About the Author

Haley is a Catholic wife and mama of three little ones, ballet teacher, and lover of all things Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh, and Wendell Berry. Find her at Carrots for Michaelmas where she writes about urban homesteading, motherhood, literature, faith, homeschooling, and her undying love for bacon.

Can You Prevent Morning Sickness?

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Is there any way to prevent morning sickness? I’m on a mission to find that out. I’ve had severe morning sickness for all three of my pregnancies, but this last time was by far the worst. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (the pregnancy complication of excessive vomiting/nausea that can sometimes be dangerous.) But… [read more]

Healthy Fats DIY: How to Render Lard

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Did you know that lard is a healthy fat? Unfortunately, a few decades ago canola oil started to be used as a substitute, but like bacon grease and real butter, lard is a great healthy fat to cook with. I had never cooked with lard until we bought half of a pig from a local… [read more]

7 Things to Never (EVER) Say to a Pregnant Woman

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OK, so at 33 weeks pregnant with my third little one, I was getting grouchy and irritable with third trimester discomforts. And then there’s the fact that I’m only 5’2” (OK, fine! 5’ 1.5”!) and because there’s just nowhere for baby to go but out, I always carry huge. Even though I’m on round three,… [read more]

7 Natural Ways to Avoid an Induction

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You passed your due date. You’re huge, uncomfortable, sick of being pregnant, and oh-so-eager to meet your baby. Your midwife or OB-GYN suggests an induction. Do you have any other options? Yes! There are many natural ways to help kick labor into gear and they’re worth trying before scheduling that induction! Why Avoid an Induction?… [read more]

Done with labor? Plan to eat – well.

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OK, expectant mamas, I could run my mouth all day with advice about birth plans, birthing methods, how to avoid interventions, and midwives vs. OB-GYNs. I’ve got my opinions. But I also firmly believe that what helps me have a great birth might not be the same as what helps you have a great birth.… [read more]

Want to Go Green? Rethink the Pill

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Do you think twice about buying non-organic meat from animals injected with hormones? I do. We even raise and slaughter our own chickens to be sure of what we’re consuming. Concerns about the hormones in non-organic meat are widespread. But do we have the same concerns about the effects of the hormones inside the tiny… [read more]

Confessions of a Reluctant Composter

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  My husband and I have a certain attitude toward our urban garden. I like to think of it as “simplicity,” but with a little more honesty, I might admit to “laziness” being our gardening style. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, so we like to keep our homesteading as uncomplicated as possible. Our attitude… [read more]

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How to Eat the Best Tomato of Your Life

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Ever wonder how to take your enjoyment of food to a new level? The answer might be a major shift in your food lifestyle to embrace seasonal eating. Until college, a tomato was a tomato to me. It certainly wasn’t a food I would ever want to bite into all by itself. You pick them… [read more]

Mom, You Lied About Breastfeeding

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“You’re going to love nursing your baby,” my mom told me as we folded tiny blue onesies and waited for my first child to decide it was time to emerge from the cozy womb. “There’s nothing like it. It’s so special. You bond so much as you breastfeed and it’s wonderful to watch your baby… [read more]

How I Almost Became The Smug Mom

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  My daughter was the perfect baby. She was born after an easy, drug-free, natural labor. She took to breastfeeding like a duck to water and consumed nothing but breastmilk for her first seven months. She didn’t even know that bottles existed. I practiced ecological breastfeeding and wasn’t separated from her for more than a… [read more]

Should Kids Know How Their Meat Gets to the Table?

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Our family is big on having kids in the kitchen because of the wonderful benefits of mastering valuable skills as well as spending quality time together. But it’s also important to us that our kids know where their food comes from. One of the great benefits of having an urban garden is the joy of including our… [read more]

Sanity-Saving Moments of Renewal for Mamas

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When I had my first baby, I was so focused on the pregnancy and preparing myself for a natural birth that I didn’t do a lot of mental preparation for motherhood. And I soon discovered that motherhood is hard. For me, one of the most difficult transitions was getting used to the idea that I… [read more]

Flavor in Your Front Yard: Starting an Herb Garden

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It’s still wintry and chilly outside, but it’s time to start planning for your Spring garden. And for those of us in the deep south, spring gardening is already in full swing now that we’re had our last frost (fingers crossed!). If you’ve never tried out your green thumb before (and even if you have)… [read more]

I Hate Pregnancy: A Handy Guide for a Tough First Trimester

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Time for some honesty: I hate being pregnant. Now don’t get me wrong. I love my babies. I love motherhood. But the first trimester and I are not friends. The first 3-4 months of pregnancy are a roller coaster of misery for me. The unyielding nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion make labor seem like a walk… [read more]

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Building Raised Beds for Your Garden

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Raised beds are a great option for an urban garden. Our favorite things to grow in raised beds are carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, squash, beans, and peas, but you can use them to grow just about anything.  And for certain plants, raised beds really help them thrive because of… [read more]

Envision your Dream Birth Plan

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When we wrote our birth plan for our first baby, my husband and I were surprised to realize how many things we hadn’t thought about before. Who was going to cut the cord? Did we want our newborn wiped off or just handed directly to me for skin-to-skin contact? Did we want to circumcise? Eek!… [read more]

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