Tag Archives: summer

Tips for Saving Money on Fuel this Summer

For many of us, summer is officially here as our kids are now out of school for the next twelve weeks or so. If you’re like me, then this means you’ll be spending a little more time in the car driving from place to place. While I’m thankful that my son is only 4 ½ and I don’t have to do the extended amount of driving that many people with multiple kids who are older do, I will still be spending more time running around town than usual over the next few months.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that with the high cost of fuel today and the extra miles we’ll be putting on our vehicles, we’ll be spending more money this summer at the pump. If you’re interested in learning how you can save money on fuel this summer, keep reading. I’ve done a little researched and found out about some out-of-the-ordinary tricks for saving money on fuel.

  • Service Regularly – Many of us are guilty of driving an extra 500, 1000 or more miles than we should before getting our oil changed and our vehicles properly serviced. This mistake can cost us money though…in fact, this can cause us to spend up to 20% more in fuel if we’ve got something like a bad air filter in the vehicle. So, make sure you get your vehicle serviced when it’s due – every 3,000-5,000 miles depending on your vehicle.
  • Air Up the Tires – You may not realize this, but it actually costs you more money to drive a vehicle that has slightly deflated tires then it does to keep the tires full. Did you realize that when you drive on tires low in air, that you could be wasting up to $5 for every $20 of gas you put in your tank? So, next time you prepare to go on a lengthy trip (say an out of town wedding that your little one is the flower girl for), air the tires up and you’ll enjoy better fuel mileage.
  • Use the Garage…For the Car – I know, right? What a novel idea…using the garage for the vehicle! I’m guilty of this myself – sometimes I park in the driveway instead of my garage because I’ve got too much stuff in the garage. However, during the summer months, it’s important to get the garage cleaned out and start parking the car in it because your car will stay cooler in the garage. Why is this important?  Your A/C uses fuel to run and when your vehicle sits outside in the summer, it gets extremely hot inside, which causes your A/C to work harder once you start it…costing you more money in fuel. So, park it in the garage and lessen the load for your A/C this summer.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog post and found the information helpful. While Kids Formal is dedicated to providing high-quality children’s formal wear (flower girl dresses, boys’ suits, girls hair accessories, christening gowns, boys accessories, etc.) we do strive to provide our customers with valuable information all parents can use. Hopefully, this article has done that for you!

Looking for Something for the Kids to Do This Summer?

I’m not sure how many of you have young children at home, but I have a 4 ½ year old little boy who has spent the last 9 months in an all-day 3 year old program at one of the public schools. While many parents think all-day programs for 3 year olds are a bit much, my son actually loved it. Not only did he love it, but he thrived with it. The program was offered by one of the nearby local schools and we chose to enroll him because he was getting bored at home. In addition, he is an only child (until this August) so he really needed the day-to-day social interaction the program offered him.

Anyways, my son and I both enjoyed the benefits of the all-day program, but now that summer is merely 10 days away for us, I’m panicking about what I’m going to do with him all summer. I’m afraid that he’s going to get bored really easy. Maybe there are some of you out there who can also relate? Even if your children are in pre-K, Kindergarten or another age in grade school, I’m sure I’m not the only one looking for ideas to keep the kids busy this summer.

I figured I would go ahead and share with you what I’ve figured out so far…just to help you get some ideas going through your head about what you can do with your kids this summer.

  • T-Ball – My son loves to run and play various sports. This Saturday will be his last indoor soccer game, and so we enrolled him in t-ball again this year. Last year was his first year to play, and it went pretty well considering he was the youngest on the team. We play through our local YMCA because the league isn’t competitive at this age (3-5 year olds on a team) and is mainly for an introduction to the sport. So, we’ve got him signed up to play again this year. There are only 8 games, starting in May and wrapping up in the middle of June, so it won’t be that long for him.
  • Swimming Lessons – Once t-ball is finished, I’ll get him signed up for swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are also offered at our local YMCA and they are once a day for two weeks (5 days a week) lasting only 30 minutes per class. He thinks swimming lessons are fun, but I do it to ensure he learns about water safety and how to swim. I’m considering signing him up for two summer sessions this year since he’s a little older.
  • Art and Science Camp – We have a local organization that puts on summer art and science camps for kids ages 4-12. These camps are only 5 days each and you can choose for full-day or half-day. I’m enrolling little man in one week of each for only a half-day (8am-11:30am).

Above are the three main things I have planned for my son this summer. I thought about sending him to a Kid’s Day Out program once or twice a week, but I want him to be able to enjoy the summer playing at home as well as enjoying some other fun activities. Of course, we will be doing some other fun things this summer like visiting the local Splash Pad, going to the Zoo, attending Bible School and catching a movie or two. We’re also planning a fun week-long vacation to Colorado as well. And, at the end of the summer, my son will be dressing up in a formal tuxedo as the ring bearer for one of my friends’ wedding. So, I think the summer will be a pretty busy and fun one for us!

When considering things for your kids to do this summer, try not to cram pack the schedule too much. And, if your kids are young, like my son, consider just opting for half-day programs and/or camps to ensure there is plenty of down time at home for the kids to enjoy too!

Sunburns and Summer Fun

Summer is officially here and that means it’s time to ride bikes, go camping, play baseball/softball, host BBQ’s, go swimming and enjoy any other outdoor activity that you can! It’s pretty safe to say that summertime is probably the most looked-forward to season by adults and children alike. After all, school is out, the weather is warm and America’s favorite pastime is in full swing! What’s not to love?

While we should all find ways to get out and enjoy the summer weather with our family and friends, it is also important that we remember how harmful the sun can be when we aren’t prepared for it. This is especially true for those of us with children. Children are more susceptible to the heat and the harmful rays that beat down on them from the sun.

I’m sure that most of you have experienced a sunburn at some point within your life. I know that I sure have. However, I’ve got to say that the times when I did burn wasn’t until after I had reached my teenage years and wasn’t in the presence of my mother. My mom was incredibly good about making sure that my brother and I always put on sunscreen before we went outside to play or over to a friend’s for a pool party.

I have to admit that when I was a kid, I was always irritated that mom insisted on sunscreen because it took more time to do. Now, as a mom myself, I am experiencing the same attitude from my 6 year old but, just like my mother, I am determined to get the sunscreen on him! I’m sure most of you out there feel the same way I do about this topic.

While you may be putting sunscreen on your kids regularly, there are actually a few mistakes that can be made regarding it. Below are some sunscreen tips to ensure that your little ones are fully protected this summer!

  • Apply Daily – Did you know that the majority of sun exposure comes from activities such as sitting by a window, walking the dog, driving, playing catch, etc.? Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got some type of sun protection on your children daily…even on the days when they aren’t going to a pool party or won’t be outside for long periods of time. When it comes to the sun, time is time so be prepared for it!
  • Reapply – While you definitely get points for putting on sunscreen before the kids head out the door to go swimming, you don’t get an “A” for effort unless you remember to reapply the sunscreen after swimming has commenced. I know they make “water resistant” sunscreen, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t come off in the water. Therefore, make sure you reapply the sunscreen after swimming. Also, reapply it if it has been on for several hours too.
  • Apply Liberally – Sunscreen can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp when applying it. If you don’t put enough on then the skin isn’t fully protected, and isn’t that why you bought the stuff in the first place? Also, when you skimp on the application, you may miss spots and that is definitely not what you want to do.
  • Cover All Areas – While applying sunscreen to the arms, shoulders, torso, cheeks, legs and feet all need to be covered in sunscreen, there are other areas that need to be remembered too during the application process. The nose, ears, around the mouth, back of the neck and the top of the head (for kids/adults with little hair) all need to be covered.

Again, summertime is such a fun time of year for everyone to enjoy, but a bad sunburn can put a damper on the activities planned. Therefore, make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and correctly before you and your kiddos head outside!

Summer Break Activities for the Whole Family

Summer is just around the corner which means most of us are going to be looking for some activities that are enjoyable for the entire family. As a mother of two young children (ages 6 and 1), I know how difficult it is to find things that our family can do and everyone enjoy themselves. Obviously, when we are looking for family activities, our focus is on finding activities that our children will enjoy but that doesn’t mean that we (the adults) don’t want to have fun either, right? Below are some ideas for summer break activities that your entire family can enjoy.

  • The Beach – If you live within a few hours of a beach, then plan a day to take the family. There is just something about a family beach day that puts everyone in a good mood. Maybe I am a little biased as my family didn’t live close to a beach, which has made me come to realize just how awesome beaches and the ocean are. My family loves spending a day together lounging around on the beach. We suntan (well I try when the dad and the boys are busy playing), wade along the shoreline, build sandcastles, play Frisbee and a number of other things. It’s a fun, relaxing and inexpensive way to spend the day together as a family
  • Aquarium – In many states, the summer heat can really play a toll on people, making it almost impossible to get outside in the middle of the day when temperatures have skyrocketed. Days like these are perfect for family trips to the aquarium. My children love visiting the aquarium as they enjoy watching and learning about marine life. My oldest son is at the age where he is fascinated with sharks so a trip to the aquarium always gets him excited
  • State Parks – Visiting state parks together can make for fun family outings during the slow, summer days. We haven’t taken our youngest son yet, but when we have gone in the past with our oldest son, we would go in the morning before the temperatures get too unbearable. Usually we would bring a picnic basket along with us stocked full of sandwiches, fruit and water so we could enjoy our lunch outdoors before heading home. Our oldest has always enjoyed these excursions because he likes to get out and explore. Again, visiting a state park is another inexpensive activity that families can enjoy together. (Just a FYI: If you live in Texas or will be visiting and have young kids, try to visit the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX!
  • Fishing – If you haven’t ever taken the family fishing before, it is definitely a unique experience that everyone will remember. This is an activity that will require a little planning ahead as you probably need to get a fishing license from the state for you and your family members, but once that is done, you’re all set. (Assuming you have the rods and tackle.) Plan to leave in the morning when it is cool so you can be packing up and heading back home before the heat gets bad. Usually, we only spend a few hours fishing when we go and that’s plenty. It’s an activity that we all enjoy doing together. Now that our youngest is walking he will get to join in on the fun. He’ll probably play in the riverbank and with the rocks, mud, etc. but it will still be fun for him!

Hopefully the ideas listed above have given you some new summer family activity ideas that you and your kids will enjoy doing together! What are some of your favorite summer activities to do as a family?