Simple & Refreshing Coffee Scrub

Pregnancy left me with some rough and raggedy skin on my body. I chalk it up to negligence on my part combined with some hormonal changes. I’m working to combat it.  Anyway. Once upon a time I tried out a sample of this amazing scrub from a company that shall not be named. I loved the scrub, and once I finished the sample I made my way to their website to order a full size for myself. Lo  and behold, the scrub and the shipping cost were ridiculous. Back to the drawing board I went and recreated the same simple scrub with the same (if not better) quality ingredients.

What you will need:

  1. Fair trade organic ground coffee
  2. Wild Orange Essential Oil
  3. Almond Oil (organic if you can find it )

Mix a cup of ground coffee together with a few tablespoons of the almond oil till you have a consistency that feels good on your skin. Add 10+ drops of the wild orange oil and keep the concoction in a sealed glass jar. Use whenever you need a moisturizing and invigorating body scrub down. Fair warning, coffee grounds are messy AF in the shower but I love how I feel after using them.

Peace.

Farai

The Benefits of Using a Clothesline

I never had a dryer growing up. I never knew that I needed it. We used a machine or our hands to get our clothes clean, then we took them outside still dripping and hung them in the bright sunshine. I’ve been looking to recreate the peace that came with doing such a simple task now that I am a homeowner and I am happy to say I have my own clothesline courtesy of my spouse.  Read more about why I love them over at my guest post on the Black Women Do Cloth Diaper blog.

Peace.

Farai

 

 

 

My First Year Baby Essentials

I’ve been a mom for almost a YEAR now. Holy crap. It’s been amazingly fulfilling and challenging. My daughter is growing into a smart, beautiful, hilarious ham and I am so glad I get to be her mom.

I thought I’d share some products, services, themes and advice on what got me through this first year of motherhood.

 

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Thandiwe and her fur brother Duke (my middle baby)

Mind

Therapy – I started seeing a therapist a few weeks after she was born to get a handle of my PPA, and PPOCD. It was amazing to have a professional assure me that I was not alone and that other mom’s went through what I was going through.

Baby bookworms – A free book club for infants at my local library that introduces literacy. It was a perfect FREE excuse to get out of the house and be around other parents and babies.

Minimalism – I have written about this before here but minimalism freed my house and mind of clutter. I only allow items that are useful or bring me joy in to my house. That goes for Thandie’s clothes and toys too. I have a clear idea of what I want for her (the strict african mom in me dances with joy) so If she is gifted something that does not fit then it gets passed on to another kid who may enjoy it better.

Lactation Consultant – Thandiwe spent the first 9 days of her life in the NICU and I had to pump every  2-3 hours so she could be bottle fed. When she came home, we struggled to latch. Without the help of Gale, the amazing lactation consultant from the hospital and her continued support and encouragement I think our breastfeeding journey would look a lot different.

Body

Toy and Clothing Rotation – This has been an amazing money saver for my friends and I. Thandie gets hand me down toys and clothes from my friends kids that have outgrown their stuff and she passes them on to my friends with younger kids when she has outgrown them too. I rotate her toys around weekly so she has something different to play with often.

Buying used – Kids are gross. Thandiwe is almost always covered in cantaloupe stains (she’s obsessed with cantaloupe) . My parents encouraged lots of outside play and I was a filthy kid too, which makes me a big fan of letting her be outside and exploring. My head would explode if her brand new items got holes and stains on them too. Buying used toys and clothes when you can-is better for the environment and my wallet. Her summer wardrobe for this year was almost completely second hand and free except for a few new gifts.

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Me being a filthy kid. Check out my cool sagging cloth diaper lol

Baby wearing – Ive written about my love for babywearing and its benefits before here.  I had Thandiwe at work with me for 6 months before I became a SAHM. My lillebaby  carrier was a life saver. Now that she is older I am excited to try out different carriers.

Baby wed leaning – I had this beautiful vision of me feeding my baby pureed organic foods that I made myself. She quickly squashed that by refusing all pureed foods. She only wanted what was on my plate. I learned about baby led weaning and started giving her soft hand held vegetables and fruits that she could eat when she wanted at meal time and she has been happy as a clam ever since. She loves cucumber, potato, broccoli, melons, and apples.

Mango butter – The main component of my handmade diaper cream. I love a good multi-use product.  I buy mango butter in bulk and make diaper cream, body lotion and hair moisturizer for my family. I use different essential oils to tailor the butter for its different uses.

Chewelry – Chewable jewelry made of silicone or wood are great to have around if you baby wear or breastfeed. It is entertaining for little twiddling hands to explore and to soothe little teething gums. I have a coupon for 20% off some cute pieces from Okrosh etsy store if you are interested in investing in some pieces for your wardrobe. The code is HILBILL20

Cloth diapering and wipes – We’ve been cloth diapering since Thandie was 1 month old. I was cloth diapered and I knew it was something I wanted to do so save money and reduce my contribution to landfill waste. My favorite diapering system is pocket diapers followed my covers. Learn more about different types of cloth diapering options here.

Envelope System – I am a fan of the envelope system for keeping things organized. It allowed me to keep my diaper bag/purse in order. My diaper bag was very minimal. One pouch had her wipes, cream, diapers and wetbag, another -my wallet, keys and lip balm. Id use the pockets to keep a water bottle and some toys for her and that was it.

Honorable mentions

Daniel Tiger – Shout out  to PBS for producing sweet, educational content. Daniel Tiger has provided many a distraction while I attempt to manage Thandiwe’s thick curls and his catchy songs have brought many smiles to her face.

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Thandiwe loves Daniel Tiger

Lullaby renditions of Rihanna has brought on many naps for which I am ever so grateful.

Discovery Center and other free programs – It is so fun to watch my little one engage with toys and other kids. Free programs and places like splash parks and drum circles are a great way to socialize your kiddo.

BWI – My local chapter of Baby wearing international was a great help in teaching me how to safely use and try out different characters as well as meet parents with kiddos of similar ages.

Podcasts – For keeping me company and making me laugh and cry.

Online communties – For advice about cloth diapering, to breastfeeding and meeting kindred spirits.

I hope you find a simple system that works for you and your littles.

Peace,

Farai

 

Quality over Quantity

When I first ventured out into the big bad world and got my own place, I was a sophomore in college. I survived on my pittance waitress wages and student loan stipend. Every item in my dump home was purchased second hand or very cheaply from Walmart (which I affectionately call Satan’s workshop… here is why). Of course, anything that I bought cheaply bit the dust within a few years. Handles came off pots, dinnerware chipped, my blender couldn’t chop through a banana. Even though the things were made cheaply and not of the best quality, I take partial responsibility, because I did not take good care of them.Cheap things are often made to be disposable and they often get treated that way too. 

We have all heard that saying, quality over quantity and we know it to be true. But I definitely love seeing it in action.. A few years ago, I was on the hunt for a decent set of pots and pans. I was not yet a minimalist, but I knew that I needed to purchase something that would last. While I was searching, my godparents so graciously gave me a set of stainless steel cookware they had lying around. They had had them for years and didn’t need them anymore. I was grateful and thought they would be great until I had found something better (lol sorry Amai). Anyway, here we are a few years later, we’ve cooked hundreds of meals in them and the other day while scrubbing one of the pots, I thought about how easy they were to clean, and how much I enjoyed cooking with them. Feeling grateful, I messaged my god mom and we got to talking about just how she came to own them. Turns out this particular set is almost 50 fricking years old. My godmother bought them just before she married my godfather. She talked about how much of an investment they were at the time and how she had almost regretted the purchase ( lol I don’t). I was blown away. Quality over quantity for sure.

Cut to two years ago, I went back to Botswana for my father’s funeral. In the kitchen, I was transported back to my childhood. I was eating food from the same plates and cooking in the same pots I had begrudgingly washed every night after eating a home cooked meal. There was the mug my dad drank coffee from every morning without fail. These things were still in amazing condition. I don’t think I have anything from my first apartment anymore. A lot of the stuff I sold when I moved, but a lot of it fell apart or got tossed.

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My father’s mug

We live in this face paced society that encourages you to go out and get the newer, best, bigger, brighter thing and I have been guilty of subscribing to those values. Seeing my dad’s mug humbled me. I’m excited to slowly start investing in quality items for myself, from clothing to home goods that will last a long time and live long enough to be part of many happy memories in my home.

Peace.

Farai