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The Mason Jar Salad Guide for Busy Moms

salad in jar

I am about to embark on a journey to lose some weight before my birthday next month. I  already pretty much adopt the Mediterranean Diet lifestyle as I am a vegetarian who eats fish occasionally. I will severely limit the carbs and will rely heavily on eating salads. It can get boring relying on salads for lunch and dinner to get through the day but I think variety will help me keep it interesting and not get too bored.

Naturally, I gravitated to Pinterest and found tons of great boards with salad recipes and that is when I also discovered this wonderful Salads in a mason jar trend like here and here and here and here.

It’s great for busy moms on the go! You pick up some large mason jars with lids, about 5 to 7, enough to last the work week. Then you pre-load and make your salads the night before so in the morning, you just grab  your jar and head out to work. Store them in the office fridge or an insulated lunch kit.

For stay-at-home and work-at-home moms like myself, we can just whip them out during the day and don’t have to worry about the stress of deciding what to eat.

I also found a wonderful blog, Everyday Eyecandy that has a marvelous post with everything you need to know about salads in a jar!

Here are the initial tips:


  1. THE most important thing to remember about a salad in a jar: DRESSING ON THE BOTTOM.  You want to make sure that your greens are as far away from your dressing as you can get them. It keeps your greens fresh and crisp.
  2. Jam pack your jars. Not only does it make a good salad, but it keeps everything from moving around. The less air between your layers, the longer your salad will last.
  3. If you are making a side salad( like you are taking a soup and salad or a salad and a sandwich), use the  pint-sized mason jars.  If you are going to make your salad a full meal, use the quart sized jars.
  4. The longest I’ve ever saved a salad in the jar in the fridge was 8 days. The veggies on the bottom were marinated in the dressing, but they were delicious.
  5. Be sure to add a protein. You want it to last.

There is plenty more recipes and advice! Check out the entire post here!  There are also great recipes at the Back to Her Roots blog! Enjoy!

photo: courtesy Brit&Co

Parent Switcheroo: Healthy Snacks You Can Disguise as Junk Food

Getting the children to eat healthy is a challenge. A lot of kids would prefer to eat junk food versus good healthy food.

However, there are ways to weave healthy ingredients into foods that children associate with yummy junk food.

With a little research online you can come up with some wonderful creations.

Baked sweet potato chips,banana and peanut butter sandwiches, baked potato chips, yogurt pops and strawberry wraps are among the different types of foods you can dress up as yummy but good for them snacks.

Find out 20 healthy snacks that look like junk food and their recipes here!

Report: Iron Deficiency Puts 1/3 Pregnant Women At Risk


Around 35 percent of expectant mothers may be at risk of pregnancy complications – such as miscarriage or preterm birth – as a result of iron deficiency. This is the conclusion of a new study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

Iron deficiency is a common form of anemia, arising when the body does not have enough iron – a mineral present in a number of foods, including beef, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dried fruits.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 30 percent of the global population are anemic, with most cases attributable to iron deficiency.

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Eco Friday: How to Make Your Own Baby Food

how to make your own baby food

As concerns about genetically modified produce and dangerous farming practices escalate, and controversy surrounding Monsanto become more common, the number of parents committed to – or at least considering the practice of – making their own baby food is also on the rise. There are also parents who would love to provide their baby with organically grown, preservative- and additive-free foods, but are under the misconception that the process is a long and laborious one. In fact, making baby food from locally or organically grown fruits and vegetables is surprisingly simple.

The Price Factor

Any parent who’s seen the expensive systems advertised for making and storing baby food at home could easily be fooled into thinking that the process is not only a difficult or time-consuming one, but also an incredibly pricey option. The truth is, those systems are only more convenient than the tools you already have in your kitchen, if that, and they are by no means necessary to create fresh, nutritious food of verifiable origins for your bundle of joy. With nothing more than a pot, a knife, a cutting board, fresh produce, and a blender, you can be on the path to becoming an in-demand chef for the smaller set. Because saving money by making healthful food for your baby rather than paying more for processed jarred food is one of the many selling points of taking on the task, spending a small fortune on an entire system with all the bells and whistles is unnecessary.


Buying a fully-stocked homemade baby food system brings a set of storage containers to the party, but there are several storage options at your disposal that will work just as well in conjunction with the blender you already have. Rather than purchasing a space-hogging, pricey system, take advantage of the variety of storage solutions available to you for a fraction of the cost.

For frozen foods, simply prepare an item in accordance with your chosen recipe, and allow it to cool. Spoon the pureed food into ice cube trays and freeze them until they’re solid, then pop the cubes out and into carefully labeled freezer bags. Foods can then be defrosted in just the amount you need, eliminating waste and allowing you to make food in large batches when you have free time, rather than scrambling to make baby food every day. Small storage bowls are widely and readily available in the market today, and are also suitable for baby food storage. Just be sure that any plastic containers you purchase are BPA free in order to avoid any potential health risks.

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Blender

Because small batches of food tend to be pushed to the sides of a blender carafe and missed by the blades, your blender is most effective as a method of pureeing baby food when you’re working with a fairly substantial amount of food. This small drawback is eliminated, however, by setting aside an afternoon to make and freeze enough food for a few weeks. Properly stored in airtight freezer containers, your baby food will have a shelf life of up to three months.

Blenders are also great at liquefying solid foods, which means that it’s important to keep a close eye on food that’s being pureed in a blender, lest it become a very thin soup. Always use the pulse button for maximum control over the texture and consistency of the food; using even a low continuous setting could turn your perfectly prepared produce into something more akin to a juice if you’re distracted from the running blender for a moment. With children in the house, there’s constant potential for distraction, so use the pulse button and watch carefully. Remember to scrape down the sides of the blender carafe regularly as well to ensure a uniform texture with few lumps.

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Get Your Summer Baby Shower Ideas!

summer shower

Throwing a baby shower this summer? While you’re trying to keep the mother-to-be cool, there are lots of cool and cute shower themes we found that will work well indoors or out. We’re talking strawberry shortcake, ice cream cones, lemonade, baseball, camping and more! Whether you want to go over-the-top, or keep it simple, there’s a stunning summer baby shower theme just for you.

Check out the slideshow here!

Back to School Hairstyle Ideas for Long Hair (8 LINKS)

back to school

Finding the perfect and easy-to-pull-off  hair for school can be a challenge especially if you have a child that has extremely long hair! Thank goodness for our friends from Aupair.net for culling this wonderful list of 24 websites where you can go to nab fab, cute and age-appropriate hairstyle for your tot to teen. Reposting this for Back To School prep.

 Here are 8 links dedicated to long hair
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African ‘Fertility’ Waist Beads 101

I went on a weekend getaway and rediscovered the waist beads my mom brought back for me from her trip to Sierra Leone, Africa earlier this year. It reminded me to share more about the  beads on the blog because there is a long history in the beads that include fertility.

In fact, they are called “fertility beads” in some cultures. It is thought that they originated with the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, West Africa but other West African nations like Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone have adopted them. They are considered to be “of the earth” or the source of life as many women wear them during pregnancy to protect the baby from evil spirits and ensure a safe labor and delivery.

Some wear them to encourage fertility. It’s not scientific of course, but steeped in tradition. Others believe the beads have healing property. Some African women wear them to ward themselves from negative energy.

Erotic Nature of Beads

In some parts of Ghana and Nigeria, people have a belief that the waist beads possess some erotic appeal and have the power to incite desire or deep emotional response on men.

They Symbolism of the Colors 

The colors and stones or beads used in the beads have different meaning too. Colorful rainbow beads are considered to have balancing properties.

~Yellow- Symbol of wisdom/knowledge, clarity, increases awareness & stress relief.

~Blue- Symbol of knowledge, healing, peace, truth & harmony.

~Orange – Symbol of optimism, positive mood & promotes self-confidence.

~Pink- This color is associated with unconditional love, romance, purity, femininity & healing.

~Green – This color is associated with prosperity, hope, harmony & healing.

~Red – Self-confidence, vitality, sexual energy, passion & courage.

~violet – Color symbolizes intuition, power, inspiration & royalty.

~Gray – Symbol of wisdom & communication.

~Brown – Symbol of comfort, security, practicality.

~Black- Symbolizes energy & strength. (source)

Beads can be made with semi-precious stones thought to heal certain ailments. They are sold, made with all types of materials shell, gemstone, glass, plastic, pearl or even clay or wood.

How to Wear Them

Waist beads are created to be worn below the belly. I have worn mine at my mid-riff as well. Some prefer to wear them under their clothing only to be seen by themselves or their spouses or partners. Others flaunt them on bare bellies or even over their clothing.

Waistbeads for tracking Weigh Management

Many women wear the beads as an instrument in losing weight. When the strands begin to be too tight, the wearer knows it may be time to cut back and start exercising if they want to maintain their weight. Also, for those on a weightloss journey, as the beads become looser, they know they are definitely on a downard trajectory as the scales do not always indicate loss when one is building muscle at the same time as muscle weighs more than  fat.

Modern Use

In modern culture, waistbeads have been adopted to flaunt and draw attention to a trim midsection or tight abs.  Women in Ghana have worn them to accentuate their hips.

They are more of a fashion element though those who wear them ought to be aware of their cultural origins and significance just in case they are questioned or asked about them while out and about. It is the best thing to be aware when donning an item of clothing or style that originates in a culture that is not their own. You don’t want to be accused of “cultural appropriation.”


If you don’t have a family member or friend coming back from Africa, certainly, you can grab yourself some from Etsy shops. I found them sold Here, Here and Here for about $10 and up. If you spot any on sale for $5, they may not be authentic and genuine but a mass-produced copy. Beware!

Lupita Nyong’o, a Bellyitch Blog fave was spotted wearing one (above) back in 2014 when she was in Maui for the Maui Film Festival. She was seen looking tone and effortlessly chic in a Marysia Swim bikini and even Instagrammed a pic from the locale.



10 Boss Tips for Organizing All Your Kids’ Toys


Kids accumulate a mountain of toys.  Harried parents, especially those that work extended hours, may not have time to work out an organizational system to keep disorder to a minimum. Here are 10 tips for storing toys in a functional manner.

  1. Keep it Low – Unless you want to spend your day fetching toys for your pint-sized charges, make sure that the bulk of your storage system is engineered for their short stature. Vertical storage may be great for older kids, but it just creates frustration in toddlers and can inspire them to embark on unsafe climbing expeditions for the things they want but can’t reach.
  2. Use Bins and Baskets – While the number of toys your charges have acquired may have outgrown their toy box, put older toys aside as new toys come in, arrange a series of bins and baskets to contain the overflow.
  3. Store Like With Like – Keeping toy trucks in one container and blocks in another helps a toddler find exactly what he’s looking for without emptying each and every bin of its contents during his search. This method also makes clean up easier for both you and your charges when playtime ends.
  4. Keep Shelves Safe – Even low-slung shelves can present a tipping hazard if they’re pulled on with enough force, which can easily happen when a toddler attempts to climb them. Anchoring shelves to make them safe and to prevent injuries as a result of a top-heavy tip-over is an essential part of organizing kids’ rooms.
  5. Make Favorites Easy to Find – Most children, even at the toddler stage, have a few favorite toys that see far more action than the others. Keeping these perennial favorites in easy reach makes her less likely to take out several toys that don’t quite live up to her expectations simply because her old faithfuls are nowhere to be found.
  6. Store Special Occasion Toys Out of Sight – Modeling dough, bubble solution and any other messy toys that must be used with close supervision are best stored out of sight to help reduce the temptation to pull them out before you’re prepared to deal with the ensuing mess. By keeping these toys stowed away, you can also generate a ton of excitement when you do present them.
  7. Make Clean Up Part of Your Routine Together – Children thrive when they have a relatively stable daily routine; making clean-up a regular part of your day and working together to put everything away helps toddlers understand that cleaning up is part of playing and that he’s partially responsible for helping to accomplish that task.
  8. Designate Containers For Toys in Common Areas – If your children play with toys in common areas like the living or family rooms, designating one bin or container per child is an effective way of corralling toys while still keeping them separated. Color-coding containers helps kids who aren’t reading pick out their own bin as they get a bit older as well.
  9. Hammocks For Stuffed Animals – Most toddlers have already amassed an impressive collection of stuffed animals and plush toys, but probably only have one or two favorites. Toy hammocks are a great solution because they are easy to put up and can accommodate several toys safely. Make sure, however, that hammocks are placed in a manner that doesn’t encourage scaling furniture in order to reach the toys inside.
  10. Labels Are Your Friend – While your toddler-aged kids might not be able to read, labels are still among the most useful organizational tool at your disposal. You’re not likely to remember which bin is designated for each kind of toy without a clue; labeling containers helps you keep track of them and makes clean-up time as short as possible. Labels that have both pictures and words can also promote word recognition.

reprinted with permission

Back to School: Hair Cut Styles for Boys

back to school hair

Soon, parents will be purchasing supplies, bookbags, clothing and other items to prepare to send their children back to school.  Some school systems across the country and globe return to school as early as August, and others with year round school are going back in July, even. In addition to purchasing items, moms and dads may also be lining up hair cut appointments for their little sons.

There are tons of sites out there dedicated to hairstyles for girls but not too many dedicated to boys styles and cuts. Thankfully, more are coming on the scene. Alen from FancyHaircuts.com asked that we share a link to a recent post with over a dozen style and cuts to draw inspiration and ideas from, including those from the above collage: Visit the page HERE!

Good luck, parents and caregivers!

10 Well-meaning but annoying things You can Say to a New Mom


Adding a new member to the family is supposed to be one of the most exhilarating, rewarding times of your entire life, and for the most part, it certainly is. There are times, though, when the prying questions and rude inquiries of others serve to momentarily spoil the mood of baby bliss. Most of the people who ask these inconsiderate questions aren’t even aware of how rude they’re being; in fact, they feel as if they’re only being nice. There’s just something about a baby that makes people feel as if it’s acceptable to meddle in a new mom’s affairs, and these are 10 of the most irritating things that regularly come out of those busy mouths.

  1. “When Are You Due?” – To the chagrin of many a first-time mom, it’s not uncommon to still be wearing maternity jeans for weeks or even months after the birth of a child. When well-meaning passersby and casual acquaintances inquire about the remaining length of a pregnancy weeks after delivery, it can just compound the frustration of dealing with stubborn baby weight along with the demands of new motherhood.
  2. “Are You Breastfeeding?” – There’s no doubt about the fact that breast is best, but that doesn’t mean that breastfeeding is feasible or even possible for all new mothers. There are plenty of extenuating circumstances that can affect a woman’s decision to breastfeed or go with formula, up to and including a simple disinclination to nurse. Regardless of others’ feelings on the subject, how a new mother feeds her baby is ultimately her own choice.
  3. “Did You Have a Natural Childbirth?” – Few medical procedures open the door to invasive questions like a discussion about childbirth. Everything from anesthesia to bodily functions seems to be on the table and a valid topic of conversation, regardless of how invasive or personal those questions might be.
  4. “Are You Going Back to Work?” – Some new moms will go back to work, and others will stay home with their children. Whichever choice they make, there is someone on the opposite side of the fence that will find fault with their decision.
  5. “Isn’t Motherhood Great?” – For some women, new motherhood is a glorious and life-affirming experience that brings them more joy than anything they’ve ever known. Others, however, suffer from the very real symptoms of postpartum depression and may not feel like motherhood is something so altogether grand, after all. Excited inquiries about how wonderful they’re finding the world of parenting are great when they’re echoed, but they’re just hurtful and awkward for those moms that are struggling to settle into their new role.
  6. “Is That Your Grandchild?” – Changes in the social structure and advances in modern medicine have also brought about changes to the face of modern motherhood. These days, it’s not uncommon for a woman to give birth well into her forties, leading plenty of confused onlookers to come to the conclusion that she’s looking after a grandchild.
  7. “Did You Adopt?” – There’s more than one way to become a mother, and one of them is adoption. While there’s no shame in adopting, there are plenty of adoptive parents who would prefer to avoid the subject. Asking pointed questions about the origin of a child serves only to satisfy curiosity, and can be quite upsetting to a new parent.
  8. “Are You the Nanny?” – Genetics work out in strange ways sometimes, leaving a biracial child looking far more like one parent than another. Being regularly confused for the nanny of a baby that more heavily favors his father is not only insensitive, but can get tiring very quickly for a new mom.
  9. “When Are You Going to Have Another?” – When a baby is still in diapers, the last thing that most mothers are thinking about is adding another baby to the mix. Just as it’s rude to prod newlywed couples about when they’re planning to have children, it’s also very intrusive to ask a new mother about her plans to have another while her first is still an infant.
  10. “Are You Getting Enough Sleep?” – In short, the answer will always be “no.” Asking a new mom if she’s getting enough sleep can feel like a kind of commiseration, but it’s also a question she’s been fielding since the moment she brought her child home from the hospital. Reminding her of the sleep she isn’t getting is more likely to bring on gritted teeth and short replies than anything else.

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