My Favorite Zero Waste & Non-Toxic Essentials

Zero Waste & Non-Toxic Home

Several years ago I read the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson and instantly fell in love with the idea of transitioning our home to a more zero waste zone.

I have spent the last few years unsuccessfully executing the steps to become zero waste for the following reasons:

 

1. Buying the tools (glass jars, containers, reusable cloths, etc) got to be too expensive to make the transition all at once. This meant I was getting some items, but unable to fully transition because we still had a need for plastic. 

2. Not liking the tools because of poor quality or because they did not get the job done effectively. The amount of wooden/natural bristle dish brushes I have purchased and had to almost immediately throw away after a few uses is ridiculous. They do not clean well, and they do not last long. 

3. Not being satisfied with the natural cleaning solutions I was finding. I switched to steam cleaning my floors & making my own natural cleaners.

Overall, I ended up going back to chemical-heavy products because I was just so tired of buying (or making) natural cleaning product after product that just didn’t clean well.

Laundry stains, tough counter stains/messes, still having dirty feet after walking on floors that had just been steam cleaned, etc…these were just some of the issues I kept having when using a variety of “natural non-toxic” products/solutions. 

4. Products we love still (and only) being available in plastic packaging. 

Fast Forward to today and I feel like I am finally finding all of the pieces that will make transitioning to a non-toxic, zero waste household a real possibility. 

This is how I am tackling the issues I have run into previously:

 

1. I found a less expensive solution for getting the airtight glass jars that I love.

You can get the same style jars from IKEA for a fraction of the price of the fancy french glass jars I originally started getting. While they won’t match my existing jars exactly, they will allow me to get enough jars to hold all of the pantry items and herbs that we will be using as a family.

Having proper storage for these items means we are more likely to use them and not just keep dumping them in the compost because they went bad again. 

You can check out the glass jars they have here

I actually found a solution for problems 2 & 3 from the same place. I recently was introduced to a company that makes cleaning tools that allow you to clean 90% of your house with just water. 

Naturally, I thought this was a scam so I had to try it. I got their mop kit because I was so tired of having dirty feet just from walking on my ‘clean’ floors all day. All I did was wet their mop pad, which does not have chemicals on it, and I mopped my floor with it.

Non-Toxic Cleaning For a Zero Waste Home

Their cloths & mop pads are made out of superior microfiber that actually picks up 99% of bacteria and removes it from the surface.

So when I was done mopping, I simply rinsed the pad out with hot water to release all the dirt it had removed from my floor and hung it up to dry.

It is woven with baclock, which means it self-purifies and is ready for the next use. 

I then went walking around my floors with paper towels under my feet to see if any dirt came up. The part of my floor I had just steam mopped (my usual way of cleaning) was still filthy. There was dirt all over the paper towel.

The floor I had just mopped with my new mop system was clean. I was not able to get dirt to rub off on the paper towel by walking around on it. 

But I still thought it was a scam. So I threw the paper towels away and then spent the rest of the day stomping around my floors, determined to have dirty feet again by the end of the day. 

The end of the day came & the bottoms of my feet were 99% cleaner than they normally are after a day of walking around my “clean” floors barefoot.

So. I was sold.

The same technology is in their counter, window, dusting, bathroom, etc cloths. I clean 90% of my home with water now and it is cleaner than when I was using product after product trying to find things I liked. 

When I realized cleaning this way meant I could transition my house to zero waste & non-toxic efficiently, I got really excited. 

I’m just at a point in my life when I am tired of talking about all of the “ideal” ways we want to live and I actually want to be putting them into practice.

For a long time, I just felt like zero waste wasn’t possible because I didn’t like the options I was finding. 

Now, we have the tools to grow our own food, order what we can’t grow from organic farmers at discounted rates, effectively clean with non-toxic zero waste products, and store our food without having to use plastics. 

I feel like I have most of the pieces in place and that is exciting. It is possible! Hooray!

If you are wanting to transition your family to non-toxic zero waste living then I suggest the following quick switch ideas:

  1. Get inexpensive glass jars and containers from IKEA, they ship most places if you don’t live near an IKEA. 
  2. Use Norwex products for your zero waste, mostly water cleaning solution. 
  3. Grow your own food when possible. We like using our tower gardens to grow salsa veggies, some herbs, and more.
  4. Find local organic farms to get fresh produce delivered. We ended up finding Misfit Box because we didn’t have any local organic options and we love it! The packaging is able to be recycled or used in the garden and the food is all from organic farms. Get 25% OFF when you order a Misfit Box using this code at checkout: COOKWME-MY7IQQ 

Just taking those few steps will get you well on your way to having a zero waste, non-toxic home!

If you have questions about anything or want to find out how you can get your Norwex products for free or at a discount, join my Healthy Home Facebook Group for more info on product giveaways, samples, demonstrations, and all info on reducing chemicals in your home! 

 

Join The Everyday With Baby Healthy Home Workshop FB Group HERE

I am looking forward to fully transitioning our home to zero waste using the items I have found (mentioned about) throughout the rest of the year!

everydaywithbaby.com

zero waste & non-toxic living

 

Income Report: Month ONE Reselling Online $900

Income Report Month One

How I made $900 my first month reselling online

In this blog post, I am going to share with you how I made $900 in my first month reselling online. I will go over the platforms I sold on, what sold, and what my plan moving forward will be. 

Recently, my husband and I have been looking for ways to make money via side hustles. We already have our own local business, but we have early retirement goals that I will be talking about in future blog posts. So finding ways to increase our income is one of our priorities. 

If you have ever spent any time researching ways to make money online you are probably familiar with tons of posts and YouTube videos all suggesting ways to make more money. Most of these ideas are actually useless or such an ordeal to get started with that it isn’t worth your time. 

So I was on a mission to find ways to make money online that ACTUALLY produced results in a relatively short time frame with little investment required upfront.  

In my search, I came across several videos about Amazon FBA. I learned about reselling books using amazon FBA. Don’t worry, this post isn’t all about Amazon. Keep reading.

I was interested in this concept so I started scanning my books to see if any of them would make me money if I sent them into Amazon. Sure enough, I had hundreds of dollars of potential profit sitting on my bookshelves in the form of books I was ready to part with. Interesting. 

So this led me down a rabbit trail that introduced me to multiple online resellers who share about reselling full time on platforms like eBay, Mercari, Poshmark, Tradesy, the real real, Amazon, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace. 

I was amazed. I couldn’t believe you could actually make a full-time income reselling online. Who knew that people buy items you can get from TJ Maxx online because they don’t live near a store? I didn’t. Who knew that you could buy items after they go on clearance from retail stores and then sell them on different platforms online for more than you paid at clearance? I didn’t. Who knew that you could find desirable brands at thrift stores and resell those items online for profit? I didn’t. 

I guess I had kind of seen little things here or there about how people did this, but I didn’t realize it was a full-time job for people. Every time I had tried to sell some of my personal items on online platforms I hadn’t had a lot of success so I just figured this wasn’t a good side hustle for me. After watching multiple videos on people who do this full time, I was convinced this was finally the perfect side hustle for me. 

I am a work from home mom with two kids under 3 years old. I cannot go get a part-time job somewhere, and even though I have plans to build different online businesses, we need money now…not 2 or 3 years from now. So I decided to test it out. 

Could I actually make money reselling online? 

After realizing I had potential profit sitting around on my bookshelves, I began noticing all the other items I had in my home that we were not really using that could bring in money. I started listing a few clothes, some textbooks, and some kitchen goods across a few different platforms. Originally, I wanted to know which selling platform was the best, now I realize you need to be cross-listing on as many of them as you have time to. This will ensure more consistent sales once you get enough listings posted. 

I started by listing items on eBay, Mercari, and Poshmark. So when you first list on eBay if you don’t already have an account you can only list 10 items. So I was only able to list a few things there. I also listed on Mercari and Poshmark. You can sign up for Mercari and Poshmark by using my link for a discount. 

Sign up for Mercari here to get a $10 Coupon to use on their platform. We both get a coupon when you sign-up through my link at no cost to you. 

Sign up for Poshmark here to get a $10 coupon to use on the platform when you use my link. We both get a coupon when you sign up using my link at no cost to you. Enter my code: VINTAGESTUDIES to get your $10 when you sign up for Poshmark. 

There is a learning curve for each platform, and I actually spent about 2-3 weeks not making any sales because I was trying to figure out how the platforms work.

I honestly felt like I was wasting my time, but I wanted to stay committed to trying this for 4 weeks past my first sale…but making that first sale felt like it would never come.

Across the platforms, it took anywhere from 2-3 weeks to make my first sale. 

Here is how each platform did over the next 4 weeks and what type of items sold:

EBay – $207.61

Now, keep in mind I could only list 10 items at a time and there are some fees not taken out of that amount, but that is the total eBay shows me. I ended up selling a textbook, a dress, and a ceramic kitchen canister from Anthropologie. 

This week I got an email saying I could have up to 20 listings on eBay, woohoo! Since you are restricted on listings, it would be hard to jump right in and make good money on eBay at first. You can request to list more and I might try requesting that in the coming months. I do think it’s worth cross-listing to eBay even if it’s only 10 items. 

At first, PayPal puts a hold on your funds but once they know you are a trusted seller you actually get access to your money in your PayPal account as soon as a sale is made. 

Mercari – $223.62

I listed mostly books, kitchen items, some clothes, and a few toys on Mercari. I found that books and kitchen items were my main sellers on Mercari. I did also sell a blazer. There are a few shipping fees that aren’t taken out of that amount, but it is mostly profit. 

I like how easy it is to just post and wait for sales on Mercari. You get paid 3 days after the buyer receives the item or sooner if your buyer rates your sale before the 3 days is up.

You can get the instant payment sent to a bank account, but there is a fee to do this. Otherwise, you get the money via direct deposit in around 5 business days depending on your bank. 

Sign up for Mercari here to get a $10 Coupon to use on their platform. We both get a coupon when you sign-up through my link at no cost to you. 

Poshmark – $464.06

I was able to get up to around 200+ listings on the app and I sold mostly clothes. I did also sell some kitchen canisters, but all my other sales were clothes on Poshmark. 

Poshmark is a completely different platform than other selling platforms. You have to spend a lot of time being active in the Poshmark app to grow your following and make sales.

This was annoying and I felt like I was wasting my time for the first 3 weeks before I started making sales. Now that I am making sales, I am willing to spend some time sharing my closet, following other closets, sharing other people’s items, and sending offers to people who like my listings.

Just be warned it is time-consuming, but worth it if you are looking to build a decent side hustle. 

Sign up for Poshmark here to get a $10 coupon to use on the platform when you use my link. We both get a coupon when you sign up using my link at no cost to you. Enter my code: VINTAGESTUDIES to get your $10 when you sign up for Poshmark. 

Once a buyer approves your item when they get it, you get access to your money and you can transfer it into your bank account within a day or two depending on your bank. I typically get my funds the next business day after I transfer it. 

All of these platforms make it realistic to get money relatively quickly if you know you will need some extra money. 

If you need money today or in the next few days, try selling on Facebook Marketplace. Be sure to accept only cash and don’t meet people alone. You can usually meet up in the parking lot of your local police department so call and ask them. Otherwise, pick a public place. Don’t ever give out your personal info. 

Where did I get the items I sold from? 

I highly recommend looking around your house and listing items you are ready to part with. You would be really surprised to see what kinds of things people buy online.

I would recommend starting with what you have at your home, then start learning about what kinds of items you could thrift and flip or retail arbitrage. 

I got a little excited and I actually went out and bought items to resell from a few different places. A local thrift store near me was having a $1 sale so I bought several items from them.

I also went to goodwill a few times to thrift, and I found some Rae Dunn items from TJMaxx to resell. We also got a few toys on clearance at Target that have started selling. 

Now, if I could start again, I would just start with listing items from my home. I have actually not even had a chance to send off all my books to amazon to sell them via Amazon FBA! I have that on my list for this next month. 

I couldn’t believe I had sold almost $1000 worth of stuff without really knowing what I was doing. I feel very confident that I can turn this into a full-time income and still get to be at home with my kids. 

That is why I am writing about this on my blog. 

Yes. You can make money blogging and I recommend doing it if you are interested in that…but when you need money sooner rather than later, starting a blog isn’t a good go-to.

 I feel confident in my test and I would recommend reselling online if you need to start making an income sooner rather than later. 

This side hustle is going to help us reach our retirement goals and help fund the other businesses we want to start.

I feel like anyone with a young family should have access to more of this type of information. You can make real money from home and you can grow it quickly. 

I’m excited to see how the next few months go! 

My goals moving forward: 

I am hooked. This works and I want to keep going. I also want to get approximately 1000 listings total. Some of them will be cross-listed to eBay and Mercari, but most of them will be on Poshmark. I actually have a few hundred items to get listed already.

We are cleaning out our closets and I am feeling more confident thrifting. For now, I don’t need to get any more items, I just need to get them listed. 

I also want to try cross-listing on Tradesy, the Real Real, and FB Marketplace for larger items we have at home to sell. 

I will do an update post after the next month is over to let you know how it went. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions. 

Get started with what you already have in your home.

Try to get around 200 listings to start with.

Take good photos. I am still working on finding a good photo setup at home. We just don’t have the space to get a big lightbox so I am trying some other things for now. 

 List items from different categories. List clothes, books, decor, kitchen goods, toys, etc. a variety will ensure you have more consistent sales.

Make sure everything is in good to excellent condition & be honest with item descriptions.

Also, watch other resellers videos on YouTube. 

Sign up for Mercari and Poshmark using my links and we both get coupons to shop on the platforms! So fun! 

Sign up for Mercari here to get a $10 Coupon to use on their platform. We both get a coupon when you sign-up through my link at no cost to you. 

Sign up for Poshmark here to get a $10 coupon to use on the platform when you use my link. We both get a coupon when you sign up using my link at no cost to you. Enter my code: VINTAGESTUDIES to get your $10 when you sign up for Poshmark. 

Let me know how you do! Put any questions in the comments below.

everydaywithbaby.com

Work From Home As A Mom: Self-Audit

Work from home as a mom
Work from home as a mom

As an entrepreneur and stay at home mom, I can tell you it is possible to work from home as a mom.

It isn’t always easy, organized, or as productive as I would like. It does, however, allow us to be together as a family as often as we would like.

It ebbs and flows, and there are awesome months and then some not so awesome months, but for the better part of 5+ years we (My husband and I) have been 100% self-employed and I have tested many of the “make money online” ideas out there. 

 

Here are some of the lessons I have learned over the past few years. 

 

1. Yes, you can make money with a blog 

 

Blogging is NOT dead. If you have spent any amount of time on Pinterest, or if you follow a lot of motherhood bloggers, then you have probably asked yourself if it is really possible to make money from a blog.

I was equally curious, so I tested it out by starting my own motherhood blog, the one you are reading right now, and I can confirm that: YES. You can make money with a blog.

How much money you make, especially at first, is very connected to the amount of content and the consistency of posting that you stick to.

For me, I was very consistent for about two months, and then I set up some “auto-pilot” pinning strategies to see if creating new content would matter or not. It does.

While I was able to send around 10,000 people to my NEW blog within the first month, once new pins and new posts weren’t being created, that traffic quickly dwindled, even though I had repeat pins going out regularly.

My Pinterest page went from 400K+ monthly viewers to around 14K monthly viewers. New content matters, even if your current content is evergreen and will always be relevant.

SO I am changing my approach this year, and after testing the waters, I do feel like spending my time building Everyday With Baby as a brand and blog is worthwhile.

We have created a plan for this website that we will be rolling out throughout the year to include, quality helpful content, digital goods, and even a store that I am so excited to share with you when the time comes! 

 

2. You really do just have to get started 

 

I am a “creative-type” and a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to putting stuff out into the world. Maybe you can relate?

I frequently wish it looked different because I am NOT a designer, and I ALWAYS wish I had more time to think through everything and develop my ideas more thoroughly before posting something.

However, I have learned that you really just have to get started.

You have to be willing to put things out into the world, even if they don’t feel perfect to you yet.

I used to cringe when people would say this. Now, I know it is just a fact.

You will improve and refine as you go. Don’t let your idea of what something should look like keep you from getting started.

If you get started, you will eventually get there as long as you don’t give up.  

 

3. Don’t listen to the opinions of people who have not done what you want to do & are not working towards similar goals

 

This is gold. If you take anything away from this post, please hear me when I say that the world is full of people who kill other people’s dreams with their “well-intentioned” advice.

Don’t be a casualty of someone else’s mindset issues and limited understanding.

Find people who are doing what you want to be doing and follow them.

Learn from them, and pay attention to what they are doing. 

 

4. Just keep showing up

 

As someone that has taken a bazillion online courses for business and social media over the past decade, I have seen people build brands from $0 to millions over the course of a few years by simply being willing to show up and put themselves out there.

As an observer, it has taken me a really long time to get comfortable with putting myself out there.

For example, I have had an online course that I created back in 2014 that I launched once and then took offline because I was terrified of putting myself out there…even though I got all amazing reviews from the first round of participants!

Doing things online is scary. Don’t let 2020 be another year that goes by with you in hiding! I know I won’t be.

We are putting it all out there this year. You should get your stuff out there as well!

 

5. Educate yourself

 

This is probably the MOST important piece after you decide you are going to make working from home as a mom your goal this year.

Find resources from people who have done it and use them.

They typically spent years figuring it all out and you want to short-cut your struggle.

For example, we are starting to gather resources to launch several product-based businesses this year in different niches and I wouldn’t even dream of trying to do that without finding someone who had already done it that I can learn from.

So my first step was to find that person!

I found Alison J. Prince’s 0-$100K program for building a product-based business and we are using that as a guide to navigate finding products, manufacturing, understanding shipping, and how we can be marketing our shops without having to rely on paying for ads.

 

 

I know that my time, especially as a mom, is so precious! I am not going to waste any of it trying to figure things out on my own. The best investments I have made have been in educating myself so we can spend more time doing things that work and less time trying to figure it all out.

If you have always wanted to start a product-based business, I highly recommend using the 0-$100K program as your launching pad for a great start! You can check it out here, and yes, I am an affiliate because I believe it will change your life. 

 

Working from home as a mom is more possible in 2020 than it ever has been before. You can monetize your interests, ideas, and life. 

What questions do you have when it comes to getting your work from home strategy in place? Let me know in the comments below!

Speak Soon!

everydaywithbaby.com

How to Start Seeds for Your Family Garden

Starting seeds for a family garden
Starting seeds for a family garden

Seed Starting 101

Starting seeds for your family garden will help you provide fresh herbs, vegetables, and perhaps even fruit for your family year-round.

Save money and have some fun by starting garden seeds indoors. 

Use these easy seed-starting tips to get you started growing your favorite vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Items Needed

*Containers: Anything that can hold soil will work. Use recycled containers or old pots and be sure to punch a drainage hole in the bottom if there isn’t one already.

You may also prefer to use the specific seed starting trays I use. You can find them here

*Tray: Anything water resistant and large enough to hold all the seed containers. I prefer using these trays and they work well to keep my seed starting trays moist.

*Soil: Planting mix that contains compost. I have also had good results just starting seeds in coco coir. I find it retains moisture levels more evenly than even seed starting mixes. However, once you have one to two sets of leaves on your baby plants you will want to add some fish emulsion and kelp fertilizer to the water to give your growing plants some nutrients while they get big enough to transplant into the garden.

Click here for the fish emulsion and kelp fertilizer I use with my plants. 

*Mister: Any spray plastic bottle will do. These less decorative misters are preferable for more frequent use.

*Pencil to make holes in the seed starting mix to place the seed in.

*A garden marker to write on your labels. Other types of markers will fade in the light.

*Plant labels to keep track of what you have growing.

Trust me, you will end up starting so many different varieties you will forget which is which. A durable label and a garden marker is a must for maintaining some order and efficiency with your family garden. 

*Vegetable, Herb and/or flower seeds.

I get my vegetable seeds from MIgardener. I get my flower seeds from Floret Flower Farm. I get my herb seeds from Strictly Medicinal Herbs. 

I have had good luck with the quality of seeds from each of these online retailers. 

Timing

Start garden seeds no sooner than 6 weeks before the last killing frost in your area. This will give seeds plenty of time to germinate and develop into plants that are ready to be transplanted.

You can look up the date of your last frost on this website.

Prepare Containers

Fill containers with planting soil and make sure the soil is moist but not dripping wet.

Use the pencil to make holes in the soil. In general, the size of the hole should be around the size of the longest length of the seed you are starting. for very small seeds, I prefer to just stir up the top of the soil, drop them on top, pat the soil delicately flat, and then sprinkle with sand to provide a thin layer to cover the seed.

This is how my great aunts, who were spectacular home gardeners, would start all their seeds. Although, they used cleaned out plastick containers from their previously purchased subway salads as seed starting trays. You really can use any type of container as long as you can keep an eye on it as your seeds start to grow. 

Gently pick up the garden seeds with tweezers or your fingers and place one seed in each hole. Gently cover seeds with soil and press down lightly.

Mist the soil surface and place containers on the tray and cover with a damp towel. Place a tray in a warm location, unless the directions on your seed packet say otherwise. Make sure you keep the tray covered with a humidity dome until you see the seeds starting to sprout. Once they sprout you will want to remove the dome.

If you are using grow lights, I suggest these.

You will want to keep them 2-3 inches above the tops of the plants as they grow. 

Continue to mist with water daily, making sure your seed mixture doesn’t dry out. If your seedlings get off to a bad start they may not grow properly even if they seem to recover. So make sure to keep them evenly watered and provide plenty of direct sunlight during these first 4-6 weeks while they are growing.

Transplanting

In a few weeks, you’ll have healthy garden plants that will be ready for transplanting, typically when the second set of leaves appears on the stem you can start preparing them for transplanting. If you are not able to get them in the garden right away then make sure you are for sure adding the fish and kelp fertilizers to your water so they are getting enough nutrients to grow properly,

Before putting the plants outside permanent you will want to harden them off. Getting them used to the new outside sunlight and weather conditions is important for the success of your little plants. 

A few days before you are going to transplant, set the seeds trays out in the sun for a few hours at a time. Be sure to bring them back inside each day. Each day leave them for a little longer until they are outside for a full day. Then you are ready to put them in the ground. 

When transplanting, gently lift the seedlings out with a spoon, getting as much of the planting soil with each seedling as you can and then put them in the ground where you would like them to grow.

Follow the plant spacing guide on your seed packets and always water the newly transplanted plant thoroughly after putting it in the ground. 

Have a plan for regular watering. If you live somewhere that gets hot at any time during your growing season you will want to pay special attention to how your plants are responding to your watering. 

The easiest thing to do would be to set a sprinkler or soaker hose on a timer and make sure it is positioned to hit all your plants. 

Hopefully, this helps you get your plants off to a good start! You will learn what works best for your family based on your location and the amount of time you have to work in your garden. These are just general tips and some lessons I have learned tinkering in my garden over the last few years. 

What are you growing in your family’s garden? Let me know in the comments below!

everydaywithbaby.com

How to Grow: Chamomile

How to grow chamomile
How to grow chamomile

Chamomile is one of the easiest herbs you can start growing in your family garden. It also has a variety of benefits and uses while being safe for the whole family to use. In this post, we will go over the simple steps to growing german chamomile at home. 

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

German Chamomile is a self-seeding annual that will come back each year if it is allowed to go to seed. For this reason, you may decide to let some of your plants go to seed instead of harvesting from all of them once they bloom. 

You can start growing chamomile indoors 4-6 weeks before your last frost date. If you don’t want to start your seeds inside, you can wait until after your last frost and sow them directly into your garden.

Simply scatter the chamomile seeds over the area you would like them to grow and keep evenly moist, not sopping wet, while you wait for the seeds to germinate. 

Germination for chamomile seeds is typically between 7-14 days. You do not want to cover the seeds with soil whether you start them indoors or scatter them outside. Just tamp them lightly into the soil and keep them moist. 

If you are wanting to start your seeds indoors, then I suggest reading my seed starting guide in this post. 

Click here to read the seed starting post. 

Once you have seeds that have started to grow, keep your new plants evenly watered. You want the soil to be moist but not too wet while your plants are getting larger and more established. 

Chamomile is actually fairly drought tolerant so you don’t want to overwater them. Once your plants are more established and have several sets of leaves you can back off on the watering and let the soil slightly dry out between waterings. 

Chamomile does not like rich soils. They grow better in poorer soils, which is another reason they are such an easy plant to start growing in your garden. 

If your soil is too poor it will produce limp, unhealthy looking plants and then you can simply just add some general organic garden fertilizer. 

I prefer using the Dr. Earth brand because it is pet and child safe. It is also OMRI listed for use in organic gardening, so you know you are not putting harmful chemicals into your garden. 

Anytime you are going to be growing plants for consumption or herbal use, I recommend using organic gardening practices. The best book on how to start and maintain an organic garden is Eliot Coleman’s, The New Organic Grower

If you started your seeds indoors you will want to wait to plant them outside until after your last frost date. 

Transplanting chamomile into your garden is very easy. There are more detailed instructions on transplanting your little plants from their seed trays in the seed starting post.  

Harvesting Chamomile for Use at Home

You can harvest chamomile as soon as you start to see flowers. Simply cut off the flowers and use them fresh or dry them to use for later. 

If you are wanting to have a year-round supply of chamomile to use for your family then I suggest drying what you grow as well as stocking up as you would with normal grocery items. You can get organic dried chamomile from US Wellness Naturals online here. 

I got over the benefits and uses of chamomile for the whole family in this post here. 

Look up your last frost date here

What herbs are you growing in your garden this year? Let me know in the comments below.

everydaywithbaby.com

The Best Herbs for Children: Chamomile

The Best Herbs for Children: Chamomile
The Best Herbs for Children: Chamomile

One of the best herbs for children to use is chamomile. The most widely used variety of chamomile is german chamomile. It is grown as a self-seeding annual and super easy to add to your home garden. 

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If you want to have dried chamomile on hand to use throughout the year I suggest this organic option from US Wellness Naturals

Not only is chamomile easy to stock up on, but it is also safe for the whole family to use. Just be sure no one has an allergy to plants in the Asteraceae family. 

The Benefits of Chamomile

Chamomile is nervine, which means it is healing to the nervous system. This soothing action can help calm stressed babies (or parents!) and makes a great addition to bedtime routines.

You can brew some chamomile tea to add to the baby’s bath (let it cool first) or you can give it as a drink before bed to your toddler.

Other benefits of chamomile include helping to support the body’s natural fever reducing processes, being anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and serving as a wonderful digestive aid.  

Chamomile does well in poorer soils, which makes it such an easy herb to grow for your family garden! It is a great herb to grow with kids as well. It has a beautifully subtle scent and it is so versatile you can use it for everything from making tea to creating your own herbal-based family skincare and herbal recipes. 

When it comes to incorporating herbs into your everyday life, chamomile is the best one to start with, in my opinion. 

How do you use chamomile for your family? Let me know in the comments below.

Breastfeeding Essentials: things you need to make breastfeeding easy

Breastfeeding Essentials: Things you need to make breastfeeding easy
Breastfeeding Essentials: Things you need to make breastfeeding easy

These seven tips helped me have an easier breastfeeding journey the second time around. Here are my breastfeeding essentials as well as the things you need to make breastfeeding easy.

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It is different with each baby you have and it is always a bit of an unknown adventure. However, there are things you can do to better prepare for whatever ends up happening in your breastfeeding journey. 

When I was pregnant with my first child, I spent so much time reading about pregnancy and preparing for birth and I  assumed breastfeeding would be a simple thing to do when the baby arrived. 

I was very wrong. 

Nursing my first child did not come easy and it ended up being a 13-month adventure with ups and downs until my supply eventually dried up.

Originally, I wanted to be able to nurse for two years, so I did ended this time feeling a bit like a failure. 

When we were preparing for our second child, my husband and I had conversations about what we wanted to do differently this time around.

The one thing I wanted to handle better was being more prepared for breastfeeding. 

There were several things I did wrong the first time that would have made the difficult experience of breastfeeding so much better. Here are the things I wish I had prepared for the first time around:

1. I was expecting to enjoy breastfeeding as this magical time of bonding between me and my new baby. 

You hear all sorts of comments about how it is such a special time and I was expecting to feel all warm and fuzzy as I started on my own breastfeeding experience. That is not how I felt. I actually did not like breastfeeding at all! 

Since I wasn’t expecting to feel this way I spent a lot of time feeling so guilty about loathing the breastfeeding process. I knew how important it was to breastfeed, but my attitude about having to do it was making me feel like I was a terrible mother for feeling that way. 

I wish I had realized how NORMAL what I was feeling was. 

It is OK to NOT like breastfeeding! It doesn’t mean you have to stop, that you are a bad mom, or that you aren’t bonding well with your child. If you planned on breastfeeding, keep going! It is OK not to like it. 

There is a great documentary on Netflix called, The Milky Way, about the importance of breastfeeding and I recommend watching that to prepare for your journey and to remind you of all the wonderful benefits of sticking with what you are doing when it gets hard. 

That is NOT to say that if you end up using formula or decide not to breastfeed, for whatever reason, that you are a bad mother. Don’t let anyone tell you that. Feel informed and empowered in the decisions you make for your family. 

There is an excellent formula comparison chart on the Organic Start website you can check out here if you are looking into the best formula options. 

We ended up having to supplement with my first baby when my supply started decreasing before he was ready to eat more solid foods.

If you are going to use formula, I highly recommend doing your research on the ingredients that are in them all. Unfortunately, they don’t always have the best ingredients. 

Generally speaking, European formula brands have higher ingredient standards for baby formula and they are produced with cleaner products. You can get those formulas at the Organic Start website. 

2. Having larger breasts made nursing more complicated because I swear it took three hands to hold everything in just the right position to breastfeed my baby. 

This meant I couldn’t do much else while I was nursing. I wish I had thought to prepare my space for that time so that I wasn’t going nuts just sitting there. 

The second time around I got a pair of wireless earbuds so I could listen to audible books or podcasts on my phone while I was nursing. 

3. FIND A COMFORTABLE CHAIR TO SIT IN WHILE NURSING! 

This is so important. 

The first time around we were trying to be minimalist about the big furniture we were purchasing for baby and I decided that a nursing chair was not necessary.

I had a comfortable bed I could sit in so I didn’t need to spend extra money on a nursing chair. This was the biggest decision I regretted. 

While my bed is super comfortable to sleep in, sitting up in it for hours a day hurt my back and helped contribute to incredibly painful hemorrhoids because of how I was sinking into the soft bed when I was sitting up. 

For my second baby, I got a large chair and a half-sized nursing chair so I could sit with my legs up on the chair and take some of the pressure off my tailbone while nursing. 

This had made a HUGE difference the second time around. It is also large enough to allow my toddler to sit with me while I feed his new baby brother. Everyone is happy!

4. If you are having ANY issues nursing do NOT hesitate to meet with a lactation consultant (or several!) until your issues are resolved. 

There are things that good lactation consultants are trained to look for that Doctors and Midwives are NOT trained to look for.  

When my second baby was born he would not latch after birth to nurse. The initial reaction from others is to say that it is just because of the size of my breasts or the shape of my nipples. 

I would have been sent home to struggle it out and maybe even eventually give up thinking I was a failure. 

Fortunately, my Midwife’s assistant was a trained lactation consultant and she checked his tongue instead of just blaming it on my breasts. She saw he had a tongue tie that she immediately corrected. 

He was able to nurse for 30min on each side at his next feeding less than 24 hours after birth. Your breasts are not defective mama!

Find someone that can help and don’t stop until you have a solution. My second son nurses like a dream and it has been SO different this time around because of it.

Ask your Doctor or Midwife about lactation resources in your area. You can also contact someone from the La Leche League for tips on breastfeeding and finding a lactation consultant. 

5. Prepare for breastfeeding by understanding what we know about it.

The two books I recommend reading are Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding and Michel Odent’s Birth & Breastfeeding book

You should also watch The Milky Way Documentary on Netflix or here if you don’t have a Netflix account

6. Don’t listen to what other people think about YOUR nursing journey with YOUR child. 

If you prefer pumping, then pump. If you have tried and tried and just cannot nurse for whatever reason, then find the best formula you can and fed your baby that. There is no shame in taking care of your child however you end up deciding to do that. 

7. Equip yourself for breastfeeding success. Here are some of my favorite breastfeeding aids:

I wish I had all of these items on hand so that if I needed them I could use them right away instead of having to order them and wait for them to arrive. 

Get a hands free pump or a regular pump.

The hands-free Willow Pump is on my wishlist and I currently use the Medela Pump in Style. You can check them out by clicking below but also check with your insurance to see if they cover the cost of a pump.

Even if you don’t plan to pump, having on hand to help with clogged ducts or emergencies is something to consider. 

Check out the hands free Willow pump

Check out the Medela Pump in Style pump

 
You may need organic nursing pads

Not everyone has issues with leaking, but you won’t know until your milk starts coming in. I was glad I had these on hand for the few times I ended up needing them. 

Get organic nursing pads

You may need a nipple shield

If your baby is having issues latching you may benefit from a nipple shield. It also helps with any soreness or bleeding that might occur when you are first nursing.

Get a nipple shield

This is NOT something you want to have to wait for or go out to the store to get if you think you need it. I suggest having it on hand before it comes time to nurse. 

You may want a bottle at the ready just in case you decide to pump a little or need to use a formula for some reason.

I have used a bottle and a pacifier from birth with both of my babies and neither of them ever had issues with nipple confusion.

Get the breastfeeding-friendly bottle we use: Como Tomo bottle

Get the breastfeeding-friendly pacifier we use: Eco Pacifier

It is my hope that you feel informed and empowered in your breastfeeding journey. Let me know what is working to make breastfeeding easy for you in the comments below. 

The Best Highchair

the-best-highchair-peg-perego-siesta
the best highchair
Short on time? Here is the bullet point summary:

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Why We Like The Peg Perego Siesta

 

When it came time to find a highchair I originally didn’t plan on getting one. I thought we would just get a walker and use that as a place for baby to eat off of a tray until they were older enough to sit at the table with us. I go into more detail about why that didn’t work in my post on baby products I regret buying and you can read it here

After I had purchased several baby products I came across the Peg Perego Siesta Highchair and I instantly wished I had waited and just got this!

It has all of the functionality that I have found in the other products, but it also fits with our feeding needs and everything was in ONE baby item.

I try to keep a more minimalist approach to the number of baby gear items we have so I was looking for something with multiple uses. 

We decided to get it as soon as I could and we absolutely love it. 

 

I like that the seat has several different reclining positions so that the baby fits in it from birth. I prefer this to a swing or baby bouncer because of how high up the baby can be. It makes it so much easier to be handsfree when I need to be and still be able to interact with the baby without constantly bending over.

This makes working in the kitchen particularly easier since the baby can be at counter height. 

 

A must-have feature for us was that the highchair had wheels. The Peg Perego Siesta has wheels and we are able to push it from room to room as needed throughout the day.

I do wish that the front two wheels were not stationary because it would be easier to push, but if you pull it from the back it does well maneuvering around the house. 

 

It has multiple height levels so that you can have the same benefits of having a baby bouncer when you remove the tray. 

The materials are of high quality and do not get dingy looking or dirty over time. The seat material cleans up and looks like new even though we have had ours for almost two years. 

You can also remove the straps and wash them. We did have issues getting the straps off initially. I was afraid of stripping the screws that connect them to the chair in the back, but we eventually got them off and were able to wash them.

I do wish this had been a little easier to do, but it isn’t something we have to do very often, so it is worth it to make it look like new when they do get dirty. 

Final Thoughts

The final things that I really love about this chair are that it folds up to store or travel easily. We have taken our Peg Perego Siesta Highchair on multiple road trips and when we are visiting family. It makes caring for the baby when we aren’t at home more comfortable for everyone. 

 

My favorite spot in the car to put the folded highchair is standing up behind the passenger’s seat and the car seat in the second row. It leaves the trunk open for more storage space on trips. 

We do not take this highchair anywhere we have to take a plane. When we traveled internationally last year with the baby we simply bought an inexpensive Ikea highchair after we got to our destination. Since we were renting a car, we were able to take it apart and have it with us as we traveled throughout Norway. We left the Ikea highchair with friends to donate it when we left. It was so worth the $20-ish we spent on it be able to use it during the trip! You can check out the post about that trip here. 

Ikea highchair? Which highchairs are your family’s favorites? Let me know in the comments below! 

Traveling Internationally with Baby

traveling internationally with baby

Last year was our first time traveling internationally  with baby to visit friends in Norway. We had such an amazing time!

Since baby was around 16 months, we decided to focus this trip on spending time with friends and seeing a few things in each city.

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It was a good thing we didn’t have a ton of outdoor excursions planned because it rained every day we were there.

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Despite the rain, it was still gorgeous and we loved being able to drive all over the country.  We spent time doing indoor things like seeing the art museums in Bergen, hanging out with friends at their cabin by the ocean, and seeing so much of the country via road trip.

Lifesavers for Travel

There are a few things that made our first international trip with baby a breeze:

guava lotus travel crib1. We brought his bed with us.

He has used the Guava Lotus Travel Crib  since he was born. For the first 6 months he was in the bassinet version of the crib and then when he grew out of that we transitioned it into the full size travel crib version.

He sleeps so well in it that we decided to use it as his everyday bed. We also knew we would be traveling a lot and I thought it might make traveling easier if he was able to have the bed he normally sleeps in with us.

I was right! He did great! This bed works excellent as a travel crib or as a full-time crib. It is super easy to move and it packs up into a small backpack for easy carry on baggage.

2. Most airlines don’t charge you extra for baby related carry-ons.

Make sure you ask about that at the counter when you are checking in your luggage. Make sure they know your bags are baby related bags (diaper bags, baby gear, etc).

3. On the plane we made sure we had a few toys that kept him occupied, a bottle and extra water to make sure he could drink something while we were descending to land.

It is so important to have snacks and something for them to drink when the cabin pressure is changing because it helps their ears adjust without causing them to scream the whole time.

Much like chewing gum or yawning can help adults deal with the pressure change.

4. We allow screen time on plane rides and for travel in general.

There are other people that have paid to be on the flights and I am not going to subject them to unnecessary disturbances when there are so many educational shows that would keep baby occupied.

It also allowed us to pack lighter, which is a must when traveling with kids. 

5. Research ahead of time what food options they have for baby in the country you are going.

I brought a whole suitcase of snacks and food that our son was used to eating and when we went to the grocery store there they had snacks and food from brands we already use and love.

So I could have saved us the extra bag by just checking before we went. We love the formula and snack brands from Organic Start, you can check them out here!  Since these are European brands, they had them at the grocery stores in Norway.

6. We knew because of his age having a high chair would be convenient for eating at the different homes we were staying at so we decided to wait until we got there and purchase a cheap one from IKEA.

It was great! It packs down to move easily and we were able to leave it with friends to donate somewhere when we left. Totally worth the $20 we spent to be able to use it for two weeks.

I would suggest researching stores that might have some affordable baby items that you can just pick up in country that way you don’t have to pack them all with you.

7. You can watch our trip video on our YouTube channel.

We didn’t get a lot of the camera shots we would have liked to because of the weather, but we had such a fun time seeing everyone and this beautiful country!

Norway is a place we will travel again with the kids, it was such a beautiful country!

What are your international travel tips for baby? Where are you traveling to with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!

Speak soon,