The Fuzz About Printed Hoodies Against Digital Printing on T-Shirts

T-shirts and print on t-shirts: Having a print on your t-shirt or someone else’s has been pretty popular for decades. T-shirts are used as billboards, to print your own designs, political campaign merchandise, and even wedding party favors (McCluskey). Even though the print on shirts has been around for some time now, there is the question of print hoodies vs digital printing on t-shirts. 

“Can you print a logo onto a hoodie?” For most graphic designers this is an innocent enough question but it triggers different reactions from clothing manufacturers and retail outlets alike. The main reason behind this reaction is that both parties have two completely opposing views: print hoodies or digital printing on t-shirts. 

These print hoodies online or print t-shirts online debate can be traced back to the antiquity of print on garments. One party believes that print on apparel is losing its function as a tool for brands and their messages because of various limitations in terms of printability, fade resistance, wash fastness, etc. These deficits are being increasingly made up for by digital print technology that is now available at very accessible prices. The other side sees promising opportunities in print onto textiles, especially for customized products where the cost per item involved is low enough to justify handcrafted work. 

A young woman is wearing a printed hoodie with the print placed on the backside of it

One thing all parties seem to agree on however is that print technologies have moved forward significantly over the past few years with the introduction of new ink printers capable of outputting incredibly rich print, new printable substrates have appeared on the market, print methods are being used in combination with cheaper t-shirt print Tesco print t-shirts t-shirt design app online printing services and print hoodies now come in a wide range of colors for print for. 

However, they also agree that three areas specifically need to be addressed further: digital print quality still has far to go if it is to compete with offset print quality, manufacturers demand more developed garment decoration processes due to an increase in order numbers per production batch and customers want higher levels of transparency when it comes to prices. 

Being aware of these issues facing digital print clothing is what made us set out on our own individual ways towards the future of apparel decoration. In this print hoodies vs digital print technology comparison, we will explain the differences in the process and print app. 


So, what makes print-on apparel so special? 

A young man is wearing a printed t-shirt with the print placed on the backside of it

The ability to print your own designs onto a t-shirt is not exactly a new invention. Especially in the case of screen printing where a stencil is used for design transfer onto a substrate, all it takes is an image that can be projected onto the screen, some ink, and some sort of substrate that can absorb that ink. It has been around since countless years ago but without fail every generation comes up with something exciting print online about their clothes at affordable prices print sweatshirts regarding fashion style or maybe just looking for extra comfort spring summer 2017 print. 

This ability of personalized clothing has had several effects on popular culture and fashion. One such effect is the possibility for consumers to expand their wardrobes since they can now sport their favorite band’s new tour merchandise, movie posters or even choose from a selection of photos that depict the way they wish to be seen by others — all these examples are just one reason why digital printing has been around for so long. Digital printing on garments started as a way for professionals and hobbyists to express themselves and through time evolved into an industry and printer technology capable of partnering with any business or designer out there. 

However, there are those who make fun of those who wear t-shirts adorned with funny quotes or print images from films they’ve never seen. They laugh at the nerd who is sporting a Star Wars t-shirt in deep summer when there are no visible signs of his obvious obsession with the film series. They see people wearing oversize printed hoodies and think, “What a douchebag,” or even worse: “Don’t these morons know that print on demand clothing has been around for decades?” But why do we make fun of people for wearing stuff we don’t like? Well, this comes down to something called narcissism. You can see it in action every day in social sciences experiments where small children react badly when their peers don’t give them attention. In an experiment conducted by Alessandra Geraci, an assistant professor of psychology at Colgate University prints. 



The problem with us humans is that we are hardwired to act like this, whether it is children avoiding their less attractive peers or adults making fun of the guy who’s wearing an unfamiliar brand. We do all this because subconsciously we want to make sure that our own social status remains secure. 


Different Types of Care for Elderly Needs

A person’s old age condition usually differs based on an individual. Some people remain vibrant and active. Others face numerous challenges based on their physical issue and health condition. Whatever the case, every person experiences significant changes as they get older. This creates the need for someone to seek help for their elderly needs. The following are some types of elder care you should consider for you, your loved one, or your friend.


Nursing Homes

Nursing centers or homes are essential long-term care facilities for seniors who entirely depend on caregivers. Accredited nurses are usually present in these facilities to offer 24/7 quality skilled assistance and medical care.

Moreover, some nursing centers offer short-term rehabilitative space for older adults recovering from illness, surgery, or injuries. However, most patients usually have complicated medical issues and high care needs that require full-time care and professional nursing services.

Typically, if you or your loved senior enroll in a nursing home, you can share living areas and take your meals in a common dining space. However, this is exempted for weak patients.


Assisted Living

This type of care is also known as a personal care home. So, you should consider this type of care if you or your loved one cannot live safely on your own, but you are somehow independent that you do not need high care level.

You can find assisted living locations in Minnesota that provide private residential apartments, including small kitchen spaces and have common dining spaces for meals. Moreover, the staff in these facilities offer 24/7 assistance, including meals, housekeeping, medications, and other daily living activities. Assisted living also offers accredited nursing amenities, entertainment, and social events, and planned transportation. These are just a few of the myriad benefits of living in assisted homes.


Bariatric Care

If you or your loved elderly relative is severely overweight, bariatric care is the perfect care to enroll in. Typically, factors such as mobility or other health concerns linked to obesity usually determine your care plan. Apart from individual care, it is essential to determine whether your care needs assisted moving. This is because some individuals seeking this type of care usually require multiple caregivers due to this reason. Moreover, receiving more than one caregiver can boost your comfort and that of the caregivers as you are moved.


Memory Care

It is common for seniors to have memory issues due to various reasons. Most memory care centers usually provide dedicated services for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, some institutions exclusively deal with older adults with impaired memory. This form of care needs 24-hour support and cautiously selected activities that cannot compromise their well-being and safety.


Home Care

Schematic view of seniors that are in the safe hands

Home care services enable seniors to continue enjoying the independence and comfort of remaining in their residences. Caregivers are usually available to offer services such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and other Activities of Daily Living. Besides, they also provide essential daily activities, including and transportation, paying bills, and making appointments.

So, if you or your loved elderly one needs elderly care in a familiar environment, this is an ideal option for you. Moreover, you can opt for caregivers to offer their services during specific times or on a full-time basis.


Senior Independent Living Communities

These facilities are also referred to as congregate care or retirement communities. Independent living communities are suitable for you if you are strong enough with few medical issues and can live independently. Typically, their housings are in the form of apartments that differ in size. If you enroll in this type of care, you will have access to personalized meal packages and several entertainment events and social outings to select from. These facilities usually need private payment plans.


Palliative Care

This is a type of care for a person with severe long-term health problems or untreatable conditions. Palliative care facilities help people with pain management and various care needs for people with severe conditions. People with severe illnesses or terminal conditions may receive hospice care. This is a form of palliative care given to people in their final stage of life. Hospice care aims to fulfill a person’s last wishes in a comfortable manner.

Aging is usually an inevitable stage of life. Most seniors need special care due to their advanced age or various health conditions. Fortunately, you can offer your loved ones the care they need and deserve by enrolling them in various facilities based on their care needs.


6 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill

Energy allows for the proper function of your household, making it livable and comfortable. However, energy bills can be costly depending on the quality and size of your space, usage patterns, and the surrounding climate.  Other factors affecting your energy are seasonal changes, extra equipment or appliance use, billing rates, and appliance efficiency. Energy rate changes also impact your energy bill. Below are a few ways to lower your energy bill.


1. Use energy-efficient appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are a great way to reduce your energy bills. Besides being environmentally friendly, Energy Star appliances reduce your energy consumption and costs. This is why you should ensure your refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, and dishwashers are Energy Star certified. You can also do your laundry in cold water and air dry.

Consider using the smart settings on your dishwasher, like turning off the heat boost and air drying your dishes. Additionally, keeping your freezer and refrigerator full can also reduce energy consumption.


2. Rethink your lighting

Lighting is an easy way to save energy while ensuring your home is well-lit and comfortable. Consider switching to more energy-efficient lighting like LED and installing lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, and timers. For your outdoor lighting, consider using photocell technology or motion sensors. You can also take advantage of natural lighting whenever possible to save energy.


3. Focus on heating and cooling costs

Cooling and heating your home contribute a significant amount to the energy bill. However, you can lower your heating and cooling costs by investing in an energy-efficient central air conditioning unit and installing a programmable thermostat to reduce air conditioning whenever you don’t need it.

Consider installing a ceiling fan and insulating your home to save energy throughout the year by keeping the house warmer in winter and cooler during summer. Use weatherstripping to seal leaks, reducing drafts and energy costs. Change your air filters to keep the furnace functioning optimally. Consider sealing and insulating your HVAC’s ductwork to boost its efficiency. You can also install energy-efficient windows to reduce energy usage, saving costs.


4. Reduce water heating costs

Water heating takes about 18% of your home’s overall energy usage. To save money and energy, consider resetting your thermostat to 120 degrees. Reduce hot water usage and insulate your piping and water heaters to keep in the heat. Consider replacing your water heaters with more energy-efficient ones to save costs and preserve energy. Additionally, you can switch to using solar water heaters to cost-effectively generate hot water for your household, reducing the energy bill.


5. Get rid of phantom loads

Phantom loads refer to the power your electronics consume after turning them off. Plugging all your electronic devices into a power strip will help eliminate these phantom loads. Once you’re done using your electronics, unplugging the power strip shuts off power to the devices, reducing energy usage and costs.


6. Pay attention to the roof

House has a blue roof

Using a reflective roofing material such as white or painting your roof white causes the sun to reflect off it, cooling your home. You may also install a green roof as it acts as insulation for absorbing heat from the sun and keeping in warmth in winter, reducing energy usage and saving costs.


Saving on energy bills requires you to be intentional and conscious about it. Consider using the above tips to lower your energy costs. 

How to Make Baby Videos Go Viral on TikTok

Going viral on TikTok whether for baby videos or for something else boils down to just a few things.

Those are authenticity and originality and of course your ability to capture the attention of the viewer within just the first few seconds.

Making baby videos go viral uses the same techniques as do any other video. However, there are some tips and tricks that when utilized will make any video go viral, and anyone can adapt those as soon as you finish reading this blog. 

Stick to the very end, for you have prepared a special tip. But that special tip cannot be understood without reading something, that which you need to find within this article. 


Play with the emotions of the audience 

That might sound like something bad. It is in fact not a good thing to be playing with the emotions of other people. 

But the sad reality and the fact remains that the whole entertainment business and the social media, marketing and sales, are built on the premise that you need to be able to trigger emotions if you want someone to do something for you.

For salespeople, it might be that they want to sell you something by triggering certain emotions while marketing may want to sway you towards certain products. 

In the same way, you should make videos that incite certain feelings in people when they watch your videos. 

The harshest one, or the most popular one that is so damn sticky in our day and age, is FOMO. if you don’t know what FOMO is, it is fear of missing out. 

Millennials are full of it. Even Gen Z and all the other generations have caught on to this feeling. 

This ugly feeling is what makes people make the kind of decision they make rather than financially and psychologically, like buying a new iPhone every time it releases another version. 

In the same way, if you are to make a video that ignites this very feeling in the hearts of the viewers, you are guaranteed to receive twice more than the number of followers you have. Buying followers on TikTok also might help in your efforts for baby videos to go viral as the algorithm rewards following growth.

This is not to say FOMO is necessarily negative. But there are other emotions that play as big a role if not better. 

They are aspirations, admirations. If you are to show the best side of your baby, couples expecting a baby are more prone to watch it.

How does playing with positive emotions work?

Playing with emotions means teasing them with the good sides of what you are having. If you intend to make the baby videos go viral on TikTok. Then show the good sides.

TikTok channel  example- credit to @wren.eleanor

Film the moments when they are cute and are doing something that is out of the ordinary. Something that may make the audience interested in the idea of what it is like to have a baby. 

You can consider success when your videos convince people to have a baby. While this is really difficult to do, it should be the bar you are aiming to hit. 

Making baby videos go viral then comes down to this one point. It is how well you can fire up that emotion. 

However, that should not just be limited to shooting.  Including great music that affects the subconscious is another great way to make any video go viral. 

If you have ever spent some time on TikTok then you perhaps came across a similar or the same song more than once in one session. 

When songs go viral onTikTokthey go viral like crazy and be everywhere. Of course, you will need to filter that music out to find what fits best for baby videos on TikTok. 

But the tactic is the same and it works for every other type of video as well. 

TikTok challenges and trends 

There are numerous challenges on TikTok all the time. From hashtags challenges to trends to challenges encouraged by celebrities and influencers. 

Taking part in those challenges helps your content with discoverability and depending on the content, its engagement might make it go viral.

It also depends on how well you utilize the tricks above and those below that are about to come. 

Because just those are enough to make baby videos go viral on TikTok or any other video for that matter. 

Have you ever heard about the Ugli baby challenge?

You perhaps did not. But if you did you know how a lot of creators went viral due to their content. 

But those were just the type of content that actually would have gone viral regardless of the trend. This is not to take away anything from the trends which we so highly spoke of.

But to add to the importance of the point we are about to make next.  It is that originality plays a huge role. 

Whether you want to make your baby videos go viral on TikTok or make your business known. Original content is the type that attracts people. 

Originality doesn’t mean without edits and poor quality resolution and poor aesthetics. It just means it is you, and your baby in the video.

Unlike other platforms, TikTok is not that evergreen. If you are to post something or follow along on a challenge, you are to be vigilant and keep doing that again and again. 


The untold secret of viral videos on TikTok

The untold secret of going viral on TikTok is that you need to make an impact as soon as someone sees your content. 

TikTok channel example – credit to @chloeboboey

This means you will need to make a video that captures the attention of a person within seconds. Which is why we call this secret “The Seconds Secret”.

For example, when you are surfing on TikTok, have you ever skipped a video just because it wasn’t interesting and engaging. I’d argue you do this a lot, and perhaps all the time. 

Well, you are not the only person who does this. That is why when you are creating a video you should think about it from the perspective of the user. 

If you can’t keep them for three seconds you can’t keep them at all.

Thus, focus overly hard on the beginning of the video and how it affects the viewers. Because once they stay, chances are they will watch it till the end. 

Plus, longer watch times send signals to the algorithm that your content is interesting and is worth watching. And the algorithm will recommend it to many other users as well. 

Making baby videos go viral takes this content even more literally. Because an average TikTok user is not interested in watching babies, especially the Zoomers or the youngest generation. 

Although TikTok initially was known for its young demographics, nowadays it has been balanced a little bit with the inclusion of millennials. 

This means baby videos will be of more interest to those older demographics, which makes it even more necessary to make the dazzling intros into each and every one of your videos.

To wrap up

Before summing up, it is important that we mention like many blogs do that choosing a niche, and working on high-quality content is also important. 

Those tips and advice have become so cliche that this article focused on the more psychological part of making any video go viral including baby videos on TikTok. 

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you get views, it just matters you get them.

However, by following these three tips you increase the chances of getting views organically and in a way that will increase the chances of engagement. 


How to Have a Happy (and Calm) Holiday Season

We all know what it’s like to be simultaneously looking forward to the holiday season and also dreading all of the stress that comes along with it. You’re not alone if the holidays stress you out; tons of people suffer not only from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the stress of planning for big holidays compounds on top of that. Thankfully there are ways to minimize your stress levels during this hectic time of year, so you can focus on what matters most – and that’s spending time making precious memories with your children and other loved ones. Let’s dive into how to get that done so you can have not only a happy but a calm holiday season this year. 


Recognize The Realities 

Right off the bat, one of the easiest things you can do to simplify your holiday stress levels is recognizing that some of the negative stress is expected, and some of it is even positive stress. Some people thrive under deadlines and workloads, so if you have a little bit of that in you, expand on it and get things done! After all, as mothers, we’re used to juggling many balls at once, so embrace the season and its ups and downs. And remember, the outcome is priceless as we get to see the joy on our kid’s faces, we have memories we will cherish for a lifetime, and we get to eat all that delicious food we’re cooking, too! If you can recognize that things will get hectic as soon as Halloween is over and will stay somewhat chaotic until New Year is an easy way to try and go with the crazy flow!


Give Gifts Differently 

Another area to take a load off yourself is taking a look at giving gifts differently this year than you may be used to. Instead of spending a small fortune on each child and all the things they’ve been asking for, try to pare it down. Consider giving experiences over physical gifts. For example, you could travel with kids to a place they’ve never been to.  Or you could try gifting the kids one item they want, one thing they need, something to wear, and something to read. Christmas doesn’t always invoke the spirit of minimalism, but it’s worth considering if you want to take some of the last-minute running around and shopping off your plate. When it comes to buying for other adults in your life, you could talk to them and see if you all want to forego gifts this year. If you still want to shop for other adults, keep it simple with consumables like wine or subscriptions to services they would use. 


Do You Need All That Decor?

One thing that not only takes a lot of money but additionally a ton of your time during the holiday season is all the decorating you do. While it’s essential to think of fun, creative and eco-friendly ways to decorate for the holidays (after all, your kids love it), do you need to go all out on every room and table? Not only does it take a lot of time to set up, think of all the time spent taking it down! So, while, of course, you don’t want to skip out on carving pumpkins and trimming a Christmas tree, rethink how much decorating you need to make things fun and festive. 


Guard Your Mental Health 

Mental health
A woman is thinking while the clock is ticking

One of the most important things that will keep the holidays calm and happy is if you guard your emotional well-being during this time. You can do this through simple things like making sure you get enough rest and eating a healthy diet. Of course, you’re going to indulge in the sweet treats all around you, but making sure the rest of your meals and snacks are nutritious and balanced is critical. Another way to protect your mental health is being picky about parties. That’s right, and you don’t have to RSVP “yes” to every event you’re invited to. And, when it comes to hosting and planning your events, keep things simple – people are there to see you and your family and create memories, don’t add stress by trying to throw a party with too many unnecessary details.

The holidays are a magical time of year, but when you think about why, it’s for the simpler reasons – twinkling lights, hot cocoa, seeing snowfall. Try to remember the beauty and simplicity of the season as you implement the above tips. Happy Holidays!

Tips for Finding the Right Home for Mom and Dad

It is nearly impossible to pay back our parents for everything they have done for us. The sacrifices they made helped run not only society but also shape the lives of all around them. However, as they age, once strong and capable men and women become fragile and require personalized care. This reality necessitates searching for an alternative living solution to cater to their medical, physiological, and psychological needs. Statistics today show approximately 1.4 million individuals in nursing, assisted, and independent living nursing institutions. Moreover, the senior care industry earned $976.2 billion in the year 2020 alone. Since the services offered created a profitable business opportunity, it is imperative to identify traits that distinguish technologically advanced quality homes from substandard care institutes.

Look for senior living facilities utilizing the latest software designed to improve resident engagement and the patient experience. For example, today’s market has centers that cater to chronic ailments such as orthopedic, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular conditions that affect the elderly in society. Essentially, one has to ascertain the home’s ability to accommodate a client’s medical needs. Typically, this quality can be tested by how well equipped the nursing home is. For example, most institutions offer mobile medical equipment used when providing assistive care or patient transport. However, there is a need for adequate provision of oxygen tanks, medication, gurney alongside medically trained staff certified by the state and federal healthcare bodies. In addition, the ideal homes tend to have modernized devices such as wrist bands that aid in monitoring the client’s movements, heart rate, level of activity, and diet. These gadgets also offer alerts on any abnormal break-in pattern in the care regimen or treatment option selected. Therefore, one has to seek out the available medical equipment to ensure effective treatment for elderly patients.

The wheelchair has also advanced to integrate technology for effective senior care. Nurse attendants use these mobile medical tools to ferry people from one place to another within a nursing home. However, as technology progresses, the chairs are now equipped with monitoring software that furthers telemedicine to implement more specific medical interventions. This device can be seamlessly introduced into home-based care. The sophisticated chair uses biosensors to monitor and measure vitals such as blood pressure, electrocardiogram levels, temperature, heart auscultations, blood oxygen levels, and breathing. Furthermore, it can evaluate the patient’s diet through monitoring food intake and medication regimens. Though this option is reserved for elderly patients in need of intensive care, it can be applied to any individual to deliver personalized attention.

Senior citizen homes should also have advanced monitoring systems which track the client’s movements. Most people are against camera surveillance over privacy concerns. However, some institutions offer discreet sensors that record and track individuals along with their daily routines. These gadgets are placed at different positions within the nursing home, alerting personnel to any anomaly detected. The integration of sensors also provides a platform for two-way video conferencing between the residing attendants and their patients. This advanced cellular technology enables seamless interaction, monitoring, and evaluation to necessitate any treatment plan or medication change.

Nursing homes should also have automated drug dispensing services. Technology has exponentially advanced this activity by creating intelligent medication solutions through telemedicine and software integrated into a pillbox. These tools are connected to the internet, which allows them to send reports to the physician and patient on medication routine appropriate for the client. This avenue works through alerts and warnings on non-compliance to reduce non-adherence levels among elderly patients. Some institutions also have dispensers that provide pre-packaged medication at the selected interval pointed out in the treatment plan. These pouches follow a designated pattern that alerts the client and the attending physician when the pattern is broken. Therefore, these alternatives streamline medical attention and drug adherence through technology.

Senior citizens
Senior citizens are having good time together in the nursing home

In conclusion, geriatric care has received significant assistance from technology. Clients looking for a good nursing home looked only for activities, diet preparation, comfort, services, hygiene levels, and a welcome policy for all who desire to visit. However, technological advances now provide patients with privacy by eliminating cameras and unnecessary monitoring. Additionally, integrating sensors into wheelchairs and medical wristbands enables medical assessment, thereby minimizing the risk of medical negligence or fatigue from attendants. These qualities are crucial for a senior living facility. Finally, technology gives the patient control over their surroundings and creates an open communication channel to the physicians within the home and the world outside the walls.

How to Raise a Healthy Dog

Statistics show that 95.5% of dog owners consider their pets to be a part of their family. A companion to play outside with and lounge on the couch with. Dogs can be a calming presence in a busy home and give more than they take. Keep reading to learn a few tips on how to raise a healthy dog to live a long life with you and your family.


Proper Nutrition

What your dog eats will have an effect on how long it will live. Many dog owners overfeed or underfeed their dogs, so learning the proper amount based on your dog’s breed and their activity level is important. A young labrador may eat more than an older German Shepard. There are many different brands to choose from, so finding a fit that agrees with your dog’s digestive and gut health is key. Be careful when switching brands of food, as your dog may take time to adjust to the new recipe.


Focus on Regular Exercise

Like humans, dogs need regular exercise. They are active pets and are not meant to be sedentary for 20 hours a day. This exercise can come in many different forms. First, you can take them for a walk. This is an easy solution that you can build into your morning and evening routine. It also lets you keep track that they exercised for 20 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the evening. The dog will appreciate the routine as well and come to expect it as a part of their day.


Keep up on Grooming

Have you ever seen a pet that has been ungroomed? Do they look healthy? The lack of grooming not only affects the outward appearance of a dog but can have damaging effects on its skin. Dirt, moisture, and bacteria can build up and cause issues if it is not addressed. One way to avoid this is to groom your dog regularly. This includes brushing their fur every few days and regularly bathing them yourself or taking them to a pet place that does grooming. In addition, trying salmon bites for dogs regularly can help them maintain a healthy coat and skin. This will supplement the grooming that you are already doing and help their skin stay healthy long-term.


Interaction with other Dogs

Dogs crave social attention and not all of this can be solved by the owner giving them attention. This can be achieved by going to the local dog park or getting together with family and friends that also have dogs and letting them play for a few hours. This will help break up the mundane day-to-day for your dog since they don’t travel to work and other places like humans do. There is a new sense of energy and discovery whenever dogs meet for the first time and get to play together.


Proper Amount of Attention

Neglected dogs are a difficult sight to see. You probably have seen the result of this in rescue shelters or maybe even in your neighborhood. People that are too busy to care for a dog or no longer want it, typically don’t treat them with respect. Giving your dog the right amount of attention so that it feels loved and cared for is an important part of its overall health. Rewarding good behavior and finding ways to calmly address poor behavior will help the relationship between you and your dog.


Vet Checkups

Humans typically go for a yearly physical to see a picture of their overall health. This same concept is important for dogs to go to the vet. Not only can they get the preventative flea medication they need or the rabies shot, but you can also see what their overall health is like. You may find that your dog is overweight and needs to make nutritional and exercise changes moving forward.


Practice Patience

A dog is looking straight to its owner

Dogs are not humans. As much as they feel like they are a part of the family, owners can have unrealistic expectations of how the dog will act. They are an animal and will occasionally go crazy with energy when they spot a squirrel. Chasing the neighbor’s cat up a tree is a burst of adrenaline for them and seems harmless. Practicing being patient when teaching your dog how you expect them to act will help the process go smoother for both you and the dog.
Now that you have read more about tips for raising a healthy dog, you can start practicing these tips today. Adding a walk into your day with your dog can bring many positive benefits to both of your health. Check out our website for more helpful articles like this one. 

Finding the Right Contractor for Your Next Home Improvement Project

If you have been through a home renovation process, you know how important it is to find the right contractor for the job. Building a patio is different from remodeling the bathroom, but most remodeling work requires an expert to be in charge. Here are some tips to help you find the best contractor for your upcoming home improvement job.


Ask for Referrals

You probably know people who are happy with the home renovations they’ve had done. Ask for recommendations, references, or referrals for contractors they have worked with. Often, word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective way to find a reliable and talented construction expert. Try to see the work done for an idea of the quality and style you might expect with your project. Ask about timeliness, materials, and cost to see how those factors line up with your home remodeling plans. It is also good to ask about anything they didn’t like about the contractor or the work. Maybe it was a minor issue with that person, but it might be important to you.


Check Credentials

Many contractors have building licenses and credentials, depending on the area where they work. Some have specializations like concrete or landscaping, so keep that in mind when searching for an expert to help with your home improvements. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed and resolved. Not all contractors are listed with the BBB, so don’t worry if you don’t see the names of those you are considering. Some homeowners even check municipal and county criminal records or do a background check to see if a contractor has a prior conviction or pending litigation. While not directly related to your home renovation, a suspended driver’s license or a domestic violence charge may still raise red flags about the integrity of a contractor that you may want to hire.


Look for Online Information

Most established contractors have a website that prospective customers can easily find. The website will provide information about the type of work the person handles and experience or credentials in certain areas of home remodeling or construction. The design and overall impact of the website can reveal aspects of the contractor’s work as well, such as its completeness, accuracy, sponsors, and last update. Search for online reviews that may be on the contractor’s website or located elsewhere, especially those that serve as warnings about the credibility and skills of a contractor. Social media can offer clues to an individual’s online identity and connections as well. Without being directly connected, you can look for the person’s presence on Facebook and Instagram and the more professional Linked In. Reading their posts and interactions with others may provide added insight into their character and work ethic.


Consult Professional Agencies

The employee from the agency is presenting all important information to her client

Some contractors are vetted and referred by chain home building stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Others list their services with professional agencies like Networx. Many contractors use Networx leads to reach out to potential clients, which means those searching for home improvement professionals can read Networx reviews before deciding who to hire. Many agencies vet those who register with them by checking credentials and sometimes screening their abilities with basic tests. You can save time and possibly stress by contacting an agency like Networx to find a reliable contractor. There is no obligation if, after meeting a contractor, you decide not to hire that person.


Get Several Estimates

Aim to get at least two or three contractor estimates for the work you want to have done. You can tell a lot about a person by how the work is discussed and how that person would handle the job. Someone who takes a casual approach to the project may not be as focused as you would like. Compare timelines, schedules, and materials for an idea of how each contractor would do the work and decide which will be the best fit. You can also keep looking if none of them seem suitable.

Don’t get stiffed by paying an unknown contractor in advance and then finding the person has disappeared without doing the work. Do a thorough search and use professional resources to find the right person for the job.

Things You Can Do with Your Kids Outside

If you are not the most athletic and adventurous person in the world, you might be wondering what you can do to get your kids out of the house and away from that PlayStation. You could always just take it away. But that doesn’t seem like a winning move. What You want to do is better motivate them rather than bully them into living a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes, raising smart, healthy, confident children requires more negotiation. The type of negotiation depends largely on their age. You can just force a child to go play outside if they are young enough. But that strategy does not scale well and often backfires in tragic ways. 

Your best bet is to lead by example. You are always the first role model your kids see in the morning and the last before they go to bed. If you have no interest in outdoor activities, they will be less likely to develop such interests. That means you have to find something outdoors that keeps you coming back for more. Better still, you can find ways to kindle outdoor passion with your kids. It is not about what you do individually, but what you do together. Here are a few suggestions that will get you on the right path:


Add an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are all the rage. They can serve to add value to your home and be the spark that gets you and your family outside a lot more often. You don’t have to wait for special occasions to have a cookout. You can enjoy a barbecue anytime you like. Birthdays will be a lot more fun. And it will be a lot easier to have guests that are happy to be there, as opposed to just fulfilling a social obligation. 

Don’t stop with the kitchen. While you have the contractor’s attention, build a gazebo or deck. Furnish it like a park, or like a beachside cabana. It is perfectly okay to be as whimsical as you like. If none of those ideas strike your fancy, craft a putt-putt golf course through your backyard. You don’t need 18 holes and an animated gorilla to have a fun place for your kids and their friends. Use part of the yard to plant a tomato garden with your kids. They will be hooked the first moment they pick a fruit they actually grew themselves. If you want to get the kids outdoors, start with your own backyard. Everyone loves an outdoor kitchen.



Parents are camping with their children

Do you know what else you can do in your backyard with your kids? Camping, that’s what. It is surprising how easy it is to transform your backyard into something new and exotic just by pitching a tent. When you are ready to take your camping to the next level, there are countless destinations within easy reach of wherever you happen to live.

You are definitely going to need some basic equipment for a first-time camper. One thing many take for granted is how incredibly uncomfortable the ground is when used as a bed. So be sure to bring good bedding made for camping. Don’t let anyone cajole you into roughing it in a way that is extreme and unhealthy. You will enjoy the outdoors a lot more if you are dry, warm, and comfortable. Experience it that way, and you’ll want to experience it again.



Photography might be the most fun way to enjoy the outdoors because it encompasses many interests. You can photograph everything from live sports to birds and insects. Photography might take you on the water in a canoe on a quiet lake. You don’t want anything that could tip you and your camera gear into the drink. If you are into adventure such as rock climbing, someone has to take pictures. After all, pictures, or it didn’t happen. When you can get your kids interested in photographing the world, they will want to be out in the thick of it all the time.

You might have trouble sending your kids outside. But you won’t have any trouble taking them with you outside if you add an outdoor kitchen, take them camping – the kind that doesn’t involve roughing it too much, and nurture their interest in photography. That is truly the Trojan horse of the outdoors lifestyle.

5 Things to Do Before Dropping Your Teen Off at College

While you’re excited for your child to be embarking on their new life as a college student, it can be overwhelming and stressful at the same time. Whether you’re traveling from the Illinois area where you live to another state or your child is staying in the local dorms it can be confusing.

The last few weeks and even days before you drop your teen off at the dorms can be rushed. If you’re looking to go the extra mile in those last few weeks, then try the following things long before you head out on your trip. 



1. Take Them to the Doctor and Dentist

Growing up, your child’s health was always your top concern, and that doesn’t change just because they’re leaving the nest

If your teen is going far away from home and won’t be home until winter break, go ahead and make an appointment with their doctor and one of the Oak Park dentists if you are near Chicago, or one in your area. This will give you peace of mind in knowing your child is in great health before they start their new life as a college student.

The dentist is examining the patient while using the help of RTG record


2. Teach Them How to Do Their Own Laundry

While some teens have been doing washing their own clothes for years, many haven’t been. If you’ve always done your child’s laundry for them, take the time now to show them how to separate their whites from their darks, how to wash them, and how to fold them as well. 

It’s best to have them wash a least a couple of loads themselves before they leave. 


3. Go Shopping

While you may have already gotten the laptop, books, and other items needed for classroom time, you also need to go shopping for essentials for dorm life

Clothes, sheets, dishes, coffee makers, and more should be on your list of necessities to help your child settle into college without a lot of stress.

Not only will you be picking up the things your child needs to be a happy while away from home, but it’ll also give you time to spend an entire day together before he or she heads off to the dorms. 


4. Have a Family Dinner

It’s long been known that family dinners are beneficial to the entire family. If this isn’t something your family normally does, or even if it is, scheduling a special family dinner at home or at a restaurant right before they leave is a nice touch. 

It gives your family time to catch up and talk about how exciting going away to college is, gives you time to be together and just bond the way a family should. 


5. Pack Gifts to Open When…

Most kids at college for the first time get homesick at some point. If you’re worried this is going to happen to your teen, pack some gifts for them to open at certain times.

For example, one gift could be to open when they’re bored, another for when they’re lonely, and yet another for when they are under stress. Don’t forget one for when they’re low on cash. The types of gifts can vary but should be appropriate for the moment and mood they’re in. 

Not only will these little gifts help them get through their first weeks away, but it also shows them just how much you care and are thinking of them while they’re gone. After all, it’s the little moments that count with family, don’t you think? 

Going off to college can be scary for you and your teen. Doing these few things in the weeks leading up to them going away will help you keep organized and do things together before the day arrives that your chick flies the coop.