The little book with BIG resources!

Don’t Miss A Day Out With Thomas At Midland Railway!

If you haven’t been to Midland Railway in Baldwin City, Kansas yet, you’re missing out. They’re on a mission to keep the history of railroading alive with their unique seasonal events and special activities, including one that your family can take advantage of this weekend ONLY and don’t forget that you can save $2 per ticket using our exclusive code (at the bottom of this post) for your trip! Erin, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, had a chance to check out the limited time Day Out With Thomas and Friends this morning and is sharing her experience with you this evening on the blog. Take a look…

Don’t Miss A Day Out With Thomas At Midland Railway!

day out with thomas midland railway

ALL ABOARD! The FINAL weekend for Day Out with Thomas at Midland Railway is THIS weekend! My guys and I had the opportunity to check out the festivities in Baldwin City, KS, located about an hour or so from KC. Check out our day!

My husband, son, and I ventured out this morning and made a SUPER fun day of it!  They offered free parking with a shuttle bus from the elementary school.  It was my two year old’s first experience on a school bus so he was excited from the moment we got out of the car.  We arrived just in time for our departure on Thomas!  The look on his face when he saw the giant train with Thomas pulling it was best part of the whole experience for this momma!  He is a HUGE fan of trains, Thomas and all his friends!

The ride lasted about 35 minutes or so and takes you on a scenic tour of Baldwin City farmland!  When we got off the train and all the memorable pictures in front of Thomas were complete, we were free to check out all of the other many fantastic activities: bouncy house, Imagination Station, mini golf, gift shop, Sir Topham Hatt, story telling and videos, magic show and much more! The bounce house was the perfect size for little ones ages 2 to 6!  When you arrive you are provided a Passport to Friendship with 4 different “stamp stations” and once you complete your passport you get a little prize!

There is a gift shop with lots of fun exclusive Day Out with Thomas merchandise to remember your trip! We wrapped up our trip with lunch at Moose Backwoods BBQ, a restaurant located inside the gas station, on the way out of town.  It was pretty good (but I think as Kansas Citians we all know who rules the roost on the gas station BBQ thing!)

A combo ticket gets you a ride on Thomas AND on Percy!  Tickets are still available at midlandrailway.org. Be sure to use discount code IFKC2017 for $2 off each ticket! It was a great little day trip for my family and I definitely see another visit to see Thomas and the gang in our future!

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin

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6 Simple Ways To Make Life Easier

As moms, we are always looking for ways to make life easier and more simplified. As our little ones continue to grow (and grow, and grow!), life doesn’t seem to slow down no matter how much we wish it would. If you’re like me, and you’ve been trying to find ways to get more organized, you’re in luck. Today, on the blog, iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Sarah shares some simple ways to make life easier and you happier along the way! Take a look…

make life easier

6 Simple Ways to Make Life Easier – And You Happier!

I am constantly looking for ways to make my families’ life run smoother. And from my recent round of Facebook stalking, I can see that everyone else could benefit from this as well. And what a great time to start getting in these habits—summer! So when school starts up again you are ready to go!

I have tried all the Pinterest posts about posting a calendar for the family, running a chore chart, and organizing to your schedule but something always happens—one of the kids spills something on her dress which sends us all into a code 10 freak out mode or the dog chews up my razor and I can’t seem to find the other two blades which means a code 10 call to the vet. Whatever the issue our best laid plans don’t always go on schedule, so I am sharing with you just a few tips and tricks that I have found helpful. Will these all work for you? No. Will you be able to use all of them? Probably not. But hopefully adding a few things will create just a few more minutes and feel free to use those minutes for you. Cleaning the dog slobber off your black dress pants or something!

1. Sunday-Funday

Or as I like to call it Sunday-Plan Day, this usually means an hour or so planning out the week. My family did well at this for a little while, then we stopped, then we went back to a few things. Basically when it all works we can organize several things in this hour: we plan the weekly meals, pickup schedules, clothes, and after work/school activities. It basically gets my husband and I on the same page so we aren’t making the 4:45 in the afternoon call as to whether or not you can pick up the girls.

2. Planning Weekly Meals

If you buy for the week you know that everything is defrosted and in the fridge instead of the moment of panic when you realize you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer! It can also save a lot of money too; when you realize said chicken is not defrosted then you won’t spend additional money going through the drive thru on the way home! Everyone who knows me knows that I am huge proponent of the online grocery and pickup or delivery service. I can still find the best price and I trust the associates at my store to pick out the freshest items on my list. It makes me so happy that I don’t have to spend my weekend at ten grocery stores or drag the kids to the store only to strategically plan not to go near the candy or toy aisle. And you purchase right from your meal list no more and no less!

3. Planning Clothes For the Week

I personally can’t do this. I am what you can call an emotional dresser. I wake up and then decide what I want to wear; I get anxiety if I plan what to wear and then it doesn’t look right or it is just one of those days that black looks better! But for my girls I can still do this! I have learned to let them help with this planning, for anyone that asks it’s such a good learning tool to help them learn organization, days of the week, weather—but really? I can’t do the code 10 freak out when one is wearing a dress and the other wants to wear one too but that is not in their Monday box. Invest in 5 small plastic shoe boxes and a label maker and get to planning—make sure to include underwear and socks too!

4. Money Is The Root Of All

I am not the expert in financial planning. My husband and I have an “awkward financial discussion” about every month. So I refuse to give you tips on what works or what you can do. I will say that right along with that Sunday Plan Day is a Money Date. Communication and discussion about upcoming debits to the finances can save on many “AFDs” and this will help work into your budget as well. On our money date we look at the month, look at the budget and then always communicate in a non-judgmental and supportive way. We also take a look at last month and see where we need to improve. We can also look at any extra monies we may have coming in or going out.

I also may have an addiction to online shopping. Confession—there have been some months that packages have shown up on our door and I couldn’t tell you what they were! First of all take all those apps off your phone and disconnect the one touch buy on Amazon! When you have something that you just aren’t sure would fit into the budget this month and could be considered frivolous go ahead and add it to your cart but wait 48 hours before you click “buy”. If in that time you still feel like you need this then buy; most of the time though that 48 hours puts some perspective on if you really need the patriotic pillow covers!

5. Time Is Never On Our Side!

I am not one for clocks; I have never really been a fan of having them and especially not in the bathroom. I find myself checking everything and then hurrying and causing more chaos than it is worth. However, when my girls get up in the morning and are waiting for me to get ready I turn on a show for them, don’t judge me! Have you ever put mascara on while one is going in and out of your legs and keeps turning on the water in the bathtub to give the dog a drink? That morning I only put mascara on one eye—everyone at work thought I had pink eye! In any case I always put on a 30 minute show which means that I can time myself without having the use of a clock. Another tip along this same vein is creating a playlist for the time that you want to spend getting ready; once that playlist is running down you should be dancing out the door!

6. Outsource

Such a bad word in this day and age, maybe delegation sits a little easier.  It is okay to ask for help. A mantra that I am trying to learn myself but relying on your village to help with little things around the house or picking up something you forgot on your online grocery list is perfectly okay. Summer is the worst for things like this; even though it is summer break we are almost busier on weekends and in the evenings than we ever were when school was in session. My girls’ birthdays are both in the summer and from previous blog posts I am sure that you know I don’t go small when it comes to birthdays so planning and preparing for these starts in May. Right now I have my mom tying together silverware packets! Something that isn’t much but would have taken more time than needed to when I could be focusing on other things.

From iFamily to Yours,

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