The Best Interactive Technology for Kids

The Best Interactive Technology for Kids

Technology is an extremely popular part of today’s world. Parents can no longer avoid having technology around their kids, but many still worry that the technology that their kids are exposed too might be inhibiting their development and growth. While it is true that there are a lot of ways to use technology that can be detrimental to kids, there are also a lot of ways to use technology that can benefit kids. Parents can work to find the technology that will do the most for their children.

Finding the best technology to use with kids can seem impossible. With so many choices and a lot of options that claim to be ‘educational’ but are actually just over stimulating, it is easy to see how parents can get overwhelmed and stressed about letting their kids use technology at all. Parents can relax knowing that there are some easy to find options for their kids when it comes to technology. Here are some of the best interactive technology options for kids.

Educational gaming apps

There are a lot of gaming apps out there that are not productive. Parents can trade out those games for some games that are much more productive. Some great gaming apps for kids include SquiggleFish and Petting Zoo. These apps allow kids to create and learn all while having fun. These apps are also great for young kids who are still working on fine motor skills or for older kids who just want an education brain break.

Educational TV shows

Parents today can easily monitor what their kids are watching on TV with new parental setting and great new kids TV show options. Parents can utilize DirecTV from to find all the best TV shows for their kids to watch. Parents can even rely on TV channels that are designed specifically for kids of certain ages, like Disney Junior. These TV shows are easy for parents to watch with their kids to encourage learning without over stimulating.

Educational websites

This requires a little more monitoring by the parents, but parents can allow their children to use the computer for specific educational websites. There are websites like Art Games and Build that allow kids to be creative while learning new skills on the computer. Parents can watch to make sure that the kids do not go to any other websites and help them discover new things they can do on their educational websites.

Children’s tablets

There are a lot of tablets on the market now, but many tablets are specifically designed for kids. These tablets will not only ensure that kids will not be able to access any bad material, but it also encourages using technology in a healthy and productive way. Many tablets come with a lot of great games and activities on them, so parents can sit back and let their kids enjoy technology in a safe and healthy way. These tablets can also be changed and adjusted as the child ages to challenge and engage them.


Batteries You Should Keep at Home

Batteries You Should Keep at Home

When it is time to purchase replacement batteries for your home, it is best to know the types of batteries you use the most and need to have available. These include batteries for many of the everyday items that you use and rely on, such as your television remote controls as well as those things that you do not use as often but may come to rely on in an emergency. This includes a battery powered radio transmitter for emergency situations and your home smoke detectors.

We use a lot on wireless technology these days, however many of the appliances and other technological devices we use daily and come to rely on require a battery. Here are the common types of batteries every home should have, their usage, and a way to ensure that you never find yourself in need of a power source for your much relied upon items.

Common Batteries that You Should Keep at Home

The most common types of batteries in every home can be classified as either rechargeable batteries or non-rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries include lithium-ion (Li-ion), nickel-cadmium (NiCd), and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. Non-rechargeable battery types include alkaline and carbon zinc batteries. Alkaline and carbon zinc batteries approximate 80 percent of the manufactured batteries in the United States. 10 million such units are produced worldwide and can be found in everything from portable electronics to toys and other products used in the home.

Non-rechargeable batteries are found in remote controls for many of the electronic devices you use in the home. Your television, stereo system, and wireless electronic devices are typically controlled through the use of a remote control, so it is important to know what type or size battery your remote control uses. They can range from alkaline and carbon zinc type batteries from size AAA, AA, C, and D to Li-ion batteries of various sizes.

Perform a Routine Inventory of Your Battery Needs

It is always a good idea to take a personal inventory of the different devices in your home that use batteries. Create a catalog of each device and the type of battery it uses. It is may also be helpful to note whether the battery is a rechargeable or non-rechargeable battery and the frequency with which you have to change batteries in the device. Obviously those items you use most often will require a battery replacement more frequently than those items you only use occasionally.

You should take note that devices that you rarely use but require a battery for operation should be tested on a periodic basis. This testing, at least annually, will allow you to test the battery’s strength and determine if a replacement is needed. This includes a portable radio that can be used in the event of an emergency (i.e. flood, hurricane, etc.) and the smoke alarms in your home that you need to have working in order to provide you with the alert necessary to safely escape a fire. Designate a place in your home to store the extra batteries you need, taking care to put them in a dry and moisture-free area. This will allow you to keep your devices working properly and give you immediate access to a replacement battery when needed.

This article was contributed on behalf of Batteryplex, your number one choice when looking for power sonic replacements. Check out their website today and see how they can help you! 

Protecting Your Home from Storms

Protecting Your Home from Storms

Protecting your home during storms and extreme weather conditions should be a priority among homeowners, regardless of where you live. Storms, winter weather, and even unseasonably warm temperatures can wreak havoc on your home, potentially causing costly damage while also making those living there uncomfortable, possibly posing a risk to their health and well-being. There are some common-sense strategies that may be adopted regardless of your geographic locale, while also eliminating the need for pricey repairs later on.

Keep the following in mind when preparing for storms or extreme conditions:

Snow and Ice

When you think of winter storms, it is likely that snow and ice come to mind. The best defense against the cold days of winter is insulation. Even if your home was insulated fairly recently, it can still be helpful to check and enhance the insulation around your attic, ceilings, windows, crawl-spaces, and pipes. If you spot ice hanging from the gutters or eaves, it is possible that heat is escaping through your attic. Caulk gaps around windows and lay blankets or towels on the floor of the attic to curb this heat-loss.

Garage doors can get jammed up by ice and snow that gets packed into the mechanisms. The best way to prevent this is to concentrate on removing snow quickly from this area, before it has a chance to get packed in or turn to ice. This will also ensure that you can close the door tightly, keeping the whole home warmer. Never use a gas space heater inside the home during storms or power-outages as the toxic fumes can be dangerous for your family. Keep ample supplies on hand to tide you over until the storm has passed. This will eliminate the need to be out on dangerous, slippery roads for needed goods.

Wind and Rain

If you live somewhere that is prone to high winds and torrential rain storms, it could be practical to consider some sort of safeguard such as outdoor rainscreen panels. These panels will put a protective barrier between your home and the driving rain outside. Another great idea is to implement California shutters on your home. These will keep flying debris from blowing into your windows, potentially breaking glass and causing subsequent water damage from rain. It is wise to keep trees pruned in your yard and on your property in the event of high winds. This will remove yet another hazard that could be blown into your home, damaging your belongings or injuring your loved ones. If you notice a line is down, never attempt to move or touch the line as it could be live. Instead, call the city or electric company for assistance.

When you see people preparing for hurricanes, they frequently use wide tape to cover their windows. While this will prevent glass from shattering, it won’t help the window from breaking. A rainscreen panel or storm shutter will be a more effective approach.


Contrary to popular belief, lightning can strike twice in the same spot. Use care to protect your electronics from power surges during lightning storms and use fire precautions whenever possible.

Stay safe and keep your family comfortable with these storm suggestions. A bit of care and caution now can reduce the need for costly repairs after the storm has done its damage. Also, many of these tips will help conserve energy and could potentially lower the cost that many pay every month for utility bills. Get ready for storms before they hit, and keep supplies on hand to make the time spent inside a bit more comfortable and pleasant for the whole family!

This article was contributed on behalf of Wade Architectural Systems, your number one choice when looking for architectural Centria panels.

Your Rights as a Tenant in Pittsburgh

Your Rights as a Tenant in Pittsburgh

Each state has a unique set of laws that govern the rights and responsibilities of tenants. Having an understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant is a wise move before entering into a legal agreement with a landlord.

It is easy to forget that renting an apartment is more than a place to live, it is an actual binding contract between the landlord and the tenant. It is important to proceed with caution by reading the details of the lease to ensure that your rights are protected under the laws that govern the state of Pennsylvania.  Use common sense and create a verifiable paper trail protect your rights as a tenant. However, keep in mind that oral agreements are also legal in Pennsylvania but may be hard to prove in court.

Basic Tenants Rights

A tenant has certain rights under Pennsylvania law. Knowledge of your rights as a tenant can greatly increase your options should you run into problems with your landlord during the duration of the lease. Believe it or not, safety, cleanliness, and privacy are just a few of the rights afforded to you as a tenant. The lease should be written and provided to the tenant as proof of the tenant/landlord arrangement. In addition, the tenant has a right to dwell in the residence during the entire duration of the lease. Following the end of a lease and the vacating of the rental property, the landlord must return the deposit within 30 days.

Property Rights

The tenant has a right to peaceful possession of the property inhabited. A landlord can not harass a tenant by entering the rental unit without proper notice and without a valid reason. Appropriate reasons for entering a rental unit include emergencies, repairs, or showing the unit to rental prospects. Furthermore, a landlord cannot legally turn off utilities or change the locks.


Pennsylvania law requires that a landlord goes to court in order to legally evict a tenant or recover any unpaid funds. Any landlord that attempts to evict a tenant without a court hearing is breaking the law. If you happen to find yourself in a position where you are forcibly being asked to leave, understand that before the landlord can evict you, he or she must notify you in writing with a “notice to vacate.” This notice must be given to the tenant prior to filing for eviction. Even after the court hearing has taken place both landlord and tenant have the right to appeal any initial court decisions. A landlord can not legally retaliate against a tenant that makes formal complaints or appeals a court decision.

Awareness of the tenant laws that govern the state you reside in can often be the difference between being taken advantage of or possessing the knowledge to handle your rental woes in a proactive manner. Tenants’ rights, just as well as landlords’ rights, are in place to protect both parties and to make sure that everyone benefits from the agreed upon legal terms.


The Importance of Keeping Your Children Active

The Importance of Keeping Your Children Active

Keeping active is relatively easy in the warmer months of spring and summer, as outdoor activities are abundant. Once the cold hits though, everyone’s stuck indoors, making it that much harder to ensure your children get the exercise and mental stimulation they need to stay healthy. Here are some ways you can keep your children active throughout the winter months and why it’s important.

Staying Healthy Through Physical Activity

The American Heart Association advises kids get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. That could take the form of after-school sports, dance classes, walks, jogs and even just playing a game of neighborhood kickball in the street. Because being inactive as a kid means you are far more likely to be inactive as an adult, it’s imperative to kick start this way of thinking early on. The AHA says getting adequate physical activity — either outdoors or indoors — can help control weight, reduce blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and improve self-confidence and self-esteem. Kids who engage in regular physical activity also tend to have stronger muscles and bones, get better sleep and have a more positive outlook on life, says KidsHealth. With exercise comes the ability to achieve not just physical health but mental health as well. Children who are active have more chance of being motivated academically, successful in life, and alert to handle anything that may come their way.

Promoting Physical Activity

While it may seem like a chore to get your child off the couch in the winter, if you make the activity fun, they are more likely to get excited about something other than the latest video games and TV shows. As a role model for the children in your life, it helps to show by example. That means if you want your kid to take a brisk walk around the block, you should be leading the charge. Engage younger kids in a fun nature walk where you challenge yourselves to find all sorts of things, from leaves in all colors to creatures like caterpillars. If you can’t get outside due to the cold or snowy weather, promote indoor physical activity such as obstacle courses in the basement, jumping jacks and other fun exercises, or even visit an indoor playground to let your children get out their wiggles.

Get Them in on the Fun

In an age where you’re competing — almost futilely it seems — with electronic gadgets of all kinds, it’s important to keep the activities you choose fun and engaging. Play to their strengths and offer up a few options for them to select the ones that interest them the most. The Raising Children Network says kids who have good balance may like to do gymnastics, hit the playground, dance, climb, or go for bike rides, while kids who are skilled in hand-eye coordination may enjoy bowling, tennis, baseball, or Frisbee.

The next time you hear “I’m bored!” get them off the couch and doing something — anything — active to engage their mind and body.

Protein and Your Body

Protein and Your Body

Proteins are versatile, remarkable, and dynamic working molecules within our cells.  Without proteins, life would not exist.  The human body utilizes amino acids from protein to construct and maintain muscle and deliver fuel.  While physical activity sends a signal to the brain to build muscle proteins, it is critical that the body has access to high-quality protein to supply the essential amino acids to build that muscle.

Muscle protein synthesis begins with amino acids

Physical activity involves repetitive muscle contractions.  As muscles contract, they send signals to their individual cells, requesting more of the particular proteins needed for their activity.  For the 24 to 48 hours following moderately intensive exercise, muscles must meet the demand for new protein synthesis, as muscle cells are built.  During this time, muscles speed up their protein synthesis rate.  To meet this demand, it is crucial that the body have access to sufficient essential amino acids.  While some are derived from the recycling of proteins already in the body, new amino acids are needed within this critical window of time from quality protein in the diet.   Protein synthesis ramps up once the muscle receives essential amino acids.  Studies support the notion that essential amino acids delivered to muscle after exercise promote the tripling of protein synthesis for about an hour or two.

The rate of muscle protein synthesis declines after this time window.  It is for this reason that a complete protein, such as whey protein isolate, be available for muscles during this critical period of rebuilding.  This synergy between physical activity and essential amino acids is indispensable for muscle protein synthesis.

Diversity of protein functions

Amino acids link together in unique sequences to form long strands. The great variety of proteins in the body is made possible by the nearly infinite number of arrangements of the body’s 20 amino acids.  Each unique sequence and its structure make a wide variety of different proteins.  While some protein strands work in isolation, others group together to gain function.  One example, hemoglobin, consists of four associated proteins, each of which grasps iron within the red blood cells.  Each individual protein within the body performs a unique task in a particular cell or tissue type.  Proteins play roles as diverse as providing structure and movement, building hormones or enzymes, synthesizing enzymes, transporting substances, and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance.

Protein deficiency

When the diet is in short supply of protein or a specific essential amino acid, protein synthesis is slowed while the body breaks down its own internal tissue protein.  This process serves to liberate amino acids for the body’s most critically important processes.  Without enough protein, the life-sustaining activities of the body slowly cease.  Consequent repercussions are compromised nutrient absorption, slower growth in children, diminished kidney and brain function, and debilitated immunity.

The human body has a remarkable capacity to build, regenerate, and maintain itself, given the right building blocks.  With a daily supply of amino acids to meet the critical threshold, the body can support its critical functions.  For athletes concerned about maintaining and building muscle mass, the functional role of protein is of vital importance.

Build or buy? How to get your dream home

Build or buy? How to get your dream home

When it comes to finding your dream home, there are many routes you can take. You may have already seen a property you like, however, if you’re struggling to find a home that suits your every need then new build homes in York or any other desirable location could be the answer.

No matter what you’re looking for – here’s how to get your dream home.

Buying a new build home

There are a number of advantages to buying a new build home. Once your chosen home is ready, you can move in straight away without having to factor in renovation or redecoration needs. In fact, many companies offering new build properties will allow you to have a say on the colour scheme, style, fittings and fixtures. Deposits on new build properties are often smaller than that of older houses which is a great help to those wishing to get a foot on the property ladder or downsize.

A hassle-free move

Building your own home can take a great deal longer than anticipated; it can also be a trying process. From investing in the services of plumbers, electricians, builders and planning permission – there are a number of factors to take into consideration.

Buying new is a lot easier, especially if you have little time or inclination for DIY. Apart from putting up a few shelves and pictures, you’ll hardly have to lift a finger.

Eco-friendly aspects

Both buying and building new is often a much more eco-friendly option than buying an older property. Most new builds are fitted with all the latest design innovations which can often save you money in the long run.

A new property is also less likely to be taxing on the environment as features such as triple glazed windows and cavity wall installation all help to make a new build extremely efficient.

A smarter choice

Opting for a new build property is a smart move in this day and age, especially if you’re looking for a quality home that is both affordable and stress-free. With an abundance of new homes in various locations throughout the UK and Wales, it’s now easier than ever to find a property that suits your requirements.

Bargain nights in with the girls

Bargain nights in with the girls

It’s not always easy to juggle a busy life with your family and to stay in touch with the friends you had before you had children, or even making time to see new friends without it always being a family affair. Though it can be great when you have a houseful of children and their parents, sometimes it’s nice to have some time with just you and your girlfriends.

For many women who are at home with young children, they may not be earning or not earning very much, so it might feel too self-indulgent to go out that often. This is why it’s a great idea to have some ideas for a cheap and cheerful night in with friends, instead of going out somewhere.

The internet is a real help in this situation – as it can provide on-tap entertainment, either for free or at a negligible cost. For instance, if you want to set up a bingo night at home, all you need to do is get your friends to bring their phone or tablet with them and you can all log in to the same bingo website and start playing. When you first sign up to play online bingo at Winner Bingo for example you’ll see there are plenty of promotions to take advantage of, and it’s good to time a bingo night with friends  around one of the big prize games. This can add to the excitement and party atmosphere when you’re playing with other people. It’s not just Winner where you’ll find big games; many of the other sites such as Bingo Fest and Bingo Hall will have special jackpot games on their schedules on a weekly or monthly basis. Playing online bingo is a great choice for a girls’ night as it gives you something to focus on while you chat and catch up with each other.

An old favourite for a cheap night in would be to get busy in the kitchen and cook a meal together. You don’t have to be a great cook and if you’re nervous about cooking for your friends, make life easier by asking people to bring a dish. Better if you coordinate this, though, otherwise you might end up with too many starters and no main course!

And if you feel like expressing yourselves, why not have a DIY karaoke night? With youtube, you can find almost any song you can think of in a karaoke version. However, if you’re getting your friends over for an evening of belting out 80s pop songs, it might be a better idea to book the kids in for a sleepover with the grandparents!

If you can make the effort to get together with the girls every now and then, you’ll really reap the benefits of maintaining those friendships. There’s a lot of strength and support that we can draw from our friends, and many of us have friendships that last a lifetime even though we only get to see each other now and then.


How You Can Get Rid of Rust from Your Home

How You Can Get Rid of Rust from Your Home

Rust can accumulate in a variety of places in your home. You may find rust on your pots and pans, on your sink fixtures, in your sink or bathtub, on your plumbing pipes, and even on a concrete wall. Rust is unsightly, and people typically want to get rid of it when it manifests anywhere in the home. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, certain commercial anti-rust products can be harmful if they are inhaled or ingested. This fact makes natural remedies seem more appealing than ever. Fortunately, there are several natural and effective methods for removing rust in the home. Most of these methods involve environmentally-friendly ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen cupboards.

Baking Soda Paste

To remove rust from a broad array of objects, you might apply baking soda. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, but it can generally be used on objects such as gardening shears, stainless steel sinks, and baking pans (as long as they do not come with a non-stick coating). The best way to apply baking soda to any surface is in the form of a paste. You can combine the baking soda with water to create a thick paste. Once you apply this paste to the rusted area, leave it on the surface for several minutes. Then you can use a small brush, such as a toothbrush, to gently scrub the surface with the paste.

White Vinegar Soak

White vinegar can also be effective in the fight against rust. This simple household vinegar can dissolve rust in a relatively short amount of time. If an object is small enough to place in a bucket or sink, try leaving it immersed in vinegar for an hour or two. If a rusted object is too large to fit in a sink or bucket, try spreading newspapers on the floor and positioning it there. You can pour vinegar onto its surface, or you can apply it generously to the surface with a sponge or rag. Once the object has soaked in vinegar for an hour or two, simply rub the rust off with a rag or sponge. If some rust still adheres to the surface, try applying more vinegar and scrubbing the surface gently with aluminum foil.

Lemon or Lime Juice and Salt

A fragrant way to eradicate rust is to use some salt and the juice of a lemon or lime. Distribute a layer of salt over the rusted surface, and then squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice on the salt. Allow this paste to sit for an hour or two, and then you can use the fruit rind to scrub rust away from the surface.

Potato Scrubber

By cutting a potato in half, you can create a quick and easy rust removal implement. Potatoes contain oxalic acid, which can be used to rid various surfaces of rust. The most efficient way to scrub off rust with a potato is to cut the potato in half, dip the inside part of the potato with ordinary dish soap or baking soda, and scrub the rusted surface. You may need to apply soap or baking soda a few times before rust is thoroughly removed.

Most individuals do not welcome the sight of rust in the home. A good way to prevent much rust from manifesting is to use superior steel products purchased from quality steel dealers. In some cases, rust cannot be prevented. Instead of using potentially harmful chemical products, you can utilize home remedies to get rid of rust.

This article was contributed on behalf of Texas Iron & Metal, your number one choice when looking for local steel dealers. Check out their website today and see how they can help you! 

Family Vacation Ideas

Family Vacation Ideas

Before you send the kids back to school, give them something to remember and boast about to their friends. Taking a family vacation can be challenging, amid busy schedules and tight budgets, but the benefits and the experience can make it worthwhile. There are some great family travel ideas that can not only provide a once-in-a-lifetime memory, but that can be cost-friendly as well

Exotic getaways and adventures

Visit a balmy and tropical locale, and book your stay in an area resort for an idyllic vacation that will long be remembered. There are some great beach-front resorts, such as fantastic spas along the Californian coast and the luxurious Villas Del Mar in the southern region of the state. Kids will enjoy the freedom and amenities that these resorts have to offer, and parents will appreciate the serene tranquility that these facilities can provide.

Weekend city shopping spree

If you are in the mood for something more urban, head to the city for a weekend of shopping. Hotels and inns in some major US locales may offer great rates for two and three night stays. This might be a great time to take teens to a concert or the theater, or to visit some unique retailers for back-to-school shopping trips. Look for weeknights to find the lowest rates at hotels, and if you pick an extended-stay type of hotel, you might get kitchen facilities among the amenities offered by some accommodations.

Cost-friendly camping trips

Camping is a popular favorite among families, and most kids enjoy the outdoor oriented activities that can accompany family camping adventures. You don’t need to travel far from home to find a campground that offers tent sites and cabin rentals for your family’s weekend. Look for resort-style campgrounds near a popular amusement or area attraction.

Camping can be a great idea for families as it can often be tailored to fit the vacation budget. By shopping and taking food, you can curb the travel costs related to eating-out. You will need little in terms of recreation, with most campgrounds offering on-site amenities that are included with the cost of renting space. Be sure to encourage the kids to save their spare change for the arcade or game room that family-friendly sites usually offer!

On-site amusements and indoor playgrounds

Any time a family can stay at an amusement park or indoor playground that offers an attached lodging option, this is a great family-friendly vacation destination. These may be a long car-ride from home, or might be something in the family’s own backyard. The time spent together, and the opportunity to spend a night away from home may be just the excursion that the whole family needs before school starts back up in the fall.

All-inclusive family vacations

Some resorts offer an all-inclusive type of getaway, and this is a great option for budget-conscious families. This is also found in cruises, and some of the shorter three to five day trips are often one of the cheapest ways to travel to exotic locations. Many ships offer amenities that are geared toward young travelers, including day camps, water parks, arcades, and outings.

There are numerous options that exist for families looking to get away from it all. Whether you are seeking a weekend retreat for you and your kids, or a summer vacation for the whole family, there are some great ways to travel that don’t have to cost an arm or a leg.

This article was contributed on behalf of Del Mar Escapes, your number one choice when looking for a great vacation in Mexico. Check out their page at for more information!