Staycations: Have You Planned Yours Yet?

children watching TVIt’s summer time and the living is easy. Maybe for the children, but it’s also boring.

Even if you are taking a 1-2 week trip out of town what about the rest of the summer time off from school?

That’s when it’s time to get your “Staycation” planner out and set up some fun things to do in your own hometown, neighborhood, or own house.

If you don’t have a Staycation planner set up check out this blog post where I give some suggestions on how to do it.

Here are  some links to articles that will give you a whole lot of ideas not only for the children but ideas for adults to have their own staycations.

Take some of the ideas from the sites above and get planning. Create a memorible staycation the kids will love to tell all their friends about when they get back in school.

If you have done some wonderful staycations please share them in the comment section. I would love to hear about them and so would all my readers.




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Planning for Your Vacation

July and August are big vacation months. I know I’m looking forward to taking my vacation at the end of this month.  But before I go there is a lot of planning to do ahead of time to make sure everything goes smooth.


The main thing people want during a vacation is to have some fun or relaxation and not worry about what could go wrong. So a great offence is the best defense.  Think about what could go wrong now and plan to prevent it as much as possible.



Here is a list of some of the common worries and what actions to take before leaving on your trip.  Below I have listed several websites and articles for more information.


Do you worry about:

  1. Forgetting to pack something?
    • Make a list of all the clothes, toiletries, and other items each person in your family will need for each day of your trip. Don’t forget to put both day and evening clothes. Many items should be listed more than once. Make a master-list for each person. This will be your packing list. From this list you can make a shopping list if you still need some items. 
  2. Will the planned activates go as planned?
    • Hopefully they will but a little planning ahead of time could make all the difference.  Check online for the times and day the place is open before you leave for your trip. You don’t want to show up on a Tuesday only to find out that is the one day that tourist spot is closed. Also be sure to check out entry fees (amount, cash, or charge) and possible coupons. Many coupons are available online only and those few extra dollars per person can really add up the savings.
  3. If you are driving will you find your destination without getting lost?
    • GPS systems work great but are not perfect. Whether you have one in your car or phone it’s probably a good idea to have a hard copy backup. That means using Mapquest, Google Maps, or another map service to route out your driving. I print out directions and a map for each point A to point B I’m going to. Then I clearly label the top of the paper with the “From” location and the “To” location plus the date I will be driving it. This goes in my travel planner and has saved time, stress, and gas money on many trips.

Take the worry out of the vacation by taking care of the little things before hand. That will free up your time during the vacation to have fun and/or relaxation.

Here are some sites to help you with packing checklists.  Just remember to pack light. Most airlines not only charge for luggage they will charge extra over a certain weight. The key is to stick with the basics and be willing to wash out some clothes at night in the bathroom sink if necessary.

If traveling with children has you worried about them getting bored or anxious during the trip check out the links in this blog post. There are lots of easy travel games and ideas to keep them busy for a long time.

To a lighter load along the way.





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Ideas For A Fun July

We’re in the heart of summer and there are so many ways to enjoy it. Below are some of the special events that are celebrated during the month of July.  First the month starts out with a bang on The 4th of July.  Then there’s National Hot Dog Month, National Ice Cream Month, National Watermelon Month, and even National Baked Bean Month. You would think that all we do is eat during this month!

Well, below are links with information and recipes to celebrate these events. If you have children or grandchildren pick a date and plan on a festival to enjoy their favorite foods.  Get them involved in picking out the recipes and then making them.  It will be a fun time for all! 


Fourth of July:

If you are planning to set off fireworks here is some information you’ll want to read first.  Every year around the 4th of July the emergency rooms are filled with burn injuries. Learn how to prevent them before you set off those fireworks.


National Hot Dog Month:

All those summer BBQ’s seem to include the little (or not so little) red dog, grilled to perfection.  But there are lots of other ways to cook those hot dogs.  If your up to experimenting with recipes here are a couple of links to get you started.


National Ice Cream Month:


Is it any surprise that National Ice Cream Month would be in the middle of summer?  The 3rd Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day but pick any day to celebrate with your family.  Make homemade ice cream with or without an ice cream maker.  The links below have recipes and instructions on how to do it.  Oh, the simple pleasures of life don’t have to cost much.  Just a little planning ahead can make a memorable sweet experience.


National Watermelon Month:

What would summer be without a cold juicy watermelon to bite into?  July is also National Watermelon Month.  Now is the time to buy those big red fruits and experiment with different ways of eating them.  Find a couple of recipes from the link below that look good. On a day when it’s too hot for the children to play outside just pull out a recipe for all of you to make together.


National Baked Bean Month:

                                                                                                                                                                       Beans go great with those hot dogs and hamburgers.  Check out some of the links below for recipes to make them special.


July can be a long boring month if you have children at home with nothing to do.  It’s not too late to make this a fun and active summer.  Check it this post for lots of ideas. “Vacation In Your Own Home Town”

To a lighter load along the way.


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Are Your Children Already Bored With Summer?

Today is the official first day of summer.  However, for most families summer started around Memorial Day or shortly after.  If your children aren’t going to camp or summer school most likely they are already looking for things to do.

Below are some ideas to help you get organized and come up with ways to keep your children busy.  These ideas are great ways to keep them from spending hours and hours in front of the TV or computer.  That may keep them out of your hair but it isn’t healthy for them.  Check out these links now and have a plan in place before you hear those dreaded words, (if you haven’t already) “Mom, we’re bored.  What can we do?”

Organize Your Summer

These sites are filled with ideas to help you organize your schedules.

Summer Game Ideas

Here are some ideas for backyard games. Create a simple notebook with the instructions so it’s easy to help your children get started playing.

Vacation in Your Own Home Town

Last year I wrote a blog post after the 4th of July filled with ideas and links to websites about vacationing close to home. This year I’m giving you the link to that post now so you can plan ahead and take advantage of some great things to do before, during, and after the holiday. There are also some links for ideas for the 4th of July.


It’s not to late to set up a Summer Planner filled with ideas to make this summer an organized and fun one.


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New Look: Clean and Simple

After three years of the same theme I have decided it was time to clean up and simplify the look of my blog.  The brighter cleaner look makes me want to write more about decluttering and organizing. It’s motivating to share those tips on a simple looking blog.  I hope you find it easier to read also.

I’m still working on tweaking it to make it more user friendly.  I’m always open to suggestions if you have any.

I did want to let you know that the picture in the header above is of the Grand Basin in Forest Park, St. Louis, MO.  This is keeping with the theme of vacationing in your own town. I’m lucking to have this park and many others around to take advantage of during nice weather.

Of course St. Louis is in the middle of a heat spell like most of the mid-west and southern states.  That’s when indoor options or cooling water options work best. If you’re trying to keep those out-of-school children busy be sure to check out your local museums, bowling alleys, swimming pools, or movie theaters.

There is always the sprinkler in the backyard to help keep them cool, active, and out of trouble for a little while. It’s clean and simple. Just don’t run the sprinkler in one place for too long or the clean part will end up a muddy mess!

Please let me know how you like the new look of this blog. If you don’t already get blog post updates in you email you can sign up here.


P.S.  If you are planning a garage sale this summer you’ll want to get this eBook first. Learn how to use the garage sale as a tool to help you clear out a lot of clutter from your home.  Check it out here:

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