Make an Investment the Whole Family Can Play With

Air hockey is a game that is easy to understand and caters to everyone in the family, from ages 5 to 99. Kids love the action in the game and parents love a game that gets the kids away from video games.It also helps that the kids burn a little energy playing air hockey.

Thats why air hockey is becoming popular again and many homes are investing in tables.

For a few years, the air hockey table trend was leaning toward furniture style tables, but in 2019, the trend has been leaning toward the commercial, arcade-style tables.These arent too expensive, and they are easy to bring into the home.

While the basic game of air hockey hasnt changed much since its inception in the 70s, todays manufacturers have dressed up the game to appeal to the kids and the families that buy them. That means automatic scoring with music and crowd noise has become the norm, and colorful playfields with cool graphics have added lots of appeal.

Air flow on anair hockey tableis measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and todays tables operate more as an air tunnel effect, meaning rather than blowing the air directly up from the bottom, tables are now blowing the air from the side into a chamber and then circulating the air so its not pushing straight back. That angles the air and creates a bit of a vortex, creating consistent pressure, which allows the table to breathe more evenly.

Other innovations in air hockey tables of late include enhancements in lighting effects, such as lights flashing on and off when goals are scored and LED pucks and pushers that light up. Sound effects have been improved as well, with the sounds of crowds cheering and mimicking of the announcer being added to many tables. Then theres game music paired together with cascading light effects bringing additional excitement to the game.

Larger, heavier pucks and ergonomic pushers are both staples with air hockey today. The former keeps the puck from flying off the table so much, while the latter prevents or reduces the risk of hand and wrist strain while allowing harder hits to the puck.

Whether youre moving into a new home or just want to add some excitement to your house, adding an air hockey table can bring in loads of fun.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

5 Common Houseplants That Are Toxic to Pets

Bringing houseplants into your home can create a healthy and nature-filled design to your space. For a home with pets, however, there are some limits as to which plants may be harmful to their health. Because pets often find their way into many things around the house, its important to be aware of just what the effects may be when certain greens are ingested. Here are five common houseplants that are toxic to pets.

Aloe Vera
As one of the most popular succulents youll find in a home, Aloe Vera is great for humans because of its skin healing properties. However, it has an opposite effect on pets. Although the gel substance inside the leaves may not be toxic if ingested, the other parts of this plant can do harm to your pets digestive system.

Ivy
Unlike poison ivy, regular ivy can add a unique and decorative design to any room in your home. However, when introduced into a home with pets, keep it out of their reach as when this plant is ingested, your pet may develop a rash and/or breathing problems. Depending on how much is eaten, it may even lead to a coma or paralysis.

Dumb Cane
This plant, though very common in interior design, can be one of the most dangerous for a family with pets. Because of the harmful toxins in and on this plant, eating and digesting this plant will result in tongue swelling and burning, increased salivation and difficulty swallowing, as well as vomiting. In some cases, the ingestion of this plant may even cause death to your pet.

Jade
This particular plant can come in many sizes. From a medium-sized tree to small windowsill plant, this is a popular plant for succulent lovers. However, it is important to keep your jade plant away from your pets. Though the toxins in this plant are unknown, ingestion may result in vomiting and incoordination. Additional symptoms your pets may experience are a slow heart rate and/or depression.

Elephants Ear
Similar to the toxins found in dumb cane, this colorful houseplant can be extremely dangerous to your pets. The side effects of ingestion are almost the same, causing your pet to suffer from oral problems such as increased drooling and salivation. Vomiting, digestive issues and even death are also possible reactions your pet may experience.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Why You Should Avoid Comparing Siblings

As a parent, you probably compare your children to each other in terms of their appearances, interests, strengths and the ages when they reached important developmental milestones. Sometimes comparing siblings is harmless, but if youre not careful, you may cause a child to feel as though he or she cant measure up and spark anxiety and sibling rivalry.

How Comparisons Can Hurt Kids
Your children may be siblings, but they are different people. They may have completely different personalities, interests and dreams. The fact that one child was interested in a topic or activity, or reacted a particular way in a past situation, does not mean that another child will or should feel or respond the same way. Expecting your kids to be the same, and expressing negative thoughts or emotions when they arent, can make a child feel like a disappointment or a failure.

Dont tell a child that he or she should be like a sibling. Pointing out one childs perceived faults can make that child feel inferior, create the impression that you love a sibling more, undermine self-esteem and trigger anxiety. Those feelings can lead to resentment and an unhealthy focus on competition. A child who feels inferior may look for opportunities to criticize the good sibling and your kids may get locked in a pattern of trying to outdo each other and tear each other down.

How to Build Your Kids Self-Esteem and Foster Healthy Relationships
If you compare siblings, focus on objective observations. Dont make statements that seem judgmental. For example, you can note that one child excels academically while another is a talented musician, but dont say or imply that one childs talents make him or her superior to the other. That could make a child who is working hard and succeeding in one area feel as though their accomplishments dont matter and that they will never win your approval.

If you are pleased or displeased with a childs behavior, focus only on that childs actions. Dont bring any mention of a sibling into the conversation. Doing so could lead to feelings of rivalry.

Individual talents and different perspectives make the world an interesting place and give us opportunities to learn from each other. Celebrate what makes each child unique. Enroll your kids in classes or programs so they can pursue their own passions and develop their unique talents.

Choose Your Words Carefully
When youre stressed and frustrated, its easy to say something that is unintentionally hurtful. A child may remember what you said long after you have forgotten, especially if the words were spoken in anger.

Focus on accepting and celebrating your kids for who they are. That can make them feel that they are loved unconditionally and build their confidence so they will be able to persevere when they face challenges. Rather than comparing your children to each other, encourage them all to figure out who they are and who they want to become.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Applying for a mortgage is a big step towards homeownership, but it doesn’t need to be one you fear. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
  • Know your credit score and work to build strong credit. When you’re ready, lean on your agent to connect you with a lender so you can get pre-approved and begin your home search.
  • Any major life change can be scary, and buying a home is no different. Let’s connect so you have an advisor by your side to take the fear out of the equation.

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Applying for a mortgage is a big step towards homeownership, but it doesn’t need to be one you fear. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
  • Know your credit score and work to build strong credit. When you’re ready, lean on your agent to connect you with a lender so you can get pre-approved and begin your home search.
  • Any major life change can be scary, and buying a home is no different. Let’s connect so you have an advisor by your side to take the fear out of the equation.

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Mortgage Process Doesn’t Have To Be Scary [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Applying for a mortgage is a big step towards homeownership, but it doesn’t need to be one you fear. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
  • Know your credit score and work to build strong credit. When you’re ready, lean on your agent to connect you with a lender so you can get pre-approved and begin your home search.
  • Any major life change can be scary, and buying a home is no different. Let’s connect so you have an advisor by your side to take the fear out of the equation.

Borders Open Nov. 8 for the Vaccinated – But Rules Vary

Most international visitors must be fully vaccinated, and some approved exceptions must quarantine for seven days after arrival. Children under 18 don’t need a vaccine if with vaccinated adults, but they’ll be tested for COVID once here. The CDC is still posting info to its website.