The Ultimate List of the Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

The Ultimate List of the Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

Best Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Are you looking for the best stocking stuffers for teens? This age can be challenging. With a little help from me, you’ll find the best 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.

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!

One thing to remember is that teens love gift cards, and that is always a great option! Here are many choices. 😃

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

Stocking stuffer ideas…

  • 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!
  • Portable phone charger –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!
  • Ridge wallet -These are great with the money clip, and they need a place for their licence and school ID.
  • 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.
  • Bombas  –Moisture wicking, ventilation, smell free, soft touch and durability. Perfect gifts for a stocking! 100% happiness guaranteed! My sons love these, and you can order one pair, a pack or a subscription.
  • Fitbit Alta HR –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.
  • Snack subscription box -Food is always a good choice, and here are so many options at different price points!
  • Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds- Look for in-ear headset built in bluetooth V4.1 technology, and microphone give a real stereo music sound and stable calling. Find some that are sweat-proof and waterproof with up to 8 hours playing time. (My son got some 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. Here are some great sports movies -more than 65 titles!
  • Do you have a teen that is a picker? Here is a great thing! It’s a Picking Stone Kit, and it’s basically a covered rock that your kid can pick on to relieve that desire instead of picking on their own skin! Plus it is supposed to sooth stress -who knew!
  • Bubble tea -have your teens gotten into this craze?
  • Starface acne patches -These are so great! The little star shapes can grip in creases, and other difficult spots. They are cruelty free, and use the ingredient Hydrocolloid, which is clinically proven to improve pimples overnight. This is the starter kit, and it has refills.
  • Noise cancelling headphonesActive 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. 
  • 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.
  • Hydrating Facial Masks -My boys love these, so don’t rule the guys out on this one.

Do you have a teen that loves the show Schitt’s Creek? I wrote a post about the show with lots of gift ideas! And, don’t forget that cash and gift cards are also great small gifts that are great stocking stuffers for teens!

Are you looking for new Christmas stockings? I have thought about ordering a new look when we downsize. For now, I will stick with what we have, but there are SO many cool looks for stockings out there!

Also, check out my other holiday posts:

49 Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Teen

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays

11 Ways to Bond with your teen over the holiday break

Advent Calenders for All Ages

Gift Guide for Your Teen Girl

Gift Guide for Your Teen Guy

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

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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Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

The holidays will be upon us before we know it.

Here are 25 days for a teenage Christmas that you can incorporate into your schedule to make things easier on you in the long run. The list includes activities, but also ways to be prepared for later in the month so that you can enjoy it as much as everyone else.

One of the things that I am trying to do is to be more intentional with my time. By asking ahead of time what my family likes, I can let go of some of the other things. 

I am going to try a questionnaire this year and see how it goes. There is always the chance that someone won’t think of everything as they are filling it out. We can always be sure to add it in the next year! 

Be sure to check out the book recs at the bottom of this post encouraging us all to slow down.

Make a plan for the month of December.

When are finals for each of your kids? When will they be home? What are your teens’ work schedules? Make a master calendar to keep track of it all. Ask all members of your family what are their top 3 favorite events/traditions that they like to do. Combine all the lists, and let go of any traditions not on there. Re-evaluate each year.

Once your master calendar is set up, ask all participants in your family if they would like to try anything new? It is always fun to try new things. Don’t go crazy adding things. Maybe one new thing a year. Take turns who gets to pick.

I talk more about this on Youtube -Check it out here!

I wrote this post because as our kids have grown, our traditions have changed, not always the “what”, but the “how”… Read on to find out what this means.

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

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25 days for a teenage Christmas!

•Be sure that you have a wishlist from all your teens to make sure that your shopping is on point.

•Order holiday pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve.

•Go see a holiday parade or living windows evening in your downtown. Check your community’s holiday calendar for any other fun events. 

•Choose a day to bake holiday cookies. Again, ask your teens for their top couple of favorite holiday treats, and don’t even think about baking anything else. There will be plenty more to do! Or try these cute little salt dough ornaments to make as gift, and here are cute holiday cookie cutters.

•Pick a night to watch home movies from when they were little. Holiday home movies are the best! This can be an ongoing activity. 

•Bake bread (we love this cinnamon bread!) for the neighbors. Have your kids walk over with you so that they can see your kids now as older semi-adults. This is fun for everyone. Take them with you to see friends from old neighborhoods to deliver holiday cheer. This can be so fun!

•Schedule a night to work at your local soup kitchen. There is nothing like it to instill gratitude in our teens. Or, create blessing bags to distribute to the homeless. 

•Be sure to make sure you have time planned for gift wrapping. This can be an ongoing activity as well. Set up an extra bedroom with wrapping paper, ribbons, and cards for anyone to take advantage of as needed. This is a life skill!

•Our teens/young adults still love to take hot chocolate and snacks out for a Christmas light tour. Play holiday music, and enjoy the conversation. We have taken the same tour for years. 

•Be sure that your teens have scheduled time to shop for gifts for each other and anyone else that is important in their lives. I usually give them some money for lunch, and they have a great time hanging out together. Here are my gift guide for teen guys and teen gals.

Plan a day out for yourself with friends. Go out for lunch and shopping or a movie.

•Put a few movie nights on your schedule for old holiday favorites. Here is a great list. 

•We always put up our tree at Thanksgiving, but if we are not all there, we wait to decorate until all are present. Put this on your list of “things to do”.

•Our boys always offer to babysit for another family with younger kids so that the parents can have a night out for the holidays. This is fun for our boys and the young couple is always so grateful! (Bonus, the little kids love this night with the “big” boys.)

•Create a holiday playlist with everyone’s favorites.

•Have a cousin sleepover for old-time’s sake. The more the merrier! They could make their own ugly Christmas sweaters! Here are some great ideas!

•Work on a holiday jigsaw puzzle.

•Be sure to take pictures occasionally, even though they might not want you to. Make sure that you are in a few! Here are some holiday crafts that would be fun to do and take pictures of:)

•Spend a night in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate and no cell phones just visiting. Try this fun hot chocolate charcuterie board!

•If you are lucky enough to get snow, build a snowman.

•Donate old towels to the animal shelter, canned goods to the food bank, toys to a local shelter…

•Go ice skating, roller skating, play miniature golf or do some other activity with your family for a fun day.

Interview an older relative about their childhood holiday memories. This is such fun! Continue on with other memories that they might have.

More ways to make sure that your holiday with your teen is great!

Make sure that your teens and young adults get to sleep on this holiday! They have been stressed about school all fall. Whether they have been online learning, away at school, working or some variation, they need time to decompress and relax.

Agree ahead of the visit what you both think is reasonable. This will go a long way toward them being comfortable at home, and wanting to be there!

Create hygge!

There are some great books to check out for creating hygge, which is pronounced Hoo-ga―it’s “a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.”

Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy -“Kempton gently encourages you to prioritize your holiday hopes and take a slower, more mindful approach to your celebrations.”

The Little Book of Hygge -“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking, the author, explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

The Little Book of Lykke -“We can deepen our blissfulness and contentment with little adjustments in our behavior,” again according to Wiking.

Other related posts

Budgeting for the holidays -Get started now!

Gift guide for teen guys

Gift guide for teen gals

Advent calendars that your teen will love

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Games your teen will love

11 Ways to bond over the holiday break

Fun Holiday Ideas on Budget

49+ Holiday Movies to Watch With Your Teen

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

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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Stressed Out Teens? 15 Simple Ways Parents Can Help

Stressed Out Teens? 15 Simple Ways Parents Can Help

So, you have a stressed out teen…

Here are some ideas that will  help out a stressed out teen in overwhelming times.

(I first wrote this back in April of 2020. Some things have changed. Some have not. Many kids are able to go to school in some type of in seat hybrid version, some are learning in pods, and some are totally virtual. No matter which way, their lives probably look very different than they did one year ago this time. These tips for checking with your teen’s mental health are possibly more important today than ever.

We had a son struggling with depression -and before Covid he had no problems. Would they have surfaced without this pandemic? Possibly, but we will never know. All I know is that I am proud of how he handled himself, and he worked his way towards his future with help from us, his friends, and a counselor. Please check in with your teens!)

I have reached out to my blogging friends to find the best advice that they have for our stressed out teens today and any other time. Here is the advice that they have shared. *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Grab a  Survival Chart -full of strategies to try -for your stressed out teen here!

Calming tips for a stressed out teen

Leo Baubata posted his zen habits for calmness. Here are his 7 habits and the link to his article with much more information:

  1. A calm morning ritual
  2. Watch your response when you are stressed
  3. Don’t take things personally
  4. Be grateful
  5. Create stress coping habits
  6. Single task
  7. Reduce noise

If you can encourage your teen to just try one or two of these habits to try, it will go a long way to relieving their stress. I, for one, reduced the noise I was hearing over the past weekend. I did not listen to news. I did not read anything that might stress me out.

I basically took a time out from news for a couple of days. It was wonderful, and I plan on doing this every weekend from now for as long as the current (insert whatever you want!) situation goes on.

For a relaxing bath, here are are some bath bombs for guys and gals.

The news isn’t going anywhere. I was available to my family and friends if something came up, but it really refreshed my soul to tune the world out for a bit.

Have your teen try a time out, even if it’s just for a few hours, they will be glad they did it! This will be a great way to help a stressed out teen.

Here are my friends’ tips for calming your stressed out teens…

Calming Activities by Karen at Nourishing Teens

Sleep For Teen Is So Important by me 

Diverting activities that are teen stress relievers

Our teens have a lot of time on their hands even with school, friends, social media, and right now, a world-wide pandemic. Here are a few fun things that might distract them when they have a moment of boredom! Staying busy is good for a stressed out teen, as long as it is balanced with rest and relaxation. Here are my friend’s tips for keeping your teen busy…

18 Killer Podcasts by Nancy at Raising Teens Today

101 Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home by Nancy at Raising Teens Today

100 Blissful Solutions to Teen Boredom by Shannon at Skip to My Life

5 Things That Your Teen Needs to Know About Their Grandparents by Shannon at Skip to My Life

Things To Do During Quarantine by Loren at LorenKellyCoaching

Easy Ways for Tweens and Teens to Relax by Laurie at Pardon Me, My Crown Slipped

Stressed out teens|

Stress management for teens

If a teen has anxiety, it’s a whole other dimension of stress. It is all-consuming, and overpowering. Teens may need outside help. They for sure need for you to know that it is very real to them. More than anything, they need your love and support!

Activities for stressed out teens…

Why Anxiety Can Destroy Your Gen Z Child by Shannon at Skip to My Life

Helping Teens Manage Their Anger by Dana at Parenting in Real Life

Natural Stress Relievers for Teens by Miranda at The Reluctant Cowgirl

School Anxiety

Here are some basic tips to help teens with school stress…

  1. Have a schedule
  2. Use a planner or some sort of calendar
  3. Start big projects early-as in right away!
  4. Create a dedicated work space
  5. Talk to the teacher
  6. Get a tutor
  7. Prioritize work by date due and amount of work that will be needed

Here are my friends’ tips for dealing with school stress…

Helping Kids to Thrive As They Adjust to Distance Learning by Betsy at with Kellyann Rohr  (This is a podcast as well as a blog post.)

Ways That You Can Help Your Teen With Finals (Or School Stress in General!) by me

Model stress management techniques for students

Stress is a factor every day in our teens’ lives. School, work, family, money, dating relationships, the list is endless. We need to model behaviors that are positive for our teens to emulate. We need to practice self-care, so that we can help meet their needs and show that it’s a great stress management tool.

Let’s help our teens to fill their toolboxes with strategies for dealing with stress today and any other time that will be stressful in the future.

Here is a great post on coping with all this as a mom from my friend Miranda at The Reluctant Cowgirl.

Here is a post that I wrote about self-care under the best of times, but is great for now because there are tiny doable things that you can do to have a better day, every day!

Here are some affirmations to get us through these days from my friend Shannon at Skip To My Life

Conversations can help your stressed out teens

We have time now because everyone is at home. The thing is that we should always make time to have conversations. Our teens are only with us for a limited amount of time-the countdown has started for them to leave for college or a job or the military or one of a million things.

Remember to grab your copy of the stress reliever chart here!

Use the time that you have with your kids to have some of these important conversations about making their future a better place to be. Help you teen to have an advantage by discussing important tips that will help them no matter what is going on in the world.

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

5 Easy Ways to Improve Communication With Your Teen

7 Things to Know If You Love a Teenager

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

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 October: 10 Timely  Wins

Smart Parents in October: 10 Timely Wins

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.

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 Are 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 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.

•One thing that I have learned over time, is that the more organized I am with my time and planning, the better the experience -not matter what it is. With that in mind, my friend Shelley Merchant over at Taming Frenzy has created a new holiday planner! Just in time for this year!

Smart Parents in October Are Loving:


All the Ugly and Beautiful Things -Greenwood

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…

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. 

Sea of Tranquility -St. John Mandel

This was a little different. but I liked it. Each character in the book is dealing with personal issues. There is a strand of events that connects them all. The ties the story lines all together.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core. 

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. 

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended…

The Kitchen House -Grissom

This was a different spin on an important time period in our history. I loved the way the author intertwined the stories of Belle and Lavinia.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

The Girl Who Wrote In Silk -Estes

This was a fascinating story. It is told in two time periods. And, there are connections that are discovered. One is a bit predictable, but I love how the story comes full circle at the end.

A historical novel inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut is a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, highlighting the power of our own stories.

The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets…

While exploring her aunt’s island estate, Inara Erickson is captivated by an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. The truth behind the silk sleeve dated back to 1886, when Mei Lien, the lone survivor of a cruel purge of the Chinese in Seattle found refuge on Orcas Island and shared her tragic experience by embroidering it.

As Inara peels back layer upon layer of the centuries of secrets the sleeve holds, her life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core—and force her to make an impossible choice. Should she bring shame to her family and risk everything by telling the truth, or tell no one and dishonor Mei Lien’s memory?


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!

Term to know:

Early Decision -Some colleges offer to notify applicants of acceptance or rejection during the first semester of their senior year. There are two types of early decision plans, first, the single choice plan — in which students cannot apply to another college until they have been notified by the early decision college.

There is also the first-choice plan –students may apply to other colleges, but name the early decision college as their first choice and agree to enroll at that college and withdraw all other applications if accepted.

For more information, contact the college admissions office.


“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

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!

It’s time to order a new agenda for next year! Here are some great planners, and most are on sale!

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

Timely posts:

Have you checked out my September Smart Parents blog post.

Applying to College

FAFSA: What You Need To Know

Halloween Decor For A Teen’s Bedroom or Dorm Room

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.?

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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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 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!

Here are all the holiday ideas I have gathered in one spot

A friend of mine just wrote a book all about holiday planning -taking the stress out of the holidays! She includes all sorts of checklists and pages to stay on top of all your holiday planning.

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 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

Front porch decor from

Setting a holiday table by

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

Ideas for bedrooms at Christmas from


I tried to find complilations of easy recipes!

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

21 casseroles to accompany your main dishes -from

Simple and festive main dish recipes -you had me at simple! from

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

Snowman pretzels – so many variations – by


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. (

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

Build a gingerbread house  -from -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 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

Washi tape crafts for the entire family from

String star ornaments -so cute from

Scrap fabric Christmas tree ornaments from


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

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

12 games to play virtually if you are not together by

Guess Who (Christmas version) by

Holiday Jeopardy from

Saranwrap candy ball -this is really fun- from

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


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.

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

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 has some great ideas for this from the dollar store!

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

147 Jolly Holiday Ideas to Enjoy with Your Teens

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!


Smart Parents In September :  10 Timely Tips

Smart Parents In September : 10 Timely Tips

Here are some things I’m learning and loving in the month of September. Here are a few things that I am learning and loving in my life right now. This includes recipes, books, movies and gadgets, etc. Here are some ideas for smart parents in September.

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 September

Smart Parents In September Are Learning:

Angel Shots– have you heard of these? A bar owner has figured out a way to help women who need it while they are there in the bar. If a date has gone bad or a woman feels threatened or whatever… There’s a sign up in the women’s bathroom telling what to order for each particular situation. I hope that this catches on everywhere!

I just read about this amazing plant! It produces “one of the world’s great natural insecticides, that as well as being totally harmless to plants, humans, and animals, supports the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of rural Kenyans who supply much of the world’s pyrethrum, the principle chemical in the flower.” Read more here!

Have you read the post about the Best Books to Teach Your Kids About Social Justice? These are books range from picture books all the way to books for adults.

Do you have a pet that pees in your house? Ugggh! But, I just learned about this awesome product that my girlfriend swears by!! I ordered a bottle, and it is awesome! With our puppy, this has been a lifesaver! Grab it here!

Smart Parents In September Are Loving:

Books That I Have Recently Read


**A post about 7 awesome books for parenting teens are is here!

5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

This book has made the biggest difference in my life over this summer. I read it back in June, and I have used the countdown ever since! It is really the simplest concept, and I’m so glad that I read it. Sometimes you just don’t want to get out of bed, or clean a certain mess, or even go to the grocery store-I don’t mind the shopping, but hate the putting away after. Anyone else have this problem?

Read this book, you will get so much done! There is a journal that goes along with it, that I really want to order!


The Mother-in-Law by Hepworth

This one was full of twists and turns. Not everyone turns out to be who you thought!

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

A Place For Us by Mirza

This book made me laugh and cry. We are all alike in so many ways, no matter our culture, religion or family background…

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?

A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Harmel

I don’t love the blurb below because the book is so much more than a WW2 story… I loved this book!

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror.

Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.


Lenox Hill

We all love this show! This is another docu-series, which we have enjoyed over this past summer. The show follows four doctors throughout their days in their jobs. The two men are neurosurgeons, and the two women are and ER doc and a fourth year resident specializing in OB-GYN.

All four of these doctors are such good people. As the show progresses, you get to know each of the doctors and their staff, and even a few of their patients that are repeat visitors. There is very little gore, you never see babies being born, just the babies. You do see a little bit of some brains, but they are all so passionate about what they are seeing, that it is interesting. If you do get a little squeamish, just know that each of these few scenes only last about a minute at the most. Here is a link to the series trailer


Darkest Hour

This movie is so interesting. Winston Churchill was such a force of nature. He affected so much of our history. This movie brings it all to life, and you really get to know him as a man. If you live in central Missouri, don’t miss out on the amazing museum in Fulton! It’s on the campus of Westminster College. Churchill once spoke there-he gave his famous Iron Curtain speech, and the museum is fabulous! There’s even part of the Berlin Wall on display as well.


Learner Driver Magnet for car (3 Pack)

These are great for when you have a learning driver in your house. The 3-pack is great, one for each of your cars and maybe grandma’s car, too!


Do you have a pet that pees in your house? Ugggh! But, I just learned about this awesome product that my girlfriend swears by!! I ordered a bottle, and it is awesome! With our puppy, this has been a lifesaver! Grab it here!


Sea Moss: Ever since visiting Ireland, and reading about the health benefits of sea moss, I wanted to share these gummies. It is often called Irish sea moss, but can be harvested a few other places.

Scholarships for September:

Beldon Scholarship

Award: Two winners at $1000

Deadline: September 1, annually


  • Be seeking a degree in business, management, communications, marketing or related field.
  • Have a minimum 3.5 GPA
  • Include full name, .edu email address, and phone number in the essay document.

How to Apply:

  • Submit a 1,500-2,000 word essay entitled “BELDON® Scholarship.”


May Firm Scholarship

Award: $1000

Deadline: September 15 (also January 5)


• Must be enrolled at either a community college or university.

How to apply:

Must submit and essay 300+ words, also include a copy of your resume, including your current GPA as well as what university or community college you are attending. Topic is What is one traumatic experience you experienced in your life, and how did you overcome it?”

Ayn Rand Scholarships

This one is a little different. First off, you have to read one of her books. The 3 choices are: Anthem, The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. Each book has a different age category and different amount that you can win. This one would take some time beginning with reading the book. Get some feedback on your essay. The least amount for an award is $2000, so this one is a great choice if you are a great writer.

Then, write an essay about the book you chose. Awards up to $10,ooo. Also, there are lots of FAQs on the website, so go there for more information!

Essays due April 27 for Anthem and The Fountainhead. 

Atlas Shrugged essay due September 26.


Timely Term to Know:

Articulation Agreement: An agreement between two-year and four-year colleges that makes it easier to transfer credits between them. It spells out which courses count for degree credit and the grades you need to earn to get credit.


Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple. – JK Rowling / Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Which season is your favorite? I love fall!)


Read a Book Day (6), Labor Day (first Monday in September), Sewing Machine Day (10), 911 Remembrance Day (11), Constitution Day (17), National Pepperoni Pizza Day (20), National Hunting and Fishing Day (third Saturday in September)

Hope these wins will help you all, so share this with any smart parents in September that you know! If you have something that is working for you, please let me know so that I can share–it takes a village.

Posts that are timely

Quick Tips for Applying to Colleges

Best List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School

FAFSA: What You Need To Know!

49 Movies to Watch With Your Teens for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

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 September