Six Helpful House Painting Tips

I’m sure if you are reading this, you must be planning to paint the house. As exciting as it sounds, the process can be exhausting if you are unsure about how you would want to paint your place. While you always have the option of hiring a professional painter, many people want to take up the charge themselves. And so, if you too have decided to get into the shoes of a painter, this blog will help you with certain house painting tips that are going to make your task easy.

Tips for a successful house painting job:

1. Planning is important

Before you start any project, you have to be sure what exactly are you expecting from it. If you have a planned approach, you will be able to complete the task on time and without exhausting yourself. The first thing you need to consider is deciding whether you want to start painting the entire house or start small.

2. Choosing the right colour option

The step after you have planned your house painting project is to choose the right colour option. There are umpteen colour choices, but when it comes to choosing the colour for your room, you have to narrow down your options to the ones that will complement the furniture and furnishings. Make sure that you choose the colour aptly. Darker shades suit bigger rooms, but you need to make good lighting arrangements to make your place look warm. On the contrary, smaller, neutral and warm shades like beige and grey would look better in smaller rooms.

3. Invest in good painting accessories

When you are all set with the painting project, your next move should be to choose the right tools. Remember, appropriate and good quality tools ensure quality work, and you will get the best results. Some of the common painting tools you would need are a paint bucket, paint brushes, rollers, and sandpaper. If you wish to create some graphics, you can choose stencils to give the desired look to the walls.

4. Preparing the walls

Once you have all the necessary tools and paint, you are all set to start with the painting project. For this, you need to prepare the wall. Start with the wall inspection. Make sure you repair all the stains and cracks on the wall and celining. Pick up painter’s tape and seal the corners and edges of windows and doors. Remove lights and other accessories, cover them up with tape to prevent paint from dripping on them.

5. Start the work

Now, you are all set to apply the paint, but you need to mix the paint before that. Open the paint box and stir the paint with a wooden stick. This is done to create an even consistency. If you are using a roller brush, start painting in W shape. This gives you ample coverage. Avoid spending on pesky rollers that will make your task difficult and hamper the quality of work.

6. Be patient

Lastly, we want to say that patience is a virtue. If you are picking up a house painting project, you have to give the required time to complete it. Allow the paint coats to dry well, or else you may end up having patchy walls.

Concluding thoughts

Remember, painting a house is an art that only emerges well when you put in the right efforts and choose the right colours. We have discussed basic house painting tips that are going to give you the best results. So, what are you waiting for? Grab the brushes and start paintings!

 

The Best Advice for New Moms: 9 Things You Need for Your New Baby

When you are pregnant, there’s plenty of advice for new moms out there. Also, friends and family members are willing to give it for free.

This is great; however, at times, it can be overwhelming, too. While some of the advice is helpful, some of it isn’t. Also, some things are often left out.

When you bring your new baby home, you want to ensure you are fully prepared. While you may have a good idea of the basic items you need, you may still miss out on one or two.

Keep reading to learn about must-have items for every new mom and baby.

1. Sinus Clearing Device

More commonly called a “snot sucker,” this is a product that you will want to have on hand. Most hospitals will send you home with a sterile bulb to help you clear your nose.

While this is true, you have likely heard that these aren’t the most effective tools. There are other options out there that work better and are easier to use. It’s a good idea to pick up one of these before the baby comes home.

2. A Travel System

Most people will tell you that you need a car seat and stroller, and that is true. However, a better option is a travel system.

The stroller is necessary to move your baby from one point to another. However, a travel system will help you get a lot more mileage.

For example, what happens if you are driving around town with your baby in the backseat. You are ready to go to your next errand, but your little one has fallen asleep.

Rather than waking up your baby, a travel system will let you slide the car seat out of the base and snap it in the stroller quickly. This keeps you from having to wake up your slumbering baby and ensures you can get your errands done.

3. Portable Breast Pump

When it comes to breast pumps, you have a lot of options. One is deciding between a manual vs electric breast pump.

While this is an important decision, there is something else you have to consider. How will you pump on the go?

Chances are you won’t always be at home when you need to pump. In this situation, having a portable breast pump can be a lifesaver.

4. Baby Carrier

You will find countless baby wraps and carriers to choose from. However, finding one that adjusts from the newborn stage and up will help minimize having to purchase new products as your baby grows.

In most cases, once you learn how to use the wrap or carrier, they are a must-have anytime you go anywhere.

5. Diaper Bag and Purse Combo

You should find a way to consolidate your baby’s gear with the items you need. You can find stylish and all-purpose diaper bags.

Even better, some options don’t have the horrible polka dots and paisley flowers. Search for a bag that offers a washable material and that you can attach to your stroller. You may even find options with a built-in changing pad.

6. Sleep Swaddles

Swaddling your baby is a must. It is one of the most effective ways to calm your newborn and help them sleep.

Today, you don’t have to learn the swaddle technique (though it won’t hurt to do this). You can purchase pre-made swaddles that will help make this process simple.

Even better, they come in a huge selection of colors and patterns. In a pinch, you can substitute this for a burp cloth, too.

7. High Chair

When your baby starts eating real food, things are going to get messy. Because of this, you want to avoid getting a high chair that is hard to clean.

While choosing one with plush fabrics may seem like a good idea, this isn’t the case when it comes to cleaning it.

Instead, find one that comes apart and that you can clean quickly and easily. This is going to help make your life much less stressful with a new baby at home.

8. Teething Toys

When your baby starts teething, the pain will be a lot for them to handle. That’s why you need to have plenty of teething toys on hand.

Be sure to find options that are natural and that don’t include any toxic materials. Having teething toys you can freeze is great, too, as this will help alleviate your baby’s pain.

9. Nursing Gear

If you are nursing your baby, make sure you are prepared, too. There are plenty of products available today that will ease the pain from things like clogged milk ducts.

Take some time to ask other moms about their favorite products, which will help you stock up on what you need.

The Best Advice for New Moms

When it comes to advice for new moms, there is a lot of information out there. However, when it comes to the items you need, knowing for sure can be helpful.

Getting the products above will help ensure you and your new baby are happy and comfortable once you go home. Keep this in mind to minimize stressful days and nights with your newborn.

Are you a mom who is looking for more helpful advice and resources from other moms? If so, be sure to check out some of the other blogs on our site. We post information on an array of topics, including parenting, recipes, crafts, and more.

The Undeniable Benefits of Dance Lessons for Your Children

Are you thinking about enrolling your child in dance lessons? If so, it’s a good idea! Most children inherently love to dance—even if they don’t go on to do it professionally.

Chances are, you’ve seen babies bobbing their heads and moving their hips from side to side when they hear their favorite song. With that said, read the tips below to learn the multiple benefits of dance lessons for kids.

Physical Activity

It’s important to keep children active and moving. While most kids have a lot of energy, in today’s world children spend a lot more time on their electronic devices than outside playing. Dancing is a fun way to get your children moving without making them feel like they have to be on a strict fitness regimen.

It gets their bodies moving in a fun, safe environment!

Build Self-Confidence

Healthy self-confidence is key to growth and development. When your child learns a new dance step or master’s a dance routine, it shows them that they can do anything.

Even something as simple as mastering a dance step can significantly boost the way your child feels about themselves. But what’s better is that they get to do it in a fun way.

Helps Them to Adapt to a Social Environment

Most dance classes are filled with other children. By allowing your child to engage in dance lessons, it puts them in a situation to flourish socially. They’ll learn how to get along and coordinate with others.

Not only that, but it helps to pull them out of their shell. They’ll be forced to learn and even fail in front of others. But through this, they’ll gain a stronger awareness of themselves and make friends.

Discipline

Dance lessons aren’t always about becoming a better dancer, but it’s also about teaching kids discipline. As a dancer, you have to learn how to follow instructions and be a good listener. If this is an area where your child struggles, enrolling them in dance lessons is a great way to teach them discipline in a non-conventional way.

Better Growth and Development

When kids dance, it helps them to get regular exercise, and it promotes movement within their bodies. As your child grows, it’s important for them to strengthen their muscles and bones. Dancing is a fantastic way to promote a healthy lifestyle and enhance natural body growth.

If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in dance lessons, check out sanelijodance.com.

The Advantages of Dance Lessons for Children

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to enrolling your child in dance lessons. Doing so provides them with so many opportunities for growth. It doesn’t have to be about starting a life path as a professional dancer, it could just be for fun as well.

To read more content like this, consider browsing more of our website and coming back to visit us more often.

 

3 Important Reasons Why Getting Proper Sleep Matters for Women

Not getting enough sleep at night has universal detrimental effects on people. In addition to daytime fatigue and impaired mental performance, sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, exacerbates symptoms of anxiety or depression, and increases one’s risk for serious health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

For a lot of women, though, sleeping poorly is unavoidable. Hormones play a huge part in why this is—specifically, the hormones that govern a woman’s menstrual cycle can cause changes in sleep patterns or increase the likelihood of developing sleep orders such as insomnia. In fact, studies show that women are 40% more likely to develop it than men. Other barriers to getting proper sleep include stress, mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, physical disorders such as sleep apnea or urinary problems, or lifestyle-related factors such as working too hard.

It’s therefore important to know what the consequences of not getting the rest you need at night are so that you can take the necessary steps to attenuate the factors that prevent you from getting proper sleep. Here are some of them:

Poor Sleep Can Lead to Unhealthy Weight Gain

When your body is deprived of sleep, its regulation of ghrelin and leptin—hormones that regulate hunger and the feeling of fullness, respectively—is affected. This signals to the body that it needs to consume more calories. The problem is that the comfort foods that most people tend to reach for when they’re hungry are also usually high in sugar, sodium, and fat. Add the fact that the person’s metabolism also slows down when they’re short on sleep, and the result is unwanted weight gain. If you feel that temporary lack of sleep is putting your body’s hormone balance out of whack, it would be best to pay close attention to what you eat and drink in the meantime. If possible, stick to healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, or sugar-free granola and avoid foods that are rich in salt and saturated fats. You may also want to switch regular sugar out for zero-calorie sweetener if you’re the type of person who can’t drink their coffee or tea black.

Poor Sleep Can Affect Your Cognition and Concentration

Numerous studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to diminished alertness, impaired judgment, decreased levels of concentration, and reduced cognition. Since this can essentially lower a person’s level of focus and attention, their ability to accomplish tasks that require mental action and reasoning is also affected. And in an era when women are experiencing longer working hours, this can have a tremendous impact on their capacity to perform optimally. This can even increase a woman’s risk of injury to herself and to others, especially for individuals who work in hazardous environments or professions.

It is thus very important to get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Consider taking the necessary steps to develop proper sleep hygiene, which usually calls for developing bedtime routines that prep your body to sleep. These can include taking a warm and comforting bath before bedtime, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. You can also buy comfortable womens sleepwear that can make falling asleep easier.

Poor Sleep Changes Your Appearance

Yes, beauty sleep really is a thing. Numerous studies have shown that getting too little sleep can result in drastic changes to your appearance—and dark circles around the eyes are only the tip of the iceberg.

In addition to replenishing energy, sleep is when your body regenerates itself, eliminating dead blood and skin cells and replacing them with the healthy ones that give you that telltale youthful glow. Sleep also lowers the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which is the main culprit of free-radical damage to the skin and other systems. Finally, sleep is when your body produces the most collagen, which helps keep your skin plump and bouncy, thus keeping sagging and wrinkles at bay.

So what are the changes that you can expect if you don’t sleep enough at night? Dark circles are a given, which can give you a tired, haunted look. Sleep deprivation can also lead to imbalances in the skin, causing it to become dehydrated and sallow-looking. It can also exacerbate certain skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. Over time, you’ll find that making a habit of sleeping poorly will have irreversible effects. Age lines will start to form around your eyes and mouth much earlier than expected, and you may notice blemishes and other forms of discoloration more.

If the occasional late night can’t be avoided, you can still easily correct or prevent any drastic changes to your skin by giving it a hydration boost. Make an effort to drink plenty of water if you’re going to be staying up. You can also try cutting down on your caffeine intake if it’s a work-related all-nighter, or stopping early if it’s one that involves going out with your friends. It’s also a good idea to keep to your usual skincare routine and make sure that your skin is well-moisturized to keep the effects of sleep deprivation from wreaking havoc on it.

Sleeplessness is unavoidable sometimes. Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can do to keep it under control. Consider keeping to a nightly routine that gets you in bed at a consistent time, wearing more comfortable clothes, optimizing your sleeping position, or taking melatonin supplements that can help you drift off to dreamland much faster. And for those nights when you absolutely need to pull that all-nighter? Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself adequately by drinking plenty of water and staying away from junk food.

Five Ways to Boost Your Child’s Gut Health

One of the most important things you can do for your kids is setting them up for life by providing a proper digestive system foundation. The microbiome is the collection of bacteria that lives on and around the human body. There are at least as many bacteria in the gut as there are cells in the body. Those bacteria are essential because they set the body’s immune system, especially when babies are first exposed to the bacteria. Some of the ways to maintain gut health in your children include:

1. Having a normal, healthy vaginal birth

The children born more naturally tend more gut bacteria than the ones born via C-section. However, the way babies are born and its influence on their later health is uncertain: One of the reasons may be that they are exposed to bacteria that colonize their gut at birth. Babies born vaginally pick up helpful gut bacteria from their mothers during the birth process. Conversely, babies born through cesarean pick up organisms from the environment: Meaning that they are much more likely to carry bacteria that are potentially harmful and resistant to antibiotics.

Before birth, the fetus is enclosed by amniotic membranes that physically separate it from the uterus cavity and preserve a sterile environment. The first exposure to bacteria starts with rupture of membranes that, in most cases, happens a few hours or even less before birth. It releases the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus and facilitates access to bacteria that ascend from the vaginal mucosa into the uterus cavity.

2. Breastfeed your baby

Following delivery, the close contact between mother and child facilitates the bacteria colonizing maternal skin. When the neonate starts suckling at the mother’s breasts, their interaction with bacteria intensifies. Regular breastfeeding maintains the transfer and ingestion of resident bacteria. Bacteria found in breast milk such as Streptococci and Staphylococci represent known constituents of the skin microbiota. Breast-feeding undoubtedly exerts a significant influence on the establishment of the enteric microbiota, but this may not primarily be due to its role as a source for new bacterial species but rather its vital prebiotic and nutritional influence.

3. Diet is key

Diet may be considered as the primary factor influencing gut microbiota composition and functionality. Fermented foods are rich in live bacteria that function as natural probiotics—a food-based way to replenish your microbiome’s healthy bacteria. A depleted microbiome leads to weight gain, whereas fermented foods help keep our microbiome balanced and healthy. When your kids stop eating them, their microbiome takes a hit—and weight gain results. Natural probiotics, which replenish your microbiome with more beneficial bacteria, include:

• Fermented vegetables, such as kimchee and sauerkraut

• Fermented dairy products, such as kefir and yogurt made from sheep’s or goat’s milk and avoid the commercial products that are heavily sweetened and have added sugars and fruits
Natural prebiotics, which nourishes the healthy bacteria already in your microbiome:

• Cinnamon, which balances blood sugar and, therefore, insulin, helping to prevent insulin resistance and thereby causing your body to burn fat rather than store it,

• Turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory that helps heal the gut, support the microbiome, and promote good brain function.
Other food sources include asparagus, carrots, jicama, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, onions, radishes, tomatoes.

4. Create a healthy lifestyle

If your child’s health is optimal, then they will not have gut problems. Ensure your kids are staying hydrated by drinking enough fluids throughout the day. To make them drink water more, you could try giving them fruit-infused water, which has an enhanced taste. Moreover, your children need to stay active because it stimulates the digestive system and helps in the waste excretion process. Therefore, please encourage them to go outside to play with other children or take them on runs with you. Do not keep over-sanitizing your kids; it does more harm than good. Exposure to germs can help boost their immune system.

5. Do not forget to include probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotic bacteria are viable microorganisms that exert a health-promoting effect on the host organism. The administration of probiotic bacteria, the nutritional supplementation with substances that foster beneficial bacteria known as prebiotics has become a therapeutic strategy. An excellent probiotic contains:

• Many diverse species

• At least these three types of Lactobacillus: acidophilus, rameneses, planataris

• Different types of Bifidobacteria

• As a bonus, Acidophilus reuterii

• Between 50 billion and 200 billion bacteria—the more, the better.

It is advisable to always purchase probiotic and prebiotic supplements with the help of a board-certified pediatric gut health professional to help your child grow into a healthy adult.

 

4 Fun and Eco-Friendly Activities for the Kids this Summer

The best way to teach kids about sustainability is to instill them with a deep reverence for nature. If your kids are already nature babies and love the great outdoors, that is fabulous! There are ways you can incorporate earth-saving lessons when they are playing in the woods or picking wildflowers.  Helping your kids stay mindful of the environment throughout every step of their lives will ensure they maintain a healthy respect for the earth. Here are a few fun and eco-friendly activities to do with kids this summer that ingrains valuable teachings about caring for the environment.

Nature Walks: Pack a picnic lunch and take the kiddies for a walk in nature. While you and the littles are packing delicious treats for the trail, share information with your kids about sustainable ways to pack a picnic. Show them how to reduce waste by substituting plastics for reusable glass containers, and replacing one-use water bottles with reusable ones. Pack a nature guide book in the picnic basket too.  Then play a game of “eye spy” while on your nature walk and use the nature guide to look up the different kinds of birds, trees, and flowers your kids are spying on. The idea here is to fully involve children with every step of being aware, being kind, and honoring nature.

Road Trips: Now more than ever there are a growing number of eco-friendly destinations that are practicing mindful sustainability and also great summer spots for the whole family. Wherever you decide to go, you can teach your kids how to travel sustainably every step of the trip. For example, educate them about shopping and eating at local farmers’ markets and farm-to-table restaurants and how this reduces the energy required to ship and refrigerate foods which leads to a lower carbon footprint. Consider renting or buying an electric car with an EV charger for your family road trip and explain how these vehicles reduce emissions that damage the environment. There are endless ways to demonstrate how your kids (and you) can stay mindful about sustainability in every aspect of summer fun.

Gardening: Hands down, perhaps one of the most beautiful ways to illustrate the cycle of life in nature to kids is growing a garden with them. This activity has loads of benefits and rewards for you and your family.  Most obviously, you can practice sustainability by growing your own produce instead of buying it from the grocery store. You can take this activity with the kids a step forward and teach them how to honor nature by practicing green gardening techniques. For example, explain how pesticides are harmful to the earth and show them how to use alternatives for reducing pesky bugs and invasive weeds. Explain how planting native plants are more sustainable than exotic (non-local) options. You can also involve them in water-saving practices like irrigation or using rain barrels to promote sustainability. You can even encourage the kids to help plant a butterfly garden and explain the powerful role butterflies play in the ecology of our planet.

Repurposing for Nature: Another great activity to involve the kids in is building habitats for nature’s creatures from reclaimed materials. Make an event out of this by taking the kiddies along to rummage yards and pick through viable materials that can be repurposed for this activity. Once your home with your junkyard treasures, brainstorm what kind of homes you can build. The options are endless, from birdhouses to bat boxes.  You can even introduce your kids to the globe-saving art of beekeeping by building a beehive from reclaimed materials. This activity can open your kid’s eyes about how the important function bees play in pollinating plants so they can produce fruits, flowers, and veggies. Additionally, the act of upcycling and repurposing materials is an effective lesson on sustainability.

Whatever you plan to do with the kids this summer, there is always an occasion to share valuable observations with your kids about sustainability and caring for mother nature. The more our children learn that our earth’s resources are finite and should be nurtured, the better our odds are for preserving the planet. Involving kids with eco-friendly summer activities is a fun way to instill valuable lessons of conservation. Doing so will make this world a better place for their kids, your grandkids, and generations to come.

 

10 Easy Craft Ideas Using Recycled Materials Around the House

Waste paper and plastic from old books, jars, magazines, and cardboards are undoubtedly the most common waste lying around in a typical household. This explains why approximately 8 million tons of plastic weight find their way into the oceans, posing a great danger to marine wildlife. While these are common trash that your home trash provider collects occasionally, you can upcycle these items into valuable items with little imagination. Below are some of the easiest craft ideas you can make from recycled materials.

 

Plastic Water Bottles

If you have several plastic water bottles, you can recycle them in many ways. For starters, you can reduce the number of plastic water bottles in your home by using a water filter and carrying reusable bottles while on the go. Nonetheless, you can recycle these bottles by using them as planters, creating a water bottle fish craft, plastic bottle cups for keeping home or office supplies, storage containers, and watering cans, among other ideas. The main idea is to ensure that your plastic bottles end up in the recycle bin instead of contributing to the global single-use plastic waste problem.

 

Plastic Bags

Just like plastic water bottles, you should minimize the use of plastic bags when possible. However, if you can’t avoid this, you can recycle plastic bags using various craft ideas, including using them to wrap fragile items, painting projects, and lining your wastebaskets. You can as well leverage these plastic bag craft ideas to minimize wastage.

 

Aluminum Foil

There are several craft ideas that you can create with aluminum foils.  For example, you can create a reflector, utensil sharpener, jewelry cleaner, or dryer ball. Fortunately, creating these items isn’t easy and only requires basic tools. Always make sure that the foil is free from food debris before recycling.

 

CDs and DVDs

Digital migration rendered CDs and DVDs useless. However, this doesn’t mean that you discard them. Instead, try the following creative ways of ensuring that these items don’t crowd the landfill.

  • Create a scarecrow with CDs – they reflect light scaring birds away during the day.
  • Take them to your local crafts center, where they can be used to make the bases of gift bags and drop spindles.
  • Design a collage using reflective CDs for your ceiling or walls
  • Use VHS tape to bind gardening posts instead of using plastic ropes

 

Wine Corks

Wine lovers may find themselves with a large collection of wine corks. If you are in this fold, don’t dispose of them. Instead, try the following creative ideas;

  • Create amazing wall art
  • Use them to construct board trivets
  • Create fridge decorations using cork magnets
  • Use them as corks for homemade oil or sauce bottles.

 

Egg Cartons

You can create endless items from egg cartons. However, an easier one is the diorama-Esque ocean craft idea, which can be made using various craft materials, including gems, foam, paper, markers, and paint. You can create a fish, coral, and any other sea creature. You can make this seemingly real by sticking rocks, shells, pebbles, and sea glass from the beach using hot glue.

 

Candle Jars

You can also repurpose your candle jar into various items, including storage containers in your desk or a pantry closet. Ensure that you clean the jar thoroughly before repurposing it. Easy craft ideas with this jar include housing nuts, snacks, rubber bands, and other home/office supplies.

 

Wind Chimes

Interestingly, wind chime tops the list of adult DIY recycling projects search results. While there are several ways of making a wind chime, an easier option is using old keys, paint, and a medium-sized tree branch that can handle the weight of the chime. With your kid’s help, paint the tree branch and the keys using different colors, then tie a string to each key and hang it on the branch. Since the keys hang from the branch, you will need a long twine to attach the branch into your patio or any other place you would like to position the wind chime.

 

Plant Pots

You can convert your large food or beverage containers into brightly colored plant pots using glue and simple paper scraps. These pots are perfect for indoor plants or gift ideas.

 

Toilet Roll Bird Feeder

A bird feeder is an exciting idea, especially for kids. While there are many ways of doing this, you can recycle your toilet paper to make a bird feeder. This simple idea involves covering the already used toilet paper in peanut butter and hanging them somewhere outside for the birds to see. You’ll be delighted to see birds flocking to have a taste.

 

Final Thoughts

Working on these craft ideas with your kids is the best way to teach them the importance of recycling. Unfortunately, you cannot recycle everything around your home. Therefore, contact expert home trash service providers to clear items that cannot be recycled.

 

Choosing a Neighborhood That Fits Your Family Best

If you’re thinking of moving your family anywhere outside of your comfort zone, it can be an exciting adventure. The problem lies in picking a safe place where you can settle down because unless you live somewhere, you don’t really know what it’s like. For this reason, most people stay within their known areas or the places that someone they know and trust is familiar with. But even if you know the surrounding area, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know individual neighborhoods. What this all means is: If you’re looking to move, you have some research to do.

 

Of course, you could always rent a house in a neighborhood you’re considering, but renting usually commits you to a year at a time, and that’s a long time to stay in a place that doesn’t fit your family.

 

Do Some Preliminary Research Before You Decide

 

The first thing you want to do before thinking about moving to a new area is research the place online and talk to people who actually live there. Gathering viewpoints and opinions about what the neighborhood is like day to day will go a long way in helping you make the right decision for your family. Be sure to ask about the schools in the area, even if you don’t have school-aged children, because if the schools have favorable marks, chances are the place is family-friendly.

 

Check to see how strong the internet connection is in the area, where the water comes from, and the demographics of your possible neighborhoods. It’s also a good idea to see if the locale uses Nextdoor because there’s a Nextdoor racial profiling prevention program in the app that will ensure your safety and comfort with your potential new neighbors.

 

Talk to a Real Estate Agent or Two

 

Besides the people who live in and around the neighborhood you’re considering, the next best person to tell you about an area is a local real estate agent. Keep in mind, they have a vested interest in putting a positive spin on any areas they have active listings, but they also have their finger on the pulse of neighborhoods. They can give you information to help you choose which setting would fit you and your family best, giving you a good jumping point to start your research.

 

Be sure to use the information you learn from them as a start and back up that intel with other opinions and independent research you complete online and in person.

 

Chat With Others Who Know

 

The best way to get the real scoop on a place to live is to talk to the people who live there now or who have recently lived there. You might know someone who lived in the neighborhood 20 years ago, but a lot can happen in that time, and the landscape is likely completely different than it used to be. So, make sure the information you gather is recent and relevant to what you want in a home and the surrounding neighbors.

 

Visit the Area During Different Times

 

Once you narrow down your choices, it’s a good idea to visit the neighborhoods at different times of the day. Try first thing in the morning, mid-day, dinner time, and the evening to get a feel for the area. In addition, visit the neighborhoods on a weekday and a weekend day to observe the activity and vibe you get from the different places. 

 

Gathering all your intel ahead of time will give you a better sense of where the best fit is for you and your family.

10 Travel Mistakes To Avoid During/Post Coronavirus Outbreak

The Coronavirus outbreak not only shut down businesses and industries but also changed how we relate and behave around each other. Many countries banned traveling, while others declared total lockdowns. As economies try to reopen and ease lockdowns, most countries only allow domestic flights and road trips while a few counties are open for international visits.

 

The reopening of the travel industry comes with various changes to monitor the spread of the virus. As a traveler, you need to protect yourself against infection while on your trip. You also need to take various precautions to ensure that your trip goes smoothly for you, other travelers, and the locals.

 

These are ten mistakes you must avoid when traveling during and after this coronavirus outbreak.

 

1. Packing Too Much

How much stuff do you need for the trip? It is tempting to carry as many items as you can for your vacation. You do not want to leave behind your digital camera to catch up with the most critical moments. Will you need your laptop? For gaming or work-related communication?

 

The items you will need on vacation might not be as many as you anticipate to pack. Only carry the things that you will earnestly need during the adventure. More items in your travel suitcase can only increase the weight you are traveling with. You may incur extra fees at the airport. Bulky bags also make it hard to maneuver around in the crowds.

 

2. Anticipating Too much

https://pixabay.com/photos/checklist-goals-box-notebook-pen-2589418/

Do you know how best you can ruin your adventure? Anticipating what you cannot achieve. Creating an itinerary will help you budget appropriately for the trip and set apart enough time. Also, The stress of travelling can be helped by some great products from madvapes. However, you should learn to be flexible, as being rigid can be a disappointment.

 

During the COVID-19 outbreak, many attractions remain closed while some open with strict rules. The rule of keeping a social distance between other people in a park means only a few people can be allowed to participate in an event simultaneously. Having alternative activities will help you to find something to keep you engaged when one activity fails.

 

 

3. Ignoring Your Call Tariff

Traveling abroad means that you would want to make international calls back home. Calling or texting with your SIM card abroad will attract extra charges. The same applies to data rates. Some mobile carriers even charge you to receive calls when roaming abroad with your SIM card.

 

Considering the high rates that come with roaming, you may want to opt for an international tariff before you leave your country. If your mobile operator does not provide a global tariff, ask if you can use a bundled subscription when traveling. That can reduce the rates of calling, texting, and using the internet abroad. However, you can as well buy a local SIM card after arriving at your destination and use WiFi only to access the internet.

 

4. Forgetting to Carry Local Currency Bills

https://pixabay.com/photos/money-card-business-pocket-visa-256281/

After arriving at the airport, you will need a cab to take you to your hotel. You will also buy a few things along the way or after lodging. While you can pay with your credit card at your hotel, many road-side vendors and cab operators only take cash in many countries. You will, therefore, need to carry some cash with you.

 

Cash, in this context, does not mean your Dollar or Euro bills. That will be the local currency because only a few countries recognize international banknotes and use them. Immediately you arrive at the airport; you should convert your bills to the local currency that you will spend in a few emergency cases when you cannot pay by credit card.

 

5. Ignoring Personal Supplies and PPE

During the spread of COVID-19, you need to protect yourself and your family. When traveling by road, you should consider using your car or hire one. Protective gear will help you while on the trip everywhere you go. Local roof rack stores should help you get the right gear to increase your car’s carriage while traveling with your family.

6. Forgetting to Inform Your Credit Card Provider

Many card providers expect you to be transacting locally or using the card to pay online. Online payments must also be made from a computer within your state or country. When planning a trip, you will want to use your card to purchase and pay for services abroad.

 

Before leaving, inform your bank or card provider so that they can allow transactions on your card when you are traveling. If you forget to inform your bank, you will be unable to transact, and you will get stranded in a foreign land.

 

7. Ignoring Your Passport Expiry Date

You need a valid passport to travel abroad. The expiry date on your passport is essential. While you can safely travel in many countries and come back a few days before your passport expires, it will not work everywhere. In some countries, like China, Thailand, and Ecuador, you need a passport with a validity of more than six months before you can visit.

 

It is essential to check your passport early to avoid inconveniences and expensive renewal rates when you need it urgently. If you cannot renew your passport on time, you may need to change your destination to a country with less restriction on travel needs.

 

8. Spending Too Much on Grocery

While many destinations have eateries for travelers to taste local foods, you might want to cook your meal at your hostel. The main reason why people opt to cook when traveling is to save on food costs. During the Coronavirus outbreak, you would also want to cook at your place to minimize the chances of infection. However, that may turn out to be more expensive. Consider buying from a local farmer market instead of the city grocery vendors to spend less on your grocery shopping.

 

9. Forgetting About Visa Requirements

Travel requirements vary from one country to another. In many countries, you need an appropriate visa to visit. For example, a student visa and work visa are different. None of them is acceptable for vacations in various places. As a tourist, you will need another class of visa to visit. Verify from the country you intend to visit to avoid inconveniences at the entry point.

 

10. Ignoring A Travel Insurance

https://pixabay.com/photos/protection-family-society-community-5080948/

A traveler’s insurance might seem unnecessary for many people. After all, very few people get involved in fatal airplane accidents – one accident per 5.58 million flights. However, that is not the only case when you need an insurance cover. If you fall sick abroad, you will need emergency medication, and insurance can save you. Travel insurance can also help you when your flight fails or you encounter a liability while on vacation.

 

To Sum Up

The lockdown will not last forever. Soon, people will start to travel around the globe – both for business and leisure. Whatever the reason that will get you out there, ensure that you do not involve yourself in the mistakes that can wreck your trip.

 

Sources:

  1. CNBC
  2. Ordinary Traveler
  3. GloboTreks

5 Useful Apps for Busy Parents

Despite their best efforts, most parents can’t do it all by themselves. They need some help now and then.

 

If this describes your situation, the help you seek may be as close as inside your pocket. By using the following five apps, parents can alleviate some of the headaches and hassles of raising a family without compromising on the quality or merit of their parenting:

 

Google Calendar App

 

Streamline and simplify your complex schedule with the Google Calendar app. Day, week, and monthly views allow you to get a handle on upcoming events quickly. Add events to your calendar easily with Google Calendar’s many synchronization features. You can even track tasks to be sure essential action items don’t fall off the radar. Synchronize your schedule with various mobile-friendly calendar apps or add events to your calendar directly from Gmail, Chat, or Meetup. Of particular help to families is the ability to share calendars. With this app, there’s no need to wonder when everyone is free for the family camping trip or if a parent will be available to give Timmy a ride to soccer practice.

 

Whisk: Recipe Saver, Meal Planner & Grocery List

 

Winner of Google Play’s Best of 2020 ‘Everyday Essentials’ Award, this app boasts a 4.8-star review and over 500,000 downloads for a good reason. This app simplifies your weekly meal planning and grocery shopping, taking the stress out of these essential tasks. Browse the app’s recipe library or import recipes directly from any website to add to your Whisk cookbook – complete with your own recipe sections like ‘vegetarian,’ ‘keto,’ or ‘quick meals.’ Once they’re there, edit those recipes to add that extra touch of seasoning or ingredient swap that you always use. The app automatically adds nutrition information and a ‘Whisk Health Score’ to imported recipes as well so families can feel confident in making healthy meal choices. All done with planning the week’s dishes? With the click of a button, this app adds the ingredients to a shopping list shared with others. Even better, take advantage of Whisk’s partnerships with popular grocery delivery services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh to have the ingredients delivered directly to your door.

 

Nextdoor

 

In today’s era of hectic schedules, it can be challenging to take the time for the little things, like getting to know your neighbors. The Nextdoor app helps busy families stay connected to their community with various useful and fun features. Discover local businesses, learn about upcoming neighborhood events, buy, sell, and swap items locally, or discover which neighbors share your interests with the Groups feature. Be sure to read the Nextdoor racism-prevention community guidelines to recognize and report any racial profiling posts you see. Doing so helps keep the app a safe and supportive place for families everywhere.

 

Life360

 

Keeping busy families in touch throughout their day, this app uses GPS to show family members’ current location on the group map, complete with an address. Give addresses context with customizable location labels that are as serious of fun as you make them. This app is beneficial for parents of busy adolescents and teens. Parents always know precisely where to go to help if a child becomes unexpectedly stranded or lost. The app also lets you know when a family member’s phone battery is low, so they can be reminded to recharge. Automatic crash detection and the ability to send a silent SOS to alert family to danger or let the app’s 24/7 dispatch team call for help are also included. This app helps families quickly respond and coordinate when something unexpected arises and gives them peace of mind when it doesn’t.

 

Weldon – Parenting Support

 

Are you struggling with ways to keep your kids entertained and engaged or wondering about how to support them through learning a new skill? This app helps you learn about developmental stages, receive expert advice on common family challenges, set goals and track progress, and even chat with other parents who have struggled with the same issues. Weldon’s chat feature doesn’t stop there, though. They also have staff members and child development experts participating in the chats to offer their professional perspectives. Plus, the app has over 500 activities you can engage in with your children in categories ranging from active outdoor activities to quiet mindfulness and everything in between.

 

Parents need all the help they can get these days. Don’t make parenting harder on yourself than necessary. Take advantage of useful apps for parents, starting today.