Movie nights are so popular these days, especially now that the days of paying for every film you watch are gone and instead you now have a choice of hundreds at your fingertips for a small monthly payment, with services like Netflix or even free films on apps like BBC iPlayer. Nights like this are a great way to unwind and have fun with family and friends, or even just with a partner or by yourself. Whoever you’re sharing your movie night with, make sure it’s one to remember by following these few simple steps.
The key to a great movie night is creating the perfect environment. First things first, make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating as you and your guests are going to be sitting for a couple of hours; bring in some extra cushions and footrests from elsewhere in the house. Light some scented candles too add to the atmosphere, and you need to make sure the temperature is just right too. You can also provide blankets just in case anyone gets cold. If you’re having a few people over, crack a window so it doesn’t get too stuffy.
When it comes to snacks and drinks, a glass of wine or a beer are perfect for relaxing but make sure you provide non-alcoholic options too. There are so many easy movie night recipes you could try. Most people will go for the traditional popcorn, but you could also try some savoury options like garlic dough balls or pretzels. Try to avoid snacks that make a mess as it’s easy to not pay attention when you’re engrossed in a brilliant film. For the ultimate in convenience, invest in a mini fridge to keep your drinks cool, as it also means you don’t have to miss any of the film.
The right technology is crucial when it comes to movie night. You will of course need a screen big enough for everyone to see and if you really want to go all out, take a look at this Home Cinema Design. Your lights need to be dimmed to create an exciting atmosphere and to enable everyone to be able to see the screen clearly, so make sure you have a few lamps dotted around the room if you don’t have a dimmer switch. Try to make sure there is no light directed onto the screen too. The position of your speakers needs to create a balanced stereo sound experience to enhance viewing pleasure, so make sure they are placed on each side of the room and close to where people will be sitting. And lastly, choose your film wisely. Think carefully about your audience and read reviews first to make sure you don’t end up disappointed.
To ensure a relaxing, disruption free movie night, try to avoid inviting chatter boxes or young children (unless you’re having a child-friendly evening). You’ll probably need to stick to a certain age group in order to be able to choose a film that suits everyone, and to avoid people becoming restless and distracted. Depending on the film and the company, you may want to take regular breaks from the film to discuss certain scenes but clarify this before the film starts to avoid breaking the flow of the film for those who prefer to watch it all the way through. And lastly, have a designated remote-control operator to avoid arguing over things like pausing and volume, which can disrupt the atmosphere.
If you prepare the perfect environment, organise your technology, prepare food and drink and choose your company carefully, you can have the perfect move night. For more entertainment ideas, whether it’s for you and the kids or just you, take a look at chaosandkiddos.com.
Keeping House With A Baby Inside Of It
When I bought my first little bundle of joy home, I realized a few things very quickly. My husband and I had never been clean freaks, but we found that with a teeny baby in the house, we were putting in three times the cleaning effort for half of the result. We wanted to make sure our house was as free of toxins as possible but that we got some powerful cleaning accomplished. In so many ways, I wish we’d had Aroma Bio-Enzyme products to help us out. If I were to tell a new mom my top cleaning priorities, they’d be the following.
So. Many. Nappies to change. My husband was supportive and always helped, but I always found myself washing my hands constantly. And that was before there was a global pandemic afoot! A friend of mine who was a nurse suggested to me, as my hands were cracking from overwashing, that I use hand sanitizer four times for every in depth soap and water wash. Lucky for everyone, Aroma makes a brilliant hand sanitizer that can be used beyond pandemic cleaning.
There is no smell like that of a baby. When one of my best friends first visited us with a newborn, she entered our daughter’s room and said, “It smells like a baby lives here.” Of course, you always want that new baby smell without the associated smell of wee, poo, or puke. How do you get that when all of those substances are all coming out of the baby all the time? The Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner can assist with that. You want your home and your child to smell like that beautiful baby, not nasty chemicals, so this is a big step in that direction.
Once a baby enters your life, every day is laundry day. Not only will you have to change your clothes several times, but you will also have to keep baby clothes in constant rotation. Onesies are important, but so are burp cloths. With a newborn at home, a burp cloth is necessary at all times. You might even start showing up to the grocery store with one on, or even more embarassingly, at work. Swaddle cloths have to be constantly cleaned, as well. One tried and true cleaning tip you can use to keep a variety of baby cloths clean is to add a half cup of baking soda to every load.
It’s not selfish to take time to keep yourself clean, your room tidy, and your clothes smelling good. Sanity for mum is sanity for the entire family. Make sure that you and your partner take time to clean your own spaces, as well as the baby room. It takes a lot of effort, but it is well worth it.
No solutions will work for every family, even for every set of first time parents. But if you keep these tips in mind and some Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner nearby, it will get easier.
Two-In-One Ways to Manage Ants and Make Your Home Safer for Your Kids
If you have ants and kids, you might feel like you have two problems on your plate at once. It’s true that, although kids are definitely a blessing, you also need to make sure your home is a little safer than you might if you didn’t have kids. Have you considered these methods to both manage ants in your home and keep your kids a little safer?
1. Install Tight-Fitting Doors
Tight-fitting doors are an important part of your ant rebuff system. As you probably already know, ants are very small. They can also fit through astonishingly tiny space. With tight-fitting doors, you significantly reduce your chances of ending up with an ant infestation from the outside, at least if they’re getting through the doors. Plus, tight-fitting doors also reduces the chance of other bugs coming inside, many of which can be dangerous or just annoying to your children.
2. Empty Trash As Frequently As Possible
Most commonly, ants come inside looking for food or water. Trash, especially trash with a lot of food waste, provides both of those things. If you regularly leave trash bags in your garage or by the front door, you’re creating a place that’s perfect for ants to swarm. Plus, these trash bags can easily start to grow mold, which can be hugely detrimental for your health and your family’s health. Empty your trash out to the garbage as soon as it gets full.
3. Don’t Stack Firewood Near the Home
If you live in a place where you need firewood, it can be tempting to keep that firewood as closely as possible to the house. After all, then you can go out to get the firewood and be right back inside. However, this can be detrimental to your home’s wellbeing. Firewood is a great place for ants to nest, and if they nest too close to the home, you can end up with ant infestations. Plus, firewood isn’t a safe place for kids to play. Stack firewood in its own specific area, ideally with a fence or other barrier around it.
4. Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets
Sure, you might not think the tiny drips from your faucet are that big of a deal, but they can absolutely be a very significant problem. These drips are the perfect source of water for ants, which means they can attract ants inside your home. Additionally, drips in areas that family members regularly go through can become tripping hazards, especially for kids, who are more likely to not look where they’re going and be going very quickly. As an added bonus, it’ll also reduce your water bill.
5. Keep Kitchen Counters Clean
It’s true that keeping kitchen counters clean can seem like a monumental task when you have kids. Kids regularly make food and don’t put it away, spill things all over the kitchen counters, and just generally make a mess. However, if you’re able to help your kids maintain your kitchen’s cleanliness, you’re more likely to be able to avoid ants and keep your children a little safer. Remember that food can start to grow mold pretty quickly and that it doesn’t have to be visible to be dangerous. Teach your kids to clean the counters for better home safety overall.
As you can see, you don’t just have to avoid ants or help your kids stay a little safer. You can kill two birds with one stone and do both of them at once. However, if you’re seeing ants enter your home through miniscule cracks in your baseboards or you’re worried about ants coming in through cracks in your pavement, it may be a good idea to request services from a foundation repair expert. Especially if there are children in the home, you can never be too careful.
Ants in the House & Warning Signs
What You Need to Know About Ants
Did you know there are more than 700 different species of ants in the U.S.? These small black insects that are often unwelcome guests at picnics in the park and barbeques at home may be living inside a colony of more than one million! One specific kind of ant that plagues homeowners across the country are pavement ants. Pavement ants can be a major nuisance because these insects forage up to 30 feet from home looking for food and water. Pavement ants sneak through cracks in pavement and a home’s foundation looking for food, water, and shelter. Once inside, they burrow inside walls, insulation, and under floors to build nests.’
Another well-known ant species in the U.S. are fire ants, which can cause painful welts and swelling when they sting. Fire ants build nesting mounds near structures like fences, outbuildings, and a home’s exterior walls. Just like pavement ants, fire ants can enter a home easily through cracks in its foundation and walls, in between doors and windows, and through HVAC and A/C units.
Why Ants Come Inside and Where You Can Find Them
Pavement ants, fire ants, and other ant species come inside our homes looking for food, water, and shelter. The most common areas to find ants inside a home are kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. But ants can also nest inside walls, under floors, and in crawl spaces – making them harder to spot. HVAC and A/C units provide a common entry point for ants to get inside homes. Rising temperatures and longer summer months mean more A/C use for homeowners, attracting ants to the dampness generated inside them and serving as an “open door” policy to come inside for more.
What You Can Do To Keep Ants Out of Your Home
To protect your home against these small pesky intruders, start by identifying and sealing cracks and holes in your home’s walls, around windows and doors, and in paved areas around a home’s exterior, including driveways and patios. To seal off another common entryway, add new caulking around air conditioning and heating units. In addition, homeowners can prevent moisture buildup that attracts ants by ensuring pipes are insulated and not leaking in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, kitchens, and in between walls.
Keep a Clean Kitchen
Once inside a home, ants looking for new food and water sources often travel quickly to a home’s kitchen and pantry areas. To cut off their food source and reduce ants in your home, make sure you clean kitchen counters and stovetops frequently, take out trash regularly and seal up all food items in airtight containers. Storing items like sugar inside the fridge is another helpful practice during the summer months when ants are more active. If you have indoor plants, make sure they aren’t being over watered, because this moisture can attract ants. Seal up pet food and wash bowls after your pets’ mealtimes – don’t leave it sitting out.
Pay Attention to Damp, Humid Areas
Additional hotspots for ants are bathrooms and basements. Ants are attracted to moisture from leaking pipes and faucets inside these areas. In addition, cracks in a home’s foundation provide a good entry point directly into a home’s basement. If you do see ants in your home, wipe down the areas with vinegar to remove the ants’ scent – which they leave as a ‘map’ to help their friends find their way to new food and water sources. This will help reduce the chance that other ants will follow.
Adjust Exterior Features
Making small changes to your home’s garden and landscaping can also help reduce its attractiveness to ants. For example, replacing mulch or pine straw around trees and within flower beds with crushed stone or rocks reduces nesting areas for ants. In addition, if your home has a fireplace, stack firewood as far away as possible from the exterior of the home, at least 20 feet away. Ants can nest inside stacks of firewood. Finally, sealing cracks in your driveway, pavement, and the home’s foundation can minimize your ‘open door’ policy for ants, keeping them away.
Remember that ants play an important role in a healthy ecosystem. By fixing cracks and entry points into your home, removing attractive items like food and water sources, and dehumidifying basements and crawl spaces, you can make your home less attractive for these pests. A focus on these less-intrusive methods for getting rid of ants in your home over using pesticides and bait can help protect the environment.
Find out how Groundworks foundation, basement, and crawl space repair experts can help homeowners keep ants and insects from entering their homes with a free home inspection to identify problem areas and offer solutions.