Archive for the 'Tips and Advice' Category

Three Great Summer Vacation Ideas 08Jul14

The mere words “summer vacation” sets off sounds of cash registers clanging in the heads of most parents who have an entire brood of children to entertain and take on vacation. A headache may then follow, as thoughts of the massive workload starts to bring on anxiety. However, the best summer vacations don’t have to break your pocketbook or your nerves. Here are three easy and fun summer vacation ideas:


Classic road trip. A road trip can be one of the most affordable vacations to take because you basically get in your family vehicle and just head off along the roadways. Some planning may be in order, with a map of your route and lodging for the times you stop driving. The most interesting places to visit during road trips probably won’t be on the tourist websites; you and your family will discover them as you drive.


Humanitarian trips. Taking your family to places where others need help can not only be a humbling experience as you can develop an appreciation for what you have, but it can also be educational. Spending a vacation helping to build a home for a family who doesn’t have one or preparing meals for people who don’t get enough to eat can foster other ideas for ways your family can help others on a regular basis.



Themed trips. You may decide to take your family on a Wild West themed vacation, where all the activities and foods are based on things people did in that time period. Or an Outer Space theme may come with a visit to a space center and planetarium. A sports themed vacation could include trips to visit sports memorabilia museums and live action games for whatever sport is in season.


Summer vacations taken as a family will create memories and values for the entire family that will last a lifetime. If you display those memories in your home, consider this adjustable collage display to show friends and family.


Sources:

http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/summer

http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org/?siteID=Google_family_volunteering&gclid=CjgKEAjwq_qcBRDZ-PeZ7NGQiVwSJAATT7q2HcFEmNNVkPVU8z4jM2vliG4hzUPT3Q-L_GLyzuCA8PD_BwE<br>

3 Must Have Gardening Tools 24Jun14

You know spring has arrived when all you can do is think about getting out into your garden. Your hands itch to till the soil and manipulate the plants as
you create the landscape you dream of. Building your ideal garden is easier said than done, but with these three must have gardening tools, you’re sure to
be off to the best start possible:


Gloves.
The most pleasant and productive gardening stints begin with the proper hand covering. You must protect your hands from the items in your yard that can
cause damage to your skin, and you also want to protect them from the sun. WomansWork.com has a pair of gardening gloves that not only allow you to move your hands as much as you need to, but they also help keep your hands dry from the sweat of your labor.



Shovel.
Every experienced gardener knows you must have a strong and sharp shovel for the heavier digging that comes along with gardening projects. If you want to
move plants around or dig out ones that need to be thrown out, a shovel is your tool of choice. Make sure the blade is sharp every spring so it’s ready for
whatever jobs you throw it into. Also look for handles made of ash, which is a durable wood that can withstand many elements and pressures.

Hoe.
No matter how diligent you are, there are bound to be weeds lurking around your garden waiting to spring out and make their presence known. A hoe is the tool you’ll need to remove these weeds. You also want to use it for breaking down the soil in your garden and clear out areas for planting seeds.

With these three tools, you’ll be ready for whatever your garden brings you each spring season. The masterpiece garden you’ve always dreamed about can
become a reality in your landscape. If you find that you need more than these three tools, check out our Lawn and Garden section.


Sources:



http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/gardening/outdoor/garden-tools-00100000101174/page2.html

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/tools/top-tools-for-garden-maintenance/

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/garden-tools-and-equipment?page=0,1

What Are Some Bright New Outdoor Ideas for Summer? 10Jun14

You’ve certainly waited long enough for spring weather to arrive. Now it’s time to spruce up your back yard and patio and begin inviting friends over for a welcome summer party.


Spruce Up the Garden


You’ll want the yard and garden to look especially nice for your guests, so spend some time there, weeding and making sure that your landscaping looks its best. You can plant using a patio garden kit that will grow your fruits and vegetables right next to your patio. Then, when you need them for salads and cooking, they will be nearby.


Lighting


LED spot lights work very well during the summer nights, to show off your landscaping and the exterior of your home. They are quite handy for entranceways, planted areas or for use as highlights for unique architectural features of your home.


Fresh Drinks for Summer


A frozen fruit drink maker is just the thing for preparing refreshing summer beverages. Use fresh fruits to make healthy desserts in just a few minutes, and you won’t have to add sugar or juice. The Swirlio™ frozen drink machine will allow you to create wonderful and tasty drinks without dairy fat or processed sugar. View a demonstration video below from Colt Sebastian Taylor.


Pour your drinks for family or friends using gingham glasses, or other types of glasses that create a colorful theme for your guests. You may serve smoothies, soda, or cocktails in summer glasses.


After Party Cleanup


Whoever is in charge of cleaning the grill will be pleased if you have foam grill cleaner on hand. This product has a cleansing, foaming action that loosens food and grease from grills, utensils, and racks. Just spray the surface and allow the foam to penetrate the toughest areas of food and grease buildup. Select a product with a pleasant scent, so that it’s easier to use.


Sources:


http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/patio_garden_kit/39201
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/25_led_spot_light/39559
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/swirlio_frozen_fruit_maker/40167
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/set_of_4_gingam_glasses_with_straws/40079
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/foam_grill_cleaner/40348

What Are Some Top Products to Help Keep Your Money and Valuables Safe 03Jun14

To one degree or another, everyone has the fear of having valuables like money, credit cards, expensive electronics or precious jewelry. While completely rational, such anxieties don’t have to be a source of stress of lack of sleep; by investing in simple yet effective products that will protect your valuables, you can breathe a little easier and prevent unwelcomed sets of hands from snatching your belongings.


Here are the top products that will help keep your money and valuables safe:


Store goods in the trunk with an organizer. If you’re a thief who is doing “smash and grab” for valuables in cars, the first thing you do is to peer through car windows to see if any valuables are visible. Secondly, you break the window and rummage about the car’s front compartment and perhaps underneath the seats. Where you don’t look is the trunk (especially if you’re rushing), so consider keeping your goods in the back; our car organizers will help you keep items neat instead of sloppily scattered about.


Safety deposit box. While staying at a hotel, take advantage of the safety deposit box that is usually in the closet. There you can lock up your money, jewelry, passport, or anything else that you deem valuable. This way, you aren’t forced to carry it with you – making it vulnerable to pickpockets – or leave it “out in the open” for nameless hotel staff to have easy reach to.


Fanny pack. If you’re out and about traveling in your local town or on vacation, purchase a fanny pack and keep your money and valuables in it at all times. This way your treasures are close to you and no one can grab it from you easily like they could a purse. If you aren’t a fan of this particular look, try to find a purse that rests flat against your body (making it harder to grab), and has sturdy handles that can’t be quickly snipped or ripped. Browse Taylor Gifts’ travel accessories to find many attractive and practical bags that fit this description.


Carry a dummy wallet. You can purchase an extra wallet, put a tiny bit of cash in it, and if you are approached by a burglar you can give him your dummy holder and run away, thus keeping your real wallet safe and sound. To find many attractive options, check out our selection of wallets found amongst our clothing and personal essentials products.


House valuables in inconspicuous containers. Whether they’re breaking into your house or car, thieves will hastily overlook discrete containers like water bottles or a lunch box, so go ahead and put your money and/or valuables inside a modest holder that will be overlooked.


Utilize a security box. Purchase a fireproof portable security with a lock box for cash, jewelry, and important documents. Keep the key with your car keys or hide it in a location no one will think to look. What’s nice about a portable box is that you can take it with you on vacation.


Wear a money belt. This handy accessory is a thin belt that is wrapped around your stomach and discretely housed below your shirt and outer layers. It’s impossible for slippery fingers to access your essentials without you noticing and, moreover, the discretion of a money belt will make it difficult to notice it in the first place.


Knowing that your valuables are secure can set you at ease so that you can go about your business. Take a look into these products that offer such security and utilize one or more. They also make wonderful gifts.


What Are Some Products to Enjoy with Your Pets 28May14

Your pets are a part of your family, and it’s great to have proper equipment to use if you want to take them along for car rides and family outings. Special products will allow you to spend more peaceful and relaxing time with your pet.


Pet Strollers


You can take your pet with you wherever you go with a pet stroller. A large compartment contains and protects your pet. It is set close to the ground, allowing your pet to enter easily. This stroller even has mesh, to allow for proper air circulation while it keeps annoying bugs away from your pet. The liner is removable and easily cleaned. This pet stroller has shock absorbers, giving Fido a smooth ride.


Faucet Waterers for Dogs


If your dog spends time with you in the yard, he may drink his water bowl dry in hot weather. A faucet waterer attaches easily to your garden hose or standard outdoor faucet, giving your dog fresh water whenever he needs it. The waterer works much like a water bottle that you use to hang on a dog crate. It’s easy for him to get a drink and the water flow stops when he is done.





Keep Pests Away from Your Dog


Sonic repellent collars repel fleas and ticks efficiently and safely. They provide an excellent way to keep your pets pest-free without using drugs, poisons or chemicals that could harm them. The collar is easily adjusted for various dog sizes.


Cats Need Fun Times, Too


Pamper your cats with a cat tree and lounger. This will keep them busy and off your furniture. Your cats will simply love leaping, playing with dangling toys, exploring and sleeping languidly. This cat tree engages your kitties in physical and mental activity, and has lounging platforms on which they can rest. Platforms have sturdy bamboo scratching posts, which your cats will also love to use.


Sources:


http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/pet_strollers/W40303
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/dog_faucet_waterer/40285
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/pest_repellar_collar/39895
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/cat_tree_and_lounger/40299

Introducing Colt Sebastian Taylor 22May14

You can read reviews all day long, but sometimes you need to get your hands dirty. Meet Colt Sebastian Taylor, your go to guide for various products at Taylor Gifts.



Check out some of Colt’s favorite products and some he has tested out himself by clicking here.

Make the Day Special with Memorial Day Activities 20May14

It’s easy for adults to become involved in Memorial Day activities, since we understand the importance of the holiday. It will help children to learn about the day if you use Memorial Day activities in which they can participate.


If your children are old enough, they will be more interested in the meaning of Memorial Day. They should be able to understand the sacrifice of our military members. With older children, you can discuss how countries act and react when there is conflict.


Children’s Memorial Day Activities


Even if your children don’t have a full grasp on Memorial Day, they can commemorate the day with you. Here are just a few things children can do with you:


Display the flag outside your home.
• Decorate the graves of family members who have passed with flags and flowers.
• Bring cookies or doughnuts to your local VA hospital.
• Participate in parades and other community events.
• Serve a red, white, and blue dessert after lunch.
• Wear red white, and blue.
• Make patriotic crafts and speak with your children as they are creating them.
• Read a patriotic story to your children.


Other Ways to Share Memorial Day


Before bedtime, have your child share a moment of silence with you, to remember people who have died. There is a National Moment of Remembrance in many areas.


If your children are old enough, go online with them and read names of military members who have passed away, says Enchanted Learning. Sadly, there are too many names to read them all, but at least your children will be able to understand that the people who died were protecting their country and your family.


If you take your children to a parade with you, teach them to stand respectfully as the US flag passes by, and to stand and applaud veterans as they march by.


Source:


http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/memorialday/

A Senior’s Guide to Traveling 13May14

You probably envision your golden retirement as a time for you to travel and explore the world. After all, the working years tend to be overburdened with your career and putting children or loved ones first, so exploring this vast planet was something that was probably put off more than you would have liked. Retirement makes it possible to be free to roam about here and there, but do be sure to learn about how you can travel safely and prepare yourself for the bumps along the way.


Here are some great tips for seniors that are headed out on some fun travel adventures:


Planning the trip


When you’re retired, you can probably travel at any time of the year, which is most fortunate. It is best when planning for your trip that you choose a period that is not the peak season. When you book trips and travel during this time, you will find that rates are cheaper than during the most popular times of the year. You will also be privy to more personalized service, as the staff will not be too overwhelmed by the crowds. Moreover, there won’t be throngs of pushy people to shove you about, allowing you to take your time and really savor the views. Be sure to check the weather forecast for your area and pack accordingly.


Make sure your luggage is light


Too much luggage can be too cumbersome for you, especially during connecting flights or if you will be hopping from one destination to the next. It is advisable to pack light and to carry only the things you will need. You can look at the weather of your destination and see what items of clothing you will need. To lessen your load, consider packing clothing that will easily transition from day to night, as well as items that are easy to wash and have quickly dry (like cotton) to be worn multiple times throughout your adventure. Our travel accessories allow you to buy lightweight and compact bags and storage that won’t be too burdensome.


Wear Proper Footwear


Nothing will dampen your spirits quite like the buildup of blisters or aching soles. Therefore, make sure your shoes have proper treading and are designed for all-day wear (leave the heels at home). Furthermore, take a look at our foot care products to find pain relief aids, compression socks and more.


Take a GPS and cell phone


If you’ll be driving out and about to various destinations, be sure to take a GPS with you or download a GPS app on your mobile phone, as this will save you many headaches on your trip. Keep your cell phone with you at all times in the case of an emergency. Of course, phones have a way of losing their charge during the most important times, so make sure all important facts and addresses are written down as well.


Get a health checkup before you leave


Make sure you see your regular physician before you leave so that they can give you a go ahead on the state of your health. If you have any conditions such as diabetes, you can inquire about any health facilities in your holiday destination so that in case of any medical emergencies you will have an idea of where to go.


Don’t forget your medication


If you are on any regular medications for conditions such as arthritis and blood pressure, make sure you carry more than enough drugs for your trip just in case you choose to stay a little longer. Another important thing to remember is that you should always store your drugs on your carry-on bag and not your luggage. Just in case your luggage is misplaced or delayed, you will have your medication with you at all times.


Practice safety


Avoid wearing jewelry and expensive items so that you do not attract pick pockets. In addition, keep your bags and wallets safe; preferably in your front pocket to avoid them being snatch or stolen.


Traveling during retirement is a fantastic way to spend your golden years. The more adventures you take on, the more accustomed you will become to the ins and outs of it. After the first few times you’ll feel like a seasoned pro and learn many things along the way.


What Are Some Good Ways to Keep Files Organized? 06May14

Everyone wants to develop a way to keep files organized more efficiently, but it’s such a boring task. It’s not difficult, though, once it’s implemented, and you can quickly retrieve any file you need in the future. Here are some tips that will help you to become better organized.


Store documents that are related, together. If you have specific projects going, store all graphics, notes, spreadsheets, reports and letters in one folder. This is instead of having one file for reports, one for letters, etc. If you remember the project, which you usually will, it will be easier to find any type of document or file.


Name your folders and files consistently. Mind Tools advises that you divide your main folder into sub-folders with one for each vendor, etc. You can use shortened names, too. Adding colors or other means to distinguish one project from another is helpful, too.


Don’t save unnecessary documents. You don’t need every scrap of paper and every receipt that you receive. Glance through your receipts and only save something if it’s relevant to save. Keeping too many documents makes clutter inevitable, and makes it harder to find the things you do need.


Separate completed months or years from ongoing projects. Perhaps you would find it easier to grab files you need if you keep ongoing work folders on your desk, and put completed files away. On a weekly or monthly basis, or whatever works for you, clean the unneeded files off your desk so that it’s easier to find what you do need.


Make digital copies with your scanner, of paper documents. Then you can archive or store the originals out of the way. Some documents with original signatures should be kept in the main file, so use your judgment on this one. You don’t want to get rid of any paper documents you could need in the near future, just enough to make extra room.


Source:


http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_85.htm


What Are Some Good Gardening Tips? 29Apr14

If you want your family to eat healthy without heading to the grocery store three or four times a week, consider keeping organically grown produce on their plates with foods that you have grown yourself. Homegrown, organic produce is more delicious and nutritious than the produce you can find at the store. In order to get the most from your garden, you may wish to implement positive and creative gardening tips.


Start your planting early and end it late in the season. Using tunnels and cold frames will allow you to stretch the growing season in your area. You can start your spring planting season earlier, and use row covers in the fall to protect late crops from deer and frost.


Growing high-value crops means planting the produce that would cost you the most to purchase at the produce stand. Mother Earth News states that value can also refer to flavor temptations, which can mean making room for your favorite herbs and tomatoes. Consider, too, other foods that you didn’t grow last year, and see if you can save money by growing them at home this year.


Choosing the crops that have grown well for you year after year just makes good sense. Repeat the successes you have had in the past. If they are not favorites with your family, trade for foods that someone else grows that your family does like. If you have better luck with carrots than with beets, for example, keep your beet planting small and plant as many carrots as your family will eat. If your neighbors are also growers, arrange to trade veggies so that everyone will have what they like.


Growing crops that you can freeze or store makes good sense for your year-round, healthy diet. Early raspberries and strawberries that are ready in June can be stashed in the freezer, and ready for snacking or meals, while you turn your attention to veggies. Plant the foods that grow most easily, so that you can supply your family table year round.


Source:


http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-tips-zm0z11zsto.aspx