10.23.2014

Periods: To Cup or Not to Cup?

So as the title states, I'll be talking about periods. Gasp! The horror! So if that grosses you out or it's just not your cup of tea, keep scrolling :)


I've had this come up multiple times in different conversations with women - the period cup. There are a few kinds out there...Diva Cup, Lunette Cup, a semi-reusable cup, and now there's this cool new cup that's been floating around on my Facebook called the Lily Cup Compact. My answer will forever be - heck yes to the cup.

If you're not aware of the cup, it's essentially a small silicone cup that's inserted during your period (like a tampon) and collects instead of absorbs.

Not gonna lie - how cool is this thing?!?
My journey with the cup started after I read this horrifying story about a moldy Kotex tampon. Long story short, a blogger found a moldy tampon in the box she bought, company said it can be common and isn't harmful, followed by me immediately throwing out boxes of tampons and searching for a better option.

To be honest, I've never been a big fan of tampons. I mean, I like them WAY more than pads, like so so so much more, but they're not great. First of all, let's hope I don't accidentally buy tampons with the cardboard applicator. I mean, seriously, those things are just terrible. The thought of shoving a dry (potentially moldy) piece of cotton up there with a string on it is just less than appealing. Not to mention I've had a Toxic Shock Syndrome scare before when I was in college and am now sensitive to the brand of tampon that caused it.

So, I used them, but only for lack of a better option that I was aware of.

Then I discovered the Diva Cup. Cue choirs of angels, I love this thing. It's so easy to use and at the end of the month I just put it in back in it's little bag and forget about it until the next month. This one is by far my favorite cup to use. It's soft, I can't feel it in there, and it does it's job.

I've tried the Lunette Cup, too. I feel it's a little stiffer, but my best friend prefers this one to the Diva. To each her own. This one does come in fun colors which I wish other cups would, too (spoiler alert: menstruation cups can get dingy).

So I usually get a lot of the same questions about using a cup and I thought I'd post them here in case others were curious.

1. Is it gross to put it?
Is putting a tampon in gross? I mean, sure you need to wash your hands, but aren't you going to do that anyway? It's honestly not any worse than putting in a tampon. It may take some getting used to for getting it in and out, but once you've done it a few times you're good to go and it's really not that messy.

2. Can you feel it in you?
Nope. Usually maybe for like the first minute or 2 as my body adjusts, but then I just sort of forget about it.

3. How often do you take it out?
That's totally dependent on your body. I have really light periods so I usually just take it out at night in the shower. When I had heavier periods I did it at like lunch time and again in the shower at night just to be sure I didn't overflow...sometimes I emptied it every 4 hours on heavy days just to be safe. Just don't leave it in for a really long time (like 24 hours or something) cause I've done it and it doesn't smell nice coming out (gross, I know, but just a forewarning). 

4. Do you just keep it in your purse all of the time?
Thankfully I get a pre-period headache from hell warning, so I don't keep it on me all of the time. I guess I would if I needed to though. It's not as compact as a tampon to carry around, but it's certainly not large. This is where that new compact cup would come in handy.

5. What do you do when you take it out.
I usually just pour mine in the toilet (or shower drain), rinse it off and pop it back in. The cup I use is reusable so I put it in it's pouch at the end of the month and use it again the next month. I do give it a thorough soaping up with natural unscented after the end of the cycle before storing for the month.

So there you have it. I honestly love my cup and can't imagine ever using anything else (unless I ever have another baby and then it's diaper pads for me post-delivery). I save money every year from not buying tampons (those things are like $10 per box or something and that adds up) and it's helping the environment by not filling the planet with wrappers and pads and tampons. It's a win-win.

Have you ever tried a menstruation cup? Would you ever consider using one?

10.22.2014

My Top 3 Holiday 5k Races in Orlando

Race season is here and the holidays are just around the corner. Some of my favorite races in Orlando are holiday themed and I've already been figuring out how many 5k's I can realistically sign myself up for. I've ran up to 2 miles so I know I can do just one more to hit a 5k. Here are my 3 favorites in the Orlando with the coolest courses and great entertainment that I'm hoping to sign up for.


The Give Kids the World Gingerbread Run 5k is an annual event that celebrates the joys of childhood and inspires hope for families who need it most. It is a professionally timed race that can be walked, run or strolled. The race winds through the 70-acre whimsical Give Kids The World Village, past snoring trees, magic castles and the world’s largest CANDY LAND game. This race is for an amazing organization and it includes a MEDAL! It's on November 8th.


The Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run benefits the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program at Florida Hospital. The course goes through Sea World Orlando and all of their holiday displays. There's a lot of entertainment during this course as well as a costume contest and a fun run for kids. This will be my third year running this (hopefully) and this was actually my first 5k race. It is on December 13 which is my anniversary and I will totally be having the Hubs do this with me :)


The Light Up UCF Knight Run is a fun run that takes you through the camps of UCF. A portion of each race registration goes to support Second Harvest Food Bank and Knight-thon: UCF's Dance Marathon benefiting Greater Orlando Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Each registrant will receive a goodie bag, race t-shirt, and ice skating voucher at Light Up UCF! Dress up in your best holiday costume to run the race and enter the costume contest for prizes. Light Up UCF is a fun even to take the family to even if not running the race and has a lot of great activities. This race is on November 15.

One other race worth mentioning is Disney's Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k. This race has long since sold out, but it always looks like so much fun. It's been a while since I've run a Disney race, but to say they have the best entertainment is an understatement. This is something I hope to do next year and to sign up Nugget for the fun runs too.

Are you planning any good runs for the season? Feel free to share :)

10.21.2014

Sustainable Suds with Wisdom Natural Brands Eco-Friendly Soap

I received a sample for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.

Between a 3-year old, a husband that likes to work outside, and me going to the gym multiple times a week, we go through a lot of soap in our house. Finding a good all natural product isn't always as easy as you would think. While I love using liquid soap on a loofah, my husband much prefers a bar soap. Despite the simplicity of a bar of soap, it's surprisingly difficult to find one that is all natural and without parabens and artificial fragrances. I was excited to learn that Wisdom Natural Brands was re-releasing their Cream of Coco soap because I knew it would be the perfect fit for my husband.

The hand-cut, Cream of Coco soap is made from an edible nuts from Mbocaya trees - only grown in Paraguay. It is a sustainable soap that gives people a cleansing experience and also provides an earth-friendly, cruelty-free option. The combination of Mbocaya nut oil with three other simple ingredients creates a unique soap that cleans effectively without aggressive chemicals, perfumes, or dyes.

My husband was worried he was going to smell tropical, but was pleasantly surprised by the light, soap scent. It lathers up fairly well, especially given that it is all natural. Typical soaps always make his skin feel tight and stripped of moisture, but the Cream of Coco soap left his skin feeling soft and clean. This soap can be used on the body and face and is a great gentle cleanser that I think would work well with all skin types and for any age, from baby and older.

Connect: You can connect with Wisdom Natural Brands on their website and Facebook.

10.20.2014

Make It Monday: DIY Glitter Pumpkin


I love sparkles and all things pumpkin. It's honestly amazing I have not ever put these two together because when their powers combine - amazing. I've been trying to get some more Halloween decor up in our house and decided to buy some pumpkins today and it dawned on me while strolling the aisles of Walmart that I should glitter these things up. 

This is seriously so easy and way better than scooping all of the goo out of a pumpkin. All you need is fine glitter and spray adhesive. I decided I wanted designs on mine so I had some circle stickers left over from Nugget's birthday invites last year and I picked up some chevron Frog Tape.


Tape up your pumpkins first. I didn't want the stems with glitter so I put painters tape on them. I originally wanted the chevrons to around horizontally, but it's just not that easy to make the tape go on evenly on a round surface, so I went with up and down instead.

              

Shake the can of adhesive and spray on. Make sure you're doing it in a well ventilated area. Once you've sprayed the pumpkin, pour on the glitter!


Do it over a newspaper or something so you can fold the paper up and pour the excess glitter back into the container. After you're done glittering, remove the tape or stickers and you're done. 


There are seriously the best pumpkins ever. Aside from looking like a just left a Ke$ha concert, I'm in love and plan to keep these babies around through Thanksgiving.

10.17.2014

DIY Mod Podge Halloween Mason Jars


DIY Mod Podge Twine Halloween Mason Jars

Is it terrible to say I've never "done" Mod Podge before? Well, I haven't. I mean, I guess I have if you count a homemade balloon piƱata when I was 7, but other than that, no Mod Podge for me. I've had this terribly cute Halloween scrap book paper that I had no clue what to do with and a whole box of Mason jars just calling to me to use them, so I took the plunge into the world of Mod Podge. Except I didn't have any so I made my own.

To make the homemade Mod Podge I used 1 part white glue to 1 part water and applied with a sponge brush. This whole project was incredibly easy and took almost no time at all and now I have these really fun candle holders.


See - crazy cute paper just asking to be cut up and used. I picked these two for the jars:


I thought they needed a little something extra. Thank the Lord for the $1 bins at Target because they had this cute twine I picked up the other day that added the perfect finishing touch.


I just wrapped this around the top and that's it. After everything dried I popped some electronic candles in them and they look great :)

            

Working on any fun Halloween crafts? Feel free to share, I'd love to see them :)

10.14.2014

One and Done... or am I?

For the longest time I never gave thought to how many kids I'd have, but it was always plural. Even after I had just had the Nugget, like fresh out the womb, and the OB told me I'd have to have another c-section next time, I was devastated - because in my heart I just assumed there'd be a next child. All throughout the newborn and infant phase and even early into toddlerhood I always assumed we would have more.

Then nursing school started and I was like oh no. Just no. Toddlerhood was in full swing and I just resigned myself to be one and done. Nursing school was put on hold this year and Hubs and I started going out a lot with our friends and I was still like, nope. My parents live in the same town as us and they're ready and willing to watch him whenever we want to go out. Our closest friends also have parents in town so we go out all of the time. We're incredibly lucky to have them so close and quite frankly it's nice to enjoy adult life while still having a child. Then this happened...


Who is this big kid!?!? Where did my tiny baby boy go? Why in the world does he look so grown up? Wahhhh!

That's when my eggs started to sizzle and the fever really set in. Like hardcore. I started reading blog posts and forums and whatever I could on having just one vs. more. Not to mention I feel like I'm in a time crunch on this. I like the idea of an age gap between children, but not much more than 4 years. I want them to still play together as opposed to basically having 2 only children. He'll be 3 in December and I know I've got like 6 months to make it before the 4 year old birthday (assuming all things worked with the lady bits - and man bits).


I will admit that parenting a threenager is not my favorite. I was much better at the newborn and infant stage and I just kind of want a baby...but I also love our life as a family of 3. I never thought I'd be having this debate and I certainly never thought the decision would be so hard. The Hubs goes back and forth all of the time on whether we should have another. He tends to be in the yes camp whenever we see baby pics of videos of our Nugget. He's usually in the no camp any other time. 

I know we'd certainly never regret having one more, but sometimes I worry that we'll regret not having had another because we simply want to enjoy how easy life is now (and to be able to go out with friends, booze, etc). I know another child will certainly throw things for a loop, but it's in a good way. Sometimes I just want to experience all of those firsts again...and know I've made something no one else can. There's no right answer, I guess, but I certainly wish I felt more strongly one way or another.

Anyone else debate like this over having another? 

10.13.2014

Make It Monday: Cotton Ball Ghost


Now that Nugget is back in school, I sort of fell out of doing a lot of crafts with him. We were doing a few a week over the summer and we just haven't done many lately. He's been talking about ghosts lately so I thought it would be fun (and easy) to make a cotton ball ghost. Here's what you need:


  • Cotton balls
  • One piece of white card stock
  • Glue
  • Black paper or felt
  • Scissors
  • Yarn (optional)

First you need to cut out your ghost from the white card stock. I just imagined those little ghosts from Pac Man and it came out pretty well. I also cut out the mouth and two eyes from felt to be used later. 


Once your ghost is cut out, start adding cotton balls. I found it was easier for my son to dip them into a big glob of glue and stick them on. Gotta love the Santa paper plate :)


He did a really good job putting them on there and covering up all of the white space. I had a spread of few of them out, but once your ghost is covered, you're ready to add the eyes and mouth.


...and you're done :) You can tape yarn onto the back to hang this up if you want. My son wanted his in his room, so we hung it on his door handle. This is a cute, quick, and fun craft to make for Halloween :)

Happy Monday!