When choosing a Halloween costume, it can be easy to get caught up in cuteness, glamour, colors and the like. The safety of the costume may not really come into play…after all, who thinks of clothing and accessories as being dangerous? While it is a safe bet that a Halloween costume will not bring harm upon your child, there are certain elements of a costume that could cause a problem and it is best to avoid this from the get go. Here are some tips for choosing a fun,yet safe, costume for your child.
One of the most important safety elements to consider when choosing a Halloween costume for your child is whether the material is flame-resistant. While this may not wholly prevent the costume from catching on fire, the materials used in the costume will either not ignite easily or will self-extinguish. Be careful of costumes with lots of glitter sprayed on—the glue used to make it stick is highly flammable, according to the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. If you are buying a costume, look for labeling that specifically says it is flame resistant. If you are making your own costume, it is good to know which fabrics are more flammable than others; cotton, jute, linen and acetate will catch on fire more easily than synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester, which tend to just melt rather than catch on fire.
Masks can be great fun for Halloween and can be the perfect finishing touch to a costume, but they can pose safety hazards. Ideally, the masks should be used for pictures and any other time when your child is not walking. They may block your child’s vision and cause him to fall or walk into something, particularly if he is wearing it at night. When trying on a mask, make sure your child is able to breathe normally and that it fits snugly, but not too tightly around the neck. Large eye holes are also a must. You might also consider skipping the mask altogether and opting for face paint. Costumes that come all in one piece, such as a jumpsuit with hood, such as these animal planet costumes, for infants, are also a good choice since there is nothing obstructing the face at all.
Many of the shoes that come with Halloween costumes are really not designed for hoofing it around the neighborhood, collecting candy. While trick or treating, your child should be wearing sturdy shoes with good traction. If the costume comes with the type of footwear that is meant to be slipped on over regular shoes, ensure it fits properly and will not slide off and cause your child to trip.
Being Seen in the Dark
If your child will be out at night in her costume, it is important that she is easily visible. If the costume does not have any reflective material, place tape or sew such materials onto the costume. If you think she will be wearing a jacket at some point, do not forget to place it there either. You might also consider giving your child some sort of lantern or flashlight. Another consideration is steering your child towards a more brightly colored costume rather than one made of all dark colors.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper writes on party and entertainment topics for various sites.
With the advent of social media, people’s private lives are becoming ever more public. You can know the whole life story of someone you have not seen in 20 years simply by visiting their Facebook page. Like anything technology-related, this social network has its merits and drawbacks; what you post on your account can have serious repercussions in your professional, academic or personal life—surveys of companies and universities have found that growing numbers are doing online searches to evaluate potential candidates and that unflattering information found online has impacted decisions on whether to hire a person or admit him into a school;if you want to keep a clean online reputation, managing your Facebook profile is a top priority.
Keep the Rants to Yourself
While Facebook can be a great place to get support from ‘’friends’’, it is best to keep the rants to yourself; some of the stuff I see people post is amazing to me, especiallyconsidering that like myself, these people are in their 30s, not high school. Watch what you are saying about your boss, your company or your job—that can come back to bite you big time. Just like you might shake your head at some of the stuff people post, everyone else is having the same reaction to your thinly veiled insults about your ex or the guy that cut you off in traffic this morning.
As you know, any friend can easily tag you in a photo, comment or when checking into a location. To prevent drunken photos showing up on your wall or being associated with a friend’s inappropriate or unsavory comments, make sure you utilize the setting where you get to approve tags. Or, if you are okay with anyone on your friend list seeing whatever may come up, you can choose to only allow friends to see those particular posts rather than anyone who may visit your profile.
Limit Search Ability
If you do not want people to be able to find your Facebook profile through the search engines, you can adjust your privacy settings by unclicking ‘’enable public search.’’ You can also limit individual parts of your profile so that they are only visible to yourself, friends or some custom list. It is important to remember that if you allow yourself to be searchable, but limit information to only family and friends, your name and profile picture will still show up so make sure it is a picture you are okay with being public.
Most people with a Facebook profile know all too well that some, or many in some cases, of your ‘’friends’’ may really not be friends at all. Most of my list is people from high school who requested me and whom I have not spoken to in over a decade. If you are concerned with everyone on your list seeing certain types of information about you, you can create different lists of friends with different privacy settings to control who sees what. One interesting thing about a Kaplan survey of college admissions officers—some said they only visited an applicant’s profile when tipped off anonymously.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things social media. She recommends you visit MyLife.com for more information on connecting with people and managing your email and social media all in one place.
Of the many elements of a garden, the flowers are one of the most important. This is where the real beauty will shine through. If you are starting a garden and are at a loss for which flowers to choose, here are some tips to get you started.
Determining Sun Exposure
Flowers differ in the optimal amount of sunlight they need to grow properly. Before deciding on plants, it is a good idea to examine where you will be planting your garden and marking off the different spots based on sun exposure. Observe the space for about a week to make sure you accurately mapped the space. When choosing your plants, make sure you pay close attention to the sunlight requirements listed.
Annuals and Perennials
Flowers basically come in two forms—annuals and perennials. Annuals go through their whole cycle in one growing season and will die, meaning they will need to be replanted every year. Perennials can survive for years, sometimes decades. While the part above the soil may die each winter, the below part is still alive and kicking and will come back in the spring. Typically, they will only bloom for a few weeks or months—when they bloom and for how long will depend on the particular plant. Many gardeners use a mix of both—perennials can provide structure and form, while planting a lot of annuals means you can have a garden full of flowers always. If you want to establish your garden quickly, planting a lot of annuals will help get you up and running; it can take up to a year for perennials to first bloom, depending on the flowers you choose. You can also plant flowers that have already sprouted.
Choosing a Color Scheme
When it comes to choosing a color scheme, the different strategies for combining color are numerous. If you really enjoy one particular color, you can go with a monochromatic scheme, where you focus on all different shades of one color. The color wheel can also help you choose a color scheme. An analogous scheme involves choosing colors within three wedges from each other. You can also choose a complementary scheme where you pair colors that are opposite from each other on the wheel. You can also go with colors that are warm or cool. There are no set rules and you can employ a mix of strategies for choosing the flowers in your garden. These tips can simply help give you some structure.
It is also important to consider the other elements you want to include in your garden when picking your flowers. If your aim is a more formal appearance, the type of flowers you pick would be different than if you were going for an informal look. If you want to add statues, benches, miniature garden pieces, benches and other accessories, you want to make sure everything blends together nicely.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of home improvement and design topics.
With the push to go green gaining more steam as time goes on, many people have a growing interest in creating a more eco-friendly home. Not only is it good for the planet, but it can be good for our health as many conventional home goods are laden with chemicals and other substances that may cause all sorts of problems from headaches to breathing difficulties. As an expectant parent, you naturally want the best for your baby and the idea of an eco-friendly nursery may appeal to you. Here are some tips for designing a green and healthy space for your most precious possession.
Look for Paint Low in or Free of VOCs
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, can be manmade or occur naturally in certain solids and liquids; they are emitted as gases and may cause a variety of health issues. Conventional paints have them in a particularly high concentration and they can continue to be emitted into the air long after the initial application. Your first step in designing an eco-friendly nursery is using paint that is either free of these chemicals or contains lower-concentrations. Regardless, to be on the safe side, paint the nursery at least several weeks before the baby is due to be sure that any fumes are completely gone by time the room is occupied.
Standard carpet poses numerous problems from an eco-friendly perspective, namely that is contains loads of chemicals that will seep into the air. It will also hold onto dust and other allergens with a vengeance. Good alternatives include linoleum, responsibly harvested wood (look for the FSC logo, which stands for the Forest Stewardship Council), the quickly growing grass bamboo or cork, which is harvested from the bark and does not require the tree to even be cut down. There are also more eco-friendly forms of carpet that are made from natural materials and also dyed with natural materials.
Your baby’s delicate skin will be coming into contact with the bedding material quite a bit. Look for sheets and other baby bedding products made with made with 100 percent cotton or other natural fibers such as wool. Look for indications that coloring was derived from natural dyes, water-based dyes or vegetable dyes. Look for eco-friendly mattresses and mattress covers that are free of phthalates and other chemicals. In 2009, many types of phthalates were banned from crib mattresses and covers so if you are looking at used bedding, make sure the products were produced after this period.
The crib is the most important thing you will buy for your baby and there are many eco-friendly options. Traditionally produced cribs can be loaded with harmful substances such as formaldehyde and polyurethane; they are also harvested through unsustainable means. Eco-friendly cribs are made with responsibly harvested hardwood and are free of toxic finishes. Of course, like any crib purchase, it is important to check if the crib in question has ever been the target of the recall and that it is approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.)
About the Author: Tori Swaim is the owner of NewArrivalsInc, producer of quality baby bedding and other products for your newborn; you can learn more at http://www.facebook.com/NewArrivalsInc.
The dating world can be a daunting one—rejection, crazy bad dates, overwhelming fear of never finding the right person—just to name a few issues we face. But, it is all par for the course when you are in search of the right person for you. While you may not be able to totally avoid these pitfalls, you can learn to handle them with greater ease and shift perspective on the process. Anything is possible in this life and a good relationship is no exception.
Examine Your Past Patterns
This step may not be a fun one—after all, no one likes owning up to the role we may have played in creating the problems we have in our life; but, this examination can set the stage for finding the right person for you, so well worth the effort. Everything we do provides us benefit in some way, that is why we do it. To our conscious minds, this may sound ludicrous—why would we choose to date psychos, losers and people who treat us badly? But, we are choosing it because on a deeper level, we think this is what we deserve or that it provides us something we want. Take a careful look inside yourself and your past bad relationships to see what was going on there. I promise you that you will come up with some wonderful insights that can help you in your dating quest; you will be much better in picking prospective partners and waste a lot less time. This applies to everyone, whether you are 22 or dating over 50.
Detaching from the process can be really hard, but it will do wonders for your mental health. With each new person we meet, it is easy to get all carried away, thinking this person may be the one, that this is what you have been waiting for. We get our hopes up and when it does not work out, we get super depressed and become convinced we will be alone forever. When you are out in the dating world, do your best not to get all worked up about each date and relationship. Know that there is a good match out there for you and you will find this person—maybe it is the person you are going to see on Friday night, or maybe it isn’t. When you meet new people, just relax and try to enjoy the journey—maybe it will work out or maybe it will not, either way, it is okay. We are all so different and you will meet plenty of people who are just not the best fit—nothing wrong with you or them.
The Other Person is Just as Nervous, Self-Conscious,Etc…
We all have our insecurities and issues and nothing can bring them to the forefront of our mind the way dating can. Being human isn’t easy and it is easy for us to forget that we all suffer from this same stuff, no matter how funny, rich, good-looking or successful a person may be. When you are out on your dates, remember that the other person has their stuff too and it is not just you. This can help you relax a bit and make it easier to just be yourself. So, the next time you head out to meet singles, remember they are imperfect humans just like yourself.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about relationships.