How To Choose The Right Probiotic Products For Your Daily Routine

The probiotic products industry is growing steadily and will likely reach over $77 billion by the year 2024. People are turning to probiotics very rapidly to help them manage gut issues and other health problems. 

But despite their popularity, how do you choose the right probiotic? After all, there’s still much to discover about these friendly bacteria, you don’t want to risk selecting a product that’s not helpful. 

Keep reading to learn more about the best way to pick a probiotic supplement that’s right for you?

What Are Probiotics, Anyway?

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in your gut or intestines. One of the benefits of probiotics is that they boost your immune system. You can get probiotics into your body by eating fermented foods such as yogurt or sauerkraut, or you can take a supplement. 

Some research suggests that they aid in the management of certain ailments like anxiety, diarrhea, constipation, and even heart health. 

Choosing the Best Probiotic Products

Taking probiotics doesn’t have to be hard. Here are a few tips to get you started!

1. Decide Why

First, decide why you want to take probiotics. Do you feel you struggle with eating healthy foods? Is there a medical issue you think can be resolved by taking probiotics? 

Understanding the reason behind your desire to consume probiotics will help you be more choosey when it comes to picking a brand or a strain. 

2. Try Foods First

While taking a supplement is fine, one of the best ways to populate your gut with friendly bacteria is to eat fermented foods. 

This includes foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and miso. Whole foods first are always the best route before supplements.

Eating prebiotic foods like beans, onions, and bananas, make your gut more hospitable for probiotics to flourish. 

3. Be Picky

There are many different strains of probiotics and they each perform different tasks. 

For example, lactobacillus paracasei supports the digestive system and boosts energy, while Bifidobacterium may relieve constipation. 

Not only should you be picky about the particular strain, but also about the ingredients in the supplements. Make sure the product has been thoroughly researched and reviewed before making your choice. 

4. It Takes Time

Don’t be surprised if you find a probiotic that you think will work for you, only to find you need a different kind. Much of taking probiotics is trial and error because each person has a unique gut flora. 

Try not to get discouraged! There are so many products to choose from that you’re likely to find exactly what you’re looking for. 

If you need to, ask your doctor if they have any recommendations. 

5. Side Effects

Any time you begin taking a new supplement or medication, side effects usually occur. With probiotics, common side effects are often bloating and gas as your body becomes accustomed to them. 

Again, don’t get discouraged! These symptoms are usually good indications that the probiotics are effective. If your symptoms don’t disappear, ask your doctor about switching brands or strains. 

Friendly Bacteria to The Rescue!

Probiotic products are numerous and difficult to sift through at the store. But with these few tips, you can easily make a choice that will greatly benefit your health!

Want to learn how to be more frugal? Check our websites today for some top-notch money-saving tips!

 

How to Choose the Best Living Room Light Fixtures for Your Home

Lighting is the least seen but also the most important aspect of interior design. It aids in color management of the space, highlighting key features of the room, creates functionality in all the spaces of a room, and can give the illusion of more space in a smaller area.

The living room, second only to the kitchen, is the main space of a home. If the kitchen is the heart, the living room is the heartbeat. It’s where we hang out with family, enjoy one another, relax after a hard day of work, and is the primary shared space.

Choosing the right living room light fixtures is imperative in making the space as cozy and welcoming as it can be. Here we give you our tips on choosing the best ones for your space.

The Types of Lighting and What They Accomplish

There are three main types of lighting in any interior design. Each should be used in every room to get the most out of your space.

Ambient Lighting

The ambient light is the functional light in a space. It’s what will give the main light in the room and allow the most visibility. It lights up the entire room and can have a varying level of brightness.

To get the amount of ambient lighting needed you’ll need to measure your room in what’s known as “foot-candles”. So, what is a foot-candle? It’s a unit of measure that reflects how bright the light is one foot away from its source.

Living rooms tend to require fewer foot-candles than utilitarian spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. You can get away with around 20 foot-candles of light in a standard living room.

To get the total amount of light you need multiply the number of foot-candles recommended for the room by the actual square footage. This will give you the number of lumens needed for your room. A typical 40W bulb will produce about 450 lumens and a 60W 800 lumens. 

This clues you in on how many of these bulbs need to be in the room wither through overhead lighting or lamps to give you a decent amount of light.

Task Lighting

This is light you place purposefully over spaces you’ll be completing tasks in. Have your desk in the living room? You’ll want a light over it so that you’ll be able to see what you’re working on.

Task lighting is also great for breaking up a large open concept room into usable spaces. 

Accent Lighting

This is light that is purely decorative. It’s the lights you put in hutches to showcase sculptures or the lights placed above paintings to keep them illuminated.

The Right Living Room Light Fixtures for Your Space

Now that you know how much light you need, and are done doing the math phew that was a doozy, on to the fun part – picking the fixtures!

Here are a few of-the-moment options and classic standbys to fill your space with light and sophistication.

Hanging Pendant Lights

Hanging pendants are a great option when you want the lights themselves to make a statement in the room.

They can be pieces of art in and of themselves. Also, vintage bulbs are all the rage. Put your einstein bulbs in there and wow your friends with how chic you are. 

Sconces

These are wonderful for rooms with lots of wall space but lower ceilings. Vaulted ceilings need elaborate hanging lights but more intimate spaces need a subtle approach.

Modern sconces are also very beautiful and can either blend into the wall or become accent pieces themselves.

Floor Lamps

Nothing is more dependable. Floor lamps are reliable and have stood the test of time. When you’re designing your room, consider placing outlets in the floor under where your furniture will sit. That way no one has to see the plug.

Floor lamps go from elaborate to utilitarian so they can really transform a space while giving you the option to only put one or two on at once.

Chandeliers

Depending on the size of the room a grand chandelier might be just what’s needed to set off the space. Rooms with vaulted ceilings and a lot of square footage benefit from the extra light and heft a chandelier adds to a room.

Now, chandeliers have come a long way from the time of gold and jewels. Modern chandeliers are chic accent pieces that vary from large wooden ones that mimic candlelight to sculptural metal pieces that showcase vintage bulbs.

Whichever you choose a chandelier makes a statement.

Ceiling Fans

If you live in the southern climates a fan is a necessity in a room you spend a lot of your time in.

Luckily, ceiling fans now come in a variety of beautiful designs and almost always include a light fixture in the middle. So, you can be cool and not be in the dark.

Lighting Brings a Room Together and Your Family into the Living Room

We hope this gives you some great ideas on how to choose your living room light fixtures. By accurately measuring beforehand you’ll know you’ll have enough light in the end. 

Consider the lighting in the original design to give yourself the option of adding additional outlets, if needed. Having the option of hidden cords is always a great idea especially if you have little ones running about.

Looking for more reading material? We’ve got you covered. Check out the rest of our blog for information about everything you’re interested in.

What Percentage of My Income Should I Save for the Family Vacation?

Around 40 percent of Americans say that they aren’t going on vacation this year because they cannot afford the cost.

But, you don’t simply need to accept that you cannot afford to get away with the family. Of course, the expense of going on vacation can be huge.

And yet, you’re probably asking yourself the question – what percentage of my income should I save to go on vacation?

Here’s our guide to putting money away for your travel plans below. Check it out below!

Start Budgeting in Your Daily Life

There are tried and tested methods for budgeting your income in your daily life. This ensures that you don’t spend more than you can afford.

Moreover, if you follow the rules of budgeting, you’ll also be able to save a little bit at the end of each month for your vacation.

The most popular budget type is dividing up your expenses in necessities, wants, and future savings. This ought to be distributed by 50% for necessities, 30% for wants, and around 20% for savings.

You could allocate your vacation spending to either your wants or your savings. This probably depends on your financial circumstances.

Check out PayStubs.net to ensure that you can afford to go on vacation from your monthly paycheck. 

Estimate Your Vacation Budget 

You need to work out the amount you want to spend on your family vacation. This could be your dream travel experience or a budget-friendly trip.

Make sure that you browse the web for the best deals on flights, accommodations, and entertainment. You don’t want to spend more than you have to. 

This should allow you to calculate how much you need to spend on your biggest expenses on vacation. However, don’t forget the costs of eating out, transportation, and fun activities.

Determine Your Priorities

When you’re considering how much you need to spend your income on vacations, you have to think about what is most important to you.

If you really want to go to Disney World, you may only be able to afford a few days rather than a week. However, if you prefer a week’s vacation, you need to rethink your destination.

Everyone has different priorities when they’re on vacation. Once you know yours, you can determine how you’re going to spend your budget.

How to Save Money on Family Vacation?

There are dozens of ways to save money while on vacation.

Do you find eating out in restaurants too costly? Hire an apartment, shop for groceries, and cook for the family instead.

You can usually afford to go on vacation as long as you make some cuts to your expenses while you’re on your traveling trip. 

What Percentage of My Income Should I Save for a Family Vacation?

If you want to save for your family vacation, you need to set aside money each month to ensure that you have enough to enjoy a getaway at the end of the year.

Now you know the answer to the question “What percentage of my income should I save for a family vacation?”, you can concentrate on planning your trip.  

Do you want to know more helpful money-saving tips? Check out our blog here!

9 Nursery Must-Haves for Your Newborn

If you are having a baby soon, you need to start preparing your baby’s nursery ASAP!

The last thing you want to be worrying about as your due date approaches is whether your baby will have a comfortable and calming space to live and sleep. 

To ensure that your baby has a nice, homey nursery, we are giving you a list of the top 9 nursery must-haves.

1. Crib

Your baby’s crib is the most important item that will be in your nursery. This is because this is where your baby will sleep.

According to BabyCenter, newborns sleep around 16 -17 hours a day. Thus, it is vital that you get a quality crib. We suggest getting a crib that has a secure frame and stationary sides.

We also suggest that you purchase a crib whose sides are not too closed off so that you can easily see inside the crib with your baby monitor.

A possible substitute that you can have for a crib is a bassinet. Although you will need a crib as the baby grows, a bassinet is a great miniature bed for your newborn.

2. Baby Monitor

Our number 2 choice for baby nursery must-haves is a baby monitor. A baby monitor is a technological device that has a camera and a radio system in it so that you can see and hear what your baby is doing in its nursery when you are not in the room. Although mothers in the olden days were able to raise their kids without baby monitors, you would be a fool to not take advantage of this technological safety tool today.

3. Changing Table

Until your baby is potty trained, you will be spending tons of time changing your baby’s diaper. Thus, it is vital that you purchase a changing table.

A changing table is a stationary platform with a bed-like table on top of it for you to lay your baby down and change his or her diaper on. Below the bed-like table of a changing table are small drawers for you to place the baby’s diapers and objects into. A childrens dressing table is one of our top baby room must-haves because it makes the diaper changing process easier on parents.

4. Nursery Chair

Our number 4 item on our nursery must-haves list is a nursery chair because this is the place where you will sit while performing bonding like activities with your baby like breastfeeding and rocking your baby to sleep. Other names for a nursery chair are a breastfeeding chair and a nursing chair. Many people refer to a nursery chair as a breastfeeding/nursing chair because this is where most moms find themselves breastfeeding their newborns late at night.

5. Diapers and Wipes

Two things that you can never have too much of when you have a newborn baby are diapers and wipes. Newborn babies are known to go through around 10 to 12 diapers in a day. Thus, we cannot stress more how important it is to stock up on diapers and wipes prior to your baby being born.

6. Diaper Pale

A diaper pale is a special sealed trash can made to hold diapers. What makes diaper pales specific for the use of holding used diapers is the fact that they are manufactured to trap odors. That way, all the stinky and poopy diapers that you throw out each day will not stink up your nursery room and home while sitting in a diaper pale.

Other features of a diaper pale that make it suited for holding used baby diapers are their foot pedals and flip lids. The foot pedals and flip lids on diaper pales allow parents to easily throw away diapers with one hand. That way you can throw away a used diaper in a diaper pale while still holding onto your baby.

7. Dresser

A dresser is a nursery must-have because it is where you will hold all your baby’s clothes and objects. You can purchase a dresser in whatever style matches your nursery. As long as you have as many dressers as you need to hold your baby’s clothes and objects, you are good to go.

8. Clothes

Your baby can’t be naked forever. Thus, you are going to need to buy some newborn baby clothes and onesies for your child to wear. Babies grow out of their clothes quickly, so make sure to buy some clothes for your upcoming baby in sizes for every month your baby will be alive, for up to 6 months.  

9. Nightlight

A nightlight is our final nursery must-have because it is a great tool to have when you are up late with your baby in the nursery, and you do not want to turn on a full light. You can also use a nightlight as a source of comfort for your baby as he or she is sleeping in his or her nursery alone at night.

Nursery Must-Haves: The Rest Is Up to You

Now that you know the top nursery must-haves that you need to purchase, the rest of the design of your nursery is up to you. If you want a nursery with a minimalistic aesthetic, make sure that all your key nursery items are in neutral colors. If you want a girly nursery, incorporate pink in your nursery’s design.

At the end of the day, you can design your baby’s nursery however you please. To learn more about nurseries and how to save money as a mother, check out our other blog articles.

How to Design and Send Funeral Invitations

Planning a funeral can cause life to become very overwhelming, so smaller details tend to get lost in the mix. One of those things would be sending out the invites. 

This is a common mishap but it shouldn’t be something that creates more anxiety. If you’re having difficulty, keep reading to check out these simple and easy tips on how to design and send out funeral invitations. 

Choosing a Design Template

There are plenty of apps and online software that can help you create funeral invitations seamlessly. The main factor you need to choose is the particular template that you’ll be using. Typically the template designs and styles will already be appropriate for an occasion like this.

Think about special colors, fonts or prints (flowers, birds, etc.) that you are already using during the service, such as on the obituaries or any specific decor. Use these elements to make everything more cohesive. 

What to Include

Having to send out funeral invitations will always be a difficult task. However, there are some things to remember to include on them to make sure that your guests are aware of everything that they need to do to participate in the event.

Date & Time

Be very clear on the starting time for all of the services during the funeral. For instance, if your process includes a viewing make sure you state that separately and concisely enough on the invitation so as not to confuse others. Also, write out the day of the week and the numerical date so that people will not forget and in case of any typos that slip through the cracks.

Location/Venue

Giving accurate addresses and directions for where the funeral and any other part of the service will be is very important. Pay attention to whether there are any landmarks around that may help people to find the location better. Also make sure that there aren’t any other places close enough for someone to confuse them, such as another church with a similar name within a few blocks radius. 

It might be helpful to keep an indicator outside, such as a bouquet of balloons or order funeral flowers online, and tell people to look for this as they pull up to the venue to be certain that they are at the correct place. 

Don’t forget to let people know about burial sites and repass locations if applicable.

Special Attire

Every religion and culture has different ways of mourning their loved ones that have passed on. During some ceremonies, guests are required to wear specific attire to show respect for the family. Sometimes people even choose to wear a special dress code, such as their loved one’s favorite color, to show honor and unity amongst all family and friends. 

Be specific with attire that will and will not be permitted during the ceremony. People will understand that this is something important and sacred to your family. 

Details of Deceased

This may be one of the harder parts to write on funeral invitations but it is very common and respectable to give people some details on someone that was dear to them. You don’t need to go too in-depth but including the date of death and sometimes the cause can be included as well.

You may also want to include their date of birth. Again, these details are optional and don’t need to be too descriptive.

A Photo

Some funeral invitations are very basic and straight to the point. This is a fine route to take. However, you may also want to make it a little bit more personalized then adding a photo of the person who has passed away would be a perfect touch.

Typically people find photos of them at their happiest moments so that people can remember them that way. You may also want to use multiple photos, both older and younger, to help people recognize them, as someone guests may not have known them as long as others. 

Quote/Phrase/Poem Line (Optional)

This is another optional addition to add to funeral invitations but it definitely does add a good feel to something is will already be challenging for most people to process. Consider adding the person’s favorite quote or phrase. Possibly something that they were known for saying.

You can also use a line from a poem or song that resonates or reminds people of their dear friend or family member. 

Contact Details

You’ll also want to add some contact details for people to get back to you. Many people will be moved to call, visit and send messages, money, flowers, cards and words of encouragement. They may also just have some general questions about the funeral arrangements.

Include the name, number, address and/or email address of the person that is the point of contact. 

Special Requests (Optional)

If the family has any special requests that they would like to ask guests for, such as donations, then be sure to include that on the funeral invitations as well. Be specific on what items may be needed at this time to allow people to help out easier.

Sending Out Invites

The most traditional way to send out the memorial service invitations would be mailing the envelopes individually. Collect names and addresses of everyone that you can think to invite. You may need to call or try locating an address book if the person kept one.

Another easy way is by sending them out online. There are a variety of services that allow you to send virtual funeral invitations without any hassle. 

Take the Stress Off Funeral Invitations

Designing and sending out funeral invitations doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Create a list of things to add from the guide given above and write out the details that you’d like to include before you start making them

Remember to be as clear as possible with details. Say thank you to everyone and show your appreciation of their support.

For more helpful articles check out the family life section of our blog. 

Why Updates Are Vital to Your Software Security, And How to Make Sure You Always Have the Latest Installed

A software update notification appears, minimizing your work, movie, or game. When it asks you to restart your computer, you tell it to remind you later and move on with your day. But “later” never actually comes.

Everyone has done this at least once, and for some people, it’s a chronic response. It takes a median of 45 days for the average user to download a software update. But as annoying as updates are, they’re pivotal to your computer’s software security.

The mild inconvenience of a software update could save you from a much more dire problem in the future. Here’s why software updates are vital, and how you can stay up to date.

Why Updates Are Vital to Your Software Security

Coding isn’t an exact science. There are thousands of different devices and hardware setups, and software that works on one machine may not work on another. While developers do their best to fix these bugs beforehand, some will make it through the production stage.

Sometimes these bugs are minor hiccups, such as a memory leak. But other times, they’re far more sinister. Security vulnerabilities allow rogue users to sneak into your system and cause all sorts of trouble.

The exact consequence depends on the bug itself. But these hackers can oftentimes spy on your computer use, pilfering private data along the way. Other times they’ll install malware on your device, using it as part of a botnet or bitcoin miner.

Once the software developers catch wind of the newly-discovered vulnerability, they’ll start working on a software update to shut it down. These patches are the same ones that bother you from time to time, demanding your attention.

Until you choose to download the software update, your computer will continue to be at risk.

Of course, the reality is not every software update is serious. Sometimes the developers may be rolling out new features or bug fixes that never impacted your machine in the first place.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if this is the case. That’s why it’s important to install software updates right away. If you wait too long, you could become a victim of the lingering security bug.

How to Find the Latest Software Updates

Most of the time, your operating system will update on its own accord. But sometimes your computer can fall behind due to its update settings. Here’s how to install the latest software updates across your devices.

Updating Windows 10

Windows updates can be hit or miss. And by default, they don’t install right away. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a look at the recent patches every now and then.

To see where your software stands, search for “Check for Updates” in your search bar. You should see an icon with the same term. Go ahead and select that option.

If your search bar is disabled, you can also navigate to the Windows Update section manually. Under the Start button, click the cogwheel, then Update & Security, and then choose Windows Update.

This panel will tell you if any updates are available, as well as the last time it checked. You’ll be able to download the software update from this panel if one is available.

It’s a good idea to change the active update hours while you’re here. Choose a time when you aren’t using the device. This way, it’ll update without bothering you.

Updating macOS

To find software updates on a Mac, navigate to the Apple menu and select System Preferences. You’ll find Software Update under this drop-down menu.

The Mac Software Update panel is nearly identical to that of its Windows cousin. You’ll see if an update is available and have the choice to upload it right away.

Make sure you select the box that allows for automatic updates. Unlike Windows 10, you have limited options when it comes to scheduling. Thankfully, Mac tends to be far less intrusive with them.

Older devices may not be able to make use of the most recent update, macOS Catalina. There are other caveats, too. Learn more about making the upgrade to macOS Catalina.

Updating Antivirus Software

The most pivotal patches are those for your operating system. However, it’s just as important that you keep your antivirus program updated. Otherwise, it won’t be able to protect you against new types of infections.

Windows 10 and macOS both come with their own built-in virus protection. Updates for these services are included in the updates we went over earlier. But if you use a third-party antivirus program, it’s not as simple.

Here’s how to update some of the most popular types of antivirus software:

Malwarebytes: This program searches for updates before performing a search. You can also force an update by heading to Settings, navigating to the Application tab, and clicking on Install Application Updates.

Avast: Under your Settings, you’ll find the Update tab. Click on the Update button. You can also tell Avast to perform automatic patches in this section.

Kaspersky: Kaspersky updates automatically according to its own schedule. If you want a manual update before scanning, right-click the program in the application tray. Once you select Update, click on the Database Update prompt.

Stay Secure With Software Updates

The next time you see that pesky update notification, don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Software security is always changing. The best method for staying secure is keeping your software updated.

Trying to keep up with the fast pace of everyday technology? Search our blog to learn more.

5 Key Tips for Visiting Greece on a Budget

There are many reasons to visit Greece, Athena the Goddess Wisdom, the Parthenon, and the breathtaking Agean sea. Like many, you may be dreaming of a Greek vacation but is there a way to see Greece on a budget?

The answer is yes, with a little planning and some insider knowledge you can take in all the wonder of Greece without breaking the bank. 

When traveling on a budget, the first thing you have to do is plan. So grab a notebook and a computer and get to work.

1. Getting There

Getting there is a big expense depending on where you live, however, it doesn’t have to be. Check out travelo.gr to find inexpensive flights from locations abroad. You can also use them to travel once you arrive in-country.

2. Rent a Car

Grabbing a cab everywhere you want to go can get expensive fast. When you rent a car you can see more of the area on your time and at a much lower price.

3. Get Travel Insurance

I know you may be thinking this isn’t a good way to spend your limited funds, but you would be amazed at how inexpensive it is. Things happen, and if it does happen this way you are saving the rest of your travel funds versus spending it to get home.

4. Accommodations

You have lots of options here. You can really get to know Greece by exploring some of the out of the way islands and cities. When you stay in Athens, or in Mykonos you can expect to pay higher prices than in other more remote locations.

Hostels are a great way to stay inexpensively, but if you aren’t interested in sharing accommodations explore AirBnBs. If you really want to see a larger city say on the outskirts and drive into the city for the day.

5. Travel in Low Season

Traveling in the low season requires some pre-planning. Not everything is open during the low season so you will want to check in advance. Also, the low season in Greece can be cold and rainy so dress accordingly. But if your budget is tight this is a great way to see the history of the country in an economic way.

Not to mention you don’t have to fight as many crowds when you explore the natural wonders that Greece has to offer. 

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out. It is cheaper to eat like a local and a lot more fun. Focus on taking pictures, verses buying souvenirs as a way to document your trip. And slow down, there is a lot to see in this historical section of the world.

Do You Love a Good Deal Beyond Seeing Greece on a Budget?

I love a good deal and am not afraid to talk about it. We have coupons, deals, and mystery boxes.

Follow us to learn how to see Greece on a budget or save on your prescription drugs. Our community is large and strong, join us and save.