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The Afternoon Blues: Tips for Moms


afternoon blues

I have a very high maintenance 18 month old, so the afternoon blues hit me hard. I’ve already put a good 9 hours of thankless work in and am ready for my hubby to come home and take over so I can take a nap and call it a day. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I struggle with this daily, so I’ve started to pay close attention to certain activities or habits that make the dreaded afternoon blues more tolerable.

Go Outside (if the weather permits)

Depending on where you live, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. However, if it is tolerable to be outside, this is a great way to release some much needed endorphins and give you energy. Going outside is good for your mental health and can help relieve stress. It’s also an easy way get your little one in a better mood, since they also can suffer from the afternoon blues.

Avoid the afternoon blues by Eating a light Lunch

Eating a high carbohydrate, heavy lunch like pizza, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, chips, cookies, fried foods, and soda will put you straight into a food coma, leaving you tired and lethargic. Eating a low carbohydrate, light lunch like a salad, smoothie, grilled chicken or fish, or only half of the sandwich can make you feel lighter and more full of energy.

take an afternoon blues Walk

A body in motion tends to stay in motion, while a body at rest tends to stay at rest.

If you get moving you’re more likely to want to keep moving. Walking also releases endorphins, which interact with receptors in the brain that improve mood, naturally giving you an energy boost.

Make a power Smoothie

Power smoothies are packed with the vitamins and minerals your body needs and may be lacking. I recently started making afternoon smoothies for me and my little one. I use spinach, frozen fruit, bananas, and whatever juice I have in the fridge that day. I also throw in a scoop of collagen-based protein powder for an extra boost.

Make a Cup of Joe

A cup of coffee isn’t going to give you the vitamins and minerals you need but it certainly works as a quick fix to give you the energy you need to keep going and get over the afternoon blues.

Drink a Big Glass of Water

Sometimes I’m so busy that I forget to drink enough water. All of a sudden I’ll feel foggy, grumpy, and tired.
Then I remember, “Oh I need water!” So I’ll drink a HUGE glass of water and instantly feel better and have more energy.

So why exactly does water give you energy?

Dehydration leads to fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to all your organs, making you more tired and less alert. So drink up Mommas!

Clean or Organize Something

If you have busy little ones running around, this one could be a challenging. But if you can sneak it in while they’re playing close by, cleaning or organizing is a great way to feel better and feel accomplished.

Small chores like organizing the kitchen junk drawer, cleaning the kitchen cabinets, cleaning fingerprints off the sliding glass door, or sweeping always gives me motivation to continue staying active.

Let’s face it, the afternoon blues suck, but you aren’t alone. And hopefully with these simple tips, your afternoons will get better! Thanks for reading!

Why Do Dr Brown Bottles Leak and How to Fix Them


why do dr brown bottles leak

Why I Love Dr. Brown Bottles

I didn’t really know much about Dr. Brown bottles other than my sister used them with her kids and I was told they had the best nipples.

I happened to get a couple in the mail for free so I went ahead and tried those after I stopped breastfeeding.

I loved them!

Shop for Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle, 8 Ounce, 4-Pack on Amazon


They have an innovative venting system designed to help preserve vitamins, prevent air bubbles, offers a flow rate that supports breastfeeding, and reduces symptoms of colic like spit-up, burping, and gas.

I’m not sure there’s another bottle out there that does all of that. But why do Dr Brown bottles leak?

A couple of months in I noticed they would leak from time to time even though I prepared the bottle the same way every time.

It seemed strange that it would only happen sometimes and in different amounts.

I loved my Dr. Brown bottles though, so before I threw them out I did some research to figure out if I was doing something wrong.

Sure enough, I wasn’t the only momma experiencing this. Good news…you can prevent them from leaking when used correctly!

Why Do Dr. Brown Bottles Leak?

The culprit of the Dr. Brown bottles leaking is improper handling of the venting system. Milk or formula can get into the vent and exit the bottle when the bottle isn’t prepared or fed to your baby properly.

How to Fix Them

Don’t Overfill the Bottle

Make sure you don’t fill the bottle past the maximum amount (either 4 or 8 ounces depending on which size you have). Be sure to include how much room the formula powder will take up as well. If you fill the bottle to the maximum level of 8 ounces then adding the formula after will overfill it. I always either add the formula before I fill it with water or leave an ounce of room for the formula when I fill it with water.

Don’t Shake the Bottle with Vent in Place

Make sure you shake the bottle without the venting system in place. This prevents the formula from getting into the vent and leaking out. You can either use a Dr. Browns storage cap to shake it or you can stir the formula instead of shaking it, which also reduces air bubbles.

Don’t Heat the Bottle with Vent in Place

Don’t heat the bottle with the venting system in place. When the formula or milk heats up it expands, forcing the milk into the vent and allowing it to leak when you feed your baby. Always let the bottle cool down before you put the venting system in to prevent your Dr. Brown bottles from leaking.

Don’t Over or Under Tighten the Lid

When you over tighten the lid it can cause too much pressure to build up, which forces the milk or formula into the vent and then leaks out. When you under tighten the lid it doesn’t allow the bottle to form the seal it needs to prevent the milk or formula from leaking out.

Don’t Submerge the Vent Tube in the Milk/Formula While Feeding

While you’re feeding your baby, don’t submerge the vent tube into the milk or formula since it will leak out. I recommend holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle. If you do get milk or formula in the vent tube, just hold it upright and loosen the nipple to release the built-up pressure. Then re-tighten it to form the seal.

Use the Appropriate Size Nipple

If the nipple size (size of the hole) is too big, your baby might blow back into the bottle, which can cause the liquid to get into the vent and leak out. If the nipple is too small, your baby might suck extra hard, which can cause the nipple seal to break and the milk or formula to leak out.

Interested in simple ways to set up a Montessori playroom?



Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy


best protein powders for pregnancy

Benefits of Protein during Pregnancy

Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy and protein plays a vital role in ensuring that those changes occur smoothly since proteins are the building blocks of our bodies that facilitate cell growth. The best protein powders for pregnancy will give you a lot of protein quickly and easily, ensuring that the fetus gets enough to grow and be a healthy baby.

Protein requirements for pregnant women can range from 75 to 100 grams per day, depending on how much you weigh.

Ingredients to Avoid

Casein + WPC: Also known as whey protein concentrate and caseinate. WPC’s and casein protein sources are high in lactose and poorly absorbed. They can cause bloating, flatulence, and stomach problems.

Gluten: Gluten can increase inflammation and cause hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, fatigue, mood swings, and headaches.

Dextrins/Maltodextrin: These can raise your glycemic index, which adds to fat storage. Most are processed with GMO corn and can cause stomach problems.

Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, splenda, aspartamine, equal, and NutraSweet can cause headaches, migraines, and stomach problems such as bloating, acid reflux and weight gain. Saccharin is especially dangerous during pregnancy since it crosses the placenta and might remain in fetal tissue.

Skim milk powders/milk solids: Lower quality powders use skim milk powders and milk solids as a bulking agent.

Non-organic soy protein: Non-organic soy proteins come from genetically-modified sources that contain pesticides and chemicals that can cause hormonal problems.

Vegetable oils and fats: Vegetable oils and fats are often derived from hydrogenated sources that contain trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels.

Thickeners and gums: Thickeners and gums can cause bloating, constipation and gas.

Carrageenan and other fillers: A filler is anything that doesn’t naturally occur in the protein source such as flavorings, preservatives, and dyes. Carrageen is a filler commonly found in protein powders that can cause digestive problems, including ulcers and bleeding.

Additives: Many protein powders are designed and marketed for athletes might contain additives is not meant for pregnant or nursing women such as extra caffeine, creatine, etc.

Read the label to make sure the main focus of your shake is a high quality protein without additional stimulants, herbs, or other harmful additives.

what to look for

Quality Protein: Any protein powder suitable for pregnancy should contain high quality proteins. Low quality proteins tend to have higher levels of heavy metals. Many studies show that animal-based proteins have lower amounts of heavy metals than plant-based proteins. Small amounts of heavy metals are normal, however as the number gets higher, so does the likelihood that the protein powder is low quality.

No Additives: Additives can be harmful to the overall health of the baby, especially if passed through the placenta, potentially causing developmental problems.

Natural Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalances, headaches, and stomach problems. It’s important to look for natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, pure cane sugar, honey, agave nectar, stevia, and fruit when choosing the best protein powder during pregnancy.

The Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy

best protein powder for breastfeedingMilk Dust: supports lactation and weight loss

Milk Dust is the best prenatal protein powder for breastfeeding. This NON-GMO, plant-based protein powder’s ingredients were hand picked specifically for pregnancy, lactation, postpartum healing, nourishment, and weight loss. I love that the ingredients are broken down into 5 different benefit categories: protein blend, fruit blend, greens/energy blend, lactation blend, and sugar craving/blood sugar support blend. This way you know exactly how each ingredient supports your specific needs.

Milk Dust is very sweet but has very little sugar since it’s sweetened with monk fruit, organic can juice and stevia. It will satisfy your sweet tooth but also contains herbs such as folate, chromium, B12, magnesium, zinc, cinnamon, cinnamon bark and turmeric that actually support your sugar cravings and blood sugar levels. It also contains all of the best lactation boosting herbs such as milk thistle, raspberry leaf, brewers yeast, fenugreek, and fennel seed.

Grams of Protein Per Serving: 14g (blend of pea, brown rice, pumpkin seed, chia seed, and flaxseed proteins)

Price: $52.95


Baby Booster prenatalBaby Booster Prenatal: helps fight morning sickness

Baby Booster Prenatal is one of the best protein powders for pregnancy. Its high protein, low carb formula was developed by an OB/GYN. It provides 75mg of vegetarian DHA, which is essential for baby’s brain development. Baby booster is NON-GMO, soy free, gluten free, and contains no harmful chemicals or artificial ingredients. It’s sweetened using stevia only so if you don’t like the taste of stevia then you might not like the taste.

One unique benefit of this pregnancy protein powder is that it may help fight morning sickness and nausea. It also helps you feel full, fight off pregnancy cravings, and gives you lots of energy.

Grams of Protein Per Serving: 20g (whey protein)

Price: $40.00


seeking health optimal prenatal proteinSeeking Health Optimal Prenatal: for sensitive stomachs

Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal received the 2018 Women’s Choice Award as a “9 out of 10 Recommended” brand for Prenatal Supplement. If you have a sensitive stomach, this prenatal protein powder might be good for you since it includes vitamin B6 and ginger to support digestion. It has no folic acid in it but rather folate so those with the MTHFR abnormality can take it.

Seeking Health is also a great post-natal protein powder as well since it contains milk thistle and red raspberry, which support lactation production while breastfeeding.

Grams of Protein Per Serving: 15g (pea protein)

Price: $46.95


protiva pregnancy proteinProtiva Pregnancy: to reduce stretch marks and clear your skin

Protiva Pregnancy is another great all natural protein powder that has 15g of collagen-based protein and only 2g of sugar. It’s sweetened using a combination of cane juice and stevia so it tastes sweet without an overwhelming stevia taste. The collagen may help reduce stretch marks and clear your skin during pregnancy.

Protiva doesn’t contain any folate or folic acid so I would suggest only using this protein powder in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters since folate and folic acid are essential for supporting brain development.

Grams of Protein Per Serving: 15g (collagen protein)

Price: $34.95


best prenatal protein powderMommi Prenatal Protein Shake: to replace your prenatal vitamin

Mommi Prenatal protein shakes contain 100% of the recommended prenatal vitamins in one serving along with 15g of whey protein, making it one of the best protein powders for pregnancy. It’s really an all-in-one product. Some women have difficulty taking prenatal vitamins because of the aftertaste, difficulty swallowing , or the sick feeling they can cause. Mommi Prenatal shakes are a great alternative to prenatal vitamins since they are easy to take and digest more quickly than traditional prenatal vitamins.

Grams of Protein Per Serving: 15g (whey protein)

Price: $34.95


If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in my ultimate guide to getting fit while pregnant!

Home Depot Opinion Gift Card Survey – Home Depot Customer Satisfaction


www homedepotopinion.com

HomeDepotOpinion.com Survey Sweepstakes

Next time your hubby is taking one of his hour-long trips to The Home Depot pleasantly remind him to keep the receipt so you can take the survey.

A purchase is not required in order to enter the promotion and a purchase will not increase your odds of winning the gift card.

Simply visit www.homedepotopinion.com or www.homedepot.com/survey to begin.

Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States.

Home Depot Opinion No Purchase Entry Method

Simply write to “ASC/ Home Depot U.S. Consumer Customer Satisfaction Sweepstakes 90 Rockwood Place Rochester, NY 14610”.

Include your name, address, city, state, zip code, telephone number, and date of birth of a 3 x 5 sheet of paper.

HomeDepotOpinion.com Recap

  • Take a short survey in regards to a Home Depot purchase and maybe win $5,000 worth of gift cards in the process
  • Internet connection is required as a phone number is not provided
  • The $5,000 gift card cannot be traded in for cash regardless of what your mother law claims
  • A winners list is available by mail
  • Entrants who enter via the AMOE (defined below) must provide his/her Category preference at time of entry

Winners List? (home depot survey winners)

Please write to “Home Depot Sweeps US” (please specify “Winner’s List” or “Rules Request”), American Sweepstakes & Promotion Company, 300 State Street, Suite #402, Rochester NY 14614”.

Include proper postage and a return address.


Home Depot Survey Sponsor and Admin

  • SPONSOR: Home Depot Store Support, Inc., (based at 2455 Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30339
  • INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATOR: American Sweepstakes & Promotion Company (based at 300 State Street, Suite #402, Rochester NY 14614)

Employees of Home Depot and American Sweepstakes are not allowed to enter the Home Depot $5000 gift card survey promotion.

Home Depot Customer Service

  • 1-800-466-3337
  • Homedepot.com Major Appliances Support: 1-877-946-9843
  • Homedepot.com Online Order Support: 1-800-430-3376

Home Depot Survey Website(s)

Want more gift card survey sweepstakes? Check out the Safeway $100 gift card survey or the TopsListens $100 gift card survey promotion.

Safeway Survey Sweepstakes: Win $100 Safeway Gift Card


Safeway Survey Sweepstakes

Safeway likes to give back to their loyal customers and get feedback to help improve their own processes, which is why they offer the Safeway survey. So if you have some suggestions and advice regarding Safeway, then share it in the Safeway survey sweepstakes to make your next visit better.

You can take the survey to be entered into the Safeway survey sweepstakes where each month 20 winners are chosen to win a $100 gift card.

Sweepstakes Takes Place: April 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019

Local: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington or Wyoming

How to enter the safeway survey sweepstakes

There are two online entry methods, one is if you visit a Safeway and make purchase, and one is if you visit a Safeway and do not make a purchase. Both require physically visiting a Safeway location in order to enter online.

There is also a mail in entry method does not require you to make a purchase.

Enter Online with a purchase

You can visit a Safeway location and make a purchase. Then save your receipt for the online survey. Go online to www.safeway.com/survey and answer all survey questions.

Enter Online without a purchase

You can visit a Safeway location and not make a purchase. Ask the Safeway employees if you are able to take the survey or they may ask you. If invited, you can go online to www.safeway.com/survey and take the survey.

How To Enter by mail without a purchase

When you want to enter the sweepstakes but have not made a purchase at a Safeway, you may enter using the mail-in method.

  1. Hand write your full name, address, phone number, email on a 3X5″ card
  2. Mail this card in a #10 envelope to the following address:
    SAFEWAY “Survey Sweepstakes”, c/o StellaService, 75 Broad Street, Suite 1010, New York, NY 10004.

One Prize per month: $100 SAFEWAY Gift Card

If you liked this survey sweepstakes, you might also like to win a $100 Visa gift card from Target!