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Archive for April, 2007

Do you know the difference? Here’s a great article by Alice Seba – author of Hot Mama Makeover – a free guide to help moms feel confident and sexy.

What’s the Difference Between Acrylic & Gel Nails?

One question that a number of moms who have read the guide have asked me is “What’s the difference between acrylic and gel nails?” Here are some comparisons to help you decide which works best for you.

Acrylic nails
– Composed of 2 parts: liquid and powder- Take a bit longer than gels to dry- Most are stronger, but can break due to lack of flexibility- Cost less than gels- Requires filling every 2-3 weeks depending on how quickly your nails grow

Gel Nails
– More natural looking- Limited filing required reducing the risk of burns/cuts- Dry with a UV lamp – Quick to dry, but the whole application process takes longer- Lifting can occur if you have oily nails or live in a humid environment- Cost is higher than acrylics- Also require filling every 2-3 weeks

Most nail salons offer both options. Always talk with your nail technician about any concerns you have beforehand. Choose the option that works best for you and enjoy you’re pretty, new nails, you Hot Mama, you! 😉
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Alice Seba is the author of Hot Mama Makeover, a free guide to help moms feel a little bit sexier and whole lot more confident. Get your free copy here.


Hot Mama Makeover

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I ran across this great article for SAHMs (Stay at Home Moms) with some tips on how to earn some extra money. Read on…

Stay at Home Mom Tips for Earning Extra Money from Home

Staying at home with your children is a rewarding job. Raising children is a hard task even under the best of circumstances. Still, moms who stay at home may be yearning for more in their own lives to feel fulfilled.

The invention of the Internet opened up many doors for entrepreneurial exploits. An entire world of information is at our fingertips twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To take advantage, all we need is a computer and a little motivation. This is the perfect way for moms to make some money of their own.

The most popular choice would be internet auction houses. The most popular of which is eBay. Everyone has something around their home that they can sell that someone else may want. One day, while your kids are sleeping, check out the attic and the garage for hidden treasures that could fetch a good price on the internet. Use a digital camera to take pictures of all potential money-making items. You can find a useful guide to getting started with auctions here.

Use your hobbies to make some easy cash. Do you like to draw, paint, crochet, or create crafts? Create your own website to advertise your particular expertise. Local flee markets and craft shows are a perfect way to get your product out there to the public. These events take place on the weekend, so your spouse can watch the kids while you market your merchandise.

Another way to make some extra money is online surveys. Large companies spend millions of dollars each year in market research for new and existing products. They poll consumers like you and me to see if there is sufficient interest in their products. The surveys can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour per survey for follow-up surveys. Don’t expect to get rich, but just earn a little extra income. Different companies offer a variety of incentives. Some companies offer points for their surveys which can be converted into prizes. Other survey companies offer cash for trialing new services and products. These surveys usually require a credit card for a preliminary fee that is reimbursed by the company upon completion of the survey.

Any work you do for extra money on the Internet requires an online account for companies or individuals to deposit your earned cash. The premier online account is PayPal. Signing up is free, but you must have a valid bank account that can be verified in case there is any discrepancy with the funds in your PayPal account.

There are a number of ways to earn extra money as a stay at home mom. The Internet offers plenty of opportunities that do not require a lot of time. The extra funds that you will be making will feel good.

If you want to take it to the next level and start earning more serious cash from home, visit Moms Talk Biz for more ideas.

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Sometimes, exercise requires a different and unique approach. Tai Chi for Expecting Mothers is one such DVD. Highly rated by consumers, this DVD provides a way in which pregnant moms can become less stressed, have more energy, and allows for a buffer against some of the side affects associated with pregnancy.

The DVD contains a complete whole body work-out combining Tai Chi, self massage and deep breathing meditation techniques to strengthen and relax the body while calming the mind to reduce feelings of stress. It is one of the highest quality independently produced pregnancy fitness DVDs released to date.

Here are some of the rave reviews this DVD has received: “I’ve never tried Tai Chi before, but I do adore yoga. I’m looking for some variety in my pregnancy workouts and figured I’d go ahead and take the plunge and buy this DVD. My goodness! Was I surprised! About 1/4 of the way through it, I noticed my heart rate was actually up and I was developing a light sweat! Could this be possible? It is! I used to run and do lots of aerobics and I knew what a “light sweat” was like after doing yoga, but this “light sweat” was different. I could actually feel as though toxins were leaving my body.”

Another pregnant mom wrote: “I have only good things to say about this great DVD. So many women take pregnancy as a green light to eat 5 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a day and just decide to “work it all off later”. I am here to tell you that the “later” takes years. I decided to give this DVD a try. Not only did I have increased energy, but I felt great! The instruction is clear and the exercises are easy to follow. I always felt great after the work out. The meditation in the DVD was very helpful.”

What a wonderful way to assist expectant moms by producing a DVD that not only calms and relaxes, but yields positive and long last results.

Where can you buy it? Amazon.com

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The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet has sold millions of copies and was founded by Dr. Agatston while working on a diet for his heart patients in the mid 1990s.

The diet is based around eating the right type of carbohydrates and good fats rather than bad fats. However, the diet advices you cut out all carbs and alcohol during the first two weeks (phase 1) of the diet. During phase 2 you can reintroduced the right type of carbs and fruits in moderation according to the diet guidelines.

The diet also advices eating low glycemic index foods . For example, low glycemic index fruits you can eat on the diet are apples and pears. High glycemic fruits you should avoid are bananas, watermelon and pineapples.

This diet is similar to the Atkins diet but unlike the Atkins diet, Dr. Agatston warns that you should not consumed saturated fats such as butter, ground beef and bacon. Instead you are allowed to eat monosaturated fats such as olive oil and salmon fish.

The South Beach Diet is divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: lasts 14 days and is the strictest phase of the diet. You are not allowed to eat any carbohydrates or drink alcohol during this phase. Many dieters find this phase quite restrictive.
  • Phase 2: You stay on this phase until you reach your weightloss goal. During this phase you can reintroduced some carbs in moderation. You are given a list of carbs and foods you can include in The South Beach Diet Plan Book.
  • Phase 3: This is the maintenance phase of the diet and you can add extra foods during this time. This is the phase you will remain on for the long term and is much more flexible. If your weight begins to increase you are advised to return to phase 1 of the diet.

Where can you buy it? Amazon.com

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Finally, the votes are tallied and we have the winners of our Mom’s Niche Recipe Challenge! All of the the winners and their winning recipes are published below. Why don’t you use these and make a nice dinner tonight?? 🙂

Appetizer Winner – Patty
Shrimp Bacon Bites

Ingredients:
1 cup cleaned cooked shrimp (about 16)
1/2 clove garlic, slivered
1/2 cup chili sauce
8 to 10 slices bacon

Directions:
Mix shrimp and garlic; pour chili sauce over mixture. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, several hours.

Cut bacon slices into halves. Cook bacon until limp; drain. Wrap each shrimp in bacon piece; secure with wooden pick.Set oven control to broil and/or 550 degrees. Broil with tops 2-3 inches from heat until bacon is crisp.

Entree Winner – Revka
Revka’s Chicken

Ingredients:
Chicken:
2 c. crushed saltines
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
8-10 chicken breasts
1 1/3 c. evaporated milk
1 c. butter, melted

Sauce:
2 cans Italian-style stewed or diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
2 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt

Directions:
Chicken:
In large, resealable bag or a shallow container, combine saltines, cheese, paprika, and pepper. Dip chicken in evaporated milk, then shake or dredge in saltine mixture. Pour butter into bottom of two 13×9 baking pans to coat. Arrange chicken, skin side down (if you left the skin on). Bake at 350F for 60-70 minutes or until chicken juices run clear, turning after 30 minutes. (I usually don’t turn the chicken.) Top with sauce (recipe included) and Parmesan cheese.

Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a pot and heat through.

Dessert Winner – Andrea
Quick Chocolate Cherry Pie

Ingredients:
1 graham cracker pie crust
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14oz) can condensed milk
½ teaspoon salt1 (21oz) can cherry pie filling
8 maraschino cherries, stemmed

Directions:
Place the chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir continuously until blended through. Mix in the cherry pie filling and mix well. Let cool slightly and then pour intro prepared pie crust. Chill for approximately 3 to 4 hours and garnish with the maraschino cherries.

Congratulations to our winners! You will all be notified by email and our Mom’s Niche Prize Pack filled with all kinds of goodies will be sent directly to you.

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Most of us have experienced a night of where we just couldn’t get to sleep, or kept waking up in the middle of the night. In fact, most of us haven’t experienced a good night’s sleep since our oldest child was born!

While one night of not sleeping can be annoying, persistent insomnia can have negative consequences on our work, personal relationships, and health. If you just haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep, here are some tips and tricks you can use to catch some z’s.

Watch What You Eat!

  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. You may think you’re okay if you don’t drink caffeine before bedtime, but stimulants can stay in our bodies for up to 6 hours. If you’re having trouble sleeping. Try not to drink caffeine after lunch time.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. This may put you to sleep right away, but you’re much more likely to wake up in the night and have a much less restful sleep.
  • Try some tryptophan. This is the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy. It’s also found with most protein. Try eating a little protein with some complex carbohydrates at night. You could also try a warm glass of milk, another good source of tryptophan.
  • Avoid a big dinner. A lot of food late at night provides you energy and actually helps wake you up. It can also cause painful indigestion that will keep you from sleeping. Try eating a moderate dinner and a small bedtime snack instead.

Watch Your Sleeping and Bedtime Habits!

  • Have a set sleeping schedule. Our bodies thrive on schedules and rhythms. Waking up and going to bed at a set time will help your body develop a normal sleeping rhythm.
  • Get darkness and light. Another way to help set your natural rhythms is to make your bedroom dark or wear a mask while you’re sleeping. Shortly after you wake up in the morning, expose yourself to the sun or other bright lights.
  • Start a bedtime ritual. Our bodies develop natural responses to what we do. If you follow a certain pattern before you go to sleep every night, your body will know it’s time for sleep when you do these things. This will help you fall asleep faster and easier.
  • Only sleep in your bedroom. You’re much less likely to be able to sleep in a place where you work, read, or watch T.V. If you sleep and only sleep in your bedroom, your mind won’t be occupied by other things.

Watch the Stress!

  • Take a warm bath. This will soothe your muscles and help you relax. Just be sure your bath isn’t too hot; it can actually make you more awake.
  • Try deep breathing and visualization. These can not only help calm you and prepare you for rest, they can also clear your mind and push away stressful thoughts.
  • Avoid stimulating activities. This includes not reading or watching T.V. before bed. Instead of relaxing and sleeping, you’ll end up thinking about what you saw or read.

If you find that none of these techniques work for you, you may also want to look at herbal remedies that will calm you and help you rest. If all else fails, you should pay a visit to your doctor.

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During pregnancy, it’s good to gain a certain amount of weight. This is used to support your growing child and to provide the extra calories if and when you start breastfeeding. New mothers naturally lose weight after the birth; however, if you don’t lose the weight because of gaining too much weight, or other reasons, it can be hard to take the rest off.

Here are some tips to help you get on track with your exercise plan:

  • Get Baby Involved! – Don’t wait till your child is asleep to try to get a decent workout. Strap on a baby sling or get baby in a good walking/jogging stroller so you can take the baby with you for a walk.
  • Don’t Begin Too Soon – Whether you’re had a vaginal delivery or a C-section, your body has gone through quite a bit. If you start a workout routine too soon, it can be damaging to your health. It’s usually recommended to wait 6 weeks before you start trying to workout; however, if you had a vaginal delivery, you can use those first 6 weeks to strengthen your vaginal muscles and start stretching exercises. Just be sure to check with your doctor before you start any exercise program.
  • Don’t Work Too Hard – It’s pretty likely that you haven’t been able to do a normal workout for at least a few months, maybe more. Just like starting any exercise program, you should not start full force right away. Trying to do too much is likely to do more harm than help. Before you start working out, ask your doctor for recommended exercises and how often you should do them. Remember, if you hurt yourself, you’re not going to be able to take as good care of your baby.
  • Make Room for Exercise in Your Schedule – While having a regular routine is helpful, it’s almost impossible to get a baby to conform to your schedule. This means you have to change your schedule to fit your baby’s. You’ll probably have to squeeze in workouts where you can. Choose exercises that you can do in different places at different times. Get an exercise tape or something else you can do at home. You should also remember that two 15 minute workouts or three 10 minute workouts can be just as helpful as a half hour work out. If you can set a rigid work out schedule, that’s great. If you can’t, set a looser schedule and be sure to stick with it.

Getting back in shape after a baby can be difficult, but with time, patience, and planning, you too can get back to your healthy self.

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