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Happy 10 Year Anniversary

I started this blog 10 years ago to the day. On 1/11/11 and posted my first post at 1:11. Purposefully.

As an advocate for activism and change in the world, carving out this little niche for myself to have expression, felt right at the time. I was unaware of what a blog was, what it entailed and thought my first few posts would be the culmination of my blogging.

In reflection of where I’ve come and where the world has come over the past 10 years, I’m amazed. This blog saw me through my activism, occupy movement, standing up to corporate corruption, musings, meditations, health tips, living in Detroit, Chicago and LA, the 26 countries I’ve traveled to and lastly finding love and starting a family.

While I don’t write as much here, if at all anymore, I keep my writing here as a reflection. Much of what I wrote years ago is relevant to now and what we are facing as a collective.

A dream would be to see the people of our planet, United as a front, especially right now in our country. There are so many ideologies and differences separating and the oligarch tech monopolies and corporations are very purposeful in that; it is a divide and conquer strategy.

Left vs Right

Us vs Them

Masker vs Anti-Masker

Vaxxer vs Anti-Vaxxer

Rich vs Poor

This list could go on. The point I’m making is that divided, we will fall. It’s messed up right now in our country. People are fighting, creating more rifts of separation and stuck in viewpoints that are like tunnel vision. I’ve seen this along the gamut, the extreme on all sides.
I wonder if having more discussions collectively to get to the root of our issues could help solve some of the problems plaguing our country.

I think now, more than ever, is the time for everyone to sit at the round table and have their say with the talking stick, uninterrupted. Not just ego based, but from the heart and see where that could lead.

The corruption, deception, greed and divide and conquer strategies MUST end.

It is time to claim self sovereignty and for those who can, to step up and into their power. The time is now to be lead by those who are more enlightened and advanced, leading us into conscious and heart based advancement as a race, being the caretakers of this beautiful planet we inhabit. I fear for our demise if not.

Holding peace, space and love for all those adversely affected by current circumstances.

xo,

Nicole

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How to Prepare for a Baby Without Breaking the Bank

Photo via Pexels

Written by featured writer Emily Graham

Preparing for a baby can be an incredibly stressful and expensive process. After all, there’s just so much stuff to buy! Or is there? Having a baby changes your life in so many wonderful ways, but it doesn’t have to drain your savings. From buying used baby supplies to having a home birth, there are many great ways to keep your spending in check while you prepare for the arrival of your little one.

Buy Used Whenever Possible

Buying used is the best way to stretch your baby budget. Shop around in thrift shops, buy gently used items online, or ask around in your mom circles to find parents willing to part with their old baby supplies. Most baby items are generally safe to buy used, including changing tables, baby monitors, baby bathtubs, toys, and clothing. That said, there are a few things you should always purchase new, including a crib, car seat, and stroller. 

Pack a Budget-Friendly Hospital Bag

As your delivery date draws closer, you’re probably thinking about what you’ll need to pack in your hospital bag. Keep it simple and try to stick with essential must-haves. You don’t want to haul around a huge bag stuffed with expensive items you won’t end up using. Some clothing items that are worth bringing to the hospital include a delivery gown, nursing pajamas, slippers, nursing pads, a nursing bra, and some comfortable maternity clothing that you can wear on your ride home from the hospital. And don’t forget to pack your phone charger! 

Assess Your Health Insurance

Long before your baby’s due date, take the time to go over your health insurance. While all health insurance plans must cover pregnancy and maternity care, there are a few exceptions. For example, if you’re still using your parents’ healthcare plan, their plan will not cover your delivery and newborn care. Also, make sure you understand the deductibles, copays, and co-insurance costs associated with your plan. Without insurance, most parents can expect to pay between $5,000 to $11,000 for a normal delivery in a hospital, according to SmartAsset.

Consider a Home Birth

A home birth could be a great option for moms-to-be without health insurance. According to Money Crashers, a typical home birth costs between $1,500 and $5,000 — at least half that of hospital birth. A home birth will also give you more freedom and control over your birth plan. Unfortunately, most states do not require health insurance plans to cover home births, so you should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket regardless. The hope is that future health insurance plans will evolve to cover easier and healthier birthing options, like midwifery services and home births.

Maintain Your Self-Care Routine

Whether you decide on a home or hospital birth, keeping yourself healthy and happy during your pregnancy will have a very positive impact on your birthing experience. Maintaining a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of complications during birth, which can be both dangerous and expensive. Make sure you’re getting all the nutrition you and your baby need, especially calcium, iron, and folate. Regular exercise is also important.

If you have room in your budget, consider hiring a doula. While doulas can be pricey, think of it as an investment. Having a doula with you during labor and delivery will help you keep your stress levels low, shortening the duration of your labor and reducing your risk of expensive complications. Women who have the support of a doula are also less likely to need medical interventions like c-sections or epidurals. 

You can spend a lot of money preparing for the birth of your child, but you don’t have to. You need very little to welcome a newborn into the world. Whether you decide to have a home birth or hire a doula to be with you in the hospital, make sure you choose a birth plan that will keep you calm and comfortable. And if you need more tips on health and wellness, check out the resources on Nicole Ciccarelli’s website!

For more articles and helpful tips on all around mom life check out Emily Graham at mightymoms.net