Archive for 'Friday Faves'

March 28, 2014
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Yeah, I’m going there.

Why? Because this product has changed my existence as a women. Bold statement, right? Trust me – if it weren’t worth talking about, I wouldn’t be wasting our time writing about it.

So let’s get down to it. I don’t know about you, but until a few months ago, I always just did what I was told to do, vis-a-vis my “lady time” – use tampons and pads and grumble, grumble, grumble.

Tampons have always made my period cramping a lot worse, so I’ve tried to avoid using them unless absolutely necessary. May sound weird, but it’s true – they do to my period what pitocin does to labor and contractions – makes it a lot worse (stronger, more painful). I thought I was imagining it at first, until I went a few periods without using one at all, and the difference was like night and day. It occurred to me that it was probably something to do with them being unnatural/synthetic, and I’m very picky about what goes into and onto my body. Once I see the truth about something being unideal or unhealthy, my mind is made up. Seeing the horrific article about the moldy tampon didn’t really help matters, either. So just I decided at that point, “Ok, whatever, I’ll just use pads.”

In case you haven’t noticed – and I’m sure, if you’ve had more than, say, one period in your life, you have – pads aren’t exactly the most convenient, comfortable, or attractive things in the world. They have always made me feel like I was wearing an adult diaper, which is an annoying and embarrassing feeling – not to mention, a lot of the time (for me, anyway), they didn’t always do their job in terms of preventing spillage or leaks. Sans tampon, my period pretty much always feels like a bloodbath. Gross, right? Sorry to be frank, but it is. It’s just gross – the mess, the smell, the feeling nasty the whole time. Ick. 

So a few months ago I stumbled across my friend Lindsey’s blog post on menstrual cups. I was immediately intrigued, since I had already been on the hunt for an alternative – ideally, one that was less messy and more natural (i.e., not loaded with chemicals and with the potential to give me some weird condition like TSS). Well, as I read what Lindsey had to say, I was really excited, because menstrual cups sounded like THE answer to my problem. Sure, it wasn’t something I had heard a lot about – pretty unconventional – but y’all know me, I don’t really care about all that. If I find a solution that will improve something for me, “normalcy” is for the birds, as far as I am concerned.

So I ordered a Diva Cup (before you ask, I just sorta picked one – at the time, I only knew about two – the Diva and the Lunette). I’ve been using it since January.

diva cup both

And the verdict?

It. Is. Freaking. Awesome.

You can do some research on your own – there are tons of reviews and stories out there from other women who use and love their cups, just like me (just go type “menstrual cup” into the search box on Pinterest).

Instead of doing a huge, all-inclusive educational post, I’m just going to tell you my own experience and what I love about using one over the “old” tampon-and-pad method. If you want more of an informational overview, head over to this post that Lindsey wrote.

Reasons I LOVE My Diva Cup:

1. You get the benefits of a tampon (better, really) without any of the risks (like mold and/TSS, or chemicals generally) – you can wear it for up to 12 hours (YES, you really can) because it’s natural, undyed, healthcare grade silicone and totally safe (I wore mine with a pantiliner at first, but when I saw that I didn’t need one, I stopped using anything other than just the cup itself. It seriously works that well – no leaks).

2. No cramps, no smell, less mess. That’s pretty straightforward. It’s no messier than a tampon – I’d say less, actually, because you have to remove and clean it less often than you have to change tampons. Oh, and the smell thing? Yeah, the chemicals in tampons will make your natural smell down there a lot funkier. Not a problem with a menstrual cup – not that the smell is pleasant, of course, but…it’s not funky or rancid. It is a lot more “natural” and less noticeable, which is something we all (not to mention our significant others) can appreciate. Again, that may be TMI, but this is something that we all have to deal with, realistically and practically speaking, so…suck it up, buttercup.

3. No leaks = I can wear it to workout in. This is a big one for me, since Crossfit is a big part of my life now. Those workouts are intense and involve a lot of movement, so the fact that I can wear the Diva Cup with no leaks during Fran or the Filthy Fifty (and I can, and have) is a biiiiiig deal.

4. It’s super comfortable. I can’t feel the cup, generally speaking, and sometimes I forget it’s even there. AND, even if I do forget, there’s no risk involved (the worst that could happen is that it gets full and there is leakage, but that’s not happened to me yet and I always wear mine for 12 hours at a time).

5. It’s greener. Now, admittedly, this isn’t something that is always at the top of my priority list, over stuff like practicality and cost, but it is something I try to consider. I believe very strongly that we should be good stewards of everything we have, and that includes the earth. So, using a cup means less dirty tampons and maxis in a landfill somewhere, and that’s beneficial to all of us.

6. YOU SAVE MONEY. This is something that a lot of people don’t think about, but this is a big one! I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to calculate the cost of disposable menstrual products, but they’re way expensive. Just check out this cost graphic I pulled off Pinterest (admittedly, couldn’t find the original source, but those calculations seem pretty accurate to me, as someone who bought those products for years). The point is, a menstrual cup is something you buy once and then don’t have to replace for a a few years, vs. pads and tampons which I usually had to buy every 2 months or so. Huge savings – which means money is freed up for other, fun stuff.

cost comparison

 

So, before I wrap this up, I’m gonna hit some of the common questions I get (and will inevitably get from some of you who read this).

Q1. “But…..that looks a lot bigger than a tampon, like, width- wise.”
A. Yes, it is, but you fold it to insert it, and once it’s folded (there are a few different ways), it’s about the same in diameter and actually shorter in length than a lot of tampons, and definitely shorter than tampons with applicators attached.

Q2. “Does it hurt?”
A. Nope. There is a learning curve, of course – just like with tampons – but you’ll get the hang of it fast, don’t worry – it only takes a few times and you’re golden. Diva Cup has a great page on their website with all the how-to, practical stuff on there to help if you have more specific questions. That’s the only thing I referenced when I first got and started using mine.

Q3. “Can it get stuck? How far up does it go?”
A. Now, this is something that Diva Cup addressed in their instructions that came with the cup, but I want to tell you from experience – it may get what you feel to be pretty far up there, compared to a tampon. Do not freak out – that’s normal. Sometimes, especially if you haven’t had it in that long or are on the lighter part of your period and it’s not very full, you may have to utilize those Kegel muscles and bear down (Mamas who’ve given birth will know what I mean, but for those of you who haven’t, it would be similar to pushing during a bowel movement) to push it down where you can remove it. Again, totally normal. But, the longer you leave it in, the easier it is to remove because the cup will be more full and gravity does its job and pushes it down for you. I’ve never had trouble with not being able to remove it, but I remember being alarmed the first few times I used mine that it was so far up – mainly because I was still expecting it to be just like a tampon and hadn’t left it in for very long when I tried to take it out. Remember: It’s not exactly like a tampon. Similar, but there are some major differences – you need to approach this like it’s its own, new thing. K?

And that pretty much sums it up. I highly, highly, recommend using a cup – but only if you want a more comfortable, less messy, healthier, more environmentally responsible and more cost efficient period. I can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t want those benefits, but maybe some people don’t. If not, keep on with what you’re doing already. :)

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

 

March 22, 2013
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I’m the type of person that, when I really really like something, I have the tendency to sort of get obsessed and talk EVERYONE’S head off for about 3 weeks about it – literally, every person I know is like, “WE GET IT BRITTANY, PLEASE SHUT UP NOW.” Usually, this is because the information I am raving about isn’t particularly interesting to them because it’s not particularly relevant at that moment in time.

….but I need to talk about it. What can I say? I am a true creative…and, let’s face it, a human being (read: narcissist) who likes to share my thoughts and feelings with anyone who will listen.

So, eureka! Enter le blog – a place where people can come and “hear” my opinions and thoughts, ON THEIR TERMS! What a novel idea!!!!

Ok, sarcasm aside, I do sincerely love helping people in that I like giving them tips on really fantastic products or services and my experience with said products. Word of mouth helps everyone – business and consumer alike – so why not?

So, from now on, I’ll be raving about any given personal favorite of mine on here every Friday.

Today’s Fave is Walking With the Wise, an album produced by Sovereign Grace Music. I just literally cannot say enough good things about this album. And that’s a BIG deal given what it is – a kids’ worship album. (I’ll explain in a sec.)

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The album’s thesis is Biblical wisdom (à la the book of Proverbs). A friend recommended it to me when it first came out, and I was hesitant because…well, quite truthfully, I detest children’s music. Nothing takes me from calm to “smash a kitten” faster than kids [badly] singing cheesy songs with a bunch of annoying sounds in the background to accompany them (which is what most kid songs are, if you’re honest.)

Well, not this one. For real.

First of all, all singing on the album is 1) on key and 2) normal. Not sugar-hyped rodent singing. So that gave the album a head start out of the gate, in my book. Also, it’s not just one track after the other of a mass of kids singing in a chaotic vocal free-for-all. There are different vocalists AND different song styles.  This may sound like I am pointing out stupid and/or obvious things – but, trust me, when it comes to kids music I am a severe critic. There are so many good, rare things about this album I want to make sure to include every positive nuance.

Next, this album is packed rich with sound Biblical truth. Obedience to God and parents, honesty, a diligent work ethic, the condition of man, the sovereignty of God…it’s all covered. The Five Solas – BAM. It’s all there. The more I listen to it, the more appreciative I am of how theologically rich and simultaneously straightforward the lyrics are.

Not only that, but it’s easy to understand, repetitive (which is excellent for kids), and it sticks. It’s not just something that is like, “Wow, that is profound and awesome and I love it” and then once you’re not listening to it anymore, it’s forgotten. I am a grown woman and there have been more times than I can count that I have literally been reminded of a track on the album and how it applies at that moment to my life. Also, I’ve been able to have numerous conversations with Piper already about songs on the album and how to apply them (e.g., “Piper, there are plenty of toys for all of us, so let’s share, okay? Remember the song we were singing earlier, about how God loves a generous heart? Sharing our toys is pleasing to God and loving to others.”)

My favorite songs are “A Good Friend,” “I Don’t Have To Hide,” “A Cheerful Heart,” and “A Generous Heart”. I know that is four out of thirteen, which is kind of a lot, but it’s almost impossible to pick one or two favorites because honestly every single track is unbelievably good.

“A Good Friend” is a great one for helping little ones remember and apply how to be just that – a good, Christ-like friend:

VERSE 1
A friend will always think of others
A friend will overlook a wrong
A friend sticks closer than a brother
A friend is patient all along
Jesus, let me be the friend You are to me

CHORUS
A good friend, true friend
Here to help you through friend
Strong friend, kind friend
You can have what’s mine, friend
Best friend, sure friend
Humble and a pure friend
Lord, I wanna be a good friend

VERSE 2
A friend will help me do the right things
A friend won’t lead me into sin
A friend will help me when I stumble
A friend will lift me up again
Jesus, help me find a friend who’ll make me wise 

Isn’t that AWESOME??? That’s Piper’s favorite and she already knows – and can sing- almost all the words! Nothing makes this mommy’s heart happy like my little girl loving, saying and applying Biblical truth.

“I Don’t Have to Hide” is awesome in that it teaches the importance of confessing sin instead of hiding it, which is what is instinctual – and contrasts how hiding sin hurts us and separates us from God, while confessing sin is liberating.

“I Don’t Have to Hide”

VERSE 1 
When I have done something 
I know I shouldn’t do 
And I’m tempted to hide it 
When I have spoken words 
I know I shouldn’t speak 
And I want to deny it 
If I confess my sins, I’ll find mercy 

CHORUS 
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord 
And admits his sin 
Blessed is the one who trusts the Lord 
Who alone forgives 
Jesus died so I don’t have to hide anymore 

VERSE 2 
When I have taken something 
I know I shouldn’t take 
And I try to conceal it 
When I have disobeyed 
The rules my parents made 
I shouldn’t keep it a secret 
If I confess my sins, I’ll find mercy 

BRIDGE 
When we know we’re forgiven 
We don’t have to be afraid 
We’ll want to run from sin 
And follow Jesus every day

Mind blown, right? Right. It’s hard to believe it’s an album intended for young kids, when I find myself almost constantly saying, “I really needed to be reminded of that today.”

And, what parent won’t rejoice over their kid remembering and enjoying a song about willful, joyful obedience? “All Ears” talks about how it’s beneficial for kids to listen diligently to Mom and Dad:

I wanna be all ears when Mom is speaking 
All ears when Dad is teaching 
There’s a lot I don’t know 
And they’ve been around a whole lot of years 
And have covered some ground 
Their words will make me wise, so I’m all ears 

When my eyes are tempted to wander away 
I’ll be all ears 
When my mouth is jumping at something to say 
I’ll be all ears 
Even when it’s hard for me to hear

“A Cheerful Heart” and “A Generous Heart” talk about what each of those attributes of character looks like in application, and how God is the one who gives them to us – it doesn’t come from us.  “A Generous Heart” also talks in detail about how God is the most generous of all, and how this is proven in Jesus.

Thus far, this album has been one of the best theological parenting tools I’ve encountered…seriously. It’s also, again, been something that has been a constant reminder of the great truths that I need to hear on a regular basis as well. Great job, Sovereign Grace. Now can you make an album based on Romans? That’d be great. :)

Go get the album and/or find out more here.