Posts filed under ‘making stuff’

2 minute toothpaste

this morning i saw a kitchen tip for how to cook an egg with less fat: they used water. they POACHED AN EGG and included it in a list of healthy life hacks.  i’m astounded. 

i also saw a DIY for night cream recently- something about blending 4 different drugstore lotions with petroleum jelly.  mmmm. *gigantic eye roll*

the internet has been a great source of helpful information as our culture strives to raise up a healthier generation.  sadly, the internet is also littered with… well, garbage. 
let me give you an actually real, and not new, and not expensive, and not time-sucking recipe for something that is legitimately  good for your body: toothpaste.

here are my daily potions:


sadly, today my toothpaste is empty. 

but hooray for you, because now you can make some along with me!   i’m not even joking- this can NOT take more than 2 minutes to make, and you likely have the ingredients at home.


ingredients:

  • 3Tbsp coconut oil (amazing for oral health: healthy gums, kills bad breath, whitens teeth, and my fave: improved sensitivity issues)
  • 2Tbsp baking soda (for the cleanest mouth feeling ever!)
  • 15 drops peppermint oil* 
  • 5 drops clove oil* 

i use a 4oz mason jar, you can use whatever container you’d like. so:

microwave the coconut oil for 30 seconds, or until it’s soft enough to stir.  add in the remaining ingredients, and mix it up. throw it in the fridge if you want to hurry the cool-down, but you don’t have to refrigerate the final product. i like to give it one final stir when it’s sort of semi-solid, and then it’s done.

*use any oil/flavourings that you’d like, but research the oral health benefits first. clove & peppermint are amazing for oral health, but so are spearmint, cinnamon, and myrrh. play around with your favourites!


i hope you give this a try!  i love it, derek loves it, and everyone that i’ve given a sample to, loves it.  your mouth will feel cleaner, look better, and be better.  i haven’t priced it out, but i’d be shocked if it even cost an entire dollar to make a 4oz jar.  

i could ramble on about my experience with ditching factory toothpaste, but it’s already taken you longer to read this post than it would to make the toothpaste. enjoy, and let me know what you think!

March 25, 2017 at 15:25 Leave a comment

january=success

despite (or maybe because of) the scoffers and naysayers (aka: my sisters), i have successfully completed my hefty to-do list for the month of january regarding my list of new year’s resolutions.  you can see the full post here, but i’ll summarize below:

  1. bible in a year: on track! loving the bible project app, and totally recommend it. 
  2. stretching after working out:  i started out january with an ankle injury and no time to rest it, but modifying my workouts and stretches has kept me successful with this one.
  3. meal planning: stayed consistent with this.
  4. not wasting food: i was far from perfect on this, but i did order my groceries online as planned, and that definitely cut back big time on the wasted food. also, my freezer is full of jars of veggie stock! room for improvement next month, but also experienced an improvement compared to 2016.
  5. blog once per month: yup.
  6. practice flute 3x per week: i’ve loved being reunited with my flute! fave thing to do: put on some beatles music and play along with it.  i’m in the band!
  7. practice french every week day: finally broke the 40% mark! i’ve been struggling with getting out of the 30s for so long, and that threshold felt reeeaaally good!
  8. knit something: i knit a clapotis scarf out of knit picks chroma, and although it was a boring knit, it was a perfect project to get back into the craft, and the self-striping yarn kept me interested.
  9. home improvement:  i mudded, repaired, and sanded every wall on my main floor, plus the back stairwell that has been neglected for over a decade.  huge task, but what a relief to have it finished even if my house is now covered in drywall dust.
  10. woodworking: this was by far the most intimidating item on my list! it had been too long since i’d built anything, i couldn’t make a decision, and i was honestly just intimidated by the whole process.  odd, considering how comfortable i used to be in a woodshop. time does strange things.  anyway,  i eventually settled on an easy project from anawhite.com to get me back into “it”, and i had a lot of fun! the smell of sawdust will always feel like home to me. 

and now it starts all over again! choosing projects for february and finding time to complete them. i’m definitely enjoying the feeling of productivity that accompanied january, and am looking forward to another big list at the end of this short month.

how are you guys doing with your new year’s resolutions?

February 4, 2017 at 15:55 Leave a comment

koombaya


i’m a big fan of this quote by the father of medicine, and have been convicted by it for a long time.  for the last 4 years i’ve been testing this theory, and recently have been seeing some almost-miraculous results. 

for the last 2 years, i had rejected my friend trina’s offer to try kombucha. i was down to manageable levels of pain, and my need to call in sick to various activities was at a minimum. besides the fact that i couldn’t remember or say the name (koombaya? komboochoo?), it looked disgusting, and i was not going to risk it sending me back to my former levels of chronic pain.

for those of you who don’t know my backstory or what i’ve gone through for the last 4 years, here’s the basic summary:
i took antibiotics of increasing potency almost non-stop for about 6 months to fight your standard UTI. the antibiotics stripped away my ability to digest anything, and i’ve since been on a journey involving doctors, specialists, many days in bed praying for the pain to pass, many events/appointmets bailed upon.  having been burned by prescriptions in the past, i decided to decline the lifelong pain management prescription offered, and attempt to find my own way to just… deal.

as i said, after about 2 years of playing with diet, i’d reached a comfortable place that was neither ideal nor crippling: a sort of compromising balance.  i became dissatisfied with this compromise after my belly took me down this summer when i really needed it to be non-participatory.  a series of following disappointing setbacks forced me to rethink the solution that i’d thought i’d found.  so i gave trina’s crazy hippie drink a try. 


at first i had to choke it down, but after about a week, i started to aquire a taste for this strong beverage.  within 2 weeks, i actually started to like the kombucha!  even better than my tastebuds accepting this strange new drink, were the results that i was feeling in my belly.  it’s been about 6 weeks of drinking one cup each morning, and i haven’t spent one single day in the fetal position in my bed.  

i’m not functioning at 100%, but for the first time since beginning this journey, i am starting to feel a glimmer of hope. 

anyone with dietary restrictions will understand how big that little word can be: HOPE.  the idea that i can travel without reading food lables via google translator.  the crazy idea that i won’t be hangry in social settings because i forgot to bring food with me.  being able to share a meal with friends without having to “be special”.  to not fear food will be such freedom!  even just writing that paragraph makes me so thankful for the leaps in health that i’ve experienced since drinking my daily kombucha.

here are a few links for the how-to.  i won’t bother writing out my technique because there’s no need to make the internet redundant.  if you’re local and you want to try making your own though, i’d be happy to donate a scoby and help in any way you need. i don’t think that kombucha is the cure of the ages or anything, but if you’ve been struggling with gut health then you should skip the skepticism and give it a shot! i’m so glad that i finally did!

tools i use:

  • 1L mason jars
  • fabric scraps to replace lids
  • funnel
  • nylon mesh strainer
  • korken bottles from ikea
  • kettle
  • black tea

links that have helped me:

i’d love to hear if anyone else has had great success with kombucha, or advice, or flavouring combinations that win. happy fermenting!

January 7, 2017 at 22:42 1 comment

allergen-free sugar cookies

it’s been almost 4 years since i had to carve out a diet from a stifling list of restrictions.  growing up in a house that always smelled of fresh bread and cookies, meant that giving up gluten was the most difficult of the decisions that i had to make to improve my health.

every christmas, my amazing mom fills freezers and tables with a collection of cookies, breads, pastries, and tarts.  every christmas for the last 4 years, i have stared at the buffet and hated my belly and the restrictions that it has placed on me. 

this year, a friend posted a picture of her gluten-free sugar cookies on instagram, and i was snapped into action.  many of you have commented on the photo that i posted of my own gluten/dairy/soy-free cookies, and with tina’s permission, i am sharing the recipe as requested:

full disclosure: you will hide these cookies from your children, because they are too good to share.


tina’s sugar cookies:

  • ⅔ cup soy-free earth balance (or whatever “butter” you like to use)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or whichever milk you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup potato starch flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • dash of salt. 

glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • water to establish consistency

wrap up dough and chill for at least 2 hours. roll out dough to ½ inch thickness. Bake for about 10 mins at 350° or until edges start to turn golden brown.  dip cookies in glaze once they have cooled. 

my sister posted a copy-cat recipe of my mom’s famous candy cane cookies with gluten & dairy-free revisions. you should definitely check them out too! because i’m lazy and like to multi-task, i sprinkled crushed candy cane dust onto the tops of some of these sugar cookies, and the result was resminiscent of my mom’s cookies! so, you have options :)

December 26, 2016 at 20:27 Leave a comment

traditions

proactive about forming traditions, or not; we all have them.  i’m the type of person who despises routine, but cherishes the traditions that our little family has organically formed. 

on christmas eve, we squish into the living room, and have a sleepover. there is always one gift opened, and that gift in itself is a tradition: footy pyjamas, and a toy made by me.  we sleep late the next morning, and slowly get through breakfast, and reading the christmas story from the bible. 

my kids are growing up, and so am i.  they no longer “play” with the toys that i make them, and i no longer have the time to make weekly toys.  so this year, i really struggled with what to make them for their christmas eve gifts.  i didn’t want to break with tradition, but i also didn’t want to waste time and resources. 

i brainstormed and consulted with friends and family, and came up with handmade ornaments.  and now i kind of wish that i’d had the idea many years ago.  the ornaments summarize the year that is coming to a close.  in doing this, the kids can have a chronological record of their childhoods. practically, they can start a collection for their own trees in their own homes- days which are too rapidly approaching.


elliot has been into pokemon for years, but this year he was pretty focused on the release of a new game, and counted down the days for at least ⅓ of the year.  given his history with pokemon (it was really the first “thing” he was into), i thought it fitting that his first ornament be a pokeball.

anne’s been in ballet for almost 4 years now, but this year she made the decision to focus on it more seriously.  she doubled-up her lessons, and began daily practice at home. she’s even been teaching me!

tomorrow night we’ll continue our tradition of pyjamas, handmade “toy”, and a sleepover.  i’m looking forward to seeing the reactions of my not so midgety-midgets when they see the new twist on an old tradition.

merry christmas to you all! thanks for reading!

December 23, 2016 at 23:14 Leave a comment

fitbit flex band tutorial

i love my fitbit! i’ve had it for almost a year, and it consistently motivates and propels me toward a healthier lifestyle.  the love died a little bit recently when my device malfunctioned, but the company was great and sent out a replacement for me with minimal frustration. relationship restored!   

derek, my lovable and problem-solving husband, decided to try to tinker with the old fitbit device, and wear it for a few days.  i always use the large wristband and wear the device on my ankle.  derek needed my large wristband, so i was forced to go back to wearing my fitbit on my wrist.  i love my fitbit– i hate the bracelet.  

so because i needed another ankle band, and because i needed it NOW, and because i didn’t want to spend money on it…  i made one.  and now you can too! here’s a very basic tutorial.  it’s an easy project, but requires some experience with online tutorials, because i wasn’t overy photo-happy with all of the steps.  

first:  cut your fabric.  the short side of the rectangle is 2.75 inches, and the long side is your ankle (or wrist) measurement, plus 1.5 inches.  

next, serge all of the edges (if you don’t have a serger, then do whatever you usually do to stop edges from fraying), and iron the rectangle.  at this point, i fold the rectangle into thirds and press again.

 
with the fabric folded, choose a spot about 1/3 of the way across your strip, and sew a straight line perpendicular to the fold. then measure 1 5/8 from that seam, and sew a parallel line.  you’ve now made the pocket for the fitbit device.

   you can stop at this point, add snaps and be done. that’s what i did with my impulsive prototype.  to make it more finished however, topstitch the edges closed (tucking under the serged ends when you get to them.  

  
don’t topstitch over the pocket! give it one last iron, then attach your snaps. 

 
insert your tracker between the folds of the pocket, and wear your new stylish fitbit band with pride.  then make one for your husband, and another one for yourself, and maybe a few more for your friends.   these bands are so much more comfortable than the hard plastic ones, and a great way to use up some scrap fabric.   i hope that you make one for yourself.  if you do, please comment and let me know how it went!

 

June 13, 2015 at 12:34 1 comment

belly-friendly pancakes

 you know what i hate about blog recipes?  the preamble.  let’s go!

⅓ cup pecans

½ cup oats

1 Tbsp chia seeds

¼ cup flaxseed

1 Tbsp plantation sugar

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinammon

throw all of that into a blender until the pieces are more or less uniform in size, and it looks like a coarse flour.

  
  
then add:

2 eggs

1 overripe banana

and blend it again.  

then you cook it like a pancake! i set my griddle to 375 degrees, and close the lid on it to make it cook faster.   flip after about 3 minutes.  this part is specific to what you have to cook it on.  a frying pan on the stove will work just as well- just keep your eye on it! 

top it with blueberries or maple syrup or both, like i do.  this recipe makes two gigantic pancakes, that will fill you up for the entire day. 
  

April 23, 2015 at 14:43 Leave a comment

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my life in pics

beautiful day for playing with guns 🔫 i know that i'm not easy to love: i can't be baked for, cooked for, or touched. i'm independent to a fault, and yet, you all keep finding ways to cover me with love and encouragement. big public thank you to my family and friends for persistently showering me with blessings, encouraging texts, and for continually bringing my family to God in prayer. we took family night to derek tonight, and filled that room with laughter!