Summer Family Travel Plans

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Photo credit: Travel Writing On Location
Every year my family along with my mother, sister and her family, my brother and his family plan a vacation together. It is the only time our schedules jive. This year, we started planning late, it’s between Florida and Arizona. I really don’t care where we go as long as it’s hot. This winter has done me in!!!!!!!

How far in advance do you start planning for summer travel? Where are you going this summer? Will it be your first visit or is this an annual trip?

Happy travels! – Cute Beltz

35 Back to School Crockpot Recipes | Cute Beltz

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Photo courtesy of Julie’s Eats and Treats

 

Every year, as my children get older I plan for Back to School earlier and earlier. This year, I have created a Back to School bookmark on my tablet to include an array of subjects and food is a top priority.  This year, I plan not to be stumped by dinner, so this Momma is getting prepared.  I found these crockpot recipes on BlogHer and they look yummy! Thanks “A Cedar Spoon” blog for this great list, 35 Back to School Crockpot Recipes.  Added to the list, now onto the next Back to School item, book bags! 🙂

Have you started to plan for Back to School? – Cute Beltz

 

 

Working Summer MOM | Cute Beltz

working mom _ cute beltz_copyright

Schools out, what’s the plan?

I am a working mother, so I do not have the luxury of taking the summer off and frolic at the beach!  So, when my children are out of school I have to plan accordingly.  I have found that it is great to have grandparents, friends and summer camp!

Things to Do With the Kids in the Summer

If you are fortunate enough to have parents that are giddy about spending the summer with their grandchildren, by all means ship them off!  I am fortunate to have a mom, who has finally decided to retire (we will see how long that last) that LOVES her grandchildren to pieces, so it is no problem to send them to stay with her for a few weeks.  Over the years, as my children get older it is has been a true blessing.  Momma’s need breaks too!

Do you have friends that will pick up your kids and keep them???  My friends who have the summer off have always been a huge help.  With many of my friends, they are like “family” so, it’s always been easy.  Now, I don’t dump my kids with them all the time that just wouldn’t be right!  BUT, if they are willing, I’m not turning them down.   Hey, it is always great to have a friend that is willing to scoop your kids up for the day.

Camps are AWESOME!! In my town we have great camps and fortunately they are economical family friendly, at the moment.  I know as time goes on, my children will want to participate in more specialized camps, but until then, off to the town camp they go!

So, what’s your plan for the summer?  Grandparents house, dependable friends, camp or a combination of all three?

This year our summer life is a combination of all three, grandma, friends and camp.  So, here’s to another working mom’s awesome summer adventure!

 

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5 Unexpected Ways to Use Curtains | Cute Beltz

The wonderful flow and feel of curtains, these simple pieces do more than just dress the windows. They’re perfect for rounding out a space and finishing a room, but in more ways than just the windows! Wispy chiffon or thick tuile, if you have some extra curtains hiding in the linen closet waiting to be used, we’ve found some wonderful, charming and different ways to use them! Take a peek!

Create a little privacy

It could be a cozy, comfy reading corner. It could be the bay window where you like to sip your morning tea and write out your to-do list for the day. Or it could be your office nook! Use some curtains to cut off the world and create a little privacy. It’s a lighter, softer way to divide a room or space than with doors or folding boards.

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Create a new table

Sometimes curtains can make the most perfect tablecloth or even table runner, depending on the size of a table and fabric. When you just can’t seem to find that most perfect color or print, look to the curtain and use your creativity. You may even save a few bucks in the process!

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Create a bit of cozy

We all love canopy beds, but using ceiling curtains creates something even more magical. It’s whimsical. It’s cozy and at a whole different level of style and design than a classic canopy. Whether it’s your bedroom or your little girls, this is a fun way to utilize some extra sets of sheer curtains.

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Create a little concealment.

For some difference in texture and a unique spin, cover your shelves with curtains. It’s a fun, more feminine way of hiding any clutter! Use this idea in the kitchen, laundry room or even in your wild and crazy craft room! And it’s incredibly easy to DIY and a lot less expensive than installing new cabinets.

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Create a tinge of doggy style.

Have a boring ole black dog create hanging out in the house? Is in an eye sore in the family room or taking up dull space in the kitchen? Well with a bit of DIYing of some leftover curtains or even just laying some down, you can make that crate feel more homey for the pup and more styled for the house! Add some bows, add some ruffles and VOILA! better looking for everyone!

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What are some unexpected ways you would use your curtains?Cute Beltz

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5 Unique Birthday Party Ideas | Cute Beltz

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Your child’s birthday is coming up, and you’re fresh out of savvy ideas. Sure, you could just invite over a bunch of children to run around in the backyard like every other parent does, but you want something cool and unique to make your little one feel special.

It’s your lucky day! We’re sharing some extremely fun, chic children’s birthday party ideas that will make your kid’s b-day bash legendary among his or her friends.

Dinosaur Hunter

Does your child freak out over fossils? Make your budding paleontologist’s birthday wishes come true by organizing a dinosaur hunt for him and his friends! Send kids on a mini excavation in the backyard. Simply fill plastic Easter eggs with small dino toys or wrapped candy, and hide them in a large sandbox. Give your boy and his party guests plastic beach shovels, buckets and whatever else you think they’ll need for their archaeological excursion, and just let them dig.

You might not assume that kids would enjoy sifting through a sandbox, but when dinosaurs are involved, they’ll tear into the task with T-rex-sized enthusiasm. Stick with a dino-themed cake and decorations to keep the excitement going, and let guests take home the unearthed toys and candy as party favors. Your kid will likely remember this afternoon as the best birthday bash of the era.

Pet Party

If your kid is wild about animals, let her woof it up with a pet party! Send out animal-themed invites to her friends and their pets, then wait for the fun and fur to fly. If your little animal lover is inviting her entire class, you can set stricter regulations on the beasts of honor, such as dogs only, and plan to have the party in a large, animal-friendly environment like a dog park or, if you’ve got the space, your own backyard.

Is your child is inviting a smaller, more manageable group? In that case, you’ve got some wiggle room to invite anything that mews, barks or blows bubbles. Allow creatures of all types to attend, from fish and ferrets to felines. Section off an area of your home, but beware of guests with long-standing instinctual feuds. You’d be surprised how much chaos a few fleeing cats and one determined dog can cause, so make sure all furry party attendees undergo a temperament test before they’re admitted. Mandating that everyone’s up to date with vaccinations isn’t a bad idea, either, and be sure all parents understand the party’s theme so children with pet allergies will know to decline the invite.

Cupcake Party

If there are two things girls love, they’re sweets and sleepovers. Why not combine the two into a decadent, all-night birthday bash your daughter will remember for years to come? Yes, you’re going to have a huge mess to clean up afterward, but throwing her a cupcake party will be easy.

Instead of spending money on props and a party space, blow it all on candy and confections! Purchase lots of different flavorings, sugars, toppings, icings and, of course, eggs, butter and flour. If you really want to go all out, you can pick up personalized aprons for party favors. Your daughter and her baking crew will remember this event long after their sugar highs are over.

Spa Party Theme

Ask the girls to bring their bathrobes and slippers to set the scene for this party.   Set out different facial masks and peel masks and don’t forget the cucumber slices!  Set up different stations for manicures, pedicures, facials and hairstyling.  Let the girls rotate to each station every 10-15 minutes.  Have a different color nail polish for each guest and let them try them all. Give them colorful emery boards and toe separators along with their nail polish for a birthday party favor.

Costume Party

Have the kids come in costume, no matter what time of the year it is.  It can be a sports uniform, an old Halloween costume, a dance recital costume, or their parents’ old vintage clothes. When they arrive have each one state exactly who they are impersonating and for the remainder of the party have them talk, act, and do what their character would do at all time. The other kids must call them by their characters name from that point on.

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