Cleaning, Family, General

4 Ways to Make Your Kid’s Clothes Last Longer

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

One of the biggest struggles for parents is clothing. You’ll need a lot of it to cover different occasions and weather, but kids grow so quick that many items are unwearable after a short period of time.
Add in the fact that children will play, get dirty and fall over, leaving clothes ruined.Kid’s clothes are expensive, so if you’re looking for ways to get more for your buck – take a look at these top tips for helping your kids’ clothes last longer.

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Stock up on the basics

Just like you have a closet full of basics, it makes sense to have the same for your children. Items like plain t-shirts, socks, and underwear are worth buying in bulk so that you always have a good supply at home that can be washed. You can get some great multi-buy deals that offer good values on kids clothing to help you save some money. Try to put them in basics most of the time so that nicer clothes are kept clean.

Buy a size bigger kids

Clothing comes in many different sizes, usually by age until they reach adulthood. If you’re investing in clothes that you want to last, it makes sense to buy clothes a size bigger that you can alter at the beginning, leaving slack to pull back out. If you’re not great with sewing, there are some excellent no-sew DIY clothing hacks out there that could save you a ton of problems.

Buy quality clothing

Investing in quality clothes can make a real difference to how long they last. While you might hate spending more on a coat or sweater, buying from a quality brand will mean that the items last longer, resulting in less frequent shopping trips for you. Take a look at the latest collection from Stone Island Kids – there are some great items there made from premium materials for looks that last. Quality clothing can easily be handed down as well, so it’s certainly a great idea to invest in items that can either be passed on to younger siblings, given to other kids or donated to Goodwill.

Learn how to tackle different stains

Kids can spill all sorts of things over themselves, get muddy or fall in the grass that leaves their clothes looking a state. As a parent, you’re going to need to become a whizz with the washer and learn how to remove stains from kids’ clothes.

Granted, it’s not always easy – but being able to remove the majority of stains will help your money stretch further and keep your child happy with their favorite sweater or dress gets dirty.

We all know that kids are messy, and if they aren’t getting their clothes dirty, they’re ruining your floors. Learn to prevent spills from staining so that you can protect your carpet and other surfaces from getting spoiled. A good arsenal of cleaning tools is a great thing to have around the house, ready to tackle whatever mess your kids get into next!

(Related post: Tips to Prevent Spills From Staining)

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.

General, Self-Care

3 Ways Aging in the 21st Century is Better Than Ever

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

For most of us, the idea of aging is not a concept that we are particularly comfortable with.

In fact, the “fight” against aging is everywhere. The term “anti-aging” has come to encompass everything from the moisturizers we use to the clothes we like to wear. The overall message is constant: youth is good, and aging is bad.

It’s easy to see where some of this perception comes from. Most of us grew up with grandparents, some of whom will have had health issues that made aging seem rather scary to us. When we shy away from wrinkles and “old” hairstyles, it’s not really the wrinkles that are the problem– it’s the fact they are associated with advancing years. A huge number of people dread the idea of aging, and that’s a real shame for two reasons:

– Aging is inevitable. It’s actually fortunate to have the opportunity to grow old when you think about it. There’s nothing you can do to slow or stop the aging process so, ultimately, many of us go through life dreading something we cannot do anything about.

– We’re basing our fears about aging on outdated facts; the situations that our grandparents went through.

It’s the latter point that we’re going to focus on. Aging in the 21st century is nothing like aging even 20 years ago; times have changed, technology has advanced, and the golden years we experience have every chance of glittering with joy…

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Our Understanding Of Health Is Better Than Ever

Many illnesses and conditions used to be written off as “old age”; something that just happened, and few people spent time trying to fix. It was just accepted that when you reached a certain age, your body begins to deteriorate.

However, in the 21st century, medical science is investigating aging in a way it never has before. Dementia is no longer seen as an inevitability that should just be accepted; it’s seen as a condition that is worth researching, treating, and possibly even preventing. No longer are people required to just cope with poor mobility; operations and treatments are available that can give an incredible quality of life no matter what your age.

Finally, geriatricians specialize in those over the age of 70; aging now has an entire medical specialty dedicated to it. Research is ongoing and the developments that result will ensure a comfortable retirement for us all.

Technology Allows A Full Life For Longer

On the back of the advanced medical understanding comes technology; technology that has been designed to step into the breach when our bodies begin to show a little too much wear and tear.

There are countless examples of tech that can help older people live wonderful, fulfilling lives. Deafness was viewed as just something that happened as you got older, even treated as a punchline by sitcoms. Now, the matter is handled very differently; if you ever experience diminished hearing capacity, then you’ll be referred for testing and hearing aid fitting, which will result in a return of normal hearing function. It’s not just your ears, either; if your eyesight begins to fade, then laser eye surgery can give you 20:20 vision once more, all thanks to advances in technology.

Japan – who have a rapidly aging population – are pioneering the research into aging technology, and are producing some stunning results. Take, for example, this bed that converts into a wheelchair to promote mobility in later life. Technology, it seems, will be able to set us free from so many of the age-related limitations our grandparents experienced.

The Internet Allows For Social Connections

One of the biggest risks in old age is social isolation, but this is a problem that the internet is helping to eradicate. When you reach an age where socializing is difficult in person, you will still be able to communicate with friends and family thanks to Skype and social media, ensuring that you will be able to enjoy those valuable connections in the later years of life.

In Conclusion

Aging is not quite what it used to be. If you have a fear of aging or try to ignore the issue altogether, then hopefully the above will have helped to calm some of your nerves. The inevitability of aging is something we all have to deal with, but at least it looks like life for older people in the 21st century is going to have plenty to enjoy– so there’s no need to fear what the future may hold for you.

(Related post: Aging: Health Tips For A Great Life)

General

4 Guaranteed Ways to Help Your Kids Sleep on Christmas Eve

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

We all know that Christmas can be a super exciting time for all kids. Unfortunately, though, all that excitement can often bubble over and send them a bit wild. Once they get too excited, there is no chance that they will get to sleep at a reasonable time on Christmas Eve. For many parents, Christmas Eve can become a big battle between them and their kids. The children will want to stay up and try and spot Father Christmas, after all!

Want to make things easier for everyone this Christmas Eve? Here are some great tips that can help them get to sleep quicker despite all the excitement.

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Wear Them Out

If you don’t have anything planned during the day on Christmas Eve, you should spend the day doing something that will wear the kids out. For instance, you might want to go sledding if there is plenty of snow. If not, you could always spend a couple of hours at your local ice rink.

For those in warmer climates, a day at the park or full of a local town’s Christmas activities should do the trick! Look ahead on Facebook Events to see what’s going on in your area!

(Related post: Hello December!)

By the time your kids get home, they will be tired and ready for bed. Hopefully, they will fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow!

Stick To The Routine

Every child benefits from a daily routine, and a bedtime routine is especially important. A set routine before bed at any time of the year can help kids get into a good habit, and it also helps them know what to expect in the evenings.

It’s important that you try and stick to this routine as much as possible, even if it is the Christmas holidays. You might find that it is hard to get back into the usual swing of things if you do break it for a few days.

(Related post: Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Intelligence)

Help Them Relax

It’s also worth taking a couple of hours out before bed so that your kids have the chance to relax and unwind. Giving them a bath is a great idea as this will relax both the body and mind. A lot of moms suggest lavender oils and bubble baths for a bedtime bath to help calm the kids. You will also find that a bedtime story can be particularly soothing for young children as well. Why not read them a Christmas story? Here are 10 great Christmas stories to choose from!

It could also be useful to learn more about scent machines. These can release relaxing fragrances, like lavender, into your children’s bedrooms, helping them relax and drift off as quickly as possible.

Tell Them Santa Won’t Come

If you find that all of the above tips aren’t enough to combat your children’s excitement, there is something else that you can do. Thought a little mean, as a last resort it may do the job. You just need to tell them that Santa won’t come until they are fast asleep.

This should at least get them into bed. They might still take a while to finally drop off, but as long as they know that Santa won’t come with their presents, at least they might pretend to be asleep until they do actually fall asleep. So that will give you a bit of peace and quiet!

And then you just have their over excitement on Christmas Day to deal with!

General, Self-Care

3 Ways you can do More to Make Your Family Happy

It’s impossible to play happy families on a 24/7 basis. Kids are bound to fight and their parents are bound to lose patience after a long and tiring day. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a happy family as a whole. Sometimes, parents have to compromise to make their little ones happier, but there’s still room for the grown-ups to have a little personal happiness too. That means you’re just as much a part of your family as your children and you should be aiming to make sure every member of the family is happy. Here’s how to do more to ensure that becomes a reality.

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Take time off.

First of all, you need to remember to take time off. That doesn’t mean you should ditch work or school, but you should use the weekends, evenings, school breaks, and vacation days to do the things you love with your family. Take a trip with the family at the weekend. You could go camping or even head to the museum if you want a free outing. Taking a vacation or a “mini-break” doesn’t have to be costly but you’ll receive as much as you put in.

In fact, taking time off is something you should do on your own too. You don’t want to drive each other crazy in your household by spending all your time together. Taking time off stretches to having a long soak in the bath after a stressful day. You need to practice self-care to safeguard your mental health. Remember to unplug from time to time; don’t look at your phone screen before bed.

(Related Post: What does self-care look like for you?)

Improve your home life.

A happy home leads to a happy family. You should aim to make your home as cozy and welcoming as possible. Let everyone have a say in the theme of their room, make the backyard something worth playing in! My favorite thing ever, was when we lived in Dallas and had a hammock in our backyard! We were lucky enough to have two trees perfectly spaced to cinch the hammock straps. I honestly miss those tress SO much.

Of course, there’s every chance that the problems with your family’s home life are deeply rooted. Perhaps you’re tripping over each other because you’ve outgrown the house (as is natural when kids seem to double in size with every passing year).

You might want to consider that it’s time to move to a bigger house that’d be better suited to your family’s needs. It’s important that you and the family feel comfortable in your home. Whilst making such a big change might seem scary, it doesn’t have to be a stressful overhaul. You could look into a professional moving and storage company to help you relocate. Make sure you plan every step of your house-move so as to get the help you need and take all the stress out of the event.

Communicate with one another.

Most importantly, a happy family is one that communicates well with one another. Make sure you swap stories about your day. Ask the kids what they’ve been up to and tell them about your day too (but don’t bore them with details about work). You should let your children and partner know that they can talk to you about anything, good or bad. Open communication is everything.

Christmas, General, Self-Care

6 Easy Ways to Lose Holiday Pounds

The holidays aren’t even here yet, and many of us have already started to pile on the holiday lbs. Shops start selling Christmas treats earlier every year, and we want to fit in as many as possible to make the most of them before they leave the shelves in the new year, so we start buying them as soon as we can. Then, there’s the fact that most of us no longer pound the streets for hours searching for the perfect Christmas gifts, burning off hundreds of calories in the process. Instead the only activity our Christmas shopping brings us is the clicking of a button. So, we’re eating more, working out less and have already gained some holiday weight when we enter December. At this point, many of us give up. We’ve gained weight already; we want to be able to enjoy the holidays without worrying, so instead let’s take a look at ways to lose the Christmas lbs when it’s all over.

Have a Cut Off

Most of us buy way too much Christmas food. Then receive even more as gifts. Try to stick to a limit, and give yourself a cut off date. Allow yourself to indulge until the 2nd of January, then have a clear out. Any treats left in the house, give away or put in the bin if it’s past its best. Then, start eating these healthy weekday dinners that you can make in the crockpot.

Calorie Count

To lose weight, you need to burn off more calories than you consume. 1lb is around 3500 calories, so you need to eat 500 calories less every day to lose 1lb in a week. The best way to ensure you do this is by calorie counting. If you struggle, use an app to help you track your consumption and buy an activity tracker to measure what you are burning off.

Drink Less Alcohol

Alcohol can actually affect your weight over Christmas more than food, and won’t even fill you up. On average a 175ml glass of wine has around 160 calories, that’s about the same as half a burger or 15 minutes running at high intensity. To lose weight in January, try to have an alcohol-free month.

Get Help

Calorie counting, dieting, and exercising can be confusing. Especially if you are busy and tend to eat quickly and on the go. Get help from isolatorfitness.com, and you won’t have to worry about working everything out and regulating yourself.

Enjoy the sales

A full day of sales shopping could burn off 1500 calories. So instead of shopping online, brave the cold and get out there into the January sales.

Make Healthy Leftovers

It’s not just the snacks and treats that can last long after Christmas. You might find yourself tucking into the leftover turkey for weeks too. Try some healthy recipes like soups, salads or a healthy low-fat curry.

The most important thing is not to carry on eating at the same holiday pace well into January. Let yourself fully enjoy the festivities. Then, stop. Even returning to your normal diet and increasing your activity levels slightly should help, any extra is a bonus which will help you to lose your holiday weight faster.

Family, General

6 Things Every Kid Should Do Before They Grow Up

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

Sadly Peter Pan was nothing but a story. The idea of being forever youthful sounds idyllic at first glance with your days spent playing with your pals, building forts and baking cakes, but take a deeper look and you have the teenage angst, peer pressure and school work to contend with.

As a responsible parent, you want to ensure that your little darlings have the most enjoyable childhood that they possibly can. You want to fill their days with joy, create happy memories and prevent them from spending every waking moment in front of a video game or on social media. While your kids still have no wish to head onto Facebook and would prefer to be outside frolicking in a field rather than indoors in front of the tv, it’s up to you to harness this innocent enthusiasm.

However odd it may sound, children of a certain age love spending time with their parents. Before they hit their teenage years, kids enjoy being with their family, relish going off on adventures with their mum, dad and siblings and love sharing new experiences. Take a look at the ultimate bucket list for kids and see how many things you can do with your children before they start to grow up.

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Head To A Beach

Every adult has memories of childhood summers spent on the beach with their families. It’s up to you to make these memories simply idyllic. You want your child to reminisce about skipping stones across the sea, collecting seashells and rock pooling. Encourage them to head out into the shallowest waters, hunting for crabs and shrimp. See if your little cherubs can build sandcastles, dig a moat and bury either you or your husband up to your neck in wet sand. On hot, balmy days when on vacation, there can be nothing better than whiling away the hours on the beach as a family with an ice cream or two. Sand in between your toes never sounded so good.

Visit An Aquarium

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to book a day out scuba diving and head down into the deep of the oceans for a family day out to swim with the sharks, the stingrays and the legions of tropical fish. What you can do is venture to a SeaQuest Aquarium to take in the majestic beauty of the seas, without strapping on a wet-suit. Every good aquarium has thousands of species of aquatic creatures to marvel at. Your kids might witness feeding time for the penguins, observe leather-back turtles somersaulting through the water and see jellyfish lighting up the darkest depths. You never know, you may even discover the whereabouts of Nemo and Dory. A visit to an aquarium is awe-inspiring and educational and warrants a place on the ultimate bucket list.

Ride A Bike

Although this may seem the simplest of objectives to put on the bucket list, it’s a vital one. Learning to ride a bike can be the easiest of tasks for some children, but for others, it can seem like a mammoth undertaking. The joy of removing the stabilizers from your offspring’s bike is a momentous moment for both you and your child. The sense of freedom they feel when launching themselves off on two wheels for the first time is huge. They no longer need the support of an adult and can transport themselves to the park, the shops or to a friend’s house. This first taste of freedom is only the start of your child maturing and growing up.

Build A Treehouse

You don’t have to be a child to enjoy building dens and fortresses of any kind. However, when you’re not quite a teenager yet you’re old enough to venture off into the woods or forest on your own with pals, creating your own haven for you and your pals is life-affirming. Encourage your child to hot foot it into the forest and build their very own treehouse. They may be in their final year or two of role-playing games and could create a castle fit for a king, a dwelling fit for a dragon keeper or a secret lair fit for a troll destroyer. Whatever the motive is behind the build, the treehouse will be a cherished memory for your child forever.

Enjoy The Snow

Snow is still a rare occurrence in many parts of the world. The excitement of seeing the white flakes falling from the snow-laden sky lingers into adulthood. When in the throes of youth, snow is the ultimate pull factor to get you outdoors. Your little darlings can spend their time making snow angels, building snowmen and having the ubiquitous snowball fights. No childhood is truly complete without rolling the perfect snowball and planting one square on the back of a rival. Wrapping up warm with a hat, scarf, gloves and a coat before venturing outside to experience the joy of the icy cold climate and feeling your fingers almost succumbing to what feels like frostbite is what childhood memories are made of.

Fly A Kite

It doesn’t matter whether your child makes the kite or whether you purchase the finest stunt kite on the market for them, the act of flying something and being in control is often a new experience for a child. Untangling the strings, keeping hold of the grips and seeing mum or dad launching the kite high up into the air as your child pulls the strings down sharply trying to catch that all-important gust will be one of the most striking memories for anybody. Flying a kite a la Mary Poppins allows the family bond to grow stronger as you all seek the common goal of seeing your kite soaring high up in the sky.

Being a kid nowadays can be tough. The lure of Facebook, technology, and video games can be too much. However, if you make it your mission to fill your child’s time with life-affirming and enjoyable activities, you’ll be making lifelong memories for the entire family.

Family, General, Self-Care

7 Ways to Add Comfort to Your Home This Christmas

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

Christmas is a time of love and positivity. It’s a time to enjoy your family and your friends. It is a time that is often filled with many get-togethers. This is why it is important to make sure that your home is as comfortable as possible. After all, you want everyone to feel at ease when they come around to visit.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some top suggestions to help you out.

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Put up your Christmas decorations

If you have not put up your

Christmas decorations

yet, then there is only one place to begin. Your house is not going to feel very festive if you don’t have any Christmas decorations up, is it? If your decorations are a bit old and dated, or they don’t match together very well, consider buying some new ones. Or, you could even have some fun making your own!

Make sure your home smells amazing

 

If you are going to make your home comfortable, you need to ensure it is comfortable for all the scenes. Ensuring your home smells nice is an important part of this. You will have, no doubt, noticed that there are many Christmas scents on the market today. Cinnamon is a popular choice at this time of year. However, cinnamon can be a rather strong smell and it does not appeal to everyone.

If you are one of these people, there are plenty of other relaxing scents you can add to your home. Good examples include bergamot, vanilla, mandarin, lavender, and chamomile. My personal favorite is cranberry!

Needless to say, there are numerous ways to add these scents to your house. Burning essential oils in a diffuser is a good option to consider because it will have an aromatherapy effect as well. Of course, you could also opt for a scented spray or candles.

Focus on textures

Layers and a mix of textures are pivotal if you are trying to create a comfortable ambiance. Think about ways to add more textures to various rooms in your home. This shouldn’t be too difficult. You can invest in some new throws and cushions, or what about a plush and fluffy rug for your living room? Little touches like this can make a massive difference.

Get the temperature right

The chances are that you are going to be relying on your central heating a lot throughout the Christmas period. After all, it is cold during this time of year! It is important to make sure your home is a comfortable temperature if you are going to be having a lot of guests.

(Related post: My December Goals and November Update)

A lot of people don’t like too much artificial heat, so to speak, as it can make a property feel stuffy and some people also get sore throats when the central heating has been blasting all day. So, it is important to keep this in mind – what you find comfortable may not be comfortable for everyone else. If you do have a fireplace in your living room, now is definitely the time to make use of it. This will add warmth and comfort to your living area, which is exactly what you want when you are entertaining family and friends.

Light your house well

A lot of people don’t realize it, but lighting is actually one of the most important aspects when it comes to creating the right ambiance in a home. If your property suffers from a lack of natural daylight, you need to figure out different ways to maximise this. Of course, the most obvious solution would be to get new windows installed or skylights. Not everyone has the time or money for this, though.

Adding reflective pieces to your décor can work wonders. Mirrors and metallic surfaces will ensure the daylight bounces back into the room, which can make a massive difference. It is also important to consider the artificial lighting you have in each room as well. Ensure there are numerous lighting options – relying on a harsh overhead is not ideal. It can give you a headache! Instead, use a mixture of overhead lighting, lamps, and spotlights to create the perfect ambiance.

Add some plants around the house

Another way to make the house more comfortable and boost the atmosphere is to add some plants. My favorite for this season would be adding a pine wreath over the fireplace, and some potted poinsettas around. Of course, plants look stunning, but there are many other reasons to consider adding them to your home. Indoor plants will also boost the mood, and they will improve the airflow in the room in question too, which works to make the environment a much more comfortable one. Who knew plants could be so useful?

Make sure there are comfortable seating options for everyone

There is nothing more awkward than inviting people to your house but not having enough room for everyone to sit down. This is why you need to consider your seating options in advance and make sure you have plenty of backup solutions for when you do have visitors.

This does not mean that you should simply wheel in the office chair and take some dining chairs from the kitchen. After all, your guests aren’t going to be very comfortable sitting on these, are they? There are plenty of comfortable and affordable seating options that you should consider. A good example of this is a beanbag. Nowadays, you can get beanbags in all sizes, meaning they can accommodate more than one person. The Comfy Sack products are great examples of this. This is a great way to add some more seating solutions without losing the comfort you have achieved by following the other points that have been mentioned in this post.

You now have plenty of different ideas on how to add some more comfort to your home throughout Christmas! Use the suggestions above and you are guaranteed to have a welcoming, cozy and warm house. The only trouble is that your guests won’t want to leave.

Family, General

3 Time-Tested Tips for Helping to Boost Your Child’s Intelligence

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

All mothers should do their best to promote intelligence in their children from a young age. In most instances, that means working hard to ensure your kids don’t sit in front of the TV continually during their spare time. With that in mind, take a look at some of the straightforward advice below and then try to implement some of it into your routine. Working parents often find the idea of sitting down and relaxing somewhat appealing. However, you have children now, and you need to consider their best interests.

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Arrange lots of educational trips

Instead of sitting in front of the television on the weekends and during school breaks, it’s sensible to arrange some educational outings as a family. That could mean visiting historical sites, ancient ruins, museums, and more. It all comes down to the interests and passions of your kids. However, as the parent, it’s your job to make your little ones feel excited about activities of that nature, even if that means you don’t have much time for yourself. So, make sure you uncover as much information as possible before you take the trip, and keep mentioning it to your kids. Let them know why the site you plan to visit is essential, and educate your loved ones as much as possible.

Related Post: 5 Ways to Make Time For Yourself

Fill your home with interesting artwork

Contrary to popular belief, extensive knowledge is not the same thing as intelligence. Rather than teaching your kids in-depth facts about different subjects, it’s better to show them how to learn the information unaided. Also, you’ll want to encourage creativity and original thought as much as possible. The best way of doing that involves introducing your children to the arts.

That could mean letting them hear influential music or making use of artwork around the home that might spark a conversation. You can get affordable prints online, and companies like Artware can assist when it comes to framing and other issues of that nature. The level of creativity your children exhibit is a better measure of their intelligence than how many questions they can answer on a test.

ALWAYS sit down with your kids when they’re doing homework

Lots of parents use “homework time” as an excuse to get a break from their mothering or fathering roles for an hour. However, that is the most critical time of the day to take an interest in your child’s activities according to experts like those at Scholastic.

Make sure you always sit down with them and offer assistance. You should also ensure your child understands the relevance of the homework and how it’s helping them to prepare for life in the real world. Parents who don’t do that will struggle to gauge how well teachers at the school educate their kids, and they’ll have little idea about the types of subjects and information they cover.

After reading this advice; you just have to take steps to ensure you alter your approach to your kid’s intelligence in mind. All mothers and fathers should want their loved ones to grow into well-rounded and empathetic adults with advanced problem-solving capabilities. People who use some of the tips from this article should notice an improvement in their results.