Ideas For Parents in December: 10 Timely Tips

Ideas For Parents in December: 10 Timely Tips

Ideas for Parents in December

Do you have tweens or teens? Here are some ideas for parents in December! I include books, movies, and timely help for parents of tweens and teens. (October and November) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Ideas for parents in December

Learning:

Do you have a high school student? Are they starting to think about college? This is such a fun time! But, beware of the price tag for college! Help your student to be more aware of what these costs will be now and in the future.

Give you student the gift of knowledge this holiday season! Student loan debt is no joke. Here are some links to articles that will give you some help when having this conversation with your student, significant other, and anyone else involved in the education of your teen.

Most College Grads Consider Their Student Loan Debt a Life Sentence

How Will We Pay For College Next Fall?

The Truth About Student Loan Debt

Here are some things we have learned about having teens over the holidays these past years…

Loving:

Book:

Maisie Dobbs -Winspear

This past year, I have learned to love the character of Maisie Dobbs. 

Maisie’s intuitive gifts and helped her earn admission to the prestigious Girton College in Cambridge, where Maisie planned to complete her education -she began as a housemaid.

The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found—and lost—an important part of herself. Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets out on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different.

In the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a working farm known as The Retreat, that acts as a convalescent refuge for ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat, she must finally confront the ghost that has haunted her for over a decade.

The Henna Artist -Joshi

I loved this book and learned so much about this culture. Lakshmi is a wonderful main character!

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

One True Loves -Reid

This is a love story with a twist! I loved the woven loves of Emma’s life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her.

Signal Fires -Shapiro

I loved the mystical way this is written. All the characters are somehow connected, and each relationship is important to the next. As the point of view changes with each character, you learn more about their perspective

Signal Fires opens on a summer night in 1985. Three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken.

On Division Street, time has moved on. When the Shenkmans arrive—a young couple expecting a baby boy—it is as if the accident never happened. But when Waldo, the Shenkmans’ brilliant, lonely son who marvels at the beauty of the world and has a native ability to find connections in everything, befriends Dr. Wilf, now retired and struggling with his wife’s decline, past events come hurtling back in ways no one could ever have foreseen.

Ideas for parents in December|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Movie:

The Martian

Are you looking for a great movie to watch with teens? This is it! Whenever we see that this is on, we watch it! We first all saw it at the theater, and then bought it. It has great themes such as: survival, friendship, perseverence, problem solving, and hard work. So many great lessons and conversations have taken off from this movie every time we watch it!

Gadgets:

Christmas Tree– We ordered this one from Amazon, and I am so happy with it! The price was right, and we have needed a new one for a few years. I thought that if it didn’t work, then I would just return it. Amazon is so awesome with returns!

I love the way this looks real after I fluffed it all up. This is a huge thing for me since we cannot have a real tree because of one of my boy’s allergies.

Have you seen this thing?? It can fix lights on strands or a tree! Lightkeeper Pro

Gift wrapping Station This cart is a game-changer! You can have all your supplies right at hand with a flat surface to wrap on. My girlfriend has this, and I am jealous! This is all I want for this for Christmas!

 

Helpful term to know with teens:

HIPAA is a governmental term. The Health Information and Portability Accountability Act comes into action when your teen turns 18. Up until this point, you as the parent have signed the HIPAA form at all doctors visits. This includes dental, vision, and insurance information as well as primary care.

Your 18 year old will need to sign this form and list any adults who may be given information regarding their health. If you are not on that list, then you will not be privy to any of that information. (A really good description for an 18 year old to read about what the HIPAA means is here.)

**It is recommended that you get a power of attorney for the state that your teen goes to college in, as well as the state of permanent residence. Here is more info about each state’s requirements.

Grab both the health and financial power of attorney legal documents. We used them and printed these out for our two oldest boys while they were in college. It took less than 15 minutes to fill in the blanks, and print out!

I have heard horror stories about parents not being able to make medical decisions for their kids because this was not in place, so please do this for your peace of mind. *The cost of these forms is so much less than going to an attorney, which I checked into before doing this. And, talk about EASY!

Quote:

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. –Hamilton Wright Mabie

Ideas for parents in December|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Holidays:

Pearl Harbor Day (7), Chanukah (varies yearly), Christmas Card Day (9), Ice Cream Day (13), Bake Cookies Day (18), National Ugly Sweater Day (the third Friday), Winter Solstice (21), Christmas Day (25), Card Playing Day (28), New Year’s Eve (31)

Gift guides:

Need some ideas for shopping this holiday season? Here are some:

Gift Guides for Teen Girls

Gift Guides for Teen Boys

Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Great Gifts for Mom

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Other timely help

25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

Help your teen with their finals with these tips!

Watch some great holiday movies!

Christmas With Teens: 11 Special Ways to Bond Over The Holidays

This post was written with summer in mind, but some of these tips would be super helpful over winter break!

I hope that you have learned some things with these ideas for parents in December!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! Thank you so much!❤️

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Ideas for parents in December

Best Tools for Wrapping Gifts

Best Tools for Wrapping Gifts

Best Tools for Wrapping Gifts

All year round, we have reasons to wrap gifts. Birthdays, holidays, babies are born, weddings, showers… The list is endless. I get tired of hunting around for all of my gift wrapping supplies, so I decided to write a post detailing all the best tools for wrapping gifts, and my reasons for including them on my list. 

One more thing. Teach your kids to wrap gifts! This is a life skill. They will need to wrap gifts at some point in their lives. I taught my boys, and one year I was so glad because I got the flu and I paid one of my boys to wrap the gifts for me! So glad that he knew this skill! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Best Tools for Wrapping Gifts

In my dream world, I would have all of these supplies gathered together and organized in one of the options below. For now, I will muddle through with scattered and random supplies that my boys are constantly hiding from me -not really, but seriously, where is my tape??

Cutting/tape for gift wrapping

Paper cutter, folder, and ribbon curler tool -This thing is nifty. My girlfriend showed me how to use it, and it’s cool. If I thought that I could keep track of it, I would order it now.

 

Best scissors for wrapping, the most comfortable grip – I do have these, and when I can find them, they do not give my wrist “cutting fatigue” – is that a thing? 

 

6 pack gift wrap tape -Always need tape!

Wrapping supplies for gifts

Jumbo roll of brown kraft paper -I love the look of gifts wrapped in brown paper. I have a friend who only wraps in this, and her packages always look amazing!

 

Personalized photo wrapping paper -I came across this in my research for this post, and seriously, this is really fun for whatever event you are wrapping for!

 

Gift bags  -Always good to have on hand. I keep and re-use these all the time.

 

Gift boxes, assorted sizes -Also, good to have on hand.

Storage for gift wrap supplies

Gift wrap storage bag -I used to have one of these until the boys used it to slide down our stairs on it (this was back in the day. It was handy, but not made to withstand the other activity. I now have too many papers to store in this anyway.

 

Gift wrap under-bed storage container (with space for ribbon and other accessories -This is pretty cool, and I don’t think they could have used it for a sled.

 

Hanging gift wrap storage -I also used to have this, but I needed more storage eventually.

 

Gift wrap cart -This is the bomb, and I want one!

Bows/Ribbon etc.

Hand bow maker -I used to use these when I worked retail. Super easy and fun to create!

 

Ribbons for wrapping -Always need on hand, I have an entire drawer of different ribbons.

 

Unique ribbons for wrapping -I thought these were fun when I came across some in my searching.

 

Twine for wrapping -Pretty for dressing up packages in a more rustic way.

Accessories for wrapping

Packing paper for wrapping fragile gifts -this one is ec0-friendly

 

Tissue paper for wrapping -I always have some of this in a drawer. It’s fun to have different colors and themes to dress up the inside of a package.

 

Gift tags -Always need tags!

 

Mini gift cards to include with gifts -These were called enclosure cards back in the day. Nice to have on hand for gift-giving.

There you go! Turn on  some Christmas music or a favorite holiday movie and get busy wrapping those gifts! Even better, invite a friend over who needs to do here wrapping, and enjoy each other’s company as you tackle this task! Just make sure you know where the tape is!?

Related posts

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles

Why Should I Shop On Amazon? 17+ Great Reasons

Budgeting for the Holidays-Get Started Now

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

147 Jolly Holiday Ideas to Enjoy with Your Teens

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Best Tools for Wrapping Gifts

7  Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

7 Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

Right now our students are super stressed with finals. Whether they have high school finals or college finals, doesn’t matter, they are maxed out. Now if your middle schooler is anything like mine used to be, they were just stressed out about having to get up and actually go to school (insert rolling eyes). Here are ways to help your student prepare for finals.

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Help your student prepare for finals.

What can we do as parents to help our kids as they are preparing for finals? Let’s help them to have the best semester ever! Here are a few ideas…

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

This blog post is a good one to read for alleviating stress of any kind for our teens with or without finals!

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Be positive!

Encouragement is great, and can go a long way to help your student prepare for finals. I find that if I nag, then we get into a fight, and that goes nowhere fast.

So, the next time your grouchy teen snaps at you, take a deep breath, count to 10 (or 50 or 100), and respond in a non-snappy way. I know, easier said than done, because I am the queen of snapping! Hang in there, deal with the current situation, then go open a nice bottle of red!

Drink wine as you help your student prepare for finals!

Ask them for ways you can help your student prepare for finals.

Maybe, for now, you could expect less from them around the house so that they aren’t having to deal with as much for the moment.

Stock their favorite snacks in the pantry and fridge for easy access. My boys like me to even serve them in their rooms on a tray–I use these plates (they are compostable, and I can write a message on them!) and cups for cookies, cheese and crackers or any other goodies. ( My boys love this mix!)

This is the only time that I do this, so it’s fun to order things that I wouldn’t normally have in the house.

Know their schedule.

Send quick texts if your kids are away at school at times you know they would be between classes. Send them a card or a pre-made finals care package, healthy and not so healthy, to ease the pain of studying. They LOVE this! Here is a post about putting together care packages!

Here is a link to a cute winter finals care package, and here is one for a fun spring finals package.

If they are still at home, planning a snack or meal when you know they have time for a break will go a long way towards a more energized student. I know my boys tend towards hangry when studying and stressed, so keeping them fed is almost a full time job:)

Help your student prepare for finals in medieval times

Make your teen take a break every now and then.

Everyone needs a break. I know one of my boys would never think to take a break, and would get mad if I even suggested it. But, make this happen occasionally, and they might just thank you later.

Watch a favorite episode or movie. Bake a batch of cookies together. Run up to their favorite fast food joint together and let them order what they want.

Even just giving a quick hug or high five can be all the affirmation that they might need. Any of these activities would be great for getting their mind off of school just for a while. These will help your student prepare for finals all refreshed.

A great gift to send to you student who is away is a gift card to their favorite fast food joint!

Post a sticky note.

Put it on their bathroom mirror or on their desk with a motivational quote or verse. My boys have often left these for months because they knew I was thinking of them!

If your kiddo is away, even out of college and in a stressful period with maybe a first job, you can do something similar. Send them a card with some encouraging words. It is always so fun to actually get snail mail, and I bet they keep it!

I still have a silly card my dad sent me when I was in college during some stressful period-probably finals. I love the fact that my dad took the time to write it (even though he mentions that my mom told him to!) It meant the world to me!

Make them breakfast.

This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of kids skip this meal. I fix breakfast during the week for my boys for that reason alone. If you aren’t in this habit, make the time to do this until finals are over. Feed their bodies and their brains. Cooking is the way I show my love to my family. I love to cook, and it makes my heart happy to feed everyone.

If you’re not into cooking, then maybe put out some easy snack food for your teens before bed so that it’s there in the morning to grab as they run out the door. They will know you’ve thought of them and maybe they’ll eat a little something–bonus! (BTW-my boys are all great cooks, I just like to start my day with them in the kitchen during the week.)

When kids have any kind of test and especially when you help your student prepare for finals, this is the most important meal!

Fix breakfast to help your student prepare for finals

Give your student grace.

They will be tired and most likely grouchy during this time. Encourage them to get enough sleep. Make sure they are eating enough of the right things. Let them know you love them. Be patient.

This too shall pass. Every finals season, I feel like I’m taking them too because the stress is almost contagious!! Deal with it a minute at a time, then go hide in your room with your latest Netflix binge!

Hang in there, mamas, you got this! Go give your kid a hug:)

Look for more ways to help your student prepare for finals.

Do you have any strategies that have worked for you as you help your student prepares for finals? Please share!

Establishing good study habits

A post for stress relief is here. I gathered lots of info from my blogging besties for this age group -lots of great info in this post!

Good conversations to have while your teen is home for a few weeks

Grab one of these books for your young adult to read for future success

Good books for parenting teens

Teens and summer and you -tips for sanity!

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️

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Great Gifts For a Teenage Girl – 15 Brilliant Ideas!

Great Gifts For a Teenage Girl – 15 Brilliant Ideas!

Attention parents and grandparents of teenage girls, are you wondering what are good gifts for a teenage girl? Not sure what to get your teenage girl? This list is vetted by a number of teenage girls that I have reached out to for the best answers. Check out the ideas below!

See my gift guide for boys and ideas for stocking stuffers! Just choose one or all! Any teenage girl would love one of these gifts. 

Happy shopping! No matter if it is the holiday season or a birthday coming up soon, I hope that these ideas will help you to answer the question, What are good gifts for a teenage girl?” *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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What Are Good Gifts For a Teenage Girl?

Ideas to instill gratefulness and giving

These are copied from my gift guide for guys blog post here.

One thing that we have really tried to instill in our boys is a sense of gratefulness. This is not always easy in this day and age. Some ideas that have worked for us are listed below. Try these with your teenage girls!

  1. Each time the boys make money, whether it’s allowance, money they’ve earned at a job, or gift money for their birthday, we ask that they save some for gifts that they might have to purchase in the future. This shows them that what they save matters. And, when they are shopping for gifts for friends or family, it means so much more to them that they are contributing to it themselves.
  2. When our boys receive gifts, they are required to write thank you notes. This is not something that they enjoy, but they still have to do it. Sometimes, I am better than others at reminding them to do this, but I feel like it is so important to show gratitude to others for taking the time to purchase something that they like or enjoy. Most gifts cost money as well, so that needs to be appreciated as well.
  3. My boys have to think ahead and purchase gifts for one another. They really put a lot of thought into the process, and it’s been fun over the years to see what they come up with. Usually 2 go in together for the third brother, and so they work together, which is also really fun to see. Sometimes they purchase gifts, and occasionally, they will make gifts.
  4. They are also supposed to get my husband and I each something or something for us together-we try to give them a few ideas ahead of time!Now check out my ideas for the girls!

*Did you know I have a Facebook group all about Deals for Moms of Tweens and teens? Here is the link!

What are good gifts for a teenage girl?

Lululemon Black Wunder Under Pant Hi-Rise–  Love these!

Rustic Jewelry Organizer–  This will hold all the jewelry that your girl has, and it conveniently hangs on the wall.

GoPro Hero 9 –This is not much more than just the GoPRo 7 alone!-  Dream gift for the adventurous girl.

Ruffled Ankle Booties–  Cute for jeans or dressing up.

Wireless, Waterproof, Speaker–  This has built-in mic, plays for 12 hours, and 2 built-in speakers. Great for the pool or anywhere she wants to go.

ArtNaturals Aromatherapy Essential Oil and Diffuser Set–  Comes with 8 starter oils:  peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, orange, lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, and frankincense. Has auto shut-off and a 7 color LED light. So many uses for oils!

Fun Hippie Boho Pants–  100% cotton, super comfy for all the lounging going on these days.

The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal:  A Five-Year Record (goes with the book The Happiness Project)-  This would be a great gift for the beginning of high school or college!

Kate spade New York Activity Tracker–  Cute way to keep track of all activity.

Air Chalks Set: 10 Colorful Hair Chalk Pens–  Temporary color for fun accents on occasion.

12 pcs. Makeup Brush Set -Cup holder and 12 professional cosmetic brushes

Have you heard of a squishmallow? They are these cute pillow critters that are all the rage right now!

Looking for a gift that keeps giving? Here are wonderful subscription boxes for all ages of girls -you pick the age range. The boxes each contain positive lifestyle products that are actually tested out by groups of girls for their approval.

Here are some mini gift ideas for a stocking or to tie on with ribbon when wrapping the gift…

Earbuds -always good to have a backup set for the backpack

Phone caseso many cute choices

Phone charger -There are so many cute animal chargers to choose from!

Thank you cards -These are always good to have on hand!

Here is a gift just for fun! I just came across it, and it is the cutest little waffle iron! So much fun for a sleepover or just for a fun breakfast. Remember, you can cook lots of things in a waffle iron, so think outside the box with this one:)

I hope that this helped you out if you are asking, “What are good gifts for teenage girls?”

Check out these other posts for the holidays:

Gift Guide for Teen Guys

Teen Stocking Stuffers

49 Holiday Movies To Watch With Your Teen

Advent Calendars for Teens

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays

11 Ways to Bond With Your Teen Over the Holiday Break

And these are links to other gift guide posts:

Best Valentine Gifts for a Teen to Give or Get

Best Gifts for a Teen’s Easter Basket

Graduation Gift Guide

Gifts for a New Driver

Lover of Schitt’s Creek

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. And, visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! Thank you so much!❤️

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Gifts for a teenage girl

Why Should I Shop On Amazon?: 17+ Great Deals!

Why Should I Shop On Amazon?: 17+ Great Deals!

 Why Should I Shop On Amazon?

This post answers the question, “Why should I shop on Amazon?” There are so many things to love about Amazon! Let me count the ways… I’m telling you that I have learned so much about Amazon while writing this post! The options are endless and really amazing! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

Let’s be honest about the cost of raising kids!

They are super expensive. I had read a couple of posts about saving money on Amazon, and I wanted to find out more. I know a lot of us think of Amazon as sort of a “frenemy”. I will say, after researching this post, I was really impressed with the amount of actual savings you can get  IF you really take the time to take a deep dive into their whole website/store.

Be sure to read to the end -did you know that there are DEEP DISCOUNTS listed on Amazon every day in most departments- more info on this below! Read on to find out more!

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Why Should I Shop On Amazon?

 Amazon Prime–  This is an awesome service. At first we were hesitant to sign up for this. When we first signed up, it was $99. It is now $119 for a year if you pay all at once. If you pay monthly, then it is 12.99. You can sign up just for Amazon Video at $8.99 per month.

And, as always, you can signup for Amazon Prime for one free month, and end of November is the best time to do this since you can get Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday deals, and holiday deals all in the space of 30 days! Some great reasons to get this other than the end of the year deals… 2 day free shipping-this alone has been a life saver for me as a major procrastinator!

One thing that I think we forget is that small business owners and craftsmen and women are using Amazon as their platform. Be sure to check out the handmade category for some really neat items.

  1. I love the Subscribe and Save monthly order option! It can be adjusted each month based on what you need or don’t need. You can auto-order things that you need, editing it each month if your needs change. You will receive a notification that it is getting ready to ship, so you can edit the order then. The more that you subscribe to and order, the bigger your savings-up to 15% off. You pay as you go, and if an item is unavailable, Amazon is really great about letting you know and trying to find a replacement.
  2. There are always such great deals! Daily deals and bargains are amazing, check them out each day. If I am looking for something in particular, then I really watch for awhile to see if it comes available.
  3. Audible–  This is one of my favorites. It’s only $14.95 a month, and you can listen to books anytime, anywhere. When you sign up, you get two free audiobooks! There is also now an Audible romance free trial!
  4. Kindle Unlimited has membership plans. If you have Amazon Prime, then it comes along with that. But, it can stand alone for $9.99 a month. You have access to over one million titles with this membership!
  5. Prime Video channels for FREE. There are over 100 channels available. Many are free, others are available with a subscription fee. The videos on Amazon Prime are great.
  6.  Prime Music Streaming (30 day free trial)- Instant unlimited streaming of over one million songs!
  7. Try Amazon Fresh for free-which means groceries delivered. You will need to check to see if this is available in your area. It is free for a 30-day trial period, then $14.95/month on top of your prime membership. (There is a fee for an order under $40.)
  8. Related to Amazon Fresh is Prime Pantry. This is a one-time order, not a subscription! You will pay a shipping fee of 5.99 for a box to be delivered. These items are both grocery and paper goods that you are not subscribing too. The box is really large, and Amazon will let you know the percentage of the box filled, and then when it is filled. There are often really awesome Prime Pantry deals.
  9. Twitch Prime– This is included in Amazon Prime and Prime video memberships. It is great for gamers. It includes bonus games, free Twitch channel renewable every 30 days, and free game content that is constantly evolving for members.
  10. Amazon Wedding Registry– Amazon pretty much has it all, so this is a one-stop shopping experience for your wedding guests. This includes universal registry from many sites. After the wedding, if you are a Prime member, you will receive 20% off any remaining items on your list. 10% off, if you are not a member.
  11. Amazon Baby Registry-Universal registry from any site, a surprise box for parents and baby with $35 worth of items, ability to group gift for larger items, free 90-day returns, plus huge selection of so many things!
  12. Student Prime– Six month FREE trial! After that, it’s $6.49/month or $79/year. There are numerous college deals and student discounts throughout the year. You just need to provide your .edu email address for verification. Don’t forget to shop for textbooks with Amazon-we have saved tons with our two college kids!
  13. There is also Amazon Family– I looked into this, and it seems like it is more for families with young children. Lots of coupons and deals for diapers, baby food etc. You might share with someone you know in this situation, I had no idea!
  14.  Something that I just found about is the Amazon outlet! It is not easy to find, but it is worth checking out. It only carries new items that are deeply discounted, and once they are gone, they are gone. This would be a great place to look if you are looking for something specific, but aren’t desperate for it.
    Why Should I Shop On Amazon?As you can see, Amazon has a variety of options, many of which I had no idea about when I started this post!

One option that I didn’t mention earlier is Alexa.

This is basically an Echo Dot speaker that becomes your virtual assistant! Once you set it up with an app on your phone, it is controlled by your voice to do do many things such as: playing music, solving a math problem, adding to your to-do list, check the weather among many other things!

After this, you never have to have your phone out again, and you can sync it to other Alexa-compatible devices, such as: thermostats, light switches, and home security cameras.

Deep discount programs at Amazon!

Did you know that they have DEEP DISCOUNTS for all sorts of items? These are typically for items that were shipped, opened, and then returned for some reason. These items aren’t even necessarily used!!! Check out these deals…

Deep discounts on open box and used PCs

Deep discounts on open box and used sporting goods

Deep discounts on open box and used kitchen gadgets

Deep discounts on open box and used tools

Deep discounts on open box and used electronics

Deep discount on open box and used camera equipment

Deep discounts on open box and used musical instruments

Deep discounts on warehouse deals-open box and used items of all sorts

Amazon outlet, clearance, markdowns and overstock items

Teacher deals-educational supplies!– I cannot wait to use this for my classroom this fall!

Credit Cards for Amazon

Amazon Prime Reward Visa Credit Card Here are some advantages to having this card.

• 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership* 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores* 1% back on all other purchases*

• No annual fees*

• No foreign transaction fees*

Amazon.com Credit Card • By Synchrony -Here are some advantages to having this card.

• 5% back on all purchases with an eligible Prime membership

• A number of payment plans

• No annual fee.

There are so many reasons that answer the question, “Why Should I Shop On Amazon?”

If you are already an Amazon shopper, I would really encourage you to check out all of these options. They are all convenient and the deals are amazing! One more thing to mention is that Amazon in customer service is great. I have never had a problem with returns or asking any question about a product!

Let me know if I left anything off of this Amazon list and I will be sure to add it!

Other posts:

What Will Your College Freshman Really Need in Their Dorm Room?

When You Have An 18 Year Old: Information You Need To Know

The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School

5 Easy Ways to Improve Communication With Your Teen

What Are The Best Subscription Boxes For Mom? 25+ Great Ideas

Backpack Essentials for College and High School  (get organized now for the upcoming school year)

Essential Tech Your Teen Needs for College

What Will My Teen Need in the Dorm?

Gifts For Dad That Teens Can Afford

50+ Posts to Help Parents of Teens Year Round

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️

 

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Smart Parents in November: 10 Timely  Wins

Smart Parents in November: 10 Timely Wins

Smart Parents in November is a monthly post where I talk about a few things that I’m learning and loving in my life right now. This may include recipes, books, movies, gadgets, and DEALS -so be sure to read to the bottom for traditional deals for this month.

I do this sometime during each month. (Here are September and October) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts!

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Smart parents in November

Learning:

•Did you know that there is a huge Holocaust archive? Over 30 million documents. Check out this post and video.

•There are definite benefits of playing games with your kids like increased attention span and getting to spend time with the ones that you love. With the holidays coming up, this might be a good activity to plan ahead for. Here is a link to an article about the benefits by Scholastic.com.

•Family game time is a definite plus for learning and loving!

•Another fun activity for the upcoming month is Advent calendars, order one now! Here’s the link to my post – 25+ Advent calendars!

Loving:

Book:

•Do you love a good book series? I loved the Outlander series. If you have not read the actual books, then you don’t know what you have missed! Whenever someone tells me that they are reading this for the first time, I am jealous. If you’ve watched the series, you have only had a taste.

I didn’t love the series after reading the books, so if you didn’t like the series, you could still LOVE the books. Get to know Jamie and Claire for real! Disclaimer… I have only read the first 6 books in the series. Someday, when I have time, I’d like to reread those and then the rest of the series.

Book One: Outlander by Diane Galbadon

•My son was looking for a fun book to read, and an author we came across was Carl Hiassen. I read one of his books years ago, and loved it. He is a very snarky author, and I found out that my dad loves his books. We picked this one out for Jake. I will let you know how it goes! (For an older teen, some mature themes)

Skin Tight -Hiassen

After dispatching a pistol-packing intruder from his home with the help of a stuffed Marlin head, Mick Stranahan can’t deny that someone is out to get him. His now-deceased intruder carries no I.D., and as a former Florida state investigator, Stranahan knows there are plenty of potential culprits. His long list of enemies includes an off point hit man, a personal injury lawyer of billboard fame, a notoriously irritating TV journalist, and a fumbling plastic surgeon.

Now, if he wants to keep fishing into his golden years, Stranahan has no choice but to come out of retirement to close this one last case…

The Measure -Erlick

I just finished this one, and it was so good!

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice. It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Dictionary of Lost Words -Williams

This was a recent read of mine, and I had such a hard time getting into my next book because I was so caught up in this one!

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.

As she grows up, Esme realizes that words and meanings relating to women’s and common folks’ experiences often go unrecorded. And so she begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: the Dictionary of Lost Words. To do so she must leave the sheltered world of the university and venture out to meet the people whose words will fill those pages.

Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. 

**Note: College admission counselors and future employers might ask your teen what they are reading…

Movie:

10 Things I Hate About You This is a great movie to watch with your teen. The whole cast is great including the late, great Heath Ledger. It has all the elements of classic high school drama with humor throughout. Sibling rivalry, puppy love, cliques… I love the dad! Lots of great discussions to be had with this one. The 10 Year Anniversary Edition is available here.

 Game:

‘Tis The Season Christmas Trivia Game We have had this set of cards for years. They are fun to have out while you are just hanging around or after a holiday meal. We don’t ever really set up a game board, although I am sure that you are supposed to! We just have fun seeing who can come up with the most right answers. Here is a great list of games to play with your teens.

Recipe:

Gomer Pyle’s Chili (aka my mom’s) This recipe was published long ago in some magazine that my mom used to get. She cut out the recipe, and made it one fall night. We all loved it, and now it’s our one-and-only chili recipe.

My college boys insist that I make too much on purpose, so that they can come get a portion. Here’s a picture of my recipe card. This is so easy to make, and delicious! (All cans are 15 oz.)

Learning and loving a hot pot of chili in the month of November!

I loved watching Gomer Pyle when I was younger!

Gadget:

3-Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB ports  Can I tell you how many places I have these?! We have one for each bathroom and our master bedroom. The kitchen and family room as well. I got one for each of our college boys to have as well.

Holidays:

Daylight Savings (1), Dias de Los Muertos (1-2), National Nacho Day (6), Book Lover’s Day (first Saturday of the month), Veteran’s Day (11), Sadie Hawkins Day (13), World Peace Day (17), Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday), Advent begins (29)

Quote:

It was November, the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind -songs in the pines.” – Anne of Green Gables

Term to know:

Net Pricewhat you actually pay for college, almost always less than the published price. Ask what they can do for more merit aid. Be prepared with updated resume, test scores, and unofficial transcript in hand.

Deals:

If you do holiday cards, it is time to get those ordered. Great deals here… and here are some unique choices.

Huge deal on Kindle Paperwhite

Does your husband (or you!) need any new power tools -great deals right now!

Looking for a date night in for the holidays, or anytime? Gift cards are an option, as well.

Great stocking stuffers here! My boys love getting these throughout the year!

Advent calendar with the cutest cookies

And, here’s an Advent calendar with hot sauces!

Thanksgiving face masks

Timely Posts:

Fun Movies to Watch With Your Teen for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

Things to Know About Amazon for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

How You Can Support Your Teen During Finals

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays!

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube. I look forward to seeing you again!

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Smart parents in November