Family Movie Night, A New Family Tradition

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

There is something wonderful about sharing an experience together as a family.  The dinner table has always been the center of family life, serving as a place to touch base with what is going on with each member of the family.  A place to learn the values that define us, how to act in social environments, how to contribute through work, support, and love.

Recently, our family has begun a new tradition that I love.  Every Saturday night, after dinner we all gather into the family room and watch a movie together.  All of us, the young, old, and older, sharing an experience together in the same mental and physical space.  It has become a way to become connected through sharing movies that have touched us in some way.  The most amazing part of it is has been how much the kids look forward to this.  Also, if one person is missing, the kids insist that we wait for them or reschedule on a night that everyone is home.

Making family movie night happen is pretty simple.  There are several easy, inexpensive ways to access movies and you can choose the one that best fits your situation.  I look at it as a balance between convenience and cost. 

If you have the discipline to return movies on time you might want to try Red Box.  They have locations in many places that you might go on a regular basis, like grocery stores, and the cost is $1 a day.  If you sign up for email notifications at they will send you a code for a free rental on the 1st Monday of each month and other occasional free rentals good for a certain day only.  I understand that up can order movies on-line to be available for pick up at a particular location as well. 

If getting the videos back is more of a challenge for you may want to try Netflix.  They have several different plans that range from having 2 videos at a time mailed to you to having access to an unlimited number of streaming videos to view on your TV, (but you must have a device that allows this).  Their plans start at $7.99 a month. 

If planning is your major challenge you may want to try pay for view.  These are generally higher in price, somewhere around $4.99 each but you do not have to order anything in advance and you don’t have to have a special device, and you don’t have to return anything.  You just select and enjoy. 

Family movie night is our families’ newest tradition.  What is your family’s favorite tradition?


The Gift You’ll Love To Give

What is better than a gift that you enjoy giving as much as others love receiving it?  Well, if you love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with making something that is just as wonderful as what you might buy at an expensive spa then read on.  This is a project that also creates a great opportunity to share a magical “quality time” experience with your kids or grandkids. 

There are many spa recipes available for things such as foaming bath salts, sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, even lip gloss, made with easily found ingredients.  What makes these projects so special?  Well, they create an affordable luxury that is a very personal gift that can be tailored to the preferences of the receiver.  It is an experience that children, especially teenaged girls,  love to take part in and best of all you have control of what goes into it. If  you have you ever tried to  read the label on bath products out loud you know what I mean. 

I would like to share a very simple recipe that I made recently for a friend who was suffering from a cold.  I modified a recipe found in First for Women Magazine  February 21, 2011 issue  inspired by a product offered by the famous Bliss Spa called Bliss Spa’s self-warming Hot Salt Scrub.   They chose ingredients for this based on their restorative properties.   Eucalyptus essential  oil, which contains cineol and camphor, and rosemary essential oil, which also contains camphor, are selected to help clear mucus.  These essential oils also have antiseptic properties helpful in killing bacteria.  In addition, they have the properties of increasing circulation and creating warmth.  This opens the pores allowing antioxidants in the grapeseed oil to be absorbed easily by the skin.  This scrub is great for use in the shower however, I try not to use it near my feet as the oil can make the shower a bit slippery.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of  coarse kosher salt, 1 cup grapeseed oil, and 10 drops each of rosemary essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil.  Mix together and place in a resealable jar.  Personally, I use less oil about a 1/2 cup oil rather than a full cup.  To create a luxurious gift package  finish  the jar with a whimsical or elegant ribbon.

As always, take precautions when working with essential oils and closely supervise children to prevent accidental injuries.

To use, rub the scrub on chest area  and arms (on dry skin).  Breathe in the vapors.  When the shower is steamy, get in and rinse off.  Carefully, step out and dry skin briskly with a soft towel.

This is fun to create and fun to give and will definitely help you stretch your gift giving budget.  It is a great idea for a family project.  You could even invite a few of your favorite friends over for an evening of fun.  Have everyone bring a resealable container and a couple of yards of ribbon to mix and match.  You supply the ingredients and the recipe.  At the end of the evening everyone will leave with fun memories and a fabulous spa treatment to enjoy.


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