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!

An Open Letter to The Love of My Life

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I’d like to take a moment to point out how difficult it will be to summarize the immense love I have for you, but I will try my hardest.

There are a million and one ways I could begin this letter, but I think the best place to start is by saying thank you. For everything.

Thank you for loving me, even when I think I’m unworthy of it.

Thank you for being my Dwayne Johnson.

Thank you for always allowing me to speak my mind even when I cut you off, or make you feel like I don’t value your opinion.

Thank you for holding me when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my Shoulders. More importantly, thank you for being willing to carry my burdens for me.

Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to laugh at myself.

Thank you for standing in the kitchen with me every night after work and letting me unload my frustrations on you.

Thank for you wiping my tears, and for the many forehead kisses.

Thank you embarking on this amazing journey with me.

Thank you for trusting me with our son, even when I didn’t trust myself.

Thank you for not thinking I was crazy when I told you I wanted to deliver our son at home.

Thank you for always being supportive of my choices even when you don’t always agree with them.

Thank you for respecting my body when I’m too tired, you offer a back rub with no motive.

Thank you for telling me my body is beautiful, and that it’s okay to have loose skin and stretch marks because I made a person.

Thank you for being patient with me when I freaking out for literally no reason at all.

Thank you for reminding me that it’s just a panic attack and that I’m not going to die.

Thank you for remaining loyal, and faithful to me.

Thank you for always making time for me even when I don’t make time for you.

Thank you for loving Jordan as much as I do. And thank you for helping me pick up the pieces when I almost lost her forever.

Thank you for pointing out when I’m being selfish, and unreasonable.

Thank you for supporting me in raising our son differently than how we were raised.

Thank you for doing the diaper laundry.

Thank you for being an amazing father, and a fantastic role model for our son.

Thank you for rearranging your school schedule to stay home with Walter after my mom’s surgery.

Thank you for always packing my lunch for work.

Thank you for being my best friend, and loving me even when I couldn’t love myself.

Thank you for the best two years of my life. I know we have many more trials, and tribulations to go, but I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else.

I hope you never question my love for you.

xoxo

Destiny

 

12 Tips for healthy eating

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EATING CLEAN ON A BUDGET
Written by Ariana Hamidi 4/1/17

If you’re anything like me, feeding your family healthy whole foods free of chemicals is a top priority. A lot of people think that many foods are out of reach, too expensive, and I am here to tell you it’s just not true! You can nourish your family organically and frugally, so I’ve created a list below of ideas on how to do that. The first piece of advice is: be committed! You may have to give up certain conveniences or treats; you may have to offer your time and labor, but your body will be healthier and your bank account will be fuller. Write a monthly amount to what you can spend on groceries and stick to it however you can. For me, it means using cash only. Other families might fare better with apps like Mint. Budgets are very personal and only you will know what works for your family. No matter what that number looks like, these tips can help you keep costs down while improving your health and well-being by feeding your family the very best you are able to give. In the case of our children, you are helping them grow and thrive into strong human beings with healthy immune systems. It’s worth it!
1. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
This is the best piece of advice anyone can give. It is critical in today’s society to build community and work together to become as self-sustaining as possible. It’s also the best way to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. If you’re unsure where to start, ask friends, find a workshop, check out books from the library, read blogs. Lots of cities are establishing community gardens where you can rent space. If you’re in the suburbs or rural communities, chances are you have some lawn you could turn into a garden. If you rent, building a few raised beds with cheap wood can still produce a substantial amount of vegetables and is simple to break down when you move. Apartment living? A long as you have a porch, you can have a garden using only large pots. Start small, and build from there. Plant herbs for flavor and amazing health benefits. (Did you know parsley has more iron than a serving of meat?) Once you gain experience, expand if your housing allows it. Raise chickens or ducks for eggs, goats for dairy, plant an orchard, berry bushes, or whatever excites you. There’s really nothing more satisfying than getting your hands in the earth growing food that you pick from your porch or backyard, tastes delicious and is relatively free! Be sure to buy organic and non-GMO seeds, and use local soil whenever possible. Many landscape businesses will sell an organic mushroom blend by the yard. It is also a good idea to have your soil tested for lead and other contaminants. Many states provide that service for a small fee. We had the soil at our rental home tested for $15 when we moved to RVA last year before we established a large garden.

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2. EAT LOCAL
I am fortunate to live in a city that has a farmers market open almost every day of the week. The key to saving money at a farmers market is to shop around and avoid impulse buys. Compare the prices of each stand before purchasing. Make notes about how these foods compare to grocery store prices and quality. Sometimes I choose lesser quality produce from Kroger if it saves me a few dollars, other times I opt for the fresher ingredients. In the height of the spring/summer season it’s easy to find a good deal at the market, just avoid purchasing extras we often see like baked goods, hot foods, or artisan cheeses, as these items can break the bank.

Another way to eat locally is to do your own fruit picking. Last summer we went to Barry’s Berries, Pleasant Field Farms, and Newcastle Bee and Berry farm to pick blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The cost and quality are fantastic in comparison to any berries offered at the grocery store, and you don’t have to worry about exploiting someone’s labor with the big brands like Driscoll’s. We always pick as much as we can handle (with three kids running around) take them home and freeze them. I was lucky enough to have a family member gift us a vacuum sealer and it has allowed us to enjoy fresh picked berries all winter long for the last several years. (Investing in a deep freeze is an essential element to this money saver).

3. TASTE THE RAINBOW
Diversify your plates. Eat fruits and veggies in season, as you are more likely to find a great deal. Stock up on asparagus and peas in spring, pumpkins, and squash in fall, greens in summer. Like they say, too much of a good thing is…too much? I think life would be pretty boring if we were to eat the same meals on repeat each day, and frankly, I have no interest in living that way. I am a frugal foodie and to do that I constantly push my palate to keep things interesting, whether it’s spending a whole week figuring out how to love kohlrabi or giving offal to my baby. My goal for my kids’ meals every day is that they will get the full rainbow of colors in their meals. A typical example of that for us would include red bell pepper, sweet potato, banana, kale, blueberries, and grapes. (Purple is the hardest one for me to achieve consistently). I like to think of it as my kid’s multivitamin, but that’s another post entirely! When that’s not possible, or when you have a very picky eater, (for some of us that might even be most days), do what you can. Make smoothies. Hide veggies in meatloaf, mashed potatoes, or spaghetti. Try to acquire variety based on shopping sales or plan your meals around your CSA haul.

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4. CSA or WORK SHARE
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an opportunity to support local farmers while enjoying the benefits of homegrown organic foods. You pay for a half or full share up front, and each week you pick up whatever crops they have harvested that week (May-November). It typically comes out to $30-50/week for a nice variety of chemical free vegetables. Many CSAs also have fruits, eggs, dairy, and fresh bread. Check the web or social media for the names of various CSAs in your area, then write emails to them asking if they are accepting new members. They should be happy to tell you about their growing practices in detail and if they’re not, move on! When my family moved to RVA last year I tried one of the delivery box services (there are several) but I was disappointed in the quantity, quality, and price so I canceled. It was not worth the convenience for me but you may find that is a good fit for your family. I did find a CSA that was Certified Naturally Grown (Victory Farms), which seems to be the new standard since it’s becoming harder to trust the safety of organic pesticides in USDA Organic food. This year I found Willow Hill Family Farm in their second year of a CSA. They also offer a work share (check them out here), five hours of farm work in exchange for the CSA share. Since we have been missing our Pennsylvania homestead so much, I chose this option. They offer a variety of seasonal no-spray, non-GMO vegetables, pastured eggs, lamb, and pork. My family enjoys connecting to our food through harvesting and building relationships with farmers so I am very excited about this season!
5. BUY IN BULK
Pretty simple. Only buy what you need and skip the extra packaging altogether. Another instance of …good for the planet, good for your wallet. Natural grocers (like Ellwood Thompsons in RVA) will typically allow you to bring your own containers to fill. An example of the savings: I can buy three times the amount of organic rolled oats in bulk as I can packaged for the same price. The same is true for dried beans, rice, and flour.

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6. MEAT AND RAW DAIRY SHARE (Vegan friends look away!)
If you can front the cost, buying a ¼, ½ of a whole cow, lamb, or goat is a great way to eat local and save money. Although this way of purchasing is certainly more expensive than buying factory farmed meat, it is a better value for families who choose to eat grass-fed beef and other pastured livestock exclusively. This season I found someone to split a ¼ share with me from Fresh Branch Farms (they can be found on Facebook). I have bought beef from them several times and it’s simply amazing! I also feel good about supporting a young family like mine. Many farms also offer a raw dairy share, such as Avery’s Branch Farms, who deliver at various drop-off locations in RVA.

7. BARTERING
Just this week I had a friend offer to buy some pastured chickens from her neighbor in exchange for some of my homemade bone broth. I gladly accepted! Whenever I can barter labor or supplies and avoid the exchange of money I do. This is another way of building community. Ask your friends and acquaintances if they would be interested in this. Perhaps you have a neighbor who always has an abundance of tomatoes but can never find a sitter for her children, make an offer to barter! Be creative and outgoing as there’s so much to gain and really nothing to lose if they say no.

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8. START A CO-OP
Start your own co-op (or find an established one) so that your food is sourced locally and directly without the inconvenience of having to visit all the farms yourself each week. I have a friend who does this in Austin, TX with a group of parents committed to eating clean. The group was formed on Facebook and has almost 400 members. The process looks something like this: a member scopes out a food source and posts to the group to gauge interest. Once a source is voted on and chosen they negotiate with the farm to buy a large order each week. They use Google forms to manage the ordering. The food gets delivered to the main organizer’s house and she keeps it frozen, refrigerated, or in coolers until each member picks up what they bought. Some members pick up for rural members and establish secondary pickup locations. They buy everything from meat, poultry, pork products, broth, eggs, Elderberry syrup, local honey, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and certain pantry items. This is a unique way of tailoring your eating to both your budget and lifestyle. I hope to have a part in making this happen in Richmond!
9. SHOP MULTIPLE GROCERY STORES
I know I know busy parents don’t have time to shop different stores each week, so you’ll have to decide how much of a savings is worth the extra time. If you look at it over the course of a month, I’ve been able to save up to $80/month with this method. For much of the year when our CSA or garden is not producing, we do a Kroger trip once a week, and a trip to Whole Foods, Ellwood Thompsons, or Aldi 1-2 times a month. We have certain dietary restrictions and some items much be purchased at those grocers. Kroger has a great natural foods section as well as organic produce, Aldi has affordable pantry items, Whole Foods has a nice seafood counter, and Ellwood Thompsons has a great bulk section. Each place offers something. I know a lot of people enjoy Click List, the online ordering system that Kroger now offers. If you are someone who makes a lot of impulse purchases, this is a good option for you. Stick to your list for meals and avoid the budget bumps!

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10. STOP EATING OUT!
Seems obvious, but for some, this might be a tough sell. Dining out, even at casual restaurants, is expensive. As someone who has worked in the service industry for many years, I always tip at least 20% (as everyone should) and that really adds to the cost. Because my family is living on a strict budget, we almost never eat out. We limit ourselves to special occasions maybe 3-4 times a year. Additionally, restaurant food has a lot of added sugar and salt and even if you choose a spot that sources locally, you really can’t be sure where all the ingredients are coming from. If you have to eat out, limit yourself to one drink and skip the appetizers and desserts. Look for lunch specials or nightly happy hour deals.
11. AVOID PROCESSED FOOD
(As much as possible) Let’s get real, everyone loves junk food…. at least in theory. Momentary pleasures of salty or sweet are something most folks can relate to, not to mention the convenience factor packaged foods provide when you have kids! But in reality, these foods are not helping your body or your budget, even if they are “Organic junk food.” I’m not here to judge anyone’s choices in any way because I definitely indulge plenty, but you may need to make a few rules for yourself in order to keep the spending in check. I give myself a rule that if I decide to buy the kids some kind of convenience food; it has to be on sale. When I see a great deal on a processed food like organic rice cakes, I buy a few extras for my pantry. Today at the grocery store I avoided all of it because I did not see a good deal and these foods are not necessary to any of us.

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12. HOMEMADE IS BETTER
I grew up on junk food, but later taught myself how to cook and now I make everything from scratch. I like to experiment, take risks, and rarely use recipes. If you’re a novice cook, check some books out at the library or look online for ideas. You really don’t need every ingredient listed in a recipe. Cooking and baking at home not only tastes far superior to anything store-bought, but you can control the ingredients. No fillers, preservatives, stabilizers, or other things you can’t pronounce. Worried about time? Use the crockpot; get an InstaPot, freeze dishes, or do a little meal prep on the weekend. Find a few go-to dishes that you can whip up in 30 minutes or less. Cooking homemade is a major money saver. My favorite way to make meat stretch is with soup. I can feed my family of five plus several lunch leftovers with one pound of meat. I use bones and wilted veggies (I collect both in my freezer over time) to make my own broth, fill it with cheap nutritious vegetables like cabbage, kale, carrot, and potato, and I have 3 meals for under $15.
I hope some of these ideas help your family on the path to both wellness and financial freedom!

I’d like to give a very special thanks to Ariana Hamidi for writing this incredible post today 🙂 I’ve had family visiting so I wasn’t able to write a full post this week ( Prioritize what’s important to you my friends) If you’d like to check out what I’ve been up to this weekend follow me on Instagram I make new post there daily. If you haven’t subscribed yet make sure you enter you email so you never miss a post.

xoxo

Destiny

5 Tips for Minimalism with kids

Hi there! If you haven’t seen part one STOP and click here to get caught up.

Like always I’m going to start by saying this post isn’t about bashing moms. Parenting is hard enough without all the added drama social media can bring. I’m a supportive person, and I try my hardest not to judge others on their parenting choices. Please keep that in mind while reading this post. If we want our children to grow up in a kinder world, we need to start being kinder to each other. ❤

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Now I know some of you are thinking I’m full of it. I only have a 7 month old, I don’t understand how difficult older children can be. Well, you’re right, I have no idea what that’s like. I’m not here to tell you to throw all your kid’s stuff away and move on. I know these kinds of transitions take time, so below you’ll find a few tips that I hope will make things a little easier.

  1. Speak openly to family members 

I want to give you my most valuable piece of information first. The biggest problem parents can face when they choose to do anything outside of the norm is their family. I hear all too often ” oh I can’t get rid of that, ____ got that for her.” Well, the easiest way to combat this problem is to let family members know your policy on gifts ahead of time. When doing this always be respectful, but firm. You’ll encounter some family members who don’t agree with your choice, and that okay. Try your hardest to explain what brought you to your decision. If you find that doesn’t help, just move on. You’re no required to argue with anyone.

To try and avoid hurt feelings as much a possible, my partner and I have decided to have a families and friends follow a few simple rules when getting gifts for our son.

  • We limit gift giving to special occasions ( I’ll touch more on this later)
  • The gift much be something he needs, something he wants, something he can read, or something he can wear
  • We prefer sustainable materials. This basically means no/ very little plastic

 

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2. Activities over possessions 

I know this one can seem kind of like a splurge but just stick with me. What’s more logical, buying a toy that will sit in box or room unused like the 4,000 other toys your kid has or buying an annual pass to a theme park you can use over and over again. Honestly, the choices are endless hear, find an activity your child is interested and do that instead of buying another toy.

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3. TEACH THEM TO GIVE 

I put this one is all caps because I wanted it to really stand out. This is something that I believe is incredibly important. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, it’s never too early to teach them to be generous. Something my partner and I plan on doing with our son when he’s older is allow him to go through his toys and decide what he wants to keep, and what he wants to give to another child. I personally don’t see the point in hanging on to things that aren’t being used.

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4. Only keep what they’re interested in

We all know kids go through phases. I’m sure all of you reading this could walk into your kid’s room and find something that hasn’t been played with in months. Why are you holding on to it? Find a few things that they’re loving at the moment, and donate everything else.

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5. Limit new possessions to special occasions 

How many times have you walked into a store and allowed your child to grab something off the shelf just to avoid a meltdown? Don’t be embarrassed everyone does it. The only problem with this is, it creates a habit. To avoid this try limiting getting new items to special occasions like birthdays.

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I can not stress this enough, this post is not able shaming parents who don’t follow this lifestyle. This is only a guide to help those who feel like they can’t rise above the chaos. My goal with this blog is to create a safe space for like-minded people, and show people it possible to live a life that’s focused on the things that matter.

xoxo

Destiny

Minimalism with kids

I’m positive this post will ruffle so feathers because there’s something about kids and their toys that always gets someone’s undies in a bunch. I want to start by saying I’m not making this post to shame anyone. I’m sharing this for the mom out there that are feeling overwhelmed with all the clutter. And for the moms that are just like me, and what their child to appreciate the things they have.

I hate that I have to say this but, again this is not to shame anyone! Do what you think is best for your family. Whether that means your kid has two toys, or two thousand!

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I’m not going to lie, guys I am by not means the perfect minimalist. I’m not even sure if I should call myself that. Before I had my son I was like so many people, and thought that the more things I had the happier I would be. So as you can imagine I had a TON of crap, and I was miserable. I was constantly feeling overwhelmed and would find myself having panic attacks if things weren’t where I thought they should be. While I was pregnant I stumbled across the minimalist documentary. This is kind of embarrassing but I think I watched twenty times. It was eye opening! After watching I started to pair down my things. Again, I’m not perfect and to be honest I still have a ton of stuff but I try not to beat myself up about it ( and neither should you). It’s a work in progress, and I’m okay with that.

Now for those of you who read the title, I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell any of this has to do with children. Well don’t worry, this is where I talk about that 😉

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Anyone who has ever had children knows you end up with a bunch of stuff and most of it you never even use! For example, my partner and I still have boxes filled with baby stuff up in the attic and for some reason, we felt the need to hang on to it. Even though we never plan on using it! We’re constantly being told to hang on to things for the “what ifs” well my advice to you is just get rid of it! If you don’t absolutely love it, or use it on a regular basis there’s no point in hanging on to it.

For my family, this also applies to my sons toys. My partner and I are very selective when it comes to the toys we buy for our son. If we don’t think he’ll absolutely love it  we don’t buy it. If he has fourteen other toys just like it, we leave it at the store. I’ll be honest ,right now it’s pretty easy because he’s only 6 months old and can’t have a melt down in the middle of Target. If you’re a parent to older children just take one step at a time, and remember it’s not about being perfect. Minimalism is what you make it. It’s not about who has the least amount of things, or never buying anything ever again.

I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m cruel. I’m sure some of you are thinking my son will grow up feeling deprived, and thinking I don’t love him. I can assure you that is not the case. I want to raise my son to appreciate the things he has,and to understand that monetary things don’t bring happiness. I want to show him that its possible to live a life that’s in line with your values. If you’re one of those people who think I’m crazy I’d like to share with you some of the things I hope my son gains from minimalism.

  • Creativity and Innovation 

Fewer toys will enable him to be more creative and imaginative with the toys he has available to him.

  • The ability to share with others

By having fewer toys, he’ll be able to develop good communication skills by practicing sharing with other children

  • Less stress 

Clutter creates stress in humans of all ages. I’m sure you’ve all heard someone say “all these toys and my baby only wants to play with ___.” When given too many choices children can become overwhelmed and stressed.

  • Independent play

By having fewer toys around he’ll be able to stay engaged longer. It will be easier for him to locate toys, as well as clean up after himself.

  • Conscious Consumerism 

By helping him to be selective with his toys I’ll be able to teach him the importance of spending your money carefully.

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Above all I want my son to value our time together as a family. I want to teach him that moments are more important than material things.Again I’d like to state that this post ( none of my post actually) isn’t about shaming someone. Parenthood is difficult enough. My goal here is to build a community of like-minded people, however I don’t intend on doing that by tearing others down.

If you found today’s post helpful, make sure you check in later this week because I’ll be continuing my series on minimalism. Make sure you subscribe to get notifications every time I post! If you’d like to see more of my day to day life follow me on Instagram . I make new post there daily!

xoxo

Destiny

 

Crunchy Mama Must Haves

Hello my sweet sweet friends! I’m glad you’re back. I decided to post a list of my top crunchy must haves. When I was pregnant I read tons of these to get an idea of what I might need for baby. If you’re expecting, or if or looking for more natural products this is the post for you. Enjoy! Oh and to make things a little easier for you I’ve included links to where you can buy all the products listed.

1. The Windi 

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These little beauties are a life saver. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without them. When my son was dealing with terrible gas pain I would use a windi and it seconds my little guy would be gas free. They are safe, effective, and a better option than giving your little one medicine (in my opinion).

2.Gripe Water

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If you’re looking for something to help with more that just gas I would try gripe water. This is great for colic and hiccups! It’s made from all natural ingredients which gives me peace of mind. Whenever my little guy was having a hard time with hiccups, I would gibe him a little bit of this and poof they were gone!

3. Baby Carrier

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A baby carrier is a must-have for any new mom in my opinion! This helps a ton with getting things done around the house, or just getting in some extra snuggles. If you have a baby that doesn’t like to be put down popping them in a carrier meets their needs as well as helping mama keep her sanity! They one I’m wearing here is a chimparoo woven wrap. I rented this from my local baby wearing group and I love it! I’ve tried a few different carriers and woven wraps are my favorite so far. A few other great ones are ring slings and soft structured carriers.

4. Coconut Oil

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The last thing on the list coconut oil. This is my go to for EVERYTHING! I used this when I first started nursing, and it helped a ton with sore nipples. I also mix it with a little bit of breast milk and use it as diaper rash cream. Coconut oil is the only thing I use for my little guy as far as a moisturizer.

I hope this little list helps you find some natural baby products. Each and every one of these products are staples in our household, I seriously couldn’t live without them. Make sure you check back on Sunday for a new post. If you haven’t already make sure you subscribe. When you enter your email you’ll automatically get notifications when I have a new post.  Make sure you post some of your baby must-haves in the comments!

xoxo

Destiny

 

WHY WE LEFT OUR SON INTACT

Originally this post was supposed to go up on Wednesday, I’m sorry for the delay.  I spent a lot of time debating if I was going to make this post at all. I wasn’t sure if I could handle the potential backlash. After careful consideration, I decided I would go ahead with the post.

Someone very close to me told me “If you believe in something this much you shouldn’t be afraid to share it.” So I’m making this post for all the new moms who are debating circumcision. I hope my story helps you find the answers you’re looking for.

DISCLAIMER: This is just my families story. I am by no means saying you should make the same choice we do. Please DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY! Also, I am in no way trying to make those who did circumcise their sons feel guilty, or saying they are bad parents.  I will be including pictures or procedures, links to videos of the procedure being performed on newborns. This content may be disturbing to some viewers. Please proceed with caution 

So I guess I’ll start by telling you all the definition of circumcise. It’s defined on Merriam-Webster as “to cut off the foreskin of (a male) or the prepuce or clitoris and labia minora of (a female)”.  Yes, you read that right females have foreskin as well, but more on that later. Next, We’ll discuss why people circumcise. The three main reasons are a religion (however for your sake and mine I won’t be discussing religious reasons in depth), medical necessity, and culture.

Religion: Like I said I won’t be going into to much detail here. Just know people circumcise their children for religious reasons. To my knowledge, this is found in most religions, but Judaism is the most common. If you’re a person of faith and anything I’ve stated here is incorrect please feel free to correct me.

Medical necessity: This is where things can get a little confusing. In the past, it was believed circumcision prevented STD transmission, penile cancer, UTI’s. More recent studies have found this to be false.

Culture: In most countries, newborn baby boys are NOT  circumcised. This is really only an American custom. In our society intact men are seen as dirty, or ugly. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing circumcised penises that men left in their natural state are ostracized. If you’d like more info about the rates of newborn circumcision click this link.

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about circumcision lets get into why my partner and I chose not to circumcise.

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Honestly, it started with this picture. I stumbled across this while researching circumcision and I couldn’t stomach the thought of my little baby being strapped into this thing. The thought of him being in pain because of something I wanted shook me to my core. His body = His choice.

After I found this picture I looked into a video called elephant in the hospital I’ve included a link if you’d like to watch it for yourself. This documentary opened my eyes even more. I started to think about my son’s basic human rights. How could I cut something off of him without his permission? I’ll put it like this, If a doctor came to you and said your baby would look a lot better without his toes would you cut them off? Of course not! That sound insane, so why are we so willing to cut off a part of our child’s penis? Why do we believe boys are born needing to be fixed? I soon learned it wasn’t just boys we had done this to. Young girls were also subjected to genital mutilation (FGM). The practice of FGM was used from the 1800s until the late 1970s to cure everything from female masturbation to lesbianism; It was finally outlawed in the US in 1996. All of that sounds insane, doesn’t it?  We can’t imagine strapping a little girl down to a table and letting a doctor cut off parts of her genitalia, so why are we doing it to our sons!  More information about FGM can be found here.

The more I researched the angrier I became. Then I learned that some babies actually die from complications of this barbaric procedure. A recent study conducted found that 117 boys die annually from circumcision-related complications. You can read more about the study here.  The fact that male genital mutilation hasn’t been outlawed based on those numbers is astounding. Here an example to help you put things into perspective. Remember drop-side cribs? In the late 2000s, it was reported that children were dropping the side of their cribs and either suffocating or strangling themselves. The CPSC banned drop-side cribs after 38 reported deaths. You can find more on that right here.  Once I discovered this information I knew circumcision was not the right choice for my family.

Like I said in the beginning, this is just my family’s story. I’m not trying to make anyone feeling guilty about their decision to circumcise or not to. My only hope is that this will open people’s eyes a little. Do your own research and come to your own conclusion. Circumcision wasn’t the right choice for my family. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOURS.

I’ve included a few extra links to videos of the procedure being done on a newborn baby. I’ll go ahead and warn you it’s graphic. View discretion is advised.

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Make sure you subscribe so you never miss another post! Just enter your email and you’ll be notified each time I post. A new post will be up on Wednesday ( I promise).

xoxo

Destiny

 

 

THINGS YOUNG PARENTS HEAR TOO OFTEN.

Hello, my sweet sweet friends! If you’re a young parent like myself I hope you find this post funny! If you’re someone who has ever said any of these things to a parent you should be ashamed of yourself. Enjoy!!

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1.GOD, THAT SUCKS!

This is probably the first thing I heard when I announced I was pregnant. I get it, getting pregnant at twenty isn’t ideal, but pointing out a shitty situation doesn’t make it any less shitty. If you’ve even had a friend tell you they’re expecting a child think twice before you say this to them. Seriously, it hurts.

2. DON’T YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE WAITED?

I’m sure there are some people in their early twenties who couldn’t wait to have kids. So I’m sure when they found out they were expecting they couldn’t have been happier. For myself (and I’m sure for most people) this couldn’t be further from the truth. In the beginning, I was not excited, or happy at all. I was terrified and confused. I literally cried for about a week straight. That being said, when someone tells you they’re expecting a little one (most likely a little earlier than they thought they would) don’t insult them by pointing out the obvious. YES, they probably wish they would have waited. They’ve decided to roll with it, so they don’t need you pointing that out captain obvious.

3. HOPEFULLY, THEY DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE YOU DID. 

If you’ve ever said this to someone go tell that person you’re sorry! I can’t count the time I’ve had someone tell me this, but each time it happens my heart breaks. This is possibly the worst thing you could say to someone expecting a baby. If you don’t have children of your own then you don’t understand how scary it can be. Seriously, everything gets scary after you have a child. Trust me, parents have enough on their minds already. They don’t need you making them feel like they’re going to mess up their kid. Believe me, they already worry about that all the time.

4. YOU’RE DOING ____ WRONG!

Feel free to fill in the blank with whatever you’d like. If you’re a parent I’m sure you’ve heard this a few times. When you become a parent it’s like people automatically assume you want their opinion. You can expect to hear from anyone and everyone how you’re doing something the wrong way. For my readers who don’t have children I’ll go ahead and let you know, there is NO right way to raise a child.

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Well, there you have it, folks, a list of things you should NEVER say to a parent! I hope you enjoyed. A new mid-week post will be up on Wednesday. I’ll be sharing a little bit about why my son isn’t circumcised. If you haven’t subscribed make sure you do, so you’ll never miss a post. When you enter your email you’ll be signed up to receive reminders whenever I post!

xoxo

Destiny

WHY WE DON’T VACCINATE

Well hello, my sweet, sweet friends! I’m glad you’re back for another one of my crazy blog posts.

I guess I should be honest and tell you guys I debated if I should make this post at all. After a lot of thought, I decided I would go ahead with this post. I know some of you may not agree with my family’s choice not to vaccinate, and that’s okay. I’m not writing this to convince you of anything, I’m simply making this post to share MY reasons for not vaccinating my son.

To the people who don’t agree with my choice please keep in mind I’m a person with feelings just like you, I welcome your feedback but if you have any negative comments please keep them to yourself. And to the family’s that are just like mine, know that you are not alone, I understand your struggles, and I will stand tall beside you in this fight. At the end of the day, agree with me or not we are all parents who are trying to do the very best for our children. Please keep that in mind. Now on to the good stuff

so….Why don’t I vaccinate?

THE VACCINE SCHEDULE

To help keep this post as short as possible ( yeah I know I basically wrote a book) I’ll just be comparing the CDC recommended vaccination schedule of 1995 to the one the CDC recommends today. If you’d like to take a look at all the vaccine schedules from 1995 until today I’ve included a handy- dandy link that will take you straight to the CDC website. If you’d like to go straight to the vaccine schedules I’m looking at today just click the year you’d like to view and it will take you right to the charts.(You’re welcome).
In 1995 it was recommended children receive at total of 19 vaccinations over a 12-year span. Today (the CDC still recommends the 2015 schedule for today’s children) the CDC recommend children receive a total of 28 vaccinations BEFORE age 12. This number DOES NOT INCLUDE the vaccines recommended for 12-18-year old children or the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. With those vaccines included the number becomes a staggering 35 vaccinations by age 18. So as you can see the number of recommended vaccines has more than doubled in the past 22 years. I personally found this unsettling. I was not comfortable injecting my child with 35 doses of 15 different viruses. Once I saw how many vaccines my son was supposed to have I started to do more research, and what I discovered was terrifying.

VACCINE INGREDIENTS

Don’t worry I’m not going to bombard you with a huge list of mystery chemical and ingredients. I’ll keep my list here short, but if you’re interested in the ingredients of the recommended childhood vaccines I’ve made it easy for you. Just click this link and it will take you right to it (again, you’re welcome).
So here are just a FEW of the ingredients in vaccines and why the CDC says they need to be in them.

Aluminum gels or salts of aluminum which are added as adjuvants to help the vaccine stimulate a better response. Adjuvants help promote an earlier, more potent response, and more persistent immune response to the vaccine.

Antibiotics which are added to some vaccines to prevent the growth of germs (bacteria) during production and storage of the vaccine. No vaccine produced in the United States contains penicillin.

Egg protein is found in influenza and yellow fever vaccines, which are prepared using chicken eggs. Ordinarily, persons who are able to eat eggs or egg products safely can receive these vaccines. ( This is also found in the MMR)

Formaldehyde is used to inactivate bacterial products for toxoid vaccines, (these are vaccines that use an inactive bacterial toxin to produce immunity.) It is also used to kill unwanted viruses and bacteria that might contaminate the vaccine during production. Most formaldehyde is removed from the vaccine before it is packaged.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol which are used as stabilizers in a few vaccines to help the vaccine remain unchanged when the vaccine is exposed to heat, light, acidity, or humidity.

Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative that is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination and growth of potentially harmful bacteria.
We all know that these substances not only unhealthy but can also be incredibly dangerous. So let me ask you..why are we injecting these into our children?

VACCINES LINKED TO AUTISM

I know, I know this is a touchy subject.I’m sure this is where a few of you are going to sign off. I understand, trust me I really do. Some of you probably think I’m crazy, honestly a few years ago I would have thought I was crazy too. So for your sake and mine, I’ll keep this part short. Please go watch the movie Vaxxed! Believe me, it’s eye opening. For your convenience, I made yet another link for you. Click right here to be taken to the vaxxed website.
I’d like to end by saying thanks for sticking around if you made it this far. If you were on the fence about vaccines or even if you weren’t I hope you gained something from the tiny bit of information I shared with you today. If there’s one thing I want you to take from this post it’s this, Please don’t always believe what you’re told. Do your own research. I know as parents we’re faced with a million difficult decisions, but like I said before we’re all just trying to do the very best for our children. So please I implore you, gather all the information you possibly can; your child’s future may depend on it.

Disclaimer: I am by NO way saying this is what’s right for everyone. I understand different things work for different families. This is just what my family chose to do. I am by NO means saying anyone is a bad parent/person if they chose to vaccine their child. DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.

* more information is available on the CDC website.