Christmas may have only been a month ago but for those that love the holidays, this could be the inspiration to save for a trip to Europe this Christmas! There is something magical about Christmas time in Europe. If you love the holidays, the festive spirit and indulging in Christmas treats, then you are lucky! Europe is packed with Christmas markets that will cheer you up, fill your stomach and your soul. Here are the best markets the continent has in store for you.
With regular maintenance, wood can last hundreds of years without decay or wear. However, without the proper care, hardwood flooring will show signs of age much sooner. Stains, fading, warping, and scratches can all damage the appearance and integrity of hardwood.
Protect your investment and the beauty of your home. If you're lucky enough to have hardwood floors, be sure to use the following five steps to protect them from everyday wear and tear.
1. Practice Proper Rug Placement
Be smart about where you place rugs and carpet runners. It's a good idea to use rugs in high-traffic areas, like hallways, entryways, and under well-loved furniture. Ideally, the edge of a rug should also be about 12 to 14 inches from the room's perimeter. You can even place a rug under the dining table to protect your floor from spills and chair scrapes.
2. Balance Indoor Moisture
Wood is an organic building material that responds to atmospheric humidity. Like your doors or windows, wood floors may expand in humid environments. Frequent fluctuations in the air's moisture can cause the floors to expand and contract accordingly. Over time, these humidity changes will warp the shape of the floor, possibly even cracking the wood's surface. For optimum indoor air quality, humidity should be kept between 30% and 55%, though some recommend keeping levels between 40% to 60% for the best wood protection.
3. Keep Floors Clean
One of the easiest ways to protect wood flooring is to keep it clean. Prevent the buildup of dust and debris by sweeping and vacuuming regularly. After sweeping, mop with a moist microfiber pad, but don't let too much water pool on the floor during cleaning. Puddles of any liquid will warp the boards and leave unsightly stains.
4. Cover Those Windows!
Believe it or not, too much sunlight can also damage hardwood floors. Sunlight from windows will fade the color of the wood over time. To prevent sun damage, be sure to cover windows with curtains, blinds, or other window treatments. Rearranging furniture and moving rugs can also keep one part of the floor from fading faster than other areas.
5. Refinish Every Few Years
Though refinishing wood floors can be a chore, this process is essential to preserving the floor's beauty over a long period of time. Every two or three years, give the floors a light sanding. Then, refinish the floor with a coat of polyurethane.
Wood floors are stunning in any home. However, failing to care for wood flooring can cause it to age and wear prematurely, robbing it of its beauty. Don't let your home's appeal fade, and protect your wood floors. With this guide, your home's unique natural floor will continue to impress for decades to come.
Being frugal is a smart - and sometimes necessary - way to live. There are, of course, the average frugal tips such as cutting coupons. Here, instead, we are going to take a look at some tips that you might not think about right away.
1. Use a Deep Freezer
A deep freezer is a bit of an investment at first but it can pay for itself in the long run. Any frugal shopper can tell you that buying in bulk is a great way to save. Unfortunately, it can be hard to purchase anything that isn’t non-perishable in bulk without worrying about using it in time.
For this type of bulk purchasing, a deep freezer can come in handy. With a deep freezer, you can stock up on items such as meat and frozen items when you find them on sale or at a good price and you don’t have to worry about rushing to eat them before they go bad in your fridge.
We live in a world of innovation. Every year brings a new car, new phones, new computers, and more. These are often advertised as needs instead of wants. Why do you need this new car? It consumes 2 less miles per gallon, of course!
Think about this critically, though. Is anything wrong with your current car? Does those extra couple miles per gallon mean anything after you pay thousands for the new model?
Most of the time, the answer is no. You are completely fine without buying your technology and transportation fresh off the assembly line. Try to cut out these unnecessary purchases by carefully considering any cost for how much you need it and how much damage it does to your wallet.
Drinking water is good for you. The average adult should drink about eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day and children five to seven glasses a day. Most of us don’t drink this much water.
Why is this information important when you are trying to be frugal? Well, think of what is consumed in the place of water. All things you have to purchase: sodas, tea, juice, alcohol, and the like. Not only are these more expensive, they are also less healthy.
To save money, cut out or at least cut back on these purchases. To go even further, purchase reusable water bottles. This will help you out by not forcing you to buy new, disposable bottles for packed lunches and days out.
4. Consider Switching to Streaming Services
Cable is a frivolity that can cost more than $100 a month! Different channel packages can make this cost even more. You can avoid this altogether by cutting the cord and dropping cable.
This isn’t a bad idea because not only will it save you money, but some would argue cable is a dying industry. After all, sources like YouTube are free and streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix come at a much lower cost than traditional cable.
You probably already know that if you miss a due date on your bills, it usually comes with a hefty late fee. Some companies allow a bit of forgiveness if it’s the first time you’re late but it’s best to not find out the hard way.
The easiest way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to opt-in to a company’s automatic payment option. A concern that comes with this is that you might forget about a bill and plan another expense only to see the money you needed disappear.
A great way to avoid this is to open another bank account specifically for your bills. As soon as you get the money for a bill, put that money in the bill account and it’ll be taken out as needed.
We already mentioned you should drink more water and you probably already know that produce is cheaper than junk food. There are additional reasons you should take care of yourself, however.
Doctor’s visits for avoidable problems can cost a fortune. If you do need to go to the doctor, do so right away. Waiting until something is a bigger problem typically comes with a bigger cost.
Here’s a theoretical question you’ve probably been asked before: if you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do?
Many people have extravagant answers to this question. Buy a house! A new car! Go on a long and exotic vacation!
These answers are fun but they aren’t very frugal. Odds are, you aren’t going to win the lottery anytime soon but you might come across an extra bit of cash. For example, you might get a bonus or raise at work.
When you get this money, don’t be impulsive and “treat yourself” right away. Instead, act like you got the same amount of money you usually got and focus on what you need rather than what you want. Alternatively, put it in a savings account or use it to pay outstanding balances on expenses such as medical bills.
If you fail to plan properly, traveling with a toddler can transform your road trip from the much-anticipated thrill into an incredible nightmare! However, several tips can help you enjoy every minute of your journey even when a toddler is in the equation.
Your car is a crucial component of a successful road trip. You should inspect it several hours before the offset. Ensure that your windshield wipers are working to avoid frustrations in case of a downpour. Also, you should confirm that the engine coolant is working optimally lest you find yourself in the middle of the forest with a non-functional engine. If you’re not confident about checking the car yourself, you should consider hiring a professional mechanic. Ensure that you follow the mechanic’s advice to the latter to avoid disappointments on the D-day.
Many travelers tend to ignore the crucial role that roadside assistance plays in a road trip. It’s necessary to confirm whether your auto insurance plan covers this service before acquiring a standalone plan. You’re obliged to ensure that the program you adopt covers the most frustrating situations. This may include tow services, fixing a flat tire, and unlock services in cases where you leave your keys inside the car.
However, some emergencies will not wait for a roadside assistance service provider! For example, if you lock your child as well as the car keys inside the car, you shouldn’t hesitate to break the window especially if the inside is getting uncomfortably stuffy.
While this is the last thing that any parent would think of, some situations can lead to confusion and consequently leaving a toddler alone in the car! However, it does not matter the situation you’re in; you should never leave your child alone in the car; it’s better to be late than sorry.
Your child’s safety should always be a priority! You should contact a certified child passenger safety technician to ensure that the seat is correctly positioned. As the technician fix the seat, it’s necessary that you observe keenly to learn all the procedures for future installations and inspection that meet all the legal requirements.
Once the technician completes the installation process, you should resist the temptation to change its position. While you may want to place the child in a strategic location where you can monitor their activities, you should never do it!
While on the road, you should be prepared for any eventuality. First aid kit comes in handy in cases of bruises, allergic reactions, bites, sunburns, or splinters. Before you begin the trip, ensure that you confirm that the kit is fully equipped with all the necessary first aid tools.
This is particularly important if you are the driver. It’s difficult for you to keep the toddler entertained while concentrating on driving. In this case, you will need toys to keep the child busy as you keep your eyes on the road.
Just like any other human being, toddlers are bored with monotonous activities. At some point, your child will get tired of toys, and it’s up to you to provide an alternative. You can use kids’ music to keep them engaged or incorporate kids’ DVD to allow them to watch cartoon movies as well as play their favorite games! No need to shell out a fortune on entertainment, however. If you use coupons, you can get activities for your baby from JCPenney at a fraction of the price!
“If you aren’t sure where to stock up, JCPenney has a great selection of stuffed animals, toys, and activities for little ones.”
While road trips are fun, they do not provide the comfort that the toddler can get at home. To provide comfort, ensure that you keep some blankies and binkies close to them. This will give the much-needed dose of comfort and a break from the inactivity that characterizes the confinement into the car.
You can be certain that your toddler will cry at some point. The journey will be too long for them and the discomfort unbearable. As such, if you’re traveling for long distances, you should always be prepared for tears!
If you’re not anywhere close to a rest stop, you may have to devise a method to calm the baby down without losing focus on the driving. Always remember that driving is your top priority and no amount of tears should distract you from the road.
Even when your child is crying, their safety is guaranteed on the chair. It would be worse if you try to reassure and calm them and in the process cause an accident thus exposing them to more dangers.
If you’re not in a position to stop, it’s advisable to play the child’s favorite music, offer drinks, or sing engaging songs.
Timing is Important
Too many kids don’t get enough sleep, and it shows in their health. Risk of anxiety, illness, and fatigue spikes with every half hour of sleep missed, which can mentally and physically exhaust a kid. There are a lot of ways, however, that you can help make sure your children are getting the sleep their growing bodies need.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial in maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern for kids, but their bedroom environment can also play a large role. Here are some tips for designing a kid’s bedroom that supports peaceful, restorative sleep.
Make it dark and quiet
The perfect sleeping environment is dark, cool and noise-free. Depending on where you live, some of these characteristics can be difficult to attain, but outfitting your child’s room with dark-colored curtains and soft furniture can keep a lot of outside light and sound out of the room. You could also try using a fan to keep the room cool and drown out any noisy neighbors or traffic sounds. If your child needs a nightlight to fall asleep, however, try to stick to a red-toned one so the light will have the least effect on their sleep.
Build a reading nook
Along with the idea of a soothing lullaby and nightly prayer, reading before bed can create a pattern of nighttime relaxation that improves your child’s sleep. Set up a bookcase or two in the corner of their room, furthest from the bed, with a comfy chair or bean bag and a colorful rug. This way, they’ll feel like they have their own space to choose a book and de-stress before sleep, but they can leave the stimulation of reading behind once they get into bed.
Ditch the alarm clock
Alarm clocks can make bedtime and wakeups pretty stressful,jerking your kid out of deep sleep and leaving them fatigued all day. Instead, wake them up slowly and more naturally with a wake up light. The slow transition to wakefulness that the light provides will allow your child’s brain to wake up when it’s in a less restful state, and ensure that their high-quality sleep isn’t interrupted.
Update the mattress
Most mattresses have been passed down from family member to family member and can get lumpy and uncomfortable quickly. You might want to consider getting your children new mattresses so discomfort doesn’t interrupt their healthy sleep. Try one that’s made of foam so their bedding will last longer and provide them with a cozier night’s sleep. You might want to also consider swapping out their pillows and sheets to keep their bed healthy and dust-mite free.
Give them security
Do any of your children wake you up in the middle of the night because they had a nightmare? One of the most common reasons children struggle to stay asleep is the anxiety they feel over being alone in the dark. Quell these fears and keep them asleep with security items like stuffed animals, a blankie, bed canopy, or an item of your clothing. It will help them cope with being alone and relax enough to fall, and stay, asleep.
Decorate in their vision
One of the most important things you can do in your child’s bedroom is decorating it with the things they love. Use their favorite colors to guide your design and the latest TV show or video game obsession to help you decorate the room. A carpet, pillowcase, or poster that shows off your kid’s passion not only shows your commitment to their interests, but it also makes their bedroom unique to them. This will help set their bedroom apart as a personal space for them to unwind and be comfortable, helping them feel safe enough to fall asleep.
Take these tips to guide you in the design process of your child’s room but be sure to keep your kid involved! After all, this is their room, and you’ll want to make sure it feels like their own space. Use this as an opportunity to learn more about your child’s interests and help set them up for a healthier lifestyle!
Most of us enjoy fine wine during or after a good meal. Still, it's sometimes tricky to choose the right one, as there are hundreds of types you could drink. A lot of people simply get confused in their local stores when browsing wines and end up buying the one with a pretty label on it.
Go for easy pairings
Red meat dinner
Vegan dinner party
A barbecue option
Choosing wine in a restaurant
What to do when in doubt
Summer break is almost over, and children around the country are getting ready to go back to school. It’s an exciting time, but it can also ...
Summer is on its way and that means lots of hungry kids at home costing you money each day. There are tons of ways to tackle this and ...
Have you ever had a craving for something but then once you looked at it you realized, I can make that myself for next to nothing? Tha...
Looking for an easy way to make money online? Here is how I do it. Plus some extra ways you might be able to do as well: Survey ...
Hi all! I'm Tiffany from This Motherhood is Brought to You by Xanax and I am so excited to be a part of the Guest Post Swap and to be A...
Kids are super messy little creatures, we all know this. But do we all know how terribly disgusting their mattresses can get after 4 ...
I have been collecting skulls since I started hunting and have found out that it is extremely expensive to take things to a taxidermi...
Hunting season means lots of fresh delicious and nutritious meat to harvest and devour! I absolutely love grouse it tastes exactly like chic...
We get it --every time you’re at the pet store, your kids beg to buy more toys for the pup. As you make a beeline for the pet food, y...
I got the honor of reviewing Lovable Labels this week! These labels are fantastic! I have put them in my kids shoes, on backpacks, ...
I got to review some super adorable baby moccasins this week and boy I gotta tell you I am now a huge fan of moccasins! They are the perf...