Quick Hits

posted by Jay - 

The watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm just came out with their annual list of the “10 Worst Toys,” items that could potentially hurt the kids who they are made for.  Toys making this year’s list include:

  • Wonder Woman Battle Sword – potential for blunt force injuries
  • Spider-man Spider-Drone – potential for eye and body impact injuries
  • Hallmark’s “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy –potential choking hazard
  • Pull Along Pony – potential for strangulation and entanglement injuries
  • Hand Fidget Spinners – potential for choking injuries
  • Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow – potential for eye injuries
  • Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit – potential for strangulation and fall-related injuries
  • Oval Xylophone – potential for ingestion and choking injuries
  • Jets Heel Wheels – potential for blunt impact and fire-related burn injuries
  • Brianna Babydoll – potential for choking injuries

Now if you were planning on buying any of these toys for you kids, know that not everyone thinks they are so dangerous. The Toy Association describes the list as “needlessly frightening,” although they do caution parents to pay attention to the suitable age range listed on the package.

Source: World Against Toys Causing Harm


While most of us overindulge over Thanksgiving, there are ways to keep yourself from overeating. Tips include:

  • Don’t go hungry – Have a filling snack like fruit or whole grains so you won’t pounce on food the minute you arrive.
  • Watch the drinks – Alcoholic drinks contain lots of calories, so if you’re goal is losing weight, try and stay away.
  • Drink lots of water – Always keep a glass of water around you, because the more water you drink, the less you’ll eat.
  • Choose quality over quantity – Be a food snob and only choose things you really want or really love. Not everything is going to be that great, so only go for the stuff that is.
  • Suggest a potluck – If you’re invited to a potluck you can bring something healthy that you prefer to eat and may keep you from the indulgent stuff.
  • Use a small plate – By filling up a small plate you can fool your brain into thinking you’ve had more food than you actually had.
  • Pile on the veggies – Go for veggies first since they are the healthiest (and we’re not talking about the green bean casserole), then choose protein, followed by a starch.
  • Eat slowly – Enjoy every bite of your food and eat it slowly. The slower you eat, the faster you’ll get full and the less you’ll eat.
  • Get physical – Do some sort of movement after dinner, whether it’s a light walk or playing with your kids.
  • Be easy on yourself – If you’ve failed at keeping yourself in check, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, just start again the next day.

Source: USA Today


Get your credit card ready because Black Friday is next week and that means it’s prime holiday shopping time. Here are some ways to save big and still stay sane during the shopping madness.

  • Don’t wait until Friday - Retailers want your money now, so they’re not waiting until they open their doors on Black Friday morning to give you the deals. Start shopping early and you can still score discounts.
  • Do your research - Some retailers, like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Amazon, repeat the same deals from previous years. So check out last year’s discounts and you’ll have an idea what you can expect to see this year. Or look into this year’s sales that have already leaked.
  • Shop around - If you’re in the market for something specific and expensive, say a large, flat-screen TV, it really pays to compare prices from several different retailers before committing. Sites like PriceGrabber, PriceWatch and Google Shopping can help you find out if you’re getting the best deal.
  • Sign up for loyalty programs - You’re really missing out on big rewards during the holidays if you’re not signed up for loyalty programs and email lists. Retailers send free shipping codes, coupons, and extra promo to insiders, so subscribe to save.
  • Hit up social media - Find out about sales, special incentives, and sometimes even secret shopping codes from stores like Nordstrom, Target, and Lowe’s on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Make a budget - Decide what you want to spend before you go shopping so you’re not blinded by deals and end up buying way more than you wanted to.

Source: PureWow


So you agreed to host Thanksgiving at your place this year, but between work, shopping for turkey dinner ingredients, and cooking, you don’t have much time for anything else - like cleaning. But before your holiday guests arrive, your home needs some attention, too. Since you’re short on time, you need to clean thoroughly, but as quickly as possible. Here are some pro speed cleaning tips from Merry Maids home cleaning expert Debra Johnson.

A cleaning caddy for every floor - Johnson says you’ll save time grouping cleaning products together by surface, creating a caddy for each floor surface. Keep everything you need for tile floor in one caddy, and the wood polish and floor cleaner for the living room in another.

Melamine sponges - Do a spot test with a Magic Eraser on an inconspicuous spot and once you know your walls can take it, go to town cleaning all those scuff marks off your walls. Everyone has them and your place will look so much cleaner without them.

DIY cleaning product - Out of cleaning spray? Johnson says you can mix a cup of rubbing alcohol with a cup of water and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and clean with that instead.

Source: My Domaine


A new GoDaddy poll finds that 50% of Millennials have some sort of side hustle, while 24% of Baby Boomers do as well.  For both generations, the most popular type of side hustle is selling stuff online.  The average monthly income from a side hustle is about $250, while Millennials bring in about $258 a month, and baby boomers earn about $234.  The survey also revealed the Top Five side hustles for each generation. They include:

Millennials

  1. Selling stuff online
  2. Clothing & Accessories
  3. Cleaning
  4. Sales & Marketing
  5. Cooking & Baking

Baby Boomers

  1. Selling stuff online
  2. Volunteer Work
  3. Cleaning
  4. Consulting
  5. Sales/Marketing

Source: New York Post


As busy as we all are, we don’t have time for brain fog, especially this time of year. If you’re struggling to focus and concentrate, eating foods with these nutrients could help.

Vitamin B12 - Sherry Kelishadi, a California pharmacist with a doctor of pharmacy degree, says not enough of us realize we could be lacking in B12. “Vitamin B12 deficiency has become a silent epidemic,” she explains. “Some of the most commonly mentioned side effects include fatigue, lack of energy, and sluggishness.” She advises eating foods high in B12 like dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.

Magnesium - We tend to overlook this nutrient, but magnesium helps promote sleep and can affect mental sharpness and brain function. Researchers at MIT foundthat it plays an important role in learning and memory function. So eat plenty of foods rich in magnesium like spinach, black beans, and avocado.

Dietary fat - Brain-boosting compounds in healthy fats like avocados and almonds can boost memory function and increase clarity when you’re trying to focus. Snacks with healthy fats are great fuel when you’re facing a long day of work.

Source: The Daily Meal

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Jay and Dawn

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