Monday, April 28, 2014

I know one thing, I love you - Old wives tales

In various results of my searching I find all kinds of "advice" that really are quite funny.  I thought I would share a few with you and how they are proofing not to be scientifically sound.  BUT, for those that don't hurt you or your future baby, by all means give them a shot!  Mind you these are all my opinions, please check with your doctor if you have questions.  Next week I'm going to talk about what you can do to help get pregnant.  But first let's not stress about:

Feet where?
I have been told to keep your feet in the air for an hour after sex.  What?  Would it be better to hang me up by my toes?  By laws of physics the size of actual sperm is not affected by the earth's gravitational pull.  If sperm was the size of the moon I might change my opinion...  Here's what WebMD said about the topic.

Who is suppose to be where?
Who's on first? What's on second? I don't know is on third?  Again, like I said above, sperm are meant to swim.  If you want to lean on the side of caution, don't use a swing and use what ever position makes you enjoy sex.  There is some evidence that orgasms helps sperm, but it's not necessary.  Here is what Babyzone says on the topic.

How long do you say I lay there?
Kind of along the lines of don't swim after you eat.  I'm not saying do jumping jacks after sex, but sperm are designed to swim.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the moment.  Give yourself twenty minutes of bliss before you return to the real world.

Eat what!?!?
I have heard to eat yams, eat salty food if you want a boy, drink milk if you want a girl.  Ok, maybe there is some truth behind the acidity level of your uterus determining if you are going to have a girl or boy, but will it help you get pregnant?  Not sure about that.  Now eating healthy is essential to all your body's health.  Yes, I do agree that you shouldn't take in too much caffeine, don't drink to the point of not being able to walk, don't smoke, take in extra folic acid, don't eat in excess, eat three meals a day, and don't eat fish high in Mercury, correct me if I'm wrong but are these all guidelines to go by no matter what?  Babyzone agrees.  I will write about trying to pick your baby's sex in a later post.

Stressed out?!?!
So many people tell me to not get stressed about getting pregnant.  My best friend told me this the other day: if you are normally a worry wort, then trying your hardest to not worry actually changes you.  Her theory is that if you keep your life at a normal level between extremes that a little stress won't hurt.  If you want to make a major change (move, get a new job, quite smoking, stop drinking, exercise excessive, eat excessive, etc) then gradually try to adapt your body or prepare your body.  Waking up at a different time for a new job affects your normal life, thus affecting your fertility.  Stress has been linked to infertility, but I believe they are talking about extreme stress like losing a family member, losing a job, or changing a job affects your health.  Not driving in traffic... or worrying about your next presentation at work.  WebMD states there maybe some research supporting stress affecting fertility,  but I say that stress affects other parts of your health thus affecting fertility.  I believe it's not a direct correlation.

In the end, what gets you through making a baby is the love you have between you and your partner, your future child, for yourself, for your family, and for your friends.  They are truly the best way to get support that will help you through conceiving a child.  If you need more help, reach out to family and friends that have been there before or are there now.  If that doesn't help, talk with a medical doctor, psychologist, help groups, book or magazine authors, blog writers, or anyone else that has professional experience with conception.  

Remember a child is conceived out of love.  Surround yourself by it!  
And don't listen to how people define love.  Love is love.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I see leaves of green, red roses too - Essential Oils

I think essentials oils are the best way to bring a quick pick me up in any moment.  They can be expensive though, so I create a list of top 5 oils you should have and how to use them.  In a future post I will list more essential oils, but for now this is enough information.  Mind you some of the smells can be strong.  Many times my husband says I stink.  I don't think I stink, it's just some smells you need to get use to.  I will only put a strong smelling essential oil in my list if I really think it's necessary to have.

Be Advised
Some people have allergies to certain essential oils.  You can try the oils out at any store before you buy to make sure you don't break out in a rash.  I will be sure to identify ones that are strong and shouldn't be used on the skin directly. 

Some oils work better than others.  For example everyone says Eucolyptus works well if you have chest congestion.  I find that cinnamon works better for me..  Or that Rosemary helps headaches, I use peppermint.  Grab the essentials, try to see what you like!

During pregnancy you should use everything half strength.  I error on the side of less oil per parts, so you maybe ok with my numbers below.  You may have a sensitivity to certain smells, but stay away from the following during your entire pregnancy: basil, cedarwood, celery seed, clary sage, clove, cinnamon leaf, citronella, hyssop, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, nutmeg, Spanish sage, thyme.  Avoid the following in the first four months: angelica root, Atlas cedarwood, sweet fennel, rose, rosemary.  None of my top 5 are listed as dangerous during pregnancy.

Digging deeper
If you want to read more about aromatherapy I suggest Julia Lawless books.  I have the following book The Complete Illustrated Guide to Aromatherapy that I always go to for general information.  She has a company in London called Aqua Oleum.

Now Foods is a very resonably priced line.  You may be able to find these in many health food stores.  On Amazon you will find 2 oz of Peppermint Oil for $9.78

Aura Cacia
A little more expensive, but claim a more pure product.  On Amazon you will find 2 oz of Peppermint Oil for $14.11

Native American Nutritionals
Quite a bit more expensive, but this is a top of the line essential oils company.  It claims to have the purest form from the most native region of oils.  You will find their Peppermint Oil at $14 for .5 oz

How to use
Neat: directly on the skin, very few oils can you use this method
Carrier oil: blend with an lotion or oil like coconut oil to use as a lotion or massage oil
Diffussor: Place a few drops in a diffusor and it will release the oils in the air
Facial steamer: Put one or two drops in the water of your facial steamer
Aromatic bathing: Put 20 to 30 drops in your bath.  Ahhhh.... relaxation
Compresses: place a cloth in a hot bowl of water with about 5 drops of essential oils, wring and apply
Mouthwash: 3 drops in hot water, gargle or wash your mouth out
Disinfectants: Put about 50 drops of oils in your washer
Perfumes: Put 10 drops in 2 tablespoons of orange flower water, add to sprayer and spray

My Top Five
  • The essential oil of essential oils.  
  • It is an anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, antiviral, bactericidal, balsamic, cicatrizant, diaphoretic, expectorant, fungicidal, immunostimulant, parasiticide, and vulnerary.  Basically if you have something bad, this will fix it.  
  • It is very strong smelling.  It's kind of like a muscle rub, but smells like plants.
  • You can use it directly on the skin.  I recommend using it in a facial steam if you have a cold.
 2. Lavender
  • Stressful day? Have I got an oil for you!
  • It is an analgesic, anticonvulsive, antitoxic, nervine, and sedative.  It may make you feel happy too.
  • It's very pleasant smelling.  It's floral, soft, mellow, and smells like spring
  • I recommend using it in aromatic bath or a diffuser.  It's a great oil to use to get a relaxing massage.


  • Need a pick me up?  Have a late night of work or studying.  Peppermint can do wonders
  • It is an astrigent, carminative, cephalic, cordial, expectorant, hepatic, and stomachic (good for IBS)
  • It's an bright, uplifting, minty, and clean smell.  Think toothpaste, but better
  • I recommend having it around to open and smell as well as used in a diffuser or with a carrier oil. 

  • My favorite smell.  I would love to be covered in Jasmines all day
  • It's galactagogue, parturient, sedative, and tonic.  Great as a tea if you want to relax.  Or if you have fresh Jasmine flowers put it in your tea.  You wouldn't believe how it calms your nerves
  • Rich, warm, floral, exotic, and exquisite smell.  I use it EVERYWHERE!
  • I recommend using it in massages, as a perfume, facial treatments, diffuser, just everywhere you think you can use it.
  • Only drawback is that it's expensive

5. Eucalyptus
  • Got a cough?  This will calm it down
  • It's a decongestant, deodorant, depurative, expec-torant, hypoglycemic, parasiticide, stimulant and insecticide.
  • Strong woody smell.  A little sweet, but fresh.
  • I recommend using it as a chest rub, or in a facial steamer and bath when you are sick

If you will allow me to compare essentials oils to wines a bit I would love to explain my thoughts of essential oil blends.  In several countries, like the USA, wines are advertized by the dominant grape in the blend.  It allows you to know what type of wine you are getting by the name.  If you like the Cabernet Sauvignon grape look for a Cabernet Sauvignon on the bottle.  Pretty simple!  As for myself I know my wines by grape.  I know the general taste difference between a Merlot, Malbec, and Shiraz.  I can even share my knowledge with people about tasting notes, pairings, and the like.  Call it a wine connoisseur if you like.  I call the "I like to drink wine" experiences I have had.

Take this girl and sit her down in a French wine store and all my knowledge goes out the window.  Maybe I have a little understand about the wine when you tell me what's in it, but because that country has been making wine for centuries they know how to blend the different grapes together to make a great wine.  I can't tell you by region or vineyard how the wine will taste.  Usually I just tell the store owner "I'm cooking this tonight, can you recommend a wine below X dollars?"

Now, take that level of knowledge of blending and substitute essential oils.  If you trust that the maker knows her oils and knows how to blend them well, rest assured that the blend is a good one.  So if a maker makes a cold ease, it will probably make your feel better when you have a cold.

Essential oils make me think of rainbows for some reason.  
I don't know why, but in honor of those images:

Monday, April 21, 2014

I was left to my own devices - what I do to prepare for pregnancy

I think the best advice/reminder I have gotten when it comes to trying to get pregnant was the following: "getting pregnant is the fun part".  The more I poured over books the more I worried about getting pregnant.  We are both in our late 30's!  Thankfully my OB/GYN assured me that I don't have anything working against us getting pregnant.  Stress is the worse condition.  Whew!  If we don't get pregnant in six months come back and talk about other medical interventions.  Until then....

Enter in my crazy planning
(get ready for your introduction to my mind)

Monitoring you cycle and FAM

Everyone who has tried to do natural birth control planning that really want to thoroughly understand their cycle has read the book: Taking Control of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH.  The book  teaches you how to monitor your cycle, chart it, read it, and understand you body more than you ever dreamed was possible.  I found the website difficult to keep my cycle straight.  I looked for an app for my iPhone that would help.  Enter Kindara.  Welcome to the world of opposing over temperatures on cervical fluids. I know.  It sounds like a ton of fun, but trust me.  If you have ever uttered the words, "what is that?" when you went to the bathroom this method will open your eyes to a whole new world.

Prenatal Vitamins

I've read a lot of books about getting pregnant and if I learned anything I knew I had to take a prenatal vitamin.  They come in 30 day supplies.  I plan go review them as I take them.  The one I'm taking is NOW's Prenatal Gels + DHA.  I am also taking Chasteberry Vitex to help regulate my cycle better.  Since changes in jobs, moving, and planning has changed my cycle length as well has painfully first day of menstruation I am taking the supplement.  However it's not recommended to take when you are pregnant, so I will stop taking it before I ovulate in a few weeks.  The DHA is a omega-3 fatty acid that is suppose to help with visual and neurological development.  We typically eat 2 servings a fish a week, but I feel that isn't enough DHA.  We keep the fish meals down because of mercury and other harmful elements found in fish.

The NOW's Prenatal Gels + DHA are monster of a bill.  There are three to take a day and because I wish to keep the iron supplement more time-released I take the pills morning, noon, and night.  Next month I am trying a pre-natal vitamin and seperate DHA from  It's an interesting company concept.  I recommend checking them out, but don't receive my first order until next week.   I will review them all in a few months. 

 The spreadsheet

I'm tracking all my data with start date, ovulation date, cycle length, luteal phase, and follicular phase.  I want to track my trends so that if there is an issue it's easy to pinpoint where the problem might be, if there is a problem.  I do a lot of statistical analysis like average, mean, and standard deviations.  I'm not sure if it is all necessary, but it helps past the time while I wait to ovulate.  Or you could simple do what other do and have sex every other night.  Hmmmm......  That's not a half bad idea!  Just remember to not make sex an means to an end, but rather something that is very special when you are trying to create a child. 

The Plan

When I'm told to do something for six months and come back if nothing happens rest assure I will find ways to make each month different.  Our first month of trying we are sticking to the FAM method, supplements, safe lubrication, and fun sex.  The next month we are going to see if the FAM method really does predict ovulation with an ovulation kit.  Not sure which one we will get.   Suggestions welcomed!  Third month we will explore the world of acupuncture.  The fourth month I will be monitoring my pH.  The fifth month I will be exploring more holistic approaches.  Not sure about the sixth month yet, but the seventh month will be tried after we talk with the doctor.  I like having a plan so that when we go to see the doctor I will have examples and charts galore to analyze.

Here's my song for the week!

Friday, April 18, 2014

She's Got The Look: Julep Nail Polish review

I love my nails painted!  I love doing manicures myself!  I do so much better of a job than the nail salon!  I HATE when I smug my paint as I'm waiting for my nails to dry.  Even worse is when my nails chip after just a couple of days!  I also don't like all the chemicals you put on your body just to make yourself beautiful.  Enter Julep nail polish.

What I got:
I signed up for the first free box (FREEBOX).  I paid for shipping ($5.00).  A couple of days later I got my beautiful box.  I received two colors (a red and a champagne - two of my wedding colors!), a cuticle oil (took me a minute to realize the serum wasn't that thick), buffing cubes, and coupons.

Couple things that Julep is: (according to their website)
Julep Nail Color is “4-free” and does not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP.
The professional chip-resistant formulation is fast drying and highly pigmented.
Julep nail color is a fun way to make the season’s latest shades accessible to everyone.
They tested our trend-setting toxin-free colors and products in over 100,000 manicures and pedicures in their parlors.

Couple things that Julep is: (according to me)
Rich thick color that covers a lot with one layer.
Long lasting (I did a lot to test the polish and it took ___ days to chip)
Really beautiful colors.  Every color in the crayon box!  and so TRENDY!
Really unusual colors.  You can definitely find what you are looking for!
FAST DRYING!  WOW!  I'm impressed!
Long lasting nails.  They never chipped, but they did start to peel.  I think it was more my way I put the polish on and not the polish itself.
They have a really cool subscription box called Maven!

Couple things that Julep isn't: (according to me)
Easy to put on.  You kind of need to have patience if you don't put on a lot of polish to learn the trick of it.
Easy bottle to hold.  The bottles are a little annoying.  Too long and skinny.
Full of descriptions.  You kind of have to dig for the material you wish to have.  I would have liked more suggestions on how to apply the polish.

Couple things that Julep isn't: (according to other reviews with my responses)
OPI - Why? it's not made with harmful chemicals.  It's not dangerous.  I would rather learn to use Julep that put more chemicals on my body.
Easy to use - give it time.  Be grateful that it dries quickly

My conclusion:
I'm going to keep getting their subscription box.  I'm relatively new to the chemical free zone.  I would like to see what they have in store for me in the future months.  I will keep you posted!  In the mean time I will be giving away my OPI collection.
Fingers in Florence

Toes in Myrtle

My song for the post.  Got to love the 80's!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Long blond hair: Natural hair lightening

I use to have blonde hair growing up.  I'm not sure what happened, but as I got older my hair began to get darker and reader.  Recently it's less red, but more dirty blonde.  Although I have natural highlights they only come in when I spend time in the sun.  Sadly I don't spend enough time outside.  Plus the winter months my hair sees less sun.  So here I am, thinking of the days long gone when the sun kissed my face with freckles and lightened my hair.  What am I to do?

Well, because I can't quite my job and just go hiking all day I looked for various natural lightening solutions.  I've always heard of the lemon in the hair, but that makes my hair feel like straw.  It's already dry enough!  I found a solution that may both lighten my hair, add moisture, and make it shine like a new penny?  What is this miracle you ask?  Does it cost more than a fancy dinner?  First of all let me assure you that it not only shines your hair like a penny it doesn't cost much more!

1/2 cup honey (natural)
1/2 cup water (filtered)
1 Tbs of cinnamon (organic)
1 teaspoon of olive oil (cold pressed)

I miss all the loveliness in an empty honey jar.  Shaking it, stir it, spin it.  Once you are done dancing do the same with the jar.

Let it set for an hour.

Damp your hair before you apply.  I would lean over a sink or stand in the bathtub.  It does get messy.  Wrap it up in saran wrap.  Wrap a hand town around it.  Now sleep on it and dream of the lovely golden locks to come.

What to expect:
It's a gradual lightening processes.  I suggest you put on the solution once to twice a week.  It should take about a month or two to finish.  The one great thing is that you IMMEDIATELY get shiny beautiful hair.  Although my husband says he gets hungry while I sleep in the mask, after you wash it the smell can be covered up with perfume.

Couple of tips:
1.  You can increase or decrease the quantity depending on the length and thickness of you hair
2.  Be careful with the oil.  Don't put too much in otherwise your hair will take forever to wash it out.  You might not even notice that you put too much in until you try to dry your hair. 
3.  You will probably need to wash and repeat a few times to get all the cinnamon out.

I love listening to this song.  It was my husband and I last song at our wedding.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Paperback Writer - prepping for baby book reviews

Let's face it.  Reading books about trying to get pregnant freaks you OUT!!!  Many times they are written by people that have been affected by infertility.  Not to dismiss their work or their efforts, but at times when you are trying to create a peaceful, welcoming, happy, and fun environment to conceive a child you get bogged down by all that can go wrong.  I'm sad to say of my own dear friend that lost her first child due to a rare heart development (something like two infants in a year over the entire world).  Thankfully she has a son that has no heart or genetic problems.  It was difficult being so helpless in supporting her, but I learned that to minimize my anxiety I needed to learn more and to take everything with a grain of salt.

So here are a list of books that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  Also a few that wasn't my cup of tea.  One or two that I could only read a chapter or two at a time, but finished them because they were full of information.

The number one book that I recommend: 
Taking Charge of Your Fertility

byToni Weschler
A great book for truly understanding you cycle.  The book is packed full of information and usefully if you are trying to not get pregnant, plan your next pregnancy, and general fertility information.  This book has eased many of my fear of trying to get pregnant.  I can say enough about this book.   If anything it made my husband happy to know what he was suppose to do.  Things like hot tubs, underwear, heated car seats, drinking, stress, etc.  Be prepared, there are pictures of cervical fluids!  Very usefully to help you determine things, but at the same time: it is what it is.

Second favorite book (just a little outdated):
Quite useful book to determine a whole health approach.  It uses the food pyramid which is no longer recommended.  It's a great reference book for when you remember you read something about something.  It's well organized and easy to find answers to your questions.  It even has workbooks!

 by Randine Lewis

When you want to dive into the world of Chinese Wellness this is your book.  It's written well.  Has lot of information determining what you can do to use the ancient art of herbs and acupuncture.  I didn't read it cover to cover.  I decided I would leave it till the time I needed to read it.  I didn't want to overwhelm myself with too many changes the first few months.

Not my favorite:
by Tami Quinn, Jeanie Lee Bussell, Beth Heller

I really want to find a good yoga book.  This wasn't it.  For one thing, it was difficult to read.  Organization was not done well.  Second, it really freaked me out!  I couldn't finish it, even though I tried on several occasions.  It really focuses on all the negative aspects to getting pregnant.  Maybe it would be good for someone that has some infertility issues, but not a good prep book.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on books to read!

Got to love The Beatles!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lips Like Sugar - Red Apple Lipstick

Red Apple Lipstick is a all natural makeup line that started out with making lipsticks in 2007.  Jay Adam Harper is the creator of the line.  He is very customer focus driven.  His lipsticks were created for many reason such as quality, safe, cruelty free products that make your lips feel like beautiful soft lips.

I got the following lipstick colors:
Mauve Me

I got them on a Tuesday, so I haven't tried Rebel yet as I'm not sure how professional a red lip would be at work, but the Mauve Me is great.

I also got their Rallye Balm and the Exfoliate.  My husband and I both love the balm.  I'm still waiting to see if the exfoliate is worth the cost.  The product might make your lips so smooth that exfoliation maybe done with my usual facial routine. 

I want to try the lip pencils and the other products, but I have to admit that the price is kind of on the higher end.  Maybe when I order more lipsticks I will get some samples.  They offer tons of discounts so be sure to sign up for the VIP membership! (email field found at the bottom of their webpage).

Here's my song!  I love the movie 50 First Dates, where I first heard this song.