MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

The top 5 reasons to read online reviews

 

Whether you want to buy a particular product or to transact with a certain business, it is important that you have more information. This is where online reviews come in. Online reviews could be product reviews or customer reviews of a certain business. For instance, product reviews give more information about a particular product, its features, functionality as well as its pros and cons.

You can find many online reviews including by Walter from AuthorityAdviser. These can help to guide you in your buying decision.

Therefore here is why you should do a bit more research and read online reviews.

  1. You will find well-researched information

Most people who write online product reviews have either used the product or they have done extensive research. They explain how a product functions, its features and whether it is a good buy or not.

Similarly, customer online reviews are written by customers who have purchased and used a particular product and they give their opinion about the product. Positive reviews indicate a good product while you may want to stay away from products with negative reviews especially if they have not been addressed.

Therefore, whatever information you will get, it is of high-quality and it gives specifics about the product as well as the experiences of others when using the product. You will also find star ratings with the online reviews, in which case you can gauge how others feel about the product based on their experiences.

Therefore, if you read online reviews, you will know more about the product before you make your final decision to buy.

  1. Comparison platform

Online reviews provide a platform where you can compare different products. In most cases, the reviews are usually for a group of products such as the best longboards or the best electric kettles. Here you can compare the features, functionality and usability so you can determine which one best suits your needs.

Also, there are reviews which also give alternative products in case you prefer a different one.

In the case of a product with different models, the online reviews can enlighten you on the model that has features that you are looking for and if it would be better to spend money on the higher priced model.

  1. You will learn how a product functions

Online reviews explain how a product functions. In most cases, advertisements do not give more information about the functionality of a product. However, the reviews explain the various functions of the product and its uses.

May it be from a reviews site or a customer who has used the product; you will know how a particular product is used. From the online reviews, you can find out if the product is easy to use, know if it is high quality and if it can be useful to you.

  1. Know the pros and cons

Each product has its pros and cons. Online reviews show the benefits of the products based on their features and how these can help to improve the lives of the users.

Honest product reviews also include cons, and they can help you to determine if you can still use the product even if it has a downside. You can still use a product if the con is not that important to you.

  1. Decide if you want to buy the product

Reading online reviews can help you to make the final decision of whether you want to buy the product or not. You can know if the product has the features and functionality you desire as well as the opinion of other users.

 

Daily Tips for Good Oral Hygiene

Take a look at your favorite movie star and you can virtually guarantee they’ll have a set of pearly whites glistening in their mouth. But you don’t have to be a Hollywood movie star to enjoy teeth whitening by a professional.

In fact it is a great way to inspire yourself to take better care of your teeth. After all, when they look that good you have to keep them that way!

Good oral hygiene is about more than having the best looking smile in your neighborhood. It is essential to protect your teeth and your overall health.

Did you know that research suggests people with bad oral health are more likely to get heart disease?

Here’s how to make sure your teeth are always looking good:

Brushing Daily

You should brush your teeth twice a day and use a soft bristled brush. This will remove the plaque which builds up on the surface of your teeth.

Plaque attacks the enamel on your teeth, weakening it and causing cavities as well as allowing bacteria in.

An anti-microbial toothpaste is best.

Floss

You should floss between your teeth at least once a day. This will remove any small pieces of food or plaque that your brush has not managed to get. This is an important step to reduce your chances of getting gum disease.

Mouth Wash

Using mouth wash can also be an effective way of getting rid of the harmful bacteria in your mouth. The mouthwash usually contains alcohol which kills the bacteria. Of course it also smells nice; leaving your breath fresh.

Chewing Gum

Sugar free chewing gum encourages the natural production of saliva in your mouth. This is your natural defense against bad bacteria. It is a good idea when feasible to chew a piece of gum after you have eaten.

It must be sugar free!

This is also a good tactic when you have low saliva production in your mouth

Healthy Diet

Sugar and starch are two of the biggest enemies for your teeth. It is these that stick to your teeth and attack them.

While it is not advisable to eliminate these substances from your diet completely; you should be able to limit your intake.

A healthy diet can be more than just avoiding sugar. Red wine and coffee both stain your teeth; making it a good idea to limit your intake of these substances as well.

The fact that this will help your overall health is a bonus!

Visit Your Dentist

It is essential that your oral hygiene regime be complemented by regular visits to your dentist. This will ensure you have your teeth deep cleaned on a regular basis to get the bits you’ve missed.

Your dentist will be able to tell you if you have a pattern of missing part of your mouth and help you to improve your oral hygiene routine. They will also be able to spot any issues early and help you to deal with them before they become a problem.

 

Little Bites Banana Muffins

Summer is officially here and the kids are so excited to be out of school and enjoying their break! We have some fun plans to keep the kids busy this summer. We plan to do a lot of activities  all staying around home but that also means we need to bring snacks and pack lunches for our fun adventures.

Entenmanns Little Bites are one of my kids favorite snacks to take a long and now with the new Banana Muffins the kids will go BANANAS for! Entenmann’s Little Bites® Banana Muffins are made with real banana With 180 calories per pouch, Entenmann’s Little Bites Banana Muffins contain no high fructose corn syrup and 0g trans-fat, making them a snack kids will love and a choice parents can feel good about.

Available in convenient, pre-portioned pouches ideal for families on the go. For more information about Entenmann’s Little Bites Banana Muffins please visit www.littlebites.com

Try the NEW Little Bites rewards program! Buy 10 five-count boxes of Little Bites® snacks and get 1 FREE! Send in your receipts by text message, email or website.

To get started, send a text message with the keyword “Little Bites” to 811-811, email to redeem@Rewards.LittleBites.com or visit  rewards.littlebites.com.

*A product was provided.

How To Keep Your Home Pool Safe

 

Summer is here with us and one of the favorite pastimes during the hot season is swimming. Swimming is refreshing and relaxing but also comes with a few risks that you must watch out for in order to avoid tragedy.

One of the inherent dangers is drowning. While most public beaches and swimming pools have lifeguards to keep swimmers safe and come to their help in case of an accident, you are on your own at your private swimming pool and you must watch out for yourself.

Here are some home pool safety tips to keep and your family safe.

Safety design

Your home pool should be a safe distance from your house to prevent accidental drowning but if for lack of space you have to install one next to the house, then include a buffer area between your house and the pool.

The buffer zone should have a good material for good grip while walking complete with a barrier or a fence around the pool for controlled access. When not in use, make provisions for a pool cover. Also, make sure the area around the pool is well lit especially at night.

These features will help prevent accidental drowning as well as Keep Frogs Out Of Pool.

Keep your swimming pool clean

Besides drowning, there are other dangers like water-borne diseases that you can contract from your swimming pool. The water in your pool should be clean and clear with recommended chemical treatment levels, circulation and filtration and standards. It your pool is near a tree, then you should clean it of debris regularly.

You need to constantly test your swimming pool water and treat accordingly to avoid skin rashes and other water-borne diseases like typhoid. Enforce hygiene standards on your pool like a mandatory shower before diving in.

Have a baby pool

Your children will want to swim with you but the regular pools are too deep for them and there is a heightened risk of drowning. If you can, install a baby pool for your young children.

Not that your kids can swim alone in the baby pool, you still need to keep a watchful eye on them even as they take their swimming lessons. In fact, they should have their life jackets on as they learn how to swim. It is only until they are good swimmers that they can take it off.

Life savers and life jackets

Life savers are essential pool safety equipment that you must have in your swimming pool. It comes in handy when someone is drowning and you can’t get into the swimming to save them. You simply throw it to them to grab and you pull them to safety.

Ideally, everyone should wear a life jacket when swimming even if they are experienced swimmers. A life jacket is a wearable air jacket that helps you float whether you know how to swim or not and will come in handy should suffer an injury or sickness that affects your ability to swim.

All The Secrets Moms Need To Stay Young

When you become a mom, your youth can quickly slip away from you. Those sleepless nights where you’re up with a crying baby will certainly take their toll. Then there’s the worry, the fear, the paranoia that something might happen to your little one or your growing family. All these issues can have an emotional and physical impact on you. Both on how you feel and how you look. Ultimately, they age you. You might start to both look and feel a lot older as time goes on. While you might think this is a natural process, it’s true to say that some moms age far quicker than others.

The ones that stay young even when they’re kids become teens know the secrets of a mom’s youth. If you’re intrigued by this possibility, we can share these secrets with you. Are you ready to discover the ways to keep your youth?

You Need To Try Yoga

Start with yoga. You should make sure that you are completing yoga exercises at least once a week though ideally a couple times through the week. While it can seem impossible to fit this type of exercise into a busy schedule, it’s not really. All you need to do is think about using your downtime. For instance, you might be at work? If that’s the case, you can think about trying desk yoga. Check out the video below for some information on how to complete this type of exercise and some tips to help you fit it into your busy schedule.

Avoid The Crutch

What is a crutch? It’s something that will help you get through a hard day. Parent’s find themselves turning to crutches to deal with their stress and anxiety. This could be a glass of wine with dinner that quickly becomes a bottle on a Friday night. A lot of the patients at detox centers like Steamboat Springs are parents with full families. There’s no shame in this because being a parent can involve a lot of commitments and it might get overwhelming. But if possible, you should avoid these types of dependencies. They will age you, causing serious damage to your skin, your muscles and in some cases even your mind.

Careful Of What You Wash With

You should think about what you’re washing with. Studies show that, believe it or not, soap, can be toxic to the skin. So, what are we suggesting here, spend the rest of your adult life living like a cavewoman? Actually, it’s more of a matter of checking the ingredients and aiming to use organic products rather than items will with chemicals. It’s not just soap either. Makeup can have a nasty effect on the natural oils of your skin.

Work On Your Diet

Lastly, you need to make sure that you are being careful with your diet. When you are younger, your body will bounce back from fatty, unhealthy foods. As you age, however, the impact becomes more permanent. If you consume foods high in antioxidants, you will see a beneficial effect on everything from the thickness of your hair to the color of your skin.

 

Treating Yourself to a Day at the Spa

When was the last time you took it easy, allowing yourself to be pampered? For most women, their busy lifestyles don’t allow for these types of experiences often. The constant battle to balance family, work, and play is ongoing and very real to most women in society. Women are the champions of their families. Making sure healthy meals are served, homes are cleaned, laundry is done, and soccer practice isn’t missed, not only keeps her on her toes but often renders her feeling tired and in need of a pick me up. Therefore, allowing yourself the benefits of a spa day is often deserved. Time to kick back, relax, and hide away from the responsibilities of your life while undergoing treatments that are beneficial to your mental and physical health is a great way for you to unwind from the stresses that surround you. In this article, we will discuss the various spa treatments available and why women not only want but need these services in their lives.

The Luxury of a Massage

One of the most popular treatments offered at your local spa is a massage. There are various types available such as the popular Swedish massage. This covers your entire body and allows you to reap the benefits of having your muscles and joints firmly worked upon. For those with problem areas, such as a bad back or an aching shoulder, then deep tissue massages may be most beneficial for you. With this service, you will find your masseuse focusing on those areas the most, which will allow you to leave feeling rejuvenated and, in many cases, pain-free. Women who come to their favorite spa in search of these types of treatments enjoy the pampering but take note of the relaxing and comfortable setting they find themselves in. Luxurious spa massage tables, candles, and aromatherapy are often used to help you get the most out of your day of pleasure.

Available Treatments

Although massages are the most popular services offered for a woman in need of a break, most spas offer a wide range of services to choose from. Facials are another service that not only provides you with the feel of being doted on but also is beneficial to your skin’s health. With spas having access to some of the best products available, you will find yourself enjoying the feel of your skin being exfoliated while your treatment specialist offers you a relaxing scalp and foot massage. While at the spa, many decide to seek out full body treatments instead of simply focusing on their face. These treatments often consist of body scrubs and exfoliants that assist you in removing dead skin cells and leaving your body feeling fresh and revived.

Mental Benefits

Often, we women forget one important aspect of keeping ourselves in great shape, our mental health. Yes, taking time to unwind and rejuvenate our bodies is important but what about our minds. Taking a break from your everyday hustle and bustle allows you to decompress, push your worries to the back of your mind, and simply enjoy yourself for a time. Trips to the spa, stopping for a manicure, grabbing your favorite snack, or even catching a movie with a friend, are needed in our lives to keep our bodies and minds from feeling overloaded. The last thing a woman needs in her life is to break down and show that she isn’t handling things well simply because she’s neglected herself by forgetting just how important she is to the life she and those around her have worked hard to build.

As you can see, taking a trip to the spa can provide a great number of benefits to any woman. Whether you are a businesswoman who works long hours or a stay at home mom who never has a break, taking the time to do something for yourself will remind you just how important you are to not only yourself but to all those around you. Don’t talk yourself out of doing something for yourself. Take the time, make the effort, and allow yourself to enjoy your day of pampering. You deserve it.

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

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

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

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

Never buy Secondhand

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

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

Know Your Vehicle

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

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

Rear Facing

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

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

Keeping Them In A seat

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

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

Practicality

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for Business Promotional Gifts

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

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

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

 

  1. Planners

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

 

  1. Calendars

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

 

  1. Customized Tea Towels

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

 

  1. Stationary

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

 

  1. T-Shirts

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

 

  1. Drawstring Backpacks

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

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

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

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

How Does It Develop?

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

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

Why Is It Harmful?

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

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

How to Get Rid of It?

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

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

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

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

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

4 Ways Meal Planning Benefits Your Health and Your Budget

Image via Flickr by NatalieMaynor

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

Have a Streamlined Shopping Strategy

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

Focus on Whole Foods

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

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

Make Counting Calories a Breeze

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

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

Stop Wasting Leftovers

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

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

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

 

Getting the Perfect Yard

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

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

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

Seed It Right

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

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

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

Manage It Correctly

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

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

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

Deal With Pests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Make a habit of exercise

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

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

  1. Cut out sugars

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

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

  1. Eat more fruits and veggies

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

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

  1. Watch out for liquid calories

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

  1. Avoid processed everything

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

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

 

4 Easy Ways To Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

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

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

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

  1. Landscape

Never underestimate the power of landscaping your outside space.

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

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

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

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

  1. Your Balustrade

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

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

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

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

  1. Improve Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

  1. Refurbish Your Kitchen

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

My AC Is Blowing Hot Air: Common Causes

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

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

Your Thermostat Settings

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

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

The Filters Are Dirty

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

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

The Outdoors Unit Isn’t On

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

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

The Outdoor Unit Is Obstructed

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

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

The Refrigerant Is Low or Out

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

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

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

Camp Gladiator- New Beginning!

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

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

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

CAMP GLADIATOR’S MISSION

TO POSITIVELY IMPACT THE PHYSICAL
FITNESS AND ULTIMATELY THE LIVES
OF AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE

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

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

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

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