Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Is Your Home Ready For The Worst The Weather Can Bring?

With the weather, you have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Depending on where you live, you could be at risk of having to deal with a wide range of different weather issues that will impact your property. This could include heavy rainfall and even flooding, strong winds and hurricanes or snow. Bad weather can cause everything from damp to power outages and much more so you need to be prepared. But is your home ready for the worst the weather can bring? Here are a few steps you should take to ensure that you and your home is fully prepared with all the right solutions in place.

Check The Roof

You should be getting your roof checked and inspected about once or even twice a year. The benefit of doing this is that you will be able to find out whether your roof has fallen into a state of disrepair? Perhaps the last storm that blew through left you with a hole in the roof. A professional contractor will be able to fix this in no time before the issue gets any worse. You will often need an inspection to find and fix this issue because we don’t spend much time staring up at the roof of our property.

The problem with a hole in the roof is that it can quickly lead to other issues. Bad weather can cause the rainwater or snow to come through and eventually lead to damp. Once the issue with damp becomes severe enough it could bring everything from mould to a full insect infestation. While this might sound extreme the situation can get out of hand rather quickly. So, you do need to be prepared.

Add Some Extra Insulation

You might also want to consider the insulation that your property provides. This is particularly important through the winter months of the year when you want to keep your home as warm as possible. The problem is that if the insulation levels are poor, cold air is going to flow into the home and warm air is going to flow out. It’s enough to mean that you’ll have to fix the thermostat at boiling point to even barely keep the property warm.

There are a few ways to fix insulation issues. First, you can run a test of your property. A contractor can check for any causes of drafts and air entering your home such as cracks in the walls. These can then be filled and sealed effectively solving the issue.

You could also think about your windows. Feel the air around your window. If you notice a breeze against your fingers, there’s a good chance that you need to consider a replacement. You can consider triple glazing however do be aware that this is quite expensive. A cheaper option would be to invest in thicker curtains. When closed, you might be rather astounded by the impact that this can have, particularly if you have been relying on lighter drapes.

Backup Power

Wind, snow and even heavy rain can all impact power lines to your property. As such, it is worth thinking about what happens in this type of situation. Obviously, the power will go out but will you be left in the dark? Many people think that there is no other option than to simply wait for the power to come back on in this situation.

However, that is certainly not the case. Instead, it’s quite possible that you will be able to keep the lights on. One option would be to invest in a backup power supply for your home and a great example of this would be solar power. By investing in a solar battery storage & backup, you will be able to make sure that when the rest of the street is dark, everything in your home continues to function effectively. There is usually a focus on ensuring critical systems in your home have power including the fridge and freezer. This is possible because whenever the sun is shining, the battery will be storing energy for use in an emergency.

Back To The Victorian Age
If you don’t have any type of backup power system in place, it’s a smart idea to be stocked up on some old fashioned devices. Everything from lanterns to candles can be quite useful here. Although, if you want to avoid to fire danger, it’s probably best to just have a few torches around the home. If the power goes out, you’ll be able to quickly bring these out and ensure that no one gets lost in the dark.

Fun And Games

If you have children in the house, then you do need to think about keeping everyone entertained. During bad weather, it can actually be quite terrifying for children particularly if there is thunder or lightning outside. As such, it’s important to keep them entertained. You can do this by choosing some great board games and bringing them down out of the attic.

Make sure that these are in a place that is easily accessible when the power is out. It’s important that you don’t have to climb up any ladders or try and access any hard to reach areas in your home.

A Quick Chat

Finally, you should also make sure that you speak to your insurance provider. It’s a good idea to have a clear concept of what your insurance does and doesn’t cover. By doing this, you can make sure that there are no nasty surprises if you do need to make a claim after a storm. You might be surprised to learn that insurance coverage isn’t always as comprehensive as buyers assume and there are a lot of exceptions.

We hope you find this information helpful when exploring whether your home is ready for a period of bad weather. It’s crucial that you are prepared for these types of circumstances with everything from backup power sources to entertainment. Otherwise, even a slight spout of bad weather can be nothing short of a nightmare.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Top Tips for the Perfect Family Vacation in Santorini

Santorini is one of the growing hotspots for vacations for all. This once-sleepy island is home to stunning white buildings and plenty to see and do. While very popular for couples, Santorini also has plenty to offer families. Let’s take a look at what you should know if you want to plan a holiday here with your family and you can enjoy the perfect trip.
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Book Early
Since this island is so popular, you will want to book your accommodation as soon as possible to find something with everything you need. There are plenty of villas in Santorini which are fitted out for families. No matter where you want to stay or how many bedrooms you might need, there is always something to find.

If you want to find the perfect place as soon as possible, look over these villas in Santorini. There might be the ideal place for your family here.  When you book well in advance, it also gives you the best opportunity of getting a good deal too.  

Find a Place with a Pool
Chances are you will be headed to Santorini in the high season. That means it is going to be hot, probably much hotter than it will be at home, and you need to make sure that you always have a way of cooling off you and your kids. Whether it is attached to your villa or public at a hotel, having a pool nearby is a fantastic amenity.

You might not always be able to head down to the beach for a swim, especially if the sea is a little rough, but there is never anything stopping you from taking a dive into a pool if one is nearby.

Make sure it has some child safety precautions like an alarm if it is on private property. You might want to also set out some ground rules with your children, such as not going in the pool if there is not an adult around to supervise.  One of the great things about Santorini is that they have lots of accommodation where they have infinity pools which are stunning and can be a great addition to your holiday, that your kids will love.  

Luckily there is an airport on Santorini itself so you will hopefully be able to fly there from your nearest major airport. However, if you have to travel any sort of distance or if you have to make airport changes along the way, you should make sure that your children know how to behave properly in the airport. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there to keep your children safe in the hustle and bustle of an airport. One of the good basic ones is to buddy them up with other children in your travel party. You should also make sure that they each know where they are going, in terms of gate number. This can help them navigate to you successfully should you become separated.

Once you get there, it will also be really helpful to have the transfers in place.  The last thing you want to do is have the kids waiting in the heat dying to get to their destination.  To ensure there is availability – book these well in advance.

If Santorini is but one stop on your trip, you may be using the Greek ferries to get around. Sit down with your children and have a chat with them beforehand to explain what travelling on the ferry is likely to be like. Let them know that the sea might be rough, causing them to not feel well, and that the journey is likely to take several hours. The more prepared they are, the more you can relax knowing that a meltdown is unlikely.

Find Kid Friendly Things to Do
Visiting Santorini with just adults might seem easier simply because you don’t have to hunt out any activities which will interest the whole family. What interests your kids? If they like geography, you could look up some fun facts about volcanoes and have discussions about how the islands themselves were formed. If they prefer history, well you are in no better place! Every Greek island has its own unique history and its own culture. You should have no problem finding plenty of historical facts and things to do which will delight your budding historians.
Balance each day of activities with a day to rest and unwind. Whether you head to the beach or just spend the day lounging around the villa, it is good to get in a little bit of relaxation while you can. For something fun and a little different, head to the water park in Perissa. It is smaller than some you might have visited before, but it still offers the chance for fun and making memories.

Eat Well
In Santorini – you can enjoy foods that you couldn’t elsewhere due to the island being situated near the volcano.  This gives you a great opportunity to expand the horizons of your children and get them to taste new foods. It’s good to get them to try new things and experiences. Don’t worry – the wine is also fantastic for the adults if you feel like a tipple during dinner.

As you can see, Santorini is not as adults-only as you might have thought in spite of its reputation. While there are plenty of other islands you could head to with your family, Santorini still offers some amazing opportunities for those looking for a brilliant holiday. Plan well, remember to relax, and you are set for a brilliant holiday in the sun. With a little careful foresight, you will be able to craft a holiday which everyone in your family is bound to remember for a very long time. Start looking into how to make your Santorini dreams come true now.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How To Plan A Stress-Free Family Vacation To Montreal

Everyone loves to go on a family vacation with their partner, their kids and possibly even their parents. However, family vacations can be extremely stressful, and kids don’t always take very well to travelling long distances. No one wants to have to deal with crying or loud kids on the plane but sometimes it is unavoidable.
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One of the best family holiday destinations that you can go to this year is Montreal in Canada. This destination has plenty for your kids to do and plenty for the adults at the same time. Here, we are going to give you some top tips on how you can plan a stress-free family vacation to Montreal. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more about how you can have a great trip.
Set A Budget
Our first tip for those who want to plan a stress-free family vacation to Montreal is to set a clear budget before you even begin planning. You need to know how much you have to spend on this vacation before you start booking flights or accommodation for your stay in Montreal. Setting a budget is really easy and there is plenty of guidance online on how you can do this for a holiday.
We suggest that you spend some time doing research on Montreal and the cost of living there. You will need to know how much you will need to pay for food, drinks and activities to create a clear budget. Once you have set up your budget, you can start saving and looking at booking your trip to Montreal. If you stay on budget, then your trip will be much less stressful.
Choose A Good Airline
Flying with kids can be very stressful and no one wants to have to deal with a long-haul flight with children who haven’t had much sleep. This is why our tip for those who are planning on booking flights to Montreal is to choose a good airline to fly with. Some airlines cater to children and will offer in-flight entertainment to keep them occupied throughout the journey. This will reduce your stress and make them enjoy the journey more.
Choosing a good airline for your trip can also reduce your stress a little more in general as you can trust that things are going to go smoothly. With a good airline, you can be sure that your flight will be on time and that you get seats together on the plane. You can find details on flights to Montreal here so make sure to have a look for your next family vacation.
Book An Apartment
Montreal is full of amazing hotels that come with facilities for kids, but this is not always the best option if you want a stress-free trip. A hotel will have a set menu and if your kids aren’t interested in the food then you are going to need to go elsewhere and pay extra causing more stress. On top of this, you might not be able to get a room together in the hotel which means that your family will be split up.
For this reason, we suggest that you book an apartment for your family vacation to Montreal. There are many companies like Airbnb that allow you to rent an apartment or even a whole home for your stay and it won’t cost you too much when you compare it to the cost of a hotel. This way, you can cook your own meals or go out and not have to worry about wasting money on the hotel restaurant food that your kids don’t enjoy. Make sure to have a look around what is on offer in this area as you might find something perfect for your family.
Book Tickets In Advance
When you visit Montreal on your family vacation, you will want to visit the famous attractions that others do every single year. This includes everything from Mont-Royal to Notre-Dame Basilica to the Fine Arts Museum. Of course, not all of these attractions will be free and so you’ll need to queue to get some tickets for your entire family. This can be incredibly stressful and if you have some younger children with you, they are likely to become agitated.
For this reason, we suggest that you book any sort of tickets that you can online before you go. This way, you can save yourself time and reduce your stress levels once you get there. On top of this, you might even save yourself some cash if you book online before you go, and you’ll be able to budget your trip a lot more successfully.
Try Some Activities For Your Kids
Many parents who visit Montreal will want to see the world famous museums and attractions, but this is not always entertaining for kids who have come along for the vacation. This can add some extra stress to your trip as your kids could become bored more easily. For this reason, we suggest that you include some activities that are designed for kids into your itinerary.
Some of the best activities for kids in Montreal include the theatre for kids at the Centaur, the Biosphere and exploring Mount Royal. Some of the best activities for kids might even be free so make sure to do your research and find something that your kids will enjoy.
Our final tip for those who are planning a family vacation to Montreal this year is to remember to relax. Vacations are supposed to be a fun thing for the whole family to enjoy but if you are constantly worrying about your children or money then you are not going to have much fun. There are many ways to relax while still being responsible on your trip. Try to give your kids some space to explore if they are old enough and you can use this time to explore yourself.
If you think that you are going to be stressed out about the cost of the trip, then just remember that you have set a budget. It can be hard to relax when you are just constantly spending money on food and drink when you are on vacation but if you have a budget then you should be able to trust that you aren’t going overboard and that you will have a great trip. Make sure to relax and you will find that your trip is much better than it would be otherwise.
Final Verdict
Family vacations can be a great way of bringing your family together to have some fun together and explore new places. We think that Montreal is the perfect location for this and that you will have a great time if you visit this amazing place this year.
If you are going to visit Montreal this year, we suggest that you take on board the tips that we have given you in order to have a stress-free trip. Once you plan your budget and plan your trip with your kids in mind, you should be able to relax a little more and have fun. Try out our advice and you’ll have a great tip away in Montreal this year.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Johnsonville’s Commitment to Giving Back to Those Who Serve

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.

San Antonio city also known as Military City, USA is one of the nation's largest active and retired military populations. My family and I are comfortably living here for 9 years, and it's amazing to be surrounded by military people wherever you go around San Antonio.

I was once an active military spouse, and I am sure a lot military spouses can relate to me that being part of a military family can be both incredibly rewarding and challenging sometimes. I honestly didn't always like being married to a military. I hated being away from my husband and taking care of my daughter by myself. But now when I look back I thought it was a wonderful and the most rewarding experience for my family. I'm glad my husband is retired now after serving over 21 years in the military and is currently working at a company that caters to military members and veterans and their families.
I truly appreciate all the men and women who support our service members. America’s military spouses are the backbone of the families that support our troops. They are the silent heroes who lend their strength to our service members, make sacrifices every day and serve their country just like their loved ones.
My family and I were invited last week to Johnsonville’s Big Taste Grill cookout event at Fort Sam Houston military base to celebrate and show support for those who serve our country at both home and abroad.
Wow, Johnsonville brought its world famous 65-foot Big Taste Grill to San Antonio for a cookout in advance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Mother’s Day weekend!
Johnsonville is a family owned and operated company with strong family values. They are committed to giving back to the community and supporting those who serve. The Big Taste Grill tours the country raising money for local charities and non-profit organizations. I admire how Johnsonville proudly supports service members and their families and threw an event to honor them.
One of the highlights of the event was meeting the "The Admiral"! Johnsonville teamed up with former professional basketball player and Navy veteran, David “The Admiral” Robinson. He is very down to earth and even grilled some brats for everyone!
Johnsonville brats are no doubt the perfect addition to any type of family gathering or cookout. We had a wonderful experience. Thank you Johnsonville for giving back to those who serve. It was a great event!
Follow Jonhsonville on their social media accounts and check out the tour schedule to see if the #BigTasteGrill is coming to a city near you!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Preparing For A House Fire Is Essential

A house fire is something that you truly never want to think about, and we understand that. Thinking that something so dangerous could be in potential contact with your family can be sickening to the stomach - but for that very reason it’s important you take a clear look at this possibility, so you can ensure that any issue is dealt with before that possibility even comes to fruition.

Prevention can not only stop a fire from occurring in the first place, but it can allow you to know what to do, immediately, should one occur in your building. When you have a clear, concise and updated understanding of how to function in a fire and how to detect one, you can dramatically reduce the cost of potential loss of life or injury, and also you may feel more secure with what to do in the aftermath.

For that and more, it’s important to research appropriately, and listen to helpful advice where you can get it. For that and more, we would recommend the following helpful pointers:

Set A Meeting Point & Practice
It’s important to set a meeting point for you to evacuate too should your fire alarm go off. Even in a test, it can be prudent to ensure your family leaves. Having an action plan can also be important. First, you might jump out of bed and check your children’s rooms. Second, you should move to the meeting point. If no one is there, they are likely still inside. This meeting point should be away from your home in case of flames, but near enough for a clear view. The pavement outside your house can be a great choice. Practice the run through of exits and emergency exits if need be. Teach your family to open the windows and learn to close doors on a fire, and also that breaking windows if it cannot open is the last resort, due to how dangerous this can be.

Keep Your Home In Good Condition
It’s often the case that good preparation can make all the difference in a house fire. Ensure that your doors are thick enough to prevent the spread of fire if that comes to pass. Try to get in the habit of closing doors after you, especially at night. Of course always check your smoke alarms regularly, and ensure that emergency measures are cared for. For example, if your elderly relative needs to use the stair lift often, a wheelchair stair climber could help you bring them down with more speed and care.

Keep The Right Contacts
Knowing how to adequately relay your address quickly to the fire emergency services can help you save precious time and help those services get to you sooner. It could also be that personal injury lawyers can help you better litigate against damages experienced in an apartment or due to shoddy work, or help you settle your insurance claims. Keeping the right contacts ‘just in case’ can help you avoid scrambling for who to contact immediately.

With these tips, preparing for a house fire will be an important need taken care of.

Friday, May 3, 2019

When Should A Child Start Talking?

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As a baby, we all go through the first experiences with the world which we definitely cannot recollect and try to know from somebody else while growing. The speech we now speak so fluently, the controlled body movements, our reaction to situations, etc. All this which is common to us today was a fascination to the people around us when it had started or about to start.

First word

The most fascinating of all is when the child learns the speech. It is exciting to know the first words of a child. According to the survey, the most common first word a child usually utters is either 'Mumma' or 'dadda'. Before the baby learns to talk he spends a lot of time to observe the speech and way to communicate of the people around. The baby usually starts talking, by talking I mean using proper words, between 18 months to 2 years of age. Since the first two years of the child is where he learns a lot and has a lot of firsts.

Signs of learning to communicate
- The first sign that indicates a baby trying to learn how to talk is:
- Starts to use his tongue
- Purse his lips or open-close in a movement to grasp a word
- Explore his palate
- Using the growing teeth to make sounds.

The surroundings including the people around the baby have a lot to do for his basic development. The baby tries to catch the constant words spoken around him. With age, the baby's brain develops and with it the behavioral pattern, habits are inculcated in them. Once the brain starts to coordinate with what the baby feels is the time when the baby starts to express his feelings in one or two words.

What leads to a proper word from the baby’s mouth?

It is actually a better practice to constantly feed words into baby's mouth regarding different feels. The baby first tries to catch the sound of it and then later in the development stage it learns to enunciate in a manner that is right. When the child reaches the age of two is when he or she can form complete short sentences using 3- 4 words at max. Although, it is a debatable topic to understand the initiation of the kid learning the language it is usually sought after in stages.

Initiation of picking up sound/language

Inside the womb
It is said when the baby is inside the mother's womb since then the baby starts to pick sounds, it usually is capable to pick up the steady heartbeat and just like that it is able to differentiate the mother's tone from the others. The first form of communication from the baby's end after coming out to the real world is his cry.

First forms of communication

The baby tries to communicate with his expressions before words pave their way in. So, crying is the first form of expression whereas what follows is giggling, smiling, sighing etc. The baby's mode of communication can also start from a vague language which we like to call the baby's language.

Parents play a key role to keep a tab on the baby
It is important for parents to keep a tab on the baby developing his communication. Most of the babies should grab the words and start speaking from the 2nd year at the max. Although, there is a case of late talkers which happen due to different reasons. As a parent or guardian, you should constantly try to converse with the child in one language that you would want it to be his first language. Constant pushing of words towards the baby will help him get familiar to it faster until the time comes when he fluently picks them up.

Although, it is also found that one in 6 babies face problems picking how to talk, while the boy's percentage in this is more than the girls. In cases, where you observe a child slow at picking up how to talk, you should get him to a specialist who can help the baby out with it. Such specialist exists and they are trained to work with these kids.

It is better to research the child's growth pattern with its age so that you can keep a tab on the baby. The growing years of a baby are very crucial and thus one should be totally involved to ensure proper growth and development of baby.