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Most of us look forward to the holidays, because who doesn’t love family, food, and fun?! But if you’re in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, you know how things can get a little chaotic and dare I say stressful… because let’s face it, it’s not easy getting a huge meal prepared on time for a whole bunch of family and friends! Here are some practical and easy Thanksgiving hacks to make your day go a little more smoothly!

 

 

1. Put newspaper under your tablecloth

If you’re using your best table for your Thanksgiving feast, you can protect it from heat stains, spills, and cutlery dings by laying down a layer of newspaper before putting down your tablecloth. You’re welcome!

2. Use a cheese grater to grate cold butter for pies

Homemade pie is the best!! But the very best pie crust calls for super cold butter, which is hard to cut! Grating it with a cheese grater gives you the perfect size pieces to form your dough with.

3. Use paper plates as splash guards

Gravy and whipped cream (and other recipes) that may call for a handheld mixer can also be messy! Lessen the splatter by poking a hole in a paper plate, fitting it on your mixer and over the top of the mixing bowl. Voila! Your very own cheap and easy splash guard!

4. Keep food warm in a slow cooker

Make mashed potatoes ahead of time and keep them warm in a slow cooker until it’s time to serve them. You can also keep your turkey warm and moist this way!

5. Keep gravy warm in a Thermos

Keep your gravy warm the entire meal by storing it in a Thermos! Less stress and more room on the stove!

6. Invest in a Turkey Lifter

Sometimes the trickiest part of Thanksgiving dinner is lifting the cooked turkey out of the pan! Instead of fumbling with forks and utensils, you can buy a turkey lifter which cooks with the bird, easily lifts it up and can be thrown into the dishwasher.

7. Have the kids make place cards

Keep the kids busy by having them make place cards for the guests! Give them some crayons, stickers and other craft items that they can decorate the cards with. They’ll have fun, and the adults will be able to chat and enjoy visiting.

8. Make a “Gratitude” door

Another fun activity for everyone! Cover one of your doors on the main floor with butcher paper and leave a bucket of crayons close by. Every guest can write all the the things they are grateful for on the paper. It makes for a great visual.

9. Drape dish towel over your KitchenAid mixer

Things can get a little messy when you’re using your mixer. Simply drape a dish towel over your KitchenAid when using it to avoid unnecessary splatter!

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Yes. Aren’t you glad we live in a world where stores now offer Christmas ornaments in the shape of lady parts?! Because who wouldn’t want to adorn their tree with a vagina? I’m all for girl power, but definitely undecided when it comes to including “ya-yas” in my holiday decorating. If anything, I’m sure they make amazing conversation starters…or gifts.

 

 

Ahem.

You can purchase your own custom made felt vagina ornament complete with a jingle bell…. through the Etsy store Feltmelons. They come in different colors, and since each and every ornament is hand crafted, there will be slight variations in every ornament. Just like the real thing.

The ornaments are the brain child of Canadian, Suzanne McAleenan who operates her Etsy shop out of her home.

“Each ‘vaginament’ is my own design, and each is endearingly cut, assembled, and entirely stitched by hand in my dining room in Burlington, Ontario, Canada,” she writes.

“No vaginaments are exactly the same…it’s all part of their charm.”

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If ornaments like this are a MUST-have on your Christmas list this year, you might want to order them early since they are shipped from Canada.

Suzanne is currently trying to keep up with a massive amount of orders, but you can sign up through her store to receive updates when more are available.

You know, since it’s not likely these will be sold at Hobby Lobby any time soon…

 

 

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Kraft Mac & Cheese will no longer be bright yellow. After complaints and petitions, Kraft Foods Group Inc. announced that starting in January 2016 the “blue box” Mac & Cheese will no longer include synthetic colors or artificial flavors.

 

 

 

“Kraft will replace the synthetic colors with those derived from natural sources like paprika, annatto and turmeric,” the company said in a statement. “These recipe changes are the latest steps in the Kraft Mac & Cheese journey to delight consumers with on-trend updates to meet consumers’ changing lifestyles and needs.”

They are removing the “potentially harmful” dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.  Kraft has been pushed by consumer groups to remove the dyes for years. “We know parents want to feel good about the foods they eat and serve their families.”  The Mac & Cheese boxed shapes like “Minions” and “Star Wars” are already natural and free of artificial colorings.

Some people are unhappy about this change, what do you think? Will you miss the iconic yellow color or is it better without the artificial dyes?

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Find your happy place at an advance screening of TROLLS in Colorado Springs! For your chance to download a complimentary pass for the screening on October 29 at 10:00 am at Cinemark Carefree Circle please visit http://www.gofobo.com/My719Moms. Seats in the theater are first-come, first-serve so please arrive early! TROLLS opens everywhere November 4.

 

 

Movie Release: November 4, 2016

Cast:  Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Quvenzhané Wallis, with John Cleese and Gwen Stefani

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From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks’ Trolls.  This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. 

Check out the trailer below!

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I think as moms we all have this idea of how “the talk” will go, or how we will handle sensitive questions that our children throw at us… but the moment almost never goes as planned, because usually the moment is totally unpredictable and happens when we least expect it!! Such was the case when my 9-year-old son asked me about periods last week.

 

 

 

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I honestly wasn’t ready for this talk with him! I have two teenage daughters who I literally sat down when they were 8 or 9 and very carefully explained everything to them. I planned for it. I bought books and everything! Maybe it was easier for me because they were girls? I was a girl, so I felt like I could relate to them! But when my SON came to me one evening while I was working and told me my 17-year-old daughter told him “girls have something happen to them every month that hurts and makes them grouchy”, I kind of went into panic mode.  This is how the conversation went:

My son: “I want to know EVERYTHING, mom”

Me: “Are you… sure?” (Kid, this is your escape. Run for the hills!)

Son: “Yes. Everything.”

Me: Deep breath and silent prayers…”Uhh, ok”

“Well, as you know, girls and boys have different body parts, right?”

Son: “Yeah! I have a penis!!”

Me: “Right…well, girls have other parts that help them carry a baby inside their body.”

Son: “Like, their stomach right? I have a stomach too.”

Me: “No, babies don’t grow inside stomachs. They grow inside a ladies uterus, which is like a pouch down here” (motions where it is)

Son: “Ohhh, like a sack?! I have one of those too!”

Me: (heaven help me) “Well, actually this is on the inside of a woman’s body, down here (motions to where it is) And every month it gets ready in case a baby starts growing there. It gets really soft and comfortable and pillowy, the perfect place for a baby!”

At this point my son is completely intrigued. He looks as if someone just handed him 10 packs of Pokeman cards. And I’m patting myself on the back because I’m totally rocking this talk! Everything is going so smoothly…

I continue: “So, if a lady doesn’t get pregnant that month (please don’t ask me how she gets pregnant or I’ll poke my eyes out) her body gets rid of the old stuff in her uterus and it starts all over again”

My son: “Cool, ok, so how does she get rid of the old stuff?”

Me: “Well, that’s a period! It comes out as blood and stuff, from her vagina. She bleeds.”

My son’s expression instantly changes from intrigue to horror (I caught the moment with a photo. See below)

 

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Me: (nervous laugh) Yep, so that’s a period. Aren’t bodies amazing?!! And sometimes it hurts and sometimes it makes girls a little grouchy. And that’s why we buy lots of pads and tampons around here…

Son: “Oh my gosh!” (makes connection) “the pads and tampons catch the BLOOD?!!”

He looks equally disgusted and mesmerized at the same time.

Me: “Well, yes. But even though women don’t like getting their periods, they are very grateful that their bodies can grow babies. Women’s bodies are beautiful and sacred and special.”

Son: “Well, that’s for sure”

This is where I felt like I might cry a little…

Me: “So, how are you feeling about this??”

Son: “Well, I actually feel really grateful that I am a boy right now. And I have something I would like to say to the girls…”

I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

He ran upstairs, found his sisters, and very sincerely and seriously said “Girls, I AM SO SORRY! I am so sorry you have to have periods every month for like 3 or 5 days, and I understand why sometimes you don’t want to talk to me.”

They giggled and laughed, but he was super serious about it, and it was slightly adorable.

Our talk may have been a little awkward, a little unpredictable, and a little messy, but we survived, and it went ok. I don’t know that there is a “right” way to have these talks, because every child and every parent is different. I think the important thing is to know that they will happen so prepare yourself as much as possible! And be sincere about it when they do happen. Talk to your child on their level, using ideas that they can understand and relate to.

The best part is watching my son revel in this new found information. He has a little more confidence now, like he’s discovered a hidden level on a video game. It’s cute, and he’s totally diggin’ it. I also love that it taught him compassion and respect.

And now this mama can breathe for a while…until he wants to know EVERYTHING about how babies are made…

goyag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s that time of year!! You can’t walk into a store these days without running into “Pumpkin Spice” something! I’m not sure how a candle scent and bread/cake flavor transformed into a flavor avalanche of ALL things pumpkin spice…. but it’s become an epidemic of sorts! Now don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally enjoy the scent and flavor of Pumpkin Spice during the Holiday season, I just don’t know if I need it added to everything. Check out some of these crazy Pumpkin Spice products that have been spotted…and let us know, yay or nay??

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice….milk

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Pumpkin Spice Fettuccini 

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Pumpkin Spice Pringles

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Pumpkin Spice Jell-o

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Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter 

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Pumpkin Spice Condoms (ok this one is fake, lol)

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Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Powder

Pumpkin Pie Protein Powder is a vegan protein supplement that can be blended into a smoothie or stirred into breakfast oatmeal for a protein-packed punch of pumpkin flavor. (Photo from AI Sports Nutrition)

 

Pumpkin Spice Dog Shampoo

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Pumpkin Spice Gum

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Check out this hilarious Pumpkin Spice Everything parody!

What crazy pumpkin spice products have you seen? We’d love to hear about them! 

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The US Food and Drug Administration is warning caregivers to stop using Hyland’s homeopathic teething tablets on children, as they continue their investigation of 10 seemingly related childhood deaths and over 400 adverse events associated with the tablets.

 

 

 

The warning came Wednesday, and CVS pharmacies have removed the products from their shelves in light of the statement. The FDA has stated, “the relationship of these deaths to the homeopathic teething products has not yet been determined and is currently under review.”

The FDA is now taking claims seriously after reports of death and illness have been piling in over the past 6 years. They are warning caregivers not to use these homeopathic teething products until they fully investigate the claims and figure out the link.

Symptoms related to the deaths and adverse reactions seem to include fever, lethargy, vomiting, sleepiness, tremors, shortness of breath, irritability and agitation.

The FDA is warning parents who use these products to take their child to the doctor immediately if they exhibit any of the above symptoms.

Hyland’s, the maker of the homeopathic teething tablets issued this statement to CNN:  “Hyland’s has not been made aware of any data that supports the claims in the warning against our teething tablets and gels. Our understanding is that the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation of these products is still ongoing. The fact is that we have not been made aware of any medical or statistical evidence to support a causal link between homeopathic teething tablets and adverse outcomes at this point. We continue to request any available information and statistics from the FDA.”

Despite their confusion about the product having any adverse effects, they have stopped distributing the product in the United States until the product is fully investigated.

As an alternative to teething tablets or gels, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents “massage the child’s gums with a clean finger when a baby is in pain; use a solid teething ring or clean, wet washcloth that’s been chilled in the freezer; frozen bananas, berries or bagels.” Parents can also give their child a weight-appropriate dose of acetaminophen.

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As mothers and consumers of baby products, we trust that the products we buy are safe and reliable for our children to use.  Which is why two moms were recently very startled to find that the baby formula they had purchased was tainted with maggots.

 

 

 

First time mom, Taylor Seyler from Independence, Missouri breastfeeds her two month old son exclusively but was in need of a supplement, so she purchased some Similac baby formula. After feeding him 2 ounces she began to notice worms swimming in her baby’s bottle.

“Two ounces down I noticed the worms and I was like oh. That’s great,” she said. “Took it from his mouth, went and put a napkin over the faucet and we poured it down the drain and we saw the maggots on it.”

She contacted Abbott, the company who manufactures Similac and they responded with this statement:

“We take all concerns about product quality and safety seriously. Parents can be confident that our Similac infant formulas are safe. A third-party entomologist has reviewed the photos and concluded that based on the life cycle, and the age and size of the Indian meal moth larva in the photos, they entered the product after it left our facilities and the safety seal was removed. Our products pass rigorous safety and quality checks, including numerous steps to check for foreign objects and ensure proper packaging.

Indian meal moths are very common and can often be found in kitchen pantries inside flour and cereal. To prevent contamination, caregivers should inspect products before use and practice safe handling with powdered formula, including washing hands, closing containers tightly after each use and storing products in a dry, cool, clean place.”

Unfortunately, Seyler is not the only mom who has recently noticed maggots in baby formula.

Helen Williamson is a mother of four who recently noticed worms in Nutramigen formula.

“I went to burp her like normal. I happened to glance over at the bottle and saw you know waves. I pick up the bottle and hold it in the light and I see worms like inching up. Pick up the can and looked in it and saw pieces of the formula moving inside the can. So I was like oh my gosh,” said Williamson. “I just feel like they’re not doing something right because there wouldn’t be, I’m sorry they look like maggots to me. There wouldn’t be maggots crawling around in my baby’s bottle.”

Mead Johnson is still investigating this incident but did release this statement:

“We can share with you that we have not received any similar complaints on this batch of Nutramigen.  As we understand the situation, the can of product had been opened by the consumer the day before it was used.  It is important to note that the introduction of foreign matter into any Mead Johnson product during the manufacturing and packaging process is extremely unlikely given our numerous stringent safeguards and quality control procedures.”

The moral of the story is to fully check all cans before purchasing to make sure they are properly sealed and have not been tampered with. Also be sure to properly store and seal containers upon bringing them home to ensure freshness and safety. After mixing formula with water, be sure to check it before feeding it to baby. Although harmful contaminants are rare, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I am extremely picky about my bras. They have to fit well for comfort, and I need good support, so the design is important as well. Unfortunately good bras are pretty expensive, so the few I do have need to last as long possible! Bra care is not something many of us have been schooled on, and I am ashamed to admit I typically just throw them in with any other laundry that needs to be done and call it good! However, after some research I learned I am sending them to an early demise by doing so… Here are 10 tips to keep your bras around as long as possible:

 

 

Don’t wear the same bra 2 days in a row

Bras are made from delicate materials, and wearing the some one for 2 days in a row can stretch and break down the material, especially from sweat. If you have a couple favorite bras you wear all the time, it might be good to invest in a couple more of the same brand and style. Wash them at least a couple times a week to extend their life.

 

Store them correctly

Most of us just throw our bras in our underwear drawer and call it good. To keep the cups shape, you actually shouldn’t fold them at all. In bra stores they lay them flat and unfolded for a reason. You might want to make some extra space in your drawer to do the same. It will help keep them looking their best, and in return keep you looking your best!

 

Hand wash your bras whenever possible

It sounds tedious, but it really doesn’t take much longer to hand wash your bras, and it will make a huge difference in how long they last. Just fill up your sink with warm soapy water, soak your bras for about an hour, rinse them with cool water, and then hang them up to dry. Your budget will thank you!

 

Fasten the clasps together at the back before washing

This will prevent the straps from coiling around each other, getting tangled up in the washer or dryer, and also help keep underwires from bending.

 

Use a gentle detergent

Since bras are delicate, you should be using a delicate soap for them. Baby soap is a good alternative to regular detergent or you can buy lingerie detergent.

 

Use the proper water temperature

If your hand washing, use warm water and rinse with cool. If you’re washing them in the washing machine use cool water…even warm water can get too hot and can warp the shape.

 

Use a lingerie bag

If you must use a washing machine, at least purchase a lingerie bag. This will keep your delicates separate from other items in the load, and prevent bras from snagging and getting twisted with other laundry.

 

Select the “gentle” cycle

Always use the gentle cycle if you’re going to use the washing machine, and never mix bras with heavy items like towels, jeans or heavy sweaters, etc. They should always be washed with other delicates.

 

Hang bras to dry

Bras should always be hung up to air dry, and should never be put in the dryer! This will damage the bra and break it down, especially if they are made with Lycra or spandex (which almost all are).

 

If you travel often, buy a travel bag

If you travel regularly, consider purchasing a small travel bag for your delicates. This will keep them in tact and prevent them from being squished with other items, especially if your suitcase is on the smaller side.

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Halloween is around the corner, and chances are you’ve already thought about what your little one will dress up as this year!  There are so many adorable choices out there, but have you noticed how expensive costumes are in the store?!  Yikes.  We’ve gathered some easy-on-the-budget and “spooktacular” DIY costumes for babies.  Thanks Pinterest!

 

 

 

 

Which one is your favorite?

 

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http://incredibleinfant.com/family/diy-baby-costumes/

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http://incredibleinfant.com/family/diy-baby-costumes/

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http://www.costume-works.com/baby_gumball_machine.html

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/16-kids-who-are-not-excited-for-halloween#.linx0Xqgw

 

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http://www.cubebreaker.com/28-childrens-costumes/

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenlewis/22-amazing-kids-halloween-costumes-that-theyre-too-young-to?sub=2588040_1827010#.fu13ON5WL

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/30-halloween-costumes-you-can-make?sub=1822174_640815

 

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http://coolmompicks.com/blog/2014/10/08/funny-creative-diy-halloween-costumes-for-baby/

 

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/106628909/baby-hat-raggedy-ann-wig-pattern-cabbage?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

 

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http://www.howweelearn.com/baby-halloween-costumes/