ky

*Momma to two little ladybugs
*Twenty-something
*Trying to be naturally self sufficient
*Knowledge is power

Why I’m learning to love my messy, chaotic home.

I was spending time with a friend the other day when  she said to me “Don’t take this the wrong way ok…. but, I’m really kinda jealous that you can let your house be…. well… kinda messy.” We got in to a conversation about what she meant, and basically, she is so concerned with her house being in order, and clean and organized, that she isnt able to enjoy even living in it. I used to spend my day walking behind my little humans, and picking up everything they threw down. I would take atleast one day a week to go through all their drawers and fold, and organize and put everything in its rightful spot… then, one day while yelling at my four year old about how hard I’d worked, and how upset it made me to see her pull all of her shirts out to dress herself and throw them on the ground… I saw the look on her face…and just then, it hit me. Sure, my house could be super clean and organized, but everyone living in it is miserable! One day, I will be able to have a clean, organized home… but right now, while it’s being over ran by a four and one year old…. it is not that time. 

I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom. I get to spend all day with my girls, and our house really truly is LIVED in. Some people dont get that luxury. They are gone at work all day, to pay for a home that empty most of the time. & Sure, they’re floors are spotless, and their walls dont have chocolate hand prints on them… but I wouldn’t trade those hand prints for anything on this planet. I want to be able to take the time to enjoy them, even if that means I live in a slightly chaotic mad house for the time being. 

Now, dont get me wrong, I still spend a good portion of every morning cleaning, and so does Ava, but I try to be content with the mess because, really… that’s what my kids are best at right now, and it makes letting Ava put her clothes away a lot less of an ordeal when I’m fine with it being just put in to her drawer however they fit, instead of neatly folded. And god bless it! She is SO proud of herself when she jams her pile of clean jammies in to her pj drawer, and that pride is worth more to me than all the organized drawers in the world.

It may not be pristine, but it’s perfect to me, and what’s right, right now, for my family. I guess the whole reason I felt compelled to write this out, is that I think we as mothers put a lot of pressure on ourselves and each other, and maybe it’s time to stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ (and guaranteed, that as easy as Mrs. Jones makes it appear, she’s just as burnt out and stressed as you are!) and take a second to chill the eff out, and enjoy these messes a little, and maybe even contribute to them every once in a while and stop feeling so guilty about it. Before we know it, our babies will be out of the house, and we’ll be able to organize any and everything our little hearts desire… but I guarantee each and every one of us will miss the mess and the little giggles and screams that come along with them. 

<3 

1 bar of organic, fair trade soap, (grated) a few drops of essential oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and 10 cups of boiling water, and a full night to solidify, and then a quick spin in my ninja blender&#8230;. &amp;&amp;&amp; We are set on body wash/shave gel for another year:) 

1 bar of organic, fair trade soap, (grated) a few drops of essential oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and 10 cups of boiling water, and a full night to solidify, and then a quick spin in my ninja blender
…. &&& We are set on body wash/shave gel for another year:) 

My Vaccine Post… DUN-dun-DUUNNNN

So I’d like to start out this post by stating here and now, I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist. I am not a medical professional in any way. What I AM is a mother who has made it her goal to make the best of this crazy journey we call “Parenthood,” and to make the best decisions for MY family, & I believe that whether or not you vaccinate your children is a decision that solely belongs to your family. I don’t push my beliefs on other people, and I expect the same respect from others who have an opposing views. Again, information is just information. nothing more, nothing less and certainly nothing to become belligerent over. Vaccinations can be a sensitive subject that, I tend to keep my opinions on to myself (I think we as mother’s are the most critical group of bitches alive, who have it hard enough!), buuuut, I’ve gotten several fb messages asking my opinion on the subject, so I decided I’d write a blog post and put this information out there. I’d also like to point out this is not meant to be confrontational, or judgmental, or even to persuade your actions… it’s simply meant to make you think. What I’m typing now is simply my opinion based off of several years of research and in depth conversations with a a variety of people, and is nothing more than information. Whether this information is valid in your life or not, is completely up to you.

 I guess now is the best time to bring up, I am able to feel both sides of the fence. Ava is completely up to date on her vaccines, and Scarlett is completely unvaccinated, and I have no intention of that changing anytime in the foreseeable future. But I want to share with you that I struggle with this on a regular basis. I struggle with the guilt of vaccinating one child, and also with guilt for not vaccinating the other. I am in a different place, as far as research, and information go, in my decision making process with my second child than I was with my first, but just like you, and every other mother I know, I struggle with whether I made the right decisions for my children, every single day.

I’ve used the word “Decision" (and marked the word italics too! haha) several times already, and this really is the main point on what I tell moms who ask for my advice on the matter. For instance, the other day, I spoke to a mother (who will remain nameless) who told me all about how her child was vaccinated for Diarrhea. This took me a second to come to the conclusion that what she was probably referring to was in fact a vaccine for Diphtheria. She had no idea, and was not corrected by her doctor before the vaccine was administered. Now, I’m not saying anything bad about this mother, (in fact, I have been in her exact position before) What I am saying is, so often, there is such little research, digging, or questioning when it comes to vaccinating, and I feel like that’s a problem. Questions like: Is it necessary for the life you live? What are the possible side effects? How do studies performed by outside/foreign parties vary from the studies done by the company who distribute these vaccines? And what seems like the most basic thing… what the hell is IN them? These questions should be asked, by all of us, before we make such a big decision. 


   When your baby is born, and you see their perfect amazing flawless little face staring up at you, you know in your heart that you will do EVERYTHING in your power to keep them safe, and whole, and healthy… yet we (myself 4 1/2 years ago, included) do little to no research on the things that we allow to be pumped in to these tiny perfections at such a young age. As I said before, I believe that whether or not you vaccinate your children is a decision that solely belongs to your family, and this decision should be just that. A DECISION! Coupled with effort, and research, and debating, and conversations! You research the car you’re going to buy, and you research the hotel you’re going to sleep in, you research the best restaurants in town…. yet we blindly trust the opinion of another person, which really boils down to just that. An opinion, of a person (, and the opinions of medical professionals DO vary) & I think that our families should be our priorities… Our entire world, where the bulk of our efforts lie in making the best possible DECISIONS for our families.


This is (finally) my Kombucha post! I’ve been meaning to get this up, and since I’m passing out Scobys like nobody’s business I figured I better get on it! Now, I know a lot of you are looking at these pictures, thinking “WTH IS THAT!? and why would anyone drink it?!” well, Let me give you a few reasons why our family has decided to go ‘Booch. 

This stuff has been around, being consumed for a multitude of reasons for over 2000 years, and ask anyone I currently brew for… the lack of scientific studies doesn’t mean it’s a fluke. I am brewing for 10 people right now, and have handed out 6 Scobys so people can brew at home for their families for a hand full of reasons from weight loss, to joint pain, to liver detoxification but all with the same results.  Everyone loves it and is reaping the benefits. Let’s talk about the bacteria.  The bacterium makes up most of the physical SCOBY and its good bacteria that detoxifies the body and energizes the mind creating glucuronic acid which is a compound used by the liver for detoxification. This reduces the load on the kidneys, liver and pancreas and helps the body to get rid of unwanted wastes and destroy cancer cells. That’s right. Cancer cells. Kombucha is full of glucaric acid which is potently anti-cancer & offers improved joint function because of glucosamines which helps preserve cartilage structure and prevent joint degeneration. Kombucha also enhances immunity by inoculating the gut with healthy microorganisms and providing antioxidants and enzymes that also help to ward off icky parasites, and other illnesses. 


Above is a photo of everything you will need to set up a continuous brew. I use a 2 gallon jug, but we go through a lot of Booch brewing for 10 people, so if you’re planning a smaller operation, a 1 gallon sun tea jar would be perfect. 

You’ll need 4-6 tea bags per gallon (you can use anything you’d like from green, white, black, hibiscus. I personally like to use a mixture of green ginger tea, and white) 

1 cup of sugar per gallon 

A large pot to brew your sweet tea in

Either a coffee filter and a headband, or a bandana and some yarn, or really anything that will let air circulate to your Mother, but now allow pesky gnats or ants to get inside. 

and finally, The Mother. (If any of you are interested in brewing, let me know and I can get you one!)
 

First step is you’re going to brew enough sweet tea to fill your container. This will be the base for your Kombucha, and the sugar is what is going to “feed” your Mother.  Sugar is the easiest food for the culture to ferment but you can use molasses, honey (not raw!), agave, etc. You CANNOT use Raw Honey because it has its own bacteria that could mess up your SCOBY, also avoid Stevia or Xylitol because these are plant based sugars that do not ferment.

Next you’re going to let your tea cool to room temp. You cannot add your SCOBY to hot tea, or you’ll basically cook it. Once it’s cooled to room temp, add the tea to your jug and add your SCOBY! Next you’ll cover it with whatever you’ve decided you’re going to use as a cover (coffee filter and hair band, or bandana and string, whatever will work as long as it will keep out those pests!)

Now, this next step varies. In the summer, sitting in our back yard apartment, a 2 gallon jug takes about 3 days to ferment and taste the way I like it to… but earlier when it wasn’t so hot it was taking anywhere from 7-9 days to taste that way. (Try to store your set up in the warmest room in your house, but without ever putting it directly in the sun. The sun is antibacterial and should never come in contact with your set up,) but without putting an exact timeline on it, you should be able to go out, grab a little taste and decide if it’s ready that way. The less amount of time you allow fermentation, the sweeter your brew will be, the longer it goes the more acidic/vinegary it will become. Sometimes if you allow your brew to sit for too long, it will be straight up vinegar. Don’t throw it out though! It’s really useful for DIY cleaning products, “conditioner” if you use the no-poo method, among other things.

Once your brew tastes how you want it to, draw out your Kombucha so that you can stop fermentation by refrigeration.  Be sure to leave enough at the bottom of your jug so your SCOBY has enough liquid to keep it submerged. I usually stop at the spout. You will always need at least a cup of your Scoby’s previous brew for when you’re ready to brew your next batch.

This is the time where you will flavor your brew should you choose to do so. We like anything from blueberry lemonade to peach puree. Really anything you can think up. You can bottle in old juice jugs, flip top bottles, empty wine bottles, or my favorite, in empty pop off beer bottles where we use our bottle topper that Kavron has for brewing beer. You will add 25% of juice in whatever container you’re using, and then fill with Kombucha. If you want it to be extra carbonated, you can add a teaspoon of sugar to help the process along. Let it sit on the counter for a day or two and then check that the carbonation is where you want it, then pop it in the fridge to stop fermentation.

That’s it! You’ve completed the process. When I get around ¾ of the way through with whatever I have stored in my fridge, is usually when I start another brew so we never run out.

If anyone is even mildly interested, or has any questions I’d be happy to try to help answer them or help get you started!

After reading about household cleaners, their toxicity, health risks, and pollutants we decides to start making our own. I used to get the WORST headaches whenever we’d clean the tub or sinks with Comet, but luckily we were able to find a “green&#8221; alternative! A little baking soda and a squeeze of dawn dish soap, with enough water to make a paste. That’s it. It works SO well in the sinks, tubs, counter tops, and even in the toilet. I love this stuff, and wanted to share! I’m finally out of most of my homemade cleaners, so I’ll be postingNew ones over the next day or two as I make them! Enjoy! =)

After reading about household cleaners, their toxicity, health risks, and pollutants we decides to start making our own. I used to get the WORST headaches whenever we’d clean the tub or sinks with Comet, but luckily we were able to find a “green” alternative! A little baking soda and a squeeze of dawn dish soap, with enough water to make a paste. That’s it. It works SO well in the sinks, tubs, counter tops, and even in the toilet. I love this stuff, and wanted to share! I’m finally out of most of my homemade cleaners, so I’ll be posting
New ones over the next day or two as I make them! Enjoy! =)

Homemade, Natural Deodorant!

Simple, natural, and safe to put on your skin! I love this stuff! It’s as simple as adding baking soda and corn starch  to some coconut oil until to get a perfect mixture of powdery-oil consistency, add in your favorite essential oil, and boom! An amazing cheap alternative to store bought deodorant, minus the harmful chemicals! 

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup corn starch
(or arrow root, or all three, or just one! that’s the great thing about homemade, YOU decide! Do some experimenting, and find what works best with your skin)

Optional- A few drops of essential oil 
(I like lavender vanilla, or something with citrus tones like Orange, or Lemon) 

Mix, and store in a jar, or even an old deodorant tube. 
Apply with a craft stick, or just with your hands after you get out of the shower. 

This is my homemade HE safe (low sud soap) liquid laundry detergent. It has THREE ingredients, that end up costing you under $3.00 for a five gallon bucket that will last you forever! I originally found the homemade powdered detergent on pinterest, and made that for quite a while, but when I realized the liquid detergent calls for less than half the ingredients/amounts as the powder options, I decided the extra effort was worth it! We use this on our cloth diapers, and there is little to no build up so I don’t have to strip them as often, and it removes stains just as well as any commercial detergent I’ve used. The ingredients and directions are as follows:
1 cup of washing soda 1 cup of borax 1 grated bar of felsnaptha soap (I usually use my ninja or magic bullet to grate the soap, after I cut it in to cubes. It cuts prep time in half!)  *I sometimes add a few drops of essential oil for scent, but that’s optional.
I have a really big stock pot that I fill half way with hot water, and put it on the stove with the grated soap in the water, and I stir until the soap is dissolved. Then I remove it from the heat, and add the washing soda and borax and stir. It will instantly thicken up, and become the consistency of what reminds me of egg drop soup. At this point I’ll add the detergent to a five gallon bucket, and the top with water almost to the top, and let it sit over night. In the morning, after it’s sat and thickened, I take a whisk and mix it up, and funnel it in to whatever storage container I’m using… Usually an empty laundry detergent jug.
Enjoy!

This is my homemade HE safe (low sud soap) liquid laundry detergent. It has THREE ingredients, that end up costing you under $3.00 for a five gallon bucket that will last you forever! I originally found the homemade powdered detergent on pinterest, and made that for quite a while, but when I realized the liquid detergent calls for less than half the ingredients/amounts as the powder options, I decided the extra effort was worth it! We use this on our cloth diapers, and there is little to no build up so I don’t have to strip them as often, and it removes stains just as well as any commercial detergent I’ve used. The ingredients and directions are as follows:

1 cup of washing soda
1 cup of borax
1 grated bar of felsnaptha soap (I usually use my ninja or magic bullet to grate the soap, after I cut it in to cubes. It cuts prep time in half!)
*I sometimes add a few drops of essential oil for scent, but that’s optional.

I have a really big stock pot that I fill half way with hot water, and put it on the stove with the grated soap in the water, and I stir until the soap is dissolved. Then I remove it from the heat, and add the washing soda and borax and stir. It will instantly thicken up, and become the consistency of what reminds me of egg drop soup. At this point I’ll add the detergent to a five gallon bucket, and the top with water almost to the top, and let it sit over night. In the morning, after it’s sat and thickened, I take a whisk and mix it up, and funnel it in to whatever storage container I’m using… Usually an empty laundry detergent jug.

Enjoy!

I’ve had a handful of ladies message me, curious about cloth diapering, so I decided to do a post:)  We’ve been cloth diapering, collectively for just over two years, through two children. We started off using disposables with Ava, until around her fist birthday she got a chemical burn from her pampers which required full on burn cream, and going diaperless for about a week. From that point forward, I knew that cloth diapers were going to be route we took. Unfortunately, I had no idea what the hell I was doing, and all the lingo about “prefolds” and “pockets” and “organic” and “hemp” were super confusing, and I ended up wasting $100 on gDiapers that barely lasted the remaining 8 months my first daughter needed to use them before being potty trained. I do not claim to be a cloth diaper know-it-all, and in fact, I differ from many other CD-ers, in that I am in this solely to be more self sufficient and as natural as I can be. Many CD-ing moms I’ve encountered are pattern/print fanatics and end up “building their stash” to the point where it doesnt seem like much money is saved from the other option of buying disposables every month. Dont get me wrong! I too am tempted by super cute new diapers, but I remind myself as often as I can that I’m doing this to be frugal! Anyways, now to the stash itself. I have a total of 21, one size (meaning they will fit anywhere from 8-35+ lbs by manipulating the diaper in to different sizes by using either snaps or elastic bands to make them bigger or smaller to fit your baby) diapers.  5 are reusable covers with 15 pre-fold inserts (which means these equal out to 15 diapers) but I use these much less often than I do my pocket diapers. Usually only if we’re traveling and I need a my stash to last as long as possible. They’re less absorbent, and they leak more when you have a mobile infant in my experience.  9 of the diapers pictured above are Bum-genius 4.0’s (my personal favorites) and these are pocket diapers, meaning that you put the absorbent inserts inside a pocket of fleece or another moisture wicking layer, which size bigger or smaller by using snaps on the front of the diaper. 3 of the diapers pictured above are Bumgenius freetime, and those are all -in-one diapers where the absorbent parts are attached almost like the tongue of a tennis shoe, so there is no stuffing like there is with a pocket diaper after washing. 3 others are fuzzibuns (my second favorites) which are also pocket diapers, but the absorbent insert is minky, and they are sizeable by elastic bands inside the diaper as opposed to the snaps that size the bumgenius brand, and finally I have 1 totsbots all-in-one that I loved in the beginning, but it stopped wicking the moisture away from Scar’s skin, which was probably something I did during a wash that caused this issue. And finally, in the picture above I have a basket filled with cloth wipes and cloth breast pads. These come in handy and save us even more money, since we just wet the wipes, and apply homemade solution (baby wash, water, essential oil) when needed, we dont have to waste money on the store bought ones! Another thing that’s made CD-ing even easier is a dish sprayer my husband attached to our waterline next to the toilet so that when she poo’s, we don’t have to mess with it much. Just spray it off in to the toilet, and put it in the air tight garbage pail we keep next to the toilet until its time to wash. In short, I love cloth diapering! From avoiding exposures to the harsh chemicals in today’s disposable diapers, to the hang line in the spring and summer, to saving space in the landfills. It’s not much more effort than using disposables, and the benefits and savings surely make that little extra effort worth it! Not to mention after the initial cost (mine was around $300, and was lucky enough to have the people who came to my baby shower help me with that) you never need to spend money on diapers again! 

"There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children." - Marianne Williamson

This was originally intended to just replace store bought baby lotion for the girls until I realized that it is hands down the BEST moisturizer I’ve ever used, and now it’s the only “lotion” in the house.This stuff is AMAZING! Coconut oil is anti-fungal  and also antibacterial so it works wonders on the diaper rashes and little yeast rashes my chubby little one gets in her rolls every once in a while. It will also greatly reduce a sunburn over night, not to mention I’ve noticed a dramatic lightening of  stretchmarks, diminished cellulite, and super soft skin. I use 3/4 cups of extra virgin organic coconut oil, a few drop of essential oil (this time I used vanilla and lavender and it smells heavenly!) and whip it with an electric mixer in a bowl until it’s smooth, and then I store it in an air tight glass bowl. That much will usually last us a full month.  

*Note: In the hotter months, you should store it in a cool place, because it will melt down to liquid form.