Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Opening up a can of.......toothpaste

My little offhand comment about fluoride has sparked quite a bit of interest....

Aside: I couldn't think of a photo that made sense with fluoride dangers and I've already posted our toothpaste. So I decided to add a random bathroom photo. Here's how I justify it: We filter our drinking water, shower heads and avoid fluoride in toothpaste, making our bathroom a safe place to play. :-)

Fluoride: I've linked some articles at the end of this post but here are my personal reasons (most convincing for me) why we avoid it.

It is a waste product of industrialization. The form that is added to our water is not the same that exists in nature. When we introduce things that our bodies do not recognize it typically produces toxins.

It you read your mainstream toothpaste, it basically has a poison warning label. Not for children under 2 - call poison control if ingested etc., etc. I remember being warned at the dentist - do not swallow the fluoride wash! BUT.... the mouth is one of the most absorbent areas of the body. Soaking my mouth in poison seems like a bad idea.

you really want the data, check out these links:

Coming soon... More water oriented blogging - taking a cleansing bath. Still trying to figure out those pictures!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I (heart) Green Juice (and so do our kids!)

So we had some friends come visit to learn more about the work we do with college students here in NC. Because they stayed in our house, they quickly noticed that we are a "little bit different." I love telling our story of the process we are taking with natural eating, natural medicine and making our home clean (safely!)

Our morning routine has had some changes over the last few months. But one thing has been consistent for over three years - Ben Kim's Greens! Our friends were laughing with surprise at both girls running eagerly chanting "green juice, green juice!"

Every morning we mix a teaspoon of the green powder, teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth, and half a teaspoon of acerola cherry for a vitamin C boost (especially helpful during allergy seasons) with water and some orange or apple juice. Mix it all up and drink! Yum.

Aside: My two midwives were very encouraging of the use of the Greens. When I gave birth to Faith as well as following the two miscarriages this year - I boosted my body with Ben Kim's Greens about four times a day.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teeth, Teething and Toothpaste

One of my sweet friends (and new mom) from TN emailed me yesterday. She wanted to know how we handled teething. So I began to reflect on our natural oral care.

It's interesting how long teeth issues are well, "issues." Gracie is almost six and has not lost a baby tooth yet. Faith is almost three and is currently cutting some molars.

When Gracie was three months old Pete and I began seeing a chiropractor. Gracie went along to the appointments and Dr. Bourg offered to adjust her as well (for free - yay!). He recommended giving Gracie silica tablets to strengthen her teeth.

We picked up a bottle and began giving her four tablets, twice a day. We have run out a few times, but for must of her life we've been giving silica tablets at bedtime and nap. Faith started on silica when she was about three months old as well.

The tablets dissolve quickly and have very little taste. However the girls think they are like candy. When they were tiny, we'd press one tablet at a time into their mouth. if I could get it under their tongue, I would. Once the teeth began popping out - that became dangerous. Baby teeth are sharp! But they always liked taking their silica. And that's the only thing we've done with aid to teething.

Last minute aside - And while we're taking about oral health - let me share our toothpaste. We used to use Nature's gate but now we use Xyliwhite toothpaste. May I encourage you to consider a fluoride-free product for your mouth.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inexpensive Zero VOC Paint

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

May I introduce myself. I'm Carra and I love "the old ways" as long as they are natural. I'm practicing homeschooling (getting ready for fall), planning a garden for the first time (we've been renting until just last November) and always trying to learn about new ways to care for my family using natural medicine, green cleaners and anything I can discover to promote health and improve the quality of life for my family. I love God extremely much. If you're on a natural journey like me, let me know!


Did you know that Lowe's Home Improvement is my favorite place for paint? Their store brand Olympic was low VOC before "low VOC" was cool.

My favorite area of the store? That shelf.... Tucked away near the paint counter in a "not too noticeable place." What can you find? Mistints! Even the zero VOC Olympic paint gets placed there. My favorite day to visit is Mondays. They seem to have a good selection then.

Completed Zero VOC "Green" Paint Projects:
  • Painted the trim on the window and one entire wall in the loft playroom. - $5.00
  • Painted walls in the loft playroom from aqua to a calm tattered sail - free (leftover paint)
  • Painted all bathrooms a nice neutral light gray (I like to change out bathroom decor frequently so I don't like to make commitments to wall color - free (more leftover paint)
  • Painted the lovely moss/sage/clover (hope to be baby room again) whole room - $5.00
  • Splurged on full price paint for the Irish Lace in the girl's room - $25

  • Paint exterior doors (not zero VOC, b/c strong paint needed) - dark taupe - $5.00 (have it)
  • Paint hallway in basement (bought two similar cream colors - plan to pour both in a bucket, mix them up and have one uniform color for the space). - $5.00
  • Paint dresser that I purchased from Salvation Army Thrift Store (my favorite!) dark pink - $2.50

Wow, what a list. We moved October 31st and we have several family difficulties and losses. But on the whole, I feel pretty good about the accomplishments.

Here's the den door before I went all "mistint:"

And here is the after photo. I enjoy what a little paint can do! May all your "before and afters" be naturally healthy ones!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Risky Reno Reveal (& blog party)

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

I'm going to the party! I've never participated in a blog party before but this one sounds really fun! I might even put on some swanky shoes LOL.

Okay, to paint my 120 +/- years old dresser was risky. But I have to say, I am really pleased with how it has come out. Once again, here is the before:

This is a "nearly natural" project. I used Olympic black flat paint which is zero VOC, but because of the type of use- it needed a protective coat.

I read the labels of every kind of polyurethane and just could not justify bringing that into our home. What I found was a compromise product. I used "Polycrylic" made by Minwax. It still has some chemicals but substantially less than the true polyurethane.

I love the result! What do you think? BTW - just in case you had any delusions about me being "together," the reflection in the mirror is a stack of laundry to fold and two bins of tights & frilly socks to sort. At least the room is now painted.


Friday, April 2, 2010

New Blog Design & A Risky Project

I'm so excited! Pete gave me a new blog design to be all "fancy." I think it is so "me." I did the best I could with the resources I had, but I just couldn't make the blog look like I wanted. Here's the old design (in case you are new or have a few foggy days like me :-)

AND... I have a new natural project to tease you with. My great grandmother's name was "Emma" and as part of being in the family, I received her dresser when we became homeowners. It is precious to me to have things that belonged to family. I never knew her but I feel connected to that side of the family every time I use it.

So, it is old. I have pondered and pondered whether to leave it in original (peeling paint) condition or give it a makeover. I knew I would love it more if it were more visually appealing. I know I can hear the avid watchers of "Antique Roadshow" screaming - "No, don't paint the 120+/- year old dresser!! You'll ruin the value!"

I know the monetary value will probably take a hit, but this is not an investment. It is a connection to my past. And if it is a more beautiful connection - I believe I will love it all the more. So, the riskiest project yet...the "Emma dresser" before with a zoom in on the wearing paint. Check back tomorrow (hopefully) to see the results.