Planning The Perfect Family Picnic

Planning The Perfect Family Picnic

Taking the family on a picnic is an excellent way to get fresh air and enjoy some of the last days of the summer season before the kids head back to school. The ingredients for an unforgettable picnic, however, involve more than just good food. Picking a great location and preparing extra activities can elevate your picnic from boring to amazing.

Choose a memorable location. Having a picnic at a nearby park is a safe choice but choosing a location with interesting features can make your trip unforgettable. Try a local beach or hiking trail.

Work together on the food. Working with your family to create a menu for your picnic is a great way to get everyone involved and make sure everyone has something to eat that they really love.

Bring along activities. Picnics can be about more than just food. Bringing some outdoor activities with you is a great way to extend your outdoor trip and make it extra special.

Take plenty of pictures. A family picnic offers a great opportunity for some fun pictures together. Although smart phone pictures are easy to snap, don’t forget to take some pictures with your digital camera to print later.

Don’t leave home without the essentials. If you forget a few essentials items such as water bottles or sunscreen for everyone, your picnic may quickly turn from fun to disastrous. Prepare a checklist ahead of time to avoid forgetting anything.

End this summer season unforgettably before the hustle and bustle is back for the school year.

Written by: Amanda Haase

Save Money While on Vacation

Save Money While on Vacation

Going on vacation often means indulging here and there on purchases. When you travel, you may want to be sure you are spending your hard earned money in the smartest ways.

Here are some suggestions on how to make your next vacation memorable and affordable!

Be flexible – Travelers who are flexible in their departure dates and times can usually find great deals and rates because they have the ability to shop price instead of date.

Pack light – Many airlines now charge extra for baggage fees, especially suitcases. Pack only the necessities.

Use coupons – Coupons aren’t only for getting cents off your brand tissue at the supermarket. Coupon and discount codes are available for just about any purchase – even vacations. Check all travel websites to see if there are any deals and specials going on when booking your trip.

Plan meals – Look into economical restaurants before departing. Know where you’ll be eating and when.

Rent small – If you are renting a car, choose the smallest model that will fit your needs. In addition, there is no need to pay for a large room that you don’t plan to spend much time in.

Consider public transportation – Investigate public transportation options near your destination. Such options may not be as convenient as taxis, but they may be more economical.

Make your next vacation unforgettable.

Written by: Amanda Haase

 

Natural Ways to Repel Summer Insects

Natural Ways to Repel Summer Insects

Summer time is here once again. Unfortunately, with all the good that summer brings, the warm and humid weather also brings unwanted insects.
Here are some natural and safe remedies to help get rid of these pests and enjoy your summer.

Wasps. Wasps come back as soon as the warm weather turns. The colonies are getting bigger and this results in more aggressive and hungrier insects. These insects have a good quality of eating other dead insects, however they are a huge risk to anyone who is allergic to them. Wasps do not like any type of mint, so growing mint in your garden will be a deterrent. Mint is safe and non-toxic to any pets or children who may accidentally get into it.

Ants. Warm and damp weather is a recipe for ants to come out. Ants can be attracted to anything that spills in your kitchen or on your floors. Once you see one ant, you can bet there are more hanging around. You can make a natural repellent out of white or apple cider vinegar and water. Simply put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the affected areas.

Mosquito’s. Mosquito’s are a pest that can put a damper on the mood of any party or gathering. They seem to come out of nowhere and keep coming back. A safe and effective way to reduce the mosquito population around your home or yard is to reduce standing water if possible. Standing water is the mosquito’s preferred breeding ground and will bring them into any yard that has standing water. You can also grow mosquito repelling plants such as basil.

Ticks. Ticks are one of the hardest insects to get rid of. They dig into your skin and your pet’s fur and stick. A single adult female can have as many as 4,000 eggs in one sitting. Planting basil can help repel ticks along with a solution of tea tree oil and water. However, be aware, cats can be sensitive to this mixture.

Do you have any suggestions for repelling summer insects? Share them below!

Happy Summer!

Written by: Amanda Haase

Backyard Safety

Backyard Safety

Homeowners often aspire to have attractive backyards that look like they belong in a magazine. While these can be picturesque and functional for adults, they may not be entirely practical for homeowners who have young children, especially when the majority of the yard is covered with paving stones and concrete.

When young children are part of a household, homeowners may benefit by designing yards that are both functional and fun. Incorporating safe play areas for kids is one way to unlock the potential of both, big and small backyards.

When considering playground equipment for the yard, parents need to make safety a priority. Follow the “five S’s” when considering your next purchase:

Surface: Parents should assume children will fall. Be sure to buy equipment that is made of a material with a grip to it such as rubber.

Structure: Be sure that the equipment you buy is made of a sturdy material. Cedar wood works great if you are building your own equipment.

Site: Be sure to place your playset in a safe area. Avoid overhanging trees and area of the yard with direct sunlight.

Safety: Follow directions for installation and don’t cut corners to save time. Make sure to anchor down all posts into the ground and check your equipment often for rusty spots and wear and tear.

Supervision: Place your play set and play area in a place where you can easily monitor what is going on.

Backyard playgrounds should be built with safety in mind. Not only for your children, but for others too.

Written by: Amanda Haase

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is an annual celebration of fathers and the contributions they make to their families. Dads get their due on Father’s Day, when sons, daughters, and wives typically give dad a few gifts to show their appreciation for all he does for them.

Finding the right Father’s Day gift is not always easy. No two fathers are the same. While a silk necktie might bring a smile to one father’s face, such a gift may fall flat with other dads.

By asking themselves a few questions in the weeks before their dads’ big day, Father’s Day shoppers can narrow down their options and find gifts that Dad will appreciate.

Here are the four questions to ask before heading out to pick the perfect gift:

What are Dad’s hobbies? Even if your father or husband loves what he does for a living, a gift that indulges one of his favorite hobbies may be just the thing!

What does Dad need? Sometimes the best gifts are what a recipient needs, as opposed to what he wants. Maybe Dad needs some new tools or maybe even a few new pieces of clothing.

What does Dad want? For the Dad who doesn’t seem to need anything, consider something he may want that he’s never had before. Something like tickets to see his favorite sports team or maybe his favorite band.

Is Dad a techie? Dads with a love for technology are living in the golden age for gadgets. Consider buying Dad a gadget he has been “itching” to get!

Finding the right Father’s Day gift can be challenging. But shoppers who stop to think about their father and what makes him happy can unearth a host of gift ideas that Dad is sure to love!

Written by: Amanda Haase