Monday mission: let something go

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It is a common feeling this time of year:  even those who look forward to the holidays usually also have something about the season that they are dreading, a feeling of busyness and obligation that is hard to shake.

I love this time of year, I truly do, but there are some things that make me cringe.

This week I wanted to do something different and give myself a Monday Mission, a task to do to help simplify life for me and the kids, and you can join in if you’d like (I hope you will).

This week’s mission: let something go and simplify your holiday season.

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Celebrations of Light: a Wintertime Family eGuide

20 Advent Ideas

Note:  I’m a contributor to and an affiliate for this project.  Thanks!

We are entering into the darkest time of the year.  The days are shorter and colder and it is a season where we often turn inward, focusing more on our home and family.  When I was asked to contribute to an eguide about celebrating warmth and light for families, I was honored and eager to participate because I know those are things I strive to bring to my own family this time of year.

Liz, of A Natural Nester, whom I have worked with before, has written The Celebrations of Light Family eGuide as a compilation of ideas and inspiration for creating memorable & meaningful wintertime traditions with your family.

Creative and easy-to-follow, in pdf format, this guide is based on the “celebrations of light” she been honoring with her family for years.

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We tried it: Free Birds Hand Turkey (and a giveaway)

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Note: this is a sponsored post brought to you by Relativity Media.

Last night, after the dinner dishes were done but before it was time for pajamas and stories, the kids and I were feeling a little crafty.  Sometimes you just have to make something, right?  But, before bedtime isn’t the best time for big messy crafts, so we needed something simple.

Fall is is one of our favorite seasons, in part because the cooler weather gives us more time at the craft table, and in part because of the holidays.  In fact, don’t tell the Free Birds, a movie we’re looking forward to seeing this weekend (it opens in theaters this Friday, November 1st) but one of the reasons we love this time of year is for Thanksgiving and the turkey.

FBHandTurkey

The creators of Free Birds have a fun how-to video for drawing a Hand Turkey, which was the perfect project for our crafty mood.  You can watch the video, featuring Amy Poehler who voices Jenny in Free Birds, here:

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Summer Festivals Around the World {Little Passports}

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Note: this post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!

Yesterday I told you about the fun my family had at our local Bastille Day celebration and I imagine that many of my American readers celebrated the Fourth of July earlier this month.  But, France and the United States aren’t the only places with exciting Summertime festivals.

There are fascinating and fun festivals all over the globe!

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Indiana Bastille Day (local living and a lesson about community)

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Bonjour! This past weekend, my family and I attended Indiana Bastille Day, an amazing free family event that was held right in our hometown.

We ate crepes, participated in the French Revolution (well, okay, the Fishers RenFaire actors participated and we watched on with appreciation), learned a bit about French culture and history, and got to know our neighbors, local police force, and firefighters.

In an inspiring mix of global and local cultures, we saw a marionette show, learned about the game petanque, and were impressed by the many talents of our area’s local artisans that were on display.  We discovered some new-to-us local businesses and we made some new friends.

What does a small town in Indiana have to do with the French Revolution, you ask?  Well, admittedly, not much at first glance.  But, here’s the most wonderful part about all of this:  Indiana Bastille Day is a lesson about what can happen when friends and neighbors come together.

You see, Indiana Bastille Day began just a few short years ago as a celebration in a local couple’s backyard. The wife is from France and the family held a Bastille Day event at their home to share French culture with their friends and neighbors.

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