Monday, February 4, 2013

Let the truth out - tooth care for babies & toddlers

Did you know that tooth gels considered "safe to swallow" are actually ridden with chemicals known to cause major health concerns?

Some of the most popular (and even smaller/natural brands) contain big name offenders like Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & artificial colorings. These chemicals are known to cause liver dysfunction, cancer, immunotoxicity, respiratory toxicity & asthma, skin irritation, breast cancer, male infertility & allergies. If we are loading our children up with toxins such as these, is it any wonder our child cancer rates are skyrocketing? Their little bodies are trying to build immunity, but are being constantly bombarded by chemicals. So, the result is lowered immunity to cancer and disease, and high toxicity rates, leading to other health concerns as they age. There's only one tooth gel I consider safe to swallow. I get a monthly shipment of supplies from vitacost and always have this in my shipment: here's the link!

Be well, friends!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Didja know? Day 1: Batteries

My son, the hippie tree hugger. He loves to hug trees. Kinda hard to take walks and actually get anywhere, but it's darn rootin' tootin' cutin'!
Each day I think of my son and the earth that has been passed onto him. Each day I engulf the trees and the sun, the breeze and the sky. I am part of it, and so are you. I'm disappointed in us, as humans, and our blind eye to our mass addiction to consumption. Did you know that we are consuming 50% faster than the earth can replenish? How long will it take for the earth to consume us back? Not long, at the rate we are going and rising each year. Did you know that each item created takes five times, FIVE TIMES, that item's size in waste, to create? And it's all toxic byproduct that gets dumped into our landfills and eventually seeps into our water supply and soil. Do you really need that new pair of shoes? Are you willing to drink them? Are you willing to allow the toxic chemicals to become your new cells and shut down your organs one by one? Probably not. So, let's all work together to solve this global epidemic. Want to? Sweet. So do I. Let's rock. EcoSteph is here, ready to share a few tidbits. I'll share one every day or so and they'll be titled "Didja know?". They're just little facts and pointers about how you can live a greener life without much effort.

But how, you say? Well, for instance (Fact of the day) ...
I used to live next to a friend who was throwing out 9 D batteries. This friend didn't recycle his batteries. So, I took them and threw them into a box. That was 4 years ago. Over those years I just kept throwing dead batteries in that box. I just (finally) took them to be recycled yesterday. We use rechargeable and don't have that many to discard. But the thirty or so I took in made me happy that they weren't going into a landfill somewhere.

I recently had a Zyto scan. Zyto is basically a machine that sends signals into your body and finds out what body parts are malfunctioning and what your levels are in your body. My aluminum, cadmium and mercury levels were at crazy highs. I don't use deodorant. I don't cook in aluminum. I don't drink/eat things out of cans. So, my levels were probably low compared to most Americans, which I thought was crazy and let me to do some digging on google. What I found was sick. Heavy metals in the body are responsible for a bagillion cases of autoimmune disorders, autism, Alzheimer's, hormonal imbalances, cancer, thyroid problems, neurological disturbances, learning problems, depression, yadda yadda. Getting high levels is easy....simply drink our water, get silver fillings and get vaccinated (this is not a vaccination discussion so please don't take this as me saying not to get vacc'd. That's your choice). Bam, you're infested with heavy metals ... so much so that our body's immune system spends all of it's time trying to get rid of them (which it can't without herbal and sea veggie support), which leaves you prone to getting sick and with compromised organ function as you deteriorate. Sounds scary, right? I know. It put some fire under my britches to get my fillings removed and to start a heavy metal detox, but they are not easy to get rid of. They don't just come out of you like other toxins do. They embed in your cells and into your brain. Little bastards.

Anyhoo, what better way to start cleaning up our water supply but by recycling batteries? Home Depot has a little battery recycle box by the entrance. Usually it's right next to the eco-friendly lighting recycle box ... which is also an IMPERATIVE thing to recycle properly, because it is also full of heavy metals (mercury, which is the scary one!).

I bet you're saying, "But Steph, I am clear on how to recycle batteries, but how do I get this garbage out of my cells?". I googled that too. There are many ways to detox from heavy metals. Spirulina & chlorella are great at binding and sweeping it out of you. Cilantro freshly juiced is tasty stuff and awesome at grabbing those rats out of you. Folate, vitamins B12 & B6 and eating foods such as broccoli, collards, kale, daikon radish, garlic, onions (sulfur-containing). Infrared sauna treatments can reach up to 2" into your skin and pull those buggers out through your sweat (shower immediately after so they don't get reabsorbed). Healthy oils (3,6 & 9s!) help keep your liver in tip top shape. Basically, eat a diet high in raw veggies, sweat a lot and take your sea veggies. Sound doable? I thought so.

Just thought you'd like to know ... you know ... in case you didn't. Forward motion, ya'll! Are ya with me?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Coming into himself

Finn at my Grandparent's farmhouse. Finn named these "bubble flowers".
Watching your child grow into himself is one of the most amazing things a human can witness. I'm aware that my son chose me, and that he is not mine. He is his own. I'm just lucky enough to have been chosen as his guardian. Our little love nugget is really blossoming this spring. The flowers, the trees and Finn ... flowering to perfection.

He's now 20 months, and he's just a tiny little peanut still. At 19 months, he learned all of his letters. He knows upper and lowercase and can even count to 13. He knows his colors too. I caught him on camera after I put groceries away. He saw "wetters" on the bag and I grabbed the camera. Check him out.

His favorite thing right now is drawing. It's all he wants to do ... draw and spell. Here's my little Gustav Klimt in action.

Apart from being smart, he's darn tootin' cute. His eyes are outerworldly ... for good reason.
Sleepy blue eyed crystal ...
Peace and happiness,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Weeping

I have an old journal that says "the soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears". I made this piece as I was letting go of past regret, resentment and sadness. A weeping willow is such a beautiful metaphor for letting go. The loose branches and swaying leaves lack control and rigid structure. And the softness of it is what makes it so magical. Cheers to the letting go of all the junk that hardens us and to becoming the soft loving souls that are our true selves. Ironically, this is one piece that is going to be very hard to let go of if/when it sells!

Available now at my etsy site.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Apple pancakes - vegan & gluten free!

Some of my favorite memories growing up was my mom making us pancakes on Saturday mornings. What a treat it was to look forward to each week. I miss those kinds of days with my mom. I was thinking of that this morning and decided that I needed to create those memories with Finn. And, since I'm in love with my vitamix, I went to the vitamix recipe book (which is amazingly vegan and has really delicious stuff) for a pancake recipe. The Apple pancakes caught my eye. I have apples ... done. I wasn't expecting much. I actually stopped making pancakes years ago because I couldn't get the right texture with buckwheat flour. They were always dry or too dense or too light. Never quite right and never delicious. But these looked so promising. As I was mixing the batter, I could tell they were going to be delectable circles of warm apple-y goodness. And apple-y goodness they turned out to be. Holy moly. I even cooked them on the waffle iron/griddle my mom used growing up. The thing is so ancient but is kickin' like a high schooler. I threw some coconut oil on the griddle to get the edges just the right kind of crispy. Oh my ... heaven. Finn loved them too. He's never had pancakes before. He was always a waffle kid. But my little man scarfed down two good sized pancakes this morning, like he's been doing it all along. Check him out.

Hmmm, I'm not sure about these, mom. But I'll give em a shot.

Why have you been feeding me kale waffles this whole time? You've been holding out, mom!

Here's my plate. This is two stacked on top of each other, but you can see the moisty goodness! I put a teensy bit of agave on them, but you can dowse them in maple syrup, if you want. I was really treating myself this morning and wouldn't normally put anything on them other than coconut oil. But...sometimes you gotta add a little topping.

Want the recipe? For once in my life, I actually followed this recipe (almost) to a "t". I'll show you my version. I was tempted to throw kale in there, but he already had some in his hemp milk this morning, so I left it out. But I bet you could get away with it here! I was uber tempted to add cinnamon, since I'm an avid believer that apples cannot have enough cinnamon....EVER. But I kicked even that temptation to the curb and obeyed orders. I'm glad I did. These are PERFECT just the way the recipe is. ENJOY!

Apple Pancake Recipe
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (can use whole wheat if not on a gluten free diet)
  • 3 teaspoons aluminum free (for health reasons) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aluminum free)
  • 3 pitted dates (recipe calls for 3 TBS sugar, but we're a sugar free household now)
  • 1/4 cup egg substitue (or 1 egg if you are not vegan)
  • 1.5 tsp heart-healthy butter spread (coconut oil!!!)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I use 1/2 because I love me some vanilla!)
  • 1 cup coconut/hemp/almond/rice milk (or regular milk if you like cow teat)
  • 1/2 medium apple (I used 3/4 because I wanted to compensate for the buckwheat flour being a bit drier than whole wheat)

  1. Blend first 5 ingredients in medium size bowl by hand – set aside
  2. Place last 5 ingredients in Vitamix (or blender) and secure lid
  3. If using Vitamix, select Variable 1 and then quickly increase to high for 30 seconds
  4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and blend by hand until incorporated
  5. Let batter sit for 5-10 minutes (be sure not to skip this gives them fluff n stuff!)

Fun with letters

My husband always has the cutest learning games for Finn. Last night, while I was peacefully showering, he decided to take Finn's wooden refrigerator letter magnets and teach Finn what kinds of metal they stick to. Around the house they went with over 40 letters, and many bits of metal objects here and there and everywhere, saying "stick. stick. stick". I think it's an awesome idea for a fun lesson on how magnets work. But now, every where I turn, there's a letter stuck to something. I've been finding letters all day today.
At first I thought it was going to be kind of annoying to be picking up letters all day, but in the scheme of's actually not annoying at all. Every time I find one, I smile and think of my husband and what a great father he is.
Not only that, but I also realized how amazing it is that he shows his love to me in such simple and clever ways each day. This was my favorite find today. That's a picture we took almost ten years ago when we first met. Apparently the frame is real metal ... to my benefit today. How romantic. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kale waffles

1 3/4 cup almond, hemp or coconut milk
3/4 cup egg substitute or 3 eggs
Kale leaves (I use about half a bunch but can be adjusted per your likeness)
1/4 cup coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 teasoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use buckwheat to be gluten free. I also blend flours too. Try quinoa flour or amaranth flour with buckwheat.)
2 teaspoons baking powder

I use vitamin but blender should work too.

1. Place milk, kale, egg, oil, vanilla & salt in vitamix and blend on 6 until mixed

2. Reduce speed to 4 and add flour, cinnamon & baking powder until mixed (I have to start and stop, scrape sides, start again...

3. Let batter sit 5-10 minutes before pouring in waffle iron (don't skip this step or waffles will deflate)

4. Top with coconut oil and maple syrup or sunflower butter, etc

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


With all the goings on around here, it's really hard to keep up a blog. I'm really not sure how other moms do it. Moms? Advice?

Finn is now 14 months old, and he's so active! Between playing/learning with him, cooking all of our food daily, designing a monthly magazine from home, marketing for Little Lion and doing artwork for Little Lion ... I barely get time to shower, let alone blog. So, the blog gets left out. But it'll remain here for a day when I will be able to post how I want, more often.

I'm actually looking to point this blog back into the direction that I wanted it to go in. I'm very much a supporter of living green in simple ways, educating those who aren't aware of the impact of things they do on a daily basis; but also, the importance of supporting local businesses, artisans, professionals. I wanted this blog to be about all that and how it can impact your family's health, wealth and well being. All that with some updates on us and our kiddos for examples.

I'm not going to do the monthly Finn updates anymore. I have a few reasons for that .... protection, privacy, time management, etc. He's growing, and those of you who really want to know how he is can find me on facebook at www. . Not everyone out there is bound for good and positive thoughts, and, after a few weird events, I'm at a point that I'm a little fearful of posting him on my blog. So, there will be tidbits, but find me on FB if you want to keep up on pics and milestones. :) He's darn cute. Here's some of his latest pics. There are tons more, and if any of the family is interested in ordering, please message me on facebook for more details. Linda Ford is a local photographer (yay for local and not SEARS Portrait studio!), who you can find here. I met her at one of Finn's friend's birthday parties because she is also a photog for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. 
When she found out photos were never offered to us for Kaia, she offered to shoot Finn for us. She was amazing with him, and I highly recommend. Having been to SEARS, there is simply no comparison with the quality of work and the personability of Linda. She's outright amazing at what she does.

These pictures are all copyright of Linda Ford. Downloading them from here is illegal and subject to prosecution.
He would NOT wear the hat.

Finn is ONE!

Mommy's hand keeps me safe.

Where's my robe and cigar?

So, while I'm on the subject of shopping locally, I'd like to mention a great arts & crafts fair happening this weekend in Westlake, OH. It's St Bernadette's Annual Artisan Affair, and you can find information about it here. The proceeds from the event will go to their school and also to The Gathering Place to help people who have been touched by cancer. See, shopping at Walmart won't donate money like that. ;) It's a great place to find high quality gifts for Christmas, while keeping money in the community in which you live. Keeping money local means better education for our kids, thriving local business, which is the heartbeat of any community, and feeling good that your purchase dollars went straight to the hands that made it. I will be there for Little Lion Designs.

I have several new pieces showing, like this guy ...
Finn named him "Raffey".
... as well as a new product ... LLD Minis with Easels make great stocking stuffers!

I'll also have over 60 prints available for purchase. And, as always, a percentage of all of my sales will go to the Children's Heart Foundation. (Now that's something to feel good about!) Most artisans have gifts under $50/25/15, and all are handpicked and of the highest quality we have locally. Show is from 9am - 3:30 pm this Saturday. See the link for details.

In light & love, as always,

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Family is the most beautiful and fulfilling thing. My daughter gave me life. My husband gave me hope. My son gave me "the now". My family ... My life raft. My prayer is to be something major to them, in return. They are the stuff that makes the world go round. Love. Life. Joy.

I am a blessed woman.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

No longer 0!

Finn is now 1! I can hardly believe it. Seems like yesterday he was this little teensy peanut.
Finn's first day.

I can hardly believe how much he knows already. I think he's smarter than me. He picks up things that I never would have realized that he was picking up. I caught him brushing his own hair the other day. When I saw it, I said, "are you brushing your own hair??? Can you brush mommy's hair?" and he walked over and brushed my hair. Smarty pants!

He loves to say "hi" and wave. He says it in this long drawn out way, with the sweetest baby voice.... "hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii". Darn cute. He calls me "mom" now. When he's trying to get my attention, it reminds me of Stewey on "The Family Guy".... "mom, mama, mom, mama, meme, mem, mom, mama!". He also knows when dad's not around and will call for him. He knows that our cat's name is mustache but that he's also a kitty. He's getting good with animal sounds. Here's a video of me asking him what a monkey says, what a kitty says, and what a fish says.....and he answers! Check out his fish face!

He also loves to give big kisses. He knows that at night before bed, he kisses Kaia goodnight. So, now, as soon as we say "say goodnight to Kaia", he makes a kissy mouth and leans in. So heartwarming. He'll point to her picture and say "kay kay".

He's an excellent walker now. He still falls when he's tired, but he's almost running and can get up without pulling himself up on furniture. He knows what "come here" means and is so good at listening and obeying to the word "no". Sometimes it hurts his feelings, but for the most part, he's good.

He also has grown accustomed to pointing to what he wants. When he eats, we have a few choices out for him and he'll point to the one he wants a bite of next. Or he'll point to his water and say "wa wa".

Climbing is his favorite thing. He tries to climb to get everything. It scares me, but I try not to inhibit him too much with it. He loves to climb the mommy mountain, and if I sit down, he's climbing me or rolling around on me. Here's a video.

Finn had his first birthday party at Wendy Park/Whiskey Island last Saturday. Thank you to all the family who drove from near and far....for all the food and gifts....Finn is a lucky little dude! I'm so glad  you all could make it. It was a beautiful day.  I made him a vegan/gluten free cake (because he is very food sensitive), and I figured he wouldn't eat it because he's not a sweet food fan. In fact, the cake actually made him cry. Here's a video.

I almost forgot! He loves to dance! I'm not sure if you can see this video, but it's the only one we have of him dancing. This was at Midwest Reggae Fest, where we took Finn camping for the first time. He loves reggae! Click here: Finn Skankin to Reggae!

Last but not least, you can see pics of finn's birthday bash at the lake at my facebook page here. 
If we aren't friends, send me a request, and then you can see them. :)

On his actual birthday, we took him to the zoo. He loved it!
We love Polar Bears!

Such a sweet little noggin.

Checkin' out the animals.

All in all, I have to say, this year has been the happiest of my life. It's strange to have such a happy year follow such gut wrenching times that were nearly impossible to get through. The light of life shines through this little boy, and everyone who sees him can see it. He's already been called an "old soul" by so many. I have a feeling he's going to lead a very special life. I'm sure all parents feel this way, and it's my job to nurture those qualities and let him be who he is. And who he is is a very short tempered, feisty, impatient little man with a huge heart, big smiles and warm hugs who just wants to be loved and who so obviously is loved....very very much.

Happy birthday, Finnegan!