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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

Saving for Your Child’s Education

Uncategorized By October 1, 2006 No Comments

Most people say RESPs are the way to go in terms of saving for your child’s education, but that’s not necessarily the case.  In fact, there are many different ways to save for your child’s education and RESPs are just one of the vehicles.  My answer to the question is always, “It depends.”  It depends on how much money you want to put away, what expenses you currently have, how much free cash you have on a monthly basis, what tax bracket you’re in … and the list goes on.  Here are some options for you to save money for your child’s education:

(1)  Registered Education Savings Plans: RESPs are a great way to save for your child’s education.  You get a grant from the government (anywhere from 20% up to 40% depending on your tax bracket) that automatically adds to your contributions and you also get tax deferred growth.  Plus, when your children go to school, they’re the ones getting
taxed – at a much lower rate than you would.   Make sure that you pick a personal RESP.  This allows you to control the money and how it gets invested, plus you can stop and start your contributions along the way without being penalized.

(2)  Making contributions to a spousal RRSP: If you stay at home and look after the kids, your spouse can make contributions in your name.  This could result in an even higher return on your taxes than the grant money you would get from the government.  When it comes time for the kids to go to school, you could withdraw the money in your name at a lower tax bracket.  Plus, if they didn’t go to school, you wouldn’t lose the tax credit that you got along the way, unlike RESPs, which require you to return all of the grant money if your child doesn’t go to a qualifying institution.

(3)  Life Insurance policy for your child: Universal Life policies have an insurance component and an investment component to them.  Not only is your child covered in the event of a tragedy, you have access to the money that builds up in these policies (tax deferred) for anything you want – not just education.  In addition, you can ensure that your child can get up to $900,000 more insurance coverage over their lifetime.

(4)  Invest in your child’s name: If you put money into your child’s name and the investment generates capital gains, the income is attributed to your child.  (Dividends and income come back to you.)   This money would be taxed yearly, but at a minimal rate at most.  This allows you to have money that is free of any “government strings” requiring your child to go to a specific institution.  Plus, it can be used at any time, without worry of tax implications.   Buy a car for a 16th birthday, go on a trip to Disneyland, pay for braces, whatever you like.

(5)  Savings account: Get your child saving money for his own education.  It will let them feel a part of the process and get them started on developing good financial habits.

There are many different ways that you can save for your child’s education.
What’s best for you?  That depends.

– Ryan Douglas CFP.



Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Uncategorized By October 1, 2006 No Comments

People believe that there are multiple foods to avoid while breastfeeding, but the only thing women need to be careful of is alcohol.  Alcohol does pass through the breast milk so if a woman does have a drink she should avoid breastfeeding for the next four hours and express and discard the milk produced during that period.

Women are often told they should not have chocolate, coffee or certain vegetables but none of these are actually harmful to the baby.  Some babies will react to certain foods a mother has eaten, but this varies greatly from baby to baby and mother to mother.  It is always wise to try foods you like even if they are “gassy vegetables” and watch for a change in the baby’s behavior.  If there is no change then there is no point in restricting yourself.   From my own personal experience, my oldest son was never upset about my eating chocolate or coffee but was not thrilled with tomatoes but my youngest one really did not like my eating chocolate. (Probably why I lost the weight faster the second time around.)

– Linda Ducholke


Rice Congee for Baby

Uncategorized By September 19, 2006 No Comments

baby food recipe for new babies

Traditionally a dish eaten in China and the rice growing regions of Southeast Asia. Congee, an unseasoned and unsweetened rice pudding is eaten much like a slice of toast – for breakfast and as a filler between meals. Light and digestible, it is the perfect baby food. Grownups eat it hot; for babies let it cool to finger temperature.

Tip: All rice, even the rice labeled “glutinous” is gluten-free, making it non- allergenic. It is also free of extrinsic sugar, the sticky stuff which leads to tooth decay!

  • ½ cup short grain rice (Thai fragrant is perfect)
  • 2 ½ cups of water

If you have time, soak the rice for 2 hours in plenty of cold water, then drain. If not, no matter.
Put the rice in a roomy pot and add the water (proportions do matter though: for a rice to make pudding, the grains must absorb 4 times their own volume of liquid). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, loosely cover and simmer gently for a least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a soft soupy pudding. It freezes well – just pop a supply in the ice cube tray and defrost portions as needed.

from: Adventures in Baby Food, Elisabeth Luard and Frances Boswell

See also our Baby’s First Foods.


Stonz Baby Booties

Uncategorized By September 1, 2006 No Comments

Stonz baby footwear bootiesWhen they say “Quality, Function, Style and Innovation” they really know what they are talking about. Stonz, was created in 2004 by two moms, with 5 kids between them, who knew they needed something different for their baby’s feet.