In Which We Express Our Frustrations About Toothpaste

Ramona Quimby Toothpaste Waster

I have been using the same brand of toothpaste for my whole life. I love it. It makes my teeth feel clean and my breath fresh. It is just the right kind of mint and provides the perfect level of teeth cleaning frothiness while I brush.

I have stuck with the same brand and upgraded to different “new and improved” variations within the same brand when one would appeal to me (and as I got older and was the one paying for it). I went through all the developments; paste, gel, cool mint, baking soda, tartar control, and finally my favourite extra whitening. Oh the joy when that little innovation entered my life!

I like taking care of my teeth. I smile a LOT. I want to be an old woman with a great and happy, healthy, smile. So, I prided myself on getting the best for myself and for my family.

I am not big into make-up and all that goes along with it, but I fell for whitening toothpaste –  brush, paste and flosser.

So, imagine my chagrin upon learning that my toothpaste is among the worst offenders from an environmental and health perspective. The very product I was so enamoured with is loaded with microbeads!

Do you know what microbeads are?

Microbeads are invasive little specs of plastic that are showing up in places they should not be. They are in so many cosmetics that it is easier to list the products they are NOT in than to name the ones they have invaded. It is pervasive. It is terrible.

Would you voluntarily give your kids plastic to swallow?

Never!

Would you choose to eat a healthy meal of baked, plastic microbead infused fish?

Of course not!

Do you think that rubbing your body with plastic makes it cleaner or worse do you think you need microbeads to have a good complexion?

Well …

I, for one, am horrified at the lengths we humans seem to be willing to go for the sake of some arbitrarily conjured beauty standard.

I feel betrayed.

I miss my favourite toothpaste.

We immediately threw out the offending brand and vowed never to use it again.

Then we had our teeth cleaned at our Dentist’s Office.

I bet you know where this is going …

You know those little tubes of toothpaste the Dental Hygienist hands you – along with a new toothbrush and a teeny travel sized floss – as she tells you you have no cavities, but you should floss more (even though you floss all the time. Seriously. Is there some kind of Dental Hygienist pact wherein it is written that they have to bring up the flossing at every, single appointment? I really want to know, but I digress .. where was I? Right! Dentist gifts!)? Yes the teeny tube of National Brand name toothpaste.. you know the one, right? Well it was the very same offending brand we had sworn off.

We had to ask.

Why is this brand being handed out? Are you concerned about the microbeads? How can we avoid them?

Now, you need to know that we happen to have a lovely Dentist and a fantastic Dental Hygienist. We asked our questions out of true curiosity and not at all with righteous indignation*. We intended to strike up a conversation about our concern not because our concerns are more important than anyone else’s, but because our concerns were (and are) very real and though in this case they are very much our concerns, they really ought to be your concerns too.

We had a good chat about it and the conclusion was they are in “everything” and you “can’t avoid them”. How scary is that?

I’ll tell you how scary. PFOA scary. That’s how scary.

You don’t know me well enough to know all my stories yet, but we here at Chez Peady are pretty savvy when it comes to the environment and we try our best to not make the planet – you know, the ONE place we have to call home – worse off by living our lives with nary a concern for our fellow humans, the water, the wind and the woods. Sometimes that means we need to take a stand.

And stand we did.

We went on the hunt for a toothpaste that had fluoride, but did not contain microbeads.

This was not as simple as walking into our corner drug store and simply selecting the competing National Brand. Oh, no, no. I won’t try to convince you, but suffice it to say that most of the alternatives also have microbeads.

We settled on a natural (and there’s a branded word that gets tossed around like a hot potato!) brand that doesn’t have microbeads. We purchased two – one for the kids, one for us – and went on our merry way.

And we brushed.

And it tasted weird.

And it didn’t froth.

And it wasn’t minty fresh.

And my teeth didn’t feel clean.

And all I wanted to do was grab my old whitening brand and use it so I could have the fresh from the Dentist feeling I had come to expect from my toothpaste.

It was terrible.

There was no going back though. My health and health of my children is too important.

We continued to use the natural brand of toothpaste and we survived. I have since found one that suits me better, though it will never be the same as what I was using, and we keep our eyes peeled for changes in the toothpaste aisle at the pharmacy.

There is good news on the horizon though. We have a new Prime Minister who is making a point of getting Canada’s good reputation as a world leader – in matters of the environment and otherwise – back to the standard we, as a country, would expect.

We have a Minister of the Environment & Climate Change. Her name is Minister Catherine McKenna and she is one of 30 smart, capable, forward thinking Cabinet Ministers (50% of whom are women – “Because it’s 2015.” – Oh that just never gets old!), who are charged with the task of getting Canada back on track. This is so logical and amazing to me that even a full day (almost 2, now) after all the oaths were taken I am still emotional about it all.

I am so hopeful that we will see the real change we have been hearing so much about and that we will begin to see an action plan take shape. One that is designed to keep our environment healthy and our children safe.

No, not from big scary monsters and men with pointy teeth, but from itty-bitty, minuscule, invasive, pervasive and utterly unnecessary pieces of plastic.

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Yes. Yes it would.

You can read more information on microbeads here, or here, or here.

I really hope you do.

*A crucial life skill, by the way. There’s a whole post in those two words, actually. Another day!

Source

(Ramona Quimby is a beloved character from the talented mind of Beverly Cleary and she is, quite frankly, near and dear to my heart. We are kindred spirits!)

We Like The Moon! (‘Cause It Is Close To Us.)

Behold, the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Moon!

img_2194

Oh? That’s not what it’s called?

Huh.

Well it should have been!

My photos – hard earned, mind you – don’t even come close to doing this situation justice.

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If you could know how long it took to get one half-decent photo, you would laugh. Or cry.

I nearly did.

Mostly because of the beauty of the night, though.

Did you go chasing after the perfect shot of the amazing Super Blood Moon in September? How did your photos turn out?

Why is it that our eyes can see it so clearly and so gigantic and yet when we look through the lens of a camera it is suddenly puny and not at all the image we are trying to convey?

Do you know?

Why?

It is all an illusion. Isn’t that amazing?

Our brains want everything to be awesome! Logic doesn’t always provide what we want.

Here is an explanation of why we can’t capture the Moon unless we have very fancy photography equipment.

Oh well. Even though I know it is an illusion, I am sure when the next Super Moon event rolls around, I’ll be excitedly rounding up the Things, checking the moonrise times, charging my iPhone, grabbing my camera, and trying yet again to capture the moon.

Maybe it’s the romantic notion that I can get something really special if the conditions are just right. Maybe it’s all my exposure to George Bailey and his promises of lassoing the moon. Maybe, every now and then, I simply must give in to my childlike wonder of celestial things. Maybe the (somewhat futile) exercise of photographing the moon is about more than the final product.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps …

Oh, science! You may be right. I may be crazy, but (as Billy Joel sang) it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.

 

Sweet Sunflower Snacks (A Pictorial Snack Tutorial)

Did you know you can cut an apple almost all the way through, pop out the core, let the flower petals fall open, then add a dollop of peanut butter and a few mini chocolate chips, to make a delicious and nutritious sunflower?

You can!

See?

Isn’t that fun? It is a favourite around here, especially in Fall, when the Nova Scotian apples are at their absolute best. Delicious!

Easy, right?

Totally.

You can use what you like best, of course, but I tend to use a Golden Delicious Apple, Natural Peanut Butter*, and gluten free mini chocolate chips. You only need a few chocolate chips. They are chocolate chips! They seem to have a magical power over kids. If they find 2 in a mini muffin they’re thrilled, so I just go with what I have worked so hard to achieve. Happiness!

So, what do you think? Do you think your kids would like to try a Sweet Sunflower Snack?

I am willing to bet they would.

What is your favourite snack food? Do your kids have special snacks after school?

Let’s talk about it!

If you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.

Oh, just one more thing! I nearly forgot!!

Look!

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It’s a teeny tiny Thing 2 enjoying a Sweet Sunflower Snack a few years ago! Aww!

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This small Corelle bowl might be the ideal serving dish for this snack. Notice how it helps the apple slices keep the flower shape, while containing the Peanut Butter? That’s better than the larger plate for presentation. (Though the larger plate was best for an after school snack with extra Things!) I also like the mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate chips here. It seems more flower-like, to me.

*Of course, if you have a peanut allergy you can use another nut butter or a soy butter in its place. Still yummy!

NaBloPoMo v2.0 (Or November is NOW!)

Today is November 1st and with the groggy brain of a tired Mamma – after Halloween and a time change – I put this little bloggy woggy into the Blog Roll on BlogHer for November’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).

Some of you may recall, I did it last year. It was great, actually.

Sure, there were nights I wanted to cry because technology plotted against me or the Universe appeared to be determined to pull a prank. There were days when I felt like I was really doing something great and was exhilarated by the exercise of posting every singe day for the whole month.

I feel that in the end it really was a terrific learning experience. I wrote more than I had up to that point and I learned a lot of little things about how this whole blogging gig works. I learned to think on my feet and keep a deadline. I learned that sometimes the silliest of posts will garner the most attention. I learned that, despite the fact that living a part of my life online means every single post needs a photo or pin-able picture to be easily shared, some posts will never have a photo because intrinsically, I also know that sometimes the words need to paint the picture.

I learned a LOT. Much more than I will share here at the moment because the hour is getting late and I will be darned if I am not hitting publish on day one!

Over the next 30 days I will post every day.

Some posts will be rushed. That’s life.

Some posts will be well planned and thought out.

I plan on brushing up some really good drafts I have waiting to be set free.

NaBloPoMo is just the push I need!

I hope you will visit, read, comment, and chat when you have something to ask or say or share.

If you happen to be taking part, please let me know*. If there is one thing I am good at, it is cheering others on and supporting writers!

Let’s make this a great month, filled to the brim with learning, leaping outside our comfort zones, and personal growth!

Onward!

*Feel free to share your blog or NaBloPoMo Blog Roll number (I am #596!) in the comments! I love reading new (to me) blogs.

NaBloPoMo No Mo’

Chained to work

This is it. I have reached the end of my NaBloPoMo journey and I am happy to report that I survived!

For the past thirty days I have written (mostly) a post a day as a part of National Blog Posting Month.

What an exhausting challenge!

Seriously. All you writers who write under the pressure of a deadline all the live-long day – every single day – my hat* is off to you. You are one very dedicated and disciplined bunch of people. Good for you!

I have learned a lot during these thirty days.

I have unlearned a few things, too.

I’ve had some pretty good confirmations, as well. I procrastinate. It works for me, sometimes, as procrastination does. When it works out, I get a rush of adrenaline that makes all the suppression of fleeing the scene worthwhile. When it doesn’t work, well, may we never know!

Oh yes, that random positive reinforcement is quite the thrill, but it is certainly no gentleman.

Clearly, whether it is right or wrong, I work well under pressure. When there is nowhere to run to, baby, no where to hide, I find my stride.

This, as you can imagine, can be very draining on a person’s energy stores. There were nights when I was up way later than I should have been. There were mornings that came way too early. Early Band** days very nearly did me in.

My husband and my Things were the most supportive humans on the planet (they usually are, by the way). They were cool with my vanishing to write or upload photos. They really were, but I was not comfortable with missing anything important, so I was very much burning my candle at both ends. Thank goodness this is a 30 day month. I honestly don’t think I could handle 31***.

I think this was a really good exercise for me. I wrote every day and I believe the practice was good. I felt a sense of accomplishment/panic every single time I hit “Publish”, but I kept right on hitting it. Go me!

I am sure I will have that oh-no-I-slept-through-my-exam panic at least once this week, as I plan on not posting every day for December. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

I mean, I love writing for this little ol’ blog and I love the people who read, comment, and even ask me to write a little something here or there for them, but I have very strong feelings about not being chained to my computer (for work or hobby or otherwise!). If anything was highlighted this month, it’s that there is a whole world out there just waiting to be experienced, nurtured and changed.

Besides, when I get to be Empress of the Universe and fulfill my destiny as a professional philanthropist, I won’t have time to be attached to my computer.

Face Time

 

But feel free to call me.

 

Now, please point me in the direction of the best darn gluten free cake you can think of because this gal needs to celebrate!

 

 

 

*I’m not actually wearing a hat, but if I am getting a hat in your imagination make it something cool and festive, okay? Thanks!

**More so.

***But I would, because PRESSURE!

 

Source: http://www.alec-longstreth.com/writing/2008/chained.jpg

Source: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/techno.sm9_.gif

Dear Santa

This year for Christmas, like the many Christmases before, I want for nothing because I have this …

Thing 2's Santa Letter

Sincerely,

Laureen

P.S. I still believe in you.

P.P.S. I love puppies, too! : )

P.P.P.S. I prefer goats.

 

 

The Secret To A Happy Marriage

happy-married-life-quotes-1

I know the definitive answer to the question, “What is the secret to a happy marriage?”.

Would you like to know what it is?

Are you sure you can handle the truth?

Are you sure?

Really?

B’okay!

Prepare to be amazed.

Brace yourself.

Here it is.

The secret to a happy marriage is …

 

I’ll cook. You clean.

 

That’s it!

*bows*

I’m here all week for all your KISS* counselling needs.

 

 

This post has been brought to you by an awesome mid-week American Thanksgiving feast and an abundance of leftovers neatly cleaned up and stored tidily in the fridge.

Source: http://umagz.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/happy-married-life-quotes-1.jpg

*Keep It StOOpid Simple (alternatively, Keep It Simple Sister)

C Is For Cookie. That’s Good Enough For Me!

COOKIE!

 

I haven’t had a cookie in a really long time and I think I must be nearing my breaking point because at this moment in time I can only think about one thing – and that one thing is ALL THE COOKIES!

I blame all the posts about Holiday Baking that keep popping up in my timelines.

I know an awful lot of Cookie Monster enablers, I fear.

I am at once thrilled and disappointed that most of them are far away.

Clearly, I am conflicted.

So what is a Cookie Monster who’s gone right off cookies, to do?

How can I get my thoughts out of my head while keeping my cookie cravings at bay?

Wait.

I’ve got it!

I can share some of the delicious theoretical cookies with you! Then you will be thinking about ALL THE COOKIES and I won’t have to bear this burden all by my cookie-denying lonesome.

*thumbs up*

So, without further ado, I give you my current cookie obsessions.

First there was this little Toblerone enhanced gem from Rebecca at A Little Bit of Momsense.

Then, this beauty popped up in my Facebook timeline, shared by Candace from Life in Pleasantville. It is sure to be a hit with the kids. Especially if you go for the giant cookie technique that Kelly shares!

Finally, (Well, for now at least, but I’m not making any promises!) Momstown Halifax shared this very easy, yet very pretty cookie that would be so fun to make with your Things! It came from the lovely people at CBC Parents.

 

And here’s a little something to do during this upcoming Holiday season. You know, in your spare time.

Whew! I feel much better now.

Thanks!

 

Sorry**, for dropping all of that on you at once, but I feel so much better now.

Wouldn’t you agree these are worthy cookies to share?

If you’re a smart cookie, you will!

Either way, now you can have all my cookie thoughts and hopefully I will have fewer.

It’s a devious kind of kindness, but it’s ultimately out of love that I share these things.

If you don’t like it, well … I guess it’s true what they say.

That’s the way the – wait for it – COOKIE crumbles! *wink*

 

 

*Source: http://crossfitsouthcobb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cookie_monster_original.jpg

**I’m so not sorry!!