Simplify The Gifts This Holiday Season

  Welcome to my mini-series about Simplifying The Gifts This Holiday Season The more you can simplify, the greater the opportunity you have to enjoy the holidays. Are you ready to make this happen? Before we dig in, I have to warn you about something that’s critically important. And not paying attention to this will virtually…

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20 Meaningful Christmas Gifts That Don't Break The Bank

As your focus turns towards the upcoming holiday season, commit to giving with more intentionality, gifts that truly do celebrate the person receiving the gifts. It is the thought that counts. Put thought into your gift-giving and you will win every time! Time. Yes, that’s right- the gift of time. Set up a coffee date,…

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Non-Candy Trick-or-Treat Options

As we approach Halloween this topic is coming up more and more. Many parents are looking for alternatives; some for the Teal Pumpkin Project (offering alternatives, for children who have food allergies), and some are just tired of the unhealthy excess of refined sweeteners and food dyes. As an environmentalist, I am bothered by the amount of plastic…

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Reclaim Your Life: How To Redirect Excess Gifting

This year has definitely been an eye opening year for me. I discovered that most parents are overwhelmed with the amount of toys children have and receive for gifts. And many long for extended family members to understand and adjust their giving. In our culture there is this idea that in order to show children…

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How Minimalist Traveling Can Mean A Relaxing Holiday

  Summer is here for us and we have a few trips planned out. Traveling used to be overwhelming and exhausting for me, but now that we’ve edited down so much of our material possessions, trips are significantly easier. Vacation for many families means parents are exhausted, children are cranky and everyone is looking forward…

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A Clutter-Free Easter Celebration

We don’t do Easter Baskets. I know that some people may be bothered by that, but guess who isn’t: Our children. That’s right! So, if you are reading this as a young parent and you don’t have massive gift-giving traditions in place, take some advice: don’t start them.  The easiest thing as a new parent…

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10 Family Fun Ideas For Valentine's Day

I love Valentine’s day! In my mind Valentine’s Day isn’t about gifts, though I do love getting flowers and chocolates, for me, Valentine’s has always been about specialness. I don’t want to do “typical” things on Valentine’s Day, fighting the crowds, making reservations weeks (or months!) in advance, so we try to get creative with how we…

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A Minimalist's Approach to Christmas Dinner

Growing up with a Swedish heritage, we had a smorgasbord on Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. If you don’t know what a smorgasbord looks like, it’s basically finger foods- cold meat, sausages, cheese, canned sardines, oysters, clams, vegetable trays and it would always end with the traditional lutefisk and rice pudding. I love…

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Gift Giving Isn't About the Giver

In our culture there is this idea that in order to show children our love, we must give toys in abundance. But why? Why do we feel that it is necessary to give so much? Or even that it is our right to spoil? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving gifts. I, myself, LOVE…

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How to Have a Special Christmas Day Without Gifts

A reader asks: Thinking about Christmas this year and I’m trying to minimize as much as possible. Growing up, christmas was spent in a pile of presents. Since my kids won’t necessarily have that, do you have suggestions of traditions and activities for Christmas Day that will make memories and help us to not miss…

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18 Clutter-Free Gifts Under $20

Budget-friendly and clutter-free, unfortunately, don’t always go together when it comes to gifting during the holidays. So I sat down to think through; what items are useful enough that they aren’t considered clutter, but are easy on the pocketbook at the same time? I don’t want to burden my loved ones with cluttery knick-knacks or…

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Jack O'Lantern Cuties

  So simple and easy, but super fun and no worries about all the excess sugar and everything else we want to avoid during these sugary holidays. This is another project that is fun for kids to be involved in! Having a big bowl of jack-o-lantern to munch on during your Halloween party is terrific…

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Chocolate Dipped or Painted Apricots

I love having “food crafts” for my kids to work on. Having the kids help with preparing food is great on so many levels! Gets them in the kitchen so they’re comfortable with “cooking” Builds wonderful memories Fills the creativity need Gives them something to work on Helps them enjoy giving to others (we always make treats…

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The Ultimate Clutter Free Gift Giving Guide

  Earlier this year, I wrote an entire series of clutter free gifts ideas and they have been more popular than I ever anticipated! Clutter from gifts has become overwhelming to many of us, especially to parents of little ones, who have to try to teach gratitude among overabundance and teach good stewardship with poorly…

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Halloween Fruit Kabobs

Anytime we take the time to make something special for the children in our lives, they enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be full of sugar, artificial colors or have some character on it. Kids notice when we take time out of our day just for them. It’s actually more meaningful to make something simple like…

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Dairy Free Caramel Apples

  For the last few months I’ve been gluten free and dairy free. Our youngest son, currently 10 months, had horrible eczema and as long as I avoid gluten and dairy, he’s fine. (Click here to read more about our eczema journey.) It’s definitely been challenging not having dairy- I love cheese and butter! But…

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