Potty Training 101

Potty Training 101

Photo Credit: childrensmd.org

Here is just a little advice I’d like to pass along to the mothers of toddlers or those of babies who will soon be toddlers. This list is a culmination of advice given to me, advice read, or advice from, well, me. Please be sure to follow every single one of my suggestions, because these suggestions are the only correct ones. No, I’m serious. If you don’t follow these guidelines you’re a horrible parent. Really.

  • They should be potty trained before the age of 2. If they aren’t, you are not disciplining them enough and they will be intellectually stunted the remainder of their life.
  • They should not be potty trained before the age of 3. It will psychologically damage them for life and they will have constant urinary tract infections for the rest of their life if potty trained before this point (yes, I really read this…).
  • Don’t use pull-ups.
  • Use pull-ups.
  • Let them go naked even when they’re not ready to be potty trained and let them ruin your carpet and stain every surface in your house.
  • Don’t use a potty chair, then they won’t go in a public place.
  • Only use a potty chair, a normal toilet will scare them.
  • Don’t potty train until they are out of a crib and into a normal bed.
  • If you are potty training, don’t let them wear a pull-up or diaper at night.
  • If you are using a potty seat, only keep it in the bathroom.
  • If you are using a potty seat, move it to a central location in the house.
  • Give them rewards when they use the potty, but don’t reward with food because they will reward themselves with food the rest of their lives and it will be your fault if they become binge eaters.
  • Don’t give them rewards when they use the potty, they will expect them every time and will regress if not rewarded.
  • Scold them when they know they should have used the potty, but didn’t.
  • Don’t scold them, it will frighten them enough to not want to use the potty at all.
  • Sit them on the potty every 30 minutes (wait… are we potty training or parent training?).
  • Don’t let them watch TV while trying to use the potty. They shouldn’t be watching TV anyway. At least until they’re 20.
  • Praise them and make a big deal out of going in the potty when they actually go.
  • Don’t make a big deal out of going in the potty, they want to feel like everyone else.
  • Don’t tell them big kids use the potty-it will make them feel inferior if they aren’t ready yet.
  • Don’t use bribes or incentives.

Now that you have obtained a wealth of knowledge, go forth and potty train, parents! It will be a cinch!

How I Work Full Time AND Manage to Cook Dinner Nearly Every Night

How I Work Full Time AND Manage to Cook Dinner Nearly Every Night

This has taken some time to master (and I use the word master loosely), but I have finally been able to regularly make home cooked meals for my family, even as a working mom.  Is it easy?  No, but I’ve found some things that have made my life a little easier.  I also keep an open mind to the possibility of my plans being completely derailed by a toddler who wants to sit and my lap and read (um, yes, please… we can order pizza in that case!) or getting home too late to even begin to cook the chicken breasts I thawed in the fridge.

All of the ideas I provide are just what works for me-find a way that works for you and makes your life easier so you can spend more time with you family!

Download a Recipe App

The Recipe Box App EmblemNo, really… do it. You have no idea how much decision-making time this will cut out of your life.  Who has time to make food decisions?  Not me… or I, or… whatever.  My favorite recipe app is The Recipe Box.  It allows you to import from the web or add your own.  At $3.99 the price is right and I have two copies-on my iPad and iPhone and you can sync them to one another.

If you’re just not a fan of using apps and you prefer good old paper recipes, browse yours instead of an app!

Meal Planning

Once all of your recipes are in one convenient location, it’s simpler to browse your options.  Choose a few that don’t require fresh ingredients. There’s nothing worse than planning a week full of meals, then having to throw away half of the ingredients because you don’t actually get to make a few meals.  If a few meals are planned that require several fresh ingredients and a few are planned that use mainly jarred or canned ingredients, then you’re more likely to succeed at wasting as few ingredients as possible.  I also try to plan very few meals that require me to chop a million vegetables-ain’t nobody got time for that!  Usually I select at least one or two crock pot meals.  Chop the veggies or brown the meat the night before and the next morning throw it all in.

Start small-plan for 2 or 3 fully prepared meals that week, then work your way to a full week if that’s your goal!

I also keep a small chalkboard in my kitchen to remind my family (ok, ok… so I use it to remind myself) what we’ll be having every evening.

Make Your Shopping List

Keep a running list on your fridge. When you run low on something, add it to the list. Add all of the ingredients you don’t currently have for the meals you planned for the week as well.

Browse Grocery Ads

Choose ONE store you will go to this week. It becomes overwhelming to try to make it to every sale. Choose one store and see what might be on sale that you would normally use or may need to stock up on. Add these to your current list.

Shop ‘Til You Drop or My Personal Favorite… Order Pickup

Yep-spend the money on an order pickup. If time is a problem for you, it’s money well spent. This also allows me to see what might be on sale, but didn’t make it to the sale ad.  If an item on my list isn’t on sale and I can do without it another week, I leave it on the list for the following week.  If you prefer to pick up your own groceries and have the time, even better!

New Skincare Faves

New Skincare Faves

So, you know how your skincare regimen works for a hot second and you think, “Wow!  I finally have this skincare thing under control…”, then, BOOM: you breakout worse than you ever did in your teens.  Well, here are my new revised suggestions… until they stop working.

African Black Soap


african black soapIt’s as simple as its name: a bar of soap that happens to be a lovely shade of… well, black.  It’s simple: wash your face with it twice a day.  Yes.  You heard me-wash your face.  Simple, right?  This stuff is so great at removing dirt and oil that I use it for my makeup brushes and even the dreaded cleansing of the beauty blender.  GUYS-it cleans the beauty blender.  No need to say anything more.  Oh, one more thing-it’s CHEAP!

Shea Moisture also makes a great scrub for acne prone skin.  I use this twice a week (sometimes more in the winter) to remove dead skin and keep my skin feeling soft.

Moisturizer with Collagen

collagen moisturizer

St. Ives makes a great moisturizer containing both Collagen and Elastin.  I’m hesitant to admit that I need it, but… it definitely does the job when it comes to fine lines and *gulp* wrinkles.  It’s very affordable and a little bit goes a long way.