Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.
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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Thank you to all of you for Staying Sweet! We are so happy to have all of our new customers, and we’re over the moon to have so many long time loyal sweethearts too!
Best wishes and the Sweet life,
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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
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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.
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.
Bubbly 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.
Our get Moody Essential Blends
Giggle is great for uplifting even the crankiest of babes/adults. We love this one for the car and for mixing into vinegar and water for household cleaning. This is made of mandarin, sweet orange and sweet marjoram, yum!
Snooze is great for calming down and getting ready for sleep without the use of lavender. This is great for the long trips, crib linens and during tense times when your shoulders feel glued to your neck. You’ll love the combination of clary sage and geranium blossoms.
Breathe is perfect for colds, flu and sinus headaches. This is the one we go to for just about anything that ails you. You’ll love the eucalyptus, lemon and ginger.
I’d love to answer all of your questions. You can use our contact page on the site, or write to us on facebook or twitter. We’d love to get to know you and help to meet your needs.
Best wishes and the Sweet Life,
President and Mama of Sweet Knee