Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday: I Got Diabeetus

My husband cannot, for the life of him, understand what I think is so hilarious about these two memes... but they both make me cry because I'm laughing so hard when I read them- so I figured a combo fit just right.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday: How to Donate Breastmilk

If you read this blog consistently (and chances are you probably don't), then you would know that I have donated breast milk before. After talking to a friend, a recent new mom, about my experience, I realized there are a lot of things to be learned about donating breast milk for those interested. In this blog post, I hope to answer a good number of questions for those interested in saving their own breast milk for others in need. I'll neglect to mention why I donate breast milk and focus on the logistics of HOW.

First of all, let us acknowledge that there are four main ways to donate breast milk and each requires a separate process.

1. Donating to a friend/relative
2. Donating to a national milk bank
3. Donating milk to create fortifiers, Helping Hands Milk Bank
4. Donating using a third party, Human Milk for Human Babies, etc.

Donating to a Friend/Relative

The easiest and also least likely scenario is to donate to a friend or relative who either produces too little breast milk or cannot produce at all.

*After your baby has finished their feeding, use a breast pump (hand pump, double electric, rented from the hospital...) to empty your breasts of milk.

*Pour the breast milk into special breast-milk baggies (sold at Wal-Mart, grocery stores, Babies-R-Us, etc.) and freeze them.

*Give the frozen milk to your pal in need. They will be able to thaw your breast milk in warm water and bottle feed their infant with it. NEWS FLASH Breast milk is valid for MONTHS in the freezer.

Donating to a National Milk Bank

I donated using the Rocky Mountain Milk Bank.
Why? I liked what they did with the milk (80% to NICU babies), its sterility, and the ease of donating.

*Register as a donor. Go to their web page and send them an e-mail letting them know you are interested. They are thorough in who can and cannot donate (thankfully) and will send you a form or two to see if you are eligible to donate.

*Once you have registered as a donor, you will have a brief phone interview to make sure you and your baby are healthy enough to donate. Given the thumbs up, you can start collecting.

*To collect milk, wash your breasts and use a clean breast pump to collect milk after your baby has finished feeding. Pour this milk into special breast-milk baaggies (sold at Wal-Mart, grocery stores, Babies-R-Us, etc. Additionally, the milk bank will ship some to you free of charge if you need them) and freeze them.

*Once you have a sizable amount of frozen milk (think 50-100 ounces [When you become a donor, you commit to donating 150 ounces during your donation time period]), call the milk bank. They will send you a special box in the mail to ship your milk.

*Once the box has arrived, call a shipping company (the RMCHF Milk Bank will provide you with the information you need) to set up a pick up. The milk bank pays for the shipping: all you need to do is call for a pick up and to buy a few pounds of dry ice. You will pack your frozen milk and dry ice via the instructions from the milk bank and the shipping company will pick up your package and whisk it away to the milk bank.

*NOTE* On your first shipment, you will need to send blood samples. With these, all you need to do is make an appointment with your regular doctor who will take the necessary blood samples (free of charge to you) and give them to you so that you can send them along with your frozen breast milk. The blood samples are another way to ensure the milk bank's high standards of clean, disease free donors.

*The frozen milk you ship will be thawed, pasteurized, and mixed with the milk of several other mothers to balance any possible nutritional deficiencies. It is parceled into 4 ounce containers and shipped all over the country to those in need.

*Hooray! You just donated life-saving breast milk.

Donating Milk to Create Fortifiers, Helping Hands Milk Bank

Any breast milk donating using this method is unique; all breast milk collected is used to make a fortifier for breast milk that is used for infants in the NICU. The method for collection is very similar to donating to a national milk bank, but the end purpose of the milk is different. To better illustrate the end purpose of the breast milk, I have a story from a mother who used the Helping Hands Milk Bank's fortifier when her child was in the hospital.

What they don’t tell you about the NICU is how scary it can be. The moment my little boy was born, that moment that is supposed to be beautiful and so rewarding, he was whisked off down the hall with little explanation other than that something was wrong. Watching my baby struggle for oxygen hours later, when I was finally permitted to see him, was one of the hardest things I have
ever had to do.

I had always planned on nursing, at least in the beginning. We all know that breast milk is the best thing for our children when it’s possible. But in NICU care, things don’t go always the way we plan. When babies are extremely underweight (2 pounds 12 ounces or less), they need more than their mother's milk to thrive. Once they are able to take milk, (either through a feeding tube or
bottle), a fortifier is added to breast milk to ensure the babies get the nutrition they need in their tiny stomachs. This fortifier is often derived from cow's milk, which isn't ideal.

It wasn’t until days after his birth that I was finally able to nurse for the first time. We were blessed in that my son was a full term baby and able to get his nutrition from me fairly quickly. As soon as we got the hang of feeding, I got to take him home. He is now a healthy, happy kid full of energy. I met other moms who had been in the hospital for weeks, without the positive outlook we had. If I could have done something to help them, I would have.

If you like what Helping Hands Milk Bank does, here is information you'll need to donate with them.

Helping Hands Milk Bank is a virtual milk bank that allows qualified donors to make breast milk donations from the comfort of their home. Prolacta Bioscience collects excess breast milk from mothers who donate through Helping Hands and processes it into a breast milk fortifier made from 100% human milk (rather than cow milk) for critically ill, premature
infants in NICUs.

The process is simple. Helping Hands allows busy mothers to apply online in about 15 minutes. Helping Hands supplies storage containers, and covers all shipping costs & supplies, so there is no out-of-pocket cost to the donor, and she doesn't have to travel anywhere to donate her breast milk.

Donate Using a Third Party, Human Milk for Human Babies

Similar to donating to a friend, you can use an organization to find someone in need of breast milk for their child and work with them to set up a pick-up/drop-off of breast milk. I like Human Milk for Human Babies, because they have many different local Facebook pages, so all you have to do is:

*Like the Human Milk for Human Babies of your area on Facebook

*Look at their Facebook page to see who is in need

*Contact the person who needs breast milk and determine an amount to donate and in what form (liquid, frozen, etc.)

*Donate your stored breast milk

(Human Milk for Human Babies doesn't provide any actual services/compensation/guarantees etc. They work only as a facilitator to connect two parties, one donating milk and the other receiving.)

In the end, breast milk is a pretty miraculous thing that our bodies can create. The opportunity to donate it to anyone in need is wonderful. Look through this list, find what suits your lifestyle best and, if your health and the health of your little one will allow, donate, donate, donate!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday: DIY Advent Countdown Calendar!

My family is still fairly young and we are still establishing our family holiday traditions. This year, I thought it would be fun to have an Advent (countdown-to-Christmas) Calendar, and have a festive activity for each day til Christmas. Construction is simple (also cheap)- and shouldn't take much to do at all!

Materials*Colored felt (including white, or else have some cotton batting ready)
*Colored cardstock
*Needle and colored thread (including white)
*Tape (any variety, really)
*Black Sharpie/Wite-Out pen
*Rick-rack (or embroidery floss)
*Glue (optional)


1. Make a house in your desired colors from a square and triangle shaped piece of cardstock. Glue/tape them together (I glued). *note* I won't give measurements, etc, so you can feel free to make your calendar as big or as small as you want- just make sure your sizes are proportional.

2. Using coordinating thread and rick-rack/embroidery floss, create a 'garland' on your house and then secure with a  few stitches. (yup, just sew by hand through the cardstock.) *hint* tape your knots on the back of your cardstock to ensure they don't come loose.
3. Cut 6  1 1/2 inch long Christmas 'lights' from colored paper. If you have two sided paper like I had (black on one side, red on the other), even better, but just plain red/green works fine. Cut the 'light' shaped pieces out (with a quarter to half inch nub on the top) and fold the top over so that the 'light' will hang on your rick-rack 'garland'.

4. Once you've hung your lights, cut out a felt door and 'snow' from either cotton batting or white felt, and attach by sewing to your house. I used a cross stitch for the door on the left side, as the door needs to open- the 'snow' can be fully attached, as it does not need to be flip-open-able. *note* again, I put tape wherever I had a knot to further secure it.
5. Next, we'll be making windows! Cut out 12 square pieces of felt (yellow/white/blue work ok) and arrange into two six-paned windows, one on each side of the house. Attach each pane with a single, long stitch on the left or right side only (so that the windows can open, much like the door- remember, we have to put advent activities behind them!)
6. Next, below one of our windows, we'll make a flippable snow man. Using the same felt/batting, cut out two circles for your snowman. Create a face on the smaller circle (using felt, marker, whatever) and attach with a few stitches using white thread to ONLY the top of his head and then ONLY to the top of his body (so that the two pieces can flip up to reveal their secret activity...)
7. Almost, almost done! Chimney next. Cut a rectangle of brown felt, then three smaller rectangles of red felt, and a piece of 'smoke' from white felt/cotton batting. Attach each red 'brick' using a single long stitch on ONE side only (they'll flippers, too) and attach the smoke to the top of the chimney. Once your chimney is assembled, stich it on one side to the top of the house so that the entire chimney will be able to flip open, just like the door on the front
8. Really, REALLY almost done now! Using your black Sharpie and Wite-Out pen, number each flipper/light with a number 1-25
1- Chimney itself
2- Top brick on chimney
3- Middle brick on chimney
4- Bottom brick on chimney
5- Light one
6- Light two
7- Light three
8- Light four
9- Light five
10- Light six
11- Window pane one
12- Window pane two
13- Window pane three
14- Window pane four
15- Window pane five
16- Window pane six
17- Window pane seven
18- Window pane eight
19- Window pane nine
20- Window pane ten
21- Window pane eleven
22- Window pane twelve 
23- Snowman head
24- Snowman body
25- Front door- Merry Christmas!
Numbered and DONE! All Finished~!
 Once you've finished your advent calendar, figure out 25 activities for your family to do during the month, write them down on 25 different pieces of paper. Fold each one up and use masking tape to
tape them behind each of the numbered items on your calendar. Some ideas?
*Have a snow ball fight
*Go caroling
*Go sledding
*Make hot cocoa
*Fireplace fire
*Buy gifts for Sub-for-Santa
*Deliver neighbor gifts
*Make cookies
*Make fudge/caramel
*Go on a drive to see Christmas lights
*Read a favorite Christmas book
*Go to a Christmas concert
*Make gingerbread houses
*Shovel walk for neighbors
*Make a snowman
*Go Christmas shopping
*Visit a senior center with treats
*Make your own candy canes
*Decorate the tree
*Make garlands
*Go to the Nutcracker
*Watch a favorite Christmas movie
*Make a snow fort
*Rake neighbor's leaves
*Decorate for Christmas
*Hang the lights
*Donate to a food bank
*Volunteer at a soup kitchen
*Wrap Christmas presents
*Pick Secret Santas (kids pick their siblings names out of a hat and do kind things for them 'secretly' for a week, then try to guess who has who)
*Read the Christmas story from the Bible
*Act out the Christmas story using costumes

Have any other ideas? Post them as a comment to this post and share with everyone else! I can guarantee you it will be much appreciated.  (especially by me....)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday: How to Clean Plastic/Vinyl Shower Curtains/Bath Mats Like a Pro!

This is so incredibly easy (like most of the things I post on here, let's be honest. I like to save a little time and effort when I clean). I learned this from my mom, who learned it from my older sister. Where she learned it from? I can't say. All you need:

*Washing Machine
*Baking Soda

You can see my curtain was a little wrinkled after the wash- I'll
be honest- I didn't care. I wash just glad I didn't have to
buy a new shower curtain.
Take your (plastic/vinyl) grimy shower curtain off the rings and put it in your clothing washer with 2-3 cups of bleach and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Wash on hot. When the wash cycle is finished, re-hang the curtain on its rings and hang it on its bar to dry. Good as new. Well, maybe not new- but it will get rid of mold, mildew and other gross shower build-up. Great for vinyl bath mats, too!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday: Perfect 4 Ingredient Autumn Wassail

For me, there is something about a chilled glass of apple cider that makes me feel like autumn is coming- and once autumn arrives, in it's blustery chill, nothing warms me like a mug of warm wassail. This is a very simple, fail proof recipe I've been using for years. Truly a basic, and one you can easily make adjustments.

*apple juice
*orange juice
*all spice
*nutmeg (optional)

I almost hate to give instructions; it's so simple!


Combine 1 part orange juice with 1 part apple juice over medium heat in a saucepan. Add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of all spice per 4 cups of beverage. (i.e., 2 cups of orange juice, 2 cups of apple juice, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of all spice) If you are a nutmeg fan, sprinkle a dash in to taste. Simply heat to a slow boil, remove from heat, and enjoy your mulled autumn wassail with a good book and bowl of popcorn in front of the fire. You can also serve it with cinnamon sticks, just for a little added fun.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday: How to Fly with a Baby

Don't panic.

I know that the thought of flying with little ones, especially a baby, can bring terrible fear to the heart of a young mother. Believe me: I've known it. When my daughter was about five months old, I took her on her second flight, this time sans my husband. We had two connections and to make everything lovely and complicated, at that time, I was feeding my baby pumped breastmilk, meaning I had to find a time and place every few hours to pump while juggling my baby in public. Fairly nightmarish, I will concede.

BUT! Let's not lose hope. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you fly without cause for concern when you're toting an infant along with you.

1: What to expect from the airlines

*You will still have to go through security. Many airlines have a special, expedited lane for mothers with children. Be sure to ask- it can save hours.

*You are allowed to bring a stroller and a car seat (both will be checked as you get onto the airplane itself, meaning you can take it all the way to the door of the plane) at no extra charge. They are not counted as extra baggage. If you have an extra seat on the airplane for your baby, you will take your car seat on board and sit your baby in their car seat and buckle them in for departure and landing.

*You will have to carry your baby, sans blanket, through a metal detector. Your stroller, car seat, luggage, shoes, belt, etc., will all have to go through the scanning machine, while you, barefoot, take your baby through.

*You are allowed to bring breastmilk/water for formula/already mixed bottles through security in spite of liquid restrictions. Additionally, you can bring an ice pack for your infants milk/formula. Often, TSA employees will want to scan your breastmilk/formula/bottles to make sure they are what you say they are- when they do, you can request them to change their gloves and put the milk/bottles on a clean towel, so as not to spread bacteria on them.

*On your boarding pass, it will need to say "infant in arms" if you have not purchased an extra seat and ticket for your little one. If your boarding pass doesn't have that printed, you can speak to any airline employee and they will direct you where you need to go to get it changed.

*Check with your flight before getting on. After making it through security and to your departure gate, go speak to one of the employees that is at the desk by your departure gate. Let them know that you have an infant with you and, if the flight is not full, they will often give you a seat next to an unoccupied one, so you have somewhere to seat your baby. If the flight is full, request an aisle seat, and one towards the back. You will likely be getting up to change diapers and soothe your infant. An aisle seat makes that easy. A seat in the back, near the engines, can be both calming, due to the sound from the engines, as well as muffle any crying your little one may go through. Not to mention, you'll be near the bathrooms. I guarantee you'll be heading there with baby often!

*You will be boarded first. Those with special needs, including flying with children, are seated first, giving you extra time to get settled in.

2: What to Bring

*Regularly stocked diaper bag (milk, treats, burp cloths, diapers, wipes) PLUS

-2 changes of clothes for little one
-1 change of clothes for you (just a plain shirt and leggings could be a lifesaver)
-Hand sanitizer
-Sanitizing wipes (for wiping down counters in public restrooms, etc)
-Changing mat (you WILL want to bring your own changing mat for the rest rooms on the plane)
-Extra binkies
-Baby aspirin (you don't want to be caught with an infant getting a fever and no way to relieve their temperature)

3: What you Need to Know

*Some people may be annoyed to see a baby one flight. Most, however, are extra friendly and over the top helpful. Most are parents and grandparents and know the potential trauma of flying with a little child. You can expect many friendly smiles, offers for help, and understanding looks. Far more rarely will you catch an annoyed face.

*You want your child sucking on something during takeoff and landing. The change in air pressure for your baby can be painful and lead to hours of unhappy crying. To avoid this, either be feeding your baby during takeoff/landing, or have a binkie for them to suck on. The sucking can help them to pop their ears.

*It's going to take time. Although airlines in general do quite a bit to make traveling with an infant less taxing, it takes time to get seated, go through security, and deal with any unexpected blow outs. Plan ahead and arrive with lots of time to waste at the airport.

*You will probably not be sitting by a window, watching the clouds go by, thinking deep thoughts. I do enjoy flying, quite a bit, but flying with an infant is a different matter altogether. Your time, thoughts, and efforts will all go to calming your child, holding your child, rocking them, feeding them, changing them, etc. While bringing a good book or Kindle might come in handy, it is far more likely that your every moment on the airplane will be devoted to your little one.

*Don't sweat it! It's a few hours, one day at worst, but it won't destroy your life. Be prepared, take a deep breath, and look forward to arriving wherever it is you get to travel!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday: DIY Turtle Pinata

For my baby's first birthday party, we ended up having a turtle themed party. Why? Because..... I'm not entirely sure. Probably for my husband, actually, who has a turtle. Anyhow, I ended up having to make all sorts of turtle themed decor and food, including an amazing turtle shaped cake (and when I say amazing, I do mean edible and kinda-looks-like-a-turtle). But my pièce de résistance? This turtle pinata. It is...

*simple to make
*kinda-looks-like a turtle

If you feel the urge to follow me in my footsteps, here is what I did.

*one newspaper's worth of newspaper
*green craft paint/ paintbrush
*green construction paper
*duct tape

Step 1
Mix flour and water together in a bowl until it is about the consistency of thin pancake batter. Cut strips of newspaper about one inch wide. Blow up a balloon (not too full, or you'll end up with it popping before the pinata is done).

Step 2
Dip the strips of newspaper into your flour/water mix (glue) and pull the strip through your fingers to remove excess glue, so there is just a thin layer on both sides of the newspaper. Layer this onto the balloon, one strip at a time, until the balloon is mostly covered. As this is a turtle, the bottom third of the balloon doesn't need to be covered.

Step 3
Allow the covered balloon to dry completely (best when by a fan for 1-2 hours), then repeat the layering process. Continue this until you have 4-5 layers on your pinata.

Step 4
Now, you get to pop your balloon! Using a serrated blade, cut off any extra paper-mache that compromises your turtle-shape. (It's pretty difficult to get a perfect shape without needing to cut off extra, so don't be afraid to brandish that blade.)

Step 5
Paint your shell green. Next, cut out a basic head, tail, and foot shape from green construction paper. Bend the shapes at the edge at a 90 degree angle, then stick to the pinata using duct tape.

Step 6
Fill your pinata with candy, then use strips of duct tape to secure all that sweet candy inside of your pinata. Naturally, some tape will show on the bottom sides after you're done. Brush some green paint over the duct tape and no-one needs to know.

Step 7
Here's your final step. Poke two small holes right next to each other on the top of the pinata with a knife. Use the hook of the hanger to go in and then out of these two holes and voila! You have something to hang the pinata with.

Is it the most life-like turtle pinata you will ever see? Probably not. But, I thought I'd share the idea and hopefully give you a hand up when you are making your own pinatas. They do, after all, make a party a PARTY!

What a cute little buddy.... too bad he had to die

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday: Fishin' in Alaska

On behalf of my grandpa's favorite joke today.... he thought it was hilarious and I have to admit I did, too.

Tuesday: How to Make DIY Dishwasher Cleaner

Funk. Funky. Funkier. Great words to describe some awesome music from the '70's- but when you are talking about a cleaning appliance, these are not words you want associated with them. Namely, your dishwasher. Responsible for destroying all food particles and bacteria from our dishes- but sometimes, they get rather pungent. Also gross.

Don't shell out hundreds of bucks for a fresh new one- make your dishwasher fresh all over again with a very simple DIY dishwasher cleaner.

*Empty your dishwasher

*Put in 3x your normal amount of dishwasher soap (granules or gel)
*Pour 1-2 cups of bleach into the bottom
*Dump a box of baking soda in
*Turn your dishwasher on its hottest, longest setting, and let the machine clean itself for you! You'll be pleasantly surprised at how clean it gets- and love getting that funky smell out!

(PS- Want something to get rid of water drop stains? Re-run your dishwasher on HOT with 4 cups of vinegar. Good luck!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday: How to Have Perma-Fresh Breath

We've all had it. And we ALL hate it. Bad breath. Halitosis. Morning breath. Coffee breath. Old man breath. There are endless names for it and they are ALL awful. The main causes for bad breath are



*recently eaten food

 So, for ALL of us, here are 5 tips for perma-fresh breath.

1. Hydrate. Like Crazy. You should be drinking water all day long. If your body ever lacks water, one of the first places it is manifests it is in your mouth by lowering the amount of saliva in your mouth. More saliva means less bad breath. Avoid this and drink water all day long.

2. Munch on Veggies. More saliva=less bad breath. Stimulate saliva production by munching on crisp raw vegetables like carrot sticks or celery. The vegetables leave very little scent in your mouth and stimulate your saliva, giving you fresher breath.

3. Leave Mints Be. Mints and small candies will freshen your breath momentarily, but leave a residue that leaves your mouth smelling worse off than before. Want a breath freshener? Try a sugar-free mint gum that won't leave the same residue.

4. Tongue Scraper. Don't have one? Buy one. Your tongue is often the top culprit for any breath issues you have and, no matter how great you brush your tongue, a tongue scraper is more effective for cleaning. Use a tongue scraper when brushing your teeth and even carry one around in your purse during the day for touch ups.

5. Gargle Mouthwash with Your Head Back. One of the toughest places to remove bad breath-causing is in the back of your mouth and into your throat. One of the most effective ways to remove this bacteria is using mouthwash, tilting your head back. It may seem like a small change, but makes all the difference.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday: Pregnant Men

I just say this cause I know how my husband is when he gets sick.... I don't even know what men would
do if they could get pregnant.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday: How to Make Your Own Paint Brush

This may not be your solution to every painting project- especially very complex ones- but when you are running low on supplies or are just in a hurry to touch something up (I fell into this situation the other day)- use a cheap cleaning sponge as a paint brush. Ingenious? Maybe not. But a nice tip when in a tight situation? Yes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday: The Truth about Mean Girls

Now, I do wonder if there is any kind of meaning in this.... after all, these 'mean girls' (Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried) sure seem to be some pretty hot heartthrob actresses.....and Lindsay Lohan isn't really doing so hot, so.....

(PS to my followers- I am sorry I have not posted for a few weeks- I am in the early throes of some pretty intense morning sickness these days.... but I hope to be back up and running soon!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday: PIMP "Perfectly Incredible Mashed Potatoes"

Why be a pimp when you can make PIMP instead? Perfectly Incredible Mashed Potatoes, that is. You can also call these the best mashed potatoes ever- or the most creamy mashed potatoes ever... Basically these mashed potatoes are

*incredibly delicious
*practically negative nutritional value

You can use this as a reward for yourself- or to impress cranky old relatives at family parties.

*4 peeled, diced raw potatoes
*4 tb butter
*4 tb cream cheese
*6 tb sour cream
*dash garlic powder
*salt/pepper to taste

Once you have the ingredients, the how-to is pretty easy.

-Boil diced potatoes in salt water

-While potatoes are boiling, put the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream into a separate bowl

-Once potatoes are ccompletely mashable and soft, drain the water and put the potatoes into your bowl with the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream, then mash, mash, mash

-Season with garlic powder and salt/pepper to taste

Add cheese or gravy to finish them and then enjoy! You won't be able to go back to normal mashed potatoes every again!

Mmm... Chicken Gravy....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday: How to Store Fruits/Veggies: Which Need Refrigeration and Which DON'T

Be prepared to be shocked. And AWED. At the fruits and veggies that actually DON'T need to be refrigerated! Ok, you won't be shocked and awed. Probably. But still, this is a handy list for anyone that buys or eats fruits and veggies.

*As a general rule, once any fruit/veggie has been cut open, you'll need to refrigerate it. Until then, however, MANY can be left out.

**Until ripe. Once ripe, refrigerate to slow aging.
Fruits Requiring Refrigeration
Fruits that Do NOT Require Refrigeration












**Until ripe. Once ripe, refrigerate to slow aging.
Vegetables Requiring Refrigeration
Vegetables that Do NOT Require Refrigeration
Leafy vegetables (arugula, lettuce, spinach, etc.)
Beans (black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, etc.)
Green beans
Winter squashes (butternut and acorn)
Asparagus (best stored in a plastic bag filled with water)





Sweet potatoes



Need to ripen a fruit or vegetable? Put it in a paper bag with a banana. Bananas give off a gas that causes fruits and veggies to ripen more quickly. Knowing that, keep them way from your ripe fruits and veggies!


To slow down the ripening of avocados, honeydews, or cantaloupes, put them in the refrigerator until 24 hours before you want to use them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday: Don't be a Frumpy Mom!

Sometimes I see women without children -makeup perfectly applied, hair expertly styled, manicured toes, dressed stylishly with coordinating accessories- and I envy them. I remember when I was once stylish and well put together, but being a 'well put together mom' feels like an oxymoron now. If I can get out the door with my baby wearing something clean and my own teeth brushed, I feel like I've accomplished something.

Much as I want to spend an hour (perhaps two?) getting ready each morning and look impeccable when I leave my home, with a baby, it's really not possible (not to mention a bout of morning sickness to add to my woes).


That DOES NOT mean that I, NOR YOU, need to be a frumpy mom.

Frumpy Momˈfrəm-pē ˈməm: Someone who uses the excuse of being a busy mother to justify lazy and poorly put together outfits. Some examples include 'mom jeans', sweats with flip flops, and the eternal ponytail.

Fortunately, keeping yourself away from being a frumpy mom doesn't have to take hours to do! In fact, while you may never be quite as stylish and fashionable as you were as a single 20's something, you CAN maintain style without compromising your limited time.

Frumpy Mom
Chic Mom

Flip Flops
You throw on any old pair because they are comfortable and easy
As easy and comfortable to wear as flip flops, a pair of flats can make your outfit look more thought out (even if it wasn’t!)

Pony Tails
Yes, they are easy to do- but don’t show any real style (though it is better than not doing anything with your hair…)
Use a few bobby pins or an extra pony tail holder to transform your pony tail into a bun. Only a few seconds longer to get ready, but it will make a world of difference in how you feel looking into the mirror.
A bolo or wide floppy brimmed hat are easy ways to cover your ridiculous hair and, rather than take away from your style, ADD to your suave-ness.

T-shirt and Jeans
It’s a classic- and can look amazing- but too often, we moms (I’m guilty, too!) wear any old shirt and jeans KNOWING it does nothing for your figure
Hanging Necklace and Sweater
Add a light sweater and a long necklace to your t-shirt and jeans and suddenly, you have an adorable coordinated outfit. With minimal effort!

Eeek! You’ll only feel comfortable as Wal Mart past midnight in something like this….
Maxi Skirt/Dress

So, play it up in a maxi skirt or dress instead! Just as comfortable (if not MORE comfy) than your jammies, you can do all of your mom duties in a maxi dress but look perfectly stylish the whole time.

The options!

Shapeless Dresses
The lack of shape makes them comfy to wear and easy to pull on, but trust me: Doing you NO favors. Instead?
Long Necklace and Mini Belt
Throw on the shapeless dress- but add a long necklace to draw the eye up and a mini belt around your natural waist to break up the dress and give you’re a more slender figure.

No Makeup?
We’ve all done it. Perhaps more than we’d like to admit.
The Basics
The basic-basics take less than 30 seconds but absolutely changes the way you look and feel.
*apply blush lightly to cheekbones and then brush over eyelids
*one light, swift coating of mascara on the top lashes only
*lip gloss
Will it look as amazing as a fully done face of makeup? No. But is it a vast improvement over nothing? Hands down.

NOTHING to Wear!
This is my biggest challenge personally. I wake up, have a crazy morning, need to run out the door, and have just no idea of what to wear.
Treat Yourself Like a Kid
How often have you set out clothing for your child for the next day? Or set together outfits for vacation all read to go? Maybe even in a Ziploc bag? Make your OWN life easier- the night before, put together an outfit on your dresser, so that the next morning, all you have to do is put it on. You can even do a week’s worth of outfits and lay them out so everyday, it’s as easy to wear a stylish outfit as it would be to just roll out in your scrubs.

Just pretend you're your own Pinterest and actually SET OUT those outfits you're always pinning...

In the end, it just takes a few moments of preparation before you walk out the door- and I feel like it is totally worth it. I never want my husband to even THINK that I've "let myself go" since getting married... Plus, you don't want to run into an ex looking like a frumpy mom, am I right?

New to mom-ing? Check out 5 Tips for First Time Moms.