Carrying the world on your shoulders? Because our shoulders often end up carrying a majority of our tensions, here’s a simple yoga stretch that can be done anywhere and anytime:
Place your hands on the top of a sturdy chair, about shoulders’ width apart. (If you don’t have a chair, place your hands against a wall at about chest level.)
Bring your feet a giant step away from the wall or chair and bend forward with a flat back. If your legs feel tight, bend your knees and feel your tailbone lifting up. If your shoulders hurt, bend your elbows. Lengthen your spine and let your head relax down. Your arms, head and back should hang at about a right angle to the floor. Rest in this position for several deep breaths.
Breathe into your shoulders. Exhale. After several long breaths, slowly step back up and straighten your body.
Not only does this stretch release tensions in the shoulders and neck, it also helps to give you a fresh outlook on your day. When you feel overwhelmed or stuck on a problem or just need a quick release, try this stretch to help you gain a new perspective. Release the shoulders + relax the mind = Cheers to a happy back and healthy new year!
Tip provided by mom-to-be and Yoga expert Joan Budilovsky of Evanston, www.yoyoga.com
Resolutions you can keep
Snooze on Festival of Sleep Day Jan. 2-Re-charge your batteries after a holiday season spent making memories for your family. Rely on your significant other or the grandparents to take care of the kids while you sleep the day away guilt-free.
Indulge in Bubble Bath Day Jan. 8-After the kids are tucked in, fill a warm bath with your favorite (grown up) bubble bath, light a few candles, put on a favorite soothing CD and enjoy the woman within.
Hug on National Hugging Day Jan. 21-Give hugs to friends, family and pets. Nothing beats a hug to make things right in your busy world.
What’s the toughest thing about being a modern mom today? Share your tips and thoughts here on being a modern mom in Chicagoland.
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Key to a quick check in
ext messaging has become a part of life for many tweens and teens, so moms need to be in the know to stay in touch with their kids.
Most phones have the option for text messaging, as do phone plans. To get started, messaging should be an option under “menu.” Some phones are user friendly and have a quick-button option. Once you have the new message open, you can text one to 10 people depending on your phone. You can choose the recipients by “adding” people from your “contacts” (the phone numbers you have saved into your phone).
You have two options to writing your message. The first, and simplest way, is to use the “ABC” method. Simply hit each button until your desired letter appears. The second is the “T9 Word” option. Don’t let the big name fool you-it’s actually a smart program. Type in the words on your keypad. The phone will be prompted to create the word. Not what you’re looking for? Hit “0” or “Next” for more options. This mode allows you to text faster, using fewer buttons.
But remember-texting is designed for the quick check-in, the “hey, hope you have a lovely day” messages. It is never to be substituted for a meaningful conversation.
very mama needs a baby bag that provides easy access to those baby vitals: diapers, wipes, bottles, Cheerios and the like. But a Fab Mama takes this need to the next level. She needs versatility, a baby bag that isn’t quite a baby bag and most certainly doesn’t have the ABC’s, Teddy bears and cartoon character themes we’ve seen for entirely too long.
Jessica Bishop, based in Neenah, Wis., offers several styles of fabulous baby bags. The butterfly messenger bag ($119) and checker backpack ($109) are great examples of bags perfect for the Fab Mama. The fabrics are luxurious and feminine.
Trend Lab offers baby bags that are great for any budget. The Cocoa Dots print messenger bag ($25) is chic and has added protection since it is covered with a clear PVC overlay-great for easy cleaning.
All the bags offer pockets on the outside for baby bottles, while the insides have plenty of different shaped pockets for added organization. The messenger bag offered by Jessica Bishop gives you three separate areas for virtually anything, from an extra set of clothing to a changing pad or play cloth. There is even a large zipper section in the middle divider that’s great for any loose items, like a Tide-To-Go pen.
The Jessica Bishop backpack has one big open area with a zippered pocket and mesh pockets on the side. This bag also has detachable straps so it can be carried as a backpack or messenger bag.
The Trend Lab’s messenger bag has two inside pockets-one has a zipper- a large mesh divider and comes with a matching changing pad. I love when accessories match.
My favorite part of these bags is the ability to use them for things other than baby. That kind of versatility in any bag is important for anyone, especially moms.
Jessica Bishop bags are available at www.jessicabishopdesigns.com. Trend Lab bags are available at Wal-Mart or at www.trend-lab.com.
Need just a few essentials? Diapees and Wipees has moms covered. Each bag ($14.99) can hold two to four diapers and a travel pack of wipes. I love the fabrics-my favorite is the Black Disco Dot, which is good for mamas with boys or girls. Diapees and Wipees are available at