Homemade Mosquito Repellant

by Holly Shearman on February 26, 2014

in Recipes

It is nearly Spring – Yay! – and it’s time to get ready for Mosquito invasions. Here is an easy and pleasant repellent that is family-friendly and one you can make at home.
Mosquito-RepellentIf you are a user of essential oils, I recommend the following recipe from the Surviving The Stores.com website (if you don’t have essential oils on hand, see the recipe at the bottom of this post).


  • 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops of Citronella essential oil
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp Homemade Vanilla Extract (which is why I recommend making your own so it’s inexpensive!)
  • 4-5 Tbsp. Lemon Juice or 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil


  1. Mix all of the above ingredients in a spray bottle and fill the rest up with water (or a mix of water and vodka, or a mix of water and witch hazel).
  2. Spray away!!

Here is the link to the original recipe on Surviving the Stores.com

The other recipe I came across on Facebook was a version of the above but using only one essential oil.


  • 15 drops of lavender oil
  • 3-4 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. Combine the above in a 16 oz spray bottle
  2. Fill with water
  3. Shake

Try both recipes and let me know which you like best in the comment section below.

You may also want to make extras to give as Springtime gifts for your family, friends and neighbors.


Running Through Pregnancy

by Holly Shearman on November 1, 2012

in Birth News

My husband, Paul, is on a new running kick and I’ve been joining him on his runs as my schedule allows. My thoughts often wander to my moms-to-be and the questions I often get about running during pregnancy.

The old-school thinking about pregnancy was that women should exercise very little–or not at all. Fortunately, times have changed, and doctors routinely advise expectant patients to stay active.

“Each woman and each pregnancy is different, but if there are no complications, runners can keep running,” says Kathryn Peck Rutenberg, M.D., an obstetrician in New York City who ran through both her pregnancies.

After you get your health care provider’s go-ahead, your mileage is determined in part by how much you were doing before. Dr. Rutenberg says that if you regularly ran five miles a day, you can keep logging those miles, albeit at a gradually slowing pace. So if you ran an eight-minute mile, you may find an 11-minute mile during pregnancy is just as challenging.

As your due date approaches, lower-impact activities like swimming and walking may be more comfortable.

Continuing to run during pregnancy isn’t only about doing something you enjoy. Studies show that exercise improves the health of mom and baby — it lessens back pain, prevents excessive weight gain, improves sleep quality, and reduces delivery complications and time spent in labor.

Source: Runner’s World, October 2010

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October 17, 2012

We have our PERMIT!!!  It’s a miracle-finally we have our approval in all departments and have our permit.  Construction is supposed to be 2-3 weeks and our contractor swears that he is thorough and FAST!!! Construction begins tomorrow. We are sooo excited.  It’s going to be GORGEOUS!  Even though it has been very frustrating to […]

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Hangin’ from the Chandeliers

June 23, 2012

I love this picture!  It represents the teamwork that is involved in giving birth to a baby, especially when the birth is hard.  Mom, Dad, doula, midwife, and baby working together. I think it’s a great shot for people to see the tools available at a home birth. The IV hanging from the chandelier pretty […]

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West Houston Birth Center

June 1, 2012

I am so excited to announce the “birth” of West Houston Birth Center! We are located at 11321 Richmond Avenue, only 1 mile from West Houston Medical Center and 1 mile off of the Beltway.  I think a lot of people (speedsters) will love the location because you can zip on down the beltway and […]

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Midwife Bag: what I take to a birth

May 31, 2012

Midwives birth bags are pretty diverse, just like women’s purses.  I think it’s quite educational for the general public, physicians especially, to know what midwives carry to a birth.  We don’t just show up with no supplies hoping to catch a baby!  OK- in our dreams maybe!  We all carry different things to births.  It […]

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Knit like a hippie midwife

February 22, 2012

I’ve finally learned how to knit, so I guess now I am a REAL midwife!  I think I will fit in better at all of the midwife conferences.  It’s true-I’m not kidding.  Many midwives knit during classes at conferences and while women are in labor.  I think it’s a great skill to have. It gives […]

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Back Labor

February 15, 2012

Every woman’s nightmare-back labor.  A woman may experience back labor if her baby is in the OP (occiput posterior) position. This is also called sunny side up.  Normally, a baby faces the mother’s back, which makes for a nice normal labor since a smaller diameter of the head is coming through the pelvis.  However, if […]

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February 12, 2012

When you wake up and it looks like you just got breast implants but don’t remember having the surgery…your milk is in! Your boobs can get pretty uncomfortable and feel like they are going to explode.  Here’s some tips to help reduce the discomfort. 1. Nurse or pump every 2 hours round the clock (even […]

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Laughing Gas for Labor

February 12, 2012

OK-It’s not what you think….women will not be laughing their way through labor…or will they… Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is used in most dentist’s offices in America. What most Americans don’t know is that it used to be used in labor as a very effective and safe form of pain relief.  It […]

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