Organic homemade juice

Organic homemade juice

Hi everyone!

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

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. While water is boiling, cut apples into slices, the skin can stay on
  3. Once water is brought to a boil, place all fruits into the water and cover
  4. Let the fruit boil in the water for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Pour the juice through a strainer or cheese cloth to separate the boiled fruit from the juice.
  6. The juice will be hot. I usually pour into a big mixing bowl
  7. Once strained pour into a air tight jar if not drinking right away.
  8. For a stronger taste to develop, let it sit for a couple hours or even a couple days.
  9. If drinking right away, let it cool down and add sugar to sweeten.

Cauliflower salad, mini potatoes, and fajita chicken

Are you looking for a quick dinner meal? This meal is quick to make and does not require a lot of major ingredients! I was able to feed myself and my husband and have some for my 11 month old. This is my first time writing a recipe of mine out, therefore it definitely will not sound professional, but bare with me.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of Fajita seasoning (bought or homemade)
  • Mini potatoes (roughly 30)
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 long cucumber
  • 1 container of grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 cup of mayo

Instructions

  1. In a container, mix 1 cup of soy sauce with 1/2 a cup of honey and 2 tablespoons of fajita seasoning.
  2. With a fork, puncture the chicken breasts on both sides and place into the marinade sauce. Cover and put aside to marinade while you prepare the rest. (I typically let it marinade for several hours if I know in advance I will be preparing this meal)
  3. Cut the mini potatoes in half and place in salted boiling water. Roughly for about 6 minutes, until it has been almost cooked through.
  4. While potatoes are boiling, break the cauliflower into smaller bite size pieces and place into a bowl.
  5. Cut the cucumber into slices and then in half and place with the cauliflower.
  6. Cut the grape tomatoes in half and place with the cauliflower and cucumbers.
  7. Dice the onion and add to the bowl.
  8. Mix in a cup of mayo and salt to taste. The salad is done.
  9. Remove potatoes from the boiling water and strain.
  10. Place back into the skillet or pan on medium heat and add the unsalted butter. Let the butter melt around the potatoes. Do not mix often to avoid breaking the potatoes.
  11. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and salt based on your preference. Remove potatoes once they have become golden brown.
  12. While waiting for the potatoes to become golden brown, take the chicken breast and place onto a skillet at medium to high heat. Pour the marinade sauce over the chicken and cover to catch the steam and prevent the meat from drying out. Flip meat over after 10 minutes or once golden brown and cook other side.

The gift of being a stay at home mom

The gift of being a stay at home mom

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.

A Total Mom Day

A Total Mom Day

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??

During a Time of Chaos

During a Time of Chaos

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!

From One Mother to Another

From One Mother to Another

Hello all you beautiful mothers out there!

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.

Home Remedies for Baby

Diaper Rash

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.

Dry Skin

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.

Thrush

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

Best Products for Mothers who Pump Exclusively

Best Products for Mothers who Pump Exclusively

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

  • Saves time
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable
  • Easy to store
  • Can pump into storage bags
  • Can pump into container
  • Easy to clean
  • Better suction than Elvie
  • Can pump anywhere anytime
  • Expensive
  • Not completely silent
  • Still noticeable
  • Can only use their specific storage bags to pump into
  • Suction is less than Spectra or Medela

Final Pros and Cons of Elvie Pump

  • Saves Time
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable
  • Easy to store
  • Pumps into container
  • Easy to clean
  • Quieter than the Willow
  • Can pump anywhere anytime
  • Expensive
  • Can slightly hear it
  • Noticeable
  • Has a light on when in use that you can see through your shirt
  • Can’t pump into storage bags

I will add the links to their sites down below:

Willow Pump

https://shop.willowpump.com/

Elvie Pump

https://www.elvie.com/en-us/

Best Baby Registry/Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Best Baby Registry/Baby Shower Gift Ideas

When it comes to creating a baby registry there are many things that should be considered. Can the product be multi-functional? Is it easy to clean? Is it reliable? Will it last? Can it be reused? Will it take up a lot of space? These are only a few questions that one needs to ask themselves.

When I was creating my baby registry for the first time I regretfully must say that I did not do enough research when it came to products that would save me time, space, and money. I sort of just plopped things onto it. Only after I had my first born son did I realize what I had wished I put on there. Here is a list I have put together after doing some research as well as trying out the products myself. Hope this helps!

Mushie Silicone Bib

This silicone bib is perfect for babies who are just starting solids and helps keep the mess to a limit. No longer will the drool and food find its way down your baby’s neck for this has the option to go up under the chin. Very easy to clean and wipe down. Great for when on the road as well. Only $12.99 on amazon. You can click on the image to be rerouted to the exact page.

Avocado Baby Smock/Bib Apron with sleeves

This baby smock is also perfect when starting your baby on solids. This also comes in various designs. I double up on this smock with the silicone bib. With the bib apron, it covers the arms up to the wrists, preventing any mushed up food to get onto the baby’s clothes. There are many different apron bibs out there, this is just the one I personally bought and liked, although I have not tried other brands. This is easy to clean and reusable.

Marpac Hushh/ Rohm Portable White Noise Machine

I personally have the Hushh but know of many who have the Rohm. Both are made by the same company, so there is not much of a difference other than the Hushh has a clip and the Rohm has a lanyard. Having a white noise machine has helped my son sleep so much better. Not only does he fall asleep faster with it but he also stays asleep longer, due to the white noise cancelling out any disruption.

Tommee Tippee Portable Baby Travel Bottle Warmer

This Tommee Tippee bottle warmer saved my life. After having complications breast feeding, as I explain in this post, (https://innerthoughtsofmotherhood.com/2019/12/11/my-breastfeeding-journey/) I decided that I still wanted to give my baby my breast milk so I started pumping. My baby was very picky with the temperature of his milk and at first it was very difficult to take cold milk with me until I found this on Amazon. You pour hot water into it and it stays warm for hours. It is a little heavy once the water is in it but it is what helped me give warm milk to my baby with out having to worry about going out. I use it every day. Only $13.82.

Baby Merlin Magic Sleep Suit

I have heard great things about this sleep suit. I personally got it too late when my son was already starting to roll over. This suit is great when the baby is transitioning from a swaddle but does not yet roll over and helps avoid having a blanket in the crib. This sleep suit is thick enough to keep your baby warm as well as gives your baby the comfort they need to sleep peacefully while still being snug. The material is extremely soft and the suit itself is easy to put on and take off. Many people who take classes for their newborns to sleep well use this suit and recommend it.

Baby Car Mirror

A baby car mirror is a must! I love being able to see my little one without having to risk turning around while driving. You can safely keep an eye on your baby while still looking foward. The baby mirror simply straps onto the seat where the car seat is. This also gives a way for the baby to entertain themselves while on the road, giving you a peace of mind. Afterall babies love mirror! It is a win win situation! This is the one I personally bought, but any baby car mirror will do.

Baby Teething Pacifier

This pacifier clips is perfect for teething babies. My son loves it and even started rubbing his gums on it before teething. We all know babies love to put things into their mouth and this is perfect for them. Not only does it look cute but is also multifunctional. Works as a teether, a toy and helps the pacifier not get lost.

Unisex Drool Bibs

A mother can never have enough drool bibs, especially when their baby is teething. Not only do they add to your babys outfit but they also keep the rest of their clothes from getting wet. Would you rather their onesie get wet and have to change their outfit, or simply change their bib? I also prefer to simply switch out their bibs.

DIAPERS DIAPERS DIAPERS

You can never go wrong with gifting diapers. Diapers get extremely expensive, so as many diapers as a mom can get, she will be extremely grateful! I personally buy the Kirkland from Costco, but Amazon has them as well so just found it easier to link through amazon. The Kirkland diapers are of good quality and are more affordable. Although in Costco they are cheaper than they are here on Amazon. I have also tried the Huggies and Pampers diapers. Personally I like the Huggies diapers more, as they seem softer than the others. Out of Pampers, I would suggest the Pure Pampers diapers as they are more natural.

Baby Wipes

My favorite wipes would have to be the Huggies Natural Care wipes. They are the perfect size, making it easy to store at home as well as put into a diaper bag. The are soft and easy to pull out. They are unscented, 99% water, as well as hypoallergenic. For the price Amazon has then, it’s hard not to get them as well. At 6 packs for only $9.48, that is a steal!

ENJOY

Hope this list helps or gives ideas to anyone looking for what to put onto their baby registry or is looking to buy a gift for a future mama. As I look into other products I will try to update this or will post another blog post with other products that I find useful! 🙂

Skip Hop Explore

Loving his skip hop explore 🙂

Skip Hop Explore makes for a wonderful gift for your little as well as helps strengthen their leg muscles for when they are ready to walk. My little boy could not be happier with it and uses it every single day. Will link it in the side bar, just click on it and you will be rerouted to the exact page on Amazon! Grab it while it is on sale for $45 off!!

Enjoy 🙂