Essential Oils from Young Living

Essential Oils are the key to health and wellness in my home. In fact, my small pocket of the mystical elixirs is nothing short of an apothecary for all the qualities they provide in our household. From cleaning supplies to beauty regimens, they boost nearly every aspect of our lives with delightful scents. I’m going to share how I switched from a perpetual commercial shopper to a self-sufficient medicine woman in a few short months with the help of essential oils.

But first, I want to let you know that you can purchase your own essential oils from Young Living right now by clicking this link.

Three short years ago, I left the workforce with the intent to return after a year raising my newborn at home. One new baby quickly turned into two, and I happily accepted the more permanent role of stay-at-home Mother with the new caveat of curbing costs and cutting expenses at every corner. Somehow, we had to make a single income work for our small, but growing family, and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice our health any longer.

My biggest problem with shopping at the big-box retailers, aside from the overwhelming sticker shock that hit me each week, was the fact that everything I purchased from food to clothing to cleaning goods was riddled with ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce, let alone identify. All of a sudden as I looked at the sweet face of my newborn and her shriveled nose as it sneezed in recoil to the toxins, I knew something about our habits had to change. I began by addressing our kitchen first.

 

Join me in the quest to a healthier home by incorporating Essential Oils into your daily life. Email jeannettebezinque@ecoincognito.com for a FREE CONSULTATION on using Essential Oils.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Images source: Young Living

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New Eco Friendly Blog Design

You guys know I moved right? If you’ve been waiting patiently for my latest update over the past couple weeks, I hope you discovered that the blog shifted a little. I have my very own home for my Eco Friendly, Natural Parenting blog at http://www.ecoincognito.com. Please come visit, re-subscribe to the email list or leave a comment to let me know you made it.

Thanks, as always, for your continued readership. This blog would not be possible without your support!
eco friendly blog design

Kegel Exercises Are Not What is Wrong with This World

As I’ve been making eco-friendly changes and learning more about childbirth and my body, I’ve realized that there will always be opposition to these topics. I feel lucky to live in a time when I have so much access to what I consider important information. I am also glad that I have a network of like-minded supporters for my choices.

The fact that this poster, about KEGELS, is turning into a controversy is mind blowing to me. The ad is part of a greater wellness campaign by Veria Living, a health and wellness cable network. I think the original ad is great. However, telling a woman that it’s wrong to do kegels is like telling a runner that it is wrong to exercise his or her legs. We were made to have babies and it takes a muscle to push out those babies.

pc muscles

(Courtesy Kara Rozansky)

An article on Gothamist hastily declared that this poster is making some wonder, “What is wrong with this World?” I couldn’t disagree more. If anything, I think that this poster should be in every midwife or Doctor’s office as a friendly and funny reminder to squeeze. I think that a sex-ed class that focused on this topic instead of how to select a tampon would be much more effective for the next generation. I wish someone had said to me in my teens, “There is nothing wrong with your body. This is what it can do. It’s beautiful, natural, and you don’t need a man to use your parts. Also, try a menstrual cup instead of a tampon so that you stop having cramps and headaches.”

First of all, we need to stop sexualizing Kegel exercises. When I was pregnant, I desperately searched for an app to find out how to kegel, what to kegel, and why to kegel. My best option was called, “Sex with Emily.” I think that this is sad for two reasons. How, at 25 years old, did I not know anything about kegeling besides Cosmo’s hasty instructions to ‘squeeze like you have to pee’? The other reason it is sad is that a 8 months pregnant, the last thoughts I wanted to combine were sex and exercise. If someone developed a Kegel App that ended with a nap, I would be all over that.

Since we’re on the topic, I’ll tell you what I know. Kegels are important. You need to do them or your vagina will fall out. I don’t know if that is exactly true, but I know that kegels are exercise and they are good for you. When you stretch and tighten muscles they work better in the long run. Exercise is a key component of pregnancy, too. Many workout videos suggest a few kegels in the middle of the program. I imagine that is why my step-mother chose not to do her videos in front of me and the additional teenagers in the house during her pregnancy. But, so what if she had? We could have all giggled about it the first 19 times and then, by the end of it we would be well on our way to being strong enough to give birth. It takes effort to push out a baby. This is why we call it labor.

How do you Kegel?

I don’t know how you kegel. Maybe you squeeze at every traffic stop. I’m truly asking a question here. I kegel infrequently, but I wish I remembered to do it more often. I love that Lindsay Brin reminds me to do them during toning exercises so I truly feel that I get a full-body workout. There are some serious kegel experts in this world and I would welcome the opportunity to learn more from them. Again, a kegel class would have been much more beneficial than AP calc at this point in my life. I plan to have more babies. There is no more space in my mind for differential equations.

Kegels aren’t just for Hippies

Women who give birth naturally aren’t plagued by stretchy vaginas. We can all tighten, relax, and rebuild our muscles prior to birth and after. Having a c-section also doesn’t prevent pelvic floor injuries. The benefits of kegeling reach far beyond the bedroom. We need these muscles to have more babies, to jump on trampolines, and to sneeze. Think of all the sanitary napkins we would save! While we’re on the topic of sanitary napkins, maybe it’s time to talk about mama cloth, too. There are helpful resources all over the internet on how to have a “greener” period. The experts in the eco-friendly world of feminine care are certainly less patronizing than Kotex. It’s true- you can run while you have your period!

Will Learning about Kegels Make my Teenager More Sexual?

I’ve made a decision to be a willing and honest resource for my girls when they are older. We’ll talk about kegels, natural labor, childbirth, sex, periods and I’ll answer their questions as honestly as possible. I will probably giggle because I am very immature about the topic. In my experience, the friends that I have known with open-minded parents have very reasonable attitudes about sex.

If you are offended by this post in any way, I would encourage you to start kegeling right now. Be sure to hold your breath while you hold your vagina. Keep holding… keep holding…

2012 Highlights from Eco Incognito

The best word to describe 2012 for our family is: BUSY! We watched Hannah grow into a delightfully spirited toddler, welcomed Audrey into the world, and purchased a new home. Time has raced by at lightning speed, but we have accomplished so much. I can see it as I look around our house, which Zac has transformed into a beautiful home. Each time my girls accomplish a new task, I’m inspired by their growth. I am also thrilled that this blog is burgeoning into a thriving social community on Twitter and Facebook. I love connecting with you all and am look forward to providing exciting new content in 2013!

I visited the archives and want to showcase YOUR FAVORITE POSTS from 2012. Thank you readers for taking the time to learn about the positive impact that Natural Parenting has on my family. Click on the links to read the posts below. Not surprisingly, these are my favorites, too!

There’s No Place Like Home

The Unspoken Rule of Babywearing

Put Some Dirt On It

Triage

Teflon Party Crashers

Reverse Tech Christmas

The Trash Man

We’re wrapping up the year with a visit from family. It is delightful to have our home filled with the people we care for the most during this special time of year. I hope that your final days of 2012 are peaceful and enjoyable. More than anything, I hope that you feel loved.

Happy New Year, friends!

Udi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Toast Recipe

Ho ho ho! It’s time for delicious treats for the Holidays.

We are eager to get into the spirit of the season, but we are so busy that baking hasn’t been an option yet. I’m actively trying to promote health and wellness in our home, too. I’ve always tried to have a balanced diet, but recently I’ve taken my quest to a whole new level. Inspired by GMO news, friends with allergies, and a general quest for food that makes you feel good, I decided to try Udi’s Gluten Free products.

Last week Udi’s sent me a box of goodies for inspiration to create the perfect Christmas treat for my family. We’ve got old fashioned routes in our cooking (the cast iron skillet is king), but we are so pressed for time with our two little ones these days. I kept my treat super simple. In fact, you probably don’t even need a recipe to replicate this cinnamon toast!

Udis Christmas cinnamon toast

Step 1: Toast a slice of Udi’s Gluten Free bread.

Step 2: Use a cookie cutter to create a shape that fits your Holiday theme.

Step 3: Butter your toast.

Step 4: Lightly dust with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Step 5: Enjoy in front of a fire while basking in the glow of lights from the Christmas Tree. (Variations include listening to carols, playing cards with the family, or reading ‘Twas the night before Christmas.)

I truly hope that even if you are pressed for time, you can find delightful ways to fill your home with healthy snacks in the spirit of the season! Happy eating and Merry Christmas.

Disclosure: I received samples of Udi’s to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Turn Black Friday Red, White, & Blue with USA LoveList

I’m partnering with USA Lovelist to bring you their awesome Black Friday Giveaway details. Simply hop over to their blog to win any of the great prizes detailed below. Good luck!!

Welcome to our “Turn Black Friday Red, White, & Blue” GIVEAWAY!  This is THE YEAR to support our American businesses, show our USA Love, and keep our jobs at home by seeking out gifts made in the USA.  We’ve heard from parents that American made products and gifts for kids are among the most challenging to find so we have pulled together some of our favorite brands and sources for a massive holiday giveaway event.
This giveaway will launch on Black Friday and will run through December 7, with winners selected each day during the first week of December.  Like the fun gift exchanges we all enjoy with friends, the first winner will have their first choice of prize, and so on, continuing until this huge pile of American-made treasures is in the hands of our readers, just in time for Christmas giving.
Our Prize Sponsors:
Many thanks to these fabulous sponsors who offered their American-made products to our readers.  This list alone is a fantastic source for finding made in USA gifts. Before or after you enter, take a moment to click around and get to know our favorite resources for kids’ stuff made in the USA.  Be sure to follow them on social media to show your support and to hear about new products and promotions.
K’Nex are the world’s most creative construction and building toys.
Prize: K’Nex Classics 50 Model Building Set with over 700 pieces
Natural, Non-toxic Nail Polish, “Natural As Mud”
Prize: MistleToes Gift Set
Made in USA Store for one-stop All-American-made shopping online.
Prize: All American Toy Collection in a handmade stocking
Battery-free, Creative Toys with a Focus on Toys Made in USA.
Prize: Wooden Fire Truck Toy
An Online Source for Things Made in the USA, including toys.
Prize: A $100 gift certificate 
Gifts & teddy bears stuffed with love in Vermont.
Prize: 15″ Hoodie Footie Bear
Smart Textiles for Smart Parents! Antimicrobial Baby Products.
Prize: Fold & Go Antimicrobial Changing Pad
Plush toys, handmade just for you!
Prize: Medium Plush Toy of your choice
Authentic American Toys, Games, & Puzzles
Prize: $10 toy, game, or puzzle of your choice
An addicting car racing table game for parties or family game night.
Prize: A Tailgate 500 Game Set
Play with your Thinking Putty at home, school, work, the car, anywhere! 
Prize: A Trio of Tins of Thinking Putty

Hank Player USA | On Facebook | On Twitter | On Pinterest
Cool graphic tees for infants, toddlers and boys and girls of all ages.

Two Prizes: 2 long sleeved t-shirts, winners choose
Fun, safe, and environmentally friendly all natural wooden toys.
Prize: Maple & Walnut Start Stacker Toy

Butterscotch Blankees | On Facebook | On Twitter | On Pinterest
Personalized gifts with love. Blankets, pillows, accessories & dresses.
Prize: A full-sized, personalized acrylic blanket
Our Promotional Sponsors:
The following sites are showing their USA Love by co-hosting this event on their blogs.  Take a moment to get to know these fabulous bloggers who write about a wide range of topics. This season, they are helping to turn Black Friday Red, White, & Blue!
EVENT HOST: 

How to Enter: 

We like to keep our giveaways flexible and allow our readers to enter in whatever ways they are most comfortable. There are a LOT of entry options below, but don’t be overwhelmed. They are not required… however, the more entry options you complete, the more chances you’ll have to win. The more entries the better because you could even win more than one prize! Some entry options are available for daily entry so bookmark us and come back!

Just click the Do It! button for further instructions on each entry.  Prizes will begin to be distributed on 12/1 and this giveaway will close at midnight on 12/6. The winners will be randomly selected, verified for correct entry participation, and notified by email.
If you’ve already entered one contest on USA Love List, entering another will be even easier. Visit USA Love List’s Giveaways Page to find out about other active offers to join.

Giveaway Winner Announcement!!

Congratulations Amanda and Jo-Lynne! You’ve won the Tulip Grease Purse Pack prizes. Amanda won by commenting on this post and Jo-Lynne won by retweeting on Twitter.

Thanks to everyone who entered! Tulip Grease is available online by clicking here. At $6 per tube or $25 per purse pack, they are a great gift option. Plus, on Friday only, the entire shop will be Buy 2, Get 1 FREE!

Try this stellar gift idea:

Surprise the woman at the top of your list with a spa gift certificate tucked into a purse pack.

The purse packs contain Lemon Love, Red Sparkly, and Coconut Swoon.  These are all part of the Kiss for a Cause line that benefits specific charities. Each pouch is handmade for Tulip Grease by Tonya of Tearful Touch. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/TearfulTouch)

Tulip Grease Purse Pack

Tulip Grease Purse Pack Giveaway

Lemon Love: Softly scented with lemon and vanilla, like lemon meringue pie
10% of the profits benefit thyroid cancer charities (inspired by Marie Shaw of Little Red Hen Jewelry (http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleRedHenJewelry)
Red Sparkly: Lightly tinted, scented with classic wintertime peppermint
10% of the profits benefit endometriosis charities (inspired by my best friend @redsparkly; http://www.jillianaylesworth.com)
Coconut Swoon: Reminisce with the scent of baking coconut macaroons
10% of the profits benefit disaster relief charities (inspired by my sisters, Sarah and Lidie, also partners in Little Red Hen Jewelry)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post endorsed by Tulip Grease.