MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

5 Top Mistakes You Are Making About Money (And How to Fix Them)

What plunges people into abject poverty? For most, it’s making money mistakes. You spend a lot of money on things you can do without. You don’t address spending problems. And you barely budget before spending money on items.

Most people make desperate choices about money. And it becomes a habit that affects their financial lives in the long run. You don’t want to sink into debts, live in shame, and worry about your financial future.

Avoid making money mistakes today by understanding where the problem lies. It will take some time to fix all these problems, but it is possible. This post draws attention to five money mistakes you are making and what to do to aptly fix them.

1) Falling behind on your payments

When you fall behind on your payments, you give rise to a vicious cycle. This cycle becomes unbreakable, then gets you stuck in a rut. What’s worse? You are charged penalties for getting behind on your payments. This puts a huge dent on your finances.

Paying extra fees draws more money from your account and leaves you trapped in a cycle that is hard to break from. To avert this mistake, make sure you’ve addressed all your spending problems. It helps if you can ask yourself important questions too.

  • What do I spend the most money on?
  • Do I have income issues that need addressing?
  • Am I budgeting my money well before spending it?

It is necessary to take informed steps to address your daily spending. For example, you can choose to eat at home instead of eating out. Preparing home-cooked meals costs way less than say ordering pizza, burgers, or in general eating out with your family or friends.

Minimize on impulse buying as well. You lose so much money when you buy items or goods on impulse. Why? Because you end up paying for items you didn’t need in the first place.

Impulse buying makes you buy items you already have. Put it another way, it adds to your misery and leaves you digging deep into your pockets later on. Recognize your spending habits to break them. You’ll make smart decisions this way and you’ll never fall behind on payments.

2) Using credit cards for everyday expenses

When you use a credit card for everyday expenses, you not only risk running into huge debts, but also making costly money mistakes fast. That’s because you don’t have a limit on your spending. With a simple swipe, you can pay for items using credit any time you want.

This convenience credit cards offer is a pull factor especially to spendthrifts. So you are less likely to budget for your money and more likely to impulse buy. In the end, you’ll be inclined to overspend hence putting a strain on your finances.

The best remedy? Tame your urges when using a credit card. This requires discipline, though. If possible, ask a family member to hold you accountable on your credit card usage. Also, follow a budget to ease on daily usage of credit cards for expenses. Extra useful tips to consider:

  • Calculate all your expenses and minimize them.
  • Determine your income. Don’t spend more than you earn.
  • Set saving goals as well as debt settling goals.
  • Track your spending.
  • Be realistic. Be wise when spending money.

Have a solid formula or ideal money-saving method in place to help kick your credit card habit. Otherwise, you will spend more when paying with credit which further sinks you in debt.

3) Taking loans from friends and family

Borrowing money from your family or friends will put a strain on your relationship with them. Usually, ties break when you don’t get them back their money and on time.

Friends, in particular, will cut links with you, question your financial decisions sometimes even speak about your spending habits.

Chances are, you’ll never get along with them. You’ll always feel guilty to face them say during family Meetups or in social gatherings. To save your relationship, don’t borrow money from friends or your family and find nearest cash loans options instead. It often works against you.

4) Choosing to stay at a dead-end job

When you opt to stay at a dead-end job, you don‘t have room or space to grow and become a better you. In fact, your finances hurt as well as your emotions.

A dead-end job is only good as a stepping stone. But don’t get too attached. Don’t stay too long. Don’t get too comfortable or else you’ll not live long enough to achieve all your goals.

A dead-end job gives you no room for advancing either. It stalls your growth, leaves you stagnated in the same position. If a job feels like it wasn’t meant for you most probably it isn’t. So move on. Make plans to find a better and well-paying job that boosts your self-esteem.

How to make plans? Learn new skills that suit your interests. Learn about other alternative careers. Enroll in a class to further your studies. It is important that you prepare, learn, and enhance yourself to become employable to other prospective companies and clients.

5) Failing to budget

Do you struggle to get by even when making decent money? That’s a clear sign of failing to budget. Failure to budget your money is a common money mistake that a lot of people stand accused of. When you don’t have a budget, you never have control of your finances.

Set up a solid budget. It helps you achieve your financial goals a lot easier than when you don’t have one in place. A good budget will help you achieve sound financial decisions. Do this month after month and you will see where your money goes, and what it does each month.

Understanding these money mistakes will help you find a reliable solution that works to save and grow every dime you work hard for.

Remember: Money mistakes arise when you don’t address everyday spending. When you take loans from family and friends. When you indulge in blatant credit card usage. Or, fail to set up a solid budget that helps account every cent you earn.

Practice good money management skills and plan on how to spend your money well. Then see yourself achieve financial goals and objectives better than ever before.

 

The Mom’s Guide to Fashionable Boots for Everyday Life

Being a mom means spending a lot of time on your feet. Whether you’re running from one end of the house to the other, or you’re completing the school run, what you wear to do these tasks is of utmost importance. After all, the shoes and boots you choose can change your regular day into one which is full of pain and pinching or walking on air. With Fall and Winter approaching especially, there’s never been a better time to research and invest in an incredible pair of boots to see you through the colder months with ease. Our guide below will show you how to find and choose the best boots for you. After all, comfortable and durable footwear will get you far in life!

Know Your Fabrics

Much like clothes, boots and shoes come in a variety of fabric choices. From leather and suede to PVC, the material you choose will depend on what occasion and task you’re wearing the boots for. For those who live in areas which experience extreme weather conditions, including heavy rainfall and snow, investing in high-quality leather boots will ensure they endure the harsher months. If you live in a milder climate, suede boots are both durable, fashionable and lightweight. However, ensure you protect them with a waterproof spray before you wear them out!

Know How to Spot Quality Items

Knowing the specific fabric can help you determine the quality and function of the footwear you choose, but there are still some other factors that will help you spot quality items that will last:

  1. Strong Seams
  2. Thick Material
  3. It Has Lining

In most cases, when an item is cheap, it is because it has been cheaply made. By checking these three indicators, you can choose items that will last more than one season.

However, when choosing footwear, these three indicators become even more essential. Strong seams will ensure your boots and shoes don’t fall apart quickly. Thick material and thick inside lining will also protect your feet from external conditions, keeping your warm and cozy all day long.

Understand the Shape of Your Foot

Most women’s feet do not comfortably fit into the sizes of their shoes. Pointed toes and heels can both cause damage, but thankfully that is not the only shoe style out there. Wide calf over the knee boots can be stylish and exceptionally snug, perfect for outdoor walks with the kids or for running errands. You can pick up yours today from www.simplybe.com.

How to Choose Durable Shoes

Durable shoes are those that are sewn together, rather than glued. They will also often cost a lot more than the shoes you can buy in a budget clothing store. The better the shoe, the more likely you can then take them to a repair store later if it’s worthwhile and get them renewed for another year of heavy-duty wear and tear.

When you have the right footwear, you will feel like you can take on the world. No longer will you worry about pain and pinching. Instead, you can walk through life confidently and comfortable.

Now is a Great Time to Treat Yourself to Some New Partywear

Recently, I have been looking at quite a few fashion websites including some from abroad like JD Williams. It is always interesting to see what women in other parts of the world are wearing. You always get a little extra inspiration looking at these sites, especially at this time of the year.

With the festive season not far away my thoughts are turning to partywear. It is always a good idea to shop in advance for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no surer way to end up buying the wrong outfit than shopping at the last minute.

If you start the shopping process now it is really easy to grab yourself a Black Friday or Cyber Monday bargain, especially if you are organized. If you were to go online now and check out what is available you could pick out some dresses that you like and save the URLs. That way when you get up on Black Friday or Cyber Monday you just have to copy and paste them into your browser. It is a super quick way to find out if they are in the sale and buy the dress you like before someone else does.

Plus, knowing what the price is now will stop you from being duped. There are still a few retailers out there who hold pretend sales. They mark items as discounted, which are still the full price. If you look a few days in advance and make a note of the price now, you will know for sure that it has actually been discounted.

Before you start looking around, it is probably a good idea to measure yourself. Doing so will ensure that you buy the right size and reduce the risk of your having to send something back.

You can also use your measurements to help you to determine what body type you are. Once you know that, you can quickly narrow down the cuts that are likely to look best on you. This comprehensive article will help you to work out your body type and understand the cuts that will flatter you the most.

It is also worth having a look in your wardrobe to see what you already have. Many of us only wear our party clothes once or twice a year, so it is all too easy to forget what you actually own.

Often, you will be pleasantly surprised and end up unearthing a perfectly presentable pair of shoes or, maybe, some nice costume jewellery. If you do find items that you want to wear again, you can bear that in mind when you go shopping for your new dress. Checking what you already own now also gives you the necessary time to get them dry cleaned or laundered.

At this time of the year, when you buy an outfit, it is important to bear the cold weather in mind. You do not want to freeze during the walk from the car to the party venue. So, think about buying a long wrap to keep you warm.

 

Five signs you’re ready for motherhood

Motherhood is basically the state of being a mother. But it’s not as easy as it may sound to some.

Here is a summarized list of signs which indicate that you are prepared for motherhood. Let’s have a look:

  1. You’re Financially Ready

It’s not easy to bring up a child. There are expenses you must be able to meet. You will not only have to buy food for your baby but you’ll need to eat healthy food as well to be able to breastfeed the baby.

Other than this, you’ll have to spend money on childcare as well. The expenses can be heavy and take a toll on your financial health, which is why it is important to do the math.

Remember that the expenses will only increase with time. Your child will grow and you will have to fund his or her education as well. If you think your financial condition allows you to afford a baby then maybe you’re ready for one.

  1. Your Heart Wants It

Your heart is an interesting organ – it talks to you without uttering words. Ask your heart if it’s ready for a baby and you’ll get an answer.

If you love holding babies, playing with them then maybe you want to have your own. However, merely towards babies is not an indication that you’re ready for motherhood because being a mother is more than just playing with babies.

You will have to take care of them, which can be difficult at times.

  1. Your Partner Wants it Too

Motherhood should not be your decision only. Pay attention to your partner as well. This is why it’s said that your child should always be planned. While surprises are there but planning can be a savior.

Deciding to be a parent is one of the most difficult and complex decisions you will make as a couple. This is because being a mother will not only impact your life but your partner’s life as well.

So make sure to sit with your partner and discuss if they’re ready to be parents. If they don’t agree, then try to reach a mutual decision. You should never force your partner into doing something that they’re not comfortable with.

Once you both are ready, it’s a sign that you’re prepared to take your relationship to the next step.

  1. You’re Ready to Take a Responsibility

As mentioned earlier, being a mother is a huge responsibility. You have to ensure your baby is well taken care of. It’s a 24/7 job, especially in the beginning.

You must make sure to feed your child in a timely manner. Other than this, you will have to take care of their clothes and sleeping habits as well.

The responsibilities will increase as the child grows. You’ll have to find the right school and ensure your baby does well at school and does not run into bad company as it can be a bad influence.

Plus, this may also cause you to give up on your social life and work as well, at least for a little while. This may be difficult for some but if you think you’re ready to compromise on this then it indicates that you’re ready for motherhood.

  1. The Biological Clock is Ticking

While age may not define it for you, you cannot completely neglect it. The fact is that it becomes difficult to conceive once you hit mid 30s and your chances of being a mother fall to nearly zero as you hit your mid 40s.

This is why it is important to consider motherhood if you’re pushing 40s.

Pay attention to all these factors to know if you’re ready for motherhood. It’s definitely a beautiful feeling but you should never push for it unless you’re ready.

Make your Keto Diet Work for Your Family

On the Keto Diet, you eat lots of fresh meat, dairy, and vegetables but no grains, fruit, potatoes, beans, or sugar. No family eats whatever you put in front of them without question, so staying on a keto diet can be challenging for moms in charge of meals. Working in every family member’s different likes and dislikes while finishing homework and staying on top of laundry and soccer practice can make it near impossible. You have to have a meal plan to succeed.

Make a meal plan

Avoid making two complete meals, one keto for yourself and the other a traditional dinner for the family. Not only is it a lot of extra work, but it can also be expensive, and is demanding on your commitment to healthy eating and weight loss.

Put aside time in the carpool line or after everyone has gone to bed and lay out a plan for the week. Eating keto requires a detailed grocery and cooking plan to stay on track. You’ll need 30-45 minutes to create a plan with menus and a shopping list.

The most efficient meal plan is one that is mainly keto-friendly with one non-keto side that you avoid. Your kids will get the carbohydrates they need to grow, and you’ll minimize complaints about dinner. Plan to add extra fat to your plate to round out your diet in the same way that the carb is rounding out the rest of the family’s dinner. You’ll find more success if you prepare non-keto foods that don’t appeal to you, so you won’t have a hard time passing them up.

Limit non-friendly foods

If you’re the only one in your home on the keto diet, that doesn’t mean you have to supply junk food for everyone else. Let your family indulge in healthy snacks like veggies with dip, pretzels with hummus, and fruit.

You may have to watch others have some things you can’t have, but everyone will be eating whole foods that contribute to their bodies. Allowing healthy carbs at home will help everyone eat better without feeling deprived or cranky, and also lowers temptation to cheat.

Encourage a healthy lifestyle

When you’re raising a family, you want to encourage healthy eating habits while still leaving room for a few treats. You don’t want to affect their attitudes toward food and eating and the perception of their bodies. Children will model restrictive diet behavior that can profoundly affect their growth and development.

Focus on teaching your kids to eat whole, healthy foods without labeling certain foods as bad. Eating this way at home can be good for your whole family, and may be the healthiest meal they eat all day!

Your entire family will eat healthier foods

It’s difficult to skip foods you love while others enjoy them. The easiest way to feed your family and stay loyal to keto is to cook mainly keto-friendly foods and make a few minor adjustments for the rest of the family.

The benefit of the keto diet is that your entire family will get meals based on fresh meat, vegetables, and dairy. They’ll understand that eating healthily takes planning and can lead to lifelong good choices.

How To Study When You Have Kids

Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean that you can’t go back to school to gain an education. Getting qualifications can have many benefits for both you and your kids – it can allow you access to better job opportunities which could in turn provide a better income for your family, plus it can inspire your kids to value education.

Of course, juggling the two roles of being a parent and a student isn’t easy. Here are some tips for achieving your goals of getting an education whilst raising children.

Time it right

You can pursue an education no matter what age your kids are, however you may want to be a little wary about studying whilst expecting a new baby. If you’re planning on having more kids, try to time getting your education before or after the birth of your new child. Studying with infant may also be difficult to structure study time around, although it is possible.

Traditional courses may start in September, however there are modern courses with more flexible start dates.

Consider an online course

Web based courses such as these online GIS courses are a great option for parents. Rather than having to study on campus and attend lectures and seminars, you can study remotely from home in your own time. There may be certain assignments with deadlines or exams that need to completed on campus on certain dates, but for the most part you arrange your own study time around parenthood and other commitments such as work. Another advantage could be that you don’t have to sit in a room full of younger students (although nowadays the number of mature students has grown, and you’ll often find lots of older people taking courses alongside younger students).

If you feel that you learn better by interacting with people face-to-face, it’s possible to still take an online course but to also hire a tutor. This provides you with someone to guide you through your problems in person. You may also be able to arrange video calls with tutors at the college.

Consider accelerated options

There are also accelerated courses out there such as this one year online MBA. These can allow you to cram your studies into a year, which could allow you to get an education more quickly without having to spread it out over three years. The downside of such courses is that they’re very intense and with the added responsibility of kids, some people may find them a little too full-on. However, it could be an option if your kids are in school and you’re able to take a year off work with the help of partner to still provide income.

Schedule study time

Having a study schedule will ensure that you get in the hours of studying that you need. Plan this study time around your kids. With young kids you may be able to get up early or study after they’ve gone to bed (but not both!). Alternatively, there may be a time when someone else can look after the kids for an hour or two. With older kids it might easier to leave them to their own devices for an hour whilst you study – just make sure to tell them not to disturb you unless it really is urgent. Many people find that they’re able to more easily get into the zone by having an allotted time each week rather than taking time as it comes.

Create a study space

On top of having a study routine, you may want to set up a special study space so that you’re not distracted. Ideally you don’t want to studying in the living room whilst your kids are playing you’re your partner is watching TV as there will be too much going on to concentrate. Instead, create a designated study room which no-one can enter whilst you study.

Another option could be to get out of the house to focus on your studies. You could head down to you local library – many people find that this is the perfect environment for studying due to how quiet it is and due to the resources on hand. Alternatively, you could try going to your local coffee bar to study – many coffee bars have wifi and plug points for using a laptop, whilst providing a fairly calm atmosphere. Try to ensure that you’re not visiting these places during peak times when you may not get somewhere to sit.

Find ways to occupy your kids

Keeping the kids occupied can help you to concentrate on your studies without them coming to pester you with questions or problems. They may be able entertain themselves with games or a film. Alternatively, you could them to do their own studying whilst you study – your kids are likely to have homework and by all using this as study time you’re all more likely to be understand of one another.

If your kids are a little older, you may be able to keep them occupied whilst you study by setting chores for them. Not only could this stop them from disturbing you, but it could also help to make your life easier by reducing the amount of household tasks that need doing. These could be basic tasks such as hoovering or washing up. Such cores could help to build a work ethic and teach your kids the importance of doing their part.

Get someone to look after the kids

If you’re not able to study around your kids, you may want to consider getting someone to look after them whilst you study. This could be a partner or a friend or family member. If you’re not able to find someone to provide the hours you need for free, you could always consider hiring a babysitter. This could allow you to concentrate purely on your studies without worrying what your kids are up to, whilst also preventing them from interrupting you.

Talk to other studying moms

There are sites in which you can connect with fellow mums that are also studying. These sites could be useful for sharing advice and discussing issues that you have. Having support from other people also going through the same challenges can help to provide motivation by not making you feel so alone. If you’re studying on campus, there are likely to be other mature students at the university with kids – there may even be groups for meeting these students.

Don’t sacrifice all of your free time

It’s important that you still have time to spend with your family and that you still have time to spend on yourself. As a parent, you may already have very little free time and it’s all too easy to fill this entirely with your studies. However, this could have a serious negative impact. Firstly, you need to spend time with your family, otherwise they will resent you for studying, plus you’ll start to feel cut off. Secondly, you need time just to chill – studying may be something that you want to do voluntarily, but it uses up a lot of brainpower and you may feel you need that time to destress afterwards by doing something that isn’t brain intensive, whether it’s watching TV or taking a long hot bath.

If you’re also working, you may want to consider temporarily cutting down your hours so that you have this extra time. This could involve making cutbacks if you’re not making the same income – which is something you’ll want to weigh up. There is financial support out there for mature students, which could help you to reduce your hours and still afford day to day necessities.

A Good Checklist of What To Know About Back Pain in Kids

A study conducted in New York City regarding gender-pain bias shows that women suffer lower back pain more often than men due to pelvic structure, hormonal factors and the impact of pregnancy.

However, not only adults experience this discomfort but kids as well, especially those who are in school. Carrying heavy backpacks or pulling a big trolley filled with notebooks, books, writing and art tools every day is one of the many causes of lower back pain and shoulder pain for children.

See if your child complains of back or shoulder pain accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Trouble walking properly
  • Pain radiating in one or both legs
  • Bladder problems
  • Bowel problems
  • Sleeplessness

If your child exhibits one or more of the symptoms mentioned above along with lower back or shoulder pain, it is best to see a chiropractor as soon as possible. However, do not just see anyone who offers chiropractic treatment, but find a chiropractor in the NYC area that can do a top-to-toe service:

  • Consultation, not just once but routinely for proper monitoring from diagnosis to prognosis
  • Diagnostic, where patients undergo comprehensive functional assessment
  • Program Design, creating a personalized plan of treatment for each patient
  • Patient Experience, getting the best overall treatment

The chiropractor may do the best treatment for your child, but you as a parent need to participate in the process and contribute your best effort and time to help your child cope with the discomfort. Knowing what causes these pains is your top responsibility.

A few of the physical causes are:

  • Your child may have poor body posture like slumping or slouching while sitting or standing
  • If he plays sports, which puts excessive strain on muscles, too much pressure on the ligaments or causes injury to the spine
  • Getting hit hard or sustaining a severe back injury, or falling on the back
  • Lifting heavy objects which can cause disc dislocation
  • Staying in the same position or leading a sedentary lifestyle like watching TV or sitting in front of a computer for long hours
  • Sprains or strains due to tripping
  • Sports that may require intensive training like long hours of running, flexing and kicking

You also need to know about the possible underlying  medical reasons for these back discomforts:

Spinal Tumor

A spinal tumor is a growth which develops inside the bones and discs of the spine or near the spinal cord, which can be either malignant or benign, and may cause disability.

Vertebral Osteomyelitis

An infection of the vertebral body in the spine.

Vertebral Fractures

A dislocation or fracture of a vertebra which can cause bone fragments to damage the nerves in the spine. Gunshots, sports and car accidents are the causes.   

Spondylolisthesis

The vertebra slips at the base of the spine.

Spondylosis

Degeneration of intervertebral discs

You should never neglect your child’s complaints about back pain as this may lead to more serious conditions if left untreated..  

 

5 Tips To Avoid Truck Collisions on the Road

Truck driving is a challenging job, especially because truckers have to drive for hours on highways and in-city routes making sure they are not putting anyone’s life on the road at risk. While they do their best, you need to be vigilant and cautious as well when you are sharing the road with other motorists especially truckers and heavy wheelers. Follow my tips to avoid truck accidents & collisions to avoid life-threatening injuries.

Safe Driving is Key

Follow traffic rules and practice general safe driving habits when sharing a highway or thoroughfare with a truck or trailer. You had your morning eight-o-clock coffee and wanted to rush to your workplace but do you really need to speed up. Never cross speed limits and change lanes without alerting the truckers. This could lead to a collision that may result in injuries like spinal cord damage, amputation, paralysis and so on. Apart from these health concerns, a collision with an 18-wheeler in Houston will also have you spending money to handle ensuing legal proceedings and lawyer fees.

Steer Clear of BLIND SPOTS

For a trucker, the blind spots are not easy to tackle, so you must be aware of these. These include the lane on the driver’s side that goes back to almost half of the truck’s length, two-lanes wide space at the truck’s right side, 20-feet in the truck’s front and 30 feet behind. The best way to avoid such spots where the trucker cannot clearly see you is to keep enough distance between you and the trailer/truck.

Be Careful When Crossing

Pass a truck with caution; they do not stop quickly because maneuverability is difficult owing to the large size. Truckers require more time to react, control speed and make swift driving decisions in such scenarios. Pass a truck on its left side where the drover can easily see you. In addition, never cross a trailer while going uphill or down the slope. If a truck crosses you, slow down the speed of your car and give the driver ample space to pass you to avoid collision. Take care to merge back into the lane at the truck’s front when you see the driver in the rearview mirror.

Provide Clear SIGNALS

I suggest you alert the trucker through a clear signal when changing lanes or crossing the vehicle. This gives them enough time to gauge your action and take precautionary steps. Make sure you send signals earlier than you would for regular cars, so the heavy vehicle has adequate time to avoid a collision. Moreover, reduce glare of your headlights by lowering the brightness. It may affect the vision for the trucker’s side mirrors blinding them. Always consider lowering your high beams when crossing a truck or moving past a heavy wheeler.

Keep a Space

Do not stay near a truck for too long. Truck brakes are very strong, so sudden braking can result in a rear-end collision. Moreover, the debris from the truck’s tires can damage your windshield. Keep an adequate space between your car and the truck and avoid passing a right-turning truck from the right.

 

Ways to assist in finding the right secondary school for your kids

Choosing a secondary school is an important decision that will irrevocably change and affect your kid’s current and future skills, personality, and goals. This becomes an even more crucial choice if you’re an expat since your kids need to acquire not just academic knowledge, but social and physical capabilities as well.

Here’s a couple of ways that’ll help you choose the right secondary school for your kids.

School standing

A simple Google search will help you determine this. At the least, it will provide you with information about a particular school in your vicinity and its accolades. The best ones are those who stood the test of time and have produced noteworthy graduates. See regional standings to have a rough understanding of school levels and renown.

Word of mouth

Parental assistance is remarkably useful when finding a good secondary school. While not absolutely accurate, it’s readily available and candid. Try looking for parents in your neighbouhood whose kid is enrolled in a school you’re eyeing or just hang around in that school to have a chat with those waiting for their kids.

If you find it hard to find parents who have a bad word to say about a certain school, then perhaps it’s doing fine, whereas if asking about the same school results in parents ranting about a number of issues, then you might want to reconsider before enrolling your kids there. Parents are admittedly pretty sensitive to how their child is being treated in school.

Visit the school 

Of course, there’s no substitute for going for a school visit. The trick here is to get past the marketing presentations to really assess what the school is really like inside-out. Most schools these days offer tours and seminars where parents get to visit during the normal school day. Take this advantage and visit. When you do, don’t believe every sweet word uttered by the head since it will be full of exactly the same marketing presentation as the prospectus.

Assess the educational system and curriculum provided 

When it comes to the curriculum in your chosen school, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) system provides the student with a powerful opportunity to apply knowledge, principles, and values to more than one academic subject simultaneously. It combines global curriculum and built-in activities with exercises which promote cross-curricular learning.

This approach supports the ability to apply knowledge effectively in a variety of contexts and engage in higher-level reasoning skills. It also prepares students for their entry into the world’s leading universities. You can learn more about CBSE through Global Indian International School. Check it out.

The irony here is that sometimes, we parents worry about some things when it shouldn’t even warrant our attention. Our schools have higher academic and behavioral standards than ever and very few schools are awful, which means that your kid has an overwhelming potential to fulfill his or her promising future. Sometimes you might feel that you’re making the wrong choice only to realize later on that your kids are happy, fulfilled and doing rather well.

In any case, do your research, seek out statistics, ask questions and survey the school grounds, but remember that most of us simply went to the nearest school, and hey, we’ve survived adulthood!

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Home Appliances

A major appliance breaking down is a busy mother’s nightmare. Here’s how to keep your home appliances in tip-tip condition for longer.

Even with the best of care, you may find yourself needing to replace an important home appliance. I’ve even seen people having to look for a remortgage because all of their appliances started breaking down on them at once. So make sure you don’t short change yourself and need to seek out means of additional finance to keep your home ticking over.

Don’t overload the washing machine!

Overloading your washing machine is a bad idea. For a  mom in a hurry this can be tempting but it causes more problems than it solves. In the short term, your clothes will not be washed properly and you’ll waste energy and water. In the long term, habitually overloading your machine can put too much strain on the moving parts, making it more likely to fail. Wash smaller loads for cleaner laundry and a better lifespan for your washer.

Periodically wipe your refrigerator gaskets to keep them clean, removing all residue and coat them with a thin film of Vaseline

Wiping down your refrigerator gaskets stops dirt and debris from building up and affecting the tight seal that you need to conserve energy. The layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) ensures that the refrigerator door seals properly and protects the gasket from perishing. This not only saves money by keeping cold air inside the refrigerator where it belongs but also stops your refrigerator’s motor from having to run constantly to keep the inside cool. This can dramatically affect the number of repairs you’ll need and extend your refrigerator’s useful life.

Regularly cleaning your dishwasher with soap and water to keep a watertight seal

Cleaning out your dishwasher is something you should do frequently. Clean around the inside of the door with soapy water to avoid dirt and detritus affecting the door seal. You should also run your dishwasher empty from time to time, using a cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer.

Don’t overload the clothes dryer and be aware of your dry time.

Overloading the clothes dryer is counterproductive. Because of the lack of air circulation your laundry will take longer to dry, sometimes much longer than if you’d divided your wash into two or more loads. Long term, overloading the dryer means that the motor has to work much harder and the dryer may wear out more rapidly. You should also ensure that your dryer’s exhaust is clear and in good condition, free of leaks or kinks, and that you clean the lint trap frequently.

Clean your oven with a silicone or plastic scraper instead of a metal one.

Metal scrapers can damage the inside of your oven, scratching the interior and shortening its lifespan. Ironically, these scratches also trap more dirt and make it harder to keep your oven clean. A good quality plastic or silicone scraper will do the job just as effectively while being gentle on the inside of your oven.

8 Birthday Gift Ideas For Your Rich Friend

We all have that friend all relative who is just impossible to buy for because they already have everything. Well if that’s the case then we have some ideas for you.

Do Some Recon

As much as you may love your friend, you probably don’t know what they’re into, it isn’t like every conversation would lead to  ‘hey you know what I love lately? Making my own cheese.’

Besides, you do get people, even rich ones that don’t like talking about themselves. They’d rather talk about work or their kids or basically any single thing except for themselves.

Yes really.

However, if you have the kind of friendship where you know all of each other’s interests, then that’s awesome but let’s assume you don’t. It doesn’t make you a bad friend and all it will take is a little nosing around to figure out what you could possibly get them.

You don’t need to launch any type of official investigation or anything, a simple lunch where you can talk to your friend one-on-one is perfect.

It will give you an idea of what kinds of gift your friend would appreciate.

Good Liquor

Almost everyone has a favorite drink and odds are you already know what your friend’s favorite is.

It’s a thoughtful gift that you can even get on your way over to the party.

Your friend will definitely appreciate it and rich people hate running out of their favorite liquor.

But if you need to import it or ship it across the country then you need to plan ahead and make sure that it will be delivered on time so that you don’t pitch up empty-handed.

A New Cool Gadget

A lot of people, myself included, just love some new little gadget or thing that will make our lives even just a tad bit easier, or functional or prettier.

Whatever the reason is behind this obsession humans have of making new stuff, it presents a great opportunity.

 

More than likely there are one or two new gadgets that almost anyone will love and whether your friend is a businessman or a fashion lover, there’s always something new to get that will blow their minds, plus it won’t necessarily be that expensive.

Custom Body Care

You can probably see the appeal it would have to someone if they were gifted something that no one else has.

Exclusivity is the intangible appeal of being rich anyway.

There are online shops like Goodfortunesoaps that make customized skin care products where you can order anything from aftershave to dog shampoo.

You can also make something yourself if your budget isn’t that big. Just invest in a pretty container because the presentation is 90% of what impresses someone anyway.

You can add your friend’s favorite such as a cologne or perfume to personalize it even further in and they will definitely appreciate the (extra) personal touch.

A Useful Accessory

It’s important to note that there is a difference between an accessory and a gadget.

an accessory is something that you can use with something that you already have. In other words, it piggybacks something that already owns or likes.

For example, if your friend has a classic car,  you could get them a vintage keychain or the classic car cover.

Or if they have a  specific jewelry collection, you could get them a display case.

This is sort of genius because it uses a clear interest that they already have that you don’t need to discover for yourself.

Their Favorite Perfume

The same rule as the favorite liquor applies here, they will hate running out of something they love.

And even if they can certainly afford it themselves, your friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness every time they use the bottle you got them.

Sometimes Brands will also make a holiday gift set, where they bring out new products of the same fragrances like a deodorant and lotion.

Keep an eye out for that and bye that as soon as you get the chance to, you can always keep it if your friend’s birthday isn’t coming around any time soon.

A Subscription Box  

A subscription box is a service where you pay a set amount of money and receive different items and/or products related to a specific topic or brand each month or every other month depending on what type of plan the service offers, of course.

You can get subscription boxes for everything from fashion to food to shaving to socks and even baked goods subscription boxes.

Yes really.

So whatever your friend is interested then I’m sure there is probably a subscription box service for it.

And if you’re wondering – no, you don’t have to pay it forever.

You can pay for, say, 6 installments and then if your friend really likes that he or she can continue to pay for him or herself.

A Souvenir

If you’ve recently been on a trip that you know your friend would have loved, then get them a souvenir from your trip to inspire them to go on a trip of their own.

Get them something specific to the culture or destination so that when they see it there is no doubt about where it comes from.

Make sure it is something that they will see often like a keychain or a pen or a fridge magnet, which of course, are all things that you would generally find to buy as souvenirs.

Then write them a card with the gift and tell them that you guys need to go on the trip together.

A New Experience

If you know your friend is a travel bug or really even if they aren’t. If they never get away but you know they mean to then there is no greater gift than a new experience.

Whether it is a trip to the gorgeous beaches of the Bahamas or a skydiving experience, don’t be afraid just think out of the box with this one.

And make sure there is room for guests with the experience,  there’s no use going on a life-changing adventure when there’s no one to share it with.

5 Ways Moms Can Balance Work and Family

Raising kids and managing and balancing your family life is so hard to do. And, the pressure is usually on mom unless there are cases where mom has poor health and dad has to do anything. And obviously the same applies to single dads as well. However, regardless of who is dealing with the brunt of the stress, and it usually is the mom – let’s look at 5 ways on how moms can balance work and family. All it takes is knowing some hacks that will make life so much easier.

  1. Automate Everything – The last thing you have time for is having to remember when to pay your bills. This is why it is really a good idea to automate your bill payments so you don’t have to worry about missing deadlines due to the fact that you are so busy. You can also automate your subscription payments, and it is quite fine to order your groceries online. Some days you will not be able to run off to the grocery store. Especially when you are having to work at the same time.
  2. Take Advantage Of Meal Kits – It takes so much time and energy to plan for meals, and you just don’t really have the time and energy to do that. Especially if you put in so much time and effort making meals that your kids don’t end up liking! How stressful can that be? After a long day at work. This is why you are going to have to start looking into getting meal kits to make your life so much easier. Why not read the blue apron review (click to read Blue apron review) right here to get an idea of what a meal kit is all about.
  3. Only Make Time For Important Things – You are working AND raising a family. You are busy, and what you are going to need to do is cut out doing things that can be easily be put on the back burner. For instance, if you have been volunteering at your local church on Wednesday evenings, and if you are too tired and busy to give much of your time- then you will need to stop volunteering. Especially if it is not overly important to you. You need to manage your work, your family, and taking care of your own needs.
  4. Schedule ME Time – It was just said that you need to take care of your own needs. You definitely do need to schedule out some ME time so you can recharge and be the best you can be at work and for your family. That means taking a half hour bath with a glass of wine, or reading a book for a half an hour while drinking your favorite tea, or do anything else that you enjoy so you can feel refreshed to take care of your daily tasks.
  5. Delegate – Who says that you have to do every single thing? Teach your kids how to help around the house, even when they are toddlers. They will be able to clean up after themselves, or if they are older and in school, they will be able to make their own lunches. Have your partner run some errands for you. Ask for help because you can’t possibly do everything. This is why a mom that delegates are in a much better frame of mind and can handle much more. That is because she has more energy to give by delegating tasks.

Therefore, utilizing these tasks will make any working mom (or dad that is in charge by necessity) balance her life caring for her family and being a good employee at work easier. These simple hacks are really a necessity, because being stressed out and, worse, burned out will create more problems with the family and at work. Take care of your own needs and then you will be able to give so much more.

20 Birthday Game ideas for birthdays

Having an awesome party for your kids is based solely on two things: how good the food is but mostly how much fun everyone has at the party.

Here are some ideas for games that almost everyone will love.

Pass The Parcel

Goodies such as treats or small (preferably flat) prizes are wrapped in layers of wrapping paper.

Each layer has a prize of some sort.

The kids sit in a circle and pass the parcel as music plays, when the music plays, whoever has the parcel has to unwrap a layer to get a prize.

Musical Chairs

A classic!

There will be x amount of players and then a few fewer chairs than players are arranged in a circle (facing outward)

The players will march around the chairs as music plays and when the music stops, everyone rushes to get a seat.

Sleeping Lions

All the players must lay face down on the floor, staying completely still.

Someone, usually an adult will walk about and try to entice the players to move.

Anyone who so much as twitches is out.

I’m pretty sure this game was invented by a parent who was desperate for some peace.

Pin The Tail on The Donkey

There are tons of fun variations of this classic game.

You could play pin the horn on the unicorn, or pin the mask on the ninja turtle, or my personal favorite – pin the glasses on Harry Potter.

I’m sure there will be something you could use for your party theme.

Musical Statues

I know this game from my childhood, but we used to call it Salt Pillars, perhaps that was too Old Testament for people.

Everyone who plays dances around to music and when the music stops they have to be completely still, like a statue, or else they’re out.

Balloon  Pop

The players sit in a circle and pass around a balloon but the balloon has a piece of paper with a task written on inside it.

When the music stops whoever has the balloon needs to pop it and perform the task.

Think of funny things like; try to lick your elbow.

Gigglebug

Pick someone who is ‘ít’. He or she will have to try to make the other players laugh by making faces or acting silly (no touching or talking though)

Whoever laughs is out, but gets to join whoever is ‘it’ to make the others laugh.

Simon Says

Everyone should more or less know how this game works.

The players will stand about an arm’s length away from each other and the person who is ‘it’ will give them instructions, but they are only to follow said instructions when the ‘it’ says the words ‘Simon says’ before giving the instruction.

Charades

Charades is a game where you act out words or phrases that are written on a piece of paper and chosen at random.

Split the kids into teams and help them to act out their words or phrases.

Kids Drive-In

All you need is a projector, an empty wall, and a bunch of boxes decorated like cars.

This is a simple, cheap way to keep kids busy and out of trouble during cleanup at a party.

And the best part is, almost everything can be DIY’d

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are so versatile, you can do almost anything with them – egg hunts, treasure hunts, the ski is the limit.

All it involves is cleverly placed objects and a set of clues to find them.

The kids have to work together in order to solve the clues.

Whack-a-donkey

Pinatas are tons of fun for birthdays.

They are actually quite awesome because they incorporate snacks with entertainment and exercise.

You can make a pinata yourself (although I would certainly never try that again) or you can buy one online, they’re much cheaper online anyways.

Obstacle Course

An obstacle course is a great way to engage kids both physically and mentally, and also to tire them out physically and mentally.

And an obstacle course can be as easy or as challenging as you want to make it (depending on the kids’ age though)

Water Balloon Fight

Great for summertime parties and favorite amongst kids of all ages.

All you need is a few buckets filled with water balloons and a bunch of kids who seriously want to throw them at each other.

And unless you’re at the beach, you may want to keep it out of the house. Yikes.

Doughnut on a String

Tie a tightrope between two trees and hang doughnuts on strings at different heights from that rope.

The kids then have to eat their doughnut off the string without using their hands at all.

Egg and Spoon Race

Kids have to race from point A to point B whilst balancing a raw egg in a spoon!

Yes, the egg can fall off but then they have to take time to get a new egg and that will put them behind.

This is a race after all.

Giant Outdoor Games

These are giant sized versions of regular games like Jenga or even Tic Tac Toe.

The best part is apart from the fact that these can, of course, be made yourself – that kids and adults alike will love these games!

Three-legged Race

Three legs, two partners, one goal – to win (and not smack down and collide with other kids of course)

Two kids will stand side by side and tie the legs that are next to each other to each other and try to race that way.

Knotty

Participants will stand in a circle, facing the inside of the circle.

Everyone will reach a hand into the circle and take someone else’s hand, then they will repeat that process with the other hand.

They then need to untangle themselves without letting go of their hands, i.e. by climbing over and under each other.

Balloon Stomp

Participants will stand in a circle with an inflated balloon tied to their either left or right ankle ( but use the same ankle for everyone)

They will then attempt to stomp on the balloon of the person next to them while also protecting their own.

Little Boys Room: Space Theme

 

This year has been quite interesting with a little boy. My little guy is funny, and so creative. He is obsessed with everything space so we decided to turn his half of his room in a space theme.

We found an awesome Kids Blue Space Comforter Set Bed in a Bag from Walmart for under thirty dollars and various other items to create a Space Theme.

The Rocket Light Box is from Lightbox Arts

The adorable Star Curtains are from Eclipse Curtains. Which are amazing. Only downsize is they are not full panel curtains but Eclipse curtains are black out curtains and have Thermaback: applied foam technology combines energy-saving thermal coating with fashionable fabrics. Keeps the room at a better temperature too!

The Rocket Spaceship Toy we found at Lakeshore Learning. It is the best for young kids.

*A product was provided.

Fall Favs: Sling-Back Thermal by Thirty-One Gifts

School is back in, Fall is here and before we know it the Holidays will be upon us! Right now everyone is taking those trips to the Football Games, Soccer, Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festivals. I know the perfect addition to your outings!

The Sling-Back Thermal by Thirty-One Gifts. This stylish and sophisticated crossbody backpack is also a thermal! Designed to easily carry lunch and snacks for work, school or travel, The roomy insulated cooler bag has a water-resistant thermal lining, double zipper closure, adjustable shoulder strap that can be worn to the left or right and chic cotton fabrics.

Personalize this thermal backpack with an embroidered name, monogram or Icon-It design to make it extra special for you or as a gift.

We went with the Two-Tone Weave so in case my Husband wanted to use it it would be pretty gender neutral. Of course all of my kids love it and it isn’t too big but not too small either. For it’s size you can fit a lot in it. It’s an easy to grab and go bag especially for me with younger kids and needing to bring extra  items with me everywhere I go.

Head on over to www.mythirtyone.com to find more amazing products.

 

*A product was provided.