MommyConChicago

7 Reasons to Attend MommyCon Chicago This Year!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2017?! I have been gearing up and chatting about MommyCon 2017 since mid-2016 and it’s finally here!

I am so excited to be a part of MommyCon’s media team this year. I am extremely passionate about MommyCon and what it has to offer, not only mom’s, but the entire family. I have been TWICE! Once while pregnant, in Chicago and once with little Miss Amelia (who met TheBabyGuyNYC!!!) in Minneapolis. Whether you are planning a family, expecting, have multiple kiddos running around, MommyCon is for every family.

MommyCon Chicago is going to be extra special this year. Check out my top 7 reasons why you should attend!

MommyCon Chicago + WEAR Conference. For the first time ever, these two amazing conferences are coming together during the same weekend in Chicago. This means three amazing days filled with all things natural parenting AND babywearing!

Great place to research! If you are planning a family, expecting, or already have children, parents are always researching! “What is the best car seat? Should I go with a home birth or hospital birth? Should I use cloth diapers or disposables? WHICH cloth diapers should I use?” All of these questions and so much more can be answered for you at MommyCon. You can ask whatever questions you may have and get the facts before making your own decisions!

Shop, Shop & Shop! You could pretty much go to MommyCon and purchase everything you may need for your baby, toddler, and yourself 🙂 Just kidding. But, really …. SO MANY VENDORS, with so much to offer. Make a list of things you may want to look at while you are there (such as cloth diapers, baby carriers, car seats, cribs, postpartum items, etc.)

Meet other moms & families. The idea of natural parenting is growing and becoming more popular, but sometimes it’s hard to find other families that think and parent the same way as you do. MommyCon is a great place to come together and make connections. Parenting is hard and sometimes much harder when you are doing things a bit different then the norm, but MommyCon is a very welcoming place!

Everyone is invited! The term “natural parenting” can sometimes scare new parents, but MommyCon is for everyone. You don’t have to baby wear, use cloth diapers, not vaccinate and have a home birth to be included. These are all topics that may be talked about, but as a parent you make your final decisions. MommyCon is a place to become educated and make the best decision for you and your family.

Educated & knowledgeable speakers. They don’t just grab the average “Joe” off the street to speak 🙂 Although, the schedule has not been released yet, some speakers you may be able to hear include Abby Theuring – The Badass Breastfeeder, Dr. Bob Sears – Very well-known pediatrician, Jamie Grayson – Baby Gear Expert, and more!

BABYWEARING! Everything you want or need to know about babywearing! Ask questions, learn about different carriers, actually see and feel different baby carriers before buying and much more! Just the WEAR Conference alone, consists of 48 sessions, 24 speakers and 3 days filled of everything babywearing.

Okay, have I convinced you yet?! How about if you won 2 tickets to MommyCon Chicago? Lucky you, I am giving away 2-FREE tickets! Enter below.

 Enter here!

Disclosure: These tickets are only good for General Admission for MommyCon only. WEAR Conference tickets will need to be purchase separately!
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Spring Clean Your Body: Gentle Ways to Detoxify this Spring

The snow is gone, the grass is green, and we are spending our weekends doing Spring clean up in our homes and yards. The leaves get raked, the storm windows come out and screens go in. Maybe the house gets a fresh coat of paint, and all the stuff (junk) we accumulated over the winter gets thrown out or organized. What we are missing in our “Spring cleaning” routine, though, is Spring cleaning our bodies.

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Spring is the perfect time to add more cleansing or detoxifying regimens to your self-care routine. In Chinese Medicine theory, we say the season associated with the liver is Spring, and the liver is the most important organ of detoxification. The liver not only filters and cleans the blood, but also removes toxins we are exposed to from our food, environment and stress.

Signs your liver may need some help detoxifying include:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • PMS
  • menstrual cramps digestive imbalance seasonal allergies
  • irritability
  • poor sleep

While the quickest way to more efficient bodily detoxification would be an assisted detox with a knowledgeable health provider, there are ways to improve elimination of toxins each day. Here are a few to get you started.

1) Warm lemon water or just more water!

An oldie, but a goodie. Drinking warm water upon waking aids digestive function and rehydrates the body. If you aren’t pooping, you aren’t eliminating toxins, period. The lemon juice stimulates bile production which helps to aid the function of the liver and lymph system. Also, if you find the only water you drink during the day is from brushing your teeth, this a huge problem. Water aids toxin removal through urination and defecation. Drink more water!

2) Breathing techniques

A large portion (around 70%) of the body’s toxins are removed through the breath. If we aren’t breathing correctly, we aren’t detoxifying. Taking a few moments each day to pause and be more in tune with our breath does great things, not only for detoxification, but also for lowering the body’s response to stress. Focusing on breathing from your belly is a great place to start.

I also love the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, and teach it to my patients on a regularly. Learn how to do it here:

3) Foods that aid liver detoxification

Adding foods to your diet that naturally aid the liver’s detoxification process is another easy way to “spring clean”.
These foods include:

  • carrots
  • broccoli spinach avocado apples asparagus oats
  • brazil nuts
  • eggs (pasture raised)
  • cilantro
  • watercress

4) Sweat!

The skin is the largest organ of detoxification. Our pores help remove waste via sweat. Try and break a sweat each day. If you are having a hard time fitting in exercise, try some movement that can include your kids, like pushing the stroller up hills or playing a game of tag. Make it fun!

This Spring, don’t just clean your home and yard, clean your body too! My challenge for you is to include at least two of the above detoxing aids to your routine each day.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home anymore!

About the Author

Stephanie BrauView More: http://alycarroll.pass.us/stephanienwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutritio
n. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.

Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.

Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic

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Bump Day 2016

Come out to Iowa Family Chiropractic on April 9th, 2016!

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From 9 am until 11 am there will be around 20 vendors sharing their business, goods, and services for new and expecting parents/caregivers and for families trying to get pregnant! Such as local midwives, doulas, photographers, places to shop, acupuncture, massage, and much more.

List of vendors include:

1. Acupunture Wellness Center
2. Farm Baby Foods
3. Willowsong
4. Roots Prenatal Yoga
5. Little Padded Seats
6. Iowa Doula Agency
7. Basking Babies LLC
8. Hy-vee Nutrition
9. Fadeaway Flotation
10. Little Children’s Boutique
11. Babydale Diaper Service
12. Central Iowa Placenta
13. Mercy Midwives
14. It Works
15. Food4Thought
16. Iowa Birth Organization
17. Kiwi Marie Photography
18. Sams Club
19. Ankeny Dog Training Academy

AND Midwest Mom & Wife and Des Moines Parent!! 🙂

Not only will the be an educational event for families to see what Central Iowa has to offer, but there will be some fun stuff too! Bring some cash & prepare to shop! 🙂

Bump Bags full of free goodies for the first 50 families, plus door prizes and giveaways.

This event is also sponsored by Fadeaway Floatation! Check out the great experience I had!

Make sure you join the Facebook event to keep track of everything!

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WEAR Conference 2016

I am so excited to help spread the word of this year’s first babywearing, WEAR conference held by MommyCon!

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I have attended MommyCon a few times and I know the WEAR conference will NOT disappoint! This 3-day conference will be held in Chicago, over Memorial Day weekend. It will be full of speakers, seminars, over 30 exhibitors, classes, and much more! ALL related to babywearing!

Friday, May 27th – Sunday, May 29th

 

Some fun things you can look forward to attending are:

  • Babywearing Yoga presented by KIND
  • Babywearing Belly Dance
  • The Babywearing Lounge – where you can touch and try-on lots of carriers!
  • Using Wraps, Ring Slings, and Exploring American Babywearing Subculture from a Man’s Perspective
  • Wrapping 101
  • An introduction to the Mei Tai
  • And so much more!

Check out the entire WEAR schedule here!

Whether you are new to babywearing or a novice, there will be something for everyone!

Prices

Singe Day Pass – $40 

3-Day Pass – $100

Ultimate Educator Package – $500

There are rooms available at the Westin Michigan Avenue hotel, at a discounted rate. When booking your room, make sure to mention WEAR! Find more details here!

All children under the age of 16 years are FREE to attend with a paid adult.

If you are interested in attending make sure to use discount code: Midwest16 at checkout to receive $5 off your ticket price!

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Bell Farm: Where Good Food Grows

My name is Ellen Bell and I am a wife, mother, and farmer. Two years ago, I moved my family from our suburban home to a 10 acre farm just outside of Des Moines, and I started Bell Farm. I’m following a dream of mine, and I haven’t looked back.

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Bell Farm began with a large garden and a small flock of laying chickens. We sold a little bit of produce through our Facebook page ​and a few dozen eggs a week to friends and family. As word of mouth grew, we slowly expanded and branched out, trying new things.

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For example, we brought home a few dozen chicks from the state fair one year, and lo and behold, our meat chicken business was born! Now we raise 100+ meat chickens a year. They are free­range and pastured on our property, and we humanely butcher and process them ourselves here at the farm. We’ve also found markets for some of the other by­-products of the meat chickens, such as hearts, livers, gizzards, and necks/backbones for making homemade chicken broth and stock.

Our laying flock of hens has grown, as well. We currently have 28 laying chickens with plans to increase to 50 this year. We sell approximately 10 dozen eggs each week. Our customers seem to appreciate the fact that our hens live happy, healthy lives outdoors, and that they can come visit their egg producers anytime they want!

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Our first summer at the farm, we planted a medium sized garden, primarily for our family. Like other things, that expanded quickly as well. Last summer we cultivated roughly a half acre and sold 40+ varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs through a CSA. For those who are unfamiliar with this farm model, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and refers to a program where customers (also called members) can pre­pay for a portion of the farm’s harvest (also called a share). Shares are typically distributed to the farm’s members on a weekly basis throughout the growing season. Last year, Bell Farm’s CSA ran for 5 months and included 10 member families. This summer, we will continue our CSA program and expand it to 12 full shares, which we will sell in either full or half share increments. We’ll be cultivating over an acre this year, and we have plans to sell our excess produce at area farmer’s markets, through our Facebook page, and to other outlets like grocery stores and restaurants.

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An interesting side­shoot of our farming business is teaching classes. In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in homesteading topics like gardening, food preservation, raising backyard chickens, etc. For several years, friends would casually inquire if I had ever thought about teaching classes on any of these topics. I always dismissed the idea, but once we moved to the farm, I decided to give it a try. The first class I taught was a Garden Planning Workshop. The two hour course, taught here at the farm, instructs beginners and seasoned gardeners alike in how to plan out and execute a low maintenance, productive vegetable garden. This class continues to be one of our most popular courses. Since then, we have added almost a dozen other class offerings such as Pressure Canning, Raising Chickens 101, and Making Homemade Yogurt.

This spring we will embark on yet another new farming adventure: pastured pork. We are currently in the process of prepping about 2 acres of heavily wooded land on our property for 4 piglets that will be coming to the farm in April. We will be raising a heritage hog breed that is well adapted to forest life and foraging. The pigs will be rotated through the woods in paddocks. This means that they can root up one area of the woods, eating lots of plants, shrubs, nuts, and roots. When that area is showing signs of wear, we will move them to a fresh patch of land, which will allow the previous area to re­grow and repair itself. This is unique method of sustainable grazing in a wooded area is also known as Silvopasture. We are excited to dive into this new project and learn more as we go.

For more information about our farm, please feel free to contact me through our Facebook farm page here! ​We also welcome visits to the farm, and we gladly accept offers of help during planting season. We love to show others how they can get up close and personal with their food!

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Written by Ellen Bell

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Want To Boost Your Family’s Immune System? Go With Your Gut!

Itʼs Monday morning, you are getting yourself ready for work, walking the dog, making breakfast, packing lunches, thinking about what to make for dinner that evening, as well as having at least 10 other thoughts running through your mind when one of your kids wakes up with a terrible cold. Thoughts change to, “Who will stay home from work to watch him or her?”, “What does my child need to feel better?”, “When will the next family member fall to this illness?”. Sound right? What if you could reduce the number of times this event occurs in your household? By strengthening your familyʼs immune system, the number of missed work and school days can be dramatically reduced. Save your paid time off and sick leave for something fun, like a vacation!

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Building the bodyʼs defense system is much easier than one may think. Here is an easy way to start:

Focus on Gut Health

At least 70% of the bodyʼs immune system lives in our digestive system. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance to keep our gut healthy if we want to experience less sick days. To do this, one has to focus on removing foods that donʼt agree with their body constitution, as well as any foods a person is sensitive or allergic to. Adding pre- and pro- biotic foods and supplements are a great way to feed the healthy gut flora we already have, as well as make more good bugs. Examples of these include:

• Non-dairy yogurt (no sugar added)
• Plain Yogurt (if you are not sensitive to dairy) • Kefir (non-dairy coconut is my favorite)
• Kombucha
• Raw, Unpasteurized sauerkraut
• Unpasteurized pickles!
• Probiotic supplements

Chinese Medicine also focuses on the importance of a healthy digestive system, as well as digestionʼs relationship to the lungs. Focusing on consuming a majority of your food cooked versus raw allows for the digestive system to not have to work as hard to break down food and turn it in to energy. This is especially important during the colder months of the year.

Reduce Stress

Stress has a huge impact on the immune system. Long-term stress causes more bad bugs to consume our digestive system leading to poor immunity.
When we are stressed the body releases a hormone called cortisol. An increase in bodily cortisol, over time, has been shown to decrease the bodyʼs defense system. Things that increase cortisol besides stress include, sleep deprivation, caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar consumption.

While stressful situations are impossible to ignore completely, there are things you can do to help your body handle it more gracefully and reduce the number of times cortisol is being released. These things include:

• Mediation
• Breath work
Mindfulness
• Acupuncture
• Massage Therapy
• Essential oils
• Homeopathy
• Yoga
• Light walks
• Dietary changes (i.e. reduce caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates)

With the never-ending “to do” list that can come with a busy life, taking care of yourself and family when sick with colds and flus shouldnʼt be one of them. Adopt healthy immune system habits now and impact your familyʼs health for life.

About the Author

View More: http://alycarroll.pass.us/stephanie Stephanie Braunwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutrition. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.

Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.

Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic

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MommyCon Minneapolis Re-Cap

I went to MommyCon Minneapolis a little over a week ago and had so much fun! I am so excited to share some awesome things I learned, new products I saw, and some amazing people I met. To give you an idea of what is to come, here is a little re-cap …

1. VIP Session with Jennifer Labit from Cottonbabies! She is an amazing mother and business woman! I learned so much from her AND because of her, I am now a Share the Love host! More details to come 🙂

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2. Babyganics AWESOME products and I have a bunch to test out, share my thoughts and GIVEAWAY!

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3. The Great Cloth Diaper Change was an awesome experience!

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4. I learned lots about the Diva Cup, from who else? Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Kim Rosas.divacup

5. I met The Honest Toddler!! Bummi Laditan is hilarious! I am excited to read her new book and give away a signed copy by her!

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6. I listened to TheBabyGuyNYC talk about strollers and carseats AND Amelia got her picture taken with him.

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I had so much fun meeting awesome people, learning about new baby products, and so much more. Please keep your eyes open for my reviews and some great giveaways coming your way!

MommyCon Minneapolis: Schedule 2015

The MommyCon Minneapolis schedule has been announced and I am so excited! It’ s about a month away and I will be traveling to Minneapolis to see and hear some awesome speakers and great exhibitors.

Check out what is on the agenda this year:

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  • Cloth Diapering 101 with Cotton Babies
  • Partnering with Your Pediatrician
  • Comedy Hour with the Honest Toddler
  • Carseat Safety with the BabyGuyNYC
  • Why Does My Child Need Chiropractic Care?
  • Becoming a Babywearing Educator
  • Potty Training 1 of 99
  • Boobs & Bottles: Epic Milk with The Leaky Boob
  • And MORE!

Click here for complete details of what you can expect in each seminar.

Here is a complete list of exhibitors:

All Things Diapers
Aden and Anais
Ameda
Applecheeks
Babies R Us
Baby Care Area with BabyComfyCare
Baby Guy Area with The Baby Guy NYC
Beco and Ergobaby Babywearing Lounge
Banjorganics
Britain
Bundle Organics
bumGenius at the Mommycon Shoppe
BWI Table
Chompy Chic
Cloth Diaper Resource Center
Combi
Crane
Diffusing Mamas
Evenflo Feeding
Eylas
Grovia
Halo
Happy Family
Heartland Parenting
Innobaby
Lullaby Earth
Marsupial Mamas
Moby
MommyCon Shoppe
Motherlove
New Kingdom Pediatrics
Nunamoochie
Rhoost
Smart Bottoms
Soft Bums
Sloomb at the MommyCon Shoppe
SuckleBuckle
Tekhni Wovens at the MommyCon Shoppe

Some of the above exhibitors will have exclusive merchandise in the MommyCon shoppe at the event.

There are also MommyCon event elements which include:

  • BabyGuy Gear Area
  • Babyganics Clean Play Zone
  • Cloth Diaper Resource Center
  • Little Dippers Creative Station
  • Lullaby Earth Sleep Consultation Area
  • Baby Care Area with Baby Comfy Care

There is so much to do and see!! AND do not forget about the Great Cloth Diaper Change! If you have not registered yet, pre-register here. There is no additional cost, but there will be some additional swag bag options coming soon!

To make your life a bit easier and organized, you can plan out what seminars you want to see and when. MommyCon has created this Event Planner, you can print and take along with you!

If you have not purchased tickets yet, make sure to use my code to receive $5 off your ticket! I cannot wait to see you at MommyCon Minneapolis!

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The Leaky B@@B: MommyCon 2015

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I am getting more and more excited for MommyCon Minneapolis. I cannot wait for TheBabyGuyNYC, the Cloth Diaper Resource Center, The Great Cloth Diaper Change aaaaaand …. The Leaky B@@B!

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The Leaky B@@B is managed and ran by Jessica Martin-Weber, with the help of her husband and other volunteers. The Leaky B@@B site, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account were created to help bring breastfeeding mothers together for support.

Jessica is a passionate mother, of six, who strongly believes that it is every woman’s right to breastfeed their children wherever and whenever. She is an advocate for all mothers. Not only is she passionate about breastfeeding, but she is an inspiration and encouraging to mothers who are struggling with parenting.

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The Leaky B@@B website and blog is a wonderful resource for inspiration, real stories, and a great place to go to get questions answered! The Leaky B@@b Marketplace is a great resource to check out. It categorizes different products and businesses that help naturalize breastfeeding and making it easier for mothers to breastfeed. The Leaky Love is also a great place to visit if you are feeling discouraged and need support. In this section comments and questions from other mothers, from all over, are shared. It is a great place to look if you need to be reassured you are not alone!

I am REALLY looking forward to hearing Jessica from The Leaky B@@b speak at MommyCon Minneapolis Saturday, April 18th! Do not forget you can receive $5 off your MommyCon tickets when you use my code!

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Rhockett Retreat 2015

Have you heard of Rhockett Weaving or the Rhockett Retreat?

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If you are a babywearer you NEED to check it out. Rhockett Weaving is owned and operated by Rhonda Brackett. After she fell in love with babywearing and discovered it was a necessity in her life, she began creating her own signature style wraps. She also takes custom orders, if you are wanting something really special.

This April, is the very first Rhockett Retreat. This is a place where people come together, who love wrapping as much as you! There will be good food, henna from Alternative Artistry, babywearing yoga, babywearing art, campfires & s’mores, and MORE!

There will be classes through out the the three-day, two-night event including weaving, dyeing fabric and learning different wrapping instructions. You can also check out some awesome local vendors such as Finnabug Bags, Starbright Baby, and Alternative Artistry.

The Rhockett Retreat is being held …

Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th

You can come by yourself, you can come with your little one OR you can bring the entire family. Not everyone needs to attend all the fun classes, but there will be no child supervision provided. There is also a charge for each additional person, to cover room and board.

This years Rhockett Retreat is being held in Ogden, Iowa. You can choose to stay the entire time or drive for only the day on Saturday and/or Sunday. You can register here for whatever option you choose! If you register for the entire retreat you will receive a FREE swag bag!

To help get everyone excited about this fun babywearing retreat, we are doing a GIVEAWAY!

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One lucky winner will win a waldorf inspired babywearing doll created from Rhockett Weaving scraps!

OUR BABY SHOWER

The contest begins TODAY and will end Friday, March 13th! I will post the winner on my Facebook page. Good luck!