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  • Taylor Swift's Chai Cookies

    We are less than 1 month away from getting Taylor's Version of 1989 and I'm here for it. You know I'm a swiftie and if you haven't seen our Friendship Bracelet Lover House, Lavender Haze Cocktail, or Concert Confetti Shadow Box, go check them out. If you have seen them, let's add something new to our Taylor Swift content - Taylor Swift's Chai Cookies! During her original launch of 1989, Taylor hosted Secret Sessions, where she invited fans to a secret album listening events and she made these Chai Cookies to bring to them. Yes, Taylor bakes! You can check out her 2014 Tumblr post where she shares her cookie recipe. These cookies would be a great addition to an album-listening Taylor Swift party! Taylor Swift's Chai Cookies Cookie Ingredients: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower oil. 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 large egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt Icing ingredients: 1 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon 3 tablespoons milk or eggnog (Taylor called them TAYblespoons and it's so frickin cute!) Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray. 2. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the vegetable oil. It may not fully incorporate with the butter, but that’s okay. Add the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla, beating on medium speed until each ingredient is completely incorporated. 3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt all at once using a wooden spoon or the mixer set on low. The dough will be soft. 5. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes just so it’s easier to handle. 6. For large cookies, dollop 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. For smaller cookies use 1 Tablespoon for each cookie. Press the dough evenly with your fingers or palm to 1/4-inch thickness. 7. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes for larger cookies or 8 to 10 minutes for smaller cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. For the icing: 1. Mix together your ingredients for the icing and drizzle on top of your cookies. Adjust the milk and powdered sugar as needed to get the consistency you like the best. 2. Drizzle or spread on your cookies. I sprinkled mine with a little bit of cinnamon to finish them off. The cookies will keep for 3-4 days if stored in an airtight container. As Taylor would say, " bakers gonna bake bake bake bake bake." Happy almost 1989 Taylor's Version!

  • Zombie Brain Sushi Recipe

    This zombie brain sushi is a fun food for Halloween. It's creepy looking, but really it's just sushi jazzed up to look like a brain and my kids eat it up (literally)! Zombie Brain Sushi *This recipe makes 4 brains, using 1/2 of an avocado for each brain. Ingredients: avocados x 2 cooked sushi rice cream cheese, about 4 tablespoons smoked salmon, about 9 oz red food coloring, a few drops Directions: Prep: Cook your sushi rice as directed on the package. I cooked 1 cup of dry sushi rice. Cut your avocado in half and take out the pit. Scoop the flesh out of the skin leaving the whole avocado in that half shape. Fill the hole in your avocado with some softened cream cheese. 3. Place the avocado, cream cheese side down, onto your plate. 4. Cover the avocado with the cooked sushi rice (save some sushi rice in a small bowl for the last step. Have a bowl of water nearby to wet your hands so that the rice doesn't stick to your hands. 5. Take pieces of the smoked salmon, fold them to create the brain-like folds, and place them on top of the rice, folding them to create that brain look. 6. Cover your brain with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge. This helps mold that salmon into the brain shape. 7. Add a few drops of the red food coloring to the sushi rice that you saved earlier. Stir it around to coat. 8. Take out your sushi brains and add the red rice in a line down the center of your brain. 9. Cover with plastic wrap again and store in the fridge until you're ready to eat it. These are great to make ahead for Halloween night and eat them before or after trick or treating. For more Halloween fun check out these posts: 13 Witchy Books for Fall DIY Cheesecloth Ghosts Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • DIY Cheesecloth Ghosts

    I remember a family friend making cheesecloth ghosts when I was a child. Although I loved them at the time, I never made them myself until I was a mom with kids and wanted more "homemade" Halloween decor. These ghosts are simple but make a big impact and are seriously so cute! The ones I remember from childhood were simple, but I added matching buntings to my ghosts to match my DIY Happy Halloween Bunting. Supplies: Cheesecloth Liquid starch Balloons or Christmas ornaments Jars, glasses, or vases Pipe cleaners,any colors Pans (to set ghosts in while they dry) Bowl (to soak cheesecloth) DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Directions Step 1: Create the shape for your ghosts by setting a blown-up balloon in a vase or jar. I used a pipe cleaner under the balloon to create arm shapes. Play around with different sizes of ghosts to see what you like best. I used pieces of tape to secure my balloons to the jars before I began adding my cheesecloth. This will give your ghost a head and arm shape. *Note: Be sure to put your ghost shapes on a clean tray to keep the mess contained once you add the liquid starch. Step 2: Measure and precut your cheesecloth to fit your ghosts. I discovered I liked 3-4 layers of cheesecloth to achieve the transparency I desired. Make sure to leave enough cheesecloth at the bottom of each ghost to puddle and create a base for the ghosts to stand up. Step 3: Pour some liquid starch into a bowl and wet your cheesecloth. Be careful your layers don’t get too bunched up. When your cheesecloth is completely wet, sloth off some of the excess and arrange it on your ghost mold, draping from front to back. You have time to arrange it how you like making sure you leave a puddle of cheesecloth around the front and back for your ghost base. Once you are satisfied with your ghosts, let them dry overnight. Step 4: While you wait for your ghosts to dry you can create their banners. I wanted my ghosts to be holding bunting that matched my DIY Happy Halloween Bunting. I used a few extra pieces of the black burlap bunting and cut mini buntings to match for my ghosts. Step 5: Cut rectangles the size you need and then snip out a triangle shape from the bottom going from each corner at an angle to the middle of your rectangle to creating a bunting shape. Using white paint, create your letters. I made my buntings say “boo” for the big ghost and “trick” “or” “treat” buntings for the 3 smaller ghosts. Step 6: Gently remove the ghosts from their mold. I popped my balloons and just loosed the ghosts from the ornament molds. They look awesome don’t they! Step 7: Now you can attach your buntings. Thread your bunting letters onto twine and attach them through each of the ghost’s hands. Tie a knot on the underside of the ghost hand to keep the bunting attached. These DIY Cheesecloth Ghosts make a great centerpiece for a Halloween party or just use them to decorate around your house. Make large ghosts and place battery-operated tea lights under them to line your steps or walkway outside! They just make me so happy! Shop this project: More Halloween Fun: 13 Witchy Books for Fall Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies

  • Easy DIY Halloween Bunting

    I wanted to create a simple DIY Halloween bunting banner that could be used for different Halloween décor not only for this year but for years to come as well. I kept it simple with a classic black-and-white color combination. I found black pre-cut burlap bunting at my local craft store and I used white craft paint to freehand paint my letters on the bunting. I added simple ghosts for a little spooky touch. It looks great with my DIY cheesecloth ghosts. Easy DIY Halloween Bunting SUPPLIES Black burlap (or sturdy black fabric cut to shape, felt might work too) White craft paint and paintbrush Twine Large needle White scrap fabric Cotton balls Black marker White thread DIRECTIONS: Step 1: Cut your fabric to the shape and size you want. Mine are about 5 x 7 inches, and then I cut it angled in at the bottom to make the bunting shape I wanted. Step 2: Using white craft paint, paint “Happy Halloween”, one letter at a time, on each of the bunting pieces. This took a long time but was worth it in the end. You may have to do 2 or 3 coats to get the white just right. Step 2: To make the ghosts I just used 4 jumbo cotton balls wrapped in a piece of white fabric and tied with white thread. I drew on black eyes with the marker. Step 3: Using a large needle and some black and white twine I threaded on each letter to make my banner. I made 2 separate buntings, one for the word “Happy” and another for “Halloween”. Step 4: String the ghosts through the head on each end of the word “happy” to complete your banner. Hang and enjoy for many Halloweens to come! I made mini versions of these buntings when I made my DIY cheesecloth ghosts. Head over to that post to make this craft. Looking for more Halloween? Check out these posts: 13 Spellbinding Witchy Books to Read this Fall Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam Starbucks Copycat Recipe

  • Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)

    It is officially pumpkin coffee season aka the best season in my opinion. I love a good pumpkin latte but I can't justify getting a Starbucks coffee every day, so I whipped up this recipe to make my own Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam recipe at home. It's a pretty good Starbucks copycat recipe! It uses real pumpkin so there is no artificial flavor there and this batch makes about 4-6 servings, depending on how much cold foam you put in your coffee. I'm sipping on one as I type this. Now, let me share this yummy treat with you so you can enjoy one too. Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam 1 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon brown sugar 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 1 teaspoon vanilla In a jar, I use a mason jar with a lid, add together all your ingredients. Blend the ingredients together using a handheld milk frother. Once it's blended and creamy, store it in the refrigerator with the lid on it. I usually serve mine over a glass with cold brew but I've also stirred it into hot coffee and it's good like that too! Watch our tiktok where we make this drink! This recipe makes about a mason jar full. That will make me a pumpkin latte each day for about 4 or 5 days. Shop this recipe: You may also like our pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and butterbeer milkshakes.

  • 13 Witchy Books for Fall

    We're in the mood for all things Halloween and that includes our TBR pile! Our witchy booklist is full of magic, mystery, romance, found family, revenge, and more! Check out these 13 witchy books to read this fall! The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna - An orphan witch is taught to hide her magic away until one day she gets a message to come to a house where they teach young witches how to control their magic. She becomes part of this secret society. When danger comes knocking, the real fun begins. In Charm's Way by Lana Harper - Explore the effects of trauma and rage with a witch who has memory loss and performs a powerful spell to gain back her lost memories. It works, but she becomes a beacon for all things supernatural. This book is part of the Witches of Thistle Grove series but can also be read as a stand-alone novel. The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry - The story of a young woman named Biddy who washed up on an island as a baby and is taken care of by the magician. She learns to love and protect magic as if it was her own even though she can't do magic of her own. When the magic begins to dry up, the magician leaves to make sure the magic is evenly distributed. But, he's been keeping secrets and Biddy starts to question everything, Big Little Spells by Hazel Beck - The second book in the Witchlore series. When Rebekkah was 18 she was stripped of her powers and banished from her town. Now, 10 years later, she's back with the coven that presides over the magical world, but her return becomes sinister when they think she's a threat to witchkind. A witchy journey of self-discovery and healing Now she is Witch by Kirsty Logan - A lyrically written book about witchcraft, wise women, and folklore. Else discovers rumors of witches in the north are running rampant, her mother was accused of witchcraft, and now a stranger appears with a wolf in tow. Not tied to a specific time or place, it feels very much like a story told over time and has the feeling of being historical and modern at the same time. Weyward by Emilia Hart - Three separate stories that span generations of a family and we follow three women who are connected in many ways. Each woman has to deal with the expectations that society places on women in their own times and men who try to control them. We follow the women as they find their own strength and power with a hint of magic weaved in. Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Torzs - When two estranged sisters are given the task of guarding the family's library of magical books, they work together and unravel a deadly secret at the heart of their family. Loyalty, betrayal, and the pursuit of magical power. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman - Their family has been cursed since the 1600s when an ancestor was charged with witchery. Now, generations later, three unique children have rules like no walking in the moonlight, no cats, no candles and most importantly never fall in love. As the uncover their family history, they discover who they are, and are determined to escape the family curse. Two of the children in the family grow up to be the beautiful aunts in Practical Magic. The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguirre - Iris, who is terrible with money and who everyone calls the "chaos bunny" suddenly inherits a house from her great aunt. She turns the house into a B&B and it ends up attracting all kinds of misfit boarders who are of the paranormal type. This is part of the Fix-it Witch series but can also be read as a stand-alone book. The Witch of Tin Mountain by Paulette Kennedy - Gracelynn lives with her grandmother on Tin Mountain in the Ozarks helping her with herbal remedies. We get steeped in old folk magic following two viewpoints as a man moves to town and something seems off with him. Danger is closer than it seems. Pre-order these witchy reads that are coming out this month! Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (Available September 12th) - Each witchy sister in this family has her own magical gifts. Sage's gift is that of botany and that causes her to have to work closely with someone in her past who broke her heart. It's a book of complex sisterly bonds, second-chance romance, a little bit of plants, and a lot of magic! What Became of Magic by Paige Crutcher (Available September 26th) - Aline is a witch who can talk to ghosts. She uses her powers in secret to help lost souls find their way home. Along the way, she sets off on a quest to find a town that doesn't exist, or does it? Full of magic and Alice in Wonderland vibes. Witches of Bone Hill by Ava Morgyn (available September 26th) - When two sisters inherit a house they begin to have haunting experiences. They discover their families is that of witches and someone doesn't want them to have the house. They come face to face with an enemy that has been stalking their shadows for years and they discover the awful truth about what happened to their mother. Do they have the power within them to survive Bone Hill?

  • Best Toys for Outdoor Play to Help Development

    Now that Fall weather is starting to roll in, it is a great time to encourage outdoor play with your kiddos. Little ones enjoy getting sunshine and fresh air and these outdoor toys make outdoor play time even better. I have a huge passion for child development and I thought it would be fun to share some of my top picks for the best toys for outdoor play that help development. However, remember these are just suggestions. You know your child best, and what is developmentally appropriate for their current stage. All play should be supervised to ensure child safety. Be aware of sun safety (sunscreen & shade) and be sure to stay hydrated while playing outdoors, but most importantly of all, have fun! Best Toys for Outdoor Play Toys that Help with Development Sandbox This is a childhood classic! The sandbox is good for sensory development. Sand offers a tactile sensory experience and is a good way to work on fine motor skills by scooping and creating shapes in the sand. even helps with gross motor skills when kids balance or walk on sand. Remember to keep sand out of their mouth though. It can be really tempting for little ones. (For indoor sensory fun, try our DIY Moon Sand) Shop Sandbox Toys Sidewalk Chalk Drawing and writing with chalk is so much fun. Help kids develop those fine motor skills and creative thinking by drawing letters, shapes, and artwork. Kids will experience their proprioceptive sense by learning how hard to press down to write with the chalk. Work on communication skills by asking "What letter is this" or taking turns naming and drawing different shapes or animals. Take your chalk to the next level by making our Puffy Sidewalk Chalk Paint. Shop Sidewalk Chalk Outdoor Swings Swings are great for a full-body sensory experience. While swinging, kids are learning balance and body awareness which are both important senses for core strength and staying upright. The repetitive motion of swinging can provide some social-emotional benefits as well, that help calm the nervous system. Be sure to use an age-appropriate swing (especially with babies) as well as one that is secure and can't tip over. If you don't have space for your own swing, many local parks have swings. Shop Outdoor Swings Water Tables Water tables are especially popular on warm days. Kids can cool off in the water while playing safely. Pouring water, measuring, and watching water paths and droplets are all fun ways to play with water. You can even add a few drops of dishwashing soap and have kids wash all their little figurine toys in the bubbles. Water play promotes fine motor skills while standing at the water table and moving around it helps with gross motor skills. Shop Water Tables Imitation Toys Help promote executive function with imitation toys for "grown-up " outdoor activities. Toys like gardening sets, playhouses, push lawnmowers, and bug-catching kits help promote problem-solving and mental flexibility. You can help kids build their social-emotional connection by playing with them like working in the garden or building a container fairy garden. Shop Imitation Toys Bubbles I love bubbles, especially for toddlers! I often give bubble machines as gifts because toddlers love making and chasing bubbles so much. Following bubbles helps strengthen their tracking skills as well as attention. Running after, catching, or stomping bubbles helps those gross and fine motor skills. If kids are using a wand and creating their own bubbles that's even better because they have to figure out what angle and how much to blow to make the bubbles. Discourage tasting or eating bubbles though because while bubbles are minimally toxic, they can cause stomach upset if ingested. Shop Bubbles Wheeled Toys As kids get bigger and more steady on their feet, they can start adding wheeled toys to their outdoor play. Scooters, wagons, play cars, and tricycles are great for vestibular sense (balance) as well as motor development and strength. Learning a new skill like riding a tricycle can sometimes require some problem solving which is great for executive function. Always remember to wear a helmet and other safety gear while riding a wheeled toy. Shop Wheeled Toys Balls Different sizes and shapes of balls can provide a variety of entertainment for outdoor play. Beach balls are a fun option for babies. They are lightweight, so they are easy to hold and toss with both hands. They can roll them around and crawl after them. Other balls such as tennis balls are good for as kids get older. Test skills like, can they throw them overhanded? Can they catch a beach ball with 2 hands? Even yoga balls and hopper balls can be fun to roll around or bounce on in the grass. Promotes stretching and can increase core stability by bouncing and balancing on it. Overall, balls promote body awareness and motor skills. Shop Balls Sports Equipment Kids can start getting introduced to sports equipment at a young age and start learning the basics while having fun. Providing small, child-friendly sports equipment can be fun for both parents and kids. Things like basketball hoops, soccer balls, lawn bowling, and a baseball bat and tee set, are all great things to help with so many types of development. From motor skills, vestibular (balance), as well as executive skills by learning how to play a game. Kids oftentimes will even expand their vocabulary by learning new words and phrases used during sports. Shop Sports Toys No toys? No worries! Always remember unstructured play outdoors is great too! Just running around a park or exploring a nature trail, encourages kids to use their imagination and creativity while they play! Have fun playing and exploring the great outdoors!

  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Fall is just around the corner and we’ve been struggling to hold off on our love of all things pumpkin, Halloween, and Autumn! One of our favorite ways to incorporate pumpkin into our baking is these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. The kids eat them up. I pack one in with lunch or for a snack with a big glass of milk after school. These cookies are so moist, soft, and chewy! Just how a good chocolate chip cookie should be. The pumpkin and spices pair nicely with the chocolate chips for a hit of savory and sweet. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 1 stick butter, softened 1/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoons salt 1 cup milk chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Beat together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix in the eggs and add vanilla and pumpkin and mix until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices (nutmeg, cloves, and ginger). Slowly add in the flour into the pumpkin mixture until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand Using a tablespoon, scoop onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes until slightly browned around the edges. Cool cookies on a wire rack and enjoy. I enjoy eating these cookies with coffee, cause why not. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. They usually don’t last long with my kids though! Shop this recipe

  • Cheshire Cat Tails

    We whipped up some whimsical Cheshire Cat Tails! This playful recipe is from The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook and is so much fun to create and eat! These pink and purple twisted pastries would be great for a tea party, an Alice in Wonderland party, or a Disney movie night. They make sure a colorful presentation and taste just like the ones you can find at the Disney Parks! Cheshire Cat Tails Ingredients for pastries: 1 (17.3 oz) box frozen puff pastry sheets 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding 1 3/4 cup whole milk 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips 1 large egg 1 tablespoon room temperature water Directions for Pastries: Remove puff pastry from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line an ungreased baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together instant vanilla pudding and milk. Cover and chill, for at least 10 minutes or until ready to use. Unfold both sheets of puff pastry and use a rolling pin to just barely soften each surface. Don't work the dough too much or it won't puff up in the oven. Spread a very thin layer of vanilla pudding onto each sheet of pastry and sprinkle one sheet with mini chocolate chips. Carefully lay the other sheet pudding-side down onto the mini chocolate chips. Carefully cut the stacked pastry into six long strips. Holding a strip in your hand, twist one end. Lay on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips. In a small bowl, beat egg and water together. Brush the mixture over the tops of the pastry. Bake until golden brown and puffing up, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes on the baking sheet. Ingredients for icing: 1 cup confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 drops each Gel food coloring (purple and pink) Directions for icing: In a medium bowl or stand mixer, mix together the confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla. Divide evenly between two small bowls and add one shade of food coloring to each bowl, stirring to combine well. Using a spoon or piping bag, drizzle both colors of icing over each twist. Enjoy! To make more fun recipes like this, get your hands on The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook . Shop This Recipe Post: For more movie-inspired food, check out our Gillyweed Pasta, Mad-Eye Moody Meatballs, and Butterbeer Milkshakes recipes!

  • Tips for Moving

    We moved over the summer and I thought it would be a good time to share our top tips for moving and packing that we find make our moves go smoother. Declutter as you Go We started weeks before we moved and decluttered small spaces when we had time. We would start with one closet or kitchen cabinet at a time. Things like our linen closet ended up being a storage space for things we weren't ready to get rid of at the time, but after having it in the closet for a while, we were able to part with things we didn't have a sentimental attachment to. This is a great time to sell things on local resell pages and make donations to thrift stores. Save Money by Packing Yourself If you can, pack as much as you can in the weeks before your moving day. We spent many nights and weekends packing up things we had in our house that we didn't "use" every day. Books, decor, linen closet, 80% of the kid's toys, unique kitchen items, seasonal decor, we packed it all. All the movers we called charge by the hour and that can add up quickly when they are packing everything. Also, you can take the time to purge anything you don't want and trash doesn't get packed with your belongings. I'm not even kidding, we've had trash get packed with our bathroom items in a previous move. It's not fun. Get Boxes from Your Local Community. If you really want to buy boxes, I suggest getting the same size boxes to make packing easier. Medium boxes with handles were what we used the most because we could move them easily after they were packed. But, we saved a lot of money by posting in local Facebook groups asking if anyone had boxes we could use. After our move, we posted "free moving boxes" in our neighborhood group and they were gone within an hour. Pack a First-night Box This is going to be the box you unpack first, but one that you pack last. Pack this box with things you will need to spend the first night in your new home. Pack things like bedding, pillows, air mattresses (if you won't have furniture right away), toiletries, basic tools (hammer, screwdrivers, scissors, or box cutter), first aid kit, flashlight, phone chargers, and important medication. Don't forget things like comfort items for kids. We let our kids pick two snuggle toys each a book and a nightlight to have that first night so that transition goes a little bit easier. Label Everything In the moment, it's easy to think you'll remember what you packed where, but honestly, once you get a stack of boxes, you start wondering, which box that item was packed in. Labeling helps so much when you go to unpack. And don't just put "kitchen", take it another step and put "plates and mugs" etc. so you will know what you are unpacking on the other end. When we moved we didn't have the same storage space in our kitchen and had to figure out what we wanted unpacked first and what could stay packed up a little longer until we could figure out what the new spot was going to be. Make a Master List Write down anything and everything you think of as you prepare to move. This could include things like calling the movers to confirm a moving date, setting up new internet, finding a cleaner, and starting water service. This list can be used by the entire family so everyone knows what has already been done and what can be done by them. Take it from us, call to set up as much as you can. We filled out an online water start service but when we signed the papers for our house, the next day the water was shut off and wasn't switched to our name like it was supposed to be. I had to call the company and found out their online forms were backed up. However, since I called she was able to schedule service to be turned back on that Monday. Luckily, we were still staying in our old house for a few days, but it was still a hassle. Schedule a Cleaner Whether it's cleaning the old house or cleaning the new house, moving is a lot of work and while we only booked a cleaner for our old house and cleaned the new house ourselves, it saved us a lot of time. We did general cleaning, but let our cleaning service do all the nitty gritty work and we had a receipt for our landlords as well. Take Photographs Not only because it may be your kids' "first room" or maybe it's your first home together. But, also take pictures of random things like how that gallery wall is organized or how you organized the shelves in the garage to hold all our holiday decorations. Create an Important Folder. Keep receipts related to the move in the folder and any personal and financial paperwork you want to keep safe. We got a zippable folder and kept pest control, lawn care, and our cleaner receipts, and copies of our recent bills so we had account numbers easily accessible, passports, birth certificates, things like that. This stayed with us and made it easy to know where important things were at any given time. Plan Meals to Use up Food Take the time to go through and see what things you can use up from your freezer, fridge, and pantry before you move. While you're at it, go through those spices and get rid of the outdated ones. We don't need to move things unless we have to. Make Time for Self-care Moving is hard and stressful and takes so much time. Make sure you make time to do something for yourself too. Go see a movie, have a dinner date, go for a hike, schedule a massage, plan an outing with friends. Whatever it is that feeds your soul and creates joy for you, make sure you schedule some time to do that. Yes, schedule it. Even if it's planning a day to put on pajamas early and watch a movie with snacks, make yourself a priority too. Best Moving Supplies: Medium Boxes with Handles Safe Box Cutter Packing tape Space saver bags Moving labels Foam Sheets 39 piece General Tool Set Tips for moving with pets and kids Moving with Kids Make sure you honor their feelings. Kids can get pretty attached to their rooms, neighborhood parks, friends, school, etc. If you're making a big move, it can be especially overwhelming for them. Allow them to express those big feelings and understand that they might be sad and excited at the same time, and that's okay. - Offer times to talk about those big feelings. - Get them excited to decorate their new room. New paint, new wall decor, new bedding, whatever it is, sometimes shopping and buying something new for their room can help get them to feel excited about their new space. - Let them help pack. This applies mostly to older kids, but let them get involved. They can pack their own toys in boxes and choose what they want to go in their first night box. - Do something fun once you move. We hit up our neighborhood pool pretty quickly after we moved. It was a good chance for all of us to destress and do something fun together. Moving with Pets First and foremost, know your pets. If your pet is laid back, it might be less stressful for them, but some pets don't like moving and learning a new place at all. - Make them a safe space whether it's a kennel or a room, with hiding space, while there are so many moving people and so much noise in their space. - Book them into a doggy daycare or kennel if you feel you need to. Maybe it's overwhelming to think about managing them while you pack and move. - Make sure you have enough food and pack their beds and bowls in the first night box. - If you're moving to a new town, make sure to find a new vet and get records sent over, especially if they are on medication or a special diet. - For our cats, we set them up immediately in the office room with a litter box and water. They had a desk they could hide under and on top of while they got used to the new smells and sounds of the new house. Moving is a lot, but you can do it, and it's always fun to decorate a new home!

  • Southern Banana Pudding

    When it comes to summer in the South, everyone has their favorite Banana Pudding recipe. You're pretty much guaranteed to find a banana pudding at every potluck or family function. This is my family's favorite banana pudding recipe. I am from Savannah, Georgia, and I don't know about you, but I've seen so many videos lately of the Savannah Banana's baseball team antics on my social media accounts. Their videos always catch my eye and it made me think of this recipe, so I decided to share it. I make this Southern Banana Pudding recipe every year when the weather warms up and like to make it for friends for special occasions like having a baby! Southern Banana Pudding Ingredients: 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding 8 oz sour cream 12 oz Cool Whip (thawed in fridge) 6 large bananas, chopped 1 box Vanilla Wafers milk, see directions on the pudding package *** Directions: 1. Mix the pudding and milk as directed on the package. 2. Add in the sour cream and mix well with a whisk. 3. Fold in Cool Whip. 4. Layer Vanilla Wafers, chopped bananas, and pudding mixture. 5. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Fun Banana Finds For more family favorites, try our Chicken Tinga Tacos!

  • Throw a Taylor Swift Themed Party

    It was recently my birthday (yay, me!) and now I'm fully regretting not throwing a Taylor Swift-themed birthday party with my friends. We listen to Taylor a lot in this house and I'm always down for a fun party! Would it be too late to throw a party with Taylor Swift, singing at the top of your lungs, and heart-shaped glasses as the theme? Regardless of if I end up pulling my life together enough to do a party, I wanted to share with you my ideas for a Taylor-themed bash! This would be the perfect opportunity to have a 1989 TV album listening party! You could go all out in a specific Taylor album-themed party, but this party inspiration board is for an all-around Eras Themed Party. Eras Tour Tapestry // Disco Balloons // Bracelet Making Kit // TS Guitar Banner and Cupcake Toppers // Inflatable Guitars // Pastel Rainbow Party Plates // Champagne Problems Banner // Number 13 temporary hand tattoos // Holographic Garland // Instax Camera // Butterfly Drink Markers // All Too Well Wine Label // TS Birthday Banner // Heart Glasses // Karaoke Machine // Disco Cups // Confetti Poppers // Fake Microphones Planning a New Year's Eve Party? How about a "Meet Me at Midnight" party! Looking for more Taylor Swift ideas for your party?! We've got cookies, drinks, gifts, and crafts that would add that special touch to your Eras party! Make sure you bring your Swiftie a fun gift! Shop our Swiftie Gift Guide for ideas! You've gotta have the Chai Cookies that Taylor Swift made during her secret sessions for 1989! Let's talk cocktails. We were inspired by Midnights to create this Lavender Haze cocktail. It has a soft lavender color with a frothy egg finish to look like her lavender haze clouds. Want something non-alcoholic, this Lavender Lemonade is just the thing. Floral and refreshing, it's the right balance of sweet and tart! Make an Eras Tour shadow box to display your concert or party pictures! You could frame some of the party pictures you take with your Instax camera. Make the friendship bracelets and then make this Lover House Bracelet Holder to store and display them in! Have so much fun at your Taylor Swift Party!

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