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Cheryl Posner

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Things New Moms Need on their Phones

First off, one thing I think a new mom does NOT need on her phone at all is any kind of baby monitoring software. A new mom needs a support network so that 100% of the baby care doesn’t fall on her shoulders. She should be able to be free to go about without having the psychological burden of having to check up on baby 24/7. That’s not healthy. So new moms, if you have it, the recommendation is to DELETE it.

Secondly, everybody these days needs a good antivirus on their phone. While it’s true that this software does take up a little CPU and memory from the phone, it prevents that horrible slow death phones often suffer from where they just get slower and slower and slower….

Now that we’ve gotten beyond that, the next things new moms should have are apps for online ordering of whatever you need. Hey, it’s 2017! You don’t have to get into traffic anymore to get your essentials, and when you have an infant in the house, the essentials are many and need to be replaced frequently. Set up things with your favorite retailers so that things just come to you. This can and maybe should include groceries, depending on how picky you are.

Aside from that, I’d definitely recommend that new moms get a reader app (Kindle or similar) on their phone and keep it well stocked with light reading to taste. There is nothing better than taking advantage of baby going to sleep by doing some reading and edifying yourself. Don’t forget to keep your music streaming up to date too.

Do you have any other suggestions for must-have apps for new moms? Please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.

Can the Lime in a Moscow Mule Be Replaced With Other Fruit?

There are plenty of good cocktails out there—martinis, daiquiris, margaritas. But few are as versatile as the Moscow Mule. This cocktail can be enjoyed any time, any place. It’s refreshing and cool, perfect for summer, and, during the frigid cold of winter, the ginger spice will keep you cozy—the vodka doesn’t hurt, either.

The standard Moscow Mule—ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice—is excellent, to be sure. But there are also plenty of variations worth a try. With summer just around the corner, we couldn’t help but wonder what other fruits could be incorporated. Here, we’ve compiled some of the best and fruitiest Moscow Mule recipes.

1.Summer Mule (Courtesy of SheKnows)
Hosting a summer get-together, bridal shower, or birthday party? This is guaranteed to be a hit. The fresh berries are just the right amount of sweet, enhancing and not overpowering the existing flavors. The berries also give it a beautiful rosy pink color.

Ingredients:
½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Fresh berries (4-6 per drink)
2 ounces vodka
3 ounces ginger beer
Soda water
Ice

Directions:
Muddle the berries with the lime juice. We suggest blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. The berries should break down quickly as you muddle them and create a syrup-like texture. Add the ginger beer and vodka. Pour over ice and top it off with sparkling water.

2.Spicy Mule (Courtesy of SheKnows)

If you love spicy foods, you’ll love this variation which incorporates jalapeno peppers. We know, jalapenos aren’t really fruit…but it’s too good to leave out. You can add as many as you like, though we’d suggest starting with 3-4 slices per drink and adding more to taste.

Ingredients:
Jalapeno pepper

1 ounce fresh lime juice

4 ounces ginger beer

½ ounce orange liqueur

2 ounces vodka

Ice

Directions:
Cut the jalapeno into thin slices. Muddle a few slices with the lime juice and orange liqueur. Stir in the vodka and ginger beer. Serve over ice.

3.The Mule Refresher (Courtesy of Drinkware Essentials)

This is another variation that incorporates fresh berries, making it optimal for summertime.

Ingredients:
12 blueberries
8 thinly sliced pieces of cucumber

6 mint leaves, plus a whole sprig for garnish

2 handfuls crushed ice, divided

2 oz. vodka

1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ cup ginger beer

Directions:
Put the berries, cucumber slices, and mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle until the mixture is a thick, juicy pulp. Add one handful of ice, the vodka, and the lime. Shake well for at least 30 seconds. Put a handful of ice into the mug (or glass). Strain the cocktail into the mug. Pour the ginger beer on top of the cocktail mixture. Add remaining ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

4. Passion Fruit Moscow Mule (Courtesy of Pineapple and Coconut)

This tropical take on the Moscow Mule will transport your mind and tastebuds to a sunny island paradise. The recipe makes 2 servings, though there’s nothing wrong with having it all to yourself.

Ingredients:
4 oz. vodka (Pineapple flavor or plain)
6 Tbsp. passion fruit pulp—about 4-6 passion fruits’ worth, depending on the size
2 tsp. Barsmith Mix Lime Syrup (or fresh lime juice)
8 Ounces ginger beer
Ice
Mint for garnish

Directions:
Divide the passion fruit pulp amongst the glasses and pour 1 teaspoon of lime syrup (or lime juice) into each glass. Muddle gently. Add in 2 ounces of vodka per glass and top with the ginger beer. Gently stir. Add a sprig of mint for garnish. Serve immediately.

5.Strawberry Moscow Mule (Courtesy of Beautiful Booze)

Berries, like Moscow Mules, are one of the best summertime treats. Here’s another berry-filled variation that’s perfect for a warm afternoon. This one also makes 2 cocktails.

Ingredients:

3 oz. vodka

5 Strawberries
½ lime, juiced
½ bottle ginger beer (about 4 oz.)
½ to 1 cup crushed ice
1 strawberry for garnish

Directions:

Add ice, lime juice, muddled strawberries, and vodka to two serving glasses. Stir mixture. Top with ginger beer.

Once you’ve given these a try, let us know what you think by posting in the comments. Have another fruity favorite of your own? We’d love to hear it!

How to Find Good Neighborhoods for Families With Children

Getting married, starting your family, moving into your first home — these are hallmarks of the American dream for many people who only want to do what they love while raising their families in a safe, welcoming environment. Finding a home you love is the fun part, but in addition to considering the square footage, the size of the backyard, and how many bedrooms it has, you also need to think about the neighborhood that it’s in. Safety is paramount, so here are some things to consider before you move into a new neighborhood.

Educate Yourself on the School District

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s ideal for children, the school district is one of your first priorities. A simple Google search reveals almost everything you need to know, including quality of education, teacher-to-student ratios, as well as the triumphs or issues of the district and particular schools. You also should think about proximity, bus routes, and whether your child has to take public transportation.

In addition to researching the local schools online, talk to your potential neighbors, particularly those with children who are the same age as yours or older. In other words, speak frankly with people whose kids attend the schools in question. Ask about the teachers, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and graduation rates, for starters.

Research Your Neighbors

It’s essential to know who your neighbors are. Maybe you can’t study all of them by name, but you can discover who’s living in your area. Look up sex offender registries and similar services that reveal the presence of offenders in the vicinity. Uncovering such information about the people in the area may push you in another direction, but that’s all right; your family’s safety is your priority.

Brush up on Crime Stats

It’s critical to look into the crime statistics of any area before you move there. Not only does it affect your family’s safety, but a crime-ridden neighborhood also impacts your homeowner’s and automobile insurance. More to the point, you don’t want to live in an area with a high percentage of break-ins or violent crime. Even if your potential neighborhood has low crime, you should still research the local police departments and other emergency services to learn about their quality, quickness, and reputations.

Check Out the Water Quality

Water is the drink of life. It’s essential. You can buy all the bottled water you want, but you don’t want your spouse or children bathing in or brushing their teeth with sub-par water. You don’t even want the kids playing under the sprinklers if the water’s no good. At the same time, take a look at any information regarding sewage, as well as any past issues with water or other utilities.

A lot of considerations go into the purchase of a new home or the big move to a new neighborhood. Only you know what’s right for your family, but keeping them safe, secure, and happy is paramount. How will you decide on your next move?

Why You Need Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot recently, with the government recommending that everyone should receive at least 10μg/400iu of vitamin D per day, especially in autumn and winter — but just how essential is it?

As a fat-soluble nutrient, vitamin D is essential for human health, helping to maintain our immune system, bone health and muscle function. While it is found in food like fish, butter and eggs, in the UK, we actually only receive an average of 126iu of vitamin D per day from our diets — significantly less than the government recommendation.

Our main source of vitamin D is the sun. When sun hits our skin, our bodies are able to produce vitamin D using cholesterol and UVB light. However, some factors can interfere with this synthesis, including:

  • A lack of exposure to sunlight — naturally, as sunlight plays a key part in vitamin D production, levels drop when exposure is limited. This could be through seasonal changes, like in winter for example, living in darker places or regular use of sunscreen, which prevents the sun’s rays from hitting the skin.
  • Your age — the older you are, the less able you are to create vitamin D from sun exposure.
  • Skin pigmentation — if you have darker skin, you’ll need greater levels of sun exposure than those with lighter skin in order to produce the same level of vitamin D.

A combination of the above factors can lead to many people taking vitamin D supplements to effectively top-up their levels. But why are so many people focused on vitamin D — what benefits can it bring?

There have been a number of studies carried out to establish the specific advantages of vitamin D. A study by the British Medical Journal found that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation can protect against respiratory chest infections — including those dreaded colds and flu! The vitamin can help you recover from these infections quicker too, but not if you supplement in one-off doses.

In addition, studies have shown that vitamin D has the potential to lower the risk of colorectal cancer with minimal risk. It also works to protect neurones and helps their maintenance, which has been found to have a positive effect on mental health. One trial found that vitamin D reduced the depressive symptoms associated with major depressive disorder (MDD), for example.

Clearly, vitamin D plays a hugely important role within the body. If you fear your current levels of vitamin D are insufficient or deficient, it’s worth considering using vitamin D supplements to boost your levels and improve your overall wellbeing.