About Lesley Bolton

Posts by Lesley Bolton:

Awesome Apps for Moms

I love lists. I love folders. I love planners. These things make me feel successful in life. Unfortunately, they don’t always come together as easily and consistently as I’d like, and I’ve found that a lot of my old systems of doing daily business aren’t as efficient as I once thought. (You should see Ali roll her eyes when I talk about my system of bill paying and cross-checking.) As I recently made a major life change in order to spend more time with my daughter, it feels foolish to continue to spend inordinate amounts of time with paper when I could simply join the twenty-first century and use my smartphone. I’ve done my research, and I have to admit that I became more than excited when I discovered what is possible at my fingertips. I hope you find some gems in here that will free you up to spend more time enjoying the things and people you love. Without further ado, here come the apps!

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Home for the Holidays

It is so easy and wonderful to get caught up in the chaos of Christmas. So many presents to give, so many places to go, so many foods to eat, so many lights to see. I love this holiday on my own, but Story’s excitement in going to my parents’ house and spending time with her grandparents and aunts is contagious. As a child, the wonder of Christmas could sustain me for weeks, long after the decorations came down and the candy was gone. Now, as an adult, the aftermath is an immediate letdown. The decorations come down, the pine needles are vacuumed up, and work and regular life take over again.

It is two days after Christmas, and this morning, I had already begun to create the post-holiday to-do list in my mind. We had one more get-together to attend, and then, as much as I hated it, I had to seriously think about getting back to work. My dad’s family doesn’t gather often, usually only once a year, if schedules allow. This year, we met for dinner and good conversation. It’s always nice to see them. We aren’t what you would call close, but we all genuinely like each other and are interested in each other’s lives, so it is always a pleasant experience.

This year was different.

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Paper Plate Angels

Whether your kids are home for winter break and you’re desperate for an activity or you think your home just isn’t quite Christmasy enough, this craft is for you! Fair warning: this craft includes glitter, so it can get rather messy. I like to put a large piece of paper under the craft so that when (not if) all that glitter scatters, it lands on the paper. After all is done, pick up two edges of the paper, making a little trough, and pour the glitter back into the bottle. Less mess and no waste!

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The Year We Had an Elf

by Elizabeth Stasny

These days almost everyone with young children knows about The Elf on the Shelf, but in 2008 when my younger daughter, Margaret, was nine years old and in fourth grade, elves were a fairly new phenomenon. Margaret came home from school one day in early November all excited – her friend Emma had an elf that was staying with her until Christmas and Kate was asking for one too. Could she please, please, please ask Santa to let an elf stay with her until Christmas?

The year we had an elf 1What? I’d never heard of such a thing. I emailed Emma’s mother asking what all this business about elves was. I didn’t like what I heard. You sent away for a little stuffed toy elf (for an outrageous amount of money, plus shipping and handling), the elf stayed a toy during the day while everyone was awake but came alive at night and did mischievous things around the house. Some suggestions were that the elf would watch DVDs, which he would leave around on the floor along with spilled popcorn that he had popped. Or he might go “fishing” for goldfish crackers in the sink, again making a mess. At that moment I was not all that happy with Emma’s mother for getting an elf for Emma. I didn’t have time to clean up messes around an elf-free house; I certainly didn’t have time to make and then clean up messes from a Christmas elf!

But it was hard to resist Margaret’s begging, and her written plea to Santa:

Dear Santa,
May I please have an Elf? I would really like one!
Lots of Love,
Margaret
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