Better Sleep Tips for Busy Moms

The job of a mom is never an easy one, especially during the summer months where it’s down to you to keep your little ones occupied and entertained. For many moms, juggling family commitments, work, and everything else can quickly lead to a number of issues that can prevent them from sleeping well, no matter how tired they are when their head hits the pillow at night. If you’re a mom who’s finding yourself surviving on less and less sleep every night, then the good news is that there are several steps that you can take to help yourself wind down and get the hours of quality shut-eye that you need to keep your energy levels high. Here are some of the best things to do.

#1. Wind Down Early

Whilst you might want to have a few peaceful hours to yourself after you’ve put the little ones to bed, choose how you spend this time wisely since the activities that you do during your ‘me’ time can make or break the quality of your sleep at night. Ideally, it’s a good idea to begin winding down once your children’s bedtime arrives. Use the time when they are asleep to do something relaxing such as listening to classical music, taking a warm bath, or even doing some yoga. Avoid anything stimulating, such as watching action movies or using technology too much since this will only serve to keep you awake.

#2. Get Ready for the Next Day

Spending a little bit of time getting things ready for the next day, whether it’s making packed lunches or laying out your little ones’ outfits for school tomorrow, will give you less to worry about when it comes to going to bed. If you find yourself unable to relax in bed because you’re overthinking about the number of things that you have to do when you wake up, getting a head start on this can help to calm your stress and get you into a state of relaxation. It can help to have a checklist of things to do before bed, as this will enable you to stay in control.

#3. Create a Sanctuary in Your Bedroom

For most moms, the bedroom isn’t just a place for sleeping – it’s probably also strewn with toys, games, and anything else pertaining to the kids. However, research shows that making a calming, tidy sanctuary of your bedroom can have a huge effect on the quality of your sleep in a positive way. Use smart storage to keep things tidied away in your room, and if you have the time, you might want to consider redecorating in calming colors. You can also use essential oils in a diffuser to help you sleep; lavender oil is especially good for this. Lastly, make sure that you’re using the right bedding – a supportive pillow tailored to your sleeping style can make all the difference. See indreviews.com for more information on choosing the right type of pillow for you.

Did these tips help you sleep better? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

5 Tips for Going on Vacation with your Children

Raising a young family is no easy task. In fact, it can be an incredibly demanding undertaking. Often, these demands are only intensified when you decide to go on vacation. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Going on holiday with your family should be a time when you get to have fun and create lots of fabulous memories. If you are determined to make your next trip a success, you will need to read on. Below are five tips for going on vacation with your children.

Book your tickets ahead of time

Queuing with children can be an absolute nightmare. That is why you should book your tickets in advance. For instance, if you are treating your family to the cultural delights of a Vatican tour, you can arrange your tickets online. You could even buy ‘Skip the Line Tickets’ that will help to take even more pressure off your shoulders. If you want to encourage your children to engage with culture, it is vital that you maintain a sense of excitement. This will be hard to do if they are forced to wait around!

Plan ahead

To prevent yourself from getting stressed, you will need to plan your vacation carefully. Why not create an itinerary for how you are going to spend each day? Your plan should strike the right balance between relaxation and adventure. This will ensure that you are making the most of your time away. It will also save you from the panic of making on the spot decisions.

Keep your little ones entertained during your journey

Traveling to your destination will probably be the most stressful part of your experience. That is you will need to keep your little ones entertained during the journey. This is the best way to ensure that everyone is in a great mood when you arrive. You could play games, read books, or tell each other stories. Alternatively, you could invest in technology such as a tablet, an iPhone, or an iPod. This is a great way for you to keep your little ones occupied, without wearing yourself out. 

Think about the lessons that you are teaching your children

Going on holiday is a great opportunity for you to teach your children something new. Perhaps you could introduce them to a new culture and show them how important it is to respect people who are different from them. Maybe you could help them to learn a new language and find new friends. Or, you could take them to historical landmarks and teach them about an important event.

Encourage your family to document their experience

If you are hoping to make your vacation one to remember, you should encourage your entire family to document their experience. One way of doing this is by creating a family scrapbook. This is a lovely place for you to store all of your treasured pictures and mementoes. Tell your little ones about the scrapbook before you set off. This will encourage them to be on the lookout for inspiration throughout the trip.

How to Become a Happier and Healthier You

Have you been thinking about trying to get a little fitter recently? Maybe you were always a regular jogger until work, and other commitments meant it dwindled? Well, there is no need to worry, because getting fitter and healthier doesn’t mean you have to devote hours in the gym, it just means you need to alter a few things in your life. Then, before you know it, you will be on the way to a happier you.

running on beach

Exercise Around Your Life

Not everyone has the time or the energy after a long day to go for a jog around the park. However, you don’t have to do that to get fitter, all you need to do is exercise when you can, and find other ways of getting fit. Try to get off the bus one or two stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. It might not seem like much, but after a while it all adds up. Why not start to take the stairs up to your office floor instead of taking the lift? If you work on the 20th floor, you might want to climb at many flights possible as this is a great means of exercise.

Quit Smoking and Cut Down on Drinking

It has been well established that smoking is bad for your health, and there are now many ways that you can give up. One way is to turn to vaping instead because you can still get the sensations of smoking without the deadly toxins. Companies such as Mount Baker Vapor create alternative ‘juices’ that you can use in your vaping machines. Drinking alcohol in moderation is nothing to worry about unduly, however, if you are drinking a lot every day, then you need to think about cutting back on the amount. Switching to an alternative such as grape juice will help, especially in social situations.

Begin a Healthier Eating Regime

There are many popular ideas that you need to go on a strict diet and cut out all of the bad things such as fat and sugar to be healthy. In fact, although you should cut down on sugar and fat, the most important thing is to keep everything in moderation. If you try to cut out all bad things at once, you will soon start to get bad cravings that may make you fail. It is far easier to reduce all of the bad things, but you can still have them occasionally. It means you won’t feel guilty when you do have that bar of chocolate once a month, because you know it is part of your new healthier eating regime.

There are many ways that you can make small changes to your life that will make you healthier. You can try swapping a cup of coffee for a glass of water, taking healthier snacks with you in your bag for when you get peckish, and considering cycling to work. All of these little things will add up to a much healthier and happier you in the end.

Maintaining a Hygienic Home with Cats

In a world where working hours are becoming longer and longer, it’s not always practical or kind to have a dog. Dogs need a considerable amount of time, both in exercise and human contact and interaction. Cats, on the other hand, need these a little less. That’s not to say a cat is definitely the best pet to have if you work long hours (they still need their humans around a fair amount; that fishing app for felines wasn’t created for nothing), but they are certainly preferable as companion pets for those who aren’t particularly keen on or are unable to fully enjoy outdoor pursuits (though there are a few owners who delight in walking their cats on a lead). Nevertheless, as wonderful as a warm, purring body nestled in the lap is, living with a cat requires a different, more meticulous routine when it comes to health and hygiene.

cat

cat

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cat

The first decision you must make as a cat owner is whether to keep your new pet indoors, or to allow it (through use of a cat flap) to wander outside when you’re at work. The latter option certainly minimizes any odors from the litterbox. However, it opens up consideration pertaining to safety from vehicles, other animals, and even people, as well as the possibility of being brought “gifts” such as dead birds and rodents. So, a collar with a bell is a must if they go outside, as cats are natural predators.

Conversely, indoor cats seem to have a penchant for coughing up hairballs, though fastidious brushing and removal of shed fur from furniture (a simple lint brush works wonders) helps to reduce this. Indoor cats are also highly picky when it comes to litterbox cleanliness levels (they will, in fact, leave you a warning deposit just outside of said receptacle if they feel your standards have fallen unacceptably low).

Fleas, and Worms, and Ticks – Oh My!

Of course, if you’re letting your cat outside, you must make sure your pet is microchipped and fully vaccinated, as well as up-to-date with worming and flea treatments (there are advantage ii for cats coupons available for affordability). Furthermore, if you live in an area that could be described as tending towards the rural, with long grass and visiting wildlife such as deer and foxes, then an anti-tick course is probably sensible, too.

Healthy Boundaries

Similar to owning a dog, it doesn’t hurt to establish boundaries with your cat as regards sleeping areas, either. In short, you shouldn’t sleep with your cat at all. Further, when out for the day, close bedroom doors so that you don’t find yourself face first in a pillow covered in shed fur later that night. If possible, ensure cupboard doors are firmly shut, also, so the same scenario doesn’t occur after that post-work shower, the towel you thought freshly laundered in blatant need of another wash as you find your arms covered in damp cat hair. There is nothing a cat likes more than a dark place complete with unusual “bedding”.

What To Consider Before Leaving For Your Next Vacation

Traveling is stimulating and creates a sense of excitement as soon as you start thinking about planning your trip. There’s a lot to reflect on as you’re preparing for a new experience. It’s easy for important tasks to slip through the cracks when you have a lot on your mind.

It’s a good idea to come up with checklists to help you manage your to-dos. Start early and plan ahead, so you have nothing to worry about when it comes time for departure. Put measures in place that make it easy for you to plan your trip and still handle your daily responsibilities. See what to consider before leaving for your next vacation.

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The Location 

Think about the goal of your trip. Consider if it’s to go lay on a beach or if you want more adventure and activities like hiking or skiing. Make sure it’s really what you want and that you’re not settling because of price or timing. Talk it over with your family and make sure everyone’s on the same page before booking the trip. The location should be somewhere that’s going to lift your spirits and make you happy you left home for a little while.

If your Pet will come along

If you own a pet, contemplate if you want them to come along on the trip. If you’re flying on an airplane, it may be more difficult to bring them with, than if you’re driving up to a cabin. Either way, it’s a good idea to purchase Pet Lock products to protect your pet from pesky pests, fleas and ticks. Leaving your home with your animal always puts you at risk for encountering unwanted parasites.

What you’ll need to Pack

Once you’ve selected a location, consider what you’ll need to pack for the specific trip. Go through your closet and declutter and organize it, so you know exactly what items you have and need. Think about how much money you’re going to spend putting together an appropriate wardrobe for your vacation. It’s always a good idea to try and get your items into a carry-on bag, so you have less of a chance of it getting lost and don’t have to wait in long lines to check it.

How Much Time you’ll need for Working

Plan ahead at work and try to get your assignments completed before you leave on your trip. Talk to your boss well ahead of time and come up with a plan, so your team isn’t scrambling at the last minute or while you’re gone. Offer to work more hours before your trip if it means you don’t have to be checking messages while you’re away. This is an important aspect to take care of as you’re planning your getaway, so you feel calm and relaxed when it comes time to depart.

Conclusion

Deciding to travel has a way of making you forget about all of your responsibilities. You’re so excited that it’s difficult to focus. This is what to consider before leaving for your next vacation.

Keeping Your Home Itch-Free – How to Prevent Head Lice and Fleas

No matter how careful you are, sooner or later your child is bound to come home with head lice. Similarly, very few people get away with having a pet without the occasional fleabite, so it can often feel like you’re resigned to your fate. However, although head lice and fleas are irritating, if you attack the problem quickly, it can be easily managed.

Head lice are relatively harmless because they don’t spread infection or disease, but they can make your head intolerably itchy, so it’s important to stop them in their tracks before they multiply. Similarly, if you’ve ever had a fleabite, you’ll know how painful they can be. Here are some tips for keeping itchy pests out of your home.

head lice

How to Prevent Head Lice

Unfortunately, if your child attends school or daycare, there’s not much you can do to prevent head lice, other than encouraging your child not to share brushes, combs or hats with their friends. Head lice spread through head-to-head contact, as unlike fleas, they cannot jump or hop.

The best you can do is attack the head lice with an over the counter treatment and a fine-toothed comb and make sure you get rid of the eggs so they cannot hatch and multiply. Adult lice cannot survive away from the scalp for more than a day, so unlike fleas, they cannot live in your home without a human host. Therefore, it’s not necessary to deep clean your house or car.

You Can’t Wash Them Away

Head lice can survive submerged in water for up to 20 minutes, so washing your child’s hair every day won’t get rid of them. Head lice like clean hair as much as they like dirty hair, so having head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene, and no amount of shampoo will make a difference. Instead, use a CDC approved treatment, and check your child’s head every day for new lice.

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Of course, cats and dogs can’t get head lice, but they can get fleas, which are worse in most cases. Unlike head lice, however, fleas can take residence in your carpets, rugs and upholstery for weeks, making them even trickier to eliminate.

Even people without pets can find fleas in their home. Fleas can be passed from person to person on the subway, in the supermarket, or anywhere else where you’re in close contact with someone who has one on their clothing. Once they’re in your home, they’re notoriously difficult to rid of, which is why it’s essential to use the right treatment.

To get rid of fleas, ticks and chewing lice, use Pet Action, a vet-recommended treatment that lasts for up to six months. Don’t forget, as well as treating your pet, it’s also important to treat your home with a flea spray that will kill any remaining eggs.

Just be careful to use a spray that is safe for children and pets, like a non-toxic herbal treatment. If the problem persists, you may need to call in pest control for further advice.

A Definitive Guide to Affordably Cooling Your Home

A home or apartment can become uncomfortable during a hot climate, which can make a space uninviting. However, don’t sit back and believe there is nothing you can do about your home’s extreme temperatures. You will be happy to learn there are many way you can affordably cool your home. The following tips are free, low lost or are a financial investment to decrease your monthly electricity bills.

An Affordable A/C Unit Installation

Don’t allow intense temperatures to ruin your summertime and install an AC unit, which will create a comfortable, relaxing environment for you to enjoy all summer long. Contrary to popular belief, installing an air conditioning unit doesn’t have to be expensive. You simply need to do your homework to discover an affordable, professional company, such as https://www.onehourac.com/ac-installation-charlotte-nc/.

Open or Close Your Doors

Depending on the AC unit circumstances, you may be required to either open or close your doors across the home to maximize the cool air throughout the property. For example, those living in a small apartment who are reliant on one AC unit should keep their door open to allow air to circulate throughout the space. However, if you want to keep the cool air within one room, we recommend closing the door to stop the air from escaping.

Decide Whether to Close or Open Your Windows

Anyone using an air conditioning unit should keep their windows closed to prevent cold air from leaking out of a room; otherwise, the room will fail to effectively cool down but you will receive an expensive electricity bill. However, once temperatures drop come nightfall, it might be a wise move to turn off the AC unit and open the windows to enjoy a cool, natural breeze.

Close the Curtains or Drapes

On a hot, sunny day, we recommend closing your blinds or curtains to reduce your home’s temperature. Any heat entering your home will also make your air conditioning unit work much hard to lower the temperature. So, close the blinds and drapes when you leave your property, regardless of whether your air conditioner is running.

Block Sunlight with Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains will also allow you to successfully block sunlight, so you do not have to worry about any light shining through the material. We recommend adding neutral-colored blackout curtains into your space, which should have a white plastic backing, as they can decrease heat gain by up to 33%.

Buy a Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan is another effective way you can reduce a property’s temperature. You simply turn it on and enjoy a cool breeze that will make your home feel more comfortable. What’s more, many ceiling fans allow homeowners to change the blades’ direction, which can also prevent heat from escaping a room, so they will serve your home 12 months of the year.

Place Furniture Away from an AC Unit

Maximize cool air across your home by moving furniture away from an air conditioning unit. For instance, a sofa, dresser or chest of drawers could prevent cool air from circulating across the room, so ensure you leave enough space for the air to move both forwards and sideways. If possible, position furniture on a 45-degree angle away from the air conditioner.

Change Your Bedding

Are you spending warm summer nights tossing and turning? Stop wrestling with your bed sheets and instead change your bedding with the seasons. While fleece blankets and flannel sheets are superb during the cold winter months, they will be rather uncomfortable during summertime. Swap the sheets for cotton or bamboo sheets, which will allow you to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep. We also recommend buying a buckwheat pillow, as the hulls feature a natural air space, so they will not store your body heat.

Pay Attention to Your Body’s Temperature

Cool yourself down by focusing on your body’s temperature. For instance, you should sip on a delicious iced drink to hydrate your body and cool you down. You can also apply a cold compress onto your neck and wrists, which will make you feel a lot more comfortable during extreme heat. Also, wear cotton pyjamas, avoid cuddles with your partner and dip your feet into a cool bowl of water if you feel warm during the night.

Say Goodbye to Incandescent Bulbs

It is time to say goodbye to incandescent light bulbs and hello to compact fluorescent lights. This is because incandescent light bulbs are believed to waste approximately 90% of their energy in heat. Switching them with fluorescent light bulbs will therefore successfully cool your property whilst reducing your energy bills.

Avoid the Oven

The last thing you will want is for a hot oven to catapult the temperature within your home during summer, especially if it already feels like it is 100 degrees outside. We therefore recommend avoiding the oven or stove as much as possible during warmer temperatures. Instead, use a BBQ more frequently to create tasty dishes the whole family will love, which can also reduce your energy bills.

Don’t Sleep Upstairs

As everyone knows, heat rises, so the downstairs will be considerably cooler than upstairs. We therefore recommend sleeping on the lowest level of your property, even if it is the basement. Simply take your mattress with you to enjoy a comfortable sleep in a cooler environment.

Place Your Bed Sheets in the Freezer

Placing your bed sheets in the freezer might sound like a bizarre tip, but it can be an effective way to cool down your core temperature during the night. If you don’t have room in your freezer, you could always slightly dampen the sheets with water. Another superb tactic is to freeze a water bottle and place it at the foot of the bed for your feet. It is a cheap solution to stay cooler during summertime.

Do you have any tried and tested methods for affordably cooling a home during summer? Tell us your top tips by writing a helpful comment below.

Update Your Life Before Winter Arrives

Do you feel like everything from the shoes you wear to the food you like is dated and unfashionable? Trends move quickly, so if you aren’t paying any attention to them then you shouldn’t be too surprised when you wake up and the whole world is different. Rediscover where you fit into the styles of the twenty-first century, and where you’re still living in the past.

Winter House

Out the Front

Take a walk around to the front of your house. Are there uneven patches in the paint on your front door? Are there cracks in the windows? Is Ivy pulling your walls down? Don’t wait for the end of Halloween to get rid of the spiders – you need to get around to all of this before it starts to get too cold. If it looks like this, your friends will all be glad to help you out, so see if you can take care of it in a weekend with the help of the cavalry.

Round the Back

In times gone by, your garden probably had a sandpit with a plastic basin, that eventually got water in it. It probably had a swing tied up to the branch of a tree or else hanging from a rusty frame. This is probably an oblique pond that used to contain all kinds of fish. If your garden still looks like this then you’ve got a lot of work to do. If you don’t have children around the house much these days then get rid of the rusty and leaky play equipment, and if you do still entertain young relatives you can update the garden to one that contains safer and more modern play equipment. Buy equipment that’s sheltered from the weather or that won’t be damaged or made unappealing by it, and remember that modern gardens tend to be focused around adult amenities, luckily for you, so if you have the space why not think about building a sauna or steam room?

 

On the Driveway

What does your current car say about you? Does it leave oil on the drive? Are the miles adding up? Is it going to be safe this winter? It might be worth a trip to Honda Scotland to consider a newer and more reliable alternative. If people are hesitant about excepting a lift, and your family are concerned about it being on the driveway, there’s probably a reason.

On Your Back

The clothes on your back say a lot about who you are, and you have the power to control this perception by choosing your clothes. If your life needs this much updating before the snows start to appear then your outfit probably does as well. When did you last buy a suit? If you’re concerned that your suit might be a little out of date then it’s probably extremely out of date – so ask the person in the shop what people are wearing these days or check it out online, but whatever you do make sure you update your look. Even a new winter overcoat might be a step in the right direction, to keep the cold out and the style in, if you’re nervous about becoming a different person completely.

Ovation Brands Thumbs Up Johnnie Family Night Adventures

Family Nights at Hometown Buffet are one of our favorite things.  I love the themes, and the kids love the buffet of food to choose from!  This month’s feature is a book series, “Thumbs Up Johnnie”.

Ovation Brands’ portfolio of restaurants – Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, Country Buffet – and Furr’s Fresh Buffet are rolling out a new Family Night promotion featuring the popular Thumbs Up Johnnie books! The lovable character and his friends reinforce a positive and healthy lifestyle. EachThursday, from September 14th through October 19th between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., kids may participate in different interactive and educational activities in Ovation Brands’ restaurants and Furr’s Fresh Buffet locations.

The featured activities are as follows:

  • September 14 – Thumbs Up to RED, WHITE & BLUE!
  •  September 21 – Jimmy Jam Germ & The Happy Handshake
  • September 28 – Buckaroonomics
  • October 5 – Adventures Through the Wild West
  • October 12 – Macro-Heroes Save Field Day
  • October 19 – Zipp, Little Digit & The Happy Signs

Thumbs Up Johnnie Prize Pack_OverheadShot

And now for a giveaway!!  One winner will win a Thumbs Up Johnny Prize Pack with 4 passes to any Ovation Restaurant.

Entering is easy, just comment on this post with what your favorite food to eat at a buffet is!  

Giveaway ends October 4th, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 FOR BABIES

The holiday is fast approaching and if you are like me- you are starting your christmas shopping now so you are not swamped trying to shop last minute.  I have two little ones that fall into this category so I am going to be sharing some items that I think would make good gifts for the 3 and under kids.

I am still accepting prospective gifts to be added to this list, so if you are interested, please send an email to: mommyhasalife@gmail.com

Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Press & Race Vehicles 

Vtech Go! Go! Racers!

The VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Press & Race cars are a huge hit for both of my boys.  Just like it sounds, you press down on the car and it zooms across the floor!  They also make light up, make sounds and play music, which adds to the excitement for the boys.  The new Press & Race vehicles include a race car, dump truck and fire truck.  The retail price point on these is $8.99 each.  Perfect for a stocking stuffer or a gift for a young child.

Sophie the Giraffe

sophie the giraffe

 

Sophie has been a staple in our house for all the babies.  Starting with Colton- who is now 8- had a Sophie.  She is a great toy for teething babies to gnaw on, because she is soft and has lots of places that little hands can grasp.  As a mom, I feel confident letting my little one gnaw on Sophie over other teether because she is made of 100% Natural Rubber (phthalates Free) and food-grade paint. She is also great for toddlers for role playing as my two year old still plays with his Sophie- only now Sophie goes for rides on the bus or train :-) .  You can get Sophie the Giraffe on Amazon  for between $20 and $30 depending on what package you choose- they have several options- Sophie by herself, Sophie with a book, Sophie with a teether, Sophie with a plush Sophie… I think your loved one will be thrilled with any of them so you can pick one that will fit their needs the most!

Boppy Pillow

Boppy

The Boppy Pillow is a great gift for new babies.  A lot of moms rave about it as a nursing support.  Personally I liked it for two things.  To prop baby up on– either for tummy time or just to sit in so he wasn’t laying flat on the floor.  Once my little ones got a little older, it was great to sit them in to help them sit up in that wobbly stage of he can kind of sit up, but not really and we don’t want him to fall backwards.  If you have a little one on your list- this is a great gift because it isn’t a toy, but more of something that is needed for development.  I have 3 kids and feel like 3 for 3… I needed a boppy.

I also want to add that I HIGHLY recommend the Boppy Water Resistant Cover to go with this.  Babies spit up, toddlers spill drinks… heck- mom spills too!  My oldest has asthma and a dust and mold trigger so these covers on pillows is a must in our house.  Even so- I am sure you don’t want moisture seeping into your pillow that your baby will be sitting on- so get this cover too :-)

 

Exergen Temporal Artery Scan Thermometer

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This is another great gift that is more of a necessity than a toy- but still something parents will thank you for when they have a sick child.  I love it when my kids get toys, but sometimes the amount of toys around the holidays is overwhelming and I am really thankful for the kids to get things they need.  This would be one of those gifts.  We have this thermometer and I feel it is ACCURATE and fast.  It took me a few times of using it to get the hang of how it works, but once I figured it out it is a breeze.