Thursday, September 23, 2021

5 Must-Haves for Your Baby Shower Registry


Image: Unsplash/Andrea Bertozzini

Planning your baby registry? Deciding what you will need before your baby has been born can be a challenge. Fortunately, so many women have gone through this before, and utilizing advice makes it simpler. To get you started, here are five items other mothers have recommended to add to a baby registry: 


1. Feeding Equipment: Bottles, Pumps, and Accessories

Aside from the best baby bottle sterilizer, you can find so many other great innovations for babies. There are pacifiers that fold up when they’re dropped, keeping the mouthpiece clean and away from the floor at all times. 


For the aspiring breastfeeding mother who is also career-driven, a good quality breast pump ensures the best nutrition can be supplied to the little one, even when mom is busy at work. In the case of breast pumps, quality makes all the difference. While the hand pumps might seem suitable, an electric pump is less stressful and far more efficient at extracting milk. 


2. Meal Delivery Service and Help Around the House

This sounds unconventional, but it’s one of the most helpful gifts a new parent can hope to receive. With a baby that seems to cue its wails at precisely the moment you hope to shower, take a nap, or eat some much-needed food, it can be difficult to prepare nourishing meals. It doesn’t seem like it while you’re expecting, but those early days call for all the help you can get. 


A meal delivery service offers a healthier alternative to takeaways. Add requests for vouchers to your registry as this will allow you to choose the meals you prefer at the times that suit you best. 


3. Baby Monitor

A baby monitor will give you the freedom to enjoy a few leisurely tasks without worrying that the noise you’re making might wake the baby. It allows you to create an environment in which the baby can’t hear you, but you can hear the baby. The more expensive monitors come with breathing sensors to monitor the baby’s breathing, visuals of the baby, and sound. The more cost-effective models only confer sound to the listener. 


4. Bibs and Burp Cloths

It’s not unusual to go through a fair number of bibs and burp cloths in one morning alone. Babies haven’t developed the one-way function of the esophagus as yet, which means after each feed, their milk can come right back up with the slightest bump. The mop-up is done with bibs and burp cloths. Modern versions come in beautiful colors, patterns, and textures. 


5. Baby Carriers

Babywearing is a hot new trend that many mothers are embracing for more independence. This involves keeping the child close against the caregiver’s body, usually in a softer type of carrier rather than a structured one. The idea is that the baby should be right up against the caregiver, sharing body warmth and feeling a sense of closeness and connection. This is soothing to the baby and can encourage better sleep. For the wearer, babywearing keeps the precious little one close, comfortable, and quiet so that other tasks can be done in peace. 


Items You Can’t Place on Your Registry

New mothers need lots of love and support. This isn’t something you can add to your registry, but you can start to cultivate relationships during your pregnancy so that you have supportive figures around you when the time comes. Most importantly, enjoy each phase as it comes, whether or not you know all the tricks and have all the tools. 











6 Things to Pack for a Sailing Trip

Image: rawpixel/Pixabay 

Everything is magnified when you’re sailing. The weather feels more extreme and seasickness can be almost unbearable. Forgetting an essential is also far more problematic as it’s not like you can just pop out to a local grocery store. 

If something has been forgotten, you’ll likely have to do without it for the duration of the trip. This makes preparation essential. From medical supplies to ocean-worthy clothing, here are the six most important things to include for your sailing trip: 

  1. Suitable Clothing

Adventures out at sea can come with a wide range of weather conditions, and you need to be prepared for them all. Here are the clothes that should be packed when going on a sailing trip:

  • Long-sleeved t-shirts 

  • Swim-wear

  • Shorts or skorts

  • Jackets (preferably fleece jackets)

  • Underwear

  • A raincoat

  • Extra pairs of sunglasses

  • Waterproof watch

  • Hats for both cool and warm weather

  • Flip-flops

  • T-shirts in breathable, comfortable fabric

  1. Sun Protection

The sun is mighty, and this is magnified when onboard a boat. You’ll be getting hit by its rays from above and from the reflection on the water. However, the greatest danger lies in not feeling hot due to the cool sea breeze. 


Without the proper protection, you could wind up with a painful sunburn and even heat stroke. Therefore, it’s crucial to pack plenty of sunscreen with a minimum factor of 30. Remember to reapply it every couple of hours and any time you go for a dip. 

  1. Pain Relief and Medicine

There’s nothing worse than feeling unwell on a trip. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, and Aspirin should be packed in case you need them. It’s also worth investing in motion sickness medicines like Avil and Avomine. These and all other required medicines should be sealed and stored somewhere safe and easily accessible.

  1. Bug Repellant and Anti-Itch Spray 

Biting insects don’t always stay on dry land. When sailing to particular places, mosquitos and other insects that leave itchy bites can cause discomfort if you’re not prepared for them. It’s best to be armed with bug repellent to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Include some anti-itch spray in case they get to you before you put on the repellent. 

  1. Sailing Guides and Maps

Taking to the open ocean is an adventure that many enjoy. However, it can be all too easy to become lost, frustrated, and frightened. Taking a sailing guide will provide reassurance as it comes with the solutions to many common problems. Sailing maps tailored to the destinations you’re visiting will give you a greater sense of security as they provide backup if your devices stop working.

  1. A Couple of Flashlights

It’s essential to pack a couple of heavy-duty flashlights with additional batteries. As mentioned, everything is more extreme on open waters. This isn’t solely limited to the weather but also includes the intensity of the dark. It appears much darker than on land when nightfall comes. Ensure this is catered for by packing a functioning flashlight. If possible, include two flashlights with a spare pack of batteries to reduce anxiety and act as a lightweight insurance policy. 

Packing for a Sailing Trip Is the Start of an Adventure 

Being at one with the ocean is nothing short of magical, and if you’re prepared, it can be the adventure of a lifetime. First, however, it’s important to remember the golden rule: respect the water.

Be prepared, organized, and make safety your top priority. 


Pack suitable clothing, sun protection, medicines, bug repellent, and anti-itch spray. Don’t forget the sailing guides and maps, keeping them somewhere easily accessible alongside a flashlight or two for the evenings. You’re all set! 









Wednesday, September 8, 2021

3 Questions To Ask When Building Your Home

Most people buy their family homes, but it's not uncommon to build one. This means you deal with the construction of your home from start to finish. There's a plot of land for you to build on, and you can literally construct the home of your dreams. It has many advantages over buying a house, but there are some key questions to ask before you decide to go down this route and build a home:

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Who will build your home?

To start, who is going to help you build your home? Is this something you or your partner are going to handle all by yourselves? If you/your partner owns a construction company, then fair enough, you probably can deal with it. However, most people will need to hire builders for this job, and this is a monumental decision that can impact the whole outcome. There's an article here titled How to Choose a Home Builder that you might find useful in providing tips on how to narrow your search. It's all about finding a trustworthy and reliable company that fits your budget and has experience building high-quality homes. 


How much will it cost?

What is the estimated cost of building your home? For a reference point, the national average is $248,000 to build an average-sized home. By contrast, the median sale price of homes is $374,900. As you can see, building a home should be cheaper than buying one when you take the averages. So, you want to be sure that the cost of building your new property doesn't get too high that it would be much cheaper to buy one. If it is cheaper to buy a house and make improvements, then you can save time and money by doing so. 


Also, more obviously, you need to worry about the costs in terms of what you can conceivably afford. You might discover that the cost of building your home is simply too much for you to handle


Why do you want to build a home?

This is a fantastic question to ask yourself as it can really help you determine if this is a good decision or not. What's the reason behind this ambition? Do you want to build a home that's completely tailored to your needs and will be made for your family? Or, do you just want to move into a new house? If you have chosen the second option, it is almost always easier to buy a house instead of building one. Building homes typically makes the most sense when you have specific needs that aren't being met by the other properties on the market. 


Ask yourself these three questions when you're thinking about building a new home. Afterward, you might have a better idea as to whether or not you should go ahead with the build. Some of you may realize it's actually a very bad idea, and coming to this realization will save a lot of money and stress! For others, answering the questions can help solidify your belief that this decision is right, giving you more clarity on what to do.







Thursday, August 26, 2021

Preventing Arguments When Talking To Your Teen

 Arguing is quite common when there’s a teenager in the house. When you’ve got a 15/16 year old trying to find their place in the world on your hands, there’s going to be a moment or two where you clash, and have different ideas about what they can do. 

However, when these moments come, it’s important to try and keep the argument to a minimum, and try to have an open and healthy discussion instead. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s the best way to prove to your teen that you’re there for them, and that you still know what’s best. Here are our tips for keeping those explosive fights out of the house. 


Pexels Image - CC0 Licence


Stay Calm, Stay Honest

When you’re in an argument, how often do you jump to the worst case scenario when trying to prove a point? Maybe your teen is refusing to listen, or is just keeping on to try and rile you up, and this is the best way to make your case and get them to back down? 


However, this can be one of the worst ways to prevent an argument from escalating when your teen comes to you with a problem, or if you catch them in a lie. You want to stay calm, to prevent yourself from getting too heated and saying something you don’t mean, and to also help reassure your teen, who is lashing out from a place of fear. 


So, while you may have to explain to your teenager how bail bonds work, you probably won't have to go into detail over how much they won’t like a court sentence. You want to be honest and open with them, but without the negative emotion that drives an argument to the next scale. 


Listen First, Talk Second

It’s also a good idea to prevent yourself from being the one to instigate an argument, or even be an active participant in one. Of course, you don’t just want to sit there and try to ignore your teen shouting at you - it’s not good for your role as a parent, and it’ll also make your teen feel like you just don’t care about any of their emotions, even to the extreme! 


Take part in the argument, but don’t be the one to bring things up, or retort in extreme ways yourself. Listen to what your teen is trying to say to you, even if they’re shouting and seem very angry, and then respond to their concerns. Do this calmly, as we say above, and then listen again when your teen either listens to you, or tries another angle.


This’ll help the argument to be over faster, and it’ll also help your teen to dial things down, and help to self-soothe. If they see you’re not interested in an argument, and genuinely want to help, they’ll soon follow suit.


It doesn’t always have to be an argument; help your teen by resorting to discussions instead. 







Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Why Should You Consider Investing In Gold?

Because of the economic impact of the COVID pandemic, the stock markets have been volatile the past eighteen months, prompting most investors to look for measures to diversify their portfolios and protect themselves against further losses. Over the course of this time period, one asset began to gather momentum: gold. If you have been thinking about investing in gold but are not sure where to start, here's a simple guide to help you get started with gold investment. Let’s take a look. 

Image via Unsplash CCO License

Why Should You Consider Investing in Gold?

While people all across the world have brought gold for a variety of reasons, most of which are cultural or religious in nature, gold has also gained popularity as an investment choice. Here are a few factors that are working in favor of gold right now.

  • The gold standard has long been considered the ideal long-term store of value because of its ability to retain its value over time. By store of value, we mean an asset that maintains its value without depreciating. Due to the fact that it can function as money, it has a distinct advantage over other currencies, and its outperformance of the value of the national currency makes it particularly appealing. You can find out more about what is the gold standard here. 

  • It will always be valuable — Currency is a promise to pay, so it will always be valuable. Gold, on the other hand, is not dependent on such assurances. It is the only financial asset that is neither a liability nor an obligation of another party at the same time. Gold prices have never fallen below zero in their more than 3000-year history. As a result, it will always be valuable and will remain strong even if the economy and markets crash to the ground.

  • Inflation hedge - When inflation rates rise, the value of a currency falls in value, creating a hedge. Gold prices, on the other hand, have more than doubled in the last five years, despite the fact that inflation rates have increased. In countries where inflation rates tend to outpace interest rates, investing in gold is a good way to protect against rising inflationary expectations. 

  • Aspects of the gold investment that are critical to consider include liquidity and diversification. When it comes to gold, transactions can be completed in a relatively short period of time.

  • There is no need for specialized knowledge - When you buy stocks or mutual funds, you need to have a basic understanding of the market and economics in order to make the best selection. Such knowledge is not required while dealing with gold. It is basic and uncomplicated, making it a simple investment for all types of people to participate in.

  • As an asset class, gold has a low or negative correlation with the other asset classes, which aids in the diversification of your investing portfolio. Therefore, it is beneficial in terms of diversifying or hedging your investment portfolio against the risk of a volatile market.







Saturday, August 21, 2021

Top 6 Indicators you Should Get a New Car

 Purchasing a car calls for a considerable investment, and on top of that, you still need to maintain it. When your vehicle is still under warranty within the first few years, the manufacturer repairs the most significant problems. However, when you hit 50,000 miles, you'd need to buy an extended warranty or take care of the repairs on your own. Keep listening to your vehicle's moods; sometimes, problems with your car will be unnoticeable, and if you don't take care, it will break down when running errands. So, the following are indicators that it's time to get a new car.

Pixabay – CCO License

Constant breakdowns

Consider getting a new car whenever you need to use your vehicle and start worrying that you won't arrive at your destination on time or safely due to constant breakdowns. Although breakdowns can sometimes be an easy fix, it’s not worth it. Your vehicle should give you comfort and relief; you shouldn’t have to worry about getting stranded in the middle of nowhere without cell reception because your car broke down.

Terrible gas mileage

Antique vehicles have poor gas efficiency due to old parts; this is one of the subtle signs that may go unnoticed. If you haven’t thought about it, calculate all the money you spend on gas and think of how much less you could use with a new car.

Crumbling interior

If you have to be careful where you step when in the car due to holes on the floor or worry about weather changes because you might get several drops from the rain, you need to get a new vehicle. If your car's interior is crumbling, there's no way to salvage it. Other signs that can make getting into your car feel like hardship include windows that won't shut properly, torn fabric and falling knobs.

The cost of insurance keeps rising

Insurance costs are just as essential as operating expenses, such as repairs and gas. As your car gets older, its insurance becomes expensive because it lacks safety features, unlike in newer vehicles. Even if your driving record is flawless, insurance premiums creep up annually as your car grows older.

The odometer exceeds six figures

Once your car's odometer hits 100 000 miles and over, it won't perform the same way it did when it was new; it will start going downhill soon, even with constant maintenance. Save yourself the stress, time, and money when your mileage gets to six figures by approaching New Roads Auto Loans to finance a new car.

Failing emission inspection tests

Old model vehicles lack “drive clean” technologies that new cars possess; this means that the emissions from the tailpipe are harmful to the environment. If you don't pass an emissions test, you will not renew your license plates. If you have to spend a lot of money to install new technology or find that you're not allowed to take an emissions test, consider buying a new car.

Although you do everything to make your car last longer, there comes a time when you have to choose between holding on to a vehicle that requires constant repairs and experiences breakdowns or buying a new







Stop Worrying About Your Bills: A Collection of Tips for Financial Wellness

 Bills can be a stressful part of life. Whether you have to worry about paying for your student loans, credit card bills, or utility bills, they all seem to pile up and become overwhelming at times. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make this process easier for yourself. This blog post will discuss tips for financial wellness that will help you stop worrying about your bills.

Image Credit

Do Not Accrue Bills

Accrued interest can add up quickly and make it difficult for you to pay back your balance on time or at all. It also adds significant stress when trying to budget your money effectively. In other words, the accrued interest will lead you into a cycle that's hard to get out of if left unchecked.

When you have unpaid bills, your financial worries will grow exponentially and may even lead to anxiety. The best way to avoid this is by not accruing any more debt in the first place. 

When calculating a budget for yourself, make sure that you include any debts or payments coming up soon so that you can cover them right away instead of ignoring them until they become an emergency. An excellent way to go about this is to have a Prepaid Bill, so you don’t get tempted to accrue debts; you’ll only spend what you have, limiting your overall expenses.

Automate Your Payment Method

If you constantly forget to make payments or just don't have the cash on hand to pay a given bill when it comes in, then consider automating your payment. 

Many companies offer this service for free, and some even give discounts if you sign up for auto-pay with them. The best way is to email customer service asking about their options and which would be best suited for your needs. 

Auto-pay is a great way to stop worrying about bills by eliminating the need to process your payments manually. 

You can ensure that all of your monthly or yearly expenses are taken care of on time and automatically with just one click! It’s another way to make your money work for you in a convenient way.

Supplement Your Income

If you are struggling to make ends meet, it may be time to supplement your income. Supplementing means earning extra money in addition to what you're already making. This can come from a second job or side hustle, finding someone who will pay for your work (think raking leaves or pet sitting), or with the help of an online service like Upwork.com

The goal here is not necessarily about making more money but rather getting out of debt and into a better financial position over time by having additional revenue. But, of course, if you find that one way isn't working, then try something different! 

Conclusion

In conclusion, your financial wellness is your responsibility. It starts with you and ends with you, so make the best of it.

Remember that anything worth having requires hard work. Your finances are not an exception; they will need a lot of maintenance to be healthy and thriving.