January 2018 / Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog

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Welcome

What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and those "aha!" moments. All with a hint of sarcasm, a dash of truth and bold European wit. Thanks for following along!

NEWSLETTER

1.22.2018

5 Months Pregnant, The Flu & A Toddler :: How I'm Handling It


It's been quite the week in our neck of the woods. Felix caught the flu and it hit him hard last Thursday. We spent last weekend dealing with a fever, phlegmy coughs and lots of crying paired with constant snuggles and medicine. Right when I thought we were headed out of the woods, the flu hit me and it came at me like a wrecking ball!

I didn't have fever, but I had the most terrible sinus and headache pains accompanied by burning watery eyes, a very runny nose and a ton of sneezing. Because I'm pregnant, that means no strong medicine which was nothing short of a nightmare. I spent this entire past week walking around my house looking like a zombie trying to take care my sick toddler. It was rough.

I hope we're finally coming out of this -- Felix seems to be feeling much better and coughing less which is great. I'm still sick, but no longer feel like I am dying which I'll take as another win. It was a brutal 10 days of looming illness that seems to want a linger a bit longer, but hopefully the worst is behind us.

I thought I'd take a moment to write about what we tried, what helped, and what didn't when it came to trying get better because I tried almost everything that I could think of and I even appealed to social media for advice on natural remedies.

*Also, can I just do a quick shoutout to my amazing husband, who was also sick this week. He's a full time nursing student, but he managed to pick up the slack around the house and let me rest in addition to working 40 hours and being a studious student. Florin, you're the REAL m.v.p. in this story. We couldn't have gotten through this without you -- you're a real life superman. 

Here are some things that we tried --
  • constantly sipping on tea with lemon slices and honey
  • humidifier in the room
  • diffusing essential oils 
  • halls vitamin c drops
  • shots of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every 3 hours
  • elderberry syrup
  • eating chicken noodle soup 
  • sniffing medicated nasal stick
  • Vick's Vapor Rub and VapoSteam
  • etc.

What Helped Felix :: in addition to having the flu and a phlegmy cough, the little guy was also teething which seemed to make his symptoms ten times worse. Luckily, he was able to take children's Tylenol to keep the fever down because he was seriously miserable. His cough on the other hand was almost unmanageable until I started giving him Nature's Way Sambucus Immune Elderberry Syrup -- and can I just say, this was a lifesaver. Every time I felt like he was going into a coughing spell, one spoon of this stuff and he was fine within the next few minutes.

Another thing that I noticed make a different is placing Vick's Vapor Rub on his feet in addition to his chest and back at bedtime. It seemed to really calm him and then keep him asleep once he went to bed. I kept a cool mist humidifier running at night to help soften his airways and placed a few drops of VapoSteam in the water to help and he looked like he was breathing better when I went to check up on him. 

Besides all the health stuff, lots of snuggles and cuddles seemed to make Felix the happiest during these miserable sick days. He really just wanted to be next to mom and dad every second of the day.

What Helped Mama :: I tried everything and there were a few things that helped me. After the success I had with the Immune Elderberry Syrup, I sent my husband to buy some more. He came back with Nature Valley's Sambucus Original Elderberry Syrup -- to which I took 2 tablespoons 3 times daily. The next day I woke up feeling a lot better than I had been feeling all week, so because of that Elderberry Syrup has become a staple in our home.

I also boiled a big pot of water and once steaming hot, I placed the water in a large bowl, took a towel  and put it over my head and then placed my nose over the steam -- I did this for 30 minutes and it really softened my super dry nose.

I diffused a congestion essential oil blend that consisted of three drops of peppermint, two drops of eucalyptus, two drops of tea tree and one drop of lemon. This helped the house smell clean and fresh while we were all suffering -- and that gave my momma mind a bit of solace. I'm not sure it really helped my congestion because at one point, I couldn't smell anything, but I was happy knowing that the people who still had their sense of smell, like my husband, said the house smelled fresh.

I also really chugged tea mixed in with lemon slices and honey, ate oranges and everything that I had in my home that consisted of Vitamin C because that's what I normally do when I am sick. When I finally felt good enough to stand for more than a few minutes, I made a chicken noodle soup that I ate with spicy peppers and that helped clear some of my sinuses temporarily.


What Didn't Work For Us :: Before the miraculous syrup find, I tried shots of raw apple cider vinegar that a few moms mentioned helped them while they were sick and pregnant -- I did this for about a day and a half. Besides giving short temporarily sinus relief, it didn't work for me; instead, I found that the shots ended up just giving me a super sore throat something which I didn't really have before.

I used Vick's Vapor Rub daily and nightly on my chest and didn't really see the difference in my sinus congestion like I did in Felix. I did notice that the VapoSteam irritated my nose because every time I placed it in the humidifier, I woke up to blowing my nose and seeing traces of blood on the napkin. Once Felix seemed to be breathing better, I just placed water in the humidifier and the irritation stopped.

I also opted to use a medicated nasal stick which ended up also clearing up my sinuses, but I feel like those things also irritate my nose, so I didn't use it for long. What's the point of being able to breathe if it hurts when you do? It's not worth it in my opinion.

& that's how I'm currently handling it ladies and gentlemen. I'm still slightly congested and Felix's nose is still super runny, but we aren't feeling like death is knocking at our door anymore! We're at a much better place than where we were at before and we're gonna count that as a win!

Have you gotten the flu this season? I hope not, but if you have, what have been your go to "get better" remedies for these awful sick days? Let me know in the comments! 
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1.15.2018

6 Products That Are Helping Me Prepare For Baby No. Two



May 2018 is only a few short months away and I'm trying to amass a few products that will help me to transition from having one child to having a toddler and a newborn under the same roof at the same time.

AGH, to be completely honest, I'm a bit nervous about this transition. We're going from a family of three to a family of four and my mind feels like it's spinning at the thought. Don't get me wrong,  I'm a so excited to have another little one and for Felix to have a sibling, but I'm also freaking out at the thought of being solely responsible for keeping two little humans alive -- especially with Felix starting to climb on the things he shouldn't.

Because of these worries, I've done a bit of reading and research, and these products are putting my mind at ease a bit because of their practicality -- I've heard nothing but great things about them. I'm so excited to share them with you!

I thought I'd go about this by share what I've gathered thus far and then do a "I've put them to the test" type of post, once baby is born and we've settled in at home using all the products. I'm also thinking of doing a nursery reveal type of post too because one product on this list will be going in the nursery.

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So, let's get started --

NO. 1 :: DOCKATOT 
Ever since I've had Felix, I regret not getting this product because I feel like every mom has one and they rave non-stop about how amazing their little one sleeps in it. Luckily, Felix was a great sleeper right off the bat, but I wish I had this to let him sleep in during the day because I wouldn't have had to surround him with pillows when he was in the middle of our bed. I feel like I'll worry less about the baby sleeping because it's sturdy, yet soft. I'm so excited to see the little one napping sweetly in this! SHOP THIS PRODUCT HERE. ] 




PRODUCT NO. 2 :: TOTESAVVY
If I've I had to tell you what I thought was the most helpful piece of advice someone has given me about making the transition from one child to two easier, it'd be this -- one mom told me not to travel heavy. She said to have essentials like diapers, wipes, changing pads, etc for both children already stored in the car, so when leaving your home, you're not overwhelmed with getting everything ready That's where the ToteSavvy comes in. This product is meant to be placed in an oversized bag that you already own, but because it has so many accessible pockets and handles, I think I'll leave it as is and place it in the basket of my stroller when I'm out with the littles. I'm a mom that likes to be overly prepared, so just the thought of having this lets me sigh in relief.  [ SHOP THIS PRODUCT HERE ]




NO. 3 :: OLLIE WORLD SWADDLE
This is another product I am super stoked about! When Felix was a newborn, no matter how tight I swaddled him, he always managed to get loose. This led him to scratching his tiny face and sometimes waking up because he'd smack himself a little to hard. I feel like this swaddle will prevent all that from happening due to it's velcro tabs that help the swaddle stay in place. Baby will literately be as snug as a bug in a rug -- a lot cuter though!  [ SHOP THIS PODUCT HERE ] 



NO. 4 :: BINXY BABY SHOPPING CART HAMMOCK

Another product that is going to make my life easier is Binxy Baby's Shopping Cart Hammock! I can already see this being a life saver because it takes up less space than a carseat does. Felix is sitting in the children's slot, so placing a carseat there is officially impossible. Thanks to this super clever product, the new baby has it's own place in the cart and I don't have to worry about space for groceries -- I call that a mom win! I'm so excited to use this during family shopping trips. [ SHOP THIS PRODUCT HERE ]

NO. 5 :: LORENA CANAL RUG IN BERBER BEIGE
I seriously love this rug -- everything about it is amazing. The color is gorgeous, the fabric is super soft, the dyes used are all natural which means no harsh chemicals smell and its machine washable! I currently have this rug in my office, but I am thinking about placing it in the nursery because it'd look perfect by the crib. I can't wait to get the nursery ready and do a reveal because it's going to look super cute! [ SHOP THIS PRODUCT HERE ]


NO. 6 :: Lollipop Smart Baby Monitor 
This is a product that I am excited about because it's going to come in handy when my husband is at work and he wants to check in on baby -- he can check up on the baby when he's at working using their app. So neat! I never had a baby monitor with Felix, but this time around, I'm wanting to implement one because it'll give me a chance to check on the baby even when I'm in the kitchen or doing laundry. With Felix following me wherever I go, this monitor will let me keep the little one sleeping while big brother makes noise outside the room.  [ SHOP THIS PRODUCT HERE ]


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Annnnnd, that's all I've got thus far friends! What do you think? Am I overly preparing? It kind of feels like I am trying to problem solve before problems even arise. 

Are there any products that made your transition easier? Have any tips? Tell me down in the comments because I'd honestly love to hear them all!
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1.11.2018

Review :: Ditty Bird Books


Books -- they're super crucial to a child's development. We hear it everywhere from our pediatricians to every savvy parenting magazine. Naturally, as a parent, I want to implement books into my son's daily schedule. It's kind of a hassle because he's only 14 months and sometimes he doesn't want to sit on my lap while I read a book to him. #thestruggleisreal, am I right mommas? When your toddler decides to get up and walk away from the very best O McDonald impression you've got.

Cue Ditty Bird Books! These cute little board books play music for your babe. I have two books with Ditty Bird and they're always Felix's number one picks when it comes to reading time. He loves to sit by himself and listen to the songs being played.

Ditty Bird is on every page and so are the words to every song being played, so you can make it a fun interactive play session as well as expose your little one to educational content. It's a win for mom and a win for baby!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DITTY BIRD BOOKS :: VISIT DITTYBIRD.COM
You can also purchase these cute little books on Amazon (CLICK HERE FOR THEIR STORE)


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1.08.2018

Free Printable Valentine Cards :: For My Readers


Who's excited about Valentine's Day? I know it's more than a month away, but why not get a head start on those cards? Don't know where to begin -- no worries friend, I've got you covered!

I've made EIGHT FREE PRINTS for my readers! All you need to do is right click, save the image to desktop, print, cut, and maybe glue some construction / glitter paper to the back to give the card a border and waaaaa-laaaaaa! There you have some super cute and fun valentine cards! I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them!




If you're looking for more fancy, sophisticated Valentine's Day cards / prints, I'm currently in the process of creating and posting Valentine's Day themed content to my esty small shop later this month, so stay tuned for those!
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1.04.2018

4 Ways To Implement Lemons Into Your LifeStyle



It's the new year which means a ton of us are looking for ways to lose those extra holiday pounds we've shamelessly put on thanks to the feast that surrounded us for the past few months -- myself included. I thought I'd share several ways I'm implementing lemons in my diet.

Before I dish out my lemony secrets, let's talk about the benefits of lemons. I did a bit of research and found that lemons are extremely helpful in maintaining our bodies when we're trying to preserve our health. Here are a few things lemons do for us.

  • Excellent Source of Vitamin A and C
  • Beneficial for Colon Health
  • Helps Balance pH Levels in our Bodies 
  • Helps Flush Out Toxins
  • Aids in Digestion by Encouraging the Production of Bile
  • Helps Balance Oxygen and Calcium Levels in Liver
  • Nourishes Brain and Nerve Cells 
  • Helps Control Blood Pressure 
  • Great Source of Potassium, Citric Acid, Magnesium and Phosphorus 
  • Energizes the Body
  • Helps Reduce Inflammation
  • Improves Skin
  • Aids in Weight Loss 

Those are just a few benefits of lemon usage -- the list could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Using lemons should be a part of everyone's lifestyle. Now that we've established that lemons are awesome, let's talk about how to use them. Here are a few ways I use lemons around my home. 


Drink Lemon Ice Water :: this is a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day. It also curbs your appetite, so you're not constantly snacking or thinking about your next meal. To spruce up the lemon water every now and then, try adding some fresh berries or a mint leaf to the mix for a dash of flavor.


Drink Green Tea + Lemon :: this is my favorite weight loss drink because it really works! I make a cup of green tea, add a cinnamon stick in it, some lemon slices, and a dash of honey. I drink this all day long in addition to my 8 glasses of water a day and the pounds shed as quickly as they pile on.


Use Lemon Juice & Zest :: I really feel like lemon makes anything taste better. Place some lemon zest in your baking and spruce up any salad dressing with lemon juice. When cooking chicken or fish, dice up some garlic and then place lemon slices on the meat for a little bit of flare. I promise you won't regret it.


Diffuse Lemon Essential Oil :: not only does this make your home smell amazing, but it has a few benefits that include boosting your mood, relief from sleeplessness and reducing stress. Lemon essential oil smells great by itself, but I really love blending it with other oils as well. I've complied a "cheat sheet" of my favorite  essential oil blends that contain lemon.


RIGHT CLICK AND SAVE THE LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND CHEAT SHEET  ]

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