Helping Your Grandparents Surf The Web Could Change Their Health

Helping Your Grandparents Surf The Web Could Change Their Health

The internet is a gateway to a world of knowledge, but being able to use it is something the older generation tend to struggle with. Even when you grew up with the internet on most to all of the devices in your house, it can be a deep dark place filled with unreliable sources and straight up scammers, and you have to be careful about the sites you visit and the people you talk to.

Which is why it’s important for someone like you to help your grandparents along. Of course, it depends on the kind of grandparents you have – they might love tech and use it all the time, so ask first.

But seeing as health and technology go hand in hand these days, it might be worth your time to teach your grandparents the same knowledge you have, simply because it might serve their health and wellbeing in the future.

You’ll Show Them How to Find Products Perfect for Them

The world wide web has a lot of buying and selling options. It’s one of the main reasons we turn to the internet in the modern day and age – sites like Amazon have a lot to offer, and they can ship the products we know and love straight to our homes without any extra effort on our part.

And because of that, it might be helpful to show your grandparents how to use these kinds of retail websites. It can be hard to keep up with a schedule at any age, but if your loving and wonderful grandparents no longer have a car to take them around, or struggle to keep on walking throughout the day, using the internet to shop for food and other essentials is key to keeping them on a healthy diet throughout the week.

The benefits of online shopping don’t stop there either. They can even look up the best walkers for seniors whilst they’re at it, which might just help them to get back on their feet!

You’ll Keep Them Up to Date with Technology

Technology is something we’re surrounded by, and if you don’t know the first thing about a laptop or a smartphone, you can feel really out of touch with the world around you. If you hear your grandparents complaining a lot about people having their faces in their phones all the time, it might be worth it to gently introduce them to a modern phone of their own – it might help them to feel a bit more secure and stable with how the world is changing.

You’ll also be able to keep them up to date on online viruses and scams they might come across – you’ll be able to show them how easy it is for someone to fake a telephone call, and to always take technology with a pinch of salt.

Your grandparents might struggle with the world wide web, and even just the concept can be confusing. But you can help them out!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade View Tips

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade View Tips


Anthony Quintano/Flickr Creative Commons

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade heralds in the Christmas Holiday season.  It’s one of the most famous holiday events in the world. Over three million people line the parade route to get a glimpse of celebrities, marching bands, floats,  and the huge floating balloons—Snoopy, Spiderman, Big Bird, Hello Kitty,  and friends.  50 million people are expected to watch it on TV as part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition.

This parade has been a part of my life forever.  I watched is as a child perched high atop my father’s
shoulders.  When we relocated to Hawaii we woke up early Thanksgiving morning to watch it on TV, when I had my own kids we did the same, and now the grand kids watch it every year.  When my youngest child was in her high school’s marching band they marched in this parade.  At that time Pearl City High School had a standing invitation to march in the parade every couple of years, they still may.  This parade is definitely part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition.  It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if we miss the parade, live or on TV.

For those of you who will be lucky enough to watch it live this year here are a few tips to help you out.

1.  The fun doesn’t have to begin on Thanksgiving morning.  A pre-Thanksgiving tradition on the Upper west side in watching the balloons get inflated.  For many kids watching the balloons “come to life” is more fun than watching the parade itself.

This Thanksgiving eve event is on November 26, 2014 beginning at 3:00 p.m.  It takes place
along the perimeter of the Museum of Natural History, on 77th and 81st streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

2.   The 88th. Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on November 27, 2014.  It begins at 9:00 a.m.

The parade route starts by  heading south down Central Park West from 77th Street, east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue and then south along Sixth Avenue to West 34th Street.  It ends in front of Macy’s in Herald Square.

3.  Arrive early and bring folding chairs, they will make the wait more comfy.   Crowds start gathering along the route as early as 6am. You’ll want to stake out your spot before 7am if you want the kids to be close enough to be able to see.

4.  Check the weather and dress accordingly.  From the time you stake out your spot until the last float passes by you could be standing out in cold weather for more than 5 hours.  Make sure the kids are dressed warmly and have hats and mittens.  Layering would be a good idea, you can peel them off if it gets warmer as the day wears on.  Bring umbrellas if there is a chance of rain or snow.

5.  Bring essentials such as snacks, camera, extra sweater, a lap blanket may come in handy.  I’d take it easy on drinks, hot or cold, bathrooms may be difficult to get to.

6.  Choose your spot wisely, a spot as far north as possible would be good.  Once the parade starts it takes 90 minutes for the last float to pass by.  If you’re near the beginning of the route you could be done before 11:00 a.m.  If you choose a spot near the end near Macy’s Herald Square you will be waiting much longer and be fighting larger crowds.

There are public viewing spots along Central Park West, on the both sides of the street from 70th Street to Columbus Circle to 65th Street and continuing on the west side of the street down to Columbus Circle. You can try further south along Sixth Avenue between 58th Street and 34th Street

It would be a good idea to stake your spot near a coffee shop or department store, this is a definite must with young kids, you can nip into the shop for a bathroom break when needed.

7.  Know your kids limits.  There’s no harm in bailing out early if it gets too cold or the kids get cranky.  Watching part of the parade is better than nothing, and better than bringing home sick or upset kids.

8.  Treat yourselves to a Thanksgiving Feast, after standing out in the cold for hours you’ve definitely earned it.  For NYC restaurants offering special Thanksgiving meals click here!

9.  Enjoy the other sights and events this city has to offer.  The Christmas Season is one of the most wonderful time of the year to visit the Big Apple.  For a list of NYC Christmas events click here!


Best-Ever Spanish Rice

Best-Ever Spanish Rice

Tomato sauce, red bell pepper, and the perfect combo of spices elevate ordinary white rice to a restaurant-worthy side. (It pair perfectly with our chicken fajitas!) Don’t skip toasting the rice! It adds a ton of flavor.



2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 c. long grain white rice

2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 c. tomato sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish


1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomato puree, lemon juice, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove lid and fluff rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.



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How To Buy A Vinyl Cutter

How To Buy A Vinyl Cutter

A vinyl cutter is not your typical household appliance. For someone who is looking to buy one, it must come with a purpose. Vinyl cutters are used to precisely cut out patterns on vinyl sheets. This is an essential tool for any sign printing business. It doesn’t come cheap, so purchasing the correct vinyl cutter is essential. If you need to get one, take advantage of vinyl cutter Black Friday deals and read up on this article to get yourself equipped with the right knowledge on how to buy a vinyl cutter that will work best for your needs.

First off, know your purpose. How do you intend to use the vinyl cutter? Are you a keen hobbyist who would like to venture into this craft? Or are you a small home-based business starting out? Will you be looking into mass commercial production? Are you just going to use it for vinyl sheets, or will you also be looking to use the machine for other media such as cardstock, leather, thick plastic, foil, or fabric? Bear in mind that because a vinyl cutter employs a large, sharp blade for cutting and a drive motor for its engine, it can do more than just cut vinyl sheets. A feature that allows you to adjust the blade force to suit the material being cut will come in handy in this case.

With that said, the kind of drive motor you have for your vinyl cutter matters. A digital servo motor uses software to yield smooth and precise cutting with superior tracking while a mechanical stepper motor moves in small steps that accurately cuts large images and tends to be more friendly on the pockets.

Now along with careful thought on your budget, think of precision, speed, and noise. Do you need to cut detailed and intricate designs? Will you need to complete projects at a faster rate? Can you bear with a loud machine, or do you prefer one that works at a quieter hum?

Another key consideration in buying a vinyl cutter is its size. It is also crucial to note that the standard measurement of vinyl sheets come in rolls of 15mm wide. Purchasing a vinyl cutter that is smaller than this size would mean having to trim off the vinyl sheets each time you use it. Imagine the waste in time, effort, and material.

Lastly, think of support in terms of available technical help, spare parts, accessories, and warranty coverage. Regardless of the way you use the vinyl cutter and the frequency of your operation, machine malfunction, as with any other equipment, is a reality that should be anticipated well. Broken equipment can be detrimental to your business. And even though your machine claims to be top of the line, the fact is, sometimes, glitch just happens. So it does not hurt to be prepared at the onset of purchase with the knowledge that the machine comes with sufficient assistance for whatever customer service needs you may have in the future.

With your thoughtful consideration in place, vinyl cutter shopping will be a breeze. Roll on Black Friday!

Could A Stairlift Be The Answer To You Mobility Problems?

Could A Stairlift Be The Answer To You Mobility Problems?

Have you lost confidence walking up and down your stairs? Do you feel like you’ve lost your independence navigating your own home? Are you considering moving house to somewhere without stairs? Well, a stairlift way me the answer to your problems. Many people put off getting a stairlift and soldier on putting themselves at risk of a nasty fall, if you’re one of those people and are on the fence about stairlift installation, this post may be able to help you make your decision.

What is a stairlift?
A stairlift is a mechanical device installed to your staircase which will lift you up or down your stairs. There are stairlifts for straight staircases and stairlifts for curved stairs and ones which can also navigate stairs with landings.

Who can a stairlift help?
Although stairlifts are often associated with older people who now struggle to use their stairs at home, they are in fact used by many people for many different reasons. The one thing that every stairlift user has in common is that a stairlift makes their experience of climbing the stairs easier and more comfortable and can often enable them to remain in their home rather than moving to a stair-free alternative.

How much space do you need?
Thanks to their foldaway footrests, seats and armrests a stairlift can usually be installed in even the most narrow of spaces without obstructing other people’s use of the stairwell.

How do stairlifts work?
A stairlift is made up of two main parts, the carriage where you sit and the rail which is attached to the wall and is the part that the carriage runs on. The carriage part of the stairlift contains a small motor which is powered by electricity and is responsible for moving the carriage along the rail. By using an electric motor stairlifts can remain quiet and unobtrusive. Most stairlifts nowadays operate using rechargeable batteries to ensure that they work even during a power outage. With regular use, most stairlift batteries can last between 3-5 years before needing to be serviced and replaces.

Do stairlifts have a weight limit?
The short answer to this question is yes, but their weight limit will be influenced by several different factors including whether the rail the stairlift is using is straight or curved, how steep the angles and bends of the rail are and the type of chair the stairlift uses. As a general rule though the upper weight limit for a straight stairlift is around 25 stone (160kg) and the upper limit for a curved stairlift is slightly less at 21 stone (136kg). The maximum load that your stairlift will be able to take can be more accurately calculated following a site visit.

How much do stairlifts cost?
The cost of your stairlift can depend on many factors as not all stairlifts and stairlift companies are made the same. Prices will vary depending on the quality fo the stairlift you choose, the style of your staircase (i.e is it straight or curved) and whether the installers may need to make some adaptations to your stairwell such as removing a windowsill during installation. To give you an average figure Which? When looking at the best stairlift brands of 2018 calculated that the average cost of a stairlift was £3,126, however, this is an average and so straight rail staircases can cost significantly less and curved rails considerably more. The best way to get a better idea of the cost of a stairwell is to have a free no-obligation visit from a stairwell company to assess your space and requirements.

What aftercare do stairlifts need?
Stairlifts require very littler aftercare and most replacement parts are only needed as a result of normal wear and tear. To put your mind at ease most providers will offer service contracts to cover any maintenance checks and repairs, enabling you to sit back and relax knowing that your stairlift will always be in good working order. From your end, all you will need to do is give your stairlift a gentle clean every now and ensure that the maintenance team have access for their scheduled maintenance visits.

So what next?
If having read this post you now think that a stairlift could be the right fit for your home then the next thing to do is research some reputable stairlift companies. Once you have found one you like then they will often come to your home to perform a free, no-obligation assessment to help you understand which stairlift will be best for your space. If you choose to place an order then the stairlift-company will hand all the hard work and the installation process for you and you’ll have effortless access to your stairs in no time

DIY Thanksgiving Buffet Table – Free Printables

DIY Thanksgiving Buffet Table – Free Printables

The Thanksgiving table can get very crowded.  What with the turkey, side dishes, gravy, and sauces, there’s no place for anyone to actually sit down and eat! I solved this problem long ago by setting up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table for all the food and having an adult table as well as a kids’ table.

Depending on the space you have and the number of guests you are expecting this could take some doing. You might consider setting up different stations or bars; appetizer, sides, desserts, and drinks; or any combination there of.  If you’re limited on space your stations may have to do double duty after dinner; appetizer station can be converted to dessert bar.

You may have to think out of the box and re-purpose furniture pieces to hold food and tableware. You will more than likely have to rearrange furniture to accomplish your goal.  However you decide to set up the meal it will require advance planning, so much easier to move furniture without a ton of guests milling around.

Here are a few tips to help you set up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table.

1.  Plan your serveware.  Know ahead of time what dishes you will be using.  I usually do this as soon as I’ve planned my menu, making a note beside each dish what I will be serving it in.  Be creative, make your buffet interesting by adding height, this also creates space.

I love tiered stands and racks, but you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them.  Stands can easily be made from dollar store items with very little time and effort.  Check out Savvy Nana’s DIY Hurricane Vases & Lamps to learn how to make your own tiered stands.

You can also stack platters on upside down stemware or bowls to create height.  Or use books or boxes wrapped in pretty paper.  If you don’t have time to wrap books or boxes, just place them where you want them on the table and cover everything with a large tablecloth. You can even set Plates on pumpkins to create varying heights
For some great ideas on how to set a buffet table watch Kid’s Smart Living‘s video tutorial

A table in the middle of the room allows several guest access to the table at the same time, in this case taller dishes should be placed in the middle of the table.  If the table needs to be set up against the wall meaning it will be front serving then taller dishes should be in the back.

2.  Once you know which serving pieces you will be using you need to decide what you’re going to put them on.  Breakfast tables, sideboards, baking racks, kitchen islands and counters work well as long as at least 2 people can serve themselves at the same time without blocking the way for everyone else.  You may have to move furniture to accommodate the this traffic and arrange your serving ware accordingly.

Consider setting out trays of appetizers on coffee tables and end tables in the living or family rooms.  This frees up space on the buffet table for the main event.

If you don’t have enough room on the table for plates and eating utensils consider setting up another table, shelf or rack to place them on.

Dinner plates stacked neatly on a chair will work![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

Make use of all the flat surfaces in your house.  Setting up a bar on the mantle works well![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]


3.  Keep eating utensils neat and within reach by placing them in mason or apothecary jars, or on trays.



Free Printable

4.  Decorate your buffet or bar with centerpieces and even a backdrop.  You don’t need table cards but they’re a nice touch as is a framed photo or sign.   You can hand write your own on card stock or use one of these printable.


Click here for this free printable from Home Cooking Memories.
Click here for this free printable The Tom Kat Studio