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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

All Manner of Ailments and lots of Sweet Remedies

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).
  • 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.

We also heard from one of our mamas who proudly had an at home birth, and is using Bun Glaze to heal a small tear, and was relieved that there was no stinging.

 

 

Bluebird Joins Sweet Knee

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

 

A Natural First Aid Kit

…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).

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.

 

The Emotional Side of Eczema

Be sure to read down to the end of our blog today to enter for your chance to win a prize worth over $50.00 on Valentine’s Day….just in case you need a little more heart in your day!

 

Today we’re welcoming a very special guest blogger to share her expertise on the emotional aspects of eczema. Jennifer from The Eczema Company is here and we hope you will comment with your questions and thoughts. We’ll make sure that she sees them all. We want to get a conversation going and hope you’ll join in too. Jennifer’s bio and beautiful picture are featured below her post. -Best wishes and the Sweet life, Mama Sweet -Kristy

Eczema is a chronic illness that affects 10-20% of children in North America. The severity ranges from mild dry skin to extreme head-to-toe, red, inflamed skin. My son had the more severe form of eczema, but now that we’ve identified his key triggers (food allergies, detergents, and heat), his skin is 95% better. We count our blessings everyday for his miraculous turn around. And, as one mother who has been through the worst eczema can offer, I understand how truly gut wrenching and emotional this skin condition can be on the child and the rest of the family.

Something I heard early on is “what works for one child’s eczema, may not work for another.” I repeat this phrase constantly to remind myself and to others as it really captures what a challenge eczema is how frustrating it can be. It is NEVER easy. It keeps our children (and us) awake for hours at night as we cover their hands and try to comfort them doing anything in our power to distract from the itchiness and the overwhelming desire to scratch. It has us researching for hours about treatment options and new moisturizers to try. It has us racking our brains for any possible indication as to what may have triggered the last flare-up. We wonder if our children will be bullied because their skin looks different. We wonder if all the painful creams, different treatments, and nights without sleep will cause lasting damage to our little ones. Will they grow up to be happy and healthy or will they suffer with this condition forever? If they don’t grow out of it, how will they cope without us there to prepare their food free from allergies and to carefully monitor their skin? This is the emotional side of eczema and it’s a beast.

What I’ve discovered is that our children really are resilient. They may throw fits when we try a new cream that stings or smells different, but know that it will pass. Just put that cream aside and find another to try (expensive, I know – you should see the closet full of cream that didn’t work for my son.) Our children will still love us and with a little bit of encouragement or bargaining (smile) they will trust us again and it’s on to try a new cream. Our children will get past their difficulties and will become stronger due to these struggles early on. I have lately come across some really great examples of successful, very self motivating, young adults who suffered greatly with severe eczema as children. Most of them still have it, but have learned to manage it and to my upmost relief, they still love their parents. (Phew! There is hope!) They understand now that all the treatments, medications, wet wrapping, and moisturizing sessions were given by their parents because their parents loved them unconditionally and never wanted to give up hope for health, happy children.

In the meantime, before our children grow into outstanding young adults, books can help them understand their skin condition. For my son, books really helped him see that he wasn’t alone. Other children have eczema too. This seemed to be quite a relief for him. I’ve posted some eczema children’s books on my blog here.

For parents, support groups can really help us deal with our emotions. There are tons of great online eczema parent resources on FaceBook. Join a group and read through all the stories and you’ll see you’re not alone. I have found the parents to be so encouraging to one another. It really is uplifting and absolutely essential when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom or when you’re just confused about a treatment option. There aren’t a lot of offline support groups available exclusively for eczema, but there are some that also deal with food allergies and asthma. Look on FAAN’s support group website for a group near you.

Eczema is difficult and can put our emotions through the ringer. It is a constant battle for our children as well. Be as patient as possible and find a support system. Remember that we must take care of ourselves if we have any hope of providing the best care for our children.

Bio:  Jennifer is a work-at-home mother of two. One with eczema, food allergies, and asthma.

One with mild eczema. She blogs about her family’s battles with allergies, eczema, and asthma at

It’s an Itchy Little World. Jennifer is the founder of The Eczema Company, which offers specialty clothing

and natural skin care for children with eczema.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Coming  on Valentine’s Day, our first issue of Sweet Knee Heart Notes…a few little Heart Notes as well as loyal customer promotions and giveaways to help you get clean and stay sweet! As we mentioned before there will be a big prize worth over $50.00, so don’t miss out! 

Sign up here to receive our Sweet Knee Heart Notes, they’ll be coming to your mailbox once or twice a month, and you won’t want to miss the first one – it’s a really sweet deal.

<3 Mama Sweet -Kristy

enter email address in the box below.. and then click on the subscribe button.

 

 

The Q&A That New Sweet Moms Want To Know

Because so many of you are new to Sweet Knee, and I am so glad that you’re here, I wanted to drop a few lines to tell you about myself and Sweet Knee. My name is Kristy and I am the Mama behind the brand. Sweet Knee was a nickname that my son earned as a crawler for his unique ability to bruise his left knee even with leg warmers and knee pads. The other leg was always extended straight out to the side in a crab like fashion! My husband and I used to kiss that knee and call it his Sweet Knee…and the name stuck.

 

 

 

Here’s our brief company backstory:

Our son developed a pretty disturbing rash in the hospital within 24 hours of his birth. I was breastfeeding him exclusively and so I was told that it was probably due to something I was eating, but I didn’t buy that. His little bottom looked as though it had been placed in boiling water, and the pediatrician prescribed a steroid cream. (I was slightly beyond horrified).

I noticed when I brought him home and stopped using the disposable diapers used in the hospital, that the rash began to heal, but not completely. My son had what I later discerned was a chemical reaction to the materials used in the diapers. In the meantime, my mother, who has been in the skin care industry for 45 years, told me to get in the kitchen and do something. So I did, and that is how our first product, Bun Glaze, was created. I used the plants from my garden along with some of the ingredients from my “medicine” (natural ingredients) cabinet. Within 24 hours, the rash disappeared. My son went from looking like a burn victim, to a healthy little boy in less than a day.

I began the company with a notebook, those natural ingredients, a kitchen; and some water color paints that I used to design the labels. My husband was my cheerleader and the one who told me that this was too good not to share with others. So, we built a 500 square foot lab that we outgrew within the first 2 years. We now have 1000 square feet (which is super small compared to all of those other natural companies out there). We actually make our products ourselves, that way we control the quality and make sure that the individual ingredients are of the highest quality and that no corners are cut along the way.

About our ingredients:

We proudly list every single ingredient on our product pages, and we have customers who talk endlessly to their friends about their favorite Sweet Knee products. Some of them jump in and answer customer service questions before I find a chance to check Facebook or Twitter. We love all of our customers for their passion and loyalty. We also love your babies and children and want the best for them. That is why we do not use some pretty familiar ingredients like lavender and tea tree because the NIH found a correlation with some potential hormonal abnormalities. See more information here.

We have not changed our formulations, and are loyal to the farmers that we purchase from. That close relationship allows us to make sure that you are getting the quality that you are paying for and that our product integrity is maintained. The only significant change in our ingredients was to our Oatmeal Cookie Bath in 2011 when we were able to locate a farmer that can provide organic, gluten free oats (previously we had only been able to purchase organic oats). This was such a huge success story for us, because so many of our customers wanted gluten free and organic. Now all of our products are gluten free and made of certified organic ingredients.

Our Cleansers:

We do not use surfactants, the bubbling agents in soaps, because we do not believe that detergents belong on babies. So we offer three cleansing options so that you can find the combination that works best for you.

Oatmeal Cookie Bath is our all over cleanser, for super sensitive skin due to eczema, rashes, and chicken pox; and also is our recommendation for newborn skin. The product is a powder and contains calendula, marshmallow and german chamomile to soothe and calm the skin. A reusable muslin bag is included and can be used as a bath cloth, and to squeeze and release the plants and oats. We recommend this product also as a facial cleanser for baby and mama.

Bluebird Castille Soap is dispensed as a foam and comes in a mild calendula scent. This is great for zone cleansing, and one pump is generally enough for any baby. To zone cleanse, just use Bubbly Soap on the parts that truly get dirty (hands, feet, in between legs, and hair). This is how we should all be bathing, but those bubble baths and body washes that we all grew up with made us think that we need soap on every part of our body.

Hulababy Bar is our solid bar soap, also in the castille tradition (natural soap). We love this one for zone cleansing and for diaper rash and eczema. The men in your life will likely swipe this one, so be careful not to leave it in plain site.

Our Skin and Diaper Care:

Bun Glaze is the one that started it all and is labeled as our diaper ointment alternative. Alternative? Yes, alternative, because there are no medicinal or barrier ingredients like zinc or titanium. The product actually works because of the botanicals we use. The consistency is probably different than what you are used to with other natural diaper creams. Bun Glaze dispenses like a glaze, out of an air-free container, that squeezes out every last drop. No unsanitary jars or tubes here, you can even persuade squimish dads to change diapers because they won’t have to smear on grainy or greasy products, the Bun Glaze goes right into place. The other equally great uses include dry facial cheeks, eczema, bug and ant bites, stings, minor cuts and burns, dry skin and heels, alternative to lotion (especially in winter and for super sensitive skin) and lip softener (but our customers expand on this all the time). The results are pretty surprising to most everyone who tries Bun Glaze for the first time.

Rubbit Oil is our massage oil, bath oil and lotion alternative. We do not recommend lotions because they are water based and even the natural ones contain harsh stabilizers. Rubbit Oil is very light-weight and has a lovely mandarin and calendula scent, that is like summer, but won’t hide your babies own natural scent. This one is also great for mamas with swollen ankles and water retention.

 

Why we do not manufacture lotions: Lotions contain stabilizers (such as cetearyl alcohol) and emulsifiers (such as glyceryl oleate) that keep them shelf stable. These ingredients can be eye, skin and lung irritants and there are data gaps that make them questionable ingredients for use on babies. Because lotions are used frequently and all over the largest organ (our beautiful skin), we prefer to skip this type of product and exchange it with a more natural product. We recommend instead using Bun Glaze or Rubbit Oil in place of lotion. We have customers who use one individually, or a combination of the two depending on the season and preference for the texture/scent of each.



I’d love to answer all of your questions. You can use our contact page on the site, or write to us on facebook. I’d love to get to know you and help to meet your needs.

Best wishes and the Sweet Life,

Kristy

President and Mama of Sweet Knee

 

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to our new Sweet Knee blog. I’ll be sharing lots of behind the scenes info with you here, and trying not to use one too many exclamation marks. We’ll also have some great guest bloggers sharing their expertise and guidance, and some who will share everyday life experience that will lift you up. Those will be popping up here very soon.

Sweet Knee BoyHere are some pictures of some of our little Sweet Knee Sweethearts. First is Sweet Knee himself. He is admittedly a little too old now for the trike, but his bike doesn’t match and I thought I’d keep him a baby, if only in this picture.

Sweet Knee, the boy, was so nicknamed after he always bruised one of his knees during the crawling phase. The other leg was always extended out to the side, crab style, and remained unscathed. So we would kiss the bruised knee and call it is “Sweet Knee.” Had we waited until the tree climbing, chair jumping, big boy bike riding stage, we probably would have named the company “Sweet Knee(s) and Elbows and Toes and Nose.” But that is another story altogether. Besides, it would have been hard to get all of that on the labels.

Sweet Knee KidsHere is a picture of Memphis and Lily, two of our local customers. They are as magnificent in person as they are on film. We get to know our customers pretty well here at Sweet Knee. We include a hand written note with all of our orders and love to get emails and phone calls and facebook / twitter messages from you all. You’ll get to know more about our customers, some of whom will be guest blogging for us. You’ll even meet some of the fabulous retailers who carry Sweet Knee too.

Those gorgeous models on the home page of our site were some of our very first customers. The beautiful little girl uses our products, and the lovely pregnant mama was one of our first retailers. We like to treat you all special, because you mean a lot to us. The photographer who took the professional shots (aside from my mommy shots on this blog) will also be blogging here, giving you great tips and pointers on capturing your sweethearts. I tried my best to copy her techniques here for the blog, but I’m looking forward to some great ideas from Wendy Kovac.

I hope you will enjoy our new site, and all of our new product offerings. We’ve kept all of our formulas the same, so you can rest assured that you’re getting top notch super safe organic ingredients that are sustainable and responsibly harvested. We’ve kept the great airless bottles for our Bun Glaze and Rubbit Oil, so that there is no messy / dirty dipping into jars or tubes; and no spills.

We’ve also made a few changes here and I hope you’ll write in or call and let us know what you think.

First, our Oatmeal Cookie Bath is now made of certified gluten free, organic oats. In fact now, all of our products are gluten free. We searched high and low for a farmer who could deliver this special hard to find ingredient. We also now offer you different sizes for many of your favorite Sweet Knee products. You’ll even see some new clothing / swaddling blanket offerings and more gift collections. One of our favorites is The Giving Blanket. For each one that you purchase, we give one to a child in need. That is two warm, happy babies sporting a sweet little blanket with one purchase.

I am looking forward to blogging and getting to know more of you. Fun stuff is sure to come! (I almost made it without an exclamation mark…almost!)

~ Kristy

customerservice@sweetknee.com
P.O.Box 4253 North Myrtle Beach, SC 29597
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