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 prevent them from complaining about how bored they are than by coming up with some fun summer activities? Happy kids are busy kids. Even though most kids would be happy to spend a lot 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 avoid becoming couch potatoes, you need to find creative things for them to participate in. The obvious choice is to get the kids outside for fun summer activities. This could mean hanging out by the pool or beach, blowing bubbles, making chalk art, riding bikes, taking a nature walk, planting flowers, flashlight tag, creating an obstacle course, playing Frisbee, making a kite, searching for items in nature and more. Once the kids are burnt out on the summer sun, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep them busy. Some choices include: play-dough, silly putty, simple crafts, homemade paint, building a birdhouse, painting plant pots or making things out of Popsicle sticks. The great 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 easily created items 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 it takes is a little creativity. Of course, there are the lazy rainy days of summer that lend themselves well to reading, making a fort, playing Monopoly, assembling puzzles, playing with puppets and library visits. Gloomy weather doesn't automatically mean that the whole day is a wash. Local attractions are also a fun way to spend the summer. Visiting museums, parks, water-parks, theme parks, aquariums, nature centers, farms, zoos, bowling centers, movie theaters, county exhibits and local art exhibits, and camp grounds are all fun locations for summertime activities for kids. With a little innovation and positive attitudes all around, you can enjoy a great summer with the kids without breaking the bank, whether it's indoors or outdoors.

October 2, 2015

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 busy week you do the bare minimum to just get by. You probably vacuum, clean the toilet and sink, wash the floors, do the dishes and wash and fold the laundry. For some, even that is a stretch. But over time, the dust and grime accumulates on all areas 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 tools and get down to business. It's time to reach every part of your home. Every surface should be cleaned and shined. There are a few basic things to concentrate on while doing your spring cleaning. The top 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. The next thing to be concerned about is fabrics. Wash all curtains, deep clean the carpet and wash or replace all rugs and clean sofas and chairs. The kitchen and bathroom need special attention. It's time to go beyond surface cleaning and get every bit of it clean, from top to bottom. That means redoing the grout around the tub, scrubbing tiles, going through the cabinets and purging unused items. The kitchen needs deep 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 how much cleaner your home will look 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.

September 2, 2015

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 dangers online, you can easily become a target for scammers who look for gullible people to scam. 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 routing numbers, it makes it that much easier for people to scam you and steal your . This can have a huge impact on your life as people make purchases using your credit cards, 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 is a reality with a few tips. First of all, make sure the site you are making a purchase from has verified security. If you are unable to tell from the checkout page, look at the company's FAQ to see their safety policy. 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 shop somewhere else. Use a third-party payment system like Paypal when possible to avoid giving the seller your contact and credit card information. Also be sure to keep your computer settings at the safest level, blocking pop-ups and using a safe connection with the most up to date Internet browser. Use a firewall and be careful which emails you open, being careful not to open dangerous emails generally sent to the spam folder. Regularly use a malware and spyware program to avoid getting 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 regularly change your online passwords, making them difficult to guess and not using the same password for every site in case there is a security breach. You should also regularly check your credit report 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.

August 3, 2015