Category Archives: Parenting

Dealing With Those Worst Case Scenarios At Home

We’ve all had a disaster at home haven’t we? You’re lying if you say no. Come on. Spill the beans. We’re all friends here! Whether it be a fire, a flood, bugs and beasts or the shattering of your Mum’s favourite plate, we’ve all had that ‘oh dear’ moment that lives for too long in the memory. So how do we react in the aftermath?

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Fire is a scary thing isn’t it? That’s why we have all the adverts on TV as well as the essential protection that we have to wear in case one does decide to erupt. So what happens if the hob is left on too long or the plug in your bedroom decides to spark out of control? Well, the obvious thing to do is to call the fire brigade immediately. They will come as soon as possible but what are you supposed to do in the meantime? You could try and spray a fire extinguisher on the flames if you’re a responsible adult in a safe place and away from harm but the most important thing is to get you and your family out. You can lose your expensive rolex. You can’t lose your loved ones.

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Floods are also a worry for a lot of us. We could be affected by the coast outside and those who live in these threatened areas are constantly on alert. Inland, we are at risk too, although to a much lesser extent. What if the bath upstairs overflows, gushes down the hallway or goes through the ceiling? What if the sink overfills and makes the kitchen like a lake? These are everyday occurrences that could always go wrong. Yes, Mum’s mop and bucket could do the job in a relatively small case but what happens if it’s a larger job? What happens if it’s a threat to your family and to all your valuables? Well, then you may have to call specialist companies in this area for example those with basement flood clean up.

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And what about those creepy crawlies that could start residing in your home? Spiders, flies, daddy long legs. The mind starts to shudder. However these are mostly expected and there’s not a lot we can do about it. However, cockroaches and rats. Well that’s another story. No matter how boring and monotonous it may be, we need to take out the rubbish every day and for those garden doors that access our entry to the house to be shut firmly at night. No one likes a scavenger do they? If cases worsen and the screaming begins to wake up the whole neighbourhood, waste no time in calling a professional. They will be quick and efficient in eradicating this problem. But this isn’t a one way thing. You must start to get on top of your household chores or your outlay will start to increase further. Don’t make your house a haven for animals! Save your garden for that.

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Embracing Outdoor Living: Easy Ways You Can Spend More Time In The Fresh Air

It’s no secret that breathing in fresh air and venturing into the great outdoors can do you a world of good. If you’re guilty of spending too much time indoors, maybe it’s time to embrace outdoor living. Here are some easy ways you and your kids can get out more.

Switch up the school run

Do you drive to the school gates or drop your kids off at daycare in the car? Is it only a short drive away? If so, why not ditch your wheels and walk instead? You’ll save yourself money on gas, and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment. You can also enjoy the scenery and get your body moving. You may also be able to walk instead of using public transport or your car to get to the shops or visit friends and family.

Try outdoor pursuits

If you have kids, you may think that outdoor pursuits aren’t the best idea. But there are lots of activities that are suitable for toddlers. You can go on a family bike ride, or go for a walk in the park or by the lake. If you have older kids, you could also give kayaking or climbing a go.

Family Bike Ride

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/s_mestdagh/3657847661

Maximize your time in the garden

Most of us associate spending time in the garden with the spring and summer months. But just because it drops cooler, this doesn’t mean you have to retreat indoors. Wrap up and play out in the snow or collect the colorful fall leaves. Snuggle up in a hammock with a blanket or research outdoor fireplaces. This will enable you to enjoy being out in the open without getting cold.

Give outdoor sports a go

When you hear people talk about exercising, you may immediately think of going to the gym. But there are lots of sports and activities you can do outside. Take a yoga mat to the beach or sign up for a running club. If you’re keen for the kids to exercise more, you could look into local soccer teams, or join a tennis club.

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Take lessons outside

Are your kids learning about trees or insects at school? If so, why not treat them to some fun, educational lessons in the outdoors? You can follow a nature trail or take some books with you and try and spot birds and bugs. Children often learn better when they find things fun and interesting.

Try camping

Camping is one of the best types of vacation if you want to escape it all on a budget. When you go camping, you get unrivaled access to amazing beauty spots, and you can try all kinds of fun activities. Go hiking or cycling if you have older kids, or enjoy a day at the beach with younger kids. You may miss out on creature comforts for a day or two. But you can spend quality time together in some of the most spectacular settings out there.

Do you spend nearly all your time indoors? Being out in the open can do you a power of good. If you’d like to get out more, take these simple suggestions on board. You’ll be amazed at the difference some fresh air can make.

How to Support Your Spouse When They Go Back to College

mother studyingLife is a lot easier when both partners work full-time. You have two incomes and therefore twice as much disposable income to spend, which means extra money to spend on vacations and all the nice things in life. So what happens if your spouse decides to go back to college for an online social work masters?

It can be hard for both partners when one of you takes the decision to go back to college. There are many reasons why this might happen. Perhaps your spouse hates their job and wants to study for a masters in social work so they can have a more fulfilling career, or maybe they need a further qualification to improve their earning potential. Either way, your job is to be as supportive as possible and help them every step of the way, because that’s what you signed up for when you got married.

When your spouse goes back into education, their decision will have far-reaching consequences. Your income is halved and you become the primary breadwinner. It will also decrease the amount of quality time you spend together, as every spare moment for them will be spent studying and for you taking care of family and home. However, you are a team, so here are some strategies to help you get through this difficult time.

Work Out a Budget

Since money is going to be tight for a while, you need to work out a budget – and stick to it. Write down all of your expenses and figure out how much money you have left at the end of the month. If there isn’t any, see if there are any ways you can supplement the family income, perhaps with a second job. It’s going to be tough for a while, so be prepared to live as frugally as possible until your spouse finishes studying. The good news is that once they have earned their qualification, they can start earning again.

Be Organized

You are going to have to be super organized if you are taking care of the home, doing the childcare, and holding down a job. It won’t be easy, but the more organized you are, the smoother things will run at home.

Make Time for Fun Family Time

It is important that you make time for date nights and family time. All work and no play makes everyone depressed. Allocate one night a week for family time. You don’t need to spend much money. Take it in turns to choose a movie, make some popcorn and sit down on the sofa to watch the action. As for date night, cook a nice meal, light a candle, and enjoy some uninterrupted snuggle time once the kids are in bed.

Keep Talking

Keep the lines of communication open at all times. You will both feel like ships passing in the night for a while, so it is important to stay in touch. Use text messaging, leave cute notes around the house, and if something upsets you, talk about it.

Going back to school is stressful for everyone, but this difficult period won’t last forever, so keep smiling!

The Secrets You Need To Know For An Amicable Divorce

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Not every divorce ends amicably. If your partner has cheated on your or you are simply sick of all the bitter arguments, the divorce can become very messy indeed! But it is in everyone’s best interests that you try and stay on amicable terms with your partner. Not sure you can handle that? It’s actually very easy to remain friendly with your partner as long as you know these useful secrets.

Choose A Lawyer Who Cares

You will be surprised just how many lawyers don’t care about your family’s situation. They simply see your case as another paycheck. So it is imperative that you try and find a family who really understands how stressful this whole process is for you. This can help to limit the amount of arguments you have over custody. The lawyer will try and come to an agreement that suits both you and your partner. The best way to find a caring attorney, such as quality divorce lawyer Barbara May is through word of mouth. If some of your friends and relatives have been divorced, ask them who they used.

Understand That There Will Be No Winners

The best possible end to any divorce is one where you can live with the outcome. You and your partner might not be happy with the agreed settlement. But you are both able to live with it without continued bickering and arguments. This means there is no winner. You shouldn’t see a divorce as being a way to get one over on your partner. If you do, things can get heated and complicated very quickly, and you shouldn’t be too hopeful about getting a quick divorce.

Keep Your Emotions In Check

One thing that the legal aspect of a divorce won’t be able to deal with is the emotional side of it. You need to come to terms with your feelings and emotions as soon as possible so that you can deal with the rest of your divorce much better. If you keep your emotions in check, you will find it much easier to make practical decisions that benefit you and your kids.

Think Of Your Children

It is super important to try and make the whole divorce process easy on your kids. They will have probably had to deal with continued arguments between their parents for some time now, and this will only make things worse. First of all, explain what is happening to them in language that is simple enough for them to understand. You should try not to argue with your partner in front of them, as this will only stress them out even more. Decide on custody early on in the divorce proceedings. Are you are unable to come to an agreement with your partner? Then you need to make sure your kids aren’t exposed to too much stress once the matter is taken to court.

It is always possible to end your relationship in an amicable divorce. Hopefully, this blog post has shown you how.

4 Surefire Ways to Keep Your Kiddo Happy on an Airplane

After months of saving and planning, you finally made your airline reservations to go see your parents who live several states away. Although you cannot wait to see your family, you are understandably nervous about the upcoming 3-hour plane ride with your young child.

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Fortunately, with some pre-planning, it is more than possible to keep your kiddo happy and occupied on an airplane. Check out the following suggestions:

Stock up on New Goodies

Before your trip, head to the dollar store and stock up on $5 – $10 worth of small toys. If you have time, wrap each one in colorful paper or the Sunday funnies. Present your kiddo with a new goody every 45 minutes or so on the plane. He or she will love unwrapping it and playing with the new toy. If you spend $10, you should have enough for both airplane trips.

Buy Gel Window Clings

There is something about those colorful gel window clings that make them irresistible to most kids. You can probably find them during your dollar store run, but most party supply stores have them, too. Check out the adorable tropical fish gel cling decals that you can pick up at Party City for $1.49.

When you are making your reservations, be sure you book a window seat for your child and let him or her decorate the window all he or she wants. You can also do some experiments and see if the clings will adhere to the tray table or seat belt. Once you land, don’t forget to take a minute to peel off the clings.

Use a Smartphone for Entertainment

Even if you normally don’t want your child to get a lot of screen time, a long plane ride is a good time to be lenient with this rule. Your smartphone will provide your kiddo with hours of things to do. Before you leave, download some kid-friendly apps on your smartphone. You can also download some of your child’s favorite shows and buy her a new pair of comfy headphones to wear on the plane.

To prevent your child from leaving the app or movie and start accessing things on your phone that she shouldn’t, adjust the settings to put the smartphone into a kid-safe mode. If you have an iPhone 6s, follow the instructions on OSX Daily to put it in Guided Access mode, which will lock the iOS device into a particular app. Basically, open “Settings,” tap on “General” and go to “Accessibility.” Under the Learning section, tap on “Guided Access.” Flip the switch to “On” and tap “Set Passcode” to choose a password to get out of the mode. Practice doing this a few times from home so you can easily set it up while you are on the plane.

Pack Favorite Snacks

To keep your child happily occupied on the plane, provide snacks that are not only yummy, but also take awhile to eat. Small boxes of raisins and string cheese are kid-friendly goodies perfect for the plane because they take longer than the average cracker to consume.

Depending on how your kiddo does with sugary snacks, you might want to keep those to a minimum. Instead of candy and cookies that might rev up your sweetie, stick with Goldfish crackers, pretzels and pouches of applesauce.

7 Ways to Liven Up a Stale Relationship

No matter the amount of time that you’ve spent in a relationship, things can easily grow stale. Whether it’s due to job related stress, financial duress or the comfort of being with a partner for a long period of time, there are unique ways to break out of your rut.

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Make Your Partner a Priority

Having a family, work and everyday stresses in life can drain your energy and focus. Before either party feels neglected, you want to put your relationship on top of the priority list. In between helping children with homework and tackling chores around the home, make time to reconnect. Plan a weekly date night where you go out for dinner or a movie. After supper, go for a walk and discuss what happened during the day. You can also plan something new such as going to a different restaurant or incorporating a new activity into your life.

Make Over Your Bathroom

An updated bathroom may not sound exciting, but the renovation can liven up your relationship. A plumber would help make it an oasis by adding a walk-in shower with room for two, Jacuzzi and double sink vanity. Instead of heading to a local hotel for special alone time, just add candles and essential oils and you have the ideal romantic retreat.

Break Out of Your Normal Routine

You can breathe new life into your relationship by switching up your normal routine. If you typically come home from work, eat dinner and sit in front of the T.V., deviate from the usual. Plan a drive, take the dog for a walk together or eat out during the week. On the weekends, plan a weekend getaway for just the two of you. Whether you travel via plane to some exotic area or you take a trip by car, spending quality time can boost your relationship.

Early Morning Love Making

Most marriages grow stale because they lack sex. If you’re exhausted after a long day, wake up earlier and make love. Having sex first thing in the morning is an excellent way to start your day. It’s also a great way to stay connected with your partner.

Go Back to Class

If you’re looking to stimulate your relationship, you may want to go back to class. Select a topic of interest to both partners such as a Mediterranean cooking class, yoga or photography. Connecting through an activity outside the home can add zest to your relationship. You’ll also be learning a new skill.

Play Games

Board games aren’t just for children. You can add some fun and excitement to your relationship by breaking out the game of Monopoly or Scrabble. Have a special prize for the winner. Whether they get to opt out of chores for the week, enjoy a lazy Sunday or get rewarded with a special massage, playing games can add spice to your marriage.

Hit the Gym

If you’re out of shape and looking for a way to get fit, hit the gym together with your partner. You’re more likely to adopt good exercise habits and stay with a program when you work out in pairs. Start out small with weight training and walking exercises. As you increase your fitness level, incorporate other exercises into your regimen. Other activities that can connect a partner include golf, jogging and biking.

If you’re relationship has entered the predictable territory, you may be wondering what you can do to ignite the burnt out flame. Every relationship is in need of a spark to turn the embers into a raging fire. With the above ideas, you can find ways to reconnect and work your way out of the relationship doldrums.

Can’t Seem To Get Pregnant? Here’s What You Could Do

Some couples seem to be able to get pregnant really quickly. Others need to spend a lot of time and effort trying to get pregnant. Some seem to try for a long time with no results. Some get pregnant but aren’t able to keep the baby. Here’s what you could do if you’re struggling:

Get Yourself To A Healthy BMI

A healthy BMI is essential for getting pregnant and then carrying the baby full term. You may need to put on weight or lose weight. Make sure you do this the healthy way. Ensure you stay at a healthy weight for the duration of the pregnancy too!

Work Together To Make Yourselves More Fertile

Ensure you and your partner are both working together to make yourselves more fertile. You may need to quit smoking, start an exercise regime, eat better, or even change the underwear you wear.

Take The Right Vitamins

Vitamins such as folic acid can help you to get pregnant when you’re struggling.

Relax

Both you and your partner should take the time to relax – too much stress is definitely a hindrance!

See A Doctor

See a doctor if your problems persist. There could be a bigger problem present that you need to know about. You have other options if it isn’t possible for you to conceive naturally – take a look at this infographic:


Infographic Created By egg donation process

What Are The Alternatives To Divorce?

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If divorce is on the cards but you still have hope that your marriage can be saved, there are things you can do before making the ultimate decision and splitting up for good. With divorce being so stressful, disruptive and expensive it makes sense that you’d explore your other options before taking the plunge, and thankfully there are a few things you can try if you and your partner are both on the same page. In some cases divorce will unfortunately be the only option, and if you are experiencing any kind of mental or physical abuse then it’s always advisable to pursue divorce. But if you plan on giving it one more try, here are a few things to consider.

Counselling

Very few of us are naturally equipped with the skills we need to solve the complex issues that can arise in relationships. We can become guarded, or develop unhelpful coping mechanisms such as avoiding conversation or even developing a substance abuse as a way of managing our feelings. This can damage the relationship further without that ever being the intention. Speaking to a professional counsellor can help you work through these problems, and help you to develop better strategies for resolving conflict in the marriage. Giving you a safe place where you can speak openly about issues and work your way through them, and learn how to communicate and listen efficiently could help you with the road block you’re facing. Allowing you both to express your fears and problems and find ways of working through them could be enough to get your relationship back on track.

Trial Separation

A trial separation allows you both time apart to process your emotions, and will also allow the person who is hoping to leave to feel what it’s like to actually be separated. It has the advantage of being reversible, so you can decide if it’s what you want without making the final decision of divorce. You could opt for an informal separation, whereas you both agree to spend time apart and decide to live in different places during the break. You would create a working arrangement about things like possessions and money. Laying the ground rules here is important, you might decide to set an agreement not to contact each other for a set amount of time unless it’s an emergency. You should also decide whether or not you will be allowed to romantically see other people during this time or whether that’s off limits. Alternatively you could agree to a formal separation, this will give you both much more of an understanding as to what an actual divorce will be like. Family law experts such as Skillern Firm will be able to assist you through the process.

Mediation

If you go down the trial separation route, mediation is a way of sorting out the issues that can arise when you separate. Unlike counselling, mediation is not designed to help you sort out your relationship or help you get back together. It instead helps you agree on the practical issues of splitting up such as finances and child custody. Mediators can give you both as much information as you need about the law and your options. You can then take that to your solicitor, who can draw up and advise you on the necessary legal papers.

Must Have Checklist For A New Home

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Moving into a new home is busy and stressful, with all your belongings in boxes it can feel very chaotic. While it’s difficult to forget the big things, like a bed and television, some smaller more obsolete items and can get missed and neglected. Before you move, do some preparation to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

Food

During the move, you probably won’t have time to think about cooking and making homemade meals. While a takeaway might suffice for your first evening, you’ll need to think about breakfast and snacks for the following days to come. Make sure you have the basics in to cover you; milk and teabags, breakfast cereal and some sandwiches. You’ll need your energy while carrying around all those boxes!

Wardrobes

Try to avoid damaging clothes by having somewhere to hang and store them as soon as possible. If your new home doesn’t have wardrobes, purchase some hanging rails as a temporary substitute. Clothes can easily become marked and ripped if left in boxes or piles, leading to replacement costs in the long run.

Kitchen Utensils

When you are unpacked and starting to settle in, you may start thinking about cooking and baking. Make sure you have the basics catered for, with cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils as essentials. Baking trays, mixing bowls and serving dishes can all be purchased as well.

Seating

After you have moved, you will no doubt have many friends and family wanting to visit. Try to provide some seating for yourself and any guests. Dining chairs or stools are needed for meal times, and some kind of seating in living rooms. Don’t rush into purchasing a sofa, though, chairs and fold out stools are fine while you are deciding on more expensive furniture.

Blinds and Curtains

You’re going to want some privacy in your new home, so blinds or curtains are a must. Blinds can be ordered from companies like westral supplier of blinds, and installed in bedrooms or living spaces. Try to choose a colour scheme in the room before purchasing, to avoid having to replace later on.

Cleaning Products

When you first move in, the house will probably need a good clean. Wipe all the tops and cupboards down with anti-bacterial sprays, and hoover and mop the floors. Try to do this before unpacking, as this will be a lot easier than cleaning around your belongings.

Toiletries

After the long days of packing, you’ll be grateful for a hot shower or bath. Try to set aside some basic toiletries while packing, so that you won’t have to rifle through all your belongings to find things. Pack a toiletry bag with the basics in, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, and shampoos.

Basic Appliances

Soon after you move in, you will need to think about the essential home appliances. It can be difficult to cope with family life without some basics such as a washing machine, fridge, and freezer. There are normally good quality, second-hand items for sale, so shop around before purchasing.

Are You Getting the Most Out Of Your Time?

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There never seems to be enough hours in the days! That’s what a lot of people think anyway. There’s always other things we should be doing, and more time we should be spending with family. But there are ways to get the most out of your day, and avoid feeling like you’ve wasted anything. With our lives slipping by, it’s important to live each day to the fullest!

Plan Your Day

Sitting down in the morning and planning what you need to do and when it needs to be done for can have a huge impact on your productivity levels. That way, you can work through the list and get onto each job straight away, rather than having to pause and work out what needs doing next.

Prioritize Jobs

Task management is a key tool, and is an excellent way of getting things done quicker. If you work out what jobs are most important, and tackle them first, then at least they’re out of the way in case you do run out of time later. Try not to leave bigger jobs for the end of the day as you may end up rushing them, or simply forgetting all about them.

Be More Organized

Organizing yourself and your family will save a lot of time and hassle. Pre-plan outfits and pack bags the day before to avoid the morning rush. And writing meal plans for the week means that grocery shopping is much easier, quicker, and more cost effective.

Stay Focused

Once you get going, try not to get distracted from the task in hand. Social media, magazines and television programmes can all turn us towards procrastination. Finish a job, then have a five minute break if you need to. But make sure those five minutes don’t drag out too long!

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Take Time Out

This may sound counter-productive, but without having breaks and pauses throughout the day, you will eventually burn out. Lunch and coffee breaks are important at home and in the office, giving you a moment to pause and relax. You’ll feel refreshed and much more productive after them, and they will be worth the few minutes of delay.

Delegate

If there is too much work to do, leave to delegate and outsource. Enlist the help of a work colleague, ask a family member to collect the children from school, or speak to a housekeeping company if there is too much housework to cope with. You can’t be expected to deal with everything, and learning to delegate is a vital tool in all aspects of life.

Look After Yourself

Most importantly, look after your mental and physical health. If you run yourself into the ground, you won’t be able to do anything. Ensuring you live a healthy lifestyle, with nutritious meals and regular exercise will keep your energy and productivity levels up. Make sure you get enough sleep as well, as tiredness and fatigue can have a huge impact on how you feel and how well you can focus.