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Vintage Indie Kids: Re-purposed Vintage Fashions by Chirp & Bloom

Truly vintage indie style is the clothing from Chirp & Bloom


I'm loving these handmade fashions mixed with vintage textiles & more. 


"Mixing new materials with these unconventional materials is kinder to the earth and adds charm that cannot be mass produced. "  - Chirp & Bloom 


Visit ChirpAndBloom to purchase these handmade clothing and accessories for children. 

Organic & Whole Living: The Scoop on Sunscreen

Image Copyright © SolhfulPrintShop

When it comes to sunscreen, I let the experts at the Environmental Working Group guide me to what is safe for my family. 

Sunscreen Guide - EWG's Skin Deep® | 2012 Sunscreen Report

If you don't know, sunscreens are so full of chemicals that many of them have been linked to cancer themselves, which defeats the purpose of the sunscreen in the first place! 


A few interesting and important points on sunscreen. 

"Which sunscreens are best and why?

An ideal sunscreen would block both UVA and UVB rays with active ingredients that do not break down in the sun (so that the product remains effective) and would contain active and inactive ingredients that are proven to be safe for both adults and children. Unfortunately, there is no sunscreen on the U.S. market that meets all these criteria, and no simple way for consumers to know how well a given product stacks up on any of these measures. That’s why EWG created this guide to safer and more effective sunscreens. To see how we conducted our analysis and ranked products, read our methodology."  - Environmental Working Group. 


"Doesn’t the government ensure that sunscreen protects us?

No. After 34 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year issued sunscreen rules that have the force of law. The FDA will allow American sunscreen makers to claim their products are “broad spectrum,” even though they offer much poorer UVA protection than is provided by sunscreens sold in other countries. Based on the products in our 2012 database, EWG calculates that half of the products that pass muster with the FDA would not be sold in Europe due to inadequate UVA protection. There, manufacturers voluntarily comply with a European Union recommendation that all sunscreens provide meaningful UVA protection in relation to SPF.   And still legal under the new FDA rules are products with sky-high SPFs that prevent sunburn but leave users at risk of UVA-related skin damage. The FDA  still permits powder and spray products that can be harmful when inhaled.  The agency has not approved sunscreen ingredients that are widely available in other countries. The U.S. is decades behind in sunscreen safety."  - Environmental Working Group


What can you do? Visit the Environmental Working Group:

 - Download the EWG Sunscreen App

 - Read up on the Best Sunscreens 2012

 - Visit the Hall of Shame and toss the offenders. 


Thank you Environmental Working Group for putting this together for consumers! 


 - I'm not affiliated with EWG. They don't know me from Eve, I just appreciate this resourceful tool every year for my families health, and I hope you do too! 


Organic & Whole Living: Interview with summer must-have, NaturoKits

NaturoKits is one of those companies that I stumbled upon and knew from the beginning that it would be a perfect fit for the VI household. I've already been able to use so much in the first aid kit during the past month that I'm splitting this feature into 2 parts. 

To prepare you for my review and to find out more about NaturoKits, I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to interview NaturoKits first hand about their products. 


Can you tell us how you started NaturoKits? 

NaturoKits was founded by two naturopathic physicians and mothers: myself and Padeen Quinn, ND. Years ago we used to compile rough versions of NaturoKits’ natural first aid kits for ourselves, friends and family, and patients to have on hand for home, school, and travel use.  We assembled these “kits” because the remedies that we would choose and use ourselves weren’t available conveniently assembled together anywhere. 


Then we realized that there are many more people who would benefit from having high-quality, doctor-selected, naturopathic remedies assembled into convenient kits.  We imagined that people would greatly appreciate having detailed instructions on how to use each remedy (an area that is often touted as being scary or confusing for those not familiar with naturopathic remedies).  And we could see that busy folks (especially moms) would love the portability and simplicity of NaturoKits’ package design. 


By developing NaturoKits we saw that we could help consumers make better personal health care choices by providing them with products to treat their symptoms in an effective, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly way. 


NaturoKits is a company that empowers families everywhere to take charge of their personal health in a holistic way with safe and non-toxic natural medicines.  It is our desire to make naturopathic medicine widely available, easy to understand, and simple to use.


 What is your favorite product in your First Aid Kit? 

 This is a tough question to answer because depending on the situation, each remedy has the potential to be my favorite in that instance!  And I truly use and wholeheartedly recommend all the remedies as they've been selected to be safe, effective, and applicable to multiple situations. But overall the remedy that I probably use the most is the Activated Charcoal for all sorts of stomach and digestive complaints.  It works so well!  Even my son asks for "black applesauce" (applesauce with a charcoal capsule emptied and mixed into it) when his tummy is bothering him.  Having said that, my favorite remedy as far as formulation goes is the Crisis Calm.  It's made from Columbia River Gorge Flower essences (local flora for Oregon) and it works superbly for emotional calming and centering.

How can your customers learn more about Naturopathic Medicine?

 For a better understanding of what naturopathic medicine is, what the training entails, which states offer licensure, and to find an ND in your area, please check out the website for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians [http://www.naturopathic.org]. 

Some books that I would recommend for someone interested in natural remedies but an absolute rookie are:

Naturopathic First Aid – a Guide to Treating Minor First Aid Conditions with Natural Medicines, Karen Barnes, ND- includes a concise introduction to naturopathic medicine – nutritional, botanical, acupressure and homeopathic – then applies these practices to treating common first aid conditions.

Doctor Mom’s Natural Healthcare for Children:  Alternative Medicine for Injuries and Diseases, Kathy Duerr – a great little introduction to natural healing for parents and others who care for children. The author, Kathy, was the bookstore manager at National College of Natural Medicine when we were students there, and she relies on her experience of raising three children using natural remedies as a foundation for this book.

Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines , Stephen Cummings, MD and Dana Ullman, MPH - A popular guide, this book teaches step by step how to select the correct homeopathic remedy for numerous common aliments and injuries.

See our Resources page [http://naturokits.com/resources.html] for a longer list of books and articles.


Do you have any suggestions for families just getting started in Naturopathic Medicine use in their home?


I would suggest starting with some of the basic remedies that address some of the most common benign situations.  Purchasing remedies from a trusted source and getting information about how to use them correctly from an experienced, knowledgeable professional is very important.  We at NaturoKits created our first aid kits with precisely these parameters in mind.  We are here to help people learn about and experience the benefits of using naturopathic medicines with confidence!


USE:DCVINTAGEBABY for 10% off through June 10th.  Can't be combined with other offers such as sales.


A special thank you to NaturoKits. We appreciate the interview. Stay tuned for our product review of this summer must have! 


Virtual Baby Shower: Giveaway #5: Rockin' Green Soap

Vintage Indie is thrilled to bring you another fantastic giveaway for our Virtual Baby Shower. We welcome Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent


I was excited to be given the opportunity to review Rockin' Green's Laundry Detergent. I'm always looking for products that are safer for my family and with the new baby, something I can do her laundry with!  Rockin' Green fits the bill with their awesome formula;

"Our detergents are safe for you and the enviro- ment. Rockin’ Green is: Dye free, Comes in several yummy scents (& an unscented version for sensitive skin), No fillers, No enzymes or optical brighteners, 100% Phosphate free, Vegan, Great for sensitive skin and much more." 

Detergent has been something very important in our home as I have a son with sensitive skin to almost every single detergent out on the market. It has been that way for us since he was born. This caused us to get rid of any fragrance-laden detergents from the beginning.

Rockin' Green's Bare Naken Babies unscented Laundry Detergent was just what the doctor ordered for us, no fragrance! While I truly miss the smell of fresh laundered (or heavy laden chemical fragranced laundry). It has truly come down to keeping his skin happy and his clothes clean. 

Rockin' Green was kind enough to send me a few of their delicious smelling detergents, Smashing Watermelons and Lavender Mint Revival. Guess what? I did a little experiment to see if I could use them for his laundry, and what do you know his skin was happy and so was I! Although the fragrance really didn't adhere to the clothing in a strong smell it was very faint and I appreciated the "clean smell".  Classic Rock did a great job cleaning boys clothes with our hard water.  

Best selling points for us;

 - Clean Smelling Clothes 

 - Clean Clothes, including very dirty play clothes

 - Dye Free

 - 100% Phosphate Free

 - Great for Sensitive Skin


Overall we were pleased with Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent

Virtual Baby Shower Tip: Rockin' Green is known for their cloth diaper cleaning power. I hope to test this out with baby girl as she'll be our only child to have used cloth diapers. 

Virtual Baby Shower_Giveaway

Rockin' Green wants you to try their detergent and is going to give away one full-size bag of Rockin' Green (winners choice of scent) and a laundry scoop! 



Virtual Baby Shower_Sponsor
Truth in Review/Giveaway: The above products were provided free of charge for our giveaway. We were not paid for any content in our review/giveaways and the review/giveaway is that of our personal opinions.  - Gabreial Wyatt, Editor. Visit our Disclaimer/Disclosure Page for more info.

Virtual Baby Shower: Accessories for the Nursery - Artist Interview Scarlett of One Eyed Dog

Today I'd like to introduce you to Scarlett of One Eyed Dog. We knew we wanted some pops of color for the grey walls we chose for baby girl's nursery, and my love for chevron caught the attention of Scarlett's Chevron Jewelry & Craft Wall Hook Organizers. I thought they'd make a perfect addition to hang baby headbands and sweet accessories, so we've teamed up with Scarlett to make one for the nursery and can't wait to show it to you in the big reveal. 


Until then, I'd like for you to get to know the designer behind these handmade organizers as well as other items she hand makes in her shop including jewelry, hardware, bottle stoppers, clay items and more! 

Hi Scarlett, welcome to Vintage Indie. We're so glad to have you here with us today. 

Can you tell us what is your preferred medium?

I love working with paint! I work with different base mediums, like wood or clay, but my favorite step is always the painting! I just love colors. I love mixing them, coming up with pretty palettes, I even love my speckled, colorful hands at the end of a work day. 

How did you get started?

I've always been an artist, and I've been selling traditional art for several years. I separated from the Air Force last year so I could dedicate more time to my passion for creating. One Eyed Dog was the result of a marathon brainstorming session with my husband. We wanted to start an Etsy shop where we could sell more functional art. 

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by animals!! I've always had a deep love for all creatures. I think animals make people happy, and having little animal objects here and there makes for a happy home. 

We noticed that you're a husband and wife team in your business. How is it working with your spouse? 

Working with my husband is great! Much like every other aspect of our marriage, with OED I am the right-brain and he is the left-brain. I think of what I want to make, he thinks of how to make it. I do the creative work, he manages the finances. It's very harmonious! 


Does vintage play a role in your art or life? If so, how?

Vintage definitely plays a role in my creative life! I'm so often inspired by vintage florals. I go nuts for a super feminine fabric or wallpaper! Vintage advertising cards are a great source of inspiration as well. They're just so charming! 

What is important for your customer to know about your work?

It's important to me that customers know how important *they* are. I include a personal touch with each order; be it a handwritten thank you note or a stamped card. I fill each order from start to finish, sculpt to ship. Shopping with OED is an interaction, not a transaction! 


Thank you so much to Scarlett and her hubby for taking the time to let us get to know more about them and their artwork. We truly appreciate handmade and independent designers here at Vintage Indie! Be sure to head over to One Eyed Dog to see more of their work. 

Organic & Whole Living: Treating Poison Ivy From Your Yard!

It took my oldest son to bring bring back memories of last summer's poison ivy debacle. Although it wasn't a horrible case of it, it doesn't take much to remember the aggravation of that itch, burn and flat out  unpleasantness of poison ivy on your skin. 

 His first line of defense, the band aid. On his own he grabbed a band aid in hopes to cover up the poison ivy patch on his arm. In his mind, he was going to cover the problem and forget about it and hopefully not be tempted to scratch. Unfortunately the nagging itching didn't take long for him to take matters into his own hands again. With my permission he asked if he could head outside to grab some plantain. 

Image from Wikitonary


From our previous learning last year with the Wildcraft! game, we knew that plantain was a great source for soothing itchy skin. I've also read in The Handbook of Vintage Remedies by Jessie Hawkins, "Plaintain offers anti-inflammatory properties that help relive the rash and irritation and reports have even made it into the New England Journal of Medicine about the effectiveness of the her for poison oak and ivy." 

If you're in a pinch you can simple pick some "non-treated with pesticides" plantain and chew it up making a juice with your saliva, then spread the mixture onto the poison ivy. He opted to bring his leaves in, wash them, break and crush them with his hands. Then he added a few drops of water making a greenish liquid appear. He simply spread this mixture on his arm and let it dry. I can honestly tell you, I never heard another word about his poisy ivy patch again. From there, there was no itching and the poison ivy dried up and went away.  


Of course with any plant it is important to know what you're putting on your skin or ingesting. Herbal remedies can be used with ease, but you should be sure of what you are using. 



The above Vintage Remedies link is an affiliate link. 

Organic & Whole Living: Trading in Sugary Packaged Drinks for the good stuff!




Homemade Limeade


This recipe couldn't be any easier.  

To make a full gallon of limeade you'll need about 8-9 limes 1/2 cup of honey, coconut sugar or your preferred sweetener substitute. 

Juice 8-9 limes (depending on the size of your limes you may need more or less). You should end up with about 3/4th cups of juice. 

Melt 1/2 cup of honey with equal parts water in a saucepan to make a simple syrup.

Fill your gallon jug/container with a couple cups of ice, pour juice and simple syrup over the ice. Finish with cold filtered water. 

Extra Tip: Make yummy limeade popsicles with this recipe by pouring the limeade into ice cube trays, cover with foil and prop up popsicle sticks in the middle of each "cube". 

Variations: Add strawberries, orange juice, pineapple juice or any of your other favorites to make a blend of your own. 


Raising Healthy Kids with Special Guest Nicole Bennett Simple Homemade: 3 Points of Encouragement

Raising healthy kids is such an important topic to me, even more so now that I need to refreshen my memory on many things with the baby coming. Today, I am thrilled to have a very special guest with us Nicole Bennett from Simple Homemade. If you haven't had a chance to visit Simple Homemade you are simply missing out on some wonderful mom-mom information on raising healthy kids and what this really looks like in a real home. Please help me by sending Nicole a warm welcome!  


3 Points of Encouragement for Raising Healthy Kids


It's funny how having kids changes you. And I don't mean in the obvious ways like learning to deal with less sleep, never-ending laundry and chaotic dinners. I'm thinking more along the lines of healthy living. For me, it wasn't until I had my first baby that I began really caring about avoiding toxins and eating real food. Now, just about five years later (five!), this "healthier" way of life is basically second nature to me. I still have lots to learn myself, but more and more I'm thinking about passing on what I've learned to my kids. After all, concern for their health and safety is what started this whole shift. Here are a few ways I'm working on leaving a legacy of a more natural lifestyle to my kids.


Make it Familiar The most important way I can teach my kids about a healthy lifestyle is by modeling one for them. I hope as they grow older, they'll remember and embrace ways they've seen me take care of my body, our family and the earth. I eat the same healthy, real food I expect them to, I use the same non-toxic (often homemade) personal care products I put on them and I try to set the example of reusing, repurposing, upcycling and all that goodness in my own wardrobe and in our home. Routine helps, too. By now, my kids are used to our daily afternoon smoothies. And I'll be the first one to praise the yumminess of a smoothie filled with healthy addition such as leafy greens and chia seeds.


Make it Normal To be honest, my kids are young enough to not really know any different than to use cloth napkins and eat sautéed swiss chard. They think drizzling honey on plain Greek yogurt is a treat and that we avoid "fake"-colored foods because they aren't real and aren't good for our bodies. I try to explain why we do the things we do in a way that makes sense. I don't want them blindly doing what I do, because after all, I am teaching them to be able to live like this without me someday! One of my best tactics is to promote healthy things, such as eating vegetables that appear unappealing to toddlers, is to constantly talk it up as normal and "mature." Oh, you'll probably love that when you're older, I'll say. I learned about talking about how our palate matures from Amy of New Nostalgia and have already seen that tactic work in my little girl who never "liked" sweet potatoes until she was a big four-and-a-half-year old It's normal to have preferences (I hate raisins myself after all), but I love to talk up the good stuff in hopes that my kiddos will learn to appreciate what's good for them in the long run.


Make it Fun Healthy and natural living doesn't have to just be boring and "normal" though. My kids love the excitement of seeing what's in our latest CSA box, and visiting the farm each year, and picking berries for enjoying and using to make jam. They're excited when I let them help pick out a homemade ice cream flavor (and they don't miss the fillers and preservatives) just like my daughter loves picking fabric for a new mama-sewn dress. Healthy living can mean helping mom mix up a batch of granola bars -- and that's way more fun (not to mention less-processed) than just picking a box off the shelf. And I can't wait for the day when my kids get to gather up eggs from the backyard chickens I hope to have someday. And they are going to LOVE that. We don't have to lie, convince or coerce our kids into a healthy, natural lifestyle. Going back to basics is more fun, and as we model this "new normal" in our homes and daily lives, our kids will hopefully follow in our footsteps, carrying on the legacy we've been striving to create. We can't control the choices they'll make as they grow older, but we can lay a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle.


Nicole Bennett is married to a handsome guy and has three little kiddos. She loves sharing her passion for baby-stepping towards a more natural, handmade lifestyle. She is the editor of Simple Homemade, and also occasionally blogs at Gidget Goes Home. She loves to read, sew, surf and watch baseball, and can often be found in the kitchen as well. She'd love to connect with you on Twitter or Instagram (@simplehomemade).