SINGLE PARENTING DURING THE HOLIDAYS

SINGLE PARENTING DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Being a parent in general for the holidays is difficult and stressful.  We have so much pressure on us. We have to find the perfect gifts, host parties, find the most perfect outfits, and much more.  

I used to love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It used to make me in the best mood. I loved the atmosphere and just being around people.  Three years ago, my “holiday mindset” changed completely.  Three years ago, I spent my first holidays as a Single Parent.

The holidays are a time for family closeness, family Christmas Cards, and everything and anything that involves family.  I have shared custody of my boys, and sharing them for the holidays is the hardest thing in the whole world. 

Two years ago, my boys slept at their dad's house on Christmas Eve.  This was my first Christmas Eve without my boys.  The way I felt that night still makes me sick to my stomach.  I cried, and when I say I cried, I mean I CRIED myself to sleep. I felt as if I was punched in the stomach.  

Did they leave cookies out for Santa? Are they in the Christmas jammies that I buy them every year? Is their dad going to remember to put stuff in their stockings? The questions and concerns kept running through my head.  

All night.  I remember I woke up and immediately texted my ex-husband, and he sent me pictures of our boys, and I was okay. I did it. I got through my first Christmas Eve without my boys.  I couldn’t wait to get them that afternoon and show them what Santa brought to my house for them.

As the years go by, I wish I could say that the holidays get easier, but they don't.  It never gets easier. Ever.  Luckily, there are a few things that can make the holidays a little easier for us single parents.

Make New Traditions

I used to love decorating my house, putting up my tree, and having matching ornaments all perfectly placed.  Now, the boys and I put our tree up together, and I let them put ornaments wherever they want.  

My OCD does click in, and I want to move things around, but I let it all stay wherever the boys had placed them. 

 One of my Best Friends is also a single mom of two boys, and we have our own holiday parties.  Just us 6.  We play reindeer games, play holiday bingo, bake, and so much more.  It's the little thing we do that all the boys enjoy and look forward to. 

Treat Yourself

As single parents, we really have to watch what we spend, especially during the holidays.  If you really want something that you have been putting on the back burner to buy something for your kids…. BUY IT! You deserve it! 

 It could also be a massage, a pedicure, or even a trip.  One of my oldest and Best Friends lives in Denver, so I treat myself during the holidays by going to visit her.  It does not only help with loneliness, but it also helps the holidays go by faster.

Keep Busy

When the kids are with their dad, I try to keep as busy as possible but even more during the holidays. 

 I do all of my shopping when I don't have the boys.  I talk to my friends and make plans for lunches, dinners, and drinks.  I love self-help and going to the gym.  Something else a single parent could do to help the time pass would be to volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home.

As the holidays are fast approaching and the craziness is about to start, I already have anxiety and feel a sense of loneliness.  I have to remember to do the things that I mentioned above.  I do give myself pep talks very often.  I also try to remind myself that memories last a lifetime.  They are made in the small moments.  No one can ever replace memory, and that is what I try to do with my boys.

How do you get through the holidays as a single parent?

40+ Perfect Experience Gifts for New Orleans Kids

40+ Perfect Experience Gifts for New Orleans Kids

Do your kids have way too much stuff? I know, mine do. The last thing I want is MORE TOYS that they play with for five minutes and then never touch again. Personally, I'm leaning more toward experience-type gifts vs. more stuff. Here is an excellent list of 40+ non-toy and experience gifts for the New Orleans kid that has EVERYTHING!

The City of New Orleans Riverboat on the Mississippi River
Take a cruise on the City of New Orleans Riverboat and learn some of the history of New Orleans.

New Orleans Attractions Kids Love

Audubon Membership

Louisiana Children's Museum Membership 

Season Passes to the Carousel Gardens and Storyland at New Orleans City City Park.

Tickets to City Putt in City Park

Trip to NOMA for the art lovers in your life.

Tickets to the National World War 2 Museum

Take a tour with Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours or Honey Island Swamp Tours

Trip down the river on  The City of New Orleans, the Steamboat Natchez, or the Creole Queen

Gift certificate to Cafe Du Monde

Gift Certificate to your favorite snowball stand

Visit Mardi Gras World

Play and take selfies at JamNOLA

Take a Donut Tour.

Have a staycation in New Orleans

A game or two or ten at City Putt in City Park makes a great Christmas gift!

New Orleans Gifts for Toddlers and Preschoolers

New Orleans-themed books

Play Passes to Luv 2 Play or NOLA Kids Ground.

Take a trip to Lynn Meadows Children's Discovery Center.

Go See Disney Jr Live

Have a Baby Shark Christmas

Personalized Blanket or Night Light

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport Mississippi
Little ones will love Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.

New Orleans Gifts For Older Kids, Including Tweens and Teens

Passes to jump at Sky Zone Metairie or Defy New Orleans.

Gift Certificate to Adventure Quest Laser Tag.

Go Zip Lining Over the Swamp.

Gift certificates to one of the potteries or local painting places.

Horseback riding lessons at the stables in City Park or Audubon Park

Take a walking tour of New Orleans

Bowling at AMF Lanes In Kenner

Roller Skating at Airline Skate Center

Get tickets to their favorite show at the Saenger Theatre.

Get tickets to see the Pelicans or Saints play.

Movie tickets are always a hit. Gift certificates to see movies AMC Westbank, AMC Clearview, or AMC Elmwood are perfect.

NOLA Christmas Fest New Orleans
Skate, slide, and ride rides at NOLA Christmas Fest.

New Orleans Christmas Events That Make A Great Present

Watch the Nutcracker

See Holiday Dreams: A Spectacular Holiday Cirque.

Tickets to Celebration in the Oaks

Sing Let it Go with Elsa at Frozen Jr.

Go ice-skating at NOLA Christmas Fest

See the holiday classic Holiday Inn.

Let your heart grow two sizes watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Celebration in the Oaks
Celebration in the Oaks is not only a Christmas tradition, but tickets make a great Christmas gift!

Non-Toy Gifts Perfect for All New Orleans Kids

Art Supplies

A subscription to one of the many monthly subscription services such as:

Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World
Why not a trip to Walt Disney World for Christmas?

The Gift Of Family Travel

 An adventure in another city like Houston 

A trip to Sea World, Discovery Cove, Sesame Place, or Bush Gardens.

A trip to Walt Disney World 

Take one of these Road Trips

Go play at OWA for the day.

A trip to Great Wolf Lodge 

Visit the dolphins at the Gulfarium

Get season passes to Gulf Islands Water Park

Explore Space and Science at Infinity Science Center.

We hope this list helps you find the perfect gift for your New Orleans kid! Have any suggestions we forgot? Tell us in the comme

Adorable Disney Halloween Finds On Etsy

Adorable Disney Halloween Finds On Etsy

Spooky season is here, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is in full swing at Walt Disney World. This means Halloween is just around the corner. It's time for Mickey Pumpkins, Villains, and Hitchhiking Ghosts! So grab your coffee and your wallet and shop the Disney magic with these adorable Disney Halloween finds on Etsy!

Disney Halloween Accessories

Every Disney Girl needs some Disney Halloween Accessories. From hair bows to jewelry to nail art. There is something for everyone, even a Disney-themed trick or treat bag!

Disney Halloween T-Shirts

Every Disney Trip needs customizable shirts. My 14-year-old has hers planned for the rest of her life. They are great because you can even wear them after you get home. If you have a Cricut, you can even make your own using SVG files on Etsy. If you don't want to make you're own, we found some cute ones you can buy already made!

Disney Halloween Party

Having a Halloween Party this year? Why not at a little Disney fun and magic into the mix?

Disney Halloween At Home

I don't know about you, but little Disney touches throughout my house make me happy, and my heart smile, especially at Halloween!

Disney Halloween Minnie Ears

If you have been to Disney anytime in the last few years, you know that Minnie Ears are all the rage. They come in every theme and color imaginable, including custom ears. Etsy is full of beautiful and adorable custom Minnie ears. Here are a few of my favorites.

Now go shop and add some Disney Magic into your Halloween! 

Home Remedies For Sunburns

Home Remedies For Sunburns

It's that time of year again! The summer months can be brutal on our skin. Be it at the beach, at a festival, at the pool, or just enjoying the great outdoors… We have to be careful not to get a sunburn. The best way to do this is obviously to use sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent the burn and reduce the risk of skin cancer before going out and while you are out in the sun. However, between all of the fun and too much sun sometimes we forget to reapply sunscreen. . For those with fair skin, it’s almost inevitable to avoid sunburnt skin. It doesn't matter how much sun exposure they get. To get relief from the sunburn pain and skin irritation I put together a list of effective home remedies for sunburns.

Hydrate and Moisturize

Let’s start with one of the most obvious and easiest ways to treat a painful sunburn. It's a good idea to make sure you drink plenty of water before you go out in the sun. Yet, like sunscreen, when we are outside having fun on a long day, we forget! Then we become dehydrated and end up with dry skin, not only from the sunburn but from being dehydrated. So one of the easiest sunburn remedies is to drink a few glasses of water and lotion up.

Lotions containing vitamin E and aloe vera. or pure aloe vera gel are the best to apply to the sunburned area. These creams will provide soothing relief and will lessen the inflammation of the skin.

Tip 1: Take a cool shower before applying lotion or aloe vera gel.

Tip 2: Organic coconut oil and the leaf of an aloe vera plant are two great natural remedies to soothe your sunburn instead of lotions.

aloe vera plant and gel
Aloe Very Gel is great to relieve the pain from sunburns

Soaks and Essential Oils

Taking a soaking bath with cool bath water is one of the best ways to get sunburn relief. There are a number of things you can soak in to ease the pain and lessen inflammation:

oatmeal bath for sunburn
An oatmeal bath will help with skin irritation and relieve the pain of a sunburn.

 Pastes

Oddly enough, some of the best home remedies come in the form of a paste. Many vegetables and household items possess healing properties useful for a number of things. One of them is a sunburn. Here are some pastes you can make to cool you down:

  • Potatoes- peel, slice, blend, and apply to the affected area.
  • Cornstarch– mix with water, and apply to the affected area.
  • Cucumber- chill, mash, apply to the affected area.
  • Yogurt- apply to the affected area.
cornstarch for sunburn
Cornstarch can be used to make a paste to apply directly on the skin or use with a cold compress to relieve the pain of a sunburn.

 Compresses

Compresses are great for relief! I like compresses because they are portable, which in my life is a definite must. They also tend to be less messy than pastes, yet some claim they're not as effective in the long run. 

After the cooling effects of these have worn off, you can go ahead and rinse them off with cool water. 

Over the Counter Remedies For Sunburns 

Things to Avoid When Treating Sunburns: 

These things will worsen or accelerate sunburn, as a result increasing pain. Be sure to steer clear of these.

  • petroleum jelly
  • butter
  • more sun
  • heat
  • tight-fitting clothes
  • certain medications, both OTC and prescription

If you can’t prevent it, treat it the best you can! I hope you enjoyed these tips. What are your favorite tricks for treating sunburn?