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parenting advice

30 Blogs for Frugal Moms

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

 

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

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The models who inspired your kid’s fave Disney characters

Have you ever wanted to see the real life reference models that Disney’s animation team used to create some of the physical appearances, facial expressions and mannerisms of some of your favorite Disney characters?
Zimbo put together a pictorial with background insight into the women who helped bring these characters to life, including Maleficent from Snow White above:
Sleeping Beauty

Snow White

Tinkerbell

See the complete list and read the back story HERE!

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Memorial Day: 5 Recipes for Kids

This Memorial Day weekend, as with previous years, many families will be gathering to honor fallen soldiers and vets. Here are 5 fun recipes to consider making this weekend while grilling, picnicing and hanging out with family and friends.
Mom’s Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

2 liter Sprite

1 can frozen lemonade

3 cans water

1 package kool-aid lemonade

1 cup sugar

fresh or frozen berries

lemon slices

lots of ice
Directions: Mix everything together in a large drink container. This punch is super sweet, but always a hit at a party.

Chicken Pasta Salad
Ingredients

    12 ounces rotini pasta

    1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into strips

    1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

    4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

    4 roma (plum) tomato, diced

    1/4 cup Italian-style salad dressing

Directions

 

In a large pot with boiling salted water cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, season chicken strips with lemon pepper and garlic powder. Broil in oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until juices run clear. Cool chicken. Cut into bite size pieces.
In a large bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, chicken, quartered tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Serve with Italian dressing poured over top of pasta.  

Deviled Egg Boats By Rebecca Milanski

 
Ingredients

    12 hard boiled egg, cooled and peeled

    1/2 cup mayonnaise

    2 teaspoon dijon mustard

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1 pinch sugar

    1 red bell pepper

    1 yellow bell pepper

    1 green bell pepper

    1/2 teaspoon paprika, for garnish

Directions

1. Slice the eggs in half from top to bottom. Scoop the yolks into a medium mixing bowl and lay the whites aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper and sugar using a fork; stir to thoroughly combine.

3. Place the yolk mixture into a zip-top plastic bag and cut a small hole at one of the corners. Pipe the mixture into each of the white halves.

4. For the boat sails, cut each bell pepper into 1-inch wide strips. Cut each strip into 1-inch squares and slice each square diagonally to make a triangle. Stick each sail upright into yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika.

5. Chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Kid’s Macaroni
Ingredients

    1 (8 ounce) package uncooked elbow macaroni

    3/4 cup mayonnaise

    2 tablespoons cider vinegar

    1 teaspoon sugar

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon white pepper

    1/4 cup green onions, sliced

    2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Directions

 

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold running water.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, green onions and jalapeno peppers. Stir in the macaroni. Refrigerate until chilled before serving, at least 30 minutes.
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    3/4 cup all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

    1 cup sugar

    3 large eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/2 cup sour cream

    Easy White Icing

    Sprinkles (optional)

Martha Stewart

Flag Cup Cakes

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.

    Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.

    Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

    Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then spread with Easy White Icing using a table knife or small offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Decorate patriotic cupcakes in July with stars piped in blue buttercream and stripes cut from red licorice laces.

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Divorce Parents Problems: The issue with the ‘Visitation’ parent

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

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

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

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

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

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





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Do first time pregnant women expect a Mother’s Day gift? (INFOGRAPHIC)

First time pregnant moms may be excited for this Mother’s Day even though their baby isn’t born yet. Many expect a gift on Mother’s Day from their significant other. 
Unfortunately, there is a disconnect. In a recent survey of first time moms and their spouses by EMA agency, 60 percent of first time pregnant women said they expect a Mother’s Day gift from their partner. However, 60 percent of soon-to-be dads surveyed didn’t think their significant other would be expecting a gift.
But honestly, one could understand how a dad-to-be with a partner only in her first trimester could not think to get her a gift. 
Either way, it could be a dicey situation this Sunday!
Check out this infographic that sums it up and share this with a dad-to-be near you. 

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DC’s infant mortality rate is among highest and lowest worldwide depending on zipcode

During the uprisings in Baltimore in recent days, those from the wealthy parts of that city said they could not relate to the struggles of Baltimore City residents protesting in the streets.

They live in different worlds though their located minutes apart.

Similarly, down the street in Washington, DC, children born in its poorest section, Ward 8, are about 10 times more likely to die than those born in the wealthiest area.

Those findings can be found in Save the Children’s 16th annual Mothers’ Index assesses the well-being of mothers and children in 179 countries showing where they fare best and where they face the greatest hardships.

When comparing world capitals, Washington DC ranked among the highest in infant mortality rate compared to other capital cities in wealthy countries, mainly because there is a high birth rate in the poorest parts of the city and a high infant mortality rate.

But the richest Wards  rank among the world cities with the lowest infant mortality rate.

Ward 3 had just 1.2 deaths per 1,000 in 2012, ranked among cities like Tokyo and Stockholm, Meanwhile, the birth rate in Ward 8 is 24 babies died in 2012 compared to only one in Ward 8.

This shocking conclusion is why this video released by Save The Children to bring awareness to the disparity even locally is on point. WATCH!





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All about the 101st Mother’s Day, A Global Holiday (INFOGRAPHIC)

The 101st Mother’s Day is about to come to a close. That’s right 101! Have you ever wondered about the history of the day dedicated to celebrate mothers and how it is celebrated in various countries around the world? If you have, check out Afterschool.ae‘s Infographic that runs it all down:

Mothers Day Facts

Mother’s Day Facts (Infographic) by Afterschool.ae, the #1 Source of Kids Activities in UAE.

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