How to Host a Playdate in Your Home: Fun Activities and Ideas for Kids

Hosting a playdate in your home is a great way to get to know other parents and their children. It can also be a lot of fun for the kids! In this blog post, we will provide you with some tips on how to host a playdate, as well as some ideas for activities that the kids can enjoy. Let’s get started!

First and foremost, you will need to decide on a date and time for the playdate. Once you have that figured out, send out invitations to the parents of your child’s friends. It is usually best to invite around six or eight kids, so that there is plenty of room for everyone to run around and have fun.

When the day of the playdate arrives, make sure that you have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand. You may also want to put together a few simple activities for the kids to do. Here are some ideas:

Crafts: Provide the kids with a variety of materials, such as construction paper, markers, stickers, and glue, and let them go to town creating masterpieces.

Puzzles: A good old fashioned puzzle is a great way to keep the kids entertained.

Board games: Classic board games like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders never get old.

Toys: Make sure to have a variety of toys on hand, including balls, dolls, and cars.

Outdoor activities: If the weather permits, take the kids outside for some fun activities like playing tag, riding bikes, or going on a nature hike.

Make sure the kids stay hydrated and take breaks often to eat some snacks. And most importantly, have fun! The kids will love getting to know each other and spending time in your home.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your child’s next playdate will be a success! Have fun!

Tips For Dealing With Both A New Dog And A New Baby

Dealing with a new dog can be challenging enough on its own, but when you combine that with a new baby you’ve got a perfect storm. If you can avoid this mix of circumstances then it should be advised, but unfortunately, sometimes life offers you a mixed bag and you’ve got to take it! With that in mind, here are some top tips to help you navigate this bizarre new set of circumstances!

Never let your dog play with your baby unsupervised

This should really go without saying, but some people do need to be reminded. You may think that your new dog is the cutest, most harmless creature in the world but you must remember that it is still an animal with a very limited understanding of the world. Unfortunately, it could turn and indulge its base animal instincts at any time, and if your baby is at the receiving end of this then the results could be horrible. Always be around when your baby and new dog are in the same area. Allow them to become familiar with each other, and bonding sessions are to be encouraged, but you should always supervise the interaction closely. If your dog gets used to playing with the baby then it might become too rough and cause the baby injury inadvertently, even if it just thinks it is playing.

There are downsides to the dog as well. A baby or toddler can easily wear out a puppy, especially if it too is just getting used to the new surroundings. Crate training also helps for your dog to learn to stay in their space.

New babies and new dogs need rest

This is vital and is often overlooked. Your baby may need up to 20 hours of rest a day, and your new dog is also likely to need a lot of peaceful rest time. Make sure you keep them separate for this time and make sure that neither disturbs the other during this precious time of peace.

Keep your baby away from the dog food

Babies love to experiment and try new things. One of their favorite means of experimentation is by putting new things in their mouth. This is one of the main reasons why you need to keep your dog’s food (and water) far away from your baby. This will not be healthy for your baby and could lead to an upset stomach or worse. As well as that, anything your dog puts in their mouth, including any chew toys, is likely to be full of germs that could be harmful to your baby. Make sure you disinfect any item or space shared between your dog and baby.

Obviously, your dog could eat the baby’s food either, but this is not usually such a serious issue!

Do some bonding activities together

Your new baby and dog neet to get acquainted with each other in a safe and controlled manner. You should do shared activities together, such as going for a walk. This will help build a strong bond between baby and puppy, and in many cases, the dog will grow up to be very caring and protective of their young charge.

Cooking for Large Parties Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful

Hosting a party is not an easy task. With all the preparations for your guests’ needs, it is overwhelming at times. Add to that the preparation of food, you would want to be special and fitting for all. 

How would you go through it? Here are some tips that will help you to be less stressed:

1. Plan Ahead

Having a party is supposed to be planned ahead of time. With the decorations, needs, and people, everything should be considered. This will definitely include food. You will have to know what your guests will prefer and what would please them. You should also know about important things such as their allergies and lifestyle. With that, you might have to consider alternatives or plan something that is suitable for all. You will be able to know what to buy and when to start.

2. Cook Ahead

Planning ahead will let you know when you will need to start cooking. That way, you will also able to schedule your cooking time. It could be two days or a day before the party. You will also able to know what would be needed to be prepared on the day itself yet also not hassling yourself in one day. And for the party itself, you can just keep the food warm for your guests to continually enjoy it.

3. Make It Simple

It can be overwhelming to cook for a lot of people. With that, all you have to do is to keep your menu simple and easy for having a complicated one might just stress you out and not to mention might also just squeeze your schedule out. You can opt for classical ones yet well-loved. You can also prepare some snacks, appetizers, and drinks that are not time-consuming. It can be those that are already prepared and cooked. It will be just something they will have while socializing and waiting for the main course. 

4. Have An Assistant

You do not have to do all those things by yourself. You can definitely have some help. You could either hire someone or ask for your friends’ or family’s help. It will be your decision to have them in your kitchen or have them prepare for other things such as the decorations and tables or for both. With that, it will be less stressful for you and also make things faster and easier.

These are the tips that will make your cooking less stressful. The reason for this is not just for everything to be easy but also for you to enjoy the party as well. Being a good host means to be attentive and to mingle with your guests. Staying at the kitchen will surely hinder that. Also, one way for your guests to enjoy your party is if you are enjoying it yourself. So at that time, just sit back, relax, and get to know your guests. It is your time for a break, and you all surely deserve to have it.

Three Ways To Keep Your Area Rugs Extra Clean For Your Family

Area rugs are a great way to cover up the floors in your home. They give you the option to retain hardwood, tile, or laminate, but also add a bit of color, some patterns, and some warmth to your feet where you need it. They can be placed in high traffic areas to take the stress off of the hardwood floors that lie underneath. Over time though, they will accumulate dirt and stains that make them less beautiful. You can get a lot more life out of the area rugs with a proper deep cleaning, so that you don’t have to go out and by a new one whenever they get dingy. It goes without saying that it’s important to vacuum them routinely, but when it comes to a deeper clean here are three techniques you can try:

#1: Old-Fashioned Elbow Grease

The first thing you can try is probably the way your grandmother used to do it. First, remove any dirt and debris by vacuuming the rug thoroughly and shaking it out if it’s not too large to do so. Then get out a scrub brush and bucket with some mild detergent and get to work. It is highly recommended that you wear rubber gloves when you do this, as the combination of the dirt and suds can dry out your skin and do a number on your cuticles. Not so fun for something that is so easily avoided!

Focus on the problem areas first, as you’re likely to reach exhaustion quickly when you’re doing this by hand. Once you get the big and prominent stains out, you can focus your attention on giving the rest of the rug a once-over. Make sure to hang it out to dry prior to bringing it back into your house so it doesn’t get moldy!

#2: A Specialized Carpet Cleaner

If you can afford a carpet cleaner they are probably the easiest way to go. They range in size from small handheld devices for spot treatments to large, vacuum cleaner sized devices that will take care of your bigger carpets. The top of the line models will even be capable of steam cleaning your rugs, making them like new in many situations.

The way that these carpet cleaners work is relatively similar across designs. You fill a reservoir with detergent and warm water, squeeze one button to apply the detergent and scrub brushed, and essentially vacuum away the moisture. You’ll be able to see clearly how much dirt you’re removing from the rug by what collects in the waste vessel. Keep going until it comes up clear!

#3: Take it Outdoors

A third option is to take the rug outdoors and use your hose spigot. If you have an electric pressure washer, all the power to you. You can once again fill the reservoir with detergent and blast away any grime or buildup that may have gathered in your rug’s surface. If you don’t have a pressure washer but would like to get one, you can find some good options at .

If you don’t have a pressure washer and you don’t plan on getting one, you can still use a similar tactic. Hose down the rug thoroughly and go back to #1. Scrub away with a scrub brush and make that rug shine. Once you’re done, you can hose down the rug to remove the suds quickly and completely. Once all is said and done, drape the rug over a railing in direct sunlight to make sure it dries thoroughly prior to bringing it back into your home.

Gift Ideas For The New Mom

Someone you know has just become a new mom. She already has the most amazing gift she could ever receive. You can’t top a new baby, but there are still plenty of presents that can put a smile on her face when she knows you are thinking about her. Consider some of the following ideas as you plan something special for a new mother. Your thoughtfulness is sure to be appreciated when you put time and care into your gift.

Gift Cards for New Clothes are a New Place to Start

Your friend has been wearing maternity clothes for months. She’s tired of wearing clothes that are much bigger than the norm. It’s time to try out a new style. The tough part will be choosing the right size. It takes time to get back to that pre-baby figure. Consider choosing gift cards from your friend’s favorite clothing stores to make her feel like she is dressed in her best. Whether she is in the comfort of her own home or going out and about, new clothes can make your friend feel like a million dollars.

Have a Lunch Date

Once the baby comes along, a new mom doesn’t have much time to herself. Give her a treat by taking her out to lunch. Make arrangements for someone else to watch the baby. A new mother needs a break. It might be hard to take a whole day, but an hour or two for lunch can really make a difference. She’ll have the chance to talk with an adult and enjoy the pleasure of your company.

Splurge on a Trip to the Spa

A new mother is going to be sore and tired. Her body has gone through some major changes. Nine months of carrying another person inside, the strain of labor, and the effects of a natural delivery can really take a toll on her. Add long nights of staying up for feedings or to calm a crying baby to make each day more of a challenge. A trip to the spa can soothe her muscles and help her to relax, refreshing her when she returns home.

Give Her Some Extra TLC at Home

There is nothing like a care package at home. Skin lotion, bubble bath, candles, books, and movies can really give a new mom a boost. Shampoo, conditioner, and cosmetics can make your friend feel beautiful as she gets used to life with a new baby.

How About a Visit to the Hair Salon?

Expectant mothers tend to pick simple hairstyles while they are pregnant because they are low maintenance. Coloring is usually out of the question to be safe while the baby is developing. After delivery, the new mom could be ready for a makeover. Whether you take her to the salon or bring her a certificate, she will be able to pick a new style that makes her feel vibrant and stylish.

Offer to Babysit

A new mom needs a night off to enjoy an evening out with her partner. Make the offer to babysit while she heads out on the town. It can even be as simple as giving her an hour or two during the day to let her catch up on any chores, errands, or get some badly needed rest. A new mother is so wrapped up in taking care of the baby that she forgets about taking care of herself. You can remind her by giving her the gift of some time to herself.

Volunteer to be a Housekeeper for the Day or Once a Week

Household chores can be overwhelming for a new mother. It can feel like everything is piling up. She may barely have the energy to get up in the morning after being up with the baby. If she has had a C-section, it is even more difficult to take care of a household and baby. You can offer to do some light housekeeping or hire someone to give the new mom’s home a lick and a promise. Consider finding someone to come once a week while a new mom is home on maternity leave. It will help her to get back to normal sooner. Your efforts can really lift her spirits and take away some of the stress.

How To Choose The Best Electric Fireplace For A Calm and Peaceful Home

Electric fireplaces are constantly improving in efficiency and realism to meet the demands of the market. When it is cold outside, cranking up the furnace to heat the whole house is probably not a good idea. Heating bills are getting more expensive every year. A few degrees extra a month or a furnace running a little longer can mean the difference in your bill by hundreds of dollars even with natural gas. When you want a little bonus heat to relax when you are not running around in your home, an electric fireplace is the perfect easy-to-install space heater you need. The realism of some models also is entertaining and difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

Why is an Electric Fireplace Better Than a Real Fireplace?

A real fireplace can be expensive to install and may create smoke damage, fire hazards, and burn risks. These simply aren’t factors with electric versions. They are cool to the touch and require none of the chimneys, gas lines, dry wood, or blockages that compound the upkeep of a traditional fireplace. The installation is so easy, that in many cases you can simply replace your current TV stand with a pedestal that has an electric fireplace built in.

Models like the Dimplex Opti-V Built-In Electric Firebox are so efficient and realistic that the ambiance and cost of ownership make it an attractive replacement. It uses 3D technology and LED glow logs set to the tune of crackling with dancing flames and sparks. There is a subset of outdoor electric fireplaces that will withstand the harsh weather. These may be ideal for a small gazebo or enclosed patio area. Many models feature ambient backlighting and will put out as much heat as a real wood stove fireplace with as little as 1500W. Many wall mounted models have an on-screen digital control for nuanced adjustment of the ember bed, flames, and heat.

How Do I Choose the Best Model for My Home or Office?

This all boils down to where you want to mount the fireplace. There are essentially five different options: wall mounted, built in, recessed, TV stand, or inserts. You can build the electric fireplace right into the wall if it is a newly constructed home or you are doing some renovations to get the recessed look. Inserts convert your standard fireplace into an electric by providing the internals to retrofit. Wall mounted fireplaces can be plugged into regular outlets and can be used solely for decoration or with heat. No maintenance or venting is needed for a wall mount.

Determine the options you want. Does your model come with a fully adjustable thermostat and remote control to dial in the ideal temperature or merely two manual adjustments? There will be some additional installation expenses incurred if you choose a model that required wiring directly into your household electricity. It is important to remember that these electric fireplaces typically cover a range of 400-500 sq. ft. and are not a replacement for main heating systems.

Choosing a ventilation orientation that fits your needs is also a critical factor. You need to determine if the model you want vents up, down, frontwards, or backward. Although the electric fireplace is not going to introduce embers or open flames into your home, some dry carpet fibers and draping curtains need to remain a sufficient distance from the ventilation of hot air. You would maintain the same level of care for any electric space heater.

The only other aspect to consider is where you will be fitting the fireplace and what sort of decorative effect are you trying to achieve. For most hotels and restaurants, a simple yet elegant wall mounted fireplace is enough to warm the atmosphere and provide some additional space heating in drafty areas. The realism of what is obviously not real upon closer examination can fascinate guests when they see a twenty-foot long electric fireplace hanging above them. At these distances, the fireplace will look immaculate. It may be difficult to distinguish from the real thing without reasonably considering the audacity of its size.

Whatever draws your interests into electric fireplaces, it is important to consider quality in the equation. An electric fireplace is usually listed as a selling point for a home and can add to its equitable value. No matter what model you purchase these days, it is likely to look more realistic than those of yesteryear. Keeping these features in mind, you should have little trouble finding your match without having to light one.

Making Your House Comfortable for Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of joyous anticipation. As woman’s belly grows, she thinks about the baby she’s about to have and how doing so will transform her life. While being alive with life is an experience many women cherish, a pregnancy can be quite grueling. This is why is important for all pregnant women to turn their home into a haven from the world. A comfortable home with all a woman needs to feel relaxed as she goes through all three trimesters is a must. Fortunately, there are lots of easy ways to make this happen. There’s many things a pregnant woman can do to create a home full of tranquility and ease.

Create a Guest Room

A woman who is going to give birth frequently finds that friends and relatives want to come visit her. They want to share her delight, marvel at the life growing inside of her and celebrate every milestone. It’s a good idea to create a space in her home where she can welcome guests even if they life far away. A guest bedroom designated for friends and family allows people to spend lots of quality time together. Fitting out a guest bedroom is easier than ever. Even if the expectant woman is on a budget, it’s possible to find lots of great choices for her guest room. For example, a sofa bed offers guests lots of room to stretch out and feel cozy even in a small space. It can also double as a couch when not in use, thereby saving even more space. You can find options that look great in your home, too. After she’s given birth, the room can serve as the baby’s room.

A Pampering Bathroom

Another great room to use are the bathrooms. Designate a specific bathroom as the woman’s own. Here, she can let calming water relax her aching feet or provide relief from a hot summer day. Fit out the bathroom with items that call to mind relaxation. A special soap along with some bath oils create a paradise inside any small space. Additional details are a must. Use a heated towel rack to give warmth when it’s cold outside. A large towel offers a way to soak up excess moisture. Consider additional mood lighting such as several scattered uplights to give the room even more character. Plants bring the outdoors inside and add even more life to any indoor space.

Comfortable Seating

As a woman’s belly begins to expand, getting up from a seated position can be hard. This is why it’s a good thing to find seating that offers her enough support all throughout her pregnancy. A large pillow is an excellent way to offer comfort support. Many stores have chairs and love seats that are created with a woman’s needs in mind. Use them in a casual space such as the living room or bedroom to provide a comfortable nook for the pregnant woman as she sits down to knit a blanket for her baby to be.

Soothing Music

Music helps people truly relax and feel better. Music may even reach the growing fetus. Many women have a collection of special songs that remind them of happy moments. Create ways to bring music inside the home. Speakers can be installed in many corners to follow her as she moves about the space. Set up a series of tunes that she likes best. Playing a loop of her favorite songs when she gets home puts any woman in a great mood. These are one of many ways to help any pregnant woman make her home truly comfortable.

Choosing the Right Headphones To Calm Your Newborn

Sometimes it is stressful to calm a crying child. Everybody hates the noise of a crying baby. People try many ways to ease their babies like walking around, taking them to shower, and enticing them with some home-made pieces of stuff. Crying babies are stressful when traveling on a plane, bus, and even cars. The entire family members take turns in helping soothe the child. The child will make it difficult when working on a farm or shop where you need to keep the baby down and do manual work with your both hands. Sometimes one is required to employ a person who can look after the baby while you work, which is costly.

It is good to have a plan on how to calm the baby so that one can get time to take a rest. Many parents acquire some headphones for their kids where they can listen to some cool music. However, it is susceptible to have your toddler listening to some loud music. It is not advisable to have earphones that can fit within the ear of your child. You need those with ear muffs which can cover the ears. The baby’s ear-drum can get damaged by loud noise. Thus, the parent should take keen on the volume the earphones can produce. The amount should be less than 85 decibels per eight hours.

Many kids are sensitive to noise. Much noise can cause panic and stress to the child affecting the general body health to the baby. Headphones with good earmuffs can help cancel noise in places like firework displays, sporting events, and concerts. The kid cannot hear the annoying loud sounds in the background. The headphones can keep off the loud noises for children who have auditory processing issue. Kids with autism have difficulty with loud sounds. Some kids will cry a lot when they are sleepy but cannot sleep due to noise in the surrounding. Noise cancelling headphones will help your kid sleep tight even when traveling in noisy places by kipping off the strange sounds.

When shopping for the toddler’s headphones, here are the properties you should take note on;

• Type of protection – you may use earmuffs in winter to keep off cold and muff the sounds. Headphones should provide some volume limiting features, and designed to cancel the background sounds.

• Volume limiting – when you go for cheap headphones, you will find that they do not define volume accurately. The gadgets should have a feature to reduce the amount to less than 85 decibels.

• Size – toddlers should not wear earbuds. Instead, headphones can help to cover their entire small sized head.

• Connection – whether wired or wireless, the headphone should connect clearly to your device.

• Overall look – it is easier to get your child to wear the headphones since they like it when they look “cool” and “fun”.

Time Your Cycles To Plan Your Pregnancy Perfectly

Timing cycles to get your pregnancy to happen at the right time is the easiest way to have success. You cannot absolutely make your pregnancy happen, but you have some tools that help. Read more below to see what happens when you have timed your cycles to know when you are fertile.

1. This Does Not Happen Immediately

The timing process does not happen immediately because you must have an idea of how your cycle works. Your cycle will trick you at times, and you should use an online or mobile app to track your cycle. You learn how long your cycle is, when it usually occurs, and when you are most fertile. The app works all this out for you, and it even catalogs when you have had sex.

2. Use The App Daily

The app must be used daily so you learn about your cycle in a practical way. You cannot learn when your cycle happens or how long it lasts if you are not using the app. The app gives you consistent information about your cycle, and it gives tips when you check every day.

3. Learn Your Fluids

You must learn how your fluids change when you are going through your cycle, and it is important to check them yourself. You learn when you are fertile based on these fluids, and you must check the fluids often because your body is constantly changing. You might have fertile or sticky cervical fluid in the morning, but it might be clear and benign in the evening. It takes only a second to check, and you can log that in your app.

4. Talk To Your Partner

You must talk to your partner about all that you are doing to get pregnant, and they must be aware of how hard it is to get on your cycle and have sex at the right time. If your partner is not aware, they will be confused, and you must keep them informed so that they know when it is most important to make love.

5. Stay Healthy

You must eat a healthy Diet and exercise as much as you can. Your body responds to a good diet and exercise routine better than anything, and you must have a plan for your diet that keeps your weight stable. Regular exercise keeps your menstrual cycle regular, and the process becomes much simpler when you have a diet in place that you know works.

6. Conclusion

Timing your cycle to get pregnant is the only reliable way to increase your chances of getting pregnant on your first try. You cannot account for everything, but you have a much better chance of getting pregnant when you use a mobile app to track your cycle and care for your body. Change your diet to assure that you are healthy, and use an app that gives you tips as you plan for your next interlude with your partner. Anything less leaves your pregnancy up to chance.

Planning for Pregnancy – What to Expect

Having a child is one of the most exciting times of your life. There is much to be excited about as you will meet your child and grow and develop together. However, there are many uncertainties surrounding the pregnancy process that can be aided with some foreknowledge can simplify and enhance.

The First Trimester

Most people find out that they are pregnant during the first trimester. The first trimester is the riskiest period for miscarriage and many people delay communicating about their pregnancy until after the first trimester has passed. While it can be disturbing to have a miscarriage during the first trimester, this is just your body’s way of removing fetuses that would be unlikely to survive and become a healthy child.

Be sure to visit your doctor during the first trimester as they can help to guide you through your pregnancy and the issues surrounding it. They will likely recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin (which should be taken even after you are pregnant) which helps to provide dHA and other valuable ingredients to your fetus as they develop in your womb

Your doctor can also help to guide you through the various feelings that you may have such as morning sickness and various forms of anxiety. While morning sickness doesn’t impact every pregnancy, it can be debilitating for some and learning how and when it tends to ease (typically during the 2nd trimester) can make the countdown easier to handle.

The Second Trimester

During the second trimester your fetus will continue to develop and the doctor will learn more about your child. Tests for various genetic diseases can be attempted through blood and urine tests during the second trimester. Your doctor will also provide you with the ability to learn about your child’s sex during the second trimester.

While weight gain is commonly associated with pregnancy, most of your weight gain will occur during the third trimester. It is important to eat a balanced diet during the second trimester and to avoid cigarettes and alcohol during this period.

The Third Trimester

During the third trimester, both your body, and the fetus, will experience significant amounts of weight gain. The fetus will continue to develop and this growth will put considerable strain on your body. Many women become at risk for diabetes during this time (which thankfully eases post-pregnancy) and you may be experiencing back pain, particularly as your body gets ready for the birthing process.

While giving birth can be painful, modern techniques and drugs greatly reduce the physical pain of the process. It is important to be prepared and have contact information on hand as well as your doctor group selected for the delivery, along with a route to the hospital.

Pregnancy can be an exciting and challenging time, but so is raising a child. Remember that once your pregnancy is over you will now be caring for a new living being that will require a significant effort to care for. Pregnancy is the start and not the end of your responsibility and be sure to relax and save your energy for the post-pregnancy period. You will certainly need it.