#5Faves: Teas

I don’t drink coffee, so I have to get my hot bevvie fix another way. It’s not that my brain, nose and mouth don’t want to drink coffee. My nervous system, esophagus and stomach just have the final vote. TMI? Anyway, here are my (mostly) caffeine-free #5Faves. I hardly even mess with decaf, baby.

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Chamomile: The taste has grown on me over time. Maybe because I first tried chamomile green tea, and no matter what you tell me, I will never enjoy green tea aka nasty vegetable water. But regular chamomile is just fine.

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Tazo Wild Sweet Orange: This is probably my favorite of all the favorites at the moment. In fact, I think I’m almost out in which case I need some chamomile to calm my anxiety about it.

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TJs Pumpkin Spice Rooibos: I went to Trader Joe’s way too many times early fall looking for this. After a while, I started calling ahead like a normal person before heading in – you know, as normal as someone can be while stalking a tin of tea.

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TJs Harvest Blend Herbal Tea: This is what I used to get over the hump before they were carrying Pumpkin Spice. This blend is super spicy and fragrant. So perfect when it’s way too cold.

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Constant Comment Decaf: Because I’m an old lady.

 

Do you have any teas that I need to try? I wouldn’t be opposed to you telling me about them. Not. At. All.

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#5Faves: Melody’s Harmonies Edition

Melody was so extremely kind and brave to host all of you leprechauns today. Head over to her place at Melody’s Harmonies to link up your #5Faves. And, don’t worry. I will be stalking all of your favorite things. I always dooooo.

And, while you’re at it, subscribe to her blog. She’s always posting really helpful stuff like Clothing Shopping on a Budget, 10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Marriage, and Essentials of Essential Oils.

This way to #5Faves!

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#5Faves: The Better Gift Guide for New Moms + Giveaway

If you’ve had a baby, you’ve probably been given your share of receiving blankets, cute onesies, stuffed animals and personalized knick knacks. And, while I am not one to ever complain about a person’s generosity and thoughtfulness, those suckers get played out.

And, after birthing a child, aren’t you a little bit, “What do I get??” Besides hemorrhoids and post-natal hair loss, not much.

So because everyone will be buying the new bundle a gift or two, stand out from the crowd and make the momma feel special with my Better Gift Guide for New Moms. Trust me, she will love this.

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Nude Quick-Dry Nail Polish: Nothing makes me feel more put together than having my nails done. Nothing makes me feel grungier than chipped polish. So, give a new mom a nice, nude polish that dries fast, looks classy, and doesn’t show chips as easily. This is Sally Hansen Bare It All.

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Flexi Clip: Doing my hair means a top knot, and I’m totally cool with that. But, what if I want a fancy little Gibson Tuck? I always feel prettier in a Gibson Tuck. A flexi helps that style stay right in place, and it’s pretty darn easy.

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Simple Pedometer: Make sure you let the new mom know that she’s beautiful and not fat. But, what mom doesn’t want an easy way to burn a few calories after being pregnant? I clip one of these to my pants and just try to get 10,000 steps somehow. It’s an easy, measurable goal that doesn’t require alone time, a gym membership or Jillian.

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Witch Hazel Pads: Experienced moms will know and appreciate these right away. New moms will figure it out. But, woe to the mom who does not have them or who runs out.

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Graduated Water Bottle: Water makes ya skin nice. It makes ya lose weight. It keeps ya energy up. It makes ya feel better. I love the numbers on the side of this one because I know if I drink two, I have met my water intake for the day. Again, measurable goals work for this mama. Drink up.

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BONUS FAVORITE – Netflix Subscription: She’s going to be spending time on the couch. Let’s face it. Let her face it with a binge sesh of Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, Sherlock, Portlandia, Parks and Recreation, Friends, ooh and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt...easily my new favorite show. I’m getting away with myself. Stop me.

Some links may be affiliate. Disclosure: I have received free Netflix streaming and a streaming device as part of my membership on the Netflix Stream Team.  All opinions expressed within this post are my own.

The Better Gift Guide for New Moms Giveaway

Link up your #5Faves below. But first, take a minute to enter the Rafflecopter for yourself or a new momma you love. You or her will receive a nude polish, a large flexi, a pedometer, witch hazel pads, a graduated water bottle and a 1-year subscription to Netflix. Woop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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#5Faves: Efficient Mama Edition

Rachel was so extremely kind and brave to host all of you yahoos today. Head over to her place at Efficient Mama to link up your #5Faves. And, don’t worry. I will be watching in the wings. I never miss ya posts, dahlin’s. I’m a sucker for #5Faves.

And, while you’re at it, subscribe to her blog. She’s always posting really helpful stuff like her Nourishing Chicken Broth Recipe, Natural Ways to Speed Up Colds, and a whole slew of helpful tips in her top 10 of 2014.

This way to #5Faves!

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#5Faves: Netflix Documentaries That Aren’t About Food or Healthcare #StreamTeam

Disclosure: I have received free Netflix streaming and a streaming device as part of my membership on the Netflix Stream Team.  All opinions expressed within this post are my own.

It’s not that I don’t like food and healthcare. Those are some pretty great things, I suppose. It’s just that I am over the Supersize Me and Sicko spin-offs and looking for documentaries that are about anything other than that at all. Do you feel me?

So, these are five documentaries that I’ve recently watched, enjoyed and wanted to share because I love you, and I care about your brain. AND, they are all streaming on Netflix right this very instant.

5 Documentaries That Aren't About Food or Healthcare

Inside the US Secret Service
Coolest Thing Learned: The president always travels with his own personal blood supply.

Jig
Best Line: “It was like walking into a Shirley Temple convention.”

Mystery of a Masterpiece
Not Really Spoiler: This didn’t end how I wanted it to. It was still fascinating.

The Fruit Hunters
Ok, this sounds like it is about food, but it’s better than that.
Best Part: Watching Bill Pullman geek out over ripe fruit.

Inside: Lego
I’m not even really a Lego person. I’m more into, like, not Legos. But I found this to be so gripping. Not gripping, but “interesting” sounds lame. It was good.

 

Load me up with your fave doc recs. I’m a big fat sucker for them.

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#5Faves: Ways to Detox a Pregnancy

Anna is here again, and this time it’s a double whammy. A #5Faves and an announcement. Bet you can’t guess what it is. I bettttt…

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Oh, a new little baby.

A new immortal soul, a new little light in the world, shining without being seen. The only tangible proof that there’s a baby even there was a line on the pregnancy test, my uncharacteristically intense craving for Pepsi, and a bloat that could propel me to India if you put a propeller on my bum. Like a happy and nauseous dirigible.

These pregnancies are starting to feel like the academic years. Nine months on, three months summer, nine months on again–at least this time around. I’ve found myself looking at this long stretch of time sort of like I did back at the start of a new school year, all psyched to start fresh, do my homework before I was tired dead shell of a human, wear a cute outfit every day, an excel in everything. About a week in, I’d usually lose a lot of morale and settle on wearing a hoodie every day and doing my homework during Oprah commercials.

But now, I’m hoping to start off the pregnancy right. My last one I gained more weight than I should have, ate way too much ramen (I was pregnant with a boy, after all, and he might as well have been a college guy as he came out the size of a line-backer), and was a cranky and tired mess. Perhaps that’s just pregnancy, but I’m going to try a five new things:

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I will strive to only do things I consider beautiful or useful. Like the way people manage the clutter in their house, they strive to only keep possessions they consider beautiful or useful. I’m hoping to do the same in my daily life—not using pregnancy as an excuse to binge watch Sister Wives, but perhaps to pray, read, sleep, or talk to a real human when I have a chance to decompress. And when I’m with my kids, not sit idly on my iphone while I supervise them, but talk to them, engage with them, or at least LOOK at them while I work on something else. This does not mean constantly being productive—this only means to do things that will really help me with my short term goals of that moment—help me truly rest, help me work, help me grow in grace, even when I’m uncomfortable.

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I’ll only put in my body what is beautiful and useful. Is chocolate beautiful and useful? You’ll bet your sweet a** it is. But I’ll try and stick with only a few pieces, not enough to make me grow a third thigh in addition to a human. I’ll only eat the frivolous stuff to the extent it is useful—in giving me a small treat, a lift, but not a sugar or caffeine high. And just because I may not be in the exact mood for a salad or a sweet potato, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t just suck it up and eat it to nourish myself the right way. I’m hoping this will physically make me feel better overall through the pregnancy. My future child has a whole lifetime to eat a massive bag of Doritos in one sitting—let’s give him/her a chance to start AFTER he/she emerges from the womb.

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Reflect OFTEN on how this is a fleeting season. Looking at my first two, my pregnancies with them seem like such a side note. They felt awful during, but look at what we received: beautiful, unique humans who will grow, eventually sleep through the night, eventually won’t poop their pants, eventually won’t need ME at all. This will pass. And it will faster than I realize. I will not be the size of a parade float forever.

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I’ll ask for and take help easily. I am pregnant with my third baby. My first two are still very young and needy. I will be very needy. This means there will be days when I will look like the hind leg of a mountain goat and be about as friendly as one if there was an annoying chipmunk behind it. Therefore, I’m going to push my pride aside and accept the help of people around me who offer it, and try to recognize days when I genuinely need to ask for it, and accept it BEFORE the point of desperation.

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I’ll forgive myself (and others) easily. I won’t hit all my goals every day. I’m knocked up. It’s okay. Also, those around me won’t be able to read my mind. I’ll probably be an irritable grump that may be an irritable grump to those around me. But instead of being a crotchety pregnant lady, asking for grace in the times where I want to be mad at someone close to me.

Hopefully my resolution will last more than a week before I dive off the deep end into a kiddie pool of ramen noodles and the last 40 seasons of Gilmore Girls, but I’d appreciate your prayers as I grow this next kiddo.

 

Anyone have any words of wisdom on raising three? Something beautiful to tell Anna?

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#5Faves: Steps for Brushing Your Teeth

You’ve got to be kidding me, Jenna.

Hear me out.

I hate going to the dentist, but I do it because I like my teeth in my mouth, and I also like it when people are willing to talk to me face to face without grimacing. But, I only go two times a year because I am not a glutton for punishment. So, what do I do in the in-between times? I learned this method from a dental hygienist friend, and I swear by it. 

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Floss First: I think everyone knows you’re supposed to floss everyday, and like, three people do it. Whatever. I’m not a dentist. I don’t judge (stupid, judgy dentists…I kid). But, start by flossing to loosen everything up (yum!); it makes brushing everything out easier. And, if you have hardware in your mouth – I have a built in retainer – junior high forever! – try Superfloss. It has a nice threader on it to get those hard to reach places.

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Mouthwash Second: After flossing, you’re going to want to rinse out all of that gunk. What better way than to use mouthwash in lieu of water? I like Listerine Total Care Zero because I’m a big baby.

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Brush Third: I use an Oral-B Complete Action Power Toothbrush. That’s a…mouthful. ha. Right. And, don’t forget to scrub the roof of your mouth and your tongue. While you’re at it, run your toothbrush over your lips to exfoliate them. This will make them nice and smooth for applying lipstick.

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Tongue Scraper: This is so gross, so I’m not even going to talk about it. But, just buy one. Scrape your tongue regularly.

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Drink Water: I’m a terrible water drinker, so I had to come up with some tricks to force it down my throat. If you’re like me, check out my Dehydrated Girl’s Guide to Water. Having a hydrated mouth keeps the bacteria at bay, obvs.

 

Any tips I need to sink my teeth into?

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#5Faves: Recent Etsy Purchases

Usually before I shop elsewhere, I check Etsy because – indie artists and PayPal. Things I love. Here are my #5Faves purchases as of late. Shameless promotion: check out my shop. New Valentine’s Day necklace up!

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Dia de los Muertos Rosary: Allison designed this piece for me so that I could pray for souls in purgatory and the unborn. And because I love DdlM. In case you didn’t know me.

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Plush Crown: Sam is forever nabbing all of Ellen’s tiaras and snapping them in two like, “I mean, it’s just plastic, it’s really just… A piece for Gretchen Wieners, a partial Spring Fling Queen…” So, anyway, we bought him his own plush crown, and um, it’s adorable.

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Lion Pouch: I originally bought this to put some prayer books in until I realized I measured wrong. Measure once, buy twice. So, since I still love it, I am using it to organize some embroidery stuff. I feel like royalty.

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Hair Clips: These were stocking stuffers for my girl who loves “hair pretties.” She is also a sucker for Peppa Pig. Perf.

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Dapper Fox Tie: When I saw this tie I thought 1. my brother must have this and 2. that fox is so dapper. Turns out it’s called the Dapper Fox Necktie. So fitting. It really…suits…it. ha.

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#5Faves: Lent Resources

Looking to make Lent a little more meaningful or even just easier? Both of those adjectives would certainly help you prepare and focus, yes? Yes. Here are my favorite Lent resources. I hope it is a pious one for ya.

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40 Simple Lenten Activities for Kids: This is the first year that Ellen really understands the liturgical year. I tried some of this stuff before, and while I am sure it was beneficial in some way, I think this year she will actually be able to put two and two together.

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Walk with Jesus Through Lent Ornaments: I’ve had my eye on these bad boys for a few years now. I love having a tangible thing the kids can do each day during seasons of preparation. And, I really want something reusable like our Advent calendar. Maybe I will bite the bullet and grab these this year?

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Easy Meatless Meals: Certainly you will be attending a fish fry or two, but don’t forget there are some insanely easy and filling meatless meals you can make right at home. My favorite? The bean burritos.

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Picking Your Sacrifice: This guide is more specific to Friday abstinence, but I think all of the ideas are very appropriate for your Lenten sacrifice. Find a new idea that will help you grow this year.

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Blessed is She Lent Journal: I used the Advent journal last year, and it was the most fruitful Advent I have ever had. No joke. I cannot wait to start using this on February 18; I really love having something concrete I can go to each day to keep my grounded. You can preorder the journal right now. Hot Tip: the Advent journal sold out last year!

For more Lent resources, check here. Some links may be affiliate.

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#5Faves: Beat the Winter Blues

I’ve never been hugely pregnant in the winter before, so maybe that’s it, but this winter has been a rough one. I feel like the days are actually shorter than they have ever been and the sun is shining less than it ever has. Drama.

That being so, I’ve never really thought to find ways to “beat the winter blues,” but this year I’m trying it all. Here are my #5Faves:

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Get out of the house no matter how long it takes. With two kids and coatsbootsgloveshatsscarves, it feels insurmountable. But if I just tell myself it’s going to take a while and plan to go somewhere that won’t exhaust me too much, it’s so worth it. I don’t feel as bad when I come home and plop them in front of the TV while I recover. Often we run to the gym for…exercise. You knew that. That’s good for you too.

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Buy a therapy light and take your vitamin D. I have it on good authority that these things work. I don’t want to brag or anything, but a couple of doctors told me these things really make a difference. Yeah, I know doctors.

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Get dressed and make the bed each day. It is soooo easy to sit around in my jams, but by the time 2pm rolls around, I always regret it. I just feel more productive and stuff like dat when I do these things.

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Use essential oils and elderberry syrup so you don’t get sick on top of being stuck in your cabin with that fever. I like OnGuard by Doterra, and you can make your own syrup if ya like. Google it. For more info on essential oils, check out my guide.

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Embrace winter. Accept winter. It’s not like hating it will make it go away faster. Just come to terms with the idea that the days are shorter (but gradually getting longer!), and the kids are going to get stir-crazy, and it’s cold, and and and. It’s just the way it is. Make a paper chain or something and count down the days. The kids might like that, right?

 

What are your hot tips for beating the cold?

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