MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Which car seat do you need for your baby or child?

Choosing the right seat for your child is a big decision. You’ll want it to look good in your vehicle but at the same time it needs to offer a high level of protection.

The problem is once you start looking you’ll quickly find there are hundreds of terms which can make it very confusing.

This is why it is essential to look here and read reviews on all the different seats available. Fortunately the simple fact is that all car seats have to be manufactured to meet the same safety standards. This means that any car seat will do; providing you stick to the following guidelines:

Never buy Secondhand

While this is a cheaper option there is a risk you are buying a seat which has been damaged or is less effective due to age.

Unless you can be 100% certain that the seat has not been in an accident it is not worth taking the risk.

Know Your Vehicle

You will hear the term Isofix. This refers to a child seat that is specially designed to fit into slots in your vehicle. It can make it easier to fit and generally ensures the seat is held securely in position no matter what happens.

However, there is no point in purchasing one of these unless you have an Isofix fixing system in your car.

Rear Facing

It is recommended that children under the age of 2 are kept in a rear facing child seat. This helps to ensure the load is spread and kept away from your child; even if you are involved in a crash.

You’ll need to check the legal requirement in your state regarding the age that your baby must be kept in a rear facing seat; but 2 is the best for safety.

Keeping Them In A seat

As your children grow they may not want to sit in a child seat but it is important to keep using one until they are taller than 4ft 9 inches. At this point the standard seatbelt will protect them without causing them additional injury if you do crash.

In general a child should stay in a rear facing seat until they are at least 22 pounds and can support their own head.


Having established that all child car seats must meet a certain standard it is important to think about the practical side of your seat ownership. For example, will it be staying in your car or will you need to change it between vehicles often?

Some car seats have built in drink holders; is this something that your child will appreciate or not?

The pattern and style of the seat will vary according to the manufacturer. Will this go with your vehicle and will the seat fit into the back of your car? This can be a particular concern if you only have a small vehicle.

It is also worth considering the seat covering. There will be spills, can you wipe it clean or can you remove it easily and wash it?

Once you have the answers to these questions you’ll find it very easy to choose the right car seat for your baby or child.







5 Tips for Business Promotional Gifts

Active promotion is the backbone of your business success. You do not only have to inform the customers about the existence of your product, but you also need to convince them to buy it. Even if you already have a client base, you need to ensure that remember you. The corporate dynamics have changed over the years and the competition today is fiercely cut-throat. With aggressive marketing and behavioral targeting techniques used via digital media, and increased customer awareness, customers are now more willing to leave their favorite cult brands for newer better options.

The competitiveness and the increased customer awareness today calls for more rigorous and personalized promotional methods. Your conventional promotional methods might still be relevant and essential but not adequate anymore. One of the best ways to reach out to your customers in a personalized manner is to sell them a personalized promotional gift. It does not have to be something costly, but sending out promotional gifts especially at essential occasions will not only send a reminder to the customer about your brand but will also encourage him to make a repurchase.

Moreover, if your promotional gifts are passed around by the customers to someone else, it can generate more leads for you too.  Your promotional gift items do not have to be something that causes a dent in your budget. In fact, giving out small everyday use items can have greater benefits regarding ROI and lead generation. Here are five great ideas for business promotional gift items.


  1. Planners

Planners make a fantastic promotional giveaway for both B2B and B2C clients. You can choose planner designs according to the nature of your business and target clients. If you want to send out something to corporate executives who are your credit card holder’s, a beautiful leather back planner will be an elegant yet professional and useful gift. If you are a business related to childbirth or baby products and your customers are new moms, a birthing planner or a baby planner designed with bright colors. You can add your brand story at the beginning of each of the 12 months to emphasize on your business subtly.


  1. Calendars

Calendars work just as well as planners, and might as well cost you cheaper. You can go with either a wall calendar or a table calendar depending upon the nature of your business and the kind of clientele you have. B2B clients or working clients will prefer table calendars more. Each month on the calendar can have an image with a caption that relates to your brand or tells your story. You can also add 12 significant features or achievements in the 12 months. Calendars can be branded with your business logo and a personalized message at the top.


  1. Customized Tea Towels

This might sound weird, but digitally printed custom tea towels can make a fantastic giveaway, especially if your clientele is more women-centric. A white or neutral colored tea towels, stylishly branded with a company logo will send off a hot message, and the customer will feel a connection with the brand. Tea towels are not just a cleaning supply, but it has incredible uses in crafting projects. This means you can get as creative as you can be with this one.


  1. Stationary

If you are a small and struggling business and if you cannot spend too much on promotional giveaways, an excellent company branded pen will make a fantastic gift. Since pens generally travel from person to person, chances are that you might generate some leads too. This can also work well for businesses who have a considerable market and want to stay under the budget. If you have a very exclusive clientele, then you can go for more luxurious options. A corporate executive will remember you for a classy Mont Blanc that you sent his way.


  1. T-Shirts

T-shirts are one of the most popular promotional item used as a corporate gift. And rightly so. Usually, t-shirts tend to be branded with a brand name and a logo. When a person wears that tee, every person that will be looking at him will think about your business, and you can attract more clients as a result. The catch here is that your tees need to be attractive enough to be able to draw the attention.


  1. Drawstring Backpacks

Backpacks are a staple for many people today. They are just not for high schoolers anymore. In fact, it is highly followed on the ramps and runways. Backpacks are the latest in a thing, and you will surely feel incomplete without it. An essential drawstring backpack embossed with a company logo will go a long way. Drawstring backpacks can be made in seral materials so you can choose one that best suits your budget.

Why Spring is the Best Time to Check your Home for Mold

Everyone is looking for a shelter during the winter, so you might welcome spring with a little, often imperceptible stowaway at home. Yes, you’re right, that’s mold. It is important to check your home for mold regularly and resolve potential problems, but it is definitely crucial to do it in spring.

The reason for this lies in rising temperatures which are ideal for the development of mold spores, which gladly nestle, you’re guessing, in your home. As a type of fungi, mold is quite widespread in nature and is actually quite beneficial, being an important part of the eco system. However, once it enters your home it can become a serious problem. Here are the reasons why along with a few tips on how to resolve that problem.

How Does It Develop?

There are four elements that enable the mold to develop and pose a problem in your house. The first are the already mentioned mold spores which are virtually everywhere, both inside and outside, and which can be of various types. Not all mold types are dangerous to our health, but around 80 out of nearly 100,000.

The second condition for mold spreading is built-up moisture, which is something that winter often leaves behind. So if you had problems with ice dams, basement flooding or frozen pipes, you better watch for mold once the cold is over and everything starts melting. Because on top of considerable moisture, mold requires higher temperatures, which is something that spring provides. Finally, mold needs food, that is, a host. So a recent flooding, air dampness, poor ventilation, roof leaks, and similar factors can all create an ideal environment for this uninvited guest to settle in your house.

Why Is It Harmful?

As already mentioned, not all types of mold are harmful to human health. Those which are can cause allergic reactions in people who are more sensitive to those allergens. The symptoms can include headaches, sore throat, runny nose, rash and a set of other, lighter health problems. However, for a certain number of people, mold can cause serious health issues, including breathing problems.

Regardless of the initial severity of the health problems, the more mold develops, the more serious the symptoms become, so it is important to take action as soon as possible. Considering the potential health danger, it is always better to leave mold removal to the professionals.

How to Get Rid of It?

It is better not to remove mold on your own but call an agency specialized in that, especially if it has already spread a lot. However, there are a few things you can do yourself to make their job easier and to at least hinder the mold development until it is completely removed.

If you have noticed any leaks anywhere in your house, have them fixed as soon as possible, since that leak could be the exact source of dampness which makes for a perfect environment for mold development. Condensation can be another cause of mold spreading, so you should try and prevent it from forming.

Even though you haven’t noticed any roof leaks, make sure you do have your roof and gutter examined, as they can cause the dampness build up in your home. It’s possible you don’t notice a faulty shingle here and there, or a defective gutter, which can lead the dampness to your home without you even noticing it. And the roof is exposed to a lot of pressure after winter as snow is melting, and there can be some serious downpours brought by spring.

What’s more, be sure to inspect and clean your HVAC system as it can easily become home for the mold spores, and once you turn it on, the air will spread them all over your house. Also, try to check and regulate humidity levels, as humidity is crucial for mold development.

If you notice strange, musky odors, increased dampness, or actually see mold on your walls, make sure to react as soon as possible and get professional help before it spreads even more and causes serious problems to your health, as well as to your house, since you shouldn’t forget that mold also damages and “eats” building materials your house is made of. So take this matter seriously and react accordingly.

4 Ways Meal Planning Benefits Your Health and Your Budget

Image via Flickr by NatalieMaynor

Cooking nutritious meals can be a great way to keep your family healthy, but a daily cooking routine can be both time-consuming and expensive, especially if you’re buying fresh ingredients regularly. So how can you stay healthy without overspending? Discover four ways that meal planning benefits your health and your budget at the same time.

Have a Streamlined Shopping Strategy

If your typical grocery shopping trip tends to be disorganized and much more expensive than you’d planned, you’ll appreciate how much meal planning can streamline the process. Before you go to the supermarket or farmers market, take the time to map out the meals you plan to cook for the week. Keep in mind what’s in season, what’s on sale, and when you’ll have time to prepare meals. With a smart shopping strategy in mind, you’ll buy exactly what you need for the week without wasting time or money.

Focus on Whole Foods

If you tend to lean on convenience foods when life gets busy, you aren’t alone. Fast food and takeout make for fast, easy meals when you don’t have time to cook.

When you have a meal planning routine, however, you’ll naturally skip the junk and refocus on nutritious whole foods instead. After all, meal planning gives you the opportunity to consider the week ahead as you create a nutritious menu that fits your family’s needs and schedule. If you’ve already shopped for and planned to prepare a meal packed with whole grains, lean protein, and fresh veggies, you’ll find it much easier to show junk food the door.

Make Counting Calories a Breeze

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or you simply want to maintain your current status, counting calories and tracking macronutrients are key. Takeout and convenience foods can make a major impact on your daily calorie count, but meal planning can help you rein in your energy intake and get your macros back on track.

To give your wallet and your schedule a break, use the Lifesum app to count calories and monitor macros. Just select the diet plan that works for you, input your statistics and your weight loss goals, and enter your meals and snacks each day. With this calorie tracking app, you’ll easily see whether your energy intake is on point and whether you’re getting the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Stop Wasting Leftovers

Leftovers don’t have to collect at the back of your refrigerator until you forget about them or they spoil. When you take the time to plan meals, you won’t have to worry about wasting a thing.

In fact, meal planning often encourages you to make larger batches of your family’s favorite meals, which you can divide into portions and enjoy for lunch or dinner later in the week. That translates to less wasted food, less money down the drain, and more nutritious meals on your table.

As you incorporate meal planning into your family’s routine, remember that it doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. Get the entire family involved as you create seasonal menus, prepare food for the week, and portion out healthy meals.


Getting the Perfect Yard

The yard is one of the most important features of our home, yet it’s often one of the most overlooked. As much time as we typically spend there with the kids, it’s essential that we keep it beautiful and healthy.

People spend a lot of money on lawn care, and it’s easy to see why we would get the impression it’s the only way to get a flawless lawn that’s strong enough to handle stampeding kids. The good news is that the price tag does not have to be huge.

Quality do-it-yourself lawn care is possible, and it is not as hard or as time-consuming as you might think. Consider these steps for getting a lawn that’s clean, safe, and beautiful for your family.

Seed It Right

Whether your lawn was planted by a contractor after construction or if you’re several renovations into your turf, you may need to plant some more seed. Choosing the right species of seed is critical to getting the outcome you want, and discount store “lawn mixes” are not right for much of anybody.

Shop with a specialized retailer. For example, select Nature’s Seed grass seed will have better germination, fewer weeds, and a purer composition of your chosen species than the clearance bags at the big-box store. Check them out for the best possible seed.

What seed is best? You’ll have to do a little research, but briefly, there are two major categories: Warm-season and cool-season. Warm-season grasses thrive during summer and go dormant (brown) at the first frost. Cool-season grasses activate in early spring, then lay low (also brown!) in the hottest weather of summer before surging again in the fall. Mixing the two results in a blotchy lawn that’s never fully green, so choose a season and seed it 100%.

Manage It Correctly

Lawn care, especially for new lawns, is often misunderstood. We think of emerging baby grass the same way we think of baby people: tiny, delicate, and to be protected from rough handling.

Grass is just not that way. Mowing grass as soon as it is tall enough to mow is essential. It helps the taller seedlings by encouraging growth, and it also clears the path for sunlight to reach the shorter seedlings. Once the newly-seeded grass has some blades tall enough to mow, mow it. You’ll get a more even stand of grass.

Fertilization is often done wrong as well. Spring is simply not the time for it, in spite of what may be on the shelves in the lawn & garden department. Fall fertilization builds stronger roots and an overall healthier plant, so think fall for fertilization.

Deal With Pests

There is perhaps nothing more likely to ruin a nice day outdoors than bugs. It may be the proverbial ants at a picnic, pesky wasps around the deck, or ticks hiding in the tall grass. Or it may not even be a pest that bothers you but instead one that damages your outdoor plants or your lawn.

It is a sticky situation because our lawns are occupied by our kids and pets, so it can be hard to apply chemicals. Fortunately, there are many cultural techniques that can help reduce the impact of insects. Encouraging predators that eat the bad guys can be helpful, and there are lots of ways to repel them from our kids. You can also treat carriers like dogs so that they don’t import ticks from elsewhere.

Our lawns are so important. Apart from the value they add to the home, they also provide the place where memories are made, starting with first steps and going right up to prom pictures and maybe even grandchildren. Keeping the lawn healthy and beautiful is simple with a good plan.

Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make to Lose Weight & Keep It Off

How tired are you of fad diets? If you’re like me, even the phrase (fad diet) rubs you the wrong way.

It’s not that diets are all bad. Some are actually built on good principles that you can use to create a healthy lifestyle. But if you’re always betting on the latest craze, you’re never going to stick to anything. And sticking-with-it is where the real magic happens.

So, instead of rushing to buy the latest best-selling diet book, consider making the following simple lifestyle changes:

  1. Make a habit of exercise

We all know we have to exercise to be healthy. This isn’t groundbreaking news. But if you can successfully fit exercise into your regular routine, it’ll soon become a habit.

Try fitting a workout into your morning routine by going for a run or taking an exercise class at the same time each day. Instead of thinking about how many days you’ll workout, consider which day or days you’ll break. Framing it this way puts more emphasis on the exercise and less on the off-days. And fewer off-days help exercise become more of a routine.

  1. Cut out sugars

Let’s be real. Sugar is a demon that tempts even the strongest among us. But it’s not just cupcakes and chocolate tarts that are to blame. Actually, most of us fall victim to hidden sugars in our diet, and we don’t even know it.

Pay careful attention to the sugar content in your favorite foods and condiments. Even foods you think are healthy may be loaded with sugar. Yogurt is a great example. Some brands of full-fat yogurt pack close to 20 grams of sugar into those little cups. That equates to about four teaspoons of sugar. And their low-fat alternatives pack even more sugar in a 4-ounce cup.

  1. Eat more fruits and veggies

At the risk of sounding cliché, Mother Nature provides us with everything we need to thrive. If you always fill your plate with vegetables and eat fruits instead of sugary processed foods, you may not even need a diet.

Food that comes from the earth is the most nutrient-dense food you can consume. Try to cook with new veggies at least once a week to keep things interesting. Variety on your plate will also help you get a variety of nutrients.

  1. Watch out for liquid calories

The absolute worst liquid calories come from alcohol, especially those fruity mixed drinks. But any alcohol can help you pack on the pounds quickly. Binge drinking is especially problematic because you may consume enough calories for a meal or more in one sitting. But with alcohol, you’re not getting measurable nutrients.

  1. Avoid processed everything

Processed foods are easy, and you’ll often find great deals on them at the supermarket. Don’t be tempted. In order to make shelf-stable foods, manufacturers must add trans fats, which wreak havoc on our bodies and work against our health and fitness goals. In truth, the body does need healthy fats. But trans fats do not fit this bill.

What’s one thing you do every day to contribute to a healthy lifestyle?


4 Easy Ways To Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

Your home is almost certain to be the most costly investment you’ll ever make. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the bottom end of the market or the very top; moving in for the first time is very exciting.

But, at some point you’ll probably want to sell it. When you do it is important to make sure you’ve done everything you can to maximize the value of your home.

Here are 4 easy ways in which you can boost your home’s resale value:

  1. Landscape

Never underestimate the power of landscaping your outside space.

A well maintained yard indicates that you look after your home. It means that a new buyer doesn’t need to do anything to it and it will attract the potential purchaser to your home.

All of these things make your home more desirable and therefore more valuable.

It is important that the landscaping directs the visitor towards your front door; replacing this can also be beneficial.

Your grass should be neatly cut, no weeds visible and studies suggest a tree or two help to provide a family feel to your home: making it more desirable and more valuable.

  1. Your Balustrade

Most houses have a front door that opens to a hallway which is dominated by the stairs. These can create a lasting impression on a potential buyer; both good and bad.

To boost the value of your home and its appeal you should consider checking out an alternative balustrade design.

This does not need to be an expensive addition to your home but it will totally transform the look of this part of your house;

They say you can only make a first impression once, make yours count by replacing your tired balustrade with a contemporary, stylish one!

  1. Improve Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is very important in a world where our natural resources are decreasing at an alarming rate. Buyers are now interested in the energy performance of a home; it can make or break a sale before a buyer even views your property.

Improve your energy efficiency by adding smart thermostats and linking your lighting and locks to it. An integrated system gives you more control and ensures you are offering the latest technology to a potential buyer.

This will give you energy savings, boost your resale value and help you to find a buyer!

  1. Refurbish Your Kitchen

Ripping out your kitchen and starting again can be an expensive option; especially when you are considering selling your home.

You may consider replacing it with a budget option. However, this is likely to reduce the appeal and value of your home.

Instead, assuming the layout of your kitchen is good; just replace the doors and worktops. This simple change can be completed in a few hours for minimal cost but will revitalize and transform any kitchen.

As the kitchen is the centre of most houses it is important to have it looking its best. This approach will allow you to do this without spending more than the value it adds to your home.




My AC Is Blowing Hot Air: Common Causes

Once the hot part of the year starts in earnest, almost every home in the USA cranks the AC and enjoys the cool and the comfort it provides. However, there are some instances when that is not possible.

For example, when you turn on your AC and it starts blasting even warmer air into the room. If that happened to you, naturally, you want to know why and what you can do about it. You could consult an AC technician to take a look at it, but before you do, make sure that you check some obvious causes.

Your Thermostat Settings

It may sound a bit too simple to be the cause of the problem, but it is possible, and the simplest solution to the problem. Somebody may have accidentally set the thermostat on HEAT instead COOL. What’s more, even if it’s set on cool, there are finer settings which may be the cause of warm air blowing.

If you set your thermostat in the ON position, it will turn on the fans regardless of the condition of the air it starts moving, so even when your compressor hasn’t cooled the air sufficiently. Make sure that you switch it to AUTO. The AC will decide when the air is cooled down sufficiently to start blowing.

The Filters Are Dirty

You have most likely heard that you need to clean or replace your air filter once a month or so. If you haven’t been so diligent with it, you may have been putting your AC through unnecessary stress. Namely, the air filter captures various particles from the air, both for the protection of the system and cleaning the air that you breathe.

However, after a while, the air filter becomes full and cannot capture any more dirt. What’s more, the dirt which is already accumulated on the filter starts creating a blockade, so that the air cannot circulate normally.

The Outdoors Unit Isn’t On

The residential AC units have two parts, the indoor unit, and the outdoor unit. If your indoor unit is working and blowing hot air, it may indicate that the outdoor unit is not getting any power and cannot perform its tasks.

The simplest way to check it is to go outside and listen to the outdoor unit. If you can’t hear it or see any parts inside moving, it is probably the case. You can also check your circuit breakers to determine whether something happened there. If the breaker is tripped, it could indicate that there is some bigger issue that you should ask a professional electrician about.

The Outdoor Unit Is Obstructed

Your outdoor unit is a very important part of your AC system and it requires specific conditions in order to function properly. One of the most common mistakes that people make with the outdoor unit is not giving it enough space. It needs air from every side in order to be able to cool it down efficiently and quickly.

You need to give it at least 2 feet of space in all directions. That means that you cannot lean anything against it or put things on top of it. Another thing that people often disregard is the vegetation; all trees and bushes need to be planted the obligatory 2 feet away from it.

The Refrigerant Is Low or Out

Your AC needs a chemical refrigerant in order to cool your home. This chemical is contained in a closed system and uses the temperature difference to cool the air down without a direct contact. However, over time, small amounts of it may escape the system, or if there is a leak in the system you may lose the refrigerant. That means that your AC won’t be very effective, or not at all.

In most situations, you will need a cooling professional to come and check if there is a leak in your AC system, but if you spot that the pipes inside your AC are frozen, this is the most likely culprit. You will need to have your AC repaired before you can resume using it.

We are largely dependent on our ACs, so make sure that yours functions properly this summer by performing the obligatory yearly maintenance and avoid potentially expensive repairs and the inability to use your AC until it is done.

Camp Gladiator- New Beginning!

As you all know I love beachbody, have for over three years now but I recently was introduced to Camp Gladiator and I absolutely LOVE it!!

I just finished up week three and I really love the trainers, the community and the friends I have made! My goal for next week is to get in five workouts for the week!

What is Camp Gladiator? Well it’s working out of course, but on a whole new level! You have different trainers for different locations and each workout is an hour long.



Camp Gladiator has quickly given me the drive to get back to where I was fitness wise before we moved to Texas. I had a small group of friends I would work out with and when I moved I lost all that desire, motivation and gained forty pounds!! I was depressed and I cried a lot. I missed the old me the one who worked out all the time and wo lived and breathed fitness. CG gives me that satisfaction and while my food is still seriously a big thing I have been getting it under control.

So Camp Gladiator, you find locations near you and you can go to any of them. There are some super early in the morning and some camps at 7pm, it all depends on where you live and or how far you want to drive.

Camp Gladiator is for ALL fitness levels. You can be like me new to group work outs but that’s ok the trainers are amazing and encouraging, they also will modify any rep/round if you need. Yes I modify like crazy but one day I wont.

CG is a full-body functional workout program that combines strength and cardio in every 60 minute session. Every workout is different and each week we focus on something new: endurance training, strength and agility, interval and peak training. The workouts are challenging, but fun and it’s always a positive environment.

Tips on Encouraging Your Kids to Read at Any Age

Reading can be boring for some kids but there is no doubt that it benefits them a lot. Some kids are natural born bookworms, asking to go to the library instead of the toy store, reading books all day long and hiding under their covers at night with a flashlight and fave story. Others would rather do just about anything else than sit down and read.

If the latter kiddo sounds like at least one of the children in your home, you may be concerned about his or her lack of interest in books. Fortunately, it is quite possible to encourage kids of all ages to want to read; the following tips can help.

Birth to age 2: Let them explore

As Today’s Parent notes, you cannot start reading to your children too soon; newborns can be read to, and as they develop into curious babies, give them access to lots of books filled with bright colors and photos or high-contract black and white board books. As babies turn into toddlers, tactile books with fuzzy dogs to pet, flaps to lift and/or buttons to push that make noise are all great choices. If your little one seems more interested in chewing on the cover or turns the book upside down, no worries — the goal is to be flexible and let them explore the books on their own terms.

Ages 3 to 5: Let them choose

Preschoolers and kindergartners may start to feel that Mom’s iPhone is more interesting than cuddling up on the couch for a Dr. Seuss reading marathon. To keep them inspired to read, schedule regular trips to the library and let them browse through the stacks of books and choose a bunch that interest them. As All About Learning says, set aside a regular read aloud time with your kids; for example, as part of the nightly bedtime routine, spend 15 or so minutes reading books to your children. You can certainly suggest books as well — many kids at this age enjoy stories that rhyme or that have a lot of repetition in the sentences, as well as alliteration.

Ages 6 to 10: Let them decorate

Once children are in grade school and start reading books that their teachers choose, they will especially appreciate the chance to select their own stories at home. This is also the age range when kids love choosing new furniture and accessories for their rooms. If your children don’t already have them, treat them to a nice bedside table that will let them stack their current titles on top, along with a shelf or two below for additional book storage. You can find plenty of great looking options online that they can select from. For example, the Amityville Modern one-drawer nightstand for $139.99 has plenty of space for lots of books as well as a light and that requisite nighttime cup of water.

Ages 11 and up: Let them join a book club

Kids at this age are all about spending time with their friends. To keep them as interested in reading as you can, encourage them to start a book club with some of their BFFs; they can take turns choosing the books and can meet each week or month — whatever works for their schedules. You can also check your local library’s event schedule for book-related events like read-a-thons that they can join, talks by children’s authors and reading workshops.

With time and patience, new bookworms can be born

By giving your young kids, tweens and teens plenty of choices and ample time to read, along with lots of encouragement, it is more than possible to coax even a reluctant reader to try some new books. Give the age-appropriate ideas a try, along with your own ideas, and in no time you may hear that magical question, “Hey mom, can you take me to the library?”


Seventeen: College Goals *Giveaway closed*

* Bluestreak Books is partnering with me for a giveaway!

The only thing standing between you and that college life is figuring out where you might want to go, completing your applications, writing a killer essay, scoring solid test scores, shining in your activities, getting glowing recommendations, and . . . okay, that’s a lot. But even though being accepted into college can seem big and overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be.

That’s where SeventeenCollege Goals comes in. This stress-free guide—part-planner, part-journal—will help walk you through the step-by-step process of applying to colleges. There are pages filled with practical cheat sheets, handy life hacks, thoughtful tips, fun quizzes, inspiring quotes from your favorite celebs and leaders, and prompts that will push you to self-reflect. (After all, that’s what college essays are all about!) This way, you can freak out less about if you’ll get in, and actually start thinking about which school’s offer you’re going to accept.



Set college goals with your teen, then give them the tools to get excited and organized! One (1) winner receives:

  • Copy of Seventeen: College Goals;
  • a “Good Vibes” pen set;
  • and “It’s All Gonna Happen For You” pouch!

Seventeen: College Goals *Giveaway ends May 26th*

Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.

This giveaway will end on May 26th

*A product was provided.

5 Housekeeping Secrets That Work

We’ve all been there; trying to find the best way to keep our house spot-free and clean. Who does not want to have a clean and comfortable living space, right? Yet, no matter how simple it sounds, housekeeping is one of those things that has to be learned pretty well in order to be good at it. Whether you are having guests or not, learning how to efficiently clean your house can come in handy at all times and make the whole ordeal a lot faster and easier.

Here are five housekeeping secrets that actually work.

  1. Use vinegar to remove hard water spots

Hard water spots can be pretty annoying to look at especially that it is so hard to scrub away if you don’t know what cleaning products to use for it. These pesky water spots can be found mostly in the sink and shower curtains. In order to remove them, you don’t need to use expensive house cleaning products, you can just spray vinegar on them and leave it for a few minutes. After that, the vinegar will do its wonders and you won’t even have to scrub hard in order to remove the hard water spots. Your sink will be spot-free and shine after that. You can also soak your shower curtain with vinegar and just rinse it off right after.

  1. Use toothpaste to clean your white sneakers

Having dirty sneakers can ultimately destroy your whole outfit for the day but also how it would look when you place it in your shoe stand. If you want to achieve bright and white sneakers, use a toothpaste and brush it to those white parts. The toothpaste will do its magic on your sneakers and make it white again. You don’t even have to use harsh detergents to clean off your shoes and make it white again.

  1. Treat your carpet with a spot cleaner first before vacuuming

If you happen to spill something on your carpet, you need to treat it immediately in order to avoid hard stains that can be very challenging to remove, or worst will stay long-term. Once you notice stains on your carpet, it would be the best idea to treat it with a spot cleaner first before you finish vacuuming everything. Doing this will prevent your vacuum from getting destroyed early. If you want to learn more about the best vacuum cleaners for carpets, you can go check

  1. Use vinegar, water, and baking soda to easily wipe off a burnt pan

A burnt pan can be extremely annoying in the kitchen. In order to easily remove it, just fill your pan with water, add one cup of vinegar, and bring it to a boil. Next, put about two tablespoons of baking soda and let it sit for a few seconds. After that, you can easily wipe it off and your pan is squeaky clean again.

  1. Put lemon slices in the trash can

Putting a few slices of lemon on the trash can help eliminate stinky garbage odors in the kitchen. It’s easy and effective especially when you have guests coming over.

Pamper the Bride with these Awesome Spa Activities on her Single Life Send-Off

While wedding planning is no easy feat, with finding the perfect everything for the special day, a bridal shower is when the bride-to-be and her army of bridesmaids can unwind, have a gala time and forget all the wedding stress.

While ideally a hen party has kinky connotations, that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some brides like to keep it mellow and just relax with their girlfriends. And the most ideal way for these brides to rejuvenate before their big day- a relaxing spa hen do!

A spa hen party is the ideal way for the bridal party to bond amid a zen setting while also pampering themselves. To add more flavor to your spa hen weekend, you can add some fun spa activities and make it a time the bride cherishes forever.

Here are some awesome spa activities you can pamper the bride-to-be with as she bids adieu to her singlehood!

  1. Get a relaxed spa treatment

Weeks of wedding planning are bound to have stressed up the bride. Book a full body treatment and pamper the bride with deep tissue massages. Avail the spa packages to include as many treatments as possible and also get a bridal discount.

If you have set up a spa station at home, light up some aroma candles, put on a calm music and let the bride relax as she relieves her stress.

Many spa resorts allow you to make your own spa treatments- from bath bombs to scents and perfumes. This could be a time to get creative and enjoy a carefree bonding time with the girl friends.

  1. Whip out some bubbly

Like all happy occasions, a spa hen do calls for a toast! Pop a bottle of champagne and get chatting with the bridal party. You don’t have to throw a wild party at a club to indulge in some spirits.

But make sure the bride also has something to eat. A hungover bride after a spa treatment is definitely not what you want. The memory of your amazing hen party should be a delightful fresh memory for the bride instead of a hazy chain of events.

  1. Dress light, dress alike

Nothing screams like a strong camaraderie than a bridal party that walks in style in matching lounge sets. You don’t necessarily have to splurge to get matching sets of clothes. Keep it simple, and wear a uniform color and engage in DIY creatives. You could glue ‘bride’ on the bride-to-be’s set with sequins and ‘bridesmaids’ onto yours and pose for the photographs.

You could also do your nails in a similar way and rock them on the wedding day as a reminder of the awesome hen weekend. It will also honor the bride and will warm her heart.

  1. Get playful

A spa hen party doesn’t have to focus only on getting massages and pedicures. Add an additional spice to it by engaging in games- from the classic ‘spin the bottle’ to get playful and whip out each other’s dirty secrets to ‘Never Have I Ever’ wherein you finally get to know your girls even better. You could also turn them into a drinking game but don’t go overboard. The idea is to have fun and not get sloshed.

A hen party does no always have to be wild. You can keep it mellow yet fun at a spa, while also pampering the bride-to-be. Get playful, get creative and bond amid the zen setting of a spa resort. This could be the perfect way of celebrating the bride’s singlehood before she enters into her marital world, and also give her heartwarming memories with her friends and the bridal party.






3 Career Options for Parents Who Need a Flexible Class Schedule

In theory, being a parent isn’t that hard and your everyday life doesn’t change that much just because you have little ones to care for. Sure, babies can keep you up all night, but they don’t stay that small for long. Teenagers can be moody and demanding, but they are also strongly independent. The fact of the matter is that parents have to constantly put their needs and desires second to their children. The best respiratory therapist schools in Dallas Texas offer attendees a plethora of scheduling choices. If you can only go to college at night, there’s going to be a class schedule that will fit into your lifestyle seamlessly. Want to be able to work on the weekends but still have the ability to change your schedule around on the fly? Working at a restaurant might be a very good choice.

1. Culinary Arts

Restaurants need bussers, servers, cooks, dishwashers, managers, and hosts, all in equal parts. The more high-class, swanky eateries aren’t going to hire just anyone who comes in for an interview. They want workers who have gone to school and trained to become the best of the best in the food industry. If you go to school for culinary arts, you will be able to get a job at a restaurant that offers you a flexible working schedule.

2. Respiratory Therapy

People with asthma might be given a steroid or a prescription inhaler to help keep sudden asthma attacks at bay. At the same time, people who suffer from breathing issues need the ability to manage their symptoms without the use of an inhaler in high stakes situations. Respiratory therapists mainly work in medical settings, but they don’t have to work strictly during business hours. In fact, many respiratory therapists have flexible part-time hours where they remain on call and only come in when the need for an intervention arises. With a job in this line of work, you can schedule all of your appointments, as well as your work hours.

3. Finance

The finance industry includes bankers, stockbrokers, and financial planners, among others. Parents with degrees in finance also have the opportunity to work from their home offices in a lot of cases. You can get your degree and become a day trader, working solely for your home-based business. Alternatively, you can work for an internet-based bank and show up for meetings via your webcam.

Parents have historically needed to go into different careers because of having children with special needs, or just finding that their work hours were not conducive to parenting. If you work in a field where you can’t work on another shift or you have just reached the ceiling, then transition into one of the three above-listed careers. Go back to school, find a class schedule that is flexible, and go into a new career that enables you to have the quality time you want with your children and family.

How to Make Your Child Love Sports

Would you like to encourage your child to become more physically active? Or maybe you would like to share a similar interest with your son or daughter? If so, you should try to encourage your child to develop a passion for football, basketball, soccer, baseball, or another game. Learn how to make your child fall in love with sports in six easy steps, and you’ll soon have a junior sporting star.

Allow Your Child to Pick Their Favorite Sport

While you might love football, your child might enjoy ice hockey or basketball. Rather than pushing a sport onto your child, you should allow him or her to pick their own. As a result, they will be more likely to move off the couch to embrace the activity or watch a game with you.

Explain the Sport to Your Child

Your child might be struggling to develop a passion for a sport because they don’t understand it, which is why you should take the time to explain it to your son or daughter. For example, you can explain the rather complex offside rule in soccer. You could even learn a little bit more about a sporting event yourself, such as the FIFA World Cup, by visiting Unibet, before impressing your kids with your new knowledge.

Make Sports Fun

You might want your son or daughter to be the next Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, but they might simply want to have some fun. Rather than being strict with a sport and expecting perfection, simply have a little fun with your child, which could help them develop a love for a game.

Praise Their Efforts – Not the Results

If you put too much pressure on your child to perform, they might lose all interest and joy in a sport. Keep them motivated by only praising their efforts and not the results. Teach them the importance of hard work and persistence during every game, and praise them for a job well done, whether they win or lose. Your pride and belief will be enough to encourage them to pick themselves up and try again following a loss.

Watch Sports Movies with Your Kids

Ignite a passion for a sport by watching a movie dedicated to the activity. For example, you can trust your kids will want to run up many steps to feel like a champion after watching Rocky. It will also allow you both to enjoy some quality time together as you sit down to watch a sports movie with some popcorn.

Host a Fun Family Sporting Event

If you want your child to get off the sofa and embrace more exercise, gather the whole family together to play sports. You can guarantee your kids will love playing a game of touch football or family softball with their loved ones, which might encourage them to join their local team, go to a game, or watch a sport on TV. It could be all you need to help your child improve their health and strengthen your bond.