Home and Family

Adult Acne

You breezed through your teenage years with a zit or two and never thought about it. Now you look into the mirror in horror. What happened? How is it possible to develop acne in your mid 30’s, isn’t this supposed to happen to teenagers? You find yourself embarrassed and confused.

The unfair fact is that adult acne will affect 25% of men and 50% of women in their adult lives. We know that teenage acne is due to hormonal changes which causes an increase in oil production. The causes of adult acne aren’t as clear. There isn’t just one cause. Acne in adult women can be linked to cosmetic use and some hair products. It can be brought on by the hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy. Certain types of prescription medications can cause adult acne. Acne vulgaris which is the type of acne that affects adults generally doesn’t happen after the age of 40. Unlike teenage acne that starts on the forehead and cheek area adult acne tends to show more on your chin, jaw and neck area.

The treatment you receive for your acne will be based on the severity of the acne outbreak. Mild acne outbreaks can be treated with topical and over the counter products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid, the same creams that teenagers use. If you acne is more severe your dermatologist may prescribe oral antibiotics. These antibiotics treat the bacteria causes of acne.

Micro dermabrasion and acid peels can be used to help diminish any scarring that might occur with adult acne.

Home and Family

Are Birthday Party Favors Important To Your Child’s Party?

At your child’s birthday party, you should consider the purchase of party favors. Like other parties, the guests that come to visit would like to take something home with them. No matter if you plan to purchase the party favors for both adults and children or just for the kids, giving your guests a little something to take home is important. It is a thank you. It’s a sign of appreciation. And, it is just good manners.

What About The Cost?

If you are having a birthday party for your child, you should consider several things. First, are the party favors for your child’s friends or will they go to the adults that attend? If they are for the adults, consider using a small statue, a picture frame with your child’s picture in it. Or, consider a candle with a cute theme. Giving a gift to your adult party goers should be done. You can give them something that is inexpensive, especially when you purchase them in bulk form. If you want to spend more, go ahead.

On the other hand, if you are giving a party favor to your child’s friends, then you have to go with all fun things. A little goody bag is ideal filled with kid safe things. Don’t go over board on the candy but many party outlets will provide very small toys, cute games and lots of fun stuff that you can include. The kids will enjoy getting a gift from your child too.

If you are having a small get together with your close family you may not need a party favor. If you are throwing a memorable party, then consider one. This would be for their first birthday or possibly their fifth. If you are giving a large party where there will be many people coming, then a party favor no matter what the age is essential, at least for proper manners.

Home and Family

Anniversary Gifts – Following the Traditional Anniversary Gift List

People love to celebrate anniversaries, being together another year shows that they truly love each other and they continue to strengthen the bonds and celebrate their union year after year. A lot of couples celebrate this special occasion by giving gifts to each other that symbolizes their anniversary, like “paper” for the 1st year and “leather” for the 5th year. Although following the “Traditional Anniversary Gift List” can sound easy at first, but it can be very difficult and frustrating trying to follow the list for some years.

Sure the Silver, Golden and Diamond anniversaries are easy, its pretty well spelled out. But what about anniversaries like the “Paper” (1st) anniversary or “Steel” (11th) anniversary? These can be difficult for a woman and almost impossible for a man shopping for the perfect gift that will show their love and appreciation of their partner. So with the summer months which are the busy season for weddings and anniversaries approaching fast I thought this would be a good time to start covering each of the years and their symbolic gift.

“Paper” is the traditional symbol of the first year wedding anniversary.

Since the traditional symbol for the 1st wedding anniversary gift is paper, you’ll need to start “thinking outside the box” if you’re going to follow this list successfully.

Some cheaper but very thoughtful gifts of paper would be homemade coupons good for a massage or breakfast in bed, poetry or love letters hand written on nice stationary, homemade greeting cards.

In the moderate price range could be books that would be of interest to the recipient, photographs, you can order a copy of the newspaper from the wedding date that shows what was going on the day of your wedding, tickets to a show or sporting event, posters, board games, puzzles, gift certificates to their favorite stores, stationary, tickets to concerts, or my favorite – paper roses.

While gift cards and gift certificates are acceptable gifts for a couple, I would NOT recommend this as a gift to a spouse, this is your first anniversary together and you need to put a little more thought into it than giving something as impersonal as money.

I personally think that “paper roses” are one of the best first year anniversary gifts available, for two reasons, one – you have the romance and intimacy of roses, two – your able to stay with the “traditional” list of anniversary gifts. A bonus to this idea is that unlike real roses this gift can last forever. I am not talking about artificial flowers here, these are paper roses that are hand made especially for first year anniversaries, you can even have them personalized.

On the more expensive end would be airline tickets to a dream vacation, an oil painting from your wedding photograph, fine art prints.

Just remember, you can express your love and feelings without giving expensive gifts, just put a little thought into it. Love is still the best gift, it is costless yet so pure and irrevocable.

Next week I’ll cover the 2nd/Cotton anniversary.

Home and Family

A Luau To Remember: Party-Planning Tips For Parents

If planning your child’s birthday party leaves you too exhausted to even say the word balloon, try this: Throw a backyard summer luau-with some help from the Web.

With parents increasingly strapped for time and feeling pressured to come up with unusual themes that all the other kids haven’t used before, sites like can be a lifesaver. That may be especially true in the summer months when-try as you might to think of exciting outdoor activities to take advantage of the warm weather-all you really want to do when you get home is soak in a cool bath for hours.

Luaus definitely aren’t the only idea you’ll find. With its focus on providing innovative party themes and fun activities for kids ages 2 to 10, Party City also offers such tips as:

• Offer plenty of options to keep kids entertained. Fun activities for small and large groups include limbo, badminton, Wiffle ball, or even catch with Velcro Stik-Ums. Squirt guns are always a big hit, and a giant Sprinkler Ball is sure to make a splash.

• It’s easy to forget about the summer heat when you’re having fun. But it can take its toll, so keep kids hydrated with plenty of water in fun and colorful sports bottles, silly sippy cups or even summery plastic cups with crazy straws and drink umbrellas.

• In the warm weather, it’s hard to keep food and drinks cold. Invest in fun summer coolers that can be left out at the party area. This will reduce indoor traffic and still keep the goodies on ice.

As for those luaus, consider setting up kiddie pools and sandboxes in the backyard for some beach atmosphere, and serving tropical fruit smoothies with mini paper parasols to keep things cool.

For activities, let guests make their own Hawaiian shirts out of plain white tee shirts and fabric paint-and don’t forget to greet guests with a lei, a traditional island welcome. (You can find inexpensive plastic leis at party stores.)

The Web site is updated constantly to provide timely ideas.

Home and Family

Aga Cookers Are The Heart of Any Family Home

Over the past 70 years the aga cooker has been haled as the symbol of uk cookware. It is with out a doubt the reigning champion through out the uk and even over the water in the states it is growning with immense popularity.

The aga was invented by a physicist, what makes the Aga is unique because it cooks with brilliant heat, keeping in all the aromas flavours and juices from the oven. You will find it common in most houses that have an aga cooker that people tend to congregate in that general vicinity.

The nobel physicist that created the aga was awarded the nobel prize for making lighthouse automated his name was Nils Gustaf Dalen and the aga was his baby. One of the pivotal turning points for creating the aga was an accident at an industrial plant which subsequently blinded Dalen, the genius then spent a great deal of time at home and camr to the conclusion that the cooker his wife used just didnt cut the mustard and he deemed it inefficient. After 10 years of tremendous efforts at improving the cooker, the aga was born, the first model was then patented in 1922. It was named after Dalen’s firm Akteibolaget Gas Accumulator, the Aga then made its way over to the uk sometime around 1930.

The aga cooker is powered by a single burner, most Agas run on either propane or natural gas. Although a few newer models have electric ovens as well, a good feature to an aga cooker is that you never have to turn them off thus there is no need to preheat the oven for when you are cooking. When entertaining, it is easy to cook many courses at the same time.

The premium aga cooker has to be the four oven aga, it has 4 separate ovens for baking, roasting, simmering and warming. These four ovens all keep a different temperature for their distinct tasks. Other good features that come with a four oven aga are a hotplate, a warming plate and an optional gas cook-top. The aga is made out of solid cast iron and coated with a fibre glass like resin, the aga cooker is available in 14 separate colours ranging from the conservative black or white to the exciting claret or aubergine and the aga has a very impressive life span of 100 years or maybe a while longer, thats some cooking!

Home and Family


A loved one passes away and their precious items go up for auction. Your home was affected by a flood or fire and certain precious items were damaged. Or worse, someone broke into your house and stole some of your valuables. Either because of loss or damage, one thing is certain- you need help RECLAIMING FAMILY HEIRLOOMS.

The Fuller Brush Company has been in business since 1906. It’s been one hundred years and in that time span, families change. Babies are born, loved ones pass away, others leave home. Something as simple as a hairbrush may not seem like much, but when it becomes a family heirloom, as is the case for a lot of Fuller Brushes, their absence can be heartbreaking. The company gets calls all the time from individuals saying that the brush they inherited or purchased years ago still looks like new, even with daily use.

Many of The Fuller Brush Company’s items are classified as vintage or antique. You can find their letter openers, perfume compact/pins, Barlow lighters, and other items in antique shops and online stores. A quick internet search on “Fuller Brush Antiques” pulls up scores of information. If you suspect you have a Fuller Brush vintage or antique item, consult an expert in the subject or do your own online or library search.

When a loved one passes away and has no will, their valuable items will often go up for auction. Well, you can either try to put in a claim that you should inherit it, or attend the auction and purchase it. However, when a piece is especially valuable, RECLAIMING FAMILY HEIRLOOMS in this way can become more of a challenge, especially if they are collector’s items.

If your house was ravaged by a flood or fire, you will need to sift through debris when RECLAIMING FAMILY HEIRLOOMS. Make sure your insurance company and any necessary investigators pay you a visit before you disturb anything. Once they or any investigators say it is okay to sift through, sift slowly and carefully through your belongings. Heirlooms and antiques should not be left outside where the elements can cause even more damage so the quicker you can locate them, the better.
If there was a break in and your valuable family heirlooms were stolen, contact the authorities right away. They may be able to alert area pawn shops and art dealers in case any of the items turn up. To make the authorities’ jobs easier, provide them with photos and description of all the items. For extra protection, photograph your items and write detailed descriptions. Place the photos and descriptions in a safety deposit box in case you need them for later use.

If your heirlooms still haven’t turned up, take heart. Remember they are just things, and no one can take away the story and memories attached to them. Talk to your children and grandchildren about them. Write a memoir. Share their stories with as many people as you can. Maybe they’ll still resurface!

Home and Family

A Moving Experience

I’ve found a cool apartment! Okay, okay…so it’s not perfect. Just a few bugs. I mean literally! First expense? An exterminator! Is it worth the cash? Well, I can’t afford a more expensive place, so a one-time (please!) cash outlay should be okay. Maybe just a can of “Raid?”

I need a way to move my stuff. Daddy, can I borrow your truck? You don’t have one? Why not? Do you want one? I’ll help you pick it out! Well, it was just a suggestion. No need to get all bent out of shape! I guess I’d better call the truck rental places. What do you mean…$200…PLUS mileage? AND Gas? Good grief!

While I’m on the phone I’ll call the utility and phone companies. Yes, I know I haven’t used your services before. No, I don’t have a credit card; this is my first place. You want what? A $100 deposit? For EACH? Holy cow…do you people have a license to steal?

Daddy, I need $500 for moving expenses! I used all my money for the first and last months rent AND the damage deposit. Well, how was I to know this was going to be so expensive? Sell something? Daaaaad…I NEED my TV!

Boy, this place is pretty empty. Maybe I should buy a couch and a chair. Nah…I have my bed. That’ll be good enough. I don’t need a table; I’ll just use this box.

Renters Insurance? I don’t think so! What do I have to insure?

Just got my first phone call! I’d love to come to your party! Daddy, I need a car. Because it’s too far to walk to work, that’s why. Umm, Daddy…there’s car insurance too! Thanks, Dad…you’re the best! And gas? I didn’t think so…

Time for dinner. Let’s look in these boxes. Oh, No! No dishes or pans. No FOOD!

Uhhh, Mom?

Home and Family

Air Purifier Filters – Do You Want To Clean Or Replace?

Air purifier filters can have a huge impact on the choice of air purifier we choose to buy, as many of us do not wish to incur the time and expense involved with regular replacement of these air cleaning filters. As the effectiveness of your air cleaner is dependent on keeping it well maintained and running smoothly, it is wise to consider whether you want to deal with air purifier filters before you buy.

One of the most effective air cleaning technologies available today is that used in the HEPA air purification systems, said to remove 99.97% of particulates from the air. This type of air cleaner, however, employs special air purifier filters, which must be changed on a regular basis in order to maintain the system’s efficiency.

There are also air purifiers available which don’t need air purifier filters; electronic air purifiers do not require air cleaning filters to work. This system works by gathering particles from the air on collecting plates inside the cleaner, and while these do not require regular replacement, the filterless air purifier still needs some maintenance to remain at optimum efficiency – the collecting plates must be cleaned regularly.

The very job that air purifiers do – removing particles and dust from our air that we do not wish to breathe in – necessitates some maintenance, as these particles will gather within the cleaner and will need to be disposed of. But while both filterless systems and those that employ air purifier filters require some upkeep to remain effective, this is minimal in both cases. The job itself involves only the simple wiping down of collection plates, or quickly changing a filter – the problem is remembering to do it!

And once you establish the habit, this simple air purifier filter maintenance will become a part of your routine. So don’t allow the thought of changing air purifier filters determine your choice of air cleaner – choose the system that is best for your family, and remember that the small amount of maintenance that comes with any air purifier is worth the work. Better those particles on your air purifier filter than in your lungs!

You need to think about air purifier filters before you buy your air purifier.

Home and Family

A Tad Bit Too Shy: When Parents Needs to Help Emotionally Withdrawn Children

Parents may not be fully aware of what is happening to their children’s and their everyday activities. After coming home from work, parents usually do some household chores and prepare themselves for dinner, while their kids do their homework after arriving from school. Conversations would usually begin at dinner time, asking them questions about how their day at school was. Kids may share their quirky experiences to their parents, but teenagers would seldom do the same.

Adolescents would rather keep the details to themselves, and just share random events from their school. Many parents may be unaware but high school life may be found by their children to be quite a challenge. Peer acceptance is critical for most teenagers. In campus, they have opportunities to build new friendships. For some teens, school is also about facing up to the difficulties of bullying. Other students from school or even their so called “friends” could tease and bully them by saying negative things about them in front of many people. Sadly, this scenario is considered as normal for people their age. At this stage, your children may be emotionally sensitive and choose to remain secretive about the issues and situations that they face in school.

In case one of your children is having difficulty sharing stories, opening up, or is showing symptoms of depression — that child may be having problems with self-esteem. It is not uncommon for teenagers to experience a form of inferiority complex since the adolescent years are really about establishing self-identity and building their own sense of self-worth. They may also have feelings of resentment, alienation, and unhappiness. These are only some of the reasons why children hesistate to share their experiences to their parents and other adults.

For parents who think that their children might be suffering from an inferiority complex, it is best to see and know the signs that your child may be experiencing. Your child knows what they are capable of, as well as their shortcomings. Bullying tends to point such negativity into the young adult, and perceives any form of criticism as a personal attack. Feeling bad about themselves, they usually have trouble feeling good with anyone else. They look hard for possible flaws and shortcomings of other people to try to convince themselves that they are not so bad after all. Response to flattery can come in two ways: desperate in fishing for compliments, while others may refuse to listen to anything positive since it would be in contrast with their own feelings. Another sign is how they project their weaknesses unto others in order to lessen the pain of feeling inferior. If blaming is carried to the extreme, they might think that others are actively seeking to ruin them. People who feel inferior likes to win games, but tend to avoid such situations because deep down, they believe they cannot win. They have beliefs that they themselves are not as interesting as others, and would think that other people would feel the same way about them. These are the most common signs of having inferiority complex, and parents should really take the time to help their children deal with it. Guiding children and teenagers in terms of their emotional and psychological growth is critical to the quality of their life.

In order to overcome such inferiority complex, these young adults should develop a strong sense of determination to change their present mentality. Initially, they would require a little initiative, be daring and should give up their inhibition. Parents should remind them that they do not need to be afraid of any body. Try to develop their positive thinking and make them express their views, in case they do not like anything. Always remember that everyone is unique in this world, and individuality is best in leading a good and happy life.

Home and Family

Answers to Common Questions About a Home Care Agency

Many people unexpectedly find themselves in situations where they need help from child care providers, caregivers, companions, or home health aides. Because most of us don’t have experience navigating the realm of domestic professional services, it’s often difficult to know where to turn. A good home care agency can be a godsend, providing us with highly qualified assistants and much-needed peace of mind. Here, then, are answers to common questions about a home care agency…

Who Uses a Home Care Agency?

The best home care agencies serve a variety of people, such as professional couples, single parents, retired seniors, the terminally ill, and those who are developmentally or physically challenged.

For example, a professional couple might require the services of a nanny, who can care for their children, as well as do light housework and cook. A single parent may need child care providers who can come in and help when two hands and one heart just aren’t enough. A mother who works from home could use a mother’s helper to run errands, help with meals, and do the laundry.

For adult children whose parents are infirm, a home health aide can provide respite from the responsibilities associated with caring for elderly parents. For adult children who live a long distance from their parents, having a caregiver can bring peace of mind. And seniors who prefer to live at home rather than in a retirement home or assisted living facility can often use a helping hand.

What Services Does a Home Care Agency Provide?

You can think of a home care agency as a kind of employment agency, in that it provides highly qualified child care providers, nannies, a home health aide, a nurse aide/assistant, and other types of caregivers.

In the realm of health care, assistance can encompass everything from medication supervision to incontinence assistance and from meal planning to accompanying someone to doctors’ appointments. Child care can incorporate everything from babysitting to full-time live-in nannies.

A good home care agency provides caregivers for a wide range of needs, including short-term or long-term, part-time or full-time, and live-in or live-out. They should also be able to accommodate your needs in terms of the times of day you need assistance, such as day shifts, swing shifts, or overnight service.

How Do I Know Providers are Qualified?

It’s crucial to find a home care agency that has rigorous screening procedures. All home care providers, for example, should have verifiable references, an impeccable background check, a clean driving record, and CPR training. If you need a Certified Nurses’ Assistant or a Certified Home Health Aide, the agency should provide you with their credentials.

In addition to the caregiver’s qualifications, you should ensure that he or she is a good “fit” with your loved one. Therefore, the home care agency should give you the opportunity to interview several qualified providers, either in your home or in the agency’s office. Only when you are comfortable with both the caregiver’s qualifications and their personality should you consent to hire him or her.