7 Survival Tips for the First-Time Dad

Bellyitch Rewind

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This Father’s Day is a great time to salute the first time dads! Congratulate them for for making it to the daddy club.

If you’re a dad reading this, you may be exhausted, overwhelmed and still anxious. There will be a ups and downs but mainly ups. If you’re nervous, don’t worry too much. There is only so many ways you can mess up raising a baby.  To help you feel a little better, here are some great tips for new dads from Julia Wang, head of digital content at TheBump.com.

Tips for new dads:

  1. You’ll sometimes think you made a huge mistake — It’s normal every now and then to secretly wonder why you ever had a kid in the first place. Forgive yourself these occasional moments of self-doubt and, from time to time, let yourself mourn your pre-parenthood life. These moments will be short-lived.
  2. Buy a rechargeable, cordless hand vacuum — Much of your time will be spent getting things off the floor. At first, it will be all manner of bodily fluids, but soon enough, you’re going to be dealing with everything from Cheerios to banana slices. Later, the list will grow to include things like glitter, dirt, forgotten bacon and pretty much anything that can be shredded by small hands. And the clunky upright is too annoying to drag out four times a day.
  3. It’s perfectly acceptable to make an entire dinner in the microwave. That’s it.
  4. Act like a grown-up — One of the most heartbreaking sights is that of a parent and their young child in a shouting match trying to see who can out-tantrum the other. Children are an endless source of joy, but only when they’re not being an endless source of frustration. Breathe deeply and never let yourself escalate to the level of irrational fury that your little one occasionally inhabits. A two-year-old has the right to act like a child; you do not.
  5. Hand-me-downs are more than okay — Not only are secondhand baby things easier on the wallet and the environment, it’s a lot less agonizing when you find yourself on the fourth outfit of a craptastic kind of day (which, trust me, you will).
  6. Make time for the other relationships in your life — Not only is it important for your child to know there’s more to the world than you catering to their every need, but you’re also teaching them a very important lesson about what it means to have a full, loving life. Seeing you in the role of good friend or devoted spouse is a way for your kids to learn what it means to actually be a good friend or devoted spouse.
  7. You’re not the “backup parent.” You’re a father — You’re a full, equal partner in turning a small, fragile sack of fluid and bones into a loving, decent, healthy citizen of the Universe. Never let the fact that other people aren’t sure what to do with a man between conception and Little League fool you into thinking that you’re anything less than critical to every step of the process. Be informed, aggressively involved and as in love as you’re capable of letting yourself be.

Break a leg, new dads and congrats again!

Your Guide To Ensuring Your Kids’ Aren’t Overdoing It In Sports

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If you look back on your own childhood, were you involved in sports very much? Some people will remember every spare minute being at a sports club or in an after school sports team. Some of us many not have memories like that and just have the PE lessons at school to remember when we think of sport and our childhood. The latter does seem a bit of a shame, as there is so much more to sport and being active when you’re young than a formal lesson at school, doing something that you might not normally excel at.

There are so many benefits to getting involved in sport from a young age. Child psychologists often talk about these benefits and how they can help children to grow in confidence and help them to socialize and work in teams. They can also help our children to learn vital life skills, like hard work, determination, cooperation with others, and commitment to doing something, and achieving a goal.

There, of course, can be some tough patches to work through. When you’re watching your child on the sidelines, could it potentially lead to things like anxiety for them? You will also go through the process of choosing the right activity for them to take part in. That process can lead to some heartache and even some feelings of being upset and sad as they discover that they aren’t as good at some things as they are at others.


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Teaching our children to be gracious in defeat is also something that they will need to learn along the way. So with all that in mind, it can seem like a bit of a minefield to even start thinking about. We don’t want to do anything wrong with our children and end up scaring them, so there some certain considerations. Here are a few of the best ways to get your children into sport, so that they can reap the rewards.

Be Selective
One of the most important messages, when you’re picking activities for your children to be involved in, is to not overdo it. Many parents make the mistake of getting them intensely involved in just one sport, with weekends and evenings taken up with it. Equally, if they are involved in too many different sports, it can be detrimental too. When they’re only focussed on one, it can take the fun out of it as it is more of a chore. But when there are too many, it can stop them from taking the time to enjoy their favorite one or two.

Is there a magic number of the sports or activities that they should get involved with, though? Around the age of eight or under, they should be doing about two or three a year, as it can help them to learn a broad range of skills. From there, they should then be able to decide which they like and enjoy, and they ones that they are happy to not continue on with.

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Give Your Child Choice
To start with, at around the age of four or five, it can be a good idea to ask (or heavily suggest) which team sports they should try out. For some, it might be because of friends doing a certain class or because you as the parent had enjoyed it when you were younger. But after a while, you need to give your children choice over the activities they do. If they’ve tried soccer but really have found themselves to be no good at it, it won’t be good for their confidence to carry on with it. So hear what they have to say about it and let them choose. Of course, giving them some options as to what is viable for you is fine. But don’t sign them up for anything without having that conversation with them.

Along these lines, it is a good idea to check with them what they think they are best at. They might have friends that do the baseball club, but they might actually be better at gymnastics. So speak to them and find out their skills and preferences. They shouldn’t only be going to a sports club because they have friends that go there too.

Support Them With Equipment and Kit
It can be hard as sports kit can cost quite a lot of money, but a few little things here and there can be a good to get for your children. They will feel set up for football or soccer if you’ve researched and got them the best football gloves and boots. The same goes for tennis, the right clothing and perhaps a racket can be really helpful and give them a confidence boost to get going with the sport. Goggles for swimming and a specific towel for their swimming lessons can make it more fun and exciting for them. So where you can, try to support them in their chosen sporting activity with some kit or equipment to help them to excel.

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Talk About The Commitment
Before embarking on a sports activity, and before you get any kit for it, it is a good idea to explain what they will need to commit to for it to work. If you are just going to be trying something out for a semester, then they need to know how long they’ll be expected to go for. Then after that time is up, they can let you know if they want to carry on or not. It isn’t a good idea to just stop after two weeks when they don’t want to go anymore. They will learn commitment and dedication when they have to go to something for a number of weeks. It can also give them the right amount of time to hone their skills and to improve. You never know, they might like it enough to carry on after that season or semester.

Avoid Burnout

If you think that you might be giving your child too much to do or get involved with, then there are some signs to look out for. Often they might not communicate it to you as they don’t know how. Or they might feel like they’re letting you down if they say that it is getting too much for them.

  • So bear in mind your child’s personality and opinions too. Watch out for these signs of burnout:
    They will make any excuse to not attend practice, or will regularly complain of being ill on the day of a game or practice.
    If your child is getting fed up of the sport (or sports) that they are doing, they won’t talk about it anymore. This could be especially evident if it were something that they always talked about previously.
  • If you have to wake your child up each morning, then it could be a sign of burnout or exhaustion. It can also be a sign that they aren’t sleeping well because of a feeling of guilt or from feeling depressed or anxious.
  • If you discover over a number of weeks that they eat much less than they normally do, or regularly complain of feeling sick, then it could be a sign of anxiety that has led from the feeling of being run down.Wow

As you can see, there are many benefits to kids taking part in sport. But there are also many things that they should be thinking about, looking out for, and avoiding if necessary. The most important thing is involving them in the decisions and keeping the communication channels open.

Father’s Day: 7 Unique Gifts Under $20 to Get for Dad

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Father’s Day is next month and now is as good as time as any to start thinking of what to get dad for his special day. I think the usual tie, socks, coffee mug and golf balls are played out and it’s time to start thinking outside of the box. Unique and personalized gifts stand out, like a personalized photo collage, a subscription box to Dollar Shave Club or something like that. A custom shirt is memorable.

We curated a list of fun novelty gifts that dad may enjoy. Check them out.


1.For dad who is a dog lover, we really like these Fred Winer Dogs Dachshund Dog Drink Markers. They are great for breaking out when entertaining. To ease confusion over whose class is whose, these puppies (pun intended) hug each guests glass stem. They sell for only $16 for a set of 6.

2.For the dad who is more into moonshine or tequila shots, there’s these super cute mini shot glasses that resemble small mason jars! Hayley Cherie makes the glasses which come with their own tiny little lids and are great for crafts or party favors even. They are $11.99 for a set of 6 as well!

  1. If you insist on going the stereotypical route with the mug and golf clubs, why not combine them and get a mug that comes with its own tiny club and golf club.  Brink’s ceramic mug comes with its own stir stick to mix your coffee with, and it comes in the perfect shape to shoot a tiny hole in one. The set is $19.99

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4. Desktop Cornhold Bean Bag Game looks like a fun distraction from the daily grind at work. Any dad would enjoy getting this as a gift and being able to pause during the day to toss the bean bag. The game is also under $20 at $13.98.

  1. Got an artsy dad who loves to doodle or has some artistic skills? If he also has a smartphone and wouldn’t mind showing off his talents, you can can get dad a phone case he paints. Kikkerland sells a silicon case for iPhones that comes with non-toxic colors and a paint brush. It sells for a mere $10.00 It also makes a version for Samsung Galaxy 6 owners.

  2. Like everyone, dad has a story in him too. If he is a writer or fancies himself a budding author, consider gifting dad this awesome book “642 Things to Write About“. The journal-like soft-cover book by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto includes several prompts. The purpose is to get one comfortable with daily writing and to practice expressing oneself in prose. We love this $11.92 book that is also under $20!

  3. If dad is the type of dad who gets motivated by inspirational words, another book to consider is “Whatever You Are, Be a Good One.” The book features quotes from the minds of the likes of  Lewis Carroll, Marie Curie, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen to Beatrix Potter and great creative thinkers from every walk of life offering words of wisdom, heartfelt compassion and stirring calls to action. You can get a hardcover for just $8.99

Happy Shopping!

12 Easy Ways To Encourage Your Child to Eat Healthy

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Being a mom can be difficult, especially at mealtimes.

Children can be very fussy when it comes to trying new foods, especially those of a healthy, nutritional value. If it’s green, it must be mean! However, there are ways we can still encourage our children to eat healthily, and here some ideas in how to do it.


1. Give informed advice

If it isn’t made from chocolate, your children may turn their noses up at what you put in front of them. However, a little education goes a long way. Explain to your child in fun and creative ways why choosing foods of nutritional value are better than eating junk food. Let them know what foods will make them better at sports. Tell them how a healthy breakfast is ideal for boosting their brain cells. We often tell our children to do something without explanation, so start as early as you can with good parental advice.

2. Place healthy food in reach

Whenever you bake cookies, you can guarantee your child will not be too far away, eager for a tasty snack. Instead, have healthy foods placed around the house, such as a fruit bowl on the table, so when they are hungry, they will be tempted by the more healthy choice on offer.

3. Grow your food

Most children hate vegetables. However, if they have been given the opportunity to grow their own, they might take ownership of the food and begin to eat it.

4. Don’t be bossy

The more you order your child to eat that plate of broccoli, the less likely they are going to do it. Instead, consider the foods your child enjoys and add to them to make a healthier option. For example, have a chocolate dip with the strawberries, or have a look at Healthy But Smart’s list of food processors, for those delicious fruit smoothies.

5. Prepare a buffet

Children enjoy choice, so have a range of foods on offer. From pasta shapes to cheese rolls, choose food that looks and tastes good, with that all important nutritional value.

6. Take it slow

Don’t introduce too many new foods quickly. Perhaps try something different each week. If they don’t eat it, tell them that sometimes taste buds take a while to get used to something. That gives you the opportunity to return to that food down the line, giving your child a fun reason to see if they like it better.

7. A spoonful of sugar

We all know too much sugar can be bad for us. However, to misquote Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar can help the broccoli go down. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on the food your child finds disagreeable, and it may be easier for them to eat.

8. Make eating fun

Be creative with your children’s foods. Give the peas silly names, and make fun patterns on the plate. Use cookie cutters to make funny food shapes. Make a pizza together, letting your child design the food on the base, such as a smiley face or a rocket ship. The more fun they have in cooking with you, the more likely they are to eat what they have created.

9. Allow for treats

Don’t be so health conscious that your child never gets to eat what their friends are. The occasional ice cream, chocolate, and popcorn are fine. Everything needs to be done in moderation, but a world without candy floss is a very boring one.

10. Be a good role model

Practice what you preach. Don’t give your child a plate of broccoli while you tuck into a burger. Your child looks at you for a good example, so be mindful of your own eating habits.

11. Let your kids plan dinner

As dodgy as this sounds, giving your children control over planning one mealtime a week may provide surprising results. Ask them to think about a healthy menu and put options in front of them. As you go shopping, as stressful as it can be, let them pick the foods they want for their chosen mealtime. If all goes wrong and they insist on french fries with chocolate, go for it, with the rule that they must eat your food choices on the other days of the week

12. Talk to your doctor

If you have concerns about your child’s eating habits, or you are considering putting them on a diet, talk to a doctor first. Whether you think your child is too fat or thin, it is always better to seek expert advice.

Good luck parents!




 



 

8 Ways to Encourage Sportsmanship in Kids

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Between youth league team sports, school physical activity initiatives, and the variety of athletic lessons and skills that today’s kids participate in, there are tons of opportunities every day for kids to showcase either sportsmanlike qualities or the foibles of a sore loser.

Emotions tend to run high, especially in younger children, making it even more difficult for them to display themselves as a good sport. There are several ways that parents and authority figures can help kids to become sportsmanlike competitors; these are a few of the simplest and most effective.

1. Model Sportsmanlike Conduct – Kids learn by emulating the adults that are important to them, so it’s imperative that parents, coaches, and caregivers model good sportsmanship at every opportunity. That means applauding good plays regardless of who made them, keeping negative comments and criticisms to yourself, and never making a child feel bad about himself because of an athletic mistake.


 2. Don’t Focus on Wins and Losses – Instead of focusing on the wins and losses of a kids’ sports team, adults should concentrate on acknowledging good plays and offering supportive assistance to build skills that children are less confident in. Emphasizing the importance of playing to the best of your abilities rather than obsessing over a win helps kids feel less absorbed with scoring and allows them to be more in tune with teamwork and dedication.

3. Never Reward Excessive Aggression – A child that delivers a win through overly-aggressive conduct should be congratulated on her success, but also encouraged to do so in a manner that can’t be construed as bullying the other players on the field.

4. Instill a Sense of Pride – When children are praised and taught to feel a sense of pride in their athletic accomplishments, parents and coaches can also help to instill a sense of humility. Kids that learn the difference between confidence and cockiness are also beginning to understand the concept of sportsmanlike conduct versus swaggering conceit.

5. Emphasize the Importance of Having Fun – At a young age, even budding athletic stars are still learning the fundamentals of the game and are beginning to build the foundations of skill. Kids that feel pressured to perform beyond their means or are forced into participation are not only almost certain to grow to resent their sport, but also to become more focused on winning at all costs. Keep kids’ sports focused on having fun, working together and building skills that may be valuable in the future.

6. Don’t Coach From the Bleachers – In addition to embarrassing your child, shouting at his teammates, coaches, and the other team from the sidelines is a great way to teach kids exactly how not to behave. There’s nothing sportsmanlike about railing the other team, berating children for a fumble, or badmouthing a coach your child looks up to. Remember the first rule of teaching kids to be a good sport is to model that behavior yourself, and this includes refraining from taking on the head coach role from the bleachers.

7. Point Out Good – and Bad – Conduct in Professional Athletes – The Olympic Games and other sporting events provide parents and coaches with a great opportunity to point out stellar sportsmanship, but it can also create talking points for discussing bad conduct on the part of a professional athlete or sports figure. When major sports names make the news for either a temper tantrum or an impressive display of grace, talk about it with your kids. Ask them how they feel about the situation, creating a dialogue that allows you to both hear what your child has to say and pass along the wisdom that you’ve learned over the years.

8. Discouraging kids from looking up to trash-talking, insulting athletes who make a name for themselves by bashing their teammates and opponents is one of the most important steps to helping them learn to be good sports themselves, as children will model their own behavior after that of their heroes. While you can’t control who your kids look up to, you can calmly and gently point out their favorite stars’ attitudes, when they’re someone to look up to, and where they have room for improvement.

Remember, though; badmouthing a rude professional athlete to your child isn’t likely to be viewed by her as much different from that athlete threatening to pulverize his opponents.

Choose your words carefully, and help your kids become the best sports they can be.

 

4 Ways Moms Can Get ‘Self Care’ and ‘Me Time’

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It is a fact and even studies support the fact that raising a child or children can be  an extremely stressful and busy time. Of course, it is well worth it. Parents are proud of their children.  But given all the strain and pressure of managing a household and childrearing, it is important that moms (and dads) take time for self-care.

Self-care can be defined as care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you.


Women and moms, especially, do not take time off to engage in fun activities or things they love. Many of us remember a time when we used to read for leisure. Sadly, a lot of us cannot remember the last time we picked up a good book and dug into it uninterrupted.

Here is a roundup of things you can do just for fun to let off some steam or just let go.

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Engage in A Hobby – Either get back into something you might have enjoyed before kids or pick up a new one like embroidery, gardening, or painting. You need something that you can dip in and out of, and something that will help you unwind after a stressful day. You do not need to be amazing at it, but just find the thing you enjoy and use it to give yourself a bit of ME time.

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Start a Blog – These days blogging has become a profession for some, but it is still a great way to journal your life, your family’s life or talk about some topic that is dear to you. If you are at home, you can easily start up your own blog. You can download an app to your phone so you can update quickly and easily so it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time! You can talk about anything- your baby and children tips, easy to make dinners on a budget, home and interior advice, or even just your amusing musings on the life of a mother. It is a great way to keep the old grey matter working, and also to share your experiences with the world.

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Play Online Games – You’ve probably gotten invitations to play one of the many online games that are part of your favorite social networking sites. Believe it or not, they are not a waste of time but also a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your memory or strategy skills. These days you can also download an app to to your phone and play a great range of popular casino games whenever you want and wherever you are! All Jackpots Casino online offers a super range of all the popular casino games and it also offers great prizes and payouts as well! Who knows, you could strike it lucky. Imagine being able to win some money while just kicking back just be careful you don’t make it a habit.

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Pick Up a New Exercise Trend – Work out trends like pilates, yogilates, kickboxing, cross-fit come and go but some look like fun and once you become addicted or join a fun class where you know all the other members, you’re more likely to go often. Soon, meeting up at your fave class becomes something you look forward to while getting into shape. And if you are on maternity leave, you can also start. You may be tired and exercise might feel like the last thing that you want to do, but as soon as the endorphins kick in, you will think differently!

Being short on time doesn’t mean you don’t have time to look after yourself. The key is to find an exercise that you can do at home and even with a kid in tow!

Throw an Amazing Baby Shower With These Top Tips

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A close friend or family member is expecting a new bundle of joy, and you have the exciting task of throwing them a baby shower to remember. There are some things to consider when planning the get-together and some tips to help make the day run smoothly. You want to ensure that everybody leaves with a smile on their face.
Themes
If you know the baby’s gender already, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick to a traditional palette of blue for a boy and pink for a girl. However, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the classic route, and it will appeal to many. You’ll probably know the mama-to-be well enough to choose a color scheme or theme, so pick one and run with it.

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Yellows mixed with neutral tones, like gray, are a cute, contemporary option and the colors work equally as well for an incoming girl or boy. If the gender won’t be revealed until the due date, why not create a neutral theme with pops of bright color, or your color scheme could be pastels and patterns such as stripes and polka-dots. Pinterest is crammed with baby shower ideas, check them out here.


Food and Drinks

What’s a celebration without the food? Well, usually a room full of hungry people, so, you can’t let that happen and should start planning what everyone will be eating as early as possible. It’s always a very good idea to have a balance of sweet and savory items to nibble, too much of the sugary stuff can lead to a sickly feeling and a headache, so make sure there is a diverse mixture. The food doesn’t need to be over-complicated, so don’t panic, a buffet with a little effort put into the presentation will please all your guests.

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Cupcakes and sandwiches are a tasty option and simple to make; you want to give your guests food that they can pick up and eat comfortably, so soup wouldn’t be the best idea. If the idea of creating a whole table of food worries you, you can always put a “bring a plate” instruction on the invite or email; people are usually happy to do this, and it means they’ll be something everybody’s excited to eat. You might, however, be a creative whizz and you can start matching your frosting color to your themes, the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget, there are also loads of great options in stores, and you could even hire a caterer, nobody will ever know!

Obviously, they’ll be one guest who won’t be drinking alcohol, and baby showers are usually a day event, so hard liquor might be inappropriate. Keep alcohol light and fun, you could make a popular cocktail or punch and serve it from teapots for a tea party theme, or if you’re hosting in an outdoor space, why not use mason jars and decorate them to match the bunting and balloons.

A non-alcoholic drink doesn’t have to be boring either; there are an array of virgin cocktail recipes online. A large jug of water with fruit and mint leaves is another refreshing option that will look pretty on the table too. For a little more food and drink inspiration, take a look at this backyard baby shower: http://bellyitchblog.com/2016/04/inside-terricka-antonio-cromarties-backyard-baby-shower.html.

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Party Favors And Gifts
A designated area, where guests can put their gifts is essential. It’s almost a certainty that everyone attending the shower will have bought something for the expecting mom. The opening of the gifts can be a memorable part of the party, so establish a space, with a comfortable chair, where the guest of honor can sit and be the center of attention. If you’re all within a group of friends, you can put your heads (and cash) together and get a larger, joint gift. A gift list is also a helpful way of ensuring the mom-to-be doesn’t get too much of the same, and maybe if you’re an inside source, you’ll know exactly want she needs and wants.
Picking something unique and memorable will always be appreciated, as it’s so obvious how much thought you put into choosing something special. Personalized gifts are sweet and often fun, you could pick something specifically for the expecting mom, her baby, or even the rest of her family. For example, matching personalized mugs for the parents, or customized T-shirts for the whole family would make her smile and what a great photo opportunity; for some more inspiration, have a look here:

http://www.zoeyspersonalizedgifts.com/big-sister-to-be-t-shirts/. The more thought everyone puts into their gifting, the better the memories and the more special the mother will feel.

You can be quite savvy when it comes to your party favors and gifts, and link them in with an enjoyable activity at the shower. Cupcake decorating or creating cake pops are relaxing activities and enable everyone involved to still chat, nibble and drink; they’ll also have something sweet to take home or enjoy at the party. Why not ask everyone to decorate their own paper party bags; have a craft table full of supplies, where guests can put their name on their bag and decorate it (before filling it full of cake and candy). Ensure the activity can be enjoyed sitting down and that there’s no pressure for people to take part if they don’t want to, although, the majority of folks won’t mind one bit.

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Guest Book And Photos

The mother-to-be will want to remember her special day and be able to look back on it fondly. A guest book is a perfect option for those who like to have a keepsake, and it can’t get more thoughtful than all her nearest and dearest writing their well-wishes in a book she can take home. If there are family and friends that couldn’t make the gathering, perhaps you could organize for them write in it beforehand, so nobody has to miss out. The book itself can be a simple and inexpensive notebook on which you can write the mamas name and the date of her baby shower (and maybe go over to that craft table you set up and decorate it).

Lastly, don’t forget photos! For the social media savvy, you could create a hashtag for the day, so everybody can find pictures from the day online with ease. There’s alway the option of asking guests to email you any pictures they took, so you can create a folder to send to the mama after her baby arrives; perfect for her to browse through when she’s up for a night feed!

Forget Candy and Flowers, Get Mom a Memorable Gift That Would Last

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With Mother’s Day around the corner, I just remembered a very unique idea for a grandmom, new mom, mom-to-be or any other maternal figure in your life who loves sentimental items.


Instead of flowers which will wilt, chocolates or dinner which will get consumed or a spa gift certificate for one day of pampering, consider getting something that will stand the test of time and will last?

Also, personalized items, emblazoned with the recipient’s  name or initials are also long-lasting gifts that will be cherished for years to come. Another idea is to upload a collage of your favorite photos of mom or the family and have them printed out on one of the removable personalized wall papers that the folks at WeMontage sell.

 

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Their collages are lifesize and printed on removable wallpaper that you can then frame or put up as is anywhere: the sewing room, an office, a baby’s nursery, a den or living room. It provides a wonderful opportunity to relish in past sacred moments memorialized in photos.

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That’s essential because these days, people don’t really print out photos much. Pics just live for years inside people’s smartphones or in albums of their favorite social media site.

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WeMontage also sells products like canvas wraps, iPhone cases, pillows and more. And even though it’s mad late to get one in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday, you can always show mom the collage and present her with a representation of what’s to come.

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Their products would also make great Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day gifts. And for the new graduate, a collage from kindergarten to graduation would be a very memorable way to celebrate commencement. Boy will your graduate be surprised and excited to see this if you could pull it off!

Let the good folks at WeMontage do the leg work for you and you get all the glory and praise of presenting such an awesome gift! Start making yours here!

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These Tips Will Help You Bolster Your Family’s Finances

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Your family’s finances are always going to be important. Of course, money can’t buy happiness for your family. But it can certainly make you a lot more comfortable and provide your family with the lifestyle that you want for it. There are lots of threats out there that could have a disastrous impact on the overall health of your finances. You need to be alert to these threats and plan out how to stay as financially stable as possible.

It’s perfectly possible to keep your business in good financial shape if you work hard and take the right steps. But getting on the right tracks can be hard if you’ve never paid too much close attention to your money and financial management in the past. You should let the detailed and helpful information below help you out and get you on the right tracks. Start reading all about these issues now.


If You Take Risks, Make Sure They’re Calculated

There is nothing necessarily wrong with taking risks when you are managing your family’s finances. But there is certainly something wrong with taking risks that are not calculated. When you fail to take calculated risks, you will put yourself and your family at danger. For example, choosing to invest is not a bad thing. But if you are taking big risks without really knowing what you’re doing, you will make mistakes that lead to disaster. So, next time you take a risk with your finances, make sure that it’s calculated in advance. The alternative is not worth thinking about.

Know Your Limits and Stay Within Them

Every family has a certain set of limits that it needs to be aware of. You can’t afford to live a life of luxury if your income doesn’t match up to that. One rule you should always live by is the rule which says you should never finances your lifestyle with borrowing. Yes, you can sometimes finance one-off payments or purchases through borrowing. But financing your general lifestyle in that way is simply unsustainable. It’s not something that you can afford to do at all if you’re going to live in a way that is financially stable and secure. It’s important to be aware of that.

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Take Every Opportunity to Earn a Little More

Your main income doesn’t necessarily have to be your only form of income. There is nothing stopping you from going out of your way to earn a little bit more. For example, you could choose to do some extra hours at work. You could choose to do some babysitting or dog walking in the local community. All of these things help you to make money. Or maybe you have a hobby or artistic interest that you can use to sell some things to people. Do whatever you can to expand and increase your overall income. It could make your family life that little bit more comfortable.

Save for Your Children’s Future Education

There are some things in life that parents are expected to help out their kids with. These days, education is very expensive. And if your child wants to go to college in the future, they will either by lumbered with vast amounts of debt or you will have to help them out a little. It’s up to you which route you take, but it makes more sense for you to start saving for your children’s future education right now. If you start while they’re young, it will be easier to raise a decent amount by the time they do go to college.

Learn to Plan Better

Planning is perhaps the most important thing of all when it comes to managing your family’s finances. Many people would say saving is most important, but that’s where I disagree. Planning always has to come before saving. And if you don’t plan things out in the right way, you won’t be able to save and spend in the right way either. So, never underestimate the importance of planning out your financial situation in the right way. If you don’t want to do this alone, it will be perfectly possible for you to find a financial planner to help you.

Give Some Thought to Cybersecurity

There are so many threats out there on the internet, and some of them can have a big impact on your financial situation. If you fail to counter the cybersecurity threats that are lurking out there and waiting for you to slip up, you will be caught out sooner or later, and that’s not what you want to happen. You can use Bitdefender online coupons to get a more affordable deal on a good antivirus software. It’s important to put these basic protections in place. Educate yourself as well; it could be the thing that helps you to avoid cyber threats and scams.

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Put the Right Insurance Policies in Place

Insurance is really important. If something happens to your house, your car or one of the family’s main earner, you need to be able to cope and keep your finances balanced. By having the right insurance policies in place, you can make sure that’s the case. You should have home and contents cover, life insurance and car insurance. All of these things can help protect you in the event of a major disaster. And it will mean that the consequences of those disasters won’t have to be paid for by money out of your own pocket.

Keep One Eye on the Future

The future might seem like something that’s way off in the distances, but it’s coming our way fast. When it comes to managing your money and balancing your accounts, you need to always have one eye on the future. For example, do you have a plan for how you’re going to get by financially when you enter retirement? Do you have investments that are earning you extra money? There are many future financial concerns that you need to be thinking about and making plans and arrangements for. It’s something you’ll be happy you did later on in life.

 These are the 8 Essential Items You Need for Your Newborn Baby

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To a lot of brand new mothers-to-be, having a new baby is a scary.

Often, friends and family tell you that you’ll be overwhelmed (which you will be!), and try to give you advice on what items you should have ready for when your new one comes into your life.


You’ll get advice about a lot of items people think you should have but in reality, there are really just 8 vital items every new mom should have for their newborn baby. Although all a baby needs is love and warmth, here are some items which will make your life much easier!

Furniture

1.Crib and mattress: You will surely want a place for your newborn to sleep in. Whether you’re planning on cuddling them next to you for the first few weeks, or want to have your baby sleeping in a crib, you just need to remember that they spend around 16 hours per day snoozing. It is therefore imperative to check that their crib or mattress meets safety standards. You can choose between the variety of Moses baskets, bassinets, pack-and-play, or co-sleepers.

2. Dresser: This item is guaranteed to make your life easier. Featuring generous space for storing clothes, diapers or blankets, a dresser will save a lot of space, and make it comfortable for you to find items at the click of a finger.

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Baby Care

3. Car Seat: In many countries (including the United States), it’s illegal to have a baby in the car without a car seat. Needless to say those car seats provide added comfort and most importantly, safety, but no need to guilt-trip yourself into buying anything expensive. Just choose something which meets current safety standards, and you’re good to go!

4. Stroller: There is a variety of strollers available in today’s marketplace. Nonetheless, you will always hear moms talking about needing to have enough undercarriage space (designed for storing diapers, milk bottles or chocolate snacks- those ones are just to keep you going!)

5. Bouncer or Swing: Many moms like having one or the other. Whether you just need 5 minutes to lay flat on the floor and think of the sleep you’re losing, doing laundry or just making dinner, it’s nice to see your little one bounce around.

6. Burp cloths: This may be a touchy subject for a new-mom: your newborn is going to spit-up or vomit in the future. Quite a lot as well. You will want to be prepared, so always have a clean supply of 15-20 burp cloths.

7. Diapers and wipes: The trick with diapers is, when you think you’ve got enough, get more! There is no possible way you can estimate how many diapers you’ll need to change, so better be well prepared and have a little arsenal of diapers just ready for the battlefield!

8. Baby Monitor: As a first-time parent, you may find great comfort in having a baby monitor which will allow you to get some sleep without having to check on your beautiful new one every 5 minutes. Products nowadays have evolved, ranging from simple monitors with integrated sound systems, to high-tech ones with motion-detectors.

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Other items Worth Mentioning

Hands-free baby carrier: This item might be a bit strange, as I’m still unsure if the baby likes the closeness of hearing their parent’s heartbeat, or parents just love snuggling up with their little ones. Regardless, whether you’re on your way to the grocery story, taking your dog out for a walk, or just need to snuggle, you can rely on this product.

Breast pump: Establishing a milk supply can sometimes be difficult. In this case, buying a breast pump may come in handy. However, if you’re unsure which one you should choose, why not rent a hospital-grade one? The benefits include the fact that it’s returnable, efficient and clean.

Diaper bag: The best diaper bag has a few characteristics which you won’t want to overlook. Waterproof/microfiber materials mean that you’ll be protected from different environmental factors, and that the items inside your bag will remain intact, as desired.

Items Not Worth Your Money:

Baby clothes: Chances are everyone knows you’re having a baby. The easiest thing for friends and family to get you is cute little-people-sized clothes. So don’t waste your money on them, you’ll have plenty of other expenses.

Toys: For the first months of their life, your newborn won’t be able to separate a car from a giraffe. In addition, your family will make sure your baby will always have a stuffed little friend next to them, so don’t worry about that.

To sum up, there are many items available in today’s market, making it very difficult for a first-time parent to know what to choose, and where from. These items can be separated into three categories: 1. Must haves, 2. Optional items, 3. Not needed items. However, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, knowledge will come with time, and all a baby really needs is the comfort of your presence, and the love you can offer.