• Tips For Getting Into A Back To School Routine

    How To

    Organize the house
    There are a few areas of your home that can be organized to better serve you during the school year. Trust us, these little changes can be huge! Things like a designated homework space are great to start creating in the days before school begins. Pick a corner of your home and make sure it has supplies, chairs and a clock. Get the kids to help decorate it so when the homework starts rolling in, they’ll know where they’re going to handle it.

    Get the anxiety out of the way
    New school years mean heading into a new class or starting at a new school and the latter can be quite scary for kids no matter how old they are. You can help quell some of their nerves by speaking positively about the experience and visiting the school ahead of time, if possible, so they can get familiar with the new space. Chances are there won’t be as many tears on the first day if you do!

    Remember the first day
    Prep for the first day. This means showing kids what they’ll be wearing, how to pack their bags, and handling any extra reading their teacher’s may have given them. Come the first day, the only thing you’ll have to worry about it taking a great “back to school” photo!

    Plan for extra curricular activities
    If you’re planning for the kids to start a sport or take on extra lessons, then plan ahead and give them a good pep talk about time management. Make sure they have all the equipment, uniforms or extra supplies they’ll need and create a separate bag so things don’t get mixed up with their every day school supplies.

    Bed time and waking up
    Vacation time means staying up late and waking up late but when it’s coming down to back to school, this unfortunately has to change. You’ll have to start slowly putting everyone to bed earlier and waking up earlier so on the first day, no one flies out of bed groggy and disoriented!

    Roll with it
    The best advice we have after all of this? Roll with it. No morning will be the same and no first day can truly be planned so go with the flow, stay positive, have fun and parents, welcome back to the routine!

  • How To Clean Hard To Reach Places In Your Home

    Cleaning Home

    It’s no surprise that the hard to reach places in your home get neglected when you’re cleaning...That’s a no brainer. But because they’re hard to reach it doesn’t mean they can’t be cleaned. Here’s how you can get to those tricky spots easily.

    Shower Tracks
    Scrubbing the shower on your hands and knees is already a task but scrubbing the shower tracks? It just seems too time consuming and difficult. What you can do is take a paper towel soaked in vinegar and sit it on the track for 30 minutes before scrubbing the grime away with a small brush.

    Faucet Crevices
    A lot of mildew and bacteria builds up in your faucet crevices. Luckily, an old toothbrush can help this. Use warm water and soap and give your faucet a little scrub. It’ll be a deep clean!

    Car Details
    All the indented crevices and small corners of your car collect grime and bacteria. Use Q-Tips to rub off debris in these hard to reach places until no more gunk is visible.

    Narrow Blinds
    Blinds can be saved! If you’ve got a pair of tongs, all you have to do is take a cloth and use some rubber bands to secure it to the tongs. Then run them across the blinds. Easy fix!

    Keyboard
    Cleaning your keyboard keys is as easy as…a sticky note! Fold it in half, stick side out, and run it through the cracks on your keyboard. It’ll pick up any surface dust and grime!

  • 5 Of The Best Back To School Tech From Courts

    Cool Tech Mobile/Tablets

    It’s the season for combo deals and tech discounts at Courts! We love Back To School (sorry kids) because it’s a time to show off all the great tech and accessories we’ve got to make it the best school year yet. Check out our top picks for tech below and don’t forget to shop online or in store for specials, combos and deals!

    Laptop
    Laptops are beneficial to every student in today’s modern age. Investing in one gives that extra extension of your abilities and can help with everything…from homework to essays to presentations!

    Tablet
    Tablets provide convenience and portability, even more so than laptops. Use then to take quick notes in class, research or keep your schedule so you’re always in the know.

    Desktop/Computer Desk
    Laptops are convenient because of their portability but don’t discount the desktop just yet! A great desktop for studying is perfect for those zone out moments. Create a designated creative space where you can sit and let the knowledge flow right out of you.

     

    Printer
    Although we live in the digital age, we still need to print our assignments, homework sheets, study notes, and so on. Investing in a reliable printer makes all that extra paperwork easier for you.

    4

    Accessories
    Things like USBs or headphones are all extra accessories that can help keep any student organized and focused. Check out what we’ve got in store or online and tackle the year ahead...creativity first!

    3

  • Time To Roll Out: 5 Tips To Stay Organized During Your Move

    Home

    Tip 1: Do a purge
    Moving may be the best time to fully clean out your home. Don’t move with everything you’ve collected in your current space. Take the time to sort through old electronics you don’t use, clothes you can donate, furniture you can sell, and other miscellaneous items that you can toss or give away. Purge before you pack! This will help lighten your load and save you money on having fewer things to transport to your new home!

    Tip 2: Label smart
    Generally you label your moving boxes, that’s pretty standard but are you labeling smart? Begin packing up your home, room by room and labeling the boxes to suit. This way your movers can place the boxes according to room and you can begin the unpacking process!

     Tip 3: The boxes you use matter
    You would think that when you’re moving it doesn’t matter what kind of box you use, once the stuff gets packed. However, you should think about the boxes you use a little more. For example, heavy items such as books should be packed in small boxes, breakables such as dishes and lamps should be packed in larger boxes with plenty of room for packing material around them. Don’t over pack a large box because chances are, it’ll give your movers trouble to pick up.

    Tip 4: Use plastic bins
    A plastic bin will help your organize all the things that you need to use right away without having to dig around and look for them. Things like a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc. The clear bin allows you to see inside and will easily stand out in the sea of brown boxes.

     Tip 5: Clean before you move stuff over
    Lastly, before you move even a spoon over, visit your new place and make sure that it’s clean. Spotless! You never want to have all your things arrive at your new home and then have to clean around all the boxes. Cleaning first also ensures that everything the past tenant may have left behind is taken care of. Plus, who doesn’t love a clean space?

  • How To Stay Prepared During Hurricane Season

    How To Home

    Before A Storm

    • Know all evacuation routes and create an emergency evacuation plan to ensure the quickest route to safety.
    • Have proper tools, supplies, and a hurricane kit:
      • Flashlights with extra batteries
      • Portable radio with extra batteries
      • First-aid kit
      • Necessary medical supplies including prescription drugs
      • Manual can opener
      • A waterproof, fireproof container with valuable documents
    • Always have plenty of non-perishable foods on hand and lots of water.
    • Make sure you have plenty of fuel in your car.
    • Secure outside objects.
    • Invest in an emergency generator.
    • Trim troublesome or low hanging trees.
    • Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters if need be.
    • If called to evacuate, do so immediately.

     

    During A Storm

    • Remain indoors and stay in a secured room/space.
    • Lock doors and windows to reduce vibration, and close drapes and blinds to contain broken glass.
    • Stay away from windows.
    • Monitor weather broadcasts and bulletins if you can.
    • Have supplies on hand.
    • Wait it out.
  • 5 Decorating Mistakes You Might Be Making

    Decorating Home

    Decorating your space should be all about bringing your energy and personality into the room and making it flow the way you want. Think feng shui but solely for decorating. This means putting your special finishing touches on the place but…does it mean that you have to compromise on some integral designing tips and tricks? See if you're guilty of these decorating mistakes and switch it up today!

    Not embracing negative space
    Negative space may seem strange to those of you who love to see things all around the room but that doesn’t always lead to the room being balanced. Remember when measuring, don’t measure from end to end so there’s no room to even drop a piece of popcorn on the side of the couch. Instead, leave room because under scaled pieces of furniture can help make your space look bigger and more inviting.

    Oh that bad light
    If your space doesn’t have a lot of natural light coming in, that’s fine. There are tons of other ways to light a space. The trick is…avoiding fluorescent lighting especially if it’s placed directly overhead! Seriously. Consider softer bulbs and lamps to light your space. You can still get environmentally friendly soft lights and your space won’t feel like a hospital room.

    Full-length curtains that are too short
    Short, flooding curtains are awkward. That’s just a fact. Full-length curtains should break and rest slightly on the floor, even if it's just an inch. This will make your space look taller and sleeker.

    Awkwardly sized rugs
    Speaking of awkward, a weirdly sized rug can make you look down and say, what on earth is wrong here? A general rule for rug placement in a living room is that all four legs of a piece of furniture should be able to fit on the rug beneath it, with breathing room on all sides. Trust us, the bigger the rug the better.

    Hanging art too high
    When you’ve got a gorgeous piece of art or even a picture, your thought is to hang it high and mighty! Probably because you want to show it off but really, you should be hanging it at eye level for optimal viewing and balance. It’s less of a pain in the neck that way too.

  • Easy And Healthy Snacks For Kids On Vacation

    DIY Family

    Vacation time is here and the kids are either at home, at camp or at their grandparent’s house being spoiled rotten. Between all the fun times outside or binge watching TV, be sure that their diet still stays healthy and nutritious. General super foods that can be translated into snacks for kids are peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, oats, provisions and of course healthy dairy like yogurt. Here are just a few snack ideas you can try to spruce up these super foods and give the kids something healthy and fun to eat on the go.

    1. Apple slices with peanut butter and granola

    Like a mini but super healthy pizza! Feel free to add chocolate chips for some sweetness.

    Recipe: http://paleoeatsandtreats.com/apple-cookies/#sthash.E87Vm83u.wkcnpyNB.dpbs

    Image: Paleo Eats and Treats

    1. Fruit and cheese kebabs

    Whatever fruits you have at home, put them on a kebab and serve them!

    Recipe: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/fruit-and-cheese-kabobs-recipe/

    Image: Pinterest

    1. Homemade granola bars

    Packed with lots of ingredients to keep their energy up, these granola bars look expensive and are really easy make.

    Recipe: https://www.blessthismessplease.com/granola-bar-recipe/

    Image: Pinterest

    1. Rainbow veggie plate

    Some kids don’t like to eat veggies but maybe it’s just the arrangement of them on the plate that turns them off. Try this instead!

    Image: Meet The Duiens

    1. No bake peanut butter and banana cookies

    Nothing better than no-bake cookies! Save yourself the time, energy and mess and still get a great snack.

    Recipe: http://blog.feelgreatin8.com/3-ingredient-peanut-butter-banana-cookies/

    Image: SuperHealthyKids

     

    1. Sweet potato chips

    Thinly slice 1-2 sweet potatoes, add some oil, salt and pepper and pop them in the oven. The kids will love these healthy chips.

    Image: Pinterest

  • 7 Reasons To Become A Tea Drinker

    Lifestyle

    It’s easier than coffee
    Making a cup of tea is basically some hot water and a tea bag or diffuser. Making a pot of coffee, if you’re not into the individual instant packets, takes a lot longer.

    Tea contains antioxidants
    Most teas have antioxidants that work to prevent the body’s version of rust; it helps to clean out your system so that it continue to work at its best.

    Less caffeine than coffee
    Herbal blends of tea have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50% of what typically is found in coffee. You’ll be consuming less caffeine and your nervous system will be grateful.

    Green tea can help with weight loss
    The active components in green tea when it’s brewed can aid in boosting the effects of fat burning hormones within the body.

    Black tea can keep your bones healthy
    Many studies suggest that black tea contains healthy plant chemicals called flavonoids that can help ward off bone-weakening illnesses.

    Herbal tea may soothe the digestive system
    You’ve probably heard your grandmother saying you should drink ginger tea to settle your stomach and she’s not wrong. Herbal teas like chamomile are good for people with irritable bowel syndrome because it is an antispasmodic.

    It’s a great tasting relaxant
    Not only does tea taste great, it comes in a range of flavours and has been linked to being a relaxant for anyone who feels stressed or nervous. Pick up a cup today!

  • Man Cave Essentials: Our Gift Guide For Father’s Day

    Lifestyle Product

    Dads need their own space…for what reasons we don’t know but that’s the way it’s been since the dawn of times which is assumedly where the name “Man Cave” even comes from. That being said, at Courts we offer a wide range of tech and appliances to outfit from the most primal to modern man caves with the greatest essentials around. Here’s our gift guide for Father’s Day!

    TV
    What’s a man cave without a TV…a BIG TV…a BIG Smart TV. See where we’re going with this? Get Dad a TV that can handle watching the game with his friends and streaming his favourite show on Netflix.

     

    Home Theatre System
    This ties into the TV gift we talked about before. A home theatre system is a great gift for the Dad who’s into surround sound action!

     

    Audio Stuff
    If your dad is a music lover then look no further. Headphones or speakers make a great gift that he’ll want to show off time and time again. Especially when he feels the urge to relive the memories of all his favourite songs.

     

    Laptop
    Whether he’s a businessman, an artist, a construction worker, a stay at home dad or anything else…a new laptop is always a great gift. With a range of brands to choose from, you can find the one that best fits his lifestyle.

     

    Phone
    If your dad isn’t very flashy and he’s been using the same phone he got back in 2001, then it’s time to give him an upgrade. Plus, when he gets his new phone you can show him how to use it and make sure that he programs you in as his favourite child!

     

    Fitness Equipment
    If he’s into fitness, that’s no problem. Come in and check out what we’ve got! Maybe he needs a new piece of equipment or he just needs the accessories, either way, it’ll make a great, thoughtful and useable gift!

     

    Small Appliances
    If he’s into his cooking skills, get him something he can show off with. A new slow cooker or a blender might be just the thing to keep him happy and singing in the kitchen.

  • 10 Fun Wedding Photo Ideas You’ll Want To Try On Your Big Day

    Lifestyle Event

    Your wedding day is coming! Congrats, congrats! By now 98% of things are in order so it’s time to have a little fun. Your wedding pictures will be with you for years to come so it’s best to make them memorable! Whether you’re going for sweet and sentimental or downright hilarious, here are 10 fun wedding photo ideas you’ll want to try!

    1. The before and after reveal
    When the perfect dress is revealed, it makes for a great shot!

    Image: velaimages


    2. The couple reading their letters
    If you’ve written letters for each other, get a shot of you reading them. Sweet and simple.

    Image: Pinterest

    3. Goofy groomsmen and bridesmaids faces
    If you’ve got some characters for groomsmen, immortalize their fun with some snaps of their best faces to make a collage!

    carlzochImage: carlzoch

    4. Mirror image
    Use a full-length mirror to capture a picture of the bridal party that’s unique and fun.

    Image: Pinterest

    5. Fun with the kids
    Don’t leave the kids out. They make the cutest pictures anyways!

    bobbyearle.comImage: bobbyearle.com

    6. The aerial shot
    If your wedding photographer is using a drone, get him to take some great aerial shots to show off your romantic sides.

    Image: ben-chrisman-photography

    7. The friendship board
    Your bridal party is made up of the very best of the best. Grab a chalkboard and have them write down when or where they first met you for a cute and nostalgic photo.

    Image: bridesofadelaide

    8. Using props
    If you want to add a little extra pop, bring props to your photo shoot. Things like balloons, umbrellas, funny socks/signs all make for a memorable photo.

    Image: balloonscharlotte

    9. The staged group shot
    If you have a vision of something funny, don’t be afraid to ask to have it captured. Photos like this are easy to recreate and of course, tons of fun.

    Image: maria vicencio

    10. Jumping on the bed
    There’s nothing better than having some genuine fun at your wedding. When it’s just you and your lifelong best friend alone at last, be sure to let your personalities show with some epic photos like this one!

    Image: huffingtonpost

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