Because I Said So! Holiday Survival Guide

bad santa

The holidays are not all candy canes and mistletoe; they can be rough on us moms. So here's my guide to (mostly) keeping your sanity during the holidays.

 

Plan. This is equivalent to telling your kids to eat their veggies, or take their vitamins. It's boring advice, but it's the only way to survive the holidays. I always start shopping early. I don't mean Black Friday early, I mean October early. Shopping early leads to more thoughtful gifts, less stress and spending less money.


Hide. While I'm an extroverted, social person, I have serious hermit-tendencies. So the frenetic pace of the holidays and constant needs of my family can take its toll. I just want to pee alone! So before I snap, and sometimes after I snap, I sneak in some alone time. Nothing fancy like a day at the spa, just lingering a little longer than necessary in the shower, or taking a detour through the coffee drive through during one of my countless trips to the store, or ordering my kids to play outside for an hour - I don't care how cold it is!

 

Say "No." I love a good party, and I'm often accused of over-scheduling our family's social calendar. But when I can resist accepting every invitation, the result is some unstructured family time for cookie making, games, holiday movies and more.

 

Forget. "Mommy brain" has its benefits. Most years, I usually forget where I put one or two storage bins of holiday decorations. I think it's my subconscious telling me to take it easy. Skipping a box or two means less time putting up and taking down decorations and when (if) we ever find those decorations next year, they'll seem like new.

 

But the best advice is to ignore the messy house, the dirty dishes and your annoying Uncle Fred and just take a snapshot in your mind of your kids enjoying the holidays this year. They will never be this age again. Savor it.


Why? Because I said so!

 

~ Angela Hibbard, Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Take a look at the December January issue!

Our new issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover MOM, Sally McCallum, and including fun recipes for kids and families, and smart ideas for holiday gifts. Pick up a copy today and have a wonderful holiday! (Click on the image below to view the magazine online; Flash is required for optimal viewing.)

valley_360px

The October November issue is here

Another great issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover MOM, Melissa Lyon, cozy soup recipes, expert tips to get (and stay) moving and much more. So pick up a copy today.

VAL Oct Nov 2018 Cover

Pick up a copy of the Aug/Sept issue today

The August/September issue of MOM Magazine is hitting the streets now featuring Cover MOM, Ashley Barker, the annual back-to-school gear guide, freezer meals and more. Pick up your copy today.

VAL_AugSept18_cover

Blueberry Goodness

Succulent blueberries are one of the many delights of summer. If you've picked more blueberries than you can pop in your mouth, here are some cool recipes (no need to heat up the oven) for these hot summer days.

No Bake Blueberry Pie

No bake blueberry pie

Ingredients

  • 10 graham cracker sheets
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Place graham crackers, butter, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until mixture is ground to fine crumbs and combined. Press evenly onto bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Chill 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour all but ¾ cup of the filling into crust. Chill, covered, for 1 hour. Chill remaining filling in a small container until ready to serve pie.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of the blueberries, water, cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, thickens, and blueberries burst.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 ½ cups of the remaining blueberries. Spread mixture over pie. Top with remaining ½ cup berries. Let chill 3 hours before serving.
  6. To serve, cut pie into wedges and top with dollops of the remaining filling.

 

Blueberry Sorbet

sorbet

Ingredients

4      cups fresh or thawed, frozen blueberries
1      can (6 ounces) frozen apple juice concentrate

Instructions

  1. In the container of a food processor or blender, combine blueberries and apple juice concentrate
  2. Whirl until liquefied
  3. Pour into a 11 X 7-inch baking pan
  4. Cover and freeze until firm around the edges, about 2 hours
  5. With a heavy spoon, break frozen mixture into pieces
  6. Place mixture in a processor or blender container
  7. Whirl until smooth but not completely melted
  8. Spoon into a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan
  9. Cover and freeze until firm
  10. Serve within a few days

For more blueberry recipes visit the Oregon Blueberry Commission.

Enhancing a room with wall cladding

Here's what you need to know when considering interior wall cladding from the experts at NW Design House.

VAL_JuneJuly_18_design

Summer tips for braces

Here are some summertime tips for adjusting to braces.

VAL_JuneJuly_18_say cheese

Go outside and play

If your kids need a little nudge to get outside, here are some tips from the experts at Peak Sports.

VAL_JuneJuly_18_play