Pages Navigation Menu

Mix of motherhood, writing, photography and homemaking

Most Recent Articles

Bridging the Gap Between Your Children and TV

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Kids | 0 comments

 

image

chillin’

You’ve got two choices: First, you can let your kids watch whatever they want, whenever they want. Second, you can try to ban them from TV altogether. The first option just feels like bad parenting. The second option, in reality, is quite impossible.

It’s time to find a third option. Here are a few candidates:

Make Sure There Is Always Something Wholesome to Watch

There is always something wholesome to watch. The problem is, you may not have access to it with your current content package. A television is like the internet. It is a conduit of information and entertainment. Information is not bad. It just may not be age appropriate. Kids are information sponges. They need a steady supply of appropriate information. Therefore, your TV has to be a conduit for appropriate information, and plenty of it.

If there really is nothing wholesome to watch when your kids are watching TV, then you need more content options. That means more channels. Conservative states like Oklahoma  and Utah will have different entertainment needs than states like Oregon and California.

You might need to opt for a bigger content package to accommodate more family friendly channels. Local Oklahoma DIRECTV, for example, offers a minimum of 100 channels. And it goes up from there, depending on the package. If you want to make sure there is always something good to watch, choose your content options accordingly.

Have Only Curated Content Options in the Home

If you have no TV in the home, they will just get it from some place else. Did you know that almost any smartphone can be used as a TV? One option is to pay only for services that cater to a certain type of programming. There are some that would pay extra for a package that only had TV-Land and the Hallmark channel.

While that package does not exist, The cable and satellite companies are now offering family-friendly content packages that limit you to channels such as Disney CW, and the Science Channel, along with local networks. Choose carefully, though. Some packages will not include popular options like Discovery, Animal Planet, Food Network, and the Travel Channel. It is always tricky when you let someone do the curating for you. But until content options are completely à la carte, this is the best we can do with the major providers.

There are Netflix-style packages for kids on the Internet. These are paid services that you will have to research carefully. The problem is, once you get kids used to getting their entertainment from the Internet, you open up an even bigger world of issues than what you were trying to escape.

Teach Your Kids How to Contextualize Content

Rather than trying to restrict TV content, teach your kids how to contextualize it. The best way to do that is to watch TV with them. Don’t turn it into some kind of punishment. Let them watch what they like, then talk about it together. When you do that, it doesn’t really matter what they watch, because you are doing it together. And you can use any content as a springboard to teach the lessons that are important to you.

Action movies, scary movies, sexy movies, funny movies: they all have their place in life. They may be too young to understand a lot of it. But they are likely going to see them anyway, with or without you. If they see it with you, then you get to shape the message. Also, by watching their shows with them, you might discover that you have less to fear from TV than you thought.

You can’t ban television. Nor can you leave it plugged into 500 channels to raise your kids for you. But there are plenty of good alternatives between those extremes. With a little bit of specialized parenting, you can make the TV an ally rather than an enemy.

 

Read More

Three Ways To Grapple With A Frail Marriage

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Relationships | 0 comments

bouquets

If marriage would always be fresh as these bouquets.

At some point in their lives, every couple will experience a substantive relationship challenge. Yet in some marriages, relatively minor problems evolve into molehills that go unresolved for extended periods of time. Once this happens, the marriage can become frail and both partners may grow unhappy with the union. In the event that you find yourself experiencing this difficulty, there are several things you can do to grapple with the frailty of your marriage. Here are three:

1. Attain Professional Counseling Services.

Oftentimes, attaining professional counseling is the most effective way to address and resolve marital issues. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that many couples never acquire the advanced communication skills that are often necessary to facilitate mutual understanding and intimacy. Counselors typically have extensive communication skills and are also effective in teaching couples how to openly and honestly express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with one another. Once this process is put in motion, couples oftentimes find themselves able to resolve some and even all of their marital issues.

2. Temporarily Separate.

Another strategy you might want to think about implementing in order to grapple with a frail marriage is a temporary situation. Oftentimes, the living situation between a marital couple who are experiencing challenges can become very tense and anxiety-inducing. In these situations, both partners can say things they don’t mean and become subject to bad moods. When you temporarily separate, you have the opportunity to give your partner space and think critically about whether or not it would be wise to remain in the relationship or part ways.

3. Agree To Part Ways.

Even if you’ve done everything in your power to help facilitate a strong, long-standing relationship, you may find that parting ways is the most appropriate and advantageous thing to do. If this is the case, it’s important that you find a great divorce lawyer who can ensure that all of the legal proceedings move forward in an ethical, appropriate manner. Once you start looking for a divorce lawyer, click here for reviews of Cordell & Cordell, and to learn more about this dynamic legal firm and how they can help optimize your legal proceedings.

Conclusion

If you currently find yourself in a troubled marriage, you should know that there are many things you can do to make the situation better. By using some or all of the strategies outlined here, you will likely find yourself locating the appropriate solution for your marriage challenges.

Read More

Create Your Own Customized CRM App for Your Business

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Techie | 0 comments

 

image via http://www.theatlantic.com/

People would usually have two things to say about technology – it’s awesome or it’s made so many people lazy. Whatever differences in opinion individuals may have, there is no denying how technology has had a huge impact on how entrepreneurs manage their businesses. In fact, technology has modified how entrepreneurs regulate their customer base. It has also changed how businesses interact with their customers, all thanks to Customer Relationship Management software or CRM software, which has been around for quite some time.

While the practicality of CRM software is undeniable, a growing number of businesses have adapted a more streamline approach – the use of mobile applications to manage their customers – and are starting to reap numerous rewards from such apps. Mobile apps, both Android and iOS, for customer management has made it possible for each member of a team to keep in step with office protocols and manage individual customer accounts even when away from the office. Because of this, the productivity as well as the sales of the company can be boosted.

It’s a good thing that developing mobile apps these days have become a breeze, but especially so with Android apps. In fact, one doesn’t need to have a solid background in app development or IT in order to create your own Android apps. Creating apps have become commonplace thanks to websites that make app creation as easy as 1-2-3.

Mobile Apps for Your Business

Let’s suppose you have a startup business and you want to attract potential customers. How do you go about it? Simple. Create catchy, convenient, and reliable mobile applications that wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

However, before tapping the most feasible mobile app software being used today, entrepreneurs, especially the newbies should know what mobile applications could do to their businesses.

1. Mobile applications are very convenient for consumers. Customers can access a certain website or program just by tapping several keys on their smartphones. Mobile applications empower consumers to further educate themselves about the products and/or service that they’re considering.

2. Mobile applications promote freedom. Since creating your own mobile apps give you free rein on what and what not to include, you can easily maintain your business’ program, manipulate various information, enter up to date info, and install new data. It’s about the owner having no restrictions regarding his company.

3. Creating your own mobile applications allows you to make use of features to enhance customer communication. Such applications could leverage the brand especially since it’s already installed in the device. Other than that, mobile applications could aid entrepreneurs in enhancing their interaction with their consumers. They could as well handle queries and complaints, as well as solve problems efficiently.

Where to Look for Android Mobile Apps Creator

Are you finally convinced as to the usefulness of creating your own Android apps for your business? If you are, here are a few platforms that you can check out. These platforms make creating Android mobile apps so much easier.

* ChupaMobile

This site offers app and game templates that are fully customizable. You don’t even have to start from scratch because everything you’ll need to start creating your Android app is right there.

* TheAppBuilder

This specific platform supplies a suite of applications, which would fit events, clients, brochures, as well as the employees, and there are two different approaches. User could develop an application by utilizing the online toolkit. It has a dedicated AppLibrary, which allows the entrepreneur to render the users with a vast range of apps, which could be customized with the company’s own branding.

* Mobile Roadie

This is among the most sought-after application creators, since it enables the users to develop, as well as manage their own Android or iOS application. This platform could support all kinds of media.

There you have it. It doesn’t take a genius to create an Android app for your business. With ample computer know-how and a solid platform to help you create a failsafe app, you’d be creating apps like a pro in no time.

 

music app…

 

Read More

Taking Pictures On The Slopes

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 in Photography | 7 comments

 

family ski trip

A photo that I took during our last ski trip, before heading down the hill.

 

Whether it’s your first time on the slopes or you’re an experienced skier, you might want to get some pictures of yourself on the snow. There are ways that you can get amazing pictures while you are skiing that will let you remember your day and see how your placement on the skis is so that you can improve.

The best time to take pictures while skiing is before you head down the hill and while you’re going downhill. Try not to take pictures while you are going through curves. Instead, let someone else take them as they are standing on the side. You can get some action shots if the person knows how to control the zoom and the shutter speed. Avoid getting dead space in the picture. You don’t want to have a picture of only you with a large area of white snow surrounding you in the picture. This is where the zoom feature comes in handy.

boys sled, skiing

Waiting for dad.

 

Most of the time, you won’t have a camera attached to your goggles while you’re skiing. If you can attach a small camera, then this would be the best way to get pictures of the slopes and the maneuvers that you do while on the snow. There are some ways that someone on the sidelines can use to get the best pictures possible. It will be cold outside, so you need to know how to handle the camera. The batteries in the camera might not be able to withstand terribly cold temperatures. You will need to have extras in case they fail. The shutter might also be a little slower than usual, so you need to be ready to snap a picture as soon as you get the shot in the frame. Keep everything in your coat pocket until you’re ready to start taking pictures. If you only have a large camera, consider downsizing for these pictures to something smaller so that you can keep the camera warm.

When you take want pictures that give the impression of speed, there are some things that you can keep in mind. You need to know of the right location to sit so that you get the best shot when the skier is going past you. You can communicate with the skier so that he will know where you will be if he wants to do some kind of trick. You should also give the skier a signal so that he knows when you are ready to start taking pictures. This will also help keep the camera from being exposed to the cold air for a long period of time. If you have on gloves, take them off before shooting so that they don’t interfere with hitting the buttons on the camera. You can stand in the path of the skier if you want to get a shot of the front of the person, but you need to be ready to move out of the way quickly. Most new cameras have autofocus so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting the target in the frame. Jim Decker’s Twitter page shows examples of pictures that can be taken on the slopes.

skiing, gondola, gopro

A Gopro camera attached to the helmet is a good idea, too. ^_^

 

Read More

Making the Move Smooth for Kids and the Family

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in home comfort zone | 0 comments

 

Moving – image via http://www.hip-consultant.co.uk/

Moving can be stressful. It can be even more stressful when there are children involved. From preparing the family for the move, to the packing itself, you may have quite a daunting task on your hands. It is not uncommon for children to exhibit a range of emotions from sadness to anger, and even anxiety when it comes to moving to a new area. Yet moving is often a fact of life. 

Here is how you can help to make the transition as painless as possible–both for yourself–and your entire family:

Prepare Your Family

Discuss the move as soon as you have a chance to do so with your children. Explain why the move is necessary and answer any questions that they may have to the best of your ability. When possible, take them to the new home and show them around. Show them where their bedrooms will be, or if possible, allow them to pick out their own space. Envision with them how they will fill their new room. Ask your child or children to create a list of things that will help them transition better, and be sure to follow through on their requests, within reason. The point is to try to make the move fun and exciting instead of a frightening experience.

Consider Young Children

If you happen to be moving with toddlers or children under five years of age, keep your explanations clear cut and simple. Get out toy trucks and furniture (if your child has these types of toys) and act out how the move will transpire. Also assure your child when you are packing their things that you are not disposing of their property, but packing it away to make sure it is safe for the travel to the new home. Try not to require your young child to embrace any other big changes, such as potty training, during the transition period, otherwise they could become overwhelmed. Lastly, when it comes to moving day, try to arrange a sitter for your young child so that they are not amid the chaos that tends to come with moving day and that they are not under-foot during the move.

Make a Checklist

The weeks leading up to moving day can be crucial for your family as you pack up your belongings and prepare for your move. The pros over at Mayflower moving company say to begin decluttering your home about eight weeks prior to the move, if possible. Start by getting rid of unwanted or unused items. You can hold a garage sale or simply donate those items. The more that you clear out, the less you will have to pack.

When packing, it is helpful to color coordinate your belongings by room. What this means is you can buy different color packing tape or various colored markers and assign a specific color to each room. For example, mark all boxes holding kitchen items with a green marker, and all living room items can be marked with a blue marker or blue tape. Organizing in this manner can help immensely in the long run, especially if you intend to hire a professional moving company.

Say Goodbye

Give your kids and family a chance for closure by throwing a goodbye party. At this party, you can have all your guests sign a book and include their mailing address and phone number so that you can stay in touch. It’s also really easy to print out postcards with your family’s new address and phone number to give out at the party. This will be a good time to reminisce about life at the old home and set positive intentions for the new home as well.

Moving might seem stressful or overwhelming for your family, especially if you have children. Young children may especially be confused as to why they must leave behind friends and their old home. Furthermore, packing and organizing, and then unpacking and settling in can sometimes be chaotic. However, parents can make the transition a lot less painful, and even make the experience fun and exciting by following these helpful tips.

 

Read More

Should You Consider a Kit Home as an Option?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in home comfort zone | 2 comments

cozy

Kit home prices are definitely much lower than houses planned and constructed from scratch. Nevertheless, the cost isn’t the only reason for you to opt for buying a prefabricated house over a stick-built one. You now have a variety of brands, designs, and kit inclusions to choose from for prefabricated houses these days, so the appearance and quality aren’t weaknesses for them anymore. Of course, you’ll always save more time if you choose from kit homes, instead of doing the whole house planning and construction, even if you’ve got a team of professionals with you.

Not Your Ordinary Kit Homes

Homes that are prefabricated, while more inexpensive than stick-built houses, don’t mean structures that look cheap. It also isn’t true that you’ll get a house that’s poorly conditioned against environmental factors like heat, rain, etc. Many manufacturers of kit homes today produce plans and materials that are of exceptional quality.

First of all, transportation usually gives additional risk factors for construction materials. Since the materials of these products have to be transported, manufacturers of top-quality kit homes make sure that everything included in every kit they sell are engineered perfectly. These manufacturing companies usually hire laborers that specialize in whichever housing material they’re assigned to do. In most construction teams for stick-built types, they usually engage all-around workers.

In addition, your home should give you shelter under any kind of weather condition or other outside factors. This is why houses have to have insulation, pest control treatments, and other important procedures. On this note, you’ll be glad to know that cheap kit homes come with insulation batting that’s right for the type, size, and design that you choose. They also usually have tempered doors, termite-treated flooring, and many other conditioned supplies.

Kit homes also give you the advantages of convenience and speed. As mentioned earlier, each package comes complete with materials that are already processed for installation. You also don’t need to think much about whether each aspect of your house follows the building codes in your area, because the manufacturer must already make sure that the whole kit home, when built, would be according to all whatever building code needs to be followed. This type of house can be ready to move in to approximately 12 weeks from the time that you order it.

Kit home prices are much lower than those of stick-built costs, mainly because these prefabricated structures have materials done in a manner that saves costs in labor and tools. Materials are also purchased in bulk, so all the more reason for manufacturers to be able to cut down their prices.

Definitely, there’s more to kit homes than money savings. They can also give you less worry about the quality of materials and construction and more time to enjoy having a new home.

kit home

 

Read More