Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year To All! Today I had a wonderful day taking down Christmas decorations, putting them away, sorting through numerous boxes in our small storage space above our closet getting rid of the old so we can enjoy all the new. I am not one to hold on to things for long periods of time. This doesn't mean I am constantly buying new things but it does mean if I don't use it for something whether that be to decorate, cook with, wear, clean with, and so forth. I send it to the good will where hopefully someone that will make use of it will purchase it. (With the exception of one keepsake box each for my husband and I) We have an 1800 square foot house with NO garage and minimal storage space. Therefore if I cannot use or display it, I cannot keep it. Makes for simpler living. We are hoping to build a storage shed this summer for my husbands tools so I can use my spare bedroom for sewing and crafts. That is the second thing on the "to do" list for the coming new year. Second only to my chicken coop for the 5 or 6 chickens I am planning on buying come March.
I haven't written a resolution list in years. Instead I write "to do" lists. I find I am more likely to do the things on that list. Plus they seem to be more manageable more targeted things rather than a generalization such as "I will diet" or "I will eat healthy". When you think about it what do those things really mean? They are made up of a list of things "to do". So instead I write a list that looks like this:

  • Build a chicken coop for 5-6 chickens, using as much free material as possible
  • Build a shed for Jason's tools
  • Walk 3-4 times per week, check it off on the calendar when I do
  • Learn to bake bread using whole grains
Alright so maybe a "to do" list and resolutions are the same thing but whatever works right? I hope you have a Happy New Year and look forward to sharing all my adventures and ideas in the coming year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

 Photos from Christmas!
Here is Olivia Christmas Eve with her uncle and only cousin close in age.
 Christmas morning Nana came over. Olivia looked so cute in her Santa PJ's that her cousin bought her!
 Here she is playing with some of her new toys. She got all sorts of fun things. Including a play kitchen which she LOVES, a singing teapot, a bunny walker which she adores to push, a wooden xylophone...and so much more! She was truly spoiled.

The accountant and I had a lovely Christmas with our little Olivia. It was so much fun to watch and help her open gifts. These were the only photos I took! I am going to have to beg pictures off my family. I was to involved with cooking, entertaining,, opening gifts and enjoying Olivia's first Christmas to remember the camera...thankfully I am sure my cousin took some so I will post those later.The day after Christmas Olivia came down with her first stomach bug, so needless to say the last day and a half have been even busier than Christmas! Thankfully she seems to be feeling better now. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I am looking forward to a week of un decorating from Christmas and organizing for the new year. I love the yearly after Christmas cleanse and organizing!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We are so excited for our first holiday with our little one. I want to take this time to thank you all for reading. We will talk again after Christmas! Have a wonderful weekend celebrating family, friends, and Christ's love!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great Organic Deals on Amazon Today!

There are some great organic deals on amazon today. Here is what I found and loved.

Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 15 ounce tubs pack of 2. If you have been wanting to try it now is a great time! Subscribe and save will save you shipping and 15 % bringing your cost down from 13.54  to $11.51. This is a great deal!

Zoe Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. On sale for 15.40. Use subscribe and save and the price is 13.04!!
Coombs family 100% pure maple syrup 32 ounce jug is $19.80-15% Subscribe and Save + use Coupon Code COOMBDEC for an additional 5% ($0.99) Final Price: $15.84. Cheaper than Costco!!!

Native Forest Organic Coconut milk is a great price. It is the only coconut oil I have found in bpa free cans! 12 for 24.90. Use subscribe and save and they are 21!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Play time ideas for Baby that are simple and homemade

 Now granted these pictures are not of the items I will talk about in my post but I found  my camera and so had to share pictures of Olivia playing! She loves books. She goes over to her bookshelf and often crawls over to me with the book she wants me to read to her. Her favorites so far are "MR Brown Can Moo", "In My Nest", "Polar Bear Polar Bear What do you Hear?" and "The Berenstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree". She is just like her mama!

 So on to today's topic: Simple Homemade things for Baby to play with. I don't recommend anyone younger than 10 months play with these things. Olivia is just now old enough and with close adult supervision we have had lots of fun!

  • Olivia is at the stage where she likes to touch and feel different textures. When I made pasta the other day I set some cooked pasta and uncooked aside in a stainless steel bowl for her to run her fingers through and play with. It entertained her the entire time I cooked dinner! She was squealing in delight. She did eat about a quarter of the cooked pasta. What she didn't eat I put on the compost pile(0:
  • Another simple thing (but messy so baby should be naked and floor should be covered) is to mix corn flour with water (I call it glop) and let her go at it in a contained area. Olivia loves the squishy feel!
  • Buy a plain piece of untreated pine or some other wood. Cut into 3 inch blocks, then sand and coat with beeswax. You have perfect non-toxic blocks. (which by the way are super expensive to buy online!)
  • Homemade Bubble Bath. Most babies love baths. Miss Olivia loves bubbles in her bath. We make our own bubble bath by mixing our non-toxic dish soap with water and sugar. You will need half a cup of dish soap, 1.5 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix together and poor in the bath under running water.
  • I have to watch Olivia closely with this one. It is edible but too much would make her sick. Homemade play dough. My recipe is 1 cup of organic flour,1/2 cup of sea salt, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1 cup of filtered water, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix together, cook over medium heat for 5 minutes (don't let it burn, it happens easily and quickly), let cool, then PLAY! Store in airtight container. Storage is variable depending on how you store it. I bought some food based food dyes for coloring!
  • Homemade finger paint. Now warning this one is messy!!! So cheap to make. You need 1.5 tablespoons of white sugar, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of cold water, natural based food dyes. Mix all together except the dye in a medium saucepan over low heat. Gradually add food coloring until it reaches your desired color. Cook and stir for ten minutes. Until the mixture thickens to the paint consistency you want. Remove pan from heat. Store in an old glass jar. You may use immediately. Again not sure how long I can store for since I just started doing this.
Recipes found in "The Everything Green Baby Book"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Enhancing Digestion in Babies, Pregnancy and Beyond.

Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant womanImage via WikipediaRecently I have been researching and experimenting with herbs. My husband the accountant will vouch for this! Perhaps in my future life I will go back to school and study herbology, for now though I must be content to self study through the lens of my nursing background. I already have a plan written out for growing a whole bunch of my own herbs this coming summer. I am excited to see what works and what doesn't.

My Digestion Story:

Until I was pregnant with Olivia I never really experienced any gastric distress. I quickly found that pregnancy changes things. Compared to a lot of women my pregnancy symptoms were mild, very mild. I would be slightly nauseated at night when I would lie down to sleep. I attributed this to position and thought I should start taking something to help. I began a nightly ritual of drinking a ginger tea concoction relabeled as a wellness tea for pregnant women, from Earth Mama Angel Baby company. It worked wonders!
 Then I gave birth to my lovely little girl, who seemed to experience many many symptoms of gastric distress in the first 6 months of her life. "Colicky" might be the word. She cried a lot. Then one day my mother came home with a small bottle of homeopathic medicine called "colic calm". My life changed for the better. Olivia no longer screamed as long. If she woke up crying or suddenly started to cry I would put a bib on her (it's black and stains) and feed her this licorice based product. Relief! I swear by it still. I recently read reviews on a similar product called "Baby's Bliss Gripe Water" and have ordered it to try it, since it is cheaper and it isn't black so it doesn't stain. I will let you know how it works. I also started her on probiotics for babies since she was a C-section baby she did not pick up all the normal flora a baby would passing through the birth canal. I believe this also helped her poor little tummy in the long run.

Since I am no longer pregnant I now drink straight ginger tea and/ or peppermint tea or hot lemon water when I feel slight distress or  take licorice tablets. I take deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) tablets.( If they are not DGL they can raise blood pressure). Licorice is know for it's ability to soothe and heal the esophageal tissue by decreaing inflammation and ulceration. Most herbalists recommend about 760 mg prior to each meal if indigestion is an issue. I have also gotten into the habit of making sure I have the much spoken of "probiotics" and "digestive enzymes" in my diet on a daily basis by taking a supplement or incorporating it into my meal.

What do you do to treat your nausea, or indigestion?

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Minute Gift Ideas

So this year when it comes to Christmas shopping I have been a bit of a procrastinator. Partly due to the fact that the accountant and I have been sharing one car. Making it difficult for me to get out and shop since we don't live near a bus line or public transportation of any kind. The other reason is our Christmas budget is not very big and I like to be creative, buy or make things people like. I won't share what I actually made since family reads this and they would know what they are getting. I will share what we made/bought for a few friends and Jason's work gift exchange.

Little Artist Craft Box. This is a box of items you can tailor to the child you have in mind. Here are some of the items I considered putting in mine:
An old used men's button down shirt. Sleeves cut to fit the child. This is for the child to wear while painting.
Package of multi colored construction paper
White roll of paper (or butcher paper)
Box of crayons
Paint set
Modeling clay
Bag of fabric scraps
Colorful pencils
A Book of drawing ideas

A "taste" of Italy gift basket. I bought the basket at the goodwill then filled it with a bag of dried pasta (from trader joes), organic olive oil, dried basil, oregano, gourmet olives (all from trader joes), an italian cookbook (found one that looked new at the goodwill), Recipe cards


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