Monthly Archives: March 2012

Feeding the Book Habit

I love to read, and I read all kinds of materials on all kinds of topics. I used to be more attached to my books, requesting the latest must-reads as presents so I could keep them on my shelves. I … Continue reading

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Knitting Epiphany

I really like to knit. I should be much better at it than I am, given how long I have been trying to master the skill. My current project is a Honeycomb  Scarf from the book Sock Yarn One-skein Wonders: … Continue reading

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This Tablecloth Looks Familiar

Earlier this week, I co-hosted a pasta party for the girls’ high school soccer team.  This is a weekly event during the soccer season, and it is a fun whirlwind of about 25 hungry, laughing girls. I shared the cooking … Continue reading

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Wipe It Down

I have been making baby steps toward removing chemicals from our daily cleaning supplies at home. For years I have used the Red Juice and Blue Juice from The Clean Team. The Clean Team developed safe products that their cleaning … Continue reading

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Simple Mom

As I have become more aware of some of the chemicals lurking in our health and beauty products, I have tried to steer toward less-harmful options. Toothpaste in particular usually contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium fluoride, and propylene glycol.  I looked at some of the more natural options and was pleased to see that Trader Joe’s toothpaste has a short and comprehensible ingredient list. As we ran out of toothpaste, I gradually replaced the commercial tubes with the Trader Joe’s version. My family grumbled a little bit but made the transition pretty easily.

Then, I came across this recipe on Simple Mom and couldn’t resist giving it a try. I love it! I haven’t converted my family yet, but I am working on it.


  • 2T coconut oil
  • 3T baking soda
  • ¼ t stevia powder
  • A few drops of peppermint oil or extract

Mix all ingredients until well blended.

I do not include the stevia as a sweetener and I do not miss it. I use about 10 drops of peppermint oil and that gives the toothpaste a minty flavor that isn’t overwhelming. It has the consistency of regular toothpaste. I keep my toothpaste in a small, lidded jar and I use my brush to scoop a little out. As I’m writing this, it occurs to me that it would be more sanitary to use a little scooper to apply it to the brush!

It is my opinion that in the 6 months that I have been making my own toothpaste, my breath is fresh, my teeth are a bit whiter, and my gums rarely bleed when I floss.


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Reading Dreams of Joy

I just finished Dreams of Joy, by Lisa See. I loved her first two books—Snowflower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love—but I was not as excited about her last title, Shanghai Girls. So when the first few pages … Continue reading

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