Monday, April 28, 2014

5 Products We Have Replaced with Apple Cider Vinegar

    Lately we have fallen in love with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). We use Braggs unfiltered.  It's important to use unfiltered ACV to get the most out of it. They are literally over 100 uses for ACV, but here are 5 small ways we have replaced commercial products with ACV.

1. Conditioner 

Mix 1 part ACV to 1 part water and pour over your hair. Rinse with cold(ish) water. 

This has done wonders for my hair, and is especially helpful if you have hard water. 

2. Stretch Mark Creams and Oils

Put some ACV on a cotton ball and rub on your existing stretch marks or in areas you would like to avoid stretch marks.  

ACV is a natural skin tightener and I have seen results from this after just one use! 

3. Deodorant

Put ACV on a cotton ball and rub on your armpits (not after shaving though!) 

I had trouble taking the plunge in this one.  Who really wants to test out deodorant? But when I ran out unexpectedly one day, it wasn't very difficult to attempt this and I was pleasantly surprised!  It works really well, and no, you will not smell like vinegar all day.  Josh still wears deodorant to work, but only because he hasn't tried it! 

4. Face Wash and Toner

Mix 1 part ACV to 8 parts water. Put on cotton ball to clean your face. 

I mentioned before that ACV is a natural skin tightener so it is great to use on your face!  We also love how clean it makes us feel!  You'll be amazed at how well it cleans your face, even straight out if the shower! 

5.  Sunburn Relief Lotions

Put ACV on a cotton ball and apply to sunburn. 

This one kinda sounds painful but it actually doesn't hurt a bit!  And it does wonders to relieve sunburns! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What is Prodromal Labor and How You Can Pray for Me

    I'm 38 weeks and 3 days. I know, it went by super fast.  We are totally ready to meet Greyson (and not just because he's ran out of room!). On Friday night, I was having some pretty noticeable contractions so I started timing them. They started out as ten minutes apart for 2 hours and then they moved to 8 minutes apart. At this point, we called Josh's parents to come stay with the boys (they live an hour and a half away). When they got there (about 2 hours later), my contractions were still going strong at 8 minutes apart and seemed to be getting stronger.  We headed to the hospital with the hopes of finding someplace (even if just inside the hospital) to walk around and help my contractions get closer together. My doctor told me to come in when they are five minutes apart, but we live an hour from the hospital so it is kinda hard to time that right. When we got to the hospital it was midnight, so we had no choice but to go to L&D. They monitored me for an hour and then let me walk L&D for a while (I think we walked for two hours!) as per my doctors instructions. After we walked, I had not had any cervical change at all so they sent us home.  This was discouraging and nerve wracking, as we were sent home when I was in labor with Boaz only to get home and have my water break!  We headed home though, and nothing happened. 

    So have you heard of Prodromal Labor?  Yeah, I hadn't either. Basically, it is just labor that is stop and go for a while without progressing.  It is different than experiencing Braxton Hicks (those are just practice contractions, these are the real deal). 'Typically' women who experience Prodromal Labor have contractions that are painful and timbale but then they stop and pick up again later. For me, this means that I am having contractions 12 minutes apart for several hours, and then they will start to be 7 minutes apart for about an hour and then they go back to 12 minutes apart. And. They. Never. Stop. And when I say contractions, I mean the kind that make you stop what you are doing and force yourself to breathe. I am unable to talk through them (or if I do, it's through gritted teeth), and they last about 1-1.5 minutes a piece. 

So here's how I need you guys to pray for me:
•Having painful contractions that lead nowhere is both emotionally and physically exhausting. Pray that I can rest.  I have been doing my best, but the contractions have even been disturbing my sleep. 
•Pray that labor will progress and that I will know when it's time to head to the hospital 
•Pray that we will not be discouraged 
•Pray for a safe and easy delivery. I have read that often times, Prodromal Labor causes actual active labor to be quick and easy since your body did so much work during the Prodromal Labor.  We of course want this, but we do want to make it to hospital! We plan to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), so pray for a safe delivery!  
•Pray that no one gets sick before Greyson comes! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Black Bean Brownies (No, Don't Run Away!)

    No, seriously.  Come back!   These are gluten free, and they taste amazing! There are 8g of carbs per brownie. Enjoy! 

Check out the recipe here.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paint-Dipped Bamboo Toothbrushes

    I bought these awesome Bamboo Toothbrushes on Amazon and couldn't wait to use them.  The problem was, they looked the same and both Josh and I would be using them. So I decided to dip the ends in paint so we could tell them apart and I couldn't be happier with the results! 

What you need:
•Bamboo Toothbrushes
•Wall paint (It's thinner than craft paint. But you could just mix a little bit of water into some craft paint if you would like) 
•Parchment paper
•Paper plate 

Set your paper plate on a piece of parchment paper. This is what the toothbrush will rest on while it dries. Take your toothbrush and very carefully dip one end into the paint.  Make sure to just do the tip, because you don't want the paint near your mouth when you brush you teeth.  Carefully lay your toothbrush on the plate with the dipped end hanging over the edge. Let dry for two-three hours. My paint did drip during the drying process so just flip the toothbrush over after about half and hour so there isn't a dried bubble on your finished product. You could seal the paint if you would like, but I figured that since it wouldn't be near my mouth that it would be ok.  Enjoy!