So..unless you’ve been living under a rock (which I’m pretty sure you haven’t been since you’re reading this AMAZING blog- shameless self promo, go subscribe lol), then you know that 4th of July weekend is NEXT WEEKEND!
If you’re like me, you’ve probably already got something planned (and have had it planned for months), but if you’re one of those people (much like Andy) who likes to do either last minute planning (and then scramble around like a dying chicken trying to get everything together) or you don’t plan anything at all and just roll with the flow…I’m here to give you a few ideas of fun activities for your holiday weekend 🙂
If you have kids:
Throw a family-friendly Fourth U-Pick Party: After spending some time together at your local berry farm, go home and enjoy quality time turning all those fresh berries into delicious desserts!
Go camping in your backyard: Can’t get out to a real campground this year? (Thank’s COVID-19 for closing most of them down!) Try a little backyard tent camping instead. Once the family/friends cookout has died down, enjoy some fireworks from the comfort of sleeping bags and end the night with some (not super scary for the kids) ghost stories before sleeping peacefully under the beautiful stars.
Watch a patriotic movie outside: If the weather in your area will allow it, set up an outdoor movie theater and comfy seating in your own yard, then sit back and relax with some of the best patriotic movies. If it does happen to rain, you can easily move the fun (popcorn and all- because what’s a good movie without popcorn!?) into the family/living room!
Plan a soda float social: Channel the 4th of July for years ago with glass soda bottles and a vintage-inspired bar cart. This genius summer idea if perfect for fending off that July heat and keeping your gang refreshed!
Take a family bike ride: No 4th of July parade this year? (Again…thanks COVID-19 for ruining summer 2020!!) That’s not a problem! You and your immediate family can have your own private parade by decorating your bikes with flags, streamers, and ribbons, and set off together for a few casual laps around the block. The ride will help everyone work up a good appetite before the celebratory barbecue.
Play patriotic games: Spark up some family competition with Independence Day inspired games, like stars-and-stripes tic-tac-toe or tossing red, white, and blue water balloons. If the weather doesn’t work in your favor, you can also keep the kids entertained inside with a round of Go Fish- from a patriotic card deck.
Throw a family pool party: Gather the kids and cool down in the water on that hot summer day. If you don’t have a pool, get out the sprinkler. Of…if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can look into stock tank pools or even pallet swimming pools.
Spark up the sparklers: While we don’t know how towns will be handling 4th of July fireworks this year (every town/state laws are different), you can always stock up on sparklers and have your own family patriotic light show (of course be careful and always use common sense with safety measures).
Patriotic photo booth printable: Give your guests something to do (and something that’ll make them chuckle a bit) with THESE fun photo booth props!
Bomb pop shots: This shot is basically your favorite patriotic popsicle from your childhood….but with Booz! It’s made with grenadine, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and blue curaçao. You can check out the recipe HERE from A Beautiful Mess 🙂
Tic-Tac-Toe lawn game: All it takes to make this oversized game board of Tic-Tac-Toe is some white rope, paint, and letters found at any craft store. Get the directions from Re-Play HERE!
Flag balloon dart game: Making this fun balloon dart game does take a little time, but once you and your guests see how much fun it is, all that effort and hardworking will be more than worth it. You get find the directions HERE, from Giggles Galore!
Don’t let the Coronavirus ruin a great holiday for your family and friends. It’s super easy using the ideas above, or your own (if you’ve got some that aren’t listed, please feel free to share them below) to enjoy this great day! So don’t stress….get out with family and friends….celebrate our great nation…and HAVE FUN!
So I’ve noticed a ton of y’all sending us emails asking basically the same type of questions. So rather than spend all that time answering 100+ emails individually about the same thing, I figured why not make a blog post about it to help everyone out at one time 🙂
So here we go!
How did you get started blogging? When I was in middle school I used to keep a journal online for anyone to read, just as a way to share my thoughts or what I was going through at that time. I kept it anonymous so that I could talk about anything and everything and the people wouldn’t necessarily know who was writing about them or others that they might know. When I noticed how many people were following my posts and reading along I thought that maybe it would be good to do it as a career or some kind of job if I could make money from it. After I got out of high school I started taking classes at a local college for mass communications and journalism, I also would research making money from blogging at home. The different opportunities were a little overwhelming at first, but once I started reading (and taking notes) I really fell in love with the idea of blogging as a job. After that it just took a bunch of hardworking and dedication.
What is your ideal working environment? Honestly, my ideal environment would be in an office with a regular desk and chair where I could sit peacefully and just focus on whatever I happen to be doing for the blog at that time. But…..in reality, my work environment is either going down the road and I’m blogging from my phone, or sitting in my living room with two kids crowding my lap trying to blog on my laptop. Working from home with two kids (both under 2 years old) doesn’t really allow me to work in my ideal kind of environment, but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything because it does allow me more time to spend with my kids.
How did you know you picked the right domain name? I really didn’t know at first. And you probably won’t know for sure either. It was just kind of pick the one I liked the most (that would also relate to the kind of content I would be sharing) and hope for the best. I picked the one I did (Missy & Andy) because a lot of the posts are about parenting lessons that Andy (my husband) and I learn along he way as firs time parents of two boys. I also tend to share a lot about our personal life (marriage, financial advice that we learn, vacations we take, products we love and hate, etc.). So naming it after ourselves made the most sense. It might even be a trial and error thing for some people, where you’ll pick one name and realize that it might not be working to attract traffic so you’ll change it. I recommend testing out your name by using a subdomain for. while and watch how the traffic trends go- that way you can find the one that works the best for you FOR FREE, before paying for a domain name that ends up hindering or chasing away more traffic than it attracts.
How did you choose where to host your blog? When I first started writing (keeping my online journal back in middle school), WordPress was the only platform I had heard of. I honestly did not know about Blogger or GoDaddy, or anything else. So I did most of my studying and learning through the system and plugins that WordPress uses. So…when it came time to finally make blogging my actual job, it just made sense to stay loyal to WordPress.
How do you manage your time between being a SAHM with two kids, keeping a clean house, and running your blog? I’m not going to lie, it’s not always easy. I do have help from Andy when he’s off. But when he’s working I try to keep the blogging for after I get the kids in bed. I do most of the house cleaning in the morning (Andy helps me deep clean once a week when he’s off and his mom takes our oldest son for a couple hours). Then after the kids are in bed I just do a quick run through picking up stray toys before Andy gets home and then I can sit down to work. During the day, most of my time is spent between playing with Junior and taking care of David. It’s all about finding a routine that works for you. The chaos that I flow with won’t necessarily work for everyone else, but it does perfectly for our family. You just have to experiment and find your own flow. It might take a while (and come with quite a few headaches), but if you stay persistent with it, you’ll find it and be able to get everything done.
What frustrates you the most about blogging? The thing I think that frustrates me the most, is when people ask what I do for a living and when I tell them I’m a blogger, their response is usually “oh so you’re unemployed”…NO! I am a blogger, I probably make more than you think I would. But other than that…(ugh! sorry, that just irritates the fuck out of me!)…my biggest frustration comes from probably finding new content to write that’s actually relatable to people who don’t necessarily run their life on caffeine and chaos lol.
Do you consider blogging a profession or just something you do as a hobby? I consider blogging more as my profession and my job. It’s how I contribute to my family’s income and I manage it just like any other business owner would manage their company. I take pride in all the hardworking I put in to make it look nice and professional and the time I spend writing every post and promoting everything.
How do you decide which brands you want to work with as a brand ambassador? When I get approached by a company or I think a company could benefit from being shared on my blog, before I do anything I research the company (I google how many visitors their sites averages, look at their prices to try predicting their average sales, etc.), I look through their products and try picturing any of my followers using them or even if I would use them. If I can’t imaging myself, friends, or family using a product I won’t work with that company. I also look at their comments from current/previous customers, if they don’t have more good than bad comments….I reject them. And any company wanting me to work hard promoting their company, brand, and products for FREE….it’s a no- it takes a lot of time and work promoting on the blog and social media, which means that is time taken away from my husband and kids- that time is precious..if they aren’t willing to compensate for my hard work then it’s not worth it to me.
What kind of work or hobbies did you do before blogging? I’ve been blogging as a job since I graduated high school (the name of the blog and the topics have changed over the years, but I’ve been focused on getting it right…and think I finally have). But…before I was a blogger, I’ve worked a few retail jobs, I’ve been a server, worked at a doctor’s office, been a daycare assistant, and even worked as a home health care aide for a short period. However, blogging is by far my favorite because it allows me to be at home, but also because I can make my own schedule and I don’t have a boss to answer to (I am the boss).
If you are working from home and have your own blog, or have a large following on your social media, I’m sure you’ve come across a few messages or emails about becoming a brand ambassador for one company or another. But what is a brand ambassador? Brand ambassadors tend to have smaller social media audiences and generally purchase the product at a discounted price. They earn money when they successfully get people to purchase products from the company using their personal promo code. They are hired by an organization or company to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so help to increase brand awareness and sales.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a brand ambassador, but are having trouble finding a great company to work with…YOU’RE IN LUCK!
I’ve shared below 7 of my favorite brands to work with. Go check their sites out and hopefully you’ll find the perfect one for you 🙂
So I came across this fun little mom tag on Facebook (someone else shared it in one of the many mommy groups that I’m a member of). So I thought it would be fun to do and share with you all 🙂
MOM TAG QUESTIONS
How old were you when you had your first child? 27 (turned 28 a month later)
What was the hardest thing about being pregnant for 9 months? With my first pregnancy it was the emotional rollercoaster, I swear I never knew my emotions could change so quickly and drastically. With my second pregnancy, it was the pain. I had never been in so much pain in life- I hurt to move at all the ENTIRE time Iwas pregnant, it was horrible.
Can you think of any good things you enjoyed during those 9 months? Absolutely! I loved feeling their little kicks and getting to hear their tiny heartbeats. Just knowing that I was carrying around the little lives that Andy and I had created was amazing to me 🙂
In your opinion, were all the things you heard about childbirth accurate or way off? There were some things people told me that were way off, like how I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything once I went in to the labor and delivery unit- I was allowed to eat and drink whatever I wanted right up until the minute they started wheeling me back to deliver. My only diet restrictions came right after I delivered the babies- they had me on clear liquids only for 24 hours, and then of course the foods I couldn’t haveanyway because of my own food allergies.
Would you have handled childbirth differently if you could re-do it? Honestly, yes. I would have takena minute to breathe more and just enjoy pregnancy, instead of wanting it to be over so quickly. I feel like I enjoyed being pregnant the first time more than I did the second time (mostly because the second pregnancy brought on so much pain and a few complications), but I would have stopped and enjoyed both a lot more.
What would be your advice for someone who is about to have a baby? Just breathe. Everything will be ok. All the fears you have and that nervous feeling you’re getting the closer your due date gets, ITS NORMAL! But just breathe, the doctors know what they are doing. Everything will be just fine. And also, don’t be afraid to voice your fears with your doctor- they won’t think you’re crazy. They would rather you talk about how you’re really feeling instead of keeping it bottled up inside. And if you’re not feeling like your normal self (emotionally) after the baby is born, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor- it could be PPD (post party depression)- it won’t make you bad mom and they’d rather you bring it up and get help instead of just forcing yourself to suffer through it.
What has been the hardest thing about being a mom? The hardest part after having Junior (first born) was finding that balance of being a new mom and still managing to make “me time” so I didn’t completely lose my identity in motherhood. The hardest part of being a mom of two, so far, is making sure that I’m giving both kids the same amount of attention and love so one doesn’t get jealous of the other.
What has been the most rewarding thing about being a mom? Definitely the little moments. Like putting Junior to bed in his own room, but the waking up in the morning to find that he’s crawled in bed and cuddled up between Andy and I . Or when Junior some how knows that we’ve both had long rough days and he will walk up to us out of nowhere and just say “I love you” and gives us the biggest hug and sweetest kiss in the world. For David, its when we first get up in the morning or he wakes up from a nap and hears Andy or I say “he bubba” and he will give us the biggest smile we’ve ever seen- it’s definitely the most adorable thing ever and melts our hearts every time.
What was the most surprising thing you discovered about being a mom? How much they teach you about yourself. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve learned more about myself after having kids than I ever knew before I became a mom.
What is the best memory you have involving your child? Honestly, there’s so many. From the day they were born when I first got to hold them, to their first steps, the first time Junior said “mama”, David’s first time grabbing my finger when he heard my voice and remembered it was his momma…. Motherhood has given me a ton of great memories- none of which could ever be replaced.
What was the most exciting milestone? Their first word and their first steps beat out any other milestone easily!
What is the worst thing your child has ever done? David hasn’t done anything yet lol, and Junior hasn’t really done anything horrible either. Andy and I didn’t really make “bad kids”.. Iguess the worst thing Junior has ever done so far is peeing in the air vents lol (but even that’s kind of funny and cute to me because we’re in the middle of potty training so anything that has an opening he thinks it’s a potty lol)
What habit did you wish your child didn’t have? I was really hoping that neither of our kids would get my temper. I’m not sure how lucky/unlucky we got with David, but I know Junior unfortunately has my temper when he gets really mad or he’s really tired and doesn’t get left alone lol.
What habit of theirs makes you most proud? It’s more of a new routine really than a habit, but I love how Junior won’t start his morning or go to bed at night until he’s had a chance to kiss David and tell him “night night bubba, be careful” (be careful is the same thing to him as saying “I love you”. Watching him be that loving and sweet as a big brother is absolutely amazing and meltsmy heart.
Do you share any similarities with your child (both Physical and Personality)? Junior has my temper (unfortunately), one of my ears (yeah, I know we think it’s weird too lol) and he’s left handed like me 🙂 David- still too young to tell, but we think he has my nose and my eye shape…
Where would you like your child to be in 10 years? Well, I know they’ll both be in school. I would love for them to be part of some extra activities outside of school that allows them to make friends (since they’re going to be homeschooled) and I’d love them to be huge outdoor fans (camping, hiking, fishing, etc.) and video game nerds like Andy and I. But that’s just me, no matter what they turn out to be like in 10 years we will love them just the same with all of our hearts.
What is something that having a child has taught you? I have definitely learned how to be more patient, having kids you do A LOT of waiting…I usedto hate waiting for anything, but after having kids I’ve learned that waiting is a big part of life.
Did you imagine that you’d be a mom at the age that you became a mom? Honestly no. After I turned 24/25 and still didn’t have kids, I had pretty much given up on the thought that I’d ever have any kids. So by the time I had Junior I had it in my head that I’d never be a mom. Seeing those two pink lines on that stick definitely was a surprise!
Describe your child in a single sentence? Junior- The sweetest, but wildest and most head strong child I have ever seen. David- ….still too young- he doesn’t really have a personality yet at only 2 weeks old.
How have you changed as a person since becoming a mom? I would definitely say I’ve grown up a lot more. Having kids around all the time, someone has to be the adult- so I had to think more like an adult and a parent (thinking for someone else’s life and not just my own) more than I ever used to. And many of you may not know it, but having Junior, I swear, is what kept me sober. I was sober before I got pregnant with him (even before I ever got with Andy), but I definitely have Junior to thank for keeping me sober. If I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant with him (Andy and I would still be together) I would probably be sneaking pills when Andy was asleep or at work, I definitely don’t think I’d still be sober if I wasn’t a mom. But being Andy’s wife and him having set expectations for the type of woman he wanted might have contributed to me staying clean too- I loved him from day one and I doubt I would have done anything to jeopardize our relationship (with or without the kids in the picture).
From helping train you at Shell to taking turns putting a little munchkin to bed (and prepping for munchkin #2), you became my best friend. Brought me into a family that (let’s be honest) is just as crazy as I am and taken me on the best road trips I’ve ever had! It might not have always been the easiest ride, but it’s definitely been the best ride I’ve ever been on. From playing video games and eating pizza all night to managing bills and memorizing nursery rhymes. From living in Virginia my whole life and thinking I’d never leave, to starting fresh in Ohio building a life for our little growing family. Two years went by fast, but I wouldn’t go back and change it for anything in the world. You’re the best husband and daddy me and the boys could ever hope to have. Thank you for always being there during the best moments, and especially during the moments where I’ve drove you completely insane (almost to wanting to pull your hair out). You’re a trooper for putting up with me for the past 1,095 days (3 yrs). I love you to the Destiny and back a googolplex times infinity🥰 You’re my player one with the health refills and stored ammo when I need them and I’m your player two with all the looted shields and back up fire when you need it. We’re the best team 🎮 Cheers to two years! Now let’s see where the rest of our lives take us together!🥂👰🏻🤵🏻 👨👩👦👦
When you find out your pregnant, you just assume that the newborn stage will stress you out the most. Well…I’m here to tell you how wrong you are my friend!
The newborn/infant stage is the easiest you will have it, so enjoy it as much as you can while it lasts. The toddler years on the other hand….those are the days where you will learn just how savage your child really is. I can almost promise you without a doubt that your child will do things and say things that really prove they give absolutely ZERO fucks! You might even think sometimes that you’ve swapped kids with some uncaring parent and they have your sweet and innocent baby hiding somewhere (but you’ll know deep down that’s not true).
And all the housework you’re able to do during the day and keeping your house clean while you’re baby is sleeping….I’m sorry to tell you that cuts in half (if not more) once they become a toddler. They have more energy to destroy the house than you have to keep it perfectly clean.
Don’t get me wrong, the toddler years have some great moments. Like when they learn to give you kisses, say “mama” or “dada”, or just want you to hold them and cuddle. But for the times when they aren’t being sweet and loving, I highly suggest you invest in some form of strong combat training (and keep the wine handy)…you’re going to need it.
Now, don’t think I’m saying I don’t love Junior, because I absolutely do love him with all my heart and soul. But sometimes….I swear he’s been secretly switched with baby Jack Jack (the version from the Incredibles 2) at some point while we’re sleeping at night.
What am I saying though, is if you think that sweet, innocent little newborn/infant that you’re holding now will be that way forever….you’re only lying to yourself. We all know it won’t last forever (it actually goes by faster than you can prepare for). There will be some sweet moments, they are just very far and few between.
Holy crap you guys! I had totally forgot how frustrating house hunting can be! Don’t get me wrong, I”m excited to be moving and looking forward to having our own place again…but holy cow finding the perfect forever home is stressful at times. The perfect house is usually way over priced, and the decent priced ones need more work than anyone in their right mind would be willing to put into them. It’s ridiculous. I know the perfect house for us is out there somewhere, I just wish it wasn’t so hard to find. How did you all find the perfect forever home for your families? Was it this stressful for you? Like I’m seriously on the verge of pulling my own hair out trying to find a good house for Andy and I and the boys. We are looking into rent to own houses, because we don’t want to just rent and then move again, we want to own it…but buying outright is just out of the question right now. I mean, why is that so hard to find for a 3 bedroom house!? Crap! I’m sorry you guys, I know this post really isn’t much of anything, it’s just me venting. But sometimes we all need to have somewhere we can vent out the frustrations of life. However, if any of you know of any helpful tips/tricks or websites or companies that do rent to own homes, PLEASE feel free to leave them in the comments below..they will be MORE than greatly appreciated!