Joanna Greenberg


How To Decorate A Family Room

Your family room is a special part of your home, a place where moms and pops really enjoy getting together with their kids to spend their leisure time together. While your family is growing up, it’s often the heart of your home, so it’s important to decorate it so that everyone feels at ease there.

Given that you have to accommodate adults as well as children of different ages, you might think that this could be difficult to achieve; however, there are some clever design tricks that can make it possible for you to create a family area that is welcoming, comfortable, and smart so that everyone feels right at home there. The best ideas are often the simplest, so here are a few hints and tips to help you achieve a fun, welcoming, and relaxing room for all the family in your home.

Color palette

Catering for everyone is best achieved by using neutral colors on the walls, floors, and ceilings in the room. Pale tones will make the space look bigger. Think of this as a backdrop for different accents that you can use in designated areas. When creating a play area, for instance, you can include brighter, primary colors on area rugs, scatter cushions, and storage units. A quieter corner for reading or storytelling can be more muted in tone, while a family viewing area for watching movies benefits from comfortable seating in modest, plain shades.

Doors and windows

When it comes to doors and windows, you can make your family room a little different from other parts of your home. Match the outside of your family room door with other doors in your hallway, but consider treating the inside a little differently. For example, if you want to minimize noise leakage, you can put a simple foam panel on the inside of the door. It’s an easy job to do, and the foam comes in a range of attractive colors, so you can choose a shade to match your décor. This is a brilliant solution if your kids love noisy play sessions or play loud video games. It’s also useful when you are watching a family movie as it reduces the amount of sound filling other parts of your home.

Windows in a family room don’t need swathes of drapes that trail on the floor or blinds with fiddly cords as these are more of a hazard in a space where kids will be active. Instead, choose elegant family room shutters that will produce a clean, streamlined outline of your window shapes and are also adjustable. This way, you can control the amount of daylight coming into the room and create a real movie theater atmosphere when you plan to watch something charming, exciting, or festive together.


Bearing in mind that your family room will get a fair bit of wear and tear, choose furniture, fabrics, and wall paint that are durable and washable, where possible. To cater for a range of uses, you’ll find that seating units with built-in storage are a great bonus so that toys can be cleared up easily before bedtime. Add wall-mounted shelves out of the reach of tiny hands to house books, speakers, iPod docks, and DVDs, as well as good old-fashioned CDs and vinyl.

Your viewing space may also be best positioned in a corner so that you can group couches and armchairs together cozily.


Good general lighting means that everyone can see clearly across your family room without any shadows. During daylight hours, your window shutters can be opened fully or the slats tilted slightly to avoid too much glare if this should be a problem. Artificial lighting in the evenings can be from a fixed overhead point with perhaps a few pockets of space where task lighting is installed.

For example, in a quiet corner you could add a floor reading lamp and some really comfortable chairs or floor cushions for rest periods in between noisy play. A foldable games table and stackable chairs are ideal if your kids enjoy playing real, as opposed to virtual, board games from time to time. Sometimes the best family fun happens around the games table, just as it often does at shared family meals, especially on festive occasions.

Fit for purpose

Perhaps the most important thing about decorating your family room is to start from the point of view of how it’s going to be used, building in how this might change over time so that your family room “grows up” as your family does.

3 Ways to Get the Funding You Need to Move

Moving can be expensive, but when the time comes and you need to make it happen, it needs to happen. Whether you are looking to get more living space as your family expands, moving to take a job opportunity, or facing a change of life circumstances, you need to be able to get the funds you need to make the move quickly and easily. If you have been wondering how to receive funds to move with, here are three great options you can use to make it work.

  1. Residential Bridge Loans

Bridge loans are a great way to cover the cost of moving because they let you get some of the money out of your property even before you close on a sale. Use a bridge loan to pay off your mortgage and provide the moving funds you need to pack up and go. If you have enough equity in your home, you can even manage to get extra to cover a new down payment. Then, when you sell your home, you pay off the bridge loan in the process.

  1. Estate Loans

If you have to move because you shared a home with someone who has passed away and the property is to be divided among the heirs, estate loans can provide you with the funds you need. Borrow against your share of the inheritance to cover moving costs with ease.

  1. Signature Loans/Hard Money Loans

Unsecured loans allow you to borrow against your own income without risking a piece of property as collateral. This tends to give them slightly higher interest fees than other loan types, but it also makes them easy to get if you have the right credit rating, so you can easily cover short-term moving expenses.

For more information about your options for funding a move, talk to North Coast Financial representatives today.

3 Tips for Having Your Loved Ones To Stay

If you are already struggling to balance a busy schedule, you may shudder at the thought of having anyone else to take care of. However, when you are part of a big family unit, you won’t always have a choice in the matter. In fact, it is extremely likely that you will have plenty of loved ones staying with you on a regular basis. They may visit for festive occasions, they may fancy a change of scenery, or perhaps they are eager to catch up with your little ones. The important thing is that they are in your home, and that they require your attention. If you are wondering how you can manage this situation, you will need to read on. Below are three tips for having your loved ones to stay.

Create a guest room

If you are going to manage your stress levels, you should definitely consider setting up a guest room. This is a fantastic way for you to separate your house into zones. Instead of worrying about having to prepare a room at the last minute, you should have a space that is always spotless. It could even be a room that your children are kept out of, as this will save you the hassle of tidying up their mess. When it comes to creating your guest room, don’t hold back. Invest in beautiful bedding and attractive decorations. You should also purchase useful items such as travel shampoos and spare towels. You could even treat your guest to a small travel kettle from VonShef, so they can make tea and coffee without waking up the whole house. What better way to make them feel welcome?

Get your kids involved

When you have guests to stay, it is important to remember that this effects your entire family. That is why you need to encourage your kids to get involved. Otherwise, they could end up feeling left out. Why not spend the weekend, before your guests arrive, enjoying fun and creative activities with your kids? This could be the perfect opportunity for you to make homemade gifts for your visitors. Then, your little ones will have something to show off when your guests arrive. You should also give all of your family members a special role. Perhaps your eldest child could be in charge of preparing drinks and your youngest child could be in charge of fetching the coasters. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that everyone has a part to play.

Deep clean your home

Another important step to take, is deep cleaning your property. This is the best way for you to make sure that you don’t get caught out at the last minute. It will also give you the chance to be proud of your home, instead of cringing at the clutter and chaos. When you are conducting your deep clean, you should also rid yourself of any unnecessary items. You could hold a yard sale or donate to your local thrift store. Just make sure that you clear your home of as many items as possible. Not only will this improve your aesthetic, it will also give you more space for your guests and their things.

Great Dress Fashion For Moms

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the fashion trends of the season because they are always fitted on women that are stick thin. The pressure to be so skinny can even cause anxiety. As a mom it’s almost impossible to be stick thin. Your body has changed over the course of your pregnancy and giving birth and priorities change. Obsessions with looking stick thin perfect and maintaining the perfect weight has been replaced with time looking after your little one and making sure they are healthy, happy and safe. They will always take priority but Research Verified reviews will also help you stay on top of your health!

Still, of course you want to look fabulous and it doesn’t mean you have to be tiny to look great. The following are the most lovely of fashionable dresses and how to incorporate it into your wardrobe:

Curve Beach Dress

Curve Beach Dresses are lovely, especially for fuller figures although they suit any type of physique. They cover the breast area well and give a young, fun look and are frayed at the bottom. They are perfect for any day at the beach or just walking around the city in flip flops or your favorite sandals. They’re also great because they’re easy to put on and remove and look lovely with summer hats. If you wear accessories with it choose delicate items like modest necklaces and earrings. Heavy bangles don’t go very well with this type of outfit.

Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

This is a gorgeous dress design for any type of figure. It’s dainty and lovely and screams tea with the ladies or afternoons spent having picnics under trees with the family. It wraps around your body beautifully and can be worn any day of the week. It can be worn with high heels or sandals.  Light accessories suit it best such as dainty hanging earrings and dainty gold or silver necklaces. Different colored rings also suit this dress well.

Crochet-Panelled Cotton-Gauze Dress

This beautiful dress is a winner as it works with everything. It is simple and plain and hides any sort of stomach weight you may carry. It looks lovely with a jacket or sweater and you can pair it with heels or any color boots you may choose. It even works well if you just want to walk around barefoot with your little one. It is a total winner with a sexy back detail making you feel ultra feminine.

Linen A-Line Dress

This dress works so well because it is so basic. It can be decorated with thick accessories and will look great with bare legs or tights fitted with boots. It’s simple and you can even wear it with a nice thick belt. and a comfortable bra.

No matter what, as a mom you can still dress up and look and feel great – even if you are not as slender as you were before. Dresses are so wonderful as they bring out the inner-feminine in you. Go ahead, put away the track suits and gym pants and opt for beautifully designed dresses that will make you feel more womanly. Enjoy all this fantastic fashion and be proud to look in the mirror any day of the week!

Surprising Causes of High Blood Pressure

If our blood pressure readings are usually more than 140 over 90, then we will be said to have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke if it continues for an extended period of time (i.e., several weeks or more). It is also linked to kidney disease and associated with some forms of dementia. Fortunately, many of the factors that cause our blood pressure to rise are factors that we can control. Here are some of the main reasons for this condition: many of them may surprise you.

Our Genes

This is not something that we can alter: if we are genetically predisposed to have blood pressure higher than the average, there is currently no way to leap in and edit our genes. However, we can mitigate this genetic factor by leading a healthy lifestyle.


Smoking clogs up our arteries, meaning that our blood is compressed into a smaller space as it flows through them, thus raising our blood pressure. Cut out the cigarettes, and your blood pressure will fall.

Obesity (Or Simply Being Overweight)

When a person is very overweight, they tend to have fatty deposits in their blood vessels. This is similar to the deposits left as a result of smoking, causes our blood pressure readings to rise. This is not just something that clinically obese people have to deal with, though: even being slightly overweight can cause those fatty deposits to start building up.

Sleep Apnoea

Sufferers of sleep apnoea are also likely to have raised blood pressure. This is because sleep apnoea causes the oxygen levels in the blood to suddenly dip because the sufferer stops breathing properly and thus does not inhale enough oxygen. These drops in blood oxygen levels can cause, or exacerbate, hypertension.

Exercise Levels

If we exercise regularly, our blood pressure will usually be within a healthy range. Aim for five thirty minute sessions of moderate to strenuous exercise every single week.

Old Age

As we age, our blood pressure tends to rise. This age-related hypertension can be avoided or mitigated by following a healthy lifestyle with plenty of physical activity, no smoking and low levels of alcohol consumption.

Drinking Habits

Drinking more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol a day can cause our blood pressure to rise dramatically. Try and have at least three alcohol-free days every week and to stay within the recommended limits for your sex.

Eating Lots of Salt

If you have a diet high in salt, you may also have raised blood pressure. Conversely, reducing the salt in your diet is an excellent way to alleviate hypertension. It is recommended that adults consume no more than 6g of salt every day (which gives us our recommended daily intake of 3.2g of sodium). Unfortunately, it is estimated that adults in the UK currently consume around 8g of salt per day. We do need some salt each day to keep our body healthy as we use sodium in many bodily processes. Nevertheless, cutting down our salt intake is very good for our cardiovascular health.

How to Live the Smart Gamer Lifestyle while Traveling the World

Being a gamer while travelling is for many people the best of both worlds. It’s definitely two big luxuries rolled into one great lifestyle. However, it’s not easy to do this for several reasons. Let’s look at some of the potential hurdles the travelling gamer is probably going to face in the course of going all over the earth, and possible solutions for them.

Gear Considerations:

This is the easiest thing to worry about in a way, because you can plan for it 100% ahead of time. There are many options here but there are some abiding principles that will guide the savvy travelling gamer.

You want a good laptop, preferably one that was designed with gaming in mind. You may be doing other activities like browsing the internet or sport betting at , but the critical activity will be the gaming, obviously. Make sure you have the CPU and graphics capability for the games you are going to be playing.

Make sure especially that the keyboard on said laptop is absolutely and completely comfortable, and works for you on your favorite games. Some people may want to go as far as bringing along a separate USB keyboard, because these are always going to be superior, and they are much more customizable than any laptop keyboard. At any rate, put lots of thought into the keyboard situation. Obviously you will be bringing along a good quality gaming mouse, and an ergonomic mouse pad is highly recommended as well.

Internet Considerations:

This is really the toughest part of gaming while travelling. But don’t fear; there are many ways you can mitigate this.

The biggest hack is perhaps surprising: try to avoid hotels, especially the cheaper ones. Hotel wi-fi is notoriously poor quality, even in some of the more high end hotels. You can break this rule if you have been to a hotel before and had a positive experience, or if someone you trust can vouch for that hotel’s internet.

This is where sites like couchsurfing and airbnb rule, because you will usually get much better internet quality in someone’s own palace than in a hotel. You may or may not also have the option of simply staying with friends, which is the best, because you know exactly what you are getting beforehand in terms of internet, and if you are staying with your fellow gamers, they will probably have done everything possible to get a good internet connection.

Be Realistic In Your Expectations:

You have to also be honest with yourself on this one. Most countries these days have good enough quality broadband internet for gaming, but some really exotic destinations may fall short. Sometimes it’s better to know when to pack your gaming gear up for a few days and just enjoy your destination.

Happy gaming!

Family Fun: 5 Activities to Get Your Kids in The Garden

A survey has revealed that most parents in the US are having a difficult time balancing their careers with family life. In the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 56% of working parentsfind the balancing act to be challenging. However, it is crucial to spend some quality time with your children to help them grow up happier and healthier, and one way to do this by getting them to participate in outdoor activities in your garden.

Benefits of spending time with your children

As working parents become preoccupied with their careers and the various responsibilities in raising a child, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your kids. It’s even truer for those with school age children as they spend more time doing schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, and most of them would rather be with their friends during their free time.

But experts have found thatspending just 20 minutes a day with your child can help them build their self-confidence, lowers risk of drug use, and encourages healthy habits. While bonding in front of the TV is better than nothing, it is advisable to spend time with your children outdoors. Even just a few minutes doing fun activities in your garden will help engage all their senses as it fosters family bonding. Here are a few fun activities to get your kids out in the garden.

Give your garden a makeover

If your garden is starting to look like it needs a change, you can have your children help you to give it a makeover. Decide on a theme—do your kids prefer a Zen garden, an English garden, or an eco-friendly one? Once you’ve decided, choose your plants and have everyone map out where to plant them. You can also add a few accessories such as outdoor furniture, atraditional or modern water fountain, some solar lights, and the like. This is a great outdoor activity as giving a garden a makeover can teach your kids to have patience, to cooperate, and to know the value of teamwork.

Have a tea party

What’s more fun than having a tea party in your garden? You can use your child’s play set, but it’s even better to serve real food and drinks. All you need is a table, a few chairs, a tea set, some sandwiches, tea, or other beverages that your children will like. Go all out and have everyone dress up in gloves and hats. This activity is a good opportunity to teach the little ones a few basic table manners.


Let your children paint to their heart’s content without fearing for your couch. Get out the paint, brushes, and other art supplies and head to the garden with your kids for an hour of painting. To make it even more fun, you can let them have asquirt gun painting session. Afterward, you can have everyone wash off any paint spatters before going inside the house.

Have a garden movie night

Setting up a backyard or garden theater is not as hard as some might think it is—all you’ll need is a projector, an outdoor projection screen or even a plain white bed sheet, speakers, and some snacks. Lay down a few blankets for your kids to sit on and place some lawn chairs in the garden for the adults. Make sure to show kid-friendly movies and that the volume is not too loud that it will disturb your neighbors.

Go camping

On the weekend, you canpitch a tent in your gardenand sleep there for the night with your kids. You can tell stories, look at the stars, and even roast marshmallows if you have an outdoor fire pit.

Try any of these activities that you can do with your children in your garden. Not only do you get to spend quality time with the little ones, but everyone is guaranteed to have a fun time which will be part of your kids’ memories for a long time.

Vision Direct’s Baby Sight App Helps You Understand Baby Vision

Vision Direct Baby Sight App is a new interactive tool designed by an optician to help parents understand how a baby’s eyesight develops over the first year.

If you were ever curious to know how your baby sees the world, you can now see things through your baby’s eyes with the tool here:

You can quickly shift from a newborn’s first view to the fully developed vision of a 12 month old child. You can input your child’s age and get an idea for your baby’s field of vision, depth perception and colour awareness.

A newborn’s vision

A newborn sees shapes, light and movement, but only in shades of grey.

6 months

A six month old baby can move her eyes quickly to follow moving objects and is beginning to understand object permanence.

10 months

At 10 months old, a baby’s eyes will be the colour they’ll stay when she’s grown up; give or take a shade or two.

Help your baby’s vision develop!

Another great feature of this app is it provides tips to help facilitate your baby’s vision development under each month. For example, at seven to eight months playing games like peekaboo is a great way to help your baby improve her understanding of object permanence, that items still exist even when she can no longer see them.

Vision Direct is the UK’s online leading retailer for contact lenses (also shipping to the USA with no prescription required).

Millenials Are Right About Cars (To An Extent)

Millenials are the generation every other generation loves to look down on, there is no doubt about that. And there are legitimate issues that annoy a lot of people from previous generations. Millenials can come across as apathetic, selfish, lazy, a whole host of unsavory things. These stereotypes are often unfair but they also don’t exist in a vacuum.

However, having said that, there are some areas in which millenials really are seeing things more clearly than those that come before them.

It’s been said that this generation possesses the best BS meters out of any generation before it, and this is definitely true in more ways than one. One area where I think their perception serves them very well is in the area of buying vehicles. This is often a bad investment, and millenials aren’t having it anymore.

Cars are useful, there is no doubt about it. And the idea that privately owned cars are just going to disappear in a few years time is honestly more than a bit premature, especially in countries like the USA and Canada. Self-driving cars are still far far away from becoming a day to day reality on the street level, and while rideshare technology has transformed how people get around to an extent, many people are still going to need some form of private transportation for the forseeable future.

However, what really doesn’t make sense anymore, and honestly probably never did, was buying a new or even newer car. It’s a luxury that many people can’t afford anymore, and frankly it’s mostly a big waste of money.

The smart thing to do is to analyze a car’s depreciation curve before buying it. As the article in that link shows, a car starts to be a much more sensible investment after it reaches five years of age or so.

People who know the most about this subject from personal experience are, ironically, often the rideshare drivers themselves, especially the ones who have enough experience to be already using a car they bought specifically for rideshare purposes. It becomes painfully obvious that it’s very bad business to put a car on the road driving rideshare and having it chew through that depreciation curve in what seems like record time because of the high levels of usage these vehicles endure. But in all honesty, this is just an accelerated version of what happens to any car under any circumstance; the car’s depreciation curve has not changed at all.

So in short, if you’ve decided you need your own car, aim to buy vehicles five years old or older,  buy them in good condition, and budget appropriately for their maintenance. Over the long term, your wallet will thank you for it many times over.

How to Showcase Your Family Pictures

Gone are the days where film cameras limited the number of pictures a family can have. Today, digital albums are the only way to truly share every moment you have captured in time; traditional albums won’t cut it. The only problem with the digital era is that there are just so many incredible photos of your family that it can overwhelm any viewer.

Don’t let those precious memories sit in a Facebook album or on your computer where no one can see them. Photos are meant to be viewed. You can print out a few and hang them up, but the problem with this method is that it is guaranteed to miss out on so many great photos.

So, unless you want to cover your walls from head to toe with family pictures, you will have to convert to a digital age. Here are two great options for displaying and sharing your photos in your home:


Before, the only way you could have a photo was to develop the negatives. You had a physical copy of the photo right from the start. The thing is, though, when pictures were still film, people took a lot less of them, and there were usually only a few copies. Nowadays, you can have hundreds or thousands of pictures that you want to display.

Use a free collage maker to format your photos to maximize space for when you are creating your modern-day equivalent to the photo album – picture books. These books are easy to create online, and will be shipped to you in the quantity you want so that you can give them to your family members too. In order to do this, maximizing space is imperative.

This option is perfect for those who like the feel of physical pictures. They make perfect gifts too! Never again do your grandparents, and older family members have to miss out on your family photos, you can send a copy to them right from the get-go.

Digital Photo Frames

For digital photos, it only makes sense to showcase them digitally. A great way to bring all your family photos into your home is using a digital frame. This frame simply plays slideshows of your photos on loop. For the best results, select only the best photos. You don’t have to worry about seeing too many similar photos as well, as the digital frame can shuffle your photos, so you get a nice mix of your memories.

Your memories are important. It makes no sense at all to hide them away in an old album buried deep on your computer. You certainly don’t want to publish too many photos of your kids online. When you have friends and family over, it likely won’t be comfortable for them to stand behind your desk while you scroll through your photos.

Creating beautiful photo collage books is a great way to bring your photos out from the digital world and back into the physical one. Digital photo frames are a great way to showcase your digital photos as you take them. Choosing both options is the best way to showcase all the best photos of your lives.