Summer Of Fun And What It Taught Us About Family

by Anne Marie Esposito, President and Founder, Sparklefly Candle Company, Inc.

Sparklefly Candle Company is about taking time out to enjoy that Spark in life. Every day can be a special occasion; a reason to celebrate. It's those little things in life that really mean so much and make the most memories. This is what my husband and I had in mind when we decided that we were going to make the most of this Summer and we called it the "Summer of Fun". Since I had left my corporate career in December 2014, we knew we had a very small budget to accomplish our mission. At first, we wondered how we would fill in the days spending as little cash as possible. Pretty quickly we realized it was time that we needed to spend, not money. Yes, time has its limits too; when one of you is working overtime and the other is committed to building a business, but its the quality of that time spent that makes all the difference. Here are some things we did that made this Summer the best it could be and brought us all closer together.

1. The beach.

We invested in a season pass that allowed us to visit our favorite destination for a fraction of the cost and we LIVED there. Rising early, we spent so many mornings at the beach. Swimming, building sand castles, playing ball, taking walks and finding seashells. It seemed that the possibilities were endless and all it cost us was a reduced entry. We packed our own breakfast and drinks and we enjoyed every minute of it. BEST OF ALL, we invited friends and other family members to come along and play. It gave us time to all be kids together, no electronics, iPads, video games, just a Frisbee and some waves.

2. Creative time.

I am a sucker for crafts and I am always looking for the best deals to get art supplies. I subscribe to every local art store to make sure I don't miss out. On those rainy days, we pull from our supply of goodies and sit down as a family and create. Everyone has their own talents. 

My husband can draw, me, not so much. He found these great how to draw books from the library and he would start a picture in the morning and leave it for the kids to finish the picture story and color it in for him. They loved it and it gave them a special reminder of their dad while he was at work and inspired them to make something that he would be proud of (which could have been anything as far as he is concerned). 

My kids love Minecraft, so we build cities with papercraft and then make videos of them playing. They aspire to be YouTubers. 

We even purchased those adult coloring books and we are ALL hooked. Highly recommend.

3. The Library.

We are blessed with an amazing library program that offers an outside discovery zone where children can explore water art, music, building, climbing, planting as well as an indoor play area. We have spent hours there and the time flies. They also offer so many scheduled programs for children and adults of all ages. We leave with movies, games and books every week. It is an invaluable resource.

4. Outdoor Activities

From rollerblading to the park to taking walks or riding bikes, every minute of time we give each other brings us closer as a family. These simple things make every day feel like we are on vacation even when we have to show up for work afterwards or return home. These things don't have to wait for that one designated week you set aside for vacation. Do something every day that makes you feel special OR feel special about what you are doing every day. Either way, it will make you feel happy.

5. Friends and Family

We make a point to see friends and family as much as possible. Spending time with those that you enjoy is FREE. One thing we did is set up a crochet group that started with 2 of us and now includes 5 families. The moms all hang out and learn something new. Everyone brings a snack. The kids play outside. Its a win for everyone. We also plan family game nights with friends. These are my favorite times. Easy, fun and building relationships and memories. That's what Summer time is all about. 

Have any tips for me?! I would love to hear how you spent your Summer. Let me know in the comments.