Monday, May 14, 2018

Something's Not Right With Your Neighbor, But What Should You Do About It?

If you live in a close-knit community, there’s every chance you and your neighbors look out for each other’s well being. You likely meet up for town councils and pop over to each other's homes to catch up and check in. It’s lovely to build this sense of community where you live. It can also go a long way towards ensuring everyone is happy and healthy.

Sometime, you may notice worrying signs in your neighbor which weren’t there before. As you live so close, you may even be the first person to do so. After all, family members stop by for a few hours at a time, but, you’re with these people every day, and you’re sure to notice changes in behavior and routine.

When it comes to our elderly neighbors, sudden changes are often cause for concern. Sadly, Alzheimer’s and dementia are rife and ruining lives on a daily basis. The first signs usually include sudden changes and confusion, both of which you, living next door, are likely to spot straight away.

And, that begs the tricky question of how you can move forward. You’re going to want to do your bit to help. You may be the only person in a position to notice these small changes at first. So, if you suspect a neighbor is struggling in this way, you should make sure to do the following.

Talk to Others
The idea of talking to other neighbors may seem underhanded, but when it comes to issues like these, it could be your best course of action. After all, wandering and getting lost are commonplace with Alzheimer's. You alone can’t keep an eye out to ensure this doesn’t happen. The more eyes on the street looking out for this person’s well being, the better. What’s more, you may find that others have spotted things you missed. They can thus confirm your thinking enough to lead you in the right direction. Knowing you are not the only one who has noticed a difference, will help you decide what actions you should take.


Pexels Image

Contact the Family
Contacting a neighbor's family is never easy. It can feel like crossing a line, especially if you don’t know them well. If the family lives far away or they don’t visit often, there’s every chance they won’t know what’s happening. In truth, it’s easy for this to backfire. As such, you should be sensitive and avoid definites. Simply give them a call and let them know about the things you’ve noticed. Then, it’s up to them to seek medical opinions and, if necessary, alzheimer's care. At least you’ll be able to rest easy that you didn’t sit by and let your neighbor suffer alone. You may be the only one who reaches out and this could make a big difference in how quickly your neighbor will receive the help they need.

Pay regular visits
Visiting elderly neighbors is always essential. It becomes especially so in cases like these. Alzheimer’s and other such issues can lead to considerable confusion and feelings of isolation. The mere knowledge of your visits will help your neighbor build structure and give them interaction to look forward to. And, when it comes down to it, that’s the most important thing of all.

Hopefully this is helpful to you.  Thanks for stopping in.





Wednesday, May 9, 2018

300 Bonus SB for Signing Up with Swagbucks in May

All throughout May you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, or PayPal cash. 

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how: 

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before June 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it! 

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned [quite a few Amazon gift cards, as well as PayPal funds]


Things to Pack for Your Dog on Vacation

So you have decided to take your dog on a vacation this year. You will surely have loads of fun together. However, if you would like to make sure that they are comfortable in their new environment and make the most out of the break, you will have to create a separate packing list for them as well. Below you’ll find a list of things you shouldn’t forget about when going on a holiday with your pet.


Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Food
It is not a good idea to change your pet’s diet before you would go on vacation. Your dog will have too much change anyway, so having the food they are used to will help them settle in and will help prevent stomach problems. Get a bag of your usual dog food and place it in an easy to seal container and you are ready to go. Be prepared for increased appetite, due to the fresh air and activities, so take a little more than you would normally need at home.
Water Bowl (Self Filling)
No matter how much you enjoy your dog’s company on vacation, there will be times when they will be left in your hotel or cabin. If you don’t want to check on them every hour to make sure that they have enough water, especially in the summer, you can get a self filling water bowl and fill it up in the morning to last all day. This way, you can also avoid spills and accidents, and can supply clean and fresh water for your sloppy drinker throughout the day. It is also a good idea to bring a jug of bottled water, because different water than normal can also cause an upset stomach.
Travel Bed


Image via Flickr

It is also important that your dog stays comfortable on the vacation. While you will have the bed, they will only have the floor, unless you bring a pet bed with you. A memory foam dog travel bed will be easy to fit in your car trunk, and provide the right temperature, no matter what the weather and climate is like.

Medication 
If your dog suffers from any health issues, be sure to bring their normal medications along. If they suffer from joint problems, the increased level of exercise is likely to cause pain. It is important to take the medication with you. In case you have plenty of outdoor programs and activities planned, you should make sure that vaccines are up to date, apply flea treatment, worm them, and take some repellent sprays with you. To manage chronic pain, you could also take some hemp treats with you. 

Toys
Your dog will want to be entertained while away, no matter what you are planning for the vacation. Take their favorite toys in a bag, and let them play on the beach, in the park, or in the garden, if you are renting a villa or cabin for your trip. Take a frisbee, a chew toy, and a ball as a minimum, so you can play together everywhere.

Planning a vacation with your dog can be challenging. You will have to make sure that you have everything to keep them comfortable and settled. The change of scenery might trigger anxiety, so make sure they get loads of exercise and have their familiar food and toys to feel more secure.

Have any other suggestions? Feel free to leave them in the comments.  See you soon!
 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Things You Need To Know For A Hassle-Free Home Revamp

Are you planning to revamp your home, or have you recently moved into a house you’re hoping to revive and remodel? Taking on a project of any scale can be stressful, but hopefully, this guide will help to eliminate unwanted hassle.


Image courtesy of https://kaboompics.com/photo/5707/modern-interior-with-dining-table-and-chairs

Plan in advance
Are you ripping out an old kitchen, are you going to be short a bathroom for the foreseeable future or are you planning to turn a spare room into an office? If you’ve got work going on, you need to make sure that you can carry on with day to day life. If you’re just painting a bedroom, it’s easy to find a solution. You could move the kids in with you for a night or even stay with a friend or a family member for a day or two. If you’ve got no kitchen, or there’s extensive building work going on to extend the house or convert the attic, you may need to give your living arrangements more thought. You could consider options like living in a travel trailer or a motorhome for a couple of weeks, you could ask your parents if you could move in with them or you may think about finding a short-term rental. Think about the scale of the work, and whether it’s viable to stay at home or not. If you’re prepared, you can make plans long before the builders arrive.

Stick to your budget
If you’ve ever watched home makeover shows on TV, you’ll know all too well that it’s easy to go over budget. When you’re planning a remodel of any type, it’s so important to have a budget in mind and to stick to it. Work out exactly where your money is going, and try and to set aside a small contingency fund. Every aspect of the project should be planned out in advance. If you don’t have a bottomless bank account available, take a look at this page for advice about remodeling on a budget https://kitchensacramento.com/ultimate-home-remodeling-renovation-guide/. If you’re searching for building firms, kitchen fitters or interior designers, get several quotes before you make a decision. If you’re shopping for furniture, accessories or soft furnishings, shop around for the best deals. Update your budget as you go, so that you know exactly how much you’ve already spent, and how much is left in the kitty. Keep track of payments you have made, file invoices and keep receipts.

Get involved
As a homeowner, you want the remodel to run as smoothly as possible, so it pays to get involved. You don’t have to become a site manager or devote all your spare time to overseeing the project, but it’s wise to keep in touch with contractors, pop in and see how things are going, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if the remodel is delayed or you’re unsure about the quality or speed of work. If you’re not sure what kinds of red flags or mistakes you should be looking out for, it’s worth reading this article https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/top-25-biggest-renovating-mistakes-pictures.


Image via https://kaboompics.com/photo/4675/large-bed-with-pillows-and-blankets

Are you hoping to change your home? Remodeling can be stressful, but there are ways of preventing unwanted hiccups and ensuring your project your stays on track. Hopefully, this guide will help you achieve a sensational, stress-free home revamp.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Creative Gifts Don’t Have To Be Handmade


(Image Source)

Giving gifts should always be a creative project. When you want to show someone that you care about them, giving them something which has taken a lot of your thought and energy is a great route to take. Of course, though, it can be hard to find the time to make a gift from scratch, and this is what a lot of people are drawn to. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. To help you out, this post will be exploring some of the best creative gifts out there, all of which can be given without having to make anything by yourself.


Travel
Most people love to travel the world, soaking up new sights, and enjoying cultures which feel exotic and interesting. The gift of a vacation or short break is often received very well. Your loved ones will always be happy with a present like this, but it has to be handled creatively if you want to make the right impression. One choice you could make is, you could consider thinking about an important place in their life, like their birthplace or ancestral home. Re-visiting somewhere like this can be a very thoughtful way to make someone feel good.

Along with this sort of approach, though, you could consider pushing the envelope a little bit. Most people have hobbies and interests which make them happy. Using this sort of thought, you can start to build a vacation which covers something they love more than anything else. For example, if they are a keen photographer, you could send them somewhere with incredible landscapes and loads of viewing platforms to take pictures from. Many state and national parks are a great example. Or, if they like driving, you could take them to a world-famous track to take a drive.


Clothing
A vacation can be a very expensive gift, and many people won’t be able to afford the idea above. This isn’t a problem, though, as clothing could come to the rescue on this one. This sort of gift is great, as everyone has to use it, and it is very easy to tell what someone likes simply by spending time around them. With this in mind, you can find garments which they will really like, and it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Take into consideration the type of clothing they like to wear when relaxing. Do they prefer a casual look, or do they enjoy going out somewhere special that might require a dressier look.  Put together one entire outfit that matches their personal style.

While it would be a very long process if you wanted to hand-make clothing, using another company to do it for you isn’t a bad idea. By using a computer, most people will be able to put together a meaningful design which shows how much they care for someone. Custom hoodies, t-shirts, and even socks can be found across the web. This makes it a simple matter of making a design which you like and sending it to the printers before you will have a garment which reflects your care for someone.


Food
This next option is probably the easiest on this list. Of course, though, this post is about things you don’t have to make, so this isn’t going to be a meal which you’ll be cooking. Instead, you will be focused on looking for a creative option for your friend, as this will give them a munch to remember. To help with this, websites like TripAdvisor can be great when you’re looking for interesting places to eat. Depending on your relationship with the recipient, it could be worth bringing yourself along, as this will be part of the gift.


A Night Out
As you slip into adulthood and the realities of life become apparent, it can be hard to find the time for the old fun you used to have. Nights out, for example, are often something which will slip, even though they tend to appeal to most people. Being busy doesn’t mean that you won’t have the chance to go on at least one adventure like this, though. Perhaps you could plan an evening of bowling, take in a sporting event, or even just a quiet evening at an art show. Choosing one of these will be a great place to start, but it could be worth going further.

The best nights out always involve more than one venue, often starting with food and then moving on to some form of entertainment. To be able to do this, though, you’re going to need to make some plans. Picking out all of the spots from your younger years might be the route to go. This sort of approach will give you the chance to visit as many sites as possible. Of course, though, keep it flexible, and the plans you make should act as a rough guide more than anything else.


Entertainment
Figuring out what someone might like in the world of entertainment should be considered a creative pursuit. In many cases, you will have to make educated guesses during a process like this, using your imagination to fill in gaps which you may not be certain about. Most people like different  variety of television, shows, music, and other arts, making it fun to try and figure out. A large part of this will be using your skills of observation, and you could also talk to their other friends and family members.

There are loads of options out there, and the most creative will involve having to look far and wide. For example, for a lover of jazz, an event based around music could be a very fun one to attend. There are loads of different choices out there, though, and you will have to find one which will match the interests of the person getting the gift. This may not be something you like or enjoy, but it will still be worth booking enough tickets for you to go along with them. Putting effort and thought into the gift, is just as important, if not more important than actually hand-making a gift.


Hopefully, this post will inspire you to put a little effort and time into your creative gifts. Everyone wants to make a splash when they give something to someone they love, and these ideas can help you achieve that goal.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Give Your Garage a Gorgeous Makeover

Who says that a garage has to be purely practical? It might be a functional space, where you store your car or various other items, but it can still look good. For many people, their garage is a plain space, where they wouldn't think much about decorating. If you spend a lot of time in there though, there's no reason it can't be stylish, instead of just a bleak and boring room. You don't need to convert your garage into something else to make it look amazing. A few changes could transform your garage completely and make it a much more enjoyable space.

Install a Stylish Door
Your garage door is something you can see from the inside and outside of your garage. It affects the image of your home from the exterior and changes your property's curb appeal too. A stylish door can make a huge difference as to how your garage looks, and it's not too difficult to install a new one. Along with considering different styles, you'll need to take a look at garage door motors. Being able to open your door automatically is obviously a huge advantage. You need to have the correct mechanism to open your garage door swiftly and safely.


Credit to Pixabay

Choose Storage for a Tidy Space
A garage can look untidy so easily. As well as using it to store your car or another vehicle, it's also a convenient place for storing anything from gardening tools to sports equipment. Various items just piled up on shelves or along the walls leaves you with a messy looking space that certainly doesn't appeal to anyone. When you're planning a redesign of your garage, focus on storage and the best solutions for what you need to store. There are many garage storage ideas, from built-in cabinets to wall and ceiling storage systems. Think vertical too, such as hanging bikes and tools.

Practical But Smart Floors
A garage floor is often plain concrete or something similar. While it's practical, it can look extremely dull. It gets dirty and stained easily, and just that can make your garage look sloppy. There are several options that you can consider for your garage floor that give it a smarter look but are still practical. If you want to stick with concrete, a polished concrete floor can look sleek and modern. There are also options like PVC tiles that interlock or resin floors, which can both work for various purposes.

Add Light and Color
Garages can be dark and depressing places. They don't always have proper windows, and the lighting is often inadequate. Taking some steps to make your garage lighter can transform it completely. You can start by making sure there's plenty of lighting, and not just a single light bulb trying to light the whole space. The use of colour will improve things too, whether you paint the walls or get some colourful storage units. You could also have a colourful floor or just focus on a brighter door.

Your garage doesn't have to be boring. It can be a light, bright and tidy space if you want it to be. Hope some of these ideas help!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Are Your Pets Disturbing The Neighbors?

If you have pets in the home, you need to think about them from all possible angles, and this includes what those around you might think of them or how others might be affected by them. One of the most important concerns here is whether or not your neighbors are disturbed by your pets. If you think it is possible that they are, then you might need to alter what you are doing in order to try and make sure that this disturbance is kept to a minimum. Of course, it can sometimes be hard to know whether this is the case until someone complains, so let’s take a look at some of the early signs that your neighbors might be starting to get frustrated at your pets’ behaviors.


Pic Source

Your Pet Keeps Escaping
This is a common one with dogs and cats alike. If you find that your pet is routinely escaping into other people's yards, it might mean that your neighbors are going to get a little annoyed in the long run. It can be hard to know when to try and do something about it, but if you find in particular that your pet spends more time there than in your own yard, it might be time to start thinking about what you can do to change that. It might be as simple as fencing in your yard, fixing a broken piece of fencing, or it could be that you need to think about some pet behavior management instead. Whatever it takes, make sure it doesn’t get to the point where your neighbors have to complain that your pet is always in their garden. Visit: https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/safety/how-to-keep-your-dog-from-escaping for further advice here.

Your Pet Is Noisy
It may simply be that your pet is making a lot of noise - a particular concern for those who keep dogs as pets. Cats are much less likely to disturb your neighbors with old noises. The truth is that if your dog is barking too much it is likely to be a sign that they are not entirely happy for some reason or another. Sometimes they are just bored, or perhaps there is something outside that is scaring or alarming them.  You will need to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to try and keep them happy, by researching resources like www.dogsbynina.com and ensuring that you are doing everything you should be doing for their mental health. As long as you keep them happy, you will find that they are more likely to not be so noisy, and less likely to annoy your neighbors.


Pic Source

Your Pet Makes A Lot Of Mess
If your pet is always shedding or leaving waste behind or otherwise making a mess in the neighbor's yard it is highly likely that people will complain before long. Therefore, be sure to go out of your way to keep the mess to a minimum, or at least remove it when it is produced. Groom your dog or cat regularly and if you do groom outside, collect the fur and place it in the trash.  If your dog uses your neighbor's yard as a toilet, one you should stop this from occurring, but should an accident happen, immediately go clean it up.  Apologizing before they complain helps too.  You will find this makes for much happier neighbors in no time, so it is something you should really think about early on if you want to keep everyone as happy as possible.

Hope these few tips help someone.  See you soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Like Arrows in Theaters May 1 and 3



Hey neighbors!!

I was given the opportunity to preview the new movie "Like Arrows" produced by Alex and Stephen Kendricks, Dennis and Barbara Rainey (Family Life), and Bob Lepine.  You may remember the Kendricks brothers from movies like; Courageous, War Room, Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel.  Our family has personally followed the Kendricks brothers from way back with Flywheel.


I stayed up late one night to preview this new film, Like Arrows with two of my daughters.  Just as with the previous movies the Kendricks have worked on we were impressed.  This one started out a little differently and spans a couples life over 50 years.  The movie begins a little slow, and because it leaps forward years several times instead of days, you may find yourself thinking, where is this going.  Hang in there, because it is well worth your time.  This movie deals with issues many parents experience with child raising and will encourage you to set goals and work towards them.  Be prepared to cry.



Movie Synopsis:
When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and
Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy. In the process, they realize how
critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives. FamilyLife’s
first feature film explores the challenges and joys that come with raising children.
Through a journey that unfolds over 50 years, Charlie and Alice discover the
unmistakable power of family. Together, they learn that knowing and living by God’s
Word is what brings transformation and hope to any family

Movie Synopsis:
When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and
Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy. In the process, they realize how
critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives. FamilyLife’s
first feature film explores the challenges and joys that come with raising children.
Through a journey that unfolds over 50 years, Charlie and Alice discover the
unmistakable power of family. Together, they learn that knowing and living by God’s
Word is what brings transformation and hope to any family
This movie will only be in theaters May 1 and 3, and is not being released nationwide, so be sure to check HERE for locations near you.


MOVIE SYNOPSIS:
When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy. In the process, they realize how critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives. FamilyLife’s first feature film explores the challenges and joys that come with raising children. Through a journey that unfolds over 50 years, Charlie and Alice discover the unmistakable power of family. Together, they learn that knowing and living by God’s Word is what brings transformation and hope to any family.

You can find out more HERE about the Family Life Ministries and their Art of Parenting.

Be sure to check out their social media pages and follow them.
Twitter: Here
Facebook: HERE

You can see the teaser trailer on their Facebook page.  I am sure you will enjoy this film, Like Arrows!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Goodie Box Giveaway!!

Hey neighbors!!
Time for our new monthly giveaway!  Sorry this was not up yesterday, but we changed internet providers, so I was without service for quite a bit of the day.  So, what do we have for a giveaway this month?  I am so glad you want to know.  Check the picture below to see what is included!!


Now, here is the description.  First of all, a beautiful pair of earrings from Kohl's.  Next is a mini nail care collection from Sei Bella.  This is their Tropical Paradise Collection. Then, also from Sei Bella, their Brilliance Lip Gloss in Pink Pearl.  Also included is a Sei Bella nail color in Robin's Egg Blue.  Last of all Is the Sei Bella Powder Perfection Loose Shimmer Eye Shadow in Peach Glow.

So, anybody excited about this giveaway?  I am looking forward to sending this to one of my neighbors!!

5 Habits Of The Loving & Caring Dog Owner



Pexels

Owning a pet comes with responsibilities. A pet is not something to take for granted and left to him/herself. You likely know this if you have put thought into becoming a pet owner. Becoming a new pet owner does take a little time to adjust to however, so it can pay to keep a in mind some attitudes you will need to use to help your pet adjust to their new home.

In the effort to simply make sure your pet has enough to eat and is introduced to the home, you might forget some of the more complex things you need to consider. We’d recommend that the following are the most pressing and habits to develop to ensure you are properly caring for your new pet. Over time, you will find that you become a much better and competent pet owner, and that the advice given here becomes second nature.

Patience
Owning a puppy might have been on your mind for so long that you have a whole mental picture of how the puppy will act and be around you. It’s unlikely you’ve thought about the fact that they are incredibly cute, but also not trained in the least. It’s up to you to instill good habits in this animal, and to provide it with the best platform to learn. That also means you need to be patient. The puppy will do it's business on the floor from time to time without warning. It will bark incessantly at shapes moving past the window, and might take a little bit of time to acclimate to the social setup of your household.

If you’re willing to keep this in mind, you won’t lose patience with your pet even after weeks of training. This will also help you take things step by step. If your puppy cannot walk on leash as well as it might, it’s surely not going to learn how to roll over or to commit any complex tricks to memory just yet. Keep patient, and enjoy the pet right in front of you before you worry about making them commit further tasks to their memory.

Welcome
One of the first things to do is to make your pet feel at home in their surroundings. This means allowing them to explore it, and to slowly meet each individual in the household. It also means gently introducing new pets with your current pets, and allowing them to share mealtimes in proximity or beds near one another.

This feeling should never end. From your introduction into the family, the pet becomes one of its members. This means never prioritizing new pets over old pets, or playing favorites. Treat them as if they are each special and they will feel the welcome they deserve. Habit is a huge part of this, and will help form your entire relationship with the pet.

Respect
Respect your pet. This can give you a wonderful relationship, because it means you are aware of their needs and look out for them. For example, it’s extremely important to know that your pet might not want to be stroked and hugged by your children all day and night long. Allowing them a space to retire and relax will help them connect to your household more as time passes, and can even be useful to allow older pets to relax in your environment.

This also means giving the pet an area for them to stay alone in, a place that isn’t interrupted unless to clean. This might be an indoor dog cage, a bed, or simply part of a room you allow them to keep a form of small (but not total or aggressive) sense of dominion over. This respect you show your pet will help your interactions with them mature. It’s worth developing if you have any interest in the health of your animal at all.

Diligence
It’s important to stay diligent in your practical home care techniques. This means regularly washing their bed, or watching for signs of behavioural change. It means truly observing them when presenting them with a variation of diet, seeing how this affects their health. It also means conducting research into the health of your pet and manners to improve or maintain it. For example, a simple search of ‘is coconut oil good for dogs’ could yield you a potential lifelong understanding of the power of niche products to benefit your animal.

A pet is not something that you buy, enjoy and feed until the day they die. A pet is a companion, a friend, a family member. We’d suggest that all our family members are worth caring for, and if this involves a little diligent research into the best products, techniques and habits to implement, then that is absolutely fine. Even a fraction of the willingness to do this differentiates the good pet owner from those who probably should not own an animal.

Socialization
It’s important to give your dog the room to socialize and learn about the outside environment. This can be absolutely impossible if you have no other pets at home and you neglect heading to the local dog trainers. You might bring your pet to the park and meet other dogs that way, but often people enjoying a nice walk aren’t interested in networking for their pet (and for good, sane reasons.)

However, socialization is important for the health of dogs. We’d recommend heading out and bringing them around new family members, new households and potentially neighbors pets. This can help them become more aware of the variety of objects, places, pets and people around them, making them startle much less easily or act aggressively to things outside of their domain. This is something to be aware of as often long isolated dogs can pick up aggressive tendencies when faced with something relatively new.

With these tips, you can be sure that you are provided a stable environment for your pet, and that you are helping them to be a well balanced pet.  Thanks for stopping in today!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Preserving Your Travel Memories Forever

Travel is a hobby unlike any other. While it can teach you a lot of things about yourself and the world, it’s not built to imbue you with a new skill. Nor is it something you use to create physical objects that have their own value and independent existence. Unless you put the effort in, the “results” of the time you spend abroad can float off and be forgotten. That’s why it’s important we preserve those travel memories ourselves. Here are a few ways of doing just that.


Photo by Kaboom Pics

Take a Picture
It’s one of the easiest and the most popular ways of making sure you remember exactly what happens abroad. Exciting events, gorgeous vistas, and even the little everyday scenes that strike you as poignant make for perfect travel pics. Take a look at some of the photos on this blog to get an idea of the kind of pictures you can take. If you really want to remember every detail of the image you capture, you may want to invest in something a little more sophisticated than a smartphone camera. Try to make sure it doesn’t get too burdensome though. You don’t want to be someone who misses the experience because they’re stuck trying to get the perfect shot of it.

Write it Down
For some people, taking a photo of an event or a scene can be the perfect way to stir up the memories of how it felt to be there. For others, however, it lacks something that can really transport them back. It lacks their own voice and their own ideas of what that moment means to them.   Https://penzu.com shows how you can start a travel journal that lets you put your voice to those memories. In time, you might even want to start a blog of your travel experiences. Writing them down helps you revisit those memories, exactly how you remember them. It also prompts you to think a little more deeply about your travel experiences which can help you further grow from them.

Put those Memories Together
Images and words alone might not be enough to really encapsulate what you feel about a trip, however. If that’s the case, then start putting everything together in one place to create your ultimate collection of memories. Travel scrapbooking is becoming a real trend. People will put together photos, tickets, write down their thoughts, press flowers, collect seashells and much more. When it’s all bound together in a single scrapbook, it can really bring those memories to live and give you the full experience of revisiting that location.


Photo by Kaboom Pics

Start a Souvenir Collection
Some people prefer to have a little more order to their memories, of course. Scrapbooks can be a little chaotic and you might not want to spend too much of the trip preserving memories on the spot as opposed to actually creating those memories. A great way to save time is to choose a single item. Make that your go-to souvenir and collect it from as many countries as possible. Coins are a common one. You can make them have even more value by looking for collectible ones. You can try to find them in the country itself, but you will have even better results using sites like https://www.lpm.hk/. Then you have something with value all its own worth displaying as well as those ties to your fond memories of travel.

Make a Visual Map
Sometimes, looking back on the places you have been also give a certain sense of accomplishment. If you’re marking the items off a bucket list one by one, why not put it on display? Get a chalkboard on the wall where you can cross of those destinations. Items like https://www.scratchmap.org/ are becoming a lot more popular, too. They’re displayed on the wall just like any other map. However, every time you visit a destination, you can scratch it off on the map, revealing a flash of color. Not only is it a way of looking back on where you have been but it’s almost guaranteed to inspired you to visit more places if only so you can scratch them off the map, too.

Take a Memory Home
It’s not just personal memories that you want to bring back with you, either. You might have picked up a taste for the culture that you are just aching to get back to. For instance, if you hear any music you grow particularly fond of overseas, endeavor to learn the name of the song and the artist. You can start populating an international Spotify playlist that helps you instantly get back to the moment. If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, then you can also look at international cooking courses to help you create authentic meals that help you bring your new favorite tastes back with you. Even if you’re not able to 100% mirror the tastes you experience abroad, you can make them a part of your own life.

Make some friends along the way
It’s not just the destinations that make travel so memorable, it’s the people you meet, as well. There are all kinds of apps for meeting other travelers, whether you’re on your own or with a group. If you make friends abroad, why not exchange email addresses or contact details for apps like Skype? You never know, you may be able to meet in future again. If nothing else, then you have found someone else to share travel experiences with, no matter how far away you are. Don’t underestimate the ability to make lifelong friends on your trips across the world.

Without taking the time to preserve memories or commemorate our trips, it’s rather easy for those experiences and the feelings associated to slip away with time. While that won’t change the fact you’ve traveled or the ways it has helped you grow, it can feel like you’ve lost something valuable along the way. Hopefully, the tips above stop that from happening.

Great Idea for State and County Parks



Hey neighbors!!

I just have to share this with you.  One of my daughters and I LOVE photography.  She does a lot of photography for Southern Gospel groups and the goes out with me doing nature photography.  Since spring is finally peeking it's head out, we decided to go to a couple of parks a few hours away and spend the day taking pictures.  The end of last year we discovered these two parks in Iowa, that both have special bird feeding areas set up, but the best part is, they have small buildings, blinds, where you can go in and sit and watch the birds.  One of them even has binoculars, a dry erase board to post sightings, and posters about the types of birds you are likely to see.




The blinds at the first park we visited, F W Kent,  have small windows with hinged covers, so you can open different ones for different views.  There are seats to sit in, so you can get comfortable and watch.  The windows are at different heights, so you can also stand and look out.  They have placed several different feeders out to attract many types of birds.  There was actually a raccoon at the one feeding area when we arrived.  This blind is also easier to access, as it is at the end of a parking lot and has a sidewalk right up to the building.




The second park blind, Macbride Nature Recreation Area,  is a little rougher in condition, then the first.  It has long benches placed in front of a permanently open long narrow window.  The actual feeding area though is a little better.  They have plenty of brush for the birds and other little animals to hide in.  They also have feeders out that squirrels and chipmunks can utilize.  This blind is a little harder to access, as you can not drive back to the location.  You must walk back on a gravel road, and then cut across a grassy (and at this time muddy) area to reach the blind.  Definitely not designed for anyone with disabilities.




I really wish more parks would do something like this.  We spent over an hour at the first one taking pictures.  It was so peaceful and quiet.  I am sharing a few of my photos here that have my photography watermark on them.  I hope you enjoy them.




Do any parks in your area have anything like this?  Leave a comment telling me what your parks have.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Guide to Assist in Choosing the Right Dog for Your Home

If you are ready to get out there and get a new pet for the family then you will find out quickly what an exciting experience this can be.  You will also learn how great it can be to really welcome a new fur ball to the family home.  The problem is that choosing the right dog can be a difficult process, and this is especially the case if you don’t know what you are looking for.  If you’re ready to get started, then you can find out everything you need to know below.

Your Current Lifestyle
When you choose your dog you need to think about the lifestyle that you have now.  Think about it, what adjustments need to be done?  What sacrifices are you willing to make?  All of this will really help you to know which type of dog is right for you.  If you have kids then you will need to make sure that you take into account any allergies.  If you do have a slight allergy to dog fur then it is a good idea for you to try and get a dog that is low-shedding or even dogs who have been specifically bred as being hypoallergenic.  You will also have to find a dog or puppy that will co-exist with your other pets.  The next thing that you need to do is make sure that you can commit to the responsibility of being a dog owner.  If you want to find out more then take a look below.




Size
You may already have an idea of the dog that you want.  Some people like to have a little dog that they can carry around with them and others may have their heart set on a big dog that is larger than a small child.  If you haven’t set your sights on either of these then it may be a good idea for you to consider what  size dog will fit in best with your family.  It’s also worth noting that smaller dogs can be much more active and some have a tendency to bark a lot.  Larger dogs of course need more room and usually need more exercise than a small dog.

Obedience
All dogs need some kind of obedience training.  If you choose a smaller dog then they can develop a tough-dog kind of attitude as this will help them to compensate for their smaller size.  You need to be prepared for this. Very large dogs need to be trained not to jump up on people.  Larger dogs can sometimes become aggressive if not trained properly when they are younger.  All dogs need proper exposure to people and situations to be able to go places with you.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adorable-animal-breed-canine-351406/

Activity Level
Some dogs have a higher energy level when compared to others.  Not all dogs need the same amount of exercise as a result, but don’t go thinking that if you get a chihuahua that it won’t have much energy.  Every single dog out there needs their fair share of exercise. This is regardless of the breed that you have, so if you can’t commit to two casual walks a day then you may not be suited to owning a dog.  If you want an example of a calm dog that has a lower level of energy then a check around to find a calmer breed.  If you want something that you can play frisbee with at the park then consider opting for a Border Collie or Aussie.  If you want something in-between then consider going for Yellow Lab puppies from Puppy Joy.

Energy
If your dog is barking constantly or if they are digging up the yard all the time then there is a high chance that they have excess energy.  If a dog is acting out then they could be bored so you may need to give them some extra activity.  You may need to take them out for an extra walk in the day or you may want to try and play with them more.  Consider toys that also entertain, like the ones where they have to work for the reward.  This will help to keep them under control and it will also help them to feel more at ease as well.  Remember that when you choose a dog, you will have to commit time to them and you may also have to tend to any special needs that they have as well. if you are not able to do this then you may want to think about getting another type of pet.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/animal-blur-canine-chihuahua-485294/

Physical Maintenance
Your dog’s appearance really does have a lot to do with the amount of maintenance they require.  All dogs require some kind of basic grooming but some dogs will need much more depending on the coat that they have.  Of course, if you get a dog that has a longer coat then they will need brushing a lot more and you will also have to make sure that you shampoo their fur as well. If you have a dog with a shorter coat then they can shed an incredible amount and this can cause you problems in that way. Fortunately, there are plenty of grooming tools available for you to choose from to help handle each of these situations.  As far as physical care goes, make sure you have a good vet that you can trust nearby for shots, deworming an such.  You do not want to have a medical emergency and have to start searching for a vet.

Floppy Ears and Drooling!
Dogs that have floppy ears have a tendency to get ear infections.  They also require much more frequent ear cleanings as well.  If you don’t like drool then make sure that you get a dog that is not big on drooling or you might start to get irritated with your new found friend.  In other words avoid Mastiffs, Saint Bernards and more.  If you do want one of these dogs then make sure that you cover your face when they decide to shake.  You’ll be thankful for it later!

So choosing a dog is a very personal experience, and when you have found one that is right for your needs, you can be sure to welcome them as a great addition to your family.  Be sure to do your research before bringing a new dog home.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Welcoming a Cat into Your Family



Cats are amazing pets that can bring joy to your entire family. They are appealing as a pet due to the minimum care they require. They basically groom themselves, and they can be left home alone for short periods of time as long as plenty of food and water is on hand, but you should still carefully consider the responsibility before inviting a feline into your home.

Food and Water - Feeding your feline may sound simple, but there are a few considerations. If your cat tends to over eat, you will need to closely monitor his food and be willing to offer several small meals each day. Other possibilities include a sensitive stomach which will require more expensive pet food. You also need to keep their food out of reach from other pets.

Medical Care - All pets need routine car from a profession veterinarian. Before you take in a new kitten you need to be committed to spending the time and money necessary to keep your feline healthy. You can take them to a typical veterinarian office for routine shots and exams or you can look for a cat friendly clinic like Feline Medical Clinic in Vancouver, WA.



Personalities - Seriously think about a cat’s personality. Although each feline has an individual style, you need to be aware that most cats have behaviors that not all humans enjoy. Cats are naturally night owls. Be prepared for plenty of playtime in the middle of the night. They also tend to scratch. This means your drapes, carpet, and furniture are at risk. Scratching posts or de-clawing may help. If you have carefully considered all the aspects of having a cat as a pet and still want to make that new little kitten a part of your family, he will provide you with love and friendship for many years to come. As long as you take good care of him, he will bring you plenty of joy.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Into Bonuses With Swagbucks!



All throughout April you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, or PayPal cash. 

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how: 

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before May 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it! 

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned several Amazon Gift Cards to purchase gifts with for the family, as well as a PayPal deposits.  It's GREAT!