Category: family life

5 Home Security Devices That Will Keep Your Family Safe

hands and houseWe constantly remind our kids of ways to stay safe when they leave the house: don’t get in cars with strangers, be careful when crossing the street, don’t wander alone after dark.

But what about inside the home?

Break-ins can happen to anyone, regardless of your city’s crime rate, the safety of your neighborhood, or the size of your home.

You can’t 100 percent guarantee safety but there are measures you can take to make your home a safer place. And one such measure is to install home security devices.

There are a wide variety of home security devices on the market. Let’s take a look at the top 5 that will help keep your family safe.

1. Full Home Alarm System

An alarm system is essential when it comes to protecting your home and your loved ones.

Homes with alarms systems are less likely to get broken into, according to a study conducted by the Criminal Justice Department of Rutgers University.

The University of North Carolina conducted another study in which they interviewed convicted burglars about their feelings toward home security alarms.

83 percent stated that they would try to determine if the house had an alarm before breaking in, and half said an alarm would deter them completely.

You can either install the alarm system yourself or hire a company to do it for you.

2. Magnetic Alarms

Maybe you don’t quite have the money to spring for the full home alarm system. That’s okay.

An alternative solution is to invest in magnetic alarms instead. These alarms should be placed along the most vulnerable points of entry: the doors and the windows.

You can complement your window and door alarms with a magnetic driveway sensor. These sensors let you know when a vehicle has entered your driveway.

3. Home Surveillance

Private home security cameras are becoming a fixture in more and more homes.

Cameras can be used to catch intruders. But, they can also be used to keep an eye on people coming in and out of your home, such as nannies, plumbers, electricians, and neighbors.

Plus, setting up a home surveillance system is quite simple. You just need to place a few wireless cameras in strategic locations and connect them to your computer network.

4. Video Intercom

You should never open the door to a complete stranger.

But how are you supposed to know if it’s a stranger or if it’s just the pizza boy?

Peering through a window or curtain to see who’s at the door can be quite obvious. Video intercom systems are a discreet and convenient way to see who’s waiting outside.

They allow you to get a good look at the caller from a safe distance.

5. Baby Video Monitor

Silence from your baby’s room is usually a blessing.

But, not always. Sometimes silence can be a sign of trouble. To make sure your baby is safe at all times and to give yourself peace of mind, you should invest in a baby video monitor.

These devices allow you to see and hear your baby’s every move. 

Home Security Devices: Wrap Up

We hope this article gives you some ideas on how to make your home a more secure place for your family.

If you have any questions about the devices on this list, please drop us a comment below.

 

 

How to Get Your Kids to Love Green Superfood

boy eating vegetablesDo your kids run for the hills when they see fresh greens?

You can’t force kids to eat veggies, but you can certainly make it easier for them to love green superfood. A balanced diet with ample vegetables is crucial to your young one’s health, so it’s important to figure out how to get them to love their greens.

Here are the secrets to getting your kids to enjoy veggies!

Blending In Smoothly

Most kids will flee at the sight of raw spinach and other green superfoods like collards or kale. However, you can blend your greens with fresh fruits and other healthy foods to create incredible green smoothies and juices!

When trying to ease your children into the amazing world of green superfood smoothies, like those at The Real Thing Health, you need to involve them in the whole process. Get your kids to pick their favorite drinking cup and straw for their smoothies and talk to them about the importance of healthy eating.

There are tons of amazing green superfood smoothie recipes you can try. From simple blends of fresh greens with fruit to more exotic combinations of ingredients, you are sure to find something your kids will love!

Now We’re Cooking

Green superfood smoothies are a great way to introduce your kids to fresh greens. Ideally, you want your kids to enjoy vegetables in their food as well!

From tasty snacks that pack a healthy punch to delicious kid-friendly dishes, there are many ways to incorporate veggies into your daily cooking.

Good solutions include veggie dips, overnight oats supercharged with green goodness, pancakes with grass powder, purees and green pizza. As usual, ask your kids what they prefer, experiment and do your research.

There’s no excuse to serve plain vegetables to your kids, especially when cooking them doesn’t always reduce their dietary value! In fact, spinach is more nutritious boiled than raw!

Making Green Superfood Fun

Food doesn’t have to be boring!

In fact, with so many amazing ways to eat healthily, it’s almost criminal NOT to have fun with healthy eating.

When it comes to getting your kids to love superfoods, you should engage with them! Picking vegetables and cooking them into amazing smoothies and ultra-healthy snacks will do the trick!

It’s cool to enjoy your own green juice. If your kids don’t believe you, you can always show them videos and pictures of other children enjoying awesome green smoothies online.

Get Involved

However you choose to introduce veggies into your kids’ lives, they won’t learn to enjoy green superfood dishes if you don’t eat them yourself!

Check your own diet. Are you eating enough leafy greens? Are you supplementing your diet with enough green superfood? Children are extremely perceptive and will know if you are doing differently than you preach.

So remember, you need to follow your own advice when it comes to eating veggies! You can make cooking a family activity that will help you all live healthier while also strengthening your bonds.

Because nothing says “I love you” better than a delicious cup of thick green smoothie!

Road Trip Hacks: How to Travel With Kids and Keep Your Sanity

travel with kidsWhen you travel with kids, you could be setting yourself in for a stressful time. 6% of parents in one survey confessed to returning home early from a family holiday because it was just too much for them.

A road trip with kids should be simple right? Wrong. They’re tired, they’re fidgety, they start fighting in the back – we love our kids, but sometimes they can be little terrors!

Here’s how to keep your sanity on a long-haul road trip.

1. Distract Them with a Map

When you travel with kids, give them a map and let them trace a finger along to your destination.

This can help to keep them occupied, as well as manage their expectations of when you might arrive.

Plus, they might learn the names of a few states or cities – parents can live in the hope we’re providing a bit of education for the little ones!

2. Plan Regular Breaks

On a long drive, there’s no doubt all that pent up energy in the back seat is going to cause a fuss sooner or later. And you’ll need the bathroom.

Scope out gas stations along your route before you leave, and plan where to stop.

Find places where you can park up a while and head to a nearby play area. Let them run around until they’re tired – and hopefully, they’ll be a bit quieter when you continue driving.

While you’re pulled into a gas station, you might be interested to know about how to get free gas and keep the cost of your trip low. You might also want to check for coupons to grab free or discounted food.

If exercise doesn’t work, how about trying to teach them a ‘calm breathing routine‘? Turn it into a game if you must.

Anything that stops them asking “Are we there yet?” one more time.

3. Bring Some Entertainment and Food

Bring books or audio books along for the drive. If you have an iPad, consider giving them that to play with if they’re old enough. Or even DVDs if you’re lucky enough to have televisions in your car seats.

If you have more than one child, handing them a travel set of a game like checkers, with a magnetic board and pieces can work wonders to keep them quiet for a few hours. So long as it doesn’t cause a fight.

Snacks can help to keep them quiet too – but don’t overdo it on the sugar. The last thing you want is a five-year-old at the height of a sugar high in the car with you.

If it’s a long journey, don’t forget to bring a packed lunch for the family – or make use of those gas station stops to refuel yourselves too.

Travel with Kids – Are You Still Sane?

Hopefully, these tips help you to survive your road trip with your mental health completely intact.

We hope your trip goes well – and if you want to save some money while you’re out of town, be sure to check out these hot deals – you never know when your luck will be in!

5 Expert Tips for Moving on a Budget

moving on a budgetDid you know the average American household spends over $12,000 on a professional move?

Of course, the cost of moving varies greatly depending on several factors. The distance between locations and the weight of your belongings both play a role. However, the fact still remains that a move isn’t exactly cheap.

Fortunately, moving on a budget is a lot easier when you have the right plan in place. There are many steps you can take to ensure you’re not spending too much money.

Here are 5 pieces of advice you need to know before relocating. Read on to learn how to save big on your moving expenses!

1. Leave the Cheap Furniture Behind

It can be tough to sell your old home since it holds so many cherished memories. Similarly, your furniture can have a lot of sentimental value as well. However, moving on a budget requires making some tough decisions.

In most case, it’s not wise to drag along your cheap or old furniture. If the furniture is cheap, it won’t cost you much to replace, and if it’s old, you’ll have to replace it soon either way. All in all, you’ll save money by leaving the heavier pieces behind.

2. Don’t Skimp on the Truck

Most of us are always looking for the best new deals. As a result, small moving trucks seem like such an enticing choice. After all, they’re a lot cheaper, and you’ll somehow find a way to make everything fit anyway, right?

In reality, skimping on the truck can actually cost you more money. If you end up making multiple trips, you’ll have to cover the gas. Therefore, make an informed decision rather than simply choosing the least expensive truck.

3. Research All Your Options

One of the biggest mistakes many movers make is that they don’t research all of their options. They see one appealing price and get tunnel vision.

Before you make your final decision, look at multiple moving companies. To make sure you’re getting a good value, read online reviews as well. Also, make sure the companies have good standings with the Better Business Bureau.

4. Never Buy Boxes

One thing is for certain: you’re going to need a lot of boxes when you move. That said, there’s no reason to spend your money on boxes. Ask your friends if they have any to give you, or check the back alleys of clothing stores.

Additionally, look for creative ways to save space when packing everything. For example, see if you can fit some smaller items inside your washing machine.

5. Try Moving During Winter

Not everyone can control when they move. Sometimes, you have to get to your new job immediately. Other times, you want to get situated in your new home before the kids start school.

However, if you can help it, try to move during the winter. Professional movers offer the biggest discounts from December through February. Conversely, moving during the summer will hit your wallet the hardest.

Final Thoughts on Moving on a Budget

The tips outlined above can help you put together a plan for your next move.

When moving, make sure you do your best to avoid rush hour traffic so you can save you a bit of money on gas. Also, consider using USPS to ship your books in bulk.

Do you have any other useful tips for moving on a budget? What are some mistakes you made with moving in the past? Feel free to share with the rest of us by leaving a comment below!

How to Create the Best First Aid Kit For Emergencies

first aid kitHaving a first-aid kit on hand is one of the best ways to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

You probably have a closet at home that’s filled with band-aids, ointments, gauze pads and aspirin. Of course, it’s great to have these items scattered around your house. You should also have an actual first-aid kit put together.

A kit will undoubtedly come in handy anytime you venture outside the house. All you need to do is grab it and go! Kits can also be handy for in-home usage.

If someone in your family is bleeding heavily, you want to act fast. Having a first aid kit already put together will save you time. Everything will be right in one convenient container.

But what exactly should go in this first-aid kit?

Keep reading to learn how to create the best first aid kit for emergencies.

Container

To create the best first aid kit, the first thing you need is an appropriate container.

There is no hard and fast rule for the type of container you need, but know that there are a few different options to consider.

Plastic containers with snap-top lids are the most popular types.of first aid containers These are great for in-home usage, as they can be easily stored in a closet. And because they’re see through, they’ll be easy to spot.

For first-aid kits stored in vehicles, a backpack is a great option. Backpacks work well in case you have to leave the car. You can easily take the backpack with you on a camping trip without it being a nuisance.

Label Maker

Labeling your first-aid kit correctly will ensure it’s easy for household guests to find.

You can purchase an at-home label maker and put labels on the containers. You will want to label the outside of the container, as well as the smaller containers inside. If you have a backpack, you could sew on a red cross symbol for easy identification.

If you have young children who can’t read yet, put a big red cross on the box and explain to them what it means.

Items

Here is a checklist of items that you definitely want in your first-aid kit:

  • First aid book- A first aid book is essential for knowing how to properly use the items in the kit. Misusage of first-aid could exacerbate the injury or even cause death.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Large gauze pads- you can always cut them up
  • Small pair of sharp scissors
  • Cotton balls
  • Alcohol prep wipes
  • Medical tape
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen
  • Tweezers and sewing needle
  • CPR breathing mask
  • Thermometer
  • Sterile Saline

It’s a good idea to check your kit every few months to make sure you are properly stocked up on all of these items. You can restock your items through an online shop like Save Ride Medical. And if you are unsure of what items to use for what situation, remember to read the manual! A first-aid kit can save lives.

Optional Items

Once you have the basics packed, you may also want to think about storing some additional items for your specific situation. Some items you may want to consider are:

  • Bee sting kit
  • Snake bite kit
  • Matches
  • Ammonia inhalant capsules
  • Small knife
  • Paper bags
  • An awesome flashlight 

Best First Aid Kit: Wrap Up

With the information here, you will be able to piece together the best first aid kit you possibly can.

We want to hear about your own kit. What do you keep in your kit? Do you think we covered everything? Drop us a comment below.

Fun Crafts to Make With Your Kids Out of Origami Paper

origami paperOrigami is a great activity to do with your kids for so many reasons: it’s inexpensive, calming, and creative to name a few!

Making crafts with origami paper teaches your kids an attention to detail that they won’t get from an iPad game or coloring book.

It is also so satisfying to make something cool out of a simple piece of paper. Your kids will love to show off their special skill, and they can even make an origami creation as a signature gift for teachers, birthdays, holiday decorations, and more.

Read on to find 2 easy designs to make with your kids out of origami paper.

2 Easy and Fun Origami Paper Crafts To Make With Kids

Origami paper comes in so many different colors, patterns, and sizes. With a little creativity and skill, the possibilities of what you can create are endless!

Try one of these easy crafts to start. We recommend using paper designed for origami specifically, because it is made to fold, crease, and hold its shape. Origami paper is typically square, blank on one side and patterned on the other, enhancing your design.

If you just want to dip your toe in the origami water to see if you and your kids like it, you can start off with printer paper, newspaper, or magazine paper cut into 6x6in squares.

1. Origami Heart

  1. Start with the blank side of the paper facing up in a “diamond” (rather than a square). Fold the paper in half, from top corner to bottom corner, making a triangle shape. Press on the fold to crease.
  2. Unfold, then fold the left corner to the right corner and crease.
  3. Unfold, then take the top corner and fold the point to the center of the paper, which you can find by the cross of your crease lines.
  4. Fold the bottom corner to the new top edge.
  5. Fold the bottom right and left edges to the center crease line.
  6. Lastly, fold the top and side corners down.

You can add “I love you because” notes to these for an extra special touch!

2. Origami Flower

  1. Start with the blank side of the paper facing up in a square.
  2. Crease the paper both ways from edge to edge and unfold.
  3. Fold all four corners to the center point.
  4. Fold the new four corners to the center point as well.
  5. Now, grab one of the four points in the center. Fold it back out to the edge, creasing the middle of the triangle. Repeat this for the other three corners.
  6. Repeat this again with the four corners now in the center of the square.
  7. Fold the outermost corners back, and you have a beautiful flower!

Getting the hang of it? Check out more advanced origami flower designs here.

Now Get To Crafting!

Comment below with your favorite origami craft to make with your kids!

Did you know that Thrifty Momma Ramblings has a whole section dedicated to crafts? Check out everything we have on how to get crafty by clicking here.

The Best Car Seats That Are Affordable

car seatsSo, you want the best car seats to keep your children safe, but you don’t want to have to spend an arm and a leg?

You’ve come to the right place.

We reviewed the best convertible car seats, the ones that can grow and change as your child ages, to get you the most for your money.

The best part? All of these are under $200.

Let’s break it down.

The 3 Best Car Seats Under $200

The most important factors to consider when shopping for car seats are:

  • safety
  • durability
  • comfort
  • and cost (in that order)

Keeping your child safe from impact, air bags, and other dangers in the car is obviously the most important factor.

Once you find a car seat that meets safety standards, you’ll want one that is going to survive spills, crumbs, crafts, and tantrums.

You’ll also need one that can keep your child comfortable enough to nap in and help them stay happy in the car.

Here are our top 3 choices:

1. The Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat

This versatile car seat can hold children from 22-50 pounds as a car seat and 40-110 pounds when converted to a booster.

This car seat is definitely safe, as it was awarded Best Bet by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It is easy to install and transfer between vehicles because it is lightweight and comes compatible with standard LATCH systems.

The pad is comfortable and machine washable, making spills and messes no problem to clean up.

Believe it or not, this car seat and booster is super affordable: at only $80!

2. The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

3-in-1 car seats will cost you a little more up front, but their outstanding lasting power will save you from having to buy a new car seat every time they outgrow a weight class.

This one, however, is still super affordable at only $169.99.

It has superior side impact protection, an easy in, easy out harness system, and a machine washable pad.

This seat can start off rear facing with your newborn as small as 5 pounds. It can support rear facing seating up to 40 pounds, so you don’t have to switch to the traditional front facing until their legs outgrow it.

It can then convert to front facing and hold up to 65 pounds until you’ll eventually need to convert it into a booster.

3. Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System

This is the best jogging stroller and carseat combo. If you’re constantly on the move, this is the right car seat for you and your child.

Surprisingly, it’s only $139!

The car seat can support up to 50 pounds and has incredible versatility features to make it fit your needs.

It has a height adjustable handle, a drink and snack tray, a 5 point harness system. All this and it only weighs 36 pounds altogether.

Now You Know!

See? A great and versatile car seat can be affordable! The trick is to decide which features are most important to your lifestyle.

If you liked this post, check out some other recent highlights, like this one on cutting waste or this one on eating healthy!