Why You Should Consider Starting a Garden

Growing your fruits and veggies is an awesome way to put food on the table. There is nothing more nutritious and delicious than eating food that is freshly picked from your backyard. Not only is it a fun activity to partake in, but it’s also a rewarding one. Consider starting a garden with these helpful tips.

Health Benefits

Eating good food grown from your garden is a notable health benefit but gardening goes beyond that. Just being outside in the sun can boost vitamin D absorption. Working in the dirt is a stress reliever as well as being excellent exercise even building hand strength. Gardening can become a whole family project where everyone can grow a favorite food to be shared. A successful garden builds self-confidence offering tasty rewards. This type of project is good for the cardiovascular system while doing a labor of love.

Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

You may feel overwhelmed when thinking of starting a garden, but it does not have to be hard. Start smaller by considering container gardens or raised beds. Research veggies and fruits that are hardy in your grow zone. There are even some benefits of buying online when it comes to seeds. Your local gardening center can provide you with all of the tools. dirt, compost, and other essentials you will need. If you have questions about what to grow, give a call to your local agricultural agent.

The Benefits of Becoming More Self-Sufficient With Food

Knowing that you have the skills to produce your food is empowering. Raising a family that also has those skills is reassuring that they can provide their food in the future. Having control over how the food is raised means you know the type of fertiliser, soil content, and variety of plant you are dealing with. Plus, your options of plants you grow far outweigh what is available in the stores. The next step is learning how to store your crop.

Gardening is a pleasure when you can walk out to your backyard to pick what you have grown and present it at your next meal. Find ways to get the whole family involved so they can have the skills to grow healthy food at home. Teach them how to research online for seeds, growing techniques, and types of preservation. Often when you enjoy gardening, your taste buds will also delight in your efforts.

Here’s another article you might like: Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids

3 Responsibilities Your Children Can Take on When Getting a Puppy

“Please, Mum? Can we get a puppy? Everyone I know has one.” As a parent, you’ve probably heard this at least once from your children. Many children want a puppy, as they can be a lively addition to the household, and a great companion. However, puppies can also cause a great hassle for adults. That said, you can teach your children how to take care of a puppy. Here are three responsibilities your children can take on with your family’s new puppy.


Your children can assist in training your puppy. One aspect of training is taking the puppy outside to do his business, every morning, evening and throughout the day every half hour to an hour. Your child can assist you in this aspect of puppy training. If you have multiple children, make a rotation of who gets to take the dog outside. If your puppy is having a hard time potty training, cleaning your carpet helps prevent accidents. This is also something your children can help with. Training your puppy will take time, but it is a responsibility you don’t have to do by yourself.


Your children can also assist in walking the puppy, but first make sure that the puppy is leash trained. Training the puppy to use a leash is necessary because it keeps both the puppy and your children safe, and it also makes it easier to walk the puppy. Always go with your children when you walk the puppy. If your children are older and bigger than the dog, consider letting them hold the leash. You may also consider getting two leashes, one for you to hold, and one for your child to hold. Just make sure that the leashes are not retractable as that can be dangerous for the puppy and the child.


Your children can also help by feeding the puppy. Puppies should be on a feeding schedule, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the one to feed the puppy every time. Before feeding, however, make sure that the child can tell the puppy to sit and stay and the puppy obeys so that it is easier for the child to feed the puppy.

Your children may not be able to take on every responsibility when it comes to taking care of a puppy, but they can certainly assist in a few responsibilities, helping them grow to love the puppy more, and helping you have a little less stress.

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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.

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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

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 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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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.


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.

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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.
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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.

Choosing the Best Daycare for Your Child

So it’s time for your little one to head off to daycare? The transition from home to a full-time care facility can be a challenge for both you and your young one. If you choose the right place, however, that transition can proceed much more smoothly. How do you know what to look for to ensure that your child has the best daycare experience possible? Continue reading for three things you need to consider when searching for quality childcare.

Consider Your Child’s Age

Your child’s age should be one of the greatest determining factors when choosing an appropriate daycare facility. Daycare programs are structured according to children’s developmental stages, and educational activities within each group are also structured to target specific ages. When scoping out facilities, it is important to look for one that offers age-appropriate learning activities for each stage of your child’s early cognitive development. Ideally, children will be segmented into groups according to age or developmental stage and educated accordingly. Your child’s social interaction with other children in his or her age group is a critical component in fostering relationship building and teamwork skills.

Consider Cost

Daycare costs have risen considerably, and that climb only continues. Annual childcare costs for an infant at a licensed daycare can run in excess of $10,000 USD (£7783.00) per year—and often well above that. As your child begins to learn, explore and require dedicated education, your childcare costs will climb even more. Depending on your location, annual costs may surge as high as £15,500 (about $20,000 USD) per child. When considering daycare facilities, the cost can often be an indication of the facility’s strengths. At the base level, which is generally the most affordable cost tier, education and developmental activities may be included, but highly affordable programs are typically focused on supervision alone. As you move up in cost tiers, additional services beyond simple supervision are included in the price. In-depth educational time, foreign language teaching, team-building activities and even advanced physical education like gymnastics and yoga may be offered at the more expensive centers. Additionally, many higher-cost daycare centers offer after-hours programs designed to accommodate children whose parents work until later in the evening.

Consider Employee Education

If you’re looking for a childcare facility that offers a well-rounded education and knowledgeable care, you’ll want to verify the center’s employee education requirements. Many facilities only require the completion of state-mandated education hours, yet others require employees to possess, at a minimum, an associate degree in early childhood education. Some places even require a bachelor’s degree in an education-related field for employment consideration. If you want your child to receive a quality education delivered by trained professionals who are well-versed in early cognitive development, take employee education seriously. Selecting a daycare facility is very similar to selecting a quality school for your child, and employee training and education matters.

Selecting a quality daycare center for your child can be a confusing task. Before you settle on a facility, make sure you do your research. Meet with the facility director, learn about educational options and determine if the center’s offerings justify the asking price. You might even consider sitting in with your child for a class or two to get a feel for how the facility operates. If you do your due diligence, you should have no problem finding a center that provides quality care and education, and one that fits your budget, too.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

Are We There Yet? What to Keep in Mind When Road Tripping with Little Ones

Road trips can be a lot of fun, especially when you take them with the family. However, when you have small children, going on a long road trip may be a bit much for them to sit through. Here is a list of tips and tricks that can help make your next road trip with the tykes a pleasurable one.

Snacks and Entertainment

The main reason that taking a road trip with little ones can be a trying experience is that kids often get bored very fast. To keep children occupied in the car, you’ll need plenty of snacks, kid-friendly activities, games, and electronics. While they may get tired of the games after a while, if you have plenty of snacks for them to munch on, that can keep them distracted for a long while. You might also consider playing road trip games together like “I Spy” or trying to find all the letters of the alphabet outside while driving. Games like these can keep kids occupied for hours and are fun to play as a family.

Take Breaks

Of course, if you have lots of snacks, then you would need to take lots of bathroom breaks as well. However, don’t just stop merely to let the kids use the restroom and then to hop back on the road. Allow them time to run around a bit and to stretch out their legs while letting off some steam at the same time. This also helps to wind them down so that they aren’t so restless during the remainder of the trip.

Drive Through the Night

If your road trip is more for purpose than for a joy ride, then taking the trip at night is a good idea when you have small children. By driving at night, the children will more than likely be asleep for the majority of the trip. By the time they do wake up, you shouldn’t have much longer to drive and the games, snacks, and other items you brought along can keep them content until you arrive at your destination.

Have an Emergency Kit

When driving, there is a possibility of breaking down or getting into an accident. This is hard enough to deal with generally, but having children with you can make an incident that much more difficult. Make sure you pack an emergency kit with things like blankets, frozen juices, extra water, and food as well as whatever emergency numbers you may need. This way the little ones are taken care of while you wait for help to arrive.

Remember, the best way to keep kids from becoming aggravated, from pestering, or from being teary-eyed in any situation is to distract them. Having lots of distractions, whether that be food, games, or songs, can help make for a smooth trip and a happy parent.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: 3 Best Tips for Amazing Family Travel with Your Kids

Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids

So much of our childhood memories revolve around riding our bikes. Depending on where you grew up, you may have ridden your bike to the store, in the woods or around your neighborhood. If you have a child of your own now, you may be concerned with how you can make sure your child is safe while riding their bike. You want them to enjoy this time, but you also want to make sure that your child isn’t going to get hit by a motorist or injured while riding their bike. Let’s look at some bicycle safety tips that you can teach your kids.

Set Boundaries

Your child needs to understand where they can safely ride their bike. Teach your younger children that they should ride on the sidewalk where they are away from traffic. Older kids can learn to ride in the street, but they need to learn how to be aware of their surroundings. You should also let your child know where they are and are not allowed to ride. For example, you could set the nearest corner as a boundary. They could then progress to going around the block once they have earned your trust for closer distances.

Be Seen

It’s important for kids to always be seen, so they should use flashing lights or wear something that is bright or reflects light. It’s a good idea to have your child head home before it gets dark. This will make them more visible to drivers. Teach them not to ride their bike right into a street from behind a vehicle. It’s important that a car or other bike will see them coming from a good distance away. It gives everybody time to react.

Always Have Adult Supervision

Regardless of how old your child is, they should be riding their bike with an adult until you feel you can trust them. They should have the ability to put their own helmet on, keep their balance and watch what is going on around them. Even if you’re letting your child ride a short distance down the street, make sure you are outside to keep an eye on things. This will give you peace of mind, but this is also a good way to make sure that your child is practicing good bike safety.

Being Aware of Surroundings

Some children will ride along on their bike, not noticing what is going on around them. It’s important that they know where to be riding their bike, but they should also be able to look over their shoulder and listen for a car coming. There will be hazards everywhere that they should take notice of. Have them learn to keep an eye out for toys on the sidewalk, vehicles overlapping the sidewalk and large rocks that could cause them to lose control if they go over them. Being aware of your surroundings is a great skill to learn in all walks of life.

It’s important that your child understands the safety aspect of riding a bike. You wouldn’t put your child behind the wheel of a car and expect them to know what to do. Take the time to teach your child what they need to know. This will ensure they come home safe and sound after a fun day of being outside.

Here’s another article you might enjoy:

How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

Protectors of the Roblox Universe | Lifting Simulator

Lifting Simulator on Roblox

The family that plays together, stays together… or so I have been telling myself as I have spent untold hours playing Roblox lately. Yes, I know, not really a suitable occupation for a 40 something but when your little one is obsessed by it and you want to make it as safe as it can be, you do what you can. I have to be honest here, the games become strangely addictive after a while and when your husband joins in and all of your immediate family is playing it can be quite fun.

This is therefore a review of the Roblox game, Lifting Simulator.

What does my son think?

He loves the game. In fact, he was the one who found it. He was even playing it before Denis Daily added it to his Roblox YouTube channel. We joined maybe a day later. He’s not a fan of the constant clicking and I am worried about RSI a little but it does teach him that success isn’t instantaneous. Of course, he is now asking us to click for him!

What do I think?

I am enjoying it. I like the way the game has several layers. You want to upgrade constantly to be the biggest and the most powerful using weight, genetics, and body alter but there is also the enforcement and criminal element of the game, which can be the most addictive.

When you start out you begin as a skeleton and you are weight lifting a pencil. You click your mouse to move the pencil until you have 30 coins. At this point, you have to sell your coins as you have run out of room in your wallet. You can spend or collect the money depending on your goal.

You can spend your money on three things. The first are weights and on the first run through, (I will explain this later), you have to buy each weight in the list before the next shows up. If you are fed up with emptying your wallet every couple of minutes, you can better your DNA (if only this was possible in real life). This has the effect of increasing your wallet so you don’t have to sell so often.

The third element of game play that you will spend your lifting simulator earnings on is called body alter. You can give yourself power and speed by buying this when you have enough money. The trick here is to buy enough weights to get the alter but no more in the first round. As soon as you buy the first power (freezing) then you will revert to the smallest body type and have to work your way up again. You will also lose all your money so there is use getting more than you need. For example, one on the weights cost around 100,000 but the first body alter costs 150,000. If you can reach 100,000, you may as well hang on and get the body alter and get the expensive weight later when it will be easier to get it. Otherwise, you will end up saving for the 100,000, spending it on the weight and then having to save a further 150,000. It is quicker to just save the one lot.

The next run through whether with the freezing, fire or any of the other powers, you can skip weights to get through it a lot quicker. While you could not see the entire list before, after you have bought them once, you can see them again but you will have to buy them after each and every upgrade.


As you go through the game and do plenty of weight lifting, you will gain a rank. This is fluid and will change as you play. This is a game with no judgement you can be good or bad and there are an equal number of ranks to go through until you reach the pinnacle of your chosen side. On the good corner there is Nice Guy, Bodyguard, Protector, Guardian and Superhero. If you are neither one way of the other you may end up as Neutral or you could go to the dark side and become a Bully, Jerk, Thug, Criminal or Godfather.

You get to be these ranks by killing other players who have a better or worse rank than you … and sometimes randomly. I have been minding my own business lifting the odd motorbike when someone kills ME and then demotes me from Nice Guy to Bully. Ooh, I was annoyed. I had to go around killing other bullies and jerks to get my status back until eventually I became a Protector. Sometimes you get to keep your status but other times not. I have left a Protector but come back as a Bodyguard. Another time I left as a Nice Guy but returned as a Bully.

When we started, we were constantly killed as soon as we spawned so when we had enough clout to get ‘em back we tried to be protectors. There are a few player who pride themselves on being the sheriff and kill all the bullies and worse around. However if you get stuck with a bully rank but you didn’t deserve it they don’t know this and they will still try to kill you. Also, some good guys will be good for an hour and take the other side so you can’t trust the other players! Still, you can still make alliances and it’s a sweet thing when there’s a bunch of you keeping the peace.

You get to keep your normal character during this game and unfortunately, my little one is obsessed by a YouTuber and will model himself on him. He’s too young to understand that people can be offended by that and I think (hope) that the guy is nice enough to understand that. We have already seen him in a previous gaming video so he’s come across him before when he was still Kindergarten age and he was sweet about it in the video.

This game is good for the whole family. There is nothing ominous about it. Our son’s chat has been disabled so he can’t talk to any dodgy people if they are on it so it’s just good clean fun. He’s learning to save and the concept of sticking up for people who can’t protect themselves because in this case they can only weight lift a pencil and he can carry a piano.

Definitely recommended for children with supervision. The supervision is for the horror stories you hear on the internet about the internet.

Happy lifting!

How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

When you have a baby, you become much more aware of how clean your home is. The nursery where your baby is sleeping should be clean. This will help keep your baby happy and healthy. Frequently dusting and wiping down areas where you change your baby’s diaper is beneficial. Unfortunately, many chemical cleaning products can be dangerous to your baby’s health and yours as well. Let’s talk more about how to keep your nursery clean without using toxic chemicals for the job.

What Are Chemicals and Which Ones Are Toxic?

Chemical cleaners, if properly marked, come with diamond-shaped hazard pictograms that show what kind of hazards they pose. You’ll want to keep an eye out for ingredients such as ammonia, bleach, hydrochloric acid, isopropanol and sodium bisulfate. All of these chemicals can irritate the skin, irritate the eyes, make your baby cough and there are dangerous long term effects to worry about as well. If you see an ingredient on a product that is very hard to pronounce, chances are it’s not a good one to use. Do a bit of research on harmful chemicals before you purchase items for the nursery.

Stick With Natural Options

There are a lot of cleaning products on the market right now that use only natural ingredients to get the job done. Things like citrus oils can be just as effective when it comes to disinfecting and killing germs. Not to mention, the smell is pleasant and safe. Look for organic and natural cleaning products that advertise they are safe and chemical-free. You can even come up with your own cleaning products that you make yourself. A mixture of 50/50 vinegar and water can be quite effective for cleaning up messes. Not to mention, it’s incredibly affordable to make. You can even add your own essential oils for fragrance.

Stick to Unscented

Scents tend to be very irritating for a small child. You’ll want to keep your cleaning products as unscented as possible. Even a natural smell of orange peel or pine can be overwhelming. Just because a product doesn’t smell, doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to do a good job at cleaning things up in your child’s nursery.

You can find a number of natural cleaning products at your local grocery store or health food store. There are also a number of products available online. Just be sure to check the ingredients before making a purchase.

Parenting can be overwhelming. If you need more help, check out some of our other articles.

How to Navigate These 3 Challenges of Family Planning

The challenges faced by families in the modern era can be enormous, especially the process of planning. Balancing work life, managing interpersonal relationships of all family members and overcoming health issues related to fertility can all place burdens on parents-to-be and their children. Fortunately, with the right amount of planning and a bit of mental toughness, these challenges can be overcome. Here are a few of the most common issues facing families and some tips on how to deal with them.

Children Who Don’t Want Another Sibling

There can be several reasons why a young child may not want a little brother or sister. One of the most common of these might be the expectation of loss, which includes loss of attention, loss of access to resources, etc. Jealousy is, in fact, one of the most prevalent human emotions and is not limited to children. Research has shed some light on the psychological factors that cause jealousy in children who may be wary of another sibling joining the family. Ways to prevent this include a focus on increasing the connection between parent and child prior to and after introducing a new family member, encouraging laughter, which releases feel-good hormones in your child, and taking the time to assure your older child that he or she is needed and appreciated.


Women in the western world face fertility issues frequently. This can be due to age, health conditions, diet, stress and other factors. Many health professionals specialize in helping couples struggling to conceive. Strategies such as tracking ovulation and lifestyle modifications, as well as taking medication, can help. Sometimes, though, naturally conceiving a child is simply not possible. In these instances, couples may consider procedures such as egg donation. This refers to the process of taking an egg from a donor and implanting it into the mother’s ovaries. Although egg donation is an involved and often expensive process, it is a viable alternative to natural conception. According to Baby Steps, egg donation can be a six-month process or more, so couples should take time constraints into consideration if they are interested in this option.

Balancing Work Life

Women who have established careers often face difficult choices. Choosing between a career and a new family can be a tough decision. Increasingly, families rely on dual incomes to make ends meet, and personal accounts of work-life balance struggles are well-documented. Many people report that managing time throughout the day is a major contributor to stress and burnout, which can be even more difficult to manage with a new baby. Communication between members of the family is essential to maintaining harmony and a sense of common purpose. Proper financial planning is a major tool for preventing conflict and reducing stress in a new family. Discussing priorities in terms of family life versus career can go a long way in protecting the long-term mental health of all family members. Creating and sticking to a family schedule can also help organize time and prevent conflict.

Many resources are available online to help cope with the challenges faced by parents and their children, and counseling with a trained professional is sometimes necessary. However, these obstacles can be overcome with dedication and perseverance when everyone is on the same page.
Parenting is no easy task. If you need more advice, check out some of our other articles!

Need to Make Your Home More Handicap-Accessible? Start With These Changes

Your ability to age in place while enjoying full use of your home may be a challenge if you have stairs. In fact, in many homes, the only place to shower is on the second floor. If you’re in a cast, a wheelchair, or simply no longer comfortable on the stairs, you may need to move quickly to be able to reach your bathroom and bed. Consider making changes to your home now so you won’t be in a rush or have to make hard decisions.

Convert Front Steps Into a Wheelchair Ramp

Removing the front steps on your home and building a wheelchair ramp can make your home accessible no matter the injuries or health concerns you may face. When designing your wheelchair ramp be sure to work with a licensed contractor to stay within code and to make sure your ramp will stand the test of time. In addition, consider how the person most in need of the ramp leaves or enters the house. Does the move from the house to the garage to get into their vehicle in climate control, or are they picked up on the driveway? You may need to invest in a driveway update, so the wheelchair user has a friendly surface when they leave the ramp.

Install a Stair Lift or Elevator

When you or a loved one are no longer safe climbing stairs, it may be time to install a stair lift. These tools hug close to the wall and may require you to take out the handrail. The person in need of transport simply belts themselves in, rides up the stair lift and is able to swivel and stand on the second floor. Stairs are a common cause of trip and fall injuries, especially for senior adults. Because such a stumble can be catastrophic to their ability to stay in their homes, investing in a stair lift can be a great investment. Elevators are also an option, but the renovation to install an elevator is quite invasive and expensive; stair lifts are the more affordable option.

Doorways and Bathrooms

If you’re ready to install a stair lift, it’s probably time to think about widening doorways and renovating bathrooms. While both of these repairs can be costly, messy and invasive, creating beautiful and accessible bathrooms is a repair that can greatly benefit your disabled friends and family. If you’re thinking about a renovation, consider adding a no-lip shower so a shower chair can be rolled in later.

You may be thinking about downsizing into a house where everything is on one level. However, if you love your home and your neighborhood, it is possible to make changes to your existing home that will make aging in place a better option.

Parenting is no easy task, so let us help you with some things we have learned!