For all the ladies out there–and some men–here is a healthy hair trick I learned after logging tons of time in the pool: before you put your swim cap on jump in the shower and get your hair completely wet–then put your hair in your swim cap. This will help minimize how much chlorine your hair absorbs, keeping those locks looking shiny.
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As an athlete I'm constantly looking for the best natural foods to help sustain my training efforts and cherries are definitely one of my favorites. Known by many as a "super fruit", cherries act as a natural anti-inflammatory which can help greatly with joint pain. Make sure you try adding them to your diet before you open that bottle of pills.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you have a friend or loved one who is about to have a baby and you are stumped on what would make a great baby gift, here is a list of essentials. Remember to do a little research on the mommy to be–it's very helpful to her if you buy her preferred brand, type, and size–but if you're unable to don't let it stop you.
• Diapers–babies poop–a lot.
• Diaper Rash Cream–most rashes can be avoided by frequent diaper changes but some are unavoidable especially with sensitive skin. Cream can often be the difference between a mad baby and a happy one. Happy baby = happy parent.
• Wipes–Keeping baby clean is paramount.
• Wipe Warmer–Ever had someone give you a massage and put cold lotion on you? Babies don't like that feeling either and they will let you know by bucking like a wild bronco at a time when you need them to be ninja still.
• Diaper Changing Pad Cover–Changing can be very messy. Three covers minimum in my experience.
• Diaper Pail with Extra Trash Bags–Genius invention and it keeps the room it's in relatively odor free.
• Boogie Wipes–Saline wipes for hands and face that are gentler on skin than normal baby wipes and they smell good too–kinda like that grape smelly marker you stuck up your nose as a kid.
• Bottles–no brainer. The more bottles a mom has the longer she can go between washing cycles giving her flexibility in her schedule which alleviates stress.
• Sterilizer for Bottles–Mandatory.
• Bottle Drying Rack–The more bottles they have the more racks they'll need.
• Bottle Cleaning Brush–These wear out quickly so an abundance is never an issue.
• Dishwasher Caddy for Bottles–great tool for putting bottle bits on the top rack of the dishwasher where parts would normally fall through.
• Breast Pads–Never enough.
• Nursing Bras–Very handy for feeding time and most moms I know buy necessities instead of luxuries so this is a much appreciated gift.
• Breast Feeding Pillow–I had a different pillow for every chair I sat in–great multipurpose gift.
• Breast Pump Equipment–Also mandatory.
• Onesies (Sizes Newborn, 3 months, and 6 months)–babies are messy and grow quick.
• Baby Clothing Hangers–If you try to keep everything in drawers be prepared to go on the hunt just like you do when searching for your favorite pair of socks. It's much more convenient to have things where you can find them easily and hangers definitely help.
• Swaddle Blankets–All shapes, all sizes, all good.
• Burp Cloths–Sometimes disposed of, it's always a good thing to have these on hand.
• Mittens–Hands get cold and nails are sharp. Note–these disappear–I swear there are mitten gnomes that steal them.
• Crib Sheets–Nothing like fresh sheets.
• Baby Bathtub–Starting small and sizing up as needed makes for a more controlled experience. Babies like to wiggle in water.
• Baby Bath Products–Like gasoline on a road trip.
• Wash Cloths–Just like bottles the more you have the longer you can go between wash cycles. Softer is always better when it comes to baby skin.
• Baby Towels–Ditto.
• Baby Detergent–Very personal preference here so make sure you do your homework.
• Baby Carrier or Sling–My husband and I had different preferences at various stages and had several of the same brand in different vehicles. Remember, when buying a baby carrier, you should be considering the comfort of the parent just as much as the child.
• Sound Machine–white noise helps some babies sleep and anything that helps a baby sleep is worth its weight in platinum.
• Night Light–more for mommy and daddy than baby. Helps to find dropped items normally lost in the dark and lowers the risk for broken toes and tripping over toys.
• Baby Monitor–read, read, read before you buy one of these. Not all are created equal. The main consideration besides audio vs. audio+video is range. If the person you're buying for has a big house make sure you find one that can cover the distance needed.
• Vibrating Bouncy Baby Chair–my husband did a lot of the night duty with our son Blaise and swears by this.
• First Aid Kit–In an emergency there's no such thing as too much help but there's definitely such thing as not enough!