5 Easy Tips to Save On Back to School

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Can you believe we are only a month away from sending our lovely kiddos back to school!? For us, the summer has flown by, and as much as I hate the fighting at home, I dread sending them back. I’m also horrified by the idea of those back to school supply lists that put a serious pinch in our budget every year. With 4 kids going to school this fall, I need to save every penny I can on supplies! Here are 5 tips to save on back to school that will help pad your pocketbook!

5 Tips To Save On Back To School

Cutting coupons is great IF you have the time and organizational skills….I DO NOT. Thus I use these methods to help cut back on my bills! Continue reading “5 Easy Tips to Save On Back to School”

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Protect Your Children With This Free Child Safety Kit Printable

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Nothing is as terrifying as the thought of our children’s safety being compromised. As parents, this is our main job, to keep our children safe, to protect them from the horrors of the world for as long as possible. However, no matter how hard we try, there are forces in this world that are constantly putting children in danger. This Free Child Safety Kit won’t keep those forces away, but it will help find your child faster should danger ever cause them to go missing.

Keep Your Children Safe With A Free Child Safety Kit Continue reading “Protect Your Children With This Free Child Safety Kit Printable”

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Best Parks In Denver Metro Area For Kids: #1

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I don’t know about you, but I’m always on a mission to find the best parks in Denver, CO to take my kids to. My worst nightmare is getting everyone ready to go and, five minutes after arriving, I hear the dreaded call of boredom; “There’s nothing to do,” “I’m hoooooot.” Therefore, this year I am on a mission to find the very best parks in the Denver Metro Area. These parks must have  a smattering of fun equipment, a bathroom, water of some kind, benches and/or picnic tables so my tired booty can sit, and be within about a 20-25 minute drive of my house. Best Parks In Denver

The first park I have found this summer that kicked absolute butt, is in Arvada just off I-76 and Sheridan. A friend of mine happened across this awesome-pants location and managed to drag our brood along to check it out a few weeks ago! Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver

Clear Creak Valley Park, brand new as of March 2017, is definitely one of the best parks in Denver. With literally everything I could hope for in a great place to spend a few hours playing, we will be going often this summer!Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver

Nestled next to a beautiful pond (literally teaming with fish if you’re looking for a little fishing expedition) this whimsicle park has something for everyone.

Your little ones will love and 5 and under area complete with swing-set, playhouse and slide. Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver

The bigger kids in your house will love the Tree House and Zip Line…let’s face it, everyone, including the parents, will love the zip line!Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver

Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In DenverWhile the zip line and play equipment are all super fun, the number one activity for my kids was the water feature.  Water pumps and a flowing stream through the middle of the park brought hours of amusement during a hot day!Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In DenverClear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver Clear Creek Valley Park: Best Parks In Denver

I also love that this park is full of covered picnic table areas (over 15 tables!) and benches EVERYWHERE! Therefore I could always find a spot to sit my pregnant self down rather than stand on a hot day and watch my littlest ones run amok and we could eat our picnic lunch in the shade on a nice clean table.

The bathrooms are another great feature of this park! For pregnant ladies this is a real concern! There are no port-a-potties or dirty stand alone’s here! The bathrooms are set slightly away from the park and are oh so very nice! Clear Creek Valley Park Bathrooms: Best Parks In Denver For those of you looking to get your fitness on while your kiddos run off some evergy,  Clear Creek Valley is also equipped with a full, body weight gym! Featuring an elyptical machine as well as equipment to help tone your arms, the sides of your waistline, and even your booty, this park has everything you could possible want!Clear Creek Valley Park Exercise Center: Best Parks In DenverClear Creek Valley Park Exercise Center: Best Parks In Denver

Behind the park, just to the north, there is HUGE green belt for all your sports activities! Add this to the beautiful pond to the south and you are surrounded by things to do, keeping you and your kiddos happy and busy for hours!Clear Creek Valley Park Pond: Best Parks In Denver Clear Creek Valley Park Greenbelt: Best Parks In Denver

For more information on the specifics of this park, including how it was funded and exact specs on it’s area and cost, follow this LINK.

For directions from your home using Google Maps, follow this LINK.

Clear Creek Valley definitely has my vote for one of the best parks in Denver! I can’t wait to go check out a few more amazing parks I have hears of around the Denver Metro Area!

Best Parks In Denver: Clear Creek Valley

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10 Best Social Media Growth Sites With Free Trials!

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What to grow your following on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for FREE!? This article gives you 10 social media growth sites with free trials, as well as  run down on the pro’s and cons for each!

Social media in all it’s forms, is an essential part of blogging and business. While these sites are easy to sign up for, getting a following and, thus, having your content seen by the maximum amount of people is the hard part.

It’s stinking BRUTAL actually, especially when you are just starting out!

I took it upon myself to try out a variety of sites and apps that claim to grow your social media accounts for you. What could be better than me having to do nothing to gain followers!?

I found that some sites made elaborate claims but couldn’t follow through, some sites were so overly complicated that they took more time than growing my following on my own would, and some sites were down right AMAZING!

Here are my top ten sites that helped to grow my social media. And the best part? They all offer FREE TRIAL periods! I never once paid to gain followers and that’s how I plan to keep it!

INSTAGRAM

GetRiver– (7 day free trial) This free trial is a pretty amazing one. I gained over 200 followers in a week, and considering that it took me 4 months to get to 400 followers that is quite the feat! The interaction on my photos also increased substantially, I went form a max of 40-50 likes to upwards of 700 on some photos! The only disadvantage is this only works as an app on your phone or tablet, and if you have a windows phone like me, you will have a much harder time using the apps many functions. Still totally worth it though.                                                                                                  Bottom line: This site is easy to use and has quick, inspiring results- SIGN UP NOW!

Influx Social– (7 day free trial)- I was immediately impressed by how great this site is at helping you navigate it’s many features and ways of singling out people to follow and photos to like. It also has a great feature for un-following people and another to keep certain people from being un-followed. Pretty handy! I started my trial with 667 followers and an average of 50 likes per photo, by the end of the first day I had gained 62 followers, however the software also followed almost 600 people for me in that day. Be sure to check your “follow” settings so the software won’t just follow 5000 people to gain you a few followers. I gained 200 followers over my 7 day trial.                           Bottom Line: Sign up today! It’s easy and totally worth it!

The Chrons– (3 day trial) – The Chrons is a totally different experience than most other sites as you have to apply to the trial and, once accepted (they accept everyone, they just do a little info gathering before activiating your trial) have no control over your trial whatsoever. You cannot log into their site, you can’t look at your growth or control how you are growing: nothing. This freaked me out initially, but I had fabulous success with them on Pinterest so I figured Instagram deserved a shot. I started out the trial with 867 followers and ended with 1,187…                                       Bottom line: Get going already!

Riotly Social -(6 days free)  I started this free trial with 1,696 followers and had been hovering around this number for awhile, only gaining around 10 followers a day. I signed up for Riotly Social, filled in the required fields and didn’t visit the site again for the entire trial period. On day 6 of my trial I had 1,986 followers! I gained almost 300 followers in a week! Best of all, unlike The Chrons, I didn’t find myself following a couple thousand extra instagrammers. Instead I found myself following about as many people as had followed me during these 6 days. THAT I can handle! Bottom line: Totally worth your time!

Target Grow (7 day free trial) – This site is easy to use and quickly allows you to target your audience with hashtags. Choose 3 hashtags that best fit your needs and leave the rest to them! (I started with 1986 followers). Unfortunately, even using the most searched hashtags in my niche, my instagram only grew by 22 followers during this trial….However, while I wasn’t WOWED by my growth, it was better than nothing!                                                                                                       Bottom Line- Might as well!

Twitter

Swift Social– (7 Day free trial)- While my current scale of growth didn’t really change that much during the free trial, I did see a large increase in engagement. The tweets this app sent out correctly matched the profile I set up and increased the amount of likes an RT’s on my account. I also LOVE the un-follow feature! Most sites require a payment to help you un-follow accounts that aren’t following you, this one is happy to show you how useful it is in this area. This helped me a TON.                                                                                                                                                               Bottom Line: Signing up just for the un-follow option is totally worth it.

Owl Lead – (15 day free trial) – This site is easy to use and follow your own goals. You simply choose the handle of another twitter user who has followers in your niche that you would like to gain. Enter this handle into a new campaign and the app helps you attract followers. For example a candy company like Nestle would enter the handle for Hershey. I started this trial with 3,057 followers and generally gain about 15-20 followers per day on my own. After 15 days OwlLead reported that it won me 208 followers. I gained 500 total followers during this time, so it almost doubled the followers I would have gained in two weeks. While these aren’t staggering results, they are better than any of the other twitter apps I have found.                                                              Bottom Line: GO! Go! Go!

Social Quant– (14 Day Free Trial) – Un-follow options! This is something that a lot of free trials don’t give you access to that I LOVE! I appreciated how easy it was to sign up for this trial and the CEO’s video tutorials were very helpful. I started off this 2 week trial with 4,570 followers. At the end of my trial Social Quant showed an 11% increase in followers with my follower total ending at 5,076. Getting above 5,000 followers has been my goal for months so I am so happy to have had the help! Bottom Line: Totally worth it

TweetFavy– (14 Day Free Trial) – This Website has changed to Social  Crumble but still offers the old TweetFavy for those looking for the older option. I went ahead and signed up for a 14 day trial with Social Crumble. What I like about this site is how easy it is to manage and understand. Some sites get a little too technical for my skill level! Social Crumble gives you easy ways to increase your following from their growth manager dashboard by suggesting other users in your niche to follow who are most likely to follow you back. Then they give you popular tweets to like and RT so that you easily share fresh content.  This site also has un-follow options, which I love, so that you can stop following those that don’t follow you back. A few other sites do this as well, but what I love about this site is that they tell you exactly how long ago you followed them so that you know if you followed them 9 minutes ago or two weeks ago. You may want to kick those 2 weekers to the curb but give those who you followed within the last few days a little more time to follow you back!  in just 4 Days this site was responsible for 87 followers in addition to what I usually gain on my own!  Bottom Line: Great, easy App and totally worth it to help find legitimate followers!

pinterest

The Chrons– (3 Day Free Trial) – I was initially a little wierded out by the application process for this site, you can’t just sign up, but have to apply and then be accepted to your free trial. After which you are given no access to the site in order to change settings. However, I gained over 600 followers on pinterest in 3 days! This is a super hard area of social media for me to grow so this was spectacular and totally worth it.                                                                                                                Bottom Line- Amazing growth!

Pin this image - "Top 10 Social Media Growth Sites With Free Trials!"

Are you guys ready for some free growth!? Let me know which sites you liked the best as well as if you have any sites that you would suggest I add to this list!

 

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Tidbits To Remember When My Children Are Grown

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Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, bad decisions and good, regrets and triumphs.  Looking back at my own childhood, I have so much sympathy for what my parents endured. While they were on a journey that took them down a different path than my own jaunt so far, I see many parallels between our lives, our adventures and misfortunes.

I also see many areas that I want to learn from. Not necessarily mistakes that they made, but small divergences from the path I want to remain on, that I hope not to repeat. These lessons are not just from observing my own family and experiences, but from friends and even strangers I have watched along the way.

Knowing how my mind works (meaning it doesn’t) I think it prudent to write down these lessons, these little tidbits of advice for my future self. Seeing as I can barely find the sunglasses on my head…

Remember Your Younger Self

Remember how hard childhood can be, how difficult it is to try and discover yourself and be your own person. Remember that you feared becoming your mother as a teenager….and it’s ok if your daughter feels the same way. Remember that there were days that the world overwhelmed and terrified you to the point where all you could accomplish was curling in a chair to read a book all day, and your son may feel the same way at times and need a video game break.  Age changes your memories, it makes certain pieces of your past stronger while fading others. For your own children’s sake, endeavor to remember and to find sympathy in those memories.

establish equality when they Marry/Become Parents

Remember to treat your children and their significant others equally on their big days. Whether this be with wedding planning or baby shower gifts, each day should only be marked by the specialness of the occasion not by how one child was treated differently than another. Find a set of specific gifts to bestow on each child for their first baby, set aside a certain amount of time and money for each wedding…deviating from this path can create bitterness and hurt feelings.

Give Information

As your children grow older they will become enmeshed in their own lives; time will fly by and they will suddenly realize that they haven’t seen their grandparents often enough. Work, children, and LIFE simply gets in the way. However, when illness strikes, your children will come to visit, they will make the time. Do not shelter them from the facts, let them know what is going on. Tell them if grandma is having tests done or has planned a surgery, warn them of an impending biopsy or worries about grandpa’s memory…You may think you are protecting them by keeping such information private, but all you are doing is taking away valuable time that your children could be making memories, or saying goodbye. Give the information and let your children process it and take steps as they see fit. Have pride and trust in the in people you raised to be able to handle the news and act accordingly.

Love Your Son and Daughter In Laws Like Your Own

Giving your children away to the care of someone else is going to be hard. It’s going to bring tears of joy and sadness as your children create lives of their own with someone else. You may find this even harder if you aren’t a particularly big fan of the person your child chooses for a mate. However, your child loves that person, your child wants them in their lives forever, and one sure way to create a rift between yourself and the life they create is to openly dislike them.  Hopefully, you will fall easily in love with the person your child has chosen, but if not, you must rise above your distaste and treat them with respect and care. Make them part of your family, as your child has. Don’t show favorites between your sons and daughters in law, even if you feel them in your heart.

let go

A time will come when your children struggle, when they need your help to pick up the pieces of the life they fought so hard to create. Bouey them, be their rock and give them the support and tools they need to begin again. Give them time and love…but do not be a crutch forever. As much as they need you to pick them up, they also need you to let them go, to force them to live their life alone once again, to make their own decisions, mistakes and bask in their personal triumphs. Do not let them forget to live as much as you may love having them around again, you did not raise them to live in your basement…push them to find their own path once more.

Take Your Grandchildren/Visit Often

Once again, your life will be busy and crazy and it will be easy to let your grandkids grow up too fast with not enough of you in their memories.  Take your grandchildren often. Set aside special backyard campouts and days at the park. Take them individually for special alone weekends and big pancake breakfasts where no one tells them they used too much syrup or butter and give them their own can of whipped cream to add as much topping as they would like. Babysit them whenever possible, even if it is inconvenient. Children grow so fast, and you are only getting older, let them help keep you young.

Be Consistent

Hopefully you will have LOTS of grandchildren. Make sure that you treat them each equally. Spend time with them all and be sure not to show favorites.  Make sure presents at Christmas and Birthdays are both different for each child yet comparable. If you have some grandchildren that live farther away, be sure that you send them small gifts of love to let them know you are thinking of them even as you spend one on one time with those that live closer to you. Call them on their Birthdays and holidays that you miss, Send silly cards for the sake of saying “hi” or “thanks” and always include a big hug or kiss. You won’t be around forever, make your love known now.

Don’t Forget, Everyone is Crazy

And so are you, in your own way. Try to be patient with your family when they drive you nuts rather than driving them away. There will be times when you drive everyone around you nuts as well. Your children will make decisions and act in ways that you cannot understand when they are older, try to remember that you raised them to live their own lives and not simply to abide by how you would live their life. Allow them to make their own mistakes and do not offer judgement, be humble and never jealous when they outshine you. Celebrate their every triumph, even if you do not consider it to be one.

My children grow older with every moment. Soon I will look around and find a quiet house, a clean house that I despise. Hopefully, remembering and abiding by these tidbits will keep my house busy with visits from my grown up babies and the children they have made.

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Stay Healthy and Fit During Pregnancy by Avoiding These Exercises

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Pregnancy is quite the journey! It is both exhausting and exciting, frightening and full of love.

Your body makes a ton of changes during this time, and you will quickly find that your heart rate rises faster and your belly makes it hard to do certain activities.

Staying active during pregnancy, however, is very important for both you and baby. I am a firm believer that maintaining a workout routine even with a bigger belly is an essential part of prenatal care. However, you must be careful to avoid certain exercises. Continue reading “Stay Healthy and Fit During Pregnancy by Avoiding These Exercises”

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Take the Boredom Out of Summer with Avid4 Adventure Camps!

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Summer is almost here! YIPPEE!

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to a break from the school grind as much, if not more than my kids! No more homework, no nagging about projects or paying attention in math….

There is one thing about summer I don’t look forward to, however. Five whiny little voices complaining that they are bored; “There’s nothing to do!” “It’s too hot to play outside” “There’s nothing fun to do!”

Ugh! This drives me nuts. I want my children to play outside, to be adventurous and learn from their environment. I want them to scrape their knees, climb trees, make friends, and BE CHILDREN for Pete’s sake!

The solution? Avid4 Adventure Camps throughout Colorado and California! You can sign up at www.avid4.com or call 800-977-9873 Now! If you need more convincing, read on to see what these amazing camps will do for your children!

This isn’t your average summer camp of crafts and lame field trips. These camps provide exciting experiences that will create lasting memories as well as bonding friendships and tons of stories to tell!  From hiking and biking to rafting and horseback riding, your kids will have the time of their lives!

Check out this amazing video about Avid4 Adventure Camps!

Aside from getting kids off the couch and away from their gaming consoles, these camps are also providing valuable life skills for children.

Trying new things, things that may have seemed a bit scary and out reach before camp, empowers children to continue to take risks in life, to break out of the mold and be whoever THEY want to be.  Trying new things inspires confidence and courage, giving children an inner strength that many seem to lack in today’s world.

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As a parent who was once a child lacking in confidence, the one thing I want to instill in my children is self assurance and pride in their accomplishments. Avid4 Adventures is the place for my child to bolster these skills or to start learning them if they haven’t already!

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With options for 1st-11th graders your child will find their niche and gain confidence in their abilities, physically and emotionally with these camps. Children can also choose to join a camp that explores multiple sports or focuses on one, they can choose to join an overnight camping team or participate with other children who return home each evening to boast of their amazing feats!

With locations for Colorado Day camps in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lafayette, and Castle Rock. Overnight camps in Bailey and Evergreen, and locations in California in Santa Cruz, Mill Valley, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Oakland, Campbell, Moraga and Walnut Creek your child will find the summer adventure of their lives!

Learn more today and sign up at www.avid4.com or call 800-977-9873

With so many adventures I was particularly impressed by the camps’ approach to safety and vigilance over the children they are entrusted with. I take my children’s safety seriously and they do too! Read their approach to safety HERE.

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Ten, 10 Minute Workouts To Jump Start Your Fitness

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There are some days where I just don’t have the time or energy to put in a 30 minute workout. Works, kids, traffic, errands, LIFE gets in the way of my workout time.

However, I find that my mood, my emotional wellness, and my physical energy levels are effected negatively if I skip my fitness routine. I need a little fitness to jump start my day.

Therefore, on those busy days where i just can’t seem to find time for a full workout, I have found that doing ten minutes here and ten minutes there, does the trick. The following 10 videos are 10 minute workouts that you can start and end your day with. Give your morning a jump start and finish of the day with a little pick me up! Continue reading “Ten, 10 Minute Workouts To Jump Start Your Fitness”

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