Archive of ‘Just for Mom’ category

Used Minivan Guide

God knows (And pretty much anyone within ear shot in the past six months) that my hubby and I searched high and low for the perfect minivan for us. We wanted quality without having to pay too much for it. I mean who isn’t looking for a good deal this time around? So here’s a few tips that we learned along the way that might help you out if you’re on the lookout!

  1. Transmission problems – most van models that we looked at had at least somewhat of a history of transmission problems, but mostly the some of the Mazda MPVs, and Honda Odyssey 2001-03 models. So you definitely want to ask the seller if the minivan has ever had any transmission problems.
  2. Warranty – you want to try and get something that is under warranty to guard yourself against problems such as the ones listed above, or engine problems ecc.
  3. Moving up – if you’re going to take the leap from a car to a minivan, make sure you splurge for the full amount of space you want. Don’t try to skim a couple feet to save a few grand. Go all out so you don’t have to worry about moving up in size for a while.

  4. Rust problems – minivans have more of a chance to have been through hell, because they usually mean that they’ve been taken on family road trips. Stay away from any rust problems. Always ask if the van has had any rust. Even if rust has been painted over, it will come back, so don’t even accept a good deal in exchange of rust problems. Rust spots will only get worse.
  5. Minivans are expensive – and people always want too much for their minivans. Always check Kelly Blue Book value to see if they are asking too much or not.
  6. The more mileage on your minivan when you buy it, the more you can expect to put money into it after you buy it. I wouldn’t buy any minivan with more than 85,000 miles.

Aside from those simple pointers, of course you want to follow the usual guides that are standard to any other used car purchase like: checking car facts, taking it for a test drive, getting it checked out by a mechanic, ecc.

Creative Gift Idea

You don’t need to spend $30-100 for an awesome gift basket. You can make one yourself, and spend a lot less.

For example, if your family is Italian, you can make your brother and his wife a pasta dinner date basket. I’ve made mine by getting a nice little basket, shrink wrap bags, ribbon and straw filling at the local Dollar Discount. Then, I went to the nearest grocery store, and got a package of imported pasta, home made pasta sauce, specialty parmesan, and a package of Italian biscotti for dessert. I probably ended up spending about $15 for the whole thing, and it was even more special than a pre-packaged one because i made it: I came up with it.

Or, my sister and I hadn’t had bonding time for a while, so I made a girls’ night basket that contained the movie In Her Shoes, which sadly but wittingly describes our relationship, a bag of popcorn kernels, a box of her favorite candy, and a specialty popcorn popping pan from a local Gourmet Chef store.

Also, I have a friend who is really into Mexican food. So in her basket, I put home made flour tortillas that I made myself, a jar of homemade black beans with my own recipe (I’ll post that some other time ; – D), a jar of homemade salsa, a small bag of tortilla chips, and a $5 gift card for the local grocery store in order to get ground beef. In the card I wrote something like: “Bring the basket, I’ll make your favorite.”

All you have to do is stuff the basket with the straw, then assemble the items in the basket from biggest to smallest back to front. You might want to use some clear packing tape to hold things in place. Then, place the basket in the shrink wrap bag. Tie that closed with your ribbon, then curl the extra strands. Use the blow-dryer to shrink the wrap to fit the basket.

If someone’s a on a diet, you can simply make them a basket with a hand-picked bouquet of flowers that they can use to fragrance and ornament their home. BASKETThen, you can write little inspirational messages in small pieces of decorative stationary, and fold them into little squares. Stick the little pieces of paper throughout the flowers. Do about seven of them. Write things like: “Today, just remember that I love you.” Or “If anything, know that I appreciate you.” You can tell them to pick out one little note and open it each day after Christmas in order to extend the positivity of the Christmas spirit another week past Christmas.

Just in case you’re scrambling for a creative idea tomorrow! Homemade gift baskets are quick and inexpensive!

Your Sagging Breasts and the Terrible Myth

A lot of mothers attribute sagging breasts to the act of breastfeeding, but that’s not the whole truth. Chances are, your breasts will sag whether you breastfeed or not. That’s just part of motherhood, but there are ways you can lift your sagging breasts without surgery.

Like I said, your breasts will sag whether you end up breastfeeding or not. Why? Because, except for the occasions when a woman forms no milk at all, after giving birth your milk-making system will indeed swell with milk. If you do not breastfeed, the milk-making system inside the breast will shrink right away. If you do breastfeed, the milk-making system shrinks once you wean the baby. Unfortunately, the skin around the milk-making system inside the breast will not shrink with the milk-making system. So, your breast size will go back to regular, but the skin around the breasts does not – hence sagging breasts.

black_bra-t2So what can you do? Support them! Duh! Always wear a bra, and definitely get fitted for a bra at any lingerie specialist  so that you get maximum support. It is a good idea to wear sports bras to bed in order to achieve maximum support, and obviously wear a tight sports bra when exercising. But not too tight, because when a bra fists too snug, that will lead to infections in the breast if you are breastfeeding. So there ya have it!

Natural Flu Remedies

If you’re breastfeeding or pregnant mom, you can’t indulge in non-natural flu remedies. You have to rely on natural flu remedies to help you feel better. And the best part about these natural flu remedies, is that they actually attack the cause for the symptoms; natural flu remedies don’t just simply mask the symptoms. Below, see a list of suggestions that are pain-free and effective!

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide– Do this especially when you are starting to feel the flu coming on, and then continue to do it throughout your illness. This is a great natural flu remedy. You have to use the 3 % solution though. Dillute it 50/50 in the cap of the bottle, and dip a q-tip in it. Then, clean your ear out with it in and out. Then, use a few drops of water to flush it out. This will attack the actual flu and help to keep it from coming on or just shorten your sickness time. You can read blogs from MyBiosource Learning Center to learn about the different diseases going around.
  2. Salt Water- We all know the old trick of gargling with it, and it works! But you also can make a more salty solution and sniff it into your nose. It will open your nostrils right up.
  3. Vitamin C– For adults, triple your intake of Vitamin C during the duration of your flu.
  4. Garlic-Eat lots of it. It boosts your motabolism and immune system.
  5. Steam it out-Something that will make you feel instantly better is taking a really, hot steamy (Obviously not burning) shower or bath. It’ll open up your sinuses and pores.

Smoothie Diet

I did a toned down version of the smoothie diet during the first 3-4 months of having my daughter, and the smoothie diet mixed with me breastfeeding got me down to weighing less than my pre-pregnancy weight. So how did I do the smoothie diet? I would more call it a smoothie diet mixed with a cereal and dinner diet, haha. So that way you don’t starve yourself, there is also other diets as the ketosis diet which you could read more here.

For breakfast, I would have a small bowl of what I c all wholesome cereal. No junk, sugary, honey cereal. Just simple corn flakes or crisp rice or wheat squares. Obviously, I would have it with low fat milk. I would drink water, not juice, to reduce the calorie intake.

Lunch is where the smoothie diet really kicks in. I would mix the following ingredients to make my smoothie:

1 cup 98 percent fat free liquid yogurt.

4 ounces of sliced, no sugar added, strawberries (Frozen or fresh)

1 banana

About 22 oz of ice

I’d add it all into the blender and hit the puree’ button for about 30 seconds, and voila, you have lunch. This portion of the smoothie diet is actually even more filling than breakfast, and will keep you satisfied until dinner. See? No starving.

So then what do you have for dinner when you’re on the smoothie diet? The key is portion control, and paying attention to the food pyramid. Definitely try to have one serving from the meats group, one portion from the veggies, and one portion of the wheat and grains group. Again, think proportionate servings to not send the calorie count of the smoothie diet out of whack. smoothie_drinks

As with any other diet, the smoothie diet will be more successful if you combine it with exercise, and of course, I also recommend getting your hands on the prohormones, you will see an inmate improvement for sure!

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