<![CDATA[NonperfectParenting - Product Reviews]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:32:50 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[How To Keep Up With Your Kid's Extracurriculars]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:00:16 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/how-to-keep-up-with-your-kids-extracurriculars.html
     As a parent, you’ll know all too well that you have a lot to keep track of when it comes to your kids. Not only do you need to make sure that they’re breathing and fed, and generally in good health, but you have to make sure they get to school on time, and that they’re doing as well as they can be there too. It can be tough! So when you think about throwing extracurriculars on top of that, it can all seem a bit much. But you know deep down that your kids need their extracurriculars for balance and a bit of fun too. So, as a parent, you’re going to want to make sure that stay on top of them too.
Know The Options
The first thing that’s going to help you not only make sense of things, but also ensure that you know where you are with them, is to know exactly what extracurricular options your kid has. Whether they’re five or fifteen, there’s likely to be a mix of sporting, academic, and creative options available to them, even some cool and quirky options too. So be sure to go through the list of options that the school offers your child. You should look to do it together so they can see what might interest them, but you can also advise what they might like, or what could be good for their future.
Create A Schedule
From here, you then need to create your own schedule or chart for the wall. Because when there’s a lot of activities going on, it’s hard to know where your kid has to be and when. Throw in more than one kid and things get complicated. So color code by activity or kid and put up the extracurricular schedule on a calendar-type chart so that everyone knows when meets, practices, games, competitions, and rehearsals are.
Invest In The Right Equipment

Then comes the monetary side to things. Because you’re also going to want to make sure that you invest in the right areas. Whether they need custom wrestling singlets or a new clarinet, extracurriculars need the right equipment. So it’s a good idea to get them started young, so that you know they’re going to stick at whatever it is you choose to invest in.
Get Extra Help

Some extracurriculars that your child will come across will be really beneficial to them come their college years. So you may want them to do well. When this is the case, getting them extra tuition in a certain activity could help. Whether it’s private coaching or a tutor, you may find extra help can help them to excel with their extracurriculars too.
Be Supportive

Above al else, your role as the parent is to be supportive. And that not only means that you should be helping them out with anything that they bring home to learn or practice, but that you also show up to physically support them too. So go to games, meets, competitions, or performances and cheer them on; it’s the best thing you can do for their extracurriculars.
<![CDATA[Parents: Is It Time To Tie The Knot?]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:51:35 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/parents-is-it-time-to-tie-the-knot.html     With the ever-increasing rise of nontraditional family structures, it is not always certain that parents will be married by the time they have children. This is not a problem unless you personally feel it is, but either way at some point there might come the time to tie the knot. If you and your partner have come to realise this, then it might be worth looking into some of the major considerations which you should think about if you want it all to go as well as possible. How can you ensure that you enjoy the wedding and the run up to it at the same time as raising your family?
Making It Official
     If you really want to get joy out of it, you should make it as official as you can. This means, for a start, actually going through with the engagement in the proper manner. How this is done is of course entirely up to independent taste, but doing it is a great way to really cement it all and to start enjoying the process of it as well. A big part of this is getting the rings right - take a look at https://www.whiteflash.com/engagement-rings/tacori/ to get you started on engagement rings. The more official that you make it, the more you enjoy it, and that will mean only good things from here on out, particularly during the planning stages.
Planning The Day     Everyone knows that planning a wedding can be more than a little stressful. However, with the right approach it doesn’t actually need to be all that worrisome. The truth is that you just need to start early, work together as much as possible, and don’t allow yourself to become sidetracked. If you remember to focus as much on the details as the bigger picture, you should find that this really helps to make the day as special as possible. And remember that it is your day, so you can ultimately do whatever you feel like doing. As long as you bear that in mind, there is no reason that you will have to get too stressed, and you should be able to arrange exactly the day that you want. See http://www.bridesmagazine.co.uk/planningon for ideas on planning your big day with style.
On The Day
     There is likely to be something of a difficulty when it comes to the day itself - namely, that you need to find a way to deal with your children. Most parents will find that it is usually best to find someone who can look after them throughout the day - and for much of the day, you will need to do exactly that, particularly during the ceremony. However, you probably want them to be as much a part of the day as possible as well, so do everything you can to make that happen too. As long as you can find the balance here, you are much more likely to truly enjoy the day - and your children will as well.
<![CDATA[Take the Holidays Everywhere with Tree Effects ]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:07:57 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/take-the-holidays-everywhere-with-tree-effects.htmlDisclosure: The author of this blog received compensation in the form of free product in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. All opinions are 100% that of the author's.
     Limited on space this holiday or are you tired of the hassle of a huge tree? Tree Effects gives you the beauty of a holiday tree with the simplicity of a space saver. The best part? With the changable light caps, the tabletop tree can stay up all year long! 
     The Tree Effects tree is powered by a USB plug so it can run by AC power, RAVPower battery, USB hub and even most new computers. This makes it a perfect desk decoration for the office or college student! 
     The tree comes preset with 50 effects, so you will never be bored. With the wireless remote and built in timer, your tree effects tree can light up your surroundings any time you want. 
     Head over to the Geek My Tree website and check out this and the other awesome goodies they have to offer. 
Disclosure: The author of this blog received compensation in the form of free product in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. All opinions are 100% that of the author's.
<![CDATA[Xfinity Has All Your Needs Under One Roof]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:45:59 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/xfinity-has-all-your-needs-under-one-roof.htmlThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Xfinity. All opinions are my own. 
     Last night I got to hang out with the awesome people at the new Upper St. Clair Xfinity store to see what ways they can make my life hassle free. We love our Xfinity products and after last night I will be adding a few more on too! Check out all of the ways you can bring Xfinity into your home. 
     When you are an Xfinity customer you can now manage and customize your account from absolutely anywhere. You can also use any device. If you are working online, you can quickly log into your Xfinity account. While you are watching your favorite tv show, Press A or say "Help" to your X1 Voice Remote and you can easily access your account. Finally, since there is an app for everything, don't forget to download the Xfinity app here
     So, what sort of things can you do from your Xfinity My Account? If you have an upcoming tech appointment, you are now able to view/cancel or reschedule your appointment. Your X1 system can even assist you in managing your account or troubleshooting issues. Being an Xfinity customer really puts all your needs right at your fingertips. 
     Xfinity X1 is going to change everything you know about tv. Our entire family loves it, especially the kids! X1 gives you the viewing experience you have always wanted with its one of a kind interactive abilities. The advanced search, recommendations made for you, the latest movies and TV shows on your screen, these all make X1 the entertainment system we love at home or even on the road. 
     The X1 Voice Remote allows you to speak into it and search accross live TV, Xfinity on Demand, DVR, and even Netflix. No more trying to type and search. X1 hears you and does the work! 
     I absolutely love the Kids Zone on X1. It allows my kids to watch television and navigate shows that I know are appropriate for them, without my supervision. X1 helps me out when I am busy and can't be right next to them to see what they are viewing. All I have to do is speak "Kids Zone" into the X1 voice remote and I am right there. 
     Xfinity has you covered when you are at home or away. Xfinity Home is a total home security solution. Xfinity is the fastest growing home security provider. They give their customers 24/7 professional monitoring and advanced technology.
     No matter where you are, you want to know your family is safe. With Xfinity Home you can use your smartphone, tablet or computer and any internet connection to look after them. 
     The Xfinity security system gives you the peace of battery and cellular backup.  Your system is going to be connected during power failures or interruptions. This is especially important when your kids may be home alone. You know Xfinity always has your system up and running. 
     I love the Xfinity Home system because I can set the system to get notifications of activity in your home from anywhere. This is perfect for homes like mine who have parents who travel. 
     One of the newest additions to Xfinity is also the one I was most impressed with. Xfinity Mobile has been created to save families money. It is a plan that allows customers who don't use all of the data they are paying for to only buy what they need. 
     Xfinity Mobile has two options: you can buy data by the gig or unlimited. 
     Xfinity Mobile has all the best phones and right now they are offering a $200 prepaid card when you buy a Samsung phone. With no line access fees, unlimited talk and text and super low data plans, it is a smart choice for families. 
      Xfinity is the best ISP in America and I am not the only one who thinks so. According to Speedtest.net, Xfinity consistently delivers fast Internet and the most WiFi coverage throughout homes.
     See if Xfinity is available in your state here
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Xfinity. All opinions are my own. 
<![CDATA[The Splendid Baron Submarine is a Must Read ]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:36:24 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/the-splendid-baron-submarine-is-a-must-read.html This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Children's Book Review and Amberjack Publishing. All opinions are my own.
    Waldo "W.B." Baron is back with another amazing adventure in another incredible invention! Pirate treasure? A clandestine meeting? A terribly rude monkey with personal boundary and hygiene issues? Two of those things sound like a dream come true to W.B, whose clever inventor parents are hired―by the Vice President!―to go on a super secret and intensely important treasure hunt to repay a national debt. If only it weren't for that lousy, rude monkey, it would be the beginning of a perfect adventure. But at least it isn't squirrels...
    The treasure hunt gives the Baron family the opportunity to use their exceptional steam-powered submarine, freshly biggened and ready for adventure! But things are seldom straightforward for the eccentric Baron family, and this treasure hunt is no exception. W.B.'s trademark bad luck has him suffering monstrous marine misfortune and marauding monkey misery.
    Can the Baron family embark on their newest adventure without the eggy and depressing Aunt Dorcas? Will the Barons find the treasure they seek? Will they save the country from financial ruin? Where does the monkey fit in, anyway? Do we like asking questions? Not really, but inside you'll meet someone who likes asking questions and then answering them (despite his claims to the contrary, he really does like it).
   Oh, did we mention the pirate's curse?
Check out an excerpt from THE SPLENDID BARON SUBMARINE 
Excerpt 1, Chapter 1, pages 8 - 15

Then, without warning, he switched off the Gravity-Switcher-Ma-Thinger.

                  Everyone and everything fell from the ceiling to the floor. No one was seriously hurt, though a bookshelf did land on my head. But my head had been through worse. My head attracts heavy things in the same way that P’s head attracts lightning. I wish I had inherited M’s head, which didn’t really seem to attract much of anything.

                  With our living room now in shambles, M stood up and went to the door, adjusting her glasses and hair before opening it.

                  “Hello,” she said. “How may I help you?”

                  Two of the largest men that I’d ever seen slowly lumbered into our home. They looked like a pair of gorillas that had been shaved and stuffed into suits, though that would be a pretty lousy thing to do to a gorilla. 

One of the men was holding a piece of paper up to his face and reading from it very carefully. I could tell by the creases in his forehead that reading was not one of his favorite things to do. In fact, I could actually hear the sounds of his brain straining to understand the words, and it was not a pleasant noise. It sounded very squishy, like someone stepping on an old pumpkin.   

                  “Mr. McLaron Baron?” he finally said to my mother, in a rather dopey sounding voice. 

                  “No, but you’re close,” M told him politely. “I’m his wife. What can I do for you, sir?”

                  The large man looked back at his paper and struggled to read for a moment, his eyebrows bouncing like a pair of rabid caterpillars, before looking up again.  

                  “Mrs. Sharon Baron?” he said.

                  “That’s me.”

                  The other large man pointed to me and Rose. 

                  “And those two is Rose Blackwood and Waldo Baron?”

                  I winced. I really hate it when people call me Waldo. It’s pretty high on my list of my least favorite things to be called, along with “weirdo,” “chubby,” “dummy,” “clumsy,” and “Julia,” which is what the weird old man at the grocery store calls me. 

                  “Yes, we are. And who might you be?” my mother asked the men, emphasizing the correct grammar.

                  “It don’t matter who we are,” one of the large men said gruffly. “We’re gonna need you all to come with us.”

                  “Yeah,” the other one echoed. “We’re gonna need you all to come with us.”

                  “Alright,” said my father, who stepped forward to follow them out the door, despite the fact that he wasn’t wearing shoes.

                  My father is a genius, but sometimes he can be very scatterbrained and naive. I’d like to blame it on all the times that his head’s been struck by lightning, but he’s always been like that. He’s just a unique person, which I suppose is a nice way of saying that he’s a bit of a nut.  

                  “Wait, McLaron,” my mother said as she caught my father by the arm. “I don’t think we should go anywhere with these men until they tell us who they are, as well as what they want and where they’re expecting us to go.”

                  “I told you,” one of the men grunted as he scratched the inside of his nose with his thumb. “It don’t matter who we are.”

                  “Yeah, it don’t matter who we are,” the other one echoed.

                  “Yeah, it don’t matter who they are, Sharon,” my father told my mother. “Let’s go with them. You’re always so suspicious of large and dangerous looking strangers who come to our door and give us mysterious orders. I don’t understand why.”

                  As you can see, it’s not particularly difficult to convince my father to do something. Usually all you had to do was repeat yourself a few times. Luckily, my mother had much better sense than my father, or we’d all be in a lot of trouble. 

                  “What happens if we refuse to go with you?” my mother asked the men.

                  The two men began to pound their fists into their palms. 

                  “Oh, you’ll be going with us,” said one of them. “We guarantee it.”

                  “Yeah, we guarantee it,” the other echoed.

                  “Why do you always repeat what the other guy says?” I asked. “Do you think we’re not hearing him?”

                  The echoing man blushed, but then he pounded his palm with his fist even harder.

                  “You’re coming with us, or we’re going to play the song ‘Camptown Races’ on your spines,” he growled, and then whistled the first few notes from “Camptown Races.” 

“Camptown Races” was a catchy tune that we’d been singing around the Baron Estate for the past few weeks. It was currently our favorite song, and whenever one of us started to sing it, the others had to join in. We sang it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; we sang it when we did our chores; and we sang it before we went to sleep at night. So when the large man whistled the opening notes to the song, I couldn’t help but hum along. Rose Blackwood snapped her fingers, M tapped her feet, and P pulled two spoons from his pocket and began to slap them rhythmically against his thigh. Soon we were all tapping and humming, clapping and snapping, singing and whistling, while the two shaved gorillas began to whoop and twirl as we had ourselves a little Camptown Races hoedown. One of the men showed us a new dance called “the stinky onion,” which was a lot of fun to do until I somehow managed to get my head stuck in the fireplace. 

                  The fun always stops when my head gets stuck in the fireplace. 

                  “While I do love ‘Camptown Races,’ I’m sorry to say that it’s not possible for you to play that song on our spines,” my father told the two large men when we had all finished dancing. “You see, a spinal column wouldn’t produce the proper variety of notes due to its shape. Now, if you were to take our rib cages, you might be able to play them like a xylophone if you—”

                  One of the men grabbed my father’s lips and pinched them tightly together so he couldn’t speak. They clearly weren’t interested in learning which parts of our bodies they could use as musical instruments. 

                  “You talk too much,” the man told him.

                  “Mmmmphllegnnnmm,” P agreed through his smushed lips.

                  The men then began to pull my father towards the door by his mouth. 

                  “Stop that!” M cried. 

                  “Let go of him!” warned Rose Blackwood. “Or else.”

                  “Or else what?” asked the man pulling my father’s face.

                  “Yeah, or else what?” the other one echoed, then he blushed as he glanced at me. 

                  “Yhhmomehmhuhhff?” my father asked. 

                  “Or else . . .” Rose began, and then looked to me for help.

                  Back when she was still trying to be a villain (like her evil brother), Rose Blackwood carried a gun. But she didn’t carry one anymore. Now she was an inventor’s assistant, which was a much more respectable job, though it meant she only carried inventor things, like small tools, and pencils, and rulers, and goggle cleaner, and throat spray for when my parents’ throats hurt from too much maniacal inventor laughter. 

                  Suddenly I had an idea. I don’t get them often, but when I do get them, they tend to be doozies. 

                  “Or else this!” I cried, grabbing the Gravity-Switcher-Ma-Thinger and pressing the button on the end.

                  Suddenly, everything and everyone on the floor was once again on the ceiling, including the two shaved gorillas. 

                  “Oh dear, I forgot to tell them to wipe their feet,” M said with a sigh. “Now there will be scuff marks all over the ceiling.”

                  The two men were unable to wipe their feet, since they’d both been knocked unconscious by the confusing fall up to the ceiling. They hadn’t expected to fall up because no one ever expects to fall up. It would be like expecting a tap dancing duck to suddenly pop out of your birthday cake. You can hope for it, but it probably isn’t going to happen.   


One (1) winner receives:A copy of The Splendid Baron Submarine, by Eric Bower

A The Splendid Baron Submarine themed gift pack. Includes some pirate-themed goodies, Go Fish, and ghostly treats as well.

Giveaway begins November 15, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends December 15, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Prizes provided by Amberjack Publishing

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Children's Book Review and Amberjack Publishing. All opinions are my own.
<![CDATA[Seriously? Can Yoga (Really) Help You Lose Fat?]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:53:27 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/seriously-can-yoga-really-help-you-lose-fat.html
Yoga for weight loss? Is it really possible? Scientifically?

That's what I always wondered whenever someone mentioned they lost a 'ton of weight' by doing Yoga. But wait a minute, isn't Yoga all about those poses and stuff? How would that help in losing weight?
Well, that's what let me to go undercover and that's what we see in today's article.

So technically, most Yoga exercises lead to the burning of about 300-350 calories in a session that lasts about 70-80 minutes.

Although that sounds wonderful, remember that doing Yoga for that long requires much experience and expertise, however, a session lasting about 30 minutes is very much possible and will help you burn about 100-150 calories. Anyone who wants to lose weight with Yoga needs to consider this fact before they begin...

Those who are a little on the heavier side, or are beginners should start off by going to (local) classes. Usually, beginners are taught warm-up poses that include saluting the sun and standing back up, followed by backbends and stretches.

Also, you need to bear in mind that yoga should be practiced under the supervision of trainers or experienced tutors.

Now let's see how yoga can benefit us.

How Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight
All types of yoga programs tone the body and strengthen a person's core and sense of balance.

The many positions in a Yoga program improve upper body strength, posture, and general health.

One of the core factor that makes Yoga so useful is its ability to quickly heat up your body and loosen your muscles. The increase in body temperature also promotes secretion of adrenaline, which helps you better maintain and/or hold certain poses for more extended periods of time.

Sweat Off Water Weight and Get to the Fat
Water weight gain is typical for someone who is obese. Hatha yoga programs help people lose excess water from their bodies. The body learns how to use water without needlessly storing it.

This is a chance for people to burn fat more quickly and to prevent issues like bloating. A hathayoga session before a big event ensures that you look lean and fit because all of the 'extra' liquids stored in your body will have been 'burned' off. This is a chance to improve your body's overall functioning levels, so fat burn can happen efficiently.

Speed Up Your Metabolism
The temperature and intensity of hatha yoga help people not just improve their overall digestive and circulatory systems, but also their metabolism.

This means that the body understands how to efficiently use nutrients from food, store what it (really) needs, and get rid of the rest. A revved up metabolism is a very natural way to lose fat and to ensure you feel energetic and lively. However, remember that Yoga was never just about losing weight.

Instead, the core of the Yoga philosophy is improving the health of both, your mind and body.

For e.g. rather than consuming that cup of morning joe to 'get that jolt', weekly doses of hatha yoga can have a lasting impact on energy levels, happiness, and fitness.

In short, hatha yoga is an ideal option for people who want to improve their mind and body. It is a chance to strengthen muscles, meditate and enhance the body's internal systems like maintaining an effective energy balance, raising metabolism, etc.

The Mind/Body Connection
As we saw before, Yoga puts your mind in touch with your body. When you do yoga, you discipline yourself naturally, and most people like this change. A lot. The time you invest in yoga and meditation, sets a belief in your subconscious mind that you are capable of taking care of yourself, in a way boosting your confidence and self-control levels.

People who do not practice yoga or any other form of meditation and are out of sync with their inner selves, and will often find themselves giving in to their cravings, straying towards the refrigerator even when they are not hungry.

Regular yoga practitioners, on the other hand, are more disciplined; they can recognize genuine hunger pangs and will only give in to the urge to eat when hungry. This is only because of the increased self-control that Yoga instills.

The Muscle FactorSome yoga poses including the plank pose help build muscle all over your upper and core body. In fact, if you only want a way to tone your arms, shoulders, chest, and abs, the plank pose itself will do that for you.

"The good news about building muscle is that the more muscle mass you have, the less fat you have."Read that again! For every pound of muscle you build, you burn extra 10-12 calories every day by doing… nothing! So if you gain even 7-8lb of pure muscle (not very difficult for most men), you start burning about 80-100 calories every day just maintaining those muscles!

Now, there are various yoga types which are very helpful for losing weight. However, there are mainly two yoga 'branches' which have been proven to be the most successful and beneficial to lose weight and improve bodily strength. These two methods are:

The Two Main Yoga Branches Are:Bikram YogaBikram yoga is the leading yoga method for burning calories. This is the reason it is practiced by many celebrities, sports stars, and athletes. It requires repeating the same exercises about ten times a month. Bikram yoga involves cardiovascular exercise, burning of fats and aerobics. It consists of a set of 26 postures. This exercise does not allow time for rest, and it has to be done regularly.

Bikram yoga also helps to increase concentration power. It helps to lose weight, making you look good and even feel better. This will help regain the confidence which many people lose due to a fatty, sort of “unstructured” body. You will also develop more patience and self-control.

Ashtanga YogaAnother type of yoga to lose weight with is Ashtanga yoga. Compared to hatha yoga, this one is relatively easier to perform.

Ashtanga yoga is basically about synchronization of your 'breath' with various yoga postures.

Thus it results in a fit body, and of course, a healthy mind.

Now here are the top three Yoga programs we recommend for beginners:

  1. Yoga Burn (By Zoe-Bray Cotton) – Yoga Burn is a fantastic beginner's program for losing weight and getting fit(ter). It comes as a DVD set, and you can also follow it online. The trainer, Zoe, is a very good teacher and guides you through the various phases of the program. You can read more about the Yoga Burn program in this review.
  2. The Journey Junkie - This is a free program on YouTube by yogi Allie, the yoga channel offers a free weekly yoga class that varies from 20-minute gentle stretching to a 60-minute power flow type class. You can learn poses like crow pose yoga flow to build strength and confidence, restorative yin yoga flow, and vinyasa flow to make you feel empowered and inspired. Check it out here.
  3. YogaGlo – This is is one of the big names on the block and for a good reason. The online yoga site is affordable, the design is streamlined, appealing, and their content is super high quality, plus the teachers are the cream of the crop. Find more here.
All in all, remember that yoga is not just another type of exercise. It goes much beyond that. It WILL help you a lot in your weight loss journey. However, I will also say that don't completely rely on yoga. It is also necessary to accompany it with a healthy nutrition plan.

If you can take up a yoga program and combine it with a good diet plan, the results would definitely be next to… awesome! I wish you all the best.

<![CDATA[Slashing Your Family's Spending Without Killing the Fun]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:45:50 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/slashing-your-familys-spending-without-killing-the-fun.html
     Did you know that the average cost of raising a child from birth until the age of 17 in the United States is now approximately $233,610? That’s a big chunk of change, and for many families with kids, it means that every cent really does count.
     Anything you can do to save money is sure to be welcome when you’re a parent, and luckily, there are numerous ways you can slash your family’s spending without killing the fun. Here are some of them:
Draw Up a Monthly Budget
     There’s nothing like sitting down and taking a good honest look at your family’s incomings and outgoings to motivate you to slash your spending. Once you see how much you're spending on coffees and pointless apps every month, you’ll commit to change and drawing up a budget is the easiest way to ensure you stick to your guns and spend more within your means. Doing it in a way that allows for a certain amount of money to spend on treats can also make it fun, as you try to squeeze in stuff under budget!

Cut the Cable

     If you’re a family who enjoys spending time together around the TV watching your favorite shows, this might seem unthinkable, but thanks to the increase in streaming services like Netflix HBO Go and Amazon Prime, you can still enjoy your TV time together without spending such a huge sum of money every month!

Increase Energy Efficiency
     Whether you opt for solar panel installation, a more energy-efficient air conditioning system or replacing your old, broken down appliances with energy star rated ones, anything you can do to increase the efficiency of your home is good for your bank balance. Why? Because the more efficient your home is, the lower your power bills will be. You’ll also be helping to fight for a better future for your children by doing your part against climate change.

Buy Used
     There are few things which cannot be acquired used and only a few things (underwear, false teeth) that it would probably not be a good idea to buy used, which is why, whether your kid has his heart set on a new games console or a really cool designer bag, you should not think twice about hitting Facebook marketplace, Craigslist or Thrift Stores to get it for them. They’ll hardly know the difference, and even if they do, they probably won’t care as long as they have that thing they want!
     This goes for home essentials like appliances and furniture too - unless you’re buying new to increase your energy efficiency, used stuff, as long as it has been tested and proven safe, is the smart choice.

Change Your Cell Plan
     Most members of your family would probably die if you cut off their cell phones, so you probably shouldn’t do that, but you should definitely call up your provider and ask for a better deal. It’s surprising, but if you’re persistent, and perhaps threaten to move to another carrier,  you can get basically the same plan for a lot less. Just be polite and persistent, and it will almost certainly work for you.

Hope this helps you to slash away without being reduced to complete boredom!
<![CDATA[Adding Safety To Your Chateau]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:57:17 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/adding-safety-to-your-chateau.html
     Being a parent doesn’t just come with a new set of jobs for you to do. Alongside the new role you’ve taken on, you will also have a lot of new emotions surrounding your child, and they could be hard to control. For the most part, these emotions will be positive, like excitement, pride, and joy. But, of course, of everything you feel, one thing sticks out the most; stress. When you have a young person under your protection, it can be hard to feel secure in your actions. So, to help you out, this post will be ticking off a big box to help reduce your stress; safety around the home.
  • Sharp Edge
    When considering the risky parts of your building, it’s a good idea to think about those most likely to cause injury first and foremost. Sharp edges, like glass corners and exposed nails, are very likely to hurt a child if they are near them for too long. So, to avoid any issues, these should be taken out of the home. To help you with this, you should make a plan of your home to give you an idea of where to start.

  • Shatter Risks
    Next, it’s time to think about the sharp edges which don’t exist yet but wouldn’t take long to come into being. Glass, plastics, and loads of other materials are very prone to shattering. Creating loads of small, sharp shards, this sort of behavior is very bad around kids. Convenient and affordable bathtubs and other shatterable items can often be found made from materials like plastic. An option like this will remove the risk of shattering entirely.

  • Trip & Slip
    Falling over can often be one of the easiest ways to cause an injury to yourself around the home. With so many obstacles in your way, tripping or slipping in these areas could be very dangerous, especially for a child. Slippery flooring, like tiles and laminate, should be avoided where possible. Along with this, though, you should also try to clear up any trip hazards around the place.

  • Shocking Surprises
    Conveying danger to a young child is often a fruitless venture. Unfortunately, without the power of hindsight, kids often don’t understand how dangerous certain parts of the home are. Electricity can be a very dangerous thing when mistreated. So, to avoid this, proper cable management has to be used throughout your home, along with sealing any unused power outlets to avoid any dangerous play.

  • Chemical Chaos
    Most new parents have heard stories about children breaking into cleaning cabinets and getting at the chemicals within. Of course, the idea of your child having access to things like bleach is very scary. But, in reality, this sort of danger is very easy to avoid. Special locks can be bought to secure your cupboards from children. Alternatively, though, you could consider simply moving these items out of reach entirely.

  • Heated Situations
    Heaters, cookers, and other thermally active parts of the home can also be very dangerous to a young child. Obviously, you should always try to avoid letting your child come into contact with too much heat, and this can be done fairly easily. Along with this, though, you should also try to educate your child about this risk as early as possible. Keeping the cooker supervised at all times will be hard. So, over time, they will have to learn to keep themselves safe from heat.

  • Gas Attack
    Over the last few years, concerns over gasses like carbon monoxide in homes has become more and more apparent. This odourless and invisible substance doesn’t cause pain or suffering when it damages people. Instead, it will do its deadly work without even waking you up, and this is what makes it so dangerous. To avoid the risks of a gas like this, you should always be using detectors in and around your home.

  • The Great Escape
    Finally, the outside world will always be a much more dangerous place for your child than the inside of your home. While they’re very young, you will want to avoid contact with areas like this as much as possible, especially while they’re on their own. To achieve this goal, baby gates can be used to seal off parts of the home. Of course, though, you’ll also have to work hard to keep doors shut.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the safety measures you use around your home. When you’re a new parent, this sort of area becomes all the scarier. You won’t know what to do, and there will be loads riding on your success, but you don’t have to do it alone.

<![CDATA[6 Ways To Make Your House Safe For Your Baby]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:52:27 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/11/6-ways-to-make-your-house-safe-for-your-baby.html     If you are expecting a baby, then there are a lot of jobs that need doing to make your house safe. A lot of everyday items can become dangerous for your baby. You might have prepared for the baby’s arrival but some of these are easily forgotten in the excitement of the baby coming, so this list should help you to remember.
     When baby-proofing a home, the kitchen is often the first room that comes to mind. It has a lot of items that can be dangerous to a small child. From knives to the stove and boiling water from a kettle, there are many potential danger that needs to be considered. However, don’t forget about your cleaning supplies as you don’t want your baby getting their hands on these. You will need to reorganize your kitchen so that they can’t reach your cleaning supplies as well as making sure they can’t reach any other potentially dangerous objects. You could fit your drawers and cupboard doors with child locks so that only the adults can get in them too. This would limit the amount of reorganizing you would need to do and ensure that as your child grows and can reach more things you don’t have to rearrange your kitchen again.
     It is worth being aware of what is within reach of the child when you are holding them, too. Can they reach something on a worktop that could be dangerous? Are they going to reach over and pull something off that could hurt them or damage your kitchen? When you are baby proofing your kitchen, these are the extra questions you need to be considering. If you have a separate kitchen area and do not want your child to get in and hurt themselves, then installing a child gate is an excellent idea. However, do not rely on this as the only way of protecting your children and still follow the above advice.
     Speaking of installing a child gate, you will want to put on at the top and bottom of any stairs in your home. The last thing you want is for your child to start to crawl or walk and hurt themselves falling down the stairs. These gates are easy to install and will prevent your children from entering your staircase, preventing any accidents. You should seek advice on what kind of gate to install on your staircase as the size and nature of your particular stairs will vary from someone else's, but the store you purchase it from can help you.
Sharp Corners
     You will want to be mindful of where the sharp corners in your home are. Whether they are on your furniture or are part of the house itself, you will likely need to soften them in someway. You can do this in a multitude of ways. You buy specific products that are a soft corner that attaches to whatever the issue is. However, some corners will be abnormal, or you might not want to shell out for a lot of this kind of product. If that is the case, then you could buy some sponge and fit it to your corners. This will do a similar thing to a store bought product, but you can make it fit any sharp edge. If you are planning to move into a new home and have young children or are planning to have kids, then you should consider how many edges and corners are in the house. Taking the extra time when looking around the house can save you a major headache in the future, so whether you are looking at an HDB resale or something else, keep this in mind.
Living Room
     The living room will likely be the room you spend the most time in with your child, so you need to take extra care to remove any dangerous objects and baby proof it effectively. If you have a fireplace, then make sure that you have an effective guard to stop and dangerous situations. You will want to make sure your baby can’t get at any of your electrical cords, so having them tidied away is important. Talking of electricity, make sure to have plug guards on all of your sockets as your baby may put their fingers in there.
     It is also worth considering how strong the hooks are on any wall hangings you have and whether you should upgrade to stronger versions. You do not want them being pulled off or falling your child. Have a few cushions on the floor will help prevent any falling injuries from adventurous children who like to climb on the furniture, too.

The bathroom is another room that will have cleaning supplies that need moving out of reach. However, you never want to leave your child alone in here anyway. Getting a toilet lock can help prevent any problems in that area. Getting a thermometer for the bath can help you to know that it is a safe temperature, too. Getting the special baby soap will keep them clean and prevent any irritation or damage that adult shampoo or body wash can cause a young child.

Baby’s Room

Let’s say you’ve baby proofed the rest of your house - well done if you have! Do not forget that just because you have a crib in the baby’s room that there is still work to be done. You need to make sure that the floor is soft enough that a particularly adventurous child can’t climb out and hurt themselves. Additionally, you will want to be careful about putting soft toys, pillows and blankets in the crib with the baby when sleeping as each of these can cause suffocation for a young child. A baby should also always be placed on their back while sleeping to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Getting a toy box to put toys away is also a good idea as it will help keep the floor tidy and prevent any tripping.

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