5 Simple Ways to Cook Healthier Amidst the Holiday Rush

The holiday season has just begun. The 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is perhaps the most eagerly awaited period of the year.  This is the time for family, friends, gatherings, fun, and frolic. The kids are full of zest, but unfortunately, moms tend to go in the opposite direction – stressed out and tired. They’re just pulled in every direction imaginable and stretched thin in each. 

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Safe way to add some Christmas Joy for Kids at Lucas County Children’s Services

Hello everyone! I am sponsoring a book drive for Lucas County Children Services thru my Usborne book business. All donations will be matched at 50% with more free books! Please donate the gift of reading, it is something these children can take with them wherever they go! These children are pulled from their homes with nothing. A book can be full of comfort, laughter, “another world”, and support all of which can help with hard transitions! I have a family member who is going thru this right now, and we sent a care package as a family. Many of these children have no one to help them outside of Children Services! Lets get books into these children’s hands https://flow.page/lccsbookdrive

Thank you,


Why Usborne Books are one of the best gifts to give kiddos this year…..

6+ hours daily, 30+ hours during the week, & 8+ hours of screen time on the weekends and that’s just for school! That doesn’t include all the extracurriculars that are on Zoom, Google, Skype & Facetime or their social lives that seem to be strictly on screens these days since kiddos can’t play in-person. Thus, ask any kid what they want as a reward and chances are it’s no longer more screen time. In fact, my kiddos have so much screen fatigue that they’ve actually requested technology free days. And for Christmas they’ve asked for books, not a book online, not an audio book, an actual book they can hold. Once I heard this I knew precisely where I needed to go for a broad variety of topics, titles, ages, reading levels, and most importantly QUALITY books (yes, Scholastic has cheap books, but they are cheap books, I’ve had to literally throw a few away after a bit of liquid spilt on them)…I prefer to invest in our home library. If you’re looking to invest in your Home Library this Christmas then Usborne Books has you covered! 

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Fun Activities To Do With The Family

We have spent more time than ever at home this year, leaving many of us exhausting all the entertainment options possible. With kids, it can feel a bit of a minefield trying to find fun new things for them to do all the time. Most of the attractions we would have normally gone to as a family are now shut, like Children’s Wonderland and other attractions, so the entertainment is left to us to figure out new things at home. The thought of weeks that stretch on forever with bored children and too much energy can leave you with chills running up and down your spine, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just because you can’t leave the house as easily as you used to doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun as a family. If you are on the lookout for some fun activities to do as a family, here are some top ideas to get you inspired. 

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What You Can Teach Your Kids While Hybrid Learning

I’m sure we all can agree that this school year has been far from normal. Whether your kids have returned to in-person classes or moved to remote learning, we have all experienced the different learning styles the pandemic has introduced us to. As a family, this time spent in the unknown is a great opportunity to learn from each other. It could be something as silly as a TikTok dance your kids are obsessed with or something more fundamental like how to balance a checkbook. This unprecedented time together can create a perfect storm for valuable life lessons to be learned. Consider delving into the areas highlighted below as a way to jumpstart some family learning. 

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Obtaining A Car Loan With Flexible Repayment Terms

Many people see obtaining a car loan as a necessity because they cannot afford to pay the full amount in cash for a car. The price of cars just continues to increase to incredibly high amounts. Even if you can afford to pay for a car in cash, there may be reasons you should still consider taking out a loan. You do not have to take out a loan for the full amount. You can pay half in cash and half with a loan, or some combination. Before you make a decision about paying for your next car, consider these points.

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Toledo Christmas 2020 LIVE & Virtual Events Guide

Ready to just throw in the towel and hibernate till 2021? Don’t’ hit that snooze button just yet, there are actually a lot of fun events that are being carefully and safely hosted this Christmas. Here’s a list of awesome activities that are sure to bring you & yours a bit of holiday cheer! Most of the LIVE events listed also offer the option for virtual tours and/or viewing, thus, if you are at home or you have an immunocompromised loved one who has been sitting at home for some time now, PLEASE share. Let’s try our best to safely share as much holiday cheer as possible with our neighbors and loved ones. When possible events have been linked to websites for further details.

  1. Virtually visit the Manor House Decorated for the Holidays at Wildwood (Dec. 5-13th) and enjoy a sweet treat while you tour. 
  2. Visit Taylor Winterfest 
  3. FREE Pics with Santa at Levis Commons 
  4. The Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio in 2020 
  5. 2020 Christmas Tree Ship (Dec. 5th)
  6. Live Nativity- Dec. 5th 
  7. Toledo Ballet 80th Nutcracker in-person & LIVE streaming (Dec. 11-13)
  8. 1920s Holiday Event on Mainstreet at Sauder Village (Only 3 dates available)
  9. Drive-thru Breakfast with Santa (Dec. 5th) 
  10. Light up Tree City- Dec. 4th (LIVE & livestream on Facebook)
  11. Christmas in Point Place- includes drive-thru float display (Dec. 6th)
  12. Cookies w/Santa (Dec. 12th)
  13. Ride the North Pole Express (Nov. 27-Jan. 3)
  14. Lights at Calvary (Nov 30th- Dec 30th)
  15. Nite Lites at MIS
  16. Pemberville “Lights Around Town” in lieu of their annual lighted parade- drive around town and see the featured lighted units Sunday Nov. 29th 6:30-8pm 
  17. Fair Fantasy Lights Drive-thru (Dec.18th & 19th) 
  18. Winter Wonder Lights in Oregon OH Map 
  19. Sylvania Neighborhood Holiday Light Tour Map (coming soon)

Hosting a live or virtual event that didn’t make the list? Know of a live or virtual event that didn’t make the list? Please share in comments and we’ll be sure to add to the list! 

Taylor Winerfest: When it’s your LAST Christmas filled with “magic” and COVID cases rise, what to do?

The Manor House decorated extravagantly, toured, and then celebrated with s’mores over the open fire has gone virtual, visits with Santa are via Zoom and Skype , and Children’s Wonderland, which has been a tradition ALL 40 years of my life, has for the first time ever been canceled. And I get it, COVID. Our numbers are up and we don’t want to do anything that might spread the virus and harm others. But what if this is your last “magical” Christmas? I know what you’re thinking, aren’t they all “magical”? Sure. But, as parents, let’s be honest, there is something extra special when you have a child that still believes in the magic of it all, elves, Santa, St. Nicholas, etc. And that’s precisely where I am. I have my very last child, my youngest, she’s 10 years old, and we all know what that means, this is our last year of celebrating the “magic” of Christmas.  And while COVID took my oldest two kiddos goodbyes from a school they were at for 7 & 9 years and has robbed them of the joys that comes with in-person orientations, first days, making friends, etc. at their Junior High and High School, (and let me tell you, they have been AMAZING sports being home since MARCH),  I refuse to let COVID ROB MY FAMILY, MY KIDS, OF ONE MORE MEMORY THAT THEY WOULD/SHOULD TREASURE FOR A LIFETIME. This will be the last Christmas we have a child in our house that believes in the “magic” of Christmas. And that same child just expressed that she wished to have “technology free” days during the weekend. Apparently between remote schooling and virtual lessons, gaming and chatting with friends she’s exhausted. She requested that we please do something that requires us to leave these four walls and actually go somewhere, to do something REAL. SCARY, right?!

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Creating A More Practical Family Home- Inspiration For A ‘New Normal’ Makeover

The world has been turned upside down in 2020, and many of us are adjusting to a ‘new normal.’ Staying at home has replaced days out and nights on the town, and dining room tables and spare bedrooms have become offices and call centers. If the lockdown has left you wondering if it’s possible to make changes to your home to make life easier, here are some ideas for a makeover to create a more practical, functional base. 

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4 Creative Ways to Spend the Holidays with Family in 2020


The holidays are almost here, and they could not have come soon enough! Since 2020 has been a very interesting year, many of us are looking for new ways to celebrate together. No matter if your family is spread across the country or just up the street, the logistics of the holidays can be a nightmare. That’s why it’s great to think out of the box and generate some new solutions. Here are some creative ways to spend your holidays in 2020 and beyond.

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