9 Reasons Why I Chose a Menstrual Cup

If you menstruate, or know someone who does, this post is for you. I used to wear tampons and pads during my time of the month, until 3 years ago when a friend introduced me to the idea that something better was out there. In this two part series, I am going to write first on why I chose a menstrual cup, and in part 2 (HERE), I will write about how to use and care for your menstrual cup (should you choose to accept it.) First, a quick explanation: a menstrual cup is a silicone cup that you fold and insert into your vagina when you are menstruating. The cup holds the blood until you remove it, dump the contents into the toilet, wash out, and reinsert. That really is the gist of it!

Why I prefer a menstrual cup – specifically, the DivaCup.

  1. You can wear the DivaCup for up to 12 hours. The cup holds 1 oz of menstrual blood, and most women only have about 1-2 oz PER CYCLE! No worries about it not being big enough.
  2. Unlike with tampons, there is no risk for toxic shock syndrome (TSS) with the cup. Therefore:
  3. …You can wear the cup overnight.
  4. It is safe enough to wear when you think you might start your period but haven’t yet.
  5. Cost-effective. One of the main things that drew me away from tampons in the first place: The DivaCup (my cup of choice!) costs about $30 (It is $29.99 + S/H on drugstore.com) and lasts a whole year.
  6. Tampons (and pads for that matter) contain tons of chemicals to make them absorbent. Who wants chemicals up there?
  7. Environmentally friendlier, as you are not throwing away a ton of paper, cotton, etc.
  8. You can track your periods easily with the DivaCup, should you ever need to tell your doctor how much blood you put out monthly. There are measuring lines on the outside.
  9. In my experience, periods became shorter and lighter with the use of the DivaCup. (Not an FDA approved and evaluated statement, although other women have said the same thing.)

A question I received when sharing with family members about the Diva Cup was a great one – does it have to be fitted by doctor? Nope, this is a cup made of silicone that forms to your body – you can even buy it on the internet. There are 2 sizes, based on your age and whether you have given birth or not. The only things that I think people might not like about the cup is the “ick” factor, public restroom worries, and time constraints. To debunk:

  • It can be icky to dump the cup in the toilet (TIP: hold close to the bowl) (blood can be thick and I use toilet paper to clean it out fully) and wash out the cup. There’s no denying that. But, if you ask me, it’s really not that bad. I don’t think it’s much worse than the tampon stuff.
  • Public restrooms where there are stalls can be complicated. I read you can bring a bottle of water in to wash out the cup into the toilet if needed. However, given the 12 hours you can keep it in, I have literally never run into this issue.
  • Time constraints are the only thing that get to me. Some nights I wear just a pad to bed because I know I’ll be in such a rush the next morning that I won’t have time to remove, wash out, and reinsert the cup. Instead I wake up and put my clean cup in and remove the pad. I can’t debunk this. It takes less time to rip off a pad than to clean out your cup.

Would you use the DivaCup? What would be your reasoning for making the switch?

The opinions stated in this blog post are mine alone. Facts and photo were obtained from http://www.divacup.com.

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Opt-Out of your Phone Book Delivery

If you are like me, you don’t use your phone book. The Internet does the job for me when I need to look up a business, yet I get about 8 phone books a year. I am able to recycle them through my community’s curbside recycling program… but as part of a waste-free life, I would rather just not get them. Thankfully, there is a way to do that!  On the front of each phone book (I have 4 in my house) there is a little recycling sign. Next to the sign reads “To stop delivery of future directories visit http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com.”

optout

Sorry so blurry!

To opt-out of deliveries from Yellow Pages, you must enter an email address, create a password, and enter your name, address, and phone number. To those concerned: I have never received any spam emails, letters, or phone calls from Yellow Pages. (I opted-out at our last house, too.) After entering your opt-out information, you will receive an email from “optout@yellowpagesoptout.com” for confirmation, but you don’t have to do anything with that. You are done! And should you move, just log in and change your address! That way, the person who lives in your previous home will have the option to keep or opt-out of the books as they choose. And you, at your new location, can opt-out as you please. This is especially useful for renters! I encourage everyone to look at the front cover of your phone books for a website – particularly if you receive a phone book other than Yellow Pages. Do you use your phone books? Will you opt out of phone book delievery?

DIY Easy Valentine for Kids

DIY Easy Valentine for Kids

I happen to have a ton of pink paper and some plain white card stock, so I made some quick and easy valentines for my students.

I made a heart in MS Word (autoshape!) and inserted the words “you are just WRITE! Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Ms. Savannah”

DIY Easy Valentine for Kids

Printed them out on pink paper and glued the whole sheet of paper (3 hearts fit on it) to white card stock using a glue stick. THEN I cut out the hearts. I had to bend them around the fattest part of the heart (horizontally) to cut two vertical lines – about an inch and a half – to slide a pencil through.

I bought a pack of 8 pencils for $1.50 at Target. They were hard to find last weekend when I bought them. I sharpened them and pushed them through the slits in the valentine.

This is how they turned out!

DIY Easy Valentine for Kids

Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your day this Saturday!

Do you make valentine’s for any kids in your life?

Sweet, Healthy Breakfast Treat

Sweet, Healthy Breakfast Treat

Step 1: Spread natural peanut butter or other natural nut butter on one half of a whole wheat tortilla shell (in a half moon shape.)

Step 2: Slice banana and put on peanut butter. (I cut them pretty thick so I could use the entire banana. It was then messier to eat but delicious and nutritious!)

Sweet, Healthy Breakfast Treat

Step 3: Fold in half to cover toppings and cook in a skillet on medium heat.

Sweet, Healthy Breakfast Treat

Step 4: Let cook until there is browning; flip and cook other side the same way.

Step 5: Drizzle with honey and cut into easier-to-eat slices.

Sweet, Healthy Breakfast Treat

Step 6: EAT AND ENJOY!

I have seen an idea for chocolate chips inside with the peanut butter and banana; I didn’t have chocolate chips so I didn’t try that. I added honey instead for the sweetness factor.

Have you ever thought of using tortilla shells as part of a breakfast? 

First dance lyrics and photo: DIY Valentine’s Day Project

For Valentine’s Day, how about a special homemade project for your sweetie?

IMPORTANT FIRST STEP: Create a new Word document and go to Page Setup to change the paper size to 8″ x 10″. This way, it will fit in a regular 8″ x 10″ frame.

Next, I found the lyrics to the song my husband and I call “our song” – the one we to which we danced our first dance at our wedding. (“Back at One” by Brian McKnight is ours.) I copied and pasted the lyrics into the 8″ x 10″ Word document and took out all the line breaks. Instead of line breaks, I added 3 spaces between the words where line breaks would have occurred.

I also used the “Insert -> Picture -> From File” function to insert a photo of us in our first dance at our wedding.

I justified the text and put it in a font I like. I bolded the chorus every time it occurred. I also checked the lyrics to make sure they were what I remembered … sometimes those sites get it wrong!

I made the font and picture the biggest sizes I could without making the document go over a page. I experimented with moving around the picture a little to make the lyrics to the left of the photo appear as normal as possible. Justifying the text can make it look funny at times (as you can see in a few lines below where the words are super spaced out!)

Then at the bottom I added our names and the date of our wedding.

First dance lyrics and photo: DIY Valentine's Day Project

Printed it out on card stock (trimmed to 8″ x 10″) and it is ready for a frame!

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you have a significant other, would you make something for him or her as a gift?

DIY Birthday Display Craft

DIY Birthday Display Craft

Before we get too far into 2015, I have got to share a craft I made to enjoy year round.

I had a small family, but I married into a huge one! I now have 11 nieces and nephews, as well as 7 siblings-in-law.

Something else you should know about me is how much I treasure birthdays. I think they are fantastic and deserve to be celebrated by children and adults alike. I love to celebrate with the birthday people by mailing cards and making phone calls. I have birthdays on my calendars, including as a recurring event on my iCal (those recurring events – so helpful!) but I wanted to treasure them by putting them on display in a whole different way.

DIY Birthday Display Craft by Savannah of organizationLove

I chose a color of background card stock for each month, and a coordinating pen and marker color. I used a different color of background paper for almost each month, and tried to make the color scheme correspond with a big holiday in the month. October is black and orange due to Halloween falling in October, for example. I made the squares 3.5″ and then cut out the white (with small colored flecks – reminded me of birthday cake) paper slightly smaller with decorative scissors.

The months are written in cursive in a color. Down the left side, in numerical order, are the days where birthdays lie. The birthday person’s name is written in black to stand out, and lastly the year they were born (so I can always figure out how old they are, and for adults, if a milestone birthday is approaching!)

I also included anniversaries with a heart next to the last name of the couple. The heart is dark enough that it makes it easy to differentiate from birthdays. And yes – I observe the anniversary of our proposal and the day we started dating as well. (Actually, these are on the chart mostly because it helps me remember the years these things happened!)

I used my hole punch to make a hole above the month name and threaded some gold string through, double/triple tying a knot to create a circle. They hang on a giant pushpin pushed into the bulletin board near my front door. When a month is over, like January is, I just move it to the back by taking the entire pushpin out and slipping the passed month over the point and all!

DIY Birthday Display Craft by Savannah of organizationLove

This is also handy because the kids in the family are too young for Facebook birthday reminders! 

Do you love birthdays too? Let me know in the comments how you remember your family members’ birthdays!