MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

How to Prepare Your Child for a Visit to the Pediatrician

As a parent, it’s your job to keep kids safe and healthy. This means bringing them to the doctor when they’re sick, injured, or for wellness checks. As a child gets older and they start to understand their senses, they may become afraid of the doctor. After all, this individual who they don’t know is touching them, looking in their mouth and nose, and possibly even giving them shots, all of which can be scary. Because of this, many children panic when it’s time to go to the doctor, and that can make the situation worse for parents. So how exactly do you prepare your child for a visit to the pediatrician?

Talk with your child.

The very first thing you should do is talk with your child about their visit. Explain to them why they need to go and what exactly will happen why they are there. Remind them that you will be with them the whole time, and explain the importance of going to the doctor. Be sure you tell your child why it’s important for them to see the doctor and how the doctor is only there to help your child. In addition to talking about the visit, it’s also important to talk about how your child feels and answer any questions they may have. Allowing your child to express their emotions and concerns, but also being able to ease their fears, will make the experience easier for everyone involved.

Show them websites, pictures, and videos.

Many children are visual learners, so showing them the doctor’s website, a picture of the doctor, or just generic pictures of a doctor’s office or visit could help them better understand what to expect. Use resources like http://pediatriccenter.com/ so your child can explore what a doctor’s office may look like. And if you can show them a picture of the doctor ahead of time, it can also make the experience seem less scary too. Use the resources available to you so your child can be more comfortable when it’s time to go to the doctor.

Read books.

There are plenty of children’s books out there designed to help children better understand certain situations, and going to the doctor’s office is one of them. Based on your child’s age and interests, find a book that would be appropriate for them about going to the doctor. Sometimes these books can better explain what to expect to your child in a language that makes sense to them. Plus, combining this information with pictures that teach your child about the things they will find in the doctor’s office can make the situation easier on them.

Be prepared yourself.

There’s no telling what will happen when you arrive at the doctor’s office, so it’s important for you as the parent to be prepared. For instance:

  • You may be in the waiting room for a long time, so you’ll need a way to keep your child entertained during the wait. Be sure to have some sort of toy or book to keep your child happy during the wait.
  • The doctor’s appointment may occur during a snack or meal time, so your child may get hungry. Be sure to have some snacks packed just in case this happens.
  • The appointment could also occur during nap time, which means your child will be crabby. If possible, try to schedule your appointments around this time or just be prepared for keeping your child awake.
  • Because your child may be scared, having their favorite stuffed animal on hand may help put them at ease.

Stay strong.

If your child is not happy about going to the doctor and becomes upset, it could make you start to lose control of your own emotions. Instead, it’s very important for you to stay strong, no matter what may be happening. Doing this will show your child that there isn’t anything for them to fear, and it can also be helpful to the pediatrician who is trying to work with your child.

Incentivize.

Sometimes you just need to incentivize your child to make it worthwhile. Let them know that if they behave while at the doctor, you will give them something in return. This can be something big or small, as you will know your child best.

Taking a child to the doctor can be frustrating, but it’s a necessity. The more you can prepare your child for the pediatrician using these tips, the better your experience may be.

How to Show someone You Appreciate Them

If you want to show someone that you appreciate them, then you can do this in more ways than one. If you are having a hard time putting down what you want to say, or if you want to do something a little more special, then you can do this with ease by following the below tips.

Write them a Note

One of the best and easiest ways for you to show someone that you care is for you to write them a note. A simple “thank you” note can go a long way, and it can really brighten up the other person’s day too. When writing the note, make sure that you leave it somewhere they can see it, and also sign your name at the bottom. This is guaranteed to make them smile and you would be surprised at how much it could mean to someone.

Make Something

If you are feeling somewhat crafty or creative, then you can put even more effort into your project to show that you care. The person will appreciate it more and it will also make it way more meaningful. You can make anything you want, from a bracelet to a custom coffee mug or even their favourite meal. When you do this, you then know that you have crafted something unique and that you are also giving them something personal.

Do Something Thoughtful

Another way for you to show someone that you care is by doing something thoughtful. You don’t have to surprise them at their favorite restaurant and you also don’t have to spend a ton of money. Sometimes you can do something like running errands, or even help them out with their hectic schedule. This can really help them out and it can also help them to feel appreciated as well.

Get a Small Gift

If you want to get someone something nice just because you feel like it, then this is never a bad idea. You can get them a small bouquet of flowers or even something to help them to solve a problem they are having right now. For example, if they are having a hard time then you could put them together a care package or even a hamper. If you are struggling for someone in your family then look up gifts for mum to see if there is anything that catches your eye.

Tell Them

If you can’t seem to find the right gift, then you may be better off just speaking to them. Pull them to one side and let them know how much you appreciate everything they do for you. You never know, there is a high chance that the right words will come to you when you are speaking to them and this is a fantastic way for you to really make their day.

So, there are many ways for you to show someone that you love them. By taking the above points into consideration, you can also be sure to really give them the support they need too.

Healthy Habits For Reducing Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are real and they can wreak havoc on your life and health if you’re not careful to keep them under control. Be glad to know there are several healthy habits you can adopt that are going to help you reduce these feelings so you can better function.

Being constantly overwhelmed and frustrated isn’t enjoyable and can quickly steal your happiness. It’s in your best interest to figure out ways for how you can better manage your stress and anxiety levels and not let them take over your life. Focus on doing more of what makes you feel relaxed and at peace so you can have better days ahead.

Practice Yoga & Meditation

Reduce your stress and anxiety by practicing yoga and meditation in your free time. These are both excellent ways to get in tune with your thoughts and will help to calm your mind and body. Do them often enough and it’s likely you’ll feel like a new person and won’t be so wound up each day. The health benefits that come from these two practices are amazing and will quickly have you wondering why you didn’t start doing them sooner. Replace old and unhelpful habits with these activities and you’ll likely be able to turn your situation and mindset around in no time.

Discover Professional Treatment Options

An additional healthy habit for reducing stress and anxiety is to discover professional treatment options. There are trained health professionals who study these types of mental health disorders and can help you get your life and wellbeing back on track. Check out a facility like The Recovery Village to learn more about getting the help you need so you can experience less destructive moods and behaviors. Know that admitting to what’s out of your control and seeking help makes you a strong and wise person.

Connect with Loved Ones

You can also reduce your stress and anxiety by connecting with and opening up to loved ones. Turn to people who you trust and know care about you and let them in on what you’re going through. It’s very possible they can relate or at the very least will be available to listen to your story and hear you out. If you’re looking for advice then ask for it and see what solutions you might be able to brainstorm and come up with together. Trying to do it all on your own without any help or support isn’t always the best answer.

Spend Time in Nature

Nature has a way of instantly making you feel calmer and at ease. It’s a wise idea to spend more time in nature if you’re experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety lately. Leave your phone at home and use this opportunity to soak up the beautiful sights, wonderful smells and soothing sounds around you. This is a great chance for you to practice deep breathing exercises and think through some of the problems you’ve been facing lately without any distractions.

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Consumers can enter in two ways:

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OR

Submit your Happy Birthday Wish to Little Bites (along with contact info) on www.littlebites.com/20Birthdaybash

For each message submitted, Little Bites will donate $1 (up to $6,500) to The Birthday Party Project, a national organization that hosts birthday parties for kids who are residing in homeless or transitional living facilities.

20 consumers will win an Ultimate Prize Pack featuring:

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Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only. This giveaway will end on Feb. 25th

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8 Reasons World Travel is Good for You

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel around the world? Are you a person that wants to experience what life is like for other people with cultures that are different from your own? The world travel industry is one of the world’s largest. In 2016 there were 7.6 trillion US dollars spent in this industry alone. There are many benefits to world travel. Here we will cover eight reasons that world travel is right for you.

1. Create Lasting Memories

There is nothing quite as special as creating lasting new memories that you know will last a lifetime. Travelling offers the unique opportunity to enjoy breathtaking landscapes that you can capture with images and video. Photo albums and videos edits of your trips will help capture your memories forever.  

2. Expands One’s Horizons

There is nothing quite like the horizon-expanding experience of traveling to new and exotic destinations. Connecting with new people from different culture helps to expand your horizons. You will be able to see things from a different perspective.  

3. Improves Communication & Social Skills

A significant benefit of traveling to other countries, mainly when your language is not the native language, is that you learn how to communicate with other people naturally. Learning basic tourist terms and phrases also helps with communication.

4. Experience Diverse Cultures

Traveling to other countries in the world gives you a magnificent opportunity to experience different cultures. You are able to relish in the richness of cultures that are unfamiliar. Cultural diversity is thought by many to add to the sophistication and depth of a person’s character.

5. Increases Confidence

Confidence and presence of mind are gained from world travel. Being in a place where you do not know anyone is often the catalyst for increased confidence. The freedom of being in a new location helps you develop increased confidence.

6. Inspires Creativity

Nothing gets those creative juices flowing like traveling to unfamiliar destinations. The neural connections needed to stimulate new and innovative thought are triggered by new experiences like travel.

7. Real-World Lessons

Encountering strangers from diverse cultures and societies provides an educational experience that is not possible in the typical school setting. Whether you are interested in the charm of Columbus real estate or wish to visit the glorious vineyards of Italy, world traveling will give you a greater perspective.

8. You’ll have Fun

Last, but most certainly not least, world travel is tons of fun. The adventure and excitement that goes along with world travel cannot be understated. If all you could gain from tourism was having loads of fun that is reason enough for some to set sail on their international voyage as soon as possible.

Conclusion

People have long understood the benefit of traveling the world. There is something about travel that invigorates and brings peace to travelers. Hopefully, this list has given you more than enough reasons to explore your world. So, get your passport ready and pack your bags.  

Entenmann’s Little Bites Churro Muffins *Giveaway closed* #LoveLittleBites #LBChurro

Disclosure:“The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Entenmann’s® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Entenmann’s® products. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Entenmann’s®.”

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Churro Muffins are the newest flavor to be added to the Seasonal Favorites® line – and they’re muy delicioso!

New Limited-Edition Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Churro Muffins feature real cinnamon and sugar with a sweet little crunch that you expect from a churro.

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Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Churro Muffins are now available in most major retailers nationwide. You can also find them at Walmart, Kroger, and Target stores. Remember, these are a limited-edition Seasonal, so be sure to grab yours asap!

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Look Radiant in a Plus Size Bridal Gown

Shopping for a wedding dress is a challenge for any bride because it will be used in her most memorable day, so she wants it to be perfect. This task has proven to be more difficult for plus size ladies who are looking for plus size bridal gowns. Our suggestion for the plus size bride is to be patient when looking for the right wedding dress. Because many bridal shops do not offer sample plus size dresses, you do not have the opportunity to see various styles of dresses in your size.

One other challenge facing plus size brides is to look for a style of a wedding dress that will suit your figure. To start your research for the right dress, you should browse bridal magazines, including Modern Brides or Brides, and look for bridal gowns you like. You can also use the Internet to search for bridal gowns on various wedding niche websites. Also, several fashion designers now design plus size bridal gowns and some even design lines that are specifically for these women.

Here, we will help plus size brides find the style that will flatter their body shape and which ones they should avoid.

Choose a gown that will make you look slim

Make sure that you choose a bridal gown that would not add weight or width to your body shape; instead, you should look for a style that will help you look slim. To achieve a slimming look, experts recommend that you should choose a bridal gown that has asymmetrical front details. Additionally, the bridal gown silhouettes that will look good on plus size brides are the A-line and princess wedding gown styles. You can also use this detail on the flower girl dresses to give them a consistent theme. 

The best style for plus size brides

Other bridal gowns that will compliment plus size brides are the empire style, mermaid style, and the sheath style. Specifically, the empire style is for brides who are not large at the bust because the style aims to put a spotlight on the bust. The mermaid style is suggested for tall brides who have balanced proportions. The sheath style is for those who have a balanced and defined waist.

Dress pattern should be scaled to your size

Aside from style, plus size brides should also check if the dress patterns, which can be lace motif, embroidery, or beadings, are scaled to their size. You should not choose wedding dresses that have small details because they could look dainty. Moreover, you should not select a style that will add widths, like tiered skirts and ruffles. You can use small details to enhance your beauty, and that of the ivory flower girl dresses so that they look spectacular on that day. 

Avoid adding detail on the bust

Adding details on the hem or in the bodice adds interest in the gown and not on the bust if you have a large one. Pear-shaped women will look beautiful if they wear an off-shoulder gown for their wedding because the off the shoulder neckline and surplice V-neck will help slim the bust line.

Conclusion

Looking for the right plus size wedding gowns should no longer be a problem after you read the above tips. We hope that this guide will help you in your quest for that perfect gown that will help you stand out during the most special day of your life.

7 Best Ways to Get Free Money

Free money seems like an oxymoron, right? More often than not you have to spend money in order to make it. But, thanks to the internet, free money is really a thing. All you have to do is complete tasks online and you can make a couple extra bucks.

In this article, we’ve assembled a list of 7 of our best tips to earn extra money with minimal effort. Keep reading to learn how to get free money,

1. Provide Feedback

One of the most popular ways to make free money is to sign up for online survey sites. This is a mindless activity that you can do in your spare time to increase your income. Some of the best online survey sites include Global Test Market, Survey Junkie, and Pinecone Research.

To start making money, simply sign up for an account on one of many of these sites. You’ll then choose a survey, which may involve providing feedback on a company’s marketing campaign or a new product.

2. Earn Points on MyPoints

Earn money by earning points. By using MyPoints, you can earn points for taking online surveys, shopping, and watching short videos. Points can be redeemed for cash back or you can use them to purchase gift cards. Available retailers include Amazon, Nike, Best Buy, and many others. You can also buy gift certificates for your favorite restaurants.

Signing up for MyPoints is free, and earning points is very simple. All you have to do is take surveys, daily polls, or watch a few videos.

3. Look Around for Bank Bonuses

If you’re willing to transfer money to a new bank account or if you can set up a temporary direct deposit, you can get paid for doing so. Many banks offer bonuses for new customers who deposit a certain amount of money within a set time period.

For example, by signing up for a Chase Total Checking account, you can earn a $200 bonus by simply setting up direct deposit. The same bank also offers a moneyback guarantee for college students who open a Chase College Checking account, which provides a $100 bonus after making 10 transactions and enrolling in paperless statements.

Do some research and find the best bank bonus deal that will put some extra spending money into your account.

4. Take Advantage of Referral Programs

Can you refer a friend? If so, you can make some serious cash. Companies are willing to pay users if they refer their friends as this increases their user base and ultimately the company’s revenue. There are all sorts of companies that use cash bonus referral programs including:

  • NetSpend
  • Instacart
  • Door Dash
  • DOSH
  • Acorn
  • Groupon

With referral programs, you’re awarded a cash bonus when your referral uses the service. For example, with Instacart, you can refer a friend to use their service and once they place their first delivery order, $10 is credited to your account.

If you have plenty of friends to refer, you can effortlessly make hundreds of dollars through referral programs.

5. Use Cash Back & Rebate Websites

While you have to spend money to get cash back or to qualify for a rebate, you don’t have to spend money that you wouldn’t already be otherwise spending. By using websites and apps like Checkout 51, Ibotta, and eBates, you can earn money by purchasing things like clothes, groceries, personal care items, and much more.

The apps also allow you to find coupons and rebates for items that you’re purchasing. This means that you can almost always count on getting the best deal while also making money on your purchase. It’s like getting paid to shop!

6. Try Smart Panel

If you’re like most people, you spend hours each day using your mobile phone. Smart Panel is a market research mobile app that works by gathering insight and behavior data from smartphone users. To see if you qualify, you’ll need to complete the questionnaire. If you meet all of the requirements, the app will give you $5. You earn $5 for each month you keep the app installed. Smart Panel also offers a loyalty bonus every three months.

7. Take Selfies

Do you love taking pictures of yourself? If so, a company called Pay Your Selfie will give you money for taking selfies in a variety of locations. The company uses the data they collect to help companies to better market their product by using demographic data such as gender, age, race, and other factors.

You can earn $1 just for taking a picture, and though a buck isn’t much, if you love taking selfies, you can easily make a good amount of money.

Free money is available, you just have to know where to look. With these 7 options, you can make money without having to spend extra money on your end. No matter if you choose to take paid surveys or refer your friends, you can easily make extra spending cash.

Why Kids (and Parents) Should Go Outside and Play

Kids don’t always want to exercise. Frankly, many parents don’t either. However, you can miss out on a lot of benefits if you avoid sweat and dirt. Read on to learn ways you and your family can safely, creatively, and enjoyably go outside and stay active.

First, a few safety tips…

Encouraging kids to give up the screen and play outside can make some parents anxious. Today, we’re more aware of kidnappings, scary diseases, and other hazards that make us want to keep our kids in bubble wrap. It’s rarer and rarer to see unsupervised children having adventures in the neighborhood. However, this belief may just be a perception created by today’s media. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids street and safety smarts:

  • Encourage helmets for activities like biking and skateboarding. Helmets save lives. Some kids might think helmets are “uncool,” so make sure your kid has plenty of choosing power for theirs. Take them shopping and let them pick a high-quality helmet with cool graphics and a comfortable fit.
  • If your kids have allergies or asthma, always remind them to bring their medication. Buy a few extra emergency products, just in case. Pro-tip: you can find significantly cheaper asthma and allergy drugs like Advair and EpiPens online with Canadian pharmacy referral services like Rx Connected.
  • If your kid doesn’t have special health needs, they can still get scrapes and bruises. Have your kid carry emergency bandages in their backpack and teach them how to properly clean and treat wounds.
  • Have a family code word. In case an emergency happens and you require someone else to fetch your kid, teach your kid not to follow anybody unless they say the code word.

In general, use common sense, not paranoia. Young children shouldn’t be out late at night, of course, and adults should always supervise kids playing in less-populated areas like campgrounds and parks.

Why stay active?

If germs are what you’re worried about, consider this: kids who get dirty have stronger immune systems. According to the hygiene hypothesis, the reason why well-developed countries have higher incidences of allergies and asthma is because children’s immune systems are too sheltered from germs at a young age.

Outdoor activities to help you stay fit

Besides sports, there are plenty of things you can do to stay fit. Health benefits aside, play allows families to bond and practice good communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.

  1. Build a treehouse (or other structure).

Construction is hard work! Just ask the next construction worker you see. Almost all kids love the idea of having their own fort, treehouse, or other play structure. You’re not limited to a fort. You can also build a:

  • Doghouse
  • Bird feeder or birdhouse
  • Fencing
  • Skateboard ramp
  • Catio (a safer outdoor space for the family cat!)
  • Teach your kids how to grow food.

This is a way to trick your kids into helping you with chores while getting them outside and moving at the same time. Kids might not like the idea of helping mom and dad water plants and pull weeds, but they may be more excited about growing their own food. You can designate an area of the yard they are responsible for and teach them valuable knowledge about plant biology. Having a plant “pet” can also teach kids responsibility.

  • Double-dutch or other fancy jump rope games.

Jump rope games are great because you don’t need a lot of space or equipment. Jumping rope as a group in games like Double Dutch can also build teamwork and co-operation skills because everyone has to work together. Furthermore, skipping is a very intense sport, so expect to burn lots of calories.

  • Shadow tag, flashlight tag, and other derivatives

Your kids might quickly grow out of tag, but “alternative” tag games can be your answer to this problem. Flashlight tag is perfect for a camping trip or if you live near a wooded area. Shadow tag can become a summer pastime.

  • Quidditch

If your kids are fans of franchises like Harry Potter, they can bring their favorite magical worlds to life. For example, you can play Quidditch by using household brooms and making the rule that it must always be between your legs. Hula hoops on the ground can be used as goalposts. A person that runs around and hides can be the Snitch!

For more rules, look up the International Quidditch Association. It’s a thing.

  • Make up your own game

Encourage your kids to make up their own game. Kids are naturally creative, but if they need a little extra help, they can base their real-life game on a video game, TV show, or other thing they love but usually sit still to enjoy. Encourage wacky costumes, props, and complex rules. Use traditional items like balls and goals but also use pool noodles, stuffed animals, tables and chairs, or whatever else you can think of.

  • Local attractions

Have the entire family go on a fun outing to a local attraction. Museums, aquariums, and galleries often have family passes so you can save money. Plus, going out gets your kids active, exploring, and learning about the world around them.

  • Hiking, birdwatching, fishing, camping etc.

For the outdoorsy kid, the possibilities are endless. Hiking is an obvious choice, but simply setting up and maintaining camp keeps you on your feet too. This is also a good opportunity to teach your kid life skills like how to start a fire, tie knots, read a compass, and outdoor safety.

When you’re trying to get your family outside, you’re not restricted to traditional sports! Get creative and go explore; you might just find a new hobby that makes you healthier without you even realizing it.

Summer Garden – How to Add Color

Winter puts a dampener on just about everything. Come late September, something strange happens to the colour in our lives. It starts to fade. Our clothes change from flowy bright whites, patterned yellows, airy reddish purples and other warming tones and instead we switch to wearing faded pastels that blend browns with other shades of brown (with perhaps a hint of dull green). The good news is that spring is nearly here! After months of mud and rain, the time has finally come to start planning our summer gardens. Preparation is everything. Let’s look at how you can start planning now for a colourful summer garden.

Flowers – Trees – Bushes

Let’s start with an obvious one. Buying flowers, trees, and bushes is the fastest way to transplant some colour into your garden. Lots of flowers bloom in spring. Unless you have a large sprawling garden, you’re going to need to think on a slightly smaller scale. For compact displays with low maintenance, choose Crocus, Lily of the Valley, Bluebells, and fill in any gaps with the golden yellow glow of Winter Aconites. Choosing flowering trees is easy, too. The only consideration is to make sure the lawn doesn’t encroach on growing saplings. Check out some spectacular options here and get excited about the prospect of introducing a tree to your garden. Flowering bushes can help to either fill large gaps, or can act as a stand-alone feature.  Stewartstonian Azaleas, Flowering Quince, and Forsythia are all great choices.

Garden furniture

One of the major limiting factors that stops us from truly expressing our colourful side in our homes is the resale value of the property. For example, you’d probably have difficulty in selling a house painted orange. Likewise, if your kitchen walls are painted with superhero murals and your front door is a giant mirror with a crack in it, finding a buyer might be an uphill task. So, we keep things simple. BUT. Garden furniture isn’t a permanent fixture. It unscrews or folds up or packs down and therefore isn’t a colour consideration from which you need to shy away. Go big. Go Bold. Go bright. Think multi-coloured table and chair combos, eye-popping sun loungers, patterned cushions matched to a stand-out parasol, and maybe a hand painted bench showing all the colours of the rainbow.

Plant Pots

The word terracotta comes from Latin and literally means ‘baked earth’. In essence, then, it’s cooked mud. Or roasted clay. Or heated, dried, and hardened muck. Whichever way you choose to look at it, the unassuming pale effect of washed out terracotta is hardly the show-stopping plant pot look that you or your summer garden deserve. Leave behind the brown. Get to grips with something much homelier and more welcoming. While painted plant pots can be found almost anywhere, consider your options. There’s glazed effect, there are hanging baskets, there are square pots for up against walls and giant round pots for the perfect corner feature. There are even colourful buckets available, if you really want to stamp your style.

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

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

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

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

Housing Costs

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

Some suburbs with low cost of living include:

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

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

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

Utility Costs

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

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

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

Property Taxes

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

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

Other Expenses

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

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

Conclusion

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

5 Reasons why Electrical Inspections are Crucial

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

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

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

Avoid Irreparable Injuries

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

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

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

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

Identification of Loopholes during the Wiring Process

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


Identification of Lack of Bonding

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

Giveaway Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hotel Transylvania 3   WINNER: Rebecca N.

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

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

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

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

Science With Slappy

*A product was provided.

What Are Your Options When You Accidentally Lose A Tooth?

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

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

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

Reinsertion

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

Implants

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

Bridge

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

Removable Denture

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