How I learned to be happy from my baby: Five easy rules to follow

Life is good for a baby. You wake up when you want, eat the moment you’re hungry and someone changes and washes you when you’re soiled. I can’t imagine adults living this life unless they have a 24-7 maid (or they’re in need of 24-7 care), but we don’t have to be treated like babies to be happy like babies. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned from my 11-month-old son.

1. Smile– smiling shows others that you’re happy and brightens their mood. When my son smiles, my world lights up. He’s happy and I’m happy. Living in NYC, I’m often weirded-out when strangers are nice to me. I’ve forgotten that people tend to be nice. When we visited Philly, strangers were always smiling at us, greeting us with salutations and it was not weird to have conversations with them.

2. Sleep– sleep and rest when you’re tired. You can only do so much when you’re exhausted from the day’s activities. Put down that smartphone, log off of Instagram and Facebook, and sleep. When my son is tired, he shuts off the world and sleeps. He wakes up happy every single time after a nice rest.

3. Play– like sleeping, we also need to play. We have to learn to turn off the seriousness and worry– we will find ways to pay our bills. Turn on that inner-child and play– do what you love. Explore the city. Play with your children. Enjoy life a little, even during the week days.

4. Cry– you don’t always have to be tough or put on that poker-bitch-face. We have tears and tear ducts for a reason– we’re supposed to cry when we feel like it. The world is a tough place. Babies are born crying to cope with the cold, harsh world. When we need a good cry, just go for it.

5. Love– my son has taught me to love others more affectionately, show my appreciation and give more hugs and kisses. My son’s eyes light up when he sees me and his smiles are genuine and beautiful. He loves me with no qualms and I’ve learned to show my own parents this.

Live, laugh, learn, smile, sleep, play, cry and love like and baby and I guarantee you’ll be a much happier person.

15 Reasons to Date a Recruiter

Get my ebook, My Cup of Tea, for free here!

images
1. They work in HR, which means they’re patient and cuddly individuals. Others always call and blame them when something goes terribly wrong, and they just take it and keep smiling and dialing.

2. They’re smooth-talking, slick and professional individuals, so they’ll always make you feel good about yourself.

3. They’re social butterflies with 500+ connections on LinkedIn. Chances are, they can also get you a job.

4. They’re going to listen to you since they listen to others drone on and on about their lives every 9-5 from Monday to Friday.

5. They interview people all day, so they know how to act during interviews, such as your first date– they’ll be perfect daters. (Hiring and recruiting is just like dating!)

6. They know how to have fun. After a long week, you’ll find a recruiter and his/her buddies at the local bar during Happy-Hour Thursdays.

7. They probably aren’t psycho-killers. To work in HR, you’d have to pass some rigorous screening and background checks.

8. They make decent money and probably don’t have thousands of dollars in loans/debts– to become a recruiter, a BS or BA degree often suffices.

9. They’ll be available on weekends! Most recruiters work 9-5, Monday to Friday. With technology like Skype and FaceTime, recruiters can telecommute.

10. They won’t embarrass you on your dates. Most recruiters are snazzy dressers, as that’s a dress code required by their jobs.

11. They’ll motivate you and cheer you on. Unbeknownst to most people, recruiters cheer on their candidates and want them to succeed.

12. They are organized individuals known to multi-task so chances are, you won’t be dating a hoarder.

13. They’re emotionally-strong and stable, because back to #1, they take a lot of crap from internal and external customers.

14. They probably know from the start that you’re “the right fit” for them and will try their best to keep you happy.

15. They’ll be ready for action. After sitting at a desk from 9-5 all day long, they’ll have plenty of pent-up energy to spend on you ;)

Coconut Oil, an Amazing Superfood: Increases metabolism, moisturizes skin, heals acne and promotes weight loss

Get my free new-adult e-book, My Cup of Tea, here!

Celebrities like Miranda Kerr, Dr. Oz and Gwyneth Paltrow swear by a superfood that isn’t rare or newly discovered; it’s coconut oil.

Coconut oil is shown to have antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-candida properties. As per some evidence-based sources and the testimonials of its users, coconut oil can also moisturize skin, fight acne, soften and moisturize hair, reduce appetite, increase metabolism and promote weight loss. The recommended type of coconut oil is organic, cold-pressed and extra virgin.

For hair:
Coconut oil can be used as a hair mask and conditioner. Apply coconut to dry hair anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours before washing.

For oil pulling: Swishing coconut oil in the mouth for about 20 minutes (oil pulling) may help clean the mouth, heal sores, whiten teeth and decrease bad breath.

For skin:
Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer. Apply a thin layer over the face and neck 30 minutes before sleeping. Due to its antibacterial properties, the oil may help combat acne. During pregnancy, a woman may also apply coconut oil over her belly, hips, thighs and breasts to help prevent stretch marks. Some celebrities use coconut oil as a makeup remover.

For cooking:
Instead of using butter on toast, spread a teaspoon of coconut oil over toast. Some celebrities also use coconut oil as their coffee creamer of choice. Coconut oil smells and tastes great.

For weight loss: Coconut oil is not a miracle superfood that will melt away your fat and help you lose weight; however, when used properly, it may help you control your appetite, increase your metabolism and eventually lead to healthy and appropriate weight loss. For the past week, I’ve taken two tablespoons of coconut oil a day and have lost three pounds without changing my diet or exercising. I recommend using coconut oil in moderation and consulting your doctors before use as a dietary supplement.

For other ways to use coconut oil, check out this site.

If you’d like to win a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil and try it for yourself, enter the contest below. Shipping to a USA winner only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that I am not endorsed by any companies that sell coconut oil– I’m just a firm believer of its beneficial properties. Use at your own discretion.

List of top baby must haves for all new modern mamas (2014) (useful baby shower registry gift items)

Buy my book for free here!


High chair: Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair (~$300+)– Super sleek, ergonomic and functional, this high chair is a great piece of furniture that your baby (six months and older) can sit in until she/he’s a 300-pound adult (hopefully your child won’t ever weigh that much). Sturdy, easy to clean and will last for years.


Snotsucker: The Nose Frida, Nasal Aspirator ($14-$18) is awesome because it’s non-intrusive and comfortable for the baby. While clearing baby’s nostrils, mommy can improve her lung function (this snotsucker can double as an incentive spirometer). It’s not for parents who can’t stand the sight and sound of snot though. Make sure you spray nasal saline mist or drops into each nostril before use (baby nasal drops).

http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Pack-Travel-Playard-Green/dp/B005UV0UEABest Pack n’ Play/ Temporary crib: Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Travel Playard ($59.99-$69.99, sometimes cheaper than that). Newborns feed every two to three hours. During the first six weeks, this “pack n’ play” can serve as the baby’s temporary crib, placed right next to mommy and daddy’s bed. When baby is older, this can be used as a playpen. Great for traveling too, it’s foldable and compact. Sturdy and easy to clean. Be sure to get fitted cotton crib sheets for the mattress that comes with the pack n’play.


Swing: Snugapuppy or Snugabunny Cradle Baby Swing (~$139.99) is superb because baby will love seeing her/himself in the mirror over his head, will fall asleep quickly to the hypnotic swinging and will give mommy some rest. Baby will be snug, happy and secure in this swing. Just make sure to put a pillow like the BabyMoon pillow beneath baby’s head to prevent plagiocephaly.


Bottles: Philips AVENT bottles– we love the glass bottles, they are easy to clean, hard to break and baby never had any problem latching onto the nipples. The glass bottles are a bit heavy though and our eight-month old still isn’t able to hold the bottle on his own yet. (Maybe he’s just lazy.)


Stroller and car seat: You can’t go wrong with the B-Agile and B-Safe Travel system (~$450). The stroller is super safe and durable (hey if it can navigate the streets of NYC, land of potholes, it can navigate any street) and it’s comfortable for baby, whether he/she is in the car seat or on the stroller without the car seat.

Diaper cream: Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment to prevent rashes and Desitin Maximum Strength Original Paste when baby has a diaper rash.

Products you can do without:
-Diaper disposal cans like the Diaper Genie (baby poop for the first year or so really doesn’t smell that bad, especially if the babies are breastfed)

-Bottle sterilization system: Unless you live in an area where the water is dirty or contaminated, you don’t need to sterilize the bottles every time before baby feeds. Warm, soapy water will clean the bottles and nipples just fine. Before the first use, however, it’s recommended to sterilize the bottles and nipples

-Fancy and expensive crib sets: Your baby won’t use the comforter that comes in the sets since it’s a suffocation hazard. All the extra attachments for the crib are cumbersome and excessive. All your baby really needs for the first year or so for sleeping are a good mattress, good crib, crib sheets and a breathable blanket.

All images were found on Amazon.com and belong to their respective owners. Click on the images for the links to the product’s pages. I was not endorsed by Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond or any of these product/brand owners in publishing this post; I’m just a mommy who wants to help other mommies buy awesome products for their little ones.

Emma Thompson is right– working moms aren’t great; they’re effing amazing #FAM

Buy my books!

Emma Thompson (who has a net worth of approximately $50million USD) has the luxury of taking a year off from work to focus on “being a mother.”

Excuse me, but the last I checked, my mother had worked all her life and she never lost her focus on being a great mother. She was and still is an effing amazing mother. Now that I’m a new mother, I also work full time and truly believe that not only am I a great mom, I’m a fantastic mom.

Any mom who loves her children and tries her hardest is great, regardless of whether she works or not. Our society doesn’t judge fathers who work. So why do we judge moms when they work? We’re all about educating women and empowering women, and yet when we become mothers, society stigmatizes us for working.

Hey Emma and others who judge working moms, here are five reasons why I’m an awesome mama:

1. The day before I gave birth, I was still at work. From day one of my pregnancy, I was a fabulous mom, one who protected the baby in her belly while navigating crazy NYC like a pregnant ninja.

2. At work, I’m connected to my baby, Phil. Every day, I bring home two full bottles of breast milk. For the first year of his life, I’ll keep my son well-nourished with a superfood that only I can provide for him #proudmama

3. I’ve learned to trust others and depend on their support. Even kings need advisers. I know I can’t do everything myself, especially since I have a full-time job. That’s what makes me a super mama–I know my limits and ask for help.

4. I spend quality time with Phil. When he’s awake and we’re together, my iPhone is down, my laptop is off and I’m disconnected. No social media, no games (that means you 2048 and Flappy Bird)– I’m feeding Phil, changing him, bathing him, singing to him and playing with him. Time with him is precious.

5. I know I’m not perfect but that’s okay. There is no standard definition for what makes a mama great. To me though, a great mama is evident in her children’s health and happiness. Look at Phil’s chubby cheeks and you tell me, a working mama who works every second she’s awake–both at work and at home as a mom, wife, daughter and human being– that she’s not great and not effing amazing.

Image

Please share your thoughts as a working mom. Celebrities and others who doubt working moms and stigmatize them should open their eyes! You, m’dears, are fu**ing amazing mamas! #FAM

Buy my books!

The secret to passing any board exam (NPTE, NBCOT, NCLEX, etc…) finally revealed!

The secret to passing any board exam like the NPTE, NBCOT, and NCLEX is… ready for this…?

to study your ass off and to take multiple practice exams in a simulated setting…

The secret is this: hard work, sacrifice, and no play for the next few months will reward you in the end when you’re a newly licensed clinician.

Good luck on your exams and happy studying!

There are no shortcuts in life, people…

Ten things to buy for all new mommies this Mother’s Day

Buy my free book here!

Better than chocolates, flowers and greeting cards, here are some gift ideas for the new mommies in your life for this Mother’s Day!

1. Tory Burch flats! The new mama in your life deserves a pretty pair of flats, especially ones that she can show off in the summer and run errands in. They aren’t the most comfortable or supportive shoes, but hey, they’re comfier than high heels!

Tory Burch Reva Ballet Flats (amazon.com picture)

2. A swing to put baby in while she does her chores and work. (Just be sure to put a baby moon pillow beneath baby’s head to prevent flat-headedness. Don’t put the baby in the swing for more than 30 minutes at a time. Baby should always be supervised.)

Snugabunny Swing

Snugabunny Swing (amazon.com picture)

3. A gift certificate for a massage (or massages :) )!

4. L’Occitane Mom and Baby Balm made with Shea Butter, for mommy’s stretch marks and baby’s dry skin.

5. A Babies R’us Gift card! New babies go through hundreds of diapers in a month– new mommies will appreciate gift cards they can use to buy diapers and other things they need to use on their precious bundles of joys every day.

6. A new camera to snap hundreds of pictures of her new baby! You can’t go wrong with a nice new camera from Sony! Alternatively, get her a new smartphone to snap hundreds of pictures of her new baby!

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 3.45.47 PM

7.  If the new mommy in your life hasn’t given birth yet, get her a pocket fetal doppler and some ultrasound gel. That way, she can always listen to her baby’s heartbeats even when she’s not at her doctor’s office.

8. For the working new mommy, get her a portable breast pump if she doesn’t already have one. I recommend this one from Medela– you can use batteries or the adapter. It’s very portable and hardy– I dropped it a few times and it still works perfectly! New mommies note– in the US, your insurances can pay for one breast pump when you’re pregnant or had recently given birth. Contact your medical insurance companies for more information.

Medela Swing Pump (amazon.com picture)

9. A brand-name diaper bag would be nice :) This is a cute one from Kate Spade, the BOW TILE FRANCIS BABY BAG.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 3.56.40 PM

10. And the last thing is something money can’t buy. Your love. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas and grannies out there!

xoxoxo from Kat Lieu and her little man, Phil

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 6.25.38 PM