Year Round Swimming For Kids

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Benefits of Year-Round Swim Classes

It can be hard to keep up with your exercise routine once winter sets in. Most people just want to keep warm and stay inside as much as possible as the temperatures plummet, and the thought of going for a jog in the freezing cold is just not appealing. If any of this sounds familiar to you, why not try out swimming during the winter months? You might even find that you like swimming so much that it becomes your favorite year-round exercise. There are so many amazing benefits to swimming for exercise, and it’s one of the best ways to keep your kids active, healthy, and engaged. Here are three distinct advantages to swimming all year round:

Maintaining Physical Health

Swimming gives you an excellent cardiovascular workout with strengthening your muscles at the same time. The resistance that the water provides helps build muscle tone without putting the strain on your bones and joints like weightlifting, running, and even cycling can. Studies have even shown that people who swim on a regular basis are less likely to suffer injuries, especially due to falls or constant stress on their joints. Swimming is an excellent way for people with arthritis and asthma to get some exercise without exacerbating their conditions. The breathing techniques used in swimming are unlikely to trigger asthma, and swimming has been shown to increase lung capacity, which is hugely beneficial for people living with asthma.

Improved Mental Health

Studies have shown that regular cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to help lessen the effects of anxiety and depression. It can be incredibly hard to motivate yourself to get outside and exercise during the wintertime – especially if you’re not feeling your best. But with swimming, you can comfortably enjoy indoor cardio exercise all year round. Swimming can either be a relaxing solitary activity or a fun social activity. If you sign up for swim class, you’ll be able to socialize with people who share a common interest with you. Signing up your kids for swim school is also a great way to help them get the exercise they need and make sure they’re able to be safe when playing in or near water.

Retaining Your Skills

By swimming all year round instead of just in the summer months, you’ll maintain your cardiovascular health and muscle tone throughout the entire year. And, because you’re consistently practicing your skills, you’ll get better and better at swimming as time goes on, and you’ll be able to challenge yourself to learn new strokes instead of re-learning the ones you already know year after year.

Swim RVA offers swim classes that are designed to be welcoming and fun for people of all ages and abilities. They offer swim school all year round for children and adults alike, and their passion is making aquatic fitness more accessible to everyone in their community. Swim RVA’s swim school creates a safe, comfortable, engaging environment for children to learn how to swim. It’s been shown that swimming can help kids develop better coordination and balance and even improve their sleep. There are so many benefits to swimming all year round, so why not give it a try?

Holiday Home Preparation

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How to Prepare Your Home for the Holiday Season

We broke down home holiday prep room by room, so you can stress a little less about all you have to do. Just take it one step at a time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family or even your guests! As long as you have the basics covered, everyone is sure to have a great time at your holiday gathering. After all, the holidays are really about simply enjoying the company of the people you love the most.

Child & Pet Proof Your Home

Animals and babies are attracted to anything shiny or sparkly, and they’re going to want to pull down any ornaments or decorations that are within reach.  If you have pets or small children running around during the holidays, avoid decorating with things that could be easily pulled off and ingested. Learn more about baby proofing your home for the holidays.

Kitchen Prep

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Throw away any expired food and donate anything you won’t use to your local food bank. You’re probably going to have a lot of food prep to do, so making sure there’s plenty of room in your fridge is crucial. If you are planning on cooking a big meal for your family and guests, you might want to clear off some counter space to make the cooking process easier. Store any appliances you don’t need in cupboards or the pantry to make some extra space. Next, check to make sure you have enough dishware, utensils, and chairs for everyone attending the meal. Consider writing out a schedule for your meal preparation, so you don’t panic in the middle of it all. When you’re at the store, stock up on plastic baggies, foil, leftover containers, and other basics like soap, sponges, and dish rags.

Guest Bedroom Prep

Is anyone staying the night at your home over the holidays? If so, it’s time to prep the guest bedroom. Start by putting fresh sheets, pillowcases, and blankets on the bed. Leave an extra blanket or two out in case your guest needs one. Give the room a quick dusting, vacuum the floors, and empty the trash can. If your guest is staying for more than one or two nights, you might want to clear out a drawer or shelf so that they can unpack a little. Finish up by placing a clean towel and washcloth on the dresser. If you want to make it extra festive, you can put a few holiday decorations up in the room. Just make sure they don’t interfere with your guest’s comfort.

Common Rooms

Since you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in the common rooms of your home, you’re going to want to declutter them as much as possible. Put away all the mess that naturally collects in your common rooms over time – things like shoes, toys, magazines, books, etc. can all be put away in a closet or a bedroom. Dust off everything in the common rooms and think about adding a few seasonal touches here and there to make everything a little more festive.

One of the best ways to make sure your home is prepared for guests is getting all your carpets and rugs cleaned by a professional. If you’re looking for a carpet cleaning in Livingston, L&K Chem-Dry is the way to go. L&K Chem-Dry uses their own proprietary carpet cleaning process that gives your carpets a deeper, longer-lasting clean than other methods and allows your carpets to dry in just a few hours which is great for the Louisiana humidity. Your entire home will be clean and ready for guests in less than a day. Not only will L&K Chem-Dry have your home looking beautiful and clean, but they’ll also remove bacteria, allergens, dirt, and dust from your carpets and rugs, leaving you with an overall cleaner, healthier home for you and your guests to enjoy this holiday season.

Make Plans To Explore

Enjoy time outside your home with family by enjoying Baton Rouge’s Festival of Lights and the Downtown Christmas Parade.

4 Tips for Hosting a Baby Shower

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Baby ShowerWhen it’s your turn to host a baby shower for your best friend, sister, or daughter, you’re probably experiencing a lot of different emotions. You’re honored to be asked to host such an important event, you’re thrilled that your loved one is expecting a child, and you’re anxious and overwhelmed at the prospect of having to throw a baby shower together all by yourself. These tips will make the whole process a little easier and help you throw a baby shower that everyone will love.

  1. Make it a Drop-In Shower

Instead of requiring that your guests show up at a specific time and stay for a certain number of hours, consider making the baby shower a more casual, drop-in event. That way, instead of groaning when they get the invitation, your guests will be excited at the prospect of an enjoyable afternoon. Drop-in showers take the pressure off your guests and let people enjoy the shower their own way, whether they want to come and socialize for three hours straight, or they’d rather drop by, give the mom-to-be a hug and a gift, and get back to their normal day sooner. You don’t need to hold people captive for an entire day or set a strict schedule of activities to throw an amazing baby shower.

  1. Give Your Guests Real FoodDefazio's Shower catering

Enough of this cheese and crackers nonsense – when you invite people over for a party, they should be able to expect real food. Do some research and find a caterer that meets your budget and your needs and book them well in advance. Choosing a menu can seem daunting, but a good caterer will be able to help you design something that will suit everyone’s tastes and needs. Make sure you have a range of foods so that people with allergies or dietary restrictions can still find something to eat. Fresh fruit and veggies work for most people, so consider stocking up on those. Consider a buffet style setup so people can graze throughout the party. If you’re looking for a caterer in Central Virginia, DeFazio’s Catering is one of the most sought-after caterers in the area. They can help you design the perfect menu for your event and make sure there’s something delicious for everybody.

3. Keep the Games Low-Pressure

Baby shower games are a great way to make the event feel more special and fun, but if you’re going to do games, keep it casual. No one wants to be forced to participate in a game that takes a long time or has a strict set of rules. Have games that people can participate in at any time during the party as they please. Something like matching celebrity baby names to their famous parent can be fun and low-key, and a onesie decorating station is always a popular option. If you stay away from anything too intense or embarrassing, everyone will have a great time.

  1. Always Keep Mom-to-Be in Mind

You want every single guest to have an amazing time at the baby shower you’re throwing, but the most important person there is the mother-to-be. When choosing a menu, games, décor, the guest list, and more, always think of what the soon-to-be mom in your life would want. Have her favorite foods there, don’t invite anyone she doesn’t get along with, and decorate with her favorite colors or motif. If she loves games, make sure to have plenty of fun things planned – but keep it simple. If she’s more lowkey, just create a relaxing, love-filled atmosphere and let everyone enjoy each other’s company. If you keep the mom-to-be in mind with every decision, you’ll be sure to throw the perfect baby shower.

Fur Babies & Real Babies

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Are you expecting a real baby, but also have a well loved fur baby already at home? While you are preparing for yourself and your healthy baby, don’t forget about the wellness of your animal at home. There are a lot of changes happening in their life whether the baby has arrived or not! To prepare your pet for a new baby at home, here are a few things to check off your list:

  • Animal Wellness & Preventative Pet Care Check Ups – Are they up to date on all of their shots, and feeling well? If something is off with your dog or cat, why don’t you schedule a vet appointment.
  • Dental Care – Healthy gums and teeth are vital to your pet. While you are there for their wellness exam, have their teeth and gums checked out as well.

With these two steps under your belt, you know your pet is well taken care of and up to date so you can rest easy focusing on the new baby! Now, to prepare your animal and baby to meet is another process! Here are a few tips and tricks to help ease into their new best friend relationship.

  • Establish dominance. If you have not already, and work out any unwanted habits your animal may still be having issues with.
  • Claim your babies scent. Bring an item that contains your baby’s scent, such as a burp cloth, from the hospital before bringing home the baby.
  • Controlled introduction. Drain all of your pet’s energy out of them so they are the most calm. Parents must be holding the baby in a very calm state. Slowly let the animals get closer and closer to the baby when you both feel comfortable.
  • Teach your baby. When your child is old enough, supervise and teach respectful rules on how to handle your family dog or cat.
  • Don’t forget about your pet when the baby arrives. Remember to provide extra attention to them during nap time, walks, etc.

With keeping your animal healthy and trained, it should be a breeze to introduce your loved dog or cat to your new baby. Remember the baby’s safety is most important, and if professional training is required, please keep that in mind as a baby is very fragile. Your local vet should be able to assist with check ups and advice in other tips on introducing babies to your fur babies.

Swimming Lessons For A Baby?

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Yes, you read that title right. Swimming lessons for a baby is something every parent needs to highly consider. With the risk of being near water at any point in their life, it is important for your child to know how to swim. Many pool facilities offer swimming lessons for parents and children, and then just children as they grow older.

This specific one, by SwimRVA, offers Parent and Child classes for ages 6 months to 36 months. It provides the opportunity for babies and toddlers to get comfortable around the water. Learning safety and the basics of breath control, floating and kicking let’s your baby enjoy a new activity! If you aren’t quite ready for your newborn to be in a pool, they do offer more classes for ages 3 years to 5 years. Their preschool classes has different levels to ensure they can independently move throughout the water.

Like most swim schools, SwimRVA puts a lot of emphasis on pool safety, so they know what to do in any situation regarding water. Not only is it a healthy activity for children, but also knowledgeable for their growth. Not to mention, getting over any fears of water will be a big help for the summer pool time, or beach vacations in the future. Let your kid and you feel comfortable with their swimming skills to have a relaxing and safe time.

Lastly, this specific swim school provides lessons for ages 6-12 years. With the guidance of our swim coaches, your children will start to learn specific swimming stokes and get even more comfortable in the water. If they continue to have a passion for swimming, swim teams are usually the next step. For a wonderful cardio workout to keep your kids active, a swim team usually offers spots for all ages.

If you, as a parent, are slightly worried about the water or don’t have strong swimming skills yourself they provide adult classes too. Be prepared for pool safety and basic instructions to reassure you can swim with your baby, swim to save a child, or swim as exercise. Call your local swimming facility and get your whole family signed up today. It is never too early to start thinking about the danger AND fun of the water!

Replacement Window Trends For 2018

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It’s 2018! At the start of a new year, many people think of various home improvements they’d like to tackle over the next twelve months and make a list to see which ones are needs, which ones are wants, and which ones are realistic goals. You can then create a timeline for home improvement projects to set goals for budgeting and time commitment.

If you’re looking at replacing your home’s windows, now is a great time to start planning. Window replacement is a great way to make stylistic and functional improvements to your home. Here are the top trends for replacement windows in 2018!

Sustainability

Sustainable windows are the way of the future! People are purchasing windows with modern composite materials like Fibrex®, because they are made of PVC and reclaimed wood fiber. Not only is this better for the environment, but they’re stronger than traditional wood frames and are low-maintenance like vinyl frames. This means they’ll last much longer than frames made from wood or vinyl, and offer a much better return on investment.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency should be a priority for every home owner! Not only does this help out the environment by using less energy, it also cuts down on your monthly power bills. In fact, upgrading to energy efficient windows can save up to 12% on your energy costs every month. When looking for replacement windows, look for ones that are built with high performance glass to improve insulation in your home.

More Sunlight

Larger windows with smaller frames will be big in 2018. Large picture window, bay windows, and bow windows s look great inside and out, and offer a greater view of the outside area than traditional windows. They also let more natural light into your home, bathing the interior in warm sunlight, making the colors in your upholstery and furniture pop.

picture windows

Greater Detail

Want to make your home stand out from the crowd? Adding accoutrements and design details to your windows will put a unique spin on your home’s façade. Look for replacement window companies that offer a variety of customization options for their frames, like grill patterns, hardware choices, and different finishes and colors.

Finding The Best Windows

It’s easy to search for window replacement companies in your area. Just pull up Google in your favorite web browser and conduct a search for a service, followed by the nearest city. For instance, if you live in Virginia Beach, you’d type in “windows virginia beach” and you’ll get a list of companies in your area that install replacement windows. Make sure to do your due diligence and review each one’s website, customer reviews, and certifications to ensure they’re a good fit. Happy window hunting!

Unable To Get Pregnant?

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Unable To Get Pregnant?

Unforunately, getting pregnant is not always easy for everyone. If you have experienced/experiencing infertility, low sperm, or other issues with conceiving. A place like IVF Phoenix, may be the answer for you. They provide multiple procedures that will help bring that baby home your family has always wanted.

Unexplained Infertility

Imagine this scenario: A couple is having trouble conceiving. They have gone step by step through the raft of customary tests and the “mechanics”, as Dr. Couvaras from IVF Phoenix calls them, are all in working order; the ovaries are plentiful, the sperm is strong. In cases like these, the next phase would be IVF. If the ovarian reserve testing is abnormal, then there are recommendations to consider IVF with donor eggs. It is a long, emotionally and financially fraught process that, despite upwards of three and four tries, will not be successful. Says Dr. Couvaras; ‘The ovary behaves as if it is dead or dying, but it may only be deaf. The trick learning to talk differently to it.”

Low Sperm & Infertility

Male infertility is one of the reasons a couple can’t conceive. Male Infertility is a syndrome encompassing a wide variety of disorders. Recognition of a male factor influence in an infertile partnership is often delayed because women have traditionally been the primary focus of the infertility evaluation. Men are much more reluctant to seek advice. Men are also more apt to confuse fertility with sexual potency, ejaculation and ability to perform sexually, and they assume that if they produce seminal fluid at orgasm then they also produce sperm.

Options?

One of your options is IVF-ET. IVF-ET is probably the most well known of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Otherwise known as “test tube baby.” IVF-ET has helped many infertile couples conceive and bear children for more than a decade. Originally IVF-ET was developed to help couples overcome infertility due to a problem with a woman’s fallopian tubes. Now it has become a useful treatment option with other factors such as immunological problems or unexplained infertility.

For more information on what may be the problem for not getting pregnant, or what options you may have moving forward, give a fertility expert a call. They will be able to diagnose the problem and provide a solution to becoming a parent.

Replacing Old Windows for a More Comfortable Home

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Three years ago, my wife and I bought a home in Raleigh, NC – a bit of a fixer-upper, but one with good bones in a nice neighborhood in an up-and-coming city. Since then, we’ve made several improvements to the home – it’s a lot more welcoming and comfortable. And then a year ago, we learned that there would be a whole new kind of addition to our home – a bouncing baby girl.

Almost immediately after getting the news, we began re-envisioning our home with a baby – and later, a child – in mind. We imagined floors as soft places to land, yards as inviting places to play. And we began planning to make a wonderful room for our little girl. At first, we thought about themes and furniture and colors. And then we realized: Our baby’s room was the least comfortable space in the house. That would have to change.

Before our girl arrived, her room was used as a catch-all, functioning as a storage space more than anything. Neither my wife nor I spent much time in the room. As a result, we weren’t overly bothered by the excessive heat in the summer or the cold in the winter. The main problem was the windows. The room featured four of them – all single-pane and all pretty old. We started planning to replace our windows – all of them – before our girl arrived.

We did our research. After a short while, we limited our replacement window options to those which were certified by Energy Star and highly energy-efficient. We looked at double and triple-pane windows, and ultimately decided that the former was a better deal for us.

While triple-pane windows are more efficient than double-pane, they’re also more expensive; given the expected savings on our energy bills, it would take three or four more years to recoup an investment in triple-pane, as opposed to double. We want to stay in our home for years to come, but we still liked the idea of getting our money back sooner rather than later.

Rather than invest in triple-panes, we opted for a premium, Low-E window coating. This coating reduces the amount of heat-producing light that can penetrate the window. That meant our little girl’s room wouldn’t be uncomfortably warm in the summertime. Our windows, with their brand-new seals and precise installation, also promised to provide a cozier space in winter; drafts would be eliminated, and the glass coating would keep winter heat from escaping.

The installers at Renewal by Andersen of Central NC were fantastic. We had to wait a few weeks for our custom replacement windows to be built. But they fit the window spaces really well, which made for a fast installation process. The crew started early and worked late, but the old windows were replaced with the new in just one day. We were very pleased.

While we can’t yet say how much of a difference the windows will make this winter, we can say that our little girl’s room has been comfier throughout late summer and into early fall. We’ve had a couple of cold mornings, and I’m happy to say that the replacement windows have been draft-free. Even our backyard and the surrounding neighborhood looks a little nicer through these new windows. Someday, our little girl will enjoy that.

Interesting And Doable Renovation Projects For Your New Home

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Moving into your new home? If you have a fixer-upper in your hands, you may be pretty excited at the renovation possibilities waiting for you once you move in. There’s nothing like being able to put your own personal stamp on your home, especially if by doing so, you make these spaces look better and increase the value of your home at the same time. If you are planning on making some changes to your new home once you move in, whether big or small, here are some ideas to get you started.

Front Door Replacement

This project will barely make a dent in your renovation budget but can give you up to 90% return on costs. A new door painted in fresh, crisp white or any vibrant color is an instant boost to your curb appeal. Popular options for 2017 include doors with stone veneers and secure steel doors. If you have any DIY experience you can easily install one yourself or have a professional do the installation for you.

Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor

If you are moving into a house with drab and tacky wall-to-wall carpeting, you can switch to hardwood for a classier look and projected returns on renovation costs for up to 91%. Do not spring for laminate or engineered wood options since these are not as hardy as the real thing and therefore will not last long. Oak is a favorite among many home buyers, which can be a big advantage if you want to keep your resale options open. Hardwood floor replacements are not for every home, however. They are suitable for flooring that are cost-effective to replace, such as vinyl flooring or carpeting. Stone or tile flooring, for example, give character to any room and are costlier to replace so you may be better off doing renovations in other areas of the house.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

If you are already living in the house, you can still give your kitchen a decent makeover. A basic renovation with kitchen resurfacing, replacement of countertops and cabinet doors and installation of energy-efficient appliances can give your kitchen a total facelift in a matter of days. This is ideal if your kitchen has outdated appliances and you want to make exterior changes that will not require too much time.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Traditional windows are notoriously bad at temperature regulation and they may have lost their visual appeal years ago. If your new home stills sports drafty single-pane windows, it is time to make the switch to energy-efficient panels that are lighter, easier on the eyes, and designed to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated windows can save up to $500 in heating costs annually. With the installation of energy efficient window panels, you can expect to recoup costs by up to 90%.

Bathroom Remodel or Addition

The number of bathrooms in a house figures significantly in its value. This is why a bathroom remodel or addition is a great idea if you want to increase your home value and recoup a large portion of the costs down the road. According to HGTV, homeowners can recoup up to 130% of costs with a single bathroom addition. Bathroom additions are perfect if you have extra rooms or extra spaces that are large enough for a simple bathroom or half-bath, which requires at least 18 square feet of space. Wary about costs ballooning out of control? You can opt for generic bathroom fixtures and accessories to avoid spending too much on this project.Bathroom Remodel

Deck Additions

Deck additions are a great option especially if your family is already living in the house. Since this is an outdoor project, there is minimal interference with daily activities done indoors. Deck additions make your yard more appealing and utilize otherwise unused and wasted space. And with more and more families opting for staycations, having a deck makes your home the perfect place to unwind, relax,and even entertain friends during the holidays. According to HGTV, homeowners who opt for a deck in the backyard can recoup their building costs by up to 90%. The good thing is that costs can vary widely depending on the size of the space, the type of deck you want and the kind of materials you need. Installing a deck, therefore, does not automatically mean that this project is going to burn a hole through your wallet. Homeowners with DIY experience can save on costs by building parts or the entire deck themselves. You can also pair up with a professional if you want to cut on the construction costs if you are not too confident about doing the entire work yourself.

Home renovations can be fun and exciting. They can also be financially practical, given that you can increase your house’s resale value with each project. Start with these ideas today and see how each of these can transform your home.

Hosting A Baby-Themed Home Party

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HomeParty2

Hosting a Home Party

Presentation Parties for Direct Sales Events

Whether you are hosting a Pampered Chef event, a Silpada jewelry showcase, a CAbi trunk show or an Arbonne anti-aging skin care class, there are many similarities that can help you host your own event with panache.

Follow the suggestions below and not only will your guests have a fun evening, but you could earn some fantastic hostess benefits too!

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Deciding to Host

In order to host an event at your home and invite your friends to shop, you must feel strongly about the company or the products that will be offered.

Take the time to sample enough products so that you can provide compelling testimony supporting the company’s benefits.

A good independent consultant will provide you with a wide cross-section of sample products. If the consultant is leery to do so, you may want to look at supporting a different company.

Select a day and time that will ensure the best attendance for your event. If you know lots of working women, a weekend or evening event is generally more successful.

However, don’t discount a shorter class at a restaurant over lunch or with appetizers and drinks immediately following work.

If you are inviting stay-at-home moms, schedule your event during the school day or take advantage of Dad’s babysitting by planning the class for a weekday evening.

Most at-home parties only require one or two rooms, so don’t feel you must have your entire home cleaned, sanitized and repainted. Take care of two rooms plus the bathroom, and call it a day!

If you need to, hire a carpet cleaning company to come through your home and take care of any potential stains or dirty floors.

Keep any food and beverage setups to a minimum. A direct selling consultant does not want the class to be overshadowed by your catered, Martha Stewart-esque delicacies.

Plus, you don’t want to make your friends scared to host their own events!

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Invitations

Although you may want to create your own hand-stamped or computer-generated invitation, follow the lead and advice of your independent consultant.

She has been trained in the protocol that is most successful with her specific organization, so defer to her guidelines.

However, you can help significantly by providing your guest list, (complete with names, email address, home address and phone number), to the consultant at least three weeks prior to the event.

Generally this will give her enough time to send out the invitations and follow up with a phone call to confirm attendance. You can help the process by telling your friends about the fun event you’re hosting, and to expect the invitation shortly.

Experts feel that it takes three invitations to the same event to garner the highest acceptance rate.

This statement does not mean your friends don’t like you or that they don’t want to attend your class. It just is an indication that everyone is busy and that your event is not yet on their radar.