• Capturing the First Months

    So much is going on during those first few months of having a new little one in your life. With Soren, we were learning to adjust to parenthood, had lots of visitors and tried to sleep whenever we could. Not to mention recovering from the delivery! I wanted to make sure we took time to capture the special moments of having a new baby, especially since they change to quickly! Here are a few of my tips for easily capturing those special moments.

    1. QUICK TO CLICK - Having a smartphone is incredible. It makes taking photos of Soren so easy. We continually have our phones near us, so in the event of him doing something cute or sleeping in an adorable position, we're sure to capture it.

    2. STRIKE A POSE - While we have TONS of cell phone photos of Soren, I also like to take time to take more professional looking photos with my DSLR. For the first month, every time he would turn a week older, I would take him in his nursery during the morning sunlight and take photos of him. The natural

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  • Making your own pizza is fun for the whole family, but growing your own ingredients can take your slice to the next level. Regina Ragone is the food director at Family Circle magazine, and she stopped by "Easy Does It" to demonstrate how to create our very own pizza garden.

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    Why grow a pizza garden? "It's a great way to get your kids in the cooking process, Regina explains. "And when kids actually get involved in the gardening, they'll eat more vegetables." Simply choose your favorite herbs and veggies; some classics are tomato, basil, oregano, peppers, and parsley.

    The best part? You don't necessarily need a backyard to start your garden. "If you don't have a ton of space outside, you can start your garden indoors," Regina says. Look for inexpensive biodegradable fiber pots — they will allow you to start seeds inside — then transfer to a larger pot (or outdoor garden) without harming the environment.

    WATCH: Lighter Spring Desserts

    Pick up some

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  • Here's how to get a sunnier start to your day.

    By Corrie Pikul

    Photo: Thinkstock

    Have a little tulip with your coffee.

    Why it works: Evolutionary psychologists believe that we see flowers and plants as a subconscious cue of safety ("Things can grow here-let's set down roots"), reward ("All that foraging paid off") and promise ("These buds mean that fruit is on the way"). So the sight of a colorful bouquet in the morning, they theorize, can convince you that everything's coming up roses today.

    Strange, true thing that might convince you: In a study led by Harvard Medical School psychologist Nancy Etcoff, PhD, women who saw flowers when they woke up reported feeling happier (and less anxious) at home, as well as more energetic at work.

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    Sleep on your right side.

    Why it works: It will influence your dreams. Turkish researchers found that people who tend to sleep on their right side have mellower dreams, with themes of relief, joy, peace and love. They

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  • Kids who play more violent video games are more likely to fantasize about violence.Kids who play more violent video games are more likely to fantasize about violence.

    By Susan E. Matthews, Everyday Health

    Most parents would prefer their kids spend more time reading books than playing violent video games, and another study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, confirms that their instincts are correct: Violent video games are again linked to an increase in aggression. The kids who reported playing more violent video games were more likely to think hitting was acceptable and were more likely to fantasize about violence than kids who did not, the research found. The new study also shows that these emotional changes happen in kids regardless of their age or gender, or how aggressive the child is from the start.

    RELATED: Violent Video Games Tied to Combative Thinking

    But even all the scientific research in the world probably isn't enough to convince your kid to put down the controller - 90 percent of American children play video games, after all. So as a parent, what can you do to make sure your kid isn't overexposed to violent video games? Here's a guide for

    Read More »from Video Game Survival Guide for Parents and Kids
  • By Kelly Schryver, Senior Education Content Specialist, Common Sense Media

    Capturing and posting casual moments seems consequence-free. But, of course, it's not.Capturing and posting casual moments seems consequence-free. But, of course, it's not.You probably never thought you'd see the day when Facebook wasn't the center of teens' universe. But keeping up with Facebook friends through ad-filled newsfeeds and lengthy profiles, especially given the fact that everyone knows your name, is starting to feel tiresome to many teens.

    Facebook is still a go-to place for many things, such as wishing someone a happy birthday or stalking a crush. However, newer social apps make it easier, faster, and more fun to capture and share fleeting moments -- sometimes anonymously. These temporary and anonymous-messaging apps provide an environment that feels more appropriate to the random, silly, saucy, and experimental sides of the average teenager.

    Perhaps most importantly to teens, these apps can feel consequence-free. But of course they're not. Data never really disappears, and anonymity carries big risks. If you don't recognize the apps your kid is currently obsessing

    Read More »from Trend Alert: 6 Messaging Apps that Let Teens Share (Iffy) Secrets
  • Tips on Working from Home with a Newborn

    In February of 2013 I quit my 9-5 job and started working full-time with my best friend as a graphic designer and blogger. After 3 years of slowly building up our business we were finally ready to take the dive and be our own bosses. After finding out Jon and I were pregnant in May of 2013, I was especially thankful to already have a position working from home.

    I took a month off for maternity leave when Soren was born and did my best to enjoy every moment with him as a newborn. It was a wonderful and challenging four weeks and I was thankful for every minute. I had a lot of nerves going back to work and after nearly a month back I've learned some great strategies for taking care of baby and getting work done!

    1. PLAN IT OUT - Every Monday morning I sit down and write out my schedule for the week. I write out Jon's plans, my plans and all of the things I NEED to get done that week. It's helpful to see everything for the week planned out and cross off my to-do's as I go along. I do my

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  • Lighter Spring Desserts

    Nobody likes to skip dessert, and with lighter sweets for spring, you won't have to! Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli shows how to make strawberry tartlets that are adorable to look at and incredibly fun to eat. Then, Alex shows off an easy coffee granita and a family recipe for a deluxe coffee cake, featured in her latest cookbook, "Old-School Comfort Food."

    Quickie Strawberry Tartlets

    · 1 lemon
    · 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    · 1 pound small to medium strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
    · 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    · 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    · 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    · 1/4 cup orange juice, not fresh squeezed
    · Cooking spray
    · 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream

    1. Prepare the fruit: Using a vegetable peeler and a light touch, remove the zest from half of the lemon. Try to remove the zest in small pieces, and leave the pith (the white part) behind. Juice the lemon into a medium bowl, and mix in the zest, granulated sugar, and strawberries. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready

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  • Many puddings use beaver anal gland juice for vanilla or raspberry flavoring. Many puddings use beaver anal gland juice for vanilla or raspberry flavoring.

    By Brianna Steinhilber, Everyday Health

    Cafeteria mystery meat and processed foods have led many parents to join the brown bag club - and while you may think keeping your kid out of the lunch line ensures you know exactly what they're putting into their bodies, what's lurking in many go-to healthy lunch picks may shock you. Read on for nine weird (and sometimes disgusting) ingredients that could be hiding in your child's favorite foods, plus how to spot each one's code name on the label.

    1. Beaver Anal Gland Juice

    Found in: Vanilla and raspberry flavored foods and beverages, puddings. On the label: It's called castoreum, but is labeled as "natural flavoring." What's it doing in there?! The less-than-appetizing brown slime that comes from a beaver's castor sacs is used to add vanilla or raspberry flavoring to foods. While it may earn a 10 in gross factor, the FDA recognizes it as generally safe for consumption. However, you won't be able to tell if the additive is in your little one's

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  • By Ingrid Simone, Common Sense Media App Editor


     

    There's a seemingly endless supply of apps for practicing math, vocabulary, grammar, and other traditional school subjects. But you may be surprised to know what else kids can learn. Apps can teach a range of both "soft skills" (such as recognizing emotions) and 21st-century skills (such as online collaboration). Check out these apps in which problem solving, creativity, emotions, and more take center stage.

    Health and fitness

    Apps can help even very young kids learn about health topics relevant to their lives, such as potty training, doctor's visits, and how their bodies work. Older kids can get more in-depth information about their bodies and learn to set nutrition and fitness goals.


    Try:
    Potty Time with Elmo, age 2+
    Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel, age 3+
    Toothsavers Brushing Game​, age 5+
    The Human Body by TinyBop, age 7+
    DK the Human Body App, age 10+
    LiVe, age 10+

    Emotions and social skills

    It's easy

    Read More »from Making Art? Getting Healthy? There Are Kids' Apps for that -- and More
  • By: Ivy Jacobson for TheBump.com


    Courtesy of the ManufacturerToday, Vera Bradley announced a recall on about 98,000 Lola Bear Ring Rattles and Lola Bunny, Lilli Bell Bunny and Tutti Frutti Bunny stuffed animal toys.

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    The toys, sold at Vera Bradley retail stores, department stores, specialty gift shops and online, pose a choking hazard to young children because of the pom-pom tail that can detach from the body of the bear rattle and the bunny.


    Here's what you need to know:

    The recalled bears and bunnies are made of cotton and fleece. The bear ring rattle has a white teddy bear head, arms attached to an O-shaped body with a green, blue, brown and pink crisscross pattern design rattle. The bear ring rattle measures about 4.25 inches in diameter.

    More from The Bump: Best toys for babies and toddlers


    The bunny is 10 inches tall from the top of its head to the bottom of its foot and was sold in three printed patterns. "Lilli Bell Bunny" has green vines with pink and orange

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