Unplugging: Family Bonding Time

In world reliant on technology, we tend to get caught up in our screens and less on the people surrounding us. We don’t mean to, and it doesn’t mean we care less, but kids don’t know that as they develop. Below are some of the many ways we can unplug ourselves and our kids to create a family bonding time.

Time Out

When it’s time for family time, designate a spot for everyone to put their electric devices. Phones, laptops, tablets – the whole works! That way, when people sneak off to use the bathroom or “find a blanket”, they’re not actually sneaking off for tech time.

Bath Bonding

This is easier if you have younger kids. Bath time doesn’t have to be a chore, but instead make it a fun event for the kids. Maybe tell them they can bring some toys and you guys can play, or get fun bath bubbles that change color and have a spa.

Family Cooking Show

Pick a night every week that you make dinner a group event. Have them cook with you and help you out, or pick finger foods that are easy for them to make. Personal pizzas are always fun for the kids and easy to stick in the oven.

Dinner Time

Overall, dinner time can be a great time to talk with everyone and see how their days went. Even if you order take-out, sitting and eating forces you to look at one another. Maybe even make a “no-phone” rule at the table to keep unnecessary distractions away.

Storytime

Create an interactive story time. You and your spouse can act out a story, and then the children get a chance. Instead of sitting and reading a book, it allows everyone to talk and plan with one another and see their parents interacting.

Weather Permitting

As long as the weather is nice, enjoy time outside together. After being cooped up in an office all day or a school, this allows everyone to take a breath of fresh air with one another. You could play a game or even have a picnic.

Family Meetings

We tend to make family meetings for problems or emergencies. Try to change it up and include good family meetings. Talk about the week and how it went for anyone, if a kid received a good grade or sport award. It can help with family structure and bonding.

For more family tech-free ideas, visit: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/ways-to-unplug-and-connect-with-family-pictures

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Back to School Routine

It’s about that time again. School supplies lists have arrived and the local stores have already finished construction on the “Back to School” isles. Getting kids back into the routine of things can be a struggle, and even getting parents back into the hang of it can be stressful. Start early and be ready for school with some of the organization and routine tips.

You Time

Create some time for yourself and set your alarm before your kids get up. Read, watch the news, exercise, have a cup of coffee and sit outside – whatever gets you up in the morning. Get into your routine before school is in so you’re used to it.

Fun Chores

Summer may have meant the kids got away without doing regular chores. Create fun pictures for chores and hang them where the kids will see them to remained focus. Even if it’s to remind them of the morning routine of brushing teeth and breakfast, it can help motivate them and get them excited for a new school year.

Clocks!

Help them know what time their chores are or how quick they need to get ready and go by placing clocks where they can easily read them. Bathrooms and bedrooms are great places for them to see it in the morning, and your kitchen probably already has one on the stove or microwave.

Musical Mornings

Create a playlist for the mornings and use it to put the kids (and yourself) in a great mood for the day. Just like we listen to the radio or our favorite morning podcast to get us smiling, music can get the kids ready and grooving for the day.

Outfits

Cramming everything in the mornings can have some AM drama. On Sunday night, plan the outfits for the entire week. If your kids like to help pick their outfits, do it with them! Include socks and other undergarments to make it quick and easy.

Eliminate the Buffet

For morning breakfast, limit their options so you’re not receiving an “I don’t know”, or those with multiple kids aren’t fixing multitudes of different food. Offer one or the other.

Little Reminders

Create cards that remind them of things the kids tend to forget: lunch, project, jacket. Put it by their backpacks the night before so, as they’re leaving, they’ll remember to grab it.

Control Center

Transform a small space into an area that helps keep everyone organized. Put up hooks to hang backpacks and use hanging clipboards, frames, and dry-erase boards to keep together important information for the school year.

Backseat Organizer

Hide a stash of snacks and school supplies so you’re prepared for anything, whether it’s to or from school: forgotten homework before school or a hangry child after school.

For picture examples, check out the original article: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/streamline-back-to-school-routine-pictures

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Choosing Your Pillow

If you’ve been waking up with a sore back or neck, you may be sleeping with the wrong pillow. Generic pillows are nice and cheap, but in reality, everyone sleeps in different positions. Choosing a pillow that fits your sleeping style can help you get a good night sleep and wake up feeling 10 years younger!

Back Sleeper

If you find you sleep on your back, then you want to find a pillow with a medium loft or height to support your head and neck. A medium height will also help with the curve of your upper spine. Sometimes, a pillow shaped like a big piece of cake, or wedge pillow, helps those who tend to sleep on their back.

Props to those who do! Sleeping on your back is considered the best position for spine and neck health.

Side Sleeper

Many people tend to end up sleeping on their sides throughout their sleep. A firmer pillow will hold your head at an angle that matches the curve of your neck. Using a contoured pillow is best for side sleepers, but they can also add another pillow between their legs. This helps keep the spine aligned.

Stomach Sleeper

For the belly sleepers, choosing a flat pillow made from memory foam is the best option. Having a pillow with too much height or overly firm will tilt your head up and cause cricks in your neck. Most of the times, stomach sleepers don’t need much support at all.

Combo Sleeper

If you realize that you tend to wake up in different positions through the night, you’re probably a combo sleeper and need a pillow that will adjust to you. The best option for you is picking a pillow that is for two types of sleepers (back sleepers and side sleepers, as an example). There are pillows that either have a soft and firm section, or made with multiple fillings.

Filling your pillow

Every pillow comes with a different filling, which can be specific for types of sleepers or those that are picky about the softness of their pillow.

  • Natural Fill: While real feathers are pricey, they can be warm to the touch and softer to sleep on. Down is fluffy and light, where feathers are firmer to sleep on. If you have allergies, though, you may want to consider synthetic fills.
  • Synthetic fills: These tend to be made from polyester and rayon which is cheaper than down and more cloudlike. Those with allergies that still want a soft pillow tend to go for the synthetic materials.
  • Foam: Firmer and molding to your head, memory foam falls into this category. It’s usually made from polyurethane and can be shaped like a regular pillow. While memory foam can be hotter, Latex foam is a cooler option and is anti-microbial.
  • Combination: A combo pillow will usually be foam, either whole or in pieces, and synthetic fibers.

For more pillow advice and how to clean them, visit the original page: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/best-pillow/

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Exciting Event in Oceanside, CA

This weekend starting today begins the Supergirl Surf Pro, the world’s largest women’s surf event and festival. Filled with concerts, food, games, and surfing, this is the ultimate summer expedition to go to. From today until Sunday, July 30, Oceanside is proud to host the only all-girls action sports professional competition.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Supergirl Pro Series, bringing more than 125,00 people together to watch the female surfers perform live. On top of the surfing rounds, there are tons of different activities that can include people of all ages. There will be a food court, adult beverage garden, Zumba classes, and many other unique performances each day.

Another benefit about the event will be the different tournaments and exhibitions going on within the surf contest. On Saturday, there will be Women’s Skateboarding Performance and a Vive “Women in VR” panel. Sunday will feature even more Pro Skateboarding and BMX Exhibitions. There will also be a celebrity surf competition including: Selema “Sal” Masekela, Henry Dittman, Lindsey Jacobellis, David Chokachi, and Tanna Frederick. The best part is the event is free to attend!

Surfing Rounds

Today, the first three surfing rounds go from 8:00 am-12:00 pm, 12:00-4:00 pm, and 4:00-6:00 pm.

Tomorrow, July 29, there will be rounds from 7:30-9:30 am, 9:30 am-2:30 pm, and 2:30-5:50 pm.

The final day, July 30, the last round is from 8:15-11:35 am. The Quarterfinals start at 11:35 am and last until 1:15 pm. Then, the Semi-Finals will start after the Quarterfinals and go until 2:05 pm. The long-awaited Finals goes from 2:45-3:15 pm. Beginning at 3:30 pm, the Awards Ceremony is set to last until 4:00 pm where the champion will be crowned.

Concerts

Each day will include a concert for everyone to attend. Today includes Zande, Emily Zeck, Raelee Nikole, Mittens, Charlie Rae, Alec Joseph, and Elise Trouw.

On July 29, Tiffany Alvord, Andie Case, Skylar Stecker, Katelyn Tarver, Chord Overstreet, and Bea Miller will all be performing.

The final day will end in concert through the day with IZÄR, EVA, Joel Adams, Jordyn Jones, Spencer Sutherland, Drake Bell, and Aaron Carter.

For more information on the event and parking, go to their official event website: http://supergirlpro.com/

[Photo credit: http://supergirlpro.com/]
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Increasing Your Home Value in 5 Small Ways

When selling your home, you want the best price for your home. Nowadays, people like new homes that are updated and won’t require them to put any more money in than they’ve already spent. If they have to spend money, they will negotiate for lower prices that you never anticipated. To keep that from happening, you can make small renovations or updates that won’t require you to break the bank. Here are 5 ways that you can make a big difference in the value of your home.

1. Kitchen

Smaller investments in your kitchen can make a bigger difference than leaving it alone if you can’t afford a full renovation. People love to entertain in kitchens and it’s a main location in the home where a lot of time is spent. Updating your worn-down tiles, flooring, or backsplashes can add a refreshed and new look to the kitchen. Even replacing some of your older cooking utensils like new pots and pans can make your kitchen feel newer.

2. Bathroom

When it comes to your bathrooms, you have to decide what kind of upgrades you are willing to make. People are adding bathrooms to create more value in their homes. If adding another full bathroom is too big of a project, updating the hardware in the bathroom can add value. Putting in new towel rods or re-grouting can make your bathroom look like a full remodel was done.

3. Lighting

When selling your home, the bigger a room looks the better. With bright lighting, it can make your room feel bigger. LED lighting has become accessible and inexpensive in the recent years. By moving dangling lights into the ceiling with recessed lighting, you can make a huge impact and make your room more modern.

4. Paint

Repainting your rooms can give the house a sharper look. If you don’t want to redo every room, focus on the rooms where the most living will be. Stick with neutral tones if you are planning to completely repaint. Buyers are turned away by darker tones and neon pink rooms.

5. Landscape

The outside of the house is the first thing a buyer will see. Add a little dark mulch, some potted plants, and a fresh coat of paint on the door. Repair and replace any damaged stones or paths. If the outside looks well-kept and refreshed, a home buyer will be excited to step through the front door.

For examples on updating your home, see the original article: https://www.zillow.com/blog/updates-increase-your-home-value-218078/

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Under $100 DIY Transformation: Painting a “Half” Wall

When painting a room, the color and coordination of colors can make or break the feeling in a room. Even the style or pattern you add to your painting can alter the way someone looks at the room. A more modern look for painting is only covering parts of the wall, or “half” wall painting. To open up your room or give your house a modern vibe, here are some ideas for painting.

Halfway up the wall

When you paint hallway up the wall, you can paint to whatever height you want. If you stop above the eye level, you make the color stand out while stopping below the eye level will make the room airy and open.

Straight Across

Ignore any architectural features that would normally be in the way of painting and paint over it. If you paint hallway up the wall, follow along the closets and doors to paint halfway. This will give your home a modern edge.

Dynamic diagonals

Having diagonal lines for your walls can set off a more energetic or playful vibe. Our brains tend to perceive diagonal lines as such, so your room will appear more fun.

Tall spaces and staircases

For higher ceilings or staircases, half wall helps the area feel more grounded and less overwhelming with one specific color.

Faux headboard

If you don’t have a headboard, you can paint one! Choose a paint that would match a trendy side table and put a headboard over the line.

Blackboard

Children love to draw on the walls, so why not give them a spot that is easier for you to clean? These can not only help the grown-ups communicate, but can entertain the children.

Continuous lines

If you have a colored tile in the bathroom halfway up the wall, continuing the same color scheme in paint across the drywall can add a sophisticated look to your powder room.

Faux backsplash

Another sophisticated look, painting hallway up the wall so that it comes just above the sink or toilet will act like a fake backsplash.

Painted baseboards

Instead of leaving your baseboards the same color as the wood floor or leaving them white, painting them with the wall color can give your room a modern statement.

Artistic framing

Painting a frame around a framed photo or painting makes the piece appear larger and makes it more noticeable. Fill up more wall space this way and have less hanging around.

There’s so much more you can do! Go to the original website to get even MORE tips:

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/86619231/list/this-under-100-diy-project-can-transform-a-room

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Quick Decluttering Projects

Clutter can get annoying when you’re trying to find homes for new items. Here are some tips for decluttering that could take 15 minutes or less.

Food Storage Containers

The cabinets where you keep all your food storage can get a little wild. Pull out all the containers and start finding their matching lids. For any of the mate-less lids or containers, recycle or toss them into the garbage. For the rest, use your space to dictate how they will all fit in and the pieces you may not really need.

Fridge Condiments

Any condiments on the door of your fridge, pull out and place on the counter. Search all the expiration dates and toss any that are past due. If there are condiments you didn’t like and haven’t touched, it’s time to throw those away, too. To be a little cleanly with the decluttering, take a wet sponge and wipe the bottoms of the containers.

Utensil Jar

Check to see if you use the utensils in the jar by the stove. Are they used every day? Maybe you could get rid of one of your many spatulas. If you have some utensils that you don’t use daily but you do need, try finding them a new spot.

Pen Cup

Grab any pens you see that are laying around. Take a sheet of paper and test them. All the ones that work, designate a cup for them near the places you use them the most. For all the pens that don’t work, it’s time to throw them out.

Sock Drawer

Pull out all the socks in your drawer and make sure they each have a pair. For those that do have pairs, make sure they are free of any holes. For the pairs that you can’t find their match, try to check around your laundry room for their missing brother. If there are mate-less socks, put them in a bag and locate your nearest clothing recycle donation bin.

Shower Products

If you have a lot of clutter in your shower, it’s time to sort through it. If you have products left over that you tried but didn’t like, then it might be time to throw it away or give it to someone you know would like it.

Dish Towels

Before you know it, you’ve got 20 dish towels. Pull out all the ones that are old, raggedy, and have the permanent mildew stench. Maybe keep some of the old ones for rags when it comes to painting, car work, yard work, or any other task that will eventually stain them. Try to find a new home for them, but don’t go overboard on how many you keep.

Magazines/Catalogs

Go through your magazines to make sure you’ve gotten rid of older issues. If you’re keeping them for an article, cut the article out and keep it in a folder to reduce the space your magazines are taking up. Or, if you’re really trying to reduce paper clutter, try to find the online version and bookmark it.

For even more decluttering ideas, check out the original article: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/81853344/list/10-decluttering-projects-you-can-do-in-15-minutes-or-less

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Sleep Better: Decorating Your Bedroom

Grey and White Floral Bed ComforterIf you had rough nights of sleep this weekend, maybe it’s time to check the room your sleeping in. The colors in our bedrooms, how we have them decorated, and the items we choose to store in there have an effect on how we sleep. Colors can influence our brain activity as we fall asleep, and too much noise or light can stir us in the night. Here are some crafty and inexpensive ways to adjust the vibes in your bedroom.

Dreamy Hues

Popular bedroom hues like purple and brown are more likely to stimulate the brain and decrease your sleep by two hours. Calming colors like blue and green can actually lower your blood pressure and improve your sleep.

No Clutter

Decluttering makes your place look better and helps you sleep as well. A cluttered room can mean a cluttered mind. The melon rule: only decorate with items larger than a melon.

Technology Free

TV can interrupt your sleeping and keep your mind active as you try to fall asleep. Keep your TV for the living room and decorate your room with a piece of artwork or decorative mirror.

Make it Cozy

Having cotton sheets, plush comforters, woven blankets, and layers of fluffy pillows can make your room feel cozy, comfortable, and welcoming.

Layered Window

By putting multiple layers on your window treatments, you can reduce noise, light, and help control the temperature of your room. Put a wooden shade beneath your decorative curtains.

Lighting

Try to remove any bright, overhead lighting and exchange it for softer, low-light lamps with decorative shades. Try candles or wax melts with calming scents.

Nature

Adding a plant can improve your quality of sleep by the quality of air. Having air purifier plants helps emit the oxygen at night. Try plants like spider plants, aloe vera, and snake plants.

Big Rugs

Even with carpeted bedrooms, a rug can add more sleep-inducing color and extra warmth to soothe you to sleep. Choose larger rugs that extend over a foot from the sides and front of the bed.

For some visual ideas on how to create a calmer bedroom, take a look at the original link: http://www.hgtv.com/shows/one-thing-five-ways/8-ways-to-decorate-for-a-better-night-s-sleep-pictures

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This Weekend Near Encinitas!

Who doesn’t love the summer time? There’s always an event going on designed to enjoy the weather, or get a break from the heat. If you aren’t going to San Diego’s Annual Comic-Con, there will be plenty of other things to do. They may not involve witnessing your favorite celebrities, but you never know! Maybe on your way in to San Diego for fun, you could get a glimpse of Marvel or Supernatural stars.

Here are this weekend’s events:

Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar
2720 Via de la Valle
July 23 & July 30, 12pm-3pm

The Flower Hill Promenade will be hosting 2 free family fun festivals, one happening this Sunday and the second one will be next Sunday. These events will include pony rides, petting zoos, face painting, arts, and crafts. There will be local musicians performing live and other various forms of entertainment.

Solana Beach Concerts
Fletcher Cove Park
140 So. Sierra Ave, Solana Beach
Every Thursday through Aug. 24, 6pm-7:45pm

At the Cove, there will be summer concerts every Thursday until August 24th. This summer series includes different musical groups to enjoy. Bring your blankets, chairs, picnics, and friends. For more information, visit their website at cityofsolanabeach.org.

West Side Story
Star Theatre Company
402 N. Coast Hwy, Oceanside
July 21-30, Fri & Sat: 7:30pm, Sun: 2pm

The Star Theatre Company is proud to present their rendition of West Side Story. You can purchase tickets online: children at $10; seniors, students, and military at $15; adults at $20. Visit their website at StarTheatreCo.com.

Insect and Ladybug Festival
San Diego Botanic Garden
July 22-23, 10am-4pm

This event is for all you bug lovers of all ages! This festival features live lizards, snakes, and the Madagascar hissing cockroaches. There will be various activities like bug collecting, insect arts and crafts, and even mealworm larva in flavors of mesquite, teriyaki, and barbeque. There are 20 different entertainment booths and something for children or adults. Check out it out at their website: sdbgarden.org/insect.htm

Avenue Q
OB Playhouse & Theatre Company
4944 Newport Ave, San Diego
Running until Sept. 17. Thurs-Sat: 8pm, Sun: 3pm

Back by popular demand, the OB Playhouse & Theatre brings you the adult puppet show, Avenue Q. Intend for mature audience, Avenue Q has many adult themes and language. If you enjoy crude humor, then this show will have you on the floor with laughter. This show normally has a 2-hour run time. General admission is $33 or the VIP front row table runs at $43. Go online to purchase your tickets: obtheatrecompany.com

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7 Fixes For Your Wood Panels

If you have wood paneling, you’ve probably tried to think of a makeover project to fix those wooden slats that seem to make your house look like a cabin. Tearing them off the wall can get pricey and messy. If you have no idea or are out of ideas when it comes to your wood paneling, here are some designer and practical fixes that make your house look new.

1. Paint the wood panels white

This is one of the easiest ways to update your wood paneling. Just cover the wood grain with a good primer and a couple of coats of white paint.

2. Whitewash

You may actually enjoy the wood-look of your panels but don’t dig the cabin-in-the-woods vibe. Whitewashing can keep the wood but add a more modern touch. Water down your whit paint, brush it on and then immediately wipe it. Repeat these steps until you get your desired wash.

3. Stripes!

If you modern isn’t good enough and you’re feeling a little edgy, take a look at the cracks. Alternate colors by using those cracks to paint multicolored stripes. Paint the paneling grooves one color and the paneling slats another.

4. Hide with art

An art gallery wall, mirrors, and sculptures can all distract from the paneling. Just like any other wall, it takes away from the wood and focuses everyone’s attention on the items hanging around.

5. Hide with shelves or curtains

Placing book shelves can also distract from the wood paneling. Once you add different things to the shelves, people will be more focused on that. You can also soften a room and cover panels by adding ceiling to floor curtains.

6. Regular walls

Maybe you just can’t stand the wood panels. A quick fix to make them into regular walls is grabbing some drywall compound at your home improvement store. Fill the cracks and lines of the wood paneling and, when you’re done, sand and prime it. Then, paint the walls whatever color you like!

7. Paint them in a new, nonwood color

Embrace those wood panels! Why not try painting them a nonwood color that’s impossible to ignore. Use it as a focal point of your room and give it a designer look. Alternate colors like tan and black or tan and white. How does designer wood panels sound for your home?

For visualizations and model ideas, check out the original article: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/wood-paneling-makeover-ideas/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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