Category:Tips’

Honey Lemon Booster

 - by Dania

Autumn is here, cold and flu season is already upon us!  I always dread this time of year, getting that first cold unsettles me.  I don’t do very well with these and usually end up very very sick and it takes forever to get over it.

My usual cold remedy is a honey lemon tea, but a few days ago I saw a picture someone posted on Facebook about honey lemon in a jar.  I tweaked the recipe to add a couple of ingredients I like and voila a cold cure in a jar.

You will need:

  • 2 lemons
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • A Jar

You can adjust quantities based on the size of the jar.  I went by eye and taste.

CIMG3854

Steps:

  1. Wash and dry lemons very well
  2. Cut off tips and slice into quarters
  3. Empty into a bowl and give the bunch a couple of squeezes (I used my hand) just to release a bit of the juice
  4. Grate the ginger into the bowl (I used a piece the length of my index)
  5. Add cinnamon (I used about 2 Tbsp)
  6. Mix ingredients in the bowl wellCIMG3851
  7. Pour into the jar (about 3/4 of the way)CIMG3852
  8. Pour honey into the jar until it’s filled
  9. Close jar tightly and shake well
  10. Put in fridge
After a few days, the lemons will absorb the honey and sink to the bottom of the jar.

After a few days, the lemons will absorb the honey and sink to the bottom of the jar.

After a few days, you’ll see it will start to become a bit like jelly.  You can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 months.  You pour a couple of tablespoons into a mug and add boiling water for a healing brew.   When you’re sick and not feeling good it’s so much easier to have the mix ready in the fridge rather than making it from scratch each time you need it.

I also started taking 1 or 2 teaspoons every morning as an immune system booster.

Try it and let me know what you think! Any other tips are welcome!

Stay healthy xo

 

For comments and feed back please write to me at: dania “at” mommynuggets “dot” com

Baking Tips

 - by Dania

I found some of these great baking tips online at tipnut.com and some from my mom. 

  1. Sour milk can be made by adding two (2) tablespoonfuls of vinegar to one (1) cup of sweet milk and then letting it stand for a few minutes. Your baking will be just as light as if real sour milk were used.
  2. Cream which is hard to whip will whip quickly by adding a few drops of lemon juice.
  3. Molasses can be prevented from sticking to the measuring cup if the cup is first greased with butter.
  4. Cornstarch is sometimes used in place of eggs when recipe calls for more than you have on hand. A tablespoonful is used for each missing egg. In making custard, omit one or two eggs, and use cornstarch instead (1/2 tablespoon for each egg).
  5. Add one tablespoonful of jam or jelly to cookie dough. It will add flavor and make the cookies stay moist longer.
  6. When a recipe calls for a quantity of melted butter, take care to measure the butter after melting, not before.
  7. When separating the yolk from the white of an egg, if you drop a portion of egg yolk into the whites, moisten a cloth with cold water, touch to the yolk and it will adhere to the cloth.
  8. Never beat egg-whites in an aluminum pan, it darkens them.
  9. To avoid lumps in batter, add a pinch of salt to the flour before it is wet.
  10. Raisins for cakes and breads will be plump and juicy if soaked in warm water before being added to the batter or dough.
  11. To avoid your raisin, cranberries etc…to sink to bottom of batter, coat with some flour before dropping them in.
  12. Zip up your gingerbread and molasses cookies by adding a bit of grated orange peel to the batter.

Happy Baking :)

 

 

 

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Baby Proofing

 - by Dania

This is usually the beginning of the end for moms, any peace you have left will now be over.  Baby is becoming mobile.  As much as it is easier for us to just strap them in their high chair or saucer it is not the best thing for them.  Baby needs to move around, build muscles, improve co-ordination and satisfy their great curiosity.  They need to roam, touch and pick up everything in sight.  You can never make anything 100% secure but there are a few things you can do to have some peace of mind as your baby explores their environment.

Don’t get me wrong it is an overwhelming undertaking and I was a bit intimidated at first but then I decided to dedicate a week-end to get the house baby ready.  One easy way to help get you started is to go to a baby store and stand in front of their baby proofing section.  This will give you plenty of ideas on which areas of the house need to be baby proofed and what products are available to help.  Mind you some of these can be expensive so you have to use the idea and see if you can execute it more economically. 

One example of such a savings for me was the cushioning for a little step I have in the basement.  It is made of tile and has a sharp edge.  I was very scared that baby would fall, hit the edge and hurt herself badly.  The products available out there for this type of baby proofing would have cost me about $80 plus taxes.  My husband figured out a less expensive alternative that only cost us $15 total.  He went to the hardware store (a.k.a. men’s toy store) and found these spongy tubes (much like the ones used in the swimming pools) that were pre-cut and had tape on them.  He bought 2 sizes….we also bought 2 sided tape for re-enforcement.  First we placed the 2 sided tape at intervals along the step, then we secured the smaller of the 2 tubes al around the edge then we added the larger tube.  It is well cushioned and baby won’t hurt herself if she were to fall on it.

I also used the smaller foam tube to stick to corners of walls in high traffic areas where she will be crawling around so that if she slips or falls, she won’t need stitches from hitting the edge of a wall.

The next area that needed immediate securing was the upstairs staircase.  Ours is not a regular shape so none of the commercial gates would have worked.  We bought the materials needed and built one ourselves, the great thing about it is that once she is older we can remove it without permanent damage to the existing frame.  It cost just a few dollars more than a ready made gate but fits our needs perfectly and doesn’t look too bad either.

 

Also on the stairs, we have slits where baby could slip her head in and get it stuck, we tried to think of an idea that would make it safe for her but also doesn’t make the living room look like a jail.  We decided on plexiglass.  My husband measured the required sheets and had them cut to size, he drilled small holes and used tie wraps to secure the plexiglass.  You can’t even tell its there and the baby actually loves to sit there and try to pick up stuff on the other side! lol…

 

Some Baby Proofing gadget ideas:

  • Electric outlet plugs
  • Cabinet Locks
  • Drawer Locks
  • Door handle locks
  • Window blind cord winder
  • Corner guards
  • Stove knob covers
  • Oven front lock
  • Fridge latch
  • Toilet lock 
  • Sliding door lock
  • Rail Net
  • Gates for stairs
  • Finger pinch stopper (for doors)

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Cramp Remedies

 - by Dania

I often get leg cramps, especially when I was pregnant, they would come every night!!  I would shoot out of bed in agony.   Ok, maybe shoot out of bed is an exaggeration, I was after all 7 months along and moved liked a beached whale.  So anyway, I would shuffle out of bed in agony and call on hubby to help me out.  Sometimes, nothing we did would help and I would be in tears.  Then I heard about these tips that helped me tremendously.

First tip:  chocolate, yes ladies, CHOCOLATE as a cure!!! I was very excited.  You’re supposed to take a small piece of chocolate and place it under your tongue until it melts.   For me it worked almost immediately, a miracle.  I made sure I always had some plain chocolate squares in all my purses and continue to do so now in case of a cramp attack.  By the way when I didn’t have a piece of chocolate in the house, I put a teaspoon of Nutella chocolate spread under my tongue and it worked just as well.

Second tip:  Soap, yep, plain old soap.  Place an unwrapped bar of soap under the sheets at the foot of the bed where your feet could reach.  That’s it!  I looked it up, it seems this remedy has been around for a long long time but there’s no medical research to back it up or suggest why it works.  Doctors don’t want to associate with it but guess what, it worked for me.  It ended my nighttime leg and foot cramps.  I loved it.  Bonus, the sheets smell extra nice.  I also read that you can rub the soap on the feet as well, hmmm, worth a try.

I know that these tips may not work for everybody, but they really did for me.  The great thing is that there is no harm or risk in just trying them.  Nothing to lose but that pain!

If you do try them, let me know if they work for you.

Good luck, hope this helps :)

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Laundry Symbols – Mystery solved

 - by Dania

Laundry is a fact of life for everyone but especially moms, there are always mountains of it and it really never ends.  One thing that annoyed me over the years is that all those laundry symbols are not always clear.  It seems we need a decoder just to understand how to care for our clothes!! 

Most of the time, I just put the machine on normal, warm water and cross my fingers.  That works most of the time but sometimes, I really need to know which pile to throw an item of clothing into. 

I finally decided to end the mystery and look it up online.  I have found plenty of sites and charts but they’re too large to copy into my post.  So here’s the next best thing, the link to the one of the clearer charts.  Check it out!  hope it helps.

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Keep ’em entertained!

 - by Dania

Kids are full of imagination to begin with and it doesn’t take much to fuel it.   Here are some tips I found online and some I use with my kids, try them and have fun your little ones:

  1. Let the kids be musical, the easiest way is in the kitchen, I give my little one a plastic bowl, a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and watch her go.  It’s funny how they are more interested in making noise using your cook wear then with their high tech fancy toys.
  2. Going on an errand can become a mini adventure for the kids.  I make my grocery list and hand it over to my daughter (if they’re too young make a fake one for them to hold) to keep track of.  It makes her feel responsible and looking for the items in the store feels like a treasure hunt.  Same for the bakery, post office or any kind of shopping.  It’s all in how you present it.
  3. Always be on the look out for anything that can be used on an art project, whether it is leftover fabric, buttons, fliers with nice pictures, plastic containers, ribbons, etc…. These can always be used on a rainy afternoon to make a crafty project or you’ll have them ready when the kids have a school project. I always keep a look out in the stores when they put these items on liquidation, you can get them for a fraction of the price (just bought great autumn leaf 3D felt stickers at 90% off!).
  4. Take a trip to the book store or your local library and check out books are fun and interesting to your kids.  Anything that fuels their imagination: animals, science, bugs, cars, crafts. This will also get them excited about books and reading at an early age.
  5. Walks in the park can turn into an explorer’s dream.  Have the kids collect anything from leaves, rocks, acorns, pine cones, etc… Which they use to make their own art projects or start their own collection.  This is also a great activity to do together as a family, good exercise and an afternoon enjoying nature.  They also go into the back yard and gather fun supplies while enjoying an afternoon outside.

Have fun!

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Know thy Apples

 - by Dania

Whenever I need to bake an apple pie or use apples in any of my baking recipes, I always wondered which apples are needed.  I ran across this chart online and thought it would be very useful to share.  It also show which apples are good to be used fresh and which ones are better baked or cooked.

Cooking/Baking Measurement Equivalents

 - by Dania

Ok, we’ve all been there.  You find a recipe you want to try out and can’t figure out the measurements or the conversions.    I found these tables on the Science of Cooking site and wanted to make them handy for all.

Volume (Dry)

American Standard Metric
1/8 teaspoon .5 ml
1/4 teaspoon 1 ml
1/2 teaspoon 2 ml
3/4 teaspoon 4 ml
1 teaspoon 5 ml
1 tablespoon 15 ml
1/4 cup 59 ml
1/3 cup 79 ml
1/2 cup 118 ml
2/3 cup 158 ml
3/4 cup 177 ml
1 cup 225 ml 
2 cups or 1 pint 450 ml
3 cups 675 ml
4 cups or 1 quart 1 liter
1/2 gallon 2 liters
1 gallon 4 liters
Volume (Liquid) 
 
 
 

American Standard   (Cups & Quarts ) American Standard (Ounces) Metric (Milliliters & Liters)
2 tbsp  1 fl. oz. 30 ml
1/4 cup 2 fl. oz. 60 ml
1/2 cup 4 fl. oz. 125 ml
1 cup 8 fl. oz.  250 ml
1 1/2 cups 12 fl. oz. 375 ml
2 cups or 1 pint 16 fl. oz. 500 ml
4 cups or 1 quart 32 fl. oz. 1000 ml or 1 liter
1 gallon 128 fl. oz. 4 liters

 Happy cooking!

Oven Temperatures 
American Standard Metric
250° F 130° C
300° F 150° C
350° F 180° C
400° F 200° C
450° F 230° C

Weight (Mass)

 
 
 

American Standard  (Ounces) Metric (Grams)
1/2 ounce 15 grams
1 ounce 30 grams
3 ounces 85 grams 
3.75 ounces 100 grams
4 ounces 115 grams
8 ounces 225 grams
12 ounces 340 grams
16 ounces or 1 pound 450 grams
Dry Measure Equivalents
 
 
 

       
 3 teaspoons  1 tablespoon  1/2 ounce  14.3 grams
 2 tablespoons 1/8 cup  1 ounce  28.3 grams
 4 tablespoons  1/4 cup  2 ounces  56.7 grams
 5 1/3 tablespoons  1/3 cup  2.6 ounces  75.6 grams
 8 tablespoons  1/2 cup  4 ounces  113.4 grams
 12 tablespoons  3/4 cup  6 ounces  .375 pound
 32 tablespoons  2 cups  16 ounces  1 pound

 

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Poisonous Make-Up?

 - by Dania

It amazes me every day how much we are surrounded by toxins.  I am becoming pickier by the day about what products I use at home and what type of food we eat.  The more you learn, the more you realize how much these companies are harming us for profit.  I don’t want to go into all of it now, it will be a very long entry but suffice it to say it is not a coincidence children these days are hitting puberty years younger than they did a couple of decades ago and the number of kids with allergies is rising!

The other day I read about chemicals and preservatives in our foods.  According to the articles, these don’t only cause mild symptoms; some can cause serious illnesses.  Believe me I am not an alarmist but when I see and hear about many young people around me having all sorts of health issues and weird symptoms, it makes me wonder.

I was reading “Master your Metabolism” by Jillian Michaels this morning and came across a section about removing toxins from your home.  There was a section about cosmetics and information about a movement to demand safer cosmetics (The campaign for safer cosmetics – www.safecosmetics.org.  This made me wonder what is in the products we use daily.  I mean I know that many nail products are not very safe, you can smell it and feel yourself getting sick, but the stuff for the face too?  I thought these were regulated.   Well by following the links, I landed on a site that I think is very useful for everyone to check:  www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.

I started entering the names of the various products I use (from cosmetics to toothpaste) and some came back as mildly toxic but some were in red as having high levels of toxicity!  I thought these were natural and safe products, I was shocked.  But the kicker was I found products such as shampoo and toothpaste products for kids that have moderate to higher levels of toxicity and that made me mad!  That is why I think it is important to share these sites with you.  Check them out so that at least from now on you can make an informed decision for yourself and choose safer products for the kids.

We need to take a stand and make it known that as consumers with the purchasing power, we won’t stand for lax safety standards and demand that companies across the board be more concerned about safety rather than the bottom line or there will be no bottom line to worry about.  We will take our hard earned dollars elsewhere!

Final thought:  As I said, I am not an alarmist but when you look around and you add it all up it just starts to irk me.  The main point is not to give it all up and go live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere and grow your own lettuce but just to be aware and make informed decisions.

I would love to hear from you at: dania at mommynuggets dot com !

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Immunization Reactions and Tips

 - by Dania

There are 2 main different camps on this, those who do and those who don’t!  It seems that both are fanatic in their views and adamant that the other side is wrong.  I personally believe every parent makes the choice they are comfortable with and no one else should judge.  We agonize enough over our decisions and don’t need to be second guessed and criticized at ever step.

Personally, I immunized my kids based on what their Doctor recommends as the required shots.  The point of all this is that after the shots, babies have different reactions and we need to know how to handle them.  For swelling and pain from the injection site I would wrap a bag of frozen peas or corn in a towel and place gently on the affected area for a few minutes at a time to help calm the area down.  Also for fever I would give them Tylenol.  Another tip for crankiness is the Camilia product I use when baby’s teething (see teething baby article for more info on this).

 Here is more detailed info on all this from the About Health Kids site at  http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/healthaz/Immunization-Reactions.aspx?articleID=8658&categoryID=AZ1a which I hope will help, I know how overwhelming it can be especially when it’s your first child!

“Most reactions are common and harmless. The percentage listed next to each reaction shows the percentage of children who have the reaction.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP)

  • Pain, tenderness, swelling, or redness at the injection site for 24 to 48 hours (25% to 45%). Giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

  • Feverfor 24 to 48 hours (15% to 25%). Give your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if the fever is over  38.9°C (102°F). The next time your child gets a DTaP shot, start giving acetaminophen in the physician’s office and continue the medicine every 4 to 6 hours for 24 hours.

  • Mild drowsiness (15%), fretfulness (40%), or poor appetite (10% to 15%) for 24 to 48 hours.

  • Painless lump (or nodule) at the injection site 1 or 2 weeks later. The lump is harmless and will disappear in about 2 months. Call your physician within 24 hours if it turns red or is tender.

Call your physician immediately if the following rare but serious reactions occur:

  • Fever over 40.0°C, or 104°F (0.4%)

  • Crying for more than 3 hours (1%)

  • High-pitched, unusual cry (0.1%)

  • Convulsions (very rare)

  • Collapse with shock-like state (very rare)

  • Any other unusual reaction

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

These reactions may begin 7 to 10 days after getting vaccine:

  • Fever of 38.3°C to 39.5°C (101°F to 103°F) for 2 or 3 days (10%). Give your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if the fever is over 38.9°C (102°F). Call your physician within 24 hours if the fever lasts over 72 hours or is over 40°C (104°F).

  • A mild pink rash (measles vaccine rash) mainly on the body (5%). No treatment is necessary. The rash will last 2 to 3 days. Call your physician immediately if the rash changes to purple spots. Call within 24 hours if the rash becomes itchy or the rash lasts more than 3 days.

Polio vaccine (IPV)

  • Sore injection site (rare). No treatment is necessary. Giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

  • Fever (1% to 4%). Give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen if the fever is over 38.9°C (102°F).

Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7)

  • Fever, usually, mild (10%). Give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen if the fever is over 38.9°C (102°F).

  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling at the shot site (30%). Giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

Hemophilus influenza type B vaccine (HIB)

  • Sore injection site (up to 25%) or mild fever (5%). Giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

Hepatitis B vaccine (Hep B)

  • Sore injection site (10% to 25%). Giving your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

  • Fever (up to 7%). Give your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if the fever is over 38.9°C (102°F).

Chickenpox vaccine (VAR)

  • Never give your child aspirin for any symptom within 6 weeks of receiving the vaccine. (Reye’s syndrome has been linked with the use of aspirin to treat fever or pain caused by a virus). For fever or pain, give ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

  • The chickenpox vaccine may cause pain or swelling at the injection site for 1 to 2 days (20%).

  • Some children (15%) may have a fever that begins 2 to 4 weeks after the vaccination and lasts 1 to 3 days. Give your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if the fever is over 38.9°C (102°F).

  • A few children (3%) develop a mild rash at the injection site or elsewhere on the body. The rash begins 5 to 26 days after the vaccine, looks like a few (2 to 10) chickenpox sores, and usually lasts a few days.

Children with these rashes can go to day care or school. If the vaccine rash contains fluid, cover it with clothing or a Band-Aid. Avoid school if there are widespread, weepy sores (because this may be real chickenpox).

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccine

  • Sore injection shot site (20% to 50%). Giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

  • Headache or fatigue (less than 10%).

Influenza virus vaccine

  • Pain, tenderness, or swelling at the injection site within 6 to 8 hours (10%). Giving your child ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and placing a cold, wet washcloth over the tender area may provide some relief.

  • Fever of 38.3°C to 39.5°C or 101°F to 103°F (18%). Fevers mainly occur in young children. Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for fever over 38.9°C (102°F).

Most reactions to vaccines are common and harmless. Severe allergic (anaphylactic) reactions to any vaccine are possible, but they are extremely rare or have never been reported. Listed below are the symptoms for a severe allergic reaction as well as common reactions to specific vaccines.

What should you do if your child has a severe allergic reaction?

Call 911 immediately if you notice the following severe allergic reactions:

  • difficulty breathing

  • weakness

  • wheezing

  • fast heartbeat

  • hives

  • dizziness

  • paleness

  • swelling of the throat”

Good Luck!

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