Friday, February 28, 2014

Catch the Moment 365 - Days 50 through 56

Holy wow - it's been 50 days of Catch the Moment 365 already!

And I haven't missed a day yet!

Check out this week's photo's below:

50/365: I swear Little Lady's hair has grown over a full inch the past month.

51/365: A particularly enthralling FaceTime with Grammy!  And yes, those are still Christmas jammers, lol.

52/365: Little Man thought he could be sneaky in playing on my phone if he hid behind his "desk".

53/365:  Little Lady decided the grocery basket wasn't just for groceries.  That could not have been comfortable but she hung out in there for like ten minutes happily.

This also happened on Day 53, and even though it isn't the best quality photo - I couldn't help but share for the absolute glee they had playing together that day!  Sibling love is seriously the best thing ever.

54/365: It was warmer outside, so immediately Little Man made a bee-line to the sandbox.  I literally had to drag him inside for dinner that night!

55/365: DH grabbed my camera and randomly picked up this shot, which isn't color corrected at all.  I absolutely love our backyard, it is so fantastically awesome.

56/365: And to round out the week?  The latest "Mama!  Take a picture of thiiiiiiiisssssssss!"  :)

Click below to check out everyone else's photos from this week and to show our hosts some love!

Nurse Loves Farmer

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Diva Cup Review and Giveaway!

* Disclosure - I was provided items for review but was not compensated for this post.  Opinions are 100% honest and my own!

** Double Disclosure - This post is all about periods.  If you are a man or are a squeamish woman, avert your eyes now.  

So, after almost four years of either being pregnant or having no monthly cycle due to breastfeeding, Aunt Flo decided to make her grand entrance once again.

Of course, she decided to join in the family gathering while we were in North Carolina visiting DH's parents for Thanksgiving - when I had to run out to CVS in the middle of the night in my pajamas for supplies.


After that week, I realized I am completely done with pads and tampons.  Like, done.  I remembered very quickly why I hated pads and tampons for so many years when I was younger almost immediately.  Pads - for me - are like walking around with crinkly diapers on.  Tampons?  Well, I've always had problems with leaking - and then there's this issue where mold on tampons was summarily dismissed as normal by a tampon company.

Yep, that's disgusting.

A few of my crunchy mama friends had recommended the DivaCup to me {as well as reusable menstrual pads, which I'll be reviewing in March!}, and I was intrigued.

If you're not familiar with the DivaCup, it is a reusable silicone menstrual cup used in place of a tampon or pad.  The company boasts 12 hour leak-free protection, no harmful ingredients in the silicone of the cup, and the fact that the cup is eco-friendly in nature - as you're not throwing away countless menstrual products and their packaging each month.

Honestly, after receiving one, my first thoughts were: could one little cup handle my period with no leaks?  Would it be really gross emptying it throughout the day?  Would I feel it as I was wearing it?

Well, after two cycles of using the DivaCup - I am hooked.

By the end of my second cycle with the cup, I was using it with no backup pad underneath with absolutely no leaks and could not feel it in the least.  Other than emptying the cup, I actually had a few moments in which I kind of forgot I was on my period!

But let's backtrack juuuuust a moment.  Let's talk about the first cycle.

Initially, the DivaCup does have a learning curve.  I kind of remember {oh lord, is this embarrassing} a moment long ago in my past when I first got my period in 5th grade where I asked my sister's help in learning how to insert a tampon.  While I didn't have to ask anyone for help with the DivaCup, it definitely took a cycle or two to figure out the correct placement and insertion of my {size 2 - for those 30+ and who have had babies} cup.

During the first cycle I had a few leaks and a bit of initial discomfort because I wasn't inserting the cup correctly.  Once I figured out the fold of the cup and the insertion {I was inserting it too vertically, like I would have with a tampon - when I needed to insert the cup horizontally}, I've been leak-free ever since.

On my heaviest day, I do have to empty the cup every 6-8 hours - but that is way less frequent than my typical every 2-3 hours with a tampon or pad.  On all other days of my cycle, I can go a full 12 hours - which is amazing!

And I can do everything and anything while wearing the DivaCup - exercising, swimming, babywrangling, and leak-free sleeping.

Can I get a happy dance and high five's all around?

Other benefits of the cup that I've found?  I don't ever have to run to the store for extra pads/tampons, saving me both time & money.  Whenever I start my cycle, the cup is right there.  When we're going on a trip, I don't have to spend valuable packing space on menstrual products.  Apocalypse?  I'm covered.  Lol.  I don't have to stop as often to run to the bathroom, which is fantastic with a baby and a toddler who don't stop when I have to run to the bathroom either.  One of the biggest ones?  You don't EVER have to do that awkward walk to the bathroom in public after you've gone to grab your purse or a tampon out of your purse.

You know, the period Walk of Shame?

I seriously cannot put into words how amazing this little cup is - and how I wish I would have found it years ago.  This will for sure be a gift I give to Little Lady when she hits this stage with her own body.

And because I would love to share all of the amazing that the cup is with all of you ladies - DivaCup and I are giving one away!  Enter below and let me know if you have any questions!

{If you're looking for more information on DivaCup - you can find where to purchase the cup in person here or online, their Facebook page here, and their Twitter page here!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, February 24, 2014

It didn't turn GREEN! {And other hair dyeing wins}

After my post the other day about wanting to dye my hair back dark, I received a ton of messages on how to do it correctly so my hair wouldn't turn crazy colors.

Buuuuut, I had kind of already dyed it.


For next time though, you all gave me a bunch of fabulous tips that I can for sure use to try not and turn my hair green!  Thankfully - this time dying turned out to be a great experience.

As I mentioned, I wanted to take my hair back from the super blonde it had been to a darker blonde or possibly even light brown.  Since my hair has been getting darker and darker after our babies were born, I am sick of the upkeep and wanting to get closer to my natural color - whatever that is.

Here's the immediately after Little Man was born and right before I went darker photo comparisons again, just to refresh your memory:

Since I'd had some discoloration going on {ahem, blue/gray hair}, prior to dying my hair dark I went to Sally beauty supply and grabbed some protein color filler.  I'd been told that it would do an okay job of keeping my hair from turning green, so long as I added some of the filler actually to the hair dye.

I also went a slightly different direction this time and tried out a foam dye.  I purchased two containers {because my hair is super long and I always need two} which did the trick.  I actually only used about 1/4 of the second container.  Here's what I used:

I ended up using L'Oreal's Sublime Mousse in 70 - Pure Dark Blonde.  This was one of the only darker blonde shades that took more of a brownish/slightly grey tone on the box {although it's hard to tell from that photo} - instead of a yellowy or strawberry shade of blonde.  I've tried those colors previously and looked maybe not so lovely.  

I did end up spilling a little bit, and - word to the wise - you'll want to clean it up fast.  A drip of dye hit our wall and I didn't see it right away, and DH ended up having to paint over it a day or two later because it actually stained the wall.  

As for the protein color filler, even though I'd been told to add 1/2 of the bottle to the hair dye, since it was a foam dispenser, I was nervous to add that much just in case it would somehow screw up the mixture.  In the end I think I only put like 5-10 drops in each dispenser to use with the hair dye.

Once the color had been in my hair for a bit, here was my result:

{This photo is also straight from my bathroom after I dyed it, so excuse the terrible lighting and cell phone shot.}

What do you all think?

I tend to think it looks a lot more light brown than dark blonde, but DH keeps telling me it's still blonde.  Either way, I love the color!  I think it warms up my face quite a bit without looking orange {or green!} at all.

What I'm reeeeally hoping is - that when my actual color starts to grow back in that things will fade together a bit.  I know my natural color is still lighter and more gray blonde than this, but at least it won't be so terribly obvious when my roots grow back in and I transition back to a more natural color.

I kind of find it to look a little bit different depending on the light I'm in, so I thought I'd share a few more photos of the past few days, so you can see what I mean.

{He was supposed to be taking photos of the kids, hence my awkward expression!}

When we were out playing the other day in the above shot, I thought it looked much more brown than blonde.

But earlier in the day at a babywearing group leader meeting, I thought it looked a ton more blonde than brown.

Oh, hello, Gorgeous Tula!
No matter what color it actually turned out to be - I love it.  It's not too dark and harsh, but at the same time just blonde enough that it still looks like it's close to what my hair would naturally look like.  Even though it's a huge change from the blonde above, there have been a lot of friends/family/coworkers who haven't noticed a difference - so I'm definitely on the path back to hair a little more au natural.

And I can now breathe a sigh of relief - because it didn't turn green!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Catch the Moment 365 - Days 43 through 49

Okay, so coming into this week's post - I thought I was toast.  I couldn't remember taking an immense amount of photos each day, and know there was even a day or so where my camera returned into it's bag due to a cleaning binge.  And when it's not right in front of my face, I forget to take pictures.

But somehow, when I uploaded the week's photos onto my computer, I had a TON.  Again.  Like I literally could have made two weeks of CTM365 out of just one week of photos.  This challenge is seriously doing some good things for my penchant for never taking a photo, ever.  I think I have more pictures on my computer from just these two months than I have from the whole year last year!

One random question though, before we begin - does anyone have camera cover recommendations?  I'm looking for something {not a case} that I can use to put my camera in before I throw it in my bag and run out the door.  I know, I know - that's probably sacrilegious not to use a real camera bag.  But I'm a rebel and I do want I want, no camera bag and all.

Well, maybe not a rebel - unless you consider turning a can in my pantry with the label facing in.  Then I'm your rebellious girl.

Anyway - any suggestions?

Here are this week's photos!

43/365 - This happens in my house  No matter what Little Lady is eating, Lilo always gets a bite.  Or three.  Or seven.

44/365 - Later afternoon in our house is always a really hard time to take photos because of the lighting, but I caught one of Little Man this week and love how the focus of the photo really is the awesome, old trees in our yard in this moment.

45/365 - Mid-toppling of a cup tower.  Seriously, friends.  If you have a bored toddler and baby, grab some plastic cups and practice stacking them.  Instant fun is had by all!

46/365 - Dear Mama,  I would like something.  It doesn't matter what it is, because with a face as sweet as this - I'm almost guaranteed you're going to get it for me.  Love, Little Lady

47/365 -Well, hai DH!  Welcome to the photo challenge!  This photo selfie, which I've officially found to be slightly ridiculous to do with a DSLR was a quick "Okay the kids are almost done eating let's cheese for ten seconds and then GO" before bath and bedtime routines.

48/365 - And then the next night Little Man wanted to take a bunch of photos from his perspective, which included a few adorable photos of Little Lady as well as DH here.

49/365- And this last one is a testament to Little Man's patience on this particular day, as Little Lady would not stop crawling right over the puzzle with which he was playing.

Check out the other bloggers or link up your 365 photos through the button below!

Nurse Loves Farmer

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tips & Tricks #50 - Keep those drawers in order!

The other day I was reading a post from iheartorganizing that literally made me run over to my kitchen cabinets in glee.

See, because for the past few years we've lived in our home - the drawer organizers for our kitchen utensils have slid back and forth in the drawers every time they're opened.  And that seriously has driven me nuts.

But with the simple tip I learned earlier this week?  That problem is totally eliminated.

So, what's the secret?

Command strips.

You know, those strips you use to hang light items on your walls?  Those same command strips can be used {without damaging your cabinets!} to secure your drawer organizers inside your drawers - so you no longer have to worry about the organizers sliding around!

All you have to do is stick the strip down, affix your organizer, press in place for a few moments, and then you're done!

It's a seriously simple, easy fix that keeps everything in place right where you left it!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

EcoSprout's Coconut Stick Giveaway Winner!

Thank you guys for all the likes, shares, and comments on the Coconut Stick Giveaway from EcoSprout!  I really love to be able to give you all something back for all the love you show me!

Since I've had several messages lately about my favorite natural feminine care products - I have two fantastic giveaways coming up for you all next, including a menstrual cup and reusable cloth pads!  Keep checking back and I'll have those posted soon!

As for the Coconut Stick, the winner is...

Amber H.!!!

Congratulations!  You should be seeing an email from me shortly - please respond back within 48 hours to claim your prize!

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