Summer Activities for Kids

Once the kids are out of school for the summer, they have too much free time on their hands. What better way to keep kids busy and keep 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 in 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 to enjoy summer activities. This may 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 indoor activities to occupy their time. 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 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 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 board games, putting together 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-parks, theme parks, aquariums, nature centers, farms, zoos, bowling centers, movie theaters, county fairs and local art fairs, and camp grounds are all exciting locations for summer 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.

February 16, 2016

Spring Cleaning

There is nothing more exhausting or more rewarding than doing a springtime cleaning throughout your house. Let's face it, on a normal rushed 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 get the laundry done. For some, even that is a stretch. But over time, the dust and grime builds up 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 supplies and get to work. It's time to clean every nook and cranny of your home. No surface should be left untouched. There are a few basic things to concentrate on while doing 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, lights 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 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 redoing the grout around the tub, scrubbing tiles, going through the medicine cabinet 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 storage bins if necessary, and purge any items that you never really use. Last but not least is the outdoors. Giving the exterior of your house 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.

January 17, 2016

Shopping Online Safely

Online shopping may be quick, convenient and fun, but there are also some risks attached to shopping online. If you are not aware of the hidden tricks 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 they run up your charge cards with purchases, steal from your bank account and potentially ruin your credit. There are a few things you can do to 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 site you are making a purchase from has verified security. If you can't tell from the checkout page, look at the website's fact section 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 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. Also be sure to keep your computer settings at the safest level, blocking pop-ups and signing on with 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 generally found in the spam folder. Regularly use a malware and spyware program to protect yourself from computer viruses that can read your data 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 account in case there is an informational 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.

December 18, 2015