Investing In Yourself

From the pregnancy glow to the new baby's giggles and smiles, welcoming a little bundle of joy into your family is often a heart warming, happy experience. But despite those adorable tiny toes and cute little coos that invade your home, there can be one thorn in your side: extra post-pregnancy weight. If you have put on a little jelly in your belly, have no fear. Banishing the bulge is possible. Follow along for some tips and tricks from a newly slender mom.

My Story: Following the Best Doctor's Advice Ever

If you have a new baby in the house, sleep very soon becomes a luxury. No matter how well your baby snoozes, your own often-interrupted sleep can begin to take a toll. Add in the fact that many babies have trouble sleeping or napping, and you have a recipe for two very tired parents. Thankfully, catching some zzz's is possible before year 18 rolls around. Let's take a look at some tried and true sleep training ideas from the trenches of motherhood.

Intro to Sleep Training

I love quotes. I also love searching the Net looking up what amounts to pretty useless information (otherwise known as wasting time). Combining the two, I recently found myself drawn to yet another page of quotes, and I came upon this gem attributed to C.S. Lewis: "You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream." Pretty nifty stuff.

Curling up with a good book (or at least one that has the merest promise of being entertaining) is one of my favorite things to do in this life. There’s nothing quite like getting caught up in a great story. You know what makes this love of books even better? Finding a someone or three who shares your passion of the written word. Starting a book club is a great way to invest in yourself and others. And it couldn’t be easier.

Face to Face Book Clubs

My husband is an excellent gift giver. It amazes me each holiday how spot-on he is in his gift choices, and this past Christmas was no exception. Among my bounty in December was a brand-spankin’-new Kindle. I love it, and what makes me love it even more is finding all kinds of freebie reads to download to it. In fact, I think I’ve only paid for three books since Christmas (and two of those only cost a quarter each!). Here are some of the tips I’ve learned along the way to find free books for your e-reader of choice.

Mass Retailer of Choice

What is it about life that sometimes it seems all you're surrounded by are Debbie Downers? And not even the funny kind of SNL fame? You know the kind of person I'm talking about, right? Someone who always has something negative to say, kind of like the following:

You: Our dryer quit, but we bought a new one this weekend – at a great price!
Them: I heard that brand melts clothes. And sets houses on fire.

Recently, one of my friends on Facebook posted that her New Year's resolution was going to be to quit whining about how difficult things were and to just do it. I really, really liked this. Sure, life is hard at times, challenging at best during others. Facing whatever it has to throw at us with an attitude to "just do it" is a nice way to start out 2012. Here, I've taken a look at a few more of life's areas that could use some resolutions as we move into another year.

Re: Finances

Black Friday. Say those two words together, and people will either get a rapturous look and crazed smile on their face or they'll shudder in horror. Typically, you're either for it or against it. For years, when I worked retail, I was in the shudder category. Now, years removed from punching a cash register, I embrace it with a glass-half-full glee.

When my girls were babies, we would attract a lot of attention going about the store in our double stroller. Strangers would often stop us, asking if they were identical, commenting on them in general. And always there was at least one kind soul who thought they’d give us a pearl of parenting wisdom.

Last week I tried to avoid health care costs. Twice. Yes, twice. The first time, I had an earache that I didn’t think I really needed to have checked out, and the second time was a (related) toothache that didn’t present itself in time for treatment before the weekend. But by trying to avoid these costs, I spent more money than I would have had I treated them right away. Why? Well, I self-treated. Let’s take a look.

Healthcare: The Expensive Route