How Getting Productive is An Important Part of Self Care for Moms
Is Your Home Living in the Future?

Is Your Home Living in the Future?

We can often forget just how far modern technology has progressed, and how far it has yet to progress. Twenty years ago the mobile phones we have now would have been considered outlandish, and that’s saying nothing of the raw computational power that’s actually available worldwide. As AI and the internet of things become even more of a pressing reality in our lifetime, it can be worthwhile to consider just how our own homes are outfitted for our use.

While investing in every single kickstarter invention for your home space might not be considered the best idea, and while certain developments such as Amazon Key have been looked on with deep suspicion, it’s not hard to see just how our homes are starting to become ‘smart homes’ as effectively as possible.


home of the future


Is your home living in the future? Might you consider outfitting it in 2019? With our following advice, you might just see what your options actually are:


Smart Fridges


While we’re nowhere close to the incredible 3D printed and immediate food we all seem to think a possibility in the future, there are many smart appliances to help you with your general dietary needs throughout the day. Among these are smart fridges. All smart fridges can be different, but there are some functionalities worth keeping. Some allow you to apply an inventory to the UI database on-screen, allowing you to search for and formulate recipes that take into account the current items within. They can help you set the best before dates to help remind you when to throw things out, or sometimes even give you the wishlisting ability to generate a shopping basket with your favorite online grocer.


Some smart fridges are part of a larger, cohesive appliance set, in which you can connect to the internet of things in order to deduct stock levels upon usage, to help you calculate calories among many other things. While a smart fridge is perhaps the most luxurious appliance that you might have in your home, and by no means needed, if you’re hoping to future proof your kitchen, this could be a good choice for you.


Complete Home Automation


Home automation can be an excellent means of not only saving you time, but allowing your home to cater to the needs you have from hour to hour. We often think of our homes as simply a place to protect us and place our head at night, but it’s much more than that. It’s a place for us to feel comfortable, actualized, and to make memories with friends or family. For this reason, having a more cohesive and open form of home management could be a pleasant luxury to have at first, but then as the convenience hits becomes more of your daily familiarity, it will become a ‘must.’ Learning more about the best services to apply this form of management can be worthwhile, especially if they offer solid security maintenance, the ability to switch off your other appliances and manage the usage of the small things, such as your light fixtures. A home automation fixture or subscription could absolutely help you jump into the new year with a fresh-feeling house, so long as you remember the usual necessity of cleaning well, through and through.


Security Systems


Security systems were alluded to slightly in the previous paragraph, but it’s important to know their importance. As technology moves forward, so does security. While your home is unlikely to be the victim of a cyberattack attempt, thieves and trespassers stick lurk around as they have for thousands of years. For this reason, using modern-day solutions to these problems could potentially help you curtail these possibilities with ease. Light management, contacting emergency services, detecting trespassers due to a tripped alarm among many other implements could be essential in order to not only deter a would-be thief, but to scare away one in the process of their focused act.


Security systems matter. You might not think yourself someone who overly cares about protecting your space heavily, but think just how you’d react if the locks were removed from your home. We all care about privacy and security, it’s a human need as strong as the need to eat. So looking for a modernized solution to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible is not only wise, it’s highly rational.


Home Access While Out


It can be that sometimes, you wish to keep an eye on things in your home. It might be that you’re headed on vacation and are leaving your high-school age child at home for the weekend. Looking at your camera through a digital device might help you ensure they’re keeping strong with your mutual understanding not to throw any parties. If you’re away for extended absences, ensuring the property is well provided for by the maintenance provider can be achieved through this observational platform.


This might sound difficult to implement, but it’s really not. All you need to do is select it as an option when applying a cohesive security suite to your home. This can help you not only ensure its compatibility with various other implements you have in the household, but it can help you apply a more custom-fit scenario for what you envision to be the largest security issues you may have to deal with.




You might not think that an appliance can give you comfort, but we would assure you that it can. From smart foot spas to smart heaters to even smart blankets (yes, they exist,) if you can feel comfortable with it, odds are there’s a solution made by some crazy startup or another with pretty glowing reviews. You may decide to purchase a companion robot for company, or perhaps invest in a streaming share suite so you and your family member you might not be able to spend Christmas with can both enjoy a movie on a snow-swept evening.


With these tips, your home is sure to be closer to the new decade.


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Is your home living in the future?

5-Point Checklist to Picking the Perfect Sofa

5-Point Checklist to Picking the Perfect Sofa

One of the most important items in the living room has to be the sofa, right? It’s the place where you will gather with your family to relax after hectic days at work and school. You’ll all come together to watch your favorite movies and TV shows, and it’s super important that it’s the comfiest that a sofa can be. So, wouldn’t it be heartbreaking if you bought a new sofa that wasn’t quite up to scratch? Well, you don’t have to ever worry about choosing the wrong sofa ever again after you’ve read this blog post. Here are the 5 must-dos for how to shop for a sofa!


how to shop for a sofa


Size Is Everything


One of the main things you need to consider when looking for a new sofa is its size. After all, if you accidentally by one that is too big, you might struggle to get it into your home let alone your living room! So, you need to remember to measure the space where your sofa will be going. Then you have an idea of how big your new one can be. It’s a good idea to take your measuring tape with you when you head to your nearest furniture showroom!


Take A Seat


If you are in a shop and think that you have spotted the perfect sofa for your home, you need to sit on it before you commit to buying it. This will give you an idea of just how soft or firm the cushions are. This is especially important if anyone in your family suffers from back problems. They may need a slightly firm sofa to provide their back with plenty of support.


Check Reviews


If you aren’t too sure which sofa brand to go with, it’s worth taking a look online to see customer reviews. You’ll be able to read them here as well as on consumer sites like Yelp, Google, and Amazon. It might also be worth reading some recent interior design magazines as they often include reviews from professional interior designers.


Think About The Upholstery


What type of upholstery do you want on your sofa? The answer to this might depend on your home situation. For instance, if you have young children in your family, then you will no doubt want a sofa that is upholstered in materials that are easy to clean and stain-proofed. If it is just you and your partner in the house, then you will be safe to go with a slightly fancier material, like velvet or suede.

And don’t forget about your pets! Hair accumulates much easier on fabrics vs leather. Also take into account the nails of your pet. Some leathers are easily scratched, and that’s a pricey thing to have repaired.


Find Out About The Frame


Don’t forget to look into the frame as well. The better quality the frame is, then the longer your sofa will last for. So, even if you do end up paying slightly over the odds for a sofa with a solid frame, at least you know that you won’t need to replace it any time soon. The best frames are made from kiln-dried hardwood, and have 8-way tied spring construction. 


As you can see, there are lots of considerations when buying a sofa. Hopefully, all of these golden rules help you make the right choice!


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Lost when it comes to shopping for the perfect sofa? Here are 5 tips for choosing a good quality sofa that will fit your room, plus be comfy and gorgeous for your family!

Set Your Family Up for the Future Financially Today

Set Your Family Up for the Future Financially Today

Money can be one of the hardest things to manage, and finance is one of the areas where a lot of people struggle. You might want to do what is best for your family and start saving so that there is money for the future, and yet you are struggling. If this is the case, we have come up with some of the ways that you can set your family up for the future.


family's financial future


High-Interest Savings Account


You might be putting money away every month and accumulating it in a savings account. If you are pretty good with money and you manage to put funds in and then don’t touch them, you need to consider a high-interest savings account. You will get paid by the bank for the money that you have in the account and the amount of money they pay you will grow with the money that you put in. This way, you will be earning money on the cash that you have already put away in savings. If you don’t look at this for a while, and only put money in without checking your balance, you might be surprised at what awaits you when you get back.


Life Insurance


The next thing that you should consider is taking out life insurance on yourself. Paying into this policy every month so that you know your family have something after you are gone is a great way to prepare for the future. It might not be your future, but it is the future of the people that you love. You can get a range of different policies so make sure that you check out a life insurance guide before you settle on one.


There are lots of things you need to know about life insurance, and this isn’t something that you should jump into. Make sure you are doing thorough research so that you can be sure you are getting the best possible deal.


Make Some Small Changes


You might think that everything you do has to be quite a dramatic change, but it doesn’t have to be like this. You can start by making some small changes and amending your budget to allow for more funds to be directed into savings. For example, you can make your home more efficient by using energy saving light bulbs. This is what we mean when we say that the changes don’t have to be big, but you will see big savings on your energy bill if you do this. In turn, there will be more funds freed up that you can put in your savings.


Or, you could change the way you do your food shop. Saving money in little bits is going to do more for your finances than you might believe. If you don’t think this is true, try it for yourself and see how much you manage to save.


We hope that you have found this article helpful, and will use these tips to set your family up for the future.


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3 big ways to set up your family's financial future when you don't know anything about financial planning

3 Reasons Your Family Home May Not Be Selling

3 Reasons Your Family Home May Not Be Selling

3 reasons for your home not selling as quickly as you think it should.

Collaborative post.


When you have a family and you are attempting to make a move, you want it to be as quick and painless as possible. It’s important to do this to ensure that your children don’t have to suffer from stress and anxiety when moving. Ultimately, you need to make sure that they are settled into the new location rapidly, find a school and make new friends. This can be tricky when your home isn’t selling because it can leave you in a state of limbo for months.


For instance, you might be moving due to career reasons. This could lead to a long commute to your old home until that’s sold and frees up some money to buy property closer to your new work. You might be starting to see the issues here. That’s why it’s important to address why your family home won’t sell and what can be done to fix this issue.


home not selling


No Curb Appeal


It could be a simple matter of your house not being particularly attractive. Do looks matter? You’ll find they certainly come into play when you’re trying to sell a property. Young couples are often the main buyers of family homes and they have a very specific idea of the type of property they want to buy. They’re looking for a home with the beautiful stepping stones leading up to the front door or the perfectly painted garden fence.


So, what do you do if you have an ugly home? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of companies interested in buying an ugly house and that means that you can quickly get cash for your sale. Alternatively, you can work to improve the curb appeal, adding some color and unique features to ensure that it starts to look a little brighter or more beautiful.


A Mess More Than They Can Bare


Alternatively, you might not have cleaned up your home. Cleaning up a home before a sale is always recommended. People who fail to do this are typically under the impression that buyers are simply interested in the area and space a property can provide. This isn’t true and buyers will often see a messy home as a sign it hasn’t been properly cared for or looked after. If that’s the case, then you do need to work on giving it a good spring clean. Clear out the clutter and this will also add to the perception that your home is large, perfect for a growing family.


An Issue With The Neighborhood


Finally, it’s possible that you’re moving because of an issue with your street or neighbors. We’re not all blessed with friendly, warm, neighbors. It’s no surprise then that buyers won’t be interested in a home where they can look forward to confrontations with the people living next door. That’s why it’s worth trying to get your neighbors on your side before you sell. Wine them, dine them, send them gifts and just ask politely whether they would mind warmly greeting anyone who comes to view your property. If buyers love your neighbors, they’ll be far more likely to make an offer.

Know someone whose home isn’t selling and may need some insight? Please SHARE this post!


Trying to sell your home with no luck? Check out these 3 reasons for your home not selling and tips to help improve your odds.

How to Use a Life Wheel to Gain Perfect Clarity in Your Life’s Direction

How to Use a Life Wheel to Gain Perfect Clarity in Your Life’s Direction

In a single moment, I decided that my nagging feeling about my career not being right for me was solidified with absolute certainty. My cheeks transformed into crimson as the mom yelled at me for her daughter crying about another kid being mean to her. Seriously–yelling. They were preschoolers. And I’d had enough.

Since I’d started teaching I’d endured a mom ‘shadow’ me because her kid was cheating constantly after a move across the country, I’d had a mom tell me I shouldn’t raise my voice when her child would go into rages because the parents were getting divorced and had developed anger issues consequently (that she conveniently left out of our parent-teacher conference), and now I had a mom yelling at me in front of my class because her child said another 4-year old was being mean to her.

Friends, I’d love to give every teacher in the world a giant hug –you know, the ones that deserve it. I’ve had my fair share of teachers being too lazy to control their class and instead tell me I needed to make sure and give my kid her ADD meds so she could concentrate with 6 other kids yakking and playing around her desk. Because the standardized test was so, so important. [Insert the biggest eyeroll the world’s ever witnessed.]

I don’t want to hug those teachers. I want to hug the ones that truly care. Because I was one of those teachers, and it was the parents who can’t take responsibility for their kid having emotional issues due to problems at home that finally pushed me over the edge.

The problem was, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought I knew, but the rest of my life was in such disarray I didn’t know where to start. So my husband and I floundered, and did the best we could ‘winging it’.

The problem was, ‘winging it’ just wasn’t getting us anywhere. Thankfully I stumbled across something affectionately called a ‘life wheel’.


how to use a life wheel in goal setting


The enlightening purpose of the Life Wheel


A life wheel is a tool that helps us to compartmentalize our life into sections so that we can try to manage each one separately when creating our life goals.

Read here about The 8 Type Goals Everyone Should Have in Life.

The reason we use the Life Wheel as the tool for this exercise is because of the shape. Each compartment in your life will have a section, like a pie wedge. A lemony pie with dreamy meringue on top. Because when life hands us lemons, we make a delicious lemon meringue pie with it. Ha!

Actually it needs to truly resemble a wheel.

And if each wedge has a number from 0 to 10 (with 0 starting in the middle), and you colored in each wedge to the level you feel your life is in terms of time and energy spent there, you’re most likely going to see a wacky-leveled wheel. That’s where most of us start in this exercise.

And yet another approach is to color them in based on how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you feel each area of your life is right now.

What you want is for the wheel to be as level as possible. If that wheel was on a wagon, how smoothly could you transport your boxes of lemon meringue pies to the market? It’d be a crazy bumpy road and your delicate baked yummies would be destroyed.

(Many people refer to having a ‘level 10 life’. This is where that comes from: striving to have a level 10 in all areas.)

So think of this as the ‘balancing act’. You want the wedges to be as balanced as possible to make a smooth wheel.


Get your free Life Wheel below when you join the Newsletter–then print it out and color it in based on how you feel each category is in your life currently.


What Do I Do With the Life Wheel?


Once you have your Life Wheel all colored in and dated, your next step will be using that information to set life goals for yourself in each area. Using the SMART Goal setting method is always a good option. It helps you structure your goals so that you have a plan of action.

Many people use each wedge of their life wheel to create individual goals corresponding to that wedge. So if your wheel has 8 sections, they’ll have a minimum of 8 goals they’re working towards.

And it’s perfectly fine to have more than 1 goal for each compartment! Sometimes it takes many goals to level up closer to the 10-mark!


Once your Life Wheel is colored in, choose a type of goal setting and get started! Visit the SMART Goals blog post to learn about how to set SMART goals for yourself, and grab a free SMART goals workbook while you’re there!


Click the image below to download your Life Wheel worksheet–it’s FREE when you sign up for the Newsletter!


life wheel life goals everyone


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Don't know where to start in goal setting? Using a Life Wheel is a perfect way to assess where you life is. Then you can move on to goal setting methods like SMART goals. But START with the life wheel! REad how to use and get your free printable! #lifewheel #goals #goalsetting #goalsetter #lifegoals #momgoals #moms #momlife

Out With the Old, In With the New

Out With the Old, In With the New

4 Easy steps to purge and declutter before the holiday influx of gifts takes over your home.

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It’s the holiday season and Christmas and the New year are upon us. Your house will soon be full of new toys, games, books, food, drink, toiletries and gadgets to name a few. So now is the perfect time for a clear out; It’s time to get ready for the new year and for a fresh start.

Clearing out clutter not only creates space in your home but it helps to clear your mind too. So what are you waiting for? Before Santa comes down your chimney, get ahead and get sorting out what’s junk and what’s for keeps.


purge and declutter to make room for holiday gifts


Step 1: Get Prepared


The first thing to do before you start chucking things is to make a list. Which rooms in the house do you need to declutter most? This is the best way to get more organized and not overwhelm yourself with thinking there’s so much to do. Take it one step at a time.

Two things to note before you start as well are that self-storage is a really good solution for freeing up space. You’ll know it’s safe, you’ll feel at ease, and those items aren’t just sitting around gathering dust.

For the things you’re ready to part with completely, then skip bin hire is also a very viable option, and you can get rid of loads of large items in one go such as old furniture and old toys.


Step 2: The closets


One of the first places to start would be your wardrobe; this is the one people usually dislike the most and put off doing however if you stick some good music on and have a ruthless attitude then you’re more likely to succeed.

An overflowing wardrobe is no good for anyone, you forget what’s in it, and although it’s packed with clothes, you can never find anything to wear. Sever the emotional ties with your old t-shirts, the shoes you can’t walk in and all the things that don’t fit.

Organize your clothes into a keep pile; a donate pile and a throwaway pile. Your keep pile should only be things you like, you still want to wear, and they need to fit you properly, right now.

Your donate pile can be given to charity, check the clothes are in good condition, clean, and can be worn without and mending required, then give them away to a happy new life with someone else.

Then if you have some things that are in your keep pile but you don’t need until next season, store them in vacuum bags which don’t take up much room and will make sure they won’t get damaged.

Get rid of everything that doesn’t’ suit you or doesn’t fit, and isn’t in a good enough condition for anyone else to enjoy.

Use the following the questions to determine what to do with each item?

  1. Does it fit?
  2. Does it suit your current style?
  3. Have you worn it in the last 6-12 months?
  4. Will you wear it in the next 6-12 months?
  5. Is it in good condition? If not, can you and will you get it fixed in the near future?
  6. If you didn’t already own it, would you buy it now?
  7. Do you feel good about yourself when you wear it?

If you answer any of these questions with a firm no, it’s time to say goodbye.

However, if there is something you really can’t get rid of because of its sentimental value, but you also can’t wear it then think outside the box, could it be a cushion cover? Could you frame it? If it deserves to be seen, then let it be seen.


{For a more thorough closet cleanout + free printables to help, read “Complete Closet Cleanout in a Fast Weekend to Totally Liberate Your Mama Mind.”}


Step 3: The Kitchen + Beyond


You then need to approach your kitchen and the other rooms in your house in a similar vein. Perhaps you could use a “one in, one out” system? Whether it’s chutneys from a Christmas hamper or new gadgets, you need to have a look at the increasing lack of space in your kitchen.

If you’ve got something new recently can you just replace it with something that you don’t use? Or that’s seen better days?

It’s very easy to fall in bad habits and not just your kitchen, but your house can become entirely cluttered. It’s far easier to put something down than put something away – but keep doing that, and the clutter continues to build up.

Take the same approach to your kitchen as you do to your wardrobe: if you haven’t worn something for a whole year, you probably won’t start now, so give it away to charity.

We often think we need the new blender, spiralizer, or breadmaker. It will change our lives and make cooking and dinners so much healthier and better. However, most of these gadgets end up collecting dust at the back of the cupboard, unused. You have to be as ruthless as possible. If it’s not seen any action over the course of the last twelve months, then out it goes.

Keep one drawer for clutter – it’ll make you feel better. Pick one drawer to be your designated area where you throw clutter in as you need to.

Decluttering will help you feel ready for the new year. It’s a great way to see what you’ve got, what you’ve forgotten about and could be using. Or maybe you know someone who would make use of something that you don’t. It’s so easy to hoard things as you just never know when you might need them. But if you remember this is to make room for the new, it’ll be a lot easier.


Step 4: Deep Clean


After you purge and declutter you can have a good deep clean. You’ll feel like you have a whole new luxurious space, and it might just make you think twice about what you’re buying and keeping in 2019 so you don’t have to do it all again!

{For steps + a free printable checklist on a deep fall cleaning for your home, read “How to Get Your Home Delightfully Clean for Fall“}


Know someone that could use help with purging their home? Please SHARE this post!


If your closets and kids' rooms are like mine, they're chock full when it gets time for the holidays to roll around. Get prepped with these steps and tips to get your home purged and decluttered before the holiday influx of gifts! #christmas #homeorganization #organized

4 Ways to Start Being More Energy Efficient at Home

4 Ways to Start Being More Energy Efficient at Home

4 Ways to start being more energy efficient at home.

Collaborative post.


There’s so much more focus on being more environmentally friendly when it comes to the way we live and our homes. It’s hard to shy away from the things that we feel we should be doing as a duty. But for some, this can be something that you’re just considering doing. Your home can be a great place to start when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, and here’s how you can make some differences.


energy efficient at home


Solar energy


Solar energy can often be a great way to make sure you’re doing your bit for the environment and having them on your home can be a cheaper alternative. Once you’ve invested in having the panels fitted that is. However, you can enlist the help of a home solar installation company to do the hard work for you. Solar energy does most aspects of your home, from lighting to heating your water. It can be an excellent investment for the future and may even affect the value of your home in a positive way–both on reselling and on your taxes.


Changing your habits


Sometimes you need to think of the habits you have when it comes to energy usage. For example, do you always switch a light off when you leave a room? How about switching an appliance off at the wall instead of leaving it on standby. Maybe you always boil a full kettle even if you are only making one drink. These habits can be changed, and over time the difference will be seen in your electric bill. If you don’t have the chance to use solar energy, then using as little power as possible can be the next step to doing your bit.


Switching light bulbs


The lights in your home can be the most significant use of energy. Especially in the winter when it can feel like you have every light on. And let’s not forget Christmas lights during the holidays. However, switching the light bulbs and the use of views where you can switch to an LED alternative could help you to use less energy overall. Investing in them may cost a little more, but over time the saving will be made in your usage and also how long they’ll last.


Investing in areas of your home


There are other areas of your home where you can make some significant investments to ensure that you save on the energy you use. Windows, for example, can be quite crafty and can let a lot of the heat in your home out. But investing in double or triple glazing could save you a bundle. Loft insulation can also be a great way to save on those heating bills. Heat naturally rises anyway, and if the insulation isn’t there, it can escape your home much quicker.

Finally, investing in other things like a rainwater catcher could help you reduce the amount of water you use for things like watering your garden in the summer.


There are things we can do, big and small, that can help the environment.


Know someone that could use help with making their home more energy efficient? Please SHARE this post!


Thinking of doing your part to help the environment? Start with these 4 ways to be energy efficient at home! #home #energyefficient #gogreen

The Mom’s Guide to Understanding Health Insurance Terms

The Mom’s Guide to Understanding Health Insurance Terms

The mom’s guide to understanding health insurance and the terms related when searching for the best policy for your family.

Collaborative post.


That tooth that got chipped when your kiddo so unpolitely head-butted your face in the pool last summer; that emergency visit to the ER when your husband sliced his finger open carving the juicest turkey ever; and even the urgent care visit for what you were certain was the hallmark chills and aches of the flu–all could cost a boat-load of money if you don’t have proper health insurance. Of the most basic financial must-do’s I recommend–health insurance is one of them!

From dental care to vaccinations, medical insurance plans cover the full spectrum of medical care and assistance. However, whether you gain access to all of this depends on the level of coverage you select when choosing your plan. But some of the terms can be confusing.

There is standard coverage, which typically only allows policyholders to benefit from in-patient care, yet there is comprehensive coverage, which has a whole host of great benefits. Also, sometimes your employer may provide options that are referred to as low-ductible versus high-deductible plans (which is typical in the US.) These plans usually offer very similar coverage, but have different premiums and deductible amounts.


health insurance


General terms you should know when selecting a plan:

1.In-Patient – As mentioned, this is offered in all worldwide health insurance policies, as it is considered the most basic form of care. You are classed as an in-patient when it is essential that you stay in a hospital overnight to receive treatment.

2. Out-Patient – An out-patient is someone that does not need to be admitted to hospital. Treatment is typically provided in the medical practitioner’s surgery or practice. This type of treatment is often covered in intermediate and comprehensive cover policies.


3. Long-Term Care – Some policies provide long-term care coverage. The insurer will pay for treatment and assistance for an individual who is unable to care for him or herself for an extended period of time. This includes those that are disabled, as well as individuals with chronic illnesses.

4. Optical – High coverage policies tend to offer optical care, which can include everything from eye tests to laser eye surgery. In the US, policies sometimes don’t cover certain things like measuring for contact lenses, so be sure to read up on what’s available before visiting the eye doctor.

5. Dental – Dental care is also a regular feature in policies with comprehensive coverage. In these instances the insurer will cover anything from complex dental treatments to yearly check-ups.

6. Maternity – Maternity care is another option that tends to be provided only in comprehensive cover policies. This involves any medical costs related to giving birth and the entire pregnancy, and so can range from the expense of a midwife to prenatal care. For any mom, this is a worthwhile extra. No matter what pressing concerns you have, you will have someone to help you. Will my baby’s eczema disappear? Why am I struggling to breastfeed? What should I be giving my child in terms of nutrition? If you are going to take out a policy, you may as well take advantage of expert maternity and childcare. (US policies generally don’t cover childcare.)

7. Well Being – This concerns medical costs that occur because of pivotal tests that are required to ensure you maintain good health. This does not mean you can go for random check-ups for any illness under the sun! What it does mean however is that if your doctor suspects an illness or wants to test you for various things; your policy will cover the costs. In the US, these may be called ‘preventative’, which are usually covered at 100% or close to it–check your policy.


8. Vaccinations – Last but not least, another option you may have with your health insurance policy is coverage for booster injections and immunizations. In the US, most policies automatically cover these at 100%.


9. In-Network– This refers to doctors that are contracted with the insurance company you’re signing with. They have pricing already agreed upon in advance with your insurer, and therefore your insurer usually covers these doctors at a much better rate. (This may only apply in the US.)


10. Out-of-Network–This refers to doctors or facilities that are not contracted with your insurance company. They have not agreed upon reasonable costs for visits, supplies, or procedures. This means your insurer may charge a higher deductible, and give less coverage for these doctors or facilities. (Again-may only apply in the US.)




If you are thinking about acquiring health insurance, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused by all of the options at your disposal. You do a search on the Internet and you’re met with an abundance of information. It’s difficult to know where to start. Here are some commonly asked questions…

In which countries can I have treatment?

This depends on your policy. Insurers will provide you with a list of countries whereby your global health insurance will be applicable.

What is excess or deductibles?

This is the amount of money you have to pay for treatment and/or care before your insurer will fund anything. For example, if your excess or deductible is $500, you will have to pay this sum of money for your insurer to cover you. The higher your excess or deductible is the lower your premiums will be.

Are outpatient treatments covered?

This depends on the level of coverage you opt for. Generally speaking you can choose between basic cover, intermediate cover and comprehensive cover. If you opt for a basic policy you will only be covered for inpatient treatments. However, most intermediate cover policies and all comprehensive cover policies will cover outpatient treatments. Many plans will allow for it, but offer coverage at different rates and may also have a completely separate excess or deductible for in-patient vs. outpatient visits.

Is pregnancy and maternity care covered?

You will need to opt for a policy that provides this type of coverage, which typically means selecting a high coverage policy. It is important to be aware of the fact that there could be a waiting period in place for maternity care. You have to seek this policy before falling pregnant, otherwise you could be deemed to have a pre-existing medical condition and consequently you will struggle to find someone to insure you.

How can I keep my premium costs low?

There are various ways you can lower your premiums. One option is to pay for your international medical insurance plan on a yearly basis rather than a monthly basis. You may also want to consider increasing your excess or deductible. Group schemes are also ideal for those looking to pay a lower premium amount. And yet, other plans have wellness clauses that will reimburse you part of your premiums if you fall within guidelines they set for wellness activities and health status.


Hopefully, you now feel like you have a better understanding regarding health insurance and all of the different options available to you as a mom. If you intend to get pregnant, make sure you take out insurance before doing so. 


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Selecting a health insurance plan each year is something I dread more than taking all my kids to the grocery store at one time. But here's a guide of terms and FAQ to help you understand what all that health lingo means and how to pick the best coverage and plan for your family. #health #healthinsurance #finances #healthadvice #healthliving #household #kidshealth #maternity

Getting the Full Asking Price When Selling Your Home

Getting the Full Asking Price When Selling Your Home

So, it’s time to put your house on the market! You have had several valuations, you have researched comparable properties, taken a look at the local and national housing market, and you are happy with the asking price you have decided on! But, instead of simply sitting back and hoping, here are some top tips for ensuring you get full asking price on your home when selling…


get full asking price when selling your home


Essential Basic Strategies


  • Sweeten the deal – Homebuyers want to feel like they are getting a great deal. Entice them with something that is going to make your deal hard to refuse. There are many incentives you could offer – if your home is situated in an exclusive neighborhood, how about a year’s membership to a luxury club? Or, try the more practical approach with a transferable home warranty.
  • Fix anything that needs to be repaired – You can’t paper over the cracks when putting your property on the market. Buyers today aren’t stupid. Plus, you can rest assured any issues will come out during the survey, and this gives the buyer leverage to demand a lower price. Whether it’s residential AC repair or filling a few cracks around the home, make sure you do it.
  • Stage your home – Home staging can ensure you get the asking price you have decided on! This all revolves around setting up your home to increase its value and chances of selling. You need to declutter, increase space, clean thoroughly, tend to necessary repairs and repaint your home in neutral shades.
  • Have brochures printed – A high-quality brochure can go a long way! A lot of real estate agents are scrapping this idea because they don’t want the costs associated with it, but don’t let your agent skimp! Brochures give a luxurious aspect to your home and are an exceptional way of showcasing everything your house and neighborhood have to offer.


The best price is the right price


Have you lost confidence in your asking price? Or, maybe you are considering overpricing your property just to see how it goes for a few months? Neither strategy is advised. The best price is the right price, and here’s why…


  • Overpricing – A lot of people think it is a good idea to set their property at a price higher than what it is worth. Why? Well, some do it because they know a lot of buyers end up offering below the asking price, while others just want to push their luck. If you price your property too high you will be on the market for a longer time and you will miss out on opportunities.
  • Lowering your asking price – If you have had your house on the market for a little while now and don’t seem to be getting any interest it can be extremely tempting to lower your asking price. But, you shouldn’t! It will make buyers think that there is something wrong with your property.


Do your research on comparable properties – those that have sold, those that haven’t, and those that are still on the market – and you need to couple this information with valuations from several real estate agents to come up with your asking price. By doing this, you know you have the price right, and you should be confident in what you are asking for!


Know someone that could use help with getting their home ready to sell? Please SHARE this post!


Selling your home can be so stressful--especially when you're worried about getting full selling price. Here are some of the best strategies and tips for making sure you get your full asking price when selling. #home #homestagingtips #homesellingtips

9 Newborn Essentials Every New Mom Needs

9 Newborn Essentials Every New Mom Needs

When it comes to newborns and pregnancy, you can be the most prepared person in the world and still forget something. Growing a baby is such a stressful thing to do that even the simplest of things can slip your mind, especially when it comes to buying newborn essentials for the arrival of your little one.


From diapers to breast pumps, the list of things you need seems like it is ever growing, right?


Well, to help put you at ease we’ve put together a list of 9 things every new mom absolutely needs (even if they were to buy nothing else at all).


newborn essentials



1.A Handy Diaper Caddy



When you’re trying to juggle a newborn, diapers, baby wipes and absolutely everything else – an accident is bound to happen. A diaper caddy, however, helps you organize everything you need into one handy (portable) box that is easy to carry when you’re holding a baby. Not only is it easy to carry, but it means everything stays in one place and is less likely to get lost around the house.



2. A Good Quality Baby Carrier, Stroller, and Car Seat



Okay, this may be three things but in a lot of cases these can all be purchased together, or as a 3-in-1. Carrying your little bundle of joy around with you may be tempting to start, but when it comes to both your health and your baby’s safety it’s much better for them to be in either a baby carrier, stroller, or a car seat.


To find out more about purchasing a 3-in-1 car seat or to find out which option is best for you, you can visit this handy guide here.



3. A Stock Pile Of Diapers (Of All Sizes)



If you’ve never had kids before then you will probably be surprised by the number of diapers you end up getting through on a daily basis. For this exact reason, you should definitely try and stock up on as many as you can before your bundle of joy arrives – meaning you always have some on hand.


Another great thing to do is to make sure you stock up in a variety of different sizes, as you never know when you’re going to need to start moving up to a bigger size. Once you find a brand you trust, this will be much easier to judge.



4….And Wipes



Whilst we’re on the topic of stocking up, you can never ever ever have enough baby wipes. Even once baby is out of diapers, you’ll still use wipes for years to come for messes at home and on the go. Seriously–can never have too much.



5. A Breast Pump



If you’re going to be breastfeeding then it may be worthwhile to invest in a breast pump to make things that little bit easier. If you’ve never breastfed before (or if you used a surrogate), breastfeeding is definitely not the easy option. Regardless of that, the benefits have been proven and it’s a great way for baby and mom to bond in the early months – whether you use a breast pump or not.


For more information on surrogacy, you can visit this link here:



6. A Co-sleeper



During the first few months of your baby being born, having them sleep by your bedside is extremely beneficial. While they can’t sleep in the bed with you, you can purchase a co-sleeper that has only 3 sides and attaches to the side of your bed. This way, they’re at your side but still safely in their own space.


Not only does a co-sleeper give you peace of mind, but it means you’re right there if anything was to happen in the middle of the night.



7. Lots And Lots Of Baby Clothes



If you’re a first-time mom then you will probably be unaware of how many baby clothes you will actually go through. Often, you need several outfits a day and by the time it comes around to wearing them again, they’ve already grown out of them!


As you don’t get much wear out of each outfit, it’s often better to go for the more affordable places so you get much more for your money and can easily stock up.



8.… And Tons Of Muslin Cloths!



Muslin cloths can be used for absolutely anything, and you never know when you may need one! Keeping your house, car and baby bag stocked up with clean Muslin Cloths at all times means you’ll definitely need to stock up.



9. Patience, Patience and More Patience



Whilst having a baby is the greatest thing you can do, it definitely requires lots and lots of patience.


It’s 100% worth it though.


Are you a new mom? Let us know if we missed anything off the list in the comment section below!


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Prepping for your newborn? Buying a gift for an expecting friend? Here are 9 essentials every mom needs for her newborn! #expecting #newborn #babyessentials #babygifts