toys for kids

Best Toys for Your Infant

Have you ever walked into a toy store, or the toy aisle at a store, and seen all that they have available? All the colors, sounds, and light up features? It can be a tad overwhelming, and many new parents are left standing there thinking, “Do I even need any of this for my infant?”?

Let’s break down of the best toys for infants (at the best prices!). This will help give you some guidance and cut down on that overwhelm when you step into the toy aisle!

Baby Playmats
Playmats are some of the most popular baby items on the market, and they are definitely a must have for your infant! Gym mats are great from the time you first bring your baby home until well after they are crawling and mobile. They offer so many development opportunities for your child, as well. Most play mats come with toys that are able to dangle in front and beside them, which is great for babies as they are working to develop their eyesight. Playmats also have varying textures and colors to help sensory development. They typically come with flaps and toys on the actual mat which encourages tummy time, also essential for infant development. Baby playmats come in all different price ranges, so they’re the perfect toy for every family.

Infant Music Toys
There are varying types of musical toys available for infants, but specifically an Einstein take along music box that kids love! Little music toys like this are so great to promote development as the CDC recommends playing music to your child to help brain development, as well as to help develop a love of music. The handle on the side works well to help babies learn how to grip and hold onto objects. It lights up and displays different colors, and there are colored beads on the side that encourage play and movement. These toys are incredibly affordable, and they’re the perfect toy to take on the go that can entertain your baby at a really young age.

Teething Toys
Teething toys are a really great toy for infants! Babies start chewing and trying to put things in their mouth very early on, so these silicone toys are a great option! They feel good on the gums, and most teether toys can be held by the infant, which promotes gripping and holding by him or herself. These can be incredibly inexpensive and come in all different varieties so you can really choose one based on you and your babies preference.

Soft Books
Soft books can be a perfect toy for infants! This one in particular was noted to be one of the top products for babies. Often times, soft books will be filled with little beads or tissue paper so that there is texture or a crinkly sound, both of which are great for sensory development. Many textures can also be used on the various pages, though there may only be 2-3. It’s also never too early for a child to start developing a love for books, and having one in their hands from infancy will hopefully encourage a love of books throughout their childhood. These are usually priced pretty cheap, as well, making them another great option for all families.

Rattles are one of the more traditional toys that have been around for a long time, but they are being reestablished to provide more developmental opportunities for babies, like with these owl rattles. These rattles have textured areas to help make it easier for babies to grip, which allows them to practice that skill. They also have varying colors for eyesight. They shake, which helps to stimulate audio perception and hearing. Since the rattles make noise when the baby shakes it, it also begins to teach the infant the concept of cause and effect. All of these things are essential to baby development, so rattles are an amazing option to give to your child! You can buy incredibly advanced rattles these days, or keep it more simple, so varying price points are present.

Buying toys for an infant can be overwhelming. Infants are more limited in their toy play at the beginning of their life, however, 2-3 months into life, babies begin looking for a little more stimulation, and the toys above are excellent options to begin to promote play and healthy development in your child.

How To Get Rid of Clutter and Organize Your Home For Removalists

The natural tendency in many homes is for clutter to accumulate over time. After all, you may accumulate more things over time than you get rid of. Many of the items that you own may not be in their proper place because they were never put back after they were used. These are only a few of the reasons why you may now feel as though you are drowning in clutter. Through thorough spring cleaning, you can eliminate unnecessary items and give everything a place of its own. This way when the removalists arrive and you’re ready to start packing things will be much quicker

Develop a Strategy

When you want to know how to get rid of clutter efficiently, keep in mind that this is not a quick and easy project. The process of decluttering thoroughly requires you to touch almost every item in your home and to make a firm decision about what to do with each item. As you might imagine, this process can take a weekend or two of solid effort to complete depending on the size of your home and the amount of things that you own. Before you begin, think about the strategic approach that you plan to take. Which room will you start with? Will you hold a garage sale? Do you plan to store extra storage bins and boxes in the garage? You can proceed more efficiently when you have a solid strategy in mind.Create Piles

In most decluttering projects, items will be returned to their proper location in the home, tossed into the trash, given to a friend, donated to charity or sold. Some people will simply create piles in the middle of the room as they go through closets, drawers and more. While piles may work well with larger items, piles of smaller items have a tendency of growing into each other. It may be more helpful to bring a trash bag into the room with you to collect trash. For items that need to be stored away, have a storage bin on hand to use immediately. Items that will be sold or given away should be placed in their own boxes.Give Yourself Plenty of Time

It may take several hours for you to thoroughly go through everything in a single room. When you are pressed for time, your inclination may be to rush. By rushing, you may not be as thorough as you should be. In some cases, you may accidently toss items into the wrong bag or bin. To ensure that you do a thorough job and make thoughtful decisions, always allow yourself plenty of time. It is best to let the project carry over for several weekends if needed rather than do a partial job that is mostly ineffective.Decluttering your home is a major project. As exhausting and time-consuming as it can be, the end result will ultimately be worthwhile. Through this process, you can enjoy living in a home that feels more spacious and that is cleaner. You may also be able to find things quickly when needed. If your home is cluttered and messy, get started developing a spring cleaning plan today.

Most property management companies will have removalists that they recommend as they are constantly having tenants move between properties. So if you are stuck in selecting the right removalists try asking your manager for their recommendations.

How to Rewire a House with Plaster Walls

A friend of mine, who’s in the real estate business, recently came across an old house which needed renovations before putting it up for sale. One of the repairs needed was rewiring the whole house. The biggest challenge was that the house had plastered walls which triggered the question, how do you rewire a house with plaster walls without ruining the walls? Here is what I found out.


Have a Plan


Take an inventory of the number of connections you need as compared to what is currently in place. You may need to interconnect some sockets, for example, if they are on the same wall.


At the back of your mind, do not forget which appliances you have in your home, for example, a microwave, toaster, heater, television etc. Another thing you should have in mind is where you would like these appliances placed in your home. This is crucial as you need to figure out where you will place outlets and sockets.


Air Conditioning Technician and A part of preparing to install new air conditioner.




Having the right tools is critical. When it comes to drilling holes, having the right drill is crucial since you need to drill just the right sized hole, not too big or too small, to ensure you cut back on damages made on the walls and in turn reducing your cost of fixing it. You will definitely need the right tools to patch up the damaged walls. Also, remember that plastering walls and leaving them looking as good as new is not that easy, so have the right person for the job.


Be creative and innovative.


Depending on your budget, distinguish between what needs to be replaced and what doesn’t. In case your house has the knob and tube wiring and it is functional, you need to replace it, but at the same time remember that it’s very difficult to track down a shot in this kind of wiring. If you choose to take this path, I would suggest you add new wiring that’s up to standard and can handle more power just to be safe.


Reading books and subscribing to informative sites is also instrumental in building your skill-set. I recently read about a new technique, which is similar to Cove Mould wiring. The site explained that one should run the wiring underneath the finish plaster in the gap that is behind the baseboard. In the corners, you should put a bend in the wire to allow for a change in direction. Its advantage is it’s not visible outside the walls and the wiring is protected by a metal covering.


New home construction lights and ceiling


Consider the kind of home you are working on


If it is more than a one story house, consider running the wires vertically. You could drop the wiring from the attic or from the basement. This is only possible if you have circuits in the attic or the basement. By adopting this technique, you save time and resources because you end up drilling fewer holes into the walls.

With these tips, I don’t see how you could possibly go wrong. If you are doing these renovations on a rental property however, always seek guidance from your property manager before taking any action.

The Best Caliber for Your Hunting Needs

From your best friend to expert marksmen, everyone has their own opinion as to which caliber makes the perfect hunting round. However, the reality is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to hunting. Factors like the size of the animal being hunted, the distance the round needs to cover, and the velocity of the round all need to be taken into consideration before deciding which round is perfect for you. With that said,30 caliber rounds are the most widely used hunting rounds North American big game hunting. There are many different rounds within the .30 caliber group and each one serves a slightly different purpose than the next. There are two extremely common .30 caliber rounds that are very effective in big game hunting.
Gone Hunting sign

Winchester .308

Ideal for ranges up to 250-300yd., the Winchester .308 is widely used by hunters when taking on whitetail deer or moose. A hunting rifle that shoots a Win. .308 will usually weigh about 8lb. This is fairly easy to carry without getting tired. Your typical Win. .308 round fired out of a rifle of this weight generates a little less than 20ft./lb. of free recoil energy, so it’s safe to say that you won’t have to worry about putting your shoulder out of commission after firing this round. The penetration is also good in most Win. .308 rounds. Penetrating 20in. into the target is no special feat for this round. However, outside of the 300yd. range, this round does start to lose its effectiveness, so you’re going to need another round for those longer shots.

.300 Winchester Magnum

Enter the .300 Winchester Magnum. At 500yd. a 190-grain .300 Win. Mag. has a little over half of the wind-drift as the Win. .308 does. It also retains its velocity better than the .308 at 500yd. The 190-grain .300 Win. Mag. maintains a velocity of 2,221fps. at this distance, where as the Win. .308 only maintains a velocity of 1,786fps. Obviously, this translates to more energy with the .300 Win. Mag. upon impact. At 800yd. the gap between the two rounds’ performance shows roughly the same picture. The drop for the same .300 Win. Mag. round is still just above half that of the Win. .308. The .300 Win. Mag. Now has a retained velocity of 1,860fps., which is considerably more than the Win. .308’s 1,375fps. This means that the .300 Win. Mag. is still effective to cleanly take down smaller moose at 800yd., where as the Win. .308 cannot maintain a velocity high enough to effectively expand the bullet upon impact. Just know that the .300 Win. Mag. comes with a little more kick than the Win. .308.

Though there are many different rounds to consider, these are two of the most common rounds used in North American big game hunting. The Winchester .308 is an effective medium-range round when taking on big game in North America, but you would want to upgrade to the longer, more powerful .300 Winchester Magnum when taking longer-range shots. Again, there is no one size fits all, but this should give you an idea of the different factors to take into consideration when selecting your perfect hunting round.

How To Clean Antique Velvet Upholstery

Smooth, luxurious and inviting are just three words that describe the allure of velvet furniture.

There is something so elegant, timeless and comfortable about the fabric, especially when you own a piece or more of vintage velvet to sit upon.

Antique Velvet Upholstery

How to clean antique velvet upholstery becomes the million dollar question for many homeowners. If you do your homework and choose the proper methods and cleaning products, then your furniture piece will dazzle like it did years ago.

The thought of wetting velvet upholstery might sound intimidating to most of us, but it appears to be one of the steps to take during the cleaning treatment.

Textile experts advise not rushing the process and taking care with old, delicate upholsteries that have developed stains, dirt, etc. The first key step is vacuuming; that’s right. Use the special attachment that features a gentle suction to thoroughly bring up and remove surface and deep-seated grime.

One method involves a common household product you can pick up at the paint store. Pure mineral spirits seem to work well, and all you have to do is pour some into a spray bottle and go. Just mist the surface lightly, then take a dry cloth and blot the fabric to remove any lingering soil.

If you prefer plain soap and water, that’s another favorite remedy, according to the fabrics professionals. Dishwashing liquid is ideal for creating a light, soapy consistency to clean antique velvet.

Take a spray bottle, and fill it with tepid water and a little dish soap and shake. Lightly mist the velvet upholstery; do not oversaturate because velvet needs less water.

Then take a coarse Turkish towel, and rub it to lift the grime.

To get rid of the soapy remainder, the experts say to dip the towel into a bucket of clear water mixed with a capful of white vinegar. Wring it out, and wipe it over the upholstery.

Allow your vintage velvet to thoroughly dry. Twenty-four hours later, use a fine brass brush to restore the nap.

Luxurious sofa isolated on white background

When trying to clean vintage velvet in do-it-yourself mode, it’s best to do a test for color fastness. Take a cotton swab dipped into the cleaning product you choose, and lightly dab it onto several different areas of the velvet. After a few minutes, the color should remain as it was. That means it’s okay to use the cleaner because it hasn’t affected the old fabric. You certainly don’t want to fade your precious upholstery or create permanent streakiness within the delicate fabric.

You could always have a professional clean your antique velvet upholstery because they have advanced tools and techniques to suck up embedded dirt without potentially harming the fragility of a vintage material. These experts often use water-based cleaners but also take out powerful solvent formulas if the velvet needs more than a spot bath.

People enjoy sitting on sumptuous velvet furniture and velvet pillows, and hopefully, you can achieve excellent results with one of these methods.

7 Benefits of Steam Cleaning Upholstery

Steam cleaning is an easily overlooked chore, but surprisingly it is actually very useful. Not only to freshen up your furniture but for many other valuable reasons as well.
Here are 7 of the best benefits of steam cleaning upholstery:

1. Remove Unwanted Allergens

Using a steam cleaner on a regular basis can remove the dirt, allergens, dust, and germs that are trapped in your furniture and upholstery. Steam cleaning will help your stay in control of the dust and other allergens and can help to prevent allergy attacks and asthma irritation.

2. The Use of Chemicals Is Not Necessary

If you have issues with certain detergents or other cleaning products you have the option of using a steam cleaner without any. A steam cleaner can sanitize and clean through heat, water, and suction. This is safe option for parents and pet owners so they don’t have to worry about their kids or pets getting on the cleaned upholstery.

3. Make Your Upholstery Last Longer

It is easy to not think about cleaning the furniture when cleaning the home. But, dust can actually be very damaging. It can make the fabric look dull and dingy and will scratch the fibers. If you steam clean your furniture regularly, all of this can be prevented and it will make your furniture last much longer.
Sofa chemical cleaning with professionally extraction method. Upholstered furniture. Early spring cleaning or regular clean up.

4. Remove Bacteria, Viruses, & Mold

All of these things are unseen to the human eye but are quite common and very nasty to keep around your home. The heat from a steam cleaner is able to kill and remove bacteria, viruses, and mold to keep contagious germs out of your home. Removing these germs can also have a positive effect on allergies.

5. Improve Your Home’s Aesthetic Appeal

Steam cleaning will get the extra layer of dust and dirt that has settled into your furniture. This will enhance its appeal, giving it an overall brighter, cleaner, fresher look. It will also improve the smell of your home. Steam cleaning regularly will keep your furniture smelling brand new. Here is a great how-to for steam cleaning your sofa!

6. It Works Great for Pet Odors

Pet odors can easily get trapped in any kind of fabric. A steam cleaner will do wonders to not only sanitize the upholstery but also remove unwanted smells and stains that have been trapped in the fabric. The temperature of the steam cleaner has the capability of killing fleas and their eggs.

7. Save Money

A steam cleaner can be used on virtually all types of upholstery. This will prevent you from needing to purchase additional cleaning products for specific fabrics. You will be able to clean all of your furniture with one device, and since you will be maintaining them you will actually make them last longer. You will save money on cleaning products and on purchasing new furniture, it’s a win-win!
Steam Cleaning is one of the best most efficient ways to clean. If you will try it you will undoubtedly see all of the amazing benefits that it has to offer. Not only can you improve your upholstery, there are also many other creative ways that a steam cleaner can be useful to you.

What Does a Building Inspector Look For

What Is the Role of a Building Inspector?

young architect or inspector make some notes, office building as background

The purpose of the building inspection is to give you an objective assessment of the condition of the house you want to buy. If you are thinking about buying a home, it might be a good idea to have it inspected by an expert, to make sure you make a good decision. If you are responsible for the purchase of your home, you should mention in your offer that it is conditional on an evaluation of the building.

Some people might think that paying a building inspector is an unnecessary expense, but that is not the case. The truth is that a building inspector can save you a lot of money in the long run. The reason for that is although a home may look beautiful and in excellent condition, it can hide surprises that only an expert can detect.

When Do You Have to Call a Building Inspector?

The answer is simple: before the purchase. This way, following the evaluation, you will be able to make an offer that would not be conditional. This could give you an advantage over other interested parties. As a general rule, a building inspector is only involved in buying a home after you have made an offer.A building inspector can also discover some problems with the house, allowing you to decrease your purchase offer to compensate for losses incurred by repairs. The building inspector may discover problems with the home that you wish to purchase and advise you not to purchase it because of the renovation costs that may be required. In short, the role of building inspectors is to inform you about the various aspects of the house you are thinking of buying and that you would not be able to see without their help.

The goal, when requesting a pre-purchase inspection of a building, is to learn whether there are indications of potential problems. You want to know the exact state of the house and all it contains. The pre-purchase inspection consists of making a visual inspection of all the easily accessible areas of the home and the components installed.

The existence of cracks in the foundations will be noted, as this could lead to possible water infiltration. The presence of a white powdery deposit will be sought since it could be a sign of the presence of water around and under the foundations. Although the objective of the pre-purchase inspector is not to perform a detailed analysis of the structure of the building, each element must still be scrutinized, such as the crawl spaces, walls, the floors, the foundations, the roof and the ceiling.

The inspector usually has between a week to two weeks to submit a written report. This report will declare the areas that have been verified, names those areas which have not been verified, explains the causes for why some inspections could not be made, and lists items to check during pre-purchase inspection If there is no significant sign of the probable existence of an anomaly, the pre-purchase inspector is not obliged to recommend digging around the foundations.

How To Get Rid of Ants In The Kitchen

As far as household pests go, ants might be as large as mice or as devastating as termites, but they can be a huge nuisance and should be eradicated swiftly. Ants are drawn to food, so the kitchen is the primary place in your house for them to inhabit. Since ants are small and numerous, you need to use sound strategy in order to get rid of them. This is how you will get rid of ants in the kitchen.

Clean white kitchen. Clean kitchen concept

1. Keep a clean kitchen

A kitchen in disarray is one that’s more likely to attract ants. Having food scraps out are bound to bring in ants. Even a few crumbs could be the perfect opportunity for ants to take over. Take about ten minutes a day to clean up your kitchen. The cumulative effect means ants are more likely to leave or not come in at all.

2. Bait them

If you have ants in your house, it’s not much good to ask them politely to leave. You’ll need to find a way to trick them. One of the best ways to do this is concocting a trap with boric acid, a known ant killer, and a food source that would appeal to them, such a sugar. Place this mixture in a spot in your kitchen that you’ve seen them congregate and watch them fall for it. Remember: ants might be hard-working insects that overcome difficult obstacles, but they’re not smart enough to think before they eat.

3. Repel them

If there are ants in your kitchen, it’s because you have something that they want. (I bet you feel great about being so popular!) Therefore, getting rid of ants can be made easier by making them not want to come in. You can invest in ant repellants to spray or disperse around your kitchen. You can also use food sources that ants don’t like (believe it or not, they exist). These include cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, and garlic.

4. Use vinegar

A bottle of white vinegar is cheap and can do wonders for you when it comes to eradicating ants. Mix it with water in a spray bottle and spray it where the ants roam. The delicate bodies of ants are no much for the composition and overwhelming odor of vinegar.

ants drinking sweet water in shape of heart

5. Call an Exterminator

Sometimes, even the most valiant of efforts fall short, and you have to enlist the help of professionals. If you’ve tried all of the above steps and continue to find ants in your kitchen, you would be best off calling an exterminator. They will take the best steps possible to get rid of the excess ants. Since you’ve already made an effort, you’re likely to make their effort all the easier.

We hope this advice for getting rid of ants in the kitchen is helpful to you. It can be a pain to deal with these pests, but by remaining calm and acting rational, you can get rid of them.

3 Benefits of a professional car maintenance

If you would like to keep your car running at its best for as long as possible, you are likely wondering what steps will allow you to reach your goal. Keeping your car in good shape requires you to perform routine maintenance, which will prevent unneeded problems from occurring. Many people try to repair their car and to do maintenance work without turning to a professional for help, but doing so is not wise. A specialists mechanic knows how to address each issue and how to ensure that your car won’t let you down. When you turn to the right team of experts for guidance, your car will be in good hands from the start of the project to the end.

Improved Gas Mileage

With the price of gas increasing on a regular basis, you are probably looking for ways to save as much money as you can. If you try to maintain your car but don’t have the correct training or experience, you won’t be able to enjoy the best possible results. You can keep your car running for a while, but you will have trouble improving your gas mileage. An expert will check your fuel lines, tire pressure and more, and this process will allow your car’s engine to operate efficiently. Many people are thrilled when they see how much their gas mileage improves, and we are confident that you will feel the same way.

Enhanced Safety

If you try to repair your car and miss something, you could be putting your safety on the line, and you don’t want to fall into that trap. Bald tires and bad brakes are just a few of the issues that can cause you to crash, and maintaining your car is cheaper than dealing with the damages related to an accident. Professional mechanics know where to look and what to check to keep you and your family out of harm’s way. When they spot any problems, they will let you know about them and find a viable solution.

Mechanic pouring oil into car at the repair garage

Increased Value

Dealerships and individuals will want to know that your car is safe and reliable if you try to sell it to them. Those who overlook the importance of maintaining their cars won’t be able to get a fair price. Although they think that they can save money by skipping routine maintenance, their oversight will cost them a lot more over the long run. If you try to sell your car in the future, potential buyers will appreciate the effort that you have put into the vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Your car is an investment that you will want to protect, and performing routine maintenance is one of the top ways to do so. No matter how much you know about cars, nothing can beat the training, skill, and experience of a qualified mechanic. Your car will transport you safely to your destination, and you will get a fair price if you decide to trade or sell your car.

5 Reasons Painting Your House Will Improve Its Value

Everyone knows one of the most important things about your home is its value. Your home, for as special as it is, is ultimately an investment, and good investments increase in value. Therefore, a savvy home buyer must look at their house and ask themselves “how can I increase the value of my home?”
You would probably be surprised to know that a simple paint job can greatly improve your home’s for the following 5 reasons.
Beautiful exterior of newly built luxury home. Yard with green grass and walkway lead to ornately designed covered porch and front entrance.

1. First Impressions are Everything

If you’ve ever watched a show on HGTV lately, then you would know that one of the most vital aspects of selling a home is maximizing your curb appeal. You want potential buyers to go out for a walk, pass your house and actually stop just to admire the paint job. Painting your house will immediately and drastically increase your house’s curb appeal

2. It’s Easy

There are a lot of different things that you can do to increase the value of your home from a adding a new faucet or light fixtures to tearing the walls out of your living room to replace the drywall in half of your house. While all of these are very effective ways to increase the value of your home, they also require a good deal of both labor and complexity. Ripping out your sink is also a great way to completely disrupt your daily routine. Painting your house, however, is exactly the opposite: it doesn’t interrupt your life, it isn’t very expensive and literally, anyone can do it.

3. It’s Cheap

Compared to a lot of other kinds of home improvement, painting is relatively inexpensive. If you are getting new carpet or replacing the interior doors, odds are that these tasks will require you to buy a lot of parts and dedicate either a lot of your time or a lot of someone else’s time (and therefore, your money). The low cost of house painting makes it an excellent investment in your house’s future.

4. Experts Recommend It

The experts at This Old House also recommend painting the inside of your home with light, neutral colors. Not only is this much cheaper and easier than repainting the outside of your home, but it helps potential buyers to envision the inside as a blank canvas upon which they can paint their own story.

5. It’s Fun!

A lot of people find painting, even just using a paint roller on the wall, to be a relaxing and soothing practice. That is good because selling your home can sometimes be a very stressful experience. Work out your pent up frustration not only in a positive way but also in a way that will then make it easier to sell your house or rent your house.

Couple With Keys Standing Outside New Home

There you have it. I, and several experts cannot recommend painting your house as a means of increasing its value enough. Happy painting, and hopefully next time I’m out for a walk, I’ll see a freshly painted house and nod, knowing that that house is going to sell like hotcakes.