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Nov 19, 2019

Tips When Shopping Around for Childcare

Working outside the home is common in many parts of the country yet doing so may not necessarily be easy for many households. With many single parents, dual-income households, and other circumstances to work around, accommodating the needs of young children can pose a challenge. However, by finding quality childcare to help fill scheduling gaps, these types of families can have more peace of mind knowing that their little ones are taken care of while they are away for work or simply in need of an extra hand. By understanding the type of factors to consider when on the search for childcare options, it can be easier to get a good fit for your lifestyle and budget.
Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

Child’s Age

First and foremost, a child’s age will quickly rule out some options you have available in your community. Many facilities separate children by age to make group activities that are developmentally appropriate and easy to administer and allows children to interact with their peers during instruction and play. This being the case, it’s recommended that you ensure that the facility you choose caters to children that are your child’s age.

The Ratio of Caregivers to Children

While licensed facilities will need to abide by both federal and state laws, it is good to be aware of the ratio of caregivers to children that a childcare facility has to ensure that your child will get adequate attention for both educational and safety reasons. Additionally, this can give you a good idea of whether or not your prospective caregivers will make the effort to keep current with recommendations set by childcare experts and legislators.

Parent Participation

As the old adage goes, it often takes an entire village to raise children. In a childcare setting, this often means having open communication between educators and parents. This can make it easier to create an optimal environment and consistency for a child that can benefit from learning and overall well-being. It can be helpful to ask about volunteer opportunities, communication methods, and drop-in schedules available for parents who would like to participate more actively.

Waiting List and Enrollment Requirements

Before you allow your heart to get set on a specific childcare option, it’s practical to keep in mind that Little Sunshine's Playhouse and other high-quality facilities may very well have waiting lists of other families who would also like to enroll their children. Before filling out paperwork or researching hours on one childcare option, asking about the waiting list ahead of time can save you time, especially if you have a need for immediate enrollment for a more specific timeline of when you need to have your child start. In addition, it may be recommended that you check any requirements your child must fulfill before even being accepted. For example, immunizations, minimum hours of care that must be paid for are just two common considerations that need to be made as soon as possible.

Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash

Special Needs

If your child has special needs, it is important to check that the childcare options you are considering can provide all the necessary accommodations. For example, children who use wheelchairs or other assistive equipment should be able to easily maneuver around with pathways that are wide enough and ramps that allow access to any elevated areas when necessary. Finding a caregiver that is ADA compliant can be a great start for families with children with special needs. Even something as simple as potty training may be something that families will want to research to ensure that their prospective choices can support whichever stage their child may be in.


One of the biggest barriers to childcare accessibility is pricing. Some plans for registration fees and other expenses may be easier on the pocketbook for budget-conscious families. For example, some private facilities may be more costly but may also have better features and services that make them worth the investment. In contrast, government programs may be less expensive, but it’s possible that lower rates may result in more crowded spaces or longer waitlists. Some places may require all families to pay the same rate while others may offer special discounts. These discounts can be based on factors such as household income, the number of siblings enrolled in the same program, military status, or memberships.

Type of Facility

It can be very useful to know the different types of childcare facilities that exist so you are aware of all your potential options. Some families may opt to have a private nanny who can supervise children in the family home, provide one-on-one attention to children, and tend to light housekeeping. In contrast, others may prefer the peer socialization opportunities that a larger childcare facility may be able to provide in addition to the convenience of knowing that a team of professionals can tend to children. Additionally, some schools in the community may even offer pre-kindergarten programs that can give young children an earlier start. Although this is a great option, especially for families with an older sibling attending the same school, enrollment opportunities, as well as the length of the school day, may be limited so it’s best to check directly with the schools in your community.
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Nov 18, 2019

How To Pick An Amazing Swimsuit For A Beach Vacation

It's quite challenging when choosing the right swimwear when you are going on a beach vacation. As exciting as beach vacations are, for some, choosing the right swimsuit can add a little stress. For the benefit of those travelers who want to experience the sands, waves and salt-water fun, the following information can help immensely.
Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash
Let’s start with the real test! How do you know what’s best for you?

No other garment selection requires so much consideration, as much as a swimsuit does for a woman. To begin with, the design and cut of the swimwear are extremely important. It affects the way it sticks to your body and boosts your beach/poolside confidence.

Decorative components like flounce or a cut-out and a well-placed print play a key role. The most comfortable swimwear is the well-fitted and modest one because it covers most of your body parts, you need not worry about exposing certain areas that you may want to hide. Yet it holds the body together to give you the confidence that makes you enjoy the beach or pool.  Here are some tips to find the best swimsuit before you set out on that vacation of yours;

Shape Matters!

If you can measure the size of your chest, waist, and hip, it is easy to find your body type. The most common body shapes among women are apple, banana, pear, spoon, bell, hourglass-shaped, etc. Of course, the hourglass-shaped body is considered the ideal body shape but the world is a mix and match and not all are supermodels in everyday life!
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
Browse for Options

If you are worried about the apt place to find the apt bathing suit to match your body shape, browsing through some top online options can help. If you want to lay hands on the best bathing outfits, you can try bathing suits from Planet Blue, they have a vast collection of one-piece, bikini tops, bottom with a wide range of fitting from full-coverage to skimpy fit swimsuit styles.

Get a Little Color Conscious

Choosing a bright color and pattern will highlight a body part whereas solid colors will help you hide the unattractive area of your body. For people with pale skin, try choosing black, dark purple, maroon or navy blue. Bright colors will be apt for those with a dark complexion.

Swimsuits Can Create Good Illusions

A high-waist swimsuit with vertical and angled stripes is advantageous to give the illusion of long legs. You will look slim and sexy. Wearing reds will make you look smaller. To add volume to your upper and lower areas, try something with ruffles and hardware detailing. Ruffles will help in adding volume and shirring will hide volume. To hide your waist, the monokini is the best, and tankini will highlight the same. Try picking a boy shorts if you have an hourglass-shaped body.

Let it Complement Your Body

If you are short, the hi-cut bottom will make your legs look slender. Halter-tops will make your bust attractive and bandeau top will make them look wider. To show-off, your figure, try some embellishments like jewels, flowers, sequins, and cut-outs in your swimsuit.

Fabric is Important, Too

If you love going on frequent beach vacations, choose fabrics that will ensure swimsuit longevity. The commonly used strong fabric materials are nylon, neoprene, and lycra. Polyester is the best and most common material used to withstand chlorine and fading. Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) is used in competitive suits for stretchability and it withstands chlorine.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
Picking the Right One

Pick a top that stays in place while jumping and moving around. Experiment this in the trial sessions, exchange if it doesn’t solve the purpose. Pick a bottom that matches with your hip measurements to feel comfortable and cozy. If you are planning to order a swimsuit online, don't skip to check the size chart and customer reviews regarding the fit and material. Most retailers offer mix and match options to the users to customize their swimsuit according to their size. This will offer much comfort. Buy the appropriate one that fulfills the purpose of your swimsuit. A sexy one-piece or a bikini will be suitable to keep you cool and flattering by the waves, under the umbrella.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Ladies, at the end of the day, you live your life only once. Wear something that will help boost your confidence and comfort. Ultimately, it is your self-esteem that pervades and inspires your identity and is projected by your vibes in your personality.

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Nov 13, 2019

Holiday Gift Idea: FUJIFILM INSTAX mini LiPlay

Have you started buying any gifts for the holidays yet? I have been brainstorming ideas of what to get for my family this year. There are moments where I struggle to think of something different from the usual pajamas, clothes, and beauty products. One thing I do know is you can't ever go wrong with tech gifts, especially since most everything these days is tech-related. Instax has some fun items that are sure to please any gift-recipient.
Have fun on-the-go with FUJIFILM's INSTAX mini LiPlay, the hybrid camera that offers instant print and digital technologies (Retail: $159.95). This camera is super cute and so much fun to use. Charge it up, and insert the instax mini instant film, and you're ready to go!

Just snap your photos and instantly print them out with integrated frames or even sound recording. You can even print directly from your smartphone using the mini LiPlay app. The photos are wallet-sized which is perfect for sharing with friends or family.

It comes with a wrist strap and charging cord. It is so user-friendly, even a kid could use it. My son has been obsessed with taking photos and couldn't wait to take some shots of his favorite subject, our dog!

I can totally see giving this camera as a holiday gift or for a birthday. It is perfect to have at a party where guests can get in a picture with the person of honor and have a photo to take home. There is a nostalgic feeling of having photos develop before your eyes.

Other FUJIFILM items to consider:

Unleash the memories locked away in your smartphone with INSTAX mini Link. Connect the mini instax printer seamlessly over Bluetooth to create fun prints to keep and share with family and friends. (Retail: $99.95)

For those who like big adventure, take your photography to the next-level with the compact FUJIFILM X-A7 mirrorless digital camera . A professional-level camera that takes exceptional images and won't weigh you down on your travels. With an articulating touch-screen, 24.2MP imaging sensor and 4K video recording, users can create amazing content on-the-go. Retailing at $899.00, the FUJIFILM X-A7 with the FUJINON FUJINON XC15-45mmF3.5- 5.6 OIS PZ lens kit is the perfect entry to photography and a great way to capture a trip of a lifetime.

Be sure to follow Instax on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for product updates and promotions.

Thank you Instax for providing the INSTAX mini LiPlay for us to review. All opinions are 100% my own.
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Nov 12, 2019

Things To Know Before Mortgage Loan Application

One of your goals is probably to acquire a home. One of the ways you can make your dream come true is by taking a mortgage. However, purchasing a home on mortgage goes beyond finding a house and signing a deal with the seller. Your lender must approve of you. The process can be daunting for first-timers and those who are unprepared.

Qualifying for a mortgage requires some careful planning. You need first to arm yourself with knowledge before you start the mortgage application process. Here are things your mortgage lender or broker probably wants you to know before starting the home loan application process.

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Know Your Needs

You need to understand what you need before talking to a mortgage broker in Ontario or starting the application process. Lenders want applicants who have a standard of materials. Some of the things that your lender probably requires are two years’ worth of tax filings a month of a recent pay stub from a buyer to be listed on loan. Your lender might also require bank account statements of at least three months.

Pay Off Debt

You can lower the ratio of your gross and net income by paying off debts, such as car loans or credit card debt. Usually, lenders don’t like applicants who have committed a significant percentage of their income to loans. You need to have an excellent financial status that will appeal to your lender so that you can get the best rates possible.

A Credit Report

The first thing that any lender would want to check for when applying for a mortgage is your credit. You should prove your creditworthiness to your lender so that you can enjoy the most favorable rates. Therefore, you need to make sure that your credit report is accurate and that the scores are correct. You can apply for a copy of your credit report beforehand.
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Do Your Homework

It would pay if you did your research well before applying for a mortgage. You are looking for a home and at the same time, making a financial commitment that you will probably live with for years. As such, you need to get the best deal possible. You ought to research brokers, loans, and rates before committing to anything.

Now that you know the things to bear in mind when applying for a mortgage, you can make an informed decision. You also increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage and owning your dream house. Don’t forget to talk to an expert for further guidance.

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Nov 8, 2019

How To Make The Most Out Of Shopping On Black Friday

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Intellifluence. All opinions are 100% my own. 

It is absolutely crazy to think that the holiday season is practically here already. I tend to try to get a list made of all of the upcoming events, and make a gift list for friends and family. Of course it is super important to set a budget and stick to it. One of the best ways to purchase holiday gifts is by taking advantage of Black Friday deals.

For years, I have always made Kohl's my number one stop for gifts. I would make sure I previewed the Black Friday deals ahead of time, so that I could make a categorized list. Kohl's always has extra coupons and savings, especially at specific times for Black Friday.

I have been able to purchase most everything on my list at Kohl's including clothing, accessories, pajamas, holiday decor, and gift wrap. The prices are so good, that I can be extra generous with my gift-giving. It's also a great time to stock up on clothes for the winter. I have found that the Black Friday prices have always been better than those lowest prices of the year sales.

A few things to keep in mind if you are heading out to do your Black Friday shopping:

  • Be organized. Bring your list and stick to it. Don't forget any paper coupons you might have. 
  • Carry cash in several places, not just your wallet
  • Use the buddy system. Do not shop alone! It's important to have a family member or friend with you in case things get too overwhelming. 
  • If you are headed out in the early morning hours, eat breakfast or bring some snacks in your bag. Include some bottled water. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. It is easy to get overheated in busy stores, so layers are essential. 
  • Carry a cross body style bag so that you can monitor your wallet, cash and credit cards more closely. 
  • Keep your phone handy in case you have to do some quick addition of your purchases so there's no surprises when you get to the register. 
Photo by on Unsplash
Black Friday shopping can be a fun experience if you are with the right people. I have always enjoyed the thrill of the hunt for great deals with my husband. He is super patient and helps me narrow down choices, and carries my bags. If you plan on heading out on Black Friday, make sure you stop at Kohl's. If in-person shopping isn't your thing, you can always shop online. Either way, happy shopping! 

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