Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to paint a Door

Painting can be frustrating but once the basics are understood, it can be quite easy and rewarding.

My front door was in need of renewing.  Black doors always look nice and I decided it was the way to go.  There are a few things to consider when painting a door.

Weather exposure can determine what colors should be avoided.  Full sun, whether it is day or evening doesn't matter if it is long hours of sun.  This sun can cause bubbles in paint, glue oozing from joints or window inserts, and warping.  Dark colors will increase these problems.  Especially black!

Sheen is also something to consider when painting a front door.  Flat is a standard for exterior painting and flat or a low sheen for a front door is becoming more popular right  now.  Often times a satin door is better to improve fade resistance and wash-ability.  This door is going to be satin black.

My maroon door was faded, otherwise in good shape.  I removed the kick plate to paint and cleaned the door.
It is best to do any brush work first to limit the brush strokes. 
Painting in the panels and then around the door handles. Next use a small cat paw roller.  Always paint with the grain up the vertical grain (otherwise known as rails) and then the horizontal grain (skids).  Rolling over areas that are brushed to get a smoother finish. 

Once paint is dry an hour or so, a second coat can be put on.  A second coat will ensure a good coverage and offer longevity for the finish. 

Primer?  Exterior paints are self priming.  It gives them the ability to cover evenly on all sorts of surfaces.  The paint will look the same on wood as it does brick or cement.  This makes it much easier to paint with dark colors.  A good paint will cover in two coats without the use of primer.  Some colors will do fine with out a second coat.  

On a beautiful fall day the paint dries quickly but if the door needs to be closed the weather stripping may need to be taken off for several days.  The avoid this try putting Vaseline on the rubber weather strip, this will stop the door from sticking.

Vaseline can also be put on the hardware instead of tape.  This will allow paint to be wiped of after the door has dried.  

Now for the kick plate....

Once removed lightly sand to scuff finish and remove rust.

Prime with a spray can metal primer.

Lightly sand and paint using metal finish.

Coat with clear coat and install.

Just the right touch to finish off the front door.  Now it is much more inviting. 

Now I am just going to finish the fall decor. 



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cheated on GAPS

Tonight has been a tough night.  My son that is on the  GAPS diet (please refer to GAPS website for
  details) and needs to be on stage 3, has cheated.  What does that mean?  My daughter is selling candy bars for her school and while he was upstairs, he took one and ate it.  I wasn't sure which one of my boys found her stash but tonight at 11pm I figured who it was.  My 6 year old.  My 6 year old has done well to stay on the diet, he struggles with wanting treats. He has accepted the diet because it stopped his acid reflux he had suffered from for a year.  He really misses sugar.  

After almost four months working through the Intro diet, I put all my kids on full GAPS.  My 6 year was not ready.  I just had a difficult time putting him fully back to stage 3.  Now that he is back in school it is a bit hard to pack all cooked soups and then a snack.  
It looks like that is what I need to do.

Tonight all of his symptoms have officially come back.  A few weeks ago, with the summer of fruit, a cheats of fruit snacks, and what not the neighbors were giving him, his eczema behind his knee showed up.  I almost had it cleared last week and now his allergies and croup have flared up.

His symptoms for my reasons to put him on the diet:

Acid reflux for more than a year.  It has worn his teeth and medications had done nothing to help.
 Eczema in spots of his body
Behavior was becoming more irritable with his tummy aches.

What I found cleared up:

His allergies that caused a constant runny nose most of the year and croup at night around 11-1am.
His speech has improved.
His Acid reflux gone by day 3 on Intro.
Sleeping through the night.  He woke up often since age 2, with "growing pains".  He would often cry for an hour or so in pain.  (Glad that's gone)
His behavior has gotten milder.

It is amazing how much change I have noticed with him.  It has been worth the extra effort.

With tonight's re-occurrence of waking at night with mild croup and night cries, I am planning a full soup week with many detox foot and full baths.  I hope to get back to healing and overcoming my own lazy approach lately, on keeping my kids where they need to be to heal.

  It is important to read through the book and prepare to start the Diet.  It is a hard diet to get in the hang of and it does take time.  Understanding detoxing and taking it slow is important not to over load the body.  I am a believer on how important it is to heal the gut and all the problems it leads to when the gut is compromised. Some times I need a reason to keep going and tonight was my trigger. 

There are some great blogs that support the diet and offer information on how to work through the diet.  Here are some ideas for cheats offered on Healthy, Home, & Happy.  Making sure when cheating, to add in some extra detox, such as baths and foot soaks, plenty of water, and ginger teas can help off set the symptoms. 

I would love to hear from you on your experiences with the GAPS diet, leave a comment.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homemade toothpaste with Essential Oils

                    I have been fiddling around with essential oils for some time now. 
 I finally went and got some high quality ones that I am much happier with using.  Slowly I am replacing much of our health needs with essential oils.  Essential oils can be used in place of medications to treat anything from pink eye to headaches.  One of my recent discoveries was making toothpaste using essential oils.
homemade toothpaste

I would have never thought to replace my store bought toothpaste with homemade toothpaste and you may not either.  Here is my journey to changing my mind.
sls in toothpaste

One evening my 6 year old lost one of his front teeth.   I pulled back his lip to take a look and was surprised at what I saw.  His lower front teeth {that had just come in}, had a severe receded gum line.  I was greatly concerned and hit the internet for some probable causes.  Receding gum lines brought all sorts of issues I did not want to know about.  Gingivitis and periodontal disease to name a few.  I was a good mom, washing teeth as often as I remembered.  I knew it was often enough he shouldn't have those kind of issues.  In my search I was surprised to read some causes of receding gumlines.  I have had receding gums for years and this was of interest for me.

Two of my favorite sources for homeopathic remedies are and

Both of those sites gave great information that changed my opinion on toothpaste.

One of the common ingredients in toothpaste is SLS, a surfactant that is used in everything from shampoo to conditioner.  It is what suds up.  Some claim it is natural derived from coconut oil but it is a know irritant and one of the worst.  It is also the most commonly used. Here is a site that talks about some of the problems with this surfactant.  SLS.  The problem with it in toothpaste is receding gum lines.  It is an irritant that causes inflammation in the gums causing them to recede.

{You also may be interested in Re-minerializing your teeth to help stop and prevent cavities and rebuild enamel. This will have to be a whole other post}

My son's gums were the cause of an under bite that pulled his gums tight around his lower teeth.  Good news is it is not from poor maintenance, bad news is this means braces.  So in order to save for this expense :) here is a great natural at home toothpaste to try.

The great thing about home made is variety.  It is a simple recipe that can be adjusted to taste.  You can also add in oils that fit your family needs.

I decided to use tea tree oil as it is great for killing germs and healing the gums.  It is not an oil that should be swallowed.  For children it may be best not to use Tea tree oil.  There are several oils that can be used and swallowed safely.

Reducing inflammation use one or several drops of each.
Tea tree oil

By boiling cinnamon and cloves together for 20 minutes to make a mouthwash that is great for killing germs and reducing inflammation.

Pain and sensitivity

Clove oil

Taste and freshness

vanilla extract


Trace mineral 10 drops added
Powdered Calcium Magnesium ( I use Cal-Mag Citrate by Thorne Research)

Bases that can be used

Aloe Vera gel is great for healing and reducing inflammation.  It can help heal receding gum lines.

Sesame oil fights gum disease and heals receding gum lines by strengthening the tissue.

Coconut oil { greatness of Coconut oil here} has anti inflammatory, anti fungal, and anti bacterial properties.
{Can also be swished for oil pulling, more on that later.}

I do not recommend Glycerin as it can stop teeth from re-mineralizing and often comes from sources that are not organic.
Here is my recipe:

4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon of baking soda
5 drops of tea tree oil
5 drops of peppermint
8 drops of On guard ( Doterra brand blended oil)  optional
5 drops Cassia or stevia sweetener, Xylitol (which has shown improvement in enamel)
coconut toothpaste

I am surprised how well it worked. 
 No suds and my teeth felt clean. 

 I also noticed that my mouth did not have the inflammation I was used to after regular toothpaste.   My mouth did feel clean and I like the soft taste.  Toothpaste is very sweet normally and this has a subtle taste. I also feel the sweetness in toothpaste leads to sweet cravings.  This just leaves your teeth clean with out the sweet toot.

For my Kids I made this:

5 tablespoons Coconut oil
1 tablespoon baking soda
5 drops peppermint
1/2 tsp cinnamon or Vanilla extract
sweeten with stevia or Cassia essential oil optional

Mouth rinses can also be made very similar to toothpaste.

*Cinnamon and Clove rinse
Add essential oils to distilled water or boil cinnamon and cloves in water for 20 minutes.

*Tea tree oil in water  (2)

*Aloe Vera and peppermint rinse
Reduces inflammation, kills bacteria, and restores tissue

*Sesame oil swish for killing bacteria and strengthening tissue.  (2)

Using natural home care can take time for results.  It takes time for the body to heal and rebuild.  Give it time to see the benefits of using naturally safe products.  

It does take some getting used to and my husband is not convinced.  I suggest doing your own research and learn for yourself why this is a good choice for your family. 

I am not a doctor, dentist, or a health professional.  I am only a mom that is looking for natural and safe products to use in place of commercial products.  I encourage doing your own research and making sure these suggestions are safe and appropriate for your family.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Time 4 Learning Review

Last year I decided to pull my son out of middle school.   For years we have been trying to work with the schools with IEP's and special education classes to no avail.  He has been struggling in school since 3rd grade and just has had no interest in performing at school.  I had fought with the teachers and principle at his elementary school and decided to pull him out of public to put him in private school.  Though I really liked the private school, 2 teachers for 15 kids in 6th grade, it just wasn't working.  My son could not concentrate or stay interested enough to work in school.  He had made improvements from 20% activity ( basically writing his name on his paper) to 60%.  That still means an F.  Taking him out of school in March I needed to find a curriculum that would be interesting for him and allow for other activities through out the day.  I had planned on some neurological training and exercising to increase his focus and concentration.  Other programs just did not suit my son.  Other online programs were sitting in front of the computer and being instructed for hours. This was no different than school.  He needed something more interesting. was suggested to us by our Brain development specialist. It is a school cirriculm that is online.  Similar to other online options, it had more flexibility for our schedule and was not as dry as others.   I was happy with the low monthly fee and that we did not need to sign up for any length of time.  I signed up quickly and my son started the lessons. 

Last school year was his 6th grade year.  He enjoyed going on his online learning sessions.  He stayed interested and was able to go through several lessons and come back later in the day to do more.  It was motivating for him to complete lessons for the game time after.  It has not been a challenge to get him to start his lessons each day. 

This year we started 7th grade and updated his lessons.  The lessons are very interesting and interactive.  As he goes through the lessons that offer reading through the colorful lessons, allow him time to read each multiple choice and choose and each character than commentate on the answers.  The voices are fun to listen to and keeps his attention.  I see that hearing and being able to read through each lesson makes a difference for my sons attention and focus.  I do supplement the lessons with work books and other lessons, but do feel that Time4 Learning does offer much of the curriculum that he needs for this year. 

Math and science are areas my son has struggled in.  The schools have kept them dry and uninteresting.  With Time4 learning he does stay more interested in Math and science but the science stops at 6th grade.  My son does wish they were more interactive with animation.  The  math does not seem to be challenging enough as of yet.  It keeps his attention and does help him catch up from all that he has missed in the past years of school.  It seems to be right were he needs it to be.

Overall, I am happy with the curriculum it offers and how it keeps my son interested in doing his lessons.  It also prepares him to complete other assignments I have prepared to supplement the online lessons.  We are planning on using it for this year. 

Time4learning goes through pre K to 7th grade. 


As a member of Time4Learning, I have been given the opportunity to review their program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. For more information, check out their standards-based curriculum or learn how to write your own curriculum review.