How To Have A Successful Holiday With Phone-Addicted Kids!

Mobile phones have been an incredible blessing to us in the 21st century thanks to their recent developments. We can navigate, educate, and communicate thanks to the power of these tiny devices.

However, our entire lives are held on phones and for those who grew up without any prior experience in a world without mobile phones, it can be hard to rip yourself away from the screen.

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The problem may not be an addiction in the traditional form. Older generations had to bond by going out to a bar or park because that’s the only way one could meet others. Nowadays, a mobile phone enables you to talk to as many people as you would want, whenever you want. That’s not an addiction; that’s being social.

The clash here is when you gear up and take the kids on holiday only for them to have their face plastered to a screen 24/7. That’s when the problems arise and it can be quite easy to take things personally!

One way to get around this is consistently engage your child. Ask them what they want from this vacation. Ask them to find a restaurant, waterpark, or anything they would like to visit on their phone. Get them to film you and the family taking part in activities. There’s nothing wrong with the mobile being used, so you should try and steer it being used for more social reasons that revolve around the family holiday. This can even work on the camping recess, get yourself to be filmed trying to start a fire with sticks! However, if you’re out in the sticks, you probably want something like a portable solar generator to keep everything charged up, so everyone isn’t fed up.

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Another option is to be reasonable and rational. Tell your kids the truth and your feelings about them using the phone during the holiday. Be honest, because that’s all you should do. Tell the kids you want to spend this holiday with them and ensure they get as much enjoyment as possible out of the occasion, as they come rarely. You want to push the idea that this is indeed limited quality time and it will run out, and normality will quickly return.

You could also join in the mobile phone fun by engaging with the kids on social media. This isn’t about being ‘embarrassing dad,’ it’s about finding cool stuff about the holiday to share with them over something like snapchat, and not your sunburnt face with a cheesy grin!

Of course, you could enact a total phone ban for the duration of the embargo, and that’s a great option, but you always have to think about one thing: are you doing this for the kids, or you? If we are trying to enact decision that affects our children, the decision should be for them and not us. Then again, you’re the one who has probably paid for the holiday, so the decision is yours to take! Just try and have the best holiday with your kids that you can – phone or no phone.

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Make The Christmas Countdown Magical By Turning To Tradition

Christmas is all about the the kids. As parents, it’s your responsibility to ensure your little one’s Christmas is as magical as possible. There’s nothing like the excitement this magical season can bring. Seeing the joy on your kid’s faces on Christmas morning will make the day special for you too. Of course, Christmas day itself isn’t the best part. It’s the lead up to Christmas that is the real fun. Make sure your kids get in the Christmas mood by making the run up to Christmas as special as it can be. And, how can you do that? Follow these simple tips!

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GET CREATIVE WITH ADVENT

Advent calendars are the first step for Christmas fun. Take a little time planning advent ideas that will start the excitement early. Putting a little effort into a homemade calendar will be fun for the children, and for you too. Do something that allows you to get festive together. Why not buy 24 Christmas stories, and read one with your kids each night? Or, you could choose a different Christmas song to listen to with breakfast each morning. Traditions like these are what make the countdown special. Start when the children are young, and they’ll treasure these additions forever.

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INVOLVE THEM IN THE DECORATING

Get your decorations up as soon as December hits to start festivities early. Again, make traditions around this. Set aside a day on the first weekend of December and get the kids involved. Let them help hanging tinsel and putting decorations on the tree. Spend the day watching Christmas films and eating chocolates. Keep things as stress-free as possible. The decorations may not look exactly how you want them, but the point is that you’ve put them up as a family. That’s what Christmas is all about!

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TAKE A CHRISTMAS VACATION

What’s better for getting in that Christmas mood than a trip to Santa’s home in Lapland? A trip to the Christmas haven that is Lapland is sure to get your kids excited. You’ll be able to do all sorts of Christmas themed activities during your stay. Not to mention that you’ll get the chance for a private audience with Santa. While you’re there, why not take the opportunity of a trip in a reindeer sleigh too? Or, if reindeer don’t appeal, you could opt for Huskies instead. The fun Christmas activities on offer in this magical Christmas location are endless!

CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS

Keep the festive fun going right up to Christmas day by developing Christmas Eve traditions too. Christmas Eve is the best part of Christmas in many ways. This is when your children’s excitement will be at its height. Make the most of the opportunity. Christmas Eve traditions are something we never forget, no matter how old we get. You could get a certain take out every Christmas Eve, or watch a certain film. You could let you Children open a present each. And don’t forget the carrots and mince pies for Santa and the reindeer!

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Starting a Parenting Blogger Facebook Group

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Hey guys and gals!  I’m interested in starting up a parenting blogger Facebook group as a place for us to all come together, share our blog posts, ideas, and more.  Would any of you like to join?  And if so, would any of you like to be an admin?  I’m a part of a lot of Facebook groups today, and to be frank, a lot of them are very structured.  I’m not really looking for “follow these rules or you’re banned” type of structure, but something a little more relaxed. I would like to have certain share days where we pick a Facebook, Twitter, Intagram, Pinterest, etc. post to share with the whole group.

If you are simply interested in helping me get this off the ground and/or would like to help me with the admin side of things, please reply in the comment section of this post.

Together, we can make it a huge group with a lot of value and interest.

Thanks!

Jeremy

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Stop The Generation Video Games: Getting The Kids Outside

The new generations of children are much more tech-savvy than we, their parents, are. Contrary to you and me, the kids of today are growing surrounded by technology from their younger age. Everywhere they look, there is a digital device that is connected to the Internet: Smartphones, game consoles, some kitchen appliances, etc. While this makes them good at multitasking and a lot more resilient to pressure (if you have played any of the current video games on the market, you know exactly what I mean), these high-tech activities are estranging your kids from you. It’s time to react and to build a robust and healthy bond with your kids far from their tech interest. Here are a few tips to convince your children that they can have fun even when they are outside.

Why Aren’t Kids Playing Outside Anymore?

This is a tricky question. I remember fondly growing up in the 1980s and spending most of my free time riding my bike outside. Being outside was for me a symbol of freedom, and fun naturally, as I could ride wherever I needed to go. Thankfully, Netflix latest blockbuster, Stranger Things, that plays in the 1980s might have just been enough to encourage some kids to buy a bike and ride through town.

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So why don’t we see as many kids outside as we used to? The world has changed for a start. There are more cars, and they are much faster. The roads aren’t safe anymore. But the way kids interact with each other has evolved too. A snapchat replaces a face-to-face conversation. They don’t need to see each other to exchange, ergo they don’t even need to leave their room to be connected to their friends. As parents don’t usually belong to their cyber network, it is essential to encourage outside activities and build a bond with your kids.

Organize A Garden Party

It may sound a little silly but stick with me: Your garden is an easy concession for kids. As a first step outside, this one is one that compromises between their needs to keep in touch with their cyber network and being outside with you. Plan the food and the drinks thoroughly so that there is no need to go back inside the house for a little nibble.

But don’t turn the garden party into a family lunch. It’s not called a garden party by chance: Its core purpose is to entertain, and that means getting your outside games sorted. Cornhole games are always a favorite, so make sure that you have some exciting new cornhole wraps to refresh your old set. There’s nothing worse than a dull looking game to kill the party mood! Which game you pick doesn’t matter: It’s creating fun outside memories with your kids that matters.

Finally, plan all games in teams. This will help you to develop a stronger bond with your children as you play together as one to win. Why not prepare a little reward for the winning team? This can simply be a pair of cupcakes or a supersized ice cream. There is no need for medals because everyone’s a winner when you have fun together as a family.

Plan A Weekly Walk Together

If you are keen to establish a trust relationship with your kids, and as I am sure that every parent is, I find that a walk together in a park or a forest is a good way of detaching ourselves from everyday life and coming together. Often the peacefulness of Mother Nature encourages confidences, yet this is something that you will have to develop with your kid. It takes time to reach a level where one can be fully honest without being afraid of a parent’s judgment.

One to two hours is an optimal time for a walking path outside where you can make the best of it by enjoying nature together. Bonus points if you know your plants and your birds, so make sure to do your research before you go!

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Image by Google (https://goo.gl/images/XZ8g8m)

 

You will find that this little walk can become your privileged time together, a moment of the week where time stops, and you can enjoy each other’s company. Don’t miss out on it: kids grow up so fast!

Be An Outside Model

The first thing one learns about being a parent is that it is better to show than to tell. What does it mean here? It means that if your kids are used to see you sitting in front of the TV instead of going outside, they will find it difficult to believe that the world outside is as exciting as you say. Changing your kids habits starts by changing yours. Relax. I’m not asking you to build a hut in the garden and spend the night in there. But a few simple and effective changes will go a long way.

First of all, try as much as possible to leave the car for short distances. If it is under a mile, or even two miles if you are feeling up for it, then just walk. Not only will this gradually push your kids to go outside more often and even plan their trips outside, but your legs and your back will thank you for it!

Then add easy gestures: Take care of your garden every day, take the dog out for a walk, have a little jog in town during the week, etc. Remember that if you don’t go outside, why should they? The best way to convince them to leave their room and go in the sun more often is to do it yourself too.

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We are all guilty of turning into a civilization of people who live only inside. So every little step you take outside, you do it for you and your kids. It is important in our hectic lives to keep in touch with the world around us. So open the door and go outside with your children!

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5 Free Image Sites For Your Blog

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#unsplash #pixabay #isorepublic #pexels #visualhunt #freestockphotos

As a blogger, I am constantly looking for professional, high-quality stock photos to use in my posts.  I find myself using the 5 sites below most often so I thought I would share those with you today.

Most of these sites offer free stock photos for commercial uses with no attribution required. This means you aren’t required to give credit; however, I strongly advise you make it a practice of giving credit where credit is due anyway.  Here’s my list:

1. Pixabay

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Pixabay is by far my most-visited free image site. It’s very easy to navigate and filter to what you want to see, and not to mention they have more than 400,000 images.

 

2. Unsplash

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Unsplash allows 10 downloads per day.  The images are free, high-resolution stock photos.

 

3. Pexels

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Pexels is another site I frequently visit depending on my image needs for the post I’m authoring.  Its photos are free for commercial use with no attribution required (but I suggest doing it anyway to cover your bases!)

 

4. Visual Hunt

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Visual Hunt is a site I recently stumbled upon when searching Google for free stock photos. What I like about this site is that it has a very clean and colorful layout with many different categories.  Again, most of their photos are on a CCO (Creative Common) license which means you can do whatever you want, but you do need to check the information on each image to verify it follows CCO. As I stated at the top of this post, I heed caution and give credit when unsure.

 

5. ISO Republic

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ISO Republic is another one of my go-to sites for free stock photos.  What I like most about this site is that whenever you click on an image of interest, it automatically suggests related images for you.  You also have the option of receiving more free stock photos by email every day.  ISO Republic also has a very nice layout and category menu to choose from as well.

 

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Forget Super Parents: We All Need A Little Help

Parenthood is often described as a life-changing experience that nourishes your soul. That would be what people who have long forgotten what it means to care for a child feels like. Young parents hold a different speech about parenthood: It’s rewarding but also stressful, exhausting, and often confusing. Young parents often feel overwhelmed as they try to balance multiple responsibilities at the same time, because when you’re a parent, you don’t cease being an employee/employer, a homeowner, a friend, and a partner. Stop right now. You are not a superhero. You can free up some time with one clever tip: Get some help.

The Best Babysitters Are In The Family

As unimaginable as it may seem, there will be the odd day when you’d like to have a little bit of time as a couple. This is especially important for new parents, as it is key to maintain the stability in your relationship. Even after birth, you will still need to make time for each other. Asking your relatives for a hand is a perfectly reasonable step. After all, a baby is a bundle of joy, so let’s share it! Grandparents are always a great help: They have done it all before, so they know exactly what to do when baby cries. Aunts and uncles are also a great support to turn to. There is no shame in asking for a few free hours, or even a baby-free night, as long as you don’t overdo it. A cost-saving option for childcare, your relatives are essential to help Baby build a trust network within your family and develop a healthy base for future relationships.

Get A Hand At Home

With limited spare time, it is often tricky to keep your house spotless with a young baby. Making a list of all mandatory appliances to make your life easier with Baby, such as a dishwasher, a washing machine (with tumble dryer), and a microwave, is a good start. But you’ll soon find out that it isn’t enough. Thankfully, there are smart options around that provide just what you need.

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Cleaning image from Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/6haSbP)

You will find household services that are available online in a matter of a simple click. For example, if you booked a cleaner from whizz, it would let you enjoy a refreshing nap when Baby sleeps. There is hardly anything more precious than sleep for young parents, so don’t overlook this possibility to get someone in to do the cleaning.

Sit Down With Your Partner For A Healthy Reality Check

We all get some things wrong. You might have promised yourself never to be like your mother/father, and suddenly you find yourself sounding just like them. Chill out. Parenting is not all fun and easy. Parenting is about developing a relationship with your child and guiding them into becoming a person they would be proud of. It’s okay to have a few hiccups on the way, especially for young parents who are new to it. So take the time to sit down and discuss issues or worries with your partner. Maybe together you can come with to a better approach. When you become a parent, your relationship with your partner changes. It is important that in parenthood you still spend time together and establish new habits before a sour relationship develops.

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Keeping Your Kids Healthy On Vacation: Advice Every Dad Needs

It’s always a challenge when you decide to take your family on a mini-break. For one thing, you have to keep the kids entertained for hours in the car. And once you get to the destination, you need to keep a watchful eye on them to make sure they stay well and healthy. After all, there are a ton of risks that you need to watch out for while you are on your holiday. Here is some advice you need to keep your kids healthy on vacation!

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Pack some suntan lotion

Of course, this one depends on what the weather is like in your destination. Therefore, you need to research before you go to see what your family can expect. If it’s going to be hot, you need to make sure you are prepared. Therefore, get hold of a bottle of suntan lotion which you can use to protect your kids. After all, a couple of hours playing out in the hot sun could put them at risk of getting sunburn. As well as suntan lotion, make sure they have a hat and sunglasses which will keep them safe from the hot rays. And it will stop them catching sunstroke; this is never fun when you are meant to be on a relaxing family break!

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Bring along some mozzie spray

During your vacation, you are likely to be out at night. After all, there tend to be fun activities for the kids to do in the evening. But when you are outside, you are at risk of getting bitten by a mosquito. And unless you want your kids to be put at risk of malaria, you need to get some repellent spray to keep the bugs away. It will also ensure they don’t get bitten; we all know how itchy one of these bites can be!

Hunt down local services

Wherever you are going on vacation, it’s so important to check where the local services are situated. After all, if your child gets sick during the holiday, you want to know where the local health clinic is. And you also need to have a good idea of where the local 24 hourly dentist is situated. After all, if your kid has a dental emergency, you don’t want to be clueless! Therefore, look online to find the services which are located near your holiday accommodation. That way, you are prepared for any emergency which may occur! And remember to get travel insurance if you are going abroad. That way, you can afford the treatment if your child does get sick on holiday!

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Carry a first aid kit with you

It’s so important that you put a first aid kit in the car or in your flight bag for the vacation. After all, if your kid gets injured while you are on your break, you can quickly tend to the wound. Stock it with all the essentials your child might need such as plasters, an anti-inflammatory cream, and medicine. That way, you will have everything you need to help your child in the case of an accident!

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And remember to pack some water and snacks for your kids to have on your travels!

 

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Put the Fun Back into Exercise With My Sage Advice

Exercise. Ugh! The word that can send waves of dread crashing over the best of us! But, it’s something we have to keep up with its we want to stay fit and healthy. So, that means coming up with ideas that will make the exercising less arduous. The best way of achieving that is to make sure you try to make the process more fun. So, here are some of my suggestions that will help you enjoy exercising and find it a little more fun.

Do it With Friends

One of the best suggestions I can make is to start exercising with your friends. You have to make sure you don’t leave the exercise and fitness to yourself. If you do, it’s going to be difficult to find the motivation and drive to do it. Plus you’re going to find it a lot less interesting trying to work out and get fit on your own. This is why you need to try and get your friends involved as much as you can. If you can turn this into a group activity, you’re going to be much more likely to succeed. Speak to your friends and try to get a few of them involved. You can do this a together and help encourage and motivate each other into getting fitter and healthier. It’s a tried and tested way of making sure you can put the fun back into exercising. So, right now, today, you need to float the idea to your friends and try to come up with a regime that suits all of you.

Put the Fun Back into Exercise With My Sage Advice

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Introduce Sports

Introducing sports into your fitness and exercise plans is a wonderfully effective technique. See, you need to realize that this makes things a lot more interesting and enjoyable. When you play sports, you are focusing on the game and the competitive element. As such, you are almost tricking your body into exercising without even realizing it! So, take advantage of this by playing and practicing some of the sports you enjoy. You can do this with friends or family members. Something like a one hand trainer bat will allow you to practice some baseball and bolster your exercise that way. Using sport to help you keep fit and healthy is a tried and tested idea and one that you will benefit from a lot.

Reward Yourself

If you want to accomplish anything you have to give yourself an incentive. And the way to do that is to reward yourself afterward. Now, you might think this is a technique that’s refreshing for kids. And, in general, you would be correct. However, you need to remember that incentivizing is effective in all areas of life. And it will work very well for you as well; you just have to know how to use it! Think about things you’ve wanted for a while and use them as a way to coerce yourself into doing the exercise you may want to do.

As you can’t see, these are just a few tips you can employ to make exercising more fun. Nobody wants to exercise and get fit, but it’s necessary for boosting confidence and making us feel good. That’s why we need to make sure we take the time to exercise and keep fit as much as possible.

 

 

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Don’t Forget These Small But Vital Wedding Elements

Anyone that has been involved in planning a wedding knows that there is so much stuff to get sorted before, during, and after the big day. It can be so easy to overlook some things and completely forget others. But there some things that you should make a special effort to get sorted, especially if they show people your thanks and gratitude for being involved in your celebration.

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Cheat Sheets

Ok so a wedding is not a test, and your guests should not be made to feel like it is. That is why before the big day happens you need to produce ‘cheat sheets’ for everyone.

These will allow you to include information about the service, its location and how to get there. You can also add recommended places to stay in the area, as well as taxi firms and any discounts you have managed to secure. In this way, you guests will have all the information that they need to have a wonderful time at your wedding.

Seating plans

Something that can be easily overlooked when planning a wedding is the seating plan. Traditional seating plans divide the wedding party into groups and assign an individual place to each person. Seating plans can take a long time to perfect especially if you haven’t had all your RSVPs back, as you often have to end up changing people around.

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That is why a modern trend in both church and reception venue seating is to let people choose their places is now quite popular. This has certain advantages in that people feel more comfortable because they get to sit with people that they already know. However, it can have a negative effect on breaking the ice between different friendship and family groups. But this can be combated with some fun party games.

Late Night Snacks

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While a lot of planning and preparation goes into sorting out the food for the cocktail hour and the main meal, providing some sustenance for your guests later on in the evening is often overlooked. But if the day has been a long one or you ate fairly early, people will start to get hungry again come the evening time.

You don’t have to provide a huge amount of food, though. Some people go for a buffet. Others choose a hot snack like hot dogs to keep people fueled up for the rest of the party.

Thank You Cards

During the run up to your special day, there is so much to think about that you probably haven’t planned much farther than the honeymoon. But something that you should not forget is to have a good stock of thank you cards at the ready. It is good manners to show people your appreciation for their spending their time attending your wedding and for the gifts they bring.

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It’s best to have your thank you cards at the ready for the few days after the ceremony. Then if you have some time before you jet off on your honeymoon you can get them sorted then and there. It’s so much easier that way than to let the hang over your for the next six months or so. Just get them sorted.

Gifts for the wedding party

Another nice way of showing appreciation for people is to provide small gifts for the bride and groom’s family, the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. Not only does doing this show that you value them and their role in your life, but it also marks your appreciation for all that they have done in helping you to get the wedding sorted.

Traditionally the mother of the bride and mother of the groom receive a bunch of flowers, where the bridesmaid have jewelry that they can wear on the day.

Gift for Groomsmen can be items like watches, or tankards. Of course, you don’t have to go with these traditional ideas and can get them anything that you think appropriate. Just remember that something thoughtful that they can remember the day by is always a good idea.

Groom gifts

Some couples choose to buy each other gifts for their wedding day too. This acts a symbol of commitment and also shows that the other person will be committed to making their partner happy throughout their married life.

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Typical gifts for grooms include watches, cuff links or tie pins. A nice gift for brides can include experience days like afternoon teas or a spa trip. Plan them for the month anniversary of the wedding day for an extra special touch.

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A Sample Of 2017’s Most Eagerly Awaited Cars

2016 is almost over, but with its ending comes exciting times. There are some great cars arriving in 2017, each bringing a new era of automotive technology. So take a break from Christmas shopping and have a look at some of the best coming releases of next year.

Aston Martin DB11

Okay it isn’t an affordable practical car, but every petrolhead appreciates the iconic Aston Martin DB range. The James Bond classic is making a return in lightweight aluminum with a supercharged V12 engine which manages a staggering 660 horsepower. The DB11’s interior has been designed for nothing but comfort and even has decent storage space meaning you could even take it on a road trip. The luxurious supercar is a prime reason 2017 looks so enticing and it is turning heads at every autoshow across the globe.

Mercedes E-Class

The new 2017 E-Class exudes technological innovation. It is touted as one of the smartest cars in the world and comes with cruise control which can stay in lane even without lane markings. The car can effectively change speed to by processing other car’s speeds using its onboard camera and navigation settings. The car pioneers autonomous driving and is the next step into the exciting new world of driverless driving. Beginning at just 40,000 the E-Class is even slightly affordable, but, if out of your price range don’t fret, there are some stunning used Mercedes-Benz for sale.

A Sample Of 2017's Most Eagerly Awaited Cars

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Hyundai Ioniq

The green car market is gradually getting bigger as consumers put more faith in the ever improving technological output of electric and hybrid automobiles. The Ioniq attempts to become the best in the market and offers CO2 emissions of around 34g/km, one of the industries best. It also comes with three drive chain models, giving the consumer a great choice. The hybrid edition can go 25 miles on the battery alone. Yet when fully charged, the purely electric version of the car can go as far as 110 miles on one charge.

Apple Car

A mere rumour at the moment, but judging how apple have shaken up each market they’ve released in this could be big news which could potentially change the automotive market for years to come. Known as project titan the car is talked of in hushed whispers with rumours stating it could be self-drive. Apple have the financial clout to build any kind of car they want, but being constant innovators it seems logical to believe they’re pioneering some form of new or cutting edge technology. Find out everything we know about the car so far here.

So there we have it, a small glimpse into the imminent future covering practical green cars, sleek beautiful business saloons, the wonderful DB11 and the wacky clandestine Apple Car. A cross section of what’s to come which shows us the great technological feats and engineering masterclass required to build such machines, it does make me wonder that if we can build such things in 2017, what does the future hold?

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Keeping Cool In Those Medical Emergencies

Keeping Cool In Those Medical Emergencies

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Whether they have a ferocious fever or a chipped tooth, keeping cool when your child is hurt can be a challenge. This is especially true if you’re a new parent, or if you simply haven’t had to deal with a situation like this before.

Like most things, the key to staying on top of an injury is preparation. If you know exactly what you need to do, before the event occurs, you’ll be ready when it does. Your plan of action should be detailed and should include a host of different scenarios. To help you out, this post will go through a basic plan, with some handy tips.

Stay Cool, Keep Calm

When your child gets hurt, it is a natural reaction to become stressed. It makes sense, you love your child and would do near enough anything to protect them. But, this stress can easily go out of control. If you’re far too stressed to think straight, you won’t be able to carry out your plan and things will be much harder. Thankfully, though, merely having a plan should help with this. The rest is down to you.

When your child gets hurt, they’re likely to be stressed as well. Getting your child calm and relaxed is the most important thing you can do. In cases of extreme injuries, stress can lead to shock which can stop other parts of your body from working. Be aware, though, that if you’re stressed, it will be almost impossible to help your child with their anxiety. Make sure that your child feels comfortable and safe. Let them know that there is nothing to worry about, and that someone is coming to help.

Assess The Situation

Certain injuries are more serious than others, and some will require professional help. But, you are the only one who can make the decision to call someone. If you call an ambulance that isn’t necessary, you waste money and could be taking care from someone else who needs it. But, if you don’t call one when you need it, the situation could become much worse.

You need to be logical when it comes to making this decision. Often times, if you’re completely unsure, it’s best to call for help. Ask your child how they feel, with a rating from one to ten based on any pain they’re feeling. You should notice any difference in your child’s mood or energy when they’re injured. Use their own prognosis as well as your own. Sometimes a child will under or over exaggerate when they’re hurt. This can make it hard to come to a decision, so you might have to be patient. When it comes to very serious injuries, you’ll almost always know that they need help.

Keeping Cool In Those Medical Emergencies

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Call The Heavy Hitters

When it comes to getting help, you should already know exactly who to call. For emergencies, like bad injuries or sudden illness, calling an ambulance in the best idea. They will start treating your child as soon as they arrive, and continue to do so once they’ve reached a hospital. The call operator will be able to help you look after your child while you wait, and can help you to understand if there’s need for concern or not. In most places, ambulances operate all the time, and they can be contacted using your country’s emergency services number.

For illnesses or smaller injuries, you can usually rely on a doctor. Most medical practices will make emergency bookings, especially for children. So, even if you need to be seen fast, you can be. Doctors are medical experts with similar training to surgeons. They have the power to prescribe treatments, and can even perform small procedures. A lot of doctor’s surgeries will only be open during business hours. So, this option is only available for non-emergencies, when they’re not open.

For anything in the kid’s mouth, you need a dentist. Dentists are still medical experts, but they’ve specialized in dental practice. Like medical practices, dentists will do more when it comes to emergencies, especially with children.

Most of these places, with the exception of hospitals, are closed on weekends. So, if you need them on a Saturday or Sunday, you may have to travel. Use sites like www.saturdaydentist.org to find places that are open on non-business days.

This should give you a good foundation when it comes to medical dilemmas with your kids. It can’t be stressed enough that the best way to deal with these situations is planning, long before your kid’s are ever hurt.

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A Healthier, Happier Home In 2017

Like countless other dads, you’re probably aware of a few habits and lifestyle choices you maintain which aren’t all that healthy. If this is the case, then it’s also pretty likely that you don’t run a very tight ship when it comes to making sure everyone in your home is as healthy as possible. While it’s not always that easy, making sure everyone in your household stays happy and healthy is an important duty of fatherhood which you need to step up to. With the new year quickly approaching, here’s my guide to keeping your whole family as healthy as possible.

Stop Starving Yourself

This may sound a little backwards to people who are trying to lose weight. However, if you want to achieve a healthy weight, you can’t go hungry like some people are. When you’re not filling yourself up regularly enough, all you’ll do is cause your hunger hormone, ghrelin, to rise in irregular, sporadic spikes. The big issue here is that it takes roughly half an hour for this hormone to recede back to a normal level once you’ve started to eat. It may not sound like much, but half an hour is more than enough time for most people to consume far more calories than they would have if they filled themselves up at their last meal. When you’re eating breakfast, lunch or dinner, make sure you’re giving yourself large enough portions, and leave the table feeling totally satisfied. You should also be making a point to keep healthy snacks, like nuts and dried fruits around, and using these to see you through until your next meal.

Schedule Your Breakfast and Lunch

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Credit: Public Domain Pictures

If you don’t have a healthy go-to option for both breakfast and lunch, you’ll be much more likely to grab something unhealthy, acting on a spur-of-the-moment craving. Aside from that, when you have some healthy go-to meals for each day, keeping your weekly grocery shop healthy will become so much easier. Try out different things, find some breakfasts and lunches that you like, and then stick to them. By getting out of your habit of re-inventing the wheel at every mealtime, you’ll find sticking to a healthy diet so much easier. As an example, you could start your day off with some oatmeal or muesli with flaxseed oil, and add some flavour with raisins or nuts. For lunch, I recommend a vegetable-based soup, or a sandwich with healthy cold cuts like turkey or tuna. For the kids, try weaning them off sugar in their packed lunches. They won’t go quietly, but just keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it! You can find some healthy lunch ideas at http://greatist.com/ .

Get Everyone the Attention They Need

 Obviously, if anyone in your family gets sick or develops any kind of health problem, you’re going to know about it fairly soon. As great as modern medicine is, however, there are certain things which it’s better to be aware of before they get bad enough to notice. Countless families put off regular health check-ups. I know it can be a hassle to make appointments and take the time out of your schedule, but seeing a medical professional once or twice a year can be a great way to nip health problems in the bud before they get any worse. If you know that it’s been far too long since someone in your family had a check-up with their doctor, be sure to change that as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to check out a medical or family health blog every now and then, and read up on any major concerns for the age groups in your family. Certain conditions, like meningitis, are a big risk for young people, but can be prevented with a simple vaccination. Regular dental check-ups are also very important for nipping oral conditions in the bud. If you haven’t seen your dentist for a decade, you can find one in your area using directories like http://dentists.nhere.me .

Exercise 20 Minutes A Day

 You may have read in some health guides that you should be getting an hour of rigorous exercise every day. If you’ve ever attempted to actually fit this in, then you probably also found that it isn’t exactly practical! While an hour will really mess up the flow of your day-to-day life, 20 minutes is nothing. By keeping your daily exercise quota small, convenient and manageable, you’ll find it so much easier to assure that you get some exercise in, rather than getting swallowed up in the chaos of the day and not having any exercise at all. You don’t need to rush out to the gym in the middle of every day for an hour. Instead, get some dumbbells and do some simple exercises at home, or take a brief walk around the block. Another side to keeping to this 20-minute quota is that many people find they enjoy their little exercise sessions, and push them even further. Aim for 20 minutes, and soon you’ll find it so much easier to push yourself more and more!

Don’t Let Unhealthy Foods into Your Home

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Credit: Pixabay

Obviously, if you’ve been running a fairly lax regime so far, it can be a little tough to keep fats and sugars out of your home. It won’t be what your kids are used to, and you may have a small mutiny to deal with! Though it may be hard to see your kids freak out over not being able to have their favorite treat, it’s very important to be the decision maker in your home when it comes to grocery shopping. If you bring sweets, soft drinks and cookies into your home, your kids are going to notice, and will invariably want them. If you try to restrict them, you may find it easier to get them to do their chores, but you’ll also serve to make these unhealthy foods seem more exclusive and desirable. However, if you don’t buy these treats to begin with, your kids will miss them to start, but as they get used to the idea they’ll begin to forget that they even ate so much sugar in the first place! If your kids were used to opening the cupboards and reaching for a bag of chips, then sub out the unhealthy snacks for things like dried fruit, nuts and so on. Your kids will almost certainly be hostile to the change at first, but they’ll eat the healthy snacks once they get hungry enough!

Make Family Meals a Priority

 I could write about the importance of good nutrition all day, and you’re probably hearing enough about it from various other sources. However, if you want to pass this important message onto your kids in the most effective way possible, there’s nothing better than sitting down with them every night for a regular mealtime. Studies have shown that regular family dinners will not only give your kids better eating habits, but can also improve their grades, and make it feel easier for them to open up to you. When the whole family comes together to eat and talk, they become stronger as a unit, breathe life into a potent emotional harmony, and generally improve everyone’s long-term health.

Make Room for Play Time

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Credit: Pixabay

Just like fitting in that 20 minutes of daily exercise, finding some room for active play time with your kids is a great way to make sure they stay happy and healthy. For starters, this will give you one more opportunity to burn off those calories. Another great thing about making room for active play time is that it will naturally make your kids more open to the idea of exercise and having fun through physical activity. As I’m sure you’ve discovered, a healthy amount of exercise becomes more and more of a chore as you grow older. If your kids aren’t all that into sports, and a lot of them aren’t these days, then get a variety of cheap equipment so that you can keep active play time fun and varied. By having a few soccer penalty shots after dinner, shooting some hoops, or anything else that gets you moving, you’ll be making sure everyone gets a healthy amount of exercise, and creating another opportunity for bonding with your kids. You can find a handy feature for this on http://www.webmd.com/ .

Have a Bedtime Routine

 You may feel that you’re a little old to have a bedtime which you stick to like clockwork. However, keeping to a regular sleeping pattern will ensure that you look younger and more energetic for longer. Far too many adults in the country are getting unhealthy amounts of sleep. Furthermore, if you’re not getting at least seven hours a night, you could be seriously upping your chances of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problems. Keep your bedroom dark and cool, try to stop using screens at least an hour before you go to sleep, and take in less caffeine through the day. This may feel strange at first, but you’ll feel so much better when you notice the effects!

 

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Perfect Presents: Three Things To Consider When You’re Having Trouble Finding The Ideal Gift

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It’s coming up to that time of year again. The season of giving! Everyone loves giving and receiving presents. But it can often be a struggle to figure out to get for people. Even if you’ve known someone your entire life, you know everything about them, and you love them dearly, finding the perfect present can be tough. You don’t just want to give them something they’ll never use (or worse, throw away!) But at the same time, you don’t want to spend massive amounts of money. Besides, it’s not about the cost! The key is to think about who they are and what they might want! But if you’re really struggling, here are a few things to consider when trying to find that perfect present.

Make it useful

Is the person you’re buying for particularly practical? Do they do a lot of things themselves, whether it’s cooking, crafting or handiwork? Well then think about getting something that will actually be useful to them. If they love to make things themselves then getting them something that they can’t use or do anything with could well mean it ends up at the back of a closet. Think about what interests they have and try to come up with something that can fit in with that interest, or even make enjoying it easier.

Make it unique

Nothing makes a gift better than knowing that it’s a one of a kind. Nobody wants to end up getting the same gift a dozen times over, and you also don’t want to end up getting the same thing for everyone you know. Consider going in a more personal direction with your gift. Are you a crafty person? Think about making something as a gift. The time and effort you put in will make it mean a lot more. If you’re not the creative type, then there are still loads of different gift ideas with that personal touch. www.likenessme.com is a fantastic site that lets you create bobble heads perfectly based on your loved ones. Being able to give them something so unique will really make it the perfect present.

Make it last

If you want a gift to matter to someone, don’t give them something that’s going to break or fall apart after three days. Give them something that will last and that they can get enjoyment from time and time again. It might sound simple, but books are a fantastic way to do this. If you find a book that you think they’ll really love, then someone will be able to get years of enjoyment, reading and re-reading it. Whatever you get for someone, think about how long it will last and how much they’ll want to reuse as time goes on.

Remember, whatever you end up getting for someone, the price is not the most important thing. It might seem like you need to break the bank for a great present. But that’s not the case. It might seem like a cliche, but remember, it really is the thought that counts.

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#CleanOldFashionedHate #UGAvsGT

#UGAvsGT

I’ll always sing “Glory, Glory” and wear my red and black with pride, but today’s #UGAvsGT game made me realize how glad I was that this season had finally ended, and all that is left is a mediocre bowl game. As an avid #UGA football fan, I am not used to them losing games that they should be winning.  We lost to Vanderbilt, people. VANDERBILT!  We lost with 4 seconds left on a Hail Mary pass by the #Vols.  We were clobbered by Ole Miss, who got clobbered today by Mississippi State.  Florida has had our number for several years in a row. And now, Tech, the team we aim to kill every season, beat us in the final quarter. Enough is enough.  I’ve guzzled down an average of one to two extra beers per game this season because I just can’t watch the bad football being played.  But hey, at least the 2 hour drive south to Lexington was fun – we won that one with 3 seconds left.  That was great!

My #GeorgiaBulldogs played their hated rival, the Georgia Tech Sillynannies today and somehow found another way to lose. Was I shocked that they would lose? Not really.  Was I shocked that they lost it in this fashion? Not really. Blowing leads has been Georgia’s specialty this season.

Georgia started off very hot with their ground game.  Both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel ran the ball very well with the opening drive, but the drive stalled.  Michel ran it well over 150 yards today – if I had to pull anything out of this loss that was a positive, that was it!

Tech took their opening possession quickly down the field and managed to go up 7-0.  The triple option is hard to defend, but #UGA made #GT look like a professional team with the way they started off covering it.

#UGA quickly answered back and tied the game 7-7.  I quickly realized at that point that it was going to be a back-and-forth game all day long, and I was right for the most part.

#UGA took a 13 point lead and kept it most of the game, until the 4th quarter.  They have had all kinds of trouble this season in the 2nd half – especially against bad teams.  I won’t mention #UT or #Vandy in this conversation.

Jacob Eason played as I expected a true freshman to play in his first rendition of the rivalry game. He threw a pick at the worst possible time, though, and I don’t necessarily blame him because it was clearly a bad call on the offensive coordinator’s call. Why he elected to throw the ball on 2nd down when #UGA was trying to run out the clock was beyond me. Just plain poor coaching. But, the QB is going to take the heat for it because the ball is in his hands.

I was very surprised how quickly the tables turned in this game.  #GT scored 14 unanswered points to win the game 28-27.  I’m disappointed in the way this season turned out, but I am not overly surprised at it.  We have a brand new head coach and a true freshman QB at the helms.

Fans are going to be called for Kirby Smart’s head early on, but I think that giving him one season to turn things around was asking too much of him. Mark Richt was a solid coach. He took the #Dawgs to bowl games year after year, but could never win the big games. I think the coaching change was necessary, and I also have high respect for Kirby. We have very good potential even with the threat of Chubb possibly leaving early for the #NFLdraft.

We went 10-3 last season, which included a bowl win. We are 7-5 at this point with a possible bowl game in January. I hope the #Dawgs can pull together, forget about this loss, and try to get to 8 wins. I’m looking forward to the 2017 season.  We’ll have a sophomore QB with a year’s worth of experience, and a head coach with an okay first year in the #SEC.

My head is held high and I still get goosebumps whenever I see Sanford Stadium and the sea of red. I love the late Saturday afternoon sun with Uga sitting in his doghouse.  It’ll never get old and it’ll always be a special time when the #Dawgs take the field.

Here’s to a season that started off great, but quickly went down the drain, and the promise of a better 2017 season. GO DAWGS!

 

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Why I Hate #BlackFriday

Why I Hate Black Friday

Don’t get me wrong by the title of this post.  I love the #Christmas season and the holidays in general, but I cannot stand #BlackFriday. Why? Well, I used to work in a mall during high school and part of college, and always had to work extra hours on #BlackFriday.  Sure, there were plenty of people who were having the happiest of holidays by scoring some major deals, and then there were some that behaved worse than their kids ever did just to save money on something the recipient probably wouldn’t use much beyond the day they unwrapped it.

When I worked in the mall, there were times when I saw people running as fast as they could to get their next deal. RUNNING. RUNNING IN A MALL.  It’s pointless.

The thing that gets me every year is that people are too focused on scoring the best deals that they forget what #Christmas is all about. I’m definitely not saying that every shopper doesn’t get the true meaning of #Christmas, but I bet if you asked most of them why they give gifts to each other, their response would be something along the lines of the recipient being upset if they didn’t get anything for #Christmas.

Yesterday, we all gathered around our Thanksgiving dinner table and expressed how thankful we are for what we have, and not even 24 hours later we are shoving old ladies to the ground to be the first to get an outstanding deal on useless crap.

It’s not just the crowds of people waiting overnight outside for a store to open, or the hours spent trying to find a parking space.  It’s the whole thing that I refuse to participate in any longer.  Sure, I want to find great deals for my wife and kids for #Christmas, but I’m not about to go push and shove people, or camp out overnight, or spend 12 hours shopping in a day. How ridiculous!

There are so many people in this world that need our help.  They are without food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. Shouldn’t we put our time to better use by giving away what we don’t need any longer?  I think most of us could say that half the crap in our houses sit for 365 days a year unused. It’s better use of our time to help others in need. The 12 hours you just spent shopping your heart out you could have been spending donating clothing or food to the needy.

I know what you are probably thinking:  This guy thinks every #BlackFriday shopper has his or her priorities out of line. That’s not it at all. Some people do spend a lot of time and money buying for others rather than themselves.  That’s great, but I still think the majority of us could have put that time and money to better use.

I know I would feel guilty giving a gift to someone after I pushed or shoved someone out of the way to get it. Giving a gift is more than going out and buying it for someone. It’s all about the attitude and the intention behind it. I wouldn’t want to accept a gift knowing that the other person was rude to someone just to get it for me. I’d rather not be a part of it.

Our attitudes in everything we do shape our world around us. Our kids are watching every move we make. I know there are some moms and dads out there that don’t care that their kid just witnessed them run another shopper over to get to a good deal before another shopper – and some parents let their kids do the shoving.

Let’s take a look at this news story.  #BlackFriday shoppers in Modesto, CA began fighting on Thanksgiving Day (of all days to fight over stuff!!).  This ridiculous behavior was caught on camera. This isn’t the image we should be relaying to our kids, dads!  As dads we have to be the bigger person. If it means I have to beat the living crap out of someone to get my kids a toy, then my priorities are in the wrong place!

Here’s another story right out of the state where I was born and raised: Georgia.  We have shoppers in Bainbridge, Georgia fighting at a Wal-Mart over towels and toys. I just can’t justify this kind of behavior with the true meaning of #Christmas.

My kids have a lot to be thankful for, and they know it. They are still kids and do their share of begging and whining for crap they don’t need. Sometimes I give in and buy it, other times I don’t.  When I don’t buy it for them, I give them a solid reason as to why they didn’t get what they asked for that time. Sometimes they pout like that little bratty girl in the Willy Wonka movie. I really don’t care. I care more about molding and shaping them for doing what is right in life than being in the “in crowd” by buying them a toy.

So why did I spend time writing this post tonight? Because I feel that the meaning of #Christmas seems to never be about what it’s supposed to be about – the birth of Jesus Christ. As a dad, and also as the spiritual leader of my household, it is my responsibility to instill the right values and behaviors in my kids. They watch me so closely that it’s scary. Everything I do that I think they don’t see, they end up do seeing. If they are watching me 24/7, then I need to teach them why we celebrate #Christmas as well as why we give to others.

There is a very good side to #BlackFriday, though. Today is the day of the year many businesses make the majority of their yearly income, and those working on Black Friday often get extra income that helps out their families. We do need to support our small businesses, and if we can help their bottom line by shopping on #BlackFriday, that’s fantastic.

#BlackFriday is not all bad, even though I’ve sort of painted that picture with this post. Our economy is improving, and today is a day that helps boost it a little more. I’m 100% for supporting our economy and boosting it. Black Friday is one of those days that may help a business stay open for at least another year.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on #BlackFriday.  Do you like to shop on #BlackFriday? How do you teach your kids about the way to behave during the mad rush for savings?  Have you ever been a part of a scuffle or a fight during #BlackFriday shopping?  If you have a good story, I’d love to post it in a future blog post.

I’m not a Scrooge or a Grinch by any stretch of the imagination – just a daddy who wants to teach the true meaning of giving and #Christmas to his family. There is nothing wrong with that. And there’s nothing wrong with #Christmas shopping up to a point where greed and anger take over the joy and happiness of giving to others.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and have a very Merry #Christmas!

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