Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

“Must Have” Stocking Stuffers

Stocking stuffers are my favorite way to give gifts to our boys! I know I have many fond memories growing up as a child of Christmas morning and running to see what was in my stocking. Finding the best stocking stuffers for teens can be a challenge!

One of my favorite Christmas memories was receiving a printout of the safety features of a car in my stocking.  I asked my parents if it was there by accident because it was a car that we didn’t have at the time.  Turns out that they had gotten this car for me to take back to college.

I was sooooo excited.  Mind you it was the ugliest car ever, but it was all mine, and I couldn’t have been happier.

Needless to say, that was my favorite stocking stuffer ever, especially since the key was in the toe of my stocking. (Sometime I will have to write a post on the ugly cars that my parents got for my sisters and me to drive.)

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There are so many creative ways to give gifts in a smaller way. Our boys love to open their stockings first every Christmas morning. Santa props them up next to the fireplace since a couple of times they have pulled the hooks off of the mantle from their weight.

I have put together a gift guide for stocking stuffers for your teens. I asked my teens and their friends for these ideas, so here you go!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

  • Sneaker balls -These are great for deodorizing stinky shoes in their gym bag or locker. My boys actually get embarrassed when their shoes stink. If your teen doesn’t notice the smell, then this is really a present for you!
  • Anker Power Core    –One of the most powerful ‘mini’ chargers on the market. It will add over one charge (6 hours talk time) to an iPhone 6, almost one charge to a Galaxy S6 or around one charge to most other phones. These are great to throw in a backpack or purse.
  • Swedish Fish    –‘Nuff said.  Really any candy works!
  • Duct Tape   –The uses for duck tape are endless, both for crafts and fixing things. My boys have many rolls of tape, and they have used it for so many things!
  • Sun Bum Chapstick  –Always a good choice! Contains soothing cocoa butter.  Gluten Free/100% Vegan.  Petrochemical-free.
  • Crazy Socks   –Moisture wicking, ventilation, smell free, soft touch and durability. Perfect gifts for a stocking!  Fits socks size 8-14; men shoes size 8-13 / women shoes size 7-13.  80% Cotton, 15% Nylon, 5% Spandex, soft and comfortable.
  • Fitbit Alta  –Track your activity levels, sleep patterns, and more with the black Fitbit Alta Activity Tracker in size small. This sleek band uses an array of sensors to keep track of how many steps you take, how far you walk, how many floors you climb, the number of calories you burn, and the time you spend active.  Alta is sweat, rain, splash proof.
  • Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds  –Crystal clear stereo sound.  The in-ear headset built in bluetooth V4.1 technology, and microphone give a real stereo music sound and stable calling. Sweat-proof and waterproof.  Up to 8 hours playing time. (My son got these for his birthday and loves them for the gym!)
  • 3-in-1 charger stand -Works for iPhone, earbuds, and Iwatch all at once. Super convenient, and it really doesn’t take up much room at all!
  • A Dogs Purpose  –Everyone love a great dog movie. But, seriously, any movie is a great idea for a stocking. My boys always like a couple of movies for their stockings.
  • Noise cancelling headphones   –Active Noise Cancelling technology. Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between. Advanced active noise reduction technology quells airplane cabin noise, city traffic or a busy office, makes you focus on what you want to hear, enjoy your music, movies and videos. The noise cancellation function works well both in wire and wireless mode. https://www.reviews.com/noise-canceling-headphones/   (A great article on research about these type of headphones.)
  • Selfie Ring Light -If they are going to do selfies, they may as well be the best possible.  This clips on for easy use and is rechargeable.

Don’t forget that cash and gift cards are also great small gifts that are great stocking stuffers for teens!

A couple of great holiday party ideas for teens are in this post.  One for guys and one for girls. And, here are some easy DIY ideas for holiday crafting and gifting.

Also, check out our other holiday posts:  49 Holiday Movies to Watch with Your TeenBudget Friendly Ideas for the HolidaysGift Guide for Your Teen Girl,  and Gift Guide for Your Teen Guy.

Don’t forget that cash and gift cards are also great small gifts that are great stocking stuffers for teens!


A couple of great holiday party ideas for teens are in this post.  One for guys and one for girls. And, here are some easy DIY ideas for holiday crafting and gifting.

Also, check out our other holiday posts:  49 Holiday Movies to Watch with Your TeenBudget Friendly Ideas for the HolidaysGift Guide for Your Teen Girl,  and Gift Guide for Your Teen Guy.

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube 

I look forward to seeing you again!

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Best Gifts for a Teenage Girls

Best Gifts for a Teenage Girls

Shop Now for a Stress Free December!

Attention parents and grandparents of teenage girls! Not sure what to get your teenager? Here is my guide to the best gifts for teenage girls. This list is vetted by a number of teenage girls that I have reached out to. Check out the ideas below!

See also my gift guide for boys and ideas for stocking stuffers!  No decisions to make.  Just choose one or all! Any teenage girl would love one of these gifts.

Happy shopping! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Some ideas I have used with my boys to instill gratefulness and giving are copied from my 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!

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  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!

Best Gifts for Teenage Girls:

  1. Lululemon Black Wunder Under Pant Hi-Rise–  Love these!
  2. Rustic Jewelry Organizer–  This will hold all the jewelry that your girl has, and it conveniently hangs on the wall.
  3. GoPro Hero 7 (+ Extra USA Battery + Sandisk 32GB MicroSDHC U3 and Free Polaroid 16GB MicroSD Memory Card) This is not much more than just the GoPRo 7 alone!-  Dream gift for the adventurous girl.
  4. Ruffled Ankle Booties–  Cute for jeans or dressing up.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. Fun Hippie Boho Pants–  100% cotton, super comfy for all the lounging going on these days.
  8. 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!
  9. Kate spade New York Activity Tracker–  Cute way to keep track of all activity.
  10. Air Chalks Set:  10 Colorful Hair Chalk Pens–  Temporary color for fun accents on occasion.
  11. 12 pcs. Makeup Brush Set-  Cup holder and 12 professional cosmetic brushes

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:)


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, and Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays.

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube 

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Advent Calendars Your Teen Will Love!

Advent Calendars Your Teen Will Love!

Advent calendars that teens will love has been so much fun to write. I was wanting to write a new holiday post and I realized how many fun advent calendars there are available, so here you go!

My boys still love the velcro advent calendar that we have and when they are all around still do rock, paper, scissors to put on the next figure. 

Officially, Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means “coming” in Latin, This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.

I like to think of it as anticipation for a special event! There are now advent calendars for having a baby, for Hannukah, and even for your dog! And, I could not help but add this Covid Advent calendar -seriously???!!

AND, my friend Monica over at How2WinScholarships.com has put together an advent scholarship activity! This is a fun way to get your teens motivated to apply for some of those pesky scholarships that are so helpful when paying for college!

There are so many different kinds, take a peek at the 25+ advent calendars below! Each calendar has its own theme for so many different interests… and, don’t forget to order soon since most of them are 24 day calendars starting December 1.

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This is the advent calendar that my kids grew up with, so I had to include it on this list. Even though it’s for younger kids, my boys still put it up, and add a character each day, and I love it!

Nativity Fabric Advent Calendar 

Here we go with advent calendars that teens will love!

Does your teen love Harry Potter? This is a great advent calendar…

Funko Advent Calendar: Harry Potter – 24 Vinyl Figures

Have a horse lover? 

Breyer Horses 2020 Holiday Collection

Here’s another Funko advent calendar…

Funko Advent Calendar: Dragon Ball Z Pocket Pop! – 24 Vinyl Figures

Do you have a lover of all things unicorn?

Advent Calendar 2020- 24 Unique Christmas Unicorn Gifts

Have a brainiac? A lover of puzzles?

Advent Calendar -Holiday Surprises Brain Teaser 24 pc. Puzzle

Do you know someone who loves charm bracelets?

Christmas Themed DIY Charm Bracelet Making Kit

Want a do-it-yourself version?

24 Days of Reusable Countdown Gift for DIY Fillable Burlap Bags for Holidays

What about someone who loves OPI nail polish??

OPI Holiday ’20 Nail Lacquer Mini 25 Pack Advent Calendar 

Slime anyone?

Slime Advent Calendar

Here’s another brain teaser advent calendar…

24 Brain Teaser Puzzles Wire and Plastic Puzzle Advent Calendar

Here’s one for Hannukkah

Sugarfina 8 Nights of Light Hanukkah Advent Calendar! 4 Pieces Kosher Candies Each Drawer!

 Minecraft lover?

Minecraft Advent Calendar

What about Star Wars AND chocolate?!

Star Wars The Mandalorian The Child -Milk Chocolate Christmas Advent Calendar

Have a new driver? Or someone who loves squishies and/or keychains?

Advent Calendar with 24 Scented Squishies Keychains

Another Christmas charm bracelet…

DIY Bracelets Fashion Advent Calendar Bracelets -24 charms

Love Haribo candy?

Advent Calendar -HARIBO

Know someone who loves Pokemon?

Pokemon Advent Calendar, 24 Pieces – Includes 16 Toy Character Figures & 8 Christmas Accessories – First Time Special Edition

Know someone who loves magnets?

Countdown to Christmas Fridge Magnets- Holiday Surprises

Know someone who loves baths?

Spa life “Fizzle All The Way” Bath Bomb Advent Calendar -12 days, not 24

Here’s another 12 day advent calendar for socks from The Office.

The Office 12 Days Of Socks Advent Calendar Set (Mens 6-12)

Fortnite anyone?

Funko Advent Calendar: Fortnite

Here is another DIY advent calendar -super cute wooden tree!

Nature Wooden Tree Shape Advent Calendar with 24 Storage Drawers

Know a comic book lover?

Marvel Storybook Collection Advent Calendar

Know someone who needs more ornaments for their tree?

Advent Calendar With Hanging Ornaments

Another DIY Advent calendar -this one hangs on your wall!

Countdown to Christmas Cloth Wall Hanging with 25 Pockets

My son would love this one! He collects hot sauces from all over!

The 25 Sauces of Christmas Countdown to Santa Clause

This might be my favorite one yet!

Frango Mint Chocolate Advent Calendar Adorable Elves On Each Door!

Here’s one for the guys!

Man’Stuff Festive Countdown

I have seen it all! This one is for crossword lovers!

Mindmade The Advent Calendar for Crossword Lovers

I hope that this gives you great ideas to find an advent calendar for teens that they will love!

Here are some related posts: Great Games Your Teen Will Love!, Gift Guide for Teen Guys, Gift Guide for Teen Girls, Stocking Stuffers for Teens, and Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays.

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube 

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Smart Parents in the Know: November Wins

Smart Parents in the Know: November Wins

 

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What I’m learning and loving in the month of November! “Smart Parents” is a series that I’m continuing.  I will talk about a few things that I am learning and loving in my life right now. This may include recipes, books, movies and gadgets. Send me any ideas so that I may add them to a future post!

I will 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.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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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 and another by Family Time Magazine. 

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

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. 

Recipe:

Gomer Pyle’s Chile (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!

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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

I hope that you have found what I am learning and loving helpful for your November or anytime.  

Have you read these 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!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube 

I look forward to seeing you again!

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Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays!

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays!

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Budgeting for the Holidays-Fun Strategies

Are you ready to do more with less this holiday season?  There are many ways to handle budgeting for the holidays.  I tell myself every year I’m going to save up or shop early and it never fails, life intervenes and my budget is shot.  Sound familiar?

Here we are just 2 months out. There is still time to plan!  I’ve have been searching the internet and asking friends for ideas on ways that they spend their holidays, and surprisingly, most of their favorite gifts don’t cost anything, or at least not much. There are so many ways to celebrate the season, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Here are my best ideas for budgeting for the holidays!

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Here Are Some Low Budget Suggestions

The 4 Gift Rule

I’m sure many of you have heard of the 4 Gift Rule.  It goes like this.  You tell your family that they will each receive 4 gifts this year: something they NEED, something they WANT, something to WEAR, and something to READ.

If you don’t want to do just 4 gifts. You can do variations and/or additions to this rule which can be:  a gift to MAKE, a gift to EAT, and ONE more thing.  Of course, any variation of this is great! The 4 Gift Rule can really help your budget and also help your child focus on what’s important and what they really want.

My family has our own gift giving tradition.  Since there were three Wise Men that visited baby Jesus, that meant that there were three gifts.  Our boys each received three gifts for Christmas while they were growing up from both us and Santa.

Now, obviously, the gifts are just from us, no more Santa.  This is/was great because it really limits the amount of shopping that we have to do.  We also love to do lots of inexpensive and fun items for each stocking (see my post about best stocking stuffers for your teens) which I look for all year long.  


Give to Charities

Another option for giving gifts, would be to look outside of the home to the many charities out there that do great things all over the world.  Charities can be local, national, or international.  Some great organizations to look into would be:  Heifer International, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child box, Operation Gratitude for soldiers overseas, Angel Tree which gives gifts to children whose parents are in prison, or your local food bank.

Another great idea is to do a service project with your family for a favorite charity.

“No Money” Gifts

There are many “no money” gift ideas.  These include things that your kids can make or ways to spend time with them which is already a great gift!  I’ve listed some ideas below but I am sure that you could come up with some on your own, once I get you started… And, here is a link to some $5 ideas to start for Christmas:)

 

1. Bake holiday cookies,  (this is a link to some yummy recipes!) –preferably ones that you can decorate because that is so much more fun!  Take some to an elderly neighbor or a teacher.

2.  Create a scavenger hunt around the house, neighborhood or city. Invite friends and have a friendly competition. Then meet for dinner at a favorite local restaurant and give out prizes for the most original treasures that were found.

3.  Make hot chocolate, this Godiva chocolate mix is heaven!, and head out to see the local Christmas lights.  Check out my post on self-care for the holiday season.  So many good ideas!

4.  Pop in a holiday movie -check out my post with 49 holiday movie ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!) and string popcorn and cranberries for your tree.



5.  Have a family game night with your favorite carols playing in the background.

6.  Start a holiday journal.  Keep track of things your family is grateful for, traditions that you celebrate each year and new ones that you would like to start.

7.  Send a handwritten letter to someone far away by snail mail.  Tell them your favorite memory that you have with them or something that makes them special to you.


Budgeting for the holidays can be fun!

Does this put you in the mood for Christmas?  It is a little early, but sometimes with a little planning and thought, the actual season might be a little more relaxing and enjoyable.  I hope that some of these ideas help you in the coming months.  Here are gift guides for stocking stuffersteen guys, Advent Calendars for Teens, and teen gals!

And, moms, here are a couple of self-care posts for you!  Take a mom time-out! and Give Yourself the Gift of 4:15.

Let me know if your family has any holiday traditions that I should try!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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Smart Parents in the Know:  October “Wins”

Smart Parents in the Know: October “Wins”

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What I’m learning and loving in this month of October!  “Smart Parents” in October is a series that I’m continuing.  I will talk about a few things that I am learning in my life, and also a few things that I am loving.

I will do this sometime during each month.  Let me know what you think! *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Learning:

Here is an amazing story of one man who made a huge difference by trial and error.  He spent his own money and time getting arid, desert land to become fertile.  It reminds me of the movie Biggest Little Farm.  If you haven’t seen that one–it’s the wonderful story of a family who has done the same thing in California!

These are great stories of perserverance, resiliance, and hard-work with awesome results.  All traits that our kids need more of, my own included!

There is a book by Rose-Lynn Fisher, she’s a photographer, called Topography of Tears.  It shows amazing pictures of tears under the microscope. Did you know that crying can release stress?  They can also release toxins. Here is an interesting article about this.

Loving:

Book:

This was my favorite book that I read this summer! It is such an unusual coming of age book. Wavy is a young girl growing up in a horrible environment. She forms a friendship with an unlikely person who is eventually deemed inappropriate by a well-meaning caretaker. I don’t know how I missed this when it was new! Sooooooo good…

Show:

The 100–Have you ever watched?  I am on season 2 with our 16 year old, and at a different spot with our 20 year old!  This is a dystopian series with a little twist.  Think Hunger Games crossed with Divergent. Find a show that you enjoy with your teen, it’s really fun to have them share time with you! (Heads up-this is definitely for older teens)

Movie:

Top Gun–Can you believe that this came out in 1986?!  I remember watching this with a good friend in college.  We were both dating pilots at the time!  A current movie that you need to go to if you haven’t already seen is Downton Abbey!  It was sooooo good!

Gadget:

Stainless steel straws–This are great for you to take anywhere, and bonus, you are helping to save the environment!

Recipe:

Chocolate Eclair Cake: Super easy!!

1 box graham crackers, 1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip (thawed), 2 (3.4) oz packages vanilla pudding, 3 1/2 c. milk, an 1 can chocolate frosting

Whisk together the milk and pudding mix.  Then fold in the Cool Whip.

Line the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan with a single layer of graham crackers.  You may need to break some.

Spread half of the pudding mix.

Top this with another single layer of graham crackers.

Spread other half of the pudding mix.

Put down one more layer of graham crackers.

Soften can of frosting in microwave in 15 second increments till pourable.  Stir well, and pour over the top layer of graham crackers.  Spread to cover.

Refrigerate overnight if possible, but for sure at least 6-8 hours.  It’s so much better once the pudding starts to soak into the graham cracker layers!  Eat!

This is my youngest son’s and my dad’s favorite dessert!  So easy and delicious!

Tool:

Car Vent Organizer— This is a great way to keep organized for your daily life, road trips, etc.  I am getting one for each of us who drive in my family!


I hope that you find all of these items and ideas helpful!

Have you checked out my September Smart Parents blog post.

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