Category Archives: Guest Post

House Cleaning Habits for the Whole Family

Keeping the house clean and tidy every day can be more daunting when you have a family. Tempers are likely to flare if you don’t figure out a way to get the whole family involved in the process of cleaning.

So how do you keep the peace by getting everyone to chip and cleaning duties done as needed? To engage the family in house cleaning means mobilizing and assigning everyone cleaning duties, and ensuring that they realize that it’s a habit they have to develop and sustain until it becomes something they do without having to be reminded or cajoled.

It could mean something as simple as picking up after themselves, or more difficult like cleaning their rooms, dishes, kitchen, etc. Either way, getting the whole family involved in the cleaning process will go a long way in keeping your house tidy and clean.

House Cleaning Habits for the Whole Family | #cleaning #chores

Here are a few tips from The Home Makers Journal to ensure you develop a house cleaning habit for the whole family:

Ensure There is a Place for Everything

When you assign items around the house their place, everyone will know where to put them. Have you ever found the keys wedged between cushions of the couch, or hidden among the magazines on the rack? That happens when you don’t insist on the right place for items. For example, keeping a hook by the front door to hang the keys will make it easier to find them without ripping the whole house apart!

Teach Kids How to Pick Up After Themselves and Tidy Up

Kids especially leave dirty clothing everywhere. Ensure that there is a dirty clothes hamper in each room, and insist that you will not pick up after them and neither will you allow messy rooms. Give them an incentive to keep their rooms tidy. For example if their beds are well made, their dirty clothes in the hamper and no trash lying around, with everything in its place, then you can add, say an extra twenty minutes past their bedtime for them to continue enjoying gaming, TV or any other activity they are working on.

Create a Schedule and Distribute Cleaning Chores

Simply Maid’s Cleaning Expert, Caroline Nucifora, says “If you hear ‘I don’t have time’ one more time you are going to lash out!” Avoid this, even with yourself, by creating a schedule that the whole family has to stick to. Make sure you work around your kids and whole family’s activities, and assign a daily chore and weekend chores as well.

Distribute tasks easily, assigning the tougher chores to your partner and older kids, and simpler ones to the younger children. Ensure you enforce this habitual cleaning by having a consequence if someone fails to clean properly and on time. For example, take away computer or TV time.

Save Time with These Cleaning Habits

  • Ensure that no dirty dishes are left overnight and assign someone to do this.
  • Have everyone pick up after themselves in terms of clothes and shoes, and after meals.
  • Get everyone to help in tidying up the living room at the end of each day and clean up the kitchen.

What tips would you add?

*This is a guest post. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


From Grief to Joy: Giving Hope to Infertile Couples

From Grief to Joy: Giving Hope to Infertile Couples | #infertility #IVF #eggdonor

Today I have a guest post on the topic of infertility, and the option of egg donors and IVF. This is not something I personally know anything about, as I have not had to deal with infertility myself, but I’m happy that my guest poster has graciously agreed to share some information about the options of egg donors and IVF treatment, for those readers who are going through infertility themselves. While I have no experience with it, I do have friends who struggle with infertility, so I’m happy to have this topic covered today.

Regardless of the life plans we make, the unexpected is bound to happen. Finding out your eggs aren’t viable for conception – or you’re unable to carry a pregnancy to term – is about as unexpected as it gets. Women struggling to get pregnant never imagine they’ll hear from their doctor that they are infertile. However, a couple’s dream of having a child and family reaches far beyond their diagnosis. This is why the egg donation process gives hope to couples struggling with infertility.

Emotional Turmoil

The emotions following such monumental news can be very intense. Negative emotions such as grief, anger, a sense of inadequacy, hopelessness, and depression are normal responses in such a stressful situation. Many couples seek professional counseling to deal with the resulting shock and emotional fallout.

Choosing Donor Eggs – a New Hope

For couples coping with infertility, choosing IVF using donor eggs can be a solution leading towards parenthood and a happy family. Nevertheless, the thought of a future child not being genetically connected to the mother can be quite challenging to deal with. So, coming to terms with the decision to use this method is very important for the mother’s overall well-being. In some cases, feelings of resentment towards the partner might develop as he would be the biological father to the child – thus having a ‘closer’ or ‘more real’ bond. Biological connection doesn’t equate to a stronger bond, however!

But this, too, is a normal part of the grieving process, and doesn’t make you a bad person in any way. Some couples even decide to use donor sperm as well. Honest and open communication between the partners is imperative for making a healthy compromise.

Choosing the Right Donor

Finding the right donor is perhaps the hardest and lengthiest step of the process for many couples. The criteria which are important to each of the partners may differ significantly. Therefore, it could take up to a few months for the couple to reach a mutually acceptable decision. Some women may also choose a close relative to be the donor, so they feel genetically closer to the future child.

Fresh or Frozen Donor Egg Cycle

Though largely similar, there are some key differences, including pros and cons, between these two methods.

Fresh donor egg cycles require the donor to be localized in your area and available at your convenience. This considerably limits the pool of available donors. Next, the donor’s medications, costs of travel, as well as other relevant costs make this method much more expensive than a frozen donor egg cycle. However, it offers slightly better chances of a successful pregnancy.

On the other hand, frozen donor egg cycle offers a substantially larger donor pool – at the fertility clinic, you are able to choose a donor from a national egg donor registry. Frozen donor eggs are more available and easier to obtain, plus all costs regarding the donor are already factored into the price of the cycle. This makes this method significantly cheaper than fresh.

Legal and Ethical Concerns

It is important to have all legalities on paper before implantation. Thankfully, if using a donor egg bank, they take care of this for you. Otherwise, you need a lawyer to draft a contract regarding the donor’s rights and involvement in the child’s life.

Quick Overview of the Implantation Process

After the initial interview, you will undertake several tests to determine if your uterus can carry a pregnancy to term. If all is well, you may begin the journey of donor egg IVF. Depending on the donor egg cycle you’ve chosen, the process of implantation differs.

In a fresh donor egg cycle, you and your donor are brought to the clinic and undergo a cycle synchronization treatment before the donor’s eggs are extracted, fertilized, and implanted into your uterus.

In a frozen donor egg cycle, the cryopreserved eggs are transported to your clinic where they are thawed and fertilized with the sperm of your partner or donor. After a period of 3 – 4 days, the most viable embryos are implanted inside your uterus.

The Big Moment and Happily Ever-After

After two weeks, you’ll be called back to the fertility clinic to take your HCG pregnancy test. This period of ‘calm before the storm’ can be accompanied by mixed feelings of anxiety, hopefulness, eagerness, or even a sense of impending doom if prior IVF treatments weren’t successful. Proper counseling and emotional support from your partner is vital to prepare yourself for the final outcome, whatever it may be. Nonetheless, when all is well and you are preparing bottles or cleaning up after your bundle of joy, you won’t be spending time thinking about genetics.

From Grief to Joy: Giving Hope to Infertile Couples | #infertility #IVF #eggdonor

The journey to parenthood can be long, hard, and costly – both emotionally and financially – but it pales in comparison to the immeasurable happiness and fulfillment of having a child. The latest advancements in medicine offer hope to many couples who might otherwise give up on their lifelong dream of becoming parents. There’s always hope!

*This is a guest post. Infertility, egg donors, and IVF treatment are not something I have personal experience with. Should you have serious questions about any of these, please consult with your physician. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.