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How to Make the Most of a Home Movie Night

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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 Scene

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 Tech

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.

The Company

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.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Six Anxiety-Busting Methods You Can Try From Home

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Anxiety can be a regular part of day-to-day life, preparing you for danger by calculating risks. However, if anxiety becomes more of a struggle every day, rather than in response to an incident, it could be time to combat this emotion. First and foremost, anxiety can be a symptom of a more serious mental health disorder, so always consult your doctor if you’re having issues. If you have experienced difficulties in care from your doctor, you may want to consider contacting a hospital malpractice lawyer.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most natural ways of increasing endorphins in your brain, which reduce anxiety, while simultaneously lowering your stress hormones. Regular exercise can also improve your quality of sleep, with poor sleep being negatively associated with anxiety. By partaking in the exercise you enjoy, such as yoga or running, you may feel more confident in your body, too, further promoting positive wellbeing.

Essential oils

Burning some calming scents, either through essential oils or scented candles, can reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety. Some of the most calming scents are lavender, Ylang Ylang and orange blossom. By regularly using aromatherapy, you can reduce anxiety.

Reduce caffeine

Caffeine has been shown to cause anxiety symptoms in people who consume large quantities of it. The amount varies from person to person, but if you find drinking coffee leaves you feeling jittery, consider cutting back on caffeine-rich foods such as chocolate, coffee, and energy drinks, green tea, and replacing these with decaffeinated versions.

Journals

Journals not only give you the chance to write down and release your emotions from a day but also provide a wellness map of how your mood has been over time. You could find that your mood decreases at similar times of a month or due to the seasons, which can help your understanding of anxiety and how to deal with it.

Spend time with friends and family

By having frequent and secure social connections, visiting friends and family may help you get through anxious periods in your life. Studies have shown those with less social ties were more likely to suffer from anxiety. Being a part of a friend network can give you a sense of belonging and improve your self-worth, raising oxytocin in the brain, a natural stress reliever.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is best described as an anchoring you to the present moment by reconnecting your body with the sensations they experience, to reduce anxiety symptoms that come with negative thoughts. This practice can come in a variety of activities, through yoga, breathing exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy, or meditation. Regular use of mindfulness will lead to you becoming more aware of the present, helping you to enjoy the world around you, and understanding yourself better. You can find lots of mindfulness tutorials on YouTube.

By being aware of your anxiety and the symptoms it displays in your body and mind, you will be able to respond quicker by using these techniques to reduce tension. These small steps can help day-to-day in combating anxiety.

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Make a House a Home. Adapting your Home for a Child with Disabilities

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As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. And if your child has a disability then your drive to give them the highest quality of life possible is paramount. This means that changing your home and adapting it to meet the needs of your little one makes absolute sense.

The disability or condition that your child has will determine what kind of adjustments you may need to make to your home, to make it accessible and beneficial towards their development, progress and most importantly, their happiness. Your home should not only be a safe space but also somewhere they can do what they want, feel free and not feel restricted by their limitations or fear of getting injured. It can bring a lot of comfort for parents too!

The disability or condition that your child has will determine what kind of adjustments you may need to make to your home, to make it accessible and beneficial towards their development, progress and most importantly, their happiness. Your home should not only be a safe space but also somewhere they can do what they want, feel free and not feel restricted by their limitations or fear of getting injured. It can bring a lot of comfort for parents too!

Whether your child suffered an injury at birth – discover this cerebral palsy lawyer, Greensboro if you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer – or their life has been changed due to an accident or an illness, there are plenty of ways you can adapt your home for a child with a disability. Read on to find out more.

Make sure your home is wheel friendly!

If your little one requires a wheelchair to get around, then creating access for their chair, such as a disability lift and other mobility devices is essential. A regular home can quickly become a prison if it’s surrounded by steps that may prevent access from the property or even from other parts of the house. The following adaptations are a good place to start:

  • Install ramps where possible 
  • Replace the carpets in your home with hard floors to help with traction 
  • Consider having light switches and even door handles lowered for easy access
  • Consider widening doorways so the wheelchair can easily move through

Reimagine your bathroom

The bathroom can prove challenging for a child with disabilities. Thankfully there are plenty of solutions.

  • Have your sinks lowered and install push/pull taps rather than ones that twist or require great strength to operate
  • A walk-in shower
  • A seat for the child to sit on whilst in the shower
  • A lift to raise the child in/out of the bath
  • Install support rails 
  • Better lighting

Other little touches

Sometimes the smallest of modifications can make a huge difference to your child’s life. 

  • Automated lights
  • Handrails in various areas of the house
  • Automatic doors 
  • Lowering an area of the kitchen so they can use it

Keep your child’s needs in mind. Ask them what they might need to make life easier. And if possible, involve them in the process so they can have their own input. 

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Keeping House With A Baby Inside Of It

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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.

Cleaning nappies

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.

Keeping smells out

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.

Laundry, laundry, laundry

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.

Keeping yourself clean

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.

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