Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Book Review: Baa! Oink! Moo! God Made The Animals

Book Description:
Baa! Oink! Moo! God Made the Animals, written by award-winning author Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by David Walker, is set on a farm and follows a conversation between a mother and child as the child repeatedly asks "Mama, who made . . . ?"
In the end, children learn that God is responsible for creating sheep, cows, pigs, horses, goats––all the animals on the farm… including puppies! Together, parents and children will discover the wonder of God’s creation when they open Baa! Oink! Moo! God Made the Animals.
My Review:
If you have a toddler or preschool then this is a book to add to your library.  The rhymes are entertaining and catchy... especially if my 5 and 9 year old still enjoyed it I imagine the younger ones will love it even more.  
Obvious each page has animal noises so this book could be a hoot in a small group.  I personally like that every page reminds us that God is our creator!   This book would be a great addition to any series for creation!  
Thank's Zondervan for sending me this book for free in exchange for an honest review.  I was not paid for this review and all opinions expressed are 100% mine.  

5 Ways to Beat Depression

Depression can affect a person’s everyday life. In its mildest form, depression is a low mood that seems almost never-ending. The mental health condition can also be life-threatening, with many people feeling helpless and even suicidal. However, it is important to know there are things you can do to fight depression once and for all.
Speak to Your GP
If you think you are living with depression, one of the most important things you can do is discuss your feelings with a doctor. You may feel a little embarrassed or afraid to speak about your emotions with a professional, but they are there to listen and can provide the help you need to start enjoying life again.
A doctor may refer you to a counsellor if he or she believes you need to talk to an experienced listener, or you can choose to go directly to a counsellor yourself. Sometimes the biggest battle can be just talking about the depression, as you may feel a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders by simply talking about your problems.
TMS Therapy
Transcranial Magnetic Simulation (TMS) Therapy is an FDA-cleared safe and effective treatment for depression. Smart Brain and Health can deliver the non-invasive therapy, which uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the various parts of the brain that are associated with depression, and can improve a person’s mood and personal well-being.
A doctor may also offer you antidepressants, which can be combined with counselling. There are various medications you can take, and different people will prefer different medications, so you may have to try out different antidepressants until you find a medication that works for your mood. It is, however, essential you make an informed choice. Speak to your doctor about any side effects or concerns you may have about taking the medication.
Exercise provides a body with mood-lifting endorphins, which can be a great way to battle away depression. Start exercising daily to boost your mood and general health. The exercise could be as simple as going for a walk, working out at home, cycling in the great outdoors or spending time in the gym. There is a workout for everyone, and it could transform your personal wellbeing, so it is certainly worth trying.
Art Therapies
Art therapies can sometimes be an effective way to deal with depression, as you will enjoy a therapeutic environment alongside a qualified therapist. Just some of the art therapies you can participate in include dance movement therapy, music therapy, drama therapy and visual art therapy. You don’t have to worry about a lack of experience, either, because the aim is for you to create something so you can express your feelings without the need for words.

There is often a stigma attached to depression, but there really is no shame in seeking medical help. If you believe you could be battling with depression, or are suffering from a low mood, book an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.

Pursue a Healthy Work Life: Re-set Those Resolutions

This year for New Year’s, I decided to make some changes that are going to enhance my lifestyle. While I'm getting better at taking my vitamins and exercising regularly, I know there are still plenty of ways I can be healthier while improving my career. You’re probably thinking how can you be healthier at work? Well, there are a lot of ways to have a healthier career. It’s all about creating better boundaries, having a positive work environment, and making sure you’re giving yourself enough time to recover when you’re not working.
I’ve decided to renew my vow in 2017 to be healthier while enhancing my career. Often when we have a lot to do, we feel more feelings of guilt than empowerment if we can't accomplish it all. It’s time to stop feeling this way and make both work and healthy living fun again. Banish the guilt. Pursue the things that make you feel alive. Do what you can to find success, and feel good about those successes. They will inevitably lead to more. Here are a few things I’ve found to be helpful in pursuing health:
Focus on growing a business
Perhaps your focus isn’t working more efficiently and making time for healthier work boundaries like mine is. Perhaps your goal is to expand and grow a business because you just took time off to have a baby or you weren’t as motivated to expand the business as you would have hoped in 2016. Whether you are starting a new business or expanding to a second or third office, finding a beautiful virtual or furnished office space equipped with high-quality office furniture may be the perfect fit for you. For example, if you’re working in an environment that’ll help you stay goal driven and focused on a daily basis is vital. If you work at home, a new office space away from home may be just what you need.
Take your vitamins
Each day, I take the recommended dose of multivitamins, some calcium supplements, and an OMEGA-3 fatty acid supplement. It may sound strange, but I can tell the difference in my feelings and appearance when I skip the OMEGA-3. I take it to aid my brain function, help my skin, and it also helps with anxiety and depression. Vitamins can help with your work productivity and make you feel better, especially when you’re having a lousy day. Celebrate each time you take your vitamins and appreciate the nourishment they’re giving your body.
Get out in the sun
I have a friend who is a consistent marathon runner. I’ve always been envious of her ability to stay in shape -- and her healthful appearance. She says that running helps her control fibromyalgia. I’d like to start a running program to help me have more energy, but it’s hard. I asked her what her secret is, and she said that you have to start by just getting your butt out the door at the same time every day.
Staying motivated to work on your career is fantastic, but it’s vital to take time away to not only get some exercise but gain new ideas and perspectives. There are a lot of people who enjoy working who also enjoy going on the occasional jog because it’s during that time they come up with a load of new ideas for their business!
You don’t have to force yourself to do anything extreme. Just develop a pattern of pursuing a healthy work life, and your motivation will come. Each time you make a new work goal, walk a mile, breathe deep the fresh air, or drink a big glass of water, pat yourself on the back. You’re moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

4 Ways Mom Can Stretch the Household Budget

You’re a great mother, and you take pride in your children’s upbringing. The problem is that money can become an ongoing issue. You need to save cash when you can. Here are four ways moms can stretch the household budget.

Shop Smarter

Image via Flickr by stepnout
Groceries take up a lot of your monthly budget. Feeding your family is expensive, but you can stretch your money by shopping smarter. Most grocery stores still place ads in the newspaper. When you get the latest sales circular, compile your grocery list. Plan your weekly meals around the loss leaders: the items sold for less than the business would like. You can save a lot of money with a bit of planning.

Consolidate Bills

Do you have some credit card debt? You should think of credit card interest as an invisible gremlin that swallows some of your hard-earned money. The amount of money that you owe will actually increase each month if you have a lot of debt, high-interest rates, and low monthly payments. If you always make minimum payments, you’re giving the credit card issuer cash that you could use for other purposes.
You should research a consolidation loan. Pay special attention to sites such as Prosper and Lending Club. They’re crowd-funded lenders, which enables them to offer better interest rates. You should have no problem finding one with a lower interest rate than your current credit cards. The savings you gain from combining your bills is found money for your family.

Personalize Gifts

When you buy gifts for loved ones, you probably choose tech toys or branded merchandise. You might even offer gift cards. A better option exists. Start personalizing your gifts. In lieu of something that will wind up in the closet anyway, buy a monogrammed frame from Shutterfly using coupons to save money. Then add a picture of your family. Your purchases can even contribute to helping those less fortunate than you.
You should have no problem finding a discount. In fact, a lot of companies have deals that involve charitable donations when someone makes a purchase via Coupons For Good. The next time you buy flowers for a loved one, you can save money while helping charity by using 1-800-Flowers coupons.

Simplify Expenses

Are you still paying for cable? How much television do you actually watch each day? Cord cutting is very popular these days. One of the reasons is that many of your favorite programs are available online. You simply have to pay a streaming service a few dollars a month to gain access to thousands of hours of programming. In fact, you might even find free shows that you like on YouTube.
Similarly, do you have a telephone landline? How often do you use it instead of your cell phone? You should get rid of it. While you’re at it, call your cell phone carrier and ask for a better deal. The worst it can say is no. If it does offer a discount, that’s more money for your family.

As you can see, plenty of opportunities exist to help you stretch your budget. Follow these suggestions to live more comfortably with your current family income.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Termite Baiting

What is termite baiting?
If your home is at risk of termite infestation or already experiencing a problem with termites, one solution is to use termite baiting.
But what exactly is termite baiting? For starters, it’s an alternative to the traditional barrier methods used by many exterminators and pest control companies, which uses a lot of chemicals and some structural changes to prevent the entry of termites into your home.
The simplest explanation is that termite baiting is the use of cardboard, wood, paper, and other termite food to lure termites into eating chemicals or poisons that kill them. Depending on whether you try to create a bait yourself or have a professional like New Jersey exterminator do it, baits can vary widely from one to the next.
Most baits involve the use of a slow-acting substance that is lethal to termites but still appealing enough for them to readily consume it and bring it to the nest where other termites will eat it as well.
No matter what substance is used, the most important thing about it is that it acts slowly. If the termites were to find the bait, eat it, and then die quickly after, it would not be effective in slowing the growth of the colony.
That’s because termites would avoid the bait if it were surrounded by dead termites, and also because the termites who found the bait wouldn’t have the opportunity to bring any of the poisoned food back to the rest of the colony to eat.
Baits like these are typically used against subterranean termites, which are the most common termites in the United States. That is because in order for the bait to be effective, it is typically placed near active termite nests or underground where termite activity is known to occur. The tunneling and colonial behavior of subterranean termites make them ideal for the use of baits like these.
In many cases, baiting will either kill the entire colony or kill enough of the colony that it no longer serves as a threat to the structure you are trying to protect.
Baiting is something that can be done yourself, but because of the use of chemicals and the potential of failure or even backfiring (where a homeowner accidentally attracts termites to their home more than before) due to inexperience, it can be best to leave it to professionals.
If you do choose to try baiting on your own, though, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one thing, you want to ensure you are baiting during the right time of year. For most areas in the United States, this time is the period between spring and fall — but this can vary if you live in warmer, wetter areas of the U.S.
Baits should be placed 10 to 20 feet apart along the parameter of your building, either above or below ground, since the termites will find them through random foraging rather than smell or sight. You also should place them in any areas where termite activity is known to occur.

Be sure to replace baits as necessary — if you purchase most commercial bait products, they typically come with some instructions on how and when to replace them.
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