Monday, April 29, 2013

{big news for the Johnstons}

so now i can be honest with you guys
I've been a bad blogger for more reasons than i have admitted in past posts
Not only have our lives been crazy busy,
I've been sick.
Like nauseaous sick...all day..everyday.. & so exhausted!
Why you ask?
That's right! 
Baby Johnston #2 is on the way :)
I am 10 weeks along right now, & baby is Due November 25th
We are so very excited! 
Giuliana doesnt quite understand what is going on yet, but im hoping that as my belly grows, she will start to understand enough to be excited. When this baby is born, Giuliana will be 23 months old. 
Perfect spacing, in my opinion :) 
They will be the best of friends !
G & I at my appointment this morning
We had our first ultrasound this morning.
Inside the lower round black shadow, is our sweet little 10 week old baby.
Do you see him/her? 
We cannot wait to meet our sweet baby!

Also, i talked to my Dr. today about doing a VBAC  with baby #2
It is something i am excited about yet so very nervous. 
If you have been following our blog for a bit, you know that i had to have a c-section with our first.
I am really commited & looking forwad to bringing a baby into the world the natural way. 
It is just something that is very important to me, something i want to experience so badly.

If anyone reading this has had a successful vbac, feel free to leave your story as a comment! 
I would love to read your stories :) 

Happy monday everyone  :) 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{Natural Cold remedies}

Our family got hit HARD with the cold/flu bug that went around, here in AZ.
 It has been the kind of bug where you just lay in bed all day because you have a fever, a cough, the chills, sore throat, head congestion, the whole nine yards. We literally didn't leave the house or talk to anyone for 2 weeks.
It was really weird being so sick, We haven't been sick like this for over 2 years! 
Giuliana has had random little 2 or 3 day colds or allergies (worst one was a few weeks ago) , but nothing like this. She was miserably sick for 2 weeks straight! I only had it for a week & a half, & William just started getting sick a few days ago. hoping he gets better quicker than we did. 

Giuliana is 16 months old & there are no cold medicines available for kiddies this young,  so we stuck to natural cold remedies for her & ourselves. Here's what you will need to survive this yucky cold, naturally:

1. cool air humidifier/ steam
Keep a humidifier going in all the main rooms you are in. This will help keep your air ways moist & will help break up congestion.
During the day, we kept one running downstairs, but at night, we kept one running in G's room & one in our room. Before bed, I would run the shower all the way hot for about 5 minutes to get the bathroom nice & steamy, then turn it to a comfortable temperature & hop in with our daughter. The steam really helped a lot.
2. Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus oil is amazing. Just a whiff of it can help clear up your nose. It's pretty strong stuff! 
We like to put 5 or 6 drops into our humidifier so it is put into the air constantly. 
We also like to make a natural "Vicks" rub with it:
Mix a tablespoon coconut oil with 2 drops of eucalytus oil
 {Or more if you prefer. Test it on a small patch of your skin first to make sure it doesnt burn}
Rub the mixture on your neck, chest & back
for kids, you can also rub it on their feet & cover with socks. 
3. Saline spray or homemade saline drops
You can buy premade saline spray or saline nose drops almost anywhere, 
or you can make  them yourself:
add 1/2 teaspoon salt to 8oz of warm water.
Dissolve salt & let cool completely before using. 
Place 3-4 drops in each nostril & Let drain out 
make a new batch every day
4. for kids, use a Nose sucker ;)
for kiddies, after using the saline spray/drops, follow up with a nose sucker, you know, like the bulb syringe they give you at the hospital or a nose frida. Place the drops in their nose & cover one nose hole while sucking up the fluid in the other nose hole. Repeat on other side. only do this a couple time a day. I've read that doing it in access can make congestion worse. 
5. Lots of soft tissues
You can never have to many. Keep a box in ever room. Your nose WILL become raw
6. Lots of fluids
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water, or juice, or tea, or broth. Any fluid is good.
For kids its hard sometimes to get them to drink enough fluids when they're sick.
Try buying some sugar free popsicles or simply letting them munch on ice. 
7. Local honey 
honey can help soothe a sore throat. We give g a teaspoon before bed to help her feel a bit more comfortable. 
8. Elderberry syrup
This is our favorite cold remedy. Every time anyone in our house gets a cold, we use this.
You can buy it premade at most health food stores, or you can make it your self. 
Elderberry syrup is really good for you. Elderberris have been used medically for hundreds of years. They are full of anti oxidents. They are naturally anti viral & fight the cold/flu virus by Boosting your immune system, reducing mucus secretion, soothing a cough. & since elderberry syrup is sweet, Kids love it! 
This is the recipe we follow:
You will need: 
1/2 C dried elderberries
1 Cinnamon stick
5 Cloves
1 T freshly grated ginger
2 C water
1 C local honey
Place your berries, cinnamon, cloves, & ginger in a pot. pour your 2 Cups of water over.
Cover & bring to a boil.
Once it is boiling, lower temperature to a simmer. 
Leave covered & let simmer until mixture has reduced by 1/2. 
About 30 minutes or so. 
Pour mixture over a fine strainer & let liquid drain into a bowl. Using a spoon, squash the berries & get as much juice from them as you can. 
Add your 1C of honey to the warm mixture & stir. 
Pour your fresh elderberry syrup into jars or bottles & let cool. 
Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks
Dosage when sick
For adults: take 1 tablespoon every hour
for kids: take 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours

for preventative medicine during cold season: take 1 tablespoon every day

Stay healthy everyone! Colds are yucky! 
But if you do get sick, follow these natural remedies & you will feel much better :) 
Happy Tuesday

Saturday, April 6, 2013

{birthday cake batter cookies}

I made these cookies for my sisters birthday this year & had to share the recipe.
They were so yummy! 
& best of all they looked pretty cool :) 
I kept seeing the recipe on pinterest & finally decided to give it a try, & i am so glad i did.
We changed a couple things around, but they still turned out wonderful! 
This recipe will be a birthday regular in our home from now on 

You will need:
1 & 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 & 1/4 C yellow boxed cake mix 
3/4 C or 1.5 sticks of butter softened to room temp
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brwn sugar
1 egg at room temp
1.5 t vanilla 
1/2 C choc chips
1/2 C white choc chips
1/2 C sprinkles 
Sift together your dry ingredients:
flour, cake mix, Baking soda
& set aside
In a mixer, cream together your butter & both sugars on Medium speed.
Then add the egg & vanilla & continue to mix until creamy.
{This is where I made the first change. I used earth balance dairy free butter instead of regular butter}
Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture & mix until just combined. 
Then add your sprinkles, choc chips & white choc chips.
Refrigerate your dough for at least an hour!!!!
{This is where i did the second change, I used dairy free choc chips & dairy free white choc chips}
Preheat your oven to 350.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of cold dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Shape your dough balls to be Taller than they are wide {as pictured above} 
Bake for 10-12 minutes
keep the unused dough cold until next batch. 
Let cookies cool on a cookie rack
& Enjoy!! 
They were seriously so good, & no one even noticed they were dairy free 
{We did dairy free so our daughter could have one :) }
Happy Saturday!