In any job for any woman, the list of must-do’s can make you more dizzy than a tilt-a-whirl at the county fair. But all this talk about obligation and duty and the need to better yourself never seems tempered with talks about self-care, about how to actually thrive in your career in the most healthy manner possible. It’s especially important as moms to get rest, to regroup and to settle ourselves occasionally. Otherwise, burnout is inevitable.
But what does working self-care really mean? What are the true ‘musts’ of actually developing a worthwhile career while reducing our stress levels? Here are three super effective strategies at navigating this:
True Time Management
An ability to manage your time well might be seen as some kind of magical effort that only the best among us can do. But perhaps the time management of a lawyer or other highly executive professional isn’t always the thing we need to emulate. True time management means working productively, not for hours upon hours upon hours each week. It’s actually been shown in studies that working in an office is often a waste in the afternoon, as most employees fulfill their tasks in the morning, and then spend at least the last hour wrapping things up or simply filling time with less-than-effective work.
The better solution is to find what works for you, when you’re most effective, and when you can apply yourself completely to a certain task. With this true time management (which takes a little time to get a feel for), the days you encounter become much more enjoyable and much less frantic with this type of self care at work.
Sometimes defending yourself at work is necessary. If you’ve realized that you’re actually being harassed by an overly keen manager, you need to report that to HR, collect the evidence of this happening so it’s undeniable, and even leave the company if possible with a claim made against them.
Defending yourself also includes the possibility of having to hire an injury lawyer after experiencing an accident due to negligence at work, even if your boss is one of your friends and might discourage you from doing so.
Defending yourself is also trying to attain the confidence to speak fairly and rationally about your opinions and working interests. An uncompromising attitude towards self-respect will become all the more important if you raise the ranks of any firm, and that goes double for opening a business on your own terms. While it might sound like working for a firm is akin to fighting a war (it isn’t), it’s essential to know that almost no office environment is a center for R&R. Sometimes you do have to defend yourself and your craft for your personal health and reputational integrity.
Keeping Your Options Open
Keeping your options open is always important when you’re trying to navigate your way through the working landscape. Not matter how loyal you’ve been to your current firm thus far, there is always a chance that you may be let go, or that conditions might deteriorate. Opening yourself up to further opportunities by keeping your eye on the market, perhaps building your own platform outside of work, or simply looking at the available job market once in a while, can help you feel less completely and blindly loyal to one firm, but potentially open you up to the real weight of salary and treatment your skills should be earning you. This means that you will never be taken advantage of, because it’s impossible to force someone to do something who cannot lose from being let go.
Don’t forget these tips are more crucial for moms. Whether we like to admit it or not, we have limited patience and availability for stress in our lives if we expect to take care of our families properly. Our responsibilities on us at all times really reach way further than just time spent at work. So managing our self care in that aspect only helps reduce our overall stress levels. And you, Mama friend, are so worth it!
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The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and the weather is taking a turn for the worse. It’s safe to say that winter is definitely on its way – and it’s approaching fast! Now, various tasks and things to do spring to mind when we think about the upcoming festive season. But winter home maintenance to ensure your home is winter-ready should be top of your list of priorities.
Home really is where the heart is and this becomes evident during the holidays, as you tend to spend more time indoors and you tend to invite more friends and family members over to celebrate. So, you need to make sure that everything is in great condition by the beginning of December at the latest. Here are two major steps that you can take in order to achieve this!
Check Your Property Over for Major Faults
The winter months can put any property under strain. So, it’s a good idea to take a look over your entire home to ensure that any faults are identified before the bad weather hits. This will allow you more opportunity to rectify issues without having to wait for rain, sleet, snow, or fog to clear.
Remember that not all problems are immediately obvious. Sure, you could notice exposed wiring, a crack in a window, or a splintered door frame immediately.
But remember to check things like your property’s foundations. Soil contracts and expands when wet and the winter months can speed up this process. Increased contraction and expansion exerts increased pressure on your property’s foundations and can result in damage and cracks. Identifying existing cracks or faults before more rain falls can help you to repair existing damage rather than letting things progress until damage is extensive and excessively costly to fix. You can find more out about this process through Helitech.
Conduct a Deep Clean
Many of us conduct a thorough clean of our property in the early stages of the New Year. We want everything to feel fresh and clean as we turn a new page. However, by December, things may have gotten a little hectic. You’ll have accumulated a bunch of unnecessary items over the months and you may have kept up with standard cleaning chores, but other less regular tasks may have fallen by the wayside. So, if you intend to make your home particularly cozy and comfortable during the festive season, you should conduct a deep cleanbefore you put your decorations up. Your home will become a clean canvas to work with when it comes to decorating and everything will feel that touch more clean and organized.
These are just a couple of steps that you might want to incorporate into your pre-December routine. They will help to ensure that your home is in ship shape for the winter months!
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I know that when you are exhausted and overwhelmed as a mom, catching 40 winks in during the day can seem like a good idea. After all, what’s better than waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on all the rest of your tasks? A short nap can be a great way to get a micro-rest to finish your day. But there are other awesome self care ideas to get your afternoon energy boost.
Yoga Nidra is a fantastic activity to do if you are feeling tired and in need of some rest but don’t want to give into sleep. Otherwise, known as the sleep of the Gods, Yoga Nidra is primarily a static mediation price that is grounded in ancient Indian tradition.
Primarily, Nidra consists of laying on your back and relaxing while a recording guides you to place your consciousness in various different parts of your body. This is often done quite fast, to give your mind something to focus on while your body relaxes and you can find many meditations at varying lengths to fit into longer or shorter breaks.
Of course, when you first begin, you may occasionally find yourself nodding off! However, if you just remember to set an alarm to wake you up at the end when you first begin this practice, over time you should be able to stay fully conscious through the whole thing. In fact, if the hype is to be believed, just a short session of Yoga Nidra can provide the benefits of a four-hour deep sleep, all without having to nap! Something that makes Yoga Nidra a much more constructive and refreshing use of your self-care time.
Working out is another fantastic activity to do in your self-care time as opposed to napping. The reason being that it can help you get more oxygenated blood to move around your body. Something that can assist you in feeling more alert, as well as stimulate the production of endorphins that can provide you with an instant emotional lift.
Of course, if you are tired it can be hard to get motivated to exercise. That is why it can be helpful to enroll in a program such as this Personal Training by UP Fitness course, as having someone to be accountable to can assist you in fighting through the inertia and get your body moving. Something that can not only help you feel better right now but also give you a sense of real achievement during your self-care time too.
Read a book
Reading is such a fantastic activity for self-care time because it allows you to escape into a completely different world to the one that you inhabit in real life. You can choose to visit distant planets, the wild west, or even fantasy locations that never have or never will exist. Through reading, you can also get to meet characters that you would never come across in real life, and if the book is written well, you can even get to see thing from a perspective you would have never considered.
However, to achieve this reading in your self-care time should not be about grabbing a social media post. Instead, put down your electronic device and pick up a real paper book instead. Then not only will you get the benefits of being transported to a completely different world through words, but you also get the advantage of spending some time unplugged as well. Something that is known to help minimize stress, and improve mood. A worthy use of your self-care time, if ever I there was one!
Call a friend
Lastly, if you are looking for a better use of or you self-care time than napping, why not use it to call a friend or beloved family member? After all, life can get pretty, and most of us struggle to stay in contact with those that we love that are outside our immediate family group.
Connecting with a friend is an excellent use of self care time.
Of course, speaking with a loved one can give you an emotional boost as well, and make you feel connected to others, and part of a social group. All things that can be pretty tough for moms to manage when they spend most of their time looking after the little ones, and so make it an excellent use of your precious self-care time.
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We’d all like to be better gardeners. But where do you get the best information on how to turn your garden from out-of-control nightmare to prim perfection? It turns out that there are a lot of resources out there for the budding gardener (sorry, couldn’t resist), but which are the best?
Some blogs are clearly better than others, but each is trying to fill a niche, so there probably isn’t a “best” one out there. With that said, there are a lot to choose from so here are some of the best gardening blogs on the internet.
Veg Plotting was founded by Michelle Chapman back in 2007 so that she could tell people stories about her garden outside her home in Chippenham. She began the blog after leaving work because of full time caring responsibilities. Rather than just focus on that, she decided that she wanted some responsibility, and so began her own gardening blog. To start with, Veg Plotting took up 10 minutes a day, but over time, the site’s popularity grew, and Chapman found herself dedicating more time to it.
People in her community wanted to know all sorts of things, including how to make great vegetable patches and how to decorate their gardens for Christmas. As demand grew, Chapman says that the site had real potential and decided to dedicate herself to it. Although computers weren’t here strong suit, she persevered and created a blog, complete with easy navigation and a quick menu. Chapman says that the blog is still a work in progress. She doesn’t like to plan her life out in advance, but she’s certainly looking for ways to take her publications to the next level.
Craft beers are all the rage right now, with the industry growing at a healthy clip. But even before the craze began, Nich and Rich, the guys behind Two Thirsty Gardeners, were sharing their advice on how to grow the best apples for cider. In the early days, that’s all they focused on. They wanted people to know how to coax their apple trees into producing more fruit and at a higher quality, and they shared their secrets for turning it into great cider. But as the years wore on, they realized that they couldn’t just focus on cider alone, and so now they offer advice for growing other kinds of plants that will eventually be used to make alcoholic drinks.
If you’re interested in making your own beer or other kinds of drink, Two Thirsty Gardeners is for you. They’ll take you through a step-by-step process for creating your own craft beers and ciders in a way that no other blog really does.
Do you sometimes feel that gardening blogs are talking to people who are nothing like you? People with loads of time on their hands and large gardens? Well, The Middle-Sized Garden is the blog for you. Set up by Alexandra Campbell, a journalist, the site aims to provide regular gardeners with practical tips to help them make the most of what they’ve got. This blog isn’t aimed at the gardening staff at Kew, but rather at people who live with regular plots.
Sometimes it can be tricky to figure out which products to choose. But thanks to the site’s myriad reviews, you’ll always be able to find information on fertilizer or garden tools. The blog also puts enormous effort into helping gardeners generate new and exciting ideas for their garden, whether it’s updated seating, creating no-dig borders, and choosing the right garden trees. The site also features interviews with landscaping experts and professional gardeners to provide in-depth advice beyond that which you would find in standard blog content. Campbell accepts that, at root, she’s a journalist, and so she goes out of her way to find people who have been tending to gardens all their lives so that they can give expert advice to you.
We all know what it’s like to have a hobby and a family at the same time. Spoiler alert: the hobby almost always loses. Usually, it’s because you don’t have either the time or the energy to pursue it, once all of the day’s other responsibilities are taken care of.
Enter Growing Family, a gardening blog designed for busy parents. Begun by mother and writer, Cat Hughes, the site not only provides you with time-saving tips but also inspires you to get the whole family involved in gardening efforts. You’ll find blogs on everything from how to grow fabulous asparagus to ways of getting your kids involved in the gardening process. Along the way, the writing keeps its light, upbeat style, making it an easy, enjoyable and informative read.
We all know that growing food locally is good for the planet. But the creator of Vertical Veg, Mark Ridsdill, wants to take this concept to the next level. He’s not satisfied with farmers selling their produce at the local market – he wants individual consumers, like you, to grow vegetables in their backyard.
Begun in 2010, the blog is a kind of encyclopedia of all things grow-your-own. Ridsdill puts enormous effort into providing the best advice to people who may know nothing about how to successfully cultivate edible plants. There is all sorts of information on the site, including how to make the plants you grow last longer once harvested. He also points out the benefits of picking food fresh, rather than eating it after it has sat on a supermarket shelf for a few days.
Still not sure how to create the perfect vegetable garden after reading the blogs? Have no fear. Ridsdill also runs workshops and has even created online courses to provide skills to a new generation of gardeners.
For many, the joy of gardening comes from beauty. Horticultural societies feed of this demand for aesthetic perfection, hosting flower shows designed to celebrate the beauty of nature. If that’s your interest, then you’ll love The Patient Gardener, a site set up by Helen Johnstone to showcase the most beautiful gardens the world has to offer.
Yes, there are a lot of posts about flowers. But Johnstone also takes her readers on a whistlestop tour of the world’s best gardens from San Francisco to Mumbai. For photography lovers, the site is second to none, with some of the best camera work in the gardening world on show. Every month, Johnstone publishes her “End of Month View” showing how her garden is progressing through the seasons. Some months are quieter than others, but she always has a story to tell. Her advice is down to Earth and practical even if her presentation is excellent.
Nature doesn’t like to do what you tell it to do. You can try over and over again to get your flowers to bloom, but if conditions aren’t right, you’ll be disappointed. The Frustrated Gardener feels your pain. It was set up by Dan Cooper who was himself frustrated with his garden for being too small. Instead of giving up, Cooper decided to do what he could with the space he had and began blogging about his progress.
Over time, the blog evolved into what it is today. Cooper shares stories about what he learned from his grandparents, and tells tales about how plants have always been his passion. Even when he was a baby, he became fascinated by how plants grew and loved experimenting with cuttings and seeds. His grandfather was a head gardener at a large country estate and taught Cooper how to grow grapes and asparagus, two notoriously tricky crops to master.
The Blackberry Garden began in 2011 when Alison Levey, the site’s owner, decided that she had had enough of boring gardens after moving to a new location. Levey, who had always had an interest in photography, decided that she wanted to put her talent to good use, and began building a portfolio of photos around her beautiful gardening creations.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of her blog is her book reviews. In these, she provides in-depth advice to newbie and experienced gardeners alike, providing them with all the information they need to decide on whether to buy. She also does product reviews in her own inimitable way on dozens of different gardening tools and accessories. There are reviews on everything from Bosch cordless secateurs to Marigold seeds, from lawn mowers to hanging pots. In short, if there’s a garden product out there you want, there’s a good chance you can find more information at The Blackberry Garden.
Finally, if you’re interested in tree following, then Levey’s site provides you with one of the most in-depth examples on any blog. She meticulously chronicles the growth of a quince tree from sapling onwards, showing you what happens each step of the way with helpful commentary. As always, the photography is exemplary, allowing you to see how the tree changes throughout the seasons. The comments section is always buzzing.
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A while back, we spoke about a few of the simple ways you could de-stress your kitchen to make the cooking process easier. A stress free kitchen is, after all, a goal which any mother in her right mind can get behind. Let’s face it–cooking for the family can be a nightmare.
If your kids are at different ages or have different tastes, the chances are that you have to cook various meals each night. Even if everyone’s happy to eat the same thing, you may find yourself getting more stressed while cooking than you’d like. And that’s before we even talk about the chores of the cleaning process. In short; your kitchen could fast become your least favorite room in the house.
To make matters worse, many kitchens just aren’t designed to make your life any easier. As we touched on in that last post, kitchen clutter and disorganization turn stress-levels up even further. In some instances, these issues do have simple solutions. But what if your problems here take more than a little rearranging to solve? Small hobs or a crowded kitchen space can both stress you out more than anything. Even the wrong layout can make your life much harder here than it needs to be.
If this situation is bad enough, you may be on the verge of considering a kitchen renovation. In some cases, that’s the only way to get this space the way you want it. Imagine how much easier mealtimes would be if you could get rid of that kitchen island. Imagine the ease with which you could cook if your cupboards were in the right places.
The trouble is, kitchen renovations involve major upheaval. When you have a family to consider, that’s never good news. In fact, the mere thought of trying to provide for your family without a kitchen may raise your blood levels. Lucky for you, kitchen renovations don’t need to be as stressful as you’re expecting. To prove that point, keep reading to find out our stress free kitchen remodel steps to success.
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Have a clear idea of what you want before you start
This may sound simple, but it’s astounding how many people embark on renovation without having a clear picture in their minds. Instead, they work on a brief outline and change things as they go. This is fine for childless couples who aren’t in any rush, but it definitely won’t suit your situation. Operating this way can more than double the time renovations take.
In extreme cases, this could also see you ending with a kitchen which still doesn’t make life any easier. Instead, then, make sure to sketch out a clear and concise idea of what you want before getting started. Whether you’re doing this alone or hiring an outside company, be clear about what you need and where you want it. Consider where you want things to be. Think about how many cupboards you need. And, remember; the more you consider now, the better chance you have of landing with your dream kitchen in no time.
Know your time period
It’s also essential that you know the period of time you’ll need to dedicate to this cause. This can be a tricky thing to get your head around as renovations rarely run smoothly. Still, by developing a brief timeline of how long you expect this project to take, you can save a whole load of stress. As a general rule, you want to give yourself excess time here. That way, even running over a little shouldn’t matter a great deal.
You’ll also find yourself more willing to take things easy and not push this when you have that timeline in mind. So, sit down and be realistic about how long you can expect jobs to take.
If you’ve ordered new appliances, consider when you can expect them to arrive. Consider how long installation will take. Include, too, time for grouting or paint to dry. Aside from saving you stress, having some idea of the time this will take frees you up to ensure you have plenty of pre-prepared meals to see you through. Talking of which, you’re going to want to…
Prepare ahead of time
Once you’ve done the above, you’re nearly ready to start. Before you do, though, you want to make preparations to ensure life runs smoothly after renovations begin. You can do this in a few different ways.
For one, you want to pre-cook. By referring to your schedule, you can see for sure how many days you’ll be without a kitchen. That allows you to pre-cook and freeze enough meal portions to last you. This can both save you money on eating out, and make sure you stay healthy while your kitchen is out of action.
If nothing else, this will be better for your family than endless nights of microwave meals. When you have plenty of food put aside, you also need to consider how you’re going to cook it once your oven’s out of action.
Your best bet here would be to prepare a temporary kitchen using tips like those found at heyletsmakestuff.com. By providing a space elsewhere in your home for your microwave and cutlery, you’ll be able to maintain some semblance of normality at mealtimes. This also has the bonus of keeping all your essential stuff away from the dust which is sure to come during a renovation.
If you want to go all out, you could even invest in a portable hob. That way, you could cook rice to go with those frozen portions of chili. Either way, sparing some thought here ensures you’ll have everything you need for the duration of this period. If your table is in your kitchen, you could even take this out and hide it in the corner of your living room.
The thing to remember is that you want to make this as normal as possible. Achieve that, and you won’t have any cause for stress.
Order your jobs well
Of course, makeshift kitchens aren’t all fun and games. The capabilities they provide are minimal. What’s more, keeping this going for a long time could pose a safety risk. The chances are that there are far more hazardous materials in this makeshift alternative, after all.
With that in mind, you want to know that you can get back to your kitchen as soon as possible. In part, your pre-drawn schedule can help towards that.
To take this further, though, it may also be worth considering the order in which you tackle each task. Some jobs, after all, will need completing before you can even enter that space again.
Others, you can finish as you go. If you’re fitting all new cupboards, for instance, that should be a clear first step. You’ll also need to head to sites like www.worldstonegroup.com and select new countertops to arrive as soon as possible. Focus, too, on ordering any replacement appliances.
Once these essentials are in place, you may find that you can move back into your kitchen and complete the rest of the jobs as you go. Your kitchen floor, for instance, doesn’t stop you from being able to work. Nor does the installation of wall tiles. If you tackled tasks like these first, you would waste precious time. By saving them until last, though, you can get on with life as usual. What more proof do you need that order matters?
Write a list of every job, then put a number next to them. Refer back to this, and be clear in your own mind when you can move back into your kitchen.
Make sure you have more than enough money aside
If there’s one thing the many renovation programs out there tell us, it’s that work is never as cheap as we expect it to be. The chances are that you’ve been saving up for this project for a while. You may have even added the costs of materials, or gotten a quote from an outside company.
Don’t think, though, that means you know how much this will cost. If you only set aside the amount you think you’ll need, you’ll slow progress and pile no end of stress on your shoulders.
If you find that you can’t afford to continue, you’ll be stuck in catch 22 for goodness knows how long.
When projects run over, they don’t do so lightly, either. Hence why you need to take that ‘estimated’ budget and raise it by at least 10-20% before starting work. This may seem extreme, but you would be amazed by how fast that money could go. It’s also worth knowing your options for things like loans, just in case. Only through the above can you ensure your renovation remains stress-free for the whole family. It may seem like a lot of work, but every step mentioned is easy enough to achieve when you get down to it. Besides, don’t you think a little effort is worthwhile for a kitchen which makes cooking a breeze?
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The weather’s getting colder; however, there’s plenty of spiced lattes, movie nights, and cozy nights in front of the fire ahead as the seasons change. With all those warm nights in your house and hot baths, you might be spending a lot of money on maintaining that cozy feeling. The added expense of the upcoming festive season will also cost more than you’d normally spend in a month, so you could end up heading towards the new year out of pocket. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall and winter, without spending a fortune. The following are some tips and ideas who are looking forward to a new start this autumn and want a fantastic cozy home on a budget.
Money On Your Mind
Turning the household heat up and taking as many hot baths as possible throughout the season is just one of the many luxuries to stay warm. Therefore, it’s worth looking into energy efficient boilers, and other ways to save on your energy bills. You could look into a quick cash loan to cover the cost, as long as you have a plan in place to pay it back, and it’s for something that’s going to save you cash in the long run.
Your energy provider might not be the most competitive rate available on the market either, so research into better value companies, and don’t be hesitant to switch if you discover one.
You’ll be tempted to get to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients and items you need as quickly as possible, before heading home for a cozy night. However, it’s worth taking some time before you head to the supermarket and looking to see where there are special deals on your weekly shopping. Buying items in bulk can often save cash, and there’s no better time to stockpile than fall and winter. Don’t flick the page over when you spot a coupon; cut it out and use it. You’d be surprised how much all those little deals and offers can add up over time. And definitely take advantage of digital coupons–nearly all major grocers offer them now.
Homemade Is Always Better
Perhaps you’ve eaten out more times than you can remember during summer; well, now’s the time to start utilizing your kitchen space and get baking or cooking up a storm. Warm, hearty, homemade food is always an appealing part of the colder months, so it’s worth saving you cash, and creating your own cafe, coffee shop, or restaurant for your family home. Check out some delicious fall recipes here and start writing your next grocery list.
Beauty treatments can also be an expensive addition to your monthly budget. Therefore, it’s worth considering a regular pampering evening in the comfort of your own home. Invite your girls over for some quality time, and they can sample all the good stuff you’ve been cooking recently. Make your own hair and face masks, and snuggle down and watch your favorite chick flick. You’ll save the money it would cost to visit the movies or a salon, and you’ll stay warm and cozy during a cold fall night.
Take turns with your family and close friends over fall and winter to host dinners and get-togethers. A simple, hot, home-cooked meal can be enjoyed by everyone, and those who are out of their home will be saving money on food, gas, and electricity in the meantime. You’ll have to return the favor, but what better way to spend the new season than with your nearest and dearest, and you’ll save money and stay cozy too!
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The credit crunch may be far behind us but ask most families and they’ll tell you that their finances are not out of the woods yet. Indeed, household wealth for the bottom 50% of US households is around half of what it was prior to the recession of 2008.
The economic realities of the 21st century mean that many households, especially those who have kids, are still feeling the pinch when it comes to managing their household finances. The cost of living has gotten increasingly untenable, especially for those living in major conurbation and living in properties where the rent keeps going up while offering tenants less and less for their money. The cost of raising a kid these days to the age of 18 is hovering just under the quarter of a million dollar mark.
With this in mind, pretty much all of us can afford to keep a closer eye on the purse-strings. The good news is that you don’t have to make huge sacrifices to save money. It’s usually just a case of staying vigilant and plugging any unnecessary leaks in your household’s outgoings. There are some surprising ways in which your household may inadvertently be wasting money. But first…
Budgeting is half the battle
Most of the time, we’re simply unaware of how much money is flowing out of the household simply because we don’t take the time to keep track of it. Carefully managed finances start with a carefully managed budget. When you account for everything that’s coming into and going out of your bank account it becomes that much easier to take control of your finances.
Just take a look at these household budget templates. Any of them will work for you so long as you stick to them. Over time you’ll see your disposable income increase, leaving you able to set some money aside in savings and treat yourself every once in a while.
Once again, doing this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to make sacrifices. You can still live the same lifestyle, you just need to look at some areas where money may be trickling out of your home unbeknownst to you. Some of these may be obvious to you. Others may be surprisingly… Surprising!
Sure, we all know about how to save money on the little things like your home’s gas and electricity, but we can compare price tariffs on these little essentials all day yet still find money leaking out of our homes on the most essential thing of all… Food! Of course, we all need to eat, but none of us needs to pay over the odds on food. Yet thousands of us do so all the time.
Food waste is a major cause of monetary waste. As a nation Americans waste 150,000 tons of food every day. That’s roughly equivalent to a pound of waste per person, per day.
Many of us buy fresh fruits and vegetables with the best of intentions. The trouble is that we can fail to order our refrigerators properly and it sits unused at the back of the shelf where it slowly rots and is thrown away.
Or we get home after a rough day at work and decide that we’re too exhausted to cook and reach for the Uber Eats app. Digital technology has made it easier than ever not to remain disciplined.
You’d be amazed how much you can save simply by cooking more, meal planning and prepping meals in batches.
Eating more fruits and veggies and less of everything else, especially meat and dairy can also save you a small fortune on your grocery bill while also helping your family to eat healthier. Indeed, a plant based diet could save you over $700 a year!
Still, even if you can’t get by without eating out as a family every now and then, you can still make savings here, too.
We’re long past the days where an internet connection is a luxury or a novelty. Whether we use it to stream Netflix in our down time or facilitate our telecommute, we’re all reliant on prepaying for internet connections.
In most cases you can make savings by bundling your internet, cable and phone packages but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some other useful ways in which you can make savings on your internet connection.
Get the speed you need. Many households pay for download speeds that are completely superfluous to their requirements.
Watch the prices of your provider’s competitors. If they can offer a better deal either leave your current provider or threaten to leave. Most providers would rather match or beat a competitor’s price to keep a customer.
Most of us in this day and age need a car to get around. While vehicles represent a necessary expense, by no means is this an expense that can’t be mitigated. Most of us know the value in keeping an eye on where to get the best gas prices, but fewer of us are aware that we can save money on gas by ensuring that our vehicles are well maintained.
A poorly tuned car uses between 25% and 33% more gasoline every year. While manufacturers recommend getting your oil and oil filters changed every 10,000 miles, changing them every 3,000 miles can potentially save you a small fortune in repairs and engine wear.
While it’s a no-brainer that your vehicle should have insurance before it takes to the road, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your insurer will reward you for your loyalty. Letting your policy roll over is almost always more expensive than seeking out a new one. What’s more, if you see a better offer out there you don’t have to be stuck with a bad policy. Changing over before your 12 months are up may incur a small charge, but this will usually pale in comparison to the savings that can be made.
Whatever your family’s circumstances, there are always ways in which you can save money month in, month out. And it only takes a few little changes to add up to big change over time.
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Helping your kids with their homework is part and parcel of being a parent. When they’re younger, you need to sit with them and go through it all. Then, as they get older, you can’t take such a hands-on approach anymore. A teenage child won’t want their parent sitting with them and trying to help them with their homework. They see it as embarrassing, this is something they need to do by themselves!
Similarly, they need to learn to be a bit more independent. So, how can you help your teen with their homework without being too hands on? As it happens, there are a few subtle things you can do that will assist them…
Buy them a homework planner
I love the idea of getting your kids practical presents. For one, it shows them that you care, and they’ll really appreciate you. Secondly, who doesn’t love getting gifts?! With this idea, you buy your teen a planner that they can use to be more organized. It lets them jot down any homework assignments, meaning they shouldn’t forget anything at all. They’ll also have a little book that shows them what needs to be done by when. So, it lets them prioritize which pieces they need to do over less important ones. Again, this brings more organization to their workload, ensuring they don’t miss deadlines and stay on top of everything.
Ensure they have a good internet connection
It seems silly, but you need to provide your kids with a good internet connection. Nowadays, pretty much all of their homework is done online. Even if it’s not submitted online, they still have to do lots of research to find answers and so on. As a result, you need the best possible internet service for your house. This ensures that the connection is fast, it doesn’t drop, and lots of devices can connect to it. Therefore, your teen will have no issues using the internet, and there will be fewer scenarios where they get angry and annoyed as pages aren’t loading or the connection is down. Anyone with a child knows that this is often the cause of many arguments in the home! So, if you can give them a good internet connection, then it’s one less thing holding them back from doing their work.
Give them a good place to study
Aside from a dodgy internet connection, one of the most frustrating things for teens is that the house isn’t a good place to work. There can be so much going on, particularly if they have younger siblings that pester them all the time. As a result, it’s hard to really settle down and get into a nice zone where they can concentrate. So, you can help them by giving them an excellent place to study. There are two options on my mind; convert a spare room/attic/basement/garage into a study, or set up a study area in their room. The first option is the best, but it’s also the most expensive and time-consuming. If you do go down this route, then you essentially create a place for them to work without interruptions – almost like they’re in a library or at school! With the second option, you can buy a nice desk and equipment for them to put in their bedroom. At the very least, this gives them a comfortable place to work with minimal disruptions .
Help them pay for study materials
As a parent of a teenager, you’ll quickly learn that the educational system is trying to bleed you dry of all your money. Textbooks and other study materials are quite frankly overpriced. So much so that your child probably can’t afford them on their own. As such, they’re at a disadvantage by not having access to the resources they need. Therefore, you can help them out by paying for some of the textbooks and other materials they need. It means they can use things that will assist them during their studies, so homework becomes much easier. Plus, as a bonus, you give them things that could help them go the extra mile and produce better assignments as well.
Try and make the house quieter while they work
Another subtle thing you can do to make a difference is making the house more peaceful when they’re working. This works in conjunction with the point about creating a study space for them. As I said before, your teen could have much younger siblings who are pretty hyperactive! So, family life in the home tends to be very manic and noisy. For an hour or so every day, you should work on making the house a quieter place to work. Take their siblings out to a park, bring them grocery shopping, or just entertain them in a room far away from your teenager. By giving your younger children the attention they need, it means they won’t bother your teen. As a result, they can work in a much more peaceful environment.
Encourage them to ask for help
While you don’t want to sit down with your child and watch them do all their homework, you can still be on-hand to help them. Here, you need to encourage them to ask for help whenever they need it. Make yourself available if they have any questions or queries about certain things. You should be someone they come to for help when they’re struggling to understand what’s being asked of them. In essence, you can still be a parent who helps your child do their homework, but you’re only there when they need you. This stops you from being too overbearing and looking over their shoulder every five minutes!
No matter how old your children get, they’ll always need your assistance. Especially when it comes to homework, and especially when they’re a teenager. Assignments will come in thick and fast, so you must do whatever it takes to help your teen without being too hands-on. These ideas all allow you to provide a helping hand without being too involved in their work!
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Our health is one of the most important things in our lives. Being in good health can help us get by in life and achieve everything we want to. It can also promote good mental health and help us enjoy happiness. However, even though we all know the whole importance of good female health, there are still few of us who actually know all about the ins and outs of women’s health.
Seeing as men an women have such different bodies, there is no wonder that they each have a completely separate set of health needs. So, it is imperative that, as a woman, you know all about your own set of needs so that you can give your body everything it needs to stay healthy. And that should help you stay happy too!
Here’s a quick rundown of the main points of women’s health. Make sure you have a good read through and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. Doing so could vastly improve your female health!
Every woman will have periods throughout her adult life. They start during adolescence and are a signal that puberty has started. Once you start your period, you will have one every month, unless you are pregnant, until you reach the menopause. More often than not, the menopause starts at middle age, though there are some reasons why it might begin earlier or later. Once you go through the menopause, you will no longer be fertile and won’t be able to have children. Many people think of periods as an annoyance as it can be quite uncomfortable for the few days when you have yours. Here are a few tips to help you get through your period days without too much discomfort.
Use A Hot Water Bottle – You will probably suffer from cramps while you are on your period. This is from the muscles in the uterus contracting to move the blood through. One way to relieve these is to hug a hot water bottle close to your stomach. The heat should relax the muscles and stop some of the pain and discomfort.
Do Some Gentle Exercise – Taking part in some Yoga or swimming will help to relieve some of the pain you experience from your period. That’s because it will increase the blood flow through the body, which can ease the cramps. Not only that, though, but this exercise will release endorphins and can help to lift your moods.
Try Not To Drink Coffee – Coffee is high in caffeine, which is a chemical that will make the body retain water. The more water your body retains, the more bloated, crampy, and achy you will feel. In fact, it’s best to stay away from all kinds of drinks that have caffeine, including sodas and teas. Instead, why not sip some ginger ale? Ginger has been proven to reduce stomach cramps.
Women are at a higher risk of contracting a UTI than men. So, it’s a good idea to find out about the best way to deal with these pesky health conditions. Here are a few tips that can help you get rid of your nest one faster.
Drink Plenty Of Water – The first thing you should do once you realize that you are dealing with a UTI is to reach for a big glass of water. You will need to drink plenty while you are suffering with the infection as it can help the body to flush it out. You just need to drink when you are thirsty to ensure you are getting plenty but, in general, that should be around eight glasses a day.
Eat Foods High In Vitamin C – You should try to eat as much vitamin C as possible, even when you don’t have a UTI. This vitamin can make the urine acidic, which will inhibit the growth of bacteria in it. When you do have a UTI, you might want to boost your vitamin C intake by taking a daily supplement.
Don’t Eat Or Drink Anything That Could Irritate The Bladder – There are quite a few foods that are considered to be bladder irritants. These include anything with caffeine in it, alcohol, spicy foods, and sodas. Instead, you should stick to fresh food and vegetables as well as whole grains. Carbohydrates that are high in fiber, such as oats, are particularly good at soothing UTIs.
Fertility Tips And Advice
One of the main differences between men and women is that a woman’s fertility is a lot more restricted than a guy’s. In fact, men are fertile for their whole life, while women only become fertile in puberty and then are infertile again after the menopause.
There are also a lot of external factors that can affect a woman’s fertility. For instance, drinking a lot of alcohol and smoking can reduce it, as can being very overweight. However, some women can struggle with their fertility even if there are no clear reasons why.
If you do think you have fertility problems, you might want to talk to your doctor about fertility testing as they will be able to refer you to a fertility clinic. Once you are registered with a clinic, the specialists there will be able to talk to you about your options. You might want to try IVF, IUI, or even consider using a surrogate.
Necessary Health Checks
A fertility test isn’t the only check you might want to get. There are also a few other examinations and tests that it is highly advisable for all women to start taking as soon as they reach adulthood. Taking them can help you spot a potentially life-threatening illness in the very early stages when it is still easy to treat. Here are some of the most important health checks to take.
A Pap Test – The pap test is also known as the smear test. You might have heard it been called a cervical screening before. This test is carried out every three years in women aged over twenty-five. It aims to detect the early stages of cervical cancer. In some cases, the test can even spot pre-cancerous cells that haven’t started to turn into the disease yet. Even though this is quite an invasive scan, it is still crucial that you go for your test when it comes around. Some women don’t attend because they are too embarrassed. However, it is much better to have the test done to ensure that you are healthy. Otherwise, the cancer could go by undetected, and things could turn very serious very quickly.
A Breast Examination – As well as testing for cervical cancer, you should also carry out a breast examination to spot the early signs of breast cancer. You can do this yourself at home, and it’s best to carry out the examination once a month in the week immediately following your period. You should feel your breasts gently and see if you notice any new lumps or changes in the breast tissue. If you do notice this, you should see your doctor immediately for further tests.
Blood Pressure – All women need to be going for semi-regular blood pressure tests. Normally, your doctor will do this even if you are seeing them about something unrelated. Even though high blood pressure is something that usually affects older people, it is still important to get tested for it. These days, high blood pressure is on the rise amongst young adults as most people lead such hectic lives these days. Ideally, you should try and keep your stress levels down to a minimum. If they get too high, then you will be at a high risk of developing high blood pressure, which could then lead onto serious health conditions, including heart disease.
BMI – It’s also worth getting your BMI (body mass index) checked out every now and then. Your doctor can do this for you, but you should be able to figure it out yourself if you have some scales at home.
A Good Night’s Sleep
We all need to get plenty of sleep, and this is particularly important for women. A good night’s sleep has been shown to improve fertility as well as mental health and a range of other health conditions. So, make sure you are getting to bed at a decent time each night. If you struggle to sleep, there are a few things you can do that should improve the situation. For instance, you might want to try getting into a good bedtime routine so that you can prepare your body and mind for sleep. It’s also worth not using screens for an hour before you go to bed, and remove any distractions from the bedroom. If that doesn’t seem to help you, you might want to see your doctor and discuss the possibility of insomnia.
There are lots of health things to try and keep on top of as a woman. If you get into a good health routine, then you should be able to improve your body and mind’s health and fitness!
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As wonderful as gardens are, they are somewhat time-limited. In spring and summer, you can enjoy all the benefits of spending time outside with friends, gardening in an effort to create a truly spectacular space, and even throwing a party or two to celebrate the warmest seasons of the year. Even when fall sets in, there are still wonders to be enjoyed in your outdoor space; watching the leaves change and enjoying the last of the year’s sunshine before winter garden prep.
Unfortunately, winter is the season that tends to cause most people to have to abandon their gardens, as the weather turns and makes time outdoors an unpleasant proposition. You may currently be planning your annual winter retreat from your garden as a result, but before you go, there are a few tasks you may want to attend to…
#1 – Plant cover crops
Cover crops – such as rye and clover – can help to prevent soil erosion over winter and add nutrients to the soil, so they are well worth using. It’s generally thought that cover crops should be planted at least one month before the first serious frost; there should still be enough time to do this in most regions, but it’s definitely a task that should go right to the top of your to-do list.
#2 – Protect your garden tools
Garden tools are always susceptible to rusting, but the lack of use over winter means you need to take extra preventative steps at this time of year. The best way to do store tools over winter is as follows:
Carefully dry your garden tools with a microfiber cloth – this should help ensure you get every last drop of moisture.
When you’re sure the tools are dry, store them in a covered container filled with sand.
#3 – Cut the lawn short and remove leaves
The best approach for your lawn over winter is to cut the grass as short as your equipment allows and remove leaves as and when they accumulate. Some people add fertilizer to help maintain good lawn health over winter, but some experts argue this can be harmful, so it may be best to consult a professional for advice on whether this would be an appropriate choice for you.
#4 – Winterize your water sources
Water sources – such as your hose pipe, water butt, or sprinkler system – are vulnerable during the coldest month of the year, so it’s important to take the appropriate steps to protect them. Take the time to insulate your hose, cover your water butt, and go through steps to winterize your sprinklers in order to ensure these items are able to work exactly as they should right from the get-go next spring.
#5 – Prepare your soil for spring
Although most people reserve this activity for the spring, fall is a great time to dig in soil amendments like manure, compost, bone meal, kelp, and rock phosphate.
By going through the steps above, you can be sure that all parts of your garden will be as protected as possible – so you can get right back to enjoying your outdoor space the moment the first signs of spring arrive.
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Every parent will know that raising kids and managing a household don’t come cheap. The good news is that it is possible to make savings, and often, small changes can make all the difference. If you’re looking to maximize your disposable income, or you’re hoping to bolster your savings account balance, here are some tips to help you tighten your belt without making any sacrifices.
One of the best things to do if you’re keen to take control of spending and try and reduce your outgoings is carry out an audit. In this day and age, when we tap or swipe to make a payment, place orders online or use credit cards, it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of spending. You may underestimate how much is going out of your checking account or onto a card, and you might not really know where your money goes each month. To adopt a firmer grip, it’s a great idea to sit down with a notebook and a pen, and go through your most recent statements. This will give you an idea of how much you spend in an average week or month, and enable you to see if there are any outgoings you could curtail. If you do find that you lose track of transactions easily, it’s also beneficial to make a note of how much you spend each day using an app or a spreadsheet on your laptop.
Budgeting is a really useful tool for anyone who is keen to spend less and save more. If you know exactly how much money you have available every month, this will help to prevent overspending and ensure that you only buy what is necessary. Budgeting is really simple, and it can make a huge difference when it comes to money management. All you need to do is use an app, create a spreadsheet or use a pen and paper to create lists of your incoming and outgoing payments. Once you’ve got all the figures in front of you, you’ll be able to see how much disposable income you have, how much your bills cost, and how much you could put away in your savings account.
Lowering household costs
The vast majority of people could lower their household expenditure without making drastic changes. Think about where your money goes, and then consider how you could shave a few dollars off every payment each month. Simple changes like avoiding buying a takeaway coffee every morning and doing your food shop online could lead to huge savings.
One of the best ways to slash household costs in revising your food budget. Many of us overspend at the supermarket, and we end up throwing away items that we don’t use. If you’re lured in by neon lights and special offers, now is the time to embrace online shopping. When you shop online, you can create a list, add those items and keep an eye on your running total without having to swerve promotional items and giant sale signs. You can also save money on food bills by batch cooking, buying frozen food, and swapping takeouts and ready meals for home-cooked fare.
Another way to save on household bills is to reduce energy usage. If you dread the arrival of your monthly gas and electricity bills, you can bring costs down by using less energy and investing in gadgets and devices that are designed to save you money, such as energy-efficient bulbs. Don’t leave lights on when you leave the room, turn appliances off at the socket, and don’t be wasteful with water.
In this day and age, it’s almost always possible to save money by shopping around. You can apply this rule to products ranging from diapers, strollers, and clothing to pet food, electrical items, flights and insurance policies. As a general rule, it’s best not to buy anything until you’ve looked elsewhere to see if you can get a better deal. The Internet makes it possible to compare prices within seconds, and you can follow links online to complete a purchase in a matter of minutes. With the holidays coming up, it’s a great idea to embrace price comparison and also to look out for special offers like Black Friday stroller deals and discounts on popular items like TV sets, gifts and festive food and drinks. If you are braving yourself for Black Friday, go into it with a list of items you want or need, and try not to be blinkered by marketing ploys. Great deals aren’t so great when you end up with a load of stuff that you won’t use.
On the subject of shopping around, it’s useful to take a moment to look at your insurance policies. If any are due for renewal, it’s worth using comparison sites to see if you could get more for your money. Competition in this industry is rife, and many companies offer new customers their best deals. Rather than renewing automatically, check what other plans are available. You may find that you could save hundreds of dollars across a range of policies.
Having fun on a budget
We all know that having fun can come at a price. If the kids are asking to go on vacation, they want to go to theme parks or to the movies, or you fancy treating yourself to a day out with your friends, it can all add up. Thankfully, there are ways to save. Register with coupon sites to take advantage of offers like discounted park tickets and buy one get one free on kids’ meals, and think about ways you can socialize for less. Take it in turns to host dinner parties or movie nights instead of going to restaurants and cinemas and organize play dates at home.
Most of us would love to have a little extra cash, especially at this time of year. If you’re looking to try and save, but you don’t fancy overhauling your lifestyle, there are some very simple ways to take control of spending and reduce your outgoings. Hopefully, this guide will set you on the right path.
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When looking at health, happiness, and overall wellness, implementing better lifestyle choices is crucial. This doesn’t just mean doing more of the things that you should do, but also looking at the habits that could be causing you harm. Because those bad health habit risks have the potential to majorly hurt you in the long run. Here’s how.
The most obvious risk of the habits mentioned above is that they all come with significant health risks. The risk of chronic disease like heart disease, liver disease, and cancer are all very well publicized, but there are risks that aren’t quite as often explored. For instance, drinking alcohol is well known to have a negative impact on your sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to greater stress, weight gain, and even back or joint pain. If you are ever considering quitting a bad habit, it’s worth simply taking a look at how your health could benefit, not only in decreasing the risk of something seriously going wrong but how it might improve your general sense of wellbeing, too.
Improving your financial situation can help improve your wellness in a variety of ways. The less debt, the less stress. The more you have for your budget, the more you can invest in healthy foods. However, habits such as smoking, and drinking can have a profound impact on your budget, as well. The increased expenses can lead to money worries, which will only have more of a negative effect on your mood and wellbeing.
There aren’t too many legal risks when it comes to drinking too much coffee or smoking. However, with alcohol, those risks can not only get you in legal trouble, they can endanger your physical safety, too. Driving under the influence, for instance, is one of the leading causes of arrests on the roads as well as serious traffic collisions. Your DUI defense can help you mitigate the financial impact by helping mount a case for you. However, it still costs money to mount a defense. Not everyone who enjoys a drink will drive under the influence, of course, but it’s a risk worth taking seriously.
Your bad habits could affect your family in a wide variety of ways. First of all, some of them can influence your behavior, whether it’s directly like alcohol or if it’s by causing you stress or sleep deprivation. Others can make your family worry for your long-term health. Failing to listen to those worries can strain communication in your relationship as well. Take a look at this case study of how quitting bad habits for a year had a profound positive impact in the relationships of the reader to see how yours might be holding your family back.
Almost everything works in moderation, but when it comes to the habits mentioned above, taking a little time away from them entirely can help you make a significant difference in your life for the better. Might now be the time to quit?
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The words ‘wrong crowd’ are any pre-teen or teen parent’s worst nightmare. You know how it goes; your child brings a friend home, and you get an instant bad feeling. There’s something about this kid you don’t like. They avoid eye contact and have a dark look about them. Sure enough, more kids who put you on edge start to turn up after that. Before you know it, the child you knew and loved has turned into someone you barely recognize. You guessed it; they’ve gotten in with the wrong crowd.
Your first instinct may be to put a stop to things. Think back to your young years first, though. Would you have stopped hanging out with someone because your mom told you to? Of course not. If anything, reacting this way will push your kid further into the arms of those bad influences. Still, not doing anything isn’t an option, either. If you let things slide, these people could impact your child’s future. The good news is, there are steps you can take to stop that from happening.
Keep their school work on track
Friends come and go, but grades last forever. The trouble is, school work often takes a backseat when cool friends come along. If you take your eye off this ball, then, even a brief time in the wrong crowd could alter the course of your child’s life. To make sure it doesn’t, do what you can to keep their school work on track. You may not be able to dictate who they hang out with, but you can keep them inside until they finish their homework.
Be there for them
During experiences like these, it isn’t unusual for child and parent to become distant. You may pull back because you don’t like the way your child is acting They may pull back because they think you’re down on their friends. The result is that your child feels this bad crowd is the only thing they’ve got. That’s not good.
Instead of pulling away, then, be there for your child as you always have been. Even if this crowd gets them into legal trouble, take the effort to find a criminal defense lawyer to review your case and clear their name. Whatever you do, make sure they know that you support them. By being there, you can bet they’ll turn to you when that bad crowd loses its glamour.
Offer them alternatives
As we’ve already stated, telling your child not to hang out with someone won’t work. What you can do is offer alternative friendships. Have other moms bring their kids around for coffee dates when you know your kid will be home. Encourage them to join local groups which increase their confidence. More often than not, teens get into the wrong crowd because they feel they have no other choice. By showing your child their options, you could stop that cycle before it does any real damage.
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Babies and young children like to explore the world with their hands or by sticking things in their mouth which is why babyproofing is an important thing to get sorted before your child is born. There are a lot of obvious things you need to do around the house like keeping all of the drawers in the kitchen locked up so they can’t get at anything sharp or putting a gate on the stairs so they can’t fall.
But those are only a few of the many dangers around the house. There is an endless list of things that babies and young kids can hurt themselves with and a lot of people end up missing a couple. These are the safety tips for new parents that you probably never thought of.
Your child isn’t going to be using the toilet on their own for a while so most new parents don’t pay too much attention to the bathroom when they’re making the house safe. But even if they’re not using the toilet, there’s always the chance that they could get into the bathroom so you still need to protect them from all of the dangers in there. This home childproofing guide has some great advice on making the bathroom safe for kids. You need to watch out for any cleaning chemicals, particularly bleach. If they’re in a cupboard at floor level, make sure that it’s secured so kids can’t get into it.
The TV is another thing that people often forget to make safe. But if a child gets hold of it and pulls it off a shelf, it can do a lot of damage. You might be better off just mounting it to the wall where it’s out of their reach or keeping it in a locked TV cabinet when you’re not using it.
Having a family pet is very good for your child’s development. It’s also a great way to help the family to stay active. But you’ve got to be careful when the children are very young. Some pets might get carried away with their playing and could end up accidentally hurting a child. It’s important that you never leave young kids along with pets and always teach them how to approach them in a gentle way so they don’t upset your pet.
A new baby is very sensitive to temperature and if they’re not comfortable, they might be restless and have trouble sleeping. Most parents are a bit unsure of what temperature is best for babies; it all depends slightly on each baby but as a general rule, you should keep the temperature somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees. If you notice that the baby is getting restless and you can’t work out why, consider adjusting the temperature or adding and taking away blankets to see if they calm down.
Once babies start walking, they have a new way to explore their environment and they’ll be running about all over the place. They’re going to bump into things now and again so you need to make sure that there isn’t anything that can hurt them. The pointed corners on furniture are a particular problem but there’s an easy fix for that. Simply get some foam edges to put on there so they’re soft. This greatly reduces the baby getting seriously injured if he or she catches a corner.
An Emergency Plan
Even if you take all of the necessary precautions and you remember all of these smaller details, kids might still find a way to injure themselves. That’s why it’s so important that you have an emergency plan in place if somebody does get hurt. Keep the necessary emergency numbers on hand so you can call for help right away. It’s also worth keeping the babysitter’s number there as well in case you need to take one of the kids to the hospital and you need somebody to look after the other kids.
A lot of the time, injuries aren’t going to be that serious and there won’t be any need to go to the hospital. You just need to make sure that you’ve got a proper first aid kit to hand with antiseptics and a few bandages so you can deal with any minor bumps and scrapes that they might get.
As a parent, you’re never going to get everything right and kids are going to end up hurting themselves sometimes. It’s just a part of parenting that you’ll have to learn to live with. But you can avoid any serious disasters if you remember all of these safety tips.
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As a parent, you want the best for your family. Having an eco-friendly home is more than just taking care of the planet; it is about securing your family’s wellbeing in the future. Sustainability in the home is quickly becoming a must for homeowners. In fact, a recent Texas-based study revealed that homes that are green certified can expect a 6 percent hike in home resale price or $25,000 increase in their value.
More homeowners are moving to renovate their homes with sustainability in mind and on the flip side, more buyers are moving to consider it a part of their criteria when viewing homes.
So with all this recent attention, why is an eco-friendly home so important? What benefits does it add to your home, your health and your larger environment? Most importantly, how can you make the swap without breaking the bank? Read on to find out all about eco-friendly living at home and what you may be missing.
Why pursue sustainability
Having an eco-friendly home has many benefits, both in the short and long term. Besides contributing to the upkeep of the wider environment, it is incredibly cost effective. With ever increasing energy prices and the dwindling of natural resources across the globe, taking actions to minimize the impact on the environment and your wallet. Along with proving cheaper in the long run, adding eco-friendly features to your home can also mean less maintenance in the future. Using green materials in your home can lengthen your home’s lifespan and strengthen its durability.
It increases the value of your home
Of course, another benefit of an eco-friendly home is the increased property prices. Many studies across America have shown an increase in the resale value and appeal to buyers. With the public becoming more conscious of the environment, they are making it a priority as they house shop.
In the study by the University of Texas and U.S Green Building Council, it was shown that homes built between the years 2008 to 2016 experienced an 8% increase in resale value if they were built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) specifications. The Washington Post also states that new build homes with energy and sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more while existing homes with added certifications fetched 30 percent more.
Further supporting the sustainability trend, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study in 2010 revealed that solar-powered homes sold 20 percent faster.
Safer for you and your family
Finally, eco-friendly building materials place a lot of emphasis on being healthier alternatives in terms of you and your family’s health. Conventional materials can be prone to mildew and sometimes contain harmful toxins. Having a sustainable home means ensuring your future. If you are considering adding such features into your home, either from scratch or as a remodel, there are endless options to get started today.
Make simple energy swaps
One of the simplest swaps for homeowners to go green and embrace the sustainability bandwagon is to look at your energy usage at home. Swaps such as including LED bulbs and Energy Star fixtures in your home can save as much as $75 each year and uses 25percent to 80 percent less energy than traditional lighting options. In terms of maintenance and replacements, LED bulbs last 3-25 times longer. If you wish to go further, consider energy efficient appliances.
Consider alternative materials
Aimed at those looking to build an environmentally friendly home (or upgrade), take a look at sustainable building materials such as prefabricated timber, bricks or concrete for your home building plans. For heat efficient windows, triple glazed glass and doors for ultimate insulation efficiency. When you are looking at insulation materials, sheep’s wool or cellulose are great options and are both biodegradable. Finally, in terms of roofing, there are options such as corrugated roofing or standing seam metal roofing, which is 100 percent recyclable and can last up to 50 years. A certified LEED builder or designer should be able to give you all the information you need on alternative environmentally friendly materials available to you.
Be mindful of your water usage
Finally, take a second look at your water usage. Small switches such as swapping out your old shower-heads for low flow models are quick and simple while other measures such as rethinking your irrigation can save you up to 40 percent of water. You can utilize additions such as a rain barrel or a grey water system to reuse water that goes down your drain for other things such as watering your plants.
In the kitchen, the use of a water filter can reduce your reliance on bottled water and avoids the use of plastics in the home. Aerators on the shower-heads and faucets can reduce water usage by up to 50 percent and best of all, they cost just a few dollars. With such budget-friendly prices and savings on your water bills, your bank account will be thanking you. The changes don’t need to be large for you to see the benefits.
It is no secret that people across the world are becoming more environmentally conscious and with good reason. Whether you start small or plan a total overhaul, embracing an eco-friendly home is a great investment in not only the Earth’s future but you and your family’s as well. With so many simple ways to make the swap and proven benefits, why not get started today?
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Your kids are begging to stuff their faces with candy for 4 straight weeks. You want a healthy alternative that’s just as fun as 18 new colors of candy corn. So strike up a candy compromise with some healthy Halloween snacks leading UP to the big night and days after that the candy actually survives the daily rabid parental raid. 😬
This is an awesome way to spend some quality time with the kiddos–creating fun healthy Halloween snacks that’ll hold off the sugar coma a little longer! Hey, you may even want to add this to your Fall Bucket List next year!
So here are 3 spookily sweet and 3 surprisingly savory Halloween treats to help hold off on truck loads of candy at least a little longer!
Ingredients: You need bananas and mini chocolate chips
1.Cut bananas to desired height
2. Push in mini chocolate chips for eyes and mouth
3. Assemble on plates, then enjoy!
Bonus–dip banana ghosts in yogurt or coconut flakes for extra flavor!
Ingredients: Strawberries (medium to large size), white chocolate melts, mini chocolate chips, cheerios
1.Melt white chocolate melts until like liquid
2. Dip each strawberry in white chocolate and then turn upside down on plate to cool
3. Push chocolate chips in for eyes, and a cheerio for the mouth before the white chocolate cools too much
4. Put in fridge to firm up white chocolate
Spooky Cutout PB + J Sandwiches
Ingredients: Whole grain white bread, cookie cutters (I found these at Hobby Lobby and can’t locate the same brand on Amazon, but I’ll keep looking), strawberry jelly or spread, peanut/almond/nut butter
1.Use the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes of the skeleton head on 2 pieces of bread
2. Flip the cutter over and use the other side, lined up on the bread, to cut out the eyes and mouth pieces on only once piece of bread
3. On the piece you didn’t cut eyes out of, spread your peanut/almond/nut/seed butter and then spread the strawberry jelly on top of that
4. Place the piece on top with the eyes cut out
And then marvel at your yummy, but creepy, creations!
Ingredients: Round crackers (we used gluten free ranch flavored), square sliced cheese (we used Colby jack), pretzel sticks (again–gluten free), cream cheese, black olives that are sliced (or slice your own)
1.Cut circles out of cheese slices (as many as you need–1 or more per spider)
2. Spread a dallop of cream cheese on bottom of cheese circle to stick to cracker, then stick them together
3. Spread another dallop of cream cheese on top of cheese circle
4. Cut pretzel sticks in half to have 8 ‘legs’, then place them around the top of the crack and cheese so that the ends of the legs are stuck in the cream cheese (it’ll hold them in place
5. Put another dallop of cream cheese on one side of another cracker, and place that cracker–cream cheese down–on top of the spiders legs, and gently push it down so they’re all stuck together
6. Use cream cheese on one side of each of 2 black olive slices to stick the olives to the top of the top cracker for the spider’s eyes
Candy Corn Pizza
Ingredients: Pre-made pizza crust (or make your own dough–we did because we needed gluten free), tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, shredded orange cheddar, shredded mixed cheese (like a Mexican blend so when it melts it comes out more yellow
1.Spread sauce lightly on your pizza dough
2. Spread the mixed cheese in a ring around the outside of the dough
3. Spread the orange cheddar in a ring, touching the mixed cheese but leaving a circle in the middle
4. Spread the mozzarella in a circle in the middle of the pizza dough (the general pattern will look like a target)
5. Bake as directed from your dough package or recipe
6. Slice into pie-shaped wedges
Marvel at your pizza that actually looks like candy corn! (SUPER easy dinner idea, you guys!)
Eyeball Tomato Soup
Ingredients: Tomato soup (plain or with herbs that float around), mozzarella balls (the super tiny kind–sometimes have to look in the fancy deli/cheese section at the grocery store), green olives that are sliced (or slice your own)
1.Place one sliced olive per mozzarella ‘eyeball’–stack them and try to push together to make them stick
2. Gently place in hot tomato soup
Bonus: This eyeball soup is especially good with crackers to dip, OR–pair with the candy corn pizza and dip your pizza in!
Know someone that would love to make some healthy Halloween snacks and treats? Please SHARE this post!
My 5 year old noise-box smacks the orange vanilla icing and sprinkles off her fingers while the 11 YO takes the next sheet of piping hot cookies of the the 325 degree oven. Fresh shortbread fills the kitchen as our substitute for Chocolate Creature Halloween Cookies. But only because the 9 YO has a small chocolate allergy. How did I get these little monsters to make their own cookies? Uhh, only the best idea in LIFE SKILLS U ever! (You know, besides Etiquette School.)
Honestly I love my kids learning to cook–but when it can be combined with healthy eating AND Halloween? Trifecta, baby! So Raddish has continued to excite the squiddly outta my 9, 11, and 5 YO’s. Especially with the Halloween box this month!
If you’re not familiar, Raddish is a monthly subscription box that comes with recipes, a tool for cooking, a patch for each month’s theme, and really a ton of other stuff. My kids are so dang excited when this comes in the mail! And October’s box? Halloween! (duh.)
So obviously I love that these boxes are so fun for the kids–but what I really love is that Raddish has taken a real life skill that I believe every kid should learn, and made it interesting before throwing the ‘boring lessons’ at them. Kids first see the fun stuff they can make, the cool tools and patch that come in the mail once a month, and generally a giant mess they have full permission to make while learning how to feed themselves as fully grown humans.
>>>Ready to try it out?? Head on over and enter code SJVR7X at checkout to get $10 off!<<<
The three recipes included in the Halloween box are ‘eye-popping tomato soup‘ (which we plan to make in the upcoming weeks before Halloween), chocolate creature cookies (featured in this post as a variation), and creepy crawler spider sliders (which clearly are just sliders and fries, but look how adorbs they are all assembled with olives for the eyeeeeesssss!!)
Another thing I luv, luv, LUV is that they make it super easy to shop by giving a separate shopping list for each recipe. But also–each box comes with these sweet little ‘table talk’ cards to have some dinner conversations that the kids can moderate. The 9 YO especially likes this since her apparent life ambition is to be a dictator of whatever she wants.
But the cards also include culinary and kitchen skills in cute little emoji circles that they can check off as they complete them.
There are also a TON of other resources on the site, like lesson plans for all different age groups. This helps your kiddos learn about the actual cultures of the themed country’s food you’re cooking for the month–which the kids find totally fascinating. Especially when it includes weird rituals. Or fancy hats.
And even though these bats and cats may not be recognizable, I can promise you the sweet shortbread, crunchy sugary sprinkles, and happy kiddos make the hard work and messy kitchen totally worth it!
>>>Ready to try it out?? Head on over and enter code SJVR7X at checkout to get $10 off!<<<
Know someone that would like an awesome way to get their kids cooking? Please SHARE this post!
You know what’s sadder than not being able to trick or treat because of rain on Halloween? Probably Halloween being in the middle of the week. Meaning: no grown-up parties ON Halloween!! (I’m assuming said grownups have to work the next day…) But whether or not you’re Halloween is on the perfect day during the perfect weather, your family can totally have an appropriately spooky movie night with these 15 family Halloween movies!
I so love doing this, because the weather (usually) has cooled down a little–sometimes enough to even build a fire in our fire-pit, which is on our Fall Bucket List! And we just pop some popcorn, get out our Halloween goodies we’ve been making, and snuggle in for some super cute Halloween fun flicks! Here are 15 that are way fun for the littles (and grownups!)
1.It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Honestly, this classic should be watched every single year no matter what.
2.Harry Potter (like all of them, obviously)
This is a Tim Burton flick about a boy whose kinda nerdy at school, and then his best friend–his weenie dog–dies. He decides to bring him back to life. It’s a bit Pet Cemetery but without the horror movie.
4. The Addams Family
Ahh, the orginal freak show family, lol! This was also a series, so if your kids are super into it, you may be able to stream it as well.
5. Hocus Pocus
The new kid in town (Salem, MA), his sister, and new friend accidentally unleash 3 evil witches that are trying to become immortal. The kids and their magic cat have to stop them. (Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler in the early days! 😂)
6. Ghost Busters –the orginal(s) + the latest with the fab females!
I was surprised at how much my kids liked the original of this–and then again surprised at how much I liked the new female version! (Maybe had something to do with Hemsworth in in….hmmm…😂)
7. Toy Story of Terror
Such an adorable spin-off of Toy Story–especially for those of us that just can’t get enough of 1, 2, and 3!
8. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
I honestly don’t know why this show/movie didn’t get more press–it’s pretty dang funny!
This movie isn’t ‘specifically’ Halloween themed, but it’s dark enough to pass–complete with black cat. Plus the kids love it!
Another story about finding out you’re really a witch. And so is your family. Ha! This one is super cute, though.
Casper and his family live in a haunted mansion, but when a scientist and his daughter arrive to communicate, he falls in love with the daughter. You know, Romeo/Juliet kinda stuff.
12. Hotel Transylvania (1, 2, and 3!)
Drac owns a hotel where only monsters stay, until a human shows up one day. And his daughter falls in love. And the next movies continue the story–which is hilarious!
13. Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington is the king of Halloweentown, but he wants to bring Christmas there, too. So he makes a trip to the North Pole to see Santa. (Another Tim Burton classic)
14. Corpse Bride
The main characters have an arranged marriage, but before it can happen, groom-to-be is dragged to the land of the dead by an ex-admirer whose dead. (I swear no more Tim Burton ones. His stuff is so creeppppyyyy though!)
This movie is less spooky and more family–but in Dia de los Muertos style–which means brilliant colors, Disney family values, and the sweetest grandma/grandson relationship on the entire planet!
Know someone that would love to see a list of appropriately spooky fun Halloween movies? Please SHARE this post!
As your family grows, it is very easy to get caught up in the time they need devoted to them and the money they need spending on them. You can forget your own future, but if you do not secure it, the responsibility for you will fall onto them. Therefore, one of the best ways to secure their future is to secure your own first.
Start Saving For Retirement
If you are not in a job that has a pension attached, you should start a retirement plan now. The longer you leave it the less your pension pot will have, and the less money you will be able to draw each month when you have finished work.
This may seem a long way off, but saving for your retirement is vital if you do not want to have to rely on your children giving you an income.
Clear Your Debts
Work toward clearing yourself of debts. Life will be less stressful if you do not have to make several payments a month to creditors. Hit the smallest debt first and you will feel so motivated because you have cleared one, it will encourage you to work at the others. Once your debts have gone, your money will be your own to do with as you please, including saving some money to secure the financial future of your family.
Saving can become a habit, and it is one of the best habits to have. Having some money behind you lets you buy what you want instead of relying on new debts. You may be surprised how quickly just a few dollars a month will grow, and how soon that makes you free of the debt culture.
You need to protect your home and family in case of a disaster or accident. You should take out liability car insurance, cover to protect your family if you die, illness insurance, home insurance, and mortgage or rental cover. It is possible to insure practically anything if you are prepared to pay the premium, so choose the ones that are most vital to you and your family. You can then have peace of mind if a bad event happens in your family that they will be financially secure.
Make A Will
It is surprising how many people do not make a will, don’t be one of them. With no will, your family could be in a very precarious situation, and your estate could be divided among people who you would not want to have anything.
Making a will is not expensive or time-consuming, and it makes life much easier for your family after you die. They will have enough to cope with at this sad time, without having to sort your estate, as you had left no instructions.
When you are making your will you should also seek tax advice. There are ways of reducing the tax that has to be paid on your estate, as long as these things are done before you die.
Being savvy with money will secure your family’s financial future and make life much more pleasant and stress-free for you.
Know someone that could use help with planning for their family’s financial future? Please SHARE this post!
“UGGH!!” My daughter stomped her foot, then crossed her arms with a scowl tightening her face. Her cheeks got red as stomped off in the fluorescent-lit grocery store.
Typical temper tantrum. Except that she’s 11.
Ok, in all fairness, she’s rightfully frustrated. She has celiac. She can’t have gluten. At all. And guess what we can’t find that’s gluten free. Gingerbread house kits. (Or in this case, gingerbread graveyard kits.)
Honestly, I have no idea how. There are now approximately 87-gazillion GF packaged foods, and apparently not one single company on the planet has decided to make a GF gingerbread house kit.
So now I have to figure out a way for my kiddos to be able to make these lovely assembled sugar-comas so that they can still eat them when it’s finished. Cause this is #4 on our Fall Bucket List, and we can’t miss out!! Which means diy gingerbread house –or graveyard–is on our list.
Consulting my second BFF Google tells me that either we can buy a gingerbread house mold and make our own ‘cookies’ to assemble the house, or we can go the easier route: make them out of graham crackers. Cause there ARE gluten-free graham crackers! (Thank God!! They’ve saved our bonfire and s’mores night many a time already!)
So whether you’re trying to make a gluten free ‘gingerbread’ house, or just wanna skip the kit altogether, here’s how to make a diy gingerbread house happen!
*And just a side-note–this is a very basic guide, not for those that want to go all out and make this look like Martha Stewart designed it for a Kardashian. This is for those of us that like to give the kids something fun to do and let them just be creative and make it happen on their own. Like, after we buy all the stuff, of course.
Gather or purchase all your ingredients
We started out with gluten free graham crackers, serrated knives (because you have to be able to gently ‘saw’ through the crackers), cookie icing, and whatever sprinkles and decorations your kiddos need to make this thing epic! (I highly recommend the bone sprinkles and eyeballs!)
Do a little thinking before breaking apart crackers OR cutting
So the first thing to understand is that unless you can create some kind of inner supports, the house/castle/shack can be only as tall as the crackers that come as a sheet in the box. If you’re doing non-gluten-free, they may come in larger sheets. Regardless, keep those sheets intact until it’s time to start shaping pieces and assembling.
First you want to create a triangle at the top so you can create the end pieces of your house. So cut the corners off, taking care to only cut as far down as the width of the side pieces (which usually is just the seam where you can break the crackers apart.) Use the serrated knife so you can gently ‘saw’ through the pieces, then use the knife to smooth out the edges on that first piece.
Once your first end-piece is done, turn the second cracker over so its back side is facing up, and lay the already cut end-piece on top of it to use as a template. This will make sure your cuts are exactly the same on both pieces so the roof pieces will lie nice and flat with no weird gaps.
Assemble the pieces
Then use the icing like ‘glue’ to hold all the pieces of the house together as you assemble it.
My kids also used the icing to make graves stand up as well.
And then use all those creepy creative juices in your brain to make monsters, graves, and haunted dwellings out of totally edible cookies, icing, and sprinkles!
Know someone that would like to know how to create a DIY ‘gingerbread’ house? Please SHARE this post!