Archive for the 'Guest Blogger' Category

Educational Market Trips

Every trip the the market can be fun and educational for the little ones. Even tiny babies (assuming they are awake) can benefit from the learning possibilities while you get your grocery shopping done. Here are some tips for making your next trip to the market (or any store for that matter) fun and educational.

Babies

  • Show them their world
  • Introduce them to different shapes and colors: Red apples, round oranges, square boxes for example.
  • Keep wipes/hand sanitizer on you or within easy reach, and if your baby is old enough, let him touch different things and feel the different textures: smooth cucumbers, bumpy squash. (Make sure baby keeps things out of her mouth.)
  • Toddlers

  • Have them him and count.
  • Let her count the pears as you put them in the bag for example.
  • Continue talking with him about colors, shapes and sizes. Ask: which is bigger: a grape or a grapefruit?
  • Have her find letters on signs, boxes and wrappings.
  • Play the “I Spy” game, with older toddlers.
  • If your toddler is a walker, opposed to one who sits in the cart, let them pick some things out themselves (or go with an older sibling to do so.)
  • Now is a good time too (for older toddlers), to introduce the concept of money and that you have to pay for the things in the store before you leave with them.
  • School-aged

  • Combine what she’s learning in school with the trip to the market. If she’s studying geography for example, talk about where some things come from…bananas from Chile, oranges from Florida for example.
  • Talk about cooking with him and what the ingredients are for a ________.
  • Have her try to figure out how much the groceries will cost.
  • Have him pay, accept and count the change. (This means of course, that you’re using cash instead of a credit/debit card.)
  • Use coupons/store bonus card and have her figure out what the savings will be.
  • If he’s taking a foreign language (or you speak one at home) practice vocabulary in the foreign language about things in the store.
  • Have her guess how many bags it will take to pack all of the groceries (for a large shopping trip).
  • Discuss with him why you’re making the choices that you do as a shopper. (For example: Less expensive? Brand loyalty? Eco-friendly? You have a coupon for it?
  • Talk about why some things are taxed and others are not?
  • These are just some ways that you can turn a trip to the market into an engaging, fun and educational experience, foster communication and teach your child about their world. Come up with your own to add that work for your family.

    Posted in Parenting, Lifestyles, Activities, School and Learning, Smart Buying, Child Education, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Beyond the Sandwhich part3

    In this third installment of Beyond the Sandwich, we’re looking at lamb.

    This meal is ideal for the day after your holiday lamb leftovers and when you might want something lighter.

    Mediterranean Lamb Salad

    Ingredients:
    Romaine lettuce
    Field greens
    Greek olives
    Spanish Olives (with or without pimientos)
    Fresh garlic
    Fresh basil (not the dried flakes)
    Tomatoes
    Burpless cucumbers
    Feta cheese
    Greek vinaigrette (or other vinaigrette of choice)
    Leftover lamb sliced thin
    Cracked pepper (optional)

    Instructions
    Wash the tomatoes and cucumbers
    Slice tomatoes in eighths and the cucumbers into thin slices and then in half
    Cover the tomatoes and cucumbers with the dressing, add 1/2 t of fresh garlic, cover and chill during remaining steps

    Wash and drain all of the greens
    Slice about 4 long leaves romaine in small bite-sized pieces
    Add the field greens to the romaine and toss together gently
    Add the olives–about 1/4 of each (or more to your desire)
    Add the feta and chilled marinating cucumbers and tomatoes (include liquid)
    Toss all of the above together to cover all leaves and olives lightly (add more dressing if necessary)

    Lay the above into a bed on plates.
    Wash and pat dry the basil.
    Gently lay the fresh basil in the center of the plated mixture. (Have fun with it and make a design with the basil leaves.)
    Lay the sliced lamb on top of the basil and serve.

    Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Holidays, Healthy Eating, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Take the 4-point plastics pledge

    Probably everyone has seen that one scene from The Graduate where during the Benjamin’s party, one of his parent’s friends says something to the effect of: “I’m going to tell you one word about the future. Plastics.” Many of us even remember the old commercial sponsored by the American Chemistry Council that stated: “Plastics Make It Possible.” For years we’ve come to rely on the convenience, portability and “safety” of plastics.

    Then, we got a collective environmental conscience and realized that plastics were filling our landfills and destroying the planet.

    Now, we know that certain plastics contain Bisphenol-A a possible endocrine disruptor and hormonal disruptor as it mimics the female hormone estrogen.

    It is in many items that we use daily and consider safe: from baby bottles to sports bottles, the linings of metal food cans, and in nearly any take-out container that isn’t foil or a paper product. The least safe plastic items are those labeled 3, 6 and 7 and their unsafe properties increase with heating from the dishwasher and microwave. A recent report by Catherine Zandonella, M.P.H. in the Green Guide states that “the plastics industry says it is harmless, … a growing number of scientists are concluding, from some animal tests, that exposure to BPA in the womb raises the risk of certain cancers, hampers fertility and could contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity. …[And] ninety-five percent of Americans were found to have the chemical in their urine in a 2004 biomonitoring study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” The company bisphenol-a.org asserts that the levels of BPA found in the items we use daily are safe, and are only unsafe at high doses. Zandonella’s report continues that according to Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri, “low doses that are now proving to cause a myriad of harmful effects in animals, including chromosomal damage in female egg cells and an increase in embryonic death in mice. A follow-up to this is a study indicating a relationship of BPA blood levels to miscarriages in Japanese women.” While the FDA sees no reason to change its 2003 opinion on the safety of BPA in conjunction with food use, they have been wrong before. In contrast, in December 2007, the Center to the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction issued a detailed report about BPA and its implications in humans, concluding that more study on the effect of BPA in humans is needed.

    Hmmm. Some experts say BPA is perfectly okay; others, not so much.
    So what are we to do?

    After a thorough check of my cabinets for anything labeled 3, 6 or 7, I was happy to find that all of my son’s sippy cups were labeled 2. But that was just the cups themselves. What about the lid–the part that he actually sucks on? What about the ones that have been saved by relatives with toddlers before us and passed down to us and clearly show the wear and tear of little toddler nibbles? Are the ones that are a decade old (and clearly flaking) still safe? There was no way to know…as neither the contemporary lids nor the older sippy cups had any numbers on them. Am I to assume that because the newer cups have a “2″ imprinted on them that the lids are also twos?

    You see. More questions.

    I checked my son’s bowls and other plastic that we use for food regularly as well. No numbers there either. Luckily, I never heat food in plastic, but what about transferring hot food to a plastic bowl?

    As you can see, the new information only leads to more questions, concerns and decisions about food container choices.

    While on one hand I don’t want to give my toddler a glass bowl…it is much easier to take care of a cut than potential future problems that could affect his internal functions.

    I put my mind at ease with the intent to make some behavioral changes and wiser shopping choices. Luckily, I didn’t have to grapple with how to dispose of any threes, sixes or sevens properly.

    But later in the day, the question arose again. I was at my favorite local cafe, where as I sipped my steaming coffee from its cardboard-lined cardboard cup, I stared down at the number six on the lid. How many times have I sucked on a hot liquid in one of these lids in my lifetime? How many times have I consumed hot food from a number 6 container? Sure, my exposure has been minimal according to the FDA and some scientists, but the questions still lurk.

    What about you and your family? It makes you too, wonder now, doesn’t it?

    Armed with this new information, I am willing to take a four-point pledge for myself and for my family and make a behavioral change to reduce my (our) exposure to BPA.

  • A pledge to shop smarter and avoid purchasing plastic products labeled with the numbers 3, 6 or 7.
  • A pledge to avoid take-out and establishments that use plastic containers labeled with 3, 6 or 7.
  • A pledge that when point two is absolutely unavoidable, to avoid personal exposure to such plastics that have come into contact with heat.
  • A pledge to use sustainable and safe reusable products.
  • Will you too take the pledge?

    Feel free to make it public and claim the pledge in the comments field.

    Posted in Health, Daily Living, Health Care, Healthy Living, Poison, Smart Buying, Guest Blogger, News Items | 1 Comment »

    Beyond the Sandwich: Making Use of Holiday Left-overs (part two)

    In this installment of Beyond the Sandwich, we’re looking at turkey. There always seem to be leftovers when you make a turkey, and after a while, turkey sandwiches can get a little boring. Here are two easy recipes to breathe new life into those turkey leftovers: turkey tortellini soup and warm turkey burritos/wraps.

    First, set aside some turkey breast for the burritos/wraps.

    Turkey Tortellini Soup

    Ingredients

    Turkey (still on the bone)
    Stewed tomatoes
    While the turkey is boiling, wash spinach and remove the spines from the leaves. Set aside.
    Carefully remove bones from the liquid and discard them. You may need to use the slotted spoon to help gather the smaller bones. Use a pair of tongs to return any meat collected in the spoon back to the soup.

    Add the tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes to the mixture.

    Add a handful of basil (Note: other spices are not necessary as the soup will have the flavoring of whatever spices were used to season the turkey initially before cooking.)

    Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring intermittently. If the mixture is too thick, gradually add cupfuls of water until it is at your desired consistency.

    Simmer for 20 minutes

    Bring mixture back up to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions.

    When tortellini is al dente (or near it) gently add the spinach to the soup by the handful and stir it into the soup. As each handful of spinach wilts down, add another of fresh spinach.
    Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all spinach is wilted.

    Serve and enjoy.

    Warm Savory Turkey Burritos/Wraps
    (Note: these can be served cold as well, just omit the melting directions)

    Ingredients
    Large, round flat bread/tortillas (either wheat or corn)
    Field greens/lettuce (optional)
    1 T olive oil
    1 medium Red onions (chopped)
    Chopped tomatoes
    Scallion /green onion (chopped)
    Block of sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)

    Optional Sauce:
    Mayonnaise
    Chipotle powder
    Black pepper

    Utensils/Gear
    Knives
    Cutting board
    Small whisk (or fork)
    Small bowl (for the sauce)
    Spatula
    Cheese grater
    Oven

    Directions
    Prepare sauce and refrigerate
    In a small bowl, add about ¼ tsp of chipotle powder to mayonnaise and whisk, blending well. (Add more or less of each to taste.) Dash with a sprinkle of ground black pepper to taste.

    Prepare wrap
    Preheat oven to 350° F.

    Shred the cheddar cheese and set aside

    Wash the lettuce/field greens and set aside (if using for the cold wrap)

    Cut the turkey breast into long, thin strips (about ¼ to ½ inch wide)

    Chop the scallions, red onion and tomatoes and mix together. Set aside.

    Gently warm the tortillas/flatbread in the oven. (You can also steam them if you have a large steamer.)

    When warmed, remove from oven and layer the turkey and cheese, lengthwise in the center.

    Return to oven to melt cheese/heat turkey. Watch carefully as cheese melts. When cheese starts to melt, remove from oven and layer on the onion/tomato mixture.

    Top with the sauce and roll up or fold into thirds. (This last part has to be done fairly quickly.)

    For a cold wrap, still warm the bread but skip heating the turkey and cheese. Instead layer on the lettuce/greens, turkey, cheese, onion/tomato mixture and sauce. Roll up and enjoy.

    Next up…Left-over Lamb

    Posted in Cooking, Home and Garden, Healthy Eating, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Beyond the Sandwich: Making Use of Holiday Left-overs

    We’re hosting Easter dinner this year for the extended family of 15, which means that despite the gazillion-pound ham that I bought at the market yesterday, there will be left overs. There always are. And of course, with left overs comes the lingering question of what to do with them to make them interesting for the next couple of days, and maybe even for a not-too-distant lunch, snack or dinner. Sure, I could send some home with the family as they each depart for their own homes, but that still leaves whatever is left for us to contend with. Whether you’re having ham, turkey or lamb for Easter (or any other holiday), these recipes may help make greater use of your leftovers too.

    Disclaimer: Please forgive any missing quantities or measurements. I cook like my mom and grandma: part alchemy, part inspiration, part magic and a whole lot of love.

    What to do with left-over ham: Savory Split-Pea Soup

    You’re probably thinking “ick.” But this split pea soup will delight even the biggest naysayer. (I know, because my husband loves it.) If you have a ham with the bone in, save it, wrap it well in parchment paper or a freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or freeze if it will be longer than a day or two before using. (Don’t forget to put the date on it.) Do the same with some of the meat.

    Ingredients:
    Ham bone (optional)
    Left over ham—diced (about 1 cup)
    1 16 oz package of split peas
    vegetable or chicken stock/broth (about 6 cups)
    Sea salt
    1 T. Ground black pepper
    1 T. Yellow curry powder
    2 T. Cilantro or recaito
    One onion peeled and diced
    Several cloves of garlic diced or pressed
    One to two whole carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
    Olive oil
    fresh parsley or cilantro
    sour cream or half-and-half
    optional: sherry or sauterne

    Equipment:
    Stock pot
    Wooden spoon
    Rubber spatula
    Ladle
    Blender or food processor

    Directions:
    1 Wash and drain peas. Set aside. (You can soak them in warm water while they are set aside.)
    2 In the stock pot, place 2 T olive oil
    3 On medium heat sautee the onion, garlic and 1 T cilantro until the onion is clear
    4 Reduce heat slightly and add the ham, sautee for about five minutes
    5 Reduce heat again and add 1 cup of stock/broth
    6 Add in the ham bone and add more broth gradually until the bone is covered (if not using the ham bone skip to #10 )
    7 Increase heat again to medium-high and bring to a low rolling boil
    8 After mixture boils, reduce heat and simmer until the meat falls off of the bone
    9 Carefully remove the bone from the liquid and discard
    10 Add the remaining broth (you can substitute one of the cups of broth with water or dry white wine)
    11 Add the peas, carrots, 1 T of recaito or cilantro, 1 t of curry and the salt and pepper
    12 Increase heat again and bring to a rolling boil
    13 Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until the peas are tender (use a the back of a spoon and see if you can smush the peas against the side of the pot)
    14 Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes
    15 Carefully ladle the mixture into the blender or food processor
    16 Add remaining curry (or more to taste) and blend until a velvety smooth texture and a uniform color
    17 Remove from blender/food processor with a rubber spatula and serve in bowls
    18 Sprinkle a bit more curry over the top and add a dollop of sour cream or swirl half-and-half in gently to the soup in small measures.
    19 Garnish with a sprig of parsley or fresh cilantro and serve.

    This soup can be served warm or cold. It also can be served in bread bowls for a fun touch. And, as a vegetarian option, skip the meat steps use vegetable stock. For added texture, use diced potatoes instead of meat, and add when adding the carrots and peas. Use the potatoes as the gauge for when to remove the mixture from the heat and blend.

    Next on beyond the sandwich, ideas for left over turkey.

    Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Holidays, Healthy Eating, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Thwarting Babysitter Drama–Forewarned is Forearmed

    Every now and then, my husband and I try to get out without our darling boy. In fact, last summer, we started having a standing date every Friday night. Once the colder months hit, our “standing Friday night date” went by the wayside because we didn’t feel like braving the cold, we were having a hard time coming up with things to do, and it turned out that we preferred to just relax and snuggle and maybe catch an “on demand” movie or two after the little guy was in bed. Yeah, we’re lame. We do still go out at least once a month–it probably doesn’t sound like much, but getting out was also hard because of watching the hysterical and teary-eyed boy standing at the door as we left after wrestling ourselves from his clutches. It was heartbreaking and the temptation to call and see how he was doing after we’d left was too great.

    He always seems to know too, that my husband and I are getting ready to go out without him. When else does Mama put on make-up and carry a bag that’s smaller than the diaper bag? He is a very observant boy and seems to know and understand our routines and rituals. It’s uncanny.

    Two Mama-and-Papa outings ago, I had a “eureka” moment, inspired not so much by the impending arrival of the babysitter, but by the activity that we were in the middle of. My son and I were playing in his room, and having a grand time when I realized that it would soon be time for me to start getting ready. While we were playing I initiated this conversation with my 25-month-old, whom we affectionately call Bean:

    Mama (excitedly): “Guess what, Beany?”
    Bean: “Wha?”
    Mama (still excitedly): “Guess who’s coming over to see you?
    Bean: “Me?”
    Mama: (still excitedly): “Yes, you! Kristen’s coming over to have dinner with you and for a play date just with you! Isn’t that great?”
    Bean: “Yah, yah, yah, yah, yahhhhhh!” (jumping up and down).
    Mama: “And Mama and Papa are going to go out–so it’ll be just you and Kristen for your play date!”
    Bean: “Kay” (for okay.)

    We continued playing some more and I announced that when Papa went into the shower, I’d make Bean’s dinner.

    He was completely nonplussed. I made his dinner and when my husband came back downstairs, I went to get myself ready. On cue and on time (as always) Kristen arrived. Five minutes later, my husband and I were out the door, leaving the two of them coloring while Bean finished his dinner.

    There were no tears, no tantrum, no drama. He blew us kisses and waved bye-bye as we left.

    It turns out that this wasn’t an strange occurrence. I tried the same kind of forewarning the next time that my husband and I had a child-free outing, and it yielded the same results.

    Am I deceiving him, by calling it a “play date” instead of telling him outright that Mama and Papa are going out without him? I don’t think so. To him the babysitter’s arrival means the impending doom of Mama’s and Papa’s disappearance. To the little ego-centric mind of the toddler it means that he’s missing out on something, that we just may be having fun without him. But by letting him know that the babysitter’s arrival is not about Mama and Papa, but is all about him and sharing an activity that he loves–playing–it removes the frustration. And, since he does know our routines and habits, preparing him ahead of time shows that we respect him enough as a person to inform him of changes to his world, and gives him ample time to process the sitter’s arrival and look forward to his special play date. The sitter isn’t spurng upon him, deflating any expectations that he’d be having Mama and Papa to himself all night.

    So if you’re being confronted by babysitter drama when you try to leave, try the gentle forewarning approach. It just may work for you, too.

    Posted in Parenting, Babies, Behavior Issues, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Spring is time for…

    …Puddles!

    The snow is melting. The spring rains and “seasonable mixes? are falling…and that means one thing and one thing only to the little ones—puddle jumping. To parents this instills thoughts of wet shoes, socks and cuffs, mud and the germ fest that might be lurking within those growing pools around the yard and neighborhood. But to the wee ones puddles mean endless fun.

    Don’t fight it. Embrace the puddle adventures by being prepared and thinking of it all as a learning experience.

    Here are some tips for going with the flow:

    Spare Change. Keep a spare set of clean, dry socks, pants, shoes and a small towel in a gallon-sized zipper-styled freezer bag in the car for when you encounter a puddle on your usual journeys. Depending upon how much of a splasher you have, you might also want to include an extra jacket, top or mittens if it’s still chilly enough in your area to need mittens. When you venture out, factor in some extra time for a few minutes of splashing (and a quick change) if you can. You can put the wet clothes in the freezer bag after you make the change into the dry gear. Don’t forget extra wipes and hand sanitizer (used sparingly) and don’t forget to change the “spare set? when it gets worn. Put it back in the car as soon as possible so that you can be ready at any time for those impromptu puddle adventures.

    B-O-O-T-S. BOOTS! Any Laurie Berkner fan knows the song. Consider keeping Wellie-styled rubber boots ready for when the little one wants to venture out. You can get them almost everywhere relatively inexpensively at bricks-and-mortar stores such as Target and Walmart and at higher-end stores like Nordstroms. You can also order them on-line at LLBean, Lands End, Zappos, Piperlime, Wellie Boots.com, CoCo Bons.com and many others. With or without matching rain coats they are a “must have? not just for puddle jumping, but for those wet and wild rainy days. (If you’re concerned about products for your child that may contain vinyl or Bisphenol-A (BPA) because of their potential to disrupt our hormonal systems, be sure to read labels carefully and choose ones with rubber only or the lowest amounts of vinyl or BPA.To learn more about potential issues and hazards of vinyl and BPA visit the Environmental Working Group.)

    Be Prepared. If you don’t have rubber rain gear you can still enjoy the puddle-fest by rolling up pant-legs and having a spot to change out of wet clothes right when you return to the house. Near the door, keep a towel down to keep the floor dry. (It also means a quick clean-up of wet things for easy transport to the laundry. Just scoop everything up in the towel and take to the washer.) You can also keep a change of clothes ready for when you get back into the house or a dry robe. Don’t forget to wash hands (and any other body parts that may have come into contact with puddle water) after you have changed out of the wet clothes. It may even be a great time for a bath to continue the water play and get the little one thoroughly clean.

    Jump In! Why let the kids have all the fun? Get in on the action and get in touch with your own inner child and make a splash or two yourself. See who can make the biggest splash. Play with cause and effect: what happens if you just tap the puddle with your toe? …your whole foot? Stomp in it? Walk through it? For older splashers who will know not to try and taste the water, see what happens if you float a leaf in it, toss a rock into it. The possibilities are endless and you can also turn a fun time into a learning activity. Extend the learning for the older splashers by drawing pictures or writing a story about your puddle excursion(s) once everyone is inside and dried off.

    Be Vigilant. While your child doesn’t know a safe puddle from an unsafe one, as a parent you do. Trust your instincts, if you think a puddle looks unsafe steer your child to a safe puddle. What makes a puddle unsafe? Debris, it’s extra muddy, it has oil or other slick appearance on top of it, birds or other animals avoid it entirely, it is near dog poop or other animal droppings, it smells strange, it is in or near the street or near a sewer, drain, ditch or other municipal drainage system. If you do see puddles that are suspect (especially ones with oil or what may seem to be hazardous materials, let your Dept. of Public Works know…it is better to alert them to a potential issue than to let it go unaddressed.)

    End It Well. Time is elusive to little ones. Everything either takes forever (when they are waiting) or didn’t last long enough (when they want to do something). Avoid the end-of-activity battle by letting them know ahead of time how long you’ll be out, or that in x-number of splashes left it will be time to go in. That way the fun doesn’t just end abruptly. Also pay attention to your child’s cues that they are ready to go in or do something else. You can always do more tomorrow, and if that’s the case, tell them so. Wrap up the activity with some warm milk or hot cocoa when you get in as an extra warming-up treat after everyone is in dry clothes.

    With a little planning and creativity, puddle adventures can become an enjoyable and hassle-free experience for you as much as it is for the kids. Now go get splashing!

    Posted in Parenting, Lifestyles, Activities, Clothing, Guest Blogger | 1 Comment »

    Another Mama Blogger joins the fray

    Thanks Julie!

    When I first learned about Family Resource, I instantly bookmarked and it became one of my primary family resources (every pun intended). So you can only imagine how excited I am to be joining some esteemed company as a guest blogger here–and Dawn Allcot is going to be one tough act to follow.

    As Julie said, I am a mother–to a mostly darling two-year old boy going on five. He thinks that he’s much bigger than he is, but that’s okay, it just the adventure more interesting. I’ve been a WAHM for just over two years now and love it as it gives me the flexibility to focus on and provide what I hope is a good balance for my two passionate jobs: parenting and publications. (I say publications since I am both an editor, a writer and most recently the creator and editor-in-chief of theWAHMmagazine.)

    A bit of a “frunchy” (or fashionably crunchy) mama, the topics that I write about include current events, parenting, babies and toddlers, energy issues and natural parenting/natural living. I’m looking forward to sharing with Family Resource readers about these and other fun and important family-related issues over the next month.

    Posted in Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    March Guest Blogger!

    I’d like to introduce this months’ Guest Blogger, Erika-Marie Geiss.

    Erika is the Editor in Chief of the new WAHM Magazine located at http://www.wahmmagazine.net . She is a mother, a writer, and a good friend. She will be posting right after me, so let’s give her a wamr welcome to Family Resource!

    Posted in Uncategorized, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Is There Room Here for a WAHM-to-Be? *Waves*

    I don’t know anything about parenting. Yet.

    So what am I doing as a guest blogger on a families and parenting blog? That’s easy. Just five weeks ago, I got some information that told me I had better learn—quickly!

    The very same day I found out I was pregnant, Julie Fletcher invited me to be a guest blogger on Family Resource. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting—and pass my knowledge on to Family Resource’s faithful readers.

    Lest you think I’m some bachelorette noob who knows nothing about running a household, parties every weekend and lives on pizza (you’d be right about the last part), I’ve been married for five years. My husband and I have been living successfully as a couple (and raising four cats) for the past decade. For almost exactly a year, I’ve been a full-time, work-at-home freelance writer or, as Julie calls me, a Future WAHM.

    Stacey Graham left some big shoes to fill as a guest blogger. But I’d like to think, over the past decade or so, I’ve accumulated some advice and knowledge to share on the topics of cleaning; cooking quick, healthy meals; organizing a home office; green living; saving money; and of course, most recently, conception and pregnancy.

    Who knows? I may even post some interviews with real-live Moms here in this space.

    Right now, I’d like to share a few of my favorite places on the Internet for moms-to-be.

    Babies Online – This is one of my first stops when I want to track the stages of my pregnancy, find out odd facts or research the latest myth. Today, I discovered that, at 5 weeks into the pregnancy, the baby’s major organs are starting to develop, but the little one is only the size of a grain of rice! That’s simply mind-boggling to me, that something so small can have a heart, lungs, and even a little-bitty hand!

    FitPregnancy – This sleek Web site, companion to the print publication, features great breaking news articles. Planning a move and wondering what the best city is to have a baby? Portland, Oregon, ranks number one on FitPregnancy’s list. Click here to find out why.

    ePregnancy.com – I know a number of freelance writers who got their start here, so, of course, I had to check it out when we first started trying to conceive. The articles are well-researched and fun-to-read, and the site features a lot of great videos, too. If you’re pregnant and debating between a hospital, home birth or midwife in a birthing center, check out this video.

    I’m still surfing around for smaller, personal pregnancy blogs. Feel free to share the links if you know of any good blogs written by pregnant women, who are letting us share their journey.

    Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Guest Blogger | 2 Comments »

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