Top Tips For A Relocation


In some companies, it is pretty common for some of the more valued and experienced employees to be given a transfer abroad, work in a different branch, or be the international face of the brand. This is a great career opportunity that most people jump for joy at – a whole new life in a new country, with moving and relocation costs paid for by the company in most cases, and quite often, a big pay rise to compensate for the upheaval to family life.

It is something that, for most families, is a great opportunity, but it really does affect everyone. If it is your husband or wife who has been given this chance, you are probably over the moon for them, but a bit concerned about how much your life is going to change – and that is a perfectly valid way to feel.

You may not have the same job opportunities available to you, and you may not even be able to speak the same language. You will be leaving all of your family and friends behind. While your spouse is at work, making new friends and immersing themselves in the new culture and language, you may be staying at home, becoming increasingly isolated.

Here, we look at a few tips to make following your husband or wife abroad for work a little easier on you.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels CC0 License

Check you are eligible to move with them

Depending on where you are relocating, you will need a visa. In some countries, such as Australia, you need a visa before you even attempt to enter the country unless you are a citizen. Some allow you to stay a few weeks on a tourist visa, but any longer than that, you need a different one. Your spouse’s workplace should help you organize and sort out this, but if you are unsure, get in touch with a firm of reputable immigration lawyers and solicitors.

Learn the language

If you are moving somewhere where a different language is spoken, it can be difficult. It can lead to feeling cut off and isolated, but the best way to overcome this is to immerse yourself in the language and learn it. You can start before you go – perhaps take a course of language classes as soon as you know where you are moving to, or download an app such as Duolingo to learn the basics. However, you will find once you are surrounded by the language day in, day out, you will find it much easier to learn.

Make time for you

When you follow a spouse on such a big move, it can feel like it is all about them. You re leaving everything behind to support them, but where does that leave you? You must make time for you in your new country of residence – take up some hobbies, join an ex-pat group, and see if you can find a job for you. The best way to be a supportive spouse is to be a happy one.

Quick Weekend Getaway Ideas That Are Perfect for the Whole Family



Going on vacation with the whole family is a lot of fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games. Although you may by dreaming of a trip to Disney World, Mexico, or Paris, lengthy trips with kids can be a nightmare, especially if it means taking time off of work or school.

That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to skip your vacation until they have flown from the nest! By choosing a small weekend getaway near you and preparing carefully before your trip, you can get away and have fun without the stress of airplanes and week-long stays in a hotel.

Theme Park

Just because you don’t live within driving distance of Disney World doesn’t mean there isn’t a theme park nearby that the kids will love! A few theme parks across the United States that don’t require you to fly to Florida or California include:

  • The Island in Pigeon Forge in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri
  • Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • Nickelodeon Universe in Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Drive down on a Friday night, spend the day at the theme park on Saturday, and drive back on Sunday morning, all before school and work start again on Monday morning!


Kids love zoos. There’s a lot to learn, and there’s nothing like seeing the animals you read about in books and watch on TV in real life. Even if your area only has a small zoo, the kids are sure to enjoy visiting, especially if they have never been there before!

Many zoos today feature more than just outdoor attractions with lions and bears. For example, the whole family will be blown away by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and nothing compares to the desert dome at the Omaha Zoo.

One of the best things about choosing a zoo for your weekend getaway is that it’s a kid-friendly destination. You’ll do a little less work when planning a vacation at the zoo than you will some of the other ideas on this list.


If theme parks and zoos are still a little far from your home, look no further than the outdoors to have some fun with the kids. You can bet that they’ll love sleeping in a tent outside, roasting s’mores, and staying up late to look at the stars!

Camping with kids can pose some unique challenges, so make sure you’re prepared ahead of time. That includes knowing exactly what clothes to pack, using a cooler to hold food and drinks that you know the kids will like, and bringing things from home, like books and toys, to keep them entertained during downtime.

Have very small children? A tent may not be the best solution. Instead, consider renting a cabin or an RV to make the experience a little less stressful for infants and toddlers.


Although most kids wouldn’t pick a museum when choosing their own vacation, most kids enjoy the time they spend in a museum once they go. Not to mention, there are some really interesting museums out there that teach kids about a lot more than the past.

Some of the weirdest and coolest museums in the United States include:

  • Museum of Bad Art in Boston, MA
  • Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia in Burlingame, CA
  • Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence, MO
  • UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, NM
  • The Circus World in Baraboo, WI
  • International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME


If you’ve got older kids, you can think outside the box a bit and choose a more adult-themed weekend getaway. If you have tweens or teens at home, they may enjoy a quick shopping vacation!

Look near you for a small town with a quaint town square, or choose a shopping destination, like the Mall of America. Spend the afternoon shopping, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy relaxing in a hotel room before you return home on Sunday.

This is also a great option if you want to take a special trip with just one of your kids. Mom can take off with a teenage daughter while dad stays home with the younger kids.


The beach also makes for a great vacation getaway idea for the weekend! The beach doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live within a few hours of the ocean either. There are many wonderful lakes all across the country with sandy beaches that the kids are sure to love.

You can spend the day relaxing on the sand or swimming in the water, but many lakes also offer boat rentals. You can take the whole family out on the water or a few of you can escape in a canoe or kayaks.

Just make sure you practice water safety, as drowning is a real threat for adults and children. That includes making sure you’re watching your children closely when they’re playing in the water and requiring them to wear life jackets if they don’t know how to swim.


You may want to get away for the weekend, but sometimes, it just isn’t in the cards. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a vacation at home!

There are many great staycation ideas that the kids are sure to love. Set up a fort in the living and let the kids sleep inside, pitch a tent in the backyard, or take a picnic lunch to a local park. This is an especially good idea if you have older kids who are itching to get out, but you also have a young infant at home who isn’t quite ready to go on his first trip yet.

You don’t have to plan a week-long getaway to Disney World in order to get the vacation that you want. There are many things you can do over the weekend that are fun and memorable, all without missing work or school on Monday.

Smitten & Hitch offers more than just co-parenting advice and information


My no-so-little “kids.” They are young adults now.

I am the proud mom to two wonderful young adults. I wish I could say children, but they are not (even if in my mind’s eye I still see them that way). Our daughter turned twenty-three years old a few months ago, and our son will be twenty-one in the fall. Sigh…

I was fortunate that I never had any issues conceiving. I got pregnant with our daughter “out of the blue” (we were not actively trying to get pregnant). With our son, I was ready for another child (as was my husband) and BOOM! We got pregnant just like that.

My heart goes out to those who are struggling to become parents. I have a relative who had a difficult time conceiving. By the grace of God who was able to get pregnant, and now she has the most adorable little girl. It just breaks my heart knowing how much they struggled to conceive her.

Did you know that about 10% of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant? This is according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Over six million! That is a lot of women.

I wish I was younger (and healthier). I would have gladly donated my eggs (we only wanted two children). My husband said he would have donated his sperm too.

I am not sure if I could be a surrogate. I think I would be worried the whole time that I would do something wrong.

My sister in law was a surrogate to twin girls for her cousin. The pregnancy and birth was easy from start to finish.

You often hear about celebrities and their fertility issues. People like Kim Kardashian, Amy Schumer and Gabrielle Union. They are fortunate to have unlimited funds and specialists to help them to have a child. But what about regular people like me and you? Who is there to help regular people with conception issues?

Smitten & Hitch offers advice on dating options. In addition to that, Smitten & Hitch offers a co-parenting segment to assist individuals who are too busy to explore financing options for becoming a parent, as well as to those who don’t know the option of coparenting was available to them.

Smitten & Hitch does the leg work for you to find out what’s best for you and they are with you every step along the way to to help you to deliver your precious bundle of joy.

Part of the issue is not knowing what kinds of questions to ask or what is applicable to you. Smitten & Hitch is here to help you.

I think it’s wonderful that there are organizations available to people who are wanting to start a family, but don’t know where to begin. I wish organizations such as Smitten & Hitch were more publicized so that people can find out about them and all they have to offer.

I like that they cover a variety of topics, not just co-parenting and trying to have a baby. First you need to find that special someone to start a family wish, which is why I like how they include dating in their area of expertise. Thank goodness I’ve been married 24 years. I wouldn’t want to have to hop back into the “dating pool.”

If you are interested in learning more about Smitten & Hitch and all that they offer, visit them online. They have two different websites that you can explore – Smitten & Hitch for Co-Parenting and Smitten & Hitch Dating & Co-Parenting Services.

Are you looking into starting a family? Are you having fertility issues? Do you have questions about dating? Please comment and share your thoughts.


*I have partnered with the brand to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

People Helping People helps families understand the living benefits of insurance policies


This is a crazy time that we are all living in right now. Who would have thought as we raised our glasses to toast the start of the new year, that 2020 was going to go down in history as one of the worst years ever.

Between the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, unemployment at an all-time high and gun violence on the rise… I just want to grab my family and hide somewhere until it is all over.

For decades I have been telling my husband that I wish we had our own secluded island with a working farm so that we can hide away from the rest of the world. Now he sees why I have been saying it all this time.

There are a lot of people out of work right now, me included. I am not laid off (thankfully), but I am furloughed. Since I work in the school district, it is hard to tell when I’ll get back to work, and if I have a job to get back to when the time comes.

Did you know that there are some life insurance policies that offer something called “living benefits?” Some insurance companies allow you to build cash value through your insurance policy that accumulates over your lifetime. With death benefits, the money is paid out after you die. With living benefits, you can use the funds accumulated while you are still alive.

I did not know that was even a possibility. I am going to have to have my husband investigate our life insurance policy to see if we have a living benefit option.

The living benefits option can be used to help cover unfortunate situations such as unemployment or short-term disability.

There is an organization called People Helping People who promotes financial literacy, with their focus being on families with kids. They provide families with information about life insurance policies that offer the living benefits option.


Some of the things People Helping People helps with is show clients how they can use living benefits as supplemental income for the cost of medication and provide people with instructions on how to use life insurance policies for the down payment of a home, to cover college tuition or even to do things like expand their family through surrogacy.

WOW! Who knew that having a living benefits option in your life insurance policy could be so helpful for both trying times, and for happier reasons such as helping to cover the cost of tuition and a down payment on a home.

People Helping People offers both personal and business to business services and they deal with companies like AIG, Mutual of Omaha, Fidelity and American National. Another words, they deal with major insurance companies.

I personally think this is a great idea. If our current life insurance policy doesn’t have a living benefit option, I may look into People Helping People’s services to help find an insurance company that would suit our needs and cover the costs of are passing, as well as give us the living benefit option.

If you are interested in learning more about what People Helping People has to offer, visit PHPAgencyShark.com. You can also check them out on Twitter (@PHPAgencyShark).

Do you have a life insurance policy? Did you know about the living benefit option? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on this subject. I always love to hear from readers.


*I have partnered with the brand to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

5 Ways to Spend Quality Time With Family This Summer


Most of us are so busy with our daily schedules that we overlook spending quality time with family. We squeeze in group excursions after work that’s rushed or plan a quick weekend getaway that’s too fast paced to enjoy.

There is a difference between spending time with your kids and spending quality time as a group. You can spend a lot of time with your family, especially if you are a stay at home parent, but it’s the quality of activities that matters.

Research shows that happier families are the ones that talk and listen to each other, make decisions together, share chores, and make time for each other.

Here are five ways you can spend quality time with your family this summer.

Take trips together

Plan days out and family trips with your children. Give them a few options way ahead of time so you can prepare for a relaxing day.

Also, consider experiences that are both educational and fun. There are multiple choices from Twin Cities Kids Club that the entire family can enjoy.

Taking these trips will help your child’s brain grow by experiencing cultural and educational activities. Allowing the kids to choose the locations will help them feel valued.

Listen and talk to one another

You don’t have to go anywhere, plan any trip, or spent any money with this tip. This summer, you can spend quality time with your kids just by talking to them in your home.

Communication between parent and child cannot be overstated. The healthiest families involve parents that foster open communication channels and encourage their kids to participate in conversations. If kids can talk to parents comfortably, they’ll learn they won’t have to deal with their issues alone.

As a parent, you should be willing to listen to your child whenever they have challenges. Give them your full attention, no matter how trivial their problem seems. Everyone needs to be heard and respected.

Furthermore, if you listen to their small issues, they are likely to come to you when serious problems arise.

Build things together


What may seem like a tedious task to you might be an exciting experience for the kids. Consider letting your kids participate in a home DIY job if they’re interested. It also makes the job more entertaining because the kids will show you a fun perspective of the task you don’t want to do.

On the kids’ side, fixing and improving things together with you will give them a sense of self-worth and achievement. It will also create trust between the family. You’ll demonstrate that you consider them grown up enough to handle complicated tasks, and they’ll respect you for it.


Children love to play. They also make friends in school and the neighborhood by playing. Kids sometimes create imaginary games, which helps them to develop great imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

Spending time playing with the kids will help you develop a similar relationship because you will be involved in their games and feel like a friend. If you play in a game and lose, it helps to show the child that you are human tool and that nobody is perfect.

Cook together

Cooking is another task that may feel time-consuming to parents, but it’s also a great way to have a great time with your kids. Like playing, cooking has multiple benefits; it helps the kids develop their exploration with delicacies. Children also form a feeling of pride in what they make in the kitchen.

Studies show that trying out cooking something new may encourage your kids to eat different kinds of food. This is also a skill that will help your children later in their lives and give them the confidence to explore artistic pursuits.

Bottom Line

Remember that quality time is not about the amount of time you spend, but also the activities you do. It’s important to make time for your kids consistently and to enrich their lives with meaningful activities they love.

Tech Aids for Home-Based Caregiving

The next decade promises to bring challenges and opportunities for seniors and their caregivers. As Baby Boomers pass retirement age, they’re joining a growing demographic that will need assistance. The caregiving market is almost 300 billion dollars, and all signs point to it continuing to grow.

Caring for seniors at the home can be challenging. This is particularly the case for people who have restricted mobility or medical complications. However, assistive technology is rising to this challenge. There are more options on the market than ever before, and this tech can support both caregivers and seniors.

Ride Booking Services

Ride booking has become a vital service for people of all ages, and seniors are now joining this trend. These services are especially useful for people who live in the suburbs or countryside and don’t have their own car. It allows the senior or their caregivers to go for groceries, attend theater productions, meet up with friends, and more.

However, not every senior wants to use an app. Lyft and Uber, along with lesser-known companies like GoGoGrandparent, also offer ride booking via phone. It varies by the company, but some of them offer more than just driving services. For instance, some companies will text caregivers when the senior is picked up, with a follow-up text when they arrive at the destination. Options like these help seniors stay independent while also giving caregivers peace of mind.

Smart Home Sensors

These devices are tiny, inexpensive, and blend into the background. They’re also palm-sized powerhouses that quietly monitor and manage the home. You can find sensors that:

turn on the lights when someone enters the room
alert caregivers when the senior leaves the bed
automatically lock the doors at night
shut off stoves and burners
adjust the thermostat
record when the medicine cabinet is opened
alert the authorities if a fire alarm goes off

Most of these sensors can be controlled from a central hub. Once they’re properly set up, they’re easy to manage. The beauty of smart home sensors is that they automate many of the small tasks that fall on a caregiver. This relieves some of the mental weight of caregiving. With these small details handled, a caregiver can focus energy where it’s needed the most.

Medication Tracking Devices

At one end of the scale here are smart phone apps, that may beep when it’s time for medication. They may also have features like showing pictures of which pills are to be taken, which helps seniors who are managing their own medication. Certain apps may take things a step farther, for instance by updating calendars with medical appointments and monitoring blood glucose levels.

However, phone apps aren’t the only option available in this field. You can also find specialized pillboxes. These store and dispense medications and may track when they’re taken. This creates a record which can help doctors monitor how the senior is responding to the medicines.

Medical Alert Systems

There’s been a trend in recent years of consolidating technology into one device. That’s very apparent in medical and life alert systems. Despite the name, many of these devices are capable of much more than simply detecting a medical emergency. These systems can:

record falls
monitor activity levels
track movements via GPS
connect to a response team via two-way voice
remind the wearer to take medications

There are many such systems on the market, available at a wide variety of price points. It’s a good idea to check out medical alert system reviews before buying one. This will help you choose a reliable product with the right features for you.

Videoconferencing and Telemedicine

Going to the hospital for non-urgent tasks like medication updates can be an all-day ordeal. This is especially true for seniors nowadays, as Covid-19 potential puts them at greater risk.

Telemedicine through videoconferencing tech is becoming a widespread and accessible option in many hospital systems. Software like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom can be used in virtual doctor’s visits. Here, the caregiver and senior can connect with a medical team in real time. It functions just like a visit to the hospital, but with all the convenience and comfort of home.

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri act as great hands-free tools for both caregivers and seniors. The voiceactivated commands mean that a caregiver can easily multitask, putting in delivery orders or controlling door locks remotely while they work. Meanwhile, seniors can cue up audio books and music. They can also connect with loved ones through virtual assistants without having to fumble with small buttons.

Mesh Wi-Fi

Several of the assistive technologies listed above depend on a strong and steady Internet signal to function. This can be a tall order, particularly in rural homes and areas with spotty coverage. Mesh Wi-Fi systems use several routers that have been strategically placed around the house. This creates a strong signal in every room, a signal that often extends to the surrounding yard. Samsung, Google and Amazon all offer mesh systems that support a wide variety of assistive tech.

Caring for a senior can be a difficult job. However, there are tech aids on the market that can solve many of the problems that caregivers are juggling. Assistive technology can keep track of complex medication schedules, detect accidents, call for medical help and allow videoconferencing with doctors and more. This new wave of technology takes over some of the tasks of caregiving, freeing up time, energy and quality of life for both caregivers and seniors.