Wednesday, December 25, 2019

3 Things To Look for in an Elderly Care Facility

It can be a difficult decision to move to or send loved ones to a senior living facility, but it can also be the best decision to ensure proper care. When choosing a facility, make careful considerations about your needs and what the facility has to offer. Below are three elements to consider when selecting an elderly care facility.

The Safety and Care of Its Residents
One of the top concerns when selecting a facility is how well you or your loved one will be cared for and treated. There are steps you can take to find a facility that treats its residents with respect and compassion. Talk to other residents and ask them for honest opinions about their experience; pay attention to their tone and body language to see if they enjoy being there or seem distressed. As you tour the facility, ask a lot of questions to staff and residents alike, and see how well their answers compare. Look for clean and maintained facilities, and pay attention to the hygiene and grooming of the residents. You can also look up a community to see the licensing and any violations it has.

Level of Freedom
Different facilities vary in the freedom and support they offer, and some facilities offer both freedom and support depending on the resident’s needs. Consider the level of freedom wanted and needed to be content, and the level of support needed to be safe and healthy. Search out residential care facility Missouri that can offer the range of freedom and support that will best care for you or your loved one.

Activities and Events
Moving to a new place can feel overwhelming, especially if social connections are further away. When you tour, ask about classes, events and activities offered. If the facility offers them, it provides opportunities for residents to make friends and participate in hobbies, which is good for preventing loneliness.

A residential care facility can be a great option if you are unable to care for yourself or a loved one. Sometimes the best care we can give is to ask for help.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Enjoying Life Even When Disabled

There are a lot of people who look at those with disabilities or handicaps as disadvantaged when it comes to enjoying life. However, with the increased national and global attention on inclusivity and accessibility, there are very few things left that those who struggle with mental or physical handicaps can’t do when it comes to fun and vacation. There are entire theme parks and experiences dedicated to meeting the unique needs of an individual who might have difficulty with an area of mobility or cognitive functioning. In addition to the daily living help that DDD support coordination agencies can offer, these special venues provide a moment of escape from the real world.

Disability Theme Parks
Disneyworld is known for being family-friendly and welcoming to individuals of all abilities. The resorts on the property provide dozens of wheelchair accessible activities, and the parks provide wheelchair-friendly ramps for each attraction on the property. Morgan’s Wonderland in Texas is the world’s first theme park that was designed and devoted to individuals with special needs. It is completely wheelchair accessible and offers rides, a splash zone, playgrounds, and sensory zones.

Disability Cruises
One of the most celebrated disability cruises is offered by Royal Caribbean. Called Autism of the Seas, this cruise is dedicated to helping those with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Asperger syndrome, and all forms of developmental, intellectual, and cognitive disabilities enjoy a vacation on the water. Extra staffing and activities give parents and caregivers a much-needed vacation as well.

Disability Bus Tours
When visiting a new city, the sights and sounds can be experienced from the comfort and safety of a bus tour. These are wheelchair accessible and enclosed to protect participants from uncomfortable weather elements. It is a great way for caregivers and their family members to enjoy the activity together.

Living with a disability doesn’t mean life has to be boring. There are many places that can provide both fun and accessibility for those living with challenges.

Christmas Gift Ideas

It is almost Christmas and you are panicking because you still don't have a gift for your loved ones this Christmas. My family has never really cared much about receiving material gifts. What matters most to us is that we are happy and healthy, and that we are thankful for all the blessings that we are received in the 365 days that the good Lord has gifted us with.

But if you are really looking for a gift to give to your loved ones, here are some gift ideas that the receiver will truly appreciate:

  • a book written by their favorite author or about their interests
  • a gift certificate for two to a restaurant, a theater play, a game or the movies
  • gifts that you made yourself - like diy candles, chocolate truffles, even cross-stitch!
  • a gift basket filled with goodies - may it be sweets for those with a sweet tooth, meat basket filled with hams, sausages, liver paste, or wine and cheese and snacks that go with it
  • give gift items that help you give back this Christmas - there are many products out there that when you buy them, the same item will be donated to someone who needs who it or a portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity
These are some of the gifts that I have in mind that I wouldn't mind giving my loved ones this Christmas.

What about you? What are you Christmas gift ideas?

4 Tips to Impove Your Home Security

Creating a sense of security in your living space is an important part of transforming your house into a home. To ensure you and your family feel safe all year long, consider some of these tips.

Secure Outdoor Areas
If you have a storage shed on your property or another building that is separate from the main body of your home, you may want to invest in commercial security door lock systems to ensure that building remains secure at all times. It can be easy to be unaware of potential security issues if you are not accessing your storage shed on a regular basis. By investing in a heavy duty lock, you will help keep yourself safe.

Lock Down Your Garage
Go out of your way to ensure your garage is completely locked at the end of the day to help prevent unauthorized entry. In addition to securing your garage door via slide lock, make sure you lock the door that leads from your garage into your home.

Check Doors and Windows
Do a quick check of all of your doors and windows to determine if someone could easily break past your home's defenses. Consider upgrading your doors if they don't appear to have strong door frames. You may also want to upgrade your windows with security bars or protective films that help prevent an intruder from shattering the glass. Make it a habit to lock all of your doors and windows before going to sleep each night or when you go to leave your home.

Use Landscaping to Your Advantage
You can use strategic landscaping to help keep your home more secure. Use prickly plants underneath windows. Place lighting that will give your yard's aesthetic a boost while also illuminating the area to discourage intruders at night.

Through mindfulness and home upgrades, you can help keep your family safe.

How To Plan a Successful Fundraising Event

When your company, business or group needs to raise support, a local fundraising event is a great way to earn money while connecting with your community and getting your name out to the public. However, without the proper approach and the right planning, it could turn into a stressful situation. Even worse, you could end up earning very little for your effort or even taking a loss if you don't make the right choices. If you want to plan a truly successful fundraising event, be sure to follow these three steps for every type of fundraiser, big or small.

Work With a Party Planning Company
You might think that hiring someone to provide a good or service is counter intuitive, but working with party planning companies ny can help you create the type of event that generates more income. If you want to attract more people, these professionals can help provide an experience that stands out and draws more donors to your door. It's also important to think about number of guests you'll be working with. You may actually save money by hiring a pro instead of trying to accumulate the supplies yourself.

Advertise Early
When it comes to fundraising, last-minute advertising could ruin the entire endeavor. Make sure you're sending out invites and posting the event at least four weeks early to give people a chance to clear their calendars. On the other hand, make sure you're sending reminders close to the event as well. Keep your fundraiser on the forefront of your guests’ minds for better attendance.

Know Your Audience
Plan an event that caters to the needs and interests of your target audience. If you work with a lot of families, consider a kid-friendly carnival with inflatables, games and tasty snacks. A formal dinner may go over well if you focus on business professionals. If young adults are interested in your business, host a cocktail mixer with a DJ. 

A well-planned fundraiser can be very lucrative in many ways. With the right attention to detail, you could have a successful event for your organization.

Time to Party!

The Christmas season is that time of the year to celebrate parties. Almost everyday, there is an invitation to attend this gathering and that party and this reunion and that Christmas market. Whether you are the one invited or the one inviting, it is customary to observe some rules as a courtesy to the host or as host to your visitors.

If you are the invitee, appropriate items that you can give to your host may be the following:

  • bouquet of flowers in a vase or potted plant
  • a bottle of wine
  • home decoration such as candles, photo frames, holiday ornament
  • baked goodies
  • guest soap, guest hand towels

If you are the hosts, it is always a good idea to give your guests any of the following:

  • a bouquet of blooms that you decorated the table with
  • flavored oils and vinegars are a trend these days, your guests will appreciate getting one
  • card games which you used to entertain your guests while waiting for the food to be served or as an ice breaker
  • handmade gifts for those who are crafty outside the kitchen - this is a surefire way to delight your guests

Oh, and never ever forget to say THANK YOU! For the invitation if you are the invitee and for coming if you are the host!

So there you have it. Now that you know a thing or two about good manners and party etiquette, it's time to party! Enjoy the Holidays everyone!

Getting Ready To Make the Big Move to a New Home

Whether you have moved a dozen times, or this is your first big move, you know there will be a long list of things to buy, remember, and accomplish. Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of everything you can’t possibly remember.

1. Supplies
Purchase your moving supplies St Louis MO, as you need them rather than spending hundreds of dollars on items you aren’t sure you are going to use. Select your favorite size box and purchase a dozen. Don’t forget the bubble wrap, tape dispenser, labels, and wrapping paper.

2. Organize
Make a family game of organizing the house. This includes setting up boxes in the garage where items can easily be tossed that family members want to donate or discard. If you have little ones, you may want to make sure your children don’t take the game too literally!

3. Packing
Many professionals will tell you to clean before you pack, but the end result is that you will need to clean each room every time you spend the day packing. There is always something such as collected dust, discarded papers, and even hidden candy wrappers in children’s bedrooms. Don’t forget to clearly label each box for ease in identification in the new house.

4. Services
Remember to cancel all your delivery services, utilities, and service providers, such as lawn care. You will also need to change addresses on credit cards, at insurance agencies, and with subscription plans. Contact the services before you move and give them a start date. This can help ease your stress about forgetting someone.

Moving doesn’t have to be a dreadful time filled with anxiety and despair. If you begin early and take the time to enjoy yourself in the months before the move, you can keep your stress level under control – and you can probably remember everything you were worried about forgetting.

Soon To Be Ludwigsburger

It has been almost two years since we started on our house-hunting journey. It was not easy, especially that the housing market is very competitive lately. We have been through a lot of home visits, visited a number of prefab house developers, even went to the open house of one of the developers factories, visitied house construction sites. Almost all of our weekends were spent going on these.

Thankfully, the search is over. But once it was decided that the house we chose will be sold to us, which is by the way not a newly built one, everything was like a whirlwind. With the decision came more appointments and visits, this time to the bank for the financing, to the attorney's office for the notary and signing of the contract to sell, and a whole lot more. Suddenly, everything became official. 

And we still a lot to do before moving day... but at least we still have the time to prepare: about 8 months at least to pack, re-register, notify the immigration office of our pending move, notify the electric, water, telephone companies that we are moving soon and to schedule when the lines should be transfered, and all the other formalities that need to be done when one moves from Place A to Place B.

We are excited and at the time overwhelmed with this new milestone in our life as a family. But I know that with God's guidance and help and advice from good friends, everything shall go well. And yes, from Stuttgart we will be moving to Ludwigsburg. We will soon no longer be Stuttgarters but Ludwigsburgers.

So help us God!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tips for Throwing a Large Party

Whether you’re hosting a party with an extensive guest list for a friend or family member’s birthday, anniversary or graduation, for example, ensure the event goes smoothly by thoroughly planning for the event. Preparation is key to arranging a gathering that you will enjoy just as much as the invitees and the guest of honor.

Set a Budget
Determine the essential elements of the event – such as the venue rental, invitations, food and beverages, decorations, seating, utensils and entertainment – and create a budget. If the necessities still leave you with money left over, add such items as party favors, a photographer or additional activities. Because you’re planning for a special occasion, it’s easy to go overboard. Stick to the plan without adding extras that will leave you with bills that you’ll have to contend with months after the soiree.

Rent What You Can
Despite the fact that you may be trying to cut costs, consider renting some of the important elements that may be stressful to gather yourself. Opt for a chair rental Hawaii or a service that provides seating, tables and linens rather than pulling together items from friends and family that may be mismatched, uncomfortable and inconvenient. Professionals may also save you time since they’ll set up and clean up after the event.

Prepare as Much as Possible in Advance
If you’re handling aspects of the party such as the food and beverage preparation yourself, reduce stress by delegating wherever possible. Find recipes that you can prepare in advance and heat and serve the day of the event. Choose simple drinks that you can pre-mix or allow guests to create themselves. Taking care of the details ahead of time will allow you to greet and mingle with your guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen.

Head off potential problems with organization that accounts for every element of the big bash. By planning meticulously, delegating and sticking to the assigned budget, you won’t have to worry about snags during the event or have any regrets when it’s over.

Filipinos Celebrate Simbang Gabi in Stuttgart

For Filipinos, Christmas will never be complete without the Simbang Gabi. It has been a crucial part in the Christmas tradition of Filipinos in preparation for the birth of Jesus and is thus celebrated the world over. Wherever there are Filipino catholics in whichever part of the world, you can expect to find this tradition celebrated in one or more churches.

The Catholic community here in Stuttgart started the Simbang Gabi eucharistic celebrations last Sunday, 15th December 2019 at 8:00 in the evening at the St. Maria church in Stuttgart-Mitte.

Organized by the PMG (Philippinische Muttersprachliche Gemeinschaft), the eucharistic celebrations are attended by Filipinos and Germans from Stuttgart and its neighboring cities. Even Filipino communities from as far as Frankfurt am Main and Augsburg come to Stuttgart to join in the celebration.

What makes the evening masses a heartwarming experience are the happy smiles of the Filipinos, the Filipino spirit of brother/sisterhood, the Christmas parols (lanterns) that give the church a more Filipino flair and the abundant Filipino finger foods that await each and everyone to share after the mass.

If you happen to be in Stuttgart between today and the 23rd of December, drop by the St. Maria Church at Tübinger Strasse (near Gerber Mall) and experience the Simbang Gabi and celebrate a piece of Filipino Christmas with us.

Note: Photos from Mayette Matzelt, Cherebel Albano,  Rev. Jonathan Ramoso

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Helping Children Cope with Fear of Dentist

Because dental hygiene is vital to your children’s overall health, they must undergo regular checkups and treatments – even if they’re scared of the dentist. Take steps to assuage their fears and make them more comfortable in the chair to enable the visits to go more successfully and smoothly.

Find a Specialist
Choosing a kids dentist Jacksonville over a regular practitioner may make it easier for children who fear the visits. Not only will these professionals have offices with décor, toys and an atmosphere that caters to kids, but they will also be specially trained to deal with emerging and developing teeth with instruments smaller than the standard equipment. In addition, the entire staff may be taught the right demeanor to deal with children, making the entire experience more soothing.

Play Pretend
Prepare your child for his visit by showing him generally what to expect. Use a toothbrush to count his teeth and give him a mirror to see what the dentist will look at when she examines his teeth. Encourage a bit of excitement by finding children’s books featuring popular television characters that describe what they experienced during their first trip to the dental office.

Don’t Overdo It
When discussing the visit with your child, choose your words carefully. Don’t introduce extra concepts that may increase his fear, such as the potential for getting a shot or drilling to fill a cavity. Don’t comment that the experience won’t hurt if he’s never expressed the fear that it will, for example. Answer his questions with brief, positive statements and assure him that the dentist will help him have teeth that are clean and strong.

Make dental visits more relaxing for your children – and the office staff – by laying the groundwork that can make each trip less stressful. Establishing a trusting and maybe even enjoyable relationship between your kids and their dentist can ensure a lifelong commitment to oral health and safety.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

House Hunting

It's been 10 years since we moved here in Stuttgart. 10 years of paying rent, which could have been spent to pay off mortgage for our own home. But it is not easy to find your own abode in this part of Germany because the prices for houses or apartment have sky-rocketed in the last 3 or 4 years. If you want to settle in a place very accessible by public transport, where schools and stores for daily needs are just within walking distance, you would have to pay a hefty price for it. Newly built homes are also way too expensive - you would have to pay more than half a million euros to get one. 

And if you want to get a loan from the bank, you would have to first have a permanent residency in order to get a long-term loan approved. In our case, it should be possible. 

The good thing about getting a housing loan at this time: the interest rate is relatively low. Depending on your capital and the selling price, you could get an annual interest between 1.01 - 1.35% per annum. This is indeed a very good time, and you can arrange for a fixed interest rate for 10-15 years. 

So where I am trying to drive at with this post? Well, it is a good time to buy your own house if you are financially sound to get a loan from the bank. But with so many people looking to buy their own home and with a very limited number of properties for sale, the competition is very high. You would need not just capital, you would need a lot of patience and a little bit of aggressiveness and a lot of luck to be chosen as the buyer.

As for us, we are still looking... hopefully the search will one be over one day and we will finally be able to move into our own home sweet home. 

Benefits of Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

Carpets play an essential role in almost every home. They are one of the most frequently used items in a household. As such, how you take care of your carpeting impacts your life. Your floors are exposed to an array of dirt sources whenever anyone walks on them. Also, pets may sometimes urinate on your carpet, not to mention the endless spills, oil stains and food crumbs. A carpet that is not well cleaned can pose health issues and may not last as long. That’s why you need professional carpet cleaning services.

Improved Air Quality
You have perhaps been in a situation where you have guests getting uncomfortable with the smell from your carpet. Even if you routinely vacuum, it’s embarrassing to put up with the stench. Professional carpet cleaning services use the right products to eliminate any odors and enhance your indoor air quality.

Quality Cleaning Equipment
One of the primary benefits you will get when you hire professional carpet cleaning in Calgary is the use of quality cleaning supplies and tools. Using a simple brush to clean your carpet may not get rid of all the spills and dirt. Professional carpet cleaners have the right cleaning supplies and equipment appropriate for your carpet fabric. That means that the professionals can effectively get rid of stubborn stains on your carpet and extend its lifespan.

Reduced Health Risks
You are probably wondering about the health risks that can arise from a dirty carpet. The truth is that your health could be at risk when you don’t thoroughly clean your rugs. Exposure to mold spores and tiny dust mites can be harmful to your health. That’s why you need a professional to clean and sanitize your carpeting to get rid of such contaminants embedded in the fibers.

Most carpets last for years when you take good care of them. With a professional cleaning service, you will most likely extend your flooring's lifespan. Enjoy these and more benefits when you hire professional carpet cleaning services.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Three Tips for a Fun Wedding Day

Your wedding is an incredibly important event that signifies an amazing commitment between two people. While marriage is a serious thing and is even sacred to many, it's also cause for some major celebration! Here are three ideas to help you make the most of your wedding day by keeping things fun and memorable at your reception.

Pick Your Reception Music Carefully
For starters, live music creates an exciting atmosphere and is an extra source of entertainment for your guests. Consider some local wedding bands NYC and see if there's a group that fits your style and tastes. If live music isn't your style, make sure you evaluate your DJ just as closely as you would a wedding band. Attend some upcoming gigs or ask for videos to help you get a better feel for their personality, and make sure you're very involved in picking the set list.

Include a Unique Activity for Your Guests
Surprise your friends and family with some special activities throughout the event. Hire a caricature artist, rent an adult-sized bounce house or set up a station with different games your guests will love. Be sure to include options that will appeal to all of the age groups you've invited to your big day. If your reception lasts for more than four hours, plan to order pizza for the guests that stay late to dance the night away.

Serve Extra Sweet Treats
Wedding cake doesn't have to be the only dessert option at your reception. Set up some tasty sweet treat stations so your guests can indulge whenever they want. An ice cream sundae bar is a delicious option that can still partner well with a slice of cake. A candy station gives guests the option to take home some sweets to enjoy later and can even serve as a wedding favor. For winter or outdoor events, set up a s'mores station for a special dessert option. 

Your wedding is something worth celebrating! Find creative ways to make the day exciting for you and your guests.

The Christmas / Advent Calendar

When we first moved here in Germany in 2009, the Christmas calendar is among the gift-giving traditions that I look forward to. And it is very interesting to learn along the way how this very romantic idea of a calendar to make waiting for Christmas day to arrive a little bit easier turned out to be a million industry.

Everything started very simply: with pictures and texts. It was in 1903 when most probably the first Advent calendar was designed, by the Munich publisher Gerhard Lang. The calendar was inspired by his mother, who made him a calendar made from 24 cookies when he was still a child. Every day a cookie for the little Gerhard, which made waiting for Christmas day to come a little bit easier.

Even before the published calendar, this counting tradition is already practiced by many German families - for example chalk marks on the wall or the door to count off the days. But then of course, colorful pictures and beautiful texts are more interesting. Lang's calender with the title "Im Lande des Christkinds" (In the Land of the Christ Child) is a kaleidoscope of various motifs of the kinder world. After the premiere in 1903, new versions were published every year. 

Because children love sweet things, the publisher soon had another idea: Christmas / advent calendar with chocolate. It was in 1920 when the first calendar was published, just like the typical calendar we have today: with 24 small doors to open. It was an optimal idea, because people love beautiful surprises. Clubs and parents in other areas then started designing their own calendar.

It was in 1945, after the second world war, when other countries and even the industry found the idea interesting. Famous artists designed calendars - there is the classic with the chocolate and slowly in more and more variants.

Today, there are all sorts of Christmas calendar available in the market - for all ages and for a wide range of products. There are calendars with chips, seasoning, gin, fragrance, make-up tea, coffee, even Lego and Playmobil - there is a calendar to almost every product that one can purchase. It has become a million-business. 

But do we really need all this? I personally love the chocolate bit, one for each day. But with all the products being sold out today, I think it has already lost its essence and meaning. The happiness that opening one door brings has maybe become superficial. Despite the massive commercialization, may we never lost touch of the true meaning of Christmas.

Three Gift Ideas To Show Appreciation to Your Staff

Gift-giving can be a great way to show appreciation to your employees. It's generally important to reward your staff for their hard work and determination. Go out of your way every once in a while and surprise your team members with thoughtful presents. However, picking out gifts is often not so easy. Here are three smart gift ideas to get you started on employee appreciation.  

Gift Baskets
Executive gift baskets usually contain selections of hand-picked goodies all wrapped up neatly in a beautiful hamper. A gift basket is often an appropriate present for any employee and any occasion. Something that can make gift baskets truly special and valuable is adding a few personalized items or touches that are unique to the recipient. Just about everyone loves gift baskets, and there is almost always an excitement that comes with receiving one because you never know what's inside.  

Personalized Presents 
Nothing says special like a personalized gift. If you're hoping to touch your employees’ hearts deeply, then personalized gifts may be the way to go. Find out what every employee is enthusiastic about, their hobbies, likes, and preferences. Then select gift items that best reflect an individual’s interests and personality. For instance, get game tickets for sports fans, dog collars for dog lovers, novelty items for art enthusiasts, and so on.  

Tours and Excursions 
Here’s an idea – don’t give your employees anything; instead, take them out on a fun trip or thrilling adventure. You don't have to pay for expensive foreign tours; visiting local attractions also counts as an extraordinary experience. Outings and collaborative activities are also essential for team building, socializing, and cultivating morale among co-workers. Studies have also revealed a strong correlation between workers' appreciation and workers' productivity and well-being.

Appreciating your employees through gift-giving goes a long way in showing that you recognize their efforts and care about them. An employee who feels appreciated is often inspired and motivated to work hard. 

Fresh, Fruity and Festive

The Body Shop has launched its Christmas edition products, with fresh, fruity and festive scents to get you in the mood for the holiday season.

This Christmas season, The Body Shop have released three limited edition product series:

1. Juicy Pear (fresh and sweet) - Luxurious body care highlights with pear extract from Italy.

2. Rich Plum (floral and fruity) - Turkish plum extract gives the sweet fragrance a nip.

3. Warm Vanilla (warm and creamy) - Vanilla extract from Madagascar encases the skin with a sweet fragrance.

I personally love the Rich Plum's fruity and floral fragrance. I still have to try the Juicy Pear. I am not a very huge fan of vanilla though, I find it too strong for my senses. I love The Body Shop products because they are committed to principles close to my heart: "Enrich, not exploit" by partnering with local communities in sourcing out sustainable and fair raw materials. It is also among the companies that have 100% vegetarian ingredients and continues to actively engage in a worldwide ban on animal testing of cosmetic products and ingredients.

Which Christmas Edition product variant have you tried?

Note: Images from The Body Shop.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Essential Things You Should Know About Ovens

Congratulationss on acquiring your fancy new appliance. It must be exciting to bring your oven home finally. You probably have a whole list of meals that you want to prepare with the new fancy appliance. However, you will have to do a few things before you start cooking with your new oven.

Oven Installation
It would be wise to hire an expert for the installation process, rather than installing it by yourself. You may think that the installation process is easy and you can save money with a DIY project. Unfortunately, you could be putting yourself at risk. You need to hire professionals such as oven installation Washington dc if you want the installation process carried out with expertise. The professionals are certified and licensed to carry out oven installations. As such, they can handle any complexities that arise during the installation process without damaging your oven.

Break In
You should break in the oven once the installation process is over. The step is vital for both electric and gas ovens. Failure to break in the oven may leave your oven with a sticky chemical smell that can permeate your food when cooking. Most manufacturers advise oven users to heat their new ovens to a high temperature to aid in removing residue from surfaces inside the appliance.

Maintenance Tips
An oven, just like other kitchen appliances, requires regular maintenance. You can read through the user manual to see the instructions for using your oven correctly. But, oven installation experts can also help you with that. You can ask the expert questions regarding regular oven maintenance. Let the professionals guide you on proper oven handling and maintenance based on their experiences.

You can now prepare your delicious emails on your new oven. Make sure you read the user guide and contact the installation experts whenever you have any questions. Don’t forget to properly take care of your oven so that it can serve you for longer.

The Wilhelma Christmas Garden

Winter is slowly making it's way in this part of the world. Days are getting shorter and shorter, and the wind is chilly and icy. But despite the cold, I always find joy and wonder in this season, for winter is after all "the most wonderful time of the year".

Why? Well, because of this of course:

And these mammut trees that seem to be dancing in a play of lights or these angels, playing the hymns of Christmas:

Or enjoy the lotus pond illuminated with lights:

Should you ever get hungry or want to grab something warm to drink, a small Christmas market is available at your disposal:

Yes, everything lights up, making the sleeping botanical garden alive and awake:

Where is this, you ask? The lighted elephant gives it away.

Yup, you got it right! It is in the Wilhelma Zoo! Visit the Christmas Garden at Wilhelma in Stuttgart between 17.00 - 22.00 PM. They opened the Christmas garden last 14th November 2019 and will be available until the 6th of January 2020.

Don't miss the Christmas Garden at the Wilhelm Zoo in Stuttgart, now on its second year! Tickets are available online at or at the selling booths outside the main gate.

Photos were taken last year and are the blogger's own.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Three Tips for Picking an Instrument To Learn How To Play

If you want to learn how to play an instrument, there are so many to choose from! Before you settle on one, consider these three questions.

1. Do You Buy Or Rent?
If you are going to learn how to play an instrument, you need to decide whether you want to buy that instrument or rent it. If you want to learn how to play the piano, check out some Boston piano dealers before hand. Is there a piano in your price range? Do you have a place to store it in your home? Maybe you want a flute or saxophone that is more portable. If you cannot afford to buy it maybe renting or leasing is the best option. Think about what instrument would suit your situation best.

2. Do You Know How To Read Music?
Before choosing an instrument to learn how to play, you want to consider your proficiency at reading music. If you can read treble clef but not bass clef, you might want to go with an instrument whose music is in treble clef. If you can read tabs then maybe you want to pick up some kind of guitar. If you want an instrument in a clef you do not know or you have never read music before, factor in taking some music lessons that will include learning music notation. 

3. What Do You Like To Listen To?
When you think through the logistics of owning and learning an instrument, you want to think about what instrument fits you. If you love rock music, maybe you want to pick an instrument that is featured on your favorite songs. If you like jazz, consider a drum set, saxophone or trumpet. If you love the symphony, maybe a clarinet or some string instrument would work best. You are more likely to stick with the instrument you choose if you like how it sounds!

Monday, October 14, 2019

What's Happening in October in Stuttgart?

We are already halfway through the month of October, but it still has lots to offer for both young and old. Here are some events and activities that the City of Stuttgart and its neighboring cities has to offer this fall season:

1. Kürbisaustellung (Pumpkin Festival) at Blühendes Barock in Ludwigsburg
The annual pumpking festival runs until November 03, 2019. This year's theme: The Fantastic World of Fairytales. If you grew up enjoying the tales of the Grimm Brothers for example, then the giant pumpkin exhibit is a must! Lots of activities are in store for visitors: halloween pumpkin carving, music, story telling, pumpkin gourmet creations, and lots more. Entrance fees: 9,00€ for adults, and 4,50€ for children from 4-15 years old.

Giant pumpkin sculture of Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle. Sculpture by Pit Ruge.
Photo taken from Blühendes Barock website.

2. Culmination of the Remstal Garden Show:
For 164 days the Remstal became a unique experience, opening up new paths, testing new formats and making new encounters possible. With it, the communities and cities around the Remstal became closer more than ever. To culminate, an inter-community closing ceremony will take place in Waiblingen on 20.10.2019. In the evening, Waiblingen lights up, with the city center bathed in a colorful sea of lights. A fireworks display forms the brilliant finale of the event and the Remstal Garden Show 2019.

3. Halloween at the Wilhelma: 
It is Halloween at the Zoo on 31.10.2019! Children and teenagers until 18 years old in costumes have free entrance to the park. Wilhelma transforms into a Halloween town with spooky lights, a dim atmosphere, scary silhouettes and creepy decorations. Special Halloween program from 11:00 - 20:00. 

These are just some of the things that you can do with your family this month of October in Stuttgart. I wish you lots of fun and enjoyment with the whole family! 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Safety Tips for Aging Loved Ones

More and more seniors are deciding that they want to grow old in the comfort of their own home. As your loved one ages, however, safety becomes a major concern. If your parents or other loved one has decided to remain in their Denver home, here’s how you can ensure their safety.

Reduce the Injury Risk
Older adults are at an increased risk for falls, which can result in serious injuries or death. Make some adjustments to the home to help reduce the risk. For instance, you can install grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom, convert the bath into a walk-in shower, and place a bench by the front door. Also make sure that the driveway, walkways, and porch are free from potential hazards.

Improve the Lighting
Many seniors have a harder time seeing, which can increase the risk of accidents. Ensure that your loved one’s home is outfitted with proper lighting. Install additional lighting in halls and stairways. To help your loved one find light switches, you can install plates that glow in the dark.

Install Locks and Security
You want to make sure that your loved one is secure in their home. Install quality locks on their doors and windows. You may also want to consider a security system and a way for your loved one to easily call for help if they need it.

Check In
Check in frequently with your loved one. Visit when you can. Call often. If you can’t be there to check on your loved one yourself, look into memory care denver. This way, you can ensure that your loved one is being looked after when you aren’t able to be there yourself.

Just because your loved one is getting older, that doesn’t mean they can’t do so at home. With just a few simple adjustments, you can help to ensure their safety and your peace of mind.

Ramen 8: Japanese Ramen Bar

The days and nights are getting colder, and what better way to ward off the cold than filling your tummies with the hot, savory goodness of Japanese Ramen. It is not easy to find a ramen shop in Stuttgart, especially if you are looking for authentic Japanese ramen. Thankfully, Ramen 8 finally opened its doors in Stuttgart.

S was very happy with her Ramen. Here, she was almost finished with her bowl...
We were too excited to eat we forgot to take a photo of the served ramen! :) 
Located along the Bohnenviertel in Eberhardstrasse, this unassuming ramen shop serves different ramen soup bases served with hand-made wheat noodles, a choice of tenderly cooked, roasted pork (Chasu), chicken fillet, or tempura or just vegetables for the Vegetarians. There are also various side dishes that you can add to your meal like gyoza (dumplings with vegetables), yakitori (chicken barbecue on a stick), tempura (deep-fried shrimps) among others.

They also serve Japanese beer, best paired with edamame (blanched soy beans), as well as genmaicha, which is a green tea preparation with roasted brown rice.

So, if you are in the mood for some Japanese comfort food, head on over to Ramen 8! A plus: the staff always has a smile, makes sure everything is okay, and very nice! 

Location: Eberhardstrasse 47, Stuttgart Mitte
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 11:30 - 15:30 and 17:30 - 22:30 and Saturday, 11:30 - 22:30.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Preparing Yourself To Welcome a New Baby

Finding out that you are expecting a child for the first time is a moment unlike any other. You may be filled with wonder and dread, excitement and concern all at the same time. It's fun to buy baby clothes, set up the nursery and get ready for baby to come, but consider some of these tips taking care of you as well.

Medical Care
You might be amazed to learn that there is are many women never visit a doctor or midwife during their pregnancies. Whatever their reasons, it is essential to get early and regular care during your pregnancy, not only for the baby, but also to ensure a healthy mommy during and after delivery. Things like high blood pressure and water retention can alert your midwife to potential problems early, allowing time to correct the situation.

Choose a Facility
The staff at any given facility are the first humans your baby will come in contact with and the ones who will help you deal with any pain and nervousness you may have as you go into birth mode. Visit the midwives at the pregnancy care center Tampa FL residents rely on for a good birth experience to see how they can help you when your time comes.

Care and Feeding
The importance of caring for yourself while you are expecting a child cannot be over emphasized. Getting adequate amounts of quality sleep including naps will help you cope better emotionally and allow your body the reserves it needs to do the hard work of growing a child. Fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of good clean water are essential to provide vitamins, nutrients, and energy needed during pregnancy. Exercise or stretches according to what your midwife feels is safe for you can improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and can stimulate a feeling of well-being.

Don't take this time for granted. Growing a child takes a lot of work and effort on your body's part. Take care of yourself and you will feel healthier and happier when the big day arrives.

Suki Is Two!

It's already fall... The leaves are beginning to fall and she loves the fragrance of the autumn air.
Our little Suki just turned two last Sunday, and oh my, aren't we sooo glad that she came into our lives! Who would have thought that this wild ball of fur would turn our lives update down. We couldn't even imagine our life without her now...

Just cuddling and hanging out with family.

She is one ball of happy, wild, slimy, sweet, needy, cuddly, adorable FUR! She drools when she wants a piece of what you are eating and gives you her look that you can't resist. She loves to fart especially when you are beside her and it just STINKS A LOT! She is a springer - she would jump at you just because. She hates it when it rains and doesn't want her paws to get wet, so she could be stubborn if you force to go out for a walk on a cold rainy day. She sheds a lot, it doesn't matter what season. She snores very loud, louder even than the husband, that he can't sleep too when Suki sleeps with us. Hihi! But despite all these, we are not complaining. 

Getting a bite of her favorite snack: carrots, anyone?
She is one sweet dog - she is content to just sleep beside us whenever we hang out in the living room. She is family to us, and I am her Mama. Imagine having little kids at home who would follow you around, even to the bathroom? Suki does that too! Suki is our french bulldog. She is our family pet, but she is more than that. I guess you can say that she is our 2nd baby. And we thank God she is in our lives. May we get to spend more years with her.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What to Do If Your Loved One Can No Longer Live Independently

As your parents get older, it can be difficult for them to accomplish tasks that once came easily. If you think that your parent or loved one needs a bit of help living on their own, here are some strategies to try.

Consider Moving Back Home
Sometimes it is best for your parent to have a child living with them to assist with day-to-day chores and errands. This way, your parent can still maintain his or her freedom while having some help from a family member, and you are also less likely to disrupt their schedule or lifestyle. Moving home might seem like a drastic step, but it can be hugely beneficial for your parent and your relationship.

Look Into Home Care
Older folks with more persistent or complex health problems might require a level of care that you are unable to provide. If this is the case, hiring a home care worker might be a better option. To find home care workers in your area, simply do an internet search to see reviews and cost breakdowns. For example, if you reside in Washington, D.C., search for "home care washington dc" to find agencies near you.

Research Retirement Communities
A retirement community can be a wonderful choice for seniors who need some help or companionship, but also want to maintain a relatively independent lifestyle. As people age, they still need to surround themselves with a community of friends and family. Finding a retirement community where your loved one can engage in group activities and have on-hand assistance may be a perfect middle ground between living on their own and types of full-time care that is more hands-on.

Depending on the amount of assistance they require, it may be frustrating to think about living accommodations for your parent or loved one. However, with these tips, you are sure to find the situation that works best for everyone involved.

e-Scooters / e-Rollers in the City

e-Scooters from lime parked near the tram stop in Zuffenhausen-Kelterplatz.
I have been noticing e-Rollers parked just about anywhere around the city. It started I think last month, when the first few of these battery-operated scooters for rent can be spotted in the city center. The e-Scooters or e-Rollers are operated by lime, a US-company.

Could this be the start of the mobility revolution in Stuttgart? These e-scooters are not meant to compete with the public transportation like buses, trams and trains but as a supplement to it. These e-scooters are said to run up to a speed of 20 km/h. Oh my, is that fast!

To protect it from robbers, it has anti-theft features: it alarms so loud like a car alarm system when someone tries to use it by force. The e-scooters can be activated via a smartphone app, where you have to be a registered user to be able to rent, locate available e-scooters and pay.

The e-scooters may be used by anyone aged 14 years old and above. They may only be used on the bike lanes or cycle paths; driving along the Königstrasse is tabu. Helmets are not required when using them but it is recommended for your own safety.

Have you ever tried using an e-scooter? Would you rent an e-Scooter yourself? Let me know how your experience was by leaving your comments below.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Three Things to Consider When Choosing a Natural Birth

Women today have so many options when it comes to giving birth. Choosing natural childbirth is becoming a more popular selection with many mothers-to-be these days. However, it's important to keep in mind that natural birth takes planning and preparation in order to be successful. If you've made the choice to go this route, here are three things to consider to make your pregnancy and delivery a positive experience.

Receive Your Prenatal Care From a Certified Midwife
Choosing to make your prenatal appointments with a licensed midwife tampa rather than an OBGYN could help better prepare you for a natural childbirth. Licensed midwives are qualified to perform all of the necessary checkups and procedures during pregnancy, as well as deliver a baby during childbirth. Midwives specialize in the natural approach, so they will be able to offer sound advice and tips for dealing with common pregnancy woes and pain during labor and delivery.

Hire a Doula for Preparation for and Help Through Labor
Labor, especially with your first child, is a very challenging process. A doula can help prepare you for what to expect by sharing wisdom and advice from past experiences. Not only can they help you prepare your body and environment for the event, they can also provide peace of mind and coaching during active labor to help ease anxiety and make contractions more manageable and productive.

Choose the Right Hospital or Birthing Center
Some hospitals aren't very supportive of natural childbirth and are more focused on speed and efficiency. An exhausted and overwhelmed mother may not have the strength and endurance to stand strong in her wishes for a natural birth. Do your research and find a hospital or birthing center with a history of supporting this approach. Ask if they have midwives on staff, whether or not they allow remote monitoring and if they provide birthing balls or tubs for expectant mothers.

It takes a lot of help and preparation to prepare for a successful natural delivery. With the right tools and support, you can experience a beautiful natural birth.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Day 2 in Salzburger Lungau: Hiking Day to Rotgueldensee

Rotgueldensee is considered as one of the most notable and beautiful mountain lakes in Salzburger Lungau. It is located in Murtal (Mur Valley), within the National Part Hohe Tauern.

From our apartment, we drove about half an hour to Hintermuhr and started our hike from there. Tagging along with us is of course our french bulldog Suki. We started our hike from the parking area of the Arsenhouse, following the road going up the mountain, passing through a number of informative natural trail about the mountain and its Flora and Fauna.

The family on the way up to mountain lake, Rotgüldensee.
The hike normally takes about an hour for regular hikers, but it took us longer as we needed to take more short water breaks for our Suki due to the hot weather. It rained hard halfway through the hike and we were all wet when we reached the lower Rotgüldensee and the Rotgüldensee-Hütte. Although cloudy and gray, it was a sight to behold. The lake water was calm and silvery-gray due to the clouds hovering above. We took a rest at the cabin, where we ordered some hot beverages to help ward off the cold. 

This beautiful lake greeted us, with the foggy Großer Hafner further up.

Later, the sky cleared up, revealing the lake's beautiful almost turkish blue water. Further up, one can see the waterfalls coming from the upper Rotgüldensee and the shimmering ice-cold beauty of the Großer Hafner, a partly-glaciated mountain, up ahead.

The sky cleared up a bit revealing the cold beauty of Großer Hafner
and of course, the lower lake's turquoise water.

We wanted to take the challenge of going up to the upper Rotgüldensee but decided otherewise due to the weather condition and the fitness level of our group which includes a french bulldog, a complaining-not-quite-a-teenager daughter, and me, whose fitness level is close to null. The only fit person in our group is my husband. Hehe! :)

The hike back was quicker and more pleasant for our Suki because the temperature has cooled down. 

It was a beautiful day still, one that we will forever cherish.

How to Add More Natural Elements to Your Home

No matter your style, every home can be made more welcoming and comforting with some additional natural elements. You could choose to replace your flooring with a hardwood like Monarch Plank Windsor Collection, or you could simply add features here and there around your house. Whatever you decide, you don't have to spend a lot of money to do it. Try repurposing old items or using found objects from trips or even around your property.

One of the easiest and healthiest ways to bring nature indoors is with plants. Ones like pathos, ivy and ficus act as natural air purifiers as they can filter dangerous chemicals and toxins from the air. You can also do double-duty with herbs as accents to your decor as well as to your food. If you feel that your thumbs are more brown than green, try cactus or succulents. They require little water or attention and are excellent choices for those who may forget to water other plants regularly.

Accent Walls
For a more dramatic effect, try an accent wall. Techniques could vary from covering a wall using repurposed wood planks to creating a wood-framed showcase of art or photographs. You could also add a living wall. Succulents planted in a vertical planter can be a showstopping look while adding the health benefits of living plants to your space.

Do you love to travel? Use the natural bounty around you. Bring back the beautiful sea glass or seashell you found at the beach. Maybe you found an unusual piece of driftwood that would make a unique holder for tealight candles. Keep strange rocks from your excursions and display them on a shelf or windowsill. You'll have a personal remembrance of your trip along with the warmth that natural elements add to your home.

Friday, August 23, 2019

3 Alternatives To Traditional Labor and Delivery in Texas

Pregnancy and birth can be an intimidating process, especially if it's your first time. You may not have considered additions or alternatives to a hospital stay during labor and delivery. Three are some options to optimize your experience.

Go Natural
If you would like a more natural experience you should consider water birth san antonio. It is exactly what it sounds like- you would be in a bath full of warm water during labor and also during delivery if you wish. It is established as being very safe and soothing. Some hospitals even offer this, if you don't want to seek out a separate facility. You could also stay at home instead of rushing to a delivery room. Midwives are certified to provide care during labor and delivery as well as obstetric care, during and after the pregnancy. Just imagine how much less stress you would feel in the familiarity and privacy of your own home.

Get a Doula
A doula is someone who can guide you and your family through the pregnancy and birthing process to make it the best experience possible. With the complicated healthcare process and seemingly endless advice books, it can lift a lot of weight off of your shoulders to have a certified expert steering you in the right direction. They can provide informational, physical and even emotional support.

Go To a Birthing Center
Another way to avoid the hospital is at a birthing center. These are health care facilities specifically focused on childbirth and abide by the codes of midwifery. They emphasize helping women make decisions about the labor and delivery process according to their own values and beliefs. They are set up to look like large bedrooms and living areas, to give a feeling of home. Services also include educational programs, postpartum care and breastfeeding services.

Your future child deserves the best, so don't skimp when it comes to your health and well-being. Be sure to research everything that is available to you so you can make informed decisions regarding your care.

Summer Roadtrip 2019 - 1st Stop: St. Michael in Lungau, Austria

We started off our summer roadtrip one rainy Saturday. First stop of this trip: St. Michael in Lungau, Austria. St. Michael in Lungau is Salzburg's vacation paradise, surrounded with lush mountains offering a variety of hiking opportunities for families, and deep-blue idyllic mountain lakes. 

We stayed at a family run apartment in St. Martin, with a view of the mountains and just very near the Sonnenbahn.  The Sonnenbahn will take you up to 2,0000 meters above sea level, a great starting point to explore the Speiereck mountain on foot or see the mountain lakes in the area.

Good hiking shoes are needed if you want to go further but sports shoes will suffice if you just want to take a leisurely walk, see the alpine cows lazily grazing on the mountains. There is a restaurant and alpine hut called the Peterbaueralm where you can enjoy traditional Austrian food or stay the night if you somehow ended up still in the mountains and it has already gotten dark.

On our first full day in St. Michael, we went up Speiereck. It was very foggy when we got there but the skies cleared up while we were hiking. It was amazing how the mountains would clear up one moment and then with just a gust of wind be all covered up in fog the next. We brought our french bulldog with us of course and she had a lot of fun up in the mountains. Dogs need of course to always be kept on the leash since there are alpine cows in the area. The cows were very calm creatures but if they see other animals, they might see them as a threat and could then pose a danger to people.

It was a great day up, taking in the breathtaking view of the mountain, with its fresh and cool mountain air, a wonderful experience for the entire family. It was tiring but we all had a wonderful time. Another adventure awaits on the next day.

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