Wednesday, December 13, 2017

3 Activities That Will Help You Bond With Your Family

If your family life is going to run smoothly, it is vital that you find the time to bond with one another. You should always be on the lookout for new ways to learn about your loved ones. You should also be challenging yourself to find more effective ways to communicate with your brood. When it comes to raising a family, it is important that you put the work in. If you are determined to transform your family into a tight-knit unit, you will need to read on. Below are three activities that will help you to bond with your family.  
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A trip down memory lane
Every month, you and your family should take a trip down memory lane. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to share in the good times. You could create a slideshow of all your favorite images or set up a projector for your old home videos. Then, you could take it in turns to share one of your favorite memories. You could even have a show and tell section, where everybody has the chance to share a memento from years gone by. If you decide to go ahead with this idea, it is important that you make it an enjoyable evening for everyone involved. You should hand out blankets, purchase plenty of snacks, and rearrange your living space so that everyone has a comfy seat. You could even look into retro popcorn makers, and treat your family to something really special.
Exercise together
If you would like your family to lead a healthier lifestyle, why not start exercising as a group? This is a brilliant way for you to get fit, while spending time together. You could work with your loved ones to create an exercise plan that you are all willing to stick to. If you are a competitive bunch, you could work against each other to win a special prize. Or, if you would prefer to work as a team, you could plan a fun day out every time you reach a collective goal. Whatever you decide, just make sure that you don’t leave anyone out. Your exercise regime should suit the needs of your entire family. Don’t just stick to one activity, make sure that you mix it up and listen to everyone’s suggestions.
Charity work
When you are raising a young family, it is vital that you teach your children to think of other people. Working together to do charity work, could be an excellent way for you to get that message across. You could volunteer at your local soup kitchen, sign up for a charity run, or help out at a thrift store. Another option would be to hold your own yard sale. You could go through your family home and find any items that you would be happy to pass on. Then, you could donate some of your earnings to a worthy cause. Just make sure that you, and your family, decide on a cause that everyone is passionate about. You need to be working towards the same goals and have the same level of interest.







Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Where Will The New Year Take You? Adventurous Ideas For 2018

Do you love to get out and about with your family? It may be freezing cold and dark outside, but the New Year will be here before we know it, and what better way to banish January blues than planning your next adventure? If you’re starting to think about where to travel next or what kind of trip to take, here are some ideas that may inspire you.

Camping and glamping
If you love the great outdoors and you enjoy spending time with the kids doing activities and exploring, camping is a brilliant idea. Camping isn’t for everyone, but the introduction of plusher, more luxurious options has increased its appeal. If you don’t want to survive on a cold, lumpy floor, you can discover more about airbeds online, or you could even consider upgrading your tent for a log cabin, a chalet, a pod or a vintage caravan. Glamping is all the rage, and there are so many options out there. In terms of destinations, you can camp just about anywhere. Consider how far you want to travel, what you want to do and how much you want to spend. You could book an inexpensive staycation, or you could travel the world. Camping is a great option if you’re visiting the UK, France or Italy and there are also some fantastic campsites available in Australia and New Zealand. Have a look online to get some ideas for destinations, look at different accommodation options if you’re not keen on the traditional tent, and compare prices.


Road trip!
Road trips are part and parcel of family life for many of us. When you go on a road trip, this is a fantastic way to see the world and make memories without blowing the budget. You can travel as far as you like and you can choose locations based on what you want to see and how you want to spend your time. If you’re loading a car up, you’ll need to look at accommodation options. If you’ve got an RV or a camper, this will take care of both transport and lodgings. Road trips in the USA are world-famous, but if you fancy traveling further afield, Iceland, Switzerland and Scotland are fabulous winter options, and Spain and Portugal are perfect for beach-based adventures.


City breaks
You may not assume that city breaks are the most family-friendly vacation option, but they’re actually a wonderful choice for kids. When you’re in a city, there’s loads to see and do and no risk of spending your time off listening to groans of boredom. Visit LA, New York, Boston or Washington if you’re staying at home, or tick off London, Rome, Barcelona or Paris if you fancy a European adventure. You can visit museums, theme parks, theaters and major landmarks. If you’re looking at city breaks, try and plan a rough itinerary before you go and work out how to get around. This will save you time when you arrive.


2017 is drawing to a close and what better way to start 2018 than thinking about where you’re going to travel next? Hopefully, this post has given you some food for thought.






Monday, December 11, 2017

So You've Inherited A Property - Now What?

The death of a loved one can be a very sad and distressing time indeed. It can cause great upheaval in your family life, and you might be left with lots of things to sort out. One thing that the next of kin often have to deal with is an inherited property.

You might think that inheriting a house or apartment is as easy as it passing over to you and changing the name on the deeds. Unfortunately, though, this process isn’t always that simple. There are often things you need to see to in a specific frame of time. Not only that, though, but you need to figure out exactly what you are going to do with your new property.

If you’ve recently come into possession of a new home through inheritance, you should read on. Here’s my complete guide to what happens next!

Joint Inheritance
There are some instances when more than one person inherits the property. This is often the case with siblings. Their parents might leave their family home to all of their children, for instance. In this case, the children will each have an equal stake in the property, unless otherwise stated in the will. This can be difficult, as each child might have different ideas as to what to do with the property. One might want to sell while others might want to use it for themselves. Usually, though, if one individual wants to live in the house while the others are more interested in selling, then it is possible to buy out the other parties who have inherited a stake in the property. So, if you inherit a house with your siblings and you are the only one interested in it, you will need to pay each other sibling however much their stake is worth. That way, you can buy them out and claim complete ownership of the house.

Pay Inheritance Tax
You also need to remember that there could be an inheritance tax to pay on the property. This can often be quite expensive, especially on large real estate that is worth a lot. However, you should remember that the exact inheritance tax amount will depend on the state in which you live. For instance, if you are in the states of Oregon or Massachusetts, then you won’t pay any inheritance tax unless the property is worth more than $1 million. This is very different to the state of New Jersey, where you can expect to pay taxes on properties worth more than $675,000. Thankfully, though, there often isn’t too much of a rush.

Take Charge Of The Mortgage
The inheritance tax might not be the only financial burden you are faced with when you inherit a house after a relative’s passing. If they had not yet paid off their mortgage, then that will pass onto whoever inherits the property. Unfortunately, this debt isn’t one that dies with the debtor. Sometimes, though, if the deceased has left a considerable amount of savings to the same person who inherits the house, then these are used to pay off the mortgage. If not, then you will have to take charge of the monthly repayments. Of course, if this is a large expense for you, then it could dictate what you do with your new property.

Carry Out Maintenance
If you inherit a property that is in disrepair, you should take care of all the maintenance and repairs as soon as possible. It’s especially important to see to all the maintenance if you are going to leave the property empty for a while to get things sorted. An empty house or apartment can quickly become quite shabby when it doesn’t get the upkeep it needs. You will also find that an empty house is constantly cold, which can increase the risk of it developing rising damp. So, if you know that your inherited property is prone to damp and mold, then take the steps needed to prevent it developing while you aren’t living in the home. You should also contact maplewoodplumbing.com/ so that they can protect the house’s pipes. This is really important if the home will be empty during cold weather, as pipes have a tendency to freeze and burst in freezing temperatures. Carrying out important maintenance can also help to get the property in order for the next step!

Sell, Rent, Or Move In?
Next, you need to figure out what you are going to do with the property. You have three options: sell it, rent it out, move in. Not sure which one is the best for you? Here are the pros and cons of each option.

Pros of selling
  • You get an instant lump sum of cash that you can use however you want.
  • You can quickly get rid of the property, which you might want to do if you already have a second home and can’t be bothered managing a second property.

Cons of selling
  • You might need to spend quite a bit of time doing up the house so you can increase its value and get as much money for it as possible.
  • If this was your family home, there might be quite a bit of sentimental value to the property and parting with it could prove to be upsetting.
  • This can end up being quite expensive as you will need to pay real estate agent fees and other legal costs associated with selling a property.

Pros of renting
  • You will get a regular monthly income.
  • This can easily be turned into a business.
  • You can choose whether you take on long-term or short-term tenants, so you can rent in a way that suits you.
  • You can sell the property at a later date if you get sick of renting or it doesn’t work out for another reason.
  • You can always hire a housing agency, such as vacationrentalagent.com/ to take care of your rental property for you. They will find tenants and see to all their maintenance and repairs.

Cons of renting
  • You will become a landlord and will still be responsible for household maintenance even if you aren’t living in the property.
  • You might end up with some bad tenants. For instance, they might always pay their rent late or they might completely trash the property. Unfortunately, because of many renters’ rights, it can be quite difficult evicting nightmare tenants.
  • You might find it difficult to find any tenants and your house could be left empty for a few months, during which time it won’t be making you any money.
  • Hiring a housing agency to look after your rental property can turn out very expensive indeed and you might not make a big profit from your rental income.


Pros of moving in
  • You get to keep your childhood home in your family.
  • If you have been renting, you can now move into your very own place. Hopefully, mortgage free!
  • If the property is bigger than where you are living now, you can upsize without paying for a larger house

Cons of moving in
  • Your childhood home might not be filled with just happy memories - you might be reminded of some upsetting times from your childhood once you move in.
  • If the house is particularly old, it might require a lot of maintenance work and decorating.
  • You might need to argue your right to move into the home if you inherit it alongside your siblings.


Inheriting A House With Tenants
If the deceased was renting out their house to some tenants at the time of their death, then there is a good chance that these tenants will still be in the home. If you had already decided to rent out the property, then this shouldn’t be a big deal. You will just become their new landlord. However, if you were hoping to sell the house or move in yourself, then you might have a bit of a fight on your hands. If you want the tenants to go, then you will need to double check their tenancy agreement. There will be a specific notice period that you will need to give them to allow them chance to find a new place. This can be anywhere between one and six months. However, you also need a very good reason why you need them to move out. Thankfully, the landlord moving in is often good enough. Don’t forget, though, you might be able to sell the property to a new landlord with the tenants remaining in it. This could be beneficial to both you and the current tenants.

More often than not, the majority of people will be aware if someone has left them a property in a will before the day of the will reading. If you don’t know that you are named in a will, then finding out you are now the owner of a property is often a nice surprise! But remember that it comes with all the above responsibilities and some tough decisions that you need to make!






Another Way To Invest

Every parent knows that saving for their children’s future is essential. It’s why we open bank accounts the moment they’re born, and hoard money there until they come of age. In fact, this is the only real way we can be sure to afford their college funds and such when the time comes. Not to mention that it ensures they can get the best start in life.

But, we’re not here to tell you about those traditional options. There is a myriad of articles online which speak about those possibilities. While worth a read, most of us already know the content. Instead, we’re going to look at some savings options which are spoken about less. While not traditional or often used, these ways of saving may serve better. Instead of just saving money and hoping to make some interest, these options stand to see your money grow.

Buy stocks and shares in their name
When it comes to investing, stocks and shares need to get a mention. While these seem like a different language to most of us, they’re not as difficult to get your head around as you might think. Not to mention that there’s a lot of help out there should you need it, including the information from companies like Investormint. So, if you want to give this a go, there’s no reason you can’t make it work. Of course, there are always horror stories about people who have lost significant money this way. To make sure that doesn’t happen, keep your head about you when buying stocks. This isn’t about making a fortune, but merely increasing your money over an extended period. Slow and steady investments would suit best. And, make sure to keep an eye on the market so that you can pull your money if things start looking dicey.

Get an investment property
Property is a fantastic way to invest in your child’s future. As well as having the house itself to pass on, becoming a landlord enables you to save all that rent, too. If you leave your rental with care of an estate agent, you don’t even have to take an active role in this investment. Sure, you’ll need to pay a fee for the service. But, this means tenants never actually know who you are or contact you directly. Plus, with an option like this, you know that your money can only increase.

Start a business
Okay, so this one isn’t for the faint of heart. But, most of us have dreams of starting a business at some point. Why not do it now so that you can pass the enterprise down to your child later on? Of course, this is the riskiest option of all, with real potential for losing you everything if you aren’t careful. That said, you stand to make more money here than through any of the other options mentioned. Plus, you’ll then have a legacy to pass down, too. In many ways, that’s more valuable than money!






Sunday, December 10, 2017

Secret Info on How to Choose the Best Mattress for Back Pain

Did you know that you spend one third of your life sleeping? It means that you have slept for approximately 25 years when you reach the age of 75. These astounding facts serve as reminders of how important a good sleep is.
Unfortunately, a lot of us experience back pain, which, in turn, affects our sleeping habits. For those with chronic back pain, one of the most crucial things to look into is your mattress. So, today, we will be listing some of the most important pointers you need to remember when buying one.
  • Your choice of mattress will be a combination of subjective and objective opinions. The former means that it is important that you take into consideration what feels comfortable to you. It is recommended to check out various brands and types and then compare how you feel lying on them. Ask yourself if you see yourself using it for a long time. As for the latter, it is also essential to get an expert’s opinion. You may want to ask your doctor about your back condition so that you will have a clearer understanding of your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for questions and clarifications.
  • If you are suffering from a stiff lower back or the condition also known as lumbar lordosis, then it is best for you to have a mattress that is not too hard, and yet still gives maximum back support.
  • If you have a flat back, a medium-firm mattress will be beneficial for you. Get one that can support your back well. A very soft mattress will encourage your body to have a more flexed posture, which we do not want to happen.
  • Avoid a very firm mattress as much as possible. Studies have shown that it does not help in alleviating chronic pain. This is related to the fact that it can put additional pressure on your back while asleep, which will result to more aches and pains.
  • The construction and materials used are also very important. For back pain, what you need is a mattress that can give your body the proper alignment without putting pressure and strains. And while innerspring type is probably the most popular, it usually fails to give the proper back support. Aside from putting additional pressure to your hips and shoulders, it can also put your spine at strained angle.
  • Instead of an innerspring mattress, experts prefer the latex and memory foam types. They provide the proper support while distributing your weight evenly.
  • Bear in mind that the cost of mattress is not necessarily indicative of quality. For some, a cheaper one may help them address their back pain while for others; they require a more expensive type. Just like what we have mentioned earlier, preference or your subjective opinion is a big factor on your decision.
  • Be ready to do your research. It is always better to have more information especially when buying something that you intend to use for years to come. You can think of your mattress as an investment. Go over various brands taking note of the product’s features and then come up with a list of your top choices. Aside from reading reviews, you can also ask your friends or relatives who are also dealing with back pain for their recommendations. Again, it is vital to know your options. Know that different brands offer unique number of coils, thickness of padding and even mattress depth. These will all help you with your preference.

In conclusion, there are quite a few things that you need to think about when buying a good mattress for back pain. Ultimately, we cannot say that there is one specific best mattress for back pain. It still comes down to what feels best for an individual. You should choose a mattress that will not only provide you with the support that you want through the night, but also, the standard of comfort that you deserve. Hopefully, the guidelines we have listed above will help you come up with the best purchase. Just remember that when it comes to mattresses, your needs and preference should always be top priorities.







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Friday, December 8, 2017

Tips for Creating Lighting in a Room

With the variety of lighting types offered in its showrooms, Stewart Lighting understands what it takes to pull off proper lighting in a room. Most people are not always aware of what techniques are at work because it is a room feature that most take for granted. Often, a lot of thought has gone into creating the mood and ambiance of a room with lighting. Here are some things to think about when designing the light in your space.
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Functional Lighting
This is the kind of lighting that ensures you can see all of the furniture when it is nighttime and otherwise dark in the room. Most people think of it as functional because it makes the difference between light and darkness. Usually, it is the fixtures and lamps that you would use to generate about 75 percent of the lighting in the room. Sometimes called ambient lighting, this feature may require fixtures hanging from the ceiling or built into ceiling fans. Think of it as the light that you see when you turn on the main light switch.

Task Lighting
No matter how well you have planned your functional lighting, there may always be a need for more small lighting to assist with tasks that you may perform in a room, like reading. In a bathroom, task lighting helps you see the toothpaste while you brush your teeth. In a family den, lamps and task lights help you read a newspaper or see the setting buttons on a remote control. You want this lighting to see as natural and seamless as possible. For example, the lighting should be controllable from where you are sitting and not require you to get up and walk across the room.

Accent Lighting
This kind of lighting is almost unnoticeable unless you are looking up at the ceiling or in the spaces that are more decorative than functional. Accent lights may be shining on the wooden ceiling beams or up from the floor to draw attention to plants. The thing to remember is it enhances the decor and is not necessary to see in the room.

Your choices should always have a mix of all three of these lighting types. Any controls and switches that you want to incorporate should also be part of the lighting plan. It is important to keep even lighting by choosing matching bulb colors. The ambiance you create will be irresistible.






Monday, December 4, 2017

Fight Cold and Flu Season with Pfizer Pediatrics Products

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Tis' the season for sneezing, coughing and fevers. With the holiday planning and the cooler weather on the way, the last thing we want to worry about as a parent is our little one getting sick. That's why it is important to be prepared with the essentials to get our kids feeling better in time for all the upcoming festivities.
Good thing the Pfizer Pediatric Platform team is here to make sure that we are prepared for when sick gets real during cold and flu season with go-to pediatric products: Children's Advil®, Children’s Robitussin® and Children’s Dimetapp®.
As a mom, I always have my medication supplies ready whenever my 6th grader gets sick. I learned my lesson over the years for not being ready when my daughter gets sick, and I have to wake up my husband in the middle of the night to run into the grocery store or pharmacy to pick up some cold and flu medicine. Now I stock up on meds and treatments before the symptoms hit!

Headaches, body pain, fever and the common coughs and colds can be treated immediately with the proper medicine. It is important that we only give safe and effective medicines from a trusted biopharmaceutical and health care product manufacturer such as Pfizer. Pfizer is a global company that continues to provide us with quality medicines and healthcare products that provide treatments and cures as well as promote overall wellness.
To reduce kid’s fever fast and to help ease those aches and pains, there is Children’s Advil®, for kids 2 to 11 years old. It comes in several great-tasting flavors including Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Bubble Gum, Fruit and Dye-free White Grape flavors. For children 6-23 months, there is Infants Advil®, which provides unsurpassed fever relief for infants and toddlers.
For cough and cold relief, Children's Robitussin® DM Day/Night Pack (Children's Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion and Children's Robitussin® Nighttime Cough) has the non-drowsy daytime formula which helps break up chest congestion while the long-lasting nighttime formula relieves coughs and runny noses. They are formulated just for kids and provides the relief that will allow kids to get the rest they need.
Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough tackles the most bothersome stuffy and runny noses while working to relieve cough at the same time. It comes in a great tasting grape flavor that kids will find appealing.
With Pfizer products available at your local grocery store or pharmacy, it’ll be easier and more convenient for you to stock up on these medicines and have them ready if ever your children gets infected with the cold and flu virus.