Friday, April 17, 2015

Bamboost - Eco-Friendly Education for Young Children


Happy Friday guys! I'm posting today on an incredible campaign that is designed to help educate 10 million young children (ages 0-6) living in urban slums by the year 2020 through the availability, use, and education of bamboo cloth diapers and hygiene products. You all probably already know I cloth diaper, and I have a few bamboo diapers right now which I absolutely love, so I was so excited to jump on board this campaign to get the word out and help show my support that connects eco-friendly products and practices to such a noteworthy and heart touching cause.
The campaign, Bamboost, introduces bamboo fiber health and hygiene products to urban slum communities, as well as age-appropriate curriculum books. People living in urban slums are making only $3-5 per day, but are spending more than $20 on diapers and sanitary pads per month. By introducing bamboo fiber products to slum communities, they will reduce that monthly cost to only $3. That means that every month, parents will be able to buy $3 packages, which consist of bamboo fiber diapers, bamboo fiber sanitary pads, and a monthly age appropriate curriculum book for young children. There will be enough quantity of products to last a month, and the monthly curriculum books will work on developmental milestones that are specific to the exact age of the child.
But they need more support and awareness to bring this mission to a reality! So, if this cause speaks to you at all, I encourage you to visit their site and help by donating any amount you can, and also by helping raise awareness by following or liking their facebook, twitter, and instagram.
Contributors will receive some awesome eco-friendly bamboo products in return for their greatly appreciated support! This is an all-or-nothing campaign, meaning that if they don't raise the money they need, contributors will not be charged. BamBoost needs your help to raise $20,000, which will be used towards:
- Buying bulk inventory of bamboo-fiber health and hygiene necessities from manufacturing partners.
- Bulk printing of age-appropriate curriculum books from manufacturing partners.
- Rental of a distribution center in Brazil.
- Shipping of products to our distribution center in Brazil.
- Hiring of a manager and door-to-door saleswoman in Brazil.
- Fulfillment of rewards to contributors.
- A successful campaign will also help us continue our Hult Prize Competition journey.

BamBoost is offering contributors the following beautiful bamboo products in return for their support:
With a $25 contribution, you will receive a beautiful and refillable bamboo notebook, included with a custom name laser engraving. 
With a $30 contribution, you will receive a 3-month supply of bamboo-fiber diaper liners, and will also give a 3-months of Bamboost packages to a family living in an urban slum.
With a $65 contribution, you will receive an educational toolkit package, consisting of five eco-friendly educational projects for children ages 0-6, with custom name laser engraving included.

For a full list of all the different contribution gifts, please visit their website - They offer many different gift packages for varying amounts of contributions. Please help share your support and help them impact the lives of millions of young children!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

LifeBank USA Cord Blood Banking & Graco 4Ever Car Seat Giveaway!

I blogged about cord blood banking about a year ago (here) and am back today with another follow up post to tell you about our experience and to also re-emphasize the importance of cord blood banking. 
We had a really wonderful great experience using LifeBank USA to donate Blair's cord blood last year. They were awesome to work with, we got our request and paperwork processed super fast, and the process at the hospital to donate the kit was so unbelievably easy. All I had to do was bring the cord blood kit box in with me to the delivery room, and the nurses completely took over with all the instructions from LifeBank. Basically all they did was take 4 vials of blood from me, check off a few administrative notes, package up the tissue, placenta, & cord blood after delivery, and then all I had to do was call LifeBank within 2 hours of her birth to have a representative come pick up the box. I was a little stressed out about the whole process beforehand but everything turned out to be very simple and uncomplicated and very easy on me.
If you don't know anything about it, there are soo many reasons to preserve your baby's cord blood, or otherwise donate it. Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative. The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proved successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, 1,988 stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.
You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from 2 usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking and it is available only through LifeBank USA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are still many other reasons to choose LifeBank: LifeBank is the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood, and tissue banking, and they are also the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant. They have been absolutely wonderful to work with and they will collect cells from anywhere in the US. Another reason to bank with LifeBank? They include tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) for free. Placental tissue contains mesenchymal (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifeBankUSA's parent company is actively involved in their development. LifeBankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of their banking package using their cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby's tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at the time. Banking with LifeBankUSA will definitely give you peace of mind, knowing that this stem cell-rich blood can be used to treat certain diseases in the future.
Along with peace of mind, LifebankUSA is also now giving away THREE Graco 4Ever Car Seats in a random drawing. A $300 value each!! You can enter the contest HERE. Good luck!!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The End of an Era.

I can't believe that I am writing this post right now... but as of last night, Blair has officially, 100% weaned at 17 months..it is a weird feeling, and I'm so sad and emotional right now, despite the fact that I know we were both ready for this. I cut her down to two nursing sessions a day about a month ago, one before nap and one before bed, and then went down to just one before bed about 2 weeks ago. The past few nights felt a little 'different'... and last night I held her against me and I rocked her to sleep in my arms and she didn't even ask for it. My heart is breaking a little. I will always hold on so tight to those amazing memories we shared together the past year and a half. That's definitely not to say the past year and a half was a cake walk, as any breastfeeding mother knows. There were many things I gave up and struggled with the past 17 months. But despite the sleepless nights...despite all the hardship and the hormones.. the exhaustion and the migraines that came as a result of the exhaustion, despite my insatiable hunger and the constant frustration of how my body had changed so drastically....Despite all of this, it was one of the most special and meaningful relationships I have ever been a part of that I will only look back upon with a grateful heart, and deeply miss down to the core of my being. I will always remember that feeling of being needed so badly, the only way that a mother is to a new baby. To be the only source of comfort for her after birth and those first crucial, non-stop weeks and months following. To being the only thing that could help her stop shaking and crying hysterically after the trauma of getting her shots and blood taken. To being the only thing that could soothe her when she was hurt, when she was tired, when she was scared, when she needed to feel loved and calm and protected. It was tough year and a half, yes... but I feel so fortunate and blessed to have shared it for the amount of time that we did. And as we move on, and we grow up and out of phases together, I hope I always remember those special moments together. Because I never took a video, I hope I never forget the sound of her little purrs and the sweet little noises she would make, and because I never took a picture, I hope I never forget the way her big blue eyes would look up into mine in the middle of a session ... I think the greatest sadness I hold with me right now is that I didn't know the night before that it was going to be the last. So tonight... I think I will hold her a little more tightly in my arms as I rock her to sleep, with a little more intent, gratitude and awareness...for the time that will come when she will no longer want to be rocked soundly to sleep in my arms.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

A few pics from our first Easter in the new home - had such a wonderful day...started off with an amazing church service at Willowcreek Community Church (you can watch here) Then had an Easter egg/basket hunt in the backyard, played with the kids and took a bunch of photos outside in the beautiful sunny spring weather while sipping on my famous spring punch (recipe). Had an early dinner, consisting of a honey smoked ham and a raisin glaze, rolls, spinach strawberry & goat cheese salad, asparagus, baked sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and homemade zucchini bread, carrot cake cookies, and pie for dessert...still so full and still cleaning up ;) 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The new & improved facial oil cleansers by Extract!

You guys I am sooo excited about my new & improved Extract Skincare facial oil cleansers!! First & foremost the formula is enriched with vitamin e oil, rosehip oil, and sesame seed oil. These will all now be in every custom cleanser, since they carry amazing benefits for every single skin type. You've obviously heard about the benefits of vitamin e, a great anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and moisturizer for the skin. But maybe not know about rosehip seed oil, this stuff is amazing - it's chock full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that correct dark spots and hydrate dry, even itchy skin, and reduces scars and fine lines, thus minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. (NATURALLY! ORGANICALLY! [insert emoji hands raised up in the air]). And you may not know about sesame seed oil, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxident, anti-aging, moisturizer, and detoxifier ...aka the Queen of all Oils in ancient India. Good, great, amazing stuff :)
I also created a new logo, nothing fancy - a simple, beautiful calligraphy font, and better packaging as well - every facial oil cleanser now comes in amber glass bottle droppers, making it spill-proof and leak-proof, conveniently sized (you can even take these with you on a carry-on), with amber glass offering the most protection possible from harmful UV lights that can cause damage to the essential oils' amazing healing properties.
I've also created a handy Essential Oil Reference Guide, for you to choose which essential oil you feel best meets your skincare needs:
So super exciting about all these amazing new improvements and to finally announce them after a lot of hard work, research, and experimentation. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about starting the Oil Cleansing Method or if you are interested in trying out one of my cleansers! And because I love you and I want everyone to throw away their chemically laden cleansers and skincare products, you can use promo code "FIRSTTIMER" at checkout for 10% off your first order. :)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Little Bits of Life Lately

Gettin ready for spring with some homemade flower pots
Best friends. 
(Finally!!) STTN and in her own crib (16 months later)
Making his new 'city'
Headband by The Lil Cupcake Shop (take 10% off with promo code CUPCAKE03) 

My heart. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

DIY Pom Pom Garland

Not wanting to hang curtains but wanting some window decor, (I was actually pretty close to buying these bulb lights, but for $60...I wanted to save money and I always prefer to make over buy anyway), so I made this cute Pom Pom garland to hang on Landon's windows. It's super fun, cheap, and easy to make - all you need are scissors, a fork, and yarn.

Directions:
1. Wind yarn around your fork, roughly somewhere around 80-100 times if you are using a regular width yarn...for some of the chunkier yarns you would only need to wrap around about 30 times:
2. String a piece through the center of the fork fingers and double-knot. You'll know you've made it as tight as it should be when it looks like the fork is wearing a turban:
3. Slide it off the fork, and use your scissors to cut through the looped yarn, and then trim throughout to round out:
4. Tie your Pom Pom to a long piece of baker's twine or yarn and hang!


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