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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

From Keeper to Angelpadz in 13 Years

The following is a guest post from Juliet of Twisting Vines

Michelle's Keeper

Keeper (Photo credit: Zane Selvans)

I first came across reusable menstrual products somewhere around 2000, as a very broke post-grad student. Financially and environmentally it seemed like a good option, and I bought myself a Keeper (then the only menstrual cup I could find online, and as I recall, I had to get one shipped to the UK from Canada!).

I was an immediate convert. It was more comfortable than tampons, knocked a fiver off my monthly budget (a big deal for me at the time), and meant no more guilt about shoals of white cotton and blue string bobbing around merrily in the ocean.

The Keeper went missing some five years later and was replaced by a Mooncup. By this time they were becoming slightly better known – I was seeing Mooncup stickers on toilet doors at the Glastonbury Festival every year, but still had to buy online, from the UK this time.

Five more years passed and the dog ate my Mooncup (yes, really…), by which time I was able to buy a replacement one in a bricks-and-mortar shop, as they have become standard stock at the high street chemist Boots. The times, they are a’changing.

Then I fell pregnant, and didn’t need to use any sanitary protection at all for nine months, plus the six months of exclusive breastfeeding before my period came back (I was very annoyed; the return of my period when my baby was still feeding every 60-90 minutes day and night felt a little harsh). Out came my trusty Mooncup — only to find that, surprisingly enough, childbirth can do things to your nether regions. Read the rest of this entry »

Cloth All the Way…

The following is a guest post from Julia at A Little Bit of All of It…

I have always enjoyed reading Kelly’s posts each Earth Day on our monthly cycles as well as her thoughts and experiences with using resusable menstrual products. I have wanted to try out cloth pads for quite a long time and finally took the plunge after the birth of my son and used cloth for my postpartum period.

Moms Crafts 4 U

Moms Crafts 4 U

I tried 2 different companies, both run by WAHM’s: Moms Crafts 4 U and Domino Pads. I had heard good things about both companies. Moms Crafts 4 U had a great price point that was perfect for my budget so I mostly bought from them. I wasn’t entirely sure what to order so I asked around and then relied on Moms Crafts 4 U recommendations (based on washing every 2 days or so). They are:

Once it slows down a bit…

For me, I ended up getting:

From Moms Crafts 4 U:

  • (6) 8″ Regular (3 cotton, 3 flannel)
  • (3) 8″ Heavy (2 cotton, 1 flannel)
  • (3) 10″ Heavy (1 cotton, 2 flannel)

From Domino Pads:

I was basing this on the fact I am petite and these sizes all worked really well for me. The X-Heavy Long was more than big enough for nighttime for me, but Domino Pads carries a bigger one called “The Quince” that is 15″ long that you may want to consider as well. To be honest, I am a visual person so I went and measured the disposable pads that I had on hand at the time to see what size I was used to using and knew was a good length to also make my determinations. This is how I knew the longest I needed was the X-Heavy Long which is a 13″ pad. (You could also measure inside your underwear to see how long the pad will be to determine how long you think you’ll need.) Read the rest of this entry »

My Journey to Cloth Pads

The following is a guest post from Lyndsay of ourfeministplayschool

Basket of various cloth menstrual pads

Basket of various cloth menstrual pads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m so happy to be sharing information about the resources I use during my period! Much like the realities of childbirth and parenting, menstruation is often left for us to figure out as we wade through a media-inspired version of what our bodies should be doing and how we should be handling it.

I was 10 years old when I got my first period, starting out with the pile of maxi-pads my mother offered me, and by 13 I was using the run-of-the mill bleached cotton tampons.

I don’t regret this, or even dwell on it. I know now that it wasn’t the best thing for my body, especially for my vagina and other reproductive parts, but we need to be gentle with our journey towards embracing a natural lifestyle. I, like so many other women, did what I knew.

When I was 24, while completing my graduate studies, I made a lifestyle switch from vegetarian to vegan. This change to my diet inspired me to take stock of my whole being, and the ways that choices I was making were impacting the environment. Of course, I had known for some time that my use of tampons on a monthly basis was leaving an eco-footprint that I wasn’t entirely proud of. It was obvious, by making different choices around my period, I could add to the environmental contributions that I hoped I was making with my vegan diet.

It was then that I switched to Natracare tampons – these were both better for me and better for the environment. Given that this was 11 years ago, it was a little more difficult to get my hands on these and they were double the price of what I had been paying. Despite these obstacles, I knew that my body and the environment were worth the sacrifice I needed to make to ‘green’ my period.

Only two years into my eco approach to my menstruation, I experienced an extended period of amenorrhea. I checked in with my doctor and he wasn’t worried about the absence of my period, reassuring me that it was just a side effect of training for long distance running. I was 29 before my period returned, and it was at the point that I decided to try a menstrual cup. Read the rest of this entry »

What Are Reusable Menstrual Products REALLY Like?

The following is a guest post from Kymberlee of Our Crazy Corner of the World.

I’ve been in the ranks of menstruating females for about 14 years, but I’ve only been aware of the world of reusable menstrual products for about four years, and using them for about three. It took awhile to get on board, for several reasons.

I was already using cloth diapers for my son, but for some reason the poop and pee of my own offspring didn’t seem as bad as dealing with my *own* blood. I don’t like blood. It makes me nauseated. But, ultimately the desire to be frugal won out so I dived in head first with a few cloth panty-liners and a Diva Cup. And anxiously awaited for my cycle to start. Then I was hooked. As you can see from the picture, I’ve got quite the little stash. My favorite, FAVORITE pads are handmade by a wonderful lady in San Antonio, Texas. Her company is Domino Pads.

Photo Credit: Author

Photo Credit: Author

Mama Cloth: Domino Pads and AprilM Designs. Diva Cup and zebra print wetbag (made for me by a friend). Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. Moon Time by Lucy Pearce

When I share that I’m a fan of reusable menstrual products like cloth pads or cups, I’m immediately met with lots of questions. I love the questions! I appreciate that people feel comfortable enough to ask me about these things, and I love sharing what I’ve learned.

So when Kelly asked me to guest post, I immediately decided to do a question and answer type session. So I asked a few girlfriends who were considering making the switch to ask me whatever they could think of! We had a pretty fun Facebook chat about the whole thing one afternoon. Hopefully the questions and answers will help you make the decision about what’s right for you!

A few things to know about mama cloth and menstrual cups: Read the rest of this entry »

Making More Than Dinner

Guest Post contributed by Amber Beam, author of Weeknight Paleo: 9 Weeks of Quick & Easy Gluten-Free Meals

Photo credit: Dinner Series

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little impatient. I’m that person who’s always monitoring the clock, tapping her foot in the elevator, and wondering how in the world the lady in front of me in the supermarket checkout line is still writing checks! It’s by far my greatest area for improvement (that’s a PC way to say weakness).

Impatience isn’t always a bad though! I have learned and flawlessly execute some amazing time saving strategies in the kitchen. I love reinventing leftovers and beating the clock to get quick and easy recipes on the table in under 30 minutes.

But I’ve noticed this hurried pace often follows with a quick inhaling of my culinary masterpiece and lots of TV watching. So I’m striving to change that. In fact, here are a few ways I plan to make more than dinner.

First, dine with friends. I plan to have dinner at least once a week with company. As soon as I hear the word company (guests, for those who might not speak southern American English), I think pull out the steaks. But I’ve found it doesn’t have to be a fancy meal to be fun. In fact, I tend to serve casual food because it sets the stage for a relaxed meal, and really who can be pretentious holding a burger? Instead of focusing on fine dining, the evening will center on great conversation, making eating an experience rather than the first stage of digestion. Read the rest of this entry »

Moon Time – Taking Our Understanding of Our Cycles Beyond School Biology Class!

The following is a guest post from Lucy H. Pearce, author of Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle.

What did you learn about your cycles in school science classes?

Were you told about the spiritual and intuitive gifts of menstruation? How to weave your work and creativity around them? Did you learn how to care for yourself during your bleeding? Or what about the four archetypal parts of the cycle?

No? Me neither!

That is why I set out to write my book:  Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycl. It is for you, and me, and our sisters and daughters. To fill in the gaps that school and our mothers never taught us. Because when we understand what is happening inside our bodies, we can learn how to live our lives in harmony with them, rather than fighting or ignoring our biology. This leads to a decrease in PMS, heightened intuitive powers and a deeper connection to our own innate creativity.

Our cycles ensure that we do not live static lives. Instead, they demand that we live dynamically, constantly exploring the different gifts of feminine power. Part of learning the art of being a woman is learning to honour each element of our cycles and ourselves.

Through our cycles our bodies regenerate their life-giving ability. During our moon time we dive into our depths, mining gems of intuitive wisdom. And in the mid-part of our cycles we are gifted with the energy to bring these forth – to birth our gifts, our children and our creations into the world.

Our cycles have four major phases, which can be interpreted as corresponding to the four main female archetypes (or energy patterns) and stages of life.

The Virgin/Maiden Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Parenting a Child With Special Medical Needs

Welcome to the March 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With Special Needs

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how we parent despite and because of challenges thrown our way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

It is a huge honour to have Jorje from Momma Jorje guest posting here for this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting. Please make sure to stop by and check out her blog and Facebook page if you’re not a fan already!

We were very lucky in that we got advanced notice that we would be having a child with special needs. We received Spencer’s Down syndrome diagnosis about mid-pregnancy. I kind of saw this as having a new hobby thrust upon me.

Spencer's TherapySpencer’s first therapy started with something
as simple as putting a toy in his hands.

I don’t mean to make light of the situation, trust me. However, I now had a new passion to research. Isn’t that what you do with a new hobby? Then I came up with a plan to manage his care. I put together a notebook with tabs for all the different types of problems he might have, so we could avoid overlooking anything. I added paper to each section and jotted down which tests he needed to have and when.

I’d been told that babies with Down syndrome don’t really require much special assistance for the first 6 months. That isn’t entirely true. Aside from low muscle tone (which is very common, but Spencer does not have), babies with Down syndrome tend to have small mouths. The reason this is a problem is that their tongues are not so small. They tend to thrust them forward and out. So far, Spencer doesn’t do this too much, but he did need to work with a Speech Therapist when we were in the hospital. What? Speech? Yes, because they work with the mouth, not just speaking. It is hard to eat if you continuously push the food out of your mouth, ya know?

Spencer's Hearing Test in NICUSpencer had his hearing tested in the hospital and again shortly after leaving. He’ll be tested again at 6 months old and then annually throughout childhood.

Spencer has required several extra medical appointments by comparison to “typical” children. (At 2 months old, he has already seen a pediatrician several times, a cardiologist, an audiologist, and has had 2 x-rays done, soon to be another. He also has blood-work to be drawn soon.) I had originally thought I’d purchase a Day Timer or other such calendar book, though I really love my Google Calendar. As a minimalist and being broke, I put off the purchase and never did get to it. Instead, I now print a month or two ahead (from my Google calendar!) and keep it in his notebook. This makes it easier to book follow-up appointments while I’m on site without the risk of double booking. You do, however, have to make sure to keep all calendars synced. I have to come home and immediately add appointments to my online calendar.

My quick tips, from my minimal experience parenting a child with special medical needs: Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways to Breathe Easier Indoors This Winter

English: Spacious Living room with gas firepla...

Image via Wikipedia

I am pleased to publish a guest post today from Jakob Barry with information on avoiding a polluted air supply in your home over the winter months. I know I always keep meaning to get more plants to help keep our air fresher!

I’m grateful to have these tips as well…

With winter here and most of our time being spent indoors there’s something we should be extra careful about when it comes to our families. It’s called the state of our indoor air.

Think about it. During the cooler months the arctic air can be so paralyzing we rarely open the windows and let the breeze just blow through our homes. The air becomes stale and tainted with undesirable particles which end up constantly circulating through our living spaces.

Depending on the region you live in and how long the winter lasts, the cycle of inhaling contaminated air could lead to various types of sicknesses and respiratory problems. At the very least it can make us feel pretty lethargic.

That’s why in order to help everyone breathe a little easier over the next few months, some preventative measures should be taken to avoid a polluted air supply. Here are a few things to watch out for and tips worth considering: Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Posts!


Image via Wikipedia

I am so honored to be guest posting at two wonderful blogs today:

TouchstoneZ and Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources

Zoie from TouchstoneZ is one of my most favorite bloggers (and mamas!) and I was happy to share a post on her site about Mindfulness Through Story, or what it means to me to become more aware through mindfulness and how I am best able to achieve that.

“Cultures and religions throughout the ages have relied on the power of story to convey understanding. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed – they all taught through story (or parables, as some would call them). And these 3 are not the exception to the rule – pretty much every group of people out there in the world that you can find are just about bursting at the seams with story.

Story is a hugely important theme in my life – sharing our stories, learning from others - it is why I’ve loved reading so long, and it is why I blog.

I hope you get the chance to stop by TouchstoneZ to check out my post, and while you’re there be sure to look around – you won’t be disappointed! Read the rest of this entry »

How to Become Crunchy

A stereotypical caricature of a pirate.

Amanda Metro

This guest post is written by Amanda Metro.

Amanda is a pirate who spends way too much time cleaning her gun. She enjoys whistle blowing, eye patch making, and relatively short walks on the beach (however long it takes to get to the boat). She has been pirating for the past 16 years and hopes to do it for the foreseeable future.

OK, OK, that’s not real. Here’s the real one.

Amanda mothers two beautifully intelligent girls who are 15 months apart and never cease to keep life interesting. She loves to garden, cook, sew and research everything green. Since the birth of her first daughter, she has been systematically growing greener and has no plans to stop any time soon. She is a volunteer for Natural Parents Network as an articles editor and social media moderator. She writes about as many different things as she can think of at Let’s Take the Metro.

How to Become Crunchy

First and foremost, you need to have teeth. If you don’t have teeth, invest in a good quality set of dentures. These will be useful to you.

Second, you should probably get a llama. Also a goat and a couple of chickens. What’s that? You live in an apartment in NYC? Hey, a llama can fit in an elevator. Relax. Read the rest of this entry »

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