June 2015 archive
Moving with kids. It is never easy. Not even approaching it. If you didn’t already have to handle the stress of moving, you’ve got children to contend with. Say you’re moving from the middle of nowhere to a big city like New York. Not only do you have to contend with the trip there, but moving in.
Nobody drives in New York. You’ll have to get used to that fact first of all. Getting the little ones around is going to require some serious work. Not only do you have to keep your eyes on them constantly, you need to get them accustomed to walking and using the subway.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves a little though. Let’s focus on where you’ll be staying. New York is a veritable candy land of homes. You’ve got classical townhouses towards the centre, and detached suburban homes out in the suburbs and surrounding areas.
Now if you’re coming to New York will all the things in your old house, you’re going to want somewhere unfurnished. New York apartments can be small depending on your price range. Moving into furnished rentals in NYC can be easy, so long as you’re not bringing a lot with you.
For moves to big cities like New York, it’s best to cut your losses and only bring the essentials. You could sell your furniture and unneeded items before you leave for the city. It’ll hopefully add a little helping bit of cash to your moving fund. Maybe use it on an AC system for those hot summers.
New York can be expensive. Whether you’re working yourself or staying at home caring for your children, you need to find ways of making money. Babysitting and child minding are a good way to bring in a little extra income, without sacrificing your own time with your children. If they’re before school age, becoming a childminder can be very beneficial.
If they’re already at school age and you’re not looking to care for children other than you own, the jobs market in New York is overflowing with good work. Provided you’re qualified and have a good work ethic, that is.
You’re ideally going to want to find a job that allows you to drop off and pick up the children from school. A 9-5 might not allow you the freedom to do this. When you’re looking for work, be sure to look for flexible hours. A lot of employers these days are forgiving to personal schedules, and will accommodate you if possible.
As for the city itself, try not to see all of New York all in one try. You’re a resident now, not a tourist. Life is going to get boring pretty quickly if you see all the sights in one weekend. Space the trips out. Have around two a month.
See the Empire State, and then take a boat trip out to the Statue of Liberty. Go hang around Times Square, or see a show on Broadway. Don’t think you have to do all of it either. Hopefully, you’ve got the rest of your life to explore the city of New York.
Summer is approaching, and with comes a lot of warm weather. You have been blasting the harsh winter months and couldn’t wait for the sun return, but careful what you wish. The sun is nice, but the heat can be torturous. Sometimes it feels like you are cooking in your home as you do whatever you can to ventilate it.
If you feel like you are constantly fighting a losing battle, check out these techniques that are bound to make your summer a lot more comfortable.
Shut Up Shop
It is tempting to open every window and door in the house in the hope that cold air sweeps through the house. In reality, that isn’t the case. What it actually does is let in more warm air and humidity, which makes the problem worse. Keep the house locked tight during the day to keep the heat out, and open it up again at night. During the night the air is colder and ventilates your house more effectively.
Your windows have a big part to play. In fact, any part of your house that lets in light is a problem if you don’t have the correct dressing. The curtains, blinds or shutters on your windows should create a shade that creates cooler air. You can then ventilate the cool air throughout the house with fans for an effective cooling effect.
What you do during the day when the heat is at its highest will depend on whether you start to overheat or not. There are a lot of household activities that heat up your body so they should be left until later on at night when the house is cooler.
Washing up, doing the laundry and making the dinner during the day might not seem like hard work, but they make a massive difference in the long run. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the summer days.
They are expensive, but they are also essential. There isn’t a better way of ventilating cold air around your house other than an air conditioning unit. They are powerful and effective, far better than fans and open windows.
However, there are some things you need to know before popping out for an air conditioner. Make sure that the unit is big enough for your home and that it is high efficiency. The efficiency ratio, for your information, should be above 10 or 12. If you are struggling, an HVAC company can help you make your decision.
Turn Off The Lights
Firstly, you don’t need them on during the summer so it is good for efficiency. But, more importantly lights create excess heat and add to the temperature of your home. Turn off the lights that you don’t need to have on and your home will cool considerably.
Use The Grill
Obviously, turning on the oven will only make the house hotter than it was in the first place. But, you have to eat so start getting more use out the barbeque. You get to enjoy the summer air and don’t have to sit in a house and eat that is already one hundred degrees.
We all love it when our house is neat and tidy. We like to buy new furniture, ornaments and accessories. We may even spend a small fortune redesigning parts of our house. But we have to realise, this is for us. This is not to make our entire family happy or comfortable. Certainly, these things may improve their living. But it mainly it is our choice and our gain. Here is some advice on how to make your family feel happy at home.
Their Bedroom is Their Bedroom
This is crucial. If you like, think of your children’s bedrooms as a separate entity from the rest of the house. As long as they agree to keep it clean and tidy, let them decorate it however they wish. Remember, the rest of the house is yours. But it is important for them to have one place in the house they feel definitely is theirs. This includes the colour of the wall and the type of furniture. You can also consider letting them choose their bed and decorations like posters and curtains. Obviously, we are talking about older children, not toddlers. Feel free to decorate young children’s bedrooms however you like.
A Place That Is Yours
It is important that they have a place to call their own, but you need such a room too. This may be a room where pets and mess are not allowed. You can decorate it in a way that is delicate. For example, you could hire a flooring and decking company to lay down some polished, hard wood floors. Treat yourself. Let this room be your haven. Do not worry about family time because we recommend you design a room for that too.
A Place For Everyone
You also require a room for your family. A place that mess and art are allowed. This can be anywhere in the house, but we do recommend you have one. You are going to have a section of the house where certain members of the family are not permitted. So, you also need one where all can express themselves freely. You can even consider this a place for play and art. If you do not have a separate room for this, we suggest the kitchen as it is the easiest place to clean up.
Work In Style
Technology has rapidly improved to the point where you can work from almost anywhere. Even from your bed. But you should have a room designed specifically for doing work. This will have desks, chairs, and maybe even a small library of books. You should encourage any children you have to work in here. If you work on your bed, your mind thinks this is the place for working. You will stop getting that good night’s sleep you need.
As you can see, our advice is to have separate rooms for individual requirements. But you should consider other things too. It is so important for your family to be happy at home. The world outside can be stressful. Their house is a place they should feel comfortable and be able to relax without worry.
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Is it just me or is the world more obsessed with beauty than ever? People fear the signs of age more than they fear dying. We are constantly faced with unrealistic portrayals of youth and glamour. Take Hollywood as an example. Television series choose actresses to play mothers who are nowhere near old enough to have a teenage child. We see it all the time. What kind of effect does it have? We wonder why we do not look like them. We start to invest in all the products to make us look younger than we actually are. We are all looking for that classic compliment. You look young enough to be your daughters sister! Is it possible to achieve. Perhaps, but at what cost?
Stay In Shape
Perhaps the best, easiest and cheap way to keep our youth is to exercise regularly. If you really want that killer physique then you need to put some time in through the day. Try going for a run in the morning. A short one at first and then build it up. You will feel fresh and confident once you finish. In a few weeks, you may notice your body is more toned and feels firmer. All it will cost you is a pair of running shoes.
Who lives the longest? It is a well-known fact that the Asian culture actually have the longest lifespan. Traditionally the Asian community eats a wide variety of natural, protein filled food like fish. So, if you want to look younger and lose weight remember to eat healthily. Keep a well balanced diet and just cut out the junk food completely. How much will it cost? Eating organic products and fresh fish will add a little more to the price of your shopping list. But not nearly as much as some of the other choices further down this list.
If you want the true enemy to mothers trying to stay young then look no further. This is it. Stress is the reason your hair looks thinner. It is the reason you see more lines across your face. It is why you feel tired every morning. Try some breathing and relaxation techniques to feel better. You will see the effects as soon as you start. Your body will look more youthful, and your mind will be clearer. Remember, there is probably nothing wrong with your body. But thinking there is can trigger the effect your mind believes is already there.
If you are truly unhappy with the way you look and how fast you are aging you can look at surgery. A good plastic surgeon will be able to change the things about yourself that you can not stand to see anymore. But, you may find those problems are more than just skin deep.
The final solution then. Do you buy this? Does it work? Again the best product to use on your skin uses natural ingredients. Do not buy anything with chemicals in. It will have the opposite outcome to what you were hoping for. A good anti-aging product will cost around two hundred pounds every six months.
Ultimately there is nothing wrong with aging gracefully. Celebrities get a lot of coverage in the media if they are seen to be aging. But you do not have to bend under the pole society is holding. Be happy with who you are. Everyone is beautiful if they are beautiful inside.
Now it’s officially summer, it’s long past time to get your spring cleaning done. But if you haven’t had the chance yet, it’s never too late. If you like to live a green life, you might worry about the effect your cleaning products have on the environment. Fortunately, there are alternatives you can apply to ensure your summer cleaning is more eco-friendly than ever. As well as using green products, there are some techniques you can use to avoid applying too many chemicals around your home. Try some of these methods to clean the house without polluting the environment.
Buy Eco-friendly Products
There are plenty of ready-made products out there that you can buy right off the shelf. If you can’t find any in a local store, you can get hold of them easily by ordering them online. You can find floor care that is eco-friendly, as well as solutions for your windows, kitchen and bathroom. Your cleaning products don’t need to contain harsh chemicals to clean your home properly, so look for alternatives if you aren’t happy with the ones you currently use.
Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions
As well as buying eco-friendly things to clean your home with, you can also make your own. There are lots of substances that have natural cleaning properties, from bicarbonate of soda to lemon juice. If you want to make your own products, you can find plenty of recipes or just tips for using raw or diluted substances online. Some of the things you can use include baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar and cornstarch.
Let Fresh Air In
Getting clean air circulating through your home will help to keep it fresh. The air outside can sometimes be polluted, but it’s often cleaner than the toxins that have built up inside your house. It’s also a good idea to let the air circulate to help prevent damp, especially in areas like the bathroom or kitchen where there’s a lot of steam and condensation. So throw open the windows now and then to let in some air.
Use Natural Air Fresheners
If you often spray a perfumed air freshener or use a plug-in fragrance, you might prefer to use something else. Instead of the artificial scent that you can get out a can, you can use more natural substances to improve the cleanliness of the air. You can use cloves, cinnamon and other herbs and spices, for example. You might choose to use a bowl of dried potpourri or even do some baking in the kitchen.
Use a Green Cleaning Service
If everything seems like a bit too much effort and you don’t have the time, get someone else to do it. You can find lots of green cleaning services who will come and clean your home in an eco-friendly way. They’ll only use green products and methods, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.
You don’t have to pollute the environment just to keep your home clean. Make use of these green cleaning methods and you won’t have to be concerned about it again.
Lapland is the king of Christmas. It is the home of Santa and during the winter months it is basked in darkness. There is just no getting away from it! Unfortunately, due to this reason people don’t see the real Lapland and fill their heads with all the festive stuff. Yes, it is an amazing place to go for Christmas, but this one thing doesn’t define Lapland.
Check out these fantastic reasons to visit Lapland, other than to see a big, fat, jolly man with a white beard!
It turns out there is plenty of gold in the rivers of Lapland. When the rivers start to thaw out and die down a bit, tourists and locals alike descend on them in the hope they find a life changing nugget of metal. You might not get the nugget of gold you were looking for, but panning for gold is a great experience, especially when your surroundings are Finnish forests. There is no better place to find your fortune!
Or, if you are a pessimist you can go to the Tankavaara Gold Village Museum for a bit of history, as well as the Finnish Gold Panning Competition.
Due to its climate, Finland isn’t home to the sort of wildlife you would find anywhere else. But, the unique wildlife is what makes Lapland a great place to travel. There aren’t too many places where you can find bears, huskies and reindeers all in the same place. Plus, if you’re an adrenaline junkie you can also go searching for wolves. Just make sure you let them know you are coming!
It would be rude not to sample some of the delights of sport in Finland once you make the trip. As snow, hills and mountains cover the region , the extreme sports are some of the best in the world. The skiing and boarding are some of the best in the world, it lasts almost until the summer, and you can also go snowmobile racing.
The variety of resorts means there is something for everyone, from complete novices to professionals.
Indigenous is something foreign to the people of Europe. They tend to look to America and Australia for examples of the people whose home it has been for centuries. But, in Finland, the last remnant of Indigenous European culture is still alive. The Sami people have their language, costumes, and customs. You can learn more about them at the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi.
Where saunas come from is up for discussion, but what isn’t up for debate is the fierce competition between the parties. A true, Finnish sauna, therefore, is scorching hot, lasts for hours and is full of nude people. So, don’t be surprised if you go in one and get an eye full. You know what they say, Lapland holiday are for adults!
If you get the chance, do not hesitate to visit Lapland. The media attention might revolve around Santa, but there is so much more waiting for you.
Cooking dinner on a barbeque is a lot of fun, and can be a much more relaxed way to feed your family and friends while enjoying the outdoors. We’re always getting tips on how to do a proper barbeque, but it can all be a little confusing sometimes. There are three key things to keep in mind when cooking dinner on a barbeque.
1. Utilise every part of your barbeque
It doesn’t matter if you have a standard barbeque with just a grill, or a top of the range one with all the bells and whistles such as hotplates, covered roasting pans and more. Different foods require different cooking times and methods. Try to learn these and use all the features of your barbeque! For example, some people prefer to start off fattier meats like chops on the hotplate before transferring to the grill to finish. Those who want those fragrant char lines on their vegetables will cook them on the grill, not the flat hotplate. If you feel like it’s time to get a new barbeque, visit stores like Barbeques Galore that have a large range to choose from that will suit your culinary needs.
2. Get the temperature right
Cooking cold or semi-frozen meat can substantially prolong the amount of time it takes for the heat from the barbeque to reach the centre of the piece of meat. By this stage, the outer surface may have already been charred, which is not pleasant or healthy to eat. While it’s important for raw meat to be properly chilled and preserved for food safety reasons, try and remove it from the freezer or fridge just in time for it to have thawed to room temperature to ensure it cooks properly. Also keep in mind the importance of preheating the grill in order to ensure a nice layer of caramelisation on your food, as well as that unmistakable smoky BBQ flavour.
3. Sometimes thinner meat is better
Cooking more thinly portioned pieces of meat is an effective way to get a feel for the power and cooking time of your barbeque. It’s also a great way to prepare meals more quickly as your barbeque will need less heat and time to cook through to the middle of your meat. You won’t have the problem of the meat being overcooked on the outside, yet raw on the inside. Consider using a tenderiser to flatten out pieces of meat to create more surface area for delicious seasoning or marinating. Whatever size of meat you’re using, always rest it before cooking. This will ensure that it retains moisture while avoiding that unsightly liquid oozing all over the plate.
Cooking dinner on the barbeque can be a really fun and easy thing to do, once you’ve mastered it. All barbeques are different, just as ovens and microwaves are also different. Experiment with a range of meats and vegetables, as well as all-time favourites like sausages and steak. Most of all, get acquainted with the capabilities of your barbeque! Before you know it, every dinner will be a success.
The sun has finally emerged from its winter hibernation. The cold months are behind us, and there’s a long, hot summer to look forward to! It’s the perfect time to let the kids loose in the garden and explore their imaginations. Getting them away from the TV and video games is perfect and they’ll learn fantastic new lessons. They can invite friends round and create wild fantasies in the back garden. Not only that, but they can learn more about nature by letting them get involved in the gardening.
But, don’t forget about the adults! You need a break too, and there’s no better feeling than relaxing out in the garden. Why not host a garden party with your closest friends or light the barbecue for a weekend of fun? The garden is the best place to have fun and create memories this summer. The only trouble is making sure it’s in ship shape and ready. That’s what this post is all about. We’ll show you everything you need to create a family friendly garden this summer.
Playspace – Watching young children explore their imaginations is a joy to behold. They’ll turn your garden into a pirate ship or the moon! They’ll create fantastical stories and act out all sorts of magical tales. It’s your job to help encourage this and let them get creative. Set out a designated area for playing. You can invite their friends round for a playdate or just involve the family. It’s also a good idea to use a sandpit, a swing set or a trampoline too. They’ll love it!
Patio or decking – While the kids are exhausting themselves before bedtime, you need a place to relax. Pick up some good quality garden furniture and set yourself up on the decking or patio. Is there anything better than a glass of wine on a warm summer’s evening? Invite your friends or family over and relieve your stress under the summer nights. Light the barbecue and set up outdoor heaters to keep away the cold.
The lawn – The lawn is often the centerpiece of your garden. It’s where the children will run around and throw balls. It’s also a great place for you to lay out and soak up the sun. But, after the harsh winter, it can often look a little worse for wear. It’s often worth hiring a landscaping company to tidy up the lawn for you and get it in summer shape! Or why not sprinkle a few new grass seeds and nurse it back to life?
Nature – Finally, take this opportunity to teach your children about wildlife and nature. Let them plant a few flowers and let them take charge of their care. Teach them about bees and how they collect pollen from flowers. Let them leave seeds out for the birds and encourage a compassionate view towards the garden.
Your family friendly garden will become a hive of activity over the summer. It’s the perfect place for you and your family to enjoy each other’s company and soak up the sun.
Don’t quiet yourself into thinking that you will never need a plumbing service. Even if you are knowledgeable with at home repairs, you may want to call on an expert every now and then for plumbing emergencies. Along with depending on your local plumbing technician for periodic emergencies, the following circumstances would be better left to experts.
No Hot Water
It’s apparent what took place, however unless your water tank is leaky, it might take some time to learn why. If your water tank is electric, it may be a poor heating component, a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker, a defective thermostat, or a poor overload switch. On gas heating units, thermocouple burners as well as igniters can easily fail.
Nobody wishes to be without hot water for long. Your grandma might have heated tub water on the range, but individuals do not do it this way these days. Call a local plumber for this one; they most likely have plenty of experience and will let you know if you need a brand new heating unit or if the current one can be fixed. If the heating unit must be replaced, your plumbing technician will carry the new unit to the cellar, hook it up, ensure that it works correctly, and get rid of the old one.
Main Line Stoppage
If the toilet is backing up into your bathtub and showers the issue is more than likely the main line. This often requires specific equipment that many homeowners do not usually have. While leasing the equipment can be done, it is not recommended unless you have expertise using it. An expert will have experience making use of the equipment and cleaning the main line.
Depending on this case it is not suggested to work on your own heating unit without proper guidance or experience. There are many things that may go wrong throughout a hot water heater repair. A seemingly easy adjustment might wind up making a leak even worse or leading to more damage.
If you realize you have an odor wafting through your house from one of your drains or from your backyard, or along with wet areas, you might have a plumbing related problem. It is possible that your drainpipes aren’t ventilated correctly or they have come to be clogged. Whatever the case might be, an expert plumber will help.
Your pipe system is probably the most essential part of your house. It’s almost impossible to get by without having clean, functioning plumbing, fixtures, and plumbed home appliances such as the water heater. If you learn your plumbing system is not working properly, you might have to hire a professional local plumber from a place such as priorityplumbing.ca to come take a look.
Energy bills are one of the biggest drains on the family budget, so you should be doing everything you can to cut them!
If your home seems to feel constantly cold, it might be because there are draughts running through it. And when your home feels cold, your immediate reaction is to turn the heating up a bit more, and that just costs you even more money. So, you should find what’s causing the draught and take action.
The most common cause of them are gaps that can usually be found in your doors and windows. Some of them are normal like keyholes, but other gaps are not meant to be there. Check the frames of all your windows and if they’re loose or full of gaps, fill them with some sealant.
Insulate Your Home
The easiest way to keep as much heat in your home as possible is to stop it from escaping. And the only way to stop it from escaping is by insulating your home. Insulation should be updated after a certain amount of time, and if you don’t have any insulation at all, you need to get it installed.
It’s possible to do the work yourself, but it’s much quicker and easier to get in touch with an insulation contractor, as they know what they’re doing. Your loft and walls are the most important areas to insulate to start with. This will instantly cut down on your energy usage. And then you can think about insulating the floor to make your home even more airtight.
Monitor Your Use of Appliances
The family home is full of all kinds of appliances, and we tend to leave them on throughout the day, even when we’re not using them. It’s hard to keep track of all the appliances we use, especially when you have children. They use consoles and televisions, and you can be sure they’re left on standby most of the time!
You should make every effort to minimize the amount of time your appliances are using electricity though. Your energy bills are big enough already without leaving hundreds of appliances plugged in 24 hours a day. Tell everyone to switch off any appliances when they’re not in use and you’ll start to see the difference in savings.
Upgrade Your Windows
Anyone who is still persevering with old single glazed windows needs to make an upgrade as quickly as possible. They let out a lot of heat from your house, which means you have to heat your home for longer periods of time and more often. And the result of that is larger energy bills!
You might not like the idea of spending a lot of money on getting new windows installed, but you could actually save money in the long-term. And if you already have double glazed windows, you could upgrade even further and get triple glazed windows. These keep in even more heat, saving you more money.
None of us has money to waste, so put these simple ideas into action. The money you save might be even more than you expect.