Monday, December 28, 2015

My Beloved Books

I recently participated in a swap on Swap-bot to decorate my partners' profiles with pictures of the covers of some of my favorite books. These are scans of my personal books. They are my three most beloved books.

This was a gift around 1986. I fell in love with it - and Anne - in the first reading. My younger daughter's middle name is Anne, after Anne Shirley.

This was required reading in high school in the early 1990s. The book was used when I acquired it, and the cover is no longer attached to the book. I really related to the main character and enjoyed the book. Our teacher told us to reread it when we turned 30, so I wrote a note to myself inside the cover. I reread it at 31 and found that I related to it on a whole different level and still thoroughly enjoyed it. I plan on rereading it at 40 and every subsequent 10 years.

I discovered this book in high school while working in the school library in the early 1990s. I spent a weekend engrossed in the world and stories in its 876 pages. A few years ago, I learned that the very book I read twice and loved was still in my old high school library and the librarian (the same one I worked for as a student) very graciously sold the book to me. Sadly, a paperback cover has been copiously taped to the front and back of the beautiful hardcover, presumably after it sustained damage. I haven't been brave enough to try to remove it for fear of further damaging the book.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Card Flowcharts

Holiday cards can take over your life if you let them! Use these handy flowcharts from Grammarly to help you decide who gets a card this year! First up is a chart for personal use, then there's one for professional relationships below.

Holiday Card Flow Chart Infographic1

Holiday Card Flow Chart Infographic2

Sunday, October 4, 2015

World Teachers' Day October 5

I'm a natural teacher - it seems to be a part of my DNA. I considered becoming a teacher when I was in high school. I get asked on a regular basis how long I've been a teacher, or why I'm not a teacher. For all my natural ability, though, I'm NOT a professional teacher. The experiences I've had prove to me that teachers are unsung, everyday heroes. Where would you be today without the great teachers in your life?

October 5 (tomorrow!) is World Teachers’ Day. I encourage you to thank the teachers in your life - the ones that influenced you, and the ones that are infuencing your children. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; just a note or card will make a teacher's day. If you really want to wow, send a gift card for a big box store to buy supplies, or to a restaurant for a dinner.

To inspire even more gratitude, take a look at this infographic from Grammarly about teachers and their influence on the world.
World Teacher Day

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Global Literacy - Everyone's Concern

Check out this great infographic from Grammarly about the importance of literacy!

Literacy Day

Friday, June 5, 2015

Playground Safety Guide for Parents

With summer just a few short weeks away, are you getting ready to add an exciting playground to your backyard for the kiddos? If you're wondering how to design the perfect play area for your little ones, it is essential to keep safety a top focus. Luckily, PishPosh Baby has your back, as they teamed up with to bring you the ultimate "Playground Safety Guide for Parents" infographic!

From advice on what to inspect the playground for to insight on the correct length of the soft surface under the swings, the Playground Safety Guide for Parents has essential tips that all moms and dads should know when setting up their play area. It will help you plan the perfect playground for plenty of "fun in the sun" days with the little ones!

Playground Safety Guide for Parents
Click to enlarge

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Swap-bot: Digital Photo Email Scavenger Hunt - February

I enjoy a community of swappers at One of the regular swaps I join is a photo scavenger hunt. This is my swap for February. Swap-bot username: 3stairs

1 - Something messy
My desk - and this is actually relatively clean! I know know it's a disaster compared to most people's desks, though.

2 - Something that crawls
a doll at the church nursery where I work - you set her down and she crawls and turns her head back and forth and babbles

3 - Something with multiple buttons or levers
the radio/CD player at the nursery

4 - A landscape or cityscape you find interesting
the view up the hill to my house - the driveway is on the right up there where the road curves off

Bonus: the view from the other direction during our day of snow here in east Texas - a rarity!

5 - Something layered
the skirt on one of the baby dolls in the nursery

6 - A group of people
worshipers during the early, contemporary service at the church where I work in the nursery

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

First-Time Parents Guide

By: Julie McCaffrey,

As a first-time parent, are you constantly on the lookout for ways to simplify your new life with baby? For example, are you in need of quick tips for making feeding cleanups easier? Or, would you like advice on calming baby down when a massive fussy fit strikes? How about insight on helping baby sleep better in the crib or while at daycare?

Look no further! We at Pish Posh Baby have been there, done that, and have helpful hacks for making your life with baby easier and more efficient.  From health and sleeping tips to advice for bathing, teething, and feeding, the below insight is sure to keep your day-to-day routine with baby stress-free and fun!

Sleeping Tips

  • Blanket: To aid in a daycare transition (or out of co-sleeping), sleep with your baby’s blanket or sheet overnight, so that when they are using it they are comforted by your familiar smell.

  • Crib: To aid with reflux or even just a stuffed-up baby, place a thick book under the crib mattress or lower the mattress settings at one end to give a slight recline to the crib.
Crying Tips

  • Bath: Try taking a bath or shower with your baby, as the skin-to-skin contact and warm water can be calming.

  • The 5 S’s: Correctly use the 5 S’s to instantly calm a fussy baby.
    • Swaddling
    • Side or stomach position
    • Shushing noises
    • Swinging (rocking baby from side to side)
    • Sucking (bottle, nipple, or pacifier)

Health Tips

  • Skin Irritation: Use coconut oil to combat dry skin, diaper rash, or any other skin irritation

  • Fever: Take off your baby’s socks to help break the fever faster.

  • Medicine: To help your child take medicine, blow in their face after you’ve gotten it into their mouth. This will help stimulate their swallowing reflex.
  • Congestion: Run a hot shower, and close the bathroom door to trap in the steam. Fill the tub with warm water and sit with your baby, as the steam will help clear the sinuses.

  • Earache: For fast and natural earache relief (temporary, not used in place of a doctor visit), put a drop of olive oil in the affected ear.

Bathing Tips

  • Water Temperature: Most babies prefer water that is warmer than what the “temperature warning” gauges say. Test the water with your elbow rather than your hand.

  • Towel: Use an adult towel if your baby cries at the end of the bath. Most baby towels are too thin to provide any warmth.

Feeding Tip

-    Easy Cleanup: Buy a cheap shower curtain or shower liner to put under the highchair for easy cleanup.

Safety Tips

  • Contact card: Tape an index card with your emergency contact information and your baby’s stats to the side of the car seat.

  • Errands: Park next to the cart return bins in the grocery store parking lots. Then you can put your baby carrier in a cart immediately and wheel it to the store. This also allows you to return the cart after shopping without having to leave your child.

  • Furniture Corners: To soften hard furniture or fireplace edges, look for pipe insulation in a home improvement store. It’s cheaper than what they sell in baby stores and comes in a variety of colors.

Teething Tips

  • Frozen Food: Put frozen grapes, apples, or any other food, including formula or breast milk, into a mesh feeder for instant relief.

  • Apple Sauce: Place applesauce into the center of a washcloth, twist the washcloth around it, and freeze. You can also wet the center of a washcloth to achieve the same effect.

Laundry and Dressing Tips

  • Lost Socks: If you have a front loader, check the rubber ring around the door…baby socks love to hide there.

  • Poop Stains: To get poop stains out, dampen the garment and put it in the sun (even in the winter or through a window)

  • Clothing: Use dresses as tunics and tops over pants or leggings once they no longer work as dresses.

  • Sleepers: If you have sleepers that snap up the legs, snap the legs before you put them on the baby and then just snap up the front while it’s worn. It’s much quicker and easier, and you’re less likely to make a mistake.

These helpful tips are sure to help all new parents navigate their new life with baby. Happy parenting!

About Julie McCaffrey
Parenting expert Julie McCaffrey is a proud mommy to 3 kids and offers personalized consultation to new and expecting parents along with functioning as the Chief Brand Officer at—the high-quality baby store that supplies the facts and advice, along with the right choice, to parents who are completely lost in the whirlwind of baby gear. She loves to help moms and dads navigate everything from baby gear, preparing for multiples, getting back to work and getting the whole family on a routine.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Entrepreneur’s Ingenious ‘Posture Apparel’ is No Slouch

UpCouture, the world's first patented anti-slouching, posture-promoting shirt line, launches in the U.S.; Revolutionary apparel improves personal image and appeal, outside perceptions and overall presence at work and play
While poor posture is long-proven to cause a litany of adverse medical issues, one less tangible yet critical aspect is often overlooked: our personal image. Just look around any public venue and you’ll notice that nearly everyone tends to slouch, making them far less alluring and seemingly less confident than if they were simply sitting up straight. Indeed, those with good posture exude a greater air of elegance, self-assurance, poise and, in a work environment, professionalism and a stronger presence overall.  Executive stylist and fashion mogul, Monica Barnett, CEO of Blueprint for Style, notes, “Like a strong handshake and quality attire, posture impacts the overall impression others have in you and can help or hinder how you are perceived.”  With these and other benefits of maintaining good posture well in mind, Parisian clothing company UpCouture has developed the “Up T-Shirt”—a revolutionary, fashion-forward line of women’s and men’s posture stabilizing shirts that are as sophisticated as they are salutary.

As the world's first anti-slouching shirt, UpCouture’s innovative Up Shirt is a modern, chic and stylish improvement over posture-promoting garments of yore, including back braces, corsets, vests and other tops that marginally address society’s enduring droop. However, the Up Shirt takes posture apparel to a whole new level. 

Thanks to a pioneering patented active mechanism, extra-thin elastic film built in-between organic cotton layers within the Up Shirt comfortably and gently pushes and maintains the shoulders in a straight position. The effect is more aesthetically pleasing, making the wearer look more composed andeven slimmer.

The Up Shirt is a marvel of ingenious action melded with modern textile technology and leading edge fashion practices. The extra-thin configuration of elastic bands that are sewn and bonded into the garment proffer the optimal level of pressure, which makes the t-shirt less comfortable to wear when slouching than when maintaining good posture. The shirt doesn’t actually force the wearer's posture into position, which would weaken his or her back muscles, but rather uses an optimal level of pressure to redirect the wearer’s shoulders into the right position when they leave their correct alignment. In addition, Up Shirts employ a particularly resilie nt and high quality form of elastic resistance that encourages better posture without degrading over time. And, the Up Shirt gets even more comfortable as the posture improves. All of this as the rest of the ethically respectful and environment friendly t-shirt’s 92% organic cotton makeup ensures a soft and flexible fit. In fact, Up Shirts have earned a GOTS certificate ensuring ethical and organic production standards for the cotton, itself, are adhered to. As fashionable as they are functional, the Up Shirts are available in a range of styles and colors for both women and men.

The Up Shirt line is the brainchild of lawyer Neda Naef, CEO of UpCouture, who was working most of the day at the computer and longed for a more empowering posture. Naef never had any back problems or pains, but was concerned about the non-aesthetic appearance caused by her slouching. Naef was a fitness enthusiast and in great physical shape, so she felt that if she herself had trouble maintaining good posture through the day, then a great number of other people probably have the problem. In fact, Naef noticed that bad posture was rampant throughout society.

“Whether people are sitting at the computer or using their handheld devices, standing at the bus stop, or simply moving through a day's routine, most have poor posture—some to an extent that seems debilitating and most certainly does not enhance their appeal or attractiveness.” Naef notes.

In attempting to solve the problem, Naef found devices that would either uncomfortably and inefficiently compress the torso, or just have no effect at all. She began studying the physiological mechanisms that promote optimal posture and, with that knowledge, she began a lengthy R&D process to facilitate those mechanisms through an elastic resistance, activated by the natural movement of one’s arms. Once perfected, the unique double-8 mechanism of elastic resistance she created was then merged with beautiful fashions that would resonate with today’s style savvy marketplace. The result is the ground-breaking Up Shirt line that has amassed devotees around the globe. In fact, UpCouture’s proprietary mechanism has been acknowledged as being completely new, having been accepted for international patent without any restriction. Learn more about UpCouture’s manufacturing process here.

"Rather than focusing on what are valid medical and health benefits of good posture, our goal is to offer beautiful, fashion-forward garments that not only foster a feeling of wellness the entire length of time it’s worn, but also enhance the wearer’s presence, presentation and manner in a way no other piece of apparel can achieve. Back, neck and shoulder pain, or the lack thereof, aside, every adult needs to strive to maintain good posture. The Up Shirt is truly a unique fashion fix."

Learn more about UpCouture's anti-slouching Up Shirts online at
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