General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

Creating a Home Office

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There is nothing more precious than your family, but when it’s difficult to get any work done at home because your precious family are climbing all over the place, and threatening to delete your work, it can feel a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

(Related Post: 3 Ways You Can Do More To Make Your Family Happy)

This is why you should get a home office, and especially if you are one of those parents that have to work at home on occasion, that idea of separating your work from home life can be difficult when you to work at home. So, a home office is the solution, because you can go in there, do your work, and shut the door once you’re done, not to go back in until the next working day. But, what are the best ways to make a perfect home office?

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Getting The Fastest Equipment

If you’ve got children who are prone to clogging up the router with endless Netflix watching, this could impact your Skype calls so you would be better off getting your own internet connection. There are suppliers like Suddenlink and their wireless internet that actually include Netflix packages as part of the deal! Speed and efficiency are vital to your internet when you are working from home because you can’t afford to have any technical mishaps, so the best approach is to get your own connection for your office.

Keeping Yourself Motivated

You can easily fall into the trap of complacency when you’re working at home because everything you need is in the next room or downstairs. Keeping yourself motivated as one of those difficult things to get right when you are working from home. The way to do it is to minimize all distractions in your home office, and pepper the room with everything that inspires you and keeps you focused. You may need industrial headphones to keep you focused and to drown out the background noise, but if it works, then why not?!

Designing It For Productivity

Creating a home office isn’t just about getting the essentials in there, but it’s also about making sure every aspect works so you can work! It’s pointless if you aren’t able to fit everything into the home office, so you are cramped and unable to work properly. This means figuring out where everything is going to go beforehand. So you may want to think about the size of the desk, in relation to the resources you need to hand. It’s a delicate balance to get everything that you need in the office so you can accomplish the tasks effectively because if you have resources scattered all over the house, this will slow you down.

Working from home in many ways is a blessing, but it can also be a very difficult thing to get right. So this means that you’ve got to have a plan of attack before you start laying out the office. And remember, the benefit of a home office is so you can get work done. This means implementing a barrier between the office and the rest of your family. If this is the way for you to get things done, then by all means, do it.

Family, General, Home Improvement

Thinking of Moving to a New Country?

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

When you have a family, the thought of packing up your entire life and moving across the world can bring about two pure emotions: pure excitement, and pure terror. It might be simple to convince your partner to move across the world, but it’s not so easy to get the message across to the little ones in your life.

Kids thrive on routine, stability, and order. When you tell them you are moving away and that they have to leave school and friends behind it can create a huge amount of stress in children. It is hard for them to adapt to change and you do need to be more mindful of them before you decide to up and leave.

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The most crucial thing to remember is to make sure you involve your child right from the start. You can’t expect to turn around one day and tell them you are moving away. Before you even start looking at destinations you need to be discussing the idea of moving with your child. They might hate the idea at first but if they have ample time to get used to it they will likely be much more open to trying new things. Try looking into getting a property for rent in the country you plan to move in and staying there for a few weeks to get you and the family used to the lifestyle and prices of things in the new place. After being there for a few weeks you might decide it’s not for you which is fine. It is better to try and at least experience everything first before you pack everything up and go.

Before you leave for a new country you will need to make sure that you have all your medical stuff up to date. Visit your PCP and tell them about the move. They may send you for vaccines and they can also try to give you some advice on the healthcare system abroad. The last thing you want is to be in another country and not have a clue how to get to the doctors if you are ill.

To make your children more comfortable, try and take their favorite toys with you when you leave even if it might make the move more expensive for you. Children need to comfort of things they know and this might be the perfect way to help them adjust to life in a new country away from their friends and other family members. Make sure you make room in your hand luggage so that they can have the toy with them on the plane.

The same thing applies to other objects that your child uses each day. They might have a pushchair, a pillow or blanket they love or something. If you are going to take your child across the world make sure they have some of these things to make them feel more at home when they arrive.

If your child is still a baby or toddler, you will need to check the regulations for bottles and milk in other countries. Every country has different regulations for child products, and some are stricter than others. For example, if you are in the USA, you can’t take your items to the UK because they contain banned materials for that country. It might be that you have to buy all new equipment so make sure that you have the funds to do it.

Bring lots of memories with you when you move. Children love visual reminders of things, so if they have had to leave friends behind or their old home: take photos of them to bring with you. That way your child can look at these pictures when they are struggling to adjust and remember the things they had back home. It is important because it shows that you acknowledge what they have given up to come here and that you respect those memories. You could even keep it as a surprise when you first arrive in your new home and show it to them.

Moving to another part of the world can be incredibly stressful and it is understandable that you will have a lot of things to sort out. You might need to find a job, register at school, find your new local GP and lots more. However, you also need to make sure you are present in your child’s life in those first few weeks or months. They will find it incredibly difficult to adjust and it will be even harder if you aren’t there to tell them it’s ok.

Stay connected with people back home. Just because you live somewhere new doesn’t mean that you can never see your family and friends again. Set up the laptop for regular Skype calls home and let your children talk to their friends. They will feel more connected to home and it will make the process much less stressful for them.

Once you have finally landed in your new home, make sure you include your children in the decisions for the house. Let the, choose their bedroom and where everything will go, and even let them pick out new furniture if you need to buy some. Giving them jobs to do and making them feel part of the process will help them to forget about their homesickness and be excited to start living in this new place. You could also let them choose the first place you visit while you are there.

A great idea when you’ve settled into your home is to invite the neighbors round for a party. It will give you the chance to get to know the people and the area, and will also be a perfect opportunity to introduce your children to other kids in the area. They will be able to go off and play while you are mingling with the adults, and they may even finish the party with a new best friend.

Christmas, Family, General

Don’t Forget Your Dog This Christmas!

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Often enough, our pets are our world, along with the rest of our family. Some of us even consider them our “furbabies”! They’re important enough for us to celebrate their birthdays, and we spend a lot of time running around after them. So we devote a lot of time to them, and we feel like we love them like we’ve never loved anyone else before in our lives! Let’s face it, they’re cute and fluffy, and immediately understand the word no! With Christmas around the corner, don’t let them get left out of the festivities. It’s no fun just to see your dog sitting out of the way while everyone else is having fun.

(Related post: How To Help Your Kids Sleep On Christmas Eve!)

So you’ve got everything for the kids sorted, and you’ve got the presents all wrapped up under the tree for the little one to marvel at. Then you turn around and see your dog sitting right behind you, a sad look on their face. Sound familiar? If it does, pamper your pooch a little with a couple of their own presents on Christmas day. While they may not understand what’s going on, they definitely know what attention is and how it makes them feel! Here are some quick things to pick up for your pets just in time for the big day.

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Why Not Get Them an Advent Calendar? Maybe a Stocking?

There’s a market around niche products for dogs, and for any animal really, so next time you go to the pet store, pick up a doggy chocolate calendar! This won’t hurt your favorite friend to eat and you can stop the kids from trying to feed Rover their chocolates on the sly!

Similarly, you can also buy them stockings to hang up on the mantelpiece next to your little ones’, and fill it with small treats and toys. Just make sure your dog doesn’t catch a hold of the tail because the smell got too overwhelming for them and they just had to try out the merchandise! Hang them up high, or get a premade stocking that’s well sealed, meaning you’ll be able to get to it before any real damage is done.

Bag Up Some Good Treats!

Christmas is a good time to share in food and delights, and just because a dog’s diet is different to our own doesn’t mean they can’t take part. Healthy treats can be given to a good dog in bigger quantities, but of course not too many! It can be a lot cheaper to buy natural treats instead of the processed stuff we find on the supermarket shelves: buy up packs of treats that have foods like chicken and beef in them in large concentrations, which a lot of the bigger companies don’t have, and you can save about $10 to $20 on the food.

Dogs love to eat; just look at how many of them tend to beg for a bite off our own plates! Direct Fido elsewhere if he’s doing this a lot, and give him good reason to. A dog is always going to love something tasty to chow down on, so why not pick up some Betsy Farms dog duck treats for them to rip open on the day? Dogs have a natural tendency to sate their innate hunter’s drive, and tearing up some festive wrapping paper is a good way to do this! Just be sure you got all the little bits from under the sofa.

Buy Them A Ball or Treat Launcher

Following up from the point above, dogs love to chase and get a reward at the end of it. So, if you find that your pooch has boundless energy and your arm gets tired after a few short minutes, there’s a treat in store for you too! Invest in a launcher!

This covers a lot more distance and gets your dog to run faster and for longer distances. You can waste a little more of their energy out this way! Similarly, you can pack a launcher with whatever you want your dog to chase after, whether it’s some treats because you’re trying to get your four-legged friend to exercise more, or a ball because it’s their all-time favorite. This is the best gift for them!

Go Out and Buy Them Some Clothes

Animal clothing is cute and fluffy and makes a lot of Instagram worthy moments. Everyone loves to see a pet dressed up in headbands and with a scarf around their neck, so why not go the extra mile and get them a whole set? It makes a great Christmas card to send around, and you’ve got yourself a good moment for the family photo album.

A lot of people think it’s silly to dress an animal up and take some fun and creative photos with them, but you’re not hurting anyone and it’s a good way to introduce more fun to your family! If you have a smaller dog, the options are endless, and you can invent yourself a mini reindeer, elf, or Santa himself in the shape of your canine companion.

For a bigger dog, the options are a little more limited, but that doesn’t mean your Great Dane has to miss out! Make your own clothes for your little buddy; you can cut, paste, stick, rip, sew, and bedeck material with sequins. Plus, it uses up a lot of the kids’ creative energy, so if you leave it til’ just before the big day itself, it means they’re more likely to settle down to sleep on Christmas Eve!

It’s all about making this Christmas one to remember! If you have a pet, particularly a dog, include them in your plans for a lot more variety during the festive season. You could go for walks in the park through the snow, an activity a dog will always love, and you can get your dog to sign cards with their pawprints when dipped in safe paints or food coloring. It’s a nice touch and people are guaranteed to love the extra affection.