Category Archives: Tips

Gift Ideas for Infants

As many of you know, my baby boy is going to be turning the big ONE next week. Therefore, I am in full party mode right now trying to get everything done before his big birthday bash. One of the things that I had been struggling with was deciding what to get him for his birthday. After all, he isn’t really going to remember what he gets at this birthday party and he will get lots of toys from relatives and family friends, but as his parents we have to get him something.

Maybe you aren’t the parent of an infant but are going to be attending a birthday party or need to purchase a gift for an infant and don’t know what to get. Below are some of the ideas that I’ve had over the last few days as I struggled to decide what I should buy (and tell others to buy) for my little guy for his birthday.

Walkers – After much deliberation, this was actually the gift my husband and I decided to go with. Basically, we didn’t want to get him another toy that was going to litter our living room floor. Instead, we wanted something that he would have fun with and use. So, we decided on the Melissa and Doug Rattle Rumble Push Toy. We chose this particular one because we like the old-fashioned look and feel of the Melissa and Doug toys, but really any walker similar to this will be a great gift for an infant just learning to walk. Bath Toys – While my little guy has lots of regular toys, he only has one bath toy and it’s one of those floating rubber ducks. He has just reached the age where loves playing in his bath water. He can honestly…

Baby Turns One: What this Year Taught Me

Today my baby boy turned one. I’m seriously in shock that it’s already been an entire year since we welcomed him into the world. While the year has passed quickly, there have been a lot of changes this year including a job change for my husband, milestone birthday for the hubby and myself (30th) and of course, adjusting to life with a baby again. Needless to say, I have learned a lot in the past year and most of it is because of our littlest man.

Take Time to Smell the Roses – I don’t really remember taking the time to appreciate the small things with my oldest son and I blame part of that on the fact that he was our firstborn. With him, I was always trying to teach him something new or anxiously waiting for the next milestone achievement. However, this time around things have been quite different. I often find myself just sitting and watching my little guy crawl around the living room floor and explore new things. Even if he is headed to the blinds, I don’t rush right over there to get him away from them. Instead, I wait and watch to see what happens. I also don’t get impatient when it’s time to give him a bottle and he wants me to hold it instead of him doing it himself. I guess I’ve learned to appreciate these moments now because it won’t be long and he’ll be heading out the door to go hang out with his friends on Saturday night. Don’t Worry about the Small Stuff – One of the things that this little guy has managed to show me is that there isn’t any need to worry about the small stuff. This guy is my laid-back, everything-is-fun guy and the only…

Tips for Losing Weight and Toning Up After Baby

As a mother, I fully understand that joys that come with pregnancy as well as the post-baby blues. I’m not talking about postpartum depression (although the baby blues can lead to that), but rather the sadness that many new mothers feel when they look in the mirror shortly after the baby is born.

While I didn’t experience the post-baby blues with my first son, I did with my second. I had lost a substantial amount of weight before I got pregnant with my youngest and was actually within 10 pounds of my high school weight. Therefore, once I had my son, I was ready to get started on a weight loss plan. However, due to having a c-section I was limited to what I could do for six weeks. Looking in the mirror in the mornings as I got dressed was sometimes all it took to make me cry. I couldn’t help but miss my pre-pregnancy body and wonder if I would ever get it back.

If you are feeling the same way, then don’t stress because you can lose the baby weight and get your pre-pregnancy body back. By counting calories and exercising regularly, I was able to lose all my baby weight and then some within six (6) months of having my littlest guy. However, I still have just a little bit of extra cushion around my mid-section that I want to get off.

The truth is that I’m happy with my weight, but I’m just not as lean as I want to be. Therefore, I’m embarking on a new journey to help me get where I want to be (fitness-wise). Regardless of whether you are like my and just need to tone up or if you have a lot of extra weight to lose, the tips below …

3 Things I’ve Learned from My Son’s First Day of Kindergarten

Well, it finally arrived. Yesterday was my son’s first day of Kindergarten. While a lot of my fellow mommy-friends have posted on Facebook, Twitter and their blogs about saying a tearful farewell as their little one’s headed off to school for the first time, I have to admit that I didn’t have this same experience. In fact, I think I was just as excited about my little guy heading off to school as he was! I know, I sound like a horrible mother don’t I? Before you judge, consider this: my son has been going to all-day school since he attended the 3-year old program at a nearby school…and he LOVES school. My son is pretty outgoing and makes friends easily, and he was excited to get to go back to school and see all his friends again. How can I be sad about that?

I did discover a few things about myself on my son’s first day of Kindergarten though. Here they are:

Quiet time is good. I have to admit, it was a little weird coming back home and only having to care for the 1-year old. The house felt too quiet. However, as the day went on, I realized that I actually like my quiet time. While I love the heck out of my rambunctious 5-year old, it is nice to have a quiet house, giving me the ability to think. Over the summer, I put off most of my work until after the kids had went to bed because it was nearly impossible for me to get it done when they were awake. Now, with a (mostly) quiet house, I’m able get busy as I have the quiet time I desperately need. Time is precious. I have a tendency to rush through my days. I’m always…

How to Spend Your Tax Return II

The first of the year brings the dreaded tax season with it. It’s the time of the year that many Americans dread because we don’t know if we are going to end up owing the government money or if we will be getting some money back. I’m not sure about you, but this time of the year makes me anxious until I get the call from my accountant telling me the “verdict.” Like everyone, there are years when my husband and I have come out ahead and received a tax return but then there have been other years when we have had to pay Uncle Sam.

For those who will be receiving a return this year, it can be pretty tempting to go out, splurge and spend it all. After all, it is your hard earned money being returned to you right? I know how tempting this is from experience. While spending a well-deserved tax return will feel liberating at the time, chances are it will be followed with a feeling of regret when all the “extra” money is gone. Below are a few suggestions for how you can spend your tax return without experiencing “buyers’ remorse” afterwards.

Open a Savings Account: Studies have shown that the majority of people are living paycheck to paycheck with very little money saved, if any at all. In fact, the average American hast more debt than they do savings. If this is you, then why not open a savings account with that tax return? Let that money stay tucked away in case an emergency arises in the future. There are some savings accounts that earn interest, which is always nice. Pay down Debt: As mentioned above, most Americans owe more than they have in savings. If this is you, then paying off a…