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Deborah Cruz

10 Ingenious Ways to Remember to Move the Elf on the Shelf

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Elf on the Shelf — those pint-sized North Pole spies who lurk around every corner and keep tabs on who’s been naughty or nice. As parents, keeping up with the nightly adventures of these mischievous little Santa’s henchmen can be a challenge worthy of Santa’s workshop. Fear not! Here are 10 ingenious ways to remember to move the Elf on the Shelf and

10 Ingenious Ways to Remember to Move the Elf on the Shelf

1. The Sticky Note Sleigh Ride

Cover your fridge with sticky notes, each suggesting a new escapade for the elf. It’s like a daily dose of elfin inspiration every time you reach for the milk. But maybe do it in code, if the kids are old enough to read. 

2. The Elf Command Center

Set up a “Command Center” in your kitchen with a tiny computer, a mini mug of cocoa, and a sign that reads, “Elf HQ.” Your kids will believe the elf is planning nightly escapades from this North Pole nerve center.

3. Texts from the Elf

Get your kids excited with daily texts from the elf. Use a free texting app and send messages like, “Guess where I’ll be hiding tonight?” or “Ready for some North Pole magic?” This will get them excited its the perfect way to remember to move the elf on the shelf.

4. Elf in the Freezer

Ever heard of a frozen elf? Place your elf in the freezer overnight, and tell the kids he’s chilling to combat the North Pole heat. A frosty surprise awaits them in the morning! Hell, if you need to, leave him there for a couple days. 

5. Elfie Selfies

Arm your elf with a mini camera and create a tiny photo album of his nightly adventures. Your kids will love flipping through Elfie’s scrapbook each morning.

6. Elf Express Mail

“Mail” tiny letters from the elf to your kids, recounting his nightly adventures. This mini post office ensures the magic keeps flowing, one letter at a time.

7. Elf Elevator

Create a makeshift elf elevator using a small basket and some twine. Your kids will wonder how the elf managed to travel between floors!

8. Elf on a Shelf BFF

Introduce a mini plush toy as your elf’s BFF. Your kids will be curious about the new arrival, and you can take turns moving both characters around.

9. Elf Trail Mix

Create a trail mix with tiny elf-sized treats like cereal, raisins, and mini marshmallows. Sprinkle the mix in a creative path leading to the elf’s new hiding spot.

10. Elf’s Got Talent

Set up a mini stage complete with a judging panel of tiny toys. Your kids will wake up to discover their elf showing off hidden talents each night.

With these ways to remember to move the elf on the shelf, you are sure to not forget. Remember, the key to a successful Elf on the Shelf escapade is creativity and consistency. With these ingenious ideas up your festive sleeves, you’ll turn the nightly ritual into a family tradition filled with giggles and wide-eyed wonder and also, remind yourself to help relocate those  Let the elfin magic continue!

If you enjoyed this post, found it entertaining or learned something helpful, please like, comment and follow! Happy holidays! XOXO

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Christmas in Connecticut's Elizabeth Lane: The Original Influencer

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Ah, the holiday season — a time for cozy sweaters, crackling fires, and, of course, classic Christmas movies. One of my absolute favorite Christmas movies of all time ( and believe me, I watch a lot of movies) is the 1945 classic, Christmas in Connecticut. Amidst the snowy landscapes, romance and heartwarming tales, there’s one character who deserves a spot on the influencer pedestal — Elizabeth Lane of “Christmas in Connecticut.” Move over, modern influencers, because this yuletide icon was the original trendsetter, making Martha Stewart look like an amateur elf.

Why Christmas in Connecticut’s Elizabeth Lane was the Original Influencer

1. Home and Hearth Extravaganza

Elizabeth Lane, portrayed by the enchanting Barbara Stanwyck, wasn’t just a writer; she was the high priestess of domesticity. Her columns weren’t mere recipes and decor tips; they were a guide to achieving the epitome of holiday perfection. Move over, Pinterest, because Elizabeth’s Connecticut farmhouse was the original DIY wonderland.

2. Culinary Sorceress

Pre-dating the era of avocado toasts and gluten-free everything, Elizabeth Lane was already concocting culinary masterpieces that could make Gordon Ramsay nod in approval. From perfectly roasted turkeys to decadent Yule logs, her kitchen was the epitome of gastronomic delight. Forget influencers collaborating with chefs; Elizabeth did it all herself.

Christmas in Connecticut's Elizabeth Lane: The Original Influencer

3. Fashion Forward in Fur

While today’s influencers flaunt sponsored fashion lines, Elizabeth Lane was strutting around her Connecticut haven in fur-trimmed perfection. Her winter wardrobe was the envy of every snowflake, making even the most seasoned Instagram fashionistas rethink their coat game.

4. Romance, Connecticut Style

In the age of dating apps and swipes, Elizabeth Lane was crafting romance with the finesse of a seasoned matchmaker. Her flirtations with the charming Jefferson Jones were as orchestrated as a Hallmark love story, proving that love in Connecticut was the ultimate influencer narrative.

Christmas in Connecticut's Elizabeth Lane: The Original Influencer

5. Multitasking Maven

Elizabeth didn’t just dabble in one aspect of holiday magic; she juggled it all. From penning heartfelt columns to hosting extravagant gatherings, she was the original multitasking maven. Move over, lifestyle gurus; Elizabeth was doing it all before it became a hashtag. In the time of strict gender roles, Elizabeth Lane dared to embrace her independence and forged her own way.

6. Holiday Hack Extraordinaire

Forget life hacks; Elizabeth Lane was the queen of holiday hacks. Need a last-minute centerpiece? She’d whip up a masterpiece with a few branches and some tinsel. Her creativity was the original inspiration for everyone looking to hack their way through the holiday hustle.

7. Connecticut Chic

Modern influencers spend hours curating the perfect Instagram aesthetic. Elizabeth Lane had Connecticut as her backdrop, turning snowy landscapes and quaint farmhouses into the chicest of settings. Who needs filters when you have the picturesque charm of New England?

8. No Photoshop Needed

In the age of airbrushing and filters, Elizabeth Lane’s perfection required no digital enhancements. Her flawless holiday celebrations were presented without the need for Photoshop, making her the original influencer embracing authenticity.

9. Literary Luminary

In an era of tweets and short captions, Elizabeth Lane was a wordsmith extraordinaire. Her columns weren’t just about recipes; they were love letters to the holiday spirit. Move over, Twitter; Elizabeth was crafting 280-character magic long before it was a thing.

10. Legacy of Laughter

While modern influencers strive for likes and shares, Elizabeth Lane’s legacy endures through timeless laughter. Her comedic escapades in “Christmas in Connecticut” are still inducing chuckles decades later. In the influencer world, laughter truly is the best engagement.

So, as you cozy up with your cocoa for the umpteenth or your very first viewing of “Christmas in Connecticut,” raise a toast to Elizabeth Lane — the OG influencer whose holiday prowess set the stage for all the Instagrammers, bloggers, and influencers of today. Here’s to the lady who made Christmas in Connecticut not just a location but a lifestyle!

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Classic Christmas Movies

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Ah, the season of joy, goodwill, and cozying up with the Christmas movies! Maybe you’re a Hallmark movie girl? I get it, I am sometimes too. However, I love a good classic movie. As you deck the halls and await the arrival of the big man in red, why not add a touch of cinematic cheer to your holiday traditions? Here’s my merry list of the 13 best classic Christmas movies that will make your heart grow three sizes and have you ho-ho-ho-ing all the way.

The 13 Best Classic Christmas Movies

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946):

This is my Christmas eve movie and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What do you get when you mix Jimmy Stewart, an angel named Clarence, and a lesson in holiday spirit? A heartwarming journey that proves life is, indeed, wonderful. Just remember, no man is a failure who has friends.

2. Christmas in Connecticut (1945):

Imagine a recipe for chaos: a food writer ( in my opinion Elizabeth Lane was the first influencer ever), a fake farm, and a Christmas-loving sailor. ‘Christmas in Connecticut‘ whips up a delightful concoction of mistaken identities and festive fiascos. Barbara Stanwyck, in a role that defines holiday hilarity, plays a writer who must fake a Martha Stewart-level home life. As you navigate through this winter wonderland of mix-ups and merriment, you’ll find yourself chuckling at the absurdity of it all while secretly wishing for a Christmas as eventful.

3. My Man Godfrey (1936):

Fasten your seatbelts; we’re diving into the madcap world of ‘My Man Godfrey.’ In this screwball comedy, we meet Godfrey, a “forgotten man” picked up from the city dump by a quirky socialite. What unfolds is a riotous blend of witty banter, social satire, and a dash of romance.

With charming performances and a plot as fizzy as champagne, ‘My Man Godfrey’ is a timeless classic that proves that laughter is indeed the best medicine. This movie is sure to warm your holiday heart while filling your home with laughter.

4. The Bishop’s Wife (1947):

Picture this: an angel, a bishop, and a dash of heavenly charm. ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ isn’t your typical angelic tale. Cary Grant, suave as ever, plays an angel sent to Earth to help a troubled bishop. But, hold onto your halos, because this divine intervention takes an unexpected turn into the realms of love and laughter. It’s a heavenly cocktail with a twist of romantic comedy that’ll warm your heart faster than a cup of cocoa.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947):

Can you put Kris Kringle on trial for claiming to be Santa Claus? This timeless classic raises the question and, more importantly, reminds us to believe in the magic of the season. Case closed!

6. White Christmas (1954):

Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and a Vermont inn with no snow — a recipe for the perfect holiday musical. It’s a nostalgic journey that’ll have you dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones you used to know.

7. A Christmas Carol (1984):

Ebenezer Scrooge, ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future — Dickens knew how to spin a holiday yarn. Follow the transformative journey of a miserly old man as he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Bah, humbug no more!

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965):

Charlie Brown ( the original Caillou), Snoopy, and the gang are very nostalgic for me. It’s all about this the journey as this group of friends navigate the true meaning of Christmas amidst a scrawny tree and Linus’s heartwarming recitation. It’s short, sweet, and a Peanuts classic.

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964):

It’s the tale of a misfit reindeer with a luminous nose, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and an island of misfit toys. This stop-motion wonder is a delightful journey of acceptance and festive fun.

10. The Grinch (2000):

Jim Carrey as the mean, green Grinch? Yes, please! Dr. Seuss’s classic gets a live-action twist, and Carrey’s Grinch brings a comedic touch to the story of a heart that grows three sizes in Whoville.

11. Holiday Inn (1942):

This classic introduced the world to the song “White Christmas” and stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. With song-and-dance numbers, romance, and plenty of yuletide charm, it’s a must for your holiday watchlist.

12. A Christmas Story (1983):

You’ll shoot your eye out! Join Ralphie on his quest for the ultimate Christmas gift, a Red Ryder BB Gun. This nostalgic trip down memory lane is a humorous look at the trials of childhood during the holidays. I was a family favorite growing up because its based on the area I grew up in so it feels very relatable and familiar to me.

13. Elf (2003):

“I just like to smile; smiling’s my favorite.” Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf brings infectious joy to this modern classic. From syrup-covered spaghetti to a magical journey to find his dad, it’s a festive ride filled with laughs and Christmas cheer.

So, there you have it — a sleigh-full of timeless treasures that will make your holiday season extra special. Grab the hot cocoa, gather the family, and let the classic Christmas movie marathon begin. May your days be merry, your popcorn be plentiful, and your holiday classics be nothing short of legendary!

If you enjoyed this post, found it entertaining or learned something helpful, please like, comment and follow! Happy holidays! XOXO

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Guide to Hosting the Ultimate Ugly Sweater Party, Jøyus

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Tis the season to be tacky, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! I’ve noticed that every year, as my holiday spirit grows, my holiday decor gets just a little more ostentatious. Let’s just say it looks like Santa and his elves came to town and threw up holiday cheer all over my home. The Griswolds have nothing on my family.  I decided to share some tips on hosting the ultimate ugly sweater party.

Time to invite people over and spread some holiday cheer .  If, like me, you’ve decided to dive into the festive madness and throw an ugly sweater party that would make even Santa’s elves jealous, I’ve got you.  Here’s your foolproof guide to ensuring that your party is the talk of the tinsel town.

1. Invitations: Deck the Halls (and Your Guests!)

Craft invites that rival a North Pole scroll. Drop hints about wild sweater competitions, mistletoe shenanigans, and a potential visit from the Abominable Snowman. Remember, the more mysterious, the merrier!

2. Dress Code: Ugly Sweater Game Strong

Encourage guests to unleash their inner holiday fashionista meets chaos coordinator. The uglier, the better. Bonus points for tinsel, jingle bells, and questionable holiday puns. Crown the ugliest sweater wearer with a gaudy tiara or a blinking Rudolph nose!

3. Decor: Go Big or Go North Pole Home

Transform your space into a winter wonderland on steroids. Think inflatable snowmen, tinsel on every surface, and fairy lights rivaling the Milky Way. Bonus: Set up a DIY ugly sweater station with fabric paint, glue guns, and enough sparkly things to blind a yeti.

4. Jingle & Mingle: Playlist Perfection

Craft a playlist that sleighs! From Mariah Carey’s high notes to jazzy renditions of Jingle Bells, curate a mix that keeps the festive energy soaring. Don’t forget the classics — who can resist a little Wham!? Or my personal favorite, Pentatonix Christmas essentials and why not up the holiday ante and do a little Christmas Karaoke?

5. Games: Merriment Olympics

Elevate your party from ho-ho-hum to ho-ho-hilarious with festive games. Ugly sweater contests, pin the nose on Rudolph, and a gingerbread house building competition will have your guests belly laughing between sips of eggnog.

6. Naughty or Nice Libations

Ensure the spirits are as high as Santa’s sleigh. Mix up festive cocktails with names that would make the elves blush. A Christmas Cosmo or Mistletoe Mojito, perhaps? And don’t forget the non-alcoholic options for your designated sleigh-ber driver. And I’m not just talking about those Shirley Temples the kids love, mocktails have come a long way, baby. Think, Bougie not Boozy, Jøyus Sparkling wine for the sophisticated non-drinker. I keep a bottle chilled at all times. Or how about THC infused seltzers or some of the new social tonics like Hiyo? I don’t have time for hangovers this holiday season. 

7. Snack Attack: Noshing in a Winter Wonderland

Craft a snack table that rivals the grandeur of Mrs. Claus’s kitchen. Think candy cane charcuterie, Santa hat cupcakes, and gingerbread everything. Pro tip: Label each dish with a witty holiday-themed tag.

8. Photo Booth Extravaganza

Create a photo booth with more props than Santa’s toy shop. Ugly sweater-themed hats, elf ears, and Grinch masks are a must. Encourage your guests to strike a pose — these pics will be your holiday cards for the next decade.

9. Parting Gifts: Send Them Off with Sleigh Bells Ringing

Thank your guests for gracing your festive fête with small parting gifts. Think mini gingerbread men, a sprig of mistletoe, or even a DIY ornament. It’s the little things that spread the most cheer!

10. Hashtag Magic: Document the Merry Madness

Create a party-specific hashtag to immortalize the hilarity. Whether it’s #SweaterSpectacle or #TackyTidings, make sure every social media Santa and his reindeer use it liberally.

Now, off you go, merry-makers! With these tips, your ugly sweater party will be the stuff of holiday legend. May your sweaters be as ugly as your holiday spirit is bright! Jingle all the way!  Go forth and party like Santa would. 

If you enjoyed this post, found it entertaining or learned something helpful about hosting the ultimate ugly sweater party, please like, comment and follow! Happy holidays! XOXO

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Ah, Christmas! It’s the time of year when we all do the same old things we do every year, from the start of the season to the end. Those traditions might be comforting, and they might be fun, but wouldn’t it be nice to do something a little different? Not everything, of course – changing all your traditions all at once doesn’t make sense and wouldn’t make for a particularly happy Christmas – but just a few tweaks here and there to really upgrade your Christmas might be perfect. If that sounds like a good idea, here are some things you could consider. 

Personalized Decorations 

Why not make your Christmas a little more personal and upgrade it that way? Instead of buying your decorations from the same stores as everyone else (resulting in a house that’s decorated in the same way as everyone else), you could personalize them more and even make some (or all) of them yourself. 

You can get the whole family together for a fun evening where you make weird and wonderful decorations out of whatever you can find around the house – you might even choose to turn it into a competition! This is something that’s not only a lot of fun, but you can do it every year, and the results will always be different. Or what about looking around for some classes? At this time of year, you’re sure to find wreath-making classes or classes that teach you how to trim a tree in the right way, and they can be a lot of fun too. 

Revamp Your Christmas Menu

Turkey, potatoes, veggies, stuffing, Christmas pudding, cranberry sauce… if that’s what you’re planning to serve up this year, we’re not being psychic – it’s just that that’s what most people will choose to dish up, and although it could be the tastiest thing you make all year, it’s still not very exciting because it’s exactly what everyone’s going to expect. 

Why not add some twists to these traditional menu items and make them more exciting and different? Your Christmas dinner will definitely be remembered, and you’ll find you have people asking for more and clearing every plate (always a bonus!). 

Take a look online, and you’ll find there are lots of variations on the standard Christmas lunch or dinner menu, including vegetarian options or trying out different main meats because turkey isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to eat – why else would we only have it at this time of year? Or what about organizing a potluck-style of dinner? Every guest can bring their favorite part of the meal, cooked exactly how they like it, and you’ll have a lot less work to do, so it’s perfect any way you look at it. 

Some people even book a restaurant and go out for Christmas dinner. It’s not going to  be the right thing for everyone, but it could make a nice change just once. 

Dress For The Occasion 

What do you normally wear at Christmas? If it’s your usual casual clothes or even your pajamas, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking for ways to upgrade your Christmas this year, dressing a little more formally and with clothes that are made just for the season, like those from Hometown Heritage Clothing could be a great option. 

When you dress up and take your time to choose the perfect outfit for the occasion – even if the occasion is you being at home with your family for Christmas – then you’ll feel great when you put your new outfit on, and you’ll be confident and happy all day long. Make sure everyone gets the memo about the dress code as well, and when you look back at your photos of the big day, you’ll love how it all turned out, with everyone looking super stylish. 

Boost Your Gift-Giving Game

Maybe you’re quite happy with how your food and clothes and decorations are going to be, and you don’t want to mess with any of that. Okay, but what about your gifts? Do you really like sitting around in a circle watching everyone open their things, and then that’s it, all over and done with? 

If you want to boost your gift-giving (or rather gift-opening) game, why not make it more fun? You could organize a Secret Santa with a twist where everyone has to answer riddles to find out where their gift is or who got it for them, for example. Or what about setting up a DIY gift-wrapping station with all the things everyone needs and inviting people over earlier to wrap their gifts together? 

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Hamas Barbaric Attack on Israel has Nothing to do with Freeing Palestine

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What’s happening in Israel and Gaza right now is not about freeing Palestine, this is about the barbarism, brutality, cruelty and lack of respect for human dignity of life byHamas.

This is the post that’s been weighing heavy on my heart over the past few days. Like many of you, I saw the news filled with the brutality and barbarity that was coming out of Israel.  I saw the desecration and humiliation of the Israeli people. My heart was broken to see it. I can only imagine what the families, friends and collective Jewish community around the world is feeling.  I am not Jewish but many of the people I cherish, and love are. The grief is palpable.

Hamas Barbaric Attack on Israel has Nothing to do with Freeing Palestine, (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

As I am not Jewish and am not completely familiar with the situation in Israel, I figured it was best to keep my mouth (and website) silent until I did some research.  If you, like me, are not familiar with the situation that has been going on in Israel let me give you a quick breakdown, as I understand it.

Israel is occupied by the Jewish peoples, filled with kibbutz’s (largely agricultural communities set up based on the idea of communal living) where people live together as the village and help one another in their day to day lives. It sounds beautiful to me. Gaza borders Israel. Gaza is where Palestinians are under a land, air and sea blockade. For those who don’t know, a blockade is the act of actively preventing a country or region from receiving or sending out food, supplies, weapons, or communications, and sometimes people, by military force. However, it’s my understanding that there is a border crossing into Israel so that Palestinians can work. Israel also exports food, necessities and provides electricity to Gaza.  I know, it sounds terrible but you have to consider why this blockade is in place.  The blockade was temporarily imposed by Egypt and Israel back in 2005-2006 and then permanently in 2007 following the Israeli disengagement from Gaza. When Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip during the battle of Gaza, seizing government institutions and replacing Palestinian Authority officials with Hamas members. In short, Hamas (terrorists) usurped power in Gaza and then Gaza had to be put on lockdown for safety reasons.

*** What is Hamas?

Hamas is a Sunni Islamist political and militant organization that currently governs the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian territories.  In short, Hamas are terrorists. They are an extremist group who have advocated for Palestinian armed resistance to end the Israeli occupation. The establishment of the Hamas government in Gaza in 2007 marked the height of the Fatah-Hamas conflict and triggered the Gaza-Israel conflict. Hamas asserts that Israel’s existence is inherently illegitimate and rejects the Israeli- Palestinian peace process. Hamas has been fighting several wars at varying degrees of intensity against Israel throughout time; pursuing jihad against Israel.

When Hamas took over government in Gaza, Egypt and Israel put in place the blockade. This was done to make sure the terrorists did not escape. Unfortunately, regular civilian Palestinians were also subjected to the blockade because there is no way of knowing who is a civilian and who are the terrorist.

For many years, the Palestinians have been living in this blockade state. It understandably doesn’t feel fair to those who aren’t terrorists.  I get why people say, “Free Palestine”. It is inhumane to be made a prisoner without committing a crime, however, the Gaza government is run by terrorists (whom I think most of us would agree are the evilest criminals going).

At the same time, there has political unrest in Israel. This has resulted in a divided Israel. While all this was happening…


Hamas Barbaric Attack on Israel has Nothing to do with Freeing Palestine

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched “Operation al-Aqsa Flood” against Israel.  Hamas militants broke through the Gaza-Israel barrier and engaged in the barbaric massacre of civilian populations, attacks on Israeli military bases and kidnappings and rapes of civilians and soldiers. The assault prompted an Israeli declaration of war and triggered combat throughout Israel and the Gaza Strip. Many Palestinian civilians have also been caught in the crossfire and died as the result of collateral damage. No human life should ever be sacrificed as collateral damage, not Israeli and not Palestinian.

Hamas Barbaric Attack on Israel has Nothing to do with Freeing PalestineNow, that you have the abridged version of the backstory of what is going on, you must realize that this is not a battle between Israelis and Palestinians, this is a terrorist act against humanity by Hamas. Hamas is the perpetrator of this modern-day genocide. Many of the Jewish people in Israel are those who fled Europe during the Holocaust and their descendants. How can we allow this to happen again? Everyone says, “Never again,” but so many people are silent.

I don’t really care where you stand on the Palestinian blockade or the Israeli government, this is not about either of those two topics. This is about terrorists murdering, maiming, raping, butchering, taking hostage, setting on fire and destroying innocent civilian lives in the name of pure hate. This is terrorists beheading newborns and toddlers. The barbarity and brutality with which this attack was enacted was inhumane. The joy Hamas took at the degradation of Jewish lives is pure fucking evil and if you don’t understand that, are you even a human being at all?

Hamas Barbaric Attack on Israel has Nothing to do with Freeing PalestineThis is not the time to turn away from the news. This is not the time to pretend that you don’t see or know what is going on. This is the time for action. You may not feel like this affects you because you are not Jewish or you don’t live in Israel. You may feel like this is happening across the world and is of no concern to you but you are wrong.

Remember how you felt on September 11th, 2001. You remember exactly where you were, what you were doing and the complete and utter vulnerability, sadness and grief you felt as you watched those planes crash into the twin towers and then, as you watched the towers fall. It felt like nothing made sense and the world was imploding. You felt helpless and afraid and so fucking sad. Grief is an understatement. September 11th changed every single Americans’ life. It changed life as we know it.

Now, imagine that happening but then Al-Queda attacking us in the streets; murdering your sons and daughters, raping your mothers and sisters, butchering you babies and shooting or decapitating your husbands and fathers. Imaging them going house to house, murdering your family and your neighbors, ripping your children out of your arms and taking them hostage and then setting fire to your home and burning it to the ground. Imagine your beautiful and precious 20-year-old daughter calling you from a festival telling you that she’s hiding in a bomb shelter and that she’s been shot and is dying, only to hear a grenade go off and knowing that you’ll never see her again. Imagine wishing death on your 8-year-old because death is less cruel than the alternatives. Imagine seeing a video circulating of your child being raped and set on fire as crowds jeer and celebrate. What would you do? What would you want the world to do? You’d want justice. You’d want revenge. You’d want to undo all of it and be safe again in your home, but you know that you will never feel completely safe again. Praying that you will live to see one more day.

No matter your beliefs, your politics, or your religion…attacking unassuming and unsuspecting civilians just living their lives is cowardly and unacceptable. We cannot condone this, and we have to let the world know that we are with Israel. This is not the time to stay silent. Your silence speaks volumes. If you are not condemning the brutal acts of these terrorists against Israel you are condoning it. Speak up. Do not be afraid because if you say and do nothing, you are part of the problem.

To all my Jewish friends and loved ones, I am with Israel, and I am with you. You are seen. I feel your pain and I see your grief and we will never let what happened in Germany and Eastern Europe happen again. We cannot and we will not allow terrorists to continue to sacrifice and slaughter innocent lives; Israeli or Palestinian. This is your chance to get on the right side of history. I stand with Israel.

Hamas Barbaric Attack on Israel has Nothing to do with Freeing PalestineThe bottom line is that there are innocent people being slaughtered in Israel and Gaza and the monsters responsible for all the death and destruction are Hamas. The only enemy is Hamas.

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hispanic heritage, racial micro-aggressions, la Raza, white skin privilege, Latino cultural identity

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

It’s September and that means it is time to celebrate Hispanic heritage and Latino cultural identity month. Or the month the U.S. has decided to celebrate the Spaniards’ colonization of Central and South American indigenous people. High five! If you’re Latino, you know how we all feel about colonization. It’s the fiesta we didn’t sign up for. It’s the gentrification of our bloodlines that none of us wanted or asked for but we’ve turned the story around into something beautiful. Hispanic and Latino people are some of the most loyal, loving and warm people you will ever meet and I am not just saying that because I am one. So let’s start by celebrating our diverse roots and vibrant tapestry of our varied cultures. Viva la Raza! 🇲🇽 ❤️

It’s time to reflect on the rich heritage that makes each of us who we are. As many of you may know already, I am the product of a biracial love story; my dad is from Mexico and I’ve got a whole lot of indigenous Tarascan/ Purepecha roots to prove it and my mom is from Tennessee via Ireland and the U.K. My bloodline is a beautiful amalgamation of Indigenous, Spaniard, Portuguese and Italian with a smattering of a variety of other European countries, as well as some Congolese and Filipino blood just to keep me spicy. At the end of the day, I’m almost equal parts European and Indigenous. But, as any person of color knows, we all live categorized and marginalized by the one drop rule (assigning the minority status of their lower-status parent group to mixed-race individuals). For me, these people, esta Raza, are my people.

This is my journey from assimilation to empowerment.

Growing up, I was the fair-skinned child with freckles ( similar to my daughters), dark brown hair with a slight auburn undertone and amber eyes. In the summer, my skin got golden and my hair got lighter. This was confusing to some, myself included. Like many biracial kids I’ve ridden the identity rollercoaster. Societal stereotypes don’t help. Year after year, I’d change how I identified racially on my enrollment cards out of guilt and a sense of loyalty to each parent. Often, I felt ( and was made to feel by the society I was growing up in) as though I never fit in; not white enough to be white and not brown enough to be brown. I think that’s a fairly common situation for a lot of biracial children. Don’t get me wrong, I love my biracial heritage and culture, it just got a little confusing for me as a child. I felt like a chameleon but also like a liar because I could so easily blend in. In the end, feeling like a girl with no country; an immigrant daughter in hiding. In the end, it made me stronger and prouder of my culture and where I came from and I know, better than most, that Latinos come in all skin shades, hair and eye colors ( just like every other race).

hispanic heritage, racial micro-aggressions, la Raza, white skin privilege, Latino cultural identity

I was raised 100% in Mexican culture but I lived in the white world. I felt like an outsider but I easily blended in because of the color of my skin. At home, I’d hear stories of how my father would be mistreated and underestimated because of his accent and racially profiled because of the color of his skin. I couldn’t relate to any of it. At one point, my proud father even encouraged all of his children to identify ourselves to the world using our mom’s Anglo surname just to be marked safe from racism. This proud Latina daughter was absolutely horrified at the thought. I had no idea of the pain he had suffered or the pride he put aside to even suggest this, until I was a mother myself.

Just because you’re “kidding” when you say it, racial micro-aggressions are still racism.

I remember as a young teenager hearing my dad’s stories of blatant and micro-aggressive racism that he’d endured in the world outside of our home and not being able to relate to any of it in the slightest. If I’m being completely honest, I probably gaslit him from my own ignorance. But we don’t know what we don’t know, and when we finally do, we’re supposed to do better and make better choices. I couldn’t conceive of the atrocities he endured by simply existing in a world that hated him because of the color of his skin, until I experienced it myself.

You see, I’d spent the entirety of my childhood assimilating into Caucasian culture. In case you didn’t already know this, that is what many Latino parents had to do back in the 70s, to protect their children and give them the best chance to succeed in white America. Like I said, I was a fair skinned freckled Mexican who blended in… until I didn’t and then I couldn’t be unseen.

When I was 18, I met and started hanging out with a group of Latino kids from a neighboring area, who all originated from the same region as my dad back in Mexico. Finally, people who got me and my cultural experience. We all met when my brother started playing soccer with them in East Chicago. Immediately, I felt seen, understood , not judged by stereotypes and, finally, I felt like I’d found my community. Yep, it was a group of teenage soccer playing boys who saved me from my racial identity crisis. This group of guys affectionately referred to themselves as La Raza and while at 18, I had no true idea of the impact this community of young men would have on my life, to me La Raza meant family.

hispanic heritage, racial micro-aggressions, la Raza, white skin privilege, Latino cultural identity

For me, La Raza taught me what Hispanic heritage and the Latino idenity experience was beyond just my traditional family.

The more I grew to know these guys, the more I grew to love my la Raza brothers … the more I grew to know and love myself and my Hispanic heritage. And that’s when the veil between who I was and who I’d become was removed and that’s the moment that changed who I am today. I finally saw the unseen racial micro-aggressions and blatant racism that surrounded me and could no longer unsee it. Assimilating and cultural blending were no longer an option for me.

That moment happened on a simple ride home on a warm summer’s night. We’d spent the day together, probably at the beach or a cookout and had been having a great time, laughing, talking, listening to Mexican music and just enjoying each other’s friendship. But my dad is very traditional and I had a curfew until I moved out of my parents house at 22. Needless to say at 18, the rule was that I needed to be home before 11pm. The guy I was talking to drove me home along with 2 of our friends. Mind you, we’re all Mexican but I’m the only white-passing person in the car that night. Keep in mind, these were not thugs or gang bangers. They were young Mexican men who just graduated from high school and were headed to college but happened to be a beautiful shade of golden brown that summer’s night.

In a hurry to get me home before curfew, at my urging, the driver cut through the parking lot of the gas station and that was the choice that changed my entire perspective on who I was in the world. That was the night that a cop’s racial “micro-aggression” cut me deep and opened my eyes wide making assimilation no longer an option.

White skin privilege isn’t really a privilege but a burden.

The cut through the parking lot was a traffic violation at the officer’s discretion, but what came next had everything to do with 3 brown boys in a car with a “white girl”. The cops pulled us over. Up until this point in my life, I’d unknowingly and obliviously benefited from my white skin privilege. 

In my desperation to make my curfew, I repeatedly asked the driver to “ask them why they pulled us over” which was met with them screaming at us all to get out of the car, for the boys to put their hands on the car and for all of us to identify ourselves. 

Each one respectfully and calmly gave his name ( as all brown moms teach their little brown boys to do in order to avoid danger) and then, it was my turn. “Debi Cruz, ” to which the officer asked, “ How do you spell that? Cruise? Kruse? Crews?” When I responded, “Cruz”, I suddenly went from being treated like a kidnap victim to an assailant. In his next breath, he told me to place my hands on the car. I realized the only thing that had changed was that the officer realized I too was Mexican. 

Discover the powerful story of how one night changed everything, awakening a warrior spirit within. This is a call to unite, to stand tall, and to never forget the bonds that tie us together.

After that, they cuffed the driver and threw him into the back of the patrol car  because the driver, at my urging, had asked why we’d been pulled over. The two other young men asked if they could take the vehicle to drive me home because of where I lived and my impending curfew. None of us were drinking. We were approximately a 10 minute drive from home but it was a dangerous neighborhood and definitely not one that a teenage girl should be walking in at midnight. The officer looked directly into my face, sized me up and down, and said, “Nah, she can walk.” Then, they drove away with my boyfriend and his car keys, leaving me and the other two guys abandoned in the gas station parking lot. I can’t help feeling like if I’d said my name was spelled, “ Crews “, they’d have given me a ride home because the officer’s entire demeanor changed towards me with the correct spelling. It may seem like a micro-aggression to you but to anybody who’s experienced this kind of racism, it’s just as hurtful, demeaning and demoralizing as any blatant racism ever could be. 

That night, those two gentlemen ( my guardian angels) walked me home through a ghetto they didn’t belong to, making it more dangerous for them than it was for me. They did it because that’s what family does; you lookout for one another. When I got home, I explained to my parents what happened and the guys and I spent the next 2 hours calling the rest of the Raza to raise bail and we did.

After over the last 30+ years of friendship, la Raza has celebrated, cried with, lived, laughed and loved together. We’ve weathered college, attended weddings, funerals, birthdays, quinceaneras, and now, our children’s milestones together. We’ve grown from children to parents and grandparents together. The bond is unbreakable. Each one reaches back to help the other one up. This is the true beauty of la Raza, it is pure, unconditional love and family. Over the years, there have been times when I’ve gotten so caught up in my own life that I’ve taken this group for granted but there’s never been a moment when I wouldn’t stand up and protect each and everyone of them. Mi Raza has made me who I am today; eyes wide open, scared but brave enough to face all the ugly in the world because I know they’ve always got my back. Those young Mexican men made me into a warrior princess unafraid to face the world’s challenges big or small. 

hispanic heritage, racial micro-aggressions, la Raza, white skin privilege, Latino cultural identity

So this Hispanic heritage month, as we celebrate Mexican Independence Day this weekend, I’d like to shout out to my la Raza boys ( and girls, there were a few of us) , “Viva la Raza.” Let’s cherish our heritage and the family we choose along the way.

Join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and the vibrant tapestry of our diverse cultures. It’s a time to reflect on our rich heritage and embrace our roots. Let’s come together as a community and honor the strength and resilience that defines us. Subscribe, share and become part of the conversation if you enjoyed this article.

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Jennifer garner, Jennifer Garner had the Audacity to Go Jogging Make-Up Free and the Internet is Showing its Misogyny and Ageism

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

This past Saturday, actress and doting, single mom of three, Jennifer Garner, was spotted in her residential neighborhood of Brentwood jogging with a friend. While doing her best and incorporating some cardio exercise into her almost certainly busy day, she didn’t let the rain stop her. 

The actress was caught running with a makeup-free face, hair pulled back in a messy bun, like most moms I know on most days. This is one of my absolute favorite things about Jennifer Garner, her relatability but at the same time absolute bad ass mom. Not everyone sees it that way. In fact, some critics were calling her names like “old plastic granny” and “platypus”, one man, even had the audacity to say, “Another single mother! She looks…60 years old grandma!” Be careful internet, your misogyny and ageism are showing.

Let me interject something, as a 50 year old woman who walks a 5K everyday rain or shine, sweltering heat or cold 40 degree mornings, without makeup, in a baseball cap, we are not doing any of it for you. Not for any of you. In fact, we give no shits about what you think we look like or think. We’re doing it for us. We are doing it for our children. We are doing it for the people we love and who love us. We give no fucks what 50 something Joe Single, who probably lives in his mama’s basement, thinks. Keep your opinions to yourself. Better yet, just shut all the way the fuck up. 

Why does society think it has the right to comment on women’s looks? I don’t know Jennifer Garner’s “why” but I know mine. I am 50 years-old. I am newly peri menopausal and on some days it feels like my body is foreign to me. I physically and mentally look and feel differently than I did when I was younger. I have different priorities and a different perspective. That doesn’t mean I am less than, it means that I need to do what works for my new state of being. I’m diabetic. I have children and a husband who I adore and choose to revolve my life around because that is what I signed up for. I don’t regret it or begrudge it but, on some days, it can be really fucking hard and I’m human. Jennifer Garner is human and as much as we try to ignore hurtful comments, we’re human. Even if your opinion doesn’t matter, it hurts our feelings.

Do you know how hard it is to carve out 30 minutes to an hour a day to exercise? It feels like a luxury. It’s not. It is maintenance to stay alive. Some men spend hours a day at the gym trying to get shredded and no one is talking shit about them spending too much time away from their family or looking like a ball sack while sweating their asses off and making their taking a shit faces. No, they are commended. But let a mom, who already feels guilty for doing anything for herself, alone, even in the name of her health and everyone and their mom’s got to weigh in. Fuck them.

I walk for my health and sanity. I walk for Vitamin D, for my ADHD, for an hour to clear my mind and focus, honestly, on some days, for the health and safety of my family. I want to live to be a really old lady, one who might actually look like a platypus at 103 and you better believe that I will proudly be walking my 5K and looking like a drowned rat because this is for me and the people I love, not some random assholes who have nothing better than to do than criticize a woman doing what they aren’t capable of doing. 

Getting older is hard for everyone. Nobody relishes the thought of feeling old, irrelevant or forgotten. Even though in this case, feeling forgotten would be the kinder option. Absolutely no one is excited about looking older. We all struggle. It takes time to acclimate and get used to our new state of being on a good day, without anyone pointing it out. 

 the Internet is Showing its Misogyny and Ageism

Society encourages us to grow old gracefully. We try. But that same society either treats us like we are invisible or offensive for simply trying to exist in a society not meant for us. Something I’ve realized as I age, I always feel 25 years old and, some days, I feel 18 and, then, there are the days when my knees feel 87. But on every single one of those days, I am worthy of existing. Aging does not mean that you are useless or have nothing left to contribute. We still have feelings and we are conscious of being pushed out and away. Everyone does. No one likes those feelings, not when we’re teenagers and we like them even less as adults. When I think of how our parents and grandparents must have felt, or feel, watching a world and society progress, while intentionally and aggressively telling them to stay put; treating them like they have nothing of worth to offer, it breaks my heart.

All this to say, it would have been absolutely weirder if Jennifer Garner would have been seen out running in the rain with a face full of makeup. Then the critics would have said she is trying too hard to hold on to her youth. See, you can’t win for losing in other people’s eyes so just be yourself, do you boo and be happy.  Fuck the haters. They will never have what she has and not achieve what she’s achieved. 

The only person any of us are accountable to is ourselves and the only people we owe any care to what they think is those people we love, and even then, it really boils down to what we think about ourselves. Love yourselves like your mama loved you. Run in the rain. Dance like no one’s watching. Speak your truth. The only person you need to care about what they think about you is YOU. Don’t let other people, smaller people than you, people who don’t matter tell you how to live your life. In a world of plastic and filters in a curated existence of perfection that doesn’t really exist, strive to be a real, good human. You are beautiful and you matter; you always have and you always will.

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Mom matriculation, the hardest part of motherhood, college drop off

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Mom matriculation. Have you heard of this? No? Yeah, I just made it up. Its definitely the hardest part of motherhood. It’s the culmination of the letting go that begins with senior year and just when you think its at its hardest, graduation, you unlock a new, unfathomable level of mom heartbreak… college drop off day. Bella is ready to launch but I’m not ready to let go. I don’t know if I ever told you guys the story of how I was supposed to go to Boston University, but,  about 2 weeks before I was supposed to leave, 4  little words from my dad stopped me dead in my tracks, “See you next summer.” What??? Immediate failure to launch..

I had never even spent 1 single night away from my parents because in Mexican culture we just don’t do that. Due to our strong multi-generational family ties, family is not only a big part of who we are,  it’s everything.  My dad’s words had great emotional power over me, in fact, more power than anyone else’s. Not in an intentional manipulative way, its just that his words have always landed like concrete on my heart. His opinion always mattered, and still matters, the most to me.  I’ve always held a tiny grudge about this. But that was all before I was the parent having to let go of my own, precious child. Now, I definitely get it, but,  I refuse to do that to my girls. Even if it kills me, in the process. 

I thought it was all overkill, until I got my first pangs of impending mom matriculation.

Due to this particular incident, and knowing how it completely altered my timeline and changed the trajectory of my life, I swore I’d never say or do anything to hinder my own children’s flight pattern. But again, that was before I knew what I know; that was before I was the parent in the scenario sending my own precious child off into the world, alone,  without me. 

Fast forward to 10 years ago,  when my oldest nephew was heading off to college, a “mere” 65 minutes away from home. Back before I realized that whether it’s 25 minutes or 65 minutes or 12 hours away,  living away from your child is actually the same distance in mom miles because out of your house means out of your house. Your child is no longer bounding through the house, randomly hugging you and asking for a Starby’s run while blasting Swiftie or Megan thee Stallion, while you all sing to your heart’s content.

I vividly remember my nephew going away to college, instantly regretting his decision and my brother and sister-in-law immediately agreeing to pick him up  and bring him back home, regardless of forfeiting his athletic scholarship.  Absolutely without hesitation, they agreed. In my naivate, I was actually disappointed in their decision ( as if it were any of my business) and really couldn’t understand why they hadn’t encouraged him to stay a little while longer. 

None of the baby books warn you about the pain of college drop off. No one warned me that launching my child into adulthood would feel like part of my own body was being ripped away.

When I started Purdue University,  a ” mere” 3 hours from home, I remember in those first few weeks sitting alone in my dorm room feeling that it was the winter of my discontent. Wishing someone, anyone,  would come to my rescue and demand I return home. But that never happened and, in the end, everything worked out. I learned how to navigate life without my parents, eventually became adult-ish and had a terribly good time doing it. After the situation with my nephew, it reaffirmed my belief that I would “never” do what my brother and his wife did. Big words from a mom of elementary schoolers. That was before I was the mom of a college freshman about to matriculate herself out of my orbit. 

If you thought labor and delivery was the hardest part of motherhood, hold on to your Lulus because the mental anguish of letting go makes child birth feel like a cake walk and that’s coming from a woman who did it unmedicated.

Bella decided last spring to defer acceptance to her first choice college and attend a private liberal arts college nearer to home her first year. She realized after several college visits that she prefers the intimate vibe of a smaller campus over a huge bustling one. She decided that she wanted 1 more year at home. I greedily accepted her decision. The school happens to be 25 minutes from my front door. Then, she decided to live at home this year, instead of on campus. Again, I greedily and whole-heartedly accepted her decision. Next year, she has every intention on transferring to her first choice. In fact, it’s already being carefully planned and coordinated with that prestigious university. They are happily awaiting her transfer and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, 356 days from today she’s fully spreading her wings and flying away. 

Those of you who have already survived mom matriculation, the hardest part of motherhood thus far, and are letting go when every single cell in your body wants to hold on for dear life… you are so strong.

I know many of you have dropped your babies off at college in the past couple of days and weeks and have driven away sobbing as you bravely left your hearts on campus. I’ve been watching your posts and feeling those pangs of motherly heartbreak right along with you, mostly for you. But now, something strange has started to happen, I’m getting very overwhelmed and feeling very anxious in anticipation of my impending turn to let go. Fuck, I really don’t want to. ( I’m only saying this here because I can never utter the words “Don’t go” that my heart is screaming inside my head.) Just as I’m sure,  none of you wanted to. I wanted to be cool about all of this but I’m realizing that I’m probably going to be the uncoolest about  it. 

This Friday is move in day for students living on campus at Bella’s school and also, the matriculation ceremony and banquet for freshman, kicking off a weekend long “welcome to campus” extravaganza. While Bella is not moving on campus, as if graduation itself was not the signal of the end… the matriculation ceremony is here to put a fine point on the fact that your child is no longer yours but almost, completely autonomously their own. 

So while she’s still technically here, she’s really there. I know that just like on the day she was born and everything changed, on Friday everything changes again and in 356 days… everything changes forever. No matter how tight my mama heart wants to hold on to the most precious thing in my world, I know I have to let go. And at a time when all I want to do is hold her closer and cling to her more tightly (maybe more than ever), I have to gently push her away with a smile and encouragement, while convincing her that I’m fine and it’s all going to be amazing, because for her, it will be and that’s all that matters right now. 

College drop off feels sort of like we’re heading into this weird parent-child purgatory where we’re both growing, letting go and being let go of, it’s by far the hardest part of motherhood.

Then, I’ll have to hug her, a hug that I know will need to sustain me for weeks or months (this child of mine, who I’ve hugged and kissed several times a day since her existence, who I’ve shared everything with) and I have to release her as mine as she runs towards who she’s meant to be. And I have to do it with grace and unconditional love because this is about her, not me. This is the beginning of her beautiful journey. Then, I’ll have to drive away leaving my child behind, seeing her walking towards her future in the rear view mirror as I become more of her past than her future. If this isn’t the hardest part of motherhood, I don’t know what is and I don’t want to know.

Mom matriculation, the hardest part of motherhood, college drop off

This starts Friday. I can already feel it. I’ve felt the pangs and waves of letting go all summer. I don’t know how I’ll survive my mom matriculation, especially, since I have to do college drop off this Friday, then again next August and then again the following year for my youngest. I know I will survive. Because now I know, living 25 minutes or 12 hours away from your child is actually the same distance in mom miles because in your heart is in your heart and no amount of time or distance can separate the bond between a child and their parent. 

No matter how near or far she flies away, I’ll always just be a phone call, text, car or plane ride away and this is how we survive college drop offs and new beginnings, her and us…mostly us. This is why I smile for her while my heart completely breaks for me. This is how we survive the hardest part of motherhood… the letting go. 

I’m seriously thinking of starting a mom support group for middle-aged, perimenopausal moms who’ve had to send their children off to college and are trying to survive the letting go. If you want in this mom matriculation posse, let me know. We’ll get through this college drop off, suffer being left behind next chapter of our lives together. Freedom is not what its all cracked up to be. Why didn’t the baby books warn us about this bullshit?

If you can relate or just love following along, as I head off into the motherhood unknown, please like, share and follow. 

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Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

We’ve been visiting Boston with our girls every summer since they were littles. Nevertheless, there is just something so fun and conducive to making lifelong memories as a family about New England. Over the years, it has become our home away from home. If you’re planning travel with teenagers to Boston, there are plenty of exciting places to visit and activities to enjoy.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

For a wicked good time, here are the top 15 places to visit including must-do, must-see and must-eat ( actually coming in the next post too many to mention here) places to check out with your teenagers while in Boston:

1. Fenway Park: If you’re in Boston during baseball season, catch a Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park, one of the oldest and most iconic ballparks in the United States. The energetic atmosphere and passionate fans make it an unforgettable experience. It’s like a rock concert but with more peanuts and hot dogs and, finally, they’ll know why everyone gets so hyped and starts singing when “Sweet Caroline” starts playing.


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2. Freedom Trail: I know it might sound boring but I promise it’s cool. I’ve taken my girls multiple times and we still discover new and cool stuff. Take a walk along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile trail that passes by 16 historically significant sites. It’s a great way for teenagers to learn about Boston’s rich history and the American Revolution with a side of cool old graveyards,


3. Museum of Science: Explore the Museum of Science, which offers interactive exhibits on various scientific subjects. From the planetarium and IMAX theater to the hands-on exhibits, there’s something to engage teenagers of all interests. Seriously, who can resist getting all hands on with interactive exhibits. Feels like Bill Nye the Science guy and Netflix had a baby.


4. New England Aquarium: Visit the New England Aquarium and discover marine life from around the world. Teenagers can enjoy watching penguins, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures, as well as experience the Giant Ocean Tank. If. you really want to make it an experience to remember, I would highly recommend taking a whale watching tour.whale, Boston harbor cruises, whale watching, New England, family travel, things to do in Boston, Massachusetts

5. Boston Common and Public Garden: Spend time at Boston Common, the oldest public park in the United States, and the adjacent Public Garden. Take a swan boat ride, have a picnic, or simply relax in the green spaces and make sure to see the “Embrace” bronze sculpture memorial to MLK. It is stunning and a fun photo op for the gram.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

6. Boston Harbor Islands: Take a ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands, a group of picturesque islands offering hiking trails, beaches, and opportunities for kayaking or paddleboarding. Spectacle Island and Georges Island are particularly popular choices.


7. Skywalk Observatory: Head to the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center for breathtaking views of Boston’s skyline. It provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city, allowing teenagers to appreciate the city’s beauty from above. These views are unbeatable and definitely social media worthy. Your teens will love it.


8. Museum of Fine Arts: Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an extensive collection of artwork from different cultures and time periods. It’s a great opportunity for teenagers to explore diverse artistic expressions.


9. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum: Experience a unique historical reenactment at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Teenagers can participate in the interactive exhibits, throw tea overboard ( and you know how much their angsty asses love to rebel), and learn about the events leading to the American Revolution.


10. Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall: Visit Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, bustling marketplaces in the heart of Boston. Teenagers can enjoy shopping, sampling various cuisines, and watching street performers in this vibrant area. Hungry? Obviously, because teenagers always are, food is sport at Quincy Hall. There’s lobster rolls, pastries and all the clam chowder your teen foodies could ever imagine or hope for.


11. Duck tour: Undeniably, they are a bit silly but they are a great way to explore Boston. Jump on this amphibious vehicle and check out everything bean town has to offer, including the river. Oh yes, this Boston safari will put your teens in just enough imagined danger to keep things exciting. No, they are not actually in danger but that’s not the way they’ll tell it to their friends back home.


12. Charles River Esplanade: There’s nothing like a cool summer or fall stroll on the esplanade. Hang by the river while playing frisbee, people-watching while taking in breathtaking views of the Boston skyline. It is instagram and TikTok heaven.


Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

13. Shopping: Newbury Street, downtown crossing, Prudential center and Copley place, oh my! Boston is one of our favorite places to shop. They have something for everyone and if you have girl, like I do, shopping (and eating) are two things we can definitely agree on from Saks to Gucci to Free People and Primark, this is some of the best shopping you and your teenagers will do. May I suggest, if you are not extremely wealthy, hit up Primark first. Great fast-fashion from a European brand but with Target prices. It’s the first place my girls want to hit as soon as we arrive. You’ll thank me later.

Best Things to Do in Boston with Teens and Tweens, things to do in Boston, Boston Commons, Georgetown Cupcakes, Signature swings

14. The Swing Park at the Signature: This is such a fun thing to do for people of every age (honestly you could take your little kids or even your grandparents) but your teens will love this at night. We spent hours there, from sunset until it was dark out swinging on those glowing swings. The Lawn on D at the Signature also offers pickleball, lawn games and adult beverages.


15. Visit Harvard and Cambridge: Harvard is just a short drive away from downtown Boston and your teens will have a blast visiting the campus and soaking in all the ivy league vibes. The campus is gorgeous and why not plant that seed? Plus, Cambridge is full of fun little restaurants and shops to explore. My girls loved it.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

This is just a get started list of places to visit and things to do with teenagers in Boston.

If you’re looking for a great place to stay with teenagers that’s right in the middle of all the Boston energy and excitement, we’ve been staying at The Hyatt Regency Boston for over a decade. If you’ve followed along over the years on my instagram, you’ve seen the breathtaking views and know, that its in the heart of the downtown crossing area.

Just a stones throw away from Chinatown and easily walkable to almost anywhere your heart could want to go in Boston. However,  most importantly, the customer service and attention to their guests is what keeps us coming back every single year. We’ve tried other hotels but nothing compares to how we are treated at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Bonus: There is nothing quite like a comfortable bed to take a midday vacation nap on and the Hyatt always delivers.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

While these attractions offer a mix of history, culture, outdoor adventures, and entertainment that will keep teenagers engaged and entertained during their visit to Boston. Time to unleash your teenagers on Boston and let them explore and soak in all the culture, history, shopping and delicious food that Boston has to offer.


What is your top place to visit or thing to do with your teenagers in Boston?

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