A Match Made in Heaven: The Organic Kitchen

A Match Made in Heaven: The Organic Kitchen

To go green is something we hear a lot about these days. It’s all about sustainable choices and reducing our impact on the environment,  just like when we look for organic food in the supermarket – so it makes a lot of sense to implement the same idea in our kitchens.

Organic can, in fact, be applied to more than just the food we eat, and you could easily make your entire house a bit greener if you had the time and money for it. Let’s start with the kitchen design, for now, then you may work your way through the rest of your house as you please.

What do you mean by organic design?

When we want to minimize the impact on the environment, we’re also looking to reduce the resources which have been used to manufacture products, such as your kitchen cabinets or the flooring.

It’s not just in the resources, though, as a sustainably designed kitchen will decrease the amount of time and energy to spend on keeping it up to date – so you’ll save the extra money on calling in plumbers, electricians, or even having to replace any of it too soon. Make sure your kitchen remodeling contractor is able to offer this kind of bespoke design, though, as they’re not all able to do this.

Floors and cabinets

Of course – if you want to minimize the resources used to create your kitchen products, the best solution is to not go through with a remodeling projects at all. It’s not always an alternative, though, and we should be able to make our homes more beautiful while also being a bit kinder on the environment.

Ask your contractor if they can source products that are certified by The Forest Stewardship Council. This certification implies that the wood was harvested by using sustainable forestry practices – but if it’s not possible, you can also ask for a cabinet finish with low to no VOC finishes.

The same goes for the flooring, by the way, if you’re thinking about having a new one installed while you’re at it. Again, the most environmentally-friendly choice is to keep the old one, but it shouldn’t keep you from upgrading your once in a while.

Appliances

Some appliances use a lot of electricity to keep it going. You need the find the kind that is able to run efficiently while still using the lowest amount of electricity. The newest ones on the market are actually a lot greener than the old stuff out there, so you can go ahead and change it up without even batting an eye.

Opt for eco-friendly appliances and look for the sticker that proves their efficiency. Of course, if your home is run by solar power, you’ll be able to assemble the most energy efficient home any of your neighbors has ever seen – but swapping out your old appliances for newer versions will also do a lot to help.

Now you can pair your delicious organic garden with an extremely functional and even sustainable kitchen. The glossy finish should stay beautiful for a long time too – it’s kind of the point with organic kitchens.

Is Your Living Room Family Friendly?

Is Your Living Room Family Friendly?

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When you’ve got a young family all you care about is making your home as safe and homely as possible so that no injuries occur, and you can all create lasting memories that you can look back on fondly in later years. It’s likely that your living room is where you spend most of your time as a family, so it’s understandable that you want to make it as safe as possible. Here’s how you can ensure that your living room is family friendly.

Hidden wires

First and foremost, one of the most dangerous things that small hands can get their hands on is electricity. Make sure that all of the wires from your electricals in your living room are tucked away so that the risk of your children accidentally hurting themselves from them is dramatically reduced. Not only that, hiding your wires neatly away will improve the look of your living room. You can buy cable tidies from hardware stores, or you could simply use cable ties and keep them all neatly organised and out of reach.

Furniture

Making sure that all of your furniture is safe for children to be around is important too. While your sofa might not be much of a threat to them, things like coffee tables with sharp edges and  TV stands might pose a danger to them. A wise thing to do is to keep furniture that could be dangerous out of the living room until they’re old enough to look after themselves and not fall into anything potentially dangerous. Modern Digs living furniture offer a range of different furnishings for your living room that will not only be safe, but keep your home looking contemporary too.

No tripping hazards

Things like rugs and again, coffee tables are all tripping hazards that could be in your living room. If you want or need a rug in your living room, make sure that you’re securing them to the floor in some way. This might be through screwing them down, or simply adding velcro to the bottom so that the edges don’t curl up and increase the risk of tripping.

Necessary safety features

Making sure that your living room has other safety features like a fire guard is imperative to keeping your children safe too. You can also buy corner protectors that add padding to potentially dangerous corners on furniture so that if your children does happen to trip or fall, the corners shouldn’t hurt them as much as they would have without the protectors on. Alternatively, if you’ve completely child-proofed your living room you could add a gate onto the door so that you know they’re in a safe room if you need to cook dinner or do some chores.

 

Follow these steps and your living room will be family friendly, and you can rest assured that you can all enjoy your time together in that room without any risk of harm or injury.

 

The Long Haul: Choosing The Right Time To Move With Kids

The Long Haul: Choosing The Right Time To Move With Kids

 

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Moving home is never an easy decision to make. With all of the work to be done and the money to be spent, it’s easy to see why most people won’t jump at the chance to carry out this sort of job. It only gets harder when you throw kids into the mix. A lot of parents make the mistake of moving their children at the wrong time during their life. Of course, though, judging this is incredibly hard. So, to help you out, this post will be going through some of the areas you need to consider.

Before you start with that, though, it’s a good idea to understand why this sort of work is important. When you’re kids are growing up, big change and different surroundings can make life hard for them. In a lot of cases, they will be very attached to their old home, and the simple act of moving will be very emotional. Even with the best interstate moving companies on offer, it will be impossible to make this sort of job easy. Below, you can find some of the biggest areas to think about.

Areas To Consider

Different places offer different levels of schooling. Moving to a place with a better education system can be a good idea in some cases, but you have to do it at the right time. If you do it before they start, their schooling won’t be impacted. During their first few years, though, a move would make their life very hard.

Along with their work being disrupted by your move, they will also lose friendships if you decide to move at the wrong time. Moving to a new school can be very hard. Most of the other children will already have friends, and your child will be dealing with the loss of their old ones. To avoid this, moving before school starts is a great way to go. Or, you could wait until they’re older, and their friendships become more portable.

School isn’t the only area to consider, though. Along with this, you also have to think about the future of your children, and how the move will impact that. If you’re moving to a quiet place with very few jobs, you could make it hard for your kids when they leave school. To avoid this, you should always make sure that their future jobs are in mind when you’re choosing your location.

Finally, it’s time to consider space. As your family grows, it’s likely that your home will have to grow with them. Of course, though, you don’t want to wait until you need more space to get it. Instead, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and invest in a home which will fit the family you’ve planned for. Sometimes, you have less control over this area. So, if you have to move with young kids, it’s best to go somewhere close.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what can be done when you’re trying to figure out the best time to move with your kids. In most cases, it’s best to avoid moving altogether when you have little ones. If you have to, though, you should always work to find the right time.

7 Reasons We Should Switch To An Organic Mattress

7 Reasons We Should Switch To An Organic Mattress

When it comes to health benefits and comfort, organic mattresses and traditional mattresses are as different as lilies and thorns. Organic mattresses are gaining popularity over traditional mattresses as they offer both, the health and environmental conservation benefits. Why should we switch to organic mattress? Here is why:

Just like organic foods, organic mattresses are natural and healthy
If you have been conscious of your health and well-being, you probably could be ordering organic foods in the groceries store; organic mattresses are their equivalent when it comes to sleeping options. When it comes to the manufacture of mattresses, makers of organic mattresses avoid adding chemicals and other potentially harmful synthetic materials onto the mattresses. Instead, the mattresses are made of organic wool and organic latex among other organic materials. The exact way organic fruits are free from pesticide and fertilizer residues, organic mattresses don’t have chemicals that are often found in traditional mattresses. For instance, organic wool and organic cotton are the two commonly used padding materials in organic mattresses which have a natural source. These raw materials are also mechanically processed, thus eliminating the need to use toxic substances that may be detrimental to the human health. As a result, therefore, you will be more protected from respiratory diseases, skin irritation and neurological diseases which are often associated with the chemicals used in the manufacture of traditional mattresses.
It is also important to note that some organic mattress brands do use materials that are not entirely organic but are more natural than those found in traditional mattresses.

Flammability factor and toxic materials
All mattresses manufactured or entering the United States are required to pass flammability tests before being sold out to consumers. Mattress makers employ different mechanisms of passing the tests. One ingenious way traditional mattress makers use to pass the test is to add fire retardants such as brominated stuffing, antimony, boric acid and chlorinated foams which are all toxic and can cause reactions to some people. Besides, such fire retardants have been found to be leading causes of kidney problems, neurological diseases, and respiratory complications.
Organic mattresses have a better way of passing fire tests. Instead of adding toxic fire retardants, makers of these mattresses use wool layers, Kevlar and inert fiberglass among other non-toxic materials that help the mattress pass the fire tests. As a result, organic mattresses are not only good for your health but also help keep the environment clean.

Organic mattresses support sustainable manufacturing and farming
Every time you purchase an organic mattress, bear in mind that you are supporting sustainable production processes. It starts with the farmer. Cotton and latex rubber growers strive not to use pesticides and fertilizers that might add unwanted toxic elements in the final harvest. The organic mattress manufacturers use the harvested cotton and rubber to make healthy and environmental friendly mattresses. This is a great way of encouraging sustainable production, healthy lifestyles, and a lively planet.

Less overheating and Sweating
One pressing problem with traditional memory foam mattresses is that they tend to trap body moisture. This is why you often feel hot, sweaty and sticky while using your traditional mattress for sleep. The blame is shared equally on the coverings and material used to make the mattress. For instance, plenty of traditional mattresses have plastic polyesters and other synthetic foams incorporated into them. These materials aren’t porous enough to help circulate air. As a result, your skin’s pores would have nowhere to breathe and release the sweat. That’s why sleeping on a traditional mattress could make you feel like as though you’re roasting or you are in a sauna right on your bed!
Organic mattresses are less of a problem when it comes to temperature regulations. The cotton used in organic mattresses is great for your skin pores and helps keep you cool. Horsehair and wool are often mixed with cotton to act as natural wicking fibers. Lying on an organic mattress at night, therefore, keeps your body at the right temperature, humidity and circulates air to keep you comfortable.

Organic mattresses last longer and save you money
Frankly, organic mattresses are a little expensive compared to traditional mattresses. But they are a great investment whose returns can be felt for a long time. Organic mattresses have a longer warranty, retain support and feel good for a longer time compared to traditional mattresses. Over the lifespan of a typical organic mattress, you can buy and replace several other traditional mattresses. In these days of cost-cutting and saving every penny at any slightest opportunity you get, buying an organic mattress is the best thing that can ever cross your mind.

Organic mattresses guarantee a worry-less sleep and comfortable rest
Imagine lying on a mattress that isn’t pumping carcinogenic vapors into your lungs. Lying on organic mattresses removes the health worries that are brought about with traditional mattresses. Worry can affect the quality of sleep you can get. The safety of organic mattress, therefore, gives you fewer things to worry about and makes you sleep longer.

More importantly, they are denser
The density of a mattress has a profound impact on its durability and comfort. A typical organic mattress with just 5.4 pounds in density can last between 40 and 50 years. A traditional mattress of similar density will last far less than that and won’t have such texture for comfort.

Art: The Teacher You Didn’t Know Your Children Needed

Art: The Teacher You Didn’t Know Your Children Needed

 

What we adorn our walls with is a matter of personal taste. Some of us hang personal photographs or art prints, while others prefer to keep their walls bare. It all depends on what you like, and how minimal you choose to keep your home.

But, today we’re going to discuss why you should consider hanging art in your family home. It may not be to your tastes, but it could be a fantastic teaching tool for your children. Though you might not think it, there’s a lot to learn from art. To convince you, we’re going to look at a few of those lessons here.

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Art can open your children’s eyes

We all want children with the ability to see from someone else’s perspective, right? We encourage them to read books written about children in other countries. We run out to buy films which talk about inclusivity. Yet, we miss out on a major opportunity by not including art in our quest.

Painting offers a way for another person to display their point of view. It’s a fast snapshot of how it feels to be them. And, it can, therefore, teach us a lot about different perspectives.

Of course, this only really works if you buy art from people living different lives to your own. You could take a leaf from the book of collectors such as Mr Viatcheslav Kantor, who collects pieces from Jewish artists. Or, you could purchase prints from iconic black artists, such as Loïs Mailou Jones. Buy pieces which teach things you want your kids to know. You could do a round the world tour with your art, or stick with a particular painter. It’s all down to the message you’d like those pieces to send.

 

Keep the creative juices flowing

 

We all know that kids love arts and crafts when they’re young. But, the creative juices often stop flowing during their teen years. Society dictates that creative play ends when they enter high school. As such, their artistic tendencies may desert them. But, by ensuring there’s art around all the time, you can keep those tendencies in place. Your home will become a creative haven. And, you could make it even more so by harboring creative hobbies there.

By this small act, you’ll ensure your children are able to express themselves through creative mediums. Hence, they’ll have an outlet to fall back on during those difficult teenage years.

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Inspire free-thinking

Free-thinking is another fantastic side effect of keeping art around. Art is one thing which can’t be censored. It’s one of the only mediums left in which free-thinking is prized above all. If your child grows up surrounded by images created by free-thinkers, they’re more likely to follow that path themselves.

You can ensure this point even further by talking to them about the artists. This would be especially powerful if you choose pieces for distinct reasons. Those stories will stick with your kids, and ensure they seek out their own path in life.

Helping Our Anxious Children Win At Life

Helping Our Anxious Children Win At Life

 

It’s got to be tougher being a kid now than it ever was 20 years ago. The amounts of anxieties children have now are far more common, approximately 10 to 20% of children in school experience anxiety symptoms. And, as a rule, children are under more stress now, and this isn’t just due to school pressures or conformity issues, this is also due to an increased use of technology, smartphones and tablets in particular. And while we can try to tackle this epidemic as parents, this is only one part of the equation. To help alleviate our children’s fears, we need to start thinking about reducing their stress and anxiety during their day to day lives. So, how can we do this?

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Developing A Positive Self-image

So much has been spoken about the inferiority complexes children have now because of the so-called perfect people on TV, and as a result, children will feel the need to strive for that perfection every day of their life. The important thing to communicate to your children is that it’s okay to not be perfect. We can also pile pressure on our children by driving them to be the best in school or at sports, and this can lead to issues like burnout. Working hard is, of course important, but it’s also important to make mistakes. We never appear to encourage mistakes; as a result, children are afraid of making them. However, the importance of making a mistake is greatly underestimated. The fact is that the vast majority of us will learn much more from making a mistake than we ever will be getting something right the first time. So this is an important thing to accept in every aspect of your child’s life, their imperfections and mistakes are part of who they are, and this is okay.

 

Creating A Relaxing Space For Them

Encouraging your children to step outside of their comfort zone is all well and good, but if they don’t have a comfort zone to begin with, this will manifest in a lifelong battle with anxiety or depression. We, as parents, need to do everything we can to provide a wholesome, nurturing, and relaxing space for our children to escape to. Their bedroom is usually the place for this, so think about how you make their space somewhere that is truly relaxing and rejuvenating. A lot of children have their games consoles in their bedrooms, but instead, you may want to move things around in the house, maybe create an entertainment room where these consoles can be stored. And make your child’s bedroom just that, a bed room. Our bedrooms should be for sleeping, nothing else.

 

Make Sure They Sleep Well

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep is something we can all benefit from, especially young children and teenagers, who need more sleep than the average adults. So in undertaking a switch up of their bedroom, you need to do away with needless distractions and think about installing blackout blinds. Do they have a comfy bed? If not you may want to think about changing the whole bed, even the mattress, you can find some in-depth reviews here of the best type of mattresses at the moment. You should also start to think about the importance of bedtime routines, regardless of their age. This is something we can all benefit from, the importance of winding down around 45 minutes before bedtime will mean we’ll have a better quality sleep, and this means no smartphones or tablets in this period! Allocate this 45 minutes for them to indulge in a relaxing activity, like a bath or something they enjoy doing that isn’t stimulating.

 

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Encouraging Your Child To Express Themselves

We live in a society where we are communicating to people that we need to open up more, but with children, it can be especially difficult, especially if they don’t want to burden other people with their own problems. It’s also something that we, as parents, can be guilty of, trivializing your child’s problem as something that’s not particularly important in comparison to real problems. You should never forget that if they’re upset about something, no matter how small it may be to you, it’s still important to them. If we continue to trivialize our children’s problems, the less likely they will be to come to you when they really need your help. So to overcome this, encourage your child to express themselves in how they are feeling. Openness, honesty, and being in touch with their emotions are something that children are especially good at, and we should work to encourage that, not for them to bottle their emotions up.

 

Set The Right Example To Your Child

Our children learn from the examples we set from the moment they’re born. So it’s only logical that they grow to emulate our own outlooks, hopes, and fears. To paraphrase This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin, we give our children our own imperfections and faults, and add a little extra for them. So by understanding the impact you have on your child very early on means that you can work with them to develop a positive mindset and opinion of themselves. Children can be very much of the once bitten, twice shy approach to life. And if you are sensitive parents, this is not a bad thing, but you do need to be aware that the sensitivity will carry through to your child, so you need to balance the sensitivity out with a certain amount of confidence. There are many ways to do this, and one of the best little things to do with your child can be done every day, much like this morning affirmation this father does with his daughter. And for those reading this that think that positive affirmations are a waste of time, the science behind it is that your brain is unable to tell the difference between what is real and what is imaginary! So if you tell yourself out loud that you are brave and confident enough, after a while, your brain will believe it.

 

It’s difficult to raise a child with all the qualities you want for them, as much as it’s difficult for them to grow up in the modern world. But if you can think about the right approaches to life and start to teach your children about relaxing and not giving in to anxiety and stress, this will mean a fulfilled youth, adulthood, and life.