Family Guide for Dealing With the Current Situation

Since its outbreak in Wuhan, there have been more than 300.000 infected people and more than 13.000 deaths due to Covid-19, a coronavirus-caused illness. The virus has spread wider than Ebola in 2014. The World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic, and countries across the world are taking drastic measures to prevent its spread, including mandatory quarantine and state of emergency declarations. The most dangerous thing about this virus is that it’s spreading very quickly. That’s why health professionals are recommending to stay at home and prevent its spread.

However, social distancing and self-isolation are not very easy to maintain, especially for children and the elderly, the latter being the most endangered group. In these turbulent times, we need to know our priorities. For most people, the top priority is keeping your family safe, so here are a couple of pointers to help you handle this situation.

Talk to your children

Children have it the most difficult when it comes to staying at home and maintaining a social distance. Depending on their age, there are different ways to explain to them what this situation implies and how to deal with it. Here are some basic principles to follow:

Remember that children react to your tone and not just the words you’re saying, so remain calm and serious.
Answer all of their questions with patience.
Provide honest and accurate information.
Discuss the changes in their everyday life, and emphasize the importance of maintaining a routine now that they’re learning from home.
Insist on proper hygiene. For the little ones, turn it into a fun game.
Model healthy habits.
Ask them about their concerns.

Show support for the seniors in your family

People in their sixties and seventies, as well as people with chronic health conditions, are at the highest risk of getting seriously sick from the virus. The risk profile of the individual depends heavily on the lifestyle and the health condition, but in any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If your parents are at a delicate age, you need to talk to them about their safety. Convey your concerns to them and ask them that, for everyone’s safety, they remain isolated in their home. If they’re not taking your word for it, point them to credible articles that cover everything seniors need to know about coronavirus and respond to all of their questions.

During this time in isolation, make sure you’re always there for them emotionally. Talk via phone or, even better, video call. Also, make sure they have everything they need (food, toiletries, etc.).

Get your house in order

Since your family is going to spend a lot of time indoors, you need to be sure your home is the safest place to be. Here are some general tips that will help you:

Keep all surfaces disinfected.
Practice everyday preventive actions such as washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, as well as wearing masks and gloves when going outside.
Don’t share personal items.
If someone at home is sick, isolate them to a separate room.
Monitor your health and beware of the symptoms.
Stay at home as much as you can.
Keep a minimum 3ft distance from others when going outside.
Avoid gathering in public places.

How to make the most out of the #stayathome time (without going crazy)

The speed of the spreading of the virus is unmatched, and that’s why it’s advised to spend most of your time home. Naturally, this puts a certain kind of a strain on families, who are used to their daily routines that keep the kids busy. Here are some ways you can make the most out of this time, without going completely insane between four walls:

Constantly remind yourself and your family members that being indoors is for your own good.
Be physically active work out with YouTube videos, run up and down the stairs, dance, etc.
Play board games.
Stay informed about what’s going on in your area and about any new government regulations, but don’t follow the media obsessively.
Read books.
Come up with interesting games for kids and limit screen time.
Make events out of ordinary things. You can all prepare dinner together, for example, or make house cleaning and disinfection fun with music and competitions.
Catch up with people you love via video calls.

Final word

These are challenging times for all of us. The entire world is facing a danger we don’t fully understand yet. That’s why it’s crucial that each one of us takes responsibility for protecting ourselves and those around us. Remember, all of this will pass, so try to keep it together. Be safe!

The Ultimate Guide to Italian food with Porcini Mushroom’s and It’s Recipe

In the vastness of the culinary world of mushrooms that are edible, there’s only one that can be deemed as king – Porcini. Those mushrooms affectionately called porcini, that means piglets are the ruling class of mushrooms according to Italians. Porcini have a meat-like texture and have a nutty and earthy flavor. Are they specific to the Italian regions? Not quite. They can be found all over the world and are utilized in a variety of forms but using them as a dried mushroom is a common practice in Italy. While finding or trying to buy porcini mushrooms is easier in supermarkets, gathering wild porcini is still the preferred way of getting them. However, not everyone is trained in picking mushrooms from the wild. Fresh porcini mushroom is usually grilled or served with olive oil and parsley. Because of the richness of the mushroom, it is even considered as a poor man’s steak. They are even better than a grilled portobello. You can buy Italian porcini mushroom pasta’s online.

 

Why are Porcini Mushrooms so Popular?

 

The reason most mushrooms aren’t as popular as the porcini mushrooms are because porcini is grown in many different parts across the world, and thus, is common to many culinary traditions. They also have a distinct, powerful umami flavor, and it adds a sense of flavor and texture to the food. After drying these mushrooms, they can be stored away for ages and have become a pantry essential in most parts of the world.

 

A fun fact – porcini mushrooms may grow a large-cap up to 12 inches in diameter and may also have a sticky exterior. They can be found on the ground in forests near the trees of pine, chestnut, hemlock, and even spruce.

 

Italians use Porcini Mushrooms to:

 

  • Add in sauces
  • Add in soups or stews
  • Fry it with a coating of flour or without – to make appetizers
  • Use them as toppings for chicken, fish and steak
  • Use in pasta recipes usually stuffed ones – like conchiglioni and even risotto
  • If the upper caps are huge in size, they even grill it as if it were a piece of meat.
  • It is also canned in olive oil and preserved to be later grilled or fried. The olive oil brings out the earthy tones and flavor of the mushrooms.
  • They are even minced and then served on bread and bruschetta.
  • Mostly even used as a topping for pizza.

 

Here’s a simple recipe with porcini that is made the authentic Italian way

 

Ingredients

 

  • 4 Porcini Mushrooms (or half a package)
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two plum tomatoes for each mushroom
  • Thyme (or any herb of your choice)

 

Instructions

 

  • Firstly, warm the olive oil in a pan heating over medium heat.
  • Throw in the minced garlic and saute it for a couple of minutes along with the herbs of your choice.
  • While the garlic is cooking away, chop the porcini mushrooms along with the tomatoes.
  • Now, add the chopped mushrooms into the pan and cook for more than 5 minutes and until all water is released.
  • Add the tomato pieces and all their oozing juices and reduce the heat to a low simmer and leave it on for about 25 minutes.
  • Add some wine if the water level reduces drastically.
  • These porcini mushrooms are perfect for any meal or even to be served as an appetizer with any kind of bread.

 

What’s even more alluring is the fact that porcini mushrooms cooked this way can be poured over the bed of a perfectly boiled al dente pasta to make a porcini mushroom pasta treat. In this age and day, while still combating the deadly coronavirus, this recipe is so homely, yummy and hearty at the same time. Having this ensures a level of warmth that keeps one comfortable and fills up their appetite as well. This also the ideal sauce base for making the pasta that was bought from the authentically sourced Italian food stores online. At these sites, you can buy tagliatelle pasta and even buy bucatini pasta online.

 

Porcini pasta is best made also like a stuffed pasta meal with a conchiglioni, cheese-filled ravioli and even tortellini pasta filled with porcini mushrooms and cheese. They also work best with gluten-free pasta and make a strong broth and stew base as well. You may try amazing recipes like these for your friends and family.

Baby Carrying Guide Through Different Types of Carriers

As a parent, you tend to go out with your baby every now and then. Using a stroller is a good idea that increases mobility and gets you close to your baby. But have you ever considered a babywearing wrap?

 

If not, after reading this article, you’ll definitely consider having one. So, we help you choose one baby carrier that eventually proves to be very purposeful. After all, it’s about keeping the fader down the baby comfortable and maintaining the closeness they have from the beginning.

 

So, let’s start with the standard features that all the baby carriers have and then jump onto the differences between these types.

 

The Standard Features of all Baby Carriers

 

  • Most of the carriers, if worn comfortably, prove to be soothing for the parent and the baby. You have to practice reading every type with the help of another person.
  • Every carrier can be used until a certain age of the baby. After that limit, the baby is comfortable, and you might find it difficult to carry him all around. Maybe, a stroller is a better option after the baby reaches 45 pounds.
  • Any baby wrap that is made of fabric is more comfortable than any other type.
  • Not every baby carrier is of the same size, and you have to choose one according to your comfort.
  • You have to get used to the baby carrier, but you cannot have someone by your side every time. So, make sure you practice using it alone after a few tries.
  • Every baby carrier wrap has to be versatile in fitting everyone who uses it. For example, if you and your babysitter use the baby carrier, it should fit both of you perfectly.

 

The Differences Between Baby Carriers

 

After going through these common features, let’s find the differences between different types of baby carriers. Let’s go through these details and help you find one according to your requirements.

 

  • The first type of wrap, which was traditionally a simple piece of cloth wrapped around the body. The loose ends of the baby run over your shoulder, making a cozy, secure place for your baby. You can find different baby wraps in the market with different materials and styles. Take proper typing practice for a beginner. It is ideal for locations with heavy winters as it adds an extra layer of clothing.
  • Then comes the ring sling that is just a wrap with a ring to fasten one of the ends through it. It has almost the same features as the baby wrap.
  • Then comes the soft structured front carrier. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to carrying babies with a soft structured seed for them that you carry in the front. It is ideal for almost every situation.
  • Then you have the backpack carriers that are designed to wear like a bag at the back. These can be faster and around your waist and chest, and the baby is fully secure. Your body bears uniform weight distribution for more extended periods.

 

So, after going through all these types, you can choose the best baby wrap, backpack, or sling according to yourself. Make sure you think from the perspective of yourself and the baby.

5 Top Sleep Tips for New Parents

For nine months, parents are sleepless with excitement, but as soon as you welcome your new family member into your home, you discover that the many joys of parenting will inevitably be riddled with challenges – sleep deprivation included. However, too many parents take this at face value and simply embrace the fact that sleep will be scarce and that they won’t have a single moment to themselves until their offspring grows up a little bit.

Still, this is not entirely true. It definitely pays to reevaluate your attitude, to pick up a few handy tips from versed parents and to start adjusting your routine to make more room (and time) for proper rest. Now that you’re embracing your new roles, it’s time to introduce some self-care practices and prepare for the new, extraordinary chapter of your life, preferably while not gluing your eyelids to keep ‘em open. These tips should do the trick!

Nap while your baby sleeps

One key way in which parents can get more rest is to use the natural sleep cycle of their little ones. Whenever your baby falls asleep, you should pick up your favorite pillow, a blanket, and get some rest yourself. Tune out all distractions and make sure that you always have a comfortable place with no noise and chaos around you so that you can fall asleep more quickly and without any trouble. 

Ensure comfort for you and your partner

Too many of us are completely clueless about what kind of beds, mattresses, and bedding we should get, let alone the right positions for our spine and neck and how we should sleep to get the most of our downtime. The right choice can mean the difference between getting ample sleep and ending up restless during the night, so it pays to find out more about the right bedroom essential to get enough rest.

Start by choosing a mattress that will give your entire body enough support while also ensuring ample comfort to help you fall asleep faster without causing any pain. A hybrid mattress that blends the memory foam with steel coils, for example, which makes it a great option to ensure comfort and support.

Set up a schedule

You and your partner have decided to bring a baby into this world, and you’re in for one rewarding, yet bumpy ride. It’s vital that you share every single obligation when it comes to taking care of your little earthling since you’ll also be cherishing all the joyous moments together. A schedule for those shared responsibilities is a great way to set up a system that both of you can develop together and adjust according to your needs. 

For example, you and your partner can take turns getting up during the night for feeding your baby, whereas you can also switch when someone makes meals, takes care of the dishes, and handles nappies. Some parents easily communicate these chores, but just in case one of you feels overwhelmed, you should share your concerns and find a fair way to share chores.

Build a support system

Moms and dads everywhere: you’re not alone. Your friends and family members are also there for you, as they should be, and you can and should ask for help when you need to get some rest. There is no shame in letting your loved ones know that you’re exhausted, so they can jump in occasionally to take care of your little one while you get a few hours of sleep.

In case you don’t have a big family and none of your relatives are able to help, there are professionals whom you can hire. A sitter or a trained nurse can be of great help from time to time. 

Practice sleep-inducing rituals

It’s easy to think that you’ll fall immediately asleep as soon as you put your little angel down for the night. As many parents will attest to, this doesn’t always turn out to be true, because many parents are too tense or have many other chores to think of, so they end up revising their to-do lists for hours in bed instead of falling asleep. To help your body unwind and turn on that sleep mode in your mind, you can introduce relaxing rituals. 

For example, you can use scented candles with lavender to add this lovely, soothing fragrance to your bedroom. Also, you can prepare and sip on a cup of chamomile tea while you read a book to let go of all those daily worries. Some stretching and belly-breathing can also be of great help!

Parenthood is a time of revelation, beauty, and of course, ups and downs. Take downtime seriously, because you will have more energy to bond with your baby, you’ll reduce your risk of developing postpartum depression, and you’ll also preserve and deepen your connection with your partner. Hopefully, these tips will help you get your shuteye and rest more easily, and ultimately help you enjoy your new role for months to come. 

About the author

Mia Taylor is a 33 year old blogger who writes about beauty, fashion and travel. She had always been passionate about fashion and over time she had developed a style of her own.  Mia loves to mix and match and inspire girls with her advice about outfit and accessories. She loves telling a story about her travels, providing beauty tips with readers.

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4 Gifts That Will Get Your Kids Outside

It’s true that kids these days spend more time inside then they do in the great outdoors. Most children absolutely love spending time in nature and getting muddy, dirty, exploring and climbing trees, it’s just convincing them to step away from their screens and the comfort of their own bedrooms that proves to be a sticking point.

Getting kids outdoors gets them some fresh air, it sparks their imaginations, they can get some exercise and learn a lot about the world around them in the comfort and safety of their own backyards. It’s such a shame that most of our kids would prefer to stay indoors and watch TV!

Luckily, if your child has a birthday or a special occasion coming up – click here to discover the best toys for an 8 year old – you can easily treat them to an amazing gift, all whilst encouraging them to head outdoors. Looking for a little inspiration? Read on for 4 gifts that will get your kids outside.

Something sporty

If your child is into sports, then spoiling them with some simple sports equipment to use at home could tick all the boxes. A simple goal to get them practicing their football skills away from the pitch, a netball or basketball hoop, even some simple cones so they can dribble a football or dribble with a hockey ball and stick. The possibilities are endless, and no matter what their favorite sport is you’ll probably find something to suit! However, if your child is more of an indoorsy type, there are plenty of alternative options for them to enjoy here.

A fairy garden

You have a couple of options here, you can either purchase a pre-made kit from a toy shop or you can create your very own from scratch. Either option is simple. A fairy garden allows children to plant their own grass seed in a small planter and decorate the surface area with a fairy house, fairy, wishing well and other little accessories. It’s a cute way to spend an afternoon and your child can spend the subsequent weeks watering and tending to their fairy garden. Once the garden has grown, they can have even more fun playing with it!

A bubble machine

Kids and adults of all ages cannot resist the urge to blow and pop bubbles! They’re so much fun! A bubble machine is a simple, inexpensive yet entertaining gift that they can use all year round. Whether they’re chasing bubbles around the garden or seeing who can pop the most in 30 seconds!

A tent

Tents are another gift that just keeps on giving and they’re great for inducing imaginative play and getting the kids outdoors! From a battle fort to a princess castle, a camping trip to a mock home-style environment, your kids will have a blast outdoors in their very own play tent. There are lots of different options available, either a simple pop-up version will suffice, or you could go all out and purchase a real camping tent with lots of different rooms and compartments to play in! Your kids will have hours of fun!

5 Common Health Problems During Pregnancy (And What to Do About Them)

During pregnancy, your body undergoes several changes. Some of these changes can cause problems. Here are common health problems during pregnancy.

Do you have concerns about common health issues during pregnancy? Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience, but you need to be aware of certain health problems that might occur during the process.

Take a look at these 5 common health problems that you might have. Here’s how you can manage these issues.

1. Headaches Are Common Health Problems

You may experience headache pains during your first, second, or third trimester. These could be natural headaches that you may experience. 

Some of these are tension, cluster, and migraine headaches. You may experience dull aches, throbbing pains, or pains on both sides of your head.

These headaches may also occur at different stages of your pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms you may also experience from your headaches.

To alleviate this problem, you can try acupuncture, yoga, and meditation relaxation techniques. 

2. You May Have Abdominal Pains

At some point during your pregnancy, you may experience abdominal pains. This could be a sharp or stretching pain in your lower abdomen.

This could be a natural pain that occurs as your body undergoes significant changes during your pregnancy. Gas, bloating, and constipation could also be the cause of your abdominal pains.

To ease your discomfort, you need to avoid the consumption of unhealthy foods such as high-mercury seafood, undercooked or processed meat, high sodium foods, alcohol, and processed foods that may cause digestive problems. 

Focus on eating organic fruits and vegetables and taking pregnancy vitamins to ensure you’re getting an excellent variety of nutrients that can help you to achieve a safe and healthy pregnancy.

3. You May Get Varicose Veins

Do you have swollen or painful areas on your legs? Your pregnancy hormones are a common cause of varicose veins.

These veins will usually appear as bluish or swollen on your legs. If you have painful varicose veins, you need to avoid standing for long periods or crossing your legs at the ankles when you’re sitting.

To relieve this problem, you can perform light walking exercises and wear supportive stockings. You can also get in the habit of elevating your feet and legs at a level that’s higher than the rest of your body.

4. You Could Get Backaches

Since you’re carrying around extra weight from your pregnancy, you may experience backaches. Due to the increasing size of your uterus, it could also be difficult for you to walk or stand for long periods.

Try to avoid lifting heavy objects to reduce your backaches. It is also beneficial for you to sit in a chair with good back support.

You can also engage in light exercise routines that help to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. 

5. You May Have Sleeping Problems

You may have difficulty sleeping when you’re pregnant. Getting a body massage before you go to bed helps to relax your body and makes it easier for you to fall asleep.

You can also relax your body by reading a book or listening to music. 

Get the Best Solutions

If you’re experiencing these common health problems, make sure you tell your doctor. Whether you’re having problems during or after your pregnancy, you can get the treatment that’s suitable for your situation.

If you enjoyed reading this article you can visit our website for more information.

5 Ways to Reconnect with Your Partner after Giving Birth

Parents already know that bringing a child into this world comes from an entire universe of intimacy, closeness, and love. Yet, when the baby is born, the focus can shift entirely to this new little earthling in your home, and you might feel that your bond with your partner is getting strangely neglected, despite being strengthened by your new family member. It might sound like a paradox, but sometimes the very experience that brings you closer can tear your relationship apart, precisely because your bond consists of so much more than expanding your family. 

Your relationship is based on so many other commonalities, shared experiences, and of course, intimacy, hence the need to reignite that flame and invest time and effort to reconnect with your spouse now that you’ve become parents. Here are a few suggestions that can help you grow your bond even stronger.

Find a shared activity

Restoring your health, energy, and endurance starts with your nutrition and exercise. However, instead of treating it as yet another chore, you can shift your perspective and look at your workout routine as another opportunity to bond with your partner. 

In fact, couples exercising on a regular basis can use this time to boost each other’s confidence, provide moral support, and help each other get strong and healthy. At the same time, this simple practice can bring you closer together and improve your quality of life.

Work on your intimacy

Post-partum depression, body issues after giving birth, complications, and a slew of other issues are so common among new moms that it’s not so strange that many new parents find it difficult to enjoy their love-making in the first months of parenthood. It can be difficult to regain your confidence, but you’re not alone. Why not talk to your partner, share your desires and fears, and explore your options together?

Perhaps if you browse through a fun adult shop and find creative ways to explore your intimacy, you can rediscover your sensuality and your connection to your partner. Sometimes a flattering piece of lingerie can remind you of your own physicality and slowly restore your confidence. Dedicating time to your intimacy can be a powerful way to strengthen your bond and your confidence, too. 

Make time for dating

Yes, we know that you’ll feel tempted to spend your free time wrapped in a blanket, asleep, whenever a grandparent volunteers to take care of the little sleepless rascal but consider other options, too. For instance, you can set aside a monthly date for you and your partner to go out for a romantic dinner, enjoy a picnic in the park, go for an afternoon of walking in nature, or anything you love doing. 

Dating in marriage is not just advisable, it’s necessary for your romance to continue evolving as you accept new roles in life, including the one of being a parent. 

Talk to a professional

Too many couples believe that counseling is their last resort, whereas in fact, they should treat it as a valid option when they notice they have issues in communication. To prevent neglecting your marriage, communication problems, and to prevent the loss of intimacy, you can talk to a professional marriage counselor and face your issues head-on. 

Work on your shared responsibilities

Conflict is natural, especially when there’s a misunderstanding and you’re too tired and impatient, which happens to us all – because, let’s face it, we’re all human. When you have this new life to take care of in addition to your own, the responsibilities are constantly piling up, and if you find yourself struggling, it’s natural to feel tense and exhausted. 

That’s precisely why you need to work through this period with your partner so that you can share your responsibilities and all the little daily tasks, find the time to rest, and you’ll feel appreciated, loved, and cared for. When you can manage that, you can reduce conflict, and you can find more energy to bond and be emotionally generous to one another.

Now that you’re parents, the stakes are all the higher for you to work on your family, on your bond, and to find time in this learning curve to connect with one another. It means relying on your support system, asking for help, sharing your insecurities and fears, and finding patience within you to recognize opportunities instead of looking for excuses to postpone your time together. Use these tips to bond, and you’ll enjoy your partnership and parenthood all the more for it.

How to Unclog Your Drains Without Dangerous Chemicals

Sometimes it happens that our drains get clogged. The water drains slowly and it can sometimes have a bad smell. It leaves us with a number of problems like not being able to use the sinks, bath or toilet. This situation usually sends us running for a bottle of chemicals for unclogging the drain. It is one of the most common methods for cleaning the drains. But, it’s also one of the very dangerous ways of resolving this problem. These chemicals are caustic, meaning they can damage your skin and eyes, and they can damage certain types of pipes. But, there are many ways with which you can unclog the drains naturally, without using dangerous chemicals. Read on to find out what they are.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

These are the two simple ingredients you probably already have in your home, and that don’t cost much. They create a chemical reaction because the soda is the base and vinegar is an acid. When you mix them together, a chemical reaction happens that will bubble and eat through the clogs. To unclog the drain using this method pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain and ½ cup of vinegar after that. Plug the drain and leave it in for an hour. After the hour, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. Continue pouring water until the drain is unclogged.

Dish Soap and Hot Water

If you know your drain is clogged by grease, a good method is to use your regular dish soap and hot water to unclog it. To use this method, pour a good amount of dish soap down the drain. After this slowly pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. This should break up any grease clogs in your drain. This method should be done once a week to prevent clogs.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another method of unclogging your drains with ingredients you already have in your home is using hydrogen peroxide. It’s good for disinfecting and can be great for unclogging your drains. Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Let it foam and it should break up any clog in your drain.

Baking Soda and Salt

Another mixture for unclogging your drains that involves baking soda is adding salt to the mixture. Mix about half a cup of soda and half a cup of salt and pour it down the drain. It would be best to leave it overnight, or at least an hour. When the proper amount of time has passed, pour down a boiling pot of water and your drain should be cleared out.

Professional Help

If you have tried everything and your drain is still clogged, consider hiring professional plumbers that can solve your problem. Hiring plumbers that have all the right tools and don’t use harsh chemicals for unclogging blocked drains can be a lifesaver. They can solve your problem very quickly and efficiently. Not every clog is possible for a do-it-yourself unclogging, so save yourself the hassle and frustration. Another reason for hiring professionals is that having clogged drains increases the possibility for your pipes bursting and adding to the problem and whole cost of the operation.

Wire hanger

If the clog is persistent, it may be better to use a physical approach to the problem. Everyone has a wire hanger in their home, and it can be the perfect tool for unclogging the drains in your home. Take the wire hanger and straighten it as much as you can and then bend one ned to create a hook. Remove the drain cover and start fishing around. The hook of the hanger will catch hair and any big stuff that is clogging your drain. Try not to push the gunk further in. Have a bag to discard everything you pull out. When you are finished, run hot water and everything should be working nicely after.

Plunger

Plungers are one of the tools for unclogging drains and toilets that first come to mind. They are fairly simple to use, and you can do this very quickly. There are two types of plungers, one for the toilet and one for sinks. The toilet one is bigger and usually has a black cup. The plungers with shallow cups are for sinks and tubs. In order to use the plunger and for it to work, there should be water covering the drain. Place the plunger over the drain and push until it makes a vacuum seal over the drain. Grasp the handle and pump the plunger up and down quickly a couple of times. Pull it out and see if the drain has opened. If it’s necessary, repeat the process until the drain is opened.

If you have successfully unclogged your drains, there are steps you can take to prevent them from getting clogged up again. Swap out your normal sink stopper for a one that prevents any unwanted materials from going down the drain. Clean your drains regularly with baking soda and hot water. If you follow this advice, you won’t have any drain problems for a long time.

DIY: 6 Woodworking Tips & Tricks

Woodworking is one beautiful and incredibly engaging craft. Don’t believe us? Great pastime activities are the ones that provide you with good exercise and allow you to create something beautiful. Woodworking offers both these perks in abundance. If anything, mastering basic woodworking skills can help you keep your household in check without having to call the contractors for every menial chore.

Now, we know what you might be thinking – isn’t woodworking something that is primarily a boys’ game? We say, no – not at all. With enough hard work and a couple of tricks up their sleeve, everyone can achieve Ron Swanson-level of woodworking awesomeness. Well, we can’t help you with hard work, but here are a couple of useful tips and tricks that should put you in the right direction. 

Get your tools in order

Woodworking is an activity that heavily relies on various hand and power tools. If you want to ever make progress in this craft, you have to be sure your toolbox is not missing out on something important. So, let us take a look at some of the essential woodworking tools you absolutely need to own.

  • Level
  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Kreg jig
  • Sander
  • Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Chisels
  • Layout square
  • Screwdrivers
  • Sliding bevel

Avoid drywall screws at all costs

One would say that all the screws are pretty much the same. So, if you have a couple of drywall screws lying around, why wouldn’t you simply use them for your next woodworking project? Well, there is a difference. Namely, drywall screws are threaded full length. This means that while you are screwing two pieces of wood together the thread will grip the top part as well and that can force two pieces apart. Also, the hardened steel shafts of drywall screws tend to break during installation. So, definitely more damage than good.

Master the art of biscuit joints

Joints are keeping the pieces of wood together and provide your works with structural integrity. If you fail to learn to make good joints, everything you create will fall apart sooner than later. So, take some time to find out more about biscuit joints and do your best to master this technique. If you think you are out of your league, you can get yourself a biscuit joiner and start with easier projects like T-joints. When you cover these basics, you can move on to face frames and miter joints.

Know the moisture content of your wood pieces

If you ask any experienced woodworker what is the most common problem the craftsmen of this branch are having when working with wooden slabs, you’ll get one straight answer – moisture level. If, for instance, the pieces are too dry, the final product will easily crack. If too moist, the wooden pieces may shrink or warp as time goes by. So, be sure to thoroughly inspect all of the pieces before you start any work on them. One of the easiest ways to measure the wood moisture content is by using the professional Wagner moisture meters.

Understand different lumber species

The quality of your work will largely depend on the quality of the pieces you are going to use. Keeping that in mind, it is very important to be aware that, over your woodworking career, you are going to use a lot of different species ranging from cherry to mahogany, all of which present a unique set of perks and challenges. Take some time to learn all of their nuances. In the meantime, you can base your projects on pinewood which is reasonably durable, very affordable, easy to work with, and overall presents a great choice for beginners.

Find an easy way to check for right angles

In woodworking, squares are probably the only thing you are going to meet more often than joints. We know what you might be thinking now – tools like try square are pretty adept at checking if certain angles are right. To be quite honest, they are. But, what are you going to do when the pieces are simply too big for this neat piece of equipment? It’s simple, just remember the good old Pythagorean Theorem that says that a2 + b2 = c2. If the diagonal between the opposing corners lines up to this equation, the angle between two pieces has to be 90 degrees.

So there you go – six tips that will make your woodworking sessions easier, streamlined, faster and overall more fun. Woodworking is probably one of the most gratifying things you can do in your spare time. It also makes running a household so much easier. Why wouldn’t you push your skills on a new level and go one step further? Who knows, maybe this fun hobby one day even becomes your full-time job? There’s only one way to find out.

Keep Your Kids Healthy This Spring Season

With many bright and sunny days, spring is the perfect season for outdoor games and exploration. However, along with the days of extra fun for your kids, comes the higher risk of injuries, accidents, or diseases.

Here are a few essential tips on how to minimize those risks, and keep your kids healthy this spring season.

Use Sunscreen

Since your kids will be spending a lot of time outdoors, exposed to sun rays, you must take adequate measures of precaution.

The skin grows thicker as we age – the skin of the face, limbs, and trunk in kids aged two to 13 is significantly thinner than in adults and much more sensitive.

A study found that UV exposure during the first 18 years of our lives is the most critical when it comes to premature aging, skin damage, and skin cancer.

To minimize the risks of getting sunburns now, and severe skin damage later, your kids should be protected from UVA and UVB rays even during the cloudy days.

Make sure they have their sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going out. If your kids will stay longer outside, ensure they/you reapply it often.

Using protective hats and clothing during outdoor activities is also advised.

Watch Out for Allergies

When the springtime comes, everything blooms, including our allergies. Kids can have as severe allergies as adults and can develop them anytime.

The most common symptoms of allergies include itchy eyes, ears and throat, heavy breathing, repetitive sneezing, and a runny nose.

There are many ways to keep your kids healthy during allergy season. If they already have a history of allergic rhinitis, they must start taking their medications early, at the end of March, before their symptoms begin to develop.

However, if besides these symptoms, your kid has a fever too, it’s more likely they are affected by the virus than a seasonal allergy. To make your kids’ immune system stronger, as well as ready to fight flu and infections, consider natural children’s supplements so that you’re sure they have all essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed.

Beware of Ticks and Insect Bites

Ticks are another risk related to the spring season and spending more time outdoors. They begin to hatch as soon as the ground defrosts, and since they carry and transmit Lyme disease, their bites can be extremely dangerous to kids.

However, to transmit Lyme disease, a tick needs to be attached to the skin for more than 36 hours. To reduce the risk of developing the disease, check your children for ticks before they go to bed. Pay special attention to skin folds and the scalp, as ticks love dark and warm places.

If you find the tick attached to your kids’ skin, have it properly removed.

Bites and stings of other insects, such as spiders, bees, and wasps can be harmful too and require a medical action. Teach your kids to let you or other adults know if they’ve been stung by an insect immediately.

If there are any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness, or a tight feeling in the throat, seek medical help right away.

It’s also essential to remove the stinger from the skin as quickly as possible and wash the area with soap and water.

Also, teach your kids how to minimize the risk of getting bitten or stung when they’re outdoors.

Develop Healthy Habits

You should make it your goal to use this spring season wisely, and bring more healthy habits into the life of your kids, and your whole family.

Your kids will best learn by your example, so consider focusing more on:

  • Healthy food. Spring is a perfect season to enrich your meals with fruits, veggies, and grain. Try to be more creative and include them in your cuisine the fun way, and teach your kids to like them. The health of your kids and their development largely depends on their nutrition, so try to cut down on the processed food.
  • Your kids need to take enough water whole year-round, but it’s harder to stay adequately hydrated during spring and summer. Teach your kids to always have their water bottles with them. Also, remind them to replenish themselves often.
  • Active lifestyle. Use the happy spring days to walk with your kids around the park, go jogging, hiking, or cycling. If they see how much you value physical activity, they’ll think highly of it too, so they’ll find it reasonable to engage in sports and lead a healthier lifestyle later on. However, to minimize the risks of getting injured, make sure your kids always have the proper gear.

Washing Up

Kids will be kids, and when they’re back home from the outside, they’ll be dirty.

However, while it’s almost impossible to change this fact, you can do a lot for their health by enforcing a good washing-up policy.

Teach your kids to wash their hands when they’re back from the outside, as well as not to consume food, touch their face, nose, or mouth with dirty hands.

By using the tips above, your kids will be protected this spring. However, if they acquire healthy habits, they will be in good health for many years to come.

Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both

thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.