Baby, it’s *really* cold out there!! Ten tips to battle cold temperatures for you and your home.

freezing bird

New England is full of old homes and winter can be unkind to them. These tips can help you stay a little warmer and prevent problems when the cold weather sets in.

  1. Drain and turn off your outside spigots before the freezing temperatures hit.
  2. Turn up your thermostat! There’s more to this than just feeling warmer. Warming your house up will help keep frozen house pipes at bay.
  3. Open the cupboard doors under your sinks. This will also allow heat to get to your pipes and help prevent freezing.
  4. If you keep your house at a lower temperature, let your faucets drip at night.
  5. Turn your ceiling fan on, but change the direction to clockwise, to push warm air down. This helps circulate warm air.
  6. Use heavier/thicker weight curtains to help block the drafts around windows and open them when the sun is out.
  7. Replace old windows.
  8. Having your gutters clean will help prevent ice build-up and roof top damage.
  9. Insulating your pipes can raise the temp 2-4 degrees! It’s a pretty easy DIY job, but can also be hired out.
  10. If you have an attached garage keep the outer garage door closed to help prevent cold air from coming into the house.

If you want to go beyond these steps of protecting your home contact RISE Engineering for a home energy assessment. If you need a little inspiration to get through this weather, check out these Winter Escapes.

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3 Quick Tips for bathing your newborn!

baby bath1. Gather everything before you start the bath.

2. Turn up the heat a little bit.

3. Grab a helper! Hopefully having a second pair of hands will make this a little more relaxing and fun!

This may feel hard at first, but the more you do it, the more you will all enjoy it.

Road Trip Snacks

cooler pic

We went on a road trip recently. This annual trip always provides me with a lot of time to ponder life. They also often remind me of the frequent road trips my family took when I was young! As I was packing the cooler for our recent trip I thought it would be helpful to write up something for others to use for their own trips. A car trip with little ones is a whole new challenge, so I thought I’d focus on some tips that would be helpful. When all your attention is focused on the baby you will be so happy to just reach in and grab a snack and a drink you love!

Make a list of your favorite snacks to pack in a reusable shopping bag, and pack it up! We usually bring Smartfood, Quest Bars, PB crackers, bananas, bread/rolls, pretzels, and almonds. I also throw in some utensils for the mayonnaise and cottage cheese. I repackage our snacks into small reusable containers, or sandwich/snack bags when needed, so I’m not lugging a ton of extra stuff. A car is only so big and you’ve got some other things yet to be packed!

Gather your favorite drinks and grab-n-go foods. I like to use reusable ice packs instead of bags of ice to cut down on all the dripping and leaking. I really like to use the ice packs that come with fresh food deliveries like Hello Fresh & Plated because they stay cool for so long.

Our favorite go-to foods are:

Cottage cheese, apples, mustard, mayonnaise, cheese sticks, frozen juice boxes (for the older kids), water, lettuce (for your “sammies”), and veggies & hummus.

This all might seem like a lot of food, but I’d rather not buy more food just for the trip. Our annual holiday road trip is about 6 hours long, and then we have some of our favorite snacks during our stay and maybe a little bit for the return trip too.

Don’t forget to toss in the paper towels, napkins and baby wipes! These are super important and having baby wipes are a great extra even if your little one is potty trained.

Other helpful things to bring:

  1. A great co-pilot (AKA D.J., G.P.S. guru, joke master) is imperative!
  2. A rockin playlist!
  3. Phone chargers!
  4. A blanket for yourself, and a neck pillow. You might not sleep, but your neck will thank you if you do nod off. That’s entirely possible with a new baby in your life. Right??

When I was a kid we had an electric cooler for our car that was pretty awesome. It plugged into the car’s 12v outlet. You can check out Amazon’s top rated listings here if you have a lot of long car trips in your future. You will probably also benefit from a 20-25 amp fuse if you’re planning to use a 12v splitter to accommodate 2 items in one car charger. Ask me how I know. ; )

Happy Travels Family!

My top 5 baby gear picks!

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to try many different baby (and kid) related products. I’m so happy to be able to carry that experience over for my postpartum clients.

 

  1. The Summer Infant Swaddleme® Original swaddle.

Swaddling keeps your baby snug, just like they were in the womb. Swaddling can also help reduce the startle reflex so baby can sleep better. Opt for the multi-pack, you’ll be glad you did!

2. Nose Frida®! AKA The Snot Sucker.

Yeah it sounds totally gross but there will come a time when you throw reason out the window and suck snot out of your baby’s nose.  Get one for each person who will be caring for your baby.

3. Booby Tubes

These are fabric tubes filled with flax seed. They can be used cold or hot depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Booby Tubes can help reduce clogged milk ducts and reduce swelling and soreness from engorgement.

4. The Mommy Hook

This clip is great! Clip it to your stroller handle and load your shopping bags and purse onto it and you’re all set to keep shopping. When you get home you can clip The Mommy Hook onto all of your bags and carry it all inside in one easy trip.

5. Diaper Champ

I like this diaper pail because it doesn’t require special bags. They are an option, but the ability to grab a regular trash bag sure makes it easy.

That’s it for now. Check back for an update on some other awesome stuff that will make your life easier. I’m in the camp of work smarter, not harder.

The postpartum time can affect the whole family. Support is crucial.

Often the other parent is not on leave after their family has a new baby. They’re getting broken sleep, keeping up with other responsibilities, and going to work. They often feel like everything is on their shoulders. Parents who are struggling could be dealing with PPMADs and should talk to their doctor or find a support group to help work through it. This Psychology Today article goes into greater detail about statistics, symptoms and  solutions.

Terry’s Spinach Casserole

This is a dish I’ll be offering my clients. I first saw it in Parents magazine and absolutely love it! Ingredients can be omitted or added easily and it’s tasty. It’s also helped me enjoy spinach more. I omit the flour.

Serves: 8 Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Ingredients:

1 small red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
5 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (9 ounce) packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (16 ounce) container fat-free small curd cottage cheese
3/4 cup grated Pecorino
3/4 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2-3 Italian style sweet roasted red pepper slices, diced
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2 and 1/2 quart casserole dish lightly with non-stick spray and set aside until ready to use. In a 12-inch skillet, sauté the red onion and mushrooms in the olive oil over medium-high heat until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing the spinach mixture. Squeeze the spinach to remove as much liquid as possible. Place spinach in a large bowl along with the cottage cheese, Pecorino, sharp white cheddar, roasted red pepper, onions, and mushrooms. Stir well and then mix in the eggs and flour until all is well combined. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.