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

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

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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?

50+ Posts to Help Parents of Teens Year Round

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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Why should I shop on Amazon?



Smart Parents in November: 10 Timely  Wins

Smart Parents in November: 10 Timely Wins

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Smart Parents In November

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


•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!



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


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.


‘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.


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!


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.


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)


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


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

Mom Self Care: Give Yourself The Gift of 4:15

Mom Self Care: Give Yourself The Gift of 4:15

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It’s time for some mom self-care!

I want to give you a gift. Actually, I want you to give yourself a gift, the gift of mom self care. Here are the thoughts from my head on this cold winter’s evening.

When I first wrote this post, it was over Christmas break.

We are now experiencing an uncertain time, and self-care is even more important than ever! Stress is at an all-time high, and we need to refill our own bucket before we can fill anyone else’s! Please take care of yourself!

4:15: What is this?

You ask what is that? Well, let me tell you! This is what woke me up from my sleep early this morning! Most, it not all of us, work full time at something:  a job outside the home, raising our kids either at home or in addition to an outside job, a combination of part time jobs (which in many cases adds up to more hours than a regular job!). You name it, we are workers! So, let me tell you about the 4:15 rule.

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

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Tips for mom self care|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

First, give yourselves the gift of REST.

We moms have a tendency to be the first up and the last to bed because we see it all, know it all, and seem to be the only ones who can get the most accomplished in our waking hours. But, here’s the news. None of it is going anywhere!

Do what you can, delegate what you can, and leave the rest for tomorrow. None of us is getting enough sleep.  Not brand new mamas, not mamas of teenagers, and not even grandmamas. I know my mom still says that she has to tell herself to go take a shower and go to bed! She hasn’t had a child in her house since 1985!

So, put yourself to bed at a decent time. Take a nap if you can–my friends all know that I am a huge proponent for napping! If you have time for a nap, then take one. I have figured out the perfect amount of time for my naps-with lots of research involved.😉  Do your research, and figure out what works for you.

It is so important that we treat ourselves!

My YouTube video all about this post is down at the bottom, be sure to watch!


When you first wake up, give yourself the gift of 15 minutes of peace and quiet. This time is yours to spend doing something that will fill you for the day. Prayer, meditation, yoga, staring into space, these all fit the bill. For me, it’s to start my coffee, read my Bible (I’m loving the One Year NIV), and pray. Here is a cute “Do not disturb sign”, for you to hang if needed.

Find a great devotion book, and follow that for awhile. I’m kind of all over the place. There is no one way or right way! It’s your time, fill it with what fills you! Your time can be whatever you want it to be. Just 15 minutes–for YOU!mom self care



Here’s another 15 minute block that you need to carve into your day. Somewhere, anywhere that works for you. It might be over your lunch. It might be right after your quiet time-that is what works best for me! It might be right after work, or even right after you get the last kiddo settled for the night. Whatever works for you.

Find some kind of exercise that works for you and try to work up a sweat in 15 minutes. If you want to add more time to this, then great, but minimum 15 minutes. This is a minimum amount of time for your best health, so aim for more on the days that you can, but know that 15 minutes of some kind of vigorous activity is to your benefit.

I love jumping on my mini-tramp or taking a quick walk around the block on my busy days. What is your go-to for exercising quick? Mom self care includes exercise!



What?!! If you have never heard of Flylady, then you’re in for a treat. (Confession:  I signed up for her newsletters, and got overwhelmed! I like her ideas, and have taken them to heart, but I don’t need one more thing in my inbox. So, I cleaned her out of there–but, I still Love her ideas.)

Pick a zone (think: room or area, such as your master bedroom). Then, for 15 minutes attack it. It can be just one pile that is bothering you, or just the area in general. You get to decide what needs doing. Set a timer, and get to work.

If you don’t finish today, pick that same zone tomorrow–it’s not going anywhere! By doing this one pile, one cabinet, one shelf, one area at a time, you will eventually get through the house. Not today or tomorrow, but sometime!

I love this because it’s doable. If I have more than 15 minutes, then I set the timer for the amount of time that I have and really work until it beeps at me. You will be surprised by how much you can actually get accomplished in those 15 minute blocks of time if you really focus!

Good luck, and let me know if this works for you! Mom self care



Your day is done. You are ready for bed. This is the last 15 minute block to plan into your day. Look at your calendar for tomorrow and the rest of the week. Make a list of where you need to be, and what you might need at the store. Make note of any calls that you need to make. Check the weather, and start thinking about what you might wear the next day. Pack your lunch for tomorrow, so that you are not scrambling in the morning. 

Basically, you are taking 15 minutes to get your day started off right for tomorrow. When I don’t take the time to do this, I regret it every time! This helps your tomorrow so much! Try it and see if this helps at all. If you just take the time to think things through, then a lot of morning stress is eliminated. And, who doesn’t like that?!

I looked for some planners that you might like. Planner 1, planner 2, and planner 3–all are different, but super useful! And, have you tried Cozi? It is this amazing app that will get you and all of your family activities organized!


Mom self care includes getting organized!

Finally, the gift of GRACE

Many times, as moms, we are very hard on ourselves. We try to do everything for everyone, and forget about self-care. This isn’t healthy or right. We are the hub of the family. That is not to say that our husbands are not as important! But, we as moms pretty much keep track of all things needing to be done, and have a finger on the pulse of each individual in our homes. 

In order to keep up with all of this, then we need to take better care of our own selves. Give yourself these 4 fifteen minute blocks to do what needs doing–for you! These blocks of time-only ONE hour-of your day, will help improve your life so much!

Take care and know that I am thinking of you all and cannot wait to hear if any of this works for you all! Do you have any good ideas that go along with this? 

Please share! We all need to look out for one another:) Just for fun, here are some books I love when you have some extra time to yourself! Another post I have written with 10 tips for self-care

Here is a link to a blog post written by a friend with 8 Steps for Making a Personal Growth Plan–it’s really great! 

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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Mom self care for moms|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Best Halloween Decor For A Dorm Room: 9 Spooky Ideas!

Best Halloween Decor For A Dorm Room: 9 Spooky Ideas!

Easy and inexpensive Halloween decor for a dorm room

Halloween is such a fun holiday! A great way to get involved at college is to encourage your teen to participate in a decorating contest for their dorm room or apartment! Snacks will earn them extra credit… Here is some great Halloween decor for a dorm room or an apartment. *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

Start with storage for your holiday decorations

Be sure to grab a flat storage container to put the decor in under a bunk or regular bed. If you only purchase small and flat things, the need for storage is minimal. The set pictured below would be great. One for fall decor, and one for spring. If your teen drives to school, they can bring one home over holiday break and exchange it out. (This set was also one of the cheapest options, these are more expensive than I thought!)

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A great way to get involved at college is to encourage your teen to participate in a decorating contest for their dorm room or apartment! Snacks will earn them extra credit… Here are some great Halloween decor for a dorm room or an apartment.

Halloween Decor For Your Dorm (and some fall ideas as well)

Begin with a fall tree. I would suggest a fall tree because that will take your teen up to Thanksgiving. This will easily fit on a small table or shelf to be out of the way. However, here are some small Halloween trees if you want to be specific. Does your teen already have a plant in their room? These eyeball plant markers are a riot -and they just stick into the soil, so they will take up no new space!

A cute Halloween doormat just inside the door will set a fun tone as well.


Does your teen have a light up box? This will be great for all holidays!

Some spooky Halloween lights to string around the room wil be a great addition. Here are some plain orange lights for a more general fall theme. This group of scary critters hang from the ceiling with a bit of tape and take up no floor space!

Wall decals are fun, and take up NO space! Here are some creepy spiders.🕷 And, here is some spider webbing to stretch out in different corners. Both of these are cheap decorations, take up little to no space, and can be thrown away after the holiday! And, here are some spooky window cling ons.

Grab a Halloween mug for your teen and their roomie!

Get a set of pillar candles. Then, order decals for each holiday to decorate the sides- this set has 6 holidays. This is super cheap and easy!

Get some pillow covers. These take up little room, and your teen can switch them up each holiday.👻🦃🎄❤️🍀🐰

If your teen gets a grapevine wreath, then it can be changed out with a little holiday ribbon a few little decorations for each season. This set of four colors could get them through the year!

Other ideas for Halloween fun!

If your teen is looking to just decorate their door, here are some really great ideas!

Here are some great Halloween care package ideas.🎃

Just for fun, here is a Classic Horror Movie Countdown, an advent calendar for Halloween. And, here is a light up Halloween box, advent calendar. Might be too big for a dorm room, but too cute not to share!

It’s always fun to have a t-shirt or sweatshirt for the season.

Your teen could host a movie night… Here is a post with 15 Halloween movies that are not super scary.

Does their dorm have a kitchen?  They can grab some slice and bake cookies, cookie cutters, and some seasonal decorating sprinkles etc, and have fun! There are also prebaked cookies that you can order from Amazon or the local grocery will do this for you as well.

They may need Halloween face masks and fall/Thanksgiving face masks

Here is a post for a dorm room that may be feeling sort of crowded -ideas for more storage in a small dorm room.

I hope this post gives you a lot of easy, and mostly inexpensive ideas for Halloween decor for a dorm room or apartment!

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! 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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A great way to get involved at college is to encourage your teen to participate in a decorating contest for their dorm room or apartment! Snacks will earn them extra credit… Here are some great Halloween decor for a dorm room or an apartment.


Smart Parents in October: 10 Timely  Wins

Smart Parents in October: 10 Timely 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. This will include books, gadgets, tools, AND DEALS -so be sure that you read to the bottom for traditional deals that are offered during the month of October.

I will do this sometime during each month. Let me know what you think! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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smart parents in October


•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 perseverance, resilience, 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.



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…


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)


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 Queen Bees! It was sooooo good -it’s the geriatric version of Mean Girls. And, the cast is great!


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

Weekly dose of parenting encouragement


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!


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!


My son recently started using this product for his acne. He says it feels good, and it seems to be helping! There are other products for deodorant, body wash, and talc free body powder. They are all designed for teenage boys. Update: He has been using now for a couple of months, and his skin is so much better!


“I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October.” -Charmaine J. Forde


1 –International Coffee Day, 14 –National Dessert Day, 21- International Nacho Day, 23- Make a Difference Day, 31 –Halloween

Timely posts:

Have you checked out my September Smart Parents blog post.

Applying to College

FAFSA: What You Need To Know

It’s Time To Order Your Advent Calendars Now!

Budgeting For the Holidays -start now

I hope that you find all of these items and ideas helpful to be a “smart parent in October”! Share with a friend if you found this helpful.😀

Traditional October Deals!

Apple airpods pro -huge reduction!

X-box games -great stocking stuffer

Gym bag -what condition is your bag in?

Headphones -these are great for noise blocking! Does your college kid need this?

All Alexa devices!

Harvest sale for Cricut products -great prices on the mug press, easy press mini, and the Joy machine.

October is ADHD Awareness month, and PTS Coaching has great deals for parents.

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! 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 October

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

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

Christmas with teens is the best!

Christmas with teens can be special, so make plans that they want to be a part of! This is my favorite time of the year with my kids. Your time is limited, so it’s fun to make use of it in all the ways that your kids love.


This GIF cracks me up!🤣

Before the break begins

Before the season even begins, be sure that you set up a budget so that you don’t overspend. I am a big fan of “less is more”, and with teens they are just looking for comfort, food, and fun. Let’s get started!

If your teens are away at college, then they will be going through their finals season. Send them a fun care package to get them through these stressful days. My friend Laura over at almostemptynest.net has great ideas for winter care packages.

Laura also has a template for planning your entire holiday on an app called Airtable -it is amazing, and super helpful, and FREE!

Set up expectations

Some of your older teens will be  coming home from college or elsewhere. You might need to set up some expectations. Here is a great post by my friend Miranda over at thereluctantcowgirl.com about how to survive and connect with your teens over winter break.

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

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Christmas with teens can be so fun!


My teens loved to decorate! We always made a big deal about it right after Thanksgiving, and played music to set the mood. They each used to have a tree in ther rooms, but over time, they decided against those. Start this tradition with your teens, and end the day with a favorite meal or dessert to thank them for their help.

Simple ideas for Christmas decor throughout your house from plaidsandpoppies.com

Front porch decor from nikkisplate.com

Setting a holiday table by freshexchange.com

Easy decorations for cabinets -you could do almost anything! I do my pantry doors and clip our Christmas cards onto it. Very festive! from b4andafters.com

Ideas for bedrooms at Christmas from ladydecluttered.com


I tried to find complilations of easy recipes!

30 easy appetizers -my boys love “snacky” dinners from playpartyplan.com

21 casseroles to accompany your main dishes -from crispyfoodidea.com

Simple and festive main dish recipes -you had me at simple! from 31daily.com

24 cookie recipes – try a new type of cookie this year! from cravingsomecreativity.com

Snowman pretzels – so many variations – by b4andafters.com


Tradition:  1. : the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another. 2. : a belief or custom handed down from one generation to another. tradition. noun. (dictionary.com)

Hold onto the traditions that mean the most to each of you, and let go of the others to make room for new ones! Have fun. I talk about this in my YouTube video.

Here’s a fun tradition that I hadn’t heard of. Christmas Eve boxes. My kids always got new pajamas to wear, and a new game for the family to share. I might have to try one of these box ideas this from moneyprodigy.com

Build a gingerbread house  -from akpalkitchen.com -I will have to find a picture of one of our boys’ creations from the past! Here are some kits that would be fun to build!

Here’s another fun tradition -from cleanmama.com Have  basket of books for each major holiday. I have done this, and each year I would purchase one or two new books to add to the basket.


Use this down time for your teens to find something new for them to try or continue with their love of creation. So many hobbies are relaxing, and this will go a long way to their decompression after a hectic semester.

 20+ Sharpie crafts that are perfect for the holidays from happinessishomemade.net

Washi tape crafts for the entire family from sloely.com

Lots of DIY ornaments to craft from buzzfeed.com

String star ornaments -so cute from eytozee.com

Scrap fabric Christmas tree ornaments from firefliesandmudpies.com


Game night is such a fun way to connect with your teens.

12 games to play virtually if you are not together by christmasphere.com

Guess Who (Christmas version) by kidfriendlythingstodo.com

Holiday Jeopardy from allthepartyideas.com

Saranwrap candy ball -this is really fun- from momluck.com

‘Tis the Season Trivia game -we love this! I just keep it on our table during the holidays to spark conversation😀

 10+ games to play with your teen -all different kinds of games included in this post from parentinghighschoolers.com


Here are some ideas for setting up a fun family movie night… from healthyhappyimpactful.com

Here’s a post with more than 50 movies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Checklists included for keeping track of the ones that you have watched.

Holiday Bingo for Hallmark Christmas movies -such a fun idea!


25 Days for a Teenage Christmas -ways to enjoy the holidays with your teens🎄

Stained Glass Adult Coloring Book -for relaxing in front of a fire or good movie!

Putting together gift baskets for neighbors, friends, and other people can be a great family activity. Shannon at skiptomylife.com has some great ideas for this from the dollar store!

A great activity for giving back are these feed the hungry stocking packs -from 5littlemonsters.com The family that serves together, stays together! Or make these sock packages for the homeless from penniesoftime.com -these are such a great idea.

Binge watch a series as a family! We LOVED Schitt’s Creek, but this post gives other ideas as well. Plus, the post has lots of gift ideas if you know someone who loves SC!

Work on a holiday puzzle -we always have one set up on a side table in our sunroom for the holidays, and we all work on it at different times while watching movies.

Holiday scavenger hunt -we have done this before with our dinner club, and had so much fun!


Here are a couple of books that will help you during this season.

Have Yourself a Minimalist Christmas

A Christmas Memory Book

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living -If you have not heard of this, there are so many ideas for comfort. And, what is Christmas if not comfort?


The posts below are from my blog. They are all updated often during the year. I have vetted the gift lists with a number of teens and their families over the years as I have continued to add posts, ideas and update them. I hope that these are helpful in your search for the perfect gifts!

Gifts for teen gals

Gifts for teen guys

Gifts for mom

Gifts for dad

Best family games

Stocking stuffers

Have a December graduate?

Gifts for 18 year old – This post is about all sorts of things regarding a teen turning 18, but there are gift ideas at the bottom of the post.

Christmas with teens can be such a fun time. Be sure to do your prep work. Talk with them ahead of time to make sure that any plans that you make are something they like to do or that they know is one of your non-negotiables. Relax. Do as much ahead of time as possible. Enjoy!

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! 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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Christmas with teens can be so fun!


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