Thursday, March 22, 2018

Smart Investments for Your Backyard

Having a house with a nice, large backyard can come with a huge range of advantages, and it’s actually the main feature of interest in some people’s search for a new home. And if you happen to live in such a house and are not making proper use of the backyard, you’re wasting a huge opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sociable type or more introverted, anyone can benefit from developing their yard nicely, and all it takes is some initial equipment, possibly a small landscaping rework, and you’re practically all set!
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Outdoor TV Set
It might sound like a crazy idea if you’ve never seen it in action but keeping a TV outdoors can actually work surprisingly well if you are properly prepared for it. Of course, you can’t just stick any old TV set into an outlet, leave it outside and call it a day – you’ll want to take some precautions to ensure that nothing happens to your precious electronics. Some companies produce impressive outdoor TV covers that can keep your set safe in some surprisingly challenging conditions, and while you may still want to pack things up and put everything inside the house when a harsher storm approaches, you should still be able to use your TV without any issues most of the time. It will be a great addition to your backyard, no matter if you like to spend your evenings alone or with friends.

Proper Barbecue Spot

Firing up a grill is a great way to gather the family around, and a good spot for that is a must-have addition to your backyard if you don’t have one already. Top things off with a nice smoker – read some reviews on - a set of comfy chairs, and maybe even a hammock or two, and you’ve got your own mini paradise, ready to make those summer nights wonderful.

Play Area for the Kids

What’s the point of having such a large backyard in a family with at least one kid if you don’t let them play around in relative freedom out there? There’s a lot you can do to make the place even more suitable and interesting for the little ones, and all it takes is a little creativity and the right equipment. Of course, you don’t have to turn the entire backyard into a playground, although if you’re the kind of parent who likes to go all the way (and maybe a little overboard) for their kids, hardly anyone is going to stop you.
Don’t let that huge, beautiful space go to waste, and make sure that you’re putting your backyard to good use. There are tons of things you could invest in, and not all of them will break your bank, so if you’re on a limited budget you can start off more slowly and still build up an impressive backyard that will be the talk of the neighborhood. And when you get to just kick back and relax for an hour or two on one of those chilly nights, you’ll appreciate all the work you’ve put into the place.

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How to Keep on Top of House Cleaning with a Toddler

Maintaining your home with a toddler doesn’t have to be an impossibility, nor does it have to take all your free time. With a few simple gadgets and accessories, you can maintain your home’s cleanliness take care of the kids and still have some free time for yourself.
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Using house cleaning tools
A carpet rake is a must-have in any home with toddlers and pets. It can easily clean up dirt and debris can lift up large objects and when you don’t have time to vacuum it can help preserve the appearance of carpeting in the home. It will also help preserve the fibers in the carpeting so it won’t wear down or tear down as easily over time. If you would like to look at some reviews of household items then Rated Winners is a great place to visit.

Don’t want to do the vacuuming yourself? There are smart-vacuum cleaners that do the job for you. Simply set a timer, areas to clean and it will do the work for you. You can even set the timer to clean the home several times during the day, if there is heavy traffic in the home. This will help maintain the carpeting, floors and all hardwood surfaces in the home. And, you don’t have to take time out of your busy scheduled to do the work yourself.

Create a routine
Sure, gadgets and tools can help, but you need to set a routine for cleanup time and stick to it. Wake up before the kids or go to bed later. Set some time aside to do your chores, pick up after them and maintain the home when they’re asleep. It is easier to get work done, you don’t have them running behind you making a mess and you can do simple chores quickly when you don’t have to worry about the kids behind you.

Preserving your home and maintaining its cleanliness is something all parents want to do. These are a few tips/tools you canutilise, to keep the home tidy even with toddlers running around.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Developing Your Child’s Motor Skills

Developing your child’s motor skills is a key component to enabling children to perform everyday functions. Fine motor skills include writing, drawing, and cutting with scissors. Gross motor skills include walking, running, climbing, as well as sport-related movements such as hitting a ball with a bat and kicking a ball while running. Developing motor skills play a big role in our eventual need to care for ourselves, performing such actions as getting dressed in the morning, sitting upright, and stepping in or out of a car. And so, it should come as no surprise that parents must help their children develop motor skills as early as possible.
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Scootering is a Proven Method For Developing Motor Skills in Children
One of the best ways to develop your child’s motor skills is by them learning how to use a scooter. Scooters designs advance with the coordination abilities associated with children’s ages. There are scoot boards for very young children, three-wheeled scooters for slightly older kids, and two-wheeled scooters for advanced children and pre-teens. All scooter designs serve the same function in the way of developing motor skills.

Motor skills are developed by strengthening aspects of the body, such as core strength and hand-eye coordination. Riding a scooter achieves all of these smaller goals that lead to an overall improvement in motor skills, including:

- Core strength development
- Coordination in arm and leg movements
- Cardiovascular health
- Developing orientation and proprioception abilities
- Vestibular health
- Bilateral movement coordination
- Hand-eye coordination

It is a pleasure to watch your child learn how to maneuver a scooter around a turn or brake at the end of a hill. These actions signal that the child is learning how to (a) navigate his/her environment and (b) implement skilled movement. As a parent, it is comforting to see your child learn these invaluable skills. After all, someday they will need to make important choices that require motor skills - such as crossing a busy street, chopping wood with an ax, or merging their vehicle onto highway traffic - and they will not necessarily have you there to help them.

Scootering Develops Children’s Key Muscle Groups
The effort from learning how to ride a scooter develops core muscles in the chest and back, as well as in the abdominal area. Obviously, the legs receive strength training as well. Practically all leg muscles - hamstrings, quads, calves - are strengthened while riding a scooter. Joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments) appreciate the lack of heavy impact in scooter riding, stretching and strengthening at a better rate than in actions such as running or jumping. Riding a scooter requires the muscles to tense and loosen repetitively, an action that is excellent for developing strong, lean muscle fiber.

Developing a child’s key muscle groups at a young age later translates into an easier day for the child. For instance, sitting up well while eating helps digestion and sitting straight at a desk helps fight fatigue and information retention. Children with more muscle control and stronger connective tissues will have an easier time carrying their backpacks while climbing up the bus steps or walking home from school. Metabolic levels and resting heart rate improve with healthy muscle to fat ratio. Riding a scooter is something children can do from a young age. They are fun, healthy, and less cumbersome than bicycles.

Riding a Scooter Makes the Whole Family Healthy
It is in parents’ best interest to purchase a kick scooter, from a brand like Fuzion for their children. Scooters are an excellent way to develop their motor skills, a gift that will truly last a lifetime. But the health benefits are not limited to children; adults receive the cardiovascular and calorie burning benefits of riding a scooter. No one is too old to enjoy the glorious feeling of coasting down a hill. So, while you’re at it, pick up an adult kick scooter for yourself and enjoy the healthy activity with your kids.

Are You Feeling Spring Yet? Here's How To Kick Start The Season

It may not be feeling very spring like at the moment in terms of the weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t physically and mentally start to enjoy and prepare for the season ahead. Spring is in the air, and their are fluttering reminders if you know where to look. However, often we can struggle to feel it in every sense of the word, and so I thought it was the ideal time to share with you some of the ways you could kick start the spring and summer season ahead. I hope it gives you some inspiration for physical and mental change.

Work on your mindset
One of the first areas to tackle would be your mindset. We can all be a little guilty of feeling a little out of sorts throughout winter as the bad weather and cold days can really affect our overall moods. So now is the time to dust things off and start to take note of your mental health and your mindset. One of the first key areas to work on would be to attempt to rid yourself of any negativity. This may seem like such a big ask at first, but actually, there are some great ways to do it. One of them can be based purely on your thoughts and what you think. Attempting to be positive and forcing that positive thinking, even if it you are struggling can help you develop better thought habits for the future.

Mindset and positiveness can also be achieved through some of your actions. This might mean taking the time for a bit of self-care each evening, even if it is five minutes. It might mean that you take a moment to write in a gratitude journal to help you feel a little more grateful for the smaller things. It might mean you have a bath or just go to bed a little earlier. There are many ways you can take better care of yourself. You could also take on actions like meditation and yoga that can work on your mindset and how you think. If meditation isn’t something you have done before then you can try out some of the well-known guided meditation apps that can help you really channel your thoughts and focus to make the most of your time out. Overall, it is about embracing the happiness and good thing in life, and the brighter days that will hopefully come about soon will help you to feel this on the inside.

Make some physical changes
Maybe you should think about some of the physical changes that you could make to help you feel ready for spring and summer. One of the options could be a new hairstyle. Perhaps you have been rocking the same look for some time now and fancy a change. Spring or a seasonal change in general can be the ideal way to do it. We can all feel stuck in a rut when it comes to our hair and how it looks, so if you are hunting for some inspiration then check out this article for some inspiration and options that you could consider. Your looks don’t just stop with your hair, during the warmer days you may want to embrace a more natural bare skin look, so now is the ideal time to really work on your skincare routine and the process you have in place for cleansing and moisturising your face. It is a great way to pinpoint some of the issues you may face with your skin condition and therefore tackle some problems with regular acne or dry skin. Sometimes you just need the motivation to tackle some of the hindering issues you have been covering up.

Invest in a new spring wardrobe
Finally, you can start to think about ditching the oversized knits, skinny jeans and boots in favour of maxi dresses, cut of jeans and brightly colour t-shirts. Spring fashion is enough to get you in the mood for a new season ahead so start to embrace it a little more and enjoy the transitional period. Heading to the local high street now will see you faced with all of the spring and summer collections ready for you to enjoy. Sometimes just making small changes like what you wear can instantly lift your mood and make you feel one hundred percent better physically and mentally, so it is well worth the investment and change.

I hope that these options help you to work on your mental health and physical looks ready for the spring season ahead.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Turn Your Life Around in Three Months

The knowledge that here in the USA, and in other developed countries, people are weighing 20 pounds more than they did 20 years ago and becoming increasingly unfit are scary statistics. This weight gain has resulted in an increase in other chronic health disorders, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease.
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Thankfully, many people are becoming aware of the need to change their diet and to increase their activity, and the numbers of people walking daily or joining fitness classes or gyms are also increasing. For many people, the desire to take control of their health is strong. But because it often requires a lifestyle change, knowing where to start, creating a plan and sticking to it for the long term can be challenging for many people. This may be especially true if there is a need to lose a significant amount of weight.

Focus on Achievable Short-Term Goals

Many people throughout the world are learning the three-month principle. Rather than focusing on just "going on a diet" or "I´m going to lose weight," the new focus is on setting goals for a three-month period and visualizing what you will look like in three months’ time. With a focus on a three-month turnaround time in body weight and fitness, significant changes can occur in both body weight and shape, and most people can organize their lives to achieve their goals in this limited timeframe.
The importance of setting achievable and realistic goals cannot be stressed enough if you are considering following any weight loss or get fit program. Diet programs like the purposely focus on short term goals, which have a clear end point.  The benefit of these is that you are able to create a clear vision in your mind of where you are heading and what you hope to achieve. This is an especially important stage if you are looking at turning your life around physically in a three-month challenge.
Short-term goals are often more achievable than long-term goals and they are important milestones on the journey. If you are using an established program, it will often guide you into the goal setting process.  During the preparation time, you will often focus on understanding why people gain weight and how to make lifestyle changes to increase fitness and improve food choices.

Arm Yourself with Knowledge

The days of feeling hungry on a diet are long gone. Instead, the focus is on understanding what foods can be freely eaten and what should be limited, and most food plans fit easily into a normal family lifestyle and budget. Most people, when armed with this knowledge, are able to achieve significant weight loss from diet changes alone. It has been said that losing weight is 70% diet and 30% exercise, and the importance of understanding the way the body uses food and which foods it uses most readily is half the battle won.
When you add a fitness program, either an at-home program or a gym program into your routine, and combine it with the lifestyle changes you are implementing, you have a recipe for a successful transformation of body, mind and spirit in as little as three months.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Everything You Need to Survive a Long Road Trip with Kids

Traveling with kids can be tough. Let’s face it, traveling with husbands can be a little tricky too. Even short trips to the park or out shopping can be a nightmare, and many of us dread going on holiday, fearing that we’ll be more stressed at the end than we were at the start. But, family vacations can be fantastic, and road trips are a great way to do it.

You can travel in the comfort of your own car, taking everything that you and the kids need. It’s a brilliant way to save money traveling across the country to see family and, it gives you a wonderful chance to bond, away from all the distractions of everyday life and the stresses of public transport and air travel. But, you are faced with the sometimes-terrifying prospect of being in very close proximity to your children for long periods of time. While it would be lovely to have a fun, spontaneous road trip as we used to in college, with kids, this can quickly turn to disaster. Everyone is bored, hungry and uncomfortable, tempers can flare and everyone can get annoyed. Instead, put some thought into it. Make sure you’ve got everything you need to keep everyone happy and this could well be one of the best times of your life, free from stress and full of fun. Let’s take a look at everything you need.

A Safe Car

Whenever you are taking a long car trip, you should make sure that your car is up to the journey. But, this is even more crucial when you are traveling with your children. The last thing that you’ll want to do is put them in danger or end up stuck somewhere while you wait for help. So, make sure you take some time a week or so before you are due to leave to carry out some basic car safety checks. These should include checking the air pressure and tread depth of your tires, looking at your engine oil, coolant, screen wash and other fluid levels, testing your brakes and lights and looking at all of your electricals. If there is anything wrong, make sure you’ve got time to fix it before setting off and don’t forget to check your spare tire.

Even if everything seems to be fine, it can be worth taking your car into a garage for a full-service. Especially if you drive an older car. You may also want to consider taking a defensive driving course yourself. To ensure your driving is safe and your knowledge of the roads are up to date. Remember, when traveling with children you can’t be too careful.

The Right Car Seats
Car seat regulations vary from State to State and can be vastly different in other parts of the world. So, it’s important that your car seats meet the requirements of every area you plan to drive in, not just your destination and start point. Take a look online before you go, and weigh and measure your child to make sure you’ve got it right. If you are purchasing a new seat, it can be worth getting it professionally fitted to make sure it’s right.

Warm Clothes
If you plan on traveling late into the evening or early in the morning, it’s important to be prepared for changes in temperature. Keep some jumpers and waterproofs loose in the car so that they are easy to reach if you need them.

Pillows and Blankets
Travel pillows and blankets are incredibly useful for long journeys. Even with regular rest breaks, sitting in a car for long periods can be uncomfortable. Travel pillows and blankets will help everyone stay comfy and warm. They may also mean the kid's nap for long portions of the journey.

Accommodation Bookings
If you are traveling really long distance and will be driving for a day or more, it’s important that you make hotel bookings along the way. Don’t leave this to chance or you could end up with very tired and hungry kids and nowhere to stay. Booking places does take out some of the spontaneity of road travel, but you can still be a little flexible with arrival times and enjoy some sights along the way. It just means you’ve got some security and a warm bed to look forward to at the end of a tough day.

An Itinerary

Flexibility is great. It’s certainly a big part of the road trip experience. But, when you are traveling with children, especially younger ones, a plan is a good idea. Sit down together and look at a map online, search for fun things to do along the route. Even if it takes you a little out of your way, it will give everyone something to look forward to, reducing car moaning, breaking the journey up and giving everyone a chance to stretch. Be sure to include fun things; rest stops, eateries and nighttime stopovers.

Snacks and Drinks

Even if you are planning to stop every few hours for a break and some food, you’ll want to pack extra snacks and drinks for in the car. Take some sweet snacks everyone likes such as biscuits and chocolates, some things that last for a long time, such as lollipops and boiled sweets, and some healthy snacks like fruit and vegetable sticks. Just remember that this means you’ll also need bottles of water, a bag for rubbish and plenty of wipes for sticky hands and faces.

Road trip games can still be great fun, and a wonderful way to get everyone talking. But, the kids might not be too impressed for long. Take tablets with downloaded games, films, books and other apps that they can use without being online, as well as some music for the car, a Kindle for the non-driving adult and a portable DVD player. Let your children help you decide what to take.

Emergency Supplies
Obviously, you are going to hope nothing goes wrong. But you never know. So, be prepared for everything. Make sure you’ve got the details of your breakdown cover, some warm blankets, walking boots, a spare tire, some basic tools (and knowledge of what to do with them) your car manual, and some emergency food and drinks. Just in case.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Global Teens: Discover the Right Abroad Program

 Numerous programs specify in teen travel, however philosophies and styles differ greatly, and discovery a top-notch summer overseas program needs diligent research.  When you’ve designated a few agendas to research, here are some standards to consider, founded on info from two specialists and our own experience.
A clear emphasis. Travel programs cannot be all things to all persons and should not try. Aaron Morehouse, executive administrator of The Experiment in Global Living (EIL), plus Sharpe agree that decent programs offer clear, well-articulated attitudes that emphasis on doing a few things fine. Search youth group mission trips 2018 for a focused journey.
Small group dimension. Smaller is improved, particularly for heading into the wasteland or an evolving country. Smaller groups lead toward truer linking and possibly magical learning. A collection of 12 is perfect, but 15 to 18 is not unusual. Size requirements to be weighed alongside program prices (smaller can be more costly), however for safety plus quality, I say do not compromise too much. 
Low leader/student proportion. Ratio is important for safety as well as group integrity. Sharpe’s plans have three frontrunners for up to 18 pupils. Leah’s EIL crowd of 15 was led through two teachers. One for each 9-10 students is too high. Moreover considering proportion, find out if a program trusts on exclusively on group leaders otherwise calls on added in-country workforce to handle health otherwise other emergencies.
Leader teaching. A good program’s guides are university graduates who have experience functioning with students plus are equipped through severe leadership training. They should also express the language of the host nation and have skill traveling there. Inspect leaders’ credentials together with program frontrunner requirements.
Risk managing. Thorough risk management strategies must be in place to handle all way of issues. Also leadership teaching, guides must have CPR as well as First Aid, and for additional remote locations, Wasteland First Responder training. Parentages must ask if a package has the volume to extract a student plus what their association is with local medicinal facilities, Morehouse says. “Seeing at how a program is linked ‘on the ground’ is actually significant.”
Limited communiqué (and electronic). For 4-6 week stays, too much homebased contact via cell phone otherwise Facebook hinders children’s transition into a novel culture plus group. You want your teen to link. In my view, good plans limit electronics plus communication home. Explore the agenda’s philosophy.
Transparent fee arrangement. Examine whatever a program’s fees comprise, such as flights, visas as well as travel insurance. Personal spending cash is likely attached on top. Some plans offer a group flight from a U.S. entryway airport, others do not. Be sure to ask around partial or complete scholarships. Leah received $1,000 however needed to submit her application timely to be measured.
Significant service. If the program is service motivated, take time toward understand how it has an influence. To be operative, community service must be different from charity. Done poorly, service can make a culture of dependence as well as rifts among local communities, says Sharpe. Solutions must be community based as well as community sourced. You can search youth group mission trips 2018 for your teens.