Ready for a roadtrip? Let's get going!


Roadtrip from Roswell

A new year means new beginnings! This a good time to start new traditions.  If you want to educate your kids about history, day road trips are a good place to start, you should always be open to discovery, but before you take up the whole day driving, take a look around your hometown, you may be surprised about what you may find!  Read below to learn more about George and Martha Washington! 
 
I was amazed that a small little town in Alabama would have such a wealth of information on George Washington, our first president. 

  • The Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington is a museum in Columbiana, Alabama focused on the colonial period of the United States. It is also noted for having the larger privately owned collections of artifacts related to George and Martha Washington. 
  • Established in 1982, the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington is named after its founder, Karl C. Harrison, a Columbiana banker and philanthropist. He started the museum with the help and encouragement of descendants of Martha Washington, Eliza Parke Curtis and Charlotte Smith-Weaver. The ladies donated heirlooms and other artifacts, which served as the initial collection of the museum. 
  • The Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington features a number of important items like letters, furniture, paintings, glassware, and jewelry from the colonial period until 1865. Other valuable items are also found on the site. 
  • Shelby County Museum & Archives - Main Street Columbiana, AL (Housed in restored 1854 county courthouse) 
  • Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington  - Depot Street Columbiana, AL   (Largest collection of privately held George and Martha Washington Memorabilia outside of Mount Vernon)   
 The next day trip you take be sure to entertain places nearby, you never know what rich historical information you  may find in your own small home town!

Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

How many are ready for the beach season?

Take a look at my article on http://www.kimsnissan.com/road-trip-to-the-gulf-shores.htm

Road Trip to the Gulf Shores


Once the holidays have ended you look around and find your family appears to be in a rut, its almost like a let down, everyone seems to be recovering from all the magic of the Christmas season and now winter has set in and you look around the room, only to find everyone wrapped in blankets, staring at computers with blank stares.  
It's time to get some blood pumping and wake everyone up from their winter hibernation! Downtime is great, but this has been the same scene for the entire month of January, its the start of February, time for a road trip! 
In the south we have the beach, usually anywhere from 3 to 4 hours of travel time, plus the rates are down so you can take a quick winter getaway without putting too much damage on the family budget.   
Alabama beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches in the south to visit, often people will head to the beach in the summer, but off season in the winter time does has its benefits. If you like smaller crowds, winter is the time to go, the restaurants have shorter waits, the beach is less crowded and temperatures are a bit cooler for longer walks on the beach at night! 
Wintertime doesn't mean the action stops in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. These sister cities are packed with events and activities all year long, and the winter months are no exception. From historic tours to art shows and concerts, there's no shortage of things to do during a winter vacation on Alabama's white-sand beaches. 
Browse the calendar of events https://www.gulfshores.com/things-to-do/calendar-events/ for the latest happenings during your beach vacation. If your trip has you at the beach for an extended period, check out the 2017 Welcome Center Showcase and Lecture Series. Each week, you'll find different presentations on topics including Orange Beach wildlife rescue, craft beer making, the oyster trail and more. This series features local artisans, nature tourism specialists, historians and others who are devoted to the area and their crafts or trades. 
The 30th Annual Entertainment Series in Gulf Shores offers a host of shows this winter, including performances by the Atlantic City Boys, New Christy Minstrels, Kingston Trio, The Young Irelanders, Russian String Orchestra and more. Tickets must be purchased online and start at $35 per person. Shows begins Jan. 23 and run a variety of dates through March 7. 
Be sure to check out Gulf Shores/Orange Beach for your next winter get-away weekend road trip!  


Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!
Are ready for Spring? Check out my latest article on 
http://www.kimschevrolet.com/Weekend-Road-Trip-Ideas

Feeling like spring is in the air, but then I heard the ground hog saw his shadow, so it looks like six more weeks of winter will be bestowed upon us! So what does a family do when snowed in? 

You could move to Alabama, where we actually have such unpredictable weather, it doesn't matter who saw their shadow, in one week we can see all seasons of the year, plus throw in a few tornadoes. 

So with that being said, taking off on adventurous road trips on any given Saturday isn't a problem, just be sure to check the weather to make sure your dressed appropriately. 

A good way to get your Saturday up and running smoothly in our household is to stop by a great breakfast place to make sure everyone is filled to the brim, so once back in the car, maybe you can get a few miles behind you before hearing, 'I am hungry!''. 

I guess you could say we are really pretty lucky, we do have several historical kid approved places to visit that will not break the bank, as matter of fact its FREE to visit! You know we all love FREE, especially if your a parents with a large family! Here is a list of FREE places to visit in Alabama! 

1. Botanical Gardens
: Take a trip through the flowers at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, (205) 414-3900. 

2. Art:  While still in Birmingham, stop by and see one of the world's largest collections of Wedgwood at the Birmingham Museum of Art; (205) 254-2565.

3. Parade
: Be sure to go watch the nation's oldest and largest Veteran's Day Parade in Birmingham

4.Jazz: Get jazzed up at the Jazz Jam Fest, and enjoy the sounds of saxophones, clarinets, and trumpets every fourth Sunday of the month in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame's Carver Performing Arts Theatre in Birmingham; (205) 254-2731. 

5. Aviation: Admire one of the largest helicopter collections on Earth at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, where helicopter pilots receive their training; (334) 598-2508.

6. Hot-Air Balloons: Gaze at the hot-air balloons as they fly up, up, and away at the Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic & Music Festival in Decatur during Memorial Day weekend; 1-800-524-6181. 

7. Yard Sale:
  Go treasure hunting the third weekend in August at the world's longest yard sale, which starts in Gadsden and goes to Covington, Kentucky; 1-888-565-0411. 

8. History: Stand where Gen. Andrew Jackson did when he defeated the Creek Indians in 1814 at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park near Daviston; (256) 234-7111. 

9. Museums: Go visit the the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery; (334) 261-1100. 

10. Steel Industry: Come and see how the steel industry started in Alabama. Sloss Furnaces offers free tours to the public. Keep in mind that you'll be without a tour guide. Be careful though. Sloss Furnaces is rumored to be haunted. I would suggest this place for older kids. (205) 254-2025 

11.Water:  LITTLE River Canyon, located in Northeast Alabama, has a big area that attracts swimmers. This area is known as Hippie Hole. (256) 845-9605 x201 

12. Picnic: After visiting new places for free, pack up a basket of food and head to the nearest park for a picnic. This is just a small list of places to visit, but remember to make sure once you leave, please leave all places like you found it, be sure to pick all your trash, so someone else will be able to enjoy these locations for free also! 

Whatever you do decide to do, just keep in mind if the weatherman even hints at white stuff, head back home, throw on your winter clothes and head to the store for your ration of milk and bread. Have fun y'all! 



Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on Facebook!
Let's  head to Laurel MS and read my latest article on How to survive a Winter Family Road Trip!


Winter Family Road Trip from Laurel


It's been raining and the kids have tracked in practically all the mud in the yard into the house. You have mopped the floors several times and now its time to say I quit. It may be time to put the mop down and put on your rain boots and join the kids by jumping in all the mud puddles.  It's time to remind yourself mud will wash off but the fun of getting dirty with the kids can be priceless! What to do on a rainy day or overcast day? Maybe its time to get in the family car and venture out on a rainy day road trip. There is a great place in Birmingham, Alabama that can be fun for kids and adults. 

McWane Center is a hands on training for kids of all ages. "You can change lives with Science and Wonder"!  It opened in 1998 and since then it has entertained millions of all ages. Its a special place you can experience, touch, hear and see many things. The fun part is kids are learning while having fun! 

Really Cool Stuff Museum Store:  Looking for something really cool?  Come shop with at Really Cool Stuff, McWane Science Center's museum store.  They offer educational products, souvenirs, and great gift ideas. You will find science experiments, out-of-this-world gadgets, and merchandise related to McWane Science Center's exhibits. You can come in and shop anytime, paid admission is not required to enter into the museum store. 

Hours and Admissions: McWane Science Center is open seven days a week, 360 days a year, and now offers new extended hours. McWane Science Center also has a new addition, the Birmingham Children's Museum Itty Bitty Magic City.  This new section of McWane Science Center caters to the youngest visitors, Kindergarten and younger, and encourages young children's love of learning through the four major types of play: Physical Play, Exploratory Play, Constructive Play, and Imaginative Play. 

The IMAX® Dome: This is a large format, 70mm film projection system that uses legendary IMAX® technology to create amazing images of unsurpassed resolution and impact.  Combined with 15,000 watts and six channels of digital surround sound, it is the ultimate movie experience.  IMAX® film has the largest film frame in motion picture history - ten times the size of a standard 35mm frame!  In just 40 minutes, the projector carries more than 10,000 feet of film at 24 frames per second.  Thanks to a glass-enclosed projection room, you can watch as the Projectionist loads the projector and elevates it into position for starting and viewing the show. 
 
The Smart Café: The cafe offers a wide variety of food options and displays nutritional information to help you make smart choices about what you eat. Here is a sampling of what you can find in the Smart Café: The Blue Plate, Subway, Red Mango Frozen Yogurt, Pizza Hut Station, and Hot Off the Grill Station.

Directions:  McWane Science Center is located in the heart of downtown Birmingham. McWane Science Center is easily accessible from Interstate 65, Interstate 59/20, Highway 31, and Highway 280. McWane Science Center is located at the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 19th Street North. 

Parking Deck:  McWane Science Center's parking deck offers safe and convenient parking on 2nd Avenue North. The height limit for the deck is 6'8". Cost:  $5.00 required to exit deck. Machine accepts $5.00 and $1.00 bills as well as quarters or you can purchase a token at the ticketing counter inside the center. Members receive free parking in the deck. 

Street Parking: Additional parking is available on the streets surrounding the center. On Monday - Friday there is a 2-hour limit on the street parking. The meter charges $0.25/hour. Street parking is free on Saturday, Sunday and on Holidays. 

As you can see there is plenty to do at McWane Center, who knows by the time you spend a few hours and its time to leave, the sun may be back out! You have to admit learning was fun! You had so much fun, that I am sure you will want to come back soon to visit again!

Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!
Yes, who doesn't love Snow days! Check at my latest article at:http://www.yorkchryslerdodgejeep.com/when-the-snow-keeps-you-home.htm

When the Snow Keeps you Home


The winter cold can make you crazy, its at this time when you can develop the worse case of cabin fever and when you add three kid's to the equation, plus two cats and three dogs, the insanity of two parents is in question. 
 
The temperature's according to the local weather man, who has been spreading the news of low teens for the rest of the weekend with a huge smile upon his face, adds sweetly, we may have a light dusting in certain parts and in some places you may see 1-2 inches. In Alabama it means run to the grocery store for all the milk and bread you can buy, which as a southern, "born and bred" I have often wondered just how much bread can a family eat and I have never really liked whole milk, give this girl skim anytime! 

Once it's established you are "snowed in" and all family members are safely home and a day goes by and the kids have just about had enough of the white dusting, you find yourself in one room with all the animals, all the kids and two adults. At first it's pleasant to have all the family together, while sitting and listening to the crackling of the wood in the fire place. You smile to yourself as you look around to see kids coloring, animals snoozing and Dad reading a book. Yep, this is going to be a wonderful snowed in day, until you hear the dreaded words from the oldest child, "I am bored"! 
 
Finding things to do with bored kids can be a challenge, but its possible, even with different ages. You just have to give it a lot of thought and whatever you do don"t lose it, this can make the day really crazy for everyone. 
 
Here are a few things to do when your snowed in and cabin fever and boredom has set in: 
  • Learn to jump rope 
  • Work a jigsaw puzzle with your family 
  • Plan a family night with an activity and snacks 
  • Jump on a pogo stick 
  • Work a crossword puzzle 
  • Skip everywhere you go for one full day 
  • Try to answer everyone who talks to you by singing a song 
  • Make a rubber band ball as big as you can 
  • Teach your kids pig-Latin and speak in pig-Latin for an entire day  
  • Roast marshmallows at the fire place  
  • Roast hot dogs at the fireplace 
  • Play hide and seek in the house
  • Play card games or board games 
  • Play a game of charades 
  • Turn the lights off and make shadow figures   
Being stuck in the house with your family on a snowy day doesn't have to be boring. Make it fun and whatever you do make sure you learn to laugh, this can turn any bad day into a good day! Just think later in life, this may become a memorable day to look back on, which should always put a happy smile back on your face!

Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!
Check out my latest article on  http://www.wolfchasecdj.com/avoid-traffic-on-valentines.htm:http://www.wolfchasecdj.com/avoid-traffic-on-valentines.htm

Excuse the late posting! I took a fall, yes just call me "Grace", and broke my wrist!
After a few weeks of healing,  I am now back to blogging~ Hope you enjoy my article on, AVOID TRAFFIC ON VALENTINE's



Avoid Traffic on Valentines


It's almost that time of the year, when everything is red and love is in the air! Valentine's Day can be one of the better holidays. We are gifted with chocolate, jewelry and scrumptious meals at our favorite restaurants! Of course I am speaking from a woman's point of view!  Once kids enter the picture of the loving red-heart couple, you will notice things seem to change a bit, the presents become cards and dinners now consist of takeout pizza, but it's ok, because we still love each other but now we have little hearts to cherish and dote on, so it really all balances out when you think about it. Although getting a baby sitter for a postponed "red letter date" later the next weekend does help to take the tarnish off of  the magic of the romantic holiday! So this way we are all happy, loving and smiling and everyone gets a special time with loved ones.  

What do you do for a family on Valentines's Day? You may assume you should take the family out somewhere fun, or go to a nice restaurant. But if you want to avoid the stress of the road, there is plenty to do at home. To make it a magical day, candy is a good way to start and maybe a movie and yes let's order take out, so we can miss out on the crowds and traffic, but most importantly lets make it fun!  Just remember you don't have to spend a lot of money to show someone you love them! Here are a few things to make that extra special person feel loved and not forgotten without breaking the bank! 

1. Movies at home. Cozy up  on the couch with a few Valentine's movies and celebrate the celebration of life together as a family. 

2. Crafts. Get out the construction paper, glue, scissors and all the things you will need to make home-made valentine cards. Once you have your cards made, cut out a few red hearts and have Mom and Dad hide them around the house and the one to find the most gets to pick out the next movie to watch. 
 
3. Bake.  Making cookies is always fun with kids, let them have free time decorating the cookies themselves. Kids imaginations are limitless when left to do their "own decorating".  

4. Share. Having the family all together sometimes is difficult to do, so have each family member take time to sit down and share three things they love about their family. 
 
5. Give.  Don't forget your neighbors, especially the ones who live alone. Take them a home-made Valentine's card and a few cookies you made and make someone feel loved and not forgotten. 
 
6. Gift ideas. Instead of buying gifts, make each family member a home-made gift. It will mean more to that person that you made it versus getting a store bought gift. Or if he kids are older make coupons books for each other, for instance take the family dog for a walk, help cook with Mom or help Dad with the care of the lawn. 
 
Just remember whatever your plans are with your family, make sure you let each one of them know how much you love and appreciate them, but don't forget the best holiday is the day after Valentines's Day, when all the chocolate is discounted! Happy Valentine's Day to all! 


Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!


















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