You guys. I know it’s after the fact and I’ve already had Baby Elias (he came a little earlier than I thought since I figured he’d be two weeks late like his sister), but these pictures are too good not to share. Emma Frances Logan Photography is AMAZING. She takes all of our family pictures and is also the mastermind behind the branding and photography for my Etsy shop. Also, these are the first pictures of Elias’ nursery that I’ve shown!! His little nursery was so fun to create and I’m super happy with the final product. Enjoy!
I’m just about 36 weeks along and if you know me at all, then you know that I’m a type A planner of all things. So, of course, I’ve already starting packing my hospital bag. Since this is my second pregnancy, I feel a little more confident about making decisions as to what I will need/want. A lot of the body care items are things that I make and sell in my Etsy shop. I have included a ton of links* so that you can see the specific types of things I’m packing!
First of all, I knew that I wanted to have a good bag to carry everything in. With my daughter, I felt like I had 3-4 different bags and was so worried they wouldn’t get transferred with us to the different rooms we were in. I decided to go with this Birdling Weekender Bag and am SO glad that I did. I already used it on a weekend anniversary getaway a few weekends ago and am obsessed with it. It’s huge, has lots of compartments, and looks pretty too!
*some affiliate links included
|for the mama|
Blanqi Postpartum + Nursing Support Leggings: I bought these leggings early on in my pregnancy and wore them a ton during the first trimester. I’m already obsessed and know that I will basically live in them postpartum. They are great because they offer lots of postpartum support and allow your torso to still be covered when you lift up your shirt to nurse.
Robe: I’m using a basic robe (like this one) that I used with my first. I’m not much of a robe wearer normally, but having a robe is a must at the hospital.
Pajamas: I’m planning on taking a pair of Lularoe black leggings and this nursing tank top from Ingrid & Isabel. I had two of these tanks with my first and wore them until they were basically falling apart.
Nursing Friendly Going Home Outfit: I chose this beauty by Roolee. The creators of these nursing mom dresses inserted zippers into the sides to make nursing super easy. And they are gorgeous!
Shoes: I plan to have my Birkenstocks and a pair of flip flops for the shower.
Pillow: I’m extremely partial to my pillow and will definitely be bringing it along.
Postnatal Vitamins: I prefer to take these instead of the ones that they give you at the hospital.
Bottom Spray: I was going to make my own, but wanted to try this one first. Last pregnancy I only did the sitz bath with essential oils (which I’ll still do), but I’m hoping the spray will be helpful as well.
Depends: Trust me. These are way better than the pads that the hospital provides.
One of the first ways I began using essential oils was to create my own cleaning products. After years of battling chronic migraines and completely changing my diet to help balance out my hormones and heal my gut, I began researching other things that might be endocrine disruptors (which can cause hormone imbalance). One of the things I kept seeing over and over again was that many of our typical household cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. I desperately wanted to find an affordable way to clean my house without those products when a friend introduced me to essential oils.
Making your own cleaning products is super simple. You just need a few base ingredients (many of which you may already have) and some essential oils to get started.
Natural Cleaning Shopping List
Baking Soda: Instead of your typical cleaning spray, use baking soda. This is a well-known deodorizer, but it will also whiten surfaces and cut grease.
Liquid Castile Soap: Combine with baking soda for an amazing tub scrub or add a few tablespoons to your mop water with a citrus essential oil. You can find this in your local health-food store and online. Unscented is usually best for most purposes.
Vinegar: cuts grease, deodorizes, and dissolves mineral deposits. To cut the smell, add in a few drops of Lemon essential oil.
Borax*: disinfects, whitens, cuts grease, and deodorizes.
*Although it is natural, borax is toxic when ingested, and can cause skin irritation. Keep away from children, pets, and food preparation areas. I use this one sparingly.
Essential Oils for Cleaning
You can use a variety of essential oils to cleanse, deodorize, and protect your home. Here is a list to get you started!*
Note: Want to know how to get your hands on high-quality essential oils? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share my favorite essential oils and how you can get them at wholesale price!
All Purpose Spray: This basic spray is a great way to start and will clean just about every surface in your home!
16 oz. glass spray bottle
1/4 cup white vinegar
1¾ cups distilled water
30 drops essential oils
Recommended essential oil combinations:
15 drops each of Lavender and Lemon
10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wild Orange
15 drops each of Cypress and Lemon
15 drops each of Grapefruit and Marjoram
15 drops each of Thyme and Lemon
Add all ingredients to spray bottle.
Natural Cleaning in the Kitchen
Note: Use the All Purpose Spray above for countertops and surfaces.
Trash Can Deodorizer: Add 3-5 drops of a deodorizing essential oil (peppermint, clary sage, melaleuca, lavender, geranium, eucalyptus) to 1 TBS baking soda. Sprinkle into trash can.
Dishes: Add a few drops lemon and 5 drops white fir for sparkling dishes and a great smelling kitchen. You can add the essential oils to your dishwasher tabs as well.
Fruit & Veggie Wash: Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 drops lemon, and 3 drops Immune Blend (i.e. On Guard or Thieves) in a glass bowl. Add fruit and top with water until the fruit is covered. Let set for 5-10 minutes and then rinse.
Drain Cleaner: ¼ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar, 3 drops wild orange essential oil. Pour essential oil directly down drain followed by baking soda, and then vinegar. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Pour hot water down the drain, followed by cold water to unclog drains.
Sticker & Goo Remover: 1 Tablespoon baking soda, 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 drops lemon essential oil. Mix into a small glass bowl. Apply a small amount to the sticker or label and let sit for one to two minutes. Use a cloth or paper towel to remove. Apply again as needed.
Natural Cleaning in the Bathroom
Soap Scum Remover: 2 cups hot water, ¼-½ cup borax (or baking soda), 10 drops lemon essential oil. Add ingredients to spray bottle and shake well. Spray on affected areas and wipe dry.
Window & Mirror Cleaner: 2 cups distilled water, 2 Tablespoons white vinegar, 2 Tablespoons rubbing alcohol, 5 drops peppermint essential oil. Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake well. Spray windows or mirrors and wipe dry. Store in a cool place for one to two months.
Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes: 12 thick and durable paper towels, 1 cup boiled and slightly cooled water, ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 5 drops lemon essential oil. Cut paper towels in half and stack in a neat pile. Roll up and stuff into a quart sized wide mouth mason jar or a large ziplock bag. Mix ingredients and pour over paper towels. Put the lid on or zip and shake to moisten towels.
Mold & Mildew Preventer: 2 cups water, 30 drops melaleuca essential oil, 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on mold or mildew. Do not rinse. Repeat daily or as needed.
Disinfecting Toilet Bowl Cleaner: ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white vinegar, 10 drops melaleuca essential oil. Mix ingredients to dissolve baking soda. Add to toilet. Let set for 5-15 minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush.
Natural Cleaning in the Living Room/Bedroom
Natural Scratch Remover: 1 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, 3 drops lime essential oil. Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Dip cloth into solution and rub onto wood surface. Rub on scratches until they disappear or on deeper scratches until they are managed. Buff away any residue with a dry cloth.
Leather Cleaner: ¼ cup olive oil, ½ cup regular vinegar, 3 drops eucalyptus. Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Spray the leather down and wipe it clean with a cotton cloth. Note: This recipe is for regular leather, not suede.
Upholstered Fabric Cleaner: ¼ cup warm water, 2 teaspoons castile soap, 3 drops lime essential oil. Mix ingredients together in a container. Dip cloth in the mixture and dab onto the stain for quick spot treatments on any fabric.
Carpet Freshener: 2 cups baking soda, 10 drops lemon essential oil, 10 drops orange or grapefruit essential oil. Combine all ingredients in container. Sprinkle on carpet or rug and let sit for 15 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly.
Carpet Stain Remover: 4 cups warm water (divided), ½ teaspoon clear castile soap, 10 drops lemon essential oil. Mix 2 cups warm water, soap, and essential oil. Soak a rag in the mixture, wring out, and gently blot the stain. Use a clean rag soaked in the remaining two cups water to remove the residue. Alternate the soap solution with the fresh water until the stain is gone. Remember to blot, not rub, to remove carpet stains.
Hardwood Floor Cleaner: 1 gallon warm water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, 3 drops lemon or orange essential oil. Mix water, vinegar, and oil in a large bucket or container. You can mop as normal or spray solution onto floor and mop up with a microfiber cloth.
Note/Credits: Many of these recipes are from The Essential Life book. I highly recommend adding it to your collection!
In my previous post about Charleston, I listed many of my go-to restaurants, coffee shops, etc. During some of my most recent trips, I really wanted to branch out a little and see what else Charleston had to over. After doing a little research, I found that nestled on many side streets and off the beaten path, Charleston has even more to offer. In this list you will find some of my new favorite breakfast, lunch, and coffee joints in the Charleston area that have made me fall in love with this city all over again.
The Rise Coffee Shop: This coffee spot is located on Wentworth Street (close to King) and is part of The Restoration Hotel. I stumbled in one day while walking along King Street and ordered a Rosemary Rise Latte. THIS LATTE CHANGED MY LIFE. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it is sooooo good. Get it iced or hot. Both are delicious!
The Daily :This coffee shop/breakfast spot is located on Upper King and owned by the same people that own Butcher & Bee. They are “a neighborhood marketplace with top-notch coffee, breakfast, juice, smoothies, pastries, breads, wine, beer and grab-and-go provisions.” Go for the coffee (they brew Stumptown) and a freshly pressed juice!
Butcher & Bee: I saved this one for last because I have declared it my absolute favorite spot in Charleston. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I’m partial to their breakfast. What to order:
Morning Glory: Start with this freshly pressed juice that includes orange, pineapple, local honey, ginger, and lavender. OMG. It is so good.
Espresso Tonic: Once you’ve enjoyed your juice, try this delicious iced coffee that really brings out the flavor notes in the coffee (like The Daily, they serve Stumptown Coffee).
Brown Rice Bowl: You absolutely can not walk out of this place without trying this. Brown rice is covered in seasoned vegetables, almond butter, and a poached egg. Sounds simple, right? It may be, but it is KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF GOOD.
Butcher & Bee: This place also shows up in my lunch section because it is also amazingly delicious and not too expensive (the dinner menu here is very good as well, but a little more pricey. For lunch I recommend the Double Cheeseburger (so, so good) or the Mezze Plate (get Bacon Wrapped Dates, Heirloom Beans, and Hummus).
Minero: This is hands down the best taco spot I have EVER been to. It is a Sean Brock creation (creator/chef at Husk) and the tacos are unique and absolutely delicious. Go for the Chips & Salsa appetizer and the Catfish and Pastor tacos. Also, be sure to ask about their daily specials!
Poe’s Tavern: Poe’s is located on Sullivan’s Island (plan to visit the beach while there) and is known for their burgers. Go for the Gold Bug Plus with goat cheese!
Sugar Bakeshop: This little bakeshop on Cannon Street specializes in small batch baking and has some pretty awesome cupcakes. Go for the Vanilla Blueberry, Almond Chocolate Coconut, or the Strawberry.
Wildflour Pastry: This pastry shop is located on Spring Street and has a variety of baked goods available daily including scones, turnovers, cookies, sweet breads, and cakes. Go for the Strawberry Jam Scone or the Double Chocolate Cookie.
Let’s face it. Detoxing your home can be overwhelming and figuring out where to start can be enough to make you want give up before you even begin. I’m often asked why I even bother trying to get rid of products with toxic ingredients. For me, my history of migraines is linked to hormonal issues and many of the toxic ingredients found in every day household products are actually endocrine disrupters. After cleaning up my diet, I decided that it was probably worth it to try and detox my home as well. I implemented a few things at a time and have over the years been able to get rid of many of the toxins that are known to be harmful for our bodies. If you are just beginning to detox your home, here are a few simple ways to get started.
Remove Your Shoes: I’m going to be honest and tell you that this is one of the hardest things for me to implement. I love to host events at my home and getting everyone to take off their shoes is often nearly impossible. That being said, we do what we can and attempt to remove our shoes as soon as we walk in the door. It really is amazing how many chemicals and toxins we bring in via our shoes and implementing this can really go a long way to help prevent toxins from entering your home.
Purify the Air: There are a few really great ways that you can purify the air in your home; adding green plants, purchasing an air purifier, and using a diffuser with essential oils that help clean the air (i.e. lemon, rosemary, frankincense). I prefer to add aloe vera and other succulent plants since these are pretty low maintenance. I’ve also heard great things about using pink himalayan salt lamps to detox the air, but having tried it personally.
Eliminate Products with Harsh Chemicals: Some of the most important items with toxic chemicals to cut out include cleaning products and personal care products. I often use the Environmental Working Groups Database to help me determine which products include harmful chemicals. They have guides for cleaning and cosmetics. These databases help you to see which products you want to eliminate from your home and also give healthy alternatives.
Add in Healthier Alternatives: Making your own cleaning products is super simple. Using every day household ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils allows you to create and clean your home effectively. Using essential oils to clean also adds a really nice aroma to the process (and we all know that smells have the power to change our moods). I also make many of my own beauty care products (I sell them in my Etsy shop) that use all natural ingredients. If DIY is not your thing, using the above mentioned EWG Databases can help you to find clean products to replace your old cleaning products and cosmetics.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t try to implement all of these things at once. Pick one at a time and make it a habit. Then move on to the next one.
What are some other things you do to detox your home? Please share in the comments!