Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Prenatal Sleep Routine

I'm 35 weeks pregnant with our third, and have finally started listening to my body and doing some much needed self care. The past few weeks I have gotten better sleep than in any of my other pregnancies. As a Doula I spend a lot of time answering pregnancy, labor and delivery questions and one that always pops up is how do I get more sleep in the last trimester... I have my standard answers, but realized I hardly do these, or I only do a couple of them when it's "really bad." So the past few weeks I decided I didn't have to tough it out, flop into bed in my exhausted state only to wake up a few hours later for the day, or be restless all night long! So get ready to get some great sleep with me--- well not with me, but you get the idea!

Tip #1: Start your bedtime wind down 30-60 minutes prior to actually hitting the hay! 

I'll admit this one is tricky for me, with two littles night time is kind of my alone time. It's my time to unwind, research, read, or hang with my man. Too many nights I spend trying to stay awake scrolling pinterest or watching netflix. The biggest way that I'm working on this is to be intentional with my time. Intentionally spending quality time with the hubs, or reading helps me to be in a more present and relaxed space. Putting a boundary on my time helps me to be intentional with my down time  so that it can really fill my cup and not just my time.

Tip #2: Set the scene
This seriously only takes 5 minutes but it goes a long way for me. This usually means lighting some candles, taking some meditative breaths, reading an encouraging verse. Whatever it is for you, it's not elaborate, but it helps shift your mind so that your brain knows its time to wind down. This is often when I make my red raspberry leaf tea in a pretty mug and just take a few minutes to let go of the day.

Tip #3: Epsom Salt Baths
You may not have time every night to do this, but it's a great way to detox and de-stress your body. Epsom salt is full of magnesium, and most of us are magnesium deficient. Magnesium helps us to manage stress better, relax, take away muscle tension, aches, pains, reduce swelling and a ton of other benefits. Just 20 minutes and your body is on it's way to healing itself! I love adding baking soda and essential oils for an added detox boost.

Tip #5: Yoga/Stretching
I do this every night without fail- and if I don't I'm really bummed because I'm up at 2am doing my yoga so that I can go back to sleep. In pregnancy our hips can get really tight carrying around amniotic fluid, placenta, baby and if you have other littles picking them up all day. This makes sleep really hard at the end of the day. A few hip openers, meditative breaths and some stillness can go a long way to connecting with your body, your baby and helping you get a good night sleep. I really like this one, it's only 10 minutes but always brings relief when I have hip and back pain.

Tip #6: Aromatherapy
As I continue my training in pregnancy aromatherapy one of my favorite ways to unwind is to diffuse a high quality oil to help my body unwind. Some of my favorites are lavender, balance, juniper berry, blue tansy, geranium just to name a few. Check out my essential oils page if you're interested in learning more, and always feel free to leave a comment or message me with any questions you have.

If you're doing these things and still struggling to sleep at night. Here are some other things you can try, and I'll be doing a follow up blog post on them so stay tuned...

1. Weekly chiropractic adjustments. 

Pregnancy is so hard on our hips and back, especially if we're lifting other little kiddos. Getting weekly adjustments (especially in the third trimester) will completely take away sciatica, and other hip pain that you may be having making your nights and legs restless. It is also a great way to get your baby in optimum position for birth. Weekly adjustments help you to avoid breech baby, posterior or transverse presentations.

2. Stay hydrated
Drinking about a gallon of water/herbal tea in the third trimester will help keep fluids in balance, reduce swelling, and help circulation, constipation and any other issues you may be having! Water, water, water and you'll notice a change!

3. Exercise
I know you're getting huge and it's hard to move around, but even a 20 minute walk can release some of the tension your body is holing. Walking helps clear your mind, brings focus and my favorite is that it reduces labor time--- a lot!!! So if you want a fast easy birth, get walking ladies!

I hope these help and bring some insight into some of the issues you may be experiencing. The home stretch can be a tough time even for those of us that are doing all of these self care steps, remember to be gentle with your expectations of yourself and let some things slide--- it's all going to be ok. So take some time to take care of you today and get the rest you need. Sweet dreams!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Remineralizing DIY Toothpaste

I was 25 weeks pregnant with our first when I heard about remineralizing toothpaste, natural cleaners and avoiding toxins. All of these DIY and natural options seemed really overwhelming to me. I knew I wanted to knock out toxins but also knew that entering motherhood for the first time I couldn't do it all at once. I started slow, beginning with natural cleaners and ultimately moving onto beauty products for me and my family. Toothpaste was one of the first things to go once I looked at my body products. I was so used to conventional toothpaste so it has taken a while to get used to the difference in taste and texture, but my teeth have thanked me! Problematic ingredients for conventional toothpaste include fluoride, glycerin and red dye number 40 just to name a few. These ingredients don't heal or strengthen our enamel.  The one thing I love about this toothpaste is that it can reverse, heal and remineralize your teeth so that cavities no longer become an issue. It's safe for kids and adults alike and my kiddos love helping make it!We recently had a dentist appointment for both kiddos and our dentist couldn't believe how good the kids teeth looked, he asked several times what we're doing at home, aside from eating real food this is number one in our house! He definitely inspired me to keep on making this formula and protect our family's teeth.

Here are some great resources to check out on remineralizing toothpaste and why you should add it to your house!


Ok, but here's the important part the recipe that literally takes 5 minutes and will save you money, and heal your mouth!

1. 1/2 cup of coconut oil 
2. 3 tablespoons of baking soda
3. 15 drops of therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil, cinnamon, lemon
4. A pinch of celtic or pink sea salt
5. (optional 1-2 teaspoons of benonite clay/or 10 drops of trace minerals)

This usually lasts our family 2-3 months depending and I store it in a mason jar in the bathroom cabinet. All of these ingredients while being natural, you don't have to worry about them spoiling or going bad (even if it gets really hot!). Enjoy and "show off your glittering teeth" as my three year old says!

Don't want to make your own toothpaste, but want a remineralizing toothpaste for your family? I love buying Earth Paste when I'm in a pinch for time.

Redmond Earthpaste, Wintergreen, 4 Ounce

Monday, February 8, 2016

Two Under Two- How we THRIVED!

My daughter was a mere 19 months when my son was born and life was moving at a whirlwind speed. It's almost been a year now since my son joined our little family and here are some of my survival tips for having two under two!

1. Have GRACE!!

The biggest lesson that I have learned this year is that I can't do it all- what does doing it all even mean anyway? Having grace allows me the freedom to breathe through tough moments and not call them defeated days! Can I hear an AMEN on that one? I often struggled with wanting to throw in the towel on days that I was stressed, overwhelmed and didn't know what to do next... GRACE is usually the answer! The day isn't over and even if you have a bad day- there is always tomorrow! The great thing about kids is that they are full of grace. My daughter has shown me this time and time again- she could care less that my "homeschool lessons" didn't turn out creatively, she just wants to be with me. (On that note, I gave up those lessons and found I had more peace, and my daughter still learned her colors, numbers and letters).

2. Have a Routine

Notice I didn't say schedule? Yeah, when you have two under two the biggest thing you can do is be flexible but be the leader- hence the word routine. This allows your baby and toddler to know what to expect next, but not be stuck  if there is a blow out causing all havoc on nap time, or if there are multiple meltodwns on your way to the door, and by the time you get everybody all packed up you're too exhausted to leave (please see #1 and be kind to yourself and your littles). But all in all routine gave me my sanity so that I could meet the kids with my A game and give them my best attention and love, because I didn't have to decide what to do next, I knew what came next!

3. Babywearing

Babywearing is so crucial for you and baby bonding, it helps with breastmilk supply, postpartum depression and keeps baby calm and having better weight gain! But I love this one when you have another one needing your attention, and hands! Babywearing allowed my son to take a nap on me so that we could have park time at the same time, or go to the store etc.

4. Bible Time
This is probably the most important secret to making it through the day- you're going to have chaotic days, where it feels like everyone is losing it and you're next--- this is when you take number 1 and head to the bathroom, closet or bedroom for two minutes... your kids will be ok, and grab a nugget of truth. Pray and head back into the trenches! I can always tell that I'm missing my perspective when the day starts to get crazy and I can't stay calm--- I need bible time and a little bit more of #1!!

Remember days where everyone stays in the PJ's are allowed, TV is ok as long as it doesn't replace good quality time with YOU, ice cream never killed anybody---- letting go is the lesson of two under two and there are so many things I never thought I would let go--- that I have!!! EMBRACE this new found freedom, and when somebody tells you that your hands are full, you can smile and say they are full of blessings!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cloth Diapering a Newborn!!

Cloth diapering a newborn doesn't have to be overwhelming, or hard!!! So, lets simplify what you need and how to do it!

First things first what do you need:

1. Diapers:
We chose to use a hybrid system so we use covers and inserts, which was a cost effective way for us to cloth diaper our kiddos, but there are lots of other systems and options out there. We use 12 diaper covers for washing every other day.

2. Prefolds/Inserts
I seriously love prefolds for newborns, and in the video I explain how to use them in the diaper covers, using a snappi and without a snappi. It's the easiest and most affordable way to cloth diaper your baby, they clean like a dream too! For washing every other day we use 24 inserts/prefolds.

3. Poop Plan:
Newborns that are breastfed the poopy diapers can go straight into the pail or wetbag and into your washing machine, the meconium diapers should be rinsed out and laid in the sun for bleaching. If you don't want to get meconium on your diapers then use a disposable liner inside your diaper and toss when used! They are usually biodegradable and can be a great addition to your compost (slightly disgusting hippie fact- sorry).

I hope this helps, check out the video for all my tips and tricks and be sure to subscribe to my channel to get lots of natural living tips! Let me know what cloth diapers you use for your kiddo or any questions you have about cloth diapering a newborn!

Thanks again for hanging out with me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Ok, so I have been debating this for over a year now, and finally decided (thanks to Brene Brown if you don't know who she is click on the link) to start living Bravely!!! I am going to be doing vlogs alongside my regular blog. There are so many times that I want to be able to show my readers something, or just have a good chat, and am hoping that this is a more relaxed, relatable way for us to connect! I hope you'll join me on this journey of motherhood, parenting and all the crazy things this hippie family does! So let's get started! Comment below with some videos/blogs that you want to see, or something natural that you are doing in your home too!

Thanks dear friends and here's to a really adventurous 2016!

Grovia Review- Cloth Diapering two kids!!!

So as most of you know we cloth diaper, but I haven't found a good way to explain the system, so I'm trying something new... a vlog that will go along with my blog! Let me know what you think and if you want to see more cloth diaper videos! Comment below if you cloth diaper, or want to!

The diaper bill was running up our monthly expenses, my daughter was getting rashes and then I found Grovia! A dear friend of mine gave us a baby gift that was full of natural things for baby: diaper rash cream, teethers, and my ultimate favorite present a Grovia Newborn diaper! I was hooked! Take a peek and see how I cloth diaper my toddler and baby successfully with Grovia and have saved thousands of dollars doing it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Mommy Rules

In the last couple of months I have had a few friends deliver babies, and as I jump back into my Doula work something has been on my mind- those brand new mommy days! They are so full of joy, love, and.... EXHAUSTION! If you were blessed with a full term birth you may be so happy that little bundle is now on the outside, but a new type of exhaustion hits, the sleepless kind. Our story with our first was so different than our second. But one thing was the same I was exhausted! My postpartum depression with Bree, and my exhaustion with Connor revealed the importance of postpartum care and how as women we can band together. Studies have shown that the postpartum period lasts up to 2 years. some say it never ends, but whatever your belief is, the point is you are changed forever, and that means that you may need some extra self care to care for the people in your life (big or small).

If you're anything like me you've had other mom's tell you how it is. You need to change the baby's diaper every two hours, breastfeed on demand, schedule baby from day one, babywear, don't spoil that baby. What's a mom to do? In the end, you'll figure out what your baby needs and how it fits in your family-there isn't one right way! So, I'm writing to encourage you, hoping that this will bring some fresh perspective, and hope to those long days- the New Mommy Rules!

1. This is just a season
Yes, you've heard it all before, they grow up so fast. Snuggle them as much as you can now. Nate's grandma always says how she wished she never did cry it out, and just rocked her babies back to sleep. Those times were fleeting; so yes, hold, cuddle and kiss that newborn. But there is something else, in the wee hours of the night when you're spent beyond belief, and babe is up again, this is just a season. My kids are 18 months apart and this is what has gotten me through some tough days. When two babies have such big needs, it is just a season.

2. You aren't perfect and mistakes will happen
This has been the hardest lessons for me. Our first was born 8 weeks early, once we left the hospital I never wanted to make a mistake with her. Well... I have, lots of them. Mistakes cause us to realize how great God's grace is and extend that to others  Something changes with your second (at least for me) and we have loosened up a lot! With two little ones, sometimes I burn dinner, while the toddler is drawing on the walls and I'm nursing the baby( life happens). Accepting this has made a world of difference for offering grace to myself (we always have wipes and another dinner in the freezer) and most importantly to other mommies -we are in this together!

3. You can't do it alone!
Oh this is so humbling for me, but with each of my births I have learned this lesson! With my first Bree, there were amazing families that banded around us and supported us in the NICU. Our second was Connor's birth was an incredibly supported one, and my postpartum time was filled with family and friends bringing meals, taking my toddler out for a bit, and letting me sleep!!!After I gave birth to Connor, I was convinced that I couldn't be a Doula, that I didn't have what it took. I was so heartbroken that I couldn't do it alone and that I needed a Doula and support team to talk me through birth. So glad I was wrong and it was just a great way to reveal that I wasn't meant to do this alone either!  So thankful for the tribe that has come with each new addition. Finding those support systems before giving birth will be so incredibly helpful. Don't be afraid to ask for someone to run to the store for you, or to do a few dishes if they stop by.

4. Nourish Yourself
Food plays such an important part postpartum. Eating nutritionally dense foods are not only good to get you back feeling like yourself again, but they are so good for baby as you breastfeed. Eating real food (not processed freezer dinners) but fermented foods like sauerkraut, water kefir and kombucha will help restore immunity, and keep things moving down south (if you catch my drift).Placenta encapsulation, essential oils, water and organic herbs are great hormone balancing agents, that will make a world of difference post birth Spiritually you will also need to be nourished, housing a baby for 9 months is such a transforming journey and then birth is it's own processing arena. Allow your soul to heal, reflect and grieve or experience joy. Journaling is such a great way to release some of those postpartum hormones that get released! This is such a precious time, when you are raw with yourself, a great time to rely on God for strength, perspective and love! Lastly, physically, this is tough if you already have kids, a toddler wanting to go out and play and you really wanting to rest. Setting bounds and limits on yourself are really important to healing properly. When I was two days postpartum I wrapped our second on me, and took our toddler out for a hike (yeah I regretted that for a long time). Resting doesn't mean weakness, it is a great time to reflect and enjoy those quiet moments. We created a nursing basket for our toddler so that every time I fed little brother she could color, have a snack, or nurse her baby with me.

5. Time Away

Being the main source of food, comfort and security to a tiny human is hard work, and often really draining. It is so beautiful how dependent they are, a great reminder of depended we are on God. Allowing yourself time to get away will refresh your heart, give perspective to this transition, and allow you to breathe all alone! This is something that I still have a hard time doing, but when I sneak away to meet a friend for coffee, or go for a run something changes- and when I come back, I come back a better, more loving mom!

6. Your body has changed- celebrate instead of criticize

Growing a baby changes your body dramatically, your entire organ system shifts and moves to make room for your little bundle! But the after effects of having a baby is something our culture has begun to shame women for. Stretch marks, saggy bellies and large breasts are looked down upon, and women are made to feel inadequate (as if we need one more reason to feel shame). While I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat good and exercise, taking the necessary time to heal and allow your body to be whatever shape it wants to be post birth is a great exercise in confidence! My hubby has always made me feel proud of my stretch marks, my badge of honor, he sees those and is proud that I grew our babies. Find ways to acknowledge the change and bring acceptance, love and even pride to those areas of yourself that have now changed!

While this list may be obvious, so many of us moms out there forget about these fundamentals in our lives. So to all you new mommies out there, you're doing great, and you're not alone!!!