Our No Spend Month: Two Weeks In.

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Hi there, my sweet sweet friends! I hope the first two weeks of 2018 have treated you well. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering how we’ve been holding up during our no Spend challenge. I’ll be honest with you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it definitely hasn’t gone the way I planned. However, I’ve learned a lot these past two weeks and I’m looking forward to finishing this challenge on a positive note.

So what exactly went wrong? Well, the simplest explanation would be that we spent money when we weren’t supposed to. In the past, I probably would have just given up. I would have felt defeated, and probably would have never attempted a no Spend challenge again. This time, I decided to practice what I preach and just roll with it.

So here’s what happened. First, Walter had to have some blood work done (don’t worry he’s fine, I’ll be writing about this soon), so Tyler and I decided to treat him with a trip to the children’s museum. While we were out, we got lunch with my mother. Now, I could have used this opportunity to save money like I was supposed to. I could have easily told my mother that we couldn’t go to lunch because we weren’t spending money this month, but I didn’t. I chose to hang out with my mom instead of saving thirty bucks, and I’m glad we did it. Like I said, I could have easily said no, or we could have done something free but we didn’t. I’ve chosen not to beat myself up about. 2018 is all about being patient with myself.

Our second exception to our no Spend challenge was buying supplements for Walter. Recently we discovered Walter has some demineralization on his two front teeth. In order to combat this issue, Tyler and I have decided to try to remineralize his teeth with a homemade toothpaste, and some small changes to his diet. If you’re interested in our toothpaste recipe, and the exact supplements Walter will be on make sure you check back next week. I’ll be writing a post all about it.

If you decided to join us during our no Spend month, I’d love to hear how it’s going. Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my Instagram! I’ll be doing a full recap of the month, and going over exactly what I’ve learned from the experience at the end of the month. Make sure you subscribe so you get an email notification every time I make a post!

Until next time. I’m sending you lots of love, and all the positive vibes.

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Our No Spend Month

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As we begin a new year, I know I’m not the only one looking to make some changes. I’m usually not one for New Year’s resolutions but I figured I’d give it a shot in 2018.

I’m looking forward to a year or personal development, financial security, and happiness. I’m wishing you and your family the same 🙂

Let’s just jump right into it. I’m sure the title grabbed your attention(that kinda the point). And I know a lot of you are wondering how we plan on going an entire month without spending any money. I’ll start by explaining what a no spend challenge is, then I’ll lay out the rules that my family has chosen to follow during our no spend month.

So, what is a no spend challenge?

well, it’s a period when you chose not to spend any money what so ever. I know it sounds ridiculous and absolutely impossible.  A lot of you a rolling your eyes, and probably thinking to yourself ” okay, this B*tch is crazy.”.  I promise it will all come together in a minute, just hang in there.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what a no spend challenge is, I want to share with you exactly what we plan to get out of our no spend challenge and how we’re bending the rules (just a tad) to make it work for our family.

Being content with what we have.

This is first on the list because this is the most important element to our challenge…for me at least. As I continue to grow as a person I want to push myself further out of my comfort zone. I’m no stranger to wanting things, and I know most of you aren’t either. It’s okay to want nice things, really it is. The problem is when you want things solely for the purpose of having things. If you’re using material items to fill a space within yourself (like I was), I strongly recommend you do a little self reflection and more importantly some self love. I’m encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone as well, and spend some time figuring out exactly what it is you need in life.

Stop mindless spending.

This one goes hand in hand with our first goal, but I figured I’d give it it’s own little moment because I know someone people are struggling just like we are. My partner and I have a horrible habit of spending money on “little things” without realizing that all of those “little things” add up. Budgeting our money is something that we’re both very unfamiliar with, and to be honest sometimes it makes me really uncomfortable. I hate the idea of having to miss out on something that I want or feel I need or deserve because I need to save money. However, this year we’ve decided to do everything we can to change our habit of mindless spending. We’re determined to teach our son something different and to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.

Paying off debt.

For some odd reason, this is something no one ever wants to talk about. Honestly, I find that strange because being in debt is something so many people struggle with, especially millennials. Like some many other people our age, Tyler and I both have a ton of student loans debt as well as a fair amount of credit card debt. Plus, we both have cars we’re still paying for. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into exact numbers but trust me when I say we owe a lot of people a lot of fucking money.  How hope is that this no spend month will help us put more money towards our debts, and put us one step closer to being debt free!

Now that you know exactly what we’ve hoping to gain from our no spend month, its time to see exactly how this thing works.

Rules number one is simple, don’t spend any money. This is usually where people get hung up and decide that this type of challenge isn’t for them.  Hopefully, I can help you understand things a little bit better. So obviously it’s impossible to spend absolutely no money what so ever ( for most people at least). Most of us have a family to support and a set of constant bills that have to be paid every single month.  During our no spend month we’re of course going to pay for things like our rent etc. But that’s it, we’ve no allowing ourselves to spend money on anything else.  To make it simple I’ll create a little list so you’ll know exactly what we’re choosing to spend money on and what we’re not. There are a million and one ways to do a no spend challenge, I encourage you to take a look at our list and decide what works for your family and what doesn’t.

Here’s what we’ll be spending money on this month

  • Our rent- obviously we need a place to live 🙂
  • Groceries- we’ll be sticking to a much tighter grocery budget than usual
  • Gas- we have to get to work somehow
  • Our monthly bills- like electric, car payments, phones, etc.

And here’s what we’re not spending our money on this month

  • Anything that isn’t on the list above- pretty simple right 😉

Like I said before, there are a million and one ways to do a no spend challenge. Take some notes and figure out what works best for you.

I’ll be doing a check in during the middle of the month, just to let you guy know how things are going. I’ll also be making a post at the end of the challenge, so make sure you sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss a post!

It’s 2018, chase your dreams, end toxic relationships, live the kind of life you want to. Happiness is up to you.

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Thanksgiving 2017

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Since today is Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time to slow down and reflect on the things I’m thankful for. This is something I haven’t taken the time to do since grade school (I’m kind of ashamed to say that actually).  Honestly, I never focus enough on the things that I’m thankful for. IT’s far too easy to focus on the negative things in life. Well, this year, I’m determined to focus on the good things in my life.

So here it is, a list of just a few things I’m very, very thankful for.

My little family

I know, this one was pretty predictable. but what can I say, I love my family 🙂

Obviously, I’m incredibly thankful for my partner Tyler, and our son, Walter. The two of you have healed me in ways you’ll probably never understand. I know I don’t say it nearly enough, but I love you, and I’m so unbelievably thankful for the two of you.

My work family

I’m so blessed to be able to work with so many incredibly strong woman. I’m thankful to have you ladies as my co-workers and I’m even more thankful to be able to call you my friends.

My mother and my mother-in-law

Mommy, I don’t think words can express how thankful I am for you. You’re my confidant, my therapist, and my best friend. I love you more than you’ll ever know. I’m so grateful you’re a part of my life.

Laurie, thank you for welcoming me into not only your home but also your family.  I know I’m not the best at showing it, but I love you so much, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.

You’re the strongest person I know. You don’t always see that, but I see it and I’m so thankful that I have someone like you to learn from.

Ending toxic relationships

I’m not going into too much detail because it’s still a holiday, and people are supposed to be happy on holidays 🙂

I’m thankful I learned my self worth, and finally chose my emotional well being over family. I’ll leave it at that.

 

I hope you all spend today surrounded by positivity and love. Eat lots of good food, and make sure you take a second to be thankful.

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How I Cut My Grocery Bill in Half

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Some of you may know that I recently moved into a new apartment. This isn’t the first time I’ve lived on my own (meaning not with my parents), but this is the first time I’ve had to grocery shop for more than myself. Now I’m shopping for myself, Tyler, and our son Walter. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be that difficult. Boy, was I wrong. I never realized how different things are when you’re responsible for feeding more than just yourself. I’ll be honest, the first month we lived on our own, our grocery budget was a mess. We were spending an astronomical amount on food every week. We were buying too much of one thing, and not enough of another. I’m sure it’s easy to imagine just how much we ended up throwing out that month because he had been pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about.

Anyone who knows me, knows I hate wasting money! Plus, we’re like most families, and can’t really afford to be wasting any money. So naturally, something had to be done to get our spending under control. Of course, I’ll be sharing all my tips with you guys! I’ve also created a free printable you can download; the link is at the end of this post!

1.The first thing I recommend is meal planning. Honestly, if I could only recommend one thing it would be this. Having a battle plan when you go into the grocery is incredibly helpful. We started out planning all our meal for the week, but I quickly discovered that didn’t really work for us. So now instead of planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we just plan our meals for the evening. When we go shopping, we buy a few options for breakfast (that way we’re not eating the same thing every morning), maybe one or two things to snack on, and whatever ingredients we need for our dinners. We never buy specific items for lunch because we always have leftovers from the night before. This is the best system for us. If you’re buying for more people, you might find planning all your meals is more helpful. Play around with meal planning and figure out what works best for you.

2.Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! I like to pride myself on having fun and exciting meals every week, and if it wasn’t for Pinterest I’d never be able to make that happen. It’s no secret that I’m not the best in the kitchen. I really thrive on easy recipes, thankfully there are some amazing bloggers out there that share fantastic recipes. If it wasn’t for them, we’d be eating peanut butter sandwiches every night. I know elaborate recipes can seem intimidating at first, but the trick is the find recipes that make basic, cheap ingredients taste amazing!

3.Only buy the ingredients you need. This was the hardest thing for me to do at first. I really had to change the way I was writing my shopping list. Say a recipe called for carrots, well instead of just writing carrots, I write carrots x 2. This way I’m only buying exactly what I need. Also, only buying the things we need for specific meals helps us cut down on the food we waste. I have specific ingredients for specific recipes which means, by the end of the week our fridge should be empty.

4.Try shopping at the farmers market. I know this may not be the case everywhere, but our local farmers market is amazing. We’re able to get most of our produce for the week, and most of the time we stay under $15. Having local, organic produce is something that we’ve chosen to make a priority, but I also understand that it’s just not possible for everyone. However, if you do have access to a local farmers market, I highly recommend going!

5.Shop at a discount grocery store like Aldi, or Lidl.Lidl is where we do our weekly grocery shopping, once we’ve hit the farmers market. I can’t praise this place enough, we’re able to buy everything we need for the week all while staying WAY under budget. Since switching to Lidl we’re able to buy quality, organic products which was something we could never afford before. If you like Aldi, you’ll love Lidl! If you have one near you, do yourself a favor and check it out!

I’d love to hear about your grocery budget. Leave me a comment here, or head on over to the Facebook page! I’d you’re ready to get your grocery budget under control, download the free printable I have for you here. It’s super simple, but it’ll get the job done. If you only want to print it once, but use it over and over, make a DIY dry erase board by placing the printable in a picture frame.

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Surviving Croup

My son came down with Croup two weeks ago. Honestly, it has to be one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had. Croup usually strikes in the middle of the night, as the infected child wakes up with a horrible barking cough. For Walter, it started around 1 in the morning. I could hear him taking short, shallow breaths then, he sprung up and let out a series of loud seal like barks. My first thought was ” OH MY GOD, HE’S CHOKING!” I snatched him up, jumped out of bed, and immediately started smacking him on the back. A few seconds later (once I was more awake) I realized he wasn’t choking. Honestly, it still hadn’t dawned on me that it was croup. His cough sounded so bad that we feared he might have whooping cough!
Like I mentioned before croup usually starts in the middle of the night, so it wasn’t like we could take Walter to the doctor right away. At first, we debated taking him to the ER, but we decided that was unnecessary. So that night, we did the only thing I could think of, which was to take him into a hot steamy bathroom. We turned to shower onto the hottest we could get it, and allowed the room to fill with steam. The moist hot air soothed his cough, and we were able to get a few hours of sleep. The next morning, we took him straight to his pediatrician just to be on the safe side. We were able to confirm his diagnosis and start a treatment plan.
Before I jump into our treatment plan, I want to explain what croup is. Croup is a very common airway infection. It blocks breathing and causes a very distinctive barking cough. Croup (laryngotracheobronchitis) is caused by a virus, so antibiotics can’t be prescribed to treat it. The virus usually last between 3 to 7 days, and often symptoms worsen at night. Ya know, because getting a toddler to sleep isn’t hard enough already.
I do want to add, that I’m not a doctor. These steps are just the ones I took to treat my son. If your child is ill, always seek medical treatment from a physician.

CROUP GRAFFIC
The first thing we did to treat Walter’s cough was creating a warm moist environment for him. We turned the show onto the hottest water we could get, put a towel under the door, and allowed the steam to fill up the bathroom. We sat in the steamy bathroom for around 15 minutes, then admittedly went out into our cool bedroom. Going from a warm environment to a cool one usually helps with croup. If you don’t keep your house as cold as we do, you can always step outside for a few minutes. The sudden change in temperature can help soothe a cough.
The next thing we utilized was a nebulizer with saline. The nebulizer really helped keep his airways moist. I’m sure anyone who’s familiar with a neb machine you know that it’s normally used with a bronchodilator. Since Croup is an infection in the airway, and of the voice box, a bronchodilator doesn’t help with croup. For the first 4 days or so we did nebulizer treatments every 4 hours. After the first 4 days, we only did nebulizer treatments when it really seemed like he needed it.

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The next step we took was putting a cool mist humidifier in our bedroom. Again, keeping the air moist is key when it comes to treating croup. Along with the humidifier, we ran an essential oil diffuser with lemon essential oil during the day. If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, you can check out the blog post I wrote right here. If you’d like to know the exact humidifier, and diffuser we used you can find a link to them here, and here. They were both purchased on Amazon, and they’re pretty reasonably priced. It’s been about two weeks, and Walter is feeling much better but we’re still using our humidifier every night. It was a good sent while Walter was dealing with croup, but it also has a ton of other benefits. Cool mist humidifiers help keep your skin from getting dry in the winter months, as well as preventing nosebleeds, and sore throat.
Next, we did everything possible to help boost Walters immune system. I’m still nursing so he was able to get the benefits from my breast milk. We also introduced more supplements, and homeopathics into his daily routine. The first thing we introduced was colloidal silver. This stuff is amazing! It’s a powerful antiviral and can be used for a multitude of things. We added ten drops of colloidal silver to Walter’s nebulizer treatments, and also placed it into his EO diffuser. You can find the exact brand we use here

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We also added a dose of elderberry syrup into his routine. Elderberries are a great immune booster, and where exactly what he needed to help him fight croup. It was pretty easy to get him to take because it’s really sweet. If you have older kids who put up more of a fight, you can try making elderberry gummy bears by mixing agar agar powder (or gelatin if you’re not vegan), and elderberry syrup. You can find the exact brand I use here. If you’re giving elderberry syrup to your kids, be mindful of the brand you use, some of them contain alcohol.

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The last thing we used to support Walter through croup where the Hylands tiny cold tablets. If you know me at all you know I swear by these things! The work within hours and they really helped with Walter’s cough. You can find them at most drug stores, or here online. Like I said, I swear by these things. We also use them whenever Walter gets a runny nose or a cough from teething.

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I’d love to hear what your must-haves are for a sick baby. Leave a comment here, or on my Instagram. I’ll be hosting a giveaway when I reach 1,500 follows on IG, so make sure you stop by @theholisticbee on Instagram to show me some love.

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All products mentioned were purchased by me. All opinion are my own. This post does NOT contain a paid Ad

Our no gift policy

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Hello, my sweet sweet friends! Many of you know, our little man’s first birthday was last month. I happy to report that his party was a complete success. If I’m being honest, planning this party was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I was so unbelievably stressed about it, looking back now I can’t understand why.  I was so worried about throwing the perfect party, I almost forgot to enjoy it. In the end, everything turned out better than I could have ever hoped for. Walter was surrounded by friends and family who love him, that sounds like the perfect party to me.

Now I’m sure some of you are reading the title like WTF does stressing out about a party have to do with gifts? Well you know me, I like to preach about being gentle with yourself ;). Plus, our decision to not allow gifts at our son’s birthday party caused a great deal of anxiety for me. In the few weeks before My son’s party we received so much negative feedback about our decision to not allow gifts. At some points, I was worried that we were somehow going to ruin our sons first birthday. During these moments of doubt, Tyler, my wonderful partner reminded me why we were making this decision. Hopefully sharing those reason will help bring a better understanding to all the people who thought we were crazy. I’m also hoping this will inspire other people to do the same.

  1. Being content with what you have

Like most kids, our son already has an unbelievable number of toys. Honestly, at some points he had so many he couldn’t possibly play with them all. This was a huge problem for our family. Don’t get me wrong, we want our son to have an amazing childhood. However, having 4 million toys isn’t going to make him happy. In fact, many studies have shown that too many toys can cause anxiety in kids. Too many toys also leads kids to become bored with what they have, leading to a constant cycle of wanting something new to entertain themselves. We really want to teach our son to be content with the thing he already has. To accomplish this, we only buy him things that he really needs, or toys we know he’ll enjoy. If he noticed he’s no longer interested in a toy we take it away for a few weeks. If he’s still showing no interest when we reintroduce the toy it gets donated. So having everyone who attended his party bring a gift we would have been right back where we started.

  1. No one is required to buy you a gift because it’s your birthday

I know some of you may not agree with me, but just hear me out for a second. Birthday gifts are a huge part of our culture. We’re so used to bringing something to a party that we often feel uncomfortable coming emptyhanded. We want our son to know from a very young age that No one is required buy him gifts. People buy gifts to show their love for someone, but that’s not the only way you can show someone love. We don’t want gift giving to become so “normal” for him that it loses it’s true meaning. We don’t want party to automatically equal gifts in his mind.

  1. People shouldn’t feel uncomfortable if they can’t afford a gift

This is so important to me because I’ve felt this way numerous times.  I know how embarrassing it can be to turn down a party invitation because you can’t afford a gift or worse spending money you don’t have because you feel obligated to bring something. I never want to make someone feel that way. To keep everyone on the same playing field we told everyone to come without a gift. This way no one was singled out.

  1. Gift shaming

This one ties into number 3 but I felt like it was important enough to mention on its own. I sure it’s normal for people to open their gifts in front of party goers. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this by itself but often this allows for gift shaming. This is something I find unacceptable, but it’s something I’ve seen so many times. Someone will open a gift only to have a party goer make fun of it. Either because it’s something the birthday boy/girl doesn’t want, or because it’s not as good of a gift as someone else’s. No one should ever feel embarrassed about the gift they bring to a party. Like I said before no one is obligated to buy someone a gift, and you never know when someone has spent their last twenty dollars on something only to be made fun of because their gift isn’t grand enough.

  1. Giving gifts can be wasteful

It’s no secret that I’m passionate about the environment, and only consuming what you absolutely need. Often, gift giving means wrapping paper or gift bags, tissue paper, or cards. These things are great, but they’re all single use items. They’re designed to be used once and then they head straight for landfill. On top of that people always seems to gift babies a ton of plastic toys. Plastic is toxic, and it’s something we really try to limit in our son’s life. If we were to have everyone bring him gifts, we’d end up with a lot of toys we’d never allow our son to play with. Sure, we wouldn’t just throw them away, we’d donate them but that means someone would spend their money of Walter for nothing.

 

For those of you would still think we’re crazy, or we’re mean parents that understandable. Our view on gifts is out there. However, I would like to stress everyone giving it a shot just once. The outcome may surprise you. Our friends and family had a blast at Walter’s first birthday party. Most importantly Walter was surrounded by people who loved him. And let’s be honest guys, he’s one it’s not like he’ll remember it anyway 😊

 

I’d love to hear your opinion on gift giving at kid’s birthday parties. Leave me a comment letting me know what you think.

Don’t forget to head over to the facebook page and Instagram to show me some love.

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18 before 2018

 

blogger-photo-2249560_960_720Hi my sweet sweet friends! I’m so glad to be back. First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who checked on me during my break. For those of you who don’t know I took a much need break in July to focus on my family and our big move. We’ve finally settled into our new place ( a home tour coming soon) and things are much less hectic than before. Also, I took this time to do a little site revamp. I hope you noticed 😉

This post is inspired by the lovely Lisa Jacobs You can find her blog post here.

Anyway, Today I’m listing 18 goals I want to accomplish before 2018. I created my list by writing down everything I wanted/needed to get done before the year ended. Then I organized that into eighteen major goals I’d like to accomplish.

A few things you should keep in mind while making your list

  • Do you have any unfinished business to attend to so you can end this year on a good note?
  • What needs to happen in order for you to accomplish your goals?
  • Don’t stretch yourself too thin. The objective here is to work on goals that are actually achievable RIGHT NOW.
  • Some projects just need to be let go of, so you can focus more on the things you want in your life.

Here’s My 18 before 2018

  1.  Be Present

I made this the first thing on my list because it’s so important to me. So many of us are focused on things that just don’t matter in the long run. I’m letting go of that and channeling all of my energy into being 100% focused on the things that are important to me. My family, my friends, my self-care and all the little things in between.

2.  Start a Youtube Channel

This is something I’ve wanted to do for so long. Now it’s no longer on the back burner.

3. Monthly Dates with my partner

These have been practically nonexistent since we’ve had our son. Now I’m making them a priority.

4. Decorate for the holidays

This may sound silly to some, this will be the first year we’re in our own home as a family. I love homes decked out for the holidays, so this year I’m making it happen

5. Create a budget…and stick to it

This seems pretty self-explanatory.

6. Take more walks

I never spend enough time outside. I work full time, and more often than not I’m dead tired when I come home. Usually, the last thing I want to do is go for a walk, but spending time outside is so grounding and always relaxes me. So I’m planning to walk at least 15 minutes a day.

7. Reduce my mindless screen time

Recently I’ve noticed I’m spending a lot more time mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, or Facebook. I open the app to look one thing, and then 30 minutes go by and I’m still scrolling. I don’t allow my son to have screen time for this very reason. I didn’t want him to become addicted to it. Now I’m limiting my screen time, and spending more time doing the things I love.

8. Read a least one book

Again this might sound silly to some of you, but those of you with kids will understand. It can be incredibly difficult to find time for yourself, especially if you have a toddler like I do.

9. Start a bullet journal

Okay, if you have no idea what a bullet journal is, go google it now! One of my goals for 2017 was to get more organized. Well, that never happened, until now! Currently, I’m setting up my first spreads in my bullet journal, and I can’t wait for it to change my life 😉

10. Increase my content output

Blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do. I fell off the wagon for a while, but I’m excited to get things going again and to see where things take me.

11. Buy a coffee table for my living room

I mentioned this before, but we recently moved into our first family home. A super tiny one bedroom apartment. Just about all of our things were gifted to us, so buying a coffee table will be our first “big” purchase together.

12. De-clutter my wardrobe

Over the past year, I’ve been learning more and more about minimalism, and I’ve discovered that I have so many things I just don’t need. So the first major area I’m de-cluttering is my closet. If it doesn’t fit, I haven’t worn it in years, or it just doesn’t bring me joy I’m getting rid of it.

13. Take better care of myself

Becoming a mother is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. However, I feel like I lost myself to motherhood. I worried so much about my son I forgot about myself. My goal now is to take better care of myself whether that means I’m getting my nails done once a week, or just drinking a cup of coffee by myself. I’m making myself a priority again.

14. Listen to more podcasts

I LOVE PODCASTS! If you’ve never listened to a podcast seriously you’re missing out. The amount of information I’ve learned from podcasts is astounding. I’m absolutely obsessed.

15. Connect more to my faith

This is something I’ve struggled with a lot recently. I often make excuses for myself and say I don’t have time for faith. This lack of faith has directly affected my emotional well being and I’m ready for a change.

16. Create a gratitude log

I’ll admit, I’m a complainer. I often become hyper focused on the things going wrong in my life and it makes it impossible to see all the things that are going right. To combat this issue every day, I’m going to write down one thing I’m grateful for. At the end of the year, I’ll have an amazing list of all the good things in my life.

17. Spend more time with friends

I can be a pretty antisocial person. I find it hard to connect with people face to face and if I’m being honest people give me a great deal of anxiety. Because of this, I have a hard time showing my friends I actually care about them.

18. Gain at least 5 lbs

If you know me, you know for the last few months I’ve been struggling a lot with weight loss. I’ve started to feel really uncomfortable in my own skin, and in order to remedy this, I’ll be making a  conscious effect to track what I’m eating and to packing on the pounds 💪.

If I’m being honest I’m a little stressed about the sheer size of some of these goals. Nonetheless, I’m excited and ready for the challenge! What are some of the goals you’d like to accomplish before the new year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or tag me on Instagram @theholisticbee

xoxo

Destiny

Non-Toxic Cleaning Guide

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I don’t know about you but conventional cleaning products really freak me out. They come with those really nasty warning labels, horrible fumes that make it hard to breathe, the also contain a list of questionable ingredients that are not only toxic to us but also the environment. I just find it counter-intuitive to try to make your space as clean and healthy as possible when your spraying toxins and chemicals all over the place.

I’m very passionate about safe, natural cleaning products and I say if you can ingest it or put it on your skin don’t use it. So today I’m going over my favorite natural cleaning products. Everything I’m going to share with you is free of nasty chemicals and safe for you and your family.

VINEGAR

This is the KING of non-toxic cleaning. There are hundreds of ways to use vinegar to clean and disinfect your home, just fill up a spray bottle and get cleaning! Here are just a few of the many ways you can use it.

  • Spray on your counter tops to disinfect them ( Just be sure not to use vinegar on granite or marble counter tops)
  • Clean your windows and mirrors with it for a streak-free shine
  • Add a small amount of vinegar to your rinse cycle to help soften clothes and keep colors vibrant
  • Leave a small bowl of vinegar out overnight to help deodorize a room

If you find you can stand the smell of vinegar try adding citrus peels to it. Just place any citrus peels you have in a mason jar, fill with vinegar and let it sit for at least three days. Fill a spray bottle with half water and half vinegar, and you’ll have a lovely citrus scented all purpose cleaner!

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LEMON

Lemon is very similar to vinegar in its cleaning abilities. It’s fantastic at disinfecting, deodorizing, and makes a great alternative to bleach. Here are some of the best ways to use lemon in your home. While we’re talking about lemons I’m going to add that lemon essential oil is also a great option for cleaning.

  • Slice a lemon in half and use it to wipe down your cutting boards. It will kill bacteria, and remove stains
  • Use a few drops of lemon essential oil to remove sticky label residue from jars
  • Drop a few slices of lemon down your garbage disposal to freshen up for sink

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 

Hydrogen peroxide does so many amazing things for the body, but it’s also an incredible cleaner. It’s great for disinfecting surfaces, it’s a wonderful bleach alternative, you can also use it to clean cuts and scrapes, as well as to remove blood from clothing. Here are some more great tips for using hydrogen peroxide.

  • Spray down your counter tops to disinfect them
  • Take a toothbrush dipped in hydrogen peroxide and scrub your grout to help whiten it
  • Swish a small amount around your mouth to brighten and whiten your teeth.
  • Soak your cleaning sponges in a 3% solution of water and hydrogen peroxide to sanitize them

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CASTILE SOAP

This is a staple in our house. It’s made from a blend of amazing plant oils and can be used for just about anything. Personally, I use Dr.Bronners castile soap because it’s organic and fair trade. Here’s a just a small list of the things you can do with castile soap.

  • Mix castile soap and water in a soap dispenser to make your own foaming and soap
  • Fill your sink with water and add a few drops of castile soap to wash your fruits and veggies
  • Mixed 1 cup castile soap, 2 cups water, 1 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup salt, and 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice to make a great, natural laundry soap.

BAKING SODA

I’m sure this goes without saying, but baking soda is a must when it comes to all natural cleaning. It’s so cheap, it’s versatile, and just like vinegar, it has hundreds of uses. Here are just some of the great things you can do with baking soda.

  • You can avoid harsh drain cleaner by pouring baking soda and vinegar down your drain, followed by boiling water
  • Mix baking soda and a little bit of castile soap to make a scouring paste
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, let it stand for an hour then vacuum it up to deodorize your carpets

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I really hope you enjoyed my natural cleaning guide, and I’d love to know if any of you have a favorite natural cleaning product. Make sure you tell me all about them in the comments below.

xoxo

Destiny

My Holistic Medicine Cabinet

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Holistic health has always been a passion of mine. I trust in our ability to heal our bodies with things the earth provides for us. So today, I want to take you through my “must have” herbs and essential oils that I keep on hand.

Like always I’d like to add a little disclaimer here. Herbs and essential oils should always be used with caution. I’m not a doctor so please consult your family physician before using any of these remedies on your children or yourself. If you need more information on how to use essential oils safely please read my blog post all about it here.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to prevent a disease rather than just treat your symptoms. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty or water ad getting enough sleep should be your first line of defense against disease. I want to make it clear that I’m not saying there isn’t a place for modern medicine. I know plenty of people who wouldn’t be alive if not for modern medicine. However, I am saying is for my family, most (if not all) ailments and medical needs can be met at home- either through natural remedies of essential oils.

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WHAT’S IN MY HOLISTIC MEDICINE CABINET

…..and how I use it.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Melaleuca (tea tree)– This oil is a powerful purifying oil. We keep it on hand mainly for treating skin issues, I like to keep a diluted roller-ball of melaleuca in my son’s diaper bag as well as on the changing table. Whenever it looks like he’s getting a diaper rash we apply the oil with every diaper change.

OnGuard– This is a specific blend from Doterra. The main oils in this blend are wild orange, clove, cinnamon bark/leaf, eucalyptus, and rosemary. This blend of oils is great for boosting the immune systems and keeping the yuckies away. The oils in the blend are very strong and should never be applied to small children or undiluted.

Lemon- I use this oil all the time! It has antimicrobial properties making it fantastic for cleaning. I like to diffuse lemon whenever I want a room to smell fresh and clean. You can also use lemon to remove sticker residue from glass jars. Apply a few drops undiluted and gently rub the sticky goo away! Lemon oil can be strong so just make sure you’re wearing gloves when you do this.

Lavender- I’m sure this comes as no surprises but I love to use lavender for it’s calming properties. I apply a little just behind my ears whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. I also like to apply lavender to bug bites. It instantly relieves the itch! Just a word to the wise, Lavender can affect people differently, for me, it’s very calming, my son, on the other hand bounces off the walls whenever he’s around it.

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HERBAL REMEDIES

Elderberry Syrup- This is like a miracle “drug”. It’s an incredible immune booster and can help prevent the flu when taken daily. Most elderberry syrups on the market contain honey so they’re not recommended for children under the age of one. I’ve heard it’s incredibly easy to make so I’m excited to experiment with my own recipe when my son is a little older.

Garlic- This is one of natures antibiotics. Garlic does amazing things for the cardiovascular system, as well as treat infections. It’s a natural blood thinner and can help lower cholesterol. Another great reason to consume garlic daily is because it helps detoxify the body and pull heavy metals from the blood.

Colloidal Silver- To put it simply colloidal silver attaches itself to sick cells and bacteria and blocks their ability to harm your body. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral. It can prevent things like colds and flu, treat pink eye and ear infections, and can even treat pneumonia. It’s a miracle worker, in my opinion, so make sure you’re stocked up.

Black seed oil- If nothing else, you need this in your life! This is something I take daily to help treat my eczema. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and is used to treat anything from allergies to cancer.

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HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES

BOIRON Camilia- These teething drops are absolutely amazing! I don’t think we could live without them. They seem to be the only thing that helps my son with his teething pain, plus it puts me at ease knowing I won’t have to give him pharmaceuticals like Tylenol.

BOIRON Sinusalia- Honestly I don’t find myself sick very often, but recently I developed a sinus infection due to my seasonal allergies. My head was killing me and I was searching for anything that would help with my congestion. I discovered this product and will never go back to conventional sinus pressure relief medications. I felt relief from my symptoms within a few hours and my sinus infection cleared up in a matter of days versus the two weeks it used to take.

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As You grow in holistic living you’ll find that different herbs and essential oils work better for you than others. Take things slow, and see what herbs and essential oils you need to keep on hand based on what ails your family the most.

xoxo

Destiny

** DISCLAIMER: Please know that there are risks with herbal remedies just as there are risks with modern medicine. PLEASE do your own research before using a herb or essential oil. 
 
I am not a doctor, Please take these suggested uses at your own risk.
 
These claims have not been approved by the FDA.

WHY WE BED SHARE

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Trust me I’ve heard it all, so if you have something negative to say about my family’s choice to bed-share, save it. I’m very confident in my parenting decisions, and I trust my instincts.

I would like to say that there is a correct way to bed share. There are do’s and don’ts, and a million and one things to learn, but after making the decision to bed share with your baby don’t waiver- trust your instincts and don’t let others make you feel bad for it.

Our son has slept in our bed since day one, and he will sleep with us until he’s old enough to not want to anymore. I know some of you think we’re crazy, but trust me this wasn’t always the plan. Before our son was born my partner and I planned on co-sleeping. Okay, so I’m sure some of you are confused because you thought co-sleeping meant having baby sleep in bed with you. Don’t worry you’re not completely wrong. Co-sleeping is an umbrella term which basically means sharing a sleeping environment with your baby.

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Like I said before our plan was to just co-sleep. We had a side-car sleeper set up right next to our bed and our son even slept in it ( for about 2 minutes). I hating seeing him in there. Every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed to be held and cuddled so that’s what we did, and we’ve never looked back. Bed sharing is just what works for our family, call us crazy if you want, but our son has slept through the night since day one 😉

So for those of you who still don’t understand why we bed share, or for those of you who are interested in bed sharing with your littler ones here are my top five reasons for bed sharing.

1.Safety and Peace of Mind 

Studies have shown that sleeping within arms reach of another person significantly improves baby’s heart rate and blood pressure. Sharing the same bed as your baby also helps to regulate their temperature. A mother’s body with cool, or heat to meet baby’s needs. This helps to prevent overheating, something that is very common in cribs.

Having my little one next to me at night also keeps me from worrying nonstop. Knowing my son is safe helps me sleep better at night, in fact, countries with the highest rates of bed-sharing have the lowest rates of infant mortality, including SIDS. ( This is not to say only babies in cribs die of SIDS. Babies in bed sharing environments can die of SIDS, it’s just rare)

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2.Happiness and Comfort 

Bed sharing with my son means we both get to have happier mornings. Nothing is better than waking up to baby snuggles. Plus the comfort he gets from being close to me at night means we rarely wakes at night (usually he only wakes to nurse), so we’re all able to get a full nights rest.

3.Bonding

I believe sharing a bed has helped develop a strong foundation for our family as well as for the relationship I have with my partner. A healthy, happy relationship can be hard to find once babies are introduced to the mix. After talking to both families that bed share, and crib sleep I’ve concluded that those of us sharing a bed with our little ones have the best sex life. Let’s face it bed sharing forces you to get creative.

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4. Creating REAL Independence 

The first thing people bring up when they hear that my partner and I bed share with our son is his future independence. Often people think that because we allow our son to sleep with us now that he’ll become a whiny, clingy little brat in the future. I personally don’t believe that’s true. Having our son close to us means that he feels our constant love and support, this includes night time. I don’t believe parenting ends when the sun goes down. In my opinion leaving your child to comfort, and support themselves overnight is cruel.

5.Laziness 

Honestly, this is one of the main reasons we bed share. I’m simply too lazy to get out of bed every time my son wakes up. It’s easier for both of us if I can just roll over and pop a boob in his mouth. This way he doesn’t have to wait, and I don’t have to open my eyes 😉

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Now I couldn’t make a post about co-sleeping/bed-sharing if I didn’t discuss how to do it safely. Here are a few rules you need to follow if you’re planning on bed-sharing with your little one.

  • Bed-sharing should NOT take place on unsafe surfaces such as couches, or water beds
  • A parent should NEVER share a bed if they’re intoxicated, taking sleeping medication, or a heavy smoker.
  • NEVER place baby on the edge of the bed without a side rail or bumper. Here is an example.

Every single bed-sharing death is tragic, however, these deaths should not be related to those who bed share safely. Just as the deaths that occur in cribs does not mean that crib sleeping is deadly and should be eliminated.

As always this post was not created to shame anyone who doesn’t bed-share or agree with the topics discussed on my blog. I’ve said this a thousand times, but I feel it’s important so I’ll say it again PARENTING IS HARD ENOUGH WE DON’T NEED TO MAKE IT HARDER BY BEING HATEFUL TO EACH OTHER.

Like always make sure you’re subscribed so you never miss when I post. Enter your email and you’ll be notified as soon as a new blog post goes live. If you’d like you’d like to see what I’m up to on a daily basis follow me on Instagram I post there almost daily.

xoxo

Destiny

PS. Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate!