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Contemporary accents for nurseries and baby spaces

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 in Babies | 0 comments


Most moms have a good idea of the essentials that will be needed when they plan the design of configuration of their baby nursery. There are some fine, high-end furnishings available from specialty sites and merchants to meet this demand, including cribs, changing tables, and high-chairs. There are some items, however, that may be overlooked during nursery-shopping that are as vital to a baby’s room as these conventional staples. Prospective parents or loving family members may want to consider some of these unique and useful pieces to add to the child’s space, and consumers will be happy that the money and efforts expended when they shop now, will be used and appreciated for years to come during the child’s development and aging.


for your bambini

For example, a great rocking chair or glider is an essential for any dedicated baby space. While moms may find that they use these chairs when feeding and rocking their baby to sleep, these are also the ideal spot for parents when they read to a child or want to give the child their own spot to sit as they grown. Gliders are an effortless and smooth approach to calming a baby and lulling them to sleep; traditional rockers are something that may become a cherished memento of youth, and something that will be handed down to future generations. With these points in mind, it makes sense for family to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time and that come become treasured legacies later on.

Another intriguing and functional item to include in the nursery may be one of the innovative baby “cots” that are found on the market. These are intended for sleeping children up to six months of age, though they also have a portable element to their design. These seem to mimic a play-pen in size, shape, and design, which could make them the must-have item to keep in the car during travel or visits to others’ homes. Furthermore the simplicity of the canvas style makes it an interesting and capable accent to contain toys in the nursery or children’s room as the child outgrows the cot. This could easily be the item that gets presented to future generations of moms, and that all will derive great use and utility from!


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Car Insurance Necessity

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Cars, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Car insurance will always be a necessity, and for many consumers, acquiring a policy is a dreaded task that involves a vast amount of time spent browsing websites, and then a vast amount of time spent on the phone. But who says finding car insurance and setting up a policy has to be such a drudgery? You can use the internet to help you find potential car insurance companies, and then set up an appointment with a qualified auto insurance agent. This way you take care of the researching of insurers and their benefits and features at your own pace, without feeling pressured to buy; and when you do buy a policy, you’ll have the guidance and expertise of an insurance agent to help walk you through the process.

family car

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So let’s say you’ve spent quite a bit of time researching auto insurance companies, and you’ve narrowed down the selection to just a few. To help expedite the process of selecting the insurance company who will provide you with an insurance policy, ask family and friends for their recommendations on a local insurance agent. For instance, if you live in Ohio, then an insurance agent in Columbus OH would be the perfect recommendation. Likewise, if you live in Philadelphia, seeking out a Philadelphia-based insurance agent would be a better choice.

Now you’re probably wondering if you should even bother with hunting down a local auto insurance agent. The answer is yes, you most certainly should. While there is no harm in going ahead and ordering a custom policy from an insurer’s website, or calling a company and setting up a policy over the phone, by scheduling an appointment with an auto insurance agent, you’ll be taking advantage of face-to-face interaction. By giving your auto insurance agent a bit of your time, they’ll get to know you, and be eager to work with you in person. You won’t have to worry about selecting options from drop-down menus or pressing numbers on a keypad. With an in-person appointment, you can set up an auto insurance policy the old-fashioned way: with a handshake, eye contact, and paperwork.

One of the biggest perks to having a car insurance agent is that there is always someone you can call. Whether you would like to add another driver to your policy, need to report a claim, or simply have questions about your car insurance coverage, having your own agent means you’ll always know who to call, and who you’ll speak with.


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Family Bonding: Going on Small Trips with Kids

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Featured, travel | 0 comments



customary mommy’s back shot 🙂

Even in today’s busy world, parents should still make it a point not to lose touch with their children. And one way to strengthen your relationship with the family is by going on small trips with your kids.

Yes, family bonding need not involve long-haul flights or a week’s stay in an exotic destination abroad. Nor do you have to go on travels permanently. Trips can be a weekend cross-country drive, an overnight stay at a nearby hotel, or just a day out at the park or museum. The important thing is that you get to spend time with each other.

Going on family trips lets you discover more about your children and even yourself. Outside the confines of your home, there are new experiences that unleash the skills, character, and individuality of a person. You get to see a different side to your kids — their interests, their thoughts — at the same time, they see yours. This will lead you to learn to appreciate and relate to each other.

Taking your children to small trips also helps you teach them more of the world, allowing them to open their minds to ideas that they don’t usually find within controlled environments like the classroom. Going to new places trains the kids to be more adventurous, tolerant, and patient with the things around them.


customary “3” shot at Schönbrunn Palace grounds

Small trips also give you the luxury of quality time that you didn’t have while going through your daily routine. Because you sit back and take things more slowly during those days off, you get to enjoy each other’s company away from all distractions like work, chores, phone calls, or emails.

Moreover, because you are traveling to a different place as a single unit, you learn to rely upon each other more. As a family, you all take in the highs and lows of the trip, cooperating with each other to make the trip work and be something worth remembering.

Focusing your time and energies to going on small trips with your children is actually a rewarding activity. Not only does it offer shared experiences that strengthens the family bond, but also creates wonderful memories that your children would want to look back to and even share with their own brood.

swing kids

At Palace Laxenburg’s playground


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The Effects of Hearing Loss on Mental Health

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Health | 0 comments

Many of us take our five senses for granted (young and old alike). The sound of the river rushing by, children laughing, car horns beeping and home smoke detectors are valuable sounds that are somehow important to our daily lives. Hearing loss can be a difficult challenge for many people, especially for those without hearing devices such as Miracle-Ear. For older adults, hearing loss is not just a physical malady. Hearing loss can affect mental health and quality of life. There are many conditions that can lead to hearing loss, but no matter the cause the result is equally unfortunate.

Chillaxin' #picstitch #kid #beats #music

Undetected Hearing Loss 

Hearing loss often goes undetected by healthcare providers. It is an unseen handicap, and often the individual affected does not notice the change in hearing ability. According to Social Work Today, even the sight of someone with a hearing aid does not always signify disability to the observer. As a result, the sensitivity toward the person with hearing loss can be missed.

Hearing Loss Difficulties

There are many things that require hearing. Hearing impaired individuals often struggle with common daily activities. These challenges include:

  • Hearing a telephone ring 
  • Hearing a knock at the door 
  • Understanding conversation in a public place 
  • Understanding someone speaking when there is background noise 
  • Understanding a person talking when his or her face is not visible 
  • Hearing the television 
  • Watching a movie or sports event 
  • Hearing whispers 
  • Enjoying romantic talk 
  • Understanding someone who speaks with an accent 
  • Placing an order in a restaurant 
  • Understanding salespeople in a store 
  • Enjoying music 
  • Hearing traffic 

These challenges are not always the result of an issue with volume. This means talking louder may not help. Sometimes a hearing disability affects the ability to discern sounds and words.

Emotional and Mental Effects

There is a negative perception for those that cannot hear well. The individual may feel a sense of failure and sadness. The speaker often mistakenly assumes that lack of hearing has something to do with mental sharpness. Of course hearing loss and intelligence are not linked, but having to ask someone to repeat himself or herself recurrently can be frustrating and lead to depression. Hearing loss can alter the affected person’s:

  • Relationship and reaction to surroundings
  • Stress levels and coping ability
  • Ability to perform on the job
  • Need for accommodations
  • Personality characteristics
  • Mood levels
  • Sense of belonging to the world
  • Sense of independence
  • Ability to communicate and concentrate
  • Desire or ability to participate

Psychological Consequences
Hearing is a critical aspect of who we are as individuals. Depression and adjustment difficulties may occur. Shame, inadequacy, awkwardness and embarrassment can occur subsequent to hearing loss. Regular checkups, screening can help manage mental health issues. There is no reason not to live the best life possible. A good hearing aid device can also go along way to getting back to hearing and living.


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Saturday Family Fun

Posted by on Oct 19, 2013 in family time, Featured | 0 comments


Giggles, that’s my alarm clock, as two li’l rascals tickle me.  Rock music blasts from my pre-teen’s room. My consolation, the sweet aroma of breakfast which hubby prepared. This is the start of the Saturday!  I wake up with excitement.

Saturdays are special. Time to taste new cuisine, explore new places, visit friends or relatives, or just do something different outside home.  Each week is different. First and last week of the month, it’s either me or hubby, choose where we’re going.  Mid-week, either kids  get to plan our dayout.

So even if we can all just lazily stay at home and watch DVDs, even if it’s cheaper to stay at home on weekends, we wake up early to find out what’s in store for weekend. Not just my kids chuckle at this, grown-ups in our household also say: Yipee! Saturdays!


Food bonding? Dining at a restaurant 170 feet above the ground.

Hubby and I save and stretch our budget for Saturdays, because we can see what weekend family dayouts are doing for our kids. Here are some of them:

Whole day bonding. Hubby and I have date nights with each of them, but every Saturday, we go out as one family. If they didn’t enjoy the first activity, they can make up for it the rest of the day.

Getting to know the kids more. One Saturday, a group of friends, knocked at our door to invite my pre-teen to their hangout.  But he said “Can’t go with you guys today. It’s day for the fam!!” I didn’t expect my growing pre-teen enjoys family day more.  So I invited all of them.  My son was quite reluctant at first, but obviously happier the rest of the day. That Saturday, I discovered how my son pulls himself when his friends joke around.  I also get to know his friends even better.

Confidence, social and relational skills boost.  My two little kids are so sociable in school.  Teachers and classmates alike are so fond of them. They didn’t inherit their social skills, they got it from mingling with different kinds of people in our weekend family dayouts.  I encourage them to start a conversation with playmates at the park or mall (as long as we’re looking), their cousins at our home visits, our colleagues and grown-up friends who tag along sometimes, disabled elderly or children when we visit charities.

Being more open to parents.  Not all Saturdays are laughter and adventures.  Sometimes, there’s a little scolding in between. But we all make sure we end the day with a hug and a kiss. No need to rush chit-chats then go to bed because tomorrow is another busy weekday.  If they need to tell us something, they have the entire day to let us know and even convince us of something they want (now that’s a problem for parents!).  They know you’re available and have all day to listen to them, that if they have problems in school or with friends during weekdays, it’s easier for them to open up to us right away.

Anyway, tata for now! It’s Saturday, we’ll go skateboarding! 😉

tennis c

Tennis Saturdays


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New York Streets Gone Musical, Literally

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in Music for kids | 0 comments


If you are traveling to New York City in the summer, you can’t escape the many opportunities to listen to and create free music. From impromptu performances on the city subways to live streaming orchestral performances, there is something for everyone.

The Queens Public Library hosts a number of live concerts from Lincoln Center. At select branches, the public is welcome to watch live streaming performances including operas, orchestras and soloists at no charge. They also offer a number of performances in foreign languages. For example, the Autumn Moon Festival Concert is a vocal performance in Chinese featuring performers in traditional costumes.

street piano, queens

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority has sponsored a program titled “Music Under New York” since 1985. It sponsors musicians who perform in selected subway stations from all genres including jazz, salsa, classical and ethnic music. Performers use a variety of instruments including drums, flutes, violins, and guitars. The program is designed to provide quality musical entertainment for the riding public as well as to give exposure to up and coming musicians.

Although not authorized, on any given day you can experience a number of impromptu performances including a doo wop groups and a mariachi band. You can even find such diverse entertainment as break dancers, jugglers, ventriloquists and contortionists. There is even a young man who has created a drum set using pots, pans and buckets!

If you want to try your hand at playing the piano, there are organizations who will give you a public forum for free. One organization known as street pianos New York at places pianos throughout the city’s pedestrian plazas, parks, and outdoor markets for the public to play. There are no rules. Novices as well as professionals often sit down for a few notes or an overture. The pianos are usually decorated by local artists. After the program has finished for the year, the organization donates the pianos to local schools.

A similar organization called “Play me, I’m Yours” was created by a British artist who located pianos in public places to be played by anyone who chose to. Pianos were located in train stations, bus stations and even on ferries. The organization has taken the concept worldwide and is now touring in cities like Boston, Cleveland, Santiago, Chile and Melbourne, Australia. “Play Me, I’m Yours” has teamed up with Sing for Hope and installed sixty pianos on the streets of New York.

play me, I'm yours, street piano

image via


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Home security from your phone

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in home comfort zone | 1 comment


Smartphones have grown in popularity, and most home security system manufactures have responded in kind by developing their own smartphone applications with growing levels of sophistication.

What should you look for in terms of smartphone functionality in your home security system?  Here are the top features you’ll want to have access to.

Push Notifications

Text messages and/or push notifications are really important in any home security phone application; because you want to be alerted immediately when there is problem at home and you’re not there.  A good system allows you to configure the system on when to notify you and when to also alert the police.  More sophisticated configurations can notify you when someone accesses the system, such as a child arriving home from school, and can even tell you specifically where the system has had a warning triggered perhaps you were expecting someone to pick up items from the garage, which explains the motion detector warning, but you weren’t expecting your bedroom window to be opened.

Remote Control

What good is a remote application if you can’t take action?  One of the best features of these apps is the ability to detect if the home alarm is on – and if it isn’t, remotely enable it.  Some phones take this to the next level, allowing you to lock and unlock doors, adjust lighting, turn TVs on and off.  The level of features and functions will vary depending on your lifestyle and living situation, but at a minimum, you want to be able to remotely turn the system on and off.

Camera Access

A good mobile security app will allow you to view footage from your home security cameras; while some apps do have limitations on real-time live shots, you should be able to at least get a quick snapshot – this is particularly important if your phone has door lock/unlock features as mentioned above.  While you probably will not have months of archived camera video access, you should be able to access the most recent feeds to see if something happened earlier in the day to trigger the alarm. See ADT Home Security products for more information.

Alarm Trigger & Police Trigger

If your phone has alerted you to a potential threat and you believe the treat is real, your phone should allow you to trigger an audible alarm, if you have one, and also alert the police to investigate.   Good home security systems have seamless integration with local police systems and can give them a file of information about what triggered the alarm, allowing the arriving officer to investigate with all the background information as to what triggered the alarm and quickly determine if there is someone in the home.

History View

Last but certainly not least in our list of useful smartphone functionality is a historical view of events and triggers from your home security system.  If you’re traveling or in business meetings and missed several notifications, or perhaps your partner or another family member reacted to the alarm before you were notified, a history view allows you to see what happened so you can check-in if needed.  This can also be useful for insurance company or police investigation purposes, giving you additional peace of mind that your security system isn’t going to miss a thing.


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