What NOT To Do As A New Stay-At-Home Mom

I’m kind of late to the stay-at-home mom thing. About eight years late in my opinion.

That’s how long it’s been since my first baby was born. 18 months later I had my daughter. The years after were filled with sadness, guilt, exhaustion, and lots of conversations about whether we could be a one salary family.

Finally last year the opportunity presented itself and we took the leap. I quit my high-stress, 24-7 career and we moved six hundred miles away where I became a stay-at-home mom.

But the irony is that when I could finally raise my babies full-time, they were no longer babies. In fact, I was working to teach them to be more independent and self-sufficient.

Without infants to feed and care for constantly, I was hit with a much different life than I had been dreaming of for so long. But it was a blessing nonetheless. I’m thrilled that I can always see them before and after school, I can take them to any extra-curricular activity they want to try (which is a lot), and I can control what they’re eating and kiss them goodnight every night.

But you don’t stop being you. Your mind doesn’t stop going 90 miles an hour. And old habits die hard. These are the reasons why I learned a lot of things not to do as a new stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately I learned them after I’d already done them. (more…)

Guide To Summer: How To Take The Best Beach Photos

When setting out to craft the Frugal Mom’s Guide To Summer series, I knew I wanted to include some tips on how to take the best photos to capture your amazing summer memories. And let me tell you, it’s not that easy to take great pictures at the beach.

So who better to offer tips than a professional photographer? My longtime friend Corey, owner of Best Part Photography, has been taking stunning pictures of beautiful families for five years. Check out her pro tips on taking the best beach photos. (more…)

Organize Your Summer – FREE Printables Roundup

I strive to be super organized. I mean, I make lists for my lists. No joke. So now that the kids are out of school and home all day, it’s really throwing a wrench in my daily organization. So I need separate organization plans just for summer. Yep, I’m a nerd.

If you need a little extra organization and fun ideas for summer check out some of these awesome printables I’ve compiled for you. (more…)

Guide To Summer – Theme Park Survival

It’s summer! Let’s go to a theme park!.. you say. It will be fun!.. you say.

It’s the hottest time of the year! Let’s go somewhere that costs a fortune with thousands of other people for attractions that we’ll need to stand in line for, for hours at a time!.. is the reality.

Theme parks do have their challenges. And the best times to go, frankly, are not summer, spring break or around any holidays. But the reality is, those are busy times because that’s when people are more able to go.

So go in the summer you must. But first, check out this advice to make it a little easier. (more…)

‘Tutu-riffic’ Gifts For Dancers & Dance Teachers With Free Printable Tags

As school winds down so does the dance season. And I am so thrilled with my daughter’s dance teacher this year. She’s kind and caring, patient and fun.

It’s such a blessing when your kids get a teacher or instructor who doesn’t just teach them, but also connects with them and inspires them.

So I came up with a couple of ways to show dance teachers and our little dancers that we appreciate them. (more…)

Guide To Summer: What NOT To Do While Traveling With Kids

I would estimate that I’ve spent about 960 hours on road trips with my kids. That’s a total of 40 entire days people!

And after 960 hours you learn some things you should do. Pack electronics loaded with lots of games and movies. Pack lots of snacks. Make regular potty stops and make them go whether they think they need to or not. (You can check out more tips from a dozen awesome moms in my previous post, Traveling With Kids.)

Along the way to 960 hours you also learn lots of stuff NOT to do. (more…)

Guide To Summer: Traveling With Kids

Traveling with kids is, in a word, challenging.

In more words, it can make you want to stick a red-hot poker in your eye. But not all the time. Sometimes they fall asleep.

But seriously, it does take work to keep things from spinning out of control, or before you know it, you’re driving with the windows down praying for an exit while your little boy pees (or tries to) in a soda bottle. Let’s say that happened to a friend.

So here are some of my tips, gathered painfully over eight years of nine + hour road trips between the south and midwest with two little cranky humans. And some tips from 12 other moms who’ve been there, done that and lived to tell about it.. possibly over a glass of wine.. or to our therapists.. or over wine with our therapists. (more…)

Get Totally Free Goodies

Who likes free? Me! So I was thrilled when Daily Goodie Box offered me their latest box full of free samples so I could share it with you. (All opinions are authentic and my own.) You can check out my previous Daily Goodie Box Review here.

I know you like free too, and if you like instant gratification, also like me.. you can click this link right now to find out how to get one of these great boxes full of free, full-size samples. And keep reading for details on how it works and what’s inside. (more…)

Guide To Summer: Educational Subscription Boxes

If you’ve read some of my other posts in the Frugal Mom’s Guide To Summer series you know I’m trying hard to get my kids off the video games this summer and continue learning so their growing little brains don’t turn to mush before August.

You can check out some great ways to get their bodies and brains moving with Free Kids Activities and check out some fun, free Library Games for easy summer learning.

Another great way to keep kids learning over the summer and throughout the year is with an educational subscription box. The concept is genius. A box comes right to your door filled with books and tools to teach kids about science, geography, nature, different languages and cultures.

I’ve been intrigued with these boxes for a while so I enlisted five fellow mom bloggers to offer their reviews on eight of the most popular boxes. You can compare them here to find one that might be perfect for your child and budget. (more…)