Lemon Snowdrops

The forecast said snow. My taste buds said lemon. So I listened and whipped these little cuties up. 

They are called Lemon Snow Drops. They are a cute little cookie with a crunchy outside and chewy inside. Just the right amount of lemon and then dredged in powdered sugar for some extra sweetness. Their size makes them a perfect "I need something sweet." fix. I used this recipe from Sophistimom and it yielded about 3 dozen. They are just so small that it didn't look like much! Quick, easy, and delicious. My kind of cookie!

I do believe I will continue to snack on these and watch the flurries fall.

Have a beautiful weekend!



My Pregnancy "Essentials"

As I'm approaching the last month of my journey through pregnancy I have realized how terrible
of a job I have done about documenting. I don't have weekly or even monthly bump pictures, I never felt like getting in front of a camera for that. I haven't written in a journal or a baby book. I just let it go by I guess. But I have decided to post a bit about some things that I have enjoyed during this season, somethings that have made my life more comfortable. So just know, I use the word "essentials" loosely.

1. Can you say sciatic nerve pain? Some days it was hard to get up, or sit down. Basically sit very still and I was good. But then I started doing this yoga regularly and holy Moses did it help. I feel stronger, and dare I say limber? Which is odd since I'm the largest I've ever been in my life. This video is wonderful-espcially since I live in an area where yoga instruction is slim and prenatal yoga doesn't exist.

2. Coobie Bras, I've said it before and I will say it again. Get these bras. Comfy, pretty colors, and did I mention they are comfy? 

3. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. If I could suggest only one book for a woman's pregnancy it would be this book. It's got positive birth stories, teaches you about your body and how it is designed to conceive, carry, and birth a human. Ina May is brilliant, and truly cares about women and their care. The book outlines prenatal care from an obstetrics as well as the midwifery view and the routine procedures that happen to women and their babies-then get this- she uses research to expound on these practices. Fancy that! It's a wonderful book and will leave you more knowledgable and confident in your choices. 

4. Citrus. People are always asking me, "Any weird cravings?" I haven't had cravings per-say but citrus has never tasted better. Seriously. 

5. Full Panel maternity jeans. Denim. I told you all I was on the hunt for denim and Old Navy pretty much delivered. In my opinion full panel is the way to go. Don't let anyone tell you that the low panel or just using a rubber band on your jeans is just as good or more comfortable. They are being vain and fibbing. The support and smooth line from a full panel is wonderful. Plus I have a pair of lower or demi- panel it's a simple rule of gravity. Smooth round surface- pants will slip down. It's annoying. Full panel.all.the.way.

6. Glass water bottle. I love my Lifefactory bottle. If you see me without a water bottle I must have totally lost it. I always have one with me-mainly my Life Factory glass water bottle. I love this thing. I require more water these days plus since it's glass I can put my essential oils in and just sip away all day. Jerrel just got a Camelbak glass bottle and it's prettty nice too. 

There you have it a short list of things I've enjoyed throughout my pregnancy. I suppose I should go do my yoga, or eat an orange, or maybe I'll nap. I'm a woman and I'm pregnant-it's my prerogative to change my mind right? Like double prerogative if you ask me! 



I Married a Nurse

Last night we decided to go out for dinner, then get groceries. Typical married couple date night I suppose. It was so nice. We drank beer (the root variety for me) and talked in a refurbished building turned pizza place near the railroad tracks. Toward the end of our meal and man walked by, then stopped said hello to my husband and then wanted introduced to me.

I wiped my messy fingers and was introduced "This is my wife, Jess." I smiled and then this man said, "So nice to meet you, he took care of me." Beings that Jerrel works in a hospital in another town I haven't had the opportunity to really run into any of his coworkers or patients. If he worked in our hometown-that'd be a totally different story.

The man went on to say how his perspective has changed since actually being in the hospital and how wonderful Jerrel was. I told him "Well Jerrel's very patient so I know he is wonderful at what he does." "Oh!" The man said, "He was wonderful, I just kept pushing that button I felt so bad."

Jerrel just sat there. He did tell the man that it was fine and that he wasn't too difficult. But I don't think he probably was soaking in the moment of two strangers meeting for the first time singing his praises-he's too humble for such. No, Jerrel was probably wondering when it was socially acceptable to dig back into his pizza. And that's just fine with me.

I married a nurse. A man who goes to the place where the sickest of the sick are. He takes his kind and gentle spirit and he meets their needs. He does so with grace and gives them the dignity they deserve. Some are beginning their journey in this life, some are ending, and some are caught somewhere in the middle. It's not a job without frustrations and certainly isn't glamorous. But, he generally gets a special place in someones journey. Just like I saw last night.

So our typical married people date night didn't turn out to be so typical. I sat there in awe and full of respect for the man I said "I do" to.

Until he decided to figure the yardage of toilet paper in the grocery store to make sure we got the best deal. Then-it was a whole other kind of awe.

But seriously, I'm so thankful I married a nurse.



DIY Baby Products-Take 1 Wipes and Nursing Pads

My friend Abbie says there are two types of people in this world.

Makers and Buyers. She and I are makers. We see things online, at craft shows, junk shops, and go-"Please. I could make that."

Sometimes its really great to be a maker. And sometimes it really stinks because you don't realize that you don't actually have the time to make things. Sometimes you should just suck it up and buy the things other people are making, let them enjoy the fruits of their labor. Because once in a while our time is worth what the price tag says.

I'll admit it was kinda a lightbulb moment. So I've been trying to find more of a balance. But when it comes to baby's paying to be a maker. Baby things are expensive and always marketed as NEEDS. Well I decided if I "needed" some of these things I wasn't going to spend money on them.

I put my maker's cap on and got to work. First on my list was cloth wipes. We have decided to cloth diaper, to save money, to be better stewards of Creation, and because I happen to have some decent knowledge on the subject. Not everyone that cloth diapers uses cloth wipes and we probably won't exclusively either, like when we are out and about. However, when you are home cloth diapering leads into a natural segue of cloth wipes. One pail, throw 'em in the wash with the diapers. What are cloth wipes made from? Generally flannel, what do I have a small stash of? Flannel.

Seriously one of the easiest projects I could do. I cut my squares around 6.5 inches some are smaller because I was trying to create as little waste as possible! I used pinking shears (zig-zag edge) so they won't fray much. I put wrong sides of the flannel together, pinned and zig-zag stitched the square-ish shapes together. And done! I have about 30 wipes, plus some I received as a shower gift. Are they perfect? NO. But they don't need to be-they are cloth wipes, they won't be living a glamorous life.

Next stop-nursing pads. I've heard tell of leakage. Babies crying in stores, inconvenient and ill placed wet spots and milk stains. Disposable pads are available and serve their purpose but they won't be as soft as cloth, they are expensive, and wasteful. So I dug into my stash again. 

Since the baby gender is a surprise I couldn't really use my girly flannel for the wipes. So I decided to sacrifice them for my nursing pads. Momma needs something pretty too right? I cut 4 inch circles of flannel and fleece. Each pad has 3 layers of flannel and one layer of fleece. I stacked them together, pinned them and stitched around the edge with a regular straight stitch, then over it again with a zig-zag, finally I trimmed the edges. I made 10 pairs. The flannel side goes against my skin, they are soft and pretty. 

The flannel wicks away the moisture and is absorbent, the fleece keeps good air flow, is moisture resistant, and stops moisture before getting to your clothing. You change the pad when you feel they are moist.

Next on the list? Some extra cloth diaper goods. I feel a little like a flannel and fleece monster. In my head I think- NEED MORE FLANNEL AND FLEECE. Because you can never have enough and I naturally want the products to coordinate. 

So for now and for a few projects I've got my makers hat on but I'm sure there will be a time for the buyers hat and that's ok too. However, currently I'm sure my husband appreciates this hat. 



My Essential Oils Post

It seems to me that while on a more natural lifestyle everyone goes through a progression of subtraction and addition. For me it started with my garden, so food was the focus. I started cutting processed meats and snacks-I continue to cut processed meats and snacks. I then made a point to eat fresh produce. I looked at my sugars and sweeteners and evaluated how much I eat and then looked for different options- i.e. honey, real maple syrups, molasses.

As the progression continued I started looking at how food can heal, help, and actually nourish our bodies. I learned about home remedies in my refrigerator and cabinets. Super powers that certain foods have, the things they are known for, and the ways foods were and are used in traditional cultures-this continues to be some of my favorite readings.

Throughout this subtraction and addition I came across Essential Oils. Now before you roll your eyes and call me a witch doctor, let me tell you it wasn't so long ago that I myself wasn't so sure of their power, necessity, and simplicity. To me they seemed complicated and foreign. But that's probably because I was raised in a society that you go to the doctor, they write a prescription, you buy the prescription, take the prescription. There is very little knowledge needed on our end of the deal.

However, the oils kept coming up and it was at this blog The Prairie Homestead where I really decided that Essential Oils were something that I not only wanted to try-but I really wanted to DO them. The author over at the Prairie Homestead, Jill is someone whom I've learned a lot from. She's from WY, so we are basically next door neighbors. It's a trust factor. She uses doTERRA oils and has had great success as have others, so I decided to sign up. But then I didn't. I got scared. I continued to read and learn, then about 2 months ago mom and I went to a class and I jumped in. I decided to become a wholesaler so I could get the best discounts. I bought a Family Physicians Kit, it seemed to fit the most of our needs and started using the oils as soon as they came in.

Needless to say-I'm impressed. What have I been using them with?


Laundry-A couple drops in a load. Lavender in with our sheets. Lemon in with our whites to make them whiter. Lemon to kill ickies on Jerrel's scrubs. I scent my wool dyer balls with a blend of grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon-sounds odd smells good!
 ---Side note, I make my own detergent (which after 7 months I'm just now needing make more!) so while our clothes are clean they don't have a "scent" which I'm fine with because that means I'm avoiding a cocktail of perfumes and dyes. However, lavender on our sheets is very relaxing.

Dishes-I put a drop or two in the dishwasher to help cut our unbelievably hard water.

Bath-A few drops of lavender on some epsom salts to ensure the oil doesn't just sit on top of the water is a wonderful way to relax and helps my lower back since I'm so top heavy these days.

Water- I drink at least one 20 oz bottle a day with either wild orange or lemon in it. It's delicious and refreshing. Citrus is also well known for immunity boosts and gentle detox.

Wild Orange 

Sickness- Stuffy noses and drainage were a problems the week I received my oils. I used doTRRA'S Breathe Blend on the back of our necks and we were cleared up. I followed up with Melaleuca on my sinuses to ensure I didn't have an infection of some kind.
Two weeks ago Jerrel brought home a stomach bug from work. It hit him hard. I treated him with oils and I treated myself with the oils (and healthy, whole foods), internally, on my feet, and wrists for prevention. He was better so much faster than ever before and I managed to steer clear.

Swelling-I've been having some edema, nothing unusual just annoying. My citrus water helps with the issue immensely as does Lavender in coconut oil to make a lotion on my hands and feet. A drop of Frankincense on a cotton ball rubbed on my feet and hands helps too.


Skin-I've used Melaleuca (tea tree) to help with acne, Frankincense to help as well, both helped clear me up and give a little bit of a glow. 

I go for my oil cabinet everyday-making it a worthy investment I'd say. It's awesome to take charge of our health in this avenue. The night that Jerrel was so sick-I wasn't helpless, I felt a little just because I couldn't wave a wand and make him better. However, the oils could ease the symptoms and fight the virus-antibiotics can't do that! I had another tool to protect myself, and then help him get back on his feet quicker. Next on my list is to make some cleaners, baby wipes solution, dish soap, cooking...I'm impressed with doTERRA's quality and while they can be pricey from what I've witnessed it's worth it. I think it's a case of "You get what you pay for."

So that's my first essential oils post and I'm sure there will be more. So I'm telling you, look into high quality essential oils. You won't be disappointed. And if you have any questions feel free to ask-I might not know much yet but I'm always up to learn!



Us Lately

Whew, it's been a while. But lucky for you a friends nudge has gotten me back to the grindstone. Not really, I love to blog, just hasn't been at the top of the list. So what's been happenin'? So glad you asked!

We sent out our first Christmas card...I know big deal. But it was fun and something I want to do every year. People just don't send them like they used to.

We had snow and my mom willing to take the photo so we snapped up the opportunity. Isn't it "charming" how my coat wont button? Mom felt bad for me so she bought me a new coat for Christmas. It's cute and fits ALL the way around! 

I graduated college and survived the ceremony that Senor Smarty Pants felt was so important for me to attend. I only perspired a moderate amount in that cap and gown and managed to smile pretty for some cameras. 

A few of my friends hosted a baby shower for me. It was the sweetest thing and felt SO good to have them back in my parents house chattering away like we always used to. Boy did we chatter, I don't think I had anymore words for a week. Just kidding! We had a hot chocolate bar, decorated gingerbread "babies" and ate sweets, sweets, sweets. They each brought a children's book as well to start our little library and baby got some wonderful gifts! 

I had a blue Christmas as far as the color goes. Christmas morning I opened up a big box and a little box...I like little boxes. 

The earrings are sapphires and the yarn is for a scarf/shawl that Jerrel is going to make. He didn't get it done because the mailman forgot where our mailbox was. So instead I opened a box of about 5 skeins of American wool in all their glory. Only I could appreciate this as much as the project completed. 

We celebrated the Christmas Day with my family, Jerrel's family traveled long distance and we had a midwife appointment the day after Christmas on the opposite side of the state. My feet and ankles would not have been please with that ride. Mom came along to the appointment and we hit up a consignment shop for babies and kids. We scored big, knitted outfits from the Gap? Hello! It was a great trip and I think Mom liked seeing and learning more about the birth center. 

New Years was celebrated quiet and alone. After the month of running I just wanted to be home with Jerrel. We made deer steak, roasted cauliflower, among other delicious sides, and finished off with this
Cheesecake from Oh Sweet Day! 

Photo Credit
Minus the chocolate ganache and candy on top. It just seemed too rich. I know how ridiculous that sounds! I was tired of being in the kitchen is the more realistic reason.

Then that night a stomach bug decided to grace us with it's presence and landed on Jerrel. So we missed a family Christmas on New Years Day. I used my oils-that I'll tell you about in a couple days, whole foods, no sugar or refined carbs, and activated charcoal to avoid the bug. Yippee! Jerrel was back on his feet quickly as well..and in his mind it is no thanks to my home remedies. Yeah alright, but next time don't come cryin' to Momma.

Who am I kidding he wouldn't have to come crying. I go to him. I will say this, men are no fun when they are sick. None. 

Finally we had one last Christmas and we received a Garmin from his grandparents. So thoughtful! We are currently trying to figure out where we want to vacation this summer now, if for no other reason, so we can use our Garmin. Because we don't have more pertinent things to think about?... Anyway, Garmin will get it's test run this week when we head to the big city to hear baby's heartbeat and have a class with a doula from the area. 

Things have started to slow down, only to speed back up I'm sure. Work, midwife appointments, and basketball games are our social events. Christmas stuff is all put away and Valentines Day is out. I've got a list of things to do for January and little by little it's getting whittled down. 

So that's us lately. Blessed as ever, busy, and waiting for baby.