MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Childhood Health Strategies for Handling Bullies

Two-thirds of recent school shootings in the United States were conducted by young people who had been bullied. These numbers show us that the effects of bullying are too life threatening to ignore. Every year, the month of October is dedicated to raising awareness of bullying prevention. There are a number of things that can be done by parents and school administrators to help those who are victims of bullying, as well as putting a stop those who might be bullying others.

Children naturally pick up behaviors from their parents. Those who are exposed to aggressive behavior or an overly strict home environment, may be prone to bullying. If you think your child may be bullying, it should be monitored over time by questioning the child, as well as continuously contacting the school to examine what is going on and to see if or when it stops.

While bullying often occurs in school bathrooms, on the playground, or in the hallways, it can also happen through cell phones and the internet. Some signs that your child might be a victim of bullying include lost or damaged personal belongings, changes in their eating habits, and avoidance of social settings and school.

Parents and school administrators should talk to students who are bullying or being bullied, separately. Having a discussion with them in the same room can be intimidating or embarrassing for the child who is being bullied.

To learn more about bullying and preventing bullying take the quiz below from Health IQ to test your knowledge.

Creating a Practical & Stylish Dining Area

Playing host to family and friends is tradition during the holiday season. Creating a practical and stylish dining area will set the tone every time you dine-in your own home. Guests will feel the vibe when sitting at your dining area, or if it’s only family, it can a host many family memories.

 

Exceptional dining sets, tables and chairs, bar stools and kitchen furniture will dramatically change the way you eat in your dining area. Guests will adore your space. The palette of vibrant and rich colour you can pick from will add to your family’s style. In majority of homeowners minds, the end of the year brings many refurnishing ideas for specific rooms in their homes. When refurbishing a dining room, it does end well, but it does start with a vision.

 

Visual to conception

 

Dining space with round tables and wooden chairs made with fine oak or mahogany brings a traditional, yet stylish look to any dining area. Whether its Scandinavian style, or not, it brings out the rooms character. The window treatments stitched in embroidery designs go well in any dining room too. Regardless of the colour, design, or pattern, any of it goes well against light or dark wood furniture.

 

Visualize entering your dining area with a nice mahogany sideboard with a sheer delighted feeling to sit at dining table while waiting to feast. Compared to the rest of the home, you want to express a nice welcome. Rest on the assurance that flawless decorating plans will come with an amazing dining room once you’ve furnished or decorated it with your style, your personality.

 

The dining table

 

If you have a growing family, buy an extended dining table. These are perfect for larger sized families. If you are single, or a couple, the small tables are ideal and less expensive. Dining room furniture are functional for dining spaces when having massive or small gatherings. Open the doors to the practicality of stylish dining. With walnut or oak finishes, it adds a refined look and in the form of a long-lasting, quality made product.

 

Informal or formal dining furniture

 

However, for an informal dining area, remember you can always minimize the area with less accessories. Allow it to act as a formal dining area when you need and the setting by arranging the dining table according to occasion. Either way, with fine wood furniture, everything looks nice on it.

 

It’s important when creating a style for a beautiful dining room. It takes intuition and creativity. For instance, when those family guests or friends who “pop in” unannounced, the extended and more than functional dining table is ideal for times like this. It can also help an awkward situation. In fact, the atmosphere will turn to mere enlightenment when you suddenly extend the table. It then becomes a great piece of furniture that is both functional and stylistic as well. Crafted with premium natural oak wood or other fine wood.

 

The dining furniture designed by talented and skillful designers attested to the strength of this dining furniture. Add fine glassware always charms guests when placed on nice furniture too. It all helps bring the room into a fine dining experience. Your table will engulf a particular feel to it. Topple the dining table with several items such as colorful doilies, napkin holders, candles, plates, and other dining features.

 

Dining furniture

 

A diverse group of dining accessories including plates, cups, wine glasses, and fine kitchenware are safely stored in nice oak sideboards when not in use. With walnut finish or other fine wood furniture are beautifully engineered and set in a dining room, the pieces become a work of art. It keeps the dining area stunning. It’ll also keep it neat and simple with sideboards as storage for your dining accessories.

 

The following are some ideas to put on your sideboard.

 

– Vase of flowers

– Attractive bowl

– Framed photos

– Wine rack

 

Consequently, showing a fresh take on a nice piece of dining furniture is simplicity. It’s the perfect keepsake spot for a well-appointed display.

Making memories last

 

At last, it’s a season which allows a festive dining room with furniture and decor which welcomes guests to an open room of memorable conversations. While celebrating the holiday season after you’ve created a practical and stylish dining area, you’ll feel happier going into the new year. Contact our representatives for delivery information. Start making more memories to blossom through another year and in a stunning, practical, and stylish dining area.

You Can’t Afford Not To Sleep

Whether you are a new mommy or well into your career of being a professional caretaker, there are some things you just can’t skimp on. Bubbles in your bath, vitamins to keep our skin healthy, and a great night of sleep. Let’s face it though, when you have a few kids, a husband, a job, and a house to run, sleep seems like something you should push aside.

 

This isn’t the healthiest option for you and the ramifications of this can leak into your life and health farther than you think. Let’s paint a picture. You have three children. One needs cupcakes for the bake sale and another needs help with their math homework. Your spouse is helping by making dinner and you are trying your best to finish that project before tonight’s deadline or you won’t get that sale. Oh, and your third child is in need of a clean diaper.

 

These types of days are not unfamiliar to the working mother, but I am here to tell you to make sure you are getting your sleep. If you are trying but pains in your hips, shoulders, back, or neck is stopping you then you aren’t the problem after all. This problem is most likely your mattress.

 

If that is the case then you should consider treating yourself to a new one. There are so many options available in a wide range of affordable prices. If you prefer firm mattresses check out this review from thesleepjudge.com.

When You Don’t Sleep

When you add up all the negative effects losing sleep has on your life, it is hard to deny how important sleep is to your overall health and well-being. What you might not be aware of is that this can also have implications on your wallet.

Less Alert

When you don’t get the slumber required to reboot your system you aren’t as alert the next day. This isn’t a great thing for a mother of three. We need to be on alert at all times, especially when our babies are toddlers who get into everything. This can be dangerous.

 

At work, this means mistakes, and errors do one thing; they cost us money.

Memory Loss

How are you going to remember that pitch for the meeting in the morning if you spent the entire night trying to finish your laundry? Sure, you practiced it but, just like cramming for a test, presentations don’t work that way. When you don’t remember what you meant to say in the meeting you won’t make a great impression with your clients. This is another way to lose money.

 

You may be a full time mommy, which is great. This is where we need our memory to work the most, at home. With all you have going on it could be easy to forget you promised those cupcakes for your daughter. This may not cost you money but it will cause you stress, which isn’t great for anyone.

Weight Gain

Not getting the sleep you need is a great way to put those love handles on, or add to the ones that are already there. After studying nearly 22,000 people older than 20, researchers found that those who didn’t sleep at least 5 hours were more likely to gain weight. People who got their full 8 hours did not.

Illness

Missing out on sleep can lead to a whole mess of illnesses. Diabetes is a possibility because of the weight you might gain, you can have a myriad of heart problems because you body doesn’t have the time it needs to repair itself when you sleep, and cancer is another risk according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

You Age

This is also because your body doesn’t have the time it needs to make repairs. When we don’t get our sleep, we break out with blemishes, wrinkle sooner, and get dark bags under our eyes. We all know how much cosmetic repairs cost, plus they aren’t natural like a night of healthy sleep.

Bad Attitude

If you aren’t sleeping well it won’t be long before your caring and sunny disposition will turn sour, or anyone’s for that matter. It’s hard to stay in a good mood when you are tired and sleep deprived. This is just a fact and we all know that this will affect every aspect of our life.

Great Sleep

When you get the sleep you need you body repairs itself so you are ready to take on the next day. Your brain starts sorting memories and relearning anything new from the day before. Any inflammation in your body is healed with rest and you wake up more alert and more creative. The benefits of sleeping are undeniable.

Natural Help

If you are having trouble sleeping there are natural ways to induce slumber. Start by shutting down all your devices at least a half-hour before you go to sleep. Your room should be dark and free of noise pollution. Make sure the temperature is perfect for you so you aren’t shivering or sweating.

Have a warm cup of milk or herbal tea or try meditation with lavender scented candles. Most of all stay on a routine, this works best with our circadian rhythms. Try these tips and before you know it you’ll be sleeping again.

Holiday Tips In Indianapolis

If you’re traveling to Indianapolis by car, you can find great value surrounding the city along the interstate highways. Book Americas Best Value Inn, south of downtown on I-65, for as little as $60 per night in the summer. This hotel offers a free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking.

On I-70 northeast of the city center, several budget-friendly chains are available. Days Inn Indianapolis East and La Quinta Indianapolis East both offer a free breakfast and cost less than $70 per night, depending on the season.

The Best Indianapolis Attractions On A Budget

Highly rated by tourists, The Indianapolis Museum of Art offers free admission daily and limited free parking. Visit on the weekends between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to paint or craft a free souvenir at the Make & Take Star Studio.

If you’re traveling to Indianapolis with your family, you can’t miss the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The museum offers free admission on select holidays and on the first Thursday of every month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Your children will love star-gazing at the planetarium, digging for dinosaur bones, and creating their very own glass sculptures.

During the summer months, the Indianapolis Zoo offers free parking and free shuttle service to the zoo from the Vermont Street parking garage in downtown. Make sure you take in the live dolphin show; it’s the only one of its kind in the Midwest.  After visiting the zoo, stop by the surrounding White River State Park to see the famous Gardens, Medal of Honor Memorial, and Victory Field.

With daily drink and appetizer specials, Scotty’s Brewhouse won’t leave you hungry. On Sundays and Tuesdays, kids can dine on free mini hamburgers or mac and cheese, while parents are sure to enjoy the local craft beers on tap.Where To Eat For Cheap In Indianapolis

An Indianapolis fixture for over 50 years, the Mug N’ Bun Drive-In features old-time service in your car at old-time prices. Most burgers cost less than $3, while kids meals are $4.

A favorite brunch spot among locals, the downtown City Cafe offers farm-fresh food at affordable prices. You can’t go wrong with the homemade biscuits and gravy served with sausage for just $4.25.

With these tips, there’s no reason to break the bank for an Indianapolis vacation. Just one last piece of advice to avoid high prices — avoid traveling during major sporting events like the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts home games or the Indianapolis 500, which usually happens in late May.  Not only that, another tip is to wear comfortably as you stroll and walk along the streets.  Check out the LYST website here for more choices of traveling bags, backpacks, clothing for all seasons, accessories and shoes!

Last and not least, Enjoy your Holidays!

 

Painting Made Easy with Oriental Trading

My younger kiddos (ok all of my kids) love to paint! Every day they ask if they can paint something so I figured we needed to create a fun ans easy painting area for the kids.

I of course visited my trusty Oriental Trading and fund everything I needed to set the kids up with a painting station!

Here are the products I bought for paint station:

Rectangular Paint Palettes
Crayola® Classic Colors Kid’s Washable Paints
Chubby Paintbrushes
Pacon® Finger Paint Paper

We use the dining table but I would totally recommend getting an art easel.

*A product was provided.

7 tips that help you keep your skin looking healthy and great

Looking young is one of the biggest fantasies for every man and woman in today’s world. We all want to look good but not at the expense of our health. While there are a lot of chemical treatments and procedures that you can partake in if you are looking to get that young look instantly, there is a simple way in which you can take your younger look in your own hands – with the help of healthy and glowing skin. Experts like the London Dermatology Centre advise that if you start taking care of your skin from an early age, you are more likely to retain younger vibrant looking skin.

But is getting that younger look with healthy skin very difficult to attain? You will be surprised to know that the smallest change in your lifestyle will help you to attain that youthful glow very easily. Here are a few changes you can incorporate in your daily schedule that will help you to keep your skin looking healthy and great.

1.       Eat a lot of antioxidant

Antioxidants are the best food supplement for healthy living. Things like berries and green tea will help you to have good metabolism and blood flow which in turn will help you to get good skin. Make sure to incorporate a lot of different antioxidant rich food in your diet.

2.       Drink plenty of water

It is very important to drink a lot of water throughout the day. When you are having a lot of water, you are technically getting rid of a lot of toxins and helping your skin glow.

3.       Eat less but eat often

Eat small portions of food throughout the day. This will help you to keep your metabolism up and thus give your skin a tight and smooth feel.

4.       Try and limit your sun exposure

Sun can have a very bad effect on your skin. From intense tanning to dark patches, sun rays can affect the texture of your skin. So try and avoid the sun and in case of exposure use sunscreen lotions.

5.       Eat organic products

Eating organic products will help you to get good skin. Try and avoid dairy in your meals.

6.       Surround yourself with greenery

Have green plants around your home so give your skin a lot of fresh oxygen.

7.       Vitamin C, Vitamin C, Vitamin C!

Introduce a lot of Vitamin C in your meals on a daily basis.

 

These few things are bound to make you look young for a very long time thanks to your good skin. Most of us face some skin problems once in a while, so if you do feel that you are having irritable skin problems try and stay off makeup for a few days and you will notice a difference. It is always good to consult a dermatologist if you are unsure about how to treat skin problems. Each person is blessed with different skin types but the above points will help you to maintain good skin, irrespective of the skin type.

4 Tips for Saving Money During Extreme Weather

When the seasons shift, some locations experience extreme hot or cold weather that’s not pleasant to deal with. While most homes have systems to combat such problems, the costs of operating those systems will skyrocket in the face of extreme weather phenomena. This makes it doubly important to find ways to reduce your bills. Start saving money by following the techniques listed below.

Shop Around

Depending on the market and laws in your city and state, you may have access to multiple energy providers. When you rent or buy a home, the agency often recommends one power company, but it’s possible that there are others to choose from. To find a company that offers the best pricing scheme for your household, get a detailed energy bill and use it to estimate your costs on the various companies’ plans. You can also look into supplemental energy sources like solar panels.

Adjust Temperatures During Off Hours

Keeping your home at a constant temperature uses a lot of energy, which increases your energy bill. But when no one is home or everyone is sleeping, you can save money by backing off on your use of the home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (or HVAC) system. You and your family can stay comfortable during cool nighttime temperatures by using extra blankets and wearing warm clothes. A programmable thermostat takes the memory work out of changing settings, while a smart thermostat gives you access when you are away from home.

Get Your System Checked

Your HVAC, like any other complicated machine, needs regular maintenance to make sure that it is running at its best. You can easily perform basic tasks without having any special training, like cleaning the exterior surfaces of your vents and changing out the furnace filter.

However, you should avoid doing complicated repairs yourself. At least once a year, you’ll want to bring in a technician from a qualified firm to flush the system and make sure that everything is running properly. This maintenance helps prevent spiraling damage which can cause costly repairs later on. The best time to call is before the inclement season, so you can beat the rush.

Check for Heat Loss Sources

While houses are initially built to keep their internal temperature separate from the environment outside, it’s normal for cracks to develop over time. Holes, tears, and gouges in your walls and floors will let the heat out and the cold in, leaving you with a less comfortable house and a furnace working overtime to keep up the temperature.

Try walking around the outside of your house before the weather hits and caulking any minor gaps you can find. This simple task will do wonders at keeping your heat loss under control, as will putting up thicker curtains and door seals.

Staying comfortable no matter the season or condition outside is a far easier task than ever before with modern technology. But however good the technology gets, there will always be tips and tricks for saving money.

4 Hair Pampering Treatments You Can Do at Home

K-beauty is taking over the world. After making its mark in the global makeup and skin care scene, it’s high time we acknowledged the ingenuity of Korean hair care. Just like their skin care, Korean hair treatments and trends are all about combining traditional, natural ingredients with the latest in cutting-edge technology to heal and enrich the scalp. This hair care routine is hinged on the belief that healthy hair follows a healthy scalp. Best of all, most of these products are available off the shelf or online, so there’s no need to hit a salon to get your locks to look their best.

Below are a few of our favorite hair treatments you can do right in the comfort of your own home:

First Things First: Treat Your Scalp

Korean hair care focuses on the scalp instead of the hair itself, and the approach much resembles the Korean 10-step skin care regimen. Beauty experts agree that keeping the scalp clean and exfoliated makes it healthier, and thus allows for the growth of healthy, shiny hair. To achieve this, Koreans use a product called a scalp scaler: pre-treatments made with a salicylic acid base that exfoliates the scalp to lift debris, oil build-up, and dead skin cells from the surface. K-beauty believers will recognize the process as much like using toner to prepare your face for the rest of your facial skincare routine. Apply it on dry hair before shampooing. Use a scalp scaler once a week for best results.

Then, Treat Your Scalp Some More

The next step in the Korean hair care regimen is using a good shampoo (optionally, with a formula that targets your specific issue, whether it’s dryness, hair fall, or damage) and cleansing the scalp thoroughly. To really get that product in there, consider giving yourself a scalp massage while shampooing by using your fingertips. You can also opt for a scalp brush and use it whenever you shampoo. Massaging your scalp promotes blood circulation and stimulates hair growth, and it helps your shampoo lather up really well, meaning you don’t have to use a lot of product to wash.

Conditioner is for Conditioning, Not Detangling

One of the most common mistakes in hair care is using conditioner like shampoo: putting it on and then rinsing it right off. Sure, the product makes your hair easier to comb or brush out, but not giving it enough time in your hair prevents absorption, which means that you could be missing out on a ton of benefits by being in a hurry. It’s best to use a conditioner that’s the same brand and formulation as your shampoo, because they are designed to work in synergy to provide the best possible results. Apply your conditioner from the middle of your hair and make sure that you concentrate product on the ends. Then, leave it on and do other things in the shower, like washing your face or shaving. The longer it sits, the better the results will be. Avoid putting conditioner into the scalp to minimize the risk of drying it out.

Treat Your Hair with a Mask

Koreans have made masks for everything: your face, your hands and feet, and hair. Korean hair masks and packs are made with powerful deep-conditioning ingredients designed to nourish, replenish, and moisturize the hair. They’re potent, so once-a-week use is best. We love Missha’s Procure Damage Break Hair Mask, which provides intense damage care to dyed and permed hair. The product uses proteins such as lecithin and keratin, and protects and moisturizes each strand with moringa oil. You can use this in place of a conditioner once a week. Squeeze out the excess water from your strands and apply it as you would a conditioner, and then leave it on for 15 minutes or longer before rinsing off. For hair mask days, you might want to tuck your hair into a shower cap to keep it out of the way while doing other things, or settle in the tub for a nice, long soak.

 

 

3 Reasons that SEO is important for mommy bloggers

In the past years, more and more mommies have found an outlet for their passion. If you need an answer to a question about raising your child, or a consumer review about a certain brand that you’re thinking of using, more often than not, you’ll find hundreds of entries, all written by mommy bloggers.

 

They are some of the most prolific bloggers online, giving out advice about everything from what types of food to feed your kid, how to discipline children, or what lunchbox is the best to purchase when your child starts kindergarten. Three years ago, there were already millions of mommy bloggers, and now there are even more.

 

So if you’re thinking of starting a mommy blog, you might be thinking of ways on how you can stand out from the millions of other bloggers that might have the same content you are thinking of writing. The answer is SEO. Check out the reasons why you need to employ SEO techniques if you want to be a successful mommy blogger.

 

  1. It will make your site rank higher in search engine results – SEO stands for search engine optimization, and its goal is for your website to perform well in a search engine. For example, if a new mother wants to learn what types of cloth diapers are perfect for his or her child when they type cloth diaper, you want your article about cloth diapers to rank at least in the first couple of pages in a search engine. To do that, you will need to know about keywords so that you can rank higher and more people will get to read your content.

 

  1. It will increase the blog traffic – every blogger wants to have more and more people read what they have written unless your blog was just a way to for you to express yourself in writing. But the truth is you will not find a mommy blogger who does not want to increase the number of people who visit their blog. With the proper SEO techniques, more and more people will visit your blog, thus increasing the blog traffic. When you’ve written interesting and enjoyable articles, you can be sure that they will come back for more information. But the key is to make them visit first, and that is difficult without SEO given the number of other mommy bloggers.

 

  1. It will let mommy blogger earn more profit – mommy bloggers are actually able to earn money when they blog. This is a plus as many have started to write because they do love what they are doing, which is raising their kids. When your blog gains more followers, there is no doubt that you will be asked to review certain products and services. You can also gain profit through advertisements that will be strategically placed all over your blog.

 

If you are a new blogger, you might feel overwhelmed if you try to learn SEO on your own. The good news is that there are companies that can help new bloggers with SEO so that their blogs can take off. Check out Big Vision Marketing if you want to take your blog to the next level.

 

Tips to Help You Through Your First Trimester

There’s a very good reason why the “first trimester” rhymes with “worst trimester.” That’s because the first portion of your pregnancy is the one which is going to feature bleeding, constipation, nausea, serious fatigue, and unusual cravings for various foodstuffs you were sure you absolutely hated before you became pregnant. The first trimester will be widely different for every woman, of course, but something which all mothers can widely agree on is that the first trimester will prove to be the toughest obstacle to climb until your child is actually born into the world. However, anyone who is concerned about going into their first trimester or is having a hard time finding themselves already in the midst of it should remember that every mother experienced these hardships and challenges to some degree, and that they are very far from being alone in this regard. In fact, there are a number of valuable things to consider and keep in the forefront of the mind while you’re going through the first trimester to help yourself get through it and come out the other side smiling. We’re going to go through just a few of them today, so to any newly-pregnant mothers having a hard time in the first portion of their journey, read on and take solace.

Find Hobbies and Stick to Them

You might think, and be forgiven for doing so, that your pregnancy will prove to be a full-time, round-the-clock duty that will leave no real time for any other considerations. It certainly isn’t the time to start picking up any new hobbies or interests. But this kind of thinking can actually be counter-productive to your wellbeing, as with your focus being entirely on your baby and your pregnancy at all times, you can easily grow stressed out and frustrated if that’s the only thing on your mind. As strange as it may sound, you need a bit of time every now and again to rest, take some time for yourself, and actually forget that you’re pregnant for a while. Finding a new hobby can be a good way of occupying your mind for a stretch every now and again, and will serve to complement your mental health as well as you’re doing something which is far more productive than simply watching TV. However, you’re obviously going to have to choose your new hobby wisely, as something like skateboarding or rock-climbing probably isn’t going to work for obvious reasons, no matter how interested in those activities you might be.

The best kind of hobbies you’re going to pick up are going to be ones that won’t tire you out quickly, and also can be easily slotted in whenever you have time for it. Your first trimester will be a busy one, but more than that it will be an unpredictable one, and one that will never prove to be regular or have considerations for what you might want to do with your day. So something like sewing, cooking, or anything involving arts and crafts will prove to be winners here. You can find a more extensive list of activities you might want to try out for yourself here.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help

You can’t do this on your own. No matter how strong or determined you might feel, and no matter what your situation is, it’s going to prove an impossible slog to make it through your first trimester without any outside help whatsoever. So take any help offered to you to make your life a bit easier – you’re the one that’s doing all the heavy lifting, after all- and rest assured knowing that they truly want to help you. If you’re struggling with any aspect of the pregnancy, whether that be physical, mental, or something else, reach out and get help as soon as possible. Don’t dwell on it or let it become a big thing in your mind, as this is a dangerous mindset to get into and will only add more stress to your already stress-laden plate.

Reach out to your partner, or your parents, or your friends, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find someone who is willing to drop everything and help you out. This also applies to strangers, however. If you’re out and about and need a bit of assistance for whatever reason, never feel self-conscious about asking anyone around you for help. No-one is going to refuse a pregnant lady, and will be more than happy to oblige. It’s an unfortunate fact of the unpredictability of the first trimester that you might find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation without a moment’s notice and at a very inopportune time, but if you’re willing to grit your teeth and reach out, you’re going to find no shortage of hands out there waiting to hold you up.

Remember It Won’t Last

While the months you’ll spend in your first trimester might seem like an eternity, always keep in mind that it will not last forever and will have a definite end. Place the picture in your mind of lying in that hospital bed, holding your newborn in your arms, and remember that that is what you’re working toward at every moment. However, while that date may seem very far away, remember also that the second trimester of pregnancy is going to be a great deal easier to deal with than the first.

It’s undoubtedly a struggle, but take solace in the fact that at least you’re getting the most difficult part out of the way first, so that it’s all uphill from there. In the very depths of your morning sickness, which has been lasting all week and seems incredibly persistent, it’s sometimes easy to forget what your healthy self felt like, and resign yourself to a doomed continued existence of always feeling miserable and sick. But try to remember that, eventually, the storm clouds will in fact pass, and you will inevitably return to your old self, only with the added joy of a child to call your own.

4 Essential Tasks to Prep Your House for Winter

Winter is coming. If you don’t prepare for it, you’ll waste energy in warming your home. You’ll also risk permanent damage to your property. Fortunately, some home maintenance should prevent such issues. Here are four essential tasks to prep your house for winter.

Reverse the Ceiling Fans

 

Have you ever noticed the switch on your ceiling fan? You may not realize it, but that switch has a purpose. It reverses the rotation of the fan blades. You will have it set to Forward as a default. This setting spins the blades counter-clockwise, creating a cool breeze that lowers the room temperature. If you fail to change the setting, the fans will add more cool air in the winter. That’s redundant and a waste of energy. You’re providing electricity to your fans and making your HVAC unit work harder.

During winter, you want to set the switch to Reverse. The blades will switch to a clockwise rotation. This tactic takes the air that rises to the ceiling and recirculates it. You’ll save on your energy bill by using warm air that you already have instead of activating your HVAC unit.

Service the HVAC Unit

You also should hire a service professional to do maintenance on your HVAC unit. The ventilation system in your home gets clogged up with nasty substances. The dust particles in your home get sucked into the shaft and stack up in the vent. This creates clogs that force your HVAC unit to work harder. They also float into other rooms and cause allergy issues. You may even have pests nesting in your vents.

An HVAC service call will include changing your air filter and pressure tests for your ventilation ducts. The technician will also clean the exterior area of debris, such as leaves, and make sure that vents or grilles aren’t blocked. Since your HVAC unit will run at optimal efficiency, you might even save money by having regular HVAC maintenance.

Add Weatherstripping

Look at the doors of your home. Notice how they don’t have a tight fit with the facing of the house. Construction workers do their best when they install doors and windows, but gaps are unavoidable. Those holes are where cold air will flow into your home. When this happens, you’re not just heating your home but some of the great outdoors as well.

Weatherstripping stops this problem. Use a lit candle to see where drafts are getting into your home. Then, add foam or felt weatherstripping to the gaps. This step only takes a small amount of time and will save you a lot of money.

Buy a Smart Thermostat

You waste a lot of energy when you’re not home. Your HVAC unit turns on when the thermostat registers that the house is too cold. That’s a waste of energy. A smart thermostat such as a Google Nest learns from your behavior. It won’t activate your HVAC unit at the wrong times. You’ll save so much on your energy bill that this device will pay for itself in less than two years.

Prepping your house for winter is a proactive step. Follow the suggestions listed here to run your home more efficiently while saving money on your utility bills.

7 Reasons to Take Up Fishing

Fishing is often something you do, or you don’t. Keen fishers travel the country, entering contests or simply spending hours after their next great catch. Those of us that don’t fish, barely give it a thought. However, fishing has a huge range of advantages and is suitable for almost anyone. Here are just 7 of the reasons you should give it a go.

It’s for Everyone

Fishing isn’t just an old man sport, everyone and anyone can do it. Fishing isn’t a hobby that you need to be super fit for, or have a specific natural talent in. Absolutely anyone can give it a go. It’s also a hobby that you will never tire of. People that start fishing with their parents as kids, often continue to fish over the course of their lives.

You’ll Get Some Fresh Air

If like many of us you spend your days commuting to work, sitting in an office, going to the gym, commuting home and going to bed, you probably don’t spend that much time outdoors. Then, when you do, it’s in a busy and polluted environment. Fishing gives you the chance to get a few hours outdoors in pure, clean air. This is good for your health and well-being and could even help you to sleep better.

It’s Relaxing

In most games and sports, there’s pressure to do well. Not so with fishing. Yes, getting a big catch is great, but the experience is more about fishing than the fish itself. There’s no pressure, no stress, just you and the great outdoors. What could be more relaxing than that?

To Embrace Nature

If you don’t spend much time outdoors, you probably don’t get see much nature either. Getting out there and seeing everything the world has to offer has a great way of reminding you just how big the world is. This can help you to unwind and put your worries into focus.

To Meet New People

Fishing is actually surprising social. If you go to regular events, or even just fish in familiar places, you’ll soon start to chat with new people and get to know recognizable faces.

It’s Good Exercise

You don’t need any significant fitness or strength to start fishing, but it will help you to build both. You’ll quickly begin to tone your arms and burn calories, all while essentially standing about relaxing. Stood on the side you could burn 250 calories an hour, or 500 out fishing in waders.

To Travel

You really can travel all over the world fishing. Visit an Alaska Fishing Lodge like Silverking Lodge, head out in boats on the sea, fish local lakes and rivers and even travel to other countries where the fish and techniques will be different.

Fishing is fun, social, relaxing and relatively inexpensive compared to other hobbies. It’s a fantastic way to get outdoors, see more nature and meet some brilliant new people, all while getting some all-important exercise and leaving the stresses of your everyday life behind. Fishing could bring a lot to your life, so why not give it a go?

 

3 Things to Understand About Geothermal Energy

Would you like to reduce your heating and cooling bills and help the environment at the same time? If so, a geothermal heating and cooling system may be the right system for you. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Geothermal heat pumps simply use the heat trapped in the top 10 feet of the earth’s crust to help maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature in buildings. A geothermal HVAC system is a smart alternative to traditional systems that use outside air. Here are three things to understand about geothermal energy.

It’s Better for the Environment

Just about everywhere on our beautiful planet, the top 10 feet of the earth’s surface sustains a stable temperature, somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal heat pumps use this valuable resource through a closed loop system to help cool and heat buildings, and they ultimately reduce our carbon footprint by saving energy. In the wintertime, the geothermal heat pump eliminates heat from the heat exchanger and then pumps it into the indoor air venting system, comfortably warming the building. In the summertime, the method is reversed to help cool the building.

It’s Better for Your Health

Geothermal HVAC systems typically don’t use flames to heat the building, so the risk of hazardous carbon monoxide leaks are removed. Geothermal systems are also normally much quieter than traditional heat pumps and therefore help reduce noise pollution, making your home feel more peaceful. Also, the state-of-the-art systems normally use top-of-the-line air filtration systems that eliminate dust, pollution, pollen, and odors, enabling you and your family to breathe easier.

It’s Relatively Hassle Free

Geothermal HVAC systems don’t require a lot of land or even a lot of money. The initial investment required can generally be reduced through tax incentives. As a result of the 2009 Economic Stimulus act, most homeowners can qualify to get a substantial federal tax incentive of about 30 percent of the cost of a qualified geothermal heat pump system.

Typically it will take two to 10 years to see the payback, but a good HVAC company will help you with the calculations and qualification and show you what to expect in terms of the overall cost of installation, regular maintenance, and monthly payments. They will also recommend a maintenance program and educate you on the costs and timeline up front.

Geothermal systems are fairly easy to customize and can easily be integrated with existing HVAC systems, including forced air and radiant floor heating. They are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and feel good about helping the environment by saving energy. Geothermal HVAC systems have been utilized for almost 50 years worldwide, keeping people cozy in their homes, schools, and hospitals in a more natural way.

There are many benefits to a geothermal heating and cooling system. A more energy efficient home will not only decrease the cost of future utility bills, it will vastly improve the comfort of your home. It may also add resale value to your home. Why not look into a new geothermal system for your home today? The initial consultation is generally free of charge.

Buy Your Man a Coat or Jacket for the winter Season

As you know, I am a big coat fan. In fact, I love them so much that my husband swears I have a serious outerwear buying obsession.

Unfortunately, there are only so many coats you can get away with owning. So, the only reasonable way for me to indulge my coat addiction is to buy them as gifts. It is not quite as satisfying as buying for yourself. However, they do make wonderful presents. Especially, for the men in your life who are not keen on shopping. If your husband, boyfriend, dad or sons are walking around in a saggy old jacket or coat why not get out there and buy them a new one. This year, there are dozens of men’s coats for winter to choose from, so it is really easy to find something suitable.

The iconic parka

Top of the list has to be a parka. It is a style of coat that looks good on virtually any man. Fortunately, this year, there are dozens of them available in the shops.

Everything from retro snorkel parkas, which look like they have come straight out of the 80s, to radical heavily, patterned ones that are only for the brave man who wants to stand out from the crowd. Having so much choice means you are not going to struggle to find one that works for the man you are buying for.

Bombers

If you want a lightweight coat, a bomber jacket is a very good option. Again, there are plenty of them around. This year, they are mostly styled like they were in the 80s. So, if the man you are buying for likes that era, they make a particularly good gift. There are also quite a few baseball styled bomber jackets available, which are a good option for those men who like the 50s or who are sports fans.

For someone who has a more ´off the wall ‘sense of fashion a souvenir style bomber jacket is a possibility. This style of men´s jacket usually features a shiny body panel with a bright and bold pattern or logo.

Harringtons

Another 80s icon that has been re-invented, this year, is the Harrington jacket. Its simple styling makes it a great choice for those men who do not really want to stand out from the crowd too much. However, that said, this time around, many fashion designers have had a bit more fun with this stylish jacket.

They are still available in plain, dark, fabrics, but also in patterned materials. For example, check and leather Harringtons are starting to appear in many men´s fashion outlets.

Judging the fit

If you are buying a new coat for someone you live with, sneakily taking a look at the label of one they already own is an easy way of getting the sizing right. For men who you do not know well the easiest approach is to just ask their significant other what size they are. However, if you do not want to do that you could try one of the methods outlined in this article. Whichever approach you choose, remember to keep the receipt. That way you can always exchange it.

 

4 Gifts For Kids To Brighten Up Their School Life

School is hardly the best part of your child’s day. They can make a big fuss about not going, and they can’t wait to come home. But, there is one easy way you can make school life more fun and exciting for your children; get them gifts that brighten things up!

 

Below, I’ve listed a few ideas for gifts you can give your children that they can use in school and be excited about.

A Cool Backpack

Your child will automatically look forward to school when they know they have a cool backpack to wear. Even when they’re young, kids love showing new things off to their friends. Especially if their new thing is unique and no one else has it. You can see some really cute and unique backpack designs over on www.makaboo.com/organic-baby-gifts that your child might love. It’s all about adding a splash of color and fun to their everyday school life. Make them eager to put their backpack on and run into school with a smile on their face.

Funky Pencil Case

No doubt your child will need a pencil case to keep all their pencils and stationery safe. This becomes even more important as they get older and have more things to store. It’s also well-known that children care about the way their pencil case looks. Again, everyone wants a unique one with a cool design that’s never been seen before. Get your child a funky new pencil case, and they’ll be so keen to get to class and whip it out of their bag. Not only that, but you help keep them organized too, which will only benefit their education, as explained here https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/.

Multi-Colored Pen

This is a gift that’s more aimed at kids who are old enough to start writing with pens. Everyone grows up with that one pen they like to use all the time, and I’m sure your child is no different. My idea is to get them a multi-colored pen as it makes writing and note taking more enjoyable. You have pens where you can select different colors to write with, and you don’t have to pick up any other pens. At the very least, it’s a quirky little gift they can show off to their friends. You’ll be surprised at how much more your child will enjoy school when they have a cool pen to write with.

A Bike

Finally, we have a pretty big gift idea; a bike. If you get your child a new bike, it gives them an incentive to go to school every day. They’ll be up early and itching to ride their bike to and from school. It’s not something they can directly use in school, or that will benefit their education, but it does get them excited to go and brightens their day. There’s some handy advice here https://totalwomenscycling.com/lifestyle/buying-guide if you’re wondering how to buy your child their first bike.

All things considered, there are four great gifts here that will make your child look forward to going to school. If you’re interested in more parent themed articles and advice, then how about checking out this one here http://mommymandy.com/6-date-ideas-for-moms-and-kids/. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a reply down below!