Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tackling Dry Scalp in Toddlers

Back in December, I started noticing that my daughter’s scalp was really, really dry. It looked a little bit like very mild cradle cap, but what two year old gets something that’s normally associated with infants? Apparently lots of them, based on what I found on Google.

I tried switching to Aveeno Baby Gentle Conditioning Shampoo, but the problem persisted. So I did what any desperate mom does these days, I took to Facebook. I asked fans of the Mom Machine page for their advice on dealing with dry scalp in toddlers. Lucky for me (and Olivia), they rose to the occasion!

One mom suggested Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo. Several moms recommended massaging baby oil into the scalp and then shampooing like normal. California Baby Eczema Shampoo & Bodywash also made the list. But the most recommended treatment, by far, was Mustela’s Foam Shampoo for Newborns.

I decided to start cheap and try the baby oil method. It worked, sort of. Her scalp would be noticeably less dry for a little while, but the flakes would always come back. So I finally gave in, followed the advice of the majority, and picked up the Mustela shampoo. I’ll be honest—I was a little skeptical since it’s specifically formulated for newborns, but since nothing else had worked, I was willing to give it a shot.

We have been using the Mustela shampoo every other night for several weeks now and what do you know? No flakes! It took probably a week’s worth of use before we noticed a difference, but once the dryness cleared up, it hasn’t come back. A big THANK YOU to those Mom Machine fans who jumped in with suggestions—you’re the best! Olivia and I both appreciate it.

 

*Please note: this post is not a sponsored post, nor was I compensated in any way for writing it. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.


10 Time-Saving Apps for Busy Moms

When you’re a busy mom, every second counts. Here are some time-saving apps to help you shortcut your way through life.

RetailMeNot (Free)
My stepmom turned me on to this app over the holidays, and I am obsessed! When you’re out shopping, just type in the name of a store to find all of the coupon codes available. When you go to checkout, they just scan the barcode on your phone.  With 24 different categories, you can find coupons for nearly every major retailer.

Evernote (Free)
Evernote’s slogan is “Remember Everything,” which is fitting for this accessible repository for notes, articles, links, photos, whatever you want to keep track of. What I love about Evernote is that I have it on my iPhone, iPad, work laptop, and home computer, so no matter what device I’m on, if I come across something I want to remember or go back to later, I can easily save it. I also love the voice note feature, which lets you dictate a message to yourself and save it as a note. I use this all the time when I think of a great blog post idea while I’m on the go!

Mint.com (Free)
This app lets you view all of your accounts in one place—bank accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgage—to give you a bird’s eye view of your finances. It even tracks and categorizes your transactions so you can see how much you’re spending each month on groceries versus gas. The Mint.com app will also give you financial advice based on your accounts and your spending habits.

Wunderlist (Free)
The ultimate list app, Wunderlist keeps track of your to-do list, your grocery list, your packing list for your upcoming trip, pretty much anything. It syncs across all your devices, and it allows you to share your lists, which comes in really handy when your hubby offers to go to the grocery store for you.

Grocery IQ (Free)
If you’re looking for a dedicated grocery list app, look no further. Build your grocery list using text, voice, or barcode scan, and then organize your items by aisle to help you get in and get out as quickly as possible. You can even search for relevant coupons based on what’s on your list and share your list across multiple devices.

IFTTT (Free)
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. Okay, so this isn’t an app, strictly speaking, but it DOES help your apps work harder for you. With IFTTT, you can set up “recipes” to help you automate just about anything. Some of my favorite recipes: when I star a blog post in my Google Reader, it automatically creates a note in Evernote; I get a text message to let me know it’s going to rain; and anytime I change my Facebook profile picture, my Twitter picture automatically updates as well. Sure, these aren’t necessities, but they do save me a step or two.

RedLaser (Free)
Never waste time bargain hunting again! This app lets you scan an item and instantly see the best online and local prices. You can also find top deals and search for stores nearby. Best of all? You can scan all of your loyalty cards right into the app so you never have to worry about keeping track of them all.

Find My iPhone (Free)
Things will go missing when there are kids around. It’s almost a rule of physics. At least with this app, you won’t spend an hour trying to figure out where your two year old stashed your phone. You have to set up this app BEFORE you lose your phone, but it definitely comes in handy when you need it to spring into action.

How to Cook Everything ($4.99)
Mark Bittman’s bestselling cookbook, How to Cook Everything, is now an easy-to-use app! Search reference information and recipes, complete with shopping lists and built-in timers. You can also easily print out your recipes and shopping lists. I love that this app doesn’t require a network connection to work, so even when I have no signal at the grocery store, I can still pull it up.

Total Baby ($4.99)
I so wish I had had this app when I was nursing my daughter. It keeps track of which side you nurse from and when, as well as a gazillion other things that new moms need to keep straight. Log vaccines, track sleep patterns, time pumping sessions, you name it, this app does it all.

Do you have a go-to app to help keep your life organized or to save you time? Share it!


Pear and Prosciutto Pizza

One of my go-to weeknight meals is homemade pizza. And when I say “homemade,” I mean refrigerated pizza dough because really, who has an hour to let their dough rise when bedtime is at 7:30 p.m.? I like to use the Pillsbury Artisan Whole Grain Pizza Crust but any type of refrigerated dough works.

Because we have pizza so often, I’m always looking for unique toppings to shake things up. I saw this combination in Cooking Light and thought it sounded delightfully different. I made a few changes to the original recipe (refrigerated dough rather than from scratch, slight variation on the toppings, etc.), but we all agreed this would go into our regular rotation.

Pear and Prosciutto Pizza

Adapted from Cooking Light 

1 refrigerated pizza crust
6 oz crumbled goat cheese
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 ripe Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach
Balsamic glaze (I used Supremo Italiano Fig Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar)
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out the crust in your pizza pan. Brush the crust with olive oil and prebake for 7 minutes.

2. Top the crust with the pears, prosciutto, and goat cheese and continue baking for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

3. Allow the pizza to cool just slightly before topping with the spinach. Drizzle the pizza with the balsamic glaze, and then cut and serve.