How to (Really) Get Your Toddler to Sleep

Let your little one sleep with the easy tips I'll give you!

How to Make a Mosaic Heart Box

Making a heart box is easy! Check out how you can make one.

Dads Don't Just Wear Ties

Dads play a vital role for child development. Find out how so you'll get to love your Dad even more!

Earth Needs Moms

We love our moms but let us find out what they can really do for us and why Earth needs moms.

20 DIY Loom Bands Bracelet + 15 Creative Ideas

Still can't move on from the loom band craze? Get some more ideas here.

DIY Foodie: Sleepy Bear Breakfast

Your kids will be very excited for breakfast if you serve the simple egg and rice in a creative manner like this!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lightgliders Gaming App Review and Giveaway

If your kids love to play games on their smartphones, tablets or iPad, then this is your chance to win a free membership to an awesome game! Parents are always worried about the kind of games their children download but if you let them try Lightgliders, you will no longer worry.

Lightgliders is designed to encourage biblical faith, promote positive values and establish meaningful conversations among kids, families and faith communities.

Lightgliders review


The game is for children ages 6-12. But it isn't just a simple game. It is a cross-platform world of games, videos and interactive activities which will teach our kids many valuable ideas.

Children who play Lightgliders will learn wholesome messages while enjoying different quests. There are fun characters that they can use for the game.

At the same time, parents can also stay connected through the parent's blog. In this section, they can see what the children are learing every week. Discussion questions are also being provided which is integrated with the gameplay to begin conversations around things like faith, values and important life lessons.

Lightgliders Parents-Blog

These days, children are berated with endless digital distractions and because of this, it appears that they do not have time for the important things anymore. With that, the goal of Lightgliders is to help parents reconnect and to raise kids who know that they were uniquely created to shine.

The app will also help the parents integrate Bible-based information and apply them on their daily lives. Some kids think that everything from the Bible is boring. So, if you have a child who thinks this way, you can make him or her realize that the Bible is important and one can learn that in a fun way.

Lightgliders


Welcome to the  Lightgliders Gaming App One-year Membership Worldwide Giveaway!

Love this app? If you also beleive that this could be beneficial for the kids, then join our giveaway sponsored by Lightgliders! One lucky winner will get the chance to win a one-year membership for the app. So, what are you waiting for? Join the giveaway below

Lightgliders
Open Worldwide
Start Date: June 17        End Date: July 7

Get your own free one-year membership for a whole year of fun and learning! Join the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Pink Heart String and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Rafflecopter and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact kareenliez (at) gmail (dot) com.

How to Build Your Personal Brand on YouTube

Do you have a YouTube channel where you share videos of your crafts, makeup tutorials, or crazy pet or kid antics? If so, you are not alone. Millions of women (and men!) have popular YouTube channels with thousands of subscribers. It’s a fun pastime and, if you attract a lot of followers, you can even earn an income from advertising revenue.

If all you ever do is post the occasional video for your own amusement, building a brand is unlikely to appeal all that much, but for anyone keen to attract new followers, branding matters.

Branding helps viewers make the link between you and your videos. Think about a few famous brands. The Nike logo is instantly recognizable, as is the Apple logo. The aim of building a brand is to help your videos gain traction in a competitive marketplace. If you get it right, your audience will know it’s you across all social media channels, and not just YouTube.

How to Build Your Personal Brand on YouTube

Brand from Day One

Start as you mean to go on. Choose a channel name that fits your brand. Think about what you are offering viewers and build a profile to suit. For example, if you offer parenting tips with your kids as handy props, tell viewers what to expect in your channel trailer.

Your YouTube channel is your virtual storefront, so it should reflect you and your brand. Graphics on video thumbnails and the main channel need to be consistent. You can create channel art and banners using Adobe Spark tools or add your own graphics and photos.

Channel Trailer

A channel trailer is very important. This is your chance to ‘hook’ viewers and compel them to watch your videos. By offering a ‘sneak preview’, the aim is to capture their attention and encourage them to click on your videos. If they like what they see, they will subscribe.

New viewers won’t know what you do, so tell them. Think of this as a brief sales pitch – you only get one bite at the cherry, so make it count. Include a call to action at the end of your trailer and make it easy for viewers to subscribe. Funky graphics are a useful way to attract attention and encourage the viewer to click on the ‘subscribe now’ button.


Write a Channel Description

Fill out the channel description section and include a tagline. Your channel needs a memorable tagline. It should be short but descriptive, such as ‘Why Gin O’clock is a Mom’s Favorite Time of the Day…’

Watermarks

YouTube lets you embed a watermark across your video content. You choose where and when to add a watermark to your videos. Watermarks let viewers know a video is being streamed from your channel, so create a memorable logo that sends the right message.

YouTube branding


Branding tells the viewer exactly what to expect when they find your channel. Be consistent when producing video content and make sure each movie you upload fits your brand. And finally, be sure to upload videos as often as possible, as this will keep subscribers coming back for more.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Utang Culture: Top 5 Ways for Filipinos to Borrow Money

Who has never heard of the word “utang” in the Philippines? Of course, almost everyone who has lived in the country for at least a year is familiar with it.

Debt is deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture, so much so that nearly half of Pinoy adults (47.1%) have an outstanding loan and 33.8% had owed money in the past, according to the 2015 financial inclusion survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Only 19.1% or two in 10 adults have never borrowed money.

Utang Culture

Why is lending or pautang so popular in the Philippines? Because Filipino families need quick cash. The BSP survey shows that people borrow money for food and other basic necessities, school-related expenses, and emergencies. Pinoys also have a lot of lending services to choose from to meet their short-term financial needs.

Here is an overview of the five common borrowing options in the Philippines, their benefits and drawbacks, and some tips to avoid getting buried in debt.

Pawning or Sangla

Pawning or Sangla

Pawning involves handing a valuable item such as jewelry to a pawnshop as collateral for a loan. When you pay off the loan and interest, you’ll get your collateral back. If you don’t, the pawnshop will keep it.

Pros:
● Quick, easy access to cash – Unlike banks, pawnshops don’t conduct credit investigations and require documents from borrowers. Within a few minutes, you can easily pawn your valuable item for cash.
● Legitimate – Pawnshops in the Philippines are regulated by the BSP, which issues strict guidelines to protect Filipino consumers.

Cons: 
Typically, you have only 30 days to pay off your loan. However, you can choose to renew your loan term.

Tips:
● Do your research on pawning services and make sure the one you’ll deal with has a business permit and is supervised by or registered with the BSP.
● Evaluate your ability to pay the loan on time before you pawn an item, especially if it has sentimental value such as a family heirloom or wedding ring.

Borrowing Money from Family and Friends

Borrowing Money from Family and Friends

More than half or 61.9% of Pinoys who are in debt borrow money from their family, relatives and friends, according to the BSP survey. It isn’t surprising at all. Having close family ties is part of Filipino culture, so it’s hard to refuse a relative’s request to borrow money. What makes it even harder is when you owe that person an utang na loob—meaning you have a moral obligation to repay that favor. This practice is also common among friends and colleagues, especially during petsa de peligro.

Pros: 
This is the easiest, fastest way to borrow money without interest and collateral.

Cons:
● Promoting too much dependence – This practice encourages people to depend on their more affluent relatives or friends for financial help instead of helping themselves get out of debt.
● Social and emotional cost – Unpaid debts often lead to conflicts, stress and strained relationships.

Tips:
● If you often borrow money from your loved ones, take a long, hard look at your spending and saving habits and work on improving them.
● If family and friends often turn to you for financial help, learn to say “no.” You’re not actually helping them to become financially independent if you keep on lending money.

Credit Cards

Credit Cards

Three million Filipinos own almost seven million credit cards, according to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines. It’s no wonder because these plastic cards are convenient for online shopping and in-person purchases.

Pros:
● Useful in emergencies – Credit cards can cover unexpected expenses such as medical bills.
● Promos and deals – Many credit cards offer rewards programs, cash rebates, consumer protection features, and other perks.
● Good financial management tool – Credit card bills contain details of your every transaction, making it easy to monitor your expenses.

Cons:
● Easy to rack up debts – It can be tempting to spend money that you don’t have. Impulsive spending and late payments can get you into credit card debt.
● Risk of fraud – If you’re not careful enough, hackers may steal your credit card information and use it for large purchases without your knowledge.

Tips:
● Use your credit card only for things you can afford to pay for.
● Always pay the total outstanding balance or at least the minimum amount not later than the due date.
● Don’t go over your credit limit to avoid extra fees.

Bank Loans

Bank Loans

Banks typically provide three loan products: personal loans, auto loans and housing loans. Depending on the type of loan, the bank may require a collateral or not, and interest rates are either fixed or variable.

Pros:
● Ability to make large purchases – With a bank loan, you can finance your child’s education or your dream house or car. Banks offer minimum amounts of Php 10,000 million for personal loans, Php 100,000 for auto loans, and Php 400,000 for home loans.
● Flexible and longer repayment terms – You can choose from 12 to 36 months to pay off your loan.

Cons: 
Banks impose strict eligibility and numerous documentary requirements. Processing also takes several days because banks conduct credit checks to assess a borrower’s capability to pay off a loan.

Tips:
● To ensure loan approval, make sure you have good credit standing and pay off your outstanding debt before you apply.
● Never miss a repayment to avoid penalties and hurting your credit score.

5-6 Loans or ATM Loans

5-6 Loans or ATM Loans

Having been around for several decades now, “5-6” is infamous for charging a high interest rate of 20% and being peddled by Indian money lenders on motorbikes. Filipinos in dire financial needs, especially in the rural and urban poor areas, easily fall prey to this lending practice.

Pros: 
5-6 loans provide quick cash for the family’s urgent needs. Usually, no collateral is needed, except for ones that ask for an ATM card.

Cons:
● Risk of getting ripped off – 5-6 lenders have no permit to operate and are not regulated by the government.
● Extremely high interest rate – Because 5-6 lenders collect the loan payments daily, it seems that you’re paying small amounts. But you’re actually paying much more because of the 20% interest.

Tips:
● Avoid them as much as possible. 5-6 loans and other loan sharks that ask for ATM cards as collaterals are considered predatory lending practices. In fact, the government has been warning the public against them.
● Consider other lending services in the Philippines such as those from banks and other reputable financial institutions.

Have you ever owed money? Getting a loan is not inherently bad. It can even be a great way to grow your funds, such as for starting or expanding a business. However, many Filipinos experience money problems when they borrow beyond their limits. The key to avoiding huge debts is to choose a loan and lender wisely and being a responsible borrower.

Image Credit:
Photo courtesy of Lauren C via Flickr
Photo courtesy of iiijaoyingiii via Pixabay
Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS via Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Nick Youngson via Picserver.org
Photo courtesy of William Grootonk via Flickr

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

15 Outdoor Activities That Will Teach Your Kids About Nature

What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us, Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you're lucky the ocean.

As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you've not got the luxury of a Summer camp then it's up to you as a parent to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.

kids outdoor activities

Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen and research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of children.

Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental ill health and it's on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside.

Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate natureThis is what it looks like:


15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature

From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there's plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.

An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure.

Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.

How to Attractively Wrap a Gift with a Bow

Whether there is a special occasion or not, it just feels good to be giving gifts to our relatives and friends. Aside from making them feel loved, it also gives us a satisfying feeling since we made other people happy. So if you are the type of person who enjoys giving gifts, here is a guest post about gift with bows from one of our writer friends.

If gift-giving is an art form, then wrapping a gift might be the frame on that piece of art. Just as a great painting needs the right frame, the perfect gift also needs the right wrapping, and no matter how much or how little you spent on your gift, your wrapping can make it look like you spent a fortune.

Read on to discover how to attractively wrap a gift with a bow!

wrap-bow

Boxed Gift

If your gift is in a box, that makes the wrapping easier. You don’t have to be an expert with paper and ribbons in order to decorate a box, but you should take a moment to think through your design.

For example, you might choose a simple, single-color wrapping paper — or even brown paper wrapping — and then use a bright and colorful bow to make the decoration pop. Alternatively, use paper with a geometric design or a personalized message and keep the bow to a single color. Of course, since you’re using a box, you can eliminate the paper altogether and let the bow say it all for the most focused impact.

Bagged Gift

Many people prefer to use a gift bag. They are convenient and come in all sizes, colors, and patterns. When using a gift bag, you have a couple of options in terms of a bow. You can tie the bag handles together with ribbon and run them along a blade edge to make them curl or tie the ribbon ends together to create a simple bow.

If your gift bag is a sack without handles, then tie the sack opening with pretty ribbons and tie the ends into bows. Or, for extra secrecy, roll the top enough so you can staple it closed, and then add a fun and easy pre-made bow.

gift wrap bow

Just a Bow

Some gifts don’t fit in bags or boxes — think car, jet ski, bicycle, or puppy. In that case, you’re going to want a bow that matches the awesomeness of the gift. With any living creature, be careful that the bow doesn’t interfere with movement and make sure the puppy (or kitten or guinea pig) can’t eat the bow because that would be a disaster. A simple collar wrapped with ribbon might be your best bet or you can attach a bow to the leash. Just remember, safety first!

If you’re giving a car as a gift, look online for an oversized bow with a magnet that attaches to the hood of the car. These bows run around $40, but can be worth it to complete the impact of giving such a dramatic gift. Since the bow attaches magnetically, you can use it over and over.

Theme

Whether you’re going to a birthday party, a bridal shower, a bar mitzvah, or a retirement party, make sure your gift-wrapping decorations embrace the party theme.

You can find pre-made bows in all the colors of the rainbow and decorated with hearts, polka, dots, stripes, and geometric patterns. You can also make your own bow using a pretty and unique floral ribbon.

arts and craft bow

Your Personality

Sometimes the gift you’re giving won’t show off much of your personality, but the wrapping still can. For instance, if you picked an item off a wedding registry because it’s the exact vacuum cleaner or place setting the bride and groom wanted, but it doesn’t reflect anything about you or your relationship with the couple, you can use the wrapping to show off your individuality. Incorporate hearts or stars or specific colors that are meaningful to you.

Remember that the gift is for the recipient and should be something he or she will love. If, for whatever reason, the gift doesn’t reflect enough of you, then make sure the wrapping does. You may become your family’s go-to person for gift-wrapping.


Author Bio:
Roy Cunningham is a Los Angeles based blogger with a particular interest in using crafts to add individuality to celebrations and gifts. He’s also an avid hiker, coffee drinker, and dog rescuer.

Images
1. https://pixabay.com/en/present-gift-box-bow-ribbon-black-1209742/
2. http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/static/photo/1x/Presents-Gifts-Wrapped-Ribbons-Bows-Packages-1058800.jpg
3. https://pixabay.com/en/arts-and-crafts-bow-celebration-1867323/

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Moms Think They Fail At Parenting But What The Kids Say Will Melt Your Heart (VIDEO)

When I was younger, I like going out with friends at any time of the day to just loiter anywhere or to do different activities related to organizations we are involved with. During those days, I never thought of having kids and I always had that fear of having one because I think it is tough to raise children.

When I got pregnant with my first born, I was enveloped with worries and I always questioned myself if I am capable or raising a child. Good thing my mother is there to help me take care of my daughter especially in the early weeks of her life. The same happened when I had my second child, I still worry about being a mom.

Challenges of Being a Mom

As we all know, being a mother isn't just about keeping the kids alive and healthy. It is more than that. We have to make sure that they are well-groomed, they get the proper education, they learn how to deal with other people and much more. But no matter of hard it is, we give our utmost effort to teach them everything that they need to know- most of these are also from our own mothers.

Like most moms, I also ask myself if I am a good mother. Am I doing everything the right way? Will my children grow up into responsible and respectful citizens? Did they learn something about the Bible and would they apply it in as they grow up? Am I giving them the right amount of food or are they getting enough nutrition? Am I too strict? Did I go beyond the line when I disciplined them?

A Moving Video



While browsing Facebook, I saw a touching video wherein moms of different situations and professions were interviewed. Most of them are not sure if they are able to give their kids everything that they need. Since most of them are working moms, they feel like they are not giving enough time for their children. They are guilty about it and are even afraid of what their kids think about them.

When the kids were interviewed, their answers are surprising. They understood why their mothers need to work and despite the lack of time, they still appreciate their mothers and all of the children expressed how much they love their moms. The video from Fern-C is indeed very tear jerking because of the responses of the children.

It shows us that if we give #KalidadNaAlaga to our children, we would definitely be successful in parenting. One way to do that is to make sure that they are healthy at all times whether they are inside the house or outside. Aside from giving them healthy and nourishing food, it is also recommended that they take Vitamin C which will protect them from different kinds of disease.

And one good source of Vitamin C is Fern-C Kids which is formulated with Zinc and contains Sodium Ascorbate. With Vitamin C and Zinc working together, our children can surely build a strong immune system. As for Sodium Ascorbate, it is a non-acidic form of Vitamin which is different from Ascorbic Acid. In short, Fern-C Kids is perfect for our kids and if we give them one, they will surely feel how much we love them and care for them.

A Relieving and Touching Assurance

After watching, I remembered how my daughter would give me notes almost every day to express her love and appreciation. Sometimes I think it is funny but at the same time, it is very heart warming. Ever since my 5-year-old learned to write, she would always write "I Love You Mommy" on small pieces of paper or on large sheets.


kid's letters

Sometimes she writes "You are the best mommy ever" and she would make drawings and different kinds of stuffs that she calls "crafts" and she would give it to me as a surprise. I always keep everything she gives me even if she would repeatedly write "I love you mommy." She would also apologize every time she makes a mistake by giving me a note that says "I'm sorry mommy. I will not do it again."

Aside from that, she always says "I love you" without any reason at all. She would just come to me, hug me and say her magic words. Although I am already used to all of this, I am always happy that she thinks I am the best mom. According to her, I am the only mom who is perfect for her. Isn't that touching? I wonder what my son thinks about me. I would need to wait until he can talk since he is just 6-months old now.

mother's day letters

For me, the words of my daughter is an assurance that even if I have doubts about myself as a mom and even if I have shortcomings, everything is enough for her. She even thinks I'm perfect even if I know that I'm not. It is amazing that other kids also look at their moms this way. This only shows that everything we do as a mother is valued by our children. Because of that, we should not be afraid to trust our instincts and just give the best that we can.

For sure, our mothers also felt this way but now that they are grandparents, they have earned the crown of wisdom and we are blessed that they can give us parenting advice based on their experience. With the help of our moms and our motherly instinct, we can surely give our children what is best for them. If you are unsure about it, do not hesitate to ask your kids for their opinion. Sometimes, kids know something that we mothers are not aware of.

Image credit: Featured image background designed by Freepik

Friday, May 5, 2017

Join the Treat Yourself Mothers Day Giveaway!

Welcome to MamatheFox's Treat Yourself Mothers Day Giveaway


This giveaway is loaded with some amazing prizes that any mother or grandmother would love to receive. Be sure to check out MamatheFox's Mothers Day Must Haves for some gift ideas this Mothers Day. This giveaway runs 5/5 - 5/19. The winner will be emailed on 5/20. Come back daily to increase your chances of winning!



Enter to win the GRAND PRIZE consisting of:

(1) Plume All Natural Eyelash Enhancing Serum ($95)

(1) Yorba Organics Family Hessian Gift Bag ($40)
(1) Necklace from Danique Jewelry ($65+ value)
(1) Good Genes sample with a Tidal sample by Sunday Riley ($57 value)

This giveaway is open to US addresses only. Winner has 24 hours to respond to claim their prize.

Hosted by

MamatheFox

Sponsored by

Yorba, The Plume, Danique Jewelry and Sunday Riley

Co-Hosted by

The Homespun Chics, Michigan Savings and More, Mom to Grandma, Mommy and Love, Love, Mrs Mommy, Southern Honeysuckle and Basically Speaking




MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Creative Ways to Display Your Child’s Art

When your children first start bringing artwork home it’s incredibly exciting. You are happy and proud to display it. Then, after a few years, the fridge is covered with their creations and you’re starting to run out of space. You feel guilty for considering throwing it away, but there’s nowhere to put it. Here are some creative solutions to your problem.


Create a Themed Gallery

A gallery of work can look cool, especially if there is a theme. If your child likes to draw animals or faces, frame all these pictures and display them as a gallery on one wall. You could make sure all the frames are the same style and shape or be a bit more random and quirky. Let your child help you decide. To make them feel extra special, ask them to draw specific things to fill some gaps and complete the gallery.

Hang a Feature Piece

Buy a large canvas and some paints and let your child create a large feature piece to display on the main wall. Let them have fun using different colors and tools.

Make a Collage

Display your child’s work while inspiring them to do more by making a collage on a wall featuring their artwork. Include their paintings as well as photographs and art prints. Explain to them who the artist is and what else they did. You could even visit a gallery together.


Upgrade the Fridge

Hanging pictures on the fridge is the traditional way to display our children’s art, but it can look messy and cluttered. If you’ve got a large fridge, consider buying magnetic frames to house the pictures to keep it neat, tidy, and stylish.

Frames

Frames make everything look more stylish and professional. Even childhood scribbles. There are many different options when it comes to frames. You could make your own, restore some antiques, use quirky modern options, or even paint frames on the wall around the painting.

Miniatures

If you want to display all the work but don’t have much space, miniature prints are a fantastic idea. Take photos of your child’s pictures and have them printed out in business card size. Then lay them out on a large card mount, stick them down and frame the whole piece.


Alternative Hanging Solutions

Frames and walls aren’t the only ways to hang pictures. You could hang them on a metal rod, a clothes line, on clipboards, or stacked on floating shelves.

Transfers

Use extra special pieces to create unique and personal homeware. Pictures can be printed on tea towels, cushions mugs, and on other homewares. These also make fantastic gifts for family and friends.

Consider a folder for the pieces you don’t want to hang then let your children help you chose which ones to hang and where they want them. Hanging children’s art is a wonderful way to make them feel special and loved while encouraging their creativity, boosting their confidence and letting their imaginations grow. A small gesture to you can be incredibly meaningful to them.

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Home Office Organized

Your office at home is important to your business. If you can’t find important documents or your office desk is too cluttered to be able to undertake any paperwork, it’s time you got things in order to make working at home easier. The best way of decluttering your office is to keep things organized and create places for everything you need. Here are five top tips that will give you the home office that you’ve always wanted.


Keep Your Home Office Organized

1. Label Everything

You can never have enough rolls of labels at your disposal when you have an office at home. Invest in a good label maker and purchase Dymo address labels so you can label everything. This doesn’t mean you have to label items such as your computer screen to let you know it’s a computer screen, it just means you should consider labeling the different drawers of your filing cabinet, or the various folders and boxes you have in your office. It will make finding important documents much easier and you’ll find that efficiency is much higher when you’re working.

2. Keep Documents Color-coded

While labeling your folders, boxes and filing cabinet drawers will let you know what’s what, you should still color-code important files and folders so you know exactly what you’re looking for. You can use a green folder for anything financial, a red folder for personal affairs, and a blue folder for insurance documents – the list goes on.


home office organization

3. Create a Shredding & Printing Station

Make room for your shredder so you can shred unimportant documents once you’ve built up a reasonably sized stack. Once you’ve read a document and it’s not worth keeping, neatly stack those documents in a pile so you can shred them later. It’s also wise to create a station for your printing needs so you can easily print and label documents ready to be posted without having things lying around.

4. Invest in a Filing Cabinet

A home office isn’t a home office without a good filing cabinet for you to keep your documents organized. With a filing cabinet, you’ll be able to keep your different document types in separate drawers, or you’ll at least be able to separate them by using the color-coding method stated above.


home office organization/div>

5. Store Accessories in Containers

If you have a variety of pens you need to keep, invest in a good pen pot to hold them together so you can keep them all in one place. Invest in multiple containers for other accessories such as staplers, hole-punchers, markers, blank paper etc. If you keep accessories together you’ll know exactly where they are when you need them, instead of them being piled on your desk where you need room to work.

An office environment needs to be clean and decluttered. If you can work more efficiently, you’ll be able to get more done, which is the main benefit of having a home office that is clean and well-organized.

Tips to Consider to Help Keep Your Garage Clean

Whether your garage is just a normal built-in garage or one of those steel buildings at the bottom of your driveway, it’s nice to keep it clean and tidy because you never know when you’ll need to take tools or other items out of it. A lot of homeowners don’t use the garage for their vehicles; they just use it as a dumping ground for unused items and tools. Your garage doesn’t have to be a dumping ground as it can be another place for you to enjoy instead. 

If you’re looking for ways to keep your garage clean and tidy, have a look at some of the information below that will help you in the process.


Take Everything Out and Start Again

If you want to keep your garage clean it’s important you have a space for everything, and being able to create a space for everything will require you to take everything out to sort out completely. Start by taking every single item out of your garage and then consider how best to organize everything. Once your garage is empty, give it a spring clean to remove dust and cobwebs and then consider doing the same to every item you’re going to store in there again.

Get Rid of Useless Items You No Longer Need

If you’ve got a broken lawnmower sitting right next to your working new one in your garage, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t chuck the broken one out or at least get it repaired so you can sell it. The garage doesn’t need to have rubbish stacked in it or items you don’t use anymore so give it a good clear out and you’ll find you have much more space to work with when it comes to finding a place for everything.


Create Cabinets & Other Storage Space-Savers

Home-made cabinets are a fantastic way to keep your garage in tip-top shape. Cabinets provide room for your tools and other products such as used paint cans and car care products. Building shelves is always a terrific way to take advantage of the higher space and there’s no reason why shouldn’t bang nails into the wall so you can hang hand tools such as hammers and handsaws for you to be able to easily access when you need them.

Paint Your Garage Floor

A lot of homeowners turn their noses up at the idea of painting their garage floors, but you’ll find it’s an effective way to keep the floor spick and span. The process of painting your garage floor is very easy and even though many homeowners feel it is an expensive project, it’s actually affordable and will cost you around $30-$50 to complete the project.



If you organize your garage in such a way so you can take advantage of all the space on offer, you’ll find keeping your garage clean is very easy and you’ll only have to go out there once every few weeks to give your newly painted floor a sweep.

Image: California Closets HQSGA Architecture

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Why Bottled Water is Destroying our Environment

These days, we refuse to drink water if it is not filtered or distilled because of the fear of having diarrhea and other water-borne diseases. We are even more particular about the brand of bottled water that we give to our kids. While our children are safe from any sickness, the bottled water that we consume every day has a diverse effect on the environment.

As regulated public water supplies and sewage systems begin to age and degrade, so does the public’s opinion regarding the safety of tap water. In recent history, reports accumulated, asserting that components found in public water supply may, in fact, be harmful, if ingested. This lead to the creation of the bottled water industry. Valued in the billions, the bottled water industry has high hopes of replacing tap water as the primary source of drinking water. But for those of us seeking clean & clear water that is environmentally responsible, we must question if bottled water is the answer.

If you take a closer look, you’ll find that bottled water is not environmentally responsible, nor is it a safer option for drinking. For more information on the safety of bottled water, click here.


Bottled Water Environment

A Landfill Nightmare

While awareness is increasing, leading to higher rates of recycling, less than half of all plastic water bottles used are recycled. Get the facts, by clicking here. This is overwhelming our landfill capacities and could be for quite some time as some plastics can take up to 1,000 years to degrade. Not to mention, that while the bottles are recyclable, the caps are not.

A Waste of Water

From a “water footprint” standard, meaning the aggregate amount of water it takes to produce bottled water, an average of 3 liters of water are required to supply just one liter of bottled water. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in math to know the numbers just don’t add up.


Why Bottled Water is Destroying our Environment


Animal Threat

As increasing numbers of marine life and aviary species are found washed up along our shorelines, we are beginning to get a more complete picture of just how damaging these little plastic bottles and bottle caps really are. Upon dissection, many of these animals, from birds to whales are found to have staggering amounts of plastic in their digestive systems. One albatross alone had a record 119 bottle caps embedded within its digestive system.

Air and Water Toxins

Aside from the BPAs and contaminants found in the bottles of water, we must also consider the environmental impact the production of these plastics make. Environmental impacts report that PET plastics (plastics used for making bottled water) emits 100 times the amount of toxins used to make a glass capable of holding the same liquid volume. Get the facts here. In fact, the production of plastic accounts for 14% of toxic emissions into our air and water.

The good news is, the business sector is making great strides to find solutions for our bottled water crisis. From reusable travel mugs and canteens to the latest in water filter technology, anyone looking to do their part to protect the environment has a lot of cost effective resources to do so.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Amazing Backyard Ideas For Sustainability And Long-Term Functionality


Although we have some basic inkling when it comes to a backyard, we can never be certain whether an idea will fit our property. Furthermore, you might even get something that looks amazing on paper investing a lot of money and time into it just to be disappointed after a few months.

Amazing Backyard Ideas For Sustainability

This is mainly due to the fact that people see backyards as something that should provide them fun and exciting moments. We rarely think about backyards functionality and whether we really need particular improvement we thought about introducing.

In order to help you out, I made this article. Every idea is based on sustainability and long-term functionality. No matter what you decide to put out of these, they will work out.

1. Water tank

Water tank

Water barrels have existed for quite a long time. Having that in mind, water tanks are like children in comparison. Nevertheless, they are a concept that works.

So, what are water tanks? They are a type of water collection system that picks up the rain, stores it and then, with a water pump, drives it to your home. This water can, later on, be used for drinking and other stuff such as cooking meals. You can buy water pumps at forpumps.com.au, they offer 30 days return policy too.

Tank and pump can be rather expensive but they are a great long-term solution that will save you a lot of money. They are especially great if you have a lot of space in your backyard and are uncertain what you wish to do with it.

2. Solar collectors

Solar collectors

Most people see solar panels as something that can be placed on the roof. But you can also put them in your backyard as long as there is a direct line from the Sun to them.

Solar collectors are rather inexpensive nowadays especially if we compare it with several years ago when they were a luxury. In fact, there are a lot of countries that are stimulating homeowners to purchase one. There are tax breaks, subventions and other forms of financial assistance.

And, why should you get several solar panels? They are really great in the long run and will save so much money for you. It is especially great if you consider that this small move will reduce weight from local government shoulders.

3. Gardening

Gardening

Several years ago, no one could’ve expected that homes in urban areas would start growing their own vegetables. But, with the recent recession and a lot of people staying out of jobs, this has become a really amazing way to feed your family.

Planting fruits and vegetables is another sustainable way of running your household. Instead of paying so much money for organic food, you can grow it yourself.

Another great benefit when you have your own garden is that it allows you to control everything. In other words, you can be certain that you’re eating food without any additives or potentially hazardous matters.

Lastly, gardening is something that will keep you in shape at all times. No more need to pay for an expensive gym membership!

Image source: Caterpillar HouseGreen Greenberg Green House and SURROUNDS Landscape Architecture + Construction

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How To Prepare Your Child For Their First Visit To The Dentist

There are few things scarier than a masked person who wants to drill holes in your teeth. The dentist can be a stressful ordeal for adults, but for children, this can lead to teary eyes and an illogical fear that only small children can feel. General dentistry for children typically begins around the age of one, and regular checkups are scheduled every six months thereafter. 

Many toddlers develop feelings of trepidation leading up to dentist appointments. The good news is that with some basic behavior training you may be able to ease the nerves and have a fantastic trip to the dentist office. A positive trip to the dentist starts with proper hygiene on a daily basis, a parent who sells the dentist as a fun place and having a reward system in place to reinforcement appropriate behavior.

General dentistry for children

A great visit to the dentist starts at home. If your child brushes their teeth and uses floss at least once a day, then they will most likely have no problems. For the most part, if a child is used to cleaning their teeth every day and understands the importance of proper hygiene, then they will generalize dental hygiene behaviors to include the dentist's office.

Our kids are constantly taking in information and watching our reactions to learning how they should respond to certain situations. It becomes the parent's job to hype up the dentist to sound like a fun new activity they get to do. If a parent jokes about the dentist being scary, or an older sibling says that it hurts, the child will mostly likely develop anxiety about their upcoming appointment. 

In the week leading up to the appointment, you could find a fun children’s book to read together and talk about what happens during an appointment. In behavioral terms, this is called priming, where we are preparing a child for what is to come. It is very important to tell your child that it will not hurt at all and it will help them stay healthy and not have stinky breath. You should make the day of the appointment a special day, and make it sound like an exciting activity.


For some children, the dentist is an intimidating undertaking that requires heavy coaxing to make it through the day. A reward system could be exactly what you need to have a tear-free day at the dentist. The most important thing to know when setting up a reward system for your child is that the reward should equal the output of effort required to do go to the dentist and behave appropriately. This will vary depending on your child. 

Some children just won’t be able to make it through a full visit without engaging in a maladaptive behavior. One option is to set a timer and every 10 minutes they sit in the chair without a problem behavior they get a 2-minute break from the dentist to play a game. These breaks help the child understand that the appointment will not last forever, and they can access preferred activities if the engage in appropriate behavior.

How to Get the Best Window Treatment for your Home?

Windows are an integral part of any home. These are the elements that make the home worth living, because of the ventilation and light that they permit to come inside the home. These are essential things as they let the stale air out, fresh air in, and also prevent entry of bacteria, fungus and dust mites into the house. 

But, this is also a fact that no one wants an unrestricted flow of wind and light into their homes. They always want only the right amount of wind and light that they require for a healthy living. This can be achieved with the help of the window blinds. The best way is to get the custom window blinds because they give you a great way of controlling the amount of light and wind according to your preference.


There are many styles to choose from as far as the custom window blinds are considered. Depending on your preference you can choose the style and color that you want. The best thing is that these are available in all the home improvement stores and you can easily find a vendor to get these blinds at your convenience.

The blinds are made of many kinds of materials such as:

• Aluminum
• Wood
• Bamboo

The aluminum blinds are very light in weight and still provide you the perfect protection from the light and wind.

Wood is a great material that not only gives you complete protection from outside temperature changes but also helps you make your home look great.

Bamboo is a great material that affords all the advantages that wood has and is also cheaper than wood. It lasts a good time and can be replaced at will, because of its low cost.


Most of the people who get these custom window blinds are most concerned about their cleaning. The cleaning of the window blinds depends on the material that is used to make them. The aluminum blinds can be cleaned using a damp cloth or just a piece of damp sponge. You could use a mild detergent with cold or lukewarm water for stains that are tough, or you could just dip the whole blind into a bucket of warm water with soap.

However, it is the wooden blinds that need a lot of care. Because a lot of moisture can destroy your blind as it may bend due to exposure to water. It is always preferable to get the wooden blinds polished once in a while. To keep the wooden blinds hassle free, you can fabric pleat the blinds. This will prevent any dirt to settle on the blinds and you will not need to clean them at periodic intervals.


The wooden blinds are definitely something that will need you to invest a lot of your money. But this does not mean that people who have limited budget cannot afford to have window treatment at their homes.

In fact, there are many kinds of blinds that are available at lower costs. If you want to save money on your blinds it is important that you do not go in for the designer blinds. If you are looking for the cheapest of the blinds then these options would suit your need the best.

This is the cheapest type of blinds available in the market. This is mainly from China and it is even cheaper if you can get them from China.

These are also cheap blinds. They may be sensitive to UV rays but once treated properly, they become considerably UV resistant. They have longer life than the paper blinds and are still affordable for all the people.

Disclosure: Text and images provided by the contributor.

Exceptionally Beautiful Steel Balustrading for Your Home

Steel Balustrading systems are those systems wherein the sides of the roof, stairs and balconies are made safe and secure using various components. There are many materials, which are used to make the balustrades, and steel balustrades are now the newest trends to decorate your home. Steel balustrades are glossy, they are easy to clean and maintain and you can also customize the designs as per your need.

There are glass Balustrading systems, wooden Balustrading systems, and even wired Balustrading systems depending on your need.

What are exactly steel balustrades?

Steel Balustrade systems are basically stainless steel pipes and bars attached to frame on the corners of a roof and balconies or even a staircase. These are very important for many reasons starting with safety to beauty each and everything is covered here.

They are unique and beautiful and built to provide safety to people and enhance the beauty of the place where they are constructed. So here are some tips and ideas to make a cool Balustrade system in your home.

Steel Balustrading


Ideas to make cool Steel Balustrading systems in your home

• Try to keep a balance between the steel and glass

Steel and glass are like two distinct brothers from one mother and have been used in many places. When it comes to balustrading, steel and glass are mostly used as a covering between two panels of stainless steel to cover the space. Glass being a transparent object one can see through it easily and it looks very trendy as well.

• Always keep the Balustrading systems transparent

Transparent Balustrading is the trend of the day so you can always increase some lines of rods and pipes to make the system strong along with a handrail and then get it fixed on the stairs or rooftops and balconies. As mentioned above you can use glass as well in the empty spaces or you can just leave that place empty as both are cool and look very good. Powdered steel coatings on the balustrades make them stronger and they also last long.

• Choose the best quality steel rods and pipes

A Balustrading system may be very nicely made and designed but if it’s not strong it’s of no use at all. So, when you are making Balustrading systems at home make sure that you use the best quality stainless steel which is certified and can carry the weight of people in case they lean over it.

• Design the Steel Balustrading systems properly

There are many catalogs available online as well for you to download and choose the best Steel Balustrading systems from. Search on the web and you will find the best designs ever and then show them to your architect or designer and they either will design the same for you or even may get something better for you than what you thought they can design.

Steel Balustrading

What are the benefits of steel balustrades?

•Stainless steel is a highly affordable and easily accessible material. Cable railings and pipe balustrades are some of the things that you can make with steel balustrades.

•Stainless steel balustrades are extremely durable and they are not susceptible to extreme weather conditions like snow, rain, frost and excess heat.

•You will get stainless steel balustrades in numerous designs and they enhance the aesthetic value of your home.

It’s your own decision as to what material comes into your house while it is being constructed so make sure that you buy the best in class steel balustrades when you are making your own house.

Disclosure: Text and images provided by the contributor.