It’s Time to Get in Back to School Mode

I am a little upset that back to school is starting in about a week here, but my middle child is ecstatic. He cannot wait to get back into the swing of a school routine and to catch up with all of his friends that he hasn’t’ seen since last school year. While back to school season is fun for some and a sad time for others, it’s a great way to get yourself back into a routine. Today I’m sharing some tips on how to get in back to school mode, no matter if you’re happy or sad about this transition out of summer break.

It’s Time to Get in Back to School Mode

School Supplies

For starters, you’ll have to think about shopping for back to school supplies and clothes. I have three kids, one attends VLACS which is an online charter school so that child doesn’t need any major school supplies. The other two children certainly need some school supplies. I have to find our school supply list, I believe it’s on the SAU website for local parents. Amazon has a Back to School Supply List for you on their website, in case you can’t find yours.

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Dealing with Anxiety

My youngest child has major anxiety with school, I am not sure what happened but for the last couple of years, he’s been pretty rough when it comes to going to school and even talking about school. He gets very anxious and I always feel bad, but on the other hand, he needs to attend school. I work to slowly bring up the subject of school, discuss the importance of it and he just keeps saying one more year. He wants to attend the online charter school that his oldest sibling does, but we aren’t sure yet.

School Clothes

I have never really been that mom who buys her children a new wardrobe every new school year. I often purchase one or two outfits for each child so that they at least have something new, but otherwise, I am simple. If the children don’t need new clothes, then they don’t get new clothes. I feel it’s a waste of money to buy new clothes every year when the old ones are still in good shape and fit the children just fine. If you must buy new school clothes, there are many deals online for this.

The back to school season is difficult for me this year, as our life is slightly different than it’s ever been. The children aren’t under the same roof as me and I’m going to have to figure out the whole bedtime routine with my ex-husband for our younger two if I don’t get us under one roof in the next week. Even though back to school season is odd this year for us, it’s still going to be a fun time because these children have parents who love and care for them. We will work this week towards doing some back to school shopping and preparation for a new back to school routine as we reside under separate roofs for a brief amount of time.

Improve your Studies or Learn New Skills Through Online Learning Apps

These days, people carry their smartphone everywhere with them. Many people will tell you that they cannot do without a smartphone. When they do not have their smartphone with them, they feel totally lost. Our smartphone has become a part of us and without it, we feel as if something important is missing and we are incomplete without it.

Our smartphone has become a very useful item to us. We stay in contact with family members, friends, colleagues, and people we know. Of course, there are times when people whom we do not know call to promote better deals or trying to sell something to us. We can use our phone as an alarm clock, we set reminders to remind us of important appointments or things we need to do, etc. We also use our phone to take snapshots at any time and anywhere to capture sweet memories.

Besides all these little things we can do with our smartphone, we can also download other additional apps onto our phone. Some apps are free for download but some are not free and users will have to pay to download them. I am sure many enjoy playing games on their smartphones. There are all kinds of games that users can download from Google Play store. Thanks to Google Play, we have a wide selection of apps to download and use, depending on requirement.

Improve your studies or learn new skills through online learning apps

Do you know that we can also download through Google Play tutoring app to help you or your children with their studies? You can choose from any of the free download tutoring apps made available on Google Play. You can try out the app using the trial period before committing to a subscription. Choose the app to meet yours or your kid’s needs, according to their age or year in school. These free learning apps are useful in helping and guiding your kid’s in their studies and improve their performance, especially in the weak subjects.

Improve your studies or learn new skills through online learning apps

One of the popular apps is The Great Courses Plus.  Subscribers will have access to over 8,000 educational videos taught by experts, professors, and instructors from all over the world for streaming online. Subscribers can choose and learn subjects such as science, history, or maths, etc. The learning maths online app itself has 20 over maths courses, 500 over extraordinary lectures.

Besides school subjects, there are also other interesting courses including travel, philosophy and religion, health, hobby, cooking, and even photography to help you brush up on your skills in a specific field.

 

Dealing With Death: What To Do When A Family Member Passes Away

 

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Death is one of the only constants in life, this is both sad and true. We don’t like thinking about it, we don’t like talking about it, and this inevitably leads to us struggling to cope with it. When a family member dies, it will be heartbreaking for everyone. But, it’s even worse when you’re totally unprepared for everything that follows. You heap additional stress and worry on your family, making the whole situation a hundred times harder for everyone.

So, while you might not like to talk about it, understanding what to do when a family member passes away will be helpful. Here are some things you need to think about and might not be aware of:

Organize The Funeral

Organizing a funeral is a lot harder than most people think. It’s also incredibly expensive, and you can go here to see the average funeral costs today. You have to do everything from choosing the location to designing the headstone. It’s easily the worst part of dealing with death as you don’t want to go through all of this. But, if you can prepare in advance it will help you. As weird as it may sound, having a few places in mind for the ceremony and wake, along with a headstone company, will help you when the time eventually comes around.

Write An Obituary

It’s customary to write an obituary for a loved one when they pass away. This is basically a short paragraph that explains the person died and informs others when the funeral is. Obituaries are often posted in local newspapers to get the word out about the funeral service and so other people can pay their respects. But, they can also appear online, and you can click here for more info on how to do that. Either way, you need to write one if you want people to attend the funeral. People will often send sympathy flowers to your family upon reading it too, it’s just the easiest way of getting an announcement out there.

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Support Your Children

It’s so important that you provide as much support as possible to your children during this time. They can be incredibly upset and have trouble dealing with their emotions. This is where great parents come into their own as you’re able to provide the emotional support they need to get through this. There are a few things I mentioned in this article here that can be applied to this situation. Primarily, showing love and affection as well as offering advice. Don’t neglect your children’s feelings, regardless of how old they might be. Even kids in their teenage years struggle with death, make sure you’re there to lend a helping hand.

If you learn how to deal with death, it will be less traumatic for your family. No doubt the situation will still be heartbreaking, but you should be in more control. Believe me, I don’t enjoy thinking about this topic either. However, there’s no point avoiding it as we will all go through this experience at some point.

When You’re Feeling Stretched Thin it is Time to Take a Moment for Yourself

Appointments, practice, carpooling, shopping, reminding, cooking, cleaning, consoling – a mother’s work is never done. Sure, it’s rewarding to finally hear a “Thanks, Mom!” or see your little ones grow into full-fledged individuals ready to slowly take responsibility for their daily lives.

Take a Moment for Yourself

A REAL Break 

But in the meantime, start thinking about your birthday, or Mother’s Day. Just a few times a year when you can guiltlessly ask for a little time off from the family grind. Such occasions are the perfect time to treat yourself to a short vacation.

But we’re not talking about an evening off to see a movie with your friends. Rather, this would be the perfect time to catch up with old college friends, or other moms who could really use some respite, and whisk yourselves away to a new destination where you can unwind.

Here are four U.S. cities you should consider, and why they’re great mom getaways. 

  1. Portland

Nature, art, wine, hotels – Portland is a real up-and-comer in terms of where to go next. If cityscapes aren’t your bag, you and your friends can take a daylong wine tour through the Willamette Valley. You’ll be picked up in the city and given a scenic sipping tour with exceptional views of the Cascade mountains.

There are also a number of boutique hotels who are known for rare pleasures like tea services, as well as rooftop bars, theaters, and more. 

  1. Dallas

Got a little money to burn? Here’s a secret: Dallas, Texas is a shopaholics’ mecca. Book your suite at a Marriott and Uber down to the flagship Neiman Marcus on main Street. The historic building offers personal stylists, trunk shows, an espresso bar, and salon services.

From there, you can visit Highland Park Village, Dallas’ premier shopping plaza with stores like Chanel, Etro, Diane von Furstenberg, Hermes, and Dior. 

  1. New Orleans

If you and your girls really want to cut loose, you might be considering NYC. However, it can be a little tough to nail down what you’re going to get into without serious planning or prior experience. Instead, book a trip to New Orleans and get settled on Bourbon Street. Live music, dancing, drinks, tons of great food – you’ll be talking about it for years to come. 

  1. Charleston

The best word to describe Charleston, South Carolina would be “charming”. You and your best friends can stay at Zero George, a historic, luxurious boutique hotel notorious for its exceptional cuisine – there’s even a cooking school!

Stunning outdoor piazzas, a lush courtyard, beautiful suites, and unparalleled concierge service that will ensure your entire trip is a hit with the whole crew.

Sounds so good that you won’t want to leave, right? Well, one of the most unexpected benefits of taking this time for yourself is that when you return, you’ll feel like a whole new person. Distressed, recollected, and renewed, you’ll get back to life the way it once was – except better!

Tech Hobbies To Encourage In Your Kids

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Technology gets a lot of stick when it comes to its relationship with your kids. OK, so sure, there are some bad points to consider, but if you are a Luddite in these modern times, I’m afraid to say there’s no doubt your children are missing out. Technology gives them a whole bunch of fantastic opportunities, which you or I may not have had when we were kids. Let’s take a closer look at the sort of thing you can encourage – all thanks to the wonders of modern tech.

Coding

First and foremost, if your kids get enthused by coding, who knows where it might take them? The world is literally their oyster if you can get them excited to learn the fundamentals of coding and create incredible apps, systems, games or websites, and the earlier they start, the better. There’s a massive push toward getting kids into technology, and in particular, lots of options that will show them the ropes. Pick up a Raspberry Pi, and get them into services like Tynker or Kodable.

Music

It wasn’t too long ago that kids had a choice between a traditional instrument or nothing when it came to learning music. But these days, it’s another story entirely. Every iPad comes equipped with the brilliant Garage Band, where your kids can create tunes of any kind. There are smartphone apps, too, like Crayola DJ and Sesame Street Make Music. And once they have made their first album, you can even use a professional audio CD service, order in bulk, and send everyone in the family a copy – or two. There’s never been a better time for kids to get involved in music, and who knows – perhaps your little one will end up being the next Mozart?

Gaming

Too much gaming can be damaging for little ones, of course. But there are benefits to gaming, as well. Not only will children start developing skills like coordination and reflexes, but gaming is problem-solving in its most basic form. And if they are good at what they do, they could even compete – some of the pro-gamers around these days earn an astonishing amount of money.

TV

OK, so no more than two hours of TV on any given day – that’s a given. But when your kids are sat in front of the box, what are they actually watching? Shows like Bill Nye, the Science Guy are well worth watching, and you have the likes of Horrible Histories for those that prefer culture over physics. Common Sense Media have a formidable list of TV shows that will ensure your child is actually learning something, rather than just be a passive participant of the technology they use.

Art

Finally, let’s move back to your smartphone or tablet. If your child has a passion for drawing or painting – and which children don’t! – there are plenty of options when it comes to tech. Color & Draw For Kids, Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter, and Doodlecast for Kids are all excellent outlets for budding Monets.

Any more tech hobby ideas for kids? Let everyone know about them in the comments!

 

The Importance Of Protecting Your Home From The Elements

The Importance Of Protecting Your Home From The Elements

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What is the reason you own a home for? Is it to provide loving experiences, shared by all your family members? Is it so you have a place to house all of your belongings? Is it so you have a place to lay your head at night, so you can comfortably sleep and begin the next day refreshed? Or, is it to protect yourself as a shelter from the elements outside?

Of course, it is likely all of these reasons in one, but there’s no denying that last part is the one with the most immediate priority. Our homes are often so beautiful and refined compared to the shelters crafted by humans in the far past that we forget their primary and sole purpose – to keep us safe from an unpredictable outside world. Not only do the walls help keep us in, but they help keep everything else outside.

For that reason, protecting your home from the elements should be carefully considered, and not taken for granted. Of course, no amount of preparation can prepare your home for the unfortunate issues which took place in Florida and the Caribbean in recent weeks, but a little foresight can surely help some of the most commonly insidious and preventable issues from arising.

Here are some tips for the budding homeowner:

Water

Water can enter your property in many different ways. From leaky taps to flooding, to appliances going haywire, sometimes we are dumped with a little more moisture than we’d like. Solving this can be an issue, especially when you don’t have the tools to best remove the issue. For this reason, it’s best to use a sump pump such as those found here https://www.crawlspacecharlotte.com/sump-pump/, which installed under the foundations, can give you a perfect draining solution to solve the problems in a matter of minutes.

However, water damage doesn’t always enter the bottom or basement floors of your property. A leaky roof or a poorly insulated window can both contribute to letting the rain in, especially when it’s falling with some intensity. It’s important to be wise about the solution you use here. Applying better and more insulated roofing felt in the property, as well as using silicon applications to overcome any insulation issues is sometimes the best place to start. 

Damp

Damp can arise similarly. Cold air outside can lead to excess moisture inside, and if this doesn’t have any way to escape the heat simply piles upon your walls, window fixtures and potentially electrical implements as moist mould. This can grow over time and lead to spores which can, in their worst estimation, make you very sick. Damp prevention is usually easy, but it will require a stern eye, good ventilation, and a solid understanding of the fault points that are most likely to carry its symptoms around your home. This is more a reaction to an outside element than one inside, but the validity of preparing for it is no less important.

With these simple tips, you are sure to have a leg up in repairing the potential damage of your home, and preserving its value and safety.

 

 

5 Ways to Support Those Closest to You

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Providing support to those closest to you is an integral part of being a good friend or family member. Any kind of relationship should be a two-way street, so you want the support that you give to be reciprocated. In this post, we will look at five ways that you can provide support to the people closest to you both emotionally and practically.

Be Available to Listen and Offer Advice 

Sometimes, simply the act of listening to someone can make a world of difference to their emotional wellbeing. So, by making yourself available, you have already taken a big step in supporting those closest to you. Sometimes, you may want to go one step further and provide advice relating to the specific situation and circumstances. But remember, when you are providing advice you should try to make it as uncritical and unbiased as you can – though sometimes this may prove to be difficult if you are emotionally involved.

Offer Practical Support

Some situations will call for practical support rather as well as emotional support. It may be something as simple as running a few errands to take a bit of stress away from the person so they are free to focus on bigger issues. There also may be other things that you can arrange such as insurance details – take a look at termlifeinsurance.co for some more information if you are in need of it. Helping out in any practical way you can make the world of difference to those closest to you.

Support the Decision-Making Process 

Depending on what situation your loved one is in, the decisions that they take could have a big impact on their life. So, you can provide support with the actual decision-making process, talking through the different options with them and what the possible consequences may be. It often helps to have another perspective on a problem and this is exactly what you can provide.

Show Love and Affection

On some occasions, it is just love and affection that the other person is looking for rather than advice or practical support, but this is not less important than the other two things that we have spoken about. In difficult situations, it is often enough to know that someone cares about you and is on your side.

Be a Person Who They Want to Turn to 

Once you have shown yourself to be a supportive presence in their life, your loved one is much more likely to come back to you. Simply knowing that you have a person to turn to in difficult situations can be a huge relief, and you are much more likely to establish a relationship that allows you to go to them when you are in trouble.

Providing support for those closest to you is a central pillar of any relationship, and these five methods can help you to give the support that your loved one is looking for.

Time To Take Control: What Can Be Forgotten Now You Are A Parent

Getting that positive pregnancy test, welcoming a newborn into your life, and becoming a parent for the first, second, third or whatever time is always a remarkable and amazing experience. You become entered into a bubble, a special club, that only you and other parents understand. The sleep deprivation, the overwhelming feeling of love, and the fact you no longer mind the look and smell of dirty nappies. However, because we can become embroiled in the world of parenthood, there can be a few things we simply forget to do or even think about. Even though they may impact our family in the future. I thought I would share with you what some of them are.

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Taking out life insurance

While it may feel inappropriate to think about a time when you might be here if we are truthful with ourselves not one of us really knows what the future holds. The last thing any of us wants to do is to leave our partner or our children struggling to pick up the pieces. This is when it might be worth considering a life insurance policy. A life insurance will pay out a lump sum if you are no longer around, some people tend to take it out to cover a mortgage and any debts you may have. Even covering a loss of income, etc. Some people may assume that life insurance doesn’t cover you long term, but this is when companies like Whole Life Insurance comes in. You may be wondering what is whole life insurance, so head to the website to find out more about eligibility criteria. You may be surprised to realize that even with the biggest of issues in your life, you can still secure your family’s future.

Saving for your children’s future

It is hard to think about years ahead when right now you can’t see past tomorrow due to lack of sleep. However, these children grow up so fast and before you can even blink college and university will be here. This is why it is so important for parents to start saving for this as early as possible. It isn’t just about education either. You may want to have money set aside for their first car, even to help them get on the property ladder. We all know how hard that is for young adults these days. It could be a small amount each week, saving any birthday or Christmas money they receive in a bank account, but over the weeks, months, and years those small amounts can really add up.

Securing your own future

Finally, we can often forget about ourselves and our futures, so it’s just as important to have general savings to cover family expenses, trips, and even to help with your future finances when retirement comes along. You also might want to think about getting a will in place now that you are a parent. Every one of us has assets, be that of monetary or sentimental value, and it’s important that should anything happen, that your children and family know what your wishes and intentions are.

I hope this helps you take back some control of the future.