MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Handling Insect Pests At Home

Nothing can ruin the pleasant environment of your home quite like an invasion of pests. Whether it’s ants invading the kitchen or thousands of tiny termites destroying the house itself, nobody wants pests of any kind in their way.

As a result, we spend a lot of time and money trying to keep these unwanted visitors out of the house and yard. Some of the techniques we use are effective, while others are not so great.

The first thing we need to think about as we plan our pest-proofing strategy is the location of the pests. Moxie pest control in Columbus Ohio uses different techniques for the two different locations, and as homeowners, the things we can do outside are very different from our options inside as well. We must make sure to approach the problem correctly.

The first thing most of us think of is killing the pests, and with the help of a good exterminator, this is definitely an effective option. We can also look at the bigger picture and work with our professional to combat pests on our own with a few simple techniques.

Exclusion

A well-sealed home that effectively excludes pests is better than any other technique you can come up with. There can be thousands of pests outside that will never come indoors if you have properly sealed all the gaps and cracks.

This is very effective but also very time-consuming. It will involve some hours with the caulk gun and a lot of crawling around. You should also think about things like the door sweeps that can help to keep entry points tight, and it’s worth a family lecture on keeping doors and windows fully closed at all times. Check your window screens to make sure those warm days don’t turn into an insect house party for you. An added bonus to sealing up is energy savings.

Repelling

A good, safe way to keep pests under control is simply to make them stay away. There are lots of techniques for doing this, including specialized lanterns that can keep insects away. And our regular lights can be managed carefully to keep nuisance bugs away from people and doors.

We can’t always keep pests out of the entire yard or the entire hiking trail, but we can repel pests very directly by using insect repellent on ourselves. There are plenty of safe products out there with DEET that can be used on kids and adults. Just make sure to use them according to their label instructions and to reapply as directed. Be sure to use the product on clothing as well, since that’s often where insects make contact with us. And speaking of clothing, consider long pants when you’ll be in heavy vegetation.

Habitat Modification

When a pest chooses to occupy an area, the habitat must be suitable. The pest must have the appropriate environment for its normal life cycle. If we can change that, we can get them away from us. With ticks, we can do a lot of good just by trimming tall grass where ticks like to wait on their prey.

But perhaps the most effective means to keep pests away is to make sure that they do not have access to food. No matter what else may be appealing to them about a particular location, the pest won’t stay if it can’t eat. This is a little more practical indoors, where we can seal food containers and clean up spills.

When we are the food source, such as with mosquitoes and ticks, it’s impossible to eliminate the entire supply, but if we’ve done a good job using an exterminator in coordination with home maintenance, repellents, and habitat modification, we can still spend some time outdoors without excessive six-legged company.

Baby Product Checklist: Starting Guide for First Time Moms

20 days

First time parents have a lot on their plate. This is why they need to have everything ready before the baby comes. If you are a pregnant with you first child you probably picked most of the important stuff already. Despite this fact, there are some things that might slip your mind.

In this article, we are going to show you some of the must-have products for your baby. Once you finished reading this checklist, search all of the products on MomCrib.com. On this website, you can find reviews and lists of the best products for your child.

·       Diapers

As you probably expected, one of the most important things on this checklist is the diaper. Whether you want to use disposable diapers or a washcloth, you need to be prepared. Have a lot of these products at your disposal because, in the first days, babies can use up to 10 diapers.

You might want to choose different brand of diapers at first to see which one are good for your baby. He or she might get a rash from some of these products. After you selected the best for your baby, stick with one brand and size.

·       Baby Wipes

These are also essential for your baby. While some might think that it is ok to use normal wet wipes, the baby wipes are better for the sensitive skin of your little one. Using high-quality baby wipes prevents your baby from making a rash or an allergy.

·       Rash Cream

Unfortunately, from time to time, babies tend to develop rashes or allergies to certain products or even to their clothes. This is why you always need to have a special anti-rash cream. The cream is going to moisturize the skin of the baby and give your little one a rash-free skin.

·       Baby Bottles

If you are not breastfeeding or you are trying to switch between breastfeeding and bottle feeding, you need to get some baby bottles. Start out with bottle with slow-flow. These are best for small babies and for the ones who are just getting used to bottle feeding. Also, you can try out special bottles that prevent gas and colic.

·       Baby Soap and Shampoo

Another thing you should keep in mind is that your baby needs to take a bath every day. You need to find a special soap and shampoo because their skin is too sensitive to use regular soap. There are several products on the market. Pick a few of them and see which one is the best for your baby preferably a no-tears formula.

·       Towel or baby robe

Once you finished washing you baby you need to wrap him or her in a robe or a towel. Normal towels are usually too big and too harsh for your baby. You can find a lot of great 100% cotton towels for your baby. Nowadays, you can even find little robes for you child.

·       Teething Toys and Gels

Unfortunately, your baby is not going to be very calm when the teething process starts. In order to help your little one get past the pain and itchiness, you need to buy a special gel or cream that can found in every drug store. Also, teething toys can be helpful. You baby is going to feel the need to chew in order to alleviate itchiness.

·       Thermometer

A thermometer is always welcomed in a home with kids. This device is going to let you sleep better at nights because you will know for sure that your baby is ok. Also, you don’t have to use this product only when you feel that your baby is too warm. Periodical checks are indicated, especially for small babies.

·       Nail Scissors or Clippers

Baby nails grow faster than you might expect. This is why you need to have special clippers or nail scissors prepared. It is easier to trim their nails after a long bath because the nails are softer. Also, make sure to always cut the nails with a baby clipper instead or a regular clipper.

·       Baby-friendly Laundry Detergent

Another thing you should buy is a baby-friendly laundry detergent. Some detergents contain certain ingredients that increase the risk of rashes. You can also select a laundry detergent for sensitive skin.

 

These are just a few products that are going to help you offer your baby the best care possible. Make sure to check everything on the list. Also, check product reviews to see which brands are the best.

 

 

 

 

Services to Help Strengthen Your Family

Families are a source of pride and comfort and unite in times of hardship and want. Sometimes, though, it may be wise for families to make use of services that can assist with the cohesion and solidarity of the family unit, strengthening the bonds of family life and ensuring the happiest and fulfilled future for you and your loved ones. This article outlines just four of these services that you may wish to engage with if you find yourself in a position in which you need some assistance in strengthening your family.

 

Relationship Counseling

 

It’s become something of a pop culture buzz-word for a failing marriage, but the truth is that relationship counseling or marriage therapy can have a hugely important and enriching impact on the lives of couples who are feeling the strain of the day-to-day grind. Finding a reliable therapist who you both feel comfortable round could take a couple of attempts, but once you’re in the right environment, you may be surprised to find that it’s easy to air and put to bed any niggling resentments and problems, bringing you closer together in the process.

 

Family Planning

 

Long-term couples and those that have married are likely to be starting to consider whether they’re ready to have children. Family planning services can offer you advice and testing on fertility, when’s best to attempt to conceive, as well as some of the more practical sides to having children, such as the financial and responsibility burdens. They’ll prepare happy couples for the next stage of their relationship, parenthood, which creates the family unit that is so strong due to mutual affection and pride.

 

Adoption Services

 

For those couples that cannot conceive, and it is not uncommon, for many reasons, or those couples for whom having a child through childbirth is not appealing, there is a range of adoption services that will help you begin a family in a different but equally fulfilling way. Step-parent adoption is a good example of adoption used to strengthen family bonds. Law services will help you through the process of becoming the legal guardian and custodian of the child of your loved-one who you’ve lived with for years. Making the step to becoming their adopted parent will set in stone your love and affection, bringing you into the family in a special and lasting way.

 

Childcare and Playgroups

 

When the pitter patter of tiny feet becomes a mainstay in your familial home, you’ll likely value the services provided by local childcare centre so that you’re still able to maintain your working life and perhaps still spend time as a couple while your children are in safe hands, playing, interacting and laughing with other children. Part of the strength of families is forged in time away from one another; spending every waking second with your children can become tiring after a while! Therefore, engage in local playgroups, too, so that you’re able to take your eye off your child, even if only for a chat with other parents for 45 minutes.

 

Take stock of the above services in order to know the methods of strengthening your family unit

Five Treats That Are Just For Adults

As a parent, it is natural that you will spend the majority of your time thinking about your loved ones. However, every now and then, you need to turn the attention back on yourself. This will prevent you from running yourself into the ground and losing your own identity. If you are determined to stay motivated, happy, and content, it is vital that you make an effort to treat yourself on a regular basis. If you are struggling for ideas, you should pay close attention to the following five suggestions.

A spa day

Another idea is to try out a fancy spa day. Again, this is an activity that is only suitable for the more mature. Why not invite along a few of your friends to share in the fun? Alternatively, you could invite along your partner and use your spa day as an opportunity to reconnect. Or, if you are looking to cut costs, you could put together a home spa day. This will leave you with more funds to direct towards your childcare.

A movie night

You can also have fun at home by planning a grown up movie night. This is the perfect opportunity for you to watch all of the films that are unsuitable for your little ones. You can also indulge in adult refreshments such as spicy foods, sushi, and alcoholic beverages. If you are worried about your kids feeling left out, why not plan a more age appropriate movie night for them to enjoy upstairs? This is an especially good idea if you are planning to invite round your fellow parents. They are sure to welcome the opportunity to bring along their offspring.

Vaping equipment

Firstly, you should invest in some high quality vaping equipment. Of course this is a pastime that only adults will enjoy, so you will be provided with the perfect excuse to take a moment for yourself. If you are eager to explore your options, you should visit this vape store today. Then, you can make a number of purchases that will assist you on your vaping journey.

A meal out

Next, you should think about organizing a delicious meal out. If you are interested in this treat, you will need to keep your eyes peeled for a restaurant that specifically caters to an evening out perhaps without children. That way, you will have the perfect chance to leave behind your parental responsibilities. If you focus on childcare day in and day out, it might be nice to access a different aspect of your life.

A cocktail kit

Finally, if you are a fan of alcoholic beverages and delicious flavors, you should think about creating your own cocktail kit. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like. There are some thrifty drinks that only require a couple of ingredients and can be put together in a matter of moments. However, there are also drinks that require a lot more skill and panache. You could even go all out and treat yourself to a drinks trolley or an in-home bar.

Creative Ways to Save for Family Travel

If you are a frequent traveler you surely know how important it is for you to plan everything up ahead in order to cut your travel expenses as much as you can. All the people for whom traveling is a way of living save every penny they can so they will have more for their upcoming trip. Saving in advance or having a source of some sort of a steady income will give you just enough financial freedom to be able to make the right choices when you travel.

Putting all the generic tips aside, there are some really creative and unusual ways to save your money if you’re frequently on the move. In this article, we will present you with a couple of those tips.

Don’t Miss on the Passive Income While You’re Away

Given that you’re not entirely into a nomadic way of living, you most certainly have your own apartment or a house back home. And with being constantly away, it’s really a shame for that living space to stay unoccupied for certain time of the year.

One thing you might consider doing is actually renting your apartment, so you won’t miss on any revenue you can get while you’re traveling. Since expenses of the household won’t pay up themselves, you can gather enough money to cover those plus you will be left off with a little extra on the side. Just enough to bolster your travel budget a bit.

The same goes for your car. Since cars deteriorate and lose value over time, it’s a pity for yours to stay unused throughout the year. One thing you can do is rent your car away to somebody that will make the good use of it. With so many web listings of a car and house rentals, it won’t be a problem for you to do these things. It’s basically a win-win situation – you will get the money for your travel budget, and somebody else will find a great accommodation on a budget.

Book Ahead

This is literally a no-brainer but lots of people fail to organize themselves so they book and plan everything ahead. This especially goes out to the people who are so frequently on the move that they are almost used to paying for their plane tickets or booking accommodation just a couple of days ahead. Which is pretty expensive.

A catch with booking ahead is that you can always settle for some nice and promo deal if you are persistently checking deals online. Also, and this goes out for those who are touristing in groups, if you’re planning to visit some famous tourist attraction on your trip, make sure to check whether there is a bulk discount if you book your visit ahead.

 

Did you know that some airlines offer free stopovers if you’re booking a distant flight? This is also good to know in order to save some money when booking your travel. Also, booking your flight midweek is always a good idea if time is not of the essence since it’s known that midweek flight cost less than the usual ones.

 

Prepare Yourself Accordingly

Finally, knowing the timetable of your journey and the destinations you are about to visit will help a lot. If you are familiar with the prices of food where you’re about to go, you will be able to work around it by caring some canned food, snacks and sweets on yourself.

 

Also, one other thing you might find devastating to your wallet is exchange rates. You know where you’re going, you know what their local currency is right? Don’t fly away having only foreign currency in your pocket because it is most likely that you’ll need cash as soon as you land, and there will be no exchange offices on every corner. Therefore, you will be left with cab drivers or other fellas changing your money at a not-so-favorable rate.

Last but not the least, make sure that your travel phone is unlocked so you’ll be able to use other company’s SIM cards in it. That will save lots of your money.

 

Reasons to Enroll Your Kids in Martial Arts

Martial art is a lot more than just the physical punches, kicks, and the violence that has been associated with it. It’s more than the pop culture music and what Hollywood has projected it to be in the movies. It’s more than just a sport or a defense mechanism.

Martial arts are, above everything else, about bettering yourself.

It’s about discovering yourself and how to express that discovery.

Many parents highly recommend enrolling kids in martial arts. For example the guys over at FightGearGeeks have enrolled their children in various forms of martial arts at as young as age 5.

 

The following are notable reasons why your kids need training in martial arts.

 

  1. Discipline, Patience, Respect and Self Control

 

Some of the social skills that are taught at martial arts are discipline and patience. These are very core components of martial art. Today, people are becoming less and less patient and want things done at a blink of an eye, but with a background in martial art, your child will be taught how to have discipline, patience, self-control and restraint.

 

In addition to that, punctuality and respecting the instructor are other important rules. This is very helpful in their entire life since they will grow up knowing that they are required to respect the elders and always be on time. These qualities are great to teach kids at a young age, and these are just some of the benefits of enrolling your kids in martial arts.

 

  1. Boosts Self Esteem

 

Throughout the training, your child will keep advancing from one level to another after defeating an opponent. This will boost their confidence not only in karate but also in other aspects of life. Your child will know that once you focus and do your best you can always make it. Furthermore, with the increase in cases of bullying in schools and violence everywhere, your child is better off with these skills. They are taught how to defend themselves against an intruder. This will ensure their safety even when you are not around them.

 

  1. Being Healthy and Physically Fit

 

This is one of the primary benefits of martial art. With the increasing cases of obesity and other related diseases mostly caused by inactivity, martial art involves a lot of physical activity. Instead of your child spending most of his/her free time watching T.V and playing computer games, they are better off doing martial trainings. It’s also important to note that an active and fit body equals to an active brain

 

  1. Setting Goals and Achieving Targets

 

During training, your child will advance from one level to another. He/she will be awarded a belt after completing each of these levels. The idea of awarding these belts is to keep them motivated and work hard towards learning a skill. In the same way, your child will learn the importance setting goals and working hard towards achieving them. This comes in handy in his/her future life be it career wise, relationships, family and any other aspect of life

 

  1. Teamwork and Responsibility

 

Part of what your child will learn in martial art is how to perform with others. This requires better communication skills and how you can coordinate with other children to achieve one common goal. This is an important lesson in life since the child will know that there are things in life that you cannot achieve alone.

 

  1. Improved Socialization Skills

 

Children at the martial arts share a common interest. Though from different backgrounds and places, they come together to learn common skills. Martial art becomes something they have in common. For those with difficulty in making new friends, spending more time together doing the same thing will make them open up to one another even in other areas and eventually become friends. This will help those that have difficulty in socializing with other children.

 

  1. Perseverance and Excellence

Martial art is a tough program that involves a lot of straining and enduring blows and kicks from the opponents. Through this your child is bound to persevere and excel even in the most difficult of circumstances later in life.These are just but a few things that your child would benefit from martial art program.

The bottom line is, martial arts are about way more than just fighting. They are about bettering yourself as an individual.

Find The Medicare Plan That’s Right For You and Your Family

Insurance through employers

If you work for a company that employs at least 50 people, they are required to pay for at least part of your medical insurance. There was a time when that was enough. But with the changes in the health care system in the past presidential administration, insurance companies began charging much more. The average cost for a single adult person to have basic medical insurance coverage is over $300 per month. The average cost of employer assisted medical insurance for a family is in excess of $800 per month. The sad truth is, many Americans cannot afford this. These are averages. In some cases, the costs are much higher.

 

A person who works for a smaller company may have to purchase insurance on his own. He or she must search for coverage that complies with the law and that they can afford to pay. In order to do this, many families must opt for an insurance policy that has a very expensive copay or deductible. This will bring the monthly premiums down, but it creates another problem.

 

If you have insurance with a very high deductible, you must pay for all of your medical care from your own money until you have reached the deductible. For example, if your deductible is $4500.00, your doctor’s visits, tests, treatments, and any other medical expense must be paid by you until you have paid the first $4500.00. For families, there is usually a per person deductible amount and a family deductible amount. The end result is paying for insurance that often never pays a dime on your health care. Unless you have a serious illness or injury that requires multiple visits to the doctor and treatments, you could find yourself paying for your medical expenses until late in the year before your insurance is required to pay anything. However, you must still pay the premium every month.

Picture credit/site https://pixabay.com/en/truck-rescue-transportation-system-3248740/

 

Why can’t we just skip the insurance and pay the doctor ourselves?

Having medical insurance is necessary. The cost of health care can become overwhelming, very quickly for the uninsured. One serious illness or accident can cost thousands of dollars. If you find yourself needing surgery or on-going treatments, you could be facing tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Besides the expenses, citizens of the United States are required to have insurance coverage by law. For millions of Americans, the answer to this problem is Medicare.

Understanding Medicare

If you are 65 years old or older, you qualify for Medicare. If you are under the age of 65 but are disabled, you are qualified as well. Medicare if not free, but it is much more affordable than that of private insurance companies. Medicare is an insurance that is offered  by the government.

 

There are several Medicare parts. Each of them offers a particular type of coverage. Medicare part A covers hospital coverage. Medicare part B covers some of your doctor’s visits, tests, and lab services. Medicare part C is also called Medicare Advantage. Medicare part D is for coverage of eligible prescriptions.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare advantage is a unique way of combining Medicare parts A & B. This is provided through private insurance companies. Normally this allows people to get better coverage and more choices. The cost of Medicare advantage is usually no more than you are already paying for your Medicare insurance.

It is up to you to find affordable companies that offer health insurance. While this may sound difficult, you will find the Marketplace a good place to start.

 

Writing Better Essays in High School – 5 Practical Tips

The life of a student during the high school years is one of the most crucial times in a person’s life. The doting age of social ability, emotional and physical maturity, mental sharpness, the realization of one’s interests and potential and gradual exposure to the harsh realities of life made those somewhat your minds restless and confused due to the sudden surge of factors which were unknown to them. Keeping aside these factors, it is also the period of first mind development and maturity leading to finding the real potential of the self.

 

Apart from these life-related changes, the high school also marks the beginning of new academia. Now students are more prone to critical thinking and learning rather than memorizing. It takes the learning to a whole new level. Students of literature or who have language as a standard subject are especially demanded to hone up the ability to write well and express themes and topics that vary in details. Essays, in particular, take up a good deal of attention amongst others.

 

Education in High School- How It’s Different

 

Education impaired in a high school is different than it has been in primary or Elementary School. Students now teach the ability to analyze and contemplate the topic critically. If the student is of literature, this very critical thinking analyzation becomes essential and mainstream. Essay writing here takes a chunk of attention.

Writing essays is mostly an elaborate descriptive piece of writing that deals with a specific topic most of the time drawn from real life. It is an exceptionally well-written piece of work that will elaborately describe from various angles a particular problem, to paint an image in the mind of the reader about the subject dealt with it.

The primary function of an essay is to describe a specific topic elaborately.

 

There are various types of essays, each with their demands and structure. Articles differ structurally and topically. In high school, more and more attention is given to critical thinking skills using drawing with words the real-life scenarios. Topics like “A day with your family,” “Moments that you crave,” “Love as the centre of existence” and other out of the box topics that are unique and require personal critical thinking are often chosen to phone up the ability of critical thinking.

 

Essays

 

These are mostly a short piece of writing that draws into the mind of the reader using words. The ability of the writer to bring into the spirit of the readers depends upon writing skills. The more polished and efficient the skills of writing are, the more pronounced and promising the written is likely to be. Thus writing power is directly proportional to the quality of the essays. Another factor, which comes into play while writing articles is the writer’s ability to bring into words the expression of his mind. Everyone can think, but not everyone can translate them into words. Writing a compelling and exceptional essay is very much depending on the ability to deliver into words ideas and thoughts.

Five Practical Tips for Excellent High School Essay Writing

As a student apart from just mugging up the ways to write an excellent essay that is structurally correct, the student must pay more attention to critical thinking, contemplating and analysing rather than paying extra consideration in making the composition structurally correct. Although it is very much essential to make the essay structurally right, maintaining the essence of the topic is also as much important.

Below are the five practical tips every student must practice to home up the ability to write excellent essay entirely not just a part.

1.   Know The Topic Well!

The essence of your essay will depend on how much well you have understood the topic. If you have not adequately got the topic, you will probably stretch around pages without any preciseness. Writing an essay that is complete and as per as the subject is essential. To achieve so, you have to understand the topic well.

2.           Preplan Your Flow of Writing

A single topic can have some flows. In simple words, a single item can write from some different aspects, angles, viewpoints, and expressions. Thus, to avoid getting flown in the various steam of the only issue, it is better to have a well-researched plan ahead of writing. For example, if you are writing an essay on love, pre-plan beforehand, on which aspect of love you will be dealing with it. Because love being an extensive chapter you cannot just write the whole thing down, and there you have to sort out anyone. In this way, readers will have a definite understanding of your essay.

3.           Write In the Active Voice

An essay is a form of narrative writing, and every narrative writing mast essentially is written in active voice to make it more subtle and precise in delivering of its essence. Essays written in passive voice can be confusing. It is not that once or twice you cannot write in passive voice, but more or less try to maintain an active voice throughout your essay.

 

4.           Write-In Short Paragraphs

 

Writing an essay in short paragraph enable a reader to take rest while processing what they have just read. It allows a clearer and better understanding of what you are trying to convey. If you are writing is spontaneous and continuous without any gaps and breaks, it will quickly exhaust the reader’s interest and keenness. To avoid this from happening write in short paragraphs.

 

5.           Engage the Readers

 

Perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of Great essay writing is the ability to engage the readers in the essay by making them think at the moment of their reading the article. If the reader can process or believe at the same time continuously read the piece, then that essay is more prominent. To make this happen, try to write out of the box, yet maintain the needed formalities of academic writing. Also, try to support a very crisp and polished Introduction and conclusion to make the first impression the last impression and the last impression the forever one.

 

Maintaining the above five practical tips along with good grasp on the language of writing. Its grammatical structures and other technicalities for writing an excellent high school essay.

 

Get your kids to eat more veggies? Yes, with a school grant from Action for Healthy Kids!

Parents can be a formidable force for change in schools, especially when it comes to starting health and wellness programs. Ensuring that our kids are eating healthier foods, learning about nutrition, and being more physically active in school not only sets them up to learn lifelong healthy habits but, according to a growing body of research, it helps them be better prepared to focus and learn in class. Studies also show when parents are involved in a child’s education, their children demonstrate higher academic achievement, better attendance, better social skills, better-eating habits, increased physical activity and less emotional distress.

Yet, despite wanting to do what’s best for students’ health, many schools lack the necessary resources to implement health and wellness practices that help students eat better and stay physically active. That’s why Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) has announced a new Parents for Healthy Kids grant just for parents for the 2018-2019 school year. The grants, which are provided through funding from ALDI, are designed for parents, caregivers and parent-groups (e.g. PTAs, PTOs) to lead school-based physical activity and nutrition initiatives and to engage more parents and family members in student and family health.

If you’ve ever thought of starting a school garden, getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies at school lunch, or finding ways to ensure they get more physical activity in and get the wiggles out during the school day so they can better focus in class, then this grant opportunity is for you. If you can think of a way to improve school and student health, AFHK can help you do it. In addition to providing schools with needed funding (grants up to $1,000), AFHK provides grantees with technical support and resources to activate their grants successfully.

 

Parents can learn more and apply for a grant by April 13, 2018 by visiting ParentsforHealthyKids.org/Grants. While you’re there, check out the resources to help you get involved in school health, and sign up to receive news your family can use to create a healthier school and home, today!

#schoolgrants

#healthykids

@Act4HlthyKids

@act4healthykids

 

This sponsored post is brought to you by Action for Healthy Kids and coordinated by Wendy’s Bloggers.

Why Parents Should Take Their Kids on Vacation

Vacations are far more than simply lounging on the beach, topping up your tan while your kids build sand castles and dig holes. Instead, vacations should be considered as a valuable learning experience for your kids. This is especially the case when your family vacation takes you overseas.

 

However, regardless of the destination, the change in scenery and a lack of familiarity with surroundings throws the whole family out of their comfort zones. This is an opportunity for your children to be involved in things such as making suggestions for planning your day’s schedule, or budgeting. Being away on vacation also brings you closer together as a family. Here’s why you should consider taking your kids with you on vacation.

Traveling Together is a Great Bonding Opportunity.

Taking a vacation is a wonderful opportunity to bond and strengthen your relationships as a family while having fun. Back at home, having a strict routine can make your interactions with each other as a family less enjoyable and more practical.

 

For example, perhaps you are so preoccupied with juggling school runs, ensuring your kids do their homework and running errands that you feel as though you typically only have a limited amount of quality time together to spend doing fun activities. On vacation, your schedule is practically cleared so you can dedicate your attention to strengthening your relationship and participating in new activities.

Traveling Helps Everyone Relax

Taking a vacation allows everyone the opportunity to unwind. As stressful as parenting is, even your kids can feel stressed out by school, homework, and maintaining a strict agenda. As a result, taking a vacation allows everyone the chance to blow off some steam and return home feeling refreshed.

 

This is especially true if you opt to stay somewhere such as an all inclusive resort where everything is already taken care of and so you do not have to worry about organizing anything. Consider staying at an adults-only resort if your children are older.

Vacations Can Be a Valuable Learning Experience

Taking a vacation can be a great opportunity to teach your kids various practical skills, in addition to allowing them to experience a more hands on approach to learning about history and world cultures.

 

Exploring ancient ruins, visiting historical sites and examining fascinating artifacts in a museum is a far more engaging history lesson than any that could be taught in a classroom. You can also demonstrate to your kids how you plan your trip schedule and how you manage a budget which teaches them valuable life and organizational skills.

Kids Can Make New Friends On Vacation

Whether it’s being encouraged to socialize with other kids at the kids clubs and activity centers that are offered by your resort, or your kids are mingling with others while playing in the pool, going on vacation gives your little ones plenty of opportunity to socialize with new people.

 

Learning how to interact socially and make new friends as a child is a critical part of your kids personal development.  In turn, this helps to build their confidence. Not to mention, having your kids off playing with their new friends gives you and your partner a little free time.

Vacations Make Your Kids More Open Minded

There is often a distinct difference between people who have traveled versus those who haven’t. Travel makes you more open-minded. It provides people with a deeper understanding of the various cultures and perspectives that coexist within the world that we live in. Introducing your kids to travel early encourages them to be more open minded and tolerant of people with different views and cultures to their own. It is also easy for kids to take for granted all of the things that they have in life.

 

When you travel to less developed nations, your children will see how different life is for others around the world. This encourages your children to be more compassionate towards others, as well as to value what they have.

Your Kids May Discover a New Passion

When you take your kids on vacation, there is lots of opportunity to try new things – whether it is engaging in a cultural activity, listening to new music, trying new foods, or playing a new sport. Travel broadens your kids horizons and gives them the chance to discover new things that they love and appreciate.

Vacations Are a Great Excuse to Disconnect

Televisions, games consoles, and tablets can make our children lazy. Having a world of interactive devices at their fingertips can stop kids from using their imagination and entertaining their sense of adventure.

 

A vacation is an opportunity to disconnect from all of this. Instead of spending their free time playing video games or lounging in front of the television, kids are using their imagination to invent games to play in the swimming pool, or to try new sports and activities.

Vacations Make For Great Memories

Family vacation memories truly can last a lifetime. Even if your children are relatively young at the time of taking the trip, they will certainly appreciate the excitement that a vacation brings.

 

From a parent’s perspective, you will always remember the first trip that you took together as a family and you will be able to look back and smile upon the video and photo memories that you took for years to come.

 

3 Ways to Get Adults to Try New Drinks

When it comes to food and drinks, adults can be just as picky as children, making it difficult for anyone who loves to try new drink recipes to get feedback on their creations. Some adults are stuck in their ways. They find a drink or two they like and stick with it. However, while it might be difficult to get people to try new things, it isn’t impossible. Check out these tips to help you convince your friends and family members to try your new drink creations.

Host a Taste Testing Party

Have you been busy trying out new mocktail recipes? If you want to share them with friends who are typically picky about new beverages, consider hosting a taste testing party. It’s a fun take on a wine tasting party, and you can host the event from your home.

  1. Choose a handful of mocktail recipes you love, and buy the ingredients to make them.
  2. Prepare your drinks in large batches, and serve them in small portions. You can serve your drinks in wine and/or beer tasting glasses or you could use shot glasses instead.
  3. Prepare a few different snack options to serve with your mocktails. Consider serving snacks buffet-style to keep things casual.
  4. As you pass the drinks out, remind people to share what they think of each new recipe — especially if the recipe is one you created.

Get Your Friends Involved

Involving your adult friends and family members in the creation process is a great way to get them interested in trying new drink recipes. Simply choose a handful of recipes you like, and invite guests to your home to make and taste new drinks.

You could even involve your guests in the selection process by having each guest bring a recipe they want to try to the party. Just make sure you have them send you a list of ingredients before the event or have guests bring the ingredients for their drinks with them to ensure you have everything you need during the gathering.

Consider Your Audience’s Like and Dislikes

Do some of your friends hate tomatoes? Well, those people probably aren’t going to be eager to try a new recipe for Bloody Marys. Before trying to convince your friends to try new drinks, you should consider their regular eating and drinking habits. Picky drinkers are likely to be picky eaters too — and vice versa. It’s a lot easier to convince one or two friends to come out to try a new drink recipe if they already like the ingredients.

Also, when it comes to drinking — both alcoholic beverages and mocktails — many adults get stuck in past. They think that trying out new drinks or attending a casual event means partying like they did when they were in college. Your friends might not have a lot of experience drinking as adults, so it’s important to teach them how to have a good time and a few drinks without access to a beer pong table or kegs.

Whether you create your own drink recipes or you just want to share products and recipes you love with your buddies, it can be hard to get people to try something new. But the more you share your ideas and recipes with your friends, the more likely it is for them to want to get involved with what you’re doing.

The Science of Laundry Detergent

The average American family of four does almost 400 loads of laundry a year—that’s a lot of clean clothes. Detergents and laundry have come a long way from the time of the Romans to modern day.

Tide is credited as being the first laundry detergent to get your clothes clean whilst keeping them bright. This was as long ago as 1946 and the product has been improved substantially since then. It is still considered the top laundry detergent in the US.

Of course, there is thousands of fancy laundry detergents on the market to choose from today; the majority of which are excellent at cleaning your clothes.

Have you ever considered the science behind the laundry detergent? How do clothes get clean? How does detergent work?

Chemicals

Your detergent is made out of water and chemicals. In fact, the chemicals, also known as water conditioners, are the biggest part of any detergent.

Water conditions are essential as they attract calcium and a variety of other minerals and metals. This removes them from the water and prevents them from becoming an issue while washing your clothes. The harder your water, the more detergent you will need to deal with hard water contaminants.

As well as water conditioners, you’ll find chemicals called surfactants. These are designed to get the stains out of your clothes. They work because they form long chains of carbon and hydrogen.

Alongside this, you’ll find a benzene ring, all too small to be seen by the naked eye of course. The two parts of the chain behave differently towards water; the carbon and hydrogen are referred to as dodecane, which hates water. The other part of the chain is known as benzosulfate, which loves water.

How The Chain Works

As soon as water enters your machine the benzosulfates are happy, but the dodecane are not. They will head for something organic but not water; the dirt on your clothes.

However, it can be tough to hold onto this dirt when the machine is spinning and the benzosulfates are happy in the water.

As a compromise a bubble is formed around the dirt, allowing the dodecanes to float happily in the water, without being attached to it. In this process, the dirt is removed from your clothing!

The Finishing Touches

Of course, as the machine slows it will be tempting for these dodecanes to return to your clothing. However, while the machine is spinning the enzymes in the detergent will act on the dirt removed and break it down, effectively removing it from the equation and leaving the dodecanes in the water.

This will trigger the process to start again as they search for more dirt. It is important to note that these reactions happen thousands of ties in one wash cycle. There are many small groups of dodecanes and benzosulfates helping to clean your clothes.

The Modern Touch

Today, we are more concerned with the impact of our actions on the environment. This extends to the products we use when completing the laundry.

Because of this, there has been a huge growth in the number of eco-friendly detergents.

These types of detergents do not release chemicals which could affect your health and the environment. Instead they are formulated from natural ingredients. The result is the same and, although the price is usually slightly higher, there are several reasons why this option makes sense:

  • Reduce oil usage

Research suggests that if every household in the US replaced just one of their traditional bottles of detergent with an eco-friendly one then the US would use 149,000 less barrels of oil! That should be enough to provide heat for 8,500 homes a year.

  • Cold Water

Eco friendly detergents are natural and can be used effectively in cold water. This means that you no longer need to waste electricity heating the water in your machine. The result is a cost saving to you and less harmful carbon emissions into the environment.

  • Residue

You might not realize it but conventional detergents leave a residue on your clothes. This has been shown to cause skin complaints especially in those with sensitive skin.

  • Toxins

The chemicals in the standard detergents can mix together to make toxic substances, these are harmful to your health and to the environment. Eco friendly detergents use all natural ingredients and don’t have this side effect.

  • Ingredients

Currently, there are no requirements for firms to display the exact ingredients in their detergent. This means you don’t actually know what you are using or how it could affect you.

Eco friendly detergents use natural ingredients which are fully declared; leaving you confident and comfortable with the product you’re using.

 

 

Back Pain Basics For Hard Working Moms

It’s no surprise that many women get back trouble during their pregnancy, but many new moms aren’t prepared for the endless spinal problems that arise when you are bringing up your kids. The constant picking up and wrangling with toddlers, the tidying away, the multitasking – it all adds up to an environment where your back could end up in serious trouble.

Whether you slip a disc, strain a muscle, or even develop something like sciatica, the impact back problems can have on your life is immense. With this in mind, here are a few ideas for all you hard-working moms out there that should help you regain your mobility and help you continue looking after your little ones with less pain.

Improve your movement

Most people have a tendency to walk in a way that is most relaxing and uses less energy, But when you have a bad back, it can be self-defeating. By really thinking about your movement and the way you walk or pick things up, you can make a huge difference. Be mindful, and ‘in the moment’ as much as you possibly can. Yes, it can be tricky when you are tired, in a rush, or at the end of your tether – but try and concentrate on the way you are moving more often and you will experience the benefits.

Work on your core

Your core muscles – from your stomach down to your thighs – get extremely weak after you have had a baby. As http://fitness4backpain.com/postpartum-back-pain/ points out, given it’s these muscles that support your back, it’s not too much of a surprise that you will suffer from spinal aches and pains. Try some yoga – pilates is excellent for core strength – and as you get stronger, you can move onto sit-ups, leg raises and all kinds of other excellent core strength exercises.

Sleep better at night

The trouble with back pain is that it can stop you from sleeping. And the problem with not sleeping properly is that it can increase your back pain. As you can see, these simple facts can result in significant problems for your back, and it’s essential that you make some changes if you aren’t getting enough sleep. According to www.Mattress-Guides.net, you should start by looking for a high-quality mattress, which will give you more support as you sleep. Sleep therapists also recommend you establish – and stick with – a regular bedtime routine (tough when you have kids, of course, but important nonetheless). And finally, avoid looking at cell phone, tablet or computer screens before you go to bed. The light that these devices emit make your brain go into overdrive, and will leave you struggling to get some shuteye for a good hour or so after you use them.

Lose some weight

Finally, the trickiest – but most effective – way of ensuring your motherhood isn’t plagued by back trouble: losing weight. You’ll need to think about what you eat and how you exercise if you want to make a difference, and if you lose those extra pounds you have built up, it will put less pressure and strain on your back, and keep you in a better, more comfortable condition.

DO you have any tips for solving back issues when you are a busy mom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Best Nacho Cheese Sauces You Need to Try

Nacho cheese is not only a delicious snack when paired with chips but is a classic staple of American culture. Fortunately, nacho cheese is incredibly easy to make, and you can start dripping it all over your food within minutes. Here are some of the best types of nacho cheese sauce that you should try today.

1. Ricos White Queso Blanco

The Ricos White Queso Blanco nacho cheese sauce has the same great taste you’ll get in a Mexican-style restaurant, but you can have it at home. The sauce’s flavor is creamy, salty, and savory and changes depending on how you cook it. This makes it the best melting cheese for nachos.

Fortunately, this sauce is offered by most major retailers and can be served with nearly any dish you want to dip into the cheese. The Ricos White Cheese comes in a microwaveable tray, so you can simply heat up the package or put it in a fondue fountain for serving.

2. El Rio Mild Nacho Cheese with Jalapeños

The El Rio Mild Nacho Cheese Sauce with Jalapeños is a highly sought-after sauce. Fortunately, it’s available at most retailers, supermarkets, and online stores for your satisfaction. The base of the sauce is mild with small jalapeno bits mixed in.

To make it at home, all you need is a microwave, oven, or stovetop to heat up the sauce. However, most customers say that the sauce is the perfect blend of nacho cheese and jalapenos. Appearance wise, the sauce should be a light orange color with creamy, thick consistency.

3. El Mexicano Queso Fresco Casero

This authentic Mexican cheese is an excellent option for your nachos. The El Mexicano Queso Fresco Casero is a cheese made from fresh cream aka queso fresco. This is a soft and gooey cheese that is still crumbly. It can be crushed over soft tortillas for nachos. The El Mexicano Queso is salty, creamy, and non-spicy. It is made from simple ingredients like fresh cream, milk, and salt.

You can purchase this type of cheese online or at specialty markets with international food sections. Plus, this cheese is white in color and does not require any heating to enjoy. For a traditional flavor, you can’t go wrong with El Mexicano Queso Fresco Casero.

4. Daily Chef Food Service Nacho Cheese Sauce

This is another popular nacho cheese that is often used in commercial settings and other nacho cheese events. It is available for purchase in a 6.62 pound can, making it great for large crowds. This produces around 48 servings of cheese. Daily Chef Food Service Nacho Cheese Sauce is a liquid cheese with a mild cheddar base.

After heating it up, you can serve the cheese in its liquid form as is or pour it over nachos. When warmed up, it is light orange. It can also be refrigerated. Altogether, this is one of the absolute best nacho cheeses on the market these days.

5. Rosarita Nacho Cheese Sauce

Rosarita is a very popular Mexican cuisine brand that can be purchased online or at most grocery stores. The nacho cheese sauce made by this company is one of the best currently on the market. You can purchase this product in cans up to 106 ounces, which is about 53 servings. This cheese sauce has a simple, mild cheddar base. It also contains a little bit of chili powder, giving it a little spice that is not too overpowering.

All of you need to do is open the can and heat up the cheese. When you first open the can, the edges of the cheese may appear orange. This is normal. Once it is heated, the cheese will become a light orange color. This cheese is a liquid, so it must be served hot.

If you’re making nachos or need a little more nacho for your popcorn, you should consider making your own nacho cheese sauce at home. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of nacho cheese sauces to choose from. Cheese, actually, in any form, will please even the pickiest of eaters. Hopefully, with the help of our suggestions above, you can pick out a new tasty nacho cheese sauce to try at home.

Facing The Future Of Your Face

Faces are beautiful, aren’t they? You can study as many as you want, and no two will ever look the same. Even identical twins have those subtle differences that help you to tell them apart. With faces being the one place on the body that you see all the time, it makes sense that you would want to keep yours in good condition. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and when you are stressed, in ill health or not eating the right things, your skin will show the whole world exactly that. Your entire life walks across your face. Every laughter line, every worry line, every weekend of junk food; you name it, your face will give you away.

When it comes to the skin on your face, you have to be aware of exactly how you look to the world. Those giant eye bags and dry patches aren’t going to take care of themselves, and your laughter lines may tell a story, but that story won’t necessarily give you confidence. Deciding to go for a procedure like ultherapy non-surgical skin tightening is always an option for a quick fix, but after that you still have to face the future of your skin. Prevention is so much simpler than trying to pull on those hands of time and looking youthful is a priority for most women. Luckily, there are so many things that you can do to help yourself, and none of them are overly complicated.

Wash your face regularly. You may think this one is a given; you obviously already wash your face twice a day. But have you thought about HOW you are washing your face? Using a cleanser with a neutral PH level is so important instead of soaps with fragrances added. Don’t scrub your face, either. Gentle pressure and warm water, not hot, can really help you to get all the dirt, toxins and grime away.

Moisturize daily; no, really. It’s not something that everyone does, and they should be! Using a good moisturizer with a good SPF level will keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Dead skin and debris settle into the lines of your face, making your skin dull and look haggard. Moisturizer can help this.

Exfoliate twice a week. When you are having a shower, use an exfoliator on your skin that has natural beads rather than the plastic kind.

Stay out of the sun. The feeling of the sunlight on your face is just beautiful, we know. The trouble is that the giant ball of fire in the sky is a contributor to awful skin. Exposure to radiation makes your skin age rapidly; wear a hat, wear long sleeves and keep that face in the shade!

Your skin is going to be with you forever, and it’s important to respect your body. Your face is what you project to people daily, and we’re not suggesting you slap on the war paint. Just take care of your skin and keep your youth that little bit longer.