Thursday, May 23, 2013

Goodbye Strawberries

Strawberries are beautiful!! Strawberries taste SO good! Strawberries make me happy! I love strawberries... but I get hives. :-(

Sorry for the post delays lately... I still have some fun posts that I want to post for the Beautiful Babies Series! But right now I am desperately trying to keep myself sane during this hives breakout... so if need be I will extend the Beautiful babies month into June!

Any ideas or tips on how to ease the itching of the hives or shorten their duration???

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Healing Comfrey Salve Review

Today I want to share with you about my sister Liz's Healing Comfrey Salve! :-)

About the salve:

"Ingredients: Comfrey, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil & Grapefruit Seed extract, lemon essential oil. 
This salve is 100% organic and works Amazing on Diaper rash, cradle cap, cuts, burns, eczema & other skin irritants and has a lovely lemon scent!"

I have used this salve on diaper rash, cuts, eczema, and a few other skin irritants and I love it! Comfrey heals things amazingly fast and a salve just helps take the pain or itch away in a naturally soothing way! I've never liked how with most cuts and wounds putting something on it causes it to sting. Not the case with this comfrey salve! It is so soothing on cuts and wounds.

My daughter has eczema really bad and I'm always trying to find ways to help it. When I put this salve on her it lessens it up a lot and it helps relieve the itch!

I've also put it on diaper rash! Whenever I put it on a rash I am AMAZED at how fast the rash is gone! Next diaper change... no signs of rash! WOW!

This is a wonderful salve to have in your medicine kit especially if you have little ones! Want to experience this wonderful salve yourself? Visit Lizzysherbs on etsy! :-)

P.s. Visit her etsy shop often as she will be adding to it soon! ;-)
P.s.s. Encourage her in her herbal journey... Become her admirer on etsy or comment on this post.

Monday, May 13, 2013

IBasal Digital Thermometer Review and Giveaway

I'm really excited about the next giveaway during this Beautiful Babies Month!! For all of you lovely ladies out there who are trying to conceive, this is for you! :D

Fairhaven Health is a source for fertility, pregnancy, and nursing products! Remember my review of the Prenatal Vitamin? Well this time I get to review their IBasal Digital Thermometer!

I think pretty much anyone would be impressed with this thermometer! It's gotta be the smartest thermometer ever!

From Fairhaven Health's Website:

"The world's most intelligent digital basal thermometer & fertility monitor!

The ibasal is much more than just a basal thermometer – it’s an FDA-approved fertility monitor that is able to calculate your precise ovulation date and peak fertile days based on your daily temperatures and a variety of other fertility indicators. The ibasal works for women with irregular cycles as well as regular ones, and it continues to learn your body’s unique patterns month after month in order to provide exceptionally accurate results.
How Can Basal Body Temperature Be Used to Identify Ovulation?
Basal body temperature (BBT) charting is a tried and true method for determining precisely when during your menstrual cycle you ovulate. Your basal body temperature is the temperature at which your body rests, which tends to be a bit lower than your "normal" temperature, usually 97 point something degrees F versus 98.6 degrees F. By measuring your BBT each morning (after a full night's sleep) throughout your cycle you can detect the natural and subtle rise in your basal body temperature that occurs just after ovulation. This post-ovulatory shift in BBT is caused by increased production of the hormone progesterone, sometimes referred to as the "warming hormone".
How Does the ibasal Work?
With the ibasal, BBT charting just got smarter and easier. The ibasal is a computerized digital basal thermometer and fertility monitor that helps you maximize your chances of conceiving by accurately measuring your BBT and interpreting this data to produce a fertility prediction in advance of ovulation.
The ibasal is easy to use. To begin, simply set the time and date in the ibasal and set the alarm. The alarm will sound the next morning and each morning throughout your cycle, reminding you to take your BBT and ensuring reading consistency from one day to the next. The ibasal will measure and display your temperature to the 1/100 th of a degree (e.g. 97.41 F), show your cycle day, and populate a graph of your previous 10 readings on the LCD screen. This graph of readings allows you to easily see the shift in temperature that follows ovulation.
After collecting and storing your BBT readings, the ibasal will interpret this information to produce your own customized fertility prediction, allowing you to time intercourse in advance of ovulation for the best chance of conceiving in each cycle.
How is the ibasal Different than Other Basal Thermometers?
A regular off-the-shelf basal thermometer simply reports your temperature and nothing more. The user must then interpret the data and resultant chart in order to determine when ovulation occurred. In contrast, in addition to providing a highly accurate basal temperature reading, the ibasal actually interprets your data for you to tell you when you will ovulate and when you’re most fertile. Other data points considered by the ibasal algorithm include bleeding, cramping, cervical mucus consistency, and intercourse dates. The ibasal can even tell you when your results indicate a possible pregnancy!
Chart all of your menstrual cycle data, including your BBT readings, - Fairhaven Health's FREE fertility charting website.
The ibasal instructions are also available to view online."

My Opinion: 
I must say at first glance the thermometer is a bit scary looking with all the buttons. I though that it would be confusing to use and set up, but I found it rather easy and fun to catch onto. As I was setting it up I kept excitedly telling my husband what all it had... clock, alarm... ect... he finally asked me if it can dance too! ;-) I don't know what more you want a thermometer to do! It is very impressive! It can even predict a possible pregnancy by displaying a little heart! <3 Aww! I think this thermometer would make it fun and easy to take your temperature every morning to find out if you are ovulating! Not to mention very educational! You don't even have to write down your temperature, it records it for you!! 

If you want to buy it go here! It is on sale for 10% off right now! 

Wanna win one!! :-) Enter using the rafflecopter form below:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pink Blush Maternity Review and Giveaway

With pregnancy comes a need for some maternity clothing! Especially cute, fashionable, and trendy maternity clothing! Often times it is hard to find clothing while pregnant. So to help you out Pink Blush Maternity has some lovely shirts and other clothing to choose from! :-)

They sent me this cute lavender Maternity top! :-) I love it's color and style! Pink blush Maternity has quiet a few adorable shirts that would look lovely on a pregnant mommy!

When I received this shirt I was excited to try it on for the first time! However I was disappointed in the tight fit that it has. Even tho I love the style, color, scoop neck, and lace back I'm afraid I wouldn't wear it in the 3rd trimester as it has just to much of a snug fit. I think, however, it would be cute in the first and second trimesters or postpartum.

They do have quiet a few cute shirts that I think would be cute in the third trimester tho... especially some of the more flowy ones! Like the Ivory Flowy Maternity Top!

You ready to win a $25 gift card to Pink Blush Maternity? :-) Enter using the Rafflecopter Form below:

Journey Through Pregnancies

Pregnant with Susannah
Each pregnancy is different... just as each child is different. And just as each pregnancy is different they have their own stories to tell.

My pregnancy with Susannah was a joyful happy time! We lived in an apartment and was newly married at the time so so much that happened through that pregnancy is a blur now, but I still have good and bad memories from it. I remember that I was fairly certain of myself at the time and didn't care how much weight I gained... so I gained to much. I wasn't into healthy eating or taking care of my self. I was simply just living and not thinking about health or fitness. Tho I do remember wanting to have a natural birth. At the time my husband and I thought it best not to go with a home birth as we lived in the apartment. So we took steps to make our birth experience as natural as could be. We took Bradley birth classes, got a doula, and had our baby using midwives in the hospital. Overall it was a good birth. Looking back now, I wouldn't want to go that route again, but I am glad we did then! God has something for us to learn in each situation.

During and after Susannah was born I started reading books on natural birth and getting in the know about nutrition.

Pregnant with Emmaline
During Emmaline's Pregnancy I was, well, kind of a mess. I was emotional and depressed a lot. I had tons of ups and downs, and yet I was at peace. Amazing how at times when you feel the worse God can give you a peace that you've never experienced. I honestly haven't been able to feel peace like I felt then since.

I knew more about nutrition and what was healthy. And we were eating "organically"... yet we were mostly eating grains, breads, and meat. Which my body needed, but it also needed fresh fruits and veggies. So I didn't feel good most of the time, I was grumpy, bloated, constipated, and depressed. And yet God had lots for me to learn during that time. I learned to ask Him to grant me peace and give me wisdom! And He did! It was a wonderful time of learning to draw close to God. I just wish I would have drawn closer to Him more often during the times I was grumpy and depressed.

After Emmaline was born I continued to go through ups and downs. I was depressed and then REALLY happy... depressed and then REALLY happy. It was a roller coaster. During the times that I was REALLY happy I would just have this whole joy overcome me that I was extremely thankful for everything! And especially my new little baby! I couldn't snuggle her enough. Then there was the rough, depressed times, I felt like I was in a dark pit and couldn't get out. God is the only one who could ever lift me out of those dark times. I had to pray and meditate on scripture constantly. If I ever got away from God I could feel myself being pulled deeper and deeper into the dark pit. Only then could God shine His light and lift me out. I had to take my thought pattern captive and think of things of the Lord. Philippians 4:8 became a lifeline for me... I read that verse so much. And finally after awhile I started feeling God's joyful Spirit more often and feeling depressed less often. I still really have to keep my thought pattern under control and think on the Lord tho. And I believe it will be something that I will always have to do.

Pregnant and due in July
This pregnancy has been different. At the beginning of the pregnancy I was Morning sick a lot and lost a bit of weight... I was tired, dizzy, and constantly passing out. I didn't know how I could possibly handle it all for 9 months. I felt hopeless. This hopeless feeling lasted for about the first 4 months, then all of a sudden like a breeze of fresh air it was all gone and I felt great! I felt beautiful and happy and just simply amazing! And like I CAN DO THIS!! I was so thankful! I was able to start eating healthy and start a exercise routine! Then I started the 3rd trimester... and there have been more feelings of 'ugh I'm tired' and feeling sorry for myself. Then my friend at A Restful Place gifted me with the book Redeeming Childbirth! God has been speaking to me through that book. I have been learning to grow in the Lord, read His word more, memorize scripture, and pray more. It has truly been a learning experience, learning to keep God as the center of my life. Not dwelling on the negative, but learning to focus on Him! Something we need to remember throughout our whole lives! I think it pregnancy (especially at the end) it is so easy to fall into selfish thinking. God doesn't want us to think selfishly, but to keep Him the focus at all times!

P.s. Look for a review and giveaway of Redeeming Childbirth to come soon!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Exercising Through Pregnancy

Exercising while pregnant can be rather difficult. Especially if you have other little ones you have to keep an eye on. However staying in good shape while pregnant is so important for you and the baby's health! So I would like to share some exercising ideas with you to get you motivated! :-)

Walk! Walk! Walk!
Walking is SO good for you, pregnant or not. But how do you keep up a good walking program while chasing other littles? Here are some of the ways you could do it:

-My Favorite is, Leslie Sansone! I love her walk away the pounds DVDs! I have the 3 mile walk for your abs. I don't actually ever use the bands that she uses. I just walk the walk! My little 2 year old will even join me for part of it and burn off some energy as well! ;-)

-A Treadmill. I haven't actually done this myself because I'm stuck on Leslie Sansone, but I know several ladies who go this route and love it! You'd probably even be able to find a relativly cheap one on Craigslist!

-All around the house!! It might feel a little silly, but growing-up my family did this! We would just turn on some fun music and make laps around the (inside) of our house!

-A walk around the block or yard! This one can get difficult. Like if it rains, or you have lots of little ones to watch. But here are some ideas that could help make this one work.
*Take advantage of baby carriers and/or strollers. With one or two (maybe even 3, if you have a double stroller) you can put them in carriers and/or stroller and go for a walk.
*You can go for a walk as a family at a park or something!
*You could ask your husband to watch the children while you take a walk.
*Or if you have property you could walk around the property while they nap or play in the yard!
Just some ideas! ;-)

Either make up your own routine or find a good prenatal pilaties DVD to follow along to. I really like Lizbeth Garcia's 10 min Solution Prenatal Pilates. These are easy to follow and easy to squeeze in 10 min somewhere in the day!

While pregnant you do want to take caution to what types of exercises you do and always listen to your body. Some women can develop a diastasis while pregnant by doing certain exercises. Also be sure to drink lots of water!!

Diastasis Recti

Have you ever heard of a Diastasis recti? Do you know what it is? Do you know how common it is in postpartum mommies?

You might have a Diastasis recti if:
-You are repeatedly asked if you are pregnant... and your not.
-You have an outie belly button
-You have back or shoulder problems
-You aren't able to get rid of your 'Tummy' know matter how hard you work out

Here is a way you can check and see if you have a Diastasis:
1)Lie on your back on the floor.
2)Put your fingertips near the center of your belly (horizontally above your belly button).
3)Curl up as if doing a crunch.
4)feel with your fingertips the center of your belly. Is there a gap? If so, how many finger widths is it? Diastasis is measured in finger widths placed side by side.

So what does that mean? How can I fix it? How can I prevent it from happening again?

These are the questions that ran through my head when I first discovered Diastasis recti. I don't know much about them, but here is what I know and what was recommended to me.

Meaning: Also known as abdominal separation. It is a disorder defined as a separation of the rectus abdominis muscle into right and left halves.
-In pregnant or postpartum women, the defect is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. It is more common in women who have had more then one pregnancy or twins due to repeated episodes of stretching. When the defect occurs in pregnancy, the uterus can sometimes be seen bulging through the abdominal wall beneath the skin.

For some women simple exercises will completely heal a diastasis! I highly recommend getting the book Lose Your Mummy Tummy

From the back of Lose your Mummy Tummy:
"Lose Your Mummy Tummy introduces the Tupler Technique, a groundbreaking set of deceptively simple abdominal and breathing exercises that decreases the diastasis and results in a firmer, flatter, and stronger belly no matter when you had a baby, even if it was decades ago. Like Kegels- those all-important pregnancy exercises - the Tupler Techniques can be practiced almost anywhere, anytime. Including photographs and instructions for a 15- or a 30-minute at-home exercise routine, Lose Your Mummy Tummy ensures:
-A tighter, flatter stomach
-A smaller waistline-A reduction or elimination of back pain
-The ability to safely lift your baby and heavy objects
-More energy
-Better posture
-The perfect preparation for your next pregnancy"

I bought this book and have been doing some of the exercises throughout this pregnancy. The exercises are a lot of Transversus abdominis exercises. Simple things like breathing to work this muscle and like holding your stomach muscles in as often as you remember.

I hope this information has been helpful for someone... I had no idea about this until this pregnancy. I'm looking forward to trying to get rid of my mummy tummy by exercise after this little baby is born!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Importance of Water

This is an article my midwife gave me when I was pregnant with Emmaline. It has a lot of good information in it! It is important for EVERYONE to drink lots of water, but especially the pregnant and nursing mothers!

"Think your drinking enough water?

If your not, you could end up with excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive complications, muscle soreness - even water-retention problems.

Next to air, water is the element most necessary for survival. A normal adult is 60 to 70 percent water. We can go without food for almost two months, but without water only a few days. Yet most people have no idea how much water they should drink. In fact, many live in a dehydrated state.

Without water, we'd be poisoned to death by our own waste products. When the kidneys remove uric acid and urea, these must be dissolved in water. If there isn't enough water, wastes are not removed as effectively and may build up as kidney stones. Water also is vital for chemical reactions in digestion and metabolism. It carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells through the blood and helps to cool the body through perspiration. Water also lubricates our joints.

We even need water to breathe: our lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. It is possible to lose a pint of liquid each day just exhaling.

So if you don't drink sufficient water, you can impair every aspect of your physiology. Dr. Howard Flaks, a bariatric (obesity) specialist in Beverly Hills, Calif., says, "By not drinking enough water, many people incur excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness and water retention."

Water retention? If your're not drinking enough, your body may retain water to compensate. Paradoxically, fluid retention can sometimes be eliminated by drinking more water, not less.

"Proper water intake is a key to weight loss," says Dr. Donald Robertson, medical director of the Southwest Bariatric Nutrition Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. "If people who are trying to lose weight don't drink enough water, the body can't metabolize the fat adequately. Retaining fluid also keeps weight up."

"The minimum for a healthy person is eight to ten eight-ounce glasses a day," Says Dr. Flaks. "You need more if you exercise a lot or live in a hot climate. And overweight people should drink an extra glass for ever 25 pounds they exceed their ideal weight. Consult your own physician for his recommendations."

At the International Sportsmedicine Institute, we have a formula for daily water intake: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you're not active (that's ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you're athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight). Your water intake should be spread throughout the day and evening.

You may wonder: If I drink this much, won't I constantly be running to the bathroom? Yes. But after a few weeks, your bladder tends to adjust and you yrinate less frequently but in larger amounts.

And by consuming those eight to ten glasses of water throughout the day, you could be on your way to a healthier, leaner body."

Leroy R. Perry, JR.

Making Babies Giveaway

To start off our Beautiful Babies Month we are going to have a giveaway from The Bulk Herb store! Remember my review of the Making Babies DVD series? Well I am pleased to say that they are giving away another DVD set to one of my readers! :-) 

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

After having had this DVD set now for about a year now and getting to use more of the recipes and tips from it I would say that this DVD set is a must for any mama! Weather you are TTC, pregnant, nursing, or have older children this DVD set has something for everyone to learn! Every time I re watch it I am always learning something from it!

Buy it: Would you like to purchase your own set of these fabulous DVDs? Visit The Bulk Herb Store!

Win it: The Bulk Herb Store has graciously offered to giveaway a Making Babies DVD set to one of Sew Sweet Baby's readers!!! :-) Enter through the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! :D


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