Archive for December, 2010

Happy New Year! 2011 here we come.

Friday, December 31st, 2010

As the last hours of 2010 pass into history, I am lucky to have a few minutes to reflect back on this year while the children are asleep.  Our boat was rocked by big changes this year: going from a two-income household down to one, transitioning from a career woman to a stay at home mom, starting a blog, raising a toddler, being pregnant, and having a new baby.

Adopting a frugal lifestyle has been the key to our success, not only our financial success, but our family bonding as well.  Living a simpler life has been an adventure.  How can we do more with less?  As my hubby would say, “How can we increase our happiness and decrease our costs?”

Looking back on my blog posts we’ve had some hits and misses.  Here’s what we’ve learned this year and what we will carry into the next year.

Coupons – There are people that swear by coupons and then there are people like me who are ambivalent.  I found that using a coupon here and there was easy, but creating a system to maximize the savings (ie. matching coupons to store sale items, stockpiling sale items, menu planning around coupons) was harder and time consuming.  At times, we did save enough money for me to see the potential and I am willing to give coupons another go next year.

Making homemade supplies – Making our own supplies was definitely a win-win.  We had fun testing different methods and hit upon some excellent money saving ideas.  My all time favorite is still the powder laundry detergent.  Next year, we will keep up the research and test more recipes.

Cloth diapers – Big bomb here.  I was so intimidated by cloth diapering that I never gave this a fair shot.  I did try a few on Oliver, but cleaning them was a mess!  However, after spending over $100 already on diapers for Evelyn after 7 weeks, I’m willing to revisit this in the New Year.

Gardening – Gardening is one of my hobbies and I love doing it.  I hope to expand on my little garden next year now that I am not pregnant and cumbersome.  My goals are to grow more items that we like to eat and get the kids more involved with the process.  We also want to install drip irrigation and soaker hoses.  Definitely tune in next year to see how this goes.

Consignment sales – This is a huge, huge, huge money saver for us now that we have kids.  I cannot express how much we save buying second hand clothes, toys, books, furniture, baby gear, etc…  In fact, the next big sale is coming up in January and we are making our 6-month list of things we will need to get us through to the summer and beyond.

Inexpensive family outings – We really bonded as a little family while we searched for ways to have frugal fun.  It made us evaluate what was important to us and to identify the things we really loved.  Turns out we really love to be outdoors!  We had fun camping, visiting a pumpkin patch, attending the state fair, and many visits to the local parks.  I also scoped out some places with Oliver, like the public pool, which we want to take Daddy and Evelyn to next year.

Baby stuff – Being pregnant for most of the year, I’ve had baby on the brain for the life of this blog.  Having been through this once before we can see the opportunities where we can shave off expenses.  Babies are expensive and every penny counts.  I hope that our experience can help other families to save money too.

Toddler stuff – One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a stay at home mom is finding ways to entertain, yet educate my son at the same time.  He needs to exercise, to have social interaction, and to be challenged to develop his mind.  Finding ways to do this frugally takes a lot of work, creativity, and time.  I hope to be better at this in the New Year, so that Evelyn can benefit from our trials and errors.

Frugal food – How to cut-down on the grocery bills, yet have healthy home cooked meals.  During my pregnancy we let this one slip a bit.  I was either too tired to cook, too nauseas to eat, or didn’t have enough time because I was slowing down dramatically towards the end.  Next year I hope to have regular weekly posts about ways to save in the kitchen from shopping, to planning, to eating, and to storing.  

All in all, I think we have done pretty good this year.  We look forward to settling in with our little family and enjoying what life brings our way.  Each day brings an opportunity to have an adventure, try something new, and to have fun.  Remember that sometimes the best things in life are actually free (hugs and kisses from your family).  We hope you have had a good year too and wish you the best for 2011! 

Happy New Year!

Frugal Food: Easy Chicken Parmigiana

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

We buy 6 or 7 packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts when they go on sale for $1.99/lb.  After scouring the web for ideas, I got creative with one pack and came up with a super easy and quick chicken parmigiana.  What I like about my recipe is how flexible it is and how much less salt I used than most recipes.

Ingredients:

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from 2 – 4 lbs.
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs (I like Italian breadcrumbs)
1 cup of your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce
6 – 8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup – 1 cup of oil for frying

1.  Trim excess fat from chicken breast, place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, and pound to uniform thickness of about 1/2 inch.  Tip – Sprinkle water on both pieces of plastic wrap to make the chicken slide easier as it stretches out.  Use a rolling pin, cast iron skillet, heavy can, or even an old glass coke bottle to pound the chicken.  The chicken on the left has been pounded.

Pound Chicken

2. Liberally season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.

salt and pepper the chicken

3. Dredge in flour and tap off excess.

4. Dip chicken in the beaten egg mixture to coat both sides and immediately press into the breadcrumbs.

5. Cover the chicken thoroughly in the breadcrumbs and set aside.

6. Heat up 1/4 cup of oil in frying pan over medium high heat per each batch of chicken that you will brown.  When oil is almost smoking, fry chicken breasts until golden brown – about 2 minutes per side.

7. Spread about 1/4 cup of sauce on each breast.  You can use more or less, depending on your tastes.

8. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan evenly over the chicken breast and bake in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees. 

9) When the chicken is done, turn the broiler on for a couple minutes to brown the cheese if you desire.  Watch the chicken carefully as the cheese browns quickly.

Serve with your favorite pasta and a nice side salad.  I used penne tossed with melted butter and parsley with a bag salad and fresh grape tomatoes.  From start to finish this takes me less than 45 minutes and that includes preparing the two sides as well.  And the best part – Oliver loves it!

Year end steals

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Instinctually, humankind must hunt and gather to survive.  In the modern day male, this need manifests itself in sports.  In the modern day female, we have a need to shop!  It’s not just about spending money either, it’s about hunting for the best deals.  I’m sure hundreds of anthropologists out there are shaking their heads at me right now.

Earlier this week I wrote about shopping the year end Christmas sales to save a pretty penny.  I finally managed to get to a few sales myself and only reinforced my money saving ideas.  From my previous blog post:

Item #1 – Christmas decorations, lights, and other holiday things – We don’t need much in the way of decorations, but I did pick up 2 little stockings for the kids for next Christmas.  They were 75 cents a piece down from $3.99.

Item #2 – wrapping paper for all occasions –  I scored 3 gorgeous rolls of wrapping paper that will do me for the rest of the gift giving year.  I even had several people “hunt” me down to ask where I had found my rolls. 

Item #3 – wired ribbon – Michaels and A.C. Moore are chock full of ribbons at rock bottom prices.  I purchased several spools in neutral colors and already have a Valentine Day craft in mind for the little one using my ribbons.

Item #4 – Napkins, paper plates, party supplies, etc – These I didn’t need, but they had massive inventory at the different stores.  I wish I had my camera with me to show you how much you could save.  One store was selling 25 pack small red paper plates for $1.50 in the Christmas section and then at the front of the store in the Valentine Day section they were setting out 25 pack small red paper plates for $4!!!  That’s a difference of $2.50 for the same item.

Item #5 – Regular items packaged for Christmas sale – I also didn’t need any of these, but saw shelf upon shelf of every day items that were 50 – 70% off.  At Target they were selling trunk organizers, touchless soap dispensers, emergency flashlights, mini-reading lights, coffee warmers, etc… for 50% off.  In Michaels these items were labeled “40% off Holiday Impulse Buys”.  They had tons of what they considered to be stocking stuffers that would make excellent party favors for your child’s birthday party.  They even had full fledge wood puzzles that would make excellent gifts period.

In addition to my 5 savings categories, I did break away and took advantage of the sale on regular items as well.  I purchased a winter jacket for my son for $18, down from $47.  That’s about a  60% savings from the regular price.  I bought it in a size 3T which will probably fit him for the next 2 winters.  Not a bad investment for only $18!

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Please understand that I am not suggesting that you go out to spend money just because there are sales out there.  I am telling you to change the way you think about shopping.  By planning ahead and cutting out impulse buying you can schedule your shopping around known sale dates, such as Black Friday or the day after Christmas, to save money.

Do It Yourself Leg Warmers for Toddlers

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Ready for Snow

If you live in an area that has mild winters, like we do, you probably won’t have true cold weather gear for your little ones.  Mild winters to me are those with only 1 – 2 snowfalls that drop 1 – 6 inches and melt within 1 – 2 days.  Having a nice warm coat is a must regardless of the snowfall, but what about snow pants?

After our white Christmas I got creative with the kitchen shears to make a warm outfit for Oliver to wear outside.  We bundled him up in layers (2 of everything) and slipped on my smallest pair of gloves.  The only problem we had was how to keep the snow from going up his pant legs and down into his shoes.

I took a pair of scissors to an old pair of socks and voila –  leg warmers for Oliver!  I snipped the toes off around mid-sole and left the heels on the socks.  I slipped them on over his shoes and stuffed his pant legs down into the socks to keep the snow out.

With the heels covered, he also got a bit of extra traction on the ice.

They were a huge success and the best part was that they didn’t cost us a dime.  The snow stayed out of his shoes and he was comfy and cozy.

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Instead of splurging on large, fluffy, winter gear dress in lots of layers instead.  Layer on the sweat shirts over the long sleeves, the pants over the sweat pants, thick socks over thin…  Oliver stayed nice and toasty after playing in the snow.  Note: This is very practical if you don’t get much snow for the winter, otherwise buy the kids snow gear at consignment sales.

Shop the after Christmas sales for year round savings

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

If you aren’t snowed in like we are, get out and shop!  Spend a little money now and cash in on some year round savings.  (I sound like some TV ad.)  Traditionally, the day after Christmas is when the prices are slashed for leftover Christmas items. 

Here’s a list of things you can save on:

1) Christmas decorations, lights, and other holiday things – This is an obvious savings.  If you get in the habit of shopping at the end of the year for the next year, you will never have to pay full price for Christmas stuff again.

2) Wrapping paper for all occasions – This is my favorite.  Usually the wrapping paper that is leftover were not festive enough for Christmas, which makes them perfect for the rest of the year!  I never have to buy wrapping paper off the shelf on any day other than December 26th.

3) Wired Ribbon – You’ll normally find these in big spools of gold or silver and little specialty spools of blues, reds, and bright patterns.  I buy gold, silver, white, and anything that doesn’t scream Christmas to use in crafts for bow-making, or to jazz up presents all year through.

4) Napkins, paper plates, party supplies, etc – I stock up on generic party supplies that can be used for other holidays and festivities.  Red napkins and table cloths can be used for Valentine’s day.  Red also can be added to your 4th of July celebration.  Green plates for St. Patty or as accents for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Silver and gold for any classy affair, such as cocktail parties, birthdays, and anniversaries. 

5) Regular items packaged for Christmas sale – Keep an eye out for items that aren’t necessarily holiday related, but were marketed for the season.  Serving platters, gold chargers, placemats, candles, candle holders – the list goes on and on.  You will find everyday items on sale just because they were packaged to be sold at Christmas .  For example, we bought nice regular non-holiday bookends for 75% off just because they were packaged to sell for Christmas as “Gifts For Him”.

Frugal Tip of the Day: If you are a shrewd bargain hunter, take advantage of the year end sales on all merchandise to do your shopping for the entire year.  I have known people who actually do their Christmas shopping on December 26 for the next year!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas at our house was low key this year.  We didn’t even cook a roast beast and opted for a Chinese buffet.  No mess, no fuss, and thankfully, no dishes!

We went shopping in our attic for Oliver’s presents.  I have Rubbermaid bins upstairs that have great items that we’ve purchased at consignment sales for mere pennies and have saved for Oliver.

We did splurge on a couple new toys for Evelyn that Oliver hasn’t chomped and drooled all over.

Oliver kept going to the tree to admire his handcrafted Christmas ornaments.  This was easily one of the most fun projects we have ever done.

We spent the day listening to Chrismas music, playing games, perusing our presents, and stuffed ourselves at a Chinese buffet.  I’d say this was one of our best Christmases ever!

Frugal Tip of the Day: (you know I’ve gotta have one!)  Save those bows and reuse them!  We’ve been using the same bag of bows since 2006.  We even have favorite bows that we look forward to using each year.  Also, save the wrapping paper if you have kids.  The backside makes great art paper.  On most wrapping paper, the inside is nice, smooth, and has a satiny finish.  This is great for finger painting!

Baby 101: Breastfeeding Setting List

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Ahhh…the milk drunk baby.  A sign of a good meal is when the baby rolls back on the Boppy and passes out.

I have found that successful breastfeeding depends as much on the setting where you feed as it does practicing the act itself.  My first time around all I knew was that I needed a place to sit to breastfeed and something called a Boppy for the baby to sit on.  I spent the next few days successively adding to my little nursing corner until it was functional and my hubby stopped having to run around every feeding getting me stuff.  Once I got organized I became more relaxed and that helped the breastfeeding process along. 

Here’s a list of some things you might want to consider for your nursing nook.  I didn’t go into the mechanics of breastfeeding as that is another series of posts all together.  (FYI – the first time around I didn’t find it to be natural at all and we had a hard time of it.  It took several visits to the lactation consultant that first week before we got the hang of it.  Don’t worry if it feels foreign to you too.)

Nursing Nook Essentials:

Chair – You will need some place to sit that has back support.  Arms would be nice.  A rocking chair or glider work great if you have one.  Babies love to be rocked.

Foot rest or stool – The leg that the baby’s head rests on while breastfeeding should be raised up on a stool.  I have used a stack of books and a folded up towel.  Now I have a small stool that’s approximately 5 inches tall.

Pillows – You might need pillows to place behind your back for support or even under your butt.  It all depends on the shape and height of your chair.  You will be spending many, many hours there and will need to be comfortable.

My Brestfriend or a Boppy – I 100% recommend the “My Brestfriend” breast-feeding pillow.  I had a Boppy the first time around and while it worked, it is nothing like the Brestfriend.  The Boppy is a curved pillow, both in shape and in form.  The baby kept rolling off the top of the pillow and sliding into my body during feedings.  My Brestfriend also conforms to your body, but has a flat tabletop like surface with superior support over the Boppy.

Side table – You will want something next to your chair for a number of things: A soft light, clock, water glass, snacks, pen/paper, tissues, etc…  I’ve used a folding TV tray, milk crates, and now I have a 3-tiered wire rack from the shed. 

Soft light – You will need some sort of light in the room for nighttime feedings and diaper changes.  Nothing too bright or baby will be wide-awake.  Nothing to dark or your baby will be drinking breast milk through her nose.  I threw a dark towel over my bedside lamp.

Pen/Paper/Notepad – You will want to track breastfeeding times, etc…  that first week and make other random notes.

Water glass – Every time you sit down to breast feed you need to drink a glass of water.  No water = no breast milk for baby. 

Snacks – Keep snacks handy in case feeding sessions are long.  Crackers, fruit, etc… The first two weeks, I would be starving whenever I fed the baby.  This time, I had boxes of Triscuits stacked up under the table.  :-)

Access to time – You need to see the time either on a clock, watch, cell phone, etc…  This will be important to keep track of how long sessions are and when the last session was.

Tissues – You never know when you will need to sneeze, wipe spittle, or clear baby boogers.

Receiving blanket or burp cloths – Keep one or two of these within reach for the spit up that usually accompanies a hearty burping session.

Breast feeding pads, Lanolin cream, and gel pads – That first week I found the Medela gel pads to be awesome.  They have a cooling effect and feel great if your baby likes to use you for a chew toy.  Otherwise, I’ve heard the Lanolin cream helps dryness and cracking.  I’ve never had to use the stuff though.  The pads are a no brainer.  You will leak – alot – when it’s most embarrasing for you to do so.  I keep a couple pads in the diaper bag just in case.

Misc – I’ve found it useful to keep the baby Gas-X, saline drops, and nose sucker within arms reach.  Also, if you don’t have a TV to watch, you might want to station your laptop nearby to keep you company.  With Oliver, I used to play lullabies on the laptop during our night feedings and during the day I’d watch something from Netflix.  He was a slow eater, 40 minute sessions, and it helped to pass the time.

Frugal Christmas Ornaments Toddlers Can Make

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

I came up with a very frugal way for Oliver to have some Christmas fun.  We made ornaments out of a CheezIt box, some glue, scrap paper, sugar glitter, and a ribbon. 

First, I had to come up with a safe and edible alternative to glitter.  I decided to try sugar with food coloring.  I added a few drops of food coloring to some sugar and let my little guy shake it up.

He loved this part! He could have done this all day and have been perfectly happy.

We made some red and green sugar glitter.  So far, so good.

I gave him a glue stick and let him spread glue all over the cardboard I cut from a CheezIt box.  We stuck some black construction paper to one side, flipped it over, and repeated the gluing process on the other.

On this side we stuck a green scrap of wrapping paper that I had leftover.  My goal was to have black on one side and green on the other.

I then traced some cookie cutter tree shapes onto the green.  I did 2 shapes for each ornament and then cut out the pairs.

I put a small piece of cardboard inside a large, flat plastic container and made random squiggles on the green side of the tree.  I then let my son have a blast scooping and dumping sugar.  He became very adept at dumping the sugar exactly where it needed to go.

After the ornaments completely dried, I glued on a little cardboard spacer in between 2 finished trees.  Then I punched holes in the top, threaded some ribbon through the ornaments, and let my son hang them from the tree.

We repeated the process using red paper to make red candy canes.  I think they turned out great!

Frugal Tip of the Day: Crafts don’t have to be fancy or expensive.  We used scraps from around the house and Oliver loved, loved, LOVED it.

Baby 101: Newborn Basic Care Supply List

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

So you have the baby, you have a place for the baby to sleep, some clothes, and a car seat.  You probably have an entirely outfitted nursery with your favorite childhood character or theme.  But what about the little stuff? What about all those little things that fill all those cute little bins you bought?

I have a list of basic care items for those first few months of life.  I have two children and will only list the things that we have actually used.  After our first baby, we pared down dramatically for the second.  I thought we were frugal with Oliver, but we’ve done even better with Evelyn.  I know we could probably cut back or save more here and there, but as always, you have to balance your pennies against your quality of life.  Your needs might be totally different from ours, but hopefully, I have given you a starting point.  Check out my Week One post for some numbers to match the items.

Newborn Baby Care Supplies: Note – this is just supplies, not gear.

Bulb syringe – You should get one from the hospital.  As the baby gets older, there’s a good chance you will need something bigger to suck the snot out.  We use and LOVE Nosefrida: The Snot Sucker.  I just used it on Evelyn today and she is 6 weeks old.  You literally suck the snot out of their heads…

Saline nasal spray – this loosens the boogers.

Q-tips – for umbilical cord care.  We probably used 20-30.

Alcohol – for umbilical cord care.

Cotton balls – for wiping down the baby’s face, neck, and privates during the first 2 weeks with the umbilical cord stump in lieu of a bath.  I still use them now on a daily basis vs. giving a full bath every day.

Vaseline – for circumcision care, dry skin, diaper rash, lubricant for thermometer, and skin protectant (ie. to protect nose area from constant wipes during cold season)

Emery board – those little nails are sharp!  Those little nail clippers they sell for infants are useless.  Just use an emery board or scrape the nail with your own finger nail.  When they get a little older and squirmy I like using a block nail file.  Not sure what the name of it is, but it’s a little foam block with different filing surfaces on each face.  It was easier to hold a block and run it across their fingertips than to try and aim with the board.

Baby Tylenol

Simethicone Drops (Baby relief drops) – Buy stock in the company.  You could quite possibly go through bottles of this stuff until your baby’s digestive system matures and they can pass gas easier.

Gripe Water – I didn’t use it with Oliver and didn’t put much stock in the product.  With Evelyn’s all night crying jags, I was desperate and tried a bottle of Gripe Water.  I have no idea if it does what is says it does, but both the times I used it, my baby stopped crying within moments.  If your baby is up all night screaming, you might want to give this a try.

Digital Thermometer – This is for measuring temperature rectally until they are old enough to have it taken under the arm.

Diaper rash cream – Diaper rash cream works great.  On diarrhea days Vaseline works like a charm too (poo won’t stick to Vaseline).  For either one, make sure the butt is dry before applying.

Diapers – You will need tons.  We went through 90+ our first 10 days.

Wipes – you could get away with homemade wipes or just cotton balls and water.  Breastfed babies have very watery, non-sticking poo.

Baby Wash

Baby Lotion – I can’t resist the smell of Johnson and Johnson’s classic pink baby lotion, but on really dry days I put Vaseline on Evelyn’s face, especially her brow and nose areas.

Thermometer for bath water – We had a hot/cold duck that didn’t work.  Then we had a digital turtle which we loved, but the batteries died.  Now we use, and LOVE, our standard kitchen cooking thermometer. 

All you parents out there, what couldn’t you live without your first few weeks?

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Save some money and don’t go overboard on the supplies, with the exception of diapers and wipes.  What I mean is, don’t get taken in by anything that says it is for infants.  Most all the over the counter items have expiration dates.  I’ve literally listed all the over the counter things our pediatrician let us use her first 6 months.  Anything else, like our nose drops for cold relief, have all expired since we weren’t allowed to use them when the baby was small.

Baby 101: Post Partum Care Supply List

Monday, December 20th, 2010

You’ve made it through one of the most life changing experiences ever and now you are home with your little bundle of joy, little baloney loaf, little froggie, or little princess.  The next week is going to blow your mind. 

You will likely never have been as tired, stressed, anxious, sore, and happy all at once.  Your milk will come in and your bra will be stuffed with hot footballs for about 3 days.  It will hurt to sit for a week if you have episiotomy stitches and longer if you’ve had a c-section.  You will have been to the pediatrician at least once, maybe twice and in our case, with both babies, 3 times.  You are going be obsessing over poop for the first time in your life – the quantity, quality, smell, and frequency.  You will become a poop gourmet and by the third blowout it won’t even phase you to wipe poop off the walls. 

Then there’s the small matter of feeding yourself, staying hydrated, showering every few days, brushing your teeth, changing your clothes, and sleeping.  Forget doing housework or going out!  Check out my post about how my first week went when we got home from the hospital.

The last thing you need to do is run out to Wal-Mart for some last minute item.  From my experience with 2 kids, here’s a list of what became essentials for my post-partum care.  You can save money by stocking up with the hospital supplies before you come home.  I’m sure people could recommend other things, but this was our bare minimum frugal list.  Check back for my breast-feeding list, baby care list, and baby gear list.

For Mommy – Post-partum Care Essential Items List:

Maxi-pads – Stock up on the overnight pads.  You will go through 78+ in your first week alone.

Spray bottle – For cleaning the undercarriage.  You should get one at your hospital.

Witch Hazel – Liberally squirt this onto your maxi-pad to soothe the stitches.  Works like a charm.

Benzocane Spray – You should get this from the hospital.

Flushable Wipes – You should get this from the hospital.

Ibuprofen – My doc said to take 4 pills to equal the 800mg that they were giving me at the hospital.  I did this for a couple of days and then cut it down to 2 and then zero shortly thereafter.  When your milk comes in you will want the Ibuprofen to help with the swelling and pain.

Stool Softener or Fiber supplement – You might not need this, but it does help immensely if you do.  Putting any sort of pressure “down there” is scary the first week.  What if you push your uterus out accidentally?  Not saying it could happen by any means, but I’m sure that’s what you will be thinking when you are straining in the loo.

Preparation-H – if you get hemorrhoids from labor and delivery.  No one ever admits it, but most people get the grapes back there.

Donut – this is helpful if you have stitches or hemorrhoids.  What worked even better was using my Boppy to sit on with the opening towards the back of the chair.  I still use it now at 6 weeks just because it is so comfortable.  (for feeding I use My Brestfriend – LOVE IT)

Frozen meals – Whether you have made them in advance or buy frozen lasagna, have a stock of meals in your freezer.  This is especially handy if you won’t have any help in the house and need to feed your family.

Thank You cards and stamps – Trust me, you don’t want to haul a newborn to the post office when you get home from the hospital!  It took me 4 weeks before I ventured out by myself with Evelyn and the little thing screamed her head off the entire time.

Here are a few links that go into detail on recovering from delivery, including what to look for and any warning signs that you need to see a doctor.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/childbirth/recovering_delivery.html#

http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/postpartum-care

And if you want all natural recovery solutions check out this blog for some interesting articles.

http://www.mypostpartumwellness.com/natural-pregnancy-blog/

Tell me, what items were your must haves for post-partum care the first 6 weeks?

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