Sunday, December 2, 2012

DIY Natural Deodorant!



I have tried a few different deodorants that are natural (aluminum and antiperspirant free!), and unfortunately, by the end of the day, I didn't smell so fresh.  With so much speculation out there that deodorant can cause cancer, and more specifically, breast cancer, I was determined to find one that works!  Aluminum has been established as a neurotoxin, yet it is the main ingredient in most deodorants!

I was tired of wasting my money with natural deodorants offered at the store and decided to make my own!  I found a great recipe and thought I would share.  Not only does it feel GREAT on (not sticky at all!), it actually works!

The only downside is that you have to rub it in with your hands. But you are applying it when you are clean and out of the shower, so for me it is not a big deal.

My test was to see if it would work over night and through a very tough and sweaty workout.  It worked great!   This is the easiest recipe ever!  I hope you enjoy!

Ingrediants
1/4 c. Organic raw coconut oil
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
1/4 c. baking soda
a few drops of your favorite essential oil (opt)


Directions
Melt coconut oil in a kettle on the stove.  Turn off the heat, stir in arrow root powder, baking soda and oil.  Pour in to Tupperware container and let cool.


**Summer months it will be very soft since Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and begins to melt at 76 degrees.

**Winter months it is harder to get out, but I scoop with my fingers and it melts right into the skin.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

The latest from the Twins...

Okay so I didn't add any pictures of my twinies in my last post, so I thought I would give you the latest (taken from my iPhone)...

Bongiorno!  This was taken this morning!!

Taken a few days ago!  They love exploring the back yard! It is definitely their favorite at home activity!

Mommy and Rocco picking out our Christmas tree!


At the Christmas tree farm. Maximus got sap on his hand and the pine needles were sticking to him! LOL!

Brotherly Love!! awwwwww


They are getting into EVERYTHING now! Pun Intended! LOL

Mommy and Maximus at the park! He just LOVES the swings!

We got passes to the Long Beach Aquarium!  They love it!  Here with their good friend Em!
Lets just say going anywhere is impossible without help!  We were out numbered 3 to 2.  It was not an easy day, but they sure enjoyed it! :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tis the Season!

Wow what a week it has been!  Last week started off with ANOTHER bout of what I think was the stomach flu!  That is TWICE in the last couple months.  Thank goodness I only threw up once this time and not every thirty minutes.  Then came Thanksgiving, our first in our new home!  It was so awesome having a house FULL of family!  The only bummer was that I didn't get ANY pictures of me and the boys.  I was cooking from 7-3 and then they napped.  It was crazy!  I did get this one picture of me and my 22 lb bird!  It was delicious... although I wasn't able to eat much that day since I was still recovering from the flu :-/
I made a giant plate of food and only was able to eat a 1/4 of it.  That is the bad news.  The goods news is that I was only to eat a 1/4 of a plate! I lost a pound over Thanksgiving.  Which brings me to more good/bad news...

Good news... When I was pregnant with my twins I gained 37 lbs. Since delivering, I breastfed, ran, started eating cleaner natural foods, and weight training three days a week I have now lost 47 pounds!!!  I am at an all time low (yes I am counting my flu weight loss, which I plan on maintaining!)!  My healthy weight which my body loves to stay at is 140.  That is a good healthy weight for a woman who is 5'6".  However I am getting leaner, more fit, stronger and so I am now at 136!  I am so happy about this!  I do not focus on scale weight generally and more on how my clothes fit, which my jeans are falling off of me now, but this is big!  I beat my 140!

The bad news... I'm CD36 with no period in sight! I'm sure I O'd somewhere in the 20's so I'm sure it will be hear soonish, but I don't really know.  Which means we are back to square one with the pregnitude.  I cannot believe I had a fluke normal 30 day cycle!  So random!  In the 2 1/2 years we were ttc I never had one!  I am just starting my third box, so technically we still have time for it to work. Anyways, here are my stats with Pregnitude...



Cycles post Breastfeeding
First- 35 days
Second- 44 days
Third- 48 days (started Pregnitude mid-cycle)
Fourth-30 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fifth- 36 days and counting...

The boys are now 15 almost 16 months!  Its crazy!  They are so fun and getting busier by the minute!  They are both walking now, Maximus decided to show off and start walking on Thanksgiving day.  He knew he would have a lot of people cheering him on!  At their 15 month Check up Rocco weighed in at 25 lbs 12 oz and 31.5", Maximus was 24 lbs even and 32".  They have completely different builds.  They are both off of cows milk and are strictly drinking almond.  They love it... and so do their bums!  Rocco still has a little eczema spots which I am considering taking him to the dermatologist to get checked out.  I may try to see if it is wheat and take that out of his diet. 

They are in swim lessons once a week and have been for a few months.  They can now fall into the water from sitting on the side of the pool and roll over to float on their backs all by themselves!  The swim school is called water safe and it teaches babies survival if they fall into water.  It is so awesome, but hard to watch at the same time.  They cry, but they are learning important, life saving skills.  

As I was decorating the Christmas tree this year I was reflecting back to last year when I was decorating the tree wearing a baby in my ergo while one was in the bouncer asleep under the tree. This year the boys were tearing ornaments off the tree before I could put one on!  Lesson learned!  Our "toddler Christmas tree" is decorated  on the upper half!  My how they change in one year... its bitter/sweet!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ICLW

Hey everyone!  Happy ICLW... and Happy Thanksgiving!  A little about myself... I am a mother of 15 month old IVF miracle twins, literally they are miracles!  We were given a 1% chance of our IVF working after having ZERO fertilize.  I had 29 eggs retrieved and my husband had 100 million "great looking sperm" so they left them alone in the petri dishes.  The next morning I received a call from my RE... we had ZERO embryo's!  You have to imagine how devastated beyond words we were.  They preformed rescue ICSI right away (even though my eggs were now 24 hours old).  The odds were not in our favor.  We prayed and prayed.  God preformed the greatest miracle of all and blessed us with not one, but TWO babies!  Beyond all odds, we had our little miracles!

My pregnancy was amazing!  I loved being pregnant (and secretly wish I was again!).  I did yoga from week 6 to week 30 until I ended up on bed rest for a funneling cervix.  Again we prayed and prayed.  I kept my babies safe for 5 more weeks and delivered Rocco Gianni and Maximus Matteo on August 5 2011.


Life is crazy with twins... but I love it! I am a SAHM and Wife.  I breastfed them, made all of their baby food, and still refuse to give them sugar or anything processed.  I now experiment with more natural living and even make my own deodorant!  I may sound a little granola, but why alter what God has provided!

I hope you follow along!  Happy ICLW!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Amber Teething Necklaces




You may have been wondering what these necklaces are that my boys are wearing.  In most  of the pictures I post of my twinnies, you can see them!  They are Holistic Amber that helps with teething pain. The amber contains a chemical called Succinic Acid.  The Succinic Acid is released through the warmth of the skin and it is absorbed.  Amber is known for is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties and has been used for hundreds of years, predominately in Europe, and comes from the Baltic.  The necklaces I bought were actually shipped from Lithuania and took about 3-4 weeks to get to my house.

The question is do they actually work?  It is hard to say.  Maximus is a terrible teether.  He was waking up crying at night for weeks and gets really fussy when cutting a tooth.  I do believe it has helped him, some.   Just like with anything, everyone is different.  What works for some may not work for others.  Rocco is a totally different teether.  You would never know he is cutting a tooth.  He just cut his first molar and I had no idea. Therefore, I figure, if it doesn't hurt them and it might help them, why not?  Plus, they look too cute with their "jewelry" on :)





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Real SMART butter

I used to think I was being smart by using smart butter on my toast.  Boy was I wrong.  It is HIGHLY processed and full unnatural ingredients. Yes, it is convenient and easy to spread, but it is not smart!

I now make my own "Smart" Butter.  It has TWO ingredients, not 20.

Real Smart Butter
1 lb of butter softened
2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Let the butter sit out and soften for an hour or two


I always use Extra Virgin... much better flavor!

Measure out the Olive oil and pour in food processor or blender
Add the butter

Blend! I store mine in a Tupperware container :)
It is so easy to make and SO much healthier.  I used to be so worried about fat, but we NEED fat, especially healthy fat, that is natural!  With my twin pregnancy I gained 37 lbs.  Since delivering my twins and changing how I eat, I have lost 45 lbs!  Eating natural unprocessed foods is the way to go!  Why should we change what God has provided?

Walnut Kale Pesto

Here is a surprisingly DELICIOUS pesto recipe using Kale (obviously my new favorite vegetable)!  Now that the season is getting cooler, my cooking is getting heartier!  It is delicious and my boys love it too! We ate this for dinner last night with Ravioli, a side of grilled asparagus... and a glass of Merlot! :-)

1 bunch Kale, stems removed
1/3 cup walnuts toasted (6-8 min in oven) plus 2 TB
1/2 cup EVOO
1 cup Pecorino cheese grated
1 clove of garlic

Directions:
1. Steam chopped Kale until bright green and softened (about 4-5 min)
2. toast walnuts for 6-8 min in oven at 350
3. place steamed Kale in strainer, let drain and squeeze out all the water
4. put all ingredients in food processor or blender and puree
5. Cook your favorite pasta, preferably something whole grain, and reserve 1 c. of pasta water to thing sauce if needed.
6. strain pasta, put pesto in the kettle used to cook pasta and toss with pasta.  Add pasta water as needed to thin sauce.
7. Top with 2 TB. of toasted chopped walnuts and pecorino.  Enjoy!


Friday, October 26, 2012

OMG... Pregnitude WORKS!!!!!

I SERIOUSLY cannot believe it (NO I'm NOT pregnant!)!  I just had my first NORMAL cycle of my life!  I don't know if I have ever been so happy to have started my period!!  Lets recap...

Cycles post Breastfeeding
First- 35 days
Second- 44 days
Third- 48 days (started Pregnitude mid-cycle)
Fourth-30 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What does mean?? I believe it means that what I am doing is WORKING, and Pregnitude (Myo-Inositol combined with Folic Acid) FREAKIN works !  This is amazing new for those of us with PCOS.  Honestly, I am a little dumbfounded.  I was very skeptical and did not expect to see ANY results for a few more months, especially since I had to be on 2250 mg of Metformin for my cycle to only get to about 39 days.  I also have been, of course eating VERY clean and healthy and exercising about four days or more per week.  I am so excited to share this with all of you and have new hope for NATURAL medicine.  Fingers are crossed for next cycle!!! xx


*** Update 11/30/12***

Since this post is getting a lot of view, I thought I would update. My cycle Five has not come yet and I am CD36. I still have hopes for pregnitude and understand that it is a natural supplement which takes more time to work.  Please follow along with me on my Pregnitude journey!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Best Almond Meal Berry Muffins!

After making my first batch of fresh Raw Almond milk, I had left over almond meal. Hmmm... what to do with it?  I decided to make some muffins!  Being that I am PCOS, almond meal is a great way to either cut down on flour and carbs (you can replace half of your flour requirement with almond meal in recipes such as breads, muffins, pancakes, cookies!), or replace it all together. For this recipe I did not use any flour.  The texture, of course is a little different, but they turned out moist and delicious! I will normally post a picture, but we have eaten them all up!  I made my second batch of almond milk today and plan to make more muffins.  If I do I will definitely post a picture! (Recipe adapted from Health DAMY)

Ingredients

  • 2 c. almond meal (which is 1 c. of the ground almonds left over from making almond milk)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 c Agave nectar
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
  • 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 c. of berries of choice (can be frozen)



Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place all ingredients, except berries, in food processor or blender and mix
  3. fold in berries
  4. use a muffin pan and either grease with coconut oil or use muffin liners
  5. scoop evenly into 12 muffin tins
  6. bake for 25 min
  7. cool and ENJOY!




Monday, October 22, 2012

Time... I seem to be lacking it!

Seriously.  I have THREE blog posts that I have attempted to write in the last week, only to come up with none and they are listed as drafts.  Forgive me.  Life is crazy busy and it seems to be getting busier as the boys get older, I can only imagine how the holidays are going to be this year... I'm scared!  I tend to over do it and get sick come the holidays, but maybe I will have gotten all of my sickness out of me by then!?

I am sick now... again!  The boys (I'm blaming it on them!) must be germ machines.  A month ago I had the stomach flu, then two weeks ago I fought a cold off with Zicam and airborne, unfortunately this one got me.  I have a cold.  yuck!

Whats been going on with the boys? Well Rocco has been fighting a yeast rash (thank you antibiotics!) since his surgery.  He was on the antibiotics for over a month and I'm sure it really took a toll on his system.  He has been on probiotics since. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun (natural diapers, anti-fungal cream, coconut oil, triple paste, cornstarch, etc), including TONS of naked time.  My last resort, unfortunately is an oral med, which seems to be working.  However every new thing starts to work and then it flares back up again.  Any tips or advice for a yeast diaper rash, greatly appreciated!! Then he had a funky virus which also gave him a rash all over his ENTIRE body (poor baby!).  I had never heard of these before! It didn't seem to bother him at least.  Now, he has a runny nose and I'm sure he is the one to give it to Maximus and myself.   Lots of sharing going on here!

Walking and almost walking!  Rocco is walking!  He picked it up very fast!  One day he took his first step then five more the next and so on.  It is the cutest thing EVER!  I have tried and tried to post a video and there is an error uploading. UGH! I will try again!
video


Maximus took his first step this weekend and then has taken a few more here and there.  He is so cute and wants to walk but is a little more fearful.  He is more fearful with most things and is a little more clumsy, so I get it ;-P  His time will come!

Something new I am doing and am VERY proud of is I started reading my bible daily (okay... most days!)!  I have ALWAYS wanted to do this!  I never new how to start a routine or I didn't think I could get up early enough. I have tried MANY times and it always seems to start dwindling. Well sitting in church one day, it hit me, or rather, I felt God speak to me and say, "Sara, you need to get up BEFORE the babies!"  Conviction!  Since then, a couple months now, I get up around 6:15 ish and get a cup of coffee, pray, read, and journal.  I absolutely love it!  I have to say, my relationship with God is improving, as well as with my husband.  God is so amazing! I truly treasure my time with Him now and crave it!

This past weekend we had an amazing time and took the boys to Catalina Island for the weekend.  They had so much fun... I so did we!  They had their first boat ride over, which is about an hour from Long Beach.  We sat out side and the loved seeing all of the boats and beautiful ocean surround them.  We rented a condo with an ocean view.  We mostly just relaxed and walked around the little town...and ate lots of food, of course.  It was fun!

Here is a couple pics from our trip...

Mommy and Rocco on the boat over to Catalina!

Daddy and Maximus on the boat!



Just the boys on the boat!  They LOVED it!

The view from our condo!  The boys were napping so we had game time!

We love the cool weather!!! I had to get a pic with their owl hats on! :)
Cooking and what not...  I have just made my first batch of FRESH Almond MILK!  YUM!  It is so easy to make and is very delicious!  I am considering switching the boys to pure Raw Almond milk instead of cows milk.  Rocco has had many skin problems and I am just wondering if cows milk is attributing to that.  

Here is how to make Raw almond milk

1. c raw almonds (soak overnight in water)
3 c. water
3 dates (opt)
vanilla to taste (opt)


Directions.  After soaking almonds, pour out water.  Put almonds with 3 c. fresh purified water into the blender and mix.  Add dates and vanilla, mix.  With a nut bag and a bowl Pour the contents into the milk bag which is in the bow.  Squeeze the bag to remove all liquid.  You will have almond pulp left over which you can add to recipes like muffins, breads, or bars!  Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed my three blog posts in one!  Hope you are enjoying your week! Cheers!





Thursday, October 11, 2012

A new horizon...

Going to the park has gotten a little more interesting these days.  We have moved beyond the swing!  The boys, who are SO close to walking but not quite yet, are crawling, climbing sliding all over the playground!  It is so much fun to see their excitement!  Maximus absolutely LOVES the slide and Rocco loves to climb!  They both LOVE to watch the 'big' kids run circles around them (although I do try to go when it is a slow time).  We are very lucky because we have a great park a few minutes a way!  So, now we go for a run and then stop at the park on the way home!

I have been exercising a bit more now.  Last week I trained two days and ran four days!  I am noticing much more energy and my runs are getting better.  I bought some new Nike Free's (LOVE THEM!), not sure if they have helped my running, or if its just been a progression in my fitness.  Over all I'm feeling great!  Pregnitude?  Clean eating? Exercise? Green smoothies? I think its a combo!!

Here are some pics I took of my boys at 14 months... They are getting so big! You know me... I have a hard time choosing so there is a lot to see! ;-)
















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