Born Gifted: How to buy for a child on a budget at Christmas

While Christmas is usually a time of unrelenting joy and excitement, the current economic climate is causing significant concern among parents nationwide. With unemployment high and job creation at a minimum, many are unable to work and support their families in the manner that they would like to. Subsequently, the average level of disposable income in the UK has fallen considerably in the last 12 months, with the result that households are facing up to the prospect of a bleak and restrictive festive period.

Buying for your Child on a Budget: Three Tips for a Prosperous Christmas

With this in mind, it is important that parents strike the right balance between buying for their child and staying within the boundaries of their budget. Consider the following:

  • Embrace the Concept of Thrift Buying: Thrift buying has emerged as an extremely popular concept over the last two years, with the U.S. Market alone growing by 7% during this time. While the expansion of the UK market has been slower, the continued development of online resources such as Ebay have provided consumers with access to second hand and affordable goods that remain high in quality. The procurement of used products can be a source of significant financial savings, while you do not necessarily need to compromise on the quality of your purchases.
  • Get Online and Visit Swap Shops: Similarly, consumers in 2012 have the option to swap their used items online in exchange for potential gifts. Through this process, you can register as a user with a number of reputable sites and upload items that you would like to offload. Once this is done, fellow site members can contact you and offer goods in exchange for your listed products, so that you are able to acquire several potential gifts for your child without spending any money at all.
  • Seek Out Alternative but Suitable Gift Items: While children can be among the most demanding of consumers, you should strive to seek out alternative gift options that are more affordable. For example, if your infant requests the latest in a long line of games consoles this Christmas, then compromise by purchasing an older model that can be secured at a discounted price. Although it may not be exactly what your child asked for, it fulfils the same need and provides them access to an interactive gaming experience.

The Bottom Line

If you find yourself in need of affordable gift ideas this festive season, then you can rest assured that you are not alone given the prevailing macro environment. As long as you are able to think creatively and remain fully prepared to compromise on your goals, then it is possible to give your child the Christmas experience that they deserve without overwhelming your bank balance.

Author Bio: This article was contributed by Born Gifted. Visit the brand’s website to peruse a range of child’s toys, gifts and accessories.

Sunday Reflection: The Help Line

A few days ago I noticed that I am a bit exasperated with my toddlers naughtiness. Yes, just like other toddler’s, he started to be naughty (in a bit). Last night I was feeling tired and sleepy and as we hit the bed, he still refuses to sleep. He keeps on bubbling, rolling and sometime pulling my hair (and that hurts). I was a little annoyed so I grabbed him pushing him down the bed. And just before he cries, my mind told me to be calm and patient.

Oh well, I may have a little patience with other things but when it comes to raising my children, I am trying to have a plenty of it. Patience creates a compassionate and respectful family environment. While losing our patience result in frustration and then to anger then into resentment. So just before I yell to the tot, I then heard myself and realize that I needed help.

Patience has always been my prayer, and before it gets the better of me, I had to call on the Lord for help. David says in Psalm 18:6 “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.”  And there was God helping King David. Perhaps most of us called the Lord for help in our most distress situation, in situations where you think you can’t handle it anymore and only God alone can make a way for you. But Remember that even in lucid ordeals we met in life, God is always there to teach us, to help us.

As I processed my awful conduct, I learned to ask God for help in every step of acquiring that much needed patience. And up until now, it is still a process that needs time, prayers and courage and at the same time allowing Him to rectify my character towards being a good and responsible mom. It is said that the best parents have the patience, so if you think you can’t make it, why not take advantage of your help line. HE is just waiting for you to call.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

 

Breastfeeding: A form of Birth Control

Photobucket
photo from prolactinemia.com

Exclusive breastfeeding can be a form of birth control. Is it a fact or myth? Well, I have been hearing that it could be a good form of birth control. However others claimed that it is a myth especially those who got pregnant while breastfeeding. So is this really a fact or myth?

Exclusive breastfeeding could actually be a form of birth control. It is called Lactational Amenorrhea Method or LAM.  It has shown to be an excellent form of birth control. Infact it is 98-99% effective for as long as you met the following conditions:

  1. Your monthly period has not yet returned.
  2. Your baby is less than six months old.
  3. Exclusively breastfeeding on a regular schedule both day and night.
  4. Your baby gets nothing but breast milk alone.

How do LAM works?

There are two hormones that our pituitary gland produces in order to ovulate and menstruate. The follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) which causes the eggs to mature then be released during ovulation.

When a mother breastfeed, the production of these hormones is interfered by a hormone called prolacttin which is produced while breastfeeding. This interrupts ovulation and stops menstruation, therefore preventing pregnancy.

Lactational Amenorrhea Method is an excellent form of birth control when practice correctly. It’s a natural and inexpensive form of birth control and has numerous health benefits for both mom and baby. If you are using LAM or plans to use LAM as your birth control method, the tips below will help you use the method effectively for as long as your baby is with in the first six months of life.

  • Practice frequents breastfeeding about six to ten times a day and no less than four times at night.
  • Avoid long intervals between feeds. If your baby sleeps through the night wake him up for feeds. Prolactin is at its highest between 1am to 6am therefore nursing your baby at this time is important.
  • Avoid using bottles and pacifiers. Baby should suck directly on the mother’s breast.
  • Avoid solid food and other liquids such as juice and water. (Our pediatrician advised me that as long as the baby is breastfeeding it’s okay not to give water).

As to whether its fact or myth? I would say it’s a fact. I am exclusively breastfeeding my youngest for four months now and my menstruation hasn’t come back yet. I think for as long as it is properly used, it can be an effective birth control method. However, if you plan to use contraceptive for a longer period it would be best to talk to your health care provider.

Resources:
http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertility/
http://www.epigee.org/fetal/contraception.html

 

 

Why You Should Quit Drinking

Photobucket
photo from slive.com

If there is one thing I can’t take right now it’s drinking alcoholic beverages. But I must admit, I used to be a social drinker almost a decade ago. It so happen that I woke up one day where my taste buds are telling me he cannot anymore take the awful alcohol taste. That made me quit drinking effortless. According to World Health Organiziation, around 2.5 million people died each year from excessive alcohol consumption. Of which 320 000 are young people between the age of 15 and 29.

In the Philippines, alcohol drinking is somehow a part of our culture. You’ll see drunken men and women during parties and you can hear them slurring their words, yelling and you’ll even see them falling to the floors and even throwing up in public. I guess this is what partying is all about and this is also where alcoholic addiction starts.

Whether you are a social drinker or occasional drinker, it is important that you take alcohol consumption in moderation if you don’t want to be a slave of alcohol. If you consider quitting that would be a good initiative as drinking is sometimes a hard nut to break when you become addicted. As you work out quitting and while you find tips on how to stop drinking you have to be disciplined and determine otherwise you’ll find yourself sobering again in alcohol.

So before you find yourself gulping and burping in bubbles this October feast, think about the health risk you are causing to your body.

  • High blood pressure. Heavy drinking can cause blood pressure to rise that may disrupt the nervous system. It can lead to many other health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Cirrhosis is an abnormal liver condition in which there is  heavy scarring of the liver thus it is unable to function. And the main cause of it is excessive drinking.
  • Nerve damage. Alcoholic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage caused by excessive drinking. It causes pain or numbness in the extremities, muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, and other problems.

Those were just few among the many health risks caused by excessive drinking. So don’t be intimidated if you drink apple juice instead of a beer while socializing.

Baby No More!

When he was younger, almost everyday I take a portrait of him. I have tons of them in my hard drive, sd cards and even in my phone. It’s been a while since I haven’t taken one, so when we visited NAPAW few weeks ago I took time to take those portraits again.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Time does fly so fast and I must admit that my eldest is a baby no more. He is now a toddler who loves playing, eating and playing and eating the whole day long. Very soon he will be a tween and later will become an adult. Once he is full grown, I’m afraid that he might not need me anymore. Goshthis thought made me melancholic and teary-eyed while writing this post.

Photobucket
Our little ones (I have two boys) are the nicest things that happen to me. They make love stronger, our home happier, their clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for. They are our happiness beyond happiness.

Rest Like a Queen in a Tempurpedic Bed

Home is where my heart is. That is why I was in a whisk to go home yesterday after that tiring event at a friend’s place. I was a bit exhausted as I was not feeling well in the first place. I had migraine before I left and back pain on my lower back strikes me again. In the midst of a physical turmoil, seeing something beautiful as my kids as soon as I get home relieves the pain. So after kissing my tots who were in a deep sleep, I immediately plunge myself into the bed giving my back that much needed rest. With much thought of the bed, how I wish we have a luxe bed from tempurpedic for a more relaxing and comfortable rest.

That day was like an ordinary bustling day for me at home, with a toddler and a baby in tow plus house chores waiting to be done. No wonder at the end of the day, I am in a dog-tired state, coping with lower back pain and some muscle and joint strain. It can be terrible sometimes so before I lay my back flat on the bed and transport myself into the dreamland, I use to treat my back with a relaxing stretch.

Back stretch or back exercise alleviates back pain and if you do it more often even without back pain it will prevent future pains. It’s one coping strategies I used to do whenever back pain mix in my day to day activities. Another thing that works for me is stretching my calves. I used to do this when I was pregnant to relieve lower back pain. Here’s how I do it; standing about one foot from the wall while my palm is on the wall at shoulder level and then slowly leaning forward for the stretch. While it stretches my calves, I also love that it stretches my lower back. Up until now, I use to do this stretch especially when resting or lying down the bed is almost impossible. That is so far a quickie back pain relief.

Stretching plus resting is the best combination in terms of alleviating back pain. So while I stretch a lot, I would also want to rest like a queen in a tempurpedic bed. As mentioned earlier, I really wish we have something like a luxe bed at home for an incomparable comfort.

This is a sponsored post for Healthy Back, however, all the points and views are my own.

Cetaphil: Gentle Skin Care Products for the Family

It was when my youngest had skin asthma that I started using Cetaphil as his bath soap. Since it was prescribed by his pediatrician I had no doubt about it. It has been working well with my baby’s sensitive skin and I love how it gently cleanses and moisturizes the skin and also prevents nappy rash. That’s why I am really glad I have switched.

Even before my son used Cetaphil, I only knew this product as a gentle cleanser for baby. I never knew that they have a variety of products that can give the gentlest and effective skin care for the whole family.

Photobucket
Here are various Cetaphil products perfect for your family’s skin care:

PhotobucketGentle Skin Cleanser is soap free, fragrance free, pH balanced, non-irritating and non-drying  cleanser for all types of skin. Ideal for infants and children and adults as well.

PhotobucketOily Skin Cleanser for an effective deep pore cleansing. Removes oils, dirt and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural moisture so skin won’t feel dry or tight.

PhotobucketDaily Facial Moisturizer. It’s light, non greasy moisturizer that replenishes moisture and effectively nourishes sensitive skin. It has broad spectrum protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays that prevents damage and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

PhotobucketDaily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion. Clinically proven to hydrate for 24 hours. It has fast-acting, long-lasting moisturizing formula that helps moisturize extra dry skin. It’s Non-greasy, non-irritating, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, ideal as a full body moisturizer.

PhotobucketAnti Bacterial Bar for added antibacterial protection without drying the skin. Ideal for full body cleansing and it deodorizes and moisturizes as it cleans the skin.

For over 60 years, Cetaphil has evolved and has been committed in providing gentle and healthy skin care even for compromised sensitive skin. They remain the most prescribed cleansers and moisturizer by both dermatologists and pediatricians worldwide.

Now if you want to get hold and try some of their products, enter the giveaway and get a chance to win Cetaphil products. 1 winner will bring home 1 250mlCetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, 1 Cetaphil DailyAdvance™ Ultra Hydrating Lotion 85gms and 1 Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer (SPF15) 118ml. 

Photobucket

The mechanics are simple and easy.

Like Cetaphil Philippines on Facebook. (2 pts)

Like MomsicleOnline on Facebook. (2 pts)

Follow Joel Andrada on Twitter. (2 pts)

Share on your FB Wall (5pts): Momsicle is giving away Cetaphil goodies! http://www.momsicleonline.com/2012/09/cetaphil-gentle-skin-care-product-for-the-family.html

Then comment below with your FB Name, Twitter Handle and email address.

Giveaway will run until October 15 and open to Philippine Residents only.

Mind Blowing Hermes Birkin Handbags

The best place to find vintage Hermes Birkin handbags are auctions. Usually Moda Operandi and Heritage Auctions team up to introduce a wide range of artfully designed Hermes Birkins. Designer handbag lovers await their auctions like foot ball fans wait for world cup series. Exceptional and exquisite designs which you can’t even see in the original stores are found easily here. Only their price range seems to be high. The highest price is $74,500 while the lowest is a few hundred dollars less than that. Several people live in houses much less expensive than these branded bags. So, what can they do to purchase this ultimate piece of luxuries? cheap designer handbagsare the best choices.
Hermes Birkin handbags sold in the replica design handbags stores are designed exquisitely to reflect the original style. They are processed using high end technology to imitate the exact shine and feel of the high quality leather used in the branded bags. Replica design handbags are produced and sold all over the world. Their market is much bigger than the actual branded handbags market. Details about luxury brands, which were reserved only for the rich, reached the common man through magazines in the past century. It kindled their mindset to buy them. Internet created online stores which actually took the exact products to the common mans house. Exclusive luxury items like Hermes Birkin handbags reached their living room through the web.
Replica design handbags took these items to reach the wardrobe of the mainstream women. Excessive growth of consumerism, globalization, free trade policies, there are so many reasons for the replica handbags being cheap. But the most important reason is their aesthetic beauty and wonderful comfort. They are stylish as well as utilitarian. Hence, ladies all over the world vote unanimously to buy them, though they have a tuff competition from the local brands.

Baby Skin Care: Go Mild with Cetaphil

Unfortunately I was not blessed with a good skin. While it may sound fussy, I have to say that I have sensitive skin, so as my children. My youngest has been battling skin asthma. He’s got that inflamed, reddish and itchy skin under his jaw down to his neck and some on the folds of his arms.  I had to use the mildest skin cleanser in order to protect their skin from irritation and as prescribed by our pediatrician, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for their sensitive skin.

Product Description:

  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is gentle, soap free cleanser originally formulated for dermatologists, specifically for everyday cleansing even the most sensitive skin.
  • Soothing, non-irritating cleanser ideal for face, hands and body.
  • Helps skin retain needed moisture.
  • Rinses easily and leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and healthy.
  • Mild enough to cleanse a baby’s delicate skin.
  • Non-comedogenic, fragrance free, PH Balanced, dermatologist recommrnded.

My boys used to have dry skin. Prior to Cetaphil, I use other cleansing brand so after every bath, baby lotion is a must to hydrate their dry-flaky skin. After switching to Cetaphil, I rarely apply baby lotion as the dryness of their skin gradually vanished. (Although it might still be best to apply moisturizer).

I usually use the cleanser twice, on their morning bath and on half-bath come evening and every nappy change and I am pleased with how it maintains the moisture of their skin and how it protects them from nappy rash. Another best thing about cetaphil cleanser is that it can also be safely used without water making it a perfect cleanser on outdoors and travels.

Photobucket
fresh from his cetaphil bath

And I would say, although Cetaphil is slightly expensive, 250ml costs around PhP280.00 (good enough for one month use) the fact that it is super mild and fragrance free, I would still chose cetaphil over other cleanser. I love how it keeps the skin moisturized without the need of moisturizer. It is available in pharmacies and even at your favorite supermarket. It is recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians so I highly recommend this too!

Used Cars: Spot a Great Deal on Second Hand Cars

While most people would go for brand new cars, I would consider buying a second hand unit that can be as good as brand new ones. This I think is a practical way of acquiring a car on a tight budget. If you have been planning to purchase a used car and don’t know much about cars it would be good to have little knowledge on automobiles or tag along a car enthusiast friend when checking the unit.

Below are few tips you should consider buying used cars.

Budget. The reason that you are buying used car is you’re on a budget. Setting your budget will lessen the pressure on your pocket and prevents you from stretching your budget by sticking on what you can afford.

Know the right car. Pretty sure there would be a lot of choices around. Trim down your choices according to your liking and budget. Then find out which model best suits your needs. Visiting a car show room will give you detailed information on a target car.

Know where to look. Visiting a car exchange showroom will give you variety of cars to choose from; from an old Chevrolet with a corvette air conditioning, to a slightly used honda civic, and SUV’s and many more.

Check the body. Have a thorough check. Few things you should look to are rust, oil leaks, tires should be in good conditions, seatbelts and front seat should work properly, dashboard and steering wheel should be bolted correctly, and all functions should work properly.

Engine check. Engine sound should be less squeaky that means the car is in good condition. That will also help identify the car’s mileage.

Test Drive. Checking is not enough; testing the car will definitely divulge the car’s condition.

Legit transaction. There are unscrupulous seller out there. So make sure you are dealing with a legit transaction. Ensure all paper works are properly done. Always ask for receipt in every transaction and make sure the seller’s full name is on it.

It only takes a little wit to spot a good deal on second hand vehicles.