Stay at Home Survival Bundle

What is Shein? Cheap, Good Clothes

Shein Review

With summer around the corner and Covid-19 still causing places to be closed and travel looking unlikely for the near future, I found myself shopping online. I came across a website www.us.shein.com. I have ordered two swimsuits and two pairs of shorts from Shein now and think this Shein review will be helpful for those not sure if they should order from Shein or not.

What is Shein?

Shein is an online clothing and household store. It sells decently prices items for women, men and children which include, dresses, shoes, sleepwear, swimwear and accessories. I have found that the prices are very reasonable and the quality is pretty good. The products ship from China so it does take a few weeks to get the items but so far I have been quite satisfied with my orders.

How I Found Shein

Ever since stay at home started, my husband and I have been spending a lot of time with our upstairs neighbors in the hot tub. With the days getting warmer I also went to Walmart and picked up a small pool to put on the patio. That is how I found myself looking for new swimsuits online. I looked on Amazon and there are quite a few cute vintage style swimsuits. I had previously ordered one of these styles on Amazon. This time I found a cute swimsuit on Shein and the price was less. That is one of the things that made me order form Shein. They seem to have lower prices then anywhere else I found online. There are other companies selling swimsuit in the $20-$20 range such as Romwe, Dressily and Amazon but Shein is the only one that seemed to be selling them for under $20.00.

I was a little hesitant to order from Shein. I was not sure of the quality or how long it would take to show up but they had the best price.

The Shein Review

This is the first bikini I ordered

I thought it was really cute and unique. I really liked the idea of the top, that it had sleeves, has a high neckline and is a longer bikini top with the high bottoms. This set is currently selling for $18 plus shipping.

My Thoughts

I love this swimsuit. The bottoms are perfect for covering my stomach. I love the top with sleeves and the tie. It is comfortable, fits well and I love that covers my shoulders. It is quite a thick material. This swim top will be perfect for warm but not super hot days. It also will go well with other swim bottoms I have.

The only thing I do not like about the Shein site is the sizing. Sizes 4-10 are women’s sizes while sizes 12-18 are curvy and Plus size. I really don’t like that there is not a wider range of sizing available. I also really do not like that how they label sizes 12-16 as plus size. Size 12 is labeled as 0X, 14 as 1X, size 16 as 2X and size 18 is 3X. I ordered the 2X for this swimsuit. Normally an XL would be the right size for me, but not with Shein.

If you fit in the sizes they offer and don’t mind their terrible size labeling then I think you should check out Shein.

The pictures below are the actual product I received. The packaging is so better than expected. They come in nice Shein zippered bags.

Review of Second Swimsuit

The second swimsuit I ordered was another high waist bikini. It was only $11.

This swimsuit also seems to be good quality. The high waist bottom fits very nice. The top is just a little looser than I would like but still fits wells and covers up where I want it to.

The bikini sets on Shein are sold in the same size for the top and bottom so if you need different sizing for either the top or bottom you might want to look at the separate swimsuit pieces instead.

The picture below shows the actual product I received.

 

Shorts Review

The most recent items I received from Shein were two pairs of paper bag shorts. I was looking for longer and looser fitting shorts and came across these. These two pairs of shorts were less than the one pair of Bermuda jean shorts I bought from Kohl’s.

What are paper bag shorts?

These shorts are called paper bag shorts due to the design of the waist. They have a scrunchy waist that reminds one of a paper bag. They usually scrunch at the waist and are tied together with a ribbon/belt. These shorts are definitely on the more dressy side but can be either dressed up or dressed down. I think they would be really cute for a lunch date with friends or just to feel a little nicer.

The picture below is what the shorts look like online. The first pair comes in black, green, navy and pink. I ordered them in black and the price was $11

The other pair is the same design. It was also $11 and was available in green, navy and burgundy.

This was my first time trying paper bag shorts and I think I am a fan. They are quite comfortable, the length is not too long nor too short and the waist is not too tight. The material of these shorts is light. They do seem to wrinkle a little bit and the black ones might be see through in the sun.

Below are some pictures of me trying on the paper bag shorts. I also tried out some editing with our green screen and pretended I was at the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should you order from Shein?

Pro’s: 

good prices, large selection, sizes from S-4X

Con’s:

items sell out fast, shipping times, size 14 and 16 are considered curvy and plus.

Conclusion:

I have been quite happy with my purchases from Shein. They take a little bit to arrive since they do come from china but that doesn’t bother me. There is a wide selection and the prices are reasonable. I like that you can heart items you like to be saved in a wish list and you earn points on purchases you make. The thing I dislike the most is the sizing of the size 14 and 16 being listed as X1 and X2. The largest size is X4 which is size 20. I have to remember to click on the curvy and plus section before looking for items which is a little annoying.

https://us.shein.com/

What is Ultimate Bundles- Is it worth it?

What is Ultimate Bundles?

About a year ago I started seeing ads for this thing called Ultimate Bundles. Being suspicious I ignored it at first thinking that it sounded too good to be true. At some point I decided to take the leap because the price was so good and the content looked interesting.

 I believe that the first bundle I bought was the self care bundle. A few months later I bought the Herb and Essential Oil bundle. 

So what is an Ulitmate Bundle? An Ulitmate bundle is a collection or library of resources at a huge discount. Each bundle is unqiue and is a compliation of various products, ebooks, printables and courses that would individually sell for way more. Some bundles are available for sale for only a few days at a huge discount and some bundles are available for a few months. 

What do I like about Ultimate Bundles?

I like that you get a bunch of resources all in one place. The ultimate bundles website is easy to use and everything is right there ready to be downloaded. You can download everything in a zip file and or just download what you want to save or look at later. 

Any courses will bring you to the website of the person who created the course. Normally there will be a code you use on each individual checkout page so that you get the course for free. 

The ulitmate bundles website will also let you know what date your access to the bundle ends. Don’t worry. Access only end online, as long as you have downloaded the files you want (I recommend downloading everything) you are good. 

My Tips for getting the most out of your bundle

  1. Pick a bundle that interests you
  2. Download everything as soon as you get the bundle so you don’t forget. I like to individually download each file so I can put them into corresponding folders on my computer but you can also download everything all at once if you want. 
  3. Sign or register for each of the courses in your bundle. Use the code provided on the checkout page of each course.
  4. Make sure to check your email for any courses you need to verify your email
  5. Start reading your materials
  6. Print out any printables you want
  7. Start working your way through any courses you signed up for
  8. Don’t feel like you have to read everything right away (that’s why we download for later)
  9. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the material in your bundle (Each bundle will be different and some will have more content then others)
  10. Enjoy your ultimate bundle

What Bundles are Available?

This is accurate as of April 24 2020

Stay at Home Survival Bundle

This bundle is available until further notice

The Stay at Home Survival Bundle is perfect for all those new stay at home families that need a little help surviving.

Price: $24.97

Value: 21 products worth $493.19

Contents: 4 eBooks, 11 Workbooks and Printables, 5 eCourses and a summit

Click this link to see what is inside this bundle or on the banner below to go to Ultimate Bundles-Info Sheet- Stay at Home Survival Bundle – Google Docs


Stay at Home Survival Bundle 2020

Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle 2019

This bundle is available until June 4 2020

The herb and essential oils bundle is one of the bundles I purchased last year. It is full of information on herbs, how to use them, which ones to grow and how to grow them. There is a ton of information about essential oils including which ones to use for you and your family, how to use, diffuser recipes and DIY recipes for cleaning and skin and beauty.

Price: $49.97 + $10 cheat sheets

Value: 40 products worth $701.14

Contents: 29 eBooks, 4 Printables, and 7 eCourses

Click the link to see what is in the bundle- Info Sheet Herbs & Essential Oils Bundle – Google Docs

or Click the banner below to go to the Ultimate Bundles Website

Always know which natural remedy to reach for

 

Photography Super Bundle

This Bundle is available until October 2, 2020

Price: $49.97 + $10.00 cheat sheets

Value: 19 products worth $1,195.98

Contents: 12 eCourses, 6 eBooks, templates & presets

Click this link to see what is inside this bundle or on the banner below to go to Ultimate Bundles-Info Sheet-The Photography Super Bundle – Google Docs


Photography Super Bundle 2019

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 2020

Price: $67 + $10 for cheat sheets

Value: 73 products worth $2837.06

Contents: 12 eBooks, 31 eCourses, 29 workbooks & printables and 2 membership sites

Click this link to see what is inside this bundle or on the banner below to go to Ultimate Bundles- Info Sheet- The Ultimate Productivity Bundle – Google Docs

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 2020

Upcoming Bundles

Gardening and Sustainability Bundle 2020 May 18th 2020 May 22nd, 2020
Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Flash Sale 2019 June 10th 2020 June 11th, 2020
Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020 June 22nd 2020 June 26th, 2020
Mini Bundles (will launch for 5 days, then the bundle will be available at a higher price for 12 months)
Master Your Money Mini Bundle 2020 June 1st 2020 June 5th, 2020
Self Care Mini Bundle 2020 June 1st 2020 June 5th, 2020
Work at Home Mini Bundle 2020

4 Natural Deodorant to try and why you should make the change

Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

A substance that is applied to mask or hide body odor due to bacteria breaking down.

Antiperspirants stop sweating by blocking the sweat glands. These normally contain aluminum, which blocks the sweat glands, therefore reducing sweating.

Deodorant on the other hand still allows for sweating but reduces the colonization of bacteria or masks the smell. Sweating is a normal human process.

Human perspiration is normally odorless, but bacteria colonizes in this warm area and causes body odor.

What is the difference with Natural Deodorant?

Natural Deodorants are not antiperspirants. They do not block the sweat glands. They do not contain aluminum.

The common ingredients in natural deodorants are baking soda or arrow root to absorb sweat, coconut oil which is microbial and essential oils. There may be some other ingredients also depending on the brand.  It is possible to make your own deodorant at home with these ingredients but I have found the consistency to be more user friendly with the ones that are available to buy from the various natural deodorant companies out there.

Baking Soda- Does it Matter?

Yes. If you have a reaction or sensitive skin

No. If you don’t have sensitive skin

Maybe. All brands are different and one might have an ingredient in it, baking soda or not, that you have a reaction to.

Some people have a sensitivity to baking soda which is a common ingredient in natural deodorants. If you try a natural deodorant and have a reaction look to see if baking soda is one of the ingredients. There are now many companies that make their products or have a sensitive line that does not use baking soda.

I personally do not have a reaction to baking soda but there is an ingredient in at least 2 brands that I do have a reaction to which I will discuss below. I can use natural deodorants with baking soda normally with no problem.

 

Detoxing Pits before switching to a natural deodorant?

Some people and some of the natual deodorant websites claim that you need to detox your arm pits before switching to a natural deodorant. This is said to help the results of the switch from traditional deodorant and antiperspirant to natural go more smoothly.

I personally did not do a detox before attempting my first brand of natural deodorant about 6 years ago. I can not remember if there was a transition phase or not. But for those who would like to get the best possible chance at liking a natural deodorant there are a few  simple things you can do.

The first is to make a mixture of bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and water to make a mask that is applied to your arm pits until dry.

A second method is to exfoliate your armpits once a week. This can be done with a homemade body scrub made with oat flour and water. Moisturize with unscented oil like coconut oil.

Third is to just let your body detox naturally which it will do over time with sweating. There might be a transition period that could last from 2-4 weeks. Your odor may increase over the first 1-2 weeks before it starts to decrease. This is especially true if switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant. There will be an increase in odor causing bacteria in week 2 and an increase in sweating since the aluminum is working it’s way out. But remember sweating is normal and okay. This detox period will probably be less for those that are only switching from regular deodorant to natural deodorant. Week 3 will bring less odor causing bacteria and less sweating.

Five brands I have tried:

Tom’s of Maine

This was the first brand I tried in the more natural line of deodorants. For a little while I liked it. It smelled good and seemed to work. About a month or so into using it I experienced a severe reaction. I broke out in a painful rash and every time I put the deodorant on I started sweating more. It was terrible.

There is now a prebiotic line that I have not tried that I will link below if anyone is interested in giving it a try.

Disclosure “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links below”

Pros

Buy at local stores

Inexpensive

Smells good

 

Cons 

Bad reaction

Native

I learned about this brand from sister.  I have now been using this brand for almost 4 years. It feels just like any regular deodorant from the store and smells great. It works very well and I have not had any bad reactions using it.

There are 5 permanent scents- coconut and vanilla, lavender and rose, cucumber and mint, unscented and charcoal

My all time favorite is the coconut and vanilla with second place going to cucumber and mint.

They also have 3-4 seasonal scents every season. I like to order these occasionally when one of them peaks my interest.

Price: $12 for a one time purchase, $10 with a subscription ( I have mine set a t every 4 months since I like to order the seasonal ones also), $20 classic or seasonal box set of three or $24 for 5 different scents of mini/travel size.

I keep coming back to Native because it feels just like traditional deodorant, doesn’t make my skin react badly and I love the scents. Of course not every scent is wonderful. Some of the seasonal scents have not been my favorite but the classic scents I always fall back on have been wonderful.

There is also sensitive line that does not include baking soda in the ingredients. I haven’t found that baking soda bothers me though.

Other Products:

Body Wash, Bar Soap and Toothpaste

Pros

Feels like traditional deodorant

Good scents

Sensitive line

Can set up a monthly or every 2 or 3 or 4 month subscription by visiting https://www.nativecos.com/products/coconut-vanilla-deo-womens

 

Cons 

Online purchase only

 

Eden’s Garden

This line is from one of my favorite essential oil companies. They have expanded their products and now have natural deodorant. I was excited about trying these out but unfortunately they were not as good as I had hoped. The scents were fine, I tried two different scents but neither was great. I also was not a fan of the texture of the actual product. Unlike Native that feels just like using a Dove solid from Walmart, the Eden’s Garden deodorants are completely different. They are still a solid deodorant but in order to apply the product you need to warm it up under your arm pit for a few seconds before applying it.

The product performed fine and I didn’t have any bad reactions to the product. My only issue with this product is the feel of the product and I didn’t love the scents.

There are now 12 different scents which is an increase since I tried the product. One of the new scents is Fighting Five which is Eden’s Garden’s version of Young Livings Thieves blend. This is actually very exciting since this blend is an immune booster. I have not tried it but would be very interested to see how it is as a deodorant.

Other products to buy from this company is essential oils, diffusers, bar soap, body oil, candles, room spray and perfume.

Deodorant

If you order through Eden’s Garden use referral code http://rwrd.io/m30tjux and set up Aroma notes to earn points to use toward products.

Pros

No baking soda

Essential oils

Solid deodorant

 

Cons

Needs to be warmed up before applying

Scents were not remarkable

Schmidt’s

This line is available in many stores such as Walmart. I was excited to try this brand because of the price point, that it is available in stores and comes in various scents. Unfortunately I had the same reaction to this deodorant that I did to the Tom’s of Maine. At first it seemed to work just fine but after a few weeks my under arms were freaking out and I had to stop using it.

Schmidt’s recently added a hemp oil line of deodorants that I have not tried. It has a higher price point than the regular Schmidt’s at about $13

Pros

Available in stores

Various Scents

Good price point

Applies like regular deodorant

 

Cons

I had a bad reaction to this product

Lume

Lume was created by a gynecologist and claims that it can be used on both your pits and your privates. It also claims to work for 72 hours. It comes in 4 scents and unscented. I tried the Jasmine Rose. It was a nice light scent. I don’t feel that it lasted 72 hours though. I used this during winter and then on a cruise. It was never super hot and I feel it did a fine job at staying not stinky but defiantly not for 72 hours. The company says that you need to detox your armpit and clothes before using and that over the first week of use you will have to use more product that then can be reduced after using the product for awhile.

I liked the scent of this product and had no bad reactions to it but I do not feel it performed for the 72 hours the company claims. The application is also not like a regular solid deodorant. It is more of a mix between a gel and a cream type of consistency. You turn the knob to get the product to come up and then apply to your skin, but then you need to rub it in. This was a bit different for me but not that bad of a change or a reason not to use this product.

Lume comes in a deodorant stick dispenser or in a tube. Either way the product is the same. I bought the deodorant stick but I feel that the tube packing might be better for me since I plan on using as a anti chafing product between my thighs. I did this on our cruise when we walked in the morning and found there to be less chafing than normal.

I think this is a unique product and it is great that it has more than one use.

They also sell soap and deodorant wipes.

 

Pros

Nice scent

Vegan

Cruelty Free

Aluminum free

Baking soda free

Can be used on other parts of the body

Tube or stick packaging

 

Cons

Didn’t last 72 hours

Sticky consistency

https://lumedeodorant.com/

Other Brands I have not tried yet

Meow Meow Tweet

Kopari

Hippy Pits

Comment below if you have tried any of these brands and what you thought.

 

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Budget Friendly Travel Back Pack

 

     Europe with a Budget Friendly Travel Back Pack

I searched high and low for a travel back pack that meet various requirement for me. One it had to meet 3 different airlines carry on sizing requirements. Two it had to fit almost 3 weeks of clothes ( I did a little bit of laundry but really didn’t need to). Three it had to be inexpensive. Some bags I saw were hundred of dollars. So what was this budget friendly travel back pack that I found?

The EBag Weekender Back Pack. It made it through 17 days, 11 Airbnb locations, 6 flights, 5 countries, 3 major cities taking public transportation with the bag, 2 rental cars and 1 cross country train ride.  

Th back pack was my carry on bag for this multi-country trip. It performed very well and I would recommend. I will be using again and again and wish that I had known about this bag sooner.

Pros

Good Quality

Lots of pockets

expandable zipper

water bottle holder

laptop slot

compression straps

22x19x9 means it fits all carry on requirements  for the overhead bin

Adjustable straps

Side strap included

Can hold a lot of stuff

Easy to go up and down stairs and escalators

9 Colors to choose from

Comes in a Junior size- 19 inches high

Cons

Can get quite heavy- mine weighed in at almost 22 pounds

Might not stay sitting up depending on how much you stuff into it

Difficult to maneuver with on a crowed train

My personal Review

The weekender bag was able to fit a ton of clothes. I packed 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of yoga pants, sneakers, Croc flats, 1 bra, socks, underwear, reusable menstrual pads, 7 long sleeve shirts, hair brush, toiletries bag, deodorant, plug converter, 11 inch laptop, soap in a plastic container and 2 vitamin bottles and 1 small backpack packed inside the large backpack. I feel that it was able to hold just as much as a regular carry on bag with wheels.

Awesome Features

The front pocket is very deep. This made it so that I was able to put my soap and my deodorant all the way down to the bottle of the bag. The front pocket were very convenient for getting the toiletry bag out when going through security. I  also found the back laptop section to be a wonderful addition for storing my laptop. That section sits against your back when the bag is on giving you peace of mind about no one being able to access it. It is quite deep but there is a pocket that helps to make it so your laptop does not slide all the way down.

There are 2 straps on the inside to help compress down your clothes. On the outside of the bag there are 4 more compression straps, 2 on each side that really help to compress the bag.In addition, the expander zipper proved to be a very useful feature. I would open the expander zipper to get all my stuff inside the bag and then use the outer compression straps to compress the bag. The compression straps made it so the bag did not look so large.

Sizing

I did not have any issues with the size of the bag. We flew 3 different airlines, United, Easy Jet and Ryanair. United allows one carry on and one personal item. It was on these flights that I used a small backpack as the personal item.  On the Easy Jet flights, which we had 3 of, I had to fit everything in only 1 carry on bag. I was able to do this each time and did not have any problems with the size of the bag.

I used the sizer to double check and it fit with a little pushing. This is one of the reason I wanted a soft sided bag with no wheels or handle.  When we took the Ryanair flight, we paid to check the carry on bags. Ryanair has much smaller carry on allowances and it was easier to check the bag instead of trying to find one that fit their allowance.

Was it hard to carry around?

The E Bag Weekender was great for going up and down all the stairs we encountered. I did not have to lift my bag up to go up the stairs. If I was standing in a line for a long time I would put the bag on the floor. On the bus and the public trains I would need to take the bag off and put it on my lap or on the floor if there was room.

There was one instance in London between landing and getting the train to Paris that I walked quite far around London for some sightseeing with the backpack. This was the only time that I wished that my bag had wheels. Lather though, I  was glad my bag was on my back when we left very early in the morning for the airport and my husband’s rolling bag was very loud.

Price

“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links below”

Motherlode Weekender

$149.99 https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-weekender-convertible/143101?productid=10362789

Look out for promotions and sales on the website. As of writing this they are offering a discount code that brings the bag down to $89.99.

Junior Weekender

$139.99 https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-mother-lode-weekender-convertible-junior/241465?productid=10395044

Concluding Thoughts

I really like this bag and would recommend it and I am glad I used this bag on our cross county Europe trip. Originally I thought that I would have to spend a lot to get a travel back pack that would work. But with a little research I found what I think is a great budget friendly travel back pack. 

An even Cheaper Option?

There is one other option that is even more budget friendly. This bag seems like good quality and fits a ton of stuff. It does not open up like a suit case rather it is a backpacking camping/ hiking backpack but seems to have good back and shoulder support that would make carrying it for a long time easier than the E Bag. I do not believe this bag would fit carry on sizing ( I could be wrong) and I have not tested it out it like I did with the E Bag. I am currently using this backpack as my 3 day Emergency Go Bag.

Why you might want to consider it…. It is only about $30. Wait What! A great bag for only about $30. Yes!

I didn’t think this bag would be great quality based on the price when other bags like this sell for way more. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised in how nice it was. Please remember I have not heavily tested it yet but it is currently packed full and it seems to be really good and perfect for what I am currently using it for. I think it would be a really good hiking back pack also.

The link for that bag is below if you want to check it out. For about $30 you don’t have much to lose.

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Ipsy Subscription- Is it Worth it?

When I first started getting the Ipsy monthly subscription bags I loved it. Each bag comes with 5 items that are customized to you based on a survey you take on their website.

https://www.ipsy.com/

I have been receiving Ipsy bags of about three years.  There are many pros to the Ipsy subscription bags and some cons.

 

Pro’s 

They come in cute zipper bags that are great for using for travelling, sorting your makeup or using as a change purse. I love the bag designs and use a lot of them for different things. I have also given some away to my sister and other friends.

 

I always had a new supply of mascara and lipstick coming in on a regular basis.

 

It’s not all makeup. I have received, hair products, nail polish and face products.

 

They are always the perfect size for travelling and putting in your carry on or personal item when flying.

 

I have a decent amount of eye shadow, concealer highlighter and face products that I have enjoyed using.

 

Sometimes the month’s bag will include eye shadow brushes.

 

The value of what you get is more than the $10 you pay each month for the bag.

 

https://www.ipsy.com/ also allows you to shop their products online and review what you have received.

 

See some of the products I have received and some of the cute makeup bags.

Cons

Although I do feel like I have received a varying amount of different products after some time, closer to the three year mark I started to feel that all the bags were the same and it was not as exciting as in the beginning. I still use much of the product I have pictured and really like most of the brands and products.

 

There have been a few times that a product was not good quality and was unusable.

 

Not a huge issue, but I did accumulate a lot of the makeup bags. I use quite a few of them for different things; travelling, holding essential oils, organizing the different products or holding tissues.

 

Conclusion

I think for $10 a month it is a good monthly subscription.

 

I like that you fill out a survey and the bag is picked based on that.

 

I believe that the value of the bag is more than the monthly cost making it a good value.

 

For those who are new to makeup or don’t want to spend a ton trying different high ends brands this is a really great way to try different brands and products to see what you like. Some of the samples are small and some are a very good size and last a long time.

 

I hope you found this review of the monthly Ipsy

 

bag helpful.

 

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Easy Natural Birth Control

Easy Natural Birth Control

What do I mean by easy natural birth control? I mean freedom from four things that most women deal with on a regular basis. Do you want the following?

No Pills filled with hormones

Not needing to take a pill every day

Not worrying if you forgot to take your pill

Bye to side effects

Yes! Natural hormone free birth control is for you then.

(Possibly… It’t not for everyone unfortunately. Please do your own research before starting any of the methods mentioned in this article. I am not a medical professional. This is based on my own research and my own experiences and everyone must be responsible for their own choices and the consequences)

 

Hormonal Birth Control

Hormonal Birth control comes in various forms, from pills, patches and rings that contain estrogen and progestin. There are progestin only pills, IUD and shots.

How do these hormones prevent pregnancy?

The hormones prevent the eggs from being released from the ovaries, causes the cervical mucus thicken to prevent sperm from entering the uterus while thinning the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation.

The pill is 97% effective, the depo shot is 99% effective, Nuva ring is 99% effective. When used properly hormonal birth control is 99-100% effective but with typical or normal used it is 95% effective at preventing  pregnancy.  There are some things that make these methods less effective such as missing pills, certain other medications both prescribed and over the counter, products with charcoal and digestive disorders.

Some women have no issues with hormonal birth control, others deal with many side effects ranging from weight gain, high blood pressure and a change in emotions. Then there are those who simple do not want to put anything in their bodies that are not necessary. What ever your reason, natural birth control is an option that works.

NON HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL OPTIONS

Copper IUD

Barriers: sponge, cervical cap, diaphragm

Condoms

Fertility Awareness Method or Natural Family Planning

What is Fertility Awareness Method or Natural Family Planning

Fertility Awareness method or natural family planning are the same thing. It is NOT the same as the rhythm method.

The Rhythm method assumes that every women has a 28 day cycle and that she always ovulates on day 14. This simply is not true. Each women has a slightly different cycle ranging from 26-35 days. This can change from month to month. One month she may have a 27 day cycle and the next it may be a 31 day cycle.

What does this means?

This means that she is not always ovulating on day 14 of her cycle, it could be day 13, or day 17.  Various things can affect when a women ovulates such as stress, sickness and travelling. If you are stress or travelling this may knock your normal cycle slightly off course meaning that even if you do normally ovulate on day 14, while travelling you might end up ovulating a few days later.

Why does this matter?

A women can only get pregnant when she is ovulating. But sperm can survive for 5 days, meaning that there are 6 days a women is considered fertile. The five days before she ovulates and the day she ovulates.

Is it effective:

If done perfectly FAM or NFP is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. There are apps such as Kindera and special thermometer devices that help make tracking your cycle much easier.

From the Daysy website and also applies to lady Comp, these devices has a pearl index that is comparable and in some cases better than other forms of birth control making this method of birth control just as, if not more effective than using hormones

Pearl Index of 0.7

With a Pearl-Index of 0.7, the fertility monitors of Valley Electronics are the leader in natural contraception and family planning.

The Pearl Index is used to report the effectiveness of a certain birth control method.

As an example: if 100 women use a particular birth control method for one year and one woman becomes pregnant, the Pearl Index of this method is 1.0. Birth control pills have a Pearl Index between 0.1 and 0.9, and IUDs range from 0.1 to 2.2.

for more information on the effectiveness https://usa.daysy.me/effectiveness/

“Lady-Comp supports your natural family planning goals like no other. If you want to prevent pregnancy naturally without subjecting your body to artificial methods, or if you want to maximize your chances of becoming pregnant, the fertility computer is perfect for you. Lady-Comp is the intelligent fertility monitor — a next-generation computer that learns, analyzes and indicates ovulation with 99.3% accuracy, free of hormones and side-effects.”

  • One time purchase
  • Over 7 years life expectancy
  • Very durable

https://www.lady-comp.com/fertility-computers/

What I need a Thermometer?

You need a thermometer to take you temperature every morning upon waking up but before getting out of bed. It is quite simple. When the alarm goes off, you roll over, grab your thermometer and take your temperature.

Here is a basal thermometer to check out. This is for the person who will be charting their own data and analyzing it. There is a easier way explained farther down in this article if the idea of charting your own temperatures sound like to much.

Then what?

Write it down, or better yet use an app like Kindara to enter your morning resting temp.

How does it actually Work?

After a women ovulates her temperature rises, then when she starts her period her temperature drops until she ovulates again.

The principal behind FAM is that you are not fertile the first 5 days of your period. The first day of your period is day 1. So then day 1-5 you  will not get pregnant. From day 6 until three days after your temperature rises you are considered possibly fertile. So depending on your cycle this could be day 6-17, if you do ovulate on day 14. Then day 18- 28 or beyond, until you get your period, would be considered non fertile days or green days, that you can not get pregnant.

For more information on how charting of your cycle works check out https://kindara.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/224933048-The-4-Rules-of-Charting-for-Birth-Control

Free Charting app to make it easier

Kindara is an app that is very easy to use. Enter your temperature in the morning, make if you have your period, if you are checking your cervical fluid you can enter that data later and there is a nice chart that shows your temperature progression for that cycle so you can see when your temperature has risen and then when it has been 3 days since the temp rise. You may even be able to determine a day in advance when your period will start since your temperature drops when your period is close to starting. When my temperature drops I will get my period anywhere from that day to up to 24-30 hours after that. This is actually very nice since it one confirms I am not pregnant and two I know that it will be coming shortly and I can be prepared for it.

Devices that make it even easier

Some ladies like to chart their cycles with pen/pencil and paper, more probably prefer to use an app such as Kindara but what I found most useful is a little device called Lady Comp. There is another one called Daisy and Kindara has one that connects to their app called Wink. They all differ a bit. Lady Comp and Daysy will show you red, yellow or green lights that indicate where you are in your cycle whereas Wink is a thermometer that links to the Kindara app and creates a chart for each cycle that you will need to analyze yourself.

Lady Comp and Daysy

The benefit of the Lady Comp and the Daysy are that they not only take your temperature but they have software that gives you a red light, a yellow light or a red light. You don’t have to do the charting you just take your temperature every morning.

The indicator Lights

Red light: you will most likely get pregnant

Yellow light: it is possible to get pregnant or it needs more data to give an accurate prediction

Green Light: This is your all clear, no getting pregnant

Some may choose to just use one of these devices which are very reliable on their own up to 99% when used correctly but I personally prefer to use the lady Comp with the Kindara app. The Kndara app alone is wonderful but you must know the rules of fertility awareness method charting and determine yourself when you are red, yellow and green.

I like to use the lady comp to take my temperature each morning. It has an alarm that I set so I never forget and then after it takes my temperature it gives me a light. I then enter my temp for that day in the Kindara app and enter any other data such as if I have my period or if the color changed from red to green or vice versa. Then I can look at the chart on the app instead of doing one by hand and it is easy to see when my temperature changed.

This confirms for me that the lady comp is correct by seeing it on the chart. There is a section to enter information about your period, cervical fluid and when you had sex. This will all show up on the chart.  From their website you can print your charts and other information to share with your doctor such as the average length of your period and the length of your luteal phase.

This is just extra when using the Lady Comp or Daisy device but I like being able to see the chart.

APPS TO TRY

Kindara- This is the one I use and and have very useful.

Natural Cycles- claims to be 99.5 % effective and certified for us as birth control

Dot

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DEVICES TO TRY

Lady Comp Star- $445, payment plans are available from www.lady-comp.com

or buy from Amazon

Pearly Lady Comp is the compact version of the regular Lady Comp and is slightly cheaper. This one was not available when I started but it seems like it would be good for travel since it is more compact. It is also available at www.lady-comp.com

or on Amazon

This is the most expensive one I have seen but you can find used ones that have been reset on Ebay. I bought mine  on Ebay and a new thermometers can be bought from the www.lady-comp.com.

Lady Comp is the one I have done the most research on and at the time the Daysy did not have an app for Android. My used one has been serving me very well for over 4 years now and no issues, no pregnancy scares. I only had to replace the thermometer once because I accidentally pulled on the thermometer cord to hard and disconnected the thermometer cord and it would not take my temperature requiring it to be replaced.

Daysy

Daysy- just under $300 and has a free app, using the red, yellow and green light system. The website looks very informative and seems to work on the same algorithm as the lady comp does so this would seem like a good option for less money. If and when my Lady Comp stops working this might be the one I get as a replacement since I don’t have the time to chart and analyze my own data.

Wink

Wink- links to Kindara’s app

https://www.kindara.com/wink

As of 3/27/2020 “Winks are currently out of stock, but you can sign up at the bottom of this page for updates on Wink. The good news is, Kindara can be used with any BBT thermometer.”

To use Wink you must follow FAM guidelines. Wink only takes your temperature and links to their app. It does not give you lights to tell you if you are fertile or not. This means you will have to know how to read your own charts and be willing to ask for help if necessary.

 

Resources Online

For charting and understanding how to chart

https://www.kindara.com/

The book that started it all and the website that goes along with it

www.tcoyf.com

Facebook Groups

Fertility Awareness Method of Birth Control

Fertility Awareness Charting Support

Warning: These Facebook groups can be intense. They are not fond of using apps except for Kindara and they do not like the devices that I mentioned. People will post their chart on the groups and ask for help reading them and understanding them This is great for those who really want to learn how to chart and check fertility signs as their form of natural birth control. They can definitely help you to grow your knowledge. This is not the group for you if you prefer the easy natural birth control method I spoke about with temping devices like Lady Comp and Daysy and are not interested in learning to chart manually.

Books

Taking control of your Fertility

This is a must have book for anyone who is interested in Fertility awareness method. It does a wonderful job of explaining how a women’s cycle works, why hormonal birth control is not necessary, why a women can only get pregnant 6 days out of a cycle, how to chart for a regular cycle, charting for irregularities and other reproductive issues.

I very much suggest reading the book in full before starting to use one of the thermometer devices mentioned or starting to chart since this will give you a clear explanation of how your body and your menstrual cycle works making you feel more confident about using Fertility awareness method and explaining to others why this method is an effective method of birth control.

The Fifth Vital Sign– I have not read this book yet, but many on the Facebook groups have mentioned this book so it might be worth a read. There is also a charting workbook that is available to go with it.

The workbook

 

Testimony

My husband and I have been successfully using the Lady Comp device for over four years now along with the knowledge I have gained and shared with him from the above book.

It is completely possible to stop using hormonal birth control and use start using easy natural birth control. It works, it isn’t that difficult, it is interesting to learn about your own body and people will think it’s fascinating that you don’t use hormonal birth control.

 

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