How to Design a Child-Friendly Cleaning Schedule

Guest Post: James is a writer and cleaning expert from the UK. He’s currently editor of SpotlessVacuum.co.uk, which is a site dedicated to helping consumers buy the right vacuum cleaner. When he’s not writing, he enjoys long hiking trips with his family and two dogs.  

How to Design a Child-Friendly Cleaning Schedule

With the holiday season fast approaching, you’re probably searching for ways to make cleaning more efficient. It’s hard enough keeping a house tidy during the rest of the year – add over-excited children, presents, and mountains of food, and you have the perfect recipe for stress!

That’s why I’ve put together a step-by-step guide to designing a cleaning schedule that works for you and your children. Creating a schedule might seem like a lot of work, but it can help you clean the house faster so you can spend more time enjoying the holidays.

Step 1: Write Down All the Tasks You Need to Complete

Trying to remember each chore can make you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up. For this reason, the first step is to write down everything you need to clean and how often.

This list should be specific to your house and children. It should also contain everything – including infrequent chores. Even if you only need to clean the grout once a month, it still goes on the list.

Step 2: Decide Whether You Need Any New Tools

Most tasks don’t need fancy tools or appliances, but if you’re spending more time on a chore than you should be then it might be worth upgrading.

A good example is a vacuum cleaner. The best vacuum cleaners can make quick work of dust, dirt and pet hair. They can also tackle tough tasks like cleaning a car, by making it easy to remove dirt under seats or in glove compartments. Low-quality models, on the other hand, have weak suction power and often struggle to pick up dirt. This means you’ll spend more time cleaning for worse results.

Step 3: Choose Your Timings

There are many ways you can design a cleaning schedule. Here are some of the most common options:

  • The Weekly “Blow Out.” In this schedule, you do most of your cleaning chores during a single day of the week. It’s great if you work long hours or just don’t have time during the week – but it’s potentially the most stressful.
  • Daily Timed Sessions. One of my favorite cleaning schedules is to set a timer for a fixed length of time each day. You clean until the timer goes, then continue the next day where you left off.
  • The Ultra Schedule. If you want to be completely organized, you can use an app like Todoist to schedule every task in advance. You could, for example, schedule vacuuming once a week on Fridays, laundry every other day and mowing the lawn twice a month on Saturdays. You’ll never miss a chore with this method, but it’s also the least flexible.
  • Room-By-Room. Another option is to assign each room a day of the week. You then complete all the cleaning chores for that room on the specified day.

The right option depends on you and your children’s lives. Do your kids have lots of after-school activities and events? If so, a mixture of quick cleans in the evening and a longer session at the weekend might be a good choice. Do you spend all-day Saturday at your child’s sports games? Then a schedule that spreads out cleaning evenly throughout the week might be a better choice.

Step 4: Fit Tasks Into Your Schedule

Now you know which tasks need to be completed and when you’re planning to clean, the next step is to fit everything together. This is easier than it sounds, but how you create your schedule depends on the type you chose.

If you’re using daily timed sessions, for example, you can just write a long list of chores and work through them in order. The great thing about this method is that you don’t need to worry about finishing everything in one session, as you know you’ll continue tomorrow.

For the weekly blow-out option, write a list of everything that needs to be done on your cleaning day. You could also create a separate list of chores that need to be completed during the week (such as laundry or dishwashing).

Step 5: Remember to be Adaptable

The purpose of a cleaning schedule is to reduce stress and help you clean more effectively. While it’s important to stick to the routine, don’t worry if you miss a day. The schedule is for you – it should never be another source of stress.

This is especially important during the holiday season. There are going to be unexpected chores and clean-ups, which may mean you don’t have time for your scheduled tasks. This is fine – just adapt the schedule and move on.

Summary

I hope this article has helped you design a cleaning schedule that’s faster and less stressful. It might seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t need to be perfect or set in stone. Give it a try – especially if you’re already starting to worry about the holiday season mess!

How did you like this article?  Do you think these tips will help you this holiday season?

Let me know what your Holiday cleaning schedule consists of this year?

Have a happy healthy Holiday!!!

December isn’t all Gingerbread and Mistletoe: It’s Much More!

December isn’t all Gingerbread and Mistletoe: It’s Much More!

 

This year the Christmas craze seemed to start before Halloween had even begun.

I can understand the spirit of Christmas giving everyone new and happy energy. But, let’s all take a step back and try not to forget the best part of Christmas. Spending time with our loved ones is the most important part of this time of year.

Let’s enjoy some fun times together in different ways than we are normally used to these days.

Here are some fun days to celebrate during the month of December. (Yes, some are Christmas themed, but that’s okay. As long as they bring us together).

 

National Eat a Red Apple Day is observed annually on December 1.

As the adage goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and today is a perfect time to put that theory to test.

An apple is both delicious and nutritious.

With over 7,500 varieties of apples and over 7.5% of the world’s production coming from the USA, apples are widely available.

Make some really fun apple desserts with these delicious recipes using red apples.

Apple Dumplings

Apple Brownies

Warm Apple Pocket

Apple Turnovers

 

National Special Education Day is observed annually on December 2nd.

Special Education Day marks the anniversary of our nation’s first federal special education law which was signed by President Gerald Ford on December 2, 1975.

This law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

IDEA made education available to all American children and this day honors the progress that has been made in special education.

National Special Education Day was first celebrated in 2005 which was the 30th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

 

Each year on December 3rd National Roof Over Your Head Day is observed across the United States.

National Roof Over Your Head Day was created as a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head.

There are many things that we have that we take for granted and do not stop to appreciate how fortunate we are for having them.

All across our nation, there are many that do not have the things that necessary to everyday life.

They may lack a roof over their heads, enough food to eat or clothes to wear. For those who have those bare necessities, it may be insufficient.

National Roof Over Your Head Day is about remembering to appreciate what you have.

This day follows closely after Thanksgiving, a day to be thankful.

So just like Thanksgiving, be thankful for what you do have and always remember, that it is a better feeling than worrying about what you do not have.

To celebrate National Roof Over Your Head Day you can pick a name or two off of a Christmas Giving Tree, volunteer at or make a contribution to a homeless shelter in your area and maybe someone else will be able to have a “roof over their head” tonight.

National Sock Day on December 4th recognizes the rarest of all lasting unities, the marriage of matched socks. When they manage, wash after wash, dry after to dry to keep finding each other through all the chaos, a celebration is certainly in order!

The founders of National Sock Day turned the tables on holidays that brought attention to such individualism as National No Sock Day on May 8th and National Lost Sock Day (for shame!) on May 9th.

In an effort to promote the sock couples who remain together, whether animal magnetism (static cling) or chemistry (something in the detergent), National Sock Day is dedicated to highlighting even the tiny baby socks who manage to stay together.

From Argyle to tube socks, knee highs and fuzzy slipper socks, if they keep finding their mate over and over, National Sock Day wiggles its toes in their honor!

 

 

Bathtub Party Day is observed annually on December 5. Bathtub Party Day was created as a way to skip the ordinary, everyday shower and to luxuriate in the pure pleasure of a good soak in the tub.

Gather your favorite bath bomb, a good book and a glass of wine and let the worries of the day fade away while you relax in the tub.

 

On December 6, give one appliance in the house a little consideration.  It’s National Microwave Day!

Quite by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket was melting. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves and an egg was next.  The egg was less successful than the popcorn.  It exploded in his fellow engineer’s face!

Spencer, employed by Raytheon, experimented with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

  • Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8, 1945.
  • Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven in 1947.  It was called the “Radarange.”
  • It is believed that 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.

Cook your favorite meal in the microwave tonight or heat up some of last night’s dinner in there. Or better yet, make a few bags of popcorn and enjoy with the kids.

 

December 7th celebrates a sweet delight made of spun sugar dating all the way back to the 1400’s as it is National Cotton Candy Day.

Each year on this day, cotton candy lovers look forward to celebrating the day as they pull puffs of cotton candy from a stick or out of a bag and reminisce about their childhood days.

Dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton are credited with the invention of machine-spun cotton candy in 1897.

Cotton candy is also called candy floss or fairy floss.

During the 18th century when cotton candy was first recorded in Europe, it was very expensive and labor-intensive and generally was not available to the average person. It was after the invention of machine-spun cotton candy that it was introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as Fairy Floss.

People loved it and bought over 68,000 boxes for 25 cents a box.

Cotton candy is still popular to this day!

 

Each year on December 8, brownie lovers across the nation enjoy one of their favorite baked goods on National Brownie Day.

Brownies were created in the United States at the end of the 19th century. A cross between a cookie and cake, they soon became very popular across the country.

With the chocolate brownie being the favorite, the blonde brownie runs a close second. A blonde brownie is made with brown sugar and no chocolate and is often called a blondie.

There was a request for a dessert for a group of ladies that would be attending a fair in the late 1800s. They wanted a small cake-like dessert that could be eaten from a boxed lunch. A Chicago chef, working at the Palmer House Hotel, created the first brownie for the ladies, which featured an apricot glaze and walnuts. The Palmer House Hotel still serves their original recipe for brownies on their menu.

Three myths that have gained popularity over the years, regarding the creation of the brownie:

  • A chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.
  • A cook forgot to add flour to the batter.
  • A housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat.  The story tells that she was baking for guests and decided she would serve them these flattened cakes.

Try one of the following brownie recipes:

Chocolate Mint Brownies
Cheesecake Brownies
Cherry Swirl Brownies
Brownies

 

National Pastry Day is celebrated each year on December 9th. Pastry is a name given to a large variety baked goods which are made with ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and eggs.

Pastry dough is rolled out thinly and then used as a base for different baked products. A few of the more common bakery items include pies, tarts, quiches and pastries.

  • Pastries can be traced as far back as the ancient Mediterranean where they had almost paper-thin, multilayered baklava and Phyllo dough.
  • Pastry making began in Northern Europe after the Crusaders brought it back from the Mediterranean.
  • French and Italian Renaissance chefs eventually perfected the puff and choux pastries while 17th and 18th-century chefs brought new recipes to the table.Included in the new recipes were; Napoleons, cream puffs, and eclairs.

Culinary historians often consider French pastry chef Antonin Careme to have been the original great master of pastry making in modern times.

There are many different types of pastry, most of which would fall into one of the following categories:

  • Shortcrust pastry – simplest and most common.
  • Sweetcrust pastry – similar to the shortcrust but sweeter.
  • Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.
  • Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.
  • Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.
  • Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.
.

Enjoy one of the following pastry recipes:

Apple Turnovers
Minute Peach Tart
Cream Cheese Kolacky

Dewey Decimal System Day is observed annually on December 10.

This day in 1851, was the birthday of Melvil Dewey inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification.

As the most widely used library classification system, the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) or Dewey Decimal System has been in use since 1876 when American Librarian Melvil Dewey developed and established it. Divided into ten main categories, the numerical system arranges mostly non-fiction publications.

Since its inception, the system has been maintained and kept pace with current technologies. A schedule of expansions and revisions help keep the system current and progressive.

As the most widely used classification system in the world, the DDC is found in 135 countries around the world and translated into 30 different languages.

It is currently published by the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. and its editorial offices are located within the Decimal Classification Division of the Library of Congress.

Melvil Dewey

Dewey’s interest in simplification led him to create a system that revolutionized library science. Born Melville Louis Kosuth Dewey in update New York, he was only 21 when he invented the Dewey Decimal Classification system.

He established library standards and advanced library education. Dewey went on to help established the American Library Association and founded and edited the Library Journal. As an entrepreneur, he sold library supplies. He paved the way for new librarians by establishing the first library school at Columbia College in New York City and later became the director of the New York State Library in Albany.

 

Across the country, December 11 is day recognizing National Noodle Ring Day.

National Noodle Ring Day could possibly be about the little round pasta noodles that make up a delicious pasta salad or a number of other pasta dishes. They also are popular with kids (of all ages) to use in different craft projects, maybe even one that results in a beautiful snowflake for the holidays.

However, National Noodle Ring Day celebrates the pasta dish which is formed in an 8 or 9-inch ring mold or bundt pan.  Usually made from noodles, flour, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs and other seasonings, this dish has quite a following.  When baked the noodle ring is removed from the mold and served on a plate giving it an elegant appearance.

Try your skills with making a noodle ring from one of the following noodle ring recipes:

Baked Noodle Ring
Picture Perfect Noodle Ring
Noodle Ring

Gingerbread House Day is observed annually on December 12.

A favorite food of an Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, brought gingerbread to Europe around 992 AD and taught French Christians to bake it. Gingerbread was often used in religious ceremonies and was baked to be sturdy as it was often molded into images of saints.

We can thank the Brothers’ Grimm for the idea of a gingerbread house through their tale of Hansel and Gretel. It didn’t take long for the German gingerbread guilds to pick up the idea and put it to a more festive use making snowy cottages made from the spicy-sweet treat.

Gather the family together, bake up some gingerbread and start building and decorating your very on gingerbread house.

Give the recipe a try:

Gingerbread House

 

A cold December day is the perfect time to make yourself a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy National Cocoa Day on December 13th.

Hot cocoa is a warm beverage made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water and sugar. The terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably by Americans causing a bit of confusion. To make hot chocolate, we use ground chocolate which contains cocoa butter. It’s mixed with hot milk and is actually a drinking chocolate.

Hot chocolate is a richer beverage made from ground chocolate which contains cocoa butter. Mixed with hot milk, the resulting mug is full of chocolate flavor and the fat and calories that come with it.

Hot chocolate is also known as drinking chocolate.

Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder. Through the fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding process of cocoa beans a paste called chocolate liquor is produced. Through another process, the cocoa butter is separated leaving cocoa powder. It is this cocoa powder that we use to make hot cocoa. It has very little fat and calories and is mixed with either hot milk or water.

Both are enjoyed in a variety of combinations, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of peppermint makes the chocolate extra special.

It is believed 2000 years ago that the first chocolate beverage was created by the Mayas and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD. Europe popularized the beverage after it was introduced from Mexico in the New World and it has undergone multiple changes since then. Up until the 19th century, hot chocolate was used medicinally to treat ailments such as stomach diseases.

In the United States, an instant form of the drink is popular. It is made with hot water or milk and a packet containing mostly cocoa powder, sugar and dry milk.

People enjoy topping it with marshmallows or whipped cream.

There are health benefits to drinking hot cocoa. Cocoa contains large amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. It has also been shown that the cocoa beans help with digestion. The flavonoids that are found in the cocoa also have a positive effect on arterial health.

 

Seafood lovers everywhere have reason to celebrate every December 14th with National Bouillabaisse Day.

The French are known for many a great recipe. Their food inspires travel to France for a taste of the authentic. Bouillabaisse is on the list of must have cuisine. Originating in the port city of Marseille, Bouillabaisse is a fish stew. Traditionally it is made using the bony rockfish, saffron, fennel seed and orange zest.

There are strong opinions in the culinary world about the proper ingredients for an authentic bouillabaisse. From the fish (typically red rascasse, sea robin and European conger) to the wine (red or white), it is hotly debated. Even its origins are argued. Was the stew the creation of a Greek goddess or simply a stew thrown together by coastal fisherman using the bony rockfish which they were unable to sell to restaurants or markets?

Regardless, using a variety of fresh fish is the first step to a delicious bouillabaisse, especially if you can’t get to the south of France to order it made for you.

Try these recipes at home:

Bouillabaisse recipe

Bouillabaisse recipe 2

 

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown to be an international event. Now occurring on the third Friday of December (December 15), the celebration gives holiday lovers worldwide a chance to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters. In 2014, they partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign. You can now help children across the world by wearing an ugly sweater on December 18th and encouraging others to go online and donate.

Try these tips to take the prize on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day:

  • Animal or cartoon characters with a holiday theme are a great starting place. Think reindeer, snowmen, mice, kittens or elves.
  • Select ridiculous colors. The more they clash, the better.
  • Embellish. Scratch that. Over-embellish! Pom-poms, bells, felt, tinsle or any other glittery, jingly items laying around the house.
  • Add a collar, dickey or ruffle.
  • Electrify it! Put Rudolph to shame and go to the head of the team with bright, flashing lights!
  • Give it some 80s flair with shoulder pads.

Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater.

Check out Whoopi Goldbergs Ugly Christmas Sweaters 

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day was started in 2011 by ugly Christmas sweater lovers as a way to lighten up the busy holidays and to show off their absurdly, ugly sweaters. The day has grown in popularity and is celebrated worldwide.

If you are a chocolate lover, December 16th is your day! If you could cover anything in chocolate, what would it be?

It’s National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! There are so many foods that are improved by covering them in chocolate, the list is endless.

So go ahead, indulge, as this day is a chocolate lovers dream come true.

Pick up some chocolate covered anything or try your hand a coating chocolate on one of your favorite treats.

On December 17 we celebrate Wright Brothers Day.

Wright Brothers Day is an annual United States national observation. It is codified in the US Code and Wright Brothers Day commemorates the first successful flights in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane, made by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Wright brothers were American brothers, inventors and aviation pioneers.

Orville Wright
( August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948 )

Wilbur Wright
( April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912 )

Presidential Proclamation — Wright Brothers Day, 2014

An excerpt of the proclamation by President Barack Obama:

On Wright Brothers Day, we lift up the scientists, entrepreneurs, inventors, builders, and doers of today, and all those who reach for the future. Let us recommit to harnessing the passion and creativity of every person who works hard in America and leading the world through another century of discovery.”

Let us all take part in celebrating this great day in aviation history.

I think this one is so cute and everyone in the world should participate in celebrating this day.

 

Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day is December 18th.

Buddy the Elf was played by Will Farrell in the 2003 movie “Elf”

Simply answer the phone and say “(Insert your Name) the Elf, what’s your favorite color.”

 

National Oatmeal Muffin Day is observed annually December 19th.

Known for its health benefits, millions of people start each day with an Oatmeal Muffin.

The American muffin is similar in size and shape to a cupcake. Recipes for Oatmeal Muffins began to appear in American cookbooks in the mid-1800s.

Oatmeal Muffins are often complemented by raisins, bananas, blueberries and other healthy fruits.

Try these oatmeal muffin recipes:

Spiced Peach Oatmeal Muffin

Oatmeal Muffin

Across the nation each year on December 20, National Sangria Day is observed by enjoying a well-mixed sangria.

Sangria is a beverage made with wine and sweetened with fresh fruit and fruit juices. Other ingredients can include herbs, spices, carbonation, and liquor.

The combinations are endless, giving sangria a place at in the cocktail rotation year round. Refreshing and light during hot summer months, bright and sparkling during the winter ones, this fruity punch is quite versatile.

Sangria made with white wine is called Sangria Blanca.

Use fresh fruit in season for the best flavors. Once mixed, sangria should be chilled and the fruits allowed to marinate a few hours or overnight.

Making this a family friendly activity is quite easy. Make some “virgin” cocktails for the kids. Use grape juice or cranberry juice and add different fruits, like grapes, cranberries or strawberries.

For mommy you could try these recipes:

Red Sangria

Winter Sangria

December 21 commemorates the birth of a challenging word game enjoyed by millions around the world. It’s Crossword Puzzle Day!

The first crossword puzzles were published in England in children’s books and other publications. They were simple word games derived from the word squares where letters were arranged in a square so that the words read the same across and down.

The object of a crossword puzzle is to fill in the white spaces of a grid with the correct words from the hints provided alongside the grid. The black spaces separate individual words. The clues to more challenging puzzles are more like riddles, making the game more complex.

Many tout the benefits of crossword puzzles. Not only are they fun, but challenging crossword puzzles may help delay the effects of dementia or sharpen the brain for problem-solving. They can also increase vocabulary and even relieve the mind from the stress of the day by focusing on something other than worldly problems.

Buy a crossword book or find one online.

Journalist Arthur Wynne from Liverpool is credited as the inventor of word game we know today. He created what is considered the first known published crossword puzzle.

Forefathers’ Day is a holiday observed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on December 22. It is a commemoration of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on December 21, 1620. It was introduced in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1769.

Forefathers Day is celebrated every year by the Old Colony Club, established in 1769 “to honor the forefathers.”

The celebration begins at 6:00 AM with a march by members to the top of Cole’s Hill next to Massasoit’s statue, followed by a reading of a proclamation honoring the forefathers and a ritual firing of the club’s cannon.

The Old Colony Club and the Mayflower Society both include a succotash dinner as part of their celebration. Sauquetash was recorded as a part of the first Thanksgiving. Unlike later versions of succotash, in Plymouth succotash is served as a broth containing large pieces of fowl and meat that are sliced at the table.
When the 22nd falls on a Sunday, the Old Colony Club celebrates Forefathers Day on the following Monday.

There is some good-hearted dispute between the Old Colony Club and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. The simple fact of the celebration falling on separate days permits members of both societies to participate in both celebrations. In adjusting the date to the Gregorian calendar, the anniversary was erroneously established on December 22 instead of December 21.

Forefathers’ Day was established in 1796 by the Old Colony Club.

December 23rd is reserved for this German spice cookie. It is National Pfeffernusse Day.

Very popular around the holidays, pfeffernusse are fluffy cookies made with ground nuts and spices and covered in powdered sugar.

The exact origin in unknown however the Dutch believe that pfeffernusse (or pepernoten) are linked to the feast of Sinterklaas, which is celebrated on December 5 in the Netherlands and December 6 in Germany and Belgium.  This holiday is when children receive gifts from St. Nicholas, who is partially the inspiration for the Santa Claus tradition.

Over time, many bakers have created their own pfeffernusse recipes. Traditional methods included various nuts such as almonds and walnuts. Some modern recipes exclude nuts altogether along with the black pepper, retaining only cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom as flavoring. Molasses and honey are often used to sweeten the cookie.

Try one of the following pfeffernusse recipes:

Pfeffernusse

Pfeffernusse German Pepper Nut Cookies

 

 

National Eggnog Day is observed once a year on the day before Christmas.  December 24th Also known as egg-milk punch, eggnog is a very popular drink throughout the United States during the holidays.

Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage that is traditionally made with milk and cream, sugar, whipped eggs, and spices. When served at parties and holiday get-togethers, liquor is often added to the eggnog such as brandy, rum, whiskey, bourbon, vodka or a combination of liquors. The filled glass is typically garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin spice.

Eggnog may be added as a flavoring to food or drinks such as coffee, tea, breads, pies, cakes or puddings.

The origin of the eggnog drink is debated.  It is the belief of some that the drink was originally developed in East Anglia, England, while others believe it originated as a medieval European beverage made with hot milk.

While gathering together with family and friends, enjoy a glass or two of eggnog!

On December 25, while many Americans are enjoying time with family or friends, take the opportunity to honor the ever-humble and often favored pumpkin pie. It’s National Pumpkin Pie Day!

Often eaten during the fall and winter months and invited to Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, in the United States pumpkin pie is a traditional dessert. The pumpkin itself is a symbol of harvest.

To make a pumpkin pie, the pulp of the pumpkin is mixed with eggs, evaporated and/or sweetened condensed milk, and sugar and is typically flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

Pumpkin pie recipes were found in seventeenth-century English cookbooks, such as Hannah Woolley’s 1675, The Gentlewoman’s Companion. A century later pumpkin pie recipes began to appear in American cookbooks.

Pumpkin pie became a familiar addition to the Thanksgiving dinner in the early seventeenth-century when the pilgrims brought it back to New England. Initially, the pumpkin pie was prepared by stuffing the pumpkin with apples, spices and sugar then baking it whole.

There are many seasonal pumpkin pie flavored products that are now available including, ice cream, pudding, coffee, lattes, cheesecake, pancakes, candy, and beer.

In the 1844 Thanksgiving poem, “Over the River and Through the Wood” written by Lydia Maria Child, there is a reference to pumpkin pie in one of its verses: “Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”

The song, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” contains the lyric, “Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie, and we’ll do some caroling”.

National Thank You Note Day is recognized annually on December 26.

It is a day to get some note cards, paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps to write special thank yous for the gifts you received.

Taking the time to thank family and friends with a personalized message has special meaning. The receiver of the “thank you” will enjoy getting the card in the mail and the message you have written.

Never underestimate the power of “THANK YOU!”

Writing a thank you has become a bit of lost art. We have provided a few tips to help along the way.

Begin your thank you by acknowledging the specific gift and how thoughtful it is. If the gift was delivered, then assure the sender it arrived safely and how much you enjoy it.

If the giver presented the gift personally, mention something you remember from your visit. Then thank them for the perfect gift they took the time to bring by describing it and how ideal it is for you.

Close your thank you by gushing about how kind the giver was for remembering you!

Within a few lines, you will have the knack of writing thank you cards on National Thank You Note Day.

Across the United States, fruitcake lovers (I’m not really sure they are fruitcake “lovers”.) young and old, observe National Fruitcake Day each year on December 27 (don’t these things usually wind up in the trash or as paperweights?).

Made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts, and spices and sometimes soaked in “spirits,” fruitcake has been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years.

Rome is believed to be the creator of fruitcake, and one of the earliest recipes known comes from ancient Rome listing pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. Records indicate that in the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.

Recipes for fruitcake vary from country to country depending on available ingredients and tradition.

Sugar from the American Colonies along with the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits created an excess of candied fruit hence making fruitcakes more affordable and much more popular starting in the 16th century.

  • Typically, American fruitcakes are rich in fruits and nuts. 
  • In America, mail-order fruitcake began in 1913. 
  • Commercial fruitcakes are often sold, from catalogs, by charities as a fundraising event.
  • In 1935, the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was coined during the time Southern bakeries, Collin Street and Claxton, had access to cheap nuts. 
  • Most mass-produced fruitcakes in America are alcohol-free.
  • Some traditional recipes include liqueurs or brandy and then complete the fruitcake by covering it with powdered sugar.
  • Brandy soaked linens have been used to store fruitcakes as some people believe that they improve with age.

National Card Playing Day is observed annually across the United States on December 28.

In the 9th century, the Chinese began developing games using money and other paper objects. These early playing cards bear no resemblance to the sturdier European playing cards that developed a few centuries later.

Card games spread around the world in a variety of shapes and styles. From the elaborate Mamluk designs of Egypt to the appearance of the first playing cards during the Early Renaissance in Europe, the decks were divided into four suits of coins, cups, swords and sticks or batons.

It is from these four suits that today’s modern decks of playing cards developed. Theories range how the suits converted to hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs. One theory suggests the suits represent the different classes of the era – clergy, aristocracy, military, and peasantry.

In India, the ten suited card game of Ganjifa became popular during the Moghul period.

Traditionally, artists hand paint a stunning scene on each of the 120 cards in the deck.

A standard pack of cards may be used for playing a variety of card games, with varying elements of skill and chance, some of which are played for money. Some of the top card games include Spades, Poker, Solitaire, Spite and Malice, Hearts, Spoons, Gin Rummy, Ridge, Black Jack and Texas Hold’em. Of course, there are thousands of card games, some of which are regional favorites.

What is your families favorite card game? Get together and play it to celebrate this fun day.

 

Tick Tock Day is observed annually on December 29th.

Tick Tock Day reminds us only 2 days are remaining in the year.

Do you have any unfinished business that needs to be done in this calendar year?

Is there something big you want to accomplish yet this year?

Now is the time to finish up as the clock is ticking!

Complete any unfinished business from this year.

 

Bacon Day is observed annually on December 30th.

Everything is better with bacon. Someone said that once. Within our research, we have found very little to dispute this assertion.

In the United States and Canada, bacon is made from the pork belly. Elsewhere in the world, the side and back cuts of pork are used. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or in a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled or smoked.

Bacon is a very popular food in the USA. You can find many items also flavored or scented with bacon including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners and much more.

 

Make Up Your Mind Day is observed annually on December 31st.  This day is set aside to encourage us to quit wavering, to take a side, to follow through with a decision and stick to it.

As New Year’s resolutions go, this may be the day to decide which ones to declare.

Been hesitating on making some decisions? This is the day to finally make up your mind.

 

I hope you use some of these National Day celebrations to take a little break from the Holiday hustle and bustle.

Have a wonderful, Happy and healthy Holiday with your family and friends!!!

Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Over-Parenting: Am I doing too much for my child?

Over-Parenting: Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

This is a somewhat uncomfortable subject, but there seems to be a concern these days over parents who “do too much.”

The problem of “learned helplessness” has reared its head lately, as children struggle to be independent after having everything done for them.

Are you over-parenting? Are you doing too much for your child? How can you tell?

First of all, be easy on yourself. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty or condemned. Just take a look at your parenting and check out these tips, and make adjustments where you see fit.

1. “It’s Just Easier to Do It Myself”

Yes, in the short term, it is. Who has the time to listen to their seven-year-old gripe about tying his or her shoes – and act like he “can’t” by doing it wrong on purpose – when you need to get out the door or be late? In some cases, it’s better to be late…or anticipate this delay and allow time for it. Likely, it will only happen a few times before your child gets the hint that s/he better just tie their shoes.

Please note, though, that this will only work if your child knows how to do the task you’re expecting, whether it’s tying shoes or getting dressed or making the bed. If your child really doesn’t know how to do something, take the time to teach him/her first so that you both don’t end up frustrated. That brings us to the next point…

2. Give Your Kids Tools

Parents can err in two extremes – on the one hand, we do too much and don’t let them do anything on their own; but on the other hand, we can’t expect our kids to do things they don’t know how to do. The middle ground is giving kids the tools they need and then getting out of the way.

“Tools” come in the form of life skills, from preparing food to school projects to job interviews. If you step aside too soon, your child may not have the tools s/he needs to go forward with the task at hand and may give up. If you step in too often or too soon, your child may presume s/he can’t do it (or not care to bother since you’re doing it) and also give up. So a good idea is to teach your kids the skills involved and then step aside once you know that they know.

Sometimes, that means giving how-to details that can seem ridiculous to an adult but are necessary for a child.

3. Are You Fostering Internal Motivation?

Ultimately, motivation must come from within for true independence, say experts. Broad requests like “do your homework” or “clean your room” can seem overwhelming (think “clean your house” if you’re an adult! It’s a huge task when you phrase it that way).

Coaching and encouragement are fine, experts note; that’s not the same as doing the task for your child. Try making a checklist so s/he can see the steps involved in the chore or task at hand. Instead of “do your homework,” for example, you could make a list like this:

* Find comfy place to set up books
* Get a drink and a snack
* Write out spelling words and study list
* Do math worksheet
* Read chapter of book and write paragraph summary

You can break it down further, too, into sub-steps – whatever works for your child. Also, a list (preferably one your child helps write out) keeps you from having to tell him/her what to do over and over.

How do you teach your children things to do for themselves, that you normally did for them, around the house?

Let me know in the comments.

I hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful that you took the time to read my post and I hope it helps you in some way.

 

 

7 Picks for the Absolute “Best Mom Sneakers” for Active Moms

For as far back as I can remember I’ve always tried to find comfortable sneakers that also looked good with regular clothes. I was not successful.

But, now it seems there are so many different styles and colors that you can almost always find a cute pair that fits into your active lifestyle.

I have so many favorites these days, but I’ve chosen my Top 7 Best “Mom Sneakers” that fit great, are super comfortable, and look so good for any occasion. you might need to be active yet look great!

(There are affiliate links here. If you choose to click on them and make a purchase I could make a commission o support this blog at no extra cost to you)

My Top 7 Picks of the Best Mom Sneakers for Active Moms

1- Onitsuka Tiger by Asics Womens Mexico 66 Slip-On

Woven fabric uppers with synthetic overlays and a suede t-toe cap. Laceless construction with metallic eyelets detail. Canvas lining and a perforated, cushioned footbed for all-day comfort.  Flip top heel flap for a personalized look

2- Skechers Sports Women’s Gratis Bungee Fashion Sneaker

Sporty comfort combines with smooth slinky style in the SKECHERS Gratis – Sleek and Chic shoe. Soft woven one-piece mesh fabric upper in a slip on bungee laced sporty casual comfort sneaker with stitching and overlay accents.

3- Reebok Women’s Ec Ride Jaq Classic Shoe

Take a run on the wild side. Dash through downtown in this lightweight kick, low-cut for the mobility to swerve and sprint. A jacquard upper keeps feet fastened through any ride.

 

4- TOMS Women’s Del Rey Sneaker

The TOMS Del Rey sneaker is a lightweight sneaker with all the features and benefits you’ve come to know and love from the brand. The lightweight EVA bottom keeps you feeling light on your feet, making the Del Rey sneaker perfect for wearing out and about.

 

5- adidas Originals Women’s Tubular Shadow

Redefining sportswear for the street, the Tubular Shadow takes design inspiration from an iconic ’93 runner. These women’s shoes have a distressed canvas upper for a modern, natural look. A contemporary wrap closure provides a comfortable fit.

 

6- PUMA Women’s Vikky Sneaker

Sporty and on-the-go essential with a supple finish Round Toe.

 

7- Reebok Women’s Print Run Prime Ultk Track Shoe

Discover your speed with the Reebok print run prime. The knit upper delivers maximum comfort and style. The dual-density construction uses 3D foam compounds for support.

 

 

I love all of these sneakers so much. They each have great qualities that any active mom could utilize. They are not only so comfortable and fit great but they are so cute too. They are the best mom sneakers right now!

I hope you found at least one pair of sneakers that you love and will help you be a more comfortable active mommy 🙂

 

What do you think is the most important thing in an active lifestyle as a mom? Let me know in the comments!

 

best mom sneakers

 

 

 

How to keep it clean while traveling with toddlers

clean while traveling with toddlers
Guest Post by Sophia Evans who just loves to travel. She has plenty of experience when it comes to traveling with kids. To keep it clean is her passion and it is something that she strives for.
clean while traveling with toddlers

How to keep it clean while traveling with toddlers

Why traveling with toddlers is almost always linked with hassle? It does not have to be this way anymore. We are here to offer you some ideas which will make the traveling way much easier and…cleaner. No doubt, the most comfortable way of reaching from A to B, especially in the presence of small kids, is by car. Choosing this way of travel means that you do not have to conform with timetables and other strangers, that, let’s be honest, can turn every family holiday into a nightmare.

So in order the traveling to run on wheels, you need to make sure that everything is taken care of and it is well organized. Let’s make a start with lay the beginnings of keeping your car clean during the journey. Having small children most frequently means that your vehicle is littered with various toys, shoes, socks, wrappers and only God knows what else. Even though you clean and vacuum it on a regular basis, somehow it always ends up littered over and over again, before even you notice. We want to help you and make this cycle stop. Hopefully, you will find our ideas inspiring.

As you are set to leave for a longer time, you always need to be prepared. Keep bottled waters in the back of the car, they will always come in handy. Keep the backspace cleaned out so it can be the perfect place for changing a diaper, for example. When the child is done with this, you can put a travel potty there.

So we are done with the backspace which toddlers actually stay away from. So let’s roll up sleeves and move to the next territories. Make a rule for your kids to avoid drinks other than water. We are well experienced and we know how hard it is to get rid of milk or smoothie stains. Inevitably accidents happen just like spillages. You do not want to ruin your vacation, do you?

Most toddlers have the habit of bringing toys in the car, as many as possible. They do not want to get bored, right? At least they will stay focused during the travel and will not cause any troubles. If you do not want your car to get stuffed with numerous toys, remember that everything which comes in must come out. Your toddlers bring a toy in the car, then they need to learn to take it out as well. Before anything else, your car is not a playground.

Teach your toddlers to hand you forward all the trash including wrappers, handkerchiefs, plastic cups. They need to learn to give it to you so you can put it in one bag and then throw it away all at once when you stop to fill up the car with gas, let’s say. Having one space to clean out will surely make the traveling way much easier and cleaner.

The golden rule for a clean car is to vacuum it at least once per week. When you take your time to vacuum on a regular basis, you are more likely to keep it good looking. Seeing your car tidy and clean will surely get you breathe a sigh of relief.

You see that it is not that hard to keep your car clean when traveling with toddlers, don’t you? Your children will even notice the difference. You only need to teach them some rules and they will follow.

So, are you prepared for traveling?

My Favorite Inspiring Internet things in October

I absolutely love social media (minus the negativity), there are so many people who build each other up and just talk about their daily lives in hopes to convey a sense of normalcy for people who feel as if they are alone in their struggles.

I can tell you from experience that no matter what you are going through as a mother or how alone you feel in a situation, you are not alone. We as mothers need to stick together and build each other up not tear each other down when we don’t agree with the decisions we make for our own families.

Here are the uplifting social media posts I have enjoyed in the month of October.

TWITTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSTAGRAM

 

 

Remember: YOU are everything they need and more!!! ❤

A post shared by Whitney@weesleep.ca (@weesleep_whitney) on

 

 

 

 

Strength grows in the moments you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway. . Over the past couple of years we have walked through the fires of hell. . Injustice. Deceit. Betrayal. Character Assassination. . There were moments where I just wanted to give up. Run away. There is nothing worse than when someone accuses you of something that isn’t true. It was in these moments, I found out who I was and how strong I was created to be. . I knew that I had two choices. 1) To Get Bitter or 2) To Get Better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you better or you allow it to tear you down. The choice belonged to me, not my circumstances. . You can feel like the flames of the fires are engulfing you and that there is no escape. I PROMISE you, truth always wins and justice always prevails. It may take longer than you would like, but those flames are refining you, they are not destroying you. They are a part of your story in becoming all you were created to be. . This week was a beautiful and life breathing week for our family. A close of one chapter and an exciting beginning of the next. It hasn’t been easy, but we made it and we are stronger for it. Believe when I say, when I look into a fire, I smile. The flames inside of me burn stronger than any fire around me. . Friends, there is going to be very painful moments in your life that will change your entire world in the matter of minutes. Let them make you stronger, kinder and smarter. But don’t you dare go and become someone you are not. . You are stronger than you know.

A post shared by Simply, Jen (@jen.gamble) on

 

 

 

 

.. especially after a night of tricks and treats & sugar highs 😳 . Tag a Mom who gets it!

A post shared by Unicorn Moms Of LI (@unicornmomsofli) on

 

 

Especially with #twoundertwo!

A post shared by Jen Piazza (@awesomelyimperfect) on

 

 

FACEBOOK

Truth Bomb Mom: Perfect Mom

**NEW VIDEO!** This might be one of the most important videos I've made.The three women featured are all real moms and these are their real stories.

Posted by Kristina Kuzmic on Thursday, August 17, 2017

 

https://www.facebook.com/mythoughtsaboutstuff/

 

PINTEREST

A Little Pinch of Perfect

Mom Encouragement

Organized Motherhood

just Andrea

 

BLOGS

Healing Mama Remedies

Mom Advice

Cool Mom Picks

Mom Spark

Our Kids Mom

Thrifty Nifty Mommy

Mommifried

That’s Inappropriate (this is my favorite site right now!)  I am linking all of her socials because I think every mom needs her in their lives.

 

All of these that I’ve listed so far are very inspiring and help me to realize even on my worst days, that I am not alone.

I hope that this post has helped you in some way to motivate and inspire you to keep going no matter how hard it may seem at the time.

Here are a few quotes and pretty images for an extra boost 🙂

            

  It has been proven that even just the action of smiling (when you don’t feel happy) can greatly improve your mood.

Take some time to live in the moment without rushing around trying to get everything done.

October went by in a hurry because we had so much to do. It can get so hectic and we forget to savor the moments we can never get back.

So, this November, be thankful that you are able to rush the kids all over the place but also take the time and be thankful that you can spend it with those you love.

Have a happy and healthy week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Fun Family Friendly Days to Celebrate in November

celebrate november

I know I’ve said it before but Fall is rapidly becoming my favorite season. The older I get, the less I can stand the heat of the summer. Although I absolutely hate Winter, nothing about it appeals to me in any way. But, Fall is the middle ground that is just alright with me.

That being said, here is the list of November National days and I KNOW you are going to get a kick out of these days. There are some really great activities this month.

november national days

NOVEMBER NATIONAL DAYS

National Family Literacy Day is observed each year on November 1.

This day boasts special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs.

National Literacy Day kicks off National Literacy Month in November.

During the month of November, there are many events which are held at schools, libraries and other literacy organizations.

Get together with family and read a book together or try some other fun activity that involves reading together.

 

Each year on November 2 is National Broadcast Traffic Professional’s Day.

This day honors those in all radio and television traffic departments, who schedule and work very diligently with programs, announcements and much more, on our nation’s broadcast stations

The first commercial broadcast took place on KDKA radio out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1920.  Also known as National Traffic Directors Day or National Traffic Professional’s Day, it honors the thousands of professionals directors in broadcast media since that day who have worked behind the scenes keeping the entertainment, talk shows, news, and commercials flowing.  Through breaking news alerts, stormy weather, budgets and differing personalities, these men and women maintain program development.

Thank a traffic director today.

National Sandwich Day is observed every year on November 3. The sandwich is believed to be the namesake of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, following the claim that he was the inventor of the sandwich.  This day honors one of America’s most popular lunch items.

While the modern sandwich is believed to be named after John Montagu, the exact circumstances of its invention and original use are the subjects of debate.  There is a rumor in a contemporary travel book titled Tour to London, by Pierre Jean Grosley, that formed the popular myth that bread and meat sustained Lord Sandwich at the gambling table.

It is said that Lord Sandwich was a very conversant gambler and did not take the time to have a meal during his long hours playing at the card table.  When hungry, he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread.  This practice was a habit which was well known to his gambling friends who soon began to order “the same as Sandwich,” and from this, the sandwich was born.

N.A.M. Rodger, who wrote Sandwich’s biography, suggests that because of Sandwich’s commitment to the navy, politics and the arts the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his work desk.

Before being known as sandwiches, the food seems just to have been known as bread and meat or bread and cheese.

Some of the most common sandwiches include BLT – Cheese Sandwich – Philadelphia Cheesesteak – Club Sandwich – Dagwood – French Dip – Hamburger – Monte Cristo – Muffuletta – Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich – Pilgrim – Po’boy – Reuben – Sloppy Joe – Submarine – Tuna Fish Sandwich – Veggie Sandwich – Deli Sandwich

Go out for a sandwich with the kids or enjoy one of the following sandwich recipes together:

California Grilled Veggie Sandwich
BBQ Pork for Sandwiches
Real N’awlins Muffuletta
Shrimp Po’ Boys

 

National Candy Day is observed on November 4th.

Candies come in numerous colors, shapes, sizes, and varieties and have a long history in popular culture.

People use the term candy as a broad category that includes candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gumdrops, marshmallows and much more.

Way back in time, before sugar was readily available, candy was made from honey.  The honey was used to coat fruits and flowers to preserve them or to create forms of candy.

There is still candy that is served in this way today, but it is typically seen as a garnish.

Originally a form of medicine, candy calmed the digestive system or cooled a sore throat.  At this time, combined with spices and sugar, candy only appeared in the purses and the dishes of the wealthy.

It was in the 18th century that the first candy is believed to have come to America from Britain and France.

At this time, the simplest form of candy was Rock Candy made from crystallized sugar. However, even the basic form of sugar was considered a luxury and was only attainable by the wealthy.

Since 1979, the world has produced more sugar than can be sold, making it very attainable and cheap.

When the technological advances and the availability of sugar opened up the market in the 1830s, the candy business underwent a drastic change.

Candy was not only for the enjoyment of the well to do but the pleasure of everyone.  Penny candies became popular, targeting children.

  • 1847 – Invention of the candy press making it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at one time.
  • 1851 – Confectioners began using a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar.

The two top-selling candies in America have been:

  • M & M’S — M&M’s are milk chocolate drops with a colorful candy coating on the outside. The candies were first manufactured in 1941 and were given to American soldiers serving in the Second World War. M&M’s are produced by Mars Inc.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are round chocolate disks that are filled with a sweet, creamy peanut butter filling. The cups were first manufactured in 1928 by the Hershey’s company.

Grab a pack of your kids favorite candy and enjoy as a family.

 

November 5 is one of two National Doughnut Days observed by doughnut lovers across the nation. The first Friday in June is the other day doughnuts steal the bakery case spotlight ready to tease their way into white bakery box home!

The history of the doughnut is disputed:

  • One theory suggests Dutch settlers brought doughnuts to North America much like they brought other traditional American desserts including cookies, apple pie, cream pie, and cobbler.
  • An American, Hanson Gregory, claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 while on board a lime-trading ship at the age of 16.  According to Gregory, he punched a hole in the center of dough with the ship’s tin pepper box and later taught the technique to his mother.
  • Anthropologist Paul R Mullins states the first cookbook mentioning doughnuts was an 1803 English volume which included doughnuts in an appendix of American recipes.
  • An 1808 short story describing a spread of “fire-cakes and dough-nuts” is the earliest known recorded usage of the term doughnut.
  • A more commonly cited first written recording of the word is Washington Irving’s reference to doughnuts in 1809 in his History of New York.  He described balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat and called doughnuts.  Today, these nuts of fried dough are called doughnut holes.

Donut versus Doughnut

  • Print ads for cake and glazed donuts and doughnuts existed from at least 1896 in the United States.
  • Peck’s Bad Boy and his Pa, written by George W. Peck and published in 1900, contained the first known printed use of donut. In it, a character is quoted as saying, “Pa said he guessed he hadn’t got much appetite and he would just drink a cup of coffee and eat a donut.”
  • In 1919, the Square Donut Company of America was founded, offering an easier to package product.

The more traditional spelling is doughnut. However, both doughnut and donut are pervasive in American English.

While doughnuts come in a large variety of recipes, flavors, and toppings, just like many pastries, we are only limited by imagination and ingredients at hand.  From syrups and jellies to sprinkles and custards, top them, fill them, bake them or fry them, doughnuts have a mouth-watering way of glazing and dusting their way into our shopping carts and finding their way to the break room at work to share.

Use this…

and try making your own, or use one of the following recipes:

Best Baked Doughnuts Ever
Easy Drop Doughnuts
Easy Doughnuts
Chocolate Doughnuts

 

National Nachos Day is observed annually on November 6. In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips covered in nacho cheese or other melted cheese and served with salsa.

First created sometime around 1943, the popular and loved nachos are of Mexican origin.  Nachos can be made quickly and served as a snack, an appetizer or prepared with extra ingredients as a full meal.

It is believed that Ignaci “Nacho” Anaya created the original nachos in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.  The story talks of a group of United States military wives stationed at Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass who traveled to Piedras Negras on a shopping trip.  Following shopping, they arrived late to a restaurant after it had closed for the day.  Maître d, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya served them a snack which he invented from what little was available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese.  Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, topped them with shredded cheddar cheese and quickly heated them.  He then added sliced jalapeno peppers and served them to the ladies. When Anaya was asked what the dish was called, he replied, “Nacho’s especiales”.  As the word of this new creation traveled, people tried them, loved them and over time, the name changed and Nacho’s “specials” became “special nachos”.

The original recipe is printed in the 1954 St. Anne’s Cookbook.

The popularity of the new dish spread swiftly throughout Texas and the Southwest and has since gained millions of fans across America.

Some favorite nachos toppings are refried beans, ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, seafood, shredded cheese, jalapeno peppers, green pepper,  lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, onion, sour cream, and guacamole.

Check out this cookbook dedicated to nachos…

 

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day is observed each year on November 7th.

Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla have been added.  It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate. However, the two of them may be interchangeable when baking.

Recent studies have revealed health benefits from eating small quantities of bittersweet chocolate. Almonds have health benefits as well. Pairing the two of them together gives us a delicious and healthful snack to be enjoyed on this fall day.

In 1742, Eliza Smith included the only chocolate recipe in her cookbook The Compleat Housewife printed by William Parks. The simple recipe combined grated chocolate, orange flower water, and sugar.

If that doesn’t peak your interest then check out a few of these recipes:

Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds
Bittersweet Chocolate and Almond Cake
Chocolate Dipped Almond Anise Biscotti
The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (Whole Wheat)

 

November 8 is a day meant to inspire kids to explore and pursue their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Why is S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. so important, now more than ever before?

·         S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. is all around us and shapes our everyday experiences

·         Of the U.S. Labor Department‘s predicted 10 fastest growing occupations, nearly all of them are S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. careers; therefore an interest in S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. early on can lead to success later on in life

·         The U.S. has fallen behind other nations in science and math education; we need to motivate young kids to pursue these subjects to keep up with the rest of the world

·         We must close the gender gap that exists in S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. related-careers. Building interest in girls is critical to their future earning potential.

Get your girls and boys involved with learning Math and Science today, no matter how young they are, it is never too early to learn.

 

National Scrapple Day is observed annually on November 9th. Scrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America.

For those who are not familiar with scrapple, it is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour, and spices.  (The spices may include but are not limited to sage, thyme, savory and black pepper.)  The mush is then formed into a semi-solid loaf, sliced and pan-fried.

I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing for those who don’t know what it is, but I assure you it tastes fantastic!

It was in the 17th and 18th centuries that the first recipes for scrapple were created by Dutch colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania.   Hence the origin of its discovery, it is strongly associated with rural areas surrounding Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula.

  • Scrapple can be found in supermarkets throughout the area in both refrigerated and frozen cases.
  • Home recipes for beef, chicken and turkey scrapple are available.
  • Scrapple is sometimes deep-fried or broiled instead of pan frying.
  • Scrapple is typically eaten as a breakfast side dish.
  • Condiments are sometimes served with scrapple, some of which include apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, horseradish or mustard.

Have some scrapple. Following are a few scrapple recipes for you to try:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/scrapple/
http://www.cooks.com/recipe/pt6o151m/scrapple.html
http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/359/ChickenScrapple61687.shtml

 

National Vanilla Cupcake Day is observed annually on November 10. This is a day for dessert lovers across the country to celebrate and indulge.

Cupcakes have also been known to be called:

  • Fairy Cakes
  • Patty Cakes
  • Cup Cakes (different from Cupcakes (one-word)

Cupcakes can be traced back to 1796 when a recipe notation of a cake to be baked in small cups was written in American Cookery (by Amelia Simmons).  The earliest known documentation of the term cupcake was in 1828 in Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.

Cupcakes were originally baked in heavy pottery cups.  Today, some bakers still use individual ramekins, small coffee mugs, larger teacups, or other small ovenproof pottery-type dishes for baking their cupcakes.

To celebrate National Vanilla Cupcake Day, share some cupcakes with your friends and family. Make one or all of the following vanilla cupcake recipes.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes
Sour Cream Cupcakes

 

National Sundae Day is observed each year on November 11.  Ice cream lovers across the country will celebrate all day, enjoying one (or more) of the most famous ice cream dessert, the ice cream sundae.

An ice cream sundae typically consists of one or two scoops of ice cream topped with syrup or sauce.  The sundae is often topped with whipped cream, maraschino cherry, sprinkles, pineapple or a variety of other toppings.

The oldest known record of an ice cream sundae is an advertisement in the Ithica Daily Journal dated October 5, 1892, with the conventional day of the week spelling – Sunday.

It has been hotly debated where the sundae originated.  There has been a friendly rivalry between Ithica, New York, and Two Rivers, Wisconsin over which city is the true birthplace of the sundae.

The Two Rivers’ claim is that in 1881, Druggist Edward Berners served the sweet concoction when customer George Hallauer ordered an ice cream soda.  Because it was the Sabbath, ice cream sodas were prohibited at that time.  As a compromise, Berners served the ice cream in a dish without soda and topped it with chocolate syrup.  This story is disputed by some because Berners would have only been 18 at the time the story takes place.

 

National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day is observed each year on November 12.  According to our research, this day was created to celebrate who you are, where you have been, where you are going and who you will be thankful to when you get there.   

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a publisher and consumer goods company founded in 1993 with its headquarters in Cos Cob, Connecticut. The first book, as most subsequent titles in the series, was of true stories written by ordinary people about their own lives and soon became a best-seller.

National  Chicken Soup for the Soul Day is a celebration about you!

                  

 

On November 13 as part of World Kindness Day, we are encouraged to spread kindness like an infectious cold. We want to share it more than usual because studies show when others observe kindness in action they are more likely to carry out an act of kindness, too.

So, imagine if you head out for the day and your neighbor’s garbage can has tipped over. Instead of ignoring it and letting the wind make a mess, you pick it up and return it to the corner. Three other neighbors notice and give you a smile and a nod on their way to work.

One of those neighbors notices a stranded driver on the side of the road on his commute to work. He remembers your thoughtfulness and offers assistance to the stranded driver. Several passersby take notice.

At a business office, a woman struggles with a paper jam. She’s had a horrible day. The customer has been waiting, but she remembers the stranded driver she passed earlier in the day. The customer lets the office worker know to take her time. Everyone has a bad day.

We each have the potential to improve each others lives through understanding and kindness. Whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker or stranger, our ability to show our humanity should have no limit.

On World Kindness Day, let your compassion shine brightly.  Get caught showing as much kindness as possible.

For inspiration on leading a life of kindness, Orly Wahba has written a book and her organization Life Vest Inside produced a short film called Kindness Boomerang.

 

The World Kindness Movement started World Kindness Day in 1998 and has spread to 28 countries.

 

National Pickle Day is observed annually on November 14. It may be a Dill, Gherkin, Cornichon, Brined, Kosher Dill, Polish, Hungarian, Lime, Bread and Butter, Swedish and Danish, or Kool-Aid Pickle. Whichever is your choice, eat them all day long.

The term pickle comes from the Dutch word pekel, meaning brine.  In the United States, the word pickle typically refers to a pickled cucumber.

– Each year in the United States, 5,200,000 pounds of pickles are consumed.

– Pickles are a great snack, low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, though they can be high in sodium.

– When served on a stick at festivals, fairs or carnivals, pickles are sometimes known as “stick pickles”.

– A rising trend in the United States is deep-fried pickles which have a breading or batter surrounding the pickle spear or slice.

– For thousands of years, pickles have been a popular food dating back to 2030 B.C.  At that time, cucumbers were imported from India to the Tigris Valley where they were first preserved and eaten as pickles.

– Cleopatra attributed her good looks to her diet of pickles.

– Julius Caesar fed pickles to his troops believing that they lent physical and spiritual strength.

 

Each year on November 15, millions of people across the United States take part in America Recycles Day, a day which was created to raise awareness about recycling and the purchasing of recycled products.

Recycle, buy recycled goods and help teach others the benefits of recycling and continue to do so each day!

America Recycles Day was started in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition and is declared each year by Presidential Proclamation, encouraging Americans to commit to recycling.  Since 2009, this day has been a program of Keep America Beautiful.  There are thousands of events that are held across the United States to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and offering personal pledges that can be signed, committing to recycling and buying products made from recycled materials.

 

National Button Day is observed annually on November 16. Founded in 1938, the National Button Society recognized button collecting as an organized hobby. Both novice and advanced button collectors celebrate the enjoyment collecting on this day.

Do you remember your grandmother or your mother snipping the buttons off shirts that were headed for the rag basket and then collecting them in jars? Maybe you even played games or strung them for ornaments and crafts.  The buttons were fun to stack into piles, sort by color or size, or scatter/slide across the floor or table making up different games each time.

Crafters across the country utilize buttons in creative ways and are some of the best at finding new uses for old items. There are thousands of button collectors in the United States.

 

National Take a Hike Day is observed annually on November 17.  With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there is no lack of opportunity to take a hike.

Events around the country are scheduled today to celebrate Take a Hike Day.  Hiking can burn between 400-550 calories per hour. What better way to get a head start on all those ‘other’ holiday temptations and observe Take a Hike Day?  Be sure to wear good shoes, take a snack and bring a buddy, but get out there and enjoy the fresh air, scenery and get a little exercise to boot!

This is such a beautiful time of year to go out in the crisp air and walk among nature. Get the family up and out to get their blood flowing and hike around some trails.

 

Making his debut on November 18, 1928, we commemorate the birth of that ever lovable mouse that was once a rabbit called Oswald. To get to the beginning of the story, we have to go back to 1927 when Walt Disney first sketched a floppy eared bunny while under contract to Universal Studios. The events that unraveled brought us Mickey Mouse.

Wish Mickey Mouse a Happy Birthday and celebrate a little with your Mickey loving little ones.

Mickey Mouse came to be under the roller coaster events of Oswald’s success and Universal’s disappointing contract negotiations. Disney Bros. Studio took their leave of both the studio and Oswald and set to work creating a character who would go on to lead the company into the future.

From a rabbit named Oswald to a mouse named Mortimer, eventually, the little squeaky-voiced guy was dubbed Mickey. He flopped in two animated short films without any success.

Then on November 18, 1928, Mickey’s star was born. The first animation synchronized to music and sound effects, Steamboat Willie premiered in New York.

Within a year, a Mickey Mouse Club popped up in Salem, Oregon. This particular club offered admission as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army with a donation of either a potato or a small toy and a penny. According to December 22, 1929, Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) article, $12 and three truckloads of potatoes and toys collected by eager new members.

Remember, the stock market crashed just 20 days before Mickey Mouse was born. That a cute little mouse could bring smiles to the faces of children at an uncertain time really isn’t such a surprise.

Generally, new members joined the club by completing an admission form obtained from a local merchant and attending meetings held during matinees at local movie houses. The price of admission often was reduced for good deeds and report cards. By the end of 1930, the Mickey Mouse Clubs had spread across the country.

Now, there is a new “Club Mickey Mouse” but, instead of a show on television, they make posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Club Mickey Mouse FB Page

Club Mickey Mouse Instagram

In 1935, animator Fred Moore gave Mickey a new look that enabled a more fluid movement to the animation.

A makeover in 1935 by animator Fred Moore gave Mickey the look we are familiar with today. The big eyes, white gloves, and the pert little nose. More lovable than ever before, he propelled himself even further into the hearts of children everywhere.

His companions Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto joined him along the way, bringing vaudevillian comedy with them.

 

National Play Monopoly Day is observed every year on November 19.

Known as one of the most popular board games in the world, the game that was originally based on a board game designed by Elizabeth Magie in 1902, Monopoly has been played by an estimated more than 5 million people since 1935.

Gather your family and friends together and play Monopoly.

 

National Absurdity Day is observed annually on November 20.

This day was created as a day to recall and note some of the entirely off the wall and ridiculous things in history, in our country and our lives.

National Absurdity Day is also a day to have fun and do crazy, zany and absurd things. Everyone has an excuse today to let out the silly antics are hidden inside them. You can do things that you have wanted to do that make absolutely no sense at all, and it will be okay because you will be celebrating National Absurdity Day.

Do whatever absurd things that pop into your mind. (Please keep safety in mind).

 

November 21 is the ideal day to join in National Stuffing Day as Thanksgiving day is right around the corner, and we are already thinking about the delicious turkey stuffing that is a traditional part of Thanksgiving dinner.

Whether the cook chooses to stuff the bird with crusts of bread, onions, celery, herbs and spices or prefers to prepare a similar dish along side the turkey using the drippings to moisten the dish is personal preference.  The difference is the first is called a stuffing, but the latter is referred to as a dressing.

The usual turkey stuffing consists of bread cubes or crumbs combined with onions, celery, salt, and pepper along with spices and herbs such as summer savory, sage or poultry seasoning.  Other varieties include adding sausage, hamburger, tofu, oysters, egg, rice, apple, raisins or other dried fruits.

The first known documented stuffing recipes appeared in the Roman cookbook, Apicius “De Re Coquinaria”.  Most of the stuffing recipes in this cookbook included vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and spelt (an old cereal) with some of them also including chopped liver and other organ meat.

In addition to stuffing the body cavity of poultry and fish, various cuts of meat are often stuffed once deboned and having a pouch or slit cut in them.  A few examples of other meats that are frequently stuffed include pork chops, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken breast, lamb chops and beef tenderloin.

Stuffing isn’t limited to the butcher block.  Vegetables are excellent containers for stuffing.  Peppers, tomatoes zucchini and cabbage are just a few of the shapely veggies that make stuffing a fabulous part of your meal.

Give your stuffing some holiday flair with Everything Kitchen’s Sausage, Apple, Cranberry Stuffing

 

November 22

National Tie One on Day might confuse people with its name. However, it is not at all about going out, getting crazy and drinking too much while others are at home, working hard preparing for tomorrow’s big Thanksgiving Day meal.

National Tie One on Day celebrates the apron as well as the past generations of women who wore them and it was also created as a day to bring joy to the life of someone in need and celebrate the spirit of giving.

“Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.” EllynAnne Geisel

As part of National Tie One on Day, buy an apron, bake something, tuck a note of encouragement in the pocket of the apron (or pin it on it), wrap the baked good in the apron and give it to someone in need on Thanksgiving Eve.

 

Other than Thanksgiving, November 23 is also National Eat a Cranberry Day.

Found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere, cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs, or trailing vines, that grow up to 7 feet long and 8 inches high.  Their stems are slender and wiry, and they have small evergreen leaves.

The cranberry flowers are dark pink with very distinct reflexed petals, leaving the style and stamens fully exposed and pointing forward. The fruit of the cranberry plant is a berry that is larger than the leaves and is initially white but when ripe, turns a deep red.

CRANBERRIES:

  • Have an acidic taste that can overwhelm their sweetness.
  • Are a major commercial crop in certain American states;  Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. 
  • Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production.
  • Are mostly processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam or sweetened dried cranberries.
  • Cranberry sauce is considered an indispensable part of a traditional American Thanksgiving meal.
  • Raw cranberries have been marketed as a “superfruit” due to their nutrient content and antioxidant qualities.
  • There are three to four species of cranberry, classified into two sections.
  • White cranberry juice is made from regular cranberries that have been harvested after the fruits are mature, but before they have attained their characteristic dark red color.
  • Cranberry wine is made in some of the cranberry-growing regions of the United States.
  • Laboratory studies indicate that extracts containing cranberry may have anti-aging effects.

The word cranberry comes from “craneberry”;  first named by the early European settlers in America who felt the expanding flower, stem, calyx and petals resembled the neck, head and bill of a crane.

I will be celebrating this day by partaking in way to much cranberry relish and/or sauce.

 

This is such a great day to follow Thanksgiving, especially for children 🙂

Welcomegiving Day is observed annually on the day after Thanksgiving. Conventionally when someone thanks us for a kindness or service, we respond by saying, “You’re Welcome.”  So, it was inevitable that someone would suggest the day after Thanksgiving we should begin to celebrate You’re Welomegiving Day.

Make sure to say You’re Welcome.

Richard Ankli of Ann Arbor, Michigan, creator of the unreasonable holiday Sourest Day and the rhyming May Ray Day, designated You’re Welcomegiving Day in 1977 as a way to create a four-day weekend.

 

Usually served in a specially styled glass, layers of fruit, yogurt or ice cream, and nuts, chocolate or even whipped cream are the ingredients on National Parfait Day on November 25.

A French word that literally means perfect was originally used to describe a kind of frozen dessert beginning in 1894.

In the United States, parfaits are served in the traditional French style by layering parfait cream, ice cream, gelato or pudding in a clear, tall glass topped with whipped cream, fruit or liqueurs. 

The Northern United States expanded on the parfait and began to use yogurt layered with nuts or granola or fresh fruits which may be, but are not limited to, strawberries, blueberries, bananas or peaches. This idea spread quickly across all parts of the country, and the yogurt parfait gained popularity as a breakfast item.

Times have changed over the years, and now parfaits are made up of almost any dessert combination that works well put into layers in a tall, clear glass, ranging from crushed Oreo cookies and cheesecake with whipped cream to angel food cake pieces and lemon cream filling with whipped cream.

Try one of the following parfait recipes:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfaits
Fresh Orange Cream Parfaits
Tropical Tapioca Parfaits

 

National Cookie Day is observed annually on November 26.
We can thank the Dutch for more than windmills and tulips.  The English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word “koekie” meaning little cake.
There have been cookie-like hard wafers in existence for as long as baking has been documented.  This is because they traveled well however, they were usually not sweet enough to be considered cookies by modern day standards.

The origin of the cookie appears to begin in Persia in the 7th century, soon after the use of sugar became common in the region.  They were then spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain.  Cookies were common in all levels of society throughout Europe by the 14th century, from the royal cuisine to the street vendors.

Cookies arrived in America in the 17th century.  Macaroons and gingerbread cookies were among the popular early American cookies.

In most English-speaking countries outside of North America, the most common word for cookie is biscuit.  In some regions, both terms, cookies and biscuits are used.

Cookies are classified into different categories, with the most common ones being:

Bar cookies – Drop cookies – Filled cookies
Molded cookies – No bake cookies
Pressed cookies – Refrigerator cookies
Rolled cookies – Sandwich cookies

Pick up some cookies at your local bakery.  Remember to share some of your cookies with your family and friends! Try one of the following cookie recipes:

First Place Coconut Macaroons
Gingerbread Cookies

 

Each year on November 27, people across the country observe National Bavarian Cream Pie Day.

To make a Bavarian Cream Pie, Bavarian cream, also called crème bavaroise, is poured into a baked pie crust and refrigerated.

French chef, Marie Antione Careme is given credit for the invention of Bavarian cream, which is a gelatin-based pastry cream originally served in gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels in France in the early 19th century.

Enjoy this Vanilla Bavarian Cream Pie recipe.

 

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Quite simply, take advantage of all the holiday deals to add to your charitable giving. Combined with your family, friends, local and national organizations and through the power of social media, National Day of Giving can become a tradition worth passing on.

In 2012, 92nd Street Y in New York City created National Day of Giving to bring focus to the charitable season in the wake of the commercialized Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 

Observed annually on November 29th, Electronic Greetings Day reminds us of how things have changed.  The convenience and speed of sending an electronic greeting allows more people than ever to participate in this thoughtful process.  We all enjoy it when someone remembers our birthdays, anniversaries and other important life events. While greeting cards continue to be used, electronic greetings are far more cost-effective and mean equally as much.

Send an electronic Greeting.

Not long after the advent of electronic mail (e-mail) in 1993, the electronic greeting came along.  The first electronic greeting card site was The Electric Postcard and was created by Judith Donath in 1994 at the MIT Media Lab.  Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of Electronic Greetings Day.

 

Did you wake well rested, feeling vigorous and ready for the day? Then you are ready to celebrate Stay Home Because You’re Well Day. This day is celebrated on November 30.

This holiday has no agenda other than to spend a healthful day at home. What you do with it is up to you.

Here are some suggestions if you are having trouble deciding what to do.

  • Catch up on some reading.
  • Take a walk.
  • Get started on your Christmas cards.
  • Follow a toddler around all day.  You do feel well, remember?
  • Take a friend to lunch.
  • Get your 2017 calendar up to date.
  • Try a new recipe and make extra to share with someone who wasn’t feeling well today.
  • Take a nap
  • Plan your next vacation.
  • Make a list of all your single friends and match them up as potential mates.
  • Organize all those photos on your phone.
  • Work on an art project.
  • Clean out your closet and make a donation.

 

This month has been quite fun to go through and find all the great National days to celebrate with your family and friends.

Let me know which one or few are your favorites from this list or which silly celebrations your family participates in every year.

I hope you have a wonderful week and a great Halloween.

Don’t eat to much candy 🙂

 

november national days