How to Make Your Social Distancing Time More Comfortable

With unprecedented precautions in place all over the world, the idea of staying indoors for a long period of time, whether for the public health or for personal safety, can seem daunting, especially for people who thrive on social interaction. This new practice, currently defined as “social distancing,” may be unnerving to fathom, but there are some things that can be done to alleviate anxiety and increase your personal comfort while doing so.

Maintain Contact

Just because you cannot be physically with friends and family does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t spend time with them otherwise, according to One Medical. Aside from standard phone conversations, a number of social media platforms allow for regular daily interactions, and online services such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype even allow face-to-face videoconferencing for little to no charge.

Improve Your Surroundings

With the media focus on the current pandemic, it is easy to panic. One of the best things you can do to start on your secluded time is to properly clean the regular traffic areas of your living space. Aside from being good practice, it is also good for peace of mind, knowing your area is safe.

Aside from generally cleaning your living space for sanitary reasons, arranging your living space as comfortably and as anti-stressful as possible will allow for a more pleasant day. Natural lighting can also help improve your mood, so it pays to have as much daylight in your living space as possible. According to Desert Empire Mirror & Glass, adding mirrors to an interior can help spread natural light, which can significantly improve the mood of any room. Additionally, arranging your house plants to be in your primary living areas will help oxygenate the area and contribute to positive mental wellbeing.

Keep a Regular Routine

As humans in a modern world, we are used to having things to do on a somewhat regular schedule. When living fulltime inside your home, it is easy to lose track of the time of day—even the day of the week—leading to personal malaise. According to the Lowy Institute, one thing that seems to work well to stave off this feeling is a tactic used by many stay-at-home workers: the art of keeping a schedule and routine. Wake at a specific time, eat meals at regular intervals, and socialise with any loved ones (whether remotely or those who are in your home with you) at regular times. This will keep a sense of order and stability in your daily life, and you will most likely come to treasure it.

While uncertainty is the order of the day in the outside world, it can be worrisome to think about the things we cannot change or affect. But what we can affect in our own homes can make all the difference. Sticking to these principles can not only improve your daily life, but also enrich it.

Here’s another great article: How Can You Help a Child Through a Mental Health Crisis

How Can You Help a Child Through a Mental Health Crisis

It’s not just adults who need help managing mental health. A child can also have a mental health crisis, and you will need to be there to help them get through it. Here are a few ways to help your child if he is struggling.

Don’t Leave Them Alone

Even if your child says he wants time on his own, don’t leave him alone during a mental health crisis. Some situations are so serious that a child can be a danger to himself, so you need to be there to make sure he is okay. If your child is resistant to being watched, make the time you spend with them more of a game. Sleeping in the same room as your child can be a slumber party night. You can add sleeping bags and stories before bedtime. Find ways to show love to your child while you are with him during this difficult time. This will help him feel safer while he tries to work out these scary feelings.

Get Them Professional Help

As a parent, you may want to try to fix everything for your child. This is a normal desire, but you can only do so much if your child is having a mental health crisis. You need to have professionals involved. Mental hospitals and mental health facilities can help your child while he works through his issues. Trained professionals can help your child find the right medication or techniques to work through the problems he is encountering. Just make sure to follow the rules when admitting a child to a facility. Mental health facilities usually have a list of things you can and can’t bring in.

Do Your Homework

A child who has a mental health crisis may struggle with mental health issues for years to come. Instead of letting this fact alarm you, do your research to find out how to help your child deal with the situation he faces. Seek out medical journals and support groups for advice. Talk to your child’s doctors about ways to make your child’s life easier as he adjusts to mental health issues. It’s also important to find a group of people who can offer you support during this time. You are your child’s main source of everything, but you also need an outlet, so you don’t burnout.

Watching your child struggle with mental health can be a heartbreaking thing, but there are things you can do to help make it just a little bit easier. By doing the above things, you can help your child through a mental health crisis.

Here’s another article you might like: With the Kids in Mind: How Your Actions and Behavior Influence Your Children

What to Know About Road Tripping With Pets

Family road trips, while often amusing and memorable, can exhaust the attention span of the most patient travelers. Some animals are afraid of traveling in a car, while some are a bit too excited. We’ve gathered a few tips that’ll help you and your pet enjoy the open road.

Pack for Your Pets

You’ve prepared your snacks, booked your hotel(s), gassed up the ride, and remembered to pack your charger. Don’t forget about your barking buddy! You should make sure to pack your pet’s essentials, just as you would your own. Here are some common pet travel accessories:

  • Poop bags
  • Crate and bed
  • Food and water (with their bowls)
  • Anxiety or motion sickness supplements
  • Vaccination records
  • ID tag
  • Toys and treats
  • Blankets and seat covers
  • Safety restraints

Keep Them Out of the Driver’s Seat

A roaming dog in your car can add to the numerous distractions you’re already facing. Of the 84 percent of drivers who bring their pets on various car excursions, only 16 percent use safety restraints for them. Having your canine (or feline) companion restrained inside of the vehicle helps with the safety of the animal, yourself, and other passengers in the event of a crash, and averting distractions. If you need a seatbelt, so does your pet.

Breaks Are Important

Similar to people, your pet will need to take a break from sitting in the car for 2-3 hours at a time. Often, the time spent traveling between breaks allows your dog to regain his energy, making him more playful and a disturbance while you’re behind the wheel. Use these breaks to tire him out and take a potty break.

Be sure to not spend this time on the side of the road, your pet will be in danger of getting hit by a passing vehicle. Many rest stops along U.S. interstates/highways are pet-friendly. Find pet-friendly hotels that are along your route, in case you’ll need proper rest to continue your trip. Taking your pet on a leashed stroll when you stop for gas for food is also an option.Don’t forget that your pet will still need access to water. Filling one of their bowls during each stop will encourage hydration.

Road tripping starts with planning and preparation. If you’ve failed to prepare, be prepared to fail. Now that you’ve packed the items that’ll make your journey less stressful for everyone in the vehicle, have your animal secured and not causing distractions, and allotted additional time in your itinerary for your furry friend to stretch their legs, you’re ready to make some new memories. A pet that’s comfortable and safe can have a more enjoyable experience.

Here’s another article you might like: Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success

How to Stay Organized During a Big Move

Moving is one of the most stressful processes that most people will experience in their lifetime. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to make the process a little less stressful.

Create a Plan

There is a lot to keep track of during a big move, and it can be hard to remember everything. A moving checklist reminds you of the items you need to complete for an organized move. Your moving checklist can start as far as eight weeks out from moving day and include things like getting quotes from movers, taking inventory of what needs to be moved and making a list of businesses you will need to contact to update your mailing address. Take a moment to sit down and write down everything you will need to do to make your move as smooth as possible. Put your list in a binder along with any documentation you will need for your move to keep it secure.

Label Everything

Your belongings are bound to get jumbled during a move. Label each box clearly as you pack to make the process easier. Before you start packing, make sure you have labeling supplies easily accessible. Include the room that each box belongs to on each label. You may even want to color-code each room using colored boxes, labels or tape. Make sure to label two sides and the top of each box. You want to be able to see the label even when your boxes are stacked. Also, don’t forget to label any fragile boxes to avoid damaging your belongings.

Pack Smart

While you are packing keep in mind the next two steps, moving and unpacking. Make sure to pack heavier items like books in smaller boxes. You want to make sure you can lift that box after it has been so neatly packed and labeled. It also helps to think about what you will need when you unpack each item and keep those things together. There are plenty of packing tricks you can use. For example, you can pack electronic power cords neatly in a plastic bag and tape the bag to the corresponding appliance. Similarly, keep hardware for any disassembled furniture in plastic bags taped to the furniture pieces. That way things are easy to reassemble in your new home.

No matter how big or small your new home is, moving is still a big event. Thankfully there are things you can do to make it less stressful. Make your big move easier by following these simple tips.

Read this one next: Need to Make Your Home More Handicap-Accessible? Start With These Changes

What Are the Secrets to a Long Life?

If we’re lucky enough to grow old, it’s important to do it well. Healthy ageing includes exercise of the body, spirit and mind. We need to continue to increase our physical strength and flexibility, our empathy and compassion and our knowledge base.

Risk Management

Poor behavioural choices can lead to poor health. From our selection of a life partner to simple daily habits, the choices we make help us to build habits that can increase or decrease the quality and length of our lives. Luckily, older adults think more rationally than younger people. The ability to look at a choice carefully and consider the repercussions is a skill that young brains lack. Poor food choices, particularly early in the day, can lead to poor health. Unhealthy habits such as overeating, sitting too much, or smoking can lead to long-term damage to your pancreas, heart and lungs. Older adults have the option to think their way out of bad habits and support their body for the long run.

Health at the Cellular Level

Every breath we take and every bite we eat can increase our toxin load. Unfortunately, our environment isn’t always healthy. As your toxin load increases, free radicals are released inside your body. A diet and supplement plan high in antioxidants can greatly improve your health for years to come. According to ASEA, cell signalling controls countless aspects of the body, everything from hair colour to cell division. Just because we stop growing doesn’t mean cell division stops. Reducing your toxin load can increase your health on the genetic level.

Habits Make Healthy Living Easier

One of the challenges of living with a human brain is that habit formation is remarkably easy. Good habit formation takes effort. If your daily routine begins with a high-sugar breakfast and exposure to news that frightens or depresses you, you’re putting your body and brain at terrible risk. However, by changing those two early habits, you can improve both your outlook on life and your physical health. According to Greatist, often, habits are all we can control. Start with a nutritious breakfast, skip the news and go for a walk to celebrate moving your body through space. Life doesn’t have to be frightening.

Building a life that will make the ageing process better can start at any time. Incorporate puzzles and other forms of mental exercise into your day. Make sure to get some physical exercise. Eat a diet that supports your body, not just your taste buds.

You might also enjoy this article: With the Kids in Mind: How Your Actions and Behavior Influence Your Children

How to Take the Natural Approach to Heating Your House This Winter

Keeping your home nice and toasty during winter months can seem like an expensive endeavor. However, there are small things that you can do to improve the heating in your home during the winter. These alterations may require a bit of DIY, but it is possible. Something as simple as maintaining your furnace and HVAC system will provide good air quality in your home, and it will also allow your system to continue to run efficiently.

Improve Insulation and Ventilation

It’s important to make sure your home is properly ventilated as this can affect the insulation. Having a properly ventilated roof reduces indoor temperature extremes. This prevents hot and cold spots that can cause water to freeze beneath your shingles and damage them. When you heat your home in the winter, warm air and moisture rise to the attic. If your attic is not well-ventilated, moisture collects in the attic. The moisture will then seep into your house structure, warping roof materials. When insulating your attic, it is recommended that you have 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 cubic feet of space in the attic. Penetrations need to be sealed in the attic to stop free airflow. Damaged roof vents should be replaced. Keep attic vents uncovered to avoid moisture issues. For more heavy-duty work and to keep your house heated, put insulation between all of your floor joists in the attic.

Close Your Curtains

Winter curtains are a great tool for receiving insulation during cold months. Double-glazed windows have a lower insulating capacity than an uninsulated wall. They are essentially holes that allow heat to escape your home. Most curtain tracks are open at the top, which means there is a narrow gap that reduces the thermal performance of your curtains. To avoid this, you essentially want to install a pelmet that covers the top of a curtain rail. You also want to use a floor-length curtain. When choosing curtains, you want to pick ones that have at least two layers of fabric. Curtains that fit well and that are layered have a value equal to double glazing.

Caulk Your Gaps

The best way to have a warm home in winter is to limit the amount of draft air that comes into your home. You can use caulk to fill in these gaps. You first need to find the leaks to figure out what you need for ventilation. You typically need half of a cartridge of caulking for each window. For the caulking to be effective, you first need to clean all areas that are going to be caulked, removing old paint and caulking. You also need to dry the area so that you don’t seal in moisture. Try to avoid stops and starts when applying the caulk. Use a putty knife to push in caulk that oozes out of a crack. It is also best to apply the caulk when there is low humidity to prevent cracks.

A lot of issues regarding heat require maintenance. You want to make sure your attic is well-ventilated and insulated. It’s also important to limit the amount of heat that is escaping through your curtains. Finally, you want to find the gaps in your windows and doors, and use caulk to fill in those gaps. Doing so, you’re sure to feel warm and comfortable this winter.

Here’s another article you might find helpful: 4 Hidden Health Hazards Threatening Your Home and Family

At-home Workout Tips for Beginners

For many people, the hardest part of establishing a regular exercise routine is finding a convenient place to do it. Because nothing is more convenient than your own home, your house makes a great place to fire up your exercise plan. Here are three workout tips for beginners looking to get into shape at home.

Make the Time

One of the biggest roadblocks for people looking to get fit in the comfort of their own home is finding the time for the activity. Even if you do not have hours to devote to exercise, you can fit short bursts of activity into your everyday schedule. You do not need to sweat for hours to see the benefits of moving your body. Perhaps you want to try yoga moves while watching your favourite television shows or work on simple weight-bearing exercises and stretching moves right when you wake up each morning. If you get creative with how you multitask, you may find that it is easier than you think to find the time to work out at home.

Use Your Environment

You do not need a home gym to be able to reap the benefits of exercise in your house. There are many things you already have on hand that can be transformed into exercise equipment and accessories. For example, a bench seat is great for tricep dips while a chair can be used for chair yoga. You could also try filling empty milk containers with water to use as free weights. To strengthen your core, for example, there are a variety of exercises you can do in a hot tub while relaxing.

Set Goals

At the end of the day, only you can push yourself to make a home workout regimen happen. If you are not internally motivated to get your body moving, you will quickly fail in your endeavours. A good way to motivate yourself is to set individual objectives and then reward yourself for meeting each milestone. For example, set a goal to exercise at home five days out of the week with the reward of going out to dinner when you have completed the regimen. Giving yourself little incentives will help you to stay on task.

Nobody ever said that it was easy to get into shape. However, adapting your living space for home workouts will make it easier. Exercise at home will set you up for success.

You might also like this article: Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success

How to Select Your Next Family Car

Is the car you use to transport your family falling apart? Now that it’s time to buy your next family car, you want to choose well so that you have dependable transportation—after all, your children’s safety is at stake. It’s also important to factor in price and your family’s specific needs. Here are a few things to consider when you are ready to purchase a new car.

Buy Used

Buying a used vehicle can save you money right from the start. Simply look for the type of vehicle you want and find one that fits your needs and has been slightly used. Used vehicles can be purchased from individuals or dealerships and often save buyers thousands of dollars. In many cases, it’s possible to buy certified pre-owned vehicles that come with certain protections.

You want to make sure to buy a car that has been cared for and maintained well. Ask plenty of questions before committing to purchase. It’s also wise to go with a dealership or individual you trust who will offer you verification that the car is running well.

Buy Smaller

Bigger isn’t always better. Don’t buy a huge SUV that has more room than you need unless you want to pay more to purchase it. It will also cost more for gas and insurance if you decide to go big. From an environmental perspective, large SUVs are not great for the environment either. As an alternative, crossovers combine elements of SUVs and compacts cars in a more balanced package. They offer plenty of space that is laid out well so that you still have the feel of a reasonably-sized vehicle. Crossovers are more affordable and cost less to maintain.

Check Features

The qualities that you need in a family car are safety and reliability. Of course, you can still have a stylish vehicle that you love to drive. Just make sure to go for features that are practical instead of simply flashy. Look for vehicles that are rated high in safety and that offer features kids can enjoy on long rides. Avoid buying used cars that have been subjected to multiple recalls or vehicles that can flip easily when in a wreck. It’s also logical to make sure the car has enough seating and storage for your entire family so that you can ride comfortably.

Now that your old beater is getting up there in age, it’s time to consider buying a new vehicle. However, if you have children, this decision may not be as easy as you think. But purchasing your next family car doesn’t have to be a chore. Know what you want and follow these tips to make the entire experience easier.

Once you buy a car, you need to know how to take care of it. For more information about basic car maintenance, check out: What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Your Tires.

How Can Proper Training and Equipment Keep Kids Safe?

Unfortunately, injuries to children are all too common. No matter the sport or activity, if your child is doing any physical activity, it is vitally important that they know what they are doing and how to do it safely. This may involve training, purchasing proper equipment, and building a lifetime of safety habits. After all, we all want to keep our kids safe. Here’s an overview on how to do so.

Proper Technique

When it comes to exercising or any sort of physical activity such as playing a sport, teaching a teen the proper technique is of critical importance. This means that your teen must be taught proper technique and form. This is not a minor consideration as one of the leading causes of injury when it comes to working out or playing a sport is failure to use proper technique. This is an easy habit to learn, but one which still must be taught.

A Culture of Safety

Proper training and equipment are much more than just lessons in sports and exercise—they are about teaching your children a culture of safety. This means taking risks only when appropriate and necessary, and constant conversations about safety in all aspects of life. Remember, your kids will follow your lead and your behavior. When you’re around your kids, make sure you’re following proper safety culture so they can learn from your example. You owe it to them to be an appropriate model.

The Right Fit

Protective equipment is great, but it only works if it fits correctly. This may mean spending extra money to take your child’s equipment to be professionally measured, but this is an expense that’s well worth it. This is even more important with helmets, which can prevent a traumatic brain injury. It’s possible to suffer a concussion without showing any symptoms, and even minor concussions can cause long-term injury to your brain.

Start Them Young

It’s always easier to teach a kid the importance of safety and technique when they are young than when they are older. To that end, spend a good deal of time discussing the need for them to be safe and ensuring that they have the best protection when they play sports or work out. Children are more malleable than adults and if you model safe behaviors your child will surely mimic what they see. The result? A happy, healthy kid who is adventurous, but isn’t reckless.

The steps above are relatively simple, but they are also vitally necessary. If your kid’s safety matters as much as their happiness then consider the above suggestions. Injuries are often preventable by doing simple, easy things that can result in reduced risk of harming the physical health of your child. Remember, the time to teach your kids about safety in physical activity is before an injury, not after.

For more tips to help keep your

children safe, read this article:

Teaching Your Kids to Navigate the Streets Safely

What to Remember to Successfully Potty Train Your Children

As a parent, you likely crave the day that your children are out of diapers. However, that comes with the challenge of potty training, which can be far greater than any diaper change. You can’t guarantee that you’ll avoid mishaps and accidents, but you can make things more successful for both you and your children. These are some ways you can make potty training easier and more satisfying.

Go at Their Pace

You canlook for signs that your children are ready to start potty training to let you know when it’s time to start. These include wanting to take off their diaper and alerting you they need to use the restroom. However, not every child has these urges at the same time. Forcing them into something that scares and upsets them is not the way to go. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the comparison trap where you compare them to other children or siblings who got potty trained at a relatively early age. It shouldn’t be about when they get potty trained but that it happens at some point.

Don’t Punish Them

While punishment is important for misbehavior, not immediately taking to potty training shouldn’t be considered misbehavior. Learning to use the potty can be like learning to speak a new language for your children. Methods of potty training that emphasize child interest and cooperation avoid punishment for failure. You can give your children incentives to use the potty, such as small amounts of candy. You might be disappointed when they have accidents or other problems, but you don’t need to make them feel ashamed about this. Keep your unhelpful comments to yourself and work on building up their confidence.

Keep Your Patience

Just because your children have some accidents or are reluctant to use the potty by no means should lead you to conclude that your effort is for nothing. You could probably ask every parent who’vesuccessfully potty trained their kids and they’ll tell you how tough it is, including your own. Put things into perspective as well. If the worst thing that happens is that you have to clean up some accidents, then you should consider yourself pretty lucky.

Potty training is a major milestone for both parents and children. Even if they don’t know how to put it into words, it helps your kids to feel more self-sufficient. It can also help you to feel proud of your ability to educate your children. A positive potty training experience can be rewarding for the whole family.

Read more: Baby Care Anywhere: 4 Tips for Parenting on the Go

What Women Should Know About Self Defense

As women, we are raised to be afraid. Aside from not trusting strangers, we learn to avoid certain types of adults, too, especially men who target women in parking lots, on dates and even in the workplace. Because so many women are the victims of a crime every year, learning female self-defense is not only necessary but also empowering. While society works on shifting the conversation from self-defense to preventing attacks from men in the first place, here are several things you should know to help protect yourself.

You Have to Practice

Self-defense cannot be mastered in a single class. In addition to physical skills, women must learn how to be more aware of their surroundings and identify potential threats before they need to attack. In many cases, learning how to be more self-aware can prevent attacks and spare women from both danger and trauma. Signing up for karate, MMA, kickboxing or other physical combat class can help you stay fit and hone the important skills necessary to protect yourself. Some of the most basic and effective self-defense moves for women include:

  • The straight punch (jab)
  • Groin kick
  • How to escape a chokehold from the front and behind
  • Throwing body weight and escaping “bear hugs” and other pinning maneuvers

De-escalation is the Best Defense

There are conditions that differentiate self-defense and assault, and often, it’s a very fine line between the two. Understand that women aren’t always going to be found innocent in attack cases, even if a man initiated the encounter. The more serious injuries a person sustains, the more likely you are to face criminal charges. Learning how to be assertive and shifting the conversation to de-escalate a situation can ultimately prove just as life-saving as many physical self-defense strategies.

Escape, Not Defeat, is the Goal

The purpose of self-defense moves is not to disfigure an attacker. In fact, you shouldn’t stick around and beat them as long as you can. As soon as they’re down, your first goal is to run and seek help immediately. Practical self-defense means that you remain aware of this at all times and you take other measures to avoid physical combat first. Your self-defense moves are to demobilize an attacker and get to safety, not to stay and engage in more physical contact than necessary. The longer you stay in a combative situation, the more dangerous it becomes. Some attackers might be scared off by a woman who can defend themselves, but others will only become more enraged and determined to harm you when they can get their hands on you again.

It’s Okay to Be Mean

Many women are afraid to stick up for themselves because they fear rudeness will only provoke an attack. You have every right to assert yourself confidently in a situation, and it’s okay to be “mean” by telling someone to leave you alone explicitly. You can also choose to ignore a stranger’s request, such as a man stopping to ask you for directions. You aren’t obligated to respond, and if the worst thing that happens is someone thinks you’re a jerk, so be it.

If you do wind up having to get physical, make sure you give the fight your all. Don’t think that getting hit or knocked down means it’s over. Your goal here is to survive, so put yourself first, and embrace all the strength inside of you to get away.

Now that you’ve read some safety tips for yourself, read more about some safety tips you can teach your kids: Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids

Unofficial Rules Everyone Should Follow On Social Media

Social media has no doubt changed dramatically over the past few years. What was once a place where you could share family vacation pictures or that funny thing your cat did on video is today a minefield that needs to be navigated carefully.

Although much good still comes from social media, there are a few rules you should keep in mind while traversing it daily. Certain steps must be taken to ensure your privacy stays secure. Here are the unofficial rules everyone should follow while on social media.

Find Your People

Much like anywhere in the world, you are going to have your positive and negative people. Choosing which circles of people you are going to be a part of is critical to the type of social media experience you will have. If you are not the type to want to discuss politics, then it is best to not follow certain political figures or organizations. Sometimes, even following a random politician can instantly paint you as a certain type of person.

Therefore, it is very important to study the interactions of any groups you may want to join. Are the members polite when discussing issues? Is this a closed group where you have regulars and a support system? Following this advice will no doubt make finding the right type of people to connect with that much easier. Many social media sites also have blocking and filtering tools to help you navigate a page you want to interact with that may have a few unsavory people on it.

Watch Your Words

Now more than ever, the words you put on the internet should be carefully thought-out. This is because there are plenty of people out there ready to call you out on past mistakes. Even a 10-year-old tweet can totally get you fired. Unfortunately, there are people in the world who need something to feel important about, even if this means bringing you down in the process. So, do not give them that satisfaction. Instead, watch your words on the internet; after all, they are going to be out there forever.

Share the Right Content

You might be looking good in a dress, but that does not mean it is appropriate to post online. Much like your words, the content you post must also be carefully screened. Ask yourself this question: if you were a potential employer, would you hire yourself? More often than not, the answer will be no. So, always make sure that the photos being uploaded to your wall or page are not going to come back and haunt you.

Social media has become a tricky thing to navigate. Your actions are not the only thing that can get you in trouble; there are also people out there just waiting for you to slip up. Therefore, it is paramount to adhere to the tips above when using any social media platform.

Here is another article that you might be interested in: The Parent’s Guide to Kid-Proofing Your Devices

What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Your Tires

Tires are expensive, so you need to take care of them. Spend just a few minutes a week caring for them. Changing some bad driving habits can extend the life of your tires.

The Basics

You need to be sure that the air pressure in your tire is correct at least once a week. The right pressure should be listed on your tire and in your car’s user manual. Check it when the tires are cold. You will notice the amount of air goes up and down depending on the weather, so you must check the air pressure regularly.

If you frequently leave rubber on the road when you drive, then you need to slow down and anticipate when you will need to start and stop as you can make your tires last longer this way. According to Schnipper Law, three out of four people don’t know how to tell if a tire is worn out, and four out of five don’t know how to check their tire pressure. Making little changes can stop your tires from being an expensive problem.

Head to a Tire Shop Biyearly

At least twice a year, you should go to a tire shop that also does car alignments. Ask them to check the alignment on your vehicle. If it is out of alignment, then your tires may be rubbing, which can shorten their life. Every 5,000 miles or at least twice yearly, have your tires rotated and aligned.

This will keep your tires in top condition, helping them to last longer. Additionally, if your car drifts to the right or the left when you are driving, you need to head back to the tire shop. Being more frequent with your tire check will help avoid premature balding and uneven wear, which will require to replace them sooner.

Check Your Tires Daily

Before you leave home in the morning, check your tires. If any look low, use your tire gauge to make sure that the right amount of air is properly in the tire. While you’re down there, look at the tread to see if it seems evenly worn across the tire. Even if the tire loses just a little bit of air, you probably have a leak.

Take the tire off your car, and put the spare on before heading to the tire shop to get your tire repaired. If you need a new tire, then drive easy for the first week or so as manufacturers put a coating on the tire to make it pull free from the mold, which can make it very slick.

Spending a few minutes taking care of your tires can make them last longer. In turn, you will save money. Even for quick trips, make sure everything is in proper working order to ensure you have the safest ride possible and you can avoid unnecessary damage to your car.

Check out my blog for other tips to help you out!

How to Avoid Bug Bites While Hiking With Your Kids

Hiking as a family is a fun way to bond while exercising in the great outdoors. Before you set off on your outdoor adventure, it is important that you have equipped yourself with the knowledge and tools to avoid bug bites. Ranging from mild mosquito bites to more serious tick infestations, it is critical that you protect your family from these potentially dangerous encounters. Here are three ways that you can avoid bug bites while hiking with your kids.

Bug Spray

It is important to remember that not all bug sprays are created equal. Before you apply the spray to your kid, be sure to check the label to make sure that it is safe for use on small children. If you are concerned about harmful ingredients, you can look to naturally-based bug sprays. According to Wildthings, natural ingredients that repel mosquitoes include citronella, lemon oil, and eucalyptus. Repellents come in a variety of forms, making it easy to find the application that is best for your needs.

Cover Up

One of the best ways to prevent bug bites from ruining your outdoor adventure is to cover up. If you’re carrying a toddler in a hiking backpack, you can even buy a specially-designed mosquito net to put over their head. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt provides excellent cover while out on your hike. You can even spray the clothing with repellents for an extra layer of protection. Tucking your pants into your socks will also help to keep bugs out. While mosquitos may be annoying, it is especially important that you are on the lookout for more dangerous critters such as ticks. According to ChemTec Pest Control, ticks can carry diseases that lead to symptoms such as fever, rash, aches, and fatigue.

Choose Your Time Wisely

Mosquitos are most active between dusk and dawn, making this the prime time to be susceptible to bites. Early mornings and evenings are the especially active times for these types of bugs. If you want to decrease your chances of being bitten, it is a good idea to avoid hiking during these times. If you are out during these hours, be sure to be extra vigilant with your protective clothing and spray.

Hiking with your family is a fun way to get the kids outdoors and off of their electronics. However, nasty bug bites can ruin your fun. With the right precautions, though, you can increase the chances that everyone in your family comes home without any unwanted and painful “souvenirs.”

Looking for more parenting advice? Consider reading: Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success.

Tips for Introducing Your Baby to Solid Foods

From the birth of your child to the time they take their first steps, these moments of growth can be some of the most exciting in both of your lives. One of the major milestones in growth is when your baby is transitioning from drinking milk to eating solid foods. While you may be very anxious and ready to let your little one try every morsel of food on your plate, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

The Right Time

While some people start their baby on solid foods when they are only a few months old, it is best to wait until your infant is at least 6 months old before introducing solids. One of the reasons for this is that their tummies must be mature enough to properly digest the foods, and you want to be sure that they have gotten all they needed from their milk. When your baby is ready for solids, they will more than likely show you by wanting to touch food on your plate, watching you as you eat and maybe even trying to eat your grownup food. However, it is important that you wait until your baby is able to hold up their head and sit upright without assistance before starting this new journey.

Foods to Start With

It’s important to keep in mind the size of the food you give to your baby. Food should be cut in small pieces to prevent choking. Peas are a really great first food to start with as they are small enough not to pose a choking risk. They’re also easy to digest and great for helping the baby learn to self-feed. Single-grain cereals are also great for starting out, but foods such as nuts, popcorn, and whole grapes can cause choking and should be avoided until much later in your child’s development.

Be Patient

Not every baby is cooperative when it comes to making the transition, especially if they are breastfed. Furthermore, many children can be very picky about the things they eat, and some may not even want to try new foods. While this may frustrate you when your baby won’t even try the food, you should know that this is perfectly normal. Sometimes, it is the pressure of the feeding that can damper your baby’s willingness to say “ah.” Try leaving the food there and allow your baby to take his time and explore the food. Sure, this may result in lots of uneaten peas on the floor, but after becoming familiar with the texture of the food, they will eventually give it a try. Once your little one sees how yummy this new world of nutrients is, they will be eager to try even more foods.

Remember that no two babies are the same as far as their developmental growth is concerned. What works for one may not work for another, and that is okay. Just keep these tips in mind and helping your baby transition to solid foods can be a much easier process.

Here’s another article you might like: Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success

The Parent’s Guide to Kid-Proofing Your Devices

Technology has changed the way we live our daily lives. From being able to get reports about what’s happening around the world to allow us to pay our bills easier, technology is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the same rings true for many children. Children are often rambunctious to the point that they are unpredictable, and that behavior mixed with technology can spell disaster. Here are a few tips for keeping your technology and devices protected from your kids.

Phone

Having a phone — and often a smartphone at that — is necessary for everyone to have these days. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to make calls, send messages, or look at the daily news. However, despite the wondrous things that phones can do, they are rather fragile in terms of durability. And if a child gets a hold of your phone, chances are you’re going to end up needing repairs. Always keep your phone locked away in a drawer or in your pocket.

Laptop

Although your phone is an important item, it doesn’t even come close to the importance of a laptop. Since laptops are what people use to do their jobs on a daily basis, it’s important to keep is safe from inquisitive minds and hands. If you have older children who have access to the internet, do not let them on your laptop. They may indirectly destroy your computer with viruses. A great place to store your laptop when you’re not using it is a laptop bag. It not only helps with easy transport, but it provides extra cushioning that protects your expensive investment.

Television

Last, but not least, you want to keep your television out of your child’s reach. A TV can end up causing a massive injury if children play around with it. In order to protect your children from a TV, you want to put it somewhere they can’t reach. This can be in an entertainment center or even the wall. It’s also smart to put remotes out of reach as well in case your child manages to get access to the batteries. This is also good for preventing the frustration of a lost remote.

Children are curious by nature and will try to get their hands on anything that catches their eyes. No doubt, this definitely includes technology.  Aside from your phone and computer being potentially destroyed, children are at risk of injuring themselves because of their curiosity. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little planning, you can find ways to protect both your electronics and children.

Related: Why We Stopped Using Amazon Prime Video

With the Kids in Mind: How Your Actions and Behavior Influence Your Children

You may not realize how much your kids are picking up from your behavior every time they are around you. What you say does matter, but it’s your actions that speak the loudest. There are so many ways your behavior influences your children for better or worse. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind when raising children.

Eating Habits

What you eat and your overall attitude towards food can make a huge difference in your child’s life. Choosing healthy foods and putting the focus on being strong and well teaches kids that food is fuel. Constantly trying new fad diets and obsessing about the number on the scale teaches kids the wrong message about food. Fill your plate with foods you want your kids to also eat. Set the example and talk about why your family chooses to eat what they do. Keep conversations about food positive, and focus on anytime foods versus sometimes foods. It’s fine to have a cookie as long as kids understand it’s not an anytime food.

Everyday Habits

You set an example daily for your child, whether you realize it or not. Your kids are definitely paying attention to your driving habits, so it’s important to model good driving behaviour, especially when your teen is learning to drive. Don’t use your phone while in the driver’s seat. Make sure to also follow the rules of the road so your child won’t think it’s okay to run stop signs or drive over the speed limit. How you treat other people is also something your kids will pick up on daily. It’s important to be kind and to exercise self-control even when a situation is difficult. Kids are great at recognizing hypocritical behavior, so be authentic and real no matter where you are or who you’re interacting with at the time. Your kids will learn from you how to do this and why it is important.

Environmental Responsibility

It’s more important than ever for everyone to take responsibility and protect the environment. Raise environmentally conscious kids by setting an example in your life with them. Teach your kids the importance of recycling and what items they can and cannot recycle. Show them how to reuse items they might otherwise throw out instead of just buying more. More than anything, teach your kids to reduce. This means making sure they see you differentiate between wants and needs. Living simply when raising your children shows them how to do it and what the benefits are. Bring reusable bags to the store when shopping, and carry a reusable water bottle to teach your kids the importance of not buying plastic all the time. These habits will become easy for kids if they are raised watching and understanding the benefits to the planet.

Kids hear your words, but they pay much more attention to your behavior. Set a good example by living a life that you want your kids to emulate so that they can build good habits.

Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success

Every parent wants their child to grow into a well-rounded, healthy adult, but it doesn’t happen by chance. Many parents struggled throughout early adulthood to get a good handle on personal nutrition, wellness, and exercise. Many of us are still learning today. Luckily, all of your life lessons can turn into instruction for your children. These are three healthy habits you’ll want to instill from an early age so your little ones can go on to practice them as they grow up healthy and strong.

Fitness

Children from ages to seventeen need at least sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. This may feel like pulling teeth when so many children prefer to spend their time glued to a screen, but extracurricular activities like sports, dance, and swimming can make it more fun and accessible. Regular exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and childhood obesity, which comes with a variety of associated risks and health problems. Get active with your child; have dance parties, take the dog for a walk every day or go on family bike rides. There are plenty of ways to get fit without being bored.

Regularly Get Checked

Routine check-ups demystify healthcare and make children more comfortable seeking treatment as adults. Many illnesses and health problems adults experience are preventable, but they put off getting proper care because they avoid the doctor’s or dentist’s office like the plague. Dental hygiene is also important. Many common maladies like cavities and gum disease can be avoided with routine cleanings and exams. Despite gum boils being easily treatable, people will often just ignore them and allow them to become even bigger problems. Lead by example; take an active role in your own health. Talk about going to the doctor, encourage healthy habits and help your children learn how to listen to their bodies and identify symptoms.

Eat Balanced Meals

Nutrition is one of the biggest struggles for kids and adults alike. With a busy schedule, it’s easy to pick up something from the local diner or call for delivery, but nothing can match the health benefits of a home-cooked meal. Healthy cooking is a lot easier than it seems, and cooking healthy meals with your child will help them to develop better eating habits. By following the basics of the food pyramid, you’ll be able to eat more filling, better-tasting meals while prioritizing your entire family’s well-being.

The best way to teach your kids healthy habits is to be a good role model. By taking care of your own health, children will become more mindful of their own wellness.

Here’s another article you might like: 3 Little Known Oral Health Concerns in Kids

Teaching Your Kids to Navigate the Streets Safely

A major life skill you need to teach your kids is how to navigate the streets safely as a pedestrian. Accidents can happen quickly, but a child armed with the right information has a better chance of staying safe.

Set the Example

Words don’t go as far as actions. If you truly want your child to learn how to be safe while walking near a street, you have to set the example. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, you should put away your phone to show your child that distractions aren’t a good idea when you’re a pedestrian. Practice safety at every crosswalk and follow the rules you want your kids to follow. Exercise caution and teach your kids not to take unnecessary chances. Waiting an extra minute is better than taking a risk and getting hit by a car. They need to see you model patience and safe behavior so they will learn to do the same.

Teach Them the Rules

There are the official and the unofficial rules of being a pedestrian, and you need to teach your kids all of them. Make sure they know what is expected of them by law when they are a pedestrian. Make sure they also know that even a pedestrian signal telling them they can cross the street doesn’t always mean they can go safely. They need to know how to look for turning cars that could hit them even if they have the right to cross. Crosswalk safety is essential, but it’s not the only thing you need to teach your kids. According to WB&T, many accidents involving pedestrians happen outside of a crosswalk. Kids need to know which side of the sidewalk to walk on so they can see traffic and move with the flow of other pedestrians. They also need to understand the danger of darting off a sidewalk and in between cars. Drivers can’t see them until they are on the road and this can lead to major accidents.

Be Visible

Teach your child to wear a bright colored jacket or another article of clothing that will draw a driver’s attention to him. Make sure they only walk during daylight hours when they can be easily seen. According to Imperial Motion, you should teach your children that if walking at night is truly necessary, they need to wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight. Staying visible to busy and possibly distracted drivers is important for any pedestrian. Even if your child is on the sidewalk and not crossing the street, he needs to be easy to see to anyone driving on the road.

Walking offers kids independence and physical exercise, so make sure they know how to navigate streets safely. By following these tips, you can help them to be safer when they go out on their own.
Here’s another article you might like: 4 Hidden Health Hazards Threatening Your Home and Family

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Piano from Pests

When it comes to cleaning an older or wooden piano, it can be a little intimidating and challenging for most people. This is largely due to the fact that placing the wrong chemical or rubbing too harshly on a component can not only change the sound of the piano but may even ruin it entirely. Sure, we can live with a little dust but what a piano can’t live with is pests within it. Pests not only cause a hazard to the piano itself but to the well-being of the people residing within the home as well. The following list details what you need to know in order to protect your piano from these critters.

Close Points of Access

Depending on the time period in which the piano was built, it will have different access points. For example, a pre-WWII piano will contain a top lid that can easily be lifted to inspect the pipes within. Having this lid removed or opened regularly can invite small critters, such as spiders, to camp out within the pipes. The spiders will eventually create webs and even lay their eggs and—trust us—nobody wants that. Another area that most older pianos tend to have is on the bottom panels that are placed to access the bottom area of the piano. This one is a common access point for pests as people tend to accidentally push the panel open during use.

Regular Cleaning

Like most things in the home, pianos can attract dust, moisture, and—yes—pests. This is why regular cleanings are a must. While dusting and wiping off any dirty pipes, always make sure to avoid cleaning with strong chemicals. Adding chemicals to the interior of your piano can deter the quality of sound and damage the piano beyond repair. You should clean any spills immediately, as many kinds of ants are attracted to even the faintest hint of sugar.

Keep an Eye on the Legs

Wood floors attracting pests, such as termites, are a more specific circumstance, but it is one that is constantly glanced over. Too often the interior of the piano is what gets the most attention, but owners forget that the piano does not produce the pests itself—homes with wooden floors are a direct line to termites finding their way into your piano. Consequently, you should keep an eye on the legs of your piano. You can prevent termites from reaching the piano by adding a layer between the floor and the piano. If they are already present, using borates as a cleaning solution may be necessary. 

Understandably, people want to keep their pianos in the most pristine condition possible. Pianos are not only musical instruments but a gateway to the past—a past that many families hold very dear to their hearts. Adhere to the list above to begin improving how you protect your piano and keep the pests away.