health, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Amazon Favorites- Wellness Edition

Now is the perfect time to share my favorite wellness purchases from Amazon. All day yesterday, Chloe kept complaining that her head hurt. I told her it was probably from all the noise in the house. (You know the scene from the Grinch when they say “the noise, noise, noise, noise!”? That’s my house.) Anyway, I took her temperature because she felt a little warm. Hip, hip, hooray! We get fevers today!

Addi’s birthday is tomorrow and we probably are going to have to post-pone her party. Pray for her sweet heart. She is being so kind and saying that it’s ok, but I can see in her eyes that she is sad. Last year, she was the only one who didn’t have Papa P. at her birthday and she was grieving his passing greatly. Sickness in the house this year is a bummer. I told her she’ll get TWO unicorn cakes if we post-pone, so hopefully that helps.

Moving on.. My favorite purchases from Amazon for wellness. I need to re-stock some of these.

Amazon Favorites Wellness Edition

kids Vitamin D3 // No one is getting as much Vitamin D in the cooler months. This supplements in a great way.

kids multivitamin // (this one is good, too.)

kids probiotic // Gut health affects overall health. Don’t neglect it. You can refer back to this post for some information.

elderberry // (my kids prefer this liquid or these) Sambucol elderberry has actually been scientifically tested and proven. You can’t go wrong with it.

oscillococcoinum // Once flu season starts, this ends up sold out everywhere. I’d buy some now to have on hand just in case. This helps combat flu-like symptoms and is safe for kids also. Boiron is one of my favorite holistic brands. Children’s cold calm is really great, too.

Multivitamin (women) (men) // Don’t buy just any junk vitamin. Your body may not absorb the fake nutrition, and you are basically throwing away money. Get a good quality vitamin and you won’t regret it.

Cough Drops // These are my favorite. They taste great and actually WORK! Yes, they are pricey, but I am not popping several cough drops at a time. I’m able to use one and have it work to suppress my cough. I give these to my kids.

Chest Rub // I honestly prefer using RC or sniffleease essential oils in the place of a chest rub, but I do have this and really like it. There’s no junk in it. I’m not a fan of rubbing petroleum on my skin. (Remember, everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream.) This one is great for babies and little ones!

Probiotic // I’ve already raved about this in a previous post. But, here is a completely unsponsored plug for how much I love it.

SinuCare // I love this if I have a cold or any congestion.

Roller bottles // I use these all the time. I make oil rollers for wellness, respiratory support, head support, etc. in these. If you use oils, you should get some of these!

Don’t forget WATER! Drink tons and tons of water. If you a cute cup to drink out of, you are more likely to drink more water. It’s science. (Ok, not really, but it works for me.)

 

As I’ve said in the past, I’m not a doctor. Don’t take this as medical advice, and always ask your doctor! I’m simply sharing what we have used and love. 

 

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garden, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Our CSA Experience

CSA

This year, Scott and I decided to sign up for a half share of a CSA basket. If you are unfamiliar with what CSA is,  it is Community Supported Agriculture. Local farmers set up their programs, and you as the consumer can sign up to get a full or half share. It is different in all areas, so your experience may vary from ours. We (I say we, but Scott stopped by after work) would go to the farm once a week on a designated day and pick up our freshly picked produce. It’s a great way to support your local farmers, and get the best quality of produce.

We had a few options of farms to choose from in our area. I looked the farms up, and found a farm that was non-GMO and artificial fertilizer and pesticide free. I felt like they were a good fit for what I want in my family.

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Sometimes the baskets felt pretty repetitive. For a couple of weeks, it seemed like we didn’t get much more than squash and peppers. It’s hard to get creative with squash, but maybe I just wasn’t thinking hard enough. I did consume a lot of jalapeno poppers, which is fine with me!
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Our farm also gave us one dozen farm fresh eggs each month, which I LOVED.  (Sorry, you don’t get a cute basket with your CSA. You can buy one here though.) Sometimes she would have Scott grab extra of something if he talked about how much we enjoyed it. I love our farmer.

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Some of the vegetables were completely new experiences, which is so fun. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and try new foods. The kids weren’t always willing to try new foods, but it was an adventure for us! They kids loved SEEING the new veggies even if they were too afraid to try them.

Fresh garlic, onions, and potatoes have probably been my favorite things to get in the basket. There were a few weeks sprinkled in where our share was much smaller because of bad weather or other factors that just happen in farming. Obviously, your share is dependent upon the region that you live in and the weather that you get that season.

I was really pleased with our first experience with CSA. I love being able to support local farmers and getting tons of fresh produce each week. It was always a surprise, so I couldn’t really plan ahead of time. We pick up our final basket of the season on Wednesday. A lot of farmers are accepting sign ups for the fall/winter season. You can go here and search for farms in your area. I truly don’t think that you’ll regret it at all!

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P.S. This post is in no way sponsored. I truly loved the program, and wanted to share!

 

 

health, natural living, sponsored, Uncategorized

Breaking Down Gut Health

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I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

There is no better time to start taking probiotics! So much of our overall health lies in our gut health. So often, our digestive systems are overrun with too much of the bad bacteria, which results in bloating, stomach pain, and illness. Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics are so great at balancing out our gut health. As soon as I started taking this probiotic, I noticed a huge difference. I have taken probiotics in the past, but honestly have never noticed a difference and ultimately stopped taking them. That is not the case with Dr. Ohhira’s brand.

I’m going to just go for it. My stomach is often messed up. I experience bloating, discomfort, and yes– constipation. Listen, it makes me nauseous just thinking about sharing this with the world. But, it’s miserable, so if I can help you feel better then I’m going to share. As soon as I started taking this probiotic, all of those symptoms were gone. Regularity, something that I never thought I’d have, is now part of my life. My skin looks and feels healthier. You can even CHEW this small tab for immediate relief from upset stomach or indigestion. I haven’t personally had to do that yet, but just letting you know that it is an option!

dr ohhiras

Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics come in unique blister packs. You take one in the morning and one in the evening. If you are traveling, you can break off how many days you need so that you are aren’t traveling with the whole box. They don’t have to be refrigerated, which is a HUGE plus when you are limited on fridge space. I used to think that the only good probiotics had to be stored in the fridge. I was so wrong.

Back to School Time and Fall Immunity

It is not just germs that cause kids (and grown ups!) to get sick. A significant factor is the strength of their immune response. That starts in the digestive tract where over 70% of immune system cells reside. You guys, SEVENTY PERCENT of your immune system is in your digestive tract. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the production and function of these immune cells. These beneficial bacteria can be an ally when it comes to fighting off back-to-school bugs. Because Dr. Ohhira’s is such a small capsule containing the naturally fermented paste a child can easily swallow it in a spoonful of applesauce or yogurt.

Research and Facts: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold, with the average child contracting 6.5 colds a year. What many parents don’t know, science has proven that some probiotics can be one of the parent’s most useful tools for keeping kids healthy. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that kids who were supplemented with probiotics were three times less likely to experience fever, coughs, and runny noses than their classmates who did not receive the probiotics.

Halloween Sugar: The Ghastly Ghoul That Will Scare Your Guts And Petrify Your Probiotics!

How Sugar Affects the Gut: Friendly bacteria aid the metabolism of nutrients and help certain compounds get into the bloodstream. A diverse population of health-promoting flora protects the gut from the less helpful strains. In contrast, an outsize number of less-beneficial flora—which proliferate with a diet high in sugar, fat, and processed food—can cause gas, discomfort, bloating, and inflammation. How many of you live in this state? The flora can also emit chemicals that compromise the intestinal lining according to The Human Microbiome Project at the National Institutes of Health. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states probiotics work with your good gut bacteria to reduce sugar cravings and help keep your blood glucose in the healthy range if you do eat sweets.

The Holidays: The Eating Season

Many conventionally prepared Thanksgiving and Holiday menus, albeit delicious, are hard on your stomach. Greasy ham, fried turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with milk and butter, yams with sugary marshmallows, decadent desserts, not to mention the increased alcohol intake for some people. Even if you eat healthy the rest of the year, sometimes your digestive system just isn’t prepared for the onslaught of rich fare. Bloating, indigestion, and a sour stomach are not only triggered by how much you eat, but also by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest. These undigested substances then pass into your colon producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and create uncomfortable gas. Probiotics, when taken consistently, repopulate the gut with health-promoting bacteria for better digestion, increased absorption of nutrients, and less gas and bloating. Basically, adding a probiotic to your routine may help you avoid or lessen the complete misery that you feel after eating your delicious holiday meals.

What makes Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics different from any other probiotic?

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are not cultured or grown in a laboratory like most other probiotic products. Natural crops and spring water are fermented* for three years with 12 distinctive probiotic strains that encourage your body’s innate ability to grow its own friendly bacteria. This rich culture medium (PRE-BIOTICS) is then encapsulated along with the beneficial lactic acid bacteria (PRO-BIOTICS) that have grown together over the three-year period and the resulting nutrients from this fermentation* process (POST-BIOTICS.) All three of these working together help to result in the ultimate gut health.

*Fermentation maximizes the natural health-promoting properties of each ingredient. The final result is an organic, living fusion that merges and encourages the evolution of your own exclusive internal bacteria. This, in turn, supports a healthy immune system and digestion of crucial micronutrients that your body needs to thrive and flourish. Hand-made in Japan with a sincere respect for nature and reverence for science, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics will transform your health with the assurance you are in harmony with the environment.

 

All of this to say, your gut health is SO important. Investing in a good probiotic makes such a difference in your overall health and wellness. The miserable flu season is coming up, and now is the perfect time to start taking care of your health. Cut out or reduce your intake of sugars. Add a great probiotic to the mix with your daily multivitamins. You can purchase Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics here. While you are there, pick up some of this moisturizer. It’s so good!

 

Please let me know if you give it a try and what you think. You can also head over to MomsMeet.com and check out what other people are saying about Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics.

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health, natural living, recommendations, sponsored, Uncategorized

My New Favorite Shampoo and Conditioner

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I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

I have been on the hunt for a good, clean shampoo and conditioner for quite some time. Two years ago, I dyed my hair platinum blonde and it got destroyed. My hair had never been so unhealthy, and it’s been a long process of restoring the health and stopping the breakage. When Moms Meet contacted me about trying Desert Essence anti-breakage shampoo and conditioner, I jumped at the opportunity!

Honestly, I always get a little afraid. What if I hate the product and have to write that?! I won’t ever be dishonest or deceitful in what I share with you.Thankfully, that was not the case. I have been using Desert Essence Shampoo and Conditioner for several weeks and LOVE it!! I’ll have a special discount for you later so you can give it a try for less!

Here are some facts about Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner:

– It is infused with an exclusive blend  that helps reduce breakage by up to 61%. There is biotin right in the product, which is what you get when you buy any vitamins for your hair!
– It is rich in nourishing jojoba and coconut oils, aloe, and saw palmetto, which smooth and fortify hair cuticles and revitalize hair strands to minimize breakage.
– The botanical oils and radish seed extract provide shine!
– The aloe and moisturizing shea butter in the Anti-Breakage Conditioner help de-tangle and condition hair.

Another fun fact- Desert Essence was the first company to bring Jojoba oil into the marketplace! So cool!

 

The shampoo lathers up really nicely and leaves my hair feeling clean. The conditioner is thick and creamy. I love that when I am done washing and conditioning my hair, I don’t feel any build-up. Do you know what I mean? Some conditioners leave behind a lot of build-up that feels so gross and weighs down your hair.  My hair just feels fresh and clean. It feels smooth and much less frizzy than it had been. After having such badly damaged hair, it is so nice for it to feel healthy again.

I am sure that you are wondering about the scent. I always want my hair to smell nice. There is not a fruity or spicy scent– it’s just clean and fresh. Are you noticing a theme? I really love the way my hair smells after I wash it.

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Earlier, I said that I had been on the hunt for good, CLEAN shampoo and conditioner. I don’t want a bunch of hormone disruptive and unnecessary ingredients in my bath products. Every Desert Essence product is rated incredibly well on the Think Dirty app. While the anti-breakage shampoo and conditioner and not specifically rated YET, I feel really good about using a brand that’s worst score is a 4; most of the time just for fragrances that may trigger allergy or asthma problems.

If you are unfamiliar with the score system, ten is the worst. Each product gets a score and a green, yellow, or red color for how harmful the ingredients are. Most of the Desert Essence products are a ZERO! How awesome is that! Desert Essence really cares about the ingredients that are put into their products. Each one serves a purpose. The Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner is also gluten-free.

Now, I know that many people roll their eyes at this. “It goes on your skin. Who cares what’s in it?” Did you know that EVERYTHING that you put on your skin (including your scalp) can be found in your bloodstream after a certain amount of time; some as early as 26 seconds after application? THAT is why you should care. That is why I am passionate about products like this. We put tons of chemicals onto our skin that get in our blood stream, and then wonder why everyone is so sick and infertility is so common. At some point, we have to say enough is enough. Speak with your dollars, and only spend your money on the products that aren’t harming us and our children.

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You can find Desert Essence at Natural Grocers, Lucky’s Market, MOM’s Organic Market, and many other local natural food stores. If you want to find it in your area, visit desertessence.com/store-locator. My readers can take 20% off Anti-Breakage and Smoothing Hair Care Products on dessertessence.com with the promo code DELovesMomsMeet

Please let me know if you have any other questions about Desert Essence Anti-Breakage shampoo and conditioner. Let me know if you give it a try! I’d love to hear what you think!

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garden, home, natural living, Uncategorized

Gardening Gear

 

Garden Gear

\\ harvesting basket \\ watering can | tools and bag // boots // hat // kneeler //

\\ gloves | gnome light //

 

This is the less practical side of gardening. Obviously you need seeds or starter plants, soil, shovels, and other obvious things. I figured I’d put together some of the things that I have purchased, or have on my wishlist, for our garden this year.

The basket is front and center because I am believing that the garden will be successful. I’ll need something to carry the “fruits” of my labor in. I love these fair trade baskets. A hat is a must so that you can protect your face and neck from the sun! Ankle rain boots are great. You can keep your feet dry without your legs sweating to death. A garden gnome is obviously needed; especially when it doubles as a light. haha!!

I am not a gardening pro, so I am certain there are more important things that should go on this list. Let me know what you’d add!!

Happy Spr-inter!

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health, natural living, Uncategorized

A little Light Reading

We are here again. Seeking a diagnosis. Seeking feeling well.

I just want to feel like a normal 29 year old that has the energy to play with her kids. If I don’t have Hashimoto’s, I really don’t know what else could be wrong. That scares me a bit. Hashimoto’s scares me, too. I see a new doctor next Tuesday. I am going to push to have a biopsy done. Maybe he will check my antibody levels also. From what I have read, it is possible for autoimmune diseases to go dormant for a period of time, so my negative test could have been false a couple of years ago.

If you don’t know, I have an enlarged thyroid and some chronic “mystery” thyroid disease. The last two ultrasounds that I have had done have shown that it has a heterogeneous echogenicity texture. Basically, there is a texture on all of my thyroid that shows them that chronic disease is present (how my first doctor explained it). This specific texture is almost always caused by autoimmune disease, which was NOT explained to me before.

My doctor wanted to kill my thyroid, which according to blood work was functioning just fine, before it kills itself. That didn’t sit well with me, so I resisted. I had no idea what an autoimmune disease was. Maybe if I had been given more information, I wouldn’t have hesitated as much? Instead, I did the Autoimmune Protocol and overhauled the way I ate. I started avoiding all endocrine disrupters that I am aware of.  Unfortunately, I had to stop doing AIP when I ended up in the ER with all of the symptoms of a heart attack. After a lot of tests, it was determined that my body was starving. I was doing AIP and breastfeeding at the same time. I ate ALL DAY, and made sure to add in plenty of calories, but it just wasn’t enough. I had to quit, and eventually gave up on finding answers.  I don’t regret not going along with the doctors original plan. She seemed so unsure of it herself and kept saying that it was not guaranteed to make me feel better or work. If the doctor isn’t confident, why would I be?

If my new doctor doesn’t find any answers, I plan to start the Autoimmune Protocol again and work toward wellness on my own.  I want to walk into my appointment prepared with all questions and ready to face any solution that my doctor suggests. Last time, I was blindsided and not given a lot of information. This time, I want to be informed. I know people act like your thyroid is useless. It’s not. It controls every system in your body. It could be why I ended up having epilepsy. It could possibly be the cause of my miscarriage 5 years ago. I don’t know that for sure, but it is possible. What I do know is that I have all of the symptoms, and I am tired of it. Literally, so exhausted.

These are the books I have checked out from the library that have helped me learn a lot:

Why do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?   This is a great book that is full of medical information. It has great explanations for why your blood work may be normal while you still have miserable symptoms of disease.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding the Root Cause  This is another great book written by someone with a lot of knowledge on Hashimoto’s. She was diagnosed at 27 years old with it, and went on a quest to find what her “root cause” was. Medicine doesn’t help most people feel completely better, and diet always has to be altered. She found what she needed to eliminate in order to fully get rid of her symptoms.

Hashimoto’s Protocol  I haven’t opened this one yet, but will update when I have read it.

The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook This is a great book to pick up if you have, or suspect you have, an autoimmune disease. This covers all aspects of your health that can help you heal. There are many different eating plans if the AIP diet is too overwhelming. This is a book I would really like to buy and have on my shelf all the time.

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook This is one that I actually did end up purchasing. It is FULL of recipes for salad dressings, sauces, main dishes, sides, snacks, and desserts. If you have done AIP before, you know that it is SO overwhelming. There are two different four week meal plans already written out for you WITH shopping lists. They give you lists of items that you will want to have on hand in your pantry to make the protocol easier. Even when not doing AIP, it is full of really delicious and healthy recipes. You can’t lose.

 

I wanted to share this so that others in similar situations won’t feel so alone. When I found out what I may be up against, I was terrified and overwhelmed. I found a friend who had gone through something similar; though her situation was far worse than mine. I asked her what I could do. How can I take control of this? Is that even possible? She set me up with a lot of information and checked in with me often. She prayed for me. Her husband dropped to his knees in prayer when I was at the hospital. Her whole family encouraged me. I am forever grateful to her.

I will continue to write updates as we go along again. I would appreciate your prayers that answers can be found. My thyroid has been in question since I was pregnant with Addison, and I would love to have answers.

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natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Sustainable Kitchen

I know Earth Day isn’t until next month, but we should start being responsible NOW. Plastic is a huge problem, and recycling isn’t the total solution. This video was really eye opening.  We absolutely should be recycling, so don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Responsible recycling is so important. But, trying to eliminate waste is the best solution.

I’m going to share some of my favorite products that we use in our kitchen to eliminate waste; since most of our waste comes from there.

sustainable kitchen

Stasher Bags– I know I’ve shared these before. They are pricey, so just buy one at a time when you can afford it. They are so thick and well made. They have the easiest zipper to use BY FAR. I’ve tried several brands, and this one is the winner. They come in three sizes, which is awesome. You can put them in the oven, freezer and dishwasher. I put them on a drying rack to make sure they are completely dry before storing it away. But, honestly, it goes from use to use.

Produce Bags– I love these. My only issue is consistently remembering to take them to the store. I prefer to pick my own produce rather than grab pre-packaged produce. I can make sure I’m not buying beat up fruit and veggies. These are really soft, and there are so many sizes. (At the time I am posting this, there is a 5% off coupon that you can clip.)

Water Bottle–  (15% off with this link) Water bottles are probably the biggest culprit of plastic clogging up landfills. A stainless steel water bottle keeps your water cold. Get a cute one that you love, and you are much more likely to use it.

K-cup– This is a cheaper way to enjoy a single serve cup of coffee, and you waste a whole lot less. I also just discovered this coffee company that has a compostable k-cup. I bought some of their coffee and it is delicious!!! (Salted Caramel is the best.)

Cloth Napkins– I love using cloth napkins. I’m admittedly a messy eater. How Scott didn’t leave me sitting at the table alone on our first date, I will never know. I go through a LOT of paper napkins in one meal. Cloth napkins work so much better. Plus, there are so many cute patterns. I watched the end caps at Target, and was able to get a lot of cheap napkins that way.

Bee’s Wrap– Full disclosure- I have NOT tried this yet, but want to so badly. I’ve seen tutorials for making your own. I just need to find the right fabric. This would be great for wrapping around fresh bread.

Glass food storage– I love my pyrex food storage containers. The don’t stain like plastic does, which is a huge win for me. This set is on sale right now for a great price!!

Other tips are the obvious avoid using paper plates and paper towels as much as possible. Also, start a compost pile. It doesn’t have to be huge. Throw your food scraps in the compost bin/pile/whatever. They break down and are so good for the soil.

We have made these small steps over several years. Change isn’t always easy. It’s hard to get used to using reusable zip bags instead of grabbing a plastic baggie and throwing it away when you’re done. I’ve loved the money we have saved in the long run. Napkins aren’t super expensive, but the savings add up over 8 years!

Is there anything you would add? Do you already use any of these in your own home?

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allergies, family life, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Seventh Generation and Earth Month

Since becoming a mother, I have done my research on what chemicals that I bring into my home; from food to cleaning products.

Did you know that the air INSIDE of your home is 2-5X more polluted than the air outside of your home! That’s scary to think about; especially in the winter when you are shut inside of your home for so long. Since this is Earth Month (Earth Day is the 22nd!) I thought it was a great time to share about my favorite brand–

Seventh Generation

Their brand is environmentally responsible and is true to their word.

diapers // wipes // diaper cream // laundry detergent // bathroom cleaner // dishwasher soap // dish soap

You can download an app called Think Dirty if you have a smart phone. It allows you to scan products in the grocery store and find out what they rate. 10 is incredibly toxic, so the lower the number the better. I am so thankful for this app because it allowed me to discover just how bad some of the so-called clean brands really are. Seventh Generation has passed the test!

I joined Seventh Generation’s Generation Good and have enjoyed getting tips on cleaning up my home even more; along with learning more about the importance of doing so. I enjoy being part of a community that has some of the same concerns and passions as I do.

Their diapers are made from sustainably sourced materials, which I think is great. We cloth diaper most of the time, but do use disposables at night, when we are out and about, and when we travel. Their diapers used to just be brown, but they have recently added these fun prints. (You can learn more about WHY here.) Their wipes are so thick and get the job done; every mother’s dream! Plus, they don’t irritate my extremely sensitive daughter’s skin. Win-win!

Their cleaning products actually WORK! For a long time, I was left disappointed by how poorly natural products performed. Then, I tried Seventh Generation and was hooked.

Seventh Generation products are easy to find in stores, but they are also available on Amazon, which I love. If you have prime, you can subscribe and save even more. They don’t even know I exist, aside from being a part of generation good, so this is not paid. I genuinely love the brand and their products. Everything I have linked to is something that I have tried and loved. I would never recommend a product that I don’t absolutely love! 

Have you ever tried Seventh Generation products? If not, what are you waiting for?

 

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baby, family life, kids, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

5 Sustainable Baby/Toddler Options

My passion for sustainability started at a strange time. After Scott and I first got married, I was taking Interior Design classes at Missouri State University. (HIGHLY recommend them, if that is your passion.) I remember a professor saying that part of being a designer was being responsibility. Re-using furniture and decor whenever possible; or repurposing it. Another thing she mentioned was starting off using things that were made to last. It really struck a chord with me, and I was hooked.

For some reason, you tend to get laughed out of town for being a “tree hugger”. As a Christian, did God not call us to be good stewards? Wouldn’t that include this beautiful earth that he created for us to care for and enjoy? (Here is a good list to help answer that.)

If we make wise decisions from the beginning, we will waste so much less money and resources.

sustainable-baby

Pura Insulated Bottle– These bottles are so great!! They are made from stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about the chemicals in plastic. It does have a hefty price tag, but you can replace the nipple with a soft sippy tip, a straw, and a flip top. It lasts FOREVER and grows with your child. If you have multiples, or just want some extra padding, you can purchase silicone sleeves to customize your bottle/cup some more.

Re-Play Recyled– This brand has EVERYTHING! Sippy cups, plates, bowls, flatware, you name it. There is even more than I realized! I have these snack containers and love them. It’s nice to stack a snack for each girl when we all go out, or just have individual snacks during the rare one on one outing. You can read more about their company here.

Cloth Diapers– Cloth diapering is not only earth friendly, but SO budget friendly. I was really intimidated by the idea of cloth diapering, but now I wish I had done it sooner. Don’t let it be intimidating. I love my bum-genius diapers the most, but I also have Alva baby and really like them also. (Babies R Us usually has coupons for Bum Genius.) You can check out my pinterest board if you need some information to help you get started, because it can certainly be overwhelming in the beginning. (My younger sister even made her own wipes, so you can even go as far as that!)

Green Toys– I love this brand! Everything is so cute and well-made. The toys are made from 100% recycled plastic, which is awesome. (Image source) You can see more about how they make their products here.

Refillable Baby Food Pouches– These are amazing! I own a different brand, but the zipper is extremely difficult to zip. These have really good reviews, plus there are lots of others out there. I loved making my own baby food. I knew exactly what was going into it, it was a huge money saver, and I could make a wider variety for my babies to try. I still fill these pouches with applesauce for outings, and they come in very handy when a stomach bug has invaded your home and no one has the strength to sit up.

Another great tip is to buy quality. I have said this before, so I may sound like a broken record. Buy items that will last. Check re-sale shops and B/S/T pages on Facebook and you can find quality items at a much lower price. You don’t HAVE TO pay full price. Check for deals! Amazon sometimes has products that have been opened before for significantly cheaper, even though they are still in perfect condition. That is how we got our high chair for such a steal!!

I have loved this journey of finding sustainability; especially as a family of five. If we can reduce our footprint, even by a fraction, then I will be pleased.

What are some things that I could add to this list?

family life, home, kids, natural living, Ramblings, Uncategorized

Taking Inventory

I really don’t have anything interesting to say, so I thought I’d give you a round-up of what is going on in our house and my brain. Welcome.

 

Making: I ate an apple with almond butter for lunch and have taco meat going in the crock pot. Tuesdays are always a little hectic with the timing of dance class, which makes the crock pot an excellent tool.

Drinking: Coffee.. It’s been a tough week. I should probably drink some water at some point.

Reading: I am still reading “Someday, Someday Maybe” by Lauren Graham. I am no farther than the last time I posted about it.

Wanting: November to be here. We should be moving out of our apartment, and I truly CANNOT wait.. I will have a fireplace, a bigger kitchen, and a yard!!

Listening: I can hear Harper babbling through the monitor. She has been refusing to nap, and I refuse to let her win, so “quiet” time in the crib it is. Also, I have our window open, and every car in town is driving by right now.

Looking: I just started researching ways to raise hormone levels naturally. Pre-menopause sounds great at the age of 28 and all (SYKE!), but hormone replacement therapy does not. I have been looking at essential oils that can help regulate it all. Any tips? I’m all ears!

Playing: The “what if” game. haha! Addison has been sick, and our options have become lyme disease or west nile virus..which both sound really fantastic… I would share pictures of her leg, but I’ll spare you. The doctor is now leaning towards it being west nile along with an allergy to mosquito bites, but she is being treated for Lyme just to be safe. This kid is so tough and brave, and she doesn’t even realize it.

Wishing: That the weather would cool off! It’s cool in the mornings, but still gets up near the 90’s (or above) in the afternoon.

Enjoying: The coffee mug that I don’t remember ordering. I have terrible insomnia and occasionally take Ambien to help me fall asleep. Don’t take it and start browsing Etsy. Bad idea..or brilliant. I can’t get enough of Winifred staring me down.

Loving: We have this old chair that was given to us by Scott’s mom and dad. It was actually part of a matching set, but our dog Daisy ate one. I wish I was kidding. Anyway, it had the skirt-like thing around the bottom that was really common in it’s day. I LOVE the chair. It is so comfy, but the skirt was really dating it. The girls also thought they could hide things under there without getting caught. *eye roll* Scott removed the skirt (what is the real name?) and it looks SO much better. Now, we just need to get it re-covered. There’s a hole in the back to go along with the scraggly cushion. Here’s a Pinterest-worthy visual for you.

Feel free to pin that. I know you want to.

Wearing: I desperately need to fold the laundry.. What I am wearing is not pretty.

Watching: I’m not really watching anything at the moment. Next week is the big premier week for most of the shows I enjoy! Blue Bloods anyone?

Browsing: I stumbled onto various blog posts from many sites about farmhouse decor on Amazon. I keep browsing and adding more and more to my wish list. This Salt & Pepper set is one of my favorites; along with this two tiered tray. Imagine it covered with fresh produce!

 

Happy Tuesday, friends. May your toddlers actually nap and give you some peace and quiet!