Cleaning

Living With White Textiles and Linens: Q&A

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

If the last few years of interior design trends can be described in a single word, that word would probably be “white”. While “Scandi” undoubtedly gives “white” a run for its money, most Scandi-style involves large amounts of white, so it seems fair to award white the crown.

White has been the interior design staple for years now. The color (or lack of color) has conquered the interiors world, quite unlike anything has ever managed before. It’s impossible to browse through images of stylish homes these days without seeing an abundance of white; it’s on the walls, the furniture, and – most importantly for what we shall be discussing – the textiles.

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Is white hard to live with?

For those who have not yet jumped on the “all white, all the time” bandwagon, their immediate response to this trend is to question how feasible white furnishings are. White, after all, holds no prisoners; if a speck of dust lands on it, one naturally assumes that this will be apparent for all to see. Surely white is difficult to keep clean?

For some items, that’s simply not the case. White furniture, for example, is just about as simple to maintain as furniture of any color. One of the major advantages of white furniture is that it tends to have a matte finish, which helps to disguise dust and dirt. Shinier items of white furniture are difficult to maintain, but only in the same way that glass furniture pieces are.

As for white walls, yes, they require maintenance– but in truth, so does every wall color. White is not special, or different, in this regard. There’s no wall color on this earth that can disguise handprints, mess, or just signs of people walking past it on a daily basis; dark colors are just as likely to suffer from the issue. So while white walls do need to be maintained, and may perhaps need to be recoated more often, they’re no trickier than average.

There is, however, an area in which white is difficult to maintain: textiles and linens.

Why are textiles and linens so difficult to maintain?

White textiles and linens look fantastic, but there’s no doubt they require extra work when compared to other colors. There are a few reasons for this:

The white itself shows up any mark of dust, dirt, or lint. This problem is less obvious on textured textiles (such as a fluffy white rug) but is still an issue.

White has to be very white to look good. It has to be pristine, crisp, as close to its hex code as possible. Maintaining this crispness in textiles and linens can feel like an uphill battle.

The reason for this is the material. Textiles are naturally porous, and they don’t have the multiple layers of paint that walls and furniture can use to prevent the process of color degradation. With textiles, the color is relying on a few layers to produce that “true” white color– and, in time, this tends to become problematic.

Why do white textiles and linens degrade?

There are many reasons why white textiles and linens are prone to degrading. If you are experiencing this issue, then the following may be the cause of your woes:

The washing process

Washing is tough on fabrics in general, but particularly tough on white, which tends to need a closer “true” color to look good. If you lay a red tablecloth on your table, then the shade of red doesn’t truly matter; if it loses pigment during the washing process, it’s just a lighter shade of red.

However, if you lay a white tablecloth on that same table, it can only be one color to truly look good: brilliant white. If the pigment moves from this brilliant status, the tablecloth is no longer white– it’s cream or ivory. These are nice enough colors, but if you want a white tablecloth, then they’re not what you’re looking for.

Repeated washing of white textiles and linens tends to lead to the color fading, which – as explained above, in white’s case – means that the color is changing.

Sunlight

We all love sunlight; the way it makes us feel, the boost to our Vitamin D, how it illuminates our homes and somehow makes them look bigger, brighter, and all-around better.

However, sunlight does have a downside: it can cause white textiles and linens to degrade at a frightening pace. The UV rays from sunlight tend to cause white textiles and linens to turn a dirty shade of yellow; worse still, the damage is often permanent. This is particularly problematic for items like white curtains, or rugs that are displayed in the center of a room and thus receive a lot of light.

Continued use

Finally, the reason that your white textiles and linens degrade is use. Of course, all colors degrade, but as discussed above, white is far more noticeable when it begins to lose its as-new luster. The bright white cushion you bought will, in a few short weeks, begin to resemble a light cream cushion– and there’s very little you can do to bring it back.

The above conclusion may lead you to wonder…

Is there no point in having white textiles and linens, then?

It’s natural to wonder this; if white textiles are going to be so problematic, should you just abandon your plans and embrace a world of more color?

Not necessarily; but you are going to have to change your habits. When it comes to white textiles, you don’t just have to focus on cleaning them, as you do with other colors– you have to also focus on preserving them. The better you treat a white fabric or textile, the longer it will last.

How can white textiles and linens be preserved?

The first preservation method is an obvious one: avoid the sunlight. Your white textiles should be vampiric; kept far away from direct sunlight. This can be difficult with cushions, rugs, and especially curtains, but it’s an essential step if you don’t want to have to replace your furnishings on a constant basis. You can tuck curtains away from the window during the day; hide cushions until the midday sun has passed, and roll rugs to protect them from damage.

Of course, there’s no denying this does somewhat ruin the aesthetic. This won’t matter so much if you’re doing it during the day when you’re at work, but what if you want to enjoy the room and protect it from sunlight?

By far the best option is to use UV filtering film on your windows. This film is nearly invisible to the naked eye, but it provides all the protection that you need to keep your white looking bright.

Aside from sunlight, the biggest problem facing your whites is the washing process. We’re all well aware of how we should separate white laundry from colors, but this alone is not a strong enough step to help preserve the strength of the white pigment.

You need to ensure you take the relevant steps to protect the fabric. This is best done with a very gentle washing process, which should include elements of the following:

  • An all-natural cleaner such as Better Life, which contains far fewer synthetic ingredients that can cause damage to the fabric. With Better Life and similar products, your whites should last for a lot longer thanks to the absence of overly-strong chemicals that may damage the fabric.
  • Wash your whites at a low temperature to help preserve the quality of the fabric. Fabric suffers more at high washing temperatures, which is obviously an issue you are expressly trying to avoid.
  • Don’t use your dryer on white fabrics. Dryers are generally bad for fabric anyway, but they are particularly ruinous for white, so you should air dry wherever possible. However, due to the UV issues mentioned above, it’s inadvisable to dry your whites in direct sunlight– choose a shaded spot in your garden and let the wind do the bulk of the work for you.

Should you use bleach on white textiles and linens?

This is something of a controversial one. There are pros and cons to using bleach on white textiles:

PRO: It will work

Bleach, well, bleaches the color from anything it comes into contact with. That means that it will indeed give your white textiles the boost that they need.

CON: It will damage the fabric

As we have discussed a few times now, properly maintaining white textiles is all about protecting the thin layers of fabric; the layers that, if compromised, can cause the white to lose its colors. Bleaching is a harsh process, and it will inevitably damage the fabric.

So it’s fair to say that while bleach is effective, it has substantial downsides. However, it may be a good course of action; if you don’t intend to keep a piece for much longer, then bleaching is a good choice. For example, if you know you’re going to have to replace your white tablecloth soon anyway, using bleach on it for one final dinner party is a decent option for an instant improvement.

To conclude

The above should help you live with white textiles and linens, helping to capture one of the key interior design trends of the last decade and preserve it, too.

Living with White Textiles and Linens: Q&A - The Southern Smiths: Is it doable?
Cleaning, Self-Care

Reading Nook for Mom

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

Mom’s are the busiest people in the world. Even busier than Kings and Queens – no, really. Mom’s are running around after their children 24/7 and when you throw in a husband and a house to run, there’s very little time to sit down and just reflect. Mommy Bear had cold porridge for a reason: she put Daddy Bear and Baby Bear first. The thing is when you put yourself last all the time that starts to show. You end up forgetting how to employ self-care in the quest for the perfect family life and the most impeccably tidy house.

(Related Post: Finding a Balance Between Careers and Motherhood)

A good book before bed is possibly one of life’s biggest pleasures for a Mom who is pulled ten ways from Sunday every day. A book gives her time to get out of the family chaos for a while and into another world. It’s a way to escape, relax and yet not even move from her own home. The problem? Nowhere comfortable to sit and read. Your children get the run of the lounge, with loud cartoons on the television and Lego on the floor to step on. Your husband gets the run of the garage, where he and his friends have an old sofa and Foosball table. What about you? Well, you need a reading nook, and I’m going to tell you exactly how you can perfect one.

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Continue reading “Reading Nook for Mom”

Family, Self-Care

Ready for a Baby? Here are Some Things you Need to Know

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

So, you and your partner are thinking of starting a family? That’s a big deal, and it’s something that couples both fear and look forward to at the same time. To put your mind at ease, you need to take the right steps now rather than later. It’s the only way to make sure that you don’t start creating problems for yourself. There are so many areas of your life that can be improved in order to set the ground for the family you’re about to start. Read on to learn more about those key changes.


Continue reading “Ready for a Baby? Here are Some Things you Need to Know”

Self-Care

3 Health Tips For The New Year

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

You have a pain in your neck and an irritating itch on your leg; the little things like this can often brush by us and we forget to take care of ourselves. When was the last time you went to the doctor and got all of the health checks you need? It’s understandable that life gets hectic, but your health should be a priority. More often than not we tend to neglect our health needs and they can worsen over time. Take a few minutes to consider the small things that are bothering you and see if these tricks and tweaks make you feel any better.

(Related Post: 4 Essential Health Checks For The Entire Family)

Natural Nutrients

If you’re feeling groggy or tired you might not be nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs. Try creating a diary for a week and see how the food you are eating can affect your mood on a daily basis. Perhaps dairy makes your skin flare up or starchy carbohydrates give you a bloated belly. Once you pinpoint the foods that are making you feel dreary you can begin to cook dishes which agree with you and make you feel energized. Consider taking a multivitamin each day to provide your body with the different minerals it might need. Ensure you’re consuming calcium-rich foods to keep your teeth and bones strong too. An array of rainbow-colored foods on your plate will be sure to provide you with the nourishment you need to keep fighting fit.

Never Ignore Injuries

Exercise is an excellent way to keep yourself strong and it can have positive effects on your mental health too. Carry out daily physical activity to maintain good heart health, but make sure you’re feeling well enough to do so. If you’re suffering from a long-standing injury you might want to check with your doctor before starting a workout regime. Perhaps you’re suffering from ongoing pains after a car accident or feel you may be suffering from whiplash. Visit a professional such as Full Spectrum Chiropractic, who can help you recover from injuries such as this. As long as you tend to any minor pains as soon as you can, you can be sure your body is being looked after well. Only carry out exercise you feel capable of doing, if you’re pregnant you could take up specialist yoga classes to keep your body strong and supple. Never push through a pain or injury and take special care when starting up a new regime.

Brain-Power Practice

As well as your body, your brain needs stimulation to keep it busy. Consider doing a daily puzzle or downloading a mind game app on your phone. You can improve your cognitive skills and memory by carrying out daily brain exercises that will keep your mind feeling marvelous.

Take care of your body and listen to what it is telling you. Nourish yourself with fresh foods, enjoy a brisk walk in the park and always get your aches and pains seen to by a professional. You will soon be back in tip-top form and your whole family will be feeling fit forever.

Home Improvement

Styling Your Home For Future Selling

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

You won’t keep your current home forever. Eventually, for whatever reason, you will choose to move on. Or, you will be forced to. Even if you live there your entire life and you could, when people retire, most move. They don’t stay in the large, and often expensive, homes where they raised their children. They look for somewhere fresh to hang their hat. Somewhere new where there’s a community similar to them. Or, you’ll move halfway through your life for a job opportunity that was far too good to resist. Yes, this is a distinct possibility, and this is why you shouldn’t necessarily think of what you want when you decorate your home but rather what a future buyer would want.

(Related Post: Checklist for Building A New House)

The good news is that these two ideas often intersect. One crosses over with the other because you are a home buyer. You’re just like them, and you might find that your ideas for what makes a home great are similar to your future buyer. We all want to live somewhere that’s beautiful, stylish, practical, safe for kids and the list goes on.

Of course, there are other ideas that may not overlap with the wants of a future buyer. For instance, you might have a teenager. At a certain point, they may express interest in painting their room black. Should you allow them to do so? While you should let your kids be free creatively, you must be aware that no one wants a black room in a home. As well as being dark and depressing, it is also a devilish pain to paint over. Consider this before granting them their wish.

It’s also not just about what a future buyer wants or doesn’t want. It’s about convincing them that they want to buy your home. How do you do this? Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss today. Throughout this article, we’ll look at options of how to make your home look more aesthetically pleasing, more expensive, the features that buyers love and options for decorating in a way that is going to give you a unique edge over the competition. When you’re selling your house one day, the competition is going to be other homeowners. So, let’s start by looking at the question of how to make your home seem more expensive than it actually is.

Affordable Yet Exquisite

There are various design options that will allow you to make your home look far more expensive and one day boost the offers of people looking to buy. Of course, long before that day comes, you’ll be able to benefit by dazzling guests and taking great pride in your beautiful home. But what type of features have this impact?

Well, the best way to do this is to make sure that you hit them immediately with something gorgeous and stunning. The first piece of your home that someone is going to see will always be the front door, so this would be the first change to make. There’s no need to settle for the dull and typical door anymore as you can see on huffingtonpost.com. Instead, you can choose something completely different and a more interesting possibility. You might even consider a glass front door. While people may shy away from this due to the potential security issue, it is worth pointing out that there are ways to ensure that glass stays strong, even during an attempted break-in. So, you can have the best of both worlds here.

You might even want to look into getting a beautiful image on your door, designed onto the glass. Options like this are available from sellers online so do explore.

Once guests enter your home, they will most likely walk through a hallway. It is suggested that you choose to use laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is very popular right now due to the minimalistic aesthetic and the easy to afford price tag. You can get exactly what you need for your home to bring the property into the modern age.

Since we’re talking about keeping the future sale in mind, it is worth pointing out that interior design styles are constantly changing and evolving. As such, it is in your best interest to explore the trends before you make any changes to your home. You don’t want to take two steps backward, styling your home in a way that you may love and modern buyers won’t.

As well as looking towards the option of laminate flooring, it’s also worth making sure that you do keep the overall design of the hallway minimalistic. Another popular concept currently trending in the interior design world is to keep things simple with your home design. Make sure that you aren’t overcrowding the space with furniture and accessories. There are two benefits to gain here. The first is that the home will actually look far more spacious. The second, arguably more important, is that it looks clean, clear and sophisticated. To accentuate this idea the hallways of your home should remain cream.

If you want to dress them up a little more, consider the option of wall decals or even some modern art. It’s a great way to give the area some life without it looking too intrusive.

A Little More Expensive

Of course, you can also explore design ideas that while expensive will lead to remarkable results one day and improve the price that people are willing to pay for your home a great deal. You’ll also love the way these options add more to your home.

You see laminate flooring is a great idea for an affordable flooring option, but one would be remiss if they didn’t consider the alternative of using the material laminate wood is used to emulate. Instead, you should opt for true hardwood or even something like marble/granite. And, if you are going to invest in flooring like this you should certainly consider the option of getting countertops to match. Only at worldstonegroup.com will you find the most magnificent examples of the type of materials we’re talking about here. Just imagine walking into a kitchen with beautiful granite countertops.

If you’re going to do this, you shouldn’t stop there. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home for that potential future sale. You need to make sure that every aspect of it is absolutely stunning. Getting new light fixtures will ensure that the light bounces off your fresh countertops at just the right angle, perfectly accentuating the best features of the room. If you can write a blank check for the budget of your interior makeover, we would also suggest adding a breakfast island. This can be the centerpiece of the room, and while it will cost you a few thousand, it will look magnificent.

There are other options too that aren’t based on a change in aesthetic at all. Rather, you can choose to invest in new voice activation technology. We know what you’re thinking here. Are you talking about Alexa? Cnet.com says Alexa has serious issues and actually, there are far more superior systems on the market today that can be completely and seamlessly integrated with the home. We’re talking about the ability to craft each room to match the personal preference of the individual inside it. Celebrities and the rich have had tech like this in their home for years. Recently, it has become more affordable and trickled onto the mass market.

Unique Features

If you are working with a budget that is somewhat unlimited, you can think about adding some more expensive and unique features to your home like for instance a water feature. This is going to do wonders for the curb appeal of your property, and it has the potential to make your neighbors completely green with envy to the point where they might wish they could buy your home themselves.

Water features do require maintenance so be aware of this before you invest. But, if you don’t mind the cost of cleaning them out regularly, they will be a visual work of art. If you are adding one, make sure it’s in a spot where everyone can see it in the front yard of your home.

You can also think about adding a unique feature inside your property. In this case, we’re thinking about the possibility of something that you and the future buyer will love like a sauna.

Sauna systems are more affordable than you would think and can be the perfect way to relax. This is just one of the impressive features you can add to the bathroom of your home. Another possibility would be a king size shower. Imagine how awesome it would be to wake up in the morning and be able to walk into a shower with multiple nozzles, big enough to walk around in a while being sprayed with what feels like a waterfall.

This is a modern idea that will be very popular with future buyers as baths become more unfashionable in our rapid pace world.

We hope you take our advice and use some of these ideas to make the changes to your home that a future buyer will love one day and you’ll love right now.

Home Improvement

Are You Keeping Your Home Safe?

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

Home safety is a concern for us all, and you might feel this particularly if you have a family in your home with you. It can be easy to overlook some of the more important aspects of keeping a home safe, and that can often mean that you end up not quite providing your family with the safe home that you would like for them to have.

(Related post: Building a Sustainable Household: Where to Start)

Part of the problem is that it is hard to think of everything you need to do, and everyone is guilty of overlooking one or two things sometimes. However, as long as you pay attention to some essentials, you should find that you and your family are kept pretty safe on the whole. Let’s take a look at some of those things now, by way of illustration.

Electrical Dangers

Some dangers in the home are even more worrying than others, and electrical dangers are the perfect example. These kinds of issues can cause a lot of harm to your family or yourself, so they are always going to be a top priority when it comes to trying to remain safe in the home. There are a number of concerns to think about here in order to try and keep your family safe from electrical problems. For a start, always make sure that you dispose carefully and replace any appliance which is causing a burning smell, is hot to the touch or anything else untoward. You should also call out the likes of Elcon Electric to ensure that your service panel is not at risk of causing a fire. Keep on top of the electrics in your home, and your family will be much safer.

Break-ins

Most people would never think that they would be the target of a break-in, but the obvious truth is that such occurrences can happen to anybody. You need to make sure that your home is as well protected against such intruders as possible, and most of all that means having a good safety regime when it comes to the nighttime. Lock all windows and doors securely, and make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of leaving your key outside the front door, as many people do. Do this, and you should find that you are relatively safe – you could even also install an alarm system if you like, for added security.

Fire

One of the quickest ways to cause damage to your home is to allow a fire to break out. This can happen in a number of ways, and it is your duty to ensure that you are aware of all of them and to do whatever you can to make it much less likely to happen. As long as you pay attention to the basics of fire safety, there is no reason your home should suffer such a problem – so make sure that you do just that. You and your family will be glad that you did.

Self-Care

6 Tips Toward Living a More Relaxed Life

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

So many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed on a daily basis, and we are living lives that are full to the brim with anxiety and worry. If you are sick of feeling this way, why not take some steps toward living a more relaxed life.

(Related post: 5 Tips to Learn How To Switch Off)

Even if you can’t control many of the bigger causes of stress, there are plenty of little things that you can deal with. So, here is a little bit of advice to give you a nudge in the right direction.

Get Fresh Air Often

If you work in the kind of job where you are stuck indoors for eight or more hours a day, it is important that you get outside as often as you can. Not only does the fresh air clear your head, you can also absorb some much-needed vitamin D when the sun is shining. Even if you can only get outside for a few minutes a day, it really does make all the difference.

Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Lack of sleep only intensifies the worries that you feel, so try getting yourself into a regular nighttime routine so your body knows that it is time to shut down for the day. Start by getting your bed and bedroom right – check out this advice from BestMattress-Brand.org. Power off all electronic devices, cut out alcohol and caffeine and try taking a bath or shower to send your body into a state of relaxation.

Stop Procrastinating

Make a list of all the things that you have to do in the near future. Once you have finished, tackle the one that is causing you the most stress and anxiety first. You will feel so much better once you have cleared it from your plate. Otherwise, your mind will continually drift back to it throughout the day and you will never be able to relax.

Purge Your Inbox and Social Media

If your life is just one long series of notifications, it is time to do something about this. Go through your email and unsubscribe from all the things that you are uninterested in. Next, go through your social media accounts to unfollow or unfriend all the people who only post negative things which clutter up your feed. While you’re at it, make a pledge to check social media less as this is a major cause of anxiety in the modern age.

Automate Your Bills

Another headache which occurs every month is paying your bills, so set up an auto-pay system on as many of these as you can. Use the internet to track your finances, and set up alerts so you know if your account happens to run low on funds.

Use the Power of Music

Music has such an incredible effect on our moods, so choose tunes which help you with whatever you are trying to accomplish. High-tempo beats are perfect for working out, while slow melodic sounds should be your go-to choice when you are trying to drift off at night.

Home Improvement

Building a Sustainable Household: Where to Start

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

Chicago is a buzzing environment for sustainable, green and eco-friendly projects. If you haven’t heard about it yet, there’s a five-bedroom house called the most sustainable home ever built in Chicago in the Roscoe Village. It’s been developed by Ryan Kolar and it has received a lot of media attention when it entered the real estate market.

The house, on sale for one and a half million dollars, has an outside made of recycled brick and wood, repurposed steel stairs and doors made of repurposed mahogany floors. Using strategically placed windows and a skylight, Kolar has reduced the energy consumption to an eighth of what other households current pay for similar properties. He’s also installed a water recycling system that uses shower and faucet water in the toilets.

Admittedly, it’s a high price for an environmentally-friendly house, but you may not need to buy new to create a sustainable home that looks after the planet – and after your savings too.

Energy saving technology

You might need to ensure that your home is prepped with the best energy-saving technology. Let’s clarify this statement: It doesn’t mean that you should install a solar panel on your roof. Instead, you can make sure that the property is set to limit energy waste. Consider the cost of creating hot and cold water and pumping it around the property, for instance.

If your building is set with a traditional pumping system that has constant flow water loops, this design requires a lot of unnecessary water flow and affects the energy cost. However, if the property uses an ultrasonic flow meter, it can monitor and vary the flow to match your needs in real time. In short, you don’t need to waste energy. Make sure also to consider your heating systems and your lightbulb equipment to save energy.

Planet-friendly habits

You don’t always need to change your energy systems to build a greenhouse. You can also modify your habits to reduce waste at home. Fridges, for example, are cost-hungry. The way you organize your shelves can save you a lot of money. For a start, keeping your fridge full consumes less energy than keeping an empty fridge cool. So pack your door shelves full of all the drinks and condiments. With a clever leftover system on the top shelf, you can avoid both food and energy waste. Apply a similar decluttering strategy to your pantry cupboard, to avoid wasting opened packs, buying the same items twice, and missing on the expiry date.

(Related post: How to Organize Your Fridge)

Alternative options to save costs and resources

With a little of DIY attention, you can create significant sustainable savings. For instance, if you’ve never considered growing your vegetables, it’s time to start now. With the right approach, you can save on your grocery shopping and keep your family healthy. Additionally, growing your vegs reduces the impact of product transport on the environment, so it’s a win-win for you and the planet! DIY can go a long way for your wallet and the environment, as you can also upcycle unused pieces of furniture or even make your clothes.

So what’s stopping you from creating your sustainable household?

Family, Self-Care

First Trimester Mini Survival Guide

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

Congratulations on your pregnancy! You’ve tried for the perfect little bundle of joy, and here you are in the beginning stages of your first trimester. There’s a mighty oak the size of a poppy seed burrowing down in your womb, and other than feeling excited, frightened and happy, you’re probably feeling all the joys that the first trimester brings. The first trimester of pregnancy is arguably the toughest trimester of them all, and not just physically. You’re dealing with the emotional side of praying that your little poppy seed will root and stick, and you’re hoping and praying the first ultrasound provides that comfort of a healthy little heartbeat flickering away.

Image source whether this is your first baby or your fourth, you need to know that every single pregnancy is different. I’ve learned this from experience! I’ll be having my third child in the next 17 days! Different symptoms, aches, pains, and emotions happen with each baby, and dealing with those is tough! When your head is hanging down the toilet bowl and you are revisiting your breakfast, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be thinking about your prenatal fitness, but you are still thinking about your health. The thing is, the first trimester can bring you so many quirky symptoms that managing to stay healthy when fruit and vegetables make you vomit is hard! So, what is it about first trimester that you need to know the most?

You need a good support system.

It goes without saying, pregnancy is hard. You’re a hormone casserole and you need people to tell you that how you feel is valid – even when you are overreacting. Always seek advice from a doctor if you are concerned about any pains or symptoms that are extreme, such as constant sickness. However, your family and friends should be around you and support you as much as possible.

You need to sleep.

If this is your first baby, the one thing that you should spend as much time doing before the third-trimester kicks in is sleeping. Once you hit the home stretch before labor, insomnia and restless legs kick in. Alongside this, your bladder seems to shrink to the size of a walnut. Sleep is hard to come by beyond the second trimester, and then there’s a baby keeping you up. Relax. This is your pregnancy and your time to bloom. Let it happen in peace.

Learn to combat sickness.

You may not have full of vomit drama throughout your pregnancy, but nausea and food aversions could still factor for you. Read here some cool tips and tricks to hold off nausea and the vomit and use trial and error to see what could work for you.

Prenatal vitamins are not a joke.

Forgetting your vitamins could make the difference between a healthy baby or not. Don’t miss out on yours and set an alarm every morning so that you don’t forget to take them. Make it the evening if the morning sickness is too much.

Your pregnancy is a time of joy, as it should be. You should do what you can to make your pregnancy happy, relaxed and calm. A storm in a teacup is coming, and it’s a cute one!

Family, Self-Care

Four Essential Health Checks For The Entire Family

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

While many people spend January searching for New Year’s resolutions to stick to, you might be wiser opting for a bit of lifestyle checkup. As a responsible parent, you want the best for your kids in every shape and form. There’s no better place to start than with their health.

Running to the doctor when they have a rough cough or a persistent earache is one thing, but what about heeding the edict that prevention is better than cure. Take a look at these four essential health checks that the whole family should undergo so that you’re ready to start 2018 fit, healthy and happy.

Teeth

Although the dentist may not be everyone’s favorite medical professional, the health of your teeth and in particular, your children’s teeth, is paramount. Sugary sweets, drinks, and candy can contribute to a range of dental issues including cavities, enamel reduction, and gum disease.

The best way to prevent these problems becoming painful and widespread is for a regular checkup with your local dentist. It may take a while to find an individual that your little darlings are comfortable with. That’s ok. You should locate a professional who has experience working with children and has a pleasant demeanor. By getting your cherubs opening their mouths wide at an early age, the dentist phobia won’t have a chance to embed.

Eyes

It pays to visit an optometrist nearby to monitor the vision of your nearest and dearest. From an early age, eye exams are crucial to the health of our eyes. While it’s rare for there to be any serious issues, a qualified optometrist can pick up on any early signs of short-sightedness or astigmatism that may need correcting with glasses. If you have a family history of vision issues or you or your little ones are diabetic, it’s even more crucial that you keep up with your eye exams.

Ears

Ear infections are less common in adults than in children. Often pain from the inner ear isn’t caused by a bacteria but by a buildup of wax. Although it doesn’t sound the most pleasant examination in the world, taking your kids to an ear clinic could prevent them from getting a condition such as glue ear which can cause hearing loss for a short time. The nurse will be able to pick up on infections, prescribe antibiotics if needed and also clear wax by syringing if this is the appropriate course of action. If ear problems are persistent, the clinician will also discuss a further course of action with you.

BMI

Although weight shouldn’t be made an enormous focus for children growing up as we want them to have a healthy relationship with food, it’s important that you monitor their weight on the sly to ensure they are remaining within a healthy range. In the USA around 20% of children are obese. It’s vital that your child doesn’t become a statistic.

Getting a health overhaul at the beginning of the year can set you on the right course for 2018. Happy New Year!