4 Valentine’s Day Activities for Non-Crafty Parents

Happy Valentine's Surprise

By the time you read this, I’ll be getting ready for a live television appearance the morning show on Fox45, a local station in the Baltimore area. Or I will have already made the appearance and hopefully conveyed successfully that I am NOT a crafty parent but if the crafts and instructions are easy enough, I […]

How to Have the Best and Worst Kids’ New Year’s Eve

NYE noisemakers

The year was 1978 (or so, but that sounds about right). My parents were headed out to a party on New Year’s Eve. It was one of the very few times I remember my parents going out together as adults. My dad was dressed in a suit, probably his three-piece gray, pin-striped suit with wide lapels. And […]

The Best In-Between-Holiday Meals

spaghetti and Johnsonville meatballs

I made a delicious and easy dinner using Johnsonville® Meatballs as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #MeatballMasters There reaches a point sometime between November and January where you’re just done with the cooking. The novelty of baking has worn off. The excitement of a large family dinner is now sitting in the kitchen […]

Philadelphia: The City of Holiday Love

Philly menorah

When I booked a weekend getaway for the family, I mainly wanted a change of scenery, access to some fun holiday activities, and a short drive from home. I got all of that when I took advantage of a Kimpton special and planned two nights at the Hotel Monaco. While food was a big part […]

Remember the Furry Ones at Christmas

Layla loves Christmas

It’s less than a week until Christmas. I hope you’re finished your shopping for everyone. Little girls and little boys, husbands and wives. Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Sue. And the fur babies. You did remember the fur babies, right? Contrary to popular belief, pets DO love Christmas. Cats and dogs love the shiny, dangly things from […]

Find Your Tidings of Comfort and Joy

How to handle stress during the holidays

The holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year. With all the wonderful smells of cookies baking and ham roasting, families gathering round the Christmas tree, and enjoying evenings with hot chocolate watching our favorite Christmas movies, what’s not to love? Apparently, a lot. Over the past few months, I’ve been asking many […]

Holiday Traditions Matter because…

Vintage elf

Everyone has holiday traditions whether they realize it or not. We tend to be creatures of habit but more than anything, I think we tend to be creatures of nostalgia. When I was growing up, the holidays were my absolute favorite time of the year. It was one of the few times we had family […]

Fadra’s 3rd Annual Highly Unusual Gift Guide

2014 Gift Guide

Are you ready for some Christmas? Or Hanukkah? Or whatever reason you have to rush out and buy something to show someone how much they mean to you? Then I’ve got just the right thing for you. I don’t know why but this year I’m actually ready for Christmas. I mean, I’m not physically ready […]

Hosting A Casual Get-together in 3 Easy Steps

3 Easy Steps to hosting a casual get-together

Big holiday parties are easy to plan. In fact, planning is always the easiest part. We often host Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve dinner. And next month I’m hosting our book club/holiday party in the the neighborhood. I can plan with the best of them. Plan the food: Sometimes heavy, sometimes light. Perhaps one item in […]

What to Do When Your Kid Asks for a Sip

Barefoot by the Sea

I make a lot of parenting decisions based on instinct and not necessarily from parenting books, parenting experts, or even friends and family. Every child is unique. Every family is unique. And every family situation is unique, especially as it relates to alcohol. In my household growing up, you couldn’t find any alcohol in the house, not […]

How to Stay Unstoppable During the Holidays

Halloween decorations

It was the best of time, it was the worst of times… If you’re a total fan of Charles Dickens, you’ll know that those are the immortal words of opening narration of “A Tale of Two Cities.” Or, if you’re like me and you can’t stand anything written by Charles Dickens (except for “A Christmas Carol”), you […]