Aug 222014

10 Ways to Save Money During Your Next Trip to the Amusement Park

Family trips to the local (or not so local) amusement park are so much fun, and a great way to make memories that will last for years to come. These days, however, this fun can come at a hefty price. The cost of amusement park tickets alone has increased tremendously, and the additional costs involved, such as food, parking and accommodations if you are traveling can make the whole trip cost way more than you planned.

  1. The key here is planning. Think ahead to get the best prices on your admission. Ticket prices can vary depending on the season, and there are often great deals if you look for them.
  2. Try going online to see if there are any ticket discounts, and also keep your eyes out at grocery stores and restaurants, there are often “2 for 1” deals as well. If nothing else, purchase your ticket online, not at the gate, you will most likely spend less money.
  3.  Be sure to go during the park’s “off season.” It will be cheaper and less crowded. Continue reading »
Aug 202014

10 Back to School Tips For Parents

Parents, are you tired of all of these “back to school” tips for kids— what about the PARENTS? The parents need back to school tips too! Well, here are 10 tips to help you stay on track with your kid this summer. (Warning, some of these may be a bit sarcastic).

#1. Stop staying up so late

As you are reading this, it’s probably already past your bedtime. Waking up earlier than usual is going to be harder than you thought, so get to bed when you can.

#2. Take your vitamins

This is no joke. If you want to have energy to help your kids get up for school, then you will need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

#3. Keep a full gas tank

You don’t want to make anyone late in the morning. When your gas tank is empty, fill it up. Don’t procrastinate on this, you’ll regret it later.

#4. Pack lunches the night before Continue reading »

Aug 172014

5 Apps That You Need If You're Traveling

Going on vacation or travelling for business can be very exciting, but it can be a stressful experience, too. Thankfully, apps exist for just about everything and that includes making traveling easier for you. These free mobile apps are ones that just about any tourist needs to make sure their trip is the best it can be.

1. TripIt  (Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows)

If you like to be organized, this is the app for you! This one app keeps all of you confirmation emails at your fingertips, and it creates an itinerary for you based on information you enter into it. You can even use the app to book reservations or reserve tickets for events.

2.  ImedJet (Available for iPhone and Android)

There are many times you may find yourself without Internet reception and you are in need of using an app. ImedJet allows you access without a connection and gives you info to help you stay safe and healthy as you travel with a medical guide, first-aid information, and the ability to store your personal medical information (such as emergency contacts, allergies, medications, and more). Continue reading »

Aug 142014

How to Teach Your Child About Oral Care

Teaching a child about oral care can be like pulling teeth. They would rather go play with their friends, not brush their teeth. Considering your child will need those pearly whites for many years to come, it’s important that you help them take care of them now.

#1. Monkey See Monkey Do

This is so true in the oral care world. Your kids need to see you brushing your teeth before they’ll consider brushing theirs. Mom and dad, they need to see you get excited about brushing your teeth. Trust me, just like any other area in life, you are their role model. Try to stay positive about anything that revolves around oral care.

#2. Cause and Effect

I believe that brushing one’s teeth is a great way to teach about cause and effect. If a child doesn’t learn to brush their teeth now, they’ll have a lot of issues later. Luckily, kids’ teeth are a little resilient when they are kids, but it’s so important to make this a routine. Plus, if you teach them how to care for their teeth now, you will save a lot of money later. Continue reading »

Aug 112014

10 Easy Ways to Get Your Boys to Clean Their Rooms

If you’ve ever stepped on a Lego, then you are probably eager to read this blog post. Getting our boys to clean their rooms can be like pulling teeth. Check out these ten ways to get your boys to clean their rooms.

#1. Rewards

We all know that you can get your boys to do anything as long as you reward them. Let them have anything they want as long as they get those dirty socks and Lego’s off the floor. You’ll be one happy mama when you can see the bottom of their floor.

#2. Bright Colors

You can get your boys motivated to clean their rooms by using bright colors. What I mean by this is using bright bins to help get them a little excited about cleaning. Of course, you get to let them choose which colors they prefer.

#3. Divide and Conquer

Honestly, they may not get anywhere without your help. You may have to jump in there and help them divide and conquer. As long as you make it out alive that’s all that matters. Just keep in mind though, if your child is old enough to do it on their own, let them! Continue reading »

Aug 072014

10 Ways To Sneak Exercise In

Exercising everyday can sometimes be hard to do in between taking care of the kids, working like a madwoman, and balancing life with family and friends. If exercise isn’t part of your everyday routine it might seem impossible to add it in to a schedule that is already busting at the seams. Here are 10 Ways to Sneak Exercise In so that you can get the benefits of regular exercise without losing your mind in the process.

1. Before you get out of bed in the morning, raise your arms above your head and point your toes. Making your body flex every muscle and stretch out helps to wake you up and preps your body for the upcoming day.

2. Once you are out of bed take two minutes to really stretch. Reach for the sky and then bend at the waist and touch your toes, repeat this three times. This one move has almost the same impact on waking your brain up as a cup of coffee. It also stretches your backside out and helps you move more freely throughout the day. Continue reading »

Aug 052014

Closeup image of a yard sale sign

With the warmer temperatures finally here, many of us are heading out to our local yard sales to find some deals. If you’ve never shopped a yard sale or garage sale it can be tough to know what is a good deal. Here are some great tips for How To Find Good Deals At Yard Sales this summer. Find the treasure in someone else’s junk for the best deal this year!

1.  Go to sales in higher end neighborhoods.  Not to be stereotypical, but most of your expensive homes have higher quality products within them, thus the better deals at yard sales. This can vary from time to time so know that some of these items will cost more. You can however get some great deals on name brand gently worn jeans, purses, shoes and more. While typically paying no more than $5 for a pair of jeans at a yard sale is my rule – these sales could include $100 jeans for $15 that are like new. Continue reading »

Aug 032014

Bedroom modern design with furnishings

One of the biggest expenses of going out of town for a weekend or a vacation is the hotel. It can eat up a huge portion of your travel budget if you are not careful and if you go too cheap, you might end up staying somewhere less than ideal. Since it is hard to know what is a good deal and what is a scary location in a new town or location, here are some tips for finding a hotel at a great price that won’t leave you scared to park your car out front.

How to Save Money on Hotels without Sacrificing Quality

Join rewards points programs. Many chain hotels offer programs that work kind of like a punch card. If you stay so many nights within a certain time period, you get free night’s stays. There are lots of blackouts and restrictions with these types of programs, though, so make sure to be aware of these when reserving your room.

Be flexible on dates you intend to travel. Many times, mid-week rates are slightly cheaper than weekend rates. If you are flexible as to when you will be staying, you can save more money. Continue reading »

Aug 012014

Ways to Turn Family Travel into a Fun Learning Experience for Kids

Summer vacation may mean school is out, but learning takes place year-round. A family vacation may be about fun and relaxation, but there is no reason it can’t be a learning experience as well. It has been said that there is no greater teacher than travel, and it is true. On a vacation, there are opportunities for kids of all ages to learn history, language, geography, culture and customs, even arithmetic and economics. Here are some easy ways to turn family travel into a fun learning experience for kids: Continue reading »

Jul 312014

10 Ways to Eat Healthier

Eating healthier is one of those things that we all strive to do, but sometimes have a hard time actually doing. It shouldn’t be so hard to eat better and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are 10 Ways to Eat Healthier starting today.

1. Eat Lemons. Lemons are a great for your digestion system and are packed with Vitamin C. Each time you drink a glass of water, squeeze a couple wedges in and help out your liver and kidneys.

2. Speaking of water, fill up a gallon jug with water. This is how much you need to drink daily. You can separate it out into smaller containers and fill those with fresh fruit to naturally flavor your water. Continue reading »

Jul 302014

5 Tips to Help Children Organize Their Toys

If you’re like any other parent, you might be slightly annoyed with the number of toys lying on your floor at the moment. There are several things you can do to help kids learn how to organize their toys on their own with limited assistance from you. Check out these five tips to help your children organize their toys.

#1. Set a Timer

In case you forgot, kids aren’t born to sit and organize for hours. Set a timer and let the kids get busy. A timer is great because the kids know that once the timer goes off, they are good to go. Adults should even set timers for organizing and cleaning, it helps you stay focused on the task at hand.

#2. Color Coding

I think color coding a toy room is pure genius. For example: All cars go in the red tote, you can even put a red dot on the bottom of all of the cars to signify that the cars go in the red bin. You could even color code the toys to coincide with who it belongs to. Place all girl toys in a pink bin, all boy toys in a blue bin, and all gender neutral toys in a yellow bin. Continue reading »

Jul 242014

10 Ways to Clean With Lemons

There are a ton of cleaning products on the market, and you’ll notice that many of them include lemon on their labels. There is a reason for this. Citrus fruit, particularly lemon is a powerful cleansing agent that disinfects, breaks down grime and smells amazing. The good news is that you can get all of the benefits of lemon as a cleanser without all the harsh, unsafe chemicals that come in store-bought cleaners. Coupled with another powerful and natural cleaner such as baking soda, lemon can get rid of soap scum, hard water and mold, as well.

Here are ten ways to clean with lemon:

1.  Clean and freshen your garbage disposal by cutting up a lemon, running the hot water and then running the disposal. Continue reading »

Jul 212014

6 Ways to Nix Sibling Fights This Summer

Has the bickering and fighting already started? If you don’t figure something out soon, you might not be able to keep your sanity this summer. Check out these ways you can nix the constant battling between the siblings.

#1. Getalong Shirt

You may have seen this “getalong” shirt floating around, but I’ve heard it actually works. When the kids start fighting, stick them in a huge shirt. This will make them find a way to get along or stay miserable for a long period of time. It might only take one or two times of being put in this shirt for them to get along.

#2. Summer Challenge

It can be hard to stress the importance of getting along as siblings. Natural fighting is going to occur, but you must put an end to summer bickering. You can do this by promoting a summer challenge in the family. This encourages no fighting, if you fight, you have to complete a task on the chore list. Moms have the power to make pretty long chore lists. Continue reading »

Jul 202014

DCF 1.0

Summertime is notoriously the worst time of year to book a flight. Prices skyrocket as more people travel, but you don’t have to just accept that. There are many ways you can save money on airfare this summer with a few tips from industry insiders and seasoned travelers.

1. Buy your tickets on Tuesday

Does this surprise you? Airlines, in general, offer sale fares on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. If you can hold off until then, you can get the best deal on your flight. But don’t just stop at one site!

2. Shop around Continue reading »

Jul 182014

7 Tips for Beating the Summer Heat

When the weather gets warm, everyone wants to be outside. Whether you are outside for your job or for fun, you may want to learn a few tips on how you can help beat the summer heat.

1. Wear clothes that are light colored and made of light fabrics. Dark colors absorb heat. Just by wearing darker colors, you could be raising your temperature several degrees before you even begin any activity. Choose lightweight fabrics that can breathe. Cotton is a great choice, as are synthetic breathable items like fitness wear that wick moisture away from the body. Continue reading »

Jul 162014

Beach Essentials For Families

Now that the weather has warmed up, summer is in full swing and that means picnics, camping, cookouts and my personal favorite thing about summer - the beach! These are the activities that make it Summer, and make for great memories. Taking the kids to the beach can be so much fun, but if you aren’t properly prepared, it can end in sunburns and tears.

To get the most out of your day at the beach, and to keep everyone safe and happy, here is a comprehensive list of what you must have with you. Keep in mind that the list may vary depending on the ages of your children, but there are some things that will apply regardless of age:

  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And hats. And protective clothing. Kid skin is delicate, especially if your children are fair-skinned. Come home from the beach with sea shells, and maybe some sand, but no sunburn!
  • More towels than you think you will need. Continue reading »
Jul 142014

5 Tips to Making Travel and Exercise Successful

If you love to exercise, but are about to travel, you may need some new tips. Making exercise and travel work at the same time is possible. Here are some tips:

#1. Park Further Away

You may not get a lot of chances to exercise while you’re on vacation, but you can make small choices that really add up. For example: parking further away from your destination and walking is one way. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is another. Of course, also making a conscious decision to watch what you’re eating during the day can also help limit the amount of extra stairs you need to climb.

#2. Walk Everywhere

Sometimes we have the tendency to think that we should be a little extra lazy on vacation. However, walking everywhere is truly one way you can make exercise and travel successful. You don’t have to feel guilty about the extra bites of food you took if you walk around town everywhere. Plus, when you walk around the beautiful city or location you’re visiting, you actually get to enjoy what’s going on around you. When you walk, you can take better pictures, smell the yummy smells, and get a better view. There may be an opportunity to hike wherever you’re vacationing. Don’t be afraid to do a quick search to see what hiking options you may have. Continue reading »

Jul 132014

Beach Vacation Tips -  What You Should Know About Sharks

Virtually every family will visit the beach for summer vacation at one time or another in their lives and few will do so without thinking of sharks. Thanks to movies like Jaws, sharks are now feared beyond all reason. While sharks are certainly dangerous in the wrong circumstances, the odds of a person being attacked by one is miniscule. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate the odds of being attacked. Here are some tips to give you confidence to go into the ocean without fear of sharks:

Know when to swim – Sharks are most active at dusk, dawn and night. This is when they ramp up their feeding behavior and start looking for food. If you swim during these times, you have a much larger chance of being mistaken for a food source. By the way, the shark does generally hunt people as a food source. If you are bitten, the vast majority of them time it was an accident or investigation. Sharks bite to see if something is edible. Continue reading »

Jul 072014

5 Ways to Keep Kids Learning this Summer

It’s summertime, doesn’t this mean poolside relaxation? All adults wish that was the case, but you need to keep your kids learning this summer. Here are five ways you can keep your kids learning, but still have a few moments to yourself by the pool.

#1. Computer

You’re not a bad mom or dad if you use the computer to teach your kids a few learning skills. There are awesome websites out there that simply teach our kids better than we can. and are great websites for preschoolers. Your school might even have a few recommendations for ideal learning websites. If you think a computer might be too much, just set a timer and only allow the child to use the computer for that amount of time.

#2. Adventure

Taking your children to see people, places, and things this summer is one way to keep them learning. There are plenty of free places to visit, so don’t fret about money. Exposing your child to different learning environments will help them greatly in the long run. Visit zoos, children’s museums, parks, libraries, and the occasional water park for optimal learning opportunities. Continue reading »

Jul 032014

4 Helpful Tips for a Successful Picnic

One of the beautiful things about the nice weather is the ability to get outside and eat in the manner that the Italians call al fresco, which means to eat outside. Around these parts, though, we usually refer to it as a picnic. How should one go about having a successful picnic? Here are four important subjects to consider.

1. Where to Have the Picnic? ­

When I think about having a picnic, the first  location that pops into my mind is under a shady tree, but there are so many other options.  Parks, beaches, even a rooftop can be the perfect setting for your picnic. Perhaps the easiest way of choosing a location is considering how far you wish to travel and/or the distance from your home. Try using online maps (I use Google maps) that display everything within a given perimeter and you can choose from there.

2. Who to Invite? ­ Continue reading »