Great gifts for teenagers

Great gifts for teenagers

It’s not only difficult being a teenager, it’s difficult to know what to buy for a teenager as a gift. Your teens are a complicated time in life. You’re straddled on a tightrope somewhere between your childhood and adulthood. It’s a time when you are expected to behave more and more like an adult, yet you’re continually treated as a child. It’s a time of breaking down boundaries and new experiences. Every new emotion you come across is magnified beyond belief – like the first time you eat a chilli – it feels unbearably hot, but after eating them over a long time, you get so used to them you don’t really notice the heat any more. You’re constantly pushed by parents and schools to succeed, yet the chances are neither your parents nor your school have any idea how to achieve success. You have to stand up against bullies and stop yourself from becoming a bully at the same time. On top of all that, your body is changing, your hormones are going crazy and… when did life stop being fun? Does it get better?

There was a time when there was no such thing as a teenager. People aged from one to twelve and then at their next birthday, they turned twenty. Actually, that’s not true – of course they turned thirteen. But they weren’t a teenager according to the modern implications of the word – they were now a young adult. They would go to work, take on responsibilities, play their part in looking after the household and their younger siblings, do the grocery shopping and so on. Within a couple of years they would be married, looking for a home of their own and planning a family of their own.

The line that can be drawn between childhood and adulthood is thick and blurry, and varies from person to person, but there is a moment when we can look at a young person and say that, now, they are the youngest of adults. And this happens sometime in their teenage years. When it does, it means you should start treating them as adults. This doesn’t mean you can expect them to handle tasks that older adults can – as yet they don’t have the knowledge or experience to deal with adult life fully, but neither does it mean that they have to stop having fun. Adults love to have fun just as much as kids do, so don’t criticize a teenager for playing a game or laughing at something silly.

When it comes to gifts, however, steer clear of silly stuff. Gifts for birthdays and other special events are highly anticipated and are loaded with unspoken messages. If you tell a fourteen year-old all year that they should act more mature, take their studies seriously, help out around the house, for example, and then for their fifteenth birthday, you buy them a video game in which they take on the role of a completely irresponsible psychopath who goes around shooting strangers and police, carjacking and hitting up mom & pop stores – you’re sending completely mixed messages and the teenager is likely to stop listening to you. Childish gifts promote childish behavior.

Much better are gifts which the recipient can use to learn and create with. Gifts which help them to acquire new, useful skills for the future. Practicing using them is the same as practicing for adulthood. For example, a quite wonderful gift for a teenager might be a greenhouse. It’s their own private space where they can independently grow and nurture the plants, vegetables and flowers of their choice. They can be creative, they can learn and they can feel genuine pride and satisfaction with the achievements they make.

A greenhouse, however, is quite extravagant. Smaller gifts along the same lines might include power tools (to decide what’s appropriate, there are more details at Drills and Drivers), a mechanics tool set (and an motor to fix up), cooking classes, computer games involving strategic planning such as the Sim City series, economic simulation games, Minecraft and so on. Games which encourage people to write their own code are great, too. Be careful to avoid anything too difficult or – and this is key – too boring.

Get more out of cycling

Get more out of cycling

When people are looking to take up a new hobby these days, cycling might be something they consider to be a little bit boring, along with jogging and going to the gym. It’s pleasant enough, they think, and you get to exercise outdoors, but you’re basically just making your feet go round and round millions of time as you dodge traffic and inclement weather.

To those of us who cycle regularly, there might be more than a hint of truth to this. For every story we can tell about cycling the Great Wall of China or about winning some race, we’re sure to have hundreds more about nearly being forced off the road by inconsiderate road users, getting caught in rain or hailstorms or simply having to put up with breathing in exhaust fumes for miles until we can get out onto country roads.

Cycling can be some many more things, though, and it’s often merely a question of identifying the aspect or aspects you don’t like, and coming up with a plan to deal with them.

Let’s say you happen to live in a hilly area but you don’t enjoy cycling up and down hills. There might be a flat area nearby, but you still have to cycle up a big hill for five miles to get there, or – even worse – you have to cycle up the big hill on the way back from your ride. While this might be great exercise for some, it can put others off cycling completely. Yet it needn’t do. Plenty of people find themselves in this situation and fit a cycle rack to the roof of their car. Many times you can find free parking at an out of town store or business park where you can leave your car and start your ride. Plenty of people who live in flat areas also use this trick to escape the traffic and the fumes, too.

For those who cycle to work, getting out of the city is usually not an option. Most often, they are cycling right into the city and have to deal with the high numbers of vehicles sharing the roads with them. In a progressive city, these people might be able to make use of bicycle-only lanes. In other cities, there might not be any such option. If that’s your case, then try to stick to smaller, less well-used roads, which often run parallel to the main highways. You’ll still have to deal with traffic, especially at intersections, but you’re less likely to have heavy vehicles crowding you in. Some cities are so heavily based on car use that it’s impossible to travel from one neighborhood to another without using a highway. In this case, you’re better off using public transportation for that part of your journey. A fold-up bicycle can get you to and from the bus stop or the subway station and doesn’t take up any more room than a bag when you are carrying it.

There are lots of solutions you can find at Cycling Plaza, too – ideas to make cycling more interesting for kids, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and lots more.

If you think you’d like company when cycling, there are lots of cycling clubs around. Even small towns usually have one, and if they don’t, you can try setting one up. You only need a handful of members. You can combine cycling with lots of other activities, too. You could cycle to and from a fishing trip or a day out at the beach. It’s also a great way to explore. Think about all those country lanes and paths you cycle past on your regular routes – why not change things up and find out where they go?

You can raise money for charity with sponsored cycling events, or use them to bring the community together. They can be a great way to keep kids occupied – not only do they learn to ride a bike, but they learn how to read maps, how to navigate, the mechanics of a bicycle, hoe to change a tire and a chain. It may well turn out that your child isn’t all that keen on cycling, but it might just start them out on their career as a mechanic, designer or engineer.

Baby Shower with a Difference

Baby Shower with a Difference

My family have always liked to do the things the traditional way. I have two sisters and when each of us were due to get married, it was made clear that our partners would have to ask our pop for our hand in marriage.

This created a huge amount of nerves but as we all said, rather some early nerves than a lifetime full of regret and my pop holding a grudge.

If any of us were to fall pregnant before we were married, it would have raised some eyebrows amongst the older generations. While we were trying to break these old ways and move our family into the modern age, some traditions were best left well alone, it really would have causedfar too much of an uproar. If I am honest I think it was more to do with my grandparents, my mom and pop were pretty easy going, but my grandparents were real traditionalists and liked things done the old fashioned way.

The Weddings

All of our weddings were as American as you could imagine. The proposal, the church, the flowers and a traditional white dress, with the groom and his groomsmen all wearing top hat and tails. Each of us arrived at the church in a classic car and were walked down the aisle by our very proud pop.

None of us would have had our wedding any other way, they were all perfect. But to be able to have a choice would have been a breath of fresh air. This is when we decided that when we had babies, that our baby showers would be a little different.

The Pitter Patter of Tiny Feet

It didn’t take long for my oldest sister to fall pregnant, she has always been the caring and considerate type, and we all knew that motherhood would suit her, perfectly. When it came to arranging a baby shower, my sister and I were given the task of arranging a weekend everyone would remember.

When it comes to this kind of thing, again my family have traditions, but we were going to try to break these, but not in a crazy way. The usual baby shower would involve all of the family and friends gathering round the house of grand mom to be. The guests would hand the expectant mom gifts, which would usually include baby clothes, toys and sometimes furniture for the nursery. This was going to change.

Our First Baby Shower

My sister and I decided that instead of the usual gathering round moms house and the passing of gifts, a spa weekend would be the perfect tonic for our pregnant sister to relax and enjoy herself, after all, she was going to have a hectic life when the baby arrived. We announced our plan and we surprisingly received a great response.

All of the family thought it was lovely that we were thinking of spoiling our sister rather than the baby, they all realised the baby would be spoilt rotten when it arrived anyway!

Within a Month!

My sister decided to wait until the baby was born to find out the sex. She gave birth to a happy and healthy baby boy. Like many families we didn’t care what sex the baby was as long as it was happy and healthy.

Within a month of my nephew arriving my sister called a family meeting, we all wondered what was wrong, and certainly didn’t expect her to tell us she was pregnant. We couldn’t have been further from the truth, she was in fact three months pregnant, she didn’t want to take the shine off of my sister’s experience. We all told her she was silly but respected her decision to hold off on the truth until that point.

Another Shower

This baby shower was different. My sister and her husband had only recently moved into a new home, and they couldn’t afford to kit their house out with all of the gadgets that they would have liked to. She asked us all to buy an appliance that would make her life as easy as possible. She received plenty of gifts that would make her life as a mother easier, but I realised she wanted something for her.

She had always been keen on baking, and even as a child used my mom’s stand mixer to bake cakes and bread. My choice was clear, I was going to buy her a top of the range stand mixer.

After a little research I found a site, http://www.standmixerdiscount.com/, it gave me all of the information I needed to buy the right model. It was perfect, she could add different attachments to the mixer to turn it into a multitude of appliances. It was a sure fire winner.

Still Waiting

Two years have passed since our last baby shower, and each time we have a family gathering I am pestered with the question ‘when are you having a baby’. I hate to say I get annoyed, but having a baby is a life changing decision, and one that me and my husband are not willing to take lightly. Our time will come, but our family will have to wait a little longer to throw me baby shower, and when it is my turn, I would definitely prefer a spa weekend than a stand mixer!

survive in the wild

Would you survive in the wild?

Imagine the scenario, your plane has crashed in the middle of nowhere and there is nobody else around for miles. You appear to be the only survivor and panic is beginning to set in. Your breathing is starting to get heavier and more intense with each passing second. Then, suddenly, you remember one of the hundred of hours of TV you have watched and it comes in useful. You recall an episode of Bear Grylls where he was lost in some God forsaken place drinking his own urine to survive. Now whilst you may be hopeful that it doesn’t get to that stage any time soon you know you need to do something here otherwise you will die. There are no two ways about it. It’s time to rack your brain. What does he always do at the start of his programmes? There’s the generic spiel about where his is and why this is going to be such a struggle for him and then he goes into survival mode. Come on…..think…..what would Bear do in this scenario. Keep it warm! That’s what he always says. If you don’t have warmth and shelter then the cold of the night will get you before anything else gets the chance to. So, you need to set up a shelter and get a fire going. You begin to count your lucky stars as the area you have crashed into has tree cover. Whilst it is not exactly a thick forest it should have enough for you to survive until news of your crash reaches people and a rescue party is sent out.

Without further hesitation you head off into the wooded area to gather up some branches. Some thick and tall to form your shelter for the night, and some smaller and weaker to help start a fire. First things first the shelter needs to be built while there is still daylight remaining. You seem to recall from the programme that the easiest way to do this is to find a low lying, horizontal branch and begin to stack branches across it, almost forming a wooden tent in the process. This is all looking very easily you think in your overconfident head. Then you realise. What if it rains? Those branches are not going to keep the water off are they? Leaves are what you need and lots of them. A nice tarpaulin would have been handy here but as you survey the surrounding area you know that isn’t going to be an option. Best get searching for those leaves then. 45 minutes pass as you wander around rather aimlessly gathering the leaves you think will be suitable to forma barrier from the rain. As you begin to weave them through the branches, forming a roof over your head you take a moment to stop and think that even in this bleak scenario you are making the most of things. It is a moment of pride as you put the last leaf through, take a step back and admire your creation. Bear Grylls himself would have been proud of that you think as you begin to plan out your next task.

After gathering the branches to create your accommodation for the night you already know where the best place to go to gather the remaining few pieces of wood needed for your fire is. You head back to the small clearing where you found the pristine branches, gather a few more and then bring them all back to the area you have set up camp. Smallest pieces at the bottom and build upward is another titbit you recall from the TV show. The kindling you form from the moss of a nearby tree lights up in seconds thanks to your cigarette lighter in your pocket (how this got through security you’ll never know) and soon enough the fire is blazing. The weather God’s have appeared to take pity on you and there is no sign of rain anywhere in the horizon so you settle in for the night and wonder what is going to happen. Food will become an issue soon but thankfully the last thing they did on the plane was hand out a meal and some beverages so for now, that rumble in the stomach can wait. As night draws in you curl up under your makeshift tent and close your eyes. They remain shut until you hear the rustling just outside your shelter…..

Constant Winter Battle

A Constant Winter Battle

I live in a lovely neighbourhood, it has great schools for the kids, friendly neighbours and a real friendly feel about the place. In the summer months there are always kids playing out in the street, this is mainly because the road is a dead end, so you only get local traffic running by. The street is filled with activity during the day but is very quiet by night.

As residents, we hold street parties throughout the year. A party at new year, Easter, summer, Halloween and thanks giving. They are always fantastic events, and the whole street usually turns out to enjoy the occasion.

Each home owner looks out for the local kids, and will regularly check on each other’s properties if one of us goes away on vacation. It really does give you peace of mind, we have all read terrifying horror stories of people breaking in among other things. We even managed to find a neighbour willing to look after our dog while we were away, it really is a lovely place to live.

One Problem

One major problem with our area is that it suffers with power outages during winter, and on a fairly regular basis. While this is the only real problem, it is one that concerns many of the residents, and causes worry among the elderly. The older residents could become very ill if they are left without heating for a prolonged period, something which we discussed in one of our monthly residential meetings.

I suggested that we each buy a generator, this way the power outages wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone agreed that it was a great idea and I offered to look around for the best options available. During my search I found a website called http://www.houseofgenerators.org, it solved all of our problems. I found a suitable generator that would supply each home investing in one with enough power to keep the boiler and refrigerator running during the inevitable power outages of the forthcoming winter.

Our local parties often go on late into the night, but one problem we come across is providing the street with power during the evening. Cables running through the street on one occasion caused one of the children to trip and sprain a wrist, while no lasting damage occurred, the kid was shaken up, but future problems were solved with our new generators too.

The New Neighbours

Our quiet and pretty little neighbourhood changed overnight. Sadly, one of the elderly residents passed and their old home was quickly sold. New neighbours moved in a changed the entire atmosphere on the street.

Almost everything proved to be a problem for the new family, from the children playing out, to the parties. The gentleman would shout at the children for playing with balls, making them too upset to play out. each time we held a party, the neighbours would call the police about the noise. The parties were not full of drunken teenagers playing loud music, the only noise was that of laughter and generally a fun time being had by many local families. Each time the police turned up, they would quickly rubbish the neighbour’s claims that it was too noisy, after all, one of our home owners worked at the local sheriff department.

To the joy and surprise of all of us, a for sale board was placed outside the home within only six months of them moving in. Again, very quickly. The house was snapped up. This time the house was bought by a lovely family, who enjoy the little parties, and their kids love playing out with the others. Our street is once again a fantastic place to live, long may it continue.

The Relocation of a Dear Friend

The Relocation of a Dear Friend

My friend from Washington decided to come visit me all the way on the other side of the United States. She was so used to the weather and the time zone there that she had to adjust to being in a different area. The first time that she came down was great. She stayed for a week and ended up returning home only to make plans to move down here and attend school.

She had a son about the same age as my oldest son and a husband that would be traveling with her. Being that the only people she knew on the east coast was my family, we offered for her to stay here with hers until they could venture out and find their new home. Upon arriving in their PT Cruiser and hauler truck, they were exhausted and needed to rest. So we set up the guest bedroom for them to crash in and regain some energy from the long drive, three thousand miles, away.

Their Week with Us

The transition was definitely hard for her son, whom was an only child and never really had to share anything, including a bedroom. He slept in the room with my two boys and their puppy too. My friend had a dog whom was obedient to their every command. He was never any trouble and got along very well with my dog and my children. Our kids hit it off and were playing and quiet majority of the time that they were staying with us.

The first week they were with us was great. I made sure to be up extra early to make breakfast. When they got up, there was table spread with piles of food from bacon to waffles and everything in between, including syrup. It was truly a sweet surprise for their son whom had never had waffles with strawberries, whip cream, and chocolate chips. Although, I would normally allow my children to pick one or two for their breakfast, this morning I decided to go all out and let them make them however they chose.

About halfway through their first week they were able to find a home and establish it, pay the first month and last month rent and arrange to have the utilities turned on. They were able to do all of this within less than a week of living in our state. I was impressed. They were ready to move in around the eighth day that they were with us. They moved into their new home and our household went back to normal, at least as close to normal as possible.

After the Move

Her son started his first school year down here and was doing well the last time we spoke. She had a new job and was learning to live in a different atmosphere. Her husband found a job working on big rigs and they were doing great for themselves. We made plans to visit as did they. Our children both keep in contact with one another as pen pals. It’s our way of ensuring that they are learning and practicing while communicating with one another. Their letters are very interesting to read and it is even more interesting to watch them open a new letter from their pen pal. We, me and my friend, still keep in touch as well, although we do not see one another as much as we’d like, we are both a phone call or text message away.

There are not many people in this world that I would allow to lay down beside my own children and sleep in my own home freely. There are times that you must be weary and cautious about who you allow around your children. Having someone that you can trust is wonderful, and being able to share in memories such as relocation is even better. Not only do you get to share your home with someone else but they get to see the same beauty in it that you do. The countryside is gorgeous and something that I would like to share with many people. However, for the time being I think I’ll share it with friends and family.

 

Relaxing While the Kids

Relaxing While the Kids are Away

I love to be able to relax at least once every six months. Being a mother, my life really does revolve around my children. If it’s not running them to a doctor’s appointment or carrying them to practice, I’m running errands to make sure that all of our bills and issues are handled appropriately and on time. With all of that running around, it gets tiring and sometimes even mommy needs a nice relaxing night to herself.

I rarely send the kids anywhere, they mostly stay home and their friends come to them, but sometimes they will spend the weekend off and leave me home alone. I find these weekends to be my chance to take charge of the household cleaning and relax a little. The list of things that I enjoy doing while relaxing is endless. I love to read, I love bubble baths, and I love to relax in front of a good show.

What I do at Home to Relax

There’s a lot of things that I can do at home to relax, especially if the kids are off with their dad or spending time at a friend’s house. Normally I will put on some music and clean the house, but sometimes I take the opportunity to relax and watch television or take a long hot bubble bath. If I plan my evening out, I can include a soothing mix drink and some great music.

Mix drinks are the only type of alcohol that I will drink. I do not like beer and straight vodka or whiskey is a little too strong for me, so I have to mix it. I found the perfect blender reviews that lead me to purchase my magnificent blender, which also doubles as a mixer. It can blend up ice into shaved ice which is perfect for mix drinks. The blending speeds and different functions come in handy when I am making simple things such as applesauce.

When I drink, which is maybe once every six months, I make sure that I am not becoming smashed, or drunk. If the kids were to need me, I needed to be sober enough to respond in the manner needed. Of course I always make sure before I begin drinking that they are settled and having a good time wherever they are at. Many nights I refrain from drinking if I know that I’ll be receiving a call to come and pick up one of my children. My youngest son has yet to stay a full night with anyone but grandma.

Recharging My Batteries

Overall I look at a free weekend from the kids as a way to recharge my batteries. It can give me more energy and help me to restore life into my body that has been ran down and beaten over the past few weeks. Taking care of an entire household, working, and making sure that the children have what they need and are at their scheduled appointments and practices can take a lot of out a woman. It is recommended that every now and then the parents take a breather and relax to recharge.

It doesn’t take long for me to miss my children. After a few hours the quietness of the house makes me want them home. I enjoy having them run through the house and knocking things off of shelves and walls. Even though it gives me more to clean up, when they tear up the house it lets me know that they are happy and having fun. Eventually they will be old enough to help me around the house with major chores such as washing dishes and vacuuming the carpets.

Until they do become old enough to help, I’ll leave them in charge of their rooms and making sure that the animals have food and water. They seem to forget that sometimes, so they definitely aren’t ready for added responsibility. Over time they will be able to take some of the stress of cleaning off of my plate. I wait patiently for this day and until it arrives I will continue to take my one day here and there of peace and quiet, and a mixed drink in my hand.

Tips for living in a humid climate

Tips for living in a humid climate

If you’ve recently moved to a humid climate for the first time, you’ll start coming across everyday problems and challenges you’ve never come across before. Most of these are nothing but minor inconveniences if you’re prepared. Here’s what to look out for:

The first thing is to dress appropriately and stock your wardrobe accordingly. In a very humid climate you’ll sweat even though you don’t feel all that hot. Your clothes should be loose and comfortable. Tight fitting clothes will either trap the sweat between the fabric and your body, damaging your skin and potentially leaving an irritating rash, or be absorbed into the fabric, giving you that sweaty armpit or sweaty back look, which instantly turns people off. In humid countries where people are forced to wear formal suits to work, such as Japan, most workers wear an extra layer of underwear, such as a vest under their shirt. This means they feel even hotter when they are outside in the heat, but it hides the embarrassment of appearing sweaty as most of the sweat is absorbed by their vest. They often carry small towels with which they can mop their brows, and travel sized deodorants which they can apply discreetly during trips to the bathroom. The whole thing is not as bad as it sounds as they spend most of the day under the air conditioning anyway.

Speaking of which, make good use of your air conditioner. Lee Kwan Yew called it the greatest invention of mankind. Without it, his home state of Singapore could never have developed into the wealthy and smart hub it is today. If you have to go outside make it brief, try to stay in the shade and in the breeze. Take taxis or use public transport with air conditioning.

Even with air conditioning, you may find yourself feeling sticky at home. In that case you might want to buy a dehumidifier. These are especially useful in preventing the build-up of mold in your wardrobe and on your clothes.

Don’t try to dry your clothes on a clothes line. They may just end up feeling soggy, sticky and smelling bad. You are much better off using a clothes dryer, or simply dropping your dirty washing off at the laundry and having someone else deal with it.

Also long gone are the days of stepping out of the shower and letting your hair dry off naturally in the breeze. This might actually still be possible for those with extremely short hair, but unless that’s you, it’s time to take a look at Oomphed! for a decent blow dryer.

When it comes to applying makeup in a humid climate, make sure you use a primer to keep your makeup in place. Once that’s done, wait a few minutes before you apply the makeup. Don’t forget to regularly moisturize – even though the air is humid, your pores are likely soaking up salty sweat. Use moisturizer and other products with as little oil content as possible. Also, avoid powders as they will end up smudging and even running.

A nice little trick that will help you get to sleep is to freeze your pillowcases, bedsheets and even your bedclothes. There’s nothing worse than overheating in bed, and cooling the fabric around you in this way will give you a decent chance of nodding off instead of being kept awake, sweaty and uncomfortable. If possible, try not to sleep with the air conditioner on. If the temperature outside has lowered, open a window and let a draft into your room. An alternative would be to use an electric fan, although these can get hot and actually make your room more uncomfortable.

You might have to sleep with a mosquito net. During the day wear long pants and long sleeves to keep from being bitten. The most dangerous bites come from mosquitoes which breed in standing water and bite in the daytime. Always be on the lookout for any signs of malaria or other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. Take yourself off to a hospital if you fear you may have been infected.

Lastly, don’t fret about it too much, you’ll acclimate and get used to it.

Flab fighting for new mummies

Flab fighting for new mummies

You put on 14 kilos during your pregnancy but your little one only weighed 4. So how did you manage to scoff down 10 additional kilos in just nine months? Well, it helps if you think of it this way: you may have delivered your baby, but the pregnancy is still affecting your body. In preparation for motherhood, you have gained a lot of fat which will help you to store nutrients for the baby’s milk. Your breasts may increase in weight by half a kilo each, plus you could have gained three further kilos from your enlarged womb and placenta. Add to this the increased amount of blood your body has been producing and it’s not so difficult any more to see where the weight gained has come from.

Don’t attempt to lose the weight by taking up any radical diets – you still need to make sure you eat a balanced diet, full of all the nutrients a lactating mother needs. Eat healthy food until you are full. Remember, you still have to feed two people when you eat. What you should do is gradually increase the amount of physical activity you undertake, without putting yourself under too much strain or in pain.

Start off just by taking simple short walks, especially if your bleeding hasn’t stopped yet. This will loosen up your limbs and prime your body for doing more strenuous activities as it recovers. If at any time your bleeding starts again, stop exercising immediately. Your body is telling you that it’s too early.

The key is to take it easy – you’ll be able to work your way up to serious cardio workouts again with time, but continue to ease yourself back into exercise with things like swimming, jogging and Tai Chi. As you begin to get used to it you’ll be able to gauge how your pelvic and abdominal muscles (the most likely to have sustained damaged over the course of your pregnancy) are dealing with it.

Be sure to drink lots of water and rest regularly during this re-introductory period. As time goes by, you’ll feel your energy levels returning back to normal and you’ll be able to take on the extra flab. Don’t expect to return to your pre-pregnancy weight – remember, you are still feeding your little one and your body needs that extra fat in places like your breasts. Use the exercise you do now to tone your muscles and regain that trim belly.

Once you are sure that your abs can take the strain, you can get one of the best cardio workouts by using a home rower – a great favourite for Kara. Keep up this kind of easy-to-do workout and you’ll soon feel the strength returning to your core muscles. Your energy levels should have made an impressive recovery by now and you may feel that you’re able to diversify your workout. The last thing you’ll still need to keep an eye out for is workouts with jerking movements, for example kickboxing, hip hop dancing and so on.

Other dietary tips to bear in mind during this period include eating foods such as salmon, which can stave off post-natal depression. Obviously, dairy products should be eaten often due to their high calcium content, but also due to the large amounts of vitamins B and D. Maintaining your iron levels is just as important post-pregnancy as it is while you are carrying, so include beans and legumes in your diet as much as possible. Carbs and fruit in general shouldn’t be neglected as they provide you respectively with the energy and vitamins you and your baby need. Eat eggs and lean beef for protein and wholegrain bread for fibre and iron.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can have adverse effects on your baby milk and upset your little one. Don’t be tempted to take up smoking again, either. You won’t be able to make a real recovery if you are poisoning yourself, and if you do hurt your body by smoking, this can only have a negative effect on your child as they have to drink the milk you produce after inhaling cigarette smoke. Follow these guidelines and before you know it you’ll be back in shape and able to call yourself a yummy mummy.

Curbing Noise Pollution

Curbing Noise Pollution

Listen. What do you hear? Chances are you have at least some type of noise surrounding you at this very moment. Perhaps it’s the far off cry of a passing siren outside, the low hum of a fluorescent bulb overhead, a television on in the background. Noise and sound are an unavoidable component of the environment around us in our everyday lives and based upon where you live or work, they can have a profoundly negative impact. There are a myriad of environmental stresses that can affect us in many ways, but noise pollution has been proven to be one of the most detrimental under a variety of conditions. Consistent high decibels of noise can often contribute to increased heart rate, blood pressure, catecholamine levels, and lead to stress, tension, and overall annoyance in concentrated long-term doses. Of course, the most basic risk from all of this noise is that which can threaten your hearing.

Cities both large and small have been implementing restrictions to curb loud noises as from transportation methods in all its forms as far back as Ancient Rome. It’s a certainly a vital component of living in heavily populated urban areas, but even the more rural regions of the country still enact some kind of regulatory safeguards to keep noise levels to manageable…and healthy…levels.

This strategy, when multi-faceted and comprehensive, can be highly effective along many approaches from issuing citations for booming car stereos to requirements of mufflers on vehicle exhaust systems for cars and more particularly, motorcycles with riders who prefer to have their bikes hooked up with “loud pipes”.  Excessive noise in a neighborhood can prove negative on the overall condition of the community, and while the root problems of the health and well-being of a populace can be complex and varied, the issue of noise can not only become a symptom of the environmental quality but can also affect it in detrimental ways. In New York City, the most common complaint is for excessive noise and when police answer these calls, it can lead to them finding violators who are wanted on outstanding warrants. Although this is not always a common theme in every major city, it can contribute to keeping the peace and maintaining law and order in every neighborhood. Vehicles aren’t the only source of loud noise. Equipment like leaf blowers and power tools at construction sites can also produce excessive noise in rural areas, garbage pick up and construction are also major factors and while these things all help to improve a neighborhood, they can also make the area tough to live in. There are things we can do to curb these noise levels that don’t require legislation or paying costly tickets. Lower the volume on your car stereo, install restrictive mufflers on vehicles, visit a website such as http://www.straightkerfs.com to seek out quieter power tools being used at construction sites in highly populated areas. There’s nothing like a shrill miter saw to give you a splitting headache, using one with a quieter motor can reduce noise pollution.

Sometimes the noise is excessive but we don’t know exactly how loud things are really getting in certain parts of the country. Another effective strategy for combating the problem is through noise mapping. It’s an interesting solution that has been posited for studying where and how quickly noise pollution is encroaching upon the quieter communities throughout the country. Taking this step can help researchers better understand the causes of noise pollution and how to fight the problem before it becomes one.

Regulations have been on the books for decades when it comes to cutting down on noise pollution. These environmental policies have made great strides to ensure that we’re not all deaf, nervous, racked with cardiovascular problems, and forced to live in a world without respite from sound. Laws at the state and federal levels have long been implemented to restrict the noise levels of just about anything that emits sound when operating. The airline industry was forced to regulate the sound of aircraft engines as a result of the Noise Control Act of 1972. From the mid-eighties to as recently as the turn of the century, air travel has been moderated to keep from wantonly disturbing the lives of those people who lived near airports, yet these regulations did nothing to reduce the amount of people who took air travel. Firearms have sound requirements that must be met, outdoor concert venues must comply with local noise ordinances that dictate how loud the sound systems can be and when the shows have to be over so as not to bother the neighboring communities that are situated around the large venue. Warning labels are applied to most everything these days, from cigarettes to cans of soda and the same holds true for products that emit noise. These labels are obligatory for many products that are manufactured and sold in the European Union, Argentina, Brazil, and China, with certain products such as air compressors being tagged with such indicators for sale in the United States.

There are many sources of noise pollution that extend far beyond what has already been discussed – that loud neighbor yelling at the kids upstairs, the dog barking across the street at late hours. Communication is key to setting some acceptable ground rules for noise, especially at late hours. Most neighbors are friendly and willing to get along, but to maintain a community for harmony, neighborhood watch groups can be just as effective at deterring noise pollution as they are at keeping crime to a minimum on their block.  Not every dispute can be settled by simply asking the people next door to keep it down or get the dog to stop barking, so sometimes the police have to be called in to intervene. Next time this happens, don’t feel bad, feel empowered because you’re keeping your community safe for you and those around you. Noise pollution is too potentially dangerous…and too loud…too ignore.