Enchanted Mommy

Creating Lasting Memories: The Importance of Holiday Traditions with Your Children

The holiday season is not just about the twinkling lights and festive decorations; it’s a time to create lasting memories with our loved ones, especially our children. It’s important to establish and maintain holiday traditions with children, emphasizing the profound impact on family bonds and the treasure trove of childhood memories.

A new survey from jewelry retailer Shane Co. highlights the favorite traditions that families across the country have created and continue to celebrate year after year.

The Tradition of Matching Pajamas:

One heartwarming tradition that resonates with families across the nation is the act of donning matching pajamas. According to the survey, 32% of families are cozied together on Christmas Eve in their matching pjs. With options from many retailers and even some offering matching sets for the furry family members in your life, it’s an easy tradition to start – as long as everyone’s sizes are in stock!

Early Christmas Dinners and Family Gift Exchanges:

The joy of an early Christmas dinner and the tradition of exchanging gifts within the family contribute to a sense of anticipation and celebration. Shane Co.’s survey reveals that 74% of families partake in Christmas dinner on the day itself and 26% enjoy feasting on Christmas Eve. Opening presents early and enjoying a festive feast ahead of time becomes a cherished tradition, creating a sense of excitement and unity among family members.

Tips and Ideas for Meaningful Traditions:

Cookie Decorating Extravaganza: Gather the family for a fun and messy cookie decorating session. Let creativity flow as everyone adds their unique touch to delicious holiday treats.

Family Volunteer Day: Instill the spirit of giving by organizing a family volunteer day. Participate in local charity events or create your own acts of kindness, teaching children the true meaning of the season.

Storytime by the Fireplace: Establish a tradition of reading holiday stories by the fireplace. Choose classic tales or create your own family stories that can be passed down through generations.

DIY Ornament Crafting: Engage in a creative session of DIY ornament crafting. Each family member can design their own ornament, building a collection of handmade decorations that hold sentimental value.

These States are Spending the Most on Decor, Meals This Christmas

Ok moms, I can’t be the only one who is excited about Christmas next week but also wincing at the sheer amount of money I’ve already spent this holiday season. The sad thing is, it’s not even on the presents.. It’s the amount of bottle brush trees and nutcrackers that I just HAD to have (and yes, they were on sale so I convinced myself it was fine.) But as I’ve been seeing articles about the cost of gifts and how much we’re planning to spend this year, I stumbled upon a survey that caught my attention and made me feel not so bad about my purchasing habits. 

Rainbow Restoration surveyed about 2,000 Americans and asked them to estimate how much they spend on decorations and how much they anticipate they’ll spend on meals next week. 

The Top 5 States That Spend The Most on Decor:

  1. Maryland
  2. New Mexico
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Kentucky
  5. Tennessee

The Top 5 States That Plan to Spend The Most on Meals:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Alabama
  3. California
  4. Virginia
  5. Tennessee

It looks like the big spenders are in Tennessee! The survey found the national spending average for decor was $147 and for meals it was $187.

The Best Cities to See Santa

If your kids are anything like mine, they stay up late on Christmas Eve tracking Santa as he travels across the globe. They love watching him travel across the computer screen before they tuck into bed so that Santa can make his way to our house!

They use the NORAD Santa tracker to keep track of Saint Nick, and according to a new study conducted by Assurance IQ, there are some other metrics our kids might want to take into account as well:

Their study found the cities with the clearest night skies and the cities where residents are tracking Santa the most to determine where you’re most likely to spot Santa in the night sky.

The results? Colorado Springs tops the list, followed by Denver, CO; Provo, UT; Albuquerque, NM; and Tucson, AZ. Albuquerque offers the clearest night sky for Santa visibility, while Albany, NY and Providence, RI have the highest amount of search interest for the NORAD Santa tracker on Christmas Eve.

If you live in one of these Santa-watching hotspots, good luck getting your little ones to bed on time!
You can find your city in the full study on the Assurance IQ website.

Gender Disparities in Household Item Longevity

A recent survey, conducted by Joybird, which sheds light on the longevity of common household items, an intriguing revelation emerged: men and women exhibit distinct differences in the duration they keep various essentials. The survey, not only exposed a significant overall trend of retaining items 58% longer than recommended but also highlighted the nuanced gender disparities in these habits.

On a broader scale, men emerged as the champions of longevity, keeping common household items 14% longer than their female counterparts. Yet, as we delve into the intricacies, a compelling narrative emerges, shedding light on the dynamics within family spaces.

Men, it seems, have a penchant for holding onto smaller household items. Men exhibit a penchant for cherishing smaller household items. Whether it’s the familiar kitchen sponge, the trusted bed pillow, the well-trodden bath mat, or the ever-reliable toothbrush, these seemingly diminutive essentials find a more prolonged sanctuary in the homes of men. This sparks curiosity about the emotional bonds or perhaps the allure of procrastination that underpin their reluctance to bid adieu to these daily hygiene and cleaning tools.

Conversely, women grapple with a different set of challenges when it comes to replacement habits. Larger household fixtures and furnishings, such as decks, couches, TVs, and bed frames, find a more permanent home in spaces curated by women. These significant investments, both emotionally and financially, contribute to a more deliberative decision-making process, making women less prone to replacing them at the recommended intervals. It appears that women, tethered by familial ties and a desire for stability, are less inclined to part with these substantial elements of their domestic landscape.

The findings prompt us to ponder the underlying factors influencing our choices in retaining or replacing household items.Is it the shared emotional connections within a family that bind us to certain objects, or is it the sheer inertia of procrastination? Regardless, the survey’s findings underscore a clear gender divide, shaping how we navigate the lifecycles of our everyday essentials. Understanding these dynamics not only enriches our comprehension of household habits but also invites us to reflect on the collective decisions that shape the intimate spaces we call home.

Mommy Makeover: Glow-Up Addition

A “glow-up” is essentially a metamorphosis for the better – be it in one’s looks, way of life, or self-growth. It’s a term that’s as diverse as it is popular, and involves leveling up in ways that elevate one’s confidence, self-worth, and overall fabulousness.

If you’re seeking to upgrade your life, whether through a wardrobe overhaul, a fitness journey, newfound hobbies, or some much-needed TLC, there are certain American cities that provide a more conducive environment for a fruitful glow-up. In this piece, we’ll delve into the top U.S. destinations for a transformational glow-up and why they’re perfect for your pursuit of self-improvement.

New York City, NY

It’s no surprise that the Big Apple tops the list when it comes to cities that inspire a glow-up. With its iconic fashion scene, endless fitness studios, and cultural diversity, New York City offers a wealth of opportunities for personal growth. From shopping at high-end designer stores in SoHo to sweating it out at a trendy boutique fitness class in Brooklyn, the city has something for everyone. Additionally, New York City is home to some of the best museums, galleries, and theaters in the world, providing ample opportunities to explore and expand your horizons.

Los Angeles, CA

Known as the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is a city that is synonymous with glitz and glamour. From Hollywood Hills mansions to celebrity-packed juice bars, L.A. offers plenty of opportunities to live your best life. The city is also home to some of the best fitness studios in the world, offering everything from yoga to Pilates to CrossFit. Additionally, with its sunny weather and gorgeous beaches, Los Angeles is the perfect destination for outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, and biking.

Miami, FL

If you’re looking to get your glow on, there’s no better place than Miami. With its tropical climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife, Miami is a city that is all about living your best life. From sipping cocktails at rooftop bars to dancing the night away at world-class clubs, Miami offers plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement. The city is also home to some of the best spas in the world, offering indulgent treatments like massages, facials, and body wraps.

Chicago, IL

Chicago may not have the glamour and glitz of New York or Los Angeles, but it more than makes up for it in charm and character. The city offers a wealth of opportunities for personal growth, including a thriving arts and culture scene, a vibrant food culture, and plenty of outdoor activities. Whether you’re taking a walk along the beautiful Lakefront Trail or exploring the city’s many museums and galleries, there’s always something new to discover in Chicago.

Austin, TX

Known for its vibrant music scene, mouth-watering food, and beautiful natural surroundings, Austin is a city that inspires creativity and self-expression. From exploring the city’s many parks and green spaces to indulging in some of the best barbecue in the world, Austin offers plenty of opportunities for personal growth and self-improvement. Additionally, the city is home to some of the best live music venues in the world, offering ample opportunities to discover new artists and connect with others who share your passion for music.

Whether you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe, get fit, explore new hobbies, or simply take some time for self-care, these cities provide the perfect backdrop for achieving your goals and living your best life. So why not plan your next adventure to one of these amazing destinations and see what kind of glow-up you can achieve.

Check out the full list of cities here. Good luck, mamas!

Preschool Letter O Activities

Alright boys and girls! Time to get your creativity caps on and the art supplies handy, because today, we’re learning about the letter O! So many wonderful words start with the letter O, like onion, over, oven, and orange. Even common phrases we read in story books start with O, like “once upon a time.” To help us learn this letter, we’re going to do an arts & crafts project with our favorite animal that starts with O: an octopus in the ocean.

We’re going to learn how to create a toilet paper roll octopus! To get started, here’s the supplies that you’ll need:

  • A toilet paper roll 
  • Acrylic paint or markers
  • Googly eyes
  • A glue stick
  • A scissors
  • A black sharpie

First, start by cutting 1.5 inch long slits at the bottom of the toilet paper roll with your scissors. Then push the roll down on a flat surface, so that the slits spread out like octopus legs. Next, grab your acrylic paint and paint the outside of your octopus a bold color of your choosing. Paint the interior of the roll at the top and underneath the legs a different color for contrast. Then, use a glue stick to stick on some googly eyes or feel free to draw the eyes on with a black sharpie. 

Use a black sharpie to add a happy smile onto that octopus face, because he or she is happy to be alive and in your home! Finally, feel free to add on stickers, gems, or other decorations to your heart’s content! Don’t forget to create 3-4 of these guys so your octopus can have some friends.

These octopuses are taking over the world of Pinterest right now, as parents are starting to get exponentially more creative with keeping their kids stimulated at home. See the photo of Holly Homer’s toilet paper roll octopus to catch a glimpse of the potential here!

Lastly, we’ve created a coloring book illustration of an octopus in his natural habitat. Octopuses are fascinating creatures with three hearts, high intelligence, and the capability to camouflage themselves by changing color. Feel free to print out copies and invite your kids to color this scene! 

Know any other fun preschool activities that start with the letter O? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

Preschool Letter P Activities

The letter “P” starts plenty of words that provide perfect activities for your preschool child! Especially these days, when children are home from school, parents are looking for low maintenance, easy to set up activities. This one is great for staying inside on a rainy day, keeping your kids entertained for a bit, and enjoying a fun final product that they can keep!

Additional Letters

Today we will be learning how to make your own puzzle!

All you need for this project is to download and print the picture below! You’ll need a pair of scissors, some markers, crayons, or colored pencils, and one imaginative child. 

Start by having them color a picture on the puzzle image below, anything that they like! Once they’ve completed their masterpiece, either you or your child can carefully cut out the puzzle pieces, mix them up, and try to put the picture together again like a puzzle. 

If you have two kids, all the better! Have each of them make a puzzle, cut it out, and then swap them so the activity lasts even longer. To make it a little bit harder (or buy yourself a few extra minutes of quiet, entertained kids) you could even mix the multiple puzzles together and have your kids try to put their puzzles back together from the one pile.

Some puzzle ideas:

  • Draw your favorite animal.
  • Draw your favorite food.
  • Draw your family.
  • Draw your house.
  • Draw their favorite movie character.
  • Draw their favorite thing to do.
Letter P Activities for Preschool Children

Parents are always looking for new activities for their kids to do, especially when they’re stuck inside! These projects give you double the value since the activity is to create an activity! Your preschooler will be able to create their own puzzle and then put it together, again and again, giving them further entertainment while you take care of whatever you need to do.

Looking to host a party in 2023? These are America’s best cities to do it.

Moms know hosting a gathering can be an a stressful event. From the prep work, to the actually event, to the cleanup—It’s quite the undertaking. Despite this, many moms host a variety of events for friends and family, like a kid’s birthday party, Christmas, or a summer BBQ. Although you can host a knock out party just about anywhere in the U.S., are some cities better equipped to host than others? What makes a city top-notch for having company?

A recent study found the best U.S. cities for hosting, according to a variety of ranking factors that would make for an ideal hosting experience, from home amenities, hospitable rentals, and event planning resources. In total, 100 cities were analyzed across 16 ranking factors, including catering costs, home square footage, on-street parking, surrounding Airbnb rental availability, internet speeds, crime rates, grocery costs, and more!

According to the study, Charleston, South Carolina is the best U.S. city for hosting an event. With a score of 79,3, the Southern city boasted affordable groceries, a surplus of Superhost and Airbnb Plus rentals for guests, and more. Daytona Beach, Florida (78.8); Fort Myers, Florida (77.1); Greenville, South Carolina, Orlando, Florida (76.7, tie); and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (73.3) round out the top five positions.

“From a surplus of Superhost and Airbnb Plus rentals to groceries priced below the national average cost, Charleston is where rich culture meets southern hospitality – it’s a way of life,” said the company. “As one of the oldest cities in the U.S., Charleston’s history can be felt and seen in any home. Whether you find a gorgeous Federal style home or Victorian single, many homes throughout the city will charm you and your houseguests.”

For a complete list of cities, check out the list.

Preschool Letter Q Activities

“Qq” is a hard one… there are not a ton of things that start with the letter Q.  There is Queen of course, but since we had just done K is for King I didn’t want to go there.  So instead, we did Q is for “Quack!”  It ended up being a lot of fun!

Additional Letters

During circle time we reviewed our numbers, letters, and letter sounds.  Then we introduced the letter Q by singing “Five Little ducks Went Out to Play.”

Five little ducks went out to play
Over the hills and far away
When old mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack”
Four little ducks came waddling back

Repeat and count down to one

One little duck went out to play
Over the hills and far away
When old mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack”
No little ducks came waddling back

But when old Father duck said, “quack, quack, quack, quack, quack!!!!!”
All five ducks came waddling back! 

We made theses cute little paper plate ducks.  The ducks stand up on their own but can also lay flat and slide right into a page protector in their alphabet binders we have been working on.

1 paper plate
yellow paint (or yellow crayon)
orange and yellow construction paper
2 googley eyes

1.  Let the kids paint or color the paper plate yellow.  When the plate is dry fold it in half.
2.  While it is drying, fold a piece of yellow construction paper in half.  Help them trace their hand on the yellow paper.  Having them trace their own hand or their friends hand is a great fine motor activity for little guys!  Plus, they love doing it!
3.  Cut out the traced hands out and make a circle for the ducks head with the left over yellow paper.  Make a beak and duck feet with the orange construction paper.  You want to keep the duck feet connected with a 3 to 4 inch thin rectangle.  Fold in half along the thin rectangle connecting the feet.
4.  Glue the feet to the bottom of the open plate, putting one foot on each side.  Glue on the head, beak, and eyes.  Use the cut out handprints for the ducks tail feathers byt gluing one hand to each side of the paper plate.

Here it is standing up

We also painted with Q-tips.  The kids had fun with this and thought it was great to paint with something other than a paint brush or their fingers.  The pictures turned out pretty cute.  I glued a couple Q-tips to the paper so the kids would remember what they did when they look back at their picture in their alphabet books.

Painting with Q-tips
Even the younger kids enjoyed this activity

Awesome 3rd Birthday Cake!

I recently went to a birthday party and my friend made this cake for her son! She had an amazing 3rd Birthday Cake Idea and I wanted to share it.

3 birthday cake
All handmade by my crafty friend!

Talk about AH-MAZ-ING.  So creative.  I was asking her about it and she said it would seem that the M&Ms would have taken a long time, but they only took her about an hour!

This is what she said she did:

  • Take two bunt pans and bake your desired flavor of cake – you could even make two different kinds.
  • Cut the two cakes so they become the 3 shape (obviously, you can test this by cutting a little at the time).
  • Flatten out the two parts where they attach (she said to put a little frosting where they attach so they stick better).
  • Ice the whole cake with chocolate icing
  • Pattern the M&M’s like the picture above.

And you did it…. righhhhhhht.  I do think this cake is simple if you pay close attention to detail by taking your time.  Here’s the sweet birthday boy blowing out his candles:

Blowing out his “3” cake!

She also had something else cute at the party that I would share.  Each child had pizza to eat and one of these snack bags:

kids snack bag for party
Awesome idea for a snack bag!

Such a fun and creative party!  I might have to steal some of these ideas!  Happy party planning!

For other party ideas:
Ella’s 3rd Pancake and Pajama Birthday Party
1st Birthday Party Ideas
Cupcake Cake Idea
Lion Birthday Party
Super Hero Birthday Party 

Other bundt pan ideas:
 Too Much Chocolate Cake
Popcorn Cake 
Cream Cheese Monkey Bread