6 Pretty Crystals to Gift A Pregnant Friend or New Mom

Crystals are natural stones filled with earth energy that transmits healing properties. They can be used for soothing emotional, mental, and physical pain and send positive vibrations to a difficult situation.

Pretty crystals are a beautiful spiritual present for both pregnant women and new moms who are overwhelmed, tired, and out of balance.

Keep reading to learn all about the most powerful pregnancy and motherhood crystals and pick the right ones to give as gifts.

1. Rose Quartz

One of the most essential crystals for pregnancy is rose quartz, known as the “Crystal of Love”. It features a pretty baby pink color and has an energy of nurturing energy and protection. The mom can either bring the crystal in the delivery room or place it in the nursery to help protect the baby.

2. Moonstone

Moonstone is one of the most popular crystals for labor and childbirth, stimulating an easy pregnancy and delivery. It has positive effects on the female reproductive system and may enhance fertility with women struggling to conceive. Moonstone is also great for new moms, as it can balance out the hormones and help stabilize emotions.

3. Malachite*

One of the most beautiful birth crystals is malachite, also known as the “midwives’ stone”. It features a jade green color and can help with pain relief, stimulate contractions, and support safe childbirth.

*Caution: Malachite can be toxic if not used properly. Never use malachite in its raw, unprocessed, unpolished state. Never use malachite to make crystal drinks of elixirs and do not let malachite get in contact with water or moisture as it can be extremely toxic for the mom and baby.

 

4. Black Obsidian

Black obsidian is a wonderful crystal for clearing negativity, bad energy, and pain surrounding pregnancy and/or childbirth. It’s a great stone for new moms who struggle with guilt, frustration, and negative body image.

For best results, gift black obsidian to your pregnant friend at least one to two weeks before her due date. The crystal can help with cramps during labor, physical and mental overwhelm, and provide protection in dangerous situations. 

5. Amethyst

Amethyst crystals have a beautiful violet color and can offer pain and tension relief, stability, emotional grounding, and protection for the mom and baby. Amethyst will look beautiful on a fertility necklace or a bracelet for the pregnant friend or new mom in your life.

6. Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a beautiful royal blue crystal with white and golden specks throughout. It can help pregnant women and new moms find relief from pain and stress, support an easy and safe delivery, along with anxiety and restlessness during labor.

These Pretty Crystals Are the Perfect Gifts For Pregnant Women and New Moms

If you have a pregnant lady or a new mom in your life, pretty crystals make for great gifts that she can use for a long time. Make a special collection for her with carefully selected stones that she can carry everywhere with her.

Want more pregnancy and parenting tips? Read some of the other articles on our website where we share the latest trends, news, and updates.

Exercise for Kids! 5 Super Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Exercise

Wondering how to get your kids to exercise more?

Are you worried that your children aren’t as active as they should be?

While there is a lot to think about when raising children, exercise for kids is one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked. To grow up healthy and strong, it’s important that your kids get adequate exercise and remain active on a consistent basis, rather than staying inside all of the time.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Below we’ll tell you about 5 super fun ways you can get your kids to exercise more.

1. Get the Right Gear

One of the best ways to get your kids to play outside and to exercise more is to make sure that they have the right toys and gear to do it.

Buying a trampoline, bicycles for your kids to ride, or owning other fun outdoor equipment can make a huge impact on how much exercise your kids get. Backyard playsets can also be great for kids and can encourage them to stay active.

2. Consider Active Gaming

These days, many kids prefer to stay inside playing video games instead of going outside and doing fun activities. If you’re desperate to get your kids to exercise more often then you might not want to reinvent the wheel or ask for too much too soon.

Getting a motion-controlled gaming system such as the Wii that requires players to stand, move, and wave their arms to play can be a great gateway to a more active lifestyle. The Kinect for the Xbox or the Playstation Move can also be good options.

3. Encourage Team Sports

Encouraging your children to join their school’s basketball team, baseball team, or another sports team can be a great idea and will benefit your kids in several ways. These sports will get them moving on a regular basis and will also be a great social activity that can help them make new friends.

However, if none of the sports at your child’s school appeals to them there are other options. Karate, ballet, gymnastics, swimming, and even yoga classes can also be good possibilities.

4. Take an Active Vacation

Another great way to get your kids to be more active is to take them on a fun vacation.

When going on a trip to the beach, for example, you can give your kids a chance to swim in the ocean, try their hand at snorkeling, play mini-golf or fly a kite. A hiking or kayaking trip to the mountains can also be a lot of fun.

Going on a vacation to a fun destination can open up new opportunities for outdoor activities and this can make being active a lot more exciting for kids.

5. Become a Great Role Model

One final thing you can do to get your kids exercising more is to become a role model. If your kids see that you’re living an active lifestyle, they’ll naturally want to join in and learn about the activities you’re doing. Many kids want to be like their parents and will take on the same habits and interests.

By living an active lifestyle, regularly exercising, and trying new activities often your kids will want to do the same.

Understanding the Importance of Exercise For Kids

If you’re trying to make sure your children grow up happy and healthy, you need to take exercise for kids into consideration. Be sure that you’re using the tips above to get your kids into the outdoors and to help them become more active.

Looking for more family tips and guides? Explore our blog now to find more interesting articles and useful advice.

Tips and 401k Divorce Advice From the Top Family Attorneys

With almost one million divorces happening in the United States every year, there’s a chance that one day, you might find yourself looking to part ways with your spouse. While getting out of a relationship that’s not fulfilling may sound like a positive move, a lot of the tricky logistics that come with it will feel anything but positive.

Among the biggest snags that many couples face when uncoupling is how a spouses’ retirement money is going to be split up. That issue makes for the foundation of this blog post on 401k divorce advice.

Below, we share four tips that top divorce lawyers advocate when counseling clients through retirement-related separation problems.

1. Try to Get Ahead of the Problem

If you have a sizable retirement bankroll and are getting married, it may pay to put a prenuptial agreement in place before saying your vows. A prenuptial agreement allows partners to come to agreements on how assets will be treated should a divorce ever occur. With that agreement in place, you may be able to protect your savings.

Some states, depending on your relationship, may not allow you to safeguard certain assets from your spouse, even with an agreement in place. Still, this option may be worth exploring.

2. Offer Property Rather Than Your 401k

A common piece of 401k divorce advice that lawyers may offer to those not wanting to part with their savings is to part ways with other assets of similar value. For example, if you’d like to keep one million dollars in savings, you may be able to offer your spouse close to that much in property in exchange for him/her agreeing to leave your nest egg alone.

A good lawyer can help you navigate those negotiations during settlement discussions.

3. Make Life Easy on Yourself With an Even Split

Most states will agree that you offering to split your 401k money evenly with your spouse will satisfy shared property laws.  Consequently, if you want to make legal proceedings as simple as possible, consider biting the bullet and splitting your 401K alongside your other assets.

When you consider how much fighting may cost you in legal fees, it may be that coming to a quick deal is the most financially and emotionally rewarding path you can take.

4. Talk to an Attorney

You can read online content on 401k divorce distribution until you’re blue in the face. No matter how much insight you find online though, nothing replaces the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney.

So, when you’re ready to put into motion a plan relating to your divorce and retirement money, seek a lawyer to consult to make sure your course of action is sound and legal in your state.

Valuing Expediency May Be the Best 401k Divorce Advice We Can Give You

As we noted, spending inordinate amounts of time fighting with your ex-partner over money can be costly both financially and emotionally. Because of that, perhaps the best 401k divorce advice we can give is to put a premium on expediency.

Cutting a deal quickly may cost you more upfront. However, when you consider the stress you’ll save and your ability to move on with your life, you may find that the price is well worth it.

For more money advice, check out additional content on our thrift-focused blog.

Health Matters: How to Increase Blood Oxygen Level

Most people don’t give a second thought to the levels of oxygen in their blood. That is until they develop a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. That’s when monitoring blood oxygen level becomes critical to survival. 

There are other diseases that can inhibit the body’s ability to pass oxygen through the lungs and into the blood, or interfere with the blood oxygen’s ability to travel around the body. These conditions include heart disease, asthma, and other lung damage. 

Running out of oxygen is a terrifying situation to imagine. Thankfully, there are ways to improve blood oxygen level. You can learn more about these effective strategies below. 

Breathe Properly

Something as simple as the way you sit and stand can greatly affect your lung capacity, which directly affects your blood oxygen level. Get into the habit of holding a straight back with an upright chin and rolled-back shoulders. 

Posture is even important when you go to sleep. A bed that’s too soft won’t properly support your back and will negatively affect your breathing. Patients who need extra help breathing at night can use a CPAP machine, but make sure to regularly use a sleep cleaner and sanitizer.

Start Exercising

Considering that heart disease can reduce your blood oxygen levels, it’s important to exercise and keep your heart healthy. Exercise also strengthens lung function, helping them pump more oxygen into the blood and encouraging the oxygenated blood to travel faster around the body. 

Eat a Healthy Diet

Again, a healthy diet is another way to promote heart health. Certain vitamins and nutrients can even promote the function of oxygen in the body. Antioxidants are a great example of this. 

Although oxygen is essential to human life, it can also hurt it. Oxygen can produce free radicals that wreak havoc on the body. Antioxidants prevent this process, called oxidation, from happening.

Even drinking water can help blood oxygen levels improve. Of course, water is largely made up of oxygen and it’s an easy way to get more of it in your body.

Improve Air Quality

Anyone who lives in a polluted area knows the value of clean air. It should be a human right, but sadly, millions of people around the world are forced to breathe harmful molecules every day. 

Improving air quality is easily done with a little investment. Air purifiers and humidifiers are moderately priced machines that help. There are even plants that naturally filter and cleanse air.

Don’t forget to regularly get some fresh air. Fresh, outdoor air contains more oxygen for you to breathe than recycled, stagnant, indoor air.

Blood Oxygen Level and Other Health Info

Blood oxygen level is not completely under an individual’s control, but there are ways to influence it. Be sure to diligently follow the strategies above and monitor changes in your blood oxygen level. 

For more helpful health tips and advice, don’t forget to check out our page. 

Finding Health Insurance When You’re Self Employed

One of the biggest trade-offs for self-employed people is the benefits that go with an office job. Sure, you have the freedom and flexibility to do what you want, but you’re going to have to figure out health insurance.

You might think that you have no options to get insurance because it’s too expensive. With the average monthly premium a whopping $574 a month, it’s easy to write off health insurance as impossible.

You might be surprised to learn that self-employed health insurance is a possibility. You just have to know where to look.

Keep reading to discover the many ways you can get health insurance when you’re self-employed.

1. Partner or Spouse

If you’re self-employed and your partner or spouse is gainfully employed by a company with good benefits, you may be able to be added on to their insurance policy.

Every company is going to have a different approach to providing coverage for spouses and partners. Some allow it, or they will pay a small percentage of the premium. Other companies don’t allow it at all.

You should have your spouse check with their HR department to find out if it’s worth it or not.

2. Group Insurance Plans

Do you belong to a trade or industry association? You may be able to get group health insurance at a reduced rate.

There are plenty of organizations that have group plans. With a group plan, a number of people are on the same plan, spreading the risk across many people for insurance companies to cover.

The reduced risk for insurance companies can result in a lower premium payment.

3. Short-Term Insurance Plans

The most affordable health insurance plans are short-term health insurance plans. These were initially plans that were meant to cover you for a short period of time, like if you were in between jobs.

Now providers can insure people for up to a year. Vera Health is an example of a short term health insurance provider that can give you longer coverage. You can find out more about Vera Health here.

This is a great option if you don’t go to the doctor much and you don’t have a huge need for medical care. You have a lower premium and you’re still covered in case you have a huge emergency.

4. COBRA

If you recently left a job and had insurance there, you can qualify for COBRA. COBRA continues that same coverage, though you’re responsible for the premium.

That can be much more expensive, but it may be worth it if you had a great health care plan.

5. Health Care Marketplace

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many self-employed have access to affordable health care. You’ll need to go to healthcare.gov during the enrollment period to apply for health insurance.

There are special circumstances that may allow you to enroll outside of the standard enrollment period.

Here’s how the healthcare exchange works. You fill out an application on the website. You’ll then find out how much in tax credits you’ll receive. You can choose to have all of those credits applied to the premium payments or not.

You’ll get a bunch of options for healthcare plans in your area at different price points and quality.

Some cheaper plans may have huge deductibles or have high co-pays. Other plans may have lower deductibles and co-pays, but they’re more expensive.

Once you choose your plan and enroll, you’ll get a welcome package from your new health insurance provider. From that point forward, you deal directly with the health insurance provider and pay your bill to them.

The ACA and Taxes

There’s a special section about the ACA and taxes because the two are intertwined, but not really understood. When you apply for healthcare on the exchange, you have to give your estimated income for the upcoming year.

For example, if you enrolled at the end of 2019, you have to predict your 2020 income. For self-employed people, that can feel like an impossible task.

You should take into account your net income for the year, so look at your income and subtract the expenses.

The reason why this is important is that this figure is how your tax credit is calculated. The tax credit is applied to your health insurance premium and sent right to your insurance carrier. You never see it.

You don’t notice it until the beginning of 2021 when you get form 1095-A from the Health Care Marketplace. This tells you how much you received in tax credits during the year and this gets reported to the IRS.

Your job is to reconcile your earnings for the year with the tax credit you received. If you earned more than you anticipated, you’re going to have to pay some of that tax credit back.

However, if you earned less than you thought you would, you’ll get a tax refund.

You want to track your earnings and spending throughout the year to make sure that you’re on track. If you think you’re going to earn more, report that to the Healthcare Marketplace to have your tax credit adjusted.

It’s much better than getting a huge surprise on your tax bill in the next year.

Self-Employed Health Insurance Is Possible

Being self-employed can feel like a complete dream sometimes. It’s hard, but you’re your own boss and you have the complete freedom to do what you want as long as you’re serving your clients.

One of the caveats that they don’t tell you when you become self-employed is that it can seem impossible to find self-employed health insurance.

It used to be out of reach for many people, but there are more affordable options than before. You can get anything from short-term insurance to group insurance.  If you do get insured through the Healthcare Marketplace, just watch out for your taxes.

Do you want more thrifty ways to live and earn a great living? Check out this site again for more helpful articles.

How to Clean Earrings the Right Way

In the United States, anywhere between 80% to 90% of women have pierced ears. Learning how to clean earrings the right way will help you stay clean, healthy, and stylish all at once.

Not cleaning your earrings properly can cause bacterial infections. The only way to avoid getting an infection is to create a cleaning routine based on your needs.

Keep reading to learn the best way to clean earrings:

How to Clean Earrings: Wash Your Hands

Always wash your hands before you start cleaning earrings. There’s no point in sanitizing your earrings if you’re going to touch them with germ-ridden hands afterward.

Using hand sanitizer will also do the trick. Better yet, play it super safe by always wearing disposable gloves while handling/cleaning earrings.

Pick a Cleaning Solution

After washing your hands, select the pair of earrings you have in mind. While you’re at it, learn all about the types of earrings out there and how to choose ones that enhance your everyday looks.

Knowing how to clean earrings at home means selecting the best cleaning solution available. Always choose a sanitizing solution based on what kind of earring you’re cleaning. Take the earrings’ metal and gemstone(s) into consideration while choosing a solution.

For instance, you can clean sterling silver with baking soda and water. However, it’s better to wash gold with dish soap and water or rubbing alcohol. A mild liquid detergent cut with water is good for cleaning diamond earrings.

Submerge Your Earrings

Drop your earrings into your chosen cleaning solution and let the sanitizing fun begin! Most earrings need to remain submerged for at least half an hour to become sanitary.

The amount of soaking time required changes depending on the earrings’ metal and the cleaning solution you choose. For example, if you’re using white vinegar and baking soda to clean silver earrings, they’ll need to soak for around 2 to 3 hours.

Gentle Scrubbing

After soaking, retrieve your earrings from the solution and gently scrub them with a toothbrush. This removes the oil, dirt, and bacteria from any hard-to-reach places your earrings might have. Make sure you have a toothbrush that’s specifically reserved for earring cleaning purposes.

Be extra gentle when scrubbing off soft stones like opal, pearl, and turquoise while learning how to clean your earrings. In fact, pearls can only handle being delicately wiped with a damp washcloth after each time you wear them. Harsh chemicals, water temperatures, or handling methods damage pearls.

Make Your Earrings Dazzle Like Your Personality

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson advises parents to wait until their child is at least 6 months old to pierce their ears. If you do this, teach children how to clean earrings as soon as they’re old enough to handle the responsibility.

It’s best to clean your earrings on a weekly basis, but other earrings need more frequent washings. Develop a cleaning schedule that’s convenient for you so you’ll be able to stick to it.

Make your whole life sparkle — read more of our cleaning articles. You’ll be surprised by the amazing tips you’re missing out on.

What Is Dry Needling and What Are the Benefits?

Dry needling is becoming the preferred form of treatment for pain. 

One study conducted by the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy in 2017 concluded that patients who received dry needling in physical therapy reported it as their preferred treatment method for pain. 

But is dry needling right for you? 

Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new (and science-backed) approach to pain management and well-being! 

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a way to decrease muscle pain and restore muscle function, by poking “trigger points” or specific tissues with small needles.

Dry needling is very similar to acupuncture in that needles are used to help regulate and cure a specific ailment. During an appointment or consultation, a patient will discuss their specific problems with a practitioner, and together they will decide what the best approach is. 

During a treatment, the practitioner will insert needles into areas of the body that they believe is collecting tension, and therefore creating pain. Sometimes these areas can be obvious, sometimes they are not. 

The needles are like thin sewing needles, versus a thicker needle that might be used to inject a person with some form of liquid. That’s how “dry needling” got its name. 

Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture

If you looked at one photo of dry needling, and another of acupuncture, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. 

But, as Physio auckland explains, dry needling involves a process of rapid, short term needling into altered or dysfunctional tissue in the body to restore muscle function. 

Aside from the process, the intention and philosophies behind dry needling and acupuncture are very different. Acupuncture’s roots are in Chinese medicine, and its goal is to restore the overall energy flow (Qi) of the body. Whereas dry needling is more medical-based. 

The philosophies and beliefs behind these procedures ultimately dictate how a practitioner will approach treatment. 

Key Benefits of Dry Needling

Dry needling is backed by research as having legitimate benefits that can aid health and well-being. Honor Health explains that the main benefit of dry needling is its ability to reduce pain and soreness. 

They explain that the insertion of the needle into the tissue can help release muscle tightness that’s causing pain. They also note that dry needling can relieve the symptoms of tendonitis and help the body reduce inflammation. 

Trigger points are located in skeletal muscle, and are what we often refer to as “knots.” Dry needling can be especially helpful for those experiencing shoulder, knee and hip pain. Headaches, sciatica, plantar fasciitis and more.

Is Dry Needling Right for Me? 

Don’t let the idea of needles scare you away from this treatment. They are incredibly light and slender. The only discomfort can come in the form of a twitch, which means that the tension in the trigger point is releasing. 

Any type of athlete can benefit from dry needling. Runners, cyclists and basketball players are only a few of the types who most commonly use it.

Need more life hacks? Click over to our home page for more ways you can start living your best life!