Be The Ultimate Outdoor Ho-Ho-Hostess!

The party season is upon us, but that doesn’t mean we have to limit the fun to indoors! When it comes to setting the scene for your outdoor gathering, there are more things to consider than some string lights and great music. With a little planning, there’s no reason why you shouldn't  take the celebrations into the great outdoors!
Chill Out in Your Chairs
If you are looking to ensure your guest's comfort, you will have to do better than plastic chairs and blankets. Consider if you would be as proud to show off the quality of your outdoor furniture as you would if you were inside admiring your upholstery choices. When investing in great furniture, go for dining sets & outdoor sofas that you can enjoy all year round. It makes economic sense to choose a material that can survive all the elements such as rattan. Furniture made from this sturdy stuff looks just as impressive in the middle of winter as it does at the height of summer, just make sure to pack the cushions away to avoid wear and tear and any nasty mould.
Feel the Festive Glow
Nothing ends a party quicker than frostbite, so make sure you consider the cold. You want the ice sculpture to be the only frozen centrepiece, not your ageing Aunt! If you're going to capture the warmth of the season then investing in outside heaters is a subtle way to raise the temperature in your garden. You could choose a mini bonfire or firepit, or extend the warmth using a patio heater. The choice is varied but visiting sites such as radiantpatioheater.com could give you some useful ideas. However you choose to do it, your guests will gravitate towards the heat so plan your seating around it. (Image)
WInter Warmers
Great food is imperative and its what most partygoers will talk about the most. Warm your guests from the inside out with some warm and tempting treats. Keep it simple; you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen while your guests are enjoying your soiree. Hot dogs and burgers can be upgraded to suit the weather by providing bowls of steaming chilli or melted cheese. Perhaps baked potatoes would tempt the taste buds and can be cooked in advance then kept warm in the coals of a firepit, once wrapped in aluminium foil. You can then offer fillings such as grated cheese, baked beans, or pulled pork. These tasty ‘taters will undoubtedly help to add warmth to any festive feast!
Toastie Toasts
The drinks are just as important, if not more so than the food when it comes to creating a party that will keep your guests talking until well after New Year's Eve. (Image)
If you fancy yourself a bit of an aficionado in the shaker department, perhaps set up a mobile bar and make moves that Tom Cruise himself would be proud of! This can be as simple as throwing a tablecloth over a secured workbench and perhaps inviting your guests to make their own, even naming one after the winner of the most popular cocktail. Remember though; this will have a significant impact on how much booze you need to provide so worth considering. You can, of course, make your own. By merely adding cranberry or orange juice to glasses of fizz can give it a wintery feel or stick to the classics and provide your guests with a steaming mug of mulled wine. Don't forget the cinnamon stick!

A great get-together doesn’t need walls, so grab your gloves and take it outside!


The Proper Ways to Deal with Dangers in Your Home

If you want your home to be a safe place to live, let alone a place that would be tough enough to survive an apocalypse, then you've got to ensure all the dangers within it are dealt with properly. Yes, not just dealt with, dealt with properly! For advice on how to just that, make sure to read on.

Target your home’s danger hotspots

The first thing that you should do in your safety venture is to target all of the areas in your home that you know are danger hotspots, and to then act upon making them safer as soon as you can. So, what this means is that, to begin with, you must deduce and work out what constitutes as being a danger, and what doesn’t.

Of course, for some dangers, this is going to be easy. For instance, you know electricity is a danger, right? Well, you should target all the areas in your home that could emit dangerous volts of electricity and you should ensure that they are as safe as can be by allowing certified, registered electricians to test them even before they show signs of being dangerous, and to fix them when they do. You need to do this because this is the PROPER way to deal with such a danger, and treating it any other way will put you and your family in danger. And, this doesn’t mean danger as in a little bruise, this means danger as in potential death.

But don’t forget the hidden dangers

But, as important as it is to focus on dealing with your home’s danger hotspots, such as its electricity, in the proper ways, you still have to give precedence to all its hidden dangers too. And, believe you me, there are many hidden dangers in your home that are, well, hiding and biding their time just waiting to harm you and your family.

One of the biggest hidden dangers in your home is the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide. Simply, this is a gas that is very much hidden, very much silent, very much a danger and very much a killer; it will get you without you even knowing it is there. So, you simply must deal with this properly by preparing for it in the proper ways. And, the best way to prepare for the dangerous fumes of carbon monoxide is to have a CO detector fitted within your home. By doing so you would allow yourself the chance to be alerted to the presence of this danger even when you have not physically seen any warning signs of it.

Simply, if you don’t treat the dangers in your home, both those that are hotspots and those that are hidden, in the proper ways you will put yourself and your family in grave danger — especially if there are children in your family. So, make sure you're not only not forgoing the dangers in your home, but make sure that you're dealing with them properly and fervently, too.

Evaluating Living Options for Elderly Parent

It can be a very challenging thing to see your parents becoming elderly and frail,
particularly when they are struggling to live independently anymore.
On many occasions, the decision falls with the family as to whether or
not they can continue living in their home. If the answer is no,
you need to know what options you have available to you.
Though the decision is never going to be an easy one, there are a few
ways that you can make it a little less challenging which we will talk about here.

Planning is Crucial

You will already be well aware that this is not a decision to be taken lightly,
and things tend to go much more smoothly in life when you have a clear plan in place.
Research all the different options that are available to you in as much detail as possible.
When it comes to making a decision, you will then be in the strongest position to
choose the option which is best for your parents.

Understand Your Options

There are several different options out there with regards to the types of facilities out there.
As the population continues to age, new facilities are springing up year on year.
Just some of the options include assisted living facilities, family group homes,
and in-home care.
All individuals have different requirements, so you need to look closer at the
medical conditions of your loved one to decide what level of care would best suit them.
The living arrangements that you settle on should be best for the senior's current and
future needs. You don’t want to end up with them having to move several times
which is a very stressful experience. Of course, you don’t have a crystal ball so
you never really know what the future is going to bring -
you just have to prepare as best you can.

Independent Living Facilities

These usually include a mix of residential settings where seniors can retain
complete autonomy while having options for plenty of contact with people in the
same situation. They often have on-site staff members who
provide some supervision for safety reasons.
Many offer recreational activities, amenities and social events.

Assisted Living Facilities    

Assisted living facilities are staffed with trained professionals who assist or supervise residents
in private apartment settings.
The level of care is very much dependent on the needs of the individual.
Many seniors tend to be resistant at first but end up enjoying their new
situation which provides a balance between independence and care.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

These provide the highest level of care for people who need it the most with
24/7 availability of trained medical personnel. Of course, these are the last resort for
many people but they are necessary for people who have the most complex medical needs.

So, there you have a brief overview of some of the different options available to
seniors who can no longer live alone in case you find yourself in this situation
with your own parents.   


Its beginning to look alot like christmas

When we’re young, nothing beats that magical feeling of the Christmas period. It is, without doubt, the best time of year. Most of us get so excited that we can’t even sleep! But, as the years go by, that magic disappears a little. This usually starts with the Santa scandal (don’t worry; we won’t say it out loud), and gets worse once we move out of home and break away from tradition. The day which once meant so much to us becomes another day of the year. Some of us even start to resent the hassle.

But, then, you have children of your own, and the magic comes back tenfold. Only now, they’re the focus. Every Christmas you experience after becoming a parent is about your kids. Any efforts you go to are to ensure they have the best day possible. And, most of the time, you can be sure they will.

The good news is, you don’t even have to wait until your little one knows what Christmas is about to make a fuss of them. In fact, their first Christmas is by far the most magical. They may not remember it, but you certainly will. So, if you have a first Christmas coming up in your family, it’s essential you make it as special as possible. And, here are a few of the ways how.

Brand new traditions

If you think back to Christmas as a child, it’s likely that you remember your family’s holiday traditions best. These are, ultimately, what makes the day so special. And, the best thing about them is that they never change. Once a tradition is in place, it stays. You may well add others along the way, but these constants stand to make the day what it is. And, your baby’s first year is the perfect time to start. These traditions are crucial, because they’ll be with your child from the start. As such, they’re ones which they’re most likely to take into adulthood. No pressure, but you might want to think about these carefully before the day.

Traditions are often simple things. Consider what time you get up to open presents, or what you have on in the background as you do. Some families insist on chatting, while others can’t imagine the routine without a particular movie in the background. Equally, some families wake while it’s still dark, yet other’s enjoy a lie in and open presents after lunch. Think about what would suit your family best, and make sure to stick to this in coming years!

You could also develop traditions about the food you eat, or a specific cake you make for the day. While your little one can’t join in yet, they’re sure to embrace such traditions in their later years. And, you can be sure it will all add to that touch of magic!

Special ways to mark the occasion

Given that this is a special Christmas, it’s also worth finding ways to mark the occasion. By doing this, you can also ensure that your little one will be able to look back on the day, even if they can’t remember it. On a fundamental level, taking pictures throughout the day is a must. Who doesn’t want a photo of their first Christmas? This would definitely be one to frame!

Think, too, about buying small things to remember the day. There are many personalised options out there. A bauble with the date and your baby’s name on it would look amazing. You could even buy a special ‘first Christmas’ outfit, like those found in the Zoey’s Personalized Gifts holiday catalog. This would be a keepsake you could hand down to your child when they reach eighteen. As well as being a fantastic way to embarrass them, you can be sure they’ll appreciate the gesture.

If you fancy taking things further, you could even make them a first year stocking. This could become another of those traditions. They could use this for years to come, and always remember the effort Mom went to for their first year!


A return to Christmas values

Many of us have a habit of going over the top for Christmas. ‘Tis the season for giving, after all. And, when a baby has their first Christmas, it isn’t unusual for people to splash out on all sorts of gifts. As parents, you’ll likely fall into the same trap. The sad fact is, though, that most of these gifts are unnecessary. In fact, the majority of them will end up in the trash by this time next year. Such is the nature of baby toys. On top of which, your child won’t know they’re getting presents. They probably won’t care much, either. Most babies spend more time playing with the wrapping paper than the presents. With this in mind, it’s worth focusing on more traditional Christmas values. By all means, get your baby a few presents. But cap the amount you spend, and ask everyone else to do the same. If they insist on spending more, you could ask that they give to charity in your baby’s name, or do the same yourself. This would be a much more giving and valuable way to spend.

In place of surrounding yourself with useless toys, make an effort to surround yourself with loved ones. This is another of those Christmas values we should all return to more often. And, for a first Christmas, it’s a fantastic way to spread the love. This way, you all get to share this special occasion together. The grandparents, aunts, and uncles are sure to appreciate this chance to spend time with your little one. It’s likely you’ll all enjoy each other’s company, too! You could get stuck into games after dinner, and fall asleep together in front of the television. Your baby might not understand yet, but in a few years, they’ll be doing the same thing. Until then, you’ll just have to try and have fun in place of them!

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