Jump Rope Workout at Home

Easy Exercises You Can Do At Home

Staying indoors has become the new normal for all of us as we endure the coronavirus pandemic. While remaining isolated is the best way to curve the spread of the virus, it’s still important to be doing things that will improve your physical and mental health, especially during times of global uncertainty. 

Exercise has long been one of the greatest things an individual can do to improve upon their physical and mental wellbeing. However, many are struggling to adjust their lifestyles to remain active and healthy while stuck inside during a public health crisis. Additionally, research shows that living an inactive life for an extended period of time can lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, and a decrease in physical health/motivation as well. 

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The main goal is simple, do something to keep your mind and body engaged for at least 30 minutes everyday. This means doing some sort of physical activity besides pacing around your house. Exercise is also an amazing way to keep your bodies systems running smoothly and efficiently, which is of the utmost importance especially during a pandemic. 

If you own an exercise ball, stairmaster or treadmill, maintaining a solid cardiovascular workout routine is easy. If not, you want to look for activities that are specifically meant to increase your heart rate; jumping jacks, sprints, climbing up and down the stairs, etc. Covid-19 aside, heart disease is normally the number one killer in the world, so these types of exercises are imperative for everyone, regardless of age or health status, to do.

Jumping rope and setting up a hopscotch course to run back and forth through are just a couple of other easy solutions for ways to get your blood pumping and heart rate going at home. YouTube is also an amazing free resource to use.

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There’s a multitude of actual fitness instructors who have accounts and upload full workout routines for their subscribers. For individuals with televisions that are WiFi compatible, you can easily pull up any of these videos on the screen so you’re not bending over the phone or computer to really see the instructor. 

If you’re more interested in developing mobility/flexibility and strengthening your muscles, you’re going to want to look for more resistance-based exercises. Typically in a gym setting these exercises would use weights and resistance bands to help your body work even harder, both of which can be found online. If you’re not looking to spend any money, push-ups against the wall, squats, lunges, and wall-sits are just a few easy at home exercises that will lead to successful results. 

Online cardio dance classes like Zumba are also available online for low prices, and you can find other hip hop choreography/exercise classes on YouTube as well. These types of classes are especially great for engaging your mind and motivating yourself to continue to exercise because it’s fun. Dancing along to popular music in sync with another person while also getting a full-body workout is just as enjoyable as it is effective. Plus, if you’re the type of person who gets shy about dancing in front of other people, this type of online exercise is perfect to do alone from the comfort of your own home. 

As the world continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we remember to take care of our physical and mental health. Make a routine, write out a weekly schedule, choose exercises that can be fun and impactful, and of course, keep health and safety as your number one priority.

Arizona Coronavirus

Arizona Among States Shutting Down Again After Massive Spikes In Covid-19 Cases

The coronavirus pandemic is still very much a major health crisis for the entire world. Worldwide, over 500,000 individuals have died, and over 10.3 million have contracted the virus. The unpredictability of Covid-19, along with a complete disregard for safety measures enforced by healthcare professionals as opposed to government bodies and law enforcement, has led to America in particular seeing a massive surge in cases when compared to the rest of the world. 

Arizona, to be more specific, was one of the many states to prematurely reopen while the rest of the world continued to remain indoors to curve the spread. Now, the state is dealing out major rollbacks on all of the re-openings, as the state has seen one of the most “brutal” increases in Covid-19 cases within the past 30 days of being opened again. 

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Before the end of this month, Arizona had reopened its bars, gyms, and businesses. Now, Governor Doug Ducey is claiming all of those establishments, along with any others that reopened, will be closing yet again. Events with more than 50 individuals have already been prohibited, however, many are wondering if that’s enough considering the fact that the state saw an increase from 46,000+ cases to 75,000+ cases in a matter of 10 days. 

“Our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse. It will take several weeks for the mitigations we are putting in place to take effect,” Ducey said.

The largest increase in case numbers is among individuals who are anywhere from 20 to 40-years old; that demographic makes up about 22% of all hospitalizations for the state. However, Arizona is not alone in this, in fact, sixteen other states that have also prematurely reopened all major businesses, bars, restaurants, etc. have pulled back and begun closing down again due to Covid case numbers rising.

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Bars in Texas and California that never even fully closed down are now officially shutting down business while South Florida recently got an order to begin closing down its beaches. This upcoming fourth of July weekend has many healthcare officials essentially begging their government officials to close everything down to avoid mass gatherings of celebration. 

Arizona is already enforcing that for this weekend in particular groups of 10 or less are allowed to gather if they remain outside and socially distanced. The major drawback, however, is that even with these rules enforced, many still ignore them, and local officials aren’t enforcing them seriously enough for individuals to actually worry about getting reprimanded. 

Arizona schools in particular have also pushed back all dates to start the school year until at least August 17th; that date is also subject to change. The governor said that is a facility that’s been affected by Covid-19 wants to reopen, individuals running said facilities must enforce public health regulations and post it largely for the public to see. The governor’s goal is to open up again in 30 days, however, as we know this virus takes 2-3 weeks to appear sometimes, so who’s to say what the world will look like in a month, let alone a state that already reopened and closed again once.

Group of Protestors

Minneapolis City Council Announces Support For Disbanding Their Police Department

Protests have erupted all over the United States, and the rest of the world, in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of one former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, and four others who were complacent during the nine minute killing. Now, after a major call to action from millions of people all over the world, and the constant efforts of various celebrities and others with major social media followings, justice is beginning to be served.

All four officers involved in Floyd’s death have since been arrested and charged for their involvement in the incident. In response to Breonna Taylor’s unjust killing, in which officers knocked down the door to her apartment while she was sleeping and murdered her in her sleep, Mayor of Louisville and the Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee passed “Breonna’s Law” which limits all no-knock warrants used by the police; the officers involved in her murder have yet to be charged. 

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Most recently and specifically involving the George Floyd case, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced their support for disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department. City Council President Lisa Bender said at a rally on Sunday, “our commitment is to end our toxic relationship with MPD and to end policing as we know it to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”

Jenkins took to the stage with other council members Alondra Cano, Philippe Cunningham, Jeremiah Ellison, Steve Fletcher, Cam Gordon, Andrew Johnson and Jeremy Schroeder, who all pledged their support and intent to end the Minneapolis Police Department “through a budgetary process.”

“Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions. We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new transformative model for cultivating safety in our city,” one council member’s banner read as all nine held up various posters of support at the rally. 

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Alondra Cano, who represents the 9th ward, committed herself to creating a “fear free future” where every single life is protected and respected, especially black ones. The council plans to take the funds that previously went into the police department and distribute them towards a community-based public safety model. 

The members also emphasized that while they may not have all the answers as to what a police-free future would be like, they have faith in their community to help them organize and rebuild such a broken system. 

“We’re committing to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for everyone. We’ll be taking intermediate steps towards ending the MPD through the budget process and other policy and budget decisions over the coming weeks and months,” other banners read. 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, however, made a surprise appearance at a protest this past Saturday, however, he reaffirmed his support of the police department, and when asked by a protester if he would defund the police, he gave a long complex answer that basically meant no, prompting the crowd to boo him out of the protest. 

The nationwide call to dismantle all of America’s police departments and reform them so that individuals who are more highly educated in the law and all of its specifics has echoed loudly after Floyd’s murder, however, as we know this battle for racial equality is centuries years old. Now, the fact that Americans are seeing white officers held accountable, laws being passed, and the total abolition of police departments, there’s a lot of hope circulating throughout the country, and this is only the beginning according to most. 


Vitamin D

Foods That Provide Immune Support During A Pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic still deeply impacting this planet, many are searching for ways that they can help keep themselves healthy from home. Obviously, immune support is one of the biggest concerns in terms of avoiding infection of this virus, and luckily there are a multitude of foods that have specific nutrients and vitamins that directly help your immune system function and grow stronger. 

It’s important to note that if you do contract the coronavirus, flu, or any other sort of viral infection, obviously medicine and seeking professional medical attention is the only real option for recovery. These foods in general are just known to boost your body’s immune response and can help your body strengthen in the case that you do get infected; but again, foods are not cures. 

Elderberries have been used as a homemade flu remedy for decades. The small berries are mainly known for being saturated in antioxidants. Any foods with antioxidants in them are extremely beneficial for fighting inflammation within the body. When you contract a virus such as Covid-19 or the flu, your immune system’s initial response is to heat up; hence the fevers, body chills and internal inflammation of your organs. Elderberries can help combat that heat and help your immune system respond to the virus quicker. 

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Button mushrooms are commonly eaten in salads or pasta dishes and they actually contain a lot of beneficial vitamins within them. Selenium, to be more specific, is what keeps your body feeling strong and functional throughout a given day. If you’ve ever had a really bad cold and have felt extremely weak and achy, it’s likely because your body is suffering from a selenium deficiency due to the infiltration of whatever virus your body is fighting off. Selenium has been proven to especially help your body when you have the flu, hence why it’s recommended for immune support more so now as well. 

Any sort of citrus fruit directly benefits your immune system as well. Oranges, lemons, limes, clementines, etc. they all contain a large amount of vitamin C in them. Vitamin C is known for helping your body create more white blood cells (the cells in your body that fight off infections). This is why it’s always recommended to drink some orange juice when you’re sick, to provide your body with even more nutrients and vitamins. It’s recommended that men should get at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day and women need at least 75 mg. 

Red bell peppers are also loaded with vitamin C and have the same impact as eating a citrus fruit. However, red bell peppers actually contain even more vitamin C than the average citrus fruit. 

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Garlic can be used as the base for practically every meal and luckily it contains certain nutrients that specifically aid the body in artery function. Your arteries tend to work less efficiently when your body’s busy fighting off a foreign virus, so eating garlic everyday can help ensure your arteries and veins are always strong and running smoothly. 

Broccoli is obviously one of the healthiest foods for you. It has a ton of essential vitamins in it that all directly impact your immune system. It also maintains these nutrients more if it’s eaten uncooked, so pick up some fresh broccoli next time you’re at the market!

Finally, having yogurt in the morning is an amazing source of protein, but more importantly, vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be absorbed into the body through sun exposure (always remember to wear an SPF or sunscreen). Vitamin D is similar to vitamin C in the sense that it’s often taken when one is sick with the cold or the flu. 

As previously stated, all of these foods are meant to help keep your immune system functioning properly and can definitely help your body fight off viral infection, however, if you or a loved one begins experiencing any sort of flu or Covid-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Woman Working at Home

These Companies Are Planning To Keep Working From Home Post-Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many workplaces to convert to remote environments for obvious health and safety reasons. For some companies the transition from office to at home has been a struggle, but for others, the transition went so smoothly that many big businesses are debating keeping their staff at home permanently even after this pandemic comes to a close; whenever that may be. Here are some of the companies who announced their new permanent stay-home work orders:

Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg announced recently that up to 50% of all of Facebook’s employees could be working remotely for the rest of the decade as a matter of satisfying employee requests, and for financial reasons as well. 

“When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives,” Zuckerberg said on a livestream posted to his Facebook page.

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Twitter: Along the same social media lines, Twitter executives also recently announced that they would allow a majority of their workforce to continue working from home for as long as they choose; even if that’s for the rest of their career. Like any major company, there are some roles that will need to be fulfilled in an office environment once non-essential businesses re-open, however, for now this is easing a lot of employee anxieties who know that they’re in a job position that wouldn’t require them to do so. 

“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return,” said Twitter’s vice president of people, Jennifer Christie, in a statement.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, recently announced that his other company, Square, would also allow their employees to continue working remotely indefinitely after the pandemic for the same reasons he implemented the new policy for Twitter employees. 

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Box: Box is a cloud-storage company that has nearly 2,000 employees working throughout the United States. In a recent blog post from the company’s CEO, Aaron Levie, he informed his entire workforce that they’re free to work “from anywhere” until the end of 2020 at least. Before the pandemic, Levie says that 15% of his employees already worked remotely, and while having that in-office community is important, the fully virtual way of working would be just as successful. 

Shopify: The CEO of Shopify, a small business ecommerce platform, Tobi Lutke, recently released an entire statement about his thoughts on the world of work being “turned on its head.”  

“Office centricity is over. As of today, Shopify is a digital by default company. Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now. The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your #WFH setup,” Lutke tweeted

Lutke continued to claim that all offices for Shopify would be closed until 2021 and the remainder of this year will be dedicated to digital reworking and transitioning into this new world of work. If there’s one thing all big businesses could learn from these major corporations, it’s that listening to your employees and transitioning into a period where everyone feels completely safe and able to do their work to the best of their ability should always be the main goal, but especially in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

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How To Manage And Relieve Your Stress During A Pandemic

Amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, it’s no surprise that we’re all feeling a lot more stressed than usual. On top of working from home, taking care of our families/loved ones, and having to worry about an infectious virus that spreads easily, there seems to be no time to just take a minute and breathe. However, now that we’re all home for an indefinite amount of time, there’s never been a better time to practice effective ways of managing and relieving your stress levels. 

When we’re more aware of how stressed we become throughout the day, it’s much easier to figure out ways to combat those feelings and recognize them before it builds up into an overwhelming cloud of anxiety. Make a note of what things are triggering a stressful response in you everyday, and then try to work on those specific areas. While this can be as specific as receiving an email from one particular coworker who never gets anything done, there are a multitude of general ways to help separate ourselves from the situation and calm down. 

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Getting exercise or at least some sort of movement in everyday life is a requirement for being quarantined. Even if it just means going outside and walking a few laps in your backyard, it’s essential that you’re at least stepping outside, breathing in some fresh air, and stretching out your muscles and bones everyday. 

It can be so easy to get wrapped into binge marathons on Netflix, especially now, but we can’t get too comfortable with making that a habit. The more you’re sitting around and just watching mindless TV shows or movies, the more likely it is you’re going to put off the things you have to do which will only lead to even more stress being added onto your already full plate. 

Learn how to create boundaries between your work and personal life. This is imperative for those who are currently working remotely. It can be challenging to turn your work brain off and casual at-home brain on when you’re just home all the time. This is why it’s recommended that you set up your remote working station in an area of your home that’s as separated from the rooms that are known for inducing relaxation (such as the living or bedroom). 

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Another easy way of separating your work and personal life at home is to make sure you’re filling your personal time with activities that you want to and enjoy doing. This could include cooking, gardening, knitting, reading, and anything else that you consider relaxing. By filling your free time with things you want to do, and your work time with the things you have to do,  it’s easier for your brain to make that distinction, even if you are just moving from room to room everyday. 

Make sure you’re staying hydrated as well. Getting enough water everyday is obviously imperative for your physical health, but it also is for your mental health. According to Amanda Carlson, the director of performance at Athlete’s Performance, “studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol [stress hormone] levels. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that you drink one milliliter of water per each calorie of food consumed.”

Make lists of all your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. It’s easier to break down what you have to do for work, your family, and yourself when you have the general guideline in front of you. Daily duties can include things like returning emails, making phone calls, baking a cake for your brother’s birthday, etc. Weekly duties can include more generalized things such as going to the grocery store, ordering more dog food online, and basically anything else that isn’t an immediate need but should get done within a matter of days. Finally, monthly goals can more so pertain to you personally and how you’d like to see yourself grow in the near future, which includes managing your stress. This list can include things such as starting to exercise at least twice a week, or learning how to cook a new dish every week, etc. Have fun and be creative! This is your own personal list of goals, so make it personal. 

Finally, and arguable most importantly, you have to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep is one of the number one causes of stress, as we all know, when we’re tired, we’re a lot more irritable, which makes it so much easier for us to get stressed out. The Sleep Foundation recommends getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Try going to bed at the same time every night and turning off all your screens at least one hour before bed. This will start getting your body into a proper sleep schedule and can help ensure that once you’re asleep, you’ll stay asleep until the morning.


Are You Getting Your 13 Essential Vitamins Everyday?

It’s no surprise that we’ve all been taking the extra steps to remain healthy and safe during this coronavirus pandemic. Besides socially-distancing, remaining indoors unless absolutely necessary, and wearing protective gear in public settings, there are other things we can be doing from the comfort of our homes to ensure that our bodies, and immune systems specifically, are still running smoothly. 

Did you know that your body needs 13 essential vitamins in order to stay alive and healthy? Obviously, most of us aren’t taking 13 different supplements a day, however, that doesn’t matter as most of these vitamins are commonly found in the foods/beverages we ingest everyday. That being said it’s important, now more than ever, that you’re ensuring you and your family are getting all the vitamins they need to keep themselves up and running. 

“The 13 essential vitamins your body needs are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyroxidine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12). The four fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E, and K—are stored in the body’s fatty tissues. The other nine vitamins are water-soluble and therefore must be replenished regularly because they are removed from the body in your urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver,” according to Reader’s Digest Canada

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The most effective way to make sure your body is getting enough of these 13 vitamins everyday is through a balanced diet from a variety of foods, so here are some of the most commonly ingested foods containing the essential nutrients and vitamins we need:

Vitamin A: Vitamin A’s main purpose is to aid your body in growth and cell development, so if you’re a younger individual, this vitamin is especially important for your body as it navigates puberty. Vitamin A also aids your body in its nail, skin, hair, bone, and teeth growth and it’s been proven to help prevent certain respiratory diseases such as lung cancer. Vitamin A is most commonly found in cold-water fish meat, such as Salmon, or fortified dairy products like eggs. 

Vitamin D: This vitamin is most commonly thought of in relation to the sun, as  sun rays emit Vitamin D that gets absorbed into our skin, however, during a time where our government is telling us all to stay inside, we’ll have to turn to alternative ways of getting our daily dose vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for calcium development, so it’s most commonly found in milk, butter, egg yolks, and fatty fishes. 

Vitamin E: This vitamin specifically keeps your muscles and red blood cells functional, and also serves as a natural antioxidant for your body. Again, this vitamin is commonly found in eggs, you’ll notice there’s a lot of crossover food items on this list, which is great for when you need to plan your weekly meals. It’s also found in vegetable oil, mayonnaise, nuts, seeds, and certain cereals. 

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is mainly used in the body for clotting your blood. No, not in a harmful way, Vitamin K is responsible for helping your red blood cells clot when you get a scrap or cut so that you don’t continuously bleed. It’s most often found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and more. 

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Vitamin C: One of the most commonly known vitamins, vitamin C is found in most citrus fruits and vegetables as well. This vitamin is specifically responsible for strengthening your blood vessel walls, which in turn promotes wound healing and supports overall immunity. It’s why we’re often told to take vitamin C supplements when we feel like we’re getting sick. 

As previously mentioned, the following B-vitamins are all water-soluble and excreted from your body through urination, as opposed to the other Vitamins which are totally absorbed into the body, more or less. This is why they need to be replenished within your body everyday. 

Vitamin B1: Essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism/digestive system, commonly found in pork, nuts, seeds, and other grains.

Vitamin B2: Also supports metabolic health and improves on ocular health (eyesight). Most commonly found in dairy products, poultry and raw mushrooms.

Vitamin B3: Benefits metabolic health as well as the body’s natural growth throughout life (hair, nails, teeth, etc.) Mostly found in seafood products, poultry, and eggs. 

Vitamin B5: Aids metabolic health and energy while also stabilizing blood sugar levels when they seem to get too high or low. The best part? Almost every single food item out there has vitamin B5 in it. 

Vitamin B6: The following four B Vitamins are all imperative to our bodies overall immune response/health. They not only promote good metabolic function like the other four, but also play a main role in our bodies nerve function and the creation of red blood cells. Vitamin B6 specifically can be found in meat, fish, cereals, bananas, and leafy green vegetables. 

Vitamin B7: Same benefits as B6, and is found in eggs, soybeans, whole grains, and nuts. 

Vitamin B9: Vitamin B9 carries out all of the functions listed for B6 while also aiding the body in making DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and essential proteins. Vitamin B9 is also extremely important for individuals who are pregnant, as it helps prevent birth defects. It can be found in leafy green vegetables, asparagus, oranges, avocados, and yeast. 

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is essentially the same exact vitamin as B9, very important, and is found in pretty much all food products that are derived from other animals.

Cleaning Appliances

How To Properly Clean Your Home Appliances

Now that we’re all spending an indefinite amount of time indoors, many are taking it upon themselves to deep clean their homes and begin spring cleaning a little early this year. Our kitchen appliances are often overlooked when it comes to our weekly household chores, so now’s a better time than ever to get into all those nooks and crannies of your space and give your kitchen a much deserved cleanse.

Many individuals don’t realize this, but the user manuals for all kitchen appliances actually have a section dedicated to proper cleaning/disinfecting techniques for your specific appliance. If you threw out the manual to any of your older appliances, don’t worry, most appliance manuals from any year should be available online on the brands website. It’s important to note that the more often you clean your appliances, the longer they’ll last.

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Your washing machine is something you probably never think to clean, since it’s job is to literally clean your clothes for you, however, most machines are already equipped with a cleaning or sanitizing cycle. If not, laundry detergent companies such as Tide sell washing machine cleaner that’s specifically designed for disinfecting your washing machine. You could also throw some vinegar or regular laundry detergent into your machine without any clothes actually in it, and then run a regular wash cycle. This will clean all the pipes and inner workings of your machine, and guarantees no harmful bacteria or germs stay behind for future loads.

Your dryer’s lint trap should obviously be cleaned with every single load to prevent any kind of fires or dust clogs. Wipe down the inside of your dryer’s door, and all of the little crevasses around the lint tray, this will ensure that you get every last bit of dust.

Dishwashers, like washing machines, are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning your home, as it’s function is literally to spray soap every load, so you’d assume it cleans itself as it cleans your dishes. However, you want to make sure that your dishwashers filter is staying just as clean as the surface of the machine itself. Many individuals aren’t even aware that they’re dishwasher has a filter that needs to be tended too, this is where your user manual is going to come in handy. Every dishwasher has a different kind of filter and filter placement, so look up your specific model and how to clean your specific filter. It likely will be as simple as taking the filter out and rinsing it under hot water.

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The refrigerator is actually one of the kitchen appliances that more times than not does get a cleaning every once in a while, as it should. It’s important that the machine that’s main purpose is to keep all your food fresh and cold is also sanitized and disinfected, to ensure the same for your food. Simply wiping down all of your refrigerators shelves with warm soapy water should do the trick and become a part of your regular cleaning routine.

Ovens are another device that sometimes have a self-cleaning option. Beyond that, to get all the built up gunk and burnt food particles from your stove, remove any metal on the stove top that has that ability, and take out your ovens shelving as well to make sure you’re able to clean every part of it. Oven cleaner works, and a homemade recipe of salt, baking soda and dish soap has been a staple trick for decades for cleaning out the oven.

So this year, while you’re spring cleaning your home, make sure to pay special attention to all of the appliances we use everyday, but always overlook when it comes to cleaning.

Homeschooling Daughter

Tips For Homeschooling Your Child During A Pandemic

Working parents who are now adjusting to life at home, and having to wear many career hats at once throughout the day, are struggling to find a daily balance for all of it. One of the biggest struggles that many parents are experiencing amid the Covid-19 pandemic, besides trying to keep their entire family safe and healthy, is learning how to best home-school their child. 

Luckily, teachers and parents around the world who were already homeschooling their children are offering up their advice to all new parents who are learning what it means to be an academic educator, businessperson, parent, and doctor all at once. One of the biggest pieces of advice offered so far is to take a step back and create a schedule for yourself. 

Waking up everyday and taking on your daily tasks as they get thrown at you can get very overwhelming, very quickly. One moment you’re responding to emails and the next you have to help your son with his math homework and your daughter with her science project and cook dinner, disinfect your mail, etc. Take a moment to find a sense of direction and schedule out a general daily routine. It’ll be easier to make effective and clear-headed decisions throughout the day if you have a clear cut schedule for yourself and your kids. 

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Schedule out specific times for each meal that will occur around the same time everyday. For your kids, doing this with lunch will help keep them on a “school schedule” from home so that they know they have a specific amount of time in the morning and afternoon to get their daily work done. 

Along those same lines, schedule out weekly duties for yourself, and your kids in relation to the work you all need to get done. At the beginning of every week, map out what homework needs to be completed, projects worked on, Zoom calls listened to, etc. Afterwards, you can look at your general daily routines, as mentioned above, and write in when each task should be accomplished on which given day throughout the week. As you’re doing this, teach your kids that this should now become second nature so that they begin writing their own schedules at the beginning of each week. This will not only help your kids practice proper organizational/time-management habits, but it’s also one less thing for you to have to do. 

“For older kids, I found letting them create their own schedule was key to empowering them to feel they had control of their education. When my child failed to meet his own goal, I just kept asking ‘what do you think needs to happen to make it work?’ After weeks of dialing in on what works and what doesn’t work, he created his own schedule, and it made him feel in control and confident,” says homeschooling mom Victoria Lazar-Breault. 

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It can be very easy to get lazy when it comes to cooking or meal preparation during a pandemic. I think we all have already caught ourselves half-way through a family size bag of chips while binge-watching yet another reality TV show, however, it’s important to break those unhealthy habits. To make it a little easier on yourself, involve the kids in the process. When kids cook or prepare their meals with you, they’re acquiring cooking skills, learning how to do things for themselves, and are less likely to not want to eat their fruits and vegetables, because they were the ones who helped prepare it!

Finally, remember that you’re not alone in this! I guarantee every parent that you see online right now that seems like they have it all completely together and organized, are actually experiencing the opposite. As mentioned before, there’s countless online resources and advice from experts on how to deal with this specific homeschooling pandemic transition/situation. 

You should never feel like you’re not doing enough or aren’t equipped enough to handle this responsibility because the fact is no one was prepared for this so no one is equipped. We’re all doing our best, keeping ourselves healthy, and trying to avoid eating mac and cheese for the third day in a row, so cut yourself some slack. 

Happy Mothers Day

Gift Ideas Any Mom Would Love This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and during a pandemic, it can be difficult to give her something really special. If you’re not quarantined with your mother, it can be especially hard to think of a good gift that you can give without physically having to be there. Here are some ideas to help you pick the perfect gift for the powerful woman in your life:

One company called Stride Travel is offering a new contest just in time for Mother’s Day this year. The winner of this contest will be able to take their mom anywhere in the world in 2021; this prize is following the assumption that by Mother’s Day 2021, this entire pandemic will have blown over. 

“Our aims are twofold, to celebrate the women who have raised and inspired us and to provide those with a love of travel a mental reprieve and opportunity to dream and indulge right now,”  Gavin Delany, the CEO of Stride Travel said. 

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All you have to do to enter is become a member of the “Stride Community” on their website and upload a one minute video to the #MomDeservesTheWorld Facebook Group, and tag @stridetravel in your post. Really tell Stride why your mom is so special to you, and make sure to mention where you’d want to take her and why. Good luck!

If you do win the Stride Travel contest, however, you still need something to give to your mom this year. When it comes to giving our moms something, the only option we really have is to ship something directly to their house, again assuming you aren’t quarantined together. 

A great gift idea that’s been trending on social media within the past month is a subscription to the “Good Good Good Newspaper.” With nothing but coronavirus updates constantly flooding our news feeds, it can be difficult to feel inspired or find any good news that’s occurring in the world today. For $7 a month, or $77 for a 12-month subscription, your mom will receive a home-delivered paper once a month with nothing but positive news stories. A weekly email will also be sent to your mother and it will include “tips on making a positive difference in your life” and coupons for sustainable brands. For every subscription, another one is added to be donated to a hospital or school. 

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Glow is one of the cheapest “smart” lighting options for your home. The portable and rechargeable battery-operated bedtime lamp has multiple lighting settings and dims gradually over 15 to 60 minutes, perfect for falling asleep. With the compatible iOS or Android app, your mom will be able to control the light settings to make it as bright, dim, and gradual as possible. 

The Nest Learning Thermostat is the epitome of smart home technology, and if your mom is as particular about the temperature of her home as mine is, this thermostat will be perfect for her. It’s easy to set up, and automatically starts learning your routine once it’s installed. This way, you can set up automatic scheduled temperature adjustments to change how much heat certain areas of the home receive throughout the day. This thermostat is widely popular because of its ability to save you money on your monthly heating and cooling bills. 

Finally, it’s important that your mom is keeping herself just as entertained as you’re keeping yourself. With a Roku Streaming Stick Plus, your mom can simply plug the USB-like device into her television, and she’ll automatically have access to practically every streaming-service on the market today. She’ll simply have to log into the accounts she has (Netflix, Hulu, Prime) and she’ll be good to go! The best part? The Roku Streaming Stick is only $50, which is relatively cheap when compared to its counterparts.  

Regardless of where your mom is spending her quarantine, you should always be reminding her that you’re thinking of her and appreciate everything she does, even if you can’t be in her presence for a little while.