Holiday Hacks for Busy Moms

Holiday Hacks for Busy Moms |

*This is a contributed post. I only accept contributed posts when I feel they can be relevant to the readers of Sunshine and Holly.*

When people think of Santa’s little helpers, they imagine a bunch of tiny elves with pointy shoes, hats with bells, and little green outfits, each of them whistling while they work at their warehouse in the North Pole.

Spoiler alert – they don’t exist. 

Santa’s helpers are actually tired, frazzled, and physically/mentally exhausted moms that want to make this holiday season the best one yet. They’re the ones making the lists and checking them twice, fighting the Christmas shopping crowds, stocking up on wrapping paper, and buying all the ingredients for the traditional Christmas dinner. 

It’s hard work, but this year it’s going to be different. I’ve got some time-saving tips that will make the holidays an absolute breeze. You may even get a chance to prop your feet up and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, spiked with some Irish cream or peppermint schnapps, of course. Cheers, mamas!

The No-Hassle Holiday Card

Instead of losing all your saliva and patience to a bunch of stamps and envelopes, try using a more automated and ingenious system, which is easily done online. Just pick the adorable family photograph you want to use, upload a mailing list, and then leave it. Yup, just like that, the Christmas cards are done and you can get on with the rest of your to-do list.

Easier Everyday Meals

All the focus on food seems to land on two big dates – Thanksgiving and Christmas. But what about the rest of your meals? When you’re planning a holiday meal, the everyday meal planning usually takes a back seat. Even to the point where you end up stopping by the grocery store on your way home from picking the kids up at school, or swinging through the drive through for some fast food. Again. However, joining a menu planning service will not only save you time and money, it will also help you and your family enjoy nutritious and delicious meals without any panicking at the last minute when someone asks, “What’s for dinner?”

Gift Buying Doesn’t Need To Be Complex

Honestly, gift giving during Christmas has just gotten out of hand. We all think it, and we all know it, which is good news because it just takes one person in your family to say it out loud for a collective sigh of relief to escape. Kids tend to be a different story because, whatever your views, presents have become a huge part of the excitement. Swapping gifts with your friends and family, though, is something that you should consider limiting, or just cutting out altogether. Christmas is hectic enough without having to rush around looking for an above mediocre gift that your second-cousin may like.

Moms Can Outsource Too

Everyone thinks that outsourcing is something exclusively reserved for businesses, but it isn’t. Moms can outsource too! Sometimes it’s OK to admit that we can’t do it all. Need homemade crafts for the school fundraiser? Why not purchase some from an Etsy seller instead of spending hours doing them yourself? Or what about ordering Christmas dinner from a restaurant? If you put the food in your own serving dishes, no one would ever know it’s not homemade! Whatever it is, outsourcing certain tasks is a great way to manage your time better. 

What are some things you do to save yourself time and energy during the busy holiday season?

Jack-o’-lantern Pumpkin Pie for Halloween

Jack-o'-lantern Pumpkin Pie for Halloween | | jackolantern pie | halloween pie | halloween desserts | easy pie

You know when you want to make a pumpkin pie, so you go to the grocery store and buy everything you’ll need, except for a can of pumpkin because you’re positive you have one at home?

And then you get home and realize that cans of butternut squash look very similar to cans of pumpkin…


So full disclosure – this isn’t actually a picture of a pumpkin pie. It’s really half pumpkin and half butternut squash. *facepalm*

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5 Questions My 4-Year-Old Has Asked Before 7am

My son is the most inquisitive child I’ve ever met. Even when he was a baby, he was trying to take toys apart to figure out how they work. He wants to know everything about everything. And when he has a question, it’s a burning question. He’s gotta know the answer right away.

5 Questions My 4-Year-Old Has Asked Before 7am |


When he was two, he’d pitch humongous tantrums and scream and yell when I didn’t know the answers to his questions. Nothing like making your kid furious because you aren’t sure what’s  inside that huge truck you just drove by.

“Uh…socks! It’s a sock truck! It holds boxes and boxes of socks! Now please stop screaming at me!” 

He also had no problem telling me when I was wrong when he didn’t get the answer he wanted.

“No mama. The sky isn’t blue. It’s yellow.”

Ok buddy. Whatever you say!

Continue reading “5 Questions My 4-Year-Old Has Asked Before 7am”

Tips for Traveling with Your Baby

Tips for Traveling with Your Baby |

*This is a contributed post. I only accept contributed posts when I feel they can be relevant to the readers of Sunshine and Holly.*

There are some parents who completely avoid traveling with a baby. When our kids were tiny, we tried to stick to places close by and that we’d been to before. We’re just now starting to venture out with the kids and travel further to new places. Because traveling with a baby is hard! Especially traveling by plane. These days, it seems like most people aren’t sensitive to babies on planes and tend to judge the parents when they can’t calm their crying baby. And changing a diaper in that tiny bathroom on the plane is quite a feat! But with some preparation, you can still have a successful trip. Here are some tips for traveling with your baby.

Book a Night Time Flight

If your baby is in a good routine, a day time flight could be full of mishaps. So although it means the adults might end up exhausted, booking a night time flight is more likely to mean your baby will be sleepy, and with any luck (fingers crossed), they will sleep through the majority of the flight. Have your baby’s comforts, like favorite blankets and toys, ready at hand, and call the hotel ahead of time to make sure your crib is already set up.

Make it Like Home

At your first opportunity, unpack your suitcases so you have everything you would normally have around you at home. Your baby is more likely to settle in quickly if you can make your room as cozy and baby friendly as possible. It’s also helpful to have have a designated changing space made up in the room. Keep the diapers in one place so you don’t always have to search for them every time you need one.

Stock Up on Meds

It’s hard to keep a baby that feels unwell calm. Being prepared for any illnesses or injuries is key. You never know when baby will fall and skin a knee, start cutting a tooth, or get bitten by mosquitoes. You can usually get what you need from a local pharmacy, but being prepared ahead of time will save you the hours of fussing if something unexpected does happen. Travel insurance is also a great idea. Take a look at whether Expedia travel insurance is right for you. The last thing you’ll need is a hefty bill for a hospital visit.

Nap on the Run

It isn’t easy for babies to sleep in strange cribs in the middle of the day, but they also need a good nap so they’re not cranky throughout the trip. The adults and older kids will also want to be out and about, sight-seeing or sunbathing. So, making your stroller the designated nap area is the best idea. Babies are more likely to fall asleep when they’re comfortable and the family is out on a long walk. Take everything you need to make the stroller as enticing to baby as possible, and make sure baby is shaded when napping.


As long as baby is happy, the rest of the family will be able to enjoy a blissful trip!

What other tips do you have for traveling with a baby?


Check out these other posts about traveling with kids:

tips for traveling with your baby |

tips for traveling with your baby |

5 Nice Things Parents Can’t Have

So you just had a baby? Congrats! Welcome to parenthood. Being a parent is wonderful! Your home will now be filled with more love than you could ever imagine. And also more diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, burp cloths, and tons of other baby and kid gear that you never even knew existed… But that’s another post for another day.

5 Nice Things Parents Can't Have |

Oh, by the way, you’re also going to lose a lot, now that you’re a parent. I’m sure you know the nights of a full 8-10 hours of sleep are gone, as well as the lazy Saturday mornings drinking coffee and catching up on the DVR until noon.

5 Nice Things Parents Can't Have |

But you might not have thought about a few other things you’ll no longer get to have now that you’ve been initiated into your role as mom or dad. Here’s a list of a few things you may have to give up, if you have kids like mine.

5 Nice Things Parents Can't Have |

5 Nice Things Parents Can’t Have

Continue reading “5 Nice Things Parents Can’t Have”