Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Create a Healthier Living Space for Your Family

You want the best for your family. You feed them healthy meals as often as possible, and you encourage them to be active, but is your home's environment working against you? Kids (and you!) are exposed to countless damaging elements every time you walk out the door. So, the home should be a healthy sanctuary to retreat to. Many people don't realize how unhealthy their living space is until they really evaluate it. Below are some tips to create a healthier home.

  • Ducts and Vents - Chances are good you probably take the vacuum to air vents as soon as you see dust or spider webs accumulating, but what about the vents you don't see? How filthy is the one behind the entertainment center or under the bed? When was the last time you had your ducts cleaned? Speaking of ducts, how long has it been since the filter in the furnace was changed?
  • Vacuum Walls - You may not see the layer of dust coating your walls, but there is probably one there. If you have pets, then there is likely dander mixed in, too. Get in the habit of vacuuming your walls with an attachment once every couple weeks.
  • Clean the Blinds - No one likes cleaning blinds. It is one of the absolute worst jobs. It's not hard, but it is time-consuming. Do you have a teenager? Let them earn a little extra money doing this.
  • Wall Water Feature - A healthy environment addresses both your body and mind. A wall water feature will soothe your mind and reduce stress. Plus, water evaporation helps combat dry air. Also, the movement of water creates negative ions that clean the air. You can get one at LuxeWaterWalls.com.
  • Convert the Fireplace - If you are still burning wood, you are damaging your family's health. Smoke from a wood fire puts everyone at higher risk for asthma attacks, cancer, heart attacks, respiratory infections, and other health concerns. Put a bio ethanol burner in the fireplace and you can enjoy an environmentally friendly one.
  • Address Mold and Mildew - A space with excessive moisture is a welcoming environment for mold. You may not think you have any, but when was the last time you thoroughly checked the basement?
  • Beneficial Plants - Not only do plants provide a space with natural art, many are really phenomenal air cleaners. Weeping figs, bonsai trees, areca palms, and Australian sword ferns are a few great examples.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Breakfast By The Roadside

Summer vacation is drawing to a close.Spending all day with my kids is difficult at time but something I wouldn't change for anything.

Growing up, both my parents worked and I spent the days taking care of my kids and getting the house ready for when mommy and daddy came home. I didn't see my parents all day. It made for an interesting Summer. I took care of my younger sisters while both parents worked. Breakfast and lunch was prepared by me and my parents took care of dinner. Eating is a family event and you would think my kids would love me cooking of them. Hell, I've been cooking since I was 8 years old but they love going out even if that only means a slice of pizza.

We did a lot of pizza this year and we ate out at least once a week and sometimes that was a simple hot dog or fries or even once we went to Red Lobster but money being the way it is usually I sit and watch them eat just happy to be able to be with them.

Summer vacations will probably be ending sooner rather than later but I am grateful to have had the past 11 years with my kids to enjoy summer and making sure they had no schedule to keep. The rest of the year is all scheduled so taking the time to do sometimes nothing was great.

Breakfast before heading to the park was awesome. Bagel and coffee and eventually friends stopped by to hang with us also as they passed by noticed us and stopped to chat. This is probably the best part about living in a small town. You never know who your breakfast guests will be.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Candy Table

During Goddess' moving up ceremony party at school in June that signified the 3rd graders moving to 4th Goddess noticed immediately a candy table that was simply amazing. Getting her to focus on the fun and not the sweets that would ultimately be in her future was difficult but she did manage to have a great time with a few stops at the table to "take a peek".

Pink Saturday

We the kids were ready to go, they were allowed to get bags and fill them up! We were the first one at the table as we were leaving to go hang out with Handsome at a pool which in Goddess' eyes was way better than a super hot day waiting your turn to go down a water slide. I was okay with that as well. I missed my Handsome.

We didn't take much as I was nervous that there wouldn't be enough for all the kids. I did hear that they were practically giving it all away toward the end. Wish I had grabbed a bag for myself.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Goddess Gets Her Cast OFF!

It wasn't terrible. It was just blah....
Goddess has had that cast one for most of her Summer.
Thursday was the day. It was coming off and boy were we happy.

She wasn't brave enough to look when they cut the cast off.
She wasn't brave enough to say no when they asked if she wanted to keep the cast.
She was brave enough to enter the x-ray room without even looking back at us.
She was brave enough to ask the doctor if it would hurt when he removed the pin to which he replied "no honey."
She wasn't brave enough to look when he put a special tool on the pin and twist and pull it out.
BUT...my little girl was so brave. She did cry out ouch and cry for a little while but she did way better then I could even imagine.

The cast is off, the skin looks terrible from being wrapped so long. The nail looks terrible. She is unable to move it but will be starting therapy soon.

For now her tears are gone and her mommy is so proud of how well she did.

AND she is still smiling

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Hidden Costs Associated with Moving Home

You’ve probably saved hard for a deposit on your new house, but don’t let the other costs of moving give you an unpleasant surprise.

You’ll soon discover that the deposit is just the start, and unless you’ve thought about conveyancing, estate agents, stamp duty, valuation fees, insurances and more – you could find your house move bill spiralling to much more than you’d expected.

For more information on those sometimes hidden moving costs, visit the Money Advice Service website and use the online mortgage calculator to get a realistic moving cost.
Some of the key additional costs to bear in mind include:

-          Estate agents fees – many offer different rates but you should expect them to take somewhere between 1% and 4% commission on the sale of your home.

-          Conveyancing/legal – fees are dependent on the cost of the property you’re buying or selling, typically you’d end up paying almost £600 in fees on a property of £167,000.

-          Valuation and survey fees – usually paid by the buyer, the cost of a survey can be up to £1,000 depending on the type of survey carried out.

-          Stamp Duty – this tax is payable on any property costing £125,000 or more. There’s a sliding scale which ranges from 1% on properties between £125,000 and £250,000, up to 7% on properties over £2 million.

-          Removal costs – depending on how many belongings you need to move (and how far you’re moving) you may have no choice but to use some kind of removal service, so make sure you factor this in – and leave enough time to get a number of quotes to get the best deal (www.reallymoving.com has some top tips on removal services, such as avoiding Fridays – particularly on a bank holiday weekend – as these are more expensive).

As well as the costs associated with the move itself, you’ll need to have a few things in place once you’ve moved in, including insurances for building and contents. Some lenders will also require you to have life insurance as a condition of your mortgage. Comparison sites such as www.comparethemarket.com or www.confused.com can help you find the best insurance deals.

Also be aware of costs associated with your new home which may give you an ongoing financial commitment. If you are buying a leasehold property, you’ll have to pay ground rent and service charges. Some new developments also operate an annual service charge to maintain landscaping on the estate. There’s no typical amount for these fees, and they will form part of your purchase information, but they are sometimes easy to overlook.

Finally, it may sound obvious, but if you’re moving to a different area or to a larger property, make sure you investigate how much more your household bills and council tax are going to be. You can search for your new council tax band on the Government’s website www.gov.uk

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School = Back to Stress? 7 Signs Your Child May Have Anorexia

While this is something I don't have to deal with as the mom of a very happy, healthy 9 year old I myself suffered from bulimia years ago and know that it takes one thing to turn kids around and look at themselves through different eyes and it is usually the eyes that shouldn't even matter to them.

So, I am sharing this information found in my in-box this morning.

A nutritionist reveals warning signs parents should look out for.

As summer winds down and school starts up again, many students are feeling the pressure to show off their new wardrobes and look their best.

And with awkward body changes and constant pressure from the media, being around their peers could stir up fierce competition, especially in girls, says Andrea Szebeni, a registered nutritionist and dietician with the LighthouseRecovery Institute. For some teens, the stress of going back to school can cause them to battle symptoms of anorexia nervosa, says Szebeni, who helps young women overcome eating disorders.

Szebeni provides these seven warning signs that parents should look out for if they suspect anorexia:

1.      Denial of hunger. Is your child saying she is never hungry at meal times or that she already ate? This obviously may occur sporadically, but if you notice a consistent trend, be aware, Szebeni says.
2.      Preoccupation with food, weight, calories and dieting.
3.      Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food.
4.      Dramatic weight loss.
5.      Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food.
6.      Withdrawal from friends and family, especially events where food is involved.
7.      Your daughter no longer is menstruating.

If a child starts to exhibit any of these anorexia warning signs, it may be time to sit down and have a serious discussion with them or to seek professional help, Szebeni says.

About Lighthouse Recovery Institute
Lighthouse Recovery Institute (www.lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com) is a licensed drug, alcohol and eating disorder treatment center in Delray Beach, Fla., specializing in recovery for women. At the Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our mission is to help each client attain peace, happiness and permanent sobriety. With more than 30 years of experience in the treatment of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, eating disorders and trauma, our passionate team of doctors, therapists, and specialists provide nothing but the highest quality of care for every woman who walks through our doors. The center has a staff of 15, including a clinical director, therapists, nutritionist/dietician, yoga instructor and marketing team. Twelve of the staff are in recovery themselves.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


~ Tips and Tricks To Plan An Unforgettable Celebration At An Affordable Price ~
RANDOLPH, Mass., August 26, 2014 – Planning and putting on the perfect birthday party for your little one can be both exciting and intimidating, especially with so much inspiration all around today, from flipping through magazines to gazing at Pinterest boards. Nevertheless, with easy-to-execute tips and worry-free decorations, it’s surprisingly easy to throw an unforgettable birthday bash that will leave your kids and guests completely impressed.
“A huge advantage to throwing at-home birthday parties for kids is that they’re completely customizable, and far more affordable,” says Paula Berberian, Creative Director of WallPops, the premier line of peel-and-stick wall art from Brewster Home Fashions. That means you can incorporate personal touches to make the birthday boy or girl feel extra-special as they celebrate their big day. “Not to mention, kids are more comfortable in their home environment,” she notes.
Below, Berberian reveals simple tips and tricks to throw the ultimate birthday party for the birthday star in your life. All WallPops products are available at select retailers and online at www.wallpops.com; to find a store near you, use the ‘Find a Retailer’ tool on the website.

Stick to a theme – “Determining a theme should be step one in the party planning process,” Berberian advises. “And, if your child is old enough, you should definitely ask for their input.” Jungle and safari themes are a big trend this year, so there are tons of accessories to create a cool Amazonian vibe. For added convenience, peel-and-stick decals like WallPops Let’s Go On Safari Kit and Sunny Day Safari Kit feature adorable animals that are easily removable and can be reused for future soirees. The Alphabet Zoo Kit is another twist you can throw in the mix, and Berberian recommends spelling out “Happy Birthday” or even the name of the birthday star with the animal-themed letters. The kids will love these mess-free decorations. (Kits retail from approximately $17.99 to $30.99 each).

Embrace the Celebration Spirit – When trying to think of clever and personal touches, don’t lose sight of more traditional decorations that really get guests in the celebratory spirit. Classic party d├ęcor gets a very modern twist when festive designs are incorporated, as evidenced by the Hailey Pennant Kit and Patchwork Daisy Stripes. These removable decals transform any room in yourself into a bona fide party space, and you can peel them off when the party is over. (Both retail from approximately $17.99 to $30.99 each).

Set Up a Photo Booth – Renting a real photo booth can be quite expensive, but there’s an easy and temporary solution to creating a one-of-a-kind backdrop. “Delegate one wall in the house to act as a fun and festive backdrop for photos,” Berberian suggests. WallPops Under the Sea Kit and Fish Tales Decals create an especially entertaining nautical scene that will inspire some hilarious fish faces. For an added bonus, take out the goggles and snorkeling kits for fun accessories. If you have a Polaroid camera, you can give guests a copy of their photo booth picture as a party favor. (Both retail for approximately $17.99 each).

Plan a Secret Surprise – Instead of splurging on the latest gadget or popular toy, surprise the birthday boy or a girl with a gift that will make them smile every day – a brand new bedroom. “Our new peel-and-stick headboards coordinate with existing kits,” Berberian says. “They’re all quite large, it feels like a story book playing out right on their wall.” The little lady in your life will swoon over the WallPops Social Butterfly Twin Headboard, and the WallPops Butterfly Chandelier is a pretty finishing touch. (All headboards retail at approximately $35.99 and all chandeliers retail at approximately $30.99 each).

Make Some Memories – Kids can be easily overwhelmed by all of the attention they get during their birthday bash, and may not even remember all of the guests who came out to bring in the big day. To make sending thank-yous easy, arrange a sign-in station. “A dry erase board is also a great way for the birthday honoree to read personalized messages from all of their friends and family,” Berberian says. WallPops Large Chalk Message Board provides a nice, large surface for everyone to leave their birthday wishes, and the Learn to Write Chalkboard is the perfect option for younger guests. The best part is that after the party, you can remove and reapply the chalkboard in your little one’s room so they can feel the love all year round. (Both retail for approximately $17.99).

“WallPops take the stress out of party planning so you can spend more time enjoying the festivities instead of worrying about clean up or how much you spent,” Berberian concludes.

WallPops by Brewster Home Fashions is the premier line of peel-and-stick wall art on the market today with on-trend design and total coordination possibilities. Headquartered in Randolph, Mass., Brewster Home Fashions is one of the oldest independent, family-owned wallcovering companies in the U.S. that now spans five generations. Since 1954, Brewster Home Fashions has been a prominent manufacturer and distributor of fine wallpapers and home decor products for residential and commercial markets globally. For more information, visit brewsterwallcovering.com or call Brewster Home Fashions at 1-800-366-1700
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