Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tips for Harmonious Traveling With Kids During the Holidays

Traveling with kids can be a challenge, to say the least, especially on holidays. Factoring a child’s needs into your travels involve a lot more than bringing in lots of snacks and making toilet stops.
In this article, we’ll provide real-life advice on travelling with kids in tow so you can enjoy your holidays without all the unnecessary fuss.
Give extra time. Whether you’re at the airport, sightseeing or getting from one place to another, you need to take your time. Kids love to explore and don’t actually care for the time pressure when travelling, so accept it to retain your cool. Factor in the gawping, faffing, stalling, and occasional tantrums into the timeframe.
Book ahead of time. It pays to book ahead whether you’re staying in hotels or camping. You cannot retain the spontaneity of travelling that you had before having children. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself in situations like arriving at your destination with tired, hungry kids melting down in the backseat.
Provide them with a camera. Providing your kids with their own user-friendly and robust camera encourages them to observe their environment and focus on what interests them. It also preoccupies their time and gives them the chance to appreciate your travels more. You’ll be surprised at the results from their view of things. Rocks, ants, random animal poo, gutters. Awesome!
Prepare for any climate. This may be a simple advice, but children dressed comfortably for both weather and terrain will enjoy their environment better. With all the gear available, there’s actually no excuse for kids using suits that are ill-fitting.
Use apps to your advantage. There’s little need to cram toy boxes into hand luggage when travelling wherever. Simple bring with you a tablet and download loads of apps and games for in-flight or on-road entertainment. Just remember to set rules and it’ll be a comfy ride for everyone.
Bring medicine. Whether they’re jet-lagged, eating less healthily or having runny nose due to the change in climate, kids always seem to catch illness during holidays. Pack an easy-to-swallow medicine and other essential medical items with you, including plasters, wipes, sting treatment, thermometer, etc.
Avoid sweets. Giving in to the temptation of feeding your children sweets can backfire during your journey as it can make them hyper for hours. Pack a mixture of savoury snacks like breadsticks, cheese cubes, bagels and fruit – anything to avoid arriving at your destination with children in the middle of a sugar rush.
Check your passports. Passports have a habit of running out when we’re not looking, so allow at least four weeks to renew them. The cost of a last-minute passport is huge, and irritating if you only realise it’s essential when already in the queue at your destination.
Secure a travel insurance for everyone. Any traveller worth his or her salt – or parent/s travelling with kids for that matter, must not skimp on a good travel insurance. The good news is that most insurers provide complimentary travel insurance cover for your dependent children, which means they will receive the same type and level of cover as you, although some benefits may not apply.
End Note That’s it. Remember, the key is right planning and sticking with your plans, including itineraries during your holiday trip. Make use of these tips to have a harmonious holiday with your children in tow. Have fun!

A Look Into Unsecured Personal Loans and How They’re Advantageous

There are many different types of loans out there. While you might be familiar with the concept of a secured personal loan, there’s a good chance that you might not know as much about getting your personal loans unsecured. Here, we discuss unsecured personal loans and how they can be advantageous to someone that is looking to borrow some money. If you’ve been thinking about borrowing some money for a special project or to take care of some expenses, an unsecured personal loan might help you out more.

So what’s an unsecured personal loan?
The simplest way to put it is that you’re looking for a regular loan, but with a fancy name behind it. An unsecured loan refers to getting to borrow a sum of money without having to set anything personal and valuable aside as collateral damage. In the case of a secured loan, you would have to vouch with your car, house or other valuables to get the loan. Those or other assets are no longer needed when we’re talking about an unsecured personal loan, and that can feel quite liberating.

The dangers of borrowing too much
Just because you can get an unsecured personal loan relatively easy, many make the mistake of assuming that a personal loan, even an unsecured one, is a bottomless well. That’s not the case at all, and you can find yourself spending a lot of money you don’t have, or in other words borrow too much from your bank or private lender. The easiest and non-painful way to avoid such a thing is to make sure that you never borrow more than what you need, and that you always remember your financial boundaries.

With that said, it’s not like they’re going to loan you any amount of money you ask for. Lenders first have to look into your case and determine what amount of money would be appropriate for you. Different people are awarded different sized loans, simply because some are more capable and resourceful than others when it comes to paying back what they own.

The signature loan
The unsecured personal loan is often referred to as the signature loan. That’s simply because of this kind of loan, supposedly only requires a candidate’s signature to begin the process. This information is not completely accurate, however. In reality, the signature will only make the loan application eligible. From there, the responsible committee will decide whether or not they should trust you with their money.

Defaulting on an unsecured loan will not lose your important property like your home or car, but it can still do amazingly detrimental damage. As you know, your credit score is very important, and it makes a huge difference in pretty much anything you do financially. Having your credit ruined is a very big price to pay, not to mention that what led to your credit going down will remain on your credit record for at least seven years. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you can afford to take and repay a loan, unsecured or otherwise, before finally committing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

5 Tips for Strengthening Your Relationship

Aron and Kerrie ... married 19 years 10/10/2017. This was taken late at night on our anniversary when I had driven two days with the kids from KC to Orlando and he flew in later due to some unforeseen circumstances. Still in love!

If you want to enjoy a long and happy relationship, you will need to put the work in. It is not enough to rest on your laurels and expect everything to stay the same. Don’t just sit back and wait for problems to arise in your relationship. Instead, try to be proactive about keeping the romance alive. You should also try to improve your skills as a couple. Perhaps you need to work on communicating, collaborating, reminiscing, or just having fun. Whatever the case, there is always something to be done. Below are five tips for strengthening your relationship.

Take on a project together
If you want to establish an unbreakable bond, you need to learn to work together. Why not take on a project that you can both get involved with? One idea would be to renovate, or redecorate one of the rooms in your home. This could be a great opportunity for you to learn about collaboration and compromise. Although you want to create a fantastic room, remember that the focus should be on your relationship. Try to avoid arguments and remain open to each other’s suggestions.

Enjoy exciting activities together
If you want to introduce more excitement into your relationship, you will need to try something new. You need to find an activity that you can do together and give you great fun. Check out jetsurfus for some amazing sports equipment that will give you the ultimate in jetboard experience. Taking part in such an activity will exhilarate you and your relationship.

Plan a romantic date night
Even if you have been together for years, it is still important for you to plan a date night. This is a wonderful way for you to keep the spark alight. Make sure that you put in the effort and always go somewhere nice. You should both get dressed up and try to recapture the magic of your early dates. You could even take it in turns to plan somewhere romantic to go. If you are trying to unlock the sentimental side of your partner, this is a great place to start.

Take a trip down memory lane
You could also unlock their sentimental side by taking a trip down memory lane. Why not spend an afternoon looking through your photo albums or home videos? This will help you to see how far you have come as a couple. It will also help you to remember what attracted you to each other in the first place. By revisiting the past, you will be able to find inspiration for the future, and be reminded of what makes you both happy.

Don’t be scared to try couple’s therapy

Even if your relationship is in a really strong place, you could still benefit from couple’s therapy. This will help you to develop your communication skills. It will also help you to prepare for all of life’s ups and downs. By dealing with your emotions in the moment, you can prevent them from building up and turning into a serious problem for your relationship.

Tips to Consider Before Trying for a Baby

My husband Aron with our 4th child, Eva. She is mischievous and fun!

Tips to consider before trying for a baby
Choosing to have a baby can be an exciting, emotional time of any women’s life. As easy as it is to take months of planning to become a Mom, nothing quite prepares you for that incredible feeling of holding your newborn in your arms.  So once you’ve calmed down, bought all the books you can find on pregnancy at your local bookstore, and maxed out your credit card on a stylish maternity wardrobe, it's time to get serious and start focusing on other factors of your life that will be affected by your growing baby bump – and that’s not just the color of your nursery walls.

Are you in good health?
Your first task as a Mom-to-be: pick up the phone and call your doctor, ob-gyns, or midwife – whoever you intend to see or consult throughout your pregnancy. It’s time to make sure that your health, and that of your baby, is the best that it possibly can be. Make sure that your choice of healthcare provider is covered within your insurance network

Growing a baby can be tough work, and can wreak havoc on your emotions and feelings, not to mention the obvious physical changes that all new mothers can expect to go through. During your first health visit you will undergo a detailed examination, involving a full physical and pelvic exam. You can also expect to be weighed and measured and have your blood pressure taken. Your doctor will then give you your due date, around 266 days from the first day of your last period. Remember in a normal pregnancy, you can expect to see your doctor or consultant every month until about the sixth month; every two weeks during the seventh and eighth months, and finally weekly until labor.

Now you’ve seen your consultant it’s time to consider prenatal care. Most health practitioners will advise taking a prenatal supplement to up the levels of folic acid and iron that you need while pregnant. Being pregnant means giving your diet some careful consideration too. Make sure that you are eating regular, balanced meals and do make extra precautions when eating meat or fish, to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly. You will also want to stop drinking and smoking to avoid placing your baby at risk of premature delivery, miscarriage and other health complications.  Remember you are not alone when it comes to your baby’s health, sites such as offer a wealth of information and advice for Moms, whether you are expecting for the first or third time.

To maintain good health, you will need to consider incorporating some sort of exercise into your daily routine, if you don’t already. Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean that you can’t work out – you will just need to make a few small changes to your routine. Why not consider exploring other exercise classes that are slightly lower impact – such as yoga or Pilates? There’s no reason why you can’t work up a sweat, but be sure to check in with your gym instructor or doctor first.

Telling your other kids
If you already have children it can be difficult to pick the right time to break the news that they are soon to have a brother or sister. Normally experts advise that you wait until your pregnancy is well established, this is usually when your first trimester is well underway, and the risk of miscarriage is reduced. It's also a good idea to wait until your baby bump is starting to show. It can be difficult for children to come to terms with the fact that a baby is growing inside Mom’s stomach – especially if it’s still quite flat. Be sure to let your kids touch your belly and try and be as open and honest with their questions as possible. How long you should wait, and the reaction that this will provoke, depends on the age and nature of your children. Remember that this can be stressful and confusing news for kids to digest, so make sure that you break the news when your kids are relaxed and in a safe environment.

Can you afford it?
If you ask any parent whether they waited until they could factor in the costs of having a child, the common answer would be a resounding no. If you currently have a strict household budget then now’s the time to make a few additions. Having a child can add anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars every month to your outgoings, depending on your health insurance plan, or childcare costs, and even diapers and formula milk can soon add up. During your pregnancy is a great time to go through your finances (and start saving too!) Be honest with yourself and your partner – can you really afford to go on vacation this year? Do you need a new car? Why not consult other friends or family members who have recently had a baby to see how their budget has been affected? Little changes will go a long way before the first patter of tiny feet.

If you do want to quit your job to be a stay at home Mom, is this feasible for yourself and your family? Make sure that your partner understands why you want to give up work, and whether you can cover all costs on just one income. There’s no right, or wrong, time to have a baby. However, it’s advisable to consider the financial effect on your household in the long term. Not only will your new born increase your costs from the moment they arrive, but you also need to consider that you will be feeding and clothing your child until they go off to college. 

No matter the planning or preparation that you do, there’s no greater feeling than becoming a parent. So if things don’t go quite to plan, don’t worry. You have nine whole months of pregnancy to get ready for this life changing experience. Becoming a mother means that your role in the world is about to change. Although sleepless nights, dirty diapers and exhaustion might await you, this “job” is truly unique. So make sure you enjoy it. 

Your Child's First Car and What You Need to Know

My 16-year-old son Joel will be hunting for his first car soon! This is him driving us all from Kansas City to Nashville

Cars offer the freedom and mobility to go where you want. This independence is crucial when you live in an area that doesn’t have an extensive public transport system. While getting your teen a car will let them test their limits and makes them more responsible, nothing will beat the life lessons they will learn, but you may have to help them buy their first car. To help your teen buy their first car, follow this quick guide:

Encourage Your Teen to Get a Job
Before a car can ever come into the equation, your teen first needs a job. A job is a rite of passage for many teens, as it will help teach them about real-world responsibilities. The job will help them expand their social abilities and it will also provide them with an income that they can do whatever they want with. After all, they will need to be able to pay for the car’s fuel!

Have a Budget
There are many ways a teen can finance their car. They can either have enough savings to buy a used one outright, they can finance it by themselves, or you can help them. A great way to help them buy a car is to pay for the deposit as a gift to them, and to then let them finance the rest. Regardless of how you and your teen plan to pay for the car, work out a reasonable budget beforehand. Remember, the longer the lease, the more you pay over the original ticket price.

Insurance is a must, and a premium insurance can help protect your teen better than the basic level one they can probably afford. It’s usually cheaper to add your teen to your own insurance, and can give them more room to make their car payments. It’s important to note, however, that not all accidents mean that your insurance will be affected. If either you or your teen was in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s important to contact a Stuart car accident law firm to get you the compensation you deserve.

Do Your Research
When your teen wants a car, you need to make sure that they choose one that has high safety ratings to today’s standards. There are a lot of old cars that, technically, have high safety ratings, but only in the context of the year they were produced. Steer your child away from flashy cars and instead towards safe, reliable cars that will keep them safe for years and years to come.

Once you’ve chosen a good car within your budget look up what its manufacturer price is and negotiate the car down to a much better price than what the ticket says.

It can be scary to see your child drive off without you in the car, but it’s an important life skill that gives everyone the freedom and mobility necessary to be an independent adult. Help your teen buy their own car, and they’ll be accountable for it, ensuring they are more careful, and safer. 
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