MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

How to Cope with a Divorce: Challenges and Steps

A divorce is a common thing, and besides small differences, there are usually similar procedures for both sides in almost every part of the world. Let’s take a look at the challenges you will face and steps you will have to take when coping with a divorce.

Legal separation

The very first step in the divorce process happens when one spouse moves out from the shared residence. At first, the separation is a trial, so partners can decide if divorce is happening for sure or if partners might get back together. However, legal separation usually refers to the period where people are required to live separately before one of them can file a divorce complaint. Many countries and states have the separation requirement, which involves sleeping and living at two different locations.

Filling a divorce complaint

People can file a complaint in the country or state where they live, and they have to meet the requirements and other necessary information. In Australia, for instance, you will need to fill appropriate forms and papers, and there will be fees. The best idea is to hire the best family lawyers in Sydney to consult about legal questions and paperwork. Besides reasons or grounds for a divorce, the petition also has to include a listing of shared items and possessions.

Inform your spouse

The next step after filing the petition is to notify or serve your spouse. Your lawyer has to submit the proof that your partner is formally informed. A partner can sign a Voluntary Appearance document, in which case he/she agrees with the complaint, and then there is no need to respond. The other solution is to file a formal response within a particular period. Sometimes it is 20 or 30 days, depending on the country or state. Once they respond, there will be another waiting period. However, if a spouse doesn’t answer, then the judge has every right to grant every wish you requested in your petition.

Temporary motion

Temporary hearing, or temporary motion, is the period before trial, where a partner can address child issues and all other spousal problems. It is usually about kids – one spouse can request for temporary child support or custody. Also, there are issues with shared items or possessions. For instance, there might be a request for using a motor vehicle or even a marital home. Money is always essential, of course, and one of the most common requests is to make sure that neither party can be granted access to their joint bank account. There are many other requests, but those are usually the most significant ones.

Negotiations and the agreement

Spouses can have different opinions on some of the topics mentioned above, and in that case, they will have to work together to find the solution. Also, the court might schedule a settlement conference, where parties, along with their attorneys, meet and discuss all potential issues. Mediation is another critical process which might happen. It means that a neutral third-party has to help in resolving problems and discussions between spouses. This process usually saves valuable time for both sides, so it is often the best way to go for mediation.

Divorce trial

If the negotiations fail and there are still unresolved issues between parties (in spite of mediation), the next stop is court and going to trial. A divorce trial costs a lot of money, and you have to be prepared to lose a lot of time. Also, both sides lose the power they had in their hands. From now on, the judge is one who makes the final decision about everything. Of course, your attorney can do a lot of work, but still, it is always better to negotiate without a trial. However, if the trial happens, there will usually be no jury, and the judge will base the final decision on the presented evidence within a few hours.

A divorce is not the happiest thing in the world. But, when problems are constant, it is indispensable for one or both sides. If something like that happens to you, you should follow this procedure and find the best lawyers you can.

Aladdin now on DVD!!!

Experience the thrilling live action adaptation of the characters and tale you know and love from Disney’s animated classic. The cinematic celebration of Disney’s Aladdin is “an entertaining magic carpet ride for fans old and new.”

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin is available on DIGITAL and DVD! In celebration of the upcoming release, Geeks Who Eat has created a themed recipe inspired by The Genie! 


 Also in celebration of the release, TinkerLab has created a simple science experiment where you can make your own magic carpet, inspired by the film!

*A product was provided.

Healthy School Breakfast, Lunch & Snack Ideas to Keep Moms & Kids Happy!

It’s a new school year filled with busy schedules, homework, sports and other activities…and in between all that, mom (and dad!) want to make sure their kids are eating…and eating healthy.

Breakfast, lunch and snack ideas need to be simple and easy and something kids will love and moms feel good about.

We have some great options from some great food companies along with some recipe ideas. From classic staples in every house hold to some new options that will provide essential plant protein every kid (and parent) can use on the go!

Who doesn’t love a classic PB & J?

Can’t do peanut butter…how about some other nutter butters…almond, cashew? Nut butter without the clutter is what makes Crazy Richard’s so crazy. 100% high quality nuts and nothing else, Crazy Richard’s is known for its creamy clutter-free nut butters that are made without the usual oil, sugar and salt, plus it tastes cleaner and better than any traditional nut butter. 

Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter Company has partnered with the National Peanut Board to roll out an entirely new category with the introduction of its new frozen snack line, Wholly Rollies – Frozen Protein Balls. This wholesome ready-to-eat snack is a satisfying, nutritious and delicious bite sized snack featuring only 5 ingredients.

Crazy Richard’s offers convenient options for lunch boxes or after school snacking. Crazy Richard’s is known for its extra creamy peanut butter, as well as its Crunchy Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter and Peanut Butter Powder. 

More than peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, peanut butter is making a comeback as the hero protein. Peanut butter is a great source of niacin, antioxidants, resveratrol and manganese. Crazy Richard’s doesn’t add any extra oils to their peanut butter because they use the natural oils found in nuts to ensure consumers get all the rich nutrients and protein they need in a healthier natural way. 

Need a great snack idea?How about a Peanut Butter Banana Sushi Roll?

With just a few healthy ingredients will be asking for this snack on a regular basis!

For more information, please visit: www.crazyrichards.com

*A product was provided.

Ways to Raise Incredibly Successful Kids

When you are a parent, there are several things important to you-the well-being and happiness of your kids, as well as the knowledge that you’re doing all in your power to raise them well and do what’s right. You want your children to grow up to be great people one day, smart and prosperous, accomplished, fulfilled, and you want them to do better than you are. So, if you want to raise incredibly successful kids, here are several tips that you might find helpful.

Invest in their passion and knowledge

If you notice your children have talents, you should invest in them and let your little ones cultivate them. If they like sports, buy them the appropriate gear. If they like painting, purchase the adequate equipment for them to make their masterpieces. If they are good in writing poems, encourage them to do that often. However, if there is something they aren’t good at, also invest in making them better in that field. For instance, if the language isn’t your kids’ strong suit, they need a great and reliable English tutor, someone who is trustworthy and loves his job, who will always be there for them whenever they call for help. You can always find someone who’ll make the learning easy and enjoyable.

Serve them as a good example

Try to teach your children to be responsible and have great traits from a very young age, but do that by showing you too have these particular traits. Children can learn a lot by observing our behavior, and whatever the characteristics of their parents are, they will probably acquire them as well. For example, if you successfully deal with your obligations regularly, finish your chores on time and show you are responsible and all that without complaining and expressing a positive attitude, your kids will imitate you and they will do these things themselves.   

Punish them appropriately

We all have our system of values and different kinds of punishments for our little ones when they are disobedient. Nonetheless, we should find punishments that are appropriate. Some parents choose to send children to their room and make them study when they are rude and impolite, but this is not a good idea because they will later associate studying and learning with something bad. We should always avoid negative associations. Instead, try to nurture positive reinforcement and use books as a reward and not a penalty.

Don’t push too strongly

When it comes to school and doing chores, don’t rush things or push your kids strongly because nothing good will come from that. Sometimes they are just not into a certain subject and they hate studying it, or an activity doesn’t sound good to them. In this case it’s a bad idea to be stern and make them do what they don’t like. Try to explain them what they need to know first, try to make them like that specific subject or doing a certain chore. What are the benefits of knowing all these things the subject is teaching us about? Why is it good to finish chores in time? Give your kids these answers and if they show you they learnt something new, you can reward them.

They should learn social skills

Just like teaching them to be responsible, we should also encourage our children to cooperate with their peers and be of help to others, as well as understand the feelings of others and of course, always resolve problems on their own and be independent, but kind and sociable at the same time. With all these skills, they will more likely earn a college degree and have a full-time job sooner. If you don’t work with your kids and teach them to have these virtues, they can end up being socially awkward and dependent, and it will be more difficult for them to later succeed in life.

It is said that every child is born with a limitless potential, but only if parents work with their kids they can expect remarkable results. If you invest in your children, teach them how to behave and be responsible, punish them adequately and let them do things following their own pace, you can count on your children to be extremely successful and happy one day.

Traveling Overseas With a Toddler: Know How to Prepare

If you love to travel, don’t think you must give up your favorite activity just because you have a child. Traveling with toddlers is a whole new adventure you’ve never been on before, but it’s truly a magical experience, especially if you know how to prepare for your trip. Here are a few most useful tips for traveling overseas with a toddler.

Prepare for flights

While occasional travelers think flying is fun, those who do it often know better. You can get long flight delays, you can forget your documents or lose your luggage. And if you add a small kid to the mix, the list of things that can go wrong gets even longer. However, if you plan and pack smart, you can have a smooth flight. Start by booking your tickets: ensure the flight schedule fits your toddler’s daily routine and that you’re all seated together. Try to avoid red-eye flights because your crying or hyperactive toddler can really ruin everyone’s night (people usually use these late-night flights to rest).

Keep in mind the pressure

Pack plenty of water, food, earplugs and pacifiers and get ready for passionate conversations that will keep your toddler’s jaw moving. This will prevent ear pressure pains during takeoff and landing and eliminate meltdowns.

Load up on snacks

Sure, toys might work well, but if you want to keep your child truly busy during a long flight, load up on fruit, veggies, dry snacks, biscuits and food pouches. If you know your toddler falls into a food coma as soon as they eat, that’s great! In case your toddler gets fussy, just get up and walk around a little. Oftentimes, just a few minutes of plane action is enough to distract them and get them to calm down.

Pick the right destination

Let’s say you’re traveling overseas to South East Asia. While all destinations there are wonderful for tourists, they are not ideal for toddlers. There are cars and vans without seat belts, overcrowded streets and unsafe accommodation. So, make sure to find a destination that’s a little less stressful like Australia. This country is super safe, interesting and perfect for road trips. As soon as you land, you can check out car hire in Perth airport and grab a vehicle that will give you all the freedom to explore the country at your own pace. If you follow the coast, you can hit all the biggest cities and have a real family adventure without any worry that you’ll miss flights and buses or disturb other passengers.

Consider Airbnb

Hotels might be practical for adults and older kids, but toddlers need more space, a fridge for snacks and milk and a chance to eat a few homemade meals. Plus, Airbnb apartments have other benefits like price, so it’s a win-win!

Travel with other families

If you know your friends or family have a toddler of a similar age, see whether they want to join you on your trip. This way, you can leave your kid with them for a few nights and catch a break with your partner (you’ll need to return the favor, though). No matter if only for a few hours, you’ll appreciate the break and some alone time with your loved one.

Meet the locals

Traveling with toddlers is a real treat, especially if you love to explore and meet new people. Kids are excellent ice-breakers and they will actively seek out people to interact with. If left to their own devices, they will roam the streets in search of new friends and come across many other kids ready to socialize. Get ready to meet other families with kids and you can not only make new friends but also get great local recommendations, insight and tips concerning the area.

Use your privileges

While traveling with toddlers has its cons, pros are much better! At some airports, trains stations and similar you can expect to get slightly better treatment than other passengers just because you have a small kid. There are often security lines reserved for families and many airlines allow pre-boarding, especially on oversea flights. In some places, you can even get a special passport window, get rushed to the front of the line and receive other special accommodations. When you arrive, make sure to use your other privileges like getting seated first, getting a room first and so on. There’s no shame in that!

With some smart decisions and plenty of snacks and diapers, you can travel the world with your toddler. So, don’t stress and go bake some cookies for your next family travel adventure!

5 Steps to Fall Back in Love with Your Life

 

Ask yourself this – do I really love myself? A question so rarely asked, yet utterly important for those who wish to upgrade their well-being. It’s quite a challenge to think about one’s self in the everyday mayhem we’re surrounded by and all the struggles we have to cope with. However, we fail to notice that when we stop loving ourselves, that’s when things start turning bad. Keep falling in love with yourself every day in order to truly feel all the wonders life can bring, and here are a couple of ways to help you do so.

Spend more time around people

Isolation can have very harmful effects on both personal and social well-being. When we are tired of all the everyday troubles, lying down on the couch alone every day seems like the best idea. Albeit the momentum satisfaction, this kind of dealing with stress will consequently leave you with fewer friends as time goes by. Instead of locking yourselves indoors and avoiding people, do the exact opposite. As soon as you realize how the world is filled with beautiful and interesting people, your life can take a whole different perspective. Practice the art of enjoying life by speaking to one new person each day. It takes less than a minute to ask some stranger how they are feeling, or give away a truthful compliment, but the feeling of satisfaction stays with you throughout the whole day.

Get yourself moving

Meeting people won’t be possible from the comfort of your armchair, so get yourself out in the real world and experience it full-on. Breathe in some fresh air, take a stroll through the park, and enjoy the greenery, or feed the ducks in a nearby pond. You can also develop a habit of going for morning jogs which will help you get energized and more confident. Furthermore, you can get a bike and ride down your street or explore some city corners you’ve never visited before. You’ll be amazed how much there is to see in your close surrounding that you’ve never really paid much attention to it. Take a minute of each day to simply enjoy the wonderful shade underneath the tree that grows close to your home, listen to the song of the gentle breeze, and enjoy the sounds of kids’ laughter coming from the park. 

Take some time to travel

Moving further from your home should be the next step you take. Seeing how other people live in different countries and meeting various social groups will give you a great grasp of how the world is bigger than you have ever thought. The so-called cultural bubble in which all of us live can easily be broken if you leave yourself open to new travel experiences. Just take out the map and randomly point a place on it for your next destination. Once you get there, make sure not to stay in one place, but rent a car and get moving. Conveniently, you can do so right at the airport. If you decide on visiting New Zealand, this service is provided by the reliable car rental at Christchurch airport. As soon as you get yourself a pair of wheels, start exploring all the wonders of the world and make sure to immerse yourself into cultures you’re not yet familiar with.

Make a self-improvement plan

A comfort zone might be a great place, but it’s one where nothing grows. Although you need to take a period of rest from time to time, problems emerge once the rest turns into laziness and overall unwillingness. Making a self-improvement diary will help you stay on track to bettering yourself. Plan out your daily activities so that you have time to work on your personal goals, but make sure not to overestimate yourself. You can’t change everything you wish at the same time, so take small steps and improve one thing after another so that you can really enjoy all the benefits that come with dedicating to self-improvement.

Let the past go

It’s not only religiously profound to forgive and forget, but you should adopt this practice in a manner that you find personally acceptable. Holding on to anger and grudges never made anyone feel better, and neither will it help you. We’ve all done some things we’re not proud of, but there’s no reason to let them stick with us forever. Time goes on, and your future self waits in the shadow because you’re overwhelmed with the deeds from your past.

Keep a reminder of the fours Rs that you should always think about – rest, reflect, release and relate. This formula will bring you closer to yourself and ultimately help you see that your life is beautiful.   

How to overcome driving anxiety

With hundreds of millions of registered drivers around the world, we can say that driving is one pretty mundane thing. But, why then are so many people terrified of sitting behind the wheel and joining their ranks? Well, let us start by saying that driving anxiety is perfectly justified. Once we join the traffic, our safety is just as dependent on our skill as it is on thousands of different factors completely beyond our control.

However, it is the way we are approaching this harsh reality that ultimately affects our wellbeing. Awareness of the various dangers can make you a better driver. It can also make you nervous and paralyze your reactions. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways we can change your attitude toward traffic and make you more relaxed once you sit behind the wheel.

Don’t travel alone

Spending too much time chatting while you’re driving is by no means advisable. Still, if you are an inexperienced driver still struggling with anxiety having someone to ease the atmosphere and divert your thoughts from apocalyptic scenarios going through your head doesn’t have to be all that bad. Especially if the passenger is a seasoned traveler who knows what are you going through and can share an advice or two. Ideally, your guardian angel should take the front passenger seat.

Drive only during the day

Overcoming anxiety is all about expanding your comfort zone by gradually making steps out of it. Going too far in advance can be a useful shock therapy, but more often than not it only reinforces your fears. So, until you develop better confidence behind the wheel do your best to avoid the night drives that only put unnecessary pressure upon you. Remember that because of the rapidly changing light and darkness, dusk and dawn can also be considered as the situations of reduced visibility.

Take additional driving classes

There is no shame in admitting that the knowledge you’ve acquired while getting the license is not particularly honed. You are not the only one – most of the active drivers have developed their current skills through post-license practice. Still, if you are afraid to take these exercises alone, you can always look for professional help. If we take a look at Australia as an example, we can see a lot of companies like Ezlicence which offer driving lessons to drivers with similar problems as yours.

Create a pleasant atmosphere

The goal here is to get yourself as relaxed as possible. So, for a start, make sure your seat is properly set up and your climate and the AC unit up and running. You will hardly be able to concentrate on the road ahead if you are constantly sweating or struggling to find a comfortable position. Also, although pumping up the music to the point where it becomes distracting is highly discouraged, playing some soft relaxing tune in the background can do a lot to set you into the right driving mood.

Keep your vehicle in good shape

Knowing that the vehicle you are driving is devoid of hidden failures and perfectly safe to drive can go a long way in improving your road confidence. So, take a look at some the common car inspection and maintenance duties, split them into groups according to their frequency and give your four-wheeler some much-needed love. Let the fact that your brakes are working perfectly fine and your engine is well oiled serve as a positive notion you can use to defuse negative thoughts.

Defuse negative thoughts

The worst thing about negative thoughts is they are absolutely necessary. After all, it is the awareness of all the dangers around you that keeps you alive. So, the negative thoughts can’t be and shouldn’t be surpassed. However, you should try to take these notions only as a useful feedback and don’t let them hijack your feelings.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by these ideas, try to reduce their impact by adding the “I’m having the thoughts of…” in front of them, saying them in a funny voice, singing them to some wacky tune, or any other method that will show you that your thoughts are nothing more than simple words.

We hope these six tips will eliminate your driving anxiety and help you to finally take your place behind the wheel with much-needed confidence. The most important thing is not to look at your concerns regarding traffic safety as the problem, but more as something that can be reshaped into a valuable asset that keeps you safe and vigilant.

Preparing Your Home for Fall: Give your home an Autumn cleaning blitz

We’re all familiar with Spring cleaning – you know, that time of the year when the majority of homeowners declare war on dirt and germs and do a major household clean, sparing no microbe they encounter? Well, Autumn blitz is like that, only it’s much more beneficial for your health and the overall state of the entire home. As we all know, Spring cleaning usually took place when the warmer days arrived, and many homeowners would do an annual clean-up, and then wait until next year to pull out the big guns. Turns out, Autumn cleaning may be even more important – closed windows and less vacuuming means more pollutants in the air, and with Winter just around the corner, fall seems to be the perfect time to tackle all the dirt and grime. With that in mind, here are some of the best Autumn blitz tips to help you prep your home for the fall season.

Sort through all of your things

Although animals such as squirrels are nuts about hoarding for winter, for an Autumn cleaning blitz, you’re expected to do the exact opposite. Although a new batch of logs for the winter is a necessity, there is no need to keep all the things that you don’t even use or wear. All these things do is take up precious storage space that could be used for storing other things, so be sure to declutter and make some room in your cupboards, drawers, and cabinets. Autumn is also the perfect time for some wardrobe editing, so stock your clothes and shoes and see whether you need to buy something or you’re all set for harsher weather. Whether you decide to throw, sell, or gift your used or unused clothing, it will surely free up some valuable space.

Deep-clean the entire house

After decluttering your home, the next step would be to scour your entire house and cover every area – from top to bottom. That means giving your floors a good scrub, tackling all the cobwebs and giving our ovens, fridges, and microwaves a thorough clean, both inside and out. Heavy and bulky cupboards, wardrobes, and cabinets often get disregarded during the clean which is why it would be best to move them away from the walls and clean all the dirt and dust that has accumulated behind them. Your fireplace will also need some TLC, and your chimney will need to be swept beforehand to ensure you welcome the first cold night prepared.

Clear the air!

Now you’re almost halfway through your Autumn cleaning blitz, but all the remaining dust particles and toxic chemicals from the cleaning products may still be lingering in the air, so be sure to open up your windows opened to let some fresh air in. Once the cold weather finally strikes, it’s good to have a quality air purifier at hand – look for the ones that ensure enough coverage for the area where you’d want the air to be purified. These things are pretty lightweight, so they can easily be moved around, and some models will even signalize when the filter needs to be checked. And the best part – you can order them online, so you can save some time and money. Now, that should give you a fresh perspective!

Wash or dry-clean all the textiles

Because pollutants and dust particles tend to accumulate in textiles and fabrics, you need to make sure you get them all out during your Autumn blitz. The usual hotbeds for specks and particles – duvets, mattresses, carpets, cushions, curtains, couches, and any soft furnishings – they all need to be cleaned thoroughly, either by taking them to the dry-cleaner or washing them on your own. Shampoo and vacuum your carpets and rugs, or have them cleaned professionally to ensure there are no dust mites, pet hair, moths, or any other parasites left in there.

Prepare your home for the change of season

After the cleaning is done and your house looks more organized than ever before, it is time to make some small décor updates. Swap out your cushions and throws and take a cue from nature when it comes to the color palette. Go with festive pillow covers in burgundy, caramel, and burnt orange to create a cozy and rustic vibe. Autumnal-themed pillows and bedding will transform your living space, while a new set of thick curtains will provide additional insulation. Finally, complete your autumnal makeover by treating your walls to a fresh coat of paint and voila – you’re done!

Even though Autumn blitz is essential, that’s not to say you should forget about Spring cleaning. Rather, you should implement both into your annual cleaning routine if you really want to keep your home spick and span and germ-free!

The Best Dogs for Seniors: Getting a Dog for Your Aging Mom

Do you think it would be good for your mom to have a dog? Check out this guide to learn more about the best dogs for seniors.

Pets can ease the aging process, keeping you happy and healthy as you get older.  

If you think your mom could do with a little more love, companionship, or activity in her life, getting her a dog could be the best thing you can do for her. 

Not sure what breed would be best for her?

Read on to see the best dogs for seniors.

The 5 Best Dogs for Seniors

One of these breeds could be the next fur baby for your mom.

1. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are loving, social dogs that love to keep their owners company.

They’re fine to keep in bungalows, condos, home care, and other small living spaces, as long as they get out for a short walk every day.  

They’re great watchdogs too!

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you want a quieter dog than a Shih Tzu, go for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

They get along well with children and other pets, but also do well as lone companions for their owners.

Just make sure your mom has a yard for them to run around in!

3. Maltese

If you’re looking for a lap dog, a Maltese is ideal.

These fluffy white dogs love to snuggle with their owners and respond very well to training. 

To keep their gorgeous white coat in good condition, they need professional grooming every six weeks or so. Between trips, simply brush their fur to keep it soft and smooth.  

4. Corgi

Queen Elizabeth has famously kept corgis for most of her life.  

She feeds and walks them herself, claiming that they provide her with therapeutic comfort. She’s not the only senior citizen who can benefit from keeping these adorable dogs.

Corgis’ short legs are part of what makes them so cute, but they also mean they don’t need too much exercise. A daily walk is enough to keep these pups happy and healthy.

They don’t need too much grooming either. Overall, they’re great low-maintenance dogs for the elderly. 

5. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is America’s most popular dog breed, and for good reason.  

These dogs are friendly, gentle, and easy to train, making them great companions. 

Labradors are very active and require a lot of exercise. This means they’re great for getting their owners out of the house and keeping them active. This brings lots of health benefits, both physical and mental. 

Simply going out in the sunshine can have a positive impact on mental health. 

However, they’re not an ideal breed for those with mobility issues or health problems that prevent them from going out on walks.

Take Care of Each Other

Now that you know what the best dogs for seniors are, it’s time to start searching for your mom’s new companion!

The best breed for her will depend on her individual lifestyle and preferences, so think long and hard before you find her match.

See our family news section for more tips on how to take care of your mom and her pooch!

Creating A Beautiful Nursery

Creating a serene space for you and your baby is something that we hope to do. When nesting truly kicks in, you might find yourself telling your partner or friends and family where to move things. Wanting a different colour on the walls and wondering how often you will really be in there. 

Here are some tips to help you get the nursery you are looking for. Both practical and pretty. 

Photo by Ashley Schulze on Unsplash

Nesting

Millions of women talk about their nesting instinct kicking in somewhere are week 30. But for many, it doesn’t kick in until days before the baby arrives. It might feel like you aren’t ever going to care about the nursery, and that is fine too. But you will feel better if you get a jump start on it. It is much more challenging to get done when the baby arrives. 

Themes

If you know the gender of your baby, you might already have some big ideas about the theme you want. Or maybe, you have something like a teddy or a mobile that makes you happy to look at – and you want to extend the theme. If you pick a theme early, you can pick up small items, and paint over the space of a few weeks. Some themes don’t have the lifespan you might be hoping for though. While the newborn days might feel like they are lasting forever, your baby will be 4 and have a whole new interest. 

Light And Dark

You shouldn’t be scared to have the room light and bright. And have a blackout blind too. You will be trying to get your little one into a routine, or you might be going with what works for the baby. However you have chosen to parent, the room should still have both options. Babies settle much better in the dark. Afterall think about where they have just arrived from! Little ones will eventually know that dark means sleep, and light means awake. So to set some good nap time hours, invest money in a blackout blind. They will block out the brightest of days. 

Comfort

It won’t matter if you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding when the baby’s crib moves from your room to the nursery, you’ll be spending some nights in there for those night feeds. And while night feeds can be lonely, they can also be very peaceful and cosy. Not only night feeds, but babies with colds and other illnesses can impact their sleep. Having a chair that you can sit in comfortably, for what might be a few hours will really help. 

Arms Length 

Before the baby arrives, check that you can reach diapers, wipes and clothing from the where the baby lays on the changing into. There will be messy moments, more than once, and picking up a naked messy baby to walk across the room to get something isn’t fun. 

So ensure that you can reach everything with ease. It sounds logical, but the temptation to store diapers and wipes in a drawer rather than next to the changing unit can be pretty high. 

Crib

The typical advice is to keep the crib free of toys and bumper bars. But that doesn’t mean you can have beautiful well-fitting sheets to match your nursery theme. You can also make sure that you have the most comfortable mattress possible too. A baby crib pad is an ideal choice. Remember that when you are buying sheets, always buy ones that are designed for the mattress you choose. Loose sheets or sheets that are at risk of slipped because they are too tight can pose a risk to your baby. So always pay close attention to what you are buying. 

Gifts

In the run-up to the baby’s arrival, you will probably get a lot of gifts, and then when the baby is here too. Think about putting shelves up, or cabinets to display some of them. The people that love you and your baby will be thrilled to see any keepsake gifts on display. Of course, there will be things you don’t like enough to have on display, and things that don’t match your room – so pick and choose what it is you want to show. 

White…

While it looks clean and bright, to begin with, white chairs and rugs get messy surprisingly quickly. And unless your covers are washable, (and you have the time to wash it), you’re going to regret the white within a couple of months. Light grey totally has your back, though. And purchasing materials that are easier to wipe off.  And consider laminate flooring too. 

Storage

As your baby gets a bit bigger, you might find the nursery a calming place to play with them during the day. BUT in the evening if you haven’t packed those toys away, you won’t enjoy standing on the coner of a toy – and having to be silent about it too. Wicker baskets are great looking – they go with any decor and are easy to put things into. 

Just Do It

Don’t let other people’s opinions of what a nursery should look like deter you from what you want. Your baby is small for such a short time, so if you feel like you want to indulge in fluffy clouds and bouncy sheep then do it. Cow motifs? Go for it. They don’t care what their room looks like in the early years, and it won’t be long before they are asking for Disney characters and pokemon. You’ll be spending so much time in there it should really be something that makes you happy, and that you enjoy being in. 

Size 

The great thing about a nursery is it can be any size that you like or have room for. As parents, we are the ones who furnish their rooms and put giant teddies in the corner. They, themselves don’t need much room. A mini crib is still a crib, and diapers can go almost anywhere. 

5 Ways to Reboot and Recharge

There isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t experienced fatigue and burnout at some point. The stress of our daily lives can be overwhelming at times, especially when you add deadlines at work, exams at school, and the challenges of parenting to the mix. When you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck and don’t have the energy to keep your eyes open, you might want to consider taking a step back and focusing on getting your energy and enthusiasm back. We bring you five ways you can battle lethargy and come out feeling recharged.

Clean your home

A clean home is a sign of a clean mind, and vice versa. If your home is cluttered and messy, you’ll have a hard time focusing and relaxing when you get there after work. Give yourself time to clean and organize your home, take a day or two or five, and get rid of things you no longer use or need. This way, you will make room for new things that you like as well as new opportunities in your life. You can give away, donate to charity, or sell some of the things you no longer need, and open both your mind and your home to new things.

Stay hydrated

You would be surprised how important it is to drink more water and stay hydrated. Sometimes, severe fatigue and migraines are a sign of dehydration, and you should really make an effort to drink more water during the day. Your heart starts pumping harder when you’re dehydrated because your blood becomes thicker too. Make it a habit to drink a tall glass of water first thing in the morning and keep a small bottle by your side so you can keep sipping throughout the day.

Get a change of scenery

When was the last time you took a trip for pleasure? A change of scenery can be a great way to relax your body and recharge your mind, especially if you have been dealing with a lot of stress in the previous weeks or months. You should take some time off and do something fun, like visit a yoga retreat in NSW and take up cooking or a massage course, or simply work on your yoga poses and routine. Whatever you decide to do on your time off, it’s of utmost importance that you don’t look at your phone or check your work emails, but use this time to focus on yourself and your needs instead.

Make yourself move

You might feel like this would be counterproductive because you’re already feeling too stressed and too tired to do any exercise, but it’s not the case. On the contrary, physical activity will do wonders for both your body and your psyche. You will feel that you have much more energy after working out, and you will feel physically tired rather than emotionally drained at the end of the day. You don’t have to join the gym if you don’t want to, a simple walk around the block in the evening or a light jog in the morning will do the trick too. When you feel ready and physically stronger, you can try adding some cardio and strength training because these will strengthen your body and help you stay in shape.

Try breathing meditation

If you have a hard time focusing at work and relaxing in the evening, you might want to give breathing meditation a try. Breathing meditation is a simple and easy way to relax and prepare your body and mind for sleep. When we’re nervous, we tend to take short breaths, and this doesn’t allow our lungs to exhale fully. When you take deliberate, deep breaths, you fill your body with oxygen and allow your muscles to relax. In addition, your nerves are much calmer, and you feel like your mind is clearer too. You could try mindful breathing because this will help you stay grounded even in difficult and stressful situations.

It doesn’t matter if your fatigue strikes the first thing in the morning or in the afternoon, what matters is that you need to deal with it. Unless you’re also dealing with hyperthyroidism or iron deficiency (in which case you need to start a doctor-approved treatment), you should find a way to relax and get enough sleep every night and deal with everyday stress in a healthy and safe way. 

Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Be Superheroes

All kids love superhero shows. But they don’t need superpowers and fancy costumes in order to become one themselves. Of course, it’s always nice to play with costumes and masks, but the most important thing is teaching your kids the importance of doing good and acting kind. As you help your children discover their own special talents, you can also work on developing their compassion which will let them become true superheroes.

Nurture their talents

Every child has a special talent. In the end, this talent can turn out to be their own superpower. Maybe they excel at sports or really enjoy writing. Maybe they know how to translate their feelings to canvas and paint really well or maybe they show incredible interest and talent in playing a certain instrument. In the end, they might be really talented when it comes to telling fantastic stories or gardening. It’s important that you pay attention to what your child is good at and then nurture that talent. This will allow them to develop their own superpowers.

Support is a secret weapon

All superheroes need proper support. Remember to tell your kids how it’s never about just one person saving the day but, ultimately, it’s always about working as a team and having the right help from friends and family. Just like that, you can be the secret weapon of your little superheroes and provide all the support they need. And you can show your support in many ways. Sometimes, it means a lot when you go out and get your little ones a movie poster of their favourite superhero movie or maybe even Hot Toys Batman and other superhero figures that they look up to. This is how you bring fun into actual lessons on kindness, strength and friendship.

It’s never about winning or losing

When it comes to their own superpowers, it’s crucial that you help kids understand the importance of doing their own best together with everyone else. This means that they may not be the first, the second or maybe even the fifth in some competitions or things they like to do, but that should never stop them from pursuing their dreams, enjoying their role and doing something incredible. After all, superheroes have many traits but the most prominent ones are their persistence and determination. There are many superheroes and they all do their extremely important part, and for them, it doesn’t matter who’s the best as long as they can make a change with their skills and effort.

The beauty of being helpful

True superheroes help other people in need. This is also something you want to teach your kids. They have their own powers and means to help others in a way that only they can. For instance, they might be able to help their friends with homework or be there for the kids who fall down at the playground. Your kids have their own duties and even though this may be as simple as tidying up their room, it’s still something that only they can do the best job at. Essentially, keep reminding your kids that they have a say and can make a difference in a bunch of different ways as long as they’re ready to help.

Superheroes make the world a better place

Monsters hide in plain sight. These days, monsters can be things like litter, pain, and even climate change. And there’s always a way for your child to take part in this fight against monsters to make the world a better place. They can pick up trash and never litter themselves; they can help their grandparents or elderly neighbours suffering from arthritis; or, maybe they can take up gardening and try planting as many trees and flowers as possible in the community. It’s always possible to make a change.

All kids are superheroes in their own right. But, they usually need their parents to help them realize this truth and their own superpowers. That said, make sure to encourage your children when their interests and talents are concerned. This will be crucial for their healthy development and growing up to be kind, fair and caring.

5 Best Antioxidant-Rich Supplements

Since the beginning of time, the bond between health and diet has been a strong one. It is not possible for anyone not to eat healthily if they want to pay attention to their health. Our bodies produce antioxidants quite naturally, but sometimes there are not enough antioxidants in the foods that we eat, and this is when we need to turn to different supplements that can help us. You need to bear in mind that some foods are very rich in antioxidants and that you must make sure to eat plenty of them. Following a plant-based diet or eating foods such as whole grains is always a good idea. Fruits and vegetables are, for example, a great source of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. But what happens if you simply forget eating those foods and you want to turn to supplementing? Take a look at the best antioxidant-rich supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular antioxidant-rich supplement there is, and it is one of the most essential vitamins for our body. It can be taken in through food, especially fruits such as lemons and oranges, but it can also come in different forms of supplements that you can take on a daily basis. The most common use of this supplement is to reduce the symptoms of the common cold, and this is exactly why when we get a bit of a fever or when we feel like we’re going to get sick, we tend to turn to vitamin C supplements. Just like other antioxidants, this too works by targeting the free radicals in the body. It can also help reduce muscle soreness and muscle damage that is most commonly associated with exercise.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a very important supplement that not many people know of. It is found in many different products that we use, but then again, we are not very familiar with it. Anyhow, this is the most important supplement that supports healthy heart function. If you are facing issues with your heart and you want to make it stronger and to improve its function, this is the supplement that you should have in mind. Even though many people haven’t heard of this supplement, it is possible to buy coq10 in Australia but also in Europe and America. This supplement actually helps to protect LDL-cholesterol from oxidation (and for those of you who don’t know, LDL-cholesterol is also known as “bad” cholesterol.)

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, on the other hand, refers to 8 different molecules that are divided into tocopherols and tocotrienols (each category is furthermore divided into alpha, beta, gamma and delta vitamers). This is the first antioxidant compound to be sold as a supplement, and only then was it followed by vitamin C, which means that it is very important for our body and that we need to do whatever we can to welcome it to our system. Vitamin E is very important for improving the blood flow and thus reduce blood pressure. Apart from that, it has also been found to lower oxidative stress and boost immunity.

Spirulina

This supplement is a very important part of a vegan’s diet. It is a blue-green algae, and it is often used as a source of vitamin B12 and protein. Spirulina is a supplement that reduces triglyceride levels, improves lipid profiles, immune variables and antioxidant capacity. Another great thing is that spirulina also boosts exercise performance, which means that it’s an excellent supplement for everyone who is into sports and who work out on a regular basis. Spirulina can also control allergies.

Alpha-lipoic acid

This supplement is most commonly found in meat, fruit and vegetables. This works well with mitochondria (which is basically the powerhouse of the cell) and it’s one of the most important natural antioxidant defenses of the body. Apart from being associated with reversing the oxidant damage due to aging, it also reduces inflammation and prevents a number of different diseases. It also improves blood flow and can reduce glucose levels in the blood.

To sum up, it is very important to pay attention to everything that we give our body. The diet is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, and with it, the supplements that we eat. It is very important to understand and to recognize which ones we do not take in enough with food and start taking them separately. It is a small price to pay for a lifetime of health.

What To Do When Your Child Hates School

Many kids go through phases of hating school – they may show no passion to learn or they may even refuse to turn up. This can have a serious impact on your kid’s education if not addressed.

 But how do you go about encouraging your child to enjoy school again? Here are just several steps to take if your child hates school.

Find out why they really don’t like school

Few kids hate school just because they want to be rebellious. Often there are other reasons – some of these reasons can be serious such as bullying, feeling overwhelmed or learning difficulties. Getting the truth out some kids isn’t easy (especially if they’re teenagers). You should confront them about it, but you should show concern as you’re doing. Once they start opening up, don’t try to offer unsolicited advice or judgement, but instead try to simply listen so that they feel confident discussing their issues with you. Knowing the problem will make it much easier to then take further action.

Talk to the school themselves

Talking to the school could be important in addressing the problem. If bullying is to blame, the school may be able to notify teachers so that a more careful eye can be kept on your child. If it’s problem of struggling with the work, the school may be able to recommend its teachers to spend greater amounts of time with your child. Alternatively, if your child hasn’t opened up, asking the teachers could be the next best option for getting to the route of their disdain for school.

Know when to get professional help

In certain cases, professional help may be needed to help encourage your child. This could include counseling services if you feel bullying in the reason. You could also consider hiring a tutor if your child had learning difficulties or behavioural problems that are stopping them from learning within a school setting.

Provide the right encouragement

Different children will require different types of encouragement. With younger kids, you may be able to help them with their school work. Older kids and teenagers could be more difficult and you may have to instil confidence by highlighting their progress. Try to also show interest in their interests and don’t just push them into subjects that you want them to do well at – it’s better that they have a passion for some subjects rather than hating school in general.

Gifts From The Heart

When you’re looking for gifts that mean something often it’s the ones that show you know that person best that are the most well-received.

Sure, you could buy a generic piece of jewellery or a big bunch of flowers and that would be great but something you’ve remembered them saying they like is more than just a one-off gift, it affirms your relationship too. Take a look at our guide to the best gifts.

Present buying doesn’t have to be outside the box

The key is buying a gift that you know will be appreciated. That might be having her car resprayed or having his bike serviced. Mundane, maybe, but if that’s what you know they’ll love then why not?

Their perfect gift might just be the gift of some time to themselves. Any parent who juggles childcare with work and home will always jump at the chance of being ordered to their favourite cafe for the afternoon with a friend of a book. That level of thoughtfulness is always appreciated.

Very often you’ll want to think about something you can do together. A surprise that means the two of you get to experience something new together. Even if you’re not a big fan of the classic Broadway musicals, something smart and clever like dear evan hansen tickets might be the perfect way to spend a classically romantic evening together. It’s not just about the show but the restaurant you choose for dinner and the bar you find yourself afterwards for post-show drinks. If these are things that you rarely do then the effort will always be appreciated.

Experiences

On top of these there are other experiences you might consider sharing together as well. A wine pairing and tasting course at a restaurant you’ve both wanted to try. A chance to try out an SUP board or a diving course. Whether food, sports or drinks related there’s a great weekend experience out there for both of you.

Image courtesy of Pexels: CC0 Licence

How about remembering the days before children where you’d travel across state to see your favourite band? Make it a road trip and overnight stay and enjoy a day or two of child-free time.

You’ve got a lot at stake and you’ve set your goals high when it comes to finding just the right gift, but you’re armed with a lot of ideas, so make it happen. Yes, some of them are going to demand a little research but you can do it. It’s worth every moment trawling through websites to find a gift that gives you edge and demonstrates just how much you really do care.

Find an experience that you both love and book a show or weekend away. Insist on your loved one taking some much needed downtime away from domestic and work responsibilities or get something practical and helpful done. Whatever you choose, if it comes from the heart, you’ll have chosen a gift that means the world to your special someone and you can be pretty pleased with yourself about that.