MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Essential Gift Guide For The Special Man In Your Life


Dare we say that Christmas is just around the corner? It’s now October, and as much as we don’t want to think about it, Christmas is going to be with us before we know it. As you’re probably already aware, being prepared with gifts for your loved ones saves you from doing any last minute stress shopping, and not being happy with what you’ve got them overall. So, with that thought, here’s an essential gift guide for the special man in your life so that you can wow him this year with more than just a pair of socks.

Get him that game he wants!

Ladies, we all know how annoying it is when you want to spend time with your partner, and they’re just playing computer games instead. However, it’s a way of your man winding down, and much like we use going to the salon as a way of relaxing, playing his computer games is his way of doing so. Notice comments he makes on games and see if you can get him the game he’s been longing for!

Pimp his ride

Most men have a dream car in mind, and while you might not be able to produce a brand new Mustang, you can help make his current car look more appealing. Every man has a teenage boy inside of him and loves the idea of a pimped out ride. Going for something like cherished number plates will make his car more distinctive over regular plates. Other ideas include window tints, matching car seat covers and floor mats, a steering wheel cover and a new set of alloy covers. It’s an effective and fairly inexpensive way of getting your man the perfect gift!

Get something cool for his man cave

Whether it’s the basement, the loft, or even the spare room, men will always find an area of your home to turn into a man cave. Again, it’s a place to retreat after a long day to wind down, so why not buy him something cool for his personal space? TV backlights, led strip lighting, plasma lights, jukeboxes and other retro items can really help turn a room into a proper man cave.

Buy something that both of you will enjoy

A great idea for gift giving is by finding something that both of you will enjoy. Perhaps a weekend away in the south of France sounds like your version of heaven? Or, maybe something for your garden such as a swing seat so that you can both enjoy time together, and get plenty of use out of it too!

Create love vouchers

It’s sometimes really hard to buy gifts for those closest to you, because you know every detail about them. Also, some people are the type to simply buy what they long for, leaving you with no ideas on gifts. Why not make some love vouchers that he can “cash out” as and when he feels like it? Simple tasks like taking over cleaning the car, or trimming the lawn will make the world of difference! And, all you’ll be spending is your time too!

Treat him to a ‘me night’

Finally, we all deserve some time to ourselves every now and then, and the same goes for hubby! Why not buy him a case of his favourite beers, order him a takeaway, and stock him up with films and games so that he can have a night to himself to relax. Gifts don’t always have to be grand gestures, and sometimes the more simple gifts such as time to yourself can really mean the world to someone.

Teaching Your Child About Driver Safety: Speed Bumps

Driver and road safety is something you may wish to teach your child as part of their homeschooling. Some parents teach their children this from a young age, prior to them being able to learn to drive legally, as it’s good to prepare them.

One important part of driver safety is speed bumps. You will notice that more and more speed bumps tend to be cropping up in certain areas. For some people, they can view them as a nuisance because they stop them from driving smoothly. Nevertheless, the benefits associated with them are vast. It’s important to teach your child about the importance of these. In order to gain a further insight, take a look at the benefits associated with a speed bump…

Safety is increased and lives can be saved…

Speed bumps slow down traffic because they put a small hump in the road. This is one of the basics your child would learn at a driving school. The slowing down of traffic is something which enhances the safety levels in the area. You have all seen those adverts where they tell drivers that if they were driving 30 mph and hit someone, then the person would have a much greater chance of living compared to if they were driving 40mph. A lot of people tend to think that driving a little bit faster won’t make a difference. However, the contrast is startling, and a speed bump can thus be the difference between a life saved and a life lost.

The level of traffic will decrease…

A lot of people do not like driving in an area which has speed bumps because it obviously slows them down and it is an unsmooth ride. This can result in a lot of people seeking alternative routes in order to get to the destination they are going to. This then means that traffic on the road in which the bumps have been fitted will decrease. This is something which proves to be extremely useful as it enhances the steady flow of traffic and avoids any nasty traffic jams as well.

The driver’s awareness is enhanced…

When a driver knows that a speed bump is on its way (or they are about to find out that it is) then they require a lot more concentration and focus. This is another thing you should teach your child about. This then results in the driver being a lot more focused to driving as a whole. This again enhances safety levels in a different manner.

All in all, if you use the information above as a starting point, you will be able to teach your child about driving safely and the benefits of speed bumps.


What to do if Your Child Has a Bad Injury

As a parent, one of your top priorities is usually ensuring that your kids are safe. However, irrespective of how protective you try to be, accidents sometimes happen. It can be hard to deal with as a parent because watching your child go through pain can be tough. However, knowing what to do is crucial to ensure they’re able to recover as quickly as possible. You may be reading this because your child had been injured or you want to be prepared for the eventuality. On that note, you’re going to find tips on what to do if your child has a bad injury in the below article.

Consult a Professional

In an instance where your child has a bad injury, one of the first steps that you should take is consulting a professional. This is essential as they should be able to correctly treat them and give them the treatment that they need for the best recovery. However, medical professionals do make mistakes from time to time, so if you sense that something isn’t right, you should ask for a second opinion. If a medical professional has given your child the wrong diagnosis or treatment and made the situation worse, you should visit and see if they can help in any way. Whatever the case, seeking a professional is always the first best option. The last thing that you want to do is misdiagnose your child or give them the wrong treatment and worsen their condition.

Follow Recovery Instructions

Once you’ve spoken to a healthcare professional, you should ensure you follow their recovery instructions meticulously. It is important as not doing so could result in their recovery happening slower than you’d like. If, for instance, they had a sports injury, then ensuring they get enough rest or go through physical therapy if a doctor advises should be a priority. In the same respect, if you’ve been instructed to give them medication a number of times a day, try and make sure you’re able to do so. The goal should be to get them to recover as fast as possible so that they can get back to doing what kids do best.

Support Them Emotionally

In addition to the two points above, supporting your kids emotionally is crucial when they have a bad injury. It can take a toll on them both mentally and emotionally, so being their support system through such a time is essential. To support your child through an injury, try and distract them to help them cope through painful moments. Carrying them along in their recovery process could also help them feel less in the dark and more in control of their recovery and healing.

Helping your child recover from an injury can be a long and tedious process. However, being patient and ensuring you give them the best care possible, they should get better much quicker. It is also key that you look after yourself in the process so that you don’t burn out and can meet their needs. By following some of the tips above, you should also find that your stress is somewhat reduced.

How to Become a Savvier Traveler

Smart travel is easier travel and knowing some of the tricks and tips used by those that consider themselves experienced travelers is much simpler than you think. Everyone likes to think that they know how to travel, but when you combine inexperience with excitement, you’re bound to run into some challenging times. How you cope with those challenges is often what makes the difference between a savvy traveler and one who is just hoping for the best. Nobody is born a savvy traveler, but if you’re planning a trip or already starting to pack a suitcase, below are three tips that will see your travels become much easier. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, here are the best ways to embrace the ultimate in savvy travel.

Destination research

The more that you know about your destination, the more that you’ll be able to enjoy. This could mean simply doing some Google research about the top places to visit or the best local foods to try, but you could go even further than that. Read a book by the most famous writer from where you’re traveling to, and you may gain a much greater insight into the culture, the people, and the environment.

Be open to experience

You’ve already left your comfort zone, so why not go all the way and experience something truly new? If you’re already exploring an unfamiliar land, then finding new experiences is much easier to achieve, and you may find yourself enjoying unforgettable memories as you challenge your own expectations of what you’re capable of. Travel opens up the mind, and you can make your time away much more exciting by not placing limitations on yourself.

Be prepared for a crisis

Not everything will go according to plan, especially when you take flights into account. Delays and cancellations can be a nightmare to deal with, so be prepared for them. Always pack entertainment options in your carry-on luggage, and keep a list of phone numbers and websites that might be useful in cases of flight cancellations. Check with, and you may be able to claim compensation, and the faster that you make your claim, the more likely that you will be able to relax and enjoy your travel despite delays.

Take your phone

It may be redundant to suggest packing your phone when you’re traveling. After all, we have them close to hand wherever we are. However, you may not have realized just how useful your phone can be when you’re traveling. Not only is it a handy map, but it’s also a translator, review checker, camera, or simply just a way to make sure that you keep in touch with people at home. Never underestimate just what your phone is capable of when you’re in another country, and always make sure that you are fully charged and have packed a universal plug adaptor.

Being a savvy traveler is all about knowing the best ways to tackle each stage of your journey. Be prepared, and you could be having the vacation of a lifetime, and returning home with the knowledge that you are indeed the savviest of travelers.

5 Tips That Will Create Space for the Holidays in Your Home

You have been probably dreaming of a big home where you can store all of your prized belongings. However, the economic recession has become a hindrance to fulfilling this long-awaited dream. If you are thinking about renovating your home for additional space, think twice.

You can actually perform some useful steps that can help you make the most of the storage space of your home. Read this article and become aware of some home improvement tips that will create more space at home for the holidays.


Shelves are a great way of creating extra storage space without taking up any additional floor space. They can also really help to liven up and give a room some character.

Multi-task your furniture

Is there an item of furniture that can double up as something else? For example, if you work from home then chances are that you need a desk. The problem with this is that desks can take up a lot of space and unless you have an office, it’s probably clogging up your bedroom or spare room.

Could your dining room table double up as a desk? If so, if you’re really short on space then there’s no need to have both. You likewise need to do some furniture removal to save on space.

Utilize your wardrobe

In case you have floor-to-the-ceiling length wardrobes we then bet that there is a lot of wasted space that has been left unused. If the top of your cupboard is just empty space then why not add a shelf? This may be utilized for everything from clothes, beddings, towels and any other thing you do not have an idea of what next.

Get a bed with storage space

If you’re in the market for a new bed then opt for one that has drawers underneath. This is a fantastic way of creating extra storage space in the home without taking up any vital floor space and the best part is that nobody even knows they’re there.

Put things in a self-storage

Self-storage really is the best way to deal with clutter. We find it hard to throw things away because it might have sentimental value or we genuinely might need it again at some point in the future. Self-storage allows you the best of both worlds because you get to keep all your treasures but they don’t take up the space that you need in order to live comfortably.

Folding furniture

If your dining room table and chairs hog the whole room then why not use furniture that you can simply fold away when you’re finished with it? There are plenty of tables you can make bigger when in use and then smaller when you’re finished so it takes up less space. If you can fold up your chairs and store them in a cupboard or to the side, this will also help free up some space and make your room look much bigger.

Having gone through the above article, you now know some of the important tips that will help you create more space at home for the holidays.

Top 7 Great Tools for Women

The DIY boom is here, ladies, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Too long have we left those torn window screens and unhung Ikea light fixtures to the men in our lives, who always promise to “get around to it tomorrow,” only for six months to pass and we’re still stuck in unlit, mosquito-ridden homes.

Even if that particular example doesn’t apply to you, having a tool chest within arm’s reach is still a great idea and possibly a lifesaver. But where to start? Here are a few staples that no good tool chest should ever be without.


If your toolbox had a throne, the tool that deserves it most would probably be the hammer.

Let’s get real: how many times have you gone on a hunt through your house for a heavy object because you needed to hang that picture on the wall, but didn’t have a hammer? I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all probably grabbed that nearby paperweight or textbook and tried our best, to no avail. I know someone who put a hole in the wall pounding a nail in with the heel of her stiletto. She wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed herself if you know what I mean. My point is, nothing does a hammer’s job as well as a hammer can.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of swinging a heavy hammer around, and that’s okay. There are many options out there. Find yourself a small, cute hammer that you can grab with ease and get to work hanging those family photos!

Measuring Tape

A retractable tape measure can save you in a pinch and deserves a special spot at the top of your tool chest. Want to hang a few photos at the same height, or see if the new refrigerator will fit into the cubbyhole? A tape measure’s got your back. Save yourself a headache or three and get this essential tool into your tool chest, pronto.

I mentioned a retractable tape measure specifically because, unlike body tape measures that always seem to end up in a tangled, undignified heap inside your sewing kit, it will take up very little space in your tool chest. You’ll also have an easier time maneuvering it around when DIY’ing alone.

Staple Gun

A handy alternative for when you want to keep that security deposit intact is the staple gun. Check out your local hardware store for a staple gun and go to town on those posters and reupholstered dining room chairs. It can also be useful for bolting down that loose end of the carpet, skirting tables and beds, and really any time you want to cover a surface with fabric.

If lugging around one of those heavy, all-metal staple guns isn’t your cup of tea, try looking into lighter, more compact alternatives, which are usually available. You don’t need a super heavy-duty staple gun for small DIY projects, so unless you’re a construction worker, ditch the huge, cumbersome guns and go for a more practical one that is a good fit for your hands. It’s always a good idea to shop around for a staple gun that feels comfortable in your grip before making your final choice because you don’t want it slipping out of your hands during a delicate project.

Screwdriver Set

Ever try to assemble Ikea furniture without a screwdriver? I wouldn’t recommend it even to my worst enemy. That’s only one reason why a screwdriver set deserves a high place on this list.

Most DIY projects will require a screwdriver; if you feel you don’t need a whole set, at least make sure you have Philip’s head and flathead to cover your bases. Just remember to keep them dry, because not only will using a rusty screwdriver put you at risk of hurting yourself, it may well snap in pieces if you’re not careful!


This one is not something you would think you would need but for many of us who like to hang things all the time it would be great to have one handy. Multimeters are handy for DIY tasks like hanging shelves, basically anything you want to put into or onto a wall! . You use them before you start work on an electrical device to make sure no current is flowing, which prevents you from receiving harmful, or even lethal, shocks.


The best tool chest will always contain a pair of pliers for when your weak human fingers just won’t cut it. Any activity involving twisting, gripping, bending, or yanking stuff out of hard surfaces will be made easier with a pair of pliers. Ever try to pull a nail out of a wall with your bare hands? The result isn’t pretty, trust me, and I’m not talking about the nail.

There are so many kinds of pliers that it’s easy to get confused, so you can just stick with the standard long-nosed pliers and a pair of cutting pliers for when your regular old scissors aren’t up to the challenge.

Power Drill

Now, before you raise your eyebrow at me, let me explain. When I say power drill, I don’t mean the kind that you need both hands to even keep in place, that you need full body armor to wield because it feels like it’ll take on a life of its own. Small cordless power drills are readily available and will prove to be a valuable asset when the wall proves too hard for just your screwdriver.

Get a power drill with a drill bit set included covering all your bases. With a small selection of bits, you can both make holes and apply and remove screws with the same useful tool, on any surface your heart desires. You’ll save time and energy, especially on those big DIY projects!

Glue Gun

Last but not least is the ever-reliable glue gun, great for decorating and DIY household projects. I’ve used my glue gun to fix door jams, reattach knobs to windows, stop up holes, and even affix beads to a shirt that was looking a bit plain.

This versatile tool deserves a place in your tool chest, but watch out—that glue gets hot! Also, make sure to clean the tip after every use thoroughly, or you’ll have a hard time using it the next time around.

With these seven tools, you can finally get around to those projects you saved on Pinterest but were too daunted to start. No need to wait around on your man now! A tool chest is a safest and easiest way to store your tools, and it gives you a chance to personalize what is now your very own starter’s toolkit. So, go forth and DIY, ladies, and don’t be afraid to keep expanding that toolkit! You never know what you may need in the future.

Keeping my kids safe, happy, and healthy

You might think healthy living is all about the food you put into your body, but it’s also about the environment you inhabit. As a mom, it’s up to me to make sure that my home is a safe place for my family. Safety includes everything from being ready for first aid to making sure the home is clear from lead paint, pests, or mold.

Here’s how you can stand up to these unhealthy risk factors…

Give your house a physical

The best way to find out about contaminants or substances is to have a professional house inspection completed. Most of us are familiar with home inspectors because they are consulted when a property is changing hands.

Inspectors thoroughly examine properties to ensure the structure isn’t compromised by pests, water damage, or any contaminants. It’s like going to the doctor for a checkup and having routine tests run.

Inspectors use technology like radar, thermal sensors, and cameras to determine if there is insect damage. If you suspect water damage or mold, inspectors can use moisture sensors to look behind walls, ceilings, and floors for leaks and rotten wood. Infrared technology can be used to evaluate airflow and eliminate human error while interpreting data.

Inspect for pests

The Lone Star State is full of critters, and it’s a constant battle to keep them out of our home. Scorpions make their way into the house in the middle of the night and sting bare feet and pets.  Pests like termites or carpenter ants can decimate a property quietly, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage before you become aware of their presence.

Having a home infested with pests is unpleasant and dangerous. Flies, cockroaches, and rodents transmit hundreds of diseases and can cause allergic reactions in people living in the vicinity. A professional pest inspection can help identify any pest-related damage that requires repair and provide advice to protect against future infestations.

Detecting contaminants

Home inspectors offer a full range of testing services for contaminants in the air, water, or soil of your home. Knowing your community or home’s situation and level of risk is key to knowing what elements should be tested. Good local options like Building and Pest Gold Coast inspectors know the community dangers that are most common, and can test level of risk for certain bacteria, pesticides, or lead contamination.

Maintaining water quality takes vigilance and requires annual testing. Most homeowners test for nitrate and total coliform, but testing the water for other substances like heavy metals, contaminants, radon, organic and inorganic chemicals is a good idea.

Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas harmful to humans if inhaled in large quantities. One in five homes has elevated levels, so testing your home is crucial to keeping your family safe.

Keep your family safe

My home is more than a building; it’s the place that keeps my family safe. As storms become more frequent and violent due to climate change, I find it’s a good idea to schedule home inspections to keep your family safe and healthy.

Professional home inspectors have insights into what dangers to test in your community and the technology to get the most accurate results. They can offer informed suggestions and advice on how you can prevent future problems.

Should I drink Fluoridated Tap Water?

Water is essential to every living being on this planet. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that all water is safe to drink!

In fact approximately 97% of the water on the planet is actually in the sea!

Even rain water cannot be relied on to be clean; it travels across the land picking up pollutants, bacteria and debris along the way.

That’s why there are water treatment plants; to clean the water and provide you with safe water from your tap.

However, companies such as Clean & Clear Water are thriving as people become aware of how important it is to filter the water before you drink it.

The main reason for this is the addition of chemicals by the water treatment plant. There are 2 main chemicals of concern, Chlorine and Fluoride.

Chlorine is used to clean the water while fluoride is added to help prevent tooth decay.

The Research

The facts suggest that dental health has improved across the country; thanks to the introduction of fluoride in the water. The fluoride binds with your saliva to help protect and strengthen your enamel; reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.

The conclusion is that fluoride is safe and a useful addition to the water. Of course, this review is carried out by the very people that supply you with that water.

There have been other studies that suggest fluoride is not quite so good for the rest of your body; having great teeth may be at the cost of your health.

The key is in the amount of fluoride you’re exposed to.

Excess amounts of fluoride can result in the following adverse effects:

  • Osteoporosis

This is the softening of your bones, making them more brittle and more likely to break. The problem gets worse as you age.

  • Kidney Damage

Your kidneys are essential for the removal of toxins and other products from your body. If they do not work properly your body will struggle to work as it should.

  • Nerve Damage

The nerves are essential for transmitting an array of signals, including pain and touch. You need these responses to help you coordinate all your movements. Nerve damage can limit your ability to function properly.

  • Muscle Issues

This has a similar effect to nerve damage except that your actually muscles can lose strength and prevent you from doing tasks that you would previously have found easy.

  • Thyroid Gland

The thyroid is responsible for several functions including maintaining your metabolism. Any damage to this will result in a loss of energy and an increased likelihood of gaining weight.

This will further slow down your metabolism and increase weight gain, starting a vicious cycle. Additionally excess weight has been linked with age related chronic disease.

Should You Drink Fluoridated Tap Water?

The decision is yours but the potential adverse effects make it seem like a good choice to use a water filter. This will effectively remove the fluoride and protect your health.





Finding the Right Home in Texas

If you’re looking for the right home, you can start searching for it in Texas. The state right now has a lot of emerging markets offering high job growth, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.


But going beyond the DFW area, you can also find great properties in other towns and cities. One thing’s for sure, if you want to invest in a home, you need to be using the right approach and method.


We can help you with that. When it comes to finding the right home in Texas, it’s just a matter of being aware of the vibrant communities, getting your finances in order and doing the due diligence to make sure it’s perfect.


Follow these tips and you can finally settle down in the Lone Star State.


  1. Find the right communities


If you are an experienced home buyer, you probably know how important it is to find the right places to look for the best real estate deals. For this, you will need to find markets where there is a large housing inventory. This will enable you to find the most affordable homes.


Next, make sure to choose a community that has all the amenities you wanted. You might as well find properties offering scenic lakeside views. If you are opting to look around Houston, for instance, you can easily find new homes in Fulshear, TX that are close to nature and far from stressful urban environs.


  1. Make sure you have enough in your bank


Buying a home doesn’t come cheap. Sometimes, you will have to exhaust your bank account to be able to afford a down payment.


Fortunately, buying real estate doesn’t to be a heavy financial burden. In fact, you can explore various financing options that fit your needs. This comes with extensive research and preparation right from the get-go.


Regardless, you will need to search for a loan that suits your needs. If you intend to settle in Texas for good, you can always opt for a fixed-rate loan that matures in little less than 20 years, depending on your agreement with a lender.


On the other hand, low credit scores can be a hindrance, unless you opt for an adjustable-rate mortgage. The advantage of this option is that it enables you to scale-down the interest rate up until you can afford to go under a fixed-rate period.


  1. Do your comps

If you are finding the right home in Texas for the best value, it’s crucial to compare property prices in a given area.


For this, you would want to work with a broker who can find listings of similar properties and water them down into a short list of possible properties you should be buying.


Make sure you include the features you want in a home and focus on the price per square footage. These measurements will be instrumental when you are negotiating the final price with the seller.


  1. Perform an inspection

The property may look like your ideal home from the outside, but how about on the inside?


When it comes to finding the right home in Texas, it’s important to ask a seller for an open house. This is crucial before purchasing a property since you need to know if it’s the right place for you. Take a long look inside, and watch for anything that doesn’t meet your standards.


Ask about any structural defects and issues which you can use to negotiate a better deal. Once that’s done, you can now proceed with the due diligence, sign the papers, and finally move into your ideal Texas home!


Quick Tips For Cleaning Your Outdoor Barbecue

If you are lucky, you may live somewhere that allows you to use your outdoor barbeque all year round. But for most people, barbeque season is a highly anticipated time during the warmer months that includes great eats and family fun enjoyed outdoors.


Although everything seems to taste just a little bit sweeter when cooked on the grill, keeping it clean can be a hassle. Even still, regular cleaning should be a priority. Cooking on a dirty grill can not only cause harmful bacteria to make its way into your food but can also be the cause of dangerous fire flare ups.


It is advised that regular cleaning and grill scraping be done after each and every use, however, a full cleaning isn’t necessary for each use.


For a charcoal grill, you should clean it thoroughly at least once per month. The ash from the briquettes can build up quickly and leave it tough to clean.


When it comes to gas grills, a once-over full cleaning should be done at least once per season. The best time to do it is once at the beginning and once at the end of the outdoor season. However, if you use your gas grill on a more regular basis you may want to increase the number of all over cleans to a few times per year.


Take a look at some tips from the professionals to help guide you through the proper cleaning process and save you some time. Enjoy all your favorite meals on a clean and healthy barbeque grill all year long.


Gas Grill Cleaning


  • Start by disconnecting and shutting off the gas to your barbeque. This will help eliminate any gas leaks during the cleaning process.
  • Remove all grates and soak in a bucket with warm soapy water
  • Remove all inside components including burner tubes
  • Using a firm spatula, start scraping the interior of the barbeque to remove all soot and grease
  • Clean your burner tubes with a hard bristled brush using a side to side motion. You want to be able to clear any buildup or blockages in the tubes that can affect even cooking temperatures
  • Rinse burners with running water from a sink tap or outdoor hose and leave to air dry
  • Once dry, replace the burners into the barbeque and light to make certain they are all working efficiently
  • Scrape down the soaked grates until free of all grease and food debris
  • Brush olive oil on the cleaned grates to season and prepare the grill for it’s next cooking session


Electric Grill Cleaning


  • Light your barbeque to heat the grates and then allow to cool down until they can be comfortably touched without burning
  • Scrape gently to loosen food particles and grease
  • Wipe down with a wet sponge removing all oils and fats
  • The electric parts to your grill can be soaked in soapy water and then wiped dry by hand before replacing


Charcol Grill Cleaning


  • Empty the ash pan and ensure that the entire barbeque compartment is free from residue or pieces of briquette
  • Soak your grates in warm soapy water
  • Use a hard bristled brush to scrub away any food residue and grease
  • Wipe down entire lid with a wet sponge
  • Put in new coals or briquettes and heat up
  • Allow to cool until grates are warm and then oil for the next use


Things to think about when buying baby products

If you are about to have a baby or have had one recently, I am sure you will appreciate this article. This is a great way to save money. Keep reading to know more.

How to choose best baby product

I discovered that many people trust the product lines that only come from known advertisers. After all, there are questions if all natural and organic baby products are really beneficial for the well-being and safety of babies.

If a baby product like baby lotion for a dry skin is not made with natural ingredients, inflammation can be common. This specific circumstance causes damage and disturbs the skin rashes on the body or scalp. This is due to the artificial ingredients already present in the products. In order to reduce exposure to skin problems, it is generally good for the family to start with products made with organic ingredients. This can reduce the child’s discomfort and reduce the burden on the home.

Few babies can have unpleasant side effects on creams and even some detergents due to mixtures of ingredients that are not good for sensitive skin. These skin diseases cause redness, swelling of body parts, lack of shine and wrinkles. This can be quite normal during the cold season of the year. In order to abstain or stay away, it is best to take advantage of products that include a biological formula. Also, it is best to apply an essential cleansing cream that is recommended to clean baby’s clothes. Households should adopt a detergent that does not exclude flame retardants on baby clothes.

What are the natural ingredients?

Common natural ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and vanilla extract are applied to baby products. These essences are developed in ordinary products, in particular lotions, ointments for diaper rash, shampoo for babies and others. The particular ingredients can abstain from the active, anti-aging, shiny and perfumed skin. Practicing products for all-natural children is an easy way to reduce exposure to aggressive pollutants and chemicals that will cause side effects.

Retail outlets are usually packaged with products that claim to be totally natural. Some suppliers may claim that the products they can choose tend to be completely organic when they definitely are not. These products may contain inorganic dyes and chemical compounds such as formaldehyde and various chemical preservatives. Adults should preferably have products with their child that can be “green”, which means they do not contain any dyes, synthetic flavors, soaps and/or other harmful toxins.

Ask for advice

Families should ask the pediatrician of their newborns what products to trust. Relatives should look at labels to make sure they use purely natural materials for their children. Do not just follow the price, always remember that safety is the most valuable factor we can offer our children, especially in these sensitive areas. And keep in mind that materials produced for children are suitable for all members of the family. It is not because you are older than your son that you cannot enjoy the same privilege as creams and lotions without preservatives, without textures, and without artificial perfumes. Many natural children’s products can be found in online stores and grocery stores.

Many companies offer natural brands of organic infant formulas, such as soy-based formulas. There are also different recipes to prepare at home. Before trying your baby’s homemade formula, make sure your doctor tells you everything is fine.

Friday Night Lights is Back! Thirty-One Gifts Bleacher Blanket

Football Season is back! My oldest is a cheerleader at her High School and all three girls are cheering for our pee-wee football Teams that means LOTS and LOTS of time sitting at the stadium watching the girls cheer and boys play football. Which means sitting on a hard cold seat…

Thirty-One Gifts has me covered! The Bleacher Blanket is the perfect addition to any game day! Lots of options like color of blanket, icons and personalize.

I of course being a Patriot fan and my daughter’s school is the Patriots then why not customize it for two teams we love!

Folded in three (as when you roll it back up) fits perfectly over the bleacher bench. One side is soft and the other protects you from rain/wind/other elements outside.

The Bleacher Blanket is great for picnics and all year round! Head on over to to learn more!

*A product was provided.

5 Conditions that May Benefit from a keto Diet

Over the past year, there has been more press than ever for the ketogenic diet. While the concept behind the keto diet is nothing new, the packaging and the implementation is ideal for people that want to get great results such as a shrinking waistline, or a reduction is tummy jiggle. Check out this beginner’s guide from Bodyketosis.

While most people use the keto diet to shed unwanted pounds, some conditions can be helped with this diet. The keto diet was first implemented to help with the condition of epilepsy to make the patient have reduced seizures. In this article, we are going to talk about five conditions that may benefit from a keto diet.

1. Epilepsy

As we stated above, the keto diet was first put into use to treat people with Epilepsy. Most people can control their seizes with the use of AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs), but some children are not able to get the results they need with these medications, and this is when doctors turn to the keto diet.  It is recommended that you speak with your doctor if you want to find out more about Epilepsy treatment using the keto diet.

2.  Metabolic Syndrome

Since keto diets are extremely low carb with an emphasis in fat, they are effective for lowering insulin levels which means the body is signaled to break down body fat into ketones. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of signs of poor health linked to not only type 2 diabetes but also heart disease. The signs of metabolic syndrome include being thick in the waist, having high blood pressure, low HDL levels, high blood sugar levels, and high triglyceride levels.

Research was done that showed that the keto diet, even without exercise, was helpful in lowering fat in the body and help with the condition.

3. Glycogen Storage Disease

Those who have Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) do not have one of the enzymes involved in storage glucose as glycogen or breaking glycogen down into glucose. Depending on which of the enzymes is missing, there are different types of GSD.

Most people are diagnosed with the disease in childhood. Symptoms differ from one type of GSD to another. Some of the common symptoms people note are fatigue, poor growth, muscle cramps, enlarged liver, and low blood sugar.

While many people are told to eat high-carb diets to always have glucose available to the body, early research suggests that the keto diet may benefit people with some GSD forms.

4. Diabetes

Many people with diabetes notice major reductions in blood sugar levels when eating a keto diet. Whether the patient has type 1 or 2 diabetes, the keto diet has shown to be helpful. Some doctors are of the opinion that being on a keto diet is one of the best things you can do for your body that is dealing with diabetes.

If you are using insulin, you need to pay close attention to your blood sugar levels. There is no way to know in advance what dosage you are going to need when you are on a keto diet, so you need to pay close attention to the numbers and adjust as necessary.

When you have diabetes, you may be worried about sweets, and with the keto diet, you need to stay away from donuts, pasta, and many other high carb foods, but keto cookies can be used to help hold your sweet tooth at bay.

5. Some Cancers

With Cancer being one of the biggest killers in the world today, it is no wonder that people are constantly working to find a cure and more effective treatment for this condition. Some types of cancer have been able to be treated with the keto diet, and more people are looking into this diet as a viable option to help them extend their life quality and lifespan.

Blood sugar, obesity, and type two diabetes have been shown to link to breast cancer and others cancers. Using the keto diet to keep yourself as far as possible from Cancer is a good strategy.

How Do I Get Started With Keto?

After seeing all of the benefits of keto, you may be ready to get started and see the results for yourself. This makes perfect sense, but sometimes it is overwhelming to figure out where to start by yourself.

The best thing you can do for your keto diet is going either throw away or give away all of your high carb foods that are lurking. Look in the back of pantries, in your favorite snack hiding spaces and anywhere else high carb foods might be hanging out. You want to make sure that you have a healthy food environment. When you get a craving, you don’t want it to be easy to find your favorite goodies.

Once you have all of the problem food out of your house, it is time to refill the cabinets with keto-friendly food. Eggs are a great staple of any keto diet. There are plenty of ways you can fix eggs so that you don’t get bored with them and since you can have meat, pair it with your favorite meat to make your meal even tastier.

Have clear goals in place and make sure that you plan out your meals for the week so you can be successful with your keto diet. keto might not be the easiest diet, but it works quickly, and that is great for motivation.

Was this article helpful and informative? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.

6 of the Best Uses for Activated Charcoal

There’s been a lot of noise recently concerning activated charcoal and the surprising health benefits you can gain be implementing it into your healthcare routine.


While charcoal may initially bring up thoughts of backyard barbecues and roaring campfires, there’s so much more to this basic yet powerful ingredient.


Activated charcoal is very different than the type of charcoal you might be used to picking up at the stores. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers must first heat the charcoal up within an environment that promotes porous growth. The pores left behind in the charcoal is now activated and makes the substance far more effective for medical use.


But what uses are those specifically? And is activated charcoal something you need to start using? To find out, we’ve assembled six of the best used for activated charcoal in the home, in the body, and beyond.


  1. Negating Poison


While there are many uses of activated charcoal that aren’t quite as dire (which we’ll get into momentarily), one of the prime uses for activated charcoal is in treating ingesting poison.


The reason? The porous nature of activated charcoal acts like a sponge—preventing poison from entering the bloodstream on a molecular level. In fact, one of the first uses ever for activated charcoal was for the treatment of poisoned plants nearly 150 years ago.


While we sincerely hope that you never need to use activated charcoal for this purpose, it is important to note that activated charcoal is more than a fad. The effectiveness of the porous nature in removing harmful substances—as you’ll soon see—is hard to understate.


  1. Indigestion


Having trouble with indigestion or otherwise suffering from intestinal gas?


Activated charcoal has been shown to reduce gas buildup in the intestines and ease indigestion. The natural absorptive quality means that pH balances are altered, and digestive harmony is restored.


Much like our first tip, using activated charcoal to clear out indigestion might not be the most pleasant use of the substance. Still, it is helpful to know in case of an emergency. Just be sure to seek out the research of licensed professionals about how and how much activated charcoal can be safely ingested.


  1. Reduces Hangovers


As we’ve mentioned previously, charcoal works wonders in the digestive tract to clear up problem areas and other issues. Thankfully for the more active of our readers, activated charcoal can help minimize the short-term effects of your night out on the town.


While activated charcoal doesn’t reduce your level of intoxication or absorb alcohol, it is rare for anyone to consume this substance straight. Mixers, syrups, and other irritating ingredients in mixed drinks and cocktails are often the cause of a brutal hangover.


Activated charcoal helps to reduce your hangover symptoms and help you get back on your feet faster.


  1. Whitens Teeth


Of course, no list of activated charcoal benefits would be complete without mentioning its most common usage—to whiten teeth.


While your teeth may look clean after a normal brushing or after cleaning your mouth out with water, a host of plague and bacteria survive and thrive—beginning to soften enamel and create cavities.


Activated charcoal gently pulls as these harmful organisms and helps you clean out your teeth without posing a risk to your enamel. Using activated charcoal powder or charcoal toothpaste can and will make your teeth whiter over time as a result.


It’s highly recommended that charcoal powder be used consistently and multiple times per day to be fully effective. However, provided you follow the instructions, whiter teeth through dark charcoal is not only possible—it is only a matter of time.


  1. Lowers Cholesterol


Keeping on top of your cholesterol often means significantly lowering your risk of picking up chronic diseases and preventable heart problems. While we will always recommend dieting right and exercise as the most effective way to combat cholesterol, activated charcoal just might help in that quest.


The reason? As with the other uses listed here, activated charcoal absorbs all that it can—which includes cholesterol. Studies show that dietary supplements filled with activated charcoal reduced cholesterol levels by 25% or more over a month.


So eat right, get outside—and don’t forget your supplements. A combination of all three might just save your life.


  1. Acne Removal


This last suggestion is going to take a little bit of work on your part—but if you’re trying to clear your skin of acne and clogged pores, activated charcoal can help with that too.


Mixing activated charcoal into a homemade skin mask helps activated charcoal work alongside the other ingredients to purify the skin and clear up problem areas. While simply rubbing the power on bare skin isn’t enough to work, doing so with the help of other proven agents in a face mask could help you fix your skin problems.


Final Thoughts


As you could tell, the uses of activated charcoal stretch to wherever harmful or even poisonous substances need to be removed from the body. This is why it is especially important that you ensure the charcoal you purchased has been activated—or you’ll be missing out on all of the above uses or otherwise severely limiting their effectiveness.


We think that keeping a small amount of activated charcoal with you allows you to use the charcoal in any of the six methods outlined above, or in others we may have missed. One of the best parts about this specific substance is that it’s incredibly versatile.


There’s no need to purchase different types of activated charcoal for different uses. Simply pick up a tube, jar, or can from a reputable source, and get to work in whatever needs to be cleaned.


As always, consult licensed professionals before using activated charcoal on the body or injecting more than trace amounts. With great power comes great responsibility, so be mindful of what you’re using and be sure to practice safe health practices.


Otherwise? Enjoy these six uses and countless more.

5 Creative crafts you can do with blank baby onesies

So, you want your child to have unique clothes that no one else has? The perfect solution to that is blank onesies that you can customize with a design that only you will have. Here are some design ideas for you to explore.


  1. Add some lace – here’s an idea to add some class to plain baby onesies, why not add some lace to it? You don’t have to spend a lot. If you like to sew or add embellishments to your clothes, you might have a scrap of lace around the house that is too short for adding to dresses or your clothes, but just enough for baby clothes. What would make it even cuter is that you have a dress that would have the same lace, and it will be like a pair for the mommy and baby!


  1. Stencil – if you want to customize designs for the onesie, the stencil method is a great idea. The materials you will need are blank baby onesies (you can get a good deal when you buy Blank Onesies by Soft Bebe), iron, scissors and a craft knife, paint, paintbrush and freezer paper. All you need to do is cut out the design that you want on your freezer paper, iron the design to the onesie (only for five seconds), then apply craft paint to the design. keep applying the craft paint to make sure that you cover every inch of the design. then just peel the freezer paper and let the onesie dry.


  1. Add some embroidery – another great way of customizing a plain onesie is to embroider your design. Now, you need to make sure that you actually have the skill for this. You can check out the tutorials on the web to help you get started. There are even YouTube videos that can help you develop skills in embroidery. You can make this a project if you are pregnant right now or if you know someone who is pregnant. You can go simple and just embroider the baby’s name. It would make the perfect gift for a baby shower!


  1. Turn it into a ballerina outfit by making a tutu – here’s a project that would be worth the effort. Aside from the onesie, you will need tulle to form the tutu, plus some ribbons and of course the materials you will use to sew the tutu. After cutting the tulle ( you can decide on the number of layers, depending on how pouffy you’d like it to be). Then baste layers together. Measure the length of your tulle skirt and cut out an elastic of the same length with a little allowance. Sew them together, and then attach them to your onesie and voila, a very cute tutu onesie for your child!


  1. Personalize it with your child’s hand or footprints  – here’s a project you can do to commemorate your child’s growth. Use your child’s hand and foot to create a unique design for a blank onesie. To make it more special, do this every month so you can see just how your child is growing.