Saturday, October 30, 2010

Skin Fix Body Paste | Review & Giveaway

Before the boy was born I received a sample container of Skin Fix Buttocks Paste; this Canadian-made, natural product was touted to be great for diaper rash and cradle cap.  And it was.  This was the only product that seemed to lift the cradle cap scales off the boys head rather than mucking them up into a icky, mess.

After realizing that Skin Fix buttocks paste delivered on its promise, I was ecstatic when Skin Fix provided me with the opportunity to test out their Body Paste.

 Body Paste is free of lanolin, parabens and sulfates and has antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflamatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and "can really help in just about every skin problem known to man".  Skin Fix Body Paste has been known to be effective for "acne (head), fever blisters, cold sores, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, insect bites, minor burns and abrasions, skin irritation from razor burn, cuts, wounds, rashes, post tattoo, and athletes foot."

You will notice eczema was on that list, which is of course what piqued my interest.  As regular readers will know, both the boy and I suffer from Eczema and have only had moderate success at controlling it with anything except corticosteroid creams, which no one wants to use on a regular basis.

As with any new product I started small and applied the body repair paste to the eczema that plagues my ring finger (and prevents me from wearing my wedding ring).  I was amazed, in only one night I saw an improvement; Skin Fix Body Repair Paste had made my finger appear smooth and unblemished, a feat my physician prescribed creams has never been able to achieve

After my success with the Body Repair Paste, I was eager to try it out on the boy.  At the time, he was experiencing an eczema flare up on his knees, legs and ankles.  Again, after only one application a visible improvement was noticeable, both the redness and inflammation was significantly reduced.  Within a few days, his eczema had pretty much cleared up altogether.  These days I find myself reaching for Skin Fix Body Repair Paste, instead of the cortisone, at the first sign of a flare up and it gets things under control in short order.

A 112g tub of Skin Fix Body Repair Paste will last you a long time, its very thick and a little goes a long way.  It's also likely you won't need to use the Body Repair Paste everyday; we only use it during flare ups and that seems to be more than enough.  Since I slather the boy with Aquaphor each night to keep his skin as moisturized as possible, I had great success when I applied the Aquaphor (I'm sure any thick moisturizing cream would work) right over top of the Body Repair paste as part of our evening routine.  I also found that like pretty much everything else I have ever tried, in the bleeding aftermath of fervent scratching, it was worth waiting until morning before applying Body Repair Paste.

Skin Fix Body Paste is a great natural product with antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that was able to effectively clear up both the boys' and my own eczema symptoms.  At a price of just $13.49 CDN for 112g, its definitely worth trying out if you suffer from dry skin conditions.

Enter to Win
Winners choice of 112g size of Skin Fix Product
(Three to be awarded)
First Entry:
Leave a comment and share, which Skin Fix product are you most interested in trying out?

Additional Entries:
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Does your family suffer from Eczema? Skin Fix Body Paste can help | #Review & #Giveaway | @mommastuffblog #CMTT 

Giveaway closes Sunday November 14th at 8pm.  Winner will be determined by a random number generator. Winner will be notified via email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new name will be drawn and contacted.

Contest is now closed. 
Congratulations to our winners
Comment # 19 Jennifer

Comment # 15 Moving Forward
Comment # 10 Karen Lisa

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkins! Pumpkins! Pumpkins!

Despite the threatening torrential rain pour, the boy and I made it out to our local pumpkin patch this weekend.  Although we met some friends on site, the boy had his own agenda. 

We checked out the corn fields.

Played the drums...

Tried to steal baby pumpkins...

And ran through the pumpkin patch with no help from Momma at all.

After all that, a well deserved rest was in order.

And Momma finally got a chance to take in the scenery.

I feel so fortunate to live somewhere that a trip to the pumpkin patch, complete with the smell of earth in the air and the feel of mud in our boots, is just around the corner.

If you have a moment, please check out our fabulous

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gluten - Day 2

gluten-full toast

Back in May I expressed my hesitation about introducing Gluten to the boy.  I know that many Celiac and gluten-intolerant parents have children who are not afflicted by their dietary restrictions, but its scary to imagine the boy unnecessarily experiencing all that discomfort.  That being said, I also don't want him to be restricted to a gluten-free diet if its not what his body requires.

I have also been hesitant to introduce gluten, since the boy seems to be constantly in the midst of an eczema flare up and I know from experience that when your body is trying to fight one thing, it becomes much more difficult to deal with a new issue or intolerance.   Fortunately, since finding Earth Balance Soy-free margarine, and completely cutting all traces of soy and soybean oil from the boy's diet, I've finally got his eczema under control.  I've actually been able to feel softness in the boys skin and until recently, I'm not even sure that I ever remember him without eczema on at least one body part.

After my Mom showed me an article in her Best Health Magazine about the effects of a gluten-free diet on individuals not requiring the restriction, I realized the time had finally come.  The article is brief, but discusses a UK study, which found that:
...healthy adults who ate a gluten-free diet for a month had a dramatic drop in protective gut bacteria and immunity-boosting chemicals. Low levels of certain gut-friendly bacteria may lead to digestive issues, diarrhea and other problems.

This struck a particular cord with me as the boy (who eats a ton of solid food) has had soft and loose poops since he was about 8 months old.  At first I attributed them to the addition of formula to his diet, later I would attribute it to the bug we caught while travelling Asia, then I assumed it was due to the soy in his diet.  But when his stools didn't improve after removing the soy from his diet, I started to think the boy still had some sort of bug, but a stool test proved that wasn't the case either.

Perhaps, the lack of gluten IS a contributing factor.  I have started giving the boy BioGaia probiotic drops in his milk once a day, and this week I took the plunge and bought the boy some gluten-containing bread.  I chose to go with Silver Hills Sprouted Grain Mack's Flax as it is free of both dairy and soy (not an easy feat), has less gluten than traditional breads, not to mention that fact that the boy is used to flax in his bread.  I gave him half a piece of toast and wasn't even sure if he would even eat it as the texture is so different from the potato bread he is used to.  I needn't have worried, he gobbled it up, crust and all.

Two days and two half pieces of toast later; there has been no diarrhea, no irrational crying, no clutching of the stomach and no rashes or itchiness.  We will continue to take things slow but so far things are looking positive for the boy.  I'm excited for him, gluten may just blow his world.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Live Clean Body Lotion | Review & Giveaway

Back in July, I shared my experience with Live Clean Baby a new line of eco-friendly personal care products for your little ones.  After the launch of Live Clean Baby it quickly became apparent to the folks at Live Clean that there was a need for a line of Live Clean mouisturizers targeted at an adult audience.

Live Clean continues their commitment to the environment with these mouisturizers which are completely vegan and made with 98% plant ingredients.  Live Clean mouisturizers are free of sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), diethanolamine (DEA), parabens, phtalates and phosphates: sadly, common ingredients in many personal care products available today.

I had the opportunity to test out all three of the new mouisturizers and am happy to report that not only do I love them, my family is arguing over who can take posession of my half-used bottles, now that I've had a chance to test them all out.  Live Clean has also graciously agreed to provide one Momma Stuff Blog reader with the chance to try out all three of these lotions out for themselves; giveaway details at the end of the post.

All three of these mouisturizers are rich and smooth in texture and absorbed quickly into my skin.  They are neither greasy nor sticky and they immediatley left a coolness on my skin as the moisturizer began to hydrate me. All of the lotions are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

I started out with the Fragrance Free Body Lotion, intended for sensitive skin; this moisturizer is rich in vitamins A and E and is entirely fragrance free.  Personally, I find that 'fragrance free' is in fact a scent of its own, which assume its actually the pure scent of moisturizer.  I don't particularly care for the smell of 'fragrance free' but since scents often disagree with me, we've become friends.  If you have sensitive skin, you'll know what I'm talking about.  The Live Clean Fragrance Free Body Lotion is a great option for the men in your life who need to moisturize, but don't want anyone to know it.  My Dad will be taking possession of my bottle of Live Clean Fragrance Free Body Lotion for his 'lizard legs'.

My sister on the other hand, has been scouring the shelves of our local drug stores for the Live Clean Fresh Water Body Lotion, which has a light, fresh scent that includes extracts of rosemary and chamomile (and is also available in a hand soap).  Most notably, this lotion includes hyaluronate a natural moisturizer and component in tissue repair within the human body.  With the Live Clean Fresh Water Body Lotion, a little goes a long way, so one tube is sure to last you for quite some time.

Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Replenishing Body Lotion is an addition to the Exotic Nectar line, which already includes shampoo and conditioner, smooth and shine cream and oil treatment.  This mouisturizer utilizes argan oil, cold-pressed from the nut of the Argan tree, which is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E.  With such a suite of mouisturizers, its no wonder this lotion is intended for dry skin.  True to its name, the lotion has a nutty, exotic smell.  If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine I'm on a Moroccon beach.

Live Clean somehow manages to make this trio of environmentally-friendly, effective mouisturizers while keeping them at an affordable price point of $6.99 for a 227ml (7.7 oz) tube.  These lotions are fabulous and will keep your skin hydrated and smelling delicious (or fragrance free if you prefer), without compromising our delicate planet.  Definitely a keeper in my books.

Enter To Win:
Live Clean Mouisturizing Lotion Trio
Open to Canadian Residents Only

The First Entry is mandatory; all other entries will be disqualified if it is not included.  
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  

First Entry:
Leave a comment and share, which of the three lotions interests you the most

Additional Entries:
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Good for the Earth & your skin | Live Clean Body Lotion #Review & #Giveaway | @mommastuffblog #CMTT 

Giveaway closes Sunday October 31st at 8pm.  Winner will be determined by a random number generator. Winner will be notified via email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new name will be drawn and contacted.

Contest now closed - Congratulations to our winner
Comment #13, Moving Forward

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

to share, or not to share

When I started this blog, I knew that I wanted to share my opinions, my experiences and glimpses into my life with all of you.  I wanted to make new friends and I wanted a creative outlet that was honest and authentic but at the same time I was conscious of the fact that it was my decision to share, not the boys'.  My beautiful little peanut, so precious and vulnerable, as much as I wanted to share, I needed to keep him safe.

So after only a couple posts I removed all traces of the boys name from the blog and simply dubbed him, the boy.  This somehow made me feel safer; knowing that strangers would never be able to call his name from afar and convince him that they were friends.  A parents worst nightmare.

And yet, from what I understand, its not strangers that are most likely to prey on our children, its people we know, its people our children know. When the boy was first born a teacher friend cautioned us against sharing photos on Facebook, rattling off scary statistics about the people most likely to prey on your children.  It scared me, but I eventually decided my need to share with friends and family was stronger than the fear.  That being said, my Facebook photos all have privacy settings that prevent strangers from viewing my boy.

But is that really enough?

I post pictures of the boy here on my blog, but I rarely post pictures of his face in its entirety or really anything that I feel is just a little too intimate for public consumption.

I struggle with this regularly, I've always loved photography, I even worked in a photo lab when I went to university.  And since I got my Nikon D3000 for my birthday I've been snapping photos like crazy.  There have been so many gorgeous photos of the boy that I long to share with you all, but I just can't.

I'm jealous of people like Kelle and Lolli and Karen Lisa who feel free enough to share beautiful photos of their families on their blogs.  Granted all three of these particular women are professional photographers, but its not just them.  All you Momma's who share the photos of your children; I respect you, envy you even.

But I can't.  My boy just feels safer, tucked away on my harddrive and scattered throughout my home.  And when I read about Momma's who have had their little boys photos exploited, my heart breaks for the famliy, but it simply reaffirms to me, that for us, for our family, this sliver of privacy is the right thing.

Where is your line in the sand? 
Just how much of your family are you willing to share with your readers?

Current Giveaway: One pair of Stride Everyday Panties

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Druide Baby Starter Kit and Pur & Pure Review

Druide is an an ECOcert certified Canadian company that creates personal care products that are natural, organic, biodegradable, scented without synthetic perfums and preservatives and all their products are paraben,sodium laurel sulfate and nut free.  In short Druide encompasses all of the things I look for in personal care products.  Druide has a very honest website, including a listing of the ingredients used and their benefits; a surprising rarity on personal care product websites.
I had the opportunity to test out the Baby Starter Kit, which includes four great products in a clear carrying case; a great present for the eco-momma's in your life.  We also had the chance to test out a few products from the Pur and Pure line, which contain no fragrance and are designed for hypersensitive people with sensitive skin.

My absolute favourite product was the Baby Protecting Balm, which is designed to rebuild and protect sensitive skin.  The balm is very soft and slick making it easy to apply to the boys diaper area whenever signs of redness appear.  The boy put up no protest when applying the baby protecting balm and I found that redness was drastically reduced, if not gone within a single diaper change. 

The Baby Shampoo utilizes hibiscus flower extract and natural fruit extracts to create a delicious smelling cleanser that eliminates unwanted bacteria and yeasts.  The shampoo suds' easily and left the boys hair smelling yummy and feeling squeaky clean.  Like all other shampoos we have tried, the boys scalp was still dry and a little flaky after use, but in truth this is an issue of the boys', not the product. 

The Calming Baby Soap utilizes mango butter, chamomile, vitamin E and aloe making it an anti-inflammatory and purifying blend.  Like the other products in the Baby Starter Kit, the calming baby soap smells delicious, it suds' beautifully and left my skin feeling soft and clean, but not slimy with mouisturizers like some soaps do.  The unique shape of the soap includes a divet on the top, so that you can mash the dregs of your previous bar right into it, a trait that I personally think is fabulous.  

Unfortunately, the boy was hypersensitive to the calming baby soap, but the Pur and Pure Soap which contains no fragrance at all, didn't cause the boy any irritation.  The Pur and Pure Shower Gel based on olive and rice proteins, was also provided for us to try as a soap alternative.  It's mild, scent-free cleansing abilities didn't irritate the boy's skin and was a great alternative for his hypersensitive skin.

The Baby Soothing Lotion is intended to repair young skin and soothe irritations including itchiness, rashes and sunburn.  It felt smooth and silky on my skin and was not greasy at all.  It was quickly absorbed, but left my skin smelling great.  Sadly, the boy also displayed hypersensitivity to the Baby Soothing Lotion.
Pur and Pure Face and Body Lotion was provided as an alternative to the baby soothing lotion for us to try.  It uses rice proteins and is specifically designed to be free of irritating agents.  I was happy to discover that for the boy, this lotion lived up to its claims and caused no irritation following use on multiple consecutive days. 

Overall, I was impressed with Druide products and would feel confident buying a Baby Starter Kit for any of my eco-momma friends, provided there was no history of skin conditions, eczema and hypersensitivity (which we have in my family), in that case, I would definitley steer towards Druide' Pur and Pure line.  Find out more about Druide on their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

a New Look for the Momma Stuff Blog

For me, this blog has had a natural evolution.  Once I decided on a name, I just picked a blogger template and started reviewing products I loved and sharing tidbits of my life.  Slowly I began to make contact with various companies and PR reps and I found myself working with these amazing people for the purposes of product reviews and giveaways.  I found this transition very exciting (in fact I still do).

For a long time I toyed with the idea of a custom domain, after all you can buy it right through Google for only $10 a year.  I worried however, that once I bought the domain, things might get complicated.  If there was anything more to it than just a couple of straightforward clicks of the mouse, I worried I'd end up frustrated with my blog lost in cyberspace.  Fortunately, encouraged by my friend Jill at Glamamom, I took the plunge and it truly was an easy transition.  Google and Blogger took care of everything and within moments was mine and I no longer had 'blogspot' in my URL.

Of course once I had a custom domain, my plain old, same old template just didn't seem good enough anymore.  Fortunately a friend of my sisters does some designing on the side and although I gave her a huge jumbled mess of ideas, she came back with something that is beautiful, clean and captures the essence of the Momma Stuff Blog.

I hope you like the Momma Stuff Blog makeover, I know I do.

GF/DF/SF Quinoa Zucchini Mini Muffins

mini muffins 2
I like to think that even if we could eat store bought, processed foods (which we can't) that I would still take the time to make our baked goods at home, at least most of the time.  First off, I love to bake, I always have.  Second, if I make it, I know whats in it.  There's nothing worse than reading a list of ingredients and not being entirely sure what the purpose of each strange sounding thing on the list is.  Finally, I love that in making my own goodies, I can adapt the flavours to my own tastes, or as is the case as of late, the boys' tastes.

The boy doesn't care all that much for sweet things, in fact I made chocolate chip banana bread (gluten and dairy free of course) and he touched it to his mouth ever so briefly before refusing it.  Baked goods with quinoa on the other hand?  He loves them.  Strange kid, I know, he loves healthy snacks so long as they are flavourful.

I've been making him mini muffins of various varieties for quite some time now and as you can see from his picture, I think I finally found just the right combination to appease his taste buds.  These Quinoa zucchini muffins are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free and I'm pretty sure that with the use of a flax gel, they could easily be egg-free too. 

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
Quinoa Zucchini Mini Muffins


1/2 cup Sorghum flour
1/2 cup Sweet Rice flour
1/2 cup Quinoa flakes
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown sugar*
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 generous cup)
1/3 cup cranberries

  • Preheat oven to 400F and prepare your mini muffin tin (I use the mini muffin liners)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients by hand.  (A whisk will mix the ingredients and add air to your flour mixture)
  • Blend together your egg, oil and rice milk.  Stir in the vanilla.
  • Add the zucchini and cranberries to the wet mixture and mix until combined.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet (its ok to blend this more than traditional muffin recipes).
  • Drop by large tablespoons into the mini muffin tin.
  • Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until firm to touch, lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  • Cool and enjoy.
 Yield 2 dozen mini muffins.

*I used brown sugar and sweetened craisins, since that was what I had on hand, and actually found these a little bit sweet.  I might try substituting agave next time, or reducing the sugar to 1/3 cup.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My first wordless Wednesday, a little late in the day, and not quite wordless...
Our driveway (and the neighbours if I'm being honest) is now beautifully decorated and covered with pictures by our own little Picasso.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The boy's first babysitter

Last night, the hubs, my sister and I all went to see Jack Johnson and I can say with absolute certainty, Jack is a favourite in our house.  I've seen him four times in concert, I walked down the aisle to 'better together' and even the boy is almost instantly soothed by Jack Johnson's music.

The concert was good, not my favourite live appearance but definitely enjoyable.  In truth, it seemed weird seeing him in an indoor venue, there's something so much more personal about listening to his folky music in the great outdoors.  We bought the boy a concert tee to match his concert onsie we bought at the last concert, when he was still safe inside my belly.

Speaking of the boy, what was notable about this particular night, is that it was his first time at home with a babysitter.  Granted he was asleep when we left & asleep when we got home (I'm sure it was the easiest $50 bucks she ever made), but she did partake in the nighttime routine; read him his books, gave him his bottle and put him to bed.

And he did great.  He didn't seem to mind that she was putting him to bed, he didn't cry or whine or anything.  He just settled in and went to sleep like he always does.  Momma was so proud.

I've been saying forever that I wanted to start introducing the boy to a babysitter, but I just haven't done it.  I know that taking time to enjoy myself separate from my role as a parent is a good thing, that its beneficial for the entire family, but then why is it so hard to actually do?

How old is your little one?  Do you use a babysitter?  If so, how old was your little one when you first left him/her with a babysitter?  I'm hoping now that we've had one successful evening with the babysitter it will be easier to do it again.  Perhaps the hubs and I could even try having a date night - what a concept.

If you have a second, please stop in and check out our current giveaways:
Stride Everyday Panties (closes October 17)