Wednesday, 28 June 2017

June Swago


Swagbucks is holding their monthly Swago promotion starting Tuesday, 27 June at 9am PDT! It's just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.   

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash!

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 300 SB bonus!

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Vacation Time for Stay at Home Moms? Consider the Micro-Vacation

We are in the heyday of the American vacation -- at least as far as talking about them. It seems like every day there is another news article or study about how not enough Americans are taking time away from work and how it has a negative effect on productivity and efficiency at the office.

One study, for instance, shows that those who don’t take "sanity breaks" at work experience significantly more stress than those who do, both at home (48% and 41% respectively) and in the office (73% and 68%). It has also been tied to the radical decrease in CEO tenure, only 5.5 years today, down from 10 years in 1990.

But for all the talk about vacations that is going around, one population has been left out of the conversation: Stay at home moms!

Despite the fact that being a stay at home mom often has equal or even more demands as a full-time job, stay at home moms receive none of the perks of a job, including sick days, lunch breaks, and, yes, vacation time.

In fact, there is a significant stigma around parents taking a vacation separate from their children. According to a 2015 survey, only two in 10 parents felt comfortable taking a vacation without their child, especially younger children.

But this is exactly when parents most need a vacation. The first few years of raising a child are the most difficult time and the most likely to wear you out.

And, as it turns out, a little time away from mom and dad can do a child some good as well.

"Parenting and birth order research shows that a little benign neglect turns children into independent, out-of-the box thinkers," Katrin Schumann, author of Mothers Need Time-Outs Too, wrote in a piece for the New York Times. "When they’re too coddled and controlled, they risk becoming adults who lack resilience, humility and flexibility. Kids need space, too."

If the idea still makes you uncomfortable, start off small. Don’t fly to some exotic island or European city. Drive to a nearby city for a fancy dinner and a night at a nice hotel.

Or better yet, take a bus. Not only is it more economically friendly, it's also more environmentally friendly (each fully occupied charter bus has the potential to remove 55 cars from the highway, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions). However, it will also make it more difficult for you to give into any second thoughts you might have during the night, forcing you to relax and enjoy yourself.

Chances are, you’ll find yourself more relaxed and better able to handle the stresses of motherhood after you get back. Indeed, these micro-vacations may be exactly what you need to recharge after a busy week -- or year -- of nonstop parenting.

The Best Investment You Will Ever Make: Purchasing Your Own Home


Owning a home and getting a foot onto the property ladder is the ultimate goal for most young adults, but in the last decade or two it’s become more difficult than ever to do so. The recession had a huge impact on the property market and the ability of people to get hold of much-needed credit- meaning purchasing a home became out of reach for many. However now that things are easing up again, and government grants and schemes are available for many first-time buyers, purchasing a property might be something that has become possible again. If you’re considering it, here’s what you need to know.

Check Your Credit Score
Getting a mortgage requires you to have a good credit score, so you really need to know where you stand before making an application; you can see more info about this online. Make sure that everything looks right, and there’s nothing on your credit file that you don’t recognize. You should also contest anything you believe to be unfair, for example, some people have found that companies have wrongly charged them after they’ve closed accounts and given them a black mark on their file. If you have adverse credit on your file, you will more than likely need to wait for this to drop off before making an application. It takes six years to do so, so it’s important to make sure nothing else gets added. In the meantime, you could take out a credit card or phone contract and be careful to pay this back each month. That way you help build up your credit score.

Work Out Your Budget
The next step would be to work out what you can realistically afford. You will need to take your income (and your partner’s if you’re moving in together) and draw up a plan. Be sure to account for all bills plus any extras that you wouldn’t want to live without. Groceries, travel costs and money for savings all need to be accounted for. Then what you have left is what you can afford to pay out each month for your mortgage. There are also tools online which give you an idea on how big of a mortgage you’d be likely to get based on your annual salary.

Will You Renovate or Choose a Move In Ready Home?
If this will be your first home, chances are you won’t have loads of money in the bank to tackle masses of renovations. However, you could still go for a house that needed work doing to it, that way you can revamp it as you go and it’s likely to be a lot cheaper. Be sure you know what you’re getting into though, if you uncover dodgy electrics, plumbing, asbestos, pests or other huge problems it’s going to be incredibly expensive to fix. Your best bet would be to have a survey done before buying so you know exactly what’s going to need doing and how much it will cost.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Outdoor Fun For The Whole Family

Take advantage of all the summer months have to offer, from exploring the wilderness to keeping busy in your own backyard.
Here are a few of our favorite outdoor essentials for all your adventures:

Bass Pro Shops Eclipse 8-Person Dome Tent​
With this 10-person tunnel tent, you don’t have to limit your annual camping trip to just family. This roomy, easy-to-setup tent gives everyone plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Take advantage of Bass Pro Shops’ site-wide Star Spangled Summer Sale with up to 35% off.
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H2OGO!™ Slide-n-Splash Bowling
Combine the best of both worlds with this universally fun game. Designed to get kids moving and out of the house, parents will want to join in on the fun, too.
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INTEX Explorer K2 Kayak
Head out for a great day of boating with the family in this inflatable kayak. Easy to inflate and navigate, it’s a perfect introduction to kayaking, but also great for seasoned pros.
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New YULU games, perfect for family game night!

According to NPD research, games and puzzles are up 18 percent, the largest category in toys last year. Family games are showing no sign of slowing down. In the wake of mega-hit action games like Wet Head and Pie Face, the popularity of games is definitely on the rise.

Break Free and Safe Breaker, part of the new Spy Code game line from YULU Toys, are joining the trend this June. With a great mix of action, strategy, skill and luck, they're perfect for any family game night gathering! 

 Break Free

First, players handcuff themselves together and insert a maze into each handcuff. The game includes three maze colors. Each color represents a different level of difficulty, making each round unpredictable. Using the lock pick, players must try to pick the lock on their handcuff as quickly as possible. The fastest to break free from their handcuff receives a token that corresponds with the maze color. There are points on the back of each token, the player with the most points after playing all three rounds, wins the game.
 
Players in Break Free must race to pick the lock on their handcuff to be the first to break free. Take the #BreakFreeChallenge and record and share your race to escape with the online community. Family and friends are also encouraged to come up with different challenges each round, like playing blindfolded or race to escape after a series of relay races, making the game an endless amount of unpredictable and creative fun!



Break Free will be available in the USA at Target.
Break Free will be available in Canada at Walmart and Toys R Us.


In Safe Breaker, players must crack the code and successfully break into the safe without getting caught! Each round challenges memory and requires a mix of strategy and luck to win the game.


To start the mission, players pick a card and turn the safe combination to the corresponding number shown. Next, use the fingerprint scanner to test the number. If the light is green, the safe will release some coins. If the light is red, connect the spy listening gear to the safe to hear a top- secret clue to deduce the correct combination code. Clues include mathematical chances and luck elements, allowing for a new experience each round. 

BEWARE! Players who release police coins will alert the police and must return all their coins to the safe. The spy who collects the five golden coins or two diamond coins first, wins the game.  



 Safe Breaker will be available in the USA at Target.


Safe Breaker will be available in Canada at Walmart and Toys R Us.



Want to become an official YULU Spy Code Spy? The Spy Code Academy encourages kids to become Spy Masters through the Spy Code episodes featured on spycode.toys. Record and complete the mission at the end of each episode and upload your video using upload it using #YULUTOYS. You may have a chance to be featured on spycode.toys and get exclusive rewards from YULU Toys.



For more information on Break Free check out Spycode.toys
For more information on YULU Toys check out YULUtoys.com

These games were so much fun we had an awesome time figuring out the mazes in Break Free! These are some of the best challenge games I have ever played and perfect to keep kids building their brains this summer when school is out! Fantastic gift for any age, even us grown ups had a great time challenging the kids.