Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sadie's 2nd Birthday

I'm a couple weeks late posting this but on February 21st Sadie turned two!  We had a laid back day - a couple friends stopped by for some cake.  It was unseasonably warm for February and we were able to keep the front door open.  She is a huge fan of pumpkin bread so I made this cake that has similar flavors. It was my first attempt at making a cake from scratch, and despite some bumps in the road I think it turned out okay.   From Mom + Dad she got a big stack of books and this camera.  She got a doctor kit from her friend Ellie and a cute doll from her friends Cohen + Flora.  She had a great time playing with her friends and eating cake.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Plant Botanical Perfume Oils

Shop for Under Aurora products here: underaurora.net

These are 100% natural plant based perfumes. I use only true essential oils, never synthetic scents or fragrance oils. My perfumes have a base of organic golden jojoba oil and come in a clear glass bottle with a black screw off cap.

0.5 fluid ounce

Friday, February 7, 2014

Natural cold/flu remedies for toddlers (and adults!)

It started with a sore throat.  And then moved into sinus congestion and a cough.  The dreaded cold!  Both Sadie and I have been experiencing the beginnings of a cold but we drastically improved the intensity and duration by doing these five things.  

***I am not a doctor and do not intend for this to be used as medical advice.  These are simply remedies that I know have helped us.

1.) Honey - Number one on the list would most definitely be honey. It coats and soothes the throat but also has strong anti-bacterial properties (without having the risks associated with antibiotics.) The American Academy of Pediatrics has found honey to be a superior treatment for treating night time cough. I could go on and on about other various health benefits of honey but let's just say it is good stuff. And luckily it tastes great! I've read that equal parts honey and fresh lemon juice in warm water is good for a toddler – but I just give it to Sadie by the (baby) spoonful a few times a day when sick. For the full benefits be sure to get REAL honey – preferably local.

Note: Honey is not recommended for babies under the age of one.

2.) Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) Essential Oil - In our house this stuff gets used all winter long (all year actually) but especially when sick. It comes from an evergreen tree and that has been used as traditional folk medicine in Madagascar for years. Ravintsara oil is antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti rheumatic, antiviral, decongestant, cicatrisant, expectorant, immune tonic and neurotonic. It is ideal for preventing and helping soothe the symptoms of cold, cough, flu and other respiratory ailments. Ravintsara is often mixed up with Ravensara oil (also from Madagascar and highly anti-viral.) Ravintsara is the gentler option and better for use with children and mothers who are nursing or pregnant.

How to use: I diffuse Ravintsara by either using a candle light or electric fan diffuser. Obviously keep open flame out of reach of toddler and never leave a flame burning while sleeping. Burning an essential oil is said to slightly change the chemical components of the oil but, oh well, I prefer it to using electricity all day long. But the electric fan diffuser is a great option to run in the bedroom at night. I also add a drop into a tablespoon of safflower oil and use as a chest & back rub (you can use any oil or lotion/cream as a base as long as it has plant-based ingredients so that it will be able to be absorbed by the skin.) The moment I start feeling sick, I mix a single drop of Ravintsara into a spoonful of honey for myself. For Sadie (age 2), I dip just the very end of a toothpick into the oil and swirl it into her spoonful of honey.

Note:  Essential oils are highly potent and should not be used internally unless under the supervision of an aromatherapist.  It is also important that you buy your essential oils from a trusted, reputable source because it is not a regulated industry.

3.) Hydration -  Water, water, water.  This is an obvious one.  Keep hydrated!  I am lucky that Sadie LOVES water.  She has to have her sippy full with water at all times.  (Now if she would only start to love her veggies...)   If your toddler doesn't like water try coconut water.  It is packed with nutrients and is naturally sweet.  It's high in electrolytes so it is perfect for preventing dehydration.  Also be sure to run a humidifier to keep moisture in the air.

4.) Elderberries - This powerful berry helps boost the immune system and it's anti-viral properties make it perfect for use while experiencing cold & flu symptoms.  I use this Black Elderberry Extract - it's alcohol-free and safe for all ages.  

Note: Dosage for children is usually a fraction of the recommended adult dosage. Be sure to check with your supplier if it's not indicated on the label.

5.) Soup -  This is a great way to keep hydrated (see #3) but it's also a great way to get the healing benefits of garlic (antibacterial, antiviral) and ginger (anti-inflammatory, immune boosting.)  I made Heidi Swanson's Immunity Soup (for myself) and was surprised that Sadie loved the broth.  I incorporate a lot of garlic and ginger in my diet, so my guess is that she is familiar with the flavor through drinking breast milk.  Maybe try a toned down version for your toddler if he/she isn't used to these flavors.  Do not serve to child steaming hot as the recipe suggests.

I hope you feel better soon! We do!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


We wanted a simple Christmas with just a few gifts that we knew Sadie would love.  She has a play kitchen that she LOVES at Nana and Papa's so we decided to get one for our house as well.  She got some fake food, dishes, and a broom and dustpan to go along with it.   She got a few little stocking stuffers including some big girl underwear that hopefully she will be able to start using soon.  We had pink grapefruit for breakfast and relaxed around the house until afternoon when we went to my parents for a big Christmas dinner.  It was a great day and even Kevin (who hates Christmas) seemed in good spirits.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

22 months

Wow, what a difference a month makes.  All of a sudden Sadie can say the word for just about everything in her world.  And she is stringing together words and making sentences.  Some of her favorite things to say:

She exclaims "I wanna see Dada!"  or "I wanna see Mimi!" and then she will grab my hand and drag me to wherever Dada or Mimi is in the house.

Santa Claus she calls "Ho Ho" and Mrs. Claus she calls "Nana" (I guess she looks like my mom?)

All stars are called "Ba ba high" because when she sings the song Twinkle Twinkle she says "Ba ba ba ba ba ba high!" instead of the actual words.

Bed time has become a long excruciating ordeal where we have to say "Night night" to everything in the house (to Mimi, to Dada, to the kitchen, to the records, to the Christmas tree, etc.)  She is still nursing to sleep but she now also must be holding her sippy cup of water and her baby doll.  If one of these things falls from her grasp as she's falling asleep she jerks back awake.

She loves going to the library to play. She loves going to visit Nana and Papa. She loves going to the art museum.  She loves going to the book store.  She HATES being stuck in the house all day and will moan and whine until we take her out.

She loves to help me cook.  I will give her something to stir or a small job like throwing the vegetable peels away.  If I'm doing something at the kitchen counter she just has to be involved.  "Help, mama, help!" she will say as she tries to push the stool over to the counter.  She loves helping her mama.

I can't wait until Christmas as this will be the first one that she will really enjoy.  Until then...

Friday, November 22, 2013

21 months

She is talking so much now and I can't even believe how many words she picks up on each day.  

She likes to point to things she knows the word for and proudly declare what they are called - “That's a box!” or “It's the moon!”

She can identify all of the letters of the alphabet and also associates certain words with some of them. If I point to the M for example she will say “M! Mama!” or “D! For Dada!”

She loves drinking “wa-wa” and if her sippy cup gets low she marches over to the fridge to ask for more.

She is still breastfeeding but only twice a day: nap time and bed time. Whenever she wants to nurse she will say “Night night!” and pretend that she is tired. She calls milk “moots” for some reason and will also lightly tap on my breast and say “moots, mama, moots” when she wants some.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is her favorite song to sing (although “sky” and “high” are usually the only recognizable words.)  She loves to play her piano and sing along.

Much to her mother's dismay she is still refusing to eat fruits and vegetables. She likes a basic pasta with marinara, or some whole wheat toast with almond butter and honey, or steel cut oats with dried currants.

Her personality is seriously starting to shine so bright. I don't even know how it's possible that I love her even more each day!
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