Archives for June 2014

Just Tips for Moving House

Couple-moving-houseMoving house is one of supposed to be one of the most stressful things a person can do in their life, and as someone who has recently moved house I can fully attest to that fact.  Although I wasn’t able to eliminate all of the stress associated with moving, I was able to reduce it somewhat and you can too by putting some or all of the following tips into action.

Write a List

It may seem like the most tedious idea in the world or go against the grain of your spontaneous personality, but trust me if you write everything down you will be grateful later.  Even before you start packing even one box, create some form of quick and simple record keeping system.  Either print of a list of numbers with spaces for information to be added or use a spiral-bound notebook.  Put a number on each box you pack and list the contests on that box on the list next to the corresponding number.

Make Sure You Have Lots of Supplies

Before you start packing your old house up, make sure you have lots of boxes, even if it means you have too many in the end.  If you hire a moving company you may be able to buy boxes and then return the unused ones in exchange for a refund.  Keep 10 boxes empty until you get to moving day and use these to fill with things such as cleaning supplies, clothing, bedding and other things you think you’ll need on the big day.

It is also important that you buy plenty of strong packing tape to keep your boxes secure and use magazines (newspaper ink can stain), bubble wrap or packing paper to wrap and protect your stuff.

Use Wardrobe Boxes

These are tall boxes that you can use for the lightweight but bulkier items such as blankets, pillows and comforters or clothes that you need to keep on hangers.  Moving companies often use these, so it’s important to ask ahead of moving day what the width of the boxes they will be bringing is, and then you need to measure the clothes to see how many boxes you will need.

Plan out Wardrobe Box Use

The majority of moving companies are happy to deliver your boxes before moving day, but if you are not able to get into the house until moving day or are moving yourself it is important to plan things as early as possible.  A few days before you are due to move, get some shopping bags with strong handles and fill them with bulky items such as jeans, belts, sweaters and shoes.

Then on moving day, place these shopping bags into your wardrobe boxes before putting in clothes on hangers.  Make sure you you’re your hanging items securely so that things don’t fall off the hangers or move around.  Next cover the shoulders of the clothes and add some sweaters or purses on top of them.

As well as having less boxes, it will also keep all your wardrobe clothes and belongings together.

Hopefully these tips will prove useful to you when you are moving and if you have yet to find a place to move to head over to TGC for lots of great options!

Teaching Your Children the Basics of Safety

Teaching Your Children the Basics of SafetyA parent’s worst nightmare is knowing their child is in danger. While it is impossible to ensure a child will never be in danger, there are safety basics all children should know that can help protect them in emergency situations.

Here are some safety precautions to talk with your kids about:

1. Home Security

Installing a home security system helps to protect your home from potential burglaries. If you have a home security system, explain to your kids the purpose of the system. Many parents are worried about scaring their children and neglect to talk to them about home security, but it is important for children to be aware of its purpose. Of course, use your discretion about details based on their age.

If looking to find a security system for you home, look for recommendations from friends or do a keyword search like Salinas ADT home security in order to find the best results for your home security needs.

2. Stranger Danger

Teach your children the basics of stranger danger. Kids are extremely perceptive and usually can tell when someone is not who they say are, so teach them how to recognize suspicious behavior in adults.

Emphasize that a child can always ask a stranger for help, specifically an official or someone in charge, but that strangers should not ask kids for help. Also, teach your child that if a stranger asks them to go with them because they are their parents’ friend, they should ignore them, say no, and get away from them as quickly as possible.

3. Drop, Holler, Run

If in a dangerous situation, a child can protect him or herself by mastering the drop, holler, and run technique. If a child feels like they are in danger, or if a stranger tries to grab them, they should drop whatever they are carrying, scream as loudly as possible, and run away from the stranger.

4. Stop, Drop, Roll

The basics of fire safety can save a child’s life. Children often hide in a closet or under the bed in a fire situation, which actually places them in more harm. Teaching them to stop, drop, and roll can save them from hiding in an area a fire fighter might not be able to reach.

5. Emergency Numbers

Leave a list of emergency numbers in an area your children can reach such as on the fridge or in a drawer near the phone. In the event of an emergency, teach children whom to contact.

6. Name, Address, and Phone Number

Even at an early age, help your children memorize their full name, address, and phone number. If they ever need to call 911 or talk to the police, knowing their information can help them if they are in danger.

7. Social Media

Now that social media is apart of most older kids everyday life, be aware of the dangers it can present in your children’s lives. Explain to them to keep personal information to a minimum, and monitor who they are talking to and how much personal information they are giving out.

Image Source: www.murphypsychologygroup.com

 

How to Get Your Children to Love Reading

Everyone knows the importance of reading, but encouraging our children to read can be a difficult task. As a parent, it is imperative that  you help your children enjoy reading and indulge their love of literature. While you will have to focus a lot of time and energy into doing so, it will be very rewarding in the long term.

Kids often see reading as something that they have to do in school, and as such, it feels very much like a chore when they get home. The key is to ensure that children see reading as a leisure activity, not as a chore that is forced upon them. As they are often forced to read at school, reading for pleasure can seem like an unknown entity and as such they lose their passion for reading. As a parent, it is your job to ensure that they find a balance between reading for pleasure and reading for work.

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One of the most effective ways, as a parent, that you can encourage your child to love literature is to read aloud to them. The easiest time to implement reading into their routine is to do so at bedtime. Once you have settled them into bed, take out a book and read aloud to them. Get your child to engage with the text and the illustrations. What is more, you will need to project your voice in an enjoyable way. This may mean putting on silly voices and adopting the guise of the various characters within the book. While you may feel a little silly at first, your kids will love it.

There is a fantastic range of children’s books available online, and on the high street, so much so that you will be spoilt for choice. Try to purchase books that are aimed at your child’s age range. What is more, the books that you purchase should be a reflection of their own personal tastes and likes. If your little boy is fascinated by dinosaurs, then purchase storybooks that tell the tales of dinosaurs. They are sure to be engaged with the story if the book is suited to their personal tastes.

It may be advisable to seek out the services of your local library. Some libraries hold mother and toddler groups, where your child can interact with other children of a similar age. What is more, once they have engaged with peers of their own age, they will be more interested in listening to the stories unfold. Getting your kids interested in reading need not be an arduous task, it should be an enjoyable leisure activity that they can actively engage with.

One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is “practice what you preach.” This means that if you are encouraging your children to read, then you should be reading too. Children often want to emulate their parents, so if they see you reading for pleasure, then they will be interested in doing so too. After all, they want to be seen as ‘grown ups,’ not children.

Tips for Combatting Excessive Sweat

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If like me you suffer from excessive amounts of sweat, you are actually suffering from a condition known as hyperhidrosis.  When I speak about excessive sweat, I am not referring to the amount you produce when you have a hard workout at the gym or participating in some other form of exercise, I mean sweating when at the office or just out to the shops.

It can be embarrassing and can knock your self-confidence for six.  Therefore, in the following post I will talk you through some of the various ways that you can reduce your sweat levels.

Put On Antiperspirant Deodorant in the Afternoon

As your body produces less sweat at night than any other part of the day, spray some deodorant during the afternoon or in the evening.   By doing this you will be giving the active ingredients the best chance to get inside your pores and stop perspiration in the morning.

Try an Extra Strength Antiperspirant

Rather than just choosing any old deodorant, I have found that the best way to prevent excessive sweat is to use a good quality product such as Rexona Clinical Protection.  The reason that clinical strength products are better at reducing and preventing sweat is because the active ingredients inside them are at much higher concentrations.

Don’t Just Tackle Your Pits

Although you, like me until very recently, are probably used to giving a couple of sprays or rolls over your armpits, the body has around 2 to 4 million sweat glands all over.  With this is mind it is a good idea to make sure you cover areas such as your chest, back, feet and hands as well as under your arms.

Reduce or Stop Your Intake of Caffeine and Spicy Foods

I am a big fan of coffee and love the occasional curry.  But, I recently discovered that although these kinds of food and drink delight my tastes buds, they may also be responsible for stimulating my sweat glands.   Apparently they target the acetylcholine, neurotransmitters in your brain which can cause you to sweat.  This is often why people say they get sweaty while eating hot food.

Consider Prescribed Medication

It’s not just energetic workouts and hot indoor and outdoor temperatures that make you sweat, as emotions can also play a part.  This is particularly the case if you find that you sweat a lot in a stressful situation, such as a job interview.  While relaxation techniques such as deep breathing etc. may help you to stop the neurotransmitters being stimulated; you may still have to seek medical help from your doctor.  They will either be able to prescribe medication to deal with your sweating in these kinds of situations or to tackle the emotional side of things.

I sincerely hope you find the tips above helpful and they help you to get your confidence back and reduce your sweat levels.   While I found a clinical level deodorant virtually solved my sweat problem, we are all unique and the method that works for you might be completely different.

Top Tips for Homeschooling Moms

Top Tips for Homeschooling Moms

More and more families are making the switch from public education to homeschooling. Whether it’s because of the school systems in their area or for personal reasons, homeschooling is a great option for busy families. Schoolwork can be fit around your schedule, and can give kids more freedom to participate in extracurricular activities. However, even though homeschooling has its benefits, becoming both mom and teacher can be a difficult transition. Here are the top tips to make homeschooling as efficient as possible:

Make Sure You Have the Right Resources

One of the hardest aspects of homeschooling is the lack of resources available to students. Most public schools are equipped with an expansive library and large online database, giving students the right tools to research their projects. In order to provide your children with the resources available, make sure your home has wireless Internet for your TV and computer. This allows your kids the availability to do research when they need it and keep up with current events.

Additionally, look to any universities in your area. For a small fee, most universities allow the public access to their resources, which include books, journals, online databases, etc.

Teach Multiple Grade Levels Effectively

If you have multiple children all at different grade levels, it can be exceedingly difficult to teach each of them. One effective strategy is to schedule a block of time with each child. While the other kids are doing independent work, work with your other child one-on-one. Another great option is computer-based learning programs. For older children, using computer-based or online learning curriculums can be extremely helpful and effective, for older children can handle independent learning.

Find a Homeschool Group

One of the best tools most homeschool families do not take advantage of is a homeschool group. These groups include other families who also homeschool their children, and connecting up with these groups offers more learning and social opportunities for your children. Additionally, parents can make great connections with other parents and even divvy up some of the teaching responsibilities. Devise a schedule where you teach one age group for a day while they teach another, and then switch. This can be advantageous for your children, for they get a chance to learn under someone else, hang out with students their own age, and receive personal attention.

Homeschool Classes

Various universities provide classes for homeschool students that are set up like a traditional classroom. Like a homeschool group, it gives students, especially older students, the chance to learn from someone else, social interaction with their friends, and the ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas with other people. While homeschooling does allow for children to develop their independence, it is important for them to learn how to communicate with other people, develop their ideas into words, and hear other opinions on a subject.

Additionally, some of these classes can be taken for college credit, which many high school students take advantage of in order to get ahead in their required gen-ed college classes.

Image Source: www.multiplemayhemmamma.com

5 Kids Activities You Should Get Your Kids Involved in This Summer

Summer is approaching fast and your kids will want to get outside, and go and play as much as they can during the long break. However, keeping them occupied throughout the summer holidays can be difficult.

 As a parent, the last thing that you want your child to say to you is “I’m bored”. You have a hundred things to do around the house, or you may even have to go shopping or pop and see a friend. You may feel like your life is on hold whilst you try and keep your children entertained for six weeks or more.

Don’t worry. Help is at hand.

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This guide will help you keep your children busy during the summer months with these five activities that will keep them smiling and out of trouble, giving you more time to do the things that you love.

Outdoor Twister

Take the indoor version of the popular game and turn it into something bigger and better that can be played with outside in the sun. It is a game for the whole family to enjoy, and kids will love it.

This is how you can create Outdoor Twister:

The indoor version of Twister was played on a flimsy plastic mat, which is no good for outdoor use, so you need to, firstly, create a stencil, using a large and sturdy piece of paper.

There are 24 circles, six of each colour, and the circles should be set about 3 inches apart.

Then take some spray paint and paint the round circles directly onto your grass.

Once the paint has dried, you can let your kids outside to play, keeping them busy for hours.

Interactive Driveway Board Game

This is another simple way to get kids outside and enjoying the summer. The principle is simple; you take a traditional board game and transfer it to your driveway or pathway outside using chalks and paints to recreate the board.

You can take games for younger children, such as snakes and ladders, and transfer them outside. The only item you may need is a set of big dice, but you can get the kids involved too by making it yourself.

Soccer Camp

If your children are a little soccer mad, then you can enroll them into their local soccer camp for kids.

Unlike the previous suggestions, this gives your children somewhere else to go, leaving you free to make trips out of the home. The children are supervised at all times; learning new skills that should help them enjoy their soccer in more ways.

Homemade Bubbles

This is a classic way to keep children busy during the summer months. Blowing bubbles is also fun for all of the family, meaning that you can all get involved in some bubble blowing action.

Here is how to make the perfect bubble recipe:

4 cups of water

1 cup of hand wash or washing up liquid

Outdoor Bowling

Bring the bowling alley back home and create your very own bowling experience for your children.

Here is how to make your outdoor bowling alley:

10 empty 2-litre bottles

Food colouring & Water (to add to the empty bottles)

A soccer ball, basketball or other large ball

Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Car

buying car

When buying a car, particularly if it’s your first time doing so, there are certain factors that you need to take into consideration.  These factors revolve around the costs of things connected to the car after you have bought it.   In the following article we will discuss the 5 most important of these factors.

The Cost of Fuel

The first factor to consider is how much a particular car is going to cost you to run it.  That might sound like perfect common sense to you, but you would be amazed at the amount of people who still do not pay attention to the miles per gallon of fuel of a car and just buy it.  If you do a lot of travelling, for instance on a day to day basis to work, then you should make sure that you are going to be able to afford topping up and refilling the fuel tank when it runs out.  All car manufacturers nowadays make information about the fuel efficiency of a car available.

The Insurance

Insurance is another big factor that many people don’t put much thought into.  There seems to be this ill-informed idea that insurance will cost the same regardless of the type or model of car you buy.  This I nonsense, as a car that has a bigger engine will normally be more expensive to insure, and it is not only the type of car that can affect the cost of insurance, but also your age.  If you are a younger driver, with very little experience, then an insurance company will consider you a much riskier customer and will set your insurance premium much higher than the 40 year old that has been driving for 20 years with no penalty points on his licence.  For more information on car insurance head over to Yes Loans.

The Road Tax

Another important factor to keep in mind is the cost of the road tax.  This is calculated based on the CO2 emissions of a particular car.  Therefore, the higher level of CO2 a car has, the higher the road tax will be.  You will find that there are some, incredibly economical cars that produce a low level of CO2 emissions that you will have to pay very little or no road tax at all on; while others can cost hundreds of pounds.  You should always ask the seller how much the road tax costs on a car, and when it is due to be renewed.  This will help you to be aware of any upcoming payments you need to make for the car if you choose to buy it.

Maintenance

Generally speaking, maintaining a car in good condition does not cost very much.  However, if you buy a car that is jam packed with extras, this might mean that there is more to maintain.  Always check things like the tyres and ask the seller when they were last replaced and when they need to be replaced again.

Repairs

Finally, you also need to familiarise yourself with how much a particular car is going to cost to repair.  Although this is more of a problem associated with buying a used car, that perhaps has seen it’s better days and needs a lot of work, it is still something you should look at when buying a brand new car.

5 Handy Tips for Self-Drive Holidays and Trips

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Whether you choose to take your own car or decide to hire a car, there is a real charm and endearing quality to a self-drive holiday where you stop where you want and drive as long as you want.    Self-drive holidays are becoming more and more popular with people heading out to Africa to traverse the roads of Namibia and rolling along the spectacular Great Ocean Road in Australia. 

Although you are undoubtedly, like most people, tempted to take this type of holiday because it feels much more ad-hock and spontaneous; you should never take this type of holiday, or any holiday for that matter, without doing a certain amount of research and planning.

In the following post we will give you 5 handy tips to make sure that your self-drive trip is a memorable one with as few hassles and problems as possible.

Petrol

This may sound incredibly obvious and even a little patronising, but you should be vigilant to make sure you fill your car up with petrol regularly.  You would find it surprising just how many people forget to do this.  There are many countries where the opportunities to stop and fill your car up with petrol are spaced miles and miles apart.  If you don’t want to end up stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, always fill up, even a little bit, when you get the chance.

Make Sure Your Car Is Suitable

One of the reasons that many people decide to opt for a hire car is that their regular car is not suitable for a long driving expedition.  It is important to think about the amount of luggage you are going to be taking with you and whether you need extra storage space.  This is particularly important if you are taking skis, cycles or tents with you.

Stock Up On Food and Drink

Always make sure you have enough drinks and food, in particular snacks and make sure they are close to had in the car.  This is important because if you come across a particularly beautiful spot and want to soak up the atmosphere, you can have a mini picnic.  Additionally, if you breakdown or get lost and need to take a break to regroup and check the maps again, you will need to keep your energy levels high.

Phone Coverage

In this day and age, getting lost is not as terrible as it initially sounds, particularly if you have a working phone and a mobile signal.  This is why you should ensure that where you are going on your driving holiday to have adequate phone network coverage.  Most mobile phone companies have a section on their website dedicated to this on their website.

Drive on the Right Roads

Whether you are hiring a car or using your own car is best to stick to the main roads and roads that are maintained the by the government that runs the country you are travelling in.  This is important because if you decide to go off-road you may not be covered in your insurance.

Hopefully this post has given you some useful tips for that exciting driving holiday you have planned.  If you are interested in buying a car for this kind of journey, check out some of the deals available over at John Hughes.

A Guide to Re-Decorating Your Child’s Bedroom

Decorating your child’s bedroom can be something of an arduous task. They seem to have so much stuff! With birthdays, Christmas and Easter, the amount of toys, books and clothes which they have, seem to pile up at an alarming rate. What is more, their bedrooms tend to look like storage spaces as opposed to a restful place to sleep and recuperate.

It is time to reclaim your child’s room. Get rid of the toys and ditch the mess. Your child needs a place to sleep and rest, as well as having an enjoyable place to play. If you are stuck for inspiration on how to redecorate and accommodate your child’s bedroom, then you need not look any further. This guide will have you reaching for the paintbrush in no time:

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Image Source

Painting Woes

Painting your child’s bedroom can be daunting. The key is to stick to neutral tones that they are sure to love. By sticking to a neutral wall colour, you can change the features of their bedroom around much easier. Accessorise with their favourite colours to give them a room that you will all love.

Putting the “Fun” in Functional

Let’s be honest, bedroom furniture can be a little dull. Of course, it needs to practical and functional, but you can put the “fun” back into functional with a wide range of quirky, and simply beautiful, children’s furniture from Mathy by Bols Childrens Beds.

There is a wide range of amazing beds that your child is sure to adore. Be inspired by tree-house style beds, beds in the shapes of tents and princess themed beds. Not only will it be easier to get your little one into bed on a night time (we all know how difficult that can be) but a quirky, fun bed also feeds their imaginations and inspires their imaginative play.

Of course, you are going to need a functional piece of furniture to store their plethora of toys, books and clothes. You can choose from a wide range of amazing pieces, such as bookcases designed in the shape of trees, Narnia inspired wardrobes in an array of different colours and locker style cupboard spaces. In short, you will wish you were a child yourself once you see the beautiful furniture that is available for children’s bedrooms.

Beautiful Artwork

Ditch the hastily blue-tacked posters and invest in some gorgeous, yet cost-effective artwork. Be inspired by personalised canvases in a plethora of fantastic designs. What is more, you can get creative in your child’s space to ensure that they have a fun feature wall that they will be mesmerised by. Purchase cheap, plastic photo frames in various designs and bright colours and fill them with postcards from your various holidays, day trips and precious memories. Not only will they love the brightly colored feature, but they will also have very fond memories from trips to the beach, the zoo and picnics in the park. Of course, they may not remember the finer details, but they will have a starting point for everlasting memories.

Top design tips for your bathroom

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Gone are the days when people did not consider the bathroom an important area of the house. We spend a significant amount of time in the space every day and a beautiful bathroom can give new life to the entire home. These days, interior designers give special attention to bathrooms and industry experts will tell you that there are several things you can do increase the comfort and beauty of the room. Among other things, shower fittings play an essential role in the practicality and design of bathrooms.

Colour coordination

The right combination of colours is an important aspect of getting bathroom décor in sync. Nice combinations give a rejuvenated look to bathrooms and create a pleasing aura. Often, people prefer to match the colour of walls with the tiles. From a safety point of view, selecting the right tiles is very important. Avoid using slippery tiles at all costs as they can lead to accidents and injuries.

Shower design

A stylish shower will set your bathroom apart from others and give it a wonderfully attractive look. You can browse designs online from the comfort of your home before deciding to buy one. It’s a good idea to check all available options before making a final decision.

Easy shower fittings eliminate additional maintenance expenditures. This is great as no one wants to spend a huge amount of money on unnecessary repairs. Thanks to their easy installation and minimal maintenance, Mira shower fittings have made quite a name for themselves. If you want to experience the quality for yourself, you can browse Mira shower fittings for an attractive and affordable range of products.

Wet areas of bathroom require special care which means choosing the right shower is very important. It is highly recommended to do your research and ensure you invest in a shower that makes bathing a fun exercise rather than a chore.

The fitting process

There are various options to choose from when it comes to shower fittings. If you do your research, you should be able to find one which is not only attractive but also practical, easy to use and relatively inexpensive. The fitting procedure is very easy and does not take much time. When choosing a contractor, make sure they are very experienced as this can make or break to look and efficiency of your bathroom.

Another thing to keep in mind when designing a bathroom is the need for ample natural light and sufficient ventilation. This is important as without them, the bathroom will feel cramped and confined.

Before investing money in your bathroom, it is important to conduct some research and choose the right fittings. Designing a bathroom is an art in itself and requires a high level of skill and expertise. Therefore, it is advisable that you hire an experienced and talented designer who will not only give a remarkable look to your bathroom, but is also capable of redesigning your entire house. This will achieve consistency and flow throughout your home.