Thursday, June 20, 2013

Earthpaste Giveaway Winner!


It's time to reveal the winner of the Earthpaste Giveaway!  Thanks very much to everyone who participated.  If you didn't win and are still interested, I encourage you to give this product a try anyway.  You can purchase it several places online, and HERE is the official website. I have been very impressed with the quality of Earthpaste, and it's certainly opened me up to new flavors of toothpaste I'd never enjoyed before.  Previous to this I was strictly a spearmint girl!

According to the Random Number Generator the winner of this latest giveaway is...

Entry #3, Erin!

Congratulations, Erin!  I will be contacting you soon.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

our first basket! (this year)

Last week our family received the first CSA basket of the year!  (CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, find out more by clicking HERE.) This is our fifth year of participating in such a program.  We love it so much; it's wonderful to get a chance to have all of this fresh, local, seasonal produce.  I love that we're helping to support a local farmer.  And it's great to be encouraged to try new things - I am very much a one of getting stuck in a rut as far as which foods I buy.

We will receive a weekly basket of goodies throughout the growing season - roughly from June through September/October.  The amount of produce in each week's basket varies according to the season (for example, although this week's basket was plentiful, the fullest basket is yet to come).

Our first basket included:  two heads of lettuce, broccoli, pod peas, a ton of Walla Walla onions, a green pepper radishes, beet greens, kale, and Swiss chard.  Bounty!  We're so thankful to be able to do this again. 

To nourishment,

Friday, June 14, 2013

sweet 16

 It's been 16 years since we said "I do."  Actually it was "I will," and there's a funny story behind that - but I'll spare you.  Let's just say there was no hesitating on that day.  We loved each other and we were ready to pledge our lives to one another.

This man has been such a blessing to me!  I am honored to be his wife.  Over and over he extends me grace, and he is so considerate and respectful.  He's turned out to be an amazing father (but I knew that he would be) and an even better husband, partner, lover, leader and friend.

I've loved my life these past 16 years, and I pray we'll have many, many more years together.  I have my heart set on growing old with this guy.

Happy Anniversary, Dearest.  I love you more today than I ever have before.  And given our history, that's saying something!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

summertime...sort of.

It may not be officially summer just yet, but around here it's feelin' pretty summery.

Now if only the sun would stick around for more than a day or two at a time!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


The whisk I'd been using to mix ice cream fell on the floor.

Me:  "Poop!"

Elise, age 3, peering closely: "Is that poop?"

Me:  "No, it's not poop.  I was just unhappy about the mess I made on the floor.

Elise:  "That chocolate, not poop."

Me:  "Yes, you're right.  It's chocolate."

Elise, supremely confident:  "That not poop on the floor, Mama..."

Monday, June 10, 2013

weekend for two

My husband and I got away - by ourselves - this past weekend.  We had a really nice time!

We went to a bed & breakfast northwest of our home.  It was beautiful, the weather was great, and the company was stellar.  

Here we are sitting by the creek.

Crippen Creek.  Lovely, no?

The view from our bedroom included trees and pastured chickens.  We even got to collect the eggs on Saturday.  And I was reminded of my irrational fear of birds, and the reason I really should never have backyard chickens.  They were lovely from a distance though.

There's nothing like pretty scenery framed by a clear blue sky.

We enjoyed a day in Astoria, and had a lovely gluten-free lunch. 

Also, I feel in love with a new flavor of Izze!

Rest, relaxation, good food, better company, and time to talk, talk, talk.  Success!

Friday, June 7, 2013

essential oils for the road

We'll be hitting the road soon, and as I consider what to pack, one thing comes to mind: my essential oils.

A few months ago I ordered this darling little case, as well as some small bottles, from  I just love it!  It's perfect for my purse - and it was very fun to pick and choose which oils to have on hand when I'm away from home.

Melaleuca - Commonly known as tea tree oil, this classic is great for all kinds of things.  My main reason for wishing to have it along right now has to do with some skin troubles I've been having.  Melaleuca is one of the only things that soothes my problem spots.

Ylang ylang - Aromatic and lovely, ylang ylang can help enhance the mood on a romantic evening.  'Nough said.

Basil - I like to have this on hand in case of earaches. It really helps!

Peppermint - Peppermint is lovely and has many, many uses.  I most like to use it for occasional headaches.

Lavender - I use lavender for bumps, bruises, scrapes, and burns (including sunburns).  It's also great for relaxing at bedtime - I love that I can either rub it onto the soles of my feet or put a drop of two on my pillow...bliss!

Lemon - I am drinking a ton of lemon oil in my water lately!  

DigestZen - DoTerra's DigestZen oil blend is wonderful for digestive issues.  Stomachaches, heartburn, and (ahem) bathroom problems of several varieties.  Especially now that my heartburn has begun, I don't ever want to be without this blend handy!  I like to rub it on the offending area (stomach or upper chest).  It's just wonderful!

Deep Blue - My favorite way to use this blend is for muscle and joint aches.  Every once in a while I wrench my back, which sometimes leaves me moving stiffly for weeks at at time. Deep Blue is invaluable in soothing those hurting muscles. 

Balance - The Balance blend is "grounding."  It's great for helping with anxiety of a feeling of being unsettled.  Besides, I really enjoy the way it smells!

Breathe - This oil blend is for respiratory issues, so it's very handy to have on hand with kids around.  I've also heard it can be helpful for allergies.

OnGuard - I once heard someone say they always use this in movie theaters, and I can see why.  It helps protect against germs and viruses.  We always start rubbing it on our kids' feet when someone starts to feel sick, or if we have been exposed to an illness.  With a family our size, we don't want to mess around when someone starts to get sick.

There you have it - the oils I've chosen to carry with me when I am out and about, whether running an errand or on vacation.  I love using them on my family, and I've seen results personally as well.   I'm so pleased with my experiences so far!

I have mentioned on this blog that I'm a new representative for DoTerra.  If you're interested in learning more about these oils, or thinking of making a purchase, click HERE.  Either way, be well!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Redmond Earthpaste: Review & Giveaway!

When our family changed the way we eat, one of the natural next steps was to take a critical look at personal care products.  How did the items in our bathroom cabinets add up?  Were the brands we'd always bought beneficial to our health?  Worse, were they detrimental?

One of the changes we would eventually make was to change our toothpaste.  We tried more natural brands, the kind you buy at the grocery store.  And they were alright - but even so, I wasn't thrilled with some of the ingredients on the label.

So I was very  interested when I heard about Earthpaste, made by Redmond.  I was already familiar with Redmond because I use their Real Salt exclusively in my kitchen.

What's unique about Earthpaste?  Here's the main thing: it's made with clay.  Bentonite clay, to be precise.  You can read all about it HERE.  Using clay internally may sound a little odd at first, but the more I learn about it the more I love it.


Redmond kindly sent me some Earthpaste to review here on the blog.  The flavors I received were Lemon Twist (marketed especially for kids) and Wintergreen.  I have also tasted their Cinnamon and Peppermint varieties.

The Pros
One thing I appreciate about Earthpaste is that is contains no fluoride or artificial coloring, as well as no foaming agents or glycerin. It is completely safe to eat, so I feel good about offering it to my whole family.

Wintergreen ingredients: Purified Water, Food Grade Redmond Clay, Xylitol, Wintergreen Essential Oil, Menthol, Redmond Real Salt, Tea Tree Oil.

Lemon Twist ingredients:  Purified Water, Food Grade Redmond Clay, Xylitol, Redmond Sea Salt, Lemon Essential Oil, Lemon Verbana Essential Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Lime Essential Oil.

I have never been a wintergreen fan, ever.  Truly, this experience if the first I've had in my life where I actually enjoyed the flavor of wintergreen!  I suspect it's because it's actually an essential oil flavoring the toothpaste, instead of whatever artificial flavoring those other products used.  But even my sensitive "pregnancy palate" is satisfied. This is significant, trust me.

The Lemon Twist tasted refreshing and slightly sweet.  I liked it, as did my 7-year-old and 3-year-old taste testers.  (My 10-year-old claims to dislike anything lemon, and my younger sons have no interest in messing with toothpaste.)

My favorite flavors are actually their Cinnamon and Peppermint, which were not included in this review package.  But it speaks volumes that I enjoyed the other two flavors as well.  I have always been very, very choosy about toothpaste flavors.

I consider these to be great ingredient lists.  Compared to the mainstream toothpaste I used for years and years, these ingredients are pure bliss - and much more pronounceable.   I love the fact that Earthpaste uses Redmond Clay!  Bentonite clay is a traditional remedy which can greatly help with digestive issues as well as other problems.

The Cons
To be frank, the one item I am less than thrilled about is Xylitol.  I believe the jury is still out on Xylitol, but I would be happier with stevia instead.  Still, compared to the artificial sweeteners (and sometimes outright sugar) found in mainstream toothpaste, Earthpaste wins the day.

As with most natural products, Earthpaste is more expensive than its typical grocery store counterparts.  On Amazon a single tube is between $7-$8 at the time of this writing (there are economy deals available as well).  Other sources offer Earthpaste  as well, all online as far as I have found.   But if you, like me, are willing to pay a little bit more for a higher quality product, Earthpaste is a great way to go. And it really only takes a pea-sized dab on your toothbrush.  Overall I find it to be worth the extra money.

The Conclusion
I enjoy Earthpaste.  I feel great about offering it to my loved ones, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a more natural, healthful way to clean their teeth and mouth.

The nice folks at Redmond Trading Company have graciously agreed to give a 4-pack of Earthpaste (one of each flavor!) to one of my blog readers.  To enter, go to the Earthpaste website and then come back leave a comment telling me which flavor you expect to like best.

I plan to post the giveaway winner two weeks from today, June 20th.  Good luck!