October 2016 archive
Cotton and canvas tote bags are flexible, lightweight, and long-lasting. You probably have a few of them sitting around, but you might not be cleaning them as often as you ideally should. After all, these fabrics do get exposed to the elements, as well as to everything that you carry inside them, so it’s worth giving them a wash every now and again to ensure that they don’t get grubby or smelly.
Lucky for you, it’s super easy to wash these tote bags.
Cotton is the easier of the two materials to deal with; after all, you almost certainly wash cotton whenever you do a load of regular clothes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, you’ll probably want to use a cold water cycle since cotton tote bags are vulnerable to shrinking. If the bag has been dyed, make sure it’s also colourfast before you throw it in the machine.
Once they’re out of the washing machine, resist the urge to put them in the dryer – even the low-heat setting might cause them to shrink. You’ll probably find that the bag looks a little crumpled when it comes out of the washer, so lay it on a flat surface and reshape it with your hands. Make sure not to forget to untwist the straps or handles. If there are still wrinkles after the bag has dried, just go over it with an iron, keeping to a medium setting, to get it looking as good as new.
Canvas isn’t likely to be something you’ve washed before, but you really just need to follow the same directions. Put your canvas in the machine, use a cold-water cycle, and reshape before air-drying. The only thing to be aware of is that fact that your canvas bag will be quite stiff when you take it out of the washing machine. Have no fear, that stiffness will go away as the bag dries.
Now that you know how easy it is to keep your cotton and canvas tote bags in great condition, you’ll have no excuse not to keep yours pristine.
So, having kids and a husband and a house to run can be quite demanding, well, very demanding actually. I love my life, my kids, my hubby and my extended family but I will never not miss the times I could just come home from work and put my feet up, eat my tea, do a bit of work and then chill out, or just come home and straight up chill out. It’s because of this and the way I miss just chilling out sometimes that I figured I’d try and come up with some different ways to unwind, but with the family and kids about.
I’ve found, as I’m sure millions of other parents have, that being a parent, as rewarding as it is, can be mega stressful. When I get stressed, I tend to tense up big time. Now this particular title may seem a bit odd to be jumping into considering the whole post is about unwinding and relaxing is about as obvious as it gets but bear with me.
When I say relax, I mean be more relaxed around you children. It’s rare that your kids will behave in a way that mixes perfectly with your current state whether that be standard you or emotional you. A good way to ensure that you stay relaxed around your kids is to set broad, non-negotiable limits and then let your children have a free run within those limits. At times, they’ll do stuff that is within the limits but it may make you easy or they may be pushing their limits and that’s when I just breathe and smile.
This is something that I always find helps me to relax and always make me feel a bit more at ease and also it reminds me actually that I’m blessed to have my own children. I find though that if I act more relaxed around my kids that they tend to pick up on that a little and they tend not to get as rowdy as usual, but of course that could just be me overthinking things.
This is something that I find helps me massively. I only manage to get out twice a week at the minute but going out for a run and bringing the kids with me on their bikes is a great way to relax. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m running on the pavement by the road and they’re on their bikes, it does get a little hairy at times as they get a little too close to the passing cars but it’s good for us all to get out and get some fresh air and we don’t spend too much time on the pavements, we just head straight to the park and I run laps of that and it gives the kids a bit of freedom to ride out in front of me.
This time out of the house is good for all of us, I put my headphones in on a low volume when we get to the park and the twenty to thirty minutes or so that we’re there, I have that time to just unwind, listen to some relaxing music and clear my head which helps me to relax and generally by the time we get home, my other half is back and he takes over the kids for an hour or so while I go and have a bath and generally (barring the odd time) when I come back downstairs, they’re ready for bed and are quite relaxed themselves. Exercising is a massive help to me, no question.
Take a Mental Holiday
This is something that I have been doing quite a bit recently. I get dead tense when negative things crop into my head and I find that I start to stress even more and over think things and I find that if I do the opposite and think good things it helps me massively.
I prepare to go on this mental “holiday” by taking a few deep breaths and when I’m ready and calm (or calmer than I was), I close my eyes and imagine I’m somewhere that I enjoy being or would love to be right at that moment. It’s a bit more than just imagining it though, I try to fully experience this moment in my head, I see the sights all around me, hear the sounds and feel the place that I’m in, in my head. I try to allow myself a good ten to fifteen minutes for this exercise and once I’m finished, I feel a lot more relaxed than before I went on my “holiday”.
Family Days Out
This may seem a little odd to include in this list but it’s a good way for the whole family to get out and relax together. These only tend to happen at the weekend or during school holidays but they do work when we’ve all been out somewhere together. There’s loads of good days out with the kids that can be had in the UK. One of my favorites is playing badminton with the kids. From Blackpool Pleasure Beach to one of the various Go Ape sites dotted around the country, there’s plenty of choices.
Playing board games as a fun, social and educational pass time is a dearly valued and long-held tradition in American culture. Scrabble, Mouse Trap or Trivial Pursuit – every family has their favourite! Here are some tips and inspiration to help you and your kids bring those board games to life this Halloween…
Let’s face it – Halloween is just as much about candy as it is about spooky stories and pumpkin carvings. What better way to prepare for a confectionary gorge than by celebrating the sweet-tooth’s favourite holiday with a Candyland costume? The popular board game features several fantastic characters with distinctive appearances, making them the perfect inspiration for Halloween costumes. Let your kids choose their favourite – Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, Grandma Nutt or King Candy? If they can’t choose – pay tribute to the game with an outfit themed like the famously colourful board instead!
The Joker is getting a little old. Ever since Heath Ledger redefined the look of the classic Batman villain, DC comic fans have been dyeing their hair green and sporting purple suits for what has seemed like every Halloween since 2008 – but there are other cards from the deck that can provide original costume ideas. The Queen of Hearts, for example! Who can forget her iconic depiction in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? This costume is especially great because you can feel royal in a crown and extravagant dress, whilst also having a lot of fun with the unique make-up. Check out this tutorial to learn how you can recreate the famous heart-lipstick and bright blue eye look.
If you do go with the Queen of Hearts costume, it’s worth convincing a friend to compliment your Halloween attire with the Queen’s natural companion – the king, of course. Decorate with blue, yellows and reds plus plenty of suit symbols so people are left in no doubt that you’re not just any king – you’re King of the Deck! It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s expressed their love for card games in an unconventional manner...
While this costume combo might be good for a couple or friends, sometimes you want to unite the whole gang in a Halloween theme collaboration. The best board game for that? It’s clearly Cluedo! Not only will you have fun dressing up in classical 1920s fashion – you can all play the part of your character and combine the costume idea with a with a spooky mystery dinner party…perfect for Halloween.
So far, we’ve left out two very iconic board game characters that, besides being famous around the world, would be a total blast to dress up as this Halloween! Both the Operation Man and Monopoly Man have become recognized as symbols of two best-selling board games. You Operation Man costume will be twice as hilarious if you can get a flashing red button for your nose, whilst the Monopoly Man costume will let you spend Halloween handing out ‘Get out of Jail Free’ cards.
Alright, so Twister isn’t exactly a table top game – but this list would not be complete without a mention of how stylishly wacky a Twister dress can look! There’s something so totally 60s about the big colourful dots, so why not groovify the outfit with a pair of platform boots too? If you like making your own dresses, then the Twister costume will make for a straightforward textile project that is sure to earn you praise throughout Halloween…
Have we missed any?
It can be a joy to travel for long distances, away from your home and headed off to explore somewhere new to you. Travelling by plane or boat for hours at a time brings with it unique joys. Many people spend the time just planning out what they will do when they arrive, eager to see friends and family or visit somewhere exciting. Others take the time to catch up on sleep, watch a movie or talk to their travelling companions.
If you make the proper preparations, then long haul travel can be a wonderful experience. Preparation is the key, though, and you definitely want to know about the health problems that can occur while travelling long distances and what preventative measures you should be taking.
During Your Travel
We’re going to break this up into what you need to be prepared for while you are in transit and what you have to be prepared for once you get to your destination. Starting with travel preparations, let’s talk about the discomfort of sitting in one place for a while.
That can cause thrombosis, or blood clotting. This is especially likely when you travel by plane, as the high pressure can make the problem worse. You can avoid this by getting up from your seat whenever possible and taking a trip to the bathroom or just stretching out. It’s advisable to drink as much liquid as you can during a flight so that you’ll need to get up frequently to use the bathroom. It’s a good idea to get up every two hours to exercise your legs a bit and ensure clots don’t happen. Diabetics and people with blood pressure problems are more likely to suffer from this problem, and they should see a doctor before they travel.
You also need to be concerned about diarrhoea when you travel. This can be caused by the unique travel conditions, by some bacteria you picked up while visiting someplace new or by simply eating food you are unfamiliar with. A lot of people get adventurous when they travel, even when ordering food on a plane or before their flight. You have to be careful about how that will affect your digestive system. If you have anti-diarrhoeal tablets ready to use when needed, though, you can be prepared for this eventuality. If your condition becomes severe and the diarrhoea continues for several days, then you may want to consult a doctor.
Once You Arrive
Once you are at your destination, be prepared to take pest control seriously, from diseases carried by rodents to nasty bites from insects. Remember that foreign locations have types of pests, and that pest prevention in that country won’t be the same as pest control in Hertfordshire. The pests you encounter while abroad will likely behave in different ways and could be more dangerous than you are used to at home in the UK.
When you go to visit someplace new, you need to be prepared for the diseases that are common to the area. Many countries suffer from outbreaks of dysentery, malaria and small pox. You should check with the tourism websites and travel websites for that particular country before you visit it. You may be advised to have some vaccines administered before you travel. In some cases, a vaccine will be necessary for entry to certain countries or to return to your own country after visiting another country that has an outbreak.
It’s a good idea to check for travel advisories in the weeks right before you travel and not just in the months ahead of your travel. That’s because conditions can change, and new travel advisories may be in effect.
You may also want to catch up on any vaccine that is approaching renewal, such as tetanus. That’s because, once again, people can become adventurous on holiday, and you want to be prepared for the effects of taking some extra risks while you are abroad.
You also want to check travel advisories for the are you are going to for any political unrest or violent activities. Even in places as commonly visited as India or the United States, there are occasionally travel advisories warning visitors about outbreaks of violence. You need to be aware of which advisories apply to you and where you are visiting and take the proper precautions.
All parents want their children to be happy, well adjusted, independent individuals who are in charge of their own destiny. It’s what we would want for ourselves after all, and those attributes are certainly some of the traits we’d love to know our children are endowed with. But we all make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can have an effect on the way our children turn out. Of course we don’t mean to, but as they say, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’.
You can’t force shy children to become confident, gregarious outgoing individuals overnight, but you can teach them confidence and self security, it’s just a case of breaking habits and changing points of view.
Don’t Pass On Phobias
When they’re born, babies are only frightened of falling and loud noises. All the other phobias that they experience are leaned responses. If you’re scared of spiders your child is almost guaranteed to be as well. If you can act not being frightened around them, your children won’t pick up the fear. If you can’t even pretend not to be afraid, look into cognitive behavioural therapy for yourself. If you can cure your phobia everybody wins.
Lay Off The Pressure
It can be incredibly frustrating to watch your own child hang around the outsides of a social group but forcing them to get involved is counterproductive and damaging. If their natural response to groups is reluctance, then telling them that it is ‘wrong’ to be shy will only make them feel bad about themselves. Children will naturally flock together, but sometimes it just takes time.
Teach your child to give compliments, so long as they mean it. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie tells us we should always give compliments to everybody, even if it isn’t any advantage to us. It just makes people’s days and they’re better disposed toward us in the future.
Back complimenting behaviour up with examples. Every night, when you tell your kids ‘goodnight’ add ‘you’re awesome’ or remind them something they did that impressed you that day. Such a lovely thing to go to sleep on.
Sharing Really is Caring
Teaching your kids to share has to be one of the most important factors in creating a balanced, likeable child who will grow into an adult with similar qualities. As well as sharing, it’s also important to teach them that sometimes other kids won’t want to share, and that’s OK too. They might be doing something really important or just having a bad day and want to keep things to themselves.
‘Helicopter parenting’ refers to parents who hover around their children when they’re at play, ready and waiting for something to go wrong so they can dash in and come to the rescue. Ostensibly the child is confident that they won’t come to any harm, however, helicoptering actually impedes development as the child never learns from mistakes. Let them do their own thing, let them fall down. They will get up and they will learn what they did wrong and how to avoid repeating it. Of course, you can make sure the toys and other things they’re playing with are safe and good quality. Read reviews on sites like toddlersstuff.com. They also have some useful advice for parents.
The Prize Plaster
Kids do fall over all the time. If they get cuts and grazes, treat plasters like a little prize for being brave. If they’re not afraid of getting hurt then they will be more adventurous and self-confident. Don’t worry that treating plasters as rewards will encourage your children to engage in dangerous risk-taking behaviour; the pain will teach them that it’s not a good idea to be repeated, they just won’t be afraid to try new things.
Don’t Fight Over Food
When they’re little, children have virtually no control over anything that happens to them. One thing they can try to control is their diet. To the frustration of every parent, a food that was perfectly acceptable one week will be the cause of hours of teatime argument the next. Instead of trying to force a child to eat something they don’t like, simply tell them “you don’t have to eat it”. Rather then prepare a plated meal, serve the elements of the meal separately. If they don’t want cabbage or broccoli, but hey do want carrots and potato, let them choose that and have as much as they want. You won’t have to worry that they’re not getting enough to eat and you won’t be fighting with them every day.
Of course every child is different and any or all of these recommendations might not be suitable for your particular situation, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that in any given child-rearing situation, there are options and the most obvious to you might not always be the way that works best with your kids.A