The Maternity Bag Around the World

Ellen gave birth in Simulemba Health Centre, in Malawi, which delivers more than 90 babies a month
There is plenty that we can take for granted when you live in the so-called 'Developed World'. When it comes to giving birth in many countries like the USA, Australia, Japan, or nations in the European Community, for example, the expectant mother can pretty much rely on decent facilities and standard services. So, when it is time to pack a Maternity Bag for that wonderful event, the focus might be on things that can add to the comfort or enhance the experience. One thing that is universal is usually the that special item for swaddling your new bundle of joy! 

But, what if you do not have the good fortune of living in a place where the basics might not be even readily available? What if you are an expectant mother in a 'Developing Nation'? What would you consider packing in your Maternity Bag? What if you had to prepare for your own birth experience by packing your own razor blade (to cut the umbilical cord) or length of string (to tie off that same umbilical cord)? And, what if not only did you have to bring your own plastic sheeting for the delivery table (if there is one) but also bring your own water supply perhaps? And who in the Developed World might think to pack some ready cash just in case, because your husband or mother might not be able to make the trip with you. It certainly has made me think twice. Like I said - it's easy to take things for granted some times. 

Hazel, 27 is from Hamakando Village, in Monze District, in Zambia.
So, it's with great interest that I came across this very stunning portrait of some expectant mothers from around the world. Photographers working with the charity WaterAid have documented the contents of your average Maternity Bag from places such as Japan, Australia, and the USA .... alongside the very interesting contents of expectant mothers in such places as Malawi and Zambia. I'd personally like to see this project expanded to include all sorts of expectant mothers in all sorts of locations on the planet. I'm sure there would be plenty to give pause to after you compare your own preparations with those of others. Don't you think?

To view more photos and read further you can visit WaterAid's website and the BBC website

Deanna lives in New York City, USA


Inspirations: The Child Inventor

Sure, this story on the BBC News website: Somalia's 13-year-old Inventor Finds Fame, is about an inquisitive and inventive young boy in Somalia and his efforts to follow a passion. But, it's also about a young person's persistent imagination when confronted with challenges that we hardly even consider in our so-called 'Western' lives. And, it's about an inspiring teacher, with similar challenges, pitching in to help a student. It's a story I wanted to share with my children - especially considering we've been having pitched battles lately surrounding the over use of technology! This just goes to show - where there's a will, there's a way. That's exactly what I'm taking away from this story... and I hope my kid's will do the same.

If you'd like to read out it - here it is.


very interesting :: are you gluten intolerant or is it just poison?

This is what you may have been thinking - Why am I suddenly allergic to gluten when I have been eating all of my life, well this might just be the more correct answer. At the very least it deserves some press, some research and some good old consumer awareness.

The name of the article is Maybe You are Not Gluten Intolerant, Maybe You are Just POISON Intolerant :: the link to the article is here and it really makes you think about the origins of this wave of people who are gluten intolerant. I certainly know that every one of my friends that went off gluten one hundred percent felt better, had more energy and didn't have side effects. When they came back on gluten they were more aware of the problem and while they possibly didn't make the connection to poison, they came back on gluten aware that the needed to eat organic.

I hope this is helpful to everyone!

The article is from: expand-your-consciousness.com
link to article here


wellness tonic, elixir.. whatever you want to call it - I'm into them!

If there is one thing I am sure of in this new year it's that I love a good elixir! Last year I got a vitamix for myself for my birthday (I love getting myself a good birthday present!) and I have been crazy about it every since. I know that a lot of people like to make smoothies, but I like it for making sauces for veggies and elixirs. I like to call them elixirs because they are about 80-90% water (and sometimes I add coconut water for a 50% water/50% coconut water combination). I like to use whatever I have in my kitchen and I grow my own spearmint, parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary and sage year round in my windowsill. My favorites are rosemary and spearmint, I rarely make anything without them. Next on my favorite list are turmeric and ginger, if I add some kind of green I can almost leave it at that if it's all I have. As for greens you take what you like.. for me that's romaine and arugula (and I just use a handful, I don't like it thick and heavy). And OH, never leave out the lemon... you will miss it if you do! and throw the whole thing in there because the essential oils in the skin are the best part for you (I cut off the rough ends but that's it!). And usually black pepper... that's my spike.

I was really inspired by this article in the New York Times - T Magazine, 5 Drink Recipes to Sip Your Way to Wellness. It has 5 great drinks that I am dying to try - I've already made Dimes's Goji Berry and Ginger Tea. I really liked this recipe because it was warm! I'm always looking for something to warm me up! It's delicious and really has a get-up-and-go for me, I immediately felt I had more energy and yes, it made me feel warm all over (best part).

For Christmas I got a few cookbooks (which I will talk more about later), and so far my favorite is Near and Far by Heidi Swanson. It's an amazing cookbook and laid out so thoughtfully I read it through immediately just like a book! Delightful. I got my everyday first thing in the morning elixir from her - lemon, turmeric, honey, black pepper and coconut oil - it's amazing! I drive my kids to school, if I didn't we would have go get up god-awful early so I ALWAYS take this delicious warm drink with me in the car on the way to school.

And you know when dinner is done but you just want something sweet... well our whole family goes crazy for this drink (I hate the word smoothie so I'll leave it at 'drink')

1-2 frozen bananas (I always keep some perfectly ripe frozen bananas in the freezer for this type of emergency)
1 cup almond milk
1 cup other milk like rice, oat or soy
just a dash of cardamom (what you can pink between your fingers is perfect)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
agave to taste (just a bit is fine)
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla sugar (love this stuff)

blend until smooth in a vitamix, you might need to add more milk to get it going but do it until it's just going so that you can almost eat it with a spoon it's so thick! In the summer you can add cashews and ice and make it into ice cream! but for now this is cold enough for me.


Pink sale! take an additional 10% off!

We just wanted to celebrate a bit on the color pink...

so here we go starting from top LEFT (clockwise):
1. matta sequin scarf ($98)
2. matta Umaa top ($138)
3. HBB industria copitos kids hat ($33)
4. HBB industria triangle sweater ($98)
5. Fredricks & Mae horse hair keychain (multiple colors)  ($40)
6. Beck Sondergaard soft pink scarf ($68)
7. Lucky Fish kids doggie l/s thermal t ($25)
8. wovenplay/jess brown collaboration rag doll ($234)
9. Lucky Fish/Edible Schoolyard collaboration tea towel ($24)

center: loome pom pom maker ($16) and scents by Elixirs & Co. ($78)

have fun and remember to use code: 'pink' for 10% off!
(no stacking of codes, ends soon)