Today I would like to share a recipe that my Slavic community constantly uses and one that I have grown up with. This is organic homemade juice, with no additives, no high fructose corn syrup, and no concentrate or chemicals that may harm you, your family, and your little ones.
Once my son started eating and drinking liquids other than breast milk, I really wanted to be able to give him juice but something that was healthy and beneficial to him not just taste good and be harmful. I remembered how my mom and aunts would always make juice at home and it was delicious. This juice can be made with all sorts of fruits, whether one type of fruit or multiple fruit. I usually use apples as a base for my juice and tend to add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or whatever fruit I have on hand. Even just apples is satisfying to quench your thirst.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED (Sizes can be adjusted)
2 gallon pot
1 gallon of water
13 medium sized apples,
A handful of blueberries
A handful of blackberries
A handful of raspberries
Bring water to a boil
While water is boiling, cut apples into slices, the skin can stay on
Once water is brought to a boil, place all fruits into the water and cover
Let the fruit boil in the water for about 20-30 minutes.
Pour the juice through a strainer or cheese cloth to separate the boiled fruit from the juice.
The juice will be hot. I usually pour into a big mixing bowl
Once strained pour into a air tight jar if not drinking right away.
For a stronger taste to develop, let it sit for a couple hours or even a couple days.
If drinking right away, let it cool down and add sugar to sweeten.
Last night I had a revelation of my role as a stay at home mom. I was listening to a sermon on YouTube by David Wilkerson called “The Healing of the Home.” My son is almost a year old, and I have come to realize that somewhere along the way I forgot how much of a treasure it is to be a stay at home mom. I started to miss work, and I still slightly do, but I got caught up in that feeling and sulked upon it. I started to envy the mothers who were able to go to work for a couple hours and help their husbands bring in an income. Ever since I was 16 I was already working. I was used to providing for myself, having come from a very low income family. I used my own money to buy myself my own cell phone and was already paying my own phone bill. At 19 I bought my first car and was paying for my own car insurance and gas. From my first job working for a cleaning company, to working at a grocery store, to working as a dietary aide at a nursing home, and then as an office manager at a chiropractic office. All of this I did in a couple of years. I was used to having a job.
So, when my son was born, and up until now, I was finding tough to deal with, not having a job that provides income. And I did belittle myself. I did not feel important. Until last night. Last night during David Wilkerson’s sermon he said:
“Now hold it just a minute, what I am against with all my heart and soul is the demeaning of one of the highest callings in the world, and that is to be a housewife and a mother. That’s the highest calling on earth.”
“Don’t let ANYONE put you down for being “just a housewife.” or “just a mother.”
“In the sight of God, listen who can find a virtuous woman whose price is above rubies. She rises early feeds her household.”
Once I heard him mention that, it really hit me, the importance of all my responsibilities. Even though I may not be earning an income, it is still my job and still my role to be a housewife and a stay at home mother. And I should be doing it with a grateful heart.
I no longer want to look down upon myself. To think I need to always be physically beautiful in the eyes of my husband, for that will make him happy. Yes, do look pretty, but what will really make a man happy is a woman who enjoys and treasures her role as a housewife and stay at home mom. (Not saying you can’t work) This is towards the women who have chosen or have been placed in the role of being a stay at home mom or housewife. To the women in similarity to me.
We don’t “just do laundry.” We help provide clean clothes that our husbands and children can put on every day and be comfortable in. We don’t “just do the dishes.” We provide clean plates and utensils that our family can have their meals on. We don’t “just make dinner.” We provide fresh, hot food, that the family can eat to grow stronger, be healthier, and not starve. We do not “just clean the house.” We vacuum, sweep, mop, dust, organize, and keep a welcoming environment that our family can feel safe and secure in. Comfy, cozy, and loved in. Our responsibilities are wrapped in love. We are not any less than our husbands or the wives who have gone back to work. Our role is just as important and just as meaningful.
So to the housewife or stay at home mom that is reading this. Your role is important. You are important for your role. Yes there will be many days where we will feel unappreciated, beaten up, exhausted, worn out, but do not let that forget who you really are. Once you start appreciating your role, your perspective starts to change and automatically from there your whole day starts to change for the better as well.
Today I had a complete mom day. By that I mean everything that I had planned was totally destroyed. I had planned to meet with my friend and her daughter who is the same age as my son for a little picnic in the park. No I’m not quarantining or social distancing. Judge all you want, I don’t care. Any who, we planned to meet at 1:30, my son’s nap time. But I was thinking I’d put him to sleep in the stroller and we’ll be fine.
I decided to leave an hour early to stop by the grocery store thinking the lines won’t be there since it was about midday. Boy was I wrong. Thanks Coronavirus. So I decided not to go in and thought I’d arrive at the park a little earlier. As soon as I get there, my friend texts me asking if we could meet later since she just got home from waiting in line forever at Costco and her daughter just fell asleep…
Now picture this, I’m at the park with a cranky baby no longer meeting my friend and have to drive 20 minutes back home and put him to sleep. My picnic bag was all ready by the way. And once I got home I now had to put an overtired toddler to sleep which is harder than normal tired. And then my friend has to cancel completely because her mom was over.
From one plan going awry, I couldn’t go grocery shopping and didn’t have our play date. Total bust of a day.
Any body else have total mom days where EVERYTHING goes wrong??
As I sit here inside my home, during this time of chaos, the selfish people come out from hiding and tear the food off the store shelves. They store it for themselves, leaving the next family to come in and have almost nothing to choose from. If everyone shopped like usual, the food would still be there, as we are still allowed to go grocery shopping. During this time, I start to think of my son’s future and I hope, I trully hope and wish my son does not have to witness this fear. But if he does, I hope he does not catch the fear but lets faith remain in his heart. May his faith in our Lord remain and counsel him. For if Yaweh (Our Father God) takes care of the birds soaring in the sky and the creatures roaming through the fields, wildreness, and woods, then surely he will take care of him and you.
Throughout this time of the Coronavirus going around, I must say it has affected me more than I would like to admit. Since it first started going around, I tried to not look too far into it, and regected its existance in this world, whether it was purposefully made to go around or if it was just a mere coincidence. I continued on with living like I always do and shopping like I always do, until I couldn’t buy the meat I needed for a dinner meal for my family.
And then the nurning homes shut their doors and access to my father was taken from me, my mom, and my siblings. During a time when my dad needs us the most, we are not capable of being their physically next to him. The relationship with my dad was very rocky until his near dear experience recently, putting him in a nursing home for rehabilitaion. And when our relationship was finally healing and the excitement to see him was starting to come back, it was taken from me. I am thankful we can still talk on the phone, but I sure do look forward to when I can see him again in person.
My mom is currently sick as well, no she has not been tested for the coronavirus, but has been isolating herself inside her home for about a week or more now with my two brothers. I know she will be okay but I have not been able to be much in contact with her, as I used to see her every day. Now I quickly drop off food on the porch or kitchen table at hands reach from the front door and make my way back home.
In America, we have gotten so used to have everything at our fingertips. And I hope this time wakes us up to appreciate all that is around us, including the little things like going to the park or eating out with friends or family. Even grabbing a coffee at the local coffee shop. Or having a family gathering or birthday party, which right now is out of reach. And to the women who are giving birth without their loved ones present, I applaud you and give you my prayers and encourage you to stay strong. For this will be written into your history and will be a testimony that you can share. Know that you are not alone, as there are other women going through the same feelings you are. And your loved ones are also hurting knowing that they can not be there next to you. Keep your heads up and focus on the boy or girl that will soon be in your arms, loving you completely and entirely. My heart does hurt for you knowing your fear of giving birth alone.
Stay in contact during your labor either through the phone or face time or any way possible. Your family is also anticipating and will have you in their minds and hearts as you bring life into this world.
As fast as the Coronavirus came, lets hope that’s how fast it will be gone.
I am no doctor but if you are feeling sick, take high doses of Vitamin C!
When I first moved into our condo, I wanted every room to feel “full.” When I say “full,” by that I mean every room felt like it needed the basics of today’s expectations. Our bedroom needed a big bed frame, high off the floor with a big dresser across from it, and matching night stands. The furniture was all black and big. And at first I liked it. Our living room needed couches obviously and a coffee table smack dab in the middle with a rug underneath. Or so I thought. No, I did not get rid of everything, but I did make adjustments that not only made our home feel bigger, but also made it easier to live in mentally. You start to have more room to breathe.
About a year ago, I started to do research on minimalist lifestyles and how people can have so little in their homes but still get by. I watched a lot of YouTube videos of families showing their homes with a minimalist lifestyle and I was really intrigued. So you must be wondering, What does a minimalist lifestyle consist of? A minimalist lifestyle is about going through life with only the things that you need on a day to day basis, free of unnecessary clutter. I must admit that I am not 100% there yet, but each day I try to make small changes to help get me to where I would like to be. So far I have gone completely through my clothes and tossed away everything I do not wear. My husband and I used to have a closet full of clothes and a double dresser, one for my husband and one for myself, that was also full of clothes. We sold the dressers and now only have clothes in our walk in closet that I would say is probably 4ft by 10ft. That was my first big step to minimizing things around the house.
My second step was actually an accident. I was clearing out our living room coffee table, trying to organize the books that were placed in the shelf it contained and also was about to clean the glass top it had. As I was cleaning the glass, it reflected a glare onto our wall causing our Australian Cattle dog, full of energy, to jump “over” the coffee table and at the reflection on the wall. In doing so, she snagged the side of the coffee table and tore it from their bolts. And that was a bitter sweet moment to the end of us having a coffee table in the living room. I must say I was upset at first but then realized the space that was created, as well as the little to no importance that the coffee table held in our living room. Also on the plus side, our son could now roam freely between the couches with his toys. I am still trying to figure out where to put my books though. Feel free to give me some unique suggestions! ( I do plan on purchasing an end table or two to have on the side of the couch(es) for when I have tea or coffee). Maybe I can keep my books there?
Another big step was getting rid of our bed frame. It was big black and took up a lot of space, or so it seemed. We initially wanted to buy something closer to the ground and of a lighter color. So we sold our bed frame and ended up sleeping on our mattress on the floor for a few nights and to our surprise, we loved it! Right now we bought a king mattress but still have it on the floor and our room already feels much bigger.
We try to keep our condo very minimal for our benefit as well as our son’s. Not only does it feel better for us mentally and physically, but it is also easier to clean and I do not have to worry about my son getting into anything he shouldn’t. For the most part he is free to crawl around and not feel limited.
Our bathrooms are not cluttered and very simplistic. What we do not need, we do not really have. I like my kitchen to be clean and I love my counter-top space. I love for everything to have a place and for everything to be in its place after it has been used. Yes, I am that mom that cleans up the toys before or during my son’s nap-times. Or atleast I try to be…
As I go further into this journey of minimalist living, feel free to ask me any questions or give me any advice that you have found useful or may think would be useful!
Ever since I gave birth to my son, I have been trying to live a better, cleaner, more natural and minimalist lifestyle. I want him to be the healthiest, smartest, courageous boy that he has the potential to be.
A couple of months ago, my son had a slight cold and I did not want to give him anything pharmaceutical, that could potentially give him side effects or start affecting his internal organs. So to the internet I went, researching homeopathic remedies that would only benefit the health of my son. As I began researching, I ran across Elderberry syrup. Many stores actually sell elderberry syrups that could be used if you did not want to make your own at home, such as the one I will link, that can be purchased on Amazon. I personally did not try this one but I have seen a lot of good reviews on it.
You could definitely find some at your local Whole Foods store or any natural/organic stores near by. I wanted to save some money and create a larger amount of it so that I can always have it on hand in the fridge.
The recipe that I found was from BuonaPappa. There a video is available as well as text, describing how to create this homeopathic remedy. Because my son is less than one year, I used organic maple syrup instead of honey. Also when using honey, use all natural organic honey, not processed. you can also find that in a natural/organic store. I am thankful that my father-in-law and brother-in-law raise their own bees so I get all natural raw honey for free.
What You Will Need
1 Cup of Dried Elderberries
4 Cups of Water
1/2 to 1 Cup honey or maple syrup if baby is under 1 year
2 Slices Fresh Ginger
2 Small Sticks of Cinnamon
6 Whole Cloves
1 Lemon for lemon juice but optional
Mason Jar for Storage
Once all ingredients are placed in water, bring to a boil until about half the water has evaporated. Strain and squeeze the rest of the juice with a spoon from the elderberries. Save what is left as compost or toss. For my first batch of the Elderberry Syrup, the amount was much less than I originally intended. I needed to keep a better eye on the ingredients when they were being boiled in the water. Too much water had evaporated, therefore not leaving me with a lot of syrup. For the second batch I decided to not boil it for as long. Once made, I put them into small mason jars. I started giving it to my son right away and within about a day his running nose started to get better. I know try to give him some every week in order as an immune system booster. Not only is it beneficial, but it also tastes sweet and very easy to have the little one take it.
Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it as well 🙂
This post will be a little different than my other posts, as I am out here seeing if I can relate to some other mothers out there. Do you ever feel like a bad mother? Or that your little one deserves better? Whether it is because you didn’t get to your son or daughter in time and they fell and started crying? Or they are teething and you thought they were just being cranky but really they are in pain. Or one day you think they are crying for no reason but turns out their tummy really hurts.
Does every mother beat themselves up mentally, hoping or wishing that they were better or should be better? Is it just mom guilt? Do we not see ourselves as confident women or wonderful mothers just because we are more judgmental of ourselves than others?
Today is one of those days for me. My almost 9 month old son is sick with a small cold and each time I go to wipe his runny nose it really irritates him and he starts to cry. His naps were sort of off schedule today making him a little tired and I just felt all over the place. Now here I am wishing I was better for him today.
Today feels like a day where I let myself down, or let my standards down a little. So as of right now, I am looking forward to tomorrow. To start fresh and be the best mother I can be for my little boy, and the best wife I can be for my husband, as well as a better person for myself and those around me. It’s hard to not judge yourself or criticize yourself when you have these goals or envision the type of person you want to be.
That brings us to the question: What kind of mother do I want to be?
I want to be a mother where at the end of the day I deserve that hot bath because I did everything I could to take care of my family, one that made the meals and satisfied the hunger and thirst of my son. A mother that put her phone down to crawl around the floor and enjoying the small moments that will one day no longer be there. I want to be a mother that puts a smile on my son’s face and am there to hold him if he gets hurt or the mother that quickly catches her son before he gets hurt.
I don’t want to be inattentive, missing the moment my son stands up for the first time or takes his first step or says his first word. I don’t want him to feel that my phone takes time away from him.
I want to leave you with a story that always make me think. I was told this story a few days back and can’t get it out of my head.
One day a little boy was at school and he was given an assignment. The teacher told the students to write about what they would like to be if they could choose anything or anyone in the world. The little boy turned in his assignment which was read by the teacher. The little boy wrote… If I could be anything in the world I would like to be a cell phone. Then maybe my parents would pay more attention to me. Then maybe they would want to play with me. And just maybe they would always have time to talk to me.
May we always have time for our children, giving them the love and attention they not only desire but also need.
Have you ever needed to throw something away and opened the trash can to find a stench coming from it? You stop breathing for a couple seconds to try and avoid the stench or try throwing something away really fast. An easy and cheap solution is by putting a car freshener to the inside of the trash can or placing it on the bottom of the trash can. Place a freshener with a strong but pleasant scent so that it can travel from the bottom and out.
Car Freshener Attached to House Vents
Would you love to have your house having a pleasant scent without needing to constantly spray each room or light candles all the time? A simple way is to attach the car vent fresheners to each or several of the vents in your home, if you have central air. Each time the heat or AC is on, it will blow through the car vent and into your home leaving a beautiful aroma, without you needing to do anything! This is my favorite house hack!
Clean Cups/Mugs Stains with Baking Soda
One of my other favorite house hacks involves baking soda! Easy to afford and is always in the kitchen at hand. Have you ever had stains in your cups, mugs, plates, thermos, etc? Your scrub and scrub with dish soap with no luck. Baking soda is great at easily clearing those stains away. Put about a tablespoon of baking soda into the cup or onto the plate. Moist it a little but with some water so that it does not dissolve all the way put becomes easier to scrub with. You can either use your hand to spread the baking soda all over the mug/cup/plate or use a sponge. Once you scrub with the baking soda, simply rinse to reveal you stains all gone! This is a great hack for all those tea stains or coffee stains still lurking on your favorite morning mug!
Use Rechargeable Batteries
Recently my husband and I purchases rechargeable batteries. Sounds a bit iffy, I know. And I at first wasn’t too fond of them until I started using them. Using rechargeable batteries avoids having to constantly buy and dispose of old batteries when they run out. Rechargeable batteries is a one time charge. No more running out of batteries, as they are easy to charge. Will link below the set that I bought and love. I personally bought them at Costco but also found them on Amazon.
Dollar Store Storage Bins
As surprising as it is, Dollar Store bins are pretty useful, as well as affordable. They come handy when try to organize. You can find wire racks for cabinets, storage bins for drawers, bins for closets, etc, all for a dollar. Would anyone like me to make a post about some useful Dollar Store purchases? Comment below.
When my son was a new born, he got one of the worst diaper rashes where he was constantly crying. The rash was red and looked like some of his skin was starting to rub off. I at first did not know what to do. I started applying diaper creams but nothing was helping right away until I realized that the fastest way to heal it was also the easiest. If your little one seems to be getting a diaper rash, get a small bowl and put warm water in it as well as some soap and mix it so that the soap is dissolved in the water. Next taken a cotton ball and dip it into the warm water and wipe the diaper rash gently. Let this air dry. Once the rash air drys, put some organic coconut oil on it. You will start seeing results that very day.
Coconut oil, coconut oil, and coconut oil. I am a big fan of coconut oil for my son. I use it all the time when I see a rash about to form, when his skin is dry, or after a nice bath for some smooth skin. I no longer use lotions. Coconut oil is not only organic but also seems to work better than everything else. If you are breast feeding/pumping, breast milk is amazing for helping dry skin. When my son had cradle cap, I started to apply a little bit of breast milk on his head and it helped it go away.
Once again I would like to mention coconut oil. When my son got thrush when he was about a month old I believe, I searched for natural ways to take the thrush away so that not only was it better for him, but so it would not spread. I smeared a little bit of coconut oil on my finger and rubbed it onto this tongue.
Organic Coconut Oil (Refined v.s Unrefined)
I prefer to purchase unrefined coconut oil. The natural the better.
Refined: Refined coconut oil is better for things like baking and cooking, as it has a longer shelf life, is also odorless and tasteless.
Unrefined: Unrefined coconut oil has a slight coconut smell to it, which preferably I like, and it also has a slight taste to it. Unrefined also has more health benefits.
I will paste a link below on the coconut oil I prefer
When I first started my journey with breast feeding, as in my other post, it did not turn out how I had planned and from starting off with exclusively breast feeding I started exclusively pumping.
In the beginning of my pumping days I started with a Spectra pump provided by the hospital I gave birth in. I must say I really did like it, other than the fact that pumping in general made me feel like a milk making machine or some sort of cow being milked. The Spectra was really easy to use and had minimal buttons to press, and included a little light so that you can see what you are doing in the dark, if you pump during the night.
If you know that you are pumping, definitely do some investing in a durable, rechargeable, portable pump. Pumping gets easier if you know you can travel with it and not worry about finding an outlet.
Two great options for that would be an Elvie pump and a Willow pump. Both are expensive but with the time you will be spending pumping, it makes it worth it. They fit snuggling right into your maternity bra and suction onto your breasts when turned on. If I had known about these pumps earlier, I could have saved on so much headaches, stress, and anxiety from the pressure of being home or finding a place to pump. Both come at around the same price, one pump for around $280 or double pumps for $500. The willow I believe only sells as a double.
I personally have the older version of the Willow Pump, the Willow 1.0 but right now they have a 2.0 that is out. With the 2.0 you can either pump straight into the bags that you can purchase from them, making it easier to pump and store during travel, or you can pump straight into the container and dump into a storage bag of your choice or bottle. The Willow 1.0 can only pump into their spill proof storage bags. From the research that I have done, a lot of people say that it is silent but from owning one I will say that you can hear it but it is definitely quieter than a normal pump.
Both the Willow and Elvie pumps connect to an app that keeps track of all your pumping sessions as well as the ounces pumped, whether the right breast or from the left breast and also stops pumping automatically once the bags or containers are filled. Both pumps are very easy to put together and also simple to clean.
My sister-in-law has the double Elvie pumps and she loves it as well. Being a new mom and knowing that she would be pumping, she got two right away to double pump and save on time. This also allows her to be able to pump while she is making dinner for her husband or is out on the road visiting friends or family, or if she is running late to an appointment, she can pump on the road, which I have also personally done. To be able to pump in the car is amazing and relieving.
They try to advertise them as being silent and unnoticeable but from my experience, they are not as silent as some say and you can notice them because they make your breasts look like they doubled in size. So, I would not be out at a restaurant with them in my bra but if that works for you then go right ahead! I just found it easy to go places as I could easily pump in the car every few hours or in any bathroom en route.
I got my portable Willow pumps too late, when my son was 7 months because I was so tired of dealing with pumping only at home or carrying around the big pump and trying to find an outlet wherever I went.
For my next pregnancy I will be investing in the Willow 2.0 to not have to deal with what I dealt with during the beginning few months of my pumping journey. I am choosing the Willow 2.0 because it can pump straight into the storage bags or the container made for it, giving me more options. If straight into their storage bags then there is less to clean as well. Although you need to keep buying their specific storage bags.
So, all you mothers, invest in your happiness! Because these pumps definitely make a difference. They have in mine and they will in yours too! And no I am not sponsored by them, just writing this from experience and hoping I can save some of you from doing the mistake that I did and got them too late.
Final Pros and Cons of Willow Pump
Easy to store
Can pump into storage bags
Can pump into container
Easy to clean
Better suction than Elvie
Can pump anywhere anytime
Not completely silent
Can only use their specific storage bags to pump into
Suction is less than Spectra or Medela
Final Pros and Cons of Elvie Pump
Easy to store
Pumps into container
Easy to clean
Quieter than the Willow
Can pump anywhere anytime
Can slightly hear it
Has a light on when in use that you can see through your shirt