Do you Love Christmas? Why September is the Perfect Time to Start Thinking About It!

Brown Pinecone on White Rectangular Board

Mentioning Christmas in September will often get you some funny looks. After all, it IS incredibly early- we haven’t even had Halloween yet! But thinking about Christmas in September doesn’t mean putting your decorations up (like this family did!) or playing your favorite festive album on the way to work each morning. It can simply be a case of planning ahead and getting prepared financially. While Christmas is a lot of fun and a fantastic way to spend time with loved ones, it can also be a huge struggle if you’re working to a budget. Lots of families find themselves in debt in the new year, or just feeling down and upset that they haven’t managed to provide their children with as much as they’d have liked. To get around this, early planning is essential. If you start now, you have plenty of time to spread the cost, get things as you go and come December it won’t be a mad rush to source and buy everything you need. Here are some ideas which will make Christmas easier financially.

Save what you can

Any money you can put away will come in helpful come December. If you have online banking, you could transfer a couple of dollars every week from your main account into a savings account each time you’re paid- it will all add up. You could start a change jar, throwing in any loose change that’s left in your pockets at the end of each day. There are Coinstar machines in most supermarkets which make it easy to change pennies and change into pounds and notes for easier spending. Another good tip is to sell what you no longer need, this raises money while clearing space for new items that will be coming in at Christmas. If you donate your old items to a charity shop, you could be helping another family provide for their children in the process.

Pick up generic presents

Whether it’s stocking fillers for the kids or token gifts for colleagues and neighbors, if you spot something that’s a good deal and would make a great gift then pick it up. Again, it gives you less to buy closer to the time. Bubble bath and bath sets, boxes of chocolates, trinkets and more- these can be bought surprisingly cheaply from discount stores, and supermarkets.

Find deals on decorations

Once the festive season is underway, anything Christmas themed will go up in price. So it can be a good idea to scour bargain stores and places like eBay for decorations now when they’re much lower in price. Think about things like your Christmas table too- glasses, table napkins, place holders and more are all items you can buy ahead of time and put away ready for Christmas dinner.

Start your non- perishable and long life food shopping

Your food and consumables are one of the biggest costs for most families at Christmas. Instead of waiting until December 1st, start grabbing items now. Chocolate, sweets, alcohol, canned goods and and other items can be picked up each week with your normal shopping. Box it up and put it out of sight, and start a stash ready for the festive season. Write a list and tick things off as you go, this prevents you from accidentally buying twice.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Staycation with Your Toddler

We are not always up for a long haul vacation, especially if we have little kids. They are less patient on the plane, not to mention the motion sickness that affects babies and toddlers. A staycation will not only save you money, but also help you plan your days around your family. To make it a success, however, you will need to make sure that you adjust the programs to the needs of the little ones. Find a few tips below.

Know their Limitations

It is important that you know your kids’ limitations. Take a note how long they can walk, and don’t stretch them further than needed. Ask them about the attractions you are about to visit, so you can see their understanding of the venue and spot hidden fears of animals or spaces you should be aware of. If you are planning to walk longer distances, you might want to get a sturdy stroller, such as the XL3 BEST v2 so you can help them preserve their energy for later and the playground.

Check Age Recommendations

Before you pick your attractions to visit every day during your staycation, it is important that you read the reviews and make sure that they are suitable for your toddler. If there are some challenging paths or the climbing frames are designed for older kids, chances are that your child will not be able to make the most out of the time. You might also want to check whether there’s a child friendly bar or restaurant on site.

Have Outdoor Programs

play vacation pool swimming pool child leisure smile fun happy playground toddler bebe little boy human positions outdoor play equipment

Image via PxHere

Kids love parks and running around. If you happen to live in an apartment, you can spend your vacation finding your favorite playground in the neighborhood or the city, so you can take them out regularly to have some fresh air and exercise. There are also some great toddler-friendly climbing centers and outdoor trampoline places you might be able to discover during your staycation.

Add Variety

Zack (left) and Eden work with clay during craft time at the Peterson Vacation Bible School. This year’s VBS ran July 9-13 and was based on the scripture Phillipians 4:19. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lea Johnson)

Image via Peterson Air Force Base

Kids get bored seeing the same places and type of attractions. Spend a day at the zoo, then go to a theme park, and get them to enjoy a paddling pool nearby. Spend a day walking and visit a child friendly museum or exhibit they can get a hands-on experience at and improve their skills. Check local craft centers for toddlers where they can make their own souvenirs.

Have a Picnic or a Special Lunch

To celebrate time together and make your staycation memorable for your kids for a long time, you can plan a special picnic lunch in their favorite park or get them some healthy treats at a local cake shop. Give them a treat for behaving during the day, and you can instantly find a place where you can reward them during school time, too.

Staycations can be a simple solution for young families looking to explore their city and avoiding toddler tantrums. Plan each day carefully and take into consideration your little one’s interest and limitations.

Easy Weight Loss Breakfast Idea: Acai Bowl

This recipe is perfect for anyone who is busy! Just throw a few ingredients in the blender and go! BONUS: I have included a code for 3 FREE smoothies from Daily Harvest!

I’ve been buying açaí bowls from local specialty restaurants or from the grocery store for the last year. This is a perfect breakfast or lunch option for someone who is trying to lose weight. I love these bowls! They are packed full of goodness and you can really make it your own! One thing I don’t like? The cost & not knowing exactly what is going into what I’m eating. It adds up if you buy these a few times a week or even once a week so I figured why not start making my own?!

Whip up an easy breakfast to help lose weight! #weightloss #acaibowl #breakfastideas #fitfam

The only thing I had to buy for this was the açaí. A friend recommended this brand from amazon and I love it! It has zero sugar and it tastes amazing! It doesn’t take much either. I think what I ordered should last me a few months! For more healthy breakfast ideas you can click this link.

Here is the recipe I use for mine:

-1 tbsp of açaí (you can use less but I don’t recommend more)

-Vanilla protein powder (I love this brand or this one!)

-Splash of almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

-Handful of ice

-Half to whole banana (I happened to have a very ripe banana so I used it all)

-Feel free to add extras! Fresh blueberries, mango, pineapple, strawberries. Get adventurous.

Blend it UP!

Topping Ideas:

-Coconut, Cocoa nibbles, strawberries, blueberries, chia seed, granola, and more!

The possibilities are truly endless and it’s almost like a little smoothie in a bowl! So filling and full of so much goodness.

  • Easy Acai Bowl Recipe with BONUS code for free smoothies!

If you can’t make your own or don’t have the time (believe me I get it!) no worries! I have a coupon code to get your first THREE smoothies or bowls from Daily Harvest FREE! This is a great option for someone who works, a busy parent, or someone who just wants a healthy on the go option! They offer: smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, lattes, overnight oats, chia parfaits, and more. Use code: WITHLOVEMAMA on their website to get any of your first three choices free!