A pretty purse is a great way to make a style statement, but busy moms don’t always want to juggle kids and a bulky handbag. For those times when you’d rather leave your purse at home, hipS-sister has the perfect solution.
HipS-sister is a 5” band that goes around your waist like a belt. It has a front secret top loading pocket ideal for a phone or iPod, a front zippered pocket for your cash and car keys, and a back zippered pocket.
The newest hipS-sister collection, sportS-sister, comes in a variety of reversible color combinations, from forest green/gold to black/red. You can also buy hipS-sisters with crystal embellishments or funky patterns. For example, the Vegas collection includes black snakeskin, leopard, zebra, and camo print products.
Since they are made with a Micropoly and Lycra mix, hipS-sister products are machine washable and very easy to clean.
HipS-sister products come in A, B, and C sizes. A size items fit women who wear pants size 0/2 to 8/10. B size fits women who wear pants size 10/12 to 14/16. C size fits women who wear pants size 16/18 to 20/22.
Prices vary according to the style you select, but most hipS-sister products are less than $30.
For times when you want to keep your hands free or when you’re visiting someplace that doesn’t allow purses or backpacks for security reasons, I think the hipS-sister would be a handy wardrobe addition. They look comfy and the different colors that are available would add style to almost any outfit.
What do you think?
Photo credit: HipS-sister
If you prefer to purchase educational toys for your child, the NogginStik is one of the newest products promising to turn playtime into a learning experience. The NogginStik is a rattle for children ages 0-12 months.
The head of the NogginStik lights up red, blue, and green to encourage your baby to practice visual tracking. This is a crucial milestone for babies and a necessary skill children need when they are learning how to read.
The base of the toy makes a soft rattle sound and the handle is easy for baby to hold as he works on mastering grasping and exploring his sense of touch.
The NogginStik is BPA, PVC, phthalate, lead, and latex free. Intertek, one of the world’s leading independent testing authorities, has evaluated the rattle to determine that it meets or exceeds all children’s safety regulations and standards.
The NogginStik has won several toy awards, including:
The only objection I have to this idea is the price. The NogginStik sells for $22.99 online, with free shipping in the continental US. This seems awfully pricey for a baby’s rattle, even one with an added educational benefit.
When my son was born, we were constantly losing rattles because they’d get dropped behind furniture or tossed out of the diaper bag. Keeping track of an expensive rattle would have been more of an annoyance than anything else.
What do you think of this idea? Would you buy a NogginStik for your baby?
Photo credit: NogginStik
In the United States, one in three babies are born via cesarean section. Although a surgical delivery is sometimes the best option, many of these cesarean births are done simply for the convenience of the mother and/or doctor.
If you’ve never had one, a c-section can seem like a great way to avoid the prolonged pain of a vaginal delivery. But, it’s important to remember that a c-section is considered major abdominal surgery.
Fit Pregnancy says unnecessary c-sections can lead to chronic pelvic pain, wound infections, anesthetic complications, urgent hysterectomy, blood clots, and cardiac arrest for mothers.
Babies born by c-section are more likely to suffer from respiratory distress syndrome or pulmonary hypertension and be less likely to breastfeed successfully. C-sections might even place babies at a higher risk of suffering from asthma, type-1 diabetes, or food allergies later in life.
Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families, outlines five guidelines for determining when a c-section is necessary in its recently released publication, New Cesarean Prevention Recommendations from Obstetric Leaders: What Pregnant Women Need to Know.
Photo credit: Stock.chng
When you’re expecting, you’re eager to share the news of your new arrival with everyone you meet. But, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that a new baby in the house can be very confusing for your pet.
Experts say you should start working on preparing your pet for your baby’s arrival as soon as you know that you’re pregnant.
If your pet hasn’t already been spayed or neutered, keep in mind that spayed or neutered pets are calmer and less likely to bite.
If you have a dog, consider taking a training class before your baby arrives. Having your dog be able to respond to simple commands will prevent problems once baby arrives. If you have a cat, think about whether your cat is prone to nibbling, pouncing, or swatting at you and others. These behaviors need to be redirected to appropriate objects, such as a cat play gym.
Animals have keen senses, so you should start using baby lotion, baby powder, diaper wipes, and other scented baby care products a month or so before baby arrives to give your pet time to adjust to the changes. Many experts also recommend turning on your infant swing or having friends with newborns visit to give your pet a chance to get used to unfamiliar noises.
When you’re setting up baby’s nursery, applying double stick tape to the changing table and crib area can discourage your pet from jumping. If you want to keep the baby’s room off-limits entirely, start using a baby gate right away to give your pet time to get used to the change.
Once you bring your little one home from the hospital, keep a supply of special treats handy to reward your pet for behaving properly around the baby. If your pet develops positive associations with the baby, he will be much more cooperative in welcoming a new addition to your family.
You can find more tips on the Humane Society website.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home, especially if you’re a mother with young children. Unfortunately, it’s often the last room to be properly decorated.
The high cost of new appliances and designer cabinets might be prohibitive if you’re on a tight budget, but even a few small tweaks can give your kitchen a fresh look.
It’s amazing what happens to a room when you get rid of unnecessary items. Too much clutter makes your room look dirty and unappealing. Be honest about your cooking habits. Donate or sell cookbooks and kitchen gadgets you know you’ll never get around to using.
A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive option that can have a big impact. Generally, you’ll want one base color and two accent colors that are used in smaller amounts. If needed, you can use heat-resistant appliance paint to fix scratches or change the color of outdated appliances.
Themes aren’t for everyone, but they can be a cute way to tie the room together. Apples, chefs, or wine bottles are examples of popular kitchen themes, but you could also choose accessories from your favorite decade for a vintage inspired kitchen.
If you can’t afford new kitchen cabinets, simply replacing the hardware will create a different look. Any major home improvement store will have a large selection of decorative knobs and drawer pulls for you to choose from. I had a friend who did this in her kitchen a few months ago and the results were amazing!
A new backsplash doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s a great way to add an interesting design element to your kitchen. Ceramic tiles are generally the cheapest option. Another alternative is using salvaged materials from remodeling projects within your community. Check Craigslist to see what you can find.
Pinterest has lots of great kitchen makeover ideas to help you get started. Sondra Sweeney’s Low-Cost Kitchen Makeovers & Updates board is one of my personal favorite resources.
Photo credit: Stock.chng
Dedicated people are the heart of any successful business, but I think many modern employers are failing to realize that their cost-cutting policies have a significant effect on employee morale.
I understand that businesses need to make a profit, but I also think that more companies could follow IBM’s example.
Early this year, the company announced that top executives would be forgoing bonuses to free up funds for essential research. IBM also invests heavily in the job satisfaction of its current staff members.
The company was among the first to offer paid vacations, group life insurance, and survivor benefits. In 1953, the company made headlines when the president sent out a letter saying that they believed hiring decisions should not be based on gender, race, or ethnic origin.
Today, IBM has a very family friendly work environment and is consistently one of the few technology companies honored by Working Mother as a top place for women with young children to find a desirable work/life balance.
Since technology has always been a male-dominated sector, I think this says a lot about the progressive nature of their management team.
Yes, these policies cost the company money. However, it’s a strategy that seems to be working for them. To date, IBM employees have earned five Nobel Prizes, five National Medals of Technology, five National Medals of Science, and four Turing Awards.
The company has held the record for most patents generated by a business in the United States for 20 consecutive years. Fortune ranks the company in the top 10 in terms of the number of employees, market capitalization, and profitability.
If you work outside the home, do you feel like your employer values your contributions? If not, what changes would be necessary to make you feel appreciated?
Photo credit: Stock.chng
Did you know that the average American child watches 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year? This means that by the time the typical American graduates from high school, he or she has spent twice as many hours in front of a television than in a classroom.
Companies market to children because history has shown that is it effective. In the United States, $15 to $17 billion is spent each year on advertising targeted towards children — with $4 billion coming from the fast food industry alone.
The advertiser’s return on this investment is huge, however. Teens are estimated to spend $160 billion per year, while younger children spend about $18 billion per year.
One might think that children are only a factor in the purchase of toys and candy. However, even purchases that are not exclusively for children, such as the family car, are heavily influenced by their opinions.
James McNeal, a market researcher specializing in the children’s market, reports that SUVs rose in popularity once advertising helped children decided that it was no longer “cool” for Mom and Dad to drive them to school in a minivan.
Before I became a parent, I firmly believed that it was a matter of personal responsibility to limit your child’s exposure to advertising. However, I’m starting to realize that this is extremely difficult to do unless you live in an Amish community with no exposure to the outside world.
We don’t have cable TV at home, but my son still sees commercials while watching shows at Grandma’s house or when we visit a business that has a TV playing in the background. His favorite websites are filled with ads for toys and candy. There are even ads in each issue of the National Geographic Kids magazine his great grandparents got him for his birthday last year.
Are you bothered by how many ads your child sees in a typical day? Why or why not?
Photo credit: Stock.xchng
Advertising tobacco to children has been banned since 1998. This ban has coincided with a substantial drop in youth smoking. Evidence suggests that a similar approach might be useful in curbing our country’s growing obesity problem.
In the last 20 years, the rate of obesity among children has more than tripped – climbing from 4% to 15%. Obesity is well known to increase the risk of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Children who are obese are also more likely to become obese adults.
In this same time frame, the number of advertisements aired for prepared foods such as frozen dinners, sugary cereals, and packaged snack foods has more than doubled.
Many of these advertisements are clearly targeted towards children, appearing on networks like Nickelodeon or featuring popular cartoon characters essentially endorsing the product at hand.
Nutritionists are concerned that advertising causes children to prefer unhealthy foods over foods that provide the nutrition they need.
Children never see commercials for broccoli, but they are exposed to a multitude of commercials for chips and candy bars. When it comes time for them to select a snack, it’s obvious what types of foods will be at the front of their minds.
Even though we’ve gotten rid of cable television in our home, I’ve noticed that my son has an astounding capacity to remember commercials for unhealthy food options. Just seeing a commercial on the TV in the waiting room at the doctor’s office is enough to convince him that a certain candy or snack food is a “must-have” item.
I believe that marketers should not be allowed to create content that influences impressionable children to make choices that will set them up for a lifetime of health problems. These health problems, in addition to decreasing a child’s quality of life, result in lost wages, lower productivity, and higher health insurance premiums for everyone who must help compensate for the care of obesity-related medical conditions.
Regulating advertising in the interest of public health serves the greater good, which outweighs any potential harm to the profitability of a private enterprise.
What do you think? Would you like to see tighter restrictions on advertising targeted to children?
Photo credit: Stock.chng
One of the biggest burdens on a working parent’s household budget is the cost of child care.
The cost of care for a toddler can run between $4,000 and $15,000 per year, depending upon your location and the type of care being provided. Even when your children are school age, you must still pay for care when your kids are sick or when school is not in session.
It can be tempting to cut costs in this area by having school age children stay home alone or care for their younger siblings. However, the National SAFEKIDS Campaign believes that children under the age of 12 are too young to be left home alone.
Even if a child is old enough to be left home alone, this does not mean he or she is mature enough to handle the responsibility of caring for a sibling. Consider carefully how your child would handle medical emergencies, fires, intruders, and other dangerous situations.
If your child is easily frightened or panics under pressure, he or she is probably not ready to be left in charge of younger brothers and sisters.
Another potentially risky child care arrangement is having your child’s grandparents provide babysitting services. Grandparents are usually pretty eager to help with child care, but this doesn’t mean you should accept their assistance.
If they are in poor health, they might not be able to physically keep up with your kids. The arrangement could also be risky if they’re prone to forgetfulness or simply refuse to follow your requests regarding modern safety protocols.
If you’re struggling to find safe and affordable child care for your children, you may want to look into seeing if you qualify for daycare assistance for low income parents. Every state has assistance programs available, but each state has slightly different rules for how you can qualify. Visit Benefits.gov for details.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons