Monthly Archives: April 2015

Children’s Birthday Party Venues

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Your child’s birthday party is a milestone event that they’ll remember for years to come. Whether you decide to hold the party at your home or an outside venue, it’s important to research and plan fully, so the day goes off without a hitch. Here is a handy checklist you can use as a birthday party planning guide for your little one.

Consider the Season

The time of year in which your child’s birthday falls is a big deciding factor for many parents. This main consideration could determine where to hold the party. A beautiful late spring day would make for a nice outdoor party at your home, but what if your child’s birthday falls in the dead of winter? Do you really want 10 screaming kids in your house, messing it all up? In this case, you may want to consider holding it at a venue location where all the prep work, activity and clean up are taken care of for you. An indoor playground is a perfect choice for little ones who need to work off some of that excess energy — even in the warmer months. These parties are led by a private party host who leads all activities, plus you get access to your own party room where all preparations, food distribution, and gift opening is supervised, according to Kid Junction. Included in the price are playtime, free tokens, cake, food, and decorations and clean up, with customized upgrades available if you so choose. These types of parties are ideal because you can choose a package that works for you, your child and your budget.

Choose a Theme

Especially when it comes to younger kids, incorporating a theme into the birthday party is a great way to engage the guests and tie the whole party together. You can match all your games and activities to the theme for a well-rounded, more enjoyable party. For instance, hold a hoop-shooting contest in the driveway for a sports-themed party or create a masterpiece for an arts and crafts party, suggests Better Homes and Gardens.

Serve Age-Appropriate Foods

When it comes to food, keep it simple and fun. First off, be mindful of any food allergies that your child or any of your guests may have. This will take a little research on your part but it is absolutely crucial. In addition to the main course, such as pizza, offer snacks throughout the party that fit with your theme, such as “mummies” in blankets for a Halloween theme or beach ball cookies for a summer theme. If you can, let the guests become the chefs and have them prep and decorate their own food. You can set up an ice cream sundae bar, cupcake decorating station or make-your-own-pizza area where kids can add whatever toppings they want.

Specify Times

When you send out the invitations, be sure to spell out specific times for the party. This will discourage hangers-on when you really need to get your kids in for naps or have to head out to an appointment. Speaking of naptime: for toddlers, it’s best to schedule parties around this all-important chunk of your day. Skipping a nap in favor of a party sounds like a good idea at the time but it’s only setting your child up for a meltdown.

Planning is a big part of any successful kids’ party but you can pull it off with a little forethought.

Keepsakes from Your Wedding

Wedding on a Ranch

Your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life. While it will always stay fresh in your mind, there will be certain keepsakes that you will want to save so you can look at them and think of your wedding day. These keepsake items can vary, depending on your wedding ceremony and your tastes. No matter what keepsakes you choose to keep from your wedding day, it is important to care for them properly so you can enjoy them for many years to come.

Photographs And Videos

Photographs and videos of your wedding ceremony will be some of your most treasured possessions someday. These reminders are some of the most popular things saved from weddings. Hiring a professional photographer and videographer to capture the ceremony and special moments during your wedding or reception will ensure their quality. Store your photos in albums or display them in frames on your walls.

Wedding Dress And Accessories

Many brides save their wedding dresses and have them preserved so they last longer and can be displayed or stored long-term. Other accessories that make good wedding keepsakes include garters, cuff links, jewelry and wedding veils. You can have these items professionally preserved and displayed, so they always look their best. Many women save their wedding dresses and pass them down to their daughters or granddaughters to wear at their own weddings.

Most couples make a CD of their favorite songs to play at their weddings. You may someday want to listen to that music or play it for your children or friends. You may decide to make your own CD or have one made by a DJ. By saving your wedding music as a keepsake, you can hold on to a special part of your wedding for many years. You can make several copies of your CD in case you are afraid that you might damage or lose the original.

Guest Book

If you want to remember all of the people who attended your wedding or reception, you can place a guest book at the ceremonies. Guests will write their names and sometimes contact information in the book. You can look back on the book and remember everyone who attended your wedding. Many people keep their wedding guest books as a keepsake and either store it in a safe place until they want to look at it or display it, like on a coffee table, for everyone to see and enjoy.

You will put a lot of time, money and emotion into your wedding day. While you will never forget that special day, it will be nice to have a few keepsakes that you can look at, watch, or listen to whenever you want to reminisce about your wedding ceremony. You may choose to save one of these popular keepsake items, or you may have different things that you want to keep as a memory of your wedding day. Regardless of what items you choose, make sure they are properly cared for, preserved, protected and stored, so you will always have them in their original condition. You may some day choose to pass your wedding keepsakes on to your children or grandchildren for their wedding day(s).

Revamp Your Child’s Room With These Awesome Decorating Ideas

One of the main reasons for not investing in an expensive nursery is that it won’t be long before baby grows up. And when they grow, they are likely to want to redecorate. Quite possibly with a pen, paints and other substances I don’t want to think about plastered all over the walls when you aren’t looking.

It’s at this point that you probably want think about giving their room a makeover. But, having been stung before, how can you make their room nice, but safe from their artistic desires? This little guide should help.


Picture by Naomi

Get Them Involved

All children draw on walls – it’s an essential part of their development. However, getting them involved with decorating can help them to understand the differences between a nice room and some random scribbles. It’s important to put them at the heart of the process. Take them with you when you are looking for new furniture, or ask them what colours they like. By giving them ownership, you are also giving them responsibility. Hopefully, they will embrace it!

Painting Or Wallpaper?

The choice of paint or paper all depends on how old your child is when you redecorate. There is little point in splashing out on another expensive roll of paper if you suspect their graffiti days aren’t quite over. Paint is probably the better choice of the two, as they can help you when it is time to get the brushes out. They will also be fascinated by the choice of colours – although some helpful guidance may be needed here!


Lighting tends to be forgotten when theming and designing a child’s new room. This is odd because the right brightness in the right places can give it such a lift. Think about dimmer switches, too, especially if your child struggles with the dark. If you live in a warm home, think about installing a fan alongside your lights to keep your little one cool during the summer. Kichler light fixtures could be a good idea here. Some of them they come with inbuilt fans and their designs will still look nice as your child grows up and, inevitably, paints the walls black when they hit their teenage years.

Wall Stickers

There is a huge range of amazing wall stickers that are every exciting for young children. You can stick up trees for a forest effect, or even go for a group of animals that will, without a doubt, be a source for many imaginary games. Stencils are another good idea and it will be a lot of fun painting over them with the little ones. You never know, you might have the next Banksy on your hands.


And now, the boring bit. Storage is so important, and without it, all your lovely work will be ruined in a single rainy afternoon. Go for bright colours or animal shapes to try and entice your child into the art of tidying. The earlier you encourage tidiness, the less work there will be for you in the future, and the more relaxed your home environment will be.

Have a great time redecorating your child’s room with them!

Healthy Meats Your Family Should Eat

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Eating healthy does take planning, but when you make good choices about your protein, you can feel good about what you eat. Here are some healthy options that you can add to your diet for better nutrition, lower fat, and fewer calories. Make sure to cook them in a healthy manner with less sodium and oils, but lots of flavor from herbs and spices.

Seafood Options

Salmon is a versatile fish rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It can be quickly broiled or grilled without extra oil for a fast meal. Cook extra to take for tomorrow’s lunch because it’s also very tasty when served cold on a salad. The American Heart Association states that shrimp and crayfish may have more cholesterol than other types of fish, but they are a good choice because they have less saturated fat than most meats or poultry.

Tuna offers high protein, vitamin B, and omega-3 fatty acids. Like salmon, it can be grilled or broiled. Tuna is often served raw, as in sushi, but make sure you get it from a reputable fishmonger who knows that you won’t be cooking it. Children and pregnant women are cautioned against eating a lot of tuna, because it may contain methylmercury, a neurotoxin that can be harmful to the brain and nervous system.

Red Meat Options

According to Berkel Sales and Service, just because you’re trying to eat healthier, doesn’t mean you have to give up red meat. A filet mignon is very lean cut of meat that is also very tender and contains nutrients like iron that you need. Buffalo is another red meat that is very lean. With only 84 calories and less than two grams of fat per three ounce serving, you can indulge without feeling guilty.

A pork tenderloin stacks in at 122 calories for a three ounce serving with only 3 grams of fat. If you’re looking for deli meat, go for lean roast beef. Check the sodium content on the package. It might be as high as 25% or more. Ostrich is the only red meat endorsed by the American Diabetes Association. It is lower in fat grams than even skinless white meat like chicken or turkey. A three ounce serving offers 97 calories, 22 grams of protein, and only three grams of fat. It’s high in iron, making it a delicious component of a healthy diet.


According to Berkel Sales and Service (, turkey may be the national bird at Thanksgiving, but it can be part of a healthy diet year-round. A three ounce portion of white meat, no skin has only three grams of fat, 135 calories, and vitamins B3 and B6. Just like with red meat, if you’re purchasing pre-cooked meat, check the sodium content. White meat chicken has only a few more calories at 140 per three ounce serving.

Other Lean Protein Sources

Quinoa is sometimes referred to as a grain, but it’s actually a seed. It has 8 grams of protein per cup, with other essential amino acids that your body requires.  Two cups of beans have around 25 grams of protein, without added fat or cholesterol. If you’re using canned beans, rinse them before heating them up and they’ll taste better. You’ll be adding fiber to your system. Tofu is another protein source that adds nutrients without piling on calories and fat. One slice of tofu has around 55 calories with only two grams of fat.

Setting Up an eBay Business – How Can you Make Money from it?


We all hear lots of stories about people finding their fortune after setting up their own eBay business, but what we often don’t find out is just how they did it. It’s no secret that eBay is a great platform for online selling but what exactly do you need to do to start turning a profit?

What you’ll be pleased to hear is that there are some strategies to try to help your eBay business become a success which are detailed in this post. So, if you are considering setting one up, or if you simply want to know how you can improve your current operations, read on to find out more.

Provide the Best Value Products

Before you begin selling you need to have complete faith in your product offering. If there’s a particular niche you’re targeting, be sure to conduct thorough market research into what your rivals are currently selling. Following this you should try to better these product offerings and make yours the most affordable – and ultimately better – option.

Improve your Online Presence

As well as your main eBay account, set up other social media profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter which promote your eBay business externally. These should demonstrate what it can offer, share promotions and deals, and provide links back to it. This can also show prospective clients that you’ve got a good understanding of the online markets.

Offer a USP

One particularly effective unique selling point is to offer fast delivery. Customers will appreciate being able to get their goods from you far quicker than a typical postal delivery service. To save yourself both time and effort it’s worth using an external logistics firm to handle this for you too; companies like TNT Direct for instance can be used to manage your deliveries on your behalf.

Be Patient but Determined

A final piece of advice is to be prepared to bide your time and wait for your eBay business to gradually become a success. To return to a previously alluded point, there are many eBay businesses either currently operating or starting up, so it is without a doubt a competitive market. With a little faith in your product and lots of determination though, as your online presence improves and word gets around regarding your excellent service you can eventually see your business start to pick up.

So be sure to take on board some of this advice and you might one day too become one of these success stories.

Wedding Day Photos


The wedding album is one of the most special mementos that a couple may share. This keepsake might be filled with many of the best shots taken at the event, from images of the bride tossing her bouquet to shots of the bride and groom cutting the first slice of wedding cake. Some photos are absolutely essential, and they must be included in any wedding album. Whether a couple prefers all traditional photos, uniquely posed shots, or a combination of both, the album that they keep should be a reflection of their two styles and personalities.

Before the Ceremony

Some of the best shots might be taken before the ceremony begins. The photographer might capture a depiction of the mother of the bride zipping up the bride’s gown just before the wedding takes place. In fact, arranging for several shots of the bride as she is getting her hair and makeup done is advisable. During this time, a bride can look both vulnerable and radiant, and such images will be especially meaningful later. Plenty of other photo opportunities are apt to manifest before a wedding. A picture might be taken of the groom and his party as they wait for the wedding to begin. Shots of the bridesmaids should be taken, along with photos of both sets of future in-laws. Other essential images include shots of the flower girls and ring bearer.

During the Ceremony

One of the most precious images from the day could be the delight of the groom as he first glimpses his bride making her way down the aisle. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and it must be captured for posterity. Photos should also be taken as each person in the wedding party makes an entrance, from the flower girl to the groomsman to the bride. Another crucial image is the depiction of the couple exchanging vows. A shot of the couple’s first kiss after the vows might be given a soft lighting effect before being framed.

After the Ceremony

Shots taken directly after the ceremony should depict the joy and exhilaration of the moment. This is a good time to catch images of the parents of both the bride and the groom. This is also an opportune time to get pictures of the bride and groom as they leave the church. A classic wedding depiction is a shot of the guests tossing rice or confetti as the bride and groom leave for the reception.

Scenic shots can also serve as special reminders of the day. If the wedding is being held at a chapel in the countryside, a shot of the bride and groom standing in front of the rolling landscape could be exquisite. If the wedding location is a beach, images of the ocean behind the wedding party could be worth framing and hanging on a living room wall.

The Reception

A wedding photographer’s job does not end immediately after the ceremony. The reception will provide a broad array of opportunities to take lovely photographs. Such moments include the cutting of the cake, the arrival of the newly married couple, and the bouquet being tossed by the bride. Other great shots may be taken of the décor, cuisine, floral arrangements, and reception venue. Shots of the wedding party and the guests dancing are often fun images to capture and to view later.

Ideally, a wedding album will depict all of the special moments throughout the day. While all of these photographs are important, some may be especially meaningful. From the time the bride begins to get dressed to the moment the newlyweds leave the reception, a photographer might capture an array of images that illustrate a unique and special story.

Your Kids and the Dentist

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Visiting the dentist isn’t exactly fun for adults, and is often even less fun for kids. As parents, this can be a problem. Dragging your kids to the dentist may feel like quite the event, but it’s also a vital part of  maintaining overall health.

Why Dental Hygiene is Important for Children

Sometimes, it can be easy to assume that dental hygiene isn’t important for young ones. After all, they have baby teeth, teeth that are made to fall out before adulthood. However, regular dental checkups are important, beginning in the first few years of childhood.

Per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, taking care of baby teeth is vital for several reasons. To begin, baby teeth help children to speak clearly and chew correctly. According to Cashion Dental, a provider of affordable braces, baby teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth, serving as paths for the permanent teeth to follow. Regular dental care of these baby teeth helps prevent decay by removing plaque and bacteria. It can also help prevent dental problems and fix minor issues before they have a chance to turn into major ones.

Taking your child to the dentist also helps instill the importance of dental hygiene; it teaches them to brush, floss, and get checkups every six months. This importance becomes greater when kids get older as sub-par dental care has been linked to other ailments. One of the biggest concerns is the direct relationship between gum disease and heart disease.

When Your Child Should First Go

According to Cashion Dental, a clinic devoted to comprehensive and preventative patient care, there are differing opinions as to when your child should first be brought to a dentist. Some dentists suggest bringing them in as soon as their first tooth appears, while others suggest a visit before their second birthday. Still, others recommend bringing kids in at the age of three. In truth, there might not be much difference in whether or not a child is brought in at 12 months or 36 months. However, waiting too long can lead to dental problems that are not easily remedied. There is a huge difference between bringing a child in for their first visit at two years and bringing them in at eight years.

Making the Trip Easier

Some children may go to the dentist easily, others may kick and scream. You can increase your odds of getting your child in the chair with ease by taking a few proactive steps. Make an appointment at a pediatric dentist’s office rather than an adult one. Pediatric dentists are generally better trained at easing the minds of their young patients. Their offices are also more kid-friendly, replete with toys, games, and visual stimuli, that are sure to put your child at ease. In addition, practice with your child. A few days before their appointment, sit down and explain what will happen. You may even want to demonstrate on them or allow them to demonstrate on their favorite doll. It is also a good idea to consider scheduling an introductory visit before the actual appointment. This is a time that allows your child a chance to meet the dentist without having anything done to them.

Essential Home Security Advice For Keeping Your Family Safe

When it comes to keeping your family home safe and secure, you should spare no expense. The last thing you want is to come home from a night out to find that someone had broken in and stolen all your valuables. Luckily, there is some fantastic technology around these days that could help to make sure that never happens. To give you a helping hand, we’re going to mention some of the most vital steps you need to take on this page. We hope that publishing the information will mean more people take the right precautions. After all, it’s only your family that will suffer if you fail to take heed.

  • Get a good alarm

The very first thing you need to do is head out and get a good house alarm. Ideally, you should aim to spend a few hundred dollars to ensure you are getting a premium product. You should also ensure the alarm you select comes with an array of motion sensors. That will mean nothing can move in your house without it going off. If you have dogs and cats at home, you will have to get used to putting them in an area of the property that your sensors can’t see. Otherwise, your neighbors are sure to make some complaints.

  • Consider CCTV

CCTV around the exterior of your property should help to capture any illegal behavior on tape. That is handy if a criminal manages to get inside your home because you will have HD video of their actions. That will help to make the police’s lives easier when it comes to finding the person and bringing them before the courts.

  • Take self-defense classes

Nobody wants to think about what might happen if a criminal breaks into their home while they are in bed. However, the last thing you want is to expose your children to such danger. So, taking some self-defense classes could be a good idea. Just make sure you have all the best self-defense products in your bedroom so that you are ready to jump into action if anything untoward happens.

  • Install a floodlight response system

Even if you worked hard on making sure you selected the right property in the best location, you are still vulnerable to criminals. Installing a sensor floodlight system in your garden could be a wise move. It will illuminate any criminals if they try to get into your home without permission. That is usually enough to scare them away. However, it will also help the authorities to secure a conviction because you will get a much clearer image of the culprit on your CCTV.

We are confident your home will be as secure as possible if you follow all those tips. Most families never have to worry about burglars getting into their home, but sod’s law suggests it will happen to those who failed to prepare. So, now is the best time to head out and purchase some high-end security devices. To make savings, you should check online auction websites. However, it’s best to get your items from a reputable firm. That way, someone else will almost certainly deal with the installations.




Clean Out the Clutter and Make Some Money


The thought of cleaning out some clutter passes through our minds every spring but getting it done isn’t always as simple as it might first appear.

If the thought of spring cleaning your home isn’t as enticing as it should be maybe you need to find a way of making some money while clearing out your unwanted stuff.

Sell Your Old Phones

One of the easiest ways to earn some cash with your clutter is by selling any old mobile phones you have lying around. The recent amazing advances in technology mean that many of us now have a number of older generation mobiles lying around that we no longer use. Instead of just leaving them in a cupboard or wherever, you can sell them online and get some money for them. Sites like make it easy to cash in your old phones quickly and without any fuss at all. Even if you have a broken or really old phone there is nothing to stop you getting some money for it as well as clearing out some space. Why not check around and see what unwanted mobiles are lurking around your house while you give it a spring clean?

Sell Your Old Clothes

You unwanted mobile phones aren’t the only things you can sell online as you carry out your spring clean this year. It is also possible to get rid of some old clothes in this way too. You could start off by putting an advert on a classified ads site, to see if you get any takers in that way. Otherwise, you could look for a site where they simply buy the garments off you for a set price. This could also give you the perfect excuse to have to buy some new clothes for the warmer weather on its way. It is easy to build up a big collection of old clothes without even trying, which makes is more difficult to add new items to your wardrobe. Selling some will get you some extra space as well as bring in some money, so what’s not to like?

Find Old Music and Videos      

As strange as it might seem, the old music and videos that are taking up space in your home could be worth a decent amount of money. Of course, you need to be really lucky to find a rare collectible item worth a fortune. However, even if you get a more modest amount for each item it could soon add up. For instance, a lot of people now collect old vinyl records and pay decent money for them. If you have a pile of them that you have no intention of ever listening to again then why not sell them? You might want to do some research first of all, just in case any of the records you own is worth serious money. The same applies to video tapes, although it could be that they increase in value over time as they become ever scarcer.

4 Ways to Give Your House a More Homely Feel


When you move into a new house, you just have walls and empty rooms waiting to be given your personal touch. It won’t feel like home until you make it your home. So, where do you start? Will it be big or small things that determine what feels ‘homely’? There are plenty of ways for you to turn your new house into a ‘home’, remembering that it’s about the inside as well as the outside of your house that matters.

1. Blinds, Awnings and Shutters

Unless you’re the type of person that likes a curtain-less window, interior blinds serve many purposes, from privacy to protection from the elements. While there are many businesses that specialise in these, make sure you choose a reliable one like Stylewise Security to take you through the process from the mere idea to installation. These days, there are so many styles, textures and colours to choose from, not to mention advances in engineering that have produced fire retardant materials that also withstand fading, odour absorption and staining! There are also exterior shutters to enhance security or awnings to protect against harmful UV rays. Click here to look at several options.


Not all of us like the colour of the walls when we move into a new house. What better way to make it your own, than adding a fresh coat of paint? That way, you can have different colours in different rooms and make the whole family happy. Consider something bright for the living room, a medium hue for bedrooms and maybe a darker shade for the study. And now, you even have the choice of paints that are resistant to mould, or are textured to look like different materials – suede for example.

3. Pictures

Nothing turns a house into a home better than pictures. Now, pictures can be photos of family, friends, pets, or artwork, or perhaps posters (the latter will suit the teenagers in the family just fine). Photos of the family on vacation, or portraits taken at different stages of your kids’ lives are important. Some art that you like will be a nice touch – whether you prefer classic or contemporary, it will mean something to you, and you’ll feel good seeing them up on the wall.

4. Accessories or ornaments

Furniture is one thing. We all need chairs, sofas, tables and shelves. But what you add to them is what makes a difference. Without being tempted to clutter your home with numerous unnecessary items, choose carefully some cushions or a throw for your living room. A rug. Have a few souvenirs from vacations strategically placed on tables, shelves, the wall or floor depending on what they are. Have one nice big feature clock – that’s all you need. Maybe a nice lamp, or candles if you’re into that.

It doesn’t take much to give your house a more homely feel. Some carefully purchased investments like blinds and awnings will last a long time. And other smaller things can be changed or replaced when you feel like it. To give your home more of a ‘soul’, get everyone involved. It’s all about filling your home with things that really mean something to you, and turning it into a place that you can’t wait to come home to!