Deb's Deals: December

Lo and behold they were both still there! This doesn't always happen,  as waiting for the discount often means you lose the item to someone else who's already content with the consignment price. I scored B.O.C black leather clogs for $12.00 instead of the $49.95 they retail for on amazon.  They are in New condition, and two hours later I'm already wearing them on a cold December day.

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Week 27: Loving Pregnancy

I recognize that some women don’t receive the opportunity to experience pregnancy, that life is short, and time being pregnant is even shorter in comparison. I have known friends to lose pregnancies, to birth children already in heaven, to care for sick children who pass away, who lose children to accidents. How can I, possibly, in the face of so much loss and heartache complain about heartburn? I choose to remain content, to be thankful for this opportunity, this baby. It is the start of my role as a mother of two, and I need to be flexible and grow as the days bring me closer to that role.

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Easy DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

I’ve been trying to perfect making lattes at home, partially because they’re so expensive at coffee shops, but also because I can add whatever I want to make them healthier (coconut oil, anyone?). I save my daily latte for an afternoon treat, and usually make it when Jeff is napping. Last year I ventured into making pumpkin spice lattes at home and have whittled it down to this process. It’s not exactly like Starbucks, but without any sugar added (I use maple syrup instead) it’s a pretty decent healthy version—and it even has real pumpkin in it (unlike Starbucks!). Let me know if you have any substitutes or suggestions, I’m still working to perfect this recipe.

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Fear in Pregnancy

The interesting thing is that I've been trying to be positive,  remain hopeful, and overall be thankful this pregnancy. I relish in each symptom, every kick and can't wait to meet the baby growing within me. But try as I may,  fear has taken root in my heart. I thought I had outsmarted it with my thankfulness and faith, but this morning I woke with anxiety so strong, I wasn't sure how to differentiate my dream from reality.  

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I'm Pregnant! June 2018

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.

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DIY: How To Take Passport Pictures at Home

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: 

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DIY: 4 Ingredient Kitchen Cleaner

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. 

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Easy DIY PooPourri!

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!

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To Teach or Not To Teach

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. 

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Aldi Grocery List: What I Buy & How to Save

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.

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5 Things to Know About Aldi

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. 

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How to Create a Perfect Bouquet!

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: 

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Fun Toddler Activities in The San Francisco Bay Area

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!

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Easy Turmeric Tea Recipe

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.

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Pregnant With Grief

As I slowly approach what would have been my due date, it still feels like I've been through an entire pregnancy. Turns out, I've been pregnant the entire time, only just with grief. It's almost as if I thought the pain would go away, but instead it grew with me every month that passed during the time I was supposed to be pregnant. What would have been a life is just the shadow of sadness over mine. 

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What To Expect When You Miscarry

Within the span of 48 hours I discovered I was likely to experience a miscarriage and made it to the other side. I became a statistic. I became the 1 in 4 women who experiences pregnancy loss. It was strange to experience this loss because I pride myself in healthy living, and come from a long and fertile line of women. This miscarriage has been an emotional whirlwind, the following months were a complete blur and only now do I feel some clarity regarding the situation. 

In an effort to better equip other women who may either experience a miscarriage or know someone who does, I decided to document what it was like to miscarry, because it was surprisingly traumatic and painful. I even took a few pics, because it was all so overwhelming, and mostly because I had never seen anything like it.

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The Best Natural Beauty Finds on Amazon

Ever since I turned 30 I've started to notice a few signs of aging: mostly the wrinkles around my eyes when I laugh (which is a lot).  In a perfect world I'd never show signs of aging, or I'd whisk away the possibility with a quick dose of botox. But in an effort to live healthier and happier, I've really worked to switch out my beauty products for more organic options, unfortunately Botox doesn't fall into that category. As a young mother, I want my beauty to routine to be simple, effortless and effective all at once, that's not too much to ask, is it?!   I've been researching and trying all sorts of products this past year, but here are the 5 I keep coming back to:

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My Miscarriage Story

It was draining, it was painful, and it was emotionally insane. The strangest part for me was how long it went on. It felt like forever. I was actively bleeding for about 3 hours straight, so much so that I had to remain in the bathroom over the toilet--I really felt like I was going to go crazy in there. You don't really want anyone with you, but you also feel so alone. You literally watch your hopes and dreams go down the drain, and it is beyond upsetting. What's worse is that it seems to be just the beginning of the grieving process, which for me, has taken months to recover from. 

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