Yummy toothpaste – kid approved

Yummy toothpaste – kid approved


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So I saved this slideshow to the blog months ago and just never got around to the writing.

I’ve made this one a few times and don’t have any exact measurements. My daughter loves this toothpaste. I tried a few homemade toothpastes before it got my daughter’s approval.

Mix one part baking soda with one part xylitol. Then add some orange essential oil and almond extract. Stir in enough coconut oil for your desired consistency.

Let sit for one day for the flavour to develop and then it won’t have a strong baking soda flavour.

This stuff lasts forever.

Many homemade toothpastes call for sea salt, but my kid wouldn’t go for that.

I also like to make a tooth powder, and I’ll post a recipe soon, because I’ve run out and need more.



Gluten-free pizza crust

Gluten-free pizza crust

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This pizza crust is truly delicious. I think it’s better than any wheat or spelt dough I’ve made. The steps are a little different than a gluten crust, but just keep going and it’ll be awesome.

I have served this pizza to several people now and everyone liked it and would never have known it was gluten-free. I would consider this a must try. In the photo slideshow I doubled the recipe and that is why there are two pizzas.

Here is the original recipe list I started from. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the fancy flours. I’ve made this several times with what ever gluten-free flours I had. I am not good at adding fractions, but basically you need just over 2 cups of flours. I have used gluten-free all purpose, biscuit mix, tapioca, chick pea, and rice flour. Just make a nice mix of whatever gluten free flours you have.  You will need xanthum gum though, so don’t skip that.

For pizza crust

  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, from 1 (1/4-ounce) package
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Add all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

2. Heat milk and water on the stove just until it’s a little above body temperature. Then remove from heat and add yeast and sugar.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes until you can see the yeast is awake.

3. Whisk up the egg whites and oil and then add to the milk mixture.

4. Then combine the wet and the dry ingredients together. Use electric beaters, but don’t over mix.

5. Line you pizza pan with parchment paper and the put the dough in the centre. Cover with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 400F.

6. Once the dough has doubled spread it out with your hands using the plastic wrap. This is the really weird part. Just keep smoothing out the plastic wrap until it covers the pan. Then peel off the plastic wrap and put in the oven for about 10 minutes.

7. Remove the crust from the oven and flip it over. Top with sauce and topping and continue to bake until it’s done.

8. Enjoy.





Sewing an Easter basket

Sewing an Easter basket

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Here is guest post from my friend Vivian. We used to work in the newspaper business together and she has moved on and opened Avenue fabric studio in Victoria, B.C.

I used to be terrified to get behind a sewing machine, but Vivian has helped me through my fear and taught me the basics and even how to hem my jeans.

I hope you enjoy her post. Here it is:

DIY Easter Basket

Why spend money on an Easter basket when you can make a beautiful and practical one from fabric for less than a toonie?

I made several of these for an Easter window display in my shop. I also made some without handles for two of our 12-year-old girl students. Without handles the baskets can hold make-up, combs, whatever you want.


Here’s what you need:

.25 metre fabric by 45 inches (45 inches or 115 cm is a standard fabric width)

.25 metre fusible interfacing


For bottom: Cut 2 circles, 6” in diameter from fabric. I used a bowl as template.

Cut 2 circles slightly smaller, say 5.5” in diameter from interfacing

For sides: Cut two pieces 6” wide by 18” long from fabric

Cut the same from interfacing, but again, slightly smaller.

For handle: Cut two pieces 4” wide by 10” long from fabric. (I forgot to put this piece in the photo!)

Cut the same 4X10 pieces from interfacing, but again slightly smaller.

If you don’t have a bowl exactly 6” in diameter but have something else round but smaller or larger the trick is to cut the sides 3 times the diameter of the circle. Mathematically, it should be 3.14 but I find 3 works just as well.


Using a hot iron on steam and with a damp cloth, press the rough side of the interfacing to the wrong side of the pieces. (With fabric the wrong side is the plain side.) Do each one! Press for 15 seconds, lift, and press again. If your cloth gets dry, wet it again.


Fold the ends of the two individual side pieces together and sew a ½ inch seam along the edge.

You are not sewing the two sides as one at this point! You are sewing the two side pieces to make two tubes.

Pin round bottoms to two tubes you’ve made from the sides.

Sew the bottoms to the sides – individually.

If the side piece ends up being a bit bigger than the circle don’t worry about it, just tuck it in to make a slight pucker and sew over it as you sew the circles to the sides.


Sewing circles to the sides is tricky because as you sew you hold the fabric with your left hand and are constantly guiding the fabric with your right. But you can do it!


Fold the lengthwise edges of the handle over ¼ inch on both edges of both pieces.

Once the edges are pressed under place and pin the two handle pieces together, wrong sides together.


Sew a seam down each length to create the handle. Don’t worry about the end of the pieces as that will be hidden in the basket.

Pin the handle on opposite sides of one of the side/bottom pieces, with the handle tucked around the bottom of the piece.

Tuck one side/bottom/handle piece inside another side/bottom piece, right sides together. Pin and then sew around the top of the basket, leaving a 3” space to turn the basket inside out. Once sewn and turned inside out and with one side bottom inside the other (this makes it a lined basket) either hand stitch or machine stitch the opening closed.

Avenue fabric studio is at 108, 1841 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria, avenuefabricstudio.com, 250.590.4254.

You can buy fabric, sew by the hour, or take a workshop at avenue fabric studio.

Colourful fizzing fun

Colourful fizzing fun

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Here is fun twist on the old baking soda and vinegar activity. My daughter begs for this and it keeps her busy for about half an hour or so.

1. Fill small jars or shot glasses with vinegar and colour each one with food colouring.

2. Then pour an even layer of baking soda in  a casserole dish.

3. Give the children eye droppers and let them suck up the colours and squirt them on the baking soda. It will fizz up and the different colours make it extra fun.  Using eye droppers makes kids take their time so it lasts a lot longer.
The colours don’t mix either so if you add a little blue to a big red blob. The middle will turn blue.

After you can use the mixture to clean the tub. Kinda funny, but I’ve done it.


Revive your kale

Revive your kale

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We eat kale nearly three times a day in my house. Well I do and my daughter eats it hidden in soup.

I am always buying kale: green, black and red varieties. Sometimes I get too eager and have too much in hand. Then when I go to use it it’s limp and has seen better days.

When it’s like that I am not too eager to eat it in a salad. I take the limp leaves and toss them in the food processor and after a couple pulses it bright green and perfect for a salad or to toss in an omelet.

Homemade Mayo

Homemade Mayo

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I have only made a couple batches of this so I am still working on perfecting it. I really like the mayo and the price when you make it at home.

I have read several recipes that call for different oils, so feel free to play around with it. In this recipe I use both coconut and sunflower oil. You could use olive oil, I just find it has a strong flavour so I wanted something a little lighter.

You will need:
2 egg yolks (at room temperature, very important)
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
3/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1. Put the yolks, vinegar, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and beat with electric mixers until smooth.

Tip: You could do this with a hand whisk. I have also seen recipes that use a blender or food processor. I find the electric hand mixers work the best.

3. With the beaters running med-high drop the oil in a few drops at a time. Only add more oil when the last bit is completely mixed. This is important if you add too much at once it won’t work.

4. Keep mixing until all the oil is mixed in and you are left with mayo. You can add more salt to taste after if you want.

5. Store in the fridge.  This won’t last as long as store bought so it’s easier to make small batches at a time.


Real food Cheez Whiz

Real food Cheez Whiz

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My daughter loves those little packages with crackers and cheez whiz. I am not a fan of them myself and don’ t buy them often, but I wanted to find an alternative.

I made my own condensed milk for this recipe. The recipe calls for 12 oz of condensed milk so I put 24 oz of milk in a pot and then heated it on low for about four hours. You want to cook the milk until it’s half what you started with. Make sure to not let the milk boil or burn. The key is being patient.   This is for condensed milk not sweetened. You can make your own sweetened condensed milk for desserts too.

You will need

1 cup shredded cheese
12oz condensed milk
1 tablespoon sugar ( I used coconut sugar)
1 tea spoon vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon flour ( I used spelt)
pinch of salt (I used Himalayan salt)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce (I used Braggs)

1. Add milk and all the ingredients except the cheese in a glass bowl or double broiler. Whisk.

2. The add the cheese and melt slowly in a pot of water or double broiler.

3. Simmer for about 20 minutes and continue stirring. Once it’s thickens and bubbling pour in jars and keep in the fridge.

Flax hair gel

Flax hair gel

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I have been using this hair gel for a little over a month. That’s how long the first bottle lasted me. I have long curly hair and this gel is really nice for curly hair. It’s not stiff or flaky.

If you have short hair and want to make it spiky I am not sure this would work for you. I have heard homemade gelatin gel works well for a firm hold.

You will need

Flax seeds
Rosemary and Lavender essential oils (optional)

1. Boil 2 cups of water and add 1/3 cup of flax seeds. Stir

2. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the mixture. Some recipes call for constant stirring, but I don’t do that and it turns out fine.

3. Once the mixture has thickened strain with a fine mesh strainer.

4. Pour into a bottle and add a few drops of essential oil. If you add rosemary oil you can leave the gel out without it going bad.

If you opt for no essential oils keep the gel in the fridge. I used to keep the gel in the fridge but it’s not all that pleasant putting cold gel on your hair after a hot shower. For the past few weeks I have been leaving the gel out and have had no problems.

Clove mouthwash

Clove mouthwash

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I have been researching a lot of information about making homemade mouthwash. There are dozens of recipes. Many that require being kept in the fridge. Knowing myself a mouthwash in the fridge just wouldn’t be used.

This mouthwash is super easy, but a little pricey for something that gets spit down the drain.

I chose an alcohol based mouthwash. I used vodka, (that’s the pricey part). It got me thinking about the big bottles of Listerine in the drugstores. How can they sell that much alcohol for $6. My tiny bottle of homemade stuff probably cost that same amount.

Either way I’ll stick with homemade because it’s only three ingredients and works quite well.

You will need

VodkaFresh cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

1. Add cloves, cinnamon sticks in bottle and add vodka. Let sit for at least two weeks before using.
TIP: If you wanted you could always strain it after the two weeks so the flavour doesn’t get too strong. I just left mine in the alcohol.

I didn’t do any fancy measuring. My mouthwash is very strong and I can add just a bit to a cup of water for rinsing.



Calendula Salve- For cuts and scrapes

Calendula Salve- For cuts and scrapes

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This recipe is inspired by a post I read on Mrs. Happy Homemaker blog.

This calendula salve is to be used on cuts and scrapes the same way you would use Neosporan.

I made this a while ago and we have been using it my house with great results.

You will need

Coconut oil
Dry calendula flowers
Lavender essential oil

1. Use one cup of coconut oil (you can also go 50/50 adding some olive oil) and one heaping cup of calendula flowers and place in a pot. Let it simmer of the stove for about 30 – 45 minutes.

2. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and pour the hot oil and flowers through. TIP: Using the cheesecloth you can squeeze the cloth to get as much oil out of flowers as you can.

3. Add a couple tablespoons of beeswax to the oil and melt. I use a Pyrex measuring cup in a shallow pot of simmering water.  If you have a double broiler you can use that.

4. Once the wax is all melted add a few drops of lavender (if you want). Then pour into little bottles.

This does yield a lot of salve so you can always cut the recipe to make just a little bit.