Monday, May 14, 2012

28 Weeks

I can't believe our little girl has been growing for over 7 months now!
Third trimester begins Friday, and I've got to say, I have mixed feelings.
Part of me can't believe we are already another month closer to meeting our precious little one, 
while the other part of me can't believe my belly still has almost three more months of growing!
It feels so big already, I can't imagine it getting any bigger-
I am definitely in for an interesting next couple of months.

Happenings since week 24:

1. She has started moving quite regularly now. 
Sometimes if I don't feel her for a bit I'll give her a little poke or two. 
I get kicks and punches way down below my belly button as well as way up right below my ribs. 
It is crazy that her little home is so big now! 
We can see most of her movements now, and it is the sweetest thing in the world. 
My absolute favorite thing right now is to lay on the couch, 
and feel and watch her do all sorts of kicks and flips. 
Sometimes she will have a couple random, super strong kicks or punches that completely startle me. 
She definitely likes to wake me up at night.
 But it is impossible to get the slightest bit annoyed-
the feeling of life inside of me is so incredible beyond words.

2. Lately I have been craving carbs, especially watermelon and english muffins with peanut butter.
Most days fruits and grains are the only things I feel like eating. 
So it has definitely been a struggle to get in enough protein.

3. We finished painting the nursery, changing table and dresser. 
Now we only need to pick up the crib and rug from IKEA, make the ottoman and finish the decorations.
I can't wait until the nursery is all ready to go!

4. We have started reading some marriage, parenting and baby books.
It has been lots of fun learning and discussing with each other.

5. One of my new favorite things is Coconut Oil.
I ran out of my current belly butter this month, so I decided to try something new, and I am glad I did.
Coconut Oil is so creamy and rich, plus the subtle coconut smell is divine.
I had found a tiny stretch mark on each of my lower sides so I started using this,
and I swear they are already fading!
I also use this as lotion every day and my skin feels so soft.
I buy mine at Trader Joe's- it's organic, virgin and cheap.
Go out and try it for yourself.
 Here are a bunch of other uses for this great product.

6. Seth has really taken to talking to our little gal.
He loves to rub my belly and make sweet little conversation with her.
It is so crazy how much we already can't imagine life without her.
We haven't even met her yet, and we already have so many hopes and dreams for her.
It's pretty incredible how much love we already have for this sweet little bundle.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homemade Household Cleaners & Beauty Products

My goal this summer is to replace as much of our household cleaners and beauty products 
as possible with homemade versions.
I want them to:
-be made of as many natural ingredients as possible
-be just as, or more, effective as the store-bought version
-cost less than the store-bought version
I am going to gradually replace each item once I run out of the store-bought version-
that way it won't be so overwhelming and time consuming.
I just ran out of dishwasher detergent, kitchen sink scrub and facial makeup remover pads,
 so that is where I am starting.

I followed Recipe 1.

The only ingredients needed were Borax, Baking Soda, Salt, and Lemi-Shine.
I already had salt, and the Borax and Baking Soda were very inexpensive for the size of the box.
The only thing that I will have to buy more of after a couple batches will be the Lemi-Shine.
 One batch filled up a big plastic container, and I only use 2TBS for each use.

The only ingredients needed were Baking Soda, 
Environmentally safe liquid laundry detergent or soap, and Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE).
I had the Baking Soda from the Dishwasher Detergent, already had GSE in my cupboard, and used the laundry detergent I already had.
I kind of cheated with the laundry detergent. The environmentally safe kind was pretty expensive, and since I only needed 1/2 cup I decided to use the kind I had at home this time.
Once my laundry detergent is out I'll be replacing it with the homemade version, which I'll use in my next batch.

I just used an empty condiment container from the kitchen.

The only ingredients needed were Coconut Oil, Baby soap and paper towels.
I already had Coconut Oil on hand, decided to use an old t-shirt instead of paper towels, and used Castille Mild Baby Soap (since Castille soap is used in a lot of other homemade recipes).
The t-shirt gave me 60 little wipes, which is actually the same amount as the store-bought version I normally use.

The wipes were kind of scrunched in the jar, but it'll work this time.
I am hoping the t-shirt wipes will be more gently on my face, 
plus I can wash and reuse them after each use.

I also tried out this Jewelry Cleaner with my ring, and it worked great!

I am finding out that most of these homemade cleaners and beauty products call for the same basic ingredients. This will be nice in cutting down costs, and also helpful if I need to whip up a batch of something real quick.

Once I have replaced most of my cleaners and beauty products I will work on storing them in more visually appealing ways. 
But, for now it's all about getting the hang of this new method.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gardening: Part 2

We finally planted our garden.
Once again, our goal was to spend as little as possible and keep it super simple, and we succeeded. 
A friend of my mom's started some cucumber and tomato plants from seed. 
She gave my mom a bunch, and mom gave us some, so we only had to buy cages and our other plants.
A cucumber plant-they were so cute and tiny.

 Nothing fancy, but we sure are excited!

We planted beets-I am getting back into juicing and hope to enjoy these as juice with some carrots and apples.

Along with the tomatoes, cucumbers and beets, we also planted basil and cantaloupe.
We picked basil because I've heard it's easy and we will definitely put it to good use, and cantaloupe because it sounded fun and we had so much extra room.
We used all transplants, except the beets-they only come in seeds, but you can plant them every couple weeks to get a continual harvest.  :)

 We made our own weed killer and rabbit repellent.
Vinegar is supposed to be good weed killer, and I always have gallons on hand so we gave it a try.

I found an article (here) on ways to rabbit-proof a vegetable garden, so we tried the two we had on hand-sprinkling chili powder at the base of the plants, and mixing a rabbit-repellent tea.
The tea is simply cayenne pepper and garlic powder steeped in water over night with a squirt of dish soap (the soap is supposed to allow the spray to adhere to the plant leaves).

So now that our garden officially smells nice and pungent, I hope these little tricks work and our veggies grow big and strong!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Menu Plan

Since school is out, well until summer school starts, I finally have time to cook dinner.
So, here is what's on the menu for next week.

paired with some mashed potatoes and broccoli

I also want to make a couple snacks

My Grandma always makes these, and I love them. 
Not exactly the healthiest thing, but I don't plan on making them very often.

I love these little bites of energy.

I'm pretty excited to finally have time to get back in the kitchen!