Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Good Kids: Smart Tips for Parents During Those Long Family Visits

Even though they are likely to be excited and pleased to be arriving at their grandparent’s house or some other family member, kids can soon get bored when the grown-ups get talking and there is nothing for them to do.

Boredom and small children are not a good combination and this is when misbehavior can become an issue, so the best thing to do is make sure there are plenty of things to keep them occupied during the visit.

Here are some ideas for keeping your kids entertained while you chat with relatives. There is a look at how to keep them well behaved during the visit, and why a favorite pastime still keeps kids entertained. Plus a couple of suggestions for activities to get everyone involved.

On their best behavior

You don’t want your kids to cause a scene while you are out and about, which means it is sensible to have a few strategies up your sleeve to ensure they toe the line.

All parents want their children to behave in a manner that makes them proud and perhaps there is an added pressure when you visit grandparents even though it is unlikely they are judging your parenting skills, despite you thinking they might be!

The trick to good behavior is generally to keep your cool when they start to misbehave, show some empathy as to why they might be starting to lose the plot, and then find some ways to distract and entertain them so that they no longer have any reason to get stressed.

An obvious go-to solution

Video games might be a modern solution to keeping your kids entertained but there are other viable alternatives that have always been popular with kids.

Coloring and drawing activities are universally popular with kids and if you sit them down with a coloring book and all the crayons and pencils they need, you should see them while away a few hours while you chat with relatives.

A good alternative if you forget the crayons and pencils would be to download the mandala coloring book app on your smartphone. This is aimed at the adult coloring book market as a stress-busting activity, so you could even end up using the app yourself when you want to have a bit of a quiet moment.

Go back in time

A great way of getting the kids involved when you visit grandparents would be to suggest that they get the old family photo albums out and sit down with your children to take a trip down memory lane with them.

Children love to hear old stories and showing them photos of when you were there age is bound to have them laughing and smiling.

Card games often work

There are so many different card games to play you should be able to find something that is suitable for all ages.

This would also be a fun activity that will get everyone involved and keep boredom at bay. A bit of friendly competition and the discovery that grandma is a bit of a card shark is always a talking point and should help to ensure that the visit goes without a tantrum in sight.

Sophie Horton has 3 nieces and 2 nephews who range in age from 1 year to 15 years old. She often spends quality time with the kids when they are visiting their grandparents and writes about how to keep everyone occupied and happy away from home.

Friday, February 17, 2017

An Efficient And Healthy Home All Year Round

diy home fixes

If you own your own home, there’s always a maintenance task that requires your attention. This ranges from fixing squeaky doors to repairing a hole in the roof. Sometimes it seems like it’s never ending. To prevent problems occurring, there are a few simple checks and steps you can put in place to run an efficient and healthy home all year round.

Safety And Security
We all need to feel a sense of safety and security in our environment. Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified this as one of our basic needs and suggested that humans are unlikely to lead happy and fulfilled lives unless these fundamental needs are met. To provide peace of mind that you and your family are safe and secure, ensure the following are in place:

  • Your home is protected from intruders by a secure alarm; additional provisions may need to be taken if you go on vacation
  • You have installed adequate locks on all doors and windows
  • All family members are aware of your fire escape plan
  • You check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month; put this in your diary
  • Electrical equipment is switched off when not in use to protect against fires
  • Cables are checked regularly for signs of damage
  • Your home is kept clutter free to provide a healthy living environment and to avoid tripping hazards

home improvement tools

The Biggies
When it comes to home maintenance, start with the fundamentals. Before you can do anything else you have sort the roof. This protects the whole structure and problems here can lead to issues elsewhere. It’s simple to check for problems from the ground. If you’re unsure how to do this and suspect there may be an issue, call out the experts.

Windows and doors are also important and should be dealt with as a priority. A few times a year, and especially after the winter months, inspect them for signs of damage. Problems with windows and doors could lead to water seeping in. If installed correctly they will help conserve energy. They insulate your home during the winter, and in the summer they help keep it cool. So you could be losing money on energy if problems are not addressed.

If you have exposed pipes, they can be at risk of freezing during cold weather. A simple fix is to apply some heat tape. This generates consistent heat and will prevent your pipes from freezing and causing bursts and leaks.

It helps to put together a maintenance checklist. That way you can schedule in checks throughout the year. In most cases, this is not time-consuming. It’s a simple inspection, and more often than not it’s likely you won’t find any issues. If issues are identified, it’s likely that they can be rectified quickly and easily before they escalate, causing expensive damage to your home.

So, schedule in some regular checks and make a note when experts need to be called. For example, to ensure the boiler is running efficiently and is up to code. Prevention is better and cheaper than cure.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Water Damage Restoration Tips

If you've recently suffered from water damage, you should consider getting water damage restoration services. However, sometimes it can take time before a professional can get to your home. While you wait, there are a few things that you can do to keep the damage to your home to a minimum.

Remove Excess Water

The longer that water sits on your floors, the more damage that it's going to do. You can remove excess water with a mop. You probably can't remove all of the water from your home, but you'll be able to remove a good amount of it.

Remove Upholstery and Cushions

Don't let your upholstery get ruined by sitting in water. While you're waiting on a professional to restore order, remove upholstery and other pieces of furniture from the water. In some cases, you may be able to stack furniture onto each other or on tables. If not, try putting your furniture outside or in another room until the water damage is treated. This not only keeps your furniture from getting ruined but also makes it easier for the professional to do his job.

Put Up a Barrier

If you've removed the majority of the water but your carpet is still damp, you may not have to completely remove your furniture from the room. Try putting up a barrier between the carpet and your furniture. One easy fix is to use aluminum foil as a buffer. To do this, put a small piece of aluminum foil under each leg of your furniture.

Avoid Using Electronics

For safety purposes, avoid using any electronics in the room where the water damage took place. If your electronics got wet, turning them on can ruin them. Also, turning them on could cause a spark or send electrical waves through the water. This is why it's not recommend to use a shop vac to remove water from your home.

Use these water damage restoration tips to keep water damage to a minimum. Keep in mind that water damage can cause significant damage to your home if you don't clean it properly. It's always a good idea to hire a professional to take care of the aftermath of a flood. This includes both natural and busted pipe floods.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Have an "Oinktanstic" Valentine's Day with Peppa Pig

Celebrate February 14th with your littlest Valentine and Peppa Pig! This Valentines Day we're celebrating with some fun Peppa Pig products including: Komar Kids’ Peppa Pig pajamas, an activity tin from Parragon, a copy of the “Peppa Pig and the I Love You Game” book, and some sweet treats!

Peppa Pig Products

Enjoy an "oinktastic" day with sweet treats like Peppa Pig Shortbread Cookies, Peppa Peeps, and even ring pops! The sweet Peppa Pig and the I Love You Game book tops with included Valentine activity tops off your little ones day! 

Peppa Pig Treats

Big cheesy smiles from a boy super excited about his Peppa Pig marshmallow treat!  Find these products and more at retailers such as Amazon.com, Target, and Barnes & Noble. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Struggling To Get A Silent Night?


Do you find yourself fighting to get even a few hours sleep each night. As a mom of five I feel your pain but better than that, I know the solution. I know how to make sure that when you finally get to sleep you’re not opening your eyes five minutes later. I know how to make sure you get the rest that means one night won’t age you five years. I bet you want to know my secrets to a silent night in a home with a fully family. Well, I’m happy to share!

Tire Them Out Before Bed

One of the problems these days is that kids often aren’t that tired at bedtime. They haven’t done enough through the day and instead of exercising, they’ve been watching TV or playing games online. You’ll usually find this is a problem with the older child, anywhere above the age of thirteen. So, you never get to sleep because you have to check in on them and make sure they are resting before a full day of school. The struggle is real! The solution is to make sure that they are tired before they go to bed. Kick them out of the house and get them to go play outside with their friends. Run them around the garden a few times or be creative. A marathon game of hide and seek certainly sucks all their energy away before it’s time for a snooze. Don’t forget you need to make sure you’re tired out too. So either join in or make sure you’re doing some exercise before you hit the hay.

Tech And Gear

You should really remove any tech and gear from your kid's room before you send them off to bed. I know what you’re thinking. How on earth do you manage to take all the tech away from four young boys? Start a routine and stick to it because the fact is that the laptop, tablet and phone all produce electromagnetic energy. This has been scientifically proven to disrupt sleeping patterns. You might want to think about that next time you’re looking at blogs in bed late at night.

The Tools For The Job

Of course, your kids are only going to get a good night of rest if the bed is comfy enough. If it isn’t, they are going to be tossing and turning all night. That’s going to mean you are kept awake with them, telling them to get to sleep. That’s why you need to make sure each little head in your home is resting on a down pillow. Choosing a down pillow will ensure that the bed is comfy, cosy and perfect for undisturbed slumber.

Bed Routine

Finally, in the early years, most parents find they struggle at bedtime because they don’t have a routine. Kids don’t know when they’re supposed to go to bed. So, if one night you keep them up late don’t be surprised if they want to do the same the next. You must stick to your routine in the evenings and only break it when absolutely necessary.