This post was sponsored by Budget Saver Twin Pops as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Stress and summer are two words that really shouldn’t go together. I mean, think about it: summer is supposed to be all about fun! It’s about relaxing on the deck eating sweet treats, staying up late reading and sleeping in every morning. No more rigid schedules or rushing to get homework done because your tween “forgot” he had a project to do until 10 minutes before bedtime. No more scrambling to find lost shoes, lost gym bags, lost everything! Just blissful breezy sunshiny days. Unicorns and rainbows, my friends. That’s what summer is supposed to be!

Supposed to be. Here we are, less than a week into summer vacation and my head is ready to explode. My son, who practically counted down the seconds until school got out, is already walking around with the dreaded “I’m bored” look on his face. My dog has a cold, my cat has a cold, I have a cold. There’s no food in the house (there is, but according to everyone else, we’re all starving). It’s too hot. It’s not hot enough.  To top it all off, money is crazy tight this year, so it’s not like I can toss Jake in the car and say “let’s get out of here for a while!” As for that dream of relaxing on the deck, well, my dogs feel that if I’m outside, it’s to play with them and NOT to read a book!

How to Turn Stressful Days into Sweet MOMents!

I could whine all day about my incredibly high stress levels. Believe me, I totally could, there’s a lot more to whine about! OR I could do something about it! While I can’t make money start growing on trees (I can’t even get wildflowers to grow out of the ground) or convince my dogs to actually let me relax on the deck, I can find other ways to turn stressful days into sweet MOMents! FYI, MOMent is short for a “Mom-Moment!” It describes how we moms can take any stressful situation and make it sweet with a little imagination (and a Budget Saver Twin Pop!)

1- Think hyper local (like your own back yard)

Even if you’re raising a tween who’s past the stage where bubbles were awesome and a kiddie pool was magical, you can still have fun in your own yard.  While I dream of living within walking distance of a cool downtown area, I often forget that I’m lucky to have a massive yard both out front and in back. When things get too stressful indoors, change the scenery! You’d be surprised at the number of ways you can make fun memories, even with older kids, just by stepping out your door.

Some of our favorite things to do that are incredibly inexpensive include:

  • Water balloon fights: I do recommend investing in one of those fancy balloon tying things, otherwise this one kind of kills your fingers!
  • Hose fights: seriously, just spraying each other with freezing water from your hose can relieve a ton of stress
  • Sidewalk chalk games on the driveway: Ginormous Tic Tac Toe, anyone? Hopscotch is another favorite. When Jake was little, we stuck with the traditional course. Now that he’s older, we try to make up crazy rules. Change the order of the numbers or try to do it backwards!
  • Scavenger hunts: the crazier, the better!

You can also just throw on your shoes, go for a walk and see where the day takes you. Grab a few Budget Saver Twin Pops to keep you cool on your journey!

2- Set a goal to learn something new every day!

On the last day of school, I made up a whole new “chore chart” for Jake for the summer. He earns an allowance by completing the tasks on the list. While I do have a few traditional things on there, like “ask how you can help out around the house today” and “keep your room clean,” the majority of the tasks are designed to keep him from spending every waking moment attached to a video game controller.  One task is “learn something new every day.”

Turn this goal into a sweet MOMent by making it interactive. For example, I planted wild flowers around a giant rock out front. Okay, so they’re not exactly thriving as well as they gardening mom in the Budget Saver video above yet, but I think I’ll get at least a few out of the box of 1,000+ seeds! When they come up, Jake and I will go outside and pick a bunch to brighten up the mantle. As we do, we’ll look up the flowers and try to learn exactly WHY those particular seeds survived in our front yard. Was it the soil? The amount of sun and water they got? Are they just heartier flowers?

More cheap ways to learn something new every day include:

  • Taking pictures of local wildlife when you see it, then researching the creatures to find out more about them. Sometimes the wildlife comes right to your front door. Yes, those are bears.  And yes, my mom (who took this one) stayed safely indoors when she snapped this one!

  • Visiting a local state or national park. They often have monuments and plaques that tell a story about the region.
  • Starting your own summer reading book club for kids. Even if they’re reading fiction, they’re going to learn new vocabulary and ideas.
  • Making a “knowledge bucket list” of things you kids want to know more about, then checking one off each day by reading library books or researching online.

Here’s a fun fact to get you started: The iconic Budget Saver Twin Pops brand was created way back during the Great Depression so that families could buy one pop for a nickel and split it between two kids. Cherry is the top flavor (Jake would agree). Banana is the 2nd most popular. In fact, it’s SO popular that in 1995 they created an all-banana bag! Learn more about the history and different flavors on the Budget Saver website.

3- Serve up smiles with sweet treats that don’t break the bank

Tasty cold treats are probably one of the fastest and easiest ways to quickly turn a stressful moment into a sweet MOMent! You don’t have to hop in the car and drive to an expensive ice-cream stand to bring on the smiles. Just grab a bag of Budget Saver Twin Pops from your local grocery store! As the name implies, they’re super budget-friendly and come in a ton of flavors. We love the Rainbow Array bag because it has everyone’s favorites. Jake loves Cherry, my mom loves Blue Raspberry and I adore the rest (especially Banana and Lime).

Share Your Sweet MOMents in the #twinpopscontest

Your favorite sweet MOMents could make you a winner! Just share a picture of how you make every moment sweet with Budget Saver Twin Pops on Instagram or Twitter using the #twinpopscontest hashtag! You could be selected for a Weekly or a Grand Prize Winning MOMent!

Turn those stressful summer days into sweet MOMents on a tight budget with these fun activities!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to U.S. residents, 18+. Enter by 8/13/17, For Official Rules, visit http://bit.ly/2pDfETF”

Visit Budget Saver on Facebook for more great ways to turn stressful days into sweet MOMents! Click here to find them in your local stores. There were quite a few in my area!

How do you turn stressful days into sweet MOMents? Share below! 

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