Friends Around the World

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Love Travelling? Do It Forever...Even After You Have Kids

There are some pretty big misconceptions surrounding having children. All the time, you hear that they’re going to cost you all the money you have; that you’ll seldom have a free moment with your partner; and that you have to give up the things you love, and especially travelling. None of these, however, and fortunately, are true. There are no set rules when it comes to children, and if you want to travel then you can! Below, we take a look at the best ways for having memorable, frequent travelling experiences even after you’re a parent.

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Have a “Can Do” Attitude

Everything begins with attitude. If you go into something thinking that you’re likely to fail, then guess what? You’ll probably fail! On the other hand, if you begin a journey knowing it’ll succeed, then the battle is already half won. This is especially relevant to frequently travelling with children, as there’ll be plenty of opposing voices telling you that it’s not possible. Ignore those voices, and find your way to make your dreams come true. Remember, there are no absolute rules in life other than the ones we make for ourselves.

Starting Small

When you first think about travelling with children, it’s important to start small. And by that, we mean really small, doing things like travelling to the zoo for a day out. Eventually, you can build your family up to overnight stays at nearby destinations and then think about going on longer trips. It’s all about getting into the routine of moving around together as a clan. Once your kids understand what is expected of them when it comes to travelling, then you’ll be able to think about returning to the type of adventures you used to take when it was just you and your partner.

Adjust Your Travelling Style

Have a recap of all the travel experiences you and your partner had before you decided to have children. Now be honest: how many of them were fully appropriate for children? If you’ve lived life to the full, then probably not all that many! As such, you’re going to need to adjust your travelling style if you want to continue seeing the world with your little ones in tow. You won’t be able to spend long nights wandering a foreign city in search of adventure; you’ll have to find new ways of travelling to ensure all of your family’s needs are met.

Mix up the Destinations

Everyone has their favorite types of travel adventures. It could be browsing the museums and galleries of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, trekking through the wild, or getting to know the locals at one of their watering holes. When you have a family, you won’t be able just to follow what you want to do. There might be an opportunity to do everything you like, but you’ll also need to think about the needs of others. Even if it’s not normally your thing, taking your family to the beach for a week of relaxation and good times might be just what your children would love. (and pssst, we’re sure you’ll love it too…!)

Setting up a Base

It’s not always easy to plan family vacations, especially when it comes to travelling further afield. Because of all the planning that’s involved, these types of journeys usually get delayed and delayed, until they eventually just don’t happen. A good way to combat this is to buy a property overseas, which can then be used as a base for your travelling. Keep an eye on HDB BTO launches in Singapore, for instance, and you can buy a property that’ll give you easy access to the rest of Asia. And as well as cheap flights to Bangkok and Bali, you’ll also have the ability to build a passive rental income (which can go straight into the travelling pot!).

Keeping the Costs Down

There’s no denying that travelling can be expensive, but it’s usually relatively straightforward to keep the costs down if it’s just a couple that’s travelling. When there are no children involved, it’s no problem to spend a night in a rundown hostel or to hitchhike from one destination to the next. But of course, you won’t want to be doing these things all the time when you have children! However, there are ways to keep the costs down when it comes to travelling. One, like mentioned above, is to have a vacation home, which will cut out most accommodation costs. You should also make the most of any free events and activities that take place at your destination.

Going it Alone

You’re a mother or a father, a husband or a wife, but you’re still an individual. Just because you’re part of a bigger clan, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop growing as a person. And of course, one of the best ways to grow is to travel alone. While you won’t be able to go away by yourself regularly, if there’s one travelling experience that you’ve always wanted to do, but which is either too expensive or unsuitable for the whole family, then you shouldn’t feel bad about pursuing it alone.

Outside the Comfort Zone

A big part of travelling is stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things. This shouldn’t change just because you have children, though how you’re pushing yourself might. Though you’ve got to make sure that everyone’s well looked after and so on, you should always find ways for your family to be challenged. Doing so will help bring you closer together as a family. Nothing unites people like being outside of their comfort zones!

New Experiences

In today’s digital world, there are more resources than ever before when it comes to travelling. If it’s a new experience that you’re looking for, take a look at volunteer systems like those offered on Workaway and HelpX. These sites connect people around the world who need labor (usually easy work), in return for accommodation and food. You could take your family on a wild adventure where you live with another family and learn new skills. And best of all, it’s wallet-friendly; indeed, you’ll likely spend no money whatsoever.

Get the Right Equipment

There are many challenges to travelling with young children, but none more difficult - not to mention potentially dangerous - than not having the right equipment. Luckily, there are plenty of baby and small child travelling equipment that’ll make looking after your little ones all the more straightforward when you’re on the road.

Make it Easy on Yourself

And talking about straightforward travelling, remember that you’ll always have the ability to make it easier for yourself. Children, even the ones who are usually well-behaved, can become irritated when they’re travelling. As such, make sure you have plenty of games and snacks with you. If you’re taking the family on an epic road trip, then install a DVD player into the back of the headsets. When there’s no view to speak of, it’ll help keep your children quiet.

Remember the Bigger Picture

It’s understandable that parents think twice about travelling when they have children. After all, it’s not the thing that parents usually do, is it? But remember, there’s a bigger picture at play, one that says that travel is good for the soul, no matter where you’re going or who you’re with. While your travelling style will need to change, you’ll create a whole new - better - way of exploring the earth with your loved ones, if you get out there and try it!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Awesome Guide on Choosing the Top Mattress for Your Room

Getting a good night’s rest helps me to wake up feeling healthy and happy. If you’re not resting on a suitable supportive base, you’ll often get restless nights and painful mornings. Of course, some mattresses are more expensive than others. Therefore, I recommend that you take your time in picking the one that’s worth your investment.
I love looking at the type of mattress before I make any purchase. It’s good to ensure that you get the product that fits right into your needs. So, here’s a list of all the categories of mattresses you’ll find out there.

Open Spring Mattresses

They are also referred to as continuous or open coil mattresses. They come with a long wire that’s coiled into several springs. I also found that there’s an additional border wire or rod that provides more shape and structure. I love that the sides are all machine-stitched instead of hand-stitched, making them lighter and simpler to turn.
I had these mattresses in the guest house where they are only used on occasion. I did so because I learned that they were less supportive as compared to other products. Either way, they are some of the most impressive mattresses that I’ve come across!

Pocket Spring Mattresses

As I went through various Try Mattress reviews, I discovered that most people today prefer luxurious mattresses. Well, they come with exciting designs and they are made from small, individual springs found in their pocket fabrics. Such helps them to move independently, offering better support than the open spring versions.
You can get them in the firm, medium or soft versions but this depends on your tastes. Besides, it’s easy to breathe when sleeping on these mattresses. Not even latex or memory foam comes with such an important feature!

The Memory Foam Mattresses

Okay, this is my best type of mattresses! Why? Well, they are made from a mouldable kind of material that responds according to changes in weight and temperature. They relieve pressure on all your joints, absorb weight and most importantly, they’ll only mold according to the shape of your body.
At first, I didn’t like the sinking properties of these brands of mattresses. They also get quite warm, especially during the night. Even so, they are good for relieving back pains and relaxing tense body muscles.

The Latex Mattresses

These products are created using latex foam, which is a comfortable and breathable type of material. If you hate feeling like you are overheating during the night, these are the best types of mattresses. I bought one for my son over three years ago, and I’ve not yet replaced it!
So, it’s quite long lasting, and you should expect it to serve you for several years. The only discouraging factor that I saw is that they form dents and lumps over time because they do not turn quickly.
Getting the best mattress for you and your family is not hard at all. I know there are other factors that you’ll also need to look into, for example, the size and going through customer reviews. But I like advising all interested mattress shoppers to consider the type of mattress first before looking at any other feature!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Home To Fit Your Lifestyle

Choosing the right home to fit the way you live your life can be tough, there are so many different considerations to take into account: from where you work, the style of home you prefer and even the number of things you own. It all boils down to careful planning and looking at all of your options equally.
Type Of Property
The first factor to take into account when looking for the ideal home is the type of property you want to move into. You might want to find a quaint cottage by the river in the country, or perhaps you’d prefer to look for fully furnished condos for rent. Everyone has a different opinion on what makes the perfect home; and really, the perfect home is one which fulfils all of your needs and wishes.
Cottages are usually characterised by low ceilings, chunky walls and a rustic feel, many cottages also have thatched rooves. If you want a quiet place to live in a semi-rural or rural area, this kind of property is a great choice. The only drawback with cottages is that they are often small and lack that extra space you need to store a lot of items, so this is maybe not recommended for growing families, but is a great option for couples.
Detached houses are usually more expensive than other alternatives because they are freestanding and do not join to any other properties. They tend to be large, very well-spaced out and totally private for those of you who enjoy the peace and serenity of being away from the world. This type of house is ideal for families.
A terrace is a row of houses all connected to each other, the end of terrace home is the final home in the row. The great thing about end of terraces is that they are usually larger than the other houses in the row, and they will often feature a wrap-around garden space.
A flat is a small, single storey home which is usually situated in a communal building along with many others. They are generally small, modern and sometimes will be fully furnished when you move in. This is a great property for individuals and also for those who work in the city centre and need a simple commute to work.
A semi-detached home is a pair of houses which are joined in the middle by one wall. These are the most common type of home to buy because they offer a little privacy as well as being affordable. They will usually have a spacious garden area too, which is great for raising kids.
Once you’ve delved into the types of property which are out there, you can start to explore other things too.
Your Daily Commute
One of the major things you need to consider when looking to purchase a new home is where you will live. Think about where you currently work and decide how easy it will be to get there from where you plan to move. If you drive, make sure that it doesn’t take you any more than an hour each way, and if you are using public transport- you’ll want to make sure that there is a fairly direct route for you to take to and from work.
One thing that you will definitely need to assess if you are moving into an area you aren’t familiar with is what kind of amenities will be available to you. If you have to drive for 40 minutes just to reach a shop to buy a loaf of bread, it probably isn’t the right place for you to be. Search google maps for shops and other amenities in the area to make sure that you won’t be stranded if you suddenly need to nip out for something in the evening.
As well as checking for the essentials, you will also want to take a look at what kind of things you can do for fun in the area you move to. If you enjoy being in the city centre and going for night’s out with your friends, then you will want to make sure that it is easy enough to get there on your days off. Then you may want to look at if there are any restaurants in the local area, also look out for whether there are any parks or outdoor areas for a relaxing walk at the weekend. You want to make sure that you live in a place where you can access things easily, it will make your life much happier.
The House Itself
When you are looking for your home, you will also be weighing up the qualities and shortfalls of the properties themselves. This will usually include things like the number of bedrooms, how large the rooms are and how much storage space you will have to fit all of your belongings. There are also some other features which you may or may not want to check:
·         Which way the garden faces (south facing gardens attract sun throughout the day)
·         The size and storage of the kitchen, plus room for your appliances
·         The wiring and plumbing systems
·         The overall security of the roof and walls
·         Whether there is a driveway or you have to park on the road
·         The presence of a basement or an attic for storage purposes
Budgeting for Your Home and Your Life
Once you have decided the type of home, the area and the features you want in the home, you will need to look at your budget. It will be unrealistic to hope for a 5 bed Victorian mansion if only one of you works full time. Consider talking to your mortgage advisor to decide the best options for you, and even once you’ve had the offer and application accepted, you will need to think about extra costs such as bills and insurance. Make sure that you can afford to buy a home in the first place.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Organic Veggie Garden

With all the projects that we did  this summer at our new home and with the effort to get it done before the weather gets cold again, I started my veggie garden very late.  All off my tomatoes are still green and I have only picked  a couple of ripe ones.  I am not sure if  it's going to  get ripen before the cold weather settles in but I am hopeful.  I had to start  and cultivate a new  vegetable garden  so I am not sure which part of the yard has a healthy soil so I am  kind of experimenting this year.
The pear-shaped  tomatoes that I planted  is doing great and has given has a lot of fruits already.
This is my first time  trying to grow  kiwi fruits.  Kiwi takes  few years before they bear fruit so we will see how it grows.   It has since grew  bigger and thicker.  I made some  bamboo trellis for them to crawl on.  
All the plants I planted at this side of the porch are doing well so I am guessing that the ground is fertile but  it might have been because I  mixed the compost that we had been making ever since we   moved into this home.  
The kohlrabi grew so well and the  peppers have so many fruits in them.  I just hope that they will mature in time  before  we get  frost.  
Even the simplest design of trellis at the store is a bit expensive so I just gather materials in the garage and   from the bamboos outside and made  my own.  It might not be as pretty as the store bought but   as soon as the plants crawl on it, it doesn't really matter. 
I wanted to hide the graffiti on the wall by planting a clematis and   morning glories.  Again, gathering some scrap wood from our  garage to use as a border for the side of the house vegetable garden.  I planted  some cucumbers, tomatoes, and asparagus on this side.  I picked some cucumbers already but they didn't do so well.  Probably because  the sunrise light doesn't get to this part of the yard and only the afternoon sunlight get to it.  Did you know that too much heat or lack of water can cause the cucumber fruit to   be bitter?
Although I am the only one that  eats bitter melon at our home, I still planted some because I have friends that likes it.  I also cook it whenever I am missing home,  it reminds me of my Dad's dishes.
For some reason, I don't have any luck with cabbage.  I always  attempt to  plant some but they never grew as I expect them to.  So this might be the last attempt I am making lol.
I have sweet potatoes in the pot so I transferred them in the ground so it can grow well and  it does.  A colleague love  it  so she buys them to me and makes it makes it into juice.
I planted some habanero but did not do good.  I will try again next year, maybe the  soil will be a little healthier and they would  grow well but we will see.  All I can do is try and try.
I have one  eggplant that I planted at the other side of the house but due to lack of sunlight, it wasn't growing well so I  transferred it to the other side and it is now blooming.
I also  planted some asparagus.  Just like kiwi, asparagus also takes  a few years  before  you can start harvesting so I am looking forward to seeing them grow.  Hopefully we can enjoy  it in the years to come.  My family  loves asparagus so it would be awesome if we can eat what we grow.  
As of today, the tomatoes are still green but everything grew thicker.  There would be no canning for me this year but hopefully, I can  plant my veggies   a little early next year so  it can bloom in time.
Hopefully this post will inspire you to start your own garden.  It is easily to buy  produce from the store but it is better to harvest and your own homegrown veggies.   You are certain of what you are giving to your family.  I love growing our own veggies because it is healthier as I don't use any pesticide or any chemicals  to it.  Even our compost is natural so it is all good.  I admit, gardening takes time  and a lot of patience but in the end it pays off when you are harvesting what you planted.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Top 4 Reasons to Use a Paint Sprayer for Your Next Project

Paint is one of the most practical ways to change the look of your rooms or the exterior of your home. While you could go the traditional route and use several different brushes and rollers, why not consider the idea of using a paint sprayer? Here are four of the best reasons for choosing this type of equipment for your upcoming project.
Easier to Achieve Even Coats

Do you find that it’s necessary to go back over some areas when you use a brush or roller? The paint layers seem to be thicker in some spots and thinner in others. It can take quite a bit of time to go back over those areas and even out the coat.
With high-quality electric or gas sprayers, you will find that the process of achieving an even coat the first time is much easier. Once you finish an interior or exterior wall, the ability to step back, take a look, and be happy with the coating will make it easier to move on to the next phase of your project.

Minimizing Waste

It’s not difficult to waste quite a bit of paint when you use rollers and brushes. Between drips and the amount that’s left in trays and buckets, the expense will drive up the cost of the paint job. Wouldn’t it be great to make better use of the paint?  If you choose to utilize one of the graco sprayers available today, there will be less waste. That means you will have more paint left over to store and use for minor touch-ups in the years ahead.

Less Difficulty Painting Different Materials

There are several paint sprayer designs that make it easy to adjust the settings and paint different types of materials. That will come in handy for future projects when you may want to paint some sort of masonry as well as change the color of the sheet rock used in one or more of your rooms. Knowing you can accomplish more with the same piece of equipment is certainly a plus.

Get More Done in Less Time

Many people are surprised at how much time is saved by using a high-quality sprayer. It’s not just about being able to achieve an even coating the first time. You literally cover more square footage in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same amount of work with a roller. When the plan is to complete the project sooner rather than later, there is no doubt that a gas or electric sprayer is the way to go.

Before you start work on your next painting project, take the time to learn more about how sprayers work, what you can do with them, and why so many homeowners would not think of painting anything without having one on hand. You will soon see the advantages and want to find the right sprayer to use for your upcoming project.

Top 4 Qualities You Want in a Moving Service

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Whether you are moving to a new home or relocating your business, the best move is to hire a service that knows how to handle the project properly. Even if you think that you and a few people could rent a truck or two and do just fine, you will come out ahead by hiring professional movers. As you begin the search for the right moving company, keep these four qualities in mind.

Properly Bonded and Certified

One of the important benefits that professionals move have over attempting the manage the job yourself is the protections they provide. When a professional assumes the task of handling your office move, they ensure there is enough insurance coverage and that every person working on the project is bonded. In the event there is some type of loss or damage, there will be resources on hand to ensure you are fairly compensated. Rest assured that Regina residential movers who are serious about earning your business will be happy to go over the protections they offer to each of their clients.

Up to Date Training

There’s a lot more to working as a mover than knowing how to load and unload boxes. Like many other services, technology has changed the way some tasks are managed. Whether you are moving from one home to a new one or relocating your business, dealing with a moving service that is up to date on the latest training and technology is important. Many of those newer methods and equipment increase the odds that every phase of the move will be more efficient and the move will be completed in a more timely manner.

Help Before the Move

You also want to deal with residential or commercial movers who can provide support before moving day. Focus your search on movers who provide professional packing services. This allows you to spend more time on other tasks associated with the move while professionals make sure your belongings are properly packed and labeled for the trip to the new place. Imagine how much easier it will be to arrange the changeover in utilities, set up mail forwarding, and in general take care of all the little details that go into successfully completing a relocation. 

Service Guarantees

The right moving company provides guarantees related to the services offered. In other words, if they make promises and fail to keep them, they will honor the terms of any guarantees issued at the time you engaged their help. Should something not happened that you were assured would take place, rest assured that a company built on integrity will make things right. 

When you choose a moving company, do so with care. Ask plenty of questions and always remember to ask for references. With a little time and effort, you can find a company that offers the support you need at a price that fits into your budget.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Landscaping Edger Using Natural Wood

When we first moved in into our new home, I couldn't plant any flower or veggies in our backyard because we did not have a fence.  This year, we finally installed  a fence around our backyard  but it took us a little while before we finished.  That's one disadvantage when you are doing a home improvement project by yourself, you tend to work at the pace  that you want.  With us, it wasn't a matter of how urgent we want it done, it just the fact that we can only do it  when we have  time since my husband works a full time job and I can only do  the parts where I don't need his strength and expertise.  I did all the landscaping with  my husband's help  getting the supplies for me.
A former neighbor  told me before (bless his soul) that he doesn't like  fences because it  divides people.  In a way he was right  but let's face it, half of your neighbors doesn't really care anyway.  Half of them doesn't really know you or even care to get to know you.  That is one big adjustment for me when I moved here in the US because from where I came from, everybody knows everybody in the neighborhood.  It can be a nuisance but I like it that way.  However, I love privacy in my backyard so I always  love having a fence around it.
  Part of the reason I wanted our backyard fenced in is because I love gardening and it is hard to maintain a good garden when you have a lot of deer and  wild rabbits running in and out of your yard trying to eat your plants.  Anyway, I chose to use this half log edger for  borders.  I thought it would match our fence.  The stain  did not really match the color of our fence but it's okay.

The plants I planted along the fence includes the  boxwood (photo on top) and First Love Speedwell (bottom pic).  The boxwood  grows bigger but you can always trim it the way you want.
I also planted a lavender but one of my dogs  peed on it and I did not catch it and was not able to rinse it off so it died eventually.
I used to have a lot of dianthus at our  old home  so I want to have it in my garden  again.
Hostas are great border plants so I started  some of them along the fence as well.
Another kind of boxwood with  white trim on the edges of its leaves.
This is also  part of the boxwood family.  I thought it's pretty so I lined them up along the  green, and the one one on top.
This pardon Me Lily  is beautiful when it blooms.  I can't wait for it to grow thicker.
This  kaleidoscope plant is perfectly growing at the corner of our  garage.  It's a  very good compliment to the color of our potted lemon tree.  Does anyone know how long in takes for  a lemon tree to  bear fruit?  I have this for few years now but still not bearing fruit.
I initially planted these mini roses at the side of our driveway but they were not doing so well so I transplanted them in the backyard.  They seem to like the ground there and now they are in full bloom.  
All of these  mini roses were given to me by my kids and hubby for special occasion.  I like them more than  bouquets.

Those  half log edger that we bought is costly.  They were only few inches long and  it cost $4.98 a piece and we needed like 30 of them just enough to cover along the fence.

Although a little costly, I do recommend this kind of edger though because you can decorate, contain, and define with these. It's flexible design allows the edging to be installed in a curved or straight line. Each section of edging comes with stakes which makes the installation easier.
Remember that  crab apple tree we cut down at our front yard?  I asked my husband to cut it  into pieces so I can use them as edger  at the side of our back porch.  I thought they look beautiful.  I actually liked them more than the half log edger that we bought because of the  ring design inside the log.   
I used the bottom part of the log  for a walkway to our little grotto in the backyard.  We used to have this Virgin Mary statue at the front  yard but I decided to bring them at our backyard.  
At first I thought the bigger log cuttings are enough but  when we  mowed the grass, I found out that it was hard  cutting the grass around it.
So that led to another project.  I added smaller log cuttings  and  bought some   rocks to cover the  entire walkway.  My husband bought me a couple of garden log edger to  contain the rocks from spreading in the yard.  
Looking at our backyard now, I am pleased of the  work we have done.  The front  yard is the one that people see  but I love  making our backyard look decent because that is where we always hang out  during the summer time.  I am excited for next year  when all the plants are fully grown.

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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