Monday, October 29, 2018

How To Enjoy a Road Trip With Young Children

Written by a contributing writer 




Image Credit


The film RV, with Robin Williams, shows the trials and tribulations of a family road trip balanced with the ability for such trips to open our hearts and allow us to reconnect with our loved ones. Indeed, in such a fast-paced world, where we are all often immersed in our digital devices, tasks, and social obligations. The chance to take a breath and just be is a rarity today.

A road trip is a great way to reconnect with your family and have a wonderful adventure, yet “enjoying a road trip with young children” is not something many parents can relate to, as it can be a very testing situation that requires bucket loads of patience and planning in advance to keep young children entertained.

Of course, if you’re travelling with really young children the process tends to be a lot simpler as you can feed them up with some holle baby formula then let the natural motion of the car lull them into a deep sleep that will hopefully last most the way throughout the longer aspects of your driving days.

The thing is there’s always going to be a challenge when people are crammed into a small space for hours on end, with little to do, and when you throw impatient young children that keep asking the dreaded question “are we there yet”, it can be even more challenging.


Here are three tips to help you enjoy a road trip with young children:



1. STOP OFF ALONG THE WAY


It’s a good idea to stop off along the route, often, as this breaks down the drive for the driver (thus improving focus and concentration) but also gives your passengers a welcome break to stretch their legs and engage their minds.

Driving straight down the freeway might be the most efficient way to get to where you’re going, but breaking up the journey in bitesize chunks, with activities planned along the way can lead to a much more rewarding experience for everyone.


2. KEEP YOUR CHILDREN ENTERTAINED

You’ll want to ensure your kids have plenty of activities that don’t require adult participation - for instance, coloring, playing a game on a mobile device, or watching cartoons on Netflix. Just think about how impatient you get on a long-haul flight and come up with as many creative solutions as possible for your young children to keep themselves amused.


3. EAT OFTEN


One of the best ways to keep travel sickness at bay, which seems to be something many adults and young children suffer with - particularly when sitting in the back of the car, is to eat little and often throughout the journey.  It is also a good idea to have some mints to suck on or chewing gum to chew.

There are many pharmaceutical and herbal remedies to treat travel sickness, though this advice of eating often is one of the most useful. Furthermore, it can greatly improve mood as people tend to find themselves getting less patient and more irritable with hunger.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Toronto's Local Business Scene Has Some Great Services!

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Toronto is known for being a big city with lots to do and see.  Many travel to see this bustling city and visit attractions such as the zoo, museums, and art galleries. And while it is a great spot for tourists to visit and vacation, Toronto does have a very big local scene for those who reside there.  Not only are there magnificent annual festivals like the "Taste of Danforth," but there are also services that can make day-to-day living a tad bit easier and help locals to live well.

One of the biggest, most important, aspects of living well is health.  Health is one of those things that you never really think about it until something is happening with it. Whether you're feeling a little bit off or having some series health issues, your health can greatly affect your quality of life. Toronto has many businesses in the healthcare industry that can help locals obtain services or get palliative care nursing.

Speaking of health, sudden injury is one of the most disruptive and abrupt ways a person's life can be affected. Sometimes, help is needed in order to make it through a difficult period brought on by personal injury. Especially if someone else is at fault for the injury. Businesses like Halifax Personal Injury Lawyers, offer free consultations and online resources ( https://valentlegal.ca/ ) so that locals can become aware of their options without spending a dime.

Health aside, a happy life often means a happy home. We all have seen Pinterest board after Pinterest board of beautiful home renovation ideas.  But not everyone is a DIY master and can renovate completely on their own to create the home of their dreams. That's when it's time to find local businesses to help bring your vision to fruition. Something as simple as changing a railing can create a new vibe for a room.  Businesses like GTA Glass Railings (https://www.gtaglassrailings.com/) can help Toronto locals create the space they've always imagined, no DIYing necessary.

Of course, what your house is made of or looks like is not the only thing that makes your house a home. The fun, quality time, and relaxation had inside those four walls are important as well. Toronto has several businesses that bring enriching services right to the home. The Ontario Conservatory of Music (https://ocom.ca/) can bring the art of music right into locals homes by offering music lessons for both children and adults.

Toronto is a city of many attractions. It is one of the most well-known cities in all of Canada and a travel destination for many. But like many popular travel destinations, most seem to forget that there are also residents of this city that need and benefit from services provided by amazing local businesses that make it their mission to cater to locals. However, if you're looking to make the move to Toronto, have no fear! This city is one that has plenty of businesses that take care of its locals and know how important it is to serve the people who keep Toronto busy year-round.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Planning to Travel with a Big Family?

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Traveling is one of those things that I love and hate at the same time. I love to explore new places, try new food, and just get out of my daily routine. But actually getting there - That's the part of travel that I'm not so fond of. Yes, it is exciting. But it also often requires a ton of planning and can induce some stress. And while traveling for vacations can be stressful, traveling for a move can be even more difficult. Because now you're not only coordinating getting your family from point A to point B (and maybe a few stops in between), you're also having to make sure all of your belongings make the trip as well. There are a few things you can do to help make traveling with your family (whether for a vacation or for a move) a little easier to manage.

Let's tackle the most stressful situation first. Moving. Does anyone actually like the process of moving? There's so much to do and no matter how early you start preparing for your move, you always feel like it's crunch time when the actual moving day gets closer. One thing that can really help is hiring movers. This takes all of the grunt work (literally) out of the moving process for you. That leaves you time to focus on getting the kids ready and entertaining them while the moving company does all of the heavy lifting. Finding a company that is trustworthy is key. And a company that has an online presence with details and information listed clearly (like this website) so that you can review everything on your own time will make the entire process a lot less hectic.

Another hard part of moving? Having to give up some of your belongings because you either don't or won't have room for them or because you know they just won't make it through the move in one piece. Again, the internet is your friend for finding new replacement pieces during this time. You can get a feel for the style you're looking for by looking at websites like sunpan.com. Here you can look at a ton of different furniture options and even find out where pieces are sold so that you know exactly where to shop once you are settled into your new place.

Ok, so now it's time for the fun part: Vacation! Traveling with one or two people does require some planning. But nothing compares with trying to coordinate a vacation for a big family or extended family. And trying to plan activities at your destination that everyone will like? That can truly be a nightmare. A travel agent can be a great solution to these issues but finding a travel agent and meeting in person can be incredibly time-consuming. Good news - we have the internet now! Websites like sbtravel.com can help you plan your trip right from the comfort of your own home. If you're traveling internationally, booking tours may be your best option. Of course, that can be done online also and is easier than it sounds when you use websites like this one: Https://www.gadventures.com/destinations/europe/italy/

No matter where you're going or why you're traveling, coordinating it all doesn't have to be all on you! Sometimes it's worth spending the extra coin to be able to hire a professional and delegate some of the responsibilites to them. And remember, all of the planning pays off in the end! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Why I Switched From Limelife Planners to Blue Sky Planners: Planners Like Erin Condren

It's a planner post! I've haven't done many of these lately because...well, I've stuck with Limelife Planners for years. But I'm making a change for 2019.  Before I reveal my 2019 planner, let's take a look at my past (and current) Limelife planners.




They are adorable! And I've got nothing but LOVE for Limelife. I've even worked with them as a media and blog contributor. (More of my Limelife pieces here, here, here, and here.)  The people that work for and run the company are truly some of the sweetest people I've encountered. And I would 100% recommend their planners. Honestly, out of Limelife, Erin Condren, Inkwell, and Plum Paper Planners, I preferred Limelife a thousand times over. I loved the quality, their designs, layouts, and their add on's. Which...is why I stuck with them for so long.

But I decided to switch it up for 2019. If Limelife has all these great things then....why? There were two big reasons as to why I decided not to purchase another Limelife planner.  The first reason is that I want a very minimalistic design. I want something that felt simply elegant. And although Limelife's designs are certainly beautiful, minimal is not the word I'd use to describe them. The second reason was the price tag. A 7"x 9" weekly planner with Limelife starts at $55. I just didn't want to spend that money on a planner if it wasn't EXACTLY what I wanted.

So... what planner company did I decide to go with?

Blue Sky Planners. I reviewed them a while back when I was comparing Erin Condren Life Planner alternatives and cheaper or more affordable planners that were like the Erin Condren Life Planner. (Like many planner lovers, I started my adult planner journey with Erin Condren but soon started looking for something else.)  I remembered Blue Sky Planners because I loved the quality. I also remembered them having both Limelife-like cover designs AND very minimal cover designs. So I decided to check them out.

The tricky thing about Blue Sky is that you have to go to multiple places to see all of the designs available. They aren't all listed on the Blue Sky Planner website.  Some of the designs are only at Target and some can be found at Walmart.  (Keep in mind the planners listed on the official Blue Sky Planner website are pricier. But the website also offers a customize option.)

I did quite a bit of searching before I found this one and fell in love. And it was much less costly than Limelife and Erin Condren. It isn't customized. But I don't really need or want the customization. I've never put my name on the cover of my planner. (I'm much more of an inspirational-quote girl.)

For $19.99 this 9.25" x 8.45" monthly/daily planner includes:

  • A hard, durable cover with "gold" accents
  •  Wire binding
  • Contacts section
  • Sticker sheets
  • Notes section
  • Yearly reference calendars
  • Coated tabs
I absolutely love the inside of the front and back covers. It's a detail that sold me. It's about the same size as my 2018 Limelife and exactly what I was looking for. Take a look at the pictures down below!













Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Enhance the Flavor of Your Food With Gluten Free Spices

 Written by a contributing writer

Whether you have celiac disease, an allergy to gluten, or need to consume a low-carb diet, you might be wondering if you will be stuck eating bland foods for the rest of your days. Fortunately, there are gluten-free spices available to liven up the dishes that you prepare. These spices work well on fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes, and more. Your taste buds will thank you when you try out some of these flavor combinations.

Spices to Try on Fruit

Whether you prefer your fruit fresh, stewed, or baked, you can enliven its taste with some spices. A classic is cinnamon. Stick with Ceylon cinnamon, which is a true cinnamon. It pairs well with apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, bananas, and berries. You can sprinkle it on to freshly sliced fruit, stewed fruit, or baked fruit. It works especially well as a topping on a fruit crisp or a pie with no crust. Some other spices for fruit include nutmeg, tarragon, allspice, and ginger.

Spices for Use on Vegetables

There are many spices without gluten that will taste great on your vegetables. Sprinkle the spices directly onto raw vegetables or add them to vegetables in a stir-fry. Roasted vegetables also pair well with spices. Consider trying spices such as garlic, onion, chili powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, mint, star anise, chives, or sage. Experiment with combinations of spices, such as garlic with basil and oregano for Italian roasted root vegetables.

Spices to Add to Proteins

Whether you consume fish, poultry, meat, or legumes as a source of protein, there are many wonderful spices to add to your dishes. Some gluten free spices that taste great on lentils and legumes include curry, chili powder, garlic, saffron, and cilantro. Add some garlic and tomatoes for a full spectrum of flavor. When seasoning fish, try lemon pepper and garlic. For poultry, curry and garlic are excellent. Basil, oregano, and pepper work well on fish, poultry, and meats of all types.

Busy Being Busy: Making The Most Of Your Time When You're A Mom

Written by a contributing writer 


Mom guilt is something every mom will go through at some stage; having kids is a rewarding, but tough role, and you’ll be left with little to no free time. Stepping back into a working role post-maternity leave, or after time away spent raising your family can be daunting. Many working mothers fear that they are not going to do as well parenting when they go back to work to pursue their career and at the same time, also not do as well as an employee as they did pre-children. However, once you’ve mastered the juggling act of doing both (and don’t worry, you’re totally able), you’ll hopefully feel fulfilled in each aspect of your life, and probably very tired at the end of each week. The following are some ideas and inspirations for busy moms (all moms) who need a helping hand when it comes to a balance between their working life and life with the kids home.


Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/hand-pen-writing-plant-58457/


Your Time Is Your Time

There will be free time in the evenings, weekends and holidays, and if you make the most of it; you’ll begin to notice and appreciate your free time even more. Whether you want to study for that operations management online degree to further your career, or you feel like binge watching some shows on Netflix to unwind; make sure that you’re doing what you want to do. Don’t be dictated by what you feel you should be doing; this will only add to all that mom guilt.

When you’re out of the work or office space, and you and the family have some time together; make plans. You don’t have to spend a fortune dragging everyone around a theme park (this is still an option though). Family walks, adventures, and picnics are all enjoyable ways to hang out together, make memories, and won’t cost a fortune. If you do feel like spending some of your hard-earned salary on treating your loved ones, then planning a vacation together is something everyone can look forward to. On the run up to your getaway, part of your free time in the evenings can be spent with your family, making plans on what you want to do once you get there, and enjoying the countdown.

Enjoy Them More

Whether you’ve just stepped foot in the office, or through the front door at home; you need to be present in that environment and learn to switch from one to the other. Obviously, you never stop being a parent; but worrying all day at work about what your kids are doing, wearing, or eating, isn’t going to help make you a productive member of your work team. It’s then important to be able to switch off from total mom-mode, in order to get on with your workday.

The same goes for when you’ve arrived home after work; make sure your kids don’t feel your stresses from the work day and be in the moment with them for dinner, bath, and bedtimes. Just because you’ve gone back to work, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the everyday special moments together as a family. But, bringing a pile of work home physically or mentally, will have a negative impact on your mood, which will filter down to your kids.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fighting The Jet Lag Symptoms

Written by a contributing writer


Fall is here! And that means holiday travel is just around the corner. Traveling is a lot of fun, except when you find yourself suffering from a bad case of jet lag. There’s nothing worse than feeling too exhausted to enjoy the adventure. And while it takes only a few days for your body to go back to normal, it also means that you may not be able to enjoy any long-distance trip of a couple of days – as your body can’t adapt quickly enough.

Unfortunately, without medicine to take the edge of your jet lag – aside from sleeping tablets if you’re struggling to sleep at appropriate times –, you are left in an uncomfortable position. Apart from tiredness and difficulties sleeping, jet lag is also associated with digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion or bloating, which can also affect the quality of your trip. Ultimately, as sleeping tablets are not for everyone – and may not solve the underlying issue – you may need to get creative to fight off the jet lag effect for short trips!




Jet lag, the agony of travelers



The dilemma: Sleeping on the plane or not?


One of the most common issues on a long flight is to know whether you should sleep or not, and more importantly how to shift your sleep schedule when flying long distance. Indeed, as travel impacts on your biological clock – ultimately the jet lag is the result of being ‘out of sync’ with your destination – you can adjust your body to new sleeping patterns ahead of your journey. An in-flight plan to help you to relax and take a power nap can make all the difference too!


Your emergency beauty bag


Long flights or flights happening during your usual night time can leave you feeling miserable on arrival. Your face is pale. Your eyes are red. Your hair is all over the place. Ultimately, you don’t really feel confident about the person who’s looking back at you in the mirror of the airport. Never underestimate the power of makeup in the morning. Pack a little bag of essentials you can use to look refreshed and alert once you arrive. Nothing beats a clean foundation and a little lipstick!


A breakfast of champions

You might not feel hungry after a long flight, but picking the right breakfast can fuel you for the rest of the day – and help your body get over the jet lag effect. The classic bowl of oats can work wonders and keep you running all day without crashing! Something as simple as a glass of water can encourage your body to rehydrate and maintain its normal functions.


Do a no jet lag workout


Can sports be the answer? According to experts, you can and should exercise ahead of your flight to reduce your jet lag. An intense workout can help you to sleep on the plane. Make the most of the moments of alertness in-flight to keep your blood flowing with easy leg extensions, and glute squeezes. A moderate intensity workout after your arrival can help reduce jet lag symptoms too – assuming that you don’t push yourself too much.



Pixabay


From preparing your body to adjust to new sleep patterns to fueling it with the best nutrients, there are some tips to reduce your jet lags. You can never eliminate it completely unless you opt for sleeping tablets. But feeling a little tired is better than being unable to function during your holiday!