Bongo’s & Beaches! Find Your Happy Place!

Find Your Happy Place

Do you have a special “happy place” you like to go to relax and refresh yourself?  I do, it happens to be the beach.  I love all beaches, especially the ones where the horizon meets the water!

Siesta Keys, FL

As a Grandparent, Mom and Caregiver; we need to refresh our inner well being from time to time.  I know my limits and sometimes I need to get away from the day to day activities.   I head to my favorite “happy place“.  Mine happens to be a beach in Florida!  If I could find a view like those sunrises and sunsets, here in the Midwest, it would be cheaper than trips to Florida; but to my family and I, it is a trip to regroup, relax and take a load off.

Taking off to my “happy place” is usually planned on a long weekends and school breaks, due to my granddaughter now being school age.   My granddaughter is my co-pilot on our trips.  Her and I have been traveling together since she was an infant.  She is great, keeps herself (and me) entertained on our long journeys.

This quick trip came up after a long hard week and happened to fall on a long weekend over Presidents holiday.  Wow!  We had four days; where will we go?  I knew I needed to refresh my heart and soul.  We were going to the beach!  Not just any beach, Florida and on the gulf side!  However, we were just there for two weeks end of December through first week in January, but the cold-snap that took our country by storm, took Florida too!  It was cold, damp and unpleasant to say the least!  A re-do was needed!  Florida owed us some warmth and sunshine, and we were coming to get it!  That is just what we did!

The sunshine was plentiful and the beaches was beautiful.  The sunsets were magnificent.  We made new friends!  People are friendly, we love to dive into culture, eat new foods and explore new things!  We had a fabulous time!

Our weekend was coming to a close and we were going to have to leave our “happy place” soon.

Bongo’s & Beach Party!

As we were close to wrapping up our sunbathing, water activities and sunset was drawing near;  a group showed up with a wagon full of bongo style drums.   My granddaughter and I wondered what adventures lay ahead on our last evening on the beach.

An hour later, as I lay on the beach and my granddaughter playing with her new friends in the water, a slow rhythm started drifting our way.  Thump, bump, thump…  I arose from my towel and looked toward land to see where the sound was coming from.  A big circle with tons of people around caught my attention and my curiosity got the best of me.  I called my granddaughter in so we could explore this new found sound of drums.

As we approached the circle; the rhythm of drums became stronger.  We glanced through the crowd to see all different ethnics in a row, playing to the same beat and entertaining those that sat around the circle made in the sand. It was fun and exciting!

Dancers with ribbons and coins on their skirts showed upcenter circle to show off there talents.  As the dusk was approaching, on-lookers were encouraged to join the inner-circle and take part in the dancing festivities .  It was a fun time and my granddaughter was more than willing to join into the fun.

There was a mix of all ages enjoying  the music of bongos and watching the dancers.  It was very entertaining.  There were some characters there that were either part of the show or a perhaps “groupies”.  One, not-so-young man appeared in a cheetah loin cloth, staff in his hand and ankle jewelry was sure to entertain the crowd!  Another lady was drawing men from the crowd to dance with her in an African/Indian dance routine.  It was definitely a delight for our last night on the beach.

Bongo’s, beach and a party was a perfect ending to a much needed trip to my “happy place” to refresh, regroup and relax.  Memories were made and we will reflect back on them often.

Find your happy place, no matter where it is.  Retreat there to rejuvenate your inner self, mind, body and soul.  As busy Grandparents, mothers and caregivers, we must not forget that we too, need some down time!

Do share your “happy place” with us, join me on

Link to Free Download PDF

Family Balance! The New Norm! Taking care of Elderly Parents and Raising Grandchildren!

How to juggle the great family balancing act!  It is unfortunate that the “New Norm” is seeing more and more of my generation taking on the responsibility of caring for our elderly parents and raising our grandchildren.  It is a large task to take on when we are supposed to be enjoying our “empty nest”!

One thing you have going for you is that you are already a parent; so raising your grandchildren should be a piece of cake!  Not so easy!  My youngest son was 16 years old and my middle child was graduating high school when I took on the responsibility of raising my granddaughter. I almost had an “empty nest!”

My granddaughter was 5 months old when I took her into my care. I had to deal with many agencies and my stress level was through the roof! I was at a lost at first how to handle an infant, but I knew she needed me! I had to figure it out fast!   I had  three home businesses that were placed on the back burner so I could focus on taking care of her. Not everyone, can give up work, but I felt that is what I needed to do. I had friends and a circle of support that helped me through.  It was a challenge, but I succeeded and have been blessed that she is healthy, happy and has a stable home environment.

On the other hand, our parents are baby boomers and coming into the elderly status. That leaves us to help care for their well being if their health deteriorates.

A year later my world tipped on it’s axis again and I had to help my Mom. She had two heart attacks within a three-month period.  Her lifestyle had changed.  Decisions of her well being had to be made.

Mom still wanted her independence.  Independence was not an issue, but distance was.  Her living 4 hours away from us with no family around needed to be addressed. I had to be the “bad guy” and make some tough decisions about her well being.   It was a long process of her getting her back on her feet.

Mom knew her heart attack prevented her from returning to her job, therefore, her income became limited and physically she could not maintain her home any longer.   All of that put significant stress on her; which is not good considering she just had heart attack number three.  She made some tough decisions. She uprooted her life,  left her home and the town she grown to love and eventually settled into a home near us.

How do you balance this “New Norm”? In a nutshell, Carefully! It takes A LOT of work to have some sort of balance between the old and the new! “Old”, meaning elderly parents and “New”, meaning grandchildren.

You want what is best for your parents and grandchildren. You  are  there to help, love and assist them. You want to make the transitions as pleasant as can be for both of them.

It was a tough year with an ongoing roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  My plate was full! I found balance within my family.   I was taking care of an infant granddaughter, two teenage boys,  taking care of household and transitioning my mother from out of state into independent living closer to her family.

How did I do it? Lots of support from husband, friends, internet support groups, prayers and strength! A balance was found to make it all work.

It has been 7 years and I am here to say that raising my granddaughter has been a tremendous joy everyday. It has its challenges, but simply pure joy. Having Mom close by has built our relationship.  She is settled and  her health is still a challenge, but she isn’t any longer a state away.

Family balance is an often a changing event in my world, but I handle the events diligently.  I have come to accept that this is my “new norm”!  Balancing a family from many angles can be challenging; but so rewarding too.

Tip:  Find a Support group near you, whether it be Grandparents group, Library toddler groups ( I found Grandparents raising grandkids here), internet groups, friends and family.

Tip:  There are many Support Groups for assisting with the elderly.  Luckily for me, my Mom was/is still independent and living on her own.  However, the local social senior services in your area can direct you to local agencies and support groups.  Internet support groups are available as well.

You can find some pins to assist on my Pinterest site:


About Us Update!

Hello! Thank you for stopping by our site!  I am a Mom, Grandmother, blogger and a WAHM.  I have a full plate, but my favorite dish, is that I am raising my beautiful granddaughter and nailing it!   I love to write and blogging seems an easy avenue to share my life experiences, journeys of health, family and avenues of wealth that hopefully you can incorporate into your life too!

I am rich, but, not  in the monetary sense; but rich in life!  I don‘t “sweat the small stuff” and sometimes in life you have “roll with the punches” and keep going to get things done!

Yes, I was almost an “Empty Nester”!  My youngest son was 16 when my granddaughter came along and was placed in my care.  I had to start all over again with an infant! I chose at that time to give up my three home businesses.  I focused caring for my granddaughter and family issues that needed my immediate attention at that time.  It has been a long seven years journey, but one that has brought me to you!

My granddaughter is now 7 yrs old and my co-pilot in my travels!  In my down times we enjoy visiting and experiencing new places.  I look forward to sharing it with you through my hobby of photography and writing about the experiences we have encountered on our travels.

As a Mom, Grandmother, blogger and a WAHM (work at home mom), I am looking forward to sharing my journeys with you.  I want to pay forward some of the riches that have been incorporated into my life onto you!

Sign up for my blog, because I have some new and exciting things coming down the pipeline!  I would love to hear from you.   I  encourage you to email me and tell me about you, your families and adventures!

5 Winter Activities For Kids To Do When School Is Cancelled!

5 Winter Activities For Kids When School Is Cancelled!

What kind of  winter activities can be done with the kids school has been cancelled?

School is cancelled; the kids have the day off and you are at home with them.  What to do  to keep them entertained all day long?  How about a handful of winter activities of  inside games and outside games.  Let’s not forget about who will clean it all up- that can be fun for them too!  Don’t forget to grab your phone or cameras to record all the fun-filled days event!

How to keep your kids entertained on school out snow days with fun-filled winter activities? 


Entertain kids with winter fun-filled activities made from everyday items found in our home and pantries.  Enjoy the school day off with your kids and don’t forget to grab your camera and/or cell phone!

Exploding Bubbles of Snow Art: 

Bundle those kids up and send them outside for some Snow Paint Art.  How to make snow paint?

5 ingredients needed :

  • Squirt bottle
  • food coloring
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • snow


  • Add food coloring into a clean squirt bottle, fill bottle with vinegar and secure lid tight.  Shake ingredients vigorously until mixed.
  • Head outside and locate a flat area of snow and have the kids stomp down the snow in a nice large area.
  • Sprinkle various areas of snow with the baking soda.
  • Give each kids a squirt bottle and let them create some art on top of the sprinkled area.
  • Watch the amazement as their art comes to life with bubbles and fizz!

Hint:  Photo Op!  Take kids picture with their art.

Hot Chocolate Party:  

After being outside in the cold: it is time for a warm up party.  Pull out the hot chocolate, marshmallows, left over candy canes, chocolate chips and cups. Have kids assemble their cups with all their favorite goodies on top of their hot chocolate.  Toast to a fabulous snow art project and share your pictures of their art with them!

Hint: Photo Op!  Kids  can pose with their hot chocolate creation!

Inside Snow Fort:  

Kids are warm from their hot chocolate and are getting impatient  just sitting around.: time to build a snow fort for the upcoming snowball fight!  Yep, I said snowball fight!  Have the kids grab their blankets and you grab couch cushions or chairs.  It is time to assemble.

Build a circle of cushions or chairs.  Throw blankets over the top and wala; you have a fort.  Kids can add pillows, dolls, toys to their fort. It will keep them entertained for a bit.

Snowball Fight:

After the kids are getting bored with their snowball fort, how about a snowball fight!  Grab some full rolls of toilet paper; unravel the toilet paper and let kids form snowballs.  Take snowballs and position behind your forts!

Okay, snowball arsenal is assembled and you are ready to have the snowball fight!  Best thing to do is set a timer from stove, cell phone or kitchen timer.  Set timer for 3-5 minutes!  1,2,3 Go!  Let the game begin!

Snowman Wrap: 

Supplies needed to make your snowman:   Need rolls of TP- full, hats, scarves, gloves or mittens, paper plates or cut out pieces of paper for buttons and tape.  Kids wrap each other in toilet paper starting at feet and work their way up, leaving arms free.  Wrap all the way up to head and wrap head too!  After you or the kids are completely wrapped, add accessories (tape on buttons).  Don’t forget to take pictures of the fun event and finished project!

What to do with the mess left behind from your school out fun-filled day winter activities with the kids?

Whew!  What a great school day off the kids had!  It was a fun-filled winter day full of activities with the  kids!  I am sure you will looking around the house and saying, “Where’s the maid?” Who is going to clean up this mess?

The kids!  Have a reversal party!  How to get them motivated for that?  Rewards!

How to have a Reversal Party?  Here are a couple of examples on how to reverse clean up:

Winter Fort:  Have kids jump in middle of fort. (Remove all hard objects first).  Roll kids up in blankets and they have to escape the avalanche from the mountain of mess!  Have kids walk backwards dragging their blankets to their room.  Have kids walk backwards to final destination for reward!

Toilet Paper Games:

Snowman Wrap-  Make it a race to who can make the biggest snowball from the remnants of the snowman wrap.

Snowball Fight– have kids try to shove as many snowballs back into the TP cardboard roll and/or toss snowballs in the trashcan or bucket and most in wins. (You can set buckets or bowls up as Bozo bucket game)  Most in; wins a prize!

Create precious memories with fun winter activities on “snow days”!

Post pictures of your fun activities that you did with your kids this winter.


Baby Step #1 to Organizing Your Home! Where to start?

On New Year’s Eve, a majority of us make our New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year.   Does one of yours New Year’s resolution include how to better organize your home and life to give you more freedom of your time?

Mine does!  As I sit on my couch, drinking my cup of coffee and glancing around my house, I think of how can I organize this area to save time on cleaning?  Therefore, giving me more freedom to do something else.

As most of us Mom’s we have a child or children (of all ages) that just come in the room and drop things.  Those things do not grow legs and go back where it came from! I need a solution to this dilemma.  I decided to have a basket in every main area of the house. A simple solution with alternatives.  “If I have to pick it up for you; you have to earn it back.”   Simple solution- right? Not always!

Now, how to implement this new basket theory. Sit down at dinner time and let those around you of what your new organizational plan is.  Start implementing the plan immediately with the first basket.  Pick a main room to start in.  Give them a grace period of them getting that item out of the basket and into the proper place.  One hour for the first week, after that they should understand your concept!

We are all guilty of having that one spot when we walk in the door and everything gets dumped; whether it will be shoes, purse, jackets, book bags or mail. It doesn’t take long for the clutter happen. I am not talking a complete over haul, just take baby steps to a more organized home, will give you more freedom to do what you like. Oh! They may not like that you have their tablet, phone, book bag, toys, etc….but they will eventually get it! They will understand you mean business through consistency. Good Luck!  Your own your way to freedom of time and an organized home!


Tip:  It take 20 days of consistent behavior to make it a habit!

Tip:  Pick a basket that looks good in that room to blend in.



No Empty Nest here!  Nope,  just wasn’t going to happen!  I am a grandparent raising my grandchild and nailing it!  I want to support, assist, share and help others like myself on the journey into sad to say

“The New Norm” Grandparents raising Grandkids.

My journey started back in 2010 and what a roller coaster ride it has been!  I am looking forward to inspiring other Grandparents and Nanaperneurs to do the same through various avenues.  Come take my hand, walk or run with me into the avenues we encountered as Moms; with a twist!


As Grandparents raising our grandchildren, we are finding ourselves reliving parenthood.  Our nest never got empty!  I found myself learning all over again and trying to find support groups, information and new income avenues.  I know there are a lot of Mom’s and Grandparent groups out there.  I have been to plenty and they have helped me through my journey and now it is my turn to pay it forward!





About Us!

Hello, My name is Tammy.   I am a mother and raising my beautiful granddaughter!  We live in the Midwest and it can get very cold.   We love to travel to seek warm places to visit and my hobby is to take millions of photos of our locations.  I had decided to push myself off the fence and dive into blogging back in 2016.

I was slightly hit with a major roadblock that knocked the wind out of my sails for a while, but now I am back and am excited to share my life experiences,  journey of  health, family, and avenues of wealth and how to perhaps organize or incorporate a few into your life too!
This is my first blog website and I am sure I will live and learn what to do and what not to do.  I do have a weird and quirky sense of humor and sure to entertain. I don’t claim to be an expert in any certain subject, just willing to share my wisdom.   I will be adding topics as we go along, share photos, articles and websites.
I look forward to the future of blogging!  Enjoy!

Welcome to Mom’s Messy Life Blog!

Hi!  Welcome to my blog!

Lilli and Me!

I am looking forward to sharing a variety of adventurous blogs with you about my life experiences, travel, life, family, health and organization tips!

A blog is just what it sounds like “a place where cranberries grow!”  A whole bunch of somethings in one place!   Well, I am going to share all that and try to keep it consistent and organized!  Jump in like I am; with your waders on!