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6 Family Workouts To Try in 2020

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Do you want to spend more time as a family and also get in shape this year? Then family workouts are the best New Year’s Resolution! 

The concept is simple: exercise together as a family. But this is anything but boring. Family workouts from Mom Fabulous include video games, handstands, gymnastics, and hide-and-go-seek. 

Are you ready? Does your family accept the challenge? Let’s jump in—literally!

Family Workout 1: Active video games

When you think of video games, you probably think of sedentary children with their eyeballs glued to a screen. Let’s reinvent the definition of a family video game night. 

First, pick an interactive video game like Wii Fit, Just Dance, or Dance Dance Revolution.

Then, let your kids each pick their favorite game. Except there has to be a fitness component. For example, the player who lost the Mario Kart race has to do a 30 jumping jacks.

Not a video game family? The same rules apply to board games or card games!

Family Workout 2: Dance parties

Impromptu dance parties are the memories of childhood. Transform your living room into a dance floor. Create a playlist of your kids favorite tunes and dance around like crazy for 15 minutes. (Don’t pause for a water break after 10 minutes. You can do 15 minutes of cardio!)

Or, find an instructional YouTube video for new variety of dance. Watch the lesson as a family, then practice for 15 minutes. Try Hawaiian hula dancing, a zumba class to “I like to move it move it” (from the Madagascar movie),” a fun full body workout, karate kicks, African dancing, a family cardio session, or hip hop dance moves.

Family Workout 3: Handstand challenge

Yep, you read that correctly. Learn how to do a handstand with this handy tutorial, then challenge your family an official handstand challenge. Some kids are gifted with the ability to balance like an ant on a wire, while others struggle to remain upright when standing on one foot. 

Once you master the handstand challenge, progress to to the cartwheel, splits, plank, or backbend challenge. If your family succeeds in all of those areas, create your own! (Note: please ensure that you and your children do not attempt tricks that should only be performed with professional coaching in a properly outfitted gym, such as back handsprings or backward flips.)

Family Workout 4: Gymnastics at the park

The playground is a fitness wonderland! See how many workouts your family can do at the local part. Once you master exercises at that park, travel to another one and see if you can create new fitness activities there!

Here’s a few ideas to help get you started:

  • Leg lifts on the swings.
  • Walk along the balance beam.
  • Jump over small walls (less than 1 foot high)
  • Pirouette on a bench or climbing pad.
  • Complete the monkey bars.
  • Climb to the top of the rope wall.
  • Run up and down the stairs.
  • Do wall push ups against the slide.

Family Workout 5: Classic childhood games

Old fashioned games are classic for a reason: they never go out of style! 

  • Play a round of tag with your kids. Pretend that the ground is lava for an extra challenge. 
  • Bring back TV tag (shout the name of a television show or movie right before you get tagged to gain immunity from the imminent tag).
  • Play sardines (the opposite of hide-and-go-seek), where one player hides and everyone seeks. If someone finds the hider, they hide with them, until everyone has found the hider.
  • Enter into an epic game of hide-and-go-seek. 
  • Capture the flag is loads of fun.
  • Get into a game of backyard baseball or kickball.
  • Play hopscotch or jump rope.
  • Draw a “city” with roads and buildings on your driveway using chalk. Drive scooters or bikes through the “town.”

Family Workout 6: Go hiking

Find a hiking trail and get outside with your kids. For their imaginative minds, hiking is more than a walk through the woods. It’s an opportunity to see wildlife, notice unique plants, walk through mini streams, and be immersed in nature. Many local parks have easy, short trails that are perfect for children. Ask your local park ranger for advice.

Family fitness goals

Set specific and measurable goals with your kids, like doing a family fitness activity together once per week for at least 30 minutes. Try out one of these ideas and share your feedback in the comments below. Have more ideas? Comment those too so we can grow our collection of family workout ideas!

Keep reading:

How To Complete A Family Year In Review Exercise

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Image borrowed from The Dating Divas

Have you noticed the popular introduction in this year’s Christmas letters? “Wow, this year has flown by!” or “We can’t believe Christmas is already here!” or “Where has the time gone this year?” 

That points out two things: 1. We need to diversify our Christmas card greetings. 2. The past year tends to blue together. Let’s elaborate on that second point. We need to learn how to review the past year so that we’re ready to embrace the new year.

Let’s hold onto the cherished moments, reflect on the happy seasons and grieve the tough times. Let’s remember the moments that brought us to tears of joy, the simple things of daily life, and the experiences we are glad to leave behind us. Let’s look back so we can move forward.

What is a Family Year In Review exercise?

This is a worksheet or journal that records the memorable things from the past year. You complete the worksheet or fill out the journal as a family so that everyone can share what was important to them. Over the years, you’ll gain papers full of memories, a tool to help you look back on the gifts of life, and a marker to chart your maturity and growth through life. Plus, this would make a great gift to your adult children when they first become parents!

How to complete a Family Year In Review

This exercise for your family is easy, thoughtful, and the perfect way to end December and launch into January. Plus, it’s a habit you can establish every year between Christmas and New Years.

  1. Gather your family together for an hour.
  2. Fill out one of the following worksheets or create your own.
  3. Set New Year’s goals.

1. Gather your family together.

Ask your family to be thinking about the highlights from the past year. They can remember funny moments, scary things, jokes, experiences, or trips – whatever stands out to them. Then, schedule at least one hour to sit down, discuss, share, and record those special memories.

2. Write down the memories.

This is the fun part: recording all of the details! There are multiple ways to do this:

  • Print and fill out a worksheet (see below).
  • Record everything in a family journal.
  • Have each person record their memories in their own journal.
  • Set up a video camera and record your memories! (It’s probably best to talk about them before and narrow down each person’s list to a few key events.)

If you’re searching for a ready-to-go worksheet, try one of these printables:

If you want to fill out your own journal, be sure to include:

  • The year, and names next to each item.
  • Top 3 best and worst memories
  • Something that was hard
  • What you learned
  • Where you traveled
  • Favorites (book, movie, game, day, experience, etc.)
  • Hilarious moments
  • Funny quotes someone in your family said
  • Goals for next year
  • For kids: their favorite toy, what they want to be when they grow up, best friends, favorite show/movie, best thing they learned, scariest moment

3. Set New Year’s Resolutions

After taking the time to reflect and record monumental moments from the past year, look ahead. What do you hope to accomplish or learn? Where do you want to be one year from now? Write down goals and an action plan to make it happen. As a family, hold each other accountable. Or, set family New Year’s resolutions!

Looking back

As the years progress, it’s fun to look back on previous year in review worksheets or notes. Save these precious memories so you can reread the stories, watch the videos, or reminisce on those sweet days of old. Gift your children their memories when they graduate from college, get married, or have their own children. But don’t forget to keep up the family tradition every Christmas!

10 New Year’s Resolutions To Make As A Family

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Did you know that families who make New Year’s resolutions together are more likely to actually achieve their goals? It’s worth the time and effort to have each person in your family create a realistic goal, share it with the family, and then hold one another accountable. 

Let this New Year be a turning point for your family, a split in the road where you go from good to great. Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions to make (and keep) as a family this year.

New Year’s Family Resolution #1 – Instill a family bedtime

Most families enforce a bedtime for school-aged children, but that gets wishy-washy for older kids and teens. You’ve heard the benefits of getting enough sleep: boosted immune system, higher brain functioning, slower aging, better moods, etc. Over the next year, make a bedtime plan for everyone in the family (parents included). 

This might look like:

  • everyone getting ready for bed at the same time
  • turning off electronics
  • stopping play time
  • or reading together. 
  • Plus, mornings will be much smoother if everyone goes to bed at a reasonable hour. 

New Year’s Family Resolution #2 – Read together

Speaking of bedtime, nothing says sweet dreams better than a bedtime story. Begin the art of reading together as a family. 

  • Read together before bed. Shorter books are perfect for little kids, but chapter books are a fun way to help your children look forward to this family time. Don’t underestimate the power of curiosity. What will happen next in the story?
  • Listen to audiobooks in the car. Do your kids have a long drive to school every morning? Planning a road trip to visit family? Taking a vacation? These longer stents in the car are a great time to listen to audiobooks. Check your local library’s website or app for free audiobook downloads, or subscribe to a service (there are so many to choose from, including Amazon and Audible).
  • Read the books before you watch the movie/television show. This one is simple to do. Read the book as a family, then plan to go see it in theaters or rent it at home. Think about Harry Potter, Disney movies (since many of the original cartoon classics are currently being remade with live actors), Little House On the Prairie, Winnie The Pooh, etc. Again, don’t forget to check your local library for DVDs and chapter books!
  • Pick one time every week to snuggle up with a good book. Maybe that’s Sunday night to foster a good start to the week. Or perhaps Friday night you can read a few chapters of a story before watching a family movie or playing a game.

New Year’s Family Resolution #3 – Family game/movie night

If you’re reading together, then planning a family movie night is a natural progression; once your finish a book, watch the movie! Or pick one night per week (or month, depending on your calendar) to play a game or watch a movie with just your family. 

  • Make this time special with snacks, treats, or a picnic on the living room floor. 
  • Borrow movies or board games from other families to stick to a budget. 
  • Plan to go to the theater together at least once during the year. 
  • If applicable, go to a live play in your community instead of watching a film.
  • Allow each person to take turns selecting the movie or game.
  • Ask for new family games on your Christmas list.
  • Read commentary about how age-appropriate the movie is rated.

New Year’s Family Resolution #4 – Have a weekly night of rest

Mama, you don’t need anyone to remind your about the busy-ness of life. Calendars are full, weekends are packed, and memories are being made everyday. But sometimes a chill evening is exactly what your family needs. This year, implement a night of rest into your routine.

  • Plan one night for your family to stay home and “do nothing.” 
  • Pull out games or movies, bake a treat, take a walk, or play outside together.
  • End with a soothing bath, family conversation, or whatever else feels restful to you!

New Year’s Family Resolution #5 – Family dinner

This is probably a common New Year’s resolution, but it deserves the repetition. Invite your spouse and kids to enjoy dinner together as often as possible. Perhaps this is five nights a week, or only once. But, whatever the frequency, set a goal to have dinner around the table.

  • Dinner can be a gourmet meal you all helped prepare, or takeout from a neighborhood restaurant.
  • Eat outside when the weather is nice, or dine by candlelight for added ambiance. 
  • Ask your children to create name cards or handmade placemats to use on this night.

New Year’s Family Resolution #6 – Unplug technology

Technology is a blessing, especially when your kids watch movies all day long when they’re sick, or when they play games on a tablet to stay entertained on your 8 hour car ride. But excessive technology use can be detrimental. 

Challenge your family to unplug from technology this year. Maybe this looks like:

  • No devices at the table during meals.
  • No technology between 7pm and 8am.
  • No technology in bed.
  • All devices are charged overnight in the parents bedroom.
  • No technology one night per week (or one day per week, or one weekend per month)

Read more about the 8 reasons why you should limit screen time.

New Year’s Family Resolution #7 – Save money together for a family experience

Money can be a burden, yet it’s also a generous blessing. Take this next year to teach your children about the value of money. Plan a fun experience or family vacation as a family, and save together for that experience!

  • Keep a jar for loose change or donations.
  • Have your children complete chores or tasks to earn money toward the trip.
  • Encourage your kids to sacrifice one gift at Christmas or their birthday in exchange for money toward the experience.
  • Update your children monthly on the financial progress. (Note: You can ask your kids to collectively raise $100 or $500 toward the vacation, but you do not necessarily have to share that you’re saving $300 per month for the trip.)

New Year’s Family Resolution #8 – Call or FaceTime family weekly

Grandparents despair at the distance between them and their grandchildren. Aunts and Uncles wonder what their nieces and nephews are up to. Cousins wish they could play with each other every week. Deepen your bonds with family by establishing weekly calls this year.

  • Schedule a weekly time to call family. Most people allot Sunday afternoons and evenings for this.
  • Nothing beats a good old fashioned phone call. But you can also video chat using Skype or FaceTime. The Marco Polo app is also a great option.
  • Suggested list of family members to call: grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, cousins, godparents.

New Year’s Family Resolution #9  – Volunteer together

Find a local organization that your family supports. Volunteer or donate items once a month as a family.

  • Paws and animal shelters often strike compassion in young children.
  • Food pantry or donation centers can have tangible tasks for children while also broadening your child’s worldview.
  • Teens and older kids may want to help at a family or pregnancy center, foster organization, or adoption agency.
  • Buy water and healthy snacks to keep in your car; pass them out to homeless people in town as you drive by them.
  • Sort through old clothes, toys, and books. Donate to a charity in your community.
  • When in doubt, pick up trash at the local park.
  • Raise money by asking for donations to a charity instead of birthday gifts.

New Year’s Family Resolution #10 – Family exercise 

Make this next year’s resolutions about family time and fitness! Family exercise means everyone is moving, everyone is being active, and everyone is accountable. 

  • Like to run? Have your kids ride their bike next to you.
  • Walk to a nearby park and play together for an hour.
  • Visit a national park once per month for a family hike.
  • Visit every “fill in the blank” in your state (waterfall, gorge, national park, cave, etc.).
  • Search Youtube for silly exercise videos. Think kids animal yoga, Bollywood dancing, kickboxing, ballet, or a silly family workout.

Make this a year to remember

By setting New Year’s goals as a family, you’re holding each other accountable and spending quality time together on a regular basis. Everyone wins!

Curious to read more about New Year’s Resolutions?

10 Post-Christmas Tips To Get Your House Back To Normal

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Gifts were given. Cookies were consumed. Time was well spent with family and friends.

But now you look around and realize that Christmas is over. Well, the day has passed but the house looks like a holiday tornado has ripped through it. 

Presents strewn in every room. Bows and ribbons collected under the furniture. Cookie crumbs decorate the floor. And there are dishes galore from the festive meals.

Here are 10 post-Christmas tips for getting your house back in order!

1. Find a home for everything

Everyone in your family has more possessions now than they did last week. Although gifts bring joy and memories, they also take up space in your home. Take the time to find a home for all of your new items. If necessary, get rid of old items to make more room. 

This is the best time to purge old toys! For young children, make an even trade. If they received 12 new toys, they must choose 12 old toys to get rid of. (Mama, you don’t have to throw away those old toys! Either store them in the attic for the next child, donate them to needy families, or keep them for your future grandbabies!)

2. Recycle the boxes, bags, ribbons, and bows 

Before you throw away all of that wrapping paper, check for bows and ribbons that can be reused. So many times we toss out perfectly good bows that can be taped on new packages next year! 

The same is true for gift bags. Tear off the label, or stick a new one over it next year. Fold them up and store for future gifts. Is there a gob of tissue paper inside the gift bag? Smooth it out, fold it up, and stash it inside the bag. Your gift wrapping will be much faster (and cheaper) because your supplies are all ready!

Also, don’t throw away the wrapping paper. At least gather it into a garbage bag and set it aside for recycling.

3. Pack up your Christmas lights

It can be a nightmare to wrap up strands of lights and keep them organized for next year. Here’s the best way to pack up your Christmas lights:

  1. Don’t remove any lights yet (inside or outside). Keep them hung where they belong.
  2. First, wrap a 6 inch piece clear masking tape around both ends of each light strand, folding the sticky ends together so you have a “flag.” Write where this end is located. For example, “garage corner, near plug” or “front porch column.” Do this for both ends of every strand.
  3. Now, remove the lights. Wrap each strand around a paper towel tube to prevent tangles, and place each one in it’s own grocery bag.
  4. Store all of your lights in one box.

4. Store your Christmas ornaments

You want all of your ornaments to survive the years and create a lasting legacy, whether it’s your grandmother’s glass bauble or your child’s handprint. Securely storing your ornaments will keep them in tip-top shape from year to year.

  • Wrap delicate ornaments in old socks, newspaper, tissue paper, or paper towel.
  • Place each ornament in its original box, a disposable plastic cup, or an egg carton.
  • Empty liquor boxes are perfectly divided for ornaments!
  • Group like ornaments together. For example, have a small box of all wooden ornaments. Have another box of plush fabric ones, etc.

5. Store your decorations

Does your entire home transform for the holidays? Then you must have plenty of decorations! This year, pack up the decorations based on what room their in. For example, have a box labeled “living room Christmas decorations” and another labeled “kitchen Christmas decoration,” etc. Make a list of everything inside of that box, and place it on top just before you close the lid. Next year, you will be able to find everything you’re looking for!

6. Clean your dishwasher

Most families consume extra doses of sugar over Christmas. Which means your dishwasher gets extra amounts of sugar, too. Now is the best time to do a quick dishwasher deep clean. 

  1.  Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher safe measuring cup. Place this on the top rack (with the vinegar still inside). Run an express cycle with hot water.
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher. Run an express cycle.
  3. Your shiny, clean dishwasher is prepared for the new year!

7. Remove stains from your China dishes

Speaking of dishes, your China shouldn’t be run through the dishwasher. Which means that it’s easy to leave the dishes piling up for later so you can enjoy time with your family. Unfortunately, doing that sometimes leaves stains on your delicate dishes. 

Try rubbing nail polish remover over the stain with a microfiber cloth, and then hand washing the dish. The stain should fade away!

8. Scrub your cookie sheets

Cookies are made in large batches for the holidays, and your cookie sheets get used over and over. Revive your cookie sheets by scrubbing with baking soda and steel wool. If necessary, allow to soak for one hour before scrubbing.

9. Move furniture

It will be Christmas all over again when you deep-clean under your furniture! There’s sure to be stray pieces of ribbon under the couch, and a lost lego under the bed, and enough crumbs to feed a mouse for a year under the dining room hutch. 

Move all of your furniture to vacuum and mop underneath: couch, chairs, television, bookshelves, kitchen table, dining hutch/buffet, beds, refrigerator, oven, etc.

10. Think ahead

What stressed you out this Christmas? What do you wish was better prepared? Plan ahead for next year!

  • Make an event on your calendar to write Christmas cards, and another date to mail them out on time.
  • Organize your Christmas decorations so you can be more efficient with your decorating next year.
  • Think through you menu, grocery list, and cooking schedule from this year. Write it down with modifications so it will be pre-planned for next year.
  • What could have made this holiday better? Aim to improve it next year!

A fresh start for a new year

Ahhh! The holidays were a buzz of joy, and now your home is refreshed and prepared for a new year. 

How do you handle the aftermath of Christmas? Do you freeze leftover cookies? Do you donate old items to the impoverished in your community? Do you write thank you notes to relatives? Do you look through Christmas cards one more time? Share your post-Christmas traditions in the comments below! We may feature your ideas in a future blog!

5 Great Gift Ideas for Moms to Be

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5 Gift Ideas for Moms to Be

If you’re an expectant mother, it doesn’t matter how far along you are; you will always be
planning something. If you are in the early stages, you possibly have the quickest route to the bathroom planned out, if you’re in the second trimester, you probably have your meals for the next six weeks planned, and if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy, you will
certainly be up to your neck in last minute planning.

While you will spend 40 weeks planning the arrival of your screaming miracle, there is no
reason you cannot take a little time to plan something that’s about you both. In today’s post, we are going to be looking at planning a baby shower, and we’ll also take a look at some of the best gifts you can get for the mum to be.

What Makes A Great Baby Shower Gift?

Well, when it comes to gifts that will be appreciated by the expectant mother, you can’t go far wrong with a few dozen small portraits of Alexander Hamilton. Still, if you do not feel that flush or you don’t like the mum to be that much, there are some things you should consider when gifting at a baby shower.

The first thing you will need to decide is, are you buying for mom or the baby? You should
also avoid things like alcohol, any mum that is going to be breastfeeding may not want to
drink it, and you may find yourself unpopular.

If you are going to be buying for the baby, it’s a great idea to purchase gender-neutral
clothing, not in case the baby decides to identify as a walrus, but sometimes the scans can
be wrong, and if this is the case, you’ll be a hero.

What Should You Not Do At A Baby Shower?

Well, although it may go without saying, the first thing you should probably avoid is a round of shots. It’s important to remember that there’s a lot of difference between a baby shower and a bridal shower. Other things you should probably avoid are the hiring of a DJ or a stripper, let’s face it, officer Goodbody may send mom to be into early labor, and that’s a story that no child wants to hear from his or her parents.

What Games Should You Play At A Baby Shower?

When it comes to games that you can play at a baby shower, it’s essential to remember that fun is the key. While a game of Scrabble is brilliant with your aunt Edna, mum to be is going to be very hormonal, and the first person to challenge one of her words may feel the wrath of an oversized dictionary for the sake of seven points.

You should be looking to play interactive games involve everybody present that won’t trigger the over-competitive people in the room. Some popular games include; guess the baby food, which is remarkable for hitting gag-reflexes and you could also arrange a little quiz.

How To Celebrate A Baby Shower With Your Friends

The first and most important part of celebrating a baby shower with your friends is
remembering to invite them. In all seriousness, having your friends around is a brilliant way of telling your friends that they will be outstanding role models in your new arrivals life. In reality, you are just trying to see who will your favored babysitter.

The celebration itself is a beautiful way for you to share an intimate part of your life with
some of the closest people to you, and by the end, you also realize just how much support
you will have should times get tough as a mum.

Whether it’s sharing stories, playing games, or listening to advice, a baby shower is so much more than a way for you to get your hands on some free stuff before the baby comes.

Five Incredible Gift Ideas For Mums To Be

Personalized Relaxation Gift Set
If you are looking for something that spells out the perfect baby shower gift, then this
beautifully presented relaxation gift set could be one of the best presents for her.
You can put a personalized touch onto the box, and everything that’s included is sure to help mum have a little relaxation time to herself when times get a little tight. Everything has been taken into account when crafting this gift set, and the only thing that’s missing is something to drown out the sound of screaming.

HaloVa Diaper Bag
While there may be some trash on Amazon, the HaloVa diaper bag is far from that and a
great gift for mum. First of all, the bag is of exceptional quality and quite sturdy. This
ruggedness and durability will be extremely useful should your other half not wake up to take care of their feed.

The bag itself is available in a wide range of colors and is incredibly stylish in comparison to
most diaper bags on the market today. The bag is ideal for all of the baby’s accessories and will make a great gift.

First 5 Years Memory Book
While we like to swaddle the newborns, when it comes to ourselves, we all love to wrap
ourselves in nostalgia. If mom to be is a lover of things like this, then a memory book would make an incredible gift.

The book itself allows mom to chronicle the first five years of babies’ life, and when the little one is older, this will be a great tool to use against them when it comes to reminding them how much they put you through.

A lipstick trio
When it comes to gifts for moms to be, you can give something that will make her feel a little glam whenever. Heavily pregnant mom quite often need something that makes them feel special, and if there is one thing that can do that, it’s a little lipstick.

Not only is this something that will make her feel stunning once more, but this little trio also contains some of the prettiest tones you will find, and mom will be looking forward to her first girly night out when the little one arrives.

Pure Silk Sleep Mask
The final gift we are going to look at will be the gift that keeps on giving, and that is, of
course, a sleep mask. If one thing is guaranteed, when the baby comes, mum will feel like
she sleeps less than the main character in Nightmare on Elm St, and anything you can give
her that will help with that will be appreciated.

Just as a final note, while we say anything, Ambien may not be the best of ideas, so stick
with something comfortable and practical. The pure silk sleep mask is a
fantastic option; it’s soft, comfortable and will plunge mom into sleep faster than if she were in conversation with Drew Ackerman.