This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. Our family loves to travel and while we fly on a lot of our really long trips, anything under 10 hours is usually a road trip for us.  We're serious road warriors.  And ...

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Road Trip Essentials

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

Road Trip Essentials

Our family loves to travel and while we fly on a lot of our really long trips, anything under 10 hours is usually a road trip for us.  We’re serious road warriors.  And while our next big road trip is seriously daunting (we’re planning to move across the country in the next 6 weeks or so), for the most part, we’ve got road trippin’ down to a science. The biggest keys to a successful road trip are keeping everyone entertained and keeping bellies full.  Thankfully this month’s BabbleBox has us covered! It’s full of road trip essentials that keep everyone happy!

Here are the keys to keeping everyone happy on a road trip!

Entertainment

It’s important to keep everyone entertained on road trips.  I usually make sure that I have multiple devices loaded with things to keep my kids entertained.  Each of my kids have a Kids Kindle Fire which is loaded with books to read, books to listen to on the audible app and a few movies and games.  Since my husband and I use audible all the time, our iPhones are already ready to go with lots of titles to choose from. We also keep some small games on hand to keep the kids’ hands busy!  If you’re looking for something else to do on the trip, make sure to print off this Road Trip Selfie Scavenger Hunt!

audible.com

Personally my biggest sanity saver on any long trip is audible.  Audible is a leading provider of premium digital spoken audio and entertainment.  I have a long long history with audio books.  I used to listen to them on tape, then on CD, but when audible came along, it was like the heavens opened up and angels started singing.  I signed up as audible listener, chose the amount of book credits I wanted to purchase each month, and the rest is history.  I have over 300 titles in my audible library…everything from personal development, to business, to fiction, to children’s books, to memoirs. One of my favorite things about audible is there deal of the day.  Each day they offer an audiobook for well below retail.  They’re often between $1.99 and $4.99.  I’ve been able to find new authors this way and have listened to books, I may have otherwise not discovered.  For road trips, I usually pick a few entertaining titles that are appropriate for everyone in the car. Our next 2 family listens are Isle of the Lost (a Descendents Prequel) and Wonder (which we want to listen to before the movie comes out in November).  Literally, I would be lost without audible and am not sure I’d attempt a roadtrip without it.

If you have road trips coming up (or if you’re looking to break up the monotony of household chores), sign up for a free 30 day trial at Audible.com.

Cube-tastic!

James and Shayna with Cubetastic

There’s nothing worse than hearing “I’m bored” 7 bazillion times on a road trip, which is why I always make sure to have fun things to keep hands and minds engaged.  I absolutely love Cube-tastic.  Created for kids aged five and over, a free downloadable app paired with a colored cube promotes hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills and memory. It’s like an old-school Toy Rubiks Cube but even better since there is an app too.  Plus, right now you can save 15% on Cube-tastic!

Food

If you’re going to be traveling for any length of time, you’ll want to make sure you have snacks in the vehicle and a plan for which restaurants you can stop at along the way.

Chops

James with Chops

When the twins get hungry, they can go from pleasant to melt-down in no time at all…which is why I always make sure to travel with snacks.  I usually keep a cooler packed with meat, cheese, veggies and dips and also bring a variety of fruit, fruit snacks, and beef jerky.  Chops Beef Jerky is different from any other beef jerky we’ve tried because it’s all natural super tender.  Other jerky is sourced from old dairy cattle while Chops uses a high quality beef and other high quality ingredients to make their beef jerky exceptionally tender and deliciously chewy!  You can get 20% off your first order with Code 5CHN79Z7Q1BE at www.chopssnacks.com.

IHOP

James and Shayna at IHOP

We always have snacks with us, but it’s nice to slip into a booth and order a nice plate of yummy food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  IHOP has been a go-to place for families for 59 years…they have amazing breakfast food and if you’re not into breakfast, they have lots of other yumminess to choose from. James and Shayna were over-the-moon to get Nutella to put on their french toast.  I’m a creature of habit and had my usual pancakes and eggs and my hubby got an appetizer sampler.

Emergency Kit

It’s important to make sure your car is in good working order before you head out on the road.  If you’re using this printable vehicle maintenance schedule, your car should be ready to go, however it’s always a good idea to keep some emergency items in your car.

T-Rex Tape

While everyone hopes that nothing goes wrong on a road trip, it’s always nice to have the things you need in case of emergency.  T-Rex tape is ferociously strong duct tape that performs well in all conditions. It’s perfect for holding things together or keeping your husband from talking your ear off {just kidding on the taping your husband thing}. 😉  Seriously though, T-Rex tape consists of 3 layers that make it double thick and it’s super strong.  It’s the perfect weather-resistant tape! Make sure you add T-Rex Tape to your emergency kit!

Wherever you go on your next road trip, I hope you have an amazing time!  If you need extra help figuring out what to pack, make sure to print off this printable packing list!  And if I missed any road trip essentials, leave me a comment! :)

 

Road Trip Essentials FunHappyHome.com

 

 

 

 

 

The post Road Trip Essentials appeared first on Fun Happy Home.

       

10 Summer Activities to Enjoy With Your Children

I’m so excited that summer is here. I love the warm weather and the slightly more relaxed pace of the day. It’s also a great time for family fun, so I’ve put together a list of fun summer activities kids will love.

10 Summer Activities to Enjoy With Your Children From FunHappyHome.com

While each season of the year brings new opportunities to do fun things with your children, summer is our absolute favorite!  During the summertime, remember that there’s more to do than simply playing outside or going to the pool…although we’ll be doing a lot of both.  With some creative thinking, you can make memories with your children that will last a lifetime.

Fun Summer Activities Kids Will Love

1. Have fun with water.

If you have small children, consider getting a water table. These tables provide toddlers with opportunities to play with water and toys outside of the tub. Older children may enjoy a run through a sprinkler system or a fun water race!

2. Sell lemonade or other cool drinks.


Get your children into the entrepreneurial spirit and have fun at the same time. You can work together to build a stand and some signs or save yourself some time and go for a ready made lemonade stand with free printables. Then set up shop somewhere that you can attract some thirsty customers.

3. Volunteer your time.

Volunteering is an excellent way to provide for your children a true learning experience while having fun over the summer. Research different programs that allow children to help out in the community. This could set the stage for regular volunteer work in the future.

4. Fly kites.


Buy a kite or make your own kite if you have the time. Find a safe area to fly kites and teach your children how to get their kites up into the air. Once children learn how to fly kites themselves, it may become one of their favorite summertime activities.

5. Make summer themed arts and crafts and recipes.

Both cooking and arts and crafts can bring enjoyment to your kids year round, but you can make summer even more special by making recipes and doing crafts that are centered on the theme of summer. Design your own t-shirts. Make sand pudding.  Allow your kids to think creatively by coming up with their own ideas.

6. Go for a bike ride.

If everyone has their own bikes, you can go out for a ride as a family. It’s a great way to bond and enjoy the sunshine. If your children are too young, you can take them for a wagon ride.

7. Play backyard games.

Head out to the backyard or a local park to play games. You can play traditional sports or make up your own games to play. Our kids love to play Hillbilly Golf and Wiffleball. Take advantage of the season’s warm weather, enjoy each other, and get some exercise at the same time.

8. Go to the beach.

Declare today a beach day! Grab your beach toys and bathing suits and have a good time in the sun. If you don’t live by the beach, you can create your own beach day anyway. Head to the local pool and enjoy the sun or head to a nearby river or lake.  Don’t forget to take your Beach Selfie Scavenger Hunt!

9. Go on a nature hike.

Whether you’re walking through your neighborhood or a local beach, a nature hike can make you more aware of the beauty of your surroundings. Your children might enjoy creating a collection of things they find in nature, such as rocks and shells.

10. Go fishing.

While the idea of baiting a hook and catching fish is not my idea of fun, the twins absolutely love it!  They have their own kids size fishing poles and they can spend hours at one of our local ponds fishing! It’s a great place for conversations with the kids…so even though it’s not my thing, I make sure to make time for fishing with the twins.

Keep your kids from getting bored this summer with one or more of these activities. Instead of staying stuck in the house watching TV or playing video games, bond as a family and create lasting memories together!

If you can think of other fun summer activities kids will love, let me know in the comments!

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The Importance of Car Maintenance Schedules and a Printable Car Maintenance Checklist

A few months ago, I got a new (well, new-to-me) car after driving the same car for over 14 years. When I finally traded my car in, it had over 220,000 miles on it. One of the reasons my car ran for so long is because my husband is a ninja at car maintenance and repair! While I was purchasing my new car, the sales manager told me about a customer they sold a car to who regularly had his car maintained and he drove it for over 700,000 miles!!! Car maintenance schedules are so important, but they’re often overlooked.
Printable Car Maintenance Schedule

Car maintenance is extremely important, but it might not be something you think about often! If you keep up with the following tasks on a regular basis, your car will thank you!

Car Maintenance Schedules

Here are the maintenance items you’ll want to do on a regular basis:

Weekly Maintenance:

  • Check your tires
  • Check your oil level
  • Check your headlights
  • Check to see if any lights are on (check engine light, etc) on your dash
  • Check your windshield washer fluid

Every 3,000 miles:

  • Check your engine air filter
  • Check your exhaust
  • Check your power steering fluid
  • Check your transmission fluid
  • Check your tires for any damage and rotate if necessary
  • Change oil and filter (For newer cars, you may be able to do this every 5,000-7,000 miles)
  • Headlights

Once A Year:

  • Check your transmission fluid
  • Check your battery
  • Check your belts
  • Check your cabin air filter
  • Check your chassis
  • Check your brakes
  • Check your engine air filter
  • Check your wheel alignment
  • Check your steering
  • Check your suspension
  • Replace your wiper blades (If you live in a place where it doesn’t rain or snow regularly, you may not need to replace your wiper blades, but since they’re very inexpensive, I like to replace mine yearly!)
  • Check your coolant

While Car Maintenance Schedules may be boring, they are necessary!

This Printable Car Maintenance Checklist will help you keep your car in tip-top shape!

 

Printable Car Maintenance Schedule

Click here to download your Printable Car Maintenance Schedule!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe

It’s no secret that I love cookie dough. And while I love fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, during hot summer days, the thought of turning my oven on and heating up the kitchen makes me want to punch myself in the throat. With the crazy temperatures we currently have, I’m excited to share this delicious Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe. It’s easy to make and it’s the perfect treat for hot summer days!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe from FunHappyHome.com

Here’s what you’ll need:

 Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter – Unsalted (8 ounce) Domino Dark Brown Sugar 2 Lb Domino Sugar, Granulated, 4LB Canister Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract Certified Organic, 4-Ounce Glass Bottle Morton Salt Iodized Sea Salt, 26 oz, 2 pk Pillsbury Best All Purpose Unbleached Flour, 5 Pound Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda, 16 oz Nestle TOLL HOUSE Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 12 oz. Bag Dannon All Natural Vanilla Flavored Yogurt, 6 Ounce — 12 per case.

&

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe

  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • ½ cups Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¾ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Vanilla Yogurt

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugars together until mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the chocolate chips or chunks and stir. In Process 1 (16)
  5. Add the flour and chocolate chip mixture to butter mixture and fold in carefully.  In Process 2 (17)
  6. Add yogurt and stir again.  In Process 3 (12)
  7. Cover with lid and freeze until fully set or overnight.

Voila!  You have made chocolate chip cookie dough fro-yo!!!

Looking for another fabulous chocolate chip cookie dough recipe (besides chocolate chip cookies)?  Check out this recipe for No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecakes!

No-Bake-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Dough-Cheesecake-from-FunHappyHome.com_-1024x683

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe from FunHappyHome.com

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Creative Summer Jobs for Teens

School is almost out here in Indiana and with the end of school comes more free time for teens. When my daughters were younger, I remember the mixed feelings about summer jobs.  They wanted money, but didn’t want to miss out on fun times with friends.  Not all summer jobs are boring.  Check out these summer jobs teens love!

Dogwalking: One of Many Summer Jobs Teens Love

When it comes to summer jobs for teens, some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking can go a long way. This is especially true this year since the job market isn’t what it once was. With a little extra brain power, you may be able to carve out an employment niche for yourself. Here are some ideas for creative summer jobs for teens.

Summer Jobs Teens Love

1. Deliveries

Do you have a bike? You may find summer work making deliveries for local businesses. As businesses seek to keep costs down, a teen on a bicycle is a more affordable option than a delivery company. It also helps businesses avoid sending one of their own employees out of the office to make deliveries.

2. Pet Sitting

During the summer, a lot of pet owners are looking for an affordable way to have their pets cared for while they’re out of town. Boarding pets can be expensive, and some pet owners opt out of conventional vaccination schedules, making boarding impossible (boarding kennels generally require updated vaccinations). So you could potentially make money while helping other people save money – that’s a win-win! The more experience and references you have, the better; if you have horse-keeping experience, for instance, that can help expand your employment opportunities.

3. Look No Further Than Yourself

If you can’t work at a traditional company this summer, go into business for yourself instead. There are so many possibilities! Here are some thoughts for your own creative business this summer:

  • Website designer
  • Lawn and garden care
  • Mother’s helper (you babysit in the children’s home with their mother or a parent present)
  • Visiting shut-ins or those in nursing homes (family members would hire you to visit with their elderly relatives; no professional healthcare involved – just visiting and cheering them up)
  • House cleaning
  • Car washing
  • Portrait drawing

If you have a skill, you can use it to make money. Are you artistic? Consider painting murals. Do you have computer skills? Many adults are willing to pay someone to have them help with computer tasks. If you can make money doing something you love, it won’t feel like work!

4. Farming

Okay, you probably don’t have a farm although if you do, this could be a real money maker for you!). If you can find a piece of land, you can grow your own produce and sell it at your local farmers’ market. If you don’t have the land at your own home, some people who do have farms are willing to rent you a piece of land or let you farm a piece for a fee. You can also get a job helping farmers with their farming. When I was in junior high, a lot of my friends detassled corn. (I don’t even know exactly what that means, but I know they made good money doing it.)

Get creative! Think about what you’re good at and see if you can get someone to pay you for doing it. Find a way to make your skills useful to others. If you can make money doing what you love, it won’t feel so much like a job! :)

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