Familiar food with a twist
Courtesy of BPT
Whether you have a young child who spends time at home with a babysitter, or a teen who comes home after school to an empty house, your home should be as accident- and injury-proof as possible. These precautionary measures will help ensure your children's safety when you're not home:
Children of all ages -
• Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors strategically; check their batteries regularly.
• Invest in a fire extinguisher; instruct your caregiver or older child in its use.
• Make sure your child or caregiver has emergency phone numbers and knows what to do if an emergency arises.
Young children -
• Make sure your caregiver understands the level of supervision your child requires and is CPR-certified.
• Childproof your cabinets, electrical outlets, stairways and toilets.
• Never leave poisons within reach. Safe Kids Canada reminds that poisons include medications, cleaning products, gardening/pest control products, car supplies, health and beauty products, art supplies and other toxic substances.
• Examine your home for potential choking or strangulation risks - toys with small parts, dangling drapery cords, etc.
Older children -
• Make sure your child understands the parameters for acceptable behaviour while you're gone. Include rules to ensure safety in and around your pool, on the balcony or deck, and in your yard.
• Set and enforce a strict policy about visitors, and make sure your child knows what to do in case a stranger comes to the door or into the yard.
• Keep matches, lighters, gasoline and other flammable materials locked away.
"Keeping our children safe is the most important responsibility parents face," says Jeff Burke, president & CEO at Western Financial Group, an organization providing services to protect families. "Strategic planning coupled with ongoing communication ensures their well-being."
(BPT) - It's always been possible to watch the big game or your favorite movie from your deck or patio. But until the arrival of wireless technology, you would have needed a really long extension cord and a super-long cable connection (or rabbit ears) to do it. And rain would have ruined your fun in more ways than one.
Now, wireless technology and a host of advances in how digital devices are manufactured and function have made it much easier to enjoy electronic entertainment in the great outdoors. Versatile technology could be part of what's driving the growth in outdoor digital entertainment. Installations of outdoor entertainment systems doubled last year (the most recent numbers available), and the average project cost nearly $8,000, according to the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA).
Adding sound and audio systems is a great way to liven up outdoor kitchens and living spaces, patios and even screened porches. If you're looking to outfit your outdoor spaces with the latest in digital fun, here are a few ideas to get you started:
* Adding high quality sound to your deck or patio is as easy as upgrading your home audio system. Modern systems allow you to wirelessly transmit sound (either music or audio from the TV) throughout your home. Bringing that sound outside requires a wireless setup and incorporating outdoor-ready speakers into your existing sound system. Sensitive system parts, like the radio tuner or CD player reside safely indoors and the wireless function transmits the sound outside to weather-resistant speakers.
* No more super-long extension cords and wheeling the TV in and out of the house. Wireless technology allows you to mount a TV outdoors and access content from your digital cable, satellite TV feed, DVD player or even indoor game console. Be sure to safely mount your television using a mount made for outdoor use, like the Sanus HDpro Series VXF220. The all-weather wall mount can support TVs 42 to 84 inches, and features a rust-resistant coating and stainless steel hardware to stand up to the elements. A cable channel inside the mount conceals and protects power and connection cables, but never inhibits the movement of the mount so you can tilt it for the perfect viewing angle.
* When choosing a TV for outdoor use, keep in mind positioning and concerns like sun glare. If you want to go with a plasma TV, it will be important to protect the set from sun and rain, and you'll need to mount it in the shade. A weatherproof LCD can be a better option if you won't be able to avoid sun glare and exposure to the elements. LCD images are less likely to look washed out in the sun.
* Keep in mind that where you position electronics will affect your enjoyment of them. Just as you arrange seating indoors to provide the best view of your TV, you'll need to arrange outdoor furnishings to ensure your electronics are both visible and protected - and have easy access to an outdoor power source.
* Water and electronics are notoriously bad together, so even if your outdoor electronics are weather resistant, it pays to protect them from the elements as much as possible. Consider adding an awning to your outdoor living space and outfitting it with an automatic rain sensor. Motorized retractable awnings that have these sensors will open to shield your outdoor living space when it begins to rain - even if you're not home at the time.
Thanks to new technologies, it's easier than ever to enjoy the great outdoors and your favorite digital entertainment at the same time.
Courtesy of BPT
For many people, the shower is an escape from reality ... perhaps the only 'me time' in an otherwise hectic day. But if your current shower isn't living up to your relaxing expectations, it may be time for a facelift.- Don't think you have the time or money? Don't throw in the towel just yet - an improved shower is within your reach. Simply follow these four quick and easy fixes that will make an amazing improvement to the everyday enjoyment of your shower.
Shower curtains may keep water where it should be, but they also have a tendency to make a shower feel smaller, dark and cramped. An easy solution to this problem is to install a curved shower rod. These unique rods add an elegant and luxurious look to the room while also moving the curtain away from your body, creating a more comfortable experience and adding up to 7 inches of elbow room. --Moen offers a variety of styles, including a double curved shower rod that can be used to separate the decorative curtain from the liner - or to provide an additional bar to hang towels. Whatever curved shower rod you choose, be sure to coordinate the finish to match the rest of your bath fixtures.
Downsize and organize
Fewer people are living alone these days, reports the National Association of Home Builders, which means you likely share your shower with others. A shower shelf is an ideal solution to provide adequate storage and keep everyone's everyday essentials neat and easily within reach. The Moen Home Care Designer Grab Bar with Shelf adds the storage capabilities of a straight or corner shelf with the safety of a grab bar - all with a stylish design in the latest finishes.
Chance of showers
A simple showerhead update can dramatically improve your showering experience. With several styles available, the only difficult part is figuring out which one will suit your needs the best.
Rainshowers - If you're looking for relaxing, full-body coverage, a rainshower is the right choice for you. These showerheads are often larger than their standard counterparts, allowing the user to receive all-over coverage rather than a concentrated spray.
Handheld showers - With a handheld shower you're able to bring the water flow directly to you. This type of shower allows for any family member - no matter the size or age - to safely and easily shower.
Standard showerheads - Standard showerheads are far from basic. With many collections offering multi-function spray settings, it's easy to create a personalized showering experience.
Hang it up
The final step to a fabulous shower experience is to ensure you have a place nearby to hang a warm robe and towel. Adding a robe hook or towel bar just outside the shower is a simple solution that can also add a stylish accent to your bathroom. If you currently have a Moen faucet, be sure to select the matching Moen accessories to ensure complete coordination throughout your bath. Moen also offers several non-matching collections, such as the Parlor Collection, which coordinate with a variety of bath faucet styles.- The Moen Parlor Collection features a unique pullout robe hook, which allows each hook to be used traditionally, or extended to hang multiple items. And, once you've added new accessories, finish off the renovated space with a plush robe and matching towel set.
By following these simple and inexpensive fixes, your shower can become an everyday retreat for relaxation and enjoyment. For more information visit www.moen.com.
Courtesy of BPT
(BPT) - With summer ahead, parents are busy making plans for camps, sports and vacations. This time of year can be challenging, but there are ways to make it more enjoyable.
Learn to love this summer with your family using these five easy tips:
1. Eat foods that keep you going
Nutrition has a way of impacting almost everything we do. Not getting enough water? Expect to feel a little off. Not eating enough or eating the wrong kinds of foods can impact your energy levels. This summer, take advantage of the season's offerings; focus on meals featuring nutritious foods like fresh vegetables, fruits and protein to keep everyone active throughout the day.
Keep convenient snacks on hand
When traveling or for busy days when there's little time between activities, pack convenient, portion-controlled snacks like ZonePerfect nutrition bars. Featuring protein, and a variety of great tasting flavors to choose from - such as Chocolate Peanut Butter, Perfectly Simple Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and the newest additions Kidz ZonePerfect Yellow Cupcake and Greek Yogurt Vanilla Berry - these bars are a nutritious snack to keep the family fueled.
2. Communication is key
Keep a schedule on a large calendar that everyone can access. Write down all activities, times and locations. By organizing activities at the start of the week, you'll save time and reduce misunderstandings.
3. Get everyone involved in housework
Summer activities are plentiful, which usually means that housework takes a backseat. Get the kids involved by having a designated space for each child to put their things and charge them with keeping it tidy and taking necessary items to their bedroom. This will eliminate clutter around the house and lessen your cleanup responsibilities.
4. Plan activities
While it may seem counterproductive to put more events on the schedule, it will help keep kids focused and entertained. Schedule activities that allow you to enjoy the season and provide an outlet for kids to release energy. Good options include a day at the pool or a trip to a local park or zoo.
5. Never turn down help
Take advantage of car pools and play dates, and make sure to return the favor. This could be the perfect time for you to enjoy a night out or start on that important project.
For more information on the full line of ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars, visit zoneperfect.com.
Courtesy of BPT