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Cheryl Posner

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Throwing the Perfect Baby Shower

You’re probably reading this because you have a little one on the way and you know you have to plan a baby shower and maybe are even dreading it! Honestly, most baby showers could be done better, WAY better, so your sentiments of creeping doom are understandable.

Perhaps part of the problem is that they are things people think you have to do, and they do them out of obligation instead of by choice. But if you think about it honestly, would you want to live in a world where there is nothing in place of a baby shower? The first order of business if you want to have an awesome baby shower instead of just another mediocre one is to have the right attitude about it. Realize that it’s not going to be mediocre by default, but that you can and will make it better.

The first thing is, make sure you have good invitations. Baby shower invitations are a call to action, and they set the tone for the actual event to follow. The perfect invitation for a baby shower should be elegant without going overboard and getting all the way to pretentious. Check and double-check the grammar and the spelling, because once they go out, it’s too late. Also, please forego the traditional paper invites; they are no longer necessary in 2017. Even if you’re having a huge event, people can bring the image of the invite in their phones and we can all save a few trees.

Now, once people come, really the thing to concentrate on are the games. Don’t make these kind of mistakes, for starters. Definitely plan several diverse games, but for Pete’s sake keep your guest list in front of you the whole time you are doing it. This alone will save you the kind of potential embarrassment that we all definitely want to avoid!

Keep in mind these days that there are cultural differences to take into account. For example, in many parts of North America, baby showers are WOMEN ONLY! In other parts, it’s considered offensive for the men NOT to show up. So make sure that all your guests understand what kind of a party you are throwing. Especially if you’re planning on a women-only affair, make sure everybody knows to avoid a situation where only one woman brings her SO. Please note that, for example, in Latin America baby showers are almost always co-ed.

You see, it’s actually not that complicated. Follow this simple advice and your baby shower will stand out famously among all the other cringe-worthy ones.

Clever Budgeting Tips for New Mothers

When you become a mother for the first time, there is a lot to adapt to in your life.  Primarily, there’s the baby and his or her demands and requirements.  There’s your own physical state which is often affected by a lack of sleep and other side-effects from the pregnancy.  But on top of all of this, life must go on and often, this means getting a handle on the household budget to incorporate the new arrival.  So, what tips do new moms offer?

Benefits of budgeting

While budgeting might not sound fun, there are a lot of benefits to it, especially if you start doing it while your child is just a newborn.  Take the time while he or she is asleep to do a little budgeting, set up a routine and stick to it.

Most mothers use a rough 50-20-30 rule when they are looking at their household budget:

  • 50% goes on living costs and essentials such as food, utilities and the mortgage or rent
  • 20% goes into savings
  • 30% goes on spending which covers anything from mobile phone bills to gym membership to new clothes

To calculate the exact figure for your home, you need to look at your living costs, household bills, financial products such as home insurance and other expenses.  Remember to leave an allowance for vehicles in the house so if the car needs new tires or you need motorcycle parts for your husband’s bike he uses for work, you have some money set aside for these.  Then leave some money where possible for time with friends and leisure activities.

Top tips for clever budgeting

Then there are all the little tips that other moms have offered that can help you make the most of your budget and be as organized as possible.

Have a food inventory

With a baby in the house, you might not want to buy two or three of everything when it is on offer as you don’t have the spare cash.  So, keep an inventory of the food in the house so you know what’s available for meals and what you need to replace.

Watch for coupons

Another job to do when baby is asleep is hunt around for coupons for the things you buy.  This can be anything from nappies to baby food, tinned goods and even pet food – there are loads of coupon sites out there to help.

Shop around

When you look at utility bills, cell phone costs or how much you pay for your internet connection, always shop around to see if you can get a better deal.  It might take a little time to put all the details into comparison sites but it can be worth it for your budget in the long run.

Conclusion

Budgeting isn’t exciting but by having a clear picture of what your living expenses are and what you need to spend on essentials, you will feel more in control.  And as your baby comes to take up more time, you will have this crucial area organized.

How to Avoid the Top 3 Costliest Home Repairs [Infographics]

Most homeowners understand the risk that comes with buying a house. Something that could work fine one day could break the next. A fully-functioning roof could crumble under the weight of a tree branch, or your washer and dryer could break as soon as you start a load of laundry. However, many breaks are preventable with the right maintenance. Check out the infographic below to learn about the three costliest home repairs and how you can avoid needing them.

The worst thing that can happen to your home is water damage. Flooding can ruin your hardwood floors and carpets and even force you to replace your furniture. Even small drops of water can build up, causing black mold that’s hard to get rid of and rotting wood to the point of replacement. In fact, mold elimination can cost almost $3,500, but it costs only $1,200 for preventative maintenance. Oftentimes, homeowners face a saga against water and constantly battle to keep it out of their homes. This graphic breaks down common causes of water damage and the costs required to fix it.

Along with water damage, most homeowners work to keep their HVAC systems running. They call specialist for repairs the minute something is wrong with the air conditioning in the summer or heat in the winter. Not only are these emergency calls expensive, but the cost of replacing your unit can cost more than $7,000. When you consider that expense, setting up regular maintenance checks doesn’t seem so bad. Homeownership doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you invest in preventative measures. Use this guide to learn how you can keep your home functioning well for years to come.

5 Aging Habits You Need To Stop Worrying About

Soaking up the sun at the beach, drinking martinis with your gal pals, eating an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting. It seems like every little indulgence we end up loving can cause premature aging and is bad for our health. But sometimes, these aging habit myths are just that – myths. Here are five aging habits that you can stop stressing about right now:

1. Don’t Apply Moisturizer Using Downward Strokes

We’re told that using downward strokes to apply moisturizers, anti-wrinkle serums, or all natural skin care products, can lead to saggy skin. In actuality, these motions do not use enough pressure to affect your skin’s elasticity or collagen.

2. Exercise Can Cause Saggy Skin

This is also oh-so false. Moderate exercise actually helps to prevent the aging process and boosts blood flow to promote a gorgeous glow. So hit that spin class, girl!

3. Manicure UV Lamps Are Unhealthy

While there is significant proof that UV rays from tanning beds can deeply penetrate your skin and lead to age spots and premature wrinkles, that itty-bitty UV lamp used to dry your gel manicure is low risk. If you’re still weary, apply sunscreen or wear protective gloves during your next mani.

4. Sleeping on Your Side Causes Wrinkles

No studies whatsoever support this. The worst that sleeping on your side can do is cause creases in your skin the next morning that will eventually fade as the day goes on.

5. If You’re an Urbanite, Use Products Designed to Combat Pollution

While environmental factors can damage your skin, all you generally need are products containing Vitamins C, E, and B3, and sunscreen.

Stop believing every aging habit myth. Some of them are simply false.