Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.
Hi all, I felt the need for a little note about the disappearance of Butterfly Cream, after receiving lots of inquiries. I have made the decision to discontinue Butterfly Cream at this time. From the beginning, I have attempted to bring you products that I would use on my own family. As a family, we made the decision long ago to stick to products that were safe for my chemically sensitive child, and my fair-skinned red-headed husband.
We started out with just four products, Bun Glaze, Rubbit Oil, Oatmeal Cookie Bath and Bluebird Castille (previously named Bubbly Soap). Then my husband insisted that we had to have a bar soap. You all agreed with him, and we introduced Hulababy Bar. I’m so glad that I listened on that one!!
For years, you have been asking for a lotion and I resisted. To form a lotion, emulsifying wax needs to be added. There is no emulsifying wax “tree” or “flower”. We sought out the safest form of emulsifying wax, and consulted the Skin Deep Database for safety information. This ingredient from all accounts is safe, and not of concern. Then we went on to make a lotion that you all love, Butterfly Cream.
Butterfly Cream has become our number two selling product, right behind Bun Glaze. Most families use lotion daily, and you all responded to this product very positively. My personal philosophy of skin care has come to odds with this product though, and I feel the need to take a step back. Although it is a perfectly safe product according to the industry, I started this company with products that are food grade and natural (in the real, not the “marketing” sense of the word). So that one ingredient has been an issue for me as a mom. In our home, we do not use lotion, we use Rubbit Oil and Bun Glaze to keep our skin moisturized and healthy. I truly believe that less is more in our skin care routines, and that your skin care needs for baby can be met by those original products.
I hope that this explanation helps to shed some light on your concerns with the removal of Butterfly Cream. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of help to you.
Confession, I like to have everyone out of the house when I clean. I like quiet and cleaning is kind of zen for me. In my fantasy life, I get regular times to get all of the chores done without interruption and chaos surrounding me. I remember cleaning my home and keeping it spotless before a certain little man entered the picture.
Enter reality with me, that zen like state of cleaning no longer exists. I have a little man who likes to be a helper. Although he’s technically just one child, he has the energy and personality to fill up ten bodies. He’s wanted to help since he was a toddler. So I let him help. I have friends who witness him cleaning now at almost seven, and they look at me with tilted heads and wrinkled brows. I’ve heard, “I just couldn’t let my child vacuum or wash dishes, or make up her bed.” I think the main concern is that they won’t do it to our standards. I’m a recovering perfectionist and I still sigh when I walk past little man’s room in the morning and see the way he made his bed. I resist the temptation to fix this situation going on with his sheet and comforter. Why? He wakes up each morning and makes up his bed without being asked. I count that as a parenting victory.
Little man vacuums and steam cleans our floors, cleans his own bedroom and is our junior chef. I haven’t run our juicer in a few years now. He’s got it covered. This spirit of helping and taking part in keeping our home a home has been nurtured from an early age. I accept “successive approximations” of the job and eventually he comes closer to the way mommy would do the job. When I notice that he is making an improvement in getting all of the crumbs up with the vacuum, I really praise him. Next time, he will know that he is supposed to look for the crumbs.
This is not just an exercise in teaching little man to take care of himself, it is mostly a lesson in patience for me. I’m learning that twenty years from now, it really won’t matter if the bed was perfectly made or all of the crumbs were sucked up into the vacuum. What truly matters is that I nurture a sense of pride and accomplishment in my son, and that he knows I trust him to take care of himself. He may have a long way to go towards independence, but one day his room mate or spouse will thank me. I’ll wait patiently.
Summer is a great time to begin implementing chores. Want ideas on what chores are appropriate for different ages? This Chore Chart from The Happy Housewife, has suggestions for every age. Only you can determine what you are comfortable turning over to your child. Start simply with one chore per child, and remember to praise them for their efforts.
Sweet Knee, the company, is now five years old. I started out thinking that this would be a nice hobby business; and a fun creative outlet. My first product, Bun Glaze, was formulated in our kitchen in desperation after our son had a chemical sensitivity to products used on him in the hospital. It worked, and in the process of sharing it with all of you, you told me that it was great for eczema, fire ant bites/ and other insect bites, sunburn, chicken pox, and a whole host of other cuts and scrapes and bruises.
At the time I started my company, little man Sweet Knee was just 18 months old. He’ll be seven in a couple of months. I’ve experienced lots of growing pains and milestone accomplishments with Sweet Knee the company and the child. Both are a blessing in our lives and my husband and I are grateful to have given birth to each.
On Returning to a Simpler Time
As my company has grown, I’ve had to make decisions along the way about how to guide the growth while nurturing my own family. At times, I’ve been so busy with Sweet Knee that it has been difficult to find a balance with our family. This past Fall our son began Kindergarten and we began a homeschooling journey. It has been fascinating and exciting to see him learn and grow, and to see our family benefit from the experience. We’ll continue homeschooling this Fall and have lots of great learning adventures to take.
This family decision is and will continue to have an impact on Sweet Knee. We’ll be returning to a simpler time. I’ll be focusing on online customers, and limiting wholesale growth. We’ll still be working with some great online and brick and mortar stores; but will not likely be going into a big box store or in lots of new stores. This will allow me to make sure that our loyal and our new Sweet Knee families will get the freshest products in the most timely manner. I’m asking that you spread the word to your friends about the products you love the best, as I’ll be limiting social media time in favor of the Sweet Knee blog and newsletters. I’ll continue to make Sweet Knee as long as you enjoy it and there is a continued demand.
One last, big request is that you contact me through the website contact form or at customerservice [at] sweetknee [dot] com for all questions/communication. I’ll be able to respond to you in a timely manner this way, without disrupting production and family times. I understand that we are in an age of constant communication, and that marketers would tell me that this is not the best “business” decision. I get it. Sometimes, it’s about more than making money.
I hope that you’ll continue to support Sweet Knee. Each product continues to be handmade for you and your family. That takes a lot of time and love, and it’s what I want to do for you. Thank you for your continued support and for spreading the word to your family and friends.
Best wishes and the sweet life,
Tonight I was perusing Facebook, something that I don’t take a lot of time to do since my obsession with Pinterest took over. I know, there are surely more pressing and timely things I should be doing. Anyway, while scrolling I ran along one of those posts where a parent requests that a business poll their followers so that they can offer parenting advice. Lots of moms chimed in, and soon the posts took a turn to bickering jabs and ugliness.
The mom had said that her child was being a (insert ugly word here). She wanted advice. So some of the replies were a little, let’s say judgmental. My guess is that this mom needed some uplifting, and was probably feeling a little isolated and a lot of frustration with her little one. She probably didn’t have a close friend or family member to give her the great advice that I’ve received when my little sweet knee was going through certain ages and stages. My mom has always been there to tell me to take a little time away for myself, even if it was just an extended trip to the bathroom. I’m also fortunate enough to have a husband who gets home in the afternoon, long before most working dads. I can always look at the clock and realize that back-up is coming soon.
Mother’s Day is coming up and lots of us are looking forward to breakfast in bed, or flowers or something in a little blue box that sparkles. If you are one of the few people reading this blog post, you are probably financially able to afford the things that your babies need and want (without having to choose between the two).
We all have pressures and stressors that make parenting a real challenge, even if we are in a wonderful place and space. Let’s try and lift one another up, and not be too quick to judge. Someone may just need a good friend or some gently offered suggestions. That little child who is stressing mom out would appreciate your being there for even a perfect stranger on Facebook.
Love and Sweetness,
Spring is a time for renewal, and we’re definitely ready for that here at Casa de Sweet Knee! We’ve used lots of Sweet Knee products in new and effective ways this year. You see, we’ve had a few bumps and bruises and laser surgeries and stomach viruses. I’ve posted before about our Natural First Aid Kit; but since then we’ve added a few new uses to existing products and introduced new products that have helped us tremendously over the past few months.
Stomach Viruses, upsets, and all manner of tummy troubles: We touched on it in the above linked blog post, but we have an all new (and very personally tested) recommendation.
- Oatmeal Cookie Bath in the tub. This is a true help to sore bottoms from lots of trips to the potty. It also helps to calm and relax you or your little one during a stressful time like a stomach virus. Little Man Sweet Knee relaxed and took a three hour nap after each bath (and he hasn’t taken a nap in over 2 years).
- Sunny Tummy Oil: This one is great for the tub or for rubbing the tummy. In our little guy’s case, he prefers it rubbed on his back. This works just as effectively and is fine if the tummy is too sensitive for touch. We even used it on his feet and ankles to help soothe him.
- Bun Glaze: As mentioned before, a sore bottom often follows a stomach virus with lots of trips to the bathroom. Simply cleanse the area and then apply Bun Glaze. This will not stain undergarments, or cloth diapers.
Laser surgery. Mama Sweet has been sporting a rather unattractive bandage on her face since this procedure to remove an “A.K.” that just wouldn’t respond to any other treatment. So, Bun Glaze is going on everyday under each new bandage. The swelling went down very quickly and the area is healing rapidly. Plantain and Marshmallow root are excellent for healing and reducing swelling; and chamomile and calendula are great for soothing and helping to reduce scars.
Bubbly Soap has a new name! Introducing Bluebird Castille Soap.
No worries though, it’s the same formula that we’ve used since day one! We thought this new name would reflect better how most of our mamas are using our liquid soap. We’ll now be offering recipes and ideas, and hopefully you’ll share yours with us too. There are so many great uses for around the home, and it’s still a great choice for cleansing baby from head to toe. No citric acid, no glycerin, no surfactants (detergents), and no harmful preservatives.
Baby Bath: We’ve found that if you squirt a few drops onto a sponge, that you use a lot less on baby, and that saves you money. So we’ll be offering our favorite natural sponges on www.sweetknee.com. We’ll also offer a foamer bottle for those of you who prefer to use Bluebird Castille Soap the same way that you used it before. Want them all together at a discount? Then you’ll want to check out The Bluebird Kit.
Here are a few ideas to get you started using our little Bluebird around the home. Enjoy!
Baby Wipes: 1 cup purified/distilled water plus 2 Tablespoons of Bluebird Castille. Put into your wipes container and use with your reusable cloth wipes or with paper towels.
Glass Cleaner: 1 Teaspoon Bluebird Castille plus 1 gallon of really hot water; make sure to wipe windows with solution and then wipe dry right away.
Tile Floors: Mix a few Tablespoons of Bluebird Castille into a bucket of warm water, then add a few drops of Giggle (uplift/balance), Snooze (peace/quiet) or Breathe (colds/flu/allergies) to set the right mood while you clean.
Roach Eliminator (hey, it happens): We found this recipe on livestrong.com: 1 Tablespoon Bluebird Castille + 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (they used tabasco brand)+ 4 cups water in a spray bottle. The effects last up to 2 months.
Laundry Detergent Replacer: There are recipes that include washing soda and borax that you can find online. We like to simply use 1/8 cup of Bluebird Castille and a sprinkle of baking soda in our laundry to avoid the use of detergents.
Liquid Cleanser: 1 2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup Bluebird Castille, 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 5-10 drops of Giggle (uplift/balance), Snooze (peace/quiet), or Breathe (colds/flu/allergies).
Get Clean and Stay Sweet -Kristy
I was reminded recently that many of you are new to Sweet Knee and may not be familiar with our family story. One of our customers, a daddy, called and was taken by surprise that I was “all of the departments”. We both giggled together as I went from one computer to the next to get him all of the information that he needed. I like it that way. I could use lots of help on some days, but it really is a great feeling to know so many of you on a personal basis. I know when your babies are sick and when they have allergies. I know when you need a 12 month supply of bun glaze to take to China, along with a box full of oatmeal cookie bath and hulababy bars.
I also know when you want a new product, or two or three to be added to the line. That’s my department too. =) I’ve been working feverishly trying to get a lotion/cream/butter type product to you; along with a tummy oil for help with colic and upset. I have had several focus groups to look at several different formulations for you. Whenever there is the slightest little detail of a suggestion, I take it very much to heart and try to work out any quirks. Our formulations are now ready. They are dynamite! You’re going to love them. So what’s the hold-up?
Ding, ding, ding….you’re right, it’s me. I’m all the departments. Giggle. I am about six weeks behind getting them to you, with packaging and labeling decisions. That leaves us somewhere in late September or early October. I promise it’s worth the wait. I’ll also be presenting some other new things at the same time. -Kristy
In the meantime, please enjoy our Labor Day Sale, which ends Wednesday 9/5 at midnight. Use codes:
Labor10 for 10% off of $40 or more*
Labor20 for 20% off of $75 or more*
Labor30 for 30% off of $100 or more*
*may not be used with other codes/discounts
…remedies Mama Sweet relies upon for her own family.
“Kristy, what do you use?” That is by far the most frequently asked question that I get from customers and friends. Followed by, “Why don’t you create something for (insert ailment)?” This is the first installment of my answers to those questions. I hope that you’ll sit back and enjoy this read; and I would love your feedback!
1. I think Ben Franklin was onto something when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The first thing in my first aid kit is to avoid refined processed foods and train the palate to crave healthy foods. This may require retraining your tastebuds (which is a little harder the older we are); but your children will eat what you eat and what’s available. The best way to stay healthy to begin with is to eat whole foods, that are grown as close to home as possible and to seek out organic when possible. Here is a link to which fruits and vegetables are “clean” and which are more prone to retaining pesticides if grown conventionally. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/
2. Sleep: A pretty scarce commodity for moms, is essential to everyone’s well-being. To encourage a restful sleep in your child and yourself, create a nighttime routine. At our house, little ones have a bath with Oatmeal Cookie Bath at night; followed by a foot massage for toddlers/whole body massage for younger babies or sick children with Rubbit Oil. We follow up with a story and prayers. Mama, we think that it is perfectly okay for the little ones to rub your feet too.
For nightmares or sleep disturbances we mix 10-15 drops of Snooze in a 12 oz spray bottle filled with witch hazel (located in the grocery or drug store next to hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol in most cases). Spray the bed linens and under the bed (to get rid of the scary things). The essential oils in Snooze are naturally calming and quieting. We also stuff a few chamomile tea bags into a sock or extra pillow case and put in-between the pillow and pillowcase that the child is sleeping on. A fancier sleep sack is nice too, but in a pinch the sock or pillowcase will do.
3. Stress, temper flare-ups, or meltdowns: We really like to use Bach’s Rescue Remedy (or the cream version for younger babies). We also use Giggle (10-15 drops in a 12 oz spray bottle filled with witch hazel) to spray down the car seat, stroller, crib, bed or stuffed animal. This is especially helpful for long outings or when the whole family is out of their normal routine. A cup of Chamomile tea is also helpful, and readily available most anywhere and if you are breastfeeding, baby will get some through you. Our little man loves a cup of warm tea.
4. Colds and Flu: We love a mixture of Kudzu tea and fresh apple or pear juicewhen sick. Kudzu tea is a little harder to find, but is available online if not in your local health store, while you can find pill form, we prefer the tea bags because of ease of use. Elderberry and Ginger are also great teas for fighting off illness. One of my favorite homemade cold teas is to steep fresh ginger root, lemon and honey(for those over 1 year).
For deep breathing, we use Breathe in a dilution of 10-15 drops with 12 oz of witch hazel in a spray bottle to wipe down surfaces and spray bed linens and toys. For heavy duty cleaning, we replace the witch hazel with vinegar. The vinegar smell does disipate quickly and the scent of the breathe will linger. Breathe is antimicrobial and an antiviral and will also aid in helping to breathe easier. Placing a few drops in the tub at bath time or in a diffuser will also help.
5. Ear aches and Infections: Avoid cold foods during ear infections and limit/replace dairy with nuts/seeds/green leafy vegetables and warm foods. Our number one go to for ear infections is A Garlic-Mullein oil massage. There are several companies who make these, and a quick search on the internet will help you locate one if you can’t find it locally. The oil must be warmed either by running the bottle under warm water, or rubbing the bottle vigorously between your hands. Massage in downward strokes behind the ears toward the jaw and then in front of the ears down the sideburn area. Even the fussiest upset baby or toddler usually will be still as this will relieve some of the pain.
6. Stomache aches, food poisoning, diarrhea, car sickness: Activated Charcoal is very helpful for these conditions, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for dosing and age/weight requirements. Also very helpful is cinnamon on food; andred raspberry leaf tea.
7. Cuts, Scrapes, Rashes, Minor Burns, Eczema, Insect bites/stings. First clean the area with witch hazel and then apply Bun Glaze. The plants used to make Bun Glaze make this far more than a diaper ointment. After having stood on a fire ant hill, by mistake, I began to understand just how important Bun Glaze is to my First Aid Kit! More uses for this product pour in from customers regularly.
These are just a few of the must haves that I keep at home at all times.
Please note that these are the remedies and wisdom that Mama Sweet uses with her family. Please consult your medical provider if you have questions about what will work for your family. This information is for educational purposes and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration; therefore it is not meant to cure, treat, diagnose or prevent illness.
This morning we spent a little time photographing a beauty in our two new Sweet Knee blankets. She’s settling in nicely with her big brother and mama and daddy. They are all as beautiful as Miss Ashby, a truly blessed family who waited a long time for her; but she was most assuredly worth the wait. Miss Ashby wanted us to tell you about one of her little secrets too; she’s experiencing a little newborn acne. She has found a little something to help clear up the little outbreaks. The secret is Oatmeal Cookie Bath. Now that she is photo ready and her skin is glowing, meet Ashby! Introducing Miss Ashby in our Wrens and Dandelions Blanket:
She also wanted to show you our Roses and Clovers blanket too:
I think she likes them! They are great for the beach, the park, to cover the car seat or stroller, and of course for swaddling. They are each double-sided as you can see here; so it is like two fashion statements in one. They are also lovingly hand stitched by a very talented South Carolina artist.
We wanted to share a few of the homemade Easter projects and traditions that we’re working on for our little Sweet Knee. He’s full of zest and life, and doesn’t need lots of candy to keep up with the crowd, so we like to add in a few non-edible creations to balance things out. These are really simple, and really sweet!
The free stuff: Start a family tradition, if you haven’t already, for Easter. A picnic in the park, a little kite flying expedition and even some good old Easter egg hunting at grandma’s house make it onto our Easter roster each year. We often hide coins and stickers in our eggs, which the kids love just as much as the traditional candy! (at least at our house)
Grass in an egg: This one takes a couple of weeks if you’re using regular grass seed, but if you are up for growing wheatgrass in an egg, it will only take a few days to sprout in time for Easter.
Felt bunny puppets: These can be hand sewn while you’re watching your favorite show. They are so simple, you’re going to want to stock up on lots of bright and fun felt colors!
These clothespin bunny’s are super sweet and quick to make.
For those who are a little less crafty, but still want to dip their toe in the art world and avoid some of the sugar, here are some simple ideas for a completely sugar free basket. We’re making dozens of the little grass pom poms instead of the store bought version. So fun, and we’ll figure out a new little use for them after Easter.
What are some of your traditions or craft ideas for Easter?
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