Friday Fresh Picks: Fourth of July Favorites

Friday, June 30, 2017

After Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is probably my favorite holiday. It's one of those low-key holidays that's all about food, family, friends, and fun. What's not to love about that? As we are gearing up to celebrate next week, I've been planning festive meals, decorations, desserts, and games to enjoy on the day.

In this installment of Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few of my favorite Fourth of July-themed items.

How To Simplify Your Workouts

Thursday, June 29, 2017
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When you’ve got a fitness goal to work towards, you usually want to make sure that everything you are doing works in favor of that goal. You might have a short-term goal, such as losing a certain amount of weight this week. Or maybe you are working towards an event like a wedding or a holiday, and you’re looking for some all-round fitness in the meantime. Either way, it helps if you plan out your workout sessions as well as you can, as this ensures that you get much more out of them. When you are doing so, what should you focus on?


Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The six things every successful woman should keep at her desk via Well+Good.

2. What you should do with an extra $1,000 via Refinery29.

3. How to find 20 minutes per day to read even when you're super busy via Real Simple.

Should You Hire An Interior Designer?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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So you've decided that your home could use a makeover . Maybe you want to convert one room into something else, or you simply want to try out a new design because you’re bored with the current one. The question that will pop up eventually is this: should you hire an interior designer?

I asked my friend Allison who is an interior designer to help sort out the good and the bad for us. Allison started her carerr working for a large furniture retailer but now owns her own design business. She's seen all sorts of situations and budgets, and makes cases for both hiring and not hiring a professional to help.


Flaky Cod with Tapenade

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Summer conjures up many wonderful feelings and associations with foods, from the spicy warmth of Jamaican jerk chicken (with delicious rice and peas) or a simple cone of vanilla ice cream to enjoy along a beachside walk. But arguably the best thing about summer when it comes to food is the opportunity to gather around the table and eat food that was freshly caught that day. With all the talk of food being fresh, organic or free-range, you cannot get any better than fresh-caught fish, and there's plenty of it here at the Jersey shore.

Aside from the fact that it is absolutely amazing for you (full of omega 3s, healthy fats, and plenty of protein), fish goes with pretty much anything and everything. You can have a fish with a summer salad, fish with Mediterranean vegetables covered in olive oil, and the old British classic that is eaten all year round, fish and chips.

And as summer gets in full swing, the options for fish are plenty. You can go to your local seafood market and get pretty much any type of fish you desire. Some of us are more adventurous when it comes to our fish, and some are really are not. One fish you can't go wrong with is cod. It's delicious when caught fresh and doesn’t taste too “fishy,”. It's a great great to use when introducing fish to children since it's flaky, tasty, and light.

Here’s an easy recipe for cod and a tapenade that doesn’t take long at all to whip up at home.

How To Reach Out To A Friend In Need

Monday, June 26, 2017
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We all know how hard it can be in the tough times, to reach out to those around us and ask for help. Sometimes one of the most difficult things in life can be just admitting that we are not coping and that we need support. When a friend is going through a crisis and could use a good friends, try one of these tactics to offer support.

Be There
If your friend is going through something really tough like a divorce, a death in the family, a medical condition,  or the loss of a job or serious financial worries, the best thing that you can do is to remind them that you are there. Painful times in life are very isolating so you will want to make sure that you make contact and let her know that you are there for anything that she, or he, needs. Once you reach out initially, follow up. Don't go radio silent. Leave a voice mail or send a text message to let your friend know that he/she is on your mind. It will go a long way to help cheering her up.


The Trick to Having a Memorable Vacation

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vacations can provide memories that remain with us for our entire lives. Years later you can find yourself discussing a particular vacation memory that is cherished by everyone who was there. Whether your vacations are frequent or few and far between, you want them to be memorable.

A trick I use time and time again for creating a memorable vacation is to try something different. It can be eating at a new-to-you restaurant, going to a different beach, or trying a new activity such as boating or hiking.

Every summer my sisters and I and our respective families spend a week in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It's where we grew up vacationing, and since August 2007, we've been sharing our love for Rehoboth with our families.

Two years ago we decided to do something we haven't done in all the years we've been visiting Rehoboth; we rented a boat for the day. It had been something that everyone in the group wanted to do, so it made our decision that much easier. We called a local boat rental company and booked a self-guided excursion for a day.

You can find an extensive list of boat rentals and applicable information through Discovery Boating. There is rental and ownership information as well as a boat selector tool to help you determine the right boat for your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

We finally decided upon a pontoon boat. We needed a boat that was roomy enough to fit at least 9 people, and we wanted the option of being able to swim off the boat. Renting a boat turned out to be the best decision of our vacation. We had the BEST time! Not surprising, we've been doing it every year since that first boating adventure.

The girls loved having a chance to sit in the driver's seat. And the rest of us loved the gorgeous views along the inlet.

Although I don't do it often enough, going out on the boat is one of my favorite water activities. We had a party of 9 people, and there truly was something for everyone to enjoy. Fishing, swimming, relaxing and sunbathing, and nature-watching. There's always something new to discover when boating.

Obviously, my favorite activity is swimming. I love the freedom of jumping off the side of the boat and splashing into the cool water.

For more information on how you can get started on your very own boating adventure, click HERE. Discover Boating can guide you in the right direction before deciding whether to buy or rent a boat and help you find the most reputable retailer.

Be sure to check out more vital boating resources at Discover Boating today!
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How To Bond With Your Parents As An Adult

Saturday, June 24, 2017
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Relationships evolve as we get older, which sometimes means we grow apart from the people we knew as children. However, there are a couple of people who will always be in your life no matter what; your parents. One of the biggest confirmations of adulthood is the fact that you are now solely responsible for your own well-being, and while we certainly value the advice of our parents and elders, we are no longer obligated to take immediate direction from them.

It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I had a much better appreciation for my parents as parents but also as people separate from parenting. I was able to make the shift from seeing them as my authority figures but rather see them as parenting peers. Whether you have a good or difficult relationship with your parents, here are a few ways that relationship can evolve to mutual, but loving respect between adults.

Think of them as equals
While you may always give them a certain level of respect, it’s time to treat your parents as equal adults. If your parents still treat you like a kid, despite the fact that you have kids of your own, you may have to demonstrate your maturity by acting like an adult around them. Set boundaries, talk to them as friends, and soon they will start treating you like a grown up. The best way you can do this is to deal with your own problems yourself instead of always asking them for help; emotional support is always welcome, but as an adult they need to understand that you are responsible for your own problems.

My Summer Reading List

Friday, June 23, 2017

For me summer is a great excuse to unplug, kick back and devour a great book. Carefree weekends spent lounging on your deck or patio, by the pool, or on the beach were made for reading. At one time, I could put away two books per week, easily. These days that's no longer an option. Since I can't devote as much time to reading as I once could, I tend to be very selective about the books I choose to read. My choices are based on recommendations from friends, authors I love, and the New York Times best sellers list.

I've carefully selected the following six books for my 2017 summer reading list.

1. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
Last summer I read Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. I couldn't put it down. Seriously. It was a page turner. When I heard that she had written a second book, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on an advanced copy of it. If you haven't yet read Behind Closed Doors, you can read my review and then race out to buy the book. The Breakdown is another gripping thriller filled with suspense, the unknown, and the unforgivable. Stay tuned. I'll be posting a full review in the blog within two weeks.

Note: The Breakdown is available for pre-order and will be released on July 18, 2017.


Best Online Reads

Thursday, June 22, 2017

1. The smart way to procrastinate via Huffington Post.

2. Why you experience boredom via The Guardian.

3. No-bake summer desserts everyone will love via Woman's Day.


Summer To-Do List

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's the first day of summer, so it seems only fitting to share our summer to-do list. Here at the Jersey Shore, there is no shortage of fun summer activities, events, and random things to do. From beach movies to local fairs to concerts and so much more, you'll find plenty to keep the entire family entertained for a few months.

Here's to a summer full of sun, sand, and checking everything below off the list!

1. Go peach picking and make this dessert and these cookies.

3. Walk across The Brooklyn Bridge.

5 Issues To Resolve Before Selling Your Home

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
When your home hits the market, your number one goal is to sell as quickly as possible. By doing this, you'll avoid the nightmare scenario where a house is left for months or in some cases years on the market. It’s easy to avoid this possibility when you know how to make your home attractive to buyers. However, before you even start to consider the improvements you can make, you need to look at the problems. There are certain home issues that will immediately cause buyers to lose interest and completely avoid buying your property. Think about the problems that alert you when you visit a potential new home. You should always tackle these problems before the house goes on the market.

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1. Cramped And Cluttered
If your home looks cramped and cluttered it’s going to look far too small for potential buyers, and that’s a problem. Particularly, if you are eager to attract young couples or families . They want a property that is spacious with plenty of room for their family to thrive and grow. Even if your home is large, it can still look small if it’s packed full of furniture, and most potential buyers have a difficult time seeing beyond the clutter.


How To Take The Simple Stresses Out Of Daily Life

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Now that summer break has arrived, many parents are feeling in an extra pinch in their schedules. Whether you work full-time, part-time, or stay-at-home, we are all feeling a little extra stress with the onslaught of summer break upon us. Many of us need to find camps and daycare for our children. Or we are pressured to get them into summer activities that are entertaining and fulfulling. This can often mean an extra burden that we don't normally experience during the school year. With that in mind, here are some simple ways I reduce some of the extra stress I experience during the summer months.


Truths About Moving That Every Family Should Know

Monday, June 19, 2017
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If you’re in the process of searching for a new home, it is most likely the most important thing you’ll do this year. When you find "the one", the perfect home, it will form the heart of a happy existence for the entire family.

This is an exciting time in your life, but it cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, educating yourself with a few home truths is a vital part of those early preparations. Knowledge is power, and this information will put you in a position of authority and will help you avoid serious ramifications later.

Tips For Starting Your Day On The Right Foot

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It's Monday, and what better time to chat about ways to get off on the right foot the moment our feet hit the floor? We’ve all heard the expression ‘waking up on the wrong side.’ And, there’s no denying that some days, you wake up in a bad mood. You could attribute that ‘wrong side of the bed’ headspace to the events that happen just after you leave your bed. Your morning routine, rather than what side of the bed you get out of, makes every difference in how your day progresses. If you receive bad news or even stub your toe first thing, it sets the tone for the entire day. But there are other, controllable factors that can influence the way your day plays out.


Home Improvements That Pay Off

Saturday, June 17, 2017
Whether you’ve just moved into a new house, or you’ve been settled for several years and you’re planning to sell, there are a number of ways you can breathe life into a worn-in property, give yourself some extra space and comfort, and ultimately add a little more value to your home to help boost the asking price. While home improvement is the most effective way to ensure a good price when it's time to sell, some people invest their time and money in things that offer little return, or that even bring down the overall value of the house. Obviously, you want to make sure the money and effort is going to be worth it, so here are a few suggestions for home improvements that are certain to add value to your home.

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Attic Conversions
If you want a good return on your investment, consider an attic conversion. It's a safe investment, and can be carried out with relative ease and little disruption to your daily life. For most homes, this is the easiest way to add an extra bedroom, perhaps with an en suite. Extra bedrooms typically add between 10 and 15 percent to the value of any property, and can be a very practical addition for young couples with a growing family. The only drawback to an attic conversion is that it takes a large initial investment, which can be hard to cover for many people. A new staircase, and a large bedroom with skylights or dormer windows can typically cost close to $50,000. Although it can be a little nerve-wracking to pump this amount of money into your home, the immediate increase in value makes the investment well worth it!


Tips For Helping Your Kids Fall and Stay Asleep

Friday, June 16, 2017

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Sleep. It’s such a simple thing. But, when you have kids, your sleep patterns definitely start to change. Before you were a parent, you could get all of the sleep you wanted. Eight hours a night used to be a goal easily met. With you have children, though, this task becomes a lot harder. From birth through their teenager years, kids can throw a wrench into the sleeping habits of their parents. But, solving this issue isn’t as hard as most of us think. There’s usually a reason for your child failing to sleep. Any number of things can keep someone awake.

It’s important to understand why sleep is important to a child. There is no shortage of credible theories floating around. Studies do shoe that humans perform much better after they’ve had the right amount of sleep. For a growing child, the right amount of sleep could be anywhere from eight to twelve hours each night. Without this, they could struggle to do their school work or even develop properly. And, so, sleep is critical to children. And, it’s an area worth working on if you've got a little one struggling to either fall asleep or stay asleep.


Friday Fresh Picks: What's On My Radar

It's been a crazy, busy, emotional week here. The last day of school is today, and with that comes a host of end-of-year activities, events, and shows. Plus, Harper graduated from elementary school yesterday, and that's brought a whole other level of emotion to my otherwise peri menopausal emotional state. Needless to say, I've been need of distractions.

In today's Friday Fresh Picks, I'm sharing a few fun things on my radar lately that have proven to be great distractions when I've needed to step back for just a moment. I hope you find something here that piques your interest.

A few months ago I told my sister that if Fleetwood Mac ever tours again, we are going to see them. Hello, bucket list. Looks like I'll be able to cross this one off my list as Stevie Nicks is reuniting with the band to go on tour.

I've taken a break from my weekly menu plan posts because I felt uninspired and burned out. But when I found this YouTube series, I was intrigued. I've been trying to find some fresh and inventive ways to prepare meals on busy nights and during busy weeks to save time. This series of videos solves my dilemma.


Three Summer Projects For You and The Kids

Thursday, June 15, 2017
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If you have young children, it's always good to have a few back up plans for sumer activities in the event of inclement or overly hot weather. Summer doesn't always mean vacation. It's just a well-deserved break from work and school, giving you that much-needed quality time with the ones you love.

Having said that, kids don't always see it that they. They get bored easily and then complain and whine until you think of an activity for them to do. So why not come up with a few fun projects this summer? Something that you can all do together, that's fun and is also a great way to bond too.

Here are a few ideas for projects you can do as a family.

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Twenty-three everyday phrases Friends gave us via Digital Spy.

2. 10 iconic American road trips to take at least once via Condé Nast Traveler.

3. Playboy playmates recreate their cover photos years later via Huffington Post.


The Perfect Beach Sweater

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When I was a kid, we took one vacation a year. It was to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a week. I have so many great memories from those weeks, but one thing always comes back to me: once the sun set, it became chilly. Nightly strolls on the boardwalk required an extra layer of clothing.

These days instead of visiting the beach once a year, I now live at the beach year round. And though we like to think that all days at the beach are warm and sunny, it's not necessarily true. There are plenty of occasions that warrant an extra layer (or two) at the beach. If you're planning a beach vacation this summer, it's a good idea to invest in a good beach sweater.

What is the perfect beach sweater? I like a sweater that offers coverage but isn't bulky or chunky. Save those types of sweaters for winter. I also love a sweater with a nautical look and feel. A sweater with stripes, or one that features an anchor or a lobster fit right in at the beach.


Start Your Next Adventure In prAna Activewear #TheWholeYou

Monday, June 12, 2017

This post is written in partnership with Stonyfield and prAna.

It seems the the health of our planet has been getting a lot of publicity lately. From large scale global climate control to small scale changes we can make as individuals in our own homes, taking care of Mother Earth has never been more en vogue. Green is the new black, and if you are not doing your part to help save this planet, you're failing the world you live in.

I've been passionate about making this world a greener and healthier place to call home. I've proudly been recycling for almost 20 years. And within the past 10 years, I've made a series of changes to the way I eat, the way I dress, and the way I clean my home to be more eco-friendly. The changes haven't always been easy, but I can say that they have definitely been worth it.

About six years ago I took the first steps in making the switch to organic dairy products. After having hear Robin O'Brien speak and subsequently researching the hidden dangers in conventional dairy products, I was convinced that there was no better move to make than to switch to organic dairy. I've been a devotee to Stonyfield products ever since, and lately I've been reaching over and over again for the Organic Whole Milk Greek yogurt.

As always, Stonyfield products are made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics or GMOs and certified USDA organic. Stonyfield uses only fresh, organic whole milk to make its whole milk Greek yogurt.

When I eat Stonyfield dairy products, I know that I am focusing on my whole self. #TheWholeYou could not be easier to achieve when you are eating the right foods and doing what's best for you.

I love adventure. Everything from hiking to hitting an amusement park satisfies my sense of adventure and keeps me whole. But sometimes, I want to be adventurous and athletic without necessarily looking like I've just run a marathon. When I need clothes for those occasions, I always turn to prAna.

prAnmakes versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day. From yoga to hiking to brunching, prAna has you covered with chic alternatives to typical athleisure clothing. 

I was in search of a stylish pair of shorts that would work for hiking, city exploring, lunching seaside with friends, or relaxing on my deck outdoors. When I found the Tess Shorts, I was thrilled. They were exactly what I was looking for. The cargo style offered the pockets that I needed and yet they were still slightly dressy and could work for going from hiking in the park to brunching al fresco.

The Tess Short is made of 97% organic cotton and features just the right amount of stretch. There is a 5" inseam, and the shorts can be worn rolled up or down.

Here I am wearing the Tess Shorts with a boho, peasant style top, but these shorts work just as well with a tank top or tee shirt. The beauty of these shorts is that whatever the occasion, the Tess Short works. You can dress them up or down. Pair them with sneakers or dressy sandals. Versatility is the name of the game here!

prAna is offering Pieces of a Mom readers a 15% discount on your entire prAna purchase with code WHOLES17PAM.

Check out the prAna web site and start shopping for your next adventure!

Tips For Establishing (and Keeping) Good Sleep Habits

Sunday, June 11, 2017
Once you fall into a bad sleeping pattern, it can be a monumental task getting out of it. Whether you are a new mom and have a little baby waking you constantly throughout the night or you are a seasoned mom burning the midnight oil to get everything done, establishing good sleep habits may be the last thing on your mind. Your usual routines go out the window, and you end up developing poor habits. 

The good news is that you can improve your sleep hygiene, even when you are juggling a million other things such as motherhood, work, friends, and more.

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Avoid Daytime Naps
One of the biggest challenges we face as new moms and busy moms is avoiding sleeping during the day when you are exhausted. It’s important to stick to a routine as much as possible, or you will end up developing habits that will be hard to break at a later stage. Your natural body clock needs to be maintained, although there is a little leeway for making changes according to your baby’s sleep patterns. If you have to sleep because you are too tired to carry on without it, make sure you do so before 3 pm - and time after that will impact on your sleep hygiene far too much.


Can't Get A Stain Out? Try This.

Friday, June 9, 2017
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When you’re struggling to get something clean, it can feel like the most frustrating thing ever. Whether you’re trying to get your whites whiter or to remove a bad stain, you can often feel like you’ve tried everything to get it out. Shortly after we had our dining room furniture delivered, I, of course, spilled some pasta sauce on a chair. Instead of settling for the pesky stain, I tried something new. From professional, natural and quick and easy tips, here’s what you need to know to deal with stubborn stains.

First up, let’s talk laundry. If you've got children, you will, most certainly, find different marks and stains on your clothing and household items. Whether it’s grass stains on your kid's clothes, makeup marks, or even sweat stains on your workout gear, you can often feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. But, instead of spending lots of money on trying new stain removers and tricks, why not think about using a natural remedy? Believe it or not, vinegar works wonders and could be the solution you’re looking for.


Tips For Getting More Nutrients Into Your Kids' Meals

Thursday, June 8, 2017
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We all know how important it is for our kids to eat a healthy, nutrient-packed diet, but as anyone who’s ever brought up a fussy toddler will know, feeding your kids the things that are good for them is rarely easy.

If you’re currently dealing with a fussy eater and you’re tearing your hair out trying to work out how to ensure they get all of the vitamins and minerals they need to grow up healthy and strong, check out these simple techniques for increasing your kids’ nutrient intake:

Hide the Good Stuff
Veggies, in particular, can be a tough sell for children, who prefer sweeter foods and often dislike the texture of vegetables, but that doesn’t mean that you should throw in the towel and admit defeat, especially when getting them to eat their veggies is so simple. Sneak the veggies into the meals you know they love. The best way to do this is by pureeing onions, carrots, and spinach, and more and then adding them to soups, sauces and stews and even smoothies. The kids won’t know they’re there, so there’ll be no tantrums at the dinner table.


Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The difference between inspiration and imitation via Design Sponge.

2. Four ways to get outside this summer via Clementine Daily.

3. Hard truths and helpful tips from a life coach via ManRepeller.

4. Twenty epic salad recipes to make this summer via Cookie + Kate.

5. The benefits of talking to yourself via The New York Times.

6. Ten foods that are better frozen via Refinery29.

7. Seinfeld episodes from the point of view of the girlfriends via The New Yorker.

8. Same-sex wedding pictures that will tug at your heartstrings via BoredPanda.

9. Ten things that make you more attractive and have nothing to do with your physical appearance via Redbook.

10. How to make your hotel room feel like home via Mental Floss.

How To Go Prepared To A House Viewing

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
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House hunting for you and your family can be a very exciting time, and your imagination can run wild with ideas of what the new rooms and outdoor spaces could be transformed into. However, before you get too far ahead of yourself, it’s important to ask the necessary questions about the property you’re viewing to ensure you’re as informed as you possibly can be before you finally make an offer. Even before you go to view a potential home, search online for the surrounding neighborhood, nearby streets, shops, schools, doctors, hospitals, and possible commuting routes. There is often a lot more to a home than the home itself.


Splurge vs. Save

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Every once in a while a product comes along that is so similar to it's expensive, brand name counterpart that a double take is necessary. The first time I saw this saddle bag (above right), I had to look twice to be sure it wasn't the ultra exclusive and expensive bag from Chloé.

Unless you see the bags side by side, it's almost impossible to tell the difference. And the incredible difference in price? Let's just say it's crazy. Cuh-razy.

Looking to spend our tax return check? OK, if you must have the Chloé bag, splurge away.

Want to save big you so you have more to spend on iced lattes, cute tops, and shoes? Grab the SheIn bag while it's still available.

Tips For Guarding Against Food Contamination

Do you ever feel as if you're in a never-ending battle to keep your kids happy, healthy and safe? Welcome to parenthood! You’re a watchful protector, just waiting to swoop in and sock it to the everyday super villains that stand in the way of your children’s health and happiness.

Some of these lurking dangers are easy to see and prevent, (the anxiety of school or the looming threat of a bully).

There are, however, hidden threats that are invisible to the naked eye but are nonetheless lurking in your home waiting for their moment to strike. Worst of all, they’re hiding right under your nose. 
In your food!

Regardless of how much care and attention we put into the food we prepare for our families, it’s our duty to remain vigilant against microscopic malcontents and keep them out of our kids’ bellies. When I recently met with a nutritionist for my own diet needs, she opened my eyes to a host of food-borne bacteria that generally pose a marginal threat to adults with robust immune systems but can cause serious trouble for little ones whose immune systems are still developing.

Here are 3 of the most common food-borne bacteria and common signs and symptoms if you've been infected:
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Listeria is a common bacterium that’s present in all manner of fresh foods, even foods many of us consider safe. In fact, it’s the reason why cashew butter was recalled. When ingested, it can cause a serious condition known as Listeriosis. It can infect vegetables by lurking in the soil and water that nourish them, it’s also present in animal products such as meat and dairy. A tenacious enemy, it can even transmit from contaminated to uncontaminated foods.
Pregnant women and newborns are particularly vulnerable to listeria.

Tips For Making Shopping For Kid's Clothes Less Stressful

Monday, June 5, 2017
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There is no doubt about it that shopping for clothes with your kids can be a stressful experience. From dealing with boys who get bored easily and simply don’t want to be there to girls who don't the shopping experience to ever end (speaking from experience here!). Making sure that the clothes you buy are both the right size and appropriate, can be a potential minefield! And with the rate at which kids grow, it is an experience that you have to go through over and over again.

Here are a few ways I approach shopping for my children's clothes to make the process a bit easier and smoother:

Make a List
Rather than scrambling to figure out what your child needs when you arrive at the store, write out a list before you go. This way, you know exactly what you are looking for and you can save yourself some valuable time once you are there.


Simple Ways To Cut Your Electricity Bills

Saturday, June 3, 2017
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The 21st century is all about technology and progress. In the past, we would have had a TV, refrigerator, and a few other minor household appliances that needed to be powered up on a daily basis. Today we have smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, TVs, kitchen and bathroom appliances, and a whole host of other gadgets, all of which require electricity. It’s not surprising then that, this combined with the growing cost of electricity, means that most of us are paying more for our electricity each month.

Our house was built in 1995. Since that time, efficiency standards have changed. So when we recently had a problem with our hot water heater, our plumber was kind enough to offer us a few efficiency tips that we can apply over our entire household. Here are a few of his suggestions:


Best Online Reads

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Six warning signs your body gives before a heart attack via Woman's Day.

2. Perms are making a comeback via InStyle.

3. Nail trends that will be huge this summer via The Zoe Report.

4. How to take yourself on a date via Clementine Daily.

5. How your drunk personality is very similar to the sober you via Science of Us

6. Five ways to make conversation with kids via Real Simple.

7. Nine things that make you unlikable via Forbes.

8. Why you shouldn't order room service via Condé Nast Traveler.

9. Eight life tips from graduation speeches via A Cup of Jo.

10. How to seat your dinner table guests via The Salonniere.