Quick Hits

Before you buy mom another sweater, candle, or kitchen gadget, stop to think about what she really wants this year. Here are a few non-material gift ideas that you won’t have to deal with mall madness to get and mom will love.

  • Spa retreat - Skip the fancy bath products and treat mom to a day at the spa instead.
  • Weekend of solitude - As much as moms adore our families, we would welcome a weekend alone to shop, sleep, and shower in peace without having to talk to anyone.
  • Day to be lazy - Give mom a card saying she will be given a day off to do nothing. And then make sure you follow through and make it happen.
  • Cleaning service - Even if it’s only a one-time thing, hire someone else to clean the house for mom.
  • Something heartfelt - Like a love letter or a sweet card or video note from the kiddos.
  • A date night - Hire a babysitter and take mom out on a real date. Remember when you guys used to do that?
  • Hire a personal chef - Again, even if it’s just a one-time deal, it’s something mom would love.
  • Time with a friend - Moms don’t always find time in their schedules to get together with their besties, so help make time for her to meet her BFF for lunch.
  • Framed kid art - Take a few of the kids’ masterpieces from the fridge and put them in a frame for mom.
  • Family photos - Hire a professional or just buy a selfie stick, but mom wants pictures with the whole family, so she’ll love this.
  • Breakfast in bed - It’s a classic and no mom would be disappointed to get this present.

Source: The Stir

Decking the halls, baking Christmas cookies, dealing with holiday shoppers, and getting ready for and entertaining house guests can turn the most wonderful time of the year into a stressful one. Taking some time off to get away from it all would definitely help calm you down, but who has time in an already packed schedule or money in an already blown holiday budget?

That’s why a “daycation” could be the solution. Some hotels even offer daycation packages that give you access to hotel spas, pools, and exercise rooms and all of that could help ease your holiday stress and recharge you.

Here’s a wonderful way to spend your holiday daycation:

  • Sweat it out - Head to the gym for a stress-relieving sweat sesh that’s good for your body and mind.
  • Treat yourself - Pamper yourself with a facial or a massage to melt the stress away. Taking care of yourself helps you get in the right mindset to handle the hectic holidays.
  • Spend time with loved ones - It’s your own personal holiday, so meet up with your bestie for lunch since it’s hard to get together with your busy holiday schedules. Or have coffee with an old friend who’s in town for the holidays.
  • Don’t forget the “me” time - Catch up on your favorite show, read a book, go for a drive to look at Christmas lights, or anything that you feel like doing all by yourself on your daycation. As long as you feel refreshed and rejuvenated at the end of the day, you did it right!


Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that having a child isn’t cheap and for a lot of them one of the biggest expenses is childcare, and it seems regardless of where you live affording reliable childcare is almost impossible.

A new report by Child Care Aware finds that childcare is basically unaffordable in all 50 states. It’s so bad, that the cost of childcare for two children last year was more than mortgage payments in 35 different states and the District of Columbia! And in 28 states and the District of Columbia, the annual cost to put an infant in a childcare center was more than tuition at a four-year college.

Of course, while all states are expensive, some are way more costly than others. Overall, folks in Massachusetts are the least likely to be able to afford center-based care for both infants and toddlers, with the average yearly price around $34,381, 12% over the median income for the state. Other states where childcare is the least affordable include Utah, Oregon, Minnesota, New York, Washington and Hawaii. 

Source: Yahoo Finance

CareerCast has just come out with their annual list of the 10 highest paying jobs of the year.

 Top Ten Highest Paying Jobs for 2017

  1. Surgeon - $409,665
  2. Orthodontist - $208,000
  3. Psychiatrist - $194,740
  4. General Practice Physician - $190,490
  5. Senior Corporate Executive - $181,210
  6. Dentist - $153,900
  7. Petroleum Engineer - $128,230
  8. Podiatrist - $124,830
  9. Air Traffic Controller - $122,410
  10. Pharmacist - $122,230

Source: Market Watch

When the days get shorter and colder, we’re more likely to get sick and for some, Seasonal Affective Disorder sets in. But eating a healthy diet during the winter can help fight some of the negative impacts the season has on our bodies, Here’s what nutritionists advise we load up on during winter.

  • Red peppers - they have more than three times the vitamin C of an orange and it can boost your immune system. Plus the phytochemicals and beta-carotene give you antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Smoked salmon - Cold weather can be tough on our skin, but eating salmon can help combat that. Not only are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids found in salmon good for our heart, brain, and eyes, they’re also important for preventing moisture loss in our skin.
  • Mushrooms - It’s the antiviral and antibacterial properties in mushrooms that make them a winter menu must. Button mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, which builds your immunity and they’re full of other minerals and antioxidants, too.
  • Cheese - A vitamin D deficiency can keep the brain from working properly, which could make us feel tired and unmotivated. But cheese can help beat the winter blues because it’s high in vitamin D and so are orange juice, cereals, and soy milk.
  • Blueberries - They contain more active antioxidants than any fresh fruit and they’re great for clearing out your system in winter.
  • Cinnamon - While you’re finishing off that platter of Christmas cookies, make sure you’re eating plenty of cinnamon as well. It can help boost your metabolism, help with digestion, and it’s packed with antioxidants.
  • Bananas - They contain tryptophan which the body uses to make serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. Dairy products, fish, dried dates, almonds, and peanuts are also high in tryptophan, so eat plenty of these for a natural mood lifter this winter.

Source: Cosmopolitan UK

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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