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Life This Winter

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I have slacked terribly lately at sharing any recent photos from the holidays, so today I have put together a quick recap from the many, many photos that I do have.

Time sure does fly by quickly and seeing this little girl grow up and become even cuter, spunkier, sassier and smarter does my heart good. Boy I can't wait to add her little sister into the mix.

In the age of the iphone it's way too common to use our phones for most of our photos without ever really using and developing beautiful shots from real cameras. I hate that my camera cards are piling up with no photo books or photo albums to go along with that. Looks like I have some work to do and some money to spend to start developing this little girl's life so far.

It's so worth sharing and looking at for year's to come.

The days are just too short and I don't ever want to forget them.

Do the Terms Organic and Natural Really Mean Anything?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The terms natural and organic are two terms that are floating around all over your grocery stores, baby blogs, baby stores, skin care products and even Instagram. They are two terms that are quickly paving their way in our busy and often times unhealthy society.

But just how important are those two words and just what do they mean?

You're standing in the cheese aisle searching for some cheese and you notice brands that say natural and then you notice just regular ole' brands. So without a thought you just pick up the natural one because you assume it is just better for you...FREEZE... and put that cheese back please and let's have a talk first.

The term natural is one of those widely used terms that can mean great things and can also mean jack squat. Companies can say anything is natural and can sell that to you as if it's a better option than the other competitors out there because the term isn't regulated. So is "natural" a better option? As it turns out, the only way to know whether or not it really is the more "natural" option when comparing food items, skin care items and so forth, is to do your own bit of research. Whoa...no one said you had to take out a magnifying glass and start googling every ingredient you see listed, BUT you can tell just how natural something is in comparison to competitors by simply reading the label.

Often times, the fewer ingredients an item has (particularly in food) the better. The easier the words are to pronounce and understand, then the better. However with natural skin care products you'll see long scientific words followed by the short term in parenthesis, so just note this for future reference. For example, coco nucifera is simply coconut oil. True natural products will likely tell you exactly where the funny looking, hard to pronounce ingredient came from and will often also include whether or not the product is free of popular, unhealthy additives (such as GMO free, Paraben free, sulfate free, etc...). It's pretty easy to compare labels of products and to use judgment when deciding if something natural is indeed a bit healthier. It's even better when you search out ingredients and brands, but truthfully that extra work isn't really always needed. I mean hello, you have a screaming toddler at the grocery store and she isn't all about mama play detective on her phone when she's ready to get the heck out.

As a "natural" baby boutique owner, the term plays a big part in my life. I believe in the term when I know about the product but I also know that the term can be overly used and used incorrectly. Sometimes as the consumer we have to do a little bit of research or at least just a little bit of label reading and comparing to know if we really are getting a much more natural product. Every product/company in our shop has been researched by me to ensure that you are indeed receiving a natural, healthy alternative.

So is the term organic really all it is cracked up to be? YES!

Unlike the term natural, organic products and companies have to undergo lots of observations, requirements, checkups, certifications, assessments and more to ensure that the company/product follows the USDA's guidelines for organic. That little organic seal you see on the package of your organic products means A LOT. If it didn't pass regulations, then it wouldn't be there. That circular seal means that the product is 100% or 95% organic and has met all USDA certifications (if it is 100% they will denote that on the packaging). Any organic labeling that does not include the seal simply means that your product contains a certain percentage of organic ingredients. For example, the term made with organic ingredients, means that your product was made with 70% organic ingredients while anything less than that will just denote which specific ingredients are organic in the ingredient list (usually with an asterisk).

So is it really organic?

While sure we can argue that we were not there during the farming, manufacturing and so on of our product, we can be rest assured that these companies are following everything they can and are supposed to follow, in order to pass all surprise checkups and annual checkups. Organic companies have a passion and are not only passionate about providing healthier products but also about providing these products through a much more eco-conscious process than other companies. Why would they go through the headache and the cost to be an organic company just to fool you? They wouldn't and they wouldn't likely pass their certifications. Organic farming can be much more costly, time consuming and quite a headache in my opinion, so they go through this headache for YOU.

When you see that seal, you know that the company and the USDA has gone the extra mile to provide you with the healthiest product that they could. And luckily for organic eaters, recent research and studies has shown that organic food REALLY is healthier as they contain much higher nutritious content (more vitamins and antioxidants) than non organic items.

So as it turns out, organic really is what it is cracked up to be. And as for natural, well natural isn't always better, but if it turns out to really be a natural option, then it is likely a far healthier option than the other brands out there. 

So now I am off to enjoy my snack bowl of some organic fruits and raisins and some non organic fruits. You know why? Well because sometimes we can't afford all organic, sometimes not everything is readily available in organic form and as it turns out, we have to live a little. Do the best you can with the budget and resources you have to a healthier, much more organic and natural lifestyle.

And still enjoy chocolate. Because everyone needs that stuff.

Packing Your Hospital Bag {A Checklist}

Thursday, February 19, 2015

There are so many articles and books that talk about the various things that should and shouldn't be packed in your hospital bag. Truthfully it's really all about what YOU think you'll need and want, as each of us mamas are different. Chances are that no matter how perfectly packed you think you are, you will either forget something or have way too much. But it's totally fine...our pregnancy brains can't work perfectly sometimes!

Remember that having a baby is hard work and no one is expecting you to look camera ready at all times. Clothes don't need to be good clothes as there's a chance of them getting stained, leaked on or ruined somehow. And after labor you really won't feel like doing much makeup and hair upkeep, so just pack the minimal items you need to feel "decent" and you'll get the rest of your beauty from that new mama glow.

Clothing for You: 
(Pack with intentions of staying for three days and have your partner pack their own similar bag)

[   ]  If you're wanting to labor a particular way such as in water or naturally where you know you may labor for awhile, you can pack the appropriate clothing items. See bottom.

[   ] Yoga, gym type pants OR nightgowns that you don't mind if they get a little stained

[   ] Maternity tops as you'll still look and feel pregnant (hate to be the bearer of bad news)

[   ] Underwear that you can fit a giant maxi pad in there and make sure it's not a good pair!

[   ] Slippers and socks that you don't mind walking around in during labor

[   ] Robe, sweater or cardigan to throw over nursing tops and nightgowns

For the Breastfeeding Mother:

[   ] One to two nursing bras

[   ] Nursing shirts or tank tops in place of the regular tops mentioned above

[   ] Nursing pads -- a small pack of disposables are great for the hospital, but reusable ones will save money in the long run

[   ] Nipple Cream -- most hospitals provide you with samples of Lanolin, however some mothers prefer non Lanolin creams

[   ] Breastfeeding Pillow

[   ] Your breastfeeding book/resource for quick questions when nurses aren't around

[   ] Breast pump if you plan on using it from the start

For Baby:
(Baby doesn't really need much, the highlighted options are the only things you really need)

[   ] One to two options for that cute little hospital picture (perhaps both in different sizes)

[   ] Burpcloth or two

[   ] Going home outfit with a blanket as you are not supposed to take home hospital ones

[   ] Secure car seat

[   ] The hospital will provide you with blankets and a cap, but it's up to you if you prefer otherwise

[   ] Few onesies if you choose to dress them in something other than what the hospital provides

[   ] Socks, caps and bows if you feel like it is needed, however they stay swaddled up

[   ] Diapers and wipes if you're picky about what goes on baby

Other Essentials: 

[   ] Your birth plan, insurance cards and IDs just in case

[   ] Snacks for long labors and long days as well as some change for vending machines

[   ] Chapstick as many mamas experience dry lips during and after labor

[   ] Minimal hair necessities (hair dryer, shampoo, rubber band and brush)

[   ] Camera, Phones, Headphones, iPod and Chargers

[   ] Toiletries that includes minimal makeup products

[   ] Light reading if you think you will, chances are you won't though cause you'll be too busy playing mommy and enjoying company

Side Note for Natural Birthing Mothers: 
For natural birthing patients there are many more options to consider such as relaxing music, massage oils, birth oil, hand massagers, rice bags, positioning books, inspirational cards and so on. I didn't use any of that during my labor except for a few hand massagers, my medal and a pair of socks. It's better to be prepared, but when the time comes you truly have no idea what you'll need and want unless you have already experienced it. Then again, every labor can be different! 

What was in your hospital bag?

New In Stock and a SALE

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

We loving adding products to our shop and so far this year we have added a few new brands and products. There are currently more items on their way to me, but because of our recent change of address they are currently lost in the mail. Bummer, yes!

BUT, we just recently stocked the shop with some fluffy cuteness and some Re-Play goodies. Make sure to check out our toy section as we've added some adorable organic toys from Dandelion. Say hello to our handsome Giraffe Shaker, our beautiful Brunette Doll and the ever so sweet Crinkle Bear. Your little bebe or that special bebe that you know and love, will absolutely love one of these sweet toys. We have many more in our shop for the little ones in your life, so keep us in mind.

Adding to our Re-Play stock is some cutlery sets and bowls. Previously we carried only their teething keys and snack containers, but we are hoping to slowly stock the store up with more products as well as more of the fabulous colors that Re-Play makes. Re-Play products are made from recycled milk jugs and creates wonderful ways to live life a little greener and healthier. Not to mention that they are extremely affordable and super sturdy. We've actually been using them for nearly a year (way before this little shop of mine was ever opened). Now you can find the aqua assortment of bowls and cutlery in our shop along with the previous items we carried (all in the same theme -- gender neutral).

Thank you so much to all of our customers and for a wonderful start to our new year. We are slowly able to add new things to the shop and we have our eye set out on quite a few, BIG brands that we're hoping to add to the store in 2015. We are also hoping to expand among the brands we already carry and fulfill our shop with all of their product offerings (such as Earth Mama Angel Baby, Boba and more).

We appreciate your business and hope you continue to share and spread the word about The Mushy Mommy.

Because we love you so much, you can currently use promo code: SHOP10FF to receive 10% off of your entire order.

#shopthemushymommy and share your purchases and products with us!

Being Proud of What You Do as a Mother

for more glimpses into my imperfect, frequently organic and chocolate filled life...
follow me on Instagram at sasha_themushymommyblog

Frequently when scrolling through your ever growing news feeds, you come across those photos that may make you second guess yourself as a mother. You know which photos I'm talking about -- the photos of the mother breastfeeding her one year old (when you only made it one week) and the photos of all the homemade baby food (when your pantry is stocked with Gerber). There are photos of a yummy organic dinner in your news feed that you just so happen to be checking out while stuffing your face with a yummy, processed Hot Pocket. There's photos in your feed of stay at home kids doing homeschooling activities while yours are quite comfortable on the sofa watching Dora the Explorer for the fifth time today. Hey, at least they are learning another language right?

So what's the line between being proud and claiming perfection?

Personally as a mother who does show images of yummy homemade baby food prepared by me or who does show a yummy organic meal, there's nothing wrong with sharing. Quite honestly I don't think that by sharing I'm claiming perfection. In fact, if you check my feeds you'll see that I likely cooked an organic meal on Monday night while we ate pizza takeout on Friday night. And somewhere in between there I likely noshed down on a big bowl of ice cream. That's far from perfection my friends. That's just me really sharing what we do, what we like and how we live. Yes, my name is Sasha and I buy primarily all organic groceries but I don't turn down chocolate. Ever. 

But should we as mothers be proud of the things we do?

Heck yes we should.

As hard working mothers we should be proud of our hard work and we should embrace our imperfections. Being proud doesn't mean that you're claiming perfection. Being proud is just saying, "Hey look what I did today, that I don't do every day." Should we not be proud of how long we breastfed for just because others may think we're claiming that we did it better? Ummm, no. We should be proud because whether it was for six weeks, six months or one year, breastfeeding is hard work and every little bit is something to be proud of. Why can't we share the stash of baby food we made today -- that took a lot of time and effort?! We had no clue we could successfully do it once we started and then boom, we realized how easy and fun it was. Why not show others our creation that we are proud of and who knows, maybe it'll inspire someone else to do the same!

The mommy wars have made such an impact on our posts and the thought process that we put into our social network posts these days. We don't want to word something as to offend someone and we definitely don't want to act like we're claiming perfection. Sure we can all admit there's a few that may think they are indeed doing it all perfectly, but quite honestly I love embracing my imperfections as a mother. Those imperfections allow for yummy chocolate goodness, a few too many reruns of Frozen and an abundance of cuddles in pajamas.

We don't need to censor ourselves as mothers just because of the mommy wars. Being proud, sharing our tidbits and showing what we're up to doesn't mean that we're claiming perfection or that we think we're doing it better than you. Chances are the same mother who posted a yummy organic meal photo today will scroll through her feed tomorrow and envy the other mother who looks like she just has her shit together.

That's what motherhood does to us sometimes. We envy some, we cringe at some, find inspiration from some and we relate to some. Break down the judgment and walls that make you think someone is claiming perfection when in actuality; they are just sharing a glimpse into their life. Break down the walls that make YOU feel inferior just because your dinner isn't organic, your baby eats Gerber and your four year old knows every line to Frozen.

Sometimes as mothers we all need to get out of our own heads to realize that every mama has a different way of doing things and no one is really perfect. Embrace your imperfections and find your inspirations and BE PROUD of what you do. 

Rock on mama.

How many of you feel like you have a right to be 
proud of the way you live, parent and who you are in general?
I myself find so much inspiration from other mothers who 
share their ways and their lifestyle. So thank you!

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