Archive | February, 2012

Owl Decorations & Accessories

29 Feb

Owls are so cute and smart and don’t they just look adorable in a nursery. Now sometimes its hard to think outside traditional nursery themes so today I am featuring owls. Look to these pictures to create your dream nursery.

First up is this owl clock featured on Etsy it costs $68.00 but it can stay with your child a lifetime because its not getting used and worn out

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Try a mural on the wall it can really brighten up a nursery and add some flare to the room – just research “owl nursery murals / decals” I have also seen them pretty cheap in my local mall that has a decal and accessories store

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Next up consider this cute little owl stuffed toy (comes in Blue, Green & Pink and costs $7.00)  from Etsy

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Remember you can go as bold or subtle with a theme as you want – consider Lamp 1 as Bold and Lamp 2 as subtle

    Photo SourceThis Lamp retails for $138.00 at Rosenberry Rooms

Or maybe you desire a more subtle lamp from West Elm which retails for $99.00

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next up is an easy DIY project (and cheap) make your own Owl Cork Board to post baby’s photos on in the nursery, its relatively simple just search how to cover a cork board with fabric and then of course you can use the owl fabric of your choice

consider buying some fabric organizers to store diapers, baby wash, wash cloths, etc. These look so cute in the owl patterns and later on you can store books in them when your child is older.

   Photo Source – You can buy these on Etsy from Baffin Bags

Hope this inspires you create one Hoot of a Nursery!

 

 

 

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Nursery DIY Project

28 Feb

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Are you looking for something really cute for your little one’s nursery and also something affordable? Well I have the perfect DIY project for you head over to Le Zoe Musing to find out how to create your own inexpensive version of the photo illustrated above.

I hope this inspires you and if you already have an older toddler let them help you with this project for the new baby.

Pregnancy and Fitness

27 Feb

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Exercising while pregnant (with your doctor’s permission first) is one of the best things you can do. When you exercise your blood flows better and this will help prevent muscle aches, regular workouts will help keep your muscles. Remember the better shape your in for labor the more strength and stamina you will have during delivery.  Staying active is the key to a fit pregnancy, so regardless of your finances you can take a walk at your local park or if outside weather is a challenge try mall walking (most malls open 1-2 hours in advance for mall walkers before stores open this is a great free service).

Maybe you prefer to work out in the quiet and privacy of your own home – this is especially great in the winter when its too cold to enjoy being outdoors or if your a already a mommy and have a small child at home this can be much more convenient. Here are some of my suggestions:

Denise Austin: Fit & Firm Pregnancy

10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates (perfect for being short on time)

 

Maternity Leave Finances

25 Feb

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Did you know according the Census Bureau approximately half of working women don’t qualify for maternity leave. I think that’s crazy, however today I am here to talk to you about managing your finances for maternity leave.

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First off don’t stress out this is not good for your health or the baby’s.  If your planning on getting pregnant than go ahead and create a budget (if you don’t already have one) and make adjustments for savings this is a time when you need to start saving even more $ than before. If your already pregnant take your budget and see where you can cut unnecessary expenses from, start packing lunches for work, eat out less often, detail your own car at home, rent a movie, rent books from the library do stuff that is cheaper than before or free.

Commit to a budget for baby and stick to it, there are so many items they will try and sell you that are unnecessary or just frivolous. Don’t go overboard on buying baby stuff, its a newborn it has needs remembering above that your buying your wants. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings account every month this will help (minimum of 10%). I am not trying to say have no fun, just have fun that doesn’t cost a lot. When people offer to buy you something for the baby ask for items that you will really need and are disposable like diapers, baby wash, and other basic necessities – also check out my blog and read past posts on how to save $ with babies.

Don’t wait till the 11th hour, my friend did this and she was 2 days before her due date (1o/30 due 11/1) and she was still negotiating the ability for maternity compensation. Make sure to check and see if your FMLA qualified and what your compensation will be on maternity leave. Make sure to speak with your Human Resources department and get a letter in writing I really recommend doing this around the 6-7 month mark, that way you and your employer have plenty of time to get all the paperwork done, and the employer has time to make arrangements for your job to be covered while your out. Once you know what type of compensation you will or won’t receive during maternity leave –  factor that into your new monthly budget with your now adjusted monthly income. I will be writing a follow up post to this one in the next few weeks so be sure to check back for part 2 in which I will include some additional resources.

 

 

Chemical Free Mosquito Spray

24 Feb

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No one enjoys mosquito or bug bites, but I don’t enjoy put a chemical like DEET on my body. And it most certainly should not be used on children and babies. This recipe will work great for the whole family.  I found this from I Can Teach My Child.

Cloth Wipe Solution

23 Feb

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Making your own cloth wipe solution is great for baby because you can custom create the solution and tailor it to different needs. Its also very cheap to make your own baby products, many store bought items labeled “baby” just cost more in general and not many are organic or even close to natural with all the chemicals in them. So make your own solution its safer and cheaper – here is a great resource to help you get started.

Modern Nursery on a Budget

22 Feb

Modern nurseries can be so beautiful, there are so many countless options on how to do a modern nursery, but one thing persists that modern nursery furnishings can often be quite pricey. When looking around so many items are more expensive than the non-modern counterparts. If you love a modern nursery know that it can be within reach as long as you do some research and planning.

My very first tip for shopping (this can extend beyond nursery furniture, I do it with all my furniture shopping) is bring your camera. Take a photo of the item, then jot down the dimensions (height, width, depth – and what way a door swings) and the price.  This will help because often people tend to buy whatever they come across first, thinking they won’t find anything else they like.

These photos should serve as some inexpensive modern nursery inspiration, to help you build the nursery of your dreams.

First up the Sundvik crib from Ikea it retails for $119.00 its white which is great for both genders and works with so many color schemes

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Go to a fabric store, like JoAnn’s pick some modern fabric patterns and then re-upholster an old chair for your nursery. An old chair in a style you like can look completely different when re-upholstered, so pick a comfortable chair because with new fabric it will take on a whole new life. Choose to re-upholster an ottoman (no sharp edges) as well it will be great to put your feet up and will also be extra soft down the road when baby is crawling / standing in his/her nursery.

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Next tackle paint – try something creative by painting wide stripes in a horizontal pattern or vertical if you don’t have tall ceilings

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Consider using items that aren’t labeled “baby” this will keep the price down – one example is to buy some modern wall shelves to then display photos of baby or buy picture frames (wood not plastic) then spray paint them any color you like go for modern colors to pick up the overall color theme within your nursery.

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For storage buy items that are affordable and already modern in design – this is especially important if you have a 1 bedroom place, or if your using a den to be the baby’s nursery in lieu of a 2nd bedroom this is fine, except for normally the lack of closet.

This wardrobe can be used as a great baby’s closet for those rooms without any. It’s the Stuva from Ikea and retails for $222.00

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Well, I really hope this post has encouraged you to tackle an affordable modern nursery.

Baby Shower Gifts

20 Feb

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Baby shower gifts are always easier for the guests if they know the gender of the baby. However, there are plenty of gift options to give in case you don’t know the baby’s gender. Either way it’s important to give a gift that is useful, having a baby is a joy, but there are a lot of expenses so try and buy something that will be useful for the mom to be and will be something her or the baby will benefit from having.

Remember when going to someone’s baby shower there is NO amount of money you have to spend, only bring something you can afford to bring and don’t feel bad because of it. Gifts have no minimum or maximum price, the price of the gift will vary for each person based on their budget, circumstances, and relationship with the mom to be.

Here is a list of potential items to buy for a baby shower – no particular order of preference as you will see there is plenty of options for all budgets. I do recommend all natural or organic products for babies (okay, really everyone) remember the skin is our LARGEST ORGAN, and just because its natural or organic does not mean its expensive.

  • Go for the basics – diapers (buy more than 1 size)
  • Onesies – shop around for a good price – buy them in white (or color if you know the baby’s gender)
  • Do not buy items the baby really doesn’t need (lots of toys, or shoes) young babies can’t crawl, let alone walk they don’t need shoes. And people spend so much $ on toys for a new born and it’s a big waste of money.
  • Buy items which are disposable (meaning items mom will use, re-use and it will be gone) think baby wash, shampoo, etc. Here are some favorites: Cradle Scalp Rub, Diaper Cream, Baby Care Package
  • Do not purchase clothes for the baby in size Newborn, this is such a waste of money some babies outgrow the clothes in a couple weeks and now the new mom has a bunch of clothes to re-sell or donate. Buy the 3-6 month clothes for all newborns (better a little larger than tight)
  • Go for baby bottles, pacifiers, diaper bag, or wet/dry bags
  • If you want to make something consider buying fabric and making inexpensive baby washcloths I recommend this tutorial

Mint – Free Finance Software

19 Feb

Part of having a stress free family (especially with a baby in the house), is being organized and on top of your finances So, here I am giving you a suggestion, try Mint – its the online, free software to help track all your money in 1 place. You can start this anytime, its free and I think you will really enjoy having a better look at your finances. Remember that you can control your finances so don’t let money be an overwhelming stress to track and manage. I love Mint because its free and able to fit in everyone’ s budget including single moms. Check out these other tips I have for managing your finances including your free credit score, getting organized, and quick tips for money management.

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Simple tips to Baby Proofing

19 Feb

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This post today is going to be short, but it should help you get familiar with baby proofing. Check out the list here