Garbage Mom

It started as a running joke between Emily and I, “You’re a Garbage Mom”. My husband is an accountant at a waste and recycling company so you can see where the humor stems from.

We coined the term and use it when the struggle of momhood is all too real. You all know what I’m talking about. Those days when the chaos snowballs and you turn your back for a second and your toddler is eating hair conditioner in the bathtub. Ya, I can be a garbage mom some days but I don’t consider it a put-down. It’s a way of laughing at the craziness and keeping things in perspective especially with social media being such a huge influence on us moms.

I wasn’t prepared for the judgement and competitiveness from other parents when I became a mom. For me it started in the hospital. I had my mind made up, I only wanted to pump when my son was born so my husband and I could both enjoy bottle feeding our son. And if it didn’t work out, so be it! Fed is best. Right?

Picture me, all alone in a hospital bed with a newborn baby. My husband went home to get some sleep and take care of our dog. I have gotten 2 hours of sleep in a 48 hour period. It’s 2 am and I ask the nurse for a bottle so I can feed my crying baby and get some much needed sleep. She looked me in my tired eyes that were starting to form tears and said, “Breast is best.” and left the room.

I will never forget those words and the sting I felt. I was no longer the doted-on mother-to-be. My wishes did not matter. I was simply a vessel, a source of food. Whether I got sleep or time to heal wasn’t an issue. That was my decision to make, not hers but that night she won. To this day, I wish I would have had the emotional strength to say something in that moment. But the exhaustion and hormonal crash I was riding suppressed it.

I ended up pumping for 2.5 months and I absolutely hated it but was so proud of myself and grateful I was able to give my baby what he needed for that time. I was so relieved the day I packed up my breast pump and put it in storage. I was never able to produce enough and always supplemented with formula. I got a bad case of mastitis when Oakes was 2 weeks old and that was the most painful and exhausting thing to go through while still trying to heal and take care of a newborn.. I was proud of the mountain I climbed and happy it was over and I have zero shame in admitting that. Pumping was so challenging, exhausting and alienating for me and Oakes needed a happy and healthy mama more than he needed a couple more ounces of breast milk.

I was shocked by the amount of people who asked or assumed that I breastfed my baby. Like it was any of their business… I also got the unwanted “advice” from those who were clearly judging me for giving it up and had no problem of their own producing a freezer full of supply while blindfolded and standing on one leg… There were also the mom’s who judged me for getting an epidural and vaccinating my son. What happened to this “mom tribe” I heard such great things about that was supposed to be full of supportive, non-judgmental women?

Well I am here for you! Breast fed or formula fed, epidural or all natural, cloth diapers or disposable. Our personal decisions shouldn’t prevent us from supporting each other. There is more than one right way to be a good parent.

Give advice when asked and be supportive always. 

Maybe I’m a garbage mom because I didn’t breast feed. Maybe I’m a garbage mom because I didn’t get any photos of my son’s first Easter. Maybe I’m a garbage mom because I fed him hot dogs for dinner 3 nights in a row last week. But maybe I’m a good mom because my son is always fed. Maybe I’m a good mom because I spent a whole day with my family free of cell phones. Maybe I’m a good mom because I skimped on dinnertime so I could make sure everyone had clean clothes.

The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one. Be kind. We’re all garbage moms and we’re all good moms.

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This should be your first step toward toxin-free living

We have all heard about it. Maybe you’ve even tried a couple and decided, “it’s not for me…” I’m talking about natural deodorant.

I’ve been there. When we were trying to conceive, I made a goal to start working my way toward a toxin-free life and I knew that changing my deodorant needed to be my first step. I wasted so much time and money trying to find a natural deodorant that actually worked.

Many deodorants contain aluminum, fragrance, parabens and many chemicals that can be harmful to your liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Toxins like DEA have been banned in Europe as it is a known carcinogen and aluminum has been linked to disrupting estrogen levels and contributing to Alzheimer’s disease. The effects of these toxins building up in our bodies over time can be detrimental and as I did more research, I knew it was time to make the change.

While on my hunt for something that worked, Emily told me about this natural deodorant she had been trying out by Primally Pure. So I purchased the Lavender Deodorant expecting the same outcome as the others but to my surprise, it actually worked! For the first week of use I noticed sweat, a lot of sweat as my body worked to rid itself of the heavy metals and toxins it was used to. For those of you that don’t know, the aluminum in deodorant is added to clog pores and prevent you from sweating (aka. antiperspirant) so eliminating this ingredient allows your body to start doing it’s job and sweat out toxins. LIKE IT SHOULD. Once I adjusted to the new deodorant, my body actually started to regulate it’s sweat production and I no longer had an issue with pitting out my shirts during the day. It smells LOVELY and it shows up to WORK. I opt for Lavender and place my order every 3 months (yep, it lasts a LONG time and I buy the small bottle) but it comes in a bunch of other awesome scents like Blue Tansy and Geranium. They also carry Charcoal and Unscented for the sensitive armpits out there.

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@oakesmama

I have now been using Primally Pure Deodorant for almost 3 years. We brought a healthy baby boy into the world in 2017 and this deodorant holds up for this active mama with a rowdy 17 month old. I am confident in saying that I never intend to switch deodorants and there is nothing I would change about this amazing product. I am so very passionate about sharing my experience with Primally Pure products with everyone I know as I truly believe in their quality and want everyone to benefit from toxin-free products.

If you have tried it all and still haven’t found something that works, seriously give this a try. Use code GODDESS10 for 10% off your purchase and thank me later 😉

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Creating Your First Budget

Creating and sticking to a budget can be incredibly overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Most of us are not 100% sure where our money goes every month and this is a problem if you have big financial goals. So to make budgeting a little less scary, I’ve broken down some simple steps that will help you get a handle on your personal finances and start

Get Real, Real Quick

You need to fully be aware of your financial situation if you’re going to budget effectively. That means really taking a look at where your money is going each month and what your current debts are. Sit down and do a complete audit of your monthly spending. That means actually looking at your bank account statements. Add up everything you spent money on and where it was going. Using different categories to figure out what could possibly be changed will be super helpful. Below is a list to help get you started:

  • Eating Out
  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Subscriptions (Spotify, Hulu, Netflix, Audible, etc.)
  • Gas/Transportation
  • Shopping
  • Daycare
  • Misc. Expenses
  • Savings

Decide on a Plan

Once you’ve taken the time to figure out where your money is going, then it’s time to decide where you want it to go moving forward. I recommend figuring out if your primary goal is debt payoff or saving. If you have large debts accruing lots of interest, you may want to focus on debt payoff (I’ll share more about this later this month). If you are debt free or your debts are minimal, then a savings focus budget is in order. The important thing is to be honest with yourself about where you need to focus your energy. Remember this is not a punishment and budgeting is helping you towards your financial goals.

Get Creative

I’m a pen and paper person which means I have a designated notebook that has our monthly and weekly budgets. If you’re an Excel guru, then create an electronic budget template. There are tons of apps and resources online but trust me when I say, keep it simple. You don’t want to dread your monthly budgeting task so if purchasing a cute notebook to keep track of your monthly spending motivates you, then do that! Do what feels reasonable and effective for your current lifestyle.

Be Realistic

When creating your monthly budget, you need to be realistic about the amounts you set for each category. If you commute an hour to work every day of the week, a $150 monthly budget for gas is not going to cut it. Likewise, you don’t want to associate guilt with things that fall outside of the “responsible” budget items. If coffee out with a friend 3 times a month is something you value, then build that into your budget. If your finances are in dire need for intervention that’s one thing, but if you’re just getting your feet wet with budgeting and still want to live your life, acknowledge and document your fun money spending and assess whether you can afford the extras or if you need to cut back.

Make the Commitment

Creating a budget is the easy part. The hard part is actually sticking to your guns when it comes to excess spending. Sale prices, discounts and “save now” benefits are not actually saving you money if you’re buying things you don’t actually need. Focus on what you budgeted for and know that if you are purchasing outside that plan, then you will need to cut spending elsewhere. This will help keep you on track.

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New Month, Fresh Start

It’s a brand new month and even though the temps are still chilly in MN, April means its officially spring and warmer temps are on the way. After a long, Minnesota winter there is nothing I crave more than opening up all the windows and tackling our spring cleaning checklist. But dusting out the cobwebs and shaking out the rugs aren’t the only things on my list.. April is a great time to clean out your pantry cupboard, your closet (your child’s closet) and even your makeup bag.

Cleaning Product Roundup

It’s probably been a hot minute since you’ve inventoried your cleaning supplies under the kitchen or bathroom sink.. Out with the old, in with the new! I will be sharing what cleaning products I use for all of my spring cleaning and where you can find them. But let’s be honest, Target. It’s always Target..

Pantry Re-stock

Time to simplify dinner time by cleaning up your pantry. I will walk you through what you should probably toss, what you should donate to your local food shelf and what you should realistically keep on hand to keep your cupboards clean and make meal time a breeze.

Makeup Bag Clear-out

It’s that time of year to start thinking about BB creams and waterproof mascara! I will be sharing some of my favorite brands and clean beauty products for summer.

De-cluttering with a toddler

Guys, this is a tough one but I promise it’s easier than you think. I’m going to walk you through how we organize our sons toys, how we get him to join in on cleanup time and what to do about the clutter.

It’s going to be an awesome month, you guys! And if you’re feeling inspired to get started early on your spring re-fresh, keep an eye on Emily’s Instagram for some fresh paint inspiration! She’s redecorating her bedroom and it’s going to be a springtime DREAM! @emilygomezwellness

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Hi, I’m Laura.

Hi, I’m Laura. I’m the younger sister in this duo. I’m a creator but the kind that sits behind a computer and makes things pretty. Im not very public by nature, but very much enjoy connecting and collaborating with other people. I’m so glad you’re here!

I’m a mom, a wife, a graphic designer, a coffee guzzler, cheese lover. For years I have designed for others, branded businesses, created logos. I love what I do! But I have always aspired for more outside of my career. I think my sister Emily and I share that.

For years we have dreamt up big ideas together and collaborated in all aspects of our lives. From the beauty products we use, recipes we’ve tried, to raising our babies, we are constantly trying new things and learning from each other.

And that’s how we came up with the idea to start a blog. “Wellness” holds a different definition for everyone. It’s what works for you and makes you feel good. So were here to share what makes us feel good and we hope you will stop by every once and a while and find something pretty or useful to use in your everyday life.

xoxo

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Hi, I’m Emily.

The older, yet not always wiser sister, my name is Emily and I’m excited to be embarking on a new wellness endeavor with my built in bff. I’m the talker, the joiner and the over achiever but motherhood has changed my life so much and doing this thing alongside my sister has only added to the magic of being a new mom.

I live in southern Minnesota with my husband, our 9 month old, Violet, and a giant black lab puppy named Josie. I talk for my job, travel all across southern MN and office out of my home. This means I have to be creative and mindful in my wellness pursuits- our life is not built for routine! I spend my days learning about safer products & healthier eats, exploring new ways of fitness, drinking far too much coffee, loving on our girls and listening to all the true crime podcasts I can get my hands on.

Wellness to me means embracing the journey towards health in all areas of life. Balance is not something that comes naturally to me so focusing on doing what we can, with what we got while sharing that journey with others fills my (coffee) cup. So if you’re into that sort of thing, I think we’re meant to be friends. Take a peek at some of the awesome recipes, cleaner swaps, wellness tips and mom moments we have to share with you.

Cheers!

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