March 25, 2013

Does Your Bathroom and the Atomic Bomb Have Something in Common??

Please continue with us here at Hearts for Home as we transition from the living room to the bathroom, or “washroom”, as my little nine-year-old friend likes to call it. (If you missed the wonderful tips on candles and house plants in the living room, please be encouraged by Chelsea’s post!) I wanted to touch briefly on two things I’m learning (still growing here) that are essential in the bathroom, so let’s get to it!

TOOTHPASTE: When you think of toothpaste, does the word “fluoride” come to mind? It is said that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, that’s why dentists encourage fluoride treatments, fluoride toothpaste, and mouthwash containing fluoride. Even our city water is fluoridated to make sure the majority of people are consuming this “substance”. But where does it come from? Well, first of all, we must be specific about what kind of fluoride we are talking about here because there are two types of fluoride: calcium fluoride and sodium fluoride. Calcium fluoride occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other foods. Sodium fluoride, on the other hand, is a man-made chemical, which is commonly found in our city’s tap water, toothpaste, processed beverages and foods, and pesticides. There has been much talk about sodium fluoride ever since the industrialized revolution, but where it really hits home for us is the use of it in World War II. Did you know that fluoride (sodium) was produced in massive amounts-massive, as in millions of tons-as the key chemical in the making of the atomic bomb?! Mr. Hitler even used sodium fluoride to his advantage in the concentration camps when he put high dosages in the water supply to sterilize the Jews and make them more lethargic. Today 97% of Europe bans the fluoridation of their water. Unfortunately here in the United States it is widely accepted, and could be the cause of many of our health problems today. I was surprised to see all the different side effects of fluoride mentioned when I was researching: hypothyroidism, dental fluorosis, lower IQ, and bone disease, just to name a few. If fluoride is said to prevent tooth decay, why do U.S. citizens still need root canals or cavities filled? Instead of trying to come up with a Band-Aid or “solution” to our tooth decay problem, let’s change our eating habits. :) Let’s avoid all the sugar and over-use of processed foods, and eat the foods God created for us to eat and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Nature Made- Heaven Scent

Maybe after reading this and doing your own research, you will be willing to eliminate fluoride from your household. You could invest in a quality water filter…we really like our Berkey. Another option is to switch to fluoride-free toothpaste and get rid of any fluoride mouthwash you have. My family likes the Trader Joes brand toothpaste…it has a yummy fennel flavor to it. Other brand names that offer fluoride-free toothpaste are Tom’s, Kiss My Face, and Burt’s Bees. My brother, Justin, really likes to use a tooth soap called, Nature Made-Heaven Scent. Yes, soap for your teeth! :) It is locally made here in Wisconsin, but they ship anywhere in the United States. Justin says he really likes that it’s healthy, and the way his teeth feel after brushing is amazing! With only one person using a 4 oz. bottle, he goes through about three each year. If you are interested at all, check out their website.

SOAP: Do you ever read the soap ingredient labels at your local store? I encourage you to do so; you may even learn a new language! Avoid ingredients such as color pigments, fragrances (or parfum), parabens, and sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate for example. Just to shed some light on sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate; it is a man-made chemical that irritates your skin/eyes, causes hormonal imbalance, disrupts or damages protein molecules in our bodies, and/or potentially cause cancer. Yikes! Also, many of the ingredients in popular products are chemicals that coat our skin, the biggest organ of our bodies, which makes it difficult for toxins to escape our bodies.

“I love the fragrance!” you say. So do I. There are beautifully crafted, homemade, full-of-fragrance soaps out there that are derived of God-made essential oils. Trust me, when you start learning about all the plants and oils God has created, there comes an automatic attitude of worship to the One who created it all; His creativity is awesome! To find quality, hand-made soaps, check out your natural food stores, farmers markets, or craft fairs. If you are really excited about trying something new, learn to make your own soap. :) If you prefer to buy online, maybe you would enjoy the organic soaps over at Apple Valley Natural Soaps!

I hope this isn’t overwhelming, but rather eye opening and encouraging you to be aware of some of the things we and are our families are using for our bodies. Again, I’m reminded not to worry about all the downsides to the products we are exposed to, but to trust that the Master Physician sustains my body and allows my heart to keep beating. But isn’t there a feeling of happiness that comes with being clean? :) It’s so refreshing to start out your day with a warm, peppermint-smelling shower, and to brush away the rough plaque from your teeth at the end of the day. Many times when I think about being clean (or dirty for that matter), I’m reminded that Jesus came to die on a cross to wash my soul clean from all my filth; my sin. Praying Psalm 51:10 would be our hearts desire this week as we reflect on His death, burial, and resurrection.

~Psalm 51:10~
Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Thank you for stopping by, enjoy your week!

March 22, 2013

DIY Decorative Eggs ~ Guest Post by Chelsea's Mom

My (Chelsea's) mom is very creative and has come up with an inexpensive, unique Spring decoration that you and your girls can do together.  So if you're in the crafting mood, here's the how-to on making these decorative eggs!

~ Plastic Eggs  
We used all different sizes
~ Tacky Glue
~ Foam Brushes
~ Variety of Yarn
*Not Pictured: A container to put glue in 
All Materials can be found at Hobby Lobby
We support Hobby Lobby and recommend going there for all your crafting needs! :)

 Put glue into a container and paint a generous amount onto the egg covering about 1/3 of the surface.

 Press yarn at the top (make sure it is in the center) and continue to spiral down the egg.

 Add more glue and continue spiraling the yarn down the egg, make sure to check back and see if there are any gaps between layers.

 Rotate the egg, add more glue and finish off the rest checking for gaps as you go.  
Cut the yarn off so it nestles nicely in place at the end.

Easy, right???

 TAKE YOUR TIME and be ready to get glue on your hands! :)  
When you're finished with the amount of eggs you'd like, find a cute basket/plate to put them on and enjoy!

Thanks for sharing with us today, mom.  I love you!

Join us Monday for another Natural Living topic! :)  And join us for more DIY Project ideas on Pinterest.

Blessings from us,
~ Chelsea & Kim (my mom)
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