What Is the Best Security Camera System for Your Home? A Product Review Guide

Protecting your family is your number one priority. That’s why you need a sufficient and reliable security camera system in your home. A security camera will notify you of intruders and could even scare them away before they even try to enter your home.

Most home security cameras are equipped with night vision and motion sensors for optimal protection. Some are designed to work both indoors and outdoors while still others even offer time-lapse recording so you can see what was happening on your property when you weren’t looking.

So, what’s the best security camera system and why? We’re here to tell you.

Keep reading for a comprehensive breakdown of eight of the best home security systems available today. 

What is the Best Security Camera System to Protect Your Home?

If you’re looking for protection from more than a standard burglary, you may consider LifeShield for your home security. It also shields against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. You can get the best protection for a great value on your home or apartment that includes security cameras.

LifeShield boasts ‘quadruple defense’ with four layers of protection even if your internet is down, power is out and phone lines are dead, you’ll stay protected.

Otherwise, there are some basic security camera models on the market that will suffice if you want to protect your home on a budget. Here are eight hot models in the order of cost:

Wyze Cam V2

For an inexpensive, yet reliable security camera model, the Wyze Cam V2 doesn’t get much better. It’s a small camera loaded with features like sharp 1080p video and motion and sound-triggered recordings. It also comes with free local and cloud storage.

One drawback to this device is that it doesn’t integrate with other smart home devices nor does it support IFTTT. If you’re looking for this support, it may be wise to think about a bigger model.

Wyze Cam Pan

As one of the less expensive cameras on the market, the Wyze Cam Pan is loaded with features including motion tracking, pan and tilt, and IFTTT and Alexa support. It offers crisp 1080p video on free cloud and local storage. It also comes with a built-in CO2 alarm.

Installation is easy. All you have to do is download the mobile app, create or sign in to your account and off you go. Once setup is complete, your new camera will keep a close watch on your home.

Tend Secure Lynx Indoor

One of the more affordable models on the market, the Tend Secure Lynx Indoor security camera retails at only $40-$60. It’s also easy to install featuring sharp 1080p video and face recognition. You’ll also appreciate the motion sensor capability and free cloud storage, not to mention, two-way audio.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive security system that pulls all the stops, this is a great choice. 

D-Link Full HD Wi-Fi Camera DCS-8300LH

Starting out at less than $100 for a unit, the D-Link Full HD Wi-Fi Camera is a great choice for budget shoppers. It serves up 1080 p video with free cloud storage and includes local storage. This device supports IFTTT integrations and Alexa and Google voice commands.

The bottom line is that this is a relatively affordable home security option packed with features that you’ll use like motion and sound alerts as well as integration with other connected devices.

iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro

One way to make your home smart is to invest in the iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro. It starts the trend toward a pricier model at around $100-$200 MSRP. But you’ll absolutely love the sharp image quality, mechanical pan and tilt, and free cloud and local storage. 

Some reviewers said the pan and tilt feature is a little slow but you’ll have to decide for yourself. Otherwise, enjoy the many features it comes standard with such as IFTTT integration and motion tracking.

 

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is easy to install and completely wireless. One drawback is that it requires a subscription to view recorded video, but the video quality is sharp.

The bottom line on this model is it’s IFTTT capability as well as working with Alexa smart home devices. It offers motion detection and triggered recording that won’t let you down. All of this for around $200 and you’ll be on your way to securing to your home.

Nest Cam IQ

The Nest Cam IQ is a pricier home security system, but for good reason. It’s loaded with features like a 1080p video that offers automatic zoom tracking and facial recognition. It also has sound triggered alerts and motion detection with two-way audio.

One of the most popular features includes interoperability with other smart home devices.

You can find the Nest Cam IQ for around $300 at select retailers.

Netgear Arlo Go

If it’s time for a whole house upgrade, then you can’t forget to include an updated security system like the Netgear Arlo Go. It’s designed for outdoor use so it’s weatherproof with excellent 1080p video quality. It also supports IFTTT and Alexa voice commands.

One of the major drawbacks to this system is the price. You can find it for about $400 on Amazon and other retailers. The bottom line is that this is a completely wireless system that works well with other smart home devices.

Final Thoughts

Finding the best security camera system to protect your family doesn’t have to be overwhelming and confusing or stressful. Just keep this list in mind when you start shopping so that you’ll have a reference to help you make your final decision. 

Securing your home is one of the best things you can do for your family. Why not save a little money doing it?

If you have questions or comments about how to save the most money on your next security camera system, feel free to contact me! I am all about the thrifty lifestyle and here to help in any way I can.

 

Survival Tips: How to Remodel a Bathroom on a Budget

Are you gearing up for a bathroom remodel?

A bathroom renovation is one of the most popular home improvement projects. Unfortunately, it can also be expensive. With so many materials and fixtures, you can easily run up a high bill if you’re not careful. 

But this project doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. We want you to be excited about your new bathroom and do whatever possible to stay on budget. You can get your dream bathroom without spending your life savings. 

Read on for some survival tips for how to remodel a bathroom on a budget.

Make a Plan and Stick to It

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re not familiar with the remodel process, working with an interior decorator or architect can help you save money in the long run. Yes, you’ll have to pay their fees and that’s an added expense, but they will help you stick to a plan and a budget which can be invaluable. 

A designer or architect can work with you to figure out the best approach to the remodel and how to do it in a cost-effective manner. They’ll also have access to vendors where they can likely get discounts on materials and even labor. 

They’ll be able to give you options along with the pricing so you can make the most informed, budget conscious decision. Many times when people work with an architect or designer they become aware of options they didn’t even know existed and would not have found on their own. 

Construction can be a lengthy process and once it begins, you can find issues you weren’t expecting. A professional can help you troubleshoot these problems and stay on track so you come in on budget and on time. 

Don’t Relocate Plumbing 

Moving plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, and baths can be a huge expense. It’s a much bigger undertaking than simply replacing the materials you have in your bathroom with new ones. You’re reconfiguring the layout of your bathroom and workers will have to do this from the inside out. 

Going into the walls and relaying or redirecting pipes can be more disruptive to your project that you were planning.

Figure out a way to accomplish the look you want without relocating major plumbing appliances. This way you don’t have to cut corners when it comes to the finishes you want and you won’t blow your budget on things you can’t see! 

Keep Some of the Good Stuff

If you live in an older home, take a visual inventory of the items in your bathroom that may be worth keeping around. Do you have cool vintage tile around your bathtub or shower? Does your vanity have a funky vibe that gives character to the space?

A bathroom remodel doesn’t have to mean overhauling the entire thing. You can make some of those vintage pieces or statements feel fresh just by changing the area around it. 

Don’t Go Crazy on Tile

No matter how you cut it, tile is expensive. Not only are you paying for the tile itself which can get very pricey, but you’re paying for the labor to install it carefully. Try to limit the amount of tile you use in your new bathroom and find other materials instead. 

You don’t need your bathroom tile to be the center of attention. Try wood paneling on the walls and painting them a different color than the drywall to make them pop. 

Pick a couple of places you want to invest in the tile like the floor, the shower or bathtub walls. 

If you found a pricey piece of tile you absolutely can’t live without, consider making it the accent piece in between less expensive and neutral pieces of tile.

Cut Back on Countertop Costs

If you’re committed to purchasing a high-quality countertop, there are ways to do so without breaking the bank. First, try to avoid selecting a neutral color. These are the most popular and therefore typically priced higher since they’re in high demand.

Selecting a color outside of this palette could save you some money. You can also select a slightly imperfect piece of marble, granite or quartz slab. This means the piece will have a mark or crack in it but it will be sold at a discounted price. 

If you can find a piece where the imperfection won’t catch the eye, you may not even know it’s there at all once it’s installed.

A Little Paint Can Go a Long Way

If finances are limited, don’t forget that a new coat of paint can reinvigorate your bathroom and make it look completely different. If you’re worried about the cost of new countertops, flooring and more, try this approach first. 

If this is the only investment you’re planning to make on your new bathroom, don’t cut corners. You should hire a professional to do the job since it will involve getting around lots of small, detailed areas. 

Be sure to invest in a high-quality paint. Bathrooms are prone to moisture and mold, so cheaper, low-quality paint will be more susceptible to water damage. 

New Fixtures Are an Instant Facelift

Along with a fresh coat of paint, new fixtures are an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your bathroom. The good thing about a bathroom is that there are so many fixtures! 

Not only can you replace faucets and handles but you can also replace towel racks, towel hooks, and light fixtures. It may sound minor but these subtle changes can have a big impact on the appearance of your bathroom. 

It’s All in the Details

The details in your bathroom like the grout and caulking can give away its age and serve as a reminder it’s in need of some TLC. Regardless of what renovations or upgrades you decide to do to your bathroom, don’t overlook this area. 

These materials get mildew, water damage, rust and more. Grout and caulk are inexpensive materials and can be applied by a handyman or even by you. Cleaning up these lines in the bathroom and adding a little sparkle will make a big difference. 

Your bathroom will look refreshed and ultra clean. 

Refurbish 

If your home was built a long time ago, there is a pretty good chance you have some of the original tile or fixtures in your bathroom. If they look damaged or old, don’t just toss them aside in favor of purchasing all new items. 

Some of these are antiques and can be refurbished to shine like new while still keeping a lot of the charm and integrity of the space. If the overall look of your home has a vintage, antique feel, keeping the bathroom in the same vein will make it work with the rest of the house.

There are companies who specialize in giving these pieces a second life and refurbishing them to their original glory. 

They can fix cracked or dirty tile on countertops, showers, and floors and restore your original bathtub without having to replace it. Going this route will save you money and you can focus on the things that really need replacing like that old sink and shower head. 

Consider Buying Used

You can purchase major and minor bathroom items used and save more money. Sites like Craigslist and eBay sell used toilets, bathtubs, mirrors, sinks, and fixtures that are in great shape and you’ll always spend less than if you buy them new.

If you don’t want to buy the major items used, you can also buy accessories like lighting, handles, towel racks and more. 

Lighting

Do you look like a completely different person in your bathroom mirror than in any other mirror in the house? This is probably because there’s terrible lighting in your bathroom. Fix it!

Investing in some new lighting can not only change the appearance of your bathroom but also your experience there. No one likes bad lighting and spending time getting ready in a poorly lit space won’t make you excited about a new bathroom.

Be sure there’s plenty of lighting and your bathroom is bright. This will also make it seem fresh and bigger. You can find great lighting by scouring sales or at home improvement stores. 

If it’s in the budget, you may want to consider putting in a skylight in the bathroom or adding in more windows for natural light. Windows will also help keep the bathroom dry and mold free so it serves two purposes. 

How to Remodel a Bathroom: Get Started Today!  

A bathroom remodel should be an exciting process and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can achieve the look you want and love your new space by utilizing some of the tips above to save money. 

The first step in how to remodel a bathroom is to create a budget and a plan so you know exactly what you’re doing before you get started. This alleviates some stress and makes the whole experience less overwhelming. 

Check out the rest of our blog for more money saving tips

 

 

 

At Your Will: 7 Estate Planning Basics for Parents

As parents, we’re often over-consumed with our child’s immediate needs. They need to be changed, fed, drove to practice, helped with homework- you name it. This leads us to negate many long-term preparations that could protect our family. 

Yep, we’re talking will and estate preparations. It’s not glamorous (or even a remotely light subject). It’s no one’s idea of a fun Saturday afternoon.

But, it is a very crucial step to ensure your family is well protected in the event something happens. Planning for the unexpected saves everyone, including your child, some headache and confusion. Here are 7 estate planning basics for parents to get started on while their child is still young. 

1. Finding a Guardian and Trustee

We often hear of “godparents” who intend to serve as legal guardians of a child in the event their parents pass. But, there’s another important individual to designate in your will: a trustee. This person is responsible for your child’s treasury needs. 

A guardian handles mostly the day-to-day business of caring for a child. They’ll also cover some of the more “big picture” items, such as deciding on a school.

A trustee, on the other hand, strictly handles financial matters. They’ll ensure they pay your child’s bills, file income taxes, invest left-over funds, etc.

Unlike a guardian, this person legally may have to remain a part of the child’s life past 18. A trustee is often required until the child is financially responsible on their own. 

Make sure you confirm interest from both parties. Being asked to be a guardian or trustee is usually an honor. But, for some people, it’s not feasible, so they need the opportunity to decline. 

2. Developing a Will and/or Testamentary Trust 

Some states require the child and spouse of the deceased split the estate’s money if they leave no will. Verhaeghe Law Office gives this example of how Alberta handles intestate:

If the net value of an estate is less than $40,000, the entire estate goes to the spouse. If the deceased had no children, the estate also goes to the spouse.

But, if there are a child and a spouse, the spouse retains $40,000 of the estate. The remaining balance is then divided between the spouse and the child. 

3. Purchasing Life Insurance

Figuring out how much life insurance to purchase isn’t an easy decision, young or old. You can start by determining how much your family would need if you were to pass. Think of this as a replacement for your income. 

Another variable you’ll want to consider is how “long” you’ll need insurance for. Obviously, we don’t know when our time will come. So, we have to consider illnesses and current conditions to evaluate how healthy we are.

If you’re relatively healthy, you may want a permanent life insurance plan. But, if you have a debilitating condition, term insurance could be better suited for you.

4. Designating Beneficiaries

The first thing to know about designating beneficiaries is to never name a minor. Legally, they’re unable to hold property until they’re 18. So, the state may have to appoint an attorney to oversee until a child becomes an adult. 

The minor’s share could also get designated to an ex-spouse, in which they’d get control over the funds. Divorcees may want to consider updating their account to include their current partner or adult child, if appropriate. 

You can, however, name a trust for your child as a beneficiary. This process can be complicated, so it’s best to work with a lawyer if you don’t have a trusted beneficiary. 

5. Updating Accounts

You can’t forget about the funds that don’t fall within your will. If you don’t specify what to do with these funds, it’s unlikely your child will receive them. It could mean that the money would leave your family’s pocket and go to a state escheator.

So, to prevent this, you’ll want to update your solely-held accounts. You can name another party as a joint owner if you feel comfortable. Another popular choice is to make the account “transferable upon death”. You’d then designate a beneficiary of this account. 

6. Save, Save, Save

Your savings account impacts your family long after you’re gone. Even if you pass away, you can still help contribute to furthering your child’s education. College isn’t getting any cheaper, and any bit can make a lot of difference. 

On average, Americans should strive to save $200 per child per month. This equates to $43,200, which can significantly offset a tuition bill. 

You should establish a tax-free savings account with your child’s name in it. Make sure you have in writing the purpose of this account for the trustee. You should also name your significant other as a joint owner of the account. 

7. Establish a Living Will

A living will is beneficial for both you and your family in the event you become incapacitated. For you, it ensures you’re able to make the best decisions for your own life.  

This takes a ton of weight off your family’s shoulders if they were to ever in this position. End-of-life care is stressful, and it often leads to disagreements among family members. 

It’s a morbid thing to think about, we get it. But, it’s a gesture of love to those who’d otherwise have to make hard decisions.

Estate Planning Basics

Whew, we made it! As we said early on, estate planning basics isn’t an easy subject. But, fellow mommas, it’s so imperative we prepare for the future. And, that means covering all our bases- in life and death.

Family life is quite a blessing, but we all could use a little support from time to time! Be sure to check out more articles on ruling the roost under our ‘Family Life’ tab. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. 

Winter Gear Guide: How to Select Good Snow Boots

good snow bootsLike it or not, winter is on its way!

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who experiences sunny weather year round, that means that you’re going to need a warm pair of boots to get you through the coldest months of the year.

How do you find the perfect winter boots, though? And, how do you buy them without breaking the bank?

If you want a great pair of winter boots but don’t want to spend a fortune, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will make it easy for you to find good snow boots at a great price.

What to Look for When Shopping for Snow Boots

Whether you’re shopping in-person or online, these tips will help you sort through all the different snow boots on the shelf and find the right pair for you:

Warmth

When winter arrives, your first priority needs to be warmth. This is especially true when it comes to buying snow boots. After all, you lose a lot of heat through your feet.

Boots with traditional linings like shearling or fur are very effective at preventing heat loss. They can also be expensive, though. A lightweight synthetic substitute like Thinsulate will help you stay warm without wiping out your bank account.

Comfort

Of course, when you’re shopping for snow boots, comfort matters, too.

Whether you’re wearing your snow boots with a pair of ski pants and a parka or your favorite cozy leggings, you’re going to want to be comfortable while you’re wearing them.

Make sure your boots support your ankles and don’t pinch your toes. Wear them while you walk around the store (or wear them around your house if you ordered them online) and make sure they’re a good fit.

Waterproofing

Some boots are definitely better than others when it comes to keeping out moisture and making sure your feet stay warm and dry.

Leather boots can be treated with a special spray that will help them repel water and keep your feet nice and dry while traipsing around town.

Boots made of synthetic material are also a good option if you want to protect your feet all winter long.

Grip

Nobody wants to slip on the ice while walking around during the winter. Look for a pair of boots with rubber soles. These will keep rain and snow out, and they’ll provide a better grip, meaning you’ll be less likely to slip and fall on chilly days.

Be sure to check the soles before you buy and make sure they have good traction. Tuff Toe boots are a great example. The traction will help you stay upright when you’re traversing slippery roads and sidewalks.

Functionality

While style and appearance matter, you ought to take functionality into account, too.

One of the most important factors to consider when you’re thinking about functionality is the fastenings on your boots.

Lace-up boots adjust to the shape of the leg, so they can be more comfortable if you’re walking around a lot during the day.

Boots with zippers can be a better option, though, especially if you want to be able to put them on and take them off easily. Pull-on boots are an even more efficient option.

The Perfect Fit

Of course, you also need to make sure your boots fit you properly. These tips can help you find the right fit.

Try Them on with Your Winter Socks

Don’t rely on those thin nylon socks at the shoe store. Try your boots on while you’re also wearing the winter socks you plan to wear most often. This will help you ensure they’re not too snug.

Try Them on at the Right Time of Day

It’s typically best to try on your boots later in the afternoon after you’ve been walking around. Your feet will be slightly swollen at this point, and you’ll be sure the boots fit your feet when they’re at their largest.

Try on Both Boots

This might seem like a no-brainer, but lots of people forget to try on both boots when they’re out shopping. Remember, it’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, and you need to make sure the boots fit both feet.

How to Save Money on Good Snow Boots

Okay, you know what to look for in a good pair of snow boots. But, how do you get that perfect pair while sticking to your budget?

There are lots of ways you can save money without sacrificing the quality of your boots.

Shop Out of Season

The earlier you buy your snow boots, the more likely you are to get a good deal on them. If possible, shop in the early spring when businesses are clearing out their winter stock to make room for new spring fashions.

Shop Thrift Stores

If it’s too late for you to get a good deal shopping out of season, don’t despair. Hit up your local thrift store instead. You’ll likely be able to find a great pair of boots here for way less than what you’d pay at a regular store.

Shop Amazon Warehouse

Want to find a good deal but don’t want to dig through racks at the thrift store? Give Amazon Warehouse a try instead. This is a great option if you want to find a pair of pre-owned boots at an affordable price while shopping from the comfort of your own home.

Host a Clothing Swap

Finally, consider organizing a winter clothing swap with your friends, family, and neighbors. This is a good way to get rid of clothing and boots you no longer wear while also getting great new pieces for free.

Start Updating Your Winter Wardrobe Today

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for good snow boots, it’s time to go out and find a pair that works with your style and budget.

Are you looking to update other elements of your winter wardrobe? Do you want to update without spending an arm and a leg?

If you need to jazz up your winter wardrobe while sticking to a budget, check out the beauty and fashion section of our website today.

You’ll learn all kinds of tips and tricks that will help you save money while enhancing your style.

Art Around the World: 5 Places to Enjoy Street Art on a Budget

art around the worldWould you like to see more street art?

Maybe you regularly walk past a cool mural in your neighborhood, or you’ve seen some amazing graffiti on vacation and would like to see more.

If you want to enjoy this brilliant urban art form, why not combine it with exploring a new city?

There are examples of incredible street art around the world. But if you have trouble thinking of where to go, or feel limited by your budget, this handy guide can help point you in the right direction.

Here are five places where you can enjoy street art on a budget.

Montreal, Canada

The city of Montreal loves street art so much that it hosts an annual mural festival every summer.

Artists worldwide come to Montreal to leave their mark on the city’s buildings, creating a vibrant and multicultural street art scene.

There are reasonably priced direct flights to Montreal from all over the U.S., so a trip to this cool urban art scene doesn’t have to break the bank.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil is the street art capital of South America.

in Sao Paulo, the local laws permit any building to be used for street art, with the consent of the owner. This has resulted in the city becoming a giant canvas for famous street artists.

The Vila Madalena, Nicknamed Batman’s Alley, is home to countless artists’ work from all over the world. The 100-meter long alley is effectively an open-air art gallery that’s constantly changing.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Yes, good old Philly!

Philadelphia is home to the Mural Arts program, which is the largest public arts program in the country.

Subsequently, Philadelphia has developed a real culture of street art. And being right here in the US can make for a really affordable and accessible city break, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

New art pops up all the time in Philly, so every time you visit, you’ll definitely see something new.

If you want to find out more about famous street artists, such as Banksy or Mr. Brain Wash, then sites like hamiltonselway.com are a great place to do research.

Mexico City

Mexico city has a long tradition of mural art. Many of the mural artists in Mexico draw on the imagery of thousands of years of culture and history for their art.

This place is a wonderful showcase of the history of street art, incorporating the art of religion, politics, and resistance.

Berlin, Germany

If you do want to push the boat out a bit further, then traveling to Europe can reward you with some incredible street art.

If you visit the East side of Berlin, you can see more than 100 murals covering a mile-long portion of the Berlin Wall. A lot of the street art in Berlin documents the resistance to the Communist era division of the city, and makes for poignant viewing.

Street Art around the World

These are just a few of the cities you can visit to view some street art around the world.

The great thing about virtually all street art is that it’s free to view. Any trips you do, whether in the US or abroad, won’t have to blow your budget.

You can also check out loads of more traveling tips on the Travel and Vacations section of our site.

10 Mind-Bending Games for Moms Who Need a Memory Boost

games for momsAs a mother, you’re always on the lookout for a few minutes to relax and decompress. Unfortunately, these moments are hard to come by when facing the countless demands of motherhood.

One of the many side-effects of too much stress is memory loss. That’s right – stress can cause short-term memory loss and even dementia if endured too long.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can give your brain a break and stimulate it at the same time. Doing so will help boost memory function.

If you find yourself forgetting small details more often than usual, keep reading. We’re going over ten brain games for moms who want to stay sharp.

1. Jigsaw Puzzles

Working on a jigsaw puzzle when you have a little time to kill is a great way to boost short-term memory function. This is because your brain must go through many pieces, each with a different shape and color, in order to complete the puzzle.

The more elaborate the puzzle, the more your brain must concentrate. Opt for more challenging puzzles rather than ones you can easily complete.

The great thing about a jigsaw puzzle is you don’t have to finish it in one sitting. Feel free to take your time and work on it when you can.

2. Sudoku

This very popular game challenges you to remember numbers while simultaneously trying to envision their place on a grid. The whole point of Sudoku is memorization.

Newspapers offer Sudoku, but you can also play it on your smartphone or tablet. This is perfect if you’re waiting for an appointment or have a little downtime at home.

Not only is Sudoku a great way to stimulate the mind, but it’s also fun. Watch out. You might get addicted.

3. Crossword Puzzles

Working on a crossword puzzle is a classic way to challenge your thinking skills and concentration. People have been doing them for years and they’re still popular.

The only issue with crossword puzzles is you can become too good at them. When this happens, you’re not enhancing your memory function.

Make sure you push yourself to work on harder puzzles that test your vocabulary and overall knowledge.

4. Bingo

It may seem surprising, but bingo can actually work wonders for your memory and concentration skills. This is because you’re forced to remember the numbers called and keep track of your board at the same time.

Bingo also requires a certain amount of hand-eye coordination, especially if you play with more than one card. You’ll need to stay alert at all times.

If you don’t have time to hit the local bingo hall, consider online bingo from the comfort of your home.

5. Chess

There’s a misconception that chess is reserved for those with higher intelligence. However, while chess isn’t a simple game, anyone can learn to play.

In addition to requiring you to memorize rules, chess also forces you to think creatively. Your brain must formulate strategies based on different situations.

The type of thinking required to play chess will help sharpen your memory and improve your decision-making skills. It also requires you to adapt quickly to your opponent’s strategies. Plus, you can find a partner or play online if you want to hone your skills in private.

6. Shopping Games

As a busy mom, grocery shopping is part of your weekly routine. A great way to add a little entertainment to the experience and enhance your memory as well is to play shopping games.

Try setting up an easy word association challenge with your shopping list. Instead of using numbers for each item, apply a different word. Fold your list in half so you can’t see the food items and try to remember them by association.

Try to get through all the items on your list without looking. This will force you to use short-term memory while doing a very routine chore.

7. Gaming Apps

For moms on the go, looking into app games is one of the most convenient ways to sharpen your mind when you only have a few minutes here and there.

Apps like Lumosity, Brain Fitness Pro, and Eidetic offer a number of brain-teasing challenges you can play without a big time investment. The best thing about apps is you can find which game you like the most and challenge yourself to reach advanced levels.

8. Video Games the Test Cognitive Skills

Do your kids play video games? Maybe it’s time for you to start joining in.

Certain video games can actually strengthen your decision-making skills along with short-term memory. Like chess, many video games require the player to form strategies in order to win.

However, it’s important you play the right kind of games. Killing zombies isn’t as beneficial as strategy or role-playing video games.

Ask your kids if you can join in next time they play. You’ll boost cerebral function and also have a great time.

9. Solitaire

Remember playing solitaire when you had nothing to do as a kid? Well, it turns out this simple card game is a great way to improve brain function.

Solitaire forces you to keep track of numbers and use basic problem-solving skills. It also requires a small amount of hand-eye coordination.

You can easily get in a few games while you have ten or fifteen minutes to kill.

10. Yoga for Your Brain

Traditional meditation yoga is a great way to regain focus, concentration, and reduce stress. However, you can also do yoga that works your brain.

All you need to do is hold up both hands and make a fist. Put your left thumb out like you’re hitchhiking. On your right hand, put both your thumb and pinky finger out.

Then, try to switch hands so you have your thumb and pinky out on your left hand and thumb only on your right. It sounds silly, but it’s harder than you think.

Use These Brain Games for Moms to Strengthen Memory

When the stress of everyday life has you feeling a little foggy, you may need some stimulation to sharpen your mind. Do this on a regular basis and you’ll find your short-term memory improving in no time.

Try these mind-bending games for moms and incorporate your favorites into your regular routine.

Check out more articles for tips and tricks on improving your health and fitness.

Beauty for Free? 7 Ways to Get Free Makeup!

get free makeupAre you a makeup artist or a makeup enthusiast? Social media platforms have shined a light on the world of makeup artistry. The growing trend has paved a career path for a lot of people on Facebook and Instagram.

Many people have made lucrative careers in the cosmetic industry. A successful career can include high-level positions in major corporations. You can also travel the world putting your artistry to work for A-list celebrities.

If you have ever watched a makeup artist on a live stream, you know the time and technique involved. But do you know the cost of the products needed to keep up with the latest beauty trends?

The best products can be quite pricey so there is no surprise people want to know how to get free makeup. If this is you, continue reading for ways to get brand new high-end products at no cost to you.

1. Earn Free Cosmetics with Survey Sites

One way to get free makeup is by registering with websites that do product surveys. Agree to take part in make-up surveys about products. In return, you get rewarded with free stuff.

Some survey sites award survey takers with points and rewards. These points are used to shop from an online store filled with various beauty products. In other scenarios, the site takes the information and send products that you review.

Try winning brownie points by doing online reviews for every product you test and like. You never know who’s looking and can provide more free stuff.

2. Become a Product Tester

Like to survey takers, product testers receive free makeup from manufacturers for giving their opinion. In this case, the free merchandise is sent to the consumers. After using the product, you will need to take a survey.

This is the time to share your honest thoughts and opinions about the product.

Getting retail sized products is a bonus for product testers. Too often, participants receive sample sized gifts for their time.

Some companies may even allow video responses. This trend is a marketing tool to entice potential customers. People are visual. They are more likely to buy if they see someone with their facial features using a product.

3. How to Get Free Makeup Using Coupons

Coupons are a great way to get to get discounted makeup. If you are good at couponing it can be a great way to get free makeup.

The best couponers search for deals online, in stores, and in the weekly ads that are delivered to their mailboxes. It is also a good idea to join mailing lists for your favorite cosmetic brands.

Getting deals from retailers you shop with can be useful too. Look for special promotions where retailers are offering double coupons and a buy one, get one free deal. Some will also have sales circulars with 50% one item

Save your receipts and don’t pass on opportunities to get mail-in rebates or cash back on purchases. You can also benefit from using coupons while redeeming in-store rewards points.

4. Ask for Free Samples When Visiting the Makeup Counter

Most department store makeup counters have free samples that give away when someone makes a purchase. If it is a new product, they will give samples to anyone walking by.

The next time you’re in the store, don’t be afraid to ask if there are samples available. High-end department stores and beauty meccas like Sephora are quite generous with their beauty product samples.

These handouts make great travel companions when you don’t want to take your full makeup kit.

5. Consider Using Subscription Box Services

Subscription box services are not free, but they are a great way to try new makeup products from popular companies. It’s also how to get free makeup products from new and up and coming brands.

These services are inexpensive and if you sign on with a popular company that will allow you to give information about yourself. With the info you provide, they are able to tailor your boxes to your style.

If you want to experience a different type of service that offers the best makeup products at discount prices, try this website.

6. Make a Product Video Review

Do you have a favorite brand of makeup and a smartphone? This could be all you need to get free makeup products.

Create a video showing you wearing the make-up and talking about how much you love it. Post the video to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Tag the brand in your video descriptions and include product hashtags.

Brands have social media specialists that search social channels for this type of engagement. If they like what you are doing they might send you free makeup to make more videos.

If your social media channels have a big enough following, you can earn extra cash by becoming an Instagram influencer.

7. Ask For Free Stuff

We’ve heard the saying, you receive not because you ask not. So why not reach out to your favorite cosmetic brand and ask for free makeup?

Be open and honest about how much you love their products. Tell them how long you’ve been a loyal customer and how honored you would be to try a new product.

Offer to review whatever they send you and share the review on popular sites like Makeup Alley and Total Beauty.

You may not be the only person trying this option, so make your request stand out. Include images of you wearing the product and describe how it makes you feel.

Even if you don’t get any free products, you may receive some valuable coupons.

These Hacks are Sure to Get You Free Stuff

We hope you enjoyed these tips on how to get free makeup. Give it a try and put your artistry to work. Try out new brands and stock up on your favorites.

If finding deals is your thing, don’t stop with make-up. There are ways to get great deals on household products, clothing and more.

Click here to check out more tips on finding the best deals online.