7/16/2014

6 Ice Cream Recipes to Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?

Well, you do now!
National Ice Cream Month Recipes

Ice cream is often a guilty pleasure of mine (and my husband's). I even made an ice cream sandwich birthday cake for Gabe's fourth birthday party this year.

Obviously, we like ice cream at this house.

To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, or just because you love ice cream, why not try one of these amazing ice cream recipes!

1. Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream

from Julia at Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body.  (This is an absolute must try for me!  ASAP!)

2. One Ingredient Ice Cream

a sure to be yummy and healthy ice cream variation from Andrew Olsen at the One Ingredient Chef.

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Crunch & Peppermint Ice Cream

Yum!  My kiddo loves peppermint ice cream!  This recipe is from The Nest.

4. Ice Cream Cupcakes

OMG!  These are cute, already portioned, and simpy perfect!  From The Cupcake Daily Blog.

5. Fried Ice Cream

Uhm, yum!  Even I could make this!  Thank you Miriam at Overtime Cook!

6. Strawberry Cheesecake Icream

Oh, how I love cheesecake.  And ice cream.  Why not put them together?! From Tiffany at Creme De La Crumb.

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7/14/2014

Where to Donate or Sell Breast Milk

There are many, many moms who struggle with breastfeeding for some reason or another. Many women struggle with an inadequate supply. Some women simply cannot produce milk. Often times there are medical issues to consider that might prevent breastfeeding.

On the other hand, there are women out there who make an overabundance of milk. Some of these women have crazy stashes of breast milk in their freezers and many even end up throwing out perfectly good milk (GASP!) because they don't know what else to do with it.

There are two alternatives to simply disposing of unused, excess breast milk: donate it or sell it.
Excess expressed breast milk can be sold or donated to be purchased or given to mothers and babies in need!
There are definitely plenty of women who have never even thought about it and not necessarily because they are against it. It's very possible that they just have been informed about the possibility.

You'd think with the way some women and children's agencies and others more or less shame mothers whose babies aren't getting breast milk; that they'd be all over advertising that you can, at the very least, donate excess milk.

1. Mother's Milk Cooperative (MMC)

Mother's Milk Cooperative (MMC) is my favorite choice, personally.  The MMC claims to be unique on two fronts:
We are the one and only milk bank owned and controlled by our donors. We also have the only paid milk donation program in the United States.
The MMC is a co-op, owned and controlled by its members (donors).  In order to become a donor, you must complete a medical history questionnaire to be pre-qualified, pass a blood test, and donate 100 ounces to cover the costs of screening you as a donor.  A minimum of 300 ounces must be shipped at a time because of the cost to ship breast milk.

2. Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

The HMBANA is a nonprofit milk bank where mother's with surplus milk can donate after being screened and approved.  HMBANA then distributes milk, mostly to NICU infants.

3. National Milk Bank

The National Milk Bank is literally a family business (two sisters-in-law and a daughter-in-law) with the goal of facilitating the delivery of human milk to premature and critically ill infants.  They are a donation only company.

4. Only The Breast

Only The Breast is like Craigslist for breast milk.  Buyers and sellers can post ads on their respective forums, which include a forum for selling 0-2 month breast milk (and other age groups) and a forum for men looking to buy breast milk.

I wouldn't recommend OTB for the easily offended.  It might seem like the perfect place for a quick sale, but use caution.  Even though it's not allowed, adult wet nursing ads are sometimes posted and/or ad placers are sometimes contacted about reconsidering their no adult wet nursing policy, even though it's strictly against OTB's terms.
Please NO nudity, NO pornography sales, NO adult services and NO adult wet nursing ads. We will remove any ads or members in violation.
Some people are down right vulgar when posting or contacting, too.  Therefore, I've come to believe that OTB might seem like the easy way out but it really can be challenging to find a legit buyer, if that's your goal.  The site does not seem to be as aptly moderated as it claims, either.

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7/07/2014

First Aid Shot Review #FASTRelief

I received this item complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. #FASTrelief #SurfsUpVoxBox.

A few weeks ago I attended a bachelorette party.  I rarely go out, have girls nights, etc.  I'm more of a stay-at-home-and-read kind of person.  If I get a night to myself, I spend it catching up on TV shows, reading a book, surfing the internet, or...sleeping.

First Aid Shot Therapy #FASTrelief #SurfsUpVoxBoxAnyway, I cracked open my first alcoholic beverage in nearly a year; a fruity wine cooler, I knew I'd love from past experience.  Not even halfway through the wine cooler and I have the worse head ache imaginable.  I feel like the side of my face is being smashed in.

Unfortunately, on that night, I did have any First Aid Shot Therapy (FAST) pain reliever.  I was forced to drown my pain in jello shots and amaretto sour.  It was either that or call the hubby to come get me and scrap my whole night of fun.

So, it took a bachelorette party and a wine cooler to discover I have a tooth that for sure needs pulled, if not two.  However, lack of health coverage has me dentist shopping and, therefore, suffering a little while longer (and skipping the wine coolers until further notice).

FAST pain relief is a liquid, single does shot made with FDA compliant active ingredients.  When another tooth ache assaulted me the other day, I quickly downed FAST instead of my usual acetaminophen.

FAST claims to be berry flavored, but I don't really know.  I tipped my head back, dumped it in, a pretty much swallowed before I had to taste too much.  It's fairly bland if taken quickly, though I did get a quick bitter taste before I swallowed.

#FASTRelief
Bottoms up!  #FASTRelief
When I sniffed it before pouring it down my throat (yes, I did that), it was odorless.  Therefore, I wasn't sure what to expect when swallowing it.  Hence my decision to down it ASAP.

I'm not really sure when the pain relief came (between a crying baby and an only partially potty trained pup), but it was within the hour and it lasted over four hours.  I ended up going to sleep before it wore off or at least I went to sleep without my toothache returning.

Success!

FAST pain relief combines caffeine (a pain relief aid) and Choline Salicylate (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug - NSAID) for a fast acting, convenient pain relief solution!
First Aid Shot Therapy #FASTrelief #SurfsUpVoxBox
Find F.A.S.T. at a location near you!
I was really impressed with FAST.  As the acronym suggests and the product promises, pain relief is quick and lasting.  And the single dosage shot is super convenient!

Have you ever tried FAST or something like it?  What's your go to pain reliever?
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7/04/2014

6 Simple Ways to Save Money

The best way to get yourself saving money is by finding easy, non-intrusive ways to do it!  Major lifestyle changes or maximum effort are big turn offs, even when the pay off is substantial.  So, I've compiled a list of six minimally intrusive, super easy ways to save money!


1. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.

Turning off the water when brushing your teeth is a great way to conserve water.  However, it also can save you money!  For a family of four brushing twice a day, turn off the faucet could save them around $50 a year!  Here's a handy chart to help you figure out your possible savings!

2. Use less toothpaste or none at all.

Did you know, it might not even be necessary for you to use toothpaste?  And if you are using it, you only need a pea-size amount on your toothbrush.  While this might not save your hundreds of dollars, every penny counts, and I'm sure you'll save a few pennies if you stop being wasteful with toothpaste and cut back to the recommended amounts.

3. Wash clothes with tap cold water.

Instead of paying the money to heat water to wash your clothes, save that money and wash your clothes with what at tap temperature.  Washing in cold water is also great for delicates and stains such as blood or sweat, which will set if washed in hot water.

4. Use a programmable thermostat and use it right!

Inefficient heating and cooling can make a huge difference on your utility bills.  Using a programmable thermostat to lessen the cooling or heating effect while people in the household are sleeping and/or at work or school is a great way to lower your utility bill.

5. Skip or cancel your cable or satellite.

The average cable bill is somewhere around $90 and a similar average for satellite subscribers.  And bills are only expected to keep rising.

I read this great article on cutting the cord the other day, that basically thanks all of the people willing to put up with cable/satellite company B.S. for making their cable-less life even better.

With Netflix ($7.99) a month you can stream tons of television shows and movies.  If you're dying to watch the newest episodes of your favorite TV series, many are available for purchase (as individual episodes or as a season pass) on Xbox live for very reasonable prices (and then you own them and can watch them anytime, again and again).

Many other option exist, such as Hulu, ChromeCast, Aereo, Vevo, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vimeo, and Apple TV.  Do a little research, and I'm sure you'll realize you could be saving tons of money!

6. Switch to a Prepaid Cell Phone

If you're still with AT&T, Sprint, or some other carrier, you're being robbed.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so.  If you're looking for somewhere to save money, why not kick your phone company to the curb?

The only downside to prepaid service is you must pay for your phone (full-priced) outright.  However, you'll probably save $50 (compared to an individual plan) or more a month by switching.  You might even be able to take your phone with you in some cases.

In other cases, why not settle for the non-Iphone (or whatever the latest craze is) and get an afforadable smart phone while you save for the full cost of the one you really want?

What simple ways do you save money?
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6/30/2014

5 Benefits of Bed Sharing

With my first child, I became an accidental bed sharer during my first few weeks of breast feeding.  Even after I switched to exclusively pumping, bed sharing just felt right for me.  It worked for our family.

At first I felt guilty.  Bed sharing is bad, right?  Sleeping with your baby leads to suffocation and SIDS, right?

Not exactly.

Safe bed sharing does exist.  There are right and wrong ways, to do it.

And believe it or not, there are actual benefits linked to bed sharing.

All this good information is just buried beneath nay-sayers and Westerners who only support solitary sleep and see it as a child's first step toward independence.

Bed Sharing Benefits
Regardless of what you've heard, bed sharing does have it's benefits!

1. Breathing regulation.

Especially when baby sleeps on mom's torso, bed sharing helps with breathing regulation and breathing patterns!

Mom's own breathing helps regulate baby's.

2. Convenience when breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is natural, right?  So, it must be easy, right?

Okay, well, if you've done it then you know the answer to that is not exactly, lady!

Breastfeeding can be challenging, but is something that many of us find important and strive to do for our children. Therefore, why not make it easier by having your baby sleep with you?  

Bed sharing moms tend to breastfeed twice as much as solitary sleeping moms throughout the night.

3. Babies grow faster and experience less stress

Less stress?  I know I like less stress, so I'm sure baby does too!

4. Bed sharing moms get more sleep.

Okay, so I bet you think I'm joking right?

Especially after I just dropped the bomb about feeding twice as much.

But it's true!

Bed sharing moms don't have to full rouse to feed their infants if they breast feed!

5.  Infants use energy more efficiently & maintain lower blood pressure & more!

Really?  YES, REALLY!

But wait...  There's more!

It also positively affects infant's body temperature, brain-cell connections, calorie absorption, heart rate and sleep-arousal patterns.

Are you a supporter of bed sharing?  Have you ever shared a sleeping space with your child?

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Image courtesy of GaborfromHungary on morgueFile.