Five Kid-Friendly Summer Spots For Middle Tennessee Moms

Five Kid-Friendly Summer Spots For Middle Tennessee Moms

Educational doesn't have to break the bank
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It is summertime in Middle Tennessee again, which means kids are out of school! There are all kinds of things offered for kids in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas. Most of these are targeted towards younger kids, but all have something to offer older kids as well. All are within 20-25 minutes of downtown Murfreesboro, with the exception of the Nashville zoo. These are both mom tested and kid approved. From parks to bounce places, your kids should never be bored in the summer.

1. The Splash Pad

Our top summer time favorite is the splash pad at Gregory Mill Park located in Smyrna, Tennessee. The times of operation vary, so please check their website before going. This is targeted to all age kids, from toddler to grade school. Think of it like a huge concrete pad with tons of water spouts, water buckets being dumped and sprinklers. Seriously, whoever came up with it is genius! There are certain times of day that it is absolutely packed, and there are other times when there is no one there. So far, the best time we have found is right when they open because there are only a handful of kids there. The kids love it and we’ve already been four times since they opened this year. We’ve never spent less than an hour there, so make sure your kids are covered in sun screen. Best part? There’s only one way in and one way out. No little escapees here! Oh, another great thing, it’s free!

2. Bounce U

Bounce U of Murfreesboro is definitely a top spot for the kids. It’s located right off Middle Tennessee Boulevard, so it’s a central location to anywhere in Murfreesboro. This is an indoor facility with at least 10 different bounce houses and slides. For two hours, the kids get to jump their little hearts out. From past experience, the time frame given is more than enough time for the kids to get tired and ready for nap. One great thing is that they offer different bounce sessions, so you never need to be afraid of your kids being trampled by older kids. Some of the different sessions are: open bounce for all ages, preschool bounce for age 7 and under, home school bounce, cosmic glow bounce and even a parents’ night out! They do offer a summer pass for kids to bounce all summer and discounts for siblings. You can find all the pricing and times on their website.

3. The Discovery Center

Another top spot is The Discovery Center in Murfreesboro! This is located right off Broad Street. This is a two-story building with all kinds of neat activities for all different ages. Just to give you a few awesome details, there is a two-story slide, a little pretend grocery store, an interactive water station, an outside play area and even an old fashioned fire engine. They do have different themes throughout the year, so definitely check out their website before going. One of the best reasons to go here is because it offers education in a fun way. I would suggest getting a membership because the daily pass could rack up if your kids really love this place. Directions, hours, themes and pricing can be found on their website.

4. Barfield Crescent Park

If you’re looking for a park, Barfield Crescent makes the list. There are different playgrounds for different ages, open fields, Frisbee golf course, baseball fields and more. The reason why this is one of the best parks around is because of how clean and open the area is. There are usually very few people at this park, so it is not as crowded as others. The little kid’s playground is all fenced in with seating inside the fence. There is an awesome walking trail and has a great section shaded by trees. Throughout the year, there are many different carnivals and events happening here. Another perk of this park is the Wilderness Station. They offer different educational programs and events. While all public parks do close at dusk, the Wilderness station has their own operating hours.

5. Nashville Zoo

Lastly, if you haven’t been to the Nashville Zoo, pack your family and a lunch and go. This does take about an hour to get to, depending on what part of Murfreesboro you’re coming from, but it is definitely worth the ride. They have over 25 exhibits, from reptiles to mammals, even birds. One of the neatest exhibits is the kangaroo exhibit. You can go inside their enclosure and even pet the kangaroos if they’re close enough! The zoo also offers a huge playground for the kids. Multiple slides, nets, swings, swing bridges and even a little padded area for the younger kids. This is another place that I highly suggest getting a membership. If you plan on going more than once, the membership pays for itself. A few awesome perks about being a member is you get invited to member only events, a small discount on food and items from the gift shop, free parking and discounts to other zoos and aquariums. Their hours vary by the season, so again check their website before going.

With all of these things offered in Middle Tennessee, there is no reason for your kid to be bored this summer. Parks are always free, splash pad is free and everything on this list, excluding the zoo, is less than $10 a person. If you decide to get the memberships, it would be even less than that. Making sure your child has a fun packed summer and remember that even educational trips don’t have to break the bank! Just be prepared for it so sound like a broken record when they start asking to go back!

Cover Image Credit: Josh Engroff

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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9 Summer Cleaning Tips To Make Your House Spotless

It's time to get rid of ALL those clothes.

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As soon as you get home from college for summer break, it's very easy to plop your stuff down and not want to touch the stuff you brought home from your dorm room until August. As easy as that sounds, the time is now! Summer cleaning is a great task to accomplish when school gets out because not only have you collected more stuff, but you've also gotten older and may have your own place at school.

Spring cleaning is essential to an organized life and can be helpful in the following ways:

1. It can help relieve anxious thoughts

Have nothing to do? You can always clean without donating items. For example, those bathrooms and floors could always use a scrub. This wipes away any fear or worrying and focuses your attention on helping yourself feel good.

2. Have a place for things you only absolutly need

While living in a dorm room, you learn to live with a lot less. This is a great lesson to simplify your life at home too and make sure everything you need has a place. Prioritize clean and clear surfaces. If your surface is not clear, you have too much stuff.

3. Redo your childhood bedroom

When we go off to college, the most common thing to be stuck in the past is your childhood bedroom. Use your time at home to make your bedroom look nicer with a new paint color or bedspread to make the space feel more you (instead of your five-year-old self).

4. Say goodbye to ALL those CLOTHES

Saying goodbye to clothes is hard. Make more space in your closet with a hanging organizer for scarfs and sweaters that take up a lot of space. Instead of putting clothes on a hanger and hanging them in the closet, vertical organizers create more space. One major tip is if you haven't worn the garment in over a year, donate or throw it out!

5. Shoes

One way to get all those shoes off the floor is to buy a shoe organizer to hang on your closet door. Not only does this prevent dust from collecting in the bottom of your closet, but you can also navigate which shoes you actually use the most. This way, you can maybe get rid of a few more pairs.

6. Trinkets

Trinkets are fun but can turn into major dust collectors. Limiting your space to five decorative pieces per room allows for a picture perfect magazine look. And of course, it's easier to dust and clean too!

7. Clean things that often get missed

Besides cleaning rooms, floors, and bathrooms, there are a few everyday items that get missed. For example, the microwave, bathmat, vacuum filter, the dreaded makeup brushes, and most importantly the junk drawer (eek, scary!).

8. Cleaning doesn't just have to be individual

Tackling any type of cleaning can be hard and it doesn't just have to be you. If you are still living at home, it's easier to get a family member involved too since they share the same space. Having a helper makes a world of difference and can tackle twice as much. In addition, have a cleaning weekend as a family affair for a great bonding experience!

9. Establish a cleaning routine

Picking up for 10 minutes by yourself each day is crucial. This establishes a cleaning routine to make sure those needed items stay in their space when not being used. Small tasks can help keep your room cleaner longer.

Make this summer clean!

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