Sustainable Replacements for Tampons

Sustainable Replacements for Tampons

I have a pet peeve.  I can’t stand buying the same things over and over again.  I felt this way about tampons and menstrual pads.

I then got pregnant, breast-fed, then became pregnant again…and breast-fed …again all within 3 years.  I had only 3 periods between both pregnancies. Which means I didn’t really have to figure out a menstruation solution…yet! I still had a (dusty!) box of tampons left from before I became pregnant the first time.

I made a declaration to myself that I would figure out how to never buy a tampon again and gave myself only the amount of time it would take me to finish the box of tampons I already possessed.  This gave me incentive to start my research!

After lots of research I found The Diva Cup

It is a silicone cup inserted into the vagina and catches your flow for up to 12 hours. Yes.  You read correctly:


There are other menstrual cup options, but this is where I started, with the intention of trying others to see what I liked most.  Unfortunately (or maybe very fortunately), I never got to try any others because


I love it so much that I don’t even want to try any others.  Who knows, maybe I would even like some others better, but I am so stuck on the Diva Cup that I have no desire to spend money on another brand.  At least not yet.

If anyone out there uses another brand of menstrual cup, please post your opinion down below and share your experience with the rest of this Bohemian Community.

Much Love

Bohemian Mama

Two Great Causes Wrapped up in One

I recently came across this website:

They are an organization committed to securing the future of endangered species and in order to promote their mission, they have been giving away condoms packaged with illustrations depicting some of these animals.

Now, why would this be on a Bohemian Baby blog post?  Because it brings together 2 important and pertinent topics: Birth Control and our Eco-System.

I am committed to having a clean and non-toxic environment where I can control it; this includes food, air, cosmetics etc.  Understand that this also extends into birth control. Birth Control has been a topic of stress for me since the births of my sons.  I refuse to use a method of hormonal manipulation, additionally I’m un-open to pregnancy-preventative surgery.  This leaves me with limited options.  I looked deeply into a Copper IUD.  This form of birth control is implanted into the base of the cervix and the copper works with the body’s chemistry to create an undesirable environment for fertilization. However, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy becomes extremely high if fertilization does occur. Additionally, I wasn’t keen on being dependent on a physician if I needed it removed.

Enter in Condoms!

I know, I know, most long-term couples are less than enthused to re-introduce condoms to their love lives, but it is a very secure and easy method of non-hormonal birth control.  And the condoms passed around by The Center for Biological Diversity keep it interesting.  The packages are colorful and thoughtfully designed containing a small rhyme touching on the animal and the importance of birth control.

“the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature”

This is a quote off of their website and I stand behind these words 100%. If our eco-system is unbalanced and unhealthy then so are we.  We are not separate from nature; we ARE nature.

I applaud the efforts of this institution and encourage you to take a look at their work.

Peace & Love

Bohemian Mama

B.Y.O.B (bring your own bag)

I recently took a trip to Portland, Oregon. This was my first visit to this lusciously dark green, pinot noir region. I came with some pre-conceived notions…good ones!…and I must say, it was even better than I could’ve hoped. This is the most heavenly city I have visited.

But I’d like to talk about one particular observation:
I never saw anyone with a plastic bag!

They either had paper bags or re-usable cloth bags. So let’s talk cloth! Your options, your materials, and the sustainability of it all. As Bohemian Mamas, we are looking towards zero trash. Here’s how we can help.

In the city of my residence, there is a small yet noticeable population of people who bring their own bags to the supermarkets/stores and an even greater population who are interested in this notion. Because of this, many stores sell some cheap, throw-away, version of reusable bags near the register. Here’s some help to aid you in barrage of crap versus true ecologically-friendly gems.

First, a cloth bag should be washable. Point blank. Cloth supermarket bags must be washed as you will be carrying food items in them, over and over again. The ‘cloth-feeling-esque’ bags at most grocer counters aren’t really cloth; they are a plastic-polymer concoction that are NOT washable and will degrade and be unusable in under a year. To choose a proper cloth bag it must be made of cotton, hemp, or bamboo. All those fabrics are durable and therefore Long Lasting (remember, zero trash!) For cotton, please choose organic as the cotton crops of America are the most heavily sprayed crop on the market. Bamboo has some sustainability issues as it takes many years for the plant to reach complete maturation. My advice, go with 100% cotton or hemp.

Second, there is an awesome company that uses close to 100% post-consumer recycled plastic to make an extremely durable reusable bag. It is technically plastic but no new plastic. Supporting the recycled plastic industry works in our favor 2-fold:
1 – It supports the recycling factories to continue on, at least
2- giving an alternative to plastic going in landfills (for now. Of course the goal is for the planet to become plastic-free).
These only need a wipe down to become sanitized and clean and MOST of their products can get stuffed (into themselves!) into an attached mini pouch, so they’re PERFECT for carrying in a handbag for those just-in-case moments where you suddenly find that you have to pop into a grocery store or buy some socks…or something. Their designs are interesting and functional too.

However, Bohemian Mamas, the most ecological, economical, sustainable option is to search your current pile of bags and fashion one into your new grocery bag.  There may be friends or other people you know who are quick to throw no-longer-new items in the trash.  Save them.  Keep them for yourself.

Be Well,

~ Bohemian Mama.

“The most important thing to get for your baby is not a Rock n’ Play, nor a good set of swaddling blankets, nor a high-end stroller. The most important thing to get for your baby is a village. Your village will keep you afloat. They will carry you when you are tired, feed you when you are starving, forgive you when you are unkempt and hours late and a neglectful friend who can’t remember to wear socks let alone whose birthday it is. They will love your baby when you are too tired or frustrated to hold her at the moment, because you are imperfect and human and have imperfect and human failings. They will remind you who you are when you start to think your whole life is only about poop. They will lift you up.”

I came across this quote in a Huffington Post article.

This is a topic I intended on writing about.  I delayed, and delayed, and delayed.  Once I read this though, I knew it was time to address this idea.

I am a complete advocate for living in a multi-generational environment when you have young children.  After I gave birth to my first son, I calculated just the right amount of adult human beings it required to adequately care for a baby and for yourself.  4.  Four human beings.  Definitely. Serioulsly, check it out; it works in a perfect rotation: 1 cooking, 1 cleaning, 1 socializing with baby, and 1 sleeping.  FREAKING PERFECT!

4 ‘parents’ in a household though; how does this work?

I come from a culture that does this, but I am American.  I am born and raised here.  Its not really part of our culture.  Additionally, I married an American man who does not come from a foreign culture of the ‘It Takes A Village’ background.  I knew while pregnant that this would be ideal, but how will this come together.

Our first living situation as parents included my partner’s brother and sister.  This living situation also left me as the oldest. Although there were a couple of benefits, I still ended up being a ‘mommy’ to everyone in some ways.

The second situation was better.  We lived with my partner’s father and wife.  Together, they had a 4 year old. Wonderful. Our sons played together.  My son had someone that he could model behavior after, including small things like drinking from a ceramic mug or scrambling an egg.  My husband’s step-Mom would prepare delicious home-cooked meals intended to provide leftovers for EVERYBODY for 2 extra days.  It was so nice when coming home, wondering (as Bohemian Mamas do) ‘what the hell am I going to prepare for this kid?’ and arriving to dinner on the table!  ugh, amazing.

Doing laundry worked out well too.  If I was about to wash items, I’d let her know and ask if she wanted to add anything, and vice versa. Fantabulous.  On top of all of this, my husband and I were unexpected parents; we definitely did not plan our child and did not have some household staple items that would cost a lot of money to buy all at once.  Well, living this way we had our in-law’s furniture, dishes, and kitchen appliances at our disposal.  And best of all, there always seemed to be somebody home (as my husband’s siblings were over quite often). It was easy for me to pop my head into somebody’s room and tell them I’ll be back in half an hour because I need to pick up groceries, or dry-cleaning or go to an ATM or just breathe!

What was even greater, was once the children were asleep, my husband and I could leave…together.  What a concept.  An adult would be home and we could just walk around the neighborhood if that was all we wanted to do.

Yes, there were some cons, but the pros far outweighed them.

These days, we no longer live communally. Though we are liking the extra privacy, it is harder and more time consuming.  I do wish we at least lived next door or above or below some family to get some of the perks of living with extended family.

Wrapping up all of my experiences in one piece of advice, I say,

Live communally when you first have children.

The benefits are great and especially for your little one.  To be quasi-raised by loving grandparents is tremendous and to observe what it takes to operate a functional household is immeasurable.

I am friends to many couples with young children where neither spouse has family in-state.  This can be very difficult, especially in our culture where the ‘do-it-yourself’ ethic is lauded. Because of that, it may be a challenge for the couple to ask for help, especially to non-family members.  If you are a friend, I’ll speak for them:  They Need You.  They need someone to walk their daughter around the block while they finish dinner.  They need someone to take their son to the park for 2 hours so that laundry can be completed.  They need sleep.  Badly. If you could give them an opportunity to nap, that may be the most valuable deed to them.  But almost certainly, they need you to understand that their life is completely different; they do not have opportunity nor priority to hang out with you the way they used to.  They have a drastic change in interests. They cannot be the friend they were in the same way at all; they can not do as much for you as you do for them.  Be understanding.  That’s what they need most.

If you are a couple with young children and you are losing your minds, build your community.  Bring in close, trusted friends and explain how you have no family around and really need assistance.  Join online communities and find other families like yours who have no extended family around.  Be each others’ support.  Trade off child watching. Schedule it, you take Wednesdays and they take Sundays.  Whatever you can do, because parenting in this fast-paced society is not conducive to child-rearing in a healthy, well-rounded way; so you have to think differently.  You have to DO differently.  Or somebody suffers. And if its not your child, then its you.

And You are what your child needs.

Keep your sanity. Build your community.

~ Bohemian Mama

If you’d like to read the entire article, click here:” title=”10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood”

*disclamer: make sure that the people you have around your children are psychologically healthy and completely trust worthy. Do not have your children around dangerous or predatory people.*

Keep the Skin On

I don’t have a peeler right now.  I’ve been meaning to acquire one but I have been procrastinating.  But, I have found that I haven’t had a need for one…in months.

Which made me think…we should be eating skins of produce often. After all, the skin has most of the nutrients.
Here is a list of foods that are commonly peeled that have completely edible skins that you should leave on.

  1. Potatoes – Even when I mash these babies, I leave the skin on.  The same goes for
  2. Yams and
  3.  Sweet potatoes.
  4. Cucumbers – Leave on that dark green goodness. That extra crispiness gives nice textures to your meal or salad.
  5. Butternut squash – YES!  The skin is edible.  Buy one whole, cut it into pieces and roast with the skin on.  This is true for other squashes like
  6. Acorn Squash
  7. Zucchini and
  8. Yellow Squash
  9. Kiwi- it was 3 years ago that I realized I was doing myself a disservice by only scooping the luscious green out of the fuzzy brown skin. The skin is completely edible.
  10. Persimmons and Hyacinths – wait until that fruit is nice and squishy!

Honorable mention goes to the Mango.  I wouldn’t highly suggest that everybody eat the skin of mangoes.  They are sometimes bitter.  I, however, eat them at times.

*I’d like to note that if you eat the skin, the fruit or vegetable should be organic*

Remember, the skin has most of the nutrients (this is true for Animals as well, including the organs).  Whenever possible, Eat the Skins!

In Health and Prosperity,

~ Bohemian Mama

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

I wrote an earlier post about natural remedies in our medicine cabinet. But if you want an even more natural approach, I will bring you into the kitchen where you can find medicine laying on your counter or in your fridge.

  • ORGANIC FRESH HERBS – such as Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, & Marjoram.  These have potent anti-biotic properties.  Take a small handful of a combination or whichever herbs you have and toss them into a pot of boiling water.  Let it boil and brew for 5 minutes.  Turn off the stove  and pour into a mug (straining the herbs out) and drink like a tea.  WARNING – you may experience abdominal cramping 30 minutes after drinking. This tea is so powerful, it healed my mastitis in under a day.  One is usually prescribed a few days of pharmaceutical antibiotics for mastitis.  I received the benefits with zero toxic, synthetic residue.
  • GINGER & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – both are good for relieving certain abdominal or stomach pains.  Ginger works well on the stomach for nausea or a stomach ache.  Sit a couple of fresh slices in a pot of boiling water, let it brew for a few minutes then drink. If you have the guts you can take between a teaspoon or a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar straight to the head.  This helps ease intestinal discomfort, cramping, or pain.  If a straight shot sounds to difficult, you can do what I do and mix it with hot water, a squeeze of lemon and sweeten with raw honey; this makes it much more tolerable.
  • GARLIC – Seriously, what does garlic NOT do?! If you feel a little sick, eat garlic! If eating it raw disgusts you, chop up a couple of cloves, very fine, into a very large salad; its less noticeable and adds a nice flavor.  A raw clove is great for a vaginal yeast infection if inserted.  WARNING: Use a mesh bag with a string of some sort less you lose the clove inside! (Even if you do lose it up there, it will naturally come out with gravity within days.)
  • REAL COCONUT WATER and other coconut products: VERY anti-bacterial AND anti-viral AND anti-fungal.  Definitely should be at your bedside while nursing a flu. If you have a bacterial infection, I would drink this 3x daily.  Organic, virgin coconut oil can be used as a daily swish around your mouth for gingivitis and or other ulcerative mouth conditions.  But one AMAZING quality it has is relieving the pain from stomach ulcers!  To relieve stomach ulcer pain takes time and I would suggest giving it a good 30 days.  Consume REAL coconut water (or an unpasteurized, organic bottled version like Harmless Harvest) or another superior quality coconut product , but the water is best, once a day at minimum, every day.  This has worked for people I know personally and I’ve read testimonials on this numerous times.  A woman I used to work with had severe ulcer pains. After my suggestion, 30 days later she got to the point where she no longer used the medication she was prescribed for the pain. The pain had subsided naturally so well that at the 30 day mark any stomach sensation she felt, was manageable.
  • RAW HONEY – heals burns!  Well! And quickly too.  Once burned, take the raw honey and apply to affected area.  You should immediately feel soothed.  As you go about your day, wear some sort of bandage to protect your clothing.  Re-apply consistently over 2 or 3 days.  You WILL notice how quickly it heals and the absence of a scar.

I hope this has come in handy for someone out there!  Especially in these times where almost a fifth of the U.S. population has no medical insurance, I would love if this can help someone out there who is scared of the bill they could receive while uninsured.

If you have questions on ANYTHING I have posted or on any other ailment you are facing and are lost as to what to do next, write me a message.  I will answer.

Health is Wealth

The Bohemian’s Medicine Cabinet

You would be correct to assume that we keep a prescription-drug free home.

You would  be correct to assume we do not keep over-the-counter drugs or creams either.


If this is what you assume, then you may also wonder what it is that we do when we have ailments.

Here is a list of what is in the Bohemian’s Medicine Cabinet:

  • 1- Aloe Vera Leaf – this item isn’t actually in our medicine cabinet, but we use the actual leaf medicinally. It heals well, so it is usually the first or only substance we use for cuts or burns.  Also, I have learned that sugar consumption creates hormonal imbalances within me that causes my skin to break-out in acne.  During my moments of sugar feasting, rubbing the gel of the leaf on my face helps temporarily clear up breakouts.
  • 2- Calendula ointment – Calendula is another healing plant. I keep an ointment version of it for the children’s cuts, burns and occasional diaper rash if we have no aloe leaf at home.
  • 3- Tea Tree Oil – This is a potent disinfectant.  We use it to disinfect the children’s thermometer.  My husband takes 3 or 4 drops in a cup of water and uses that to gargle.
  • 4- Eucalyptus Oil – we use this if one of us is congested.  We put a dropper full on a ceramic stand and light a small candle under it.  The burning oil, when breathed in, breaks up congestion.
  • 5 – Lavender Oil – Wonderful stuff for healing the causes of a sore throat or cough.  Take about 8 oz. of water and just 3 drops of lavender oil.  Gargle the WHOLE glass, making sure to vocalize while you gargle, going up and down the scales.  Personally, I like to sing The Star Spangled Banner as I gargle.
  • 6 – Echinacea & Goldenseal Tincture – These are 2 separate types of plants that marketers have cleverly begun combining into one.  The combination packs a 1-2 punch.  Goldenseal specifically targets lung and bronchial issues.  Echinacea is a powerful immunity booster.  We also keep Echinacea tea, but it is so medicinal, one is advised to only drink it when feeling sick, or as an added temporarily immune booster if you are about to travel, but never to be taken longer than 6 weeks straight. Instructions for usage are printed on the bottles.
  • 7- Arnica– We keep a gel or cream version of this  muscle relaxer.  It is used after bruising or straining an area of your body.  If you are sore after an intense athletic or physical activity , just apply the cream or gel to the affected area.


These are basically it.  Every now and again, I may pick up something homeopathic for a very specific reason, but overall, that’s all I keep in my medicine cabinet. 

I have slowly learned that as we live cleaner, less toxic, and a high produce life, the need for toxic pharmaceuticals ceases to exist: Headaches stop occurring, PMS symptoms subside, there is no need for caffeine or a sleep aid.

A clean body takes care of all of that for you.

You want Healthy Kids?

Don’t give them junk.  Period.

The easiest way to give your children phenomenal eating habits is to NOT serve them the food that you know is crap.

I mean, there exists other ways as well, but NOT giving them the bad stuff is the easiest.

How do we do this?  or what steps do we take to ensure this?

Advice #1 – Don’t give them juice and NEVER let them drink soda.  This can be accomplished by always giving them water with their meals and bringing water with you to gatherings.  My sons drink water the majority of the time.  Sometimes almond milk, preferably made at home, occasionally fresh squeezed orange juice pressed at home, but their treat is coconut water and they looooove it.  Which makes me happy because I love giving it to them as coconut water is extremely healthy.  Besides the rare veggie and fruit juice I press myself, that is all that I ever give them

Advice #2 – Never give them sweets which includes Candy, Cakes, Brownies, Soda, Pasteurized boxed Juice.  In my household this also includes Jelly or Jam with ‘sugar’ as an ingredient, Bread that includes a sweetener as an ingredient and other condiments that have white sugar: salad dressing, ketchup, mayonnaise etc.

Why?  Because of the deleterious effect sugar has on our cells, organs, and glands.  The damage is unimaginable and we do this to ourselves every single day.  Hell, I STILL do it to myself, but I won’t to my kids.  It took me a very long time to break my sugar habit which developed in childhood and I won’t be responsible for hooking my boys on that drug.  This also means that yes, they did NOT have cake on their birthday.  Nope, not at all.  I’m not one to follow tradition for tradition’s sake anyway, so if a cake is nonsensical to me, then I’m not doing it.

Advice #3 – Avoid giving them anything deep fried.  This includes French fries, chicken nuggets, falafel (unless baked), maduros (sweet plaintain deep fried).

Why? a) because unless you are doing the frying, you have no idea what is being used for frying; Tallow, lard, peanut oil, olive oil, soybean oil or a blend. Fats, when heated, become rancid.  Their molecular structure changes into something toxic upon consumption.  The more un-saturated it is, the easier it is to shift structures. Most food joints in America use a soybean oil/olive oil blend.  95% of America’s soybean crops are GMO (Genetically Modified Organism or GEO Genetically Engineered Organism). There are a hosts of issues with GMO crops that I will address in a later post, but this also means your food is being fried in a foreign substance that was never supposed to be on Earth.

b) As fat consumption increases, nutrient absorption decreases.  This means less vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, co-enzymes make it to where they need to go and your cells are nutritionally starved.  We all need to understand that in our culture, we are ALL nutrient deficient.  We don’t eat anywhere near what our natural diet looks like.  So we are walking around thinking that the occasional cold is normal and headaches now and again are normal, or fatigue is normal…and its NOT.  Once we understand that our “normal” state is one of malnutrition we can take steps to combat it.

How does one combat all of this.  By planning.

It demands constant effort from myself and my husband, but we constantly plan their meals, even if we don’t plan our own, because they’re worth it.  And I work 6 days a week and neither one of my sons are 3 years old yet.  If I can do it, You can DEFINITELY DO IT.

You can apply these methods while the child is still very young and instill those habits early.  Once the child is of an age where he sees options in front of him and he’d like to try the not-so-good stuff, I say let him.  If you instilled proper eating habits from the beginning, he’ll either not like it, feel sick from it, or just would know enough to not make it a habit.

I will say this is way more effective if you do this from the very BEGINNING of their culinary lives.  If not, it will be a challenge and will require special creativity on your part. But the benefit of having your kids beg for bananas and not cookies, or seaweed (real talk) over potato chips makes everything worth it because their entire lives will benefit.

Live Well, Be Well

How I Cloth Diaper 2 at Once

How?  Through gritted teeth and perseverance.

Throughout cloth diapering my elder son, I never even had an inkling to waver or to compromise with biodegradable disposables; through some awful poop diapers, and even being away from home so long and not having any way to change his diaper for hours and the diaper wrecking of urine, it didn’t ever phase me to re-think what I was doing.

Add in 1 new booty: 2 weeks out, my mind wanted to give it up!  2 babies at once is No Joke.  It became a trying time for my husband as well, and I had empathy because he already was the main caretaker.  I had to search the recesses of my mind to figure out how I can make this easier for the both of us.

One thing I attempted to tackle, was washing the diapers before my husband even noticed that we were running low on clean ones.  We were able to go 4 days between washings with 1 child, with 2 (especially a newborn that pees constantly) we were having to wash diapers every 1.5 days.

The second thing I did to ease our burden was bite the miserly bullet and buy more cloth diapers. I bought 18 more pre-folds.  That act alone made things much easier.  We could now stretch out our washings to every 2 or 2.5 days.

Luckily, just a few months in, my older son began to experiment with his potty (I prefer calling it his ‘little toilet’ but for comprehensive purposes, I will use its more recognizable moniker). This was great.  We had his potty out and visible from before he was a year old because I was determined to potty train him as soon as he could walk. That didn’t happen; BUT, he did become familiar with it and began to use it, kind of on his own.

So my advice for anyone who finds themselves in the sticky predicament of cloth diapering multiple booties at once:

1-      Buy more diapers

2-       Keep non-toxic, biodegradable disposables on deck in case of an emergency

3-      Use diaper liners (flushable or washable) to catch the poop

–          OR     –

4-      Attach a diaper spray to your toilet plumbing to easily knock poop into the toilet bowl

5-      You could always be brave and try Elimination Communication (EC)

{At press time (lol) my older son is now potty trained.  We only use diapers when he sleeps.  So we no longer have any cloth diapering issues; we are, essentially, only cloth diapering one child again. That horror story lasted less than a year.}

Why I Chose Cloth

Most people assume I chose to cloth diaper because of my environmental activism…or to confirm some sort of self-righteousness within myself.

Truth be told, neither is true.
The truth is I was adamant about cloth diapering because I was cheap. That was my No. 1 reason. Yes, I could also tout the environmental impact of my decision or the health of my newborns’ rear-ends; but the salient reason is that I really can’t stand re-buying the same thing over and over again**. For me, it is the equivalent to listening to a skipping record.
I knew no one who had cloth diapered completely from birth until the potty-trained years. This meant I had to do research. There were all sorts of new vocabulary words thrown my way: Indian pre-fold, Chinese pre-fold, Snappi, Diaper Cover, All-In-One, Doublers, what did this all mean?!?
FORTUNATELY, one very self-less woman put together a series of videos (7 to be exact) describing in full detail the ins and outs of cloth diapering. It was a gift that beautifully fell into my lap at exactly the right moment. If you are interested in cloth diapering you can find her videos on YouTube. Her name is Jaimee Gleisner and her series is titled Cloth Diapering 101.
When I get questions from soon to be Mommas who want to cloth diaper, I barely tell them what I do, I just send them straight to Jamie Gleisner’s videos because they are so complete and cover absolutely EVERYTHING.

On the environmental note:  Diapers are plastic and have lots of very toxic chemicals to increase absorbency.  Once they are tossed into a trash, the don’t  disappear; the exist indefinitely.  Plastics get into the ground and enter waterways and our drinking water supply.  Animals we eat consume this and therefore so do we, but even when we don’t eat animals, it is in our water, and plants absorb this as well.  Plastics cause grave harm to our inner ecology.  We all will thrive when we get off of our dependency of plastic.
Happy Searchings!

(**There are many other money saving ways in which I run my household that I can’t wait to share with you all. I have technics in avoiding the redundancy of buying the same items over and over.**)