Four Great Ways to Keep the Kids Busy This Summer

Summer is here again and because of that, it can fill a parents mind with a bit of dread. It isn’t that you don’t want to spend time with your children, but the summer can feel really long!  Whether you work or not, it can feel like a huge chunk of time that you need to logistically think about and plan for. So if you are starting to plan for the summer holidays then here are some suggestions to help you keep the kids occupied.




Summer Camp for the Kids

Summer camp can be a great way for your children to spend their time out of school, and they can work out really well for parents who also need to continue to work their day job. There are so many camps that you can consider. If your child is more into their academics then things like CT STEM summer camp which will focus on the science side of things. Or you could look at sports related ones which could work really well to keep those energy levels calmed, especially at the end of the day! There will always be something locally that will suit your kids interests, the budget that you have and the timings that you need. But often these things need to be booked up ahead of time, so don’t wait too long!


A Family Vacation

Maybe you want to use the summer holidays and the fact that children are off school to book your summer vacation. A summer vacation can be anything. It could mean that you head off on a plane and enjoy a sunny holiday on the beach or in a nice hotel somewhere. It could mean you digging out all of the camping gear and going on a camping weekend trip. It might be driving to a nearby city and finding all the free, fun places to go! There are many ways you can spend a family vacation, but it can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Planning Days Out

It will always be a good idea to think about planning days out when it comes to planning your children’s summer. If you get some time off, you can head to local days out or perhaps use it as a chance to do something a little different. Do a search online to find some free activities and events that may be going on in the local area. The summer can be expensive so this can be a godsend when it comes to keeping your kids occupied!


Play Dates Can Help!

Finally, if you can get organized ahead of time, then speaking with other parents and organizing playdates can be a great way to occupy some of the days. You could also use this as a chance to share childcare, so taking it in turns to look after each other’s children for a few hours. It can help take the pressure off and also help towards the overall costs of childcare in general.


I sure hope these tips help you when it comes to keeping your children occupied in the summer holidays. What ideas are have you come up with for the summer? Check out some ideas for fun in the Nashville area here!

Turn Your Creative Flair Into a Side Hustle!

When you’re a parent, it can often feel like trying to balance that and your own life can be a serious challenge. After all, most full-time jobs aren’t exactly designed to accommodate the schedules of parents and children. This often means that a lot of people end up having to choose between earning a living and taking care of their kids. However, that’s not necessarily the way things have to be! If you’re in a position where you would really like to have a little more income but you don’t want to sacrifice time with your family, why not try and set up a little side hustle? If you’re a creative, crafty person, there are plenty of ways that you can use that to set up a little business that brings in some extra money without eating up all of your time.

side hustle

Get the right tools!

If you’re going to start creating the kinds of things that people actually want to buy, whether it’s greeting cards, wedding place cards, notebooks, or anything else, you’re going to need the tools to do it. From stamps to blend markers to high-quality paper, the right tools and materials are going to lend a sense of quality to whatever you make. After all, no one wants to buy something that feels totally amateurish.

Baseball & Softball Racerback Tanks


Figure out what you’re good at.

Of course, if what you’re selling isn’t any good, it won’t matter how great your tools and materials are. You need to figure out where your own skillset lies and lean into that. Sure, there might be plenty of different things you want to try, but if there’s one thing that you do far better than anything else, it’s much better to embrace that niche so that you can really offer people something special rather than trying to do a dozen or more different things that are only kind of average.

Learn How to Run Your Side Hustle!

A crafty career can be incredibly fun but the truth is that there are always going to be parts of it that are capital W work. This is true for absolutely everything and it’s not really something any of us can avoid. That means that you’re going to have to pay attention to the boring stuff like how to set up an Etsy store, how to promote yourself on social media, how to deal with things like invoices, deliveries, and all of the other logistics of that kind of business. Sure, it’s not fun, but it’s too important for you to ignore!

Of course, as with any business venture, this is something that you’re going to have to commit at least some of your time to and if you’re not ready to do that then it probably won’t succeed very quickly. The great thing about a side hustle is that it is YOURS and you are in control! There are so many resources out there to help you get started though! 

You may also want to set up a blog to help support your store, and I can help with that! Click here for more information!


How to: Make a Delicious Meal for Under $10

I don’t know about you, but it always feels like the grocery bill goes up as soon as summer begins! Making a delicious meal seems like it will be so expensive! But you can do it! It just takes a little planning and creativity!

delicious meal

Thank goodness for grocery store sales, coupons and Aldi!

Although I really love Aldi, I have to say I have been very impressed with Kroger this last year. They have lowered their prices and continually have markdowns on produce, meats, and dairy products. You may not have a Kroger in your area, but chances are you may have a store that is in their network. And I am almost certain you have a Walmart where you live!

Another store that has really been surprising me is Target! They tend to have a good bit of meat that they clearance out during the week! Walmart has really good sales on their meats as well, and will often have markdowns on their bakery products. Now, I know you probably don’t have the time to be running all over town to five different stores! And I know if you have small children, you certainly don’t want to try to drag them to five different stores! What a nightmare!

Pick your favorite store!

So my suggestion to you is to pick your favorite store who consistently has good deals and impressive markdowns. For me, that has consistently been Kroger. Now, if I happen to be in Target or Walmart, I always check to see what the markdowns are, but I don’t make a special trip. Watch for special  deals at your favorite store, and stock up on sale items. Just this last weekend, Kroger had a sale on GoGurts and Danimals for .99 a pack. My kids love these, so I got 5 each (the max allowed), froze most of them for later and these will last for most of the summer.

So what am I looking for when I go shopping?

When you go shopping for markdowns, you want to cruise the perimeter of the store. The bakery, meats, dairy, etc. Sometimes you might find a markdown in the freezer section, but this is not usual. Meats are probably one of the most expensive items that I have on my grocery list. So, if I can find these on sale, I grab them. You will need to make sure that you make the time to repackage them into freezer bags and freeze what you won’t be using in the next day or so.

I also look for marked down or cheap produce. At Kroger, they keep these behind the bananas. Sometimes, these are really too old for me, but I often find great deals on oranges, potatoes, and eggplant. You just never know, so its always worth a look. The other day, I found a bag of 5 yellow potatoes for .99, which I turned into smashed potatoes! (recipe to follow)

So, how did I create a delicious meal for 6 for under $10?

This is much easier to do than you think! Take your markdowns and combine them with other inexpensive items to make a full meal. For example: The .99 yellow potatoes, two packs of marked down ground turkey $5.50 for both and two cans of green beans .59 each.  That brings the meal total to $7.67. And yes, this fed four hungry kids and two adults!

First, I made a family favorite Turkey Meatballs only this time, I used my 24 ct muffin tin and cooked them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes on each side. Next, I made the Smashed Potatoes and finally I put two cans of green beans in a sauce pan, added a little bacon, salt, and 21 season salute and let them cook on medium for about 20 minutes.

delicious meal

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes
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  • 5-6 Yellow or Red Potatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 4 T. Butter
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp Garlic Salt (start with the lower amount, and add more if needed)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Milk or Almond Milk

  1. Wash and cut potatoes into fourths.
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pan filled with water.
  3. Allow potatoes to boil for 15 minutes or until completely soft. (a fork should break them)
  4. Drain the water.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup milk in with the potatoes.
  6. Add butter and all spices.
  7. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher
  8. Add more milk if need and stir.
  9. Now they are ready to serve!

Yield: 6

Its that easy! If you are looking for other inexpensive and potentially under $10 meal ideas here are a few of my other recipes! Instant Pot Baked Spaghetti,Easy Homemade Beef Stroganoff or Chili! See the full list on my Recipe Index!

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