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Protein for Morning Sickness

I’m almost in my third trimester with Baby 3, and this pregnancy is flying by! This time around, some things are easier because I have a base of knowledge about my body, I have a midwife I adore, etc. But, other things are just as hard: fatigue, nausea, intense back pain.  The good news is that at least now I have some strategies.

With V, I threw up until 37 weeks of pregnancy (thanks to acid reflux from new, unbeknownst-at-that-point lactose intolerance). With E, throwing up wrapped up at 16 weeks. This time, things were mostly settled by 16 weeks, but certain smells will still set me off and I cannot drink plain water without intense reflux or vomiting (same held true with the other two pregnancies as well).

So, what is a natural-minded pregnant lady supposed to do to combat these icky (but for a lovely reason) feelings? Eat protein! Every single time you start to feel nausea, eat something with protein in it. Crackers and carbs are for the birds. I followed the not-so-helpful Saltine advice in my first pregnancy. But, for babies two and three, I knew about the benefit of protein. If you are like me, the idea of protein meat might sound just horrible for a couple of months in there, but there are other options. Instead, try: Read more…


Give Clothes New Spunk with Layered Patches

I recently read my first-ever copy of Taproot Magazine, Issue 11: Mend, and was charmed by pictures of clothing patches in an article that made such a thing seem attractive and doable through layering fabric. I embraced the moment and grabbed some vintage fabric from my scrap box, thread and needle, and a pair of high-quality hand-me-down jeans that V (age 3.5) had deemed, “not very good, mama” and “only good for paint pants” because of a hole in the knee. In 3o minutes, I cut and hand-sewed two pieces of fabric together to create a whimsical layered patch and then sewed that onto the pants. I used a no-fuss whip stich and didn’t obsess over the details. Patches are about whimsy, right?    Hole and Patch Prep

The second patch took only a few minutes more now that I had my technique down. Best of all, because I didn’t have to mess with the sewing machine, I could take my project from dining room to back porch as the kids played nearby.Patch Pants Complete

The verdict? I think they look great, and V put them on right away and showed off his fancy pants all afternoon. With an adjustable waist and long length in these jeans plus a little brother who loves when big brother has outgrown something and it becomes his, hopefully we’ll still get years to come out of these pants, all because of a few scraps of fabric.

Patch Title


Cork Flooring Review – 1.5 Years Later

It is hard to believe that we finished our basement remodel almost a year-and-a-half ago! We hemmed and hawed over many decisions, but picking eco-friendly flooring was especially difficult for us. Ultimately, we picked USFloors/Natural Cork.  We went with their Greenguard Certified Almada line, which is click-together planks (so it needs no off-gassing glues to install it). Not only is it made in the USA, but they use solar at their facilities. Win, win, win!

Though our contractors had never used it before, they installed it easily over an underlayment of  QuietWalk Floating Floor Pad. They put double layers of the underlayment in places where our floor wasn’t completely flat.

It turned  out beautifully! But, would it endure? Would it work as well as it looks?


Almada Cork Floor in Basement

Almada Cork in Marcas-Areia

The answer, thus far, is yes! Here’s the rundown on our observations:

    • It is naturally warm under our feet and has a bit of bounce, which is great for my back issues. Even in the winter, I could walk on it with bare feet comfortably.
    • Our basement has moisture in the air (which a dehumidifier takes care of) and this low-level of humidity has had no negative impact.
    • It hides dirt very well, but is cleaned easily with sweeping when needed.  We’ve used a variety of green cleaners on it without issue (vinegar and water; diluted Murphy’s Oil Soap; or all-purpose cleaner with borax and castille soap)
    • The only thing that has damaged it was dropping a 50 pound table top. The corner of the table knocked out a small chunk of cork. (I suspect tile or cement would’ve cracked or chipped in same this situation.) The divet hasn’t grown since it happened (which was shortly after installation…boo). Though we haven’t yet replaced the damaged plank, our contractors replaced a defective plank for us with relative ease.
    • The kids drag baskets, push baby stollers, ride rocking horses, and propel themselves on ride-ons without issue. Almada is a higher-end cork floor, but we learned that cork is a product where you get what you pay for. The additional layers of protective coating on this brand are worth it!
    • We have one small section of mild buckling , but this is probably due to the nature of our uneven floor rather than the product. The cork deals with the slight unevenness fabulously. It isn’t visible, just a small rock when I step on a particular intersection of planks. This is like a squeaky spot on a hardwood floor, except this doesn’t squeak.
    • The color is holding true. We’d read that one concern with cork is that it fades. We don’t have much direct sunlight in the basement, so this is something I’ll not really be able to test down there. That said, we have leftovers from our basement project, and we plan to re-floor our kitchen with it down the road, and we do have a sunny kitchen.

Almada Cork Floor in Basement

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The Paper-Towel-Free Kitchen

Some people call them unpaper towels; some people buy cute ones on Etsy. Some people ditch the paper ones because of cost; some people are convicted about the environmental impact of production, bleaching, shipping, or a lifetime in a landfill. Me? I offloaded paper towels years ago because of cost and environmental impact. As for what I call them, the unglamorous term rags comes to mind. But, really we call them kitchen cloths (to distinguish from the different colored ones we use to clean the bathroom or yet another set we use as diaper wipes). Our are free, because we made them from old, holey cotton t-shirts. If the old fabric doesn’t absorb because of years of being washed with detergent (this is called repelling), you can boil it to strip it and make it absorbent again. We love that these are free, no-sew, last for years, and then are compostable when done (or at least trashed without guilt). $0 for 5+ years of use is pretty awesome in my book! (I don’t count in laundry costs because we have to wash our kitchen towels and kids’ bibs anyway.)  So, how do you cut a shirt into rags? You certainly can just go at it with scissors any way you’d like, but here is how we do it:
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