Skip to content

Upcoming Topics!!

I have lots of various upcoming topics planned, so please stop by often or better yet, follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my blog! All the wonderful support is greatly appreciated and I send it all back to you as well! :)

Part 2: The ‘Goods’ Intentions

April 19, 2014

Howdy again friends – I hope all is quiet on the western front, wherever you may be…

So now that you have a little background info about my little journey to the present {Part 1: Intro & Basics}, I’m happy to share the products you can also enjoy and try in the Etsy shop soon!  (I promise this will be my last post chatting about upcoming things… Life has gotten a little hectic with purchasing our first house and my other half needing surgery.  We’re hoping the curveballs are done for a bit so we can catch up but for now we’re just taking things day by day.)

The Products

I want to share with others my collection of homemade products I make and use on a regular basis because I believe these products will transform your skin back to its original glow and radiance you’ve been missing and you’ll feel rejuvenated!  I absolutely LOVE these products and swear by them (otherwise I wouldn’t be using them, right?!) and I want others to experience the ease and freshness that homemade products provide!  You’ll begin to notice the amazing healing powers that earthly ingredients can provide in comparison to the chemically ridden brand name products.

And YES, they really do work – marvelously in fact. 🙂 

Also, once you realize how EASY it is to make your own products, you’ll be absolutely amazed and hooked (like I am)!

It’s not only how each product feels but it’s also knowing what you’re putting on your skin.  Everything is completely natural and free of harsh chemicals and additives – leaving you with a much more refreshing, relieving, and rejuvenated self! 

The products I plan on selling in my Etsy shop will be…

  • Sugar scrubs
  • Whipped Shea Butter
  • Herbal Rose Facial Toner
  • Herbal Hair Rinse/Conditioner
  • Probiotic Deodorant
  • Chapsticks
  • DIY Laundry & Dishwasher Detergent Starter Kits

I’m SO excited to share these amazing products – I know you’ll LOVE them all!

There will most certainly be future blog posts about each of these products I make and sell, as well as various other recipes and topics exploring ways to choose a less-chemical ridden path toward natures beauty and beyond!

Up and Coming…

So while I’m patiently waiting for the final touches to come together for the products (waiting on the logo to be finished…), I thank you for your patience and invite you to please check out my very first attempt at making Chapstick here {My First Attempt at Making Chapstick} – Its Burt’s Bees recipe – it rocks!  🙂    

Also, stay tuned for upcoming topics here at Natural Mommas about how to save even more money for your family, learn more about the healing powers of essential oils, and beyond!  Check out some of my tips here {Couponing 101} and you can even start making your own LIQUID laundry detergent {Homemade Cleaning Products} & save LOADS of money instantly!  (I’ll be selling a DIY Starter Kit for laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent in the Etsy shop too!  It’s the perfect kit to help you jump-start your way into making your own cleaning products & beyond!)  

I have a few Guest Bloggers lined up as well and I’m always open for more guest bloggers – so please feel free to contact me. 🙂

I am also very excited to host the very first GIVEAWAY to celebrate the ‘Grand Opening’ of the ‘Natural Mommas Etsy shop’ – so stay tuned for more information regarding how to win BIG!!

My Final Thoughts

We all have something worth sharing and by sharing with others and beyond, we can empower each other to be even more knowledgeable and creative, thus passing that on and on, for generations to come.  We are all here together, all the same, for one purpose; so let’s enjoy each other’s differences together by further discovering and sharing our knowledge for one common goal – to better ourselves for future generations to come!

Natural Mommas is a space I hope lots find to be informative, inspiring, and worth sharing with others too!  I must say though I am by FAR not an expert, professional, chemist, nor doctor, so please seek professional advice for any health related concerns first.

I most certainly didn’t learn all of this on my own – a lot was through research from other websites, bloggers, friends, and my own experimentation – have brought me to where I am today.  With that being said, I ask that you please reciprocate and give proper credit when sharing from my blog, as I reciprocate the credit where credit is due as well.  I have put in many long hours towards sharing my passion with others and doing my small part for a less-chemical ridden world.  I thank you for taking the time to support Natural Mommas.  It is much appreciated from the bottom of my heart!  I would love to hear others’ stories, information, and tips, etc. so please comment, share, converse 🙂

I am so anxious for everything to come together for the Etsy shop but there are a LOT of little odds and ends that still need to be done.  My original goal was to have the shop officially opened by early May and to be shipping one of many Etsy orders soon after that!  However, there have been a few life changes recently that have forced me to set things here to the way side for a little bit.  So by June I think life may somewhat return to normalcy and I can concentrate again on the Etsy shop.  YAY, I can’t wait!!

I’m hoping that others love my products and their results as much as I do.  I believe it’s about feeling good about yourself from the inside-out; it’s about empowerment, and knowing that you ARE making the right choices for the best future ever.

Warm Wishes,

Your Natural Momma, Jen

Part 1: Intro and Basics

April 4, 2014

Since my last post about Etsy {Here I come Etsy} I have been working on a little two part intro about what lead me down the path I’m currently paving and what the Etsy Store will have.  I hope you enjoy 🙂

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

For about the past three years I’ve been experimenting with making my own cleaning products as well as my own toiletry products.  It has been such an enjoyable journey learning so many new things, and I’ve had such amazing outcomes thus far, that I truly felt compelled to share my discoveries with others.  So after using my own homemade products for a while, I decided what better way to share these amazing products than to open up my own little “Etsy shop” online!  (For those of you who haven’t heard of Etsy – it’s an online place where you can sell your own crafts, goods – you name it!)

A little background…

We are SO over-whelmed with brands and products which promise to transform us ‘overnight’ with their magical formulated cream; for a few small installments of course (…just a little over-exaggerated but you get the point ;).  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We’ve all fallen for the broken promises (of cosmetics & the like) but in the end not only is our pocket-book hurting; our body and skin end up taking a big toll in the long run.  I believe if more people could visually see all that’s happening within our bodies, just from the everyday products we use, we might think twice before using such harsh products with an ingredients list the size of the bottle and words twenty letters long!!

Now please don’t get me wrong – I know ‘we’ as a society would never intentionally use all these harsh, impossible to pronounce chemicals and numerous, unnecessary ingredients in our everyday products, if ‘we’ knew all the side effects they caused.  But we all do and hopefully with more awareness spread around, change will have to eventually happen in favor of less cancer-causing, carcinogenic chemicals in our everyday products.  Our future generations are depending on us to do what’s right.

Well it’s about time that we got back to the basics! !

I was fed up with paying so much for what I thought were ‘decent’ products but rarely did much, if anything, that was promised.  I just followed the norm of trying different products and just figured those were the options when it came to toiletry and cleaning products, right?  WRONG!  It wasn’t until after College, after having tried everything and anything and many skin break-outs (and scars) later, I discovered homemade remedies with everyday household ingredients.

I was instantly hooked!

Reading articles and blog after blog, I realized there was a HUGE array of options outside of the usual brand name stuff.  The first thing I noticed was the fact that all the ingredients were very simple and easy to pronounce, and mostly things I already had at home!  So I started experimenting and eventually found the perfect balance for my skin and hair.  Even through all the fun womanly hurdles like pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormones all out of sync, etc., I conquered clear, healthy skin, and much more!

I am so glad to have stuck with trying to find what works for my temperamental skin to achieve a healthy balance and beyond!

 

Stay Tuned to Part 2 – I’m going to chat about the products that will be sold in the Etsy shop and More 🙂

 

Here I come Etsy!

February 28, 2014
Natural Mommas Products Preview

Natural Mommas Products Preview

I have felt so disconnected with my little blog since the holiday season quickly scrambled by.  Then my work erupted with busyness followed by birthday celebrations and family visiting – so life’s been pretty hectic!  But in between all this madness, however, I have been slowly working on a few projects in my “spare time.”  One of those projects has been experimenting with making my own toiletries.  I’ve had such a FUN time, learned so much, and LOVED the results, to the point that I felt a calling to share these AMAZING products with others!  My niche has been found (for now, at least).

So I am VERY excited and HAPPY to announce that I am opening a little Etsy ‘shop’ to sell some of the homemade products I’ve made!!  🙂

A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFO

I’ve become quite frugal since my son was born (he just turned 3).  It was right around that time where I truly realized and became more aware of all the ‘unknown’ and other harmful chemicals that have invaded our everyday products.  Knowing I was now responsible or ‘making’ and raising a child, I found myself changing a lot of my ways, starting with the toiletries I used on and around my body.  First to change were the products I used everyday on my skin (soap, body lotion, deodorant).  I didn’t want to pass onto my child all the countless harmful chemicals in the products I used, which are known to have long term negative affects.  (At the same time I also switched the cleaning products I used around the house and laundry detergent).  It was an instant no-brainer for me and from then on I have gradually shifted towards using and making my own products.  If I buy something I will only get particular products which are free of all the unnecessary chemicals, like parabens.  (I’ll get into all these details in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!)

CUT TO THE CHASE

Long story short…..I’m hoping that by sharing what I’ve learned, this will help others make more educated choices for themselves and their family, starting from the outside-in, our skin, which is the largest organ in the human body.  I want to enlighten others about ways to make simple changes that will make HUGE differences in the long run!  I would love to bring further awareness about our options beyond store shelves and turn that awareness back inward within our own household shelves – getting back to the basics!

Knowledge truly IS power!  Sharing IS caring.  Knowing IS half the battle.  The rest IS just history, so ENJOY THE JOURNEY AND SHARE TOGETHER! 

I am so excited to announce this news and I can’t wait to share more in the coming weeks!  So please stay tuned….

Right now I am completing the labels for the products and a few other odds and ends.  Then I most certainly plan on sharing my secrets about the products I’ve made in the near future.

And if you haven’t done so already, please be sure to ‘subscribe’ to my blog and ‘like’ me on Facebook, so you get all the latest updates!

Much Thanks,

Natural Mommas

PLEASE HELP – SIGN THIS PETITION TO DR. OZ

January 30, 2014

PLEASE HELP – SIGN THIS PETITION TO DR. OZ

I’ve previously written about the problems certain baby carriers can cause.  I would love for your help in signing this petition to have Dr. OZ cover the growing subject around Hip Dysplasia.  

Much Thanks! ❤ 

 

 

1st Attempt at Making Chapstick

October 13, 2013

044

We all have our favorite Chapstick that we can’t live without if stranded on a deserted island….mine is Burt’s Bees.  My lips would fall off without that perfect mixture of relief when needed and anytime in between.  When I knew I was going to make Chapstick I searched for their recipe….well of course I found it quickly and it became my first ever experiment making Chapstick.

017I took step by step pictures but really in the end, they’re not needed.  Just mix & melt all ingredients in a double boiler to melt, then add oils, mix well then pour into empty containers (here’s where an eyedropper comes in handy).  

 

 

 

026  It takes less than ten minutes to make and another ten to dispense into containers.  It was SO easy and done within thirty minutes!  And cleanup wasn’t bad – Dawn is your friend to help break down the oils when cleaning.  It was so much fun and surprisingly EASY!  I was amazed at how much I got from one recipe (about 19 Chap sticks).  The best part is the cost per container to make it – WOW – what a deal!!  How much would you guess per chap stick of the ‘Burt’s Bees’ it costs about??

Did you guess twenty five pennies??  –>  Well you’re right on the money- just $.25 per stick!!!  A QUARTER – and there’s zero harmful ingredients too.  All around a winner in my book!  🙂  

028

The savings far exceeds the extra effort it takes to make it instead of buying the same thing for ten times the amount.  Plus you have lots of extra ingredients to try out other recipes!  🙂  

Stay tuned for more firsts in making my own products….In the mean time, please feel free to share your experiences making Chap stick in the comments section.  We’re all here to learn from each other 🙂  Thanks again for taking the time to check out my blog. . . . My goal is to share more frequently now that life has balanced itself out.  🙂  

Present, yet absent…getting back to blogging and so forth

July 25, 2013

keep calm I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve logged in here….not sure if anyone’s noticed anyways.  😉  Every time I sat down at the computer I had a list of things to complete and blogging was towards the bottom.  I felt so guilty because it was one of my goals and I didn’t meet it for blog writing.  Between D turning two, having visitors for a few months, work, and everything in between, I haven’t had much extra time.  And when I have had extra time, it’s been filled with sleep, catching up on something else, etc. and writing has been set aside I guess you could say.  I’d like to describe it as a really big writers block 🙂  But I’ve resurfaced with some new ideas, topics, possible business….we’ll see….

But since February (when I posted last) I have delved further down the making products homemade path and learned lots in a short period of time!  Most things I’ve learned are via online research, trial and error, as well as various friends who share similar interests in the area of natural products.

random side note:  My Dad was the one who initially kick-started my interest of making laundry detergent.  He sent me an email link to an article from Yahoo.com News many years ago – about how to make laundry and dishwasher detergent easily with a few cheap, natural ingredients.  So I thought I would give it a try because it was SO easy and I wouldn’t be out much money for buying the ingredients (and to find out later I can use those ingredients in many different ways!)  

So Much Thanks goes out to my Dad – I’m sure he never thought his one email forward would spark such eventual change to leading a (mostly) chemical free and natural lifestyle …..

 To Make Laundry Detergent My first major change to homemade cleaning products was around the time D was born (early 2011), making laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.  I was astonished at how quick, simple and CHEAP it was to make and pennies per load in comparison to the major brands; plus it was free of all those chemicals that detergents contain!  I also think it works even better than Tide, the most popular brand people choose for cleaning their clothes.

I also used vinegar and water in a spray bottle for pretty much all the rest of my surface cleaning – tables, windows, counters, etc.  Streak free, really cheap, and chemical free!  Top favorites also mentioned here were Borax, baking soda and Shaklee products.

The prices at the store for laundry detergent are highway robbery in comparison to making it yourself!  There’s also that connotation people relate to when they hear, ‘just make it‘, and automatically think it’s way more work and time consuming to make than buying.  Some assume it’s really difficult and some possible skeptics (who only use Tide, for example) because homemade detergent would never clean as good as Tide (not!)  I’ll be the first to admit I was a total skeptic until I used my first batch to wash my clothes and they turned out clean; in fact just as clean and fresher smelling than using Tide!  I was hooked and haven’t used manufactured detergent since then.  (I’ve never calculated how much I’ve saved since making my own detergent but I have calculated that it costs about $.01 per load for the homemade detergent!  Steal of a deal!! )  That’s a true attest to the quote, “A penny saved, is a penny washed!”   🙂

In the end, it mostly comes down to lack of information, a portion just assume that’s the only option, and the rest is mostly due to lack of education, economic status, upbringing, etc.   The reasons are numerous and I don’t want to single out a certain status because it’s across the board, in all areas of status’.  As consumers, we have a choice in everything and anything but we just assume that what’s being sold to us at the stores are legit and not harmful to us – otherwise it wouldn’t be for sale….right??  Unfortunately, for the most part, we’re very mis-informed. 😦

I am excited to share here what I’ve learned in the realms of natural skin care and remedies for the every day person and family!  I am far from any expert but I have done a few years of research; can speak from personal experience and love to share my learning’s and experiments with others.  I want people to understand how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own cleaning supplies, skin care products and much more!

Please join me in this next venture and chapter in my blog: I hope that in my sharing what I’ve learned, it can be spread to others, and hopefully we can all help our world use less chemicals which harm ourselves, our human race and our future!

i'mback

Language and it’s endless benefits!

February 7, 2013

images (11)Exposing and teaching your child to at least one other language from the beginning can be beneficial in many ways for long term success.  You’ll give your child a step up in life and learning.  A baby essentially has a clean slate when their born so their constantly using all five senses to learn and take in all the world has to offer.  Learning from cause and effect, touching and feeling, tasting and smelling, singing and dancing, etc. all help create connections in the brain that are all a part of the building blocks for a lifetime of success.  The more the merrier!

When a young child is exposed to another language, it challenges the brain to selectively pay attention to and produce one set of words while suppressing the other which requires impulse control.  Even when in the womb a baby is beginning to distinguish different patterns in speech that it hears!

One thing we have done since D was a wee one was read to him lots.  We made sure that reading books to him was always a part of his daily activities.  When he was about seven months, we began a bedtime routine and made sure it included reading to him.  Since then he’s never once gone to bed without being read to first.  Reading to your child helps expand their vocabulary and imagination and beyond.  Even though they might not even be able to talk themselves yet, their constantly processing the various patterns and noises words make and slowly putting it all together.

Studies have proven that the more you read to your child, the quicker and better they will be at talking, reading, and writing.  imagesHowever, it’s not just reading to them that helps but also just talking lots to them throughout the day helps too.  You can even simply describe what the pictures are in a book instead of reading the words – called a “book walk”.  At the end of the day it’s hearing the words and describing what things are and seeing what’s being described when reading that teaches children language and much more.  Just talking about what you’re doing throughout the day, being conversational, even if they don’t talk yet, is huge.  If you do that then your child will hear well over 30,000 words per day!

Nursery rhymes are also great for many reasons too.  There’s lots of rhythm, rhyming, and repetition, which are all crucial to learning languages.  Also, when rhymes are put with music there is a higher level of comprehension and a broader understanding of language.  Nursery rhymes also help sharpen spatial reasoning which can lead to greater academic success in math and science and other areas throughout life.

images (12)When I was in grade school, we were introduced to both Spanish and French in kindergarten and then starting in first grade we chose one and started learning that language exclusively.  Our teachers would show us these videos called “Muzzy” and we would always get excited when we got to watch Muzzy.  It’s such a great educational video series that their still around and used twenty plus years later!  I also loved when we would learn and sing Spanish songs that had actions and dance to them.  I can even recall a few songs we learned to this day too!

D was first introduced to another language – Spanish – from his first daycare provider.  She watched him and her two boys, which were right around his age at the time (1.5-2.5), for about six months and he picked up a lot of Spanish words during that time.  At first I thought he would just get confused but in the end he didn’t at all!  She would tell us how he speaks Spanish with the boys but he wouldn’t at home with us much.  However, I’ll never forget after the second week or so going to her daycare he came home and starting calling water, “agua” (Spanish for water), and still calls it that (even though he knows it’s water and can say water he prefers calling it by the Spanish term).  But he was the perfect age where he was just starting to talk more and was almost 18 months at the time.  So I believe that this early exposure to another language had a significant impact on his current talking skills, which are pretty advanced for his age (23 months)!

Language is so intricate and distinct throughout the world.  It has evolved over time and continues to evolve, so we must take advantage of all the benefits language offers and teach our children from the start more than just our primary language.  Find a friend who knows another language and have them speak and read that language to your child every so often when their very young and as they grow.  Read to them lots and talk to them about what you’re doing throughout the day.  You’ll be giving them a head start for a lifetime!  🙂

How parenthood changed my life, myself, and beyond

January 25, 2013

Do you ever think about all the ways that becoming a parent suddenly transforms you in SO many ways you never knew was possible?  And the quickness in which it all happens?!?  Pre-baby my life was in a transitional phase.  I finished college a few years prior and was floating around from job to job struggling to find the right fit for me.  I wasn’t 100% sure about what I wanted to do as a long-term career but I felt I was on the right path, given the tough economical times our country was enduring.  So I was just enjoying life and taking it all in, seeing what all the world had to offer.  I met a bunch of fun new friends along the way and was loving life!

I met my fiance at a popular local watering hole (bar) one weekend before the holidays and we instantly connected.  From there our friendship turned into a more serious relationship and the rest is history.  We were living together with another couple for about three years before we ended up getting our own place together because we discovered we were pregnant!  Even though it wasn’t a planned pregnancy per se, we had discussed our future life together and knew we wanted to be together for a long time.  And from there, the rest is history!  🙂

DSC00761D arrived into this world and transformed our lives for eternity!  He’s been such a blessing in countless ways!  Becoming a mom changed me in many positive ways.  I was headed down a very unhealthy path in life before I got pregnant but after D was born my life path was re-directed in countless positive ways!  I often wonder where my life would be if I never had a baby when I did but then I realize it doesn’t matter either way – I love where my life is currently at and the promising future it bestows me.  My life now is overwhelmed with SO much love, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment – it’s perfect!  They say that things happen for a reason and it’s very true – they do.  I feel like D was brought to this earth to turn my life path around and I wouldn’t change a thing.  🙂

 

What’s Changed for Me

There’s endless things that have changed about my life and myself since D being born but some of the major changes are: eating healthier and becoming more conscious about what I use on my skin, and making my own products to use as well.  Another major change is the fact I have a lot more local friends, most of which are moms too.  Of course I could go on about all that’s changed about my life since becoming a mother but I’ll stick with a few major ones worth sharing.

The first homemade products I made was laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.  I was SO surprised at how EASY and CHEAP it was to make them and I haven’t bought laundry detergent or dish detergent in two years and LOVE it!  (At $.01 per load, you can’t beat the price and savings!)  From there, I have made my own liquid hand soap, eye make up remover, herbal facial astringent, bathroom cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and the list is ever changing.  I also changed to a natural deodorant two years ago and wish I done so a long time ago!  DIY products are my new passion and I LOVE it!  🙂

1.  Homemade Products

Once I learned about all the thousands of chemicals we put on our skin daily and the top chemicals/ingredients to avoid, it was hard to423965894_f330565f61 continue using brand name products knowing the harm it causes to my body.  Check out this alarming factoid: “More than 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in personal care products — and the average woman wears 515 of them every day, according to a 2009 British study that looked at the routines of over 2,000 women.” [http://www.lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal]  So each day, we’re slopping on over 500 chemicals on our skin, which is the largest organ in the body – Pretty alarming!  Check out that site for further details about certain tested chemicals to steer clear of, very informative.

So when I was pregnant my mom was actually the one who bought me this lotion that was paraben free and had no artificial colors.  When I asked her why I should use that lotion instead of the Bath and Body Works lotions I was using at the time, she said that all those chemicals in lots of lotions seep through the skin and are shared with the baby as well and aren’t good for our bodies in general.  Parabens actually are used in many products as a type of cheap preservative and have also been found in many breast cancer tumors too.  So, even though the link between the two has been found, no direct links have been scientifically established or proven yet.  So after learning about Parabens it sparked my interest and from there has ballooned into a passion for me.  My mission is to eventually use only homemade products.  I’ve learned SO much in a short two year time span about natural cleaners, toiletries, and remedies to make and use in place of the ones most households use and I’m always learning more!  D’s babysitter, just by random chance, is also into homemade remedies as well so we’re always sharing our latest discoveries – it’s a lot of fun.

We’ve also saved a LOT of money as well by making our own cleaning products, toiletries etc. and made our house chemical free, for the most part, too.  So D’s barely been exposed to any harsh cleaners like Mr. Clean floor cleaner for example, that emits chemicals in the air when used that aren’t good to ingest anyways.  I only use water and vinegar to clean the floors, counter tops  and other surfaces and it works just as good as the expensive brand name cleaners (and 10 times cheaper too)!  (I could go on and on about this topic so I will stop myself there and write about this further in another future post. 🙂 )  When I did a quick Google search I stumbled upon this informative page that covers a wide array of topics when preparing for a baby in your house, check it out here.

2.  Healthy Eating

I have also changed my eating habits too.  I wasn’t a huge junk food eater previously but now I care a lot more about what I’m eating and feeding D.  So I try and steer clear of heavily processed foods now and buy/eat organic produce as much as I can.  I follow the dirty dozen list for the most part to eliminate the heavy chemically treated produce like strawberries (only buy organic) and buy regular produce if the skins are thicker (less seepage of chemicals into produce).

baby food collectionI wanted to make sure that D was raised with healthy eating habits from the start.  So to do this change I had to start with myself first.  I tried my hardest to eat healthy as he quickly grew so my breast milk was filled with lots of good nutrients.  I also made all of D’s food from the first bite he ever ate.  (Read more about that here in a previous post I wrote about this subject matter.)  It was a lot of work but totally worth it!  As he’s gotten older we still do our best to feed him wholesome foods but sneak in a few treats once in a while.  🙂

I think this has been my area of constant struggle because I still want to reach for junk food but as long as I keep it out of the house then I don’t eat it.  The whole idea of “out of sight, out of mind” holds the most truth in eating healthy and keeping that up.  But I can feel the difference if I don’t eat right and I love the feeling of eating healthy, so it’s worth the extra time to eat healthy and pass that onto D.

3.  Making more friends

I moved to Arizona not knowing many people and have made plenty of friends throughout college but there’s not many people I have 417720_2770966077910_1777663391_nkept in contact with.  I have my wonderful friends from my homeland in Minnesota which I keep in touch with, including my best friend that still lives there.  But through the years, friends have come and gone in my life.  So after I gave birth to D I was amazed at how many women I became friends with and clicked with quickly as well!  I always struggled with keeping female friends because I just never clicked with many of them.  But I met SO many great women through a local breastfeeding support group I attended and we have all kept in close contact for over two years (mostly via Facebook group).  So having such a strong support base was huge and I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t met such great people!

So for any new Mom out there, reach out to as many moms groups, breastfeeding support groups, etc. in your local area.  Keep in mind that it may take a few tries to really find a group of friends that mesh well but you’ll love having that support beyond your close nit support system.

Conclusion

All in all, I LOVE being a parent and all the fun and exciting adventures that go along with it.  We all have our image of what we believe life will be once we have a child, once we are married, graduated college, moved out on our own, etc. but until we actually experience all of the amazing life events, time will only tell how life will actually be.  Life is SO short, so no matter how our life unfolds, we all must remember to enjoy every moment as it is delivered to us and just go with it, trust your instinct, and don’t forget to smile!  🙂  There truly is ‘No day but Today’!  (From the musical, RENT)

Household Duties – Divide and Conquer

January 6, 2013

I’ll be the first the happily admit – I love cleaning.  I always have ever since I was a wee one.  My mom told me recently that I used to organize my crayons perfectly in the box before coloring.  I find it to be rewarding when I clean, as well as keeping my life organized (for the most part).  I’m the type of person who loves to make to-do lists; sometimes I’ll even make to-do lists for to-do lists.  There’s something rewarding for me each time I’m able to scribble off another task off my list.  And then there’s always those few items on the to-do list that never go away for whatever the reason may be (usually because it’s least liked task to do).  So when it comes to household duties I am the queen at delegating tasks.  There are certain chores which I prefer to do because I’m a little anal about them and/or enjoy doing them (laundry for the most part).  I have my own method to my madness for laundry and I don’t want my chi messed with, so I am the primary launderer in our household.  🙂

The primary reason that I do the laundry, besides the fact I enjoy doing laundry, is that my significant other thinks the more soap he uses per load the cleaner the clothes will get (he seems to have this habit with any type of soap used).  For example, when he washes dishes I’ve seen him squeeze about a half dollar coin size or so of dish soap onto the sponge just to clean two plates that require minimum scrubbing in the first place!  And then the sponge is SO engulfed in suds and doesn’t get rinsed out enough and then by the next day it is stinky, gross, and ruined.  Definitely a huge pet peeve of mine (and I’m sure many of you as well)!

BUT I digress…What we have found that works best for keeping up with the household tasks is organization via to-do lists and charts.  Every week or so I will start a list of things that need to be done around the house for hubby to do.  Then anything and everything else is completed by me.  This system seems to work best (kinda) for us but like anything there’s always room for improvement.  However, a to-do list is only helpful if the tasks are completed in a timely manner.  My hubby is the king of kings of procrastination (or laziness?), whichever term used, in the end it’s all the same.  I have to nag and nag and remind and bug him to make sure things get done.  I could go on about this topic for days so I’ll halt myself there.  🙂

It’s tough to keep the house in working order while also trying to entertain and raise a kid(s) at the same time.  Now granted, having just one kid is FAR more easier than adding one or more into the situation but even just raising one child is tough enough for most people (like me).  But whether it’s one or three kids, it’s still one tough job, that’s for sure!!  I was a stay at home mom for the first year and a half of my son’s life and I loved it (most days) but wanted to poke my eyes out other days while hiding in the closet plugging my ears.  😉  Now that I have returned to work full time, it adds a whole new spectrum of organizational skills needed in order to keep on top of house duties and beyond!  Even now after working for six months, I still feel like I’m trying to find a good balance within my life’s areas.  But I definitely have to keep reminding myself that no matter how dauntingly long my to-do list may be, spending time with my toddler and hubby is number one!  I only get one chance to enjoy each stage of my son’s life and I would hate to some day look back and regret missing milestones because I was too pre-occupied with menial tasks, etc.  Living in the moment, especially while being a parent, is so crucial yet SO difficult to remember during those rough patches.

Here are a few tips from what I’ve learned thus far in my attempts to keep up with all the household duties and beyond, in order to have a happy and healthy household.  Please feel free to share you’re tips and experiences as well below for others to learn from as well.  🙂

Tips for survival:

* Prepare, plan and pack what you can the night before.

* Make a detailed list of all household duties – from daily tasks to regular maintenance and yearly deep cleaning – and hang it by the household calendar for reference.

* Write out your grocery list and other household items list for shopping and STICK TO IT!  With a little planning and preparation, grocery shopping can be less stressful and cheaper too!  Check local ads for the best deals and sales before shopping and bring your coupons too!

* Delegate duties to your significant other as well and don’t shy away from doing so.  Being the best cohesive team you can be together is HUGE and will make life SO much more easier.  Communication is key.

* Make sure that within the weekly schedule, there’s also time for just free time fun.  Life’s too short, don’t cut it any shorter!  🙂

* Children are sponges for learning and LOVE to help, so involve them and teach them tasks which are age appropriate to help you out.  It’s never too early to give them a few responsibilities to help out around the house.

* Use technology to your advantage and find applications which help with tasks and to-do lists, etc.

Please feel free to share any of your tips, tricks, and/or advice that you may have in the comments below!  Thanks 🙂

Couponing 101

November 7, 2012

I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard of the TLC show “Extreme Couponing,” where it showcases people who go to the extremes to get deep discounts using coupons.  Well, I’m not going to explain how you can achieve this but I am going to give a few pointers on what’s been successful for me since I started seriously couponing about a year ago.

It all started when my friend invited me to a Coupon Sense informational meeting where you learn how to use their website to get deep discounts using coupons and store sales.  I learned a LOT from the meeting and signed up for a discounted trial month.  I ended up barely using their website and just wasted my money (which wasn’t much but every penny counts when it comes to saving)!  I quickly discovered within my trial month that there’s a plethora of FREE sites which offer the exact same thing, sans the monthly $14 service Coupon Sense offered.  So after canceling (and dealing with their terrible accounting department which continued charging me after canceling), I was pretty fed up with them, to say the least!  I couldn’t believe that first off, people pay for this and second off, THAT PEOPLE PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT’S ALREADY FREE!!!  Long story short – don’t pay for a service to match coupons with sales when there’s plenty of free ones already available online – do a little research before forking over a monthly subscription.

I live in Arizona so for anyone who is local, check out www.thecentsableshoppin.com.  She’s local, matches all the weekly grocery stores, drug stores, and large stores like Target and Walmart, for yup you guessed it – F.R.E.E.!!  She also posts a variety of different deals going on, which is really handy if you follow her on Facebook too.  I’m all about supporting local so I mainly seek her blog for deals first.

Some other sites I really like are www.raininghotcoupons.comthekrazycouponlady.com and www.totallytarget.com.  There’s also blogs just for the organic type, www.organicdeals.com and www.survivingthestores.com.  The list goes on and on but these are my top favorites by far!  Of course there’s always the main ones to retrieve the coupons like www.coupons.com, www.smartsource.com and www.redplum.com.  Also, don’t forget to sign up to get deals from your favorite brands’ websites and follow them via social media too!

Here’s a few general tips about printing coupons online:

1.  Never pay to print coupons.

2.  Only 2 of the same coupons are allowed to be printed per computer IP address (in most cases).

3.  Set your printer settings to low quality, quick print, black and white to conserve ink.

4.  Try and use the most out of each piece of paper too – print multiple coupons, not just one and when necessary keep extra paper cuttings for scratch paper.

5.  Create a separate e-mail account just for couponing so that way you can keep your personal e-mail box personal.

In terms of how to organize your ever growing coupon collection, there are endless ways to do so.  For me, I’m a visual type of person, so I chose a binder method using baseball card protective sheets.  Some like to categorize their coupons in a large shoe box or updated organizer bin.  I also picked up an inexpensive paper cutter for when I’m cutting mass quantities (via staple to keep each stack of congruent coupons together).

Since I have a busy toddler I went with the prepare before you leave the house with all needed coupons and leave the binder at home method.  Then I will organize my coupons into sections of the store with my list that coincides.  I also carry around a mini coupon organizer for every day items I just might happen to find an unexpected deal when shopping.  As he’s getting older it’s becoming a lot more fun to involve him in our shopping trips by holding onto the list or something which makes him feel involved, maybe even rewarding him with a treat!  He loves cars so we usually go to the grocery stores that have the extended carts with a car attached, he’s in his glory as am I.  🙂

A friend of mine categorizes her binder in accordance to how her local grocery store aisles are set up.  One other method is to cut out the coupons from each insert (or skip the cutting til needed), place in a zip lock bag, and label which insert/date their from so that way when pulling coupons based upon the blog your following so it’s easy to locate.  Whichever method works for you, go with it!

As long as in the end you’re saving money (and time) by getting items when their on sale and at their deepest discount, then all is well on the wallet front.  🙂  Just be careful because it can get addicting getting things for free or discounted greatly!  I know there are certain things which I will never have to pay for again – toothpaste, dental floss, body wash, etc.  The list goes on and on!  (However, now I’m becoming more frugal by making my own toiletries and cleaning supplies, as mentioned in my homemade cleaning series I, II, and III.)

I would love to hear how you save money while grocery shopping or any other fun information we can all learn from!  Please share below and thanks for reading!  🙂

%d bloggers like this: