Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homemade Tooth Powder

A few months ago my family switched to tooth powder instead of store bought toothpaste. We wanted to save money, be more self sufficient and I wanted to know exactly what we were using to brush our teeth with. Since we've been using it, my gums feel healthier and there's no weird after taste.

This tooth powder is SLS and flouride free. It's made with baking soda to gently clean and freshen breath, xylitol to sweeten the tooth powder and promote gum healing, sea salt to act as a mild abbrasive to gently clean and peppermint essential oil to reduce inflammation of the gums and freshen breath.

Making and using this tooth powder is very cost efficient. I'm guessing each batch I make costs about $1-2 where as a tube of Green Beaver tooth paste (which is what I used to buy) was $6.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Homemade Tooth Powder
Combine 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of xylitol, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, and about 10 drops of your favourite essential oils (I mostly use traditional peppermint but I would love to recreate Green Beaver's Cilantro Mint or do a lime flavoured one).

Store in a resealable jar. To use, place a small spoon (I use a baby spoon) of tooth powder in your palm and dip a wet toothbrush in it. Brush as usual.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Tea!

As I mentioned in my last post, we recently celebrated Parker's third birthday! Except for a balloon pump, all his gifts from us were handmade. I'm trying to keep gifts simple and not the focal point in our family's celebrations.

Along with a few other handmade gifts, I made Parker some "birthday tea". I had wanted to make fairy tea but couldn't find any hibiscus which gives the tea a lovely purple colour so I decided to mix up some kid friendly ingredients and call it "birthday tea". Parker loves to drink tea so this was something I thought he'd enjoy. As it turns out, it's not only something he likes but we like it as well.

Keep in mind that I'm not an expert in tea making! I looked up child friendly tea ingredients and just mixed them up to my liking. I purchased my ingredients from our local health food store as I didn't have any leftover dried herbs from last growing season. Always choose organic when making teas.

Birthday Tea
In a small bowl, combine a tablespoon or so of the following dried herbs:
~peppermint, clover, nettles, chamomile, lavender and lemon balm.

You can also add dried stevia but I find the peppermint and lemon balm to be sweet enough. The lavender hides the bitter taste of the nettles (which are super good for you).

I put this all into a 4 ounce metal tin and attached a fun label to it.

When ready to use, put a teaspoons worth in a resuable tea bag or a tea ball and cover with barely boiling water. Allow to steep for about ~10 minutes.

Birthday Season 2011

The weeks between April 24th and May 15th are filled with birthdays, Mother's Day and an anniversary. Busy celebratory times!

It's starts off with Ally's birthday on April 24th, this year she turned 15(!) which fell on Easter Sunday. On Saturday, Dave and I took Ally out for dinner and then we went to check out a roller derby game. It was fun and nice to do something with just her for a change. Being so much older than the little ones, she doesn't often enjoy all our family activities. But this she liked.

For her birthday gift, we finally gave in and allowed her to have her septum pierced. I don't like it but meh... I don't hate it either. I'm trying to have an open mind... she's a great kid, we talked at length about her reasons for wanting it and the care that goes into having a piercing.

On her actual birthday, she chose to have a pancake dinner which was a nice alternative to your typical Easter dinner. :)

On May 1st, Dave and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. What a wild five years it's been!

Then it was Parky's birthday on May 5th, he turned three (again, !). We decided to do a low key bonfire complete with hotdogs and homemade marshmallows. It was lovely, everyone respected my wishes to not allow gifts to become the big part of his birthday (we had issues at Sophie's first birthday that I'm still upset about) and we ate, drank birthday tea (tutorial to follow) and had fun!

I made Parky a nature/treasure bag so he can use it on our walks to collect leaves, rocks, etc. I made it from wool felt and stitched on pieces and lined it in a rainbow fabric. I still need to attach a braided yarn strap so he can wear it though.

After Mother's Day it was my birthday and then yesterday it was my SIL's birthday.

Busy busy times. :)