5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Have Late Summer Fun

Summer isn't over until it's over. And that is not now! Here are our favorite budget-friendly ways to make the best of late summer. #DanimalsDoesSummer #AD

Make no mistake – summer isn’t over until it’s over.

If we’re being really honest, summer isn’t over until late September! Since we tend to go by the school year, and the ways of the New England cold winds, summer pretty much ends after Labor Day. Right now, though? The heat is rising and the air-conditioning is on! There’s a cold Danimals in Des’ hand and we’re plotting out, not our next road trip, but our next TWO road trips. That’s right – we’re enterprising summer-goers. It’s not over until the kids are in school, the sad end of summer songs are on the radio, and my favorite ice cream shop is closing its doors until April. Let’s not talk about that yet, though!

So put away your pencils and your books for now! (unless you’re Scarlet – she reads and writes all summer long!)

1 – Get wet! You don’t have to go to the beach or even the pool. Our town is rife with swimming holes, and we also have fun with our hose! I remember running through neighbors’ sprinklers as a kid! Especially ones close to the sidewalk.

2 – Get in the garden! As I write this, my daughter is watching a butterfly hatch and my son is collecting green beans from the garden. This is an immersive, economical way to pass the time, learn a few things, and get food to eat too!

3 – Have a lemonade stand. Not only do we throw pretty epic ones, but Scarlet and Des helped out at a friend’s stand last week and even earned some money! This is another fun, immersive learning experience. And you might turn a profit!

4 – Have a family game night. Don’t groan! This is actually super fun and leads to fits of laughter.

5 – Have a picnic. Bring cold foods to cool down! We get the Dannon ® Danimals® Yogurt Smoothies Strawberry Explosion® 12 pack from Walmart. Special note: it needs to be refrigerated! My kids are in love with these!

We love these long and hot days of summer, and we find we’re always on the go. Sports practices have already started, and Des has kindergarten play dates. Scarlet and Des both have camp, and our weekends are filled with fun road trips. We have all kinds of adventures planned. Danimals are great. The kids love the taste (and I do too) and we love the convenience of packing them for camp or in coolers for picnics and road trips. And they have great nutrition too!

Danimals dairy products are also a good source of calcium and vitamin D to help kids build their strong bones and regulate their muscle function. I mean it when I say that we go through our 12-packs quite happily and conveniently!

What do you do for fun in the late summer?

5 Everyday Dog Moments You Should Be Having

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

Do you have these 5 everyday dog moments you should be having? It's not too late to start! And you can earn $2 with Ibotta on Milk-Bone Farmer's Medley. #ad

For the full story, you can read it HERE. My husband, Cassidy, had been casually (or not casually) perusing photos of dogs in need of rescue and he fell in love with a young Husky/Basenji mix puppy who had a rough start to her life. Luckily through a wonderful rescue organization and foster family experience, he went to pick Athena up in Vermont one chilly morning a few years ago. We thought he was at work. Both kids were sick. Cassidy suddenly pulled into the driveway, ran into the house, and called for me to get my camera to photograph a supposed dent on his car. There was no dent. He was not at work.

Luckily I had my camera ready even though I had no idea what was about to change.

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And that is how we became rescue pet owners. The process was similar when we got our cat, although not as surprising since I was in on it. We have found the greatest love in our dog Athena, and we are so thankful every day that we rescued her, and she rescued us too. We have incredible times with her in the garden, and with snuggling, and at our town’s wonderful and adventurous dog park. Our eight-year-old takes an active part in her and training, and our five-year-old is amazing with Athena too. We are now avid rescue pet owners and supporters. We took a chance on her and she took one on us.

How do we pamper her and show her love? So many ways! For one, we buy her pretty awesome treats. I picked up Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley at Walmart recently, and they were such a hit, I had to try all the flavors for Athena. Her favorite?

Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley Grain Free with Turkey & Pumpkin Biscuits

I’m excited that Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley introduced such high quality treats. These treats have no fillers, corn, artificial preservatives or flavors. They make our dog moments even better. Athena was our first pet as a family of four, and she’s sat back patiently while we’ve since adopted Juniper, and 11 chickens. It occurred to me recently that I should be making sure I never take our time together for granted. It can be hectic and busy around here, but I need to always make time for my Athena. It’s important not to miss these dog moments.

5 Everyday Dog Moments You Should Be Having:

1 – One-on-one, PRESENT time. Just like with your kids, even if a dog has a different capacity for understanding, they do know when you’re fully with them, and not on your phone or watching TV. Even if it’s just snuggling. It’s enough.

2 – Go for a ride in the car! My childhood dog would freak out if you said “car” so we had to switch it to “ride in the car” and she would go berserk! It was the best feeling saying it to her, and then of course, taking her for a ride in the car!

3 – High quality dog treats. This probably goes without saying, if you know me, but it really matters. And they know! I suggest Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley for the high-quality treats.

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4 – Find that special scratch spot. You’ll know it when you find it, if you haven’t already. For Athena, it’s her armpits! I’m not sure they’re called “armpits” on dogs, but all I know is that she LOVES when I scratch them. It’s so awesome.

5 – Extra play time. Show your love with those everyday dog moments of play. Make up your own games, follow your dog’s lead, and see what happens. My kids make up elaborate games with Athena, and she’s always a willing participant.

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What’s your favorite thing to do with your dog everyday?