If you garden or engage in do-it-yourself projects around the home, you know that working outdoors in all types of weather damages hands and nails: hardworking hands need tender loving care.

Stinging nettles, prickly raspberry and rose bush thorns, garden soil, and insect bites cause havoc and destroy a manicure. Just scrubbing off all that gritty, ingrained garden soil is hard on hands, causing irritated, red and itchy skin. While donning gloves for dirty chores is the best choice for hand protection, it just isn’t practical for some jobs such as planting delicate seedlings. Some jobs require bare hands,

Protect Hands With A Bit Of Planning

Scrape your fingernails across a bar of soap before you head outdoors to tackle a dirty or messy job. The soft soap fills up the area behind the nail, leaving no room for dirty and readily rinses out when you wash up. If you use an old toothbrush or nailbrush, your nails will be clean and look as good as new. The soap behind the nail also helps to reinforce the nail and prevent breakage.

Whenever possible wear gloves, applying a protective hand crème before you slip them on. Choose gloves appropriate for the job. Thin surgical gloves allow you to do jobs that require dexterity and freedom of movement. Although they are cumbersome, heavy leather gloves will protect your hands from blisters when shoveling or raking.

If your nails are still discolored and dark and dirty around the cuticles or under the nails, blend up a paste of baking soda and lemon juice and apply with a nailbrush for spotlessly clean hands.

A Gardeners\’s Exfoliating Scrub

To create an exfoliating scrub to remove stains, dirt and oils, mix up a couple of tablespoons of almond or sunflower oil with two heaping tablespoons of sugar or salt. Work well into hands with a scrubbing or lathering motion, rinse with warm water and pat hands dry. Your hands will be soft, smooth and clean. Follow with a moisturized hand crème. Hand crème for hard working hands needs to be hydrating and rich to offset the drying effects of the wind, water, and the sun.

Oil and Paint Stains

No matter if you wear gloves or are as tidy as you can be, when working with grease, oil, paint, or plant care products, you invariably spill a bit on your hands. If you are left with stains, in spite of scrubbing well with soap and water, a pumice stone and bit of olive oil will rid hands of stains and ground-in dirt and grime.

To protect tender cuticles, apply a healing cuticle crème with soothing comfy after the job is done and hands are dry. Regular applications of cuticle crème will soon have torn, and ragged cuticles smooth and in good repair. If nails are stained, soak in a bit of lemon juice.

Cuts And Scrapes

Whether you wear gloves or not, if you work in the garden or engage in repairs and maintenance chores around the yard, you are bound to get cut, scraped, burned, or suffer an insect pest. Because garden soil is loaded with microorganisms and bacteria, always wash an injury immediately and further cleanse with hydrogen peroxide; apply an antibiotic crème and cover with a bandage. You will want to keep the cut or wound covered until it heals over to avoid infection.

Seasoned gardeners know that gardening can damage hands, but the damage is repairable, and nothing feels as good as playing, with your hands in the dirt.

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A house fire is a parent and home owner’s worst fear. Many people see tragic house fires as a case of very bad luck, but in reality most house fires can be avoided by practicing good fire safety.

To prevent house fires and to know what to do in case you have one, you’ll need to learn and teach your children about the main causes of house fires, how to prevent them, and what to do when a fire occurs. We’ll cover all of that in this article, plus give you some tips on making it easy and fun for kids to learn.

How do house fires happen?

The eight most common causes of house fires are:

  1. candles
  2. smoking
  3. electrical/lighting
  4. dryers and washing machines
  5. lightning
  6. kids playing with fire
  7. tree decorations
  8. kitchen/cooking

Play investigator

To prevent some of the causes of fire listed above, gather your children and put on your investigator hat. Make a checklist of the following and scour your house together to search for clues of fire hazards, taking care of them as you go along. Look for:

  • Overloaded power strips and damaged power cords
  • Dryer vents that are clogged up or dirty
  • Stove burners that are near flammable items like curtains
  • Smoke detectors checked
  • Extra batteries located
  • Escape route noted (see below)
  • Ensure kids know the rules about candles, cooking, playing with fire, etc.

Plan your escape

Teaching kids a fire escape route can be tricky. It might get confusing for them or they might forget or panic in case of an actual fire. Therefore the best way to teach kids a fire escape plan is to practice it often.

Have monthly or bi-monthly fire safety checks with your kids and go over your escape plan and test your smoke detectors. Yearly, participate in fire safety week, which also covers escape plans and best practices but turns it into a weeklong series of activities you can do with your kids.

When it comes to the actual fire escape plan, grab some graphing paper and colored pencils and sit down with your kids to create your home.

Include in your plan the names and escape routes (2 minimum) of each room and the outdoor meeting place. Have kids draw their own (age appropriate) to help them understand the plan better and get them involved. Once you’ve drawn the plan, run through it a few times with your kids.

If you have infants or very young children who can’t get themselves out of the house, plan who will retrieve them from their room in case of a fire. Remember to tell the kids not to wait for others before getting outside, and to not try to take belongings with them.

Stick to your routine

The hardest part about fire safety is making it a habit. At school, your kids have mandatory fire drills. At home, however, parents get busy with work or forget and tend to ignore fire safety. So, you’ll have to find ways to make sure you and your family stick to the plan.

If you have a family calendar hanging in your home, make sure you pencil in your bi-monthly fire safety meeting. Similarly, anyone in your family who uses a calendar on their phone or computer should add it there as well and invite the other family members. Make sure the event is fun for everyone to ensure no one dreads it. You could make a plan to take the kids out to dinner or somewhere fun after to make it a night everyone looks forward to every couple of months.

Holidays aren’t the only time when you may find yourself looking for fun games to play at home. Birthdays, sleepovers, weekends and traditional family gatherings are other times when you’ll love engaging in sport at home.

Turn your home into an entertainment zone

Board, sport and hand games like the ones […]

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Did you know your home could lose heat due to a poorly insulated attic? That’s right, and home sellers who want to maximize the value of their residence will want to improve their attic’s insulation immediately.

You should try to air-seal the attic to minimize your home’s energy loss consistently. However, there are several […]

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Do you have a home buying strategy? Buying a home can be a risky and expensive proposition so you will want to make sure you have a plan.  In order to put a plan in place you will want to ask ask the following questions:

How long do I plan to live here?

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Household Mold

On January 15, 2017 By

Mold is nasty stuff. Homes with water damage and visible mold are unhealthy for people and pets. The unsightly fungus can produce irritants, allergens, and potentially toxic substances. The presence of mold in a home can substantially lower both the visual appeal and value of the property.

The United States Center For Disease Control […]

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Credit cards can be a great source of safety and  convenience but they can also be trouble. Buy now and pay later can have serious consequences and lead to financial trouble.

So in order to stay financially fit it is important to use your credit cards wisely. Here are a few tips to help […]

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Ready to upgrade from a condo to a house? You’ll first need to add your condo to the real estate market to ensure that you can sell this property and buy a new residence. However, selling a condo sometimes can be difficult, particularly for those who are selling a property for the first […]

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If you have ever sold anything, you know that the better it looks, the more likely you will be successful and get more or less what you were asking. The same goes for selling your home. Setting it up to look attractive and worthy of the asking price is known as staging, and, with […]

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Many people find themselves repeatedly shocked by the price of their groceries at the checkout line. The price of food seems to go up every week and most people feel like there’s little they can do about it but cut corners in other places. There are, however, many frugal eating habits you can build […]

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