Thursday, July 17, 2014

Amber Necklace for Adults + a coupon!

If you've seen a crunchy baby, you've most likely seen an amber teething necklace. Crunchy moms put these necklaces on their babies so that you can identify a crunchy baby from  a distance.

Amber teething necklaces are actually pretty amazing and this chewy mommy not only uses one for baby G (who is currently 3 months old), but I wear one myself. I will write up a better review for one on a baby when we get more into teething, this post is about the one I wear.

Wait, adults can wear one too? Hell yeah you can!

I have bad teeth. Like really really bad teeth. I should get them taken care of but I'm broke and without dental insurance. My teeth have bothered me off and on for YEARS, becoming much worse while pregnant. When I was pregnant with S (now 6 years old) it was horrible. And the only thing you can take while pregnant is like one Tylenol. If you've ever been in real pain and tried taking ONE Tylenol you know that you might as well take nothing. So 6 years ago I suffered through 9 months of dental pain that I easily would have traded for labor pains, no joke. I actually made that comment in the middle of labor to my husband.

So when the pain started to get worse during my pregnancy with G I did what I had done before, complained. And cried. And complained some more. I 'm sure I was a real delight to be around. It wasn't until about 6 months in that I started to research amber for the baby.

From Hazelaid's website:

"Amber is fossilized tree resin.  As it warms with body heat, Baltic amber (mined near the Baltic Sea) releases an oil containing succinic acid. Absorbed into the skin, succinic acid works like a natural Ibuprofen, blocking pain and reducing inflammation.  To function well, it must be worn close to the source of pain.  

Note that it's an alkalinizing acid (like lemon juice) so it won't add to your body's acidity, and may actually slightly lower it.  Baltic Amber has some of the highest concentrations of succinic acid found in nature.

Commonly known as 'teething jewelry' in Europe, Baltic amber jewelry has been a natural remedy for pain relief for hundreds of years."

Now I consider myself to be pretty skeptical about things like this. If there isn't research to back it I usually assume its BS and move on. When I tried to find research to support these claim I couldn't really find anything. What I did find was TONS of person accounts of these things being life savors. Most of the blogs and message boards I came across were for teething, but when I saw they come in adult sizes too I figured why not.

So I ordered my necklace from I just picked one that I thought looked pretty and I wouldn't mind wearing everyday. Especially if it didn't work, I wanted it to still be something I would wear. The cost was $27.95, which honestly for me is more than I spend on jewelry, but at this point I was desperate for some kind of relief.

So with great skepticism I put it on. I had read that it takes a few days to "build up" in your system so even though I still had pain that day I kept it on. When I was still in pain the next day I figured it wasn't going to work. I'm sure I complained about the money I had wasted. But I kept it on because if nothing else, it was pretty. Then I started to notice a change. The pain was gone. I still had some sensitivity, but only with hot or cold and it never stayed around for long. I still didn't want to say it was the necklace though. Sometime I would go through periods of a few days or even weeks where it wouldn't hurt so bad.

Days turned in to weeks and weeks in to months. G was born and I finally admitted that maybe this thing actually works. I've now been wearing the necklace for about 6 months. Beside the occasional sensitivity i have had no pain. It's the longest I've gone without pain in 10 years. It's amazing. is giving Chewy Mommy readers a 10% discount! Head over to the Chewy Mommy Facebook Page to get the code

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Easy Homemade Deodorant

I consider this to be one of the first really crunchy things that I've done. (yeah, yeah, I know I had a homebirth) But I swear the idea started out as me just being cheep. I ran out of deodorant and started using my husbands. Sexy, I know. I considered walking across the street to the store to get some but I was being lazy. And obviously I like smelling like a man. After a few days I decided to Google "homemade deodorant", as one does, and was excited to realize that I had all the stuff already in my house on the second recipe listed on this post from Wellness Mama.  I was SUPER skeptical about this working. Were taking about sweat here. And while I don't exactly have a problem with sweating too much or smelling too bad, its still something I considered to be best left to the professionals to handle.

6 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch

 So I gathered up my coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch; measuring cup, bowl and spoon. (be sure to use the extra virgin oil for anything skin related!) This was seriously easy. It took a couple of minutes to really get the powder combined but mix and your done. I had these little purple snack containers for the Dollar Tree that was the perfect size to store it in.

I did this on a whim first thing in the morning so I went ahead and put it on. A pee sided amount on each side seemed good to me. I went through the day with caution, smelling myself every once in a while. I even went out for a while in the heat. Nothing. Not only did not smell, but I was dry too. I almost didn't believe it. The next day I was walking a 5K and I figured that would be the real test. It worked perfect. No problems at all, and no need to reapply later in the day!

I've been using it not for two weeks and it's still holding up. I do have to give one pretty major warning. Coconut oil turns from solid to liquid in warmer temps. So one day in the middle of the summer heat the power went out. It turned into a soupy mess. I tried to move it and got oil EVERYWHERE. Then when it cooled down it had separated and I had to remix it. It was a giant pain in the ass. Learn from my experience and be careful where you leave it and handle it in hot conditions. I'm sure making a different recipe with the shea butter would be better but I don't really know.  

All in all I'm very happy and don't plan on going back to store bought anytime soon. I do hope to add some essential oils in the next batch although I'm not sure what to use. Have you tried making your own deodorant? How did it work for you? Please share your experiences! deodorant

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What is a Chewy Mommy?

I've been sitting on this idea for a while. A blog dedicated to the Chewy Mommy. The term "crunchy" is pretty well used. It refers to a person who does everything in a natural way. Homemade everything (food, cleaners, soaps), extended breastfeeding, babywearing, organic eating, cloth diapering, natural birth, home school, no vaccination and the list could go on and on.

I have found that for myself, and for many other mommies, we pick and choose what crunchy things and what mainstream things we do in our lives. Maybe you cloth diaper, but send the older kids to public school. Or make your own laundry soap but watch a lot of TV. I think think the best thing my midwife ever told me (because yes, I had a homebirth) is "everything in moderation, including moderation".


Some things I have planned for this blog:
  • instructions on some of the homemade household items I use
  • recopies as I learn myself (cooking is something I struggle with)
  • a series on plus size babywearing
  • my journey in cloth diapering (just now starting!)
  • baby led weaning
  • my homebirth story
 I can't wait to get things going. First DIY post on homemade deodorant coming tomorrow! If there is anything you would like to see please feel free to let me know. Also, be on the look out for a Chewy Mommy Facebook and Pinterest pages coming soon as well.