How To Keep Your Home Flea Free

Fleas have been around for a very long time, irritating our pets and invading our homes. They are smart little creatures that can survive just about anywhere. They eat sparingly, move quietly and reproduce aggressively. But there is some good news in all of this. You can put a stop to them invading your home. There are medications available that interrupt the flea life cycle and are safe, effective, and simple to use.

image taken from Flickr

Pet owners should appreciate how easy it is to control fleas now, especially those who remember how difficult the battle against fleas has been. Even though we have good flea control products, we can’t let down our guard. Fleas will always be with us, so here are a few extra tips for winning the flea battle:

1. Become an educated dog owner. Take the time to learn the dirty truth about fleas. Have a read through some more pet flea information.

A) Visible adult fleas represent only 5% of the flea population. The other 95% hide in your home in the form of eggs, maggot like larvae, and pupae.

B) A female flea can lay up to a staggering 50 eggs a day!

C) Larvae are repelled by light and burrow into the cracks and crevasses of your home in flooring and upholstery, where they can remain for months.

2. Learn the bite symptoms. Flea bites have certain distinct characteristics. The bite may immediately cause a dog to feel extremely itchy. Within 30 minutes of a bite, they may develop a red bump. Secondary infections caused by scratching are also common.

3. Treat flea bites. Wash the bites with antiseptic soap, as recommended by your veterinarian, to reduce the risk of infection.

4. Eliminate fleas in all stages. The flea life cycle includes adults, eggs, larvae (maggots), and pupae (the cocoon stage). Typical insecticides do not eliminate the pupae. Use an insect growth regulator to break the flea life cycle.

5. Eradicate stray fleas. If your dog picks up a “traveller” flea while outdoors, use an adulticide medication that kills adult fleas. Talk to your local vet about the best product for your pet.

6. Regularly check your dog for fleas. Don’t wait until you see your dog scratching. Frequent brushing will help spread natural protective oils over your pet’s coat, reduce shedding, and give you an opportunity to look for fleas.

7. Avoid problem areas. Keep your pet away from areas known to have flea problems. Not sure if the local park is safe? Do your homework to ensure the local dog park has a good flea control program.

8. Groom the garden. Don’t just check your dog for fleas – treat his environment as well. Remove underbrush from trees, and rake leaves where fleas and ticks may lurk. When spraying the garden for fleas, concentrate on the areas where your pet spends most of his time. Eggs and larvae will likely be shed in the spots where he lies down.

Follow these simple steps to ensure your home is pest-free. And remember, you can’t be too careful, so keep checking!

Create Jealous Moms…The Proven Rules for Throwing a Kids Party That’ll be the Envy of Everyone Else

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If you’ve never thrown one before, hosting a kids party can be a scary experience. With so many things you’ve got to account for, kids parties follow a whole different set of rules. After all, kids and adults aren’t necessarily entertained by the same things, and most kids don’t like the same food as adults. In any case, even if it is your first time, you can still throw a kids party that no one will forget!

Get Great Decor

The first thing you’ll want to concentrate on is the decor. You might want to invest in some special custom banners, of which will depend on the party in question. Should you lack a shop nearby, you can always source some custom banners from an online shop. However, you might also want to look into getting some balloons too. Still, as amazing as balloons are, they can take a big chunk out of your budget if you’re not careful. You’ll therefore want to shop around and use sites such as Balloons Galore to source your balloons at a bargain price.

Bring Amazing Food

You might want to put some special consideration into the food. As with all parties, you’ll need to account for the people who are attending. Some of the children might be vegetarian, and some might have allergies. Once you’re aware of the attendees, and any special preferences they might have, you’ll be able to arrange a banquet fit for a king!

Schedule Fantastic Entertainment

Entertaining kids is a notoriously tough task. You do have the option of doing things yourself, by arranging a few party games for example. Although if you’d rather leave this kind of thing to the experts, take a moment to call in a magician, or someone else who is suited to childrens entertainment. Having someone else take care of this, will give you a chance to sit back, and enjoy the show for yourself!

Take Care of the Other Parents

There’s a chance that your party is also going to host other parents. Knowing that, you might also want to keep some food and entertainment in line with their needs. Parents will be less fussy about their requirements, though you’ll still want to maintain a high standard. Visit your local supermarket, and see what kind of finger food you can pick up, of which is sold mainly towards adults.

 A Party to Remember

As long as you do all of the legwork ahead of time, a kids party can be an amazing thing to witness. Getting the food and entertainment right are key, as both will keep the kids occupied, and prevent them from becoming the little terrors that they’re so capable of becoming when bored. In spite of this, a kids party does not always have to be about the kids, and the parents often deserve to be treated too, through good food for example. In fact, taking care of the parents can be one of the best things you do, since it’ll convince them to stick around and help you clean up once the party’s over!

Kittens and Children: A Practical Guide to Buying a Cat

Cats are truly loveable creatures. While they may be a little more nonchalant than their canine counterparts, they do make wonderful pets for children. If you are thinking of buying a kitten for your child, there are a number of considerations that you need think about before doing so. This guide will give you practical advice before you embark on the responsibility of a cat:

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Time and Energy

Caring for a kitten is akin to having a newborn in the house again. If you are not ready for this big commitment, even on a short term basis, then it is not the right time to buy a cat. If your child is adamant that they want a kitten, as opposed to an older cat, you will need to ensure that they are aware of the significant responsibility that a kitten is. While kittens are cute, they can be mischievous. If you don’t have the time and energy to invest into a kitten, it may be more advisable to opt for an older cat instead.

Kittens Are Fragile

One of the key things to remember (and to remind your child of) is that cats and kittens are fragile creatures. They are incredibly delicate so if your toddler is a little boisterous, a kitten will not be a suitable pet. If your children are older and less spirited than toddlers, a kitten makes for a great companion. Do bear in mind that a cat’s temperament is unpredictable. If they are being roughhoused, they will scratch, bite and hiss. This can be distressing for small children. However, as previously mentioned, if you have older children they will be aware of the warning signs of a cat in distress. Toddlers and kittens do not mix, but older children and kittens can make for a very cute pairing. Take a look at kittens for sale in your area if you are committed to being a cat owner.

Rough Play

On the subject of rough play, you need to be aware that kittens have extremely sharp teeth and claws which can be damaging to a child’s health. Remember, cats are very territorial. Some children are not aware of the ramifications of a territorial cat. Punishing a cat will not help the situation as cats cannot be trained. If your children have gentle personalities as opposed to boisterous personalities, a cat will make for a wonderful pet.

What Breed of Cat is Suitable For Kids?

This can be a tricky question to answer. Breeds of cat are less important factors than the age of a cat. If you want a feline pal for your child, it may be advisable to opt for an older cat that is used to being around families. Older cats tend to cope with energetic children better than kittens. That said, if your children are gentle in their approach then there is no need to worry about purchasing a kitten. Cats make great companions and are perfect additions to any family. Ensure that you take on board the practical information from this guide to make sure that you get the best from your potential feline family member.

Top 5 Tastiest Desserts: Don’t Read On An Empty Stomach!

From time to time, we all love to indulge in a sinful, sugar filled treat. Whether you’re out on a date, or celebrating a birthday – finishing off that delicious meal with a tasty treat is the icing on the cake (no pun intended).

It keeps the mind happy, especially if you’ve been dieting for months and months. Everyone needs a break at some point.

So, here are some of the tastiest desserts for you to sink your teeth into!

1. Battenburg Cake

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Battenburg has a lot of history. Invented in 1884 in honour of the marriage between Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Victoria of Hesse-Darmsadt, and German prince Louis of Battenburg. The jam covered sponge cake, wrapped in a soft marzipan became so popular; it never went away.

2. Chelsea Bun

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Another British treat for you. The cinnamon-sweetness and stickiness of a Chelsea Bun is one of Britain’s oldest desserts. It was only associated with the higher class individuals because it tasted that damn good. But you can find a Chelsea Bun in almost any bakery worldwide now, and if you haven’t tried one – you haven’t lived!

3. Tiramisu

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The professional name for Tiramisu is actually Tuscan Trifle. It originated in Siena, Tuscany – a province in Northwestern Italy. It has been described as the “antitheses,” or the complete opposite of the typically heavy American pie.

Tiramisu, or Tuscan Trifle, is made from eggs, mascarpone cheese, ladyfingers, cream, liquor brandy, marsala, a touch of sugar and rum, and cocoa or shaved chocolate. It’s a light, fluffy, yet flavoursome dessert that doesn’t drape around on your tongue. It just floats elegantly and is, in fact, a very classy dish that takes a careful, skilful hand to whip up.

4. Pavlova

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Enjoyed more in the southern hemisphere, the Pavlova is the preference in Australia and New Zealand.

There isn’t just one kind of pavlova, and it’s not something sold on the street corner or in a convenience store. It is found in prestigious restaurants, and some bakeries and cakes stores are known to possess this sweet delight.

This is not a high caloric dessert so even celebs can enjoy it. It’s crafted from egg whites and sugar and, when rustled up by someone who knows what they are doing in the kitchen, the outside of the meringue shell will be crunchy and the right amount of sweet.

The desert is usually enveloped by whipped cream, while the inside has a soft marshmallow esque texture. It’s served with any fruit of your fancy, but the most common being strawberry, kiwi, raspberry or peach.

5. The Brownie

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The brownie is perhaps one of the most delicious ways to end a meal. Any meal, in that sense. The only downside to the brownie is that when you feel like you can’t fit anymore food in, and you eat a brownie, you’ll most likely slip into what some people call a “food coma.”

Don’t be too alarmed, a food coma is just an over exaggerated and comical way of describing that awful pain you get when you’ve ate too much and feel like you’re ready to burst.

However, thanks to science, brownies can now actually be light and easy to enjoy as a dessert. The age of gluten free products is upon us, and those 25 million people in the UK alone who suffer from some kind of food intolerance or allergy can still enjoy the deliciousness that is a brownie.

If this is news to you, check out the delicious chocolate and pecan gluten-free brownie by Donald Russell. You can thank me later!

 

Remote Controlled Toys are Educational: Fact!

Photo Credit: USCPSC

If your kids are anything like mine, then the likelihood is that they are obsessed with remote control cars and toys. And little wonder too! They can whittle away long hours, which is great for busy parents during the summer holidays, and are the cause of hours of fun and are a fantastic educational tool too. If you are looking at buying your kids remote controlled toys for

Christmas or for birthdays, then you may want to have a look at the options that are available. The range extends far more than just remote control cars. Yes, I said Christmas, I know it seems a million miles away at the moment, but it will be here before you can say ‘credit card bill’.

There is a plethora of remote control toys available on the market, for both boys and girls. Check out these beauties below:

Spiders

Robots

Princesses

Dogs

Cars and trucks

Boats

Helicopters

Dragons

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Remote control toys are making a huge comeback as the most sought after toy in 2014/2015, and it is easy to see why. Kids and grownups absolutely adore these toys and can provide hours of entertainment. Every child I have ever met is completely and utterly besotted with remote control toys of all descriptions. A firm favourite in our household is the remote control Dragon, in which you can make the dragon fly around the home using its special wand. Perfect for those that are huge fans of the Harry Potter series. Take a look at www.MYRCtopia.com for more information.

Historically, remote control toys have remained a firm favourite within the toy industry and this growth has remained steady and been passed from generations of kids. Due to the expanding range of remote control toys, there has never been a better time to invest in one for your child.

The great thing about remote control toys, aside from the hours of fun that one can have, is that they truly encourage creative and imaginative play. Children benefit from playing with remote control toys because it feeds their imaginations. It also allows them to play pretend games, that video games inhibit. Satisfying a child’s need for imaginative play is critical to their cognitive development. What is more, remote control toys allow children to play both inside and outside, so that they get much needed fresh air as well as plenty of exercise. Even if your child isn’t a sporting type, they can still get plenty of exercise chasing a remote control toy around the garden.

If that isn’t enough to satisfy you, remote control toys also have a lot of educational benefits. The lights and sounds can stimulate a child, but they are also developing their reflexes, dexterity and hand eye coordination which are all important things that are essential to growth and development. What is more, due to the ‘risks’ of crashing a remote control toy, children start to learn to plan ahead, think critically and use problem solving techniques in order to stop this from happening. All of the important skills are learned through play.

So avoid buying computer games this Christmas (I’ve said it again) and invest in a remote control toy. You will be giving them so much more than just a toy.

 

Failsafe Ways to Shed that Excess Baby Weight

If you’ve recently had a baby, then you’re probably wondering (along with the rest of the new moms) how to shed that excess baby weight. Some ladies are lucky and hardly put on anything at all, others balloon to twice the size and then stay the same after giving birth, or worse; get even bigger! Here are some failsafe ways you can shed whatever excess weight you have, even if you do have a crying baby to look after:

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Stop Making Excuses

The first step is to stop making excuses for your bad lifestyle choices. Many mums make excuses every single day and it’s not clear who they’re trying to convince, themselves or others. Whether their baby has been poorly, or they’ve been poorly, or something else altogether, something always seems to ‘get in the way’. The truth is, you just wanted any excuse to fall off the wagon. Avoid making excuses like this and be honest with yourself. Keep an eye on any triggers you have that make you want to eat rubbish. Write a food diary and promise yourself you’ll take a picture of everything you put in your mouth!

 

Change Your Lifestyle

Once you’ve stopped making excuses and changed your attitude to this new lifestyle (not ‘diet’, lifestyle) you can start making gradual changes. Cut down on the rubbish you eat until you’re not having it every day. If you try to cut it out straight away you’ll usually fail as you feel deprived. Many people cut out all of the junk and then run for 2 hours a day for a week (for example) then become disheartened when they aren’t a size 8 straight away, so binge on rubbish. Know that you’re in this for the long hall and you’ll go far! You’ll get there, no matter how long it takes providing you’re consistent.

 

Get Into a Routine

It’s often hard for mums to get into a routine, what with having to feed their baby and put it’s needs before theirs. Try your hardest to get into a routine where you have breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and dinner in the evening with a few healthy snacks in between, like nuts, fruit, and Greek yoghurt. Make a conscious effort to do this for 3 weeks and it should be second nature by then.

Fit in Some Exercise When You Can

Depending on how old your child is, when it’s sleeping or playing happily by itself you may want to fit in a little exercise. You don’t need much time for this, providing you’re willing to put your all into the workout! While they’re watching Peppa Pig you could easily do a circuit of squats, planks, pushups, crunches, lunges, and so on in around 10-30 minutes. Even a small amount of exercise is beneficial providing you’re consistent and trying your hardest.

Get Help

In some cases, you might feel a little out of control with your eating and choose to get help. You can do this in the form of somebody you can tell your feelings to, or somebody who can help you with a procedure like a gastric band.

Find People Who Inspire You

Many people have got into the best shape of their lives after having a baby. You can too – you just have to believe it!

Photo Credit: Flickr

 

 

Difference Between Shark Rocket and Shark Sonic Duo Vacuum Cleaner

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The Shark Rocket vacuum and the Shark Sonic Duo Systems are easy to use but vastly

Different vacuums. The Shark Rocket vacuum cleaner is a lightweight vacuum that removes dirt

from carpets more effectively than a full size, upright vacuum. Never losing suction or power, the

Shark Rocket expertly deep cleans carpets, bare floors, and area rugs with its 2 speed brush roll.

The Shark Sonic Duo System not only lifts surface dirt, but it cleans the stuck on

dirt in the fibers of the carpet or area rug which is all activated by the coveted cleaning pad solution. The dual scrubbing action of the Duo System also cleans sealed hardwood, tile, stone, and vinyl floors. The Shark Rocket promises the lightweight, ergonomic handle with a comfortable rubber grip for floor to ceiling cleaning with the added ease of swivel steering.

Whereas the Shark Sonic Duo System focuses on scrubbing your floors with 1,000 scrubs per minute, leaving surfaces streak free with no residue left behind. Their spray, scrub, and vacuum deep down technology offering16 scrubs per second cannot compare with any other model. The Shark Rocket, however, has features like the cleaning wand, premium pet tools, washable filters, and easy emptying dust cup, cleaning has never been simpler. The Shark Rocket is the best for versatile cleaning and easy storage coming equipped with storage hooks for wall mounting. These systems are very different, but a few consistencies are ease of use, powerful cleaning tools, economical and

Environmentally responsible systems and a longlasting vacuum. For an overall clean from floor

to ceiling with every tool to handle pet messes, spills, and dirt, the Shark Rocket vacuum is

Perfect. But for deep cleaning any type of floor, the advanced scrub and spray technology

Incredible Activity Ideas For Keeping Your Children Occupied On A Rainy Day

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credit to Steven Depolo

When the summer break from school arrives, parents all over the country must have plans in place to keep their children occupied on rainy days. Let’s face it, there are no shortage of them in this country. Keeping children occupied is an art form that is only achieved with experience. They often have a short attention span and so many creative ideas must be considered to keep them from driving their parents insane.

If you are a parent who is dreading the upcoming holidays, here are some ideas for keeping your kids occupied for a while if it is too wet for them to play outside.

Bake Some Delicious Cakes

Have you made any cakes since you were a child? The number of adults that haven’t is staggering. Lots of people have no idea of the ingredients or measurements because they left all of the boring stuff to their mom, instead choosing to play star wars with the electric mixer while waiting to be called into action once all of the ingredients were ready for them.

Here is a quick guide to jog your memory.

Ingredients.

  • 125g Unsalted Butter

  • 125g Self Raising Flour

  • 125g Caster Sugar

  • 2 Large Eggs

  • 5g Sultanas

  • 2 tablespoons of semi-skimmed milk

  1. Place the sugar and butter into a large bowl and mix them together.

  2. Beat the eggs before whisking them into the bowl to make the mix nice and fluffy. Add a teaspoon full of the flower to stop the mix curdling.

  3. Use a metal spoon to fold in the rest of the flour. It is hard work and will keep the little ones occupied for ten or fifteen minutes.

  4. Add the milk.

  5. Divide the mixture evenly into cake cases or a cake tray.

  6. Put the cakes into a preheated oven at 190 degrees centigrade or gas mark 5 until they have risen and are golden brown. It usually takes about ten to twelve minutes.

Decorate the cakes with butter icing and whatever else the kids choose to put on them. They are usually very creative with this task.

Decorate A Wall

Is your child’s bedroom plain and boring? Why not allow them to help paint a wall with you? We are not talking about plain old emulsion here, be a little more creative. Use water based paints and stencils to create a masterpiece. Let their imagination run wild. After all, what is the worst that could happen?

Make Cards

Materials for making great cards are freely available on the internet or in shops these days so think about building up a good stock ready for the holidays. Cutting out and sticking makes little mess that is easily swept up at the end of the project. Encourage them to sit properly at the table and use scissors correctly. The child is happy to chat away while you both work together in creating some very imaginative cards.

Hire a Movie

When all is lost, and you have no energy left, there is sometimes no alternative but to watch a movie while you regain your strength ready for the next round of play. Make it a long one, and you may manage to steal a quick nap while the kids are engrossed in the film.

The summer break is a long one, and you will need to think of more activities. Try to have about twenty different things to do on your list so that you can choose from them when the children are getting bored. Hold your nerve and the break will come to an end. Then pass the baton once more to the school who are experts at engaging young minds. Your mission will be complete for another summer, and you will have a whole year to plan for the next one. You will miss this time when they have grown up, so make the most of it.

The Only Way to Throw an Amazing Children’s Party

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If you’re thinking of different ways you can throw an amazing children’s party, you can stop worrying – I’ve got you covered! Whether you’re throwing a birthday party, or perhaps a party to celebrate the kid’s hard work at the end of a school year, the following tips and tricks will ensure a magical party that every child will enjoy:

Make it Fancy Dress

Kids LOVE fancy dress; it’s a fact. Depending on what the party is for you can set the theme accordingly, or you can simply tell them to dress up as whatever they like. However, you might find that a theme is more fun. For example, for a little girl’s birthday party you could do a Disney ‘Frozen’ theme! You can then make sure the decor of the party reflects this, and try to create food to match too.

Make the Food Look Fun

For kids to enjoy party food, it needs to look fun. They don’t need much – maybe a couple of sandwiches, a small bag of crisps, and some fruit each. Make the sandwiches look interesting by using both white and brown bread and then slicing them into quarters and creating a ‘checkerboard’ effect. You can also drizzle melted chocolate over strawberries, bananas, cherry’s, and other fruits to make them look more appealing. Use your imagination!

Create a Cool Playlist

Kids need a playlist to be the background music to their event too. The only difference between a kids playlist and an adult playlist, is that kids usually love fast paced, upbeat music all the way through, whereas adults would probably prefer a rest somewhere in between. You’ll need to choose music based on their age, but you can’t usually go wrong with some One Direction, Ellie Goulding, and other music in the charts.

Hire a Huge Hall

You could throw a party outside, but kids being kids will get absolutely filthy. By hiring a huge hall, you know they’ll have all the room they need to go wild, and you’ll be able to keep a better eye on them. You’ll also have room for other parents if they’re coming to help you, and any extra amenities you’re hiring for the party, like photo booth rental.

Put Together Exciting Party Bags

Kids love taking party bags away with them, and just about anything you put inside is exciting for them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either! Pick up cheap little treats like keyrings, mini toys, mini bags of sweets, lollies, and maybe some crayons and a colouring book. Again, you’ll need to consider their age.

Play Games

A couple of games are essential at a children’s party – just don’t arrange too many because they have short attention spans. One or two games should be enough, and the rest of the time they can decide what they’d like to do themselves. ‘Pass the parcel’ is always popular, as is ‘musical statues’ and ‘thumbs up’!

Follow these tips and the kids will have a wonderful time!

 

 

Oh no – it’s a football widows’ summer ahead

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It’s that summer coming up; the one that comes around every four years where the men in our lives become completely obsessed with sport. Unfortunately though, we aren’t talking bout the Olympic games!

Yes, it’s the World Cup and it’s being held in Brazil between June 12th and July 13th – pretty much the best part of the summer, in other words.

Now to suggest it’s only the males in our lives who are utterly obsessed with the World Cup is, of course, a sweeping and somewhat sexist generalization. There are quite a few men who have zero interest in the beautiful game and lots of ladies who love it. But on the whole, the generalization holds true.

So if you’re going to be a World Cup widow this summer – what can you do?

Well the easiest way is to think, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. In other words, try to take a real interest in the whole event. This can be fun – particularly if you pick out a handsome player or two you like the look of and allow yourself a little wager on his team.

So, for example, if you check out one of the world’s most famous footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal or, better yet, Yoann Gourcuff the 27 year-old Frenchman who is an attacking midfielder who plays his club football with Olympique Lyonnais – you’ll soon see what we mean.

As things stand, Portugal are around 33-1 shots to win the World Cup, with Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange. The beauty of using an exchange like Betfair is that you can lay your bets back if you change your mind or if your selection outperforms and the odds narrow.

France, meanwhile, are slightly closer in at around 22-1. Having a football wager can certainly heighten your interest in the game – as can picking out the hottest guys.

Alternatively, you need to bury your head in the sand for the duration – or perhaps visit the only developed nation in the world that doesn’t have much of an interest in football (which it calls “soccer” of course…) the good old U.S of A. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy a great holiday whilst the rest of the world goes World Cup crazy. And the great thing is that you’ll never be able to persuade the man in your life to join you!