Pointers for Cleaning Your Wooden Floors

As homeowners, it is our primary responsibility to take care of our homes. Who wants to have messed-up homes, right? A lot of homeowners like to buy furniture, carpets, appliances, and other home additions that can enhance the overall look and appeal of their real estate property.
Do you know that choosing the right floor material is also crucial to making your home comfortably liveable? If you want laminate, vinyl, or timber flooring, many floor shops in Melbourne can help you. You should visit them and check out different floor materials for your home. Regardless of the flooring type, you should make sure to clean and maintain it in its full glory.

Proper wood floor cleaning
When you say cleaning, it's more than just dusting, mopping, and vacuuming the floor. It is also about keeping your floors in tip-top shape all the time. Stains and all sorts of wear and tear can lead to the deterioration of the flooring's overall quality. You need to know the right cleaning method to preserve the beauty of your floors.

1. Remove stains immediately.

If you let stains sit on your wood flooring, they will leave unpleasant marks. These can make your floor look old and unkempt. The first thing that you have to do is get a towel for stains.

2. Use the appropriate cleaning products.

There are a lot of floor cleaning products available in the market today. Choosing the right floor-cleaning product can make a lot of difference in maintaining your flooring. You can use either commercial or natural floor cleaners, both of which can guarantee clean and shiny floors.

3. Consider natural cleaning products.

Some popular household items can also be used to clean your floor. You can start by wiping the floor stain with a clean cloth or rag dipped in water. Then, you can use the following household items, depending on the type of stain you are dealing with:
  • Water with detergent - for removing paint stains
  • White vinegar - for getting rid of wine stains
  • Ammonia - can remove stubborn stains such as iodine
  • Chlorine - effective in getting rid of dye stains
  • Baking soda - can help remove white streaks on tiles and flooring
4. Invest in floor cleaning tools.

Aside from using the appropriate cleaning products, you should invest in quality cleaning equipment. You can check out vacuums and mops that are specially made for cleaning wood floors. Robot vacuums are also great, especially for those who don't have enough time to clean their floors regularly.

In the end, these are some of the best ways to keep your wood floors clean and shiny. You should remember that clean and well-maintained floors can do wonders for your home. However, all types of floors should be adequately maintained, regardless of the model. It is our responsibility as homeowners to keep our homes clean and guest-ready. If you need more suggestions, you can seek the advice of a professional. Doing so can help you save time and money.


Unique Family Fun This Holiday Season

Spending time together as a family is an important part of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Going to a movie is a common activity to do altogether, but it's a passive one with little interaction. As you plan a family activity this year, instead consider murder mystery shows in South Florida for something more engaging.

Dining Together as a Family

Murder mystery shows are a unique form of interactive dinner theater where everyone, young and old, can take part. Typically, the show starts out with a multi-course meal. Gathering around a table always brings families together. With multiple courses to the meal, even picky eaters will find something to enjoy. It also gives you a chance to convince your children to try something new in a fun and interesting setting. Best of all, no one is stuck in a sweltering kitchen for hours, preparing the meal for everyone else or getting stuck doing all the dishes.

Reality Theater

In addition to multi-course dining, murder mystery shows include reality theater. Rather than passively sitting in an audience, watching a traditional performance on stage, murder mystery performances play out around you while you're sitting at your table. You're essentially on the stage while the actors blend into your dining experience. Many of your interactions can help guide the direction of the mystery. Some shows even occur in interesting locations such as railroad cars, which adds to the unique and interactive occasion.

Family Game Night

While the performance plays out, everyone has a chance to solve the murder mystery puzzle. Family members can break into detective teams, pairing old with young, pitting sibling against sibling, and keeping everyone involved. Depending on the audience the night you attend, you may be competing with other families, as well. Not only does this heighten the fun and competitive spirit, but it also means everyone participates. Children aren't left at the kids' table to play among themselves and Auntie isn’t relegated to keep things under control in the children’s room while the adults enjoy stimulating conversation or parlor games. Everyone engages in solving the mystery.

Quality Family Time

The importance of quality family time is clear, especially during the holiday season. Don’t let yourself default to the usual board or video games. This year, why not start a new holiday tradition with your family? Try a murder mystery show for a unique form of entertainment that is fun and engaging for the whole family.


Opportunities for Success with a Small Toy Store Business in 2019 and Beyond

The toy industry is primed for growth over at least the next two years, according to NPD's 2019 report. And if you're looking to set foot in a small business startup, opening a toy store could be a great idea given this outlook. However, there are several things you'll want to consider as you seek to establish a successful enterprise. Here are some key points.

What is your niche?

Although growth is forecast in the toy industry, not all categories are equal. The NPD report highlights action figures and accessories, dolls, and games and puzzles as the strongest categories for growth. Also mentioned are arts and crafts, building sets, and outdoor and sports toys.

While you may be better positioned to take advantage of industry growth by focusing on one of those categories, remember that competitors also have access to the same information and may make the same business decisions. It may be necessary to further define your niche; otherwise, everybody's success takes a dip if you all end up doing the same thing.

Focusing on what you're good at and what you love doing is pretty standard business advice, but often ignored in the world of e-commerce where you feel constant pressure to be the best at everything and perform in every metric. If puzzles are your strongest product, consider specializing in a specific age range, or using a signature material or process, such as hand-carved wood. This will make you the go-to supplier for that particular niche for more customers in your area.

Should you go, all-in?

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you also have the option to go all-in on mass distribution. If you can arrange a wholesale agreement with a distributor or manufacturer, then you can stock specific products at a lower overall cost. You can even work with overseas suppliers, as their cheaper labor and materials costs allow you to pass on savings to your customers while turning profits.

However, there's a cautionary tale in the downfall of Toys R Us; e-commerce can undercut even the biggest toy companies significantly. In all likelihood, you can't offer a lower price point on models that are already being sold in bulk by online stores. When opting for mass distribution, your best bet is to capitalize on a hit toy that isn't widely available online.

Can you manufacture a hit?

There's a possibility to nail both the advantages of establishing your niche and working with economies of scale, and that's if you happen to create your own hit toy design. There's no specific formula that works, but you can gain insider insight into what works by attending industry conventions. Do some networking to find a designer and a manufacturer whose work you like, and have them create your prototype.

Once you have your prototype, you'll want to gauge interest - and raise investment. Don't forget to patent it, and you can set about making arrangements for mass production. Custom molded plastic products, for example, can be executed by local suppliers at lower costs for high volume orders. With a cost-efficient supply line and a potential hit toy on your hands, you can work on the marketing and turn e-commerce in your favor as the sole supplier of your product. This route to success carries the most question marks, but if you're passionate about toys, it's also potentially the most challenging and exciting.

Kids are always going to demand toys, so the potential to succeed with a toy store business is there. You just have to find the right approach in a changing industry to ride the forecast for growth.

How to Prepare for an Exam Like a Pro

Do you always suffer from anxiety whenever a big test is coming your way? Do you have jitters by just thinking about how you're going to do well in the exams? You are not alone. Many people suffer from exam anxiety, which is defined as experiencing great fear before or during an exam or assessment. There are a great number of people who suffer from the condition. Even intellectually gifted individuals are known to crumble before an exam.

Be Well-prepared

If you're taking a network certification exam, you should have an A+ 901 902 PDF reviewer with you at all times. This will help you with studying whenever you have the time. If you're in the commute back to the dorm or your house, you can open the reviewer. You can have a digital copy of the file, too, so that you don't have to go around with a huge manual on system recovery, network setup, and the like.

Give Yourself Time

Coupled with being well-prepared is giving yourself enough time. No one's going to survive an exam cramming the day before. You cannot be confident with your ability to answer the questions intellectually if you open the book only the day before the exam. Being well-prepared means giving yourself ample time to prepare for the exam. That can reduce the anxiety and fear that you feel when taking a big test or assessment.

Join a Study Group

This might work for others, while some may be more comfortable studying alone. If you like being around people, why don't you join a study group? The best thing about this is that you have someone to turn to when you need an additional explanation about a subject matter. Having people to discuss the subject with will help you remember the details clearly. Your retention will improve on the topics you talk about. Just make sure that the group isn't distracted by other things.

Create Visual Aids

People can better remember concepts, ideas, and theories when they have visual representations. Once you've read the manuals and instructions, you can begin analyzing what you understand about them. You should create a graph or diagram of the important points about the topics. This way, you can visualize these when you are taking the exam. That will help you remember the right answers better.

Snack on Healthy Food

Pizza might be your comfort food, but it will make you feel sluggish. It's not the perfect food for someone taking the exam. You have to take brain-booster food such as nuts, fatty fish, blueberries, broccoli, dark chocolate, and coffee. Choosing the right food to take before an exam will get you places. At the same time, drink plenty of water. You have to keep yourself hydrated.

Sleep Well

Imagine feeling anxious and sleep at the same time. That's not a good combination for someone taking an exam. Sleep at least six hours the night before the exam. That will keep your mind rested and ready for "battle." Stop those cramming sessions. Your brain shuts down hours before the exam. It will only retain so little information. If you are well-prepared, you won't have to cram at all.

There are plenty of ways to get over your test anxiety. You can meditate to calm your mind and make it more receptive to information. No matter what tips you choose to follow, remember to focus your mind, read the instructions carefully, and be there on time.


Great Kids Don't Just Happen Book Spotlight & Book Tour Giveaway

This morning, I have a parenting book in our book spotlight. Check out Great Kids Don't Just Happen:  5 Essentials for Raising Successful Children, learn about author Dr. Paul Smolen--and enter the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Book Title:  Great Kids Don't Just Happen, 5 Essentials for Raising Successful Children by Dr. Paul Smolen
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction
Genre Parenting/Family


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About the Book
If there are children in your life, you need Dr. Smolen's research and wisdom!

Physically and emotionally healthy children are Great Kids. They are happier when young and thrive as adults.

Pediatrician Dr. Paul Smolen identifies five essential parenting elements which help develop happy and successful kids.

In Great Kids Don't Just Happen you will learn how to use those elements and nurture the children in your life.

The author's observations and advice are supported by scientific studies referenced throughout the book and personal observations from his many years of practice as a pediatrician. The five essential elements and how to apply them are made easy to understand in the warm words of one who knows, practices, and teaches from research, observation, and experience.

Learn how to provide:
  1.         Realistic praise
  2.         Consistent limits
  3.         A healthy emotional environment
  4.         Strong parental commitment
  5.         Stability
Dr. Smolen's research and wisdom are sure to be of great help for your family and loved ones.

Buy the Book
  Amazon * Torchflame Books
Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author

Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo by his friends, is a pediatrician with 37 years of experience caring for children and families. He is a graduate of Duke University (1974), Rutgers Medical School (1978), and Wake Forest University-N.C. Baptist Hospital (1982). At Wake Forest University he completed a residency in general pediatrics, served as chief resident, and completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics. Subsequently, he became board certified in the American Academy of Pediatrics (1983) and completed his recertification in 2014. For the last 37 years, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, helping to train a generation of medical students and pediatric residents as well as author several research papers. He is also the author of a parenting book called, Can Doesn’t Mean Should.

With 37 years under his belt, Doc Smo is a bona-fide expert in knowing what parents want and need to know about parenting and child health. Imparting practical and useful advice is the goal of every “Pedcast”. Smiling along the way can’t hurt!

Connect with the author:      Website      Facebook    Twitter   

Enter The Giveaway



What’s It Like to Live With a Chronic Illness

People with acute illnesses such as the flu or cough and colds often feel sluggish. They find it hard to function at work or spend time with family. But that's a better feeling compared to people who have to deal with chronic illnesses all their lives. With an acute illness, you know you'll feel better in a couple of days. You know that after taking paracetamol, your fever will go down. Chronic illnesses last for a long time, even years. Some of them will never heal at all.

While there are autoimmune disease treatment facilities that help people who suffer from various illnesses, people with chronic diseases need understanding. More than anything else, they need the support of their loved ones. But for their families and friends, that's easier said than done. It's hard to imagine what's it like to live with chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer's, arthritis, COPD, cancer, diabetes, lupus, HIV, AIDS, and many more.

Aside from disease-specific symptoms, people with chronic illnesses also deal with depression. This is where it gets dark and murky. Depressed people are almost always irrational. Depression is not a state of mind. It's a medical condition that affects the way people live. It's often as debilitating as the disease itself.

Pain and Fatigue

What kind of mood are you in when you're suffering from lower back pain? It's hard for you to move, isn't it? At one point, you may have even called in sick because the pain was unbearable. That's how everyone with chronic illnesses feels. The pain never goes away. Sure, they deal with it through medication, but this is not a healthy way to live. People are not supposed to depend on medicines every single day.

With the pain comes this physical fatigue and mental exhaustion. You're too tired from feeling pain all the time. The pain changes people suffering from chronic illnesses. They may snap at their loved ones. Their moods vary from bad to worst.

Anxiety and Depression

People with chronic diseases are more likely to be depressed. Studies showed that they are 33% more likely to get depressed than normal. The risk of depression for women is at 10% to 25% while it's slightly lower for men at 5% to 12%. But those who suffered depression before the diagnosis of a chronic illness can make the condition worse.

Depression and anxiety limit people's capacity. Their self-worth suffers. Their self-confidence will almost be non-existent. They pull away from social interactions, alienating their families and friends. It is not often you'll see people with chronic illnesses up and about. They suffer from bouts of depression. You can't do anything about it but be there for them.

Sometimes, they can be open to suggestions for therapy. You have to toe this line carefully as depressed people don't see things the same way you do. Listen to their fears. Never alienate them. Don't tell them to "suck it up." More than anyone or anything else, depressed people need understanding.

Financial Problems

Many people who are suffering from chronic illnesses are unable to work. This leads to financial problems. Their medical bills will pile up. They will have to rely on government subsidies and their medical insurances (if they have any). This adds to the stress of having to deal with their illnesses in the first place.

Though you cannot shoulder their medical expenses, you can help in little ways. You can bring them food. You can help them find a home-based job that pays well. You can accompany them to government offices if they have to file for support regarding their predicament.

Coping with a chronic illness is never going to be easy for anyone. It takes an unbelievable faith and strength of character to remain hopeful despite the odds. All you can do is be there as a friend and hopefully, for many of those who are suffering, that's enough.