Nightstands Flip

I found these night stands on the side of the road and decided to give them a makeover! I scuff sanded them down and sanded the drawers completely. I spray painted the drawer handles and painted the nightstands black and coated them with polyacrylic.

I found self adhesive wallpaper on Amazon and applied it to the inside of the drawers. Sold these for $80!

Furniture Flip (end table)

My first piece I flipped and sold. Materials total cost be about $20 and I sold for $50. This made me a profit of $30.

Why I chose to give birth at home to our second child

When my husband and I revealed to those around us that we would be having a home birth, the first words we usually heard were, “you’re crazy.” The next words that followed were, “how will you manage the pain?” For many women the thought of a natural birth, let alone a home birth, has sadly become so – unnatural. What was once the norm for how women gave birth back in the day, has now been surrounded by words of negativity. I will proudly say we had a home birth and if we do have another child in the future, I hope to have another one. I had wished to have a natural birth, free of pain medications, a caring and supportive team to push me through, and a pregnancy and labor free of the hospital restrictions and regulations.

Having a natural birth without any pain medications has always been something I wanted to stick to. It had not gone the way I had planned the first time I gave birth to my son. (I will have another post on that). There is always risks to taking Pitocin and having an Epidural done that could affect the baby and you, and therefore I wanted to avoid that risk. For example, some risks to the newborn include slow or abnormal heart rates as well as jaundice, which my firstborn did experience. Seizures and eye problems are also possible side effects, as well as problems with breathing. As for the mother, risks include uterine rupture, hypertension, as well as some others. I will also have a separate post on that. These risks I did not want to take a chance with. Women were naturally created by God to give birth. There should be no shame in that. Because we were created for this, I believe we are able to bear the pain. As scary as it may be to think about it, I did want to experience what God had intended us women to endure. Having already experienced labor pains and giving birth, I knew what I needed to make things easier. With this birth, I wanted to be in control and have my body do what it needed to do. I wanted to experience pushing when my body felt the need to push, not when a doctor told me to. Nor did I want to push not knowing when, which is what happens with an epidural since you do not feel how your body should naturally push. Pushing incorrectly could lead to vaginal tearing, which was also something I wanted to avoid this time around. With the support of my midwives I was able to achieve all of that.

A caring and supportive team is crucial for any pregnant mother, during prenatal visits, labor, and postpartum. The team behind you makes a major difference. I was blessed to have three wonderful midwives who helped me along my pregnancy journey and made postpartum a lot easier. Giving birth in a hospital setting, you do not know the nurses who are assisting. You have to become comfortable and trusting with them during your most vulnerable time. They do not know what you would like, or what you wouldn’t want. They are in and out of your room on an as needed basis. You also do not know what midwife or doctor will be delivering your child. Sometimes you might be able to get your midwife if you give them a notice when you are heading to the hospital and if they are not busy with other patients. My hospital midwife was unfortunately not available for my firstborn’s birth. With a caring and supportive team that you have had the chance to get to know, you are more comfortable in your own skin during this very vulnerable time. I was able to gain trust in my midwives and consider them as my friends. During prenatal visits they gave me the attention I needed, not rushing our appointments and were able to provide me with holistic approaches to any symptoms I may be feeling. I knew I needed a supportive team behind me and wanted to trust the people who would bring my baby into this world. I was able to be in the comfort of my own home knowing I can be surround by those I trust and care about. In a hospital setting, that unfortunately is not always the case.

One of the final reasons that helped me decide to have a home birth was my desire to avoid hospital restrictions and regulations, especially during their COVID restrictions. Some hospitals require Covid testing to be done on the mother and the baby, and if tested positive, the newborn is kept away from the mother. There have been tests that were falsely positive, and I did not want to risk not being able to take care of our newborn right after birth. The first bonding moments are crucial. A lot of hospitals were also requiring wearing a mask while in labor and when holding their own newborn. Wearing a mask already restricts your breathing and wearing one during labor would not be easy and also uncomfortable. Another big concern of mine was having my husband by my side and seeing my son after our child was born. I was due in March (2021) and at that time guests visits were strictly limited, some not allowing even the husband, while others allowing only one person. I did not want to feel more overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious worrying about who can and can not be near me, when I would need the most help and support. Therefore, making my decision to have a home birth was easy for me.

If you asked me a few years back if I would ever have a home birth, I would have probably said no and would also have thought it to be crazy. But, I think now is the time to normalize home births and respect the mothers who choose to do a home birth. If you have no health concerns and no pregnancy complications, a home birth is a great choice. It provides you with a natural birth and laboring techniques. You are in control of your body, surrounded by a caring and supportive team that you trust. You are in a comfortable environment at your most vulnerable time, free from hospital restrictions and regulations. A homebirth is a wonderful and beautiful thing to experience.

Why I stuck to breastfeeding

As many of you may have read one of my firsts post about my breastfeeding journey, you may have wondered why I stuck through it when I could have given up and gave my son formula. Yes it was a painful beginning to my breastfeeding journey, but as I stuck to it I figured out what works best for me. Although my son gave up taking my breast due to a heavy flow, I did not give up giving him my breast milk. From breastfeeding I went straight to pumping and feeding him from a bottle.

Yes, I was stubborn in the beginning and to start even giving him my milk in a bottle was for some reason heartbreaking. Not only heartbreaking, but I also felt like I was letting myself down or not being the mom I was “supposed” to be. Breaking the bond of skin to skin. I knew all the benefits of breastfeeding and could not drop that for the sake of my son. My goal was, and still is, is to have my son be the healthiest he can be. And the thought of dropping breast milk for the ease of myself came across as selfish to me. When I say I badly wanted to give up, I mean I really wanted to and almost did. I was crying for days contemplating what to do and trying to justify it if I was to convert to formula. My husband was being as supportive as he could, but seeing me in such a down state regarding this issue, he was also trying to justify formula so that I could have the ease of mind.

And I did, I said “tomorrow I’m dropping everything.” But then tomorrow came and I put my emotions aside as I looked down on my son and knew he deserved the best I could offer. And I did have milk. I had ALOT of milk. So for me to give up what I had, in my eyes was upsetting. Those that struggle with their milk supply, that’s another story, where definitely your child needs to eat and if they aren’t getting enough then yes supplementing with formula is an option. But to me, a woman who was producing more than enough milk, to get rid of that, was like getting rid of gold. And therefore I couldn’t.

My son is now 14 months old and although I have stopped pumping several weeks ago, I still had a frozen supply left. I am almost out but right now at 14 months my son has been getting the best I could offer him- my breast milk.

Breastfeeding isn’t easy if you have an oversupply. And pumping isn’t easy if you don’t have a portable pump. But I guess this is where we learn to sacrifice for our children, God’s creation. Whom He has entrusted us to look after and raise. I wouldn’t change my decision of breastfeeding. As I currently am a month pregnant now, breastfeeding is still my go to for our second child, and I can only hope it starts off better the second time since I am more experienced and well informed. I’ll keep you updated on my current pregnancy in future posts. 😉

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.

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??

Wanting to Live a Minimalist Lifestyle

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?

Our Living Room Currently

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.

Bedroom Currently

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!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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

Outcome

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 🙂

My Favorite House Hacks

Car Freshener in House Trash Cans

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.

As I find more hacks I will post a Pt. 2.