Archive for December, 2016

Fatherhood: The Guy’s Guide

In our lives; whether it comes from our own fathers, our husbands, our parents, or from society in general. Responsible fatherhood is not a destination, but rather a personal dedication to a lifelong journey. On this voyage fathers need all of the help they can get, and who better to offer that help than other fathers whom they meet along the way.


Prepping for fatherhood is more than reading Dr. Spock, childproofing the electrical outlets, and buying a tiny baseball glove. That’s the easy stuff; the important lessons are those that most first-time dads learn along the way. But you’re in luck: We got fathers and parenting experts from around the country to let us in on some of their secrets so you’ll be ready for fatherhood right from the start. Here’s what they said you need to know.

Trust Yourself

you matter

You will be more important to this baby than you will be to anyone else in the world. That idea can be intimidating — and scary. For me, it hit home one day while my then-pregnant wife and I were crossing the street. She pointed out that my jaywalking habits would have to change when the baby arrived. Well of course, I said. When I had the stroller, I’d cross with the lights. But she meant I couldn’t jaywalk when I was alone either; the baby would depend on my staying alive. Oh.

The point is, your baby needs you, and the quicker you get down to the business of raising her, the better. “It’s on-the-job training — not just for you but for the mother too,” says Glenview, IL, psychologist Robert Frank, Ph.D., author of Parenting Partners. “Fathers are always afraid that they won’t know what to do in that early time. But just jump in there, like you were pulling up a carpet or ripping down a wall. Jump in there and learn. The more you do it, the better you’ll be at it.”

you have instincts

Repeat after me: I am not clueless. I can do this. “Guys always think that Mom’s going to have the corner on instincts,” says Chuck Ault, a national trainer with Boot Camp for New Dads based in Irvine, CA. “But every guy becomes the expert on his baby.” You will find your baby’s most ticklish spots. You’ll figure out how to get him to take a bottle. And, believe it or not, you’ll even uncover secrets to soothing him that your wife will miss.

“My son had a lot of stomach pains when he was about 8 …


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How To Paint Your Floors and Not Screw it Up

During the past decade, the popularity of floor paint has become extensively widespread. A lot of people have learned the facts about it such as it increases the durability of the floor if it is properly applied.

The color I originally painted the floors was red (see pic below), but the next one was white with cream in the bedrooms. The first paint job was so poorly done by me, I had to redo it eventually.

Years ago when I decided to paint the floors in my small summer house, most people were shocked (including my parents). Bare wood floors were so chic and such a staple of 90’s style, that painting them over and covering them up seemed sacrilegious. I didn’t think so anymore. See how they turned out…

This is the first color I painted the floors in 2004: sort of a bricky, Chinese red, which was inspired by the red floors at my friend’s Shaker house.

The floors were cheap, solid oak floors, in great need of refinishing. It was either hire someone to sand and polyurethane (which would have been messy and cost at least $2,000) or paint them myself with polyurethane based oil paint (cost: $200 for the paint + 3 weekends of my time).


The inspiration came from visiting my friend Charles’ house in Massachusetts that had been part of a Shaker community. All the floors had been painted and repainted for years in the richest colors. The house was warm and bright without the aid of carpets or rugs, and the idea seemed perfect for any summer house, where all you want to do is walk barefoot for days at a time.

It seemed easy to maintain, and removed all hint of preciousness to the floors. They just seemed practical and lovely, reminding me, as well, of the bright colors …

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How to Drain a Hot Tub

Hot tubs can be an endless source of entertainment, which is probably one of the main reasons they continue to be so popular. In order to remain fun, however, a fair amount of work needs to be done with respect to routine maintenance.

From time to time you will need to perform a tub drain on your hot tub or spa. The tub will need to be drained and cleaned periodically, especially if you are not using it during the winter. Whatever the reason, draining your tub is important to know how to do. If you leave it too long, bacteria can form in the standing water. In particular, winter maintenance is vital to ensure your hot tub won’t sustain any damage when the weather turns cold.

Initial Steps

The first thing to do is to turn off the heater on the hot tub and switch it off at the main supply. Next, locate the circuit breaker for the tub in the breaker box and turn that off as well. Electrical safety is absolutely vital when dealing with appliances that use water and failure to follow these steps can be exceedingly dangerous.

Take the cover off the tub and remove the filter to clean it. The filter can usually be washed underneath a cold tap and a replacement is only needed if there are obvious signs of wear and tear.

If you’re going to refill the tub immediately, you’ll need to put the filter back before doing so. If you won’t be using your spa for several months, keep the filter in your house after letting it dry thoroughly to keep it from perishing during the cold weather.

Tub Drain

Attach a garden hose to the hot tub’s bottom drain spout. You’ll need to twist the hose onto the spigot so make sure it’s on firmly. A lot of water will be draining from your tub so …


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