Anne Spry's Blog
The summer is the time for a holiday. Summertime is the time families go on vacation and enjoy time together. Different places come to mind, and such situations lead to exposure to sunlight for many hours - the beach is a good example.
When you visit the beach with your kids, you may expose them to sunlight for too much time, and that is bad for their skin. The reason is that the sunshine is made up of three kinds of ultraviolet rays, all of which affect the skin and the eyes. So, if you will enjoy summer and also be protected, so you don't have to deal with skin problems after the holiday is over, the following tips are essential.
- Stay in the shade. Wherever you go during the summer, try to stay under a shade as much as possible. That is important to reduce the amount of time your kids spend in the direct sun. So, when you are at the beach, get them to stop running around from an hour or two. Let them stay with you under a shade, and you can engage in activities that do not involve running around or getting exposed in the sun.
- Get them covered. It is quite challenging to get kids to settle down especially in a place like a beach where they have enough area to run around. However, as much as possible, ensure your kids are wearing clothes that cover more than half their bodies. Covering provides that they are not exposed to the sun more than their bodies can take.
- Protect their eyes. Having kept your kids in the shade for a few hours and also ensuring the wear protective clothes, another thing you can do is find a means of protecting their eyes. Before and during your stay at the beach, you should warn them not to look directly at the sun. Aside from that, however, you should get them sunglasses. That will assure you that you've protected their eyes by some means.
- Delay going to open places until evening. If you must go to an open place like the beach, you can delay your going until late into the evening when the sun sets. If you visit an area where the sun sets early, that means you have more time to spend outside. If not, then it implies that you have limited time to spend with the kids on the beach.
Whether you've recently purchased a new home or are in the process of doing so, one of the most satisfying aspects of becoming a homeowner is customizing your living space.
Half the fun of moving into a new home is "making it your own," which can include everything from painting the walls to remodeling the kitchen.
Although it may feel a little odd at first to move into what was recently "someone else's house," it won't take long before you and your family feel a sense of belonging and pride. In many cases, that feeling is instantaneous. While there are dozens of things you can do to create a feeling of coziness, comfort, and security, here are a few tips worth keeping in mind.
Empty those moving boxes. Once the moving crew leaves, the first thing many people do is take a deep sigh of relief and order a pizza -- and why not! If you have all your immediate essentials packed in separate, clearly labeled boxes, then there's no urgent need to set up your household right away. Relax, take in your new surroundings, and enjoy the accomplishment of purchasing and moving into a new home! Once you've taken that initial breather and acclimated yourself to your new living space, however, getting organized and unpacked is one of the next orders of business. If you leave stuff in boxes for more than a week or two, it may delay your feeling of being "settled in."
Add your own decorating touches. If your walls seem sterile, stark, or empty looking, two solutions immediately come to mind: Consider changing your paint color to a warmer shade and hang up some framed paintings or pictures that reflect your personality. In addition to wall art you already own, there are several websites and well-known retail outlets that can help you update and personalize your home décor. Over time, you can also check out local art exhibits, antique shows, and craft fairs.
Landscaping: Depending on the season and the climate in which you live, planting colorful flowers, bushes or ornamental trees can help beautify your property and make it feel like your own. Hedges and fencing can also enhance your sense of privacy and create a backyard retreat that's ideal for relaxing and entertaining.
Security matters: Regardless of how safe and secure your new neighborhood seems, it's always better to be safe than sorry! Since you don't know how many people may have been given keys to your house, such as housekeepers, contractors, neighbors, or friends of the previous owner, it makes sense to change the locks on your doors, as soon as possible. You may also want to do a security audit, which might include testing your window locks and trimming shrubbery that covers windows. Installing a couple motion detector lights in strategic places is another home security measure that can increase your peace of mind and make your new house feel more like a home.
Modern kitchen designs can make a huge difference when setting the value of your home. Even if you might not be planning to sell your home right away, your kitchen might deserve a timeless makeover so that it’s always ready for the market. Before you get started on the changes, you’ll need to come up with a plan. Some kitchen changes are easy, but others will take your cooking areas down for a while, so they’ll require more planning.
Choosing the Right Color
Look through any design magazine, and the first thing you'll notice is white. Due to its ability to reflect light, white can make small kitchens look more substantial, which is always a selling point. Don't think you're stuck with just one color either. There are dozens, if not hundreds of shades of white and you can mix them together to create a multi-dimensional look. It's also easy to match with your appliances since no matter what you're willing to spend, all appliances come in at least one shade of white.
No question, Shaker-style cabinets are the most timeless choice. From country cottages to modern lofts, the rail and stile look is a wide-ranging solution for any kitchen. Whether the doors are polished wood or painted, you can complete the style with your choice of knobs or handles. Available in a variety of qualities and finishes, you can get entirely new cabinets or just replace the doors on your existing ones to update the look at a lower cost. If you have custom cabinets with odd sizes, you'll either need to find a cabinet maker or if you're good at DIY projects you can try making them yourself.
Counters are the most used part of the kitchen. You probably already know to stay away from dated materials like Formica but watch out for current fad materials as well. For the longest lasting choices, go with marble, concrete or solid surface materials that mimic them. Butcher-block is also a timeless look, though it doesn’t last quite as long and can require more care. The least expensive choices are usually concrete and butcher-block but keep an eye out for deals on fancier materials like quartz.
Before you start updating your kitchen for a better home value, ask your real estate agent for a professional kitchen evaluation. They can help you choose which updates make the most sense for both your layout and your budget.
You’ve been thinking it for a while: “I really should start putting some money aside for a down payment.” But, you just can’t seem to find any wiggle room in your budget.
You’re not alone. Saving for a down payment isn’t easy. Especially if you’ve got rent, car payments, student loans, and are trying to put money aside for retirement.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to make a game plan for your down payment. This way, you can start saving immediately, bringing you closer to your goal of homeownership each day.
Step 1: Give each dollar a job
The first rule of budgeting is that you need to know where each dollar you earn ends up. From there, you can start re-allocating funds to the things you want to save for.
There are many apps and tools available to help you out with this process, including YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint. If apps aren’t your thing, you can always use a simple spreadsheet.
First, account for all of your income. This could include your salary, rental income, or other forms of money that you have coming in.
Next, detail each of your weekly and monthly expenses. Everything from groceries to the internet bill and retirement contributions.
Step 2: Reassess your expenses
Now it’s time to make some tough decisions. Are there ways you can cut down on your weekly or monthly expenses? Maybe you aren’t using that Amazon Prime membership as much as you thought you would. Or, maybe you’ve decided you don’t really watch anything on cable but the news. There are a number of ways one might cut back on their monthly bills.
Get creative with family plans, bulk shopping for food, or cooking budget-friendly meals. All of these savings will add up quickly.
Step 3: Pay off small debts with high interest
Let’s face it, if you have thousands of dollars in student loans, you might not be able to aggressively pay them down by the time you want to move out of your apartment.
But, for small debts (under $1,000 credit card debt, for example), you could save more in the long run by paying them off and avoiding interest payments.
Step 4: Be smart about your savings
With the right savings account and credit card, you can earn money through savings interest and through cashback rewards on credit cards.
First, find a savings account with the highest possible interest rate. These can often be found from choosing an online bank who doesn’t have the overhead of running branches.
Next, direct deposit a set amount of your paycheck each week into that savings account. This way, you can be sure that you won’t dip into your down payment savings.
To generate additional income, you can use cash back rewards from credit cards for things like groceries and gas. Choose a credit card that offers the best cash back rewards for things like groceries and gas purchases. The key here is to only use your credit card on necessities and to always pay off the card in full at the end of each month.
If you follow these four steps, you should be able to streamline your down payment savings process and start saving right now.