Kim Kardashian’s Pregnant But Has No Morning Sickness? 7 Smoking Hot Tips to a Smooth Pregnancy Like Kim Kardashian’s

Kim Kardashian’s Pregnant But Has No Morning Sickness? 7 Smoking Hot Tips to a Smooth Pregnancy Like Kim Kardashian’s

By Eve Lightman

Editor’s note

We have long promised health articles at the EasyOnMe blog. This is the first, and it’s a real departure. We’d like to welcome Eve Lightman to the fold. Tell us what you think about this article and whether you want more. Now, back to you, Eve.

Let’s face it: there are a lot of reasons to hate Kim Kardashian, and there are now two more: she looks ridiculously good pregnant, and she’s not morning sick. How can she avoid morning sickness and still somehow be wildly popular for having a behind that heretofore only Sir Mixalot could love? Turns out she might be using some of these 7 morning sickness killers.

Picture of happy pregnant woman with no morning sickness

Tip #1: Eat Small Meals Constantly

This probably sounds awful while you’re nauseous, but one of the best ways to be less nauseous is to keep a bit of food in your stomach. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Paleo dieters, please take a break. Carbs are a good thing, because they help soak up some of the stomach acid that makes you morning sick.

Tip #2: Salty Crackers Are Health Food!

Unless you’ve been warned away from salt, you need extra sodium and chloride (salt is sodium chloride). Which means… saltines are health food! Keep a few in your purse, and treat yourself to two or three every 2-3 hours.

Tip #3: Sorry, Caffeine Junkies–Switch to Herbal Tea

This may hurt, but caffeine can cause nausea during pregnancy. Unfortunately, you’ll probably need to switch to a mild herbal tea. Ideally you’ll get used to this before you’re pregnant, because those caffeine withdrawal headaches can paradoxically make you head back to Starbucks. Sometimes life is just not fair.

Tip #4: Why Bananas, Beets, and… Potatoes?

That lovely creature growing inside you is taking more of its share of potassium too. Snack on high-potassium foods like bananas and potatoes. I couldn’t stand beets at a time like that, but beets and spinach are also potassium rich.

Tip #5: Finally-Peanut Butter Is On The Yes List!

Foods high in protein can help reduce nausea, so a tablespoon or two of peanut or almond butter a day could help. I know this is hard, but try not to overdo. They’re also calorie rich.

Tip #6: Bedtime Plan A–Light Snacks At The Ready May Put Nausea to Sleep

Sometimes you just don’t want to get up for anything when you’ve gone to bed. Put water, a few saltines, and a couple hard candies on your nightstand before you go to bed. Don’t stop yourself from spreading some peanut butter on those crackers–woo hoo, peanut butter is a freebie! Well, a little peanut butter. Anyway, when you wake up in the middle of the night, you’ll be loaded for bear.

Tip #7: Bedtime Plan B–Brush Your Teeth Later Because Who Wants One More Good Vomit

Sometimes just brushing your teeth can trigger nausea. If you’re the kind of person who just has to brush your teeth right after a meal (and good on you, by the way), you may need to resort to the excruciating practice of waiting an hour or so after you eat. Sorry, dentist’s daughters.

Resources for morning sickness

My favorite tea:

Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Morning Wellness Tea

My favorite books:

Managing Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide for Pregnant Women

The Complete Guide to Everyday Risks in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Answers to All Your Questions about Medications, Morning Sickness, Herbs, Diseases, Chemical Exposures and More

Web info:

WebMD: Managing Morning Sickness

And last but definitely not least: even if you do get some morning sickness, you’ll get a beautiful beautiful baby for your troubles, and the bad times will melt away in the deep background when you hold that precious little miracle in your arms for the first time.

About the author

Eve Lightman is a contributing editor at EasyOnMe, Inc. She has written 43 articles for EasyOnMe. Eve is an overworked, overjoyed mother of three. She blogs sometimes at http://www.easyonme.com/blog

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Freelancers-how to raise your prices and server your customers better

My days as a freelancer ended 15 years ago but I remember them like they were yesterday. It’s a hard life, and notably light in received wisdom. One of the most effective ways to make that life better is to raise your prices. Sometimes it’s that easy. Sometimes it feels like a yawning chasm of second thoughts and fear, something along the lines of asking your boss for a raise.

Michel Fortin’s article The Key to Getting the Fees You Deserve is that rare beast, a prescriptive, actionable strategy that shows you how to set pricing tiers for different sets of services. Sounds elementary, but I never thought of it before. If you’re a freelancer, read this article. It might very well change your life.

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Weaver II: Free WordPress Theme to Beat

Red alert: I just discovered the Weaver II free WordPress theme, which is now my jack-of-all trades theme. Just a few of the reasons:

  • Dozens of built-in page templates
  • Hundreds of options that let you make over the theme completely without resorting to changes in the WordPress source files
  • Actually lets you simulate a mobile phone or iPad!
  • Has shortcodes that let you create a ghetto membership site by showing content depending on whether user is logged in
  • Dozens of per-page options
  • Built-in SEO
  • Buit-in sitemap generation

That’s still just scratching the surface. I haven’t told you about an ingenious way of allowing you to create two-column content on a single-column page, shortcodes that let you display videos that resize to the width of the content (ideal for mobile sites), and the fact that it has near-comprehensive online help. That’s a rarity anywhere, but even more so with a free WordPress theme.

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How to Start a Website: 5 Reasons WordPress is Better Than Your Webmaster

A few years ago I spent a whole lot of time and a great deal more money getting websites done for me, and I was never as happy with the results as I thought I should have been, given the price. One question niggled at me every unpleasant day I endured the unreturned emails to the web dude, the disappearing webmaster who vanished without a trace after billing me, and the smug hideously expensive designer who overcharged grotesquely for a site no one could maintain after he moved on to greener pastures. And the question was… isn’t someone getting websites done quickly and cheaply?

Yes, as I learned from an expensive and totally worth it marketing course. The answer is WordPress, which lets you crank out beautiful sites in minutes, ready to have your greatness poured into them in the form of articles and and artwork which only you can provide. All I needed to know was the minimum to get a WordPress site in shape for me to add pages or blog posts to. Aye, there’s the rub. Maybet these things sound familiar to you.

1. Starting a Website? WordPress is Easier to Understand Than Your Webmaster

How many times has this happened to you? You just want a small website put up. Nothing fancy. A few articles, maybe a contact page, an About page, a news section. You ask around for quotes and then things really get weird.

  • One place on the classifieds site looks local at first, but then you realize they’re someplace else entirely. Do you really want to start off with someone who’s effectively lied to get your business?
  • Another place is local but they quote an astronomical fee, while throwing around terms like Responsive and HTML 5.0 Compliance and Javascript or is that Java? Plus it’s hard to understand just what you get for your money. Then you realize after you’ve met with them that you don’t know how much it will cost to make changes
  • Some places appear to charge only $50 or so for an okay-looking site. Maybe too good. How can they charge so little? When you try to email them they can’t communicate too well and they’re in the wrong time zone.
  • You get frustrated and find a book on HTML. Oops. Not going to happen.

The good news is, once you know which features are key, using WordPress is almost exactly like using a word processor. It can seem complicated, but then you realize why its features are optimized for maintaining your site, not just making it. I love the fact that I can add pages or news items without ever having even to think of calling in a professional.

2. WordPress Won’t Charge You an Arm and a Leg for Small Changes

You’ve probably heard of WordPress. Maybe even a friend recommend it. There are lots of WordPresses, though, right? There’s WordPress.org, which has so much information your brain short-circuits about 30 seconds into reading their 5 minute startup guide, which appears to be geared toward MIT graduates. Recent MIT graduates.

WordPress.com looks much easier. You can start a blog very easily. However, its features are limited and they can and will shut you down in an instant if you try to use their free blogging platform for commercial purposes. Or your competitors can have your site shut down simply by reporting it as “offensive”.

3. Your Webmaster Can’t Read Your Mind: How to Start Your Website in 8 Seconds

If you look around for web hosting, you will find, almost unbelievably, that buried in the zillions of other features for confusingly varied prices you can have WordPress blogs installed for… nothing? It’s true! All you need is a $12 domain name, about 8 seconds to install WordPress (installing it really is that simple) and you can have your own site running in moments.

Really? Surely there are pitfalls to that approach? And who has the best hosting for the least money if all the other stuff is true? The features they list on the web hosting sites appear to run on forever, yet there are only a few you need to know to get your WordPress blog hosted. A good start: CPanel hosting, free MySQL databases, unlimited disk space, and multiple domain names for one price. Figuring out which ones have beginner-friendly hosting is one area feature lists don’t necessarily provide trustworthy information.

4. You Care More About Your Site Than Your Webmaster

So you have the basics down. You have:

  • A domain name
  • A web host
  • A brand spanking new WordPress installation that already lets you add articles and web pages as easily as you work a word processor

What pages do most sites need? What’s the best way to get found on Google? I can tell you from personal experience the answers may surprise you. There’s a ton of bad information out there yet the gist of what you need can be delivered in an hour or so with a good instructor (or video series).

The most amazing thing about WordPress is that, unlike waiting for your webmaster to drive home from the coffee shop or get back from some kind of “downtime”, you can make changes to a WordPress site the minute you think about them. And you don’t have to pay yourself an hourly minimum to try a fresh approach.

Let’s face it: your webmaster cares about maximizing billable time. You care about giving your customers an awesome experience, one so good they’ll be happy to pay for your product or service. And that can take experimentation.

5. Pay for WordPress Training Once–or Pay Your Webmaster Forever?

WordPress.org has every answer you need, and 100,000 other answers you will never ever care about in your life. Obviously search engines are you friend, but they don’t do a fantastic job of breaking down into easy to understand, beginner-oriented steps the absolute minimum you need your site up and running, and easy for your to maintain.

When I consider the cost of training materials, I compare it to the cost of hiring someone to do it for me. If the training materials cost $99 and an expert costs $60 an hour, can I get my money’s worth by paying the same or less for training as I would for two hours of an expert’s time? Conversely, if I can only pay to get 2 hours of an expert’s time, will that be enough?

There’s an embarrassment of riches in the world of starting a website. WordPress training can go all over the place. Here’s a how to choose the course that’s best for you.

  • Free sample: You should be able to download a free sample course that takes you completely through at least one complete lesson, preferably two or three. Amazon’s free samples are the worst, because they always seem to be made up largely of front matter like tables of contents and not so much in the way of actual learning.
  • The free sample should contain actionable material that moves you visibly closer to your goal. By the end of it you should know at least one new topic well enough that you can move to the next level, all using the sample. For example, registering a domain name, choosing a web host with beginner-friendly support, or adding blog posts to your new WordPress site.
  • The course material should teach in a medium you learn from best. I like eBooks, because I read fast and like to refer back to steps I don’t understand when I’m learning something new. Many people prefer videos because they’re visual learners. Others want MP3 files so they can learn on the bus to work.
  • It should be up to date. WordPress makes a couple major changes a year. If you’re going to paying for training, it shouldn’t be last year’s sloppy seconds.
  • It better have a money back guarantee. If I can’t return the course within 30 days, which is plenty of time to see if it’s worthwhile, I’m dealing with a company that doesn’t trust their own product. I’ll move on.

I’ve paid for websites to be built–one cost $30,000, and another cost $80,000 and counting (but it’s highly specialized and produces a good income). I’ve paid for many, many smaller websites and I never felt great about value for the money. I always felt that maybe I could have done better myself. Creating self-hosted blogs using free WordPress has turned out to be the sweet spot.

What’s better is that now when I do hire someone, I know very well whether it’s a 15 minute edit or a half-day marathon. Learning WordPress was worth every cent of the books and courses I’ve taken. Starting a website is no longer the mystery it was a couple years ago, because I know how to start a website and have it up and running and ready to be modified by even the least trained user in just minutes.

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Call in the Game Theorists: Is Microsoft Suicidal or Simply Without Good Choices?

Engadget has broken the news on what looks to me like a classic game theory scenario, with the survival of a $244 billion company at stake:

Microsoft pulling free development tools for Windows 8 desktop apps, only lets you ride the Metro for free (update: confirmed)

Financial analysts tend to forget that the two biggest platforms in the computer business (Apple and Microsoft) share a core mission: to create high quality development tools. You can’t sell software if people don’t make it. People make it with dev tools. Good dev tools also spur adoption of new platforms. If Apple hadn’t put out a pretty decent developer’s kit for the iPhone it would be just another media player with a 5% market share.

Programming tools are challenging to create, at this point as hard as Excel or Halo. And of course they are used to create Excel or Halo. Over the years, Microsoft has seen the value of giving away single-user licenses to its dev tools, which are pretty damn good. They pick up the slack by upselling team versions of the software for corporate licenses at nosebleedingly high prices.

Apple pretty much gives away its toolchain, which is markedly less geared toward team development. (Who cares, when you’re developing for the iPhone?*)

Apple software has had the reputation of being less buggy than Windows software. This is not factual and deserves to be the subject of another article (executive summary: Microsoft has always bent over backwards to maintain compatibility with an unimaginably vast range of hardware and earlier OS versions; Apple doesn’t give a damn about remaining compatible between major OS upgrades).

Microsoft’s last chance to preserve its dominant position is to start being more Apple, by imposing more technical and quality control over the product programmers create. Therefore the new free edition of their programming tools will be unable to produce anything but the new, Metro style apps. Want to build a command line tool to filter a text file? Use the last free Visual Studio from 2010, because you’re out of luck with this one. Or buy the corporate version, which hovers in the mid 4 figures per seat to $13,000.

This situation has triggered a lot of bleats by indignant freeloaders. The general idea goes like this. If we deign to use your programming tools to create apps that will further your platform, you owe us all the goodies we’ve had before, and for no charge.

This is whining so craven as to merit moving on with the exception of one point: The dev tools Microsoft gives away are better than anything else out there, period, they cost a bundle to make, and 10 or 12 years ago there was nothing like a free version. You paid a lot, and very few complained.  No one said you were promised incredibly good software for nothing, though admittedly it’s been easy to get spoiled this last decade or so.

And yet their attitude may be Microsoft’s Achilles heel. Other platforms do have free or inexpensive options. Maybe the ability to keep making outmoded, ill-behaved programs is  the key to Microsoft’s future.

Or maybe not. Creating something closer to the OSX walled garden, with a centralized app store and committees vetting teach piece of software submitted, may be the only way to keep Windows users from jumping ship. Pretty much all of them have iPhones and love how easy it is to install a new app; no optical disk, database configuration, or DOS incantations needed.

So Microsoft can move on and steal Apple’s best tricks, or they can do something to, shall we say, encourage developers to make major changes to their perfectly functional, lovely apps to simply to remain in the walled garden. It is a move away from their “run anything on  cheap hardware” improvisational style, and it is probably necessary to their survival in the long run.

In the short run? I’m pissed that they’ve diplomatically forced the issue by giving me an ordered retreat to Metro over a few versions. I’ll just have to rip the scab off all at once and pretend that I didn’t love my familiar old dev environment as much as I thought did.

*An oversimplication, duh. Even iPhone apps have sizable teams now.

 

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If I were PayPal, I’d slap you too

PayPal shuts down the accounts of perfectly legitimate websites every day. Sometimes they just hold the funds (for six months!) of vendors they suspect of fraud, even many with perfect records and zero customer complaints. Why? Because what else are they going to do? But also, because it’s hard to be PayPal.

Full disclosure: I own a 13-year-old company that has used PayPal since 2001 and use them thousands of times per month. My company has never had a beef with PayPal, but I feel acutely for those who have been wronged. PayPal is not technically a monopoly but they’re the most trusted name in online payment. Lose your account with them and you may well lose your online business. Me personally? I love PayPal and have literally never had a problem with them in something close to a million transactions.

But back to the slap. What should PayPal do when their fraud heuristics give the ol’ Spidey sense a tingle? Remember, thousands of PayPal accounts get opened every day, many of them bad guys working under new names.

Let’s try a thought experiment and imagine how you’d handle certain situations if you were PayPal. What if someone opened up a new account,  published a PDF file (or “digital information product”) that cost $39.95, sold a ton of them, then withdrew all the money as it came in and refused to honor refund requests. Not nearly as strange as it seems. This sort of thing happens all the time with people like Seth Godin who have big lists of followers. So imagine a Seth Godin type who publishes his first book and sells a jillion.

Change the circumstances a little. What if the product turned out to be plagiarized or just atrocious and didn’t follow through on any of the promises made in its sales copy?

What if you were PayPal and that happened again? And again and again and again? What if you consistently ended up on the hook to the credit card companies because you allowed this kind of fraud to continue?

You’d probably start at least making users wait a while before they withdrew money. Now what if that didn’t stop the fraud? What if you found that the only way to stop a good chunk of fraud was to lose business deliberately by employing the brute force technique of freezing or closing out the accounts of anyone who had the same profile as a ripoff artist?

Yes, you’d be throwing away business. But you’re PayPal, and you answer to Wall Street. At some point it becomes more prudent to be aggressive about “precrime” so you don’t lose your existing customers.

If I were publicly held like PayPal (more precisely, like its parent company eBay) , I’d probably slap those businesses too. It is the only way I could think of to manage fraud on a large scale without plunging an otherwise healthy PayPal into vats of red ink.

This is not to say PayPal doesn’t just do idiotic things, like deep-sixing a clearly legitimate charity drive by the good people at Regretsy, who had a longstanding relationship.

I had the exact idea of PayPal before there was a PayPal. I didn’t follow through because I could never figure out a satisfactory way to deal with fraud in a way that would be fair to the good guys. It looks like they never did either. I hate to say it, new guys, but if I were PayPal I’d slap you too.

Or is there another way to handle this seemingly impossible situation? Give me a shout if you think you have the answer.

 

 

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Hire an expert for 20 minutes? I’m in! (Pomodoro hiring)

Normally I try to write about things I know pretty well. This time, I’m rolling the dice. Based on a link from Hacker News I visited the site, apparently an oDesk spinoff by researcher Greg Little (oDesk actually has a researcher?), and fell in love with the idea. The plan will be that you hire an expert for 20 minutes, an idea that seemed to originate in the 1980s.

I have hired a fair number experts in my life, and usually I know well within 20 minutes whether they’re losers. But quite often I’ve had to pony up for the full hour minimum, and left feeling a bit taken advantage of. I look forward to this idea taking off. Would be fantastic to be able to get legal consultation this way.

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No BS Online PHP tutorial in PowerPoint style-free

While searching for something else entirely I stumbled across a no-nonsense PHP tutorial in PowerPoint format but viewable in a web browser. It’s called, natch, PHP Powerpoint — Teach PHP With This. Although it tries to serve the layman it’s probably best if you’re at least a beginning or intermediate programmer who doesn’t happen to know PHP.

Only shortcoming is that it’s 350+ slides and the only way to navigate is using the forward and back buttons. So why use this instead of the free, comprehensive and very, very worthy at, PHP.net, penned largely by Andi Gutmans, PHP’s own creator? Exactly because it’s not comprehensive, not having to cover PHP’s massive standard libraries or the philosophy of object-oriented programming. Perhaps because it’s a free resource, it lays bare the language’s essentials using a well-illustrated, minimum text necessary approach. Just the thing if PHP is about to become your second (or third, or seventh) computer language.

 

 

 

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Domain name registration

I will court controversy by saying that we like GoDaddy (affiliate link, or godaddy.com if you want to copy and paste without it) for domain name registration and use them for approximately 500 domain names. PRO: Your new domain names appear on the web within minutes. They have 24-hour phone service. They’re by far the best domain name registrar to use if you want to sell a domain name to someone else because so many people know how to use them and have accounts. CON: They favor phone support over web-based support so they can upsell services while they have you on the phone. They make it too difficult to buy a domain name with no other products.

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Web hosts

We use HostGator (affiliate link, or hostgator.com without the affiliate link) for dozens of sites. They’ve hit the sweet spot in web hosting, with fantastic 24-hour service, a massive feature set (namely unlimited domains and unlimited databases, which means you can set up as many WordPress sites as you want), and good performance–all for under $10/month. HOT TIP: Use coupon code HOSTGATOR to get your first month of  HostGator for a penny.

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