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.

I’m Back!

After a very long hiatus, I am pleased to say that I am back to writing. My son will now be turning 2 next month on the 15th and we have added a new addition to the family. Little Esther is currently 7 weeks and is beautiful and healthy. I am very excited to announce that we had a homebirth with our little girl, and I would do it all over again. With all the regulations in hospitals due to Covid, it was an easy decision for my husband and I when we decided on having a homebirth.

Did the homebirth go as planned, you may wonder? I will be posting a separate blog post specifically on how my home birth went. So stay tuned for that!

I am now into restoring old wooden furniture, and am currently working on finishing an old, antique looking coffee table for our living room. I have decided that I want to experience with the Bohemian style. It is taking a lot of work and patience for me to finish it, as I still have a long way to go, but I will be sure to post the results!

My husband is working on finishing our basement for the kids, and I have so many ideas on what I would like it to be like, unique, fun, and exciting! Should I post a separate post on the before and after, as well as what thought process I had?

Let me know what your thoughts are! Or any questions you may have.

Here is the little guy giving me a hand!

I have so many exciting things that I want to write about, so stay tuned!

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.

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.

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

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!

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 🙂