Archive for July 29, 2021

Ten Things to Do Before Your Kids Go Back to School

Whether your child starts school in August or September, the end of summer is rapidly approaching. Although it might seem hard to cram a lot into the next few weeks, there are some things you should do before your child goes back to school. Luckily, these tips aren’t going to leave you struggling to make your budget as many of them are actually free. So, don’t stress too much because these ideas will allow you to ease into the school year without having to worry about your child as much.

1. Make a Safety Plan
One of the most important things you can do as a parent is come up with a safety plan with your kids. Even if you already have one in effect, you should revisit it often and update it to suit your child’s needs and the changing times. One of the first things you should cover is stranger danger. Your child should always know who is safe to leave with and should have a password when someone does come to pick them up. Other emergencies should also be covered, especially if your older children spend time alone at home after school. There should also be an action plan if Covid-19 hits your home or you have to go into quarantine again. Having an emergency plan on hand will ensure your family can deal with a crisis with less stress.

2. Medical Appointments
Getting a medical appointment during the school year can be tricky. Most of the time, it means pulling your child out of school in order to make an appointment. This can be stressful, especially since distant learning took over much of the last couple of school years. One of the best things you can do is fit in the annual checkups, dental visits, and optometry appointments before school begins. You might also get your child a physical if they plan on participating in sports. Handling all of this before school begins might allow for you a little rest when school does start, which can definitely help get the year going on the right foot.

3. Back to School Sales
Hitting the back-to-school sales is also going to be a must before you head to school. Items will be priced cheaply during this time, so even if you’re not entirely sure about school supplies, you might stock up on items you think you’ll need to have on the first day or simply those that you know will be used around the house if your child doesn’t need them for school. Clothing is also going to be on sale during this time, so don’t miss out on the deals here. You might have your child go through their wardrobe before you shop though, as this will ensure you don’t overshop on new items. Of course, planning to shop during the tax-free weekend, if your state has this, will add even more to your savings.

4. Deep Clean
You might not want to think about it, but deep cleaning is a great project you can do before school begins. This is a great time to work on your home because you can always have the kids help out with some of the tasks, especially when it comes to their bedrooms. Deep cleaning can be tough to do when you’re on a tight schedule, which often happens when school begins. So, getting it done now will help you throughout the school year. It will also make it so much easier to sanitize daily, especially as we fight off Covid-19 for another year.

5. Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies
You can’t clean up without cleaning supplies. In the trying times that we live in, it is often hard to know when we’re going to be able to get cleaning supplies as well. So, if you spot them in the store and it is in your budget, then you might want to stock up on everything that you need. Spray disinfectants, disinfectant wipes, bleach, alcohol, and so much more will come in handy during this time. This will allow you to protect your family while saving you money since you won’t have to pay for the high prices of items if there is a spike in covid-19 cases that leave people panic shopping.

6. Meal Prep
Creating meals on school nights can be a huge burden. Between getting homework finished, working around activities, and making sure everyone is fed, bathed, and ready to go for the next day, meal preparations can be an absolute chore. That is why it is convenient to meal prep. If you have some time to prepare meals before school begins, you might consider doing so. You can prepare casseroles, dump meals, or even pre-marinate meats and cut vegetables to ensure your mealtime goes smoothly. If you can prepare a month or so in advance, it will definitely help you to relax and enjoy your evenings instead of worrying about hours of meal prep while juggling so many other roles. You don’t have to just stick to dinner time prep either. You can get the kids’ lunches ready to go for the week, create breakfasts that make your day go smoother.

7. Set Goals
Children are in need a little guidance when it comes to setting goals in the beginning. If you’re able to sit down and talk with your children about goals before they enter school, then they are more than likely going to learn how to make goals and how to work towards them. Of course, your chats and brainstorming should be based on their age group. For instance, a preschooler might set the goal of counting to twenty while a high schooler might set a goal of applying to scholarships or completing their college application forms. Goals can make or break a year for a child. Often, if there are no goals set then the school year might feel like one day after the next. However, with a goal or two in mind, your child will begin to see each day as a steppingstone.

8. Educational Activities
During the summer months, children tend to forget some of the things that they learned throughout the year. One of the best things you can do is help them get back on track with some fun activities that will gear them up for school while helping them to prepare for what the new year might bring. You can find lots of grade-based activities online, which can act as a refresher or as a way to get a jump start on what your child might be learning during the new year. You don’t have to keep it to worksheets either as there are fun science or art projects that you can get into. You might also have kids begin reading books if they haven’t done so over the summer months, as this can help prep the mind for even more learning.

9. Talk
Time can really slip away if we’re not careful. Sometimes, just sitting down and talking with our children often hits the back burner, at least when it comes to things like feelings and concerns. Before your child begins school, take some time to stop and talk to them one-on-one. You should bring up their thoughts on school and see what they are looking forward to doing and what they might fear about the new year. You should also talk about their friends, teachers, the amount of work they can take on and so on. This will open up a conversation to help find solutions for stress, ease fears, or even promote excitement over the activities that they will soon be taking on. After a good chat, you and your child might feel better about the school year, which will definitely help ease tension as you transition back into school life.

10. Have Fun
Without a doubt, one of the most important things you should do with your kids before summer is over has some fun with them. Go outside and surprise them by spraying them with the water hose. Get ice cream, even if dinner time is on the way. Enjoy activities you normally wouldn’t get to. Having fun will help them to unwind so they will be better prepared for what the school year brings. It will also help them to make memories and find joy in their family, which will bring a stronger bond to the household that is certain to improve their overall happiness.

Summer is fleeting, so make sure you are prepared for back-to-school days before they actually arrive. These ten ideas should help you to get everything in order so you can keep calm as your schedule and life are turned upside down. Perhaps, with a few of these tips marked off of your list, you will be ready for anything the year brings.

Essential Items For Your College Bound Student

University will be back in session again soon and a wide array of students will be inhabiting dormitories for the first time since Covid-19 interrupted our normal lives. This can leave many parents struggling to know exactly what they should pack for their students. There are lots of essentials you need, but there are quite a few things that you can send your student with if you want to make life a little easier. These ten ideas are just scratching the surface, but they can help make lives easier and safer as we navigate new normals.

1. Laundry Pods
Laundry pods are perfect for college kids. These pods take up less space in a dorm room, which is already one big bonus to having your child stocked up in laundry pods. They also make it easier to tote to the laundry mat when it is time to do the laundry. Your student can even just grab a few and leave the container behind to make life easier. Pods merely require you to toss the pod into the clothes when washing as well, which will help students that aren’t exactly ready for all of the measuring that goes into the laundry. Most pods will have everything needed to get the clothes smelling fresh while cleaning away germs, which can help keep your student protected while we continue to worry about covid.

2. Noise-Cancelling Earphones
Another big must is noise-cancelling earphones. Usually, students can feel confident about spending time in the library while studying, but this might not be the case if there is an issue with covid-19 on campus. The noise-canceling earphones will allow your student to study in their dorm room without having to worry about what their roommates are doing. The earphones can also be used in the library when attention spans are low, which can help improve grades even more. Many earphones will double as entertainment devices as well, which will make it easier for your student to enjoy music and movies without disturbing the people around them.

3. Cleaning Wipes
Cleaning up isn’t a favorite activity for most people, and it might feel like pulling teeth to encourage your student to do so. Sending them to college with cleaning wipes might be one of the best ways to inspire them to actually clean up though. The wipes won’t take up a lot of space and are easy to pull out and wipe down a surface, so students won’t have to put in a lot of effort. It will also make it easier for students that do feel anxious about outbreaks to clean up without cutting into their study time.

4. Laptop
You’re probably already planning on sending your student to college with a laptop. In this day and age, it is very hard to get by without one, especially for a student. However, laptops currently have been even more important when it comes to college students. If your child is stuck in a lockdown situation when school begins, then their laptop is going to be their mode of getting to class until their in-person classes resume. Their computer will also be their best means of researching, turning in assignments, and so much more. Apart from that, the laptop will become a way of communication with friends and family, as well as entertainment when they cannot go out.

5. Privacy Screen
Privacy screens are a pretty handy thing to have if you share a space with someone. There are privacy screens that take up very little space on the market as well, which might be one of the best options for your student. You can also create your own privacy screen if you enjoy customizable projects or you want to save a little money. A privacy screen can bring a sense of comfort to your student as they will be able to put it up when they want to be alone. However, it can also prevent the spread of cold and flu germs, which might bring some peace of mind to you, your student, and your roommate.

6. Covid-19 Tests
Getting a student to go to the doctor can be tough. Sometimes they don’t have the money to do so, sometimes they don’t know where to go, and so on. So, if you’re worried about your student catching covid-19 then it might be in your best interest to send them with a few tests. These can be purchased over the counter and done in the comfort of the dorm room. Most of the testing packets come with two tests, so if a negative result occurs and symptoms persist students can test again. These tests are pretty affordable as well and will bring peace of mind to those that are suffering from symptoms and are worried about the spread.

7. Snacks
Snacks are always a great thing to send to students. Most students are on a pretty tight budget when it comes to food, so having the extra items in their dorm can help bring peace of mind and comfort. Extra snacks are also great to have when it comes to the first couple of weeks of college. At this time, students are just adjusting to campus and are still learning to navigate where everything is. So, they might not be able to get to the cafeteria as easily as they would like and may not know where vending machines or snack shops are. These snacks might also come in handy in a lockdown situation when everyone is trying to navigate when they can eat.

8. Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are becoming commonplace for most people now. So, you might want to make sure that your student has a couple on hand. Reusable water bottles tend to encourage people to drink more water instead of relying on other drinks that might seem more convenient while they’re on the go. The bottles can be toted around to classes, work, and anywhere else a student goes. On top of that, they’re easy to fill up and keep in the dormitory if your student is limiting their trips out of their space due to restrictions. Bottles are easy to clean as well and can make your student feel more secure as no one else will have touched the bottle they use.

9. Fast Charger
Students tend to be on the go quite a bit, which is why a fast charger is a great way to bring even more convenience to their life. Often enough, phones can be a big asset for classes. Students can take notes on them, record lectures, and so much more. This can help with studying, ensure a student can help those that miss class, and so on. Due to this, batteries might not last as long as they would when just in your student’s pocket on idle. A fast charger can help keep the device going in between classes. This can ensure your child has a full battery in case of an emergency.

10. Extra Masks
Another great thing to have on hand is extra masks. Reusable masks are always the best options as they’re better for the environment and they won’t cost an arm and a leg. However, you might also want to invest in a box of disposable masks too, just in case your student cannot get to the laundromat as often as needed. Many schools will still require students to wear masks, so extras will always be beneficial. Even if your student is vaccinated, there is still a risk of contracting the illness, so the excess masks can bring even more peace of mind to everyone.

It isn’t going to be an easy year for students or their parents, but things are beginning to look up. Ensuring your student is prepared for life at college while also adding in a few extra precautionary items might help everyone to feel more comfortable about their time away from the home and in a new environment.

Ten Ways to Bring the Aquarium Home

When it comes to summer, the aquarium is a wonderful place to spend some time. However, it isn’t always possible to head to the aquarium. There are many locations that do not have an aquarium near them, while other families are still staying indoors due to Covid-19 and the new delta variations. There are a few ways you can bring the aquarium to your home without spending a small fortune. These ten tips can help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to introducing your family to the aquarium without stepping foot outside of the house.

1. Marine Based Crafts
Crafts are one of the finest ways to introduce children to almost anything. When it comes to marine crafts, there are so many options to choose from. Children can create fish with their hands, make jellyfish out of paper plates, or simply use a paper bag to make a shark puppet. If you’re not sure where to begin your journey, you will find so many options online that it will be hard to choose where you’d like to begin. When you finish up with your crafts, then hang them up in a section of the home. This will create a little aquarium. These crafts will not only bring a sense of pride to your child but will spark their curiosity about the ocean. This can help you introduce different types of marine life to them or open them up to lessons about the sea.

2. Visual Media
When it comes to visual media, there are lots of great options available that you can choose from based on your child’s age group. Disney+ for instance offers many kid-friendly documentaries and TV shows that can help engage your child while showing them a taste of the ocean. You will also find science-based shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Magic School Bus on Netflix, which will inspire many school-aged children. If you have preschoolers then ocean-inspired movies might be the best way to inspire their interest in the subject.

3. Virtual Tours
You might be surprised by how many aquariums are running virtual tours. During such trying times, many aquariums decided to open up their exhibits to the world by posting tours that anyone and everyone can enjoy. Most of these tours are actually free of cost too, so you might want to check out your favorite aquariums website to see what they have to offer. If you have a favorite animal that you would like to see, then you might do some research to see if there is a camera positioned onto their exhibit at certain aquariums. This can help your family enjoy the animals all the more. It will also give you the chance to learn from aquariums that you normally wouldn’t be able to visit, which can also be exciting.

4. Download Activities
If you’re looking for a great place to start, then your favorite aquarium probably has some awesome activities for your children to check out. Many websites will offer resources about their exhibits; however, some even allow you to download the content they have on hand for visitors. These activities often offer information about the animals as well as fun games and activities designed to help children learn and enjoy marine life. Some of the facilities will even allow you to download storytime videos that take place in front of exhibits. Of course, you will also find content on websites based on homeschool activities and more.

5. Books
Books are definitely one of the best ways to help your child learn about the world around them. Books are a great resource for engaging young minds while helping them to pick up new and exciting information. There are so many exciting books about aquariums and marine life available, so you might start your adventure at the local library. There are even magazines dedicated to teaching children about marine animals. Subscribing to these is surprisingly cheap and will provide your child with a new monthly theme that will allow them to embrace the marine world while gaining even more excitement about the aquarium.

6. Marine Lamps
Surprisingly enough, you can actually find lamps that mimic the movements of marine life. The lamps can be found in many stores and come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most popular options is the jellyfish lamp due to its very realistic nature. These science-inspired lamps won’t break the budget. You can try to create your marine lamps as well, but they might not offer the same realistic vibe. This is easily done with shadow lights, which can help inspire your child’s imagination as well. If you’re interested in making your own, then there are great websites to help out. You can also find shopping guides to help you choose the right lamp for you if you do choose to purchase one.

7. Sensory Activities
Sensory activities are one of the best ways for children to learn. There are so many sensory activities that you can choose from to engage in a wide variety of age groups. Sensory bins with a marine-life theme are always a fun option. You can mold toys inside of a container using Jell-O, which will allow children to add some squishy fun to their playtime. You can also use a sand-themed bin that allows children to dig with seashells. Allowing children to touch items like starfish, coral, and seashells which can all be purchased if you don’t have them in the home can also help stimulate the mind. You can also create a sensory room where you play with the sounds of the ocean and have children guess what they are. You should be able to find the sounds of whales, dolphins, and more online for free.

8. Research
No matter the age of your child, they can engage in a little research to help improve on their knowledge of marine life. You might start by having your child pick a fish or other sea animal to look into. Younger children might be able to pick up basic facts about the fish, such as its name, colors, and interesting fact. Other children might be able to take on a lot more. There are lots of images you can print and enjoy too. If your child learns about a fish, you can post the picture up and slowly add more pictures around it to represent your child’s knowledge while building their own personal aquarium.

9. Set Up Home Exhibits
If you’re really missing the aquarium experience, then you might consider setting up one of your own. Obviously, you won’t be able to recreate the huge tanks of fish and other marine life, but you can set up an aquarium that will allow your children to use their imagination. You can use stuffed animals, paper mache projects, and more to create the effect. You can even utilize videos about the sea creatures to make the aquarium feel more realistic. This should add a touch of fun that will keep everyone busy for some time. Your kids might even enjoy it so much that they set up their own aquarium during playtime.

10. Consider Your Own Aquarium
Although it is definitely not the same as visiting the aquarium, you might consider getting your own small aquarium. If you want to keep things really simple, then a beta requires little space and in some instances no upkeep. There are small aquariums that use plants to nourish the fish and clean the cage, which can definitely be helpful if you have young children. A goldfish is another simple option that will allow you to easily introduce your child to the world of marine life. There are lots of helpful guides so you can responsibly take care of your aquarium without worry.

Although it might not be easy to get to an aquarium right now, you will find that there are lots of great ways you bring the aquarium home to you. These ten ideas are just the beginning and will ensure you feel confident about sharing the world of the ocean with your children without having to worry about traveling long distances or exposure during these trying times.

Ten Items You Need to Bring Simplicity to Your Life

In this crazy world, many of us are just looking for a way to help simplify life. In fact, the entire week of August is National Simply Your Life Week, which is certain to bring even more motivation to get things on track. There are tons of articles about it and plenty of shows offering organizational advice and more. However, many of these articles are designed to get you to purchase, rather than help you choose which items you might actually make your life easier. These ten tips will help you carefully consider the items that might help you out, so you can begin the research process into buying the right item for you.

1. Robo Vacuum
If you spend a lot of time working, have kids that are always dropping things, or you simply don’t like to vacuum, then a robo vacuum might be one of the best investments for you. Robo vacuums can be programmed to help take care of your small spaces while you sleep or you’re at work. You can even run it multiple times a day if you need to. There are numerous vacuums on the market now too, which can really be helpful when you’re shopping around. Prices on these robots have leveled out as well, so you might not spend more than you would for a regular vacuum cleaner. Of course, you will want to do your research before purchasing. You should also consider that the robot is not going to clean up all of the mess in your home. Rather, you will still have to vacuum from time to time.

2. Adjustable Duster
Dusting is pretty imperative if you want to keep your sinuses in order. However, dusting can be a pain in the neck. There are many places that you probably can’t reach when you’re working on dusting your home. That is why an adjustable duster is a great match for your home. You can use this to quickly move through the home dusting everything that might have acquired dust, cobwebs, or anything else that may need to be cleaned. There are numerous adjustable dusters on the market, so you should be able to find what you need at an affordable price. However, you should also consider a few DIY hacks that might save you some money in the long run.

3. Multi-Use Air Fryer
Air Fryers seemed to take the world by storm just a few short years ago. However, since they were introduced, there have been many evolutions that make these machines bigger and more efficient than ever. If you purchase a multi-use air fryer, you might find yourself using the other items in your homeless and less. Most of the multipurpose devices will have the air fryer ready for you to use. Some will have a dual basket which will allow you to easily cook more items at once. However, some of the new devices will also have an area to grill, roast, and so much more. You should do your research before choosing which device will suit your family as there are so many to suit your needs and your budget. Not only will this device simply your life, it might also help to improve your health, which is also a bonus.

4. Crock Pot
If you want to add even more convenience to your kitchen, then adding a crockpot to the mix will certainly do the trick. Crockpots seem to be the perfect companion for autumn and winter; however, you can get so much out of them all year long. This device allows you to slow cook a number of meal options so you can forget about cooking and instead enjoy your day. Crockpots are perfect for hearty stews and soups, while also slow-cooking meats. You can even make tacos, cobblers, and anything else you can imagine in them. The great thing about this device is it won’t heat up your home, which will help improve your power bill immensely.

5. Silicone Bags
When it comes to storing your food or packing bags for lunches, you will fall in love with silicone bags. These bags are totally reusable, so you won’t have to worry about shopping for the items anymore. On top of that, you will be helping to do your part to improve the environment. These bags are designed with durability in mind, so you can even use them to keep items in the freezer so you won’t have to take up as much space as you would with containers. If you have other items to store, such as craft supplies, then you won’t be at a loss with these bags either. Truly, you’ll find that they go the extra mile to help make things functional and green.

6. Diaper Backpack
Whether you have a baby or not, a diaper backpack is going to be a great option to suit all of your needs. This backpack is designed to hold all of your baby essentials which will help you enjoy life on the go. The innovative design of the backpack allows you to easily get around without having to struggle with a bag that only rests on one shoulder. This bag is especially nice when you have toddlers as it allows you to go hands-free so you can keep up with everyone. Apart from working wonders for people with kids, these bags are great for almost anyone. There are typically compartments designed to help you hold drinks and food that needs to maintain its temperature. The large slots and ample pockets are good for an organization while also offering a secure place for your gadgets to rest.

7. Water Bottle
If you already haven’t jumped on the reusable water bottle bandwagon then now is the time to do it. Reusable water bottles aren’t just about the health of the world. Sure, they are helping to cut back on water bottles by leaps and bounds. However, these bottles bring so much convenience to life. You can carry them around anything to make sure that you have everything you need to stay hydrated. Apart from that, you can refill them anywhere. Some of them even have filtration devices so you never have to worry about the state of your water.

8. Key Hanger
When it comes to bringing simplicity to life, one of the best products to purchase is a key hanger. This simple item will help you spend a lot less time wondering where you put your keys every time you want to leave the house. You can even make a key hanger yourself if you’re feeling crafty. There are lots of key hangers on the market as well. You can find one that simply hangs keys, or you can look for something that can help improve your household even more. For instance, they have key holders that offer whiteboards connected to them. This will help you keep notes, write down dates, or remind your family of important things that need to be accomplished. Another option is to find a key hanger with a mail holder. This can help prevent you from forgetting the items you need to send out or to keep that annoying pile of mail from building up.

9. Planning App
Although an app isn’t a physical purchase, a planning app is one of the best things you can invest in. Whether you’re managing an entire family or just trying to get things together at work, there are numerous planning apps that can help you along the way. There are many planning apps to choose from right now, so you may have a lot of research ahead of you before you can actually purchase the right match for your family. However, there is a little something for everyone available. You might also be able to sync your calendar with others to improve overall functionality within the home.

10. Car Organizer
If you spend a lot of time commuting, or you have small children, then there is a really good chance that your vehicle is going to be all over the place. This is why one of your greatest purchases is a car organizer. These also come in all shapes and sizes so you can customize them to suit your vehicle and storage needs. These organizers are incredible in the sense that they can help save you time and energy while ensuring your car isn’t going to smell as bad since no hidden food or drink is going to accumulate under the clutter.

Simplifying your life doesn’t have to be expensive. With these ten tips, you’ll easily be able to products or DIY crafts than can help change the way you get through your day. This should help you find plenty of reasons to enjoy life even more as simplicity will be easier than ever to achieve.

Ten Activities for Book Worms on Book Lovers Day

Book Lovers Day is August 9, and it will be here before we know it. There are so many ways you can celebrate this holiday without limiting your day to only reading. Luckily, Book Lovers Day is also very easy to enjoy on a budget, so you don’t have to stress over spending too much money as you embrace the day and expand your idea of celebrating. These ten tips should help you schedule plenty of fun while allowing you to fully enjoy the holiday. This Book Lover’s Day will truly help you to find some time to reconnect with your passion while adding more to your favorite hobby.

1. Thrift Store Shopping
If you’ve never been shopping at a thrift store, then you might be surprised to know that there are tons of books to discover. Many thrift stores have a pretty good collection of used books that are in extraordinary shape. You may even find that there are sales days that allow you to leave with bags of books for a very low price. Of course, the typical price of books is just a few cents to begin with. When shopping with a thrift store, you might pay close attention to where the money goes, as you should be able to find the charity associated with the store. This might help you plan out where you shop more frequently or prompt you to make a donation when you can or desire to.

2. Host a Book Club
Celebrate your love of books by creating a club designed to make reading even more fun. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you can call the club to a meeting just for the holiday. However, you might also consider doing a quarterly club, which will give people plenty of time to read the book and come up with discussion points. If your friends are all scattered around the world or you don’t want to risk coronavirus exposure then you might consider doing a virtual club. No matter how you enjoy your book club, it will help make the holiday go further than ever.

3. Categorize Your Library
If you have a pretty good collection of books at home, then categorizing your library might be one of the best things to do. You can do this in so many ways that you might have a lot of fun just finding the way that works best for your needs. Some of the most common ways to categorize your library is to sort based on title or author. Many people will also sort their collection by genre, which can make life easier when you’re in the mood for something specific. Even more people are starting to embrace the idea of categorizing your library based on that of an actual library. You can find tips to do this online. You can even find items to give your library a more realistic feeling.

4. Book Inspired Recipes
When it comes to planning meals and snacks for the day, you might take a note from some of your favorite books. There are so many recipes out there, that you might feel the need to dedicate an entire month to cooking, so you can experience all of the fun. If you’re not sure where to look for book recipes, then you will find there are lots of collections online to choose from. Some of these have been taken directly from books while some of the others are simply inspired by stories and characters. There are also plenty book inspired cocktails to help you get through this as well, which will definitely allow you to have a little fun as you read.

5. Fan Fiction
If you’ve always wanted to pay homage to your favorite stories, then fan fiction might be the way to go. You can easily find that fan fiction is easier to make than you originally thought it would be. All you have to do is sit down and think about which story you would like to expand on. If you’d like a story to go in a different direction, then do so. You can change destinies, create new characters, or simply play on a theme that you particularly admire. When you’re finished, you can keep your fan fiction to yourself or share it with a fandom that you know and trust.

6. Book Crafts
When it comes to giving your eyes a break from your books, one of the best ways to engage the mind and your creativity is to enjoy some book crafts. There are so many book crafts to choose from that you’re certain to find something so suit your needs. One popular craft is make-your-own bookmarks that help you keep up with all of your favorite stories. You can also create artwork with your favorite quotes on it. A lot of people will even make artwork based on their favorite books. You will find that there are plenty of great ideas online too as this will allow you get a feel of some fun ideas that might become something you want to enjoy on a daily basis.

7. Read to Kids
Another way to celebrate book loves day is to share your love of books to the next generation. If you have friends or family with kids, then offer a story hour so parents can run some errands or just take a break from summer vacation. If this isn’t an option for you, then you might want to offer to read at your local library or a bookstore. Generally, places are often looking for people to read to children, so you shouldn’t have to look too far for the opportunity. You can also do a live stream or post a video of yourself reading so that children can enjoy it from around the world.

8. Book Nook
When it comes to reading, there is nothing quite like having your own cozy book nook. A book nook can come in all shapes and sizes, so even if you have a small space to work with then a book nook is still very possible. Your book nook will depend entirely on the space you have to work with and what you’re looking for in the space. For some people, it is a simple chair with pillows next to a window that is often accompanied by a pile of books. For others, it is a large seat in their very own library. Others even utilize their attic to create a complete book nook that is perfect for a rainy day. There are plenty of ideas and more online that will allow you to truly make the most of the space you have to work with.

9. Review Books
If you love to read and feel like you have a lot to say about your recent reads, then reviewing books might be a great option for you. In fact, if you love to read books from independent authors, then you will be doing the writers you love a favor simply by reading their book. The more you review those with very few reviews, the more likely you are to have those books reach more people and even make more sales. Plus, reviewing a book can be a lot of fun, especially if you check out what other people had to say about it first. You may find that you get even more out of the book this way.

10. Read
It may seem like the obvious thing to do on this holiday, but it is something you can have fun and enjoy. When you choose what to read for this day, you might want to spend some time selecting an item that will make you the happier. You may also want to spend the day reading something new and exciting. No matter what you choose to do, your Book Lovers Day will definitely be rewarding.

Book Lovers Day is the perfect time to enjoy one of your favorite hobbies. The exciting day doesn’t have to be entirely about reading though. These ten tips will give you plenty of ideas to help you find some joy while embracing the holiday without spending a fortune on it.

Ten Ways to Cheaply Celebrate Embrace Your Geekiness Day

It’s almost time for the joy of Embrace Your Geekiness Day. A lot of people are really gearing up for this year because it might actually be possible to celebrate the special holiday as a community instead of alone at home. If you’re excited to let your geek flag fly this holiday, then you might want to consider a few things before you spend too much money on the holiday. These ten ideas will allow you to easily have a blast without leaving your finances in a bind.

1. Share Your Passions with the World
One of the best things about Embrace Your Geekiness Day is you get to do just that. On this day, share with the world all of the geeky things that you enjoy. May it be comic books or tax codes, your geeky lifestyle is bound to strike someone’s fancy. You might start with making some time to chat with friends virtually or in person. Your friend group can share their passions and listen to yours which can be a lot of fun for everyone. However, if you want to broaden your horizons, or just make new friends then you might also consider taking to chatrooms or message boards to have some fun.

2. Embrace Something New
Embracing all of your geekiness is fantastic. However, so is embracing something new. This holiday, you might also want to consider broadening your horizons as you celebrate everything about being a geek. For instance, if you are interested in computer science, then you might begin learning a new computer language. If you love learning, then check out a book on a branch of science that you know nothing about. Even if you want to keep things light, you can mix things up by trying a new comic book out or playing a video game that was recommended to you. This will certainly help increase your fun while allowing you to get more out of the holiday then you may have otherwise thought you would.

3. Create Fanart
If you are a part of a fandom or you just love something that is geeky, then you might want to take this holiday to learn how to create fan art. This can be a lot of fun, especially if you’re just starting out. There are many different ways to enjoy fanart too. You can create stories based on your favorite characters, draw pictures, create graphic art, and so much more. While channeling the thing you love, you will be able to fully embrace your geekiness and find joy in the holiday. You might even feel confident enough to share your fan art with others.

4. Movie Marathon
One of the best ways for most people to celebrate is to embrace all of their favorite movies. You can find a movie on just about anything that you geek out on, which can help you to find the perfect reason to celebrate. Luckily, we live in a world where you can stream almost anything, which will add some convenience to your day. However, you might consider looking around for special showings of your favorite movies at theaters. Some theaters will even offer room rentals, which can help you enjoy your movies without having to put yourself at risk.

5. Join a Game
When it comes to geeky activities, some of the most popular options are games. From board games and role-playing games to video games and larping, a game is the perfect way to create some fun during this holiday. You should be able to find games of all sorts in your local areas; however, it might require a bit of investigation. The best places to try, if you’re not certain where to look, are local comic book and game shops. You should be able to get information there, but you can also try bookstores as they often advertise for such things. If you’re not sure about the shops in your local area then you might look around for social media groups based in your community. You may be able to make new friends while having fun. Another option is to join games online. You can find for almost anything that you would play in person.

6. Check Out a Museum
Whether you love to geek out over art, cars, or history, today is the perfect day to do it. One of the perfect places to do it is in a museum. If you have the day off or can make time in your schedule, then you might want to spend your day checking out a museum that is designed around the thing you love. Some museums might even have deals that allow you to embrace your geekiness at a reduced price. Of course, you might judge attendance based on the popularity of the museum as we are still in a pandemic. However, if you are vaccinated or feel comfortable then you might make up for the time you didn’t get to explore such things last year when everyone was in quarantine.

7. Host a Trivia Night
If you have friends that are into the same things as you, then a trivia night might be the best way to enjoy the holiday. You can find trivia on just about every subject, so if you’re not sure where to begin try looking up your favorite geeky things. Many pop culture items will also have trivia that can be purchased in a store, if you want to go that route. There are even some TV shows you can stream that will allow everyone to play trivia together with a professional host asking the questions. Apart from trivia questions, all you really need is a few snacks and drinks to make the night incredible. You can even ask friends to pitch in and bring snacks to help offset the cost.

8. Listen to a Podcast
When it comes to geeky things, you’re bound to find a podcast for anything of interest. Podcasts are really popular now, so chances are you’ll find yourself subscribed to at least one if you’re not already. There are podcasts set up for almost every geek thing you can think of, so in order to fully embrace your geekiness you might consider looking around for a new podcast to help you enjoy the things you love. This will allow you to have a lot more fun while helping you to find content that you can enjoy even when the holiday is over. There are many websites dedicated to helping you dig through all of the podcasts to find the top options.

9. Dress Up
Another fun way to embrace your inner geekiness is to dress up like one of your favorite characters. Cosplay is a great way to truly embody the spirit of your geekiness while sharing in the fun with others. Even if you’re just dressing up to take pictures, you can have a lot of fun with this activity, especially when it comes to making the costume. In some places, you may even be able to enjoy a convention where you can dress up as you please while seeing other people’s costumes too. This will help you to boost your fun and community spirit during the holiday.

10. Shop Sales
Any holiday that celebrates the geek is going to be a holiday that consists of many different sales. During this holiday, you might have to do a bit of hunting around, but you should be able to find a few sales on geeky items. These might come in the form of coupons too, so make sure you subscribe to all of your favorite websites. Of course, before you jump into any sales, you should keep track of average prices so you will know what is actually going to be a good deal. One of the best things you can do is download an app that keeps track of these things for you. You can even follow items that you’re interested in, which will also help you save some money.

Embrace Your Geekiness Day is designed to help you boost your confidence while ensuring you find joy in the person that you are. These ten tips will allow you to easily have fun while you keep your budget down. Hopefully, these tips will also help you discover a variety of new ways to celebrate being a geek.

Ten Ways to Maximize Your New Child Credit Tax Deposit

In just a few short days, you might find that your bank account is a little larger if you have children. The new child tax credit is set to be distributed on July 15, which is designed to help families care for their children during these stressful times. Although it will be nice to have the extra money in the bank, you will find that it can be lucrative to spend this money in ways that will benefit the home, opposed to just frivolous spending. These ten ideas can help your household thrive and then some with the extra money you will receive each month.

1. Put it in Savings
Your savings account can do a lot of good for you and your family. If you have a savings account that offers a good interest rate, then this might be the best place to keep your money. This will allow the excess money you receive to grow on a monthly basis, which can actually improve on your financial situation more than just the extras you are receiving. If you aren’t in need of the money as a family, then you might set up a savings account for each of your children. This will allow the money that you are receiving for them to go directly to them in the future.

2. 529 Plan
College time will be here before you know it, which is why a 529 Plan is probably a good idea for your family. This plan will allow you to make arrangements for your child’s college without having to worry about your child being forced to pay excess taxes on their money. A 529 plan actually will allow your child to withdraw the money when they need it without having to worry about paying taxes on it, like many other plans require. There are many different ways you can get a 529 Plan, so make sure you do your research before you put your child tax credit money into it.

3. Invest It
If you’re not already investing your money, then now is the perfect time to start. Investing your money can be challenging and might require you to hire a professional to help out. However, once you get in the groove, you can watch your money grow in new and exciting ways. This is a great way to help your household’s finances while allowing you to hold onto to extra money that can be used for your children’s schooling or other expenses in the future. Of course, you should be careful with every investment you make as some opportunities won’t lead to growth.

4. Utilize it For Your Child’s Care
Children are expensive, which is one of the primary reasons this tax credit is being offered. During the pandemic, many families suffered and struggled to get the items they needed for their children. So, now is the perfect time to get your children the things they need. Your child tax credit can be used for diapers, formula, food, clothing, learning supplies, and even toys. Give your children the things that they need to have a great childhood and the items they need to find success as they grow into adults. You can even use the money to help offset the price of daycare, private schools, and so on.

5. Sign Up For Activities
If you’ve been holding back on activities due to finances, then now is the perfect time to get your child up and ready to go. There are many great activities that can help with your child’s self-confidence, fitness, educational skills, and more. The money you receive monthly can get your child signed up for at least one activity, depending on your schedule. From there, you can purchase the item necessary for the activity as well as any travel expenses that might incur. If your child isn’t interested in an activity then you might find that it is easier to swap activities with the extra money, as well. There are also online activities and classes that you can look into if you’re not comfortable with your child out in public without a vaccination. Getting your child into activities is also great for the economy, so you will definitely be utilizing your credit for the betterment of your local and national economics.

6. Improve Diet
A lot of families have to skip out on ordering the good stuff when it comes to groceries. This can really harm your child’s growth while teaching them poor eating habits. With the new tax credit money coming in, you should have a fair amount of grocery money sitting around in your bank account. This can help you choose a wide variety of healthy options while allowing you to not fret over the amount of money you’re spending on your grocery bill. You might also consider looking into a meal service that will send you everything you need for a healthy meal designed to make your entire family happy while allowing you to budget time. The excess money will also allow you to pay for grocery deliveries, which can also be incredibly helpful if you’re short on time or simply don’t want to take your children in a store during a pandemic.

7. Pay Off Debt
When polled, many parents said that they would be using their child tax credit to pay off debt. This is also a wise move, especially with so many taking on extra debt during the pandemic. From high credit card totals to student loans, this extra money can help your finances go a lot further. By paying off the debt, you’ll also be able to put back more money for your children in the near future, since you won’t have to stress about the debt you have. This can help ease stress while allowing your family to live more comfortably when the tax credit ends.

8. Emergency Fund
One thing that a lot of people lack is an emergency fund. This money is used for emergency repairs on a vehicle or home. It is also used for medical expenses that might suddenly incur due to accident or illness. The money can also be set aside for emergency travel in case of the medical emergency of a family member or a natural disaster that requires you to move. The extra money you receive with your tax credit is a great option that will help you get the fund built up without forcing you to go without.

9. Do Something Fun
It has been a rough year. Last year, was even rougher. So, when you start getting your child tax credit in, you might actually consider using the money to do something fun. With the money you’ll receive each month, you should be able to easily afford trips to museums, zoos, science centers and more. You might also consider purchasing memberships to these entertainment facilities, so you don’t have to worry about paying for entry for a full year. Usually, the price of membership is almost the same as the cost of one time entry. Of course, you can also plan on a big vacation with the money you’re getting. It might take a little saving, but you’ll certainly find it easier to do with the extra money.

10. Upgrade Technology
Currently, we’re living in a world of uncertainty. We don’t know if we’re going to be sending kids to school or helping them with their studies online. We also don’t know if we will be working at home for another year or heading into an office. So, you might utilize your child tax credit to update your home’s gadgets. Consider purchasing computers, webcams, and anything else that you think is going to make it easier for your children to be successful in school. This will help add some relief to your life as you won’t have to worry about problems with technology causing you to spend money spontaneously. You might also consider investing in anti-virus software and learning programs to help children grow.

The child tax credit is designed to bring some relief to your life. These ten tips should help you utilize your money so you can easily use the credit to help improve your quality of life as we recover from all of the losses the pandemic brought to the table. With any luck, you will find yourself ready to take on the world again.

Ten Ways to Help Your Plants Survive the Summer Heat Wave

July is here and so is the heat that goes along with it. For some places, you may even find that you’re stuck enduring record-breaking heat. Although the heat can really leave you feeling terrible, it can do a pretty good number on your plants too. There are a few things that you can do in order to help keep your plants from dying during all of the heat. These ten tips are budget-friendly and easy to do, so you can embrace the heatwave and hope all of your plants come out of it.

1. Water Deeply
Water is going to be one of the key ways to get your plants to thrive during all of the heat. However, most of us have learned how to water plants from the surface of the soil, which might not be the best idea during such extreme heat. Sure, some water might make it to your plant, but a lot of it will evaporate before it hits the root system, which will deprive your plant of the water it needs. For outdoor plants, you might consider pressing the hose into the ground to help the water flow deeper. Indoor plants are a little easier to maintain. Simply fill a casserole pan with water, then place the plants on top of it. This will allow the water to reach the root system first. A lot of new planters are designed with a bottom piece that allows you to place water there too, which will ensure your plant will get the water it needs with ease.

2. Provide Shade
Although plants need plenty of sunshine, they will be okay if you offer them some shade during the heatwave. You can do this in many different ways, so make sure to do what is best for you. There are small tents that you can purchase for this, but you can also DIY a tent to place over your plants from items that are commonly found around the home. If you have an awning, then you might make sure that it is down and in place while the sun is beating down. Plants that are in containers that can be moved should be brought to a shadier area of the home or inside of the house, if possible. Indoor plants can be damaged by the sun too, so make sure to draw the curtains to help prevent damage to them and to help improve your power bills.

3. Skip Pruning
The heatwave is bound to leave your plants scorched and looking rough, which can be hard to just let go. You might feel the need to prune your plant, but this is one of the worst things you can do during this time. Since the plant is already stressed out from all of the heat, pruning can actually cause even more stress, which could kill the plant. The best thing you can do is wait for the plant to begin to bounce back before you cut off the damage. Leaving the damage can also shield the plant from sunlight, which can help prevent further scorching and damage.

4. Know When to Water
Knowing when to water is one of the most important things you can do for your plant during a heatwave. A lot of people will water first thing in the morning, which might be great for replenishing the plant prior to the heatwave, but it can also lead to scorching. If you choose to go this route, make sure you try to get the water at the base of the plant so that the water can absorb into the soil. You should avoid watering grass during this hour though as it could lead to the scorching of your lawn. Other than that, you should water when the sun begins to set. This will help replenish plants after dealing with the heatwave and will allow them to take in water throughout the night.

5. Don’t Replant
If you’re still shopping for plants at a nursery or you have a plant that needs to be repotted, now is not the time to take this on. Instead, you should wait until the heatwave is completely over. If the plant can manage, just keep it watered so that it is prepared for transplant when the weather is less stressful. Replanting is always stressful, so adding the stress of the heat will most likely kill a plant. You’ll also find that it is easy to shield the plant from the sun when you can move the pot from one place to a shadier area during peak hours.

6. Skip Fertilizer
When your plants seem to be stressed out, it might feel right to add some fertilizer to help improve their nutrients so they can recover with ease. However, this is not the case, which is why so many people are confused when their plants end up dying after new fertilizer is applied. Oddly enough, adding more nutrients to the soil can actually cause your plant to become even more stressed. So, if you can wait to fertilize, you should do so after the heatwave ends and the plant is able to recover a bit. This will help to strengthen the plant as it prepares for the next big heatwave or cold snap.

7. Mulch
Although fertilizer isn’t a good idea for your plants, you will find that adding mulch to the plants will help them to overcome a heatwave. Mulch isn’t actually going to add anything to your soil, which is why it is okay to apply during a heatwave. What it will do, however, is keep the soil much cooler than it would be without the mulch. This can help improve the quality of life for your plant while also allowing water to stay in the ground instead of immediately evaporating. Mulch isn’t expensive either, but if you can, you should stock up on it during the cooler months, so you don’t have to worry about shortages or higher prices during the months that it is needed the most.

8. Understand How to Determine Damage
Learning how to determine your plant’s damage from death can also be a big factor in helping to keep your plants safer. If your plants tend to have minor damage like wilting leaves, then you might consider just following care instructions as recovery is entirely possible. However, if your plant does look dead, there may still be hope. For instance, if there is still green on the stem then you may find that your plant is still alive and may just need some attention to heal. However, if you’re not sure, then you might just continue to water the plant and wait to see if life returns. Sometimes, plants may look dead when they actually aren’t. If the plants’ roots seem loose or no growth happens after the heatwave ends, then it is probably safe to remove the plant from the soil.

9. Know How to Care for Your Plant
One of the best things you can do to help combat damage to your plants is to know how to care for them. This is important because it can actually help prevent unnecessary damage from happening during a heatwave. For instance, if a plant can be kept inside or does better inside then this is great knowledge to know. You should also know how many hours of direct sunlight a plant should get, as this will allow you to know when to shade the plant during a heatwave. Another important thing to keep in mind is the amount of water a plant needs. Some plants, especially those that are desert resistant need less water than we think and often we end up overwatering during a heatwave, which causes more stress to the plant.

10. Know What Survives in Your Climate
Understanding what you should plant in your climate is one of the key elements to protecting your plants. Just because a plant is sold in a local store does not mean that it is smart to purchase it and plant it outside. If a plant isn’t set for your climate, you might consider keeping it indoors if you really want the plant. Other than that, you should choose plants that belong in your climate as these are going to be the plants that will withstand your weather even when things get a bit intense. There are lots of websites dedicated to helping you find the plants that belong in your area, so researching shouldn’t be tough.

Heatwaves can be very hard on the world, but there are some measures that can help keep your garden thriving. These ten tips should help you to keep a larger portion of your plants going even when the temperatures seem impossible to beat.

Ten Ways to Enjoy an Olympics Party on a Tight Budget

If you were bummed out by the postponement of the Summer Olympics last year, then you might be pleased to know that they’re in full swing for this year. The Olympics are a great time to inspire socialization and fun, but you shouldn’t feel the need to throw a lot of money into an Olympics party. There are so many ways you can enjoy yourself as you celebrate the Olympics, so you can easily entertain guests, celebrate your favorite teams, and make memories that will last.

1. Keep the Party Small
Although vaccinations are more common and things seem to be going back to normal, you should still keep your Olympics party small. It is still hazardous to get a lot of people together, so you should keep your gathering as small as you can. This will actually help you to save a lot of money too. By cutting down on the guest list you can cut back on the food and drinks needed for the event. Plus, you won’t have to worry about accommodating numerous people at once, which makes parities a bit harder to plan anyway.

2. Themed Foods
There are so many amazing foods that you can make for your guests. However, if you really want a round of applause then you might consider making some themed foods for everyone to enjoy. This might sound like a hard task, but after a quick internet search, you should have plenty of inspiration to get you going. One simple idea is to present rings of foods that show off the colors of the Olympics. For this, you might consider olives, strawberries, kiwis, and so on. Another fun idea is to make Olympic torches out of ice cream cones. You can also choose to make dishes that represent the various cultures participating in the game that you are watching. There are lots of tutorials online if you’re not sure how to do this.

3. Go Non-Alcoholic
Alcoholic drinks are going to cost you a lot of money, especially if you’re hosting more than a few people. So, if you can, skip out on this portion of the party. You can still have some fun drinks that even feature an Olympian theme, but you won’t have to budget as much money to your food and drink budget if you leave out this key element of the party. Plus, drinking in a social setting might be something many people haven’t taken part in for quite some time. Since this can cause a problem for so many, it might be wise to skip the drinks anyway to ensure that everyone is able to have a good time.

4. Know the Schedule
One of the best things you can do before planning your party is to know the Olympic schedule. Typically, you will be able to catch a variety of events during the same time frame, but since the games are in Japan you may find the schedule may be at a time that is really late or early. There should be recaps of the events, but you will need to know when these are on during local hours. Once you have the schedule, you should be able to choose events that you can plan your party around. This will ensure that you won’t have everyone gathered up for an event or two and find out that nothing is actually being broadcasted at that time frame.

5. Make Predictions
Another simple way to bring some fun to the party is to add some predictions to the entertainment schedule. Before an event begins, you can have everyone write down their predictions for the game. You can make it as simple as which country will get the gold, or as complex as actual swim times and so on. You don’t have to stick with the event happening at the time of the party either. You can have people predict which country will get the most medals and so. You can do this for fun or add simple prizes to the mix to give people a little more incentive to participate.

6. Crafts
One of the easiest ways to keep everyone entertained is to bring out some crafts. There are so many fun things you can do that offer an Olympics theme that it might be hard to choose. You might start the process by choosing things with supplies that you already have at home. One of the easiest things to make is Olympic medals. You can do this with ribbon and paper, or you can attach chocolates to the ribbon to add to the fun. Apart from that, you can recreate the Olympic rings, make a torch, create an Olympic crown, and so on. If you want to think outside of the box a little, then you might also consider having a competition where everyone designs their own mascot. This can add a creative element to the games that you might not normally get to experience.

7. Concession Stand Snacks
Another part of the Olympics that people love is concession stand foods. Since most people won’t get to attend the Olympics, you might bring the sporting event cuisine to your home. Stock up on popcorn, hot dogs, and other cheap foods that tend to frequent sporting event concession stands. You might also check out what is typically served in Japanese concession stands. You might be surprised how cheap some of these dishes are to make and how much fun they can be at parties.

8. Food Competition
If you’re worried about your food budget, then you might also consider bringing a touch of competition to this aspect of the party too. You can ask people to bring in some of their favorite dishes or pick a theme. Then, everyone can vote for their favorite dishes. This will help provide everyone with plenty of food while adding a touch of the Olympics to the party. You can even create medals for the best food in different categories, which will entice people to participate all the more.

9. Trivia
Adding trivia to your themed party can also be a good way to bring some fun to the occasion. You can host rapid trivia during advertisement breaks or you can keep the fun going for as long as possible. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to Olympic trivia, then there are numerous resources that you can pull from the internet. You can even find obscure questions that will stump some of the biggest fans in the room. To add to the fun, you might create medals to deliver to the winners or you can choose a variety of other small prizes to encourage people to win. If your party is small, you can even encourage people online to join in on the fun by posting questions to social media.

10. Host Your Own Games
One of the best things you can do during your party is hosting your own games to keep everyone busy. If the weather is nice, set up obstacle courses, relay races, or simply organize a game of your favorite sport. You can even keep the games similar to those that will be playing during your party. If the weather isn’t nice, then there are still plenty of fun games that can be enjoyed inside. If you’re shy about ideas, then there are lots of ideas online that will ensure you can plan out plenty of activities that will feed the competitive spirit of the occasion.

Hosting an Olympic Games party should be fun. Worrying about the budget doesn’t have to get in the way of your plans. These ten tips should help you and your guests have a blast while you embrace the games and cheer on your favorite teams and athletes.