30 Blogs for Frugal Moms

The recession may be over but that doesn’t mean you have to stop watching your pennies and staying on budget. For those moms (and dads) out there who like to pinch pennies and save a few dollars, here is a post from our partners at Au Pair Care, featuring 30 blogs and blog posts dedicated to helping out frugal moms:


While taking the time to clip coupons and scour weekly papers, print ads and websites for the best deals may seem more time-consuming than the payoff warrants, you may be surprised at just how much money you’re able to save on food and personal care products by using coupons to your advantage. These five blogs give you some insight into how coupon-savvy moms manage to save so much money, helping you fill your pantry without emptying your bank account.
Utility Bill Savings
While it’s certainly important to help your family do their part in making a positive impact on the environment by saving energy, the savings that a few small changes can generate is another motivating incentive. These five bloggers talk about the best ways to make your home more energy-efficient, and how to make sure that your energy costs aren’t higher than is strictly necessary.
Frugal Meal Ideas
Feeding your family on a budget doesn’t have to mean that you’re resorting to cheap, pre-packaged foods that are long on the preservatives and short on quality. These five food bloggers understand the importance of striking a balance between high quality and low cost, providing great meal ideas that won’t break the bank.
Savings at the Pump
Gasoline prices might fluctuate slightly from time to time, but they’re almost always more expensive than is manageable for many families. Saving fuel is not only good for the environment, but also good for the family budget. That’s why these five bloggers are offering their sage advice on how to save at the gas pumps, so that you are able to reduce your footprint while increasing your budget.
Saving on School Supplies
Back-to-school shopping is a lucrative season for retailers, coming in second only to the winter holidays in terms of revenue. Whether you’re purchasing supplies for one child or several, it’s easy to overspend when autumn rolls around each year. These five bloggers understand the struggle of keeping your children well-stocked and set up for academic success without draining your wallet in the process.
Saving on Kids’ Clothing
Shopping for kids’ clothing can be one of the most stressful and upsetting situations for families on a tight budget, as kids are anxious to have the name-brand duds of their peers despite the fact that the family budget doesn’t quite have room for a pair of designer jeans. These five blogs tackle the sensitive and often complicated subject of shopping for kids’ clothes on a tight budget.

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Milla Jovovich: Mothering in developing nations inspire me

Model, Resident Evil  actress and mom to two, Milla Jovovich captured my heart when she said in a recent interview that she is inspired by mothers in the developing world and strives to mimic their simple, traditional and instinctive mothering styles. 
Much of the things families in agrarian and other “Third World” do is guided by convenience and resourcefulness. 
Jovovic explains how they motivate her: 

I’ve always been inspired by mothers in Third World countries. I feel that the connection with children and mothers is so strong in places where there are not so many “things” to get in the way. No electronic distraction devices, no high tech baby equipment, just a mother carrying her little one everywhere, sharing a family bed and having the help of all the other women around to raise the baby. 

I always thought that the Western way of raising kids was so disconnected. Everyone has their cubicle at home, babies go into nurseries, little kids have their own rooms. You are so separated from one another! We have been co-sleeping for years with our daughter and I feel that it’s helped us so much to stay connected as a family. 

Especially as my husband and I can have such tough work schedules making films, where we’re on set for at least 12 and sometimes 14 hours a day! Because we share sleep at night, our daughter naturally feels very connected to us and that in turn makes her want to please us! She trusts us and listens to what we say. There is an innate sense of respect between us all that I feel can be lacking with some of the other parents and children I see in our society. I feel that some problems that parents say are “typical” i.e. arguing, defiance, tantrums, interrupting, disrespect, disobedience, screaming etc. we just haven’t had to deal with in any serious way!

Of course I’m very hands on with following through on consequences when my daughter is misbehaving, but I think that because she feels totally accepted and included in our world, she does’t want to let us down and I know that even though we disagree on things sometimes, like rules, it has made discipline so much easier for us. ESPECIALLY when I feel like I’ve made a mistake as a parent, making up for it is so much simpler when you share all that extra cuddle time in the evening and mornings together!

Love it!

Read the rest of the interview at Romy & The Bunnies.

photos: Instagram, courtesy Milla Jovovich
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Divorce Parents Problems: The issue with the ‘Visitation’ parent

When parents separate, divorce or never marry, they often have to split custody of the child. Normally, if a cordial agreement is reached, the child spends the week with one parent and may visit the other parent on weekends or twice a month. For the visitation parent, they may be in another relationship or it may be more convenient to not have full time custody of their child.  If the split is contentious, a mediator or court may settle the visitation and child support payments to the custodial parent who keeps the kid most of the time.
Parents that do not have a court ordered payment plan may feel the need to compensate for not having to make  regular support payments  by spoiling the kids rotten and showering them with gifts on the days they have them. This means taking them on trips, fun play parks and of course buying them tons and tons of toys and other goodies to take home.  By showering their kids with gifts on the weekends they have them, these parents may feel like they are buying affection or forgiveness for not being there regularly. The kids love it!
Note that on the first visit with Tom Cruise, he took daughter Suri to Disney world, spurring a bunch of tabloids to speculate that Suri prefers to stay with him.
But the custodial parent isn’t always happy with the “spoilation.”
In real world among regular non-celebrity parents, what happens when the “visitation” parent returns the kids to their custodial parents until the next visit? I’ll tell you what: They create little entitlement kids who expect gifts and toys all the time. The kids also can become jealous of other kids when they receive gifts because they are used to being the subject of material affection. It can make birthday parties when other children are celebrated difficult.
Also, it grows a child who has a sense of entitlement and who expects rewards without hard work.
How to curb this problem? If you are the custodial parent, press upon the visitation parent to NOT give the child a gift at each visit. Instead, give the monetary value of a gift to you to use on the child later. The custodial parent, especially if they do not receive regular child support payment, can use that money for child care so mom/or dad can go out. They can use it to buy a toy when earned.
It’s one of many challenges and struggles that parents and children have to deal with when they are not being parented in the same home by their birth parents. 
Have you had to deal with this challenge? How have you reacted? What have been the response of the kids? What would you suggest other parents’ do to cope or deal?

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20 Websites to Prepare & Celebrate for Kindergarten Graduation

Bellyitch Rewind

It’s that time again for many families with young children: Kindergarten Graduation!!!  In preparation, please check out this lit of 20 blogs becomingananny‘s compiled to inspire you and your friends with different ways that you can make your children’s kindergarten graduation an exceptional experience.  These blog entries cover the ceremony, how to make the cap, recipes for some tasty graduation treats and of course some gift ideas.
The Ceremony
If you are wondering what kind of ceremony to have for your kindergartener and his classmates, these five blog posts will help you come up with some ideas.  The kids are young, so their attention span isn’t incredibly long. This makes it’s important to keep the ceremony short and to the point.  Many times the ceremony can be held during the school day so as to not add any additional budgetary concerns by having the event at night and requiring additional staff.
The Cap
One of the cutest things you can make for your child to wear on their graduation day is a cap and gown.  Some schools choose to rent the gowns and some own them.  Many schools skip the gowns altogether, but stick with the cap and tassel.  These five blog articles will give you some ideas on how to create caps for the kids to wear that aren’t very expensive.  You can get a group of parents together and make them for every student.
The Treats
It wouldn’t be a celebration without treats.  For food, think of different yummy kid friendly snacks, such as finger foods.  While you are considering what snacks to make, try to come up with some that look like a diploma or graduation cap so that the snacks can tie into the event.  The next five blog posts will give you some tasty ideas to make for your little graduates.  Remember, these treats don’t have to be difficult or expensive to feed the guests at your kindergarten graduation.
The Gift
The graduation gift can be anything from favor bags for all of the graduates to something special from mom and dad to commemorate the day.  These bloggers have ideas for both options.  Whatever the present, make sure you take plenty of pictures of the big day so that you can create a mini brag book or some scrapbook pages to remember this milestone event.  The next five blog entries can help you figure out what gift you want to give the graduate in your life.
One of the best gifts you can give your child is your time.  These blog entries have given you lots of ideas on how to celebrate this milestone in your child’s life, but even if your school doesn’t opt to do a big ceremony you can make the day special for your graduate just by being there.  Remember, before you know it you will be celebrating your child’s high school graduation, so make sure not to miss a minute of this ride of a lifetime.

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Watch First Time Expecting Women get pregnancy advice from THEIR moms (VIDEO)

Another Mother’s Day has wrapped. The annual holiday is also a great time for daughters who are mothers to reflect on the advice they were given by their own mothers.
A recent 1-800-Flowers.com survey found that  3 out of 4 women seek their mother’s advice with 18-24 year olds  seeking relationship and health advice; 25-39 year olds seeking parenting advice and 40 to 55 and 55+ seeking home projects insights. 

The relationship differs depending on age. Millennials say they are best friends with their moms, they talk about everything (36.9%); while Gen Xers and Boomers say their relationship with mom is complicated (31.2% and 31.0% respectively).
It’s no surprise then to discover that the survey results found that 79% of women would feel positively if someone told them they were just like their mother.
And first time pregnant women too turn to their moms for advice and counsel on what to expect.

The Daily Share sat first-time mothers-to-be across from THEIR moms to ask them any and every question they had about what to expect from motherhood.

The result is a candid and endearing short video. Check it out:

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Mother’s Day: 10 Songs to dedicate to Mom (VIDEOS)

Thinking of a song to dedicate to or play for your mom today, here are a few classics to consider playing for or dedicating to your mom today. Enjoy!

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REVIEW: ‘Zero to Five’ is the perfect handbook to instruct on how to raise a super smart baby

Parenting books can be overwhelming and so condensely written as to turn off busy parents who may put one  down and forget to pick it back up subconsciously mindful of all the text they have to go through to finish.

Zero to Five, 70  Essential Parenting Tips Based On Science (and What I’ve Learned So Far)” is the anecdote. The book is part handbook, part photo book, part advice text and part testimonials.  It’s all in this oversized resource guide bound together in a spiral binder format.

Readers can sit down and immerse in all the pages at once, or just browse through and flip. Each page covers a new tips, tools or suggestions for raising super smart, alert, active and creative children. There is ample inclusion of BTDT advice from moms and other nuggets from tried and true sources.

Journalist, mom and wife Tracy Clutchlow, who is featured on the cover along with her adorable daughter, does a great job jamming just the right amount of fuel of knowledge in this very useful and informative guide.

It’s a great book for this new generation of “reader” parents who enjoy absorbing all the latest advice that is available out from veteran parents, pediatrician and child-care experts.  But it is also well written and included enough vibrant photography, font variations and side bars to keep the attention and inform the category of parents who are not really into all of that — who just want the basics, plus a little more.

I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it for new first-time parents as a baby shower gift or a refresher for a vet parent as well.

Pick up a copy at Amazon.com!

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10 Commandments of Fertility & Getting Pregnant (INFOGRAPHIC)


Saw this infographic from LumaLove that deals with fertility and provides suggestions and tips on increasing the chances of getting pregnant and thought it was pretty interesting.
Infertility, fertility and TTC (Trying to Conceive) are difficult topics.
Fertility is also sensitive as couples struggling are often made to believe it is something they are doing wrong that prevents them from conceiving naturally.
They are made to feel their body is failing them. But when women and men want a baby, they may be interested in getting any and all tips to increase their odds. Thought I’d share but first the commandments, written and shared (with permisison) by Hannah Bajor author, midwife of 30 years, founder and CEO of Lumalove:


 Thou shalt increase your sperm QUANTITY.

Latest research says infertility is on the rise and sperm production is declining by 1% annually. Don’t make the problem any worse!

Tip 1: Cell phones carried in your pocket fry your swimmers

Tip 2: Hot baths, saunas and Jacuzzis boil your sperm


 Thou shalt improve your sperm QUALITY.

Men produce 12,000,000,000 sperm monthly, release 300,000,000 sperm per ejaculate but only 200 to 300 will reach the egg. That ain’t great odds so make sure your swimmers are the highest quality possible!

Tip 3: Ginseng 100 – 200 mg 3 times a day improves sperm formation and male potency.

Tip 4: Take an antioxidant supplement daily to improve sperm DNA and rid the body of toxins.


 Thou shalt NOT KILL sperm.

Men are sensitive in one area and that is their sperm! Heat, friction and lubricating products causesperm to self destruct and die within 30 minutes.

Tip 5: Stop using lubricants. They kill his sperm on contact no matter what it says on the package.

Tip 6: Keep all types of “vibrating devices” away from his manhood. They can heat and destroy sperm.


 Thou shalt NOT BURN his sperm.

The female reproductive funnel naturally becomes alkaline during mid cycle to protect and nurture the sperm. When you have an acidic body pH, his sperm burn and die on contact!

Tip 7: Stop the lemons, limes and oranges. Acidic fruits and juices contribute to making “down there” a more hostile and acidic environment for his sperm.

Tip 8: Eat more green foods to help raise your alkaline level.


 Thou shalt BALANCE your reproductive hormones.

Synchronize the delicate monthly dance between your brain hormones, your thyroid hormones and your ovarian hormones. If you’re not getting the right vitamins and minerals at the right time, those levels will be out of balance and your body simply won’t be capable of conceiving a child.

Tip 9: Take Vitamins A, B & C supplements. All work together to improve female fertility.

Tip 10: Try to reduce stress and get a good night’s sleep. This will improve your hormone production.


 Thou shalt not SABOTAGE fertilization.

Alcohol, cigarettes, substance, chemical abuse, and dehydration are major reasons for unbalanced hormones, poor quality eggs and infertility.

Tip 11: Cut back on the cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol.

Tip 12: Drink more water to help lubricate your reproductive machine.


 Thou shalt get yourselves CHECKED.

Sexually transmitted diseases can cause infertility if left undiagnosed and unchecked. And guess what, many of them have no symptoms. Get yourselves checked out and you’re one step closer to getting pregnant.

Tip 13: Go have an STD (sexually transmitted disease) screen ASAP.

Tip 14: If you’re positive for one it’s not the end of the world. Just make sure you get professional medical advice and treatment.


Though shalt not PROCRASTINATE.

Every woman only has a fixed supply of eggs. And every month you lose 700 – 1,000 of them. The longer you wait, the smaller your chances become of actually getting pregnant and the higher the risk of genetic abnormalities and anomalies.

Tip 15: Your biological clock is ticking, don’t put off having a baby until it is too late.

Tip 16: Daily folic acid supplementation also prevents miscarriage and reduces by 70% your baby’s chances of spinal and brain defects.


Thou shalt NEVER give up hope.

Infertility is a serious medical condition affecting 7,300,000 women in the USA alone, but there are plenty of available infertility treatments out there that can help reverse your symptoms and get you pregnant.

Tip 17: Make smart choices before you run out of time, eggs & insurance coverage.

Tip 18: Simple lifestyle changes can be the magic key to encouraging your body to get pregnant.



Social media judges pregnant army wife without full story

Given my post from Friday about the group of pregnant teens posing in a bathroom mirror which got a lot people (including me) judging the girls and  getting upset over the image  with half the story, here is another example of social media and online images being misinterpreted.
The Twitter, G+, Facebook and Blogsphere were going IN on this photo of a pregnant mom, Kendra Kaplan, who was 5 MONTHS pregnant on August 18, 2009 as she joined other family members of the 4th Infantry Division returning after a 12 MONTH DEPLOYMENT in Iraq. Get it?

If Kaplan’s husband was away for 12months, who is that baby’s father? Can it be her husband Staff Sgt Joshua Kaplan‘s baby? People were saying  all sorts of mean things about the mom not knowing the whole story and going on some shoddy journalism – what we do here in the blogerverse.

But the COMPLETE STORY behind THIS PHOTO  is the baby was conceived during her husband’s mid term leave in March, as explained in the Zimbio photo caption. In her hands is an envelope with the baby’s gender that she was waiting to share with her husband when he arrived.

The dangers of social media I guess.

A picture ISN’T always worth a thousand words:
Original Photo which was co-opted and made a viral online joke.

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