Parents That Travel for Work – Tips for Surviving

I’ve been married for 15 years. A couple years into our marriage, I had my son. Two and a half years later, I had my daughter. 13 of those 15 years, my husband traveled for work. A lot. In the beginning he was only gone a day or two, here and there. Now, the travel is much more substantial. It’s not abnormal for him to be gone every week day, every single week. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it sucked having parents that travel for work. Since I have been doing it for so long, and with kids the entire time, I put together this handy list of tips to help you survive the travel.

travel for work

Parents That Travel for Work – Tips for Surviving

Being a stay at home parents has its own set of challenges, as any job does. However, being a stay at home parent when the other parents is gone the majority of the week can and does have many challenges that not everyone thinks of or acknowledges. It’s not the same as being home with the kids between 9 am and 5 pm. If you only take one thing away from this article, take this. It is important…no it is VITAL that you set up a routine for yourself and the kids. It can be as loose or as strict as you want it to be, but have something in place. Whether it be a set meal schedule and sleep schedule or more rigid with the same things done on certain days of the week, it doesn’t matter. It just matters that your children know what to expect. And it helps you too! Trust me on that!

Thoughts on Mom or Dad Calling Nightly

You have to know your child. If they are the type of child that needs to check in with the parent each night or has the ability to talk with the parent and say goodbye when the conversation is done without getting upset, then by all means, set up a time each night for mom or dad to call. With my children, I was always very matter of fact with them.

“Daddy is gone because he is working to provide for our family so we can eat, have a house, do fun things, etc” 

Tip…Pick up this Cloud Pet. You can record messages on the stuffed animal using an iOS app or android app!

CloudPets Talking Dog - The Huggable Pet to Keep in Touch Through the Cloud, Recordable Stuffed Animal by CloudPetsCloudPets Talking Dog – The Huggable Pet to Keep in Touch Through the Cloud, Recordable Stuffed Animal by CloudPets

I never set up a time for my husband to call each night. His schedule was often unpredictable. So the one thing I did not want to have happen is for him to tell the kids that he will call every night at 6 pm and then something happen and he not be able to call until much later or not call at all. For me, it was better for the kids to randomly and periodically talk to him during the week. Thankfully that approach worked very well for them. As I said before, he’s been traveling for the last 13 years. My kids are 13 and 10. They are very used to it and while they wished he was home, they get it and sometimes don’t talk to him all week long. When he does get home, my daughter will talk his ear off and tell him EVERYTHING that went on all week!

Setting Up a Routine

I briefly touched on the importance of setting up a routine. In the beginning, I was very rigid. My kids woke up at the same time every day, they took a nap at the same time every day, and they went to bed at the same time every day. As a result, their mealtimes were also at the same time every single day. As they have gotten older and involved in more things, I’ve had to relax on certain things, but the general schedule shell is still there. They know what to expect and when to expect it. By setting up a routine, it allows for the week to go by smoothly and, in some cases, a bit quicker!

Bringing Gifts Home

Don’t do it! I mean it. Once in awhile is OK, especially when mom or dad travel to a unique place, but gifts every single time will make things VERY difficult on the parent at home. Trust me. I know from experience. My husband used to do this and not only did the kids start to expect it, but it always made me the bad guy. I could be disciplining them for something during the week (or even that day we pick dad up) and then dad gets in the car with a gift. Now…if you want to suggest that the spouse bring YOU a gift each time…that’s OK. I am all on board with that! Just kidding! Well…sort of!

Rustic Town Handmade Vintage Antique Looking Genuine Leather Journal Diary Notebook Gift for Men Women Him HerRustic Town Handmade Vintage Antique Looking Genuine Leather Journal Diary Notebook Gift for Men Women Him HerExpandable Inspirational Bracelets “Be Thankful, Brave, Happy, Kind, True, Strong” - Perfect Gift for HerExpandable Inspirational Bracelets “Be Thankful, Brave, Happy, Kind, True, Strong” – Perfect Gift for HerKindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6

 Don’t Forget to Live

Early on I fell into the trap of not wanting to do certain things because I was worried my husband would be sad he missed out. We spent many years not doing much of anything because of that. Don’t do that! If you want to take the kids to the Science Museum or even a little two night trip to the beach. Do it! Yes your spouse may feel sad that he or she can’t be there, but it’s OK. You will have plenty of other opportunities to do fun things together at another time. Sometimes it just works out better to do these things during the week, rather than waiting until the weekend when it will be crazy busy.

Rely On Friends

This is something I just started to do, even though he has had to travel for work for the last 13 years. I am the type of person that does not like to inconvenience others. However, if someone ever needed help, I am the first person to help. Over the past year, I finally started to rely on friends and asking for help when I need it. It has definitely made things easier. While I still get a little uncomfortable to ask, it is something you MUST do. Unless we somehow figure out how to clone people, you can’t be in two places at once. No matter how hard you try!

While things are difficult for the parent that is home, it’s just as difficult for the parents that travel for work. They miss out on so many things. That’s where you come in. Take lots of pictures and videos. While it’s not the same, I know my husband has always enjoyed seeing the pictures and videos that I text him. And, while it’s easier said than done, try to be patient with the parent that has to travel for work and know that they wish they were home with the family too.

What tips for people that travel for work do you have?


Surviving Summer on Keto Diet

School is finally out for summer! Can you tell that I am one happy mama! No more alarms; No more school lunches to make; Just park programs, soccer camps and lacrosse tournaments to fill our days. When you follow a very specific diet plan, eating out or enjoying BBQ’s with friends and family can be pretty stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Surviving summer on the Keto diet can be very simple and you don’t have to worry about feeling like you are missing out on something. Trust me!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

surviving summer

Surviving Summer on the Keto Diet

So you’ve been following the Keto diet all winter and now summer is upon us and you are afraid that you won’t be able to enjoy all the summer fun with friends and family. Don’t worry! Following the Keto diet in the summer is no different that following it any other time of the year. If you’ve been on this diet for any amount of time, you know that it is a mindset and a lifestyle change, more than a diet. Like anything else, you need to plan, plan, plan.

Appetizers for Your Summer BBQ

In planning on how you will be surviving summer on the Keto diet, you need to think about things like appetizers. At most BBQ’s over the summer, appetizers include things like chips and dip, chips and salsa, or hummus and veggies. None of those options are Keto friendly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take something with you that is Keto friendly! Try one of these three recipes:

Delicious Deviled Eggs Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Both of the bacon wrapped recipes could probably be made on the grill! However you choose to make them, they will be a crowd pleaser and a nice addition to the other food at the BBQ.

Pro Tip #1…pick up one of these cups. It is the perfect summer cup!

Simple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid - Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug - Sweat Free Coffee Cup - Simple StainlessSimple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid – Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug – Sweat Free Coffee Cup – Simple Stainless

BBQ Main Meal

Bummed because you think you won’t be able to eat a burger or a hot dog? Don’t be! I can honestly say that I do not miss hot dog or hamburger buns. Plus, by not eating the bun, I don’t feel embarrassed when I load my plate up with both a hamburger and a hot dog! If you really must have a hamburger that you can pick up, just wrap it in lettuce! I personally like to eat my hamburger on a plate with a fork and knife with a little Franks Red Hot sauce and sometimes a little ranch dressing! I used to be a ketchup-aholic…I don’t even miss it!

Pro Tip #2…if you absolutely need some crunch, either on your salad or in place of chips, pick up these Parmesan Whisps!

Cello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 OunceCello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 Ounce

Keto Desserts

While you won’t be eating pies and other traditional BBQ desserts, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. For me, if I have the carbs available, slightly frozen raspberries or blackberries are my dessert. When you’ve completely cut out sugar, fruits like raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries start to taste like candy to you! Now, some people that are super strict with the Keto diet will not eat fruit at all. I have had tremendous success by only allowing me fruit on occasion and only when I have the carbs to accommodate it. Another Keto friendly dessert you may want to try are these delicious Keto cheesecake bites! So good!

 

What are your favorite Keto friendly recipes for surviving summer?


I’m Bored Free Summer Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

My kids are finishing up their last week of school before summer vacation starts. I have to say, I am pretty excited to be done with this school year. The break from waking up at 6 am and making school lunches will be nice. I’m not looking forward to, however, the “I’m bored” comments from my kids. Thankfully, we have an extremely busy summer ahead filled with lots of weekend getaways for my son’s lacrosse tournaments. One thing I will be making sure to pack is my Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen. Protecting mine and my families skin is very important to me.

I'm bored

Whether we are going to a lacrosse tournament, soccer tournament, or just hanging around outside, this bag is always with me in the summer packed full of all the things I need like this Blue Lizard® sunscreen. If you aren’t familiar with Blue Lizard® products, then you need to be! Their products contain a unique zinc oxide formulation and provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection (SPF30+). I personally like it because I can easily find it at Walmart Stores and it is a brand trusted by dermatologists (for over 15 years!!), pediatricians and moms! Head to your local Walmart to pick up a bottle of the Blue Lizard® Sensitive, Baby, Face, or Sport! I picked up the Sensitive version, but all varieties were located in a center aisle display near the toiletry section of the store!

*For children under 6 months of age, please consult your pediatrician before using any sunscreen. For children older than 6 months, Blue Lizard® Baby or Sensitive products are recommended to minimize risk of skin sensitivity.

I'm bored

While we will be having our extremely busy moments this summer, we will have some down time too. The one thing I do NOT want to hear is, “I’m bored”. Those two words drive me crazy! Especially in the summer! There is so much kids can be doing to keep themselves occupied. I put together this great (and FREE) I’m Bored printable for you to print out and hang on the fridge.

I'm bored

Print Your FREE I’m Bored Printable HERE

Once you print this off, hang it on your fridge, and when your kids utter those two words you don’t want to hear, simply point to the list. If your kids are like my son, and a long list of items may be too hard for them to choose something to do, you can either pick for them or make an I’m Bored jar and have them randomly pick a slip of paper. What they pick, they do! Use the printable as a checklist…sort of like a summer bucket list…with a few chores thrown in between. Don’t worry, I have your back!

I'm bored

Remember…any activities you do outside this summer, make sure you put on Blue Lizard® sunscreen! Protect that skin! If you are heading out to your local Walmart to pick up the Blue Lizard® Sensitive sunscreen, be sure to join iBotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen – Sensitive, 5 oz. bottle only.

I'm bored

Blue Lizard® sunscreen has a patented Smart Bottle™ technology. What does this mean? When the bottle is exposed to harmful UV sunlight, it changes from white to blue! This is a great teaching tool for your kids on when to re-apply sunscreen!

Pick up Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen today and enjoy the wonderful summer outdoors!!

Chore Lists for Tweens and Teens Over the Summer

Summer is almost here!! Here in Michigan we have the rest of this week and all of next week and then it’s no more school until September! I can’t tell you how excited I am to not have to set my alarm or to make school lunches. The kids are also excited to be out of school. With no school, they can play outside more, watch more TV and play video games. One thing I will be starting this summer, that I have been meaning to do all year, but haven’t, are chore lists. I think the chore list will help things run a little more smoothly and give them a little responsibility while they’re at it!

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chores

Chore Lists for Tweens and Teens

The one thing I really hate, as a mother, is when I have to nag the kids to do something. I don’t want to do that. They don’t want to listen to it. But what they do want, is for me to take them to the park program every single day, let them watch TV and play video games whenever they want. Quite frankly, that is what I would like too. I like them running around outside all day long and I don’t mind the TV and video game time when they are indoors…but, when I do start minding all that is when I have to ask them repeatedly to do something.

How Will Chore Lists Help?

By setting up chore lists with a things daily that I expect them to do, they will know that if they complete their tasks each morning, then they will have the rest of the day to do the things that they want. Not only that, but they will learn to be more responsible and to prioritize their time. For instance, the park program starts at 10 am, Monday through Friday. They will know that if they want to go to the park program at 10 am, then they will need to eat, brush their teeth, and complete their daily chores. If the chores aren’t completed, they don’t go. They will have a chance to go to the 2 pm park program instead.

Knock Knock This Week PadKnock Knock This Week Pad

I picked up this magnetic pad to put their chore lists on. It is currently marked down super cheap right now, so I would pick it up if you like this idea! My idea is to put their initial next to a couple chores each day. That way they know which one has to complete the chore.

Types of Chores

My kids are 10 and almost 13 (next week!!). A few of the chores I am thinking about are:

  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Put clothes away
  • Sweep the floor
  • Wipe the counters
  • Wipe the kitchen table

I’m not looking to give them massive jobs that will take hours. Just little jobs that help with the day to day running of our household. Since I will be driving them all over the city for the park program, lacrosse practices, etc., giving them these little jobs will help me, as much as it will help them!


15 Summer Chicken Recipes

My kids have about two weeks of school left and they are beyond excited. Me…I’m excited to not have to make lunches for the next two and a half months or having to set my alarm for 6 am. Another thing I am looking forward to are all the BBQ’s we will be having. There is nothing better than a good BBQ with family and friends! I’ve scoured the internet to put together the top 15 summer chicken recipes. You will want to check these recipes out! All of them can be made on a grill, or in the house in the oven or stove. Your choice!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

summer chicken

Pro Tip…you will want to get a good grilling brush and replace it each summer. I do not recommend getting a cheap one at the Dollar store. I’ve read too many horror stories of people getting bristles stuck in their throat and having a lot of problems from that.

Alpha Grillers 18Alpha Grillers 18

The first chicken recipe you should check out is the number 1 chicken recipe on this site. With this recipe, I’ve only actually made it in the oven, but I don’t see why you couldn’t make it on the grill! If you decide to make it in the oven, I highly recommend this baking mat.

Baked Chicken to Die For!

If you are looking for a summer chicken recipe that, not only sounds delicious, but is a little different than what you usually make, then you need to try these recipes:

Salted Coffee Chicken Wings

Sweet and Savory Apricot Chicken

Chicken Thighs in Turmeric Greek Yogurt Marinade

Sour Cream and Onion Crusted Chicken

Lemon-Thyme Chicken Breasts

BBQ Beer Can Chicken

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken

Nothing screams summer BBQ than chicken on a stick! These summer chicken recipes on a stick are perfect for your next BBQ!

Ranch Rosemary Chicken Kabobs

Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Bites

The next set of summer chicken recipes are my favorite and ones I would recommend to anyone. Seriously, you need to check these out and add them to your summer BBQ menu! You won’t be disappointed!

Catalina Crunch Chicken Fingers 

Grilled Chicken Feta Burger

Spicy Chicken Thighs

Grilled Stuffed Chicken Italiano

What is your favorite Summer Chicken recipe?