Thursday, 31 January 2019

Kid's Craft: Make Your Own "Perfume"!

Kids are exploring the world around them from the moment they are born. They use their senses to play and learn at the same time. It's always a win when moms can find an activity that satisfies both of those needs.

Well, this children's activity allows kiddos to make their very own "perfume" is definitely one of them! The children will be able to make a scent that they can spray on themselves just like you. Simply follow the instructions below, and you can download the printable labels here!

Step 1: Prepare your materials.

You will need a few things to make your scent. You'll need some smell-good items like flowers and fruit, some glitter for flair, some liquid to mix it in and a spray bottle to put it in. Once you have all of the supplies, lay them out on the table hand have your kids gather 'round. You can find the full list of ingredients below.

Step 2: Gather Your Herbs and Flowers

Your participants will now need to choose what they want their "perfume" to smell like. Have them choose from the available herbs and flowers to create the desired scent. Let them mash the pedals between their fingers to get a better sniff! Once they have chosen, they should add them to the large, clear plastic jar.

Step 3: Choose Some Fruity Notes

Now is the time to add some fruity notes to your scent. Have the kids smell pieces of cut fruit and decide which they like best, then they can add them to the big clear jar too.

Step 4: Add Some Fun and Sparkles!

This part is fun. You can allow the kids to choose some pretty, sparkly items to the mix just for fun. You can let them add a few drops of food coloring, some glitter or any other very small, shiny items to the large clear jar. Keep in mind that these may get funneled out later.

Step 5: Funnel the "Perfume" Into Spray Bottles

Now, help your kiddo use the funnel to pour their newly made scent into the smaller spray bottle. Let them enjoy the scent as you pour it in and start thinking about what you will name the scent.

Step 6: Choose Your Perfume Label

Now, you can print out your perfume labels and choose which one you want to use! You can either print them onto an uncut sticker template or simply tape them on. There are a few pre-named labels and some are blank — feel free to get creative. 


Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Best European Christmas Markets

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. 

If you do decide to head away for an extended period, think about using a housesitter! They ensure you furry family members are comfortable in their own homes as well as ensuring your home is safe! They are lots of places to find house sitters, but this trusted house sitters review will help you pick the best one!


If you always dreamed of France in the winter time, Lille is the perfect Christmas destination. Every year the town transforms into a winter wonderland with the Place Rihour beautifully decorated with lights, and over 80 stalls offering Christmas decorations, nativities and some of the best food you can possibly taste. If you are looking for a small treat, try the macarons or the babeluttes (French toffee).  For something more savoury you can have a look at the variety of French cheeses, chow down on some tartiflette, or indulge in your favorite paté. For those traveling with kids, enjoy a ride on the star of the market: a 50 mts ferris wheel overlooking the entire city.
When it comes to Christmas markets, Germany is the country with the most tradition, and Düsseldorf’s Marktplatz is no exception. Set on a 14th century square, this market sees thousands of visitors every year who come in looking for a bit of holiday magic. With stands offering traditional toys, handpainted baubles and a huge arrangement of treats, it’s obvious why the market is so special to its visitors. This place represents the merry of the season.
The kids are usually excited to go on the carrousel, or watching the markets artisans working with iron, wood and blowing glass. The food and the beer are also outstanding so make sure to try the Kasewurst (Bratwurst filled with cheese), Schupfnudeln (potato noodles) and the crowd’s favorite Bratkartoffeln (German fries).

For those who want to enjoy Christmas in the UK, the market at Bath is one of the most impressive. With over 200 stalls, the streets around the Bath Abbey light up and visitors get to enjoy the best of the local traditions and artisans. When it comes to entertainment, you are able to enjoy the Christmas carols, or head over to Victoria Park for a skate in the ice rink. After working up an appetite, have a hand at the minced pies, and wash it all down with some ale.
If you are thinking about a little white Christmas, Innsbruck is the place you’ve been dreaming off!  Vienna may be quite popular, but the snow covered mountains on Innsbruck are the perfect scenery for a winter wonderland. Even best, the whole town gets filled with the cheer of the holiday spirit and both tourists and locals meet up to enjoy the best of Austrian Christmas goodies at the christkindlmarkt held on the medieval square.

Satisfy the food cravings with some tasty Kaiserschmarren, a delicious shredded pancake usually served with nuts, cherries and plum sauce.  To keep yourself warm, enjoy a cup of spiced tea, or the usual glühwein.
If you are looking for some family entertainment, every afternoon they have wind playing at the Golden Roof balcony and  life performances of fairytales.

With a mountain view on the brinks of Lake Geneva the Marche de Noel at Montreux is one of the most gorgeous Christmas Markets around Switzerland. With thousands of lights twinkling up in the sky, this is no doubt an Instagram worthy destination. In here you can enjoy over 160 stalls that feature artisanal gifts from gloves made out of sheepskin, to handcrafted nativities and other Christmas ornaments.

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, there  is a huge supply of crèpes and waffles
and of course being Switzerland, chocolate is all over the place. If you want something more savoury, you can never go wrong with some fondue or raclette.

When it comes to attractions, there is Santa’s flying sleigh and a light show on the facade of the Montreux palace.

Christmas is the season to be merry, and the Christmas markets around Europe help spread the magic of the festivities. From France, to Switzerland, they offer an experience that you don’t want to miss. So get saving for Christmas 2019!!

5 Tips for Preserving Your Beautiful Hardwood Floors

When it comes to classic interior beauty, few elements can compare to hardwood flooring. Wood floors offer a durable surface that can pair with nearly any decorating scheme. Wood species come in a plethora of colors and patterns, giving homeowners dozens of options to choose from. And, when looking to sell your home, hardwood flooring is highly a sought-after feature in many markets.

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. And if you have carpet in your home trust our recommended carpet cleaning company.

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.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

7 Tips on How to Be Frugal (Not What You Think)

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. 

2. Stop Chasing the Latest Trends


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. 

3. Drink Water


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. 

5. Avoid Late Fees at All Costs


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. 

6. Take Care of Your Body


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. 

7. When You Come Across Money, Don’t Go Crazy


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.

Friday, 25 January 2019

How to make road trips with kids easier!

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.

Prepare Your Car in Advance

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.

You Must Have a Roadside Assistance

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.

Never Leave a Child Alone in the Car

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.

Always Inspect Your Toddler’s Car Seat

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.

Use the Child’s Car Seat Correctly

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!

Have a First Aid Kit in Your Car

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.

Always Carry Some Toys

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.

You Need More than Just Toys

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.”

Carry Some Blankies and Binkies

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.

Never Panic Over Tears

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. 


Thursday, 24 January 2019

Tips for Hosting A Stress Free Dinner Party

Hosting a dinner party can be stressful  and time consuming. If your not organised you can end up spending the whole running around and never get the chance to enjoy yourself. Here are our top tips for hosting a great party and ensuring you and your guests have an amazing time. 

Self-Service Drinks

Having drinks out and ready so your guests can serve themselves will take the pressure off of you, particularly if you have a lot of cooking to do whilst your guests are present. If you’re serving drinks which need to be chilled (like white wine) having a dedicated drinks fridge set up is a big help. 

Having a drinks fridge also helps to save space in your fridge, so you aren’t rummaging around for a hidden bottle! You can also make cocktails prior to your guests arriving and add ice at the last moment to keep them cool. If you want to wow your guest make sure you do some research on some delicious cocktails like  Pineapple Rosé Sangria Por Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins  that you can make in a jug and serve with ease. 

Home Prep is Key 

Do as much preparation as you can beforehand. Whether this is preparing food, cleaning the house, emptying the trash or laying the table, doing as much prep as you can will help your evening run smoothly. The less you have to do at the time, the better, as you can spend more time with your guests. You don’t want to be vacuuming or emptying the dishwasher when your guests are there. 

Food Preparation  

Prep as much of your food as possible before. If you can choose a menu where you don’t have to do much cooking in the moment, your party will run much more smoothly, and you will be much less stressed!

 There are many options for set and forget meals. You could get your hubby to throw the meat in one of the best pellet smokers morning of the event. That way end up with a meal that has done the hard work itself. You can also make your dessert the night before and keep it in the fridge, also try chopping up all your vegetables beforehand and store everything in containers – then all you need to do is add them to the pan! 

Know Your Guests

Make sure you’re aware of the likes and dislikes and of your guests Your guests will feel disheartened if they end up having to eat something they can’t eat. You also need to be aware of any allergies or intolerances your guests may have. 

Timing is Important 

Write out your timings and plan as best you can. Having timings written down for when things need to go in the oven and how long everything needs to cook for will alleviate any silly mistakes. Even if it’s something you cook often, your mind can go blank when you are under pressure – you don’t want to end up with over cooked veg! 

Provide Snacks 

It’s good practise to have some snacks laid out for your guests to graze on whilst they are waiting for their food. They can also be a saving grace if your timings grow a little awry and you need to keep your guests satisfied during a longer wait than anticipated. There are lots of simple party snack ideas, which can be whipped up in a flash in an emergency. 

Plan your Party

Planning as much of your party as you can, means there is less to worry about on the day. It’s so easy to forget something in the run up to party day, like the drinks or seats or everyone.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have practised what you are cooking before the day, cooking something you have never made before puts you under a great deal of pressure. Ensure you get a planning checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything! 

With proper planning you can take the pressure off yourself. This means you can enjoy your party as much as your guests without running around like a headless chicken.

Designing a Kid's Room for Better Sleep

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 blankiebed 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!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Kids Growing Too Fast? Save Cash on Clothes with These Thrifty Tips

Trying to stop your child from picking their nose or taking off their clothes and running around in the nude may seem impossible. However, stopping kids from growing is actually impossible. No matter how hard we try as parents, we can’t stop our little tykes from growing up.

That heartbreaking sentiment is also expensive. During a growth spurt, you may feel like you have to buy new, bigger clothes for your child every week.

The average American spends about $1,800 on clothing a year, but if you’re a parent of fast-growing kids or teens, any budget can seem tighter than that T-shirt.

Save money and help your kid look less like ruffians with these money-saving tips for wardrobe shopping:

1. Buy Used

Chances are, your little kids won’t care if others have worn their clothes. It’s especially smart to buy used clothes for playing or eating, since you won’t have to worry about a spill or stain ruining that pricey name-brand onesie. Check thrift stores, garage sales, and online swap groups for the cheapest kids’ clothes money can buy.

2. Buy Out of Season

It can be a tough gamble to buy kids’ clothes in advance. What if they grow a lot in the fall, and don’t fit in the clearance winter jacket you want to buy now? When in doubt, go a size larger than you think you need. They’ll be able to wear it a little longer, and you’ll still save money by buying the clothes in the off-season.

3. Seek Unexpected Hand-Me-Downs

Sure, if you have more than one child, hand-me-downs seem like the obvious solution when kids keep outgrowing their clothes. But what if you’ve only got one child? If your little one lacks older siblings, try reaching out to cousins, neighbors, or even friends. When you consider that almost 75%of consumers tell their friends about a business just because of a sign, it's easy to see that helping your neighbors out with hand-me-downs is an easy task. Your child’s classmate may have an older brother with clothes to spare. You could even start your own clothing swap group with a few friends to help everyone save some cash!

Kids are great, but clothing them can be expensive. Save a few bucks this year by finding cheaper ways to keep your rugrats warm and covered up. With these tips, your budget will be able to handle even the most dramatic growth spurts.