DIY Natural Toothpaste

Going green. Saving money. Consuming less. All great things, bit some green choices can be quite the challenge. It’s not easy making the switch so I find it helpful to tackle one little change at a time, instead of looking at the end goal in its green-glowing eco-friendly entirety.

Here’s on switch that is both easy and cost effective: Make your own toothpaste. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

More than likely, the toothpaste in your bathroom medicine cabinet has a long list of inactive ingredients that really have no oral health benefits at all. They are simply there to inhance the aesthetic or palatability of the product, but if you are not picky than a stripped-down, simplified version will not only help you cut back monthly household costs, but harmful waste as well.

Mix together in a small jar (I used a sterilized caviar jar):

2 tblsp of softened coconut oil

2 tblsp baking soda

20 drops of peppermint essential oil

15 drops liquid stevia

It looks, tastes, and smells great, and works just as well as store-bought toothpaste. It does not contain the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that causes foaming, so the consistency is something to get used to. But just as with shampoo the foaming affect does not necessarily mean clean.

Give it a try, and if you experiment with different flavor oils I would love to hear about it.

Orange Cleaner

Did you know you can use oranges to clean your house?

1.Fill a large mason jar with orange peels and fill with vinegar until the peels are completely covered.

2. Let the peels soak for two weeks.

3. Strain the infused vinegar into a pray bottle and dilute with filtered water. 1:1 ratio.

4. Add approx 15 drops of tea tree oil and give it a little shake.

5. Enjoy your fresh smelling, totally green all-purpose cleaner!

Green Choices

Green choices about the environment.

Dear Reader,

Parenting has been an inspiring and creative challenge. Raising two children has grown me in many regards. In our family we often talk about our ability to make choices in life, and how those choices not only affect us but everyone around us. We break them down into two categories: green choices which are wise or kind, and red choices which are unwise or unkind. So often in the middle of teaching my children a new concept I realize how much these lessons still apply to me.

Ditch the plastic in exchange for glass, wood, metal, and natural cloth. Not only is it more affordable in the long run, but it will add beauty to your home.

We are often encouraged through the media and through culture to make better and wiser choices regarding the environment, and as much as we should make these green choices simply because it is good for the Earth, I believe it is also good for the soul.

Psalm 24:1 “A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”

The Bible says that the Earth does not belong to us but that it is the Lord’s. We also know that in Genesis God gave us dominion over His creation. If we want to respect and honor God then we have to respect an honor that which He has made and called good.

Recently when I have shopped, I have become more aware of my tendency to purchase items because they are convenient, or indulgent. This is such an easy thing for me to do because it does not require any thought, discipline, or reflection. I simply see something I want and toss it in the basket. But taking a moment to ask myself is this a green choice? has kept me in check.

Realizing that the Earth is not my own has burdened me with a sense of responsibility. Not only is the Earth the Creator’s, but I share it with everyone else.

Handkerchiefs are an easy way to cut back on paper waste.

There is a certain beauty in things that are meant to be kept. They call us to care for them as objects of practiced and repeated tending. When we throw away we learn nothing but the habit of wastefulness, and lose out on the unique beauty that can only be observe through responsibility.

So why is it so easy to throw away our money? I for one think its because we possess a destructive nature. We are careless more often than careful, and quick to make excuses to avoid additional effort.

The good news is once we recognize this tendency, it is easily remedied. All it takes is practice. It’s never too late to start making greener choices for us, for others, and for God’s green Earth.



Dorking, Surrey

“When you have seen more of this country, I am afraid you will think you have overrated Hartfield. Surry is full of beauties.”

“Oh! yes, I am quite aware of that. It is the garden of England, you know. Surry is the garden of England.”

“Yes; but we must not rest our claims on that distinction. Many counties, I believe, are called the garden of England, as well as Surry.”

“No, I fancy not,” replied Mrs. Elton, with a most satisfied smile.” I never heard any county but Surry called so.”

Emma was silenced.

-Jane Austen’s Emma

Now that I’ve been I am fully convinced that Mrs. Elton was correct. Here is the photo diary of our day trip to Surrey. Truly, a garden.


Denbies Wine Estates Bed and Breakfast in Dorking, Surrey.


Early Morning

Motherhood does not come without an assortment of friendly advice. Some of it is useful and applicable though much of it – in my experience, is only nodded at and then stored away somewhere behind the left over birthday napkins from last year. As amusing as it is to list the unwelcome variety, today I am applying my focus to the former. And it’s a good one: Morning Quiet Time.

Finding the inspiration to rouse me from my bed before my children are up is a difficult – if not nearly impossible task but on one particular morning it was worth the effort.


Continue reading “Early Morning”

Wine Country Local

Here are a few images of our picnic at Robert Hall Winery this weekend: one of more than 200 wineries in Paso Robles, California. As much as I enjoy the creative outlet that cooking provides me, I welcome an opportunity away from the kitchen to kick back and take in the local beauty. We often opt for a charcuterie board or or cheese plate on lazy evenings like this one.


Cavern Select Oro d’ Margherita really was liquid gold, I think.
Continue reading “Wine Country Local”