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 http://www.pregnancyhealth.net/ 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 Childs 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. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

November 2017 #Lego Monthly Mini Build Registration #Free

wrote this FOREVER ago, it seems like, about the LEGO Store monthly mini build! Things have definitely changed. I used to have to wait in line for a long time with a couple of littles ones but now they are older and easier!

After the crazy waiting-in-line like for a rock concert only with little kids fiasco month after month, Lego stores changed things up for at least 6 months and the employees would just hand you your mini build kit if you had gotten a card for the kit when you first got to the line.

HALLELUIA! The first time they did that I almost cried. We got our kit, grabbed ice cream and went home to build the kits, saving an hour (at least) of our lives!

The last few months, however, they have changed it again. They don't do this to be a pain in your butt. They do it to try new things to make as many customers happy as possible because they are Lego and they rock like that. You are basically RESERVING your mini build.

So you have to mark your calendar or you'll forget to register like I do. For instance, today is October 15 and I had to register for the November mini build. You can now pick Tuesday times or Wednesday times.

Sign up HERE for the mini build.

Sample calendar like they hand out at the build:

In August I was able to take my own kids plus my friend's kids for a total of 7 kids building :-)
You can only sign up 4 kids per session per VIP account email. You can sign up for a VIP account here (worth it ... VIP points add up and you get free Legos!). I am not messing with getting two VIP cards and we only need 4 kits anyway. Callie is not thrilled about building Legos and instead uses them as decorations (Heartlake Grand Hotel, anyone?). BUT ... the sweeties at Lego usually offer her one anyway. And we take it because they are cool!

TIP: Make sure when you do the final page of registering to CONFIRM that the top of your page does not say that you are confirming to be on the WAIT LIST or you do not have a spot! Go back in your web browser and get another spot FAST!

FINE PRINT: In order to participate, guests must be between the ages of 6-14. All guests will be expected to complete the build in the store. Registration on a first come first serve basis. Stores will no longer accept walk ups on the night of the event.

Packing Tips For Your Next Move

Experts have long suggested that moving is one of the most stressful life events. Fortunately, careful planning and sensible packing can make the whole ordeal much easier. For your next relocation, don't forget to hire movers and use these packing tips.

Now Is the Time to Declutter

Weeks, or more ideally months, before your move, it pays to go through virtually every item in your house. As you go, you'll be deciding whether each item should be kept, tossed or donated. Moving is easier when you have fewer things to pack. Why bring the skis that you haven't used in a decade or that rice cooker that's been gathering dust since you received it as a gift? Get rid of disused or worn out items now so that you don't have to pack them for your move.

Hire Movers

Don't wait until the last minute to find reputable
movers Manchester NH. They can either do your packing for you or provide valuable advice to make the chore much easier and more efficient. Typically, the company provides boxes, padding and blankets to keep even your most delicate and valuable items safe in transit. With their guidance, nothing will get lost or broken.

Make Plans for Special Items

If you are moving anything that is particularly large, valuable or delicate, you'll want to rely on
New England movers to get the job done. They have the skills, materials and know-how that are necessary to move everything from oversized refrigerators to rare oil paintings. The job may involve building a custom crate and using deluxe padding materials, and your moving company is the perfect resource to get it done right.

Use the Right Boxes

Packing most of your things yourself is an excellent way to save money on a move. However, it is imperative that you be smart about how you pack. For instance, it's never a good idea to fill a large box with heavy items. Use small boxes for heavier items such as books, and save those large boxes for lighter items like pillows, towels and blankets. Try not to leave empty spaces in the boxes as this will allow the items inside to shift and slide. Put clothing, towels or other soft items into open spaces to prevent this.

Organize and Label

Do your best not to mix the contents of various rooms in one box. This makes the unpacking process chaotic. Instead, keep everything from a certain room together, and clearly label each box as you finish packing it. This makes it easy for the movers to place the boxes in the right room at the new property. Also, be careful to fully seal each box with packing tape. This provides extra security against loss and breakage.

Moving doesn't have to be stressful when it's done right. Use these sensible packing tips and a professional moving company for your next relocation. You won't regret it.
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