Sunday, June 30, 2019

Five Tips For Budgeting A Wedding

A wedding of any size is going to be expensive. From just the wedding venue hire to catering, you could be spending thousands on just a few elements that go towards the big day. Here are five tips for budgeting a wedding. 

Create A Budget And Stick To It

Budgeting is something that's beneficial for everything in life, whether you do it on a personal level or at work. It helps you to avoid spending beyond your means and its good to have it all laid out visually in front of you so you know exactly how much you have to spend. When it comes to the wedding budget, set an amount for each element and stick to it. Always provide an estimate that's at the top end of what you think it would cost so that you've got a pleasant surprise when it comes in under budget. 

Know Where To Splurge And Where To Save

There are aspects of the wedding where you could save yourself some money. Things like wedding invitations and dressing the venue can be done on a smaller budget, but it's good to also splurge on the bits where it makes a difference, for example, the best wedding bands to offer from Alive Network. Music is certainly an important part of the wedding day and it’s one part that your guests will remember and appreciate the most. Your wedding dress and groom attire is also a splurge as well as the wedding rings.

Get Help From Family And Friends

This is the moment you find out whether your friends and family members have talents that you can take advantage of or not. Maybe they have the ability to craft decorations or are a natural in the kitchen. If that’s the case, get help from your nearest and dearest and they will surely want to help out in any way they can. You can end up cutting costs and saving a lot of money by getting help from those willing to do it for free or for a small fee.

Avoid Taking Out Any Loans

Loans shouldn’t really be take out for a wedding. They should be viewed as something that’s done in an emergency and therefore you should avoid taking out any loans during your wedding planning. If you’re needing extra funds for a temporary period, using a credit card is much more beneficial. 

Put A Cap On Your Credit Card

Credit cards can certainly come in handy when there's one big expense that can't be covered with your usual paycheck. However, to help yourself out, it might be a good idea to put a cap on your credit card spend. You shouldn't really have a limit that's beyond what you earn per month, so use this as a guide when adding a cap onto your credit card limit.

Budgeting for your wedding will be a challenge but at the end of it, you’ll have a day that you will both remember for the rest of your lives.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Tips for Dealing with Kids Who Misbehave on Vacation

March 2017 Chicago trip with the family while Daddy was in work training :-)

Planning a vacation is no easy feat, especially if you’re traveling with children. From making sure you’ve packed everything they’ll need to planning the right activities, it can feel like a full-time job! It’s even more difficult the further you travel from home. For example, if you decide to travel to Laos, you’ll also need to apply for a Laos eVisa application.

After you’ve spent so much time planning the perfect vacation for your family, the last thing you want is for it to be ruined due to misbehavior. Unfortunately, it’s likely to happen at least once during your trip.

Don’t let it ruin your whole vacation! With these tips, you can deal with misbehavior, even in the most public, unfamiliar places.

Don’t Make Threats You Won’t Follow Through With

A popular parental go-to is the threat. For example, if your child is throwing a fit at Disney World, your instinct might be to threaten to go back to the hotel, but you probably won’t. Not after you made it to the park and paid all that money to get in!

Empty threats aren’t effective. If you have no intention of leaving the park, don’t tell your children that you’re going to. They’ll quickly figure out that you aren’t serious, and they’ll just keep misbehaving.

Instead, only discuss the consequences that you will actually follow through with. Mention that they can’t go on the rides they want if they’re throwing a fit, or tell them they’ll have to take a break in the car if they don’t stop. That way, they know you’re more serious, and if you have to follow through, you can.

Find a Distraction

Distraction can be an effective way to discipline a child, especially very young children. It can be especially effective on vacation because they’re surrounded by new and exciting things!

For example, if your child wants an over-priced ice cream cone that you don’t want to pay for, and they start throwing a fit because they aren’t getting it, redirect their attention towards something that is just as much, if not more, fun. That might be a different slide at the water park, a ride at a theme park, or an animal at the zoo.

Separate Squabbling Siblings

Traveling with siblings takes dealing with misbehavior to a whole other level. At home, it’s probably something you’re used to dealing with, but in public, it can be embarrassing.

The best way to deal with sibling fighting when on vacation is simply to separate them. For example, one parent can take one child out on a kayak, while the other stays on the beach, or one kid can go on a ride while the other rides something different.

If you think the problem can be easily solved, go ahead and give it a try after the separation. Otherwise, let the issue go and only address is later in private. That way, it doesn’t cause more distractions to your day.

Rest or Take a Nap

Did you know there are multiple benefits of taking naps? They are a great way to boost brain power and increase mood. That’s true during the week while the kids are in school, and it’s true while you’re on vacation.

It’s easy for everyone, kids and adults included, to get tired on an exciting vacation. It can fray nerves and make kids more irritable than usual. If you notice that one or more members of your family are starting to get crankier than normal, it’s time to take a break.

Head to the hotel so everyone can take a quick nap. If the kids aren’t up for sleeping, watching a movie can be helpful.

Assess Their Needs

It’s possible that the kids are misbehaving because their needs aren’t being met. A few causes of misbehavior that are easily remedied include:

·        Getting a snack if your child hasn’t eaten for a while.

·        Getting something to drink if they’re thirsty.

·        Spend some time in the shade if you’ve been in the sun all day.

·        Find an air conditioned place to relax if your child is overheating.

·        Provide them with a few snuggles if the day has been too busy.

Children are going to misbehave, and they’re going to do it whether you’re at home or halfway around the world. That doesn’t mean it has to ruin your day or your vacation! With these tips, you can get to the root of the problem and move on quickly to the next exciting vacation adventure that’s just around the corner.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Unexpected Effects of Stress and the Best Way to Fight It

No one ever said that family life was an easy job; it’s well known that motherhood is no walk in the park. Working parents and families are often faced with time constraints. There’s no room for anything else to happen but the daily routine. Get up, get the kids up, dress them, feed them, take them to school, shop, clean, work, etc. Whatever your daily routine, the list seems to never end, but your day does, which in turn, makes your life stressful. Stress can affect our bodies in many different ways, some more so than others. You’ll be surprised at the ways it can take shape and how much it can change your life. Be careful and be diligent of any changes you notice. Stress can have life-long effects and can be incredibly detrimental to your health.

Stress generally creeps up on you. It’s not a sudden realisation that you’re stressed and you may only notice when the cracks start to show. The day-to-day activities of family life can bring a whole host of stresses, no time for fitness, no time for hobbies and no time for yourself. With the never-ending cycle of your daily routine, it can be hard to find the time to unwind and de-stress. The importance of your health and taking care of your mind and body cannot be talked about enough, merely knowing the benefits can give you the motivation you need to take that next step of self-care.

There are million-and-one reasons for looking after yourself, but no greater than the health benefits it can offer you. You may be looking to bring another one into the family, and the effects of stress can play a part in conceiving a child. Stress can have huge implications on your fertility. With life’s offerings of unpredictabilities and uncertainties, that existing stress can create another worry. That can create a never-ending battle. Seeking advice from top fertility doctors can alleviate any worries or concerns you may have. Through de-stressing and self-care, you can be sure that it will benefit your childbearing greatly. If this an ongoing concern, you can learn a lot online about the wonders offered by fertility doctors and clinics alike.

Stress can cause you to feel physically unwell. It can cause headaches, stomach aches, cramps, muscle tension and pain. This can leave you wondering why you might feel physically unwell. Perhaps you have a cold or illness? It can leave you wondering why you feel the way you do. Again, leading to even further stress and questions. Stress is an unforgiving feeling, and this is why it’s essential to maintain a consistent de-stressing lifestyle.

It generally affects your mental wellbeing and thus can cause a rippling effect on your life’s activities. You might not be such a delight to be around when you’re stressed, and you may come across angry and annoyed. It can cause you not to want to talk or communicate with anyone. This can change relationships that you have with the people around you, your family, friends and work colleagues. It may sound far-fetched, but it can happen without you even noticing. So be mindful of how you’re acting around your friends and family.

It’s common knowledge and proven fact that looking after yourself will lead to a happier, healthier life. You must take the necessary steps to ensure that you’re leading a life of mindfulness and health. Make time and take care of yourself, because no one is going to do it for you.

With all of this in mind, it’s now about being proactive as opposed to reactive. Combat your stresses and make time. This is easier said than done of course, but it’s entirely feasible to find 15-30 minutes during your day to do something to help break your day up and wind your day down. A frequent complaint is that no one can ever find the time to do anything for themselves, but what’s the bet that everyone who uses this excuse will happily spend 3 hours a night watching Netflix or TV? The time can be found, it’s just a matter of prioritizing your activities. And let’s make it clear, your 3-hour Netflix binge can wait. There are higher priority tasks on that list, like self-care and self-love. You don’t need 3 hours to de-stress and unwind at the end of the day. It can be done in as little as 10 minutes. You simply need something that takes your mind off of everything else, something that requires no concentration or thought and allows you to feel that genuinely relaxed sensation.
This is why many people take to practices like gardening as a way to calm down. It’s a productive task but has been shown to have many positive impacts on mental health. In addition to this, there are people who use products like CBD oil as a supplement to relax. And if you’re thinking “can I grow hemp” and combine the two practices, you may want to hold off on this for the time being! Finding one simple practice that helps you to be calm is like a meditation. People who spend hours in the garden love doing it. Self-love doesn’t have to be about anything life changing, it’s the simple things that are just as effective. 

There’s a lot to be said for relaxing, and everyone loves relaxing, right? Though there is a difference between just relaxing and de-stressing, to de-stress, you’ve got to take your mind off things, get out of your regular routine and find that time in the day which you can let yourself go and forget all the worries, anxieties, stresses and negativities of your day. There’s a lot of health benefits which come complimentary with de-stressing, but not a lot of health benefits with watching TV or hours on end, which speaks volumes about the differences. You’ve got to really think about what you’re doing with your free time and ensure your spending it on the right things because our health should always be number one on our list.

Artem Beliakin -

1. Pamper yourself

No one is more deserving of a pamper than a mom. So why not take 30+ minutes every so often to do just that? Take a bath, put on a face mask, kick your feet up and do your nails - why not do all three? Just unwind and breathe, don’t let any distractions come your way and keep your time allocated strictly to you. Your alone time is precious, so spend it on making it count. Do something that makes you feel good, look good or smell good. You do you. You do it for yourself; you pamper yourself because you should, and you want to. Notice all the repeated "you"s? That’s because it’s “you time” and the importance cannot be stressed enough.

If you’re a working mom, use 30 minutes in your lunch break to just take care of yourself, do your nails at your desk or wherever you can. If you’re close enough, you can head to your nearest nail salon and get your nails done. Head to the beauty parlour and get any quick and easy service done. A pedicure or manicure maybe? Who knows. Whatever takes your liking on the day, do it for you because you need it. A working Mom’s life is hard, and you need to find your time to do what makes you feel good.

2. Yoga

You might be thinking, how cliche? But yoga is a seriously great way to relax, de-stress and find a bit of your inner self. It’s a pop-culture phenomenon for a reason, everyone who entertains the idea of yoga, soon finds themselves a fanatic. Toying with the idea is nice, but stepping up to the plate and doing it and seeing why it’s so popular is even better. It’s easy to turn your nose up at the idea of yoga and yoga classes, but it can be self-taught. There’s a tonne of ways to start and practice on your own, use our good ‘ole friend, the internet! How-to yoga videos are here there and everywhere with varying levels of success. But there are a few amazing yoga instructors who offer their courses, advice and tips on YouTube for free. Are you reading this right now? So you must have access to the internet, now you’ve got no excuse! It’s all for a better you.

Not only is it a great way to de-stress, but it may also tick a few of your other things off of your daily list. Fitness? Check. Social time? Check. Time away from the kids? Check. Mindfulness? Check. New hobby? Check. There’s a lot to be said for the world of yoga, and the joy of it is, is that you can take it seriously as you like. There’s absolutely no reason to have to do it every single day, and there’s no reason why you can’t do it just once every so often. Equally, it can be done daily and it won’t take too much out of you. It’s a go-to de-stressor for many people, and you can see why.

3. Get creative

You don’t have to be creative to get creative necessarily. Anyone can be creative. It’s all about just finding a craft or hobby that you can do as you please and when you please. Again, this is about taking your mind off of your daily worries. Find your creative outlet, whatever that be, drawing, creating, sculpting, photography. Any means necessary. Once you find that outlet, you’ll wonder why you never did in the first place. If you already have that creative passion for something, then do it more! Not only is it good for you, but it may also lead to a financial income. There’s lots of Mom’s who use their creative outlet as a means for income. And you can be sure they all started as hobbyists. No one’s born a professional with instant clientele. Being creative doesn’t mean you have to be artsy or know how to draw. It can be using your hands to create something, build something, piece something together. It’s all about finding what works for you.

4. Fitness

Fitness is probably the number one method to combat stress. You can exert any pent up anger and stress into physical activity. Most medical professionals will recommend fitness as a general rule to assist with stress, anxiety and depression. It can help with releasing serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which causes you to feel happier, less worried and puts you in a positive state of mind. As well as fitness boasting the many health benefits, it also offers a chance to socialise and make friends. Find new challenges and overcome them in a happier, stress-free environment.

A Few Tips for Turning Your Home into a Positive Home-Schooling Environment

Image via Pixabay

There are many reasons why you might choose to homeschool, with many of the most common specifically having to do with the fact that you want to ensure that you are as active as possible in the lives and education of your children, and that you can help to nurture their minds, while also inculcating the right values into them, instead of trusting a state institution to do that job for you.

In many parts of the world, homeschooling is illegal, or stands on a shaky legal footing, which means that it’s all the more important to appreciate this right if you are able to exercise it.

But homeschooling a child is a fairly complicated process, and certainly involves a bit more than just having the right collection of books at hand, and reciting lessons at your offspring for a certain number of hours each day.

Among other things, a positive homeschooling experience will tend to rely to quite a significant degree on the home itself being turned into a positive homeschooling environment.

So, here are a few tips for turning your home into just such a positive environment.

Ensure that all the required conveniences are working and are within easy reach, while simultaneously reducing the distractions
There’s a delicate balance to be struck in a home, in order to ensure that your child has access to all the basic and necessary amenities and luxuries, in order to prevent them from being distracted, or feeling disheartened – while also trying to adequately limit the number of distractions that might take them out of the “zone.”

Typically, this will mean ensuring that all the standard household conveniences are up and running as intended, and this may well require that you are quick on the ball when it comes to contacting a washer repair service, or other expert tradesmen, if something does break down.

Food should be easily accessible, the temperature should be kept to a reasonable and comfortable level, and there should be enough engaging activities on offer to make break time appealing.

At the same time, though, you need to ensure that the TV isn’t on in the background, video games aren’t within easy reach, comic books aren’t strewn all over the place, and there are as few distractions as possible, in general, that could disrupt your child’s attention.

This is a delicate balance to strike, but it’s critically important to get right. One great way of resolving this is to have certain areas of the home set-aside as dedicated “homeschooling spaces” – and meticulously managing the items that are allowed into those spaces.

Keep the home very tidy and organised, and reduce clutter as much as possible
Have you ever tried being very productive and focused in a severely messy and topsy-turvy environment?

If you have, you already know that it is extremely tricky, if not outright impossible. Human psychology is such that we all look for markers of stability and familiarity in the environments we’re occupying, and if we can’t see evidence that those environments are “under our control,” so to speak, our anxiety levels go up, and we remain in a more highly “guarded” state.

Put differently, the state of your home environment typically corresponds with your mental state – messy and chaotic home equals messy and chaotic mind, while tidy and orderly environment equals tidy and orderly mind.

Since your child is expected specifically to do difficult and engaging cognitive work while being homeschooled, it’s important that the environment you’re operating in should be as orderly and structured as it possibly can be.

Take the tidying and decluttering seriously.

Set aside a dedicated area for homeschooling sessions, and avoid letting the outside world intrude on it at all, if possible
There are certain environmental and ritualistic “triggers” that just put you in a certain state of mind, in a hurry, without you even having to think about it.

Likely, when you sink into the warm embrace of the sofa after a long day at work, your mood automatically skyrockets, and you instantly start looking forward to the shows you’re about to watch.

By the same token, when you sit down at your desk at work, you probably “snap” into a work-focused mindset, pretty readily.

Ultimately, you want to create something very similar to this for your child, during their homeschooling experience.

The best way to achieve this is likely to be to set aside a dedicated area of the home, for homeschooling sessions, and to avoid letting the outside world intrude on it at all, if possible. If you can dedicate an entire room to homeschooling – as a kind of “study” or “classroom,” all the better. But even if this isn’t practically possible, you should nonetheless have a certain desk that is used exclusively for homeschooling work, and nothing else.

5 Things to Keep in Mind so That You Buy the Best Tools for DIY Projects

Simple home repairs are best done by using hand tools. The home tasks are unlike those in a commercial setting, where the load of work demands for more complex power tools. There are many types of tools that you can use on your DIY projects. When buying them, it is advisable to pay attention to the 5 tips of finding the best tools for DIY projects. By getting the right tools for your DIY project, you will have an easy time handling basic home repairs. 

To learn more about getting the best tools for your home, head over to Best Tool Reviews

The ease and comfort of using the tool

As far as handheld tools such as hammers, saws, mallets, chisels, and nut drivers are concerned, the diameter of the handle will determine how easy and comfortable it will be using the tool.  As a result, tasks such as chiseling or hammering that require a lot of force are best done using a tool with a handle diameter of about 1¼ to 2 inches. This is because you can easily wrap your hands around them to get a good grip. With that, you will be able to exert enough force to complete the task.

The grip span

Just the way the diameter of single-handled tools determines their comfort, the grip span of double-handled tools determines their ease of use.  Therefore, it is advisable to go for double-handled tools such as pliers, snips, cable cutters, stem cutters, and others with a wider grip span so that it can be easy using the tool.  Furthermore, such tools do not cause a lot of fatigue on the user. For the best effects, you should choose double-handled tools with open and closed grip spans of 3 and 2 inches, respectively. But for tools such as tweezers and tongs which help in holding small items, it is recommended to go for the ones with a grip span of between 1 inch when closed and 3 inches when open. 

Consider the work space

If you are looking to do repairs in a small work space, consider getting ergonomically correct tools that fit in such spaces. Smaller spaces often call for power tools with handles that range from 1 to 2 inches. Such tools are easy to use because they can be held by hands but not pinched by fingers. Tools designed for smaller spaces come with a better grip that enables you to complete the job in less time. Furthermore, they cause less stress on the body. It is also important to ensure that the length of the tool that you are using matches the space in your work space. If you choose long tools, you will not be able to reach components that you need to work on. Therefore, you should choose short-handled tools for this type of work.

Price and quality

As you look for the best tools for DIY projects, it is important to consider the quality of the products. Generally, high-quality tools often come at a higher price. However, you should buy tools that fall within your budget.

By following the above tips, you should be able to find the best DIY tools that are perfect for your repair projects.


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