How to Have a Fun Family Night in the Kids Will Love

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

As the holiday season approaches, it can be hard to find time to truly focus on being home with your family. This week we’re welcoming Melissa from Melissa Takes Fashion to show us how to create a fun family night in with games, snacks and – of course – the perfect home necessities.

As a working, stay-at-home mom, I try my best to strike a decent work-life balance. That’s why I feel extra lucky to have a local store like Meijer that has everything I need (and more) under one roof. Especially during this busy time of year, redirecting any time saved “adulting” into quality family fun time is what’s most important to me.

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Every holiday season, we like to set a few new traditions, as well as carry on old favorites. High on the kids’ list of oldies-but-goodies includes visiting Santa, riding the Polar Express train and spotting that cheeky Elf. New to our traditions this year is Family Night In.

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We spend so much time running from one party or event to another that we just needed an excuse to slow down. (Of course, we use the term ‘Family Night In’ loosely – with three young kids, it begins around 4pm, which basically makes it senior citizen night!).

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Our Family Night In consisted of board games and movies. Oh, and lots of yummy snacks. But you won’t find me turning frozen chicken nuggets into chicken nugget rainbows or sourdough pretzel nibblers into fancy Christmas pretzel snacks. I’m no Pinterest mom, so I don’t spend a lot of effort on the frills trying to make my food look picture perfect. Just toss it all into a pretty serving bowl and call it a day! Seeing my kids play, laugh, fight together – these are the IRL moments that I live for.

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Here are 5 other easy ideas for a fun Family Night In:

1. Arts and crafts. Bet you didn’t know all the silly things your kids can make with a basic paper plate.

2. Family photos. Take turns snapping silly photos of each other. Then print out your favorites and hang ‘em up.

3. Scavenger hunt. Make a list of obscure things for your kids to find around the house.

4. Write a story. Start with one sentence, then let your little one tell the next sentence. Keep this up until you have a short story with a beginning, middle and end.

5. With the rising popularity of adult coloring books, parents can get in on this classic childhood activity. Sit around the dining table, color together and let the conversation flow.

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We stocked up on everything we needed from Meijer for a successful Family Night In. I got an assortment of the kids’ fave snacks and drinks, comfy clothes for everyone, Pie Face Showdown the game, and Finding Dory the movie – and best of all, I was in and out in under an hour! Next time you go to your local Meijer, keep these tips close at hand and don’t forget to check out the fish tanks. My kids love watching the fish!

What are some of your family’s favorite holiday traditions? Do you prefer to stay in, and if so, how do you make staying at home fun for everyone?

Melissa is the fashionista behind Melissa Takes Fashion, a blog full of lovely style, beauty and family tips. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

5 Ways to Relax During the Holiday Season

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Between family get-togethers, shopping for gifts and maintaining your daily routine, we all know that the holiday season isn’t completely stress-free. While it’s always important to make time for yourself to relax and unwind, it’s especially crucial to do so during this busy time of year. So if you’re in need of a little TLC, here are a few easy (and affordable!) ways to de-stress this season.

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1. Swap your usual body wash + lotion combo for a nature-inspired scent, like Bodycology’s cherry blossom or Calgon’s Hawaiian ginger. The aromas are understated, yet crisp and fresh, so you’ll feel totally reinvigorated when you step out of the shower.

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2. Take a long, warm bath before you hit the hay, adding lavender-scented Epsom salt for an extra-soothing effect. Use a body scrub to exfoliate your skin while you soak, then apply Dr. Teal’s lavender body lotion after you towel off to keep your skin hydrated. If your skin is scorched from the brisk winter air, apply body oil instead of lotion – it’s a more concentrated form of hydration to soothe extra dry skin.

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3. Give yourself a DIY facial. Prep your skin with your usual cleanser before applying a brightening clay mask. Try the Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Treatment Mask from L’Oréal to revive dull skin, or opt for an exfoliating charcoal mask to remove dead skin cells. Let the mask sit for 10-15 minutes, and then remove it with warm water using circular motions. Finish with a fragrance-free face moisturizer, and you’ll look like you have your holiday list handled.

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4. If your hair appears dry and brittle from the cold, use a mask like Garnier Whole Blends to revitalize your strands. After washing your hair with your go-to shampoo, apply a generous amount of the treatment to your locks. Make sure you cover your hair from root to end, then let the mask work its magic by leaving it on for three minutes. The rich repairing treatment strengthens hair and helps prevent split ends and breakage, making it even easier to style for those upcoming holiday parties.

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5. Finally, light a few candles, get lost in your favorite book and treat yourself to some dark chocolate and a warm cup of herbal tea. The hot drink will be a welcome break from the brisk, chilly air, and the candle’s sounds and aromas will soothe your stress away.

With these simple tips, it’s never been easier to stay relaxed throughout the holiday season!