Book Reviews: Nutrition!

Oh snap! My first book review here.

As a vegetarian/wanna be vegan (like 89% vegan) who wants to get pregs, I have received an onslaught of opinions and theories from other people.

#1. I would have to start eating meat again if I want the baby to get the proper nutrition or even just to conceive, “bone broth, bone broth, bone broth”- ugh!

#2. But the cravings! If the baby wants meat, mama is going to have to eat meat.

#3. It’s not healthy to be a vegetarian/vegan and get pregnant, be pregnant, nurse, etc.

#4. Blah, blah, blah!

Welp! Shut it up! I mean, I know that when most people share thoughts and opinions, it’s coming from a well-meaning place, but I’m just not into meat like that. Sorry meat, it’s not you, it’s me. Oh, also the pure disgustingness that is factory farming, rotting flesh that’s been on the shelves longer than it should be and a whole bunch more that’s actually our government’s fault! I’ve never been a big meat eater and have loved veggies since I was a kid, broccoli was my ish! I was a vegetarian in elementary school, ate meat (amongst a number of other unhealthy habits) in high school and then came back around to my veggie-lovin self consciously, 4 years ago. I kind of figured that someones, somewheres out there had to have had healthy conceptions, pregnancies and children with a plant-based diet and thus I was led by one of those people to two books. The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstone and Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. They both definitely echo each other, but hey, repetition is the mother of mastery and they confirm all the theories of my own intuition, that a plant-based diet is a totally doable and healthy way to have a pregnancy. I watch my protein, my calcium, my folate (the natural occurring version of folic acid), etc, etc on an app called My Fitness Pal, it’s heeeeeeella tedious, but I know where I’m coming up short and/or over on. I feel like I’m watching my food intake more now than when I went through a fitness bootcamp pre-wedding sans working on my 6-pack, let’s be real, my 4-pack! But it’s for da baby!! Happy healthy eating everyone!

– xOx

Fertility Smoothie

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

Making my daily fertility smoothie here!

Mmmm fruit smoothies and preventative food medicine that packs a nutritional punch! POW! There’s a number of things that make a smoothie great and if you’re a little veggie-lover like me, one of the major things is making sure I’m getting the right fats and PROOOOOTEIN! I’m all about that protein life and it’s the annoying question every carnivore will ask, “how do you get your protein?” “Umm there’s a rack of sources, oh limited thinker that’s been conditioned by our meat industry.” Each of my protein shakes typically has 30+ grams of protein per serving. Now, let me hurry up and write this post so I can go make one!

My typical daily smoooovie!

Almond Milk. 8-12oz. I’m not that intense yet that I make my own almond milk and I tend to lean towards the unsweetened option of the Trader Joe’s brand.

Juice, *optional* If I happen to have some delish fresh juice in the house, I’ll add a few ounces up in the mix for flavor and to thin it out a bit.

– H2o. I always add a couple ounces of water because my smoothies tend to come out on the thick side and Mama likes to be able to actually drink them sans a spoon!

Coconut Oil. 1-2TB. Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat! We need fat, point blank period and this is coming from a pretty vain Queen, but our bodies need the good fat to function properly. The fat that comes from coco oil helps balance our hormones, gives our body the fat it needs to use and store as well as giving us healthy fat for pregnancy, our future babies’ brains and has been shown to increase the Laurie acid content in breast milk! BOOM! Not to mention it’s great lube too ;)~ don’t worry, that will be a whole ‘nother post in itself! Trader Joe’s has a pretty good variety of coco oil to choose from these days.

Flax Seed Oil. 2TB. Hands down if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you need Omega 3s, it’s a must for us! Flax seed is a great source of omega 3s and fiber, but it’s not the only way to get them now. We also have the option of chia seeds and walnuts, but they don’t go down as smoothly in a smoothie without additional prep work, so I opt for the Snappie way and oil it is! I eat chia on my oatmeal, cereal and salads and snack on walnuts on their own! You can find it in the vitamin section of Trader Joe’s!

Vegan Protein. 1 scoop. I try to only buy protein that has multiple protein sources and at least 20 grams of protein. My FAVORITE brand, again, is Garden of Life specifically their RAW Organic Protein, “Raw Organic Protein is a Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified RAW Vegan Protein powder made with 13 Raw sprouted proteins delivering 22 grams of protein that is dairy free with a complete profile of all the essential amino acids along with added whole food fat-soluble vitamins, probiotics and enzymes.” (lifted directly from their site!) and I mean really do I need to write or sell it anymore?

Peanut Butter. 1-2TB. Legit, I go through about a jar of PB a week, forreals, in my smoothies, cereal, oatmeal and sometimes just on a spoon with a glass of almond milk. It’s got more FAT, the good kind, it’s a great source of protein and the kind I buy, again from Trader Joe’s, has no other ingredients other than peanuts! GASP!?! We don’t need all those other added ingredients says I? It’s true.

Shatavari Root Powder. 1/2 tsp. Go here for a full spread on the Shatavari Root, but if you’re just gonna stick to this page, here’s a real quick rundown of Shatavari. It’s an Aryurvedic herb known as “woman with 100 husbands” okay?! It’s a great herb for ampin’ up that libido, fertility and even lactation…pump, pump it up, in all the ways.

Las fruttas. I eye this out, but if you want measurements, like 1/2 of each piece of fruit I have and I have my faves naturally. Bananas blend hella well, so does papaya and it seems I also use a lot of mango and pineapple (if the latter 2 aren’t in season, I usually buy the bag of chopped and frozen from TJ’s). I love me some avocado too, it makes the smoothie creamy delish and of course adds more of that good fat! Of course if I don’t have any of those, I just use whatever fruit is in the house, apples, pears, melons, blueberries, whatever’s in season and in my fridge. Chop it and screw it!

Now, mix all these ingredients up in whatever blender you have, I use a Ninja, which works totally fine, but am suuuper pressed to get a Vitamix! There’s gotta be a raffle or something somewhere! Let me know!

PS. Do I sound like a Trader Joe’s junkie or like I’m getting a kickback from TJ’s? I wish I was!! Hey TJ, send a gift card this way!

– xOx

Not Pregs Yet

My timing is not your timing and so the story goes // To invite you in, I must learn // it’s about relinquishing control // To my Spirit, lover, ancestor and friend // the meeting of old souls // Sacred forces of love // waiting for you to unfold // We’ll dance again, we’ll pirouette // sashay around the sun // trip and twirl with Mother Moon // feeling our hearts beating inside my one.

A clip into my feels.

So 2 cycles of “intentionally” trying to get pregs and it hasn’t happened yet. I know that this can take some time, in fact, I’ve googled it now, of course, and there’s only a 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle. Which means, years ago, I was hitting that 20% like a muthafuckin bullseye! I very much believed that the first time me and my sperm-totin, chromosome-slingin partner had unprotected sex that that would be it! We’d totally be pregs on the first try. I wasn’t even putting that much pressure on us, at all, we were like whatever about it. We agreed that after we paid off our consumer debt, we’d just be less safe in the lovemaking arena and see what happened, whenever it happened, and it hasn’t happened. Okay, not gonna lie, I was also trying to have a Cancer baby, because we’ll be TWINS and BFFs!!!, but that dream is gone for now and I’m trying not to micromanage what my baby’s zodiac sign will be (*please let it be a water sign, please let it be a water sign*).

I guess I was also thrown off because I had started my preconception plan; my body, mind and spirit work 6-10 months before our projected “unsafe sex” zone! Then having lots and lots of boning in as many crazy places and positions as possible so we could have a fun conception story and then I wake up to the crimson tide, again. It’s a shock and it sucks, especially when I’ve now deemed myself “ready”. Are we ever really ready though? I’m hopeful and faithful that we have a purpose and a place in the continued creation of beautiful humans that will be part of the good in the world. I know that it could take us up to 12 months to get pregnant and after that we can seek even more expert help.

Today, I let myself be sad, mourn with the first day of my cycle and then I’ll feel the blessing and cleansing that it is and I’ll honor it while dancing with the phases of the moon. To be continued…

– xOx

Vegan Prenatal Vitamins

Grow big, grow small, I just ask you to be and bee mine, that’s all. 

Here’s a vid about the goodness of prenatals and which to choose for a vegan!

There are SO many prenatal vitamins on the market, name brand, generic brand, basic ass brand, brown, pink, blue? I don’t even remember which ones I took when I was pregnant as a teen, but they were HUGE, pink and given to me by the pro-life clinic I secretly got pregs tested and coerced at. In fact, I couldn’t even swallow pills at 14, so I would chop them into tiny pieces and put them into a bowl of ice cream every night! True story. I didn’t learn how to swallow pills until 16 when I secretly got my tongue pierced and needed some serious pain relief over a swollen tongue! Anyhoo, I digress.

Years later and way more health conscious as a wanna be vegan, it was important to me to find an organic, vegan prenatal pill that would have all the nutrients babe and I needed. I wanted to especially make sure that it had enough folate/folic acid in it, because everyone tries to scare you with fears of “birth defects”, which I’m sure are totally real and I wasn’t taking any chances. Btdub: Folate is the naturally-occurring form of the vitamin. It’s found in foods like spinach, lentils, and garbanzo beans. Folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin that is used in most supplements and in fortified foods, (think “enriched”).

I was told by my nurse at Planned Parenthood (what what- love them!!) when I got my IUD out, that I could go ahead and start taking prenatals to start giving my body-ody the extra nutrients I’d need in pregnancy. I did a TON of research and asked my fellow veggie moms what they used and I seemed to really connect with Garden of Life. #1: I already use their protein and #2: Alicia Silverstone is all over this. In case you didn’t know, Alicia is like crunchy mom to the max! She wrote a book called Kind Diet and Kind Mama, both of which I’ve read and she partnered with Garden of Life to make mykind Organics Prenatal Multi. Everybody’s needs are different of course and we all have different moral compasses for ourselves, so do your research and see which prenatal vitamins resonate for you!  As long as your taking something, that’s WAY better than nothing, remember: fo-late, fo sho! Also, have the sperm donor in your life start taking multivitamins, if you’re doing this with a known partner and planning a pregnancy. It makes the little soldiers stronger and healthier for conception and for the potential babe!! We chose mykind Organics Men’s Multi for my partner in baby-making!

– xOx

IUDs & other BCs

When we’re ready for each other // that’s the moment we’ll meet. // Arm in neck, hips on feet // The nectar from your body // is the most syrupy sweet. 

“Well we’re movin on doooown (the list) to the Southside, I finally have some peace of miiiind!” (to the tune of Good Times, naturally!)

Here’s a quick vid about my various birth control experiences!

Oh birth control, how much I owe you for keeping me free from unwanted pregnancies for the last 10+ years. Also shout out to Planned Parenthood for helping me plan and keepin it safe fo free.99! I have tried a variety of birth control methods in this lifetime, including the pullout method. PS. it doesn’t work. PPS. You can get pregnant off pre-cum, I have a teenage daughter that proves this theory. Sooooo after becoming a teen mom and to keep it really real, (because that’s how I likes to keep it) a miscarriage, 2 abortions and a couple of Plan Bs later I got my shit together and started some damn consistent birth control using.

First for me was, the pill, and for me, was #theworst, I could never remember to take it, let alone at the same time everyday. I don’t even remember what pill(s) I took, I tried a variation of at least 4-5 different ones over the years, I sucked at taking them all. Add to that lots of hormones and breakouts. Ugh. I am not even going to pretend to be an expert on the pill, so HERE is an amazing link with more details then I will ever know!

NEXT…The patch was cool for the duration of which I endured it. It did it’s thing and made my period hella predictable, and I only had to think about it 1x a week when I switched out the sticky patch, but then Moms called and told me about women getting blood clots from using it and asked me to stop, I willingly obliged. I also had to frequently scrub around it, because it got that gross band-aid gunk around the edges. I typically wore it in my bikini line area, but I saw girls with them on their arm like a damn nicotine patch…I never got that one. “…chicks with birth control stuck to they arm like Nicorette // You really fuckin’ that much or trying to get off cigarettes?” – Talib Kweli

NEXT…The NuvaRing was my thing thing! I loved it, it was like hear no evil see no evil. I didn’t have to think about it but 1x a MONTH! You wear it for 3 weeks and take it out for 1 to get your menstrual cycle OR you can put in another one to skip your period! I did that for the Bahamas and was stoked that it worked! Many months later I started realizing that I was becoming a psycho with crazy moodswings…well like more than normal anyway and I told my partner I didn’t want to use any hormonal birth control anymore because I wanted some semblance of sanity, they of course were totally cool with that idea and we said adios to the ring!

  • Oh GAWD- side story: My homegirl took the bartender home from the club one night and as he was fingering her, he felt her NuvaRing, freaked, pulled it out and chucked it across the room in the dark! She promptly turned on the lights and made him help her find it before they proceeded!

NEXT…Condoms are pretty classic. If you use them right and there’s no accidents, they definitely do the job. Just make sure that they fit your mate accurately, not everyone needs a magnum no matter how big their ego is, trust and make sure that they’re rolled down all the way with space at the tip for that precious cum or it definitely can/will bust. You can tell it’s on upside down if it doesn’t easily roll down and the slack is on the other side. With condoms, you do give up the skin to skin contact, which is the best when you’re with a partner you know and trust! Expert tip: every now and then, especially when you’re having a real intense sesh, reach down and make sure that the condom is still up to the base of the penis!  I can tell you from personal experience, that they can slide off and get pushed up and stuck inside the vaginal canal. That was 2 embarrassing trips to the health-center on campus during college.

NEXT…The ParaGuard IUD was my faaaaaaaaave! This was the shiznittal bang for me. Once you set it, you can forget it! I got it and kept it in for 6 years without one scare or one problem, minus getting the strings trimmed when my partner said he could feel them at first. After that, it was easy peasy. The IUD I chose is good for 12 years (previously 10 years), is made of copper, absolutely no hormones and immediately reversible upon removal. I’m a huge fan and will sell the IUD to anyone who is even thinking about getting it! (not literally selling it!) The “negatives”, the insertion and removal, neither are comfortable. The first, you have to be on your menstrual cycle so that you cervix is slightly dilated, breathe through it girl, it only lasts a few seconds with some cramping to follow for a couple of hours, it was by far the worst day of the IUD. “Supposedly”, what they tell you is that it can lengthen your cycle, make it heavier and you could have more cramps. None of that happened for me, but I also have always had a longer and heavier period then most and no cramps. The removal, you can get at any time of the month, not the chillest feeling when they pull it out, but it’s seriously it’s like 2 seconds and you’re done! No cramps, no bleeding and they asked me if I wanted to see it…I did and gave thanks and a heartfelt goodbye to my little kung fu karate-chopping sperm killer!

I also tried a female condom once and only once…idk if I wasn’t using it right or what, but they (scientists) have a long way to go until that thing is comfortable or usefully wearable.

Spermicide was a thought at one point, nothing says sexy time like shooting foam up your vagina and then asking your partner to wait 15 minutes before getting it on. It stayed in the paper sack from whence it came.

So what does this tell you about me and people like me? That the best form of birth control, for us, is something we don’t have to think about, ever. Now I see it, now I don’t! There are at least 7 other forms of birth control that I didn’t try and that you can check them out at this snazzy site with a pretty extensive list here.

I’m an advocate for safe sex, duh! I think teaching abstinence is dumb (does that sound judge-y?) and especially dumb with the exclusion of birth control education. That being said, I do think everyone should wait to have sex until they’re ready, which is different from person to person. We each need to respect our partner’s or want-to-be partner’s choices. Sex is AHH-MAZING when enjoyed by all those involved, which means consent is mandatory! Remember, yes means yes and the absence of a “no” is not a yes! This goes for all genders, sexual identities and preferences. If someone seems iffy, don’t push them, thank them for taking care of themselves and when you get some alone time, pleasure yourself if you want to. Solo-play is actually the safest sex possible! Mutual respect, safety and trust are the only way to go in Sex Land!

– xOx

Yoni Eggs I

God lives within me and she is a fierce lover. She is spiritual, she is sexual, she is confirmations and contradictions. She is the living well of life. 

Ahhh one of my favorite topics! Mainly because I get to talk about vaginas, spirituality and self-love with a big ole heapin tablespoon of solo play!

A quick sneak peak into my personal yoni egg collection and practice!

Yoni is a Sanskrit word meaning “source, sacred temple, womb” in other words…our VAGINAAAAAAAA! Yoni eggs are holistic vaginal weights, used to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles, aka “Kegel” muscles which most people are familiar with, but Kegel was a dude gynecologist and I’d like to keep the man and his name off my vag and the internal practice we were already doing before he stuck his pole on our property! (All puns intended).

I’ve been using yoni eggs almost daily for over a year now, but it def wasn’t my first rodeo with putting weights in my vajajay. I’ve worked in the sex retail industry for over 2 years, I’ve used my own muscles, metal ben wa balls, glass and silicone weights, but when I found yoni eggs on a late-night internet rabbit hole as I was looking for more ways to aid in my recovery, I knew I needed them stat! So here’s ALL the reasons I fell into yoni eggs and why I stick with my daily practice!

  • 1. Physically/Sexually: the actual mechanics and strength building of having something weighted in your vagina and what that can do for sex, for giving birth which I’m in prep to conceive, for solo play, to prevent incontinence. You can totes do vaginal strengthening sans weights, but it’s just like working out at the gym with and without weights, you’ll get more results and quicker! Plus it’s fun to grip up on things with your partner to show off your strength! Can you feel me now?!
  • 2. Holistically: I’m a hippie. I love rocks and crystals. Yoni eggs are made from precious stones from the earth, I just intuitively trust them more plus they carry their own healing energy.
  • 3. Emotionally: Emotions are energy in motion and the stones really do hold and share energy with us, letting us release blocked emotions and as a sexual trauma survivor they’ve been very powerful as a tool in my own recovery and healing. I wear one or a combo of 2 to therapy quite often.
  • 4. Spiritually/Ritualistically: I feel very connected to ancestral healing, so I was drawn to the history, sisterhood and feminine spirit within the practice. I love the feeling of oneness and connectedness with a generational tradition that I can learn from and carry on to other women, like maybe my own daughters one day! *Yoni eggs were used by Taoist royalty thousands of years ago, this is not a new practice.*

Anyhoo…in a nutshell, yoni eggs, for me: turn me on, amp up my orgasms, connect me to my body, to the Feminine Divine, other vagina owners throughout herstory and on a practical level they keep my chocha lubed up and tight a’ight!

I’m trying to keep these v/blogs Snappie, but dangit if there’s not soooooo much yoni goodness! I used to host 1 hour yoni egg conference calls with newbies all over the world just to guide them into their practice! It was the bees knees and I miss it, so I could legit talk about this topic all day, like how to insert them, how to release them, how to clean them, when not to wear them and YONI BREATHING, omGAWD yoni breathing…oh and having sex with them in and vaginal reflexology being a thing, and, and, and! So much, too much for 1 post….so you know what that means, there’ll have to be a Yoni Eggs II in our future!

– xOx

Financial Freedom

Money is a useful tool and I am the craftsman. 

 A micro slice of my journey towards Financial Freedom!

Everything I learned about the almighty dollar, I learned at home, like most of us. There were no personal finance classes in school (though there totally needs to be!), no one to teach us about debt and credit or how at 18 I would get those oh so tempting credit card lures in the mail, which I would totally bite, hook, line and SINK! I bought 3 fresh to death leather jackets at 18 which I’m pretty sure I paid on for years after. Although my father was good with money, he was an accountant for the military, I didn’t grow up with him and he was more or less a bit of hoarding Scrooge McDuck when it came to money anyway. My super loving generous mother was at the opposite side of the spectrum, holding the belief that you can’t be buried with your money (kind of true, but I mean have you seen the Egyptian tombs?!) She taught me that you might as well spend your money now, enjoy yourself, treat yourself, treat your friends. It’s a fine concept for living in the present that unfortunately doesn’t roll over into any type of savings account. With that philosophy, I grew up living check to check with bill-paying days being pretty tense times to say the least. Sometimes we had to wait for payday to turn on the heat or the AC and there were times we had to go without things that we wanted. Now, I never starved or went naked (though fine with it now, I would’ve mortified me back in the day!) and my mother spoiled me when and where she could. I reflect on the above not to shit talk my parents, they did what they could as young divorcees and probably didn’t have a whole lotta formal financial training themselves, but I’m sharing to say, I didn’t know what the F I was doing when it came to money. I loaded up my credit card(s) and then when I couldn’t pay da bills…I just stopped. Just like that. Stopped paying, stopped answering phone calls, moved. PS. Don’t do that. I never even had a savings account, I mean I had one, but there was never any money in it. When I started dating my boo thang, It was a huge turn-on for me that he had a savings account AND he had money in it!! Like more than $100! His savings game was strong and it was important to him. However, I would say some of my bad money habits rubbed off on him over the years, using credit cards for things we didn’t need, not paying bills on time, etc. When the inkling of thinking about the potential of a starting a family came to mind, I knew that I didn’t want to continue the cycle of money like water especially when I was living in a draught! And I wasn’t in a draught because I wasn’t working, I was in a draught because I didn’t know how to manage my dinero. Something needed to change.

I heard about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) through a friend years before and how she had been able to pay off SO much debt so quickly, she shared with me the steps that I tried to incorporate without having to actually invest time, money and accountability into the class! Basically…you get what you pay for, believe that. So finally, last year, I was like “Bae, we takin this class and we taking it together!” After a little convincing on why we were going to pay for a class to learn about saving money, he was down. I’m not even doing this class justice when I say, it’s the ish, but it is! FPU completely revolutionized how we handle and think about moolah. The #1 thing we wanted to do before we even attempted on gettin it on (baby-making) was to pay off all of our consumer debt, aka credit cards, we had 3 between us. FPU, legit has the simplest most practical steps to follow, in fact they’re so simple, they’re called “Baby Steps”. I’ll say the one piece of advice I have if you take this class is just listen to Dave, don’t do things your way, this man is pure financial genius and the steps are in an order for a reason. Having debt is normal, not having debt is WEIRD! Let’s be weird!

SO, long story short, in less than a year we saved up our emergency fund and paid off all 3 of our credit cards! Paid off, cut up and CLOSED OUT homie! Neva eva to be used again. We now cash flow every big purchase, meaning, we save up for that shit or we don’t get it. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes we have to say no to eating out with friends, going to concerts, vacays, you know fun life stuff, but it’s temporary, “you’ve got to live like no one else, so you can live like no one else” – directly from Dave. We had to save up our emergency fund twice, because we had a freakin random, he’s too old to be gettin wisdom teeth emergency extraction. We used cash, paid for those suckers and it only took us 2 pay periods to get our fund back in place!

In closing, (don’t I sound all lawyer-y?!) One of the most useful tools FPU teaches is the envelope system. You budget for everything, groceries, gas, entertainment, clothing, pocket money and you withdraw cash and put it in envelopes. Once those envelopes are empty, that’s it, you’re done, and let me tell you watching that beautiful green bill leave your hand never to return the same is a lot harder than mindlessly swiping right or left…oh wait, that’s tinder ;)~ but you get me, with swiping you don’t see the money go, go, gooooo until the day you get declined!

Caveat: this class, as wonderful and beneficial as it’s been for me is very heteronormative, focused on couples and has a lot of Christian scripture references. I happened to be married to a man and I was raised Christian, but I also identify as a member of the LGBTQ family as well as have many different spiritual beliefs outside of the Christian faith as do many of my framily. One of my besties who does not identify as Christian also took the class with us and we both believe that anyone regardless of religious, sexual orientation or relationship background can benefit from the practical steps outlined in this class. I say all this because I don’t want anyone to be deprived of these super simple steps to live in financial freedom! Dave is a devout Christian (hence the Biblical references) and he’s also a practical money man, it’s worth checking out however you identify!

The Baby Steps:

  1. Save $1,000
  2. Pay off debt
  3. 3-6 month fund
  4. Invest 15%
  5. Step 5 college
  6. Pay off home
  7. Give!

Listen to *Dave’s 3 daily podcasts* OR *Watch him live on youtube*

And remember in times of financial temptation...WWDD (what would Dave do?)

– xOx

Couples Counseling

And it is messy // But it is a blessing // Because when it’s open and exposed // There’s no more throwin ‘bows // Waving white flags to foes // The wounds are scabbing up // Small scars I’ll bare // To live the life I dare. [excerpt from My Muse]. 

About a year and some change ago, the boo and I started couples counseling. We both wanted to be committed to this marriage, but to be honest we were in a pretty rough and tumble place resulting from the deep dark dank hole I seemed to be stuck in. It was a pretty scary time for the both of us as we had no idea what was to become of us, individually and collectively. We were on the verge of separation, I even hesitantly threw the word divorce out into the ring. I’m a product of parents who have both been through multiple divorces, I never really had an example of a healthy relationship that made it through hard times. On the hub’s hand though, his parents have been together for 35+ years, so there was never even a consideration for divorce on his end. To this day, I am so unbelievably grateful that I have a life partner who checks his ego for the good of the whole and isn’t too “manly” (whatever the F that means) to go to counseling or read books on issues that deal directly with what we’re going through and to better himself. Because of our commitment and super duper freakin hard work and a whole lotta tears later, we are now in a place that I never dreamed that we could be. We are closer, more in love, better at communicating and I have experienced true intimacy for the first time in my life. Wow! It’s pretty mind-blowing. Without pursuing counseling, we would never be in a mentally and emotionally stable place to bring a child into this world, thus continuing cycles that were meant to be stopped not recycled! We broke them invisible chains baby!!!

And oh how I love that he humors me by being in my silly Snappie Hippie vlog!

Love me some he.

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RESOURCE: If you’re a sexual trauma survivor and you’re in a relationship, one of the #1 books that really helped us; him understand my behavior and me start to recognize my learned coping patterns was, When a Woman You Love Was Abused. It’s a great couples read, eye opening and healing.

– xOx

Consciously Conceiving: Baby Prep

I began planning for *hopeful* conception about 10-12 months before my *ideal* gettin dat bun in the oven date! Whaaaa?! Planning? What a concept. Definitely something foreign to me, as I grew up around a lot of “Oh S%@T! I’m pregnant” unplanned pregnancies, including myself. So this time around, if planning was an option, I wanted to make sure me & my partna got our mental, emotional, physical and financial health in order! Here’s the checklist list I created on my notes app in January 2016.

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Here’s a 60 second snappie video!

Now, that list broken down with LOTS of helpful links!

  1. Therapy! I knew that this was something I needed to do for me, and it was long overdue! I had a lot of suppressed sexual trauma/shame/guilt/denial/an alcohol problem and I knew that I needed to deal with allllla that first before I could ever be the wife, mother, family member, friend that I wanted to be and GUESS WHAT?!?! IT WORKED!! Therapy is the ish and if you’re willing to put in the work and get real uncomfortable for a bit, you’re entire life can change. Your relationships can change. I had put it off for decades b/c well, I didn’t want to deal with my demons and I didn’t think I could afford therapy. But GUESS WHAT ELSE?! There’s places that have a sliding scale based on your income which was my saving grace two years ago! Then couples therapy, I mean I am trying to co-exist and grow with another human, but that’s for a future v/blog! This article is chocked full of resources for finding mental health help on a budget!
  2. Financial Peace University was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken and hereby do declare that this course or similar, should be in every high school across the country! In 362 days, we have paid off all of our consumer debt, 3 outrageous credit cards and rebuilt our emergency fund 2x! Cuz, well, we had an emergency, buuuuut we were able to use our emergency fund instead of putting anything on a credit card! Hollllaaaa! Dave Ramsey, this financial genius, has a daily podcast and youtube channel!
  3. Yoni Eggs or holistic vaginal weights made of crystals were not only a part of getting my chocha right and tight, but also a part of my healing process in combo with intense therapy. I started out with the three traditional Tao eggs, Jade, Obsidian and Rose Quartz. Now I had been working with vaginal weights, but they were like the old school metal ben wa balls and these were healing crystals, so I was all in! Today I have almost 20 yoni eggs of all sizes and variety of crystals! PLEASE for the love of Holy Mother, just make sure whatever yoni eggs you buy are GIA-certified, there is A LOT of fake crystal dealers out there, effed up I know, especially when it comes to Jade. This is your precious temple we’re talking about, so don’t be cheap, get something that will make your kitty purr and heal.
  4. Let’s give it up for Planned Parenthood y’all! They have kept me baby and cancer-free my entire post-college adult life?! It’s called PLANNED parenthood for a reason! Thru these angels, I got the non hormonal, copper ParaGard IUD, which basically kung fu chops semen, at least that’s the visual in my head! These IUDs have a lifespan of up to 12 years and are immediately reversible. Now it hurts like a B going in, but for 6 years, not feeling it at all, my partner not feeling it all and NO pregnancy scares, it was so worth it! The removal is not a day at the beach either, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s hella quick and easy, which was surprising since my hypochondriac self swore it had definitely embedded itself into my organs. Nope! It’s outta there!
  5. Garden of Life mykind Organics Prenatal Multi baybeee! Literally for me and my baby, pre, during and post pregnancy for milkie milkie time! They’re still big as hell, but they don’t taste so bad going down. They also have a dude’s multi which baby daddy has been consuming to help with that healthy sperm game.
  6. I’m a hard core vegetarian whose a wanna be vegan most of the time…like 89%. Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven and Kind Mama are my go-tos when making sure Imma be getting the proper nutrition to me and bae during conception and during preggo time. It’s also my go-to when I need to hit the naysayers upside the head with my kindle for poo pooing on my lifestyle choice of not eating potentially poisoned and rotting flesh, which is fine if that’s what you’re into. To each her own, I’ll leave your steak alone, if you leave my greens alone, capisce?! PS. Rando Fact: Alicia Silverstone wrote Kind Mama and is also responsible for the mykind line at Garden of life! Get it Alicia and thanks!
  7. We had a pre-baby vacay for our anniversary and spent a month in Italy this summer doing as the Romans do…when in Rome… straight debauchery! Vino, gelato, vino, food, vino and umm…whatever happens in Italy stays in Italy! Needless to say, we had us a good little cleansing when we got back, a vegan liquid cleanse- juice, smoothies and soups minus the vino! It was womb prep-time for the future tenet.
  8. Living in SoCal, I have a bunch of beautiful, natural-living, ahhhmazing Mexican amigas who hipped me to sobadoras. A sobadora is a masseuse, one that massages a woman’s uterus. Our ute can get all kinds of out of wack from sports, babies, carrying heavy ish, TRAUMA and plain ole stress. If the ute is not in the correct position it can F with implantation. The super amazing sobadora that I found specializes in Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy. Marcia is a gem and her website is True Healing Bodywork, tell her The Snappie Hippie sent you so she knows I love her and am in eternal gratitude.
  9. Yogaglo (at home) and Silverlake Yoga (in studio) has amazing prenatal classes, partner classes and baby and me classes…swooooon!! The great news for this very vain workout addict is that I found out I can pretty much continue with all my regular scheduled workouts like hiking, elliptical and swimming throughout my pregnancy, F yes! I am however going to take my outdoor cycling off the list, since it’s already hella dangerous on these LA streets and I’ll be pedaling for 2. Might have to cool it on the pole when I get too big to swing around or invert. Already thinking of when I can get back to working out after pregnancy and I’m not even pregs yet…oy.
  10. The midwife and doula search is ON like Donkey Kong! I’m SO grateful that there are soooo many good reproductive resources here in Los Angeles! Somewhere along the way since my epidural-heavy , pain-free first pregnancy, I’ve decided that I want to have a natural at home water birth…whaaaaa, never have I ever! I want that spiritual mama to babe soul connection on my terms, plus I heard there’s such a thing as an orgasmic birth and I’m gonna research the hell outta that! Masturbation while giving birth anyone? Here’s the midwife search thus far:

And dasss it (hella long tho, huh?)! My first post will be my longest post *promise* but I want to share ALL the goodies I’ve been collectin!

– xOx