Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Children & Confidence: A Parent’s Guide To Boosting That Characteristic

As a loving parent, you have many wishes for your children. First and foremost, you want them to grow up to be healthy and happy. Quite frankly, self-confidence is a trait that will influence both aspects. Therefore, it’s one where you must do everything in your power to encourage positive results.
 
A confident child won’t only see huge short-term benefits. In truth, it’s a trait that could put them on the pathway for a far brighter future too. So what can you do to actively boost the chances of imparting a sense of confidence into your son or daughter? Let’s take a closer look.

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  • Try to help your child look his/her best. We learn to appreciate the importance of appearances at a very early age, especially as it changes the way people react. Kids grow out of clothes very quickly, so you won’t want to pay through the nose for the latest trends. Check out these The Children’s Place coupons to remove the financial strain. Most importantly, though, you should teach your child to take pride in their appearance. The fact they’ll be taking a positive approach to life should work wonders. It does not have to cost a lot to look neat and clean. Thrift stores are a great way to find good clothing at lower prices.
 
  • Always praise your child when they do something well. This can range from normal schoolwork to encouraging a blossoming talent for music, sport. or even a character trait they show. Every child has something that makes them special. Celebrating those will soon lead to far greater levels of self-confidence. Better still, that encouragement should give them the best chance of utilizing those talents to their full potential. That’s something all parents should crave.

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  • Learn to embrace differences. Growing up with a disability, different home situation, or quirk can be difficult. However, teaching your child to accept and love those special qualities is key to encouraging confidence. If a child can become immune to potential damage, their chances of ever facing major confidence problems will fall. Moreover, those lessons will usually encourage them to accept and appreciate other people.
 
  • Show them that they are loved. Juggling parenthood with other life commitments isn’t easy, but showing that passion is the key. You could take things to another level by getting a pet as that unconditional love is great for kids. Nevertheless, this cannot be used as a substitute for being there yourself. Taking an interest in homework assignments, extracurricular activities and general life is key. If a child doesn’t feel appreciated by their own family, who will provide those emotional needs?
 
Let your children make mistakes. The pressure put on children by parents is one of the main reasons they quit sports and other hobbies. Those sentiments can ring true in other aspects of life too. Ultimately, if a child is scared of the repercussions, they won’t risk failure. While avoiding risk taking is important in matters relating to safety, it shouldn’t stop life progress. A child that isn’t afraid to fail will always have a great chance of long-term success. And that determination is another huge quality in itself.

If you have some other encouragements to help build a child's confidence, please share them with our other neighbors in the comments below.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Neighbor Disagreements: The Most Common (And How To Defuse Them)

You can’t choose your neighbors - which is a little strange when you think about it. You make this huge purchase - the biggest you will ever make - but it could leave you living next door to people you just don’t get on with. It’s bizarre when you think about it!

Hopefully, you have been lucky enough to live in an area where you and your neighbors are on good terms. You have hit the jackpot for sure, but it might not always remain that way. The change could come because you move, or because someone else moves onto your street and disturbs the calm, friendly atmosphere. In those scenarios, it’s best to know which flashpoints you’re going to need to avoid…

1) Building Work


There comes a time when a home needs some work done to it. It might be essential maintenance like foundation repair or dealing with drainage issues, or it could be a cosmetic change like building an extension. Either way, the same problem emerges: there’s noisy work going on, and the neighbors aren’t happy.

This is somewhat understandable. It’s disruptive having building work in your street, especially if you’re next door and have to put up with the noise. That’s why if you ever have work done, it’s a good idea to give your neighbors fair warning and apologize for any potential disruption. A small gift will go a long way to smoothing any frowns, too!

2) Parking

Parking is a source of tension that is a constant threat for many neighborhoods, even when everyone has off-road drives. The issues are usually based around people being inconsiderate; parking across others’ driveways, blocking each other in, or sometimes outright parking in an area they shouldn’t be using.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of this, it’s tempting to go and give the perpetrator a piece of your mind. This will rarely result in a good response. Instead, be gentle and polite, explain the issues they are causing, and ask them to desist. If they don’t, then you might have to escalate to involving the local authorities.

3) Noise


There are two schools of thought when it comes to neighborhood noise, and they tend to constantly butt up against one another. One argument is that it’s their house and they are entitled to do whatever they want with it. The other argument says that’s not the case and they have a responsibility to the neighborhood not to cause constant disturbance.

If it’s an isolated case (such as a party for a birthday) then it’s probably best just to let it go. If it’s a constant issue however, then you can try and discuss it in person - but it might not make much difference if they are of the first vein of thought. Again, rather than delving into long, protracted arguments, it’s often far more efficient to just raise the problem with the local authorities and ask them to deal with it. They might even be able to help while you remain anonymous, so there’s no risk of any arguments with neighbors.

What sort of problems have you run into? Be sure to share in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 19, 2017

6 Ideal Gifts for New Mothers

When a baby is born, the focus is often all on the baby. Sometimes, people forget that a new mother needs some TLC too. The first few weeks getting used to parenthood can be a challenge and gifts, both practical and fun, can make it an awful lot easier. So, here are some ideas on what to get for first time mothers after giving birth.

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Food
A new mother doesn’t just need to eat for herself; if she’s breastfeeding, the baby will rely on getting nutrition from her too. The ironic part is, although she needs to eat regularly, she won’t have the time or energy to cook. Dropping off some meals that she can freeze and use when she needs to will be a big weight off her mind.

Flowers
It may seem like a small gesture, but a bunch of flowers can really do a new mother good. You can’t go wrong with long stem roses. Her home will be surrounded by baby clothes, nappies, bottles, blankets and more. Having said that, a beautiful bunch of flowers will not only brighten the home up, but they’ll be a reminder that people are thinking of her as well.

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A Good Moisturiser
Giving birth will exhaust any new mother. The amount of fluid lost throughout the process will leave skin feeling dry and once home from the hospital, new mothers may feel like they need a good pamper session. A good moisturiser and body cream could do her skin wonders so take a look at the top moisturisers for new mothers.

Bottled Water
A newborn baby will take a lot out of you, including some of your hydration. It’s important for new mothers to stay hydrated for their sakes and their baby’s. Many new mothers complain of headaches because they forget to drink more water after giving birth. Whether you stock the fridge with bottles of water or buy her, her own refillable bottle to keep at her side, it will trigger her memory.

Housework
New mothers often worry about how they’ll get all their chores done. There’s a simple answer – they won’t. It’s often impossible to attend to a newborn and get all the housework done at the same time, especially while still recovering from giving birth. Having people around who are willing to do the dishes, washing and run the vacuum around is a godsend.

Offer to Babysit
A mother may not want to part with her baby for a while, but the time will come where she feels she needs to re-join the adult world, if only for an hour. It may mean allowing her to pop to the shop or go get herself a haircut. She may just want a meal out with her partner or to take a nice long soak in the bath. Whatever she chooses to do, the time you can give her away from the baby will mean she gets to push the reset button and return refreshed.
Whatever you choose to give to a new mother, if it’s her you’ve thought about, you can be sure she’ll be grateful.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer, Grilling, and Parties

Hey neighbors!

Summer is finally here, I think.  Do you have any plans for the summer that include getting together with friends and family?  Maybe you are going to have a Memorial Day or 4th of July party, or an outdoor birthday party, or just a big old family get together.  If you are planning to spend time outside with family friends and food, you need to plan ahead, at least a little.  Make sure you have everything you need to make an enjoyable day for everyone.


One thing to consider is where will everyone sit?  Make sure you have several different options if you can.  Some people will prefer lawn chairs, while others might like patio chairs with cushions.  I personally enjoy a sturdy rocking chair.  You will also need to have picnic tables or folding tables to hold the food and for everyone to eat.  You could set up several smaller tables, or us the long tables all in a row.  If there will be children you will need to consider where they will eat.  Perhaps you could use small children's tables or spread some blankets on the ground.



A big question is where will you be grilling the food.  Do you already own a decent sized grill?  Have you ever tried the pellet grills?  You can find out more about these types of grills here.  They have varying size cooking space, so be sure to pick the one that suits your needs.  You may opt for a gas grill or the old standby of a charcoal grill.  Everyone enjoys a good grilled hamburger or steak!




You will definitely need to have plans to entertain everyone while they are waiting to eat.  Some people may prefer to chit chat while sitting around, but be sure to prepare some activities too, especially if children are involved.  Tetherball, volleyball and badminton all make great, summertime, games.  Maybe some of your guests would enjoy a game of croquet if you have room to set up a course.  Children would probably enjoy a good water-balloon or squirt gun battle.  Something simple like blowing bubbles together could also be fun.  Just be sure to warn other parents to bring a change of clothes for their children.




Don't be afraid to ask people to bring a covered side dish or dessert.  This will cut down on your prep time, and you can concentrate on grilling the meat and entertaining your guests.  If you plan ahead you will truly enjoy a summer filled with family and friends.  If you already have all of this in place the party or get together will go smoothly and be much easier for you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Home Repairs And Upgrades You Can Attempt On Your Own


In the pursuit to keep our homes looking as beautiful and professionally built as possible, sometimes taking a few home repair steps is necessary. It makes sense to keep little repairs taken care of because that prevents you having to tackle bigger problems. Keeping an eye on the condition of your house once a month will help you figure out what issues to tackle first, and which ones to call professionals for.

Sometimes though, there’s no need to worry about hiring a professional. Sometimes, you can save money fixing the issues yourself. With the right tools, you can become a regular DIY Joe and gain a deeper understanding of the construction of your property in the process.

Toilet Lever

If your toilet is struggling to flush, the lever inside the back basin could be loose. Open the lid and identify the screw that’s holding the lever up. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten it and fix the problem. Toilet levers are one of those little intricacies in your plumbing setup that you probably don’t think about, but on a daily basis, especially if you have a family, it could be used more frequently than you’d originally assume. These things usually last a while, but making sure that this isn’t the first reason your toilet isn’t flushing could help you prevent a costly handyman call-out charge.

Levelling Tables

Tables, over time, are sure to become uneven/unbalanced by the sheer amount of use they get. If it’s not level, you’ll find it knocks back and forth with an annoying ‘thud’ sound. Wood wears down, and in humid environments can become tighter. In order to fix this, flip the table over and attach wooden feed or thin blocks of wood to make sure that the table is level from all angles. Ensure that you have the correct angle using a digital angle finder, to best find the angles of your table in those hard to reach and read scenarios.

Unclog Drains

It’s inevitable you’re going to encounter a clogged drain once in awhile. Through no fault of your own, debris can accumulate in the drain and overflow your toilet, which is never a pleasant experience. You’re going to need a plunger to remedy this. Make sure you give it a good few strong plunges before you call out the plumber. You’re likely to unclog the problem using force alone. Just be sure to wash your hands afterward.

Leaky Pipes

You’re also likely to encounter leaky pipes in your time as a homeowner. In fact, it’s guaranteed. If you call a plumber every time this happens you’re likely to never move up the property ladder. First, assess where the leak is dripping and place a container underneath it to collect the water. Next, switch off the main water valve in your house. This might be in your garage, or it might be right next to your sink.

If there’s a loose washer causing the leak, tighten it with a wrench or replace it entirely. For holes in the piping, it might be easy to replace the piece of pipe. If the pipe is clogged, there’s a likelihood you’re going to need a professional. Be sure to keep the water mains off until the issue is fixed to prevent adding to the problem. Water issues are tricky because incorrectly handled, they can cause water damage to your property.

Be pre-emptively smart about these issues and you’ll be sure to avoid a nasty growth in problems. Plus if you complete them well, you’ll certainly feel good at accomplishing the necessary repair.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Summer Time, Your Dog and Wrapsit



Hey neighbors!!

I just have to tell you about this new slip-cover pet crate.  I love it!!  We received a complimentary Wrapsit for review purposes and I have to tell you, I am impressed.  Wrapsit is designed to take your furry friend with you to parks, ball games, agility trials, picnics, etc. it is amazing!  It will hold a couple of our smaller dogs together easily.  It gives them their own space where they are out from underfoot.  Perfect for anywhere you might want to take your dog along.



Wrapsit is basically a foldable crate, that fits on and under your folding chair/quad chair  You know the ones I am talking about, those nylon/canvas chairs that everyone takes to ballgames and parks.  The Wrapsit literally wraps around the base and seat of your chair to create a safe haven for your dog.  It has screen sides, so there is good airflow to your pet.  I can not believe how convenient this is.  The nice thing is once you get it into place on your chair, when you are done for the day, you just fold it up, wrap the flap around your folded chair and carry it to your vehicle.  The flap even has a handle for easier carrying.


Now, here is something to think about, not only is the Wrapsit great for pets, it is also perfect for when you go to a game, or just anywhere there might be a crowd, because you can place your purse and other important items in the Wrapsit, and know that they are safely stored under you!!  No more trying to hold your purse, glasses, wallet, etc. in your lap all day, now you just store them underneath you.

M really likes the Wrapsit as it allows her Princess to be out with her.

Wrapsit’s kennel is constructed of a tough PVC coated, polyester mesh. Once on the chair, it is accessible by a large zipper opening and provides ventilation with windows on all four sides of the crate. The base is made of a heavy, coated polyester, making it waterproof and durable.

Princess Buttercup was out with M at our yard sale.
You will find the added features of the Wrapsit a great benefit too.  There are extra pockets where you can store/hold items.  There are four staking loops, so on windy days you can stake your chair down.  The shoulder strap for carrying the chair, also doubles as a leash when needed.  You have easy access through a large zippered opening.

The Wrapsit has several small pockets for you to utilize.


Wrapsit, has a page, that lists a few different chairs and how well the Wrapsit fits these chairs.  Some will fit snug and just right, while others might have a little more slack in them.  We have the Academy chair and it fits perfect!!

Little Bing watching what is happening.
Please take time to visit their website.  Wrapsit is available for $48 and $7 shipping.   They have also given us a code, that will get you 20% of the price of the Wrapsit.  Just use the code: ATTHEFENCE.

Bing thinking about coming out of the Wrapsit.
So far due to rain I have not been able to use the Wrapsit extensively, as we have had major rainfall the last few weeks.  So, this is my post, but I am going to share some other pictures on social media as we use it more.  Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Be sure and leave a comment telling us what you think of the Wrapsit!



Stop The Value Of Your House From Falling

There are plenty of things that you can do to add value to your home, you’re probably familiar with a lot of them. You might not be as familiar with the things that actually take value away from your home. There’s a chance that you might even be making some of these mistakes yourself so it’s important to know about them. If you aren’t careful you could end up slashing the value of your home, and if you ever come to sell you’ll get a nasty surprise when it comes to valuation. Whether you’re thinking about selling or not, it’s always good to look after your home. Some of these things are out of your control, but they should still be considered anyway. Here are a few major blunders to avoid.

Dumps And Power Plants

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Nobody likes the smell of a dump or a big ugly power plant, so it’s unlikely that anybody is going to want to live near one. Having a landfill near your house can push the value down by five to ten percent, although the effect is worse in more populated areas. Out in the country people don’t seem to mind so much. The effect of living near a power plant is around the same, so be careful when buying a house.

The Surrounding Houses

The state of the surrounding houses can have a massive effect on the value of your house. No matter how much time you spend sprucing up your own home, if your neighbor’s houses are looking tatty, it can push the price down. Overgrown gardens and peeling paintwork can be as damaging as a landfill or a power plant. If they’ve got a front yard full of burned out cars and junk, it could knock down your price even more. It’s a bit tricky to deal with because you can’t demand that your neighbors repaint their houses, but maybe try encouraging them to take a bit more pride in their house. It could make a huge difference.

Click here for advice on how to prepare the outside of your house for selling.


Noisy Neighbors

Your neighbors could cause you even more problems if they’re loud. If somebody comes to view the house and they can hear pounding music through the walls while they’re there, they are going to be reluctant about buying the house. The price reductions can be as high as ten percent if you even get any offers at all.

Fracking

Fracking is a divisive issue all over the world, and it has a massive effect on house prices. There is a lot of debate about whether fracking can pollute the water in surrounding areas so naturally, people are worried about living near fracking sites. In fact, even a proposed site is enough to bring down the house prices in the surrounding area.

Billboards

Nobody likes a huge tacky billboard, especially outside their house. If there are big adverts visible from the property, it will massively reduce the value of the house. It isn’t the nicest view after all. If somebody is trying to have a billboard put up near your house, then make sure you campaign against it and get your neighbors to do the same.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Institute for Excellence in Writing Review


Institute for Excellence in Writing

Hey neighbors,

We had the opportunity to review High School Essay Intensive, a program designed for high school students, grades 9-12, from Institute for Excellence in Writing.  This is a physical product course, not an online program.  You receive a set of 5 DVDs in a case, a folder with different essay rules, tips and guides (this is called a Portable Walls for the Essayist) along with a printed outline and worksheets.


Institute for Excellence in Writing High School Essay Intensive

Here is what is covered during the course:
Part 1A: General Strategies for Essay Writing: Length and Structure
  • Initial Exercise
  • A Hurt and Rescue Operation  
  • What is an essay?
  • Two Questions Writers Need to Ask
  • Translating Assignment Length to Paragraphs
  • Types of Paragraph
  • The TRIAC Paragraph Model
  • Essay Models
Part 1B: General Strategies for Essay Writing: Invention and Style
  • Canons of Rhetoric
  • Invention
  • Practicing Common Topics of Invention
  • Practice with TRIAC Outline
  • Style
  • Sentence Patterns
  • Literary Devices: Schemes and Tropes
  • Practice with Sentence Openers and Figures of Speech
Part 2: Understanding and Preparing for the New ACT® Essay
  • ACT General Guidelines
  • The Assignment
  • Strategies for Planning
  • Strategies for Writing
  • Strategies for Proofing
Part 3: Understanding and Preparing for the Redesigned SAT® Essay
  • General Guidelines
  • The Assignment
  • Annotating
  • Handy Annotation System
  • Annotating Practice
  • Strategies for Planning
  • Strategies for Writing
  • Using Effective Vocabulary
  • Strategies for Proofing
Part 4: Strategies for the Personal Essay
  • General Guidelines
  • Sample Essay Prompts
  • Strategies for Planning: Pop out from the Crowd
  • Strategies for Writing, Editing, and Proofreading
  • A Not-So-Secret Secret     
  • Final Practice
  • Concluding Comments
  • Last Bits of Advice for Life
Now, my main interest in this program was to help my youngest daughter improve her writing skills.  She shares a website with her sister, where they interview Southern Gospel artists, and I am hoping that completing this program will help build her confidence in her writing skills.  I have to confess with the first assignment, she was a little frustrated, because she had to be pro or con on a subject she felt she was neither on.  I told her to just choose a side and put forth her thoughts.  After we got through that she was fine.

Portable Walls for the Essayist is one of those handy little charts, that help in so many ways.  It starts with types of essays, basic essay models, the writing process, the TRIAC paragraph, Essay Writing Strategies, Sentence Pattern Variety, Specific Models, and a list of traditional words and phrases as well as prepositions.  This is a chart that will go on our shelf of permanent writing helps.  It is a chart we can go back to again and again.

The DVDs come in a nice case, helps so you don't lose them.  The teacher, Andrew Pudewa held my daughters attention.  Sometimes I find her bored if she is watching a video for school, but this was not a problem with this set.  Also included with the DVDs is a special activation code to allow you access to some online videos and information through IEW.  This is an added benefit.

Be sure to follow them on their social media:

We will be continuing the course as I feel it will greatly improve her essay skills.  Take time to click the banner below to see what other TOS Crew members had to say about this product.

High School Essay Intensive {Institute for Excellence in Writing Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer


Thinking of Getting a Dog? Make Sure You're Prepared

So you’ve decided you want a dog. Perhaps the countless YouTube videos of dogs doing funny, cute and smart things was enough to convince you. Perhaps your children have been begging you to get them a canine companion over the past year and maybe you’re finally caving in. Sometimes, you might want to get a dog because you’re lacking a bit of companionship while living alone. Whatever the reason, the decision to get a dog is a major one that requires a lot of planning. Even the decision alone takes some time to muster up, so if you’re still not perfectly sure if you want a dog or not, here are a couple of considerations to keep in mind to ensure you’re prepared.


Home Considerations

Not every home is suitable for a dog. If you’re going to get a new puppy, then make sure you and your family don’t have allergies or conditions that might be irritated by having a dog around. If you find that your nose starts running or your start sneezing when around dogs, then you may actually have allergies. They produce allergens that are found in their hair and urine that could lead to adverse effects in humans. These aren’t rare conditions either, so make sure you visit a pet store or spend some time with a friend or family member’s dog before you commit to getting one yourself.

Responsibilities

Owning a dog is a major responsibility as well as a life-changing experience. It’s a lot of hard work because you have to take care of them like you would yourself or any other kind of life. Experienced dog owners will tell you all about their daily tasks such as walking the dog, playing with them and feeding them. These are built into the daily schedules of these people so they find it natural, but when you’re first starting out it can feel like a major chunk of time has been stripped from your day. Check out this ultimate guide to dog health and grooming if you want a little more explanation on how you should be taking care of your dog and what to expect so that you’re prepared for every situation.


Time Investment

Unfortunately, dogs take a lot of time to train and they need a lot of love if you want them to become obedient. This is usually much easier when you obtain the dog while they’re still young. Before heading over to the pet shop and getting a dog, consider what type of breed will suit your lifestyle and consider if you can make the time to take care of them. Ask yourself if you’ll be able to sacrifice your personal time for the sake of your dog and if you’d be willing to spend extra money on medical supplies, food and other expenses that may turn up.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Home Repairs You Should Never Attempt on Your Own

Being self-sufficient is fantastic. It’s a great way to save money on repairs, get custom-made repairs or renovations and even learn new skills while you’re at it. However, there are times when attempting a repair on your own is a bad idea. This could be because you’re not qualified, perhaps you lack the skills, or maybe there are consequences to failing the repair. Being self-sufficient is fantastic, but there are times when you should just accept your fate and pay money for your repairs, and here are just a few examples of that.


Plumbing Issues

Plumbing can be complicated because it involves a lot of complicated piping and the consequences of messing something up can be devastating. If there’s a way for water to leak into your home or muddle up the rest of your house, then it will find a way. It could be inside of your walls, it could be below your sinks or taps, or it might be around your toilet. Diagnosing a plumbing issue takes a lot of experience and you need to have the skills to do so. If you don’t, then your plumbing fixes such as wrapping tape around a burst pipe or stuffing putty to fill a hole could end up damaging your entire plumbing system and making it worse. It’s better to call a service like ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba if you want to get plumbing issues fixed as soon as possible. Let the experienced plumbers take care of the work so that you don’t end up making it worse for yourself.

Gas Appliances

Gas is incredibly dangerous. From gas poisoning to the possibility of igniting something and causing a fire, you need to make sure that your gas appliances are secure and safe. This requires extensive knowledge of the appliances themselves and you never want to mess around with them if possible. Gas pipes can leak and cause adverse health effects, leaks will be hard to identify and the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a bad or flaky repair can be life-threatening. Don’t try to fix gas appliances on your own. If you smell gas or think that one of your appliances is developing a malfunction, avoid it at all costs and immediately call a professional.

Roof Repairs

Not only is climbing a roof incredibly dangerous without the right tools and safety equipment, fixing a roof can be difficult. Replacing a few shingles is easy enough, but when you need to repair a roof that has suffered heavy weather damage, then it could take more than just a single shingle. If you’re serious about attempting a roof repair, then ensure you have someone trustworthy to secure the ladder that you’re climbing and also help you get off the roof once you’re done. In addition to the dangers of roof repairing, it also requires some extensive knowledge if you want to fit your roof properly. There could be damage that isn’t visible to the eye, some shingles could be loose and it might warrant further investigation or repairs, and you might even get a leaky roof from a bad repair.

Thanks for stopping by today!!