Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Top Ten Promotional Products of All Time

It’s been 150 years since the modern era of promotional marketing began and in that time almost every class of merchandise has been custom branded. Here we list the ten all time greatest  promotional merchandise ideas based on popularity and proven return on investment. In the last 20 years the way we all do business has changed more than it did in the previous 130 years. But the effectiveness and popularity of these classic promotional gift ideas is unchanged and investments in these categories of product still comprise the majority of orders fulfilled. The list from 1 to 10 is based on distributor sales volumes reported in the USA and Australia but there is some variation in the order depending on location and the time of year. Cost effective, popular and practical, the ten promotional options listed below have been proven to deliver for marketers the world over.

1. Pens
As companies push towards the paperless office the custom ballpoint pen is still a must have business accessory. Mobile phones and electronic messaging systems are the first option for communication however it’s a pen people reach for when looking to take a quick note or write down contact details. The universal popularity of promotional pens is supported by the vast range of styles and price points. Ranging from cheap giveaways costing less than 20 cents through to high-end gift pen options produced by world famous brands people will rarely dispose of a working promotional pen so your bargain offering could hold its place for years, keeping your branding visible and your message in place.

2. Coffee Mugs
Just about everyone starts the day with a cup of tea or coffee and often their emotional stability and motivation is dependent on it taking effect. Placed on a desk top a branded coffee mug carries unmissable branding. The right mug will become a regular part of the recipient’s day. Again, like all the most popular categories above the range of mugs available includes something for every situation and promotional opportunity. Coffee consumption continues to grow across the world and as a result promotional mugs are here to stay.

3. Stress Balls
While some marketers view stress balls skeptically, in reality they are compact 3D models which can be fun and deliver a proven therapeutic benefit. It’s cheap to produce your own custom shaped stress balls. and many manufacturers have found there are few better ways to make their clients aware of a new product offering than to produce a soft, 3D model of their latest product. Even better, people often keep stress ball on their desk as an office mascot keeping your branding message prominent

4. Confectionery
Everyone loves sweets and lollies or knows someone who does. A gift which appeals directly to the kid in all of us, promotional confectionery is the perfect low cost “thank you” gift. There are few better ways to leverage your investment in attending a convention or trade show than to hand out branded lollies at your stand. From salesmen hoping get a foot in the door, through to a small inexpensive giveaway to include with invoices which encourage prompt payment, custom branded bags of jelly beans and mints have an impact far beyond their cost. 

5. Notepads
Combined with a pen there is no simpler or more widely used office item than a custom notepad. Sometimes, despite being surrounded by electronic equipment with the combined memory capacity or a public library the simple expedient of writing a quick note and leaving it in a prominent place is something no electronic device can replace. Custom printed notepads occupy a prime space on a desk and with a logo print on each page they move around the workplace with the messages they carry. There are few people in business who don’t reach for a notepad some time in each business day to scribble down a phone number or a reminder of some task that needs their attention when the time becomes available.

6. Key Rings
Keyings or “key chains“ as they are called in some regions of the english speaking world are a simple practical item which have been utilised by promotional marketers since the first days of the promotions industry. Not just a useful way to organise keys, a custom keyring is something people keep handy so your branding will always be kept close. In many ways the holy grail of promotional marketing is to provide people with a cost effective gift idea which will become a part of their daily activity and keyrings are a proven way to get your message into peoples’ hands for the long term.

7. Bags
Promotional bags combine basic utility with high level branding and the bag you give away today at a conference filled with discussion papers and catalogues can be used tomorrow for shopping or to carry sports gear for a workout at the gym. It’s no surprise that retails hand out custom printed bags to their customers. Next time you’re in any shopping precinct have a look around at the carry bags people use to transport their purchases. The branding is unmissable and often these bags have a life after their primary use. And of course there are many styles of bags, from simple printed paper bags through to high end promotional luggage, backpacks and briefcases all of which have a specific use and share the traditional advantages of utility and high branding visibility common to all products in the category.

8. Badges & Pins
As a simple and cost effective way to display your membership and support for an organisation, or alternatively to provide a thank you gift to supporters an sponsors custom made lapel pins and badges are hard to beat. Considered jewellery items by some people and with usable lives which can surpass that of the people organising their production lapel pins are both cost effective and highly sought after. there is even an active collector community of people who trade and collect lapel pins so your design could become a cherished possession which takes pride of place.

9. Drink Bottles
The fact we all need to drink, a lot more often than we need to eat is one of the reasons promotional drink bottles have such broad appeal. Combining large scale custom branding with a low unit price the range of custom printed bottle styles available extends all the way from simple plastic sports bottles through to the latest vacuum insulated bottles. For the education industry, local sports teams and as corporate gifts to staff promotional bottles also have a green edge as they can be refilled over and over avoiding the need to buy bottled water. These eco friendly credentials along with the unmissable branding ensure that promotional drink bottles will continue to be popular as long as humanity need hydration.

10. Wristbands
Ever since Lance Armstrong’s “Livestrong” awareness initiative the silicone wristband has become a widely regarded symbol of emotional support and been adopted by a multitude of organisations looking to take advantage of their cost-effectiveness and high level visibility. For community organisations with a limited budget promotional wristbands have become popular and effective way to raise funds and reward supporters and sponsors. As the popularity of wristbands has grown manufacturers have expanded the range of styles, sizes and shapes so much so that there are now enough wristband options available for every organisation to choose a unique option to represent their message.

There are hundreds promotional item categories. Those shown above are in the opinion of the author the ten classic for which every marketer could potentially find a use. Tell us below what would make your list of all time favourites.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tick Bite Prevention Tips

How to prevent problems with ticks 

Ticks may only be small, but they can cause a lot of problems. If they bite, they can spread diseases such as Lyme Disease. This is why you want to reduce the chances of you and your family being bitten by ticks as much as possible. You need to do all that you can to protect yourself from ticks whenever you are outdoors, whether you are setting off on a hiking trip or tidying up the garden. 
If you do not do this, you can end up with a tick infestation in your home. Not all ticks can survive indoors but some do. If you do find an infestation of ticks, you need to find out more about how to deal with it. Prevention is always better than cure, so the best idea is to try and prevent a problem from happening in the first place. 
Precautions before you go out 
If you are going outside, you should always take precautions, especially in areas where there is a high risk of ticks being present. 
  • Be aware that ticks live mostly in bushy or wooded areas. 
  • Animals carry ticks so be wary of this if you are walking your dog in the park. 
  • Use permethrin treated clothing as this acts as a tick repellent. 
  • Use safe and certified insect repellents. 
  • When walking in areas where there are lots of bushes and trees, stay at the centre of designated paths. 
Taking precautions like these can help protect you and your family from the issue of tick bites. You also need to be cautious when you re-enter your home. 
When you return home 
When you get back inside your home, there are more actions to take, to ensure that you get rid of any ticks that you have brought home with you without knowing it. 
  • Check for ticks in your clothing and dispose of any that are present. You can do this by placing your clothes in a dryer for ten minutes on high to kill the ticks. 
  • Check for ticks on bags and backpacks. 
  • Check your dog for ticks if it was with you on a walk. 
  • Check your body carefully for the presence of ticks, including areas such as the belly button and underarms. 
  • Take a shower to make sure that your body is free from ticks. 
If you take these preventative measures, you can help to reduce the chances of a tick infestation in your home. However, if you do find that ticks have taken over, you need to get rid of them
If you are not able to get rid of the ticks yourself, you need to take further action. You should not just ignore the problem as doing so can put you and your family at risk from tick bites and the diseases they can cause. Seeking help from professional exterminators is a good idea. They know the best processes and products to use to rid your home from ticks as quickly and effectively as possible. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Solly Baby Wrap Review and Giveaway

I couldn't be more excited to share Solly Baby with you! Solly Baby is a luxury baby wrap carrier The wrap is available in several gorgeous prints and colors, making it stylish to wear your bundle of joy! Not only is this a great way to bond with your baby but you can reduce the risk of postpartum depression and colic! Solly Baby makes wearing your baby super comfortable with its light-weight fabric! These wraps are custom-made, in the U.S.A., from certified Lenzing modal, which is a lightweight, buttery soft and sustainable fabric sourced from the pulp of Austrian beechwood trees!

Even though my bundle joy isn't going to be making their debut for a while, I have been practicing using my Solly Baby Wrap with a doll!

 With easy to follow tutorials, securing baby was a breeze! This is the Newborn Carry but there are different ways to wear your baby as he/she grows! The Solly Wrap is designed for your baby's first year or up to 25lbs. I was surprised how safe and snug the baby stayed as I went about my normal routine! I can't wait to wrap my little one up in this baby carrier!

The Solly Baby Carrier would make the perfect gift for any new or expecting Mom! Learn more and see all the different styles and other products offered by visiting Solly Baby!

You can win your very own Solly Baby Luxury carrier by entering the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bump Boxes Review

Who doesn't love a subscription box? Opening one makes me feel like a kid at Christmas! I recently had the opportunity to work with Bump Boxes, a pregnancy subscription box service tailored to your exact due date! Choose your own monthly, 3, 6 or 9 month subscription plan! You can order anytime between your first month of pregnancy and your baby's first birthday! What a perfect gift for the expecting Mom in your life, they even have a Dad Box!

Being 17 weeks pregnant, I received the 2nd trimester box. I loved every product in my Bump Box! Each box includes 4-8 healthy, full-sized products!
My Bump Box included the following: 
I was extremely impressed with the quality of all the products I received! There is even an option to order the products individually! I highly recommend Bump Boxes to anyone who is expecting! Besides the amazing Bump Boxes, you can also shop maternity style, baby shower gifts, and much more! Visit Bump Boxes website here, to learn more! 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Key Differences Between Smoking And Vaping

The annual number of smokers making the switch to vaping has been increasing steadily since 2007
In 2016, the number of adults smoking nationwide decreased by over five percent. This decline is likely due to recent popularization of the vape industry since the introduction of the cartomizer in 2006. While medical researchers still have many ongoing studies regarding the short and long-term effects of vaping, existing reports have provided us with major differences we can be sure of.

Smoke vs. Vapor

Vapes have become an increasingly common go-to for those either trying to quit or looking for a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. One of the major concerns has always been the smoke itself. Since combustion is required to smoke a cigarette, new compounds like tar and carbon monoxide are formed in the process, so the contents of the smoke aren’t limited to tobacco and paper. Meanwhile vapor is created by heating liquid, a process that does not affect chemistry just the form of compounds. No new compounds are formed when creating vapor, it’s just like the mist from a boiling pot of water.
In A Report of the Surgeon General, they state that “1,3-butadiene [in manufactured cigarette smoke] presented by far the most significant cancer risk; acrolein and acetaldehyde had the greatest potential to be respiratory irritants; and cyanide, arsenic, and the cresols were the primary sources of cardiovascular risk.” The vapor from vapes & e-cigarettes on the other hand, is simply the gaseous form of the e-liquid base and flavoring used. However, vaping the compound diacetyl (commonly used in buttery flavors) has been linked with the disease commonly known as “popcorn lung”. This considered, e-cigarettes were still found to be approximately 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes in 2015 by a review from Public Health England. 

Safety Risks 

Safety is not to be taken lightly. Smoking-material fires have been the direct cause of hundreds of millions in property damage and an alarming number of deaths or injuries over the years. In 2011 alone, 25% of fire deaths were attributed to smoking materials, according to NFPA.
Meanwhile, vaporizer batteries are what manufacturers warn vapers about most often. From 2009-2016, Michael Felberbaum of the FDA noted 134 reports of overheating batteries and batteries catching fire or exploding. Explosions have occurred during use, while charging, and even in storage. Education before use is the key to minimizing risk.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Another key difference is the cost. According to data compiled using census data and the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), most smokers consume about 10-19 cigarettes daily, which averages out to 36mg of nicotine daily. The consumption equivalent for a vaper would be 3ml of a 12mg/ml nicotine e-liquid.
The average cigarette pack costs $6.20 in most states, not including areas like New York City where they can cost upwards of $10. Meanwhile 10ml of a 12mg/ml nicotine e-liquid costs $6 on average. That means that the same daily dose of nicotine would cost less than $2.
Though smoking and vaping are both a means of nicotine delivery, the considerations for each are very different. Vaping is still relatively new, so we don’t know all the effects of second-hand vapor inhalation or other possible complications yet. These are just a few factors to seriously think about, since smoking and vaping are both lifestyle altering pastimes.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

My Little North Star Review and Giveaway

I love companies who pride themselves on delivering the best quality of products and care for their customers. That is exactly what I found with My Little North Star!  Using only 100% organic cotton, they are able to avoid harmful chemicals that can cause irritation to your babies sensitive skin! My Little North Star is a US family owned small business that manufactures all their products with love, care and attention to clean,calm and charming designs!
Organic Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets

I had the opportunity to review the Organic Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets! I instantly fell in love! These are made of 100% organic cotton muslin, hypoallergenic, and I promise they are extremely soft! You can do more than just swaddle your bundle of joy with these blankets! Large enough to use as a nursing cover, stroller and car seat cover, burp cloth, play mat, and much more! Best of all these swaddle blankets are a super cute unisex design!

Organic Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets
My Little North Star also carries Organic Cotton Changing Pad Covers, Organic Cotton Jersey Crib Sheets, and Organic Cotton Pillowcases! All these products are perfect for your own little one or would make an awesome unique gift! Head over to My Little North Star's website and check out all they have to offer!!! 

3 prizes will be given away! 
 Organic Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets
Organic Cotton Changing Pad Covers
Organic Cotton Jersey Crib Sheets


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

All New Hifold by Mifold and Mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seat Giveaway!

As busy parents on the go, we have been in a ton of situations where we were in need of a booster seat for one of our children. It's always such a pain for my husband and I when we have to haul them back and forth between our vehicles especially because some of them are so heavy and bulky. Booster seats have come a long way since our first child 16 years ago and we are thrilled to introduce the new Hifold by Mifold that is coming soon via a new Crowdfunding Campaign! 

The Hifold is the second booster seat from Mifold and is for caregivers who prefer a high back booster seat. It is the very first highback booster seat that is compact enough to fit in a backpack, duffle bag or even a suitcase. This is a serious game changer for traveling and for parents who are constantly on the go. I know am guilty of cutting corners when it comes to booster seats but with technology like this, there is no reason for us parents to put our children in unsafe situations because of a lack of proper seating. 

More about the Hifold.......

*Perfect for families traveling, ridesharing and carpooling 

*Ultra-compact Size-lightweight, foldable and portable. It is 3x smaller than the regular booster seat when folded

*Super Safe-It is designed, engineered and tested to meet or exceed regulatory requirements in every country with eight ultra-compact impact protection zones and four layers of protection, safety and comfort 

*Adjustable height, lap and shoulder width and head rest 

*Soft and Comfortable featuring PU foam with airflow washable fabric and an energy absorbing, dense EVA foam layer for added comfort and support 

The best news? Our readers have an opportunity to pre-order their own Hifold right now today for just $94, a 47% savings from the $179 MSRP!! Click here to go to the Crowdfunding Campaign to get yours reserved! 

The original Grab-and-Go booster seat, the Mifold, was the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever for a juvenile product raising nearly $3M and has since sold more than half a million seats in over 150 countries. The company is expecting no less with the launch of the new Hifold. I cannot tell you how excited we personally are about the launch of this amazing product and it is going to make our lives so much easier with our daughter who still needs a safe seat, especially constantly being on the go with 5 children. 


One lucky winner will win a Mifold® Grab-and-Go booster seat®!!!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Super Food Pregnancy Smoothies!

If you're anything like me, I'm not the greatest at getting in my daily fruits and vegetables!! Pregnancy smoothies have made it quick and easy to insure I'm getting plenty of super-foods for me and baby! 
Here are a couple of my personal favorites:
 Peach-Honey Smoothie
Flax seeds are a super food high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids
The milk and Greek yogurt in this smoothie delivers 15 grams of protein!!  
1 cup reduced-fat milk
 2/3 cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt 
1 1/3 cups peach slices ( I prefer frozen)
 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey (I like to use local honey)
Add all of the ingredients to the blender, starting with the milk. Cover and blend until smooth.

Green Smoothie
 This smoothie is a great way to get antioxidants, iron, and folic acid  

½-1 cup of  apple juice
a handful of ice cubes
1-2 large leaves of kale
1-2 cups of spinach
1/3 cup chopped fresh pineapple
¼ small lime with peel removed

 I also like to add chia and flax seeds! 
Add all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
The great thing about blended smoothies is that you can substitute ingredients without sacrificing taste. Sometimes I'll use a banana instead of pineapple or add some yogurt for a creamier texture.

 Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? Leave it in the comment below!


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pleased to Meet You!

Hello Crazy House Readers!

My name is Beki Staugler and I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining the writing team here!

Also, my husband and I are expecting our first child!
This is was our announcement featuring our German Shepherd, Dank! He is very excited to be a big brother!! 

Over the next several months, I am hoping to bring you all the best new products, prenatal exercises, postpartum items, and tons more! I would love to hear any tips, tricks, or products that bettered your pregnancy experience!  I look forward to hearing from you and being a part of this team!!!

Beki Staugler!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Updated Zilis CBD Oil Review

I have suddenly had a huge influx of messages from people asking me questions about Zilis so I thought I would make an updated post. My original post is here. Several have reached out asking if I am still using it, am I still selling it, do we have any new products, how do you do the trial, etc. so I figured the quickest and easiest way to respond would be a new blog post. I have a husband and 5 children and I work full time as a second grade teacher so hopefully this will save some time and answer questions without me having to respond to a hundred messages. 

YES! I still use my CBD oil from Zilis every single day! My husband and I could not go on without it. Like seriously. It has changed our lives. I continue to live a life with much lower anxiety and just better health all around.

YES! I am still a distributor for Zilis. It is an amazing company that is leading the way for people all over the globe to be able to use these amazing products. Zilis has even led the way for legislation to be created to ensure CBD remains legal and available to all! 

YES! We have new products since my original post. While I still use the original Pur7 CBD oil, we now have a full ULTRA line that is changing lives every day.

YES! You can still do a 7 day trial. The Pur7 trial bottles are $25 and the Ultra bottles are $30. I wish they were free. I wish I could send them out to everyone in the world so more people could see the amazing benefits but unfortunately, distributors must purchase these as well so you can see why we can't send them out for free. Sorry! I seriously wish we could. 

I am a huge advocate of CBD oil and I believe in its uses. I don't use any prescription medications and I have read studies where up to 50% of CBD users have been able to stop taking prescription medications after using CBD oil. In addition to the Pur7 from Zilis, I also use a CBD pain stick from Wildflower. I even use CBD infused bar soap. I am a true believer in the power of this natural, God-given healer. If I ever find a comparable or better CBD product out there on the market you can bet I will share it in a heartbeat. For now, Zilis is the best I have found and I have tried A LOT of brands in my quest for better health. If you think your brand is better, do share! I'll gladly check it out. 

 I did not become a distributor to get rich (even though there are very successful people in this company.) I joined this company because they have a product that I truly believe can change lives and when you find a product like this, I think you should scream it from the rooftops so everyone can know about it! So that's what I do. You can read more trusted reviews of cbd oil for pain and anxiety online!

And I am always willing to chat about all things CBD so if you are interested in trying it or in becoming an ambassador, do email me! I'm always happy to help.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Organic Nearly Naked Popcorn now at Costco!

We are seriously obsessed with the fluffy white stuff here at our house and no, I'm not talking about the gross, cold fluffy stuff we have endured here in Ohio all Winter (and now even into Spring!) I'm talking about popcorn of course. Popcorn is our JAM and one of our favorite treats for just about everything. Movie night, evening munchies, car trips......we just can't get enough of it. So naturally we were a little overly excited when a bag of the new Organic Nearly Naked popcorn from Popcornopolis showed up on our front porch. Talk about a massive bag of popcorn goodness. No joke, it was the biggest bag of popcorn I have ever seen. 

The older I get, the more I am learning about the food that we eat and how it effects our bodies so I am much more mindful of ingredients these days. This is one of the HUGE perks about this popcorn. The ingredients are simple. Organic popcorn, coconut oil and sea salt. If you pick up any bag or boxed food at the grocery and look at the ingredient list, you are bound to find artificial foods and even worse, ingredients you can't even pronounce. I feel good letting my kids eat this popcorn. 

And not only do you get top of the line ingredients, it tastes AWESOME! We dumped the bag into our gigantic Tupperware bowl and pretty much let the kids eat it whenever they wanted. Our 16 year old son definitely ate the majority of it and has been bothering us to get more. We don't have a Costco nearby but luckily we just saw that we can order it online so we will be doing that, STAT! 

If you are looking for a guilt-free treat that the whole family can enjoy, hop over to your nearest Costco or the Popcornopolis page and add this to your pantry NOW. You can thank me later. 

*Product was provided to us at no cost via the company and/or PR firm. All opinions belong to the owner of this site* 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Baby and Toddler Basics by Dr. Tanya Altmann is a MUST HAVE for All Parents!

*This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network. All opinions are 100% my own* 

I still remember the first time I became a Mommy and how everything was so scary. I was terrified and I took our sweet baby boy to the Pediatrician and ER more times than I care to admit. Every cough, every sniffle, every fever.....I had my pediatrician on speed dial and I'm pretty sure the office staff learned my voice really quick. Over time I learned what types of things were normal and which situations actually warranted a trip to the doctor but that knowledge came only with time and experience. Fast forward to life with our youngest child (4 other children later) and there are still times that I encounter things that I didn't experience with my other children. It wasn't long ago that she suddenly started coughing and that cough sounded much like a barking dog. I knew that it was croup and it would probably clear up on it's own but within a day or so, there was a strange sound coming from her throat when she breathed and coughed and it scared me to death. We landed in the ER around 4 a.m. because I thought something was seriously wrong. Turns out, it was something called "stridor" which is common with croup. A quick dose of a steroid and we were out the door and on our way back home. It was a costly trip that probably could have waited for an office visit the next day had I known that she wasn't really in any imminent trouble. 

I always joked that someone needed to write a "Parenting Bible" to help new parents (and old!) get through common situations and now finally after 5 children, someone has. Dr. Tanya Altmann recently released Baby and Toddler Basics and I swear it needs to be the first book on every parents bookshelf. Every parent of babies and toddlers needs a copy of this excellent resource which is why a copy is going to go with me to every baby shower that I attend from now on! Dr. Altmann is a Mom and UCLA-trained pediatrician who practices in Southern California. She has written 5 books and over 750 articles. She was recently on Live with Kelly and Ryan talking about her newest book and you can watch that clip here

Every new parent has unanswered questions and while yes, you can turn to Google for many things, sometimes the resources are sketchy and do you really trust Google with life's most valuable gift? Not me. And now you don't have to because Dr. Altmann has answered 150 of parent's most common questions in this new book. My baby hasn't pooped in a few days, what should I do? How do I know that my baby is getting enough to eat? Why won't my baby sleep? (Good luck with this one!) When should I take an ill toddler to the pediatrician? There are literally so many questions that we have every single day and most times, in the most inconvenient times. Had I had a copy of this book in my hand when my daughter was recently ill, I would have known everything there is to know about Croup because it's one of the covered topics. I could have followed Dr. Altmanns advice and it probably would have saved us a lot of money and a trip to the ER in the middle of the night! And another big one that I think every parent should read? All about when to send a child who has been sick back to school or daycare. I can't believe how many parents don't think twice to send  a child who has been running a fever back to school! 

If you are a parent-to-be or know someone who is, this book is a MUST HAVE. It's available on Amazon now with FREE Prime shipping. Snag one for yourself or gift one to a friend. I know you will be glad you did. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

5 Tips and Tricks to Move Your Stuff to a New Home

People move for many reasons and it can be incredibly stressful and often very inconvenient. Whether you are selling your home or moving across the country, you are often presented with the daunting task of packing up your old home and transporting all of your personal belongings into your new home, sometimes in a moments notice. If you do not know where or how to begin packing up for a big move do not fret, there are several things you can do to make your move as smooth as possible. Here are 5 tips and tricks to easily move your stuff into your new home.

 1. Organize and sort before you move. 
Before you start moving your things into your new place, thoroughly organize and sort your things. This will give you ample time to donate or recycle any items you do not need or want to move into your new place. You should also pack your personal items efficiently. Sort your items by category, not by room. This will make unpacking your personal belongings into your place much easier, especially if your old home is not as organized as you would like it to be. 

2. Make sure you have the proper packing supplies. 

If you have the original boxes to electronics and other small appliances, this can be an easy and safe way to pack and transport these items. You can find recycled or free boxes from grocery stores or yard sale sites like craigslist and packing tape can be picked up at any hardware store. Storage bins also make fantastic ways to transport things as they are usually stackable and have handles and will protect your items from the weather in case you are moving in a pick-up truck or across state lines. You can also use laundry bins and luggage to move some of items since you are transporting these items anyway. 

3. Protect Fragile Items 

Fragile items in your home should always be protected with bubble wrap or newspaper. You should pack these items in smaller boxes as glass is often heavier than other items. You can use blankets and other items to protect glass furniture of the screens of televisions and personal computers. 

4. Load heavy items and furniture first

While utilizing a moving truck, load heavier items and furniture into the moving truck first. Then stack your smaller boxes around the furniture. This will help use your space efficiently and minimize the number of trip between homes you may need to make. You should also unload the truck opposite to how you loaded it: smaller boxes first, then heavier furniture last. 

5. Prioritize how you unpack.

You should prioritize how you unpack in order to make a more livable home immediately.  Kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms should be unpacked first, while living rooms, offices and other spaces can wait until the other rooms are set up. This is especially helpful if you do not have a lot of time off from work or other obligations to move. Since you packed efficiently, you will save a lot of time unpacking your belongings into the proper room and space. 

While moving to a new home can be very intimidating and stressful, these helpful tips and tricks will make moving your belongings into your new place a breeze. Overall, you should organize, sort and pack your personal items efficiently. This will save you ample time once you have to unpack them in your new home. An easier move will give you the opportunity to enjoy your new space. 

Bio: Scott writes for Move Buddies. He wants more people to know that moving is easier when you get a bit of help and a little know-how on what you need for your next journey.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Giving Parents Their Sanity Back With Rock N Stroller

Having 5 children and being a work at home Mom, you can imagine how much time I spend in my mini van with children. I might as well stick a Taxi sign on the top and make a little extra money on the side. One of the things I miss most is jamming out to my own music while on the road. With children ranging in age from 2 to 15, on any given day I might listen to the same Paw Patrol DVD on repeat for hours, a football game courtesy of my teenage son or various radio stations that make my ears bleed thanks to my 14 year old daughter. The struggle is REAL especially because my 2 year old who pretty much runs the house usually wins when it comes to what we will be listening to or watching. Music has always been a huge part of my life and while I'm glad my kids all have that same love of music, there has to be some compromise somewhere, right? Well NOW there is. Allow me to introduce you to Rock-n-Stroller.

Rock-n-Stroller is a multi-volume CD collection produced by Andy Zulla and Matt Zarley and includes classic songs from the 70's and 80's in a kid-friendly style that everyone in the car can enjoy. Volume 1 is currently available on Amazon and iTunes and features some of the greatest hits of all time like Sweet Dreams (The Eurythmics), I Love Rock and Roll (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) and Sweet Child O' Mine. (Guns n' Roses)

For me, this has been a fun way to introduce my own kids to some of my favorite classic rocks songs and it has been so fun watching them sing along. The Rock-n-Stroller Volume 1 CD is available for download on iTunes and on Amazon for just $9.99 or $8.99 as a downloadable MP3.

About Rock-n-Stroller

Rock-n-Stroller was created by Matt Zarley and Andy Zulla after enduring countless hours of listening to their kids sing the latest top 40 tunes on the popular kids cover song CD's.  Andy said he and Matt had the idea to create a product that will allow their kids to sing the songs that they actually wanted to hear. And with that, Rock-n-Stroller was born.

Watch the trailer below and see if you can relate! 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hidden Benefits of Running Your Own Business

Owning a business is a lucrative idea, since it allows a person to be their own boss. With the right strategy, you can earn far more than average salary. Starting home-based businesses is a relatively new idea and has become extremely popular within a short time period. It facilitates business owners to operate their business from the premises of their home.
Many people believe that running a business is all about earning more money and the authority to take all decisions on your own. However, it has various other benefits that many of us don’t know. Here are some lesser known ways in which a business can benefit you.

Improve Communication Skills:

When you run a business on your own, it becomes necessary for you to communicate with people. Be it your customers or employees, you have to get along with different people on a regular basis. Even if your communication skills are not great, you’re bound to improve them if you want to run your business successfully.
Customer service is one of the most important aspects that play a crucial role in the success of a business. You have to interact with customers to understand their requirements and negotiate the terms and regulations of your business without offending anyone.
Tax Benefits:

Aside from personal benefits, a business also has financial perks. If you’re running a home-based business, you can get certain tax benefits. It allows you to deduct different expenses of your home against business income tax such as utility bills, mortgage interest, maintenance costs and property taxes. However, you may need to consult a legal advisor to ensure that you qualify for the tax return.
Travel More Frequently:

You may get the opportunity of travelling to new places, depending on the scope of your business. If you have vendors or customers in different cities or countries, you may get to travel there frequently. You may not get this opportunity during your job. But every business owner has to travel quite frequently in order to run business operations in an efficient manner.
Aside from carrying out your business operations, you can spend a vacation with your family. It will save you travelling costs and allow you to spend a well-needed vacation away from your busy life. You can link your frequent flyer point’s accounts to get discounts. Business owners tend to be busier than people with a job. However, travelling to other cities or countries proves to be a great way to relax.
Meet New People:

Running your own business is a great way of meeting new people from diverse cultures. facilitates entrepreneurs to get a shared working space. They can save costs of renting an entire office space and can interact with other businesses easily.
Moreover, running a business is also about improving your public speaking skills. In order to promote your business, you may need to address groups of people. It’ll help you attract customers to your business and help people who are in need of your advice.