Planning a baby shower can be a nightmare if you don’t know where to begin. From invitations to location, food, and activities, there are countless things that need to be done to get ready. Luckily, there are a number of websites and apps that have made planning events like these much easier.
Here are three simple tools that you can use to plan the perfect baby shower for the mom-to-be in your life:
1. Find a Date That Works for Everyone
Choosing a date for an event can be a hassle. Because everyone has different schedules that have a tendency to change on a dime, it can be difficult and downright frustrating to find a date and time when everyone is available.
Instead of spending your time and energy making dozens of phone calls or sending out text messages, try simplifying the situation by using an online scheduling tool. Websites like Doodle are helpful in finding a date and time that will work for everyone on your guest list. With this method, simply log in to your account and choose a number of available dates and times that your guests can choose from. Then, enter the email addresses of everyone that you would like to invite so that they can enter their availability and you can find the perfect time that works for most everyone you invite without the hassle of having to call everyone up one by one.
2. Send Electronic Invitations
Physical invitations are always a nice touch, but they can be expensive and time consuming. Instead of sending snail mail invitations, you can opt for an online service such as Evite, which allows you to create a professional looking electronic invitation. There are free designs available, or you can pay a bit more for premium designs that allow for a bit more customization. Using this platform, you can also have guests RSVP through the e-card, making your guest list organized and easy to access.
3. Create an Online Registry
To ensure that the guest of honor receives the perfect gifts at her baby shower, make sure that she has an online gift registry that everyone can access. The best way to do this is by consolidating registries on a website such as MyRegistry.com. Here, the mother-to-be can sync her preexisting registries from most major retailers and can new items instantly through a button added to their browser. Share the link on your electronic invitation to ensure that everyone has easy access.
You feel like a bomb has gone off in your home and it is impossible to pick up the pieces. Your teenager is out of control, going out at all hours, running with a crowd that spells ‘trouble.’ You have found evidence of drinking and drug use and when you confront them, they react with violence. The police have already been to your home a few times due to domestic disputes. You don’t want to lay a hand on your child, but you feel threatened. Something has got to give. You fear for your teen’s life if something doesn’t change, but you don’t know what to do.
Find Out Where Your Teen is Going
If your teenager has a cellphone, you can track where they are at all times with a little help from the phone company. Otherwise, pay attention. Watch your teen closely, and when possible, follow them from a distance or hire someone who can. It may seem extreme, but you need to know exactly what is going on before you can come up with solutions. Get proof of what your teen is doing in order to form a plan of action.
Allow the Authorities to Handle the Situation
If your child is picked up by police for getting in trouble, don’t bail them out. Let them stay at the police station and wait it out for the night. It’s tough love, but it could make a world of difference. They need to realize that there are serious consequences for their actions. You might see them turn around if they realize that their life is heading in the wrong direction and you’re not there to bail them out of the trouble they get into.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. Turn to a facility like the Wood Creek Academy, a therapeutic boarding school and teen wilderness program for young men. Consider a boot camp program that is intense and places your child in a supportive, yet restrictive environment. Remove access from all sources of temptation and negative influences. Your troubled teen needs to take charge of their life and recognize the fact that they are headed for a dead end. With the assistance of professionals, your teen will band together with other young people who are also struggling. You need to act swiftly before it is too late in order to set your teenager on the right path again.
This post was written as part of a sponsored campaign in participation with One2One Network. All opinions (and cat anecdotes) are my own.
Me and my fiance are the proud pet parents (yes, I’m one of those people) to five delightfully quirky cats. Having a five-cat household was not something we planned or set out to do. Rather, our feline family came together in the same way great authors have described going bankrupt, the throws of depression, and falling in love — slowly, and then all at once.
We adopted our oldest cat, Devin, 9 years ago, just months after my fiance and I moved in together. She was nearing adulthood, her chances of finding a loving forever home slim, and she was mine from the moment I first saw her sitting in a cage by herself and she stuck her paw out at me as I walked by.
Devin can be cantankerous. She has always been the kind of cat that doesn’t want to be bothered unless she comes to you first, and she can go from being tolerant of your attention to lashing out with just a twitch of her tail. But there’s more to her than that, and we saw the true depth of her loving and compassionate nature when we agreed to take in a male kitten a friend of a friend had and could no longer take care of four years later.
We call Devin and Vincent the OG’s of our cat clan. Devin was our first, having been with us throughout the majority of our entire relationship, but we had fully intended on Vincent being the last. While I have always been an animal lover (me and animals have always gotten along easier and better than me and other people) and would gladly take on an animal sanctuary if I had the space and money for it, we agreed that two cats were enough for us, especially because at the time we were apartment living.
Then in the winter of 2012 we bought and moved into our own home. By the summer of 2013, we agreed to take in a kitten a friend of my aunt’s was trying to find a home for. A petite little girl who was the runt of her litter, Sylvia is truly unique. She is a polydactyl, meaning she has a harmless congenital physical abnormality that gives her more than the usual number of toes. She has eight toes on one of her front paws, seven on the other, and five on both of her back paws. She had me at polydactyl.
Just five months after Sylvia came into our lives, in the fall of 2013, we rescued two kittens who were born under the shed in our backyard. I named them Sid and Nancy, yes after the bass player of the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious, and his tumultuous lover.
I think Sid and Nancy had always been meant to be ours. They were born in our backyard, they took over our entire outside property as their own, and they began sleeping on our back porch every night. They always knew they were already home, they were just waiting for us to realize it.
Slowly, and then all that once. That is how we became a five-cat household.
While cats bring a tremendous amount of love, joy, and hilarious antics into the lives of their owners, they can also be downright stinky. Yes, I am talking about the litter box.
We have three litter boxes around the house and as you might imagine, controlling litter box odor is no easy task. We have tried multiple different litters from various different brands, and while we have used the same litter for the past couple years, my main complaint has always been that it is so heavy, and doesn’t seem to last as long as I think it should.
For a five-cat household, we go through 40 pounds of cat litter about every two months. Have you ever carried a 40 pound box, or pushed a cart weighing in at over 40 pounds from one side of a warehouse store to the other? Frankly speaking, it sucks.
A couple of weeks ago, Cat’s Pride sent Devin, Vincent, Sylvia, Sid, and Nancy a box full of goodies.
The box arrived on Valentine’s Day, which I thought was appropriate, and included the cutest little white branded coat that exactly none of my cats were amused in being dressed in (but we sure had fun trying!), a new remote-controlled mouse toy, and 12 pounds of the new Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter.
Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter is 50% lighter, making it much easier to carry from one end of a warehouse store to the next, and 99.9% dust free. This is a big deal, as the cloud that can develop over a litter box during and after you’ve filled it with new litter can be seriously irritating to the eyes and nose. Not having to combat dust has been a welcomed relief!
Formulated for multiple cat households, the Multi-Cat Scoop variety of this litter has really simplified the cat cleanup I do on a daily basis. The lightweight litter contains no fillers and forms into rock hard clumps that are easy to scoop. It is premium scented (though unscented varieties are available) with a pleasant fragrance that isn’t overpowering. It simply neutralizes litter box odor while filling the area with a fresh scent that doesn’t make it obvious that you’re trying to cover up any unwanted smells from three litter boxes.
The motto of Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter is “Light Done Right!” and after using it these past couple weeks, I couldn’t agree more.
New Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter is available in scented and non-scented varieties. Head on over to Cat’s Pride to check them out.
Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter Giveaway
We have partnered with Cat’s Pride and One2One Network to give one lucky cat lady (or gentleman) a 12lb container of new Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter.
This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and will end March 10 at 11:59pm ET.
Meet Enoki and Bunapi, two Winter White Dwarf hamsters who are living the high life in their very own miniature apartment.
If you think you aren’t a hamster person then let us assure you, you are wrong. You just haven’t seen hamsters relax with a snack in front of the TV, take a dip in a sand-filled bathtub, and nap in their very own sleeping quarters.
And if you think tiny hamsters hanging out in a tiny apartment wasn’t cute enough, watch as little Enoki is tucked into a pink and white bed fit for mini royalty, complete with a matching polka dot blanket to keep them warm.
While these videos are undeniably adorable, let us quell some natural questions that arise with videos such as these.
The creator of these “Happy Hammy” videos, Jaieden Ace Shen, has clarified in the comments of both videos that their hamsters absolutely do not live in this “apartment” full-time. Enoki and Bunapi have a natural hamster habitat with proper food, water, bedding, tunnels, exercise toys, and lots of space. They are under no stress when placed in their apartment setting, as is easily seen with how comfortable and well-adjusted they are roaming around and utilizing the amenities.
While raising kids has never been easy, it can be one of the most rewarding things that some people do — especially when children grow up to be productive, contributing members to society, and that includes knowing how to give back and enrich the communities in which they live.
When should children start participating in the giving process? As early as possible. Even if they are still toddlers, observing charitable acts that happen regularly and eventually understanding them will leave a big impression. Learning how to give and developing that skill set is a lifelong journey.
Giving is more than a task, it’s a mindset. A way of life, a way of looking at the world and asking, how can I help? How can I make connections between needs and time and resources? How can I bring awareness to specific needs and evoke action?
Ask Your Kids How They Would Like to Help.
If giving to a cause is new to your household, involve your kids as early as possible; tell them that your family has the chance to give back. Then, engage them in a conversation about the types of causes they may feel strongly about and ways they think they can help.This could involve helping families, working to save open spaces, caring for nature or a community garden, helping to save an endangered species, or helping those in need.
Once you’ve identified key topics that your family is interested in (make a list, as this helps visualize everything) start researching specific local organizations (add them to the list).
Pet shelters and animal rescues
Nature conservation efforts
Fundraising for various activities for low-income kids, like camp
Zoos, museums, and aquariums
Schools and local libraries (these days, even they need as much help as they can get)
Visitation of patients in hospitals
Visitation of the elderly in nursing homes
Make a Game Plan
Get creative about how your family can help the organization(s) you choose. Bake sales are traditional, but there are other ways to help. Talk it through with your family, map it out, and post the results somewhere in the home that is highly visible.
Gamify it to some degree with tasks that turn into goals that turn into accomplishments, that result in stickers.
Quick Tasks and Ideas That Can Make a Big Difference
Clear the clutter. Every 6 to 12 months, have a household closet cleaning day (that includes the toy chest, and maybe even the garage). Get everyone in the family to help.
Make a donate box. Put it out where your kids can add to it. Donate often, even if it’s small.
Make detours to giving. When shopping, make a trip down the canned food aisle. Ask your kids to pick a can of food to put in your donate box at home.
Find ways to raise money for donations. Hold a yard sale and give all or a portion of your sales to a selected charity. Do the same with a bake sale, an art sale, etc. Involve your kids at all stages.
Associate getting with giving. For birthdays and holidays, aside from their other gifts, give your kids a hand-written gift “certificate of giving” with a specified amount of money that they can gift to their favorite charity. Take your child to the charity to donate that money in-person if you can. For non-location organizations, write a check and have your child include a letter.
Volunteer time in your local community. From public gardens that need weeding, to historic buildings that need painting, or food banks that need help, find something age-appropriate that can engage your family.
Growing the Mindset
Tell stories. There are lots of real-life stories about kids or groups of kids who have found creative ways to give back. Encourage empathy. Share appropriate stories of struggle. Ask kids what they would do in a certain situation, and how they would want people to help them.
Walk them through the cycle. If your kids are young, say, “We’re going to give this can of food/winter coat/gift to ______.” (Then explain the results.) “It will give them something to eat/keep them warm this winter/help them __________.”
Explain why you are doing it and what you’re looking for. “We don’t need to store all this stuff when someone else could really use it.” Or, “I bet there is a kid out there who would really enjoy playing with that toy. I know you used to love it, but how about if you pass it along to someone else so they can enjoy it as much as you have?” Keep the focus on the people in need and your child’s ability to share an experience through an item. Establishing an impermanent relationships to “things” can help kids better understand the importance of relationships over acquiring goods.
Develop a language of giving in your household. Find creative opportunities to incorporate it into regular conversation. Nothing is permanent. We are stewards of the planet, and the things we think we own. Everything is in change, and it is our duty to help those in need when we have abundance. If ever there is a time when we are without, we hope that others will think of us and help us.
Teaching children about the struggles of others not only develops a lifelong giving mindset, it also helps children understand how their words and actions impact those around them — a lesson that bears repeating.
This article has been republished with permission and provided to Woman Tribune by the authors. Read more about them below.
Jennifer L. Jacobson is the founder of Jacobson Communication and an advocate for organizations looking to make a positive difference in the world. She currently serves on the board of several influential nonprofits and organizations focused on conservation, education, and community. For more, visit www.jacobsoncommunication.com
Gretchen Barry is the Director of marketing and Communications for NonProfitEasy; the all-in-one data management software, created by nonprofits for nonprofits. From CRM and database management, to events, donor engagement, fundraising, and more, NonProfitEasy offers a one-stop, affordable, integrated software solution that is changing the status quo for the greater good. For more, visit www.nonprofiteasy.com
Father’s Day is just days away. If you’re still on the hunt for a great gift you know dad will actually love, head on over to IfOnly.
IfOnly connects individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities. The IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide is full of gifts unique from all the rest from $48 to $4,800,000 (wowza!) and everything in between.
Here are some of our IfOnly experience and gift top picks:
IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection ($125)
A collection of 35 total recipes created by a roster of star mixologists. The collection debuts with an elegant polished lacquered recipe box, a hand-signed recipe from Master Mixologist Dale Degroff, and 11 classic drink recipes. Each month, two seasonal recipes from master mixologists will arrive in dad’s mailbox to complete the collection. A truly unique gift for the cocktail connoisseur in your life.
Proceeds from the IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection benefit The Museum of the American Cocktail, a nonprofit dedicated to education in mixology and preserving the rich history of the American cocktail.
Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto ($3,000)
Work side-by-side with Chef Jonathan Waxman for an afternoon at Barbuto. Learn to craft the casual, rustic Italian food that Chef Waxman is famous for and soak in the pace and rhythm of a famous kitchen. Leave the kitchen inspired to make your next great meal and return later in the evening with a guest for a celebratory dinner at the restaurant. Take home a personalized and hand-signed cookbook as a memento of your experience.
Proceeds from the Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an American pediatric cancer charity.
We have been loving IfOnly since right before Christmas when we discovered their unique take on combining life lists and magical experiences with gifting and sharing.
IfOnly connects individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities. For both Christmas and Valentine’s Day, they offered up decadent candy collections created by award-winning chefs. True to form, their Mother’s Day gifts set the bar for sophistication and luxury even higher.
Whether you would like to gift your mom with an incredible experience that will last a lifetime or an extraordinary gift that can be wrapped in a beautiful box, the IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide is filled with stunning and exciting gift ideas that any mom would be thrilled to receive on her special day.
Women Winemaker Collection Curated by Debbie Zachareas ($175)
Share the gift of wine and enjoy the best from wine country’s women winemakers with a hand-picked collection from Debbie Zachareas, one of the Bay Area’s foremost wine experts and buyer for Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.
Debbie’s selection includes three bottles of California wines representing varied styles from female winemakers who are at the top of their game. Your collection will arrive in a handsome tote bag with Debbie’s tasting notes.
Proceeds from the Women Wine Maker Collection Curated by Debbie Zachareas benefit Family House, an organization that provides temporary housing to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital.
James Beard Cookbook Hand-Signed by Alice Waters ($100)
Own a piece of history as the James Beard Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary with a legendary cookbook featuring past Outstanding Chef Award winners. Includes delectable recipes, beautiful photography, and profiles of these culinary masters. Hand-signed by Alice Waters, this one-of-a-kind publication is the perfect addition to any foodie’s library.
Proceeds from the James Beard Cookbook Hand-Signed by Alice Waters benefits the James Beard Foundation and its mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.
This is a sponsored post and giveaway. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.
Mark your calendars: Mother’s Day is May 11th. Who am I kidding? Your calendar has been marked for weeks. Now all you need is a great gift to make your mom (or mother figure) feel as special as ever.
Spring is full of occasions for flowers. My grandmother’s house always smells of sweet lilacs throughout the season, starting on the very first day spring decides to grace us with its presence. This year’s astoundingly harsh winter only made my grandmother’s appreciation for lilacs greater, and the first morning when the weather seemed favorable and warm, my aunt ran out to the store for a great big bouquet.
Fresh flowers are a big deal and so is your mom.
Teleflora has a wonderful assortment of Mother’s Day bouquets starting at $29.99.
Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for the flower business. Teleflora has same-day Mother’s Day flower delivery on all bouquets. Each bouquet is hand-arranged and delivered by a local florist, so you can be sure that the flowers you order will make it to their recipient fresh, beautiful, and on time.
If flowers are just part of your Mother’s Day gift, Teleflora has also put together the perfect all-in-one Mother’s Day gift that covers roses and relaxation. You can couple your Teleflora rose bouquet with a $25, $50, or $100 Spafinder Wellness 365 eGift Card.
If you really want to go all out, there is the Everything Rosy Gift Bouquet (pictured above). This very special delivery includes a beautiful bouquet of bright and light pink roses, a Spafinder eGift Card of your chosen denomination, as well as a candle, body wash, and lotion packaged in a decorative rose basket.
Spafinder eGift Cards can be used at over 20,000 spas and wellness locations worldwide.
Save 20% at Teleflora
Woman Tribune readers can get 20% off Mother’s Day flowers at Teleflora with promo code BLOGS1R. Or you can click on the link above for the 20% to be automatically discounted from your order.
Gift code valid until October 16, 2014.
$75 Teleflora Gift Code Giveaway
Who doesn’t love fresh flowers in the spring? Teleflora has generously provided us with the opportunity to give one lucky reader a $75 Teleflora gift code. You can use the code for yourself or get a bouquet delivered to your mom, grandmother, aunt, sister, or any other inspiring, amazing woman in your life.
This giveaway is open to US and CAN entrants ages 18+ and will end May 7.
Corey and Topanga are all grown up and still as charming as ever in the “Boy Meets World” spin-off “Girl Meets World,” coming soon to Disney Channel.
We’ve heard rumors about “Girl Meets World” for a while now, and nostalgia-racked millennials (including myself) have been squeeing in anticipation. The Disney Channel is sure to have a laugh when they see the spike in viewers ages 24-30.
There is no release date set for when the new family comedy is set to premiere, but we do have the very first trailer featuring Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as parents to their tween daughter, Riley, played by Rowan Blanchard. The trailer also introduces Sabrina Carpenter as Maya, Riley’s best friend. Because what is a “Boy Meets World” spin-off without the best friend who is treated just as good as family?
I received a Shopping Planner for New Moms for review thanks to Just for Mom Savings and PartnersHub. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.
Life with a new baby is an adjustment. Your daily routine is thrown into upheaval the moment you first walk into the door with your new bundle of joy, the hours in your day seem to rapidly decrease, and your shopping list grows just as much. There’s a reason why most every parent in history has at one time stood inside a florescent-lit store wearing sweatpants in the middle of the night with a pack of diapers under their arm.
Adding a new little person to the family is a special life moment, and with a whole host of new adjustments to get used to and early parenthood memories to make, worrying about saving money shouldn’t have to weigh on your shoulders. That is where the Life Moments Shopping Planner for New Moms by Just for Mom Savings comes in.
On average, new parents spend an additional $10,400 in the first years of their child’s life. The Shopping Planner for New Moms is part organizer and part coupon book designed as an all-in-one book to save new parents time and money. I recently had the chance to check it out, and it really is a great resource for any new parent. It is brand new, has lofty goals, and will only get bigger and better from here.
On a quest to save new moms everywhere time, energy, and money, while avoiding errand anarchy, the Shopping Planner for New Moms keeps everything you need to keep track of in one convenient place.
With beautifully designed weekly calendars that will keep you organized for 11 straight weeks, there is ample space to write in meal plans, shopping lists, and important notes. At the bottom of each weekly calendar page, there is either a recipe or a helpful shopping or planning tip, which is a really thoughtful addition.
In each Life Moments book is a coupon section full of high value coupons from brands new parents seek out most, like Gerber, Lansinoh, and Baby Einstein. Other brands collaborating with Just for Mom Savings include Bio-Oil, Dolphin Organics, California Baby, and zulily, just to name a few.
Just for Mom Savings wants to spread the money-saving cheer far and wide with this savvy new resource for moms. While the coupon book is a little thin right now, it is still impressive with over $100 in savings. Of course, the more new moms who sign up, the more brands will follow.
Get a Free Shopping Planner for New Moms Coupon Book
The very best thing about the Shopping Planner for New Moms is that it is completely FREE. Each household that signs up will be mailed a planner each quarter full of high value coupons, tips, recipes, and a space to keep you organized when your brain fails; and your brain will fail from time to time.
You can sign up with Just for Moms Savings to start receiving the Shopping Planner for New Moms. You can also opt in to receive free samples! How cool is that?
No more clipping, cutting, and organizing coupons that expire before you can use them. The Shopping Planner for New Moms keeps them in one convenient place that’s small enough to take with you anywhere.