Things I am loving…

Hi everyone! Here are some things that I am seriously loving this week!

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I am in love with @bodyposipanda!!! She is so full of positivity and color, self-love and body positivity education. She is brave, brilliant, and truly inspirational. I have been having a hard time lately loving my body and I need people like this in my life to pull me out of this hate cycle.

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Galaxy lollipops… seriously guys, these are amazing looking!!!

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I am interested in learning how to use nail stamps and these are so pretty and perfect for me. You can find these stamping plates here but definitely check out all the other designs that this website has to offer. BONUS: They have the very coveted Nail Chrome powder that people are losing their minds over!

I have been looking for some new workouts to do and I am really loving this series of dance fitness videos by RefitRevolution!

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Once again Anthropologie makes me contemplate on how I can afford basically everything in their store! This candle smells divine!

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One of my favorite songs from Hamilton is “Schuyler Sisters” and the girls sing along with me. I think that this is an awesome sweatshirt for someone who loves Hamilton!

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I am pretty obsessed with this oil slick hair… it may be the next thing I do to change up my look!

Ok, that is it for today! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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An App About YOU

I am a sucker for apps, especially apps that make my life better in some way. I have apps to keep me organized, apps to make my phone pretty, and apps to make my photos rock! Apps are a part of technology that I really enjoy.

Another thing I really enjoy are hot chefs… namely Mr. Jamie Oliver…. yummy!

Jamie Oliver

It just so happens that Jamie Oliver created an app, released on New Year’s Day this year, that I really think is a must for everyone. It is called YOU and this is their manifesto:

We believe in micro-action. Change rarely just happens overnight. Your life is the sum of all those small actions you take every day, and every choice you make is significant. We want to empower you to make change happen – one action at a time.

Your life is not a number or a dashboard – it’s not how many steps you walked, how many calories you ate or your place on the leaderboard. Life is richer – it’s feelings, moments, shared experiences! Life is enjoying every victory, celebrating balance and showing vulnerability. Life is being perfectly imperfect.

Isn’t that just awesome? I love that it isn’t about making drastic changes quickly but about the small changes adding up over time.

So far I’ve completed quite a few micro actions and look forward to opening the app everyday to see what my “assignment” is. This is a sample of what you may find:

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I love seeing everyone else’s take on the action, since it is pretty open to interpretation many times. And you can get followers and follow others who are also on the journey with you. So check it out here and join me (my username is ConnieKrebs)

Stick with us for one minute per day, and we’ll help you help yourself live a happier, more fulfilled life. Because small things matter.

Friday Favorite Five

Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot stress how happy I am that this week is over. What a looooooong friggin’ week! Sigh…. I am in a slightly cranky mood thanks to the weather, my children’s cleaning habits (or lack thereof), and am just over the cold/grey/tundra that is Cleveland OH. So to brighten up the mood here are my Friday Favorite Five!!

IMG_08481. Fall Flavors Salad!!! Yummo!!! It is spinach, pear, apple, dried cranberries, bacon, diced turkey, topped with poppyseed dressing. Loving it!!

These are super comfy and look really great on your foot. I love how they are pretty but actually practical! KEEN Footwear - Women's Mercer Ballerina CNX

2.  My new rugged Ballerina flats by Keen- I am in LOVE with these! Not only are they pretty and comfortable but they are practical for running errands and playing with the girls. You can get yours here!

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3. I am loving this color scheme, so fresh and fun. I think it would be perfect in a kitchen or a half bath!

4. This is my new favorite dance song!!!

IMG_08025. My favorite photo of this week- Miss Penny relaxing on her favorite spot, my bed. She sleeps with me every night and is such a great kitten!

What are your favorites from this week? Are you glad it is almost over?

Get Fit A Little Bit

Most would assume that because I am a dancer I am super skinny and uber health conscious. In some aspects I am healthy but in others this is, unfortunately, not the case. While I lead a very very active lifestyle, I do not have as much discipline when it comes to my eating habits. I am super indulgent when it comes to sweets and kind of graze when I am home. Not good. I can say, however, that we have made some really good changes in the last couple of years toward living a healthier lifestyle like getting rid of pop, ditching the fryer, joining an organic food co-op, and juicing. I am slowly cooking with coconut oil more and more, skipping the processed junk, and trying really hard to curb the fast food. But I know I can do better.

Klint is also trying to get healthier and has been running/lifting at work before he starts his shift. So for his birthday I bought him a Fitbit. It is this cool wristband that you wear 24/7, that records your activity levels, calories, and sleep quality. It connects to your smartphone and computer to make inputting information easier and actually looks cool. Fitbit encourages you to walk more, getting in the 10,000 steps recommended by the American Heart Association, and making healthy choices more of a habit.

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Originally I got Klint the Fitbit Flex (shown above) but he missed having a watch on his wrist so he upgraded to the Force and I inherited his Flex, yippee!! I must say that I really like it. Not only is it pretty accurate but it doesn’t bother me to have it on all the time. I like seeing the visual on my phone of my daily water intake (need improvement there), my sleep (awesome!), and my calories (ugh!). I am going to definitely start watching my calories more since I have to put them in!

Anyone else trying to get healthier out there? What are you doing to help yourself along? Any favorite low calorie recipes to share? =)

 

 

Friday Wishes

Another Friday is upon us… how is it that it is almost the end of August? I saw some red leaves on trees in the park… got me very excited for the cooler weather and upcoming holidays.

I have some high hopes for this weekend, as simple as they may be…

Here are some of my weekend wishes:

make some bread with the girls using this recipe

breathe easy and cough free

enjoy some apple themed food with friends

introduce my middle girl to the wonderful world of dance classes

raspberry picking with friends!!!

Make some of these fun Japanese Knot Bags

Do you have any wishes for this weekend?

What It Would Take

I belong to a couple different groups on Facebook that I joined because I wanted to become informed. I wanted credible sources, first hand accounts, a place to go when I had a specific question. One of these group is called Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children.

(Now, before you jump on me and the hating comments begin, just pause the judgement and continue reading. =) Thank you.)

I consider myself a pretty level headed person who doesn’t make rash decisions just because everyone else is doing something, especially when it comes to my children. Before Moira came along, when I still thought that all doctors had our best interests at heart, I just did what the pediatrician said and never thought to question. Gabby had all her vaccinations from birth on as did AJ. I had no cause to think otherwise. Then the whole VBAC drama with Moira started and I began to question the whole medical system. I asked questions, I researched, I looked at studies and who funded those studies, and I listened to other mothers who went through what I was going through. I learned that not every doctor has our best interests at heart and that sometimes money speaks louder than common sense.

A great read if you want more information about vaccines, the diseases they protect against, and the risks involved with getting the vaccine.

 

One of the hardest decisions that a parent has to make today is concerning vaccines. Books like Dr. Sears’ “The Vaccine Book” suggests an alternate schedule that allows for a more spread out approach while the CDC and AAP stress that vaccines are totally safe, vital to a child’s health, and are no cause for alarm. The decision to vaccinate has to be made before birth because in the hospital most babies get a Hepatitis B vaccine, something that more and more parents are opting out of. (Unless the mother has Hep B or the baby is going to be working the corner, Hep B is not something to worry at birth!) It is really hard to know what resources are credible, where the funding for the studies comes from, and which way to go though.

We knew that there was no way that we were going to get Moira the Hep B vaccine and have never looked back from that moment on. Since that first decision we have gotten more comfortable reading studies, articles, books, and so much on our quest to become educated about vaccines and the benefits/dangers they possess.

A couple of days ago I read an article written by a doctor who wanted to know what she could do to assure parents that vaccines were safe. This is a very personal question and depends on what each family has experience in the past with vaccines. So I am going to share what makes me uncomfortable with them and what it would take for me to consider vaccinating again.

1.  Hold the vaccine industry accountable for their product. This is one of the top issues for me because if you are making a product that is going to the ENTIRE population and are protected by the government, what is the driving force for quality and safety? No one would buy a car that doesn’t have a warranty, why would you inject something into your body that could possibly be a “bad batch” and have no way to hold the company accountable??

2. Do not allow doctors kick-backs for fully vaccinated their patients. If my doctor is getting thousands of dollars for making sure everyone has their vaccinations, is he really going to look closely at reactions, properly report them, and question their safety? No. He is going to explain the reactions and events away.  Less than 10% of vaccine reactions are reported to VAERS, making it very difficult to track serious problems with vaccines.

3.  Eliminate dangerous preservatives and ingredients from the vaccine. Pretty self explanatory. And yes, I realize that in each vaccine the amount of the dangerous chemical is considered “safe”, however, think about the sheer amount of vaccines kids are supposed to get these days and the “trace” amounts quickly add up. ( You can read more about this here)

4. Evaluate adverse reactions following routine vaccinations, including high fever, swollen limbs, brain dysfunction, seizures, and other incidents that are often dismissed as coincidence.

5. Do not administer vaccines of any kind to children without parental consent. When states pass laws that allow children as young as 12 to make medical decisions without parental knowledge or consent, I have a problem with it. What if that child has a reaction? Who will know why it is happening and who is going to be accountable for permanent injury or death?

6. Medical professionals need to acknowledge natural sources of immunity instead of adding more and more chemicals into children. By dismissing these cheaper natural solutions I am not as receptive to vaccine recommendations. For instance, it is common knowledge in holistic and chiropractic medicine that Vitamin D is more effective at preventing the flu, however I have never heard a doctor recommend that over a flu shot (which may or may not work against the many strains of the flu). I am much more willing to work with a doctor who first turns to natural immunity boosters before suggesting man-made chemicals.

7. Medical professionals admit that there are some risks associated with vaccines. This one is a big one for me as well because it opens the door for a rational, realistic conversation.

(Of course there are other factors that would cause us to reconsider our current position– traveling overseas, serious and true epidemic of a deadly disease (Chickenpox is not one of these diseases), or a medical condition which would cause a normally treatable illness to become deadly.)

This is a movie that discuses the whole vaccine debate in a scientific, rational matter… it is a great starting point!

Many people incorrectly assume that people who choose not to vaccinate their kids are lazy, dumb, conspiracy obsessed parents who are infecting everyone with diseases. I can’t stress how this is false. If anything, I have my children’s health at heart. I do not listen to celebrity’s or mommy bloggers but doctors, nurses, and scientists who see that there is something truly wrong with the current vaccines and the vaccine schedule we are imposing on our nation’s children.

So there ya have it… that is what it would take for me to reconsider vaccinations!

*If you want more information or want to see where I get a lot of my starting points, check out The International Medical Council on Vaccines or The National Vaccine Information Center **

Stand Up

Yesterday I learned that the Susan G. Komen Foundation had just pulled all of its funding from Planned Parenthood due to pressure from pro-life groups. This does not come as a shock to me as this organization has chosen to flex its muscles politically in the past and is quickly losing sight of what is truly important- ending breast cancer and supporting those touched by it. I was, however, shocked and please at the immense outcry against this move. When the funding cut was announced Twitter and all the other big social media platforms froze and then were flooded with activity. And while pro-lifers may be doing a victory dance, the donations that have come crashing into Planned Parenthood may very well make up the difference.

Most people, when they think of Planned Parenthood, think solely about birth control and possibly abortions. I always thought of them as a place to go if you couldn’t afford a pregnancy test or a pap smear, a place that educated women and helped those who couldn’t afford conventional health care. Only through my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, did I learn that Planned Parenthood also offered mammograms for low income women, educated them about monthly self breast exams, and the importance of early detection.

So why on earth would the Komen Foundation stop funding for this important cause?? Well, the pro-life groups didn’t like it and raised a stink. The imposed their religious beliefs on the charity and pressured them to cut the ties. It was cowardly and NOT something that Susan G. Komen would have stood behind. Of course the foundation’s base is scrambling against the backlash, even putting out a short little video in defense of their actions on their Facebook Wall. But people aren’t fooled. As of today Planned Parenthood has received over $400,000 in private donations, including a $250,000 donation from a couple in Texas. About 26% believe that the Komen Foundation made the right move in cutting off funding but the majority are rallying behind Planned Parenthood, signing petitions, and showing support any way that they can. Many news reports have come out since the announcement, like this one, and I am sure in the coming days more will be written.

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, when we start to politicize women’s health everyone loses. Again, we are trying to cure breast cancer through early detection and funding, not turn it into an arena of religious views. If you want to show your support please sign this petition, make your thoughts known, and shift your donations directly to Planned Parenthood.  This letter was sent from a supporter and I love it’s message:

This is for all the anti-choice, anti-women people out there.

Listen up.

You can spend every minute of every day trying to force the rest of us to live by your ideology. You can go after federal funds for health care and pressure private organizations like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to stop funding breast cancer screenings for poor women. You can try to make it impossible to get birth control.

But you know what you can’t do? You can’t win. You can’t break us. Planned Parenthood isn’t just a family of organizations. It’s a movement. It’s women and men of all ages who believe that health care — including reproductive health care — is a basic human right. We are millions strong. We are everywhere. We act, we give, and we do whatever it takes to make sure that Planned Parenthood is there for the women, men, and teens who rely on them.

Know this: When you go after Planned Parenthood and the people they serve, you go after ME. I stand with Planned Parenthood. I stand with them against anyone who wants to stop women from receiving the health care they need. I stand with them today, tomorrow, and for as long as I need to.