Don’t Let The Sun Set On Your Family Evenings

Everyone’s surely agreed that working parents deserve medals. You super mums and dads are quite literally burning the candle at both ends, and for the most part, you’re doing an amazing job. In fact, you’re effectively working two full-time positions!

That’s no easy task. In fact, with just a set number of hours in the day, it can often seem like an impossibility. Inevitably, that means that some things fall by the wayside, and those compromises tend to happen at home. 

The sad fact is that it’s all too easy to slip into time-wasting habits that mean the time you do get to spend with your kids isn’t as valuable as you’d like. That’s nothing to beat yourself up about, but it might well be something you’d like to change. 

We’re sorry to say that we don’t have a time machine, which would really be the best solution. What we do have is a few organization pointers that mean your evenings can be as productive as your workdays, just in a different way. 

Image by Nathan Dumlao: CC0 License

 

1) Eat earlier

Meals form a large part of any family evening, and so they should. Research has shown time and again that making an effort to uphold family mealtimes is a fantastic way to implement positive food patterns. What’s more, there’s nothing quite like a natter around the table for catching up. That said, if you aren’t careful, said mealtime can take up what feels like the entire evening, leaving you with little time to unwind with the family. 

The solution here is simple, and it comes down to moving that mealtime forward a little. After all, if you don’t eat until seven, you’ll likely spend the evening until that point in the kitchen. Then, before you know it, the kids will head to bed. That’s terrible news for your home life, and it simply doesn’t need to happen.

By instead moving mealtimes forward, you ensure that you can kick back in the living room with everyone else. And, all you need do to make that possible is think about making family mealtimes more efficient with options like pre-planning, meal prep, and even a cheeky freezer selection sometimes. 

 

Let chores wait until tomorrow

Chores are the enemy of any parent, working or not. Add a day job to the equation, and it’s not surprising that many of us turn our attention to basics like polishing, vacuuming and more once the sun sets. The trouble is that, if you’re cleaning the house, you aren’t spending time with the kids. And, it doesn’t take a genius to work out which priority should take precedence. 

Of course, that’s not to say you can scrap chores altogether. Aside from posing a fair few health risks, a dirty house is bound to do your head in within a week of throwing caution to the wind. Rather, changing the time in which you tackle chores could work wonders. 

The fact is that you don’t need to do all your chores in the evening. Some things, such as vacuuming, will obviously need to wait until everyone’s awake. For the most part, though, waking up an hour or even half an hour before everyone else each day is all it takes to get this right. That way, you get a headstart, have a clean house, and still have your evenings free to enjoy the family you work so hard to keep happy.

Take tech out of the equation

Technology has done a lot of great things for our lifestyles, especially with regards to learning and communications. But, it’s not unusual for families to waste their quality evenings staring at a screen. Luckily most parents do realize the damage this can cause their kids, but it’s surprising how few extend that thinking to their own usage. Just like that, you’ve got a situation where parents are glued to their phones instead of their families.

To get the most out of your evenings, it’s therefore worth putting a tech ban across the household after a certain time. That’s not to say that you should scrap tech altogether, but something like an ‘only before mealtime’ rule ensures you don’t miss out on each other. With that mealtime moving forward, you’ll especially be able to feel the benefits here. 

Set aside a drawer or storage container in which to dump all those phones at this point, and make sure to switch off televisions or laptops. It’s amazing how long your time together will feel without these distractions in place. A word of warning, it might feel strange for everyone at first, but you’ll soon start to find a few more wholesome evening activities to keep you entertained. 

Focus on things you can do together

Speaking of keeping yourselves entertained, the last pointer on this list is to find things that you can do together. An evening of disjointed activities is simply never going to lead to the satisfaction of a quality evening well spent. Rather, you’ll fall into the trap of living in the same household while barely communicating with each other. 

Make sure that doesn’t happen by forever finding activities that you can do together. There are many options you could choose here, and each is bound to be worth your while. Reading is an obvious top choice, especially when you consider the importance of reading aloud to your child on an educational level. Equally, something like a good board game, or even a programme you all love pre-tech watershed would work wonderfully. You could even get stuck in with some family crafts and learn new skills together, a sure way to strengthen those bonds. 

 

You aren’t alone if you’ve been letting your evenings pass you by without some much-needed family time. We all get into bad habits now and again, and your busy lifestyle is almost certainly to blame. But, it isn’t difficult to make the most of family evenings at last. Simply implement these pointers, and watch your time at home grow into something spectacular.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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5 Easy Ways to Streamline Your Life

 

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From easy recipes to saving money, working moms are always looking for ways to streamline their busy lives. Below, we’ll discuss 5 ways moms can simplify their days, improve their finances, and free up more time for the things (and people) they love. 

Carpool Ride-Sharing

If every day feels the same, it might be time to look for ways to switch things up! What mom wouldn’t love to have a few mornings or afternoons to herself to take care of errands or get in an extra workout? If you have school-aged children and are feeling more like a chauffeur than a mom – you’re not alone. Reach out to the parents at your child’s school and see if anyone would like to join a carpool ride-sharing group. With several parents rotating shifts throughout the week, everyone can get more done! This can also be a great idea for your child’s sports teams and events. 

Go Green

Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the simplest ways to improve your finances is to consider investing in renewable energy. Solar panels can drastically reduce your energy costs over the life of your home. There are plenty of solar companies to choose from. Shop around and see what savings are available by finally joining the bandwagon and making the switch! 

Meal Prep

Using Sunday afternoons to prep meals for the week is a great timesaver. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s well worth the effort. Prepping meals can mean a few different things. Some people are satisfied by simply writing out the meal plans for each day of the workweek. This prevents mental fatigue, bickering among the kids, and last-minute grocery store runs. Other moms do actual cooking in bulk on the weekends, and carefully divide up portions to be used throughout the week. Chili, soup, chicken, beans and rice are all great options to prepare in bulk and divy out as the week goes on. 

Morning Workouts

Remember all that free time you gained from joining a carpool or rideshare for the kids? Don’t just waste that precious time scrolling on social media and drinking coffee – get up and move! Working out in the morning sets the tone for success. Get more work done throughout the day with a clear head, strong body, and plenty of post-workout, feel-good chemicals. Did we mention your clothes will fit better? 

Bulk Shopping

It’s believed that one of the key ways people can improve their spending is through bulk shopping. If you can afford it, buying items in bulk can save you tons of cash. When you purchase items from bulk shopping stores, you’re often saving 15-20% over the normal retail price you’d pay on a per-item basis. Bulk shopping comes with some drawbacks, like more plastic waste – so be sure to be conscientious and recycle whenever possible. Hate big box stores? You can find places that sell bulk items online

Start implementing these practices today, and watch your finances, free time, and fitness improve dramatically! 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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After School Activities To Set Your Child Up For The Future

Every parent wants nothing but the best for their child. No matter the circumstances, mothers, fathers, and guardians work tirelessly to provide a prosperous future for their children. While daily efforts are made to create optimal childhood environments, the reality of modern life is that it can be hard to find time for your children to have an opportunity at everything. 

Although you may enroll your child in an extracurricular activity or two, it’s difficult to know what the best activities are. Some parents adopt a very hands-on approach by signing their kids up for lots of different activities and classes. However, this can have a negative impact. Forcing children into things can ruin the enjoyment.

The truth of the matter is that there is no golden formula for setting your child up for the future. Different personalities suit various hobbies and activities. The most important thing is to give your child the opportunity to try out different things. 

If you’re looking to add to your child’s development by signing them up for some after school activities, here are some great ideas. 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

 

Team sports

There are several amazing benefits for children in team sports, both socially and physically.

First and foremost, they are benefitting from regular exercise. This helps keep them physically fit, strong, and healthy. 

Secondly, team sports involve a lot of skill development. Whether it’s hand-eye coordination, ball skills, footwork, or other sports-related skills, this can help with many other aspects of your child’s life. 

Finally, while competitiveness isn’t necessary at a very young age, participating in team sports teaches children how to win and lose in a healthy environment. In life, things don’t always go the way you want, meaning this is a valuable lesson to learn. 

 

Artistic outlets

Arts, crafts, and other creative outlets have much more benefits for kids than you might think. They enhance coordination, skill level, and problem-solving abilities. Art boosts confidence and self-esteem as it shows children that they have the power to create. 

As an innovative activity, art provides children with an alternative form of expression. This can be a crucial aspect of their development. 

 

Additional classes

Education is a vital part of a child’s development. Certain kids require additional lessons to reach their potential, while others rely on extra classes to keep up with their peers. Find online school resources for your child and help them reach their true potential.

 

Music lessons

Like painting, drawing, or crafting, music is an artistic and expressive activity that brings joy to so many children. Music plays a major role in several cultures and can be a natural inclination for a lot of kids. 

If your child expresses interest in music or musical instruments, consider enrolling them in some lessons. Dance classes are hugely beneficial, while instruments such as guitar, piano, ukelele, and flute can be picked up quickly. 

 

Learning a second language

Childhood is often seen as the best time to learn a language. Learning a second language can improve critical thinking, listening skills, memory, concentration, and multitasking abilities. As well as developmental benefits, a second language can open up children to new cultures and gives them more opportunities for the future.  

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Making Family Mealtimes More Efficient

Deciding what you and your family will eat together each evening can often feel like an enormous task, as the battle between flavours, cuisines and ingredients is likely to divide the table. The act of preparing and cooking an entire meal is commonly a huge task that takes over an hour to complete, and it would seem that this hard work disappears within five minutes of said food hitting your children’s plates. Making family mealtimes more efficient is likely something that many parents have attempted to battle with in the past, yet it needn’t be as difficult as you might initially believe. There are several simple tips and tricks that you can make the most of to save time, money and stress, whilst still inspiring the delectable dishes yet. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on for some of the best steps that you can implement today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source – Pexels

 

Plan In Advance

One of the best things that you can do to save both time and stress when preparing meals for your family is to plan in advance. Whether this means creating your own unique recipe book or menu that details a selection of different dishes to choose between, or the creation of a set schedule that can decide which meal will be eaten on which day – having a plan will offer you all of the guidance and support that you need. Preparing yourself in advance for each meal will be far easier if you know which dishes have been set or chosen for the week ahead, as you can buy each ingredient that you need beforehand rather than heading to the shop every single day. Planning in advance will also give your little ones the opportunity to express their dislike for certain meals, so you can create a more suitable solution without the usual rush and stress.

 

Buy Frozen Food

One smart way to encourage more efficient family meals is to buy frozen food. Cuisines such as frozen Asian food can be of such high quality, and the time and effort it requires to pop in the oven or microwave will be a completely different ballgame when compared to fresh preparation. You can find so many different cold options of your usual favourites, from pizzas to fruit and vegetables, and often the price is far more affordable too. Don’t be afraid to explore the frozen aisles in your local grocery store to identify which items are on offer, as you may be pleasantly surprised by the range available. You can even sign up to specialised food delivery services that bring frozen meals directly to your door, so there are many different options for you to uncover.

 

Making family meals more efficient has never been so simple when you are able to utilise the handy hacks detailed above. Whether you decide to make a meal plan or recipe menu to create a more detailed schedule to follow, or invest in some high quality frozen food that can be popped in the oven for a matter of minutes – it’s so easy to make a change!

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Groove Life Watch Band Review

 

Do you own a smart watch? Do you love purchasing customized bands to add a fashionable look to go with your outfits?

Whether it is an Apple, FitBit, Samsung etc…these are all the rave. I have an Apple Watch and I love to customize my bands. I have though ordered bands online that have broke or stretched out very quickly which is disappointing. A few years back I did a review on silicone rings from a company called Groove Life. They contacted me to let me know they now offer smart watch bands. I was so excited to receive and try out these bands.

Groove Life offers high-performance silicone watch bands for men and women. Groove Watch Bands are durable and breathable, yet surprisingly comfortable. The bands are available for Apple, Samsung and Fitbit type smart watches. They come in a variety of band styles, hardware colors and band sizes.

The band prices range from $39.95-$54.95. When the bands arrive to your door they are packaged in nice metal tins to hold the bands. This is great for storage when you aren’t using your bands.

When you order you will get to choose your hardware color. I have a rose gold apple watch so I chose rose gold hardware. The color matches almost perfectly to my watch. I love that the offer the hardware color so everything matches nicely. You can also choose if you want a shorter band or a longer band. I picked the shorter band and it fits perfectly with my narrow 38mm watch face.

Installing the bands on to my watch was simple and took seconds. The fit is perfect. The bands are super comfortable to wear (they are a bit stiff at first, but after a few days I noticed that they get more flexible) and even dry great once out of the shower/pool.

 

Not to mention that they have an AMAZING warranty! If you break it, stretch it or even lose it…they will replace it. How awesome is that?!

In conclusion, I am very impressed and happy with Groove Life watch bands. They are fashionable, comfortable and made of high quality material. With the outstanding warranty they have, I definitely do not mind spending $49.95 on a Groove Life watch band.

Please check out their site to see all of the awesome watch band colors and designs. Make sure to check out the Groove Life Silicone Rings available too!!!

 

*I was sent the mentioned product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Marijean

My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

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