Summer Activities for Kids

Once the kids are out of school for the summer, they have plenty of free time on their hands. What better way to keep kids busy and keep them from complaining about how bored they are than by creating some fun summer activities? Happy kids are busy kids. Even though most kids would be happy to spend most of their time in front of the TV or playing video games, there are plenty of activities kids can do in the summer, from going for a swim to art projects. When the kids need a little guidance during the summer to stay active, you need to find creative things for them to participate in. The obvious choice is to get the kids outside to enjoy summer activities. This could mean hanging out by the pool or beach, blowing bubbles, making chalk art, riding bikes, taking a nature walk, gardening, flashlight tag, creating an obstacle course, playing Frisbee, making a kite, searching for items in nature and more. When the kids are burnt out on the summer sun, there are plenty of inside activities to keep them busy. Some choices include: play-dough, silly putty, simple crafts, homemade paint, creating a birdhouse, painting plant pots or creating things out of Popsicle sticks. The nice thing about crafts is that they don't have to cost a lot of money. In fact, you can pull together a variety of projects for free using recycled materials or homemade products made from common household ingredients. It's easy to make homemade paints and chalk, make animal crafts out of recycled milk containers and use egg cartons for a variety of crafts. All you need to do is use a little creativity. Of course, there are the lazy rainy days of summer that lend themselves well to reading, making a fort, playing chess, assembling puzzles, playing with puppets and library visits. Gloomy weather doesn't have to mean that the whole day is a wash. Local attractions are also a fun way to spend the summer. Visiting museums, parks, water slides, theme parks, aquariums, nature centers, farms, zoos, bowling centers, movie theaters, county fairs and local art fairs, and camp grounds are all fun locations for summertime activities for kids. All it takes is a good attitude and a little creativity, parents can enjoy a great summer with the kids without breaking the bank, whether it's indoors or outdoors.

April 26, 2016

Spring Cleaning

There is nothing more exhausting or more rewarding than doing a deep spring cleaning throughout your house. Let's face it, on a normal rushed week only the bare minimum gets done around the house. You probably vacuum, clean the toilet and sink, wash the floors, do the dishes and get the laundry done. For some, even that is a stretch. But over time, the dust and grime accumulates on every part of the house from the ceiling to the floor and everywhere in between. That's when you need to break out all of your cleaning supplies and get down to business. It's time to reach every part of your home. No surface should be left untouched. There are a few basic things to concentrate on while performing your spring cleaning. The first priority is to clean every surface. That means every counter-top, wall, baseboard, ceiling corner, doors and windows. It also includes those hard to reach places like light fixtures, light bulbs and upper shelves that are collecting dust. Next is to worry about the fabrics. Wash all curtains, deep clean the carpet and throw rugs in the washer and clean furniture. The kitchen and bathroom require special attention. It's time to go beyond surface cleaning and get every bit of it clean, from top to bottom. That means re-grouting the tub, scrubbing tiles, going through the medicine cabinet and purging unused items. The kitchen requires thorough cleaning too, including cleaning the oven, defrosting the freezer, moving to clean under them, wiping off the top of all and through canned goods and boxed foods to get rid of foods that aren't to be used and reorganize what is left. Organizing is another key part of spring cleaning. You'll be amazed at the sparkle of your home when everything is in its rightful place. Group like things together, invest in plastic bins if necessary, and purge any items that you never really use. Last but not least is the outdoors. Giving the outside of your home and yard a refresher will also make it feel and look better. Take this time to touch up the paint on the house, clean out the gutters, trim trees that hang over the roof, remove clutter, reorganize items in your shed or garage, power-wash the house, deck and driveway and work on the flower beds.

March 27, 2016

Shopping Online Safely

Online shopping may be quick, convenient and fun, but there are also some risks attached to Internet shopping. If you are not aware of the hidden tricks on the Internet, you can easily become a target for fraudulent people who look for gullible people to take advantage of. Shopping online doesn't have to be a scary experience though and there is no need to avoid making purchases online, you just need to learn about shopping online safely. Identity theft and fraud are real threats online. Anytime you enter personal information, especially credit card and bank account information, it makes it that much easier for people to scam you and steal your . This can have a huge impact on your life as they run up your charge cards with purchases, drain your bank account and potentially ruin your credit. You can ensure that you aren't a victim of fraud or identity theft. Shopping online safely is possible with a few tips. First of all, make sure the website you are making a purchase from is secured. If you can't tell from the checkout page, look at the company's fact section to view their rules. If you are unsure about the security of a connection or it is not a well-known or respected site, it is probably best to avoid making the purchase. Use a third-party payment system like Paypal when possible to avoid giving the seller your contact and credit card information. Another thing to consider is keeping your computer settings at the safest level, blocking pop-ups and using a secure connection with the most current Internet browser. Use a firewall and be careful which emails you open, being careful not to open dangerous emails usually found in the spam folder. Regularly use a malware and spyware program to protect yourself from computer viruses that can read your information and abuse your accounts. There are some things you can do to minimize your risk of being a victim of fraud. One thing you can do is change your passwords often, making them difficult to guess and not using the same password for every account in case there is an informational breach. You can also track credit report changes and go over your bank statements to be sure they only contain your accounts and purchases. Immediately report any suspicious behavior and cancel any credit cards associated with fraudulent charges.

February 26, 2016