Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I did the No-poo.

Y'all.. I've been thinking about it for a while now. Hearing about how shampoo is basically cancer in a bottle. I'd read on some crunchy blogs, talked with some hippie folks.. yes. I was ready to try and "No-poo" my hair.

In case you're not familiar with "no-pooing", it's the act of washing your hair with baking soda, and conditioning your hair with apple cider vinegar. Yea, you read that right. Apple. Cider. Vinegar.

I can already see your faces, thinking about the smell, but trust me. It's not that bad.

To No-poo, you'll need to gather a few things:

Baking soda and a squirt bottle (like hair dressers use)

Apple cider vinegar, a spray bottle and some essential oil if you want. I used Rosemary. 

Rosemary essential oil, when used on hair, can stimulate hair growth and help your scalp. It helps curb the smell of the ACV (apple cider vinegar). Helps.. not eliminates. :)

My hair had been a couple days with no washing.. so I was excited to try this. 

I mixed a bit of the baking soda (I just eye-balled it, but you could do 4-5 spoons full.) with warm water. Just filled to the top with water. (Leave enough space at the top to shake and mix it up)

I dunno... maybe a centimeter of soda? 

 Almost embarrassed to show this "before" picture!!

Crazy waves.. Am I an auburn?? Because I always considered myself a brunette!!

Anyways, wet hair like normal. Then squirt the baking soda-water mixture on the scalp, by dividing in sections. I read in several places to keep it to scalp as much as possible.. because it can be super drying to the hair if it sets on the length of the hair for long. I didn't focus on that much.. just squirted it on the scalp and rubbed it in. Use the whole bottle. After a few minutes, rinse it all out.

THEN.. You're ready to "condition". Before your shower, you would have mixed up your ACV and water. I did 1:4 ratio of ACV to water. Then I dropped in like... 7 drops of Rosemary EO. I wasn't really measuring. So, after the baking soda is rinsed out, spray on the ACV. I probably used 1/4 of the spray bottle. Looks like I'll get a lot of bang for my buck on that! I just sprayed it all over, dividing in sections and rubbing in. I sprayed on all lengths of hair, not just roots. 

It. Is. Strong. Smelling. Also, don't get this in your eyes. There was a minute, y'all, when I wondered if I would ever see again. O_O I don't know if it was the ACV or the EO that burned so bad, but something did!

After a few more minutes, rinse it out, and you're done. Now, my hair felt matted and heavy.. not very clean after I was done. But then, I dried it and it was soft as a baby's bottom. And kinda smooth, since I normally straighten, to get smoothness. 

After! Looking particularly red-headed here..... Smooth and shiny!

After drying. 

So, it's not like a night and day transformation, but it is clean hair with natural ingredients! And I know, because I made it myself. 

Unless it begins to affect me negatively, I'm planning on continuing this. And, no, I didn't walk around smelling like vinegar after this. The smell pretty much rinses out in the shower. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Charlie's Rustic Glam Bridal Shower

 A couple months ago, I had the huge honor of hosting (with my Mom) a bridal shower for our precious family friend, Charlie. When Charlie and her family moved to our church, she was probably in 3rd or 4th grade (???) and I was a sophomore or junior in high school..  Anyone remember?? ha.. That long ago. +10 years ago. I used to babysit her! Our families used to go on outings together (our parents still do..) and we still spend Christmas Eve with them every year. I love them so much.

Then Charlie grew up and met Colby, and fell in love with him. And he's just great for her. I don't think anyone could ever be opposed to their union. It's perfect. :)

So, knowing that their wedding was looming in May, I started thinking about her shower in like January, I swear. Love me a party. I decided "Rustic Glam", because I think it suits her very well.

Here were the invites:

I went with her color of mint green, and I threw in gold. :) For the Glam factor. Her other color was peach. These were from Etsy, DesignsByDee.

"In lieu of a guestbook, please address an envelope to yourself!"
because busy brides need all the help they can get, in the midst of planning a wedding!

A beautiful "R" for the new last name!

Photos of Charlie and Colby in thrifted gold frames graced the tables, with gold painted Mason jars full of gorgeous spring flowers. And all my hand stamped gold and turquoise confetti hearts. :)

The sweets table! (It was cold and rainy outside..)

Saw this idea online, and knew I wanted it! So mom and I made it happen! It was so fun figuring out the icing. And they were yummy!!

Chocolate dipped pretzels!

Golden marshmallow pops! These were addicting. And that stand took one whole afternoon to craft. :)

Obsessed with paper straws! From Etsy, ThePartyFairy.

Ahh.. loved these.. Spinach dip cups with pita chips! Guests loved these!

And some delicious chicken salad croissants! (It was after lunch, so we didn't wanna fill the people with 2nd lunch!)

My new favorite thing.. rag garlands. So elegant and whimsical. I got all these fabrics/laces at JoAnn's. I had the burlaps already.

The Mother of the Bride (on the left) and other party-goers (church family) my grandmother Ivy :), Patty.

Opening tons of great gifts!

Same face, Charlie!

Charlie and Colby with all their loot! You could stock a home with all they got! So wonderful!

Me and my girl. Love her to pieces! So happy for her!

It was a fun shower! Thanks so much to my Mom for all you did, and also to Mrs. Mallory Holladay for helping some too! It takes a village. :)

A few pics from their big day, a couple weeks ago!!

It was kinda hot!

Granna and Cohen!

Neither boy wanted to sit for the duration of the ceremony...

Mom and the mother of the Bride :)

One of the only pics of Charlie from my big camera! Tossing that bouquet!
It was too hot and kids were too crazy to carry my camera around much. :( Oh well! Got an iPhone pic with the bride!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Playtime and Teachable Moments

Sometimes when Brother Bear (Liam) is napping, Cohen and I use that as special play time. I feel guilty sometimes to both of them.. that I don't get to devote all of my time to Cohen anymore, and also, that Liam will probably not ever know what it's like to have me undivided. Such is life with multiple kiddos, I suppose! I just make sure to scoop them both up, as often as I can, and whisper how wonderful they each are, and exclaim how much I love them. If they remember only one thing later on, I want them to remember how I much I loved them. And know that they are treasured. Man, some days I just can't believe these two little souls were entrusted to me. It's overwhelming and encouraging, at the same time.

Coco goes through phases with his toys. Right now, he wants to build a train track everyday!

I gave him a few Skittles, he loved it! 

He wanted to draw a circle around his leg... I let him. You gotta let them be little sometimes, and he thought that would be cool. 

Coco: AKA Mosquito bait. :(

Then Cohen drew that on his easel. The one that looks kinda like an "x" is really a cross, kinda sideways. He said, "Look Mom! I drew Granna's church necklace!!" I said, "Yes you did!" 

Then I thought, you know what? I should tell him that it's really a cross and explain what that means! So I grabbed our Jesus Storybook Bible and turned to the story of Jesus' crucifixion. 

We read the story together and I showed him that this cross was like his drawing. He was pretty proud. I explained how Jesus died that day, with nails hammered in to his hands and feet (we acted this part out, a little) and that he did it so that we wouldn't be in trouble for our sins (mean actions and bad choices) forever. With wide eyes, he said "Ohhhh!" I said, "Jesus got rid of our sins for us, so that one day we could go to Heaven with him!" He looked up towards the sky and said, "Maybe we can build a rocket and fly to Heaven with Jesus!!" If only it were that simple, sweet boy. 

One day we will dance with Jesus in Heaven. What a day that will be!

Lactation Cookies

I wanted to go ahead and share the recipe for the cookies I make to help with milk supply. You never know who ya might help when you share interesting info!

These cookies may not be the lowest calorie cookie out there, but I've seen positive results by eating them. Sometimes pumping 0.5-1.0 ounce more in a pumping session. :)

So.. gather these ingredients:

1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar (I use light brown sugar)
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
2-3 Tbsp water (more if you want moister cookies)
1 Cup whole wheat flour
2-3 Tbsp Brewer's yeast (the only kind that will work)
1/8 tsp himalayan salt (or sea)
1 1/2 Cups rolled oats (the bigger, the better)
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/2 a baking bag of them)

Heat the oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Odd, I know. But this temp seems to work. At least, in my oven. :)

(Before you start, take the 2 T flaxseed meal and add the 3 T water to it, stir, let it sit for a few minutes.)

With a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Then add in one egg and the vanilla.

Now, add in that flaxseed/water mixture, mix until well blended.

Now add your dry ingredients: flour, salt and brewer's yeast.

With a big spoon, fold in the oats and chocolate. After it's well mixed, you're ready to bake!

Drop big teaspoonfuls on a stone or metal pan, whatever you prefer. (I use a stone.)

Here's the tricky part, that I don't even have down.. baking time. I try 13-14 min, but maybe my cookies are too big.... The timer goes off, and they usually need 5-7 more minutes! But just watch them, and when they start looking a little golden brown, they're probably done.

(and honestly, these are a little too done) 

YUM! I usually have 2 a day. (good thing nursing burns all those calories anyways!) And what's awesome? Kids love them too! Cohen asks for one almost everyday! And because of all the pretty healthy ingredients.. I oblige! If you want to make them even more healthy, you could substitute raisins or craisins for the chocolate. (But, whyyyy???)

I hope this helps you as it has me! Feel free to share if you want!

Liam ~ 7 months old

Welllp... He's closer to 1 than a newborn now. :) I really wanted to put sad face there, but in reality I'm so glad he's growing and thriving and healthy. And that's a happy thing.

Growth.. probably 18 or so pounds now.. Big guy!  He wears 6-9 month clothes and can usually fit in some of Cohen's old 12 months sized things. (The things that shrank in the wash, 3 years ago)

Development.. He sits unassisted. Still no rolling! Just the half roll onto his side to sleep. Hector thinks he doesn't roll because we skimp on the tummy time.. because he HATES it, still. Ha! He grabs any toy he wants, reaches for everything. He likes to hold our hands when we clap in front of him, but he doesn't do it on his own yet. No waving. Hasn't said anything yet. Babbles, of course. Just waiting on that "mamamamama"! Loves to sit and play with toys and still loves his jumper! He is reaching for you now, when you go to pick him up!

Eating.. He's getting slightly better with solids! I've been able to give him some applesauce, and a few other fruit purees. Still hates the cereal. LOVES the puffs. Likes the yogurt melts, but they just get lodged on the roof of his mouth and make him mad. :) I'm still nursing him. (yay!!) I stopped with Cohen at 5 months, so I'm just thrilled to still be going strong. I know many can't, so I consider all of this breastfeeding a huge blessing. I have been making "lactation cookies" that I LOVE. They have several "active" ingredients that help with milk production... brewer's yeast, rolled oats, and flaxseed meal. They're great.. mayyyybe because I add chocolate chips. :) I usually have a couple cookies a day.

Sleep.. He takes an hour long nap in the morning.. then usually a two hour nap in the afternoon when Cohen naps. He naps in his crib now, Praise the Lord! We actually got rid of the swing because he's too chunky for it to swing. :) He goes to bed around 8-9pm. And will wake around 1-2am usually to eat. Then he sleeps with us, and nurses once or twice more. Ready for some full nights of sleep over here!! (Though, I still really love the snuggles!!)


Fingers and piggies!! Mushy goodness!

Into the hand.. next stop.. Mouth. Always.

That sweet baby face. 

"Hi mama! I love this chew necklace!"

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