#Budgeting, #Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Self-Care, Traveling

10 Inexpensive Weekend and Daytrips from West, TN

Southern Living Experience

Living in the South brings its own perks. We have the opportunity to experience soul food and southern hospitality. The environments are always filled with a welcoming, laid back energy to all that are here to stay and those that roam. In fact, most natives of the southern states would not trade their experience for any other location in the United States. For those seeking a little adventure, living in the Mid-South has one perk in particular, it is literally driving distance or a day-trip from many landmarks and attractions. On this list, the hope is to gather new places to explore each weekend with your family.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is a city in Ohio, located on the Ohio River. The Over-the-Rhine district is known for its 19th-century architecture. There are also well known locations such as the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Google Maps lists this trip to be under 8 hours, driving distance from Memphis, TN.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

The longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky offers cave tours based on skill level. These tours range from novice to expert. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes from Memphis, TN.

Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach is a small city in Alabama. Spend the weekend skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Also, Orange Beach offers parasailing, dolphin cruises, fishing, and diving. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 7 hours from Memphis, TN.

Hardy, Arkansas

The small town of Hardy, AR has three museums, summer musical shows, bed and breakfast inns and several festivals each year. Cherokee Village, the state’s first resort/retirement settlement, is just southwest of town, offering lake activities and two championship golf courses. For those interested in fishing year round, this is your place. Google Map lists this trip as approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Memphis, TN.

New Orleans, Louisiana

“The Big Easy” is situated along the Mississippi River and is known for its heavy cultural influence in the South. Nightlife includes vibrant live music, French cultured cuisine, and Mardi Gras related festivities. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 6 hours from Memphis, TN.

Destin, Florida

Destin is known for its white beaches and emerald green waters. Originating as a small fishing village, it is now a popular tourist destination. Destin calls itself “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” as there are claims of this city having the largest fish in Florida. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 8 hours from Memphis, TN.

Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee

Located in Northwest, TN, Reelfoot Lake is known for fishing, boating, and eagle viewing. Reelfoot lake is a flooded forest. Tourists can find beautiful greenery on the shorelines and eagles high above the Cypress trees. Google Maps lists this trip as 2 hours from Memphis, TN.

Tupelo, Mississippi

Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. You can tour the Elvis Presley museum and reminisce at the statues of the late great performer. Tupelo also houses the Buffalo Park and Zoo where you can view bisons, zebras, and giraffes. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Memphis, TN.

Falls Creek Falls, Tennessee

Hike the trails to reach this magnificent waterfall in Tennessee. Fall Creek Falls is a 256-foot tall sheer-drop waterfall located in Fall Creek Falls State Park near Spencer, Tennessee. For those seeking to stay the weekend, this state park offers cabins and RV parking. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 6 hours from Memphis, TN.

#Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Parenting, Self-Care, Teachers, Weather

The Benefits of Walking or Running in The Rain

When it starts to rain, typically, the first instinct is to run and take cover inside. However, after reading this today, you may change your mind. This is because you will learn the health benefits of going out into the rain.

1. The air is purer.

After a heavy rainfall, the air is purer because as raindrops fall through the atmosphere, they have the ability to attract hundreds of particles of pollutants like dander, soot, sulfates and bacteria before hitting the ground.

2. Rain is good for your hair and skin.

Rain water is high in alkaline which is good for your hair and skin and does not contain harmful minerals. High levels of humidity in the air help keep your skin fresh.

3. Walks in the rain burn more calories and build more muscles.

Much like walks on the beach, walking or running in muddier surfaces forces you to use more muscle strength to move your legs and feet.

4. Chemicals released in the rain are stress reducing.

When water molecules crash together, as they do in falling rain, they create negative ions. Some researchers believe when these negative ions are inhaled, they create a chemical reaction that can reduce stress and anxiety. Read more on The Pyschology of Rain by clicking the link.

5. Running in the rain can increase metabolism and performance.

When performing any kind of exercise, your body’s temperature tends to increase, if you are working out in colder temperatures, the environment is helping cool your body and maintain a more stable temperature. This allows you to work harder for longer due to a lesser risk of overheating. As always, consult your Physician before trying a now workout regime.

6. Boost Your Immune System

This is done by exposing yourself to various different temperatures and life outside of the house. As a result, you will develop a stronger immune system for the future.

7. Connect with Nature

This is another way to connect with nature and it’s elements. Typically, we are indoors when it rains. It is a nice concept to embrace all of nature’s elements.

Read more here

Tips to Successfully Run in The Rain

1. Stay safe and inside if it is a severe storm or produces thunder, lightening, hail or tornadoes.

2. Dress appropriately in rain gear that will keep you somewhat dry. The goal is to enjoy the rain but not develop hypothermia or any other related illness.

3. Seal off electronics such as your iPhone or watch in a waterproof case.

#Literacy, Clever Kids Corner, Outdoor Activities, Virtual Learning, Weather

Different Types of Rain

Did you know that there are different types of rain?

Rain

Drops larger than drizzle (0.02 inch / 0.5 mm or more) are considered rain. Rain is liquid water that falls from a cloud in the form of droplets. Rain is one of the six main types of precipitation. One droplet of water spends on average around eight days in suspension before falling back to Earth as rain.

Drizzle

Drizzle is light rain falling in very small droplets. Drizzle drops have a diameter of usually less than 0.5 mm. The drops appear almost to float, and so make even slight movements of the air visible. The clouds that produce drizzle have low bases, usually less than 1,000 feet in altitude.

Ice Pellets or Sleet

Ice pellets form when a layer of above-freezing air is located between 1,500 and 3,000 meters (5,000 and 10,000 ft) above the ground, with sub-freezing air both above and below it. Ice pellets are a form of precipitation consisting of small, translucent balls of ice. Ice pellets originate as raindrops or snowflakes (less common) that generally fall from Altostratus or Nimbostratus. They fall into a subcloud layer of warm air where the snowflakes melt or partially melt, and then fall into a cold layer of air (below 0 °C) where they freeze and reach the ground as frozen precipitation.

Hail

Hail is pellets of frozen rain which fall in showers from cumulonimbus clouds. Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It is distinct from ice pellets, though the two are often confused. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is called a hailstone. Certain parts of the world receive more hail than others. China and Midwestern United States experiences frequent hail storms. In fact, the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada is called “Hail Alley.” Hailstones can cause extreme damage to buildings, vehicles, and crops.

Snow

Snow is precipitation in the form of ice crystals. Once an ice crystal has formed, it absorbs and freezes additional water vapor from the surrounding air, growing into a snow crystal or snow pellet, which then falls to Earth. Snowflakes are clusters of ice crystals that fall from a cloud. Snow may also crunch and creak. A layer of snow is made up of many tiny ice grains surrounded by air and when you step on it, you compress the grains.

Snow Grains

Snow grains are a form of precipitation. Snow grains are characterized as very small, white, opaque grains of ice that are fairly flat or elongated. Their diameter is generally less than 1 mm. Snow grains fall mostly from Stratus or from fog. Snow grains usually fall in small quantities in the mountains.

Ice Crystals

In very cold regions, they are falling crystals of ice in the form of needles, columns, or plates. Ice crystals are solid ice exhibiting atomic ordering on various length scales and include hexagonal columns, hexagonal plates, dendritic crystals, and diamond dust.

Clever Kids Corner, Outdoor Activities

Side Walk Chalk Inspiration Ideas

Sidewalk chalk is an inexpensive activity that provides hours of fun and encourages creativity!

Look below for some of my favorite sidewalk chalk ideas.

Trolls

Mystical Reading

Fish Out of Water

Future Fire Lady

Up, Up and Away!

Swinging the Day Away

Floating in Thin Air

Me and My Pet Dragon

Over the Rainbow

Photo Credits: NJ Family, Popsugar, S & S Blog

#Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Parenting, Traveling

7 Unique Bicycle Designs

Bird of Prey Bicycle

Photo credit: Bird of Prey

Talk about focusing on hamstrings! If you’re looking for an intense leg workout, grab this bike and go for it! However, it is on the pricy side ranging just under $5,000. To purchase this bicycle, click here.

Modular Cargo Bicycle

Photo courtesy of World Design Guide

This bike was created with the purpose of carrying cargo to a desired destination with ease, while cycling. The steering by cables provides exceptional maneuverability, allowing the fork to turn over 75° to the right and left.

Electric Bicycle

Photo courtesy of Lopifit Walking Bike

This walking bike, named the Lopifit Walking Bike, is a treadmill and walking bike combination. This bike takes major coordination and balance from riders. The bike is propelled by a 350W motor, powered by a 48V 20 Ah Lithium-Ion battery.

Elliptical Bicycle

Photo courtesy of StreetStrider 7i

This 7-gear bike allows the rider to cruise, sprint, and even climb steep hills. This bicycle can cruise up to 20 mph while holding up to 300 lbs. To learn more, click here.

Four-Wheel, Two-Seater Bike

Photo courtesy of Parbikes

According to Parbikes, this bike is much safer given the design. The rationale is that 4 wheels are safer than 2 or 3. This bike is sure to get attention and can even have attachments included to the rear! This quad bike is great for couples. To learn more about it, click here.

No Seater Bike

Photo courtesy of Viks

No seater bicycle. Sounds cool right? In fact a beautiful bicycle, however, it does require another level of skill. To learn more about this unique bike, click here.

No Pedals Bicycle

Photo courtesy of Fliz

Flintstones have competition! This bike is sure to work your legs out as it requires fast pace walking to work! You’re essentially pacing (half-walking, half-running) but traveling faster and further than you would normally, thanks to the two wheels. To learn more, click here.

#Healthy, Clever Kids Corner, Cooking, Nighttime Routines, Outdoor Activities, Parenting, Toddlers

13 Ways to Spend Quality Times With Your Children

Morning Routines

Our morning’s are extremely fast. Extremely. As I was thinking about how to spend more time with my children, it dawned on me that I was already doing that in the morning’s. In the morning’s when they brush their teeth and forget to mouthwash. In the morning’s when they lose one shoe or cannot find their homework. That’s the time. But I had to figure out how to make it quality. So I started asking questions. I’d ask questions like, what are you looking forward to most today? My oldest tends to give me an answer about hanging with her friends at recess or how she’s excited to discuss a recent TikTok with her classroom best friend. My youngest almost always looks forward to seeing her teacher. On the drive to school, we talk. Some days, they talk and I just turn the radio down and listen. They hop out and that’s it. It seems so little but that’s the quality time needed for them to start their days, everyday.

Nighttime Routines

Nights are a little different. This is because we’ve all had the chance to go into the world and come back home with the results of that day. Nights are not as rushed. They are calm. Nights are our moments to decompress and reflect. Again, they talk and I listen. They talk about their friends and who got into trouble. They talk about who burped in class and who tripped them at daycare. They talk and I listen. Sometimes I’ll ask a question and I almost always get a response. I accept both the good and bad responses. Some of the not so good responses are followed by a question by one of my children. They want to know ‘why.’ They eat dinner and talk and I listen. They get ready for bed and talk and I listen. Bedtime stories and bedtime videos on YouTube happen, sometimes by request. We all sit in bed and read or listen to a video and it’s calm. They search for sleep music on their TVs (yes, they have to sleep to sleep music every night). We hug before bed and off they go to dreamland to begin again the next morning. And that’s it. That’s the quality time.

Take Videos and Pictures Everyday

I am the mom with the camera aimed and ready 365 and 24/7. I have been taking pictures of my little ones for a decade and I don’t see that changing one bit. Take pictures. Take videos. Strangers will look at you strange. Do it anyways. You will look back at every picture and think of the good times. Both of my daughters absolutely love the camera! They have been in front of it since birth and it has become our version of quality time. We pose in strange locations and take pictures. We make silly faces. We make funny videos. We crack up at each other and that’s our quality time.

Movie Nights and Days

Lazy days. We all need them. We have our days when we just lay around and watch movies. They love it and I love it. The days turn into nights and we spend lots of time together on those days. I learn all about their new interests and ideas. I witness all of their new artwork. We watch movies and paint nails. They wash their dolls hair and they borrow my brush and comb to do the hair. We take naps. That’s the quality time needed. They are able to just be and still be accepted for the little children they are.

We Go To Church

We go to church. We sing and laugh and listen. Sometimes they sit with me and sometimes they visit the kids church. When they sit with me, they just listen. They absorb. They sometimes ask questions and listen more. We take pictures afterwards. We eat lunch and they laugh. My oldest makes jokes and the little one laughs hysterically. Most church days, they are full of energy!

Shopping and Ice Cream

Weekends! We get up and GO! We go shopping or browsing. We ride around and go into different stores. We walk around and they bring me random items they want or are curious about. We talk and laugh. My oldest pushes the basket and runs into shelves and people (sometimes). My youngest almost always gets in the basket (although, we all know she’s a little tall for the front part). They sneak stuff into the basket. My youngest hides under clothing racks and giggles. My oldest picks stuff up and plays dress up in the middle of the store. They both do cartwheels in the frozen food aisles. Sometimes, I just push the basket cluelessly because I know they are okay and they are just being children. We check out and they always fight over who will pull my card from the machine. My youngest loves putting groceries away and she’s quite good at it. I just let them be and that’s our quality time.

Game Night

We have game nights. I always lose. But both of my girls are very good! I’m not sure if I lose because I’m helping them each turn but somehow they manage to beat me, and that’s okay. We play Candyland. We play MyLife. We have karaoke competitions-for hours. They make jokes and laugh. When one of them starts the pout over losing, I pep talk them and they are okay again. They argue over turns. Sometimes tears. But then, we always end the night peacefully, somehow.

No Technology

Yes, that’s right. We have blackouts. No TV’s, no laptops or tablets. Even if it’s only for a few hours. Most times, this happens when tensions are high and I can tell we all need to decompress. Their first response is, ‘ahhhh nooo.’ After about 30 minutes, they are settled into the quiet. I might find one doing a crossword and the other washing her dolls hair. During this time, they are calm and present. My oldest tells me all kinds of facts, stories and ideas on her mind. My youngest likes to cuddle and tends to nap off and on.

I Cook, They Eat.

I’m not the best cook but they eat happily. They put their requests in early in the morning and I attempt to make it. It’s not always a winner but it’s a chicken dinner! Ha. They almost always compliment dinner. We talk and laugh. They waste food on the floor and on their clothes and on the table. They clean and keep talking my ear off. We laugh when someone burps or when it comes out the other end haha. Quality time.

1 On 1 Time During Dance Classes

Both of my girls have separate dance classes on separate days. This means one on one time! We go get our nails painted. We ride around. We jam out to music. Most importantly, we talk.

Going to Nana’s

Off to Nana’s we go! Nana always has the good snacks so they (and me) are always happy. They run around aimlessly. They play with bubbles. We play with water guns. We talk and laugh. They play outside and run away from bugs. My youngest cries. My oldest runs faster. We play with the baby cousin, neighbors and with dogs and house birds. We record videos. We eat. They talk and laugh.

Laundry and Clean Up Days

We have clean up days where we have to get everything back in order. They groan. I play music..loud, when needed. Sometimes, they jump right in. We compete to see who finishes first. My oldest always wins. They dance and clean. They sing and clean. They sometimes cry and clean. They complain and pout and clean. When it’s all clean, we relax. Everyone is back at peace when it is clean and all is well again. My oldest apologizes for pouting most times. My youngest could care less. Ha!

Park Days

On park days, they bring their bikes while I exercise. They play on the playground and sometimes asks to be recorded as they do flips. I record. They race on the track with their bikes and zoom past me. I challenge them to go faster by passing them on the track and they always pass me. I help my youngest on the monkey bars. My oldest pretends to climb across the monkey bars. They introduce me to their new buddies that they meet on the playground. We have picnics. We play with bubbles. We leave before dark, tired and wore out but happy. This is our quality time.

In a Nutshell

Hopefully you’re able to leave with new ideas to spend quality time with your little ones. Or maybe you could just relate to this post. Did I leave any out?

Comment below!