Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Holiday Books

Y’all know me, and you know I’m a holiday person. 
Furthermore, I love the ‘ember months (months that end in “-ember”).  They just make me so happy.  I love all of the festivities, activities, food, and fashion of this season. 
It is my hope that Dutch grows to share this love of the holidays with me.  When he gets older I want him to be able to look back at his childhood with fond memories of how much fun we had with the holidays.  I have started purchasing festive clothes and music to go along with our decorations.  The teacher in me has started stocking up on festive books for us to read.  Here is what I have purchased so far

Thanksgiving books:
The Night Before ThanksgivingI Know An old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
 The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin - 'Twas the Night Before ThanksgivingThanksgiving Childrens Books

Christmas books:
The Berenstain Bears' Night Before Christmas - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Littlest Christmas Tree
The Christmas Story - A Charlie Brown Christmas - The Berenstain Bears' and the Nutcracker 
(and not pictured: Christmas in the Manger and Happy Birthday Jesus!)
Christmas Children's Books
There are still some classic books that I’d like to get for him, like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Polar Express, etc. But since money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees this was where I had to stop lol
To be honest, purchasing these books reminded me of my youth and how much fun we had during the holidays.  I remember reading a lot of these books with my family and in school.  I hope Dutch will have these memories one day too!
What other holiday books would you recommend that I add to our list for Dutch?
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

For the past two weekends my sister Kellyn was in town. Her work sent her to TX which we were incredibly stoked about.  She worked her regular long hours during the week but we had fun stuff planned during the weekends.  One of those events was accompanying us to the pumpkin patch for the first time as a family.
I know I haven’t posted Dutch’s monthly updates on here yet….but I promise they are coming soon….as soon as I get my act together. Hopefully these pictures will hold you over until then :-)DSC_0532DSC_0535DSC_0545DSC_0551DSC_0560DSC_0577DSC_0632DSC_0672DSC_0713DSC_0660DSC_0685
I know the only reason we went to the pumpkin patch was for the pictures (because we didn’t even purchase a pumpkin ha!), but I know these will be amazing photos for Dutch and hopefully the beginning of some fabulously fun family traditions.
xoxo Darby

Friday, October 24, 2014

I’m Getting Crunchier

I admit:
I exclusively breastfeed.
I babywear every chance I get.
I cloth diaper my baby.
I co-sleep.
I exercise attachment-parenting practices.
I drink raw milk and use grass-fed butter
I practice acupressure for medicinal purposes.
I use apple cider vinegar whenever possible.
I put coconut oil on everything, including my baby’s bum & as a moisturizer for my face.
I use essential oils (EO).
and so on, and so on, and so on

I wish I could blame my hippy-dippy ways on my parents, but I can’t.  This is all me.  Yes, I am a neuroscientist and I believe in the use of pharmaceuticals, but I don’t think it is the only way.  We’re a pill-popping society that abuses medicine.  I believe there is a time and a place for medicine; I don’t like to abuse it.  With EOs, I was a skeptic.  Sometimes I’m still a skeptic.  I have wanted to prove the use of essential oils wrong, but so far I have not been able to, and instead my EO usage has steadily increased.  I use them topically, through ingestion, and by diffusing.  I’ve been researching and taking webinars on EO’s to make sure that I am using them properly and safely.  After the past 2.5 months I have nothing but good things to say about them.  Much like everything else in my life….I’m NOT an expert on this; however, I have gained A LOT of knowledge and here is what I have learned:

EO Brand
***Disclaimer- since writing this post I have exclusively switched to Young Living EO's. While, admittedly, they are more expensive, I feel so much safer using YLEO's, especially topically and for ingestion.  They are a thoroughly researched therapeutic grade of EO's***
I have been using Eden’s Garden EO’s because they are a therapeutic grade of EO's that are significantly more affordable then other brands.  They are not the cheapest brand but not the most expensive either.  I really like the company and how quickly & thoroughly they have responded to my questions on the chemical makeup of the oils and have provided me with the official MSDS sheets.  There are many other wonderful brands of EO’s that I have tried, but I like this brand the best so far.

I use the Mony Air Aroma Diffuser.  It has two settings for releasing oil and is easy to clean.Mony Diffuser

Carrier Oils
The two carrier oils I use to dilute or use for topical application with my EO’s are grape seed oil (great because there isn’t a fragrance & it doesn’t stain linens) and unrefined coconut oil.  This is my favorite coconut oil: best bang for your buck and awesome healthy quality.

It is really important to blend oils in glass containers. Putting oils in plastic, especially citrus oils/blends, can break down elements of the plastic (not good) and change the chemical properties of the EO, so you want to use glass for mixing & diluting.  I have purchased glass roller balls, small glass spray bottles for smaller blends, and large glass bottles for larger blends (e.g. for cleaners), and a glass water bottle for ingestion.  It's also nice to have smaller mason jars for creating creams & scrubs, as well as pipettes for mixing oils.Glass Containers

I have joined several EO groups for help and learning, but have gained the most information from the EO company itself, classes, and reading books.  This is my favorite quick reference guide.  I also like Gentle Babies for tips on how to use oils safely with pregnancy, labor, delivery, infants, & children.
***Since initially writing this post I have also found that this is also another great guide to EO's***
Essential Oil Books

Here are some of the ways I use EOs
If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen how I’m using EO’s in our home, but here is a quick run-down:

Calming & Sleeping:  In addition to putting Lavendar in my diffuser for aromatherapy after tough days, I blend 10-15 drops of Lavender EO & purified water in a small glass spray bottle. This is great to spray on pillows & towels right before bed.  On the rare occasion that I get to take a bubble bath (this has only happened 3 times in the past 4 months) I add a few drops as I’m filling the tub and it is so relaxing.Lavendar Spray

Skin: I have mentioned before that I struggled with adult acne until I found the miracle cure, since starting this skin care system my skin has been awesome for the past year.  Occasionally I will have a blemish show up that I zap away within a day with a drop of Tea Tree Oil. 

Citrus: I love the smell of Bergamot and mix it with purified water to spray in our bedrooms to freshen them in the morning.  Since I’m drinking so much water right now because I’m nursing, I put a drop of Lemon in my glass water bottle to entertain my taste buds; it is so refreshing and I swear it’s better and tastier than lemonade!  I also use Lemon to remove the sticky adhesive when I purchase something new; it works SO fast!

Bugs, Headaches, & Vacuuming:  I don’t like putting chemicals on my body or on Dutch if I don’t have to, so I made a homemade bug spray by blending coconut oil, Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.   The Mr was attacked by a pack of nasty Texas red ants and I applied this blend and it immediately provided relief.  So this mixture was great at prevention of mosquito bites as well as relief for ant bites.  For a headache remedy, I dilute Peppermint in grape seed oil and rub it on The Mr.’s temples.  Because Peppermint can decrease supply in nursing mothers, I use Lavendar mixed with grape seed oil for my headaches.  To clean my vacuum and freshen the room, I put a few drops of Lime on a cotton ball and put it in my vacuum cleaner.Homemade bug spray, headache remedy, & 30 second cleaner for my vacuum.

Nursing: When I went back to work my supply drastically dropped with the stress of the transition.  I topically applied Fennel EO to my breast as well as ingested it with a spoonful of honey to boost lactation once day.  After 3 days I was back in action and better than I was before going to work.  You should not ingest Fennel EO more than 10 days in a row.

Germs: I love the smell of Thieves, but I also like how powerful its healing properties are as well as illness prevention. I blend Thieves in a spray bottle to use as a cleaner for the trashcan, around the kitchen, in the bathroom, etc.  I have also mixed this with grape seed oil and put into a glass roller ball bottle to rub on the bottoms of my feet before bed to prevent illness.  With as many germs as I am exposed to at school I am usually sick by this point in the semester.  So far this year I’ve been perfectly healthy.  I should note that Thieves is not recommended for use around children under 6 months old, so I don’t diffuse while Dutch is awake; I wait until he has already gone to bed in another room before diffusing Thieves,  and I obviously don’t use this topically on him.

Theives CleanerTheives in a Roller Ball
Again I’m no expert, but this is what I have learned and what I use EO’s for so far.  I’ve got a list of things I’m looking to try next (i.e. frankincense on stretch marks and geranium to tighten my post-baby belly).  If you’re interested in more info I’d be happy to tell you what I know or what I have experienced.  Bottom-line though, I’m getting more and more crunchy & a new believer and promoter of EO’s.

Have you tried EO’s? What do you think about them? How do you use them?

Happy Friday friends!
xoxo Darby

Friday, October 17, 2014

Time to Submit.....Again

It's been a while since I've put this out there into the blogosphere, so that means it's definitely that time again :-)
I love to pray for my readers.  Some of you I have been praying over for years and I absolutely love to hear how the Lord works in your life through time: new babies, new jobs, moving, healing, bereavement.  I absolutely love it all.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions,
prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”
1 Timothy 2:1  

If you would like to submit a prayer request or praise, I would love to pray for you.  Or if you have a prayer update I would love to hear about that too.

Click here to submit 
(FYI, all prayers are kept confidential and information is not shared.  If you'd prefer to be anonymous that is also an option.)

xoxo Darby

Monday, October 13, 2014

Showering Little Peep

I haven’t written about it yet, but I want to share these incredible pictures with you.  When I was 30 weeks pregnant my smallgroup showered Little Peep and I.  To be honest I never thought I would ever have a baby shower.  We struggled to conceive for so long that I just thought that this event wasn’t in the cards for me.  So the fact that I had the opportunity to be showered and by such loving women from my smallgroup, I felt so honored and blessed.  Pinterest should be jealous of how gorgeous this shower was.  It really was the most beautiful shower I have ever been to; it was picture perfect!  I really didn’t want it to end; I didn’t want to leave.  I would have stayed there all day if they would have let me.  Thank you ladies and Grace Hill Photography for such a wonderful baby shower!  Check out this gorgeous shower! 
Mrs. Preggo and Little Peep!
Remember this lady?  
I sure do miss my baby bump.  
I can’t believe this picture was taken at only the end of March.  I still had 2 full months to go lolJPEG-0028

The Outstanding DecorationsJPEG-0001JPEG-0015JPEG-0017JPEG-0004JPEG-0005JPEG-0009JPEG-0010JPEG-0014JPEG-0029JPEG-0011JPEG-0031JPEG-0041JPEG-0030JPEG-0023JPEG-0025

The FavorsJPEG-0006JPEG-0008

The Yummies!JPEG-0002JPEG-0003JPEG-0022JPEG-0019JPEG-0020JPEG-0026JPEG-0027

The GiftsJPEG-0047JPEG-0046JPEG-0051JPEG-0055Thank you to these gorgeous women for being the most supportive and giving women!  You are a huge blessing to us and we cherish you greatly!JPEG-0057
xoxo Darby
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