How to protect your home from freezing weather and gale force winds

How to protect your home from freezing weather and gale force winds

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As winter approaches we share our top tips on how to safeguard your property from unnecessary damage caused by bad weather.  Homeowners are being encouraged to protect their homes and to prepare for what looks set to be a grim winter as storms are predicted to bring snow, ice and gusts of wind up to 70mph.

Here, we look at how you can weatherproof your home against even the harshest of storms.

First things first

It’s worth checking your property and its immediate surroundings for obvious, preventable risks. If any home and garden improvements need tending to, now is the time to do them.

This could include falling roof tiles, broken fences and crumbling brickwork. This may appear harmless at first glance, but could end up costing more post-storm, and pose harm to your home and family.

Keep it sealed

During high winds, wind speed can fluctuate and place huge pressure on every element of the building. To avoid this, or at the very least minimise the hazards it can cause, homeowners should try to keep their property well-sealed externally. Inspect all exterior corners and outdoor water faucets, and seal any gaps in outer walls or foundations with foam or caulk to prevent cold air and water entering the home.

Up on the roof

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The roof is one of the most exposed parts of a home, so it goes without saying it needs to be secured properly during stormy conditions. Steer clear of walking across the roof yourself (especially in adverse weather), and instead inspect it from the ground or the inside of the loft.

If you spot mould, rusted nails, sagging material, loose sheathing or signs of leaking, call in a specialist. Damaged guttering must be considered too. 

Garden gusto

It’s a strange sight when you spot a large trampoline being whisked through the air and over your neighbour’s fence. Avoid the inevitable by ensuring all garden furniture, barbecues, toys and anything else that could be launched into the air is stored away in a shed or similar.

Trim back any suspect trees or hire the services of a professional such as Integris Tree Service, who will maintain the beauty of the garden while making sure safety is paramount. Park your car out of their path or, if possible, in a garage. Finally, secure garage doors and make sure yours is strong enough to withstand high winds.

A real pane

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When gale force winds are howling outside and the windows are rattling, it’s easy to worry they’ll break at any moment. Realistically, if you draught-proof your windows and doors with a sealant, secure entry doors with a hinge and locks, and consider installing solid or hollow metal doors, it’s unlikely you’ll experience extensive damage, if any. If extreme conditions ensue and flying debris becomes an issue, protect the windows and any French doors with some plywood. Photo

Finally ensure you take advice from the emergency services and listen to local radio for weather reports and warnings to ensure you are always in the know.

Keep Informed – Keep Warm – Keep Safe

The Pros And Cons Of Breastfeeding Your Child

The Pros And Cons Of Breastfeeding Your Child

There’s a lot of pressure on pregnant women to decide to breastfeed their newborn. The idea that ‘breast is best’ is pervasive in our society, but it stigmatizes women who either aren’t able or aren’t willing. Women need to be empowered to make a decision that is based on evidence and facts but ultimately is one with which they are happy. There are so many incredible advantages to breastfeeding, but there are some disadvantages too.

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Pros:

It’s natural – your body was created to be the absolutely ideal way for you to pass nutrition to your child. Breastmilk is the absolute best form of nutrition a child can get.

It’s good for you – women who breastfeed their newborn tend to find they recover from childbirth fast than women who don’t.

Night feeds are easier – going downstairs to make a bottle with formula in the middle of the night can be a bit of a nightmare. With breastfeeding, you can get into your comfy nursing den and just let your little one latch on while you catch up on Netflix.

It’s economical – breast milk is basically free, formula isn’t. While you’ll find you’ll probably eat more, breastfeeding can still save you a lot of money.

It’s easy for the baby to digest – breast milk is perfect for the baby’s digestion. While some formula comes close, it’s never quite the same.

It relaxes you – breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which is a feel-good hormone that also helps you bond with your newborn.

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Cons:

You will have less freedom – when bottle feeding, anyone can take the responsibility, not just the mom. With exclusive breastfeeding, it’s only mom that can wake up in the night for feeds, and you can’t get too far from your baby between feeds either.

You have to make healthy lifestyle choices – you’ve spent nine months pregnant, unable to drink caffeine or alcohol, and once the baby is born some women like their freedom back. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are all passed on in breastmilk and can be harmful to your baby. Some foods can also get passed on through breast milk, which the child may not enjoy.

Your partner can’t join in – breastfeeding denies the second parent the opportunity to bond with the baby to the same extent as the feeding mother. Some partners can feel quite left out as a result.

It can be difficult to get going – some babies just won’t latch on, whatever you do to try to coax them. It can be very disheartening for a new mother who can’t feed, who may feel like a failure.

It can be difficult in public – if you’re particularly modest, it can be tricky to feed in public places. Nursing covers can really help with this, so it’s something to consider while you’re pregnant and baby prepping.

*Remember, it’s entirely a personal decision as to whether you choose to breastfeed or not. It’s not appropriate for other people to weigh in and act judgmentally about the decision you have made.

Young Bookworms: the Joys of Teaching Your Child to Read

Young Bookworms: the Joys of Teaching Your Child to Read

Children are full of imagination from a young age. They ask the wildest of questions such as “why do we eat?” and “why is the sun so hot?”. While we sort of know the answers, we probably couldn’t explain all the science behind why we eat or why the sun blazes so hot. That’s because our children are born to explore, they’re born to discover and find out new things.

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Read Your Child Bedtime Stories

Teaching your child to read begins at the infancy stage. Get used to reading them stories at bedtime and make sure to leave each one at a cliffhanger (assuming they haven’t fallen asleep!) to keep their imaginations running. You want to them guess what happens next, and you want to keep their minds active.

But you don’t have to just read them stories at bedtime. If they’re curious and like the stories you read them, then it’s perfectly fine to read to them at any time as a fun activity. If you’re wondering what kind of books are suitable, then check out BookPagez.com for some inspiration. You want to have books with plenty of colourful illustrations and large letters so it’s easy for your child to follow along.

Here are some ideas for what to read to your child:

  • 0-12 Months: Song books, lullabies, pop-up books
  • 12 – 36 Months: Rhymes, short stories, song books
  • 36 – 60 Months: Alphabet books, picture books, short stories, fablesscreen-shot-2016-12-01-at-8-45-30-pm(Image Source)
  • Ask Your Child Questions While Reading Have your child engage in the story by asking questions when there are opportunities. You need to make sure that your child has some understanding of what you’re reading them so they’re not just looking at pictures and giggling! If they don’t understand yet, then perhaps it’s a bit too early to start reading to them, or maybe the book is a bit too difficult.Have your child sound out words and attempt to read certain words or letters. Ask them questions such as “what word is this?” or point to something in the pictures and ask “do you know what this is?”. When your child is a little older, then ask questions to spur their imagination such as “where is the cat going?” or “why is the rabbit running?”.

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Set an Example

There’s no use trying to convince your child to read if you don’t read either! We’re role models to our children, so we need to set an example and do the things we want our child to do. Invest in a book (or a Kindle!) and read as a pastime. If your child is curious, then invite them to sit on your lap and read a bit out to them. Of course, they most likely won’t understand most of the words, but their curiosity is a good sign of things to come!

But it doesn’t always have to be a novel. It could be a non-fiction book, a magazine, or even the newspaper. Show your children that there’s more to reading than just fantasy stories. Daily news articles are a great way to interact with your child. Ask them questions, tell them about news happening around the world, and spark their interest.

 

This is a collaberative post with Yourorganichild.com

 

Add These To Your Shopping Cart To Ensure Your Child Stays Healthy At Home

Add These To Your Shopping Cart To Ensure Your Child Stays Healthy At Home

As moms, we are the top person who can make a difference to our child’s health. After all, the things we do can affect their health on a long-term basis. Therefore, we need to ensure we are pushing our child in the right direction so that they lead a healthy life. And this starts from when they are at home. To ensure your child stays healthy at home, here are some things you should be adding to your shopping cart!

An array of fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are so important to keep your child healthy. They contain so many vital vitamins and minerals which keep the body working efficiently. Also, having plenty of fruit and vegetables every day is the best way to protect your body against diseases. Therefore, if you want to ensure your child stays in good health, you should be adding plenty of these to your shopping cart. You could also grow your own fruit and vegetables which are a perfect way to encourage your kids to eat more. After all, it’s more exciting if they have helped to grow them!

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A good range of dental supplies

So many children are growing up with bad teeth. And it’s often down to the lack of brushing when they are at home. Therefore, make sure you have good toothbrushes and toothpaste for your child to use when they are at home. If you need help choosing the best brands, you can ask your local dentist about toothpaste ingredients you should be looking out for! You can look online to find a good dentist in your area who can tend to your kid’s teeth every six months to ensure they stay in excellent condition. And remember to get your child a mouthwash and floss that they can use every day. Also, spend time with your child showing them how to take care of their teeth.

A pack of multivitamins

If your child isn’t getting enough vitamins, it can jeopardize their health. Therefore, you could consider getting your kid some multivitamins which can help boost their health. They are great for brain development and to boost their immune system. And if you have a picky eater, it’s an easy way to ensure they are getting their necessary vitamins! Just make sure you read up about them before buying them for your child.

A bottle of flavored water

Kids tend to rush to the fridge to have a glass of soda after school. But as you know, it’s not the healthiest choice of drink. You should be encouraging your child to drink as much water as possible in their daily life. If your kid hates regular water, you ought to consider buying a bottle of flavored water. It will be more appealing to children, so they are more likely to opt for a glass of the drink. And it means they are drinking more water which is key to keeping them healthy.

And remember to get your child plenty of outdoor toys. After all, so many kids are not getting enough exercise in their daily life. Therefore, limit their use of devices and encourage them outside to ensure they stay healthy.

 

This is a collaborative post with Yourorganicchild.com

Gardening hacks for Growing Your Own Produce: The Handy Hacks You Need To Know!

Gardening hacks for Growing Your Own Produce: The Handy Hacks You Need To Know!

Today, a lot of families are choosing to go organic, with the hope that by doing so, they will be able to lead longer and healthier lives. Various studies have shown that the chemicals used to preserve fruits and vegetables can impact our health in many ways. Because of this, many of us now refuse to buy non-organic fruits and vegetables.

The only downside to choosing to go organic is the cost, which is why a lot of organic families now opt to grow their own produce. However, there’s a common misconception that growing your own produce is time-consuming and stressful. (This has put a lot of us off of growing our own foods.)

However, growing your own fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. If you’re smart about how you go about it, growing your own produce can be much easier than you would think. Plus, many studies have shown that gardening can be a fantastic stress reliever. So growing your own fruits and vegetables shouldn’t cause you any stress. (If anything, it should reduce your stress levels.)

To help make growing your own organic produce easier (and more effective), below are some handy hacks to take note of.

 

Gardening hacks , hands hack , gardening , vegetables . fruits

Gardening hacks , hands hack , gardening , vegetables . fruits

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Read up

One of the most important things when it comes to growing your own produce is reading up about it. Gardening isn’t a skill that we’re born with; it’s something that has to be learned. So, before you start growing your own vegetables, take the time to do you research. Learn about the different planting options, best methods for encouraging growth, and the best things to grow.

The more reading you do, the better understanding you’ll have of what it takes to successfully grow your own organic produce. Take the time to read up on each and every vegetable or fruit you want to grow, to get an idea of the care that different types need.

Get sprinklers

When it comes to growing your own produce, one of the most important things is also one of the most basic – how much water your plants are getting. If you don’t get this just right, your vegetable plants and fruit bushes won’t grow properly. Thus impacting the amount of produce you successfully grow.

Of course, there’s not just the worry of your vegetable garden and fruit bushes not getting enough water. There’s also the concern of them getting too much water. While not enough water will leave your plants withered due to a lack of nourishment, too much water will drown them. To ensure that your plants (and the rest of your garden) are getting enough water, consider getting sprinklers for your home. To prevent your plants from being flooded, in times of extreme rain, attempt to cover them over with tarpaulin.

Label each thing you’re growing

Each different type of produce requires different care, so it’s important to ensure that you know what’s growing where. The key to this is making sure to label your produce. You can choose to label each individual plant, or you can group them into sections, and place signs in each section. How you choose to go about it is up to you, it completely depends on what your personal preferences are.

In terms of what to use as labels, paper is obviously no good. Wooden and plastic labels tend to work well. As do pebbles with an image of a certain fruit or vegetable drawn onto them. By placing signs saying what is being grown, you can make the process of ensuring that your produce gets the right care, much easier.

 

 

Gardening hacks , hands hack , gardening , vegetables . fruits

Gardening hacks , hands hack , gardening , vegetables . fruits

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Soak your seeds in water

To ensure that you get a fantastic crop each and every time, soak your seeds before planting them. The night before you want to plant a packet of seeds, soak them in water. Leave them for 12 hours, and they should start to develop roots. This will make it more likely that when you plant them, they take successfully. For best results, soak your seeds in a small amount of water and keep the beaker that they’re in, in a warm place.

Keep the insects at bay

If there’s one thing that is a produce grower’s worst nightmare, it’s an attack by insects. Slugs, snails, and all sorts of other insects feed off of plants, and so, it’s important to protect your produce from them. The question is, of course, how do you do this without the use of traditional pesticides? Well, it’s actually much easier than you would think – there are plenty of natural alternatives to pesticides.

One natural insect deterrent is used coffee grounds. Simply sprinkle your used grounds around your plants, and this should help to keep the bugs at bay. The great thing about coffee grounds is that they also make a great fertilizer, so you’re killing two birds with one stone. Just remember, if you’re going to use coffee grounds to fertilize and keep pests at bay, the coffee that you use needs to be organic.

Get the whole family to pitch in

To make growing your own produce that little bit easier, don’t go it alone. Make growing organic fruits and vegetables a family affair. Instead of going solo with your produce growing, get the whole family to pitch in. This will make the process of keeping your vegetable garden in good shape much easier.

Perhaps you could give each family member an area to focus on. So, for example, while you focus on the root vegetables, your partner could take care of any fruit trees. And your kids could be in charge of the herb garden or fruit bushes. Ideally, the kids should have an easy job, as well as one that’s fun and enjoyable. They say that many hands make light work, and when it comes to growing your own produce, this is so true. The more help you can get, the better.

So there you have it, a guide to growing your own fruits and vegetables the easy way. The truth is that growing your own organic produce isn’t difficult, as long as you are smart about how you go about it.

 

 

This article is a collaboration with YourOrganicChild.com