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 option 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 thrilled 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 warmer months, from going for a swim to art projects. When the children 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 to enjoy summer activities. This may mean hanging out by the pool or beach, playing with 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. When 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 nice thing about crafts is that they don't have to cost a lot of money. Actually, 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 board games, 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-parks, theme parks, aquariums, nature centers, farms, zoos, bowling centers, movie theaters, county fairs and local art fairs, and camp grounds are all fun places for summertime activities for kids. With a little innovation and positive attitudes all around, you can have a great summer entertaining the kids without breaking the bank, whether it's indoors or outdoors.

August 6, 2015

Spring Cleaning

There is nothing more exhausting or more rewarding than doing a deep spring cleaning throughout your house. Admit 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 eventually, 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 supplies and get down to business. 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. Essentially every counter-top, wall, baseboard, ceiling corner, doors and windows. It also includes those hard to get 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 wash or replace all rugs and clean sofas and chairs. The kitchen and bathroom require added attention. It's time to go beyond surface cleaning and get every bit of it clean, from floor to ceiling. 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 oven cleaning, defrosting the freezer, picking up 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 needed, 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.

July 7, 2015

Shopping Online Safely

Online shopping may be quick, convenient and fun, but there are also some risks attached to Internet shopping. Being unaware 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. Every time 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, drain 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 FAQ to see their safety policy. If you are uncertain 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 information or credit card number. 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 generally sent to 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 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 accounts to be sure they don't have fraudulent purchases. Immediately report any suspicious behavior and cancel any credit cards associated with fraudulent charges.

June 7, 2015