Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Oh, By the Way, They Have Books

I just finished reading The Library Book by Susan Orlean. I loved the book, which reminded me of how much I love the library. Sadly, I haven't been spending nearly as much time there as I used to...

While the book was primarily about the Los Angeles Public Library, it could also serve as a love letter to libraries everywhere. Yes, libraries are places where you can check out books - and who doesn't love taking home a whole stack of books? But libraries are so much more, always adapting and changing to meet the needs of their communities.

This morning on Good Morning America, one of those libraries was featured as a finalist in the Reader's Digest "Nicest Places in America" search.

I would have enjoyed the story anyway, but I just thought the timing was perfect, having just finished reading The Library Book yesterday. (which, by the way, was not a library book but an advance copy I got from NetGalley, which pretty much explains why I'm not in the library as much - ebooks!)

I'd like to believe that all libraries are among the nicest places in America...

and it's really time to get back into the habit of going regularly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Getting An Insurance Quote For Your Horse

Young girl and horses IVThere's a special attraction between little girls and horses. I almost said that all little girls want a horse, but that may not be entirely true. It's pretty close, though. If you have a little girl, you know what I mean. I was certainly one of those girls.

I was quite young when we had a horse and a pony, so the idea of needing insurance for the horse never crossed my mind. However, it really is a good idea. The question is - where do you find insurance for your horse? Here a couple places to start:

Call Your Insurance Provider - The first thing you can do is call your insurance provider. See if you can get an insurance quote for your horse as soon as possible. If your insurance company doesn't offer horse insurance, you can also contact several different insurance companies and try to request a quote from them. Sometimes, contacting multiple companies is better, enabling you to find the best deal.
little girl with grey mare
Look For Horse Insurance Companies - The next thing you can do is look for horse insurance companies. Sometimes these companies offer traditional insurance to people, but their main focus is to provide insurance for horses and other animals. You can find these types of companies online. Be sure to check the search engine ratings and customer reviews. A company with high ratings and good reviews is the Ark International Group. They promise to deliver a horse insurance quote within minutes, and they do their best to provide the country with the lowest insurance rates for horses.

You may not think having insurance for your horse is a big deal. However, your horse can get sick or even get hurt in a split-second. With no insurance, you may end up spending thousands of dollars, so even though you hope never to need it, you will be very happy to have it if something unforeseen happens.

Maybe even as happy as a little girl with her very own horse...

Monday, September 17, 2018

I Love This Idea!

I shared this video on Facebook 4 years ago. Thanks to Facebook memories, I was reminded again this morning. I loved it 4 years ago, and I love it just as much today! This is such an awesome idea. I really, really hope that this program is still going on and perhaps it has grown a bit.

What do you think? Great idea, isn't it?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Don't Let a Stinky Bathroom Drive Your Business Away

One Wrong Flush

As a business owner, you've likely come up with contingency plan after contingency plan to deal with arising problems. Staffing issues? You've got them handled. Power decides to go out? You have those backup generators. A rowdy customer? Security is just a call away. However, you may not have put thought into something that likely seems as though it could only occur in a comedy.

Imagine you're hosting at a restaurant. Everything, thus far, has been running smoothly and customers are pleased with their food and service. All seems well until you hear a few cries of terror and murmurs of distaste. The bathroom is flooding into the main dining room. It seems that because you chose to wait a little bit longer for someone to come and inspect the public restrooms of your business, one wrong flush ended up clogging the entire system making it back up. As such, you have sewage leaking over the polished hardwood and staining everything it touches.

As you can imagine, your customers will not be pleased. Not only is that money you're going to lose that night, but you're also going to lose even more to repair the damage those toilets have caused. Not just the porcelain thrones either. You'll have to hire cleaning crews to thoroughly wash the contaminated areas and potentially buy new furniture to replace the old. All while your business is closed - no customers, no income. It's a nightmare.

Have A Plan

To avoid this, you should come up with a plan of attack. One of the best ideas you can consider is having commercial plumbing Naperville IL services stop by regularly to perform maintenance on your toilets and sinks. Not only does this ensure the longevity of the toilets, but it could prevent an expensive problem from ruining your business. After all, you can imagine your reputation may suffer a bit from backed up toilets. Avoid the embarrassment and cost and have Courtesy Plumbing help you today.

(I was trying to find the appropriate picture for this post, but I think you probably had an even better one in your mind as you read it.)

3 Facts about Private Education

Every child must be educated. Most children attend a public school because it is free, readily available, and usually the easiest option available. Charter and private schools are also options, but since their costs are paid by the children's parents, fewer students attend. In some areas, the alternative options tend to be more sparse, too. While it is true that many private schools come with a sizable price tag, affordable private schools tampa florida exist, too. Some private schools offer payment plans, scholarships, and grants. In the case of religion-based schools, subsidized tuition fees are available because the affiliated congregation helps pay the costs.

Starting a Private SchoolHere are three facts about private education:
  1. All Grades are Under the Same Roof - Public education tends to separate children based on age due to the number of students who attend the school. For volume reasons, it is easier to divide the students into different schools like junior high and high school. Since the number of students who attend private school is considerably less, in this setting, a student will spend their entire educational career at the same school. The interaction between the younger and older students as well as in-between adds to the experience and develops another set of skills.
  2. Smaller Class Size - It is well-known that private schools have smaller class sizes. Again, this is simply due to the fact that fewer children go through this system. The benefits of smaller class sizes are also well-known. It is important to remember that the reduced class size is a result of parents paying the costs of their children's education. Since they are directly funding the institution, as opposed to taxpayers funding the education of everyone in their area, their expectations are higher.
  3. More Programs - Many parents would like to send their children to a private school because these institutions offer more opportunities and programs. While public schools are cutting extracurriculars like music and physical education, private schools maintain them. This is largely due to tuition fees.
Your local public school may be a good one, but if these sound like some benefits your child could benefit from, at least look into some of your local private schools. See if there are some scholarships, grants, or other ways to make it affordable for your family.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

An Alternative to Public Education

Teachers, principals, administrators, and parents everywhere know all too well that the United States' public education system has seriously declined over the past few decades. Despite the fact that the United States is home to the world's greatest economy, so many of its public schools are terrible.
It seems that less and less federal and state money is earmarked for education. School budgets are whittled down to the bare minimum making it harder and harder to maintain high standards, and the students pay the price.
Parents of students across all 50 states have enrolled their kids in Montessori schools more and more frequently over the years. But what is a Montessori school? What benefits do these alternative forms of education offer?

Montessori Schools Can Help Children Socialize

Traditional public schools in the United States - and across the globe, for that matter - have largely segregated students based on ages. Kids in any given grade are rarely one year older or younger than one another. As such, children only learn to communicate with their same-aged peers - not much of a growth opportunity there.

Montessori schools pack up to 30 students in one classroom; here's the catch - they're largely different ages. Such an environment can really help children of all ages mature more quickly and boost their communication skills.

These Systems Help Raise Free Thinkers

Unlike regular schools, Montessori programs encourage kids to think on their own - humming to the tune of everybody else's songs isn't necessarily a good thing. While this might not prepare students for close-knit traditional workplaces, Montessori graduates have been shown to be more entrepreneurial than their counterparts.

Montessori en famille, vie sensorielleStudents Are Happier

Far too many students aren't excited to go to school in today's world. However, the same can't be said about Montessori programs. Kids are allowed to be more free, independent, and do their own things.

With more than 2,000 of these schools spread across the United States, a quick search on your phone for "a Montessori preschool near me" should find one in your area.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Preparing for the Unexpected

No, this post is not about preparing for Hurrican Florence, though that would be pretty timely, wouldn't it? However, I've only been through one hurricane (sort of) when Nate came in while we were in Florida last fall. He mostly missed us, but we did get quite a bit of wind and rain, and those waves were the biggest I've ever seen in the Gulf.  But, I digress...

It would be an understatement to say that life is full of surprises. This is especially true if you are a parent. Whether there are one or more children in the house, life always seems to be interesting, to say the least. Those kids certainly know how to keep us on our toes.

readingNo, we can't predict the future, but there are a few things we can do to be prepared when the unexpected occurs.

Reading Material - No matter the age, parents are often chauffering children to various events for school and other extracurricular activities. Consider placing some special books in your vehicle that your children like to read or do not see very often. Although children may not appreciate a commute, they may like reading a book while on the go where they can learn about dinosaurs, big game skirted trolling lures, or other information that they find interesting. For younger children, be sure to include picture books on topics that they like, such as animals, colors or people.

Water BottleSnacks and Drinks - Children always seem to be hungry, and this seems especially true right after a meal. It's certainly true for my grandson Jason. How does he go from being 'so full' at dinner to being 'hungry' 5 minutes later? Regardless of whether the inquiries for a snack are genuine or not, it's a good idea for parents to have a few snacks readily available. Some prepackaged snacks are perfect for the ride home after a practice for band or a sport. Premade snacks are wonderful when at home and children need something immediately. When it comes to drinks, encourage your children to drink plenty of water. Juices and other bottled beverages can be fine, but be aware of the sugar content.

Although life is always surprising, a little preparation can help you be ready for whatever comes your way. Snacks and drinks can be ready for growing children. Commutes and other travels can be improved when a book is in the vehicle. The end result is that parents, family members, and friends are ready for the unexpected.

-- so I just read through this post, which was written for me; I just did some editing. Sometimes the sentences are just so awkward... Honestly, there is some good information here, but the basic premise is just wrong. Yes, we should be prepared, but, these things are not unexpected. Of course, kids are going to get bored in the car if they don't have anything to do, and of course, they always want something to eat. The only thing unexpected would be a parent who doesn't know that and has done nothing to be prepared...

Monday, September 10, 2018

Reading with Kids

My friend Ruth posted this updated list of Great Read-Aloud Recommendations for Kids this morning. If you've got kids in your life, be sure to check it out. There are some of my favorite books on the list, though I must admit that I didn't do much reading aloud with my kids after they were old enough to read for themselves. Maybe I'll do more of that with Jason when he's here. This summer we did quite a bit of reading together, where we'd take turns reading a few pages or a chapter in a book. That was quite fun. That boy's reading improved so much in the last few months of first grade!

Also included on Ruth's list are some interesting books I want to check out, and even one that I'm currently listening to - The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck. Audiobooks are kind of like read-aloud, right? I'd still rather actually read because the words get into my brain better when I actually see them, but I can't do that while I'm walking in the mornings. So I listen to audiobooks. I'm really enjoying this one and starting to think I should get an actual physical copy of the book so Jason and I can read it next summer. Possibly. He'll be 8 which is a little young for the book's target age, but he likes and understands a lot of things that I think he's too young for...

Now the little guy in this video? He isn't quite old enough to understand this book. Yet. But his granny is getting such a kick out of it, I dare you to watch this without laughing!

I predict this is going to be a regular thing with these two, and eventually the little guy will get just as big a kick out of it as his granny does.

The best thing about reading aloud to kids - besides all the great books - is that special time together.

Are You Considering a Piano for Your Home?

Did you have a piano as a child? Many homes had pianos in the living area where children would take piano lessons each week. At one time Beth thought she would like to learn to play the piano, but we didn't have a piano and didn't know where we would put one if we did. I guess we should have done a bit more research...


Pianos Fit in a Variety of Places - There are several places that you might not think of to place a piano, even if your home is small. Do you have a two-story home with a staircase in the entryway? Often, this is a great place to put a piano. The stairs generally have a space on one side that is large enough for a standard piano.

Replace a table in the foyer with a piano. Many times the tables used in these areas are similar in size to a small piano. Unless you have a large home, you do not necessarily need a grand piano. There are a variety of sizes and styles that will fit quite nicely in smaller spaces. Main Street Music, a popular boston music store, can help you find the perfect style for your space.

Benefits of Owning a Piano - Although you may not have considered it yet, a piano can be a welcome addition for all family members. You have fond memories of playing when you were a child. A piano can help your children create these memories as well. Even if they are not interested in learning, odds are that they will enjoy listening to you play.

Children that are interested in learning will not only develop an appreciation for music, but it is thought that learning to play piano helps with concentration. Learning to play piano can help with cognitive development, such as thinking, memory, and attention. It has also been suggested that students that learn to play have improved mathematics skills.

A piano can be a wonderful addition to your home even if you only play occasionally. It can be a place for the family to gather and spend quality time when the world today is so rushed. You and your family can make memories that will last a lifetime and be handed down to the next generation.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

When to Splurge on Home Décor

Home décor trends change constantly, and most people aren't financially able to change their home décor as often as those trends change. Even if the budget allowed it, making frequent changes might become tiresome. What typically works best is to splurge on home décor items that will remain in place for a long time and purchase budget-friendly trendy items. You might want to consider a few DIY projects to update items you already have or can buy at a good price. It’s important to know when to get professional help and when to tackle a project yourself.
Mirrors - Mirrors are timeless. A custom designed mirror can be a statement piece in any room. Professionals such as a glass cutter dallas tx can create a mirror design that will personalize your décor. A custom mirror can be designed to fit into a wall space that would otherwise be difficult to decorate. Custom mirrors can be strategically placed throughout your home to reflect natural light or interior lighting thereby making rooms look more spacious.

Furniture - If you find an impressive or unique piece of furniture that’s in need of repair, you may be able to do some cleaning, painting or refinishing yourself to make it a beautiful part of your décor. For projects such as adding a glass top to a dining table, accent table or desk, you should give that task to a professional glass cutter. Many styles of furniture can transition through numerous décor changes.

Color - Painting is a common DIY project that can instantly change the atmosphere in a room. Rugs, curtains, and upholstered furniture are items you should spend enough money on to get a good quality product. You can layer rugs and purchase new accent pillows to keep your décor trendy.

It’s always best to consider how long an item can remain in your home when evaluating how much to spend on it. Your home should reflect your personality and showcase your interest, rather than be a showcase for the latest trend that simply doesn’t fit your style.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Seven - Seven

Jason started 2nd grade this past week. Second Grade! How did that even happen?

Of course, his mommy posted pictures of his first day - because it's the thing to do. My facebook feed has been full of first day of school pictures for a month or so. Yep, some of these poor kids go back to school early in August or even at the end of July. In Wisconsin they still go back at a civilized time - the day after Labor Day.

Anyway, a few days after Beth had posted Jason's first day of school pictures, Facebook reminded me of some pictures I uploaded several years ago - pictures from the time that Beth, Jason's mommy, was also 7 years old. Her birthday is in September, so she had just started 1st grade, but thinking about how they were both about the same age made me want to compare them side by side.

In case you can't figure it out, that's Beth on the left and Jason on the right. :D

What do you think? Do they look a little bit alike?

I love them both. So much.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Quality Healthcare Products for Your Dog

Windsor at Frontier Animal Society (May 23, 2014) 09Most families with canine members try to offer their pets the best products to maintain health, wellness, and proper nutrition. It is not always possible to find the quality vet-approved brands locally. Vet Products Direct brings all of the items your dog needs right to your door.

Flea and Tick Control - Knowing that your dog is feeling uncomfortable from flea and tick bites is usually enough to send any owner out to find a solution. You can now get the strongest, most beneficial anti-flea and tick protection available and have it sent directly to your door. Ease your dog's discomfort and avoid health problems like flea and tick-borne illness or anemia.

Safe Deworming Products - It is difficult to always monitor what your dog is ingesting, especially when they spend a good deal of time outdoors. It is common for dogs to develop worms from time to time. You can end a worm infestation by using a safe product that is easy for your dog to take and provides trusted results. Visit Vet Products Direct for dog worming tablets that are sent right to you whenever your dog needs relief.

Total Heartworm Protection - Heartworm is a parasite delivered to your dog through mosquito bites. Your animal will rarely show any signs or symptoms when this parasite attacks. Without treatment, it will grow in the heart and eventually lead to the death of your beloved family member. The treatment for heartworms can prove difficult. The best way to deal with heartworms is to use a true protection product. You can choose from daily or monthly heartworm protection products that are proven safe for your pet.

Today's My Picture Day Eh?Essential Vitamins and Minerals - Much like people, dogs also need to maintain healthy levels of vitamins and minerals that are sometimes lacking in the basic diet. It takes a well-balanced diet and correct levels of vitamins and minerals to develop and maintain a strong immune system. Aging dogs have a harder time absorbing some vitamins and minerals. Adding an extra source daily is a way to help them maintain the levels they need to stay strong, healthy, and illness-free.

Bone and Joint Health - As your dog begins to naturally age and slow down, you might start noticing that they move slower and have a harder time keeping up with an active family. It is critical to introduce bone and joint support supplements to keep them mobile and limber. You will quickly notice the difference in their level of comfort and willingness to get involved in fun activities once again.

Skin, Hair, and Oral Care - If your dog is suffering from dry skin, breakouts, dry hair, and uneven, or patchy growth, you can add supplements to their diet that are focused on improving hair and skin condition. You will even notice stronger, more healthy nails. The healthier the skin stays, the better the hair will look as it grows. You will notice less dry patches on the skin and fuller, softer, less brittle hair. Taking care of your dogs' oral health is also critical to longevity and good health. You can incorporate the use of products that will keep tartar under control and maintain fresh breath.

Muffin StrutsHealthy, Well-Balanced Dog Foods and Treats - The best dog foods are rarely found in the general market, yet many dog owners end up making a hurried purchase of food that has little to no nutritional value. You can find all the healthiest food and treat brands through Vet Products Direct that will keep your dog happy and healthy during every cycle of life.

You finally have a source of great, vet recommended products for all breeds of dogs, at any age and condition. Visit Vet Products Direct for dog worming tablets, flea and tick control, heartworm protection, healthy supplements, and all of the great foods they need to enjoy life to the fullest.

Vet Products Direct also has products for cats, fish, birds, and horses.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Learn English at Summer Camp

Research indicates that children often learn a second language easier than adults. Children raised in bilingual households will often learn two languages concurrently and without conscious effort.  International students enrolling in school here in the United States can learn English at school, but that can be a very difficult and frustrating endeavor. Enrolling in an esl summer camp for international students is a better way to begin learning English and be ready for the school year. Read on to discover the advantages in doing so.

Chinese studentsLearning English can be Difficult

This is, of course, relative. If your first language is a Germanic or a Romance language, learning English may pose a challenge to your child, but it may not be an insurmountable one. Yet, nearly four times as many people in the world speak Chinese—primarily Mandarin—than they do English. It would be far more difficult for a Chinese adult to learn English than a child as Chinese and English are very different languages. The less-related linguistically and culturally the mother language is to English, the better it is to learn it at the source.

Language Immersion

One of the surest ways to learn a new language at any age is to spend an extended period of time in a place in which it is the primary language spoken. Travelers realize quickly that in order to be able to get around, they need to acquire a few stock phrases and have to be able to pronounce them clearly. An ESL summer camp provides a great way to experience this language immersion in a structured way.

Use Summer Free Time

How do your children spend their summer? Do they complain about being bored? Instead of learning a second language in a classroom, let them learn it in a country in which it is spoken. This working vacation also provides an opportunity to learn local history and geography at the same time.

Bilingual citizens often enjoy a distinct advantage socially and financially over monolingual ones. Giving your child fluency in a second language can be one of the most precious gifts they will ever receive. Consider how an esl summer camp for international students can help your child meet their life goals.

(Now I'm wondering if there are camps like this for American students. Perhaps in Mexico? Maybe France, or even Canada? We tend to believe that everyone else should learn our language...  And, honestly, there are plenty of children and adults in this country who could benefit from an English summer camp.)

I Finally Changed It

I've been meaning to change the pictures in my header for ages. I had a picture of Jason as a baby - it was a super cute picture, but he's not a baby anymore. He's 7 years old and starting 2nd grade this year. He can read! And ride a bike with no training wheels. And jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. It was definitely time for an update.

And Jason's little sister wasn't on there at all, so now I've got it fixed. Maybe next time it won't take so long...

Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think. Or just look at the pictures I used, because I like them quite a bit.

Amara and me

Cory and me

Jason on one of our walks

Amara and Jason

Tim and Beth

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Caring for an Elderly Loved One with Compassion

Whether it is a parent, grandparent, or other elderly loved one, you want to take care of them in the best way possible. This not only means making sure they are getting the care they need, but also making sure they still feel needed. The following are a few suggestions as to how you can easily accomplish both of these goals.
Jeffrey's grandma with our two grandchildren

Searching for the Best Place to Live
There are many options when it comes to living arrangements. Nursing facilities offer care for those who need extensive attention around the clock while assisted living facilities give residents more independence according to their level of health. Assisted living ranges from small residential style homes that provide one on one care to larger communities where residents live quite independently but know that help is nearby when needed. If your loved one wishes to remain in their own home, or if you have decided to have her live with you in your home, you can go through a home care agency greenwich ct that can help you find in-home care to suit your individual needs.

Making an Elderly Loved One Feel Needed
In order to help an elderly person feel like they are a necessary member of society, you need to put yourself in their shoes. What would make you feel like you were still needed? If your grandma is used to taking care of everyone, let her do as much as she is able, whether it is helping fix meals, doing household chores, or contributing to family functions. Give her chores that are suitable to her level of health. This could be helping prepare vegetables, setting the table, folding laundry, or any other job that can be done easily.  If your loved one is in a nursing facility or assisted living community, remember to call, visit, and take the time to listen.

Once you have found a place for your loved one to live that includes the care they need, you can focus on making them feel like they are still needed. With the proper care, their lives will be comfortable and more enjoyable. Their spirits will be lifted, and they will feel like they are a necessary part of the world around them.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Make Your Home Your Own

When you become a homeowner, it's one of the most exciting experiences. Finally, you can put down roots and settle down. As a homeowner, you have free rein to customize the home however you want to. If home decorating doesn't come naturally to you, it might feel daunting to walk into an empty house and turn it into a cozy home. You'll want to remember to take it one room at a time. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Your home wasn't built in a day. The decor won't happen in a day. It might take a few months or years to get the house the way you want it.

Here are three changes you can make rather easily that will make a big difference:
Our living room after painting

  1. Paint - Paint is a great way to warm up and freshen a room. If you love to paint and work on large projects, it's not difficult to paint the room yourself. It's important to remember that flat paint tends to be a lot more forgiving in a space. You can choose to paint all four walls in one color, or you can choose to paint one wall in a really bold color and make it a statement wall. You can even choose to paint the ceiling instead.
  2. Rugs - Rugs add texture and visual depth to a room. Even if you have carpet on the floors, it's still a good idea to add an area rug. The right area rug can even serve as artwork for the floor because of the various prints and patterns. Try arts and crafts style rugs on hardwood floors for a stunning contrast. On carpeted floors, you can use a bamboo rug. Bamboo rugs add a hard texture which can work well against the softness of plush carpeting.
  3. Lighting - It doesn't make sense to be in a dark room. You've got to incorporate light. Since you are a homeowner, you have the opportunity to try permanent options like recessed lighting and chandeliers. If you'd like to choose a quick fix, consider purchasing a floor lamp or a lamp that can stand on a nightstand or side table.
Don't try to completely redo the entire house all at once. Unless you are on one of those home improvement shows on TV, it really doesn't work that way. Live in the house for a bit, figure out what you really like and how you will use your space, and then update. You'll appreciate each new improvement as you do it, and it can be almost like having a new house each time. 

An Afternoon at the Pool

Jason has been visiting. He always stays with us for a couple weeks in the summer, and it's a tradition we plan to keep up as long as possible. I spend a lot of time reading with him or playing UNO. That boy loves to play games!

He also loves to swim, so we spent an afternoon at the pool this week.  I don't usually have anyone to go with, so I'd never been to the pool before. It was really nice, and even better? It was free! And there weren't very many people there at all, so it was almost like having our own pool. (school has started here - so early - so, even though the pool doesn't open now until school is out, I think people are just busy)

It was fun to hang out with Jason in the pool. He even jumped off the diving board! At first, he wasn't sure about doing it. He wanted to, but he was a bit afraid. After he'd done it once, he had no more problems and went off multiple times.

Google made a video from the pictures and video I took. I thought it was fun, so I'm sharing:

A Toy To Delight Both Parents and Toddlers

If your child or another young family member has a birthday coming up, finding a new toy for them is probably on your To-Do list. Toys for children have become remarkably advanced since the days of wooden or tin toys. Many toys are designed to stimulate their young minds and help them grow and develop. However, there are other toys that play an even more important role.

CormacThese toys have one purpose and one purpose only - to release energy. As a parent, you're likely well aware of the seemingly endless amounts of energy that a child can have. At some point, they run you ragged, and then you just want something to keep them occupied and that lets them release some of that energy. Well, there's an old toy that has been improved over the years that will give you a chance to catch your breath while allowing your child to continue to release that energy. Safely.

An Oldie But A Goodie

That toy is the indoor baby swing for toddler. You really can't go wrong with it. After carefully installing the swing in the desired location, your child can bounce or swing to their delight for hours. What's incredible about this particular swing as well is that it not only gives them an outlet for their energy, but it also helps them to build coordination and balance. You may not have realized when swinging as a kid yourself, but you were actually helping yourself to build your core strength and to maintain balance by kicking your legs out and in to make yourself swing.

The swing is geared towards children from six months to three years so it can be a go-to favorite for years to come.

Thursday, August 02, 2018


I mentioned a while back my issue at the grocery store - when the girl at the Service Desk told me I had to buy 2 items to get the sale price. The day after I sent an email to customer service, I got a phone call. The lady I talked to was really nice. No, they haven't changed the sale policy, and I did not have to buy 2 to get the sale price. She said she had already let the store manager there know so they can cover it with their people. Hopefully, it won't be an issue for anyone else in the future.

And, she credited my account with 500 Fuel Points, which is 50¢ off per gallon. Every little bit helps, right? Especially with the cost of gas these days. And I never spend enough to save that much. Occasionally, with the added points from surveys, I get up to 30¢ off per gallon - and we think that's pretty good. This month, with the bonus, we can actually save 70¢ off per gallon.

All I was really asking for was my missing 50¢ - and that the store employees understand how the sales work so they don't give other people the wrong information too. But saving a bit extra on gas is nice, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sometimes You Need Professional Installation

If you are remodeling your current home, working on updates at a rental property or need to quickly replace and install an appliance, you may have thought about handling the job on your own. There are plenty of jobs you can handle, but in most cases, unless you are licensed as an electrician or general contractor, it makes sense to hire a professional when it comes to installing major appliances.

Done Right Professional Appliance Installation
Some home improvement centers offer free installation if you purchase one of their in-store products, but you may only get base-level installation and setup. If you attempt to install appliances on your own, you may overlook measurements and proper disposal of old appliances. Additionally, you may accidentally damage the existing electrical wires when attempting to remove the old appliance. You can also cause damage to your floors if you are maneuvering a refrigerator or range out of your kitchen. With appliances like kitchen ranges and certain stoves, you have to worry about exhaust pipes and connectors when assembling and disassembling appliances.

If you are looking for oven installation in Washington DC, you may want to hire a professional to install your new appliance. Not only can a kitchen installation expert handle a variety of sizes, brands, and styles of appliances, but they will also work to make sure the installation is completely up to code and will dispose of your old units safely and efficiently. From running new gas lines to replacing connectors and hoses, licensed and insured installation companies take the hassle and guesswork out of replacing, maintaining and installing new kitchen appliances.

Many home remodeling companies and installation experts also carry a wide range of home appliances in their showroom. This offers customers a hassle-free, one-stop-shop way of purchasing the appliances and services needed for the job in one fell swoop.

While you can take on your home remodeling project on your own with the assistance of online videos and tutorials, there are some projects that will just go more smoothly when you hire a professional. It's worth it to save yourself a lot of time and frustration. Just be sure to check for credentials and references before signing a contract.

Feast Checklist

✔ Condo reserved
✔ Airplane tickets purchased
✔ Airport parking reserved
✔ Rental cars reserved
    Now, to figure out how to pack - when I'm used to being able to take whatever I want, since we usually take the minivan and the trailer. How am I supposed to get everything I need into one suitcase? Time to start watching helpful packing videos.

    I do always take way more than I really need...

    Feel free to share any packing tips you have! I do have some time to figure it out.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    Air Conditioning is Important in Florida

    Air Conditioner Do OverDuring the winter months we're all pretty jealous of those who live in Florida. We've got freezing temperatures and snow-covered roads, and they've shirt sleeve and shorts weather. But come spring and summer, they're all suffering - unless they can live at the beach or spend all their time indoors in the air conditioning. Floridians rely on always having a properly working AC system in their homes, especially during the summer months.

    I have friends here in the Midwest who think properly working air conditioning is pretty important, too. Oftentimes they're talking about turning on the air conditioner or complaining that it quit - and I haven't even realized it was supposedly hot enough for air conditioning.  If your home has poor air circulation, or you have small children, elderly family members, or an expectant mom in your household, I know air conditioning can be very important at times.

    There are a few things you can do to have a proper AC in your home.

    Search Out AC System Companies

    If it's time for a new AC system, some repairs to your current system, or just some regular maintenance, search out AC system companies in your area. Look online and research companies to find one with a good history of making people happy in regards to their AC system. Read all those reviews. A great example would be Gulf Shore Cooling, which is among the best ac companies in fort myers. Besides installing and repairing AC systems, they also repair furnaces and other hardware in the home.

    Get A Good Warranty

    Whether you have a traditional air conditioner or central air, you should do your best to get a decent warranty with your AC system. Some of my friends had their air conditioner go out last week. After a bit of scrambling, they were able to get it fixed for just the cost of a service call, because it was still under warranty. That was a huge relief to them - in more ways than one!

    A properly working AC system is important, especially in Florida and on hot summer days everywhere.

    Hiring a Waste Disposal Company

    Do you need to rent a large dumpster for a large renovation project? Every year for Camp Outreach we rent one. The first year I went, I spent an afternoon working to fill it up with all the debris from the projects we worked on that week. This year, I just happened to be in the parking lot when the dumpster was delivered, so I got the process on video. If you've never seen this, it's quite interesting.

    You may not need an entire dumpster, but perhaps you need someone to come pick up an old appliance that you are throwing away. For either one of these situations, you could require the services of a waste disposal company. There are many companies that are in this line of work. However, it would be a mistake to simply hire the first one that you come across. Thoroughly check out each waste disposal company in your area before making a decision.

    Here are a few tips for hiring one of these companies:
    1. Reach out to some of the people you know who have done business with waste disposal companies in the past. These people will know more about hiring a waste disposal company than you do and can be an invaluable source of advice.
      Here is a list of questions to ask:
      • What was the name of the company they hired? 
      • What services did the company perform for them? 
      • Were they generally pleased with the quality of the company's service? 
      • Did the company charge a fair price for the amount of work they did? 
      • Would they hire the same company again in the future? 

  • The Better Business Bureau can be very helpful in situations like this. Go to the BBB site and look for companies that perform waste management Pasco County. The BBB should have a few waste disposal companies in your area profiled on their website. Read through everything they have posted about each company. You'll be able to learn about the history of the company and get some helpful information to determine if the company is good or if they should be avoided.
  • Talk to each company to find out what their specific price is going to be. Have a firm understanding of the price you will need to pay and exactly what the company is going to do for you before you agree to hire any waste disposal company. And get it in writing, so there won't be any surprises later. 

  • The more information you have, the more equipped you will be to choose the company that is best for your needs.

    Friday, July 13, 2018

    Getting Care At Home

    Judy (me) and MotherIf you've been on the fence about whether to use a caregiver in the home or to take your loved one to a nursing facility, here are a few good reasons to consider. In-home caregiver agencies can be very beneficial to the client.
    • There isn't any place like home for recovery after surgery, after an illness, or during your loved one's last years of life. An in-home caregiver makes it possible for clients to remain in familiar and comfortable surroundings instead of being in an environment where they don't know anyone.
    • The caregiver can keep the family together. Sometimes, family members might not be able to go to a nursing facility to visit a family member, but it's much easier to make visits to the person's home. There are sometimes restrictions as to who can visit residents in a nursing facility if there are illnesses, which you won't need to abide by if your family member remains at home. Clients can maintain the independence that they have when they stay in their home. They can watch television, take a shower or bath, and take part in the other daily activities that they are accustomed to but with the assistance of a caregiver who can ensure that the person is safe in the home.
    • Staying at home promotes faster healing than being in a nursing facility where you are unsure of your surroundings and might not receive the proper medical attention that you need at all times. Although it does cost money to hire a caregiver, it's not as expensive as using the services offered by a nursing facility, and your family member can keep any government assistance or social security payments instead of turning them over to the facility. Staying at home with a caregiver is often safer as the person knows where everything is located and will have the assistance of someone throughout the day to help with walking and other activities. 

    Thursday, July 12, 2018

    When You Really Need the Survey Link

    I went to the grocery store today. I've been putting it off as long as possible because I just got back from Camp Outreach on the 1st - and there is enough shopping leading up to and during Camp that I just don't want to do it again until I absolutely have to. But sometimes you just need food in the house, so I loaded digital coupons to my account, made my list, and went to my local Pay-Less grocery store. (Not that we actually didn't have food in the house; we just needed some of the basics like eggs and bread and lettuce. We could probably eat for several months, just maybe not exactly what we might want.)

    Sometimes my receipts include a link to fill out a survey. I don't always do them, and often they're a bit annoying, asking me why I didn't rate my visit as Highly Satisfactory. I guess they got tired of me saying that it was just an ordinary shopping trip - nothing to get all excited about but nothing to complain about either - because I haven't gotten a survey link in a while.

    Today I was really hoping for one. Though I wouldn't have rated them Highly Satisfactory today, either...

    I bought a 32 oz. carton of Simple Truth plain yogurt today. The sign said the yogurt was on sale 2/$5.00 or $2.50 each, and there was the additional digital coupon for 50¢ off, which I could have used 5 times in that transaction, but I only needed the one carton. When I checked my receipt after checkout, the yogurt had rung up for $5.79. I found the yogurt in the ad while waiting at the service desk, and wondered if perhaps I had grabbed the wrong type of yogurt - Greek as opposed to regular. When Alise (the young lady at the service desk) came to help me, I told her that I thought maybe I'd just grabbed the wrong kind, but she glanced at the ad, told me that it was the right yogurt, but I had to buy 2 of them to get the sale price.

    Ummm, since when?

    I told her that No, it has never worked that way; I can buy any quantity and get the sale price - unless it's a special sale where it is specifically advertised that way. I went back to the department and took a picture of the shelf tag stating that the sale price was 2/$5.00 or $2.50 each.


    Alise still insisted that I had to buy 2 to get the sale price. I really only needed one, but I told her to go ahead and ring up two - better to pay $5.00 for 2 cartons than $5.79 for only 1 - and I would go back and grab the second one before leaving the store. I also told her I wanted to be sure I could use the second 50¢ coupon that I would have had taken off if I'd bought both together. So, she rang it up and gave me 79¢ cents back. When I questioned the amount - $5.00 for 2 cartons of yogurt minus $1.00 in coupons should equal $4.00. So, since I paid $5.29 - $5.79 minus 50¢ - for the original carton, the difference should have been $1.29 NOT 79¢. When I questioned it, she printed out the adjustment receipt - $5.29 credit, 2 cartons of yogurt at $2.50 each, minus a 50¢ coupon - equals 79¢. Which seems to work, but I actually lost 50¢ somewhere in there... 

    Now, perhaps the store has recently changed things so that we actually do have to buy things in the quantities advertised, but I haven't seen anything letting me know of this change. Alise said that she's worked at this store for over a year, AND she had asked a fellow employee, who also said that I should have had to buy 2 to get the sale price. What she couldn't tell me was WHEN this became effective. If the sales really do work this way now, I'd really like to know. Otherwise, somebody needs to let the employees know that just because something is advertised as 2/$5.00 (or 10/$10), doesn't mean we have to buy in those exact quantities - unless otherwise specified. There are some sales that work that way, but those are always clearly marked.

    Also, when I went to grab my 2nd carton of yogurt, I realized that YES, I had grabbed the wrong type - the Greek yogurt was in the wrong place right behind the sign. The Greek yogurt was on sale for $5.79. The regular yogurt was on sale for $2.50 per carton. So, I put the Greek yogurt in its place and pulled 2 of the regular, from the back of the case, since that is what I paid for.

    And I sent an email to Kroger customer service.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    Clean Air at Home is Extremely Important

    3 Things to Know About Your Indoor Air Quality & How It Affects Your HealthIt is already hard enough to breathe just with all of the chemicals and pollution that are released into the atmosphere on a daily basis. Cigarette smoke, car exhaust, perfumes and colognes, you name it. For those of us who are sensitive to these things, it gets harder and harder to go out in public. Thankfully, it is still possible to have clean air at home - except when the neighbors decide to burn a big pile of brush or hire someone to spray chemicals on their yard when my windows are wide open. But maybe that's just me...

    And I really don't want to stay closed up inside my house all the time using the furnace in the winter and going straight to air conditioning in the summer, never letting any fresh air in. At least as long as there is fresh air to be found.

    At least inside the house, I have control over the air quality. I try to use natural products like vinegar, baking soda, and peroxide for cleaning, and I've started using essential oils and diffusers to freshen the air. I never could stand those 'air fresheners' in the aerosol can; they just tend to make things worse.

    One of the biggest challenges to clean air in the home can come from water damage and mold. Thankfully we don't have a problem with that, but haven't we all heard about people who have discovered mold in their homes and can no longer live in them? That has to be absolutely devastating. Water damage, whether it's caused by flooding from rains, a tornado going through your neighborhood, a plumbing leak, or something else, is something you want to take care of immediately so that it doesn't cause further problems.

    For something like that, I think it's best to hire the professionals and get it taken care of right the first time. You'll want to choose a company that has been in business a long time and handled every problem imaginable in this field.  Choose a fire damage restoration houston tx company that has the proper equipment to handle fire damage, water damage, and mold the right way.

    And when the neighbor is burning that brush? Close the windows and be thankful that at least the air inside the house is breathable.

    Saturday, June 23, 2018

    3 Gate Considerations

    If you've got a fence around your property, you have gates. Whether they are situated at the front entrance or the back (or both, because who want to always have to go to the front of the property to get in or out?), these barriers have their purpose. For most, they are meant to protect and keep intruders on the outside, while still allowing you access. If you do not have corten steel gates, they are probably made of out cold rolled and stainless steel.

    When you are interested in installing gates for the first time or replacing existing gates, here are three things to consider.

    1. Size - The gates you are about to have installed to protect your home have parameters that they have to meet. The most important parameter is the measurement. Take the time to measure the area they are going to cover from top to bottom and side to side. If there is a slope present, you want to ensure that the gates will not scrape the bottom, and therefore, not open correctly. You also do not want unintended crevices to exist anywhere around the gate. This is especially important if you are trying to keep a pet in or another kind of critter out.
    2. Function - It is very important that your gate opens and closes as intended. If obstructions exist anywhere around the gate that will hinder its opening or closure, find the one that works best under those conditions. Tandem, bi-fold and standard sliding gates are some options. Cantilevered, top hung and tapered gates are others. After you conduct an eye-test, if you are still unsure, you can always call on a professional for a consultation. They will evaluate and make suggestions accordingly.
    3. Design - Once the size and function of the gate have been settled on, you can move on to the design. In many cases, you can purchase a gate that will open and close as intended and be nice to look at, too. Artists who work with steel have entered the realm of gates, and they create architectural pieces that also keep your property safe. These gates are custom-made and custom-fit. If you opt for something more demure, those options are available, as well.

    When planning to install gates around your property, remember to take into consideration the size, function, and design.

    Thursday, June 21, 2018

    Make Your Bathtub Look Like Brand New

    Is your bathtub old, worn, rusted, abused, or otherwise damaged? You may think the only way to have a bathroom you will actually like is to hire someone to replace that old bathtub, and you don't relish the idea of an expensive and messy project. Consider a bathtub liner installation instead. A custom-made liner brings new life to your old tub without all the mess and expense of a complete removal and replacement.

    Part of an in-home consultation includes the company's representatives taking precise measurements of the existing tub to make sure that the new liner will fit perfectly over the old one.The liner fits without disturbing the plumbing and is made to last at least 20 years. That is a greater longevity than most modern steel bathtubs can claim!

    Quarter-inch solid-core vinyl provides a high-gloss and high-impact finish that is invincible to physical damage. With an inventory of more than 100 molds, every model and make of bathtub is represented, and the forming system replicates the tub's subtlest curves.

    When properly made, the liners do not crack, chip, peel, or stain. No paint or dangerous and offensive chemicals are used, which eliminates odors.The liners are not affected by bacteria or acid, and they are easy to maintain. They are also HUD tested and approved. Each installation comes with a new overflow fixture, drain, and new silicone caulking around the perimeter. The durability also makes them popular with hotels, motels, and apartment complexes as they easily get approval from owners, managers, and realtors.

    Be sure to choose a reputable and experienced company that employs specialized bathroom remodeling technicians who can install the liner in a timely and precise professional fashion. A typical bathtub relining usually takes only a few hours, and you will be able to use the bathtub the very next day.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    Not Good Enough

    It really bothers me when people are too lazy to put their shopping carts away when they're done using them. Not only is it annoying to attempt to pull into a parking spot only to find it blocked by a cart - or two or three, because once someone does it, others are sure to follow along - but it can cause damage to cars in the parking lot. It only happened to me once, but take it from me, those rogue carts can come barreling across the parking lot and run right into your vehicle on a windy day!

    What bothers me just about as much (OK, as much) is when people sort of put the carts where they belong, but they're too lazy to actually do it right. How much extra effort would it really take to push that cart forward so that there's room for other people's carts behind it? An extra shove, a couple steps...

    But, NO, I guess they figure just getting it there, sort of almost into the cart containment area is good enough. Who cares about those who come later? Or if the cart even stays where it was parked?

    Sorry, not good enough! I always try to push my cart as far forward as possible and move the carts in front forward if I can, but if the first person didn't even bother and there are several behind it, there's only so much I can do. Those carts get heavy and very hard to push.

    But seriously, why? Am I the only person who thinks that if you're gonna do something, just do it right? And doing some things - like putting your shopping cart away at the end of your shopping trip - really aren't optional. So just give that extra shove or take that extra step of two. You already made it to the shopping cart area...

    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    Make Sure Your Family is Ready for Summer

    When the summer season starts and the temperatures start to rise, smart parents know that it's important to make sure that their family is ready for anything. From lazy days indoors to Sundays at the beach, the summer season can bring all sorts of excitement (along with cries of, "Mom, I'm bored!"). The question you have to ask yourself is, "Is my  family ready for the summer?"

    One of the most important things for any homeowner to do before the summer season begins is to make sure that they have air conditioning. This is especially important if you live in one of the hotter areas of the country where the temperatures get very high and people can get very sick if they are left in the heat for too long. If you don't already have an air conditioner that is working well, you need to find and hire a local professional to get one installed in your home before the summer heat hits. For example, if you need HVAC Gloucester VA, you should call a reputable company like CC Air and Heat. This will ensure that your home stays cool and comfortable throughout the season and your family stays safe from the dangers of excessive heat.

    Beth in the pool
    Another important thing is to make sure that any pools in your area are completely secured and that your children are taught about water safety. If your children will be spending any time at the beach, at a pool, on a river, or at any other place where they could fall into the water, they should have swimming lessons as well as wear a life jacket. If you have a pool in your backyard, it's essential that it is fenced in and only accessible by a locked gate that is too tall for small children to open and enter. Drowning is a leading cause of death for small children in many places so don't let it happen to you.

    Finally, make sure that your summer is fun. Let your kids relax, don't over schedule them, and spend quality time with them this summer.

    Why am I Just Now Finding These?

    Summertime means it's time to bring out the sundresses. I love the ease and comfort. What I do not love is the way my thighs always rub together. A little baby powder solves the problem temporarily, but it never lasts.

    That's where this split slip comes in! No more thigh rub. Or, more accurately, the thighs may still rub, but there's material between so it's not irritating and annoying. I'm just wondering why it took me so long to find these.

    How about you? Did you know these were available? The one I got is short, so it's good for any length skirt or dress, but I think I'm going to order one that's a bit longer, too - maybe like this one. Then I ought to be pretty much covered.

    Friday, June 15, 2018

    Get the Most Out of Summer with the Kids

    Summer can be a wonderful and enjoyable time with the kids, but there are times the summer heat can drain all the energy and fun out of your summer. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your cool all summer long whether you’re at home, outside, or on a fun-filled outing.

    Cooling Off the Indoors

    A little prep work inside your home will help you remain comfortable during the summer. Install insulated window treatments to block the hot rays of the sun, and remember to keep the drapes pulled on sunny days. Switch out bedding for 100% cotton sheets and lightweight blankets and quilts. Make sure your air conditioner is functioning properly too. There's nothing so frustrating as turning your AC on that first really hot day of summer only to find out that it does not work. If you are looking for AC replacement Fort Myers has many reputable professionals such as those at Gulf Shore Cooling that can help.

    Get the Backyard Ready

    Summers spent in the backyard can be fun as long as they are safe. Make sure you have plenty of shade. If your lawn lacks trees, use a table with an umbrella for picnic-style meals. Awnings and canopies are ideal for over sandboxes and other play areas, and water toys such as squirt guns, slip and slides, and children’s pools are great ways to cool off with supervision.

    When fun is as simple as a lawn sprinkler

    Ideal Day Trips

    Summer days can become boring quickly when you are a child full of energy. Day trips are an excellent way to show your children new and fun places while spending time together as a family. Cool off at the local pool or spend an afternoon at the beach. The zoo is a wonderful place to visit, and walking the trails at a nearby park can be educational. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun. Do a quick internet search for free (and cheap) things to do in your area.

    By following these tips you can have an enjoyable summer that both you and the kids will remember fondly for years to come. It is possible to have fun and stay cool this summer. A few quick changes inside and out along with some fun-filled day trips will help you make the most of this special time together.

    What is it About This Blanket?

    We bought a couple new blankets recently at Kohl's. The blankets were significantly marked down on clearance, and then we had a coupon and Kohl's cash to use. Of course, that's the only way to shop - have you seen the supposed regular prices on items in the stores? Do people really spend that kind of money? Even the sale prices are more than I want to spend.

    Anyway, since we got the new blankets, I really need to get rid of some old ones. We've had them for years, and some of them are in pretty bad shape - not to mention that those old twin/ full-size ones don't really fit on the beds. We need a few of them for the twin mattresses, but not necessarily all of them.

    So far I've only pulled one blanket out to get rid of...

    This one seemed like a no-brainer since it had holes all across the top of the blanket. But it's one of the softest blankets we had (the new ones are much softer, though), so Jeffrey cut a strip off the top of the blanket. No more holes! Of course, now it's not only almost too narrow for the full-size bed, but it's probably too short too. But maybe we can still use it for something...

    Actually, we're going to try using it as extra padding on some of the furniture out in the sunroom. I just haven't had time to arrange the blanket and pillows, so we just folded the blanket and threw it on the back of the loveseat in the sunroom for now. And the cats can't leave it alone. Somebody is always pulling it onto the floor or off the back and onto the seat so he can lay on it - or beside it.

    Monday, May 21, 2018

    Signs that your Dryer Vent is Clogged

    Modern front load tumble dryer, pictu...
    Modern front load tumble dryer, picture taken by Rick Harpenau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    Dryer vents are seemingly innocent parts of our home that can hide a dangerous secret. If not regularly cleaned out, the lint that accumulates in the dryer vent can result in a dryer fire. While the safety aspect is the most important, a blocked dryer vent causes a slew of other problems. It wastes energy, which increases your energy bills, and can take a toll on the dryer, causing it to fail prematurely. But how do you know when your dryer vent needs to be cleaned? The following telltale signs will alert you before a catastrophe happens, as well as save you time and money.

    • Clothes Take Longer to Dry
      A clogged dryer vent makes it more difficult for the laundry to dry in the timeframe that you’re used to. You may even have to run multiple cycles just to dry one load of laundry. This is typically the first sign that a dryer vent needs tending. When the vent is blocked with lint, the moist and hot air that the dryer is designed to vent will get stuck inside the dryer making it harder for the machine to work properly.
    • Dryer and Clothing are Extremely Hot
      It’s not uncommon for the outside of the dryer and the clothing inside to be hot. But when the dryer and the clothing are too hot to touch, that’s a big sign that the machine isn’t venting properly, which generally means the vent and dryer ducts are blocked.
    • You Smell Something Burning
      If you notice a smell like something is burning when your dryer is running, it’s probably lint. This lint can build up in the lint trap, exhaust tube, and drum casing. And when it starts to get hot, the chances of it catching fire increases. You really want to take care of your clogged dryer vents before the problem gets to this point.

    Call the Professionals
    While it’s fairly easy to clean out the dryer vent yourself, the dryer vent ducts are a bit more difficult and should be inspected by a professional dryer vent cleaning Pasadena MD company. In fact, most experts recommend having your dryer vent ducts inspected and cleaned annually.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    A Visit to the City

    There are many great cities in the world with a wealth of different experiences to offer. Paris is known as the City of Lights and it offers a range of art and cultural attractions. London offers great theater and a sense of Victorian charm, while Rome has centuries of art to take in, along with incredible food. New York City, however, is a place that has something extra to offer visitors of all kinds. New York is a vibrant and vital place that offers a huge range of art, culture, and architecture to take in, along with amazing entertainment and a special kind of verve that’s unique to this amazing American city.

    Entertainment in New York

    Many people come to New York to take in the amazing entertainment that’s unique to this city. A quick review of Broadway play reviews shows the range of choices tourists can choose from when they visit Manhattan. The Broadway stage offers amazing dramas headlined by major stars, as well as incredible musicals like the recent revival of “Hello, Dolly!”

    The Vital New York Cabaret Scene

    For those who enjoy seeing entertainment on a more intimate scale, the New York cabaret scene is also a great attraction. These shows take place in smaller venues, and they offer a chance to see great singers and comedians up close. These shows also offer food and drink to go with the show, which adds to the fun.

    Galleries Galore

    For those who love visual art, New York has a wealth of amazing museums to visit, including The Whitney Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are also many galleries in areas like Soho and Greenwich Village, and a visit to these areas makes for a great afternoon in the city.

    Without a doubt New York is one of the great cities in the world, so be sure to add it to your list of must-see places to visit.

    All that and no mention of the M&Ms Store! I've been to New York City once - on a weekend trip with the high school band - so our focus was a bit different. We toured Radio City Music Hall where we met one of the Rockettes, visited a museum, toured Carnegie Hall, roamed 5th Avenue, and took the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island. Overall it was a fun, if exhausting, trip. Maybe it's time for another trip? I would really love to see a Broadway show. Or two.