Here’s something I’ve been hunting down for quite awhile now: High quality organic spices. I’ve seen organic spices in the supermarkets, and since spices can be so costly, I wasn’t willing to fork over my dough for just anything, especially if it’s been sitting on the store shelf for a long time. But upon discovering and being able to cook with Smith & Truslow, I’m confident I found the right stuff!

Smith & Truslow is not only organic, it’s ground fresh with the expiration date clearly placed on the packaging so the spices never lose their intensity. I know, I know. If you’re like me, you have spices sitting in the cupboard that you probably got as a wedding gift. (Mom, are you nodding your head? She gets the A+ for antique spice collection of the year! But I cut her some slack because she grows her own too.) But believe me, when you taste freshly ground organic spices, you’ll dump out all that old stuff in a heartbeat!

I tried the dill and ground yellow mustard in my potato salad, and it really tastes fresh! A very noticeable difference. And maybe you’ve read my recipe for homemade vanilla extract here before. The beans I usually buy are kind of tough because they probably sat around awhile before I got to them, but these are so soft and smell wonderful! Also impressive is Smith & Truslow’s oregano. I grew my own last year, and this is surprisingly similar in taste to what came out of my garden.

Here’s the best part of all: Smith & Truslow put together a custom box of nine 1-ounce jars of their most popular herbs and spices just for dkMommy Spot! One of you will win an attractively packaged $54 box full of cooking goodies. Here’s what I have waiting for you: Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Ground Cayenne, Curry Powder, Lemon Peel, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Ground Cumin, and Tarragon. Doesn’t that just make you want to break out your favorite recipes to see if they taste even better?

3 Ways to Enter:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what interests you the most at Smith & Truslow. You can name a product, mention a feature of the website, or tell me something about their business in general that appeals to you.

2.) Subscribers are automatically entered into this and all future giveaways. Just click here: Subscribe to dkMommy Spot by Email (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, to enter.

Psst!  If you like giveaways, dkMommy Spot is also giving away 3 Skin Care Kits.

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Alright, this isn’t the gift. I’m not a very talented wrapper. But I did do a little shopping for one very lucky mommy to help celebrate dkMommy Spot’s new domain. (“Domain” – it sounds so powerful, don’t you think?)

Today’s giveaway is full of herbal goodness. I have here a lavender sachet, a wonderful smelling bar of sage soap made in France, four herb seed packets to help you get a jump on spring (lavender, hyssop, peppermint, and lemon balm), and a little something for the kiddies too – Night Night Balm from W.S. Badger Co. Although I’ve never used the Night Night Balm, it was calling to me off the store shelf. It’s made with organic essential oils to help your little one fall asleep. I am so tempted to open it and smell – but I won’t. I’ll leave that bit of fun for the winner. Besides, if it works, I really can’t afford to fall asleep right now. After Vivian at mama need java spilled water on her laptop, the fear of drooling on my keyboard worries me a little.

To enter, please leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite herb is. The most popular herb answer will give me inspiration for an up-and-coming blog post. Link back to this contest on your blog, and get an extra entry! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008, at 12:00pm EST and notified by email.

Alright, maybe the title is a bit too much alliteration, even for me. But eczema is something we all want to keep far from our babies’ complexions, as Glory from SAHM Queen can tell you. This morning I received an email from her, so with her permission I’m going to share it, along with my response.

From Glory: Any advice on how to cure my 14-month-old of eczema? I use Arbonne cleansing gel to wash him (all natural). I also use All Free and Clear for my laundry detergent. My doctor wants me to use Aquaphor on him, but I don’t want to use mineral oil products. However, nothing has worked yet. Any advice?

My response: Thanks for the question! It’s good you use natural detergents and cleansers. Scented stuff can irritate eczema, so the more natural andthe fewer ingredients, the better. I’d agree with you that it’s best to avoid the mineral oil products as well. My son occasionally has eczema behind his ears, so I have tried a few different natural remedies. My favorite one is a homemade calendula oil. You can easily do this at home, and if you can’t find dried calendula flowersat a health food store, try www.mountainroseherbs.com. I’ve not purchased from them (yet), but they are quite reputable. Take about a cup of the dried calendula flowers and place them in a clean glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Cover the flowers witha good olive oil, and let the mixture sit for one to two weeks. Every day flip the jar upside down and back to help mix it. I like to let my jar sit in a sunny window so the sun can help the fusion process. (Just don’t let it get too hot.) After a week or two, strain the oil through some cheesecloth or a strainer into another clean jar. You can rub this oil right on the eczema or put some in his bath water. The oil can be used for diaper rash too. It’s good for adult dry skin as well, and this one jar should last your family a long time.

While you’re waiting for that oil to be ready, you can try a pure aloe gel. (Read the ingredients – some of them have alcohol, of all things, which could really sting!) Or some oatmeal in the bath can be soothing. I haven’t found these remedies to be a long-term solution like the calendula oil, but they can provide some comfort until your oil is ready for use.

If anyone else ever has a question about taking care of your baby naturally, please feel free to ask in the comments or email me at themommyspot@gmail.com. I’d be happy to look into it for you, because if you’re wondering about it, chances are you’re not the only one. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll definitely try and find it!