Do holidays mean family plenty of shopping, rushing home from work, with one-day to get it all together: Stress.
According to Kathy Roberts of TidyTutor.com, you can do four things that will significantly de-stress your holiday in the days leading up to the big events.
1 Do it now.
Maybe you can slack off later, but in the days leading up to December 24 and 25, try to do the little things immediately. Little pickups and put away tasks. Start to do it early.
2 Pay attention to laundry and dishes.
Dishes. Keep them done. Always in the dishwashers or dish drainer before bed. Use one cup and don’t grab a new one for the second cup of tea.
Laundry. Load in the washer at night. Morning to the dryer. Night fold and put away. You must put away. If you don’t the cat is going to sleep on them, and the family is going to rifle through them.
3 Clear out the house early in the month for cleaning, cooking and company.
Put everything out of your schedule for cleaning and pickup except the living room and bathroom.
Get boxes and put every knick-knack, end table thing, clutter from the entrance way, bottles and jars from the bathroom into boxes. Mark them so you know what is there. Hide the boxes until Christmas is over. When the guests have left, give yourself 15 minutes to toss or restore the stuff you removed.
You might try this at the time you put up your Christmas tree since you will end up with empty boxes. But in any case, you could use produce boxes from the grocery store for this.
4 Create a present wrapping station early.
Gather all the things you need: Scissors, paper, tags, bags, tape and ribbon. Start a list on paper of each present, who it goes to, what it costs and where you hid it. Have an envelope ready for receipts. Then wrap as you go.
Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids
On January 20, Americans across the country will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The holiday presents a unique opportunity to honor the legacy of the civil rights leader and to follow his example by volunteering. However, for those with children, it’s also an opportunity to help kids understand why it’s more than a day off school. Here are some ways you can share the day with them.
Read to them
There are a number of accessible biographies of Martin Luther King Jr. Reading one with your kids is a great way to teach them about the civil rights movement and, depending on their age, to help them develop their understanding of the ongoing civil rights struggles taking place in America today.
Make a themed craft
For younger or more artistically-minded kids, try creating artwork centered around a theme like peace, diversity, acceptance or generosity. These values are all central to MLK Jr.’s legacy. You could create peace signs, doves or garlands made up of diverse people holding hands.
Bring your kids to museums and libraries holding events for the holiday. These institutions often have activities for younger kids while providing informative installations for older children and teenagers. Some places also hold parades and marches you can attend.
Watch the “I have a dream” speech
If your kids are older, watch the speech Martin Luther King Jr. gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It’s a timeless articulation of his message and watching it presents an opportunity for you and your kids to discuss how the speech continues to be relevant today. Perhaps it’ll even provide insight into ways they could volunteer.
Exposing young people to the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. is a key way to help keep his message alive. This year, take a bit of time to share his insight and wisdom with your children.
How to socialize your new puppy
Socializing puppies early is the key to making sure they develop into well-adjusted dogs. Most experts agree that between two and four months old is the ideal age to begin. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Register for puppy class
An obedience training program will expose your pup to other dogs and people, while teaching them how to respond to basic commands. Learning alongside other puppies trains them to concentrate on you, even when there are distractions.
Bring your dog everywhere
Let your dog accompany you on as many errands as possible. Walking your canine companion through town is a great opportunity for them to become used to the area’s sights, sounds and smells. If your puppy is comfortable with it, allow all types of strangers to greet and pet them.
Invite people over
Dogs need to learn how to greet visitors into their homes as well as on the street. Inviting other people and dogs over to meet your pooch will illustrate that visitors are welcome and that there’s no need to protect the home from them.
Socializing dogs is important but it does leave them more exposed to disease. Until they’re fully vaccinated, be sure to keep them away from off-leash dog parks and other places where they may come into contact with unfamiliar canines.
Are there any alternatives to declawing cats?
There are two effective ways to protect your furniture, curtains and children from your cat’s claws without having to declaw it. After all, declawing is a major operation. The solution? Scratching posts and nail caps.
Scratching posts are covered in materials that cats love to dig their claws into, such as cardboard, wood, carpet or jute. A post gives your pet a perfect place to scratch as much as it wants, but the challenge is to get your cat interested in doing so. If your cat ignores its scratching post, it’s probably because the post isn’t located in the right place. Typically, it should be where your pet wants to scratch to mark its territory. To solve this problem, move the post around until your cat shows interest; try placing it near the corner of a sofa, for instance. You can also make the post more attractive by hanging a toy on it or by sprinkling it with catnip.
Nail caps are protective membranes attached directly to trimmed claws with non-toxic glue. These guards are painless, last about six weeks and are available in various colors. Talk to your veterinarian to learn more about nail caps or declawing.
How often should you inspect your roof?
Your roof is an integral part of your home and plays a big role in shielding you and your loved ones from the elements. Though roofs last a long time, they must be inspected regularly and repaired as needed.
So, how often should you inspect your roof?
Most contractors recommend checking it twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. However, if you’re not comfortable climbing on top of your house, it’s best to hire a professional roofer to perform the inspection.
Some things to look for are:
• Soft spots
• Shingles that are loose or curling
• Loose material around the chimney
• Anything protruding from the roof
• Large amounts of shingle granules in the gutters
Biannual inspections are crucial, but they aren’t the only time your roof should be given attention. Be sure to also visually check them after big storms, especially those with heavy precipitation and strong winds.
Your roof’s lifespan depends on its material. Slate, copper and tile roofs can last for up to 50 years, while wood shake roofs last for 30 and cement tiles have a lifespan of 25 years. Asphalt shingles will typically last around 20 years.
4 reasons why you should go snowmobiling
There are over four million snowmobile enthusiasts across North America and this number continues to grow every year. If you’re wondering what makes snowmobiling such a popular activity, here are four good reasons to give it a try and find out for yourself.
1. It’s a great way to experience nature
Few people get the opportunity to explore their area’s backcountry during winter. Snowmobiling allows you to explore hills, plains, mountains and forests while they’re draped in virgin snow.
2. It allows you to access remote areas
You can cover vast distances on a snowmobile and reach scenic areas that can’t be accessed any other way. If you want to find solitude out in nature, snowmobiling is your ticket.
3. It’s super fun
Snowmobiling will give you an adrenaline rush like no other, no matter what pace you go at. Whether you float over fields of soft powder or weave through a forest trail, you’re sure to have a blast.
4. It’s easy
Learning to ride a snowmobile is simple. Just make sure you follow all the safety guidelines you receive from your instructor and take it nice and slow your first time out. If you’re nervous about venturing out on your own, hire a guide.
Are you ready to experience all that snowmobiling has to offer? If so, be sure to book a course or take a lesson nearby.
4 types of flooring for your bathroom
In a bathroom, the type of flooring you use should be water resistant, easy to clean, durable and beautiful to boot. Here are four choices that fit the bill.
1. Porcelain or ceramic tile. A popular flooring option for bathrooms, these types of tiles are versatile, relatively inexpensive and stand up well to moisture. They also come in a near endless array of colors and styles.
2. Vinyl. If you’re on a budget, vinyl planks, sheets or tiles are a great choice. Waterproof and easy to maintain, this flooring type is a great option for bathrooms, but may not look as chic as other materials.
3. Natural stone. For luxurious bathrooms, granite, marble and other types of natural stone make a great choice. Some kinds are waterproof, but others need to be sealed yearly.
4. Cork. Made from the bark of cork trees, this material is mildew and mold resistant, extremely comfortable to stand on and a sustainable, eco-friendly flooring option. However, it isn’t entirely waterproof, so it’ll need to be coated yearly with a sealant.
Any of these options can be used to create a stylish and hardworking floor. Just be sure to choose something that you’ll appreciate for years to come.