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streamlining packing

Holy Holidays Batman!! Congrats and high fives to those who made it this far without having a nervous breakdown or gaining a holiday twitch. In 2009, I made the goal to not hate the Holidays. Sounds awful I know, who hates the holidays? I feel the holidays are meant to be celebrations, yet to often they end up stressing people out. Travel is a big part of our holiday schedule. With two young unpredictable boys this might seem like a bad way to keep your holidays fun and frustration free. However here are four ways to streamline Holiday Travel Packing to keep your holiday spirits high and your stress level low.

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holiday coloring contest

To me and my family, the holidays are all about home. Whether we’re actually home for the holidays, or vacationing elsewhere, being with loved ones is like being home. And what would the holidays be without tradition?  In fact, one of my favorite parts about the holidays are the fun activities that I can enjoy with my family as we celebrate together. And Vivint wants to help your holiday be filled with memories, traditions, and being together with your family, too. That’s why Vivint is hosting a Holiday Coloring Contest.

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streamlining the holidays: getting ready for people to stay with you

Tis the season for holiday visitors, out-of-town guests, and family get-togethers. If you think your house is starting to feel more like a hotel rather than a home this month, you’re not alone. Many of us host friends and family in our homes during the holidays.

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hanukkah party shortcuts

Thanks to Adam Sandler, we all know that Hanukkah is the festival of lights. And what’s a festival without a party?

Hosting a Hanukkah party can be a lot of fun – and a lot of work. Thankfully, there are some totally acceptable shortcuts that will make preparing for your Hanukkah party much easier, leaving you with more time to wrap eight nights’ worth of presents!

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streamlining hanukkah decorations

In preparation for Hanukkah this week, my mom stood precariously on a wobbly chair, retrieving assorted boxes from shelves and drawers. Inside the boxes (mostly plastic bins and shoeboxes, only some of which were labeled) were all of the Hanukkah decorations she’s been collecting since my sister and I were kids, as well as some new ones for her grandchildren to enjoy.

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gingerbread houses – tips, tricks and template

Making gingerbread houses is a cherish tradition at our house. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Over the years, after much trial and error, I’ve collected a couple of tips and tricks to help things go smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.

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giving back this holiday season

The holiday season is about presents. Just kidding. It’s about giving back. And there are tons of ways for you to give back to your community this winter. Here are several sure-fire ways for you to have a meaningful December!

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streamlining ways to decorate the tree

Holiday decorating can be a bit overwhelming to say the least. Sometimes even the thought of locating all of the Christmas decorations in storage is daunting. Thankfully after last year’s holiday I became better organized so that this year could be as painless as possible. Because decorating is supposed to be fun, right?

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holiday decorating from a guy’s perspective

This will be my first year decorating a house for the holidays. That means my first adventure on a ladder hanging Christmas lights, my first time with a real live Christmas tree in my house instead of a fake tree in my apartment and my first time opening presents and stockings in front of my very own fireplace on Christmas morning.

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christmas service countdown

I am so excited that Christmas is right around the corner. There are so many things I love about his magical time of the year. I love spending time with family, the food, the cookies, the music, the presents, the movies, the sparking lights but more then anything I love the feelings of love and joy.

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small business saturday

Small Business Saturday, on November 29, 2014 encourages people everywhere to shop with small businesses for just one day, and learn to change the world little by little!  We have the power to change the fact that it is all too easy for small businesses to struggle and fall, even if they have superior services and products.

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black friday activities that are not shopping

I’ll just come right out with it and admit that Black Friday (Black Friday deserves to be a proper noun??) is not really my cup of tea. Don’t mind me while I admire you vigilant deal-seeking, sleep-deprived shoppers at a distance…at 10:00 am…right after I roll out of bed.

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thanksgiving family traditions (new and old)

What is your very favorite part of the holidays? I’m guessing if falls somewhere between fall-colored-leaves, pumpkin/peppermint lattes, and evading awkward family questions like: “When are you going to get married?”, “When are you going to have another kid?”, or “When are you going to move out; you’re 32 for heaven’s sake”.

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family activities that don’t involve technology

I’m totally guilty of it. You know, that time that’s supposed to be quality family time but it inevitably turns into everyone is on their phone and tablet, not talking to each other, time? This happens way to often in my house and I bet it’s a familiar scene in yours too.

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wisdom and youth

Spending time with those who have years of wisdom and open arms is a wonderful experience for families. While visiting the elderly we sang, played the piano, learned a new song on our ukulele, read stories, made new friends, ate delicious treats and learned fantastic new dance moves. It really was great.

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neighborhood calendar – north pole

Can you feel it? Something magical is in the air. The holiday season has finally come!

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family and community

There are many ways our family can be involved in the community. Here are four ways to keep your community clean, sustain its strength, support its people and keep it safe.

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printable thanksgiving thankfulness cards

This year at your Thanksgiving table, start a new tradition. It’s a beautiful opportunity to stop, take a moment, and think about what we are all truly thankful for. Help you guests seize the opportunity by putting this simple printable card at each place setting.

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thanksgiving for all

Thanksgiving for All

As the holidays approach and life starts to get pretty hectic, I always try to take a moment each day to reflect on how truly lucky we are.

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a thank you for our veterans

Each year, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to say an extra special thank you to the men and women who give of themselves, in order to serve and protect our country.

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little acts of kindness at home

When the Thanksgiving season comes around, there’s always a great focus on showing gratitude and conveying thanks.

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the importance of family rules

The rules at my house have always been short and simple. As much as I’d like to have a rule in place for every situation and scenario, I’ve learned I’m better off with a concise list of the most important things.

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chore time

Every week when chore time rolls around my house so do the tears, the pouts and the bad attitudes. Although I’m completely convinced that doing everything around my house and yard by myself would be much easier and cause much less drama, I know it wouldn’t be sending the right message to my kids.

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how to show appreciation to military families

As you may know, November is Military Family Appreciation Month—a month dedicated to honoring, recognizing, and remembering the women and men who serve in our military and their families.

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neighborhood calendar – dallas

November is a time of family and thanks.

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saving money in the kitchen

There are about a zillion and one things to think about and keep track of when you’re a grownup. And one of the things on my list for improvement is staying efficient and saving money in the kitchen.

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5 easy homemade halloween costumes

Half the fun of dressing up for Halloween is making your own costume. Don’t stress if you haven’t done this before. I’ve created quick and clever ways to create different customers using materials you already have at home.

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halloween candy for cheap

I love me some sugary candy-filled Octobers as much as the next Halloween enthusiast, but I have to admit that as an adult who is now footing the bill for a household supply of candy it can be a bit hard to chew.

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four rules for de-cluttering your kitchen

For years, my husband and I lived in a teeny tiny (450 square foot) New York City apartment where our kitchen consisted of a countertop with two cabinets and an oven the size of a postage stamp. Suffice it to say, we learned how to keep an efficient and fully functioning kitchen

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how to get the most out of your customer service call

Most of us avoid calling customer service in any business for help to fix our problems as a very last resort because, let’s face it, we’ve probably all had experiences with customer service calls that have made us feel

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