Top Tips To Save Time

With Christmas just around the corner life becomes a great rush, especially for the busy person who needs to juggle work, gift buying, housework, taking care of the kids and all the other kinds of stress the holidays bring. Yet there are ways to save time this Christmas for the conscious individual, here are some top tips to ensure you stay on track.

    1. Hire a nanny to take your children to and from school. The school run is a time consuming activity which involved a chaotic dash through rush hour traffic every morning and evening. But if you hired someone to do it for you then you free up time from each side of the day. Hiring a nanny can give you more time to do other things, and you could even do it only for a month or two to give you time to do some extra Christmas shopping. You can even ask the nanny to take the children to after school activities or to look after them for an additional hour after school.
    2. Sometimes you just do not have enough time to do the housework.  Cleaning the house down is a task few savour, and with Christmas coming the majority of households tend to embark on the great clean. If you find yourself strapped for time why not use the professionals and hire some home cleaners. They can really save you some time and give your house that extra attention to detail before the season truly kicks in.

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      1. Some of these tips involve you paying to free up time, and not everyone has the funds to do so, most people are trying to save money this Christmas instead of spending more. However, there are some ways you can save time without breaking the bank. Why not check your route to work. It sounds stupid, but many people take a longer or more congested route. Finding a quicker route to work can allow to leave that little bit later in the morning and get home faster in the evening.
      2. Prepare a food plan, so there’s no more agonising time spent talking (arguing) about what to eat. This way, you can even prepare some food to save time in the evening. The same applies to breakfast, if you blend fruit you can have a healthy breakfast shake, saving you time and also giving you a nutritious start to the day.
      3. Be ruthless with your weekends/days off. Plan your day off ahead, don’t get bogged down in doing things you really don’t need to do. By managing your time you can reap great rewards, you can ensure the chores which need to be done get done first, giving you the rest of the day to relax. This means tasks aren’t drawn out needlessly.

Time is a precious commodity. We don’t get much of it, so the time we get needs to be spent wisely. It may seem strange categorising your time into a diary or palming your children off on a nanny but your life will truly be better for it. With Christmas coming it can give you that extra me time or a few more hours shopping for gifts.

Oh, The Uncommon Things I Find on the Internet!

I have never been a fan of driving through hellish traffic on the way to the mall, finding a parking space, and then standing in line at the checkout counter behind a burly man who reeks of cigarette smoke.  Thankfully, there’s online shopping to save the day and spare me from unwelcome odors.

In my relentless quest to look for online shops that are worth my while, I found another gem on the World Wide Web:  It’s called UncommonGoods.

True to its name, it’s an online store with stuff you won’t normally find in your regular mall store. It offers a wide array of unusual products that are sure to satisfy even the most discriminating shopper. Take, for instance, this totally awesome BottleLoft. I have never seen anything like it before.

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Image source: http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/bottleloft

They’re magnetic strips which hold beverage bottles from the ceiling of the fridge. Even if my beer-drinking days are over, I’d like to give this as a gift to my best male friend. There are more gift ideas for men here.

I’m a sucker for personalised stuff, so when I saw this chopping board on this page on their website, I felt like a kid let loose inside a chocolate factory.

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Image source: http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/personalized-cutting-board

What I especially like about UncommonGoods is their mission which is focused on sustainability.  They prioritize using recycled products, and aim to highlight the creativity of their suppliers to their customers.  As a company, they treat their employees with equal respect.  That speaks volumes for me.

So if you’re also on the hunt for unusual gift items and whatnot, head on over to UncommonGoods.  It’s going to be worth your time- and money.

Relocating Your Family: Make It Easier on Your Kids

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Image 1 source: pixabay.com (free to use and share, no attribution needed)

 

When speaking about the act of moving being difficult, most people focus on the wrong things. What they first think about is relocating all your stuff, signing off all your subscriptions and making the new place habitable. What they forget about is that moving can be emotionally hard as well, especially if you have kids. Think about it, you are sending them away from the only home they have ever known. Furthermore, you are putting some distance between them and their school, friends and even childhood crush. Needless to say, it is your first responsibility as a parent to make this process easy on both you and your kids.

Even if they are very young, kids understand much more than you will ever know. Try to explain to them that you are moving and what that means for them. No matter how harsh the truth may seem, it is never wise to lose the trust of your child only because you have no courage to look them in the eye and say that you are moving. Sure, white lies work for a moment, but sooner or later they will figure out what is going on and you just can’t shelter them from every bad thing in life. The way you conduct this discussion is of vital importance so try to talk to them as if they were a reasonable adult person. Use logic and try to explain why you have to move. It is also wise to point out some good sides of the move.

Be Honest with Your Kids

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Image 2 source: pexels.com (free to use and share, no attribution needed)

Even if they are very young, kids understand much more than you will ever know. Try to explain to them that you are moving and what that means for them. No matter how harsh the truth may seem, it is never wise to lose the trust of your child only because you have no courage to look them in the eye and say that you are moving. Sure, white lies work for a moment, but sooner or later they will figure out what is going on and you just can’t shelter them from every bad thing in life. The way you conduct this discussion is of vital importance so try to talk to them as if they were a reasonable adult person. Use logic and try to explain why you have to move. It is also wise to point out some good sides of the move.

Throw a Farewell Party

Saying goodbye can be extremely difficult, but sometimes the move is absolutely necessary. When this happens, you may want to give your family a chance to say goodbye to everyone they care about in their old hometown.

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Image 3 source: pixabay.com

Allow them to invite whoever they want and make a nice get-together for all the neighbors you are going to miss. Sure, some bonds are just inseparable and in the 21st century you can still stay in contact via platforms like Facebook or Skype (although it’s never the same). Still, you are probably seeing some of these people for the last time so make this party count.

What to Do with All Your Stuff?

First of all, this depends on how big your current household is in comparison to your future home. If you are moving to a bigger place, you may bring all your things with you. On the other hand, if you are moving to a smaller place you’ll need to say goodbye to some of your things. Unfortunately, some of these items you no longer need may have sentimental value and you just can’t bear to discard them forever. Luckily, there is a way to avoid this. Let’s say you are moving from Perth to Sydney, all you need to do is find an affordable storage in Sydney area and place all this stuff there. This way, when (and if) you move again to a bigger location, you can take all of those dear items back home.

It is vital that as soon as you move, you acquaint your kids to this new location. Even if you are extremely busy, take some time to go on a quick tour around the block. Finding places of interest (like playgrounds and parks) or even meeting friends in the neighborhood, will increase their chance of accepting the new place. Finally, you shouldn’t underestimate the emotional impact of this move on yourself either. All of this probably doesn’t fall lightly on you either, but unlike children you don’t have the luxury of letting all your thoughts out. From this perspective, a brief tour around the block in the first few days can be good for your as well.

While moving can be difficult, it is far from being the hardest thing in the world. In fact, hundreds of people worldwide are moving for various reasons. At least you are changing places for a better job opportunity and a chance to make a better future for your kids. The goal that is worth any trouble.

Get to Know the New Place

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Image 4 source: pexels.com (free to use and share)

It is vital that as soon as you move, you acquaint your kids to this new location. Even if you are extremely busy, take some time to go on a quick tour around the block. Finding places of interest (like playgrounds and parks) or even meeting friends in the neighborhood, will increase their chance of accepting the new place. Finally, you shouldn’t underestimate the emotional impact of this move on yourself either. All of this probably doesn’t fall lightly on you either, but unlike children you don’t have the luxury of letting all your thoughts out. From this perspective, a brief tour around the block in the first few days can be good for your as well.

While moving can be difficult, it is far from being the hardest thing in the world. In fact, hundreds of people worldwide are moving for various reasons. At least you are changing places for a better job opportunity and a chance to make a better future for your kids. The goal that is worth any trouble.

Play Bingo Online for Easy Entertainment

It is quite interesting how players can make money online with a minimum amount of investment. One of the easiest ways to do so is with online bingo. Online bingo has impressed people from across the world but there are only a few countries which have legalized the playing of bingo online. One among them is the United Kingdom.

In the UK, players enjoy the game almost everyday with numerous gaming options to choose from and an online bingo community that they can be a part of. Another reason why the game is as popular as it is today is because of the free bingo bonuses.

Bingo Diamond is among the popular sites online because of their attractive bonus offers. On every deposit, a player is rewarded with additional bonuses which can then be used to play more games.

Here, new players can win bonuses of 200% on their first deposit along with free spins on slot games. The site has 90-ball bingo and 75-ball bingo rooms that open for players everyday with massive jackpots to look forward to.

Online bingo sites can be accessed from anywhere especially since these sites now are available on mobiles and tablets too. This is highly advantageous for players as they are not tied down to their laptops and desktops as before. All you need is a device with internet connectivity.

So, if you are on the move and bored; you know what to do. Bingo Diamond has been providing bingo related services for a long time now and has established itself as a well reputed site.

Always, make sure you are playing on a well known trusted online bingo site that is registered and licensed with the Gambling Commission. This will guarantee you a high quality gaming experience along with 100% fairplay in terms of winning prizes. So, register with Bingo Diamond today and grab free bonuses everyday!

 

Cornhole: A Game for All Ages and Places

Cornhole is a game in which bean bags, or more appropriately, bags filled with corn, are tossed onto a board with the intention of getting them to slide into a hole in the board. It is normally played with four people where two teams of two compete against each other. Some people play simply for fun with no regard to rules or keeping track of scores. Others take it quite seriously and even enter tournaments wherever they can find one.

In order to fairly compete, there must obviously be a set of rules. This is true in cornhole or any other sport. These rules not only cover how to compete, but spell out things like the size and weight of the bags as well as the dimensions and spacing of the boards. If you want to find an official cornhole game, there are companies like Custom Corntoss can supply you with all the right equipment and a full set of official rules. After that, all you need is a little practice and you will be ready to try your hand at a little competition.

Regardless of how serious or casual you are about your cornhole game, there are several things that make the game attractive for kids and adults of all ages and skill levels. One of these has to do with the portability of the equipment. If you are planning something like a camping trip or family picnic, everything you need to have some fun with a game or cornhole will easily fit into the trunk of your car. There are no elaborate setups required, and anywhere there is a level spot will make a good place to play.

Compared to other recreational activities, cornhole is a very inexpensive game. Those who want to make their own boards can do so with the most basic carpenter skills.

Cornhole boards are easily personalized. You can purchase a set with your favorite college or professional sports team’s logo and have a little fun with friends who pull for a different team.

Because cornhole is more of a game of finesse instead of one in which brute strength is needed, it is appropriate for all ages. Senior citizens can compete with older children without either group having an unfair advantage. If you are looking for a game that can be fun and relaxing in all settings, you should give it a try.

The Beni Ourain Rug – The Gem of Morocco

Beni Ourain rugs are making their mark in the world of interior design right now, and it is easy to see why. These exquisite rugs are hand-woven in the Moroccan tradition by indigenous tribes and are a truly unique and stylish accompaniment to any décor. They are the gem of Morocco – a traditional, cultural element that will complement your interior design. A perfect way to add a touch of simple beauty and pure warmth to your room, Beni Ourain rugs are one design trend you should try right now.

A One-of-a-Kind Addition

These rugs present the perfect opportunity to add something truly unique to your interior design. Each rug is a handcrafted beauty, with its own look and feel. No two rugs are exactly the same, meaning you end up with a one-of-a-kind addition to your space. The thick, gorgeous pile will add texture and warmth. They can complement almost any décor because of their soothing, neutral color palette and uncomplicated geometric pattern. They don’t overwhelm or detract from the color scheme or other furnishings in a room, but rather add a signature element that pulls everything together. They are an easy way to say on trend without the worry of adding an element that will go out of style.

The simple, elegant styling makes them a perfect addition to any room, including living spaces, bedrooms, dining areas, nurseries, and offices. They are warm, thick, and cozy making them ideal for adding luxury and function to your space. The superior hand-knotted construction and thick pile stand up well to foot traffic too. This makes the rugs ideal for any high-traffic areas, pets, and families. The warmth they add to a room is also very effective in spaces that have hardwoods, laminates, or tile floors that can often seem cold. Functional but stylish, these rugs can be used in almost any application. You can even layer them with other, larger rugs to create a completely different look and feel.

A Cultural Tradition

Not only are these fantastic rugs a perfect addition to any space, they are also rooted in an amazing cultural tradition. Moroccan rug-making is an art as old as time, one of the oldest rug-making traditions in the world. The indigenous people began weaving these rugs in styles to assist with their daily lives – for clothing, bedding, warmth, and comfort. Thickly woven, heavy rugs were made to keep the Beni Ourain people warm in their native mountains. They are crafted from the wool of mountainous sheep, which is thicker and plusher than other wools. The ancient techniques and patterns have been passed on from weaver to weaver over the years, preserving the tradition to this very day. These amazing artists begin learning the knotting techniques at a young age.

5 Ways to Conserve Gasoline

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Courtesy of auto.howstuffwork.com

It is no secret that the prices of goods, like the universal muffler and even gas, are going up and up. With no estimated date in sight as to when the prices will go down, consumers need to be smart about how to save on fuel costs before they reach the pump. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save gas. The most effective way, however, is to actually reduce the amount of gas you use. When we find we must use gas to reach our destination, there are tricks that might cut back on gas consumption. Here are some ways you can save some of your car’s gasoline:

  1. Drive Less

There are a number of reasons why some people drive less and it is the rising cost of gas. If you plan to go on one errand, it is best to combine your errands into one trip to avoid repeat drives around town. If the place is near, consider walking instead of driving for nearby pick-ups. Or better yet, use your bicycle, if you have one. You will save gas and be able to have a mini-workout at the same time.

  1. Accelerate Slowly

Every time you punch the gas to accelerate after stopping, you are burning extra fuel and increasing tire wear. By accelerating slowly, you are only using the required fuel to get the vehicle to the speed you want. Use the gas and brake pedals as little as possible. Repeated braking simply wastes energy because it converts unnecessary heat energy, greatly reducing the service life of your brakes. Keep that in mind while driving to keep your gas usage to a minimum.

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Courtesy of arizonaenergy.org

  1. Drive until your tank is empty

A lighter car uses less gas. What does this mean? A lighter car means its tank is not full. When you hit that 1/3 of a tank and are tempted to fill up, give it a few more days. That last 1/3 may last you a bit longer than the first third did.

  1. Avoid Excessive Idling

If your car has been idle for more than a minute, it is better to turn off the engine to save gas. Also, when your car is new, it does not need to be warmed up often; just a couple of seconds will do the trick. If you are waiting for someone and he or she is taking too long, turn off the engine to save up some gas.

  1. Eliminate Wind Resistance

As much as possible, keep your windows closed. An open window increases drag and costs you fuel in the long run. In addition to that, it will keep you safe from snatchers especially during traffic. Another thing to remember is to remove unneeded car racks and carriers. If you drive around with a bicycle rack or luggage rack on your roof, take it off when it’s not in use to make your vehicle more aerodynamic.

Keep these tips in mind so you can save up on your gas and money.

Author’s Biography

Pam De Guzman, a.k.a the kid from the North, is a frustrated writer, event organizer, business owner and an aspiring director and writer of a personal/fashion/movie/book/travel blog. She’ll be writing about pretty much anything under the sun.

 

Baby Gift Ideas for Your Baby Shower Hamper

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Image by Jenny Hair via Flickr

If you have just been invited to your best friend’s baby shower, and have no idea what to take for her new-born, a hamper for the little one should be your best bet. Gift hampers cover a few must-have items that every new mum needs. With so many items in one package, the hamper might look a little expensive to buy. However, with the right products and packages, you can arrange a hamper that is cost-effective and useful.

There are a few essential things that every new mum needs, and should be included in the baby hampers if possible. A whole list has been put together by Parents.com, but the following five items top the essentials list.

  1. A Nightlight

Many mums do not think about this when making their registry list. Chances are that the new mum has already set up a nursery room for her little one. With the right choice of nightlight, parents can create a beautiful ambience in the room, and help the baby distinguish between night and day.

  1. Teething Toys

Newborns love teething toys especially when their tiny teeth begin to show. The growing teeth can cause them discomfort, and by gnawing on teething toys, the little ones can soothe themselves. Teething toys are long-lasting, and will be used by the kid until the age of 2 at least.

  1. Blankets, towels and Diapers

Mums can never have enough of these three products. Diapers and nappies become a daily need. Blankets – the softer, the better. Newborn babies ruin a lot of clothes, towels and blankets with their drool and spilling food everywhere. The more of these products, the easier it is for new mum to manage her little one.

  1. Baby clothes and Booties

 Since babies are always growing, baby clothes and booties are not the best hamper option. However, they are counted as essentials because mums can never have enough clothes for the little ones. You should only include one set of clothes or boots though, keeping in mind that the little one will grow out in a month, and will require new clothes.

  1. Cuddle Toy

Babies love their cuddle toys. Often they find a favourite toy that they do not let go of, for years. These cuddle toys can either be a plush teddy bear or a soft puppy. Regardless, the toy can give the baby company at night while he sleeps. Many a times, these cuddle toys also become a good way to soothe a crying baby, as the little one finds a friend in his favourite plush companion.

Readymade Baby Hampers

If you are still confused about your options, you should look for readymade packages such as hampers at Baby Boxes. With a variety of budget, styles and packages to choose from, there must be something or another to your liking.

Baby showers are occasions where soon-to-be mums look for support from their loved ones. Often, mums prepare the registry themselves, and you can create a hamper out of their wish list. However, in times when there is no registry involved, seek out the essential items mentioned above – you will not go wrong.

Gear Buyer’s Guide: Round Out Your Collection with Unusual Instruments

If you’re like most musicians with an interest in gear, you probably have what adds up to a metric ton of the stuff. Most musicians stick with one or two instruments when building a collection though.

While that’s great if you’re trying to perfect a sound or you’re a touring musician, sometimes having more tools at your disposal in the studio or home studio can be beneficial too. Use this guide to help you learn more about instruments you should consider buying.

Whether you find them on the used market or new in the store is up to you, knowing what could help you can make shopping a bit easier. Especially if you happen to find a killer deal while you’re just out and about.

Electric Organ

Electric organs were all the rage in homes across American for 20-plus years. Now, most people simply don’t have room for them when smaller versions are readily available. Still, there’s something unique about older electric organs – especially the models with a real rotating Leslie-style speaker.

Check thrift stores and salvage shops to score a unique organ. You might not find a professional model this way, but you might pick up something pretty cool and useable for the cost of dinner and a movie.

Fretless Bass

Every musician knows how important bass is, and a lot of people, from guitarists to drummers, have on or two on hand to work out ideas or lay down a simple track when recording. Not everybody considers a fretless model though.

While they do take some time to learn, musicians that enjoy the challenge can really sink their teeth into a fretless instrument. You’ll get some amazing sounds once you learn how to play the thing as well.

Look for this type of bass in music stores or online. There isn’t much chance you’ll find a playable model in a thrift store or junk shop.

Lap Steel Guitar

The lap steel guitar is the little brother of the pedal steel. Luckily for you, they’re much more cost-effective and they won’t take you a million years to learn to play.

You can find lap steel guitars online, but make sure you get a chance to play one before you buy. There were a lot of inexpensive older models made and those don’t always stand up to years of abuse or storage.

As long as you have these essentials, you’re well on your way to becoming the new Hendrix on the block.

Exploring and Understanding the Power of Music

Even if the majority of us cannot sit down and write out a scientific explanation of why, every single one of us understands that music affects us. When people are driving in their vehicle, working, or exercising at the gym, a change in music can have a profound effect on how they act and feel. If a fast-paced song is playing on the radio, they are inclined to put their foot down on the accelerator and to drive a little faster, walk a little faster on the treadmill, and work a little harder.

Commenting on the power of music, Frederick Nietzsche said, “life without music is a mistake.” Scientists are only now scratching the surface of the way that music can affect the human brain. One thing that they have learned is that music can affect the way that we see another person’s face. Why? Well, when our brain hears music, it determines whether or not the music is happy or if it is sad. Our brain reacts differently to happy music than it does to sad music. Even after listening to sad music for a short period of time, participants of a study interpreted the neutral facial expressions on images of people that they saw as sad. The same thing happened when they heard happy music and then were showed images of people with neutral expressions on their face. The participants viewed the images they saw as those of happy people.

Music changes both heartfelt emotions and our perceived emotions. This is because when we listen to music, we are able to understand emotions that are being transmitted by the music, even if we are not feeling those emotions at the time. This explains why a person can sit down, listen to a sad piece of music, and thoroughly enjoy it. They listen to the sad music and they don’t feel depressed, yet they understand the emotions that the music is transmitting.

Even though the music that a person listens to may be sad, it does not pose any real threat or danger. People are able to perceive the emotions in a vicarious way without actually feeling them.

Many communities, especially in New York City, have been using the power of music in a positive way. Pop up pianos in New York have served as a way for random musicians to play music that is both uplifting and encouraging to the entire community.

That’s why nothing can stop me from listening to my favorite defunct pop band if it makes me deliriously happy.