It can be challenging to make financial decisions while avoiding scams at any age, but once you are 60 years or older or experience and unexpected illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke, your capacity to make the right decisions regarding your finances starts to decline significantly. Compare health cover with this list of Medicare Advantage Plans and ensure that you have the best health coverage.

The inability to make the right financial decisions is usually referred to as diminished financial capability. Take the necessary steps today to prepare yourself and your family legally, emotionally, and financially to ensure that the future is secure

Warning Signs

Adults that experience diminished financial capacity usually have trouble paying their bills, tend to make irrational purchases, are often the victims in scams, and deplete their savings account.

Unexplained purchases, a disorganized checkbook, serious difficulties with credit, unpaid bills, and inappropriate investments are all indicators that a parent could be suffering from diminished financial capacity caused by cognitive decline.

Communication Barriers

69 percent of adults in the United States say that there are barriers towards communicating openly with family members regarding possible cognitive decline issues related to finances. The barriers tend to make it even harder to take care of parents that are in dire need of help.

The person suffering from cognitive decline might be afraid to lose their privacy or independence or feel embarrassed about requiring assistance with their financial decisions. Concerned members of the family might not know how to start a conversation about the person’s diminished capacity. Other members of the family might deny that any problem exists at all.

Tips for Family Members

To get rid of hurdles that may limit communication within the family:

Gather Information: Before taking care of your parent, it is first important to familiarize yourself with their needs. Learn as much as possible about the medical condition or disease impacting your parent’s financial capacity. Reach out to experts like the Alzheimer’s Association and attend support groups. If the cognitive decline is the result of grief, consider reaching out to a grief counselor. Finally, share your findings with the rest of the family.

Be Compassionate: Approach the person suffering from cognitive decline with compassion and patience and offer them your support and help. Another way to reach out would be to write them a letter that reminds them of how you are here to help that they can read again and again.

Divide Caregiving Duties: Taking care of a parent may easily become a full-time job. Have an open discussion with the rest of your siblings regarding the cognitive decline of the parent, what needs to be done, and the caregiving duties, if any, each sibling would like to play. Set up a schedule for caregiving that works for each sibling. Faraway family members can be kept up to date with weekly phone calls or emails.

Establish Power of Attorney: You should not only establish power of attorney but also health care power of attorney for each parent. All siblings that wish to take on this responsibility should be invited to do so. 

Get Your Affairs in Order: Use this experience to draft your own will and powers of attorney for your family members.

Your family planner is your holy grail for organising, tracking and planning your week – but that doesn’t mean it has to look boring or corporate! Take the spreadsheet out of your organisation and add a little creativity, you never know, your kids might even get excited about adding to your gorgeous new planner. The first step is to secure yourself a planning method that works for you, your home and your lifestyle. The style is important because you want to be able to have your organiser on display without interrupting the visual flow of your home. Be sure to pick a calendar or book that coincides with your general colour palette, a neutral kitchen will be majorly thrown off by a bright red calendar on the wall! Once you’ve found the perfect style, it’s time to get creative with your planning. Here are a few cool ideas to style up your planning methods…

Colour Coded Pens

Colour coded pens will immediately identify who or what a task, date or plan is concerning – they’re really the best way to see some instant visual organisation going on in your planner! The easiest way to do this is to assign a colour to each member of your family and one to communal activities. You’ll be able to see who’s booked, where people are going to be and how much free time you all have together over the course of a week or month, depending on your planner’s format.

The Sticker System

Stickers are a very cute way to mark significant or exciting upcoming events on your calendar! Avoid using them every day as this can be wasteful and not all that economical. Choose themed stickers for birthdays, weddings, seasonal festivals and events – they’ll be a great reminder of all the good things to come in your week, month or year!

Custom Symbols

If you want to use the sticker system but you’re not all that keen on going out and buying a tonne of new stationery, there is another way to go about it! Come up with sweet drawings of symbols and use these in place of stickers on your calendar. Each family member can come up with a symbol to make it a collaborative affair.


Polaroids are a cool, contemporary way to enhance your planning system. If you have a polaroid camera that’s gathering dust in the corner, as a lot of us do, it’s time to whip it out and get creative with your photography! Use a picture of your dog to signify the next time you’re heading to the vet, a tasty meal for your next food shop and a snap of the family for your next day out as a clan – whatever you like to indicate a plan or chore that you repeat on a pretty regular basis!

Chalk Board

Adding chalkboard effect to your planning system is very kitsch, on-trend and useful if you aren’t using a traditional diary or calendar system. You can paint over a surface with chalkboard paint to transform a plain wall or look for books that have chalkboard effect on the pages. This is really fantastic as it’s very easy to recycle or repurpose.

Laminate your Pages

Another option for reusable planning that’s great if you already have a paper planner on your hands! You can use felt tip markers to note and doodle on your laminated pages, perfect for those who love to use desk planners. This is especially great if you have little ones who can’t quite colour inside of the lines…just yet.

There you have it, some awesomely creative planner ideas to make your organisation a little more fun!

Yael Eckstein, IFCJ President and CEO, oversees all ministry programs and serves as the international spokesperson for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Prior to her present duties, Yael served as Global Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Director of Program Development and Ministry Outreach. Based in Israel with her husband and their four children, Yael is a published writer and a respected social services professional.

Yael Eckstein has contributed to The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, and other publications, and is the author of three books: Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children, Holy Land Reflections: A Collection of Inspirational Insights from Israel, and Spiritual Cooking with Yael. In addition, her insights into life in Israel, the Jewish faith, and Jewish-Christian relations can be heard on The Fellowship’s radio program, Holy Land Moments, which air five times per week on over 1,500 radio stations around the world.

Yael Eckstein has partnered with other global organizations, appeared on national television, and visited with U.S. and world leaders on issues of shared concern. She has been a featured guest on CBN’s The 700 Club with Gordon Robertson, and she served on a Religious Liberty Panel on Capitol Hill in May 2015 in Washington, D.C., discussing religious persecution in the Middle East. Her influence as one of the young leaders in Israel has been recognized with her inclusion in The Jerusalem Post’s 50 Most Influential Jews of 2020 and The Algemeiner’s Jewish 100 of 2019, and she was featured as the cover story of Nashim (Women) magazine in May 2015.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, outside of Chicago, and well-educated at both American and Israeli institutions – including biblical studies at Torat Chesed Seminary in Israel, Jewish and sociology studies at Queens College in New York, and additional study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem – Yael Eckstein has also been a Hebrew and Jewish Studies teacher in the United States.

The global pandemic has brought new challenges to the world and unique challenges for philanthropy.  How are you navigating this new normal?

Normally I think when there are changes in any operation, whether it’s business or nonprofit, you look for the control, and then you’re able to compare where you are to that control. We had no control this year, in the sense of it was the transition year between my father and myself. It was a year of COVID. So when I say transition between my father and myself, it’s internal management and putting together the office and the protocols and the goals and the KPIs and the mission and the focus. And then there’s the external. That you could use a control of an infomercial we did previously versus the COVID year or direct mail we did previously versus the COVID year. But everything changed because it’s the first time that it’s me and not my father.

When my father passed away, we ended at around $124 million revenue, and this year, The Fellowship is ending at over $150 million globally.

I think I have a really amazing angel in heaven rooting for me and this organization. Our focus at The Fellowship and something very important for me to continue and focus on even more is basic needs. We’re not in education. We’re not in events. We’re not in politics. We’re in basic needs, like how to effectively distribute food to 30,000 Holocaust survivors in the matter of a week. So many organizations have moved their focus from those basic needs to more progressive issues. And so I think that now The Fellowship has all the tools to effectively distribute this aid that’s so needed in Israel. We’ve become the organization, both for Jews and Christians, to effectively distribute these basic need items to the elderly and the orphans specifically in Israel, and in the former Soviet Union.

We rely on $60 donations. And so the financial situation around the world has a big effect. Whether someone makes a $2 million pledge or when they’re trying to give tithes from their social security, it doesn’t make a difference. The Government of Israel allocated 70 million shekels for The Fellowship to distribute during COVID for basic needs.  So there’s a lot of amazing, interesting progress to carry on my father’s legacy.  

What advice would you offer to someone thinking about working with family?

I think whether you’re working in a family business or nonprofit, working with a parent could be so many things, either the best thing in the world or the worst thing. It could strengthen your relationship, your respect for one another, your appreciation for one another, or it could break these things apart. 

I feel so lucky that with my father, when he passed away, I remember thinking that when a parent dies, it’s kind of closure. That’s all you’re getting from the parent. And most children feel like they didn’t get something from the parent. I feel so hugely blessed beyond belief that I feel like my father saw me in the professional world, and saw me as a mother, and saw me as a child.

At work, I think the best advice that I could give is, at work you are not family. You are in the hierarchy of the company. When I was in the office, my father would say something, and I never, not once, said, “But, abba.” No, no, no. If I have clear data and facts that I wanted to present, I presented them in a clear way just like every other employee. And at the end of the day, I looked at my father as the president, the CEO, the boss, the final word, and I accepted that and carried it out just like any other staff member.

I think the benefit to that is that you’re able to learn. Sometimes it can feel to the younger generation that the older generation doesn’t really get it. There’s so much happening in technology and so many different areas where the world has changed and it’s changed so quickly that it’s easy to come in and feel like they don’t get it. But the truth is they have so much to offer. And if you act professionally and strategically and you present data and facts and very clear arguments, it’s the most amazing bridge of the younger generation using the tools that they have from the new technology and new world while still benefiting from the knowledge and experience of the older generation.

Traveling is – and will always be – fun regardless of how many times you have done it. However, when you are to travel with kids, it can be quite daunting. You need to determine what clothes to pack and how to get to your destination, let alone ensure that the whole trip is not stressful for your children. With all these things considered, it is safe to say that such adventure is rife with potential worries. But hey, there are tips that you can keep in mind in order to save you from going insane and totally ruining the vacation. Check them out below!

Keep It Simple

It holds true that almost any stuff can be brought abroad. It might not have to be the same brand, but you will always have the ability to manage it. If you are traveling with a baby, it is given that diapers should be of concern. This is most especially if you require the likes of eco and organic brands, most of which are quite hard to find.  This is where you want to be a little bit more flexible. While you can always pack the brand your baby really needs, there is nothing wrong with exploring other ones. Or, if you want, you can research first if this type of diaper is available in the country or place you will be going to.

Travel With a Guardian

Be it a nanny or another member of your family, it is always better to have someone who can help you with the kids. This is really advantageous especially if you have a bigger family. This guardian can lend a hand in taking care of your children. For instance, you will be riding a train. The guardian can look after your daughter while you tend with your son. Just keep in mind, however, that disputes concerning guardianship can happen. For example, the nanny fails to fulfil her fiduciary duties. This can be a call for legal action. And when such thing happens, you will need a lawyer who has the expertise in contesting guardianship.

Always Create an Itinerary

Traveling with children can be a lot more fun if you try to tailor your itinerary in a way that it suits every family member (not just your kids, of course). You can start by selecting activities and/or destinations that are going to be fun for all of you. You can also let older kids give suggestions about where the family must go and what to do. By doing so, they can be more involved and excited about the upcoming trip.

Keep in mind, too, that a trip must include the planning of rest times. After all, it would be difficult to experience each activity or destination if the family does not have the energy to do so. You also have to be considerate of your kids’ disposition. Young children, in particular, need to let off a little steam. This is where you want to bring them to a park or playground. As for teens, stopping for food or arcade can be a great thing to do.

Go With a Slow Travel

When you travel with kids, you do not just the fun with you – you also bring the drama. This could from the baby’s crying to the toddler starting with his tantrums. Interestingly, there is a way for you to reduce the drama’s frequency. Go with a slow travel. It simply allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture and, at the same time, learn the language a bit. Above anything else, it gives your family the much-needed time to relax and let all the impressions sink in.

As our loved ones enter old age, they are presented with everyday challenges that weren’t there a few years ago. Going out to the shops, having a bath, even just getting up the stairs, can prove to be much more difficult. Of course, we want to do everything we can to help them, but it’s simply not practical to be with them twenty-four seven. Thankfully there are plenty of quick, small, solutions that can make a world of difference.


According to Age UK handrails can make a big impact on helping an elderly person maintain their independence. Installing handrails means that a home can instantly become accessible. They can offer extra support on the stairs, as well as the house in general if required. It can be such a quick fix if your relative is a little unsteady on their feet and want some extra support.

Mobility Scooters

These are a great option, which can give an elderly relative so much more freedom. It could be if they need a little help getting from A to B when indoors. Or if they can no longer drive and want to get about, some scooters are designed for on the road use. Maybe getting the weekly shop done is a struggle.  Mobility Solutions have a brilliant range of scooters, both for indoor and outdoor use.

Adjustable beds and sofas

So we’ve talked about helping your relatives getting out and about, but what if they struggle getting up in the first place? This is where adjustable furniture can come into play. You could get a rising chair to help them stand up. There are designs these days which blend in with living room furniture perfectly. Or they can invest in a bed with controllable adjustments so they can get as much support as they need to, whenever they need to.

Friendly Neighbours

This was mentioned earlier – it isn’t likely you can be there whenever needed to offer support for your relatives, especially if you live far away from them. You can make sure to add safety measures outside of their home. This can come in the form of next-door neighbours. They can check in on your relatives when you can’t – such as in extremely cold or hot weather. Or even offer to pop to the shops for them. Getting to know their neighbours and knowing there’s a helping hand nearby can make you and your family feel so much better.

Ensuring you do everything you can to live an environmentally sustainable life is a wonderful thing. However, if you have kids, it’s also important to inspire them to have a sense of responsibility for the environment. After all, they themselves are going to have to look after this planet one day! There’s a tonne of information out there to educate the younger generation about carbon footprints, greenhouse gases and climate change. However, making sure your kids grow into environmentally conscious adults with eco-friendly habits is a whole other story. Getting them to adopt these new behaviours doesn’t have to be a strenuous task, in fact it can be quite a straight forward – dare I say – enjoyable experience.

Get their hands dirty

A sure-fire way to get your kids to respect and want to protect the environment is to get them outside! If you take them to the park, lake or beach as often as you can, a natural appreciation should grow from there. Gardening with your kids and growing food for the dinner table is also a great way to get them interested in both the environment and healthy eating, and it takes care of your child’s natural instinct to get their hands dirty!

Teach them daily water saving tricks

The things we do around the house every day to save water can be easily taught to your kids. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands can become a general rule of thumb in your house for all family members, including the little ones. Putting a shower bucket and shower timer in the bathroom will add another level of water-efficiency, with these visual cues becoming a part of your child’s everyday life. Provide small incentives for saving water. Perhaps using the shower bucket to water the household plants or wash the dog could earn your child some extra TV time?

Let the outside in

A smart way to strengthen your child’s environmentally sustainable house-hold habits is to let outside influences support the behaviours. There’s amazing resources out there, like entertaining children’s books with eco-friendly messaging. You can find a great list of some of the best at Greener Ideal.  You can also further engage your kids with other resources and provide visual learning tools, like this activity sheet from hipages.

Make recycling a normal part of life

As your child reaches their later primary school years and you’re teaching them how to take out the rubbish, ensure that you’ve included recycling as an essential part of the chore. Teach your kids which items can be recycled and how, and make sure that they do it properly the first few times. From there, the behaviour should become a habit! In the same vein, make sure you avoid single-use plastics in the house. Replace all those little plastic bags for school lunches with Tupperware and take reusable bags with you when you go grocery shopping. If your child sees you making these efforts, it will instil a sense of commitment to being more environmentally sustainable.

Implement ‘powering down’ as part of the bedtime routine

Habits are best formed in conjunction with other habits. To link some eco-friendly behaviours with daily household actions, you can teach your kids to switch off all the lights and power points in the house before they go to bed. Make this ‘powering down’ tradition a staple nightly ritual in your home, and make sure everyone in the family is assigned one or two rooms as their sole responsibility to ‘switch off.’ You could make a fun game or competition out of it, with the first person back to the dining table after having switched off their rooms, getting an extra 10 minutes before lights out the next night!

Storing your important financial documents correctly is incredibly important, as these necessary pieces of paper contain valuable information and are not easily regained after losing. To ensure your documents stay safe, follow these seven storage tips. They will keep you secure in several unexpected situations and allow you to stay organized in your daily life.

1: Know What to Keep

To cut down on clutter, it is important to know what to keep and what to throw away. Receipts need only be kept for one year. Tax documents, last will and testimony, bank statements, life insurance information, and any other legal financial documents need be kept indefinitely.

2: Organize into Folders

Now that you know what to keep, organize those important documents into folders. Put all tax information in one, bank statements in another, and so on. This will allow for easy access later.

3: Make Copies of Vital Documents

You should have three copies of all vital documents. You don’t need to start copying all your bank statements, however. What you do need to make copies of include your will, life insurance information, and the summary page of your yearly tax information. Include birth certificates for everyone in the home. This provides valid identification in the even it becomes necessary.

4: Copy #1 to the Family Safe

The original copy if your documents should go into the family safe. If you do not already have one, now is the time to invest in it. You should choose one that is fireproof and waterproof, as this ensures the documents will remain intact should a disaster occur.

5: Copy #2 to the Desk

One copy of your valuable information should be kept in your home desk for easy access. Sometimes it is necessary to read and/or use these documents, and that is what these copies are for. You should only pull the originals out should it be 100% necessary for a legal purpose.

6: Copy #3 to a Storage Unit

The final copy of your important documents should be stored at an off-site place, and storage units make the perfect option. A small 5×5 unit is all you need – or even just a locker unit. This ensures that there is a backup in the event your home is destroyed and your safe did not make it or can’t be found. Let someone close to you – like a sibling or best friend – know where these documents are kept, just in case.

7: Think About Lamination

This is another tip for the most important documents you possess. Lamination can ensure that documents do not rip, tear, or become water damaged. Do not laminate your original copies, however, as this sometimes voids them (like your social security card). If you choose to do this, laminate the copies you keep in your storage unit.

These seven tips can help you to store your important financial documents, so they are always on hand, and well organized. Keeping multiple copies ensures you have a fall back in the event of a natural disaster or other unexpected event.

Making children happy is a blessing, but it can be difficult to do this when you want to choose a gift. Gifts for 13 Year old boys are hard to find from the first, simply because they are no longer small children, but not yet passionate teenagers.

You are wondering what is the best choice, and how you can make sure that a boy’s special occasion will turn into an unforgettable memory? Then check out these gift options!

A drone. Now, for the last couple of years drones became incredibly popular, and many adults and children would love to play with one. There are different types that you can choose, from budget friendly ones that only have a few minutes of flying times, to expensive ones that can even take pictures or stream live videos. Make sure that you add to the gift a flying guide, instructions on how to use the drone and batteries if necessary.

A cool watch. And here I’m not talking about just any watch, I am talking about a smart one. One of the best gifts for 13 year old boys are smart watches, as they are not only very popular on the market, but also a great replacement for a phone. It is not as easy to lose as a smartphone, not as distracting when it comes to homework and study and definitely not as expensive. It is, however, a gadget that will be highly appreciated!

A skateboard. It is important for teenagers to be active and play sports as often as they can, but you don’t see many of them jogging around the neighborhood. Skateboarding is the next best thing, simply because it’s fun, easy, healthy and it will help them make friends and spend pleasant time outdoors. If the boy did not ride a skateboard before, you might also consider buying protective gear, just so he doesn’t get any injuries.

A board game. Young boys generally prefer to play with their friends, so a board game is a great source of fun in those days when they have to stay indoors. Make sure that you pick one that can have many players at the same time, and that does not have very complicated rules. Also, if you want to make things even more interesting, you can make by yourself a few cardboards with some fun challenges that need to be completed by the ones who lose the game.

A chemistry set. Of course, I don’t mean a real, dangerous one. There are chemistry sets appropriate for children that come with fun, but not dangerous substances and equipment. Even so, it should only be used under the strict supervision of an adult, and it should come with protective gear and instructions. Make sure you let the parents know what your gift is, so they can establish safe rules with their child.

A book. Yes, we know that not many young boys have the patience to read, but there are books that will get their attention from the first, and it will stay in their mind and soul forever.

In order to make the birthday boy interested in ready the book, write a card saying that this book remind you of him, and that he will find many interesting things related to him in the book. He will definitely be curious to read it, and intrigued to find out how others see him. Besides, his parents will definitely be happy that you convinced him to read an entire book!

Any of these choices are good, but it depends on the preferences, personality and style of the birthday boy. Make sure that you discuss with his parents before buying any of these gifts!

It isn’t often that our loved ones go into residential care willingly and so making the decision to move them into a care home can be an emotionally-straining process. Whether you’re looking for the best care homes in Rugby, or you’re looking for something a little more rural, choosing the right care home is only half of the battle. Once you’ve chosen the perfect residency, it’s now time to prepare your loved one – and yourself – for their move. Here are our tips.

Organise The Support You’ll Both Need In Advance

If your loved one is going into nursing care, it could be worth having their GP or a social worker on hand throughout the entire process. From breaking the news, to communicating with the nursing home to give them the full run-down of everything that’s needed for their care, professionals can take off a lot of the stress you might feel like you’re facing alone. Similarly, keeping family and friends around to support both you and your loved one on the day and afterwards can make the entire move much easier. You aren’t going to be able to be by your loved ones side every moment for the first few days, but by organising people to visit when you can’t, your loved one won’t be left alone as they settle.


Personalise Your Loved One’s Room

If the care home allow personalisation of a resident’s room, then take full advantage. The more like home you can make the room seem, the more comfortable your loved one is going to be. Bring their most treasured belongings, their blankets and pillows, entertainment and frankly anything that might make them feel more at home while away from it.

Write A History Of Your Loved One For The Residency

This is especially useful if your loved one is suffering from dementia, but giving the care home a ‘life story’ can help them with how they care for them. By knowing more about how they grew up, how they lived before moving and everything in between will give them a reference to go off of to better understand anything your loved one says and give better chance at holding a valuable conversation to make them feel included and comfortable.

Develop Relationships With The Staff At The Home

Developing a relationship with the staff at the home whom are responsible for your loved one’s care will not only ensure a comfortable experience for all, but will also encourage a much better level of communication. The home may be experts in medical care, but you are the expert in your loved one and giving them all of the information they need about how to care for them will make the entire move much smoother. You know their quirks, their likes and dislikes, what you can and can’t do – pass on your wisdom!

Be Prepared To Feel Guilty

You’re going to feel guilty, no matter how much your loved one needs the care. You’ll feel guilty the moment you make the decision, and it will travel with you throughout the entire process of preparing and moving them into the home. Don’t hold onto feelings of guilt too much. It’s okay to feel this, but make sure you get support from family and friends to help you through it and if you feel like you need extra support, there are plenty of helplines available to provide exactly that.

Family holidays are the best way to spend quality time with your family. They make a great way to find respite from the humdrum of daily life and simply make memories with your loved ones. But one challenge you may encounter while planning such a holiday is to find family-friendly resorts. It is much easier to find romantic getaways but when it comes to family resorts, things are a little different. There are several things that you have to look for to make the stay comfortable and enjoyable for the entire family. Here are some tips to help you find the best resorts for family holidays:

Choose a location that works for everyone: The choice of your location depends on the family size and demographics. Those traveling with young children need to look for kid friendly resorts. There should be plenty of fun activities and games for young children. The older ones would love to vacation in a resort with disco and poolside parties. On the other hand, if you have senior citizens on board, ensure that the property has all the right amenities for them.

Look for one that offers a wide choice in cuisine: Since your family members may have different culinary interests, it is always better to opt for a location that offers diversity. Find a resort with a multi-cuisine restaurant or one that has different restaurants offering different cuisines. This will ensure that the entire family indulges in their favorite food choices.

Be flexible: When you travel with family, being flexible is the key to having a worthwhile holiday. Each member will have different interests and tastes and you need to take care of them all. Going to an all-inclusive resort is a smart idea as you will have variant options all at one destination. Flexibility also means that you should give each member freedom to explore their interests rather than being stuck together throughout the trip.

Don’t confine yourself: The secret of having an enjoyable family holiday is to just let go and explore. Even if you have taken a posh accommodation, do not confine your family trip to your hotel room or resort property. Have your meals packed in a picnic basket and embark on local adventure every single day of the holiday. Explore local cuisine and culture, meet the locals and relish the local sightseeing. Not only will this give wings to your adventurous spirit, but also bring your family closer together. Even getting lost in a new city can be a big adventure if you are with your family.

Family holidays are a must to break the monotony of life and increase the family bonding. It is an opportunity to make up for the time that you lose because of being engrossed in everyday responsibilities. However, you must make your best efforts to ensure that the trip yields memories that you can cherish for a lifetime. Wherever you go with the family, just be together and whatever you do, just do it together.

There is a rising popularity in staycations. Rather than going abroad, many are opting to holiday in locations across the UK. The cost is just one of the reasons for this growing change. Other pros to staycations also lend themselves to the ideal family holiday, and this is why we think it’s the perfect gift to give your mum.

Spend Time with Your Family

Until you’re a parent, you probably will never understand the woes of a once full nest, now empty. More than ever, the younger generations are more driven. If you’re not bouncing a baby on your hip, you’re probably working tirelessly to also sustain a successful career, with nearly 75% of women with children at least in part-time employment. Unlike her relationship with her own Mum who she may have seen more regularly for help after the birth of her children, your mum barely sees you between the busyness of life. The idea of a staycation then, surrounded by her children is probably one of the best gifts you can give.

Nest full, you can plan a short to week-long break with the focus completely on not only your mum but the whole family. Plan out activities to do together depending on your location and the time of year and re-live snapshots of your childhood. From board games in the evening in front of the fire on a wintry break, to sandcastles, paddling and coastal walks in the summer holidays. No matter what you decide to do, staycations offer you the ease to maximise quality time together.

How Staycations Offer Flexibility

For any parent, there is nothing worse than the thought of a long flight with screaming kids. Even if you take out the children factor, going abroad is pretty stressful. To the extent that it has been reported in 2017 that 4/5 people in the UK would rather have their annual holiday within the country than suffer the stresses of travelling abroad. Whether you’re planning a holiday with just the parents, or siblings and potential grandkids too, there doesn’t seem much worse than the idea of getting on a plane. Even when it’s just you and your partner, the packing process, endless airport queues and never ending extra expense are less than ideal.

With a staycation you can immediately cross off having to set foot in the airport. Select your UK destination, get in the car and go. You can take everything with no allowance hanging over you, including the kitchen sink if you really want. When it comes to accommodation, you can find plenty of places that will even allow you to bring your dog, the perfect companion for if you’re planning a countryside getaway. It is this ease that will appeal to Mum, right after the initial surprise of having everyone nailed down in one place.

Food on a Staycation: Easier and Cheaper?

If there’s one thing that brings a family together, it’s good, warming food. We appreciate it’s of the upmost importance, especially to dad’s who like to know exactly where their next meal is coming from. Just like when going abroad, food whilst away in the UK can depend on the kind of accommodation you choose. As you’re planning to take away the whole family to celebrate your mum, renting a cottage or other cosy property seems like the best call.

Sure, Mum could be put off by the idea of having to slave over the oven every evening. Surrounded by doting children and maybe even grandchildren, though, we know this not to be the case. Do a sweep of the supermarket, or even look to see if you can have it delivered from the likes of Sainsbury’s, Asda or Waitrose. My Favourite Voucher Codes offers money off your first, and even second and third, online shop, so it’s worth leisurely adding to your virtual shopping basket from the comfort of your holiday home. Although she may not always enjoy cooking, we think your mum will enjoy the atmosphere of all her nearest and dearest bustling around the kitchen and working together to achieve something.

Less Stress Factors

With you and your siblings running around after her, your mum can truly get some well-needed R and R. She won’t even have to think with you organising everything down to the last detail. Even when it comes to checking in and out, the rules are far more relaxed in rental homes, not having to stick to a strict time frame in which to get picked up and whisked to the airport.

Let’s face it, as you grow up you start to gradually spend less and less time with your parents and siblings. Life gets busy, you start to have your own families and priorities change. When it comes to gift giving, we’re sure your mum appreciates the cards, flowers and chocolates. Maybe even something sparkly if she’s lucky. But, more than anything, the best present you can give your mum is your time. And that’s why staycations are the perfect gift for your mum.

Children learn by example, and if you make a point of including exercise in your daily life, they will be sure to make this a part of their daily activities throughout their lives. Parents can schedule many different types of exercise into their interactions with children to suit different tastes. Here are a just few of the easiest ways to incorporate an exercise regime into your family life.

Look for More Opportunities to Walk

Walking is still one of the most convenient of exercises, with low impact and many cardiovascular benefits. You can encourage your children to take advantage of opportunities to walk by encouraging them to walk the dog with you, walk instead of driving to the local park or participating in a walkathon for charity. Walking is an activity you can enjoy together as a family, and it needs no special equipment.

With today’s busy schedules, it’s more important than ever to find time to spend together as a family. Implementing a family exercise regime will help your children to learn health habits, while it provides time to share conversation and experiences. Find an exercise that works for your family, and you’ll be rewarded with better health and closer family bonds.


Taking a daily jog through the neighborhood is a great way for families to manage weight, improve cardiovascular health, increase lower body strength and improve lung function. Jogging as a group can be a fun way to check out changes in the neighborhood, interact with neighbors and forge closer bonds with your children.

Family Yoga

Yoga offers a beneficial exercise for people of all ages. The standard yoga positions, called “asanas,” can be adapted to suit the very young, those in the prime of their physical condition, as well as for older members of the family. Yoga is beneficial for muscle strengthening, increasing lung function and improving flexibility and balance. It can also be helpful in managing stress. These qualities make it a perfect exercise to share with family members. Places like California Family Fitness even offer family yoga classes.


Bicycling is a low-cost and enjoyable way to improve your family’s health and strengthen family bonds. You don’t have to buy top-of-the-line equipment to enjoy a day in the outdoors with your kids, communing with nature, seeing new sights and strengthening your muscles and cardiovascular system. Pack a snack and your camera for a wonderful day of exercise. Many communities now provide safe bike paths to allow families to participate in this healthy, enjoyable activity.



According to a study on NCBI, introducing a variety of tastes and food textures to kids at the right time plays a crucial role in helping parents have an easier time encouraging them to try new foods.

Once your baby is ready for solid foods, you can start helping him develop healthy eating habits that he can continue to practice as he grows older. You will also enable your child to increase his nutritional intake – something that is important for his healthy growth and development.

Help Your Child Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Even at an early age, kids can learn to have good eating habits which they can carry well into adulthood. Use the below tips from leading nutrition advisors to help your child develop these.

1.     Being a role model

Babies begin watching their parents’ faces and mimicking some of their gestures when they turn one month old. As such, your child will start imitating a lot of your actions while they are still very young.

 When you show your child how much you love eating a variety of healthy foods, he will learn to follow your lead. Make sure you also have frequent talks with your child on the benefits they can gain when they eat healthy foods, especially during mealtimes. These strategies are highly effective in getting your little one to start trying a variety of foods, like fruits and veggies.

2.     Making dinner and other mealtimes a time for family

Kids who eat meals with their families at home, or even out, usually have better quality diets and a higher intake of fruits and vegetables. When you serve a new dish, make sure everyone at the table gets a healthy portion and make a show of how they like it. Your child will find it hard not to follow the everyone’s example.

Also, allow your little one to make choices and decide how much he wants to eat since this will empower and give him confidence. By allowing your child to serve himself and seeing everyone enjoying the meal, he will know the importance of family meals and that trying new dishes is not something to be scared of – something that will help them avoid picking up the unhealthy habit of picky eating.

3.     Giving your child a variety of options

If your little one is already eating solid foods, do not limit his diet to only soft, mashed food.  With the pediatrician’s approval, nutrition advisors say you can also start offering your child foods with different textures – chunky, crunchy, and chewy ones.

Provide a variety of healthy food choices for your child and let him take the lead in what and how much he chooses to eat. However, make sure you don’t leave your child unattended when he is trying new foods and textures.

Regardless of your child’s age, keep in mind that you may have to place a particular food in front of your child multiple times before he develops a taste for it. The important thing is that you be consistent in offering this food and don’t force your child to try the dish.

If your little one tastes even just two or three spoonfuls, show your appreciation and praise him for trying the dish.

4.     Making healthy foods fun and interesting

When you are introducing a type of fruit or vegetable for the first time to your child, be creative. Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes out of fresh veggies or fruits. You can also make a fresh fruit bar and give your little one a child-friendly skewer so that he can make his own fruit kabobs. Serve a variety of dips as well so that he can experiment with different tastes.

By following this tip, you will help your child be more open to tasting new and healthy foods. He will even learn to love them as long as you are consistent in serving foods in interesting and yummy ways.

5.     Serving familiar foods in new ways

Lastly, let your child know that the same foods can be cooked and served different ways and they will still taste good. For instance, show your child the various ways you can cook an egg: sunny side up, scrambled, poached, soft or hard-boiled, etc.

If possible, allow your child to help you or, at the very least, watch you while you are cooking so that he gets to know about these different prep and cooking techniques. By mixing things up, you help your child develop a wider range of tastes and more adaptability to new foods and situations.

Good eating habits start from childhood. When you help your child learn healthy eating habits at an early age, he will have a higher chance of continuing those habits as he gets older and begins to make more eating decisions on his own.

tomato 2776735 1920

Proper nutrition is vital and, as parents, we care deeply about providing our children with the best possible start in life. We all want them to grow strong, be happy, and be in good physical and mental health.

A varied, balanced diet that includes starchy carbohydrates, lean proteins, a variety of plentiful fruit and vegetables, and some dairy should provide your child with everything they need. With a diet sufficient in the right food groups for children, they will receive abundant quantities of the many vitamins and minerals needed, as well as sufficient fuel for their everyday lives.

Here are 10 benefits of proper nutrition for your growing child:

1.     Healthy growth

We all want our children to reach their physical potential, and providing proper nutrition is essential in order for them to grow and develop physically. Adequate carbohydrates, proteins and limited fats fuel growth, and calcium is required for healthy bone development.

2.     Healthy brain development

Nutrition doesn’t just impact physical development, but it also has a direct impact on the developing brain. Children need adequate levels of many vitamins and minerals, including fatty acid DHA, iron and iodine, for proper brain development. This can be achieved by providing a healthy diet.

3.     Better physical health

Children who eat well and receive adequate vitamins are better equipped to fight off common illnesses like coughs and colds. However, the health benefits from a good childhood diet may reach into their adult lives, too: serious health problems and diseases such as diabetes and some cancers have been linked to poor nutrition in childhood.

4.     Better oral health

A healthy diet low in sugars is beneficial for oral health, too, and children who eat such a diet are far less likely to deal with cavities and other dental problems.

5.     Better concentration

Children who have had a nutritious breakfast and are provided a healthy lunch do not need to worry about the distractions of hunger pangs or the blood sugar highs and lows caused by unhealthy foods. This enables them to give their best to their school work.

6.     Better moods

Similarly, fluctuating blood sugar levels and poor nutrition can cause mood levels to dip, particularly in young children, leading to tantrums and bad mood episodes. Regular, healthy snacks and three main meals per day ensure that hunger doesn’t contribute to poor behavior.

7.     More energy

Those who consume the correct amount of calories from healthy sources will have abundant energy, not just for school, but also to take part in hobbies, interests and sports. This, in turn, has a huge benefit for their physical and mental health.

8.     A healthy weight

Children who eat a varied, balanced diet and are not given excessive unhealthy treat foods are unlikely to develop weight problems, either from being under or overweight, and will likely be within an appropriate height and weight percentile for their age group. Aside from the benefits to their health, this means they are more likely to enjoy participating in everyday life.

9.     Lifelong good habits

A benefit of introducing children to the ideas behind good nutrition from an early age is that it becomes ingrained and sets them up for life, long after they have left the family home. Even very young children can learn that a healthy balanced meal should include some protein and carbohydrate, and plenty of vegetables. When they need to look after themselves, they should find this easy to replicate.

10. Healthy eating for the whole family

With busy adult lives, it is easy to fall into the trap of convenience food and unhealthy snacks. However, when you understand the need for children to eat nutritious food and you provide healthy family meals for them every day, you also improve your own diet at the same time.

helloquence 51716

Going through a divorce is a really tough time in anyone’s life regardless of the circumstance. It signals the end of an era for those involved and results in significant changes in life, many of which had not and cannot be anticipated. Separating from a partner is a period of loss in many ways and it can be difficult to deal with.

It is important that the correct support structures and processes are put in place right from the start beginning with the decision to separate. Family and friends will be there to provide ongoing emotional and physical support, however the legal matters will also need to be dealt with accordingly.

Hiring one of the best divorce lawyers in Sydney is a great step towards ensuring that the settlement is fair and representative of those involved.

There are two important steps in order to best overcome the challenges faced with a divorce; dealing with things on an emotional level and getting the legal side of things right. This manages to deal with the tangible and intangible factors that arise throughout this tough period and help to maintain a stable environment for the individual and those around them.

Dealing with things emotionally

The emotion of the separation is likely to be pretty hard hitting, especially if it has been a long relationship and even more so when children are involved. As is often the case, family and friends are going to be extremely willing to offer support in such a difficult time.

However, the important thing to identify is that this period is about you and making your life better. As a result it is important to focus mostly on yourself.

Patience is the first step to maintaining sanity. Regardless of the quality of attorney and experience with change and overcoming challenges, it is going to take time for the divorce to be settled and to get over the emotional rollercoaster that it is. Accepting the hurt and sadness associated is important and there is no set time as to when anyone will get over this.

The next part is focusing on what can be controlled. A part of this comes down to hiring any of the best divorce lawyers in Sydney so that the legal side of things is under control and it then becomes about the individual and potentially the children. A continuing love for the children will help to take the mind off other things whilst it provides a great outlet of stress as it is a fun and joyful thing to be a part of.

Regardless, focusing on one’s self is the most important and controlling emotion, activity and decisions alone is a critical step. Taking back the freedom of personal decisions, without the need for compromise or consultation, should be viewed as a positive throughout this time.

Finally, surround yourself with people who are fully supportive of the situation and can empathise and sympathise with you. It is a challenging time and instilling the right support network is critical to maintaining sanity and being able to move on and recover as quickly as possible.

Getting the right lawyer

Identifying the right lawyer in such a stressful time can sometimes be a challenge. However, there are a few simple things that should be looked out for when choosing the divorce attorney that is going to represent you.

The first thing is clear communication. The chosen attorney must be willing to lay down the facts as they are and not be afraid to explain all of the proceedings of the case. Having a clear understanding of the situation can be reassuring for those separating from a long term partner.

Additionally, constant communication that reassures, sympathises and empathises with the client makes for a better relationship and will likely improve two-way communication leading to a better outcome.

This leads into the next point about be a personable solicitor. In order to achieve success in the court room, having a good relationship with your lawyer is important.

The attorney needs to completely understand the situation, and even though it is their responsibility to take the lead, not holding anything back aids them in completing the job to the best of their ability. Forming more than a standard working relationship with the solicitor will help to improve the potential outcome of the case.

Lastly, one of divorce lawyers in Sydney will have extensive experience in divorce cases. Selecting a solicitor with this specific expertise will go a long way to achieving a successful outcome.

Additionally, it is likely to improve the clients experience as the attorney will be more competent at dealing with the information and best structuring the case. An experienced solicitor will be able to best handle the case and articulate the circumstances as they change.

Getting through a divorce is without doubt an incredible challenging experience. Taking the correct steps to build a solid support structure is critical to helping you maintain a sane mind and reducing stress levels. Hiring a trusted and well experienced attorney is also great in boosting confidence and taking away one area of responsibility so that it is easier to focus on yourself.

construction worker 569149 1920

Choosing the best HVAC contractor before inviting them into your home requires some research beforehand. Since HVAC systems are complicated, expensive and require high levels of skill with electricity and gas, you’ll want to find one who has the ability to do the job for a fair price and with utmost safety.


All HVAC contractors in Virginia need to have a license, bonding and insurance. Before settling on a contractor, check with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) to verify their license and financial responsibilities.

Besides having the protections that licensing provides, most manufacturers require that you work with a state-licensed contractor to keep the warranty for the equipment they install valid. Losing a warranty because you’re using an unlicensed or unauthorized contractor could cost you a good deal in the long run.


The reputation of the contractor makes a difference. Although some sites are cracking down on “fake” reviews, you’ll have to sift through the information you find on some websites regarding other customers’ ratings and reviews of the contractor to be sure they’re valid.

Sites you can trust include Angie’,, and the BBB. An HVAC contractor who is NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified has achieved the highest standing in the industry with both customer service and technical competence, like the C.B. Lucas Company.

Pricing and Specials

While price counts, it’s not the only consideration when choosing an HVAC contractor. The quality of the work and installation is the foremost consideration, since your health, comfort and energy bills rest on the capabilities of the company technicians. All other things being equal, it’s better to prioritize a quality job versus price before finalizing your decision. When you do find a fully qualified and highly respected contractor, like those from C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning, that’s offering seasonal specials, so much the better.

Protect the Pets

Providing service or repairing your HVAC system often requires full access to your home. To safeguard your pets, put them in their favorite room that the technician won’t need to access at all or infrequently. Pets underfoot can be difficult for the technicians and doors will be open. Not only does confining the pets to their own space keep them safer, the pets won’t be able to run outdoors unnoticed.

Finding the best HVAC contractor for your home does require some effort. It’s time well spent because much depends on their ability to handle the job and your long term satisfaction.


Family Law is a complex branch of law that deals with the highly emotional and personal section of our lives: family. Proceedings can be arduous and taxing and as such people have many questions about them.

Here are some of the more common questions about Family law in Sydney:

1. How much should I tell my family lawyer?

Everything you can that is important to the case. Even if you think it’s embarrassing or shameful, it might help give context or specific important that could aid your case. It is however, crucial to avoiding using your lawyer as a proxy counselor. Although every lawyer has a different level of emotional connection and interpersonal knowledge about their client, maintaining a balance between expressing emotional material important to the case and for cathartic purposes is key for both you and your lawyer. And hopefully your lawyer can help you get proper support during this time.

2. Does the law prefer certain gender in divorce proceedings?
There’s no explicit laws that dictate one gender is more likely to receive more or less in a particularly area during a divorce proceedings. The most common thinking is: men have greater clout in financial matters, while women are more likely to receive custody.
There are numbers that show this to be true, but these can be better explained through societal and environmental factors, rather than a legal bias.

3. Can I have someone come with me to court?
Yes! It is quite normal in fact to have a person or two come support you in the courtroom. They will not be able to sit next to you, but they will be able to sit directly behind you if you do want them close by. However you will not be allowed to have any witnesses in court before or after their testimony.

4. Do I have to wear a suit?
No, it’s not a requirement. Although any family lawyer in Sydney would heavily suggest dressing nicely so a suit or a nice dress are really strong options, but so are smart casual outfits too. However making sure you’re comfortable being there in what you’re wearing is important too, not thongs and tracky level comfortable, but if a suit it too much or you don’t own one, then wear something else.

If the wedding is called off, who keeps the ring?
Family Law in Sydney dictates the engagement ring is considered a ‘conditional gift’, the idea that if you receive the gift (ring) when you fulfill the condition (marriage). This is the run down for the three main scenarios:
– If the wedding is mutually called off, the ring is to be returned to the original owner.
– If the receiver of the ring calls off the wedding without legal justification, they must return it.
– If the giver of the ring calls off the wedding without legal justification, they cannot ask for the
ring back.

6. What is supervised time?
As under the 1975 Family Act, parent – child interactions were empathised, supervised time is shared time between the two, but while being observed.  It is normal for the supervisor to be a family member, friend, or if needed a professional government official, furthermore it is common for notes to be taken of the interactions.

7. Why is prescribed?
There are a couple reasons it can be ordered by the courts, all falling under the protection of the child’s wellbeing and safety.
– If the child is at risk of sexual abuse
– If the child is at risk of physical or physiological harm
– If the parent’s conducted is deemed to be inappropriate or detrimental to the child (drug abuse, alcoholism etc.)

These are some short answers to questions about Family law and lawyers in Sydney.