Manifesting

Manifest

Did you know that you have the power to create your destiny? That’s right, we all do! It’s made possible by Manifesting. Have you heard of it? It’s been something that I’ve been working on the past few years and am so excited to learn more and continue to apply it to my daily routine. I have recently gotten very serious about it and amazing things are happening. I can’t keep this secret any longer and I want to share with the world this amazing power we are all capable of!

What is Manifesting?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Manifesting means to make something tangible or readily perceived by the senses especially by sight. Manifesting is used to materialize our desires, goals & dreams that only take their forms in our minds. It is a way of empowering us to take charge of our lives instead of just leaving it to chance. Whatever you put your focus on will manifest, so if you are focusing on what you DON’T want you will begin to see that is what you will manifest. By changing the mindset and practicing ancient manifestation techniques you will begin to see your greatest dreams and desires manifesting before your eyes.

Why You Should be Manifesting

Our minds are very powerful tools, what you focus on expands. The untrained mind can wander into deep dark places and gets stuck in negative thinking vibrational patterns. The body’s vibration is an actual physical measurable frequency that relates to the depth and height of energy, emotion, and consciousness your body typically remains in throughout the day. The mind/body connection is the vehicle through which manifestation occurs. A person with a higher manifesting vibration will create their desires easier, faster and more effectively than someone who is experiencing a lower vibration level.

How to Manifest

1. Clear the mind- Find some quiet time and sit comfortably. Close your eyes and allow some time to focus on your breathe and just be. Inhaling light and energy and exhaling any negative thoughts, feelings and discomforts. Take a few moments of this breathing meditation to clear the mind before you begin manifesting. Focus on clearing blocks and releasing any feelings of disbelief that may be holding you back. The more you clean your thoughts and energy the more positive experiences you will attract into your life.

2. Focus on clear direct goals- It is important to be clear and intent on what you what so that you don’t manifest a lot of what you don’t want! When you clarify what you want you can begin to feel as if your dreams have already come true. That feeling is what makes the manifestation come into form. Don’t put limitations on your manifestations. Take some time to be clear about what you want and Think It, Feel It, Believe It! Let go of any doubts, negativity and fears and allow your deepest desires to begin manifesting.

3. Raise your vibration- It shouldn’t be a surprise that the better mood you are in the more you will be able to attract positive things into your life. You can naturally raise your vibrations from exercising, meditation, earthing and eating healthy foods. Surrounding yourself around positive people, listening to upbeat music and watching funny movies or TV shows are other ways to raise vibrations. Affirmations and positive saying are a great way to help change the mindset from negative to positive. Simple statements such as “I am grateful” or “I am open to accepting abundance” are great ways to stimulate positivity.

4. Be patient- Also trust that the Universe has a much better plan than you do. Though you are clear about what you want, you cannot control the timing or the form in which it comes. Stay calm, relax, and trust that the Universe has your back! Keep your eyes open and be accepting to opportunities that come your way. Many times you may notice that better opportunities arise meaning that something greater has been given to us.

Manifest with Me!

There are many different manifesting programs and books out there that can help to retrain the brain to think positively and manifest in ways you never believed possible.Here are some books I am currently reading as I begin to delve deeper into my manifestation journey! They can be found online at Amazon here and here. I also found a new program I am excited to start. I like the fact that it offers money back guarantee if you are unsatisfied.You can find the program here. I am just getting started but am hoping to blog a review in a future post! So stay tuned for that!

Do you Manifest? We would love for you to share your stories!

Manifest

End of Summer Detox Giveaway

Detox Giveaway

We have had a F-U-N Summer! Hot sunny days, cold drinks, yummy not always so healthy foods, late nights, vacations – You name it! I try to always live my life with balance and have been making sure to take care of our bodies by making healthy choices every chance I get, but sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s okay! As the post Summer indulgence sessions will be coming to an end in a few weeks I am planning to get back into the swing of things with a detox to eliminate toxins and help to boost and prepare my body against cold and flu season. I would love for you to join me!

Are you:

  • Feeling like you need to drop a few pounds
  • Tired
  • Bloated or irregular
  • Suffering from skin problems (acne, rashes, eczema)
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • In a constant brain fog or have trouble concentrating
  • Sick of looking at a closet full of clothes and still not finding anything to wear
  • Dealing with allergies
  • Popping pills for headaches, joint pain, or muscle aches
  • Covering up those dark circles and puffy eyes with makeup and expensive skin creams
  • Battling cravings
  • Moody

If so, this month’s detox giveaway is for you!

I’m so excited to be teaming up with Kristen over at MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life and some of my favorite bloggers to give YOU the chance to reclaim your inner Superwoman (or man) and WIN a coveted spot in The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value!)! Read all about it here.

This is NOT your average detox. The Superwoman Slim Down is a fully-supported “done-for you” 21 day 100% REAL FOOD, hunger-free program led by experienced registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and certified specialist in fitness nutrition, Kristen Boucher! She will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined in your own skin, while eating delicious, nutrient-dense, metabolism-boosting foods and (finally) making your health a priority! But don’t take my word for it! Check out what these former Superwomen have to say about it here.

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive FREE ACCESS to The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (a $347 value).

How to enter the giveaway:

1. Sign up for the MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life email newsletter.
2. Like MIX | wellness solutions for balanced life on Facebook.
3. Follow MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life on Pinterest.

4. Like Yogi Mami on Facebook

5. Follow Yogi Mami on Pinterest

6. Use Rafflecopter to log your entries and unlock bonus entries.

***Be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway to unlock more chances to win!***

Oh Lardy
The Healthy Honeys
Kula Mama
Refocus on Being
Yogi Mami
Our Small Hours
realfoodsimple
Oh, The Things We’ll Make

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

The Fine Print

The Detox giveaway ends at midnight ET, August 31, 2014. I will announce the lucky winner on September 1, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name and email address.  There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law.

Detox Giveaway

How to Stop Snoring Naturally

Stop Snoring

Snoring can be a real pain! Did you know that 45% of adults snore occasionally? This usually means the spouse or partners of those who snore aren’t getting a good nights sleep. Snoring is caused by air trying to get through a restricted breathing passages. It can be a nuisance and also a sign of health problems.

What if I told you that I had a simple and natural way to stop snoring? It’s true, I know many people who have had success, including myself! I snored during both pregnancies which I read can be from the weight of the baby on the lungs and diaphragm. The snoring continued after the birth of my son and some nights my husband would have to wake me up to try to stop me or resort to the couch. I wasn’t the only one at fault either, he was an occasional loud snorer as well. We were recently talking about how its been a snore free couple of months and how much better we both have been sleeping better at night!

What’s the Secret?

Well, it’s really no secret, if you have been following me for a while now you know of my love of Young Living Essential Oils. They have become a staple in my house for their versatility and therapeutic properties. One of the popular blends Valor, AKA – Chiropractor in a Bottle – just so happens to be great at alleviating snoring and sleep apnea! Rubbing a drop or two of the oil into the feet at night before bed helps to relieve breathing problems and stop snoring naturally.

Valor is a beautiful blend that contains oils of Spruce, rosewood, blue tansy and frankincense in a base of coconut oil. This blend works with both the physical and spiritual aspects of the body to increase feelings of strength, courage, and self-esteem in the face of adversity. Renowned for its strengthening qualities, Valor enhances an individual’s internal resources. It has also been found to help energy alignment in the body.

If you are interested in learning more about how essential oils can be used therapeutically and as an alternative to pharmaceuticals and everyday products you can sign up for my FREE 14-Day Essential Oils Email course. If you have any questions or want more information on ordering therapeutic grade essential oils click here.

Other Ways to Stop Snoring Naturally

1. Change sleep positions- Lying on your back makes the base of the tongue and soft palate collapse into the back wall of your throat which causes a vibrating sound when breathing during sleep. Lying on the side instead of on back can help to prevent this. An inclined position is also helpful to reduce snoring naturally.

2. Avoid Alcohol and Dairy- Both alcohol and dairy can encourage snoring. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat and can make snoring worse. People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking. Dairy can create mucus build-up which can restrict airways. Eliminating these from the diet can help stop snoring.

3. Lose Weight- If you have gained weight and started snoring since loosing weight can help. Extra weight can put pressure on the the organs and muscles around the throat and can trigger snoring, but weight is not always an issue as thin people can suffer from snoring too.

4. Stay Hydrated- When we are dehydrated secretions in our nasal passages can become sticker and cause snoring. Making sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day is another way to help reduce the changes of snoring.

Stop Snoring

Travel Healthy: Tips for Traveling with Kids and Food Allergies

Travel Healthy

Summer is a popular time for vacations. We have two coming up and although they are fun and a great way to make memories they can be stressful. Especially if you have kids and/or food allergies. To make my upcoming travels more enjoyable I have compiled some of the best posts from my favorite bloggers. Here are some great tips on how to travel healthy and happy!

Tips for Traveling With Kids:

6 Ways to Travel Lighter With Your Baby by Green Mom’s Collective

Eco Travel Tips with Young Children by Green Mom’s Collective

How to Survive Air Travel with Kids by Holistic Squid

4 Healthy Tips for Traveling With Kids by Kula Mama

4 Tips That Will Change Everything When Traveling With Kids by Kula Mama

 

Healthy Eating While Traveling:

Packing with Food Intolerances by Conscientious Confusion

Healthy Traveling Snacks Made Easy by Eat Your Beets

Tips for Traveling on GAPS by Eat Your Beets

Easy & Healthy Snack Ideas by Eat Your Beets

Real Food Camping Plan Ahead and Play More by Oh Lardy

Real Food at Disney Land by Oh Lardy 

Real Food Travel Snack by Whole Green Love

How to Eat Real Food While Traveling by Whole Green Love

Homemade Travel Snacks by Kula Mama

 

Other Tips

Make your own Holistic Travel Medicine Kit by Holistic Saffron

One Travel Tip That Will Change Everything by And Here We Are

Packing for Healthy Traveling by Read Food Kosher

Naturopathic Family Travel by Loula Natural

 

Travel Healthy

Simple Everyday Detox

For awhile now I have been drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning and love it. Lately I have tried something new that I wanted to share. It’s a great way to give your insides some luvin’ first thing in the morning. Think of it as a morning shower for your internal organs! Its super duper easy and more than likely you already have all the ingredients in your kitchen! It’s a super simple and effective detox that can be done daily.

3 Simple Ingredients for an Everyday Detox

  • Water (good filtered drinking water)
  • Baking Soda (I use this brand)
  • Lemon (Organic if possible)

I start my morning by heating up water on the stove, I don’t bring it to a boil because, personally, I don’t like my water too hot.  I grab a glass mason jar, add 1 tsp of baking soda and add the warmed water. Then I add the lemon juice of either a half or whole lemon, depending on the size and the amount of juice. That’s it! So easy and so simple right? Drink up!

But why is this combination so powerful?

Lemons have strong anti-microbial benefits and help to protect against many fungal and bacterial infections. It regulates the blood pressure, reduces stress and calms the nerves. Lemon juice acts as a natural diuretic which helps to flush out toxins and boosts the fat flushing process aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant known for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and prevents cholesterol build-up. Lemons are also contain limonene, a substance that helps to stimulate lymph flow and get rid of carcinogens.

Baking Soda is sodium bicarbonate, which acts as a antacid. It is alkalizing and has been used in treatment of many diseases, including cancer. You want to make sure you a using a good quality, pure baking soda such as this brand that I use. The reason being is the point of this tonic is to eliminate toxins, not ingest them!

When the ingredients are combined they create a simple, yet intense, detox drink that is safe for every day use!  The work together to destroy the carcinogenic cells without harming the healthy ones. The taste might take a little bit to get used to, but it really energizes and cleanses and is a great way to start the day!

How do you start your morning? Have you tried baking soda and lemon water? 

 

Birth Story #1- The Day I Became a Mommy!

Natural Birth Story

It was only a couple weeks ago that I shared the birth story of my son and I, my second birth. Fast forward a few weeks later and now it is time to celebrate my daughter- the first one to make me a mommy.  I cannot believe how fast the years have gone by.  My little girl is so amazing, full of life and very VERY strong willed. She is sassy and sweet, smart and so funny. She is very social and loves being around people, she loves being silly and making jokes and is just so smart. I feel so blessed everyday for my beautiful children.The events of those days are still so vivid in my mind. In honor of my daughter’s birthday I wanted to share my first birth story with my readers.

Birth Story #1

It was a HOT Summer, our house had no air conditioning and I felt so SO big and uncomfortable. The scariest thing about labor for me was the fear of the unknown. I had known for years before I ever got pregnant that I wanted to have a natural, drug free labor, but during my pregnancy encountered many nay sayers who told me I was crazy and that it was basically impossible. I knew that I could do it for two reasons: 1) I am very stubborn and 2) I had my heart set on it. Usually when I deeply set an intention I try to do anything in my power to make it happen. I was still nervous about what to expect, how it would happen and most importantly when it would happen. Would my water break out in public? Would I wake up in the middle of the night? Being a control freak I really had to relinquish control and just know that it would happen exactly when it was supposed to.

We had just moved into our new house on July 3rd and I was due on July 24th. During the moving process I was so anxious to get everything done before baby girl came that I would stay up late unpacking and putting things away, setting up the nursery and sometimes just lay in bed with the anticipation of how much our lives would change. I didn’t know what labor felt like and was having braxton hicks for weeks and swore I was going into labor about 8 times during that period. On July 18th I started getting sensations that felt like period cramps and just knew deep down that I would be meeting my daughter soon.

That entire day I spent in bed, the cramping was irregular, they would come and go in waves. There was no real rhyme or reason to them and by 7pm that night they had disappeared. I woke up around 2am with the same cramps, but they were more frequent and a bit more intense. I watched the clock and realized that they were about every 5-7 minutes. My husband was sleeping so I got up and went into the nursery and sat on the birthing ball, doing hip circles and just breathing. I tried to walk around to see if they cramping would stop like they did the day before. They stayed frequent and lasted for about a minute. Once I realized this was most likely the real deal I decided to try to get some rest to save up my energy for when things started to progress and to listen to my relaxation prompts. I went back into bed and slept on and off until about 5am. I woke up and the cramping had gotten stronger so I thought it was a good idea to call the midwife. I was so happy when the midwife on call happened to be my favorite one that I had met with over the 9 months of my pregnancy. We talked through a couple of my contractions and she told me I sounded like it was still early and to call her in an hour or so to check in. I woke up my husband around 6:30 and let him know that it was time and that I was going to go in and get checked out shortly. I called the midwife back around 7 and she told me to come in to see how far along I was.

We drove to the birthing center and she opened the door. She looked at me and right away said “Honey, I can tell you have a ways to go because most women who come in here are pretty uncomfortable and hardly able to talk, and you still have a big smile on your face!” She checked me out and I was dilated to 2.5 centimeters. The birthing center wants you to be dilated to at least 4 before they check you in. They usually encourage moms to be walk around Balboa Park for awhile and come back to get checked, but it was Gay Pride Parade in Hillcrest and the last thing I wanted to do was walk around a crowded park while in labor. I told her I felt like I was going to progress really quickly and she just smiled and said “All women hope they progress quickly, but labor can last a long time!” She sent me home and said I could be dilated at 2 for hours or days and to call her if my water broke or if things got significantly stronger.

Home we went, I laid in bed and listened to my birth affirmation and relaxation prompts some more. My lower back was really hurting so I hopped into the shower and just put my hands up against the wall and let the hot water hit my lower back. It felt so good. It really helped to ease the discomfort. I stated to do some of the visualization and meditation techniques I learned and had two VERY strong surges in the shower, to the point I got dizzy and lightheaded. I decided at that point to get out of the shower. The contractions were starting to get very intense. I felt like I had to either throw up or poo, or both! I told my husband to call the midwife and tell her I needed to come in immediately. It had only been an hour or so since we left. He thought I was crazy and reminded me that she said it could take hours or days. I didn’t care, I begged him to call her because my body was telling me that it was progressing. He did and of course the midwife said that she doesn’t think that I would be that far along since I just left, but to come in and she would ease my mind and check me again. We headed back down to the center. This time she looked at me and said, “Well, you still have a smile, but you look a bit more uncomfortable, lets check you out!” All I kept thinking was ‘Dear God, Please let me be dilated to at least 7 or I don’t know if I can do this!” She checked me and was shocked “Oh My Gosh! You are at 10 centimeters and fully effaced! If your water broke you could have had this baby on the way over here!” When I heard that I knew the worst part was over! I knew I could do this! I had always heard that the dilating part was the hardest, once you get past that the worst has passed.

We filled up the tub and that was amazing. The warm water does so much for the labor sensations. I pushed when I felt the urge, I was able to eat almonds, raspberry and sip on orange juice to keep up my energy. So different from what I heard about hospital births and I loved it. The environment was so warm and homey, the midwife and nurses were so friendly and encouraging! I pushed for two hours and not much was happening. I started to get tired and frustrated. We all knew I had to get her out and soon. During the pushing process my husband had one of my feet on his shoulder, my mom had the other, the nurses had a sheet with two knots, one on each end, they held one end while I held the other and pulled on it while I tried to push her out. It was crazy, it felt so archaic, like something that my ancestors had done and I loved it!

After about 20 minutes of intense pushing I was exhausted.  Everyone went to talk in the other room while I was in the tub and they all came back with solemn looks on their faces. I knew something was wrong. My husband looked at me and said that I basically had 5 minutes to deliver the baby or I was going to be taken in an ambulance to get a C-section because they thought I was too tired to be able to continue pushing and wasnt progressing much. Don’t get me wrong, if I needed a Cesarean I was prepared and willing to have one, but at this point I felt that I could get her out on my own. I yelled “Alright, lets do this!” The nurses and midwife looked at me and asked if I was sure. HECK YES! LETS GO! We moved me out of the tub and on to the bed. I did a couple more pushes and her head was right there. I reached down and felt her hair, they gave me a mirror to show me how close I was and I got so much energy. After two more pushes I felt a pop and her head was out. One more push and I felt her body slide out and the next thing I knew she was on my chest. I was looking at this beautiful little girl that we made! I couldn’t believe it. What an amazing experience. Such a Rite of Passage into womanhood. I felt so full of life, experiencing a true love cocktail that I had read about in the natural birth books. Nobody’s description can prepare you for how it feels to see your child for the first time. It is a day that will always be one of my favorites, and it was a very special way for my husband and I to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary! Yep, you heard right, she came 4 days early meaning that this day will always belong to two people in this world who are nearest and dearest to my heart. So while my husband and I will never get a day dedicated solely to ourselves, this day will always be cause for much celebration!

Natural Birth Story

The Oil Cleansing Method for Healthy Vibrant Skin

Oil Cleansing

For the past couple of years I have been trying to eliminate as many toxins as I can. As women, we come into contact with so many daily between makeup and personal body products. I have done away with commercial products such as face and body wash, moisturizer, wrinkle creams and body lotion. I get many people are curious about my routine and I love sharing my secrets for how to live healthier, so why not write a post on my face care regimen! Here you go!

If you are on the crunchy scene Oil Cleansing is most likely something you have at least heard of. For anyone else, or newbie crunchy mamas, Oil Cleansing might need some explaining.

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing is a method of washing the face using a high grade oil such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or jojoba seed oil (always organic if possible) as an alternative to face cleanser. It’s a great way to reduce toxins because by using a healthy oil, it’s the only ingredient! Many people are weary of the oil cleansing method because we have be taught that oil on our face is bad and is the source of skin problems. Because of this people focus on stripping the oil away which causes our skin to try to overcompensate by making more oil. This vicious cycle results in years of bad skin and frustration. Oil cleansing solves that because oil dissolves oil. The oil cleansing method works to balance our skin instead of stripping it of necessary oils.

Benefits of Oil Cleansing

  • Protects skin naturally
  • Cost effective
  • Contains no toxic chemicals
  • Balances and Nourishes skin
  • Great for all skin types
It can take a couple of weeks for your skin to adjust and balance out during when you first start oil cleansing. You may be tempted to ditch the oil and go back to your conventional face wash, but if you stick it out your skin will thank you by being more balanced and radiant.

How to do Oil Cleansing

It can be as detailed or as easy as you want it to be. Put some oil in your palm, and rub all over your face. Massage the oil all over, paying particular attention to all of your problem areas. Oil is great for removing make-up and dirt. Next get a washcloth wet with very warm (not hot) water and wring out. Lay warm damp towel over face for about 30-60 seconds to open up pores and wipe off oil. When you are done you should not need to apply moisturizer as this method is an all in one!

As I work to earn my oily badge in my quest for full fledged Crunchy Momness (And yes, we have badges!) I have been learning more and more about the amazing benefits of therapeutic grade essential oils including, and not limited to, promoting vibrant skin. Lately I’ve been taking my oil cleaning routine to the next level by adding a drop or two of essential oils. Here is a list of essential oils that are a great addition to your skincare and/or oil cleansing routine. Click here to learn where to buy therapeutic grade essential oils.

Taking it to the next level

  • Frankincense: Smoothes lines and wrinkles, balances oily skin, accelerates healing of blemishes and inflammations.
  • Geranium: Regenerates skin cells and speeds healing, marts a healthy glow, giving skin a radiant and youthful appearance.
  • Helichrysum: Restorative properties to mature skin, effective sunscreen.
  • Jasmine: Regulates oil production, helps to moisturize dry, dehydrated or mature skin.
  • Lavender: Good for all skin types, calms and soothes skin.
  • Lemon: Astringent, skin toner, helps to clear acne, brightens pale, dull complexion.
  • Melaleuca: Great alternative to benzoyl peroxide for effectiveness in fighting acne with no side-effects, oil controlling agent.
  • Sandalwood: Nourishes dry, dehydrated and mature skin, smoothes and softens lines and wrinkles, clears acne.

Have you tried Oil Cleansing yet? If so, how do you like it?

Oil Cleansing

How to Tell if Yoga and Meditation Practice are Working for You!

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and Meditation are vital to help us work toward becoming happier and more peaceful beings. However, this is not something that happens over night, this ongoing process can take a lifetime. It is common to wonder whether or not your regular yoga and meditation practices have been benefiting you, and if so, in what ways?

This post will discuss some ways that help to determine whether yoga and meditation are making a difference in your daily life.  These are just some of the benefits and changes that are commonly experienced by people who regularly practice yoga and meditation.

1. You feel calmer in your daily interactions with others, as well as in situations that may have once caused anger.

2. You realize you aren’t perfect, and life is a series of lessons to help you continue progressing.

3. You’re able to express yourself  and your feelings without hurting others.

4. You see challenges as opportunities for growth.

5. You know the right thing to do, and you do it.

6. You feel compassion for others, including people, animals, and the earth.

7. You begin to appreciate things that you once took for granted.

8. You focus on solutions, rather than problems.

9. You try to maintain an ongoing positive attitude and recognize when you feel off-balance.

10. You love, appreciate, and respect yourself and others.

11. Your happiness comes more from nurturing your mind, body, and spirit, rather than from other people and/or material objects.

12. You seek and find new ways to feel motivated and inspired.

13. You begin to listen to your intuition.

14. Others feel happy and positive just by being around you.

15. People’s opinions of you don’t seem to matter much anymore.

16. The practices themselves seem less like an inconvenience and more like a lifestyle.

If you are new or interested in beginning meditation you can read more about some tips for starting up a meditate practice. Yoga and Meditation are great for anyone and everyone. The excuses I hear the most are that people can’t meditate because they can’t quiet their mind and that people can’t do yoga because they aren’t flexible. Coincidentally, those are the people who need it the most. Yoga and Meditation is NOT about perfection, just taking small baby steps, listening to your body and taking the time to practice is what is important. The benefits are immense and once you get comfortable with your regular practice you will be happy you did!

Do you have a regular yoga and meditation practice? How can you tell if it is working? 

Yoga and Meditation

 

Summer Recipe Roundup

Summer Recipes

I LOVE Summer. I mean, what is not to love? Warm weather, barbecuing, great food, cold drinks! With 4th of July coming up I thought it would be a great idea to round up some of the best Summer recipes from some of my favorite bloggers to share with you all! These simple and delicious recipes are perfect for a BBQ or picnic with friends and family. Enjoy!

 

Summer Recipes:

Sweet-n-Tangy Barbecue Bean Quinoa Salad- Recipe by Mix Wellness Solutions

Potato Salad- Recipe by Holistic Squid

Arugula Salad- Recipe by Hollywood Homestead

Chicken Salad- Recipe by Natural Family Today

Cilantro Lime Chicken- Recipe by Savory Lotus

Spatchcock Roasted Chicken- Recipe by And Here We Are

Chelo Kebab and Cucumber Yogurt- Recipe by And Here We Are

Garlic and Herb Greek Lamb- Recipe by And Here We Are

Fennel and Orange Salad- Recipe by And Here We Are

How to cook simple seafood on the beach- By And Here We Are

Grilling tips and 3-ingredient Jalapeno Bullet Recipe- by Kristen Ethridge

Lemon Berry Skillet Cake- Recipe from Savory Lotus

Moroccan Style Dessert- Recipe from Yogi Mami

Watermelon Sorbet- Recipe by Real Food Kosher

 

And of course! The perfect Summer treat….POPSICLES!

Limeade Coconut Cream Margarita Popsicles- Recipe by Fostering Nutrition

Basil Lime Watermelon Popsicles- Recipe by Savory Lotus

Pink Grapefruit Mojito Popsicles- Recipe by Savory Lotus

Watermelon Pops- Recipe by Eat Naked

 

What is your favorite Summer Recipe?

 

Natural Birth Story #2: A Fast and Amazing Birth

Natural Birth Story

I love sharing my birthing stories and catch myself reliving them because the details of those days are still so vivid in my memory. Both of my births will always be one of the most favorite days of my life! I feel so blessed to have had such amazing experiences. I always get a sense of nostalgia around my kids birthdays. This beautiful rite of passage shaped me into the woman I am today and for that I am eternally grateful. This post is a way for me to share my beautiful natural birth story with my readers!

The day I found out I was going to have a son was life changing for me. I never knew I wanted a boy. The thought of it scared me!  I grew up with two sisters and the male species has always been confusing to me. For weeks I questioned whether or not I could be fit to raise a son? When I first laid eyes on him it all made sense. I knew why God had given me this beautiful baby boy. He was perfect and every day has continued to steal my heart more and more. Watching him and his sister grow has been amazing and I cannot believe how fast it flew by! Mason, my baby boy, being your mom has been such a joy. I look forward to watching you grow up into a little man and sharing laughs, hugs, kisses and no doubt a few bumps & bruises. Mommy, Daddy & Mia love you more than the sun, the moon and all the stars.

A Whirlwind Birth!

It couldn’t have been a better day. The experience was amazing, which I think is always the case when you bring new life into the world. The delivery itself was a fast, easy natural birth just like I had been planning since the day I found out I was pregnant.  I literally prepared almost every day, in one way or another for the big event. You can read more about the mind body techniques I practice in my ebook Mindful Mami: Preparing for Pregnancy, Labor and Beyond.

The labor itself was short and FAST. I woke up at 2am with contractions that weren’t totally regular, but were about 5 minutes apart.  Some were close to a minute, some 15 seconds some 30. So I got up and walked around for a bit and sat on the birthing ball and tried to see if they would go away. They didn’t disappear, but they were pretty mild so I went back to sleep for a little bit. I slept on and off listening to my Hypnobirthing prompts and meditating with my mala beads. I woke up around 5am still having mild contractions so I got up again to monitor them. They were a little more regular but still not that strong so I decided I would call the midwife around 7:30 because I didn’t want to wake her up when I still felt so early on in the process. Around 6:15 they started to get a little bit stronger and I thought it was a good idea to at least give the midwives a heads up and let the know I was most likely coming in today.  I spoke to her while I was having a contraction and told her I still felt I had some time to go and she agreed by my demeanor and sound of my voice. She advised me to get something to eat to give energy to myself and the baby for labor. I went into the room and my husband was shuffling around in bed and I told him I was in labor and probably going to have the baby sometime later today or tonight, so he ran out to grab a Starbucks while I went to get some food in my belly.

Before I started the bread I had drawn the bath, mixed my labor blend mix which you can read about here, and rubbed some on my belly. I had mixed some essential oils that were supposed to dull labor pains and speed up contractions and had been excited to use them for weeks!

I had decided that I was going to make Apple Cranberry Walnut bread and sit in the tub while it baked and then when my daughter woke up she could eat some, and I could have some before we head over to the center to get checked. As I was making the bread (not anything fancy, Trader Joe’s boxed mix and adding chopped walnuts and cranberries) I had a couple pretty bad contractions.  To the point where I was literally on my hands and knees on the kitchen floor breathing through a contraction and then would stand up after to hurry and get the bread in the oven so I can soak to the tub that I had started.

As I was walking to the tub I got this HUGE urge to drop the kids off at the pool, if you catch my drift! Tremendous pressure down under that most women who has gone through natural birth knows what I mean. So I called my husband and told him to get home ASAP and called my mom and told her to come get Mia immediately. At this point it is shortly after 7 am, the midwife had told me earlier to check back in with the next midwife on call around 8, but I knew it wouldn’t last that long. I called her and told her that the labor came on really intense and I was having an extreme urge to push. She told me she was worried that I wouldn’t make it to the center. “I think you should get in the tub, and call the paramedics and have that baby there because I don’t want you to have him in the car on the way here.” OMG! EXCUSE ME LADY? WHAT?! ARE YOU NUTS!?! I almost died. I definitely didn’t like that option. I love the idea of a planned home birth, but that was crazy to me. “How quickly can you get to the center? We can make it!” I assured her. She told me she could make it there by 7:45.

My mom and husband walked in the house at almost the same time. Marcus started loading the car with our suitcase that was by the front door and my mom started packing up for Mia and I headed to the car. We hauled butt to the center. The hubby was driving almost 100mph on the way there. I was definitely feeling closer to having him but we were so close to the center. We pulled up and the midwife pulled up right behind us. She unlocked the door and I ran to the toilet. I sat there having a contraction and as my husband walked in with the suitcase and the midwife was grabbing my chart there was a loud sound that sounded like someone threw a giant water balloon off a balcony. My water broke. My husband couldn’t believe how loud it was. I got on the bed for the midwife to check me and the baby’s heartbeat. Mine was good, but the baby’s was very faint. I heard her tell a nurse to call the paramedics in case they need to resuscitate the baby when he was born. At first I panicked. Then I realized that I was hardly breathing on the way over so scared that I was going to have him in the car. The poor little guy didn’t have much air. I started focusing on my breathing and taking deep breaths and they gave me some oxygen. Within seconds his heartbeat was strong. There on the bed I had about 6 pushes and he was out.  We arrived at 7:45 and he joined us on the outside at 8:19am weighing 6 lbs and measuring 19 1/4 inches.

It was the rockstar birth that him and I had been planning for weeks. We talked about it often about how I would dilate quickly, my water wouldn’t break till I was at the birthing center either fully dilated or pretty close and that he would be out with a minimal amount of pushing. The only thing that didn’t go according to my plan was laboring and delivering in the water. I never even stepped a toe in a tub either at home or at the center. When I had gotten the tub ready with my essential oils, I already felt so close that I was scared to get into the water and strengthen the contractions and speed it up anymore! I attribute my wonderful labor to all of the yoga, walking, meditation, and visualization I had done since the beginning of my pregnancy. Obviously, there was some drama involved, but I felt that I was prepared to deal with anything unexpected that came up and everything worked out wonderfully.

It was such an incredible experience and one that I will remember for the rest of my life, just as the day my daughter arrived.  I am so blessed with two very healthy, beautiful children and will forever cherish the birthing stories that we share. I hope that the information that I have learned from my birth experiences can help other women in their future deliveries and empower them to have a positive experience that they are happy to share with others.

Natural Labor