Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Safety Tips For Latch Key Children

Did you give birth to a Latch Key Child?  Schools are back in session and some parents will be leaving their children alone for several hours after school for many reasons. Some parents are single mothers who can't afford the expense of child care, many families have both parents working outside the home, others because their children are old enough to take care of themselves for several hours and than we have those who can't find after school care.  What ever the reason, there are approximately 15 million Latch Key Children in the U.S. so don't feel that you're a bad parent or that you're alone in your decision.   

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

6 Tips On How Not To Eat Up Your Food Budget When Traveling

When I'm traveling with my family, I have a budget and it's imperative that I stay within it. I look for ways to save on meals, but also ensure we have a great time. My grandchildren like snacks and sandwiches, but I'm also feeding adults who need meals that will fill them up and stick. Eating 3 meals out for 7 days can be expensive for a family.  Here's a few ways that I ensure we stay within our budget: 

1.  Check Out Resorts That Offer Kitchens/Kitchenettes  -  If I'm traveling for more than 3 days, I always book accommodations that have a full or partial kitchen. This allows me to cook meals and save on food expense.  Having a kitchen is great, especially when I'm traveling with my grandchildren. It's difficult to get them up and out for breakfast and sometimes lunch. 

2.  Look For Discounts in Travel Guides or Online - I research local restaurants wherever I'm staying and if I decide that I would like to check out a few of them  I search for a coupon or discount. 

3.  Take Advantage of Happy Hour -  If you want to eat light, check out restaurants that have happy hour.  I have taken advantage of specials on wings, burgers, stuffed mushrooms etc. It's a great way to have a few adult beverages on the cheap too.

4.  Find The Local Grocery Store  - I purchase snacks, drinks, bottled water and any items that I need for meals. After checking in, this is the first task on my list. I'm able to purchase drinks and food for the beach, bathroom items, a candle to relax, batteries if needed and anything else on the list. I save a ton of money by taking this step. 

5.  Check Out The Resort/Hotel Welcome Package - I visit the hotel or resort concierge and ask for information on local activities or restaurants. They normally have a welcome package which contains coupons for local attractions and other valuable information that you can take into consideration and help with your budget. 

6.  Look For Resorts/Hotels That Offer Free Activities - I look for resorts or hotels that offer water slides, lazy rivers, or firework displays in addition to the beach and nearby activities for the kids. I search for coupons for miniature golf, amusement parks, seek out free concerts and than use the savings for ice cream treats, sno-cones etc. while we're out and about. 

Don't wait until you arrive at your vacation destination to start saving. You should be saving all year for your vacation. This takes the stress off and any worries that everyone won't be able to have a good time because of a cash shortage.   

You may also like:  15 Ways You Can Save Money

Sunday, August 23, 2015

7 Uses For Sunflowers

Mammoth sunflowers, sunflowers uses, sunflowers, how to grow sunflowers

I love the strength, grace and beauty of sunflowers. They're one of my favorite summer flowers and a must in my garden. They stand tall, erect and they're showy. They tower above everything else in the garden and their bright color makes an impact.  There are different varieties to grace your garden and they all grow to various heights. This particular variety is the Russian Mammoth, which has grown to about 10 or 11 feet.  The fence in the background is 6 foot.   

Sunflowers make a statement, but did you know that every part of the sunflower can be used. It's actually considered the cash crop because the seeds, petals, stalk, leaves and roots can be used in various ways.  Here are a few:

1.  Seeds - Humans eat the seeds raw, roasted or dried. They are a healthy snack and a great source of protein, Vitamins A, B, E and iron.  I love the seeds raw in salads and roasted to snack on.   

2.  Commerical Use - Sunflower seeds are used in a variety of birdseed mixtures. I actually leave the majority of my sunflowers in the garden for the cardinals and finches to enjoy.  You will find black oil sunflower seeds in my bird feeders during the winter.  

3.  Petals - The petals can be dried and used along with other natural items for summer or fall potpourris.   

Mammoth Sunflowers, sunflower variety, how to grow sunflowers

4.  Leaves - The leaves of sunflowers can grow quite large and tasty.  They can be used to feed livestock or seeped to make tea.  

5.  Stalks - The stalks of sunflowers are strong. I actually use some of my sunflowers stalks as a trellis for my cucumbers.  You can cut them off at the base and allow them to dry over the winter. Next season you have a great source of poles to use as a trellis for your veggies.  You can also break them in sections, dry them, and use them in fire pits or wood stoves over the winter.  

6.  Roots - The roots of a sunflower can grow quite deep and large. It is often used to make herbal medicine.   

7.  Dried Flowers - The flowers can be dried and used in floral arrangements.  Quite pretty in fall arrangements or on wreaths. The best flowers for dried arrangements are those that are just opening.  They will continue to open as they dry.  

You May Also Like:  How Make Bottle Greenhouses   This is how I start my sunflower seeds. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sunday's Best Linkup - #34

Welcome to Week 34 of  Mother 2 Mother's Sunday's Best Linkup This is the last week of our Back To School theme.  We're looking for posts on shopping tips, recycling last year's purchases, books that will help with reading, grammar, spelling etc., tips for moms with college students and those who will be enduring the empty nest syndrome, lunch ideas, after school activities and more. 

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, summer organization tips, ideas for backyard BBQ, summer flower arrangements and more.   

Friday, August 21, 2015

Road Trip Printable: Scavenger Hunt Game - Part 2

Our road trip series continues.  We have 2 additional printables that we have added to our Scavenger Hunt. It's as bright and colorful as the first scavenger hunt printable too. Children like to choose just like adults. If you have more than one child they may not be interested in searching for the same items. Who wants to hear over and over, I don't want that one or I'm not going to be able to find those things before the hunt begins. Keeping children occupied during a road trip can be challenging. If you're like me, you don't want electronic devices to be the solution to everything.  Especially, when there's so much more that we can be enjoying.  

What's the goal of the trip? Isn't it to arrive at your destination safely, create great memories along the way and enjoy your time when you arrive. Why get into a struggle and ruin the memory while you're trying to get there. Pouting, crying and unhappy kids can make the trip seem much longer than is really is.   Give each of them their choice of scavenger hunt printables, a snack, drink, and let the trip begin.  

Searching for different items and trying to finish first makes the hunt exciting and challenging. It also get them focused on their surroundings and takes their mind off of how long it's taking to arrive at your destination. One of your greatest memories will be the kids searching for the items, the conversations you will engage in while hunting for them and the peace you will find by having happy children. Now that is priceless.  

You may also like this game: Road Trip Print:  Scavenger Hunt Game - Part 1

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How To Make Your Child's Breakfast Disappear

Do you have a picky eater?  Getting kids to eat can be a struggle. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so we need to make sure that it's hardy and nutritious. I found a way to make my grandchildren's breakfast exciting.   

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