5 Ways To Make More Living Space Inside Your Home

Adding more usable space inside your home is a great way to give your family more room for independence.  Live comfortably alongside the ones you love most, and find new ways to make more space in your house. 

Living Space

Start by doing a little research online.  Here is a brief look into some of the most efficient ways to make more living space inside of your home.  Read through, and consider what your home might be missing.  

Get the excess stuff out

You can easily make more space in your floor plan by getting the excess stuff out of your home.  It doesn’t cost much to procure a safe self-storage space close to your home to store the stuff you don’t always need to access. 

Take one day every six months or so, and have everyone in the house take a moment to minimize the stuff they have taking up space.  If you haven’t used an item in your home within six months, it can probably be stored without trouble.  

Finish the attic/basement

The attic or basement space in your home doesn’t have to be a scary dark place that everyone is afraid to occupy.  Investing in what it takes to finish your attic/basement will leave you on top when all is said and done.

Adding another room will boost your equity.  You’ll enjoy extra space while still living in the home, and you’ll get a boost in value when you sell the home.  

Build more storage inside your home

You can likely make more room in your home by taking the time to build more storage areas.  Build a safe space to store things in your dining room.

Consider adding an ottoman with hidden storage for blankets and other living room clutter.  Get creative with your storage additions, and you’ll find there’s more space in your home than you may have once thought.  

Consider the arrangement of your furniture

The way in which you choose to arrange the furniture in your home will make a difference in how much actual living space you have to utilize.  

Delve into some research on what makes a couch look bulky and what makes a couch fit nicely into the designated room.  Placement is everything.  

Clean out the garage space

If your home has a garage packed with lots of stuff, you could be using that space to enhance your living areas.  Clean out the garage, and let your minds collaborate on how to use all of the free space you just opened up. You may even want to consider weatherizing the garage, so someone could use the space as a bedroom or den.

4 Family Home Must-Haves

When you have kids, everything will change — particularly your life at home. Living with kids means that you’ll have a lot more responsibilities than you would if you were living alone.  

Creating a family space requires a few must-haves to make the job easier and also be able to enjoy your children even more.

family homes

Although everyone has different points of view about what makes a family house a home, there are some items that are critical for any family regardless of whether you have a luxury home or live in a tiny apartment. Here are some of the most critical home essentials that every family home should come equipped with.

A Washing Machine

If you thought you had a lot of laundry when you were single and in your twenties, you have no idea what laundry is until you have kids. There’s no more waiting until the end of the week to do a big load of laundry all at once. Even skipping one day of laundry with kids in the family can result in a mountain of clothes.

A washing machine is a critical part of being able to keep up with the demands of juice spills, toilet accidents, and paint splatters that kids create. Who knows how people used to do in the old days with a washboard without going nuts!

Private Rooms

Regardless of how much you may love your spouse or children, there are times when you need to have some quiet time alone. When you’re living with multiple people, and some of those people are kids, you need to be able to shut the door and have some quiet time alone once in a while.

A private room can be anything from a study to a lounge where family members can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the family madness once in a while. This can be especially helpful when you have younger children in the household and need a breather every now and then!

A Tub

 Although it’s possible to put younger children in a sink during the first few months, it’s not realistic once they reach a certain age. It’s difficult for kids to shower themselves without making a mess or burning themselves with hot water. Therefore, baths are the best bathing solution for kids.

A tub makes it possible for kids to really soak off the dirt and grime of the day and have fun entertaining themselves while they’re at it.

Separate Beds

There’s something to be said for co-sleeping, and it can be a beautiful way to bond with your family. However, most relationship experts recommend transitioning to separate sleeping arrangements eventually. As a couple, it’s essential to have your own space where you can be intimate without having to worry about kids interrupting! 

This entry was posted in Family.

5 Ways to Instil a Love of Learning in Your Child

If you instil a love of learning in your children, you’re setting them up to succeed in life. This is because they’ll become self-driven perpetual learners, and that prepares them for an ever-changing world. Furthermore, you won’t have to work as hard to get them through school. Instead, you only have to nudge them in the right direction or help them focus on the task at hand. Here are five ways to instil a love of learning in your child.

Read Stories as Soon as You Can

Start reading to your children when they’re babies. Read anything they want to have read to them, regardless of subject, as long as it is age appropriate. Let them see you reading the newspaper, magazine or books, and read what you’re reading to them. They’ll learn that you love to read, and they’ll learn a little about a lot of different subjects.

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Give Your Kids Choices

Giving your children choices helps prepare them for the real world while it gets them engaged. For example, give your kids a choice about reading. This will make them more excited to read, and it will probably lead to them picking up a large number of books.

Let your children select where they will have a birthday party and the type of decorations to set up. You can discuss budgets and acceptable boundaries, but do what you can to support their choices. Let them choose their own hobbies and extracurricular activities. And be willing to let them switch sports, arts and other activities as they discover what they are good at.

Engage Them in the Real World

Don’t just read to kids or give them educational apps – engage them in learning in the real world! Either take or send your kids on field trips. If you want to know how to teach your child in a fun way, start by exploring interests together before you let them discover things on their own with a few ground rules.

Make learning fun. It can be as simple as educational songs or playing academic games, or it could be scavenger hunts and music lessons.

Get Involved with Your Kids’ Lives

Get involved in your kid’s school. This will help you to keep up with their assignments and build a relationship with their teachers. On the flipside, you can talk to your children about the classes you take and your own hobbies. Your children will learn about these subjects and feel more connected with you. Provide support for their art lessons or hobbies. You can talk about your own related experiences and assist your child while they follow their own passions. Have discussions, not lectures.

Give Your Kids Moral Support

Get excited when your child builds a project or discovers something. This will give them a sense of accomplishment, whether they just rolled over or read a book by themselves for the first time. Cheer them from the side-lines when they’re playing sports, and be present when they’re performing. Let them show you the toys they’ve assembled. This not only shows your children that you love and accept them, but it means they’ll continue to come to you for advice, guidance and support as they grow older. And note that this doesn’t cost you anything but time.

Be realistic about your expectations, too. If your child is a B student, don’t punish or shame them for not getting As. Celebrate their accomplishments while providing academic support as necessary. There are a number of tried and true techniques to instil a love of learning in your children. These techniques can also improve your relationship with your child while helping their personal development.

How To Get Closer To Your Child

As a parent sometimes it can feel as though you are drifting away from your child. The older they get, the more that it might seem as though they just don’t need you as much as they did, and knowing that can drive a distance between you, even if no one really intends it to happen.

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It doesn’t have to be like this. Although at some point you and your child will naturally drift apart, to stop it happening too early here are some tips to help you get closer to your child.

Snuggling

Try to spend a little extra time with your children and be close to them. Snuggling up in the evening or when there is no school is a great way to bond – it relaxes you both and keeps everyone close (in a literal sense as well as emotionally).

When you are reading a story together, or watching a film, or even in the first five minutes of them being awake, be together and enjoy the moment.

Ask Them Questions

Your child has their own ideas and feelings, and although you might think you know what they are unless you ask them to find out for sure, you’ll never really know. Asking your child about their day, what they think about certain things, and what they want to do is important. It will show your child that you acknowledge them as a person, but it will also show that you are interested in their lives, whether they are very little or an older child.

Remember, asking the questions isn’t enough; you have to listen to the answers as well. Concentrate on what the child is saying, and respond where necessary. You’ll learn a lot about them this way and be able to get closer.

Put Them In Charge

As your child is growing up they will want more and more responsibility. In order to stop them from entirely growing away from you, you’ll need to give it to them. Start small and build up so that they have confidence in their own abilities to achieve things, and you will also be sure that they will be happy and safe.

Begin with smaller chores around the house, such as asking them to make their own bed and keep their room tidy. This can then extend to other areas of the house – maybe they will be the one to empty the dishwasher or put clothes away. Show them how to shop online so they can use their own money to buy gifts for birthdays such as jewellery from Fjewellery.co.uk. This will help to equip them for later lifeand will let them know you trust them now, keeping them close.

Laugh At Their Jokes

It may seem like such a small thing that it doesn’t really matter, but listening to a child tell a joke and then laughing is something that will help them grow in confidence and keep them close to you.

It is a small thing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important too.

This entry was posted in Family.

Top Questions to Ask on a Boarding School Tour

You have selected the top boarding schools for your child to attend. Once you schedule a tour, you need to think of some questions to ask while walking around the campus. While some may come during the tour, these questions can help you prepare ahead of time. The answers can help you narrow your choices down to pick the right one for your teen.

Boarding School

How Is This School Different?

While you may have read the website details, spoken with an admissions officer and read the brochure, the tour can allow you to find out more details on why the school is different. The best boarding schools for athletes balance academics with training. Many schools look and feel similar, so you want to know why your kid should go there.

How Many Grads Go to Top Colleges?

Thinking about your child’s future is one reason you chose to send them to a boarding school. Having an idea of how many of the school’s students attend a top university after graduating can help you choose the one that meets your expectations for their post-high school education. For those with athletic interests, how many of the students went to top-rated athletic colleges for their particular sport.

How Does the Admissions Process Work?

Every school operates slightly differently. You need to know what to expect when you apply for your child to attend. Do they conduct interviews for the student, the family or both? Some schools may want the child to take a placement exam in addition to seeing their academic performance from their prior schools. Some schools may include a section for alumnus children. An athlete may need to try out for the team before offered admission.

What Homework Provisions Are There?

Since you won’t be there, you need to know how homework will be handled. If your child often needs assistance, does the school provide that and how? Some kids may need a quiet space to complete work that may be more difficult to find in a boarding school environment. Make sure there are accommodations for the type of learning your child has outside the classroom.

What Are the Class Sizes?

One of the reasons many parents send their children to boarding schools are for smaller classes. Some children need more attention than others making small class sizes a huge help to their learning. A rich learning environment provides your child with the ability to speak up for themselves, participate in class discussions and receive any assistance they need to achieve their optimal learning objectives.

8 Ideas for a Perfect Family Sunday

You know how it is: all week, you dream about spending the perfect relaxing Sunday with your kids but when the weekend rolls around it’s chaos as usual and you spend the entire day picking up after your little ones as you distract them with a movie. Take charge of this weekend by making a plan to get out of the house – and sticking to it. Here are eight ideas for some Sunday fun that the whole family will enjoy.

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Plan a picnic

This is definitely one for the warmer months, but a picnic is the perfect excuse for some family bonding. It requires a little forethought, but your food doesn’t need to be fancy for your family to have fun. Make sure to pack lots of fresh fruit – and a few treats, of course! You could also invite a couple of family friends along to really make a day of it.

Enjoy a pub lunch

The words “pub lunch” alone conjure up images of a wonderfully laid-back Sunday afternoon – and best of all, this option requires absolutely no preparation. Choose somewhere cozy and friendly with plenty of craft beer for you to sample, such as the Hole in the Wall pub in Chichester.

Visit a local museum

Visiting a local museum is a great way to keep your kids entertained and make sure they learn something new this weekend. Since many museums are free to visit, this could be a cost-effective way to spend your Sunday, too.

Fly kites

Flying a kite is a magical experience at any age and so it’s a great activity for all the family to enjoy. Make things even more fun with a selection of crazy and colorful kites.

Make a time capsule

If your kids are into arts and crafts, why not spend this Sunday making a time capsuletogether? Not only will it keep everybody entertained for hours, but it will be a lovely memento to dig up in a few years. You could include today’s newspapers, handwritten letters to their future selves, photographs and magazine clippings of their favorite cartoon characters or pop stars.

Plan a treasure hunt

Everybody loves a treasure hunt! All you need is a few pieces of card and some chocolate – of course. If you don’t fancy your home or garden being overturned in pursuit of treasure, you could always set it up at the local park instead for a little extra excitement.

Get baking

Not only is baking a lot of fun for everyone, but you get delicious treats at the end. Choose something simple like cookies or cupcakes and assign everybody a ‘clean up’ job before you begin to keep the kids mindful of the mess they’re making. To add a competitive element, you could always devise a ‘star baker’ prize.

Have a board game marathon

Crack out those dusty old board games from the back of the cupboard and have a family board game tournament. You could always get crafty and make a colorful scoreboard and crown for the ultimate victor, too.

How to Improve Your Child’s Dental Habits

Tooth decay is a serious issue, with nearly half of all children in the United States experiencing cavities by age five, however, in most cases, it’s completely preventable as long as the child is taking proper care of their teeth and going for regular dental examinations. As parents, we want what’s best for our children, so if you have any concerns, here are a few ways to improve your child’s dental habits.

dental habit

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Be a Good Role Model

As a parent, your child will look up to you and follow your lead, so for your kids to maintain good oral hygiene, you need to practice what you preach and show them how important it is to clean your teeth twice a day. If you aren’t setting a good example from the get-go, you will find it more difficult to convince your children to brush their teeth.

Encourage Healthy Eating

We’re all aware of how important healthy eating is. Following a balanced diet packed with fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and nutrients can help support your teeth and gums. We also know how much children love sweets and soda, so it’s important that you get a grasp on how many treats they’re consuming and then reduce or eliminate their intake. There are lots of things that you can do to aid healthy eating, such as prioritizing tooth-healthy foods such as raw vegetables and fruits, which you can pack in their school lunches.

Establish a Regular Schedule

The old advice still rings true: everyone (including children) should be brushing their teeth twice a day. For children, in particular, you need to make brushing a set part of their day to day schedule so make sure that they are brushing their teeth right after breakfast as well as before getting into bed at night. If you’re concerned that your children aren’t brushing correctly, you will need to step in as a parent and teach them how to reach every corner of their mouths.

Make It Fun

Maintaining good oral hygiene is a serious business, but that’s not to say you can’t have some fun along the way. Children like challenges and games, so why not use games, stories, or songs to help make brushing time more fun for your children. A tooth-brushing session should last around two minutes, so you can use a timer or a clock that plays a song to provide entertainment for the 120 seconds. Also, offering praise to your child once they’ve completed brushing, as well as giving simple rewards like a sticker can keep them on the right track.

Find a Good Dentist

There’s only so much you can do at home when it comes to helping your child with their oral hygiene, therefore, finding a good dentist who you trust can mean your kids are getting the best dental care possible. Elite Dentistry is a dentist in Simi Valleythat uses state-of-the-art technology and offers a wide range of services to keep you and your family’s teeth and gums healthy and clean. From an early age, it’s important that you drill your kids in the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. To avoid cavities and gum disease, make sure that your child is brushing twice a day, and visiting the dentist regularly.

How to Stay Fresh Faced During the Holiday Hype

The holidays seem to come around quicker and quicker every year. The stores get their Christmas displays out the second that Halloween has ended and the radio stations seem to play Mariah Carey nonstop from late September. What with gift giving, school carol concerts and planning the festive feasts, your mind is often too preoccupied to notice that your skin care has taken a back seat in all the holiday madness.

fresh looking

During winter, your skin is put through so much: the freezing winds followed by the fiery warmth causes chapping, the sugary hot toddies and eggnog cause break-outs and the stress of getting the whole family together for Christmas causes your cortisol levels to fluctuate which can lead to signs of premature aging.

Taking care of yourself and your skin should be high on your priority list this holiday season. Here are some tips on how to get you through the holiday hype with a fresh face:

1. Stay hydrated

Often, you can be tempted to swap out drinking water with tea or hot chocolate during the winter. While there is nothing wrong with those drinks in moderation, making a direct switch between water and tea is not doing your skin any favors. If you don’t fancy a cold drink on a freezing winter day, try hot water with a slice of lemon or fresh ginger instead.

2. Protect your skin

When you are battling the elements this winter, most of your skin will be covered with layers upon layers of warm clothing. However, even when you are wearing a scarf pulled up and a bobble hat, there are still parts of your face that are left exposed. Protect your face with sunscreen; winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun and more often than not you don’t use your sunscreen during the winter. There are plenty of sunscreen options that can be worn under your make up and are perfect for daily use.

3. Repair the damage

No matter how much you protect yourself again the holiday season this year, you cannot prepare yourself for the past. Previous holiday stresses might show on your skin but you can change that with modern technologies and at home procedures like the microcurrent facial.

4. Don’t over-indulge

Indulgence should now be considered a Christmas tradition. Of course you are going to have that extra glass of wine, it’s Christmas! Of course you are going to have that second mince pie, it’s Christmas! Indulgence is often the only way to keep sane during the holidays but there is a fine line between indulgence and over-indulgence and your skin will be able to tell the difference. With increased amounts of sugar and alcohol over the holiday season your skin will become prone to breakouts. Combat these by making sure you wash and tone your face every day.

Whichever way you choose to spend the holiday season, make sure that you put aside some time for yourself so that you and your skin can have some time to recoup from the holiday hype.

How to Care for a Senior Pet

As your best friend ages, you will probably be wondering what you can do to maximize his quality of life and keep him around for longer. Here are some helpful guidelines for caring for a senior pet.

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When is your pet considered ‘senior’?

The size of your pet plays a huge role in determining when he or she is considered to be ‘senior’. For example, when it comes to dogs, smaller breeds will often only reach ‘senior’ age when they turn nine or 10, while larger breeds are usually considered ‘senior’ as early as when they are around five or six. Most cats are considered ‘senior’ when they are between seven and 10 years old.

Change his diet

Senior pets have different dietary requirements compared to puppies/kittens and adult dogs/cats. For instance, most seniors will become more sedentary as they age, and this means that they will need fewer calories per day. Many senior pets may also begin to suffer from bouts of constipation, which is often linked to reduced activity, hence the reason why a high-fiber diet is also important. Some senior pet food also contains richer and better quality sources of protein.

Watch out for changes in behavior

It is important to have a great vet, like Heart and Paw, on speed-dial as your pet gets older as this is the time when they are more likely to develop certain conditions. You will need to watch out for any symptoms or changes in their behavior, such as eating or drinking less frequently, changes in bowel movements, increased water consumption, and increased agitation or anxiety. The moment you notice any of these changes, consult with your vet for advice.

Visit your vet regularly

Along with seeing the vet when you suspect possible problems in your senior pet, you should also visit them for regular check-ups. That way, he or she will be able to work to prevent numerous conditions and ensure that your pet is not in any pain. These regular check-ups will also provide you with maximum peace of mind.

Exercise

Your pet may feel less inclined to exercise now that he is older – but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still good for him! Play with your cat as often as you can and take your dog for frequent walks. However, it is essential that you keep an eye out for signs that your pet is experiencing any pain when exercising. Arthritis is an especially common concern in aging animals. In fact, one in every four dogs is diagnosed with some form of arthritis in his lifetime, and over half of all cats over the age of six have arthritis in at least one joint.

Symptoms of arthritis include the following:

  • Reduced activity
  • Limping
  • Problems sitting, standing, or climbing stairs

Special diets and anti-inflammatory medication can help to ease the pain and stiffness associated with the condition.

Make him comfortable

As your pet gets older, he may begin to feel various aches and pain that will reduce his comfort levels. You can counteract this by making your home ‘senior-friendly.’ Buy him an orthopedic bed, keep him warm with a blanket or a jacket, and ensure that he can access his food and water with ease. Follow these tips and your beloved pet is sure to enjoy golden, rather than gray, years ahead of him.

4 Ways You Can Be a Better Dog Owner

As a pet owner, you want to give your animal the best life possible. While we all might like to believe that wanting to be a good pet owner is as effective as being a good pet owner, it’s unfortunately not the case.  

It’s easy to make mistakes and not realize that we could be doing more for our pets. Unfortunately, some mistakes are bigger than others, and may ultimately end with hurting your pet.  

If you’re ready to learn how to make your relationship with your pets as solid as possible, then take a look at these tips. 

dog owner

Provide a Healthy Diet

Your dog depends on you for their nutritional needs. Diet is an important part of their health. Whether you’re buying them snacks or bags of food, it should be made of quality ingredients.  

Why settle for cheap food that will offer them the least amount of nutrients? Instead, opt for high quality that’s made for your dog’s specific dietary needs. If you want to really go above and beyond, you can consider making their food yourself. A combination of veggies, meat, and grains can make an affordable and nutritionally ideal meal for your pet.

Your pet’s life is directly affected by the quality of the food you provide your pooch with. Make it good!

Vaccinate Them

One of the basics of responsible dog parenthood is staying up to date with vaccinations. Your dog needs vaccinations to stay protected from all sorts of diseases. A simple visit to the vet can ensure your dog stays free of illness, which could otherwise be fatal.  

Some people stall on doing this because of the price. However, if you’re not ready to pay the costs involved with owning a pet, then it’s time to consider whether you’re not suited to own one. 

Train Them

Training your dog isn’t only for your benefit; it’s also for theirs. Dogs may not have the best habits by nature. It’s up to you to show them how to socialize successfully with other dogs and keep their cool around other humans.

A well-trained dog is less anxious, more physically stimulated, and happier overall. If you’re not sure how the basics of dog training work, then consider signing your dog up for an obedience class.

Dog-Proof Your House

It’s vital that your dog stays protected from getting into any dangerous chemicals or materials that could harm him. It’s crucial that you dog-proof your home so that they can’t eat or swallow anything they shouldn’t.

Dogs are naturally curious, so it’s important to protect them by keeping them away from situations and materials that could be potentially threatening to their life.