Holiday Survival Guide: How to Survive the Chaos

Holiday survival guide #christmasselfcare #theholidays #christmas #christmastips #holidaytips


Many people look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, not only for the delicious meals that are prepared but the togetherness that it brings for families.

Most of us love to come together during this time of year but it can also cause A LOT of stress.

Unfortunately, some need a little help surviving the tantrums and situations that sometimes come along with the holidays.

You may think I am just talking about the children’s tantrums but depending on the family, there may be some adults having tantrums as well.

Read on to find out how to cope:

Holiday Survival Guide: How to Survive the Chaos

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Holiday survival guide #christmasselfcare #theholidays #christmas #christmastips #holidaytips



  • One of the best things about having a survival guide is that you can plan ahead. Have all the details ready including the seating when it’s time to eat, maybe make a seating arrangement just in case. Have guest rooms set up in case you have a guest stay overnight or even a place to let the little one’s nap.


  • Determine your ground rules before the day of your gathering. This could be topics that could lead to heated discussions, politics or even sports. We all know there are some families who have that sports rivalry. To make things less stressful for you, ask your guests to bring a dish. Some can bring foods, drinks, desserts, and even disposable plates, forks, napkins, cups, knives, spoons, etc. that help you with the cleanup time after everyone has finished eating.


Holiday survival guide #christmasselfcare #theholidays #christmas #christmastips #holidaytips


  • Have plenty of finger foods, fruits and veggies available while the meal is being prepared or everything is being set up. This will help keep the kids and even the adults out from under your feet. If you have children of different ages have plenty of activities for them. Whether it is playing games outside like tag, hide and go seek, football, or inside activities like watching another TV in a quiet room, playing games, or coloring. If there is an older child (tween/teen) to help watch over the little ones is a great idea, so that you can play host and get everything in the kitchen ready.


  • Every family has people who don’t get along, children who misbehave or something that may go wrong. Try to remember the reason you are gathered and that you had the opportunity to spend time with your family no matter the circumstances and then you can recuperate until the next holiday.


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5 Tips to Help You Get Game Day Ready

I received free product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Everybody’s working for the weekend, as we all know from the classic 80’s song. This week, we are all working on containing our excitement for the big SEC College game this weekend! As a UGA family, we take our games pretty seriously and this one will be no exception! There are the friendly rivalries to engage in, the party with our friends and family, of course, the food! It is easy to see why we are really excited about the game!

This year I have a strategy to score a touchdown on game day with an awesome spread of food, cute decorations and a welcoming environment for our guests! Making the festivities stress free ensures that the atmosphere will be relaxed and ready for fun when everyone arrives. I know you are going to want to use these tips for your next football party!

1) Less is More

Keep decorations simple. The game and the food are going to steal the show, so adding a few balloons, or foam footballs to the area is usually more than adequate. If the kids want to help, have them cut football shapes from cardboard and paint them, for a handmade addition to the scene, or purchase game day ready decor.

2) Games On

Having a few game options planned can keep your guests entertained, even if they aren’t glued to the game. Some of our favorites include Commercial Bingo, Football Hot Potato, and the end zone dance contest. When planning games look for printable free options that require no setup and no special parts for a stress-free entertainment option.

3) Keep it Clean

When it comes to the food, take the easy option and stock up on paper plates & napkins. Line your crock pot with a slow cooker bag for easy cleanup. You don’t need to spend all night cleaning up after the party with a few easy preparations. Keeping trash receptacles handy makes for an easier after party clean up too!

4) Assistance is Appreciated

If you have a sweet guest that offers to help, by all means, let them help! Many hands make light work, and you will have more time to spend with your guests if you have someone to help serve and clean up during the festivities!

Hormel Party Platter

5) Focus on Finger Foods

The Hard Salami, Pepperoni and Cheese Tray from Hormel is a great option for feeding a crowd without making a mess. These trays are great for gatherings. They are easy to find at Walmart, contain a generous amount of food and are made with high-quality meats and cheeses. These are perfect for football gatherings or holiday parties.

Hormel Gatherings Party Platter

This year as you are planning your parties and gatherings for football season or the holidays, Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are a convenient option that your guests will love to munch on. These trays take some of the work out of hosting without sacrificing great taste or quality of the snacks you offer.

If you have a great tip to make the game day gathering stress-free, please leave a comment and share it with me!

​‌Disclosure: Life of a Southern Mom received the above-mentioned products and/or compensation in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small compensation fee in you make a purchase after clicking on the link at no additional cost to you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No More Dirty Dishes with the Bosch AutoAir™ 500 Series Dishwasher

Southern Carolina Family has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for freeAll thoughts and opinions are my own.

As the kids get older, some parts of life have gotten easier. The night time calls for mom are rare, the messes seem less severe and they can dress and groom themselves. But, the one area that hasn’t gotten any easier would be our dish situation.

Three growing boys can create a massive amount of dirty dishes in a matter of moments. Keeping up with their hunger and the aftermath has had me dreaming of a new dishwasher. My eye sparkles at the sight of the Bosch AutoAir™ Bosch 500 Series dishwasher when I am shopping at Best Buy. 

No More Dirty Dishes

I love that the Bosch AutoAir™ automatically opens the door at the end of the drying cycle to let moisture escape and fresh air circulate for better drying results. *Compared to Bosch Dishwashers with PureDry. It has a quiet operation and a roomy interior which can hold up to 16 place settings. That is just the right size for a family who has always hungry kids, or that loves to entertain. 

Back to School with Bosch

While the kids are just getting back to school, the mom in me recognizes that cold and flu season lurks right around the corner. A big selling point in the Bosch 500 series Auto Air is that this dishwasher has a Sanitize Option that reduces 99.9% of bacteria with a hot-wash rinse for sparkling clean and sanitized dishes. How helpful is that in keeping your family healthy year-round?

If you are looking for a new dishwasher, the Bosch Auto Air is the one to look at; it has a flexible third rack and the capabilities to customize how the racks fit in the dishwasher for a one of a kind clean, every time.

Next time you are in Best Buy be sure to check out the appliance section with the new Bosch Auto Air dishwasher. It has made my life in the kitchen a lot less stressful.

**Compared to Bosch Dishwashers with PureDry.**

Disclosure: Southern Carolina Family has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

5 Decorating Tips For A Boy’s Bedroom

decorating ideas boys room

It’s not easy to come up with ideas for a boy’s bedroom when you know nothing about decorating. Start by taking a step back and considering the person who’ll be using the bedroom. Take into account their interests and hobbies, as well as their sense of style.

Think about what normally goes into a bedroom setting, and then start brainstorming what it might look like for your son. There’ll be items you’ll need to compromise on, but that’s normal. Take one element at a time and work your way around the room until you visualize the area as a whole. Use your instincts, but also consider what your son wants to be implemented into their bedroom – after all, it’s their personal space.


You know the staples you’ll have to get for a bedroom, but you’ll also need to decide if there are extras you want to add. For example, a bookshelf is a nice addition to your standard set of furniture. Decide if you’ll use wood or some other material for the bedroom set. Remember to measure and see what fits before you make a purchase. Ask your son what he prefers and come to a decision together.


Have your son pick out his own bedding. You want him to be happy with the colors and patterns that he chooses. There are many options out there, so he’ll have no issue picking out a design that fits his personality. Help him consider the look of the entire room as he’s reviewing and narrowing it down.


Since it’s a boy’s room, you’ll probably want to take his gender into consideration and go with a safe color scheme. Get creative with paint and add patterns or texture to the walls to enhance the look of the room. To keep the room bright, you’ll probably want to opt for a lighter color of the carpet. Make sure each piece you pick, flows with the overall color scheme to keep it looking cohesive.

Personalize & Accessorize

You need to give your son space to show his personality through his bedroom. Let him partake in the decorating, but help him to keep it tasteful. Create a mini art gallery with his favorite artists, or his preferred paintings. Let him hang items on the wall that speak to him. Include books on the bookshelf that he enjoys reading and maybe add a desk where he can sit and do his work. Give him space to make the room his own.


Whatever you do, have lighting options. It’s ideal if there’s natural light that pours in during the day. Use lights on the ceiling and try to get them on a dimmer switch. You have several choices including track lighting, recessed lighting, and a singular fixture. You’ll also want to add lamps for nighttime and reading.


Don’t panic if you’re tasked with decorating your son’s bedroom. Start with what you know and build the rest based on his personal interests and taste. These are decorating tips for a boy’s bedroom. After you tackle the decorating aspect, be sure to check out ways to keep your house clean with boys!

House Cleaning – How to Involve Your Children

How to Involve Your Children

Maybe you want to teach your kids how to be responsible or you think about showing them that they should clean after themselves. No matter the case, it is very important to do this from a young age.

Children have the tendency to leave pure chaos when they’re playing or just doing day to day activities, especially if you have three of them. The important thing is to teach them how to help you when you’re cleaning because you can turn this activity into a real game if you read the following tips and tricks.

Explain the Meaning Behind it

For instance, if they will understand that helping you clean the house is similar to playing a game, you will see how easily they can get into it. If you’re portraying it as a game of true responsibility, they will easily understand that cleaning the house really has a true importance and you will soon see some changes in their behavior.

Make a Schedule

It is very important to make a list and show your children what they have to do. Moreover, a great tip is to break the chores into much simpler tasks. For instance, you can try to make smaller tasks that will end up in one big responsibility – instead of telling your children to clean their room, you can tell them to make only the bed and after that tell them the next task they should do.

Furthermore, you can tell them that every Monday morning they have to clean the table after the entire family had breakfast. If you have more kids, like I do, you can assign each child a specific day when they have to do something, so they will all feel involved.

child helping with laundry

Get Them Involved

The key to success while making your children help you clean is to get them involved. To the fullest extent. How? you might wonder. Well, it’s not as difficult as you may imagine. From letting them pick their favorite bed covers, to choosing a cleaning product, it will mean something to them and will motivate them even more.

Tip: Use a cleaner that is safe for children and make sure they are always safe as well. Let them choose the cleaner, especially the scent because it might be an important detail that your kid can notice and develop an interest in.

Make Them Responsible

What are their most used objects? I would assume that they have a lot of toys that are used on a daily basis. Sometimes, they can get dirty and messy, being thrown all over the place. You can let them clean their toys, using different ways. There are multiple options they can use.

For example, an antibacterial soap can be a great solution. Just fill the sink with a little bit of warm water and let them wash the toys as good as they can. After that, tell them to let them dry on a towel. After they’re finished, ask them to put the toys back where they belong (in the box, on the shelf etc.).

Using this method will only make your children more responsible with their own goods and in the future, they will be more careful with them, so it won’t be necessary to wash, dry and organize the toys as often.

child playing a game while cleaning

Make It Fun

If your little kids will think that it is all a fun game, they will be more prone to do all the chores they need. For example, let’s say that you want them to clean their room. Apart from breaking this task into little ones, such as: rearrange their toys, wipe the dust off etc., you can use some other methods that will definitely keep them entertained.

If they have to clean their room, don’t let them do it for the entire day, because they might lose interest and waste that time, instead of using it productively. Let’s say it should take them about one to two hours to get this done – set a timer for each task and present it like a little fun “how fast can you be” type of game.

Making their bed should take five minutes, so you can tell your children “Do you consider yourself fast and strong? Can you do your bed in five minutes?” If the answer is “yes” as it should be (because kids love little challenges) you should start a timer and say “Ready, set and go!”

This way, you will only teach them to be more responsible and also make it seem like a fun little game. Every task should be presented to your children like a combination of fun and real responsibility – so that you’ll make sure they understand the real message behind every action.

Give Them Little “Prizes”

You can come up with cute ideas that can reward your little ones. If you know they really like a specific type of sweet, hide it in their room or in the place they’re supposed to be cleaning.

Another great way to motivate them is to hide a few coins around the room and don’t say anything about it. When they will find them after they’ve done their chores rigorously, act surprised so that they will feel rewarded without actually knowing that you’ve put the money there. This way, the next time they will be cleaning they will be motivated. It is important to tell them that they will not always be rewarded, and they shouldn’t do it only for receiving goods, but for the “good” feeling they will get after.


There are a lot of ways you can determine your children to be more responsible and to enjoy helping you clean the house. The ones I’ve mentioned above are just a few methods, but you can be as creative as you possibly can.

It’s is of high importance to tell your children that cleaning and being responsible for their own goods, such as toys and other objects, is really important. This way of seeing things will determine them to grow up as responsible adults and they will know the worth of every chore or task they need to get done.


About the Author

Anita Edwards is a professional writer and editor. She works as blog editor at Spekless, where she sharesher own and her colleagues’ tips for cleaning. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and going on day trips with her children.

How to Keep a Clean House with Boys

How to Keep a Clean House with Boys

How important is it to keep the house clean at all times?

Well, for me having 3 boys running and playing around the house, I find it hard to maintain a tidy environment. I can’t spend my entire day cleaning up after my boys; it would never end. I am sure each of us grew up in houses that had a certain level of clutter, mess, and organization. Constant clutter, though, can be overwhelming. So I teach my boys how to lessen the mess and clean up when needed.

How to Play

The first thing to consider is establishing “appropriate time to play” with your kids. You have to have an agreement among your kids for when is the best time for them to play and mess around the house. It is also important to establish playtime rules. Teach your children to take out one toy collection at a time. Before they move on to their next playful endeavor they need to put the previous items away. This also helps lessen fighting between my boys and controls the amount of discipline I have to do.

Less is More

Teach them that they don’t need to have huge piles of stuff to be happy. They can’t possibly play with everything, anyway — there aren’t enough hours in the day. With less stuff, they can find things more easily, they can see what there is to play with, and they can own better quality stuff.

Giving them room to Breath

Work with your children, not against them. Make them feel that they have the freedom to do whatever they want to do inside the house for a certain period of time. Let them play till they bore themselves out.

Teaching Responsibility

Teach your children to take out one toy collection at a time. Before they move on to their next playful endeavor they need to put the previous items away. Create a simple system using labels, so kids know how to easily fulfill your “put this away” request. And right after that, tell your kids the importance of having a clean and tidy home. Make them clean their own mess.

I know having kids clean isn’t always “helpful”. In fact, I know a few good friends who feel the need to re-clean after the kids have done a chore. Here’s the thing: don’t just let your child “play clean,” get down and teach them how to properly accomplish the task. Though it can be challenging to keep things clean, neat, and orderly when you’ve got young children at home, it’s not impossible. In fact, the secret is to make your kids part of the solution, rather than the problem.

My kids actually enjoy helping to do the chores. You can make it fun, interactive, and “game-like”. You could set a timer and see how quickly they can accomplish a task. Remember to give praise when they do a good job, too!

What are your tricks to home for keeping a clean house? Do you get your kids involved? We want to know your thoughts!

P.S. Read about what life is like with no girls in my house!

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 How to keep a Clean House with Boys
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