MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Planning to Buy a Home in Austin? Here are Cost of Living Expenses to Consider

Many people dream about relocating to their favorite city. If you’re looking to move to Austin, you’ve definitely chosen a great spot to root yourself. The city is home to all sorts of attractions including Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs Pool, LBJ Presidential Library, and the Zach Theatre. Austin also has a very rich local culture, offering a wide range of cuisine and arts.

But, before you can make the big move, you’ll need to have a plan of where you plan to live. Even though renting has become more popular in Austin than buying, the city is worth investing in if you plan to stay there for the long-term.

Keep reading to learn about the cost of living expenses in the city that you’ll need to consider as a homeowner.

Housing Costs

One of the first living expenses you’ll need to consider is housing costs. As with any city, the closer you are to the downtown area, the more expensive homes will be. Choosing to live in the suburbs can save you thousands of dollars.

Some suburbs with low cost of living include:

  • Lockhart
  • Redwood
  • Martindale
  • Taylor
  • Uhland
  • Lago Vista

As a prospective home buyer, you’ll be delighted to learn that Austin’s housing market is hot. According to Zillow, the median home value in the city is $361,200. Values are expected to increase more than 3% in the next year. Most homes in the market are priced around $379,000, with many selling at or a little below that price.

Purchasing a home when values are expected to increase is a great perk. This means that you’re more likely to buy a home with equity already in it, or you can buy and build equity shortly thereafter. This can come in handy in the event that you need to borrow against the equity for a loan.

Utility Costs

Austin is known for its very hot summers, which means during the warmer months, you can expect your HVAC system to be working overtime. For a 915 square foot home, you can expect to pay around $157.55. Obviously, the largest your home, the more expensive your monthly utility bills will be. To help offset the cost of the warmer months, try to be as energy efficient in your home as possible. This means turning off lights when not in use, unplugging devices, and even investing in energy efficient appliances that can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Aside from heating, cooling, and electricity, you’ll also need to account for home services. On average, you can expect to pay almost $60 a month for internet and cable services. Since prices vary, it’s best to shop around. Take the time to compare prices from the best internet providers in Austin so that you can ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

To reduce your internet and cable costs, always bundle services. Providers offer discounts to customers who use several of their services. You can also ask about discounts for senior citizens or military members, if applicable.

Property Taxes

As a homeowner, not only will you be responsible for paying your monthly mortgage costs, you’ll also need to pay property taxes. Texas has one of the highest property taxes in the U.S., coming in as the sixth highest in the country. The average property tax rate is 1.86%.

In Austin, the property tax rate is 1.37%. Most homeowners living in the city pay around $2,248 in property taxes. But, as home values go up, you will also have to pay more towards property taxes as they’re based on the appraised value of your home.

Other Expenses

Aside from the cost of living expenses that are directly related to owning a home, there are other costs that you’ll want to consider before deciding that Austin is the best city for you. For example, it may be helpful to know that grocery costs in Austin are below the state and national average. You’ll also find savings with healthcare costs. But, one area that can hit your wallet quite hard is transportation. Compared to the national average (100), Austin comes in at 131.

You’ll also want to research the average costs of food and groceries in the area. For a fast food meal, you’ll spend about $7. Lunch in a local business district typically costs around $15. Check out Expatistan to find current rates for common groceries such as milk, eggs, bread, poultry, and many others.

Conclusion

Relocating to a new city on a whim can be costly. Before making the move to become an Austin resident, it’s important that you have a thorough understanding of the cost of living. This way you can better budget your money and figure out just how far your earnings will take you in the city.

5 Reasons why Electrical Inspections are Crucial

Surprisingly, most of the time people tend to ignore issues such as electrical safety inspections. But one most important thing they fail to understand the impacts of defective electrical interconnections. Truth be told, a defective electric network is fatal and might change the lives of individuals completely. As a result, a below brief has compiled 5 reasons why electrical safety inspections are crucial.

Eliminates The Risk of Court Battles
Ever thought of your business premise with millions and millions of valuable property in flames? What about one or more of your employees getting electrocuted or dies from an electric shock? Be assured of endless court battles that will not only milk your company’s finances but also its reputation will be at stake.

Once your company’s reputation is damaged, be sure to loss the clientele base you have achieved after years of hard work. Therefore, an electrical safety inspection will for sure save you the legal burden as well as enhance the integrity and reputation of your company.

Avoid Irreparable Injuries

It might seem usual working with electricity either at home or in business entities. But recovering from an electric shock won’t be an easy task. Electric shock occurs mainly when a person becomes part of the electric circuit. This may result to burns, electrocution or arch flame injuries. For instance, an electrocution can completely interfere with the functioning of the brain and muscle electric signals or even lead to death.

On the other hand, arc flames can be too bright that can cause permanent eye damage. Burns that result from an electric shock can also not only physical pain but also emotional pain that might completely change the life of an individual. To avoid such calamities, get in touch with the expert level 2 electricians to do an electric inspection which help identify potential electrical shocks and can be mitigated immediately.

Mitigation Role against Repair and Replacement Costs
Imagine a house you have struggled to buy or still paying the mortgage then boom! It is all in flames. You will be required to organize for a new house or repairs the current one depending on the level if damage. Remember the costs associated with repairs were unplanned. You will therefore be required to either dig deeper in your pockets or land on a debt you will be required to service yet again.

The entire process can be very distressing. Therefore, an electric safety inspection can help identify any circuit overloads that might exist and enable you make a decision on whether to install a circuit breaker or not. In the process mitigating against fire hazards

Identification of Loopholes during the Wiring Process

As we all know, electrical installation can be very tedious which requires a high level of attention. A single slight mistake can completely alter the normal functioning of the entire network. The havoc that can arise in the process can be beyond explanation. That is when electrical safety inspection comes in. Mainly to help identify any loop holes in the design layout and general installation.


Identification of Lack of Bonding

When it comes to electricity, earthling also known as bonding can be as crucial as the entire wiring. Earthlings are specifically designed to transport excess power to the ground. Uncontrolled Power can not only crush a person to nothing but also blow up an entire building.

Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to our current Giveaway Winners! Below are the giveaways that have ended and winners.

Share the Baby Magic Love *Giveaway ends Dec. 21st* WINNER: Dericka B

Holiday Gifts: National Geographic Kids Books *Giveaway ends Dec. 26th* WINNER: Vilfreda H

BUMBLEBEE In Theaters December 21st – Save with Entenmann’s WINNER: Janice B

Disney DCappella CD *Giveaway ends Dec. 31st* WINNER:  Carly B

Holiday Treats: Little Bites Sugar Cookie Muffins  WINNER: Breanne T

Hotel Transylvania 3   WINNER: Rebecca N.

Goosebumps 2: Gummy Bear Slime Recipe, Science Experiments, Bonus Clips and more #Goosebumps2

Slappy New Year! GOOSEBUMPS 2 is now available on Digital and arrives on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on January 15th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment!

GOOSEBUMPS 2 Blu-ray, DVD and Digital bonus features include a gag reel full of hilarious hijinks, three all-new deleted scenes and five featurettes. Between the chills, thrills and goosebumps, watch the cast get a case of the giggles in the “Gag Reel.” Dive deep in “Thrills & Chills- The Making of Goosebumps 2” with Madison Iseman, along with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew. “Meet the Monsters” gives fans a sneak peek of how the scary creatures were brought to life. In “Slappy’s Audition,” watch what happens when Slappy auditions for the role he was born to play. In “Science with Slappy,” enter the Slapatory where Madison, Jeremy and Caleel join Slappy for some electrifying experiments! And get ready to sing along with three hilarious “Slappy-oke” songs.  Who knew dummies could sing?

We have some fun science experiments your kiddos can enjoy creating! Welcome to the Slapatory where you can observe, guess, and record your experiments! Watch these gummy bears grow & glow!

Science With Slappy

*A product was provided.

What Are Your Options When You Accidentally Lose A Tooth?

Losing a tooth can be a painful and often traumatic experience, and there is not likely to be any money underneath your pillow in the morning either. Whether your tooth is knocked out by the force of an accident or has come loose and fallen out on its own, you have several options to choose from to get your smile fixed.

Your smile is the first thing that greets the world and having a tooth missing can not only affect your health but your self-confidence. Having an open tooth socket in your mouth can often lead to issues of infection and should be addressed by a dentist as soon as possible.

It’s important to find out your repair options, address implant costs and have a dentist take a look at your remaining teeth to see if there is any further damage. Proper dental care following losing a tooth is vital not only for the quality of your smile, but your oral health in general. Not to worry, there are several options for repair and replacement to choose from in this situation.

Reinsertion

In some cases, if the tooth that has been knocked out is found and is intact, it can be successfully reinserted into the mouth. The body may be able to heal the area and allow the tooth to reattach and function normally. If you can find the tooth, the first step is to rinse it thoroughly in a saline solution, being careful to not handle the root. Try inserting it back into the gap and keep it there with your cheek and tongue until you get to a dentist. If you can’t get the tooth into the gap, place it in saline solution or milk, and transport it with you to have it inserted by your dentist.

Implants

When your missing tooth needs to be replaced, the most permanent option is to have an implant put in. This will require your dentist to place a titanium post into the gap that will act as a permanent root. The crown or upper tooth part will then be attached to the post and you will have a fully functional artificial tooth that will look as natural as the rest of your teeth.

Bridge

When you lose multiple teeth in the same area in your mouth, a bridge may be an option for you. A wire anchor is placed around the remaining teeth and a set of artificial teeth is then set in the middle. A bridge can consist of anywhere from one to three teeth and will give you a functional bite and natural-looking smile.

Removable Denture

These are a great option for front facing teeth that have been lost. They are easily removable, which makes cleaning the denture and the gumline much easier than with a permanent denture. Your dentist will custom design your denture to match the shape and color of your surrounding teeth so that the look and feel is more seamless.

Study Finds Healbe GoBe2 to Offer a High Level of Accuracy in Calorie Intake

*A product was provided. All opinions are my own.

I have been learning more and more about my GoBe2 and have had a lot of questions about how it works. Here is a little more information on it. Here is my tracking from yesterday (1/4/19) and I would say this is pretty spot on. I will continue to track through my fitness pal and compare with GoBe2.

The Foods for Health Institute at the University of California Davis completed a validation study of a health monitoring smartband, the Healbe GoBe2. A 14-day study was conducted on 27 adult volunteers ages 18-40 years, 11 men and 16 women. The results of the study confirm the accuracy of the Healbe GoBe2 in automatic tracking of digested calories.


Calorie counting accuracy was assessed by comparing a data from the manually recorded intake of volunteers and the data from the GoBe2. Study meals were prepared in a UC Davis commercial kitchen by trained food service personnel following a stringent HACCP protocol. A research team analyzed the calorie content of each individual menu item, weighed, recorded, portioned, served the food and recorded plate-waste for all study volunteers at each meal served in the dining facility.

To determine how well the device and its algorithms estimated the actual diet of volunteers, the correlation between recorded intake and data from the GoBe2 was examined. Data were transformed into 3-day rolling averages and the GoBe2 accuracy was 87%. Over the two week period, the GoBe2 showed an accuracy of 90% in measuring calorie intake.
Sara Schaefer, Ph.D., Associate Director of Technology and Education at the Foods for Health Institute, led the study and is excited about the potential to learn more about people’s unique diets and metabolism using non-invasive technologies. She is creating a laboratory for studying the measurable processes of metabolism and plans to use the GoBe smart band in further research.


By creating a wearable device like the GoBe2, Healbe aims to provide non-invasive, easy to use, and highly accurate tool to help people everywhere improve health, reach their weight loss goals and subsequently reduce the likelihood of obesity-related diseases.
More information on the study can be found at bit.ly/ucdavis_validation.

How to Clean a Pool Cartridge Filter System?

I am going to cover a comprehensive DIY method of cleaning a pool cartridge filter. Because you know if you have a cartridge system in your pool, you will need to clean it from time to time.

What is a Pool Cartridge Filter?


            There are many ways to clean a pool cartridge. So, do check on this review for more information. But firstly, what is a pool cartridge filter? Usual pools have a sand filter. But you can also have a filter set up near the pumps to make sure contaminations don’t enter your pool.

            So, you will be required to change that filter from time to time. That way you can ensure your water is free of contamination entirely. Check on here to get full information about different types of pool cleaners.

Why Use a Pool Cartridge Filter?


            Because simply it is easier to clean. Usual pools with sand filters need you to backwash them a couple of times a month. The frequency depends on how often you sue the pool. But, a cartridge filter ensures that you clean it four times a year. Then again, that too also depends where you live and how heavily your pool is used.

            Moreover, when you invest in a sand filter, you have to spend much higher on your energy costs. How? Firstly, a sand filter increases your system pressure and pump pressure. With a cartridge filter, you are saving on energy costs significantly.

            A sand filter can be very volatile on your pool pump. Meaning, you would be spending much more on pool maintenance should your pool pump go kaput. But, with a cartridge filter, your pool pump won’t be seeing much friction.

            And, if you have an above ground pool, then a sand filter would not work for you anyway. Having a cartridge filter would be ideal for you then. Also, the number of backwashes you would have to do for your sand filter, your water balance would be thrown off.

            San filters give you 10-20 microns as it lowers the ability of your pool. But, your cartridge filter will have a good 20-40 microns. So, if your pool is more than 1.5 HP, I would suggest you use a cartridge filter for your pool.

How to Clean a Pool Cartridge Filter?      
 
            Now that you will be cleaning the cartridge filter fewer times than a sand filter. But, the process needs you to follow a few steps.

            · Shut off the system, the pump and the power line to be on the safe side.

            ·Turn the air valve located on top of your filter to get out all the air out of it.

            ·Different cartridge filter has different clamps. So, make sure you take them off before you start.

            · Once you are done with that, remove the top of the filter and expose the dirt inside.

            · Now you need to take off all the stuff inside the filter. But, while doing that remember where they were placed. So, you can out them back again.

            · Check for all damages if any. If there are damages or tears, you need to replace the filter altogether.

            · Use a degreaser, coat all the elements well. You can decide what needs to be soaked overnight. But, they need to be cleaned thoroughly.

            · Rinse gently with a hose while you wash all elements.

            · Now, that you have cleaned all the elements. Wait to dry them out.

            · Then place all of the elements accurately when you were dismantling them in the first place.

            · While your filter is divided apart, you need to check the O-Ring. If you see any damage, you need to replace that too before setting your filter up again.

            · If your O-Ring is damage free, consider applying a silicon liquid on it.

            · Now, you put the filter back on tightening up all the elements, so they remain in place.

            · Now, that you have put the filter back on, keep all air valves open to release any excess air inside.

            · If your PSI pressure is low; then you will have to resettle all the elements again as it may be because you put them back on inaccurately. So, check the system pressure lastly.


            So, here was my steps in how to clean a pool cartridge filter system. Do check out this review and leave your comments below, if you have any other DIY methods in cleaning your pool filter.

How to Remove Pet Hair From Shag Carpet

Owning a furry pet and a shag carpet is a combination that guarantees a headache when it comes to cleaning. Pet hairs are easily trapped within the fibers of a shag carpet, yet it is impossible to prevent your pets from shedding their hairs. This means that you need to focus on vacuuming your carpets frequently and be creative about reducing the amount of pet fur that gets into contact with your carpet. While you may clean your home with a broom, getting cleaning equipment that has been designed for cleaning homes with pets will save you a great deal when it comes to time and effort. These are some of the best ways to remove pet hairs from your shag carpet, and they have been proven to work.

– Using a Lint Roller
            The same way a lint roller gets rid of lint from suits and outfits is the same way it can remove pet hairs from carpets. You will need to purchase along lint roller and roll it over your carpet so that the pet hairs can stick on it. Alternatively, you can attach it to a long handle and use it like you would when painting a high ceiling using a roller paint brush. If you cannot access a lint roller easily, then you can pick up a roller paint brush and wrap an adhesive such as cello tape, duct tape or masking tape on the roller with the sticky part exposed. You will then roll this over your carpet, getting any pet hairs to stick onto the adhesive. Once the stick part gets filled up with dirt, you can peel it off to expose a fresh sticky layer. This method only gets rid of pet hairs that are on the surface of your carpet; thus it’s best to use it as the first step to cleaning carpets ridden with pet hairs.

– Rubber Gloves
            Going with the science of static electricity, we can use rubber to remove hairs from shag carpets. It is advisable to get rubber gloves with a textured surface, preferably one with small rubber nubs. To remove pet hairs on the surface of the carpet, wear the rubber gloves and sweep your hands across the surface of the carpet along the direction of its fibers. However, if you want to get rid of hairs more rooted within the fibers, then you must run your fingers through the carpet fibers so that the hairs can stick onto the gloves. Homeowners that have used this method before swearing to the tip that is lightly spraying a solution of 3 parts water and one part fabric softener onto the carpet before sweeping with your gloved hands does help a great deal when it comes to cleaning pet hair. The pet hairs will collect themselves into small balls that you can pick up and dispose of. The fabric softener also makes your carpets to smell fresher. In case you encounter stains, you can use a sponge with detergent to get rid of them.

– Rubber Brooms

            Rubber brooms also use static electricity to capture hairs within its rubber bristles. You can purchase these brooms from various stores. To remove pet hairs from your shag carpet, you will sweep the rug along its fibers just like you would with a regular broom. The advantage of using a rubber broom is that it goes deep inside the carpet fibers, capturing all the hairs from the carpet. You can get a rubber broom with or without a handle, but the latter is easier to use.

– Using a Carpet Rake or Hair Brush
            Most of us only know of a rake being used in cleaning the lawn or farm. Yes, carpet rakes also exist. Their teeth can either be made of durable but smooth plastic or metal, and these go deeper into your carpet fibers getting rid of any pet hairs. To clean your carpet using a carpet rake, you will need to sweep it along the carpet’s fibers to prevent them from tangling with pet hairs, while keeping the fibers well arranged. You can purchase a carpet rake from most stores, but you can use a hairbrush as an alternative. The difference between these two is that a carpet rake has a long handle that makes it easier to clean large spaces without straining as compared to a hairbrush that forces you to bend or squat to clean your carpets.

– Invest in a Pet Vacuum Cleaner
            Having a vacuum cleaner is excellent but having one explicitly designed for a pet gives you a higher level of cleanliness, especially if it has carpet cleaning capabilities. You have to ensure that the pet vacuum has powerful suction and a reliable filtration system. It should have a brushroll that has been designed never to tangle when vacuuming even long pet hairs from carpets. If your floors have a lot of pet hairs, then it helps to use the methods discussed above, and then go over with your vacuum cleaner. You can then vacuum your shag carpet back and forth until you are satisfied that all the pet hairs have been removed. There are different types of pet vacuums available in the market, and whether you want a full-sized, stick, handheld or robotic vacuum, you will have a wide array to choose from. The most significant advantage of using a pet vacuum cleaner is that your carpet will not be destroyed and the fibers will stay in perfect shape. A pet vacuum with carpet cleaning capabilities is undoubtedly the most effective, fastest and easiest method to remove pet hairs from your shag carpet.

How to Prevent Buildup of Pet Hairs on Your Shag Carpet
            To keep your shag carpet clean without having to send your furry friend away, you have to follow these measures. Brush the pet hair frequently to get rid of loose hairs that will otherwise end up shedding off onto the carpet. You need to designate specific sleeping and living areas for your pets and limit their access to other parts of the home, especially areas with high-pile carpeting, as these would be the toughest to remove pet hairs from. You must also vacuum and clean the carpets frequently to avoid accumulation of these pet hairs especially in hard to reach areas like under furniture and in corners and edges. Practicing these tips will ensure not only a cleaner home but also a peaceful existence between the homeowner and their pet.

Holiday 2018: Glider Gloves

Glider Gloves are the best touch screen compatible gloves for men, women and children. Touchscreen gloves, also known as texting gloves, capacitive gloves or even iPhone gloves, are gloves that allow you to interact with a screen with your gloves on so your hands stay warm. Glider Gloves are designed for winter use, keeping your hands protected and toasty with an amazing ability to still type and swipe your phone like normal. 

Glider Gloves smartphone gloves are rated #1 in the market so beware of mass-produced typing gloves that are a dime a dozen and the price tags associated with brand name specialty gloves. Don’t compromise with an inferior performing glove that won’t keep your hands warm or look as fashionable as Glider Gloves. The company’s only focus is to ensure their touch screen gloves are fully functional, warm and innovative!

You can purchase them on Amazon!

*A product was provided.

Snow Much Fun by Precious Moments

Precious Moments has the cutest winter line called Snow Much Fun. It features one adorable snowman that is perfect for your Holiday decorating to cute winter decor that will be a cute addition all winter long.

Right now is Precious Moments Winter Blowout Sale – Get up to 90% Off select figurines and gifts at PreciousMoments.com! Sale ends 1/4/19.

The Snow Much Fun line has a smiling snowman with sweet Precious Moments eyes while a friendly cardinal perches happily on the brim of his charming top hat. Someone you cherish is sure to adore these whimsical pieces. All of the Snow Much Fun line will make the perfect Christmas gift for anyone with an affinity for snowmen or who treasures Precious Moments. All items are carefully crafted with glazed ceramic and expertly hand painted and are Dishwasher safe.

One Day Only – Get FREE shipping on $35+ U.S. orders with code SHIP4FREE at PreciousMoments.com! Valid 2/9.

*A product was provided.

Cute Holiday Movie: Holly Star

Sloan returns home for the holidays and gets caught up in a mysterious treasure hunt with her paintball-obsessed best friend, her tango-dancing grandmother and her childhood sweetheart.

Holly Star is a super cute Holiday movie sure to capture your heart. Sloan is a puppeteer who comes home for Christmas. She has a dream about “Holy Star” and with the help of her funny Best Friend and her childhood friend they go on a fun treasure hunt. 

Throughout the movie you see the fun Puppets that Sloan created and why she went into being a puppeteer in the first place.  She helps her childhood friend Andy at his Christmas Tree lot and basically the rest is history. 

This is the cutest new movie for the Holidays and if you love romantic Holiday movies then Holly Star is for you! 

Follow Holy Star Movie on FacebookInstagramTwitter

*A product was provided.

Fun Activities for Parent-Child Bonding

Spending quality time with your child as they grow up is essential for development and well-being. Children need their parents’ attention and approval, and it’s vital to provide them with both. When the kids reach their adulthood and have their own family, their childhood memories will guide them as they raise their own children.

To bond with your child, you should go beyond eating dinner together, helping them do their homework, and doing chores. Spend time together, and nurture your relationship with them by doing these fun bonding activities.

Reading Books

Every parent has probably heard about the Mozart effect, which says that listening to classical music while the mother is pregnant makes the baby smarter, but science has proven that the effect is myth.

Classical music (or music in general) has positive effects on children. However, if you want to let your kid exercise their brains, stimulate their imagination, and develop their understanding of the world, you should read with them regularly.

Exposing children to reading, especially at a young age, has many known benefits, including helping enhance their language skills, critical thinking, thirst for knowledge, and concentration, among others. With the right stories, reading can be an incredibly enjoyable activity you can do with your child.

You add extra fun by using pictures, doing voices, adding sound effects, and acting out exciting scenes. Or you spend a pleasant afternoon in the library with your kids. You can get them their own library card, explore the area, and let them attend storytelling activities.

Doing Arts and Crafts

You don’t leave your home or spend a lot to do arts and crafts with your kid. There isn’t a lot of preparation as well. All you need are your all-time favorite craft supplies and yourselves, and you’re all set!

You can find a ton of arts and crafts resources on the internet to try out with your kid. Or you can get creative and use whatever you have in the house to make something unique. Your output doesn’t have to be museum-worthy. What’s important is that you and your kid have fun in the process.

Singing Songs

Bonding with your kid doesn’t have to be anything fancy or planned. You can just break out in a song (preferably something they know) when you’re stuck in traffic or during a road trip and have your own version of a carpool karaoke.

Or you can play fill in the missing lyrics while you’re waiting for your turn in the drive-through or dropping them off to school. The most mundane things, like doing chores, can be fun too when they’re accompanied by joyful music and dancing.

Baking and Cooking

Like arts and crafts, making food is a fun and productive activity to do with your child. Most kids, if not all, love delicious treats and snacks, and they’ll love it even more if they’re given the chance to create their favorite edibles.

That said, spend a morning or afternoon making pancakes, pizza, cookies, cupcakes, and  a ton of kid-friendly recipes with your child. don’t let your young child handle dangerous kitchen tools, like sharp and scalding objects, though. After making food, you can then enjoy the fruit of your hard work and have more quality time together.

Playing with Your Pet

Spend quality time with your kid while bonding with your other baby, your pet, that is. You can take your child to the park and walk the dog and play fetch. Or you can stay at home and have an exciting game of hide and seek. Training and bathing your pet can also be fun activities you can do with your kid.

Don’t miss the great opportunity to teach your child about animals and encourage them to treat other living things with respect and kindness.

Taking Nature Walks

Spending time in nature is simultaneously relaxing and exciting. Everything in nature soothes your person—the trees,chirping birds, and fresh air. The thought of finding wondrous sights and discovering something new along the way also builds your excitement. And you can share the relaxation and excitement with your child.

Taking a nature walk with your kid helps them get quality exercise that’s good for the body and the mind. Together, you can get away from the distractions of digital media and immerse yourselves in nature sights, sounds, and smells.

Nature hiking is a great opportunity to expose your young kid to wildlife, as well as teach them the principle of leaving no trace. Just make sure to prepare well for your hiking adventure to avoid accidents or dangerous situations.

Going to the Movies

Quality time with your kid doesn’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes, you can simply go out to the closest cinema, buy some popcorn and soda, and enjoy a good movie. If you love watching films, even better because you can share your taste in films with them (as long as the movies are appropriate for their age, of course).

Or you do a movie night at home if you want to save money and be extra comfortable. You and your kid can build a blanket fort in the living room, make some popcorn, and find a good movie to watch on Netflix. For reference, here are 50 great kids’ movies you can watch with your child.

Go on a Picnic

If you’ve been cooped up at home for too long, having an outdoor picnic can be a nice change of pace.Eating delicious food is more enjoyable when you’re surrounded by nature. Pack a checkered mat and some snacks and drinks and head to the nearest nature park in the area.

But you don’t have to go somewhere far to have a nice outdoor picnic. You can also set up a table or mat in your backyard and have a nice little picnic with just you and your kid. You can have a tea party, sing songs, read stories, or simply bask under the sun after eating.

Making Holiday Greeting Cards

With the holidays just around the corner, card making is the perfect parent-child bonding activity to do this season. Stay in this weekend, get cozy with a warm cup of cocoa and a comfy blanket, and spread out your art supplies on the living room floor or kitchen table.

Holiday greeting cards are relatively easy and cheap to make. And you’ll only need the basic school supplies, like colorful A7 cardstock, scissors, glue, crayons, markers, and stickers. You and your child can make as many as you want to give to all your loved ones and try out all sorts of holiday designs for fun.

Final Takeaway

You have to spend as much time as you can with your kids while they’re still young and living with you, because you may  not get the chance anymore when they grow up. They will take their childhood memories with them as they become adults, so give your kids lots of good memories so they have a lot of the happiness to share with children when the time comes.

You don’t have to plan elaborate activities or spend thousands of dollars to spend quality time with your kids. Even the most mundane activities can turn into a memorable parent-child bonding activity when you add fun to them. 

Stay Warm This Winter with ergoPouch

The award-winning ergoPouch collection includes premium quality baby swaddles, sleeping bags, sleep suits and layers available from birth to 6 years of age sizing along with organic bedding.  All ergoPouch products are made with natural fibers including Organic Cotton and Bamboo.

ergoPouch products offer great functionality and versatility with swaddles that can easily transition to a sleeping bag and sleep suits that convert from bags to suits with legs for easy use from bassinet to stroller.

The Winter Onesie is an evolution of the Layers range, made with thick organic cotton filling, making it a warmer, more snug sleep option. The suit is designed to be worn on its own without the need of a Sleeping Bag or Sleep Suit Bag and is specially designed for kids aged one to five years.

The on-trend, luxuriously soft and completely functional new Winter Onesie is made from a skin-friendly organic cotton jersey outer layer and 100% breathable cotton filling. With the fold over cuffs and mitts and 2.5 Tog rated for warmth, the suit can replace sleeping bags (mitts are available in sizing up to 2 years). The suit is ideal for toddlers transitioning into a big bed, when they tend to move around in their sleep and kick off bedding, the suit will keep them warm all night long.

For more information visit www.ergopouch.com.

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Recently Moved to a New Area? 5 Things to Get in Order That You Might Not Have Thought Of

Moving can be stressful at the best of times, but it’s even more stressful if you’re moving to a new area as well as a new home. Most people have their mind preoccupied with things like unpacking boxes and setting up electronics before they actually start to realize that there’s a lot more that needs to be done. Thankfully, this quick checklist should point you in the right direction, so you know these five things you need to sort out that you might not have previously been aware of.

  1. Finding new schools

If you’ve got kids, you’ll know how important this step is. It’s probably something you should have looked at before you even made the move. Getting enrolled in a new school can take time, so make sure you leave enough space before the term starts. Finding a school can be difficult, but you might want to check online exam results and other school ratings for your area.

Try visiting a few potential schools before committing to one so you and your kids can get a feel for which one they prefer. This can also stand you in good stead when you apply, especially if the school is hard to get into. Having already met you, it could put you ahead of other potential students who didn’t make regular visits and ask lots of questions.

  1.  Finding a new dentist

Another important step is finding a high-quality dentist. Make sure you’ve done a lot of research, asked people you know in the area, and also visited a few potential practices.

There’s a big difference between a good dentist and a great one, so make sure you take careful consideration over which one to go for. You might not want to leave your old dentist, but it’s useful to have one close enough that it’s still convenient. Especially if you’re looking for Emergency Dentists USA, you need to find the right one that’s close enough to your new home.

  1. Joining a new library

This one might be slightly more straightforward than finding a school, but it could still be an important step for you. Find either the closest or best-stocked library for your needs and make sure you’re signed up before you urgently need to use one.

  1. Meeting the neighbors

This is one hugely important step when moving to a new area. Getting involved with your neighbors could help make your move much less stressful. Go and knock on a few doors and introduce yourself. Maybe even invite a few people round for drinks and nibbles. Getting on well with your neighbors can have a massive impact on your quality of life, and you never know where they’ll be able to help. They could even help answer some questions regarding some other issues on this list.

  1. Getting involved in the community

As well as getting to know the people on your street, you might want to launch yourself a bit more into the community by joining clubs and societies. Again, this can help your new house feel like a real home much more quickly.

Time For Me: 5 Ways To Reclaim Some Mom Time Each Day

When you have kids, me-time can seem like a wonderful, yet distant and impossible dream. After all, most of your waking hours are spent taking care of the kids’ needs, and boy, do they need things, like all the time! However, to be a happy and healthy momma, it is crucial to schedule in some regular me-time. Otherwise, it can really affect your ability to take the best care of your family, not to mention your own mental wellbeing and happiness. That is why I have come up with the suggestions for a little daily mom time below. Keep reading to find out more.

Meditation

Meditation is known to have all sort of excellent health benefits such as reduced stress and anxiety, and even greatest spirituality. It’s also usually an activity that needs to be done alone and in silence, which provides you with the perfect excuse to have a little mommy me-time where you can insist on not being disturbed.

Exercise

We all know about the fantastic advantages of exercising regularly including weight maintenance, and improved mental health. However, what if your exercise time was also a great way of doing your own things each and every day too?

Studying

One of the main complaints that moms have is that they don’t get to engage in adult conversation or complex problems while they are looking after the kids. In fact, it can seem like an endless stream of running noses to wipes, and kids cartoons blaring out in the background. Luckily, doing some studying at home can really help with this and provide that intellectual challenge that you crave.

You can even take a course like this online mba program and fit it around your other responsibilities as well. Then not only will you get some much needed mental stimulation, but in as little as 18 months you could have a high-level qualification that could improve your resume too!

Bath time

Bathrooms aren’t sacred alone space for moms. In fact, mommas are used to having their whole broods banging on the door or even coming in while they are trying to take a rest break.

However, once your other half has come home and can take care of the little ones for a bit, why not treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath? It’s perfect me time, and you can even lock the door and put on some relaxing music as well, just to make it extra special!

Reading

Lastly, if you don’t have the time or energy to do any of the activities above, but you are still searching for a short respite from the demands of family life, why not pick up a favorite book?

After all, a great story can transport us to another place and can provide the perfect opportunity to squeeze in some much needed me time, while the kids are napping or playing.