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

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 🙂

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.

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.

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! 🙂