Tag: Tips

Covering Your Bases: 9 Things You Need to Do to Prepare for a Possible Power Outage

Homeowners get weather alerts on their TVs and smartphones when a storm is coming. Most severe storms increase power outages and define how long the outage will last. Steps for preparing for a power outage helps the property owner avoid dangerous circumstances and helps them keep their families safer in terrible weather.

  1. Purchase and Install a Generator

A generator provides adequate power for the home during a power outage. However, the homeowner has two options with generators, and they must choose either a gas-powered model or a product that uses solar power to light the home. Comparing the costs of each and the duration they operate helps the homeowner find the best product for their home.

Image Credit: Pexels
  1. Buy Plenty of Batteries

Batteries are a necessity during a power outage and provide power for flashlights, weather radios, and even battery-powered lamps. Homeowners need an ample supply of batteries on-hand when a storm is rolling in.

  1. Stock Up on Non-Perishable Foods and Water

Non-perishable foods and bottled water are the best choices for a storm or power outage. It is best to choose foods that are pre-cooked and don’t require the homeowner to heat the food before eating. An ice-filled cooler keeps the water cold during the outage.

  1. Fill Up Your Vehicles

Homeowners need to fill up their gas tank just in case of an evacuation. Strong storm systems are often a cause for mandatory evacuations, and the property owner needs to leave as directed.

  1. Purchase a Backup Phone

A corded phone gives the property owner a backup option for contacting emergency services and staying in touch with family. Cordless phones are useless in a power outage, and the owner can use the corded phone even if the power is off.

Image Credit: Pexels
  1. Lower the Temperature in the Fridge and Freezer

Reducing the temperature in the fridge or freezer keeps it colder until they restore the power. It lowers the chances of a complete loss of all the food stored in the appliances. It will also cause the freezer to generate more ice that won’t melt for several days.

  1. Make Your First-Aid Kits are Stocked

First-aid kits must be stocked with vital medical supplies. Experts recommended that homeowners replenish their medical supplies as needed. This ensures access to the supplies if someone is injured in the home during the outage or a severe storm.

  1. Buy Plenty of Flashlights

Flashlights are necessary for lighting the homeowner’s way through their home once the power is out. The size of the home defines how many flashlights they should have on-site. At least three flashlights provide emergency lighting during a storm and could prevent avoidable injuries.

  1. Keep Your Cell Phone Charged

Cell phones should stay charged before the outage. Once they are fully charged, the homeowner can use the phone to contact emergency services or family members. A car charger is an invaluable investment, too.

Homeowners must act quickly when a severe storm is approaching. Preparatory steps for a power outage prevent the homeowner from remaining in the door throughout the outage. If the storm lasts longer than expected, the owner could be without power for several days. Buying non-perishable foods and water helps the homeowner feed their family during the outage. Families that follow tips for preparing for an outage prevent injuries and keep everyone safer.

Beyond Appearances: 4 Reasons to Clean Your Windows Regularly

Windows give us a view of the world when we are indoors, protect us from the elements, and allow us to let in air and sunshine during the day. When the windows are dirty, it prevents the sunlight from coming in and makes the place look poorly maintained. Going beyond appearances, there are four more compelling reasons to clean your windows regularly.

A Window to the World

Besides looking good, clean windows provide a priceless view of the world outdoors. If you stand at the kitchen sink washing dishes, the time goes much faster when you are watching the scenery outside. Anyone who works in an office recognizes the value of having a desk near a window to get mental breaks throughout the day. Looking away from the computer screen to watch the sunshine and trees helps people to relax and refocus on the tasks at hand. Plus, letting in the natural light helps to reduce electrical costs. Turning off the lights and opening the windows floods an area with light at no additional cost. The professional window cleaning Montreal homeowners want is just a phone call away, helping people save time and enjoy clean windows all year round.

Keep Mold Out

Condensation forms on windows, which can lead to the formation of mold. Known as a silent killer, mold is damaging to both structures and people. Plus, the formation of mold is unattractive and difficult to remove once it takes over the frame and surrounding areas. Rather than trying to get rid of persistent mold, it makes sense to take steps to avoid it. Regular window cleaning is the easiest way to keep mold at bay and stay healthier.

Improve Curb Appeal

When the windows are dirty, people wonder if anyone is taking care of the premises. Clouded windows make a place look neglected and old. Washing the windows regularly instantly improves the overall look of a house or building. Clean windows boost curb appeal and make passersby look twice. If the property owner is looking to sell faster, hiring a professional window cleaning service to wash the interior and exterior of all the windows makes sense. Potential buyers will instantly notice the windows and view the property as well-maintained. If the windows are dirty, it could deter buyers from looking at the place.

Reduce Maintenance Costs

When windows are neglected, it becomes problematic over time. The formation of mold and buildup of dirt and water can compromise the window frames and structures. The more damage that occurs, the costlier it becomes to remedy it. Years of neglect can leave windows looking dingy, chipped, and shoddy. In many instances, the windows and surrounding structures must be replaced. Instead of facing that expense in the future, hire professional window cleaners today. Keeping the windows clean and properly maintained reduces the risk of costly damages that require fixing or replacement in the years to come.

Windows are an investment in a home or building. Functional and attractive windows are a major asset and can be a selling point when the owner is ready to market the property. Neglecting your windows leads to problems that can become expensive to fix. Cleaning the windows regularly, or hiring a professional to do it for you, ensures this investment is in great shape for a long time to come.

Combatting Postpartum Hair Loss

Self-care routine is a cherished novelty for all new moms. So, when you finally get to indulge in your hair-care routine and find clumps of hair tangled in large bunches in your hairbrush, it can be quite an alarming discovery.

We are here to assure you that the shedding of hair post newborn delivery is quite a normal process. Postpartum hair loss is a general occurrence for most women in the six months that follow giving birth.

Causes of Postpartum Hair Loss

During pregnancy, every woman experiences tremendously high levels of progesterone and estrogen. Due to this, the women experience continuous hair growth throughout their pregnancy and will surely notice lustrous and thicker strands. 

Once you are through with the delivery, your hormones then begin to level out in the following six months. Your hair remains in the resting stage for approximately the first three months and then begins to fall out. Soon after, you will notice the re-growth taking place, which is generally in the shape of baby bangs along your hairline.

How long does it take for Postpartum Hair Loss to Stop?

The alarming rate at which your hair falls in postpartum might be scary to say the least, but the good news is that it is usually only temporary. Many women experience postpartum hair loss for merely four months, while others may experience it for a bit longer.

Normally, your hair growth pattern should return to normal six months post your postpartum period. However, there is also a possibility that you may be one of those women who suffer postpartum hair loss for around a year after you childbirth.

In case of severe symptoms or excessive hair loss for more than a year, you must consult your doctor.

Tips to Combat Postpartum Hair Loss

You can effectively manage your postpartum hair loss in several ways. However, one thing you must take note of is that postpartum hair loss is a normal occurrence due to your changing hormones. Therefore, you cannot expect it to stop immediately. 

The following tips are going to help you minimize the impact of your postpartum hair loss and will be helpful in gradually promoting healthy re-growth of your hair.

 

1.Nutritional Supplements

 

It is natural for new moms to feel overly worried about their postpartum hair loss. If you are an anxious mommy too, perhaps you should consult your doctor regarding mineral supplements or vitamin intake. These are helpful agents of hair re-growth and stopping or minimizing hair fall.

The American Pregnancy Association approves of the following for postpartum hair loss

  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Biotin (B7) or Vitamin B complex.
2. Laser Hair Clips

 

 

Laser caps are one of the most advanced and effective treatments for hair re-growth. You may consider this as a convenient remedy to tackle your postpartum hair loss issues. Laser hair caps have several benefits, including:

  • It will revitalize your frail and damaged hair
  • It can also reverse the postpartum hair loss
  • You will experience thicker and healthier hair follicles
  • Laser caps treat balding and thinning hair
  • There are no side effects, and the device is FDA-cleared
  • It is an effective and safe hair loss treatment for women ages 18 and older

 

 

3. Healthy and Balanced Diet

There is no doubt about the fact that a balanced and healthy diet is optimal for every person’s wellbeing and good health. For postpartum mothers, in particular, one cannot overstate the importance of a healthy diet, since it plays an integral part in restoring and halting the postpartum hair fall from progressing. 

One major way of combating your hair fall is to maintain the required balance of nutrients and vitamins. You must include fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables as these are the biggest sources of nutrients. In addition, it is equally important to remember that a sufficient intake of water is also compulsory for thorough hydration. 

 

4. Hairstyle Change

 

We are all well aware of the postpartum mom hairstyle, aren’t we? Well, a shorter hairstyle is not only practical and easy to manage for new moms; it also effectively reduces the appearance of the postpartum process.

You may be very fond of your hair length but think of it from an alternative perspective. An adjustment in your styling will reduce the level of stress on your fragile hair and enable it to re-grow faster with less burden. 

You must also try not to brush your hair too vigorously when in postpartum. This could split or tear your delicate hair, nor should you force it into brutal styles like cornrow braids, ponytails, and weaves. 

You are bound to feel overwhelmed following the months after your childbirth, but you must not ignore the issue at any cost.

5. Improve Your Hair Care Routine

An alteration in your hair care routine may also prove beneficial in reducing your hair loss. You might try a shampoo for postpartum hair fall, one that contains silica and biotin along with a deeply moisturizing conditioner.

Conclusion

Postpartum hair loss is a very natural process that most women experience post-delivery. There are certain ways in which you can reduce the amount of hair fall. However, you must also remember that postpartum often corrects itself once your hormones start normalizing and return to the balanced level.

Normal Things That No One Tells You To Expect With A Newborn

Having a baby is one of life’s best parts, it’s a truly beautiful experience, that is unique to each person. With advice from others, books, professional advice and information readily available online, it’s no wonder that parents are able to get well and truly prepared for the arrival of their new addition. But are they really prepared for absolutely everything? 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

Whether it’s unexpected things at the birth, countless sleepless nights because of baby day/night confusion, or more frequent feeding than expected, it’s all normal and perfect fine to feel a little lost. Usually, you will feel as though no one can help, and you’re doing wrong but that not the case. 

There are some worrying yet normal things that come with having a newborn, all of which are completely normal. Whether you’re a new parent or even a tenth-time parent some of the most normal things can sometimes leave you scared and concern, however, you have got this!

Have a look below at some of the completely normal yet scary things about newborns that people just don’t tell you about: 

Constant Sneezing 

For a newborn, the world is an entirely new place to be. Therefore, you need to be aware that their little nose is going to be a little extra sensitive to their environment. It may seem as though your newborn is sneezing all the time, but it’s a completely normal way for them to react to their new living environment. Sneezing helps then to get rid of any tiny foreign particles that may have made their way up into their nose. 

In their first few days, you may notice they are sneezing more, this is because there is extra mucus or amniotic fluid that is still sitting in their nostrils, this is completely normal. If you see any signs of temperature or wheezing alongside the sneezing, then give your health visitor a call as they may need to be seen.  

Jerky Or Sudden Movements

If this is your first child, then you may be a little bit supposed by the way that a baby moves. It’s likely that your little one will have rather jerky movements. Flailing limbs, and jumps a lot, and on top of that, it’s happening randomly. Relax, this is entirely normal. As they grow, they go through a number of developmental changes, one of which is their reflexes. After about three months of age, it will start to settle down. Heard of swaddling? This is one of the most common reasons babies are swaddled. 

Cradle Cap

This is something that is commonly seen on newborns and even some toddlers. It usually goes away very quickly, in fact, the first few months and it’ll be gone. Doing things like rubbing baby oil on to the areas it is every other day can help. Applying some baby oil using a fine baby comb will also help it to lift away. If it doesn’t go you may need to speak to your health care professional, but only if it is irritated or infected. It can be treated at home otherwise and is nothing to concerned about

Massive Poo Explosions

OK, so this is one that you may have heard of. People can’t help but share this story when you are expecting a new baby. However, what most new parents don’t realize is that they are much bigger and messier than you can imagine. Many new parents come across this with their new baby, all to different levels of the explosion, but it’s just something that you are never going to avoid. A newborn is well-known for having a runny and explosive poo, and it just seems to be a right of passage that every new parent must face. Don’t worry though, this is one of the most normal things you will experience with a new baby

Different Shaped Head

You and your baby work very well together to bring them into the world safely through the birth canal, so you shouldn’t be too worried about their strangely shaped head afterwards. Both you and your baby go through a tremendous amount of changes through childbirth and one of them is that their head shapes changes. It flattens slightly because it is malleable and soft, however, this is normal. In fact, it’s needed so that delivery can take place. It won’t be long before it starts to go back into a more normal shape. You should still be mindful that a baby can get a flat head is they are on their back too often, so try to lay them on the front and sides too. 

A Surprising Amount Of Hair 

If your little one is hairier than you expected don’t worry. As well as having hair on their head, a baby is born with more hair on their body than most parents expect. You will notice it on their back, shoulders, and even their feet. This is known as lanugo, it’s the first type of body hair made. Lanugo plays a crucial role in regulating a babies temperature in the womb. It’s certainly nothing to stress about, it will soon come away, and you won’t even notice it happening. Babies will lose most of the hair they are born with, including the hair on their head. Don’t panic though it luckily starts to grow back. Some quicker than others, but it does return. 

Spotty Babies 

This is most commonly known as ‘baby acne’. If your newborn has spots on their face, don’t get too worried about it. It just a reaction to your annoying hormones, and it will soon clear up on its own. You may also notice that they have little white spots Milk Spots’ or ‘Milia’ that aren’t related to the acne. They are just little bumps that are linked to their consumption of milk, they’re more common in bottle-fed babies but they will also disappear within a few weeks. 

The Scary Soft Spot 

Any new parent will be warned about the soft spot by someone at some point. It’s just a small area on the top of a babies skull that stays soft for months after the birth. Its purpose is there so their head can change shape for birth and the birth canal. You have to be careful of this area, but try not to stress about it, instead just be mindful and keep an eye on it. You will notice that you can see it moving, this is because their brain pulses inside their head, it’s a little bit tummy turning, but it is normal. If you have any concerns regarding the soft spot though, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare professional. 

Hiccups That Just Won’t Go

Hiccups may seem troublesome, however, they are extremely common for newborns. It will seem like they have them at every feed, to begin with, and yes it can seem scary, but it is completely normal. Your newborn is learning to breathe in their new environment, their ability to breathe and swallow hasn’t quite synchronized. As soon as they master this, the hiccups will start to appear less and less. 

Although for any parent, some of these can seem scary, they are all completely normal. There is always going to be something new to learn, and you will also pick up your own methods as you get to know your little one. Is there anything that you have experiences that were scary but normal with your newborn? Should they be on this list? Please share some of them in the comments section. 

A Different Kind: 21 Gift Ideas to Surprise an Introvert With

Do you have an introvert in your life that you need to buy a gift for? Why not get them something that will surprise them but will also celebrate their need to stay to themselves?

Below are 21 gift ideas designed specifically for introverts. And, since there are no introvert stores out there, at least not yet, someone interested in buying any of these will need to get more information about them via Google.

1. Mugs

If an introvert is a coffee lover, mugs to hold their cup of joe are numerous. Mugs designed especially for introverts span the range of “Sorry I’m late. I didn’t want to be here,” to “I was social distancing before it was cool,” and everything in between. Best of all, they can be found almost everywhere on the Internet.

2. Reading Lamps

Introverted readers probably outnumber introverted coffee drinkers by a large margin, which is perhaps why there are so many accessories for those who love their books. That’s probably why there are more than just a few beautiful lighting types available.

3. T-shirts and Sweatshirts

If you’re going to be an introvert, why not tell the world about it with an appropriately inscribed t-shirt or sweatshirt? Again, these are numerous, with sayings that run the gamut of “Shhhh. I’m introverting,” to “Introverts Unite! Separately, In Your Own Homes,” and more pointedly, “I’d Love to Stay and Chat, but I’m Lying.”

4. Door Mats

Anyone who happens to be an introvert and who would instead be left alone would appreciate a doormat that effectively sends the message. That’s the purpose of doormats that say things like “Go Away” and other warm messages. And for the introvert whose interruptions don’t stop at the front door, there are plenty of signs that give the wise a warning such as “Do Not Disturb, I’m Disturbed Enough.”

5. Books and Coloring Books

Another item that would come under the category of reading is books and coloring books. Fortunately, if you’re an introvert, you can either read about your predisposition or make colorful noise about it. Some books extol the virtues of staying by yourself and what can be done when someone is doing that or by defining the ways people can reach out to you, such as texting.

6. Throws and Blankets

What introvert could resist a nice, soft throw or blanket to cuddle up with on the bed or sofa once a book and cup of coffee or other beverage has been selected for a quiet evening at home? There are countless types of these available.

7. Coffees and Teas

Any introvert who loves their coffees and teas will have something more to celebrate when they find out that subscriptions will bring their favorite brews right to their door.

8. Alcohol

Even if the introvert in someone’s life is up to their prophetic rear-end in quarantine, they can still enjoy a little nip when it’s needed by joining one of several alcohol clubs available. For only the price of a subscription, an introvert has their choice of beer, booze, or drinkware. There are even complete mixology kits for introverts who need a start.

9. Cookware

The pandemic quarantine might have brought people back to the kitchen but introverts will keep them there. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that will help them make the best of their time. From crockpots to utensils, there is plenty to choose from.

10. Pampering Accessories

Whether an introvert wants to give themselves a back rub or a bath, there are plenty of tools to provide what they want. Not only that, but they can pamper themselves in style in whichever room of the house they want to do it in.

11. Comfy Clothes and Pajamas

Give an introvert something comfortable to wear and the chances are good they might even invite someone over to enjoy the gift with. Well, maybe not, but they will undoubtedly enjoy the gesture while snuggled up on the couch or in bed.

12. Headphones and Ear Buds

What would be better to tell the world to go away than headphones and earbuds that cancel out everything except what the high living introvert happens to be listening to?

13. Aromatherapy Sets

Perfumes and colognes are a thing of the past, but everyone loves the entire home to smell good. What better way is there to make that happen than with an aromatherapy set? An essential oil diffuser works along the same lines except there’s nothing to plug in. Just add an essential oil to a diffuser and it does all the work.

14. Journals

Since introverts cherish their time alone, why not give them something to do while they are at it? A journal accompanied by a nice pen will do the trick.

 15. Nap Time

Even if the introvert in someone’s life is also an insomniac, both bases are covered with plenty of sleep accessories like a sleep mask printed with “Wild Horses Couldn’t Get Me Out of Bed” or other clever sayings.

16. Pillows

If someone has to announce they are an introvert, the chances are good it isn’t working, but for those who need help, there are plenty of pillows with things like “I Party Like an Introvert…Which is to Say I Don’t.” That should get the message across.

17. Pins and Dangles

Introverts often like to be low-key about how they tell others, so pins are often left to do the work. Those that say things like “Happy Alone” or simply “Introvert” can be found on the Internet.

18. Games and Puzzles for One

Introverts have plenty of time on their hands to be, well, themselves, so why not give them something they can enjoy doing while they are at it like games. There are numerous games available on the Internet.

19. Escape Chairs

Furniture isn’t typically what most people think about when it comes to gifts for introverts, but makers have been business creating chairs for lots of solitary people.

Some are designed to muffle sound down to nothing as well as those that make an introvert hard to see. There are even total isolation cubbies.

20. Let Introverts Get Physical

Whether an introvert is into yoga or weightlifting, there is plenty of equipment out there for those who like to enjoy it alone. From sci-fi themed kettlebells to yoga mats, and everything in between, gifts are available in stores and on the Internet.

21. Hosty Clubs

Think gift subscriptions to Airbnb. You get the idea.

What more can be said than there is a lot available out there for introverts or introvert wannabes.

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

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Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

How to be Social While Social Distancing

“Social distancing or physical distancing is a set of infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidity and ultimately, mortality.” – Wikipedia

With the current pandemic that the world is currently facing, we have been instructed to practice social distancing and with great reason. As we see numbers rise in positive cases all over the world, we can’t help but fear for the safety of our loved ones and of ourselves. We have been doing social distancing for over a week now and we will continue to do so until we are told it is safe to interact once again.

Social Distancing

Social distancing isn’t too hard for me to do personally as I don’t mind being in the comfort of my own home but as a parent of a social five-year-old, I know the difficult time will arrive depending on how long we need to stay indoors. This got me thinking on how people interact socially. Prior to this pandemic, I would notice people constantly using their technology devices and not interact with people right in front of them. Now here we are in a state of emergency and people are craving the need to interact in person. Irony at its finest if you ask me.

It also got me thinking why not use this technology that we seem to not be able to live without while we are with people and use it to interact while keeping our distances. Seems simple, doesn’t it?! We implemented a few things in our home to keep social in hopes it will inspire others to do the same while we all observe “social distancing.”

Social Media

The good old social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. These mediums are working well so far and it’s a great way to stay connected with all your family and friends. We have been sharing light stories and posts as a way to bring a smile to people’s faces during these difficult and uncertain times.

Another way to use social media is to use private messaging on Facebook to create group chats. I am part of one right now where we share pictures within our group of our kids, food or just anything positive. It is a great way to remember that there is a world of people out there loving you even if they are not in the same room as you. I have also been private messaging some close friends who are really down with everything going around as I want to make sure they know they are not alone and that they are very loved. You would be surprised on the positive impact that this can have on someone with anxiety and depression. Every little bit of compassion we can reflect onto others does help as I know it has helped one of my good friends.

Phone Calls/Text Messaging

We have been finding ourselves calling and text messaging more to check in with our loved ones. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t call my parents to see how they are doing. When I first got married my husband would ask, “Why do you call your parents every day?” My answer was always the same and it still applies to this day more than ever. “My parents are aging with each passing day and their health status can change from one moment to the next. I always want to make sure that I make that phone call so I can rest easy knowing that they are ok.”

I think it is important to check-in at least once a week or every few days just to make sure that the most vulnerable are doing well. It doesn’t cost us to check-in and it’s the kindness that we all need to be surrounded with. If you don’t like calling people then you can always send a text message especially if the recipient knows how to use text messaging. 😉

Video Talk

There are many apps that allow you to talk over video which is our favorite thing to do. Nikki loves to see people over video as it gives her that social interaction that she has been missing. We are not with them physically but we can see them which is so comforting for everyone. I have encouraged these videos with our close family members who have been calling us. When I see Nikki talking to her cousins or a friend through Facebook Messenger, her face lights up with so much happiness and I am truly thankful for all this technology that is at our fingertips.

We are able to interact with all our loved ones in ways that couldn’t be done many years ago and we should be thankful that we can. My sister even mentioned that we could have a girls night at home by video calling each other in a quiet room in the house. I thought this was a great idea and now it is just a matter of time of actually doing it. This is a great alternative from going out.

That is what we are doing to stay social in a social distancing time. You can stay social and connected by using technology. We don’t need to physically be together to know that we care about one another. Remember that we are doing this to protect ourselves from this pandemic. It may seem like an inconvenience and yes this will impact the economy but it will save lives. So let us stay calm, show compassion, be kind and we will get through this together.

To protect yourself from the Corvid-19 virus, there are steps that you can do and if we all do them we will be on the right path.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

What to Consider Before Renovating

It is a New Year, a New Decade! So let’s start the New Year right with a piece on renovating which brings my experience working in the Construction field into my blogging world!

For the last three years, I have been working for Sherhill Construction and it has been such an eye opening experience. The Construction world isn’t just a hammer and nails. It is much more complex than that and this is why I thought it would be great to share some tips for home owners looking to renovate.

Renovating can be extremely rewarding as it can add value to both your property and lifestyle. However, no matter if you’re undertaking a big or small project, there are a few factors to consider before beginning the renovation work.

Urgency of the Issue

Renovations cost money and if you have a lengthy “to-renovate list” start slow. Look at what items may need urgent action first such as a leaking shower for example. These items could cause bigger problems down the line and should be dealt with first.

Doing one project at a time is ideal financially and if you are living in the home while the renovation is being done, it will be a little less chaotic. It truly is up to you and your needs.

Financial Budgeting

Before doing any renovation, it is best to find out the costs involved in every detail of the renovation. You can speak with a contractor or you can do your own in-depth research to see how much you should be budgeting. The more detailed the budget, the better it is for you in the long-run.

Always set a realistic budget with at least 10% to 20% as a buffer for any unexpected expenses that may arise. When homes are a bit older, you may never truly know what is behind the walls or under the floors.

There are a few financial options that you can undertake if you don’t have the funds at the present time to carry out the projects. I recommend to speak with a financial advisor to see what options are available to you.

Many people would want to save on cost by doing much of the work themselves. A word of advice is to hire professionals, especially in specific trades such as plumbing and electrical. It is the safest route and can save you a lot down the road.

The Return on Investment

A good first impression of your property can dramatically increase its price.

There are many renovations that can increase the value of your home and this is something to consider before renovating. For example, upgrading kitchens and bathrooms are areas that add much more value to a home. There are also other upgrades such as painting and landscaping that can add value but not as much as a kitchen upgrade.

Therefore, look at your home goals and see which project will give you the best return on your investment. If you are planning to sell then this would be ideal to look at before renovating. Always speak with a professional realtor to see the best route for you to take.

Before any renovation it is best to consider all these factors before starting. It can save you time, money and stress by preparing yourself the best way possible. I know personally how it can be when you catch the “renovation bug” but luckily I was able to prepare ourselves slowly with the experience that I gained through work. These tips above truly helped our family keep in budget and slowly cross off our “home to-do-list.”

If you are looking to renovate and not sure how to get started and live in the Greater Toronto Area, give Sherhill Construction a call at (toll free) 1-833-597-8887. Also if you have someone handy at home but they are taking way too long to complete the simple handy tasks at home, Sherhill can help with that too through their handyman services. Just give them a call to get started! 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This is not a paid or sponsored post. Momma Braga did not get compensated for advertising companies mentioned.

One and Done: Our Family is Complete

A family is defined as a set of parents living with their children. The definition of family is the group of people who share common ancestors. Those are the definitions you can see in the dictionary but family is really up to personal interpretation.

To me a family is people who love each other unconditionally. It does not matter who makes up your family or how many are in it. At the end of the day, the love that is shared is what should matter most.

Our Family Beginning

Every story has a “Once Upon A Time” and our family story is no different. It all started when a young lady fell in love with a handsome and sweet young man. They dated for seven years before getting married and it was a rollercoaster of a journey but they did it together. To them an ideal family would be to have two children as it only seemed fitting since everyone in the family were only having two children.

Our wedding day.

Unfortunately, not all families are made quickly or as planned. This is just how life goes. Thinking the struggle was over when they found out they were expecting; however, it was short lived when a miscarriage had occurred. There hopes and dreams of having a family seemed just that…a dream.

A few years after, a pleasant surprise had happen with another positive pregnancy test. But this time, nine months later through a difficult pregnancy, our family grew by one with the energetic little one that we call Nikki.

Family Life

The adjustment into parenthood is never easy and it took (still is) a lot of tinkering along the way. As we grew with our daughter we started to see that one was plenty for us and our family felt complete. It didn’t always feel that way as we were always questioned as to why not add one more child. At one point we took that to heart and felt maybe we should consider adding one more. We seemed to have allowed that pressure to consume us once again and it was affecting my health. However, I quickly realized that it wasn’t worth all the extra stress and anxiety I was feeling. Of course with any life changing decisions we discuss it as a team as it takes a village to raise a child.

Our family of three.

Only Child Syndrome

“Only child syndrome is the myth that only children are lonely, selfish, spoiled, impatient and maladjusted.”

We have heard that and more when raising our daughter. This was a big part of our discussions as we reviewed what would be best for our family. When looking at the definition and seeing my daughter, I couldn’t see it. We don’t see any of those characteristics in Nikki.

Lonely

Luckily, Nikki isn’t locked in a tower like poor Rapunzel was for many years of her life. 😉 We expose Nikki to everything that life and people have to offer. We set up play dates and have her interact with people all throughout her life. She has many great friendships that she has built already in her five years of life and we nourish her to continue to build these friendships and build new ones. She is also surrounded by so many loving family members that we as adults help her maintain.

On the other side, we also personally know many people who have siblings who don’t even communicate or connect with. Therefore, having a sibling does not mean you have someone with you for life as they may not want to be part of your life. A sibling does not mean a life-long friend.

Nikki with her cousin Connor as they embrace each other’s company.
Selfish

When you ask anyone that knows Nikki really well, knows that she is not selfish. Of course there can be moments that she may not want to share a favorite toy and that is absolutely normal as she is only five! However, she is very generous and shares with others.

Spoiled

This word in itself stings when I hear, read, or see it! I recall a couple of years back, a family member mentioning to someone I know that Nikki was a spoiled little girl. Of course as a momma bear I was going to call out on that person. But I stepped back and looked at their own family dynamics and knew they were just forecasting their own parenting style onto me. Nikki is very loved and we provide for her the best that we can. We feed her, cloth her and provide her shelter. There are many things that she asks for and she does not get as we can not afford to give her everything that she wants. With age she has learned that we need to be grateful for what we do have and know that we can’t get everything we want. She is our only child so it is natural that it would be easier for us to provide for her a few extras. In the process, we make sure she knows how lucky she is that this can be done. Throughout the year, we do donations to others in order to teach her how important it is to give back. Many times she goes through some of her really good toys and gives it to others who don’t have any. We even give away clothes that no longer fit to a family who is in need. Therefore, please don’t call a child spoiled as it is so hurtful to all.

Impatient

I am not sure what child is patient with a sibling or not? Nikki can be patient and impatient as it all depends what she is excited for. I know many adults who are impatient as well and they have tons of siblings. Therefore, we knew not to worry and with age Nikki is getting much better in waiting. 😉

Maladjusted

Nikki thrives in social settings and is sociable with all. Not to mention her amazing empathy towards others. It is something that even her teachers have noted in her report cards and we couldn’t be prouder. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and it is one that can be hard for children to exhibit. I have been often asked if Nikki has any older siblings as she is so loving and caring towards others. Everyone is always shocked to hear that Nikki is an only child. I am never shocked as that is how we raised her.

Nikki with her best friend Madison. One of the many friendships she has built.

Momma Braga Closing Thoughts

We support the decisions that families make for themselves. Everyone does and chooses what is best for them. My request to everyone as we end the year, is to be more accepting and loving to one another. Let us respect others and just give a listening ear when needed. Remember that whether someone decides to have no children or ten children, we shouldn’t judge or condemn them. The definition of “family” truly depends on how you see your family looking and not what others think it should look like.

After discussing it all and seeing how life is at this point for us…I turned to my husband and said “I am one and done.” He of course agreed and we couldn’t be happier with our family of three.

Thank you to all my amazing readers for all your love and support. This year we have had 30,000 readers and we are truly thankful!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

A Bundle Of Duties Before The Bundle Of Joy: Preparing Your Home For A Baby

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As if you don’t have enough to do already! Of all the work that comes along in preparing yourself for the impending birth of your child, you’ve also got to look at the environment that your baby is going to inhabit. Put simply, your home is the most important environment, not just to nurture and raise your child, but also to ensure that you have everything in place so after you come home from the hospital, you can hit the ground running. But as with every parent that goes on the journey of having a child, they seldom feel prepared. So, let’s give you a couple of hints to ensure that the home is prepared in every single way.

Give Your Home A Safety Exam

As much of a shock to the system as having a baby is, we have to remember that when our child gets going and learns how to crawl, opens cabinets, and gets into all manner of mayhem, that will be a bigger shock to the system! It’s important to give your home a safety exam, not just so the baby is safe but also you need to fix those little house duties that you’ve not been able to get round to because of numerous trips to the hospital. That way you will ensure that the home is safe for the baby, but also, an appliance won’t give up on you when you need it the most! There is nothing worse than in the middle of the night when you are trying to sterilize a bottle with some boiling water, but the electricity has gone off everywhere, and not only do you not have light, but the kettle doesn’t work, and there’s a screaming baby to boot!

Have a look at your property and take yourself out of the equation for a second. Perhaps you lived in this property for a while, so while you think it’s safe, what is it like for a baby where a dangling switch or open plughole seems like a really exciting prospect? There are things that you need to do, such as locking medication and cleaning products away into secure cabinets, but also when you are looking at the property, and attempt to ascertain its safety, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential for disaster. When you live in a property that is, at best, temperamental, that one little watermark on the wall may harbor a bigger problem. If this is the case, it’s important to get in contact with a plumber, like on mrrooter.ca/mississauga to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Making sure that your home is safe will be easier to achieve before the baby comes along. You may think you’ve got plenty of time, but babies become mobile overnight, almost literally! You don’t want to be full of regrets.

Rearrange Your Space

Another thing you need to do right now because you have the time and the luxury is to arrange the space, not just so the baby paraphernalia has a place to live, but you may also want to turn the space into something more practical. The kitchen is a great example. Look at the counter, and see what can be stored. If you are someone that doesn’t like a lot of mess, finding a cabinet for all the baby stuff is a good idea. This means you’re going to have to rearrange the space and perhaps look at where older things might go. This may be part of the nesting phase, where you are compelled to clean the property and rearrange everything in preparation for your baby’s arrival. But it’s common sense to make everything easily accessible. You’ve got to prepare for the fact that you won’t be sleeping much, which makes the littlest of tasks an almighty chore. You don’t want to be rooting around for things in the fridge when there are so many expired jars in the way! Everything has to be accessible.

Planning For Late Nights, Early Mornings, And No Sleep

When you hear so much about the lack of sleep, this may very well be your biggest fear. As you start to get closer to the due date, your sleep may actually tail off, and when people tell you that you need to get as much rest as possible, this may seem more than impossible. And this means that when you are making the home ready for you and the baby, you have got to think about making life easier overall. When you lack sleep, your decision-making can prove troublesome. But this means you’ve got to learn the cliche of “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” But, when you can’t sleep because you’re concerned about the baby (which is very normal), you need a lot of home comforts around. If you decide to breastfeed, you need quick access to all the home comforts. This means you may very well be relying on Netflix in the middle of the night, but also, you will learn the art of making coffee with one hand! One of the greatest tools you can use is an insulated mug. Drinking a simple cup of coffee may take in excess of 45 minutes on certain days so having a nice mug of coffee is one of life’s little home comforts. It is those little things that will keep you going, especially during stressful times.

Keeping On Top Of House Duties

They say that during the first couple of weeks of a baby’s life that all cleaning goes out of the window! And while you may have plenty of visitors, and you want to make the home as presentable as possible it may very well be impossible to even put the vacuum around! But keeping on top of house duties is something that can be done, just as long as you plan better. You may find that doing the dishes is impossible, and while there’s no shame in leaving the sink to pile up, there is also no shame in asking visitors to help out because you haven’t had the chance! When you are are are sleep deprived, and you would like to tidy the house, you’ve got to work smart instead of hard. A handheld vacuum will work wonders because it’s a quick method of lifting up bits of lint and dirt. That way, you can keep the house vaguely presentable. But remember, even if you are house proud, people will understand that you have a baby to look after, so things can fall by the wayside. But there are little hacks you can take advantage of. The biggest one is getting a bouncy seat or a carrier, and doing a little bit of housework with them strapped in. All the motion could put the baby to sleep, so it’s win-win!

And also, while you might not think that you’re able to prepare for keeping the house clean, you can certainly minimize the overall duties by looking at your household tasks and see what you can do in the run-up to the baby being born! A great example is the cooking! Because eating a meal is a 30-minute task, and one you have to do standing up, you’ve got to think how difficult it would be to even cook a meal in the run-up to dinner time! Batch cooking is a lifesaver. A couple of months before the baby is born, start to compile meals that can be cooked, portioned up, and put in the freezer. There are some recipes on purewow.com/food to give you some inspiration. It’s also worth stocking the cupboards with perishables, so even if you have a spare 50 minutes to rustle up something, at the very least, you can have a tin of soup, or something quick. Eating quick is the name of the game, but you also need to eat healthily. Batch cooking is the best way to prepare meals that have a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. It will be crucial when the baby comes along, and you need that little bit of extra goodness in your diet. Because, after all, we can very easily rely on takeout and other unhealthy foodstuffs to see us through a tough time. This is an incredibly bad habit to get into because it may take a long time to get out.

You may wonder how you even have time to do all of this! But you will soon realize the benefit of hindsight if you don’t get underway. Preparing your home for the baby isn’t just about a nurturing environment (and padlocking everything), but it’s about making sure that you are able to thrive. You want the place to be a loving home, and you will start to get things underway, and you may even realize that you aren’t as prepared as you think. This is why now is the perfect opportunity to get the home up to speed. A baby is a wonderful thing, and it will change your life, as well as how you view yourself, but you also want to enjoy those precious few weeks. If you end up stressing about things around the house, rather than enjoying time with your little one, it will feel like a waste.