Monday, January 31, 2011

:: ask a naturopath ::

My children are 3 and 20 months. What is the best way for me to treat a cough, aside from using humidifiers with eucalyptus oil and rubbing Vicks on their feet?

Last week, the question was concerning cold and flu treatment and prevention so I figured I would address any other questions that were in the same vein this week.

First of all, humidifiers are excellent especially in the very dry climate we have here in Calgary!  Eucalyptus is a great addition to the humidifier when you or your child is feeling stuffed up or congested.  It helps to clear the airways and allows for a better night’s sleep.  Vicks vaporub is also great for cough and congestion.  Rubbing it on the feet is effective and you can also rub some on the chest and back to help break up some of those wet coughs.  Something to keep in mind is coughing up mucus is beneficial for your child.  We want this to happen as by coughing up the slimy substance, they are clearing their airways of junk and allowing for easier breathing.  

In addition to the things you have tried, you can make your own cough syrup with honey and onion.  It sounds gross but it works!  Add one chopped onion to one cup of honey and let dissolve in a jar on a window ledge for 2 days.  If this does not strike your fancy (and I don’t blame you) you can put a hot water bottle on your child’s chest and back to relax the respiratory tract and help liquefy some of the mucus.  Something else to try would be formulating your own topical rub.  Add a few drops of eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint to a carrier oil (almond, coconut or olive) and rub into the chest and throat.  Please ensure that you always put any essential oil in a carrier oil before putting it on your skin.  

Homeopathy is another very effective way to treat a cough.  As always, check with your local naturopathic doctor or homeopath to determine what remedy is best suited to how your child is presenting.

Keep the questions coming, I love hearing from you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

:: diy heart barrettes ::

This weekend would be a perfect time to whip up a big batch of lovely heart barrettes. 
find the full tutorial at the purl bee 

Friday, January 28, 2011

:: things i love friday ::

Love that I can spend this weekend hibernating while 25 cm of snow falls in our city. I plan on doing lots of cooking & baking. If only I had these fabulous Joseph Joseph nesting bowls and spoons and cheerful kitchen utensils! If you have a bunch of Aeroplan miles to spend, you can pick them up on their website.

This video made the rounds a few years back, and my students at school never tire of listening to her imaginative tale. Capucine reminds me that I should really speak French with H more often. I adore her accent! 

The blogosphere is abuzz with posts about the Alt Summit. I liked Modern Kiddo's looks like they had so much fun! I'm hoping to attend a blogging conference this year....maybe Blissdom

Love these free printable calendars by RedStamp. The navy and coral chevron is now gracing the front page of my "Morganization" binder. 

These new cereal bars. I don't think I've eaten anything yet that I don't like from Kashi!

Love this fabulous skincare line from Australia. It smells amazing and it's all natural, free of parabens and all that yucky stuff. I bought it on Love that website too!

Love this amazing bottled Bellini from Italy for a girl's night. Had it this week at Famoso Pizza and I can't stop thinking about it!

I am also liking the new font I installed on my blog....but I wonder about the readability. Do you like it? Be honest - I can take it!

Hope you have a lovely weekend.


:: threadless ::

Have you ever browsed on Threadless? It is the coolest site for unique tees (and other cool stuff too!) for babies, kids & adults. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

:: zukzuk in the nursery ::

I love these prints from Canadian etsy seller Zukzuk for a nursery. Aren't they just lovely?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

:: mimitens - the ultimate mittens for babies ::

I bought a pair of owl mimitens for H before he was born. I loved the concept and knew from my nannying days that they would come in handy. 

We had some fun playing out in the snow this weekend, but the mittens attached to his snowsuit were not cutting it. Everytime he would fall in the snow they would slip off. I remembered that I had the mimitens in his room but when I went to grab them I could only find one! 

I think I am going to have to order another pair....might have to move up to the toddler size though, my boy is getting so big! I'll probably find the other one stashed in a boot or drawer somewhere in the spring. H loves to hide things on me.

I love that these are made of soft organic bamboo cotton and proudly made in Canada too! I love to support Canadian businesses. I'll have to add them to the listings on Oh Canada Baby. Have you checked it out yet? I would love your input - it's a project I have been dreaming up for a while and I am finally getting it up and running!

Do you have any winter weather essentials for your baby or toddler? We also love our Stonz boots!

Monday, January 24, 2011

:: ask a naturopath ::

Q: My son turned 3 and started preschool this past November. Now, hardly a week goes by when he isn’t sick with one bug or another. And as soon as he is sick, the rest of us get it too (including his 20 month old sister). I'm told this is a natural part of growing up and will happen now, in preschool, or later in kindergarten. Is there anything I can do to prevent sickness, treat it, or keep it from bringing the rest of us down?

A: Although it is worrisome to have a child who is constantly coming home with the latest and greatest illness from school, keep in mind that he is building his immune system, which is a great thing!  Nevertheless, it is difficult to run a sick household and there are things that can help prevent and treat illness.

First of all, we are way too clean in our society (in my opinion)!!!  Many are paranoid about bugs and germs and thus household cleaner and hand sanitizer is in very high demand.  It is okay to let your child get a little dirty.  In fact, as mentioned above, it is helpful.  Let them eat a bit of dirt, play in the sand and try not to follow behind them with the baby wipes or sanitizer.  The little germs and bugs will help the immune system build and make your little one’s defense system strong and able to fight off those pesky cold bugs.

A healthy diet full of antioxidants (the best source being colorful fruits and vegetables), quality protein and whole grains will also help keep your little ones and the rest of your family in optimal health.  A diet that is also low in sugar is best for your immune system.  Did you know that 1tsp of sugar can deplete your immune system for up to 5 hour after ingestion?  Needless to say, stay away from the cookies, candies and even the sugared vitamins when you are sick.  Last, a healthy gut flora will help to boost immunity and prevent illness as well.  Probiotics can be found at your local health food store or at your naturopath’s office.  I recommend doing one course (usually one bottle) once a year to maintain balance in your gut.  If you have taken any kind of antibiotic, I always recommend that you follow it with a course of probiotics.

If your little one does get sick, there are a number of ways to help him or her recover quickly.  Vitamin C is excellent to help fight off a cold. For your child, I would give him up to 1500mg/day (if they get diarrhea, you know you have given them too much).  Liquid Echinacea also works wonders.  As soon as you notice your child getting ill, start with the liquid Echinacea (always check with a professional to determine the best dose) and use until one week after the symptoms have stopped.  Make sure that your child is blowing their nose regularly and if they are unable to do this, use a bulb syringe to suck the junk out for them.

I hope these few suggestions help, for more specific instructions make sure to book an appointment with your local naturopathic doctor.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

:: it's a hollywood baby boom ;:

Seriously, is everyone in Hollywood pregnant? I can't wait to see the nurseries, hear the names, and follow the maternity style of all of these moms to be!

I also stumbled upon this beautiful photo of Miranda Kerr and her new baby boy, Flynn (with husband Orlando Bloom). I miss those snuggly newborn nursing sessions - what a lovely picture of a beautiful moment.

:: on the night you were born - nancy tillman ::

Our absolute favourite book to read to H is Nancy Tillman's beautifully illustrated "On the Night You Were Born". It never ceases to make us tear up as we remember the blizzardy night our little one arrived.

I look forward to giving this book to many friends as they become mommies. And if they love the illustrations like I do, they can be purchased on Artist Rising. I think they would make beautiful art in a nursery. Here are a few from the book:

Do you have a favourite book to read to your little one? I am always looking to expand our collection!

Friday, January 21, 2011

:: say i love you ::

Today I am reminded that you never know what tomorrow can bring. And so I promise to laugh often, say I love you, and be thankful every day for the blessings in my life. 


Thursday, January 20, 2011

:: diy ribbon mobile ::

Love love love this simple ribbon mobile - get the tutorial over at Hudson & Co. And congratulations to Erin for being featured on Prudent Baby!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

:: win a $500 to spend at Babybot ::

Mon Petit Amour sponsor Babybot is hosting a fun contest to cheer you up in January. They are celebrating 50 000 downloads of their App SnowRumble: Babybot vs Monster Factory!

Find the yellow snowball and win $500 to spend at Babybot. Think of all the wonderful things you could buy! I'd pick these up for Hunter, and these pillows for his room, or this mobile, even though he is too old for them now!....and maybe these for an upcoming trip to Vancouver....

Just answer the following questions on their facebook page (you’ve got until Friday to answer! Cheat, google, collaborate, copy…they don’t care, just make sure you answer the questions correctly!)

1. When was the SnowRumble: Babybot vs Monster Factory edition released on iTunes (app store)?
2. What are the names of the players from each team?
3. What are the names of all levels of the game, including the challenge levels?

:: love this big boy room ::

yellow-bed-1, originally uploaded by mscott218.
I'm a bit late to jump on the bandwagon, but I am loving chevron right now. This room is just so simple and sweet. Love the Je T'aime print too!

:: anthropologie hardware ::

If you have an old dresser that needs some dressing up, look no further than Anthropologie for hardware with loads of personality. My personal favourites are the owls (of course) and the clustered daisies. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

:: wednesday loves ::

I'm feeling super inspired by a bunch of creative projects found online this evening....I love spending an hour after H has gone to bed sorting through my google reader. First up, these lovely 5x7 valentine's printables from Daffodil Design. Wouldn't they look gorgeous in a nursery too?

These DIY fabric wall decals from How about Orange. OMG....the possibilities are endless!

these DIY wallpaper decals - just in time for my samples from Graham & Brown! {I'm a little obsessed with wallpaper right now.....trying to find the perfect one for our master bedroom}

How awesome is this pantry featured on Ohdeedoh? 

:: a beautiful woodland nursery by artist rachelle anne miller ::

I love getting emails from readers, especially when they say I have inspired them in some way. Artist Rachelle Anne Miller sent me these lovely pictures of her son's woodland nursery, which was inspired in part by my little guy's space. She has many Etsy goodies in the rooms, which she has listed and linked to on her blog here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

:: ask a naturopath ::

Welcome back Calgary Naturopath Dr. Natalie Sweett for this week's edition of Ask a Naturopath.
Q: What do you recommend using for babies that are gassy or exhibit signs of colic?

A: Colicky babies are not fun for mom, dad or baby.  Fortunately, there are lots of things to try and help you and your little one through this stage.  

If you are breastfeeding, which I recommend all mothers do for at least six months (you’ll notice I plug breastfeeding often as it is incredibly beneficial for your babies), consider what you are eating.  Foods that tend to cause gassy babies are those that are part of the Brassica family.  The worst culprits are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Other foods to avoid may be dairy, wheat, onions and garlic.  You may have to experiment a bit to see how your baby will react to these dietary changes.  If you are using formula, it may be the type of formula you are using.  Many formulas are dairy based which can be difficult for some babies to digest.  I would recommend finding a hypoallergenic formula, which is likely soy, rice or almond based.
Other than foods, castor oil tummy rubs are great.  All you need is a bottle of castor oil, which you can pick up in your local drug store or health food store.  Rub the castor oil directly onto your baby’s belly in clockwise motion to encourage digestion and relief of gas.  15-20mins should be good.

Last, I find that homeopathy is very beneficial.  Regardless of what CBC’s Marketplace has said about homeopathy, it is a safe and very effective alternative therapy, especially for pregnant women and babies.  Your baby’s symptoms and behavior when colicky will determine which is the best homeopathic to use.  Check with your local naturopathic doctor or homeopath to determine what is best suited for your little one. Probiotics can be beneficial to babies with colic as well. I recommend HMF Natogen by Seroyal which is not available at health food stores but can be found at a Naturopath's office.

Friday, January 14, 2011

:: things i love friday ::

- finding the time to make something yummy like the Best Ever Applesauce from my Eat Clean Cookbook. It's super easy too. Core and quarter unpeeled apples, toss with lemon juice and cinnamon, place in a ziploc bag and freeze, take them out, thaw, peel off the skin and mash. YUM.

- fresh and healthy food inspiration from The Kitchn this week. I'm not vegan, but these recipes look delicious and it is refreshing to see something other than "comfort food" written about in the winter months. I tried the broiled grapefruit and it was pretty good!

- browsing Vintage Printable for DIY art. Thanks to Hudson & Co for blogging about it!

- wearing something bright every day to keep the winter blues away. I especially loved my purple tights with black dress combination this week. Now I am really looking for something cheerful and yellow. How cute is this dress? Or this one?

- beautiful birth photography from Pink Sugar. Someone is getting the baby fever at my house!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

:: sarah 101 nursery design ::

Have you been watching Sarah Richardson's latest show - Sarah 101? She created this gorgeous blue & orange nursery which I really love. My friend Jennifer over at Rambling Renovators has a wonderfully detailed recap of the show here.  I blogged about Sarah Richardson's own nursery last year, which I still love. Her mixing of fabrics never ceases to amaze me. I would love to go shopping with her!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

:: wordless wednesday ::

{ singing in the snow....wearing The Royal from our lovely sponsor Tippy Toes Knits }

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

:: pretty maternity dress ::

I found this lovely dress on ModCloth recently and think it would just be the sweetest dress to wear if you are pregnant and need to attend a wedding or other special event this spring. 

 It's so romantic and would accent a little belly so nicely! It's not a maternity dress but it looks like there is lots of room for a bump, plus, it has elastic around the top for a growing bustline. Somebody needs to buy it!

{p.s - I know it is all snowy and blizzardy right now, but I can't be the only one dreaming of sunshine and springtime, right? }

Monday, January 10, 2011

:: ask a naturopath ::

Please welcome Calgary-based Naturopathic Doctor, Natalie Sweett to the blog for our newest feature -
 Ask a Naturopath. Please send your questions along for future posts!

Question: Are there any natural ways to treat or prevent ear infections?

I love when people ask questions about how to prevent conditions, as prevention is a key part of Naturopathic Medicine.  The best way to prevent ear infections is to breastfeed.  By breastfeeding you are building your child’s immunity, thereby arming them with the tools to fight against the bacteria that can cause ear infections. Also breast milk is free of food allergens.  Formula tends to be dairy based which is one of the most allergenic substance for infants.  A common symptom of food sensitivity is recurrent ear infections. I would suggest breastfeeding for 6-9 months if not longer.  Four months has been proven to be effective but the longer a child is breastfed, the better.

There are a number of ways to treat ear infections naturally.  One of the most effective treatments is garlic ear drops.  You can usually find this in health food stores but you can also make your own.  Crush a couple small cloves of garlic into 5 or 6 Tbsp of olive oil, let this sit for awhile to become concentrated, then put 2-3 drops (with a dropper) in the affected ear.  You can do this twice a day until the ear infection resolves.  If your child has a burst eardrum DO NOT put anything into his or her ears but otherwise this is a wonderful treatment.  For other home remedies and further information be sure to contact your local naturopathic doctor.

Question: Does Chamomila really work for teething?  Do amber necklaces really work?

This question comes at a great time; I just had a patient in my office who was having trouble with her little one teething.  Chamomila is an excellent general remedy for teething.  It is the main ingredient in a number of homeopathic formulations sold at health food stores and drug stores.  The potency of the Chamomila is generally between 6 and 12CH in these products.  At this dose, it can be very effective but sometimes a higher potency is required.  If you have tried Chamomila at this dose and works but wears off quickly you can try giving your little one a 30CH dose, I wouldn’t recommend going higher than that without consulting a health care practitioner.  All that said, Chamomila is not the right remedy for all teething babies.  If you try it or have tried it and it has not helped it is a good idea to consult a naturopathic doctor in your area to determine a more effective remedy for your child.

As for amber necklaces, I cannot really comment on them as I do not know much about crystals and stones.  I have had one patient who is using the necklace and has found that it does not do much for her child.  It is a beautiful trinket though.