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Eco-Friendly Ways to Decorate Your Dining Room for the Holidays

Eco-Friendly Ways to Decorate Your Dining Room for the Holidays

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: Thank you supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.

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The holidays are right around the corner! I have already been teasing Mr. Sweet Greens that I am ready to get out the Halloween decorations. He just rolls his eyes at me. Ha! I can’t help it, as soon as September hits all I can think about is Halloween and pumpkin spiced everything! I can’t wait to get out those giant reusable bins full of decorations. And don’t even get me started on Christmas and Hanukkah. Bring it on!

We have quite a few Halloween decorations for all areas of our home, but one of my favorite spaces to decorate is our dining room. We have a large dining table, chandelier and windows that I always deck out! For Halloween, the chandelier it is covered in cobwebs, Spanish moss, a black crow or two and a bunch of little spiders. For the winter holidays, I hang large round ornaments and candy canes from ribbon in the windows. Am, I putting you in the holiday mood? Here are some of my favorite ways to decorate my dining room table, chandelier, and windows for the holidays.

The Dining Table
During the “regular” months of the year, our dining table centerpiece consists of a large silver bowl that is overflowing with card games. It makes it really easy to start up an impromptu game of Old Maid or UNO right after dinner. And any extra time that I can sneak with Eben is okay with me! During Halloween that bowl gets filled up with our small Halloween themed games (one of my favorites is Spot It Halloween) and books. It’s a fun reminder to take some time after school to heat up a mug of spiced apple cider to play a game or read together. When Eben was younger, Mr. Sweet Greens would read us spooky stories in the dark. Now, we read our own spooky books together by candlelight. So fun!

During the winter holiday months, I fill the bowl up with Christmas and Hanukkah themed books and our huge collection of dreidels. In case you didn’t know, Dreidel is a favorite for anyone who celebrates Hanuakkah. It’s basically a game of chance played by spinning a top. It is a wonderful game night activity for the entire family and one that you should definitely add to your activity calendar for December.

The Chandelier
Decorating our chandelier is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. By decorating it, you can completely change the feel of the room itself, which is a plus for holidays!

For Halloween, you can decorate it with cobwebs, paper bats, hanging ghosts, or any other combinations of fun pieces to spookify your dining room!

For the winter holidays, by hanging some pine branches and cones off it, your guests will instantly feel the room is Christmassy and you get that amazing pine scent too.

You really can’t go wrong decorating your chandelier for the holidays, it is fun for everyone!  And it looks really amazing when you invite friends and family over for Hanukkah dinner or Christmas brunch!

The Windows
Decorating the windows in our living is one of my favorite traditions. It is something that my family can enjoy from inside our home and it’s a fun treat for our neighbors outside too! I try to mix it up every year so that we have something fun and new to enjoy. It’s fun to get creative and try a lot of different ideas.

For Halloween, I have decorated with everything from homemade spooky silhouettes to pumpkin, bat and ghost cut-outs. When Eben was younger this was a particularly fun activity to do with him. Most younger kids love to draw and cut out pictures – having them hung on the dining room windows is just the icing on the cake.

For the winter holidays, I love to hang small wreaths tied with ribbon from the middle of each curtain rod. Other options that are super fun are large ornaments, pine cones or even stars or snowflakes. Anything that can be strung with ribbon is perfect for this project!

You can decorate your dining room table, chandelier, and windows for any holiday and it can be a tremendous amount of fun to plan with the kids. Just gather up some supplies, and spend a fantastic afternoon crafting decorations together. Seriously, Eben and I decorate ours together for every holiday, it’s a super fun tradition!

The bottom line is, when it comes to decorating for the holidays, you don’t have to spend any money, just gather up a few supplies that you already have on hand and just have a good time! Because, after all, that is the whole point! Have fun!

Eco-Friendly Family Activity: Board Game Night

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Now that it is back to school time we have very little time to hang out as a family. Even on nights when we’re all at home, there’s always something to contend with; be it extracurricular activities, social lives, homework, or my own business being, well, busy! To combat this and get some quality family time in each week, we spend Wednesday nights having a family board game night.

While the classics are always good, (we have a big bowl on our dining room table full of small games!) there is such a variety of fun and interesting new games available these days! Today I’d like to tell you about the four games that we have been playing quite regularly, recently. All of them are produced by Blue Orange Games, a fantastic board game company with a focus on being environmentally friendly and sustainable.

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Dr. Eureka: This is definitely my new favorite game! A fast-paced game that makes you feel like a mad scientist, it can be a real brainteaser. The goal is to match the position of colored balls in a test tube, based on your “scientific formula” card. Up to 4 people can play at a time, and a typical game only takes about 15 minutes, so it leaves plenty of time for rematches or other activities. I really love Dr. Eureka, probably because I am the best at it in my family and I win every time! Ha!

Fast Flip: A really fun speed and matching game, this one features a veritable fruit salad of adorable, healthy foods. You have to match numbers and fruits together depending on what comes up with your cards and tokens, and is small and portable. It’s great for bringing along on family vacations, and is perfect if friends come over because it can be played by anywhere between 2 and 8 players.

Gigamons: No, this has nothing to do with the Pokemon Go craze! It’s a board game where the earth’s elements are represented by creatures with mythical powers. In this tile matching game, you earn powers from the various elemental creatures that help you with gameplay. A great memory booster, this game is also suitable for even younger players, so if you have a young child in the house, it would be a great choice.

Top That!: This fun little matching and stacking game is great for any kids who enjoy magic tricks. With problem solving elements, and a focus on being quick and perceptive, it is a fun, fast-paced game great for all ages. My family had a fun time playing it, and the little rabbit coming out of the top hats is so cute!

The games we’ve enjoyed playing at recent board game nights are all the better for being eco-friendly. The games themselves are quick to learn (great for parties!) and work on important skills like memory, coordination, critical thinking, and visual perception. The components are manufactured from nice, sturdy materials and obviously made to last (these will be passed down for generations to come). Best of all, Blue Orange Games is committed to planting two trees for each one used to create their wooden game pieces! They’ve won over 200 awards for game design, so you really can’t go wrong. I can whole-heartedly recommend checking out their catalog of games for yourself, and maybe starting a new weekly tradition with your family.

 

All opinions are my own – we are just huge fans of Blue Orange Games! 

3 Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers from Blue Orange Games

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Every year when doing my holiday shopping, board and card games are always at the top of my list. Even as Eben gets older, I have found that playing a round of cards or a quick board game with him after dinner is a great way to bond. This year, I headed straight to my favorite eco-friendly game shop to stock up! Blue Orange is my favorite because all of their games are super well made with heavy-duty pieces that will not fall apart. These are games that you will pass down from generation to generation. They are come packed in fantastic tins which is perfect for keeping all of those pieces together. Blue Orange Games also respects the environment and understands the need to work towards the preservation of our planet. Here is a peak at some of the games that Eben will be receiving this year from Blue Orange Games.

BraveRats
This game has it all! Everyone loves a great game of War – this version included an epic battle between rivaling rat clans. Both players have a hand of eight cards, numbered 0 to 7, with each character on the card possessing a special power. In a calculated duel, both players reveal a card. The victory goes to the higher number, unless the special power overrules. The first player to win four rounds claims the kingdom for their clan. This minimalist wonder plays in just minutes but packs rich game play and plenty of suspense.

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Niya
Eben is obsessed with everything Japan, so Niya should be right up his alley. On each turn, players replace a garden tile with one of their clan tokens. The next player can only exchange a token for a garden tile that has an element in common with the previously chosen tile. The first to position their clan in a row, square, or blockade will win control of the garden…and power at court! A simple yet sophisticated abstract strategy game, Niya captivates players young and old.

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Spot It! Holidays
What stocking would be complete with out a Spot It! game? This year we will be playing Spot It! Holidays while hanging out as a family. This is a quick fun game that you can leave on the dining room table for a fun after dinner duel. It comes packed in a great tin that makes clean up a breeze. I can barely wait!

What is your favorite family game?

 

Full Disclosure: I partnered with Blue Orange Games to share some of their amazing games. However, we already own a lot of Blue Orange Games and I buy them as gifts, so I would have shared them with you anyway! Thank you for supporting these fantastic eco-friendly companies.

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