How to choose your landscape contractor

The right landscape contractor can make your dream of a beautifully landscaped garden come true. So, choose one that will dedicate ample time in the planning, designing, and execution of the project as per your requirements. You need a contractor who is going to give you a good guidance till the end of your project.

Make a plan of favorite landscape design

It is always better that you make your own research before turning to a professional about your landscape design. You can collect magazines or browse through different websites on the internet to gather ideas. In that way, you will know what kind of walkway, safeway or water feature you want or what you want to use your outdoor space for. You can always make a sketch of your favorite design to make the landscaper’s work easier. You find the right contractor easier when you are clear in your mind about your design. If you write a description of what you want, it will be better to compare to the different opinions that you are going to get from various contractors. You can then choose the best.

Research about different landscaping design companies

It is always wise to research about landscaping companies near you and shortlist the ones that you like. It makes choosing easier. You can as well talk to your acquaintances and family for trustworthy referrals. If you like your neighbor’s landscape design, ask them about the contractor that they hired. It is always a good idea to gather information before choosing the ideal professional candidate. It helps you to take a better decision.

Things to keep in my while making your choice

There are a lot of factors that you should keep in mind while choosing your perfect landscaper :

  1. Team Approach: make sure that you are always having a good bond with your contractor.

  2. Education and Experience: check your contractor’s website to learn about their work and customer’s feedback.

  3. Affiliations and certifications: Make sure that your contractor is up to date with all the new designs on the market.

  4. Licensing and Bonding: Always check if your potential bidder is licensed to do this job.

  5. Cost: always choose a landscaper who can meet your budget.

Choose your contractor wisely and fulfill your dream of having a beautiful garden!

Why should parents send their children to day care centers?

A couple has to work for the benefit of all family members, some single parents cannot handle looking after a child and working at the same time. Daycare centers have been proved to be the best option whereby parents can go to work without having to worry about their kids. Daycare education has a long-lasting social, economic and academic effect on kids. Studies have proved that infants from 6 months to 4 years old benefit a lot from the daycare environment. High-quality daycare has a positive influence on a child’s development and social life.

Below are some advantages of sending your child to a day care center :

  • Regular Activities

Even though infants do not have a notion of time, the daycare teachers plan their whole day that they spend at the center. Their days are filled with fun songs and storytelling. Fun tasks are essential for toddlers. They help with their personal development and intellectual growth. They also have a particular time for eating, playing and napping.

  • A step ahead in the academic field

It has been proven that children who also have attended day care have greater chances to achieve higher scores on the academic level as a teen. Spending time in a high-quality day care is beneficial for children to help them build a future. As they learn how to take care of themselves and others at a tender age.

  • Spend time with children of their age

Many parents arrange for meetings within families and neighbours so that their kids can play with other kids of their age. Day care centers are prefect for kids to spend time with friends of their own age. It is filled with fun time and interaction in a supervised and safe environment. While interacting with others, kids learn to care, share, play and learn together. They also manage to build their personalities and help their mind grow.

 

  • Interacting with other adults 

Since they are young, children know mostly a few adults in their life which are most of the time their parents and senior adults of the family. The children sees only those people as a role model. Day care provides the child with the opportunity to be familiar with other adults and experience that even other grown ups are able to provide them with a positive guidance in life. Day care providers encourage the child’s growth, provide a positive attitude and discourage negative interactions within the child’s environment.

  • Smooth transition to Kindergarten

Studies have proved that children which have been to daycare from a very young age face less problems to join kindergarten. They are already familiar with the environment where they are left with many kids around. It is easier for them to adapt to the kindergarten environment which is beneficial to both parents and kids. Parents do not have to bear tantrums of kids who are having a hard time to adapt to the new environment and the kids make friends easily.

  • Promotes language and cognitive skills

At day care centers, your child has the capacity to increase his language skill. Early learning care providers give your child an environment where they will not face any problem to communicate appropriately. Their activities include conversational games and they are encouraged to develop language skills by answering thought-provoking questions. When it comes to cognitive skills, kids are engaged into various activities, awakening their inquisitive nature.

  • Promotes Math and reading skills

To prepare the child to face kindergarten environment, teachers at day care centers offer a wide range of games and activities. Since the child is at a very curious age, teachers allow themselves to slide some math and reading to equip the children for future academic years. Teachers try to make math and reading as fun as possible so that the child understands and enjoy the subjects.

Parents should collaborate with day care center providers to be able to choose the best path for their kids. Your kids deserve the best. Before choosing a day care center, make sure to get acquainted with their day to day schedule, the staff and credentials , in that way you will be less stressed to leave your child among strangers.

The Perfect Wedding Guest

Weddings can be stressful and complicated, but if you are not planning it then you are lucky! Guests are lucky as they have less to invest in terms of time and money. However, there are different types of wedding guests- the uncles, aunties, hoards of cousins, and friends! They are the ones that lead the wedding after the bride and groom. We rely on them for a great time, memorable experiences and unforgettable moments.

 

 

Choosing the perfect look for a wedding can be tricky as you will dress up according to the theme and even if it’s themeless, then it will be according to the bride’s wish! If you are still confused with being at the perfect wedding, here’s a short list of do’s and don’ts for wedding guests:

Do’s

• Do RSVP before the due date. You don’t want to be counted out of the list!
• Buy an early gift. Whether it is from a couple’s registry or more personal, buy it earlier.
• When the date and time are mentioned, it means that the wedding is expected to start at that time specifically. So be on time!
• If the wedding is themed, do pay special attention to the dress code imposed by the couple.
• Stay away from the photographer! Not because he/she is creepy but because the couple would want the focus to be on them. That’s what he/she is getting paid for.
• Congratulate the whole family, even if you don’t know them personally. Do thank them and congratulate them.
• Enjoy yourself! Grooms and brides may get worked up if they notice that guests are not enjoying themselves.
• Sign in the guestbook. Even if you have wished them personally, don’t forget to write in the guestbook!

• Before leaving do take your favor! It’s a sign of gratitude from part of the couple.

 

Don’ts

• No WHITE OR BLACK dresses, gowns or tuxedos. Wearing white is exceptionally for the bride that day! None of the shades of white is allowed.
• Don’t wear pantsuit or too-short or revealing cocktail dresses.
• Don’t overdo your makeup.
• Wearing backless dress with lingerie reveal isn’t suited for weddings. So NO!
• Leave the animals prints where they belong- in fashion shows. Not advised to wear for weddings.
• Don’t bring a date unless it is mentioned that you can!
• Don’t bring large gifts!
• Don’t forget to turn your phone off!
• Even if it’s your close friend’s wedding or your cousin, it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to get wasted! If you know you get drunk quickly, then stay away from alcohol!

 

 

We do hope that this clears out the confusion you had about being a wedding guest!

Vintage Clothing Shopping Guide

Vintage clothing is a term used to describe clothing between 20 and 100 years old representing the era in which it was produced. Donning in a vintage piece is like traveling in the past where the clothes was appreciated and loved! Often referred to as ‘retro clothing’, vintage clothing is now becoming trendy and worn by most millennial.

 

 

Here is a guide to help you understand why vintage clothing shopping is not a piece of cake:

  •  Know what vintage is! Learn the difference between classic, retro, and vintage. Don’t embark on a vintage journey and end up showing retro clothing.
  •  Know your eras well. You don’t want to end up at a party themed the 20s with a clothing from the 50s. Imagine the embarrassment!
  • Don’t go for the size rather go for the undergarments! Wear the right undergarment to complement the clothing as to your body shape.
  • Research on how much vintage costs and plan your budget accordingly.
  • Tailor it! If the clothing isn’t available in your size, then better give it to a tailor!
  • Know your fabric, which one that suits your style and preferences.
  • Say no to plastic. Never store your clothes in plastic. Your garments need to breathe!
  • Know where you can buy good vintage pieces.

 

After all these points, I can assure you that your inner Hepburn and Monroe would be satisfied!

The Psychology Of Makeup

Psychological makeup relates to the function of the brain where the latter reacts to different and appealing forms and faces. The design set for the brain to see how makeup changes the perception rather than believing the facts.

The ancient Egyptians used to create the world’s first cosmetics to hide pores, smooth complexions, and turn the pale green of your eyes to a vivid shade of emerald.

It’s no wonder that makeup has been an integral part of our daily routine for thousands of years. Whether Cleopatra touched up regularly or that Selena Gomez tries on the nude look, we were always fond of and updated about makeup.

 

Wearing makeup can change someone’s perception of you, and it can be long-lasting. Makeup is now unisex as compared to before when men were considered to be rough and vile. Appealing faces and attractive outfits are the two main things that people look for in others.

According to a study, men perceive women who wear makeup to be more prestigious while women perceive other women who wear makeup to be more dominant and promiscuous. No matter the age, culture or sexual orientation, we are wired to seek out appealing faces in a crowd.

Makeup changes a person entirely; from a shy person to a confident one, both women and men have acknowledged that they have gained confidence in themselves after wearing makeup. There are numerous studies going on in order to understand why makeup is important in the visualization and portrayal of women and men in the 21st century.

While we continue to challenge the beauty ideals being shaped by advertising and pop culture, the new generation is being brought up to the idea of innate beauty standards from their tender childhood.

Eating Healthy is Eating Well

Healthy eating is not about limiting the number of calories one eats, but more about where you are getting them from. Consuming 200 calories of fast food is definitely not similar to eating those same amount of calories in vegetables and fruits.

What is healthy eating?

With hundreds of thousands of information floating around the web, it can get quite confusing when people look for information about what to eat. However, what most people look for isn’t healthy eating but quick and fast weight losing diet that involves counting calories and cutting down a lot of food that the body needs to function. Healthy eating means consuming food packed with nutrients the body needs for your health, to help make you feel good and more energised.

Healthy eating is a ‘non-diet’ approach to losing weight

Meeting your weight losing goals by starting to eat healthy is a far better approach than cutting back on food altogether. The ideal way to start eating healthy is changing your bad eating habits by swapping one or two items like white bread for whole-wheat and white rice for brown or wild. If you compare the number of calories between white and brown bread and rice, they are almost the same. However, brown rice and wheat bread have much more nutrients like fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that the body needs.

Healthy eating means a balanced diet

To maintain a healthy body, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Here’s a list of produce that contains all the nutrients your body needs:

• Fish, poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds, tofu and soy products are packed in healthy protein
• Good or healthy fats like olive, peanut, sesame oils, avocados, sunflower, sesame and pumkin seeds contain mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats
• Cereals like all-bran and oatmeal, vegetables like spinach, broccoli, greens and grains like barley, wheat, brown rice are good sources of fibre
• Yoghurt, cheese, milk and sardines are good sources of calcium
• Healthy carbs include brown or wild rice, whole-wheat pasta and spaghetti and whole-wheat or whole-grain bread

One step at a time

Make small changes in your daily eating habits instead of going for a strict diet that tortures the body, preventing it from essential foods. This includes adding salad to your daily meal and eating fruits instead of snacking. Whole-wheat or whole grain and brown rice are ideal as they are packed with nutrients that will keep you full the whole day. Prepare your own meals and monitor whatever goes into your food, from salt and sugar to oil and processed meat.

Feeling satisfied with your meal

Eat as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied after every meal instead of feeling stuffed or bloated. Additionally, you can indulge in your favourite meal once or twice a week. You can eat a burger or pizza during lunch and choose something healthy for dinner. No food is off limits as long as you moderate its consumption. Go for smaller portions or share large plates with friends to limit your occasional indulgences.

Fruits and vegetables should be present everyday

Add more fruit and veggies to your diet as these should be part and parcel of your daily eating habit. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, fruits and vegetables will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. Add fruits to your breakfast and one or two vegetables to lunches and dinners to start with.

Make your vegetable dishes tasty

Use colourful veggies to increase and vary the colour of your salads and vegetable dishes. Try to liven up your salads with different types of leafy greens, spicy dressing and even cheese. Additionally, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, onions and bell peppers will add sweetness to your meals and partly satisfy your cravings for sugar. Try grilling and roasting your veggies instead of always steaming or boiling them.

Make meal plans every week or month

Start with a detailed weekly planning and go grocery shopping according to that list. Stock the fridge with your favourite fruits and vegetables. Today, most supermarkets have a healthy food section that include snacks, sugar free energy bars, whole wheat pastas, biscuits and many low calorie and nutrients rich products. Make it a habit of comparing items by carefully reading the label on each product for information about the percentage of sugar, protein, fat and carbs.

 

Combine healthy eating with daily exercises

Being physically active and eating healthy is the perfect combo to help the body stay strong and healthy. However, nobody is forcing you to join the gym or fitness training classes. You can exercise at home every morning or evening by watching informative tutorials on YouTube and internet. Even if don’t have time for daily exercises, you can always take the stairs, walk or bicycle to go shopping or to work to stay active.

Peculiar Dishes From Around The World

A cuisine can be a relish for the palate for one and a horrific experience for the other. Choosing from the most popular countries around the world, we give you their weirdest dishes ever made and enjoyed by the locals.

• Smalahove- Norway
Traditionally a delicacy in Norway, the sheep’s head is eaten by the whole family on Christmas. The dish is prepared by following a long process which involves water, salt, drying up and smoking up the head. The Smalahove is eaten following an etiquette. The start should always be with the ear and eyes, then the other parts.

• Khash – the Middle East, East Europe & Turkey
A dish made from boiled cow’s or sheep’s feet, though other parts can be added later on. This original Eastern European dish is famous for being served with the condiment of your choice. Khash is usually eaten during weekends or holidays as it requires a long cooking process.

• Yak Penis – China
Also known as “Dragon in the Flame of Desire”, the yak penis is a highly sought-after dish in China. Rumors or beliefs had it that the yak penis is good for the skin! Try it to know!

• Tuna Eyeballs – Japan
A delicacy in Japan, this dish tastes like squid. It is covered with fish fat, the method to cook it is simple – boil and season to taste.

• Casu Marzu – Italy
Literally translated to “rotten cheese”, it is also known as ‘maggot cheese’. It is made of traditional sheep milk and insect larvae. The cheese is kept to rot in a dungeon and flies are put later on. The best way to eat it is with the larvae on the cheese.

Balut – Philippines
Also known as “the treat with feet” or “the egg with legs”, this dish is a favorite snack in the Philippines. It is eaten with its shell after spending a week buried in the ground and then boiled.

 

• Cuy Bien – Peru
The little guinea pig you keep in your room is a tasty and traditional dish in Peru. It is roasted as the guinea pig is low in fat and high in protein. Its taste is very similar to that of chicken or rabbit.

• Menudo – Mexico
A traditional dish from Mexico. This dish is believed to taste better after being reheated. Prepared from the cow stomach and spinal cord, it is garnished with onions, garlic, and red chili peppers.

Sannakji – South Korea
A South Korean savory. This dish is eaten when the octopus is still alive and eaten raw. It is served with a splash of sesame oil. It is a risky dish, as the tentacles can attach themselves down the throat.

 

Well, after all these ‘weird dishes’, I guess a long break from food is indeed needed!

Fascinating Rules of Etiquette Around The World

Etiquettes are manners made either to please or make you feel welcome in other countries or places. In this world full of people and different religions and societal norms, there are etiquettes which are to be respected. For example, you cannot pick up a food or drink water from your left hand as it is considered unhygienic in Africa, and many more etiquettes which will surprise you.

Sit up straight and note down!

 

 

 

  • In the United Kingdom, “What a delightful idea!” means “No, not in a million years”- So never use this whenever you start a conversation with a Brit, they might be offended.
  • In South Africa, “Just now” does not mean immediately, it means that it is going to happen in the near future and “Now now” means right now! Weird isn’t it?
  • Prepare your cheeks whenever you plan to be in France Geneva or Brussels, as people there will greet you by kissing your cheeks, it goes like that- is L-R (Paris), L-R-L (Geneva), L-R-L-R (Brussels).In Africa, it is considered unhygienic to pick up food or drink water from your left hand.
  • In Italy, the cappuccino is a morning drink. It is gauche to drink it in the afternoon or evening: Switch to espresso. So advice, don’t have a morning drink in the mid-afternoon, they will frown upon you!
  • Never tip or blow your nose in Japan, people get offended as it is a sign of disrespect.
  • If you like your friends spit on them! The Masai tribe of East Africa greet each other by spitting on each other. When greeting an elder, they spit on the shaking hand before offering it. Be prepared to be spit on when visiting!
  • In India, always use only your right hand for eating, receiving, and giving things. The left hand is to be used for only personal things such as wiping after going to the bathroom and handling items that have touched the ground, such as your shoes.
  • In South Korea, it is very rude to keep your hands in your pockets while talking to other people. It is a sign of disrespect and considered ill-mannered.
  • Never give an even number of flowers to Russian. It is considered impolite and superstitious to them. They also do not like to meet shaking hands through the doorway, it brings bad luck.
  • Cover you shoulders when you are in the Middle East. It is considered as a respect.
  • Always say “ma’am,” “sir,” “please,” and “thank you” in South America.

 

Remember these points whenever you travel these countries!