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In my career as a journalist and television personality, I have been fortunate to have met extraordinary individuals from all corners of the world. Their lives are as unique as their DNA, but they’re bound by a common thread – passion. Here are their stories.

How to Best Prepare for Parenthood If You’re Disabled

How to Best Prepare for Parenthood If You’re Disabled

How to Best Prepare for Parenthood If You’re Disabled 1252 816 Chase Jennings

Many argue that disabled people don’t make good parents because of their physical limitations, which hinder them from providing the care that babies require.

That’s nonsense.

In fact, a study out of the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that such children grow up with certain advantages, including a greater sense of empathy. In other words, disabled people can’t only be good parents, they can be great ones.

However, that doesn’t eliminate the difficulties that certain impairments can impose when it comes to taking care of a baby, particularly ensuring they get a healthy amount of sleep, as you’ll see. Nonetheless, those obstacles can be overcome.

In honor of parents-to-be who are managing a disability and for National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Mom Sense podcaster Kanika Chadda-Gupta explains how you can be prepared for this incredible change.

Financial Planning

Yes, babies are expensive, so having money in the bank — as well the right insurance policy — would greatly aid your efforts as a parent. Mama & Money has come up with a checklist to help you map out your financial future that includes evaluating income and drafting a budget. Bear in mind, however, that you may have additional expenses due to your disability.

Improving Mobility at Home

Building a wheelchair ramp at your entrance can be costly. However, it’s a worthwhile investment, as it makes getting in and out of the house with a sleeping baby in your arms that much easier. You may also want to consider installing expandable hinges on interior doors as well as skid-resistant flooring for safety.

If you need help paying for these modifications, consider a home refinance. Refinancing can give you a one-time cash payment which you can then use to pay for these projects.

Creating a Nursery in Your Bedroom

Having the baby sleep just a few feet away provides many advantages. For one thing, you don’t have to go far when the little one wakes up in the middle of the night demanding to be fed, which is particularly important if you suffer from a mobility impairment. This could mean remodeling to make room for a crib and perhaps an old-fashioned rocking chair. As a result, you may find that you’re grabbing a little more sleep every night.

Buying the Right Equipment

About that crib in your bedroom — you’ll want a model that makes it easy to put your baby to sleep without even standing up, and New Mobility has a few recommendations. You’ll also find wraps and carriers for transporting your child around the house and bathtubs to keep them clean without having to get out of a wheelchair.

Learning About Baby Care

Having the right equipment can only go so far. Learning how to take care of the baby is absolutely essential, and that means not only feeding and changing their diaper but also holding the little one in your arms and gently rocking them to sleep. Don’t just assume that you’ll figure that all out when the big day finally arrives.

Finding Help Now

It’s important to find help from family and friends because you’ll need an extra pair of hands at some point, and there’s no reason to feel guilty about that at all. For example, even if you have an invisible disability like Multiple Sclerosis or Crohn’s Disease, you already know these take a toll on a person’s emotional, physical, and social well-being. And when you consider the risks associated between pregnancy and these diseases, it’s critical to tap into the help you might need now and once the baby arrives.

Staying Healthy and Stress-Free

Self-care means eating balanced meals and getting some sleep. Yes, you need to rest just as much as the little one to stay mentally and emotionally sound enough to fulfill your duties as a parent. Keep your energy levels high by drinking plenty of water and eating lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables. One tactic to achieve that is dividing the night into shifts, with each partner doing equal baby duty. And when the little one is napping during the day, do the same.

With a plan in place for tackling the difficulties of parenting, you can happily anticipate the wonders and joys, and there are many. Soon enough, you’ll be hearing the little one’s first words and watching their first steps — that’s something to look forward to.

Don’t Let a Dead-End Career Kill Your Passion For Life

Don’t Let a Dead-End Career Kill Your Passion For Life

Don’t Let a Dead-End Career Kill Your Passion For Life 2538 1762 Chase Jennings

Can you ever be truly successful if you don’t have passion for what you do? Even if you end up with a hefty bank balance, you still might find that the best parts of you have been depleted. A life with financial freedom but no ability to enjoy yourself is a poor existence — but you can change that. If you are willing to look deep within yourself, you may find that the things you love can pay off in more ways than one.

Emotional Wealth

There are many ways to gauge professional and personal success. Being happy at work is one of these. According to a study on the workplace by Léger for Hamster, workplace happiness is achieved by feeling accomplished and having positive interpersonal relations. If you have none of these things, you are probably in the wrong place and lacking in the very important department of emotional richness.

Some people fill their emotional stores with creativity or fitness. But if you have tried these things and still long for more, take a closer look at your profession. Determining a fresh path can be a struggle, but you have resources. For instance, you might get a ballpark idea for a better direction from an online evaluation.

The Search Begins

Even if you do not desire to go back to school, you can still change careers. The search begins by identifying opportunities that spark an interest. Don’t underestimate the power of your network. Think back to conversations you may have had with acquaintances who work in an industry you’re interested in.

Outside of your network, you can always check sites like Craigslist for both job postings and freelance work. The Huffington Post notes that one benefit of working as a freelancer is that you can take on gigs outside of your regular working hours to test out a variety of options until you find something that you don’t want to stop. A few examples of freelance opportunities are web development, marketing, copywriting, project management, and tutoring.

Thought Catalog notes that the key is to find something you’re good at and that you enjoy enough to use as a source of income without letting criticism spoil it for you.

Start Your Own Business

You may decide that instead of working for someone else, you’d rather work for yourself. If so, the ZenBusiness starter guide has plenty of tips for you! After all, starting a business is an exciting prospect, and if handled correctly, it could become a very lucrative venture. However, turning an idea into a viable business will require some work. In fact, you may be surprised by how complicated certain aspects of business ownership can be.

For instance, if you want employees to help you run your business, then you’ll need to set up a payroll system. Payroll is the process of paying your employees, which requires you calculate their gross pay and make any necessary deductions. But it doesn’t stop there — you’ll also need to keep accurate records of these payments. And to ensure you’re in good standing with the IRS, you’ll need to file and make payroll taxes on time.

Although this information may seem intimidating, you can often find freelancers, software, and online guides to help you manage all the details. Don’t let any of this deter you from following your dream of starting a business that you’ll be proud of.

The idea of changing careers can be daunting. But you have to ask yourself which is worse, being unhappy for the long-term or being temporarily uncertain? Before you answer, keep in mind that how you feel at work doesn’t stay there when you leave. Instead, your negative emotions follow you no matter how far away you get from the cubicle. Workplace unhappiness can chip away at who you are until you no longer have the strength or courage to live the best version of your life. Remember, dead ends go nowhere, but you have the power to turn things around.

Kanika Chadda-Gupta is a wife, mother of three, and CEO of Kronologie Agency, a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in branding and web design. As a former television anchor for CNN, she is a born storyteller and host of the top-rated podcast, That’s Total Mom Sense where she interviews industry experts on parenting, lifestyle, and wellness. For more information, click here.

Measures Parents Can Take to Protect Their Family in the Event of a Car Accident

Measures Parents Can Take to Protect Their Family in the Event of a Car Accident

Measures Parents Can Take to Protect Their Family in the Event of a Car Accident 2480 1656 Chase Jennings

With 143 million commuters taking to the roads each day, it’s not too shocking to hear some of the statistics regarding traffic fatalities and injuries. Reckless, impaired, and distracted drivers are wild-card variables that are responsible for many accidents. Thankfully, there are measures parents can take to protect their loved ones in the event of a wreck.

For top tips on parenting, lifestyle, and wellness, listen to episodes of the That’s Total Mom Sense podcast!

Buckle up the right way.

You know that you have to wear your seatbelt, and you also know you’re required to have your youngest passengers safely in a car seat. But if you are not buckling them in the right way, you aren’t doing anything to protect them. Choose a car seat that is right for your child’s age, height, and weight. Most experts recommend rear-facing for as long as possible, and all car seats must be installed correctly. SafeRide4Kids suggests checking your owner’s manual before installation. You can also contact your local fire department to see if they have anyone available to perform a seat safety check.

Harness the power of apps.

Smartphone apps have the ability to do more than just entertain you and your family; these apps can also help protect your family in the event of an accident. There are voice-activated emergency applications that allow you to contact emergency services without having to touch a button. Accurate location services are also helpful for determining your exact location. To ensure your smartphone has enough power to run these apps, pick up a super-fast car charger for your vehicle.

Make sure you have “full” auto coverage.

 Having thorough auto coverage is one of the best ways to ensure your family is protected financially in the event of an accident. The Balance explains that although a “full” or “complete” car insurance policy doesn’t exist, these colloquial terms usually refer to a combination of packages that work to thoroughly cover families when combined. Typically, “full” coverage is acknowledged as the combination of liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. When combined, these coverages help protect your family from lawsuits, exorbitant medical expenses and more.

Create a savings account for medical emergencies.

Medical bills and damage costs can pile up when you are in a wreck. Serious injuries could even impact your ability to earn an income if experienced for a prolonged period of time. Even if you don’t sustain any physical injuries, your wallet is still impacted by the rise of insurance premiums and the cost of fixing your vehicle.

With all that in mind, parents need to create a separate emergency savings account to help protect against the financial burden that comes post-accident. Look for an account with a good interest rate, and start setting money aside. It’s recommended for families to have a minimum of three months worth of living expenses set aside.

Have your vehicle inspected regularly.

Car manufacturers understand that to some extent accidents are inevitable, and proper security measures need to be in place to protect drivers and passengers against these occurrences. Tires Plus points out that as a car owner, it’s your responsibility to verify your vehicle is in proper working order by having it inspected on a regular basis. Fully-functioning brakes, operational airbags, fit tires, and many other features help to keep your family safer when an accident can’t be avoided.

If car maintenance isn’t your thing, there are easy ways to keep on top of things. Consider adding some apps to help. Not only can you log the whens, wheres and whats of work completed, but you can also do everything from monitoring your gas usage to estimating how much you’ll spend on a needed repair.

Unfortunately, parents can’t do anything to guarantee that their families won’t experience a car wreck at some point in their lives. However, there are some steps you can take to protect your family both physically and financially in the event of an accident. Gather your resources and stay on top of things so you and yours will be safe and sound.

Author: Guest post by Karen Weeks

Breastfeeding Moms Should Utilize These Self-Care Tips

Breastfeeding Moms Should Utilize These Self-Care Tips

Breastfeeding Moms Should Utilize These Self-Care Tips 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Self-care doesn’t always come easily, especially for new parents. As a breastfeeding mother, you may be feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or both, and that can make taking care of yourself extra difficult. When all your time and energy is focused on the baby, it’s easy to forget about your own needs, but there are some simple things you can do to prevent burnout. Joining the blog community is a great start, and you can find tons of great advice and tips for all things related to parenting as you browse my site.

Treat yourself to some new clothes

Motherhood comes with a lot of changes and they can take a toll on your body. Comfortable clothing is a must, especially in the first months after you give birth. Look for easy, breathable items that will allow you to keep your style, such as patterned leggings, tunics, and high-waisted underwear that smooths and flatters. You can also look for cute pajamas and loungewear for the early days after the baby comes when all you want to do is relax at home.

Create a portable well-station

While you’re home, it’s a good idea to set up a portable well-station that can be kept near your favorite chair or moved to different spots around the house when you breastfeed. This is a great way to create a little self-care even while you’re taking care of the baby’s needs. Your kit should hold lip balm, an extra burp cloth, nipple salve, baby wipes, and any other supplies you might need at arm’s length; I have compiled a group of wonderful products to try.

It’s also a good idea to keep a large cup of water nearby so you can stay hydrated; look for an insulated bottle that holds a good amount, and refill it throughout the day. This is an easy way to remember how much you’ve had to drink to ensure you’re getting enough fluids.

Eat right

Just as you need to make sure you’re getting enough water, you also need to eat enough of the right nutrients and calories while you’re breastfeeding. If you’re unsure of where to begin, talk to your doctor and work out a plan for your diet. It may be tricky at first to find the right balance, since losing weight too quickly can have a negative effect on your milk supply; however, you typically can’t go wrong with proteins and healthy fats, such as those found in nuts and avocados. Berries, green leafy vegetables, and seeds are also great for breastfeeding moms.

Stay connected

Having a newborn can be a bit restrictive when it comes to going out, especially for breastfeeding moms who are focused on getting into a routine. That’s why it’s so important to make an effort to stay connected to your friends and loved ones, who can offer support or just a kind ear as you get used to balancing everything. Consider using a video chat app on your phone to stay in touch with your family members and to give them updates on the baby’s growth and milestones; read reviews to find the best one for your device. This is a great way to get some facetime with the people you enjoy most if you’re not ready to get out and about.

Taking care of yourself when you have so many things to think about can be a challenge, but doing so will help you be the best parent you can be. Take moments of rest when you can find them, and pamper yourself in small ways throughout the day in order to recharge.

Attribution

Written by guest author, Karen Weeks

Photo via Pixabay

 

Kids’ Clothing Brand Teaches Sustainability, Empowerment, and Imagination

Kids’ Clothing Brand Teaches Sustainability, Empowerment, and Imagination

Kids’ Clothing Brand Teaches Sustainability, Empowerment, and Imagination 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

What if there was a kids’ clothing brand that was sustainable (both the product + packaging), made kids feel like a superhero, sparked their imagination, and taught them to love our planet? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it exists. It’s called Living Loudly.

 

Living Loudly encourages parents to “create moments that matter” with their kids. Let me walk you through the process because it’s pretty awesome.

1) Log on to the website, www.livingloudly.com, and have your kiddo select a t-shirt. The tees come in fun colors, feature a cute character on the front, and they’re unisex! The shirts are super soft as they’re made of 100% organic cotton + bamboo and they won’t shrink or fade in the wash. They’re ideal for hand-me-downs or donations, which is inherently sustainable and a bonafide #momwin.

2) Next, you’ll receive a capsule delivered to your doorstep. My kids were so intrigued and couldn’t wait to open it. The capsule itself can be reused for small toys, a pretend rocket ship or you can recycle it because it’s 100% biodegradable.

3) Inside you’ll find a piece of paper with a story about the character on the t-shirt like Everett the Elephant or Trevor the Tiger. This promotes literacy and allows parents and kids to cultivate time for the joy of reading.

4) When they’re rocking their new shirt, your kiddo can have fun ripping up the seed paper that the story was printed on and plant the bits in potting soil.

living loudly trevor the tiger

5) Once the seeds sprout, you can transfer them to a larger pot. Now your kids can enjoy watching their very own garden of wildflowers grow!

To serve as an ongoing resource for parents, Living Loudly hosts virtual on-demand workshops that cover a range of topics from creating a calm + focused home to owning your unique parenting style to teaching gratitude and building emotional intelligence.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder, Shannon Murray-Doffo, on my podcast.

Shannon Murray-Doffo, is an award winning serial entrepreneur, marketing expert, and business strategist. Shannon spent over 13 years helping Fortune 10 companies strategize, build, and implement their marketing campaigns, culminating in launching her own brand in 2019, Living Loudly.

Shannon explains, “Living Loudly serves parents as a children’s clothing and lifestyle brand, helping parents realize they’re not alone and bringing a little more joy to the parenting experience.

Whether parents are picking out super-soft, eco-friendly apparel with their kids and cuddling up with a story, or taking one of her online workshops to get real support with their relationships, self-care, or parenting, Living Loudly puts connection at the heart of the business so parents (and their kiddos) can have a few more laughs and a few less bribes.”

According to LiveScience.com, “in a 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas, Kim said. Has modern society really extinguished the creative spark among our youth? Experts say creativity is innate, so it can’t really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured.”

This brand is getting us all off our screens, involving kids in the shopping process and practice decision-making, and is reminding us that some mundane tasks like buying kids clothes can be experiential and means to bond with our little ones.

As an exclusive BOGO offer, buy one item from LivingLoudly.com and receive the second 30% off with my code, MOMSENSE30.

Enjoy living loudly and making memories!

Bedtime Can Be Sweet, Not Stressful Thanks to Mommy’s Bliss

Bedtime Can Be Sweet, Not Stressful Thanks to Mommy’s Bliss

Bedtime Can Be Sweet, Not Stressful Thanks to Mommy’s Bliss 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Want mom to mom advice? You can trust Mommy’s Bliss to carry you through each stage of motherhood and parenting. They have you covered with pre and postnatal care supplements, babies and kids vitamins, medicines, and probiotics, and now a newly launched sleep product line for toddlers.

A couple months ago, I was introduced to the founders of the brand and after several conversations, I immediately knew the brand was one I wanted to partner with and endorse as an ambassador. I first learned about Mommy’s Bliss when my mom explained the benefits of gripe water, which we’ve been using for generations since key ingredients organic ginger extract and organic fennel extract are staple herbs in Indian home remedies. Ever since my twins were infants, I’ve been using Mommy’s Bliss gripe water to settle their tummies so they could sleep soundly, and I could too.

Gripe Water is where it all started for the family-owned company. It all started when Roshan Kaderali, a mom, pediatric nurse, midwife, and doula who had used Gripe Water to ease infant colic and fussiness for years while working in Scotland. When she moved to the U.S., she was astonished that the “magical” Gripe Water formula she relied on wasn’t available here. So she set out to create Gripe Water and Mommy’s Bliss was born. As the company grew, its mission hasn’t changed: help moms everywhere bond with their babies by creating effective, trusted products that incorporate wise ingredients from around the world.

Now, Roshan’s daughter Yasmin, who’s a mom of two, is at the helm as CEO. She grew up learning from her mom about the “miracle of life,” surrounded by the realities of childbirth and infant health through her mom’s maternity center. After attending college at the University of California, Davis, Yasmin spent two years living in Central America volunteering with programs focused on women and children’s human rights. Inspired to learn more and make a difference, Yasmin pursued an MPH & MBA and continued this work in the non-profit sector, and then was led back to @mommysbliss bringing fresh perspective as a new mom herself. Both Roshan and Yasmin share the dream of helping children and women all over the world to live in bliss, with food, good health, respected human rights and peace.

This year, Mommy’s Bliss launched a toddler sleep line because they truly believe in the importance of #bedtimebliss. It’s no surprise an ongoing challenge we face as parents is getting our kids to SLEEP. Regressions, routines, daylight savings, life in a pandemic! We often have to recalibrate so our little ones can fall asleep at the right time and have a restful night.

I interviewed Pediatric Sleep Expert Nicole Cannon, aka @sleepymamanj, to learn more about the science behind sleep. Nicole is a mom of 3 kids (ages 7, 5, & 3) with her 4th child on the way! Drawing from her expertise as a Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant as a member of the International Maternity Institute and Association of Professional Sleep Consultants, Nicole clears up misconceptions around sleep and explains how melatonin and cortisol affect our sleep cycles. On our podcast interview, we discuss how essential it is to have a bedtime routine in place and and review what to do on those days we’re thrown for a loop and need to call in the reinforcements. That’s where the new sleep line from Mommy’s Bliss comes into play with options for kids 3+ — a gummy, a chewable tablet or liquid — that all contain safe ingredients such as melatonin, magnesium and a bedtime bliss blend of organic chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower.

Some of the best quality time I have with my kids is when we’re reading books at bedtime. I love our conversations, the giggles, and witnessing their imagination take flight. Now that I have toddlers, circumstances are different and “sleeping through the night” varies. I’m glad that I have an arsenal of safe, natural, efficacious products when my kids are having an especially difficult time.

LINKS:

Use this link to save $3.00 on any (1) Mommy’s Bliss sleep product:
https://mommysbliss.com/sleep

Sweet dreams kiddos (and grown-ups too!)

 

Kanika & Nyakio Kamoche Grieco at Diversity & Beauty

Kanika & Nyakio Kamoche Grieco at Diversity & Beauty 2000 1333 Chase Jennings

Should You Dress Your Twins Alike?

Should You Dress Your Twins Alike? 2560 1545 Chase Jennings

If you’re a fellow twin mom, let me start by saying, “I am here for you.” We are in a league of our own because we’ve endured delivering two babies at once (and may have had a NICU experience), know how to tandem breastfeed and bottle feed, have their schedule down pat, and of course have mastered handling double the diapers, baths, and naps along with twice as many hugs, cuddles, and cute clothes! It’s a journey through all the feels (x2) and it’s incredible.

Matchy Matchy?

Many people expect to see identical twins donning matching outfits or fraternal twins wearing complementary colors. I say trust your “mom sense” (your super power of intuition) on outfit choices. It’s undoubtedly easier to buy two of the same garment, but be mindful that their sizes may actually vary. Through my informal research, I’ve found that dressing your twins (triplets, quadruplets, etc.) the same when they’re babies does not have a long term effect on their sense of identity when they’re older. And they do make for the cutest photos!

Same, Same But Different

According to a BBC article, Keith Reed, Chief Executive of the Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA), says it is important for parents to help multiple birth children develop their own identities when they’re older, meaning 2 years old on up. This can be done by dressing them differently and using their individual names rather than calling them “the twins” or “the triplets.” He adds, “If they are used to always being together or always wearing the same clothes, then the older they get the more distressed they may become if you try to make changes. However this does not mean denying their special relationship as one of a multiple. Rather it allows them to see themselves as individuals who have the bonus of being part of a multiple unit.” Womb mates to roommates, I say!

I dress my boy-girl twins in outfits that they feel most comfortable in and resonate with their personal style. My daughter is a problem-solving engineer, and is a girly-girl when it comes to fashion. She loves her House of Sofella pink tulle skirt. Pink is her favorite color and she loves to wear skirts all year long (with a pair of tights underneath during colder months). Her twin brother is protective and affectionate. He loves the color blue and likes to look dapper, yet laid back so his shirt of his choice is often a collared button down. My youngest son just loves being part of the party and is outgoing, gregarious, and always smiling. He is athletic and has a penchant for any sport we can introduce him to as a toddler, so he lives in his t-shirts and fleece joggers.
 

House of Sofella has such a curated collection of styles that are contemporary and chic. I love that the brand allows my kids to have access to European fashion and express themselves in their own unique, special way.

 

Originally posted here on HouseofSofella.com 

weight gain kanika chadda gupta weight loss

Gain Weight During Lockdown? Here’s How to Regain Control

Gain Weight During Lockdown? Here’s How to Regain Control 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

weight gain kanika chadda gupta weight loss

Gain Weight on Lockdown? Here’s How to Regain Control

Over the last two months, much of the country has been in a state of self-isolation, and many of us have put on a few extra pounds. This unwelcome quarantine has led to stress, and, as we all know, stress can lead to overeating.

What Can I do?

If you’ve noticed the scale inching up as the days trudge on, remind yourself that lockdown is not going to last forever. Someday soon, you’ll be back out into the real world, and you’re going to want to look and feel your very best.

Fortunately, there are many ways to reverse the bad habits you may have picked up over the last 60 days. One of these is to adopt healthy stress-busting habits. This is especially important if you are a caregiver since, as Community Home Health Care points out, stress weighs heavily on those that care for others.

Look for new outlets, which might include blogging, exercise, or meditation. Note that none of these suggestions involve cooking or put you in a situation where you would eat as part of a social setting. When you learn to remove food as a comfort item, you won’t be tempted to ingest excess and unnecessary calories.

Next, reframe how you dine. Make a rule that food must be consumed in the kitchen or dining room, so you’ll be less likely to eat in between meals. You’ll also want to make a point to utilize the food you have in your pantry in the most healthful ways possible. A few great examples of healthy recipes you can put together without having to go to the grocery store include spinach tortellini soup and quesadillas made with untraditional ingredients, such as legumes. You also likely have a great base for soups and sandwiches as well as healthy casseroles.

Once you do begin to venture out again, prioritize nutritional foods, such as salads, fruits, and lean proteins. As far as vegetables go, you already know you’re supposed to be eating the rainbow. But if you are one of the many people who can’t stomach the earthy taste of greens, you’re going to need to put in some work retraining yourself on how to eat healthily. According to Precision Nutrition, there are three basic steps to make this happen. These are to challenge yourself to try things you don’t normally eat, pair them with something you do, and then look for ways to cushion the bitterness, which is likely your biggest turn off when it comes to things like kale and asparagus.

Finally, if you’re still having trouble mastering your food intake, it can help to hire a nutritionist. This is an individual, who may post their services on freelance job boards such as Upwork, who can work with your tastes and preferences to help you manage your caloric intake.

Diet and Exercise

Fitness buffs are happy to tell you that the only way to lose weight is to hit the gym and hit the gym hard. This is actually not the case, although exercise is crucial and can help bolster your weight-loss efforts. Even if you’re not used to working out, make a point to add at least 30 minutes of exercise to your day every day. Running, jump roping, and even activities such as kickboxing, are all great ways to lose weight, and come with the added benefit of letting you expel pent-up stress.

If you’ve gained a little weight, don’t worry. We are in the same boat. But if your ultimate goal is to waltz out of your house wearing your pre-pandemic pants, the time to take action is now. Remember, managing your weight starts with what you eat, so start in your pantry. When you reframe the way you look at food, you can make healthy and delicious meals with what you’ve got. And as quarantine comes to a close, remember to prioritize vegetables and other healthy options at the grocery store.

 

Guest post by Jennifer McGregor

Photo Credit: i yunami on Unsplash

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby - Kanika chadda-gupta

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby 1500 1004 Chase Jennings

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby - Kanika chadda-gupta

Having a baby can be stressful for a number of reasons, but financial matters tend to top the list of concerns for expectant parents. The costs of pregnancy prep can really add up! New parents are often overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they need to buy and may find it challenging to afford everything on a tight budget. Thankfully, there are several great ways to cut your household expenses and save money on your baby essentials, so you can grab all those necessities that your little one will need.

Save on Nursery Supplies

As you stock up on baby supplies, keep an eye out for store sales and clearance discounts. You can save a lot of money by shopping around for the best prices on each item you need instead of getting everything from one store. This is a great way to reduce the cost of pricey nursery gadgets like sound machines and video monitors. Best Buy is an excellent place to find deals on electronic nursery essentials, and you can save by searching online for deals before shopping. In this Best Buy shopping guide, Rakuten recommends saving even more by becoming a My Best Buy member, getting free shipping on orders over $35, and shopping the Deal of the Day. If you find a good discount, consider picking up some other helpful electronics like a humidifier and smart thermometer to keep your baby happy and healthy.

Start a Budget

If you don’t have a household budget, now is the time to start one. A budget will help you plan for your expected expenses and ensure that your savings remains intact as you collect everything you need. Start by tracking your spending habits in a spreadsheet, notebook, or budgeting app and identify your problem areas—like shopping, eating out, or entertainment. Look for monthly expenses that you can cut out or reduce as well.

Take Advantage of Gift Registries

Before buying baby supplies yourself, it might be worth it to wait and see what you get from others. Set up a baby registry with a few different stores to let your friends and family know exactly what you want. Parents.com recommends against using your baby registry to ask for luxury items or supplies you don’t necessarily need, like a wipes warmer or bottle warmer. Instead, register for essentials that you would buy anyway. You can never have too many diapers and burp cloths! Many stores offer registry completion discounts to help you buy anything left on your registry after your baby shower or due date, so it can’t hurt to fill your registry up with everything you need.

Search for Gently Used Items

Remember, you don’t have to buy everything brand new. According to Babygaga, certain baby essentials—like clothes and toys—are perfectly fine to buy used as long as you check that they’re clean and safe. You can save big bucks by purchasing these items from consignment shops, thrift stores, and online marketplaces. You may even be able to use baby gear for free by renting from companies like Medela. Just keep in mind that some things are important to buy new, including a crib, car seat, and stroller, to ensure they meet current safety standards.

Smart Ways to Save Money When You’re Expecting a Baby - Kanika chadda-gupta

It’s no secret that having a baby can be costly, but you don’t need a bottomless bank account to make things work. Try not to let financial concerns hamper your new baby excitement. Find ways to cut costs and save on essentials, so you can afford everything you need to welcome your new little bundle of joy.