Friday, February 14, 2020

Avoid Family Travel Disasters

Traveling as a family can be a great adventure but it isn’t always easy to manage! When you’re traveling with young kids, there are many disasters that can befall you if you don’t plan properly. If you want to enjoy a stress-free break with your loved ones, take a look at these top tips and stop family travel disasters in their tracks…
Have a backup plan
Whether you’re traveling by air, sea or road; always have a backup plan. If you travel often, things will inevitably go wrong at some point. From missed connections to traffic jams, there is a myriad of ways your plans can be disrupted. By having a backup travel plan in place, you’ll be able to navigate the issue easily and with the minimum of hassle. 
Prevent motion sickness
It’s not unusual for children to experience motion sickness but you can help to minimize their discomfort with some advance planning. If you know your child suffers from motion sickness, you may want to try over the counter or prescription medications. Alternatively, make sure you have some crackers or ginger ale to hand, as these can help stomachs to settle. 
Get enough rest
Long journeys are tiring for anyone, but they can be exhausting when you’re traveling with kids in tow. When routines are disrupted, it can make youngers cranky so try to break up the journey as much as possible. Rosenfeld car accident attorneys see numerous accidents caused by tired drivers, so don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel when you really need some rest. No matter how eager you are to get home, it’s best to get there safely. 
Your luggage gets lost
When you’re separated from your luggage, there’s always a chance it might go astray. Although you can’t eliminate the possibility entirely, you can prepare for it. Try to ensure everyone’s essentials are present in carry-on luggage and keep this with you throughout the journey. Even if your main luggage does get lost, you’ll still have everything you need until you can get it back or buy some emergency replacements. 
You leave things behind
Luggage doesn’t just get lost when you’re traveling by train, plane or bus; it’s easy to lose things or forget them when you’re on the road. Unfortunately, it always seems to be essential items that someone loses track of, like a teenager’s cell phone or a toddler’s favorite stuffed toy. 
To prevent disaster, have a simple checklist you can run through before you leave any attractions, hotels or locations. This will prevent you from having to turn back when you’re almost home to collect whatever is missing! 
Enjoy Traveling with Family
Although traveling with kids can be fraught with drama, it doesn’t have to be. Researching your destination and travel options in advance will give you the opportunity to plan the easiest route and secure the most suitable accommodation. By making the journey fun and keeping youngsters occupied, you can make traveling fun for all the family.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Learning Curve: Making Time To Study As A Busy Parent

We can all feel that temptation to go back to school later in life. When our children have become more self-sufficient or we are trying to find a little bit more meaning to life going back to education can mean that we could find a whole new job or even get our first job for many, many years! But with going back to the fore we must become very aware of the learning curve. It's not as straightforward as sliding back into your old mindset. And what's more, studying can be incredibly difficult! So with this in mind what can you do to make sure that you find the time to study but also get the most of your education?

Looking At How You Study
The great thing now is that there are so many different courses you can do online you don't need to set foot into a class! There are various accredited online MBA schools that you can attend without needing to leave your home! Online learning is one of the best ways to make the most of your busy life. Studying online gives you such freedom without attending typical classes giving you the freedom to structure your life the way you want.

Coping With The Demands Of Parenthood
Studying for a course can be incredibly demanding. If you find that it impacts your life or there's not enough time to put the necessary hours in, it's now your chance to structure it accordingly. Creating a study plan gives you a foundation to hang everything upon. Once you are into the swing of things you can structure your week accordingly. Once you learn to balance parenthood and studying efficiently you will be able to make the most of any downtime. But you have to remember that you shouldn't compromise the happiness of your children. This is why it's so important to structure your week. You know when the children go to school and when there's natural downtime in the evenings. It could benefit you to break up the task into chunks. Once you understand how many hours you need to dedicate per week you can then divide this by the number of evenings you have free. So for example, if you have 2 hours of studying to do per week and only 5 days to do it in, this equates to 24 minutes every evening.

Figuring Out Different Ways Of Learning
As we start to get into the swing of studying and attending courses we've got to remember that there can be things that get in the way. As such, we have got to figure out working smarter rather than working harder. Sometimes that idea of studying can be such a behemoth that it overwhelms us. But perhaps you're not learning in a style that suits you? Figuring out your learning style is crucial early on. Because if you are an auditory learner rather than a visual this can help you to craft study materials for your needs.

As busy parents, we can struggle with all of the pressures upon us. Studying certainly adds to it but there are ways for you to make the most of this learning curve.

Brussels Town Hall

⬅️⬅️⬅️ This magnificent 400+ years gothic edifice is hard not to notice when you get to Brussels main square.

As you can see, almost every surface is heavily ornate and intricately decorated. What an artwork! My daughter and I got the opportunity to get inside and were mesmerized by the grandiosity of it.

Brussels Town Hall is one of Belgium's finest civic buildings. Not only because of the numerous sculptures adorning its walls, but also because of its perfect proportions and the incomparable beauty of its tower, the spire of which is topped by the archangel Saint-Michael. Brussels laid the foundation stone of the magnificent Gothic edifice in the spring of 1402.

The facade is decorated with numerous statues representing nobles, saints, and allegorical figures. The present sculptures are reproductions; the older ones are in the city museum in the King's House across the Grand Place.

In 1695, when the city was bombarded by Marshal de Villeroy, the Town Hall was destroyed by fire. Its reception rooms and aldermen's offices contain fine Brussels tapestries from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, sumptuous Gothic wooden panelling,the insignia of ancient guilds and paintings from the collections at the Town Hall Museum. -

According to wikipedia:
The Town Hall is asymmetrical, since the tower is not exactly in the middle of the building and the left part and the right part are not identical (although they seem at first sight). An old legend known to the people of Brussels tells that the architect who designed the building committed suicide by jumping from the top of the belfry after realising his "mistake". In fact, the two parts were not built together.

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Removing Some Of The Drudgery From Your Work

We all know that to some degree, any task has a certain amount of drudgery to it. It’s just part of applying ourselves in that direction, in developing a skill, or in making sure everything is performed correctly. For instance, while we could throw our laundry into the washing machine without much care, we need to prepare the laundry first. We need to ensure we haven’t left tissues or other debris in our pockets. We need to separate the colours. We also need to check for damage or thick dirt to apply a more cohesive cleaning solution.

This ethos can also carry over to how we manage our lives each day. When running a humble home business or sole trading outfit, time is money, perhaps even more so than the leeway granted by huge corporations with money to burn. This means that to the extent you can, removing some of the mental and time-consuming drudgery from your work can be nothing if not a smart and reasoned method of improving your approach. With this in mind, we would love to recommend some of the following advice:

Automate Documents
Document automation software is proving to be one of the best time-saving allowances any firm can reliably apply to their overarching working software potential. It grants you the chance to secure and access essential document templates and other important files within your firm, on a need-to-see and download basis, giving you the chance to keep the structural integrity of your paperwork well cared for. This automated process can not only help you save the drudgery of continual document creation, but it also protects said documents as a vital form of asset management within your business.

One Sustained Profile
Giving each staff member one sustained profile to deal with can be a thoroughly important approach to take, and for the most part will help centralize their work completely. As a super admin of your software suite, it can also be important to curate yourself one of these excellent profiles, as it gives you the chance to correctly interface with your team, communicate in conference calls through your manage IT suite, and apply yourself to working accountability through tracked actions such as the rest of them. This can be helpful for a variety of quite obvious reasons.

Instant Messaging Options
Instant messaging options are also very important to get right, and will almost always help teams avoid wasting time constructing length emails when a few quick questions and answers can do the trick. For instance, G Suite offers the Hangouts app, which allows teams to communicate, collaborate and send links to quick Drive files. We would also recommend looking into additional team-based messaging apps such as Signal or Slack, as they have become all the rage for encrypted team communication on the perennial smartphone team usage.

With this in mind, you’re sure to reduce some of the drudgeries from your work. We only hope it helps.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Should I Buy New Or Old?

Owning a new home is a big deal and whether you want a new property that’s just been built, or you want to buy an older one yourself, you have a lot to think about. Everyone imagines their dream home, but they don’t think about what it would be like to build their own from scratch - it’s not easy! However, there’s something so elite about knowing you chose a brand new house over an older one - no one has ever lived in it before you!

It ultimately comes down to your decision, but there are still advantages and disadvantages to consider. Let’s take a look at those more closely!
Black Handled Key on Key Hole


There are plenty of benefits to buying a new home from a house builder, and we’ve put them together for you below:

- When you buy from a house builder as a brand new property, you don’t have to worry about chains. No one’s going to give you issues selling your current home. 

- Buying a new home comes with incentives! You can buy a brand new home for a lot cheaper than an older home and - depending on where you are in the world - you may find that there is help onto the property ladder.

- A new home may come with a warranty, and this is often free to you as the home buyer.
You have an entirely blank canvas on which to start again! It’s your house, and no one has lived there before.

- New homes have very high energy efficiency standards, with excellent insulation compared to older homes.


From asking yourself “do I really need a building permit” to knowing whether you are using a builder that you can trust, you need to think about the disadvantages as much as the advantages. Below, you’ll find some of the most common disadvantages of buying new:

- Often, the mortgage with a new house can be delayed. The hold up isn't something you want to deal with, but it does happen in the course of waiting for a mortgage to come through.

- New build homes often lack the same amount of character than the old builds. New builds tend to look very samey no matter where you live, and no one wants a house that looks like all the others.

- There is usually much less space with new build houses as they’re always squashed together in a smaller space.

- New homes require snagging checks, and these are there to check for any problems or defects that come with the build. Snagging before you move in will save you money over time and avoid a lot of issues that can come with the build itself. Most of the time, the faults and defects are small and easily fixed! 

- A new home comes with a service charge, which depends on the location of the house that’s been built. The chance of it being higher than you expect is likely, and you must know what this is before you go in with the new build.

Sometimes, building an older home is the better option - which will you choose?

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Cost Cutting Hacks Every Family Needs To Know

Family life can be extremely expensive, and even if you have a good household income, it’s not always easy to make ends meet. Raising a family comes with a lot of high costs, from feeding and clothing your little ones to managing the household bills and paying for family days out or vacations. Okay, so technically, family days out and vacations aren’t a necessity, but that doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice them - quality family time is extremely important. 
Image result for family shopping"
The issue is that when funds are running low, something has to be sacrificed to ensure that you are able to make ends meet - or does it? If you are smart about how you spend, then you will find that getting by as a family becomes far easier and less stressful, with little having to be sacrificed. The fact is that to keep your finances in check when bringing up a family, you need to take both budgeting and smart spending seriously. 

Wondering what steps you would need to take to do that? Have a read of the cost cutting hacks below to learn more! 

Take advantage of budgeting apps 

Budgeting effectively is not always an easy task; it’s a habit that it can take a while to get used to. Often, it’s unexpected costs that cause problems when you’re trying to budget, such as the need to buy an extra packet of baby wipes, for instance. 

The important thing, though, is not to let a few small additional purchases impact your budget in a negative way - aim to stay on track with following your budget as closely as possible regardless of the unexpected costs that crop up. To make managing your budget easier, why not use a budgeting app? There is a wide range of different options to choose from, with each app boasting a unique range of features. Take the time to test and try out the different budgeting apps available and select the one that seems like the best fit for yours’ and your family’s budgeting needs. 

Utilize deals and discounts 

When it comes to cutting costs, one of the best things that you can do is opt to utilize deals and discounts. The fact is that family life doesn’t come cheap, but by taking advantage of deals when they’re on, and discounts that you can find online or in magazines from coupons, you can help to reduce your family’s overall monthly living cost. The good news is that there are deals for almost every store, from discount apps to coupon codes, such as Kohls coupons, for instance. By taking advantage of the deals available to you, whether it’s shopping with Kohls coupons or taking advantage of in-store deals at stores like Target, you can significantly reduce your family’s living costs. 

Don’t be afraid to buy pre-loved products

There is no shame in purchasing pre-loved items for you and your family; if by doing so you can make family life more affordable, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice to make. Whether your children need new bedroom furniture, you need new shoes, or you need a new appliance for the kitchen, it’s always worth looking at the second-hand options available, as often they come at a fraction of the cost of buying the item new. 

There you have it, a number of useful cost cutting hacks that should help to make family life more affordable. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Branson

An Ozark town in Southwest Missouri known as a family vacation destination, Branson is proud to call itself the live entertainment capital of the world. This unique city has a lot of fun things to offer for all age groups.

My family and I decided to spend our Christmas holiday in Branson, and we had a great time! It was quite a long drive from Texas but it was a fun road trip. Even our 2-year old enjoyed the whole adventure and she didn't complain one bit!

In my opinion, one week in Branson is sure not enough to explore the entire city, but we were able to do and see some of the major attractions that the city has to offer. One of the highlights of our trip is going to the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center.
Easily recognizable as one of the most unique buildings in the area, the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Branson is home to a one-of-a-kind facade that marks you arrival at one of the most fun activities in town. Yes, it's the building on Highway 76 being climbed by a giant Great Ape!
Replicating the look of New York City’s skyline, King Kong sits atop one of the tallest skyscrapers – towering over the guests as they enter the museum. Sitting beside the skyline is a fun interpretation of Mt. Rushmore – only this one features some of Hollywood’s most beloved stars and includes: Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, and Elvis Presley.
If you want to get up close and personal with your favorite stars and pose for fun pics with them, the Hollywood Wax Museum is definitely the place for you. While there, you'll also get the scoop on their pets, pet peeves, and accomplishments.
From Hollywood movies to TV shows and cultural icons – the wax museum gives you a chance to experience a one-of-a-kind attraction that is unlike anything you have ever seen. There was a good variety of celebrities  and props you could take pictures with.
After seeing stars, you can head next door to become a star at Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf. While putting through palm trees and paparazzi, you'll take the 18 steps to becoming one of Hollywood's elite.
The miniature golf course is perfect at night! But no running waters during winter time but it was OK.
The Castle of Chaos 5D theater-experience is like nothing else. Everything is “in your face” making you giggle or screech or flinch, all while using your laser blaster to shoot for the highest score. My oldest daughter went in twice using my ticket, and that was her favorite experience.
Finally, you'll score big if you're The Chosen One at Hannah's Maze of Mirrors, where Princess Hannah of Savannah is awaiting rescue.
You'll need to find your way through 288 potential turns among hundreds of mirrored walls and archways and some areas where you see infinite reflections in every direction.

Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Branson is a unique experience that the whole family can enjoy. My family and I had a great experience and liked the fact that it's a self guided tour and has easy access to elevator. If you happen to visit Branson, don't miss the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center and I suggest to make sure to buy the "All Access Pass" ticket.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets through a partnership with Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Bransonand and in exchange for my honest review.