Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

DIY Kids Behavior System

Summer break can be a blast. It can also be a head-ache with all of the kids home and schedules thrown out of whack. That is why the first craft in our summer series is this DIY kids behavior system. Nearly all of the materials come in the Michael’s Creative Play Kit which you can read about on Bust Summer Boredom with Weekly Crafts. If you already got your kit then you are ready to get on to the tutorial. Let’s get ready to rock your summer parenting!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Materials

  • Craft Stick People
  • Construction Paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • 2 Pipe Cleaners
  • Colored Pencils
  • Clear Tape
  • Empty Drink Container (I used a Crystal Light container)

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 1

Tear a small stack of construction paper into fourths.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 2

Next, give each child a craft stick person, a fourth of paper stack, glue stick, and scissors.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 3

Allow kids to decorate or dress their craft stick people.

Note:

  • My 8 year old carefully traced his craft stick outline to make a shirt and pants for his. Then he drew the face and shoes with colored pencils. The 4 year old wanted to cover every part of hers with different pieces of paper. The 3 year old cried the whole time because he couldn’t have googly eyes. Hopefully, that illustrates the diversity of this process. Lol!

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 4

While the kids are decorating their stick people, clean your drink container.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 5

Next, cut a rectangular opening in the top.

Tips:

  • Use a very sharp box cutter to do this.
  • I recommend scoring where you want to make your cuts first. I didn’t which is why I ended up with a jagged cut-out.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 6

Cut a strip of red construction paper that is roughly as wide as a third of your drink container’s length.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 7

Next, use the red construction paper as a guide to cut out strips of green and yellow construction paper.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 8

Take your lid off of your container and cover the right third of your container with the red construction paper strip. Secure it with tape.

Tip:

  • Start in an area so that your overlap doesn’t fall over the opening on top.

Step 9

Cut through the paper covering your opening and fold down on the inside.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 10

Next, attach your green strip to the left side with tape.

Step 11

Repeat step 9 with the green paper.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 12

Lastly, wrap your yellow paper around the center of your container and secure with tape.

Tip:

  • I secured the end of all of my strips to the container with tape before wrapping them. You don’t have to do that with the red and green but you need to do that for the yellow strip.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 13

Cut through the yellow paper over the opening and secure folded inside with tape.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 14

Carefully reattach your lid to your container.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 15

Next, wrap a yellow pipe cleaner around the seam of the red and yellow paper strips and twist to secure.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 16

Then create a loop by twisting the ends of the excess together.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 17

Repeat steps 14 and 15 on the green and yellow seam.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

Step 18

Use the loops to hang your behavior system on the wall and add your kids’ craft stick people.

Tip:

  • You may want to label the stick people to help you keep them straight until you learn whose is whose.

 

This #DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior! #parenting Click To Tweet

How to Use the DIY Kids Behavior System

The behavior system works as a visual indicator for kids. If their thick people are in the green then their behavior is good. If they get a warning for bad behavior the sticks go to yellow. Red means that they lost out on any reward for the day.

Rewards

Daily rewards should be something small but still incentive for good behavior. You can use candy, such as Skittles or M&M’s, or extra game/TV time. Stickers or temporary tattoos also work very well for younger kids.

 

Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer. We have added in the addition that you can earn your way back to green from yellow with exceptional behavior. However, once you hit red, you have lost the chance of a reward for the day. Another option is a bigger reward for ending the day on green and a smaller reward for ending on yellow. Choose the method that works best for your family. If you haven’t snagged your Creative Play Kit, check it out here!

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Summer break can be a blast but it can also be a head-ache. This DIY kids behavior system is perfect for encouraging great behavior during the summer.

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mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Make Fitness a Habit with a DIY Daily Workout Sticks System

This month’s Create Your Future post is later than normal, as you may have noticed. The editorial calendar for this month is crazy packed, as noted by the fact that it is only the 8th and already this will be the 6th post brought to you. Crazy, I know, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. However, this one is worth the wait. Welcome to the first Create Your Future post with a tutorial! I can’t believe that we have been doing this for nearly a year and there hasn’t been the need for you to make something before now. Since you know how much I absolutely adore DIY (it’s kind of my thing) it is surprising. No more, though, because this month we are focusing on how to develop a fitness habit and this DIY daily workout sticks system is just the tool for the job!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

 

This #DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily #fitness routine! Click To Tweet

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Materials

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 1

Outline the end of a popsicle stick in the color of your choosing as pictured. I chose green for mine (as you will see in the photos).

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 2

Mark the edge of the stick at the bottom of your outline.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 3

Using the mark you made as a guide, outline the back side of your stick in the same way.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 4

Lastly, fill in the edges of the outlined area.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 5

Repeat steps 1 through 3 with the remaining 9 popsicle sticks.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 6

Next, write down an exercise (in the same color as your outline) and the number of reps to do on each stick. If you need some ideas, here are a few to get you started:

  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Plank
  • Sit-Ups
  • V-sits
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Run the Stairs
  • Wall Sits
  • Lift Up Your Kiddos (one-handed like a curl or two-handed over your head)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Chair Dips
  • Lunges
  • Kettlebell Swing
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Side Plank
  • Step-Ups
  • Opposite Arm and Leg Raises
  • Walking Lunges

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 7

Now, write an “M” inside the outlines on each popsicle stick.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 8

Next, on the opposite end of the popsicle sticks repeat steps 1 through 3 in a second color. For this side, I chose pink.

Tip:

  • Use the previous outlines as a guide to measure as pictured above.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 9

Next draw an “E” in the outlined areas, again using the same color you outlined with.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 10

Lastly, write exercises and reps on the blank side of your popsicle sticks.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 11

Put your daily workout sticks in a container “M” side up.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

How to Use Your Daily Workout Sticks System

Each morning start with your daily workout sticks “M” side up. Choose 3 and perform them as your morning workout. After you have finished put all of the sticks back in the container flipped to the “E” side. Then, in the afternoon or evening, choose 3 more for your second workout. Once you have finished, return them to the container and turn all of your sticks back to the “M” side for the next morning.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

That’s all there is to the daily workout sticks system. These handy tools will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant. As you become more accustomed to working out you can increase the intensity by drawing more sticks for each workout. You can also do so by increasing the number of repetitions that you do of each exercise. This easy DIY truly grows with you as your strength and stamina increase. If you are looking for more ways to stay active check out 10 Ways to Fit in Fitness and, of course, don’t forget to grab your free habit tracker!

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This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

Create Your Future: Developing Your Writing Habit

Are you tired of writer’s block? Imagine sitting down to your computer and the ideas start flowing out of your fingers. That is what happens when you start developing your writing habit. You train your brain and your body when to be creative. That is what habit we are developing this month. Don’t forget to grab your free habit tracker on Developing New Habits before getting started.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your #writing habit! Click To Tweet

Step 1

Determine how long you want to spend writing each day. This will depend on what you are writing and why. I plan on writing for 2 hours a day but writing is my job. If you are trying to finally write that novel while working full-time then you might only plan 30 minutes. Choose a time-frame that fits with your current lifestyle.

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

Step 2

Choose the time of day you want to write. This needs to be a time that you are free everyday so that you can remain consistent. Don’t choose a time that occasionally conflicts with practices or church. That time-frame is during the kids’ afternoon nap for me but you could try getting up earlier in the morning or writing during your lunch hour.

Step 3

Next, choose your method. For example, I hand write all of my posts before typing them. If you can be inspired with a keyboard and computer screen that is your method. You could even go retro with a typewriter if that inspires you. Whichever method you choose, stick with it. Changing your method repeatedly can affect the success of forming your new habit.

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

Step 4

Decide on a trigger. Some people sit down to write after pouring a morning coffee. Other jump right in after waking up. Choose something that will trigger your daily writing. This is especially important for creative habits. After a while the ideas will come more easily during your daily creative time.

Step 5

Write. This may sound like a no-brainer but I’m saying not to worry about what you write. When creating your writing habit it is simply important to write. If you are stuck at first, pick a word or topic and start writing everything that comes to mind. Write about why tacos are so awesome or what your perfect day looks like. It will get easier to work on the projects you want as the month goes on.

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

These steps will help you with developing your writing habit. You can steal my writing habit strategy if you want the exact one. While my kids eat breakfast, I clean. After breakfast and getting the oldest on the bus I start outlining while the little ones play. The outlines are getting out general ideas and points. They can also be easily walked away from if the kiddos need me. After lunch it is nap time and putting the kids down is my trigger to write. The outlines give me a road map for my writing during nap time. That is my exact strategy for forming my writing habit. Before you go, I’d love to know what your favorite writing medium is. Do you go straight to the keyboard or are you a pen and paper chick?

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Create Your Future: Forming New Habits

This month’s goals post is going to be a little different. Okay, a lot different. Part of creating your future is forming new habits. The activities that are important to you are easier to dominate when they become second nature. Believe it or not, there are specific steps you can take to turn activities and behaviors into habits. That is what we’re going to be doing for the next 6 months of create your future posts. Don’t worry. I’m sharing freebies to help you accomplish it all.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Choose Your Habits

Right now we’re going to focus on the next 6 months. That means your first step is to choose sex activities or behaviors that you want to become habits. These can be anything from getting a shower first thing in the morning to working out each day. Choose the activities that you want to be a part of who you are. To give you some inspiration, here are the six habits I will be forming:

  1. Crafting
  2. Writing
  3. Fitness
  4. Cleaning
  5. 11:30 Bedtime
  6. Reading

Assign Months

The next step is to assign each habit to a month. There are 2 different points to consider when deciding this:

  1. If your habits build on each other you will need to create them in the order that they build. For example, I want to read for 30 minutes each day but I also want that to become my body’s cue for bedtime. That means I will need to develop the reading habit first.
  2. Think about your schedule. Would it be easier to get more active in the summer when your kids are home or is that the time to start a new writing routine? It is likely easier to start working out. Save the writing habit for when the kids are in school.

Now that you’ve thought about these things, assign each habit the month you will create it in. Here are how I have assigned mine (and also the order I will be sharing tips and tricks with you):

  • April: Cleaning
  • May: Writing
  • June: Fitness
  • July: Crafting
  • August: Reading
  • September: 11:30 Bedtime

 

Find out how to turn activities that are important to you into habits with these steps!… Click To Tweet

 

Define Your Habits

You need to take the time to define your habits. For example, “cleaning” is too broad of a habit. Instead, list the specific cleaning tasks you are going to complete each day. You also want to define the time of day you will do the tasks. Here are some defining questions to ask:

  1. What are the specific tasks?
  2. When will you perform these tasks?
  3. Will you set a time for the task or will it be defined in a different way (word count, page count, task completion…)?
  4. What physical clues will you give your body to trigger your habit? For example, will sitting down with your morning coffee be your trigger to start writing? Will you start a load of dishes after clearing the dinner table each night?

Tips for Success

Simply having a plan isn’t enough to turn an activity into a habit. Here are a few pointers to be successful in forming your new habits:

  • Focus on one habit at a time.
  • To turn the activity into a habit, do it for at least 20 minutes each time.
  • Don’t skip any days while forming your habit. This includes weekends and holidays.
  • If you do miss a day, start your 30+ days over again.

 

Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Forming new habits also helps with your time management. By integrating the activities into your everyday life you become more efficient and will end up ahead in many areas of your life. To make this whole process easier, print out your free Monthly Habit Tracker so you can ensure that you are remembering your new habits each day! I will also be providing tips for the specific habits listed above each month so check back for those. You can also get weekly updates and inspiration each week in your inbox when you sign up below!

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Invest in Your Community with Cincinnati Bell


Your community directly impacts your life. Community shapes us. Great communities lead to great people. This is why when people come together and care about their community it makes it better for everyone. I know how blessed I am in my community because it is an amazing place to live. That is why it means so much when companies invest in your community like Cincinnati Bell is investing in Cincinnati. They are going above and beyond to make our community amazing. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics.

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell! https://ooh.li/da3f99f #ad… Click To Tweet

Meet Cincinnati Bell Fioptics

Fioptics is more than just fiber technology (find out more about that below). The speeds accommodated by Fioptics makes everything you do online lightning fast. These amazing speeds extend to your television experience, too. With MyTV you can get 60 HD channels standard then choose your custom channel packages to add to it. Cincinnati Bell is the only company offering television on your terms in the Cincinnati area!

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

MyTV

MyTV lets you pay for custom television the way that you want it. Combined with Fioptics you can customize your channels, stream videos, and always have a lightning fast connection. No more getting frustrated about buffering or lag because there isn’t any. You also get access to OnDemand which lets you stream the movies and shows you want, when you want them!

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive
What is Fiber Technology?

Fiber technology means that lots of small wires, or fibers, are contained within the cables. This lets insane amounts of information and data travel across the lines at one time quickly. Fiber technology is what makes it so fast!

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

How Cincinnati Bell is Giving Back

Cincinnati Home Campaign

Cincinnati Bell knows that community is important, too. They know that investing in our home makes it stronger. One way they are investing in our community is the Cincinnati Home Campaign. They have created these awesome t-shirts featuring the iconic Roebling Bridge. The shirts are $20 each with the proceeds going to four local organizations:

  • CancerFree KIDS: Mission is to eradicate cancer as a life-threatening disease in children.
  • The Dragonfly Foundation: Supports kids, young adults, and their families as they endure cancer and bone marrow transplants.
  • USO of Central and Southern Ohio: Supports local military service members around the world and their families.
  • Spca Cincinnati: Animal shelter and Humane Society dedicated to improve the welfare of animals by fostering the Humane Care and Treatment of all animals.

They are even giving back to our community by investing in local businesses for the Cincinnati Home Campaign. The company printing the t-shirts is located right in downtown Covington and is locally owned and operated. This campaign is proving that it pays to invest in your community through and through.

Did you know that with the ConnectCincinnati app, you can access free WiFi city wide? Learn more… Click To Tweet

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Fioptics at Home

When we bought our house I was ecstatic. There was literally only one thing that I was bummed about and that was that I couldn’t have my Fioptics internet because it wasn’t available in our neighborhood. We had used it the entire time we were in our apartment and loved it! So when I found out that is was now available to us I couldn’t say “Yes!” fast enough. Lightning fast connections and ability to stream everything we want easily is a no-brainer.

This time it’s even better because now we have the awesome television package, too. You can choose from tons of packages from sports to kids. You also get access to OnDemand shows and movies. Some of these are free and some you can rent for your next family movie night. Cincinnati Bell handled all of the installation so all there is for you to do is turn on your new box and pick a show! It’s perfect for busy moms.

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

With all of the time you free up with Cincinnati Bell you’ll have time to invest in your community. Volunteer at your child’s school. Help keep the amazing family programs at the library going. You can run more 5K’s to raise money for your community. The possibilities are endless. Check out Cincinnati Bell so that you can start investing back in your amazing community today.

See where I’m linking up!

Don’t forget to pin it!

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

 

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night.

Awesome Ideas to Save Money on Girls Night

With growing families to take care of and a never-ending to-do list, moms are the worst at making girls night a priority. Add to that the stress of budgeting for it and you’re ready to call it quits before you even start. It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night. Now there will be one less barrier to you and the girls getting together.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

 It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night.

No Cover

Pick a venue that doesn’t have a cover charge. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go to the happening spot in town. Be intentional with your planning. Choose to go on a night when women get in free. Some venues also offer free entry during certain times so check for that as well.

Skip Dinner Out

Have dinner at home with your family before your girls night. This will save you money and it can be an easier transition for your kids if you don’t leave them much. Alternatively, you can still have dinner with the girls but have everyone bring a dish to share. Meet up at someone’s house and eat together. Bonus points if the husband will do the dishes while you’re gone!

Bring Cash

Using cash is the only way to 100% control your spending on a girls night. This is especially true when alcohol is involved. In addition to only using cash leave your cards at home. This will help control your spending and it allows you to bring a smaller bag on your night out. Even with cash do not run a tab. That allows you to lose track of your spending easily. Pay for everything as you get it.

Coffee Instead of Drinks

Most coffee joints are open late. Take advantage of this and have a girls night at one. Coffee is much cheaper than drinks (especially since you are less likely to get multiples). You can chat and catch up for hours. You can even bring a game to play to liven things up. Also, don’t forget to splurge on a scone or a cookie while you’re there!

 

Find out how to save money on girls night so you can recharge! #girlsnight Click To Tweet

 

Take a Free Class at Michaels

Okay, this one doesn’t typically happen at night but it is an awesome and inexpensive way to get some time with your girlfriends. The classes are free and even if you have to buy supplies it won’t cost much. Michaels will also typically let you bring in food and drink. Simply call your local store and check their policies beforehand. If your only option is to get together with the girls in the evenings you can also try Paint and Sip Parties although these tend to be a little more expensive.

Try Karaoke

Most karaoke is free to attend and participate in. The reason for this is because the venue expects that patrons will drink. You don’t have to imbibe to have a fun night out. One piece of advice before you go: even if you’re trying to do a girls night on the cheap, don’t forget to tip the bartender or waiter for your water. He or she is still serving you and taking care of your group that night.

 

 It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night.

There you have it! All that is left for you to do is call the girls and ask them when they are free to get together. These awesome ideas to save money on girls night will make guilt-free fun a part of your life again. Do you have any tips for saving money on girls night? Share them with us in the comments so we can bring back the fun!

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

Creating Your Future: March 2017 Goals

You may be wondering why I would share my goals and evaluations each month. More importantly, you may be wondering how it helps you. I share my goals with you each month for many reasons. One reason is accountability. If you set goals each month but no one knows about them, it is easier to push them back and put them off. The second reason is that I want you to be inspired to set and achieve your own goals each month. The third, and one of the most important reasons, is that I want you to see the evaluation process at work. Not achieving a goal you set can be good if you truly reflect and take a hard look at why you didn’t achieve it. That is how you grow. So take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

 

Find out how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals and how you can too! Click To Tweet

 

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

February 2017 Evaluation

Business Goals

Continue Product Work – Fail?

Do you ever get stuck on a project? That is what has happened to me. I set aside time each weekday to work on this and I sat staring at pages of notes and outlines. That is why I’m not sure if this is a fail. The tiny snippets that came to me don’t feel like accomplishing much.

Finish Posts in Editorial Calendar – Success

Okay, so I didn’t finish every single one. In fact, there are things for Easter posts that I couldn’t even find in stores yet. However, I am ahead on posts and I continue to get further ahead each day. This has been huge for me, as you can imagine.

Build Twitter Following to 5,000 – Fail

I haven’t cracked that magical formula yet. In the last few weeks I have been seeing progress but no huge leaps. I am continuing to see growth. I will preserver in this.

Finance Goals

Reorganize Finances – Success

This was definitely priority number one for me. I can’t focus on anything if I don’t know that my finances are in order. Thankfully, everything is re-organized and back on track.

Save Something – Success

It wasn’t much but I managed to save $50. The best part is that by the end of March I have it budgeted to save up to $500. Can’t wait to see that $1000 finish line!

Organization Goals

Finish Office – Fail

Why is this failing for the 2nd month in a row? TOO. MUCH. STUFF. I now have boxes of items and supplies to get rid of and still don’t have a place for everything. It is time to do a second round of purging.

Continue Purging – Success

I am like a machine. With every load of laundry I keep a box handy for outdated or unused clothes. As rooms get cleaned, excess items go into a box. By the end of March I plan to have a home that is thousands of pounds lighter.

Self-Improvement Goals

5,000 Steps Daily – Fail

I am super disappointed in this one. I have added more dancing to my day (which is pretty impressive considering how much I already randomly burst into dance). I’ve also made sure that I get up and move each time my Jawbone vibrates. We now have a treadmill that I plan to spend an hour on each day. I hope that this helps me reach above and beyond my step goal.

Make More Time for Friends – Success

I was much better at making time for friends. There is still room for improvement but I am well on my way to a more balanced life.

Family Goals

Continue Family Meetings – Success

We haven’t found out weekly rhythm but we are still having family meetings. I think that finding the day and time that fit best is the biggest challenge.

Regular Zoo Trips – Fail

We didn’t make it to the zoo once in February. This is one that I intend to try again in March. I’m hoping that going ahead and putting zoo trips on the calendar will make them more likely to happen. The eventually warming weather should help too.

 

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

March 2017 Goals

Business Goals

  • E.B.A. 3.0 – I am so excited to be taking this! I took Elite Blog Academy last year but the changes Ruth has made are extremely exciting. I have actually already started on the course and I love it!
  • Grow Twitter to 5,000 – Yes, I am continuing to focus on growing Twitter. I refuse to give up! P.S. I’m taking part in an awesome giveaway this month that will focus on this! Yay!
  • Continue on Editorial – It is amazing watching my hard work pay off and I want to continue with that momentum. If I can keep up this pace, I will be done with my May posts by the end of this month!

Finance Goals

  • Business Finance Plan – It occurred to me that I am super obsessive about my personal finances yet I’m not doing the same for my business finances. I keep an expense schedule and a register. That’s it. I need to start planning ahead with my business finances as I do with my personal finances.
  • Build Saving to $500 – As I said earlier, I have built this into the budget. Hopefully I can stretch it to even more.

Organization Goals

  • Ruthless Purge – It is time to go room by room and ruthlessly get rid of items. This is my trial run before running a challenge for you in April. A clean home makes for a clear mind.
  • Finish Office – Yet again I am going to make this a goal. I need my organized office back. That is why I’m going to devote 20 minutes every single day to get it done.

Self-Improvement Goals

  • Reach 5,000 Daily Steps – The treadmill should make this entirely reachable. This is another goal that I’m determined to reach.
  • Continue Improving Balance – I will continue to work on those goals that help me achieve a better life balance. That includes continuing to make time for friends and for myself. I can’t be productive if I don’t take the time to recharge.

Family Goals

  • Zoo Trips on the Calendar – As I said above, I hope that by getting these on the calendar I can make sure that they happen. No more ad-hocking it.
  • Family Meetings – I want to get these on a finalized schedule that works for us.

 

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

There you have it! If you take a peek at November’s goals from last year you can see how far I’ve already come. You can have that, too. See a steady growth in your life and yourself with monthly goals. Don’t forget to grab your Free Monthly Goal Setting Planner to help you be as successful as possible. Creating your future is easy when you have the right tools. What are you waiting for?

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
You’ll be the smartest parent on the block with these parenting tips no one tells you. You’ll be less stressed, too, because parenting is stressful enough.

The Parenting Tips No One Tells You

Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows that everyone on the planet has parenting tips. They feel compelled to share those tips with you constantly and unsolicited. They tell you the “correct” way to feed your baby, hold your baby, whether or not you should co-sleep… if you can think of it, it has probably been said. What you don’t hear is, “If you let the toddler roam the car while buckling the baby, then check all of your dials before leaving.” Or that baby gates are challenges more than actual baby-proofing. With that in mind, I’m sharing the parenting tips no one tells you to help you prepare for where the baby books run out.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

You’ll be the smartest parent on the block with these parenting tips no one tells you. You’ll be less stressed, too, because parenting is stressful enough.

Always Take Your Keys

Any time you step outside without kids, take your house key. Whether you are walking the oldest to the bus stop or grabbing the mail, always take your keys. Little hands love to explore and that little tab on the door knob is like a magnet for them. Don’t think you are safe if they are in the pack-n-play either. The second your back is turned they transform in acrobatic little ninjas who will escape.

Interior Door Keys

Speaking of locked doors, stock up keys for your interior doors too. Independent 3-year-olds will lock themselves in the bathroom. Teenagers will be naïve enough to think they “own” their room. We keep one of these above every door in the house and have used them so many times I have lost count.

Handle Guards

If you are using the rubber ones to prevent head bashing, great! If you are using those crazy contraption ones to prevent little hands from opening doors, you are wasting your money. We had one on our front door. The irony was that the toddlers it was supposed to keep safe were the only ones who could work it. Save yourself the trouble and money; invest in a door chain. They can get the door open but not enough to get out of the house.

Bonus:

  • Remember to unlatch it before your husband gets home. Turns out he gets cranky when he’s chained out of the house after work… especially if you’re downstairs and don’t hear him yelling.

Move the Baby Gate

These are fine on the floor when baby first starts moving. Once they become toddlers, though, the baby gate turns into an obstacle to overcome. It is their baby Everest and they are up to the challenge. That is why you should move the gate up a few inches during the toddler years. It will be harder for them to climb.

 

You’ll be the smartest parent on the block with these parenting tips no one tells you. #parenting Click To Tweet

 

Utilize Stickers

Stickers are your new best friend. They are inexpensive and can be used to re-enforce everything from potty training to acts of kindness. Yes, you will find stickers everywhere but which would you rather clean: a sticker mosaic or a feces Van Gough?

Bonus Tip:

  • If you do find yourself forced to clean up that Van Gough, use a foaming bathtub cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles. It will stay in place on walls to make cleaning easier.

Tie Up the Play Yard

At some point after the “throw all my toys out and watch you pick them up” phase of the pack-n-play your child will move on to a new game. This fun game is called “run and throw all of my weight against the side”. My son could move his clear across the living room in 2 runs at 2 years old. You can prevent this by tying the leg of the pack-n-play to a sturdy furniture leg like the couch or a sturdy coffee table.

Use a Pizza Cutter

Don’t use a pizza cutter only for pizza. This little miracle can cut up tons of foods quickly and easily. We have used it on salads, spaghetti, hot dogs, fruit, and cookies. It will save you a ton of time!

Set Up 2 Wi-fi Accounts

Did you know that you can set up 2 accounts on the same router that both pull from the same internet? You can even choose the speed of each one. Use one wi-fi to connect all of your household devices to like your Fire Stick and DVD players. Use the other one for all of your kids’ devices like phones, laptops, and Xboxes. If the kids are grounded you can easily disable their electronic with affecting your own.

 

You’ll be the smartest parent on the block with these parenting tips no one tells you. You’ll be less stressed, too, because parenting is stressful enough.

You’ll be the smartest parent on the block with these parenting tips no one tells you. Hopefully you’ll be less stressed, too, because parenting is stressful enough on its own. Want more super-simple parenting ideas to save you sanity? Check out these DIY Busted Cards and these 5 Tips to Get Kids to Sleep. Do you have a parenting tip no one tells you? Share it with us in the comments!

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

8 Tips for Dealing with Depression

Dealing with depression isn’t easy. Cultural stigma tells you to get over it. Friends and family don’t understand it. Then add on the fact that everyone is different so there is no standard treatment and it feels like a battle you can’t win. I would love to tell you I have a magic cure but I don’t. Instead, I can share with you my 8 tips for dealing with depression after nearly 20 years of doing so.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. #depression Click To Tweet

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Plan Ahead

It sounds so simple but you need to be specific. Bad days are going to come when you can’t function like you need to. Right now you’re trying to power through but that can actually make it worse. Don’t try to power through and instead plan ahead for these days.

  • Have freezer meals ready to throw in the oven or in the Crock-Pot.
  • Stash a set of clean clothes for each of your kids in case you can’t do laundry.
  • Batch your work so that you are ahead when bad days hit.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Have a Bag of Tricks

Keep a physical list of things that can improve your mood. Think of this list as your bag of tricks that you can pull from on bad days. Maybe getting lost in a good book helps you pull out of it. It may take some time but any time an activity helps make the bad days a little better, write it on your list. My top 3 activities are:

  1. Throwing on headphones and blasting music: I usually start with sad songs but put my IPod on shuffle so upbeat songs eventually come on. This keeps me from wallowing.
  2. Getting sunlight or visiting a tanning bed: In the summer this is easier because I can go outside and the sun physically warms me up. That helps warm my mood, too.
  3. Taking a nap or going to bed early: When I sleep it helps my levels go back to normal. While this one isn’t always an option, it does always help.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Be Open About It

I’m not saying have an all-out breakdown in front of people. None of my friends or extended family have seen me on the days that I am literally rocking in a corner bawling my eyes out. However, everyone in my life knows that I have depression and also that some days I am just going to be different. Trying to hide it isn’t worth it. Let people know when you’re having a bad day. If they can’t handle that, you don’t need them in your life.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Meal Plan

This goes along with planning ahead. If you have a weekly meal plan in place you can easily shuffle meals if needed. Move frozen pizza night to Tuesday and switch stir fry to Friday. Also, don’t forget about lunches if you have little ones at home during the day. Don’t feel guilty about heating up leftovers or serving a cheese sandwich for lunch. Your kids will love it, anyway.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Create Kid Kits

Speaking of kids, being a mom doesn’t stop when depression hits hard. Creating kid kits will make life so much easier. Keep a bag stocked with new, quiet toys and activities. When a bad day happens, surprise your kids with something from the bag. They will love getting a new surprise and it will help keep them entertained when you don’t have the energy. To help you out, here are some ideas for what to put in the bag:

  1. Coloring Books
  2. Crayons
  3. Puzzles
  4. Movies
  5. Dolls
  6. Figurines
  7. Play-Doh
  8. ISpy Books
  9. Hand-Held Mazes
  10. Magnetic Draw Pad
  11. Lego Kits
  12. Memory Game
  13. Look and Feel Book
  14. Deck of Cards

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Be Specific

Friends and family don’t know what you need. Be specific when telling them what you need, how they can help, and what is currently going on. If you need your husband to take the kids outside so that you can have some quiet, tell him. When friends keep calling and you can’t deal with it, tell them. Not everyone is going to understand and that’s okay. They simply have to respect it. My mom doesn’t love the fact that I can’t always bring myself to respond to her but she respects that sometimes it may be 24 hours before I can let her know that I’m okay. If I’m still not up for talking, a simple text will suffice. These are the specifics and boundaries that you need to set.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Keep Your Home Clean

Trust me; I know how hard this is. I have small kiddos, a tiny kitchen, and too much stuff. My house is always a mess. When you add a bad depression day to that mixture you get so far behind that it is a monster to tackle. If you can’t keep your whole house clean, aim for one room. For me, that room is my office because it is the only room in the house that no one else is allowed in. However, I actually recommend that you do it with your bedroom. If you can keep your bedroom clean then you will have one room to retreat to that doesn’t feel like it is adding to the chaos going on inside of you.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Don’t Be Ashamed to Take Meds

Honestly, I see so many people who write, post, and talk about avoiding medicine at any cost. Decide right now that your life is worth more than that. My body is sick and cannot produce the chemicals that I need to keep from spiraling into depression. No amount of positive thinking, therapy, or homeopathic remedy can “fix” that. It is the same as needing to take insulin to process sugar. So don’t be ashamed if you need medicine and don’t be afraid to speak up when it’s not working. There are a ton of different kinds in a variety of strengths so that you can find the perfect fit for your body and your depression.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them. Even better, when you come out on the other side you won’t be as behind because of you planning ahead. Don’t let depression define you. It is simply a part of you and you are so much more than a single part.

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Are you struggling with your fitness goals this year? Here are 10 tips to fit in fitness while doing the things that are already on your to-do list.

10 Tips to Fit in Fitness

Are you struggling with your fitness goals this year? It is hard to find time to work out when you have a family to take care of, chores to do, meals to cook… the list goes on and on. Don’t give up on your goals. Instead, find ways to work it into your daily routine. Here are 10 tips to fit in fitness while doing the things that are already on your to-do list. From watching TV to cooking dinner, I’ve got ideas to add more activeness to your day.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Are you struggling with your fitness goals this year? Here are 10 tips to fit in fitness while doing the things that are already on your to-do list.

Brushing Your Teeth

There are a number of easy exercises you can do while you brush your teeth. 2 of my favorite ones are wall sits and stepping in place. While this won’t make you thin overnight, it will add 2 more minutes of activity to your day.

During Commercials

Doing some sort of exercise during commercial breaks of your favorite shows is an excellent way to fit in fitness. Jumping jacks and crunches are popular for this but I prefer plank. It is an excellent core workout that also doesn’t make a lot of noise (in case you watch TV after the kiddos go to bed like me). If you are more of a Netflix binge-watcher, change it up by doing 2 minutes of activity between episodes.

Shopping

Park your car in the very back of the lot when you go shopping or run errands. This is a great way to get in extra steps. If you want to up the ante, don’t get a cart in the parking lot. Instead carry your kids from the car to the door. Trust me that will turn your shopping trip into a full-blown workout.

 

Are you struggling with your fitness goals this year? Here are 10 tips to fit in fitness while doing the things that are already on your to-do list.

Making Dinner

Let’s face it: even with careful meal planning moms still spend of good chunk of our lives in the kitchen. The next time you’re stuck by the stove or hovering over the sink, step in place. It will help keep you energy level up and add some movement to your day.

Dance

Dance a lot. Like, dance any chance you get to shake your body. We dance down the hallway to naptime. I dance in the shower (although I don’t necessarily recommend this as I have fallen a few times… I just can help it). We hold random dance parties in the living room. Find times every day to dance even if it is only for a moment.

Bus Stops

Walk with your kid to the bus top and meet them at it after school. Even if the bus stop is only at the end of your driveway those are still extra steps.

Bonus Tip:

  • If your kid gets embarrassed about you being at the bus stop, one afternoon wait with a huge “Welcome” sign and cheer as he or she gets off of the bus. They won’t mind you just standing there so much.

 

Don't miss these 10 tips to fit in fitness doing things already on your to-do list. #fitness… Click To Tweet

 

Take the Steps

If you have a family room in your basement, hang out there. Then use the stairs to go to the restroom or get a drink of water. Even if you have a bathroom on the same level, take the steps to another one. It only takes an extra 2 minutes of your time and your body will thank you for it.

Toss Your Kids

Tossing your kids in the air is another excellent workout. Okay, so you don’t have to actually toss them in the air if that makes you nervous. Instead, try mimicking the motion but never letting go. The kids will still love it and you’ll be getting a varied shoulder press workout.

 

Are you struggling with your fitness goals this year? Here are 10 tips to fit in fitness while doing the things that are already on your to-do list.

Get on the Park Equipment

You can find tons of “playground workouts” on Pinterest but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Your kids love it when you push them on the swings and it’s good for you, too. Spinning them on a merry-go-round is another easy way to fit in fitness. If you’re feeling ambitious, run with it and jump on like you did as a kid. Lastly, don’t forget to climb on the monkey bars. Show your kids how it’s done or lift them up and let them give it try.

Vacuum Twice a Day

Vacuuming is one of my favorite active chores to get up and moving. Instead of only doing this chore once a day, do it twice each day. That’s more steps each day and it has the added bonus of keeping your house extra clean.

 

Are you struggling with your fitness goals this year? Here are 10 tips to fit in fitness while doing the things that are already on your to-do list.

Choose one of these ideas or utilize all 10 tips to fit in fitness daily. You will find that the more your move each day, the more you will want to move. Want one more easy idea to get active? Play outside with your kids. They will love getting to run off that extra energy and will remember you making play with them a priority. My kids love being pushed around the yard in their Cozy Coupe. It’s an excellent workout for me that they have a blast with. Do you have tips to fit in fitness each day? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.