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8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

May 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessNo comments yet

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We’re back at it with another Work It Wednesday from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. This week she’s giving us the inside look in why gym friends are the best friends to have. So, get ready to get active and find your tribe. Take a look!

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

 

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the
Best of Friends for Mamas

 

Alright guys, if you’ve been reading my posts, you already know that I spend lots of time in the gym.  And sometimes lots of time in the gym can mean being away from friends and family.  But I am lucky enough to have made some incredible friends at the gym, and they not only make my workouts worth it, but they have become a huge part of my life.  I am not sure where I would be without them.  Here are some reasons why they are the best.

#1 They see you at your worst—and they love you anyway.

I mean, seriously, who looks good at the gym?  Who looks good sweating it out and pushing themselves until their arms shake and they can’t do anymore reps?  Well, I guess some people do.  I am definitely not one of them.  I sweat like a pig, I have a terrible lifting face, and while I love workout clothes, they’re not what I wear when I am dressing to impress.  And yet these amazing people still talk to me.

#2 They support you, even when you don’t want them to.

I can’t begin to tell you how many of my gym friends have offered support, not just during a tough class, or when I was training for half marathons, but in real life situations.  I had thyroid surgery and they were all checking on me.  I was struggling with some stressors and they offered to help.  I didn’t want to go run one day and they dragged me out there and reminded me that we always run on Mondays.  I didn’t want them to support me at that moment, but I am so glad they did.

 

#3 They make you want to come to the gym.

Not feeling your workout today, but dying to chat with your friend about what happened on Dancing with the Stars last night?  Better get your butt to the gym and talk about it.  They’ll be glad to see you.

 

#4 They push you to do better.

I used to be a stuck in a rut, boring workout person.  I went to the gym daily, did 40 minutes on the elliptical machine and then went home.  Until one fateful Saturday when my now dear friend Larry approached me and said, in his amazing, unfiltered way “aren’t you ever going to do anything else?”  Then he walked me through 3 other cardio machines that morning.  I woke up so sore the next day and completely in love with my new routine.  Then he started challenging me to come try some classes.  I was hooked.  So in a sense, I owe a lot of my fitness passion to him.

 

#5 They keep you sane.

My gym time is my calm time, my sane time.  These people are my friends and we vent and we destress and we take out our frustrations on some weights.  We shake away our stress in a Zumba class.  We laugh until we cry when one of us makes a clutsy move during class.

 

#6 We aren’t just gym friends.

These amazing people have become part of my life.  We talk outside of the gym.  We have girls nights and playdates and park time and we are a part of each other’s every day.  I am so blessed to have these people and know that they have my back.

 

#7 They become the voices inside your head.

When I am out running by myself and I want to quit, I can hear them in my head telling me that I can’t give up yet.  When I hear one of our favorite workout songs on the radio I hear them all singing along.  When I think about skipping a class or not going because it looks too challenging, I hear them telling me to suck it up and just go.

 

#8 They just get it.

There is something about pushing through a tough class with a room full of people that bonds you, whether you like it or not.  There’s a comradery that comes from working out together.  You can look at each other in the middle of a particularly tough class and just know that they get it.  The struggle is real.  And you’re not alone in it.

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

 

Now these people aren’t just limited to people I take classes with.  I have friends from the gym who don’t take classes.  Who I started chatting with because they lift at the same time I do on weekday mornings.  People who I stopped to ask questions when I was first starting, or who asked me some when they were new.  Somehow seeing someone every day and not at least saying hello seems strange to me.

I have a fantastic group of gym friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  They have become some of my best friends and the people I talk to the most.  They are my tribe.   I just hope they all know how much I appreciate them.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

May 23, 2017 at 12:08 PM • Posted in Creative FunNo comments yet

Howdy Kansas City! The school year is probably wrapping up for many of the kiddos, it’s time to start looking for some fun activities for the family. Summer doesn’t have to mean expensive vacations and extended amounts of traveling. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great ideas for for a staycation here in the Kansas City metro. Check it out!

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

 

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For
Kansas City This Summer

 

Can y’all believe it will be summer soon!? No school, stores are open late and one of the best things ever created… VACATION! Who doesn’t love that?! We rarely take a summer vacation in our house because we take a long one in the Fall (10 days, so worth it!). So we try our best to do our very own family staycation! If you are unfamiliar with a staycation, it is basically vacationing at home but you do special things you wouldn’t normally do during the year.

There are so many fun things you can do during a staycation. Kansas City is a very family friendly city and there is always something for everyone to enjoy. So, get out your planner, pens, highlighters or whatever you use and start planning your family staycation.

 

1. Amusement parks

Take a day and visit one of Kansas City’s parks! Check out Worlds of Fun for exciting rides and games, Oceans of Fun, Schlitterbahn and Paradise Park are a few!

2. Museums

Kansas City is rich in history and art. Plan a day or week to venture off to see various museums for all ages and interests. There is the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Negro League Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, National WWI Museum and MORE!

3. Downtown Restaurants

Living Downtown gives you an advantage when it comes to exploring. Everywhere you go you are seeing something new. The are so many amazing restaurants downtown, I know everyone will be happy! Start with a family favorite like Chipotle or Jason’s Deli. Fritz’s or Crayola Cafe at Crown Center. Or you could venture a little further south towards the Plaza for Seasons 52 or Fogo de Chao!

4. Exhibits

Exhibits are always fun because they are only around for a limited time. This really makes you feel like you are on vacation lol. Union Station has different exhibits throughout the year. Currently they have a Pompeii exhibit (ending soon) but starting June 23, you can explore real mummies from around the world!

5. Campouts

Plan a campout in your very own backyard! Pitch a tent, fire up a grill or fire and enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own home.

6. Movie under the Stars

Throughout the summer, Crown Center and other suburbs around the metro area host movie nights outside. You can plan to head out to a free show, the drive in or if able, watch one in your own yard!

7. Water Park DIY

Sometimes, it’s just too hot to go anywhere, wait in lines and really just leave the house. So turn your backyard into your own water park! Using pools, hoses and a few other miscellaneous items, you can bring the party to you! Check out Pinterest for some super easy ideas for all ages.

8. Parents Night Out

A lot of places around town offer parents night out. From churches to rec centers, theses are becoming more popular for both parents and kids. So why not finally take them up on that offer and plan a night out with your spouse and go dancing, eat at a fancy restaurant or meet up with friends! Parents Night Out usually lasts for about 3-4 hours so take a breather and enjoy some adult time!

9. Go Hiking/Biking

Nothing beats free during the summer time. With so many trails and parks around the metro area, got for a hike or ride through some trails. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of water!

10. Spend the night in a hotel

Just because you are not leaving your area doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the comfort of a nice hotel. Check out the rates of some of your favorite ones and enjoy a night away from the house. *Pro tip, make sure your hotel offers free wifi and breakfast to avoid extra costs*

I hope these ideas are enough to get you in the zone for planning your family staycation. I know my kiddos and I are already packing out our calendar!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale This Summer

May 22, 2017 at 8:32 PM • Posted in Organizing Family ChaosNo comments yet

Well, Kansas City! It is that time of year again. The sun is (mostly..) shining, the trees are blooming, and the garage sales are forming! If you’re looking to rid yourself of some stuff this summer, check out our Mom Squad Ambassadors tips to make your garage sale fun and successful!

 

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale This Summer

 

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale
This Summer

 

Summer is here! Which means vacations, pools, grilling and—my favorite—garage sales! Here are some Pro Tips on how to throw a successful garage sale together quickly and painlessly.

 

#1 Get the word out.

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale This Summer

 

Post your garage sale for free on CraigsList.org. Pick up signs at The Dollar Store and put bold arrows (we’re talking black Sharpie here, not a pen) on them, clearly directing cars to your house from the main streets. Find out if your neighborhood (or a nearby one) is planning on doing a neighborhood-wide sale and piggyback on that traffic.

 

#2 Price to sell.

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale This Summer

 

Ok, first: If you want to get the most money out of your stuff, a garage sale is NOT the way to go. Try eBay, CraigsList or Facebook’s Marketplace and connect with buyers who are searching for exactly what you have to sell. Garage sale items need to be priced at you-don’t-need-this-but-it’s-so-cheap-you-kind-of-do-now prices.

 

Kid clothes. These can be really hard to part with, but if you want to move them, you’ve gotta price them $1 piece. Yes, even those precious overalls your toddler looked sooooo cute in.

 

#3 Group smaller items together. 

 

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale This Summer

 

Instead of individual kitchen tools, rubber band 3-4 together and sell as a set. We had a whole bunch of toy musical instruments and instead of trying to sell them each individually, I put them in one box and sold them as “A Band in a Box.” Some cool, but foolish mother loved the fun idea as an activity for her kids and bought them.

 

#4 Make it easy.

8 Super Tips to Throw a Successful Garage Sale This Summer

 

I don’t have the time or patience to individually price all my items, so I grouped 90% of my items by price and had a $1 table, $2 table and $5 table. For bigger items, I made signs and taped right on the item.

 

Use sidewalk chalk to advertise prices. Ex. $1 each

 

Don’t mess with coins. Round everything up (or down) to the nearest dollar. If anything isn’t worth a dollar, throw it in the FREE box. Getting something for free will usually encourage shoppers to find something to buy, too.

 

#5 Beware.

Garage sales are prone to theft so be alert and smart. Avoid selling anything small and valuable that you can’t keep an eye on. And keep your sale money on you at all times. Avoid using a purse or cash box that someone can walk away with.

 

Examine large bills. I once had two teenage kids pick up the first cheap thing they saw and try and pass off a counterfeit $100 bill at my garage sale. Fortunately, my eagle-eyed sister rejected it before we lost $95 in change.

 

#6 Get your kids involved.

We lucked out with great weather during our garage sale so it was a good excuse for our whole family to be outside. My kids learned quickly the advantage of clearing out old stuff in exchange for some cash. They each took a table and offered help (probably too much) and assistance in selecting items. If anything sold from their table, they earned a commission.

 

#7 Get rid of it.

If someone wants your beloved lamp for $30 instead of $40, just give it to them and be glad to see it getting a new home.

 

Saturday around noon is about when all garage sale goers pack it up and go home so don’t plan on many customers after that. Right around the noon mark, start making deals. People will buy more when tempted with a good deal. We had one last car pull up while I was just starting to pack up so I told them everything was half off. I made another $90 off stuff that was just going to be packed up.

 

#8 Give it to a good cause.

Repeat after me:  Do NOT bring anything back into the house. Box up anything that didn’t sell and donate it to charity.  These organizations upcycle your items for a good cause and offer free pickup:

Ozanam

Sherwood Center

Or, drop off your items at a Goodwill location near you. Don’t forget to get a receipt so you can claim fair-market value tax deductions for your donation on your next tax return.

 

Becky Ervin is a Creative Director, mother of three, and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

Come Find Our Mom Squad This Summer Around Kansas City!

May 22, 2017 at 4:31 PM • Posted in Creative FunNo comments yet

Howdy, Kansas City! Our Mom Squad has a busy few months ahead with all of the great events we have going on around the metro. There is something for every person and every family, so why don’t you come find us and explore a little bit of the city? We look forward to seeing you!

 

 

Come Find Our Mom Squad This Summer Around
Kansas City!

 

Clear your schedule and get ready for some awesome events this summer/ early fall throughout Kansas City! The iFamily #MomSquad will be out at some of the most anticipated events of the year and I for one am super excited! So make sure you mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

1. Lee’s Summit Downtown Days

June 2-4: This weekend long event is filled with music, food, craft vendors and even a Carnival! Prices do vary based on the vendors but Sunday is wristband day, you can purchase a wristband for $20 and get unlimited rides all day! Head over to their website for daily hours!

2. KC Baby Fair

June 11: Tickets to this event are $8 in advance or $12 the day of the show. Kids 12 and under are free! The KC Baby Fair will be located at the Overland Park Convention Center from 10:00am- 3:00 pm. This event is a must for expecting, or new moms! There will be great giveaways, freebies, learning tools and everything you need for your new little one.

3. Just for Her Expo

June 23-25: This event is perfect for the women in your life! The Just for Her Expo has everything from fashion & accessories to food, beauty and wellness. This event will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center. Tickets are $5 online or $8 at the door. They even have a few VIP tickets left for even more fun ($25 online only). Kid 12 and under are welcome and free to attend. Head over to their website for more information on daily hours!

 4. Docks Dogs at Scheels

July 29-30: The fun filled DockDogs, premier canine aquatic competition! This free event is located at Scheels of Overland Park, home of the giant ferris wheel! Come out and enjoy the competition, see cool tricks and meet some pups!

5. Chick Event: Handmade & Vintage

September 15-17: The ultimate craft event will arrive early this Fall! Head out to Johnson Farms in Belton, Mo September 15th-17th for unique handmade and vintage items from over 100 vendors! You can also enjoy live music, food & drinks plus fun kids activities. You can buy your tickets starting 13th. General admission is $5 or you can grab a weekend pass for only $8. Kids 12 and under are free!

 

We will be at so many more events throughout the year so make sure you keep checking back for updates and announcements! See y’all soon!

 

From iFamily to Yours,
Your iFamilyKC Team

 

Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

May 20, 2017 at 4:37 PM • Posted in Creative FunNo comments yet
Are you a Hello Kitty fan? Our very own Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has a great suggestion for a “Kitty” experience. Town Center has welcomed a Hello Kitty food truck, with great theming, and great fun for anyone who has an infinity for the cute little character. Check it out!
Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of Hello Kitty! If you know someone who is even close to a fan of this mania that is Hello Kitty then you probably were at the same place I was on Saturday—The KC stop of the Hello Kitty Café food truck. Making its annual stop in Kansas City and, in particular Town Center in Leawood, I was amazed at the popularity. Hello Kitty is part of the Japanese company, Sanrio.
Appearing over 40 years ago with just one tiny coin purse, this massive empire now boasts over $600
million in revenue each year. Most of you will probably remember this craze during the 80’s and 90’s—and it has never lost its speed. The Hello Kitty US headquarters, located in Irvine, CA is considered the mecca to all things Hello Kitty and also a large player in the annual Hello Kitty Con located in Los
Angeles.
The Hello Kitty Café was born to bring the brand and this celebrity in her own right to the rest of the country. Depending mostly on social media and Town Center to promote this visit in particular, I was greeted by over 500 people waiting in line to purchase their goodies from the truck. I saw people decked out in their Hello Kitty merchandise, taking pictures, laughing and purchasing their collectible merchandise. The café’s menu is fairly simple; cookies, small cakes, bottled water, and merchandise
including a bow (of course) a mug and t-shirt. I spoke with one woman whose husband brought her for
Mother’s Day; but I am not sure if they were standing in that line! Another said they were there to line
up an hour before the café even opened at 8AM, she said the line had already formed and although their wait wasn’t too long, those that decided to make a last minute trip were probably met with at least a 2 hour wait.
Honestly I didn’t know that Hello Kitty was still this popular, and especially not in the Midwest. I remember always having to make a trip to Bannister Mall to the Hello Kitty store and oh how I wish I
would have kept some of that merchandise! Looking through the crowd you can see that Hello Kitty
appeals to so many and from so many different age groups, one of the most recognizable characters in
the world is truly an understatement. It was fun to take a step back into this sense of nostalgia and
introduce my girls to it. What an amazing event, one that I am sure a lot of people hope to make an
annual stop on the Hello Kitty circuit!
From iFamily to Yours,

8 Tech Maintenance Tasks Everyone Forgets About, but Really Shouldn’t

May 18, 2017 at 4:05 PM • Posted in TechnologyNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! We’re here with another Tech Thursday. Today, Burton Kelso gives some easy maintenance tasks (that are often overlooked) that we should all take a look at and follow up on. Take a look!

8 Tech Maintenance Tasks Everyone Forgets About,  But Really Shouldn't

 

8 Tech Maintenance Tasks Everyone Forgets About,
But Really Shouldn’t

 

Hey Everyone!

 

With so many tech devices in our lives these days, it’s important to stay on top of maintenance that needs to be done periodically on your computer, smarthphone and tablets to keep things running smoothly. Here’s a look at some tasks that are often put on the back burner, but should really be carried out regularly.

1. Update your Wi-Fi router.

If you’re experiencing slow Wi-Fi speeds, spotty connections, updating your router can help. Routers usually have a life of 5 years, so if your router is over 5 years old, it’s time to replace it. For best performance, use the router provided by your Internet provider.

2.Keep Your operating system and other software updated

Most computer and smart devices will automatically download updates, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re running the latest and greatest for security and functionality. If you’re not sure, you can give us a call and we can tell you what version of software your device should be running.

3. Clean up storage space.

Got old programs or files you no longer use? Uninstall them and delete those old files. Computers and laptops have unlimited storage, so it’s not as important to clean out old files on those as opposed to your tablet or smartphone which has limited storage. When you device fills up, it can slow down the performance.

4. Backup data regularly.

Backing up your data regularly is one of the most important tasks you need to do. All devices are vulnerable to failure, so it’s always a good idea to back up your stuff. I recommend taking a three step approach to backing things up; by having a local backup of your important files on an external drive; a backup of your most important files to a cloud service like OneDrive or Dropbox; and a full system off-site backup using a service like Carbonite.

5. Clean up your equipment.

If you have a desktop computer or a laptop, it ends up collecting a lot of dust internally, so it’s a good idea to blow it out with canned or compressed air. This will keep your computer from overheating.

6. Restart your computer:

Letting your computer hibernate or sleep is great, but once in a while you need to restart you computer. Shutting down or restarting your computer every once in a while will free up resources and keep your computer running smoothly.

 

7. Reset your modem

Every few months it’s a good idea to reset your Internet modem. To reset your modem, simply unplug the power cord for a few seconds and plug it back in. That will trigger any updates your cable provider has sent to your modem and you can enjoy the faster speeds.

 

8. Check for updates on game consoles

Usually game console will either update in the background or let you know that an update is available. But you might want to manually check for updates on occasion so you know you’re getting the best performance from your entertainment device(s).

 

Following these simple tips can help ensure your devices are running at optimal performance with fairly minimal effort. Keep in mind that you’ll need to carry out most of the tips listed above on a regular basis so it’s good to get into the habit of performing them.

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site and remote technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, Kansas City Live, and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

New & Expecting Parents Join Us For Baby Love-Kansas City’s Only Baby Fair!

New & Expecting Parents Join Us For Baby Love-
Kansas City’s Only Baby Fair!

Oh Baby! If you are expecting or have a little one at home, Baby Love, KC’s Only Baby Fair is the place to be!
Join us for a day of pampering, learning and connecting with resources in Kansas City to make the parenting journey easier.
Plus, as a bonus for coming, there are swag bags stuffed with samples, gift cards and baby items for the first 250 EXPECTING mamas.
Grab your advanced tickets here and save! 
$8 in advance, $12 at the door
Does your company offer a product or service that you know would benefit New and Expecting families in Kansas City?
Do you want to get your information in front of 3,000+ of these families who are eager to learn about how you can make their parenting journey less stressful?
Limited Vendor Spots Are Still Available!
For more information about reserving booth space
and/or becoming a sponsor contact:
Kristal at (620) 786-5039 or EMAIL
Visit: Baby Love Facebook Page

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Your iFamilyKC Team

5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

May 14, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in Family Events & ActivitiesNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! As spring winds down, and summer ramps up, you may be looking for fun and affordable day trips near the metro. You’re in luck — our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, gives you five options for the upcoming season. Check them out and let us know in the comments where you’re going!

5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

School is out in a few weeks. And if you weren’t aware I am sure that you have a kid that is counting
down the days! I am always one for a celebration—just ask my husband, anything; good grades, cleaned
up their room, brushed their hair, didn’t color on the dog! I am also a big fan of getting out of town for a
few days. Combine those two and you have the perfect recipe for an End of School Road Trip! The other
thing—my kids can make it about 5 hours and then the questions start, which I realize is pretty good for
most kids, but basically this is when the movies start to get old! So this week I have included some off the beaten path road trips within 5 hours of the metro that are sure to keep all members of the family entertained!

 5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

1. Tanganyika Wildlife Park

1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, KS 67052
(3 hours, 8 minutes)

Tanganyika Wildlife Park is a family-owned zoo which has one of the largest animal collections in Kansas. With over 40 exhibits including several interactive stations this is definitely one to add to your list. Tanganyika is the only place in the US where you can interact with ring-tail lemurs in their island habitat and feed Indian rhinos and pygmy hippos. From most of the reviews that I read, it is a great place for younger kids—more animals in a smaller area to save their little legs (and grandparents too!). If you still can’t get enough zoo the Sedgwick County Zoo is close as well and has some great exhibits as well.

 5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

2. Ha Ha Tonka State Park

1491 State Road D, Camdenton, MO 65020
(2 hours, 41 minutes)
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located in the Lake of the Ozarks area. If you like hiking then this is the place
for you! One of the highlights is a turn of the century castle built high on a bluff and more than 15 miles
of walking trails. These trails lead to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves and of course to the lake itself! Just head down for the day and pack a lunch for a picnic or decide to make a camping trip out of it!

 5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

3. Eureka Springs, AR

(3 hours and 50 minutes)
If you think that Eureka Springs is just bed and breakfasts and ghost inhabited hotels then you are only half right. Eureka prides itself on its fabulous festivals, I personally love the St. Patrick’s day celebration
and have participated many times, they just had their May Festival celebration and there are several more throughout the summer—just check to make sure they would be fun for the kids! The city itself is
nestled in the Arkansas hills and makes for a great walking area, there are tons of eccentric shops and
art galleries, and always good music to find in many areas of the city, especially during Blues Weekend. Plan on staying the night in either The Crescent or The Basin, both have their share of ghost stories but
their true draw is how they pull you into the vintage feel of the city. I have stayed at both but I don’t think got an ounce of sleep because the lights were always on and I was constantly checking under the
bed!
5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

4. Roaring River State Park

12716 Farm Road 2239, Cassville, MO 65625
(3 hours, 17 minutes)
I grew up in Southwest Missouri, so I have spent quite a bit of time exploring Roaring River. I have incredible memories from here sharing times with my grandparents, parents and friends. Trout fishing is obviously its biggest draw but there are also great things to do and see for the whole family. The park is one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation and stocked each night. When you walk past the tank
wave your arm like you are throwing food, cruel but kind of funny too! There are seven trails that lead
through the hills including Deer Leap Trail that ends overlooking the fish hatchery. There are options to
camp as well as rent a cabin for the weekend; but double check to make sure of these arrangements before you go, southwest Missouri had some major flooding which has shut down a lot of their camping
throughout the area.
5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

5. Amana Colonies

622 46th Avenue Amana, IA 52203
(4 hours, 29 minutes)
Celebrating a rich heritage in arts and crafts and taking visitors away from the hustle and bustle of busy
life, the Amana Colonies have something for everyone. There is some type of event every weekend at
the colonies from a dog speed racers competition to woodworking festivals. In fact the Wurst Festival: A
Celebration of all things Sausage was named the Best New Event of 2015 by the Iowa Tourism Commission. There are many places to stay camping, bed and breakfasts, and hotels nearby.

What are some of your favorite places to visit near the metro? Let us know in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,

Swing into Summer with this Fun Park & Picnic Night

May 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in Family Events & ActivitiesNo comments yet

Howdy, Kansas City! Becky, one of our Mom Squad Ambassadors, is sharing one of her favorite family summer traditions today with this picnic and park night. Kansas City has a wealth of fantastic parks, so why not pack up some food, and head out to the great scenery in the metro? Take a look at how Becky does it below.

Swing into Summer with this Fun Park & Picnic Night

 

Swing into Summer with this Fun Park & Picnic Night

 

This Summer, once a week, our family is going to make it a Park & Picnic night. That means after work/preschool/camp, we’ll all head to a new park each week to play, explore and eat dinner.

This is fun for our kids because dinner is always better when surrounded by slides and swings. This is fun for me because it means NO cooking and—even better—NO clean up required! Plus, big bonus: The kids burn up all their extra energy for the day so they go to bed like champs.

It’s a very easy and cheap family fun night. Below are lots of ideas to make your own Park & Picnic night a success.

 

Picnic Smorgasbord Ideas:

• Baby dill pickles
• Baby carrots
• Celery sticks
• Cherry tomatoes
• Cucumber slices
• Zucchini slices
• Cheese slices or sticks
• Pepperonis
• Salami
• Turkey or Ham slices
• Dinner rolls
• Pretzels
• Dried apricots
• Grapes
• Strawberries
• Blueberries
• Pineapple
• Cherries
• Watermelon slices
• Popcorn

Basically, anything that Charlie Brown would serve for Thanksgiving is perfect.

Pro Tips:

• Invest in a Tupperware-like container with individual compartments. That way it’s one thing to carry but the juice from the pickles won’t get on the pretzels (“GROSS MOM!”).

• Just set the spread of food out and give your kids the freedom to come and go from the picnic table to the playground as they please. If you try and force (sorry, “encourage”) them to eat first, they won’t eat much because they’ll be too excited about playing.

• Skip the paper products and bring heavy plastic plates or bowls instead that won’t blow away.

• Bring a container of baby wipes instead of napkins because, again, wind.

• Pack the kids’ water bottles. They are earth-friendly, you can add ice, and they hold more water than a plastic bottle of water so no one goes thirsty. Plus, there is no confusion (or mental breakdowns) over the owner of each water bottle. (Heaven forbid your little brother accidentally takes a sip out of yours.)

• Each week introduce a new fruit (mangos, kiwi or apricot slices) to mix things up and expand taste buds. It’s amazing what kids will try after they’ve built up an appetite.

• Save dessert for the car ride home. How else are you going to convince them it’s time to go home?

• If you aren’t up for finding new parks every week, take one new activity to the same park with you each week to mix things up: Balls, sidewalk chalk, bikes, bubbles, etc.

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three, and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

Check Out These Fun Summer Traditions around Kansas City

May 12, 2017 at 7:56 AM • Posted in Family Events & ActivitiesNo comments yet

Happy Friday, Kansas City! Not only are we coming up on the weekend, but summer break is right around the corner. We here at iFamilyKC reached out to our Mom Squad to share some of their favorite summer traditions, and Brigette did not disappoint. She shares a few of her fun and simple traditions below. Take a look!

Check Out These Fun Summer Traditions around Kansas City

Check Out These Fun Summer Traditions around
Kansas City

In our family traditions come in many, many forms. Some of my favorite traditions are during summertime. Typically we would be celebrating the last days of school and having field days. Before moving back to Kansas City, one thing we always did was go on family vacations to visit Kansas City and explore my childhood town. Since we’ve moved back, we will continue some of our old traditions and start some new ones as well!

 

Our first tradition is visiting water/splash parks.

I’m a sucker for free, so this is always on my to do list during the summer. One of our favorite splash parks is located at Pearson park in the Turner district. There are Picnic tables right next to the park so it’s perfect for taking sack lunches and enjoying popsicles. My family and I could stay there all day!

 

Our next favorite tradition is dollar shows and matinees.

My kids love the movies but I hate paying full price for tickets because they’ll end up missing a third of the movie anyway. Most Cinemark’s have summer family deals where they show classic family movies and have super discounted tickets! On days when it’s just too hot to do anything we head straight for the movies, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Our newest tradition will now be visiting Dallas.

My kids have spent most of their lives there so I know it will be great to see old friends and of course our family! Believe it or not but my family enjoys road trips! I know it sounds crazy, but there is something about exploring the different routes and cities along the way! We just make sure we pack EXTRA snacks and toys to keep them occupied.

 

Writing this piece has me so excited for summer and the adventures that await us!

 

From iFamily to Yours,