April 2015 archive
The perfect family home is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. It allows opportunities for kids to have fun and be independent, while leaving adults with fewer worries. According to Tiger Industrial Rentals, a company that has affordable construction mats for sale, the best family homes have space to hide away and space to come together and enjoy the company of others. Here are some of the best ways to make your family home even better.
Outdoor amenities keep both children and adults from being cooped up indoors. If you have the space, consider taking advantage of it by adding activities to enjoy as a family. Adding a small garden to grow veggies and herbs together, creating a relaxing outdoor hangout spot with lounge chairs and a hammock, or even installing a swimming pool will encourage quality family time.
Improve Dining Area
Eating dinner as a family can ease the stress of adult obligations while providing children with much-needed time with their parents. Making the dining area as inviting and comfortable as possible is one of the best ways to improve a family home. Consider adding comfier chairs or a potted plant centerpiece, and keeping the dining table free of clutter.
Choose Forgiving Materials
If you have always dreamed of having a beautiful space to live in, but have since traded said dream for kids and pets, know that you can have your cake and eat it too. According to Tiger Industrial Rentals (http://www.tigerindustrialrentals.com), you can choose indestructible and cleanable materials to deter accidents, to keep your family from having to spend unnecessary time on chores, and to ease stress.
Wipe-able paints mean an easier time cleaning hand prints off the walls. Sturdy fabrics such as microfiber and leather hold up beautifully over the years and messes can easily be wiped off of them. You might also consider replacing the carpet that is constantly collecting pet fur, spaghetti stains, and foot prints with a wipe-able material such as laminate, stamped concrete, and finished hardwood. It may seem counter-intuitive to go for the better-made, albeit more expensive, furniture. If you allow pets on the furniture and children to use couch cushions for pillow forts, the quality stuff will hold up for years and can be reupholstered later.
Opportunities for Kids to Be Active
It is no secret that children are going to be active whether or not there are acceptable outlets provided for them, so why not create the space for kids to be kids? If you have outdoor space, amenities such as swings, trampolines, basketball hoops, sandpits, allow innumerable opportunities for children to exercise and have a blast while you have some much-needed time to relax. If you do not have a designated outdoor space, you can create these kinds of opportunities indoors. Adding an indoor swing to your child’s room or a large bean bag to the family room could keep your child from using the ottoman as a trampoline.
Privacy is fundamental for adults and children. Having the freedom to retreat to your own space can mean a happier family. While a personal room for every child is awesome, it is not always an option. If this is the case, you can add room dividers and implement better storage solutions to keep children’s personal belongings to themselves. Also, do not underestimate what a private reading nook or a small outdoor den can do for your family home.
According to Prime Urgent Care (click here), investing in a first aid kit is a simple, yet frequently overlooked responsibility. Anyone who has experienced an accident knows that bad things can happen very fast, and rapid response is critical. With supplies gathered and centralized in advance, Mom, Dad, sibling, or babysitter will be ready to handle an emergency when it happens. A quick response to an emergency is critical, which is why everyone should know the inventory and location of the kit. Keep the kit in a location that is easily accessible to adults but out of reach of little hands. A top shelf in the bathroom or kitchen is a good place. The car and boat are also places where emergencies and fast responses are required, so it’s valuable to have kits on hand there as well. A first aid kit can be purchased online or at drugstores, but one can easily be put together and customized at home. If you decide to build your own kit, the following is what you’ll need.
First Aid Kit Essentials
If you purchased a kit, a manual would likely be included. Since you are building your own, invest in or download and print a first-aid book that is user-friendly and quick to read. Be sure to read the manual in advance, before the need arises! Critical supplies include multiple-sized sterile gauze pads and bandages, an elastic bandage, adhesive tape, a splint, antiseptic wipes, soap, antibiotic cream, antiseptic solution, one percent hydrocortisone cream, pain relievers such as acetaminophen, scissors, safety pins, tweezers, calamine lotion, instant cold packs, thermometer, tooth preservation kit, nitrile disposable gloves, flashlight and extra batteries, CPR mask, and blanket. Post emergency phone numbers nearby, such as Poison Control. If any of the above-mentioned items seem foreign, all the more reason to study your first aid manual now!
Adapting Your Kit
A kit will need to be adapted based on your family’s particular needs. For example, if someone in the family has an allergy that causes anaphylactic shock, an epi-pen should be included. Furthermore, kids of different ages have unique circumstances. According to Prime Urgent Care (http://www.primeuc.com), if a child is suffering from diarrhea-related dehydration, he or she will require child-specific electrolyte replacement solution. A baby will require a rectal or ear-based thermometer, rather than an oral thermometer. Babies and children also require lower doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, so it is necessary to have pain medication specific for their age and weight, as well as a dropper syringe for administration.
Pets Have Emergencies Too!
Some of the most urgent calls vets receive involve potential pet poisonings. If you witness your pet consuming material that you think might be toxic, it is critical to keep your wits about you but quickly gather your first aid resources. The kit should contain a bottle of fresh hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, a turkey baster or large medicine syringe to squirt the peroxide down the pet’s throat, saline eye solution to flush irritants from the eyes, artificial tear gel to lubricate the eyes post-flush, forceps to remove stingers, grease-cutting liquid dish detergent to bathe your pet after skin contamination, a pet carrier, and a can of your pet’s favorite food. Have in a prominent place the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number, should it ever become necessary.
Making investments is always risky. Oil prices might be low now, but due to limited supply, they will go up. Now would be a good time to buy oil assets. Make the right choices, and it could be a great business opportunity. Before you make an investment, you should think about a few things. Here are just a few things you should think about when making an investment. Researching companies, avoiding scams, and calculating the risks are just some of the things you can do to avoid difficulties.
Low Prices and Less Risk
Oil prices are very low right now. There are a lot of wells being discovered and drilled. One of the best things about investing in oil is that should you get a “dry hole”, a well with no oil, you don’t lose all of your money. It can still be claimed as a tax write-off.
Use a Reputable Company
One of the most crucial steps to investing in oil is finding the right company. Not only should the company be reputable with many years of experience, but they should also use 3D seismic technology and focus on developing wells. There are many companies that offer good investment choices. To find out if a potential company is reliable, contact the Better Business Bureau or the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).
Research the Company
According to US Emerald Energy (http://www.usemeraldenergy.com), find out about the company’s history, the people who work for it, and how successful they have been in finding profitable wells. Also ask about any partners and other people who have invested with them. Don’t forget to ask for the “offering documents” that the promoter has to give you before you invest. Ask about the property and how it was acquired. Ask for a geologist’s report on the area.
There are many energy companies out there, but not all of them are trustworthy. If a company contacts you and uses high-pressure sales techniques, they could be making fraudulent claims. No reputable oil company needs to find investors. Anything unsolicited is a sure sign of a scam. Another red flag to look out for is an unrealistic claim. If a company says they got a tip from a geologist, or they have hit every well they have drilled, or that this is a special deal only for selected investors, it could potentially be a scam.
Any legitimate offer will be registered with the office of the state securities commission in your state or the promoter’s state. If they are not, then ask why. Check with the agency to make sure that the offering is legitimate. Ask the salesperson for their name, what agency they are registered with, and their background. Ask them about their company, their experience, and any other deals they have made. Any legitimate salesperson will have no trouble answering these questions.
Tips for Investing
When starting out, it is best not to use more than 10 percent of your liquid assets. This will guarantee that you will not lose a lot of money if the investment does not work out as planned. The actual cost of investing varies anywhere from $6,000 to $25,000.
While all investments have some risk, oil is one of the better options. It is one of our most valuable resources, and it is going to be in use for years to come. Now would be a great time to invest in oil.
Mother’s Day only comes around once a year, and it is a perfect time to show your mom how much you care and make her feel special. A great way to do this is to give her a card and gift that will put a smile on her face and make her feel loved. With the world seeming to be a much smaller place, and with people moving all over the globe, distance is no problem in this modern age. No matter where you are and how far away from your mother you are, you can easily send her a parcel and make her day.
Choosing the Perfect Gift
All of us are different and have different ideas as to what makes the perfect gift. There are lots of different things that you can buy your mother and send to her quite easily.
Whatever it is that your mother likes you can easily use a parcel service and send it to her directly no matter how far away from her you are. There are usually some restrictions on things that can be sent such as anything that can explode or catch fire such as batteries. You’ll also find that food is not allowed although it does depend on the type of food. It all depends on the country that you are sending from, and also the country to which you are sending the parcel. All of this information is usually easily accessible online so if you are in doubt, you can search for restricted items quite quickly.
Choosing the Best Parcel Delivery Company
There are many different parcel companies out there such as parcel2ship.co.uk that can send your parcel to its required destination in short span of time. In less than a week, you can send a parcel to almost any destination in the world. Choosing a good company is important so you will want to research what is available and this can be done using the internet.
Most parcel companies will also have information on items that are restricted or banned so check these out before buying your mother a gift. Of course, the price of the delivery is important but so is the service that is offered. Ideally you want to send your parcel using a company that offers online tracking so that you can see the progress of the delivery, and you know exactly when the parcel is delivered.
Send your Parcel with Time to Spare
Although you can send parcels all over the world in relatively little time, it is always best to make sure that you have a bit of extra time to account for any delays in the delivery. Most delays will occur when the parcel goes through customs so allowing for a little bit of extra time will ensure that your mother receives her gift in time.
Major holidays always see an increase in the amount of parcels being sent which is another reason to send your parcel early. If your gift is fragile, make sure that it is packed accordingly and that you mark “Fragile” on the outside of the package. You will also need to make sure that your package is covered with insurance just in case it gets damaged or lost in transit. Your package will be covered up to a certain value so if your gift exceeds that amount, it may be worthwhile to take out additional insurance.
Make sure that you do not just say how much you love her with a gift and a card though! With online tracking, you will know when it has been delivered so you can call her up right away and tell her how much you love her. No matter what you send, she is sure to love it as well as to love you all the more.
Drug abuse is a far-reaching problem in this country, especially when it comes to teens during these tumultuous experimentation years. The good news is, the use of illicit drugs in teens has declined in the past 20 years, down to 27 percent in 2014 from 34 percent in 1997, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The same can be said for drugs like marijuana, alcohol and prescription pain killers. However, NIDA for Teens says drug overdoses account for more deaths each year than cars, guns and falls combined. As a parent, it’s imperative to talk to your kids frankly about drugs. The challenge is doing this in a way that doesn’t sound like a lecture.
According to Bay Area Recovery (http://www.bayarearecovery.com), choose a time and setting in which you and your teen are both relaxed with no interruptions. Be prepared in your mind to talk about your own experience with drug abuse, if any, to strengthen your case and appear more legitimate. Enlist the help of an older sibling or other trusted family member to provide an added layer to your conversation.
Find out What They Think
Instead of a long lecture with no feedback from your teen, ask him about his views on drugs. If he knows he can talk freely, you’ll get more out of the conversation than you would if it was one-sided. No one wants a boring lecture. Instead, ask questions such as, “What’s your point of view?”, “How do you feel about drugs?”, “Do you see this happening at school?” Check out the nonverbal cues you are getting from your teen and explore those with pointed questions.
Discuss Risk Factors
From genetics to a history of traumatic events, drug use can be more prevalent in some than others. Teens with a family history of drug abuse, those who have gone through traumatic past events, kids with feelings of social isolation, and those who are depressed are more likely to abuse drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Why are Drugs Bad?
Rather than use scare tactics, make sure you discuss in rational terms why drugs can be deadly. Use statistics, true stories and even personal history to emphasize your points. Tell your teen why he should avoid drugs, which can affect anything from driving ability and personal appearance to academic life and health.
Use Opportunities as they Happen
When watching TV shows and movies or listening to songs on the radio that involve drug use, whether in a good or bad light, use those as opportunities to open up a discussion. This often works better than a staged talk on the harmful effects of drug abuse because it’s spontaneous and relevant, making it more likely your teen will open up.
Troubleshoot Peer Pressure Situations
Often times, teens may know in their heads that drugs are bad but they do it anyway because they’re pressured by their friends and don’t want to appear uncool. Brainstorm with your child exact wording or phrases they can say when confronted by friends looking to do drugs. Simple phrases like, “No thanks,” or, “I’m all set,” work well. You could also teach them to provide an excuse or diversion such as “My parents would ground me for years if they knew I was doing this,” or “No thanks, wanna go play ball instead?” Your teen should also avoid the places, times and situations when the likelihood for pressure is highest. These scenarios are great in theory, but in reality they may not play out the way you intend. That’s why it’s important to role play with your teen on a regular basis on how to develop strategies for turning down drugs, advises KidsHealth.
Starting these conversations early is key. If your teen is having trouble with drug or alcohol addiction, there are accessible treatment options to help your family.
Every parent loves to see their child learn and grow throughout their lives. The desire to learn and develop is essential for creating healthy habits that will not only help a child get better grades in school, but also set themselves up for success later in life.
Many parents rely fully on the school system to educate and create this desire for learning. In addition to a great school program, parents should also encourage their kids to learn outside of the classroom. Here are seven ways moms can encourage learning after school.
Find the most educational TV shows for them to watch
Even though this seems counter-productive, watching TV can be a great way to trick kids into thinking they are getting a break from learning, when actually, they are still learning something new and exciting. Moms can go to http://satellitepackages.net/ to find shows that will work for them and their kids.
Sign them up for some after school activities
After school activities are one of the best ways to make learning fun and exciting for kids outside of the classroom. Moms can look for programs that will not only be beneficial, but also that their children will be interested in. Parents and kids can even look together to find the best options.
Continue to read with them
Reading together is a common practice for families when the children are young, but many families grow out of the habit as the kids get older. Mothers can re-establish this habit as a fun way to bond and increase daily learning.
Ask open-ended questions about their day
One of the best ways to cement what a child has learned during their day at school is to talk about it. Parents can ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer to help their kids remember what they have learned and talk about the most interesting facts.
Establish a normal routine to keep them on track
Most families already have a normal routine that they follow during the week. Though it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, parents can make extra at-home learning a part of the nightly schedule. This consistency will help everyone stay on track.
Give them a productive space for doing homework
Doing homework is usually most difficult for kids because there are so many other distractions in their homes. Moms can set up a space in the home that is not only free from distractions, but also comfortable enough for their kids to work in at night.
Encourage curiosity in every aspect of life
Staying curious about the world around them is one of the best qualities anyone can keep throughout their lives. This curiosity will lead them to ask questions and learn new things every day. Moms should encourage this in their kids, by maybe asking them some new questions about a topic or taking them to new and interesting places on a regular basis.
Moving home can be a chaotic experience. On top of packing up all your belongings and finding a new place to live, there’s the added pressure of getting your bond back. Your ‘to do’ list never seems to stop growing, and trying to arrange your entire life into a couple of boxes is a lot harder than it sounds. But don’t despair; there are ways to make moving home less painful for everyone involved. The most effective method for taking the stress out of moving is to prepare for the event well in advance. Here are three things that should be done before leaving your home.
1. Clean Like You Mean It
It might sound obvious, but thoroughly cleaning your property before vacating is essential to getting your bond back in its entirety. Despite being clearly stated as an official violation in the majority of lease agreements, it’s not uncommon for rental properties to be abandoned in a state of utter disrepair. Landlords are left to clean up the mess, and tenants are obligated to pick up the bill. The entire point of bond money is to act as insurance to protect homeowners, and not cleaning your property is the fastest way to add unnecessary stress to the moving process. Rather than waste your bond money, start cleaning like you’ve never cleaned before. If you think you’re not up to task of cleaning an entire house, you should contemplate hiring the services of a cleaning company, such as Absolute Domestics, which can provide a team of experienced professionals to get your house looking spotless.
2. Make a Budget
There can be unexpected costs involved with moving house. For example, some removalists charge by the hour and transporting your possessions from one house to another may take longer than you realise. Always allow plenty of time for your removalists to get the job done. Even if you end up overestimating, having money to spare is always better than not having enough. Save cash by using old, recycled boxes rather than spending money on new ones, and scrunch up old newspapers to wrap up fragile items instead of purchasing bubble wrap. By planning ahead and creating a realistic budget, you should be able to avoid any unforeseen expenses.
3. Pack Smart
Don’t wait until the day before your lease ends to start packing. Begin by doing an inventory of your belongings and either throw away or give to charity anything you no longer need. Whether it’s clothing, electronics or even furniture, don’t bother taking anything you won’t miss. Lightening the load before you leave your house will make moving much less stressful. Try to be as organised as possible when packing up the house; label all your boxes to ensure nothing gets lost and implement some sort of system to keep track of everything once it’s safely in your new home. Be sure to use lots of protective wrapping for fragile items and check whether you insurance covers moving damage, just in case.
Moving house doesn’t have to stressful. Before you know it, you’ll be settled in your new home. Do you have any tips on what to do before leaving a house? Comment below with your advice or experiences.
If you make a bucket list for you and your kids this year, you’re bound to get lots done together. Spending quality time together is crucial, and by creating a bucket list you make sure that time is the best it can possibly be! Let’s take a look at some of the things you can include on your list, and how to make your list:
If you’ve never been hiking with your kids, you’re definitely missing out on a special experience. Hiking helps you all to get a little exercise, while take in the beauty of nature. You can teach them about flowers, plants, creepy crawlies and more. Buy a book of walks or find a walk online that you can all take. There are even games you can play along the way.
Even if you just camp out in your back garden, camping out is a great experience for your kids to have. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, go away as a family for the weekend to a camping site. You’ll all be able to bond much better as a family, mainly because you’re in the wild with no distractions. There’s nothing quite like getting back to nature!
Go to a Theme Park
Theme parks are one of the most fun days out for the family you can have. Each one has their own unique rides and attractions, so do your research first and see what’s appropriate for all of you. You could put multiple parks on the list if you really wanted!
Take a Vacation
No bucket list would be complete without the goal to take a vacation, would it? You could even have a ‘staycation’ if you don’t want to spend too much on going away. There’s no reason you can’t have a great time close to home! No need to blow your budget.
Have a Picnic
A picnic is a simple yet perfect way to spend some quality time together. Pick a nice day and have your picnic with plenty of healthy snacks and a few treats too. Bring magazines, games, and anything else you think you could do on your picnic.
Try Out a Hobby
Why not try out a hobby together as a family? You could develop an interest in photography, flower pressing, or something completely different. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do it as a family and enjoy it!
Making Your Bucket List Together
It helps to get everybody excited if you make your bucket list together. You can make it and decorate it in any way you like. You could use colored card, make a collage, or even use a real bucket with pretty notes inside! You can then write the date next to activities you’ve completed. There’s nothing stopping you from doing those things twice either!
I hope you have a ton of fun doing these activities with your kids. Even creating the bucket list can be an activity where you spend quality time together! Make the most of it!
The World Wide Web is an excellent resource of billions of people around the world. When you need to find out information about something, you have a wealth of data at your fingertips. Unfortunately, the Internet can also be a dark place. Adult “entertainment” websites are easy to access online. And we all know that can spell bad news when children can access them.
In today’s modern world, it is necessary for parents to put measures or controls in place to filter the content their kids can see. If you are worried about what your child might be watching online, check out these examples I use with my own children:
Have your ISP filter website access
Although not a foolproof method of protection, you can have your ISP enable Internet content filters. In the UK, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media all offer free parental controls that get enabled on their equipment.
That means anyone in your home cannot circumvent those filters. At least, not unless they somehow contact your ISP and get them to disable the protection! The only downside to this approach is some “clean” websites might get blocked by mistake. If that happens, you can ask your ISP to whitelist the site so that it doesn’t get blocked in future.
Enable content filtering on your router
Another option at your disposal is to enable content filtering on your router. When you access your router’s admin, you can find those options under a section like “Parental Controls.”
You can fine-tune the settings so that some known website URLs can get blocked. You just need to make sure that your kids don’t know how to access the router’s admin system, or find out what the login details are.
One of my friends has a son that managed to do this. Things got somewhat extreme in his case as he had an obvious addition to “adult content.” The good news is places like Mt Pleasant Academy can help kids to overcome such addictions.
Enable parental controls on your devices
It’s likely you will have a plethora of devices in your home like computers, smartphones and tablets. Even today’s modern TVs have built-in web browsers! You will be pleased to know that all devices have settings where you can enable parental controls.
Put simply, they filter websites by particular words and phrases used in the URL. If you do this in addition to the other filtering tools at your disposal, you’ll have a high chance of blocking out any dodgy websites.
Use MAC filtering on your router
Last, but not least, here’s a tip for the geeky parents among us! Each device, regardless of what it is, has something called a MAC (Media Access Control) “address.” In a nutshell, it’s a unique reference ID, kind of like a serial number.
You can ensure that only devices with particular MAC addresses can get used on your Wi-Fi and network connections. That way, you can control and filter what sites your children visit on the Web.
By following the above tips and tricks, you can ensure that you’ve done your best when it comes to the online safety of your children.
If, like me, money is tight, but you still love the idea of taking your little monsters away on vacation. The idea of not being able to do so because of the cost can be an upsetting prospect.
Like all parents, the idea of being able to get away and spend some quality time with the little ones is important. I don’t want them to miss out just because I’m strapped for cash. But with little spare money is it even possible to go on holiday?
Believe it or not, if you shop around and opt for a budget break, booking a family holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. Even with a small amount of cash to spend, it is still possible to get away and take the little ones on a fantastic family holiday.
Below, I have put together a handy guide to all the best budget holiday tips that I rely on to book a family break without blowing my budget.
Work out your budget
The first thing to do is to sit down and work out your overall trip budget – aka, how much you can afford to spend. Once you know how much you have to play with, you can then start looking at the best options.
Once you have set a budget, divide it into two parts – one part for the holiday itself and one part for spending money while you are away. Aim to save at least half of your budget for spending money – this will cover the cost of your food, activities and days out while you are away.
Research your options
Once you know how much you have to spend, you can begin researching your options. Use the internet to look for destinations that are not only family-friendly but that are also cheap.
Spain, Greece and France are all ideal budget holiday destinations or as they are relatively close to home and don’t cost too much to travel to.
To get an idea of the best hotel deals available, have a look online at holiday comparison sites and discount travel websites. Keep an eye out for any all inclusive holiday deals within your price range, as these are fantastic for saving money.
Plan your break for a cheap time
Whether you are heading to France for the weekend or are off to Spain for a two-week break, you can save yourself money by planning your trip during off-peak times.
The school holidays are, of course, when travel is most expensive. However, if you plan your break in advance or at the last minute, you may be able to get some fantastic travel deals. Regardless of when in the season you are travelling, aim to fly during the week instead of on a weekend as weekday flights tend to be cheaper.
Pick your accommodation carefully
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that hotel’s are too expensive for your budget. Sometimes booking an all inclusive hotel and flight deal can work out cheaper than booking self-catered accommodation.
To find the best accommodation deals, have a look online and shop around at different sites and travel companies. Sometimes the best travel deals can be found at the travel agents, so don’t forget to pop into your local travel store.