When Divorce is Imminent

None of us enters a marriage thinking that there would ever be a reason for divorce. It is usually something that happens to someone else but not to you and your partner. However, in life nothing is certain and some relationships are not built to last, and if you come face to face with the possibility of divorce, don’t panic, you are not the only one. In most developed countries divorce rates are actually increasing and they are reaching a 50% divorce rate. There are several things you can do to make the process less stressful for both you and your partner, and this is especially important if there are kids involved.

You can never be prepared for what is coming

You can think you are. You went over everything, agreed this is the only solution and began the whole process. That is the part of rational thinking, however, emotions are a whole other thing. You start talking about what’s next, from living arrangements to finances and assets splitting. In an ideal world, this would go perfectly, but we are emotional beings and so more often than not even the perfect agreements about all of the above-mentioned issues go down the drain. Now in order to avoid the messy part of the whole process, professionals like family law experts in Sydney, can help settle disputes and mediate the whole proceeding. That way you can have someone to rely on to help you go through this uncomfortable process.

It is OK to mourn

You need to give yourself time to deal with what is happening. You have invested time and emotions into this relationship, there are a lot of memories that bind you, some beautiful some maybe not as much, but still, you have shared your life with this person and it is not an easy thing to get over. So it is important that you give yourself time to be sad about what has happened and in a sense mourn your marriage. Going forward without dealing with all the emotions is definitely not the best options, because sooner or later you need to deal with them, and sooner is always better. And if you feel overwhelmed turning to a professional is always advisable, as a therapist might be able to help you understand the situation better and provide you with the right emotional tools to deal with the whole thing.

Don’t let others define you

Most people feel ashamed when they have to admit they are going through a divorce. They feel like failures even though they know all too well that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. They have done their best to save the marriage and it simply wasn’t meant to be. So now it is time to deal with the questions and the silent judgment. Well, first of all, you are not in any obligation to explain your situation to anyone. It is no one’s business but yours and your partner’s. So simply politely decline to answer all the why’s and how’s. You will feel a lot better, that is a given. Next, don’t put a label on yourself, your relationship status shouldn’t be divorced, it should be single. You don’t have to advertise, just tell it to people if you want to. Going through something as traumatic as a divorce should be a personal journey and you don’t have the obligation to share it with anyone you don’t want to. Remember that. People sometimes feel like they have the right to demand answers from you, but they don’t.

Don’t play the blame game

When something monumental happens in our life and divorce is as monumental as it can get, make no mistake, we tend to look for someone and something to blame or thank for it. So even an amicable divorce can turn ugly if you start putting the blame for things on one another. And you are going to get asked about it a lot, people always assume one person is to blame more than the other in situations like this. But as always it takes two to make or break something. So instead of looking for someone to blame try to develop a good relationship with your ex. After all, they are bound to have some characteristics you love, otherwise, you wouldn’t have married them. So focus on that, be cordial and move on. Stooping down to a blame game can be damaging for both of you.

Don’t expect divorce to be easy, even under the best circumstances. When we get married we feel like we are binding our life to another’s, and it is a really big deal. So now having to detach from that, and sand alone once again can be quite scary, but at the same time, if that is what you feel is the best for both of you then embrace it and find your way back to yourself and your independence.

Technology That Makes Life Easier for Parents of Today

Photo by Laurent Peignault on Unsplash

There are some people who like to say that technology today is taking it “too far”; that we are using it for things we were able to do before without it and that we are just getting lazy. Well, we also used to send letters to communicate, but I think texting is just a touch more practical. And when it comes to parenting, there’s still a stigma around using technology and apps to help raise your child. But in a time when we use technology to improve every part of our lives, why shouldn’t we use it for parenting as well? Let’s start the conversation, break the stigma and see how tech can help you bring up your child.

Apps

Family organization

When your kids start getting older, it can be hard to keep track of all of their activities. Teach them early on that they should always tell you what their plans are, and to be careful not to clash with anyone else’s plans. Having a shared calendar makes this so easy. Apps like TimeTree calendar allow you to merge your calendars with other people so that the whole family can see when they have activities together or if they can carpool somewhere together. Take it one step further with Cozi, which not only lets you sync up your schedules, but is specifically made for families and features a ton of different helpful tools to simplify family life.

Photo by Guillermo Sánchez on Unsplash

Social life

As a parent – and especially a new parent – you will get a lot of advice, most of which you never asked for. This means that you’ll also want to seek out your own truths and tips. And apps like kiindred are perfect for an eager new parent, especially one with their first child. The app will not only let you connect with other parents but also help you track your baby’s routines and offer helpful tips and advice for surviving their childhood. As an added bonus, you will get special offers on some baby products through the app.

Schedule

When you have your baby, you won’t know where your head is. But there is a way to keep track of feeding, diaper changes and sleep even when you’re sleep deprived. The app to go to is called BabyTime and it helps you keep track of your baby’s routines as they develop. This gives you an easy way to convey to doctors how your baby is doing and help transfer information to babysitters.

Gadgets

Shower time

Life is easier with gadgets. When it comes to bathing time, it can be a real mess, but there are helpful gadgets to make it all a bit easier. You can get a bath organizer which helps you store all of your baby’s bathing supplies, and also unfolds into a floor mat so that you can comfortably sit next to the tub while you’re bathing them. When they get a bit older, funny shower heads that will keep their attention will help them look forward to bath time.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Going out

It’s not easy going out with a baby, but bringing a few of your own gadgets will make it all a bit more bearable. When going to a restaurant, bring a baby seat converter, which will turn any ordinary chair into a baby chair, so that you don’t have to worry about whether the place has special baby seats. Have a good stroller organizer to put everything in, and strap all of the baby’s toys to it, so that they can’t throw them on the floor. But if they do, a self-closing pacifier will always stay clean so there’s no crying when it gets dropped.

Raising your kids with tech isn’t “cheating with parenting” nor is it the wrong way to raise kids. You have the right to raise your kids however you want, with or without technology, but make sure you don’t turn your nose up and dismiss all tech before you see what it really does.

About the author:

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about mental health, well-being, and healthy lifestyle at ripped.me. Claire on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Ways to Make Your House Presentable to Prospective Buyers When You Have Young Children

Selling your home can be a daunting task, especially when you have children. It is not easy to make sure your home is ready at all times for potential buyers. Here are a few suggestions to make it easier on yourself and your children.

Make it a Family Affair

Moving can be difficult for children. They might not want to leave their friends and can be anxious about getting used to a new school.

Talk to them about the move and help them work through their fears and concerns. Enlist their help in preparing for the move, including keeping the house neat and clean. They will find some comfort when you make them feel like they are part of a family decision and planning for a significant event like moving.

How much understanding and help much you can expect from your children will depend upon their age. If your children are very young, you are going to have to deal with the messes they create such as:

  • Crayons or paint on the walls
  • Dirt and mud from their shoes on your floors and carpeting
  • Chocolate and other food stains on counters, furniture, and walls

If you explain to them the importance of trying to keep the house as clean as possible, you might have less cleaning up to do on a daily basis.

Get Rid of Clutter

Nothing makes a house look worse than clutter. This mean all the extra stuff you have hanging around your home. The last thing you want to do is drag your junk from one house to another. If it is broken, you don’t use it, or you don’t need it, get rid of it.

When you have children, you are going to have a lot more stuff lying around the house including their toys, bicycles, and other play things.

Your children’s fun things are the last items you want to store away because you don’t want them to feel like they are being deprived. However, it is perfectly reasonable to put away or store things they might not be using.

If your house is on the market during the winter, their bikes, pails, shovels, and baby pools won’t be missed until the weather gets warm again. They also won’t miss their sleds and ice skates during the summer if that is when you are selling your house.

Out of season items are not just for your children. Think about all those bulky winter clothes, boots, holiday decorations, skis, snowboards, skates, hockey gear, and snow tires that are taking up space in your closets, basement, and garage.

A helpful option is to rent a full-service storage unit where you can store some of these things. As this full storage provider, an alternative to the typical self-storage, operating out of Seattle says:

If winter is your favorite season and storing away all these items is a sad move for you, don’t worry, they will only be away till the next year! For now, they are getting in the way of your clutter-free living”.

By storing these winter items in a safe place and out of the home you are trying to sell, you will be amazed at how much neater and less cluttered your home will look and feel to potential buyers.

Restrict Visiting Hours

Most realtors will tell you that you have to be available any time a potential buyer wants to view your home. For the most part, this is a true statement.

However, some people have found that it is much less stressful to ask for 24 hours-notice before a showing. They have also found that it is less disruptive to their children’s lives and schedules if they have a cut-off time such as when it is time for their children to go to sleep.

This is a decision you will have to make with your realtor or on your own if you are not using a realtor. It might extend the length of time your house is on the market if you limit when you will show your home. Look at the pros and cons and make the best decision for your specific situation.

Hire a Professional Cleaner

No matter how you try to keep your house clean, it will benefit you to hire a professional to do a deep cleaning.

There will always be dust build-up in hard to reach places and corners you might not be getting to on a regular basis. Even though it costs more money to hire someone to do the cleaning than if you were to do it yourself, it is a wise decision when you have children.

You will be giving yourself less stress and more quality time to spend with your children instead of wasting your valuable time cleaning and picking up after them.

There is no getting away from the fact that selling your home will be stressful. You can only do your best to make it easier by following some of the above suggestions. Remember that your children’s well-being is more important than a few toys or a little dirt on the floor.

Try not to get stressed over the little things and enjoy your children while they are young. You and your children will be better for it when you finally do move into your new home.

Informative Tips on Selling Your Home When You Have Kids

There are a lot of family activities that people can do, such as playing together, cooking together, or going on camping trips as a family. These activities are beneficial for your kids because these encourage interaction with the parents and it also allows you to have bonding time.

However, there are certain things in which you wouldn’t necessarily include the participation of your children, such as when you’re selling your house. A lot of homes are sold every year in the US. Numbers reached an all-time high in 2015 with 7.08 million existing homes sold in the country. The number dropped down to 5.51 million in 2017.

With millions of houses sold yearly, you could be one of those sellers in the coming years. However, it’s necessary to consider your kids when you’re selling your home. Most kids get attached and often have a bad experience when moving out. Check out this article to help you know how to make the house sale as a family affair.

Let your kids know about the house sale.

When you’re selling your old house and moving to a new home, all of you will transfer, and that includes your kids. Let your kids know about your plans ahead of time and don’t spring the news to them when you’ve packed your furniture and other things.

Kids might resent the fact that you’ve decided to sell without informing them. After all, they also live in the house, and even if selling your house counts as an adult decision, it’s better to ask or inform your kids about it.

It might be hard for kids to adjust if they’ve spent several years in that house and they have to leave all of their memories and friends behind. That’s why it’s best to open up your plans ahead of time so you can also help them adapt to the idea of moving to a new house.

Clean and prepare the house for possible clients.

Living with children, especially young ones, can mean messy surroundings. You might have to deal with crayon scribbles on your walls or food spills on the floor. You have to clean everything before putting your house up for sale. Here are some tips to help you get started.

● Crayon on the walls

It’s inevitable that your kids will reach for a coloring material and use the wall as a drawing board. Don’t fret because the scribbles aren’t permanent and there are foolproof ways to clean up the mess left behind by your toddler.

A damp rag dipped in baking soda can take out crayon stains. You can also try spraying WD40 on the wall and wipe it after with a rug. Scrubbing the wall with a non-gel toothpaste or rubbing mayonnaise on the stains is also helpful.

● Stickers on the wall

If you have new wall decorations in your house, such as stickers put up by your playful kid, you can remove it by dabbing baby or vegetable oil on it and leaving it overnight. If you don’t want to use oil, a sponge dipped in hot water will do.

● Messy chocolate stains

If your chocolate-loving kid has added chocolate stains to your sofa, you can remove it by taking out the chocolate pieces stuck on the couch. Dab on the area (start from the outer space) with a damp washcloth dipped in a solution made out of 2 cups of water and one tablespoon of liquid soap.

Rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth. Wipe it with a dry towel. You can also add a dry-cleaning solvent to help you get rid of the stain entirely.

● Mud problems

Did your kid ever walk on the carpet while wearing his mud-caked soccer shoes? Remove the stains by vacuuming the area for dried mud pieces. Use the same solution for chocolate stains and use a white cloth in dabbing the mud stains. If the stains are still visible, have your carpets cleaned.

Restore the rooms to its bare form.

If you’ve used the rooms for office, storage, or as your kid’s bedroom, you need to let the clients see it in its bare form. They can visualize what they’re going to do with that room when the house belongs to them, and they can’t do that if there are too many things stocked inside the rooms.

When it comes to your kid’s room, you need to remove the posters and other things hanging on the wall. If you can’t transfer the furniture, arrange it, so the place doesn’t look messy. Sell your home to buyers by letting them think of possibilities for it. They can’t do that if there’s so much clutter, so clean ahead of time.

Takeaway

Selling your house is an adult decision, but inform your kids about it. It will make them feel better if they’ll think that they are a part of the family decision. Help them in the adjustment process so they won’t resent the house sale.

Rooms of young kids need extra attention when you’re selling your house, so make sure to clean and arrange the furniture and organize the things in it to avoid clutter.

Get Rid of Your Old Mattress in Two Easy Steps

For all the moms who have getting rid of that old mattress at the bottom of their priority list….

Find the next destination of the old mattress sitting in the basement collecting dust. Based on the condition of your mattress, we will help you decide if it should be recycled or donated – never dumped.

For all the moms out there itching to do some spring cleaning, you’re going to want to read this.

Have you ever wondered what to do with your old mattress? Maybe your kid’s old twin beds have been sitting in the basement for the last five years. Or perhaps, you’ve had a teenager leaving for college and you are stuck with their old furniture. How inconvenient.

Getting rid of a mattress is probably at the bottom of your priority list. Why? Because it’s a hassle. Who wants to lug an 80 lb bed through the house? You have more important things to think about.

For an item purchased every 7 to 10 years, it’s not surprising people have no clue how to get rid of it when it reaches the end of its life. The general assumption is to leave it on the curb for your city’s bulk waste pickup to deal with. Unfortunately, that’s illegal in most places.

That’s why we are giving you two easy steps for moving that old, lumpy mattress out of your house and onto bigger and better things (than rotting in the basement).

Step 1: Assess the condition of your mattress

If the mattress you are getting rid of belonging to a child, chances are it has a few rips or stains. If that’s the case, you’ll want to recycle your mattress. There are laws against donating mattresses in poor condition. This is for the health and safety of the next owners of your old bed.

However, if the mattress is stain free and appears to have no major rips or tears, that’s great! Consider donating your mattress to a family in need. You might even consider your own family member or friend that needs a new bed.

Step 2: Identify a charity or organization in your area that will take your mattress

Here’s the thing. Mattresses are 85% recyclable. That’s why you should avoid sending your mattress to the dump at all costs.

Thirty-three million mattresses are manufactured every year in the United States and 20 million are dumped. That’s a lot of mattresses to go in a landfill.

Based on the condition of the mattress, you should either find locations to recycle near you or call the local charity in your area to see if they accept mattress donations. It’s important to note, laws regarding reselling mattresses vary from county to county. While one branch of a charity may accept your mattress, another may not. All you have to do is make a few calls.

Regardless of whether you donate or recycle, the good news is most organizations will come to pick up your mattress for you! All you have to do is open the door.

Both of these options are just as simple as taking your old, lumpy mattress to the dump – not to mention, it’s better for the planet. And if you’re not in love with either, yard sale season is in full swing!

Once your old mattress is gone, find the next best mattress to replace it!

Happy cleaning.

The Hollywood Smile – Do’s and Dont’s

Everything that has a word ‘Hollywood’ in it always sounds so glamorous and magical. Having a Hollywood smile means having those flashing white, straight and beautifully shaped teeth, doesn’t it? And who wouldn’t want that? It’s not a secret that teeth are one of the sources of our self-esteem and confidence since they represent our good genes and self-care. However, no matter how good our genes are nor how hard do we try, sometimes we have to reach for professional help to get what we want. See what you should and shouldn’t do when you are chasing a Hollywood smile.

Do get braces/surgery if needed

Naturally straight and even teeth are not actually that common. Most of the people have something that is specific for them, like having bunchy canines or having a small gap between their front teeth.  Minor misalignments are normal, but there are cases where crooked teeth can really affect your dental health and cause problems in the future. Having braces for a year or two can be demanding and frustrating, but it will result in perfectly aligned teeth for which you will be grateful one day.

Also, having wisdom teeth cut out is very common need; they are an evolutionary residue and we don’t need them anymore. For some people, growing wisdom teeth are painful and can cause serious damage since there’s not enough space in their jaw for another set of teeth. Undergoing these procedures can seem easily avoidable at the moment, but in the long run, you will realize why they were so important. If you need professional help, you can consider Dental Specialists of Niles, P.C. for oral treatment solutions.

Do your research about whitening

If you want a real Hollywood smile, whitening is inevitable. However, be careful. There are many whitening techniques nowadays, from regular whitening treatments at the dentist to home kits and whitening stripes. Not all of them are safe as well. Home kits and stripes can contain Hydrogen Peroxide levels higher than recommended (6%, according to 2012 EU regulations). Any product containing a higher level than this is illegal and you should avoid it, if not report it. This boundary is set for a reason, since higher than allowed levels can cause severe pain, harm your gums, enamel and even nerves. Some mistakes can’t be fixed so easily, so it is better to be safe than sorry. After all, paying a visit to your dentist and having him consult you is always a good idea. It is for the best to hear the opinion of an expert.

Do conduct regular dental care at home

Once you have your teeth whitened, it doesn’t mean you can stop taking care of them. Regular washing, flossing, and mouth-washing will help maintain your teeth whiteness and make it last until the next dentist visit. Avoiding stained drinks can help protect your teeth as well. There’s no need to avoid them completely, only using straws when having black coffee or tea might help. Consider switching to a white wine instead of a red for a while.

Don’t exaggerate (in any way)

White and straight teeth do look appealing, but going too far can even seam repelling. There’s no need going to the extreme with whitening your teeth and looking unnatural and like you have implants. Once-a-year usage of white stripes is sufficient. As for dental-office based whitening, consult your dentist about the recommended frequency. When it comes to straightening your teeth, it may seem strange, but many people like when others have some misalignments. There are some very typical and cute dental ‘flaws’ which can make you unique and memorable. But, of course, if they are a source of low self-esteem, you should get rid of them.

Don’t forget fillings

When undertaking teeth whitening, the guys from the dental lab in Melbourne remind us that it’s important to remember that your fillings will not be acting the same way as your natural teeth. Whitening substances don’t have any effect on fillings. So it is the best, if your fillings are in an obvious place, to do the teeth whitening first and then change filings accordingly. Before doing so, make sure you chose a shade that will suit your face naturally. There’s a little hack to use- if you want to see what shade of white will look good to your skin, consider the color of your sclera as a guide.

Don’t neglect dentist examinations

Other than keeping your teeth straight and white, keeping them healthy is even more important. Even if they are not as white as you would want them to be, having healthy teeth will make you feel confident and make your smile more sincere. Regular visits to your dentist can prevent some dental troubles and help you save a lot of time and money. Also, going for cheaper options is not a good choice when it comes to dental care. Finding a good dental practice isn’t easy, but once you’ve found it, you won’t have to worry about visits to the dentist anymore.

Having a Hollywood smile is very appealing, but it requires a lot of work. Or at least some. You don’t need to have sparkling white teeth to have a nice smile, though. Take care of your teeth, don’t skip the dental exams and don’t avoid necessary operations and you will be halfway there. Whitening your teeth can be a finishing touch in your every-day routine of taking good dental care.

Mental Health Awareness and Working on Personal Development

Photo credit Pexels

Attempting to juggle raising kids, keeping the house clean, being successful at your job, and staying in some semblance of physical fitness leaves very little room for taking time for yourself and leads to constant stress, which in turn can leave even the best of us in a state of disarray. If you are experiencing any mental health problems, these conditions can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and unable to function normally. A lot of people tend to ignore these issues and chalk them up to being tired or annoyed, but mental health issues are no joke and you need to address them just like you would any physical problem. Otherwise, you run the risk of an easily treatable condition escalating into something more serious. While sites like Rolling Paper report on some of the treatments or remedies that can be used to address mental health issues, it is not always as simple as a few lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma in today’s society regarding mental health issues, and a lot of people don’t talk about their problems or seek treatment, which is why it is extremely important to raise awareness about this important topic. Here we will discuss how you can improve various aspects of your life by dealing with problems you or your loved ones might be experiencing instead of ignoring them.

Photo credit Pixabay

Talk about it

As mentioned earlier, people are very hesitant to talk about their mental health problems because they are afraid they will be labeled as weak, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies show that around 20% of people experience some sort of mental health issues during their lives, which means most people already know one such person but are often unaware that anything is amiss. If you or anyone close to you have experienced such problems, make sure to talk about it openly so others who may also be suffering can know they are not alone and that it’s alright to seek treatment. The more people talk about this topic, the more people will be accepting of others with these issues, which creates an environment where people are more likely to try and find help for themselves or people they care about. New and effective treatments have been developed in recent years, including ketamine therapy for depression, so there are definitely more options to choose from.

Photo credit Pixabay

Work on your personal development

Stagnation is the enemy of progress and you should always be aiming to improve yourself, both personally and professionally. Competence breeds self-confidence, which often leads to more success in all aspects of your life. Want to be in better shape? Take up a new sport or activity. Trying to make yourself the best candidate for a raise or promotion? Attend business courses to improve your professional qualifications or even gain new ones. However, this can be very difficult if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, which is why awareness is so important. Once you are comfortable talking about any mental health problems you may be experiencing and seeking treatment for them, you will be able to refocus on your personal development.

Photo credit Pixabay

Help others cope

Mental health awareness is a good cause, but it’s only the first step. The next one is helping your loved ones who are experiencing these issues cope and find proper treatment. While symptoms and their severity can vary, if you suspect someone is experiencing a mental health issue, talk to them about it. Be compassionate and understanding, but don’t push them to talk about the topic if they are unwilling, just make sure they know you are there for them. A lot of the time, this will be enough of a push for them to open up about what they are experiencing. Additionally, always stand up against people who trivialize mental health issues by claiming you should just get over it or misuse the term. Last, but definitely not least, you should try to pass these values onto your children so when they grow up, they will not hesitate to seek help for themselves or their loved ones.

About the author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about mental health, well-being, and healthy lifestyle at ripped.me. Claire on Facebook and Twitter.

6 Ways to Relieve the Stress of Being a New Mother

Becoming a parent for the first time is overwhelmingly wonderful but also a little frightening and very stressful. Parenting will probably be one of the largest but also the most rewarding challenges you will ever encounter. There are so many important decisions you will have to make once you bring your baby home from the hospital. There are even decisions to be made before your baby is born. One of the main pre-birth decisions is to make sure you have everything you will need for the baby nursery. You want to make sure you purchase some essential items like:

  • Baby crib
  • Alarm or monitor
  • Dresser
  • Night Light

What are some of the things you can do to reduce the stress so that you can enjoy the joys of being a new parent?

Give Yourself a Break

It is very important to make sure you can take a break periodically to get away and tend to your needs, even if only for a few minutes. Of course, you will need a strong support system like friends and family, who understand this need and can take-over while you are taking that break. You can go shopping, take a walk, enjoy a cup of coffee, or take a bath. After your break, you will feel renewed to go back to your parenting duties with a clearer head and a better perspective. When you start feeling overly stressed again, it means it is time for another break.

Eat Chocolate

When all else fails, eat some chocolate. It is true that stress or emotional eating is not always a good thing, especially when done too often. But there is also no denying that chocolate can make you feel good. In addition, studies have shown that it can actually reduce stress. How about a nice piece of Matcha chocolate, a white chocolate with an herbal aroma and the bittersweet finish of real green tea leaves?

Ask for and Accept Help

Don’t be afraid to ask others for suggestions, advice, and help. You don’t have to do everything yourself nor are you expected to know how to do everything. Seek advice from other moms who have had the experience of being a mother. Seek advice from financial professionals to help you manage your funds more effectively. Every mother has been through the same feelings you are having such as financial stress, time-related stress, or a combination of both. Arrange to meet other moms, share your feelings and situations with them and let them share theirs with you. Having a strong support system around you will help relieve some of your stress as well as give you the opportunity to take a break when you need one.

Understand Your Body

It is important for you to recognize the signs of stress and how they affect your body and behavior. If you aren’t in touch with your feelings, they are likely to overwhelm you and lead to impatience, irritability, screaming, and lapses in judgment. If you feel your heart beating faster or your blood pressure rising, take a deep breath and a break if you can. Pay attention to the warning signs that your stress levels are getting to the boiling point.

Take Care of Yourself

If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your newborn. When possible, take those much-needed breaks. Do everything you can to get enough sleep. This might be rather difficult if your baby likes to sleep during the day and is awake at night. If you are able, sleep when your baby sleeps. Other suggestions on how to take care of yourself are:

  • Get a massage
  • Take long walks
  • Enjoy a bath
  • Sign up for a class
  • Do some gardening
  • Listen to music
  • Try incorporating essential oils like CBD oil into your routine

If you treat yourself with care and compassion, you will be able to give compassion and care. And that helps make you a better mother.

Try Exercise

You are probably thinking “how on earth you will be able to find time to exercise”? Did you know that there is a lot of research that shows how physical exercise is crucial in helping you manage stress? When you exercise, it literally makes you feel better, reduces anxiety, and calms nervous tensions. You don’t necessarily have to join a gym or start a rigorous exercise regime. Start slow and do what you can in the time you have. Don’t pressure yourself to do more than you feel you are able to handle. Just knowing that exercise can help you reduce stress should be the incentive you need to get started.

You can’t take care of your new baby unless you take care of yourself. The concept is akin to when flight attendants remind us to put on our oxygen masks first, then on our children. Make sure to take time for yourself, keep your stress levels in check, and enjoy being a mother.

 

Shopping For A Comfortable Ladies Bike

“If mama ain’t happy…”

We all know the rest.

Sometimes visitors to the blog are looking to purchase a bicycle for their wife or mother. Sometimes it is the wife or mother who is looking to buy a bike for themselves.

Either way, shopping for a lady’s bicycle presents a unique set of challenges.

Women are poorly represented in the sport of cycling. Cycling is heavily dominated by men both at the professional level and recreationally.

Unlike the local running store, which is likely to have near-equal numbers of female and male employees, your local bike shop will commonly have an all-male staff and be more heavily stocked with men’s apparel.

Most bike shops have made a conscious effort to create a more female-friendly feel in their stores over the past few years, but it doesn’t make the shopping process any less intimidating.

For many of these ladies, it has been decades since they rode a bicycle. Kids and career have dominated every waking moment. It is only now that the children are teenagers, that biking can be a consideration. Often, she is shopping for a bicycle with the specific goal of riding with her family. Or she’s dating someone who is into the cycling lifestyle.

And so, mom bravely marches into the local bicycle store or cautiously shops online for a bicycle that will be comfortable, lightweight, durable and — hopefully — not too complicated.

This guide is going simplify that process for you. We’ll cover the most important elements so that you can purchase your next bike with confidence. There is also a helpful guide over at http://www.davescheapbikes.com/best-hybrid-bikes/ for more details on hybrid bicycles.

1. Sizing is important

Bicycles come in a wide array of sizes. The bike size is measured in inches from the top of the seat tube, down to where the pedal cranks enter the bike.

Here is a handy sizing chart:

5’0″ or shorter = XX-Small = 13″ Frame Size
5’0″-5’4″ = X-Small = 13-14″ Frame Size
5’4″-5’9″ = Small = 14-16″ Frame Size
5’10”-6’1″ = Medium = 16-18″ Frame Size
6’0″-6’4″ = Large = 19-21″Frame Size

Cheaper brands take a one-size-fits-all approach which means that shorter women are forced to ride uncomfortably tall bikes.

Ideally, you should adjust the seat so that when you sit on it and place your heel on the pedal, your leg should be fully extended. That way when you pedal with the ball of your foot, your knee has a healthy, 20-degree bend in it.

This position will feel unnaturally tall but is designed to prevent knee stress. Try it out for 5 minutes. It becomes very natural, very quickly.

2. Buy a hybrid

There are many types of bikes you can buy. Mountain bikes are great for riding off the road, and you can find great mountain bikes under $500 these days. Road bikes are dedicated to road riding.

A hybrid bike, specifically one that is called a “comfort bike,” is going to be your best bet for maximizing your comfort.

These bicycles tend to have a more upright position, which is noticeably more pleasant on the arms, shoulders and lower back.

They also have tires that are designed for both pavement and light gravel, giving you the best of both worlds.

3. Get a better seat

The seat is the number one cause of complaint. The trick is to choose a saddle that is not overly wide, but that still has adequate padding.

Most of the time, you will need to invest in a better seat than what comes standard on the bike.

The best seats come with a 60 day (or better) “comfort guarantee” that lets you return the saddle if you don’t find it comfortable.  If you find that the standard seat is not comfortable, you can try upgrading to one of these aftermarket seats.

4. Shocks are nice but add weight

When you think “comfort,” what do you envision? A Beach bicycle? (I know I do!).

You might remember the large spring shocks on the early banana cruisers. Shocks have come a long way since then.

If you get a bicycle with shocks, it can add outstanding comfort. However, these shocks do add a couple of extra pounds of weight. If you are buying a bike for fitness reasons and hope to ride long distances (regularly riding longer than 10 miles) than skip the shocks and go for speed.

Otherwise, the shocks make a big enough difference, which it makes sense to invest in a bike with them.

5. Don’t worry about the gears

The idea of “shifting” a bicycle is intimidating for many customers. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a single-speed bike that is also comfortable. Most of them tend to be rather cumbersome.

Shifting becomes quite intuitive. Here’s the best way to get comfortable with shifting in the shortest amount of time.

The first thing is to set the bike in a “medium” gear. You can do this by setting the left shifter on “2” and the right shifter somewhere around “4”.

With this gear selection, you can ride the bicycle as a single-speed and never shift it.

However, you can also leave the left shifter in “2”, and experiment with the right shifter. This setting will give you a feel for how it works, and let you experiment with a broader range of gears.

Then, if you get to the point where you need it, you can begin using the left shifter to select which gear range — low, medium or high — you need to be in.

But only worry about this last step if you are riding hilly terrain that requires it. You might be surprised how much you appreciate the low gears on even small inclines.

6. You Don’t have to buy a “Women’s” Bike.

Most bikes are fairly unisex. It is still possible to buy a “Women’s specific” model with the step-through frame. These frames are handy for women under 5′ 2″ as it allows easier mounting and dismounting and can make the bike much less intimidating to ride.

However, no one will think any more or less of you choosing a bike based purely on comfort and not on aesthetics. If you are willing to focus on comfort, durability, and price over anything else, it is often possible to save a significant amount on your next bike purchase.

Home Décor: Trendy Colors for 2018

Whether it’s wall colors, accents or what-have-you, the right color choices make statements about your style, your influence – basically, your personality.

One way to make a strong statement is to use trendy colors. They’re not for everyone, but if you’re brave enough, you can turn some heads – maybe even your own.

So now, let’s take a look at 2018’s trendy colors. The headings may identify a specific color or a range of colors. Brace yourself!

Caviar Black

Black, in general, is a color you have to use carefully. It usually works better as an accent color, especially when using accessories.

With caviar black, accenting doesn’t seem too bold. It’s quite close to charcoal, which is a good fit if you’re using gray in your décor. If any of your other furniture pieces are dark, caviar black will not contrast too much.

Statement Turquoise

If you’re looking for bold, statement turquoise is this year’s ticket. A combination of blue and green, it will definitely blend well with many shades of each. And the beauty is that you can use it for an accent wall, or the entire room.

Nothing says “Forward” like the color “statement turquoise.”

Put Some Sunshine In Your Rooms

This is not the name of the color. The phrase covers several shades of goldenrod. If you plan to decorate a room mood that is happy and comfy, any of the rich yellows that bring warmth would be the ones to consider. Golden Ochre is one of such colors.

If you use accents like blue or cream, goldenrod colors will complement these very well.

Sophisticated Blush

Sophisticated blush combines light beige with a warmer pink, making it an ideal neutral color. A piece of furniture in this color makes a great accent piece.

Grounded Charcoal Brown

As to earth tones, the basic brown can serve as a go-to color. But the grounded charcoal brown is a warm blend of black and brown shades. It could be said that it resembles the soil, not necessarily in color, but symbolically. The daylight warms the color, while less light in the evening cools it.

Fiery Colors

This year’s pick is “Caliente” which in Spanish means “hot.” The suggested use of this color is on an accent wall. However, if you have a room exclusively for entertaining, or maybe you’re in your office, you might consider “energizing” the entire room in Caliente.

Ultra Violet

As purple shades go, Ultra Violet was named the color of the year. It will add richness as an accent color, and for the brave, a load of depth as an all-wall option.

Black

Most of the time, all-black rooms are just not appealing. However, if done right, especially if used to complement other color schemes, it can pop without bringing thoughts of gothic décor. This year, black is the new “neutral.”

Pastels

For charging the batteries, decompressing or just creating general harmony in a room, pastels will fit the bill. This year, one such tranquil combination of pastels includes Sandy Pink and Mint Green.

Summary

Even as generous as this list is, there’s a multitude of trendy shades and colors, even for this year. If you didn’t find a trendy color to your liking, keep looking. You may still have the opportunity to include a trendy color in your home décor.