Browsing Tag

motherhood

Family

21 Affordable Summer Activities for Kids

Some of us Mom’s have a love/hate relationship with Summer Break. We love the first week, no rushing out the door, no packing lunches, no homework stress, the list goes on and on. Then a few weeks in we begin to feel the stress of having kids around 24/7 or we hear the dreaded “I’m bored.” Finding a balance can be tough, especially for us work-from-home moms. I try to plan 2-3 out of the norm activities/outings each week to keep summer fun and make sure we get in some much needed quality time. The summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Consider some of these free or very inexpensive activities:

National or State Parks

Check out your local state parks or national parks, you can usually find some great hiking and scenery.

http://www.stateparks.com/
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

Hiking

Find a local trail

http://www.traillink.com/

Geocaching

If your kids love a good treasure hunt then go Geocaching. All you need is a GPS enabled device such as your smart phone and you can play a real-world treasure hunting outdoor game called Geocaching. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using their smart phones and then share their experiences online

https://www.geocaching.com/play

Museums

Local Museums can offer educational opportunities and usually have special deals during the summer.

http://www.museumsusa.org/

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

Have your kids (grades 1st-6th) read books and answer the questions in the Summer Reading Triathlon Reading Journal. Bring the completed journal to any Barnes & Noble bookstore between May 17th and September 6th, and your child can choose a FREE book from their selection on the Reading Journal list.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/b/summer-reading/_/N-rs9

Scholastic Summer Challenge

May 9 – September 9, kids can log their reading minutes to earn virtual prizes.

http://www.scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2016

LEGO Fans

Is your little reader a LEGO fan? Go ahead and grab this freebie for kids, a free membership to the LEGO Club including (for kids 4-12) a subscription to Lego Club Magazine.

http://www.lego.com/en-us/club/member/articles/details/magazine-sign-up-2-e344dd7a1961497187adf5352ff87e53

Regal’s Summer Movie Express

Regal’s summer movie program is on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and runs for nine weeks. Admission is $1, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute.

http://www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express

Bowling

Register your kids for Summer Games at AMF so they can enjoy free bowling. They can bowl three free games every weekday from open till 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from open till 4 pm. Valid May 23 through September 5.

https://bowlsummergames.com/

Roller Skating

Kids 12 and under can skate for FREE this summer at participating Kids Skate FREE Rinks. Use the link below to find a location near you and sign your kids up to snag their FREE skating passes. Hours and additional fees (including skate rental fees) vary based on location.

http://kidsskatefree.com/locations.php

Home Depot Kids Workshops

Home Depot offers FREE workshops for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels.

http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

Lowe’s

Bring the kids to a Lowe’s Build and Grow workshop where they’ll get to tackle all sorts of DIY projects.

https://lowesbuildandgrow.com/

Michael’s

Have your kids join the Michael’s Kids Club and let them explore their creativity while you shop. Only $2 per child reserves 30 minutes for your creative kid. Sessions start every half hour from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

https://classes.michaels.com/OnlineClasses/control/main?firstVisit=firstVisit

Lakeshore Learning Crafts

FREE Crafts for Kids for kids ages 3 and up every Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/store_locations/storeCrafts.jsp?ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1369103498148

Tech Savvy Kids – Apple

Apple Camp! For your tech savvy kids, have them attend a FREE Apple Camp at a participating Apple Store. At Apple Camp, kids ages 8-12 will have the opportunity to learn to make their own movie including a soundtrack or an interactive book.

http://www.apple.com/retail/learn/youth/

Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp

Bass Pro Shops host FREE activities and crafts for the family. These FREE camps are every Tuesday and Thursday starting at noon and Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. Your family can enjoy FREE crafts, FREE shooting gallery, FREE casting pond, FREE family workshops, FREE make campfire s’mores, FREE photo, and FREE merit badge workshops. Please note that not all activities are available at all Bass Pro Shops.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=-1&lf=&pageID=4766&cm_Sp=Sur

Whole Foods Kids Cooking Classes

Do you have a little chef in your family? If so, then check out the Whole Foods Kids Cooking Classes for kids 5-12 years old. At most locations, you have to purchase a membership but it is just $10. Pre-registration is required for all cooking classes.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/service/just-kids

Volunteer in your Community

Teach ‘em young! Kids can participate as volunteers in your local community. While volunteer activities are inspiring FREE summer activities for kids, the rewards usually tend to be a touching experience.

http://www.volunteermatch.org/

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

If your kids want to have a lemonade stand, encourage them to donate the proceeds to charity such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation which helps children with cancer.

http://www.alexslemonade.org/

Staycations and nearby Amusement Parks

Local Deals

You can also check out Groupon or Living Social for some affordable staycation hotel options or local amusement parks

https://www.groupon.com/
https://www.livingsocial.com/

For more summer fun, click here for our FREE downloadable summer bucket list

Spotlight

Friday Spotlight: Suzanne McCurdy, Diet Technician

Working has always been my passion. I get bored easily and need to stay busy. I began working at the age of 15 after begging my father for a job and literally hanging out at the motorcycle dealership I wanted to work at every day for a month. The owner finally decided to hire me since I wasn’t going anywhere. Never really knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up I sought out new career fields and avenues for making a living. Once I mastered one I found myself restless for something new.

In 2006 I was offered branch manager of the small town bank I worked and I immediately turned in my 2 weeks’ notice and went back to school. It was there I earned my B.S. in Dietetics and commissioned in the Air Force. It wasn’t until the birth of my first child that I realized how badly I wanted to work from home. Skip ahead to baby #2 and there was no other option. I knew I couldn’t just stay home, I needed to work for my finances and my overall wellbeing. I started my own clothing line, dabbled in MLM companies, but nothing seemed to fit just right.

Until I was introduced to Mom’s Making Six Figures by a friend. We had both been entrepreneurs and shared business ideas from time to time. The proverbial light bulb went off and I had found what I had been hoping and praying for to come along. I now wake up each morning filled with gratitude and excitement. In an every changing world this business evolves with me and leaves no room for boredom.

This opportunity has allowed me to work from home with my babies, make my own schedule, and take my business anywhere in the world we want to go. It is said you can have whatever you want in life as long as you help others achieve the same. And that is what this is all about.

Family Work

Tips for Moms to Thrive This Summer

Buckle Up Moms It’s Summer! Field Day, Volunteer Appreciation lunch, Principal retirement lunch, 8th grade beach day, 8th grade graduation practice, graduation, graduation dance, party and ½ days for the next two weeks. Somewhere in there you strive to schedule things for you. Workouts, personal appointments and oh yes, if you work from home or in an office you have to schedule your work around your kids already crazy schedule.

End of school year and Summer can be tricky, overwhelming and exhausting – but I’d like to think that I’ve found some tips to help you keep your sanity and actually get the best of time with your children and still get it all done at the same time….You know, that thing all mothers crave – BALANCE.

We are all in different places and phases of motherhood. Some are stay at home moms. Some are corporate moms. And then there is me. A Mom who works from home. Some have younger kids, some are gone – and yep some have come home for summer which brings so much joy but a whole other set of dynamics. So what’s the answer? How do we survive the summer?

Tips for thriving as a mom this summer:

Let’s start with the Calendar. Not your iphone, google calendar, or the device of the day, I’m talking a BIG old fashioned calendar that you can write on. Assign each family member a color. Then enter away. Fill in any camps, sports practice and games, travel, doctors and other appointments. See where your conflicts are and see where your openings/opportunities are.

Now start finding solutions. If you work a corporate job like I used to, summer brings great solutions to town when all of the responsible college kids come home. They are looking for part time work and you have it! If you don’t have enough hours, team up with a friend and guarantee x amount of hours per family – get a schedule and your kids can get to and from their activities. If you don’t have activities – get outside and have them take them to the beach, on hikes, on bikes. The outdoors in summer is a playground. You don’t have to spend your income on a camp every week of summer. Your kids don’t want that either – it’s supposed to be their downtime, let them have it! You should not be left out either. I found that by taking as many Fridays off as possible it gave me a long weekend with my kids and I was not always missing out!

If you work from home – this takes some adjusting to. Your calendar is just as critical. But you will likely need to change your business hours. You also need to DECIDE if you are taking the summer off or if you are going to treat your job like a career. I’m all about working hard and playing hard. This starts with a family conversation about expectations. I have specific conversations with my boys about my business hours, what they can expect from me and vice versa. I get up extra early and typically work from 6AM-12 take the boys to do something and resume my work in late afternoon early evening when they are at their sports. I used to call it camp Kara. Truth is – now with two teenagers, they are not going to want to hang with me every day – but I love the beach and they do too – they can meet up with friends and I can get my tan on, make calls, and keep my life and business moving forward in a great atmosphere. You can also team up with other moms – I have a group of mom friends who each take a day per week to take a crew of boys to do fun summer activities. The kids get to be with friends – and you get days to focus on other kids and life.

Keep your refrigerator and pantry full. Do some pre-packaging of snacks so the kids are not asking you to make something at any hour of the day. I have found on line shopping helps in this area. I shop on line for as much as I can to save trips to the store, and everything comes to me. Who has time to bounce from store to store?

Be PRESENT when you are with your children. Enjoy the time. Put the devices away during the time you have dedicated to them. If at meals, we play the phone stack game. Everyone’s phone goes into a pile in center of the table with ringers off. Parents can’t take calls, return emails, and kids can’t play games or work on their snapchat story. You get the idea. TALK to each other.

Moms, summer will be what you make of it. ENJOY every minute you get with your kids. Yes, you will be ready to get them back to school in the fall but soon you will blink, they will be driving themselves everywhere and you will wish they needed a ride. Take control of your calendar up front and enjoy every day! Let’s thrive not survive the summer.

Spotlight

Friday Spotlight: Dana Wikoff

I have always been a hard worker and at a young age worked in various management positions. I started in restaurant management at age 18, and then transition to the position of Warehouse Manager for a high-end women’s fashion line.

Realizing I hadn’t found my passion, I returned to college full-time at the age of 23 and after 4 years of school and 2 kids, I knew I didn’t want a job that would require me to be away from them all day! So, I specialized in health and fitness, obtaining certifications in both personal training and nutrition. I was able to work when I wanted and it was truly fantastic. With the birth of my 3rd child, however, I found I had less time to work but my bills were growing!

When I was first introduced to Mom’s Making Six Figures, I knew a lot about working from home but had yet to find a business that provided both the flexibility and income I needed. What I saw in Moms was an opportunity about which I could be passionate; the time freedom and income potential matched up with the ability to help other women like me achieve those same things for themselves!

My business has changed my life in so many ways, from having more time with my 3 kids, to easing the financial burden off of my husband’s shoulders, to teaching other women how to work from home. I’m so thankful for the amazing women of Mom’s Making Six Figures, and the wonderful opportunity we share.

Spotlight

Kate: “Moms Making Six Figures has given me the autonomy I’ve never had before.”

I have a Master’s degree from Northwestern University and have worked as an Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist since 1998. I love working with people, teaching them how to get healthy, return to physical activities and ultimately live happier lives. But working in a clinic with patients required me to be away from my family for long hours and even though I had a wonderful and very expensive education I lacked control over both my schedule and my income.

Moms Making Six Figures has given me what I have always been looking for – the best of both worlds! I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice family life for my career anymore. I work my own schedule and still teach people about wellness, while at the same time I have the ability to earn far beyond what I did before. And now I get to help other women have it all too. I am so grateful be a part of this organization.

 

Are you looking to make a career change? Feel free to reach out to us to see how you can become part of Moms Making Six Figures.

Spotlight

Steph Shaffer On Why She Joined Moms Making Six Figures

Being a single mom with two young children in the early 90’s, my dream was to provide them with a stable childhood free from worry.

In my mind, realizing that dream necessitated owning my own business because as an employee, I felt I had few choices. I had worked for a small company that specialized in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) for many years and eventually became a 50% owner of the business. Initially, I was elated, thinking, “I did it!  I am a small business owner and I’ve achieved the American Dream.”

What I didn’t realize was that in today’s economy, this “dream” can quickly turn into a nightmare.  

The Price of Business Ownership

There was so much more to small business ownership than I had ever realized or anticipated.  I know my fellow small business owners who are reading this can truly relate to the following experiences I dealt with:  The price of business ownership is enormous, not only monetarily, but also with your time.  The overhead costs such as mortgage or rent, utilities, payroll, payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, commercial liability insurance, insurance benefits and 401k plans for the employees and so on are staggering.  As an owner, I now had so many choices to make and my thoughts and worries never left the business; I often felt like my business owned me! 

Try as I might, I was unable to be truly engaged with my family because I was consumed with worry; the biggest of which was “from what line of credit can we borrow if we don’t bring in enough revenue this month?”  As much as I loved and was successful at my business, the stress was simply oppressive.

New Beginnings

I’m happy to say that I have since sold my ownership interest in the HVAC company and have embarked on an equally fulfilling and challenging business endeavor, but without all of the stress!  I absolutely love what Moms Making Six Figures has given me and I love what I do.

Have a question for Steph? Leave a reply below!