am looking at my holiday to-do lists with a critical eye and trying to be very realistic about what can actually, and joyfully, be accomplished between now and December.

My goal is to finish as much of my holiday planning as I can during the month of November so that December can be about more meaningful things. I’m also hoping that a little extra work and thoughtfulness now means more rest and playing later!

This week I’m thinking about Advent ideas in preparation for the upcoming season.

Advent: Counting the Days

It doesn’t take too many days of using an Advent calendar for even young kids to start to understand the idea of a count-down.  The simple, repeated act – be it opening a drawer on an heirloom calendar to reveal a surprise or tearing the next link on a paper chain every day – is a fun way for kids to mark the passage of time.

Something to look forward to every day is a nice way to measure the remaining time toward an anticipated day.

[Read more...]

Weekend Links

It isn’t all holiday knitting around here: Lucy Cupcake in her new green hat (a two hour project – love that!)

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, friends, and finding some time to rest and relax before the week ahead.  My plan for the day involves some yarn, some football, and perhaps even a little cocoa …. See you Monday! ~ Kara