The great thing about technology is that it can make us and our families safer. Here are some technological ways to make sure your home is safe – and also some overlooked traditional safety measures thrown in.
One of the greatest threats to your home is a house fire. Whether its faulty wiring, cooking gone wrong or an unattended candle, house fires are common. But how many people keep a fire extinguisher in the house? The answer is not many and given they are relatively inexpensive, there really is no excuse for not having one.
Thorny Bushes beneath Windows
Plant thorny bushes under ground floor windows so burglars are less tempted to gain access. Even the most determined thief will be put off by the prospect of being cut up by a rose bush.
Water Tank Alarm
This ingenious device detects water leaks from a faulty washing machine or broken pipe before significant damage is done. A wireless water leak alarm notifies you of leaks via a loud beep. It can mean the difference between calling out the plumber in time or facing thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.
Talking Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You may be surprised that approximately half of children sleep through a smoke alarm and it can take a while for it to wake them up. Studies show that kids wake up a lot quicker when they hear their parents’ voice. A talking smoke alarm could mean the difference between a lucky escape or an unthinkable tragedy, so consider getting one for your home.
LCD Peephole Viewers
Traditional peepholes are a good idea but they aren’t easy to see out of. Sometimes you may end up opening the door just to see who the person is which defeats the whole point. An LCD screen can make things a lot safer. The screen fits over the peephole and provides a clear image of whoever is outside, meaning you can see whether you know the person or not without having to open the door.
LED TV Simulator
Having a TV on when you’re out can fool burglars into thinking someone’s home. But leaving the TV on for hours costs money and having an unsupervised electrical device turned on for hours isn’t safe. You may not have even have a TV. An LED TV simulator creates flashing coloured images, giving the impression that a TV is on and that someone is home. Best of all, they cost just a few dollars.
Set-up a Community Watch Group
A community group is great way to identity threats in the local area in terms of crime. You can then identity the best way to deter these types of crimes, and be on the lookout. Get decals for doors and windows – if a burglar sees an entire street plastered with these, he might think that local residents are wise to his tricks.
2016 décor trends happen to be child friendly, which is great news for families. When you have a young family, you often have to compromise on décor. However, there are great ways to introduce great decoration for your family room that not only look great, but are kid friendly as well. With these tips you can make your family room great for spending time with the kids whilst maintaining a smart and stylish room that you will be proud to show guests.
Kid Friendly Couches- Slip Covers and Leather
A great idea to combine style with kid proofing is to use slip-covers over the couches. Sure, they may not look great when they’re on but they protect the couch from stains and general wear and tear. If you like eating popcorn or ice-cream with the kids whilst watching a movie, you can do this no problem, and don’t have to worry about the mess. When you have guests, simply take off the slip cover and the style of the couch is revealed. Leather couches are also a good option simply because they are easy to clean.
Get Rid of Hard Edges coffee Tables
Coffee tables with hard corners are not safe for toddlers. Consider a round table, or better yet, soft poufs or an Ottoman. These can look really stylish, unique and everybody will think you chose them for design quality rather than their kid friendly appeal. Texture is big in 2016, so be bold with a range of materials for coverings.
Create Stylish and Practical Storage Units
One of our favourite features of a family room is a built in bench or window seat. It gives a great look to any room and has the benefit of doubling up as storage. Lift up the top and store toys inside. This provides easy access for kids and allows toys to be easily hidden away at a moment’s notice. Your guests will never know what’s inside!
Dark Colours are in Vogue
One of the upcoming trends for 2016 is dark, bold colors. We’re talking specifically dark greens and blues, navy in particular. Contrast them together for a bold and striking look. These dark colors also have the benefit of not showing the dirt! Perfect for families with small children who want a child proof stylish family room.
Marble can look fantastic in your kitchen, bathroom, or indeed in any room of the home if used appropriately. It is important to plan ahead to cater for the nuances of this fantastic stone to maximize the effect. Here are some great tips.
Choose the finish
Honed Marble: Honed marble has a matte textured finish which makes it lovely, smooth, and doesn’t scratch easily. The process of honing does, however, make it more susceptible to staining than other finishes.
Leather Marble: Producing a leather like finish, this process makes the marble reflective, which means it hides scratches well. It is usually only for darker coloured marble.
Polished Marble: This brings the marble to a nice shine, producing a really sleek effect that accentuates the natural features and nuances of the stone. It brings out the unique veining which is great but is also more susceptible to corrosion, so always mop up any spills straight away.
Beauty: Marble is beautiful. It has a classic look that radiates subtle, refined elegance. It is timeless and we absolutely love it for the kitchen and bathroom. It has a rare ability to look great in any era, regardless of any change in styles and trends.
Cost: Some marble is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. It is cheaper than granite and there is an affordable option called Carrera Marble if others are out of your price range.
Great to work with: Marble is a great work surface, it is cool to the touch and perfect for pastry making. It is also very easy to clean.
Scratches easily. It is not as hard wearing as granite and being a porous stone, it is susceptible to scratches and corrosion from foods and liquids.
Strains easily: Another drawback of being a porous stone, it absorbs whatever is spilled onto it if it is not mopped up quickly. This results in stains if you are not careful.
Marble is a fantastic stone that looks amazing in both the kitchen and bathroom. It can be more-cost effective and widely available than many think. It does require love, attention, and a commitment to keep it clean. If you choose the right finish for your purposes, your marble surfaces will age gracefully and beautifully.
Are you looking for exciting winter events and activities in the South Bay Area for the New Year? Then you won’t be disappointed because the 2016 calendar features some amazing opportunities for fun, culture, relaxation and entertainment.
Hermosa Beach Farmers Market: Every Friday 12pm to 4pm
Hermosa Beach Farmers Market is your one stop shop for fresh delicious produce every Friday. Pop down to the corner of 11th and Valley St for fresh vegetables, fruit and a range of international cuisines. Head down for lunch and enjoy Afghan, Korean, Mexican food or others. There are usually stalls offering amazing seafood and crepes. Take the kids for a day out and enjoy a nice stroll.
Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, January 6, 2016
Rock and blues singer/songwriter Tommy Castro is back supporting his new album, Method to My Madness. Combining rock, soul and blues, this Bay Area native promises to deliver a show laced with soul, energy and searing guitar hooks. Come see this local hero turned international star at the Saint Roque. Click here for more information.
9th Annual California Slack Key Festival: January 17, 2016
Guitar enthusiasts will be familiar with the concept here but if you’re wondering what slack key means, it refers to a down tuned string on the guitar allowing for bass notes to be played. This niche of guitar based music is responsible for some of the best known (and Grammy award winning) Hawaiian artists. This year’s stellar line-up includes Cyril Pahinui, Ledward Kaapana, John Keawe, Kawika Kahiapo and more besides. Click here for tickets.
Black Sabbath at the Forum: February 1, 2016
The iconic creators of Heavy Metal from Birmingham, England come to Inglewood, CA as part of their farewell tour. Likely, the last time Ozzy and company will tour the US; this could be your last chance to hear such classics as Paranoid, Iron Man, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The last hurrah of a career spanning over 4 decades, this is the end of an era for all metal fans. Buy tickets here.
Palos Verde Symphonic Band (Spring Concert): March 6, 2016
The Palos Verde Symphonic Band returns with its fantastic Spring Concert. A much loved feature of the South Bay Area cultural calendar, their repertoire of big band, classical, and marching tunes is a real treat for music lovers. Click here for more information.
Studies consistently show that moving is one of the most stressful things we can experience. Throw kids into the mix, and it can be a nightmare. Here are some useful tips to help this difficult process be slightly easier
Involve your Kids in the Decision Process
Moving can be extremely distressing for children because they will often leave behind friends and a new start can be unsettling or scary. Involve your kids in the process of buying a new home. Get them involved so they can get used to the idea and, importantly, develop a sense of control and ownership.
Explain the Reason for the Move
Even small kids need to understand why the family is moving. They need to understand why their life is going to change and let’s be honest, moving is a drastic change. You need to explain why you are moving and put it in context because if you don’t, your children will be confused. If they understand that sometimes you have to move because a parent’s job has relocated, for example, they will know there is an important reason.
Have a Clear Out
Before you move, get rid of all your junk. Be ruthless when it comes to what you don’t need because it will save a lot of time, energy and expense when it comes to moving. Have a garage sale, make some trips to the recycling center or put your items on eBay.
Be a Tourist in Your New Town
Children can become upset in new and strange surroundings. Bedwetting is a common occurrence in younger children and drawing into themselves can also be an issue. To help children settle in and see the positive side of a new place, be like a tourist and find things to see and do in the local area. If you show children all the positive aspects, they will start to feel more positive about their new home.
Have the Kids help you Pack
Not only can this relieve some of the workload, it can help children get used to the idea of moving, with them taking a role in the process. Having influence over the process can help them feel more confident about moving home.
There is no easy way to move with children but your main priority should be to find ways to help your children feel as confident about the move as possible. Remember that you are not just changing home, but also their entire world up to that point. Let them know that whilst a house can change, you will forever be a constant in their lives.