Budget Birthdays For Your Bambinos

We all want to through our little ones awesome birthday parties, but there are just sometimes when our budgets don’t allow it. This is especially the case if you are a single parent or you or your partner have just been let go from work. If there isn’t much money to go around, you probably won’t have any spare to put towards a fabulous party. Thankfully, though, children’s birthday parties are very easy to organize, even if you are on a restrictive budget. Hopefully, all of the following tips and ideas will help you through a reasonably priced party that your child will never forget!

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Forget About A Venue

There are lots of different venues that can host children’s birthday parties. Some restaurants will rent out function rooms while your local leisure center might organize a sports-themed party for you. However, if you are trying to plan a party with little money, you should try and forget about renting out a venue. These can be very expensive, even if you hire one for a couple of hours. It’s best to have the party in your own home and garden. If you only have a very small house and no garden, you might want to think about having the party in your local park. It’s totally free to use parks and you will be able to organize a birthday picnic or tea party if the weather is going to be nice.

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Organize Your Own Food

Another aspect of party planning that can be extremely expensive is sorting out the catering. Rather than hiring a catering company to make a buffet for your party, you should think about cooking and baking yourself. Even though this will take up quite a bit of time for you and will require a lot of careful planning, you will find that it can drastically reduce your costs. It’s also a good idea to try and bake your own birthday cake as well. Don’t worry if you aren’t a very good baker – there are now lots of baking kits you can buy that will help you. Betty Crocker does a really good one for birthday cakes. It’s also worth planning your party for around 2 pm – 4 pm. As it won’t take place over a mealtime, most parents won’t be expecting you to feed their kids a lot. So, you will be able to get away with preparing just a few snacks and the cake.

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Host A Potluck Party

If you don’t fancy cooking everything yourself, you might prefer to host a potluck party. This is when you ask all the other guests to bring a dish to put towards the buffet. Just make sure you add a note to the invites asking everyone to bring something. If your party is themed, you might like to mention the theme so that everyone brings a dish that matches the theme. One of the great things about organizing a potluck is that you will be surprised with all the amazing and delicious foods that people bring to the party!

Be Smart When Gift Shopping

One of the things that can often cause a birthday party to go over budget is all the birthday presents for the child. Every parent wants to make their child feel extra special on their big day and do so by buying them lots of gifts. However, if you don’t have enough cash in the bank, you shouldn’t put yourself in the red just so your child gets a lot of presents. After all, bigger isn’t always better. One way to reduce the costs of birthday gifts is to browse sites such as dontpayfull.com to try and find some coupons and vouchers. You might also want to go gift shopping when shops have their sales. Alternatively, simply restrict your child’s gifts to a certain amount of money. For example, set aside $100 to use to buy their presents and make sure you don’t go a penny over!

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Think About Joint Parties

If your child’s birthday is close to one of their friend’s birthdays, you should think about holding a joint birthday party. This can be beneficial for you and the other child’s parents as you can evenly split the costs so that you both don’t have to pay full price for anything. If you decide to host a joint party along with the other parents, then you might even be able to afford a venue and catering company.

Go Electronic

About a decade ago, lots of parents would spend money on fancy invitations for the party. But now, thanks to the Internet, you don’t need to do so anymore. There are lots of cheaper, electronic options instead. For example, you can simply email all your child’s friends’ moms a quick message about the party with all the necessary details. Alternatively, if you are on facebook.com, you can create an event page and invite all the moms and dads on there. It’s useful to bear in mind that not everyone is on Facebook, though, so you should make a point of telling those people in person.

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Think Of Free Activities

If you can’t afford to hire a children’s entertainer, don’t worry. There are lots of free activities that you can do during the party. If you are having the party in your garden or a park, you could plan a scavenger or treasure hunt. There are also some outdoor games you could play with all the kids, such as hide and seek, blind man’s buff, and three-legged races. Most of these games can also be played inside if the weather starts to turn bad. Basically, any kind of children’s game will go down really well at a birthday party. So, why not ask the kids what they want to play!

Planning and hosting a children’s birthday party doesn’t have to cost you the whole earth. Now that you have all of these great tips and ideas, you should be able to keep your overall costs down to a minimum.

Have fun!

Ways To Keep Your Entire Family Prepared For Emergencies

It pays to be prepared all the time because any time of the day, a lot of unexpected things can happen. It can be in the form of an unexpected power outage, calamities like an earthquake or heavy rains resulting in a flood, accidents, military conflicts or perhaps sudden loss of jobs. Obviously, lots of these events will happen depend on where you live or travel. These days it can happen to anybody and the people you will be most concerned about is your immediate family. Starting today, you should make it a habit to stock up and prepare for emergencies and make sure that the entire household is also involved with it.

Inside your house, regardless if you own it or if you’re just renting, it is essential to have a basic emergency disaster kit. Store it in a safe place and make sure that everyone in the household knows where to find it. Make sure as well that is filled and the supplies will last for several days or longer.

Here are some of the basic components of your emergency disaster kit:

First Aid Kit – disasters or calamities can easily cause acute burns or cuts, headaches, a fever or common colds. That’s why your kit should contain, but are not limited to: analgesics, antihistamines, adhesive and bandages, antiseptic solutions, soap and cleansers, eye wash, petroleum jelly, scissors, thermometer and some of your household’s maintenance medicines. Make sure to check the expiration dates from time to time and replace any expired materials immediately.

Food – make sure that you have enough of it that could last at least 3-4 days. You can pack canned goods in easy-to-open cans or you can include a pocket can opener along with it. However, these canned goods have a certain shelf life and sometimes are temperature sensitive. Good thing, Patriot Pantry has come up with an innovative solution for stored foods. Their products can last up to 25 years and is a great value.

Water – see to it that you are able to secure one gallon per person in your household per day for three days for hydration and sanitation.

Flashlight and Extra Batteries for obvious reasons.

Plastic Bags, Ziplocks, and Duct Tapes – you’ll never know if there is a need to secure items from being wet.

Toys and Comfort Items – your kids have a very short attention span and you want them to keep busy during stressful times like during a disaster.

Cash – don’t expect ATMs to be functional during a serious event or calamity. Make sure you have ample cash to spend when needed.

How to Make Your Family Event a Little Less Awkward

It’s that time of the year again: Labor Day is almost upon us and family get togethers are being thrown left and right. If your family hasn’t seen each other for a while, these events can get awkward. You don’t necessarily know what to talk about or who to talk to. You probably spend most of it on your phone taking Buzzfeed quizzes. Well, worry no longer! This blog is here to get everyone talking and having a good time.

Don’t save the goody bags for leaving, open them at the beginning so everyone can interact with them

Every good party has a goody bag full of trinkets for guests to take home with them and remember the night. This is all well and good, but imagine if the bag was filled with things you could use at the event. This way, guests can talk to each other about the items as an easy conversation starter.

What should you put in the bag? One of the easiest conversation starters is a cigar. Whether your family is full of aficionados or novices, everyone can comment on the experience of smoking a cigar. Custom Tobacco allows you to personalize every aspect of the cigar from band to filler to wrapper and more. Decorate your cigars with “X Family Reunion 2017” or whatever else your heart desires. Even if your family doesn’t smoke, they’ll most likely partake in this stogie on the special occasion.

Better yet, while you’re all smoking, you can discuss the flavor profile of the cigars. Luckily, Custom Tobacco offers variety packs so people can smoke something different and compare and contrast. For the younger ones, Custom Tobacco also offers chocolate cigars. This way no one feels left out of the festivities and everyone gets a cigar personalized to your family.

Get Around the Campfire

It might be cliche, but campfires/bonfires make for a great group activity. Settle everyone around and sing songs or play games. This is a great way for the entire group to come together. This is also a great way to get the family history sorted. Members can tell stories about the ancestors or just their parents to give everyone a communal knowledge of the family.

Another fun activity is to give out family superlative awards such as, “most likely to pass out before the night is over.” These are fun, joking ways to get everyone involved and laughing. Points for giving the awards on paper plates or T-shirts (a great activity to keep the kids occupied).

Celebrate the One Thing You All Have in Common: Heritage

Whether it’s cooking traditional foods or playing traditional games, embracing your heritage for the night is a surefire way to get everyone connected. For example, my family always makes nissu, a Finnish braided bread, which we gorge on after dinner. As kids, my grandma would start by explaining the importance of the bread and each ingredient to our culture.

Even if you don’t know much about your culture, there’s always a new tradition you could start. The French game, petanque, which closely resembles Bocce ball, is an easy game to learn and play. There are also traditional dance styles, such as Congolese, you can learn and get everyone involved in. This especially works if no one knows them because then everyone looks a little silly doing it.

How To Travel With Toddlers Stress Free

With summer here, our thoughts turn to family holidays. Clear blue seas, golden sands and balmy temperatures are just around the corner, but there is just one problem because to reach that idyllic location you are going to have to travel. No problem you may think, it’s all part of the experience. Think again. For when you are a parent of one or more travel averse toddlers, this can prove challenging at best.

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Children love family holidays. It is a time to spend quality time with their parents and siblings, enjoying all of their favourite activities in the sunshine. Swimming, playing ball on the beach and building sandcastles – what could be better. What they seem to forget, is that you have to get there first.

Taking a flight, however long with children can be stressful. It is difficult for your little ones to understand that they have to remain seated sometimes for hours at a time, seatbelts on with nothing much to do.

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who start your vacations with private jet charters, most of us will embark on our journey in a cramped economy class cabin full of strangers.

Tempers fray, stress levels rise, and even the shortest of flights can turn into an endurance test that you would rather forget.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. With thorough preparation and careful planning, you and your toddlers can have a calm, stress-free flight, and they might even learn to enjoy it.

Do the groundwork

If your toddlers haven’t flown before make sure they understand what to expect. You can even recreate the scenario at home by lining up a few chairs and playing ‘aeroplanes’ with them. Explain that they have to remain seated but emphasise the positives. Tell them that they will be able to watch TV on the plane and get them involved in packing their cabin bags too.

Give yourselves time

Calm parents equal calm kids, so make sure you allow plenty of travelling time to get to the airport. You will avoid unnecessary stress and reach the boarding gate feeling relaxed.

Distractions

Make sure you have plenty of activities that you can bring out when needed. Drawing, pocket games, ipads or a story for when they feel sleepy will help pass the time.

Take plenty of snacks

There is no better distraction for a young child than their favourite snack. Make sure you take plenty and try not to get anxious about what they choose to eat on board. It is only one flight, and at least it will keep them quiet.  Remember to pack some lollipops for when you are coming into land. Children can suffer terribly with pressure pain in their ears so take along something they can suck, a comforter or even their favourite teddy.

You made it! Hopefully, you will have had a great flight and can now enjoy your holiday. Just remember the advice for the return leg of your journey and your family vacation will be one to remember for all the right reasons.

Things You Must Do In Roanoke

If you’ve never heard of Roanoke before, here’s a bit of background history; It was established in 1585 in what we now know it as North Carolina. It has the nickname of “The Lost Colony” due to shipments being stopped randomly, and then the colonists disappearing.

Now, however, Roanoke is a fabulous place to visit. It’s especially good for getting the kids out and about without them becoming bored! Here’s a list of the things you must do on your visit.

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  1. Dolphin Tours

    Let’s be fair, who doesn’t love dolphins? Take up this opportunity and sail with the dolphins. The dolphin watch is truly incredible to see, with a tour guide giving you lots of useful and exciting information, it’s a once in a lifetime experience that you’d be mad to miss out on!

  2. Elizabethan Gardens

    Enter these luxurious grounds and marvel at the beauty of the memorial the town created for Queen Elizabeth I during her reign. It was made to keep her entertained and has remained there since. It’s open all year round, but it’s best to check what times they are open as this does vary.

  3. The Lost Colony

    While you’re there, why not take in the history of Roanoke and see a reenactment of the lost colonists that happened over 400 years ago. Feel like a part of the culture, and it’s yet another family friendly activity!

  4. Pirate Adventures

    Arrrrr matey! A fun family day trip that includes face painting, sailing on a real pirate ship and much more! Take the kids (or just yourselves if you don’t have any children) on this super fun day out.

 

  1. Ghost Tours

    You may want to find sitters for your children for this one. This is a long walk around the outer banks of Roanoke with ghost stories at night. A fabulous experience for those with the thrill.

  2. Tram Tours

    This is one for those of us that love being up and close with nature. The tour takes you along the land and gets you close to the wildlife including alligators and red wolves.

  3. Wings Over Wildlife Festival

    If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in October, why not head on over to their annually held Wings Over Wildlife Festival? It has loads of activities and caters for all ages! Because it’s during an off-peak season, it’s super cheap to visit too!

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There are loads of things to do in Roanoke; it’s tourists heaven! If you’re interested in looking at what else the lovely island can offer, why not check out these 64+ activities that you can do in Roanoke.

No need to panic about where you can stay either, the island offers many hotels and B&B’s for visitors to stay. A popular choice of hotel is Cambria Hotel & Suites Roanoke that offers plenty of amenities and can also give advice and recommendations on what to do in Roanoke.

Roanoke is a place with lots of history and plenty of activities to do. Be sure to visit!