Selecting The Best Costume For Your Baby

If you will have an infant or smaller baby around Halloween time, you will most likely want to dress them up for the occasion. Picking out a costume is a fun task, but it should be done with your baby’s safety in mind. Here are a few tips to help you select a costume that your baby will be able to wear without injury or discomfort.

Selecting Material

When picking a costume for a baby, select a material that is soft and appropriate for the weather temperatures where you live. Smaller babies like the feeling of swaddling, so selecting a costume where they are wrapped tightly can give them the feeling of security. Look for a warm flannel sleeping bag costume so your baby’s legs are contained in the same area, helping to keep them warm. 

Breathable cotton material works best in warmer climates, as it is very comfortable and not restrictive in any way. Materials like lace or wool are itchy and irritating to a baby’s skin; it is best not to use them in a costume. Elastic can restrict blood flow, so it should be avoided completely.

Thinking About Convenience

When selecting a costume, think about the hassle of diaper changing. You will not want to deal with several layers of clothing to need to take off when changing your baby’s diaper, as your baby can become very agitated each time you go through the motions. Opting for a simple outfit with a single zipper works best. It can be easily removed and put back on without trouble. It will also be a comfortable outfit for your baby to wear when they fall asleep, as there are no attachments or embellishments getting in the way when your baby wants to rest.

Keeping It Simple

Stay away from buttons, clasps or strings when selecting your baby’s costume. These will pose as hazards if they happen to fall off of the costume. A simple pull-on outfit or zip-up costume works best for a baby, saving you from watching to make sure they aren’t pulling at buttons or eye-hooks. 

When selecting a head-piece, as many costumes have, pick either a costume with an attached hood or a separate hat. Look for a hat that is not restrictive and that is removed easily. Do not tie a hat on to your baby’s head, as this is very dangerous. A hat in a light material will keep your baby looking cute without harm.

For great infant costume ideas, contact a company like Easley’s Fun Shop.

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Grow Gorgeous Tomatoes With These 4 Smart Tips

Tomatoes can be a tricky crop for inexperienced gardeners. While some crops seem to grow easily under almost any circumstances, many varieties of tomatoes seem to require conditions to come together in just the right way, which can be intimidating if you’re unsure of your green thumb. Whether you’ve had tomato trouble in the past, or you just want to get it right the first time, these tips can help you harvest a terrific and tasty tomato crop.

Choose a Variety of Seeds

There are a great number of varieties of tomatoes, and you’ll increase your chances of a healthy crop if you don’t stick with just one. Some varieties will do better in your area than others. Vagaries in the weather may harm some varieties while strengthening others. If you’re trying to establish a tomato crop for the first time, choosing several different varieties increases your chances of ending up with something to show for your efforts. If you’re lucky, you’ll wind up with several tomato flavors to choose from.

Choose Companion Plants Wisely

Research the likely enemies of tomato plants and choose companion plants to combat the threats. For example, if you plant basil underneath the tomatoes, white flies will be attracted to the basil and leave your tomatoes alone. Worried about aphids? Plant garlic along with the tomatoes to ward them off.

Stake Them High

Getting your tomatoes off of the ground helps to protect them from picking up diseases, and it keeps them clean and pretty. What’s more, they’ll be easier to spray, monitor, and harvest when they’re off the ground. The simplest way to support your tomatoes off the ground is with metal stakes from a site likeĀ Just drive the stake into the ground and tie the plant to it.

You can damage the roots if you’re not careful, so install the stakes when you’re transplanting the tomatoes. For best results, use metal stakes that are at least six to eight feet high and two to four feet apart. At the end of the season, just pull them up and put them away.

Prune Judiciously

Do you see non-fruiting branches on your plants? It’s in the best interest of your crop to remove these when you see them. You want the nutrients and energy that your tomato plants are taking in to go toward producing large, juicy fruit. Non-fruiting branches drain off those nutrients. Prune them away and watch your tomatoes blossom.

No one can guarantee that you’ll have a perfect tomato crop. However, following these tips will significantly increase your chances of bringing in tasty tomatoes this season.

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Provide Cool Bird Houses & The Birds Will Follow!

One of the first signs of spring is the welcome return of all the birds that flew away to spend winter in a warmer climate. If you are a backyard bird enthusiast who enjoys spending hours observing your colorful feathered friends, you know that making them feel welcome will increase your viewing pleasure over the coming summer.

One easy way to encourage birds to nest, incubate and rear their young in your yard is to supply them with bird houses and appropriate, readily-available nesting materials:

What Birds Want from Bird Houses

Whether ordering really cool bird houses online or building one of your own design, always consider the following needs:

  • The bird house must be durable and able to resist wind and rain
  • The interior should have some type of drainage holes to allow any rain that blows in to drain away easily
  • Perches should be omitted to make the birdhouse less accessible to predators
  • The interior should be easily accessed for cleaning each fall after the birds have moved away
  • It should be properly sized and situated according to the needs of the particular bird species it is meant to house

Nesting Materials

While most birds are very good at collecting their own nesting materials, offering them a supply of the ones they like can increase the chances of having them nest where you will be able to observe them easily. The following list will help you know what to provide:

  • Small, dry twigs and pine needles
  • Loose animal and human hair, cut into six inch strands (never include hair or fur that has been treated with chemicals or flea repellants)
  • Snake skins that have been shed
  • Bits of moss and fluff from weeds or plants (like cattails or pampas grass)
  • Fine straw and dry grass clippings (never include these if your lawn is treated with chemicals or weed killers)
  • Spider webs
  • Bits of fabric, thread clippings and shreds of cardboard
  • A small muddy area where birds can easily collect mud to help “glue” the nest together

Encourage nesting birds to help themselves to this nest-building buffet by placing small caches of these materials at several heights throughout the backyard. Place handfuls among dense tree branches, in hollow spots of tree trunks, at ground level around the roots, place some around the yard in clay pots or put some into mesh onion bags and hang the filled bags from trees or on the fence.

Making Nesting Birds Feel Safe

In addition to supplying attractive bird houses and suitable nesting materials, nesting birds will be more apt to choose your yard if the threat from predators is reduced. Promote a safe environment for them by keeping dogs and cats out of the yard. In addition to domesticated pets, squirrels, rodents and snakes also like to feast upon the eggs and young of wild birds, so be vigilant in keeping these pests away from your yard during the nesting season.

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Tips For The New Coin Collector

If you are new to coin collecting and want to make sure that you are giving your collection the best chance possible to survive, it will take compiling the right information. Owning a coin collection is not only fun and worthy of a sense of accomplishment, you’ll also be maximizing on an investment by taking the collection in the way that makes sense to you. In order to protect your hobby and investment, while learning about the best protocol that comes wit the territory, read the following information:

Avoid Contamination Through The Proper Handling

Anyone who has at least a solid appreciation for coin collecting knows that a big part of maintenance comes in how you handle your coins. For starters, you’ll need to be sure that you use gloves whenever possible and hold any coin by the edge, while making sure that you are wearing cotton gloves.

This will prevent any sorts of smudges or acid from getting its way and chipping away at the coin. You will also need to be certain that you are always using a trustworthy magnifying glass, so that you can look closely at the coin without compromising its integrity by getting too close. 

Get A Clear Picture Of The Coin Value

Without a clear representation of what each of your coins is worth, you really don’t have much of anything. Because of this, you will need to subscribe to either an online or print manual that gives you the most recent information on different types of coins. Even if you are into your coin collection strictly for the history and not necessarily the money, it still pays to know what your property is worth. 

Go Through The Proper Channels For Insurance 

Since you take your coin collection serious, you’ll need to also take the next step and make sure that you reach out to a company that can sell you a plan to insure the collection. Whether you stake out a plan strictly for your coin collection, or want to find out about adding your coin collection to your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance, the necessity to protect this investment is vital. This way, you will be covered for your troubles should your coin collection become stolen or lost throughout the course of building it. 

Follow these critical tips, so that you can continuously build the best coin collection to your liking, while also maintaining it. For more information, contact a company like Don’s Estate Jewelry & Coin to learn more.

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5 Tips For Saving Money On Dishes For Your Wedding

If you are in the midst of planning a wedding, you have probably noticed that even the small costs of your event can really add up. One added expense that you might not have thought about is paying for the dishes, cutlery and glassware that your guests will use, but many venues do require that you provide these things. Although you might be afraid that it will cost you a lot of money, consider these tips for saving money on dishes for your wedding.

1. Consider Renting

Companies that offer party rentals and wedding supplies often rent out dishes, flatware and glassware for these events. Renting will be much cheaper than buying, and there’s a good chance that you won’t have to worry about washing the dishes, either. This can cut out a lot of work and can be far cheaper than buying dishes.

2. Try Plastic

You might think that plastic dishware is a bit tacky for a wedding, but it doesn’t have to be. Obviously, you don’t have to use the same disposable plates that you would use at a backyard barbecue; there are glass-looking options that look very classy but that are available for a fraction of the price. Plus, you can save on labor and cleanup costs because you can simply throw everything away after the event.

3. Head to a Thrift Store

Many thrift stores sell plates, glasses and more at very low prices. You obviously probably won’t be able to find a matching set, but a fun, mixed-and-match look can be a lot of fun and might work just fine with your wedding. Start scoping out the options at your local thrift stores and yard sales; you might be surprised by what you can find.

4. Use Your Own

If you are hosting a small wedding or have a lot of dishware, consider bringing your own stuff to the venue to use for your wedding. You should be prepared for a few accidents, so don’t bring along your beloved, inherited china, but this can be a good cost-saving option. You can also ask your friends and family members if they will allow you tot borrow some of their dishes for your big event.

5. Buy Used

Start scouring the local classified listings to look for used options. There might be a bride nearby who is looking to sell the dishes from her wedding, or you may be able to score a great deal from a restaurant that is going out of business or upgrading.

Dishes can be costly when you’re buying for your entire wedding. Luckily, one of these tips can help you save quite a bit of money while still acquiring the dishes that you need for your big event.

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What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are made by placing a small bulb inside a large piece of Himalayan salt and attaching it to a base. The bulb is connected to an electrical cord that plugs into any standard wall outlet easily. For many years Himalayan salt has been used for various health benefits. Himalayan salt lamps create natural negative ions in the atmosphere.

This helps reduce the amount of positive ions that are created by televisions, vacuums, air conditioners and other appliances. Balancing the negative and positive ions in your home can help improve your overall health. These are some of the benefits that Himalayan salt lamps provide:

Cleaning Indoor Air 

The natural purification of Himalayan salt improves the quality of the air indoors. It helps remove germs and other pollutants that can cause indoor air to have a stale, unpleasant odor. Air fresheners tend to only mask those stale odors, but  if buy a Himalayan salt lamp, you’ll find it actually helps remove them.

As you use your Himalayan salt lamp, you will begin to notice that the air smells fresher and cleaner. Within only a short time of using these lamps on a daily basis, the air inside your home will be substantially cleaner and healthier to breathe.

Fewer Allergy Symptoms 

Many people suffer from severe allergies or upper respiratory infections. These often occur due to the dust, bacteria and other toxins that float through the air inside the home. However, since the Himalayan salt lamp has the ability to help remove these toxins from your indoor air in your home, you and your family members may be ill less frequently.

Relieves Stress 

Himalayan salt lamps also create a beautiful ambience in any room. This helps improve the mood and relieve stress naturally. These lamps have been used to help those with depression and anxiety have a calmer, more content frame of mind. 

Those who have babies, young children and elderly people in their home find these lamps especially beneficial. The calming affect of Himalayan salt lamps help people of all ages keep a more peaceful mood and deal with even stressful situations at home more easily.

Himalayan salt is also used in other products such as bath crystals and cooking products. It is perfect for soothing sore muscles and helping you relax by soaking in a bathtub with a small amount of Himalayan salt added to the water. Himalayan salt is also a healthier, more natural alternative to table salt that is safer for those who have high blood pressure. 

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How To Shop For An Engagement Ring (Without Breaking The Bank)

Weddings are times of joy, but they can also be extremely stressful due to the monetary strain they put on the happy couple. With paying for the venue, dress, food, and floral arrangements, the ring can end up seeming like just another expense to deal with. If you’re looking for an engagement ring but don’t have an unlimited budget, then here are some tips to help you get the ring of your dreams — without paying an arm and a leg for it.

Tip #1: Set a Budget

The number one trick to not going over budget is to actually set one — it doesn’t matter if the number’s decided on over text, on paper, or through a verbal agreement, but make sure both you and your partner are well aware of exactly where the red line is.

Sure, the standby is 2 months salary, but that’s not a hard and fast rule — whether you go over or under that depends on your (and your partner’s) salaries, as well as what you’re willing to spend. Once your budget is set, it’s time to start looking.

Tip #2: Look High and Low

Mama was right — you’d better shop around. You might hit gold at your first stop, but it’s unlikely, and it’s a good idea to get a sense of the market mean before you decide what is a good deal and what is not. Visit the different shops in your area, and hit some out-of-town retailers online.

You may wonder: what about getting your ring fixed and polished? Sure, the convenience of living next to the place you bought your ring at may seem like a good enough reason to spend a little extra locally, but unless you’re planning on living in the same place for the rest of your life, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of stores out there that will clean your ring. What’s important is to love the ring you have.

Tip #3: Don’t Bother With Perfection

You’ve heard the saying about shooting for the moon and landing among the stars, but did you know it holds true for diamond shopping as well as life? You may be tempted to only go for diamonds that are flawless in clarity and are rated a D (the most colorless) in color, but you don’t need to.

Lots of diamonds that aren’t perfect in ratings will be “eye-perfect,” meaning that no one looking at them will be able to tell the difference between your not-flawless-but-cheaper gem and a technically perfect diamond. Look at the diamonds first, then ask for their rating once you find one you like — you’ll get an eye-perfect diamond at a much lower price. For more tips, contact a company like B And A Jewelers.

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