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parenting tips

The Gender Pay Inequity: SAHMs and Women working in Arts v. STEM are the Cause (INFOGRAPHIC)

In the United States, we always hear feminists, women advocates and some politicians quote a US Department of Labor statistics which states that women earn $.77 for every dollar a man makes. Well the folks at TopManagementDegrees.com attempt to peel back the onion on this common enunciated stat and offer some of the reasons for the disparity that may have nothing to do with true pay inequity. 
In sum, it notes that more men, generally and nationally work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) such as doctors, as IT techs, as nuclear engineers, etc, for example.  Those jobs, on average, pay more money that the fields where women work more of in concentrated levels like teaching, the arts, counseling and social work.

Also, it notes, that more women are likely to be stay home moms and more women do not return to work after having a baby or return on a part time basis which pays less than full time.

There are private employers, most likely who would pay women and men differently based on their gender, no doubt. However, when you crunch all these numbers and stats, the reason for the difference isn’t always necessarily because employers women are being discriminating against  in any given field.  The law of averages don’t come out in favor of of women when you factor in more information into the formula.

In other words, the devil is in the details.
What do you think? Check out the infographic and comment below!

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How to dress the kids for cooler temperatures

As cooler weather starts to roll around, new parents or those that have recently relocated to a more wintry climate often find themselves struggling to determine the best methods for dressing their youngsters in weather-appropriate attire. While opinions on the subject can be quite varied on the topic, there are a few truths that parents forced with their first real winter weather should consider before the chill sets in.
Layering is Key
Frigid weather can send even the most laid-back parent into overdrive, but it’s important to remember that kids are usually only outside for brief stretches throughout the day. As such, it’s best to dress them in layers that are easily shed in warm classrooms and stores, rather than one or two very bulky items that leave them sweating. For younger kids that attend daycare or elementary school, it’s also wise to attach labels to coats, gloves and hats. It’s easy for cold-weather items to get misplaced, sent home with the wrong child or left behind when little ones are in a rush at the end of the day, but replacing them can also become quite expensive very quickly.
Skip Traditional Scarves
Scarves are a winter-weather staple, but they may also be less than safe for younger children, as they can easily be snagged, slammed in a door or stepped on to present a strangulation hazard. Rather than protecting your little one’s face and neck from icy winds with a standard scarf, it may be better to opt for cowl styles or neck warmers, which have no trailing ends to put him in danger when he’s out of your sight.
Dress for the Occasion
There’s a difference between cold, snowy weather and just plain cold. During periods of snowfall, your child will need to be protected from the dampness of melting snow as well as frosty temperatures, while the drier cold of a day with no winter precipitation may require stronger wind protection to prevent chapping and windburn. Familiarizing yourself with the various articles of winter clothing and their best uses while keeping an eye on the weather forecast is the best way to ensure that your little one is dressed appropriately for every winter occasion.
Opt for Water-Resistant Materials
When the thermometer mercury edges just slightly past 32º, all of the accumulated ice and snow becomes a series of very cold puddles along walkways and across parking lots. Protecting your child from the dampness that can accompany walking across those puddles and dripping from overhanging surfaces is important, but it’s also very difficult if his winter gear isn’t waterproof or, at the very lease, water-resistant. It may be cheaper at the outside to spring for a lower-priced jacket that doesn’t have waterproof construction, well-made products that repel water will keep him warm and dry throughout the winter season.
Know Your Boots
At first glance, most boots are created equal. Upon closer examination, you’ll learn that some boots are more suited to cold temperatures that others. While galoshes seem to be a good choice, due to their waterproof exteriors, they offer absolutely no insulation from cold and can be easily filled with snow if it’s high enough to fall over the wide openings at your child’s calf. Honest-to-goodness snow boots, on the other hand, will have both inner insulation and a top that prevents snow from falling inside.
Hats and Hoods are Your Friend
Though the old adage about your body heat escaping through your head is little more than an old wive’s tale, it is still important to keep your child’s head warm and protected from chapping winds, falling sleet or snow, and simple low temperatures. Look for those without drawstrings that can present a strangulation hazard, with waterproof liners and a snug enough fit to block most of the wind’s chilling power.
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Pi Day Activity: 14 Kid-Friendly Pie Recipes to Make

Tick Tock. The clock winds down towards another Pi day. March 14 is generally recognized as a day worldwide, we geeks recognize and celebrate the mathematical phenomenon that is the  unique irrational number: Pi!
Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is approximately equal to 3.14159……  The numbers after the decimal never repeat and go on forever!
Pi has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century,
Pi day is  also a great day to celebrate, make, eat and be all about PIES!

And just in time, I’ve joined Foodie by Glam‘s campaign and have curated a collection of 14 kid-friendly pie recipes. Get ready,  pore through this collection and pick one or two of these recipes that are super easy to make and are designed for the pallet of tiny tummys. It includes some mini versions of traditional pie recipes for teenie hands!
Baking is a wonderful family activity to do as an alternative to playing video games or watching TV. It also has educational aspects because children learn about units of measurements too!

 Fun and instructional! You cannot beat it!
If you make a pie recipe with your children soon or anytime this month, please send us a photo and let us know! We’d love to showcase it on the blog later! Thanks!
Do note for full disclosure, this collection of yummy recipes were curated as part of a paid opportunity but that doesn’t mean I didn’t assemble it with you lovely readers in mind and heart. Have fun baking moms and dads and grandmoms and nannies too! ha!

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100 Spring Cleaning Tasks Checklist

It’s weekend again and combined with the fact that spring is coming, that mean’s it’s time to start thinking of 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:


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.


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.


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.


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 ImperfectHomeaking and download a PRINTABLE LIST HERE!

Happy Cleaning!

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It’s Spring Cleaning Time! Here are 10 iPhone Apps to help the process

It’s still Spring Cleaning in my house and I’m certain in other homes nationwide, people are cleaning our basements, washing comforters, putting away winter gear and getting their living quarters in tip top shape for the new season. If one has an iPhone, there are many apps out there that can help out in the spring cleaning process. Here are 10 from Housekeeping.org to keep in mind and consider downloading. Enjoy!
  1. Useful Cleaning Tips – Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned house-cleaning pro, you could always use a few time-saving tips for how to clean your house faster and more effectively. That’s where this $0.99 app comes in handy, breaking down a variety of cleaning tips into dedicated categories and helping you learn new ways to complete your cleaning chore list in less time.
  2. Cleaning Manual – Keep your carpets free of unsightly stains, learn how to manage your laundry in a manner that results in clean clothes that last longer, and eliminate some stress, all with the help of this free app that’s filled with advice and instructions for removing stains and caring for your clothing.
  3. Rumgr – In order to maintain a clean and orderly home, you’ll need to clear out clutter and get rid of items you no longer need from time to time. This free app helps you do just that. Take a picture of something you want to sell, set the price, and then wait for buyers to contact you. You can even create a circle of preferred friends to buy, sell and trade with, eliminating some of the more anonymous aspects of working with local online classifieds sites.
  4. Good Housekeeping @Home – Good Housekeeping has been a trusted source of home management tips for decades. Now, this venerable name is attached to an iPhone app that will help you learn the best ways to remove stains, manage household cleaning tasks, and even view inspiration photos for home decorating. The News and Tips feature brings Good Housekeeping articles and advice straight to your iPhone, keeping you informed about the best methods for managing your household.
  5. HomeRoutines – Create your own housecleaning routine checklists and set the days of the week that you’d like to be reminded to complete them with this $3.99 app, which syncs between devices and can be edited online for optimal management. When you complete a task, you’ll even get a gold star!
  6. Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule – Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule is a $0.99 app that manages all of your housekeeping chores with an innovative and effective “divide-and-conquer” approach that breaks even the most intimidating projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Check off items as you complete them and manage all of your recurring chores by reviewing information about how long it’s been since a specific task has been completed.
  7. Green Shine – If you want to keep your house sparkling, but are hesitant to use harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to your children and harmful to the earth, this $2.99 app may be just what you’re looking for. Green Shine helps you replace your household cleaning chemicals with safer, more environmentally-sound alternatives.
  8. Chore Hero – Every now and then, keeping the house clean means enlisting the help of the entire family. That’s where this $2.99 app shines, allowing users to build chore lists and delegate specific tasks in a fun and entertaining way, taking a bit of the drudgery out of housework.
  9. Custom Hypnosis: House Cleaning Edition – This $1.99 app claims to make household cleaning tasks more enjoyable by playing hypnosis audio that motivates you and provides you with suggestions for making housework more fun and less stressful. The three currently supported powers of suggestion include cleaning the bathroom, dusting the house and doing the laundry.
  10. Cleaning Checklist – Sometimes, all you need to get the housecleaning accomplished is a comprehensive list of what needs to be done and when each chore should be completed. This $1.99 app does just that, allowing you to build 100% customizable lists for cleaning the house, which can be backed up in the cloud or shared with other members of the household for delegating tasks.

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Are you losing the weight loss battle with fad diets? (INFOGRAPHIC)

So our  friends at Pritkin Longevity Center created a new infographic for me to share with you that is my story. *sigh*. The perpetual fad dieter.
It says that the months of February an March are common for people failing or cheating on their diets.
When trying to shed weight, many of us turn to fad diets and drastic calorie cutting and with the positive energy of new years resolutions in the past and the cold winter months still in full force, it is not surprising that February and March are the most common months for diet failure and “cheating” to occur.
Experts at nationally recognized Pritikin Longevity Center have found that fad diets leave us not only hungry and miserable but often lead to setbacks and cheating that cause additional weight gain. dang!
Check out the infographic below “Are You Losing the Diet Game?” which visually outlines ways that your weight loss journey can be effected by your dieting and lifestyle decisions and reveals the true impact that common dieting mistakes can have on your weight loss and overall health.

Mommy Wars: How the Start-Up mom has it THE HARDEST

“Many mothers find it difficult to raise a family and try to run a business because both the children and the business take a lot of time all by themselves,” an article on the Top 3 Reasons Mothers don’t Start Up in ParentStartup.com states. Another New York Times piece and another  recent article talked about how Venture Capitalist discriminate against mothers. 
From that NYT piece:

“[M]uch of the investment world, heavily dominated by men, remains skeptical about a woman’s ability to combine running a fast-growing tech start-up and motherhood, Ms. Gugnani says. She raised $3 million from investors before becoming pregnant. 

“All of the women I know who went to raise money did it when they didn’t have kids,” she says. “There is total discrimination in the start-up world against women who are pregnant.”

Making pregnancy and motherhood a focal point of the investment process is an outdated way of thinking, she adds.

Female entrepreneurs are less numerous and raise less money than their male counterparts. Women make up 10 percent of the founders at high-growth tech companies, “and they raise 70 percent less money than men do because of their lack of access to capital,” says Lesa Mitchell of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she is vice president for initiatives on advancing innovation.”

And so, the “Start-up mom” joins the Mommy Wars.


The mommy wars is an ongoing battle between mothers disputing and discussing which child rearing method is best: Sleep in Room v Nursery; Bottle-feeding v. Breastfeeding; Baby wearing v. Carrier; Sling v. Bjorn; Cry It Out v. Not; Heavily Scheduled baby v. Let baby control sleep and eating. 

Moms are opinionated and each one believes her method or solution is tops. Of course, to each its own but that doesn’t stop those who have hard-fast thoughts on one thing from speaking up and trying to convince others this. They will not be silenced. They may bully others into their perspective.

Another mommy battle is the battle between Stay-at-Home (SAHM) versus Work-at-home (WAHM) versus Working Moms. Working moms often feel SAHM guilt trip them over spending less time with their children. Meanwhile, SAHMs say they feel belittled by Working Moms who assume they do nothing all day but eat bonbons while their kids are at school. Working Moms say SAHMs are privileged enough to not have to work yet judge those harshly who do. Work-at-home moms say they have the best and worst of each scenario.

Now that the Start Up mom has been brought into the picture, as a work-at home Start up mom, I proffer that the Start-up or Entrepreneurial mom has it THE HARDEST. 
While start up moms do have the luxury of being able to chaperon school field trips, attend school meetings and take our kids to the library as I do daily, they also have the challenge of having to clean the home, provide meals, and be a homemaker all while not bringing income but expected to.
Unlike the SAHM who is not expected to bring in external income, the Start-up mom has to contribute to the family expenses.
Unlike the Working Mom or Work-at-home who is working for a company and at least bringing in guaranteed income, the Start-up mom works for no one and has to go out and generate income from independent sources. 
The Start-Up Mom has to bring home the bacon by working 50 hour weeks trying to build a company that makes little to no money that may never be successful enough to generate income or funding. 
And she has a tough haul raising money to fund her venture, considering that recent Business Insider story revealing how the VC industry discriminates against mothers. 
It’s a hard uphill battle to bear along with the other family responsibility on our backs. 
Yeah, we have it the hardest! 
What do you think?

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That newest hilarious kid meme & 9 more to add to the collection

We were just blogging the other day about people turning your kid into a meme and lo and behold some guy on Reddit took a photo a Facebook friend posted of his son and asked his Reddit pals to turn it into a meme. You have to admit a photo of a kid talking on a toy phone while eating his porridge for breakfast is a meme waiting to happen. Our favorite one, created by Reddit user, as posted on Mashable is above.
Here are 9 other tried and true and tested Kids who’ve been memefied for a while now and have made their rounds on the blogs, the Tumblrs and the Facebook and what not. 
Add these to our popular post about hilarious kid memes from 2012 you can find HERE!


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10 Tips for Taming your Winter Allergies

You wouldn’t think it but winter allergies can be as brutal as seasonal allergies during spring and winter. Usually though, they come from inside pollutants like poor ventilations, dust mites and other pests. Cockroaches, dust mites, dander, and mold can trigger cold-and flu-like symptoms, said immunologist Dr. Joan Lehach

Also, the frigid temperatures that keep us inside also expose us to indoor allergens capable of triggering a variety of cold and flu-like symptoms.

“If you experience more than nine days of continuing congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and nasal drip, chances are good that you are reacting to the presence of either dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, or mold somewhere in your home, office or school,” said  Lehach, integrative medicine physician specializing in allergy, asthma and clinical immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “Many times, and especially in the inner city where populations are dense, all four of these allergens are present and must be addressed.”

Dr. Lehach offer tips for controlling your indoor allergy symptoms:

  1.     Mold inspection: The first step for controlling your allergy symptoms is to do a little inspection for mold inside the house. The most common places to find it are on shower curtains, wallpaper, carpets and the sink. Mold also grows in the drain, which can be cleaned with bleach and detergent. Your best bet to getting a thorough job done is to contact a mold removal service using an online platform like  Shoutwire, for example, for professional inspection and removal.
  2.    Cockroach hunt:  Studies have found cockroach allergens to be present in at least half of inner city homes and in nearly three-quarters of inner city schools.  Cockroaches do not have to be alive to trigger respiratory problems. Dust containing molecules of crushed carcasses can still cause problems for humans.  Professionals can be consulted to discover and clean out hidden colonies.  Nesting areas and pathways where cockroaches may have been traveling should be thoroughly cleaned.
  3. Dry up dust mites:  Keep your indoor humidity at 50 percent or lower, as higher humidity will breed dust mites.  A humidity gauge can be purchased for about $5.

4. Filter out animal dander: If you have a pet allergy,  you probably are going to need to be on allergy medications until you can consult with an allergist and see if you want to be desensitized or not. Meanwhile, a small HEPA air purifier placed in each room will keep airborne dander from spreading throughout the house. Mice or other fur-bearing pests living under the house or in the attic must be searched for and removed.

5. Get symptom relief:  A mixture of sinus-friendly Chinese herbs, like Rootology, can temporarily halt most allergy symptoms in less than 20 minutes. Rootology can also be used to control winter cold and flu symptoms.

6. Start an immune-building diet:  Eliminate foods that are weakening your immune system, like processed and packaged foods, and start eating immune boosting, allergy fighting foods, like blackberries and blueberries. Also important are multivitamin supplements and digestive enzymes to help you access more of the nutrients in the food you consume.

7. Get sufficient sleep:  Our immune system is very “sleep-driven”, and allergies are precipitated by weakened immunity.

8.  Stay hydrated:   When you become dehydrated you get dry nasal mucous and can develop microscopic cracks in the nasal lining, making it easier for allergens to enter your bloodstream.

9. Use the “hot” setting:  Wash your bedding in hot water (at least 130 degrees) to properly neutralize allergens.

10. Wash your face and hands:  Not only to maintain popularity with family, friends, and co-workers, but if there is dander, mold, or dust on your face or hands, chances are good that you will end up inhaling it.

Your Baby’s Milestones from 6 months to 5 years (INFOGRAPHIC)

Most scientists and child development experts agree that 90% of your child’s brain capacity develops before he or she reaches age 5! 
By age three, a child’s brain has formed 3 quadrillion connections. Wowza!
An average 3-year old has a vocabulary of 900 words which amounts to a three time increase from when he was 2. Imagine that a 4-year old’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s.
This means you new parents have to not rest on your laurels and do your part to not waste all that good active brain capacity.
Here is an infographic that breaks down your little rocket scientist’ noggin some more so you can determine if he’s on target with his age, although all children develop at varying pace and levels. 

Developmental Milestones

Source: Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com

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