5 DIY Tips for a Fantastic Vacation in the Adirondacks

Like most, you’ve probably been working from home and staring at your computer all day. You deserve a change in scenery. 

Imagine towering trees, serene lakes, and mountains cascading on the horizon. If you’re in the tri-state area, this is not out of reach and it may be closer than you think.

A vacation in the Adirondacks is what you need. Your summer getaway doesn’t have to break the bank. Take a look at some of these affordable DIY tips to make your summer in the Adirondacks memorable for the whole family.

1. Where to Stay: Campsite

One of the best ways to enjoy the Adirondacks is by camping. Camping offers a great escape from the daily monotony of working from home. Not only is it the most affordable option, usually under $30 a night, it’s also a great way to reconnect with your family in nature.

So, where can you camp? Most campgrounds are near the lakes, offering easy access to outdoor activities. 

From pitching the tent to roasting marshmallows around the campfire, there are plenty of ways to spend quality time with your family.  

2. Where to Stay: Rental Lake House

If camping isn’t your thing, then a lake house rental might be the best option for you. There are plenty of affordable options that can accommodate your whole family. 

With rental homes, you have access to a full kitchen, bathrooms, and comfortable beds. Especially for bigger families, rental homes offer the privacy and space that campgrounds and hotel rooms don’t. Click here to learn more about lakefront vacation rental options in the Adirondacks. 

3. Activity: Go Swimming

On hot summer days, nothing beats jumping into a cool, refreshing lake. Luckily, the Adirondacks are home to some of the country’s most beautiful lakes. In total there are over 3,000 lakes in the area! 

4. Activity: Go Hiking

Take in the beautiful scenery of the Adirondacks during a hike. The Adirondacks are filled with many trails for all skills levels. 

There are plenty of kid-friendly hiking trails, like Cobble Hill or the Peninsula Nature Trails. For the more advanced hiker or those ready for a challenge, check out Mount Haystack or Kane Mountain. 

5. Activity: Ride a Horse

Try something new! Take the family to a local farm and take horseback riding lessons.

Horseback riding is a great activity for all ages. For younger kids, short pony rides will provide lifelong memories, as well as a great photo-opp for mom and dad. For older kids and their parents, horse-riding tours offer a new way to see the surrounding towns and trails. 

Time to Start Planning Your Vacation In the Adirondacks

Take a safe and affordable vacation in the Adirondacks and reconnect with nature. Whether you stay on a campground or in a vacation rental, fun is guaranteed for the whole family.

Want more thrifty vacation tips? Check out other posts in the vacation section of our blog!

Target Vs Walmart: Which Store Has the Best Value and Experience?

Every day, 25 million people will choose to shop with Walmart. Add to that number the millions of people that get up and go to Target and it becomes very clear how powerful these two retail giants are.

Many people use the stores Walmart and Target interchangeably. After all, in the US, Walmart and Target compete fiercely, often offering very similar value propositions to consumers. Still, there are stark contrasts if you know where to look which often leads to heated Target vs Walmart debates.

So then, which is better, Target or Walmart? Which of the two provide better savings? Where will you enjoy a better shopping experience?

Our team breaks down key comparative factors below to help you come to a conclusion. Keep reading to learn more!

Product Variety

What good are savings if the store you’re shopping at never carries what it is you want to buy? The answer to that question is not very good.

Fortunately, when comparing Target vs Walmart on this factor, both feature a great selection of products. Variety will vary based on store size but Target and Walmart both have the ability to carry cutting-edge electronics, clothing, and even groceries.

Given that Walmart does have more super-sized stores than Target, we’ll give the product variety edge to Walmart.

Prices

You never know when Target or Walmart is going to be offering a deal that blows its competition out of the water. On an average day though, you’re going to find more savings at Walmart.

Walmart being a premiere purveyor of brick and mortar savings largely comes down to it having a bigger footprint than Target which allows it to pull in more revenue, profit, and leverage its power to secure better deals from suppliers.

We’d venture to say that, specialty discount stores aside, Walmart is the best place to shop for everyday goods if you’re focused on getting the absolute lowest price.

Sales

Everyday low prices are one thing. Sales, however, are another.

When we think of sales, we think of temporary price reductions that markedly lower the price of a good below market rate. Both Target and Walmart do sales and Walmart even has a whole host of “Walmart hidden clearance” items that savvy shoppers know how to find.

While varying sales value can be found in either store, if you’re sales volume focused, Walmart will likely blow you away more often than Target. Its ability to do that, again, comes down to its size and consequential leverage.

Product Volume

Volume of merchandise describes how much of each item either store might have in stock. This is particularly important when it comes to popular consumer electronics.

Stock size in either store will vary based on foot traffic and store square footage. Seeing as how Walmart has more large stores than Target, you’ll probably find more of what you’re looking for at Walmart. With that said, if the larger store in your area is Target, you’d go there to ensure an abundance of whatever it is you’re shopping for.

Quality

By this point, you might be thinking that Walmart is the clear-cut winner when it comes to brick-and-mortar retail. Not so fast though…

A big driver of the “value” conversation is the quality question. Is what you’re paying for impressing you or does it just have a low price?

When it comes to quality products, we 100% give the edge to Target.

Target has better quality store-brand merchandise. This is apparent when it comes to food and perhaps most noticeably, clothes.

Target’s selection of quality, cheap, and fashionable clothing is one of this big box store’s primary consumer draws. Compare that to Walmart’s almost swap-meet collection of apparel, and it becomes clear why quality lovers love Target.

Online Experience

Not a fan of going into stores, particularly lately? If that’s the case, a big part of your shopping/value experience will be based on the Target vs Walmart online experience.

Both stores offer a great eCommerce experience. While Target’s feels a lot cleaner than Walmart’s, Walmart’s use of third-party sellers (similar to Amazon) does make for a wider selection of goods.

If you’re looking for low prices and don’t mind information overload, Walmart takes the cake for eCommerce. This is particularly true with the recent introduction of its Walmart+ service.

People craving simplicity, however, will enjoy Target.

Level of Service

Service is a lost art in retail settings. That trend is apparent at both Target and Walmart.

With that said, we don’t think you’ll be blown away by either store’s customer service offerings. You may though, get a slightly better experience at Walmart given that in general, they’re better staffed.

We’ll call this point of contention a draw.

Target vs Walmart: Which is Better?

We’ve run you through several Target vs Walmart considerations. Does the Walmart shopping experience blow Target’s out of the water? Do “crazy Walmart shoppers” make Target’s experience streamlined and preferable?

At the end of the day, that’s a matter of personal preference.

Our take is that while Walmart might offer a lot of advantages to aggressive deal-seekers, Target offers a more focused experience that features more quality products.

You’ll have to determine which of those factors speaks to you.

There are ample places to shop online and off. If you’re looking for more guidance on where you should be taking your business, we’d love for you to explore more of the lifestyle content we have available on our blog.

5 Common Cruise Booking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Finding the best cruise for your vacation with family or friends requires knowing what not to do. What if you’ve never booked a cruise before and have no idea what the common cruise booking mistakes are?

You’re in luck; we have a brief guide for you. Here are common cruise booking mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Settling for the Cheapest Cruise

Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. Some may even argue that you get what you pay for. Even if you are on a budget for cruises, one of the biggest cruise booking mistakes you can make is settling for the cheapest cruise you can find.

Do some research when looking for which cruise to pick and find out their itinerary. Once you have an idea of their itinerary, ask yourself if it meets your expectations for what you have in mind for your vacation. Read cruise reviews online on websites like Cruise Critic or watch Youtube videos/vlogs and find out what previous passengers have to say about their experience. 

For something more in-depth, cruise ship blogs often have tons of helpful information and suggestions such as the best cruises for families, cruise ship sizes, tips for popular cruise destinations, and more.

2. Waiting Until the Last Minute

Contrary to popular belief, cruise lines do not reward those who wait until the last minute. Your best bet is trying to book as early as possible. Booking early ensures you get the best rates and get the best choices for cruise cabins.

3. Flying in on the Same Day as Your Cruise

If you are new to cruises, then there’s a chance you may not know cruise lines typically ask you to arrive at the cruise pier at least 2 hours prior to check-in. Even if you plan on arriving hours before your then, you still run the risk of unforeseen circumstances like delayed flight schedules or maybe even a company strike.

For your peace of mind, try to fly in at least the night before your cruise check-in. Doing so means you get to start your cruise stress-free and relaxed, just how a vacation should be.

4. Forgetting About Visa AND Immunization Requirements

Whether you’re traveling by air or by cruise ship, before you leave, make sure you know about any and all visa and immunization requirements. You can check the travel.state.gov page for all the information you might need regarding visas and passports.

When it comes to immunizations, outbreaks, and even cruise ship inspection results, you can check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for more information. 

5. Forgetting to Budget for More

Sometimes “all expenses paid” only covers the basics. There’s a chance that most of the things on your cruise will cost extra, typically when it comes to food, drinks, and common cruise activities — see these options as an example. In short, make sure you give yourself some extra wiggle room in your budget to enjoy what might not be included in your “all expenses paid” vacation.

Avoiding Common Cruise Booking Mistakes

If you’ve never booked a cruise vacation before, there’s a chance you may make some common cruise booking mistakes without even knowing. We hope this post has taught you more about common cruise booking mistakes and how to avoid them.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our blog for more!

Getting Hitched? Here’s Your Essential Wedding Checklist!

The pandemic brought on a difficult year for engaged couples planning their wedding for 2020, but many overcame with Zoom weddings and some decided simply to postpone. 

As things are lightening up, it looks more and more possible to have a traditional wedding, which means you’ll need the ultimate wedding checklist to refresh your memory. 

Let’s dive into some of the essential things you should have in mind when organizing a wedding. 

Decide on a Wedding Planner

First, you need to decide whether or not you’re going to hire a wedding planner. There are many pros and cons, but it boils down to whether or not you want an extra set of hands that can take the reins when bringing your wedding to life. 

Create a Budget

One of the most important things that you need to know when planning a wedding is how much you can spend on it. But there are some things that will influence the budget of your wedding aside from how much money you have. 

Assess the Size

How many people you want to have at your wedding will heavily affect the amount you can spend on it. Make a rough draft of your guest list to see how big your wedding will be. 

Assess the Style

The theme or style of your wedding will influence everything else. Think about the “vibe” you want your wedding to have to pick the best elements for your wedding, like centerpieces, party favors, and other decorations. 

Find a Venue 

Next, you need to find a venue or at least some options for venues. It’s also worth thinking about whether or not you want only ceremony venues or reception venues for a given place. 

Some people like to have their ceremony and reception in different places, which is something else you can consider in this process. 

Pick Your Party

You also will need to pick your party fairly early on. Work with your groom (or bride!) to determine how many people will be groomsmen and bridesmaids. 

You need to give enough time for people to say yes or no so that you can have a solidified group for festivities and run-throughs. 

Do This Ahead of Time 

It also needs to be said that this is work you should be doing early on. Start planning as soon as you’re able, because it’s always better to be ready early than to be rushing to make ends meet. 

When you take the time to plan everything out, you’ll thank yourself on the big day when everything is perfect. 

Everything You Need to Know About Your Ultimate Wedding Checklist 

Now you’ve got everything you need to know about your essential wedding checklist in a handy little wedding guide. As long as you’ve got these parts down, you’ll have the basics covered. 

So what are you waiting for? Start creating your dream wedding today!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out some of our others and come back again soon for more content. 

Calf Reduction Surgery: The Basics Explained

Have you ever put on a pair of boots, only to struggle to get the zipper past your calves? Or have you had to throw away your favorite jeans because they hugged your lower legs too tightly?

If these scenarios sound all-too-relatable, the problem may not be solved through dieting. Large or bulky calves often stem from too much muscle in the lower legs, which makes slimming down the calf-region difficult.

That’s where calf reduction surgery comes in. What is this procedure, and how does it work? Let’s explore.

What Is Calf Reduction Surgery?

Calf reduction surgery originated in Korea, where men and women sought lean lower legs. The process eliminates fat and muscle from the leg to reduce the bulk of the calf. The result is slimmer, longer-looking legs.

The benefits of calf reduction surgery include:

  • Skin tightening
  • Excess fat removal
  • Better calf definition
  • Enhanced self-confidence
  • Making it easier to wear tight pants or tall boots
  • Reduction of large ankles (“cankles”)

During a calf reduction, a specialist uses invasive or nonsurgical techniques to slim and contour the lower legs. The procedure targets the medial gastrocnemius muscle as well as the soleus muscle.

Which Procedure Should I Choose?

There are surgical and nonsurgical calf reduction surgery options. The choice comes down to what your goal is and what process gets you the best results. Have a look at the different options to determine which is best suited for you.

Calf Liposuction

Calf liposuction is a surgical procedure. It reshapes the calf, reduces the size of the lower leg, and creates a more slender appearance. Liposuction sucks out fat along the lower leg to permanently remove it. The surgery requires one week of recovery. 

BOTOX® Calf Reduction

BOTOX® is a noninvasive procedure that freezes muscle activity in the calf, causing it to shrink. The treatment is administered in multiple treatments. Since BOTOX® is temporary, it allows patients to sample the shrinkage before choosing a permanent procedure.

Partial Muscle Removal

Partial muscle removal is ideal for men and women with bulky legs. The process eliminates calf muscles to reduce the size of the lower legs. Partial calf removal contours the calves to create a slender appearance that looks completely natural.

Selective Neurectomy

Selective neurectomy is a minimally invasive procedure. A specialist severs nerves behind the knee to induce muscle atrophy. Atrophy prevents the muscles in the calves from being used, which causes them to slim down.

The procedure is permanent. It is a popular choice for calf reduction surgery because it gradually reduces calf size to create slim and smooth-looking legs.

Radio-Frequency Calf Reduction

Radio-frequency is a minimally invasive calf reduction procedure. It uses radio-frequency energy to destroy nerves in the lower legs. The process reduces calf muscles to produce slimmer legs.

In addition to targeting muscular nerves, radio-frequency also attacks fat cells in the calf. The heat damages the fat cells and allows the body to naturally flush them out. 

More Tips & Tricks

Getting a calf reduction can be life-changing. It allows you to feel more comfortable in clothing and get excited about flaunting your legs. And with so many procedures available, picking the right calf reduction surgery easy.

What other topics are you looking to investigate next? From DIY to gardening tips, we got you covered. Start exploring our website now.

6 Things to Watch for When Choosing an Assisted Living Home

Are you looking for an assisted living home? Wondering how to choose the best one for your loved one?

If you’re looking for a senior assisted living facility, it’s important that you don’t rush your decision. Instead, you should consider your options carefully and ensure that your loved one will get the best care possible.

Fortunately, we’re here to be your guide. Here are the 6 top things you need to look for when choosing an assisted living home.

1. Adequate Safety and Security

One of the most important things to think about when choosing an assisted living home is what kind of security and safety measures are in place. You should be confident that your loved one will be taken care of and will be safe and sound.

Ensure that there will be licensed nurses available 24 hours a day and be sure to find out what security and safety measures are in place.

2. A Great Dining Experience

You’ll also want to consider what the dining facilities are like in a care facility.

Usually, some meals will be included free of charge at an assisted care facility, but you’ll want to find out exactly what can be expected. You may also want to ask whether it will be mandatory to eat in the dining room or not.

3. Fun Activities

When looking for an assisted care facility, you should also find out what types of activities will be available for your loved one. Take a look at their activity calendar to find out what kind of activities are listed and whether they’ll be suited well for your loved one or not.

You may want to check whether they’ll have a good mix of on-premise activities and activities away from the facility. You may also want to find out if they’ll have religious services that your loved one can attend.

4. Caring and Friendly Staff Members

Another thing you’ll want to consider when choosing an assisted living home is the attitude of the staff. When considering your options, look for staff members who seem friendly and reliable.

It’s important to find a facility that has a caring staff that will be fully attentive to your loved one. Be sure to meet with the staff and management team early on to learn more about them. 

5. Comfortable Outdoor Spaces

To choose a great assisted living facility, you’ll also want to consider what the outdoor area is like. You’ll want to ensure that your loved one will have access to some great outdoor spaces.

Check to see what the outdoor common areas have to offer. You’ll want to make sure that the outdoor area is very comfortable while also offering adequate safety and security.

6. A Great Location

When looking for the perfect assisted care facility, you should also think about its location.

It’s a good idea to choose a care facility that will be close to family and friends so that visits can be easy and effortless. This can make the assisted living facility much more comfortable for your loved one.

You can use assisted living locators to find the best care facilities in your area.

Using These Tips to Find the Best Assisted Living Home

If you’re searching for a great assisted living home, you need to be sure that you carefully consider the factors listed above. Not every assisted care facility is the same, so be sure that you do your due diligence to find the best option for your loved one.

Need more senior care tips and advice? Read through our blog now to find more useful information.

Parenting 101: How to Stop Siblings From Fighting?

When having two or more children, you dream of them becoming best friends and wanting to do everything together. Yet, as they’re growing up, you’ll find you need to endure bickering, arguing, and sibling rivalry.

Siblings can go from playing with each other peacefully to a full-on fistfight in a matter of seconds. As a parent, it can become overwhelming and frustrating. You’re asking yourself, “why can’t they just get along?”

If you’re looking for tips on how to stop siblings from fighting, we can help. 

Be sure to keep reading for our parenting 101 guide on how to stop siblings from fighting with each other. 

Talk About Being Siblings

As an exhausted or overwhelmed parent, you might be asking, “Why do siblings fight?” One reason could be that they feel tension or sibling rivalry in their relationship with each other. 

It can be difficult growing up as an older sibling when you feel like you have all the responsibilities thrown on you. While younger siblings can feel like they can’t do as much as their older siblings can. You’ll find that this dynamic can lead to siblings fighting because they don’t understand the family structure. 

One way to help your children is by talking to them about being siblings. Let them know that they’re all in this together. You should encourage your children to be on each other’s side instead of against one another. 

If you’re looking for the proven playbook on how you should raise your kids, then you can view here for more. You’ll see there are ways you can end tantrums, stop sibling fighting, and set boundaries with your kids. It is the perfect mix between humor and real advice that you need to raise your kids. 

Become Aware of Their Needs

Sometimes children act out because they’re craving your attention. A great way to avoid sibling fights is by making sure that each of your children feels that you love and value them equally. 

The best way to do that is to spend time with each of your children. Make sure to show them lots of attention and affection. Giving them hugs and kisses can help to make them feel love and acceptance. 

You should also make sure that you don’t compare your children to one another. Each of your children is on their own paths as they grow up and mature.

One might do something sooner than the other or not at all. Pointing out these differences can make bring on a sibling rivalry which will cause more fights. 

Making sure that each of your children has their own space is also vital to avoid fighting. It can be necessary that your kids need alone time or space with their own things. Be sure that you are aware of their needs and help to fulfill them. 

Reinforce Positive Behavior

If you’re wondering how to get siblings to stop fighting, one of the best things you can do is reinforce positive behavior. That means when you notice your kids are playing together without fighting, recognize them for it. Let them know that they’re doing a great job and you appreciate it. 

When you let your children know the things that they’re doing right, they will be more likely to continue doing them. You’ll keep seeing that behavior again because your children know that it makes you happy. 

For example, you can say statements like, “Good job taking turns with that toy,” or “You solved that problem together really well. Let’s all watch a movie to celebrate!” 

Reinforcing positive behavior will help to deter your children from fighting in the future. They know that it makes you happy for them to get along, therefore they will be more likely to try to get along with one another. 

Make sure that you’re always keeping an eye out for the good things that you’re children are doing and not only the bad. Focusing on the bad things can hurt your relationship between you and your children. 

Remember It Is Normal

As a parent, we want our children to live happy and fulfilling lives, yet when they’re always fighting with their siblings it can be difficult. You might be asking, “Is it normal for siblings to have physical fights or verbal altercations?” 

Yes, it is normal for children to fight and have disagreements, especially when they’re with their siblings all the time. Yet, we never want them to turn physical where someone can get hurt. 

Sometimes it is best to let children work their fights and disagreements out on their own. Try to give them some tips and advice so that their disagreement doesn’t escalate into a physical fight. Make sure that your advice is always fair and neutral. 

Many times it is better to coach your children through their fights so that they can work it out when you’re not around. If sibling fighting can be civilized, it will be easier for them to solve the problem and move on. 

After a fight happens, sit down and talk with your children about why they were fighting. If they resolved their fight on good terms, be sure to recognize them for that. 

You should also point out how they should have handled the situation better. If one person was yelling, they need to work on their tone of voice during disagreements. Everything can get better over time if you handle things in a civilized manner. 

How to Stop Siblings From Fighting With Each Other

If you’re trying to figure out how to stop siblings from fighting, be sure to use our parenting 101 guide tips and tricks. Over time you will learn how much fighting is normal for your kids to grow and build healthy relationships. Yet, you can also realize the best ways to step in and resolve issues. 

Remember, consistency is the key with children. Whenever you find a solution that works, stick with it. 

If you’re looking for more parenting and family advice, our page is the place to be! Make sure you keep scrolling or bookmark our blog so you can come back for more helpful information.