About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.

Family-Friendly Ford Flex Features

This post is brought to you by FullertonFord.com.

The Ford Flex is a pretty solid option for a family vehicle. This popular Ford model vehicle has been used by families who enjoy traveling, have larger family units, and simply want a reliable way to get from Point A to Point B. If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle and are curious about the family-friendly features offered by Ford Flex, then continue reading to learn more about this vehicle.

Family-Friendly Ford Flex Features

Family-Friendly Ford Flex Features

Reasonable Price

The Ford Flex has some pretty awesome pricing for the advanced features you get. Ford was smart with this model that comes in SE, SEL, and Limited options. Each option provides you the most bang for your buck. This makes Ford Flex a reasonably priced family vehicle for the features.

Many Optional Luxuries

I know you may not be thinking about luxuries when it comes to a family-friendly vehicle, but these matters with the Ford Flex. Some of the optional luxuries with Ford Flex include rain-sensing wipers, ventilated front seats, and second-row captain chairs for maximum comfort and safety.

Advanced Flexibility

Since the Ford Flex is shaped similar to a wagon, you know those old family wagon cars you saw in the ’80s driving down the road?! Yes, Ford Flex has advanced flexibility options that you’d typically get in a wagon-style vehicle. With amenity add-ons like a refrigerator and a comfortable third-row seat, this is by far one of the most flexible family vehicles to suit any size family needs.

Generous Cargo Space

Let’s face it, going on family road trips or doing some homeschooling on the road means that you need to have generous space to store supplies. The Ford Flex has generous cargo space allowing your whole family to store their needs out of sight and out of the way.

Safety Features for Family

With safety being a number one concern for families looking for a new family vehicle, Ford Flex has some safety features that will ease your worries. From an optional inflatable second-row seat to ABS, stability control, and multiple airbags, this is a family vehicle that’s equipped to keep your whole family safe during your time in the Ford Flex.

These are just some of the family-friendly features Ford Flex offers. From optional safety additions to add-ons for ease of living on the road during road trips to everything in between, the Ford Flex knows families and wants you to be safe. I hope that this list of family-friendly Ford Flex features has inspired you to take a peek at Ford Flex as an option for your next family vehicle.

How to Not Hate Exercising

Exercising can be a stressful idea to many people. It’s like we know that daily exercise is important but some of those tasks that we find recommended for our daily exercise regimen are ridiculous. Hating exercise is an easy way to get out of maintaining your mission to incorporate exercise into your life.

How to Not Hate Exercising

Start Small

Create an exercise plan that is small. If you really hate exercising then you won’t want to spend an hour every day doing the tasks to get fit. Find a small, simple workout routine that will help you to at least tolerate exercising.

Repeat Daily

Repeat your small routine every day for two weeks. This helps establish the routine and encourage you to continue on as you’re not pushing yourself too physically yet. Two weeks should be a reasonable time to work this small routine into a habit.

Add More

After a couple of weeks have passed add some more tasks into your exercise routine. Try to pick exercises that you enjoy at some level. This helps to keep your mind encouraged on pushing through versus absolutely hating your daily exercise routine.

Play Music

Create a music playlist that keeps your motivation up and your body wanting to move. You should know what genre of music will work best to inspire you to continue on with your daily exercising routine. Change up the music playlist if you grow tired of the original one you created.

Focus on Feeling

Rather than using exercise to look differently, focus on how you want to feel. Exercise is usually something people do to look different but they start to hate the work. When you redirect your focus to how you want to feel, exercise becomes less of a chore as it makes you feel good almost immediately.

Eat Healthier

When you try to eat healthier snack options your mind will be healthier which will help you avoid the thought of hating your daily exercise routine. Eating healthier snacks like veggie sticks throughout your day will help inspire your body and mind to feel good all of the time.

Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore, you can use these tips I shared today to help achieve success in your mission to exercise on a regular basis. When you incorporate music into your routine, start small and work towards feeling better versus looking better, you will soon find that you don’t hate exercising so much anymore.

Why Road Trips are a Good Idea for Families

If you’re looking for a good excuse to go on a family road trip then you’ll enjoy my reasons why this is an excellent idea for families. Today I’m featuring my top favorite reasons why road trips are a good idea for families. This fun-filled option to travel with kids is an excellent way to expand your child’s experiences and intelligence among other things. Enjoy my list of reasons why I think every family should get out there and go on a family road trip this year.  This post is brought to you by FlemingtonDodgeChryslerJeep.com.

Why Road Trips are a Good Idea for Families

Why Road Trips are a Good Idea for Families

Provides Relaxation

Both adults and children these days are full of stress and anxiety. The world is a fast-moving place and daily life can consume even the most optimistic people. Going on a family road trip with kids will provide your family with a much-needed break to get some relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of real-life.

Strengthens Family Bond

Being out on the road with your kids is an excellent way to strengthen your family bond. Spending quality time together discussing new sights and other adventures you experience during your family road trip helps solidify your family bond.

Making Memories

While you can make memories at home, going on a road trip with kids provides a new opportunity to make memories together. There are so many things a family can do on a road trip with kids. You can dine at a new place, see historical landmarks, and experience fun on the road to make new memories.

 Encourages Patience

Going on a family road trip with kids helps establish a deeper level of patience for both kids and adults. Your kids may be antsy to get to the next destination, but soon learn that it takes time to arrive at each location. This helps your kids learn a deeper level of patience that can be used in other areas of life.  (Check out our list of Audiobooks for Road Trips)

Getting Out of Comfort Zone

Kids who grow up going on family road trips are more apt to get outside of their comfort zone. You’ll be experiencing new places, new stops, and perhaps dealing with mishaps along the route. This all provides your kid with experience in getting out of their comfort zone. This skill is a much-needed skill to encourage your kids to live a very fulfilling life and to reach for their dreams in the future.

These are just some of the reasons why road trips are a good idea for families. If you haven’t gone on a road trip with kids, I highly recommend you give it a try. A family road trip helps you getaway to relax, have fun, and make some new memories together before your kids are all grown up.

Kid-Friendly Car Organizing Tips

If you’re tired of being stressed out every time you get into the family car, then you’ll enjoy my kid-friendly car organizing tips. It seems like every mom has this car full of unorganized chaos from the kids. Traveling to and from school, events, and other kids’ appointments mean that the kids wreak havoc upon our family vehicle.  This post is brought to you by Easterns.com.

You’ll be excited to learn that you don’t have to stress out about having an unorganized mess of kid stuff in your car anymore. Today, I’m sharing some tips to help moms everywhere take control of the family vehicle and get organized right now.

Kid-Friendly Car Organizing Tips

Kid-Friendly Car Organizing Tips

Use Suction Cup Shower Caddies

This brilliant kid-friendly car organizing tip may not be suitable for all family vehicles, but if you have a spot to suction onto then you’ll enjoy using the suction cup shower caddies to get your car organized. This is an excellent organization hack for family vehicles that have kids’ art supplies or small items to keep kids entertained during family trips.

Keep Supplies in Glove Box or Trunk

Most family vehicles have decent cargo space, so be sure to utilize that space to keep handy dandy cleaning supplies on hand. You’ll want to keep supplies like a First Aid kit, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and perhaps some extra napkins on hand in your glove box or trunk cargo space. This will help you remove any immediate spill or mishap that occurs during your family road trip adventures.

Enlist the Kids

Most kids are old enough to take the trash out when you arrive home or keep their belongings in an organized area of the family vehicle. Make a rule that your kids must take out what they brought in. If they tend to keep supplies in the car for long trips, then make sure they each have a designated spot within your family vehicle so the kids can pick up after themselves when you arrive home.

At the end of the day, keeping your car organized in a kid-friendly way is all about utilizing organization hacks such as the shower caddy suction cup containers, and cargo space for supplies as well as enforcing rules that your kids can certainly follow. It may take 2-3 weeks to fully have this new habit developed fully to keep your family vehicle organized, but once you establish this routine, you will no longer stress out each time you head out on a family trip in the family vehicle.

Live With Less Challenge 2020

Declutter Live With Less Challenge

Are you feeling overwhelmed with stuff?  It seems that no matter how much I donate and purge beforehand, my home feels overstuffed after each Christmas.  I need this challenge for myself as much as I want to help encourage others!

Here are the Live With Less Challenge details:

Our first Live With Less Challenge of 2020 is going to be a fun one!  Each day you remove the number of items that corresponds with the date.  1st day, you remove one item, 2nd day, you remove two items, and so on and so forth.  By the end of the month you’ll have removed almost 500 items from your home!! 496 to be exact…if I did my math right. 🙂  Some days will be easier than other but as those of you who have participated in past challenges can attest, it’s surprising how much stuff we have that we don’t really need.  This is a great way to start a new year and I hope you’ll join us in our Live With Less Facebook group to share pictures of your progress and/or the items you’re getting rid of.  Click here to join.

In years past we’ve had a cash giveaway and I’ve kept up with everyone’s pictures but with our group now pushing 7,000 members it’s just not feasible anymore.  Even without the cash prize, I still hope you’ll join in the decluttering and in sharing your photos to help motivate others.  I can’t tell you how the pictures shared have motivated me.  Knowing you’re not alone swimming in clutter, seeing the progress others have made, hearing ideas for organizing, finding places to donate to, and so much more.  Truly, that group is an amazing group of people and I’m thankful to be apart of it.

FAQ

Q: Do I have to throw the things away.
A: Absolutely not!  You can gift, donate, recycle, repurpose, or throw away.  Try to let throwing away be your last option if possible.  Be careful not to get stuck on wanting to repurpose or repair things though.  It’s easy to save things for “one day” and that day never comes.

Q: Are you sure there won’t be a cash prize this year?
A: Yes, there won’t be this year but maybe I’ll giveaway a smaller gift card to an active participant in our Facebook group.

Q: Is it okay if I post in the group daily?
A: Absolutely!  To keep your progress organized you can post all of your pictures in the comments of your first post….or not.  It could be fun to see all of the progress you’ve made this month in one place but you’re not obligated to.  Just share away.

Q: Do you have a list of easy things to start with?
A: As it turns out, we do!  Here’s our list of 200 Things to Let Go Of.

If you have any other questions please feel free to comment below and ask.  I hope you’ll join us and invite a friend to join you too!

If you’re looking for some more Live With Less encouragement check out these resources (and don’t forget our Facebook group). 🙂

 

 

 

Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget

Buying a new car entails so much more than I previously thought. From figuring out how much “car” you can afford, to determining what type of car will work best for you, the list of proactive steps to take before you sign on the dotted line seems endless. While yes, many steps come into play when buying your new car, the biggest step I want to help you with today is setting a budget for your new car purchase. If you’re heading to the local dealership and want some tips for how much you can spend on that new car purchase, then continue reading for some tips to help you set a new car budget with ease.  This post is brought to you by Butlerchryslerdodgejeep.com.

Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget

Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget

Consider Total Price

The total price of your new car goes beyond what the selling price is for your new car. You’ll want to take into consideration the total price that includes the sticker price, the title, insurance, and other fees involved with buying a new car. You can easily estimate some of those costs beforehand to get a general idea of what a new car may end up costing to use to calculate your new car budget.

Review Expenses

Take a moment to review your income and expenses in the house. This is an important step in calculating your new car budget because you can’t spend money on a new car if you don’t have any money. Take a moment to figure out what you can remove from your current household expense list to make room for a new car payment and what amount is left over after all other household expenses have been deducted from your household income.

Calculate Monthly Payment

Remember that your new car is probably going to carry a hefty monthly payment, so be sure you know how much the monthly payment will be on a new car. You can easily estimate a monthly car payment by talking to your local dealership about their current rates and pricing options. Consider getting a list of approximate monthly payment options to help you calculate your new car budget.

Down Payment or Trade-In

When you work to calculate your new car budget, you’ll want to take into consideration whether or not you’re putting a down payment on the new car or trading in an older vehicle. Each of these things will be taken off the total price of your new car purchase. Have a discussion with the sales rep at your local dealership to see what types of down payment options or trade-in options they have to help get your new car budget calculated.

At the end of the day, buying a new car can be stressful. This is a new expense that you’ll be adding into your already packed full household expense list. That’s why I highly recommend you follow the simple steps I shared today to calculate your new car budget. This will ensure you can get a new car without breaking the bank or added more stress into your life.

How to Create a Car Travel Journal With Your Kids

Many parents enjoy traveling with their kids to make memories (road trips can be amazing!! Check out our list of Great American Road Trips), but what are you doing to capture those moments? I think that we often feel our kids will hang onto these memories that we’re making as we travel around with them to see new places, but the reality is sometimes you need a journal to truly capture those traveling moments as a family. If you’re looking for a new journaling idea for homeschool or perhaps you simply want to create an awesome travel journal with your kids, then here are some tips to help you make this happen!  This post is brought to you by Pearsontoyotascion.com.

How to Create a Travel Journal With Your Kids

How to Create a Travel Journal With Your Kids

– Let Your Kids Make A Journal

While you can purchase a travel journal for kids online, it’s always more memorable to have your kids make their own journal. Gather up the three-ring binder and lined notebook paper. Put together a binder of journaling printables with lined notepad paper to provide many options for travel journaling.

– Bring The Tools

Using a small flexible pencil case bring along scissors, markers, crayons, pencils and any other journaling tools that your kids may need to document their memories in this travel journey during your family road trips.  You could store this in the glove compartment or have a special bin in the car that holds all of their supplies.

– Lead by Example

Keep a car travel journal of your own.  We love to document how many cars from different states we see on trips, how traffic was, and all the fun or extraordinary events that take place.

– Encourage Writing

While most adults enjoy reflecting about their day at the end of the night, many kids aren’t quite in that mindset. Encourage your kids to write in their journal during the day when their memories are close to their heart, so that they can truly journal the most from their traveling day.

– Don’t Micro-Manage

While you may want to micro-manage the process of journaling, this is not the time nor place to do so. Allowing your kids to journal during your travel adventures is a great way to let your kids show you their best grammar and vocabulary knowledge, but you can review that later on after your vacation.  It’s so hard to not do this, it’s a struggle with every. single. journal entry but it has to be done.  They need the freedom to express themselves without worrying about spelling every last word correctly…besides, it would be pretty annoying for you to spell every other word to them. 🙂

– Offer Prompts

Some kids aren’t equipped with the skills to come up with creative things to journal about during your time traveling, so consider giving your kids prompts each day during your time on the road. Don’t force your kids to use the prompts, simply have them written down each day to help them think deeper.

Having your kids create a travel journal will be a wonderful way to help them improve their grammar, vocabulary and handwriting skills all the while capturing their favorite family moments of your family travel events.

What is routine maintenance on a car?

Have you recently bought a new family car? Maybe you already have a family car that’s treated your family well over the years but now you want to figure out what some of your routine maintenance should be for your car. Knowing what routine maintenance you should have performed on your car will help you extend your car’s lifespan, thus saving you thousands of dollars in repair fees.  This post is brought to you by Reedmantollnissanofdrexelhill.com.

What is routine maintenance on a car?

What is routine maintenance on a car?

– Peek at your Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual for your car will lay out all of the routine maintenance for your car. This includes when is the right time to get an oil change as well as any additional maintenance recommendations for your car. It’s always good to become familiar with your owner’s manual so that you’re car savvy.

– Change Oil and Filter

It used to be recommended that you get an oil and oil filter change every three months or 3,000 miles, but times have changed and cars have advanced. Some newer cars can go 5,000 up to 10,000 miles before they need an oil change, so check your owner’s manual or ask the dealership where you purchased your car.

– Check Your Tires

Every month you should check your tires to make sure that there’s no major wear and tear, the tire pressure is up to par with what your tires say to have the air pressure at, and the tread is still where it should be. Properly inflated tires help with gas mileage as well as to reduce the chance of a blowout. (Check out our post on how to Save Money on Tires)

– Check Your Fluids

There are so many different fluids a car needs to function properly. From your windshield wiper fluid to your brake fluid, power steering fluid and oil as well as transmission fluid. Check your owner’s manual to see what fluids you have and check them regularly.

– Examine Belts and Hoses

If you feel comfortable with this step, you should examine all belts and hoses under the hood. This is to make sure you don’t have any leaks or loose connections that could cause a future leak. If you’re not comfortable, your local car dealership would be more than happy to assist.

These are just some of the most routine maintenance recommendations for most cars. If you’re not sure how to proceed with any of these routine maintenance tips you could also have your car dealership’s service department handle these small tasks to ensure your car stays running smoothly for the long term.

Top 5 Survival Tips for Holiday Road Trips

Are you planning a holiday road trip with your family? Going on a road trip during the holiday season will honestly bring more precautions to take and things to think about. The holiday season is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and that’s why I wanted to feature a few of the top survival tips for holiday road trips today. I want your family to enjoy your next road trip during the holiday season and stay safe at the same time.  This post is brought to you by ZeiglerChryslerDodge.com.

Tips for Holiday Road Trips

Top 5 Survival Tips for Holiday Road Trips

Get a First Aid and Emergency Kit

Step one to surviving holiday road trips is to have a first aid kit and car emergency kit on hand. You can easily purchase these two items online and have them delivered or go to your local retailer that sells items like this. You’ll want to have band-aids, ointment, and hand warmers as well as road flares and flashlights with batters to say safe during your holiday road trip.

Bring Entertainment

Remember to pack up enough entertainment options for those kids! Having kids in tow during your holiday road trip can get rather distracting if you don’t bring enough items to keep your kids entertained. I highly recommend you print coloring pages, bring crayons, download songs and movies along with a tablet or smartphone that the kids can use during your holiday road trip. You could even bring some lessons for homeschooling your kids on the road.

Plan Your Route

Listen, it may sound fun to be spontaneous during your holiday road trip with kids, but let’s face it, traveling with kids can get a little overwhelming. That’s why I highly recommend you plan your route well in advance. This ensures you have time for rest stops to use the restrooms and stretch breaks along your route during holiday road trip travel with kids. Don’t forget about some must-see locations that your kids are interested in, let them pick a couple of spots on the route.

Pack Snacks

Kids can get really cranky when they haven’t eaten enough food. That’s why it’s a must to pack some snacks and drinks for the entire family. This will help you and the kids survive a long holiday road trip together without having to deal with the grumpy moods that can come when you’re hungry. Snacks will also help the younger kids take a nap, as they will feel sleepy when their bellies are full. Be sure to pack healthier snack options, not sugar treats, or you may have some restless kids in the backseat.

Be Prepared to Sit in Traffic

Lastly, remember that this is a busy travel season for families. That means you’re apt to end up in long lines of traffic on the more popular routes. Try to plan your route around any major travel portions of the road so that you won’t have to sit in traffic as often, but always prepare to sit in traffic. Talk to your kids before you venture out on a long holiday road trip so that they know there may be some downtime during heavy traffic moments.

These are just my top 5 survival tips for holiday road trips with kids. Each of these survival tips will help you enjoy a long road trip with kids during one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.

How to Choose the Right Family Car

Choosing a family car can be somewhat difficult. There are more options than ever before at your local car dealership. From a van to an SUV and a full-size car, these are just some of the ideas that will work for your new family car. When it comes to buying the right family car though, you’ll want some ideas on how to make the right choice. That’s why I’m featuring some tips to help you choose your next family car purchase and choose right.  This post is brought to you by BarkauAutomotive.net.

How to Choose the Right Family Car

How to Choose the Right Family Car

Seating and Storage

Any parent out there knows that when it comes to having a large family, as in a family with more than one child, seating and storage is a must! That’s why it’s important to think about how many seats you’ll need, remember to think about those friends that come over, and how much storage space will be feasible for your family. Make a note of this data so that you can share these details with your local car salesmen before buying your next family car.

Simple Features

Some of the cars on the market today may be too much for the average family. If you have younger children then you’ll want to make sure that your family car has features that help you stay safe on the road, even during those little kid distractions. You’ll also want to make sure the features in your new family car easy to figure out, that last thing you want to do is have some complicated procedure to turn the blinker on during your time driving the family around in the new family car.

Consider Your Budget

Lastly, remember that buying a new family car means that you’re bringing a new expense into the household. That’s why you’ll want to follow some easy tips for setting a new car budget. You’ll need to review what expenses you already have and how much income is flowing into the home before determining the best price range for your new family car.

When it comes to choosing the right family car, there are many different things that each family must take into consideration. You may find these tips helpful and have more ideas to add to my list, but at the end of the day, each of these tips I’ve shared today will inspire you to be financially smart and careful when it comes to choosing the right family car.