Messy Kids? Here Are 4 Tips For Keeping Your House Clean

Every parent loves their children.  However, as any parent knows, kids can be very messy to live with.  A cluttered home is to be expected when you share your living space with little ones.  You don’t have to except living in chaos, however. By using the right techniques and communicating as a family, you too can keep your house clean with kids.

Take a look at some of the best tips for staying on top of the cleaning despite your messy roommates.

Choose Kid Friendly Materials

Unfortunately, accidents happen when you live with children.  Things get spilled, splashed, and dripped on regardless of how much you tried to survey your kids.  The best way to guard against things getting ruined and stained is to choose kid-friendly materials.

That means choosing flooring which is easily wiped clean.  You should also choose furniture which won’t easily absorb stains.  Sorry to break the news, but you can kiss white furniture and carpets goodbye for the next 18 to 20 years.  Focus on patterns and stain resistant fabrics. Not only will you save money but you may also have a better chance at preserving your sanity.

Clean Up One Mess Before Starting Another

Kids can be more like Tasmanian Devils than human beings at times.  In a matter of minutes, they can turn your living room into a hurricane zone. It’s essential to teach them the value of cleaning one mess before starting another.

One of the biggest mistakes that many parents make is assuming their child is too young two know how to clean.  However, studies show that teaching children as young as a year old to clean up their mess has effective results.  Teach your kids that you are not the maid. If they make a mess, it is their responsibility to put their belongings away.

Give Everything a Home

Just like any organized workroom or garage, every tool has its place.  Your house should be the same. In order to avoid clutter, your children should have a designated area for each toy.

Having a system in place will not only make things easier to clean, but also easier to find.  The easiest way to keep things organized with very little fuss is to place boxes with the labels throughout the house.  

Involve The Kids With Cleaning

The younger your child is, the better.  Small toddlers love being able to help out mommy and daddy. Don’t be shy to hand them the vacuum or the broom and get them involved cleaning up.  Initially they may make more of a mess than contribute to the actual cleaning; however, it’s a great place to start.
As they get older, they’ll know how to properly clean, and you’ll be able to rely on them to help you out around the house.

This entry was posted in Living.

Helping Family Members Recover After Surgery

If a family member of yours has recently gone through surgery, then you will probably feel like you want to help them recover afterward. Especially if you are a close family member, then any actions or activities that you can do to help them be more comfortable and heal more quickly will be sincerely appreciated.

Surgery

From your perspective, you should know what common problems are after surgeries. You should make it a particular point to keep the house clean. You should know that there is a certain kind of tough love that is appropriate as people are rehabbing after surgery. And, you can even help your family member find a support group for surgery recovery that is outside of the immediate family for some additional social structure.

Knowing Common Problems

It is essential that you know common problems that occur with certain surgeries. If you know these in advance, then you can look out for signs and symptoms that something is going wrong. If possible, you should have various methods for relief from these problems on hand, but if not, at least you’ll know that you should call a doctor as soon as possible. Doctors should be more than willing to discuss all of the possibilities of ideal recovery from the most typical problems that arise.

Keeping a House Clean

After surgery, a family member of yours is probably going to be grumpy, and there is also the chance of infection concerning open wounds. Both of these conditions mean that you should keep your house clean. Pay special attention to anywhere that could have dirt, dust, bacteria, or anything else that might make someone prone to infection or coming down with a disease of some sort. Use cleaners that kill all the bad stuff in the air and on surfaces.

The Right Kind of Tough Love

When a family member is recovering from surgery, they might handle it in a few different ways. Some people are more likely to try and work out their kinks and trouble spots and recover more quickly. Other people might want to wallow in their pain and misery and be lazy. It’s crucial that you create an environment with the right kind of tough love where you challenge them to be better without pushing them too hard.

Finding Support Groups Outside the Family
In some cases, you should have your family member find a support group for healing outside of the immediate family. Sometimes your family members are just too close to be helpful. For example, if someone has surgery to repair a shoulder that has been injured, they can find online support groups for people who have gone through similar operations, and they may be more accepting of advice they find there rather than through family members.

This entry was posted in Family.

6 Aesthetic and Family-Friendly Backyard ideas

When making plans that include your entire home, you need to understand that these decisions have an impact on your entire family. Therefore, every decision that you make needs to be family-friendly or, at least, family-beneficial. Finding such upgrades is not that difficult; you just need to know what you’re looking for. If aiming for those upgrades that are visually pleasing and add some aesthetic value to your property, you can further narrow down this field. With that in mind and without further ado, here are six aesthetic and family-friendly backyard ideas for you to consider.

garden path

1.      Making a garden path

The simplest and the quickest way to add some functionality to your backyard is to make a path that goes straight down its middle. The choice of materials will determine the budget, as well as the visuals of your garden. A simple path made of pea gravel can be done with as little as $6 per square foot, while a path made with stone pavers can cost up to $25 per square foot. Keep in mind that a garden path doesn’t take a lot of maintenance; if anything, it reduces the area that you have to mow every week. Moreover, an average garden path can last for decades, which means that it’s an investment definitely worth making.

2.      A fire pit

While this may not sound quite family friendly, you need to understand that a fire pit is completely harmless when the fire is out and when it’s on, it’s usually supervised. As for the fun activities, roasting marshmallows with your children late at night is just one of the ideas that could come to mind. You can also install a grill on top of it, thus using it for barbecue. A fire pit can be covered when not used in order for it not to be a slip hazard.

fire pit

3.      Installing a spa pool

There’s really no way to add more luxury to your backyard than to install an outdoor spa pool, thus transforming your home into a luxurious villa in an instant. Such a thing is great for both personal use and household parties, which means that they’ll turn your home into the epicentre of the neighbourhood (if this is something that you’re interested in). Installing a spa pool doesn’t cost nearly as much as you would imagine and it adds quite a lot to the overall value of your property.

4.      Providing some shade

Your seating area or a deck may be completely useless during a blazing summer day or soft rain. Moreover, any kind of rain might be enough for you to rush out and cover your outdoor furniture. Worse yet, it might limit your choice of furniture to the most rudimentary and most resilient pieces. Needless to say, this will hurt the aesthetics of your backyard quite a bit. Protective shade can be achieved in several ways: from a simple parasol all the way to an elegant and pragmatic retractable awning. It’s up to you to pick the one that suits you best.

mini playground

5.      Making a mini-playground

If you want your kids to put down their smart phones and start playing outside, you need to stop asking or commanding them to do so and start giving them a reason to do so. One of the solutions is to make a small playground in your backyard. A seesaw, a swing and a sandbox are all that you need but, should you wish to go an extra mile, you could always install some soccer goals or make a miniature baseball field. Your plan had better be in agreement with the interests of your children and their own aspirations.

6.      Constructing a treehouse

The last thing you might want to try out is to pick the strongest, most dominant tree on your property and decorate it with every kid’s dream-come-true – a proper treehouse. This, nonetheless, is a tad more ambitious project and may require you to set up a scaffold or even find some professional help. Keep in mind that the safety of your children depends on the structural integrity of a treehouse, which is why you need to invest quite a bit in the construction.

Conclusion

In the end, you should bear in mind the fact that it all depends on the impression that you’re trying to make and the effect you’d like to achieve. If you want your household to look like a home and not just a depersonalized property, each of the above-listed family-friendly ideas will do the trick.

This entry was posted in Living.

Tips on How to Survive Home Renovation with Small Kids

Every once in a while, people need to spend their hard-earned money to renovate their homes, but as much as the renovation seems exhausting, it needs to get done so you’ll avoid potential problems and the mess that comes with home repair. When you have kids, things can get more complicated. Here are the tips on how to go through a home renovation when you have small kids:

Home Renovation plan

1. Make a plan first

Before you go fully into panic mode, make sure to take a deep breath and make a plan. Being prepared is the key when you have kids running around. Talk to your partner and repairmen about the scheduling. Then, make sure that the kids have somewhere safe to stay, so they can continue with their everyday activities while the renovation is in process. Also, prior to the beginning of the renovation, move all the furniture and other things to a place where they won’t be damaged or misplaced by accident. Having a plan to follow can be extremely helpful in keeping track of the progress.

2. Keep tools and other dangerous things far from children

There are probably people who think that having their kids around handymen and their tools seems like a good idea because kids can play and learn something at the same time. Even if the people you hired seem nice, please keep in mind that they’re not there to teach but to work. Some people think that their kid looks cute posing for a picture holding a wrench, but the truth is, kids are supposed to be away from screwdrivers, drills and other tools that are generally unsafe for children. It’s important to let handymen work in peace while your kids need to be preoccupied with different activities.

home renovation plan

3. Make plumbing a priority

When your pipes are in good condition, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Having running hot water 24/7 and no leaky taps are crucial when your kids are small. That’s why you need to ensure that there are no cracked and faulty pipes that can cause leaking and bursting. If you need to fix your pipes, then it wouldn’t be bad to consider pipe relining instead of the usual digging work. This type of fixing pipes is beneficial as it doesn’t require digging and it’s also affordable, clean and time-saving. Taking out the old pipes to replace them with new ones can take time and leave behind a big mess. When your kids are around, you should always aim for quicker and cheaper solutions.

4. Renovate when the weather is nice

If possible, try organising your renovation when the weather is warm and nice. Aside from not having to freeze in the cold and rain, you can also take your kids to a nearby park while the repairs are underway. Besides, you can open the windows to let the fresh air in which can make the work much easier for everyone involved. When you need to deal with all the craziness, it’s always simpler to have a nice place to go to such as a zoo or a playground close to your house. Spring and summer are the most popular season to renovate, but it’s important to make all the arrangements before the busy period. These tips above will help you get started on planning your home repair and also help you do it efficiently even if your kids are small. It’s essential to keep your kids entertained, but whatever you do, make sure you’re always organised and well-rested.

How Parents Can Help Kids Get the Absolute Most Out of the Early School Years

Whether you are a parent of a child who will just be starting school for the first time this year, or you have a child who is a few years in and still in the primary grades, it’s clear that the early school years carry a lot of weight and importance in a child’s life. They will be learning incredible amounts, building a foundation of knowledge that they will build upon the rest of the school years, and of course making friendships and expanding their social skills.

kids school

Of course, you want the very best for them, and that includes getting the most possible out of those early school years. This means limiting the negatives and ensuring that the majority of their experiences are positive ones. Unfortunately for some kids this comes easier than others, and for some those early years can be bumpy to say the least.

Rather than sit on the sidelines and hope that things work out in the end, there are things that parents can be doing to help kids experience as many positives as possible. Here are some tips and advice that can help you navigate the early school years.

Get Involved Whenever Possible

One of the biggest tips for parents is to engage with the school community and get involved whenever possible. This includes things such as going to orientation nights, back to school events, parent-teacher conferences, getting involved in the parent council, and volunteering whenever possible. The more involved parents are, the better the understanding they will have of the school environment, the teachers, and the students. It also helps to keep the lines of communication open so teachers can feel comfortable contacting you with any issues and vice versa.

Access the School Calendar

Nowadays many schools have their own websites which are great for learning helpful information like upcoming events, contact information, and the daily schedule. What you’ll also want to do is access your child’s classroom calendar. If it isn’t posted online, be sure to ask for one.The classroom calendar will give you important information like upcoming field trips, classroom presentations, upcoming tests, special event days, and more. It helps your child to stay organized and also start to take responsibility for themselves as they can refer to that calendar in order to prepare for the upcoming day(s).

Create a Morning and After School Routine that You Stick To

Speaking of creating that sense of responsibility,parents also need to create a morning and after school routine that the whole family sticks to. This means getting kids off to school on time each and every morning, making sure they are prepared for the day with everything they will need. After school, it’s a good idea to have a set homework time where kids understand they need to complete their work before they can go play, watch TV, and have free time.

After a busy day at school, many parents find it useful to give kids a bit of down time when they first get home. This allows them to decompress, chat about their day, have a snack, and then they can tackle homework.

For parents who both work, and therefore the kids won’t get home until dinner time, that schedule can be much more tight, but it’s still important to set it up and stick with it.

Be Available to Help with Homework

Speaking of homework, you also want to be available to help them with any homework questions they may have. Sometimes they just need that bit of moral support and confidence. While helping them is useful, you don’t want to over-step and end up doing the homework for them.

You’ll also want to be sure that you have a dedicated study space that is comfortable and quiet so they can do their homework without interruptions. It should be free of distractions such as the TV. Kids need to be able to focus on their work. It is advised that elementary school aged kids take a break after 45 minutes of homework. This gives them a chance to relax and re-focus.

Consider a Different Type of School and Learning

The traditional way of learning involves kids sitting in a classroom listening to what the teacher is telling them. While this may work just fine for some, it’s not a one-size fits all solution that works for every kid. This is why there are other options available such as project based learning schools. 

Pear Tree Elementary is an example of just such a school that uses a student-centered teaching method. In this type of learning environment, kids work in collaborative groups in order to research/investigate, ask questions, and come up with solutions. It’s all about hands-on learning, which can enhance the learning experience and help expand their social skills. The teachers take on the role of facilitators of the group, and really create a much more active learning environment.

The skills they will pick up can prove to be incredibly useful if they choose to go onto to college or university later in life.

Chat with Kids on a Regular Basis

In order for parents to get an idea of how kids are coping with school, and if they are getting the most out of it, you also want to chat with them on a regular basis. Even with high test scores and glowing report cards, that’s still not enough to paint the full picture. You will also want to learn about friendships, any sports or clubs they are taking part in, how well they are connecting with their teacher, etc. There is a lot that goes into shaping that school experience.

Setting Them on the Track for Success

By taking an interest in their early school years and doing what you can to promote a positive learning and social experience, you will in fact be setting your child on the track for success, not just in school, but in life in general. The early school years truly set the foundation for what’s to come.

6 Steps Parents Can Take to Enhance Their Kids’ Health

Developing a healthy lifestyle for your kids while they are still young is essential for proper growth and development. Additionally, it plays a role in preventing many health issues such as obesity, tummy aches and diabetes. And the good habits you teach them now will help in shaping their future decision making. This article highlights six key tips you can apply as a parent to promote a healthy lifestyle for your kids.

kids health

Encourage Physical Activity

The benefits of physical activity for children are numerous. Some of them include improved cognition, reduced risk of diseases, improved mood and behavior, strong bones and muscles, reduced risk of depression and other mental disorders, and weight control.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, younger kids aged three to five should be physically active throughout the day. Older children aged six to seventeen should be encouraged to do sixty minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity including muscle strengthening, aerobic, and bone strengthening activities. Recommended activities for three to five-year-olds as per the guidelines include hopping, throwing games, bicycle riding, tumbling, skipping and hopping.

Provide Them with a Balanced Diet

Just like adults, kids too need a balanced diet. Kids’ diets shouldn’t be complicated, they just have to be balanced. All kids, except those on special diets for medical reasons should have carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables daily. Limit the intake of added sugar, deep fried foods, and saturated fats.

One mistake that parents make is forcing certain food choices on their kids. This makes the child hate meal time and have a negative attitude towards food. The better approach would be to expose your child to a variety of healthy foods and allow them to choose. For instance, there are children who hate broccoli but wouldn’t mind a bowl of spinach. Instead of forcing such a child to eat broccoli which is good for vitamin C, let them eat spinach which is another source of vitamin C. Explore different varieties of healthy foods and meal time will be so much more fun. Finally, don’t forget to educate your child on the benefits of healthy eating.

Ensure They Get Adequate Sleep

Enough sleep for kids is essential for growth and development, heart health and mental health among many other things. The National Sleep Foundation sleep time recommendation as of May 2019 is as follows:

  • 14-17 hours for newborns (0-3 months)
  • 12-15 hours for infants (4-11 months)
  • 11-14 hours for toddlers (1-2 years)
  • 10-13 hours for kids aged 3-5 years
  • 9-11 hours for kids aged 6-13 years
  • 8-10 hours for teenagers

But how do you get your child to sleep for the recommended hours? Consider setting strict rules and adhering to them, creating a bedtime routine, getting your kids to bed early, avoiding meals shortly before bedtime, turning off the TV and other electronics a few minutes before bedtime and avoid stressing the child before bedtime. If you are doing everything but your child still doesn’t get enough rest, this could be a sign of a sleep disorder. Some of the signs to look out for include sleeping a lot during the day, snoring, bedwetting(especially if the child wasn’t doing it before), nightmares, sleep walking and restlessness.

Give Your Child a Massage Once in a While

Any child can get a massage regardless of the age. However, for younger kids, the massage has to be very gentle. Massage can be done at home by the parent or you could have a professional massage therapist do it for you. Consider a spa day for the entire family where the kids get gentle massages and the parents get a deep tissue massage. However, before you take your kids to a massage spa, check whether the spahas professionals who have specialized in pediatric massage. Also, check whether their products are safe to use on kids.

Massages will help your kids to relax and this can improve the quality of sleep they get. Additionally, massaging the young ones can help ease digestive issues such as gas, tummy aches and constipation. Other benefits include decreased risk of injury for children involved in sports, pain relief, easing growing pains and anxiety relief. When it is the parent doing the massage, the baby-parent bond is strengthened and the child feels loved and cared for.

Teach Personal Hygiene Early

Good personal hygiene is essential for health. Teaching your kids about personal hygiene early is critical because kids come into contact with dirt and germs a lot. Thus, if they are not aware how to care for themselves, you will be dealing with endless illnesses and diseases. Some of the things you should teach your kids while they are still young include washing hands before touching food, proper bath techniques, dental hygiene, washing hands after using the washrooms, and hair and skin care.

Promote Dental Health

Proper oral care from a young age will prevent cavities, loss of teeth and uncomfortable dental procedures for your kids. Proper dental care entails brushing twice a day, visiting the dentist regularly for checkups, flossing daily, using the right dental products and eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and phosphorous. Your child should start dental visits a few months after the first tooth comes out. This is usually before the first birthday. On your first visit, you will get tips on how to clean the baby’s teeth and mouth to prevent dental issues.

You should brush your child’s teeth until they are six years of age or up to when they can do it well by themselves. However, when the child is old enough to hold a toothbrush, allow them to brush for a minute as you instruct them and then take over and clean the areas they didn’t reach. To keep them interested, involve them when picking toothbrushes and toothpaste at the store, educate them on the importance of dental health and set up some daily reminders to brush and floss. As you teach your kids healthy habits, remember you are their role model. Thus, set a good example by making healthy choices in your life too. t

Tips to Lose Your Post-Pregnancy Baby Bump

The average weight of a woman aged 20 and above is around 170 pounds. While this may vary according to a person’s height, age, and other factors, women normally weigh more when they are pregnant.This is because when a woman is expecting, her partner and family members shower her with love and care to make sure both the mom-to-be and her child are healthy. More often than not, this love and care is in the form of food, especially because you are going to be “eating for two.”

baby bump Pregnancy

This also poses a challenge once you have walked out of the delivery room, because now you have to shed all that excess weight that was gained over the past nine months. While it is true that women can lose up to about 12 pounds soon after giving birth, for many, the wait is longer and requires quite a bit of effort. After all, it did take nine months to put on all that weight, but there are a few things that women can do to shed the post-partum weight. So, for those women who are wondering just how they can do that, you can use these tips for losing the baby bump.

Exercise

This is a no-brainer. Since you’ve spent the past nine months minimizing your movements, now’s the time to get your body back to its pre-pregnancy state. And the best way to do that is by regular exercise, either at the gym or at home. Although, hitting the gym is probably a better idea. You can also start by trying out light exercises, such as walking either at the park or on a treadmill. Women who are looking to lose weight after giving birth are also advised to try out some abdominal exercises which will target that baby bump.

Plan out your new daily exercise routine and stick to it. Another effective way of losing that post-pregnancy baby bump is to start doing pranayama, which is very effective for toning your stomach and abdominal muscles. Whatever exercise you choose to lose the weight that you’ve gained during the previous months, it is important not to overdo it and exert your body. A good rule of thumb is to start off slow and light, then pick up the pace as your body gets used to daily workouts.

Try to Stay Calm

This is a big one. While some stress is normal in our everyday lives and during pregnancy, too much of it can have an adverse effect on both you and your baby. Studies have shown that prolonged stress during pregnancy can increase the chances of having a low-birthweight baby and also raise the likelihood of having a premature baby. Other health complications that may arise due to high levels of stress include high blood pressure and heart disease. So, it’s easy to see that stress is nobody’s friend.

While many women and their loved ones focus on avoiding stress during pregnancy, keeping high levels of stress at bay is even more important post-pregnancy. This is mainly because high levels of stress cause the body to release a stress hormone called cortisol that shoots into the bloodstream. This leads to further stress and irritability, fatigue, and you guessed it…weight gain. In short, having high levels of stress post-pregnancy can hinder your efforts of losing the baby bump, while causing all sorts of other health complications. To avoid high levels of stress, try to get as much sleep as you can, which is going to be hard to do anyway. A good way of keeping your body rested is to sleep when your baby does. This will give your body the extra boost of energy it needs and will keep your body from producing the stress hormone cortisol due to high levels of stress and anxiety.

Have a Massage

Many women go to get manicures and pedicures because it’s beneficial for the health of our nails. A massage can do the same thing for your body, i.e. help you get rid of the belly fat you have gained during pregnancy. This is because a massage can specifically target certain cellulite laden areas in your belly and abdominal area where you need to lose the excess weight.

Getting a massage is also great for the overall health of your body since it improves the body’s metabolism, which in turn, helps in weight loss. Opting for a massage after your exercise routine can be especially beneficial since it will not only aid in increasing your metabolism to burn excess fat, but it will also help the body recover quickly after a grueling workout by tending to those sore muscles.

Watch Your Diet

You may have had given yourself the permission to munch on whatever you got your hands on during the past nine months because you were after all, feeding two people. However, you are now back down to one person again – you. This means you have to cut down on your diet and start eating small and smart. That being said, you should never wait until you’re famished to eat because you will only end up eating more food than usual.

The idea of watching your diet is to make sure you have a good balanced diet that gives your body the nutrition it needs without having to consume too many calories. This is one of the reasons why many women prefer to consult with a nutritionist post-partum to figure out the best diet plan for their needs. While you’re at it, you should also stay away from sugary treats, which will slow down the weight loss process. You can replace those sugary snacks with healthy fruits or dry fruits. Stock your kitchen cabinet up with low fat snacks that are high on fiber that you can go-to whenever you get the munchies. Some other things that you can do to get rid of that post-partum baby bump is to try yoga and aerobics, drink lots of water, and consult with your doctor or dietician.

Small Modifications That Could Automatically Change Your Living Space

Perhaps it feels like your home is crying out for a major renovation, but you can’t afford a big project. Maybe your home feels dated, but you don’t know what you can do without spending a fortune. Or maybe there are a few things that annoy you that you’d like to fix. Fortunately, you don’t have to pour a lot of money into the property to alter its look, feel and function. Let’s take a look at how small modifications could change the way your home looks and feels.

home remodel

Start at the Bottom

Flooring makes a big difference in any home. Broken tiles, scuffed floors and threadbare rugs make a home feel worn out. You can replace the existing floors for relatively little money, and it can change the feel of an entire room. Dark wood floors make the space feel modern. Light colored carpets and tile make a room feel more spacious. And any updating of the floors will improve the value of the home.

Another thing you could do is add some floating floors as well. These types of floors are very easy to install and can give your floors that new hardwood feel without breaking the bank. Luxury Vinyl Tiles are also a great option. But don’t be put off by the name; LVTs vary greatly in price and you can find some for any budget. LVTs are made to replicate the look of materials like marble and hardwood, but without the costs. They also give you the chance to have something that looks like wood floors in the bathroom with no risks of warping.

Look for Little Upgrades that Make a Big Difference

Look for the little changes that could make a big difference in the atmosphere or usability of a space. For example, you could update the lighting in your kitchen with modern LED fixtures. Under-cabinet lighting improves visibility of work surfaces and gives the room a sophisticated atmosphere. Soft-close hinges mean that the drawers and cabinets won’t slam shut. This could increase your peace of mind, since little fingers can’t get pinched. If you already have bright lights in the living room or bedroom, consider putting in a dimmer switch so that you have more options than on and off.

If you have young children, consider having a vanity step installed in the bathroom. Children can pull it out when they need it, and it stays in place until put away. A vanity step is much more stable than a step stool for children and will look like a drawer when it is not in use. Because it is readily stowed away, it won’t create a trip hazard for visitors. When your children outgrow the vanity step, you can convert the niche into a toe kick drawer for extra storage.

Go for Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, whether it is the way you look when you arrive at a job interview or the impression the exterior of your home gives visitors before they even reach the door. This is why you should ask yourself what modifications are perfect to increase curb appeal if your intention is to sell the house. At a minimum, it means cleaning up the yard and making the gardens look nice. It may require replacing the tired looking front door and the cracked windows. But the most important part is making sure that there are no signs of negligence. If there are some missing pavers or the siding is dirty, make sure that you fix those and give your siding a good powerwash. It’s really important to pay attention to details as little things could send off red flags for prospective buyers. If you want more ways to increase your curb appeal, you can learn more here.

Create a Clean, Usable Space

Clutter creates stress. It makes it hard to clean a space as well. You can start by getting rid of all the beauty tools and half-empty containers that should be thrown out. Then you can free up counter space by putting in soap dispensers. You could add a second dispenser for lotion if someone in the household uses it often.

Gadgets are an indispensable part of modern life, but they often collect in a cluttered mess on desks and dressers. One thing you could do is add a built-in charging station. They could make a great addition to your kitchen or home office, though they can be put in any room of the house.

Add Stone Veneers

Stone veneers are veneers that are made to replicate the appearance of a brick wall. Having brick installed inside the house is a large project, and could set you back a bit. Stone veneers, on the other hand, are much easier to install and less costly. You’ll have tons of options to choose from as well. They could be a great choice if you want to accentuate a fireplace and give it more of an authentic rustic look.

Give Your Bathroom a Quick Facelift

Bathrooms are notoriously expensive to renovate, but you don’t have to turn it upside down if you want to give it a second life. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could always use old or reclaimed furniture and turn it into a vintage vanity.

Something as simple as getting a bigger mirror and framing it could make a world of difference. You could also change the faucets and go for something more modern. And consider changing the handles and towel racks as well if you want to complete the look. Don’t forget the windows either; choosing a nice bathroom curtain with a fun pattern that fits with the bathroom’s color palette won’t go unnoticed. These few simple suggestions will enhance the feel and functionality of your home and won’t cost a lot of money or require much time to do. Make sure that you consider these options if you want to improve your home without breaking the bank.

Tips To Prepare Your Yard For Warmer Weather

Springtime is when you’ll be required to invest the most time and work into preparing your lawn for the rest of the year.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that it will be rather simple to maintain your lawn once you get all of the “spring cleaning” done and out of the way.  

yard

Warmer weather means that the family and friends will want to spend more time in the yard.  There’s no harm in making it a more comfortable place to inhabit.  Here are a few tips to prepare your yard for springtime oohs and ahhs.  

Check on the state of your mower

Depending on the size of your yard, your mower may have a big job ahead.  If your yard is larger than the average space, you may want to consider hiring professionals to tend to your lawn.  Mowing 40 acres of land isn’t really the way you want to spend the summer.  

Either way, the lawn needs to be mowed twice a week.  Mowing only once a week allows the grass to grow too long.  Allowing the grass to grow long is actually detrimental to the overall health of the lawn.  You don’t want a patchy presentation. 

Do a bit of spring cleaning

Spring brings about the time to clean up all of the damage done to the yard during the wintertime.  Winter can be rough on a yard, so it’s important to clear the land of excess sticks and limbs left behind by the cold weather.  

You could do some pretty gnarly damage to your lawnmower by not being thorough when you are cleaning up your lawn.  Make sure you cover every square foot for the safety of yourself and your equipment. 

Decide if you want to plant

If you want to plant flowers and other enriching elements in your yard, you will need to get started on the process now.  Planting in the middle of the summer is far too hot for your landscaping efforts to survive. 

You’ll waste time and money if you plant at the wrong time.  Now is the time to consider planting your perennials and some common garden elements.  

Work to create a comfortable outdoor space

The best thing about having a yard when the weather is warm is having a place to sit outside.  It’s therapeutic to enjoy the sunshine and greenery in your yard.  It’s also good to have a place to sit when friends come over for a barbecue.  

Consider lighting options Soft lighting in the night is not only a great mood setter.  Lighting is helpful for safety and moving around after dark.  You probably won’t want to move inside when the sun sets, so consider the placement of yard lighting.

This entry was posted in Living.

Easy Morning Tricks That Will Make You Feel More Energized

No matter if you’re a morning person or not, the truth is that morning is a beautiful part of the day to truly relax and ready everything that awaits you at work or play. Here are four great morning tricks that will help you feel more energized—so check them out and take your morning routine to a whole new level!

Set your alarm earlier than your usual time and have a healthy breakfast

healthy morning

Waking up earlier than usual can be more beneficial than you can imagine, so try setting your alarm at least 30 minutes earlier than normal. It will allow you to ease into the new day and start it in a more relaxed, laid-back manner, rather than in a hurry to finish everything before you head out. You’ll also get a chance to have a healthy homemade breakfast and enjoy those peaceful moments on your own, giving you more energy to pump you up for the upcoming busy day at work.

Prepare for the next day the night before

breakfast

Even though procrastination has its place, the truth is that it can be a self-destructive habit as well—so don’t leave your preparations to the last minute. Try preparing for the next day the night before, so you are not rushed and stressed out getting everything ready in the morning. Come up with your outfit the evening before. Sort out all documents and paperwork. Get mentally ready for that upcoming meeting or presentation. This step may seem unnecessary, but it will help take away stress so you can manage your morning more easily.

Light a scented candle and meditate

bagpack

Meditation is one of the best ways to improve your mental health and overall well-being. In fact, it’s a huge part of mental fitness – one of Happy Living’s the seven foundations of happy. Meditation lowers anxiety and stress levels while increasing mental strength and focus, helping you feel energized in the morning. Heighten the experience by lighting some of your favorite scented candles or turn on your quality fragrance diffuser that can continuously scent your home for months. Scents like orange blossom, lemongrass, vanilla, or sandalwood allow you to relax even more while meditating, so don’t skip them and see what we were talking about. The only thing left is to find a meditation playlist on YouTube to start your day off on the right foot.

Stay away from your smartphone as soon as you wake up

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Yeah, we know that checking emails, texting back friends, and scrolling Instagram/Facebook feed is what many of us do the first thing we wake up, but you know what? Give you mind some time to awake naturally. Stay away from your phone and gadgets for a bit, say a half hour at least. Spend some time with yourself, awake from the inside out. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, cleanse your face and apply your favorite DIY mask. Have a hot shower, get dressed, and put on some makeup before heading straight to work. When that’s done—when you’ve taken care of yourself—then go ahead and check email and Instagram. Trust us when we say that you’ll instantly feel better, more at peace with yourself—which is what matters most, right?

Each of our four morning tricks will help you feel more energized—even if you didn’t sleep that well or you’re nervous about that upcoming business meeting. If you give our morning tips a try, we’re confident you will make it happen!