Tag Archives: Home Front

For many people who know how to play a musical instrument, they probably took lessons as a kid, when their parents would sit them down everyday and make them practice. Pretty soon, this probably manifested itself into a passion that they continue to have to this day.Pursue Music

 

However, this isn’t the only path for people who want to get into music. There’s a tendency among adults to think that, if you don’t already know how to play an instrument, you missed the train on doing so. This isn’t the case, though. There are plenty reasons why you should work towards learning a musical instrument, today, if that’s what you are passionate about doing…

 

It’s easier to train your ears, as an adult

 

One of the most difficult aspects of teaching music isn’t trying to get a kid to play an instrument, but to help them train their ears to recognize different auditory traits. Over time, young people eventually pick up on ear training, but it’s a long and arduous process.

 

However, this is actually something that is much easier and quicker to learn, as an adult. Learning to recognize things like audio dynamics and dimension is a simpler task for more developed ears. So, while kids who learned to play an instrument have an advantage in some ways, there are other ways where it is easier for adults to learn, quickly.

 

Your brain can change, even after it’s developed

 

One concern that people have is that they think their brains won’t develop to incorporate musical flow when they are adults. After all, there’s a reason that children are able to pick up on foreign languages much quicker than adults, because their mind is more malleable at that age.Pursue Music

 

However, while it can be more difficult, neuroscientists at UC Irvine have shown that a fully developed brain still has the capacity to change and develop habits that are necessary to learn an instrument. It does, however, require a bit more dedication and brainpower at the start to develop the mindset to learn a musical instrument.

 

Continuous practice is key

 

When you start learning a musical instrument, your brain needs to work incredibly hard to recognize and play each note, not to mention stay in rhythm. This is why it is so difficult to start learning an instrument when you are older. However, this trend can reverse after a tremendous amount of practice. Continually using your brain power to play each note will eventually build pathways that make it easier for your brain to tell your body what to do.

 

What’s so tricky is that your brain has probably never had to build these specific pathways before, if you’ve never learned to play an instrument. However, it’s just like typing words on a keyboard, eventually your mind will build habits that make it a second nature.

 

There are benefits to practicing music, casually

 

Typically, most people have their own reasons for wanting to learn to play an instrument at a later age. Maybe they’ve heard a piece of music that inspired them to take it up, or maybe it’s something they’ve always wanted to learn and are just getting around to it. Aside from those reasons, though, there are major mental benefits to learning an instrument.Pursue Music

 

Playing music stretches your brain like a muscle, and forces it to adapt to new and strange situations. This can help develop better memory and alertness, and can even have mental health benefits. So, in addition to learning something you already wanted to learn, playing music is like eating vegetables for your brain.

 

Music structure is easier for adults to understand

 

While you may not have realized it, there’s an extremely passive step you’ve been doing to learn how to play music for your entire life: listening to it. Listening to a wide variety of music has instilled an inherent understanding of how music structure works, even if you aren’t able to intellectualize it, quite yet. For this reason, while learning to play the notes naturally may take time, you already have a head start to playing songs and understanding how they fit together.

Usually when we think of taking a road trip it is during the summer month when children are out of school and we take our vacation time. However traveling in the winter can be fun and it is just important to spend a little time planning a winter road trip.winter road trip

 

In the winter the weather can be much more of an issue. You have to keep an eye out for storms that might affect your travel. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a blizzard on the highway! When I was a child we spent many winter weekends driving from Connecticut to Vermont. My parents liked to ski and they wanted to introduce me and my brother and sister to the joys of skiing. We would take off every Friday and drive north no matter what the weather was. As a result we have many memories of slow drives in the snow and even one trip where we had to stay in a hotel for the night because the driving was so bad!winter road trip

 

When my husband and I drive in the winter we spend a little more time planning a winter road trip.

 

Before you leave on your trip make sure your car is prepared to make a trip. This is good advice whenever you are traveling. Ask your mechanic to check your car’s brakes, lights, oil, tired, exhaust system, heater and defroster. Have them check your car’s belts and hoses and replace any that look worn.

 

Have your battery tested, especially if your battery is over three years old. You can do this yourself is you have a battery tester. Clean any corrosion from posts and connections. Make sure you travel with a set of jumper cables as well.

 

Have the oil changed and ask your mechanic for the best type of oil to use for a winter road trip. Cold temperatures can cause oil to thicken.winter road trip

 

Check the antifreeze level in your radiator. The last thing you want is to have your radiator freeze!

 

Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition. If you end up driving in rain or snow you want to have good visibility. Check your windshield washer fluid as well. Make sure it is rated for cold weather. Keep an extra container of fluid in the car. You’d be amazed at how much fluid you go through when driving in bad weather.winter road trip

 

When you are driving always keep your gas tank at least half full. This will keep your car’s gas lines from freezing due to condensation building up in the lines.

 

Check your tires often. If you will be driving in snow, use winter tires, which will provide better traction on bad roads.

 

Pack a winter survival kit in the car, which includes an ice scraper, small shovel, sand or kitty litter, road flares, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, small tool kit, candle, matches, tin can, jumper cables. Towrope, flashlight with extra batteries, extra shoes and socks, extra gloves, a change of warm clothing, paper towels, blanket and at least one jug of water and extra food such as granola bars.

 

Keep your phone charged and carry a car charger for your phone.

 

By taking some time and planning a winter road trip you can be prepared for any situation you might come across. Plan your trip in advance and you’re your friends and family know what your plans are. Have you travels in the winter before? What advice do you have?winter road trip

January is the time of the year when folks think about the year ahead and what they want to accomplish.goal setting In the past I have written down a few goals for the year ahead but I don’t keep them in the forefront and therefore don’t actually do much to accomplish those goals. So this year I decided to spend some time goal setting for 2018. Then every week I will re-visit my goals and keep track of the progress I am making. My goal setting is not just for me personally but for my blog as well.

 

So in the spirit of goal setting I have come up with ten goals for 2018.

 

  1. Find a new hosting site for my blog and make the site secure.
  2. Monetize my blog. Right now I have no ads running on my blog. I would like to start earning something on my blog instead of it just being a hobby.goal setting
  3. Create a cookbook! I have been writing my blog for over six year and have accumulated many recipes online. Time to make them available in a cookbook form, either as a downloadable PDF or in a hardcopy or both!
  4. Be diligent about getting 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week.. I wear a FitBit and so often come close to this goal but with a little effort I plan to reach this goal at least 5 out of the 7 days each week.goal setting
  5. As we continue to prepare for an eventual house sale continue to de-clutter. Get rid of at least 250 items from the house this year!
  6. Read more books this year! I love to read and have a bad habit of having several books going at once. I would like to read and finish 26 books this year. I’ll let you know what books I’m reading. Be prepared for an assortment, as I like to read various topics!
  7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead! I’m still adjusting to going from cooking for a large family to cooking for just my husband and I. I’m pretty good about planning our meals but I need to do better. I want to create a menu of healthy meals each week and not spend so much time in the kitchen!goal setting
  8. Finish 4 knitting projects. What is it with me? Like reading several books at once I also like to have several knitting projects going at once. The problem is I have a hard time getting them done! So in preparation of an eventual move I want to finish these random projects. First up on the list is a hat! Yes I know hats are easy and I have some patterns that I can whip up in no time. However this hat is a double knit pattern that for some reason I just can’t seem to finish! It was supposed to be a Christmas present for my daughter last year and that didn’t happen. I am so close and it will be the first project to complete. Then I will look at the other projects I have on hand and keep working until I have completed 4 projects.
  9. Clean out our freezer. I have two small freezer spaces; I no longer have our chest freezer as we sold it recently. I need to use up the various frozen fruits from the garden. Before we start harvesting more fruits and vegetables I want to use up what is in the freezer. First step will be to take an inventory and go from there.
  10. Take a few road trips and visit family and friends on the east coast that we will not see so often once we make a move to the west coast.goal setting

 

So there we go, goal setting for 2018 has commenced. Each week I will re-visit these goals and if I manage to complete any of them before the year is out I will set some new goals. The key is to keep looking forward and accomplish what you can!

There are a lot of reasons to get started on home improvement projects and renovations. Aesthetic appeal is one of the most motivating factors; people just want their homes to look nice. Most people don’t need anything other than the vision of their dream home in perfect condition to motivate them to get started on home improvement projects. For others, they need the promise of something else to get them motivated. Probably the most important reason you should invest in home upgrades, is for safety reasons.

 

Exterior Updates

 

One of the best things about doing outdoor home upgrades, is that they instantly boost curb appeal. Not only that, but they add incredible value to your home, as curb appeal is one of the most valuable things you can add to your home. If safety is your goal, here are a few exterior updates that will not only increase curb appeal, but make your home a safer place for you and your family to live.

 

Update your door

 

The front door is the most popular point of entry for burglars. If you have a door with a weak frame, made from flimsy material, not properly weather, or with old locks, you’re making your front door an easy way for intruders to access your home. The ideal front door is made of a material other than wood, as wood is the easiest to break or kick through. Installing jimmy-proof locks, especially for the deadbolt, is a great upgrade if you’re not ready to handle the expense of a brand new door. Most burglars won’t even attempt to pick the lock if they notice a lock they’re not familiar with, so updating your locks is worth the investment.Home Upgrades

 

Garage doors

 

While we’re talking about doors, your garage is another popular point of entry for home intruders. The easiest way to keep intruders out of your garage, is to keep your garage door shut. If you have a door that leads into the garage from outside, make sure that it has a different lock than your front door does. And always lock interior doors that lead into the garage. You store valuable things in the garage, but the most valuable things lay inside your home. If your garage door is installed properly, you won’t have any problems with burglars being able to break through it or lifting it manually. Like most areas of your home, your garage door needs updated and checked to make sure it’s functioning properly. If your garage door is old, or you have concerns about the safety of your garage door, call a garage door specialist to come take a look and make any necessary repairs.

 

Interior Safety

 

Intruders aren’t the only thing that you need to keep your home safe from. When we think about home safety, safe from burglars is an important part of home safety, yes. But it’s also important that your home and all of it’s mechanics function properly so your home is safe at all times, inside and out.

 

Have appliances maintained regularly

 

One of the most important home upgrades is one that you can’t even see. Making sure that your furnace, water heater, and plumbing are all functioning properly and updated is one of the safest things that you can do for your home.Home Upgrades

 

Install window treatments

 

Window treatments, such as blinds and curtains, not only make your home look better from the inside, but it also makes your home safer. These sorts of window treatments make it so you can completely obstruct the view into your home from anyone walking by. You’re less likely to experience a break in if potential intruders don’t have the ability to look into your home and see something that they’d like to steal. Having the ability to block the sun is also great to maintain the coloration of things like furniture, carpet, rugs, and even the paint on your walls.Home Upgrades

 

Educate your family about safety

 

All of these upgrades can make a big impact on the safety of your family. However, in the end the most important thing you can do is open up safety discussions with your family. This will include outlining a plan for emergencies and disasters so that everyone knows where to go and meet up, and which places are safest in the case of different emergencies. This can also include stranger-safety with your children, and role-playing scenarios so that they’ll know how to respond when approached by a stranger, whether it’s online, at their door, or on the street.

 

For every upgrade that you put in your home to increase safety, ensure that everyone knows its function and purpose.

Happy Friday! What better way to start off the New Year than with a wonderful giveaway. Now is your chance to win everything you need to bake a cake!

So excited to team up with these amazing bloggers and be a part of the Bake A Cake Giveaway!

 

Please note that you do not have to bake a cake to enter this giveaway!

 

Katherines Corner is having her first giveaway of 2018. It is sponsored by Casa Bouquet and I’m joining Katherine and some of her bloggy friends to bring you the Bake a Cake Giveaway!

One winner will receive an immersion blender,spring form baking pan set ,mixing bowls and $75 cash ( or Amazon gift card, winners choice)

Prizes are provided by Katherines Corner, Casa Bouquet and the giveaway hostesses.

PayPal and Amazon are not affiliated with this giveaway, but they are the means of cash or gift card distribution.

Please remember to follow Katherine, your giveaway Sponsor and ALL of the giveaway hostesses so you can get all of your entry opportunities.

Katherine-Katherines Corner

Lisa- Casa Bouquet

Lisa- Blogghetti

Marilyn-Marilyns Treats

Nina-Vintage Mamas Cottage

Laura- Not A Trophy Wife

Bev-Eclectic Red Barn

Jas- AllThatsJas

Nancy- Nancy on the Homefront

Prudy- Butter Basil and Breadcrumbs

Disclaimer from Katherines Corner-Some of Katherines giveaways have sponsors, Katherines Corner may receive compensation for reviews and advertising provided. However, no compensation will influence the outcome of any review or giveaway win. Katherines Corner provides reviews to readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase. Katherines Corner and its affiliate Bobskatie Enterprises reserves the right to not publish a review of a product or products that do not meet the specified instructions provided to product submission companies or individuals. Reviews are posted in the appropriate section at Katherines Corner and also at Amazon.com ( subject to products availability) This in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

To enter please log into the entry form using your email address or facebook log in

Good Luck in the Giveaway!

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You may have seen the graphics on Facebook or Pinterest regarding a Blessing Jar or a Happiness Jar.blessing jar Basically you write something down every day for a year that made you happy or was a blessing. At the end of the year you read about all the amazing things that happened. Last January first my husband and I decided to do just that. Start a Blessings Jar.Blessing Jar

 

We had become discouraged, my husband had been out of work our house was on the market but we hadn’t had an offer yet and we wanted to focus on the blessings all around us and not the discouragements.

 

So for the last 365 days, every day we wrote down a blessing for that day. Some days were easier than others but we were able to focus on the blessings around us each and every day.blessing jar

 

Often it would be something simple like being thankful for modern technology, which enables us to connect with each of our children from miles away. Other times it would be for something major, a freelance job or time spent with all of our family. Each day we were able to focus on something good.

 

It’s amazing when you do something for 365 days you find it becomes a habit. You wake up in the morning and wonder what blessing will you find in the day?

 

Will we continue this blessing jar? YES! We have emptied the jar and over the next couple of days we plan to read each card aloud and remember all the blessings in 2017. We will also start once again to write down a blessing each day for the New Year!blessing jar

 

Have you ever tried keeping track of the blessings in your life or the things that make you happy? It is so easy to do. Find a large jar and set it in a prominent place where you will see it everyday. Cut up some small pieces of paper, just enough to write a sentence or two and get started. If you start today you will enjoy a wonderful year ahead thinking of all the blessings in your life!blessing jar

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