February 2014 archive
As life becomes increasingly stressful, more and more homeowners are opting to include a relaxation area in their home. Traditionally, people went to professional spas to be pampered and wind down, but having a relaxation station at home allows you to come home after a hectic day and find pea
ce and well-being.
To create your home relaxation station you will need to choose soothing colours for your walls and accessories. This area is all about peace and gentleness. Choose soft comfortable furnishings, and add relaxation music and gentle aromatherapy oils. Your décor needs to be calming and everything should contribute to making the area harmonious. Browse online at Super Amart Australia for furnishings, accessories and wall art in soothing greens, beiges or blues. Lavender will work well too.
Colour plays a very important part in setting the ambience of a room. Your relaxation station should be painted and decorated in gentle tones. Avoid bright colours like red, yellow and orange. These colours stimulate rather than soothe and will have the reverse effect of softer tones. You are aiming for a Zen-like simplicity, so be minimalistic with colours. In other rooms of the house you will often add a bright chair or painting to a neutral room. Don’t do this in your relaxation station. Everything needs to be tranquil and anything brightly coloured will negatively impact the calming level of the room. Lighting too should be gentle. Natural light is best but soft lamps or lights with a dimming switch will also work well. Fluorescent lights are completely wrong for a relaxation space.
When deciding on furnishings for your relaxation room, think about the kind of furniture you would find in a professional spa. This is the atmosphere you are trying to create. Go for comfortable chairs or couches, seating that you would be happy to lounge on with a good book. Furnishings should be minimal and are best kept to the perimeters of the room to create a simple, spacious feel that evokes peace.
Smells and sounds can do a lot to increase the relaxation effect of your space. A noisy room will not work well. You need to pick a place that isn’t disturbed by outside traffic noises or the sounds of the television. Add pleasant sounds to the space. A water feature will work well as the sound of running water is very soothing. You will also need a CD player and some carefully chosen music. Relaxation or quiet instrumental music work well. Buy an oil burner and aromatherapy oils. Again go for gentle rather than strong scents. Smell the tester bottles at your local health food or new age store and find something that resonates with you. Some scents are designed to invigorate, things like citrus for instance. These are not suitable for the relaxation station. If you are unsure you should ask the shop assistant which scents are for calming.
Once you have created your relaxation station you should try and take time each day to enjoy it.
Labour can be an uncomfortable, painful experience for many women. Of course the end result is worth it – you have your own beautiful bundle of joy! However, pain relief can be necessary, as some women find it too much to bear. There are many different options out there, from natural methods of relief to more medical forms of relief. Ideally, you should construct a birthing plan to help you, but it’s important to keep an open mind – birthing plans never go fully to plan! Here are the different methods of pain relief available to you during labour, and more information about each:
Image Author: Flickr
Self help is a great way to relax yourself in labour, which can help you cope better with the pain. Self help includes:
- Learning as much as you can about labour to ease your worries. Go to antenatal classes, watch programs, speak to your nurse/midwife/doctor, and read books.
- Learn how to stay calm during the process, breathing deeply.
- Trying different positions that feel right for you.
- Bringing a partner or relative to support you.
- Having a bath.
Hydrotherapy is basically being in water during labour, and this can make the whole process feel less painful for you. Ask if you can have a bath, or use a birthing pool to make things more bearable. The temperature will be comfortable but not above 37 degrees.
Gas and Air
Gas and air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It won’t remove all of the pain, but it can make things more bearable. Women usually like this method as it’s easy to use and they feel more in control of the situation. You’ll take slow deep breaths through a mouthpiece as a contraction begins.
Pethidine is usually injected into the thigh or buttock and can help you to relax, which will in turn help you to feel less pain. The effects last between 2-4 hours, and it takes about 20 minutes to work. There are some side effects to be aware of with this kind of injection, including:
- Sickness and forgetfulness.
- Can make it difficult to push if it hasn’t worn off by the end of labour.
- Making it difficult for the baby to have it’s first feed.
Some hospitals allow you to use their TENS machines, or you’re free to rent one. They are most effective for pain relief during the early stages of labour, where pads are placed on to your back. Pulses are then sent from the machine, and these are thought to help your brain release more endorphins, lessening the pain. They are also thought to distract you from the pain you’re in and help you to feel more in control.
An epidural is a local anesthetic, and numbs the nerves that carry pain impulses from the birth canal to the brain. An epidural can give complete pain relief for most women. It’s helpful in women who are having a very long labour, or those who are getting stressed. There are side effects, including:
- Loss of feeling in your legs.
- Dropped blood pressure.
- Prolonged second stage of labour.
- Finding it difficult to pass urine.
- A sore back.
There are other methods of pain relief available during labour, but the methods above are the most popular. Discuss other methods with your midwife or doctor and decide what’s best for you!
After watching the local news for a half hour, many parents will be afraid to let their kids leave the house. But even inside, there are plenty of dangers lurking. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a bodyguard or an IT professional to keep your family safe and be a great parent. Here are three key areas to focus on family security.
1. Keeping Intruders Out
There are lots of practical steps to secure your home front and protect against theft and criminals. Simple things like regularly checking your locks and bolts and making sure your house remains well lit can go a long way in deterring intruders. Small solar lights can light up walkways and steps to help light the house.
Today, most houses have armed security systems with burglar alarms. You can install a great surveillance system that allows you to check in on things from your mobile device when you are out. For finding more details about home security systems, click here.
2. Staying Safe Online
Perhaps the biggest threat comes from inside the home. The Internet is full of predators and hackers from around the world who want to get into your house to steal valuable information and do other malicious things through the web.
Regularly talking to kids and teens about computer use is one of the best ways to open up communication about safety on social networks, games and websites. A good rule is to place the computer in the living room or other high traffic area where parents can keep an eye on the screen. With mobile devices and laptops, it can become more difficult to monitor. Some families decide to rule out using devices in bedrooms. Others install browsing programs like Safe Eyes that protect against explicit content.
Some families meet together to sign a contract about how they will help protect each other from the unfriendly presences on the Internet. The Family Online Safety Institute offer its own family contract to clearly outline how parents can help protect kids and how kids can be wise with their computer use.
3. Don’t Talk to Strangers and Other Rules
Finally, it is important to educate your children about safety when they leave home. A good guideline is to begin by fostering good channels of communication with your kids so that they talk to you about any questions they have or situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
Dr. Laura Markham recommends several rules for every family.
•Prioritize your child—one of the best ways to protect them from predators, bullies, drugs, etc.
•Teach kids how to swim
•Let your children know that their bodies belong to themselves only
•Help your kids develop healthy judgment about places and people
The world can be a scary place, but with these important guidelines to follow, you can help keep your family safe and happy.
Image from http://www.baystatehealth.com
Image by MAZZALIARMADI.IT
A child’s bedroom is a really important place for most children, and if you can decorate it in a way that they like, so much the better. Giving children their own personal space that they have some element of choice and control over can really encourage them to show their independence, in the way they use and look after that space.
Not every child can have their own room, but it’s still possible to personalise their space in a shared bedroom. There are so many beautiful items of furniture and accessories for children’s bedrooms that you could really go to town on decorating and furnishing the room just how they’d like it, but it’s also possible to achieve a lot through accessorising too.
How much input you allow your kids to have on how their bedrooms will look depends on how old they are. For babies and toddlers, you call the shots, obviously, but when kids get a little bit older, they might have quite strong views on how they’d like their bedroom to be. Of course, it’s up to you whether you allow them free rein in choices for their room, but you should always exercise the power of veto over any outlandish decisions that you don’t want in your house. Ideally you can strike a balance so that they have some freedom of choice which will make them feel important and know that their opinions are valued.
Image by jingdianjiaju
If you don’t know where to start, take a look at sites like http://www.gltc.co.uk where you’ll see a whole range of different room sets, with themes to suit children of all ages. You could choose bedroom furniture that will see a child from being a toddler through to their teenage years – opting for classic wooden beds and wardrobes, for example. But there are also sports car and princess beds, as well as high beds and bunks. If you go for the classic furniture choice, you can always change the accessories, fabrics and soft furnishings to change with your child’s taste over the years. It’s far easier to replace a rug and curtains than it is to buy a whole new set of furniture!
Image by amy.gizienski
Storage is always an important factor in a child’s bedroom –they accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. If you can provide them with good storage units, then there’s no excuse for a messy bedroom! The wooden shelving units that you can fill with canvas drawers are a really good idea, as some can be left empty and used as shelves for books or to display trophies and ornaments, while others can have coordinating canvas drawers in them to store clothes, toys, etc. These can also be replaced to match your child’s different tastes as they grow.
Whatever you decide to do to decorate a child’s bedroom, getting them involved in some way can make it a fun project that both you and they will enjoy.
Nearly every mother to be will have doubts about what exactly is going to happen during labour. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t! However, we’ve managed to get in touch with a load of new moms, and they’ve filled us in on what was most surprising to them during their labour. We’ve compiled a list of those surprises especially for you, so you know exactly what to expect when your little one is on the way! Here it is; the truth out labour…
You Might Get Sent Home
First time moms who arrive at the hospital with contractions might be surprised and dismayed to find that they get sent home. The first part of labour where you’re waiting for cervical changes can take 2-3 days, so if you’re in this stage it’s likely you’ll spend the time at home. By staying active at home you can speed up the process!
You Might Not See Your Doctor
New moms can be surprised when they realise that their doctor doesn’t stay with them through the whole birthing process. Instead, you’re much more likely to see the midwife from beginning to end. Remember, you’re not the only one in labour, so your doctor could be with someone who is much closer to delivering than you.
You’ll Probably See Lots of New People
It totally depends on how long you’re in labour, but you might see many different faces before your baby comes in to the world. Hospitals usually work in shifts, so if you’re in labour for 36 hours you could see 3 nurses and 3 doctors before your baby is born. More people will be in the room when you’re about to deliver.
Epidurals equal Catheters
You might not already know that epidurals require you to have a catheter inserted into the urethra. This is because the nerves in the lower half of your body will be blocked, making it too difficult for you to get up to go to the toilet. You’ll also be given the epidural with plenty of liquid in a drip, so you’ll no doubt need to go after you’ve had it. A catheter will be there until you have to start pushing, so you can go right where you are. A tens unit will be a more natural way of relieving pain, so discuss this with your doctor or midwife if that’s what you want.
You Won’t Be able to Control Your Bowel
Yes, it does sound gross and embarrassing, but 80% of women can’t control their bowel movements during childbirth. You shouldn’t worry though, as the hospital staff have seen it all before and clean it up so fast that you won’t even notice it’s happened.
Everyone Has a Different Labour
Every single woman has a different experience during labour. You can speak to as many people as you like, but your experience will be totally unique. You should prepare yourself for what to expect, but don’t stress too much over the fine details!
Going out car shopping is always a fun time as you get to check out all sorts of different car models from different car dealers and private sellers until you end up choosing ‘that’ car!
Just because you are a parent, or you are expecting a newborn soon, doesn’t mean that you still can’t have fun when you go out shopping for suitable family cars!
Image via Flickr
If you are in the process of looking around for a family car, here are 7 helpful tips to ensure that you choose the right car for you and your family, rather than a car the salesperson wants you to buy!
1. Don’t buy a car until you buy a baby seat first
This might sound a bit odd, but let me explain! A large number of people tend to buy a family car first and then a baby seat later on, but the trouble with this is you have no guarantees that the car seat you want to buy will fit your car correctly!
Consider taking the baby seat with you when you go to view cars, so that you can see whether the car is suitable for your baby seat or not.
2. Let your baby test the car out
Should you have a newborn in tow, it is the perfect opportunity for you to fit a car seat into the car you want to buy and strap your baby in so that you can check out whether the car is right for you and your baby.
3. Check out Euro NCAP safety test results
Safety is the top priority when it comes to buying a family car, so before you even head out to look at a particular car you should do some research online first and find out how well it has done in Euro NCAP safety tests.
4. Sit in the back of the car
Rob from http://www.cardealwarehouse.co.uk/ recommends that any parent should sit in the back of a car that they are thinking of buying so that they can see whether there is enough space for parent and baby to sit in the back of the car.
5. Consider 4×4 cars
Most families will end up buying estate cars or people carriers, but you should also consider 4×4 cars such as the Land Rover Discovery and the BMW X5. Generally, taller cars are easier to get babies, children and cargo in and out of than ‘lower’ cars like estates, for example.
6. Try to fit your pram or stroller in the boot
Some people opt for buying smaller hatchbacks due to budget constraints or parking limitations where they live. It is important that you buy a car that you, your baby and children, and your pram or stroller can all fit into simultaneously!
7. Check out online reviews from the motoring press
Before you buy any car, you need to determine how reliable it is going to be. Websites such as Parkers are a great free resource for information pertaining to reliability and cost details on a number of popular car models.
The Formula One racing seems to be one of those “Marmite” things; you either love it or hate it. Personally, I love every minute of it and can’t wait for the new season to begin, perhaps more so than ever before.
That’s because the required designs for the cars have undergone their most sweeping changes for a generation. Firstly, they need to embrace green technology so the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engines are out and 1.6-litre V6 turbos are in. There’s also a fuel limit of 100kg, roughly 130 litres – down from 150kg or so last year when there was no such limit. Also, engines must now consume fuel at nothing above 100kg per hour.
But the new engines will be hybrids, using ‘energy recovery system’ which harnesses kinetic energy from the back axle during braking through an electric motor that harnesses energy from the turbo which would otherwise be wasted as heat.
Such big changes will mean the results for the first few Grand Prixes could be all over the place as constructors and drivers get to grips with the new technology in real race situations. This is fun for those of us who enjoy a bet on Formula 1 now and again as the races could throw up some pretty anomalous results.
Currently with Betfair, for example, Sebastian Vettel remains a firm favourite to win the opening Grand Prix in Melbourne on 16th March. He’s also less than 2-1 with Betfair at the time of writing to retain the driver’s championship.
These look like very short odds given the huge technological changes required – and there are even more that we haven’t mentioned like the lowering of the noses of the cars, making them look like enormous anteaters. Then there are the exhaust changes which require a single, central exhaust pipe exiting over the gearbox, so the previous usage of exhaust gases to boost down-force is no longer possible.
This will, arguably, hurt Vettel-Red Bull more than anyone else – so the cards really are up in the air and a longshot on Betfair – with a few to laying the bet back at shorter odds as the season progresses looks to be the shrewdest bet – and it all adds to the fun if you’re a “love it” kind of person when it comes to F1. .
A parent’s greatest wish is for their children to receive everything they have ever wanted. Even though it is a part of life, parents hate seeing their children hurt, be in pain, or suffer from sickness.
Creating a healthy family atmosphere can provide children with a happy, healthy life.
A key to maintaining a healthy family is to have a family physician. Because a child’s health is extremely important to their growth and health later on in life, having a personal family physician ensures parents that their children are being taken care of. Furthermore, concierge medicine doctors, because of the personal relationship, allow parents to feel at ease when the doctors are giving a check up to their children, for it feels like a family member is looking after them.
The Importance Of Nutrition
Kids can be picky making mealtimes difficult with their stubborn attitudes. With guidance and creativity from their parents, children will find healthy foods they absolutely love—and can’t get enough of.
First and foremost is breakfast. It truly is the most important meal of the day because it dictates the rest of the day. Children and adults need a high fiber breakfast in the morning to give them the energy and nutrients to complete the rest of the day. Even if it is a mad dash to be on time to school, it is essential to take the time to grab a healthy breakfast. Skip the Pop-Tarts and instead stock the kitchen with whole-grain waffles, bananas, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. All of these items can be quickly cooked and eaten on the go to school.
For dinner, involve children in the cooking process. Whether it is simply asking them to choose from a few healthy recipes to giving them tasks to complete in the cooking process, children will be more likely to eat something they have had a hand in.
When it comes to dessert, children should learn about moderation. Instead of allowing children free reign to sweets all of the time, create designated times when sweets are allowed. Whether it is a weekend special or a Wednesday after school treat, having a set time will teach children to choose sweets in moderation.
With all of the technology available to kids today, natural outdoor activity is not so natural anymore. Whereas children used to spend hours outside playing and using their imagination, many times they stay inside to play video games.
Involve children in sports or plan family time to take evening walks, hikes, or bike rides. Go to the park and play baseball, soccer, or spend time on the swing set. Children learn by example, thus spending family time in activity together will teach children how much being active is and will carry on with them as they grow.
Apart from physical health, children need to nurture their emotional health. Children adore their parents and need time with their parents. No matter how busy and hectic life gets, time with children should never be cut short.
Having a healthy environment will teach children how to have healthy, happy life.
Image Source: http://www.kidspot.com.au
The lovely lady that gave life to you, otherwise known as ‘mom’, took care of you for at least 16 years (and probably still does). She carried you in her belly for around 9 months, and went through all kinds of horrible feelings and sensations in order to get you out into the world. What better reason to treat her to show her you care? You shouldn’t need a reason to treat your mother! Here are 6 gifts to get your message across:
All mom’s love comfy pyjamas. Make sure you know the size she likes by checking the label in some of her current pyjamas, and take yourself down to Peacocks or New look to choose her a shiny new pair. You could even throw in a dressing gown, some slippers, and a hot water bottle to ensure she’s extra cosy. A box of chocolates to enjoy while wearing the pyjamas wouldn’t go amiss either!
A Big Bunch of Flowers
A huge bunch of colourful flowers will definitely put a smile on your mom’s face. How much you spend on the flowers is up to you, as you can find bouquet’s for anything from £2 to £200! If you know what her favourite flower is, treat her to a bouquet. Better yet for those with bigger budgets, why not treat her to a gold rose from goldgenie.com? You could even buy her a new pretty vase to keep her flowers in!
Fancy perfume is usually a real treat for hard working mom’s, so she’ll be overjoyed with a bottle of Chanel, Dior, or something similar. Why not take a look at her current collection and see if she’s running out of one of her faves? Or you could note down the scents that she already owns and ask a perfume counter assistant for advice.
A Charm Bracelet
Charm bracelets from Chamilia and Pandora are very popular with ladies of all ages. If your mom doesn’t have one, why not treat her to a bracelet and charm to start off her collection? Charms are great presents for special occasions, so you won’t be stuck on what to get her for a while.
A Pamper Day
If your budget allows it, you could book your mom a lovely pamper day in at a spa. However, you could even bring the spa home and pamper her from home! Cook her breakfast, give her a pedicure and a facial, and run her a hot bath.
A Makeover Photoshoot
If your mom feels a little down in the dumps, a makeover photoshoot could be just the thing she needs to give her back her confidence. You can usually find great deals on Groupon and Wowcher, so take a look to see if there’s anything there your mom will like. Some moms don’t like fuss, so make sure this will be your mom’s thing before buying.
You don’t need a reason to show your mom you care, so treat her to something nice and make her smile!
For many people the bathroom has become one of the most important rooms in a house. It is seen as being a place to relax rather than just a room where you wash. At the end of a busy day at work, people like to chill out and unwind in their bathroom. If you think it’s time for a new bathroom and want to turn yours into a special place for “me time” then please check out the following helpful tips.
Space is of real importance when it comes to bathrooms in the UK. Therefore, you need to consider whether or not your bathroom is big enough for everything you want and need in it and whether or not toy want to consider extending it or not. It is important to think of all the options as extending your bathroom may involve decreasing the size of a bedroom.
Although increasing the size of your bathroom will increase the overall budget , the fact that the bathroom is a very important room means that you will be able to re-coup the extra money spent when and if you sell your house.
You also need to think carefully about how you use your bathroom at the moment and how you would like to use it after it has been renovated. If at the end of a busy day you love to soak in the tub, you need to factor this in; similarly, if you would prefer to get rid of a bath and replace it with powerful jet sprays and a wet room, this needs to be factored into the overall cost and scope of the project.
You also need to pay close attention as well to the pipe work when you are planning the bathroom. The easiest option is to; if possible, leave your toilet in the same position rather than moving it as it can be an expensive and time consuming job.
Obviously it is a good idea to hire a good designer who will be able to provide you with accurate and very detailed drawings that will help you see how the features of your design look together and will also help you when it comes to choosing the finishing touches.
Another important decision is selecting the style of your bathroom. While you are looking at the different styles, it is worth checking and keeping in mind your home’s water pressure, as some very continental and contemporary style fittings do not suit low water pressure.
When it comes to choosing the materials that you are going to use for your new bathroom, you may be surprised at the many different options open to you. As well as tiles, concrete, Corian and even metal panels are used in bathroom designs nowadays. However, if you opt for a more traditional tile, you will be spoiled for choice and there are also some great tile sealants available too.
It can be a very stressful time when you are not only redecorating, but renovating a room, particularly the bathroom. Hopefully the above information has given you a lot to think about and will help to ease the headache you have from just beginning to research the business.