Weekly Roundup

January 30, 2015
by vicki

Head on over to Joy of Mom for the best of what the internet has to offer in our Weekly Roundup!

 

Joy of Mom’s Weekly Roundup

 ~16 natural remedies to kick the common cold.

~A giveaway not to miss.

~12 lessons learned in 12 years of marriage.

~A place for inspiration.

~20 classic books every child should own.

~4 things parents do that causes their children to secretly cry at night.

~Dying to try this recipe.

~Here’s what real healthy people actually snack on.

~The perfect date night outfit.

~8 best zinc rich foods for your kids.

~An interesting article about the first woman American who received an MD.

~5 tips to sleep if you feel tired all the time.

An Easy, Healthy Beauty Routine For Your Skin

January 30, 2015
by vicki

An Inside-Out Skin Routine, now on www.joyofmom.com #joyofmom

 

 

An Easy, Healthy Beauty Routine For Your Skin: Inside & Out

How we take care of our skin today will show up in our skin for years to come. As time passes, our environment and genes will start to wear and tear on our skin, it’s just natural. But, there are measures we can take to keep our skin as healthy and glowing as possible. Products, foods, and personal decisions all play a role in how the world sees our skin, and we’ve got some great tips to help you develop your own healthy and natural personal skincare routine.

 

From The Outside

Facial cleanser:
We prefer to use castile soap on our skin. We love this castile bar soap, or you can use the liquid form. Castile soap is the best because it contains no fragrances or harsh chemicals. It’s made by a combination of organic oils including coconut, palm, olive oil, hemp, and jojoba. Castile soap is cleansing and nourishing, without over-drying or irritating. It’s so sensitive and gentle you can use it on your newborn baby! It can be found at any local natural foods markets for a very reasonable price.

Facial toner:
While witch hazel isn’t technically a toner, we use it after we wash our face. It’s a natural astringent that cools, refreshes, cleanses, and helps to keep your skin evenly toned. It’s one product we will never give up. It can be found at your local drug store or health food market. {It’s also great for treating your child’s scraped knees and elbows!}

Face lotion:
Sometimes we associate “expensive” with “top-quality”, but it simply isn’t true. We use Aveeno face lotion every day and love it. It’s lightweight, hydrating and quickly heals dry skin. Plus, it’s oil free, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and affordable. Ding ding ding, we’ve got a winner!

If you don’t want to use a lotion, you can also try using rose water. Simply apply a light layer of rose water to your skin with a cotton ball, and you’ll receive all of the natural hydrating and moisturizing benefits. Rose water can be used in conjunction with the witch hazel as well, and can be found at any local drug store.

 

From The Inside

Hydration:
Drink water, drink lots and lots of water. Your skin is an organ which is made up of cells, and like any other organ, your skin needs water to function properly and at it’s best. Without receiving a sufficient amount of water, your skin will become dry, tight and flaky. Plus, drinking lots of water helps fight fatigue and illness, as well as maintaining a healthy weight {hello summer!}.

Liquid Fish Oil:
Fish oil is our secret weapons in beauty and health care. It’s beneficial for good health, and supports cardiovascular health and brain function. It’s also extremely nourishing for our skin. Fish oil contains omega-3s, which regulate oil production in our skin which in turn boosts hydration, prevents acne, and wards off wrinkles. Because EPA found in omega-3s is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, it can protect our skin against harmful sun damage and help repair our skin from past damage. A liquid form fish oil is best to take because it gets into our systems quickly with maximum benefits. When choosing a fish oil, be sure to do your research and find one that is natural and potent.

Food:
It’s no secret that skin health begins from within. Besides loading up on water, a healthy diet is key to looking and feeling your best. While eating a balanced, organic diet is preferred, there are a handful of things you can eat that are proven to benefit skin’s appearance:

  • Pomegranates: packed with polyphenol antioxidants which fight free radicals and regulates skin’s blood flow, giving your skin with that rosy glow.
  • Walnuts: full of omega-3 essential fatty acids and copper, walnuts help to improve skin’s elasticity and boost collagen production.
  • Sunflower seeds: loaded with vitamin E, sunflower seeds help to keep skin supple by protecting the outer layer from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
  • Kidney beans: fights acne with high levels of zinc, which has magical healing properties.
  • Soy: directly related to helping even out skin tone. Use soy milk in your morning coffee or eat edamame as a snack, soy will get you the cleaner complexion you’re looking for.
  • Green tea: bursting with antioxidants, especially one called EGCG, which is proven to reduce facial redness. Green tea also helps fight inflammation.
  • Strawberries: contains more anti-aging vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C helps keep wrinkles and dry skin at bay, and wards off free radicals which damage cells and collagen.
  • Olive oil: jam-packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which will soften your skin and reduce free radicals. {Can also be used topically to soften skin.}

Tips for the healthiest skin possible:
Did you know that sleep is one of the most important things we can do to help our skin be at it’s best? Lack of sleep can be stressful on our skin, causing it to generate free radicals. Aside from a good night’s rest, it’s crucial to remove your makeup before bed, avoid popping pimples, and try to talk “hands free” on your mobile as much as possible. Wearing makeup to bed can cause your oil glands to become clogged, and popping your pimples can cause the infection to go deeper which will make your skin even more damaged. Instead of holding the phone to your ear, try talking on the speaker or with ear buds. Your cell phone gathers bacteria on the surface which can be transferred onto your face, and the pressure on your face from the phone traps in oil and causes blemishes. Yikes!
*Bonus tip: add your moisturizer within two minutes of getting out of the shower for maximized absorption.

By eating food grown from the Earth, not processed or “invented” in a lab, you are gifting your body with all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it desires. By treating your body, and mind, well, you will look and feel your best, and you deserve that. Beauty truly begins from within.

Three Knock-Out Soup Recipes

January 29, 2015
by vicki

Three Knock-Out Family-Friendly Soup Recipes, now on www.joyofmom.com #joymom

 

 Three Knock-Out Soup Recipes

Soup is a quick, hot and filling meal that offers tons of health benefits including vitamins, minerals, protein and iron. You can add a variety of vegetables into any recipe to increase the nutrient count. Soup leftovers are easily stored in freezers, to be reheated and served at a later time. Try these three delicious recipes below for a meal the entire family will enjoy!

 
Rich & Delicious Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:
3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced leek or chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 14 1/2 ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
Creme fraiche or dairy sour cream (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)

Direction:
In a large covered saucepan cook squash, carrots, and leek in hot butter over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining squash mixture. Return all of the mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg; bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half; heat through. If desired, garnish each serving with creme fraiche, pumpkin seeds, and/or fresh tarragon.

 
Martha Stewart’s Vegetarian Mushroom French Onion Soup

Ingredients:
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 large onions, peeled & thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
2 bunches scallions, white & light green parts coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup), dark
green tops thinly sliced
4 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for serving
1 dried bay lead
12 ounces cremini mushroom, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1 1/4 inch thick slices sourdough bread
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere (about 4 ounces)

Directions:
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, chopped scallions, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently and gradually lowering heat to prevent scorching, until onions are soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture, about 15 minutes. Stir in 4 cups water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heating element. Divide soup among 4 ovenproof bowls. Top each with a bread slice; sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and scallion tops. Pour into a bowl & enjoy!

 
Chunky Barley-Beef Soup

Ingredients:
12 ounces beef or lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 ounces cans beef broth
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup 1/2-inch slices peeled parsnip, or 1/2-inch cubes peeled potato
2/3 cup quick-cooking barley

Directions:
In a deep pan, brown the meat in hot oil. Stir in broth, onion, celery, oregano, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours for beef {45 minutes for lamb}.

Stir in frozen vegetables, undrained tomatoes, parsnip, and barley. Return to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

An Afternoon With Vonbon

January 28, 2015
by vicki

There's an exciting give-away happening right now on www.joyofmom.com! Head on over for the details.

 

An Afternoon With Vonbon

Last week, we sat down with the lovely and talented Jennifer Wilson from adorable baby brand, Vonbon. She had such a great, easy vibe, with that special new mommy glow. As we talked all about her brand, she cuddled and nursed her sweet baby girl, 2 month old Esti. Motherhood looks good on Jennifer, who is the true definition of entrepreneur.

We asked Jennifer to tell us about how Vonbon started, and what makes the company so special. She explained to us that when she started her company, she didn’t have children, and designed pieces strictly from a gift-givers perspective. She would search stores, looking for high quality, organic baby clothes that were also aesthetically pleasing, but was coming up short. And the sporadic organic clothing she did find were unpleasant hues of greens and browns. She reminisced about going to baby showers, sitting in a circle while watching the mom-to-be open gifts, and feeling dissatisfied with the loot. As far as clothing was concerned, nothing was really worthy of a newborn baby. That was where her vision for Vonbon was born – beautiful, soft and elegant baby clothing, made from the highest quality materials.

When her company was first born, she was working a full-time job in a completely different field, but was not creatively satisfied in the least. She opened up shop on her kitchen table, spending her free time sewing baby clothing by hand, breathing life into her “first child”, Vonbon.

What makes this company so special and unique is that Jennifer creates all of her fabric prints herself, making them exclusive to Vonbon. A fantastic selling point to her line is that her pieces are gender neutral, even the blush pinks. Her goal, which is met by nearly all of her customers, is that she wants adults to see her pieces and want them for themselves, not just for their children. She feels it’s a testament to her design and quality, and we agree.

Jennifer shared with us that when her company became more demanding of her time and energy, she eventually quit her full-time job and dedicated herself fully to her brand. She said that right at the moment she resigned from her day job, her dream came true. When the company grew even bigger, and the demand for her line became stronger than she could handle, she realized that she needed external help. She found herself in a place of discomfort, worrying that if she handed her ‘first child’ over to a manufacturer, would they match her level of quality and standards? Luckily, she was able to find a local-to-her manufacturer who met her needs, and where she could stay closely involved in the production process. Keeping every aspect of her business local is important to Jennifer, due to her desire of supporting other independently-owned businesses and her local economy, the heart and soul of any town.

Jennifer gave birth to her daughter just over two months ago, and we asked her how she balances both work and being a mother. She shared that it’s an ongoing question in her life and for her circle of entrepreneur mom friends. Jennifer shared, “How do you balance? There is no balance, it’s just how you juggle things. Some days I feel I have things under control, I come into my office and I get things done. Other days I feel over my head, that tasks aren’t get completed, somehow I’m still in the pajamas and I’ve got spit-up in my hair. But somehow, in the bigger picture, things work out and move forward.”

The truth is, Jennifer doesn’t feel like running Vonbon is a job, but rather her passion that she gets to experience every day. Esti has become her muse, and Jennifer is now more creatively inspired than she’s ever been. She is learning how to create the best fitting, best feeling garments for our precious children in a way that is innovative and lacking in the garment industry.

Once we got deep into conversation about motherhood, Jennifer opened up about how she feels the first few months of being a mother were really hard for her, even overwhelming at times. She felt it was a lot of “give” but very little “receive”. But now, when she looks into her daughter’s big blue eyes each morning and little Esti recognizes her mama’s face, lights up and smiles, Jennifer knows it’s all worth it. She tells us that she has never felt a love like this before, and is looking forward to all the things Esti is going to teach her in the years to come.

Our conversation wasn’t just about motherhood and how gorgeous her baby clothes are. We actually got quite deep and shared some special lessons that we have both learned along the way. There was one in particular that Jennifer shared that really stuck with us. We were discussing how many other female entrepreneurs are coming onto the scene, and how great it is. But with that, comes comparing yourself to others, and doubting yourself at certain points during your journey. She stated that we must stay true to what we are doing, and to not let the images portrayed on social media make us question ourselves or make us feel like we aren’t reaching our goals fast enough. “There is room for all of us, so let’s support one another, while standing firm in the small space we have carved out for ourselves.”

We really enjoyed spending time at the Vonbon headquarters, and getting to know the wonderful woman behind the brand. These pieces are the perfect gift for a new mom, birthday gift for your child’s friend, or for your toddler at home. Take a look here at Jennifer’s one-of-a-kind designs for children newborn to 4 years old.

To celebrate this amazing brand, we are hosting a special giveaway! Vonbon is giving one special winner a $100 shopping credit to their site. To enter this giveaway, simply follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and subscribe to Joy of Mom here. The winner will be announced on Monday, February 2nd. Good luck!

An afternoon with Vonbon, from Joy of Mom

Please support Vonbon on their various social media accounts:
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Vonbon’s Blog

Snack On This

January 27, 2015
by vicki

Five Healthy Snack Substitutes, now on www.joyofmom.com

 

Five Healthy Snack Substitutes

 
Potato chips: A common snacking food among adults and kids, but the truth is – they are oh-so bad for you and should be removed from your diet immediately! Chips are full of trans fats, which clog arteries and cause heart disease. Chips are also extremely high in sodium, which is a leading cause of hypertension and high blood volume. Swap potato chips out for…. baked kale chips! Just as crunchy and delicious, kale chips contain no cholesterol and no unhealthy saturated or trans fats. Kale chips also contain vitamin C and K. So drop the potato chips and grab the kale chips, for a healthier you!

Gummy candy: People love to snack on gummy candies while at work, driving in the car, or watching television. But the truth is, they are so jam-packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, it’s time to trash those gummies and replace them with…. dried fruits! Gummy candies are not only full of sugar which lead to a series of health issues, but they can cause tooth decay and cavities. Dried fruits are a much better options, because they will satisfy your sweet cravings without any of those nasty refined sugars! Healthy dried fruits can be found in bulk at most health food stores or packaged at regular grocery stores. They contain vitamins and minerals, taste delicious and your kids will love these healthy alternatives.

Cookies: Did you know that in one serving of Oreo cookies (3), there are 161 calories, 7 grams of fat, 143 mg of sodium, and 14 grams of sugar! Yikes! Not to mention, they are made with high fructose corn syrup. Time to reject those cookies and grab for… rice cakes! Rice cakes are called “the perfect snack” for good reason – they are packed with fiber, low in calories, and filling! A great snack for toddlers, older kids, and adults, we think you’ll love this substitute!

Cereals: Have you ever researched how sugar cereals are made? It’s quite shocking. To get your cereals into their flake, loop or shredded shape, they are processed to the point of being stripped of all the grain’s natural nutrients. Furthermore, cereal companies add tons of sugar and unnatural additives, turning your cereal snack into a sugary, high fructose corn syrup consumption situation. We have a great substitution – veggie sticks and hummus! Hummus is so delicious and packed like crazy with healthy nutrients like protein and fiber, plus it’s easy to serve and comes in a variety of flavors so your kids will never get bored of it.

Fruit juice: Stay away! Avoid it! Spill it out into the sink! Fruit juice contains just as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drinks, and sometimes even more. AH! But have no fear, as there are tons of drinks you can replace fruit juice with. Water, almond milk, and green juices are excellent options as they are all packed with nutrients and have no-to-low sugar. It’s important to keep your children (and yourself) hydrated with healthy and clean liquids. Cheers!

Mommy & Me

January 26, 2015
by vicki

A little something for Mommy & Me, now on www.joyofmom.com

 

Mommy & Me

Something You Want, Something You Need, Something To Wear, Something To Read

 

Mommy

Want: Ace & Jig Stillwater Dress: Everything Ace & Jig creates is amazing, but this dress is next level. The perfect combination of cool & casual, it’s a piece you can wear to your child’s soccer game or out for date night. Quite a unique piece that we are drooling over. (And it’s on sale!)

Need: Yogi ‘Calming’ Tea: A gorgeous organic blend of Ayurvedic herbs that can help soothe stress and tension, and encourages relaxation. Composed of Lemongrass, Organic Lavender Flower and Licorice, it will help you unwind from your long day and settle into the evening ahead.

Wear: Stan Smith for Adidas Sneakers: You can never go wrong with a classic sneaker. Clean, stylish and comfortable – the perfect combination for a busy mom who is always on her feet. Pair these with a summer dress or your favorite cuffed khakis, and you’re sure to be the best dressed mom at the PTA meeting.

Read: The Conscious Parent: A book about parenting from a spiritual perspective. Writer Dr. Stefali challenges parents to look within and to find their inner child, as a way to relate to their child on a basic and respectful level. Dr. Stefali educates parents about engaging their children on a mutual parent-with-child relationship, as opposed to a parent-to-child relationship, in order to build a more trusting, loving and respectful relationship between parent and child.

 

Me

Want: Goldiebox & The Dunk Tank: An interactive board game where as the child reads along, they help Goldie build a dunk tank (and learn about hinges and levers) to get Nacho the dog clean so everyone can go to the carnival on time. This is more than a game – it’s a skill-building, engineer-learning, problem solving experience.

Need: Gro Clock: A simple tool to teach your child to understand when it’s time to get up or when it’s time to go back to sleep. The fun images of the stars and the sun communicate when to sleep and when to rise. It also has a digital clock which helps older kids learn to tell time.

Wear: Wanderlust Pullover: Layers are important when the weather is wet and cold, and nothing is softer or more comfortable than Emerson Apparel’s‘Wanderlust Pullover’. Kids love how soft it feels against their skin, and you will love how adorable and stylish it is. Plus, we love the message of Wanderlust – as all children love to wander, explore, and go on adventures!

Read: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole: Sam and Dave are on a mission to find something spectacular, so they start to dig a hole. After digging and digging, they finally find what they are looking for. (You’ll have to read to find out what!) Your kids will love to go on this adventure with Sam & Dave.

Weekly Roundup

January 23, 2015
by vicki

Head on over to Joy of Mom for the best of what the internet has to offer in our Weekly Roundup!

 

 Joy of Mom’s Weekly Roundup 

~ 7 things to do to prepare for future pregnancy.

The most beautiful moment captured.

~ How to help toddlers resolve conflicts.

~ Dreaming of getting cozy on the couch wearing these.

Space rocks.

~ 14 “vacations” parents take every day – so funny & so true!

The envy of all children.

24 diagrams that will make eating healthy super easy.

Super adorable sweatshirt

Top 10 shoes for new walkers.

~ The hot new toy obsession on the market right now.

The Benefits to Giving Your Child a Multivitamin

January 23, 2015
by vicki

Benefits of Multivitamins for Your Kids, now on www.joyofmom.com

 

The Benefits to Giving Your Child a Multivitamin

The conversation about giving our children a multivitamin is a long-standing debate. ‘Do they actually need a multivitamin?’ The answer isn’t so black or white. If your child eats a healthy, balanced diet that includes milk and dairy products, fresh fruits and leafy, green vegetables, protein like fish and chicken, and whole grains like steel-cut oaks and brown rice, then no… They don’t need an extra vitamin supplement. But not every child is such an agreeable eater. There are lot of finicky eaters out there, and that is why products like vitamin supplements and Pediasure exist.

A multivitamin isn’t just recommended for picky eaters. Pediatricians recommend a vitamin for kids with chronic medical conditions like asthma or digestive problems, active kids who play demanding sports, children who don’t have the best diet (junk food lovers), vegetarian kids, and children who drink a lot of carbonated sodas because soda leaches vitamins and minerals from the body.

There are some vitamins that are more crucial for a child’s development than others. These vitamins include:

  • Calcium, because it helps build strong bones as the child grows.
  • Iron, which builds muscle and is essential to red blood cells.
  • Vitamin A, for promoting normal growth and development.
  • Vitamin B family, for energy production, and healthy circulation and nervous system.
  • Vitamin C, which promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue and skin.
  • Vitamin D, because it helps with bone and tooth formation.

Of course, you don’t want to overdose your children on vitamins. It can actually be very harmful to their system. But in a healthy, moderate dose, vitamins are key to healthy growth and development.

We love Kindervital as a liquid form multivitamin for toddlers starting at 1 year old. Kindervital is jam-packed with the essential vitamins kids need, and because it comes in liquid form, it gets absorbed quickly into the body. Kindervital helps ensure that little ones obtain the nutrients they need for proper growth and overall health.

As kids get older, they are ready (and want to) transition from a liquid form multi to a chewable. We love Nordic Berries and Rainbow Light Multistars, for many reasons. The Nordic Berries contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that growing kids need. The Rainbow Light Multistars contain 15 million active probiotics and are food-based. Both are recommended for children 2 years and older. Whichever brand you choose, make sure to do your research and pick the best option that suits your child’s specific needs. If you have any questions or concerns, consult your pediatrician.

Healthy habits are formed at a young age. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children how important it is to take care of our bodies and minds. Let’s be great role models and set good examples for our kids and live a life of health together.

Lavender Loves

January 22, 2015
by vicki

How To Create Delicious Lavender Drinks, right now on www.joyofmom.com #vickireece #joyofmom

 

Lavender Loves

Lavender is one of the most soothing, calming and fragrant flowers on Earth. There are many beneficial qualities to lavender, including calming irritability, relieving depression and anxiety, and promoting sleep. Lavender is used to make candles, soaps, essential oils, and perfumes, just to name a few. But what we love to use lavender for is drinks! It taste delicious and the aroma is incredibly soothing. We have included our four favorite tasty lavender drink recipes below, enjoy!

 

Lavender Hot Cocoa

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
3 cups milk
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons dried culinary-grade lavender
6 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
Combine milk, cream, and lavender in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once at a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and cover it with a lid. Let it sit and steep for 30 minutes, to infuse the milk with lavender flavor. Increase time by 10 minutes for stronger lavender flavor.
After 30 minutes, pour the milk through a strainer into a bowl to remove the lavender, then return the milk to the saucepan. Put the pan on the heat and bring it back to a simmer, but don’t let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped milk chocolate, dark chocolate, salt, and vanilla extract.
Whisk everything together until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.
Relax and drink in the moment, the ahhhh, and your delish lavender hot cocoa!

 

Lavender Latte

Serves: 2

Ingredients:
Enough coffee beans to make 4 shots of espresso
1 – 1 1/2 cups of low-fat milk
1 tsp of dried lavender flowers

Instructions:
Make 4 shots of espresso {2 per mug}
Add the milk and dried lavender flowers to a small saucepan and gently warm over very low heat. Do not allow to boil.
Once warmed, remove milk from heat and let lavender flowers steep for 5-10 minutes. {The longer they steep, the stronger the lavender flavor.}
Pour over strainer and separate the lavender.
Steam the strained milk, but barely dip nozzle of steaming wand into the milk to avoid scorching the milk.

Divide the espresso between the two mugs, slowly pour in milk and scoop any extra foam on top. Serve with sugar to taste. Enjoy…

 

Homemade Lavender Tea

Serves: 1 – 2

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers or 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
2 cups boiling water
Honey and lemon if desired

Instructions:
Put the lavender flowers in a teapot or container along with the boiling water, allowing them to steep for 5 minutes.
Pour over strainer to remove unwanted lavender flower buds.
Serve tea with honey and sliced lemon.
Take a few slow and deep breaths, enjoy the amazing lavender aroma and your hot cuppa tea

 

Lavender Lemonade

Serves: 3

Ingredients:
1/3 cup fresh lavender or 1/4 cup dried lavender flower
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
6-8 lemons

Instructions:

Place lavender flowers in a container and pour boiling water over.
Allow lavender to steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on the desired strength of flavor.
Remove lavender and add sugar to the hot water, Mix well to dissolve.
Fill a large glass pitcher with ice and squeeze the lemons to get maximum juice, including pulp.
Add hot lavender water to the pitcher, pouring over the ice.
Stir and add more ice if needed to fill the pitcher.
Add more sugar or lemon to adjust sweetness/tartness.
Include fresh lavender flower sprig to each glass for garnish.

 

A little extra tip: Have you ever used lavender to make dryer bags? We use them for our laundry instead of typical dryer sheets and love them! All you need is dried lavender buds, reusable cotton bags like these, and lavender oil. Fill the bags with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lavender buds, add a few drops of lavender oil, cinch bag and tie a good knot. Store them in an air tight container, as previously mentioned in this post, and voila! One pouch will be good for up to 10 cycles. ~ XO

Must-Have Items For New Moms!

January 21, 2015
by vicki

Must-have items for new moms! #vickireece #joyofmom

 

 A New Mom’s Must-Have List: Everything You Need For Your New Baby

Going into a Babies-R-Us or the “baby” section of Target is seriously overwhelming. Who needs 12 different options of baby bath washes and 7 different types of finger nail clippers? The crazy amount of options are not helpful, actually quite the opposite. ‘What works? What doesn’t? If it is expensive, does that mean it’s better?’ Rest easy Mommies-to-be, Joy of Mom has you covered. We have compiled a helpful list of the best-of-the-best items, of what you actually need, and left out what you don’t. Let’s get started, shall we?

Nose Frida: Okay, we know it looks gross. Does it make you feel better that it’s doctor invented and recommended? This thing is a life-saver when your child has a stuffy nose. It’s 100% hygienic and it actually works, amazingly well. You’ll feel like such a great parent after you’ve helped to clear out your baby’s nose. Happy snot-sucking!

‘Safety 1st’ nail clippers: These clippers are the best out there, hands down. They have an extra-large, soft touch handle that provides an easier, more comfortable grip. Because it’s easy to hold, it effectively trims your baby’s nails and helps you avoid any accidents. Between how quickly their nails grow and the threat of them scratching themselves (it’s heart-breaking when they scratch their faces!), you will be thankful you have a pair of these.

Seventh Generation baby wipes: We think these are the best baby wipes on the shelves! These wipes are super-sized, thick, strong, fragrance & dye-free, hypoallergenic, and are made with plant-derived ingredients. We would never, ever, ever use any other wipes for our baby’s precious little booty.

Exercise ball: So crucial to your sanity with a newborn! They wake up at all hours (to them, its a 24/hr day, they don’t understand night vs. day), and want to be soothed, pronto. Gently bounce with your baby on this exercise ball and they will not only be soothed, but will go back to sleep! They love the motion, and you will love the ability to calm them.

Wrap-front bodysuits: Take it from us, you will want all of your newborn clothing to be wrap-front. Imagine your delicate, beautiful baby has a massive poo-poo explosion. Are you really supposed to pull that onesie over their head? Are you going to cut them out of their clothing every time there is a doody emergency? The wrap-front bodysuit, my friends – nothing goes over their head, and you can tend to the “emergency” in a timely manner. You’re welcome.

Ergo baby carrier: There are tons of baby carrier options out there, but the Ergo is by far the best. Some of the carriers can end up hurting your back after a while, but the way the Ergo is designed, your neck and back are spared. You can use an infant insert at first, and then simply remove it once they don’t need it anymore. We used our Ergo until our daughter was 16 months old, and found it to be one of the most used and necessary baby items we ever bought. (Plus, it’s machine washable!)

Woolino sleep sack: We absolutely adore this sleep sack that we previously mentioned in this post. Made from merino wool, this sleep sack is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We are firm believers that sleep sacks help your child sleep more comfortably through the night and… dare we say… longer.

Medela breast pads: These 100% cotton reusable pads are soft and absorbent, giving you peace of mind while your body adjusts to to your baby’s nursing needs. When you first start breast feeding, your supply fluctuates while you and your baby get into a nursing rhythm. Avoid embarrassing moments and stick a few of these guys in your nursing bras, ladies.

Hooded bath towel: Nothing is cuter than your sweet baby wrapped in a towel after a warm bath. They look so cute and tiny, it’ll just melt your heart! But a hooded bath towel has purposes other than accentuating your baby’s cuteness. These bath towels are soft, thick & absorbent, and will keep your sweetie warm and dry right out of the tub.

Brush and comb set: Even though brushing your baby’s hair might be the last thing on your mind, getting a good quality brush and comb is actually quite important. Their heads are incredibly soft and sensitive, so it’s important to use a good quality comb. (Did you know that the ‘soft spot’ can take up to 18 months to close?) Try to steer clear of poor quality materials and opt for something more sensitive and higher quality, like this one.

Baby swing: This product was crucial to our sanity when our baby was a newborn up until right before she was sitting by herself. There were times when she would only sleep in this swing. There were times when the only thing that would sooth her was this swing. And it’s not just for sleep. The swing allows you to put your baby down in a safe place so you can quickly tend to other things. I promise you, this piece of equipment is sanity-saving, sleep-giving, allows-you-to-go-to-the-bathroom, gives-you-a-chance-to-eat-lunch, amazing.

Of course there are other great products out there, but this should start you off in the right direction. Need any other tips or want to share your must-have items from when your baby was born? Contact us on our Facebook page or Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you! XO

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