While holiday festivities bring to mind thoughts of joy and celebration with loved ones, there’s one element of the season that can be a source of stress: gifting. Make this year’s shopping trips a touch simpler with thoughtful presents that can fit any number of those on your holiday list.
When you head into the season with a plan and gift ideas in mind, you’re able to trim the time you spend in stores while also increasing the chances of tracking down the perfect present for each person.
From tasty food and sentimental items to handy tools and home decor, these ideas can help put you on the right path to a less stressful seasonal shopping experience. Find more holiday gift ideas at eLivingToday.com.
A Path to Better Vision
For a healthier way to see, give the gift of a lighting upgrade for use at home or at work. For example, this Refine LED Desk Lamp from OttLite’s Wellness Series provides smooth, uniform light while reducing eyestrain by up to 51 percent. The brushed nickel finish gives it elegant appeal and a convenient USB port charges electronics while four brightness settings allow for functional control to evenly distribute the balanced, natural illumination. Find more information at OttLite.com.
A Gift with Great Taste
This holiday season, give the gift of good taste with The Tasteful Gift combo from Omaha Steaks. This gourmet collection has something for everyone, including two legendary Filet Mignons and two Top Sirloins, two meaty Boneless Pork Chops, four Potatoes au Gratin, four Caramel Apple Tartlets and a Signature Seasoning Packet. Available for a limited-time holiday price with free shipping, it’s a gift that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Find more tasty gifts at omahasteaks.com.
The Gift of Good Light
If you’re looking for a gift for a runner, hiker, biker, camper or someone who seems to always be involved in a home project, consider a headlamp from Energizer to help him or her light the way. With a pivoting head, adjustable band and multiple light modes, you can adjust the headlamp to fit many lighting needs, ideal for nearly anyone looking for hands-free illumination. Find more information at energizer.com/lighting.
Fit for a Chef
For the avid cook, gift cookware like the Anolon Accolade 10 Piece Set, which features an advanced and patented technology that strategically places metal where it’s most needed for efficient heating and exceptional durability. Another key feature is the sapphire-reinforced, triple layer, metal-utensil-safe nonstick coating inside and out for exceptional food release and easy cleaning. Induction suitable, dishwasher-safe and oven-safe to 500 F, this gourmet cookware inspires confidence and creativity in the kitchen. Find more gift ideas at anolon.com.
Share the Wonder this Season
Invite your friends and family into a world of wonder this holiday season with pop-up Hallmark Paper Wonder cards. With intricate detail and 3D design, the cards unfold, pop or expand to reveal a surprise perfect for displaying all season long or sending to loved ones to share the joy of the season. Make the holiday come alive and shop the collection that can inspire people to explore, discover and share the wonder of the holidays with those they love at hallmark.com/paper-wonder.
Source: Family Features
Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays!
5 tips to prepare for a newborn’s arrival
Bringing your baby home with you for the first time is typically one of the most exciting moments for a parent. However, preparing for baby’s arrival can be a little overwhelming at times.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all manual for becoming a parent, these tips can help ensure you’re ready to bring your little one home.
Prepare the Nursery
Baby-Proof the House
Pack a Hospital Bag
Ready the Car
Set Some Boundaries
Find more tips to prepare for your child’s arrival at eLivingToday.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mom and dad bringing baby home)
Sources: Family Features | eLivingToday.com
Between feedings, changing diapers and household chores, sleep is often put on the back burner for new parents at the end of a busy day.
In fact, a survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Firm, found the average parent loses one-third of his or her nightly sleep after a baby arrives, decreasing from an average of six hours per night to just four. The same study also found that nearly half (48 percent) of new parents said sleep loss is their biggest obstacle to overcome.
Getting adequate sleep may seem impossible with a new addition but it is essential for managing stress and preparing for the day ahead. While there isn’t a magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help:
Find time for rest
Establish a routine
Try soothing techniques
Choose the right mattress
Remember, the sleepless nights won’t last forever; the American Academy of Pediatrics notes almost all babies should be able to sleep through the night by 6 months of age. For more strategies for helping new parents sleep, visit DailyDoze.com and follow along on social media with #WorkHardSleepHarder.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Sources: Family Features | Mattress Firm
Whether it’s a baby or pet, a new addition to the family calls for new, unexpected responsibilities, and is bound to come with adjustments for every member of the family.
While it would be silly to guarantee zero stress for the new family environment, below are tips for a transition with more playtime and fewer headaches to help you get started.
Here’s what you need to know:
Get ready in style
Prep the space with all the necessities needed to make your new addition’s life as happy as possible. Based on the needs of your new child or pet, this could mean turning your home office or game room into a nursery, or finding the perfect doggy door to install in the back entrance. After checking big-ticket items off your list, consider how moments such as bath time will change in the new dynamic. Choose a product that is stylish and functional, like the Peerless SideKick Shower System, which has interchangeable attachments for parents, pet and baby. Versatile shower additions create a one-stop shop for everyone in the family, limiting mess and making bath time more efficient (and cost-effective!).
When you walk through your front door, you are greeted with the comfort and security of being in a space made just for you. With a new baby or pet, that could all change! It is important to take a careful look at your home and proof for all possible dangers and accidents. Move chemicals and cleaning products onto high shelves, tape electrical cords to baseboards, find ways to secure cabinets and doors that you would prefer not to have curious hands, mouths and noses digging around in, and make sure anything that can induce choking is stored in a safe place, far away from the curious new family member.
Budget for two
A new addition to the family means one more mouth to feed and nurture. It is important to prepare for unexpected expenses. Babies and pets are more prone to illness, injury and accidents because they are constantly exploring their environment. Remember to plan ahead by setting up a monthly savings plan to make room for miscellaneous expenses in your monthly budget. Go the extra mile and save more money by buying clothes and accessories from thrift or consignment stores, using family or friends for backup daycare, and asking relatives to babysit or puppy sit. Remember that planning is key. You’ve got this!
Ensure a stress- and mess-free playtime by designating an area for play in your home. If possible, create a gated space to give yourself a sense of control over playtime activities. This will offer peace of mind and allow your new addition to have fun and express themselves without any inhibitions. Bonus: There is less cleanup time as well.
For more shower solutions for the family, please visit peerlessfaucet.com.
By Daniel Sherwin for Natural Baby Magazine
Congratulations! You’re going to have a baby, and it’s time to get ready! A bit of trepidation is normal when you realize that you’ll be bringing home a wiggly, squiggly, squalling infant in just a few very short months. Most new parents anticipate parenthood with a blend of excitement and apprehension.
But if you’re joining the ranks of more than 4 million U.S. families with children under age 18 that include at least one parent with a disability, you know that you’ll face additional challenges besides the usual diaper blowouts and toy minefields.
If you’ve lived with your disability for a while, you’ve probably already taken creative steps to accommodate for the challenges it presents. Approach preparing for a new baby as an exciting adventure that requires strategy, a little ingenuity, and a healthy dose of humor.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for parenthood:
Standard baby gear and equipment isn’t necessarily designed to accommodate physical limitations. Fortunately, big-box stores and online retailers now carry equipment to accommodate parents who may have trouble using their hands, use wheelchairs, or who have vision/hearing impairments. This equipment includes:
For a more comprehensive list of baby care equipment that’s recommended for parents with disabilities, visit Through the Looking Glass, a “nationally recognized center that has pioneered research, training, and services for families in which a child, parent, or grandparent has a disability or medical issue.”
Modifying Your Home
Your home may already have certain adaptations, like grab bars in bathtubs and non-slip rugs or mats. But it’s likely that there will be other modifications that you’ll need to make so childcare is easier
If you’re sight-impaired, consider these modifications:
American Foundation for the Blind has more ideas on creating a comfortable, usable environment that’s also infant and kid friendly.
A Strong Support System
Never think that self-care is an indulgence—it’s a necessity! All new parents need a break to relieve the stress brought on from late-night feedings, crying babies, and serious sleep deprivation now and then. Whether you ask a friend or family member to watch your baby while you nap, escape into a book, or enjoy a date night with your partner, take time for yourself.
Musician Taylor Hanson said, “Having a baby is a life-changer. It gives you a whole other perspective on why you wake up every day.” And that’s the magic of parenthood.
Daniel Sherwin is a single father of two and the creator of DadSolo.com
How to improve indoor airflow and quality
More efficient, tightly built homes than those constructed in previous generations are generally well-regarded, for the most part with good reason. However, when you consider people spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such airtight environments raise some concerns.
All that efficiency cuts down on airflow, effectively trapping allergens and toxins inside. According to estimates from the EPA, the air inside the average home may be as much as five times more polluted than the air outdoors, even in a bustling city.
“We know instinctively that spending so many hours in stuffy places isn’t good for us,” said Peter Foldbjerg, head of daylight energy and indoor climate at Velux. “According to research, living in damp and moldy homes increases our risk of asthma by 40 percent and leaves us vulnerable to developing other ailments.”
Limited fresh air and light during the day can negatively impact mood, sleep and performance. Air pollution can also pose a health risk through irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; headaches, dizziness and fatigue; and respiratory conditions, heart disease and cancer. To help alleviate some of these concerns, consider these tips.
Bring the outside in.
Rely on natural air flow.
Eliminate potential obstacles.
Creating Cleaner Indoor Air
Creating more airflow is an important step to improving your indoor environment, but considerations like air quality should not be overlooked. More air is a good thing, but more clean air is better yet.
Everyday home life activities such as cooking, showering, lighting candles, sleeping and doing laundry can all contribute to polluted indoor air, which over time can lead to the development of illnesses.
These tips from the indoor climate experts at Velux can help make the air inside your home healthier:
1. Keep bathroom doors closed and turn on the extractor fan or open a window or skylight when showering.
2. Turn the hood fan on when cooking and open your windows, if weather permits.
3. Avoid burning candles excessively; look for alternatives such as sprigs of lavender to add a natural fresh scent.
4. Dry clothes outside when possible, which reduces carbon emissions from the dryer and minimizes potential pollutants traveling through the dryer vent.
5. Clean regularly with non-chemical based cleaning products, and pay attention to ingredients in cleaning products that may create hazardous fumes.
Increasing Natural Light
Find more tips for creating a healthier home at veluxusa.com/indoorgeneration.
Sources: Family Features | Velux
Natural Baby Magazine
Blogging about Natural Childbirth, Natural Baby Bums, Natural Baby Feeding, Natural Baby Health, and Natural Baby Learning all in the first year of life.