Want More Time to Spend With Your Family? Try Working From Home

Cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta have some of the worst traffic in the country. Depending on where you live, you can spend up to 10 hours a week or more commuting to and from work. But what if there was a way to get those 10-plus hours back? Imagine being able to spend that time with your kids, helping them with their homework, sitting down with them to a nice breakfast or lunch, or just talking with them about their day. An extra 10 hours a week would also give you more time to work out, spend quality time with your spouse, work on hobbies or even get more sleep.

 

One way you can convert your commuting time into family time is by working from home. More Americans than ever before are ditching their commutes and working at jobs that can be done from the comfort of their home offices, kitchen tables or living room sofas. And you can be one of them. Below, you’ll find some ideas for finding full or part time work that will allow you more freedom to travel with your kids, save your car some wear and tear, and maybe even help you find some time for yourself.

 

Working from home also has the added benefit of being better for the environment because of the decrease in the use of fossil fuels, and it can help keep you from having to miss work because of bad weather or when one of your kids gets sick.

 

Do a search for remote job openings.

 

Job listing sites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Zip Recruiter make searching for work-at-home jobs simple. Once you know what you’d like to do, type the type of job you are looking for into the site’s search bar followed by the word “remote.” Make sure you set your search’s geographic area to “anywhere” so your search results won’t be limited to jobs in your area. (After all, you’ll be working remotely so the location of the company isn’t that important.) Once you find a job you’re interested in, these sites also make it easy to upload your resume and fill out an application online.
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Managing a Major Move with Young Children

A major move can be really stressful for anyone. If you’d like to make it even more challenging, add a few young children to the equation. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to successfully complete a move, keep your children entertained and maintain a sense of peace. There are a few tips you’ll want to employ as you move forward. Consider these four.

1. Plan ahead.
You don’t need to hire someone to help you clean out boxes if you do it in advance. If you decide that you’d like to move in the next year, begin to declutter. Don’t wait until you’re two months away. Take time to go through boxes to throw items away and sell things. If you’re able to put yourself in a position to tackle one box a day, you’ll be in great shape. Wait until the kids go down to bed. Spend thirty minutes to an hour on one box, closet or area. You’d be surprised how much you can tackle within a few months when you dedicate a little bit of time each day. Plus, you would’ve done all of this while the children were asleep. Use your phone or a calendar to keep yourself on track.

2. Create an organized schedule.
When things begin to get a little hectic in the days before the move, find ways to create a schedule for the children. Most children (and adults) thrive on routines. Knowing this, create a schedule for them. Once they get out of school, give them different activities to work on each hour. If they decide that they’d like to spend more time on a particular task, this is fine. After all, the goal is to keep them occupied. Activities like painting, coloring and other arts projects are great for creativity. If your children love puzzles, set up a station for puzzles and popcorn. As dinnertime gets closer, they can enjoy dinner and a good movie. As you’re able to finish up your moving tasks, you can join them.
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How to Use Walkie Talkies When You Travel

travel with kids

Walkie Talikes—or two-way radios, if you want to be “technical”—offer a variety of uses when traveling. While many regard these little beauties as relics from the 90s, walkie talkies actually still possess great relevance for today. 

1. Children 

Do you remember being a kid? You didn’t have a cell phone. Maybe your parents were strict. Maybe it wasn’t in the budget. Maybe mobiles didn’t even exist! But for whatever reason, if your family was using the internet, you had only 3 methods of communicating with your friends. 

There was: the fake telephone, A.K.A. two cans on a string; running to their front door; and of course your handy dandy walkie talkies. 

Now obviously many kids today have cell phones, but what happens when your family is hiking in the woods and little Timmy takes a wrong turn? 10 times out of 10 there will be no service. Why? Because your service is spotty? No. Because service ALWAYS disappears whenever you need it most. Remember Murphy’s Law. 

The invariable solution to this potential issue is the walkie talkie. Not only are these items battery powered, but their functionality is not relegated to clear skies or corporate efficiency. Since walkie talkies are their own little entity, you have much more control over how you stay in contact with your children while you’re traveling—whether they forget their phone, you’re in the woods, or the labyrinth of a resort is just so stinking huge. 
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Summer Fun In New York With the Family

There is a lot to do in New York with the kids this summer, no matter what your interests are. From waterparks to Broadway shows, indoor or outdoor activities, you and your crew will find much to do in the Empire State.

When it’s hot, but you still want want to be outdoors, why not consider a water park? Splish Splash Waterpark is a great place to spend the day as a family in the heat of the summer. Waterparks should be high on the summer “to do” list, and this is one of the best spots in the area.  There are lots of options for kids of all ages, with smaller splash or wade pools for smaller kids (scaled down pools and slides, little swings, spray parks, etc) in several varieties so that everyone can have fun and enjoy themselves. The bigger the kid, the more places they can play- but of they are too big, they can’t play in the small kid areas, so that the little ones don’t have to worry about being trampled.  Some favorites were Mutiny Bay, which puts your family in brightly colored boats, letting riders use water-spray “cannons” to blast other boats while those outside the ride can blast those inside the boats- and get sprayed themselves. Abyss Tube Slides were a favorite with all the kids, twisting and and turning your way down the enclosed slides. So was Bootleggers run, which holds up to four at a time in a tandem raft.  “Climb aboard a four-man raft that actually goes uphill with new generation hydromagnetic technology. It flies like a roller coaster without rails. So much fun, it just may be illegal!”says the park.  It really did seem as much like a roller coaster as it did like a tube ride, it was very cool. There are also favorites like wave pools and “lazy rivers”, and so much more.  Head over to SplishSplash.com and get your tickets soon, summer will be over before you know it.

luna park

 

Coney Island, a “must” for locals and tourists alike, is a great place to beat the summer heat, or at least lean into it somewhat gracefully. A go to spot for generations, each season changing slightly, adding more rides, keeping new and fresh while still appealing to the nostalgia of days past. Just steps from the boardwalk, there is a beach with a clean shore and big open ocean.  For the animal lovers, there is the New York Aquarium just a little ways down, which also has a wonderful seal show that should not be missed.  For the adventurous types, there are big thrill rides at Luna Park which include 7 roller coasters like the classic wooden Coney Island Cyclone.  For the littler park goers, there are tons of attractions and rides at Luna Park like the Happy Swing and Magic Bikes. This year, Luna Park has also opened new rides Cozmo Jet and Coney Clipper, so even if you have been before, there is a great excuse to go again.
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Get Outdoors And Play This Summer

It’s beautiful outside these days, and we are spending as much time outdoors as humanly possible. If you are looking to get outside and play, here are some fun options.

spinner swing

A fun twist on the tire tree swing, the Super Spinner® is a “UFO shaped” (according to my 10 year old) disk swing that lets one or more kids (and even a parent) take a ride. It comes with “adjustable double-braided ropes and weather-resistant clips are designed for a safer, more comfortable ride” according to the manufacturer. Super Spinner can be suspended to swing and spin from trees, play sets, a porch beam or a secure structural beam wherever works for your family.

There are two sizes of Super Spinner currently available. The original Super Spinner is sized one or two little kids, and can hold up to 200 pounds. It is available in green, blue, red, purple, pink or  yellow. If you want a larger size, the Super Duper Spinner lets more kids and adults ride, and can hold up to 650 pounds. That size is available in hunter green alone.  Get yours for $49.99 – $89.99 at stores like Amazon or Target.

pool float

Heading to the pool? Grab a fun float and head out. Intex makes a really fantastic assortment of floats your family is sure to love- my kids love the Intex Inflatable Mega Unicorn this year- they are, in fact, mildly obsessed. They have brought it to friends’ houses, and all the kids have had a fun time floating about the pool on the very colorful, very magical, large floating unicorn. You’d think this is mostly girls, right? Wrong. The boys love it as well, and so do mom and dad. My partner and I like to have our turn as well- although in all honesty, that rarely happens.Intex’s mega-sized, oversized pool floats are a lot of fun, more durable then many, and worth the price at $29.99.  Mega Unicorn and also the new Peacock design are newly available this year. You can also get Mega Swan, Mega Flamingo, and Mega Duck Island Floats. Tough choices- you might end up with more then one of these floaties.
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Create a Family Holiday Tale of Two Cities – Birmingham to Andalusia

It’s always fun to travel abroad with little ones, however it can be just as challenging as it is exciting. Whether you live in Birmingham or this is just the first leg of your holiday, the one thing you may want to make easier on yourself is getting the kids safely to the airport. If you are encumbered with luggage and kids, parking far from your concourse makes it almost too stressful to make it worth taking such an extended holiday.

Make Travelling Easy with Birmingham Airport Park and Fly

Perhaps you should take advantage of the hotel park and fly Birmingham Airport service that makes it easy for you to get everyone and everything to the flight safely. According to birminghamparking.com, you should arrive the day before your flight, stay at a Birmingham Airport hotel and leave the rest to the park and fly service. It’s amazing just how easy they make it for families travelling with children!

What to Do in Family Friendly Andalusia

When visiting the autonomous community in the South of Spain, it isn’t so much what to do but rather where to go. Spain is known for its fun-loving atmosphere and so you’ll find the historical region as the perfect part of the country to enjoy a family friendly holiday. Whether you choose to stay in the area’s capital of Seville or one of the other amazing cities such as Cordoba or Granada, you will find an amazing number of things to do and see that are truly family friendly.
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In a New York State of Mind

Looking to spend some time in The Big Apple with the family? Here are some great places to visit while you are there.

LEGO’s are fun for kids of all ages, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in NY is a great place to spend the day for LEGO lovers of all ages.  The adventure begins by learning how Lego bricks are made and a kiddie-version of the history of  little plastic bricks. After this interesting introduction, its time to ride some rides and visit some attractions. The first ride (one that brings you into the main area) is a sit down guided laser shooting tour, where you save the castle by defeating tons of baddies. After your victory, you head into a mini-brick version of New York City and the LEGOLAND area. Push buttons for lights and sounds, and well as mini-animations. The details are pretty amazing, and the spoofs will keep everyone giggling. Fans will find quite a few “Easter Eggs” as they walk around the town.

There are also a bunch of other attractions to check out, like the racing course where you build your own racecar to pit against everyone else- there are several tracks to choose from. There is also a magic couch ride where you jaunt around on a flying couch. Really.  You move it up and down by pedaling, and it goes around in a circle. Make sure you check out the 4D movie, a must for all LEGO Movie fans. Of course, there are tons of LEGO to build, Masterclasses to take (and you can take your creations with you for a fee), and obstacle courses to try out. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is located at 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710
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Ways to involve your family in your exercise routine

As parents, we all intrinsically know how important daily exercise is. After all, for many of us, we’ve been hearing about exercise’s importance for nearly all of our lives. Despite knowing how important it is, many parents will admit that their daily exercise routine is the first thing to fall to the wayside when life gets busy, tough, and challenging, and as parents, we can all relate that life is rarely not tough.

Isn’t that wild? We all know how important exercise is to our health, but at the end of the day, we’d rather do things for our families and homes than do something positive for our health and livelihood. It often isn’t until we have a major health scare or emergency that we get our acts together and try to reverse years, if not decades, of neglected health.

Probably the singular reason that more parents cite than any other, regarding why they don’t regularly participate in an exercise routine more days than not, is time. We all have the same number of hours available to us in any given day — 24 — yet many of us can’t seem to manage to “find the time” to exercise, even when we know it can make a huge difference for our health.

What’s a parent to do, then?

My solution, I think, is the best one I’ve encountered and one that will benefit everyone in your family, not just you.

What is it, you may be wondering? It’s simple, really: exercise with your family. Involve your partner and children in your exercise routine more often than not. Doing so will not only confer health benefits for you, but it’ll also do the same for the rest of your family, and exercise — in whatever manifestation it takes — can be an excellent way to secure some quality time with your family.

Below, I’ll describe in more detail some additional guidelines that can help you involve your family in your exercise routine. Really, it’s a win-win solution, if you think about it: not only will you finally be able to actually take care of yourself and your own health, but you’ll still be spending quality time with your family and, in the process, model for them positive and healthy behaviors that they can later emulate.

Some tips to involve your family in your exercise routine include the following:

Keep it simple. When you’re exercising with your family, don’t overthink it. In fact, don’t even think of it as exercise, per se. Instead, think of it as “play.” Think back to your own childhood and all the games you used to play with your friends or on the playground at school. Easy, pick-up games like basketball, soccer, tag, or simply playing on the monkey bars or climbing on the playground equipment can be a great workout. Your kids will love that you’re actually playing with them and aren’t simply scrolling mindlessly on your phone, and as an added bonus, you’ll be doing something positive for your health.
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