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    How To Get A Prenatal Massage That Saves Your Life

    Pregnant? You need a prenatal massage. But not just any prenatal massage. You need one of those that cures your body's pains and this is how you get one.

    At 35 weeks pregnant I’m feeling the best that I have since becoming pregnant. How? I invited someone to my home who delivered the best prenatal massage that I’ve ever had.

    Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a believer in the power of the prenatal massage. Each pregnancy I’ve had one and each one felt like I was just paying someone to slather me in oil. While my skin appreciated the extra TLC, my muscles, aches and pains were still present. When my prenatal massage therapist, Ebony, arrived, I told her just that–I’m not a believer but I’m pretty ashy so I’m still here for it. Well, she flipped my entire belief system on the prenatal massage.

    What To Look For In A Prenatal Massage Therapist

    I met Ebony while she was pregnant with her now 3 month old at the Blogalicious conference last year. She has a beautiful smile, the cutest freckles and a calming energy about her. I knew that she was a blogger looking to grow but I had no idea that she was a massage therapist–let alone one certified in prenatal massage. In talking to her about my previous experiences with the prenatal massages, I realize the I went wrong in choosing my massage therapist. Our chat led to the following conclusions when looking for the proper prenatal massage therapist:

    1. Make sure that they’re certified in prenatal massage. While any massage therapist will rub up on your back, a certified prenatal massage therapist knows the ins and outs of the pregnant woman’s body and how to navigate properly to give an effective massage.
    2. You need to feel complete comfort with your massage therapist. This seems obvious but as she was massaging the most tender and painful parts of my lower back, I realized it was easy to relax into it and breathe the discomfort away because I was completely comfortable with her.
    3. Get a woman who’s gone through pregnancy. I know, this is a little sexist but women who have had children know intimately what you mean when you describe certain pains. It’s like going to another mother for advice on children. While every woman’s body is different, at least this woman has a higher chance of understanding what you’re body is going through.

    Pregnant? You need a prenatal massage. But not just any prenatal massage. You need one of those that cures your body's pains and this is how you get one.

    The Benefits of an In-Home Prenatal Massage

    All of my previous massages have been at places of business. They’ve been beautiful places too but there’s something so different about the comforts of your own home. When Ebony arrived, I forewarned her that my house was a mess. It was Sunday which is normally our cleaning day. And by “our” I mean my husband and kids because I’ve been in so much pain that doing just about everything has stopped outside of grocery shopping and cooking. This was probably the only source of tension but she didn’t care. She came in, set up her table and had an essential oil diffuser going that had my living room filled with bergamot easing pre-existing tensions.

    I didn’t have to leave the comforts of my sweat shorts and husbands white tee to get treated professionally and I loved that. We turned on my Google Home and let the sounds of Pandora whisk me away into a pain-free euphoria. Once it was all said and done, I didn’t have to put shoes on, sit in the hot car and head home. I rolled off the table and felt no pain in my body for the first time in months. I feel so good I’m almost tempted to clean the house–almost.

    Let Me Gush For A Second…

    This pregnancy has been hard. From the time my little egg was fertilized, it’s been rough. From non-stop puking and extreme exhaustion in the first trimester to constant pain beginning in the second trimester, I honestly didn’t think I would get relief from anything I’ve been feeling. My creativity and writing has taken a hit because let’s be real, who can be creative and think happy thoughts when constantly in pain? I was apprehensive about Ebony coming over. She made no promises to how I would feel but delivered on every broken one that I’d previously received. This woman is truly gifted with her hands. She gave me a deep tissue massage that hit every point of pain that I’d been experiencing and massaged it away. When I stood up after she was finished, I was able to do so without wincing in pain. My lower back is no longer a source of issue for me. I walk, bend over, take the stairs and put on panties (super winning) with no pain. It feels amazing.

    Who Is Ebony and How Can You Reach Her?

    I’m not the selfish type. Ok, I am. But I feel amazing right now and I want others to feel this way too. For those of you in the Atlanta area–pregnant or not–here is her information:

    Healing Mother Massage & Wellness
    Ebony Ricks, LMT
    757-292-9769
    info@healingmothermw.com
    healingmothermw.com

    I encourage you to let her come and nurture you! Tell her I sent you!

    Mamas, have you had prenatal massages while pregnant? What was your experience like?

    It’s Ok To Be Happy

    I’ve been in a writing funk since the end of last year. Ok, it’s not just been a writing funk, it’s been more of like a life funk. This may or may not give great advice to anyone struggling since I haven’t planned out what I’m going to write but I know I need to just write it out because sharing my words is my happy place. My happy place. It’s a place I haven’t been in sometime.

    I Forgot How To Be Happy

    I know… How do you forget? I did.

    It started with the election. I typically don’t discuss politics or religion here because I don’t want make anyone feel polarized and there’s nothing that people can say that can change my views on these things. But let’s be honest here, I’m a black woman raising little black girls married to a big black man. In the eyes of many people in the world, all of us are a threat and one of the worst people in the world has been elected leader of the once free world. As he slowly dismantles life as we know it, I struggle to be able to happy as I experience much of my life. I wouldn’t say that I’m living in fear but I feel guilty being happy.

    People are crying.

    People are dying.

    And it’s killing me inside.

    How can I possibly be happy when pictures of Syrian refugee children being killed are circulating on FB? How can I be happy when my Muslim friends and family are being targeted and falsely accused of being terrorists? How can I be happy when my Hispanic/Latino brothers and sisters are living in fear of deportation? How can I be happy when there’s a civil war brewing?

    It’s all so much to digest.

    via GIPHY

    I Need To Feel Happy Again

    I’m a creative. I love to help people. I love creating things that help or inspire people and in my sadness I haven’t been able to either. I haven’t been able to feed my spirit and it’s been starving. I used to laugh all the time and smile. Now I find these moments fleeting and I hate it. I need my happiness. My kids need my happiness. My husband needs my happiness. The new life inside me growing and sending me in vomiting rages needs my happiness.

    I want to belly laugh so hard that I cry daily.

    I want to see my kids light up again.

    I want my husbands smile and jovial nature.

    But all of these things have been missing because as the nucleus of the family, this isn’t what I’ve been giving them. I’ve been sad. I’ve spent so much time in the bed and just not taking care of the things and people that I love that I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like. I need to be happy again. I need to be productive again. I need to regain the power over myself again.

    via GIPHY

    I've been in a serious funk lately and unable to find my happy but I'm determined to get it back because I deserve it. So does my family.

    It’s Ok To Feel Happy

    This is something that I’m struggling with. I’m an empath and take on the feelings of those around me to the point where it’s hard for me to tell what I’m feeling versus what they are. But I need to give myself permission to be happy because what is going to happen is going to happen regardless of how I feel about it. I come from a lineage of survivors–if they weren’t, I wouldn’t be here.

    It’s ok to be happy that we finally got pregnant after months of trying.

    via GIPHY

    It’s ok to be happy that I made the decision to homeschool my babes.

    It’s ok to be happy simply because I feel like it.

    And it’s also ok for you to feel happy if you’re struggling as well. I’m hoping that by getting this off my chest that it’ll open up the creativity that’s been held captive by my happiness’ vacation. And if it doesn’t, I’ll just have to try something different because I’m committed to feeling happy again.

    What To Expect For Your Toddler’s First Trip To The Dentist

    Your toddler's first trip to the dentist can be a scary one if this is your first child. I interviewed our dentist to help prepare other parents with info!

    I’ve always hated going to the dentist. The dentist was a scary place filled with cold, silver things that looked like they were ready to harm me at any given moment. The dentist wasn’t overly warm—they were there to look at my pearly whites, give criticism, and move on with a fwap of their sterile, white jackets. The dentist was always the most uninviting and intimidating place in the world to me. Becoming a mother, none of this has changed for me but I wanted something different for my girls—which is why I chose Dentistry For Children (D4C) to be our dentist. One of the things that I felt so unprepared for was my toddler’s first trip to the dentist.

    Naturally, this was with mini. I remember picking her up from school and them sending her home with some “intro to pediatric dentistry” pamphlets for another dentist that was close to her school. It was a nice enough dentist but not nice enough to quell my own fears that I was working hard not to pass on to mini. I got a recommendation from a friend of mine who has 2 kids and both loved going to their dentist. Their recommendation was D4C and we haven’t looked back since.

    Your Toddler’s First Trip To The Dentist

    Guys, when I walked in the first time I was pretty scared for mini because I didn’t know what to expect. I had just had a crown done on my teeth and was FINALLY getting over that pain. I’m actually a still a little scarred but that’s another story for another day. But I felt a little like Corky Romany when he was behind the podium frantically waiting for questions to be asked (if you haven’t seen the movie, you should, it’s hilarious). I don’t want you guys to feel like I did when you take your babes to the dentist so some of my friends and readers submitted questions for me to ask our dentist to prepare you!

    Your toddler's first trip to the dentist can be a scary one if this is your first child. I interviewed our dentist to help prepare other parents with info!

    Interview With The Dentist

    I got a chance to have some one-on-one time with our dentist Dr. Lisa Shilman. We’ve seen her for almost 3 years now and I love going to her! So here are the questions that were asked that Dr. Lisa answered:

    At what age should children first see the dentist?

    The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child in as early as one in order to establish a relationship with the dentist. Check=ups are completed–no pathology or x-rays happen. Parents are educated on diet, brushing and habits to keep teeth heal

    thy. The follow-ups are dependent upon what the dentist finds.

    So is all candy really terrible for their teeth?

    No lollipops and definitely no gummies. The amount of time that teeth are exposed to the candy, sugars and acids are what do the damage. Dark chocolate is great!

    So what’s the deal with fluoride? What are the best ways to get it with the littles?

    Fluoride is needed in toothpaste for sure. When they are young and can’t spit, rubbing it on their teeth and then wiping it off is effective as well. Drinking and cooking with tap water that has fluoride in it is good as well. Giving children the baby water with fluoride added to it is another option. 

    Is there a correlation between breast feeding and tooth decay?

    Breastfeeding alone doesn’t cause tooth decay and neither does breast milk. But breast milk can contribute to tooth decay after adding other things to a child’s diet. If your baby is still night feeding, wipe or brush after nursing. This really only becomes an issue after the age of 1. 

    When can we stop supervising the kids brushing their teeth?

    Normally between the ages of 6-8. Disclosing solutions (the ones that show tarter still on teeth) that can be found at the drug store are also a big help. 

    Teeth grinding, is this an issue to be concerned about?

    Teeth grinding isn’t an issue for baby teeth. It’s only an issue if there’s pain. Once permanent teeth come in, grinding will normally stop. But no mouth guard is needed until the jaw is completely grown. 

    Any recommendations on tooth brushes?

    No, not really. Just make sure that they have a small toothbrush head so that you can navigate their mouths, soft bristles and never use hard bristles–even as adults. 

    Are there any alternatives to fluoride for those that don’t like to use it?

    Fluoride is big in preventing and repairing cavities but there is something called calcium phosphate that is a paste that can also be effective. It’s called MiPaste and can be found at most dentist offices. But it’s important to note that it’s derived from milk. 

    Any tips on getting kids to brush more regularly?

    Add it to the calendar or schedule it. There are apps that can be used to remind them. There are toothbrushes like Sonicare Smart Tooth Brush and Oral-B that have timers for 2 minutes and corresponding apps that let you know when they’ve brushed. Let your kids choose their toothbrushes and toothpaste. Set up a rewards system with a chart–if they get 60 stickers in 30 days they earn something special. 

    I love how you have this total child care mentality when it comes to them. Is this just your attitude or is this something that is the culture at D4C?

    This is definitely my mentality but it’s also something that is taught at Dentistry 4 Children. Pediatric dentists are in school for longer than other dentists. We have to learn different things because kids are different than adults. 

    Your toddler's first trip to the dentist can be a scary one if this is your first child. I interviewed our dentist to help prepare other parents with info!

    Why I Chose D4C

    When I walked in for mini’s first appointment, there was a big tree house and video games that greeted us. It was awesome! Then the staff has consistently been incredibly friendly and kind and patient. The culture when you walk in is everything. The people are amazing and you can’t help but to be excited about the appointment. And they honor your time. I’ve never waited more than 5 minutes for my appointment!

    Abc’s First Visit to the Dentist!!!

    Abc had her very first visit to the dentist and I caught it on Snapchat! Check it out here:

    Listen, if you haven’t scheduled your child’s appointment with D4C yet, you need to do so stat! And tell them I sent you!

    What’s In Your Cold/Flu Kit?

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    Can you believe it’s here? No, I’m not talking about fall. I’m talking about cold and flu season! This is my LEAST favorite part of my favorite season of the year. I try so very hard to make sure that I don’t get the germs that my kids bring home and I honestly think I do a stellar job. I get sick pretty rarely and my immune system is like Super Girl. But my kids? Their immune systems are still getting stronger and antibodies are developing which is why I have a cold/flu kit for them.

    Every year I re-build my kit because things expire, things get all used up, and because new products come on the scene that need to be part of my kits. Now before we get started with what’s in my kit, I want to state the obvious: I’m not a doctor or in the healthcare profession at all. These tips and tricks are from personal experience as a mother.

    Standard Items For My Cold/Flu Kit

    Essential Oils

    Now if you’re a regular reader here, you already know that I think essential oils and breast milk can pretty much cure anything. I kid—but only a little! I keep the following essential oils on hand:

    I naturally keep a lot of coconut oil on hand and will use this to make my own version of vapor rub and other things with the essential oils.

    Motrin

    I try to break fevers naturally but if I can’t then yes, the Motrin does get whipped out—as a last resort!

    Kali Bichromicum

    Whenever I talk about cold/flu season, I talk about Kali Bichromicum. This has been a God-send for us. It reduces the amount of mucous in the sinus cavities preventing and getting rid of sickness faster.

    Colloidal Silver

    We have the nasal spray. Works to build your immune system

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    New Item Added To The Cold/Flu Kit: BEKOOOL® Soft Gel Sheets

    After being asked by many how to reduce fevers the best, I have a great remedy to offer in BEKOOOL® gel sheets. While these gel sheets don’t actually reduce the fevers, they reduce the discomfort associated with fevers.

    What are they? These are small gel sheets that are specifically designed with the miniature people in mind. They provide immediate cooling relief for your babes as they holler out “Mommy my head is hot!!!”—I know you guys have heard this before!

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    But more importantly it’s something that they don’t have to ingest that will provide comfort. We try not to load the girls up with antibiotics and pain relievers because I just think that we tend to overmedicate. BeKoool® gel sheets give parents an additional option while providing great care for our kids.

    Features:

    • The BeKoool® gel sheets provide portable and immediate cooling relief in a convenient, disposable sheet.
    • They gently adhere to your child’s forehead/cheek/neck.
    • They are designed to fit children
    • The cooling effect lasts up to 8 hours
    • Because they are non-medicated, should you decide to use a medicine that is ingested, they are safe to use together.

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    From My Mini Tester…

    Me: So what do you think of the gel sheet?
    Mini: It’s cooooold! I didn’t want to take it off because it’s comfortable.
    Me: What did you think when I first put it on you?
    Mini: I thought it was freezing and interesting because it felt wet.
    Me: If you had a fever or your head hurt would you want to wear this? Why?
    Mini: Yes. So it could cool down my forehead and then it would be easier for me to go to sleep because I cannot go to sleep with pain.

    Make sure you’re ready for the cold/flu season this year by making sure you have these in your kit!

    What other items would you add?

    7 Healthy Benefits to Your Pumpkin Addiction

    As the world celebrates their pumpkin addition, I'm here to give you the 7 reasons why you should hop on the pumpkin bandwagon!

    As soon as summer bids us adieu, in comes pumpkin season. Up until last year, I honestly didn’t get the appeal behind everyone’s love of what was once only used for pies and Halloween décor. But last year I fell in love with a pumpkin and this year as the season rolled around again, I figured there HAS to be some health appeal to these rotund gourds. And there is.

    In fact, pumpkins are really quite good for your health. As in I can justify admitting to using a pumpkin base sauce for pasta instead of tomato it’s so healthy. So while my husband angrily devours the deliciousness of my recent gourmet pumpkin additions, I can say, “It’s for your health!”

    As the world celebrates their pumpkin addition, I'm here to give you the 7 reasons why you should hop on the pumpkin bandwagon!

    7 Healthy Benefits to Your Pumpkin Addiction

    1. Pumpkin is a rich source of Vitamin A. What’s that good for? Vision. They say to eat more carrots to take care of your eyes but pumpkins are a quality source!
    2. They are one of the best sources for beta-carotene.
    3. The potassium in pumpkins has been linked to positively affecting high blood pressure.
    4. Pumpkin puree can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes.
    5. Lowers risks involved with prostate and colon cancers specifically.
    6. Increases fertility in women because of the plant-based iron.
    7. It boosts your immunity because of the beta-carotene and vitamin C.

    Delicious Ways to Feed Your Pumpkin Addiction

    I’m not ready to be a self-proclaimed pumpkin lover just yet but I have found some rather tasty options out there that really make the tummy’s of my family and I happy.

    Trader Joe’s

    Friends, don’t judge me based on how much pumpkin I’ve bought from here.

    Pumpkin Spice Medium Roast Coffee – this is literally my favorite coffee ever.

    Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn with Pumpkin Seeds & Walnuts – OMG soooooo delicious!!!

    Pumpkin O’s Cereal – the hubs even loves this

    This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar – the name of this cereal bar makes me laugh everytime.

    Sprouts

    You guys know Sprouts Farmers Market is bae. The only pumpkin product I’ve gotten from there has been the truly divine Pumpkin Apple Cider.

    Fresh Market

    They’re pricey and I probably won’t go back—unless it’s to buy more of the Pumpkin Pasta Sauce.

    My husband is in major judgement mode over the recent development of me using pumpkin for all sorts of thing but I think he’s most upset because he’s secretly really enjoying it! Up your pumpkin intake for your health and don’t hide your pumpkin addiction—embrace it freely!

    What’s your favorite way to feed your pumpkin addiction?

    Detox 101: The Basics of Detoxing Your Body

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Depending on what kind of crowd you roll with, detoxing can be popular with you or something new but either way, it’s not a new concept. People have been detoxing their bodies for years and for most, it’s a necessary—and sometimes evil—time. I love detoxing though. The first one that I did was when I was in high school. We fasted on apples and oranges during the end of the year. It was hard and required discipline but I made it the week successfully! Since then, I’ve truly loved the detox process.

    My Detox Testimony

    As I’ve shared here before, I struggle with a disorder called Hidradenitis Supportiva. There’s no cure and the only way to deal with it is through surgery, antibiotics, and other holistic means. I’ve found that through detoxing, I have less flare ups. I’ve tried all the detox methods that I’m discussing here and, while I prefer some over others, I’ve experienced success with all of them.

    So what does success look like for me? No flare ups, clear skin, weight loss, and improved digestive functionality (that’s adult code for regular pooping). Weight-loss has been a side effect as well since after the detox my digestive system is running in tip top shape.

    detox-101

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don’t know how to do one or if it’s time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    How To Tell If You Need To Detox

    Are you more tired than normal? Is coffee not doing it for you anymore? Are you experiencing more breakouts? Have a lot of mucous building up? Not feeling so well?

    These are all signs that it may be time for you to detox. A detox when seasons change help to prevent sickness and reactions to allergies as they allow your body the time it needs to build up its immunity. It rids your body of unnecessary mucous and toxins that can lead to you becoming sick and more tired.

    Methods of Internal Detoxing

    These are all methods that I’ve tried myself and have gotten some kind of success with.

    The Master Cleanse Diet

    This is also known as The Lemonade Diet. This was big in the early 2000’s and the Hollywood stars would swear by it to lose weight. It’s called the lemonade diet because for a minimum of 10 days you drink nothing but a drink that’s made with cayenne pepper, lemons, distilled water, and grade B Maple syrup. This is a hard cleanse but incredibly effective. I’ve done this a couple of times in my lifetime and each yielded great results. By the end I felt lighter, more energized, and ready to make positive changes in my life.

    Green Smoothie Cleanse

    This was made popular a couple of years ago as well. This is another 10-Day cleanse where you consume green smoothies with a variety of different recipes as well as teas that will aid in elimination. This one I liked because I love smoothies. I did find it to be effective but not as much as the Master Cleanse.

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Juicing

    Juicing is probably my favorite. I did a 60-day juice cleanse for my 30th birthday that was truly phenomenal. I don’t mean juices in the sense of apples and all the delicious fruits. I mean juicing things like fennel, spinach, kale, ginger, and other veggies that are nutrient dense. Green juices have become a favorite of mine after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. I have the juicer from this documentary and I love the fact that I can use the pulp to create casseroles and quiches.

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Equinox Cleanse

    This one is NOT popular at all. The only way I know about this is because an elder of mine had us do this my first year of college and this worked like a charm. It’s a 1-week cleanse where during the day you eat 3 apples and a handful of green grapes. Throughout the day you have 1 salad made with mustard greens, leeks, and lemon juice. This was the hardest cleans that I’ve ever done but it was so necessary. After the first day I was releasing mucous and I was one of the only ones in my dorm not to get sick that winter.

    Additional Information on Internal Detoxing

    People can sometimes find going on a detox daunting and it can be! Start off slow with 1-2 days at a time to see how you feel after that before making a commitment of a week or more. Understand that these methods aren’t for everyone! Some additional daily things you can do to detoxify your body are:

    • Drink hot water with lemon in it every morning
    • Take a tablespoon of Cider Vinegar

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    • Add turmeric to your food
    • Eat clean
    • Detox teas

    When detoxing, make sure that you choose fresh and organic items to use.

    Methods of External Detoxing

    For some, it’s just too hard to do an internal cleanse but that doesn’t mean you can’t detox your body!

    Detox Bath

    Mix Epsom Salt, Lavender EO, and some Tea Tree EO and soak in a nice, warm bath.

    Deodorant Detox

    Do you know how bad the normal deodorant is for your body? That’s another post for another day but as someone who struggles with infections, this is one of my favorite products. You can snag some of this here along with some of the deodorant detox soap. This works better than regular deodorant and is better for your body too.

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Dry Brushing

    This is more of an exfoliator but it’s helped my skin so I figured I would share! Make sure that you’re using an all-natural body brush. You brush the skin lightly while it’s dry prior to bathing. This leaves your skin way softer than pre-brushing and helps to remove the surface level toxins.

    I love the way that my body feels after a good internal or external detox!

    Are you into detoxifying your body? What methods do you use?

    **Please note that I’m not a doctor and you should consult a doctor for any medically related issues you may have. This is based on my opinion and results.**

    Motion Sickness: The Fun Killer

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!
    This post was sponsored by Dramamine® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions are my own.

    I’ve always been jealous of my brother’s ability to read while we were road-tripping as kids. Growing up, road trips were big for us. As a family of four with parents that loved to travel, it was just more cost effective to drive than fly. Plus, my mom always managed to have the most awesome surprises for us as we traveled.

    Growing Up With Motion Sickness

    I can still remember it like it was yesterday: My mom would wake us up at around 5 am telling us we were going on an adventure! Naturally, I was excited–I mean, what kid doesn’t like an adventure, right? But there was always apart of me that was so leery of these trips. Not because I didn’t want to go but because I would get motion sick and would have to have some time to recover when we arrived wherever our surprise destination was.

    My mom used to tease me that I knew the insides of every bathroom on every highway because we always had to stop. My upset stomach, headache and nausea was always the culprit. And it sucked. Big time. I hated the stigma that came along with motion sickness and always being bored in the car. Not that we had portable DVD players to watch movies in my younger days but I was an avid reader and hated that I couldn’t lose myself in a book as my mom whisked us off to our new destination.

    I was bored. Sick. And just miserable.

    I Didn’t Grow Out Of It

    And you know what? I didn’t grow out of it! Just like I was puking on my first Disney cruise, I was doing the same thing on a gambling cruise in South Caroline. Only differences were: 1. I was pregnant, and; 2. I missed–in a major way. I walked out of the bathroom and had somehow managed to even scar myself with the damage I had done in there. Terrible… Just terrible.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    My brother and I… He could read an entire series in the car while I just looked. Out the window. Bored.

    Being someone who prefers more natural remedies, I’ve tried the gambit of ginger solutions: ginger chews from Whole Foods, Yogi Tea’s Ginger Tea (which now brings back not so fond memories) and of course, ginger ale. I’ve tried saltines. Sea bands. You name it, I tried it and nothing worked until now.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals

    Dramamine® is a VERY familiar brand for me. On a cruise for my family reunion I took it and it worked–but I fell asleep! I’ve been sharing how I’ve been roadtripping more this summer and I’ve been able to do it with the help of these new Dramamine® NoDrowsywy naturals. I’ve even been able to read an entire library book (which was really good and highly recommend) while I was a passenger in the car.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    So what kind of magic is in here to make it work, right? Ginger. Yes, ginger but not just any ginger. This is a clinically-tested dosage that’s different that what you find in teas, chews, and Ginger-Ale. And since it’s made with one of my all time favorite natural remedies, you can take it daily as needed! So yes, that means no more missing out on great reads, enticing movies, and making pretend the sights are that interesting you can’t look away. No more keeping a basket in the car equipped with paper towels, mouth wash, saltines, gum and water.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    Now you can enjoy those road trips!!! I know I plan to! Oh I even have a coupon for you to try these out!

    Have you ever suffered with motion sickness? What remedies have you used?

    Living with Hidradenitis Supportiva

    On the scale of skin disorders to have, there are worse ones than hidradenitis supportiva so sometimes I feel ridiculous for even feeling some kind of way about having it. But then there are times like yesterday when I couldn’t walk without the tears escaping from my eyes as I pressed to think happy thoughts unsuccessfully. It’s hard to mother or wife when you’re in so much pain doing normal things like sitting, walking, bending over, cooking but still need to function.

    Hidradenitis supportiva is not the most common skin disease in the world but as someone who has it, it's painful. Here's what I've learned in 20 years.

    Photo Credit: Hidradenitis Supportiva FB Group

    What Is Hidradenitis Supportiva?

    In short, they’re lumps that form under the skin in areas where skin rubs together–under the arms, groin area, butt. The longer, non-MayoClinic definition from personal experience is they are a network of cystic bumps under the skin that are in the areas where the skin rubs together. They often become painfully infected. Some say that they’re infected hair follicles, others have no clue as of what causes them but there are often a network of tubes that can constantly feed the lumps under the skin. When infection occurs, pain arises. If you have it, it will normally showing around puberty.

    Hidradenitis supportiva is not the most common skin disease in the world but as someone who has it, it's painful. Here's what I've learned in 20 years.

    My Personal Journey

    When I was 13, I noticed I kept getting these bumps in my groin area that made it really painful for me to wear my swimsuits. At the time, I was a competitive swimmer so swimsuits were my life. I would go to the doctor, they would prescribe an antibiotic and I would leave. When I was a senior in high school, I had a minor surgery where they removed one just to make sure it wasn’t cancerous–it wasn’t. Then they gave me a cortizone shot in the cyst. This was an unimaginable pain but it was years before the next ones returned.

    Cut to when I was 25. I had a surgery where they removed ALL of the cysts and their networks. After being diagnosed by a dermatologist, we decided this was the best route since this network of tubes had been growing for over 10 years and I was tired of the pain. The surgery was a mix of the best and worst decision for this. They put me under and when they brought me back, he said that it was more extensive then they had thought but they’d gotten it all. There were more little vessels under my arms with wasn’t what they had expected. But they were gone. Finally. But the healing? This was the hardest thing in the world for me. I would literally sit and cry for hours because of the pain. Take a pain pill right? They made me so sick so I chose the pain.

    After I healed, they were gone for maybe a year before I encountered my first one back during pregnancy with mini. It was depressing. I was already low because I was single and pregnant but then this too? It was a lot for just all of me to be in so much pain. Since then, I’ve gotten them sporadically but I was able to track how often they came back based upon my diet, stress levels, and water intake. But they are painful. Very painful and an inconvenience. It’s hard to explain to someone that you can’t walk when you haven’t been injured and can’t really explain the depth of your pain to someone. It’s hard to see your baby cry because you’ve yelped out of pain because of an untimely hug or jump in your lap. It’s tough to see your child wince when they see the scars on your body not from carrying them, but from something that’s uncontrollable.

    Hidradenitis supportiva is not the most common skin disease in the world but as someone who has it, it's painful. Here's what I've learned in 20 years.

    Photo Credit: Hidradenitis Supportiva FB Group

    Natural Ways of Healing Your Body

    I’m not going to lie, it’s tough to have an ailment that they don’t really know the cause of and then to just be in so much pain is hard. It’s very hard. But I learned that though there’s a lot that I can’t control, there are some things I can control and that helps a lot.

    Clean Eating

    I know. Everyone is ALL about clean eating for weight-loss. It works. But clean eating is also really important for taking care of your body and helping it to regenerate itself. If you have a chance to watch “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” I totally recommend it. It’s on Netflix so check it out one evening. After having a conversation with a fellow mother and hearing how she plans eating out certain days a week. At the time I thought this was genius! There’s nothing like taking some of the hours I spend in the kitchen off my shoulders! While it’s a temporary weight off my shoulders, being on my 2nd day in pain tells me it wasn’t worth it.

    Salt Soaks

    One of the ways to bring both comfort and cleansing to my skin is with salt soaks. Depending on how much pain I’m in and the location of the inflammation, sitting in an Epsom salt bath or just doing warm compresses with the salt will help with pain management and bringing the infected area to a head.

    Goldenseal

    I learned in my teens that Goldenseal is one of nature’s antibiotics. Instead of going to the doctor, I would just start taking some of these as soon as I could feel the onset of one. Depending on the dosage and timing, I could catch it before it got out of hand.

    Focus on the Positives

    So this seems like it’s self-explanatory but it’s not. I’ve had one of these infections for a week and I was incredibly depressed. When you’re in pain for an unknown amount of time, it does something to your psyche. Trying to do the normal things like hug or shower or lay or breathe and it result in pain is just hard. During these times it’s really important to focus on good things

    Go to the Doctor

    Yes, this is probably my last result. Right after I had abc I had a really bad one. Like really bad. And trying to care for a newborn while in that much pain was something I just couldn’t handle. So I went to urgent care and I had it drained. I’ve had 2 pain-med free births and this pain right here? I almost passed out. If it wasn’t for my little beauty being strapped to me I may have lost it. Some tears went un-caught but they “packed” it (they took a bunch of tape looking stuff that was soaked in an antibiotic and put it in the huge hole that was in my leg) then sent me on my way telling me I couldn’t sweat. I had to come back in a couple days to have the packing removed but because it was so bad, they repacked it and sent me on my way. It healed pretty nicely but alas, I just had another one.

    While there will more than likely never be a cure and all of this affected by this disease will just have to continue, it’s comforting knowing that throughout the almost 20 years of dealing with it, I’ve found some remedies that work and a community that knows intimately what I am dealing with on the daily.