Photo by Mathieu Turle on Unsplash
The holidays are filled with a lot of wonderful things -- family, parties, etc. -- but all these things don’t come without a price. Many of us feel our wallets lighten significantly as the December days go on. Travel expenses, gifts, winter clothes, parties, higher utility bills… it all adds up quicker than you realize! That’s why it’s so important to save money where you can.
If you have a child in your life who loves sports and being active, you’re lucky enough to have a plethora of gift options available that you know they’ll love. Unfortunately, sports equipment is costly. If you want to give them gifts they’ll love, use the following money-saving tips to stay within your budget.
Find Cashback Opportunities
Online shopping makes it easier than ever to find what you need. Just type in a product or description into a search engine, and you’ll have options at your fingertips in seconds. However, the benefits of online shopping don’t stop there. Websites like Rakuten give shoppers cash back on the things they spend money on anyway. Simply shop through a retailer like Dick’s Sporting Goods, and you can earn Rakuten cash back on sports equipment.
Give a Gift Card
If you’re budgeting your time as much as your money, you may not have hours to dedicate for going to the mall, finding the perfect gift, bringing it home, and wrapping it. A gift card is a perfect way to give your little buddy exactly what they want. Most gift card companies allow you to put however much you want on the card, so you can stay within even the strictest budget.
If you have multiple kids you’re gifting, giving gift cards ensures everyone gets the same amount so there’s no in-fighting about who got the better gift. Yet when you go the gift card route, you’re also able to make it more personal than just giving cash. For instance, while a gift card for Foot Locker may be exactly what the little athlete in your life needs, their sibling who loves to experiment in the kitchen would probably prefer one from a place like Sur la Table. You show your loved ones that you pay attention to their likes and interests while giving them the autonomy to buy what they really want -- everybody wins!
Gift an Experience
While kids love ripping open wrapping paper when presented with a gift, that joy is short-lived. If you really want to give them something valuable, gift them with an experience. Most children -- heck, most all of us -- don’t need more stuff. On the other hand, an experience gift provides opportunities for memories they can keep with them for a lifetime. The adventure introduces them to new people and concepts while improving your relationship. Furthermore, an experience gift really shows your child that you know and respect their purpose and passions.
Instead of giving your little athlete something material, wrap up tickets to a local minor league or collegiate ballgame. Or if they’re more the type to want to get into the game, a day of mini-golf and milkshakes will provide ample opportunities for memory making. Work with what they enjoy and your budget to find the perfect option.
If you want to save money this holiday season, start with the gifts. Material possessions aren’t what bring children happiness, it’s the thought you put into the gifts that show them you care. Instead of breaking the bank, use coupons and cashback opportunities to save on what you buy, make budgeting easier with gift cards, or skip the mall altogether and give the gift of an experience with the little athlete you love.
This blog post was the work of Anya Willis the founder of Fit Kids. Find out more about Anya at https://fitkids.info/
9 Lazy Kidz a family brand which started as a hot sauce company is pleased to announce the appointment of Skye Ervin age 17 as Manager of Operations. She will be responsible for the day to day operation of the newly re-branded family company. The brand was created by father Martin Ervin along with Mother Michelle Ervin a little more than six years ago.
9 Lazy Kidz was created to share stories and memories that Martin and Michelle have experienced and continue to experience with our now 11 children. “It was a proud day when Skye came to me and said, I’ll be finishing school soon and I want to work with you on the brand, dad.” We have encouraged the kids to build their own, to do something they enjoy and not find themselves beholden to a “job”. I am very proud that one of the children has decided to take the reins. Skye will be learning from both mom and dad but also is working on updating the website with our designer; she is developing a line of apparel, working on distribution, private label, brand management through social media and will be a part of all decisions as it relates to how we move the 9 Lazy Kidz brand forward. Skye has been a part of the production of all four sauces which are now available at www.9LazyKidz.com . We have never had all four sauces available for sale in the hot sauce bottle. The brand is strategically aligned for success with dad’s financial expertise and business background and moms eye for creativity. With Skye now being added, we have the perfect recipe for growth.
Michelle and I will support Skye in all of her efforts to take the brand to new heights. This change in leadership and the passing of the torch is bitter “heat” to put it mildly. Skye will bring a fresh prospective as well as manage national operations on both the east coast and the west coast. Currently, a student, Skye’s studies will come first. However, the brand management will be a part of her daily routine as well.
In my profession, I am responsible for leading a large team. Part of my role is to empower the team and prepare them for growth. This is a theme I am a strong advocate of as we leaders, have an obligation to teach the next generation. Michelle and I are doing just that by making this appointment. Mom will be busy taking care of all the kids but specifically the newest addition to our family that was born last week on September 20th and Skye will be handling the new relaunched brand. They both happened to come at the same time. This is an exciting time for our family and those of you who have followed us as well encouraged us. We sincerely hope you will welcome Skye with the same encouragement and support that any young entrepreneur taking on this type of task will need. Please follow 9 Lazy Kidz on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook to see this young entrepreneur and her journey to growing the brand!
We know that raising kids today isn’t like it was when we were growing up in the 60’s 70’s &
80’s. I don’t know when or how it happened but I do believe it is a generational thing. Not all of
us are guilty of it but I know I certainly am. As we progress, our core values change to reflect the
current times. By this time, one would think as the father of 10 kids and one of the way, I would
get it by now. As a father my love for my children is unwavering. We would do anything for our
kids and that is exactly what we do as parents, anything. We provide them with everything they
need and ask for. Maybe its because we grew up with very little or we remember not being given
what we wanted but whatever the reason, we as parents supply our kids with everything and it
doesn’t stop at 18 or 21 years old. It continues because we’ve made it this way.
I am guilty of feeding my children. That’s right. Rub your eyes one more time, scratch your head
as you ponder “he’s guilty for feeding his kids?” Yes, I am. I gave them everything I didn’t have
and more. I failed. I fished and fed them so they ate well everyday. They didn’t go without.
Instead of feeding my kids, my goal should have been to teach them how to fish, to feed
themselves. My oldest daughter, we paid for her education. When, the right thing to do would
have been to make her pay for it. When it’s earned, most see the value, know the work that goes
into it. They appreciate what we have done for them. However, the message, the lesson should
have been different. They are good kids but as I age and realize my mortality, it struck me that I
will not be here to feed them forever.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson and not to late in life (I hope). Parents, not giving our kids
everything doesn’t mean we don’t love them or care for them. It is quite the opposite, we have an
obligation as parents to prepare our children for a world that leaves us uncertain at times. We
grew up without social media, working for allowance and we were held accountable for our
actions. We went to work and made careers. No one gave us anything.
For more than 20 years I carried around the same worm leather wallet. As time went by and I
became more successful, people would ask me about the old wallet that was worn and beaten. It
served as a reminder to me that, I was taught how to fish, how to feed myself. It reminds me of
where I came from and how things were. If not for those hard lessons and having to feed myself,
I would not be the person I am today. The greatest gift we can give our children aside from life is
teaching them how to survive without us or anyone. No woman should be beholden to a man, no
man should look to someone else to do what he himself can do; provided we as parents gave then
the right tools. Feed your kids and they will eat for a day, teach them how to fish and they will
eat for a life time. I choose the latter. That is going to be this fathers gift to his kidz!
I was in Boston several weeks ago. I went back to my roots and as such I have been asked in recent weeks “what’s going on with the hot sauce business” We are no longer just a hot sauce business, 9 Lazy Kidz is a family brand. So, what does that mean? There is a great sense of pride, a feeling of accomplishment when your years and hours of hard work begin to pay off. I remember starting this business with one vision that destiny has taken down a different path. I recall those I asked for help and remember with a smile now when they wouldn’t, said they counldn’t or my favorite is “for a fee” yet I supported your business with thousands of dollars and referrals. I had to remind myself that I helped them with no expectation of anything in return. So, why be upset? It pushed me to work harder. Not everyone is like me, willing to help the next person up. Each one teach one. When it’s not about the money, that is when it comes! In 2016 EFI (the parent company of 9 Lazy Kidz) had a record breaking year and we have maintained a steady flow. 9 Lazy Kidz has grown. Quietly, I diversified the business. I didn’t update the website, I said very little as we positioned ourselves not to direct sales but through licensing, now merchandising, writing books, supporting fundraisers and so many other projects that don’t call for individual or community support but is driven by passion and smart business sense.
I recall approaching small restaurants on the east coast but they couldn’t see the bottom line revenue increase potential. I approached schools for fundraisers even in our hometown at cost to benefit programs for the kids however; the politics can’t see the clearing after the trees. The west coast has embraced the brand and the family. We will be updating the website to reflect our new direction. Our storefront will have merchandise; you will see more information on licensing and fundraisers. I will Blog about our family experiences. Lastly, I will be doing speaking engagement and WEBEX conferences. I am excited about the new direction. Our efforts over the years have afforded us a fulfilling lifestyle. Family is the foundation on which great men and women are made. While you may not be together always; as parents you have to know you’ve done the best you can in providing the kidz with the tools for success. They will venture out and see that life isn’t what we expect but what we set out to create for ourselves. Thank you for those that have supported us and continue to follow us. You won’t want to miss what will be coming up in the next few months. Don’t take the silence to mean we aren’t working at it. I get to work in paradise. Success comes from persistence, fears conquered and this place just up these stairs is where the magic happens.
A little more than a year ago, I made a decision that I knew would change the course of my life but I had no idea of the overall impact. With the birth of my 10th child, I realized all that I had missed in pursuit of the all mighty dollar. So, circumstance took over. The reality was, I had 10 kids and I was unemployed by choice. I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I spent a great deal of time getting to know my kids, spending time doing the things that I could never seem to take more than a day off to do. I had no thought of what I would do in the future and frankly, at that time I didn’t care. Being unemployed is a learning experience. I learned who my friends were. Many that I had helped get jobs, gave business to and connected them with others were all of sudden silent. This is when the realization hit, the success we create is our own. Thankfully, I was financially prepared for everything that came my way. No one expected me to be financially savvy. I mean, I ran a multi-million operation, a house of 12 plus and had a small business. Many underestimated my ability to survive. Who quits a job with one income and a large family, I have been asked. I did! There are many components to life. There are two that stand out to me risk and respect. If you aren’t willing to take the risk, the reward may never come and if people don’t respect you, there are two choices, accept it or walk away!
We are given this life and something we all have, free will. I could have worked, kept going as I was or stopped, reflected and established priorities. My choice, my free will was to get to know my kids. There were circumstances that led up to my decision but the decision was the right one, I will not make an excuse there. Many people would love to do what I did but for every action there is a reaction. You have to be prepared. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows but what calmed the fear was hope, hope that because I did the right thing, I would find the right thing. I don’t care what you believe in. I know I was blessed with 10 beautiful lives that depend on me to put them first and I didn’t realize that until my last child was born. I am grateful, I saw it then and not at 50 or 60. Do what life calls you to do, don’t make it about money, make it about memories, and make it about life and how you leave people feeling. Make it about a legacy, a role model that can be appreciated and shared from your children to their children but never make it about the money. So, yes, I have 10 kids and I was unemployed but I had love in my heart and no regret about my decision, ever! I love my 9 Lazy Kids and a baby but they were ready for dad to go back to work! That is when my future was revealed. I had 3 job opportunities. I only made it to two of them before receiving offers from both. So, it was decision time. Was I going to Los Angeles or Orlando? My decision led me across country to Los Angeles. As I reflect back now on the past year and see many folks in the same place they were a year ago, I know what separates us, passion, love and risk. Change can be scary and exciting but what will be your driver to take the leap? Mine was 9 Lazy Kidz and a baby!
For Immediate Release – June 14, 2017
9 Lazy Kidz Family Brand Names New Chief Operations Officer & Relocates
After taking a one year hiatus to spend time with the 9 Lazy Kidz plus one; Founder and father Martin Ervin goes from East Coast to West Coast, literally. Back on the scene with a newly defined strategy and leadership team, 9 Lazy Kidz is moving from the humble beginnings in a small East Coast town to the busiest city on the West Coast, Los Angeles.
Co-Founder Michelle Ervin will assume the day to day operations of the brand, implementing the strategy that has been a year in the making. Martin Ervin will remain President and advise as needed. He has taken on a National Director role with one of the largest law firms in the country.
Founder Martin Ervin said “We expect that our strategic positioning in collaboration with our new business partners will enhance the current service offerings by going to both extremes of the “sauce” market. The brand has plans to expand beyond sauce. We expect to have more information on that as we enter this new market. The kids are getting older and want to play a role in the development of the brand and we expect to be adding a few of them to the new team. This is an exciting time for our family and the brand.” Michelle Ervin said “We have a unique family dynamic. Sure many people have large families but we’ve taken it a few steps forward by establishing a brand and sharing what we’ve learned along the way. The kids are only young once so, by documenting, sharing and teaching our kids the values they will need to be successful in the world is a win-win all around not just for us but those that follow us and can relate to our family and brand identity”
About 9 Lazy Kidz
The brand was born in 2013 a few years after the death of Martin Ervin’s sister passed away to document and share stories about what life is like raising 9 kids and now a baby. The company was to be a family brand but hot sauce was the first product to be produced and they became known as a large family with their own hot sauce. With four hot sauces certified for production, they are selling one as they look to rebrand.
Name of Media Contact: Martin Ervin
Title of Media Contact: President
Company Name: 9 Lazy Kidz
Contact Phone Number: 781-264-6069
Contact E-mail: Martin@9lazykidz.com
Website URL: www.9LazyKidz.com
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For every action there is a reaction. We’ve learned that as a family first hand but have been encourage by our setbacks and enthusiastic about our successes. You have to be prepared for all that comes at you. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows but we’re the fire @9lazykidz that can’t be put out. Take a look!
p.s. You can buy our sauce retail at our online store tab. Wholesale coming soon!
Marketing only works if you have a good product and great promotion. If you're the only one that thinks it's great chances are you won't be successful. You need to take it to the consumers and ask them what they think. You need to get it out in front of them and that is what we did. The Street-team was managed by www.socialmediamadness9.com We had them take to the streets and what we learned is people they spoke to "Love 9 Lazy Kidz"
What kid doesn’t like meatballs, let alone meatballs with a cheesy surprise inside? Each meatball has a different cheese. For this recipe, we used 2 types of cheese and there may be 1 or 2 that have no cheese, just to throw them off. Want to know the secret? Ok
3lbs hamburger meat
30 bite sized pieces of your favorite cheeses (assorted)
3 tbsp Chance’s Tomato & Garlic sauce (9 Lazy Kidz)
3 level tbsp minced garlic (I like a bit of extra garlic)
2 dashes of ground black pepper
3 pinches of Oregano
Put the cheese aside. We’ll get to that. Mix all the other ingredients until you have a big mass of meat. Pull off a meatball size piece of hamburger. Before you begin to roll the meatball, place a piece or two of cheese inside the meat and roll until you can’t see or feel the cheese in the meatball.
This should make about 30 meatballs. Place the rolled meatballs in the oven on 350 for 25 minutes (no more or the cheese may start to spill out) There is a method to my madness!
Take the meatballs from the oven (notice no cheese spillage) and directly to your sauce pot (Crock-pot) cook on low until the kids get home and mom makes the pasta. It’s Chance’s sauce and the cheese that make the flavor, that’s the secret. Dad’s done dude!
Michelle and Martin Ervin have had the privilege of raising 11 amazing children. We will share #parenting advice, recipes and anything that has to do with our fantastic journey