If you are like me then you know the value of allowing yourself some child-free time. I’d like to keep my sanity please. Whether it be by yourself, a much needed date-night with your spouse, or even to just get the grocery shopping or laundry done without little ones in tow; casual childcare, especially with the going rate of teen babysitters these days, can be a luxury many families just cannot afford. If you find yourself in this boat and are desperate for a mini break, its time to get creative with these childcare alternatives!
Creative Childcare Alternatives That Won’t Cost a Dime
1. Swap Child Care with a Mom-Friend.
If you have friends with children around the same age as yours offer to trade child care with each other. Local mom groups on FB are a great way to make mom-friends and find other parents open to swapping child care. You take the kids one evening, and the other set of parents take the kids another evening, and both sets of parents will enjoy a free night away!
The summer weather in July was amazing this year! We have been spending more and more time outside all day. We live on the west coast of Canada which brings it’s fair share of rainy days for a good portion of the year. Granted, all that rain also brings us lush green forests, beautiful lakes and amazing scenery…but for me, nothing beats the long warm sunny days of summer.
My daughter LOVES being outside – anytime the door opens she is making a break for it – rain or shine! If you have a little one I’m sure you will be taking advantage of the summer heat by spending lots of time outdoors too. I’ve gotten many ideas for outside play from our beloved daycare, and found a few of our own so far this summer. My daughter is 18 months at the time of this post and below is a list of our favorite 12 must have summer toys for babies and toddlers around her age. The best part – most summer goods are starting to go on sale in August making it great to prepare for next year!
I love Starbucks. There, I said it – I know there are some people who boycott starbucks because every single bean out of the million-trillions of beans they use aren’t 100% green, organic or GMO free and will tell me I should avoid them too…but there are some circumstances that practically call for having a Starbucks. Summer shopping in the city – Frapp me up! Cold fall day stroll – Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte please. If the Spice Girls ever need a 6th member and the prerequisites are based on PSL consumption, I could easily be cast as Pumpkin Spice. During the Holidays I can be found skipping merrily towards my nearest Starbucks singing “all I want for Christmas is an eggnog latte”. And for pretty much any time life is giving me the gears and I still have to push forward, nothing hits the spot better than swinging in the drive thru for a venti double shot of starbucks anything. That first sip is absolute zen. Ahhhh.
Even if we’d like to, sometimes it’s not possible to get to a Starbucks every day. Or maybe your daily macchiato habit is getting a little expensive? Luckily there are a bunch of awesome Starbucks copy cat recipes to make your own! Below I have shared the best recipes I have come across that are the closest to the real deal.
My daughter is almost 18 months old and I am recovering from postpartum depression. Actually, post-weaning depression to be exact. Post-weaning depression? Huh? I didn’t know that was a thing either. I didn’t know it was a thing, a very real thing, for almost 8 months, with all the same physically and mentally draining shit-mix of emotions and hormones paired with unbearable anxiety and irritability…all the things every mother dreams of being. *NOT*
I fully weaned my daughter when she was about 10 months old. She was down to only 2 feeds a day, I was back to work, and she was showing less and less interest in it. I felt a little sad and knew I would miss our bonding time, but at the same time, I could see light at the end of the tunnel. She weaned quickly without any signs of emotional difficulty, and I only had one short bout of plugged milk ducts that cleared up within a couple days.
It’s common knowledge that a major hormonal shift happens after birth and that shift is the underlying cause for postpartum depression. What I didn’t know is that a similar shift occurs again when a woman stops breastfeeding. Slowly I started to feel an unrecognized change in me. I didn’t even know postpartum depression could occur anytime within the first year since giving birth. It didn’t cross my mind that the shift within my myself that I was feeling could be related to postpartum depression – I was 10 months out after all. Just when I should be feeling happy to have extra freedom since weaning and to have my body be all mine again, right? Wrong.
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We live in a world where it is too easy to toss things and just buy new, but I love finding ways to reuse something or turn it into something useful and neat rather than throwing it away. And if it can save me money from not having to buy something new…I’m down for that! Anything from empty pop bottles to lip balm containers – these are 11 cool things to make from plastic containers that I have either tried or plan on it!
The topic of this post a little different than what I typically write about, but because I love sharing little tips and tricks with others, I thought todays topic could be helpful for some of my fellow new bloggers out there. Below are the top affiliate companies and programs I work with that have turned out to be the best performers for earning money.
I officially started monetized my blog in May 2016. What this means is I may include affiliate links and/or sponsored posts in my blog that allow me to earn a bit of money. Getting started has taken a bit of learning and practice but I am now starting to see my efforts pay off. Some weeks I make a little more than others and it all comes down to how much time and effort I put into my blog that week, but now that I have gotten the hang of it and honed my writing style, it doesn’t take very much effort at all. If you are consistent and write good content that people find useful you can find that a post containing an affiliate link can still be bringing in money months later. I love sharing and passing on useful information if it can help others. Which brings me to the links of my favorite affiliate programs for blogging.
If you have a baby on the way and plan to breastfeed or know someone who is this is an AWESOME FREEBIE! Breastpads.com are offering 10 FREE pairs of washable breast pads with Insane in the Mombrain promo code PJBABY.
When I was about 7 months pregnant I started realizing I may need a little more for when the baby arrives. I was thinking of all the main items like a place for her to sleep, carseat, clothing, diapers, etc…but then one day I was reading an article (probably something super relaxing along the lines like “even more things to remember before baby arrives…”) and among those things they mentioned getting a comfortable nursing bra and breast pads if choosing to breastfeed. I had the bras, but breast pads had not even crossed my mind before! When I punched “washable breast pads” into Google, I came across Breastpads.com – a company that was giving away 10 free pairs of breast pads. All you had to pay was the shipping. Being the skeptic that I am, I did a quick search for reviews but didn’t come up with much. So having zero previous experience with these I figured what the heck and ordered them.
This whole chicken crock pot recipe is so simple and easy, I almost thought it was too good to be true the first time I made it! Summer is a busy time of year for us: Myra’s dad works out of town as a fisherman for most of it and so between 2+ hours of commuting, daycare drop offs and pick ups, and me also working full time…dinners are usually thrown together and last minute. Enter the crock pot: It makes it so easy to toss ingredients into the night before, turn it on before we leave the house the next morning and then we come home from a long day to a house that smells delish and dinner hot and ready! This whole chicken recipe is one of my fav’s.
One of the best things I have learned from daycare since my daughter, Myra, started a little over a month ago is all the great ideas for play and fun for her age. I don’t know if it’s the worrier in me, or maybe subconsciously I just want to keep my baby a baby forever, but I often seem to think that certain toys and activities are still too “big” for her. Like finger paint and colouring for example. I knew the day would come when we would sit down and do arts and crafts like these and I looked forward to them….it just never dawned on me that doing them at the age of 15 months would work…but it’s actually awesome!
I remember when I was a kid – I LOVED learning and educational games. Heck, I still do. Anything that exercises my busy brain and is fun at the same time is a win win in my books. My daughter is 16 months now and is like a walking and babbling learning sponge…you can practically see the knowledge being absorbed! I recently discovered a really cool online store that specializes in learning tools, resources and games just for kids: Educents. I have already found so many neat ideas in the Pre-K section for my daughter and it goes all the way up to College so I’m looking forward to checking out each section as she grows. If your child is interested in Minecraft, butterflies, space, architecture, traveling…you name it, or you do home schooling, Educents probably offers a way to turn your child’s interests into a fun lesson. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to check out Educents’ new freebie at the bottom of this post!