Side Hustles for Stay at Home Moms

 

I have been a stay at home mom for nine years now!  I am so grateful that I’ve been be home with my kids and be there with them for all the big and small milestones in their lives.  I feel like staying home has kept my focus on my family and allowed me to give my all at being a wife and mother.  I have no bad feelings towards moms who work full time…. rather I tip my hat to you for being able to juggle all those balls!  I did go back to teaching after I had my first child to finish out the school year.  I was a full-time working mom for about 3 months and it was no easy task!

My husband is a teacher and for the first six years after my choice to stay home, he was usually working on extra college classes for his certification and then a masters in school counseling.  Staying home was a difficult financial choice for us, but we both agreed it was worth the sacrifice.  Over those six or seven years we were living on one teachers income and able to have three kids, buy a home, buy a mini-van, pay $30,000 for a masters degree and come out of it debt free (other than the house of course).  It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t always pretty, but looking back at those years, it was all worth it.  I really can’t tell you how we did that other than Divine intervention and huge tax returns!

One other thing that has always been helpful over the last nine years, is my entrepreneurial spirit.  I quickly learned that I needed something that I could call my own (other than my kids and home) and I might as well make money with it.  Here is my list of the many things I have done over the years to make a little money on the side:

1.   Coaching

This one fell into my lap one year after staying home.  I was asked to coach middle school volleyball.  I can’t remember what our logic was, but my husband also coached with me!  We hired a 6th grade girl (she was my former 4th grade student) to come to practice and babysit Kylee, while we coached.  During most games, my parents were able to watch Kylee, but I do remember having to take her with me to one.  I rode the bus with the volleyball girls and my husband followed behind the bus in our car with Kylee.  It was a little tricky because both 7th and 8th grade teams played at the same time, so we asked a parent to watch Kylee during the game.  But that parent was running late and I ended up having Kylee in the stroller while we were warming up.  I’m sure it was quite a site…  the stroller next to me as I’m hitting balls at the girls and they are passing back to me.  I probably gave someone’s grandma a heart attack as she worried about my little baby in the stroller!  Anyways… it worked out and we only coached this year.  I had my second baby right as the season started the next year, so it was not good timing to coach again.  But this was a great way for a new stay at home mom to do something just for me, make a little extra money, do something I enjoy, and get out of the house for a few hours each day.

2. Babysit

Shocking, I know.  I’m sure this is the most obvious one.  You’re home already with a kid or two, so you might as well have 5, right!?  I actually was never up for babysitting several kids or starting a day care.  (And just FYI, if that is your interest, make sure to check out your state’s requirements on being licensed.) I did however, babysit my friend’s daughter just a few hours a few days a week.  That was something I could handle and ended up being great for my own daughter as well.  I did the same thing a few years later for a different friend who had a daughter that was my son’s age.  It works great if you can find a friend with kids that your kids like… it’s basically like having a play date.  I personally was not up for watching kids all day.  My kids’ nap time is sacred and I am not willing to give that up.  So, set some boundaries and stick to them.  You will end up burnt out and hating life if you say “yes” to everyone and every thing.  Decide what you are ok to sacrifice and don’t forget your limits!

3.  Sell something.

I think it is a rite of passage that every new mom first, cut her hair short after giving birth and second, sell something.  I know I did it and I watched many of my friends do it as well.  I can count on one hand how many of those friends are actually successful with this one and are still selling that product, but hey, I can at least name a few.  I decided to sell Usborne Books.  It was a great side gig for about a year maybe 15 months.  After that, I started to loose my fire and ambition.  I learned that relying on other’s decisions to show up and buy something in order to make my money was not something I was a fan of.  I did make some “good” money for that first year and it was exciting to bring home a few extra hundred dollars for a while.  I also now have several wonderful Usborne books that our family loves.  I don’t want to sound skeptical of this choice for a side gig, but I just know that it is not for everyone and that is ok.  You may need to try it out before you know.  I do have one friend who is killing it as she sells Rodan and Fields, plus she has amazing skin!

4. Teach something.

Teaching is my talent and something I enjoy doing.  I went to school to be an elementary teacher and I did teach for 2 years and loved it.  I decided to try and use this skill to make some extra money.  I started out by tutoring out of my home.  I did 30 minute sessions and charged $10 per session.  I would either help kids with their homework or work on them with related material that I came up with on my own.  My mom was still teaching at this time, so she was a great resource.  But I also found that if I talked with the student’s classroom teacher, I could usually get an idea of what skills needed work.  Tutoring worked well because my kids would play or watch TV or sit at the table with us and do their own “homework.”  I enjoyed the one on one and the short times and it did help financially with small surprises or some extra groceries that month.

I then decided to go bigger, and planned to start a preschool out of my home.  I did not want to mess with licensing and I guessed that it wasn’t a big deal.  I advertised on Facebook and had several interested.  I also got chastised by a local lady in town who did think licensing was a big deal.  I thought the idea was over, but then had a thought to try talking with our rec center about teaching a class there.  They loved the idea!  This particular rec center was awesome and unique in that they allowed me to charge any price, they advertised and handled the payments and they kept 10% of the profit from my class as rent.  I brought home 90% of what I charged and I did not have to pester people to pay me, or clean my house before or after school, I used their tables and chairs to paint on, and I was given cupboards to use for my supplies.  It was the best thing that could have happened.  I did this preschool for 2 days a week, 1 hour each day.  It was mostly for 3 and 4 year old kids before they went to a longer preschool.  I charged $52 plus a $3 supply fee to cover disposable supplies.  I finally started making good money and this extra income was a huge blessing for us.  I did this for 3 years before we moved.  I enjoyed it so much that I added classes. During the summer I taught a science and art class for elementary kids.  I really enjoyed teaching the art classes, so I continued doing that during the school year as an after school class for kids.  With my combined classes, I was usually making around $500.  That was very helpful for us.

I started a preschool again after we moved, but our rec center in our new town did not offer the same great deal.  They wanted to pay me $7-$10/hour, which did not feel worth my time when I was making $50/hour before.  So I decided to use my home, but this time I did not advertise on Facebook and I am keeping it small enough that I don’t need a license.  I am mostly doing it this time so that my 3-year-old son can get the benefits of preschool without having to pay for it.

If teaching preschool is not your thing, don’t give up!  There are so many things you can teach: fitness classes, swim classes, private lessons in your favorite sport, art, reading, math, animal care, horse riding, what ever you are interested and skilled in; you can find a way to teach it to others.  It will hopefully make some extra money, but more importantly, hopefully you will find joy doing it.

5.  Blog

If you have ever had the itch to try blogging… I say go for it.  Today is my one year anniversary of starting my blog.  I had big dreams of using this blog to make extra money as a stay at home mom.  Although this did not come to fruition, it did lead me to my current job that is making a great financial contribution to our family.  Blogging is a creative outlet for me that I enjoy as a hobby.  For now, that is all it is and that’s ok.  You never know if yours will be the one that “makes it” as a business and you’ll never know if you don’t try.  I will always encourage everyone to try blogging if it’s something they are interested in.  There are sooooo many success stories of profitable blogs, so why not yours?  I used site ground to get started.

6.  VIP KID

I started teaching with VIPKID about 10 months ago.  This has definitely been my most profitable side job in 9 years.  I wish I had found this one sooner.  I teach Chinese kids English.  I did not have an ESL background and I do not speak Chinese.  These kids know enough English that we are able to communicate and I help them advance their English speaking, reading, and grammar skills.  The lessons are preplanned, so all I have to do is show up and teach!  I teach out of my home using my laptop camera and high speed internet.  If you have a bachelors degree in any field and some kind of experience working with kids (does not need to be professional experience), you can apply. 

The reason this job is so perfect for stay at home moms, is because I teach when my kids are asleep, so my daily schedule of being with them is not affected.  In order to teach the Chinese children in the evenings after school, I must wake up early in the morning.  I live in Mountain Standard Time Zone, so I teach from 4:30AM-7:00AM or 3:30AM-6:30AM during daylight savings time. It is also an option to teach evenings-midnight, but I prefer the mornings.  I get to choose my own schedule and open as many or as little time slots as I want.  Each class is 30 minutes, so I work in 30 min. intervals.  

It can take a few months before all of your open time slots get booked, but once you get a few good parent reviews, it’s easy to fill your slots.  After about 3 months, I became busy and my slots filled up.  Now that I have a full schedule I make over $1,500 each month!  I choose to work 3-3.5 hours/day, six days a week.  This is my highest pay check so far.  This includes a $100 bonus.

If you are interested in applying or learning more you can do so here.  You can also read about my first month with VIP KID here.  I do make $100 as a one-time referral bonus if someone uses my code (COURT0213) and gets hired.  It is not a pyramid business, just a referral bonus.  I would love to get that bonus and earn it by helping you through the interview process, so let me know if you are interested and would like some help!  

A friend of mine that I referred to VIP KID recently told me that her kids told her she was happier since she started working.  I feel much the same way.  It is so therapeutic to have something to call my own, to use my brain again, to feel that I contribute financially, and having a responsibility outside of laundry, dishes, diapers, and dinner!

I hope that this list might help you come up with an idea to use your talents and creativity to take on a side job.  Motherhood is a wonderful primary full-time job, but it is also nice to have a reason to take a break from that job!

What side-jobs have you done and would you recommend them??

I hope whatever you do, you can feel nice and happy!

 

Finding Your Top 3 Priorities

Have you heard of Matt Townsend?  I really hadn’t until he came to our town for a presentation.  I saw the posters everywhere so I looked him up to learn more about who is he and what he teaches about.  Turns out he is a motivational speaker focusing on relationships.  I watched this video where he talks about 5 things that women should learn to let go of.  His first idea that women should let go of is the idea that we can have it all.  What!? He says that we truly can’t have everything, so we should just stop trying.  Sounds the opposite of motivational, right?  However, he goes on to say that we CAN have our top 3 most important things.  This has got me thinking about what are my top 3 things and wondering is he right?

I have paid attention lately about what things I get done in a day and I’m trying to decide if those are part of my top 3 things.  I’ve decided that they usually are, but that my top 3 priorities change.  For example, some days my focus is on the house and getting it cleaned and organized.  Other times I am focused on a project around the house and I can’t do anything else until that one project is finished.  A few weeks ago I started the process of getting hired with VIP KID to become an online tutor teaching English to Chinese students and that was my priority and focus.  When I started this blog that consumed me for awhile.  My most current priority is planning a trip to Hawaii (a rather fun burden, I might say).  But as I’ve thought about these things and how they can control my focus I started feeling a little shallow.  Shouldn’t my focus be on spiritual things or family?

This is what I’ve decided:  I can clump the really, really important things into one group and call it “relationships with God, family & friends.”  If I really think about all those other things that felt like they were at the forefront of my mind, I can see that my relationships with others was always at the back of my mind. The reason I started with VIP KID is so that I can help provide for my family’s needs; projects can help develop my God-given talents; and even planning a trip is a way of strengthening my relationship with my husband.

My other two top priorities are the ones that can change day to day.  These ones depend on what our schedule looks like for the week and what trials we might be facing at that time.  Some examples for me include rotating kids clothes for seasons or growth spurts, cleaning the house really good, building a chicken coop, getting ready for a trip, surviving the endless list of activities planned for the week, service, finishing a book, working out, eating right, making extra money, how to deal with childhood anxiety, ways to limit screen time, teaching my child to read, potty training, etc.  You get the picture, right?  There are so many important things that rotate throughout our lives and it’s important to identify the top 3 priorities of today, because they might be different tomorrow.

My suggestion is to first identify that number one top priority that will always be there.  Once that is decided then daily or weekly, write down your floating 2 priorities.  I know that for me, when I focus on the “objective” of my day I feel much more focused and am more likely to get things done; at least the top 3 most important things.

A few ways to think about what your priorities should be are to ask yourself these 5 questions:

-What deadlines do I have today?

-What energizes me?

-What have I been neglecting (if you write down your top 3 priorities you will be able to see that the bathrooms have not made your list in over a month).

-Who needs my attention right now?

-What can I do for others?

I never did make it to that conference with Matt Townsend as the key note speaker, but I am grateful that I stumbled across his name and have been able to reflect on my top 3 priorities.  I always appreciate help to keep my focus and be productive… in fact, it makes me feel nice and happy!

4 Free or Cheap Workout Programs for Busy Moms

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something I recommend that I would get a small commission. I only recommend products I have used and love.

I have always enjoyed working out.  I was very active with sports in high school and after that I enjoyed taking classes in college like yoga, step aerobics, water aerobics, kick-boxing, spinning and other HIIT group classes.  I’ve really tried about every type of exercise: cross-fit, swimming, running, Beachbody programs, Tae Bo, Biggest Looser, kettle bell, etc.  I have seriously tried about everything out there with the exception of Zumba… I’m not sure why, but I haven’t dappled in that one yet.  Looking back on my experiences with these different workouts I really did enjoy them all while they lasted.  But today I wanted to share with you the 4 workout programs that I have done that are my absolute favorite.  I would add P90X3 from Beachbody to my list, but I wanted to keep these workout programs to the free or cheap ones that can easily be done at home.

#1- Trainer Lindsey 15 Day Challenge

I’m pretty sure this one is my all-time favorite.  First of all it’s FREE.  She offers 15 days of workout videos that are totally free plus a food guide to follow with the recipes that you need.  The reason I love her program so much is because her workouts are about 20 minutes and I am always sore the next day (which means it works) and the second reason is because her recipes are DELICIOUS!  I am a big time sugar lover and I want good food. Quinoa just doesn’t cut it for me.  Her recipes are easy to follow and the food is full of flavor and she always includes a treat! The nice thing with the 15 day challenge is that it’s easy to loose at least 5 lbs. and you can just keep repeating it to stay on track and lose more.  She does offer a 6-week paid program, which I personally have not done yet, but my cousin has and loved it.  Another thing I love about her program is the IdealLean protein powder she created.  I have been buying this consistently for about a year now because this stuff is amazing.  It tastes great and it has only 80 calories and 0 carbs and sugars.  She includes recipes to make delicious treats using the protein powder; things like peanut butter fudge, chocolate coconut fudge, maple nut fudge, raspberry cheesecake shake, chocolate lava cake, protein melting cake, and no bake cookie protein bars.

I have not stayed on the diet consistently, but since one year ago when I discovered Trainer Lindsey I have continued to do her workouts and use the protein powder. I am about as frugal as they come regarding food, but this is something I feel is absolutely worth the money.  I just watch for good sales, which they have going on quite often.  Here is the site.  If you want her free challenge, you just click on “challenges” and then you will see it under Trainer Lindsey.  It’s the 15-day Fit Body Challenge.  I’ve also tried Trainer Kaytlin’s 15-day knockout fitness challenge and I did like hers as well.

Workout length: about 20 minutes

Workout type: 2 different sets of strength training with 1 minute cardio burst

Diet: 4 days of set meal plans that you rotate through for 15 days

Price: free (unless you purchase the protein powder, which I highly recommend.  This varies because of sales, but one container is around $30)

How to follow along: videos on YouTube or in an email

Needed Supplies: exercise ball and hand weights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2- Fit Yummy Mummy

I bought this program shortly after having my third child.  I needed something to help get me back into a routine of working out and help me stay motivated.  This was a great program for me and it did just that.  I enjoyed the set up of the workouts and I love her theory that workouts don’t need to be long and extensive. I also love that the downloads came instantly and I could just print the workouts and do them without having to turn on the computer or TV.  It worked best for me to print them out and create a workout binder.  5 years after purchasing this program, I still have her workouts and meal tips in page protectors in my workout binder that I still use.  I love that I can complete one of her workouts in 15 minutes and still feel like I got a great workout in.  I also like her flexibility on how many days you workout.  You can either do two workouts (30 minutes total) three days a week or you can do one workout (15 minutes) 5-6 days a week.  It is a 28 week program, so I feel like you get a lot for the money (about $40).  I like how she teaches you about what and how to eat, but it is not a set meal plan every day.  She has a list of choices you can choose from for each of your meals.  This was a perfect program for me to feel motivated and get back in shape without having to spend tons of time dedicated to working out.  I really could squeeze in a quick workout during nap time and still had time to do the other chores I needed done.  I do still use these workouts.

Click Here! to learn more about Fit Yummy Mummy

Workout length: 15 minutes

Workout type: alternate interval training and strength training

Diet: List of Choices

Price: $39.95

How to follow along: digital download or printouts

Needed Supplies: exercise ball, hand weights, jump rope (optional), medicine ball (I just use a basketball or hand weights), step or jump box (I use my stairs)

 

#3- Jillian Michaels

My sisters used Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 DVD and they really liked it, so when I found the DVD at the Dollar Tree for only $1 as a January special I bought it along with her Extreme Shed & Shred DVD.  Both workouts are about 30 minutes (I think the Shed & Shred is closer to 45 minutes including warm up and cool down).  If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Looser, you know that Jillian is tough.  She pushes you the same way in her workouts. Her DVD’s come with a 30 day meal plan.  It includes set meals for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.  Many of the meals are easy to follow, but others are a bit out of my comfort zone like Mahi Mahi Tacos.  I have not been ready to take on those yet, but this helps give me guidance.  Her workouts are hard, but very doable.  In her Ripped in 30 workout she has a 3-2-1 system that I really like.  It’s 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  This system helps me stay focused and push through the hard parts.  The best thing about her workout DVDs is that they are so affordable.  If you can’t find them for $1 at the Dollar Tree then you can get about all of them on Amazon for less than $10 each.

Workout length: 30-45 minutes

Workout type: strength training and cardio using yoga, kickboxing, Pilates, and basic weight training

Diet: 30 day set meal plans

Price: less than $10

How to follow along: DVD

Needed Supplies: hand weights- I like 10 lb and 5 lb

#4- Melissa Bender

The last workout that I like to use is from Melissa Bender. She makes free at home workouts on YouTube that usually just require body weight.  She has several challenges and programs you can follow on her website, benderfitness.com or you can search Melissa Bender on YouTube and choose a workout.  I love how real Melissa is.  She does the full workout with you on her videos so she gets tired and has to stop sometimes too, just like I do!  She had a baby recently, so she created a 6-week postpartum workout challenge and she does her workouts during nap time or with her baby nearby.  Her workouts are usually interval training mixed with strength training.  They give me a good workout in a short amount of time.  Most workouts are around 20 minutes.

Workout length: 10-30 minutes

Workout type: HIIT and strength training

Diet: her website has tips and ideas for healthy eating here

Price: totally free

How to follow along: YouTube

Needed Supplies: hand weights and exercise ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the three products I recommend to use for all of these workouts:

If you are a busy mom looking for a great fitness program to do at home or in the gym I’m confident that at least one of these programs will help you with your goals.  Working out consistently helps me to feel nice and happy.

Shopping Spree

Every year for Christmas my parents give us money to spend as we would like.  This has become something we look forward to and we often have the money spent in our minds before we even get it!  This year, I decided to go on a little shopping spree on Amazon.  We don’t live very close to many stores and it is just difficult to really enjoy shopping for clothes if I bring my four kids along! So I decided that Amazon was worth a shot and I was pleasantly surprised.  Here were my results:

Clothing-

I seriously love this cardigan.  It goes with about anything, it’s lightweight and comfortable.  My mom gave me a compliment when I first wore it, so I bought her one for her birthday!  She is not easy to buy clothes for, but she actually wore it and said that she received several compliments.  I love that it is less than $20 too!

Swimsuits-

I actually bought 4 swimsuits from Amazon so that I could try them on and send the ones back that didn’t fit right. I ended up keeping these two.  I was worried that the one piece would feel like a “granny suit” just because I am not used to one pieces, but I surprisingly love it!  The mesh gives it a bit of flare and the tummy control waist is my favorite!  I’ve worn it to a pool twice now, and it is comfortable and stays put while I am going down slides and bending over to pick up kids out of the kiddie pool.

The tankini has a really cute back and a sporty look that I love.  It was a little baggy in the chest area on me, but some of you may not have that problem… My only other complaint was that it floated up a couple times in the water.  I just sort of tucked it in and then it was better.

Shoes-

I really wanted some boots to wear with skinny jeans in the winter.  I bought three with the intention to send a pair back, but in the end I decided to keep all three pairs.

My favorite of the three are the ankle booties.  They are so comfortable and go with everything!  The other two are also comfortable and nice to have on snowy days.

It was fun to shop while sitting on my couch by the fire and it was easy to return the items that didn’t fit right.  Out of 8 items that I bought, I kept 6.  That felt like pretty good results to me!

A little shopping spree now and then always help me feel nice and happy!

Top 10 Best Girl’s Nights

I love a good girl’s night!  Sure, we love spending one on one time with our hubby, but there comes a time when we just need to be surrounded with girls.  No kids. No husbands. I recently read a book called, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben.  In this book she says, “both men and women find relationships with women to be more intimate and enjoyable than those with men. Women have more feelings of empathy for other people than men do… the most reliable predictor of not being lonely is the amount of contact with women.” I thought that was interesting.  I can remember different times in my life where I thankfully had my husband as a best friend, but I was maybe new to an area and didn’t have a close girl friend to hang out with and it really did feel lonely at times.   I know that for me personally, after a girl’s night I am more bubbly, kind, and patient with my family (at least for awhile). There is just something carefree about being with other women who are most likely going through similar situations and can relate to you.  It’s just good to talk with someone about clothes, haircuts, laundry, dishes, face care products and Twilight who truly gets it!  So here are my top 10 favorite girl’s nights…

1. Dinner and a movie.  Going out to eat at a restaurant and enjoying a meal without having to feed anyone else alone is a treat!  But couple that with a good chick flick and a tub of popcorn and M&M’s, and it’s a slice out of heaven.

2.  Adult coloring books.  Not like “Adult” coloring books… get your mind out of the gutter.  You know those new fancy Coloring Books designed for adults that you color using fancy pens?? Those books.  All you need is one coloring book and I like to use gel pens or colored pencils and something chocolaty and you are good to go.  My mom did this one with the teachers that she works with and I thought it sounded so weird.  But I tried it with a group of friends and it was actually a lot of fun and easy to throw together!

3. Holiday Decorations.  Whoever is in charge just needs to spend some time on Pinterest and find a cute craft related to whatever holiday is coming up, gather the supplies or send a text to all the ladies with what supplies they need to bring, and as always, have something yummy to eat. I have done simple wooden picture frames that we painted then added glitter and embellishments.  For St. Patrick’s Day I created a word art and printed it out then we covered cardboard with burlap, added the word art and decorated it with shamrock wire and green felt flowers.  It was super cheap and everyone loves having something to take home.

4. Book Club.  I am fairly new to this one, but I am loving it!  I like that it is a regular thing and we can all plan on it happening the first Wednesday of each month.  The person who chooses the book for that month hosts it at her house when we discuss that book.  Everyone who wants to bring a snack does, but not everyone feels obligated to bring something. I am a rule follower, so this helps me make sure that I read at least one book a month.  I used to love reading before I had kids, but I just couldn’t seem to find the time to read for enjoyment, until now that I have accountability to read it. It’s been fun to read books that I have never heard of before and books that I probably never would have chosen to read on my own.  This is an easy and dependable girl’s night. This month we read These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.) and I highly recommend it! It took me a little bit to really get into it, but before long I was hooked!

5.  Shopping Night.  I recently moved from a very small town that did not even have a Walmart! Gasp!!  I actually loved it.  But one of our favorite girl’s nights in that town was to drive the hour to the slightly larger town and go shopping.  We didn’t even always go shopping to buy something, but it was always nice to wonder through Maurice’s and Rue 21 and just browse without kids!  We usually fit in time for a good place to eat of course.

6. Game Night.  This is another simple one to throw together.  As always, provide something delicious and dig your favorite games out of the closet (and try not to get distracted and organized that mess of a closet). Some of my favorites are Tenzi Dice Game, Taboo, spoons (and if you are sure that the kids are good and asleep you could try ultimate spoons), Ripple (which is played with Skip bo cards. You could look it up online how to play), and Wits & Wagers.

7. Manicure/Pedicure.  This would be the perfect girl’s nights to do in the Spring to get those feet looking sexy again (or at least not gross).  You could either DIY at someone’s house or splurge and get it done at a salon followed by ice cream!

8. Attend a conference or event.  The fun thing about this girls night is that it often turns into a girls weekend!  Once you discover something of interest going on nearby you can start making plans.  If you have family to stay with and save on hotel costs, that’s great or you can use airbnb or splurge and stay at a fancy hotel.  Some fun conference ideas are Time out for Women, Pinners Conference, self-help conferences, or concerts.  The nice thing about this girl’s night is that the entertainment is already planned, so you just have to worry about where to sleep and what amazing restaurant to try out!

9. Painting Night. One of my favorite memories I have with a couple friends is painting one of her bathrooms late at night.  The three of us just painted and talked and maybe because it was so late at night or possibly the fumes, but we had such a great heart to heart and talked about hard things going on in our lives.  We worked together, laughed together and cried together.   And at the end of this bonding night, my friend had a freshly painted bathroom!  Win win! Another direction you could go with on this one is do go to one of those painting classes where you and a friend paint a canvas.  I have not tried this one, but I’ve heard great things about it and it’s definitely on my list to try out.

10. Walking/running buddies.  This can be done during the day or night and I seriously love this one.  Many of my closest friendships developed during walking dates.  When I was a young mom with only one kid and one on the way, I had three friends in similar situations that walked with me everyday.  We all pushed strollers and took up the whole road, but we sure had a great time and became close friends.  One of those same friends and I later became running buddies and eventually taught a running class for young girls and organized a half-marathon together.  Talk about bonding!  I heard a quote once along these lines, “when you are not running you talk about running, but while you are running you talk about everything else.”  This was true for us.  When your body is busy doing something it leaves the world wide open to discuss.  If you have access to an indoor track, then weather or time of day won’t be a problem to make sure this one happens and it can be done once a week or more!

I hope that reading this has put you in the mood to organize an enjoyable girl’s night right away!  I know I am ready to get one going… luckily today is the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means- book club! I’d love to hear about your ideas for a fun girl’s night too!

This is going to make me nice and happy.