Archive for April 29, 2021

Exciting Ways to Make the Most Out of Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is on its way and with many restrictions lifted, a lot of people are looking forward to enjoying the holiday again. This year, you might find that there is going to be a lot more going on simply because last year was canceled for the most part. So, if you’re looking forward to the holiday you might want to check out these ten ideas so you can make the most out of the holiday and make memories that will help make up partially for the loss of fun last year.

1. Call Ahead
Although a lot of stores are running full force, there still may be a few things you should take into consideration before you head out for comic book day. So, if you want to be prepared, you might want to call before you go in or even get in touch with the store via social media. Some stores might opt out of participating in the holiday because the pandemic is ongoing, which might be a problem if you show up with nothing to gain. Other stores might be taking precautions to help keep you and their staff safe. You might also ask what titles will be offered, so you’ll know which stores you will need to venture to. So, it is always best to be prepared, so you know exactly where to go.

2. Spice Up Your Mask
Since facial masks are going to be required in most places you go and it still recommended that you wear one, you might want to spend some time making your mask holiday ready. You can approach this in a number of ways. To begin with, you might paint a comic book scene onto your mask. Another option is to use comic book words. You can also paint on the mouth portion of your favorite character so that it looks like you are part of the character when you wear the mask. If you don’t want to be crafty, then there are still items you can purchase that should make the holiday even more enjoyable.

3. Dress Up
Another way to keep yourself protected while having a little fun during the holiday is to go the extra mile by dressing up. This holiday is known to be a great time for cosplayers to show off their stuff as they venture to local comic bookstores and have some fun. You can make so many amazing cosplays on short notice that won’t cost you a fortune, so if the idea appeals to you then you might start looking for ideas or tutorials online. You might want to concentrate on costumes that cover your face, so you’ll already be masked and ready to enjoy the shopping experience.

4. Binge Your Favorite Comics
When it comes to preparing for the holiday, one of the best things you can do is binge some of your favorite comic books. You might set up a marathon list a week prior to the holiday so you can really make the most out of it all. Although you can pretty much binge-read anything, you might choose comics that are going to be offered for free on Comic Book Day. You can find a list online or ask your local comic book vendor, so you can choose a series that is going to be represented. If you have access to a comic website, then you might also be able to binge a new series in hopes of getting the new edition on the holiday.

5. Look for Digital Options
If you’re still not feeling comfortable about going out for Comic Book Day, then a lot of stores will have you covered. Some of the Comic Book Day specials will actually be available in digital form too. So, you can download it directly from a website to enjoy it. However, before you rely on this method, you might do a little research to find out where comic books will be offered online, so you won’t miss out on something. You might also be able to find sales on digital options that will certainly make you feel excited to add to your digital collection.

6. Watch Comic Inspired Movies
If you’re hoping to save your eyes until Comic Day, then another great option to prepare for the holiday is to watch movies based on comics. In this day and age, there are quite a few movies based around comics, which can definitely help you to find something fun. There are numerous big picture options available, which you can stream online. However, there are also many comic book-inspired movies that aren’t popular. If you really want to amp up your comic knowledge, then you might want to find one of these awesome options. You can discover all sorts of interesting film adaptions online if you’re willing to do the research. If you can’t get out for Comic Book Day, then staying home and watching movies might be an alternative to consider.

7. Share Pictures
One of the best things about Comic Book Day is taking part in the community. A lot of people love dressing up, putting on skits, or simply trying to make new friends as they wait for the free comic books to be revealed. While you’re out and about, take some fun photos with the cosplayers, or yourself with the comics or anything else relevant. Then, share your pictures on social media so other people can join in on the fun too. This will allow you to easily have some fun and help others that can’t attend enjoy the experience, too.

8. Make Your Own Comic
If you’re looking for a project, then you might want to consider making your own comic book. This will allow you to show off your creativity while also helping you to fully embrace your love of comics. You can use just about anything to create your comic as technology ensures you’re capable of anything while you can also go the traditional route. You can even bring in a team to help you enjoy the process even more while offering your idea even more room to grow.

9. Pack Snacks
Sometimes, the lines on Comic Book Day can be a little much. They might be even worse now with social distancing rules in place. This might require you to wait quite a while. So, one of the best things you can do to prevent any overspending is to pack snacks and beverages. This will prevent you from wanting to go out to eat, which might force you to spend too much. It will also allow you to easily avoid some of the vendors that might have overpriced food at larger stores. Packing water will also help to

10. Browse Social Media
If you can’t find a participating store or you find yourself housebound on Comic Book Day, then there is a good chance that social media might come to the rescue. You will be able to browse around to see what other people are doing on the special day, as well as some of the special events. However, you will also find that some people might be willing to sell or trade the comics that they get on the big day. You may even be able to find someone you know that will actually pick up a thing or two for you.

Free Comic Book Day is a highly anticipated day for so many, so don’t let it pass you by. These ten ideas will help you to expand on your experience so you can feel even more rewarded by it all. This will certainly improve on your experience and leave you eager for the next big comic book holiday.

Ten Ways to Embrace International Dance Day

International Day of Dance is right around the corner and if you’ve been cooped up at home then you might want to consider joining in on the celebration this year. This holiday can be a lot of fun to take on because there are so many exciting elements about dance that you can actually enjoy from the comfort of your home. These ten ideas will help keep you from spending your budget while still allowing you to take on this exciting holiday and enjoy everything that it has to offer.

1. Watch Dance Videos
One of the easiest and most relaxing things you can do to celebrate the holiday is to sit back and watch some dance videos. You can stream them almost anywhere, which will allow you to have some fun in your free time. You can find dances from around the world, which can really broaden your horizons. There are also many dance competitions that you can enjoy too. If you are really feeling motivated, you might try your hand at the dances as you watch. Even if the dances aren’t up your alley, they will help you explore new styles while also introducing you to new styles of music.

2. Read
Although a book isn’t allowing you to see a dance or even move your body, it can become a great asset when it comes to learning about the world of dance. There are so many books designed to teach you about the history of art, which will help you enjoy the world of dance all the more. You will find that there are lots of amazing dances you can experience through the world of books. Of course, books aren’t only a good way to help you learn about dance, they can also be an asset for children. There are numerous kid-inspired books about dance available to help you teach children about dance and how much fun it can be to move your body and learn new steps.

3. Research the official IDD Author
Every year, a dancer is chosen as the official author for International Dance Day. This provides dance fans with a good reason to learn about the dancer and further their knowledge of dance history and current dance trends. This year, the author is Friedmann Vogel. Vogel is a German ballet dancer that has performed with some of the most famous dance troupes around the world. You can check out more of Vogel’s work streaming on video websites and can read all about him on many dance websites, including his own website. If you’re curious, you can also read his statement for International Dance Day on the holiday’s official website.

4. Watch IDD Celebration
Every year, there is a great International Dance Day celebration. Since the celebration is based around celebrations of all forms of dance from across the globe, you can stream the entire event online. This makes it a great option while you’re stuck at home. You can find information on the celebration on the holiday’s official website, but there might also be options to watch it on some of your favorite streaming networks. This should help you get the most out of the holiday and learn a bit about some of the best forms of dance from around the world.

5. Attend Local Events
If you are able to get out of the house and safely enjoy an event, then you might want to start with a local event. You will find that there are many dance events surrounding the holiday, so you might look around to see what is going on in your community. If there is nothing going on in person, then you may be able to attend virtual events. However, if you are in a suburban area, then you might have to venture to the city to enjoy an event. Either way, as long as you take precautions, you should be able to enjoy a little performance without worrying too much.

6. Donate
Another way to truly give back to the world of dance is to donate. During International Dance Day, you will see a lot of segments about charities dedicated to the world of dance. These charities help many people in impoverished areas as well, so you will make sure that the money you give will truly make a difference in the lives of others. You should always research charities before you offer money to them though, as some are not what they are advertised. If you don’t want to give to a charity then you might consider setting up a scholarship for a local child to attend dance classes, and so on. This will allow you to do something special for someone in your community.

7. Take Lessons
It is never too late to get into the dance. So, if International Dance Day inspires you, then you might want to consider taking some lessons. There are numerous amazing options online to help you learn a few moves here and there. However, you might also want to find a local option that will help you embrace your community while getting exercise, and having fun with those around you. Of course, if you’d prefer to wait until Covid restrictions are completely gone, then a quick search will help you find online tutorials that are free. You might not have an instructor guiding you, but they will still allow you to have some fun.

8. Online Workouts
There are numerous online workouts that you can participate in that will actually help you learn elements of dance from around the world. Dance moves have been incorporated into so many aerobics classes that you will get to enjoy the benefits of the dance while burning calories. When looking for classes you might actually put in the name of the dance you’re interested in, so you can find a workout to match it. You’ll find everything from belly dancing to the electric slide, which will allow you to find dance workouts to be more fun than you ever would have expected.

9. Talk About Dance
One of the finest ways to truly embrace something is to talk about it. Dance is no exception to this rule. On International Dance Day, use the time to talk about dance. Share stories of your favorite dances, talk about the moves you love, and the dances you admire. Engaging in conversation will help spread your love to others and might even help you to learn a thing or two about dance. While chatting, you might feel inspired to research new dances and explore the world of dance even further. It will stimulate the mind, as well as the body, which is an exhilarating experience in itself.

10. Express Dance Through Other Mediums
The great thing about art is you can express one form of art through other mediums. So, when it comes to International Dance Day, you might take your favorite dance or something new you have learned and turn it into a new medium of art. For instance, you can write a poem about your favorite dance or performance you saw. Try to capture in words what you saw in movements. This can be a lot of fun and will help boost your creativity. You might also consider drawing a picture or making a painting of a moment you can’t forget in a dance. Photography is another amazing dance medium, so if you attend an event, try to capture the beautiful moments you experience with the lens of your camera.

International Dance Day can be a great way to learn more about dance and maybe even inspire you to pick up a new hobby. So enjoy the holiday even if you’ve never celebrated before. You never know when you might feel inspired to try something new and this holiday is the perfect time to explore a passion you might not know you have.

Ten Ways to Celebrate Earth Day While Taking Covid Precautions

Earth Day is the perfect time to take part in Earth Day celebrations. You should find the holiday celebrated for the entire month though, which will give you even more of a chance to take on some of the tasks you’ve been hoping to do to celebrate our planet. Of course, with Covid still looming in our minds, you might still want to be careful when you choose activities. These ten ideas will help take Earth Day to a whole new level while ensuring you are still safe in your surroundings.

1. Earth Day Live
Earth Day Live is probably one of the safest things you can do during this celebration. In short, you will get to enjoy a wide assortment of productions that are broadcasted live. There will be some challenges, some lectures, and even a bit of music to help you embrace the holiday and learn more about the planet you live on and how you can preserve it. Earth Day live is simple to find online, so you can stream it wherever you are. It may even inspire you to join a charity or volunteer group to help bring the planet to a healthier state while ensuring we develop a more sustainable lifestyle.

2. Pick Up Garbage
If you’re not sure where you can begin when it comes to helping out the planet then picking up garbage is one of the best routes you can take. There tends to be garbage just about everywhere, which isn’t doing anyone any favors. So, getting out there and doing your part to clean it up won’t just help the planet, but it can save animals as well. Of course, you really do need to take extra precautions when you’re working with trash right now. You can find guidelines about this online to ensure you’re taking all of the precautions necessary, especially since there are now face masks filling up many vacant lots and parks.

3. Plant Seeds
Doing right by the earth can be very easy if you’re on a budget. One of the best things you can do is plant some seeds. You can easily get seeds for next to nothing in most stores. However, you can also get them free in many areas. For instance, some Cheerios will offer packets of flowers that are common pollinators for bees. You can plant seeds anywhere that you have available too. If you have a garden, you might start there. However, you can also start with planters if you live in a large city, as this will still help the planet while bringing a burst of beauty to your home. If you gain permission, you can also plant in parks or other public areas. If you intend on planting seeds, then you might start by concentrating on plants that bees love. This is especially true when it comes to areas that might have had a big freeze this year.

4. Lights Out
In order to celebrate Earth Day, you might take the day to turn lights out. When the sun rises, open your blinds, and let the natural light flow in for the day. You might even open up the windows and let the house air out. Apart from that, you might keep all things electric off for the day. Instead, read books inside, enjoy cooking on the stove or grill instead of microwaving, and so on. Of course, if weather permits, then you might also spend the day outside enjoying the planet and everything that it has to offer. This will definitely help you to create an enjoyable experience that you might want to implement every year for Earth Day, if not more often.

5. Earth Day Challenge
The Earth Day challenge is also a really big trend for this holiday. There is one major challenge you can quickly find online, but many different organizations will also offer their own challenges. So, you can easily find one that suits your needs. These challenges will include things like planting seeds, picking up trash, learning about sustainability, and so much more. You can even come up with your own unique challenge if you’re feeling like creating something a bit more personal or a challenge that is based around the age group of your family.

6. Make a Green Plan
Another great way to improve on your Earth Day while still maintaining your own safety is to make a green plan for your family. In this plan, you might consider setting out rules for air conditioning use during the upcoming summer months. You might also make a lights out plan for some of the afternoon hours during this period of time too. This can help cut back on your carbon footprint immensely. Apart from that, a recycling plan is also a great option for keeping your family living a greener lifestyle. Other than that, you might consider creating a garden to grow some of your own food. You can also volunteer to help keep the planet cleaner or spend a couple of hours during the weekend cleaning up your neighborhood or a nearby park.

7. Community Events
If you’re vaccinated or feel confident being around other people, then there are lots of community events that you might take part in. There are so many events planned nationwide, so if you’re interested in participating, you might check out the Earth Day website to see if there are any in your area. If not, then you might consider looking to see if your own community is doing something that might not be registered with the website. If you cant find an event then you might consider coming up with your own. Invite friends and family to clean up a park or donate at an animal shelter. There are so many fun ways to give back so exercise your creativity and find something you love.

8. Free Trees
Believe it or not, but you can actually sign up for free trees, which will definitely make you enjoy the holiday even more. There are many free programs that will help you out with this. One of the main options is the Arbor Day Foundation. This foundation will send you ten free saplings a year when you sign up for the program. Other than that, you will find that there are programs designed to help children plant trees. However, many of these programs work through a school, so you might have to contact your child’s teacher if you want to make this dream come true. Of course, a quick internet search will unveil a wide assortment of options that may suit your unique needs. There are also some random stores giving away saplings for the holiday. Lowes is one of the bigger chains offering this, but you do need to sign up in order to get your tree.

9. National Geographic Earth Day Eve Celebration
If you want to start the party faster, then you may consider enjoying the big celebration early. On Earth Day Eve, you’ll be able to enjoy live music, listen to talks, and enjoy a wide variety of fun content in the name of planet Earth. This celebration will kick off around 8:30 at night, so it you’re hoping your kids can be a part of it then you might have to show them the recaps of the show in the morning. National Geographic is hosting, so you will be able to help them raise money for good causes too. If you’re curious about what is going on with the celebration, then you might check out the website to plan out your evening.

10. Virtual Fundraisers
One of the easiest ways to embrace Earth Day without leaving the house is to take part in a virtual fundraiser. A fundraiser will allow you to donate to a cause that you believe in. This will actually take Earth Day to a while new level too as you can donate to help improve the coral reefs, save the animals, promote sustainability, improve power sources, and so much more. These fundraisers will be all over the place, but you should maintain mindfulness when looking around as there will be scams going around, too.

Earth Day is a great way to show your love of the planet while having a good time. Although it might still be a little scary to leave the home without worry, these ten tips should help to keep you safe so you can embrace Earth Day and truly put in some work to help make the world a better place.

How to Save Money When Shopping For New Furniture

You’ve probably noticed a whole lot of advertising on TV catered towards updating your furniture. Furniture stores know what they’re doing. A lot of people are going through a spring cleaning phase and want to ditch the old and say hello to the new. While others are sitting on money from their stimulus check or income tax returns. However, it is important that you don’t go crazy when it comes to spending money on new furniture. There are many ways to help you save money on the items you want, so you can easily get what you need while still having some money. These ten tips should help prevent you from overdoing it and maintaining a sense of calm even when presented with a deal that is too good to be true.

1. Always Shop Around
One of the most important things you can do before you make a big purchase like furniture is to shop around. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking for then visit websites and get a feel for the style you like. Then, take note of the price tag on each item. You can even put the name of an item into the search bar and oftentimes you’ll get a result with similar items. If you like to shop locally, then bring a picture of the item you’ve been looking at. Some stores can order it for you if the price is right. Shopping around will also help you to know when you’re actually getting a deal and when a store is just saying they’re having a deal. Of course, if you can hold out, you may want to wait until Memorial Day so you can save during one of the biggest furniture sales of the year.

2. Read Reviews
In this day and age, we’ve been granted something incredibly important. That is the power of reviews. When you find something you like, look at reviews. However, make sure you look at reviews from other websites too. Simply type in what you’re looking for and check out what people have to say on numerous websites so you can be certain you’re not getting fake reviews. You should also read reviews on the retailer as well. This can be important as you’ll need to know how a retailer is going to treat you as a customer, especially if something goes wrong with one of your items. Once you’ve read reviews, then you can easily plan your purchase based on the product itself, the retailer, and the item’s price.

3. Evaluate Your Needs
Before you decide to go furniture shopping, you should evaluate your needs. To begin with, you should consider whether or not you actually need the new item and if you have the budget to pay for the splurge. Then, you should come up with a budget for your purchase, as you don’t want to spend too much on an item if you can’t cover the cost without it harming your finances. Another thing to consider is whether or not you need an item that is more for your circumstances now or if you’re willing to make an investment for something that is going to be in your family for years to come. Space is another thing you should evaluate, especially if you’re renting and may not have a big space for larger items in the long run.

4. Shop Second Hand
If you’re shopping on a tighter budget or you want a vintage item, then you may want to consider shopping second-hand. There are so many different ways you can do this. If you like to go deal hunting, then you might consider shopping around at garage sales and yard sales. However, thrift stores and antique shops may be the best place to find some really incredible pieces. Some furniture stores might also have options for secondhand furniture, in most cases, these items are cleaned before they are sold, which adds even more convenience to shopping this way. No matter where you choose to shop, you should always be careful when shopping second-hand because of infestations that could cause you thousands to get rid of.

5. Late Shopping
Often, it is best to hold off on shopping until the end of the month or quarter. A lot of salesmen will try to meet their quota during this time, so you’re more likely to find some deals that you wouldn’t otherwise get. If you want to be strategic, then head to a store in the middle of the month and scope out items you like. Then, leave the store and do not accept any deals offered. When you return at the end of the month or quarter, the salesperson may offer you a better deal or allow you to talk him down so they can meet their quota or earn more of a bonus. You should still shop around and write down prices, just in case items are marked up when you return to check them out.

6. Negotiate
If you like the thrill of negotiating, then don’t pass up on doing so when you go shopping for furniture. Obviously, department stores are going to humor you with this, but if you want to add to the fun of the shopping experience then you might try going to furniture stores that are family-owned. These stores will typically negotiate with you so you can enjoy a lower price. Even some larger name furniture stores will do this, so make sure to try to negotiate before you just accept this price. This can add an old-fashioned touch to the shopping experience while saving you money. There are lots of negotiation tips online too, which will definitely help you brush up on your skills.

7. Consider Fees
One of the main issues that you might face when shopping for new furniture is the fees surrounding it. Even if it looks like the furniture is in your price range, paying taxes on a higher-priced item might send your budget over by the hundreds. You might also end up paying way more than expected when it comes to service fees, ordering fees, and delivery fees. If you can, try to get the delivery fee waived or move the item yourself. You might also consider shopping during tax-free weekends or sales that will help cut back on fees.

8. Research Payment Plans
Many stores will try to lure you into a payment plan when you go shopping. Often, this is a technique to get you to spend well over your budget on furniture or to inspire you to purchase more than what you’re looking for. This can be a major problem for those on a tight budget. The no interest fees are usually what draw people in, but typically if you look at a payment plan, you’ll find that you end up paying more on your item than you would have if you paid for it upfront. The best thing you can do when you’re considering a finance plan is to research it. Ask if you can see a contract, look online to see what others say, and talk to friends and family that may have experienced a plan. Most importantly, you should crunch the numbers to see where your budget stands with the payment plan and if you can actually pay off the items in a timely manner.

9. Shop Factory Outlet
If there is a factory outlet store near you then this might be your best option. Usually, factory outlets completely cut out any middleman prices, so you’ll only have to spend money on the cost of the furniture. Sometimes, you can even find huge discounts on items that are only slightly damaged, as well. This can save hundreds, so locating stores near you might be one of the best resources during your shopping experience. There are some factory outlet options online, but you won’t save as much as you might when shopping in person. You can quickly do a search for factory outlets for your favorite brands online, so don’t hesitate to start your shopping journey there.

10. Consider Ready-To-Assemble Furniture
A lot of people try to avoid this type of furniture, but if you’re a college student, renter, or you’re just looking for an item to last you a few years, then this is going to be the best route to go. This type of furniture can be found in most department stores now, so you won’t have to look far while seeking out your next purchase. There are also stores that specialize in such things, such as IKEA, which will allow you to buy trendy items that you’ll actually want in the home. There are numerous brands other than IKEA now, so make sure you shop around to find the coolest items to suit your taste and your budget.

Shopping for furniture doesn’t have to be a headache. Nor does it mean you have to spend a small fortune. These ten tips will help you find just what you’re looking for, so you can get your furniture while feeling empowered in your decision.

Ten Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for First Time Mothers

A lot of new mothers will be planning to celebrate their first-ever Mother’s Day this year. This can be a very important time for new mothers as they are still in the stage of recovery from giving birth and are getting used to their new role in life, even if this isn’t their first baby. So, purchasing for a first-time mother can be an important task. Luckily, these ten ideas can help most new mothers feel confident in everything that they are doing as they work to become stronger individuals and mothers.

1. Spa Set
A spa set is one of the best things that you can do for a new mother. Most new mothers are lacking when it comes to free time to just relax. So, a spa set might help to make that relaxation time a possibility. You might consider purchasing a set that is already premade and ready to go for new mothers as it will have a lot of the products that you might not have thought would be needed. However, you can always do a little research to see what will work best. You might also consider making handmade bath bombs, candles, and other necessities to make the time in the tub exceptional.

2. Keepsake Box
Saving some of the baby’s items tends to be common practice in most households. However, without something to keep items in, some mothers might choose to hold back a lot of items to help them remember such a significant point in their child’s life. One great gift to provide is a keepsake box. This box can be simple or intricate depending on the mother’s personal taste. A keepsake box can be decorated to suit the child too. It can also allow you to show off a picture of the child. If you want to make a box yourself then you can easily do so as there are many tutorials online, or you can simply use your creativity.

3. Meal Kit
Let’s face it, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to prepare a healthy meal with a baby. Purchasing the items needed to make your meal, on top of finding the perfect recipe are things of the past. That is why a meal kit will become a new mom’s best friend. Meal kits are shipped to the front door and come with all of the ingredients needed to whip them up. Best of all, most of the kits can usually be prepared in half an hour, which makes them a bit less of a struggle than other options. Plus, they’re much healthier than ordering out or even microwaving your meal. Most importantly, meal kids can help you learn how to cook if you’re struggling in this area.

4. Aroma Therapy
Relaxation is a must when it comes to new moms. That relaxation is hard to find at times, which is why finding subtle elements of relaxation is important. One easy way to bring on some much-needed stress relief is through aromatherapy. So, if you’re looking for something to gift then an aromatherapy set is a great option. There are so many fun diffusers available so you can find a little something to suit every personal taste. Apart from that, there is a wide assortment of oil options, including blends that are specifically designed to reduce stress and even options to encourage sleep, which might help in so many ways.

5. Walking Shoes
Getting back in shape after having a baby is really hard, but walking can be an easy exercise that most moms can get on board with. Plus, most moms have to do a lot of walking with their little ones to keep a sense of calm in the home. Thus, walking shoes might be one of the best gifts you can give. A good pair of walking shoes will not only help keep a mom comfortable but will inspire them to get their body moving so they can enjoy feeling a sense of normal. Walking is a great form of exercise anyway and can help release built-up stress.

6. Personalize Jewelry
If you have a new mom in your life, then a simple and meaningful gift you can give is personalized jewelry. This gift allows you to find something that suits the mother’s personality while offering her something that represents who she cares about. Most of these items will include birthstones that represent each child, but you can also find options that include engraved names and birthdates. You can have a lot of fun with this type of gift too as you can always add to it later on if the person has more children, or even grandchildren in the far future. Best of all, it is a keepsake they will want to have with them even when their children have grown.

7. Photography Gift Certificate
Most moms can’t resist getting pictures of their children, or the whole family. So, if you want to choose a gift that will certainly bring a smile to her face then a gift certificate for professional photos is probably one of the best things you can do. Many local photographers are probably willing to hand out gift certificates, so if you know the person favors a specific photographer then you might start there. However, you can also look for options at studios and more. If you’re not sure where to begin in looking for a local photographer then searching around on social media is one of the best routes to take.

8. Inspirational Book
It can be hard getting through some of the big moments in that first year. Often, moms feel like they can’t do it any longer. Sometimes, they just get bored of scrolling on their phone as they hold the baby. One of the best ways to remedy the stress of the unknown and boredom is an inspirational book. There are numerous books to choose from that can help most moms reach their potential or at least help them to feel like they can make it through the struggle. There are so many inspirational books to choose from, but there are some top seller lists that you may want to check out before making your purchase.

9. Anything Supporting Mom’s Hobbies
Finding time to be a person that isn’t a mom is hard when you’re a mother. So, in order to help the mom in your life, you might find items that help her reconnect with the person she was prior to being a mom. This can actually help reduce a lot of stress while helping the mom find some form of peace in her new role. Allowing her the time to work on this hobby can also be a gift in itself, even if it is only for an hour or so a day. If you’re not sure what to purchase, then open up a dialogue about it. This will help you get an idea while also allowing you to understand what activities she misses the most.

10. A Nap
If you’re low on cash or just looking for a thoughtful gift to give to any mom, then time to take a nap is probably one of the best routes to go. A nap will allow you to easily provide a mom in your life with something they desire, as well as something they need for their overall health. Many moms now aren’t getting the sleep they need, especially with the pandemic adding even more demands to their lives. With a nap, you will know at least one day a mom is getting adequate rest so she can enjoy her time spent with the baby and those precious moments alone. You may even make it a regular occurrence when you can as it is important to take care of the people you love.

Mother’s Day is a great time to celebrate all moms, but these ten gifts will make new moms feel extra special. Best of all, these gifts will suit your budget, so you won’t find yourself struggling to bounce back after spending too much money on a Mother’s Day gift. Each item will also show the love and care you put into the gift.

Ten Ways to Avoid Food Waste To Save Money

Food waste is a big problem in the world, which is why we have a holiday dedicated to preventing it. Sometimes, when we are busy living our lives, it is hard to imagine how much food we are actually wasting on a day-to-day basis. A lot of people might not even realize how much can be done to prevent food waste in the long run. These ten tips will help you to get even more out of your food, which will help save the planet while also saving your budget, too. Best of all, the tips won’t force you to live life too differently, which is a reason to celebrate in itself.

1. Shop Lightly
A lot of people tend to do all of their shopping in one sitting. Although this can be fine when it comes to canned and boxed items, it isn’t always great for produce and meats. So, if you can, try to avoid shopping for these items until a day or two prior to cooking them. This will offer you fresher ingredients and will ensure that you can easily get your money’s worth out of the products you buy. Of course, you might try to avoid shopping for lots of food at once anyway. A lot of the time, this leads to items sitting on the shelf for too long, so they are often forgotten before their expiration date arrives. So, by shopping more frequently, you will find a lot more of your feed gets used on time, which will save on your food budget.

2. Plan Around Items in Your Home
Before you go shopping, you might want to take an inventory of the food in your cabinet. This will allow you to easily get rid of some of the items in your pantry, so nothing goes to waste. Apart from this awesome feature, it will also mean that you won’t have to grab as much at the store which will save you even more at the store. Using this technique will actually help you to stop and plan too, which is a great way to set up your day for success.

3. Utilize Leftovers
Leftovers tend to be a common occurrence in most households. However, they aren’t always something that is particularly enjoyed. If you make a big meal and your family grows tired of the leftovers, then try to breathe new life into them. You can transform leftovers into a sandwich worthy of Micheline stars, or you can create something entirely new out of the dishes. There are numerous recipes online to help you take your leftovers to a new level. All you have to do is put in the type of leftovers that you have and let the internet work its magic. You may even find dishes that you prefer over the original meal that you made, which will give the family something to look forward to.

4. Compost
A lot of the food that hits the trash doesn’t actually need to go there. Instead of throwing it away, you might consider creating your own compost. When you have compost, things like produce waste, eggshells, and so on, can be placed in a special container that can then be used to help improve your soil after a time. You can create compost in many different ways, so you might want to surf around to figure out what will work out best for your family. There are even devices that you can purchase that will compost quickly and will even fit below your kitchen sink. When you’re finished composting, add it to your garden or just a flower pot inside the home.

5. Store Properly
One of the main problems people face when it comes to food waste is their groceries spoiling. A lot of this has to do with food not being stored properly. A lot of the food we commonly have in the home isn’t being stored properly. Often, we learn how to store food from how our parents stored food. However, this isn’t always how things should be stored. So, if you notice that some of your food isn’t lasting long then you might research how to properly store it. There are also special storage containers to help you get a little more life span out of some of your food.

6. Utilize Freezing
When the leftovers just aren’t going to cut it or you make a large batch of food that you can’t get through, then freezing is a great option for your excess food. When you freeze food, you can come back to it in a few weeks or in some cases, a few months later. Storing food in the freezer isn’t complicated either. A lot of people use resealable bags or storage containers to keep their items secure. However, you can purchase items to store the food, like a food sealer that will help prevent your dishes from getting freezer burn. Having a few items in the freezer will also make your life easier as you can heat them up in no time.

7. Food Preservers
If you really want to help keep your items fresh and enjoyable then you might want to look into items that help to preserve the quality of food. One option is a special item that can be placed in your produce drawer. This helps to reduce gases that break down the produce more quickly. You can also choose airtight options to keep items from going stale. These are especially great for bread as the lack of air helps to prevent it from molding. Of course, this is only scratching the surface as there are so many products to try out when it comes to preserving your food.

8. Understand Dates
Another problem many people face is not understanding the dates on their food. There are so many different things written on foods, that it might be hard to keep up with them all. Two of the more common options are sell by and use by. A lot of people will toss out items if they go past the sell-by-date, but this is unnecessary. The foods tend to still be good at this point, but you might look up each unique item to see how much longer it can be enjoyed. Use by dates are a little less flexible as these items usually aren’t fresh past this date; however, best by dates also have some wiggle room, but you might be sacrificing quality when you do this. You can learn about these dates online, so make sure to do your research.

9. Create Broths
You don’t have to toss out items like bones and vegetable cuttings. These items are still of use to you, especially if you enjoy making soups or cooking with bouillon. All you have to do to make a broth is place the items you hope to use in water and boil them for quite some time. Of course, you can also use the crockpot to help make it even easier to utilize your scraps. Things like chicken bones will help to make delicious broth that you can use to cook so many things. Vegetable cuttings will create a vegetable broth that is full of flavor. Once your broth is finished, cook with it or freeze it. This will help cut back on spending in the grocery store while keeping your meals a bit healthier.

10. Portion Control
Another major problem that people face is cooking too much. A lot of people don’t really understand the portion size they should be eating, so not only do they cook too much, but they also put too much on their plates. Since this food has been touched it won’t store for as long, so it usually goes to waste. Learning appropriate portion sizes can help you remedy this problem while also keeping you healthier. Plus, it will allow you to purchase fewer groceries in the future, which will save lots of money.

Food waste is bad for many aspects of our lives. From keeping your budget high to harming the planet, it is important to do what we can to avoid excess waste. So, this month, you might work to change the way you handle food waste. You’ll notice changes in your lifestyle, health, and budget, which will definitely make you fall in love with your new food-saving techniques.

Ten Cheap Ways to Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten

Preparing your child for kindergarten isn’t always the easiest task, especially if you don’t know where to begin. A lot of parents spend a fortune on preschool programs that can make things more complicated and frustrating for the child, while other parents simply wait until it is time to register for kindergarten. Then ten ideas will help you to prepare your child for kindergarten without forcing you to spend a fortune. This should help ease the stress of your child’s upcoming years at school while helping to boost your child’s love of education before they ever set foot in a classroom.

1. Preschool
Of course, one of the best options for preparing your child for school is preschool. You can find preschool in many different places as well, so you should be able to suit your family’s needs in this way. Most elementary schools will have a preschool or head start option, while daycares and churches also might offer the same schooling. You may also check into private or Montessori schools to see if tuition prices fit your budget. A lot of schools will offer scholarships or grants while most public schools will grant free entry to children if the family makes less than a certain amount of money. You will have to discuss this with your unique school district, and you will probably have to fill out forms to make this possible. The good news is, if you qualify for free preschool, you will most likely qualify for free or reduced lunch too.

2. Apps
In today’s world, there are so many amazing apps dedicated to helping your child succeed. You will find apps like Homer, ABC Mouse, and other developmental apps will help your child begin the early stages of reading in no time at all. These apps will cost you money, but if you hold out for a sale, the price tag will be very small in comparison to a normal yearly pass. Other apps that are free can actually help children out too. Noggin and PBS Kids are great resources that won’t cost you a penny and that work around your children’s favorite cartoon characters. This is a great incentive to get them to learn while they’re enjoying some screen time.

3. Follow a Routine
Routine is one of the key ways to help a child thrive. Incidentally, it is also something children will need to know how to follow when they begin kindergarten. Children that aren’t introduced to the structure before school begins, might have trouble sitting down and working on tasks or engaging in the activities that have been planned for them. Routines are very easy to follow through and can help make life at home easier for everyone. Simply work around the things your family does on a daily basis, like meals, cleaning up, and entertainment activities. This will help everyone naturally flow into the routine. Make sure to bring up learning periods with periods of play so children can stay engaged throughout the day.

4. Work on Emotional Health
Emotional health has been a huge topic over the past year and can be very important when it comes to your child. Working on emotional health before children go to school can help improve their learning experience while also allowing them to fit in better. It will even make their teachers’ lives a bit easier. Emotional health comes with learning how to identify emotions and work to improve the way you feel when you are feeling something intensely. There are many techniques for this, so browse around to see what works best for your children.

5. Read
When it comes to early education, reading is one of the best things you can do for your children. Allowing kids to pick out stories and read them will help them find an early love of reading that can stick with them for a lifetime. Reading to children will also introduce them to new ideas which will inspire them to want to learn more. Apart from that, it will also show them letters and how they sound, which is crucial in the early days of phonics. Of course, reading is a great way for you to bond with your child. Reading to your child isn’t the only way to encourage literacy. Allowing your child to see you read for enjoyment is also a great idea. So, make sure you pull out the books and enjoy sharing such an important part of life with your little ones.

6. Encourage Responsibility
Without a doubt, encouraging your child to be responsible is another great way to prepare them for kindergarten and life in general. This doesn’t mean your child should be responsible for the primary care of a pet, nor does it mean they should have major chores. However, a few minor things here or there can help your child prepare efficiently. Pets are one of the best ways to help children learn responsibility from a young age. One chore they can take on is giving the animals food. Of course, this should be done under supervision to ensure the pet is actually fed. Picking up their own toys, getting dressed, clearing out their backpack, and so on, can also help your child learn responsibility. This will especially come in handy with homework.

7. Sharing
Most children get to spend a lot of time with their own toys before they head to kindergarten. If a child doesn’t have a sibling or constant playmates, then they may find sharing to be a huge challenge. Even some children that are asked to share frequently may struggle with the concept. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. However, children will be asked to share when they go to school. So, you might want to work on playing games that help your child learn the basics of sharing. This will make the transition to school easier while also allowing your child to make friends easily. This can help prepare children for teamwork in the future, too.

8. Work on Motor Functions
Motor functions are something that all children need to work on, so don’t hesitate to start them on little exercises at a very early age. For kindergarten, your child will definitely need to know how to hold a crayon properly. So, allow your child to color as much as possible. As they grow older, they may naturally hold a crayon properly. However, some children may need further instruction. Exercises like standing on one foot are another activity that children need to work on. This can help with core strength and balance, which will allow children to learn new games and play with their schoolmates. If you’re not sure how to work on motor functions with your kids, there are a lot of ideas online.

9. Let Them Play
Working with children on their skills for school is very important, but so is allowing them to spend time playing. For children, playing is learning, so it is important to keep them excited about the world around them as they play. Free play will allow children to develop independence, creativity, and wonder, which can help them go far in life. However, you can also base learning around games. There are so many educational games you can find online to help your child learn and thrive. You can even base your research on your child’s individual needs and desires.

10. Know What’s Required
One of the biggest things you can do to help you and your child out is to learn what is required for kindergarten. Things change yearly, so keeping up to speed with everything that your child needs will help you to feel confident as you work with your child. It will also help you figure out a timeline for learning based on your child’s age. You can look up kindergarten requirements online to help you stay up to speed. There are also some free curriculums available so you can help your child learn quickly and efficiently.

Helping your child prepare for kindergarten is definitely a must. With these simple tips, you should be able to handle everything that is needed to get your child ready to excel in their new learning environment. Best of all, your child will feel confident about school, which can ease a lot of the stress they may feel. You can easily suit your budget too, which will ease even more burden from you.

Pandemic Friendly Prom Ideas to Keep Your Plans Frugal and Hopeful

This year, prom is still a little iffy for many students. With plans not yet confirmed for a lot of students, parents and teachers are left to throw out ideas that may allow students to get something out of the tradition without putting everyone at risk. If you’re still struggling with ideas for prom, then you may be able to find something useful with these ten concepts. With any luck, you will be able to take elements from some of these ideas to create a prom experience that won’t leave students feeling like they missed out on a pivotal point in their high school career.

1. Crafty Masks
If your school has okayed a prom then it is pretty much going to be a guarantee that people will have to wear a mask. Although this might seem like it would destroy your wonderful style, you might find that you can really have fun with a crafty mask. Try to order a mask in the same color as your attire and decorate it to suit your style. You can even make a matching mask for your date. If you’re looking for humor then paint a smile on your mask, as this will certainly lift some spirits. Schools can encourage mask-wearing then they can make a competition for the craftiest of masks. This can help raise morale while encouraging creativity. It may even make taking photos in a mask seem a bit more rewarding.

2. Mask Party
Since masks are pretty much an everyday thing for us now, you might want to consider making them the highlight of your prom. Creating a mask theme will take back the power of the year which will give students a little something extra to remember when they look back at their prom. Of course, if you’re going to do a mask theme then students should think big. Students should plan out masks that really go over the top. As long as the mask covers the nose and mouth to prevent the spread of any illness the student may have, then the student is good. Masks can be planned around attire but will also work wonders when worn with unique costumes that compliment the look.

3. Parking Lot Party
Not all schools are willing to risk a big party right now and not all students are up for the idea either. However, if you still want to engage in a party without worrying about getting sick, you might consider a parking lot party instead. Simply meet up with all of your friends in a parking lot. Make sure you keep your distance, but while parked you can dance the night away without worry. You might still want to wear a mask, and you’ll definitely want to get dressed for the occasion. Of course, you should check with your local stores to see if anyone will let you use their parking lot, so you don’t get in trouble for loitering.

4. Digital Dance Party
When it comes to being entirely safe, a digital prom is a great way to go. This was pretty trendy last year as many people began to quickly look for alternative ways to enjoy their senior year despite the pandemic. A digital dance party can easily be created by students or hosted by the school, so go with what works best for you. In order to enjoy a digital dance, you will just need a computer with a webcam and speakers. Of course, you will also want to dress up and enjoy looking amazing with your friends. You might also consider ordering a nice meal to get the full effect of the occasion. There are many ideas you can incorporate into your digital prom experience too, so make sure to browse around online to find some cool ideas that will suit your needs.

5. Outdoor Prom
If your school still wants to host prom but is worried about the risk, then an outdoor prom might be the best way to go. This won’t take away too much from your prom day as you can easily find a venue that offers the elegance of your typical dance venue. You can also find caterers that are more willing to work with you considering they won’t be as at risk. Having an outdoor prom offers a wide assortment of theme options too. Decorating for an outdoor prom won’t break the school budget either, which is an added bonus. Plus, the weather is usually nicer around the end of the school year, so having the fresh air to enjoy as you dance might be even more rewarding than you think.

6. Host Separate Proms
One quick way to remedy the population at prom is to have separate proms per class. Usually, juniors and seniors are allowed to attend one prom, but this might cause for a packed area. Instead, let the seniors have a fancier prom, while the juniors can still enjoy a smaller prom, or cancel junior prom entirely. This should help to keep the population down and might even bring more enjoyment to the classes. If you’re still worried about it being too crowded, then considering hosting proms at different times. Students can request a specific time so they can hang out with their friends. This might even help to keep the mood of the celebration even more enjoyable.

7. Get Photos Professionally Taken
If prom is canceled this year, but you still want some sort of memento from your junior or senior year then having photos professionally taken might be the best way to go. Many photographers are eager for work right now with the pandemic going on, so you will most likely find someone willing to offer a good price. Plus, you will be helping someone maintain their career as the world is in crisis. One of the best options is to have your photos taken outdoors. This will help to keep everyone safer while still allowing you to look and feel phenomenal. However, you may be able to request classic or themed photos so you will still get the same prom feel. This will allow you to have some memories to enjoy when you look back on high school.

8. Host a Vaccinated Party
Right now, many states are opening up the covid-19 vaccine to anyone that wants it. So, if you’re 16 years old or older, you can get your vaccine and ensure you’re protected before prom time arrives. Of course, there are going to be many people that aren’t interested in the vaccine. So, if you really want to enjoy a safe party then invite over your friends that are vaccinated. You’ll be able to go mask-free without worrying about spreading anything around. Plus, it’ll feel like an exclusive club. You might even make your prom pandemic themed to add a sense of humor to the big event. You will be safe to go to prom if you’re vaccinated, but if prom is canceled this is a great alternative idea.

9. Alternative Options
If prom isn’t something your school is willing to risk because of the close nature of dancing, then you might want to request an alternative activity. Some schools have been offering outdoor events for their seniors which allows them to have some fun even though they have to sacrifice such an important event. Many of these alternative days tend to be field days where students participate in games and other activities. Of course, you can always look around for ideas to suggest to the school to make the party more fun for your group. You might also look to other schools for inspiration.

10. Prom at Home
The concept of prom at home was born last year and seems to be carrying on this year. You can still enjoy a small prom with people that are in your safety bubble. This is a small group of people that you are exposed to already and you know are also taking precautions when it comes to their health. For your prom, you can do makeovers, get dressed up, and order food that you normally wouldn’t. Once your prom prep is over, put on some music and dance the night away. You can even video chat with other groups to help make prom come to life.

Missing out on prom is hard for many students to handle, but there are alternative options available to you. So, if you find that your school isn’t hosting prom or you need to offer alternative ideas, then these tips should help you to brainstorm. With any luck, this will be the last year that we have to worry about missing out on these big milestone events.

Ten Ways to Get Your Skin Ready for the Summer Sun

With all of the birds chirping and the sun shining, you may already have summer on your mind. Your skin, however, may not be anywhere near ready to handle all of the sun damage that it might take on during the hottest season of the year. There are a few things you should do to help get your skin prepared for the upcoming summer months. If you follow a few simple steps you can actually get your skin looking radiant before the season arrives, while still saving quite a bit of money. This should help you feel even more confident about the upcoming season and the way you look.

1. Start Hydrating
Winter is harsh. Our skin gets dried out, we spend too much time indoors, and it can overall leave us feeling yucky when it is time to expose a little skin to the sun. One of the best things you can do to help your skin look and feel amazing is to start hydrating. The first step you should take is to drink the recommended amount of water every single day. Your skin will start to improve simply by doing this. Once you get hydrated in this manner, you can add supplements to help you maintain that hydration. You should also consider eating water-based foods like fruits to help give you that hydrated glow that you’re longing for. Other than that, you can start using lotions to get you on track. If lotions aren’t doing the trick talk to a dermatologist for professional options or try out a hydrating oil.

2. Exfoliate
Another way to give your body what it needs to prepare for some sun is to exfoliate. Our bodies have skin build up like crazy and if we don’t remove the excess skin, it just sits there and makes us look dull and worn. Exfoliating is pretty simple though and you can do it in so many different ways that won’t cost you a fortune. To begin with, you can use an exfoliator when you scrub your body every time you wash. You can also use a more abrasive soap every once in a while. However, you shouldn’t do this more than once a week as it may damage the skin. If you are still feeling like your skin needs a little help, then you might consider doing a peel. You can have this done professionally, which can cost quite a bit, or you can purchase one of the many amazing options available in stores. Some people even make their own peels at home using ingredients and tutorials found online.

3. Switch Moisturizers
One problem that you may be facing when it comes to your skin is your moisturizer. This can be a big problem when it comes to caring for your skin during the summer months. The thick moisturizers you might be using to heal your skin during the winter might not do you any favors in the spring and summer. You might even find that they cause your skin to become too oily, which can cause breakouts. One of the best options here is to swap to something lighter. Your dermatologist may be able to recommend something, or you might consider finding an option on your own. Of course, switching to oil instead of a lotion might also do you a lot of favors.

4. Eat Foods that Hydrate
A lot of people think hydration is all about water. However, when you start to work on your hydration, you should also consider eating foods that can help improve your hydration. For starts, you might consider snacking on fruits, especially melons as they offer so much water. Adding fruit like lemons, cucumbers, and strawberries should also be on your radar as it will help to make water more enjoyable while also boosting your hydration. You should also avoid foods that are too salty as this is going to dry out your skin. Concentrating on a diet can truly change the way you look and feel, which will make the upcoming summer months even more thrilling for you.

5. Utilize Cold Rinses
A lot of people tend to live for the hot water when they shower or bathe. However, this can be one of the main reasons why your skin isn’t exactly on the best terms with you. One of the best ways to give back to your skin is to enjoy a nice cold rinse. If you’re exfoliating your skin, then use cold water as your rinse away the skin as this will help to close the pores and soothe the skin so you can get more out of your exfoliation time. You should also use cold water when you shave as this will help to close the pore and leave your skin feeling amazing. Even when you give yourself a facial you will easily see more results when you enjoy a cold rinse after to close the pores and make your skin shine.

6. Get a Pedicure
Let’s face it, your feet have probably been covered with thick socks and buried in your boots for the last several weeks. This can not only cause your skin to be dry and uncomfortable, but it also might cause fungus to grow on your nails. One of the best things you can do to help your feet look amazing is to get a pedicure. You might find a good pedicure set in stores or look around online for helpful tips. However, if you don’t want to go to a lot of effort, then you can probably find a great deal at a salon to help you get the most out of your skin preparations. Once you have your toes covered, you will feel better about wearing sandals and showing off the rest of your skin, too.

7. Create a Facial Routine
Your face can really get hit the hardest when it comes to sun damage. So, one of the best things you can do to help bring some extra protection to your skin is to create a facial routine. A facial routine doesn’t have to be a huge chore either. In fact, you can start by choosing the best soap for your face. If you need extra creams, then work from there. Once you have the right products, then you can easily start getting in the habit of working with your routine daily. You might also consider adding monthly masks to the mix. Of course, facial massages are also a must for your muscles too.

8. Choose SPF Makeup Lines
Putting on sunscreen is rarely on anyone’s mind when they get dressed in the morning. However, sunscreen has been proven to be an important part of your day. If you tend to put on makeup frequently, then you can skip out on putting sunscreen on your face if you shop for lines that utilize SPF in their recipes. Many of your favorite makeup brands are working on adding sunscreen to most of their items now, but if you want to find the best SPF options now, then you can shop around brands by looking for reviews online. This will help you take one step out of your daily routine while ensuring you have protection all year long.

9. Find the Best Sunscreen for You
Shopping for sunscreen is a bit more than picking up the cheapest option on the grocery store shelf. Rather, you need to work on finding a good match for your needs. This may take some trial and error though, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t find the perfect match for you over the summer. You need to shop around to discover what feels best on your skin though. You will need protection based on your skin tone and sensitivity. Plus, some people may not be able to handle the scent of sunscreen, so make sure you take care of all of your needs.

10. Seek Protective Clothing
You can really do yourself a favor by choosing clothing that is designed to protect you. More and more brands are adding UV protection to their designs, which makes the clothing even safer for you to wear out. Currently, you will mostly find these items in the sporting section, but you can transform your wardrobe to make this work, especially in the summer. Many bathing suit options will offer UV protection too. So, when you’re shopping, make sure you pay attention to the fine print and get the clothing that is going to go even further for you.

Taking care of your skin is a major part of your life, so it is important to know what works best for you. The summer months can be very trying on the skin, so making sure you keep up with these tips can ensure you feel nothing but amazing as the summer sunsets in and you expose your skin to the great outdoors.