Month: April 2019

How to Treat Clogged Milk Duct at Work

How to Treat Clogged Milk Duct at Work

So you’re going about your day, checking off your to-do items, when you feel it – that hard lump that means a clogged duct…and if you are anything like me an exasperated sigh follows. This post is about how to treat clogged milk duct at work.

What to do? I would simply nurse my baby if I were at home with a clogged duct, then take a hot shower and maybe pump. Most of the time it would correct itself. But I have a feeling that my co-workers might be wigged out if I tried taking a hot shower in the sink in the bathroom…not so professional!

After having to deal with multiple clogged ducts I have developed the following system that works for me every time. Hopefully it works for you, too!

Relax

My first tip is to relax, which is really hard when you are stressed about a clogged duct and getting your work done. But seriously try to relax, it makes everything go easier if you are calm. Try a couple of deep breaths, listen to calming music, or whatever else it takes.

Heat

Before you start pumping, apply heat to the affected area. You could try a DIY heat pack like this. Due to their slimness, these can be easily hidden in your top. I have also used neck heating packs, which are a little bulky but whatever works right? If you don’t have access to a heating pack try a mug with hot water. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Heat is so important for helping unclog a duct Taking a hot shower also achieves the same thing.

Massage

Next, give your self a massage in the affected area while heating, before pumping, during pumping, and after pumping. Use your fingers to apply gentle pressure in a circular motion over the clog.

Pump

Pump as normal and massage as you go. You should pump when dealing with a clogged duct at least every couple hours, as well as following the other steps until the clog is gone. Using this method, I have only ever had to go through the procedure once, but some clogs can be stubborn.

Clogged ducts, if left untreated, can lead to very painful mastitis that requires a prescription to treat. Hopefully by following these tips you can get rid of any clogs before they turn into something more serious.

Have you had a clogged duct at work? Do you have any extra on how to treat clogged milk duct at work that worked for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Heat Pack for Nursing Moms

Sometimes nursing can really suck! With sore nipples, clogged ducts and engorgement, it’s a wonder that breastfeeding moms can keep it going. But we do, because we love our little ones, and at the end of the day, we know that it is what is best for them

After successfully nursing my little one for over 10 months now, I have learned a couple tricks and have come up with this DIY heat pack that can really be a life saver. I first came up with this design after dealing with a clogged duct at work. You can read my tips about that here.

These heat packs are great for several reasons. First, they are round and slim so they can fit inside a bra top. Second, they have the quadrants that contour to rounded shape. Third, they hold heat pretty well. Finally, this DIY version is eco friendly. I used 100% cotton to avoid micro plastics in the cloth and utilized rice as the filling.

Heat Pack Tutorial

Creating these heat packs should take about 10 minutes, start to finish. See the Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology for further explanations of the terms and techniques.

Supplies

  • 100% cotton fabric (flannel is preferred as it will retain the heat better)
  • Thread
  • White rice
  • Needle
  • Funnel (or similar device)
  • Something to use to cut a circle (bowl, small plate, etc.) For example, I use my breast pads because I am already comfortable with the size)

Process

Step 1

Start by choosing fabric and cutting four identical circles. In my opinion, the best fabric to use for this project is a 100% cotton flannel. The flannel is very soft and will retain the heat better than other materials. This is a perfect project to use up some scrap fabric. For example, the fabric I used was left over from a quilt that I made little one.

Step 2

Next, place right sides together leaving a one inch opening and pin around the edges of the circle. Stitch around the edge of the circle, back stitching at the opening at each end, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Before flipping inside out, clip V shapes into the seam allowance every one inch or so. This will allow some give and make flipping the circles much easier. When cutting the V be careful not to cut the seam.

Step 3

Next, flip the circle inside out and press it flat with an iron. The following step can be a bit tricky… on the right side of the fabric stitch a straight line starting from the middle of the opening left, ensuring to leave space to turn the raw edge in. Stitch a vertical line, back stitching at the end and beginning point.

This line should create two separate sections of the heat pack with each side being able to be accessed by the opening left in the top. Then using a funnel, fill in each section a little less than half way with white rice.

Using pins, push the rice down to the bottom and pin a straight line horizontal to the first line you stitched. Stitch a line across the heat pack – this will form the four quadrants. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the line.

Finally, fill the remaining heat pack with rice on each side. Then pin the opening closed and hand stitch.

Congratulations, you are done! Now repeat with as many heat packs as you’d like.

Using Heat Packs

These heat packs are great and really don’t take much time to assemble. If you are able to use fabric scraps and rice from your pantry, they can be very inexpensive and fall in line with zero waste goals.

To use the heat pack, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. However, don’t microwave for over 30 seconds, otherwise you can run the risk of burning the rice. Then check the level of heat before placing in your top. Reheat as needed.

An extra bonus of these heat packs is they can be used as cold packs, as well! To do this, just place them in a freezer until you are ready to use them.

Have you tired making these or similar heat packs? I would love to see the results! Please comment or post pics below.

Harry Potter Wall Decal

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good! It’s quite a fitting saying for over Little One’s diaper changing station, where he is often up to no good!

We found this wall decal at Target. They have a large online inventory of Harry Potter items and with this item, they have many styles to choose from. We thought that this one was perfect for Little One’s nursery.

The decal was very easy to install and has not pealed or bubbled at all. Little One loves looking up at it, but hopefully not getting any bright ideas!

I have been very impressed with all the items Target has made available for Potterheads. Have you found any great finds? Let me know in the comments below.

Harry Potter Flying Key Mobile



Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Flying Key Mobile

For Little One’s Harry Potter-themed nursery I wanted to create a flying key mobile. In search of ideas, I went to my favorite site, Pinterest. I was amazed at some of the ideas that I saw but couldn’t find any great tutorials on how to make it. For all the other Potterheads out there, I thought I would share how I made this one and what I would do differently if I were to make one again.

One disclaimer before we begin – Little One loved looking up at the mobile and watching the keys fly around. For safety reasons, it will have to go before he is able to reach it. This mobile is definitely not a play toy.

Tools and materials

  1. Embroidery hoop. You can find these at most craft stores. The hoops I got were from JoAnn and are 10 inches in diameter and made out of plastic. Normally I would prefer wood because it is a natural material but the wood ones I found were really flimsy and I wanted it to be able to support the weight of the keys. You can find a wooden one here or a plastic one here.
  2. Keys. I purchased these keys from amazon.
  3. Spray Paint. I used Rust-Oleum Hammered Brown but any color that matches your room would look good.
  4. String or thick thread.
  5. Ribbon.
  6. Hot Glue.
  7. Fairy Wings. I printed out these pages for the wings on my home printer.
  8. Embossing powder and pad (optional). I used clear embossing powder and a pad to attach the powder.
  9. Heat Gun (optional). I have a heat gun that I have had for a very long time…I’m not even sure if they make it any more but here is one like it.

Assembly

Step One

Before you begin, gather all of your materials. Then spray paint your embroidery hoop. For this project only the inside of the hoop is needed (the outside layer has a fastening system that is not used). Spray paint the hoop in light, even coats and watch out for drips. It may take a couple of coats before it is even all around.

Step Two

Print out the appropriate amount of fairy wings to match the number of keys you’re using. I purchased a 30 pack of keys and ended up using most of them. Once printed, carefully cut out the wings. I decided against trying to get the print on the front and back of the wings (if you are a printer wiz that would be a cool look!). Next, use the pad to apply a clear layer over the wing. Then coat the wings in the embossing powder and use the heat gun to set it – the gun melts the powder together and forms a hard coating. This step helps the wings look shimmery. I decided against decorating with glitter because I didn’t want any to fall off into the crib. The wings would look cool, too, with just the paper but I though the embossing would add a magical quality.

Step Three

Attach the wings to the keys using hot glue. Then attach a string or a piece of thick thread to each key. To attach the ribbon to the dry embroidery hoop, tie on four pieces, all being at least 18 inches long, and equal distances apart on the embroidery hoop. Tie the four free ends of the ribbon together but create a loop at the very end for hanging from the eye screw (mentioned later). Depending on your ceiling height, decide how long you would like the hanger to be. Finally, attach the key strings at varying levels around the embroidery hoop. Trim all loose threads and seal the knots with a little glue.

Enjoy

Your Harry Potter Flying Key Mobile should be ready to be hung up. We used an eye screw for attachment to the ceiling. Our little one has spent lots of time lying in his crib watching the keys fly around!

After completing my mobile and using it over these past 10 months, one thing I could have done better right away is securing the knots. Admittedly, I did not do a good job of that the first time around and had to go back and put a little glue on all the knots.

This flying key mobile has added to Little One’s magical Harry Potter nursery in a very cute and whimsical way!

Have you made a flying key mobile or have any questions or comments? Let me know below!

5 Tips for Zero Waste Shopping in a Small Town

 5 tips for zero waste shopping in a small town
5 tips for zero waste shopping in a small town

Like many Americans we live in a small town with one grocery store option. As much as I love my small town, it would be a lot easier to bop around from the big bulk store to a health food store to try to get my shopping items but it is just not an option here. So what do you do?? Below are my 5 tips for zero waste shopping in a small town.

Trying to reduce waste in our family is an important goal and has been much more achievable by following the 5 tips below. As a bonus tip before we get started, take a look at what you are purchasing – do you really need the pre packaged Smuckers PB & J? Or can these be made at home in a effort to reduce waste (and probably save money too)? The same goes for pre cut fruits and veggies – these could be cut at home. Reflecting on what you are purchasing will go a long way in implementing zero waste goals.

So here we go… 5 Tips for Zero Waste Shopping in a Small Town

Tip #1

#1 This first tip is very common but it is important…bring your own bags! There is so much plastic wasted with the use of plastic bags. This is one of the absolute easiest ways to reduce waste. Using a reusable bag is also a great way to start your shopping trip – it makes it start out on the right foot. Now if you are very organized you will have reusable bags ready in your car for those quick runs after work. I am a fairly organized person but I can never seem to manage this one so most of the time my items get stuffed in my purse or carried out as is. Maybe I’ll learn some time!

Tip #2

#2 Produce bags!!! So many fruits and veggies come wrapped in plastic these days and it is not necessary. Many grocery stores provide plastic produce bags. Instead of using theirs, bring your own. I generally toss them into my cloth reusable bags and they are good to go. You can find them here or you can see my tutorial to make your own here.

Tip #3

#3 Aim for glass or paper! These items are more ecofriendly. For example, instead of reaching for the pasta sauce in the plastic jar, get the one in glass. Most recycling centers take glass jars; they are crushed and made into either new jars or into down graded products like fiber glass. Most recycling centers also take paper products which are then repurposed into something else. The moral of the story is try to stay away from plastic.

Tip #4

#4 Buy in bulk when you can. A perfect example of this is yogurt. Instead of purchasing the little individual containers of yogurt, try to purchase a larger container. We purchase big containers of vanilla and flavor them up with fruit. Depending on what your local grocery store offers you may get lucky and be able to find items available in bulk.

Tip #5

#5 Know what your recycling center takes. I know what you are thinking…what does this have to do with shopping? But just do a little research. Our local recycling center doesn’t take much but we learned that the one in the next town over takes items like cereal and bread bags! This was a huge discovery for us. Now instead of having to throw them in the trash they can be recycled. We keep labeled bins in the garage and when it’s full we take it over to the other recycle center. I don’t like using plastic but I feel a lot better using it if I know it can be recycled.

Zero waste living is a journey; make a little bit of progress when ever you can! Next time you are in the grocery store, remember these tips. If you’re able to implement them it’s amazing how just a few small changes can make a world of difference.

Do you have any other tips for zero waste shopping in a small town?? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out my beginners guide to getting started with an Eco friendly lifestyle.