Find Me Over at Breastfeeding Place

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'm a firm believer in the idea that it takes a "village" to breastfeed a baby. I know the expression is that it takes a village to raise a child, but I prefer the expression it takes a village to breastfeed a baby. For most mamas, this expression stands true. 

When you're a first time lactating mother, you really don't know what to expect and how to overcome hurdles. Sure there are a gazillion books out there but some are so "sciencey" and so boring that it's hard to read and stay interested. Then some of us know hardly anyone who has successfully breastfed a child, leaving us with few people to turn to in times of needs, despair and encouragement.

If it was not for the power of the Internet and for Facebook groups that I belonged to, I highly doubt I'd still be nursing my toddler right now. I personally faced many battles and aside from one sister in law who was six weeks ahead of me in her breastfeeding journey, I didn't know anyone to turn to. And most pediatricians can only do and say so much as many of them are not lactation consultants or even breastfed their child past ____ months. 

Support from others who are in your situation is key to breastfeeding success. Search the Internet for forums and search Facebook for breastfeeding support groups. I know that in my area we have a support group for Baton Rouge Breastfeeding mothers and this includes local areas around the major city as well. This group, along with forums, is what answered my questions many, many times. 

I am so proud to share that I am a new author over at Breastfeeding Place. This breastfeeding website is there to help you with so many obstacles and questions that you may have. The website is easy to navigate based on your needs and all articles are written straight from women like me; women who have been in your shoes. There is also a Facebook group that you can join and ask your questions at. 

Make sure to check out my first post over there, Dealing With Breastfeeding Engorgement, and share it as well as this amazing site with your pregnant and nursing mama friends!

Who helped you through your breastfeeding journey?
Thanks so much for reading, Sasha

The Honest Company

A Look Into the Products I Use on a Daily Basis

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lately I've been getting a lot of questions about what products I use for myself and around my home. I figured I'd nip that in the butt with a post to cover it all. Please note that I'm still learning and have room to grow on this list, especially in our food department. Enjoy and ask me any more questions that you think of!

To disinfect? I use one spray bottle of vinegar and one spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Spray one on top of the other and wipe with a damp cloth. This non toxic disinfectant is just as strong as ANY on the market and cost pennies to make.

For an all purpose cleaner? One spray bottle of water with several drops of tea tree oil or Honest Multi-Surface Cleaner. I also still use some of the 10 in 1 from Healthy Home Company.

In my kitchen? I currently am using some leftover products from Earth Friendly Products. Currently our dish detergent is the pear one from Earth Friendly Products and I've been wiping down our counters and table with their Parsley Plus cleaner. For the dishwasher I use The Honest Company detergent pods. We also use Honest Fruit + Veggie Wash (when I think about it).

In my bathroom? I currently use The Honest Company toilet bowl cleaner, bathroom cleaner and some baking soda. I also use my disinfectant as well.

To mop? I use a microfiber mop with a sink full of hot water, 1 cup vinegar and several drops of lemon essential oil.

Laundry detergent? Charlie's Soap for all of our laundry needs and The Honest Company dryer sheets for the occasional fabric softener.

For my face? I currently wash my face with soap and water. Our facial soap is the charcoal bar from Bare Soaps. For moisturizer I have gone between The Honest Company, 3 Girls Holistic and Coconut Oil.

Exfoliation? I use the cleansing grains from 3 Girls Holistic. They are amazing!

Deodorant? Jason brand from Whole Foods, however a recent second look at the ingredients list has me wanting a new brand as their list includes "fragrance."

For my hair? I use the shampoo and conditioner from The Honest Company (this is a recent switch). Prior to that I used the Organix brand from Wal Mart (not the worse, but not the best as far as ingredients go). I also use Honest Conditioning Mist; and for my hair spray I use the Herbal Essences Paraben free one (hairspray is hard to find alternatives).

For the bath? I LOVE Honest Bubble Bath and their bar soap in Tangerine Vanilla. I also use whatever handmade, non toxic soaps I have on hand from companies.

Lotion? Currently using a bottle from Arbonne and I love The Honest Company as well.

Shaving cream and toothpaste? Still in transition/research mode (although I've just been using my soap for shaving).

Okay so my makeup is currently in transition phase. Since I don't like waste, I didn't just throw out everything that I owned (however most of it is so old that I probably should). But here is what I use that is a natural or a "better for you" type of brand. However, I plan to eventually change to a line called 100 Percent Pure

Mascara? Organic mascara by Physician's Formula

Base, Powder and Concealer? Physician's Formula Talc Free mineral powder and the Organics Base when needed. I also have my own handmade powder that I use frequently.

Bath time and Skin Care? The Honest Company!

Diaper Rash Cream? We love Grandma El's, Coconut Oil and Oh My Devita Baby.

Diapers? We cloth diaper and use Honest Company Diapers when traveling.

Wipes? Cloth wipes and we LOVE Honest Wipes.

Cloth Wipe Solution? Water, a tsp of coconut oil, two drops of lavender essential oil and two drops of tea tree oil.

Toothpaste? Currently Babyganics but I intend on switching to The Honest Company.

Where do you shop? Now I shop pretty exclusively at Target. I also love the farmer's market but don't make it out there often enough. Once a month I receive the Honest Family Essentials Bundle full of the products we use. However, Target is now carrying many Honest Company products!

Our produce staples (purchased weekly)? Blueberries, Strawberries, Bananas, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini, Squash, Red + Green Bell Peppers, Avocado, Kiwi, Cucumbers (lately), typically Apples too (most of this is all purchased as organic).

Snack Time? Wellllll this is where my crunchiness struggles. I try to do fruits (fruit salad rocks), but often times I really want something sweet. Lately I have been baking my own cookies since I know what goes in them and there aren't any preservatives aside from what's in my chocolate chips and butter depending on which butter I have on hand at the moment. I also like chips and salsa and cheddar cheese with pickles and olives.

What do you cook? I try to cook as much from the earth as I can and love when our dinners are just lean meats, potatoes and vegetables. However that is totally not always the case. We're southern AND I still want to live my life and taste good food. I use premade pasta sauces, pastas, breads and so forth. However thanks to Target, most all of that is now organic which makes it non GMO and so forth.

The milk? Typically the Horizon organic brand although this week we are trying Simply Balanced Organic from Target.

The meat? I don't eat beef so we usually use chicken with no hormones and on a grass fed diet. We also do ground turkey and pork. Aside from my chicken, I don't go overboard with my meat yet. Organic meat is where you typically see a good price hike in food and I'm just not there for taking that plunge yet. I wish I could have more local meat!

Baby staples? If it isn't food that I made for my baby or fresh produce, we like Stonyfield's Organic Yogurts, Ella's Kitchen organic puffits, organic food pouches (especially by Plum and Ella's Kitchen) and water or organic whole milk (no juice). And she's still on breast milk as well. 

Some ways in which I live green is by recycling, air drying clothes frequently, cloth diapering, using reusable shopping totes, using glass food storage containers, purchasing more wooden toys for my child, leaving the lights off and more!

I hope this list has answered some of your questions. For some crunchy mamas this list may not be crunchy enough, but this is what works for us for now. We are still learning along the way and we are always making changes!

Thanks for reading, Sasha

The Honest Company

Living in an Over Processed World

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gone are the simple days.
Gone are the simple days of easily buying local produce and having the ease of supporting local farmers. Gone are the days for many people of growing their own crops or having fresh milk delivered to their doorstep. Gone for many people are the days of relying on baking soda and vinegar for everything and instead trusting the mainstream brands that pop up on the television every five minutes with fancy bottles that declare hazards. 

Many of us no longer take the time to read a good book, but rather we stay glued to our cell phones scanning our news feeds. We rarely go for a walk just because anymore and many of the children in today's society is so swamped with the ever growing demands of homework and of course the latest video game, that they hardly see any daylight outside of the school yard.

30 Things I Didn't Know About Raising a Toddler

Thursday, July 17, 2014

  1. That one small person could throw the same, small sippy cup one million times off of the highchair. And out of the shopping cart and at the quiet, nice restaurant. 
  2. That the characters on Sesame Street actually refer to themselves as monsters. Am I the only one who did not know that? My childhood is completely altered now. 
  3. That the same person who spills their food every evening can and wants to help unload the dishwasher. And unload the grocery bags.
  4. That playing outside is so amazing that the second you enter inside again you've immediately entered a world of tears, feet stomping and screaming. Well kid, mama was hot. 
  5. That Mickey Mouse's "The Hot Dog Song" is literally the best song ever. It's like "Baby Got Back" for toddlers (okay so not really, that is kinda a dirty song - but you get my point). 
  6. That a growing toddler is unable to tell you about the sudden change in their nap schedule. It's completely up to you to figure that crap out. 

Why I Believe in the Wonder Weeks

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

*This is NOT a sponsored post. 

Any mama who has ever walked into a book store knows that there one million and one books floating around about babies, toddlers, pregnancy, sleep, breastfeeding and so much more. Some people think that too much reading can be a bad thing, and I suppose that is the case sometimes. However, just a little bit of research and reading can sometimes comfort a frazzled and exhausted new mother. 

One day your baby is playing wonderfully on the floor, by herself with all of her furry friends and adorable toys. You have a wonderful day that includes successful naps, healthy meals and more kisses and cuddles than imaginable. She sleeps great at night and she wakes up with a smile. This mama thing is easy, right?

Then BAM. 

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