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    How To Avoid Being A Zombie Mom

    This post is sponsored by Vicks.

    When you have kids, everyone always focuses on an evening routine for them. No one ever thinks about poor mom who is walking around looking like an extra from The Walking Dead. Until now.

    Mamas, I’m here for you—for us.

    We Spend All Day On Everyone Else

    Whether you’re a work-at-home mom or stay-at-home mom, chances are your days are filled with taking care of everyone else. By the time that you’ve run all the errands, picked up/dropped off/picked back up everyone, cooked dinner, read a million books, kissed heads and gotten super hugs, you’re ready for a moment for yourself. Depending on your lifestyle, this may look different but when you’re what’s affectionately known as a mompreneur, once the kids are in bed the work begins.

    Have you ever seen that mom walking around with bags large enough to carry groceries or like she was rejected from The Walking Dead? Yeah, that's what we call a zombie mom. Avoid being her at all costs with these tips.

    Creative Minds Flourish At Night

    With the darkness comes silence and with silence comes the churning of new and amazing thoughts. I always say that once my brain wakes up, that’s it. I can’t go back to sleep. But that’s the same for me at night. Once I get excited about a post or project or new piece that I want to sew I don’t want to stop until it’s done. Sometimes that turns into 2am and then I’m functioning on limited amount of sleep the next as I pray for an IV of coffee.

    While it’s great to be productive, it’s not great if it leaves me beyond exhausted the next day. I know it’s not just me, but when I’m tired I can’t move as quickly, think clearly, or be as efficient as I need to be with 3 kids. I don’t like not being productive but even more so, I hate being tired and discombobulated. But sometimes it’s hard to shut down and get to bed at a decent hour so I decided to handle myself the way I would one of my kids: I put myself on an evening wind down routine.

    Have you ever seen that mom walking around with bags large enough to carry groceries or like she was rejected from The Walking Dead? Yeah, that's what we call a zombie mom. Avoid being her at all costs with these tips.

    These taste like dreams waiting to be had.

    My Evening Routine

    Before I share with you my routine, I want you to know that I’m basically the equivalent to a child when it comes to going to bed, so it’s not going to be what you see in movies where ladies are rubbing moisturizer on their hands and turning off lamps on their nightstands. My husband and I normally pass out wherever we sit for more than 5 minutes and then fuss at each other to go lay down. We’re getting it together with this routine though:

    After I put BC to bed

    • Work for 2 hours tops
    • Have a cup of tea
    • Wash face, brush teeth, moisturize face (and possibly hands, ha)
    • Read daily affirmations
    • Snuggle up with one (or both) of my guys
    • Doze off easily

    Another step in my nighttime is now thanks to the new, Vicks PURE Zzzs Soothing Aromatherapy Balm. The balm is made with lavender and chamomile essentials oils to help moisturize your skin…and the aromas are so relaxing before bedtime.

    Have you ever seen that mom walking around with bags large enough to carry groceries or like she was rejected from The Walking Dead? Yeah, that's what we call a zombie mom. Avoid being her at all costs with these tips.

    Getting Great Sleep With ZzzQuil

    Do you remember when Vicks ZzzQuil first came out? I do. I remember thinking, “Yes!!! Now I no longer have to take NyQuil when all I really need is sleep!!!” But did you know they’ve expanded their line?

    They now have ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs Melatonin Gummies that taste like dreams waiting to happen. I take 1-2 gummies before balm and they help me fall asleep naturally. They also contain the optimal level of melatonin so I can wake refreshed with no next-day grogginess*.

    Additionally, when I am traveling or occasionally need to fall asleep in 20 minutes or less, I turn to ZzzQuil, instead of the gummies. ZzzQuil allows me to fall asleep fast, because we all have those days every so often, right?

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    5 Easy Ways To Go Green Right Now

    Living a green life isn't as hard as you would think. It isn't an "all or none" life either! Here are 5 easy steps to take to start reducing your carbon imprint in the world!
    This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. For more details on what this means please see my PR and Disclosure page.

    When people think of being crunchy, they normally have this extreme picture in their minds about how we live. While I would love to compost, ONLY cloth diaper, have an amazing garden where I grow everything myself as I walk around in my Birkenstocks, that’s not my life and there’s a reason my tagline is “practically green living”. Living a green life isn’t as hard as people would think–especially thanks to books like Leah Segedie’s book Green Enough–and it’s totally possible to make the changes you need to daily.

    Here are 5 things you can do today to get you started on reducing your carbon footprint by living a little more green:

    1. Use Reusable Totes When Going Grocery Shopping


    Yep. This is a super easy way to not only cut down on the amount of trash in your home but it makes it so that you don’t overspend–sometimes. But seriously. I know that there are these grocery bag savers out there and there are ways to recycle the bags but let’s be real here: it would be better if you DIDN’T have to recycle them because you didn’t use them to begin with! Ultimately, these bags normally end up in the trash OR recycling bin. But using cloth totes makes things way better for the environment since these aren’t going to be tossed anytime soon.

    Always forget them? Grab between 5-10 right now and toss them in your trunk. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

    2. Stop Trashing Recycle-able Items


    In our last house we had a HUGE recycle bin that was filled with various recycle-able items so this made it easy. Now? We only have trash so we have to take our recycling to the center itself. An extra step, yes. But worth it? Entirely. Check with your waste management company to see if they offer recycling as a service.

    Living a green life isn't as hard as you would think. It isn't an "all or none" life either! Here are 5 easy steps to take to start reducing your carbon imprint in the world!

    3. Stop Leaving The Lights On When You’re Not In The Room

    Yes, we often fuss at our kids for leaving the lights on for more than the environment. This has a two-fold benefit: your pockets and mother nature.

    Going green isn't as hard as you would think!Click To Tweet

    4. Turn The Water Off When You Aren’t Using It

    This is for when you’re washing dishes, brushing teeth, showering, etc. In GA we are in a constant state of drought so we really can’t afford water loss!

    5. Go Paperless With Your Bills

    In an ideal world we would be completely paperless but that’s not the one we live in right now. But turning off paper bills is one step in the right direction. Set an alert on your calendar for when bills are due and then pay them online.

    See? These aren’t too hard, right? 

    Don’t forget to share this so others can see how easy it is to go green!

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    How To Beat Food Intolerance Without Losing Your Appetite

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.
    Food intolerance is an important aspect of our health not getting enough attention. I’ve partnered with Pinnertest to share my experience with food intolerance testing in this sponsored post.

    I’ve dedicated this year to becoming the best version of myself yet and I’ve started off on the right foot. I’m learning how to manage stress in a healthy way. Business is going well. I’m managing the kids better than before. And I’m prioritizing my health.

    This last piece is huge for me.

    I typically will put everyone else’s health before mine with the thought of, “As long as they’re taken care of, I’m taken care of.” Writing this out sounds just as foolish as it should. Making sure I’m doing whats best for me enables me to care for others–not the other way around. A major facet of this is what I eat. This is actually something that I spoke on during my keynote panel this year at Shiftcon.

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.

    We are what we eat, so what is my diet saying about me?

    If I’m being completely honest, I normally LOVE to follow the trends on diets and stuff. I was big into juicing and green smoothies and paleo and veganism but this year I was talking to my friend Brittany and we were basically saying the same thing: We’re tired of following these trends and diets but not know if they’re actually good for US. Sure, everyone and their mother’s are out here consuming all the green smoothies while chomping on gluten-free muffins and GMO-free lemonade but is it what really good for THEM?

    This is what I started my year out wanting to know so that the work that I thought I was doing in cleaning up my diet wasn’t actually counter productive to my goals. While my goals are pretty much always to lose weight, but they also include adopting a lifestyle that I can maintain.

    If you are what you eat than you'd better make sure you're eating what's healthy for YOU!Click To Tweet

    Food Intolerance Vs Food Allergies

    How crazy would it be if I was over here making all these kale smoothies and stuff BUT I HAD A FOOD INTOLERANCE FOR KALE!?! I would be pretty upset, honestly. Or even worse, if I was allergic to it. Did you know that there’s a difference between food intolerance and allergies?

    Food intolerance occurs when our bodies cannot properly digest and convert the foods we eat into the necessary nutrients that fuel our systems.
    More simply, food intolerance occurs when you eat something but it fails to be properly broken down in the intestines. The main reason for this failure (maldigestion) is due to a lack of digestive enzymes– it’s their job to break down food molecules so that they can be properly absorbed into the bloodstream.

    A food intolerances and a food allergy can sometimes have similar symptoms, but the way they react with your body is very different.
    The main difference between an intolerance and an allergy is that an allergy will manifest itself almost immediately after inhalation or consumption of a particular substance. Food intolerances, on the other hand, are more deceptive. Depending on the individual, symptoms might arrive anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days.

    –www.pinnertest.com

    Most people know about food allergies because many of them can lead to death. Tests are normally run by the doctors and in some more extreme cases, shots are given in increments to help to deal with said allergies. But did you know that there’s a test for food intolerance as well?

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.

    Testing For Food Intolerance

    In order to find out if your body had an intolerance for a food, you used to have to use an elimination process. With this, you basically eliminate everything from your diet and slowly add things back in noting how it makes your body feel. This requires lots of time, effort, planning and journaling. This method is still used by many. But there’s actually a simple blood test that you can do at home that will also give you results. Yes, this means that you have to prick your own finger and send it in but I swear it’s super easy.

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here. J

    Pinnertest

    Pinnertest is a company that tests for food intolerance in the comforts of your own home.

    Pinnertest utilizes advanced IgG (FC Fragment Specific), Antigen, Antiserum, Control tests to determine an individual’s food sensitivities.

    So for those that are like me and don’t exactly understand that this means, here it is in layman’s terms: they take 2 drops of your blood and are able to test it against 200 food samples to see what you may have an intolerance for. It’s super easy and took me under 5 minutes to get myself set up, pricked and shipped out. My results came back in about 4 days.

    So what do I have a food intolerance for? Cow milk, Soybeans, and corn. That’s it.

    Do you know how comforting it is to know that I don’t have to cut out things like black beans or nuts or different spices??? I am so relieved!

    Why Food Intolerance Matters

    Did you know that food intolerance have been linked to weight-gain, weakened immune system (hello flu-season!), depletion in our serotonin production (this hormone is responsible for maintaining mood balance, social behavior, libido, memory, and digestive health), increases in cravings for carbs and sugars, gastrointestinal problems, brain fog, joint pain, acne and chronic fatigue. I’ve never heard of anyone saying that they want to deal with any of these things.

    Interested in finding out more about your own food intolerance?

    Get tested by Pinnertest today and find out what you should, and shouldn’t be, eating! Use coupon code “THECRUNCHYMOMMY” for $60 off!

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.

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    25 Ways To Show Your Kids You Love Them

    Ready to show your kids you love them? Here are 25 ways that correspond with the 5 Love Languages that anyone can do right now.

    I would be lying if I didn’t admit that some days are easier than others to love up on my children. On those days, I sincerely struggle with figuring out just how to cater to their needs so I came up with a list of 25 ways to show my kids I love them. These are broken down by the 5 Languages of Love because this is a concept that I not only believe in but has proven useful with my own children.

    Ready to show your kids you love them? Here are 25 ways that correspond with the 5 Love Languages that anyone can do right now.

    25 Ways To Show Your Kids You Love Them

    Quality Time:

    • Take them to the movies to see the latest kid flick.
    • Create conversation cards to chat about with them.
    • Do a fun craft together.
    • Have a movie night at home filled with popcorn and snuggles.
    • Go to the park and play with your child.

    Acts of Service

    • Make them their favorite meal.
    • Pack them their favorite snack.
    • Do one of their chores for them.
    • Do something that they’ve asked you to do–within reason.
    • Offer to help them with something they’re having difficulty with.

    Words of Affirmation

    • Leave a note for them affirming something they’ve done.
    • Always say “I love you”.
    • Praise them aloud in front of people.
    • Speak affirmations with them.
    • Come up with a cheer or song that has their name in it.

    Physical Touch

    • Hold hands even when not crossing the street.
    • Hug at least 12 times a day.
    • Cuddle them often.
    • Put your arm around them when reading a book.
    • Rub their faces gently.

    Gifts

    • Make their favorite meal.
    • Give them presents randomly.
    • Make sure to have presents during birthdays and holidays.
    • Give them the opportunity to earn gifts.
    • Make a scavenger hunt for a special gift.

    It’s easy to think and hope that our kids know that we love them but it’s important that we show them as well. Not sure what your child’s love language is? Check out this post by Busy Kids Happy Mom for some help in determining what your child’s language is.

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    Focusing On Love

    This post is sponsored by James Avery.  Thoughts and opinions are my own.

    At the end of last year I read an article that said 2017 was a transitional year for me (which it was) and 2018 was the year for me to focus on my romantic love. I couldn’t be happier because being a wife is one of my favorite roles that I have in my adult life. Outside of it being an amazing role, I REALLY love my husband so focusing on love with him is something that I’m really looking forward to.

    Life Can Be Hard On Love

    My husband and I are technically still newly weds. We were married in 2014 and still have yet to have a honeymoon since I was pregnant with abc when we got married and then left the corporate world shortly after having her. These past years have been one transition after another. While for some this could take a toll on their marriage, it’s made ours stronger and really shown us sides of love we normally wouldn’t have seen. But growing from a family of 3 to a family of 5 in 4 years has made it tough to nurture our marriage.

    Bouncing Back From Transitions

    Our marriage is strong but lacks the romance that we both really deserve. The last date that we went on I was super pregnant and uncomfortable. While it would be nice for things to naturally bounce back, that’s not how life is. So we’re having to be more intentional about focusing on OUR love. What does that look like, right?

    • Committing to monthly dates.
    • Having intentional conversations with each other.
    • Going out individually.
    • Having family play dates.
    • Increasing our intimacy–not necessarily the sex but just being intimate with each other.

    Everyday Reminders with James Avery

    I’m one of those people where out of sight is out of mind. I get so hyper focused on what’s in front of me that sometimes I forget all of the other goals that I have that may not be directly in front of me in that moment. I had the opportunity to shop in store with James Avery and I knew just what I wanted–a ring that reminded me of my commitment to focusing on love with my husband. And I found it with the help of the James Avery saleswoman. I told her my goals and what I was looking for and she suggested getting the Lovers’ Knot Ring.

    From their website:

    A timeless expression of two becoming one, this sterling silver ring is symbolic of romantic love.

    How perfect is this, right?!?! I also got a set of 3 Delicate Forged Rings to represent my 3 children because it seemed like the stars aligned perfectly for me to get these as well.

    I’m excited to see where our marriage is at the end of a year that was spent focusing on love.

    Are you married? What ways do you remind yourself to make sure you’re putting the time and attention into your marriage?

     

     

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    January 2018: What We’re Loving This Month

    I have received some form of compensation for sharing my thoughts on these products. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own. The links in this post are affiliate links which means that I get a small percentage from all purchases made through the links. Happy reading!

    This year I wanted to start a new monthly series of the things that my family and I really loving. I’m often asked about these things so I figure, why not proactively share, right? I wanted to have this post up by the end of January BUT multiple virus’ hit my family as I was heading out of town for a conference and I was delayed but alas, here is what we’re loving this January.

    SoapSox Bath Toy

    This month abc and I did an in depth investigation of the letter “A” so naturally we did lots of activities with alligators. We used her hand to paint one and since she LOVES taking all of her toys into the shower, it was nice for her to have this SoapSox Bath Toy Hunter the Gator. I love it because she likes to use ALL the soap in one shower and I can essentially fill Hunter the Gator up with some soap and wash her with her toy. She wins because she loves having him in the bathtub with her. It’s a win-win all around.

    CLEARinse Nasal Cleansing System

    Can I be honest? Of course I can… it’s my site lol!!!

    I hate the Nose Frieda. I always thought that thing was gross. Effective maybe but bleh. With abc I turned our nose syringe into a netti pot for her and that worked wonders but just in time for cold and flu season we got this CLEARinse Nasal Cleaning System for BC. I love it because I can shoot the saline solution up his nose. He hates it but it’s so effective that he knows relief is coming when I break it out.

    Playfoam

    After getting kinetic sand stuck in the depths of our carpets and then slime all over the place, I was a little over having these sensory play things in my house. Yes, I know the kids need something to play with but my nerves around the never ending mess… Anyway, we got this Playfoam that’s pretty amazing–namely because it’s clean! But I love using it with abc and I’s lessons because it makes her letters turn into 3D fun. It’s a really interesting feel too. It’s really light and fluffy but also kind of dense.

    MunchMitt

    My poor baby is teething HARD. He loves to chew on his hands so covering them with this MunchMitt is everything that we needed. Not only does it have the textured areas that massage his gums, but it also has his favorite sound in there (crinkling plastic) so he’s really engaged. I love this thing.

    Mommy Sized Snack & Drink Boxes

    As a nursing mom I’m pretty much always thirsty and hungry. I have life sized thirst and hunger. My kids have these Drink Boxes that we got last summer and I tried using them but there just wasn’t enough space in there for the amount of water that I needed. They have a 12oz version just for me! Oh, and then they have a matching Snack Box too! The best part is that these are BPA-free and totally eco-friendly.

    What are some products you couldn’t live without in January?

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    How I’m Reclaiming My Time After Having A Baby

    Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Philips Avent via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Avent or Momtrends.

    I recently started to reconsider how I was allocating the seconds, minutes, hours of my days and thinking about the different ways that I could be reclaiming my own time. As a mom to my final baby, it’s time for me to start to the reclaiming my time process.

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    Finding Who You Are Outside Your Roles

    I wouldn’t say that motherhood has made me forget who I am as a woman. I mean, I’m fairly confident who I am outside of being a mom. But towards the end of last year, I began to forget who I was outside of being an entrepreneur. The things that once started out as hobbies and fun turned into deadlines and stress. I forgot to enjoy myself and how to just have fun. I didn’t realize it until I was reviewing the answers for the end of the year survey and someone said they wanted me to write more about myself outside of being a mom or wife.

    It really took me by surprise because:

    1. Someone wanted to know about me.
    2. I didn’t know who I was outside of being an entrepreneur.

    This is so problematic to me and it made me want to cry! How did I get to this place of not even knowing what I like to do for fun or who I was outside of working, nursing a baby, teaching these kids, and being a wife? I know how I got here. I forgot to pay attention to me and my needs so now I’m reclaiming my time.

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    Reclaiming My Time As A Nursing Mom

    As a nursing mom, there’s only so much I can do right away. I’m not picking up and heading to Bali for a week tomorrow. But I am making a more concerted effort to get out of the house by myself without a baby attached to my boob or checking social media. Leaving my baby is hard. I’m not going to lie. I love snuggling him and smelling his little head and I absolutely love our nursing relationship. But I need to know who I am again.

    I’m not picking up and heading to Bali for a week tomorrow. But I am making a more concerted effort to get out of the house by myself without a baby attached to my boob or checking social media.Click To Tweet

    I’ve been pumping and building a supply so that when I leave BC, I know that I have enough milk. I’m so low maintenance when it comes to pumping and bottle feeding so I need something that isn’t going to deter me from doing it.

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    The Truth of Bottle Feeding

    Bottle feeding hasn’t come as easily as we would have liked it to. Mini was the only to take her bottle like a champ with no issue. But BC is finicky and will typically only take a bottle from daddy, but he eventually takes it and that’s reassuring–I’m not trying to starve my sweet boy! We’re currently using the new Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent that was recently released. I like this bottle because it’s easy to clean and makes it so that BC doesn’t swallow as much air when he’s nursing reducing colic, reflux and gas. This bottle was designed to mimic the breast as much as possible with a softer nipple, flexible spiral designed for easy latch, and making it easy for them to hold. While BC is hesitant on taking the bottle, he is realizing it is close to what I would provide him.

    Leaving my baby is hard. I’m not going to lie. I love snuggling him and smelling his little head and I absolutely love our nursing relationship. But I need to know who I am again.Click To Tweet

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three. I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    Philips Avent

    Philips Avent isn’t new to this whole baby bottle game. They’ve been around for more than 30 years working to make products that help moms in reclaiming their time by providing bottles that meet the needs of both moms and babies. The new Anti-Colic bottle reduces colic and fussing by 60% while offering different flow rates as well. Interested in learning more? Check out Philips Avent here!

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    So moms, how do you go about reclaiming your time and making sure that you take time for just you?

     

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    3 No-Fail Ways To Reconnect With Your Spouse After Baby

    I’m excited to be partnering with TiffinTalk to bring you tips to spice up your marriage!

    Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you talked to your spouse since you’ve had your baby? If you have to think about it, it’s been too long. When was the last time you got dressed up in something sexy to make his/her jaw drop–along with yours too? I’m not here to judge but I am here to give some tips on how to reconnect with your spouse after baby.

    But I Love My Spouse

    Yep, we all love our spouses (hopefully). But when we have babies, we tend to get caught up in them. We smell their little heads, want to snuggle them all the time, and just wallow in their cute fat rolls and baby giggles. These little people that we’ve created are mystifying and all sorts of amazing. But so is your spouse and simply saying “I love you” is not enough to keep that marriage strong for the long haul. Sure, you love your spouse. When was the last time you showed them that?

    You Said No-Fail Ways to Reconnect?

    I did. Assuming that you want your marriage to succeed, these tips will work. Ok. So maybe not a guarantee of no-fail BUT these tips have a pretty high success rate in getting you to where you want to be with your spouse. 

    Marriage can encounter many changes and transitions that can make you feel disconnected. Here are 3 practical tips to reconnect with your spouse right now.

    Ok, Give Me The Goods–How Do You Reconnect With Your Spouse After Baby?

    These tips are simple, painless, and pleasurable–in that order.

    1. Communicate with each other.

    Sure. This seems rather obvious but you know what’s surprising? How sometimes we forget how to talk to each other. Yes, this has happened to me with my husband after we had abc. On our first date post baby, we sat there like “hmmm… what do I say now?” It was so weird to not know what to say to my favorite person in the world!!! After that, I googled things like “How to talk to husband”, “What questions to ask husband”, “How to date my husband” and I was almost embarrassed that I had to consult Google.

    My solution now? Conversation cards. TiffinTalk has created a Heart2Heart conversation card set that has 69 (good number, right? ha!!!) cards that are solely dedicated to you and your spouse sitting down sans electronics and getting some good face time together. Do you know how important this is to look your spouse in the eye and chat? Something so simple has the power to be so life changing!

    2. Learn each other’s love language.

    And then love them that way. People make it seem like it’s so hard to love others that it makes the other person feel unlovable and that’s not true! The 5 Love Languages makes it super easy to figure out how you feel love. It takes the think work out of your relationship for you. All you have to do is show up and love up on your spouse!

    In marriage, if we focus on our spouse’s happiness while they focus on ours, everyone’s needs are being met. It’s a win-win situation. Get the book or take the test online and rock out loving your spouse in the most painless way possible!

    3. Have lots of sex.

    Yeah, I said it.

    There was an older couple in some Facebook video that had been circulating some time ago and when they were asked what makes for a happy marriage, sex was one of their top reasons. Some say that sex doesn’t matter and I say that those some are wrong. It does matter. You are being physically one with your spouse in an act that is so intimate.

    I’m not one of those people that thinks ALL sex is intimate. But sex with your spouse, the person who you are most naked with mentally, spiritually, emotionally, is an act of intimacy. We need to connect with others. You need to be connected with your spouse. Plus it’s fun and it feels good. Have fun with your marriage!

    With Valentine’s Day being around the corner, surprise your spouse with applying these 3 tips. Grab your TiffinTalk 69 (giggle) cards here, learn about the love languages here, and get some sexy lingerie to show them it’s real!!!

    So, who’s excited for Valentine’s Day and using these tools to reconnect with your spouse after baby?

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    5 Everyday Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar

    I love Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I jokingly say that ACV, breast milk and essential oils can pretty much heal anything. I joke but there’s a little bit of truth to statement. There’s MANY uses for ACV but not all can be used daily so here are 5 everyday uses for Apple Cider Vinegar.

    5 Everyday Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar

    1. Cold Remedy

    It’s cold and flu season which EVERYONE hates. In fact, this flu season is a rather nasty one. ACV has natural immune boosting attributes. It also rids your body of excess mucous which harbors disease and bacteria in your body.

    How To Use: At the onset of symptoms, mix 1:1 ratio of ACV to honey with hot water and drink 3 times per day. 

    2. Stops Hair Breakage and Shedding

    Between the cold and dry air that comes with winter and my postpartum hormones, I can certainly attest to the effectiveness of ACV in stopping your hair from breaking and shedding. How? The ACV restores the natural pH of your hair follicle while removing build up of hair products. It’s also a natural conditioner and hair detangler. I didn’t quite believe the detangling part until I used it on my hair–which has grown an insane amount lately.

    How To Use: Mix 1:1 ratio of ACV and distilled water in a spray bottle. After shampooing hair, saturate your hair from root to tip. Let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing. 

    3. Skin Care

    There are 2 ways that I’ve used ACV on my skin: as a toner and to mix in with bentonite clay for a facial. As a toner, it brightens and detoxes your skin. As a mask, it REALLY pulls the impurities from your skin. I use the mask on my face, underarms and groin area to keep my lymphatic system detoxing because of my Hidradenitis Supportiva.

    How To Use: As a toner, mix in a 1:3 ACV to water ration. Keep refrigerated. To use it with the clay mask, mix it until there’s a creamy texture and then apply to the affected areas. 

    4. Enhances Weight Loss

    Yep. You read that right. ACV can help you lose weight. How? I wish I could say it breaks down fat cells but that’s not how it works. In fact, I’m not sure exactly how it works but you can read more about it here.

    How To Use: Take 2 tablespoons daily in water. 

    5. Acts As A House Cleaner

    Well, it doesn’t clean the house for you but you can make your own cleaner with it.

    How To Use: Mix 1:1 ACV to water with 2 drops of lemon essential oil, 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 2 drops lavender essential oil. 

    So what are you going do with your Apple Cider Vinegar first?

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    Why I Hate Going To The Gym

    I used to love working out and going to the gym. Then I had two babies, my weight increased, and now? Well now I hate going to the gym. Here's why.

    There was once a time that I loved going to the gym. I felt strong and prepared and even comfortable enough to joke around with other members that I had seen on various occasions. That time is not now. Now, I hate going to the gym. It’s not because I don’t feel like working out–in fact, it’s the quite opposite. I enjoy the workout but my size and weight have made me so incredibly self-conscious, I have to give myself a pep talk to get out my house.

    Why I Hate Going To The Gym

    It’s New Year Resolution season and the gym is more populated now than ever. I want you to understand that everything that comes AFTER this sentence, I understand is all in my head and probably NOT reality. But with more people in the gym, that’s more people judging me and how big I’ve gotten. Yes, yes, I know. They are probably focused on their workouts and don’t even notice me–unless I fall again. Yes, again.

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    I’m SUPER Awkward

    Outside of pregnancy, THIS is the biggest I’ve ever been. With my new and not so improved size comes a level of awkwardness that makes me unsure of just about everything.

    Did I put my foot on the elliptical pedal right?
    Are my shoelaces too tight?
    Does everyone know that I’ve been out the gym for like, ever?

    Oh, and then I fell my first day back in the gym so now I relive that moment every.single.time.

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    I’m Really Uncomfortable

    I’m just not very comfortable in my skin right now. My workout clothes don’t fit the way that I want them too. My shirts ride up in the back, my pants fall down, I feel like a sausage in casing. It’s just super uncomfortable. And then I sweat like a lot. Not just your average amount of sweat, but like sweat pouring out of ever single pore that I have. Yeah. Not comfortable to be big and sweaty.

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    I used to love working out and going to the gym. Then I had two babies, my weight increased, and now? Well now I hate going to the gym. Here's why.

    I Jiggle A Lot

    Not in like the cute Destiny’s Child kind of jiggle but like in the, “Oh My Gosh Becky Look At Her Butt” kind of jiggle. It’s scary man. I feel like the marshmallow man from Ghost Busters when I’m walking around.

    But here’s the good thing: I show up.

    Every week I show up feeling awkward, uncomfortable, sweaty and jiggly.

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    The gym that I go to has great child care and they love loving on each of the kids individually. I don’t worry about them as I take the 2 hours I get to myself to blast my music full of curse words into my ears as I work to make myself better and healthier so I can keep up with them.

    I’m shocked and disappointed that my body has gotten to this point. I’m incredibly insecure. But I’m a work in progress. I’m committed to making better choices for my health because that’s the person I want to be. But man, this is hard place to be in–especially since I hate going to the gym!

    Have you ever hated going to the gym? How’d you get over it?

     

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