Friday, September 26, 2014

Homemade All Natural Mouthwash





In my efforts to go all-natural and save money while doing it, I decided to make my own mouthwash.  It costs quite a bit to purchase all-natural mouthwash, but you can make it in about 2 minutes for around $1 a batch!  Quite the savings, plus it tastes delicious and doesn't burn the crap out of your mouth!  (yes, it works too.  The baking soda, tea tree oil, and vodka kill all the nasty germs in your mouth.)  I have been doing this for about a year now and my mouth has never felt cleaner!  Read on to see how I make it (recipe is adapted from HERE).

Ingredients:
·          16 oz. filtered water (or bottled if you don't have a home filter)
·          2 tsp. baking soda
·          2 tsp. vodka (any kind)
·          10 drops Tea Tree Oil (I like Now brand)
·          10 drops Peppermint Oil (again, I use Now brand)
·          12 drops Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops


To Make:
Combine all ingredients and shake.  Simple, no?  I used a pretty fancy water bottle I nabbed from our hotel room in Chicago, but you can use any bottle you prefer (I've seen some cute ones on Pinterest made of old liquor bottles.  Remove label first with rubbing alcohol and wash.  If you don't care how it looks, use an old recycled mouthwash bottle.  I used a Listerine one until I found my pretty bottle.)  I used a funnel to pour the ingredients through since my bottle has a pretty narrow neck.  I do wash the bottle each time I make a fresh batch of mouthwash.  Also, don't forget to give the bottle a good shake before each use to combine all ingredients.  Use morning and night for maximum benefits!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A fun-filled weekend in Chicago



Mark's company always throws a party for the top sellers each year and this year we were lucky enough to attend.  We decided to leave the "kids" with Mark's parents and head to Chicago for an adult weekend.  Knowing this was coming, I soaked up as much time as possible with Stella and Kaiser on Friday.  After playing an endless game of fetch with Kaiser, Stella and I headed to town.  I made sure to go after her morning nap and it worked like a charm.  She was one happy baby!  We ran some errands and then went to the park.  It is called Windmont Park and it's pretty nice.  There is a walking path around a lake, big porch style swings along the path, several picnic shelters and 2 different playground areas.  I enjoyed an iced coffee while Stella and I walked 3 laps around the lake to get our mile in.  I faced her forward in her stroller for the first time and she LOVED IT!  She was waving and smiling at everyone there, she was quite the hit!  Pretty much everyone stopped me to ask about her!  We also rocked in the swings a few times, that was Stella's favorite part.  She liked to watch the walkers go by and wave at them.  Such a sweetie!  We made a quick trip to Wal Mart and then headed home.

All excited for an afternoon at the park!

Fun for mommy and Stella!

Beautiful scenery, beautiful girl.
On Saturday Mark watched Stella so I could get ready and pack.  He even ran them to his parents for me so I had extra time! (to be fair, he was out in the shop with a buddy late the night before, so it was "my day")  Around 1:30 we hit the road for Chicago.  The hotel was beautiful, the food was excellent, the bar was open, and the band was from our old town!  They were a blast, and very talented!  It was such a fun evening, and so nice to get some time to ourselves ;-)

You know it's a fancy hotel when the bathroom has suicide doors and a TV in the MIRROR!

Cheers to an adult weekend!
Sunday we checked out of the hotel around 10:30 after a leisurely morning and headed out for some shopping (hey, we were right across the street from Woodfield Mall.  can't pass that up!)  We ate a terrible lunch at A&W (the root beer wasn't working, the ice cream wasn't ready yet, the employees were dirty and I watched a lady pick her nose.  seriously, I thought it was going to be food poisoning:  the sequel), and then Mark headed off to Cabelas while I spent the afternoon at the mall.  I don't know why I get so hyped up about shopping there, after about 10 minutes I realize how pricey everything is, grab a coffee and spend the rest of the time people watching anticipating my next trip to Target.  Anyways, it's nice to go to the "big city" once and a while.  And I do mean once in a while.  Like once a year.  I did enjoy a mini-makeover in Sephora and purchased some make-up.  After grabbing some chinese for an early dinner we left for home.  Just missed that baby too much.  We picked her up around 6:00, they were both good as gold all weekend.  Good to hear!  We came home, relaxed on the couch, and went to bed early.  Another fun weekend in the books!
Beautiful morning for some city shopping!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

10 Month Update

Hello double digits!  The initial birthday party planning has even begun, how is that possible?  This past month has been amazing.  Beautiful weather, more time to relax, and not quite harvest time is perfection!  I did some organizing and cleaning this month.  Now that Stella sits up all she wants to do is play, so I had to make room for all those (hand-me-down yet perfect) toys!  This month we enjoyed our 7th- and last - wedding of the season with Mark's entire family (lots of fun), attended our nieces' birthday party, celebrated Labor Day, and went to lunch with two of my girlfriends.  We even got to watch Ryder one day, a nice surprise!  Stella spent the first 3 weeks of the month an extremely content baby but I think a few more teeth are on the way judging by the mood this week :-)  Still the funnest baby I know, teething or not!!

Watching daddy in the parade...next year she'll ride in the truck too!

Enjoying lunch with mommy and her friend!

So much fun this month.
The Routine:
I cut back Stella's formula intake to 20 oz a day, but she always cried after her meals.  Baby LOVES to eat!  So I upped it to 24 oz, which works out good.  She gets a bottle when she wakes up and before she goes to bed, and the other 3 feedings are done in her high chair.  Stella is a creature of routine (wonder where that comes from?).  She eats at 7:30, 10:30, 1:00, 4:00, and 6:30.  For the first meal I do oatmeal cereal mixed with fruit and a little formula, lunch is a homemade pasta or casserole (that I've pureed in the blender) with yogurt or cottage cheese and a juice/water blend to wash it down, and the third meal is rice or multigrain cereal mixed with a veggie.  I still make the fruits and veggies on my own (and still need to do a post on this!).  This month Stella was introduced to tomato/cheese pasta and potato/bean casserole.  She does eat the Gerber meals when we are gone, much easier to take with :-)  Cottage cheese was the first food with texture that didn't make her gag.  She couldn't even handle a tiny bite of mashed up french fry!  For now I still blend everything up pretty good, but hope to include more textures in the next month.  She can now feed herself puffs too (41 weeks).  It's messy but so adorable!  I got a great video of the first time she figured out how to feed herself from the high chair.  I introduced the sippy cup this month.  It is one with a nipple, so it's similar to a bottle.  The first time she couldn't handle it, but when I tried again a few days later she loved it!  (oh and also she holds the bottle on her own now too!).  Sticking with the "routine" little Stella poops at the same time every day.  And always in her crib.  She goes when she first wakes up (still in the disposable, sweet!) and after I lay her down for her morning nap.  Like clockwork.  She refuses to poop in public, which is kinda nice!!  Naps are still twice a day, usually 11-12 and 3-4 with bedtime still clocking in from 7-7.  LUCKY US!!  But...if she misses her morning nap she's a crab all day.  I made the mistake of taking her out without her a.m. nap a few times this month and learned my lesson.  Nap BEFORE errands/fun!
Same position, every nap and every night!

Loves holding her own bottle now.
A few of Stella's favorite things:
  • Milestones:  EEK.  Stella is still pretty content doing a whole lot of sitting/playing/watching TV.  She is getting slightly better at standing flat-footed (with help) but prefers to stand on her big toes.  Future ballerina?  She shows no desire to pull up or crawl and fights us when we try to work with her.  We'll get there.  On the plus side we haven't had to baby proof yet ;-)  She knows her name and "no".  She likes to cry when you tell her no (usually done only when she puts her hand down her diaper as you're changing it or pinches you when she's upset) but I'm determined to teacher her right and wrong so I still do it, hard as it may be.  She also cries when you talk too loud...she lost it when I yelled to Kaiser.  Lesson learned!  Stella waves at everyone she sees...every stranger, me and Mark, even Kaiser and her reflection in the mirror!  No shyness or mommy attachments here (yet).  She loves to play and laugh with Ryder and really tries to say "mama" or "mommy" when she's upset.  So cute!
  • Rocking, singing and dancing.  She loves music!  She rocks on the couch and sings in a high pitched voice (lots of videos of this!), it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.
  • Watching TV.  If something is in her way of the screen she'll strain her neck to get a glimpse.  It's crazy.  We found a new show, Harry the Bunny, that she adores.  It's meant for babies so he just laughs the entire show which makes her laugh.  I'm just grateful for the break from Yummy Yummy.
  • Turning all her big toys over and using them like a drum.  I need to get her an actual drum.  I just can't bring myself to do it yet!
  • Clicking her tongue.
  • Playing games...itsy bitsy spider, SO BIG, eyes/nose/mouth, peek-a-boo, this little piggy, patty cake, humpty dumpty, trotty trotty horsey, this is how the ladies ride...
  • Listening to daddy make monkey sounds and read books in funny voices.  Melts my heart to watch story time before bed.
    Another favorite:  playing with/eating her toes.
 Around the house:
  • I am proud to say that I am off my postpartum medication and finally well on my way to losing all the baby weight.  I feel like my old self again...only better!! We've fit in lots of quality family time this month before harvest kicks in, and the slower pace has been nice after a busy summer!  Fall always lifts my spirits, we brought in in early with a bang in our house (see THIS post to read more).  Lots to look forward to next month...Mark's and my birthdays, Stella's first Halloween, birthday party planning, and finishing (ok, I'll be honest...starting) Stella's baby book and other memory keepsakes from her first year.  Time flies and I'm enjoying every SECOND of it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Finally...Fabulous Fall!

I really do enjoy living in Illinois where we get to experience the changing seasons, but I must say that I highly anticipate fall every year!  It's the season for cozy clothes, pumpkin everything, mine/Mark's/and now Stella's birthdays, crisp weather, Tanner's Orchard, hay rack rides, beautiful scenery, OK I could go on all day here.  You get the point, I love fall.  Last fall I was super prego and by that point it hurt just to stand, so this year I'm living it up!  (although I did have a beautiful fall-themed baby shower last year, read that post HERE

This past weekend saw temperatures dip into the 60s for a high so I thought it was the perfect time to kick off fall in the Bomleny house (even though we're a week early "officially").  Thursday my sister-in-law and I took our 3 little girls to the local orchard, Tanners.  The girls played outside for a little bit first, but it was actually COLD (I even turned my heat on that night!) so we quickly went inside.  After enjoying a delicious lunch and cappuccino, we did some shopping.  I picked up apples, cider donuts, and fresh cider.  What a great way to start the weekend!

Friday was a rainy, crappy day so it was the perfect time to do some cleaning.  Stella was in a great mood so I got my entire house cleaned (no easy task these days)!  Saturday was just BEAUTIFUL outside, so I treated myself to a cider donut and Pumpkin Spice Latte for breakfast and then I did my fall decorating.  I was pleased with the results, not too many options in such a small place but we make it work ;-)

I made sure we got out and enjoyed the weather Saturday afternoon.  We hung out with daddy in the shop and checked out the chicken coop he is building (sidenote:  farm fresh eggs are INCREDIBLE!  never had them before and they blow store bought ones away!  hope I never have to go back). 

Sunday it was time for my weekly prep.  I put together a meal plan for the week and Stella and I went shopping with my mom for groceries (and hit up Target and Kohls of course).  Miss Stella was a super crab, but I enjoyed the day with my mom.  We indulged in Caribu Coffee on the way home, but I kept it light today with an iced coffee and a splash of pumpkin flavoring :-)  I spent Sunday afternoon doing my food prep and whipping up some fresh applesauce for Stella (from the orchard apples), and we capped the day off by grilling out. 

Super weekend!  Can't wait to enjoy the rest of the fall festivities coming our way!!