These Dinosaurs Are Larger Than Life

dinosaurs, T-Rex, prehistoric dinosaurs

                                                                          Dinosaur Land

Looking for inexpensive places to visit before the kids return to school? If you’re planning a trip to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia take time to check out Dinosaur Land. It’s an inexpensive roadside attraction that has been around since 1962, and is a great place for photo ops with the little dinosaur lover. 

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Inspirational Quotes – Life Changer

inspirational quotes, motivational quotes, quotes

 

6 Tips For Purchasing School Supplies

school shopping, back to school shopping, back to tips, how to shop for school supplies

 

Summer is just about over and the kids will soon be returning to school. Where did the time go? Backpacks, school supplies, and clothing will be needed for the upcoming school year. Parents will be heading out to stock up on school supplies.  Here are a few tips on how you can stock up and shop wisely:

1.  Make a list of the needed supplies –   Check your child’s school site for a list of needed supplies for the upcoming year.  Many schools provide a list of the school supplies needed for the upcoming year as well to your local Kmart, Wal-Mart, Office Max etc.  Be sure to add extra items for homework and additional week-end/tutoring sessions. You can save money by not guessing about what is needed or having to make an additional trip to the store because you omitted items.

2.  Take inventory of supplies from last year purchases – Check your supplies from last year so you won’t buy duplicate or unnecessary items when you head to the store.  You can spend that money on other items.

3.  Do your homework – Check ads for the best deals. Head to your local Dollar Store first and eliminate as many items as possible.  You can purchase quality crayons, pencils, pencil cases, sharpeners and inexpensive notebooks for practicing math problems etc. here.

4. Purchase quality items –  Purchase quality book bags and electronics. Trust me, you will end up spending the money again if you don’t purchase quality items. Check online stores like Best Buy, Amazon, Dell, HP etc. for great deals on electronics and look for free shipping sites.  I purchased a Michael Jordan book bag for my grandson last year. He will carry it for years before I have to purchase another.

5.  Take the student with you – Getting the children involved helps eliminate items that they may be unhappy with and it also gets them involved in the back to school process.  If the student doesn’t want to go along, ask them for any specific items they may want.

6.  BOGO is your friend – You will use the item later in the year I guarantee it, so go ahead and indulge. The item may not be BOGO later in the year.

You may want to purchase a storage bin to house school supplies for the upcoming year. Items will be easy to track and access when needed too. What tips can you add to the list?


You may also like:  Back To School Shopping Tips

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #31


Welcome to Week 31 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup We’re starting our Back To School theme this week. We’re looking for posts on shopping tips, recycling last year’s purchases, books that will help with reading, grammar, spelling etc., tips for moms with college students and those who will be enduring the empty nest syndrome, lunch ideas, after school activities and more. 

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, summer organization tips, ideas for backyard BBQ, summer flower arrangements and more.   

Blow the dust off your old posts and link those too. They’re great for inspiration. Don’t have posts that fit into the theme, link up whatever post you would like to share. We would love to have parenting tips, DIY projects, homesteading, homeschooling, and your posts on family and life. Your linkups and giveaways are welcome here too. Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on my blog the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best featured blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts Pinned to the Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board.   


What’s New: We would like readers to select their favorite posts. Voting will start at noon every Friday until mid-night. We will be adding the post with the most votes from our readers to our Sunday’s Best featured bloggers. Be sure to have your blog readers and social media followers head over to vote for your post on Fridays. 


All posts linking to Sunday’s Best will be promoted on Twitter.  

In addition to the reader’s and hosts selections, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well. 

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts. 


                                                           Your Hosts Are:

            Rhonda – Mother 2 Mother                Kim U. – Pinterested Parent         Kim M. – Life In A House of Testosterone

  
Here’s the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:  

Mother 2 Mother: Please like my 
Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter,  Google+, PinterestBlogLovin or subscribe/join my blog on the right before you leave.   



The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.  


Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave. 


Mother 2 Mother Blog


Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. If you are selected as a Featured Blogger please let your readers and followers know. They may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. I appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now lets party! 

The Sunday’s Best Posts are:

Kim U. selected the 15 Things to Watch on Netflix from Living Better Together

I selected 7 Must Try Lettuce Wraps – from Ella Claire Inspired      



and 


Murder Mystery Blondies from Lorraine’s Resources and Rewards







and 



The Readers Selected: 


5 Desert Adventures from Urban Naturale   

and



Mason Jar Chandelier  from Marty’s Musing    


The Favorite Theme Posts 

Everything’s Beachy!  

Beachy Family Room House Decorating  from Worthing Court Blog    

and 

Kim M selected Coastal Sea Shell Wreath from My Pinterventures 

Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and I appreciate each of you linking up. I would like to invite all of you back to linkup your post(s) again, it could be selected this week. While you’re here take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love. 




Colorful Summer Printables For Kids

kids word search, kids printables, kids games, kids activities

 

kids beach activities, kids printables, kids games, childrens activities, family games

 

Occupying children in the summer can be challenging. We have the solution, printables.  If you’re headed to the beach or decided to go camping instead, these colorful summer printables will get them excited.  They will occupy them for a few hours.  What parent wouldn’t be grateful for an hour or two of peach and quiet.  They are great for road trips or at home for rainy day activities.

The beach printable is filled with fun items: umbrella, snorkel, star fish and other items that you will find at the beach. It is a great way to help children enhance their writing and spelling skills during the summer months too.  This printable would be great on a road trip to the beach.  See how many items you can find while you’re walking along the board walk or shops.  Mark them off the list when you return to your vacation home.  This is a great way to challenge your memory too.

Our camping printable is a word search puzzle and just as fun and colorful. It’s filled with camping items. The goal is to find the items on the list.  Many children don’t get the opportunity to go camping.  Children who have never been camping will become familiar with camping items.  This printable is a great way to educate them.  It’s also a challenge for this who have been camping.  The puzzle will also help children improve their vocabulary and their  spelling during the summer.

When you need to eliminate boredom, print these beach and camping printables .  Printing them on cardstock makes them a little sturdier.  The kids will be yelling let the fun begin in no time.  Be sure to grab a clipboard, so the kids will have a hard item to work on.  Clipboards are great for road trips and writing while resting in the shade on the beach.   

 Check our Black History Month challenge.  Have your children test their knowledge of African American Inventions.  There’s also an answer key to assist you.  Which printable is your favorite, the beach or camping?

9 Budget Friendly Activities In Virginia Beach

beach activities, Virginia Beach, vacation ideas

As a single mother budgeting has become second nature to me. This year I will be spending a few days in Virginia Beach with my grandchildren instead of taking them to Myrtle Beach as we normally do.  Before I leave for vacation, I search for things to do to ensure we don’t get bored and find activities within my budget.  Unfortunately, many families think they can’t afford a vacation because they have to fund every activity for the entire week. Not true!

There’s more to Virginia Beach than the Atlantic Ocean and miles of sand.  So, the key is to research free and budget friendly things for the family to do before you leave for vacation or your get away. Make a list of Virginia Beach activities and discuss them with your family. If it’s something they aren’t interested in, you still have time to do additional research before you arrive.  I searched the Hampton Roads area, which  includes Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Williamsburg and Hampton. There’s something for everybody.  Here’s  9 of my favorite Virginia Beach activities:


1. Naval Station Norfolk 
– See the world’s largest naval base. The base houses 75 ships and 134 aircraft  carriers, cruisers, destroyers, large amphibious ships, submarines, supply ships, airplanes and helicopters. In addition, the tour includes historic homes in the Jamestown, VA area.


2.  Beach Street USA Entertainment – Next, you can find laser and light shows to interactive adventures based on a theme or popular movies. You could be required to unravel a murder mystery, play other games or compete in contests. Also, they have nights where you dress up as characters from movies or watch a movie on the beach. Check out the site for activities of for day.

                                                       photo from Virginia Legends 

3.  Virginia Beach Legend Walk – Free tour of Virginians who have made significant contributions to the country and/or world. Some of the inductee are Arthur Ashe, Patsy Cline, Katie Couric, Ella Fitzgerald, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson to name a few.  Great way to get a family conversation going on the inductees.








4.  Virginia Beach Amusement Park – The Hurricane, Skycraper, Music Express and Comic Storm are a few rides that you will discover on the boardwalk. Great entertainment for the entire family, and the park offers all day wrist bands too.

 

                                                                                                                 photo from Mt. Trashmore

5.  Mt. Trashmore Park –  Also, a 165 acre park that has 11 picnic shelters of various sizes, 2 volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, a skate park, restrooms, outdoor fitness stations, concessions and fishing awaits you. If you have a driver’s license or other photo ID you can check out badminton equipment, a football, frisbee, horseshoes, volleyball and net, wheelchairs and more.  So, it’s a great way to spend the day away from the beach and enjoy free activities along with a picnic.


                                                                      photo from Jungle Golf 


6.  Jungle Golf  – So, if you love miniature golf check out this 18 hole golf course with an air conditioned snack bar.

                                                                                                              Photo from Ocean Breeze Water Park


7.   Ocean Breeze Water Park  –  Fortunately, the park has over 30 rides, slides, and attractions.  Additionally, it is located approximately 10 minutes from the Virginia Beach ocean front. Parking, sunscreen and inner tubes are free. Trams are also available to help you breeze your way into the park.  Be sure to put this on your list.

 

fireworks, 4th of july


8.  Firework Display –  The firework display is awesome.  The fact that is ocean front makes it even better. So, be sure to check the schedule for dates and times.




9.  Hunt Club Farm – Last, Virginia Beach has plenty of ocean and sand. But, it also has a Petting Zoo and Pony Rides at Hunt Club Farm. They have chickens that are friendly enough to pickup, llamas, goats, peacocks, turkeys and many other animals.  They also offer pony rides, a playground area and shaded tables to enjoy a snack. The farm also sells homemade jams, jellies, soaps, candles and more.  So, be sure to grab a few souvenirs while you’re there.

Finally, the fireworks displays are truly spectacular over the ocean.  Be sure to add this to your Virginia Beach activities.  Additionally, my grandchildren love the petting zoo and pony rides at Hunt Club Farm. The Ocean Breeze Water Park is  a great way to spend the day too.  Adults and kids can enjoy Beach Street USA entertainment.  Most importantly, you can find something for everyone on my Virginia Beach activities list without breaking the bank.

Traveling Solo As A Female

 

females traveling solo, women traveling solo, travel tips for females


Traveling solo as a female can be invigorating. I’ve traveled solo many times for business and several times on a much needed vacation. I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve been asked throughout my journeys, “Are you going alone?” “Don’t you have a friend to go with you?” or “You aren’t afraid to travel by yourself, I could never do that.” Lets not forget this one, “Do you get lonely?”

I remember the first time I traveled alone for vacation although I was married.  At the time my daughter was five years old.  So, I decided to head to Los Angeles to visit my sister and her family. It was the first time that my daughter and I had flown. My husband made sure we got on the plane without issues, and the flight to Los Angeles was smooth. The next task was to get our luggage and find my sister.

This too went without incident. I juggled luggage and a 5 year old through a international airport.  We had a great time in Los Angles and the surrounding areas. We made our way back to Washington-Dulles, and it was at that point I was bitten by the travel bug.

I started making my way around the country for my job shortly thereafter. Getting in and out of airports became second nature to me as well as either renting cars and driving in strange cities or hailing taxis to get from point A to B. When you have a job that requires you to travel, your company doesn’t pay for another person to accompany you so you don’t have to go alone. You put on your big girl pants and you conduct business. 

 

               Vacationing in Savannah, GA

I’m no longer married, but I still love to do personal travel. Yes I have friends that I could travel with, but trying to coordinate a week’s vacation with a friend or group of people can be taxing. I’ve been through that experience before, and it was by far worst than anything I’ve encountered while traveling solo.  I made a vow to never go there again.

I’m not one to sit around and wait for another person to get in a position financially to vacation or find the time for a vacation. Most importantly, because a person is alone doesn’t mean they are lonely. There’s a difference.

The people that I have met along the way have been insightful and have impacted my life immensely. On my last trip I met a lady at the airport that I have now become friends with. She called me her angel. I had arrived early at the airport and the United counter had not opened nor did they have a sign posted about their hours.

As a result, I asked if she knew what time the counter opened. She didn’t, but after a small conversation I could clearly see that she was stressed. She was on her way to the states as well; however, she was an inexperienced traveler. We talked and got to know each other and it turns out that she was from South Africa. In fact not far from where I would like to go on safari.

                                                                                  Vacationing In Mexico
It’s funny people see women who travel solo as courageous or brave. Why don’t they see men this way?  Actually I see myself as neither, I’m simply doing what I love to do. As a matter of fact, I believe traveling solo has contributed to making me who I am today. I also believe that every woman should travel solo at least once in their life. Here’s my tips for women traveling alone:

1. It Forces You To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – It requires you to face your fears. I was quite nervous the first time I traveled alone, but I pushed through and marched forward. As a result, I became quite confident in my abilities to reach a destination and enjoy myself. It is definitely a self-esteem boost.

2. It Broadens Your Perspective  – Traveling allows you to see that that there is another part of the world besides the little piece of paradise that you experience daily.  It allows you to interact with  people outside of your circle and allows you to get to know them and a little about their daily life.  I have met wonderful people along my journey, some I have remained in touch with and some I’ve just had a pleasant conversation with. All remain memorable.

3. It Allows You to Experience Different Cultures and Foods – One of the things that I love most is experiencing different cultures and treating myself to local dishes. Eating out by myself the first time was a little uncomfortable.  However, I decided to take my Kindle and catch up on my reading list. I noticed one lady who was traveling solo doodling.

People find a way to occupy themselves. I’m comfortable enjoying my meals alone and not feeling like an outcast. I’ve had people invite me to join them, but I’ve found I like relaxing and eating alone.  I’m really not into small talk or trying to force a conversation.  Getting on line and retrieving emails is a much better way for me to occupy my time.

4. It Teaches You To Think About Your Safety – Safety should be a major concern when traveling solo. It forces you to listen to your intuition and to become aware of your surroundings. I always do my homework before traveling. I educate myself on taxi fares so I will have some idea of what I should be buying. If I will be driving, I make sure I arrive during the day so I can reach my destination before night fall.

I make it a habit of checking my surroundings, and never venture too far my hotel at night. I always park under lights and always keep my doors locked when driving or in my hotel room. They make peep holes for a reason, I use it before opening the door for room service, maintenance etc.

5. You Return Feeling Like You Can Conquer The World – Traveling solo makes you stronger as a person. It enhances your leadership, planning and organizational skills. It allows you to get in touch with what you like and do they things you want to do. You get to plan and set your own schedule and not feel obligated to anyone. It’s freeing and totally invigorating!

We’ve come a long way baby. We have women who are executives in corporations or own their own businesses and they travel constantly. It seems that traveling for business is acceptable, but there’s still a stigma for a woman traveling alone for personal reasons.  Women want to feel invigorated, and they are refusing to be stifled in any matter.  So, please let us assert our independence.

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #30


Welcome to Week 30 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup This is the last week for our Everything’s Beachy theme. Families are enjoying their backyard pools and heading to the beach for a little fun and sun.  This is a great time to share your beach theme crafts, tablescapes, safety tips and anything else that you love about the beach.   

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, summer organization tips, ideas for backyard BBQ, summer flower arrangements and more.   

Blow the dust off your old posts and link those too. They’re great for inspiration. Don’t have posts that fit into the theme, link up whatever post you would like to share. We would love to have parenting tips, DIY projects, homesteading, homeschooling, and your posts on family and life. Your linkups and giveaways are welcome here too. Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on my blog the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best featured blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts Pinned to the Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board.   


What’s New: We would like readers to select their favorite posts. Voting will start at noon every Friday until mid-night. We will be adding the post with the most votes from our readers to our Sunday’s Best featured bloggers. Be sure to have your blog readers and social media followers head over to vote for your post on Fridays. 


All posts linking to Sunday’s Best will be promoted on Twitter.  

In addition to the reader’s and hosts selections, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well. 

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts. 


                                                           Your Hosts Are:

            Rhonda – Mother 2 Mother                Kim U. – Pinterested Parent         Kim M. – Life In A House of Testosterone

  
Here’s the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:  

Mother 2 Mother: Please like my 
Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter,  Google+, PinterestBlogLovin or subscribe/join my blog on the right before you leave.   



The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.  


Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave. 


Mother 2 Mother Blog


Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. If you are selected as a Featured Blogger please let your readers and followers know. They may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. I appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now lets party! 

The Sunday’s Best Posts are:

Kim U. selected the S’mores Dip Recipe from Sunny With A Chance Of Sprinkles   

I selected Watermelon Rice Krispies Treats from Growing Up Gabel     






Kim M. selected Sparkling Pomegranate Punch from Krystal Kitsch

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch With Pomegranate Liqueur Pops from Krystal Kitsch
and
Subway Tile Backsplash with Stainmaster Glamour Grout from Albion Gould

Subway Tile Backsplash with Stainmaster Glamour Grout from Albion Gould




and 

The Readers Selected: 

10 Minion Inspired Foods from The Jenny Evolution  

and



Princess Popcorn Balls  from Busy Being Jennifer   


The Favorite Theme Posts 

Everything’s Beachy!  

Beach House Decorating  from Marty’s Musings     

and 

Taking A Break from Of Mice and RaMen

Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and I appreciate each of you linking up. I would like to invite all of you back to linkup your post(s) again, it could be selected this week. While you’re here take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love. 




16 Mom Approved Kid’s Beach Crafts

kids beach crafts, kids crafts, summer activities, summer crafts for kids, crafts for kids, crafts

Summer is in full swing and families are heading to the beach. So, when we go to the beach there are days that we don’t head out.  For example, we stay inside and enjoy a day or 2 of crafts and movies with the children.  As a result, I decided to do a roundup of mom approved kid’s beach crafts.  These crafts are fun and easy to make.

Here’s my roundup selections. Click on the link to check out the blog and instructions on how to make these adorable crafts or use the images as inspiration and create your own version:


1.  Dr. Seuss Crafts (Mrs. Thompson’s Treasures)  First, kids love these little snack fish.  I’m sure they will be willing to share a few for adorable sea crafts.

2.  Fish Hands (Mom To Two Plush Lil Divas)  Second, kids love getting messy.  The exception is my granddaughter.  Nothing on her hands please.  But, these colorful little hand fish are adorable.

3.  Grandma’s Sea of Love (Flickr Photo) Cute hand and foot print craft.

4.  Shells and Shimmer (A List Maker’s Life)  Next, use the sea shells gathered on your family vacation to make a picture frame to house some memories.

5.  Fish Bowl (Walking By The Way)  This hand print fish bowl is so cute and easy to make.  Capture those little hand prints while you can.

6.  Cupcake Liner Fish (Buggy and Buddy)  Find some colorful cupcake liners and make a few colorful fish.

7.  Celery Stamping Fish (Crafty Morning)  So, celery makes a healthy snack and beautiful crafts.  Cut up a few pieces for the kids to make this fun and colorful craft.

8.  Bucket & Shovel (Learn Create Love)  Additionally, what kid doesn’t want a bucket and shovel on their beach trip.  Make this bucket and shovel craft, and they can enjoy it year round.

9.  Cupcake Liner Fish (I Heart Crafty Things)  Another fun craft using cupcake liners and construction paper.  Easy, colorful and fun.

10. Paper Lemonade (Pitter Patter Art) Now, this craft is one of my favorites.  A refreshing cup of lemonade is loved by everyone.

11.  Paper Plate Whale (In The Play Room)  This is a fun craft for a little boy.  Any dollar store will have these paper plates.

12. Egg Carton Ocean (The Imagination Tree)  Another great craft.  Save those egg cartons.

13. Paper Plate Shark (Almost Unschoolers)  He’s a scary looking little fellow.  But, any little boy would love to make him.

14. Beach In A Jar (Country Chic Cottage)  Put those mason jars to use.  A favorite beach picture, a little sand and few shells will bring this craft to life.

15. Bears At The Beach Snack (The Chickabug Blog) Making crafts will work up an appetite.  Serve this yummy snack.

16. Under The Sea (Daisy Cottage Designs) Can’t get your kids to eat beans?  Maybe you can get them to create this craft with the beans.

Using sea shells that you have gathered from a family trip is always fun to add to any kid’s beach crafts.  Furthermore, you can use them for your crafts too.  They will help create great memories either way  Also, these crafts are easy to make and the materials are budget friendly.  Making these kid’s beach crafts easy for mom to approve.

Also, paper plates, beans, cupcake lines, straws, construction and glue are normally craft items that most parents have around.  Check out your craft stash so you can determine what is needed.  I recommend purchasing a cheap plastic container from the dollar store. Place the items needed in the container before you hit the road.  I also place the items that we have finished in the container on our trip home.  This helps keep them safe.

Last, we hope that you enjoyed our round up of kid’s beach crafts. Pick out a few ideas for your beach trip.  If you’re not heading to the beach, have a little beach fun at home.  Finally, I had a hard time selecting a favorite.  But, I do love number 15 – Bears At the Beach Snack. What a great beach snack idea.   What’s your favorite?  Leave us a comment.

You may also like 9 Tried and True Beach Foods.
  

Inspirational Quote – Size 0