Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Choosing The Right Neighborhood For Your Family Part 4 of 4

Lastly, but certainly not least, is to make sure that the neighborhood that you select is among residents that keep their homes and properties kept up. This is important for your own day to day positive outlook as well as the short term and long term value of your investment. Even if your home is well maintained, if you choose a location where your neighbors let their yards go and do not attend to home upkeep and improvement the same way you do, your home value will suffer for their lack of pride in their home and property. It is also likely to cause turbulence among neighborly relations when there is a disparity between your expectations and the reality of the situation.

In this regard, the Internet can aid you once again. Check out the county auditor’s website to find property values for homes in the area. You’ll be looking for trends within the information where appreciation and depreciation is concerned and to more fully understand the current and projected outlook for property values around your prospective home. This isn’t a step you will want to skip, a home is a large and potentially profitable investment– no one likes to watch their hard earned money go down the tube alongside a failing neighborhood.

Also, properly maintaining your yard and property is important for safety reasons as well as aesthetic value. Intruders look for home that have overgrown shrubs. Make sure you invest in a monitored home security system like the ones offered by ADT.

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Choosing The Right Neighborhood For Your Family Part 3 of 4

After you have determined that the neighborhood you are considering purchasing a home in has a healthy number of families and school options that you are able to feel good about, the next element of a good neighborhood that you will want to consider is safety. Thankfully with the online resources that are currently available, this important task is quicker and easier than ever before. You’ll probably want to start by researching the crime rates in the neighborhood as well as gathering information on the number and whereabouts of convicted sex offenders that are in the area. Internet sites like http://www.RegisteredOffendersList.Org, http://www.mapsexoffenders.com, and http://www.NationalAlertRegister.com can help you to accomplish this critical task. You could also subscribe to http://www.neighborhoodscout.com in order to recieve local crime statistics and other data from the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department that will help you make an educated and realistic decision as to whether or not the area is the right place for you and your family to make a new home purchase.

Regardless of what you find out, it’s always a good idea to have a professionally monitored home security system installed in your new home. Make sure to use a trusted company that has been around for years such as ADT. The good news is that if you can afford to purchase a home, you are sure to be able to have a great security system installed. ADT offers free installation for new subscribers and advancements in technology have made these types of home alarm systems highly effective as well as highly attainable for just about any budget. You’ll love the added security and peace of mind that a system of this type will be able to offer you and family for years to come.

Choosing The Right Neighborhood For Your Family Part 2 of 4

Judging whether or not a neighborhood offers enough other families for your family members to interact with is only part of choosing a great neighborhood to purchase a home in. Another very important element when it comes to neighborhood selection is the school district your children will be placed into. This is especially important for families that are planning to send their children into the public school system. If you opt to go with a private school, you will want to go ahead and find one in the area, close enough so that you can provide your child with timely and reliable transportation, that you will be happy with. This should be done even if the prospect of school is still years away for your children. It’s also wise to have more than one good option for your child’s education available in the area just in case your financial situation, your child’s learning needs, or the available of the school or program that you are interested in enrolling your child in happens to change.

One website to check out if you are looking for information on the school systems in particular areas is http://www.Homes.com. They have information regarding the number and type of schools located within a specified zip code, the student population of those schools, and other pertinent information. If you have young children, or may have one in the future, you will also want to look into child care options as well as early learning centers and preschools. More and more parents are discovering the benefits that come from enrolling their young children into educational and social programs prior to kindergarten and you will want to be well versed on your options and alternatives as far as that is concerned. These types of programs should be looked into well before you will require their services as, depending on the area and program, some tend to have extensive waiting lists that can be months or even years long.

Don’t forget about the importance of a good security system in your new home, such as ADT.  To learn about some great packages for protecting you and your family, check out ADT for the best in home security.

Choosing The Right Neighborhood For Your Family Part 1 of 4

Finding a home that your family will be happy with is only one step in buying process. Just because you and the other members of your family like the house itself, doesn’t necessarily mean that the home will be a good fit for you. You also have to take into consideration the location and all that that entails. You will want to be within comfortable range of your workplace, if you work outside of the home, as well as other needs such as grocery stores and hospitals, and you will also need to put some thought into whether or not the neighborhood is right for you, your spouse, and any children you may have now or in the future. This is a big decision and has the potential to impact you for quite some time so you will need to give it careful consideration.  You will want a home security firm such as ADT as well.

If you already have children or plan to, you will want to look for a neighborhood where there are other families with children already present. This serves two main purposes, it lets you know that your neighbors will be tolerant of children and alert to their presence, it also gives you and your spouse the opportunity to have peers that are also raising children nearby for support and companionship for yourselves as well as your children. Having other children nearby will encourage your child to develop social skills and friendships that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Having parents in the area that you can build relationships with will give everyone a sense of community and offer the opportunity to make lasting friendships with people who have things in common with you. Knowing and having friendly relationships with your neighbors also makes communities safer, along with an ADT security system. Everyone can look out for each others homes and children, and even the parents when hard times strike.

Summer Birthdays: Steps To A Fun And Safe Party Part 3 of 3

Food Safety

Consider offering foods that do not contain mayonnaise, cream, sour cream dips, or any dairy products for that matter. If you feel it necessary to provide these types of foods to your guests, make sure to keep them refrigerated up until you are ready for them to be consumed. After everyone has gotten their share, get them directly to cold storage for safe keeping. Although it is tempting to put out a huge spread of attractive foods to wow your guests, don’t fall prey to this unsafe temptation. If people are going to be continuously snacking instead of eating one sit down meal at the same time, put out the snacks and foods in a rotating schedule so that nothing stays out for very long. If perishable food is allowed to come up to room temperature, it will not be safe to eat, even after being chilled again. Don’t forget that some beverages such as juice have to play by these same rules as well. If the bottle says to refrigerate after opening, that should be taken seriously because it means that if it is allowed to sit out for long it will go bad and could pose a serious health risk to individuals at your get together. No one wants to be remembered for serving the food that made everyone sick and no one needs that guilt on their conscience. Play it safe and don’t take chances with the food you serve.

Another good idea is to place individual servings of foods in small paper cups or containers, include a plastic fork or spoon and make sure to cover them tightly. This will help to cut down on the number of people that will be handling and looming over the food, possibly contaminating it.

Basically, your goal should be to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. You can enlist the help of large bowls, buckets, or troughs of ice or, for hot foods, electric warmers in order to make sure your food stays healthy and edible.

Make sure to ask each guest to report any allergies to you BEFORE the party. If there are any, namely peanut, seafood, or wheat allergies, don’t take on the task of trying to keep the contaminated separate from the allergen free foods. This can be much trickier than it seems, especially if the allergy is severe. Instead, work you menu to avoid using the allergen at all, this way you won’t have to have the stress of trying to make sure the allergic person or people don’t come in contact with the harmful substance on your watch. Even so, it’s never a bad idea to have an epi pen handy in case a sudden onset of an allergic reaction. If the persons allergy is serious, don’t waste time before calling medical personnel.

If you’re looking for more ways to keep your family and others safe at your home you might want to consider an ADT security system. There are some great deals going on now at ADT‘s official web page.

Summer Birthdays: Steps To A Fun And Safe Party Part 2 of 3

Harmful Litter and Objects

Regardless of whether the party will be on your property or in a public area, make sure to take some time out to pick up trash, sticks, fallen tree branches, and other potentially harmful debris from the party area. While you are at it, scan the yard as you walk for any holes which could cause a trip and fall or a twisted ankle. Also be on the lookout for poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak, or bushes or trees with edible-looking berries that could make children sick. If there are trees or man-made structures nearby, check branches, trunks, eaves, gutters, and overhangs for hornet’s, bee’s, or wasp’s nests and make sure to find out if anyone at the party have severe allergic reactions to insect stings. If so, and perhaps just as a precautionary measure, it would be a good idea to have an epi-pen on hand in the event of such an emergency.

If there are sandboxes or sand under a play structure for shock absorption, rake through the sand thoroughly to make sure there is no broken glass or other sharp objects.

Party Favors

Check party favor packaging for age suitability recommendations and make sure to stay within the guidelines. If there will be small children present, consider going with higher quality favors as cheap ones have the tendency to break apart which can pose a serious choking hazard or cause cuts with their sharp, broken plastic edges.

Hygiene

Providing supplies for proper hand washing is also a very important aspect when it comes to the health and safety of the children. Make sure that food and drink servers wash their hands often and that all the guest wash or sanitize their hands thoroughly before eating.

Another aspect of protecting your family is keeping your home safe from intruders with a quality alarm system from a trusted company such as ADT.  Summer time means higher crime, so check out the great ADT deals that are going on now.

Summer Birthdays: Steps To A Fun And Safe Party Part 1 of 3

Throwing an outdoor birthday party for your child during the summer months can be a lot of fun. It can be extremely rewarding to watch the smiling little faces and hear the sounds of laughter. The last thing that any parent wants to happen on such a happy occasion is for an accident, illness, or injury to disrupt everyone’s good time. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take well before the first guest arrives in order to prevent such and incident from occurring. Keep in mind that if you have an ADT alarm system, your keypad will have a panic button to press in case of accident, poisoning, fire, etc.

As you are planning your child’s summer birthday party, you’ll want to be aware of the surroundings where the children will be playing. Use caution when choosing a location, especially if you are familiar with the area, there may be many safety hazards in your own backyard or local park that may be disguised by sheer familiarity. Keep the following tips in mind in order to keep your child and all the other party goers safe, happy, and healthy while they are under your watch. Once you know what hazards to look for and avoid, volunteer to help out other parents who are throwing parties that your child will be attending for the safety of your child and others. Also, don’t forget to educate your child or children about the potential hazards that they should be looking out for. This way, they are more likely to stay safe even when you can’t be with them.

Balloons

Balloons are one of the most common decorations for birthday parties, indoors and out. However, they are not necessarily a safe choice for all age groups. Younger children in particular can choke on broken or uninflated balloons very quickly. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission reports that balloon have led to more suffocation deaths in children than any other single toy. Just keep a cell phone nearby for emergency calls and don’t forget that your ADT alarm panel can be used to alert help.

Go Green In the Baby’s Room

We all understand the importance of home protection, and having a good security system provider such as ADT, but homeowners can often overlook a few decoration considerations that can not only protect your baby, but also protect the planet.

After the health-crazed late 80’s, and the complete culture of excess that was the late 90’s and early millennium, our global senses have finally been attuned to the fact that the Earth is not invulnerable to the actions of its habitants. Everywhere you look, on every product out there, is that new marketing buzz term “green” and “eco-friendly”.

Recycling, car pooling, and doing what you can to reduce your carbon footprint are the most publicized ways that we all can do what we can to ensure that the Earth is still here for our children. Speaking of children, thanks to this sudden rebirth of global consciousness, you can now make sure that even your baby’s nursery is ecologically responsible and much safer for your newborn. Here are a few ideas for consideration:

1.When it comes to painting your baby’s room, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use a low-fume, chemical and toxin-free paint. Most new eco-style paints are composed of safe organic compounds, as opposed to the more commonly used synthetic chemicals.

2.What touches your baby’s skin must be soft and as chemical-free as possible. Bamboo and organic cotton are easily your best bets for crib bedding, as well as swaddles, diapers, and clothing. The problem with most baby clothing is that they are made or treated with toxic chemicals that can not only irritate your baby’s skin, but can also lead to the development of allergies.

3.The crib pillow is one object that your child’s head and face touch and breath in the most, so it’s very important to get an organic pillow that are made with bamboo linens, untreated or bleached cotton fibers, or an organic pillow that is stuffed with buckwheat.

Hopefully these few tips will help new parents make the right decision. There are more options as well obviously, including bamboo flooring, jute or bamboo rugs and using only all natural air fresheners. As long as the bedding and immediately close area near the crib are as chemical and toxin free as possible, you’ll be doing your part to help save the environment and your child.

And again, for overall safety of your family and your newborn, I strongly suggest ADT for home security.

The Forgotten Room – The Hallway

Many of us don’t forget the important parts of being a homeowner – proper lawn care, routine safety inspections, having a good reputable security system backed by a solid company such as ADT, and the overall decoration and feel of your home. We spend hours and thousands of dollars to ensure that the living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom are beautifully coordinated and decked out for all visitors to see. One room that many people neglect is the one place in your house that most don’t even consider to be a room – your hallway.

Even small, one-bedroom apartments have at least a small form of hallway, and most older or larger homes have long halls that connect the other rooms we spend so much time decorating. It’s not often that your guests will be able to make it from your den or living room to the bathroom without passing through these thresholds.

You will want to keep in mind the intentional functionality of hallways, being the act of getting from one location to another within your home, easily and quickly. This doesn’t mean that your hall has to be bland and devoid of interior design. If size permits, you may even be able to have a furniture piece such as a nice end table that would be perfect for displaying a nice art sculpture or even a low maintenance plant such as a pothos. Plants are always a cheap way to bring some life into an otherwise dull atmosphere.

Consider the flooring and possibly getting an attractive runner rug. Not only will this protect your flooring in high traffic areas, it provides something else for the wandering eye to settle on other than plain walls. Forget the endless collages of framed family photos that line many hallways, as a mantle or other focal point serves as a much better location for these cherished images. A few other ideas include using wood or wallpaper bordering to enhance the hallway trim. In a time where most forget the hallway decoration all together, it only takes a small item or augmentation to have these corridors stand out to you and your visitors.

Adult Children And House Rules (Part 4)

It isn’t easy to stand by and watch as someone you love makes choices that you know will have a bad outcome, or which you do not personally agree with. As parents of adult children, you must first and foremost respect their rights as adults.

Whether they live under your roof or not, you have no right to insist upon setting rules which interfere in their right to choose for themselves what to do with their own life. You do have the right to make sure that their choices do not interfere with your home and the rest of the families security, however. For instance, we have an ADT alarm system at our house for our family’s protection, we also have a rule that it must be set by ten each night.

Exceptions

In some cases, there is true and imminent danger involved to the safety and welfare of your adult child, their children, your own underage children, or yourself. In these cases, you have every right and responsibility to act. A few examples would be as follows:

Clear child abuse or neglect as outlined by your state government. Your opinion that something is neglectful or abusive must be substantiated by state law before you have the right to intervene because it may well be just your opinion.

Clear animal abuse or neglect as outlined by your state or local government. Your opinion that something is neglectful or abusive must be substantiated by state or local law before you have the right to intervene because it may well be just your opinion.

Alcohol and Drug abuse. If their life or the life of another is at risk by all means intervene. This is where programs such as Al-Anon can help you understand the dynamics and what you can and should do. You may have to become acquainted with the principles of tough love and actually hold an “intervention” to help your adult child.

The best way to teach our children is through the example that we set. They learn far more from what we do than what we say, and they do watch what we do very closely. If we expect them to live a certain way, we must be consistently and without hypocrisy living that way ourselves. Then, if we set a good example, they may choose to adopt our philosophy and way of life for themselves. They also may choose to go their own way. The point is that it is their life and their choice, and that must always be respected.

Keep in mind that with more people coming in and our of your home, you may find that your home security can come to be somewhat compromised. Consider investing in a home alarm system from a respected company like ADT if you don’t already have one.