Different Types of Games For Your Kids

Parents should try to help their kids become social. There are many ways of achieving this purpose. One is to let kids play games online with other players, but make sure you understand the risks associated with this approach. For instance, you may want to teach your kids not to post their pictures or leak out personal information on the Internet. And this includes their fellow players as well. Some dishonest players may harass the kids using their pictures.

Types of games

Nowadays, you can find numbers types of games for kids. These games can be played online. Given below is a description of different types, according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

Boxed Games

These types of games are available on CDs or cartridges that can be bought from a physical or online store. You can play them on a PC, handheld or console. Just make sure your computer specifications are high enough for the title that you want to play. Slower machines may not allow you to play certain titles on high settings.

Digital Downloads

These can be download from the Internet to your PC, handset or PC. If you don’t know, the majority of consoles, such as Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 come with their own stores where you can download different titles. Some of the titles offer special features, but others are casual, such as word games and puzzle.

Mobile Storefronts

If you own a smartphone or tablet, you can download apps from different app stores. Some of the apps are offered free of charge, while others can be purchased using your mobile phone account, e-wallet or credit cards. In case you don’t know, games fall under the category of most popular mobile apps. Make sure the titles you download are appropriate for your kids.

Subscription

For playing these titles, you may have to use your accounts to play for a set duration. And for this, you are charged a fee. Typically, the subscription services allow you to play your favorite titles without requiring you to download them from the Internet. What happens is that you stream the gameplay experience to your device or stream it from the provider’s servers.

Freemium

Usually, these titles come with ads. So, you don’t need to buy them or pay any subscription fee. In other words, a freemium allows you to play the trial version of a certain app; however, if you want to get access to the full version, you will have to pay a fee or subscription. This will allow you to enjoy the full features. Aside from this, browser-based game and mobile games often include this business model.

Social networking games

These can be played while you are on a social network, such as Facebook. So, the developers encourage you to share them with their friends on the social networks. Often, you can buy in-game items during the gameplay using your credit card. So, playing these titles can be a lot of fun, especially if you are playing on your smartphone.

Why Is It Important To Hire A Licensed Contractor?

No matter what state a builder is from, it’s important for each builder to apply for and get a license. What is the purpose of these laws? The purpose is to protect property owners against dishonest or incompetent contractors. The important thing is that the licensing process is a proof of the basic competency and weed out dishonest contractors. If a contractor has a valid license, it’s a sign that the professional is qualified to get the job done to your satisfaction. If you want to know the importance of licensing, we suggest that you read through this article. Read on to know more.

Dispute resolution

One of the main benefits of a hiring the services of a licensed contractors is that the dispute resolution program of the state will help you resolve the disputes. The compensation will be granted from the funds of the state. If you want to get the most out of this program, you may want to check that the professional has a valid license for the services they are offering. Without a valid license, it’s not possible to benefit from a dispute resolution.

State Requirements

In each state, there is a licensing board that has specific requirements for the professional contractors. The requirements in one state may be different from the requirements in another state. Moreover, the type of license is also different based on the state.

Licenses for General Contractors

The requirement for license depends upon the aspect of a certain construction project. General contractor is the person who is responsible to deal with you i.e. the owner of the property. The professional will work with you, supervise the entire project, buys the required material and hires some subcontractors. The subcontractors will report to the general contractors and not you. Since the license doesn’t authorize any pro to do each and every job in the project, you should do your research and find out what someone can do in your state.

Other Licenses

In the majority of states, special licenses are granted in order to allow the professionals to do certain jobs. For this, each candidate has to prove that he or she is competent enough to do work in an area like plumbing, roofing, and electrical. Moreover, if a GC doesn’t have a special license to carry out a project, they may go for a subcontractor who is qualified enough to carry out the work.

Lastly, it’s important that you get to know about each aspect of your project. At the early stages, it’s a lot easier to fix mistakes. But if they are not fixed in time, it may become a lot harder and more expensive to fix them. Aside from this, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on each worker so that the project could be completed as soon as possible.

How to Protect Your Home From Winter

The winter season is upon us. Just as we change our lifestyles and routines to fit with the seasons, we must also adapt our homes to the changes. While we’re getting ready to cozy up indoors and bring out the heavy-duty winter woollies, we need to make sure our home is ready to bear the coming onslaught of snow, dirt, slush, and salt.

The winter season brings with it challenges that aren’t purely seasonal in nature; the holiday season comes with a heavy increase in foot traffic around the house as people spend a lot of time indoors. This double effect can combine to do some real damage to your beautiful hardwood floors if you aren’t prepared. Let’s take a quick look at how the changing season can harm your flooring and how you can prevent this from happening.

Common Winter Elemental Damages

Gap formation: The air that your air-conditioning systems will be circulating throughout your home in the winter season is much drier than the type of air that circulates during the summer months. The effect this has on wood is that it causes it to slightly lose its moisture content, leading to the creation of small gaps where planks meet. You shouldn’t worry too much about this, as it’s to be expected. Once temperatures warm up, they will absorb a bit of moisture and return to normal.

Scratches and scrapes: Mud, salt, dead leaves, dirt, and snow can all combine to create unsightly scratches and scrapes on your floors once they are unintentionally brought into the house on the bottoms of boots and shoes.

Rot: If left to lie untouched for long enough, some of these winter elements can make their way into your flooring, causing the wood to rot. This is to be avoided at all costs, as serious cases might make it necessary to seek professional services to repair.
What Can I Do to Avoid Them?

Maintain temperatures: What leads to the creation of gaps in your flooring is the changing temperature levels and humidity. A good way to counteract this effect is to maintain your thermostat settings at a constant even temperature, avoiding turning your heat up and down.

Clean up: Regularly sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming your floors prevents the build-up of sludge and leftover snow that might eventually lead to rot.

Take the shoes off: Simply taking off shoes and boots before coming indoors will go a long way in avoiding most of the winter-borne floor difficulties. Before they come indoors, have your family and friends take note!

Cover up: Rugs, carpets, and floor-mats are a great way to protect your floors, especially in high-traffic areas which experience the most stress. Unwanted elements simply won’t have the chance to get at your floors.

Know what you’re dealing with: Gaining a good understanding of exactly what type of floor you’re trying to protect will make your job a whole lot easier. Having information about your hardwood floor areas such as how old they are, how much money you have invested in them over time, etc. will help you determine just how much time, effort, and money would be reasonably used up in protecting them.

Considering Which Is the Best Fabric for Your Next Chef Uniform?

Whenever you are deciding whether to buy a chef uniform or not, a very important factor that influences your decision is the quality of the fabric. The uniform can be anything from a casual t-shirt and jeans to a traditional uniform; fabric still plays a very important role. Fabric is of great importance when it comes to a dressing a chef because it has an impact three major areas:

· Look of the Uniform:

The look of a chef uniform is very important because it’s design helps identify the chef. The fabrics use in the design must be appropriate to live up to the standard of 4 to 5 star hotels. If the fabric does not have an appealing finish, then a chef’s presentation would never be quite up to the high standards of the establishment.

· Feel of the Uniform:

A chef has a tedious job, as they have to cook, decorate and present the food. They cannot wear something that is not comfortable or not suitable to the temperature of the kitchen. Hence, a chef uniform can only be considered appropriate it gives the chef a comfortable feel. It is the fabric which provides much of the comfort to the chef.

· Quality of the Uniform:

Fabric durability is an important consideration in a chef uniform as the garments are being washed daily in commercial laundries the fabrics must be commercially strong. In addition to look and feel of the uniform, a chef’s attire needs to be stitched from high quality threads because it ensures longevity of the uniform.

. Fabric choices

Chefs concerned about the type of fabrics used should seek assurances from the suppliers that the fabric used is first-rate from all three aspects discussed above. A chef uniform fabric must be up to internationally acceptable commercial standards. Tip: Seek companies which mill their own fabric and do not rely on ‘off the shelf generic fabrics’ for their chef uniforms!

Chef’s wear is in high demand and from a consumer perspective the broadly speaking the overall demand for various types of uniforms is as follows:

· 80% customers demand Traditional chef uniforms.

· 17% customers demand Modern chef uniforms.

· A 3% demand caters to various radical interpretations.

Chef wear manufacturers often use different types of fabrics to suit a client’s budget and suitability.

The different types of fabrics mainly include 100% cotton and a blend of 65% polyester and 35% Cotton. Both these types of fabrics may or may not match industry standards. The usual weight of the fabric ranges from 120 grams to 240 grams, which again depends on what you want. Tip: It’s important to seek ISO9001 factory milled and tested fabrics to provide the confidence before ordering large quantities of uniforms!

The color of fabrics in most chef uniforms is mainly black and white. The chef jackets are mostly white while the pants can be checked, white or black depending on consumer choice. In addition to this, the jackets are designed in different styles whether it is double-breasted traditional chef jackets or modern chef jackets with snaps. Hotels often order optional embroidery that carries the name or logo of the hotel or the restaurant. Tip: always ask for color-fast embroidery thread!

Summer Tips to Keep You Healthy

Dreaming about laying back on the sun lounger, sand between your toes and cocktail in hand. The sun’s rays feel good right? But they’re no friend to your skin.

Though you won’t see it right away, they give you wrinkles and age spots, and they’re the top cause of skin cancer!

Overexposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds is the number one cause of developing skin cancer. You need to make sure you are doing everything that you can to protect yourselves so that you can enjoy your time in the sun. With the approach of Sun Awareness Week, we thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of our top tips for staying safe in the sun this summer.

1. Seek shade

From 11am to 3pm the sun is at its strongest. During this period it is recommended for you to stay out of the sun as you are more at risk of burning or developing heatstroke. If you are having lunch in your garden or at the sea-side you may seek shade under a parasol to have maximum protection.

2. Stay hydrated

Spending too much time in the sun without drinking water will get you chronically dehydrated. It is recommended to reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks or alcoholic beverages during hot days, as this will tend to make you even more dehydrated. You should drink at least eight glasses of water every day and even more on hot days to stay hydrated. Dehydrated skin is more prone to sun damage, so drink plenty of water!

3. Wear sunscreen

When you are exposed to the sun, always make sure that you are wearing a sunscreen that is right for you. It is important to know which sunscreen is suitable for you skin type and blocks both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation. Before applying your sunscreen, always check its expiry date. It should usually last for about 12 months from opening, moreover you can also check the label on the product. Always apply liberally and remember to reapply after swimming even if it says it is a water resistant sunscreen. Remember also that UV rays bounce off sand, snow, concrete, and water.

4. Clothing

Cover up with a hat that shades your face, neck and ears and a good pair of sunglasses. When deciding about which fabric to wear in summer choose cotton to absorb excess sweating or close-weave fabrics which give the best protection. Skin that’s not usually in the sun is most likely to burn. So take extra care with your back, shoulders and tummy.

5. Self-tan

Instead of exposing yourself to potentially harmful UV rays, use a self-tan to achieve that healthy brown glow you’re desiring.

Now that the countdown is on to summer and you will be spending more time outdoors start practising these sun safe tips, in order to guarantee an enjoyable holiday and summer in the sun!

6 Ways to Choose Video Games for Kids

Video games are the popular gifts for kids of today. As a parent, you need to ensure that the games your kids play are fun, affordable and safe. It’s true that video games should not be the primary source of entertainment for your kids, but playing games every now and then won’t hurt. Given below are some easy ways to choose the right game. Read on to know more.

1. Read Reviews

Reading reviews is one of the ways of looking for the right one. All you have to do is search for the game titles that interest you. These reviews are left by other parents. For instance, you can head to Common Sense Media. The reviews will give you a pretty good idea of how suitable a game would be for your kids.

2. Check The Rating

Make sure that the titles you choose are suitable for the game of your kid. Typically, ESRB rating system is used to rate the games. For instance, the rating may be either EC or AO. The important thing is to skip titles that are “M” rated. Actually, the problem is that these titles may contain unsuitable stuff, such as strong language, sexual content, and intense violence. Aside from this, these products may be too addictive for your children. For instance, games in the Call of Duty series may not be a good choice for minors. As for general rating, you should go for ones with above average ratings.

3. Go For Free Games

Maybe your son will look games that are based on his favorite TV shows. Mostly, these types of titles are free. So, money is not a problem but make sure you consider the ESRB rating. You can find them online on many websites. So, you don’t have to go from one shop to another.

4. Know the Impact of Your Game

If you want to check the impact of a certain game on your kid, a good way of doing so is to sit with your kid at the PC. This way you can easily find out if it is child-friendly or educational. As soon as you get familiar with a particular title, you can give your kid the free access to it. However, don’t let your children play the games all day long.

5. Your Kids’ Interests

Do you children love sports? Maybe they are into art and enjoy their favorite morning cartoons. If you choose the right ones, it will help them develop their skills at that particular sport.

6. Game Time

You can let your kid play their favorite games, but make sure they don’t spend all their time on a mobile or PC. They should do their schoolwork in time and perform other activities. As a general rule, around an hour of game play is enough for most kids.

If you are not into technology, choosing the right games can be a challenge for you. However, reading reviews can help you make the selection a lot easier. Hopefully, you will find this article helpful.

Financial Skills – Opening a Bank Account

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for kids to learn how to open a bank account.

Similarly, there was a huge call out for:

How to budget & balance accounts
How to write checks and pay bills
And how to start saving for retirement

It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.

This article is the first article in the four-part series and will discuss the best and simplest way to get started with opening a bank account.

It seems easy, but there are several questions many people never think of that we’ll address in this article:

Which bank?
Checking or savings account?
Are there fees or minimum balances?
Should I get a Debit Card too?
Should I have my name on the account with my kid?

1. Choosing a Bank

When you choose a bank, there are a few criteria you’ll want to look at:

Location
Number of branches
Ease of access

The location should be convenient to your home, but also have enough branches so that – in the case of an emergency – you can get to your bank.

I opened an account with Elevations Credit Union when I was attending CU Boulder. It was convenient and credit unions are really great to bank with. However, after I graduated and moved, there were no branches around me, which made things very inconvenient. I ended up opening an account with US Bank since they are in about every King Soopers, where I do my grocery shopping.

This is especially important with kids because you don’t want them to have to drive too far just to bank.

Similarly, ease of access into the branch is important. I remember having a Norwest (now Wells Fargo) account, and getting in and out of the bank’s parking lot was terrible. I had several near-miss car accidents and dreaded even going to the bank.

2. Checking or Savings Account

As you’ll learn in the future article about saving and budgeting, there should be an account that is used for saving and investing.

That means it’s important to have BOTH a checking and savings account.

The reason a checking account is important, is so that kids can learn how to write checks, and have a designated spending account aside from a designated savings account.

Checking accounts are important for paying bills (be it online or via mail) and will give kids the opportunity to learn how to write checks. Even if check writing isn’t as prevalent as it once was, it’s still important.

I was shopping one day and realized I forgot my wallet, which had my credit cards and cash. I started to panic because I needed some food. Fortunately, I keep a couple of checks in the car and was able to save myself by writing a check… they still come in handy!

3. Fees & Minimum Balances

Some banks have fees to have an account and others don’t. Obviously get the one that doesn’t since your kid shouldn’t have a huge account. Likewise make sure there isn’t a minimum balance or a very small ($10 or less) minimum balance.

Just as important is how overdrafts are handled!

When I was in college, it never failed: my peers (who hadn’t learned how to balance an account) would routinely trigger their overdraft protection and the hefty fees that went along with it.

They would look at their balance online and it would show $10. Then they’d check it again a few days later and it was at $30.

It was the magical growing bank account; and they never wondered where the extra money came from. Until the end of the month when they had over $200 in overdraft protection fees!

I would suggest NOT getting overdraft protection and instead making darn sure they can balance their account (which we’ll cover in a future article).

4. What About a Debit Card?

Here’s my thoughts on kids having debit cards: it makes it much, much harder to balance the bank account while making it much easier to overspend and run into trouble.

Are ATM machines convenient? Yes, but I have never once used one in my entire life. Part of teaching kids life skills is to teach them to be prepared. I keep an extra $10 in cash plus a few checks in my car. It wouldn’t bother me if it got stolen.

If you’re determined that your kid gets a debit card, wait at least six months after opening their account so they can learn “the old fashioned way” and understand how the debit card affects their account when they actually start using it.

5. Should I Be On The Account Too?

I think it’s a very good idea for you to be on your kid’s first account so you can monitor their spending and make sure they don’t cause a train wreck.

It’s good to get statements so that you can use that as a learning experience to go over them with your kid and teach them how to properly dispose of them (in a shredder) so that they decrease their risk of identity theft.

Come up with a time frame or benchmarks until you pull yourself off the account and let your kid take on the responsibility of an individual account.

Opening a bank account is a huge step into a new world for kids and it should be a great experience. Walk your kids through the setup and look for the learning opportunities along the way.

6 Dresses Every Women Must Own

Out of every other piece of clothing meant for women, dresses are certainly the easiest option to choose and the most versatile. You never have to match them with a pair of bottom-wear. All you need is a dress that suits the occasion, complementing shoes and bag, and you are good to walk into the world. Moreover, you can accessorize the same dress with a jacket and a change of shoes & bag for an entirely different occasion.

Isn’t it just what you need!

To make your wardrobe friendlier and trendy, here are a few types of a dress for women that must be in every wardrobe.

The A-line maxi dress: Finding a flattering fit with a dress can be difficult at times, which makes the maxi dress in A-line a preferred choice. It flares out at the waist, allowing for a more comfortable silhouette to move in. Because of its length, it is ideal for semi-formal events.

The fit and flare dress: Perfect for those who are blessed in the hip area, the fit and flare dress accentuates the waist and then flares out beautifully. Depending on the fabric and the neckline, this dress can we worn on any occasion be it a wedding, formal meeting, dates, and more.

The little black dress: Slimming and the easiest one to accessorize, nothing can go wrong when you are wearing a black dress that ends anywhere between the thigh and knee. Wear it with flats or heels, use a bold lipstick, complement it with a jacket in popping color, there’s always a lot of scope and always a chance to go minimalist with the little black dress.

The pencil dress: The best way to give your body a proper structure with sleek lines is with a pencil dress. Often recalled as the boardroom dress, nothing grants a business look better than a pencil dress with contrasting jacket and high heels.

The shirt dress: Polished yet casual, the shirt dress gives you a chance to be both comfortable and pulled together at the same time. It is breezy with a structured silhouette, making it ideal for every body type. To up the game, you can wear it with a belt. You can wear it to the office and for the casual setting alike.

The tank dress: The tank dress is what summers and monsoon are all about. It is airy and allows you to have an easy movement without constrictions. Wear it with wedges for summer parties and with sandals for casual day-to-day chores.

Grand Golden Circle Day Trips in Iceland

The Golden grand Circle tour takes one to the Iceland’s southwest parts and the popular attractions that are a part of it. The place offers some of the most stunning sights. Usually the departure for the tour takes place from the city of Reykjavik. Duration of the travel is seven hours approximately. With the tour operators you shall have stops at some of the major places. There are National; Parks where you can witness the Eurasian and American plates. These plates are found to be pulling apart, and some other prime attractions. These include Gullfloss Waterfall which is also claimed to be Europe’s most powerful waterfall ranking second. You shall also come across the geothermal area of Geysir. The operators also arrange for extra stops in some of the most iconic destinations. Details of the spots are mentioned below.

National Park
The Grand Golden Circle day trips are never complete without a visit to the National Park of Thingvellir. It is not just a site that is considered a wonder geologically but has layers of history. This falls is located on the intersection point of Eurasian and North American plates. The site of Thingvellir is an ancient one where first parliament of the world was made and the meeting held every year, outdoors. Whole of it continued up till 1798, beginning from 930 AD. This place tells stories of political, geographical struggles, ongoing evolution and compromises. Hence, in the year 2004 it was seamlessly included in world Heritage lists of UNESCO.

Geothermal area and waterfall
If you are beginning with the Grand Golden Circle day trips then the tour operators are bound to take you to the geothermal area of Geysir and beautiful waterfall of Gullfloss. After the national Park, Geysir is the next stop. This is the place you can see the eruption geysers right before your eyes. Geysir miraculously stopped erupting during the early period of 2000′s but Strokkur claimed as the “baby brother” goes off now and then. Third stop is beautiful falls of Gullfloss that drops beneath in stages twenty one metres and eleven metres before it falls into a crevice thus, disappearing later in the earth. The waterfall can be enjoyed from various scenic points.

Kerio and Faxi
Fourth stop of the journey shall be a waterfall called the waterfall of Faxi. This particular falls is located in the Tungufljot River and the plunge is seven metres below. It is famous for its enormous width of eighty metres. Another thing that is remarkable about the falls is that you shall find tonnes of salmon here. Fifth and penultimate stop is a lake of the volcanic crater called Great Kerio. This one is located in southern Iceland. This particular lake is also called the western zone of volcanic activities. The zone includes glacier of Langjokull and Peninsula of Reykjanes.

Endless fun ensured
Venturing with this great trip is bound to have a positive impact on your mood because you are enrolling yourself on an endless ride of fun. You are accompanied by an audio guide of English with a minibus as transport. You shall be picked from and dropped off at your place of accommodation. Make the most of the journey with free Wi-Fi on board.

Financial Skills – How to Budget & Balance Accounts

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for a few topics:

How to open a bank account
How to budget & balance accounts
How to write checks and pay bills
And how to start saving for retirement

It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.

In the last article, we focused on opening a bank account. This article is the second article in the four-part series and will look at how to teach kids to budget and balance their accounts.

Budgeting

It’s not shock that budgeting can be boring and tedious. I’ve personally never been excited to sit down and create my budgets, but it’s something that creates wealth and pays off down the road.

So how do you get kids excited about it? How can you add a little glamour to something so dull and boring? Easy – make it a game with payoffs.

Firstly, it’s important to know how to create a budget, then to adhere to the budget.

Creating a Budget

You may have your own way to create a budget, and that’s fine. In my experience, the easiest way to make a budget is as follows:

On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle:

Spending BudgetCalculate your average monthly gross income and put that at the top of the page, then multiply it by.80 (for example, if you earned $1,000, you would end up with $800)
Fixed ExpensesWrite down all of your FIXED expense categories (i.e. phone bill, insurance, mortgage etc… ) and put them in one column on the left side of the page
Variable ExpensesNext write in the variable expense categories (i.e. food, gas, leisure, etc… ) and put them in another column on the right side of the page
Fill in all of your expenses
Net Budget after Fixed Expenses – Subtract fixed expenses from your spending budget If it’s a positive number, you don’t need to change anything If it’s zero or a negative number, you should look for expenses that you can cut or lower
Budget variable expenses – Using your Net Budget after fixed expenses, determine what you can spend on variable expenses without overspending each month
Set a budget for each variable expense so you know what you can spend on each category in a given month

Making it Fun

OK, now that you have a budget outline, it’s time to get the kids excited.

I know what you’re thinking: “My kids will never be excited for this.”

They will if you give them some prizes or payoffs. Here’s how:

First, tell them what a budget is and show them the paper. Next, tell them that you’re going to do a contest (if you have more than one kid, this works even better).

Contest 1: Anticipating Spending

The first contest is to see how close they can budget their money to reach a break-even or $0 over the course of a month. In other words, the goal is to predict your spending as close to the penny as possible.

If you have more than one kid person that gets the closest to break-even without going negative wins a prize. With just one kid, tell them that they get $5 or $10 if they reach break-even, and every penny they are off, you deduct 10ȼ

Contest 2 – Saving After Spending

The second contest is to see how well they can budget their money over the next 30 days. If they can save money, tell them you will give them whatever they save. That means if they save $5, you’ll give them another $5 (just like companies matching a person’s 401K contribution).

If you have more than one kid, tell them whoever is able to save the most will win and get a special prize. You will obviously choose the prize since you know your kids best.

Coming Soon

In the next article, we’ll discuss how to write checks and pay bills. You will also learn how to combine check-writing with these contests to simulate the real world of budgeting for your kids.