Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life in my garden

I believe in compost.

I love when organic material doesn't end up in the trash can and ultimately a landfill. I'd rather it rot right in my own backyard.
My worm bin holds a coveted spot -- right next to the kitchen door.
Beautiful colors.

Green parsley stems, bois du rose onion skins, black coffee grounds, brown egg shells, and touches of red radish.
Next... those wiggle worms that do the dirty work and setting up a new worm bin!



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Natural Habits That Heal Dry Skin

Daily cleansing and moisturizing is an essential part of caring for your skin and your child’s. But for those who suffer from extremely dry skin or eczema, a relaxing bath or a soothing warm shower can turn into a dry and itchy affair.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition marked by itching, redness and scaly patches. It is very common in babies, usually appearing on the face, chest, back, arms or legs during the first 6 months and can last throughout childhood. Unfortunately, many children will outgrow eczema only to have it reappear in adulthood. The condition can be difficult to deal with, but you may be surprised at how many treatment options you have. And by making just a few simple lifestyle changes, you can get back on the path to baby soft skin.

Check your water: Bathing in chlorinated tap water strips the skin of its natural oils and can cause itching and scaling—not what you want when you’re already battling dry skin. Using a shower filter to remove chlorine can be helpful in preventing further irritation.

Beat the heat: Keep your thermostat on the cool side, which will save energy as well as your skin; high indoor heat saps moisture from the air. And lower the temperature of your bath water as eczema has a tendency to flare up as the temperature rises.

Choose gentle cleansers: Harsh cleansers strip skin of its natural oils, leaving it unprotected from the elements and more susceptible to irritants and dryness. Instead suds up with a non-sulfate cleanser, preferably one made with without allergy triggering synthetic fragrances.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: When your child steps out of the shower or tub, don’t towel off those magical moisturizing water droplets! Trap them next to the skin with lotion, a super rich cream, or hi-oleic vegetable oil.

Watch what you eat: Since eczema is caused by a reaction in the immune system, certain foods—especially tropical fruits such as mangos and pineapples—can cause flair-ups. Check with your doctor or dermatologist first and then try an elimination diet to pinpoint the culprit.

Know the secret ingredient: Calendula! This wonder flower is helpful in treating a whole host of skin issues, including eczema, rosacea, sunburn and just plain old dry skin. Try growing the easy annual flower in your garden and using the flowers to make a homemade tea for the bath. Here’s how: Put 5 or 6 flower tops in a muslin tea bag and drop into a tea cup; fill the cup with hot water and let steep for 20 minutes. Then simply pour the tea into a temperate bath.

Mother Nature: 1, Hydrocortisone: 0!

All My Best,