First Trimester To-Do List

If you’ve recently learned you’re pregnant, you’re probably feeling excited. Nine months might seem like a long way off now, but your delivery date will be here before you know it. Instead of stressing out, consider creating a first-trimester to-do list. By writing everything down and setting goals, you can minimize anxiety and stay on top of everything that’s most important. 
  • Select an OB-GYN. Some gynecologists also practice obstetrics, so if you like your current doctor and they offer both services, you can mark this item off your list. However, depending on your insurance coverage and individual needs, you may end up having to do some research. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they have any recommendations. If not, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has an online search tool that can help you find an OB-GYN in your area. 
  • Schedule non-invasive prenatal testing. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a simple screening used to determine your risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome, or Patau syndrome. During NIPT, your OB-GYN draws a sample of your blood and sends it to a laboratory for further testing. NIPT also determines your baby’s gender and RH blood type, so if you want the gender reveal to be a surprise, make sure to let your doctor know.  
  • Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy. Every insurance plan is different. If you have questions about your policy, contact your provider. They can explain what your coverage provides and better help you anticipate costs. 
  • Start planning your Babymoon. Going on a Babymoon gives you and your partner one last opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without having to worry about regular feedings, diaper changes, and burpings. Some couples choose to spend their babymoon at home, but if you want to get away, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends traveling sometime between weeks 18-24. This way, you can avoid morning sickness and still enjoy activities without getting exhausted right away. If you’re traveling overseas, make sure to ask your OB-GYN about vaccinations as well. 
  • Develop an exercise plan. Staying physically fit during your pregnancy is an effective way to limit some of the more uncomfortable side-effects. However, you don’t want to overdo it. The American Pregnancy Association recommends exercising for 30 minutes on most days, or 20 minutes three to four days each week. If you were physically active before getting pregnant, it’s probably okay to continue your regular exercise routine. However, following an in-office exam, your OB-GYN can make recommendations that align with your level of fitness and your growing baby’s needs. 
  • Determine when to tell your friends and family. Announcing your pregnancy is a very personal decision. Some couples wait until the end of the first trimester, while others wait until after the first prenatal visit. There’s no “right” time; it’s whatever you and your partner are most comfortable with.

No two pregnancies are exactly alike. Planning for your pregnancy can be overwhelming. With this first-trimester to-do list you can begin to prioritize and stay organized. 


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How to Help a Relative with a Long-Term Condition

It can be hard to emotionally digest the news when a diagnosis is either terminal or permanent. Taking in the information when the diagnosis is delivered is the hardest step, and the second part is the long-term care. For many of us, survival instinct kicks in, which means that we don’t really have an option to think about whether we are capable of providing such care. Instead, we mentally prepare ourselves to muck in and be a pillar of support when we are needed.

Don’t vent your grief to the relative
This is a hard one, particularly if you are living in close quarters with the relative. Of course, being upset in front of the relative in question is sometimes impossible. However, it may be helpful to them for you to vent your emotions to a different party. It’s not helpful to hide your feelings, but it may be encouraging to your relative if you provide the sense that it will be okay and that you are all coping. This, of course, may be slightly untrue, but venting your worries to another relative or friend in the meantime will help you explain how you really feel without worrying your affected family member.

Consider care

There may come a point in the process when you have to consider finding care for the relative in question. This can be quite a pivotal change, and you will want to ensure that their living conditions will be of a high quality and that they will be treated with absolute respect. Those at, for example, provide extensive care for those suffering with dementia and other long-term illnesses.

If you are currently the main care-giver or are about to become a carer, then try not to panic or worry about your capabilities. The best approach you can take is to stay educated and organised. For example, if your loved-one requires regular medication, which they may not remember to take, then put this in your diary too. Setting daily reminders for tasks and obligations will help remove the anxiety that you might have forgotten something.

Ongoing consent

If you are helping your relative undergo treatment and care, you will likely need to accompany them to doctor’s appointments and maybe even fetch medication for them on the odd occasion. It is, therefore, important that you obtain written consent from your relative to let you do this. If their condition is deteriorating quickly, you may have to be the main go-between with their doctor, but regulations insist that there is documented proof that you have the consent to do so.

Scheduling medication, making emergency trips to the hospital and arranging care-giving hours with relatives are all part and parcel when it comes to looking after a relative. By staying in contact with your doctor and organising your days efficiently, there is no need to feel out of your depth. It may, on occasion, be hard to keep a brave face, but always remember that you are doing your best.

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How to Choose the Perfect Swimming Pool Paint

Pool paint is vital for aesthetic purposes. It plays a huge role in the overall appearance of the swimming area. Whether it looks ordinary, so-so, or stunning; it will always be influenced more by the color factor. Setting aside matters about beautification, paint is also in charge of the proper maintenance of swimming pools. 
Taking sustenance into concern, you must take a lot of things into consideration to assure quality finish and durability, wherein it could withstand certain environmental factors more than usual. To achieve that goal, you should be knowledgeable of the type of paint for the kind of pool you have. Here are the things to consider before choosing the perfect color for your swimming area: 
Is Your Swimming Pool Painted Already? 
Before you apply color anywhere, make sure that you first check whether it has an existing coat or not because not all paints are compatible. So, if ever you mixed up incompatible ones, you messed up. By a lot, even. In the case your pool is already coated with color, your first step would be to identify the existing type used in the area. To do this, the following are some tests you can execute:
  • Take a small part of the paint chip and submerge it in denatured alcohol. If it dissolves, it means that the existing color is a water-based acrylic type of solution. 
  • If it does not, immerse a brand new chip in 75% mineral spirits and 25% Xylol. Allow about 30 seconds to pass. After this, pinch it with your thumb and index finger. If it softens, the coat used is a synthetic rubber coating. 
  • If it still does not, dip one last chip in pure Xylol. If it dissolves, it means that the type of coat used is chlorinated rubber. In the instance that it still does not melt, the paint is epoxy-based. 

Which Type Is Compatible With The Surface Of Your Swimming Pool?
Before you proceed into choosing the best one, the next thing to consider is the compatibility of the swimming pool paint you should use on the surface of your pool. Some may be suitable, some may not. That is why it is very important to check first before taking action if you don't want to regret and spend more than required later on. The following are the types available in the market and the description. Read more and you will know which among the types are the most suitable for your home. 
3 Common Types of Paints 
Epoxy Paint 
  • Among the 3, Epoxy is the thickest which means it is best for rough or old surfaces; it helps smooth the surface. Here’s a comparison between Epoxy and Acrylic (the next type below):  
  • It is very durable. Usually, it lasts for 6-8 years but there are some instances that it lasts longer. 
  • It is the only type recommended for spas and fiberglass 
  • It is used to fill hairline cracks and small spots on the surface. 
  • It comes in various colors.
  • Costs more than other options
  • The surface should be dry before you can apply.
  • Needs longer curing time 
  • Requires respirators and ventilation due to fumes 

Acrylic Paint
  • Does not produce fumes 
  • Affordable 
  • Good with high humidity or rainy environments
  • Comes in various colors 
  • Shortest curing time 
  • Easy to mix and apply 
  • Not think unlike epoxy
  • The shortest lifespan of 2-3 years 
 Chlorinated Rubber Paint 
  • Does not require mixing 
  • Affordable 
  • The lifespan of 5 years or more
  • Can cure to smooth tile finish 
  • Costly than acrylic 
  • The surface should be dry before applying 
  • Longer curing period than acrylic 

It is a very big and exhausting project, isn't it? It is one of the reasons why others prefer to hire professional swimming pool painters to reduce time and effort. It is totally fine, that is if you have the luxury, if not, don't worry because it is very doable. And with the help of the tips and reminders, you will get through it all. Good luck and happy swimming!

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Advantages of Hiring Moving Companies

Home, Move, House, Mover, Truck, Help
One of the saddest experiences a family could ever face is moving out of their own home. It’s one thing to leave the house that you had lived in for many years. All the memories that couldn’t be contained in pictures are still there. However, the saddest part is leaving the people behind. All the neighbors that you had grown accustomed to while your family was growing. They had been a part of your life for the longest time now and it would be really sad to see them go. It will be a difficult time to adjust to new people after being used to them around the neighborhood. 
On the other hand, they can also be the reason why you need to move so there’s that. Learn here on how to deal with difficult neighbors:
Why Do People Move Out?
There are a lot of reasons why people need to move out of their own homes. Aside from annoying and meddlesome neighbors, it can also be because of the safety of your family is at risk. Some neighborhoods are not healthy for children to grow up in.  There are also opportunities that you cannot just find in your old hometown. Most people would prefer to go to the city and find work there because of all the opportunities the concrete jungle has to offer. It might be a bit fast-paced compared to the nice idyllic rural lifestyle, but that’s just how the city works. You go fast, or you get left behind.
The US Census Bureau has estimated that more than 40 million people have been moving out of their own homes just this past decade alone. Most transfers were in their state, but some opted to venture out of their home state. A little percentage of that demographic moved out of the US, but this number is understandable since it is very difficult to immigrate to another country. The costs alone can be quite staggering and the adjustment that you need to do is going to be massive. You need to adjust to the new culture, people and even the food. Laws can also be very different so you need to familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts of your new home country. Read more about this here.
Now that we have established the common reasons of moving out, there is one problem that you need to tackle before even moving out. How will you move out of your house? You can always do it as a family, especially if you have a vehicle of your own. With enough gas, you can even move cross country with a few trips. You can make that trip enjoyable by bringing your family along and letting them experience the drive on the way. You can even have few stopovers in different cities or places to have a change of scenery until you reach your destination. On the other hand, if you are just going to transfer to next street then this option is for you.
Luggage, Cart, Sack Truck, Bag
One of the advantages of doing the moving out on your own is you can save money. After all, all you need to spend is gas and a few hours. After it’s done, you can have a barbeque at your new backyard and call it a day. You can even call some of yo0ur friends and have a nice housewarming party. It’ll be a fun start to your family’s new home experience. However, one of the downsides of doing all of it is the effort that you need to expend in order to get things done. This is especially true if you are so busy with work that you cannot just leave it to arrange a transfer.
This is where moving companies come in, and they will assist you in everything related to moving out of your house. Finding the top moving companies is easy, especially if you have an internet connection. Some of them even have websites for you to check their services. Now, why would you hire a moving company?
They Have the Equipment and Tools to Get the Job Done
One of the biggest advantages if you will hire a moving company is the equipment that they offer for the transfer. Your bare hands and truck can do the work just fine, but why make an effort when you can just let them do the work for you? Most moving companies will have specialized trucks which can store even the most delicate furniture. Some even built-in ladders on their trucks to reach higher places like apartments and condominium units. They also have other tools like wrenches and screwdrivers to remove attached items like frames and cupboards against the walls. Also, they will handle all furniture and items with care to avoid any kind of damage the transfer might cause.
Downtown Stop, People Mover
Some Companies Also Offer Cleaning the House Before You Can Move In
This is another advantage that hiring moving companies can give you: they can clean the house that you will be transferring in! Of course, you need to check the services that they offer before expecting them to clean your new home. This might also be an extra charge to your transfer bill, but it is worth it when you will just have to sit back and relax after a long day of overseeing the transfer. They can even arrange the furniture for you, just get ready for the additional cost or if they offer that service in the first place. 
Moving out of your home will be a worry free experience once you hire movers 

Once you hire moving companies, you will be assured of the safety of your furniture and appliances. You do not even need to check on them while working, but it is advised to do so. During the transfer, most expert movers would arrange all of the items to maximize the truck’s capacity while safely handling all of it. This would make sure that the transfer would be done in fewer trips. If everything is finished within one trip, it would be even better for you and the company. Most moving companies would also cover the insurance if something happens to the items while on transport. 

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3 Things You Need to Know About Your New Air Conditioning Unit

With the continental US in the grip of an extreme heatwave, and the growing realization that these kind of climate events are going to become the new normal, you may be thinking about upgrading the AC in your home. A good air conditioning unit will ensure that you and your family are as cool and comfortable as possible when the mercury starts to climb.
However, while most Americans are used to seeing AC units in their homes, relatively few of us ever give any thought to their upkeep or maintenance. When we have a problem with our AC units, we tend to turn to professional repair people. But while the most serious issues will require the skilled hand of a qualified engineer, there are lots of things that any of us can do without any prior knowledge or skills to keep our AC units ticking along nicely.
Here’s everything you need to know about looking after your AC unit. Follow this advice to maximize the lifespan of your appliance and ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible at all times.
Changing Filters
Many of the most common issues encountered with AC units can be traced back to old and clogged filters. The job of a filter is to, well, filter things. That necessitates the accumulation of dust, dirt and other debris that is flying through the air in your home. Your AC filters will prevent particulate matter from being circulated around your home through the AC itself, but the more it filters, the less efficiently it can work.
You should aim to change your AC filters around once every month, maybe even more frequently if it’s in heavy use. Alternatively, you can see if there are washable filters available for your unit. Washable filters mean that you can simply take them out and clean them every now and then, rather than having to buy a whole new filter.
How to Fix Leaks
There are some AC issues that, while being far from ideal, can either be fixed or patched up without the need to call in a professional. Air leaks in your system can occur because of damage or wear and tear, or because seals age and decay. AC units that are mounted in windows are notoriously difficult to seal properly.
The most common sign of leaks is a reduced airflow without any other obvious cause. You can identify any leaks for yourself by using the simple smoke trick. This involves lighting a stick of incense and holding it near to where the window frame and unit are joined together. If the smoke is disturbed and blown about the place, this indicates a leak.
You can use duct tape or foil tape to seal up any gaps in the seal. If you suspect that your unit might have suffered some internal or structural damage that is causing leaks, you should call in a professional repair engineer.


General Maintenance
Many air conditioning retailers will also offer you an annual cleaning service. If this is available, you should take them up on it. These cleaning services will go beyond simply changing the filters every now and then, and will ensure that your unit is healthy and working as it should be internally. There are a whole host of components inside an AC unit that can be cleaned and maintained to improve overall performance.
If you have any issues with your AC unit that don’t have an obvious cause, your first port of call should be the same as any other piece of tech - turn it off, unplug it for a couple of minutes, plug it back in and switch it back on. Most AC units will also have a dedicated reset button on them that you can use to speed up the process.
If you suspect a more serious issue with your AC unit, or you are unable to diagnose the cause of a problem on your own, then it may be time to call in a professional repair service. You can search online to find “ac repair near me”, as well as information about how you can keep your air conditioning unit maintained and reduce the chances of a breakdown.

An air conditioning unit should be adding to your comfort and relaxation, not adding to your daily stress and worry. Make sure that you are regularly cleaning or replacing your filters and that you address any issues when they arise, not when they spiral into something worse.
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How to Spot the Warning Signs of Drug Abuse

If you have suspicions that one of your loved ones is using drugs, it’s important that you act on your gut feeling. Closely observing your loved one and knowing the warning signs can help when it comes to them receiving the right care. With that in mind, here are several signs to help you spot the warning signs of drug abuse.
Changes in Behavior
Drug abuse tends to alter a person’s habits and behavior. Some drugs can also impair the brain’s ability to think clearly and focus. There are various signs to look out for, such as a change in attitude and personality, increased irritability or aggression, dramatic changes in their priorities or habits, as well as involvement in criminal activity. Make sure to keep a close eye on your loved one and note down any changes. 
Neglecting Their Appearance
Many people who abuse drugs tend to show signs of poor hygiene. If you’ve noticed that your loved one isn’t taking care of themselves, this could be a sign that they have a drug addiction. For example, if they usually make an effort with their appearance and recently you have noticed hair is always messy, or they look like they haven’t showered for a few days, this will show that they are no longer taking an interest in their appearance. Other signs to look out for include glazed or bloodshot eyes, constricted or dilated pupils, as well as problems sleeping or sleeping too much.
Social Changes
If your loved one is beginning to withdraw themselves from social events, this could be another sign that they are using drugs. They may begin to not show up for significant events, or for work, which should raise alarm bells. To gain more clarity, you may benefit from speaking to others who know them well so you can be certain. If your loved one is known to be outgoing and friendly, you will be able to spot the warning signs immediately.
Financial Trouble
If your loved one is dependent on drugs, it’s likely that they will need more money than usual. If they are unable to borrow money from their nearest and dearest, they may resort to stealing to fund their habit. Make sure to keep track of all valuable items in your home, as well as money laying around. If you start to notice things disappearing, this could be a sign that they’re using drugs.
Taking Action
Now you have an idea of some of the warning signs of drug abuse, it’s important that you’re there for your loved one. If they have admitted to their drug use, and want to get help, they may benefit from an outpatient drug program. Hotel California by the Sea Bellevue provide outpatient drug treatment and outpatient drug rehab to The Greater/Seattle Bellevue area, which can help your loved one get back on track.

If any of the signs listed resonate with you, it’s important that you take action. It’s only natural that you will have your loved one’s best interests at heart, so being there to provide love and support can make a huge difference, especially if they’re reluctant to get help. Drug addiction can not only affect the person, but everyone around them, so seeking appropriate help as quickly as possible is important.
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Simple Steps for Coping With a Loved One Needing Professional Care

Nobody likes to admit the fact that a person dear to them, whether it be a parent or another family member, might need the service of a professional caregiver. Getting older and more vulnerable is a concept which is scary to most people, and the prospect of watching a loved one lose their independence can be very upsetting for an onlooker close to them, as well as for the individuals themselves.
Take a look over these easy steps to help you focus on what needs to be done.
Decide the Best Route of Care Required
The whole process becomes a lot easier when you realize what sort of care they need and how you can ensure you arrange the perfect care for them.
It may be that your loved one would actually be a perfect match for non-medical elderly in-home care – meaning they don’t have to go into residential care, but can receive care in their own home. Professional companies such as know the importance of matching the perfect caregiver to the right individual in need of particular care.
Once you have decided this, you can put a proper plan in place to ensure all their needs are covered – meaning you can rest easy, too.
Treat it as a New Journey
Don’t think of it as the end of their ability to fulfill an aspect of their life alone, or the end of their independence – think of it as the first step in a new journey with new people.
Introducing professional caregivers into their lives can mean new personalities and stories to be told, offering new companions and different possibilities. Perhaps the loved one lived alone and, although able to do everything for themselves independently, wanted more socialization or company than they previously had.
Having a caregiver could mean that they enjoy a new acquaintance and seeing a new person every day instead of spending most of the day alone.
Remind Yourself That What You Are Doing is the Right Thing
Although it may not be an enjoyable transition, it’s important to remember that it’s the right thing. Your loved one needs specific care which you alone might not be able to give, and it’s within everyone’s best interests – emotionally, medically, and physically – that they get the proper care treatment.
The loved one would not want to impose a burden on you if it meant you are sacrificing your own way of life to cater to their needs – as much as you might be happy to do that. A professional care service is a lifeline for some people, and offering a lifeline isn’t a bad thing.
Talk to them
One of the most crucial things to remember is communication. Tell your loved one what you are considering in terms of care, ask them what they would like, and make sure you explain all the options.
Honesty is the best policy, and they need to feel included in their own living arrangements.

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Top Tips for Dealing with Stress

Life as an adult can get pretty hectic at times, that much is for certain. No longer can you rely heavily on your parents to sort your life out for you, as was the case when you were younger — it’s down to you and you alone to juggle all of your work, child, and personal commitments. If you’re not careful, not managing your time correctly or even taking too much on will result in you heightening your stress levels. If you’re seriously not careful, stressing yourself out too much will see you suffer from sompretty nasty health repercussions going forward.

If tweaking your schedule to take on fewer commitments is not something you can realistically do, then you’re going to need to find other ways to deal with your stress. Here are two top tips for dealing with stress:

Don’t rely on caffeine or alcohol

Having a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine of an evening isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Relying on caffeine and alcohol to get you through each day is, however, definitely not advisable. Aside from the impact they would have on your overall health, your stress levels would go through the roof if you over-indulged on caffeine and alcohol. This is because they are stimulants — they will increase your stress levels, not reduce them. 

Get up, have a cup of coffee to get you going, and then cut out caffeine for the rest of the day. As a replacement, try drinking herbal teas or diluted fruit juices. This will help your body to cope better with stress as each day progresses. Of course, there’s no real substitute for alcohol — you either have it, or you don’t. In this particular instance, then, it’s just important to keep your drinking habits down to the bare minimum. Whatever you do, just don’t allow yourself to rely on booze to keep you going, especially during the day time.

Indulge in some physical activity

To tackle your stress levels, you need to seek to metabolize your stress hormones. Fear not, as this isn’t as difficult or scientific a task as it seems. To do this, all you need do is get physical. By indulging in some physical activity, your body and mind will be restored to a calmer, far more relaxed state. Whenever t feel a pinch of stress, then, you should do your best to get up and get moving. Go for a walk in the fresh air, do some stretches at your office desk, or book yourself into a Yoga Selection class and give this holistic activity a go — whatever type of physical activity you feel comfortable embracing, embrace it. You will be sure to lower your stress levels if you do.

Stress can impact you at any given moment, on any given day. You must, then, take the above advice and be prepared to fight this plight at all times. Only then will you be able to be truly happy and healthy in life.

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How To Make Shopping For Your Kids Easier

Shopping for your kids is necessary so that they have nice clothes to wear to school and for play. While it can be a challenging task at times, there are ways to make the process easier on yourself.
It’s hard enough to shop for and pick out clothes for yourself so the last situation you want is to have to worry about what your kids are going to wear each day. The following ideas are going to help you figure out a better way to shop for your kids so you can stress less overall. Have fun with this project and enjoy how cute they look and happy they are when you’re finished selecting the best outfits and accessories for your loved ones.
Research Trends
You can make shopping for your kids easier by researching trends ahead of time. There are plenty of online and offline resources out there to help you if you’re not very fashionable and need help. The more you know the simpler it’s going to be to pick out items when you’re out and about searching for clothes for your kids. Also, look around when you pick them up for school, or they’re with their friends to see what other children are wearing.
Shop Online
Another tip to help make shopping for your kids easier on you is to simply shop online. This is especially helpful if you’re shopping for specific items such as brand specific clothing or afo socks, afo brace socks, or kafo socks if your child wears braces. Check online to see available styles and colours and get a comfortable and seamless look for your son or daughter. You may also find that there are better discounts and deals on the Internet that you may not get in the stores.
Organise Closets & Make Lists
Make shopping for your kids easier on you by knowing exactly what it is they already own and actually need. For starters, go through their closets and sort through what clothing they have and note where the gaps exist. It’s also a good idea to write down lists and create a budget before you shop online or go to a store, so you buy only want you actually need and don’t end up wasting your time or money.
Take Them with You
Although you and your kids are busy, it’s important to find time to shop together to make the process easier on you. Shop as a team and go around and try different clothing options on so you know what fits and looks the best. This is also a great way to spend more quality time together as a family.

Shopping for your kids no longer has to be a chore when you use these tips and tricks. You might even actually have some fun doing it when you’re relaxed and know what it is you’re after. Don’t be afraid to involve your kids in the process and have them help you out, so the pressure isn’t all on you.
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