Checklist: The 7 Things Expectant Moms Need to Do Before Baby Arrives

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Pregnancy is a beautiful experience but it also requires planning and preparation for baby before she arrives.

It is actually super helpful to do this because not only this will keep you busy until the baby arrives, but also help you in managing different chores once he comes into your life. Moreover, You don’t have to worry about the little things like baby’s clothes should be pre-washed or need to call up a pediatrician. You would be able to enjoy with your little bundle of joy because you’ll have planned things beforehand.


One place that you will need to visit frequently during this time are the maternity and baby care stores in addition to your gynecology’s clinic or office. Nowadays, there are many stores which sell quality products. You can browse through a long list of money saving deals available in the baby-essentials stores on Vouchershops. On doing so, you get an exciting chance to update your special mom-to-be’s closet and the awaited little one’s wardrobe in a much affordable way.

Here is a list of 7 things to do:

  1. Announce that your little one is arriving soon

 A birth announcement is a perfect way to introduce your baby to your friends and family. You can do something sweet and simple by yourself or you can use various handy websites to plan an extravagant announcement party. There are tons of templates available which you can use to give a personalized touch. You can also design some cute templates for sending to your closed ones after your baby arrives. So, share your happiness with a splendid proclamation.

  1. Get a waterproof bed pad for yourself

You must get this wonder item which is a must need for you during the last months of your pregnancy. You would definitely not like to ruin the comfy pillowtop mattress on your bed, right?? So, you must purchase a bed pad which is waterproof and will not allow the amniotic fluid to ruin the bed if your water breaks in the middle of the night while you are sleeping.

  1. Purchase a cozy baby car seat and other transportation items for your little one

When the time of your baby’s arrival is coming up, you must make sure that a safe car seat is ready for him. It is the law that you cannot leave the hospital without a safety seat already installed.  A stroller or wrap is a convenient item to purchase so when  you go for walks with your little one or travel outside the car. .

  1. Pack your bag and baby’s bag

You must make a checklist of what you should carry to the hospital. Once you are done with this, pack the bags separately for you and baby including the slippers,, nursing bras, washed going home clothes for baby, lanolin, hair ties etc.

  1. Buy a few nursing bras

Nursing bras are essential because, unlike traditional bras, they can come on and off pretty easy with a snap or slip through a opening in the nursing bra. If you will be breastfeeding, you will need a few of this already purchased before baby arrives.

  1. Consult a good pediatrician

You cannot wait until baby arrives to find a pediatrician.  Often times, the hospital or midwifery will let the Pediatrician knows when the baby is born and he/she will come see the baby in the hospital or birthing center within a day of baby’s birth. You can browse through the internet or better yet, ask your friends or extended contacts for recommendations.

  1. Get the best quality baby bathing kit for him

 You baby bag must have a good quality hygienic bathing kit in it. Your sweetheart has just taken birth, so his skin is as tender as a flower petal. A bathing kit having the mild bathing needs like a shampoo, an oil, a soap and so on is must for him.

You can shop for the aforementioned prerequisites from the renowned store namely, Mothercare and save some bucks using various Mothercare deals & discount codes as well.  So, what are you waiting for? Check out these things and get ready to welcome your darling and start the most alluring chapter of your life – Motherhood.

Henry Veno is a content marketer at VoucherShops, a leading online vouchers providing website. He is a thought leader in the realm of content marketing and strategy and relishes inditing about Technology, Marketing & perpetual Industry trends. He’s a techy geek and loves to explore latest happenings.

Don’t Let Celebrities Have You Thinking IVF is the Only Infertility Option

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With a bevy of celebrities giving birth to twins, naturally, a lot of people suspect that IVF or some other form of medical intervention or technology was used to achieve these twin pregnancies.

And as celebrities are quite influential, their experiences (whether admitted or not) may convince more women to think it is the best solution to procreating when and if they happen to bump into troubles or if they wait to their later years to start a family.


However, the fact is that success rates for IVF depend on a number of factors, including the reason for infertility, where you’re having the procedure done, and your age.

The CDC’s national statistics on assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures performed in the U.S., including IVF, GIFT, and ZIFT, reveal that IVF is by far the most common; it accounts for 99% of the procedures.

This is true even though success rates are relatively low.

The most recent report on success rates found that:
• Pregnancy was achieved in an average of 29.4% of all cycles (higher or lower depending on the age of the woman).
• The percentage of cycles that resulted in live births was 22.4% on average (higher or lower depending on the age of the woman).

Not that great of odds, but a lot of women and couples who can afford it still seek out IVF treatment.  A lot of it has to do with the pressure to quickly use technology after a few months of infertility even.

“There is a certain amount I think of fear-mongering that happens with women over 35,” says one woman in a trailer for the movie “Fertility: The Shared Journey with Mercier Therapy” which advocates a form of reproductive fertility therapy that involves re-alignment of the reproductive organs and pelvic region. “We don’t have time. We need to act now.”

 

 

The treatment’s creator, Dr. Jennifer Mercier, herself struggled to conceive and was disappointed with the drugs, the IVF process and started to question the IVF community. Eventually, through researching  and dedicating her life to alternative practices that were less damaging to the body and the purse, Mercier created an approach to conceiving that she says boasts a 5X more success rate than IVF for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the stress to the couple and the body’s reproductive organs.

Her whole-body approach maintains the integrity of the woman physically and her reproductive organs remain unscathed, intact and free of drugs, Mercier promises.

Mercier currently is a Naturopathic Doctor, Midwife, licensed Massage Therapist and holds a Ph.D in Natural Medicine. She has been a women’s health practitioner since 1999.

It’s certainly a holistic and alternative solution but one some may want to consider when exploring other options to conception.

photo: Facebook : Fertility Movie

How to Throw an Elegant Budget Neutral DIY Baby Shower

Bellyitch RewindDIY yellow and grey themed baby shower

Last April, I threw a DIY baby shower for my baby sister who is expecting her second child, a baby girl. With a limited budget, I was able put together a pretty fab shower, I think, by being resourceful, and cutting corners but without sacrificing quality and style. It all looked elegant in the end and as if I spent a lot more.

(A couple of my sister’s friends, one who is a p/t event-planner and baker and another who bakes cakes helped me out a bit. My sister’s future mom-in-law did the games and her aunt-in-law helped out as well and provided the venue, her lovely country home)

My sister, like me, is adverse to pink and purple and traditional girly colors. She wanted a shower theme to match the nursery she was decorating for her soon-to-be-born daughter, (and my future Godchild) Aubrey.


Elephants, Chevron Yellow and Grey is the theme. I strayed a little on the Chevron and we had a mix of yellows but it all came together, visually, well, nonetheless, in the end.

Here is how I pulled it off.

Invitations.

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In lieu of expensive invitations, I got downloable printables from Fancy Shmancy Notes shop on Etsy for $15 and $5.00 for Cards asking for a children’s story book instead of a greeting card with any gift purchase.  I purchased a pack of 60 Avery brand customizable Note Cards from Staples office supply store. They come with envelopes and cost just $24. Postage stamps were $30.00. The total cost was $74 for invitations.  That move saved me about $100 in lieu of online-ordered customized invitations.

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Discount, Dollar, Thrift and Bulk Stores Savings

I also saved money by hitting up thrift stores, dollar stores and bulk food stores. The party supply store sold paper and plastic table cloths for $9 each. Instead if those, I schlepped to my local thrift store and picked up 3 linen table cloths for $10 total! I washed and ironed three table cloths I already owned, including a very pretty one with grey and yellow in it that matched the color scheme. Score!

At Costco, a wholesale membership food warehouse, I got a huge bouquet of Daisies for only $10.00. I was able to convert that one bunch into 5 vases of flowers of different sizes and shapes that I set up on various tables at the venue. I also got food that would ordinarily cost more at a regular grocery store much cheaper there.

 For example, a large 1 lb container of mixed greens was $4. A big 34 ounce bag of authentic nacho chips was $4. Two quiche pies were $13. An Alouitte Brie Wheel just $6. A large container of fresh cut fruit was just $10.  A similar size retails for about $30 at my local grocers. I know because I looked it up and did comparison shopping.

At the Dollar Store, nice Misaka brand vases were just $1.00 each.  Paper cuttlery, plates, napkins, cups in the theme colors cost $1.00 each compared to $3.00 to 8.00 at the party supply store. Favor boxes were just 10 for $1 compared to $30 for 50 at the party supply store.  I got some craft items for the favors and cupcake toppers there for $1.00 each as well.

Here is the final haul I set up on my dining room table.

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However, to save money, I used some items I already owned. I had a case of sternos left over from a previous event. I used a serving tray and a lead glass chip and dip tray, another serving tray and glass tea light holders I already owned.

the cake

 We saved money on the venue by hosting it at my sister’s fiancee’s aunt’s house in a rural part of a suburb in Maryland. The host, Aunt Nicho, has a bright and sunny Morning room that also has yellow-colored walls and a large airy and bright glass wall that brought in tons of natural light.

The cost of the main cake was offset because another family member donated the cost of the materials and my sister’s dear friend baked it. She has a p/t professional cake baking business and offered the labor for free as a gift to the mom-to-be.

FREE Printables

water bottle printables

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Google printables and you’ll find a ton of free and paid ones as well. I was fortunate to find a free one online with the same color scheme as ours.  There were water bottle labels, a candy station sign, and other printable items. When I printed out the printables, they came out darker yellow than on the computer screen, but it worked out because the color complemented well with the table cloth and coincidentally was the same shade of yellow on the the cake! Perfect!

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I got the gumballs, sixlets and lollipop sticks in the color theme at the party supply store  to set up a candy station. (We used the candy display jugs owned by friend who has the P/T event planning biz too) I also picked up steamer strays and yellow serving trays for a reasonable price there too.

I later discovered that Walmart and Target are now in the business of offering specialized modern party supplies. All of the supplies for a candy station, which I set up and is very popular, cost between 25-50% less at these big box stores compared to the party supply store.

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Aunt Nicho had these great decorative juice jugs that we used to hold mimosas and non-alcoholic OJ

mimosa and juice

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A friend of my sis, Lynee, who is an amazing baker and the one with the p/t event planning company, gifted homemade strawberry and lemon butter cream frosting cupcakes. They were amazingly good! Yum!

lemon cupcakes

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 I got these cupcake toppers for free online HERE. I used the $1 box of toothpicks I got from the Dollar Tree to tape them to the pack of the toppers.

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Here is a serving tray I already owned, a wedding gift from decades ago, that I used to serve the brie and crackers.

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Again, I saved costs with glass tea holders I had from a previous event and a chip and dip tray I owned since my wedding. The tea lights were just $1 for a dozen at the dollar store.

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Aunt Nicho created a very neat tiered diaper cake we used for decoration as well.

We used grey and yellow party favor boxes I got from Dollar Tree at $1 for 10. We filled them with candy from a big bag of Lifesavers I picked up at Target that was $8.00 on sale!

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The roll of tulle and pre-cut Tulle circles are just $1.00 as well at Dollar Tree.

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I printed out maternity portraits from my sister’s shoot using my inkjet printer I reviewed here. It looked like professional quality. I used matte photo paper I got from Target.  The Target brand Up & Up is just $5.49 for 30 count.

Lynee brought this picket fence she found a while ago at a discount store that she filled with faux craft grass and stuck the candy lollipops I got from the party store in them for a nice effect.

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Candy from the party store and the leftover Lifesavers made a nice candy station.

waffle station

The shower was a brunch so we set up a Belgian waffle station complete with toppings, and whipped cream. The serving dishes were compliments of Aunt Nicho. I got the pitcher where I whipped up batter from Walmart for $3. My other sister got the great waffle iron that she loaned us for the event. It was on sale for just $24.99.00 at Kohl’s though it is now back to $29.99.

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The Spinach quiche set on a really nice server/carver board Aunt Nicho owns.

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I made my baked salmon with sauteed onions and green peppers. My mom made her signature West African Jollof rice. My sister Adama made hot wings. I whipped up eggs and sausages and Aunt Nicho made home-cooked hash browns and biscuits.

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I set up the mixed greens and fruit on a utility station near the kitchen.

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Overall, it was a great event!

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Winter Nail Care: How to Give Yourself a Paraffin Wax Manicure

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Do you have a hand that is rough and dry? If yes, it time that you take care of your hands and make them beautiful and smooth. Going to the spa for a manicure is quite expensive. So here is a solution for you. This is an amazing manicure, which you can do easily at home and thus save money. We are talking about paraffin wax manicure and this is how it is done.

  • Heat paraffin wax in a large bowl for 10 seconds in the microwave. Make sure that the wax gets liquefied completely.
  • Let the wax cool down. As it gets cooled, apply a thick and rich cream or lotion on your hands and massage well, so that your hands are well moisturized.
  • Now check whether the wax has cooled and then dip your hands in this wax. Lift your hands from the wax and then wait for 5 seconds and then dip your hand again. Repeat this till your hands het completely covered with wax and 5 to 7 layers of the wax is made on your hand. Now you can wait as long as you wish. You may use this time to sit back and relax, watching TV or a movie, or listening to your favorite songs.
  • You should make sure that you leave wax on your hand for at least 30 minutes. This will provide you excellent results. After the stipulated time, go to the trash bin and takeoff the paraffin from your hand. After removing the wax, massage your hand again with cream or lotion. Now cover your hand with a glove. Repeat with the other hand also.
  • Now apply the same procedure for waxing your feet also.
  • Once you have completed treating your hands and feet in this manner, you will see that your hands and feet have become soft and smooth. All the dryness and roughness you felt on your hands and feet will be gone. One of the additional benefits of paraffin wax is that it also makes your nails strong.

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Your 100 Item Spring Cleaning Checklist is Here!

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Spring is coming and very soon it will be time to start thinking of doing a thorough and comprehensive cleaning and overhaul of the family home. Spring Cleaning is a time to start fresh and get rid of all the accumulated dust, grime and dirt from everyone being crammed indoors.

A little while ago the Imperfect Homemaking blog came up with a pretty thorough list of over 100 tasks including some of these below to guide your cleaning:

FOYER
1. Dust lighting fixtures.
2. Wash walls and trim
3. Wash doors, knobs and switch plates.
4. Wash bench or other furnishings. Launder bench cushion, if applicable.
5. Empty out coat closet. Wash walls and floor, if needed. Sort items as you return them to the closet. 6. 6. Store out of season items, donate unneeded items.
7. Clean or replace entry mat.
8. Sweep and scrub floors.
9. Reseal grout lines, if necessary.
BEDROOMS
11. Open windows
12. Dust furniture.
13. For each drawer: remove items, wash drawer, place items back neatly. Donate Items you no longer need.
14. Remove everything from closets. Sweep and wash closet floor. Put everything back neatly. Donate items you no longer need. Try not to store things on closet floor.
15. Move Bed. Sort and put away anything that was under bed. Sweep or vacuum under bed. Try not to store things under bed.
16. Put bed back. Freshen mattress by sprinkling with baking soda, letting sit briefly, and the vacuuming it up.
17. Launder bedding and curtains. Wash pillows and duvet in hot water. Air out mattress pad, if you have one.
18. Dust lights. Clean lamp shades.
19. Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
20. Wash switch plates. Wash walls and trim as needed.
21. Wash mirrors or dust art.
22. Wash doors and doorknobs.
23. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
24. Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.


BATHROOMS
25. Open windows
26. Empty all cabinets and vanity. Wash inside, replace items neatly. Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
27. Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
28. Clean tub. Wax if necessary. Clean drain.
29. Clean toilet, inside and out. Remove seat and clean around seat bolts.
30. Clean sink and drain.
31. Shine faucets.
32. Clean mirror and frame .
33. Dust light fixtures.
34. Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
35. Wash switch plates. wash walls and trim. Wash doors and door knobs.
36. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
37. Sweep and wash floors.
38. Reseal grout lines if necessary.

KITCHEN
39. Open windows.
40. Remove and clean window coverings. Click here for instructions on cleaning mini blinds.
41. For each cabinet or drawer: Remove items, wipe out drawer, place items back neatly. Donate unneeded items.
42. Wash and sanitize cutting boards
43. Sharpen knives
44. Wash cabinet doors and knobs
45. Clean and organize pantry. Check food expiry dates.
46. Clean oven.
47. Clean stove top. Remove elements and drip bowls, if applicable, wash and put back.
48. Clean and organize fridge and freezer. Defrost freezer, if necessary. Check food expiry dates.
49. Clean under fridge and stove.
50. Vacuum refrigerator coils.

Continue READING and get the rest of the list for other areas of the home at Imperfect Homemaking and download a PRINTABLE LIST HERE!

Happy Cleaning!
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10 Easy Valentine’s Day Activities Your Kids will Love

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and soon you’ll be scrambling to find activities for your little ones to do while celebrating the day together! Here are a few ideas to get you going.

  1. Make heart shaped pancakes – Make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast! Put pancake batter into a squeeze bottle and draw heart pancakes on the griddle! You can also cut sandwiches, deli meats, and fruits into heart shapes using cookie cutters. Creating heart shaped cupcakes or muffins is simple, just drop a marble or rolled up piece of tinfoil between the baking liner and muffin tin before baking to create an indent in the finished product, it will look just like a heart!
  2. Create a conversation heart wreath – Cut the middle out of a paper plate to create a ring. Have your children help you cut out hearts and write short messages on them such as “I love you” or “You rock” and glue the hearts onto the ring to create a conversation heart wreath. Be creative with your phrases and make them special to your family.
  3. Make your own valentines – Younger children will usually have a party in their classroom to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their classmates, so take some time to help your child create their own cards. They don’t have to be fancy, all you need is some construction paper, glitter glue, stickers, doilies, and adhesive to jump start the creativity in your child. Encourage your child to be creative and let them create whatever they want to, the cards don’t all have to be the same as long as there is one for every child in their class.
  4. Valentine’s Day scramble – Post a piece of paper on the wall that has the words “Valentine’s Day” on it and see how many words you can create from those letters, adjusting to the age of the children around you. How many words can you find? You could also add the traditional candy heart phrases and see what additional words you can make using those letters.
  5. Hold a Valentine’s Day dance party – Invite your neighbors over for a fun, family friendly dance party! Decorate the room with streamers and balloons, choose a few fun songs together, and get ready to dance!
  6. Themed worksheets – A quick search online will turn up dozens of Valentine’s Day themed worksheets, from math sheets to crosswords, so you can easily find something meet your child’s needs.
  7. Love themed books – Hit up the library for books with a Valentine’s Day or love theme; most libraries will have seasonally appropriate books on a separate shelf, which makes finding them easy. Check a few out and read them together!
  8. Create coupon books for family members – Talk about what love is and what it means and then discuss various coupons you could create to show family members that you care about them. Offer to walk the dog for free, give a back rub, have one on one time, play a game together or offer to sweep the floor. The receiver can then choose when to redeem the coupons. Coupon books are a great way for kids to be able to give back to the family without a monetary contribution.
  9. Go pink and red! – Create a pink and red theme! Pink lemonade, strawberry milk, cupcakes with pink frosting, watermelon, beets, strawberries, and apples are all great pink and red foods to offer for snack time.
  10. Make a paper heart chain – Use your cutting and gluing skills to create a chain of hearts to hang up in your house! You can either create a chain by cutting hearts out like you would with paper dolls or cut out hearts together and tape or staple them together to create a chain of unique hearts. Hang them where everyone can enjoy them.

Children love to celebrate holidays and Valentine’s Day is an especially fun holiday to celebrate together. It’s a great time to discuss what love and family means and why it’s so important to recognize it together.


reprinted with permission

Help Your Child Cope With Your Impending Divorce With These Tips (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Divorce is a painful ordeal, not just for the couple that endures it but also for any children of a fractured union. Kids are strong but divorce can leave them uncertain, angry, frightened and depressed.

Parents want to ease the pain and assure their children that all will be well in the end. The folks at Browells put together an Infographic with ideas on how to reduce a child’s pain while enduring their well-being during the transition:




by Browell Smith & Co

Super Bowl: Let’s Talk What’s Hot and Trending with Ads

Guest Post

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With the big game one day away, the teams are focusing on their game plans and the advertisers are doing the same.  Although a Super Bowl ad is a yearly tradition for some companies, others save their entire ad budgets for the exposure.

Over the past 30 days, there have been more than 75,000 social posts related to Super Bowl Advertising, but 40,000 of those have been posted just in the past seven days, according to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker.

So, who’s leading the way in pre-game Super Bowl ad hype?  Over the past seven days, Snickers has been mentioned in relation to the Super Bowl 5,046 times, while Skittles comes in second at 4,444 and Mr. Clean 4,278.


Snickers is debuting what it is calling the first live Super Bowl commercial ever and the buzz around it has included more than 1.4 million YouTube views of the teaser. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JTGJCMoLAE

In its Super Bowl ad debut, Mr. Clean has gotten a lot of buzz with its new take on cleaning, with this USA Today post claiming “Mr. Clean Gets a Little Dirty in New Ad” and garnering more than 28,000 likes.

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One company that has received a lot of attention is Heinz – for choosing to not advertise in this year’s big game, but instead investing that $5 million plus that it would have spent on an ad in giving its employees the day off the Monday after the Super Bowl, using the hashtag #smunday, a campaign to make Super Bowl Monday a national holiday.  Heinz may be on to something, as Super Bowl Monday as a national holiday sounds like a good idea to many Americans and the hashtag has caught on with more than 2,800 social posts in the past seven days.

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With multiple ads for multiple brands, Anheuser Busch is getting a lot of mentions – but is still only in fifth place among brands mentioned.  But this trailer for its ad for Budweiser, racked up 23,000 Facebook views.

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In the last 24 hours, no company has been mentioned more than Skittles, with more than 3,000 posts in just the past day, featuring Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch taking the candy to Houston, Scotland.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=84249551721&story_fbid=10154175173201722

Among the top hashtags trending over the past week, Skittles’ #TasteTheRainbow has realized an increase of more than 4,000 percent in the past week, while Intel’s #ExperienceMore has jumped 143 percent.

Trending brands related to the Super Bowl include Mr. Clean, up 931 percent in the past week, Ford Motor Company up 274 percent and Super Bowl participant The New England Patriots, up 256 percent.

Talkwalker (www.talkwalker.com) is one of the world’s leading social data intelligence companies. Its cutting edge technology provides actionable social media insights through real-time social listening and advanced social media analytics. Talkwalker helps marketers to prove the value of their social efforts and significantly enhances the speed and accuracy of business decision-making. Talkwalker’s state of the art social intelligence platform monitors and analyzes online conversations on social networks, news websites, blogs, forums and more, in over 187 languages. Its 1500 servers process posts from 150 million websites every day. Talkwalker’s unique social intelligence software was selected to become a Twitter Official Partner in 2014.

Leave These 12 Things out of Your Hospital Delivery Bag

Bellyitch Rewind
labor and delivery bagListen, you know all those baby prep books you’ve read that give you super long lists of stuff you need to pack to take with you for labor and delivery when it’s time to welcome your new baby? Okay, you’re not gonna need most of that stuff. Now, you may feel some comfort and security knowing that you have your 90s soft rock 3-disc CD to take your mind off of labor pains, but most likely, it won’t make it out of your suitcase. 

Besides all the useless and unnecessary things you’ll chorale to the hospital, you’ll have additional things, flowers, gifts, balloons and baby stuff to add to the pile and schlep back home. To save you the trouble and hassle, here is our old tried and true list of 12 things you can leave home and spare your poor partner the back pain.

  1. Newborn diapers– Hospitals provide all the diapers the baby needs during the stay and even send you home with extra starter packs
  2. Nursing cover -There is no need for modesty in your hospital room in your hospital bed. The nurses have seen plenty of boobs in their career. If guests visit while you’re nursing, you can ask them to wait outside until you’re done feeding the baby. Most people won’t get offended.
  3. Wipes– Most hospitals use a very thick napkin that they wet with water and wipes contain elements that aren’t good for a newborn’s skin.
  4. Diaper Cream -Most likely the baby won’t be born with a diaper rash and won’t develop one within the first2-3 days of his life while in the hospital. If he does, the hospital has sample cream to use. Those tubes and jars can add weight to an already stuffed take home bag
  5. Any childbirth class notes or guidelines and labor hints: Really now? Do you think in the midst of breathing through labor pains you’re gonna want to review your notes?
  6. Underwear– Many hospitals provide the most comfortable mesh disposable ones that you will love to use instead of messing up your own. The joke among my friends is that they are the special order Victoria Secret mesh panties for new moms.
  7. iPod or music player – with music selections to help with relaxation Besides being outdated and taking up too much space, piping Gregorian Chants or Enya in the room may be a distraction for the hospital staff, interrupt with monitoring equipment and/or disturb a neighboring laboring moms. If you have a smartphone that has the capability of accommodating music, download music on there and bring your headphones. It takes up less space than bringing your phone AND ipod.
  8. Receiving blankets- The hospital provides plenty that you can take home even afterwards. Save all the cute baby shower gifts for home.
  9. Two regular-sized bed pillows (in bright, distinctive, hard-to-lose pillowcases)- The Hospital or maternity center provide enough. If you are a germaphobe, think the hospital’s pillow cases may be too rough or want something familiar from home, just bring the pillowcases and replace the hospital’s cases. They take up less space.
  10. Baby’s “memory” book – for footprints or staff names and guest signatures Nice idea if you have someone who will remind guests to sign because you’ll be consumed with baby, nursing, caring for yourself, and will likely forget.
  11. Entertainment items (books, crayons, games) for children are to visit in hospital – A lot of hospitals don’t permit young children  in the maternity wards, but for those who do and if children come to visit they may not be staying THAT long to get bored and need entertainment. As for other people’s children, it’s not your job to tote extra crap to entertain your friends’ kids.
  12. Clothes for hospital baby photo AND clothes for baby to wear home  You only need one of these. Either or. The kid shouldn’t be a fashionista YET that she can’t be seen in the same outfit twice. You can simply put on the outfit before the photo and take it off afterward. If you can, schedule your photo the same day and around your discharge time.

The Extra Crap you don’t NEED but you CAN bring (eh hem, especially if you are a diva or fashionista):

  1. Make up– because you don’t want to end up on Facebook looking like you just went through a train wreck. If your goal is to look like Khloe Kardashian after she delivered Mason or at least attempt to, then you’re gonna want some make up.
  2. Towels- Because the hospital ones are usually washed a lot and can be itchy.
  3. Your own toilet paper – Hospital toilet paper can be thin. Your delicate bum may want something soft then
  4. Your Own Plush Robe – For accepting visitors, walks to the nursery to visit baby and /or walking off the gas for those who have c-sections.
  5. A spare bag – You can use it to store the extra stuff you’ll have to carry home.

The 8 Healthy Snacks You Should be Eating Daily

snacks

What you eat between meals matters as much as the food you consume for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is where a lot of people make mistakes because it’s not uncommon to assume that if you eat chips or other snacks, you get to “correct that mistake” with healthy meals.

Your body doesn’t work like that, and it needs a constant flow of healthy foods rich in valuable nutrients to remain healthy. It is important to establish healthy eating habits; it’s always useful to watch food documentaries with detailed insight into consumers’ habits, processed foods, and benefits of well-balanced diets.


Healthy eating requires proper snacks, too. Here are some snack ideas you could use:

 

Nut butter packets

Nut butter is one of those snacks that are both delicious and healthy at the same time. They are made from cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts and you can easily find them in grocery stores, farmer’s markets, even online. Nut butters are abundant in nutrients like proteins, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. Besides nut butter jars, brands like Nuttzo and Justin’s supply on-the-go single-serving packets of these healthy snacks.

 

Pistachios

Reasons to eat more pistachios are numerous; they are rich in Vitamin B6 which is responsible for the production of hemoglobin whose role is to supply oxygen to the cells. One study found that consumption of pistachios lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduces cardiovascular disease risk. Evidence suggests that moderate intake of pistachios is beneficial for body weight management due to their satiety and satiation effects and they help your body maintain healthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

 

Walnuts

Did you know that one-quarter cup of walnuts provides more than 100% of the daily recommended value of plant-based Omega 3 fatty acids? Health benefits of walnuts are numerous including cancer-fighting properties, heart health, and weight management. Another reason they make a perfect snack in between meals is that they deliver remarkably powerful antioxidants which destroy free radicals and protect your body from oxidative damage. Men who eat one-half cup or 75g walnuts a day improve vitality, motility, and sperm quality. Let’s not forget that walnuts are super beneficial for your brain as well.

 

Edamame

Basically, edamame is an underripe green soybean that provides a unique mix of slow-digesting carbs, proteins, and steady energy levels. If you’ve never tried edamame before, you should definitely do so because this healthy snack delivers a number of benefits to your body. Since it’s soybean, edamame has the potential to protect the brain from age-related diseases, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and decrease odds for breast and prostate cancer. The folate in edamame helps relieve symptoms of depression, alleviates inflammation, and promotes fertility in women. So many benefits coming from such a small soybean.

 

Dried plums

Prunes or dried plums are ideal for people who want to eat something sweet but healthy as well. Thanks to high fiber content, this snack promotes satiety thus helping you manage weight. Appetite suppressant properties are necessary for weight loss too! One study showed that dried plum prevents the loss of total bone mineral density in postmenopausal women due to the ability to inhibit bone resorption.

 

Apricots

Apricots are versatile, you can eat them as they are or add to yogurt and oatmeal for natural sweetness. Plus, you can opt for dried or fresh apricots, it’s up to you. So, what makes them an ideal snack? It’s because they provide various health benefits such as prevention of anemia, eye health, reduced risk of fatty liver diseases, and so on. Bear in mind that apricots have anti-inflammatory properties as well, improve digestion, and regulate your blood pressure. Besides all this, they are incredibly delicious.

 

Kale chips

The word “chips” immediately reminds you of potato chips that you munch on a daily basis, especially at night. You already know that’s not, exactly, the healthiest food choice one can make, especially if it’s store-bought. When it comes to chips, you just have to be creative and think outside the box. For instance, kale chips are a wonderful snack, it’s tasty and healthy, plus it doesn’t require too much preparation. You’ll be surprised to know that this particular snack can help you lose weight, protect eyesight, and improve heart health. How it’s chips after all?! It’s because they aren’t fried, but baked thus retaining nutritional content. Sounds tempting? You can find a recipe for kale chips online, including here.

 

Regular snacks that people consume on a daily basis are unhealthy, contribute to weight gain, and increase the risk of numerous health conditions. These negative effects don’t miraculously improve just by opting for a nice, healthy lunch.

This article listed a few ideas for snacks that are both healthy and delicious. Give them a try, you’ll love them.