Cheap and fun things to do with your kids this summer break!

Still have a few weeks until the kids go back to school?

summer

Yay to not having to wake up extra early in the morning to get the kiddo to school. And yay to not having to wash uniforms and yay to not having to beg them to go to bed by 9pm. But what about when you wake up at 9am and the kiddo is hungry and cereal won’t cut it? Oh what about it’s 11am and you hear “It’s boring mom!” The questions open like a flood gate. Can Justin come over? Can we go to Great America? I know you made a huge breakfast, but now I’m hungry and I want lunch but no PB&J today we had that for lunch yesterday? Sigh.

Well I totally understand what you are going through here are some fun and cheap things to do with the kiddos this summer!

McDonald’s Playland
Yes, for many reasons. If you have more than one child going out to eat is pretty expensive and sometimes just isn’t in the budget even having one child it gets pricey going out to eat so of course McDonald’s has a dollar menu as well as reasonable prices kids meals. Plus they have a little healthier alternatives now. The kids get sliced apples with their meals as well as the option to have milk instead of soda.

The Beach
Oh yes the infamous beach. If you are a city girl like myself you only visit the beach in the summer maybe quickly In the spring but most likely the kiddos only get to go in the summer so don’t rob them of their sand filled buckets and pop bottle experience 😉 the beach is free some places here in Chicago make you pay to park, but you can always take CTA if that’s an issue. Visit Dollar Tree or any dollar store and grab sand buckets, water guns, kites, a few snacks and enjoy a family day at the beach. The children will remember the beauty of that day and your pockets shouldn’t be too empty.

The Zoo
I know I need to walk around the Zoo a few times a week to shed some pounds, but also it’s a great place to take the kiddos. Animals, petting zoo, sometimes even group activities and musical performances. Check out your local Zoo website and you will be amazed of the activities they have planned for your little ones this summer and all through out the year.

Library
Here in Chicago our public Libraries teamed up and launched a reading program to keep the kiddos reading during the summer and as a reward they can earn prizes. I entered Dereon and he has been trying to keep a book in his hands once a day at least. If you aren’t in Chicago try your local library and see if they have any reading programs or activiies during the day.

Park District
Summer camp is one of Dereon’s favorite summer activity and it’s very helpful for me. During the day he can goes to his sports camp at the local park. They teach him the basic basketball, football, soccer, and baseball moves and rules. They take weekly field trips and they also talk about nutrion and offer swimming classes. The fee is reasonable and covers everything including lunch! Also the kid has made new friends and got an awesome sun tan=)

Bowling Alley
Take a field trip to the bowling alley. Catch dirt low prices during the week and keep practicing until strike is your middle name. Oh and make sure you and the kids take funny photos with the vintage chic bowling shoes.

Skating Rink
Oh you have extra smooth moves? Showcase them on the shiny skating rink. Your kid would love to see you fly gracefully or fall on your face as a cool summer day activity. The chances of finding free or cheap lessons and helpful skating tips are easy around the summer months just make sure you call ahead and double check that there is no huge group trips planned the day you attend.

The summer isnt over yet. Lets keep our children busy and active!

KId and Man free vacation? Top 5 budget friendly Girl’s Night out ideas for moms

Just made it back last night from an all girl trip to Miami. Our stay was Wednesday morning til Sunday night. We had a blast! Tried lots of new things, had cocktails, went clubbing and did all kinds of sight seeing. It was. Incredible. I left the kiddo and the Hubz at home. They both had camp and work so they were busy, but I first felt guilty when I boarded the plane. I would be over 1,000 miles away from the both of them. Having fun without them. Was I wrong?

No! Every woman/mom deserves a break. Some time to themselves to unwind and relax. We give so much daily. I was reminded en route to Miami that nothing good can come from an empty person and I embraced my trip. I relished the fact I could be off mommy mode for a while. Have a few drinks, dance a little and get up to do it all over again. I didn’t have to set the alarm (other than for our planned tours) I didn’t have to wait until my son was sleep to have a drink. I didn’t need to request a kiddie menu, didnt have to listen to whatever sporting event was going on the TV and lastly I didn’t have to do anything unless I wanted to. Which is very uncommon if you are a wife, mom, or a caring woman period.

Don’t get me wrong I missed my husband and son tremendously when we landed I was so excited to hug and kiss them and to hear all about their adventures while I was gone. I couldn’t wait to hear how they missed me and how they realized I was the glue that kept our family together and organized (I didn’t hear that but a girl can dream right?) I wanted to be in MY bed again and I wanted to take a break from my vacation since I was partied out. I love being a mom and a wife. I love my son and husband more than I love myself, but every now and a then a sister needs to get back to the center. I think my 5 day break made us all appreciate the love and unity in our home.

This trip taught me a very important lesson…All girls vacations are great! Woman need to treat themselves every once in a while. It’s OK to take a break. Being a mom, a wife, or a woman in general is a full time job and we never totally stop for a breather which causes us to have melt downs. Here are some cool, cheap, and fun things to do with your girls if going on a vacation may not be in the budget for you right now:

1. Do a staycation! call your girls up and book a hotel in your city. Since you won’t need airfare try to book a 4 or 5 star hotel that way you could feel a little fancy. The goal is to experience new and different things and to unwind. While in the big city or the resort in your local area go sightsee, visit places the tourist go and find out about your city or town. You would be amazed about how much history you uncover.

2. Toy party!! That’s right get the girls together and book an adult toy rep for a Friday night girls night “X-rated” style. Have appetizers, cocktails, games and prizes. Remind the ladies no men allowed. This choice is loads of fun and not so much cash needed.

3. Waterpark fun! Find your local indoor waterpark and a have a field trip Splash Style! Girls like water too. Enjoy the daring slides, fun wave pool, and the funnel cakes. It all about having fun and letting loose you can enjoy splashing around without having to have to keep checking and watching your child(ren).

4. Sleep over!! Redbox or Netflix. Pizza or Chinese. With a few cartons of ice cream oh and don’t forget the popcorn! Make a few pallets in the front room and watch all the romantic movies your heart can take. Play truth or dare or “I’ve never” and watch the room get live.

5. Class is in session! Sign all the girls up for a class like flirty girl Pole Dance, Line Dance, Belly Dance or even swimming. Doing something all as a group makes it so much fun and also healthy for your crew’s body and soul!

Our Adventure: The 2013 Taste of Chicago |The Humana Experience

Last Wednesday me and my little family ventured to the 2013 Taste of Chicago. And we had a blast! Our first stop was the Humana Experience booth. Dereon was treated like an “adult” registered in and encouraged to try the fitness challenges. Once he received his pedometer he kept tracking his number of steps the whole day. We tried food off the Humana Passport Healthy guide and all I can keep thinking about is those tacos from Carbon grill. I got my passport stamped and had an tasty taco! Last but not least we were able to take a family picture in the photobooth as a keepsake. It was a very nice touch and a overall great experience they were right calling their area the Humana Experience because it truly was one. Check out some of our pictures.

 

And congrats to our Giveaway Winner Raijean Stroud that won 24 Food Tickets to this year’s Taste!

This was a sponsored post, but my thoughts were my own.

What to do when visiting the Taste of Chicago 2013 ? Check out Humana Healthier Choices *GIVEAWAY*

Visiting the Taste of Chicago this year? Check out Humana Healthier Choices!

I am a true Chicagoan. I was born and raised in Chicago and one of my favorite Chicago perks is attending the Taste! That has been a family tradition that I carry out to this day. I am a true foodie and there is always so much good food to chose from. Now that I have become a little more aware of what I eat and the portions size, I cringed a little when I heard that the Taste was in full effect. I knew I had to attend (I couldn’t break my tradition), but I didn’t want to be tempted with all the rich, fried, but tasty foods. Since I am a week away from a beach vacation every pound I lose or gain counts I had to be wise about my visit to The Taste. The heavens heard me and I did the happy dance. I found out that Humana had a Healthier choice option program this year at the 2013 Taste of Chicago. So not only could I go and enjoy all the action that The Taste offer I could also enjoy some tasty treats and eats, but know they are healthier choices and will keep me on the road of healthy eating.

Not only are they offering Healthier Choices, but also giving away awesome prizes just for sampling the Healthier choices items or completing an activity at the Humana Well Being Experience located on Congress Parkway. All you have to do is get your Humana Healthier Choices Passport Guide stamped, once you have all six stamps you turn in your passport at the Humana Booth to be entered in the giveaway. The prize drawing will be live Sunday July 14th at 3:30 PM at the The Biondi Boomer Bash with WLS-FM Host Dick Biondi. You will need your Humana Healthier Choices Passport (which can be downloaded online or picked p at your locale Dominick’s grocery store or at the Humana Booth) to help you locate all the fun activities, as well as show you all the tasty, but healthy food options you have to chose from and locations of the 20 restaurants booths that will be serving up healthier choices this year!

Talking about tasty healthier choices let me give you an example of some of the great options you will be able to try:

All of the snack/appetizers are under 320 calories

Sweet potato chips -BJ’s Market and Bakery

Celtic Corn on the Cob – O’Brien’s Restaurant

Watermelon Lemonade – Wishbone

All Main Course/Entrees are under 500 Calories

Grilled Steak Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill

Taste Portion Ham and Cheese Crepe – Flip Crepes

Pulled Chicken Sandwich – Robinson No 1 Ribs

All Desserts are 320 or less calories

Fruitti Di Bosco (mix berry sorbet) – Caffe Gelato

Taste Portion Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry – Kilwins Chocolates

Italian Ice: Cherry, Lemon or Orange – Tutto Italiano

This is just a small sample of the many poption you can chose. There are 20 Chicagoland restaurants that are participating with the Humana Healthier Choices program and 35 dishes you can try out. Just look for the green apple!

Humana isn’t playing about being healthy and active this year with the Well-Being Tour. The Humana Well-Being Tour is traveling across the country to provide people with a fresh perspective on healthy living and making its stop at Taste of Chicago from 11am to 7pm on July 10th-13th on Congress Parkway at the Humana Experience. Stop by for free Biometric Screenings, fuel up at the Hydration station, join the Walkit program for a free pedometer, take pictures at the Fit for fun photo booth, and visit their healthy food kiosk. Plus much more!

I love the new and improved healthier options available at the Taste and me and the kiddo will be there tomorrow to enjoy the festivities.

Want to try some of those healthier options too? Well one of my lucky readers will be able to win 24 tickets to be used at the 2013 Taste of Chicago. The giveaway ends 7pm (Central time) Wednesday July 10th! The winner must be able to pick up tickets in person Thursday July 11th 11am to 3pm at the Humana Experience booth! Want to win? Comment on this post with one reason why you enjoy going to the Taste and if you have never been tell me why not!

This post was a compensated post, but all the thoughts and views were mine.  Humana Healthier Choices information and the Taste tickets have been provided by Humana

Nerf SuperSoaker HouseParty

Nerf Super Soaker House Party!!

Yes I won and the prize pack was crazy!
5 Nerf Super Soakers
$5 off any Nerf Super Soakers coupons for the guests
12 Full sized bags of Cheetos Natural White Cheaddar puffs
$1 dollar off coupons Cheetos Natural White Cheddar puffs
Nerf Super Soaker Tattoos for the kid guests

The Party was planned for today but due to the thunderstorm we can going to have to host the party tomorrow. But we are putting Dogs and brats on the grill and going to let the kiddos have a soaking good time!

If you have never heard of HouseParty.com I suggest you check it out they have very cool opportunities!

Blogging 101 aka Blogging for dummies

Before I started my blog I wanted to know all the Do’s and Don’ts of blogging and how I could merge it into the social media world that I’m addicted to. Of course the first place I went to get information is Google, I read many articles and blog entries on blogging and how to start off as a blogger. After I read enough I ventured over to YouTube and watched a few guru’s explain the industry and some key points. With all that information swimming in my head I sat down and started my Blog – A Real Urban Mom! Finding my name wasn’t hard because I wanted a name that would sum me and my writing point of view and I believe A Real Urban Mom does just that.

Now that I had a name what was next? Since I have been addicted to social media for a while I have a wide range of online friends and associates, some of them happen to be bloggers. When my local blogger friends post events I normally attend if I can because I have always thought it was a cool profession and since I am a lover of all things social how could I miss an event filled with social people like myself? Days after I started my blog and had added a few entries I seen a post in one of the Facebook Mommy groups I am a member of about an upcoming Chicagoland Blogging Workshop with Kris Cain! I registered Instantly and started to jot my questions down. Since I had attended a social event hosted by Kris and T-Mobile before I honestly knew I would learn a lot about blogging and have fun while doing so.

When I arrived at the workshop Kris had snacks, a projector and screen with a in-depth PowerPoint presentation. She informed the group on the varies blog conferences, proper blogging protocol, which social media groups to join on Facebook and online networks to register with. Kris also pointed out ways to make money while blogging, but explained we shouldn’t starting blogging to just make money or think that we would start off making thousands of bucks being a newbie. What sold me about the workshop is she pulled up my blog on the projector screen and showed me ways to instantly improve my blog and make it more user-friendly.

Every question was answered in detailed and she showed example of some of the worse blogs she has witnessed as well as some of the best out on the World Wide Web. The workshop was extremely helpful, fun, informative and addicting. I can’t wait for her next workshop. Check out her website and let her know Keyonda sent you!

Mothers gaining angels?

Mother’s Day….such a special day, I’ve spent several school years making cards and arts and crafts for the two most important women in my life. Every year they would act surprised and shocked and explain how my “gift” would be placed on their desk at work or placed on the fireplace at home so all could see. I beamed every time thankful that my gift was well received & perfectly crafted. Once I started high school the buying gifts dilemma started, what do you buy a woman that has everything? What do you buy someone with $13? Of course a teddy bear and card! What mom doesn’t need that? But you can’t repeat that the following year so a coffee mug is a must to have down on the list. Each year I bought random gifts and my mom loved each one, by this time my mom would buy my gift for my grandma and I would just add my name to the card.

Once I became a mother I realized that the homemade gifts ARE beautiful and the cards with  the words Mother’s Day mushed up together are priceless. My grandma and mom weren’t playing, there were really happy that I took time out of my busy play time to focus and create a masterpiece for them. I love seeing my child so happy to honor all the moms in his life, it’s a blessing in itself.

Now as a adult and a mom myself I spend more money on my mom’s gift and a longer time picking out a card…not because I have to prove to her that she was the best mom ever, but just to show her I appreciate all she has done for me and my family and that I’m grateful she’s my mom.

In 2008 my grandmother passed away and my mother lost her mother… My mom lost her best friend. I lost one of my best friends…I thought how could we go on? How can we celebrate Mother’s Day again without grandma?! I couldn’t phantom smiling and embracing Mother’s day knowing I could never give my grandmother a card or a new housecoat or pair of slippers again. But what really made me stop and think was mom would no longer have a mother! She wouldn’t be able to hug the woman that brought her into the world. The first Mother’s Day after my grandma’s passing came and it was almost like any Mother’s Day until we talked about my grandmother and how she would dress sharp as a tact & have her Mother’s Day hat on with the rest of the Mothers of the Church. I began to mourn all over, not just for me losing my grandmother, but for my mom losing her mom. I couldn’t imagine not having my mother. No matter how she may irk a nerve every now and then, she is my mother and I am her first born! This is the woman that kissed my boo boos, hot combed my hair Sunday nights, and saved money so every Christmas was better than the last. The woman who carried me 9 months and still carries me to this day spiritually and emotionally when I’m down.

 

The strength my mother shows is remarkable and I know there are a lot of other women and men mourning the loss of a mother or a grandmother I want to encourage you and let you know that each year that passes you get stronger and know you didn’t lose a loved one…you gained an angel!

P.S.
To those who are blessed to still have your mother and or grandmother in your life please cherish these moments and not just on holidays but everyday.

Palmolive Soft Touch Influenster

I got mail today!! Who doesn’t love mail? Let me rephrase that who doesn’t love mail that DOESN’T involve bills? This afternoon I got a knock on my door from the Mail Carrier, I had a package! The box was bright green and pink.

 

 

It had that famous Influenster logo attached also Palmolive Soft Touch was noted on the box. The box was long like a gift box for wine, don’t ask me how I know about a wine box size. Once opened up the package included two full size (25 fl oz) Palmolive Soft Touch soap bottles. One bottle included was a Vitamin E, that bottle boasts that this formula is great for soft hands. The second bottle was Coconut Butter and that formula is noted for having a silky smooth feel. Both bottles of the Palmolive Soft Touch dish detergent mentions that they were designed to be mild on hands while still leaving your dishes sparkling clean.

   

 

The box also included a note card welcoming me to the Palmolive Soft Touch campaign. Also there were four $1 dollar off coupons for me to give to family and friends. Super cool! I get to keep one of the two full size bottles and give the other bottle away to one of my family members another cool feature. Both bottles smell lovely and I can’t decide which one to keep and which one to give away.

I am a huge fan of Palmolive not just because I got to sample their new product, but I actually use their soap on my dishes currently. I love this dish wash liquid!

I encourage you to check out Influenster if you like trying out new things and don’t mind conversing and sharing your thoughts with others. Check their site out, you will be glad you did.

*DISCLAIMER* I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster, but my thoughts are my own.

Tamar Braxton’s Baby Shower!

The super cute and very pregnant Tamar Braxton and her husband Vince had a HUGE Baby Shower this past Sunday filled with celebrities. The “Backyard Boogie Baby Shower” was a red carpet event and Tamar stole the show wearing a stunning white dress and her signature flowing blonde locks. Tamar was glowing.

tamar1

Tamar family came out to support and they all looked really cute!

Family

Tiny and T.I

Tiny

Toni and Tamar

Toni and Tamar

And it is true…It is a boy

Its a Boy

I just love Vince and Tamar!

Vince and Tamar

Congrats and the best of luck to the new parents to be! I also heard the new season of Tamar and Vince will show the birth of the baby..super exciting!

 

*Disclaimer* These images are not mine and don’t belong to me.

SheSpeaks

I am proud to say I am a member of “SheSpeaks” and boy it’s pretty cool. I received a box with four PG items. They were sent for me to test them out and give my honest review. I love that the items I received were full size bottles and not sample sized I also loved that the products were all PG most loved items so these were popular and top sellers.

The box with the PG products and information.
The box with the PG products and information.

The box was filled with a “Tide to go”, Gillette Fusion Soothing Moisturizer, CoverGirl Outlast Lipgloss duo, and Olay Total effects 7 in one deep penetrating moisture advanced anti-aging body wash! There was also some information on the campaign and what I was to do with the products. Very easy program and lots of fun. I enjoyed each item, although one of the products had to be used by my husband (Gillette Fusion Soothing Moisturizer) he loved the fact I had something to share with him.

I have been a fan of Procter and Gamble for as long as I can recall. They have become a brand America can trust. So when I received the package from SheSpeaks I was ecstatic and honored to review items from such an reputable company.

Full sized products
Full sized products

SheSpeaks isn’t just about free samples or reviews, but its an online community where women share thoughts, recipes, events, and pictures. Since its just for ladies its a comfortable sounding board and safe heaven where you can be discreet with a cute username and join a sisterhood of woman all over the USA talking about things you may have thought of or even had questions about.

If you haven’t heard about SheSpeaks here is a little info from their website:

We inspire women to discover, influence and share products. SheSpeaks is a community powered by women who love to get the latest scoop and share what’s hot. SheSpeaks gives you many ways to have a say, share and inspire others. Read and comment on our blogs, share hot deals and offers, create a review or join our discussion boards. You’ll get helpful information, tips and expert advice on a range of topics, to keep you in the know. It’s free to join and if you participate regularly in our community you might just get something free delivered to your door.

Become a member of SheSpeaks and let them know arealurbanmom sent you!