14 Reasons You Need To Get An Outdoor Pool!

 

swimming pool ideas, summer activities, summer family activities

 

 

Swimming is something we all do as kids, and then as we get older a lot of us start to lose interest.  It’s not because it’s not fun, but as we get older we have other things to do. Also as we get older, we get hang-ups about our bodies in a way that few kids really do. That’s not to say it never happens to kids; regrettably it does.  But whatever age we are, we can all benefit from time spent in the pool.

If you’ve been considering getting a backyard pool, or just starting to get more use from the one you have, then you definitely should. There are so many reasons why it is an excellent choice, ranging from the obvious health benefits to many others.  Although it’s not cheap, the benefits you will get mean it really does pay for itself. Particularly if you have the climate to suit it, a pool can be a year-round investment.

Swimming Is Some Of The Best Exercise You’ll Get

 

summer activities, pool ideas

Image Source: Wikipedia

A lot of people talk about swimming as a low-impact form of exercise,  and in some ways it is.  It is an excellent way of getting aerobic and cardio exercise, which everyone needs.  It doesn’t put much pressure on muscles, and if you struggle with endurance time in the pool is a great way to build it.

Getting In The Pool Is A Great Way To Cool Off

It’s a fact that, globally, temperatures are on the rise, and are staying higher for longer periods of time.  It is also a fact that heatwaves are happening more often.  Heatwaves has its benefits for those who love the sun. However, anyone who says that it’s not occasionally uncomfortable is either untruthful or some sort of lizard. We’re not built to sustain heat indefinitely. Getting in the pool is heaven on hot, steamy days like these.

Swimming Is A Communal Form Of Exercise

summer activities, summer family activities

Image from Wikipedia

Going to the gym has its place. We all benefit from running machines and exercise bikes, but it’s not for everyone. It’s certainly not “fun for all the family.” You don’t really get to have a fun chat as you’re pounding the treadmill. That’s not least because you fear being sling-shot into the weights machines if you pause for a moment. But you can use your backyard pool and go at your own pace.  Make it a family thing.

Helps In Recovering From An Injury 

As mentioned earlier, swimming in a pool is a low-impact form of exercise from a muscular point of view. This is a major reason why doctors recommend it as part of an injury recovery regime. To get back in shape you need to exercise.  With the support of the water, you can do it without over-exerting and aggravating the injury.  It will also strengthen muscle generally.

Perfect For Parties

No matter the type of party, a backyard pool can be an excellent venue. For grown-ups, they allow an outdoor space to enjoy good music, food, drinks and a place to cool off in summer. For kids’ parties where games are an absolute essential, they provide a great setting.  From the classics like Marco Polo, to Noodle Jousting and Octopus, all are a lot of fun and easy to monitor.

Enhances An Outdoor Space

When you move into a house, most of your time is spent thinking about the indoors. But the outdoor areas are in many ways just as important. A well-tended garden can make a house feel more like a home and increase its resale value. A pool and outdoor seating area can make it special too. When friends and family come to visit, you can be sure that they will appreciate the chance for a dip.

Each Pool Can Be Customized To Great Effect

It could never be said that when you’ve seen one pool, you’ve seen them all. What you do with your pool is up to you, but you can add a waterfalls,  put in a springboard or set up a hot tub and that’s just to start.  Even a waterslide is a possibility; however, unless you have a lot of disposable income you’re not going to challenge the theme parks.

Out Of The Pool Onto The Patio

Setting up a seated area on the patio is the perfect way to follow up a relaxing time in the pool. After you’ve had a bit of a workout and swum until you can swim no more – or if you feel like a change of scene – a few patio heaters will make a big difference. You’ve worked those muscles and now they deserve a rest. Get a towel wrapped around you and let the heat radiate and soothe any aches away.
As the temperatures drop and you’re still in your swimming costume, warming up by the pool is essential. Next to a heater on a comfortable patio chair, you can relax with a drink and carry on conversations begun in the pool. It’s worth checking sites like Hot Tub Advice to get a bit more information on what will suit you.

It’s An Incredible Way To De-stress

In the course of a day’s work, the stresses and strains can build up to the point where you feel like one big knot of frustration. Getting in a swimming pool and swimming or just floating for a bit can be a wonderful way of letting those stresses melt away. Think of it as being a big, gentle massage that encompasses your whole body. Can you think of anything more relaxing than that?

Strengthening Athletic Abilities 

 

summer activities, summer family activities

Image Source: Wikipedia

A child can demonstrate a talent for swimming or diving in the swimming pool. Maybe they’ll be great at water polo or synchronized swimming.  In any case, the chance to practice at home is something that could make things much easier for them.

Any Day Can Be A Holiday

Your familiar with the idea of a “staycation.” You do all the things that you would do on holiday (try driving a few towns over for some sight-seeing). The kicker is that you don’t have the travel costs to worry about. So if you like to spend a holiday by the pool, now you can do it at home. Weather permitting of course!

It’s A Great Convincer For Playdates

Let’s be honest, you’ll see your kids more.  Inviting their friends over to swim and play is a great way to get to know other parents too.  You can use the time for adult interaction. Having your own pool is a pretty useful card to have in the deck.  Kids like swimming and it’s good for them – and it could be good for your kid’s social life too.

A Pool Ups Your Resale Value

Having a pool in your garden compared to not having one can up the resale value on your property by 5% or more. If your house is currently valued at $500,000, you could add another $25,000 on to that.  The more you add around it – pool house, gas grill, diving boards – the more the value can rise. You’ll be sorry to leave it, but you’ll have the funds to do it again!

Do You Hate Bedtime? Not Anymore!

Having a backyard pool means that your kids are getting exercise all summer long.  You may not realize the full benefit that this gives you until a couple of weeks into the summer. At some point, you realize that you haven’t had to shout at your kids to go to bed.  They have tired themselves out swimming all day.  A sound night’s sleep is good for them and for you.

The initial outlay of a backyard pool may seem excessive; however, the fourteen reasons above is worth it.

When it comes down to it how would you like to spend the sunny days of the year?  With a meal and a drink, and relaxing swim, and than looking over the sparkling water of your backyard pool sounds like a winner to me. You’ll never regret making the choice to get a swimming pool.

Leave us a comment and let us know what your dream pool looks like.

15 Morning Habits to Make Coming Home Even Better

 

house cleaning tips, kids chores

 

If you’re a working mom, your home can become a pretty complex place. Home is where you make memories with your kids, and where you keep them safe. It’s also where you relax and build your life with your significant other.  We all know that busy schedules can disrupt domestic harmony.

 You may prefer to leave cleaning and other jobs for the weekend. However, there are a few simple steps you can take on a daily basis to tweak your home.  For example, opening the curtains in the living room before you hurry out the door in the morning.  This simple task will allow the room to be filled with light and air.  Plumping up sofa cushions will make the room far more enticing at the end of the day too.  Another step is to add flowers and/or a fragrance diffuser in the entry way.  You will be welcomed with beauty and a fresh scent when you enter your home.  It’s a great way to unwind and have a positive attitude when you’re greeted by the children and your husband or significant other.
Another step is to make your kid’s beds in the morning or encourage your child to make their bed if they are old enough.  It will make their rooms feel tidy, and more appealing when bedtime arrives.  Don’t neglect your own bed either.  There’s nothing more comforting than the sight of a made bed and a fresh pair of pajamas.  Get in the habit of fluffing the pillows and decluttering before going to bed, and making beds in the morning.  You will find that it only takes a few minutes to perform these tasks.
If this already feels achievable, be sure to check out this new infographic which explores a handful of other tips for reviving your love affair with your home – without the burden of extra work.

15 Morning Habits to Make Coming Back Home Even Better

Leave a comment and let us know what tasks you do before heading out for the day.  We would love to incorporate them into our morning routine.

 

Book Review – My Marriage My Testimony

This website contains endorsements for products and services, which means when you click on a link that we recommend, we may receive a commission to help pay for the maintenance of this blog.  Not every link is an affiliate link, but some are.  I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate program.

 

 

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We all have a purpose in life. First, if you’re struggling to save your marriage or understand your purpose, add My Marriage, My Testimony to your reading list. Second, find yourself a quiet spot and prepare to devour it.  I literally read this book in one sitting. 

Few of us know our purpose in life. This author explains how she found her calling and happiness after being miserable for years. Additionally, she discusses her troubled marriages and the pain of infidelity.  She goes on to discuss her upper class upbringing; however, she finds herself in the welfare office getting food stamps.  She shares how she thought she would die from the  pain of infidelity, but manages to find her calling as a result of it. 

Are you finding yourself in any of this?  Furthermore, Darlene Jackson, painfully shares the mental abuse that was inflicted on her during her first marriage. After she finds the strength to leave her abuser, he refuses to financially support his own children. 

Most importantly, she shares how she simply couldn’t bare to look at her second husband’s love child after his betrayal.  Understandably, she found herself hating her husband. Even so, God placed circumstances in her path that wouldn’t allow her to leave him.  She found herself at her lowest. During that time, she places her hands in God’s hands and finds her purpose in life. She also found the strength and courage to love her husband again by forgiving him for the pain he caused her. She states that she let go and let God change her husband from the inside out.

Eventually, he gave his life to God as well and they now have the marriage she dreamed of. She is now a minister who shares her story to help others who have lost their way, divorced, been betrayed or who are trying to understand their purpose in life.

Finally, I purchased this book on my Kindle.  It’s about 85 pages and easy to read.  The author has the ability to make you feel her story and also think about your life. Purchase a copy for yourself or give it as a gift. It’s a great gift for those who are struggling in any area of their life. 

 

Inspirational Quote – Live

inspiration quotes, funny quotes, motivational quotes

Make Your Home’s Exterior Perfect for Summer

 

home improvement ideas, curb appeal, exterior home improvement

 

For the most part, summer is the time when guests come over to the house for barbecues and holiday events. You want the exterior of the home looking as immaculate as possible. Not only does it fill you with a sense of pride, but it can also make visitors feel more welcome. Some things can even be beneficial to protect the property at the same time. Here are a few of the things I do to get the house ready for the hottest months of the year.

Caring for the Roof and Gutters

Keeping debris off your roof and gutters helps protect your property as well as deliver a nice appearance. This could be especially important for those launching fireworks nearby during special occasions. All it takes is the smallest spark to ruin an otherwise pleasant gathering. It’s not uncommon for the contents within a gutter to ignite due to an aerial firework. Keeping the roof and gutters clean is a relatively easy process.  If you’re not sure how to proceed, it may be wise to contact a professional to assist. Here are a few practical reasons why you would want to care for the roof and gutters this summer:

  • Protects the roof during summer storms
  • Helps keep water away from the foundation
  • Gives the home a fresh appearance from the road
  • Prepares the home for the fall and winter months

Exquisite Exterior Walls

A lot of homes just need a simple scrub down to enhance the appearance. Using a simple towel and a bucket of soapy water, you can spend some time washing dirt and grime off the exterior walls. You may want to refrain from using a pressure hose, though. Too much pressure could result in cracking or breaking parts of your siding. In some cases, a fresh coat of paint could make all the difference for exterior walls. Not only will this give your house a fresh new look, but it can also protect the siding from UV damage. This is important because exposure to sunlight will eventually break down the materials in siding over time.

Patio Projects

Sprucing up the patio will offer an elegant appearance. In essence, the patio is like any other room in the house. It needs the same kind of care and attention if you want to keep it looking nice and functional. After all, you might be spending a great deal of time in this area and you want to be comfortable. Here are a few things I do to enhance this area of the home:

  • Re-stain or re-apply waterproofing to the wood to give it an amazing appeal
  • Add a coat of paint to the trim to enhance the aesthetics
  • Re-arrange the furniture to offer a unique experience for yourself
  • Clean the grill with a brush and non-toxic solvents to give it a like-new finish

Driveway Adjustments

The driveway is one of those areas that a lot of people forget about. However, it’s also one of the most apparent visuals when arriving at the property. If there are cracks or holes, patching these up could greatly enhance the visage of the homestead. Most cement mixtures are inexpensive and can be picked up at your local hardware store. Simply add the right amount of water and you’ve created filler for the driveway. In more extreme cases, it may not be a bad idea to call in a professional. Using the wrong kind of concrete could be detrimental to fixing the driveway. Once the material sets, it will be that much harder to go back and fix a mistake.

Accentuating the Yard

The yard is one of the most obvious areas for creating the perfect visual during the summer. It’s one of those exterior areas that catches the eyes of everyone, and it will greatly impact curb appeal. The biggest investment you might have for enhancing the lawn is time. Easy modifications include:

  • Mowing the grass and keeping edges trimmed
  • Planting flowers in gardens or in pots near the doorways
  • Installing a rock garden with a tree coming out of the center
  • Installing solar-charged lighting along pathways
  • Adding accent lighting to areas of interest such as the garden or object on the property
  • Installing a small water fountain or waterfall to give the property more of a “living” feel

While many of these can be done on your own, some of the more advanced projects may require help. For example, you may need extensive electrical experience if you want to add elegant accent lighting. These are only a handful of things you can do yourself to make the home’s exterior as perfect as possible. Not only will these modifications turn a few heads in the neighborhood, they can also allow you to feel good about your property. Enhance your summer by giving yourself and guests a superb location to relax. Most of these additions take little effort and don’t require a large investment of money.

Jeff E. Brown Photo

 

About the Author: Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer and a self-taught handy man with a knack for lifehacking and DIY projects. Based out of his home office where his two dogs keep him company while he types, Jeff loves writing about home improvement topics, teaching others all the tips and tricks he has learned since he moved out of an apartment and into a house. When he’s not writing, he loves organizing barbecue parties in his garden. You can contact Jeff via his landing page.

Inspirational Quote – Bricks

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Guest Post – How to Thrift Shop for Gorgeous Maternity Clothes

maternity clothing, pregnancy, thrift shopping

 

Being pregnant is a great blessing.  For the first few months everything seems fine, and you can get away with no one noticing your condition. Pregnant women in that stage often turn to baggy jeans, sweats and skirts, steering away from maternity clothes.  However, this is only delaying the inevitable.  Once the belly gets huge a different approach is required.

Maternity Clothing Can Be Fashionable

Spending a truckload of money on apparel that is going to be worn for just six months is not the most pleasant notion. A regular wardrobe price makes it quite expensive to be dressed to the nines. Fortunately, the market is filled with great maternity clothing that is buried under mountains of flashy, commercial, and costly stuff. It is time to do  research and find local stores or online retailers that are budget friendly.

Brick and mortar stores such as Goodwill and Once Upon a Child are increasingly popular with many expecting moms. If time is of the essence, a customer may order pieces online.  You can find great maternity clothing in places such as a swap online consignment as well. With just a few clicks of the button women can secure a tailored dress designed for pregnancy, and one that also allows them to look fashionable. Comfort and quality come first, but the design is a close second.

If you’re shopping locally, it is highly recommended to check each piece thoroughly. Most items will probably be  worn just a handful of times, and are likely to be in a great condition. Also with such a variety and volume of clothing available, pregnant women can always discover clothes that fit like a glove and match their taste. There is no need to hide baby bumps anymore or shop for the tent look. Stylish women have proven that tight-fitting clothes are all the rage, accentuating the bump nicely.

Dress for the Occasion

Today, expecting moms pay much more attention to the bliss of the pregnant look.  This was hugely influenced by celebrities.  Blake Lively, Coco Rocha, Jessica Biel and others were spotted showing off their growing bellies while looking fabulous. They now compete over the best second-hand finds, and the reason is not just some desire to display frugality.  Going through piles of clothes in thrift shops enables you to find unique vintage pieces that are virtually impossible to come by in regular stores.

Famous people have paved the way to snatch the inexpensive ticket for the big fashion show. Following the lead of famous moms, it is advisable to stick to dark and solid colors. Bold prints and bright colors are a questionable choice, because they can make you look bigger and are not easy to mix and match.  Opt for pieces that reflect the regular style because repurposing will ensure that they serve well after the child is born.

A classic T-shirt and black dress are a perfect fit for informal as well as fancy occasions.  Finally, keep the eyes open for all things wrap (dresses, tops, sweaters) because their adjustable comfort is a blessing during pregnancy. Make your pregnant self look like a million dollars, even though you spent nowhere near that amount.

Show Your Baby Bump In Style 

Who said that pregnancy and stylishness do not go together? Move past stretchy and knit clothing, and dive into an ocean where opulent secondhand treasures lie. Invest time in finding clothes at a reasonable price, and you will be able to accumulate a beautiful dash without blowing your budget.

Author BIO:

Sophia Smith is an Australian based beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. She is also very passionate about DIY projects, latest fashion trends and organic beauty products. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life.

 

Find her on: Facebook  Twitter  Google +

Bloomsy Box Review

product review, online florist, Bloomsy Review

 

I was contacted by Bloomsy Box to review a bouquet of their flowers in exchange for a review.  I love fresh flowers in my home so I accepted; however, all opinions are my own. 

Bloomsy Box delivers fresh bouquets of flowers to your home weekly or monthly depending on the plan that you choose. There are 3 monthly options:  Bloomsy S, L, and M. The prices are $39.99, $43.99 and $48.99 respectively. The weekly options are: Bloomsy W and Bloomsy WW. The prices are $38.15 and $41.00 per week respectively. Each category has designated flowers that will be shipped directly to your home, business or vacation. You get a surprise bouquet of one single variety per week or month depending on your plan.  No ferns, baby’s breath etc. will be mixed with the flower choice. The arrangements are simple, but elegant.   

The Bloomsy Box was delivered by FedEx.  I became excited, I opened the box and there was a beautiful box of sunflowers just waiting for a vase.  They were secured in the box and wrapped in Kraft Paper.  Each head of the sunflowers was secured with netting. I removed the bouquet from the box and the netting from each of the sunflowers and placed them in a vase.  I waited and waited for the sunflowers to open; however, they never reached that goal.     

 

flower deliveries online,

 

Bloomsy ships their bouquets overnight to ensure they are fresh and the flowers are in bud form with the intention of them opening within 3 days.  Humm………   Disappointed, I decided to approach the problem as a customer rather than a reviewer. I took this step because I wanted to check out the customer service so I could see exactly how this particular problem would be handled.  Their motto is, “If you’re not happy, we aren’t either! That’s why we guarantee your satisfaction–or you don’t pay for your bouquet.”  I put them to the test and they delivered. 

In about a week, FedEx delivered another box from Bloomsy Box.  I eagerly opened the box and to my surprise I found 20 Spray Red Roses. I searched their site and the bouquet is called Confident.  I love roses as much as I love sunflowers.   They quality and all were buds.  I become excited again and placed the roses in a vase.  Within 3 – 4 days the buds started to open.  They lasted for about a week.  It was a slow, enjoyable process and it made up for the sunflowers not opening. 

 

online floral deliveries, Bloomsy Box

 

DSCN3265

 

If you love fresh flowers in your home, but don’t have time to garden year round Bloomsy Box is recommended.  It’s also a great idea to have fresh flowers in your office, if you’re a manager these would make a great gift for a co-worker or employee, how sending to a friend or neighbor each month.  The possibilities are endless. Head over and check out their selections. The bouquets are beautiful.

Tips For Buying Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Flooring

 

home improvement, flooring updates, porcelain floor ideas, ceramic tile ideas

Are you thinking of installing new flooring?  I replaced all of the flooring in my home several years ago. I replaced all of my carpet with hardwood, installed porcelain in my kitchen, and ceramic tile and vinyl in the bathrooms.   

I banged my head a few times during the selection stage, but the end result was spectacular.  My biggest frustration was running from store to store to bring home samples.  I have a solution for this problem, check out GoHaus.  GoHaus sells luxury flooring from engineered luxury wood to porcelain. 

Although I purchased hardwood flooring, I’m going to focus on porcelain and ceramic tiles today.  I selected porcelain for my kitchen flooring and ceramic and vinyl flooring for my bathrooms. My kitchen takes a beating, especially during the summer and fall.  I’m a kitchen gardener and I love to entertain my large family, so my kitchen is used to can, pickle and make jams from my garden harvest in the summer and large pots of deliciousness for my family. Here’s are things I considered before I purchased my kitchen flooring:

  • That it be able to take high traffic
  • That I be able to clean it with ease
  • That it have low water absorption (When I’m using my canner for preserving, it splatters water)

After careful consideration I decided on glazed porcelain. My flooring makes me happy, I smile when I work into my kitchen. I know that it will last for decades and it looks great. Your floors should make you smile too. GoHaus has beautiful porcelain flooring  for you to choose from. Head over and check it out.   

Did you know that porcelain comes in 3 finishes.  Glazed, Color Body and Through Body.  Here’s some insight on these finishes:

  • Glazed – Glaze protects the porcelain from water penetration and stains. There are more designs to choose from in this category. You can find patterns that model wood, stone or solid color combinations. 
  • Color Body – Color body porcelain tiles are created colored stains from the glaze surface throughout the body of the tile. The color remains consistent throughout the tile; however, the surface design does not continue throughout the tile body.
  • Through Body – Through body tiles does not  have the protective layer of glaze. This type of flooring relies on the density of the material for protection from water penetration and stains, although a sealant can be added.  This type of flooring is color fast, so you don’t have to worry about it fading over time. 

I selected Sinter Ceramic Tile for my master bathroom, and Through Body porcelain tiles for the others with vinyl flooring.  I’m thrilled with the end result.  If you decide to purchase ceramic tile, I suggest a heat mat under your flooring if you’re a cold natured person and be sure to consider how slippery it will be when wet.  I went with vinyl flooring in the other bathrooms, my grandchildren and guests use them and their safety was a major consideration.  Here’s a list of the most common types of ceramic tile:

  • Sinter
  • Klinker
  • Terracotta
  • Majolica
  • Mosaic

Hop over to the Ceramic Tile section at GoHaus and check out their selection.  You can request up to 6 free samples of flooring without using your credit card.  Don’t you love this perk. Most stores charge for samples.  Do your homework and make sure you love your selections. 

Note:  I have been compensated for this post; however, all opinions are my own.

 

15 Signs That You’re In Debt

budgeting tips,

 

 

Are you swimming in a sea of debt?  Do you spend more time trying to figure out how to pay your bills than you do relaxing and enjoying life?  Here’s 15 signs that you’re in over your head: 

 

  1. You live from paycheck to paycheck.
  2. Your savings account has a zero balance and your checking has a minus figure.  
  3. You can’t remember the last time you paid your bills timely.
  4. Your friends always foot your bill on Girls Night Out and you’re comfortable with it.  
  5. Bill collectors are calling and you tell the kids to tell them you’re not home. 
  6. You hid when your see certain family and friends because you haven’t repaid them. 
  7. You argue with your husband or significant other about money or lack of money.
  8. You have lost all hope of having an emergency fund. 
  9. Your blood pressure numbers are higher than your credit score.  
  10. Watching the Griswolds in National Lampoon’s Vacation is as close to a vacation as you will get.
  11. You ignore health symptoms because you don’t have health insurance and can’t afford the bill.
  12. You think it would be easier to get to the moon than save money. 
  13. You and the kids look like a million dollars, even though your accounts are set to zero.
  14. If your children asked for financial advice you wouldn’t be able to guide them. 
  15. You search your cup holders, sofa and the washer for change. 

Along with advice from a financial planner, my post 15 Tips To Save Money has great tips on how you can take small steps to start saving money. It’s never too late to turn your finances around and start climbing out of debt. Additionally, here are a few others tips:

1. Become committed to leave your debt behind and make better decisions.
2. Check out Dave Ramsey’s book Your Money Or Your Life.
3. Stay on track
4. Get to the bottom of your overspending. You could possibly be trying to fill a void with your overspending.