How to Save Big on Black Friday

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It is no secret how much I love my Instant Pot and firmly believe everyone needs to own one. With Black Friday being this week, I did some shopping to take the guesswork out of finding the very best deals for this magical appliance. Here are the results:

Kohls

7-in-1 6qt Instant Pot

Save 15% ($12) with code SAVEBIG15. Get $15 back in Kohls cash. Save an extra 6% shopping through Ebates.

Original price: $129.99

Sale price: $79.99

Pay = $67.99 (+ tax)

– $15 Kohls cash = $52.99

– Ebates rebate = 49.87

New to Ebates? Sign up through this link and get an extra $10 bonus just for signing up!

Final total for new Ebates shoppers = $39.87

Target

7-in-1 6qt

Sale price: $79.95  (regularly $99.95)

Shop through Swagbucks to earn 2% back: 158 swagbucks

Earn extra 400 swabucks ($4 gift card) if approved for new Target REDcard through Swagbucks link.

Extra $3 bonus if new to both Swagbucks and REDcard.

Final total for new REDcard holder/Swagbucks member: $71.95

Amazon

7-in-1 6qt

Black Friday deal unknown at this time. However, past years have shown prices as low as $49.99! They currently have a post for the 3qt mini pot for $59, which I would take as a hint that they will have the larger sizes as a surprise sometime on Black Friday. Be sure to follow me on Facebook as I will be posting the minute I see it go up on Black Friday!

Don’t have Amazon Prime? No problem! Sign up for a free 30-day trial  (just be sure to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to continue).

Walmart 

LUX50 6-in-1 5qt $49 (does not have yogurt function, note that it is also smaller)

Shop through Ebates to get 2% back, plus get $10 with a new Ebates account when you sign up through this link. 

Final total if new to Ebates: $39


So who wins? As it stands currently, the best deal for the 7-in-1 6qt is Kohls. I can’t wait to see the deals Amazon decides to offer!

BONUS: Purchase your IP through my links and email me a screenshot of your reciept. I will send you an exclusive Instant Pot-updated cooking guide to my book, Dirt Cheap Nutrition: How to Feed Two Adults for $25 a Week (Grab your free copy now with the link!) Having an Instant Pot will make the cooking SO MUCH FASTER!

What’s on your Black Friday watch list? Do you prefer shopping in store or online?

 

{This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

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Completely Honest Review: PinkBlush Maternity

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PinkBlush maternity clothing, stylish maternity clothes, trendy clothes for moms

I am a new mom, and I am tired.

Exhausted, if I’m honest.

You see, while my newborn has slept through the night in 6-8 hour stretches since he was 2 days old, he doesn’t actually go to sleep until at least 1am. Which is about the time our toddler gets lonely and comes into our room, crying and wiping his sob-snot on me while he climbs into our bed for cuddles.

And then there’s the whole “I had a baby 2 months ago and then when he was 4  days old we bought an RV, moved into it, left Nevada and moved to Minnesota, left Minnesota, and moved back to Missouri for awhile and are now adjusting to me working from home” 3 weeks of hell. Dean is 2 months old and has lived in 3 states. It’s been a whirlwind, I learned many painful (and avoidable, and expensive) lessons. In many ways, I am totally worn out, haggard, and bedraggled. And it shows.

So as the crazy was starting to wind down, PinkBlush Maternity contacted me wondering if I would like to be spoiled a bit with something new. I jumped at the opportunity to get out of my rut of stained t-shirts and leggings! I drooled all over their trendy maternity clothing all through this pregnancy, but between moving so much and not needing anything, I couldn’t justify the expense. But I love the brand, so I was thrilled they wanted to send me something fun!

The best thing about PinkBlush clothing is that the clothes are designed to go from pre-pregnancy to maternity to postpartum. They have tunics, sweaters, maxi dresses, pants, and accessories. I decided to pick something totally outside my normal style (aka, solid colors) and went with a floral pattern. I’ll be honest, when I saw the pattern on the model, I thought it looked totally matronly (read: old lady-ish), but I thought I would be able to modern it up a bit.

 

Ya’ll, it’s my favorite.shirt.ever. I seriously have to limit how many times I wear it in a week before it becomes my uniform. As it is, this outfit is officially my “cool mom” outfit. Yes, I name my outfits. Is that weird? Yeah? Oh well…

Anyways, I usually only wear cotton shirts and was nervous about the rayon in the material since synthetic fabrics make me sweat more. This shirt is so soft, and so breathable! It feels like brushed cotton, and I don’t feel self-conscious about sweating at all.

Oh, AND the sleeves are long enough for my Gumby arms and the torso is long enough to cover the mommy tummy I haven’t bothered to start to get rid of yet.

So basically, it’s my favorite shirt, it’s totally on-trend, and I feel like I’m actually only 28 again instead of 40-gazillion. And it goes so great with my TOMS shoes. Wins all around.

Outfit deets:

Shirt: PinkBlush Maternity

Jeggings: H&M 

Shoes: TOMS classic canvas in Blue Spruce

Earrings: similar

Thanks to PinkBlush Maternity for providing me the shirt for my honest review, and for giving me the boost I needed to start dressing better again!

 

{Some links are affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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Top 6 Reasons You Need An Instant Pot

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Oh, Instant Pot, how did I ever manage in my kitchen without you? You make my life so much easier!

  1. Never before have I been able to do a full week’s worth of meal prep in the span of a few hours, with so few dishes.
  2. 2. Never before have I been able to dump spaghetti sauce, gluten-free noodles, and (browned) ground beef into a pot, pressed a button, and walked away, only to come back to a fully cooked one-pot lunch in less than 10 minutes.
  3.  Never before have I made perfect, gelatinous bone broth, in any less time than 4 days – except now I can make it in 8 hours!
  4. Never before have I been able to make “dump and walk away” yogurt, even in a crock pot. Until my Instant Pot.
  5.  Never before have hardboiled eggs been so magically easy to peel, making deviled eggs a regular thing instead of a tedious treat.
  6. You can make beef stew in less than 1 hour that tastes like it’s been simmering away all day.

Ya’ll, seriously – if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need one. It has completely revolutionized how I cook, how I clean up, and the amount of time I can spend with my family.

In Nevada I worked an average 9 hours a day at my job, and by the time I got home I was pretty exhausted. Meal prepping has always been my saving grace (check out my book, Dirt Cheap Nutrition, for details on meal prepping on a tight budget!), but especially in the late days of pregnancy, it was a lifesaver.

The NPR (natural pressure release) feature is probably my favorite feature when making main dishes. Maybe it’s just a mental thing, but I find it very relaxing to know that my food isn’t going to overcook if I don’t jump right up and run into the kitchen the moment the timer goes off. I can actually relax, put my feet up, and not worry about hovering over pots, pans, and the oven.

There are so many options for size and style of Instant Pots. Personally, I have the 7-in-1 DUO60 6qt. I specifically chose the 7-in-1 because it has the yogurt button feature and I knew I would use it frequently. For our small-but-growing family, I find it to be the perfect size, with plenty of room for leftovers. For larger families or families with multiple teenagers, you might consider the 8qt. I know of several couples who find that a 3qt is the perfect size for their RV or to bring camping with them.

I waited months to purchase my Instant Pot, watching for the perfect price. Knowing how I love a good frugal challenge, Peter suggested I wait to purchase one until I could buy it for $50 from our regular weekly budget. I am very pleased to report that after the Kohls cash, Ebates rebates, and a bit of money from a freelancer article I wrote, I spent a total of $25 from our weekly budget.

Need to know where to find an Instant Pot? I have seen great deals at Target, Kohls, and Amazon. I hear rumors that Amazon had deep discounts on their IPs on Black Friday and probably will again (they sold hundreds of thousands of them on Prime Day!), so be watching for that.

Do you have an Instant Pot? Do you love it as much as I do? Be sure to follow my IP boards on Pinterest for loads of healthy recipes your family will love!

 

{This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are entirely my own. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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Welcome, Baby Dean!: The Story of Our Second Unassisted Birth

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Unassisted Birth Story #2:

Ready for a birth story? If yes, you’re in for a treat. If no, well, carry on my wayward reader.

After two episodes of false labor in the weeks prior (that left me just a joy to be around), I woke up at 5:30 on September 14th in order to be at work by 7am. Because State was in our building for our annual inspection. On my last official week at my assignment. #awesome

About 10 minutes into being awake, I started noticing that the uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies eating bad Indian food was actually going away at fairly frequent intervals. As Peter left for the gym, I mentioned that we might not have had to wake up so early after all, as I was beginning to think that these contractions, feeling different than my last two practice sessions, were actually going to lead to something. I texted my boss (and my replacement DON) to let them know I wouldn’t be in at 7. They were so excited and told me to keep them updated.

I tracked my contractions for about an hour, noticing they were fairly consistent. They were increasingly uncomfortable, but I was still able to walk through them. I rubbed some black pepper essential oil on my back to help with the back labor.

Contractions became irregular around 9am, but still uncomfortable. I decided that a hot bath sounded delightful. MY GOODNESS, I had no idea how comfortable it would be! I could feel the contractions but was still able to relax through them.

The hours marched on and contractions were still uncomfortable but irregular. I wasn’t concerned since every labor is different. I focused on relaxing. Peter made a labor playlist for me with nature sounds, Native American flute music, and several Xavier Rudd songs. We diffused Balance essential oil and I just focused on relaxing, with Peter checking in on me frequently, topping off my coconut water as necessary. I was also texting many of my coworkers and keeping updated on how the state inspection was going.

Around 3:45pm I was getting irritated at how long this was taking with seemingly little progress. I hopped in the shower because showers make everything better and after about 5 minutes I started getting little tremors and increased pressure. Recognizing this was most likely transition, I got out of the shower and headed to the bed, where I had created a nest of waterproof pads.

I was right. Transition hit hard and furious. Fetal Ejection Reflex was strong, and just after 4pm my water broke. I think most of my 50 pound weight gain had been in the waters, because it didn’t just break, it exploded everywhere (sorry to those of you who are more visual). I called for Peter and told him that my water broke, “and also we might want to get new pillows.” He asked what the water breaking indicated, and I told him that Baby K was coming fast and it would be soon.

Right again. The pressure was so intense I didn’t think I could bear it. It was pressure to the point of pain. I buried my head in my pillow so my moans wouldn’t scare Tristan, who was in the living room watching DinoTrux at the time. That didn’t work well. I yelled/screamed for Peter again, who ran in, leaving Tristan in the living room yelling for me.

When Peter came in, I told him I could feel the baby crowning, and he jumped into the role of birth coach, excitedly updating me on progress. “I see it! There are the eyes! The nose is out – it’s a cute little button nose! There’s the mouth! The whole head!” I breathed out the shoulders and caught the baby as the rest of the body slid out gently (a VERY different birth than Tristan, who shot out head and body all at once like a squid). Peter asked “What is it?” I looked down “it’s another boy!”

We were both shocked, we had been expecting a girl the entire time. Every single old wives’ tale “test” indicated girl, except the Chinese Gender Predictor chart.

Peter let Tristan in immediately and we introduced him to Baby Dean. His face lit up when he saw the baby and we told him he had a brother. He had told us months ago that it was “a brudder” because he wanted to ride bikes with him and “guys ride bikes, mom.”

I took a picture of Dean and texted it over to my boss and my coworker who had been following progress via text all day. She texted back saying that my boss announced Dean’s birth over the intercom system. There was a contest going on at the facility, and $50 went to the staff or resident who had the closest guess for birth date, gender, weight, and length. One of the CNAs won!

our second unassisted birth story
first moments earthside

Peter took Tristan to the local coffee shop to get us some coffee while I relaxed with baby Dean. I did my full nursing assessment, and was surprised to see a true knot in his umbilical cord. Gotta love that natural Wharton’s Jelly, keeping the knot slippery and open during labor!

By the time Peter and Tristan returned, the cord had stopped pumping so it was time to clamp and cut. I wiped off Dean (who had a huge healthy meconium poop all over me, just like his brother), diapered him, wrapped him, and handed him to Peter while I delivered the placenta. I felt great, so I got up and took a shower (my third of the day) and enjoyed the fact that I could fit back in my t-shirts without my belly hanging out underneath.

I drank a bottle of beet juice and snuggled on the couch with my TWO sons while Peter cleaned up the bedroom. Within two hours of birth, we were all sitting on the couch watching The Cleveland Show and texting our friends our happy news. It was so relaxing, and we marveled at how lovely it is to birth at home.

approximately 2 hours after birth

I used my Clary Calm roll on quite liberally the first few hours – those afterbirth pains are no joke! Thankfully, that took the discomfort away and I was able to snuggle with my boys without constantly squirming from the pain.

I recovered much faster from this birth than Tristan’s. I’m not sure whether to attribute that to better nutrition, drinking copious amounts of coconut water during labor, knowing better what to expect this time, or most likely a combination of all 3, but I’m thankful.

We named him Dean Alexander Sirius. He weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces (only 3 ounces heavier than Tristan! I was expecting a much larger baby), and was 19 1/2 inches long. He has super long fingers like Tristan and I did and smaller feet than Tristan, so he can fit in all those adorable footie pajamas that Tristan could never wear. He sleeps for long interludes (including overnight) and is just starting to show some lady-killer dimples.

Sometime in the near future I’ll share about our second night as parents of two. But for now, I have baby snuggles to return to.

Oh yeah, and we bought an RV.

Talk to you soon! 🙂

 

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How to Purchase a Vehicle

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*This post is sponsored by Cars.com*

Come December, we will have been married for 4 years. During that 4 years, we have sold 2 vehicles and paid cash for another 3. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot about cars in the past 4 years.

The first vehicle we purchased together was purchased entirely because it ran and we could afford it. It had a bullet hole through the trunk and was older than the Lord of the Rings movie series. But it ran (the heat didn’t work), so for us, it worked.

Our second car was purchased privately with our tax refund. It was much newer, it ran well, and the heat worked. It went with us on the move from Missouri to Iowa, and we didn’t have any major issues with it. It was only when we realized that 2 car seats wouldn’t fit in the back seat that we decided to save up for our third car and upgrade.

The process of purchasing a new-to-us vehicle was multi-faceted. First, we did a lot of research on the types of cars that would work for us. Since our main criteria was “must fit 2 car seats,” this didn’t really narrow it down between car, SUV, or minivan. We decided that we are both much too young to drive a mini van, so that option was nixed based on preference.

The second criteria was looking at all available options of vehicle. I have always been an SUV person, and we ultimately decided that an SUV would be best for making long road trips. We used Cars.com to read reviews and ratings for several makes and models, eventually narrowing down our favorite options between the Honda Pilot, Chevy Equinox, or Ford Escape.

Finally, we crunched numbers to set a goal for how much we could realistically save and how quickly. We worked hard and saved much faster than we planned, and I watched Cars.com for local cars within our price range and specifications.

Not even a week after we started seriously looking, we were driving our new-to-us 2007 Ford Escape, thanks to a posting on Cars.com. After we had inquired about a few other vehicles, this car was posted late on a Friday night. We drove to the dealership early Saturday morning and by noon we were driving home our SUV. We were able to trade in our previous car, pay cash for the remainder, and the dealership even handled the registration. No long DMV lines for us!

I appreciate how much the internet has changed the process of shopping for cars. Before I purchased my first SUV, I spent hours at the *gasp* local library, reading through several editions of Consumer Reports to compare makes, models, and the differences between the various years of certain makes and models.

Yes, I am that old.

And I’m also very grateful that Cars.com allowed me to peruse and research in the comfort of 2am in my pajamas. With ice cream.

If you have ever purchased a car using cars.com or have any other tips for when we inevitably purchase another vehicle, drop me a comment and let me know!

 

{This post was sponsored by Cars.com. All opinions are completely my own. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

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Take That Shot – of Turmeric!

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When I started on my accidental hippie journey, I wasn’t anticipating learning about using plants as medicine. Sure, I already knew to drink echinacea tea when I caught a cold, but that was about it. Garlic for acne? Elderberry syrup for immune strength? These were all things that I needed to learn.

I have a love of Indian food that started when I cared for an Indian baby at Children’s Hospital. His mother always brought her own food rather than buying things in the cafeteria. There was a strong, almost overpowering, aroma of curry that seemed to surround her near meal times, but her food looked delicious. And despite her intensely stressful situation, she stayed healthy and her skin positively glowed.

This was when I started learning about turmeric and its many healing properties.

Turmeric has been used as more than just a food flavoring for over 4,000 years. The characteristic orange-yellow coloring has lent this root to be used as a food dye alternative, but turmeric powder (and its most powerful ingredient, curcumin) also carry many health benefits. 

Turmeric is chock-full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that turmeric not only decreases inflammation within the body, but also aids in the body’s natural protective mechanisms to collect and dispose of free radicals.

Basically, turmeric cleans up areas in the body that house cell-disruptors, calms down other areas of chronic inflammation (making it a natural alternative to pain medication when taken regularly), and supports the immune system.

Pinterest is full of turmeric recipes, especially for Golden Milk lattes, a coffee-free beverage loaded with anti-inflammatory turmeric and healthy fats like coconut milk. I’ve also heard of people adding turmeric powder to their morning bulletproof coffee mugs.

As always, how herbs and roots are prepared influences the effectiveness of their use. Some brands of powder add colors to make it brighter. It is best to avoid these brands, especially if using turmeric for the medicinal benefits.

So when I was contacted by The Pulp Story about trying out their turmeric juice shots, I jumped at the chance to try their shots of juiced turmeric. Through juicing, the delicate enzymes are kept whole. This process keeps the curcumin and other beneficial enzymes intact, which makes the juice shots potent.

For the past week, Peter and I have been taking a daily “shot” of turmeric juice. I love the convenience of the individually bottled shots, which means I can throw one in my lunch box for health on-the-go. I’ve been able to try all four flavors, and I can honestly say they are all delicious. I appreciate that some flavors are more mellow, like the “Turmerics of Endearment“(just turmeric and pineapple juice), while some also include ginger juice and cayenne (“Some Like it Spicy”). I haven’t given any to Tristan, but he would probably like the “Cherry Poppins” or “Pomegranates of the Caribbean” flavors since they are the most fruity.

daily health routine, turmeric juice shotsMy morning routine is delicious!

The biggest change I’ve noticed in the past week is a decrease in my sugar cravings. This makes complete sense, considering the anti-inflammatory benefits. I’ve also been sleeping better, which is great since pregnancy-induced insomnia is a very real thing and I don’t have time for that. Not sure if my increased energy is from the antioxidants in the juice or the side effect of actually sleeping, but either way, I appreciate it!

To get started with your own Pulp Story experience (they have cleanses!) check out their products on Amazon. Your package will be delivered in dry ice, keeping your juice as fresh as possible. Once they arrive, be sure to keep them in the fridge.

Have you ever tried using turmeric medicinally? Let me know in the comments!

 

{Some links are affiliate links. I was provided with these products for free. All opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer here.} 

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How to Eat More Plants

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plant-based diet, how to eat more fruits and vegetables

Plant based diets are all the rage recently, and for good reason! Not only does a diet high in fruits and vegetables help with increasing your energy and clearing mental fog, but research is showing that going plant-focused can actually play a huge role in reversing chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Thankfully, some medical professionals are reading the research and taking the time to not only educate themselves but also their patients, like Dr. Jami Dulaney in Florida and Dr. James Loomis in Washington D.C. (but formerly from a hospital I worked for back in St. Louis!). If you can find a doctor like this, hug them and don’t let them go. The last cardiologist I worked for was absolutely astounded that I “could stomach” a lunch of sautéed vegetables with grilled salmon over brown rice as he downed his usual cheeseburger. He ended up needing a cardiac procedure himself. True story, and one of the reasons I’m so passionate about quality patient education now.

“But I don’t like eating vegetables!”

This is the number one complaint I hear when I talk to friends or colleagues about plant-based nutrition. It must be a pretty popular complaint, too, because the food industry is catching on and helping all of us make healthier eating a little easier. Here are my favorite tips for sneaking in more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet:

Switch out your pasta

Not only have pasta manufacturers gotten better with gluten-free pasta options, now they are also coming out with protein pasta options. I bought this brand, Pow! Pasta, and the only ingredients are green lentil flour and quinoa flour. I’ve really missed my pasta since going to a less processed diet, so this allows me to have my hearty comfort foods without the guilt.

If you are going entirely non-processed, “zoodles” (made from spiraled zucchini) or spaghetti squash are also good options. But if you’re looking to “hide” veggies in your diet (especially for picky family members!) plant pasta is definitely your best bet.

Start your day with a smoothie

I love smoothies. I especially love that I can throw basically anything into them and as long as it tastes like bananas, my son will chug them down. For him, it doesn’t matter what color they are (so I can throw in some extra kale or spinach). But for pickier eaters, adding in other things for a more recognizable color (like blueberries or blackberries for purple, strawberries for pink, or a chocolate powder or chocolate protein powder – I like this one) can hide extra produce without causing the unsuspecting eater to revolt.

For myself, I like to add as many fruits and vegetables as I can into my smoothie, as I can drink my salad on the go a lot easier than sitting there munching. I prefer smoothies over juicing as I still get all the benefits of the fiber and pulp, and there’s less prep time since I tend to throw things like strawberries and kale in whole instead of chopping them up first.

Get Saucy

Along the same lines as smoothies, making your own sauces is a great way to hide extra veggies in a dish without compromising the appearance of the meal. Sauces can easily hide all sorts of things. For instance, when making homemade macaroni and cheese (with your sneaky pasta, of course), add or swap in pureed butternut squash to the sauce for extra nutrients. Making your own spaghetti sauce allows you the versatility to add in spinach, roasted peppers, zucchini, and carrots. Blend before serving and no one will know your secret! If your family likes a bit of texture to their sauce, mix in sautéed diced onions and mushrooms after you blend.

What not to do when going plant-based

Don’t buy too much.

If you are cooking for just you, spend some time on Pinterest and find some recipe ideas that sound interesting. Try a few new items/dishes at a time and work them into your rotation before you buy a year’s worth of seitan and find out you actually hate it.

Don’t force-feed the family

If you are transitioning over to a more plant-based diet for more than just you, include your family on this journey instead of forcing them to join you. Start with small changes, like the pasta and pasta sauce, and work out from there. Studies show kids’ taste buds change when exposed regularly to nutritious foods, so give them time to adjust and get excited about the new foods on their own. Give them a few nutritious options, and include their food preferences. If they subsist off of french fries, make them some homemade baked sweet potato fries. If they like mac and cheese, grab yourself some plant pasta (bonus – it has protein in the pasta!) and make a healthier cheese (or squash) sauce.

Don’t forget to meal prep

Meal prepping is honestly how I can eat so healthy. If I didn’t take the time to meal prep, I would constantly eat whatever is easiest/closest/fastest, and end up feeling like the garbage I just ate. I plan an hour or so once a week to prep healthy meals and snacks for the rest of the week. I chop up melon and pineapple, de-bunch grapes, make a big batch of quinoa, roast some veggies, hard boil some eggs, and cook up chicken breasts (Peter likes chicken in his daily salads). Throughout the week, those options are ready to pull out of the fridge, place in a container, and pop into the lunch box. For more ideas on batch cooking, download my free ebook, Dirt Cheap Nutrition! 

I also like to get some easy treat options ready, like homemade energy bars or homemade version of larabars.

To increase my fruits and vegetable nutrients intake, I also take my salad bar capsules daily, which provides extra nutrition from 26 plants, and I also enjoy a scoop of my plant-packed protein powder in my smoothies for nutrition from another 24 plants.

Eating healthy is possible, even with picky eaters. You just need to get creative!

 

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How to Save Money When Shopping Online

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online shopping, online purchases

I’ve always loved shopping online. Who doesn’t love getting things in the mail? Now that we live in the middle of nowhere, online shopping has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Did you know you can’t buy a car seat anywhere in town? I heard a rumor that one store just recently started carrying maternity clothes, but I have yet to see them.

But I digress…

Shopping online can get expensive very quickly. I’ve been using apps to help me earn money back on my purchases and have saved hundreds of dollars in the past few months!

Want to know how I do it?

I never shop straight from the store’s website. 

Always always always shop through a money-saver website. Depending on the store, you will earn a percentage back on your purchases – on everything from hotels to food to toiletry items!

Before making a purchase, first check Dealspotr for any sales or coupon codes to apply to your purchase.

Second, compare the current deals on money-saving websites. I check Swagbucks, Ebates, and iBotta to choose the best deal. Then click to the store through the deals website so the cookies can track your purchase. Join any free store rewards program to earn special deals on pricing for even more savings!

RELATED: How to MAKE (not just save!) Money with Ebates

When shopping in-store, save your receipts and submit them to a rebate site like iBotta.

A quick run-down of money-saving websites:

Swagbucks – Earn points to trade in for gift cards. I get most of my Amazon spending money through earning Amazon gift cards on Swagbucks. I then spend those Amazon gift cards through my swagbucks code to earn even more points. Sign up now to earn a free $5 gift card.

Ebates – I used Ebates years ago and just started using them again when I saw how good the deals were! For instance, I shopped through Ebates when I bought my Instant Pot a few weeks ago. Not only did I get $10 back for being a new Ebates customer, I also earned 3% back on my purchase. Combining that with the Kohls discounts and earning Kohls cash saved me mega bucks on my purchase! Check out my tutorial for how to use Ebates here.

iBotta – I’ve used iBotta for years, but they just recently added the ability to shop through them for Amazon, Groupon, and Thrive Market purchases, making them more valuable than ever before! Sign up now for a $10 bonus when you redeem your first rebate.

I’m so thankful to live in the era of online shopping, and even more grateful to be able to save so much money while shopping in my pajamas!

 

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Recipe: Watermelon Slushie

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It’s hot here in the desert, but not hot enough for most houses to have central air conditioning. We bought a portable air conditioner a few weeks ago, which is very effective for the living room during the day. At night, it cools down enough to open up all the windows and let the cool breeze blow through.

I posted this picture on Instagram a bit ago about our new summertime treat – a homemade watermelon slushie!

watermelon slushie, watermelon mocktail, healthy mocktail

This recipe started when I wanted a mocktail and evolved into a slushie during a particularly hot day. It’s delicious, refreshing, and hydrating!

homemade fruit slushie, watermelon slushie, watermelon mocktail


You will need:

Cut-up seedless watermelon (frozen is best for slushy-consistency, fresh for more of a mocktail)

Frozen strawberries

lime juice to taste (I use about 2 tablespoons per serving

1 can lime La Croix sparkling water

collagen hydrolysate powder (optional, but I add it to everything for extra protein and ligament support)

To make:

I put everything except the sparkling water in the blender until combined. Add in sparkling water until you reach your desired consistency.


Tristan loves this combo, and I love the lack of sugar, food dyes, and other additives in most fruity drinks. I also love the extra dose of protein he gets with the collagen.

Enjoy!

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Prepping for Baby: A Crunchy Mom’s Guide to a Holistic Pregnancy

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all natural prenatal care, prenatal nutrition, holistic pregnancy

One of my friends recently told me that I make pregnancy look easy. It made me smile, because  I truly enjoy being pregnant. It also made me laugh, because clearly, she doesn’t live with me. 🙂

Pregnancy, at least for me, is an extremely beautiful time, filled with many strange experiences I never would have expected. While I’ve thankfully never experienced horrible morning sickness like some of my friends, I have hyper-mobile joints that do not appreciate the arrival of extra doses of relaxin.

I also have a tendency to think I can handle way more responsibilities than I probably should, and so I end up exhausted.

My current routine has been working so well for me the past few months that I had to share with you all. Since starting this routine, I have seen an increase in my energy levels, my productivity, and even the brightness of my skin.

My prenatal must-haves are pretty basic actually:

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  • I start every morning with my salad bar capsules, automatically supplying Baby K and myself with nutrition from 26 non-GMO, vine-ripened fruits and vegetables.
  • 2 capsules of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, since I am not a tea drinker but RRL tea has so many benefits for the last trimester. I’ve been taking this my entire pregnancy. I like this brand personally.
  • 2 capsules chlorella powder for extra greens and antioxidant awesomeness.
  • 1 serving size collagen hydrolysate powder goes in my coffee every morning for extra protein. I started this when I developed SPD in June and noticed a significant improvement in my ligament strength (and a lot less pain!). I have used this brand and this brand. I prefer the second currently only because the packaging allows for all the powder to be used and not leave some caught under a rim.
  • This belly band has changed my pregnancy. I carry very low and entirely in front, like when I was in kindergarten and stuffed a soccer ball under my shirt to pretend I was pregnant. I wear this belly band all day, every day. It gives great support, is practically invisible under clothing, and is very comfortable. I tell everyone about it because it’s made such a huge difference in my comfort level.

Snacks:

Dates are high in iron and fiber, both of which are helpful to have during the last trimester. They have quickly become my favorite snack, along with with raw almonds (for protein and healthy fats!). When I pack my lunches for work or I’m at home, dates and almonds are my go-tos. When I’m out and about, I prefer to have Larabars since they are pre-packaged and super easy to throw into my purse. For drinks, I’ve been alternating between kombucha (I prefer the strong ginger flavor) and the “daily roots” Naked juice, which contains beets (warning, this flavor takes a bit of an adjustment period!). I also like to snack on grapes, apples, or cut up melon throughout the day for extra raw plant power.

I am more aware of my daily water intake this pregnancy, and try to make sure I drink enough water. For some reason, if I start my morning with coffee instead of water, I tend to drink less (of any fluids) throughout the day. I have noticed that I tend to drink more when I start my morning off with a big glass, before I even start my pot of coffee, so that has also made its way into my routine.

So there you have it. My basic baby-growing routine. As usual for me, it’s mostly food-related.

Now that I’m nearing the birth stage, I’ve been adding in more Spinning Babies routines to prepare for labor and birth, but not yet consistently enough for me to consider it “routine.” I’ve also enjoyed this prenatal yoga routine. It’s a bit of a workout for me, but I feel very accomplished at the end.

Any other hippie mamas out there? What are your prenatal routines?

 

Thanks for sharing!
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