Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cheap Summer Fun for Your Kids - Aurelia Williams

This summer our teenager is attending a variety of day camps and volunteer opportunites. He also attends the local Boys and Girls Teen Club and our church youth group activites. It's great to keep him busy but we definitely weren't in a position to break the bank. Read Aurelia Williams article to read about some inexpensive summer fun for you and your kids.

Entertaining your children when school is out for the summer can become quite expensive, especially if you enroll them in pricey summer camps for a large portion of the time. However, many parents feel that the alternative is to have their children sulking on the couch while moaning about how bored they are, especially if friends are all attending camps. Actually, there are plenty of ways to have cheap summer fun with your kids. Why not try a few of these budget friendly ideas?

Your local YMCA is a family oriented place with plenty of great activities. Your children can go swimming, take a variety of classes and even attend day camps for a very reasonable price. Most YMCA’s have family memberships, which makes the classes more affordable for families with several children. If you don’t have a YMCA close by, check with your local parks and recreation department to see if they are offering events for children and families during the summer months. Many times, they offer low cost art, sports and even cooking classes for kids.

Another great way for your kids to have fun this summer is to set up events in your own backyard. Have them put together a circus. After they’ve practiced the event and have the ring set up, friends and family can make up an audience to view the final result. Don’t forget to add some games and serve some refreshments that match the theme, such as popcorn and corndogs. If your children don’t like the circus, suggest that they put on a play, hold a pet show or set up a fair.

If your children like collecting things, they can make a natural history museum in a spare corner of the house. Then, you can take field trips to local places so that they can create their museum exhibits. Take them on nature hikes so that they can make rubbings of tree bark and leaves. Let them take photos of local wildlife and flowers, but be sure that you don‘t actually take home any wildflowers, since these plants may be endangered. Go to the beach and collect interesting shells and bits of sea glass or visit the areas where your local rock hounds hang out. If you have prolific gardens or you can get permission for them to pick some flowers in someone else’s garden, your children can also press flowers and mount them as part of the display.

If your children are budding entrepreneurs, they may have more fun making money. Why not try a good old-fashioned lemonade stand? Just be sure your town or city doesn’t have any ordinances that would prohibit it before the kids set up. If they need to clean out their closets and toy chests, suggest that they combine the lemonade stand with a yard sale.

Finally, don’t forget about gardening. Growing their own produce can be fun for kids, especially when they discover a two foot long zucchini hiding in the garden bed.

Article by:

Aurelia Williams is the owner of Real Life Solutions, your resource for free positive parenting tips and information.

Quick George Foreman Grill Recipes by Mrs. Blessed

One of these days I will purchase a George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. But, do you notice that it's on most wedding registry lists? How about including one of these recipes with the grill? It definitely personalizes the gift.

The George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I received the small one as a gift and have been using and enjoying it since day one. Maybe one day I’ll acquire the family size one since my family has now grown to 5 members. But the great news is that the grill cooks so fast that it isn’t really a hassle to just grill a few items at a time.

Here are a few quick foods that I prepare quite often on my George Foreman grill. Measurements and cooking times aren’t exact. But you’ll get the point.

Chicken Quesadillas
Cooked chicken fajita meat
Shredded cheese

I use leg quarters to make the fajita meat. I buy a GV (Great Value) fajita seasoning packet (they’re 3 for $1 at Wal-Mart) and prepare the meat according to the directions on the package.

Then on one side of a tortilla I add lots of shredded cheese (we use Colby jack) and some chicken. I fold the tortilla in halve and put on the grill. I can fit 2 tortillas on a small George Foreman grill.

These are done in about 5 minutes and taste great.

Tuna Melts
I make a tuna sandwich with a piece of cheese on it and then toast it on the George Foreman grill. Simple and delicious!

Grilled Cheese
Of course this one is self explanatory. Some variations on the grilled cheese sandwich is to possibly add:

Bacon slices,
Luncheon meat,

Or whatever else you can think of.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
This will be an instant hit with most children.

I also use the grill to quickly prepare hotdogs, hamburgers, breakfast sausage, and boneless chicken breasts. The hotdogs cook in just a couple of minutes. And the other foods cook in about 5 minute’s time.

Using the George Foreman grill is fun and makes it easy to get a hot meal on the table in a short amount of time. So try one of these recipes or experiment and come up with your own favorites.

Article by:

Mrs. Blessed enjoys sharing her recipes and adventures as a SAHM at her blog
This article is available for reprint with author's resource box intact and all links live and clickable. Copyright is reserved by author.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tipping for Travel Services

You're at the airport, the sky cap helps you with your 2 huge bags and you're wondering how much to tip? For average service, $1 to $2 a bag. If the service was exceptional, $5 to $20.

Real Simple website clears it up for us by covering the various travel services and appropriate tipping. Now, you can enjoy your vacation and not worry about under or over tipping.

Have a safe and relaxing trip!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Total Customer Service - Psychology of Anger

Visit Myra's Customer Service Tips website to read, "Psychology of Anger". For some of us, this may be a refresher or an opportunity to learn something new.

For example, did you know that recognizing and diffusing a customer's anger can result in a lower payout for the company? Not to mention, a much more pleased customer.

I like to print out her articles for reference. Let's face it, if you're in customer service and/or sales you'll be dealing with angry customers. It's much easier when you're prepared.

Listen to WAHM Talk Radio This Week - June 26

Nell, Telecommuting Answer Lady, gives summer vacation tips for keeping your babies, kids and teens busy. You'll even hear her mention me by name and my suggestions for parents of teens.

Click here to listen to this week's show.

Continue to have a fun and safe summer!

Monday, June 26, 2006

5 Great Reasons to Hire a Telecommuter - Nell Taliercio

Would you like to present reasons to your employer reasons for you to start telecommuting? Please read Nell Taliercio's article.

How would you like to hire someone that is more motivated and more qualified to do the work and costs you less than your average employee? No, I am not talking about hiring someone illegally. You can accomplish this simply by employing a telecommuter. Let’s take a look at 5 very good reasons, why it makes sense for you to consider telecommuting from an employer’s perspective.

1) Less Overhead
How much is all this office space, furniture, computer equipment along with your IT department to maintain them, utility bills etc. costing you? Telecommuters do not require any of the above, which will cut your overhead cost tremendously. Telecommuters use their own office, their own equipment from computers to paperclips; use their own power, phone and Internet connection. If their computer acts up, it’s up to them to get it up and running again.

2) Less Benefits To Pay
Most telecommuters are independent contractors. You do not have to provide for health care, workman’s compensation or paid vacation. Consider the tax benefits as well; there is no employer portion of federal and state tax to pay.

3) Hire Experts When Needed
Do you need someone to write the occasional press release and maybe come up with a revision to your brochure every once in a while? Instead of hiring someone fulltime as your marketing person, consider outsourcing the tasks to a freelance telecommuter. You will pay per project, or hire your freelancer for a few hours per month, instead of creating a marketing position. Freelancers give even small businesses the opportunity to hire an expert for almost any task.

4) On Demand Work
Do you expect a temporary increase in your workload, be it seasonal, or because you just landed a large project? Why not pick up a few telecommuters for the task instead of working with inexperienced temps, or hiring in-office personnel that you may not need three months down the road. Telecommuters combine the flexibility of temps with the on-the-job experience of permanent employees. You get the best of both worlds.

5) More Motivated Workers
Telecommuters have a very good reason why they want to work from home. Whether that reason is being able to stay home with the kids, a disability, or avoiding a long commute, being able to work from home makes them happy. As you well know, happy employees are more motivated, don’t count the minutes until they can leave the office and overall get more work done.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to give telecommuter a try the next time you need a highly motivated, experienced worker, but aren’t in a position to create a permanent onsite position. Once you have experienced all the benefits a telecommuter brings to your organization, you may even consider converting even more positions to telecommuting.

Article by:

Learn more about hiring and using telecommuters for your business at

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Stopping Someone From Becoming a Bridezilla

Have you been watching "Bridezilla" on WE Entertainment Channel? It's on at 10pm ET/PT, on Sundays. Watching the behavior of the brides, is enough to make you not want the big wedding or just head to the justice of the peace, to avoid all the stress, crisis and possible violence. Sometimes, a bride comes along that you just wonder...why is this guy marrying this woman?

On one episode, watching mean 'Marsha' has really made me understand why there are so many divorces. If 'Archie' marries this woman he might as well keep his bags packed and placed at the front door.

Visit WE Entertainment Channel for more information, such as message board, games and showtimes. Oh, and don't forget to read "You May Kiss the Blog". It's based on an animated bride, named Kate. Perhaps reading it can help you to avoid becoming a Bridezilla!

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