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?

This Busy Working Mama’s Guide to Snacking Smarter

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s Special K. All thoughts, opinions, and obvious product passions are 100% my own.

I'm a mama of 2, a professional photographer, and a blogger. Here are my top tips for snacking SMARTER on busy days with NEW Special K Snack Bars and Bites!

Do you want to see what my happy place looks like? It’s a bit like this:


I am a snacker times a million. It’s in my nature and it’s how I operate best. During my hungriest days – a major growth spurt in high school – I had to snack every couple of hours. During my busy days now, it’s honestly about the same. Especially with work and travel, we have to rely on GOOD snacks! Now you’re probably wondering about me giving you snack tips, right?

Right. I’m a professional snacker! I have credentials! Not really, but what I am is a busy and fairly fit working mother of two, who needs to eat a LOT of snacks. When I worked in an office job, many moons ago, the vending machine options were deplorable. I didn’t yet care because I was younger and fairly convinced of my own invincibility, but something about turning 30 or turning into a parent changed that for me. It’s all about various flavors and better options during my snack breaks.

I'm a mama of 2, a professional photographer, and a blogger. Here are my top tips for snacking SMARTER on busy days with NEW Special K Snack Bars and Bites!

You probably already know this, but if not, allow me to introduce myself. I have two kids – four and seven – and I’m both a photographer and a blogger. To say I work hard is putting it lightly. I think a lot about snacking moments lately, because in my career(s), this is getting closer to the season for longer and more trying days. Whether it’s teaching an online photography course, photographing two babies in a row, or attending a blog conference in a city new to me, I have to channel my energy.

I'm a mama of 2, a professional photographer, and a blogger. Here are my top tips for snacking SMARTER on busy days with NEW Special K Snack Bars and Bites!

I'm a mama of 2, a professional photographer, and a blogger. Here are my top tips for snacking SMARTER on busy days with NEW Special K Snack Bars and Bites!

I keep my life on planners, Post-It notes, and apps. I’m not a morning person, but I often start the day doing wake up and breakfast for two kids and two dogs – unless I’m lucky and Cassidy gets there first – and then it’s two school drop-offs. Then I manage my time between blogging, content creation, photography shoots, and editing. I also take (occasional) barre classes and do (almost) daily walks at the dog park. I have nearly every minute accounted for until 3:00pm hits, which is when I pick up the first of my kids. As a mom, a career woman, a photographer who (occasionally) goes on long shoots, and an avid (or wants to be) traveler, snacks are king. Do you KNOW about these delicious gems? Allow me to introduce them, if not.

First, there’s New Protein Snack Bar flavors: Caramel Pretzel Cashew, Chocolate Cherry Nut:

Next, we have New Nourish Snack Bar flavors: Caramel Almond Sea Salt, Chocolate Coconut Cashew:

Then, there’s New Protein Snack Bites flavors: Caramel Nut, Peanut Butter Chocolate:

Lastly, here’s New Nourish Snack Bites flavors: Blueberry Almond Quinoa, Dark Chocolate Pistachio:



As you can see above, Special K is extending its already awesome snack offerings to include brand new Nourish and Protein Bars and Bites. They deliver great taste, portability and wholesome ingredients – all perfect for busy, on-the-go lifestyles. Special K Nourish Snack Bars have a great taste and contain real, visible ingredients – like quinoa, pistachios, almonds and dark chocolate. Special K Nourish Bites pack these same big flavors into ultra-portable, bite-sized morsels. Since I’m a big fan of protein, I love that Special K Protein Snack Bites pack up to 9 grams of delicious protein, and the Protein Bars offer 8 snackable grams. This makes them the perfect treat for an extra protein punch.

Are you a snacker? Here are eight tips to snack smarter:

1 – Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. You’ll know when you’re full, and the feeling will last longer.

2 – Pair proteins and carbs. Carbs provide your body with energy, and proteins help fill you up.

3 – Indulge in and savor one small treat a day.

4 – Snack mindfully – the way you work mindfully.

5 – Make your snacks COUNT by getting essential vitamins and minerals in your snacks, the way you do with meals.

6 – Pack your own snacks (Like Special K Snack Bars and Bites) so you won’t rely on vending machines, or worse.

7 – Do you snack late at night? Try a snack that promotes better sleeping.

8 – Travel is a great way to learn better snacking habits. You’re out of your comfort zone, you have to be creative, and you need snacks that promote energy. Take that knowledge with you into snacking in your regular life. And always hydrate.

Connect With Special K!

Special K now allows you to “think outside the bowl.” For more information about their new Nourish and Protein Snack Bites, and their new Snack Bar varieties, visit http://www.specialk.com, and visit Special K on Facebook and Twitter!

Now you’ve seen all of the Special K Snacks flavors that are launching. Which one will you try first?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s Special K.