by Liz | Chaos Hacks, Health & Home, Life Snapshot, The Backyard
Parenthood is stressful. That’s a no brainer. So when something comes along that can simplify your life, you jump on it. Right?
One of my biggest concerns has always been ensuring my kids get a good meal. I try hard not to let them eat too many processed foods and as a result, we’ve been buying better products for the entire family. I can’t see this as a problem, except for one thing. The cost.
Purchasing organic produce and products that adhere to a higher standard comes at a high dollar value. Not only that but you can spend hours in the grocery store reading labels in order to make good food choices. It’s exhausting and parenting is challenging enough as it is!
Stores like Trader Joe’s try to take the guess-work out of the equation. In not expecting perfection but it’s a huge relief to know that whatever winds up in my cart is something I am comfortable buying for my family. Their prepared foods are delicious and I’ve always been satisfied with the quality of their products. All that comes with reasonable prices! Not only reasonable but often at much lower prices than I’d pay elsewhere.
The bottom line is TJ tries hard to supply great food. I’ve become a total convert and wish we had one close to us. Maybe someday soon a store will come to our area…until then I’ll just stock up whenever I can!
Maybe I’ll send in a few dozen location requests in the meantime. ;-).
by Liz | Life Snapshot
As a mom or just a super busy person, how many times have you been frustrated by your smartphone? Are you constantly losing it? Do you wish you had more practical functionality? Are you constantly worrying about your kids chucking it in the toilet?
In the age of Google glass and Apple watches I just can’t see why some problems haven’t been fixed. Why do we need different computers or devices to accomplish routine tasks? Why are we tied to choosing between smart phones, tablets and desktops? Why worry about carrying around tons of devices?
More and more these days I wish I had a single product that I could keep on me on all times, something small and wearable that accomplishes, through voice, everything I can do on a tablet or smart phone. For the visual tasks, I’d prefer a sheet of smart glass that can be linked to my device and bring stunning visual displays to anything I want to accomplish. This is probably a lot to ask, but as a working mom I’m tired of having to compromise. I want that the world literally at my fingertips whenever I need it. But I also want to be able to shut down and enjoy my family and the world around me without having to feel connected.
Needless to say I’m not a tech genius, but a girl can dream can’t she?
by Liz | Life Snapshot
We are constantly struggling with balancing our finances, trying to save money for our next big project. (Currently, ours is eventually buying a house…eep!)
We’ve figured out that making big, sweeping changes often doesn’t work. We don’t anticipate potential complications or we give up because the change is just too difficult (aka extreme couponing or avoiding clothing purchases). So we’ve been striving to make small, manageable changes that are easily to evolve as time goes on and our requirements change.
A few things that have worked:
1. Starting an ING savings plan that automatically deducts a fixed amount of $ from our checking account each week, automatic savings! You don’t miss it when you didn’t even realize you had the cash to begin with.
2. Cutting out coffee shops and brewing at home. The savings add up amazingly fast.
3. Get rid of pricey Cable TV packages. You literally save $50 or more a month…minimum!
To expand on #3, most cable providers charge upwards of $130 for internet and TV service. Throw in a phone and you’re closer to $160 and that’s with the most basic of TV packages. If you’re not addicted to sports, live TV and news shows…there’s another option! (Sports fans can also take advantage of this, never fear).
Can your cable company and only keep the internet service. That brings your bill down to roughly $50-60 on average (and if you sign up for a contract you can probably negotiate it down a bit more). If you have an internet ready TV, just pick the apps you use and away you go. Hulu plus is only $7.99 per month and has most major network TV shows readily available only one day after they air. Netflix has several affordable options if you want to expand your selection, especially for older TV series and movies.
For those without an internet ready TV (or those who want an easier to navigate menu and a few more viewing options) purchase an Apple TV for $99 (one time fee to purchase the box). You can hook this up to your TV and stream movies, Huluplus, Netflix, sports, youTube and much, much more. Essentially anything you can get via iTunes, you can now view on your television.
For a grand total of roughly $70 per month (in most cases, at least half of your current bill) you get a huge selection for your viewing pleasure. Not a bad deal!
At the end of the day, you also feel a bit better for sticking it to those crazy cable companies.
by Liz | Life Snapshot
By Katie Moore
A brand new baby in the house is a wonderful, exciting addition to the family that requires a lot of work and attention. After nine months of pregnancy, a woman’s body needs time to heal and recover, yet new moms are so busy that it seems impossible to make time for their own well-being. With a little bit of thought and planning, it is actually not so difficult to get moving and work exercise back into the routine.
Recovery after childbirth can take some time, and new moms should not expect to get their pre-baby bodies to return very quickly. Some doctors recommend waiting six weeks after birth before starting exercise, but this timeline with vary depending on the situation. A mother should share her post-delivery plans with her doctor; much like the preparations she made with her doctor concerning her babies health with immunizations and the optional umbilical cord blood banking, a doctor should be used to help make sure a mother’s post-delivery health plans are in fact healthy for her.
The best way, by far, to fit exercise into a new mom’s schedule is to multi-task. Even the littlest babies will typically enjoy some fresh air and change of scenery, so mom and baby can share bonding and cooing time while walking around a park or the neighborhood. Some moms use naptime as a time for exercise. Baby can sleep soundly in the crib while mom uses an exercise DVD in the living room.
In addition to exercise, it is important to continue eating healthy meals. Breastfeeding moms will still need extra calories, and it is important that these calories come from nutritious food and not be empty calories from junk food. Eating healthy meals and staying hydrated will not only help get the pre-baby body back, but good nutrition will also aid in breast milk production and keep new moms feeling their best.
Some of the best foods for weight loss are fruits and vegetables, as well as lean protein. Although it may seem like there is no time for new moms to prepare and eat healthy meals, it is really in the best interest of the whole family. It is important to set an example so that young children will grow up with healthy eating habits. A lot of new moms prepare frozen meals on weekends, or even before the baby arrives, so they can put dinner straight into the oven when it is time to eat.
Even though it may simply take time to get the pre-baby body back, making time for nutrition and exercise will make it return faster. It may seem impossible for new moms to make time for themselves, but it is important for the whole family to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.
“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”
by Liz | All Things Kids, Life Snapshot
It’s hard to believe almost eight months have passed since Adelena was born. Life has a funny way of evolving constantly and yet it’s so difficult to imagine what I did with myself before she got here. Spare time, what’s that?!
I am so thrilled with the time I get to spend with her and going to work every day has not gotten any easier. Our lives are a constant muddle of rushing to and fro, attacking the piles of laundry and trying to get a million things done in the one spare hour or so I have a day. Weekends seem like a distant lifeline to sanity…until they arrive. Despite the extra time we get to spend with Lena, there’s just as much chaos as weekdays. Taking care of Lena doesn’t seem like “work” and I truly enjoy every minute. She’s on a great schedule and for the most part is an extraordinarily easy baby.
Will the chaos ever end? Will it ever get easier to head to work in the morning? I think not. But at least I get to come home to this sweet face every day!