Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Best Diaper Bag for Twins

Looking for a diaper bag for twins? There are so many beautiful, yet pricey, diaper bags out there. Unfortunately, most of them were made for singletons. There are a few diaper bags that are specifically designed for twins, but they're just not as attractive, and they tend to be even more expensive. So, what's a twin parent to do?

Use a backpack! 

True, it's not as attractive as some of the cute diaper bags on the market, but it gets the job done

Here are some of the top advantages of using a backpack as a diaper bag:

1. It has built in compartments. If your backpack was built to hold a laptop, that laptop area is a great place to stash your actual diapers.

2. It keeps your hands free. You're trying to carry/hold hands with two little ones. Having your hands free makes a huge difference.

3. It's gender-neutral. Unless your backpack is pink or ultra-feminine, it's gender neutral. That means the men in your life shouldn't have a huge issue with carrying it for you.

If you already have a backpack, check it out and see what kinds of compartments it has. If not, I'd recommend looking for a backpack with a lot of different compartments. We bought our backpacks at Sam's Club for $19.99 a few years ago, and they've worked out great.

My backpack has little mesh compartments on the outside that are made for holding water bottles. That's a great place to stash bottles or sippy cups for easy access. I store our snacks in the front compartment so they're also easy to get to in times of crisis.

What do you use to haul around your diapers and baby gear?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips for Going Gray

Are you ready to go gray? Are you tired of constantly coloring your hair? Here are some things you can do to ease your transition from dyed hair, to naturally silver hair:

1. Find a hairdresser who will help you. Even if you don't plan to color or highlight your hair ever again, having a hairdresser who is supportive is super important. You don't want someone who's going to try to talk you into coloring your hair again, or who clearly thinks your idea of going gray is lame. You need a cheerleader. A cheerleader who can give you a great haircut and a self-esteem boost.

2. Be prepared for the looks. Especially during the first few months of going gray, you will get a lot of stares from people. Mostly from women who clearly dye their hair. They're trying to figure out what the heck is going on with your hair. Or they're being rude. Or they're a little bit of both. This is really tough to deal with, but it will end. Try to have a thick skin, and get support. The Cafe Gray forum is a wonderful, supportive resource for women who are going gray.

3. Take care of your hair. Get a great deep conditioner. Get frequent haircuts. Do your hair every day, and make it look fabulous. This will help you when you feel less than thrilled about your new silver streaks.

4. Experiment with new makeup. Having gray hair effects your coloring. Many women find that they need to wear bolder colors. I used to look okay without lipstick, and now I look really washed out unless I'm wearing it. Sort of a bummer, but it makes me look more put together.

5. Be a great mother - to yourself. This is the time to cook healthy meals for yourself, exercise, enjoy friends and family, and build yourself up. Think of what you would do for yourself if you were your mother (provided your mother is awesome), and then do it. Take care of yourself.

6. If you want to drop a few pounds, now's the time to do it. When you feel less than stellar about your hair, knowing that you are taking care of your health can be a great confidence booster.

7. Buy yourself a great hat. Sometimes you just don't want to have to deal with the stares and the questions. Put on a hat. Deal with the questions tomorrow.

Are you planning on going gray soon? Do you have any tips to share? Please leave a comment below. And, if you're looking for more inspiration, visit my Going Gray Tips & Tricks Pinterest Board.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Beat Stress Eating

Food can serve as an escape or an outlet for frustration when times are tough. Though I try my best to use willpower to overcome cravings, there are times when it's just too difficult for me not to turn to food. Criticize as you may, I know that it's going to happen, and I need to be prepared to deal with it.

If junk food is available, I will eat it. No question about it. I love chips, bread, cheese, and anything else that's going to cause all kinds of weight issues for me. And when I'm stressed, I will NOT eat in moderation. I will eat like a college football player after a six-hour long practice.

That's why I had to revamp my stress eating regimen. First, I had to get all of the junk food out of my house. This is tough, because my husband tries to sneak in bags of chips and hide them. But, I always find them. Also, if I'm desperate, I will turn to the Goldfish crackers and vanilla wafers that my kids love so much. But, if I am going to make my stress eating more healthy, it all has to go.

Once it's gone, I replace the junk foods with the following healthier alternatives:

1. Baby carrots and hummus. Crunch and a salty-ish flavor. Very satisfying.

2. Jicama. Crunchy yet sweet.

3. Avocado. Full of good fats, filling.

4. An apple and an orange. I make myself eat these things, especially if I've already been eating some of the other items on my list. They fill me up, and make sure I'm getting lots of good fiber and vitamins. If I'm tired of apples and oranges, I'll swap them for pears and kiwis.

5. Pepitas and sunflower seeds. Salty and crunchy.

6. Plain greek yogurt with honey on top. Sweet and filling.

7. Hard boiled eggs. Just one or two. Filling.

8. Unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon on top. Sweet and somewhat cookie-ish.

9. Oatmeal with raisins and almond slivers. Great comfort food. A good alternative to cookies or bread. Quite filling.

10. Lots of water. Always lot of water. It also fills me up, calms me down, and frankly, flushes out all of the yuckies.

To be clear, I don't eat ALL of these foods in one sitting. I find that it's good to have them all around as options, so I have choices. I also use them for snacks when I'm not in stress-eating mode. Also, if I'm super stressed, I try to eat salmon for a meal, with a side of greens. Of course, going for a walk, talking to a friend, etc. would be great too, but that's not always possible. 

By planning ahead for stress eating, I'm able to avoid gorging on junk food and I can force myself to make healthier choices. I truly believe that by eating healthier food, I'm able to overcome my stress more quickly too.

How do you deal with stress eating?