Really, I can't believe it. 10 months after miscarrying it had become normal to me not to be pregnant. Every passing month wasn't necessarily easy, but it was what life had brought my way and I adapted. Two weeks ago, on a drive up North to close on our condo, I realized I had a still small voice in my head, telling me I couldn't do it. I couldn't get pregnant, and I wouldn't. It was on that drive that I decided to stop that thought, to rebuttal back with "I can and I will!". It was hard to change my mentality, after so many months of accepting that I wasn't pregnant and wasn't holding my baby, it was difficult to even think those little words, but I tried. And maybe it was all for a reason, because maybe my body was already in process of being pregnant.
I've always gone to a drug store to get my passport pictures done, "professionally". I was worried that I wouldn't be able to have the right size, spacing or focus to be accepted by the Department of State's Guidelines and that would set me back in the process. But looking over their website I realized that they never specified it had to be a $14.99 photo from Walgreen's, but rather the specifications were mostly regarding size, having a white background and not smiling.
So, in order to make the process easier (and cheaper!) on myself and my son, I decided to try to do it at home. I quickly grabbed my son one morning, put a fleece on him and zipped it up (he was still in his pajamas lol) and told him that we were going to take a picture so he could go on an airplane. Since he is a toddler boy and obsessed with all moving vehicles, that was enough incentive for my normally camera shy kid. I sat him on a stool adjacent to our kitchen oven and snapped a few shots:
Making my own cleaning products always appealed to me, but I got the final push the day I saw my toddler son actually lick the countertop on our kitchen island. All I could think about was what he might get in his system as my husband had recently purchased a Clorox cleaner, and I had used it! I tend to buy cleaner products such as 7th generation and method, but having vinegar and oils on hand already it seemed like the easier and more cost effective option. I buy big bottles of vinegar for under $2.50 at Aldi, which is far less expensive than natural cleaning sprays, and with far less ingredients.
I'm not a fan of synthetically scented things, perfumes, candles and sprays like febreeze often give me headaches. So when I tried Poo Pourri I was not only impressed with it's natural ingredients but also it's efficacy in our sole bathroom. When I realized I already owned the esential oils in the original citrus scent Poo Pourri, I simply purchased small glass spray bottles and can refill on demand at a fraction of the cost!
As much as I enjoyed learning, I loathed the schedule. The very schedule I thought would be perfect for a mom, working part time on alternate days. It was hard to keep up with the schedule, I taught in the afternoons, arriving at school around noon. Some weeks it was Monday, Wednesday & Friday and others it was Tuesday & Thursday. I never caught on. Was I a stay at home mom? Or was I a working mom? Basically I was both and I felt like I couldn't keep up with either job description. Projects, grocery shopping and general housekeeping fell to the wayside as I squeezed in as many mom-like activities with my son on my days off. Other days I rushed out the door frazzled, trying to squeeze in grading, prepping, photocopying and meetings.
The wonderful thing about Aldi is it's price point on organic goods. I've been shopping at Aldi for about a year, and avoid going to the "regular" grocery store as often as I can, for fear of spending more on the same items I could buy at Aldi. People have asked me what it is exactly that I buy there, and how much cheaper is it, really? Throughout my time of shopping at Aldi, I discovered that I typically spend about $20-30 less per visit than at other grocery stores, all while buying many of the same items I would typically buy at any other store. In fact, I find that I am more apt to buy all organic at Aldi, whereas at another store I might skimp because of cost.
The reason Aldi is so much cheaper and concise is that they don't use brands for food. The foods they offer may very well be from a certain brand, but they are labeled with Aldi brands, similar to Trader Joe's (they are, by the way, owned by the same company as Trader Joe's). So, for example, you can buy Kind brand granola bars at Target for $3.09, but you can buy the same granola bar branded as an Elevation bar for $2.99. Or Organic Milk for example, a half gallon can be up to $5.49 at my local grocery store, whereas at Aldi, it comes at a price of $2.95. It makes eating organic affordable.
This past weekend I went with my sister and my sister in law to Boston for a fun handmade bouquet class. It was a beautiful spring day here in New England (finally!) and the florist we worked with was so helpful, I can't help but share some of her tips for keeping bouquets beautiful!
We started by going over the flowers we would use to make our bouquets. Included were:
During my time in the Bay Area I never knew about this gem. I discovered this hack via instagram and found it to be true during my last visit. You don't have to pay for entry into the de Young Museum, rather, you can walk past the admissions desk to the tower and ride the elevator to the observation deck for free. It offers 360 views of the city and the bay, it is stunning!
I am a yes (wo)man, especially when it comes to health kicks so of course I opted to try a cup of her tumeric tea when she offered it. I was expecting it to be bitter and strange, as I've only really consumed tumeric in curries, but it was surprisingly sweet and delicious. I felt great afterwards and found myself wanting to refill my mug. During my stay at her house we drank it daily, and since returning home two weeks ago, I haven't stopped yet. I find myself in the routine of making this every morning when I first get up. I like the routine, but mostly I like the way I feel starting each day off on a health kick.
Healthy living, simplified.