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Category: Family

How To Make Chores More Fun Michael Luchen

How To Make Chores More Fun

How To Make Chores More Fun Michael Luchen

Chores are typically not the most enjoyable part of anyone’s day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average American spends close to forty minutes per day cleaning and this includes washing dishes after dinner and making beds, amongst other responsibilities. Along with that, anyone who has spent their Saturday scrubbing the floors or trying to get the mirrors streak-free will tell you that it wasn’t the highlight of their week. However, performing house chores do not have to drive you crazy and in fact can be quite enjoyable. Let’s take a look at some tricks you can implement to make chores much more fun.

 

Add Music

A quick and easy way to make your cleaning marathon a lot less dull is by putting on some music. If you are looking to maximize your motivation, try listening to something that is upbeat. According to a study by researchers at Texas Tech University, the participants who listened to up-tempo music were able to work out for longer, which means this could translate to chores and make them fly by as well.

 

Make A List Of Things To Accomplish

Before breaking out the broom, take some time to create a clear picture in mind of what you want to accomplish while you are cleaning. This will make it much easier to determine when you are done, and it might even make you more likely to finish the tasks you have set your mind to. Another study at the Dominican University of California saw that by writing down their goals, the study subjects were significantly more likely to achieve them.

 

Offer Incentives

Adding incentives can go a long way when it comes to getting things done around the house. By promising yourself or your children a fun activity or a treat after a long day of cleaning can make everyone involved more inclined to get things done in a timely fashion.

 

Add Competition

Another great way to get the whole family involved is by including some healthy competition with the chores. This can make things more fun and productive if there is some kind of prize or bragging rights on the line. You can offer something as simple as stickers or even extra TV time on the weekend to whoever can clean up their space the fastest.

 

Winter Vacations For Non Skiing Families Michael Luchen

Winter Vacations For Non-Skiing Families

Winter Vacations For Non Skiing Families Michael Luchen

You don’t necessarily have to be a family who enjoys skiing or snowboarding to have a fun winter vacation. There are many mountain towns that offer a plethora of activities that are both on and off the slopes. Some of these include beautiful ski lodges, snow tubing, ice skating, hot springs, shopping, dining, and a cozy atmosphere. So, with that said, here some of the best winter vacation for those non-skiing families.

 

Whistler Blackcomb – British Columbia, Canada

The mountain and village at Whistler Blackcomb are situated less than two hours north of Vancouver, and they offer many activities for visiting families. You can go snow tubing, snowmobiling, and even go on snowshoeing tours. They have an art museum, a cultural center, Nintendo gaming lounges, and a peak-to-peak gondola ride that allows you to take in the mountains without skiing. For the adults, they have hot springs and massage treatments at the Scandinave spa while the kids can explore the Magic Castle and Tree Fort which is an outdoor play area for children.

 

Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah

Non-skiing families will enjoy taking part in the winter zip tour at Sundance Mountain Resort. You bundle up and then fly across the nearly 4,000 foot long zip-lines across Mount Timpanogos. You have the chance to ride doubles and race each other and control your own speed if you would like to go slower and take in the scenery. There is also the Full Moon Cross Country Skiing self-guided tour that lets visitors roam the forest trails at night with headlamps that guide the way. Another option is to go Night Owling which is a guided snowshoeing tour where you search for live owls while learning about snowy wildlife.

 

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Located about three hours outside of Denver is Steamboat Springs which boasts activities such as snow tubing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, and horseback riding. They also have a mountain coaster for those looking for some speed along with fly fishing and spa treatments for those seeking a bit of serenity. You can also enjoy scenic gondola rides, snowshoeing tours and photography tours that allow you to take in the mountainous beauty and if you want a bit more height, hot air balloon and helicopter tours are also available.

Tips For A Successful Family Meeting Michael Luchen

Tips For A Successful Family Meeting

Even the most dedicated parents can struggle with the task of strengthening the family bond. One of the best ways of achieving this goal is by holding regular weekly family meetings. These have proven to be one of the most effective bonding activity that families can do in order to generate harmony and connection amongst loved ones. When it comes to family meetings, the goals are to foster better communication, bring everyone closer together and overall have some fun. Below are some simple guidelines to help you have a successful family meeting. Keep in mind that every family is different and every step might not be right for your family, so have the flexibility and creativity to adjust as necessary.

 

Keep The Meeting Up-Beat

By simply coming together to talk as a family, you will be fostering better harmony and connections. You can talk about any of the good things that happened in school with the children or a funny moment that happened within the neighborhood. You will want to keep the sense of humor and don’t be afraid to laugh. This meeting is about communication and it is much easier to create such communication when you are having a good time.

 

Don’t Control Participation

Participation in these meetings should be organic. So while you should want everyone in the family to join in, you can’t expect your three-year-old to fully engage. Even if you have teenagers, while their input would be welcome, it shouldn’t feel compulsory. After a while, they will start attending just to see what they might be missing and even make a fuss about attending in general.

 

Be Creative With The Meeting Space

Where you hold the meetings should be a place where everyone feels comfortable. The kitchen or dining room are great options. Feel free to be creative and experiment with different locations that even go outside of your home such as the backyard or a local park. If things are a bit tense around the house, then you might want to venture out to a pizza parlor, or a local miniature golf course or bowling alley.

 

End The Meeting With Something Fun

By ending the meeting with a fun experience, it will encourage everyone to attend and participate. You can plan these experiences with the group and even remind your children that if they don’t get what they want one week, they will have the opportunity another week. You will ensure that there is no tension and help teach your children patience at the same time. You want to make sure you end the meetings with something fun so that everyone leaves on a high note. Many times, you might not have to spend money. You can play games at home or even watch interactive television like Jeopardy or Family Feud.

Outdoor Travel Experiences For The Family Michael Luchen

Outdoor Travel Experiences For The Family

Outdoor Travel Experiences For The Family Michael Luchen

Going on a family vacation allows you to bond and enjoy yourselves without the immediate stress of time management and bills. Embarking on an adventure with the family creates an

opportunity to explore the natural world and have a unique experience to remember. If you haven’t considered outdoor travel experiences, here are five suggestions from across the United States to get you started.

 

Out ‘n About Treesort, Oregon

What is more kid-oriented than a treehouse? In Cave Junction, Oregon, this resort has 15 treehouses for lodging. Some of the treehouses are fully equipped with kitchenettes and functional bathrooms, while others are simpler models. The resort also features ziplining with ten different lines, river rafting, workshops, and more. Prices range from $150 a night and includes breakfast.

 

Pisgah View Ranch, North Carolina

For a cowboy-inspired experience, visit this historic ranch in Candler, North Carolina. Stay in cottages or cabins and partake in scenic horseback rides by the Blue Ridge Mountains or go fishing for bluegills. Prices range from $125 a night; meals are an extra fee and are served in the historic ranch house.

 

College of the Atlantic’s Family Nature Camp, Maine

For a few days of family fun, venture up to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine where your family will learn about native wildlife and get their hands dirty. From guided hikes and insect hunts to boat tours and nature crafts, the days will be filled with engaging outdoor fun. Prices range from $500 for each child and $1020 for each adult with a $50 family registration fee.

 

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Not all vacations have to be sweltering. For a change of pace, travel to Gustavus, Alaska for a visit. Take part in guided tours or sea-kayaking, or take part in the daily boat tour to see glaciers! Rather than look for lodging elsewhere, the park features a campground for your use at no charge.

 

Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

For a more relaxing family outing, go to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, where the name says it all. The natural hot springs are a great way to relax and unwind, but if the temperature is too hot, an indoor aquatic center is just a few blocks away. For the cost of daily passes, check the hot springs website.

Tips For Bringing The Family Closer

Tips For Bringing The Family Closer Together Michael Luchen

When you have a family, remaining close as a unit may be one of your top priorities. Due to busy schedules and responsibilities, it can often be easy to lose touch with one another throughout the year. If you want to bring your family closer together, there are a few main tips to follow.

 

Volunteer Together

Volunteering as a family is an excellent way of giving back to the community and making a difference. You’ll learn how fortunate you are to have one another and can feel fulfilled while working at a soup kitchen or giving your time to an animal shelter. Volunteering abroad can also be exciting and will allow you to create new memories together on a trip that will prove to be rewarding.

 

Spend Time Outdoors

Spending more time outside will cause you to unplug from technology and remain present. Consider building an outdoor garden where you can grow vegetables in the backyard. The process will allow you to spend time with your family members before harvesting the food. You’ll learn a new skill together and can let everyone become more invested in the hobby, which will make it easy to have more in common.

 

Spend Time Talking

According to psychcentral.com, communication is key to remain close to your loved ones and learn more about who they are as individuals. Set aside time each week where you can connect by having a conversation, whether it’s at the dinner table or before bed each night. You’ll need to put your phones aside and learn how to listen to one another without distractions, which can also address any issues that are present and improve your relationships with one another.

 

Make Meals Together

Making meals together as a family will not only teach your children how to cook but will also be a way of bonding together throughout the week. Create a meal plan together and spend time using recipes that will be a fun way of connecting and spending time in the home. Delegate tasks, which allows one child to make the salad and another to work on setting the table. Offer praise to everyone who is contributing, which will allow everyone becomes better at teamwork and take pride in their skills.

How To Plan An Affordable Family Vacation

How To Plan An Affordable Family Vacation Michael Luchen

Planning a vacation for the family can be stressful especially one that will be affordable. Many times, due to the budget, most people settle for a quick weekend getaway or a staycation at the grandparents’ house. However, you have many options beyond those two and with a little bit a creativity and planning ahead of time, you can cut some of those vacation costs and still have a wonderful time. So, here are some tips for planning an affordable family vacation.

 

Look For Discounted Vacation Packages

Be on the lookout for any family vacation packages offered on various discount sites like Groupon and Living Social. These sites can provide real savings if you have the flexibility in your schedule. Take a look here for more great places where you can find affordable vacation packages.

 

Off-Peak Pricing

Have you ever been to a mountain ski resort during the summer, or a beach resort very early or very late in beach season? These are examples of vacation destinations that can be more charming, relaxing and even less expensive during the off-season periods when fewer tourists are around. So, be sure to take advantage of any off-peak pricing for vacations.

 

Cut Back on Extras

Many times, one of the easiest ways to clear room in your budget for a vacation is by cutting back on some of the extra expenses. For example, you can stay at a hotel that comes with a substantial free breakfast which would eliminate the cost of at least one meal per day. Another option is by searching for hotels or resorts where children eat or stay for free. Or even booking a room that comes with a kitchen so that you can cook a few of your own meals. If you are someone who flies often, you can sign up for a frequent flier program which can come with waived baggage fees. Drivers can utilize apps like Gas Buddy to save on gas costs as it helps you find the cheapest gas in your area.

 

Think Beyond The Traditional Hotel Room

If your family is feeling adventurous, you will be able to find plenty of comfortable, low-cost travel alternatives that will make for a much more interesting trip. Larger families can even consider renting a vacation that will allow you to accommodate bigger groups for a much cheaper price, especially for longer stays. A great resource to use is HomeAway.com which has a list of almost a half-million rental lodgings around the world. Finally, what better way to spend a family vacation than with a campsite, especially if you love the outdoors. You will be able to find some incredible campsites on ReserveAmerica.com that include spots with beach and water activities, fishing, golf courses, horseback riding, and much more.

Affordable Summer Family Vacations

Affordable Summer Family Vacations Michael Luchen

Summer vacations are a great opportunity to bring the family together for a fun getaway. These can be quite expensive depending on where you go, however, there are plenty of destinations that will not break the bank. Summer season is very busy in terms of traveling, so picking the right destination can make all the difference in regards to saving money. Many of your options are both domestic and international, so you have a plethora of destinations that will be easy on your budget and the perfect fit for your family vacation. Here are some affordable family vacations for the summer.

 

Winter Park, Colorado

Now, most people might look at the resort town of Winter Park in Colorado as a winter destination, but, it is also a great spot for the summer. Rates at the Winter Park Resort begin at just $89 per night and with this families can enjoy biking, horseback riding, zip lining, hiking, and Colorado’s longest alpine slide. You can also visit the nearby Snow Mountain Ranch which has one of the only three summer tubing hills in the United States along with mini golf, swimming, and indoor and outdoor climbing walls. Plus, every Thursday during the summer from June 14-August 13, they have free concerts at Hideaway Park.

 

Vienna, Austria

Austria’s capital city of Vienna offers a level of walkability that makes it quite the affordable spot for families, especially as they have many free walking and cycling tours. As you go through the Vienna Pass, you will have free access to more than sixty of the city’s most popular attractions such as museums, a giant Ferris Wheel, and attractions like Madame Tussauds and the oldest zoo in the world, Tiergarten Schoenbrunn which dates all the way back to 1752. The pass also comes with many options such as the single day which is about $72 for adults and $27 for kids and the six-day passes which are $189 for adults and $95 for children.

 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

If your family loves water, a great option for you may be Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There are properties such as Sea Mist which offer guests free unlimited access to its water park along with discount passes to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Splashes Oceanfront Water Park. Plus, in the summer, they offer a fifth night for free, a free Friday for each seven-day stay, a $90 EZ-cash card for people who book their trips 90 days in advance, and fifteen percent off stays from June to August on select rooms every Sunday through Wednesday.

The Importance of Eating As A Family

The Importance Of Eating Together As A Family Michael Luchen

Wildly hectic schedules plague many households; as a result, families aren’t eating together as much as they used to or as much as they should. In fact, some people don’t think that this issue matters at all. Instead of continuing to eat apart, families should consider the reasons to spend this time together.

 

Building Relationships

When families are trying to keep up with the bills, enroll the kids in multiple activities and get those same kids into the best colleges, they often forget about the importance of their relationships with each other. Eating dinner together can actually build relationships. Parents may discover that their children are more willing to open up about problems, or siblings may learn that they actually have quite a bit in common after all.

 

Eating Healthy Meals

It’s possible that family members are still eating health foods even if they aren’t together. However, it’s more likely that they are grabbing a quick bite on the run, which means they are eating fast food or a meal that doesn’t have all of the necessary nutrients. Eating together can help to resolve this problem unless, of course, the family is calling for takeout every night. Instead of just eating together, family members can also prepare meals together. Healthy meals don’t have to involve tons of preparation; quick and healthy meals are certainly an option.

 

Learning about One Another

A sad day arrives when brothers don’t know what classes their sisters are taking in college and parents aren’t sure of the name of the company where their partner works. In a world where families often don’t have enough time to chat, these realities often come into fruition. If family members are all sitting down together at least once per day and talking during the meal, they are going to know more about each other. Chances are that this experience will lead to a happier and healthier home overall.

The thought of adding another activity onto days that are already packed might seem overwhelming. One option is to cut down on the activities that aren’t contributing anything positive to family life. Another option is to recognize how important time with family members is. Carving out an extra 30 minutes or one hour each day to have dinner together is more than possible.

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