Friday, August 29, 2014

Cheap Baby Toys

Waah Waah Waah! The baby is crying again. Have you ever had second thoughts about having had that baby? Maybe you are frustrated because of the new addition to the family. Some people have to juggle between the baby at home and the stress from work outside. Not to mention with the baby comes added expenses. Medical bills, hospital bills, bills for clothes and equipment and you feel so stressed out! Even worse when this is your first born. You got no clue how to handle the baby! Changing diapers becomes a challenge, understanding what the baby is trying to say when she is crying and even knowing the proper methods to feed the baby is a test. And all this is driving you crazy.
What I would recommend is that first of all take a big breather. Yes slow down and try to get a breather. Get everything under control and stay calm. And think hard about how you can solve this problem, or try to make life easier for yourself. OK maybe you got a spouse who is very understanding and willing to share the baby load with you. But what if you are a single parent and it is just you and the baby? That becomes a real bummer doesn't it?
Well, let me recommend you something. Have you ever tried buying some baby toys to calm the baby down? Yes I am talking about baby toys. Well if you feel that with the baby already comes many added expenses then think again. You can actually purchase cheap baby toys from online. No time to buy these toys while the baby is untended at home? Well, you can do this in the comfort of your own home. Free and easy. Have those toys delivered to you at home.
And how would these cheap baby toys which were purchased from online help? Well you can't just purchase any baby toys that you see fit. There are actually certain toys that are more important than others. First of all, a baby toy you should get is something which can keep your baby occupied so that he would get distracted and not be idling all the time. For example, you can get a mobile to hang above the cot. Even better if the mobile plays music! That will definitely soothe that little devils ears and make him happy with joy instead of crying!
Oh do note that babies at different ages would need different kinds of toys so always check to see if the toy is suitable for your baby at that age. At the later stages, you should buy some cheap educational toys that help with the baby's development. There are just so many different types of baby toys that you can get for your baby and make life easy. Join me in buying cheap baby toys online and you will never see a crying baby again.
My Name is Lincoln and I like writing about toys. An example of a cheap baby toy which can be bought online includes this perlengkapan bayi baru lahir - Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks. This toy is an educational toy which develops a baby's recognition of shapes and helps in skill coordination. If you are interested to search for more cheap toys and cheap baby toys, you may want to check out my pelengkapan bayi murah blog to look for more cheap toys.

Posted on 8:17 PM | Categories:

Baby Toys To Stimulate Your Baby

We all want the best for our babies. We give them the love they crave, warm their bellies, and rock them to sleep every night. One important factor in becoming a new parent of a baby is providing them with the tools they need to learn, grow, and conquer the world. Baby toys are a very important investment for all parents to make. But what are the right baby toys to purchase for your baby?
Baby Toys to Stimulate Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-Eye coordination is the ability to see and grab objects. At the age of four months your baby's hand-eye coordination is beginning to develop. Your baby will grab at objects, and try to pick them up. Don't worry, he will master this quickly. Around five to six months your baby will learn how to reach for a baby toy, perhaps a baby block, grasp it, and hold onto it. Around seven months, your baby will learn how to drop that toy when he is done playing with it.
Developing hand-eye coordination is a crucial tool for all babies to master, and as soon as possible. We use hand-eye coordination in every day tasks such as bringing a fork to our mouths, brushing our teeth and hair. Think about it. Mastering hand-eye coordination can help a person to be able to do more complex tasks like typing quickly on a computer, playing the piano, painting a masterpiece, even sewing a button on a dress. You could be the proud parent of a modern day Mozart!
When trying to help your baby, the best thing you can do is hold a baby toy within reach from him. Then wait for him to grab it. You do not want to show him how it works. To him, that's all the fun of it! Some baby toys that help with developing hand-eye coordination are:
  • Blocks - Soft Blocks for ages 4 - 7 months and more sturdy blocks for babies older than 12 Months.
  • Stacking Toys will teach your baby to not only maneuver the object, but to also fit them together.
  • Household items such as plastic lids, plastic bottles.
Stimulate Your Baby's Senses with Textured Baby ToysHave you felt the pull of your hair when your baby is about four months old? We've all felt it, and our reaction is first pain, then joy. A lot of us, just remove the baby's white knuckle grip, and say "No", but is this really the response we should be giving? This is your baby saying, "I need my sense of touch stimulated!" Maybe instead of just saying "No", give your baby a toy that will stimulate his sense of touch, teaching him that many different things have different textures, shapes, and colors.
There are many baby toys that will do just this. There are toys that have different textures such as bumps, and curves; Baby toys that have crinkly material, and other fabrics. There also toys that have all this and lights and music to stimulate your baby's sense of hearing.
Some toys that you might want to consider are:
  • Crawl Mats and Play Nests - Baby crawl mats comes in several styles. One toy manufacturer, Galt, has created an infant play nest that stimulates touch, vision and hearing. The fabric covers inflatable ring creating a self contained safe play environment for babies and toddlers.
  • Activity Cube - A big soft colorful block with fun activities for baby to explore. Features may include mirrors, crinkle material, wool, sounds and lights and more.
  • Music makers - These baby toys allow baby to press different buttons and see what new sound is made.
Stimulate Your Baby's Mind and Emotions with MusicHave you ever heard a song that, no matter what mood you were in would cheer you up immediately? Or maybe one that made you sleepy? Well, babies feel all these emotions from music too. Music is a wonderful way to introduce your baby to their own sense of emotions, feelings, and the wonderful world of creativity and imagination! Several baby music CD's are available to invoke various feelings in your baby. Some better choices for parents to consider include the Brainy Baby® music collection.
  • Peaceful Baby(TM) by Brainy Baby® - Calming, restful music that progressively lulls your child into a deep and refreshing sleep.
  • Cheerful Baby(TM) - Cheerful Baby's compositions, melodies, rhythms and tonal ranges encourage a happy mood!
  • Playful Baby(TM) - Vibrant, invigorating music that encourages your child to actively experience the richness of their world.
  • Sleepy Baby(TM) - Calming, restful music that progressively lulls your child into a deep and refreshing sleep.
So What Do You Look For?When you go toy shopping for your baby, make sure you got perlengkapan bayi murah and perlengkapan bayi baru lahir properly and you will want to focus on toys that will stimulate your baby's mind, senses, curiosity and imagination. For a baby up to one year old, keep it simple with large, soft baby blocks, stacking toys, play mats or play nests, activity cubes. As a bonus during playtime, throw a CD in the CD player and watch your baby touch, explore, and learn about his new found abilities!

You can find all the toys mentioned in this article at Babymania Shop , as well several other toys for toddlers, and older children. Stop by, and see what you can find at http://babymaniashop.com


Posted on 8:11 PM | Categories:

Essential Things You Need When You Have a New Baby

Struggling to quiet a fussy baby? The following baby tools may well assist your child (and also you) to feel additional comfortable.
Blanket you ought to have usually observed an infant wrapped in material blanket like a cocoon? Practice we usually encounter, specifically in newborn baby infants is, apparently for great cause you understand, because babies are very pleased to be handled like this. Just envision, your infant was inside of her mom womb for months, in a state physique "with folded arms" conferences, with hands and feet that are not no cost to move and he loved this state. With a blanket, he felt like being in the womb his mother had. Not just that, a material / blanket is actually beneficial to protect your newborn infant in the intensity of extreme noise and light to him.
Carrying cloth Arms (each arms sideways and entrance carrier), is useful not simply to encourage your little one to stroll out from the house, but can also be valuable to serene her lower when she was crying and fussing. Dental Gear for emergence For fussy infants for teething method, gear for example moist washcloth or perhaps a special toy contains water that has cooled (teething toy) may be quite useful. Do not have? As an additional alternative, you may use a stainless metal spoon dipped in chilly H2O. Permit your tiny bite its.
Nipple Additionally to feed her, to serene a fussy little one, you'll be able to attempt using an instrument just like infant pacifiers, or even allow the little chew your finger (have to clear finger) The pediatrician stated that activity bite in newborns, it stimulates the mind to release specific organic chemicals, which will have an effect on the nervous system and can set off a calming stimulus for him.
Child swing quite a few babies are popping up swing lately, which not just rocked forwards and backwards, but additionally to the facet. It's intended to mimic the motion inside the belly of the mother. Nevertheless, you will discover also some experts who tend not to help the use of swing for babies and toddlers. The cause is, since it was feared would cause the little one to have a sense of lack of self-confidence when he grew up.
Infant seats you might know of unique newborn seat that could be folded and taken anywhere? Effectively, in case your baby can sit up, this device can help also to calm him lower. Occasionally, in case your child is fed continuously at a certain position. If your little one spends lots of time by lying down or worn continuously, attempt to place him in an infant seat, to change the mood and standpoint. These seats can also be practical in the event you convey your infant to a buddy or relative. Together with your baby seated in the chair, he'll really feel a lot more comfy, even though he was inside a strange location for him - and simply if you want to find a shop for perlengkapan bayi murah and perlengkapan bayi baru lahir in indonesia , feel free to visit http://babymaniashop.com
Posted on 8:09 PM | Categories:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Soto Betawi di Gading Serpong

GADINGSERPONG - menu sup pasti sudah tidak asing di telinga foodies. Makanan Indonesia yang terbuat dari daging dan kaldu sayuran terkenal karena kelezatan. Salah satu menu sup yang cukup populer adalah sup daging sapi. Ingin mencicipi menu, sepertinya Anda perlu datang ke Roxy Restaurant Soto H Darwasa. restoran gading serpong ini terletak di Bolsena komersial, ini adalah cabang pertama dari Soto Roxy H Darwasa. Di restoran Jakarta cukup legendaris, seperti yang telah didirikan sejak tahun 1950 lalu. Tidak hanya usia tua terkenal, restoran gading serpong ini terkenal untuk melayani sup daging yang memiliki rasa khusus. "Khusus untuk kaldu sup, kaldu daging kita menggunakan dicampur dengan santan dicampur dengan rempah-rempah pilihan. Jadi rasanya lebih enak dan aman untuk makan karena mereka tidak menggunakan rasa bumbu, seperti monosodium glutamat (MSG)," kata Zulkarnain, pemilik Soto Roxy H Darwasa. Ada beberapa menu sup yang bisa dipilih sesuai keinginan pelanggan. Ada yang digoreng dan direbus sup daging, daging sapi paru-paru, lidah, kikil, usus dan vena. "Isi sup dapat disesuaikan dengan selera pelanggan," kata Zulkarnain. Dia menambahkan bahwa salah satu favorit dan terlaris menu di sini digoreng sup daging. "Jadi dalam daging goreng pertama, dan kemudian disajikan dengan sup saus. Sebagai pelengkap diberi kerupuk dan irisan daun bawang. Jangan lupa wedges kapur untuk lebih terasa segar". Untuk mendapatkan porsi menu, Anda tidak perlu menghabiskan mendalam. Semua menu sup di sini mulai dari Rp 28.000. Sementara itu, dalam rangka untuk memanjakan pelanggannya,restoran gading serpong Soto H Darwasa Roxy melayani rencana paket untuk katering, pertemuan sosial, pernikahan, dan pertemuan.
Posted on 8:11 AM | Categories:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Masakan Kepiting

Kuliner - Masakan seafood terkenal kelezatannya. Dari sekian banyak korban dari hidangan makanan laut, kepiting adalah salah satu yang menjadi favorit banyak orang. Di balik cangkang keras, daging kepiting memiliki tekstur yang lembut dan lezat. Nah, untuk pecinta makanan pecinta kepiting olahan, ada satu tempat di Gading Serpong yang dapat menjadi tujuan referensi kuliner Anda. Leaf Crab Restaurant nama Jembo. Family restaurant konsep restoran yang memiliki menu andalan yang patut dicoba, daun kepiting jembo terbakar. Sebelum diolah, kepiting bumbu racikan diolesi pilihan pertama. Agar bumbu lebih meresap, kepiting direbus dan kemudian digoreng dengan pembungkus daun pisang. "Bungkus daun pisang dibuat campuran rempah-rempah yang lebih luas. Tampaknya cukup menggoda, daging lembut, lezat, dan tidak terlalu pedas saat dimakan. Untuk kepiting, pelanggan bebas memilih sesuka hati. Ada pilihan kepiting jantan, telur, dan jumbo, "kata Harris F Aison, Crab Restaurant General Manager Leaves Jembo pemilik restoran gading serpong. Ada juga pilihan lain kepiting olahan senilai check-out. Seperti saus lada hitam kepiting, gurun, dan tiram. Namun, bagi pelanggan yang ingin merasakan sensasi kepiting persiapan soft shell, menu kepiting soka bisa menjadi pilihan. "Jika menu ini, soft shell dan mudah untuk membuka. Jadi, pelanggan tidak perlu repot-repot untuk memakannya," kata Haris. Tidak hanya kepiting menu, pergi Haris, di mana ia juga menyajikan menu seafood olahan lainnya. Mulai dari panggang ikan kuwe lilin jimbaran, kerang madu, panggang cumi melompat telur jembo udang rebus, dan berbagai sayuran olahan. Sementara haus rilis, bandung es yang terbuat dari campuran fanta jeruk dan santan dan es bisa menjadi pilihan yang pas. "Untuk Berbicara tentang harga menu sekarang tetap laris es jeruk kelapa., Semua menu kami mulai dai tag harga Rp 40 ribu," pungkasnya
Posted on 9:00 PM | Categories:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why Women Need More Money Than Men -- and What Can Be Done to Make It Happen

Women need more money than men. Why? (No, not so we can buy more shoes, handbags or manicures.) Women need more because we live longer than men, make significantly less salary than our male peers, and are more likely to be single parents raising a family on one income.
Having a child is now the single best indicator of financial collapse.
Women comprise 87% of the impoverished elderly. A woman who works full-time for 40 years will earn $523,000 less than her male counterpart. At age 65, that extra half a million dollars could keep her from becoming one of the elderly poor.
What do these grim statistics tell us? They tell us that women, especially as they become older, are not prepared to take care of themselves financially. Yet nearly 90% of all women will end up managing their finances alone at some point in their lives.
Despite a woman's greater potential for financial need, it appears that many factors hamper financial equality between the sexes.
What can women do to beat these alarming odds?
Here are a few of my own - perhaps unique - ideas:
Delay motherhood.   My husband and I purposely waited until we had achieved financial freedom before adopting our daughter, because we didn’t want to repeat our own parent’s experiences. We both grew up with workaholic, struggling young parents and quite frankly, that often stunk. We didn't want money to interfere with our parenting.
Forming a family through adoption, rather than pregnancy, was a decision I made when I was a mere teenager. (The way I figured it, why "make my own" child when there are countless orphans dying for a family already.)  Since my husband and I chose to create our family through adoption, my biological time clock wasn't a ticking time bomb.
As my blog’s tagline says, “Financially free, our family hasn’t set an alarm clock in years. Whether it be work, parenting or play, we wake with the sun, eager to spend each new day doing whatever we choose.”   We waited until we could afford to commit to parenting 100%, together. For our family, the wait has been worth it.
I realize the path we chose isn't a good fit for most, but I do think it's sensible for parenthood to wait until certain things are in order. Consider taking the time to first:
  • finish college, establish your career, or launch your business
  • pay off your credit cards and other consumer debt
  • build an emergency fund
  • protect your growing wealth with insurance policies like disability and health
  • start your retirement account
  • build a solid partnership with your significant other
Share parenting and careers with your child's father.   I have two biases to confess right off the bat: One: I think most kids grow up best when raised by their parents (as opposed to day-care providers); and two: women need to know how to make money (see the statistics referenced in this article, above).
My ideal parenting-career model looks like this: Mom and Dad divide childcare and career hours between the two of them. For instance, rather than settle for the stereotypical full-time working father and the stay-at-home mom, each parent works part-time (20-25 hours each), during different shifts, while swapping care of the kids.
Think about the benefits to this kind of arrangement:
  1. Kids grow up spending quality time with both parents
  2. Both Mom and Dad get to spend quality time with the kids
  3. Both parents have the opportunity to pursue their own career paths
  4. No childcare expenses are required
  5. Mom hasn't given up her earning power
I recognize this isn't an easy arrangement for everyone. Many families feel they both need to work full-time to support their family. Some don't think their employer would allow them to work part-time. Others are single-parents who can't count on reliable child-support or parental care from the other. It's not the perfect solution for everyone. But if it sounds like an appealing idea to you, see if you can eliminate the "yes-but's" and figure out a way to make it happen anyway.
Refuse to be underpaid.  Remember-- a woman who works full-time for 40 years will earn $523,000 less than her male counterpart.  When you perform the same work, why in the world should you settle for less pay? Demand what you deserve,
Become financially literate.  Almost 90% of all women will end up managing their finances alone, so it's foolhardy to allow the man in your life to handle your finances. Read books, take classes, find a money mentor.
Come to grips with the emotions behind money.  The “How To’s” of personal finance are the same for women as they are for men. What is different is our feelings and beliefs about money. It has been demonstrated that most women are raised to nurture and seek acceptance and view money as a means to create a lifestyle. Women spend on things that enhance day-to-day living. Conversely, most men grow up learning to fix and provide. They view money as a means to capture and accumulate value, like a house and retirement. Men don't spend, they invest. Men don't want something, they need it. Theirs tends to be a future-money orientation.
Modify your money mindset to a more functional one.
Create a lifetime financial plan.  I use Microsoft Money's lifetime financial planning tool. Stay tuned for a future post for more details.
If you are married (or in a committed relationship), invest in it.  Money ranks as the first most argued topic for many couples. It has been estimated that an astounding 80% of divorces are the result of money disagreements.
A good marriage takes effort. I've been married for 21 years, so believe me, I know.  We schedule regular date nights sans kid, and see a counselor for "maintenance tune-ups". Money and time well invested, I assure you.
Push for national change in Congress, state legislature, public schools, and at the corporate level. Support systems that will help to ease financial differences between genders.
Readers, how do you think women can beat the odds?  I recognize this topic could raise some controversy, so please remember to express your constructive opinion, thoughts and ideas with respect and kindness.
Learn more on this topic:
Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money
The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke
The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need
Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny
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Note: Statistical information for this article was obtained from the following sources:
http://character-education.info/Money/money-studies-and-statistics.htm
http://iasp.brandeis.edu/womenandaging/poll_exsum.pdf
http://federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/2006/financesurvey.pdf
http://www.stocktonwomensnetwork.org/pdfs/Perle/Statistics%20on%20Women.pdf
Posted on 10:47 PM | Categories:

Rent, Grow Rich, Be Free

I recently shared my formula for uncovering the difference between your needs and wants and today, I'm sharing a relevant personal story.

 In 1994, my husband and I built a fabulous home on a seven acre farm. We constructed a huge barn and filled it with critters and big boy toys.
Each weekend, we'd have a mile long to-do list: we'd plant more trees, paint fences, weed the garden, remodel. Our housekeeper spent half a day each week cleaning our home-- despite the fact that the two of us occupied only half of our total living space.
One financially reflective day in 2003, I calculated the total cost of living in our home. Due to our sweat equity, our mortgage balance was very low ($120k with monthly principle and interest payments of about $855), but once I added property taxes, insurance, maintenance and, especially, lost opportunity costs (home equity not available to earn money), it became very clear that our shelter "need" was costing us too much in life energy. The total cost for living in our home, including lost opportunity costs, was an astounding $60,000 that year.
That day was a turning point in my financial life. We discussed our options, sold our home and became renters. I took our home equity and invested in a well-diversified equity portfolio.
Our net worth blossomed exponentially. Some might find it ironic, but the day I officially became a millionaire, we were renting a small apartment.
By downsizing into a rented apartment, we had replaced our previous $60,000 annual shelter expense with one costing $9,000 per year. This huge reduction in spending quickly accelerated the growth of our net worth.

Our downsized move saved on other costs, too: the clubhouse, swimming pool and exercise room eliminated the need for our health club membership; our utility costs dropped dramatically; and our commute was shortened, cutting car transportation expenses.
The benefits were more than financial-- we enjoyed our first taste of freedom. We'd wake on Saturday morning with no to do list: no mowing, no repairing, no cleaning, no sweat. We'd sit smugly on our patio, enjoying our coffee and newspaper, watching the property management's landscaping and maintenance crews busy at work.
We chose to move into a house when we adopted our daughter. Currently, we rent a nice family home located across from a large neighborhood park. Compared to owning our previous house, our annual savings is about $44,500. How long do we plan on staying here? As long as our property manager comes when we call and no yappy dog moves in next door.
Important Update: Welcome! If you have arrived here via Lifehacker, Mental Floss, or are jumping into this conversation without any additional background information, you MUST read the following posts to completely understand the point of this post. Additionally, please read the information I offered in the comments sections.
In Rent vs Buy: The Hidden Cost of Lost Opportunity, I explain why it was so costly, despite my mortgage payments being so low, to own my house. In a nutshell, lost opportunity cost is defined as the cost of something in terms of an opportunity forgone and the benefits which could be received from that opportunity.
In my post I Get Richer As A Renter, I directly compared apples to apples, using a comprehensive rent versus buy calculator, on one typical home. The calculator reported, "Your home purchase does not breakeven after 30 years."
Finally, in Dispelling The Myth That Home Ownership Is Your Best Investment, you'll find answers to common questions and objections.
Additional resources comparing renting versus buying:
The Motley Fool: The Worst Investment Ever
MSN Money (by SmartMoney): Why rent? To get richer
Priced Out Forever: Renting vs. Purchasing
Click here to view some of my favorite books.
Posted on 10:43 PM | Categories:

If You Want To Be Wealthy, You Need To Know This

Do you want to be wealthy? I'm going to share something with you today that you really need to understand - on a gut level - before you can make it happen.
Even if you learn all there is to know about money (how to make it, save it, invest it), if your relationships with others - or yourself - are dysfunctional, you'll never reach your full abundance potential.
In the past, I used to bitch, moan and complain (aka commiserate) with certain people because it seemed to bring us closer together. Misery likes company, so I feigned misery so these people would like me. I didn't want to make anyone feel jealous or envious either, so I talked myself down. It seemed so PC (politically correct).
I learned the hard way that this didn't do anyone any favor. I curbed this behavior... and I grew wealthy and happy.
I hear from these individuals now only when something difficult is occurring in my life. But when I'm all smiles and gratitude, I don't hear a peep from them. Similarly, a reader suggested recently that I make some people feel depressed by expressing my satisfaction, gratitude and happiness. He/she thinks that I should express more humility instead.
I know that my blog's traffic might increase if I discussed the mess my latest bookkeeper made of our financial records, the hit our retirement accounts have taken during this economic downturn, the exhaustion I felt during our recent move, or the disturbing mystery behind my still missing sister-in-law.  We all know that bad news sells. The media is full of tragedy, fear and despair because it works to increase circulation and readership.
But I don't want to write about bad things, even if it would drive my blog's traffic to new heights. Sure, bad news sells, but I don't have anything to sell.
If I focused on hardships, I'd feel like a car wreck on the side of the highway - the type that drivers can't help but slow down to gawk at (even though we know it's what causes the horrendous traffic jam).  I'd be attracting negative thoughts into my mind, and people that choose to focus on negativity into my life.
I write to express myself, and to share the steps I take to live a fuller, richer, happier life. By doing so, I actively practice my intentions and keep aligned on what is important to me. It brings a higher caliber of relationships into my life, and it gives me the strength to deal with the occasional curve ball thrown my way.
Here are some things I've learned by attending the University of Hard Knocks:
We become the company we keep.  Like attracts like. Be negative and you'll attract negativity; be positive and you will attract positive relationships into your life.
Limit your exposure to toxic people.  We all have them - friends, family or co-workers - that seem hell-bent on bringing us down to their level.  Immunize yourself from their poison by maintaining healthy personal boundaries. Don't be a martyr, learn to say no. Be a positive role model instead. Perhaps you'll inspire them (when they are personally ready) by modeling a different, healthier attitude.
Envy and jealousy will get you exactly what you don't want.  Acknowledge these feelings, then release them and let go. Compare yourself not to others, but only to your best self.
Don't be pressured into humility.  Definitions of humble include:
     - cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
     - low or inferior in station or quality
     - marked by meekness or modesty
These definitions don't fit with a healthy, positive self-esteem.
Choose to use different language. The language you use directs your actions and therefore the path your life takes.
Limit your exposure to mass media. Pull the plug on bad news. Be selective - record uplifting, humorous and educational programs and keep the boob-tube turned off otherwise.
Focus on the bright side of life. I promise - there is always a bright side! What you think about is what you will get. Practice this skill by keeping a gratitude journal.
Stop looking in the rear view mirror.  Live your life from this day forward.
Posted on 10:38 PM | Categories:

I Choose Happiness. Do You?

Four years ago, my husband and I sold our country farm home. Our intention was to kick start our early retirement with a year-long travel adventure across America in an RV. We planned to submit our adoption paperwork before leaving so we'd keep busy during the long wait for a referral. During our road trip adventure, we planned to keep our eyes peeled for the perfect place to call our next home. We were ecstatic about the prospect of living as vagabonds for a whole year, then welcoming a child into our lives.

Two months after selling our home and placing our pet goats, chickens and horses with new owners, my mom was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. Whoa. Not only did our trip preparation come to a screeching halt, but so did my carefree and positive outlook. My mom wasn't just family-- she was one of my dearest friends. She was only 59. She'd always been extremely active and healthy. She was going to be such an incredibly fun “Gramz” for our future daughter. I was completely thrown for a loop.

My mom lived with my husband and me for much of her two-and-a-half-year-long battle with cancer. I watched helplessly as her once strong body weakened, withered and starved. I've never before felt such intense and prolonged pain.

I realized I had to do something to avoid going completely out of my mind with fear, grief and overwhelm. I tried all the usual things: support groups, therapy, sleep. While these things certainly helped, I discovered something even better. And it was so ridiculously simple.

During this intensely difficult time, I realized that I could be happy anyway.

How? I made it my mission to look for at least five things each day that make my heart melt, my soul sing and my smile grow. I wrote a list of five happy moments everyday. I actively searched for things to add to my list. My focus changed and in turn, so did my mood. I learned that happiness takes practice. With practice, I developed a habit of feeling happy.

At first I felt like a traitor. How could I think about happy things while my mom suffered? Was I being unfair, insensitive? Fortunately, I realized that I couldn't be a good caregiver for my mom when I felt bad. Fortunately, I chose happiness over guilt.

I learned an invaluable and powerful life lesson: It isn't circumstance that dictates whether I live a happy life -- rather, it is a matter of choice. I can succumb to sadness and overwhelm or I can choose to feel gratitude, love and happiness.

I know it sounds hokie, but give it a try anyway. Right this minute, grab a notebook and write down five things that make you happy. If a negative thought pops up, wave it away and look for something positive. Just in case you're having a really “bad day”, I'll offer a few ideas to get you started:

crisp autumn air
the smell of puppy breath
reading the Sunday newspaper
creative photography
vine-ripened garden tomatoes
family
friendships
a good book
surfing the internet
wildflowers
setting a goal
enjoying a massage
watching birds congregate at my birdfeeder
playing hide and seek with my child
chai tea
my favorite wine
buckets of sunflowers at the farmers market

The power of focus is amazing. Recounting painful memories in the beginning of this post was making me feel a bit blue. But after compiling the list of “happy things”, I'm once again feeling, umm... happy!

I continue to develop and practice my happiness habit. I choose to feel happy. What about you?

Relevant and Recommended Reading:

View my favorite books on happiness (and other topics) at the Millionaire Mommy Next Door Store. Profits are offered as micro-loans (via kiva.org) to sponsor small businesses operated by the world's working poor-- empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty.
Posted on 10:37 PM | Categories:

Marshmallow Test and Money


5 Things The Marshmallow Test Can Teach You About Money

Tina is an intellectually-gifted bartender who struggles to pay her bills. Tina serves martinis to Susan. Susan is no more intelligent than Tina, but Susan is a millionaire.

If not intelligence, then what explains the difference between wealth and financial lack? And what do sticky, gooey marshmallows have to do with it?

In the 1960s, Stanford University psychology researcher Walter Mischel conducted a longitudinal study. Mischel placed marshmallows in front of hungry four-year-old children. He told them they could have one marshmallow now, or if they could wait several minutes, they could have two. Some children quickly grabbed the marshmallow and ate it. Others waited.

Mischel followed the group and found that 14 years later, the children who eagerly devoured the first marshmallow weren't faring as well as the children who had waited for two marshmallows. Years later, the “grabbers” suffered low self-esteem. Teachers and parents viewed these kids as stubborn, prone to envy and easily frustrated. The "wait-for-two-fers" possessed better coping skills; were more socially competent, optimistic, self-assertive, dependable and trustworthy; and scored about 210 points higher on their SATs.

Perhaps the key difference between between financial lack and wealth is not merely hard work or superior intelligence, but the ability to delay gratification.

What can the Marshmallow Test teach you about personal finance?

Avoid looking at marshmallows when you're hungry

During the Marshmallow Test, some successful kids reportedly covered their eyes so they couldn't see the tempting treat. Avoid temptation-- stay away from the mall when you're bored.

Save a marshmallow today and you'll eat well tomorrow

The children who waited for the second marshmallow were rewarded with a 100% return on their first marshmallow. Unleash the power of compounding and you'll be rich when you retire.

Drooling over s'mores? Wipe your chin and wait for the hot goo to cool-- because you don't want to burn your mouth!

One child reportedly licked the table around the marshmallow while waiting for the experimenter to return. Imagine having what you want, but wait until the time is right to consume. If you shop, wait until you have cash in hand to buy-- don't get burned by finance charges and credit card debt!

Stick your marshmallow into the fire, keep your eye on it and remove when perfectly browned-- before it bursts into flames.

Some successful children watched their marshmallow to prevent others from snatching it, waited patiently until the researcher returned with the expected second marshmallow, then enjoyed their reward-- without begging greedily for more. Invest in the market, monitor your investment and sell your shares when they reach your target price-- before the bubble pops.

Give your children mini-marshmallows and teach them how to make rice crispy bars.

Some kids handled the wait by turning their back to the marshmallow, singing songs or talking to themselves. With practice, kids can learn how to delay gratification. Provide opportunities for your child to develop strategies. Give your children an allowance and teach them money management skills.
Posted on 10:31 PM | Categories: