outdoor heater

Re-Discover Your Backyard

At a time when even more cruise ships are being built to meet the need of people wanting to get away from it all, many others are re-discovering their own backyard. Families are choosing “staycations” over vacations. Many are choosing to not be taken away from the oasis they have personally built and own.

Backyards have not always been for recreation. Actually up to the 1940s, people who had some small amount of land in the back of the house used it to grow food. The backyard was a place for work not fun. As History Of The Backyard (As We Know It) says “In the late 1800s and up to the end of World War II, even those not living in strictly rural settings used their backyards as spaces to support the economies of their households. This meant food gardens that would support the appetites and nutritional needs of everyone living there. The same went for livestock, with those animals who provided eggs, meat, and milk. Even animals need a place to crash. The backyard was it.”

These days, the backyard is our place of rest and relaxation. We can set up mini versions of a baseball field, a volleyball court and many other recreational activities. We can also build an outdoor living space, like a kitchen or living room complete with a flat screen TV. Our backyard can be just about anything we can imagine.

We want to be in the backyard even if the temperature is cold. To satisfy that requirement, an outdoor heater is just the answer. The Lava Lite KD Patio Heater is a liquid Propane Gas Patio Heater. The Lava Lite KD can be utilized all year-long in the comfort of your outdoor environment. Surrounding the tube are steel grills that never get hot and put a safe distance between you and the flame encased in weather resistant glass. Adding to the appeal of Lava Lite KD are chrome reflectors at each inner corner of the unit, which visually enhance the flame by dispersing the light and adding an ambient glow. Safety is further ensured by the built-in SafeTilt switch, which shuts down the unit if it tilts or falls over.

At AddvantageUSA, we understand the value of staying at home building real life memories with the family right in our own back yard. Call us at 888.601.5527.

 

Multi Generation Moms helping children

Traditions to Bring the Joy Back into Your Holidays

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Isn’t that what they say? Sometimes in the busyness of the season, we can get away from that sentiment or lose sight of the true meaning of it all. But even if you are feeling like you’ve lost that holiday joy, it’s not too late to reclaim it!

One of the best ways to get it back is to enjoy some holiday traditions together. So whether your traditions are plentiful or whether they are running low, here are some traditions to consider for this holiday season and for many holiday seasons to come.

Decorate Together

For some people, this one is difficult, especially if your children are young and don’t have an eye for spreading out ornaments on the Christmas tree. But what wonderful memories it makes when the family spends time decorating together! Oftentimes, our youngest kids are the ones who enjoy it the most. If they’re taught early on that it isn’t about everything looking perfect, but rather a chance for family to spend time together, laughing and enjoying each other, there’s a good chance that even when they hit those teenage years and always seem to be with their friends, this is a tradition they won’t want to miss. And if you’re the type that has to have things just right, you can always fix things to your liking when the kids are asleep.

Look Beyond Yourselves

There are so many ways to give back during the holiday season. It doesn’t have to involve lots of money. You can go to a local retirement home with your family to visit some elderly. Take cookies that the kids helped you make and give them out after you sing some Christmas carols. Contact a school to find out about a family in need. Bring them a meal and/or get some gifts to make their Christmas special. In the post Giving Jars by Heather Platt, she talks about a tradition they have, “at the beginning of December, we put a jar out for all four of the children.” She goes on to explain how they can earn money throughout the month for their jars by doing various extra chores or by being kind to others, etc. On December 24th, they look to see how much money they have earned and find ways to give it away to those who are less fortunate.

Shopping for Family

Allow the kids to help shop for family Christmas gifts. You’ve probably been thinking about what you would like to get people for months now, but help your children think about your family members and what each person may like. It’s a way to express love but also teaches them how to buy gifts with a certain person in mind. You can go to a store to shop together or shop online with one child at a time.

Yes, the holidays can be stressful, but why not do what you can to enjoy them with lasting traditions your family will treasure for years to come?  At AddvantageUSA we wish you and your family a very Happy Holidays!

Moms and daughter

One More Thing About Why We Love Our Moms

In the never-ending flow of (often superficial) self-help advice, there are innumerable slogans that tell us to “Live today.” “Be in the now.” “Live the Moment.” Somehow, this advice flows right by our mothers – and thank goodness for that.

Unconstrained by “the now”, moms are the most agile of time jumpers. They can recall when Joey’s first basketball team won its first game and Maria’s first role in a grade school play. Moms know how to join their kids in whatever is going on today with what will be happening in their future. Moms know how to look ahead, over the horizon, and plan for a moment that their kids won’t realize for a month, a year, or a long time from now.

So, we may learn one more way to appreciate the mothers in our lives by appreciating them for the ways they live in the past, present, and future all at the same time – especially the future.

When we are young we move from one big event to the next. We arrive at the first day of school, a birthday party, or a holiday without ever realizing that our moms have been thinking, imagining, and planning for the big day long before we do.

Take the first days of school. The kiddos are oblivious until a few days before the big event when, suddenly, they panic because summer freedom is about to disappear. But mom? Beginning somewhere just past the middle of summer, mom was living the first week of school and thinking of all that she needed to do before it arrived. She had a list: clothes, school supplies, lunches and snacks, carpools, and meeting teachers, along with afterschool activities such as sports, cheerleading, music lessons, dance class, math club, science club– all the things that coincide with the first days of school.

Mom begins to look ahead fairly early in the summer and by the time school starts she is doing a magical thing that moms do better than most anyone else –she’s doing two things at once. Mother is there with her kids, being a part of the moment, doing the practical daily chores, encouraging them to live well, do well, be kind, and enjoy themselves. And, at the same time as the kids are settling in to the new routine, mom is thinking about an upcoming birthday party or Halloween costumes.

Now, apply this magic over a whole calendar. When the kids are trick or treating, mom is having a great time. But, she is also planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kids will be opening Christmas presents. Mom will be there, heart and soul. But , she also has an eye on the fact that school will start again soon and she has things she wants ready for that. When school starts, Mom is thinking about a Valentine’s dance or Easter.

We do not mean to suggest that any mother does this perfectly, or needs to. Nor are we suggesting that our moms are automatons working for a future that never arrives. Mothers make mistakes, forget things, and experience moments of failure. Moreover, in the midst of it all, moms are also working, achieving personal goals, and enjoying friendship with other adults.

What we are saying is that mothers can teach us a lot if we look at how they observe the past, present, and future as a whole. For mom, time is something organic and elastic, and she uses it to bring together all of the experiences that make her life and her children’s lives as joyful and productive and satisfying as possible at any given moment, on any given day, during any month or year or lifetime.

The gift that mothers have to live in “the now” while at the same time imagining and planning for the future is not just to be appreciated, but also to be celebrated. This is one more thing to love about our moms.

Fathers Day

Father’s Day is a Worthwhile Celebration, Too

Have you ever noticed that Mother’s Day seems to get all the hype and Father’s Day comes as a bit of an afterthought? Did you know that it is estimated that $8.5 billion less will be spent on Father’s Day than Mother’s Day (In Christine Park’s post, Father’s Day Spending Lags Behind Mother’s Day, it claims, “Father’s Day spending will average $115.57 per person, or an additional $12.7 billion dollars for retailers, versus the $21.2 billion estimate they spent for Mother’s Day.”)?

Fathers play a huge role in our life, and yet somehow we don’t always see the need to give them special treatment on the day that has been permanently set aside for them since 1972 (observed by many for over 60 years before that).

Some may argue that dads aren’t sentimental and don’t care about having a day to celebrate them. Others might say that dads tend to buy what they want, so they are difficult to buy for, or maybe the things they do want are just too expensive. Some dads even tell their kids not to get them anything.

Whatever the case, put these excuses aside and celebrate fathers because they are special and worth it! Here are a couple of ideas for celebrating dad this year and letting him know you love him.

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Child about to eat vegetables, and fruit

How I Convinced My Picky Child to Eat Vegetables

By: Lauren Lowery

I have nightmares from childhood of sitting at the table for what seemed like hours with different colored vegetables staring me down. I hated them. I didn’t care if they were good for me. And I definitely didn’t appreciate having to stay at the table until I ate them all. As I matured, I learned to like them somewhat better, and I definitely gained respect for their health value in my diet.

Then I had my own kids and faced the same fight I put my parents through as my kids wanted nothing to do with these same foods. I felt my kids’ pain remembering many of the bitter flavors that made me wish we had a dog who would rescue me from this torture, and yet I understood the need for nutrition in their growing bodies.

My world was turned upside down, in a good way, when I finally tasted my first fruit and vegetable smoothie and realized it was really good. I had heard of people adding things like kale or broccoli to a smoothie, but the thought of it made me cringe imagining how terrible it would taste. But one afternoon, I was convinced to taste a smoothie with broccoli and spinach, balanced with yogurt and fruit. To my delight, it was delicious, and I haven’t looked back since.

I started making them more and offered them to my children as well. To my utter surprise, even my pickiest little eater drank it all right up. As we have grown more adventurous in our smoothie making, we have tried all different kinds of vegetables, fruits, texture enhancers (i.e. yogurt or avocado), and add-ons (which can add flavor and/or nutrition). Almost every time, we have a winner that the whole family enjoys.

The post A Healthy Beverage is a Choice, states, “Health begins with what we eat and drink.” It was difficult for me to believe that drinking blended fruits and vegetables counts towards health. I figured blending it up stripped it of its nutritional benefits. However, my doctor persuaded me that blenders keep good nutrients and fibers in the smoothie. Further, I’ve learned that you can pack a smoothie with such a variety of powerful ingredients that you end up getting more nutrients and benefits in one smoothie than you would often get in one meal.

The key is making sure you are putting good items into your smoothies and using a quality blender that can provide a nice consistency. The post Health Benefits of Smoothies suggests, “The best smoothies are made with natural, all real, nutrient-dense ingredients that provide vitamins and oils necessary for good more complete nutrition.”

So what are you waiting for? Go try a fruit and vegetable smoothie today, and don’t be surprised when your kids ask for seconds.

Visit AddvantageUSA to learn more about the perfect blender for making a delicious and healthful smoothie.

Bond No 9 Brooklyn Perfume

Why Does the Fragrance of Perfume Change

The fragrance of a perfume can mysteriously change. Why is that?

As an example, you remember the enchanting fragrance of the perfume your friend was wearing at a recent gathering. You thought to yourself that you must have it for yourself. You rush to the store the next day, find the perfume by name, try it – but, the fragrance is not the same.

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