Benefits of choosing a waterbirth

Benefits of choosing a waterbirth 

Water birth is a transforming step into motherhood as well as an incredible way to manage the waves of pain in labor. Some women have even said that in comparing their water birth to their birth laying in a hospital bed freeing and empowering. The ability to have control over their body while bringing their baby earth side being one of the  many benefits to a water birth.

 72.3% of women who had waterbirths stated that they would certainly choose this method of giving birth again.

Women who have chosen to have a waterbirth have said they experienced the following:

  • An increase in having a hands free birth (if you choose too.)
  • Decrease in tearing.
  • Less pain with contractions.
  • Shorter births. 
  • Being in the water allows your pregnant body the relief of buoyancy. Changing positions much easier and letting your body float between contractions if you wish is much added pain relief. 
  • Decreases chances of unnecessary medical intervention.

During my water birth, just the first 5 minutes through the hard waves of contractions I immediately noticed the difference in my pain tolerance. Although my body has a high pain tolerance and given that I have a history with precipitous labor, the pain relief of just being in warm water was indescribable and much easier to manage my pain. I would recommend a water birth to any of my friends, family and clients. 

Source: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/waterbirth/

Water Birth History

Giving birth in water, rather than labouring in air is a relatively recent development in the Western world. The first water birth in Europe that we know about was in 1803 in France. A mother whose labour had been extremely long and difficult was finally helped to give birth in a tub of warm water.

 In the 1960s, the Russian water birth pioneer Igor Tjarkovsky experimented with babies being born into cold rather than warm water. His thinking was that this would help protect the baby's brain and enhance the baby's cognitive abilities. Understandably, this approach to water birth didn’t last long! 

Next, in the 1970s, some midwives and doctors in France became interested in ways of helping babies make the transition from life in the womb (uterus) to life outside as smoothly as possible, by using warm water. 

Their concern was that modern maternity care, with all of its interventions, was making birth traumatic for babies. Some doctors, including French obstetrician Frederick Leboyer, thought babies could be affected for life by the way they came into the world. 

Leboyer's approach was to use a warm bath for the newborn baby a short time after the birth, after a period of skin-to-skin with the mother and a natural third stage. Leboyer's work influenced our next water-birth champion, the French obstetrician Michel Odent, who installed birth pools in each room at the birth unit where he worked in France. 

Odent noticed that as well as helping women cope with the pain of childbirth, being immersed in water seemed to help labour progress. He found that water births also seemed to offer babies a more peaceful journey from the womb into their mums' arms. Babies are bathed in warm water as they emerge from the birth canal, and the pool environment feels similar to the enveloping warmth of the womb. 

Doctors and midwives noted how calm babies were after they had been born in water. They cried less than babies born in air. They appeared more relaxed and were eager to have eye contact with their mums and to breastfeed

12 reasons why you need a Doula

12 Reasons Why You Need a Doula

For starters..

1. She is with you every step of the way - 100% percent of the way. Aside from mutually agreed upon naps incase of long labor Doulas are ABSOLUTELY with you the whole way. If you choose to birth in a hospital or medical center that has rotating shifts, when your nurse or doctors shift ends your doula is still there by your side. You dont have to worry about meeting a completely new person the same day you are about to go through a the biggest life change you've experienced thus far. Your doula will be there for you and your partner and family. 

2. Faster labor - Studies have shown that for mothers who have doulas attend their birth that in fact their labor is 25% percent shorter than mothers who do not have doulas. The continuous non-stop support that women do need also decreases the chances of unnecessary medical interventions. 

3. Helping prepare for birth - Whether your a first time mother or your a mother of 6 preparing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally for birth is so important. Doulas help do this by reminding the mother to eat and drink well. Exercise and being sure to do things that make you happy. They also help the mother prepare herself for birth by giving her suggestions or ideas of how she may want her birth to go. The little details that can be so important like delaying cord clamping, eye ointment applied or your wishes on vaccination. Doulas are awesome and can be super helpful in times like this. 

4. Gentle reminders of your birth plan - Labor is hard. Its just the way it is. And when it gets tough and you dont have a support system there with you it can sometimes feel like you never had a chance to have the birth you wanted. When I was in labor I constantly remember doctors and nurses telling me to get an epidural when I was breathing through contractions not supporting me in my desires for a natural birth. It is so relieving to have someone there with you who can gently remind you that this is hard but it won't last forever and they breathe with you and feel your pain with you and facilitate your birth to help you have the birth you want. 

5. Informational, Emotional, Educational and Spiritual Support -  You can never have enough of support and a doula is a trained professional in doing all of these wonderful things. She knows her stuff and is always prepared to cater to the specific individuals no matter the circumstance (assuming it is not medical). Your doula is very knowledgeable about the birth process and the emotional and physical changes that you will be experiencing. Knowledge is power. 

6. She sympathizes with you - She feels your pain with you. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get you through your birth. If it means sitting behind you fully clothed in a tub full of water during your birth she will do it. She is there to give you powerful words of encouragement and remind you that your body is capable of giving birth.

7. Boosts your confidence - Giving birth is a life changing experience and you need all the confidence you can have. Your doula is there to give you positive and loving affirmations during the easier and more difficult times during labor reminding you that your body can bring a beautiful human into this world.      

8. Reduces chances of cesarean section - Studies have shown that having a doula in attendance of your birth reduces the chances of having an emergency cesarean. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health women who have a doula at 40% less likely to have a cesarean section. In a study from Dr. Marsden Wagner - Past Director of Women's and Childrens Health - World Health Organization has said that cesarean sections have increased from 10% to 20% from 1990s to 2000s during Monday through Friday. Having a doula also helping facilitate your birth increases your chance of not having unnecessary medical interventions. 

9. She will not judge you - " The 3 B's - Not My Birth, Not My Baby, Not My Body ". One thing I learned going through my training as a doula is that leaving your ego at the door is the first thing you need to do in a birth. Your doula is not here to make decisions for you, she is there to help guide you and facilitate your birth. She wants nothing more than for you to have the birth you dream of. Whether you want an induction and epidural or a water birth at home. Your doula does not care as long as you are happy. 

10. Coping Techniques - There isn't a mother in the world that during labor wouldnt give everything she has to avoid or decrease in some way the pain she is feeling. Its difficult but its apart of labor and it will bring your baby into the world. With that being said Doulas are trained professionals knowing how to decrease pain in labor without the use of drugs. From different labor position, massage, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing and more doulas are so knowledgable in comforting and encouraging laboring mothers and their family as well during the difficult times of labor while tailoring all her support to their specific individual needs. 

11. Extra help - This is a big one. Doulas can be there for you to help you through your labor contractions by doing hip squeezes and massages or they can be there for your husband who gets nervous about birth. Perhaps you are a single mother or your partner cannot be there with you for your birth and you just need someone to hold your hand. They can also help with children, doing things around the house. 

12. She can offer a variety of services. - Doulas come from all walks of life. They can offer a variety of services like postpartum care, placenta encapsulation and placenta art, photography for maternity, labor and birth as well as newborn photos. Some Doulas are trained and can offer bereavement skills for mothers who have expected a loss of a child. There are also many doulas who trained herbalist, aromatherapist, Hypnobirthing practitioners, belly binding, lactation specialists, child birth educator, spinning babies and rebozo trainers and so much more. The list is endless and there are many doulas out there that are a jack of all trades. Its like a one stop shop doula who can offer you all things you are looking for which in the end makes thing so much easier on the mother.  

Doulas are fairly new to the birth world but in reality they have been around for centuries. They may have not been called Doulas but they certainly believe and did the same things they do today. To be a doula you must be okay with serving those around you and sometimes that comes at a cost. But to simply put it, we do what we do because we love it, we love the mothers we love their babies and we love the beauty and process of birth. We love what we do. 

 

Becoming Doula

Becoming Doula 

I had my first baby when I was 20 years old. I was and am a young mother but I would not have it any other way. Some would say that I might have thrown my life away but I like to say that I opened doors of new opportunities. I have learned that love is more than skin deep. I am more connected to my body because of birth. It has changed me in ways I can't explain. As most mothers know. The instant you get that positive pregnancy test in moments time you become a mother. Your life is forever changed. 

When I learned I was pregnant so many emotions were felt but the one thing I remember was that I was starting this incredible journey of sharing my body with another tiny human. I would literally grow a human being within my womb. How beautiful is that?  

I moved across the country from all that I knew eloped and started a new life with my husband of now 6 years. It was wild and crazy and amazing and also so hard but worth every single second. My husband Skyler is apart of the Navy which means he was gone a lot. Not just a lot but most of my pregnancy and most of the first year of our oldest daughter Imogens life. By the time we had been married 3 years we had been together just over a year of that together.  It was a crazy time in our lives especially for having just been married. 

Because of the military that meant Skyler was unable to be around for most things. He was gone out to sea without being deployed for months at a time. In this time during my first pregnancy I explored a lot of options for support because of the unknown. Not knowing if he would be able to be there for birth of our daughter was terrifying. I did my research and came to know of Doulas. Immediately I began my search for a doula and to my dismay there was not a doula near my area. The closest had been just under 2 hours away. I was a little heartbroken because I did not know anyone in the area and needed someone to be there for me. 

What is a Doula?

I like to say a pregnant womans best friend. 

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Doulas provide pregnant/postpartum mothers and their families with informational, emotional, physical and spiritual support as well as breastfeeding and newborn care. 

Doulas Do Not Provide clinical support, diagnose or catch babies. 

Doulas help avoid intervention and can help be the bridge between mother and doctor. 

Doulas are the mothers voice when they can't be heard.

" Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers - strong, competent, capable mothers who themselves and know their inner strength. " 

Doulas nurture their mothers. They are the space holders. They create the birth the mother wants. No matter what kind of birth you have a doula always supports you.  

It is not a job, it is a calling. 

I always said that I would never work a day in my life and I meant that. Serving pregnant women and their families creating the birth experience they want and holding that space for them is a dream to me and I couldn't be happier. This year is the beginning of new chapter. I am closing the chapter of my child bearing years and achieving dreams that I have been wanting for a while. From the time I had Imogen I knew that this was something I wanted to do in my life. With my youngest child approaching his first birthday I have started my training and and studying to become a doula. I am taking clients currently and I am so excited for this new and beautiful journey. Email me at thelunadoula@gmail.com or find me on Instagram and Facebook @thelunadoula 

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2016 Year In Review & what to expect in 2017

2016

Year In Review 

This year has gone by so fast. What they say about not blinking or you will miss a moment of your children's lives well its true. I feel like this year went by as fast as a blink of an eye literally. I told Sky when I was pregnant with Artis that the first year always goes by so fast and it has been nothing but the truth. So here I am reminiscing over this year. 

To break it down for you

 

January

January did start off a little slow as each day I anticipated it as Artis coming any day! My guesstimate date was January 28, 2016 and it was literally just that a guess. It was a month filled of emotion and so much love. Soaking each moment as a mother of two and loving each last moment of my pregnancy as my pregnancy with Artis was in fact my last pregnancy. Skyler is still continuing to finish his bachelors in Nuclear Engineering through Thomas Edison University. 

February

February was full of adjustment and so much happiness. We celebrated Skylers 30th birthday on the 3rd. When I got pregnant with Artis and had announced to my older brother he told me that Artis would be born February 5th his birthday  I said no way! Are you crazy?! That would mean I would be pregnant for way longer than I wanted to be! Well lo an behold he was right. On February 5, 2016 the sweetest little man was born and stole the hearts of this world. My beautiful blonde hair blue eyed boy born into a family of brunettes. It was literally a dream. I had T W O dreams my whole pregnancy of my baby and both of them were of a curly blonde boy. So when he was born and I looked at him his eyes were the darkest blue the night sky could ever be. My girls eyes were black olives and literally are still to this very day. Artis was born in the water and was the calmest baby I had ever laid my eyes on and still to this day he is very relaxed. My forebag broke in the middle of traffic on the way to the birth center and as soon as we got there my water completely broke in an instant i stripped down got into the a warm bath relaxed and worked through a few contractions and 4 pushes later my little guy was born. People usually ask how long my birth was and I will tell you that my longest birth from water breaking to baby being born was under 2 hours. I have what is called precipitous labor. Contractions on top of each other not fun but with breathing and hypno birthing it will help. I love birth. Its beautiful. 

March - June

March to June was also an adjustment period really. Watching the girls fight for my attention but also love their brother baby so much it was a different world. We celebrated Easter, Mothers day Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of Summer. We battled through Immy's adjustment period at home and school. It was rough but she's come a long way. She is such a helper and I love her so much. She is the best biggest sister and I am so lucky to have her. She made me a momma and I am lucky enough she chose me. Imogen got out of school late June which meant a summer full of activities to keep her busy. 

July

We spent July spending time with family and enjoying the sunshine. Keeping Imogen busy and also working with her so she could be on top of her ABC's and 123's when she started school. She is such a smart little girl she amazes me everyday! Artis also started crawling this month as well. He has been very advanced from the beginning.

August

August is a birthday month I turned 25 and Imogen turned 5 years old. Imogen started kindergarten early in August which was nice and helped with shortening the summer time so I wouldnt have to be so stressed out. That 3 hour break is needed with 3 kids plus a baby who only spent a month and half crawling and decided to start walking at just under 7 months!  I also reached my pre-pregnancy weight which was nice. Breastfeeding, exercise and healthy eating play a huge roll in being able to do that. I lost a total of 40 pounds. We also learned that Imogen is one of the youngest in her class but she is still a very smart girl. 

September

Ivy turned 3 at the end of September. She is my snuggler. Such a lover. She loves to sit on your lap stare into yours eyes and just hold onto your ear lobe. Its more of comfort thing as Imogen had hers. In our family we love Autumn so we had already decked out the house in all our Fall decorations and patiently awaited for the rest of the world to get on board.

October

October was a super busy month for our family! From Halloween parties, church callings, activities with friends on top of work we were on the go all month long. Skyler still on top of his classes passing with A's. He literally is so smart. He will never say it so I have to for him but Skyler is a hard worker although he has a completely different work schedule than on a submarine he still takes the time to make sure he staying busy. Skyler wakes up 5 a.m. everyday to workout monday through saturday then 3 days a week he also goes to Jujitsu. Ivy learned that she LOVES Halloween and more than we originally thought. 

November

November was also a busy month. With it being 4 years since Sky had his last deployment that he would ever go on we are still so thankful to keep him home safe. November also marked my sweet mother being gone for 24 years. Gone but never forgotten. We were really lucky to be able to have our Idaho family come and stay the week with us for Thanksgiving. They stayed in our home and it was literally super cozy and so much fun.  We were so grateful they made the trip because 14 hours in the car is NEVER FUN! We made lots of memories together consisting of lots delicious food, the beach, ice cream, late night face time chats with my super cool brother in law and his fiancé that could not come down. My girls love their big brother like cousins so much! They were so sad to see them go! 

December

And now December. Wow it still shocks me how fast this year went. As Christmas approaches I am reminded how lucky I am to be where I am. Skyler and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary we went out to Vanilla Fish for sushi and to Dripp for hot chocolate. Its been a wonderful month and we cannot wait to see our little ones faces on christmas morning. We constantly remind Imogen that christmas isn't about gifts but the birth of our Savior and I am so thankful she understands.

 

2017

We have a lot to look forward to in 2017. Starting January we will have 7 months left in the United States Navy. Sky will be taking his transitioning class and start sending out resumes. I can hardly believe its almost here. I remember it was like yesterday thinking about this time in our lives and how it felt so far away. We move in July. We are not sure where we are going yet but we are taking all places of work into consideration. We mostly would love to live near family but it is also important to our family especially Skyler that he be able to fully use his degree so that he can get all that he can out of all his schooling. For now prospective places that we could live in range from Northern California, Portland Oregon, Denver Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah Idaho and even possibly Connecticut. Again we have no idea where we are meant to go but with a lot of prayer and faith we know God will guide us wherever we are meant to go. A few months after we move Skyler will finish his degree and then I will be able to start my schooling. I am not sure which career path I want to take but I do know that when I work I do not ever want to work single day in my life. I want to love my job and I will make sure that I can do that. Potential Career paths have differed and also range from Graphic design to Doula & Birth Photographer. I love art and I love birth its beautiful and full of happiness. I have also thought about getting my degree in Marriage and Family Studies. There are a few career paths that I have thought about if I were to go this degree route. Working with single mothers who do not have support through their pregnancy and also working with those who struggle with addiction. Skyler will also have his Jujitsu tournament in March which we are looking forward too as well as a trip to Harry Potter world! Ivy loved Halloween so much that as each night would get darker earlier she would put on her halloween costume grab her pumpkin and head to the door and ask to go trick-or-treating every  S I N G L E night! Its been exhausting but we love her anyway!

2016 is almost gone and 2017 almost here. I am going to make the most of it just smile through all the pain and struggles. Whatever may come my way I am ready and I am willing. I want to learn all that I can.                                                     

New beginnings

New beginnings

I got thinking the other day why do we really just hold it all in? Why do we bottle all our emotions up until one day we explode? I feel like sharing our souls, our hearts with people, letting them know our most vulnerable moments really just lets them know how human we really are. How we really aren't that different at all. The more we take a moment to interpret our deepest secrets the more we can connect with others.

Vulnerability is terrifying. The courage it takes to reveal your heart is one of the most daunting... and yet rewarding experiences in life.

It will set you Free. 

The more soul searching I do the more vulnerable I feel.  

I am Vulnerable.

I am the definition of Vulnerability.

But we all are. I believe that is what makes us our own unique selves. Open to what the world has to say. What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful. There's a word for it. 

...Authentic.

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I have endured, I have been broken, I have known hardship, I have lost myself. But here I stand, still moving forward, growing stronger each day. I will never forget the harsh lessons in my life. They made me stronger. 

You shouldn't try to stop everything from happening. Sometimes you're supposed to feel awkward. Sometimes you're supposed to be vulnerable in front of people. Sometimes its necessary because it's all apart of you getting to the next part of yourself. You cannot protect yourself from sadness without also protecting yourself from happiness but the greatest risk any of us will ever take is to be seen as we are. 

There is something so brave and enduring about letting the world really know who we are. Sharing parts of our souls is vulnerable.. but from that vulnerability will come strength. 

Embracing the uncertainty. 

Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later.

This year I have learned so much but being able to fully open my heart and welcome what the future has in store for me has not been easy but it has taught me a lot including that old ways will not open new doors. That I have to take a chance at life and just let come what may. 

This next year I have so many goals that I want to achieve and I am overly joyed that I can start new.  New opportunities, new people, new dreams, new places. I am ready to get out of my comfort zone and try new things and learn more about the person I want to be. 

Here's to new beginnings! Closing the doors on 2016 and opening the doors of 2017.

Positive Mantras for Breakfast - Choosing how to live your life.

Positive Mantras for breakfast. 

Choosing how to live your life. 

  1. I choose calm over anxiety
  2. I am present within myself
  3. I can center myself with the ease of my breath
  4. I feel grounded, confident, worthy & whole
  5. Feelings are not facts
  6. Don't let your mind bully your body
  7. I am doing my best. That is all I can expect of myself
  8. We rise by lifting others

" What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract.

What you imagine, you create "

- Buddha

 

Its been about a month since I have written and I have missed it so much. Mom life gets crazy and there isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done. In that time Thanksgiving passed and Christmas is almost here. I haven't been able to paint much which makes me a little sad. I definitely realize that I did not take advantage of my free time before kids. I think I drank too much coffee in too many coffee shops while editing my photos than anything else. Anyways I have not been able to finish any painting since my Ivy-Rós (the little in the coral dress) decided to add to my last piece. And by add I mean she used black paint over a subtle watercolor autumn tones. It was not fixable unfortunately. I had my cry then turned the painting to face the wall so I didnt have to look at it. I love my kids but as a mom sometimes we forget ourselves. We lose our identities. And I'm not about to let everything I have go. I can be a mom and still do the things I love. I cannot just throw everything out the window. 

With that being said I am going to continue this journey finding me. There has to be a balance. I love being a mom but long after the kids are gone if I hate the person I've become then I will never forgive myself. 

" If you've lost your wings; you have got legs, keep walking.  If you've lost your legs; you have got arms; keep crawling.  If you've lost your arms; you have got your mouth, keep shouting. Lose whatever, but never ever lose your soul.

- Daniel Saint

I feel inspired to come out my comfort zone and do things I wouldn't normally do. Its true what they say about musicians who go through bad breaks up they write beautiful music. Not that I am going through a break up but I feel like I am grieving the death of someone that never died. It is the most bizarre feeling I've ever felt. Its distracted me from my art, from my kids, from my marriage from my whole life. I've decided only you can allow someone else to live rent free in your mind. Its time to pay up. I will no longer allow myself to feel hurt. I have learned a lot from this situation. I've learned that sometimes when you've hurt for a long time that one day one little thing can explode. 

Hate is stemmed from hurt. 

If you hate something or someone it is because you care enough about it or them to allow you to be hurt. 

Well I'm done. I've prayed and will continue to pray for you. But now its time to focus on the important things in my life. And more importantly my sweet children and husband deserve an apology because I haven't been completely there in my mind for a few months now. So I'm sorry. I love you. I'm grateful you have been there for me. I'm grateful you never left my side the countless nights that I've cried. I'm grateful that my children have been so patient. I'm grateful for their  love. 

I will forever take bad energy and make it something positive. 

We are not given a good life or a bad life.

We are given a life.

It's up to us to make it good or bad. 

Easy Paint Clean up Donut Box

Easy Paint Clean Up Donut Box 

So this Saturday morning Daddy brought home donuts and surprised both girls with cute minmie and mickey mouse donuts! They were delicious if you were wondering and as I was cleaning up it dawned on me.. We could use these boxes for painting! It would be perfect! And the clean up would be too easy on me! See I am a painter and the girls sit next to me the entire time I am painting a piece and beg to paint the whole time and as much as I love the girls I just can't bring it to myself to let them use 20 dollar canvas's or expensive watercolor paper. So this was really just to perfect.

Easy Paint Clean Up Donut Box

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies 

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Okay so here is the deal. These little holiday cookies will most likely knock you over. They aren't super sweet but you can definitely taste the pumpkin spice in them plus they're iced with cream cheese. I mean... It sounds like my kind of heaven... Pumpkin and Cream Cheese. It was always meant to be. 

With today being elections day I chose to use the heart cookie cutter because america needs a little more love and a lot less hate. 

These cookies were made for a few Sisters that I visit teach in my ward and you wouldn't believe this but I accidentally delivered some cookies to the WRONG HOUSE!!!  I was so sad!!! So someone else is enjoying these cookies :( which means i'll be making more in the future! 

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These were probably the easiest Sugar Cookies I've ever made for using cookie cutters. Every sugar cookie recipe I've used with cookie cutters has always ended up with botched looking cookies so this one has won me over!

Now they don't look like " Pumpkin Spice " but they sure smell and taste like they are! 

My kids helped me with these cookies and they had the best time! 

 Plus icing the cookies are always a favorite of my kiddos. My 5 year old helped with icing and she did such a great job!  Also sprinkling pumpkin spice over the cookies made it that much better!

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies 

Cookies:

  • 5 1/2 cups flour + 1/4 cup ( divided )
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted, softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon amaretto creamer
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  1. Cream butter, sugar together then add eggs gradually allowing mixer 30 seconds per each egg to be mixed in.
  2. Add amaretto creamer (you can use vanilla as well) and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Add flour, salt, cream of tartar ( adding only 1/2 cup of dry ingredients per 1 minute of being mixed in at a medium speed. )
  4. Using your 1/4 cup and flour a flat surface and roll out cookie dough then cut cookies. 
  5. Grease pans and  bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. 
  6. Let cool on a wire rack.

Icing:

  • 1 - 8 ounce pkg cream cheese
  • 1 - 2 lb pkg powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  1. Mix all ingredients together, then refrigerate. 

Enjoy! 

For the love of Buffalo Check + Buffalo Check Christmas Tree

For The Love of Buffalo Check

+

Buffalo Check Christmas tree

I know what you are thinking.. Its November lady!! Its too early for Christmas decorations but I don't mind that one tiny bit! I've been putting this tree together for a while you could say. Buying little things here and there to finally finish it. I'm pretty in love.  

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One of my favorite things about this tree is the fact that its right next to the Saviors picture! Its a constant reminder that this is HIS season! 

He is the reason for the season

I also love that I used these Antlers at the top of the tree instead of your traditional star or angel. See my thought was that I would decorate and do a vintage tree this year. Decorate with anything that reminded me of my Grandparents. Anything from the 60's for christmas they had it! Always so exciting but this year I decided to make this tree mine. 

Buffalo Check instantly makes me feel cozy! I just want to snuggle right up on the couch with a good book and some hot chocolate and just be one with the universe. Actually scratch that I could use some snow. I need snow outside and then everything would be perfect! 

I also love decorating with sentimental ornaments. A few years ago my parents sent me a few decorations that were mine as a kid. Its pretty fun to be able to decorate with them now and in the coming years they'll go to my kids. 

Decorating yesterday and today was really because there is so much hate going on in the world with the 2016 elections and Christmas makes me happy. So we decorated and thought about how lucky we are to be alive and for how blessed we are. 

As you go out this season and buy gifts for those you love remember the reason we have this season is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Personalized Thanksgiving Napkin Wrap - Free Download

Personalized Thanksgiving Napkin Wrap      

Free Download

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I'm one of those people that loves the little touches. The things people probably don't notice. But detail is huge in my eyes. I whipped these up in ps6 Monday night because with Thanksgiving coming up in a couple of weeks I figure we are all somehow preparing a little bit here and there.  Now if you have a lot of company over for thanksgiving this is really perfect for getting everyone seated. 

Here I've made a free download for you to be able to  personalize yourself with your guests names in two different formats. For those with photoshop or an editing program the psd formatted download should download and open up right into your editing program. The jpeg format download you need to click on the photo below it will then open up, you should then right click and save. 

JPEG Format above

 

 

PSD Format below

Happy Thanksgiving!!

7 Thanksgiving Traditions You need to start this year!

7 Thanksgiving Traditions You need to start this year!

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and every year I feel like Thanksgiving is mostly made up of cooking and sitting around which is totally fine but it got me thinking. I want the kids to look back and remember the fun memories we had together. When I was a child our thanksgiving literally consisted of 20+ people squeezed into a kitchen snacking on finger foods and starving at the same time. My parents had a lot of mouths to feed plus relatives so the last thing they could do was entertain the kids and with a family of 7 kids we were kind of expected to entertain each other. Well to sum it up we all got a little bored. So this year I decided to make a time schedule for meals and prepare things ahead of time so I can spend a little more time on Thanksgiving day playing with the kids instead of getting them out of the kitchen. 

1. Movie Marathon -  Yes a movie marathon! I mean you can keep the movies playing all day long while you come and go. However there is a list of a few sentimental films that I think are thanksgiving appropriate. Obviously you know what the first one is going to be:

  •  Planes, Trains and Automobiles,
  • Rocky
  •  The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • Friends season 8 episode 9 - The one with the rumor
  • Son-in-Law

Thats just a few to get you started! 

2. Try a new Recipe - Scour pinterest there is 1000's of recipe on there that I know would make for the perfect dish on thanksgiving or maybe you might be interested in trying a gluten-free thanksgiving for any guest that you might have over who have allergies. 

3. Break a wishbone - Now if you haven't been doing this well... Just hop on the band wagon and get on it! This is an old time american thanksgiving tradition plus its kinda fun!

4. Holiday Wassail - I love cider and this one just tops my list. Its like drinking all your Thanksgiving and Christmas dreams in a warm mug. 

5. Create a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal after watching the movie!       ( Buttered toast, popcorn, pretzel twists and jelly beans! ) The kids will love it!!!

6. Let the kids help make butter while the food is cooking. - Here and there you will be in the kitchen and if you absolutely cannot get the little ones to leave have them shake heavy whipping cream in a mason jar. They'll be doing it for a while and it will keep them busy allowing you to get things done. Plus who doesn't love fresh butter on those hot thanksgiving rolls!!!

7. Make Pilgrim and Indian photo props to take pictures with! Such fun memories to create and the kids will remember it for years to come!

 

If you have any traditions that are an absolute must let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear about them! 

DIY Faux Fur & Velvet Ottoman Cover

diy Faux Fur & Velvet Ottoman Cover 

Okay so this is how this went down. I went into Hobby Lobby. That was the first mistake (or at least I'm sure my husband would think so ;) and I went in there looking for foam for building my ottoman. ^^^^ the one you see in the picture. 

So I went in there obviously I came out with more than I needed just fabric but I found this velvet fabric 1.5 yards of the soft deep gorgeous make me want to snuggle Santa Clause red velvet fabric. Plus this awesome faux fur and my mind exploded and it was like love at first sight. So.. I bought it. I thought it would be cute to drape over the ottoman. 

It was super simple. 

Plus it was plain to see the kids love it. Imogen was telling me how she loved it and thought it was so soft. So I leaned in real close and I looked at her and I said 

" You know Santa Clause? This is exactly what his clothes feel like... " 

So it's safe to say her whole day was made. 

All you need for this project is a sewing machine. Well plus the fabric but thats kind of  obvious. All I did was sew the 2 pieces of fabric so they were inside out then left a corner unsown so I could pull the cover through then I just stitched the corner up by hand.

Pretty simple and its the perfect little piece to add to your living room. I really love the faux fur look these days. It adds a little bit of fanciness to the room plus you won't break the bank buy making it yourself. I mean I looked up faux fur blankets and there was no way I could pay $200+ dollars on something like that so I am definitely glad I did this little DIY project. It was fun.   

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Little man loves snuggling up with it too. I love him so much. 

Let me know if you try this project in the comments!

November Gratitude Challenge

November Gratitude Challenge 

I feel like we need to really focus on the beauty in our lives especially during this crazy chaotic time with elections going on. So here is to the November Gratitude Challenge. Each day take a picture of any of items on the list and post why you are grateful for it. It doesn't have to be in this order you can mix it up or even change it but the sole purpose of this challenge is to remind us how amazing life is.

November Calendar Printable

November Calendar Print

Hello November! How did that happen? This year has gone by so fast! I'm a little bit sad the closer the end of the year comes the closer my last baby will be turning one. I mean he turns one in February but I feel like last year this time all I could think about was him coming during this time and now he'll be one in 3 months. Its so sad I can hardly believe it. Such a bittersweet moment. I am definitely soaking up these last moments. 

Anyways! Here is the November Printable. As always its incredibly adorable and free! One of my favorite things of course! Who doesn't love free! Just click on the picture then right click to save.

 

Happy November 1st 

Better Than Bakery Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Grandma June's Recipe)

When my brothers and I were little my Grandma June would bake Pumpkin Cookies all the time. Pumpkin was pretty much a staple in her house so it didn't matter what time of year it was there was always pumpkin cookies. My grandmother also took care of my brothers and I when we were little to help my dad out. So we spent a lot of time at her house. A lot of memories of my Grandma consisted of always baking some kind of sweet treat for us. 

My grandpa would walk me to preschool and kindergarten when I was little and my grandma would always be waiting after school to bake cookies with me. This is probably why baking cookies is more of a comfort to me than anything. It brings back memories of my grandma. 

When I moved away from Utah I realized that it is literally a Utah thing to have pumpkin cookies on shelves all year long. People in Utah just love pumpkin everything. So if you ever move outside Utah you need this recipe incase a strong pumpkin cookie craving comes on because you will be sadly disappointed that its really only a seasonal thing everywhere else which is totally expected but still really unfortunate for the pumpkin spice addicts! 

 

Grandma June's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  •   3-3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cup unsalted, softened butter 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice + 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 small can of Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 bag of Chocolate Chips (she used mini chips to not over power the pumpkin with chocolate)

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS AS WRITTEN OR COOKIES WILL NOT COME OUT CORRECTLY

  1. set oven to 350 degrees
  2. grease pans
  3. Mix together butter, sugar and vanilla
  4. Gradually add each egg making sure each one is mixed in thoroughly.
  5. Add flour by the 1/2 cup. Let each halve mix for 30 seconds on medium speed (4-5)
  6. Add pumpkin
  7. While pumpkin is mixing into batter sprinkle the pumpkin pie spice and clove.
  8. Add salt, cornstarch and baking soda (yes just do it.)
  9. Add chocolate chips. Use 3/4 bag if regular size.
  10. Spoon by the tablespoon on to pan and Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottom edges look brown.

TIP: Odd as it may seem she added the salt, cornstarch and baking soda after the pumpkin and the cookies have always turned out amazing. Also, she sprinkled a little pumpkin pie spice on each cookie before putting them into the oven.   

Enjoy!

Happy Pumpkin Spice Season!

25 Random Facts about Me (the girl behind the computer)

25 Random Facts about Me

(the girl behind the computer)

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I feel like as a blogger its important for my readers to have some idea who I am, especially for my loyal readers. You know who you are ;)  Without further ado

25 random facts about 

  1. I am a member of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  2. I love Autumn 
  3. I am an introvert (however blogging is making me come out of the box)
  4. Cats. I love them. I want two once I'm no longer changing diapers. 
  5.  Night blooming Jasmine, Freshly mowed, Rain and Smokey Fall Days are my favorite smells
  6. I love when you smell a certain smell or hear a certain song that it connects you to a memory or some part of your life. 
  7.  The queen of anxiety
  8. I love the outdoors 
  9. I believe that music is another way for God to speak to us. 
  10. I'm not a fan of The Land of Summer (SoCal)
  11. I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. (Mainly my grandma's recipe)
  12. I'm from Salt Lake City. Utah. Born and raised but live in a little suburb outside Los Angeles. 
  13. My second family is The Bravermans from Parenthood (just kidding.. kinda)
  14. I love painting as well as photography. 
  15. I have this horrible habit where if I don't get all my mommy chores done during the day I won't allow myself to do any of the things I'd like to do. I hate it and need to learn the balance!
  16. I would like to publish a book. 
  17. I think it would be awesome to have an atrium in the middle of my future home. 
  18. I would love to live in the PNW but would be so sad if we lived far away from our family after we leave the military.
  19. My kids were named after my Skyler and I's dating history. 
  20. Amaretto creamer in my tea is my favorite.
  21. I know in the life before this that my kids we're my best friends. I was just lucky enough to be their momma in this one. 
  22. I belive in third chances
  23. The smell of coffee and bacon in the morning remind me of my dad.
  24. Washed Out makes me happy. 
  25. I believe that all things happen for a reason. 

 

and one more.. I love the ocean when its cold outside.