Easter is barreling down upon us like a mad rabbit on wheels, so if you haven’t found just the right Easter gifts yet, how about trying something artistic at my new IMG_0672shop, Pueblo & Company? You can shop there online at Square Market and find some truly unique handmade items. It’s a small, intimate shop (that means it’s not quite loaded up yet – but it will be full to the rafters before you know it). At Pueblo & Company you’ll find lots of artsy things including my very own handmade beaded eggs. See that photo to the right? That’s one of my works, and I’ve set each glass seed bead onto a real egg by hand, one at a time, in an original design. No two eggs are alike. Perfect as an Easter decoration, for a bird lover, or for a collector of the unusual. And they’re lovely as a year-round decoration. It takes many hours to bead one single egg! (If you’re wondering if I’ll bead you an ostrich egg, well, the jury’s still out on that.)

IMG_0688You’ll also find handmade Southwestern art objects and jewelry, all created by renowned artists. The earrings and the animal fetishes are handmade by well known Hopi and Zuni artists of New Mexico and Arizona (their hallmarks are stamped into the backs of the earrings). If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, I’ll give you the inside track: You can email me at themommyspot (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll see if one of the artists has just what it is you’d like. We can even get it to you in time for Easter! The earrings are available in every conceivable price range and design, and the fetishes are as numerous as Noah’s ark. (Note: The apple coral bear fetish has been SOLD, but if you like him, don’t despair. Just send me an email and we’ll gladly find you the right piece!)

Keep your eyes peeled! More to come, including peyote stitch amulet bags, handmade sterling silver pendants and earrings, and peyote stitch bracelets. I’m more than excited about our shop, and I do hope you’ll swing by and enjoy the grand opening of Pueblo & Company!

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Mother_Nature's_Baby_Cover_for_Kindle

I’m excited to announce that the book many of you have been asking me to write (for years!) is not only complete, it’s available on Amazon as of this morning! Mother Nature’s Baby:The Essential Baby Guide to Natural Cures & Chemical Free Living answers the most common questions I’ve gotten from readers over the years. One of the most common concerns is always teething and what can be done to get through the pain a little more gracefully, and of course, without all the over-the-counter medications we’re used to. So to give you a good idea of what’s in Mother Nature’s Baby (and perhaps to help out a parent or two with a crying baby in the middle of the night), I’m offering up the entire Teething chapter here.

Thanks again for all your support through the years, both through this blog and through the ebooks and paperbacks. I can’t express to you how exciting it is to share new things like this book with all of you! I always appreciate your input, questions, and comments.

 

Teething

Teething typically begins somewhere around the fifth or sixth month, but some babies show symptoms as early as the fourth month. If your baby is acting unusually irritable, if there’s heavy drooling, biting on everything she can get a hold of, or a fever under 100°F, or if she’s wakeful or restless, she may be experiencing teething. Other symptoms that are common would be facial rashes (sometimes more concentrated on the chin from all that drooling), red and swollen gums, or hardened gums.

Note: Babies who run a fever over 100°F and have diarrhea should be seen by a doctor, as these symptoms may not be related to teething.

 

The Usual Remedies

The most common things parents reach for when teething becomes a pain are teething gels and teething rings. But are they the best solutions? These days many doctors agree that teething gels hinder baby’s ability to swallow, possibly causing choking. And the typical teething ring has had its own controversy surrounding the materials it’s usually made of, namely the things that make the plastic pliable, such as BPA. So what’s a health-conscious parent to do?

If you’re going for a teething toy, make sure that any liquid-filled toy you purchase is filled with nothing more than water. These can be refrigerated but not frozen. Also make sure it’s a safe BPA-free plastic. One sure way is to give it a whiff. If you smell a strong odor, there’s a good chance that toy contains those chemicals you want to steer clear of. BPA-free toys are often marked as such.

 

Homeopathic Teething Tablets

Homeopathic tablets were a lifesaver for my son. When he started teething, he went from a pleasant baby who very rarely shed a tear to a weeping, noisy fountain. I was at a loss as to how to help him. When I discovered homeopathic teething tablets, I thought I’d give them a whirl; they’re safe, natural, and baby can’t overdose. (Still, follow the indications carefully.)

Homeopathic tablets are easily administered to babies of any age. They dissolve quickly, so all you have to do is put the recommended dosage under the tongue and hold your finger in the baby’s mouth until the tablets dissolve. Teething tablets generally ease the discomfort and restlessness, but don’t fear — they won’t dope up the baby. The restfulness to follow is usually a result of relief from pain.

For those of you who are skeptical of the whole homeopathic thing, let me just say this: I used to be too. But my baby had no idea what a homeopathic tablet was or what it might do for him. No power of suggestion here. All I knew was that my baby stopped crying after he’d had his tablets. That was enough to convince me there was something to homeopathic remedies, after all. I’ve since used them for other things, and I still get surprised at the results.

 

Herbs

While not all herbs are safe for babies just because they’re safe for you, there are some that you can try. This is where we’ll revisit chamomile.

Chamomile can be given as a tea to ease the restlessness of teething. If you’re breastfeeding, you can drink the tea yourself, which is a great way to calm you both down after an afternoon of crying. It only takes about 15 to 30 minutes for what you eat and drink to reach the breast milk, where it stays and reaches its peak in two to six hours. Or if you prefer, you can give chamomile tea in a bottle to your baby. To prepare for a bottle, use ½ teaspoon chamomile to a cup of almost boiling water. Steep the tea for five minutes and strain it thoroughly. Make sure it’s a safe temperature, same as you would for milk or formula. Test a small amount on the inside of baby’s arm first, just to make sure he’s not one of the very few allergic to chamomile. If no reaction occurs after several hours, you can give this to your baby up to three times a day. Although as much as five ounces can be given at any one time, beware that chamomile can have a constipating effect. Also beware that any tea is a diuretic. So if the point of the chamomile is to help baby sleep, giving too much may wake him up sooner than you’d like with a wet diaper.

One last way for baby to enjoy the benefits of chamomile is to dip a clean washcloth in some chilled tea. Let him chew on it, or you can gently rub it on his gums. The chamomile has an antiseptic property, and it’s important to keep those gums healthy, especially during teething. My dentist told me that keeping my son’s gums clean with a damp washcloth during teething would actually lessen the discomfort, as the bacteria in the mouth only aggravates teething pain.

 

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables, Dear!

What you feed your baby at this tender young age very much influences what he’ll turn to later in life. It’s why pediatricians encourage introducing a variety of foods when baby is learning to eat solids. It’s also a reason this next tip is such a great one, serving a few purposes at once.

For a fun and soothing teething treat, try giving baby a cleaned piece of organic fruit or vegetable, chilled or frozen first. Perfect for noshing on would be the fatter half of an organic carrot or a nice chunk of cooled celery. Keep a dish in the refrigerator with a few of these on hand. That way, when your baby starts to yelp about the pain of teething, you have a chilled chewy at the ready. My son loved his carrot and celery sticks most of all. When he was about eight or nine months of age, he’d get upset if we needed to take them away. (Make sure you watch closely. When teeth start to emerge, baby may be able to start biting off small chunks. Always supervise.)

If you’d like to try some of the smaller or mushier fruits and vegetables, get a piece of unbleached cheesecloth and cut out a square. Cheesecloth works well because it’s free of lint, it’s cheap, and it’s disposable. If you can’t find it at your local store, try online. Many online health food stores sell it for a reasonable price, and it can be had on Amazon in an array of prices. Put something like frozen peas, frozen banana, or frozen grapes in the middle of the fabric and tie it in a secure, tight knot. This is an excellent way for baby to get tastes for new foods too, and they feel pretty independent feeding themselves. But as always, keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn’t open the cloth.

Teething can be painful and challenging for parent and child both, but having a few tricks ready to go can help get everyone through it a little easier. Being prepared is a definite way of giving you peace of mind when the time comes. When a bout of teething is done, everyone is congratulated with a new toothy grin. What could be better than that?

FinalboobsLike most people, I’ve had scary things happen in my life: flying across the ocean in a 1960s Russian jet flown by pilots who were carrying tumblers of amber liquid back to the cockpit; being yelled at by a foreign soldier in a foreign tongue while he waved a machine gun at me; finding a spider on the toilet seat. But nothing, nothing could have prepared me for the fear I felt when my sister called me on the phone and said, “It’s cancer.”

I spent the next many months living in that same amped up, heartpounding fear.

My sister, diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36, went on to have a double mastectomy, both ovaries and tubes removed, and lymph node removal. Now that she’s on the other side of it and, thank God, a survivor, her life is just getting started.

Her new book, Beyond My Boobs, is a candid and heartfelt look into her life during her battle with breast cancer. For anyone who’s been through it or who has love someone who has, Angie Christine’s book will be like salve to the unseen wounds caused by this horrible disease. Her message is one of hope and encouragement.

Easy to say, now that she’s survived it, right? What if I told you she was writing it while it was happening? What if I told you she decided to write a book to help others when the diagnosis was still so new she didn’t yet know which end was up or if she’d even make it? She took notes, wrote journals, gave speeches — all while in the midst of her fight, all while encouraging others.

Beyond My Boobs is now available for Kindle on Amazon, and it’ll be out in paperback very soon. Whether you’ve loved or lost someone with cancer, have fought it yourself, or are still in the battle, getting a copy of this book will do you nothing but good. What’s more, there’s a free dose of hope with every purchase.

20. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

I just wrapped all my presents this morning, and as soon as I realized Christmas is only five days away, I also realized I needed some last minute stocking stuffer ideas. I think I have it squared away by now, and I thought I’d share a few ideas with you in case you’re in a similar quandary.

photoChristmas CDs are always a great idea. Even if you have eight relatives on your list, seven of which you have no idea what kind of music they like, everyone loves Christmas music. Especially the old stuff. Sony/Legacy Recordings have just re-released a big list of old Christmas favorites, such as Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and Elvis. (Who doesn’t love the Elvis Christmas album?) Plunk them in the stockings and let your relatives trade if they like.

Healthy snacks, anyone? We all get our fill of sweets and goodies at Christmas, so why not put a healthy treat in the stockings? Garden of Life makes an array of organic whole food bars. My favorites are Summer Berry and Apple Cinnamon. They’re vegetarian, non GMO, and made with raw ingredients. But you’ll never know they’re good for you! They taste too yummy.

Last but not least is a great little item for anyone on your list who has a Kindle, a tablet, a smart phone. That’s pretty 5160TMCgx-L._SX522_much everyone these days! It’s the Super Magicstick by Powerocks. One slick gadget, it’s about the shape and size of a small flashlight and contains lithium battery power. If you’re on the go and your iPhone starts asking for more juice, you can plug it in using the phone cable, and you’ll get a charge without having to find a power outlet. That’s perfect for the person who forgets to charge the phone before leaving the house. (You know someone like that, don’t you?) They come in an array of colors, and if you order them through Amazon, you can have them just in time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still have to find some bows for the packages. And hang the stockings. And make grocery lists. And do holiday crafts. And…. and enjoy the holidays with my family. Merry Christmas to all!

oil bottlesIt’s cold, it’s dry, it’s that season when your skin flakes out; so why not learn how to make your own natural homemade body and face oils? Below are some of my favorites. I use them daily instead of moisturizer during the coldest, driest times of the year. Add the right essential oils and you’ve got custom made skin!

What you’ll need:

A choice of oils. I often use sweet almond oil, but other favorites are avocado and olive oil. While the almond and avocado soak into the skin faster, olive is much heavier. If you’ve got extra dry skin, though, that may be just what you want!

A selection of essential oils. The blend I use most of the time is a mix of patchouli and ylang ylang, which is an amazing combination to eliminate wrinkles and reverse sun damage. These really do work, especially if you’re able to get some good quality oils.

A 4 oz. bottle. I like to reuse bottles and jars for this, preferably something with a small opening. Order something beautiful or reuse something you have on hand. In my experience, there’s always a good container somewhere under the bathroom cupboard filled with something you don’t like, anyway. Just make sure it is cleaned out thoroughly and doesn’t smell of something else before you add your oils.

So, which essential oils will you choose? I’ve provided a partial list below. (I have a much more extensive list in my book Beauty Gone Wild! which, incidentally, will be free from December 17 to 19, 2013.)

Acne:  Bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile, Clary sage, clove, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, myrtle, patchouli, petitgrain, ravensara, rosemary, rosewood, sage, sage lavender, sandalwood, spearmint, tea tree, thyme, vetiver, yarrow.

Cellulite:  Basil, cedarwood, cumin, cypress, fennel, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, oregano, patchouli, rosemary, rosewood, sage, spikenard (increases metabolism to burn fat), tangerine (dissolves), thyme.

Dry:  Atlas cedar, carrot seed, chamomile, davana, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lemon, neroli, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood, spikenard, vetiver, ylang ylang.

Mature/Wrinkles:  carrot seed, cistus, Clary sage, cypress, elemi, fennel seed, frankincense, galbanum, geranium, helichrysum, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, myrrh, neroli, orange, oregano, patchouli (prevents wrinkles), rose, rosehips (slows wrinkles), rosemary (verbene type), rosewood (slows wrinkles), sandalwood, spikenard, thyme, ylang ylang.

Now for some simple instructions. Pour your carrier oil (almond, avocado, olive) into your container. Then add either a single or a combination of essential oils, about 10 to 12 drops of essential oil per every ounce of carrier you use. For example, if you’ve chosen a 4-ounce bottle, you’d use a total of no more than 48 drops of essential oils.

Cap and shake before use.

That’s it! Enjoy some healthy, glowing skin this winter. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in the feel and look of your skin after you’ve given your natural homemade face and body oils a try.