Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fly Away Home

It is hot. Very hot.  Why people chose to settle in this area is beyond me, but here we are. You can "it's a dry heat" me till the cows come home but whether or not humidity is present, 116 degrees is miserable. And for the past three days, that is exaclty how hot is has been getting. The kids and I have been surviving with copious amounts of swimming, homemade popcicles, frequent trips to the library, and late afternoon movies in the air conditioned cave I've created in our living room.

The weather outside is frightful, suitable for neither man nor beast. Unfortunatley, I do have a couple of "beasts" that reside out of hens, Daisy and Olivia. To help them deal with the scorching temps, I've been venturing out of my blissfully air conditioned abode to spray the coop and the surrounding area down with water a few times a day and to check their water supply. Despite my efforts, the heat was just too much for sweet Livy. When I sent the kids out with a bag full of watermelon rinds for the girls, my oldest came staggering back to the door, completely beside herself with the sad news: Olivia had died.

K and baby Livy
Of course I was saddened by the passing of our sweet hen. I will miss her gentle clucking and her pale blue eggs, and the fact that she was of a much sweeter disposition then her peck happy sister. But the most difficult thing was watching my daughter become completely enveloped in sadness. She is of the age where she has some grasp on the concept of death: that once something dies, it never comes back. I took her into my arms and assured her that she had been the best chicken mommy Olivia could have had; that she had given Livy a good chicken life and that our beloved hen would live happily in chicken heaven with her family.

Daisy and shy, sweet Livy in the background.
This seemed to comfort her some. But when she pointed out that Olivia was not in heaven, that she was, actually, lying dead out in the coop, I had to stifle a giggle. Youth is so literal. How does one explain the concept of a  soul to a devastated four year old girl who is dressed to the nines in a tutu, plastic shoes and a tiara? I stumbled through an explanation which she seemed to accept, while she snuggled down against my breast and cried a little more. My heart ached...literally ached. To watch my precious child struggle with grief and anguish, to see her confused and vulnerable, was almost more than this Momma could take.

With a few more hugs and the promise of baby chicks in the fall, the tears dried and she felt safe enough to venture from my embrace. I, on the other hand, wasn't quite ready to let go. My daughter, my sweet K, is growing up before my very eyes. My heart flutters when I think of all she will face in the coming years and how I want nothing more than to shield her from all the unpleasantness in the world. But as every Momma knows, that just isn't possible.
As I watch my girl carry on, I realize that I must too. She is broken by the passing of a feathered friend and I am broken by the passing of my daughter's youth.

Rest in peace Ms. Olivia Chicken.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I've always been kinda vain about my hair. I know, I know....vanity is evil...yada, yada, yada. I was blessed with an ultra thick, super straight mane. When people are teasing and spraying to make their hair bigger, I'm begging my stylist to thin it out. And then thin it out some more. However I cut it, it usually falls into place pretty easily with a round brush and a dryer. I spend ( or spent...things are different now that I have kids) lots of time blowing it, straightening it, trying all sorts of lotions and potions to make it look like Cher-Hair.

Cher-Hair you say? What exactly is Cher-Hair? I have always strived for Cher-Hair. As in late 60's early 70's Cher-Hair. No, I do not desire waist length hair and ultra thick bangs. It takes long enough to dry my chin length hair thank you very much! What I desire is the luster. Have you seen old episodes of Sonny and Cher? You can practically see yourself in her ponytail! That gloriously shiny, bouncy, mirror like mane exudes health and glamour and I want it for my very own.

I used to keep my hair Cher-shiny with various products containing silicones, parabens and other nasties that I now know aren't so good for me. As I've mentioned before, my hair care products are some of the last personal care items that I have yet to "convert" into greener alternatives. Since I haven't yet found a natural product to set my hair agleam, here are some of the more natural approaches I've tried to ensure I have Cher-hair each and every day.
Cher in 1967....Gorgeous!
  • Go Virgin-As in olive oil. Women have been slathering their heads in this kitchen staple for hundreds of years. I bet Cher did too.Warm 1/2 cup of olive oil in the microwave for 15 seconds until warm. Apply to damp hair. Wrap with plastic wrap or cover with a warm towel. Leave this on for 20 minutes to an hour, and then shampoo out as usual. Revel in the resulting softness and shine...
  • Flaunt What You Got-The original color of your hair is not as bad as you think it is. I was a serial highlighter up until recently. Coloring dries your hair making the cuticle rough, dry, and very un-Cher like. Plus, the chemicals found in most hair dyes are highly toxic. If you must, seek out alternative methods of hair coloring like henna or vegetable dyes which are better for your hair and the environment. Cheaper too!
  • Cool Down-Stop using hot water to wash your hair. This is easier said than done here in the desert where the water that comes out of the cold tap is about the same temperature as what comes out of the hot. But for the rest of you, cut it out! The heat strips the natural oils from your hair making you more prone to damage. Fuzzy, broken strands=no Cher-Hair.
  • Give It a Rest-There is NO need to wash your hair every day. None. I wash every other day, sometimes maybe even every two to three days, depending on my activities. Being overly cleanly strips those oils that you need to have Cher-Hair. And while your at it, give the heat styling tools a break too. Save some electricity and allow your hair breathe.

Who is your hair idol? How do you keep your hair looking naturally gorgeous? 


Monday, June 27, 2011

Winner! And Some Real Food...

The winner of the Hazelaid gift certificate is comment number 19...

"I almost forgot to enter! Jeepers! Well these necklaces intrigue me to no end! I am curious about the hazelwood as I have eczema, but my favourite one is the Milk and Honey Amber necklace. I also have neck pain, so I would be interested to see if that would help! Thanks for the opportunity!"

Congratulations Brenna! I'll be contacting you soon with all the details!

Whilst doing a bit of blog hopping, I came across a fantastic blog called 100 Days of Real Food in which a family of four spent 100 days eating real, unprocessed food. Daunting, but doable. AND, they did it on a budget. They allowed themselved $125 a week for groceries, which is the average dollar amount that a family of four would receive if they were on government support (food stamps.) Since my family is trying to cut out the crap and live on a budget as well, this blog is veratible treasure trove of tips and recipes for busy families (the whole wheat banana pancakes were fantatic by the way!)

High on inspiration, hubby and I went ' a harvesting in an effort to make some of our own unprocessed goodness. Well....let me rephrase that.....I had a massive headache so my hubby spent 45 minutes in the 110 degree heat picking tomatoes!Though we lost several pounds of tomatoes to blossom end rot, there were still enough good ones to make one pot of sauce. Everything that went in to the sauce, with the exception of the herbs, was grown in our backyard. How's that for real food!

Though not quite enough to break out the pressure canner, we did freeze three quarts of sauce and left two in the fridge for dinner in the coming week. I have three goregous eggplants out back, waiting to be picked and made into eggplant parmesan...a whole foods version of course. Cooking and eating real food is certainly a challenge but the health and environmental benefits are so worth it. Have you converted any of your recipes to a whole foods version? Any favorite tips or tricks?


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last Chance!

Tomorrow is your LAST CHANCE to enter my most fabulous giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to Their gorgeous hazel and amber jewelry can cure what ails you. Hurry! Do it!

Winner will be announced first thing Monday. Good luck!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home Security

When thinking about home security, the last possible thing on your mind is how environmentally friendly your system is, right? We only recently installed our own security system due to a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood and "choosing green" wasn't remotely on the agenda. Choosing the right price was. Our house was pre-wired so basically all they had to do was install the keypad and start taking money out of my checking account each month. The system provided a (modest) sense of security for our family and we figured we were done "protecting" ourselves from outside intruders. Until Sunday....

I was standing over the sink washing up from our Father's Day dinner when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a tall young man in my backyard. He had appeared out of nowhere and my heart leapt in my throat. My husband tore out to the yard but the young man had already seen him, climbed up on a planter, and vaulted over the seven foot fence into our next door neighbor's yard. We went out front to warn our other neighbors of the man's presence and were confronted by a good number of police officers and canine units. It seems that young man was running from something and was bounding through all of our backyards as a means of escape.

Cartoon from
They never caught him. And we have no idea as to what crime it is that he committed. His uninvited presence in my backyard unnerved me to no end. What if my children had been a back there, playing as they usually are? What if he had come in my unlocked back door and used my family as means of leverage? My neighborhood is not typically one where I would fear for my safety but my puny little alarm system began looking like a big fat joke.

The hubby and I agreed that we needed to step it up, security wise. As with every project, I of course, wanted to upgrade in the greenest and cheapest ways possible. In addition to our alarm system, we have decided to make the following upgrades:

  • Bamboo Dowel Rods-When wedged between the sill and the sliding part of the window or door, a dowel rod makes it pretty difficult to open them without breaking a window. We chose bamboo because it's a sustainable wood and is stronger than most hardwoods.
  • Motion Lights-Motion lights illuminate the yard or front door when someone steps into it, eliminating creepy dark places where scary people can hide. We've been looking at these solar lights so we don't have to pay to power them!
  • Weather Stripping-You can see daylight around my front door. Not only does it let out my precious and paid for air conditioning, it provides a perfect little slot for a crowbar. They make ready to nail strips so the job is easy peasy. I realize that a crowbar could easily bend away any weather stripping we install but it makes me feel better and it needs to be done anyway! 
  • Additional Locks- I want to install one of those slide chain locks on each door, like the kind you often find in hotels. This may also come in handy for keeping my sleepwalking kids in the house! They haven't escaped yet, but they wander regularly.
As silly as it may seem to even think green while you are beefing up security, remember that every purchase and every project is a chance to do better. Yes I could use regular craft dowels and hardwired lights but that little voice inside chides me to do better. I can protect my home and my planet, all in one fell swoop.

Don't forget!
My giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to ends June 26th.
Head on over and enter!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Today I Am...

In response to Katy over at the Non Consumer Advocate, today I am...
  • Organizing the pantry. I can't find anything and our supply of canned beans is frighteningly low. On that note, the amount of canned tuna we have is disturbing.
  • Adding tuna patties to the weekly menu.
  • Guessing as to the contents of some gifted, home canned items that were not labeled. It's either green salsa or kiwi jam but I better figure it our or my kids next PB&J will be mighty interesting.
  • Combing the yard for all my clothespins that have migrated away from the line. You should not have to buy a bag of clothespins every other month!
  • Taping off the little windows on the garage door so it can be painted before the HOA gets it's panties in a twist.
  • Ordering cultures for both sourdough and kombucha.
  • Making note cards to help me study my current chapter in my Natural Wellness class.
  • Feeling nerdy for being excited about said note cards.
  • Trying to convince my potty training son that you do not have to get completely naked to pee. Really. Especially in public bathrooms. It's just not necessary!
  • Visiting one of the sweetest and craftiest friends I have.
  • Looking  for a natural cleaning recipe that will get the nasty grayness off my cheap-o fiberglass bathtubs. I confessed a few posts back that I still use chemicals and I have felt guilty since then.
  • Reading to my kids, and listening to them read to me. Then sneaking away to pour over our new issue of Mother Earth News.
What are you doing today?
 How about entering my giveway??


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Momma's Not Perfect be a blogger.  It's brilliant really. Blogging allows you to share your life with a kind of anonymity that you can't achieve elsewhere. You can be whoever you want. A fashionista. A craft diva. Urban homesteader extraordinaire. You can sell a version of yourself that may not be entirely true or even attainable. I find this to be especially true with the so called "Mommy Bloggers." I read several blogs and though I return to them day after day, I wonder if any of them are really portraying the real lives of the women who write them. These "wonder women" craft, bake, sew, clean, worship, school, garden, farm, preserve, recycle and still have time to take beautifully composed photographs of their children frolicking in the woods in homemade clothing. In short, they are exactly the kind of women I want to be. They are living simply. Deliberately. Exactly the way I wish to live. But are they really that perfect? Is it all so effortless?

The beauty of blogging is that you are control of content. The not so nice stuff can be edited or even omitted completely. I will be the first to admit that the life I write about here and our usual day to day is quite different. Not that what I write about doesn't actually happen....we do craft, and sew, and bake and so on. I've had several people mention what a "wonder woman" I seem to be but let me tell you folks, there's a lot going on behind the scenes that you don't see. For example, despite kicking cable the curb many moons ago, my kids still watch TV on a daily basis. A lot less TV, but it still happens. We still eat fast food even though I know it's horrifically bad for us and for the environment. I don't hang every single load of laundry on the line. I still use a chemical cleaner in my bathroom because I can't for the LIFE of me concoct a natural one that will get that nasty gray ring out of my tub! I (gasp) yell at my kids. It's true. This green living, simple lovin' Momma ain't perfect....and neither are you.

I'm doing a lot of things right but there is still much room for improvement. I get complacent. Better choices aren't always easier choices. We are continually evolving, and every choice we make is a chance to do better. I can be greener. I can definitely simplify things. But I'm not going to obsess about being perfectly perfect. If I give up and order preservative laden pizza for dinner, so what. I'll do better next time. If I buy a shampoo with SLS because I could get it for next to nothing with a coupon, I'll keep an eye on store sales so I can buy the safer herbal one that I can use with a clear conscience. If I forget my reusable bags, I will recycle and reuse the plastic ones I had to bring home from the store. If I lose my temper with my kids I will hug them, apologize and tell them how much I love them.

The journey to a deliberate life is ongoing. I'm not everything I want to be yet and that's okay. I'm getting there.We'll make mistakes but as long as we live authentically and truthfully, we will never be far away from the life we wish to lead. I may not post often about life's little detours but I feel that by keeping things on the lighter side I may inspire others to green up, pare down, and simplify. But don't for one minute think I have it all together. I am forever learning and always behind. It is here, and only here, I can take a piece of what is good in my life and share it...with you, and with myself.

Please take a minute to enter my giveaway.
Gorgeous, FREE jewelry awaits you. Go! Hurry!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Read All About It!

We are a family of readers. We tear through books like the Kardashians go through boys and money. My husband and I usually read one or two a week, and the kids go through dozens every day. We have books on every shelf, on the tables, between the couch cushions and on the floor. Everywhere you look there is something there for you to read. However, there are a  couple of  issues with having such a voracious appetite for the written word.

1. As much as I love reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (about a donkey who accidentally turns himself into a rock) and Gregory the Terrible Eater (about a goat who refuses to eat garbage) to my children, reading it two or three times a day, every day, tends to get on my nerves. And really, I don't have that many nerves to spare.

2. Having a Kindle is probably the greatest thing ever. Digital books cost less and are more "planet friendly" since they are not printed on paper, thus saving millions of trees. And that one click buy feature? Dangerous...yet brilliant. But there is something lovely about holding a book in your hands, turning the pages, and smelling the ink. It's almost...sensuous.

Buying more books would indeed solve the two aforementioned problems. I wouldn't have to read the same books over and over to my kids and I could get all hot and bothered with a paper printed book. But bringing more books in to my house would produce a clutter so deep I fear we would never be able to dig out. Ever. I have to do a book purge every other month as it is! And I certainly don't want to shell out the cash. So how do we feed the need to read without spending money, cutting down trees, or adding to our own personal collections? Why, we go to the library of course!

It's a fix all. The kids get new books to read every two weeks and I don't have to find shelf space for them. I get to check out real live novels that I can hold in my hands without spending a dime Plus, the library is a welcome (and air conditioned) respite from the desert heat. With the new library tote I just finished (made from the tutorial here) we are ready for a summer of reading and fun. And  I might even remember my library card since my new bag has a dandy little pocket for just that purpose...

There's still time to enter my giveaway. is giving away $25 to spend on their gorgeous and good for you jewelry. You don't want to miss it. Scurry on over and have a look!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Respect ALL Creatures

I turned my children out in the backyard and went back to washing dishes. This is often the way of it. You're driving me NUTS will you please go outside?? When I heard my son's hearty belly laugh through the sliding glass door, I was curious as to what was so funny. They were jumping. High. And landing. Hard. And then laughing their little hearts out. I picked up my dish towel and went to investigate. When I inquired as to what sort of intelligent game my two and four year old might have devised, I was horrified when the answer was simply: "We're squishing ants Mommy!"

Delicious little ant squishing toes!
Now hear me out. I know kids squish bugs. I squish bugs. But I squish bugs because I'm being threatened or irritated by said bug, not just for kicks and giggles. A cricket who's singing in my bathtub at two in the morning? Squished. The fruit fly who keeps finding it's way up my nostril? Squished. The cockroach under the chicken's water fount who hissed at me and made me scream like a girly girl? Squished and squished again.What bothered me was the utter enjoyment my children expressed at the destruction of teeny, tiny, harmless black ants. I know there was no vindictiveness in their actions....they are still very young and perhaps I should just be happy they entertained themselves long enough for me to get the dishes done.

But...I figured now was as good a time as any for a little lesson in empathy and the importance of respecting all of the Earth's creatures, no matter how tiny or useless they appear. I explained to them the delicate balance of all living things and how if just one single organism were absent, our world wouldn't work as it should, using the squishing of ants as an example. My daughter wrinkled her nose and replied, "So if we squish ants,  all the trees will die?"

....Well, maybe they weren't ready for such an in depth conversation about the web of life. However, they could still learn something about the little guys they were so gleefully stomping. Perhaps with some new knowledge about ants, my kids would have more respect for their place and stop trampling helpless insects for fun. Time for an ant farm!

You will need:

A mason jar
A scrap of cotton or muslim
A rubber band

  • Fill your jar about three quarters of the way with soil.
  • Dig up some ants and put them in the jar.
  • Cover the mouth of your jar with the cotton and use a rubber band to secure.
  • Place the jar in dark place or wrap dark construction paper around it. Ants won't dig if it's too light. We're trying to simulate an underground environment here.
And ta-da! Your very own ant farm! No need to run out and buy some cheap plastic thing to make your ants happy. Give them a cotton ball saturated with water to drink and either fruit or breadcrumbs to nosh. They should start digging straight away and in a couple days you can observe the intricate network of tunnels.

There's still time to enter my giveaway. One lucky reader will receive $25 worth of jewelry from Their stuff is is gorgeous and good for you too! Head on over and check it out!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I knew something was up when I hadn't seen them scratching and pecking by mid-morning. Usually, upon waking, I stand at the living room window and stare blankly toward the chicken coop, watching Daisy and Olivia scrabble after crickets while I slowly come out of my post slumber haze. When they failed to appear, I threw on my flip flops and went out to investigate.

They were in there, both of them, snuggled together in one of the nest boxes,clucking softly. It was wicked hot (as it is most days) and I figured their inactivity was just a way to conserve energy and keep cool. I fed them, made sure the water was full, and left them alone. Later in the day, I saw Olivia hop down and scratch for a while but Daisy stayed put. After three days of this, I started to panic. Neither hen was laying, and it didn't appear that they were eating or drinking much, which could be lethal in the scorching temperatures. What the heck was WRONG with my chickens?

Olivia (left) and Daisy (right)
Despite the fact that they weren't moving around or feasting on the most awesome (and expensive) organic chicken feed I provide for them, they seemed okay. Their eyes were bright, their feathers fluffy. And hit me like a ton of bricks. Broody. My hens had gone broody! I rushed outside. Olivia was on the ground, pecking happily but Daisy was still holed up in the nest box. I reached gently toward her and she puffed up to twice her size, let out freaky, growly chicken noise and proceeded to peck the ever loving snot out of me. In the process, three eggs rolled out from underneath her.

Daisy with her feathers in a ruffle....literally!
 Daisy, it seems, is bound and determined to hatch some eggs, regardless of the fact she has no baby daddy (a rooster) and her eggs are far from fertile. I thought at first that both hens had gone broody but upon further inspection, it seems Olivia is acting as a midwife of sorts, protecting Livy and her eggs, growling, flapping, and pecking at me as if the the clutch beneath her feathered brethren is her own. According to the book Keeping Chickens by Jeremy Hobson, I was to lift the hen off the nest, remove the infertile eggs and put her in a "broody coop" which is basically a wire mesh box designed to make her uncomfortable enough to snap her out of her broodiness and to air her birdy netheregions. Apparently, broody birds have elevated body temperatures to incubate their eggs. Cooling their incubating parts up and around their feathery undercarriages also helps to discourage broodiness.

With gloves on and guard up, I removed a very unhappy hen from her nest with only minimal pecking injury to my upper extremities. I removed four eggs from her nest. I don't have a broody coop to put her in and I'm hoping the gentle desert breeze will be enough to cool her feathers. Perhaps I'm being naive...this is my first experience with chickens and I'm learning as I go. But as of this morning, she was down and out of the nest box, scratching with Olivia. Only time will tell if she's truly past her baby fever. I know how she feels...poor thing!

Don't forget to enter my rockin' giveaway!
 One lucky winner will receive $25 in FREE jewelry from  Free bling! Not just that...bling that makes your skin look better. 
What are you waiting for??


Monday, June 6, 2011

200th and a Giveaway!

This, my friends, is my 200th post. 200! Can you believe it? Two hundred times, I have come to this space and shared with you a piece of my life. We've come a long way baby! Here are a few of the changes my family has made in an effort to live a greener and more sustainable life. These little changes have added up in a big way and I can honestly say I've never been more sure of the path am I on. Here's some of things we've done since I started writing it all down....200 posts ago:

  • We set up recycling bins.
  • We started a garden.
  • I learned how to sew, crochet and embroider....kind of.
  • I started taking reusable bags to the store. When I remember, that is!
  • I made jam as good as my Momma's.
  • I replaced most of our OTC medicines with herbs and oils.
  • We got rid of cable.
  • We became a  paper towel free family!
  • I started making my own cleaning products.
  • We got chickens so we could have free range, organic eggs.
  • I made my entire beauty routine (except hair products and deodorant) green and/or organic.
  • I started making my own laundry powder and hanging my clothes out to dry.
  • I started using whole wheat flour for some of my baking.
  • We only consume grass fed beef. Working on options for chicken and pork.
We have come so far, but there is still such a long way to go. Thank you dear readers, for sticking around! Can you do something for me? Yes? Do you know what I'd really like to go along with my 200 posts? I'd like to have 200 followers. Two hundred groupies who have read my 200 posts. If you lurk but don't follow, take a minute, wander on up to the top of the page and click follow, will you? It only takes a minute.

And guess what? Membership has it's benefits! About two posts back, I mentioned that I had purchased hazelwood jewelry for myself and my son to help with our acne and eczema, respectively. The good people at Hazelaid are offering one of you a $25 gift certificate good towards any piece of jewelry in the store!

To enter, you must:
  • Be a follower. Do it. Help me break 200! Then visit Severine and company at and leave me a comment telling me which item you would like to have the most.
  • You can get get bonus entries by "liking" Hazelaid on Facebook or by following them on Twitter.
  • You can get one more additional entry if you post the link to this giveaway on your blog or your Facebook page.
Got it? You have FOUR CHANCES to enter. Become a follower and leave a comment with your favorite item, leave a comment if you liked Hazelaid on Facebook, leave a comment if you followed them on Twitter. and post this giveaway on you blog or Facebook page. Leave separate comments for each criteria you have filled.

Cool? And, Hazelaid is offering 10% off to all readers! Just enter simplicity10 at checkout!

Entries will close on June 26th, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be announced first thing on Monday, June 27th.

Happy 200th and good luck!!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Romas, Cherries, and Krim....OH MY!

Some of you may recall me mentioning that my husband planted an overzealous amount of tomato plants. Sixteen surviving plants of various varieties stand three to four feet tall in our garden. They are beautiful plants, grown in organic soil and are full of fruit. However...

We have been struck with blossom end rot. It's a rather unglamourous problem in which the bottom end of the fruit, also called the blossom end, becomes blackish and leathery and all together unappealing. It is caused by a deficiency of calcium in the soil. Thus far, we've lost about 70% of our gorgeous tomatoes. We have yet to enjoy a full tomato harvest in the three seasons we've gardened. The first was lost to cricket infestation, the second to frost, and this one to blossom end rot. Disappointing? Sure. But we'll keep on a plantin'. Even a meager harvest provides a delicious and nutritious meal....and it's one less thing for me to buy at the grocery store!
Blossom End Rot....nasty, right?
There are some fruits that are unaffected by the rot, generally the ones on the lower vines of the plant. I picked and searched this afternoon and got a good sized bowl of fruit, mostly romas. It's hardly enough to make sauce but enough for a batch of bruchetta and a couple of trays in the dehydrator. All is not lost...onward desert gardener!!

The garden booty

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hazelwood Necklaces

I have mentioned several times that my little boy's skin is in constant revolt. Not only is it horribly dry, but he has scaly patches of eczema on his belly and forearms and has been breaking out in horrendously bumpy rashes for no apparent reason. We've been through what feels like every natural lotion, potion and cream. He's been to the naturopath and has had more probiotics and stinging nettles than any other two year old I know. I strongly suspect at this point he has a food allergy; to what, I don't know but we will soon start the process of narrowing things down.

Learning the manly art of grooming.
In the mean time, I have been desperate to keep him comfortable in his own skin. I think I've finally found a routine that keeps things under control, at least in terms of the dryness and eczema, and all of it is natural and chemical free.  We use a goat milk soap or fragrance free castile soap in the tub, followed by a good slathering in Natures Gate Collodial Oatmeal Lotion followed by this calendula salve on his scaly bits (i.e. belly, cheeks, knees and forearms). If one of those random rashes springs up, I have been treating it with homemade remedy consisting of almond oil, eucalyptus, chamomile and lavender.

Things are under control for now, but I continue to search for new ways to keep my son's skin happy. Whilst looking for natural remedies for his various epidermal issues, I came across a site that sold hazelwood jewelery. Apparently, hazelwood is the answer to skin issue suffering. According the the folks at, hazelnut trees have the unique property of absorbing excess acid produced in our bodies when they are in contact with our skin. This excess acid is thought to be the cause of various maladies including eczema, acid reflux, heartburn, headaches, acne, arthritis, ect.

Quite frankly, it sounded hokey. But a little more research turned up nothing but good reviews. Gleeful parents sent in the before and after pictures of their formerly afflicted children. Withing 48 hours of putting the necklace on, their symptoms were greatly reduced if not completely remedied. And at 20 bucks, I figured it was cheaper than all those naturopath appointments and jars and bottles of cream and salve. And if it didn't work, well, my son would have a cute man necklace to woo the ladies at the playground! I ordered myself an anklet too, in hopes that it would help with my acne issues.

The jewelery arrived promptly and is simple and beautiful. I fastened J's necklace over a week ago and we have yet to remove it. His skin looks....good. His scalies aren't scaly, and his skin doesn't look as ashy or dry. We have had two random rash flare ups though, but after a good rubbing with salve, they are gone by morning. I believe that once we figure out what he's allergic to, those bumpy rashes will disappear. And as for face is clear. And it wasn't when I first put the anklet on. This could all be one giant coincidence but I'll take what I can get. 

Here's to beautiful skin!