There’s something special about family. A group of people that are so different yet so similar, sharing a moment of their life as they grow up together. Between the strict schedule, school, and other activities, it’s easy to forget to spend time as a family.
Your family is your team. They support you just as any other team does. One way to strengthen this is by bringing everyone together through focused and fun activities. While you may only see team activities as something for birthdays, working together as a family on something will really reinforce those bonds.
Remove the family feuds for a moment and unite through fun activities that require a team mindset!
A game that requires strategy, planning, focus, and agility, paintballing will take your family outdoors and into a game of elimination.
Paintballing is typically in a forest setting where you’ll have lots of places to hide and plan your game of attack. You’ll be given your protective armour –paintballs hurt–, a certain number of gelatin balls to shoot your opponents with and an m4a1 gel blaster to really get you into character.
This team strategy activity is fast-paced, so you have to work as a team and boost each other’s energy to get through it – the adrenaline alone will be enough!
We live in a digital world. Taking things back to basics is hard, so much so, you may even forget how to do it. Camping is the original team-building activity. It’s time to disconnect, get in touch with nature, spend time together, and test out some survival skills.
From putting up a tent to making a fire and cooking in the wild, camping teaches your family simple skills that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. Once you’re set up, hiking, swimming, and most importantly, getting away from cell phones and computers will be a refreshing, and perhaps challenging change for everyone.
Camping is an intimate experience that brings out the need for some innovation. Entertain yourselves through silly games, cards, trivia, and learn how to be out in the wild.
The ultimate test in teamwork. Escape Rooms are becoming popular all across the world for their innovative approach to real-life games.
The escape rooms are designed to create an immersive experience that will take you into another world. This can be anything from WWII to ancient discoveries and magic: you can choose your theme based on the interests of your family members. You’ll be given a scenario, a series of puzzles to solve to get out, and 70 minutes to do it.
Escape Rooms build up an ability to deal with situations under pressure together. They encourage everyone to use their skills to their advantage to get out, whether that’s problem-solving, finding things, or completing tasks quickly. You have to do it together, or you will lose the game.
Between the strategizing and adrenaline of running around in team-based activities, you’re building a bond that won’t break while making memories with your loved ones. When you take part in family-orientated games, your children learn how to build relationships with others and take on these valuable skills for the rest of their lives.
A question as old as time – should you buy a house before or after having a baby? The answer is – there’s no right one. According to many women, maybe the best option is to qualify for a mortgage before and move after having a baby. Looking for a house to buy is much easier if you’re child-free.
Lenders can’t discriminate against pregnant women or those who are considering having children soon. However, if you are currently on maternity or paternity leave, getting a mortgage can be tricky. So, our advice is to apply for a mortgage and buy a house before the baby comes. Also, before you start planning your move, don’t forget to determine your moving budget. And don’t forget to plan every single stage of the process carefully, because moving with a newborn is no easy feat.
The moving process itself is one of the most stressful things people handle during their lifetime, and it tends to kick them out of their comfort zone. When moving with a baby, the stress tends to multiply, so you ought to be mentally and physically prepared. This step-by-step guide might make things easier for you. So, find a comfortable spot, relax, take a deep breath and start reading.
Hire reliable, reputable movers
Moving with a newborn is not an easy endeavor. This is a challenging experience for older children and adults, let alone a baby who doesn’t understand what is happening. So, If you choose to move with a newborn, the most important thing is to pick a reliable moving company.
Check their reputation by looking at their reviews on their official website. Furthermore, you could ask your family and friends for a recommendation, ask for advice on your social media, check your local newspaper and lastly – check the internet.
Hire trusted movers. When moving with a newborn, you will need all the help you can get.
Ensure the company you’re considering offers all the moving services you need, confirm the validity of all the documents you’re signing, and ask all the essential questions. If any of the answers are even remotely vague, you should avoid them and consider hiring another moving company.
Get all necessary packing supplies
Failure to use enough moving supplies or using them incorrectly can result in damaged, ruined possessions while moving home.
Here’s a quick checklist that will make things easier for you:
Good-quality packing supplies are a must.
Cardboard boxes – Heavier items – small boxes, light bulky items – large boxes, medium-sized items – medium boxes. IMPORTANT: Don’t leave empty space!
Bubble wrap – easy to use, suitable for fragile things: figurines, glasses, dishes.
Packing paper – cheaper and takes up less space than bubble wrap
Moving blankets or furniture pads – always provided by a professional moving company. Used for covering and protecting furniture.
Padded wrapping paper – prevents scratches on hard furniture like a desk, dresser, or table.
Stretch plastic wrap – prevents drawers from sliding open and keeps loose items contained.
Heavy-duty packaging tape with tape dispenser – tape down the middle where the flaps meet and also on the side of a box – to make sure you’ve got the extra support.
Permanent markers for labeling – label boxes FRAGILE and draw arrows to indicate the position a box needs to be placed.
Garbage bags – for your clothes, towels, linens, stuffed toys
Ziploc bags – small screws, brackets, batteries, and all those little items.
Wardrobe boxes – suits, wedding dresses, and all your classy gowns.
Wardrobe boxes – suits, wedding dresses, and all your classy gowns.
Moving day supplies:
Hand trucks for heavy items
Cleaning supplies and paper towels
Bear in mind that if you opt for professional help, you won’t have to worry about packing supplies. The consultants from Here & Now Movers, say that many of their clients who had to relocate with a newborn chose to hire professional packers to make the entire process easier for everyone.
Pack baby essentials
Pack all the items you might need during the moving process. Here’s another checklist for packing baby essentials, just in case.
Some sort of pack ‘n play, high chair, or bouncy seat to contain them for short periods of time
Favorite stuffed animal
A few favorite toys
Breast pump and breastfeeding pillow
Formula, water, and/or food
Cooler if needed for breastmilk and formula
Stroller and carrier
Extra bags for dirty diapers and messy clothes
First aid kit and thermometer
Important: Make sure you’ve packed plenty of extra bottles and snacks to have on hand at any time while on the move. Don’t forget another crucial thing – at any moment you should know where important documents are.
The important documents you should find in an instant are: birth certificates, social security cards, credit card information, health and renters or homeowners’ insurance, closing papers or rental lease agreement, and immunization records.
Once you finally get to your new home…
Unpack the baby’s bedroom as soon as you get to your new home. If you do it on day one, your child might even barely notice you’ve moved because their space will look exactly as the one before – they’ll have calm and consistent surroundings, and they could play or sleep while you continue to unpack.
Don’t forget to get the potty unboxed as well. Also, store all the medicines, alcohol, cleaning products, and pet food way out of your baby’s reach. Remove choking hazards such as packing materials and cords.
Baby proof your new home
Once you finally get to your destination, make sure to baby-proof your new home as soon as possible. The first thing we advise you to do is to crawl. Yes, you read it right! You should literally get down on your hands and knees, crawl through your new home and try to see the surroundings from your baby’s perspective.
Baby proof your new home as soon as you move in.
That way, you can see what might look interesting and be a potential danger or choking hazard. Test the alarms (smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms), install safety stair gates at the top of the stairs, use cordless window coverings and child-resistant locks on drawers containing things potentially dangerous for children. Also, cover electrical outlets, place around tight-fitting electrical outlet covers that baby’s tiny fingers cannot pull out. If your baby is a bit older, give them time to adjust and try to create a relaxing environment.
New beginnings, new memories
It’s an undeniable fact – the decision to buy a house before or after having a baby is totally up to you. It’s easier to do everything before the baby arrives. It’s a sure thing that you’ll be saving for welcoming a new family member, but you can always plan and calculate your finances and buy a house on a budget.
Everybody knows it, and we aren’t trying to deny it – moving is stressful. Moving with a newborn borders with insanity. However, it doesn’t have to be too hard, especially with good organization. Just give your best and focus on the positive – new home, new beginnings and memories, new chapters – and you’ll see that it can also be exciting.
One thing is for sure – you have to stay as positive as you can. Breathe in, breathe out. And, we cannot stress this enough, DON’T WORRY, YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Article by Sally Norton
Sally is a proud member of Alejandra’s Life Family Team
Long-distance relationships are becoming more common, although they can usually be very challenging. Sometimes the job just forces us to do it or we get to know our partner via the internet. Sometimes we are waiting on visas and paperwork before we can move in with them.
Firstly, it is important to look to see if you need a fiance visa. Once you have this, you can move forward. Here are relationship tips you can use to keep your long-distance relationship going despite all odds.
1. Little use of social media in a long-distance relationship
Of course, it’s convenient to stay in touch all day long using chat functions – especially if you’ve even met each other on the Internet. However, chatting is much more likely to cause misunderstandings in a relationship because facial expressions, gestures, and the pitch of the voice are absent from the conversation. Above all, it is better to discuss important topics such as future plans or feelings over the phone.
A conscious use of social media is required too. It is not the best way to maintain a relationship. You may feel ocncnerend if they don’t like your photos anymore, or can’t wait to message them to see why they haven’t posted. It’s best to avoid this area. If you already know each other really well, you can of course use social media as well as chat apps or other communication options on the Internet.
If you already know what the other’s behaviors are, this can reduce the risk of misunderstandings. Keep in mind, however, that written communication is always harder to interpret.
2. Maintain long-distance relationships through shared memories
Clearly, shared memories cement any type of relationship. This is particularly important in a partnership in which you don’t see each other every day – maybe not even for weeks or months.
It is true that you can often exchange ideas and thus at least participate in the life of the other in your thoughts. So it is important to keep thinking back on a common basis. These can be shared experiences such as vacations and trips that you can talk about. Or perhaps talk about your mutual friends.
It can also work well to watch a series, read a book or listen to an audiobook at the same time. This creates a stronger feeling that one is actually part of the life of the other.
3. In a long-distance relationship, you should make phone calls every day
Emotional closeness is particularly important in a long-distance relationship because there is no physical closeness. Therefore, you should talk to each other every day. Video chat is best because you can see them up close, watch their expressions and get on a deeper level with the conversation.
This makes it easier to determine whether the other person has just had a great day, is very tired or whether there were perhaps problems. This also makes it easier to interpret the other person’s statements and avoid misunderstandings. Whatsapp, Skype or Facebook are great.
Decades ago, braces weren’t as popular or accessible as they are today. Luckily, times have changed, and a great number of children, tweens, and teens already have their orthodontists and plans to get braces at some point.
As common as braces are, kids aren’t always happy about getting them because they fear it will hurt and that they will talk funny afterward. As a parent, your job is more than making sure your children’s teeth are healthy – you should talk to them to prepare and reassure them about what lies ahead.
Assure them it won’t hurt
Kids are afraid of pain and discomfort, of course, and one of the most common questions they ask both their parents and orthodontists is whether getting braces will hurt. While traditional braces were uncomfortable and aligning them could be painful, modern braces aren’t like that.
While it will take a few days for your kids’ cheeks and lips to get used to this change, it’s not something a bit of over-the-counter medicine can’t handle. Discomfort only lasts a few days until they get used to the feeling, but after that, they’ll stop noticing they even have them.
Support them when they get scared
Kids get scared not only because they think braces might hurt but because they also don’t want to be teased by their peers in school. This fear is perfectly normal, especially with tweens and teens, as older kids can be really mean when they tease others.
Offer them support and assure them that, even if they are the first in their friend group or class to get braces, they definitely won’t be the only ones. What is more, modern braces are less noticeable and bulky than those that were in use decades ago, and they can wear them and still feel confident.
Explain it’s only temporary
If they aren’t excited about the idea of wearing braces, try reminding them that this is only temporary. Nobody expects them to wear braces for decades, and they aren’t going to become a permanent part of their look. Even though every person is different, with different teeth and problems, on average, braces are worn for a year or two. The more accurate answer, however, should come from an orthodontist.
If you’re thinking about orthodontics for children, don’t hesitate to direct any of your child’s questions to professionals. They will be able to tell you exactly how long your child should wear braces because they have more experience, and they’ll be more familiar with their case.
There are parents who are willing to promise their children practically anything if they agree to wear braces, but you don’t always have to offer a bribe. Positive reinforcement is another great way to connect with your kids and improve their self-confidence.
In addition to this, by using positive words and praising their commitment, you will ensure they follow their orthodontist’s directions better and get better results too. Praise their dedication, celebrate small milestones and good appointments, and don’t hesitate to let them know how proud you are of them and the progress they’ve made. Words of positivity and quality time you spend together will work better than any small and insignificant treat.
Tell them exactly what to expect
The best way to prepare them for braces and ease their fears is to tell them in detail exactly what they can expect during the process. Tell them that the bonding procedure for braces is uncomfortable but painless, and reassure them that there aren’t any needles whatsoever. You can also encourage them to come up with a list of questions to ask the orthodontist if they are unsure after your talk. Professionals will be happy to answer questions and probably praise your child for their curiosity.
While some kids will be excited about the prospect of getting braces, others will be reluctant even to visit an orthodontist. What you as a parent should remember is that both of these reactions are perfectly normal and expected. The most important thing is not to push your children into something that makes them uncomfortable, but at the same time, to make decisions that are best for them. Spend time talking to them about everything they might find worrying, and they will be more at ease about the whole process.
“Sorry, my mistake” and then someone leaves without speaking about how they are really feeling or the situation itself.
How many times this happens in relationships? Too often, and when that happens, normally is a bad scenario. Let’s see them:
Rule number one in any relationship is: you need to communicate. No fuss, not scared to talk, no drama, no anger. Plain and simple – if you feel any of the above, your relationship is toxic, and you can’t be you. Maybe your partner is too demanding or controlling? Maybe you have lack of confidence because of x number of issues.
Talking is the best a good couple should have. Being in a relationship is not all roses or daily perfect. There are days and days, sometimes we need time off without talking, other times we have our head full or work problems and might use harsh words to our partner that has nothing to do with those problems. Say sorry, say you need a bit of alone time, a couple of minutes. They will understand.
Communicate. Talk. Say what you need to say in a good manner.
Assume is to make an “ASS” out of “U” and “Me”. It is a good lesson, and you won’t forget now.
Assuming a “relationship is forever”, has been an unreal idea that Disney and fairytales spread. Sorry to disappoint you. The truth is that is a 20 percent chance that it can happen. Crazy right? Right.
Assuming you have the perfect relationship or the perfect partner, you Prince/King might be true, but assuming that life will treat you like a fairytale is something we need to:
Grow up and work a relationship
Talking and sharing = Sharing is caring
You can be the most different personalities, be from different poles of the world, speaking different languages and still there will be something common between you, that brought you both together: that is 2 peas in a pod situation.
When we speak about growing up, it can be literally growing up, in terms of years, but have you noticed how sometimes being in a situation or with someone for, let’s say 7 months, and looks like you know them your whole life? That’s a growing up. Being mature about your thoughts, needs, how to react, or even ways of talking. That reveals growth.
How you and your partner can think of something that will make you smile, when you take a specific picture to show her/him, when you leave a message with a private joke between you too. That is a growing relationship.
Rule number 2: if you’re in a relationship without respect… it’s not going to last at all! Pure and simple. And for that, both of you are in this.
How many times do we see a couple calling out diminishing names to each other, and then they make out? You think that is a good thing. No, it’s not. They are being led by attraction, and attraction is not love. The key point here is how they tore down each other with bad wording, losing respect for each individual.
In a relationship, whenever someone is down, the other brings it up. If they are both down, at some point, one of them will take care of the other one. Sharing is caring, remember?
Positivity is also a good key factor for any relationship. There are days and moments, and not always we can be happy and dancing. In a good relationship, you both need to care.
So, have you said to your loved one that you love and miss them? We surely did.
These 2 years – 2020 and 2021 – have been quite different.
Technology was already in our lives, for these past generations being “online” is something normal and they don’t remember how life was before that, but whilst companies realized that working remotely is something that can happen, and shopping online is a bigger reality nowadays in many countries, what about relationships? How are people dealing with relationships in 2021?
Many use apps and websites for meeting new people, others had to be apart either in the world (because of work) or because one was sick with Covid, or because of curfews couldn’t meet up. For many, virtually became the best tool. But is that the best way to have a Cool Summer of 2021? Is this what we can still expect this year and the next one? Yes because for many in the world, curfews, banned travels, and new waves are still on.
Here is what we have learned:
Apps for Meeting
Whilst many of us are still old school, 75% of people in the world said that they have met their husband, boy/girlfriend, or flings on apps for dating. The swipe right and left is a joke that the majority of people know for now, even if they don’t use the apps.
Apps have the positive side that meeting people with the same characteristics as you and matching is a quick way, the negative sides are many: Pictures that are not updated, people can lie in their profiles and other hazards of meeting strange people. Did we mention that people lie in their profiles? Try to have fun, but be careful.
Social media, or sliding into someone’s Dm’s, is also something people are doing. Many use social media to engage and get something more out of it. Not everything needs to be about deep relationships, sometimes friendships can happen. Still you should always be careful what data and details you should share online. And also remember that everything in social media is shared and never erased… even if you erase it from your profile, social media companies are very open regarding how files are kept.
When you have a partner… Spice Play it up
Either you have a partner or alone, why not think about playing it up. And yes, it’s exactly that word we want to say.
In 2021, everyone knows about the existence of toys and games for the boudoir. We are all adults here, so we know what we are talking and also there is no taboo on talking about it. Bring the toys to the “yard” and role-play with your partner or alone, many of the toys are now silent and even rechargeable, like Cuddly Bird from Biird, it is so discreet that it can be doubled down as a lamp.
Never thought about post-its in the age of texts? How would you like to get home, after a “super strong message” from your partner and as once you open the door the post-its start, with a scavenger hunt done by orders or messages till you reach the destination with a very nice treasure at the end? Anything can happen and anything is permitted as long as it’s original and fun for both sides.
Ice Cold or Hot
Depending on where you are reading this and the season, make it cold or hot, you choose. Ice cubes have always been fun during the summer, but for many of you readers, our summer is actually your winter, so why not warm up some nice scented oil and give a nice massage to that special person to warm him up? Pun intended…
Either way, make sure the environment is chilled out and even a cool musical background is playing. This effort will make the greatest of memories. If you use scents, nothing like Cinnamon or Lemongrass with Mint. We have a thing for Lemongrass.
How to play it virtually
Many connected with someone during these years virtually and for many reasons, the relationships built but never actually had the possibility to get together. That is actually more common than you think. And who knows… maybe is the real thing and will be a real deal sooner than you think. In that case, virtually can happen for both. So why not use tech and have fun? With or without toys, sometimes we need to think outside our comfort zone.
Relationships are not hard. Connecting is not hard. We simply need to figure out the ways and reach into a positive mind to keep everything around us positive.