Monday, November 26, 2018

My Low Waste Period

This is a post I never in my life imagined I would write, but I think it is important to share how I changed over to reusable menstrual products and how it has changed the amount of waste my period creates. I call it low waste since I still do use some tampons and disposable pads, but it is going to take me a long time to go through a box. 

When I first moved into my apartment I started doing research on ways I could save money and reduce the amount of waste that I create. I wanted to find reusable products that might cost me money in the beginning, but I would be able to reuse for years to come. I will do a post on my low waste cleaning routine next week. A huge area that costs a lot as a women is my period. I have to admit that I was nervous to make the switch to a menstrual cup and disposable pads. The cost was high up front, so I wasn't ready to take the plunge when I first moved in. After August and September seeing how many tampons and pads I really use I decided to take the plunge in October and order my first menstrual cup and reusable pad. 

After watching a lot of videos on Youtube I decided that the skoon cup would be the first cup I would try. Itsjustkelli has some amazing period videos on youtube and she gives so much information about each of the products she reviews. I ordered my skoon cup from Ilovegenerationme

Here is my reasoning on picking this cup to try first. It is supposed to be one of the easiest cups to use for beginners. It is soft, which is also great for beginners, but firm enough to open really easily. It doesn't have too long of a stem, so you don't have to worry about that being uncomfortable. Its made of medical grade silicon and does not have any artificial dyes of perfumes like tampons do. 

Here is the thing that was a bit scary with this journey trying the menstrual cup. I have known about these for years and always been afraid of them. You have to be comfortable sticking your fingers in your vagina to use a menstrual cup. I can't say that I was before I made this purchase and I still was not sure I would like it, but I took the leap of faith. 

My skoon cup arrived in October a few days before my period was set to arrive. I was already spotting, but was not heavy enough to need anything more than a pad. I boiled the skoon cup and waited until I started my period to put it in for the first time. I like what is called the clown smile fold. When I was first learning to put it in I would do it in the bathroom and squat by the toilet. One of the biggest learning curves was learning how high to put it up there. From personal experience if you don't have it high enough you will not be able to go pee, so you will know when it is not placed correctly. I always feel around the rim to make sure that it is open completely and in the right place. The first day I wore it I couldn't wait to take it out and see how much it had collected. Even on the first day I knew it was in there, but I did not feel any discomfort. I was surprised with how much blood it collected. It was so easy to just toss the blood in the toilet, wash my cup in sink, and reinsert. 

It has been a bit of a learning curve on how to position it inside of me, but once you get it in there correctly it is so comfortable, does not leak, and can be worn for up to 12 hours. I am now on my second cycle with the skoon cup and I have to say I'm in love with how easy it is. 

Removal is really easy. I usually put down on the stem gently. Then I grab the bottom of the cup and pull until the cup is almost out. Then I fold one side just a bit and remove. The first couple of times it was uncomfortable because I wasn't used to the feeling, but it has been fine since. 

Nighttime has taken me longer to adjust to the idea. I was still wearing tampons at night until recently. I had a tampon leak in the middle of the night and I thought why not try the cup. The next night I emptied and reinserted my cup a couple hours before bedtime, so that I could check to make sure it wasn't leaking before I went to sleep. It did not leak at all during the night. 

As for going to the bathroom with the cup I think it is way more comfortable than with a tampon. You don't have to worry about the string and you can just go to the bathroom as usual. 

After your period is over they recommend boiling it for five minutes, but otherwise you just have to rinse it with warm water during your period. I will admit that I do still keep tampons handy in case my period starts when I don't expect it and I don't have my cup handy. I still do wear tampons when I stay over places just because I  don't want to lose my cup. 

Cloth Pads is my next adventure in my low waste period. I am still using pads as a backup method with the cup just because I do not yet trust the cup on its own. I will say that when the cup is inserted properly the pad only has a couple dots of blood on it, which is most likely from what was already there before I inserted the cup. I bought these pantyliners from Huggable Earth. These are cute on the underside, but white on top which I love because I can see where the stains are at. 

The pantyliners are super easy you just snap them to your underwear and position correctly and that is it. These pantyliners are super thin and I can't even feel that it is there. It does not feel as itchy as disposable pads. These pantyliners are a great backup to the cup or tampons and really light period days. They are not thick enough to be worn as the only period product. 

As for watching the pads I soak them as soon as possible in cold water and dawn blue dish soap. Any remaining stain after the soak I put hydrogen peroxide on it. If that doesn't work then I put some shout on it. Since the pads are white my last resort for a stain that won't come out is bleach. Majority of the time just soaking it in dish soap is enough to remove the stain. Then I just throw it in the washer with my underwear. It is important to note that you should not use fabric softener with cloth pads, so I use vinegar as fabric softener. It works like a charm. 

That is pretty much it for cloth pads. I would say they are more work than the cup, but since I just use them as a backup and for light or days when I'm spotting they have been really simple to clean so far and in my opinion way more comfortable than disposables. 

I have really enjoyed my switch to reusable products. I love how much money I'm saving. If you know me I'm big on saving money and I love how much less waste I'm creating. I will have a post next week about my low waste cleaning routine because that has been another significant switch since I have moved into my apartment. 

*none of the links are affiliate links. I am not being paid for this post. Just my personal recommendation*

Monday, August 27, 2018

Jodi Picoult A Spark of Light Giveaway

Jodi Picoult is at it again with her new novel A Spark of Light. Jodi's publisher was kind of enough to get in contact with me and offer a giveaway to all my blog readers. I have been a long time fan of Jodi Picoult and have always really enjoyed her books. I'm excited to read her newest novel.

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

Jodi Picoult—one of the most fearless writers of our time—tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon July 2018 Starting Line

I'm so excited for Dewey's first ever reverse readathon and it couldn't have happened on a more perfect weekend. It starts in just around 15 minutes and lasts until 7 pm tomorrow night. I don't have many plans this weekend, so it will be the perfect time to sit around and read.

I'm planning on getting in around 2 hours of reading tonight and then I will get the bulk of my reading in tomorrow. I'll be back in a few hours to update you on my progress.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Summer TBR Wipeout Sign Up and Goal

Hosted by Candid Cover
So I'm not off to the greatest start with my COYER summer reading list, but last year this challenge was a huge help with my COYER list. I would like to try to read 6 books off the list for the challenge. I will be back for weekly updates again, which really motivates me to keep going with the challenge. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Release I Missed Midyear Update

Today I'm posting an update on the releases I missed posts that went live in January. I don't usually do midyear updates, but since I'm trying to read books oof these lists an update is sometimes helpful to see the progress. I started off the year with 16 books on my 2013, 2014, 2015 list and I'm now down to 13 even though I have finished Everything Leads to You yet. I'm counting it because I'm going to finish it in the next couple of days. 

My 2016 list had 14 books at the beginning of the year and now I'm down to 13, so I've only read one book so far. 
I started off with 14 books for my 2017 releases and I have read one book taking my total down to 13 books. 

This is the first time that all three lists have had the same number of books on them, but I'm definetly hoping to read some more books off these lists before the end of the year. 

So far this year I have read 5 books off these lists. Destiny Rewritten is a 2013 Release, Ophelia and Everything Leads to You are 2014 Releases, First Comes Love is a 2016 Release, and Lucky in Love is a 2017 Release. 

This is one of my favorite posts to do every January and I think it helps keep me accountable for the books that I do want to read.