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    Home office ideas

    A Quick Guide to Creating a Home Office

    From setting your own schedule to cutting down on your commute time, working from home has many advantages. To maximize your productivity, it’s important to strike a work-life balance that lets you get the job done despite distractions around your house. Here are some quick ideas about how to separate work from pleasure and ensure optimal efficiency.

    Create a Dedicated Space

    Find a space in your house to transform into your own personal work oasis. Make sure it’s in a comfortable location without too many distractions. A bright, open kitchen that’s close to the coffeemaker might seem like a good idea, but it’s often the most popular room in the house. You also want to avoid squeezing your desk into a small, stuffy space such as a closet. 

    A spare bedroom is a perfect choice, but if it’s not an option for you, consider converting your garage into your home office instead. Another great idea is to build a small studio in your backyard. For the best results, you might need to install a separate heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system to make sure your space is always the perfect temperature.

    Install Proper Lighting

    Try to include as much natural light as possible in your home office. Natural light brings many health benefits, including improved mental health, visual acuity, and sleep quality. If possible, place your desk in front of a window. 

    If natural light isn’t available, choose artificial lighting that makes the most of your space and adds to the ambiance. Dimmable spotlights, a small desk lamp, or a space-saving pendant light that hangs above your desk are great options. Whichever one you choose, equip each light with full-spectrum bulbs to simulate many of the benefits of natural light.

    Remote office set up

    Make Room for Storage

    Most of the work people do at home takes place online, reducing the need for lofty file cabinets and large storage spaces. But, you will likely have a few printed materials and supplies that require storage. Papers pile up quickly if you don’t have a space set aside for them. 

    Invest in a desk with built-in drawers where you can toss odds and ends, such as notebooks and pens that you don’t want to clutter your desk. Another good option is to buy a few small storage boxes you can place on a shelf or inside a cupboard.

    Add Personal Touches

    It’s important to have a practical workspace that helps you get the job done. But, it’s also important to include personal touches that inspire you throughout the day. Frame a few of your favorite photos to sit on your desk or hang on the wall. Add life to the workspace with a small plant or terrarium. Even a pop of color or a few cherished knickknacks can bring a bit of whimsy to your home office and give it your own personal touch.

    If you work from home, it’s important to create a space that helps you separate the job from your personal life. This quick guide to creating a home office provides some easy tips for making your workspace both functional and fun.

    4 Tips to Prep for Summer and Semestral School Breaks

    Summer and semestral school breaks are exciting times for kids and parents. From summer vacations to holiday activities, this is a time for families to bond and to relax from the stress of the year. However, these breaks can also be stressful for parents, who want to keep their kids healthy and entertained without the structure that school provides. Follow these four steps to prepare for the upcoming school break.

    Look for Day Camps and Clubs to Join

    You don’t have to send your kids to sleep-away camp every year so they can have a fun time during the summer. There are plenty of nearby and affordable day camps like Kids Camp At The Farm to choose from if you know where to look. Check out your local library or park center to see if it offers camps and activities for kids during the break. For older kids, look for camps that match their hobbies and interests. 

    Some organizations also offer day camps during the semestral break, which can be a lifesaver for parents who need to go to work and don’t want to leave their kids home alone throughout the day.

    Feeding goats at Kids Camp at The Farm
    Photo courtesy of MAD Travel

    Set Up a Mud Room for Your Kids and Their Friends

    Both summer and the “ber” months create times for mud and water in your home. From kids running in from a rainstorm to home visitors tracking in snow from outside. Set up a makeshift mudroom in your home for shoes, coats, and umbrellas that people can leave as soon as they walk in. This limits the spread of mud and keeps your home clean longer. 

    Your kids can have their friends over and run through the house without your worrying about ruining the carpet or couch.

    Identify Age-Appropriate Chores for Their Daily Routines

    Summer is a great time to teach kids new skills. While they’re playing with friends and going to camp, they can also learn new chores and help around the house. There are multiple guides for what chores children should be able to do at certain ages. Your 6-year-old can learn to put laundry away and clean up the sink, while your 15-year-old can mow the lawn and prepare the occasional family meal. 

    Summer and winter breaks are a great time to teach them these skills, as they have more time to learn how to do them effectively. 

    Improve the Indoor Air Quality of Your Home

    Summer rains and winter chills can keep kids inside, which means they could have asthma or allergy flare-ups if the air in your home isn’t clean. Along with replacing your air filter monthly, schedule seasonal maintenance for your HVAC system before the weather gets severe — typically in the spring and fall. Your HVAC technician may be able to recommend some options to filter out dust and dirt while reducing the humidity in your home.

    These steps can keep your indoor air clean and decrease the chances that your kids will spend their school breaks at the doctor with sinus and breathing problems.  

    School breaks are exciting for kids but can be a stressful time for parents. Make sure you focus on the fun parts of the school holiday by following these steps and keeping your kids happy!

    How to save money Pinoy style

    3 Money-Saving Tips for Moms

    Having a family is a wonderful thing, but unexpected bills are not. Unfortunately, it
    seems that you’re going to get a bill for a school activity, a car that breaks down and needs repair, or a medical bill when you least expect it. And getting another job to pay for all of these things isn’t in the cards for various reasons.

    That means you’re left looking for money from your budget. Following are some money saving tips for moms to help you get more out of your budget and build a buffer for those times when things are tight.

    Start Clipping Coupons

    Some people view the use of coupons as being cheap and for those who can’t afford more. The truth of the matter is, retailers and manufacturers put those coupons out to encourage you to buy a product. And if you already buy a specific product regularly, a coupon is free money. Using a coupon means the amount you save stays in your wallet instead of going towards the purchase.

    If you want to go further, you can take the money you save with a coupon out of your wallet and put it in a jar. That way you can see the money you’re saving and have it at the ready when there’s an emergency.

    I get a lot of discount coupons when I go grocery shopping. Robinson’s Supermarket, for instance, gives out coupons that you can use when you shop with them again. Even if it’s just a P50 off coupon, that’s still P50!

    Money saving tips for moms

    Schedule Regular Maintenance for Appliances

    Appliances and HVAC units can break down when you can least afford it. The good news is that you can avoid such an incident by scheduling regular maintenance for your HVAC system and home appliances. The benefit of regular maintenance comes in the form of finding problems when they’re small and preventing them from becoming bigger ones. For example, a bad bearing on the shaft of a fan remains a minor problem and is an inexpensive repair. Your HVAC specialist finding the problem and repairing it early helps you avoid having to shell out more money when times are tight.

    The same goes for your other appliances. These are items that are in frequent use and are designed to take the wear and tear. But you can get more life out of them if you get them checked out regularly.

    Shop Second-Hand

    Kids are notorious for outgrowing their clothes faster than they can wear them out. Used clothing stores that focus on selling second-hand children’s clothes are an excellent resource for parents looking to save money. No one is going to notice that your kids aren’t dressed in the latest fashions because there’s very little change in terms of the latest fashions for kids up until a certain age. And when kids get to the age where they start caring about their clothes, you can still shop second-hand for things they need for their activities and keep on saving money.

    Another place moms can look for stylish preloved clothes is Forth Co, which is an online platform for sustainable fashion selections.

    These are some of the ways moms can save money for their families and have something left over for a rainy day. It can be time-consuming, so enlist your family and turn the act of saving money into a game they can participate in.

    Ten Cents to Heaven for Kids

    Keep Your Family Healthy This Summer With These 5 Tips

    How to keep your family healthy this summer | www.momonduty.com

    Summer is here, the sun is out, and it’s time to leave the house! You may be tempted to go out for ice cream, soak up the rays, or chow down on some hot dogs, but try a healthier approach this time around. Enjoy the best of the activities with the family while staying healthy by using these simple tips.

    BBQ the Healthy Way

    We love to pile our plates with high-calorie foods; it’s not the best approach to staying healthy. An excellent way to take advantage of the grilling activities while the family stays happy is by grilling vegetables. Veggies remain tender on the inside with a charred, smoky exterior that is to die for; use tin foil or brush the grill with some olive oil and use eggplant or squash. Use the leftovers for a quick side dish during the week. For dessert, you ask? Try your hand at grilling peaches with honey cream.

    Go to the Pool

    Why stay indoors when a refreshing and relaxing day awaits outside? Go for a swim with the family and try new games rather than the old favorites like Marco Polo. Make a game out of swimming and race against each other. Try harder strokes like the butterfly or backstroke for an extra workout and tone those arms while you’re at it.

    Go on a Picnic

    Make some quick brown bag lunches and set up a picnic blanket at the beach or lake. Bring a soccer ball or play volleyball, the possibilities for a fun family work-out are endless. Rent a canoe or a kayak for some extra strenuous activity. By the time you get home, everyone will be tuckered out and ready for bed, so you’re free to enjoy the rest of the night with a glass of wine or two!

    Keep the Inside Cool

    Some days the weather can be too hot to handle, especially during summer heatwaves. Stay indoors for some relaxation and make it fun; build forts and try out new crafts. Make sure the air conditioning is crisp so it’s enjoyable indoors. 

    It’s essential to upkeep and maintain the HVAC system as a dirty filter slows down the airflow, forcing your HVAC system to work much harder to maintain the proper temperature and save energy. Learn how to change a filter to prevent airborne particulates from entering the HVAC equipment and your living space so the air quality is clean and allergens don’t disturb the family while indoors.

    Stay Safe Outdoors

    If you’re not careful, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Make sure to stay hydrated! It sounds simple, but it’s crucial to drink plenty of water as prolonged heat causes dehydration. 

    Slather on a high SPF sunscreen and continue to reapply throughout the day about every two hours and more frequently if the activity involves water. It’s important to wear SPF even when the day is cloudy because the sun’s rays are still there. Keep the family safe and prevent wrinkles at the same time. Sun damage is the leading cause of aging so keep those wrinkles at bay.

    As the kids grow, it’s fun to have lasting memories of summer spent with the family. Grow together with stories to share and learn healthy habits on the way.

    Stay at Home Parents: Get Through Summer With These 3 Tips

    You love your kids, but sometimes they can be a bit much. This is never more true than during the summer months, when they’ll be around for every hour of the day. Without school to occupy their time, they’ll constantly be in your way. Get through summer without pulling out your hair by using the following tips.

    Create A Routine

    Having a routine for both you and your kids is a great way to maintain order and offer a sense of stability. Since they don’t have to wake up early for school, kids might think they can sleep and lounge around all day. Instead, prioritize sleep by creating a wind-down routine to lower the kids’ energy levels and prepare them for bed. Try to tuck them in at least a couple hours before midnight so you have enough time to sleep yourself.

    Make summer less stressful and more fun by creating routines for your kids.

    Wake up about an hour before the kids do so you can have some alone time. This is the perfect time for reading a good book, drinking your cup of coffee, or sneaking in a few chores. As for the rest of the day, have set meal times for your kids, and if you’re really feeling ambitious, have set activity times as well, such as reading time or coloring time.

    Assign Chores

    With the whole family home, there’s no reason you should have to do all the chores yourself. Involve everyone by assigning each child their own list of chores. Of course, your children probably won’t want to do chores voluntarily, so you’ll want to make things a little more fun. Create a game by assigning kids XP (experience points) for each chore they do, much like a role playing game. You can also award whoever has the most points each week with a prize.

    How to keep the kids busy this summer

    Depending on their ages, your kids can do varying chores. For example, kids under three can put away their toys, clothes, and books, while kids four to five can make their beds, pick weeds out of the garden, and help prepare meals. Older kids can do things like make their bed, vacuum their rooms, wash the dishes, or take pets for a walk.

    Don't Skip Essential Maintenance Tasks

    Summer is always the busiest season, whether you’re driving the kids to yet another softball practice or heading out on your annual family vacation. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the craziness of it all and forget to perform essential maintenance tasks. For example, you should always schedule a professional to come by and check out your HVAC system, as nothing is worse than a broken AC in the midst of summer heat. To save a few bucks, they might even recommend you to install a ductless heat pump for better efficiency and air flow.

    Other essential maintenance tasks to consider include:

    • Changing your air, water, and refrigerator filters.
    • Reversing the fans in your home so they blow air down.
    • Checking your yard for hazards, including broken fence pieces or a splintered deck.

    The important thing about summer is not to overwhelm yourself. Take time to enjoy having your kids available 24/7, as you’ll miss them again when the school year returns.