Review on Homemade Tooth Paste

So – eventually, I WILL make a video about this, but I figured that an update was at least due to you all.

If you review my introductory video, you will see how I made the toothpaste.

There were some unexpected negative side effects (why start with a negative? Well I am being realistic and this is what people really want to know):

  1. I used cinnamon and peppermint oil mixed with trace minerals as my paste moistener. I didn’t realize that cinnamon oil could be caustic to mucous membranes.
    • One  – it burns pretty bad lol!
    • Two – your gums may start to feel a little rough
    • Three – you will get tenderness at the gumline
    • Four – this happened over the course of two weeks brushing twice a day and using only 2-3 drops of the mineral and oil emulsion.
  2. After some more research to see if this was normal, and I found out that these side effects happen to some people (there are some who love using cinnamon and do not have adverse symptoms).
  3. As a result, I started doing Himalayan salt and water rinses immediately and only used water to moisten my tooth powder.
  4. Now, after four days, my gum are about 90% better.
  5. I will now only be using myrrh and peppermint oil for my paste (starting next week).

The good thing is that I caught it soon enough so that I don’t think I caused any permanent or serious damage. Additionally, with the right resources, your body can heal itself. My advice – do your research! I perused blogs of licensed dentists as well as people who have been using these methods for a while, which is how I got my current recipe (here is one example:http://askthedentist.com/homemade-toothpaste/). Don’t be afraid of trial and error, but be intentional about your steps.

Now, there were some wonderful positive side effects as well.

  1. No more dry mouth! I used to have issues with waking up with dry mouth in the mornings and would use mouth rinses like Biotene to remedy that issue. Dry mouth actually leads to tooth decay so you can imagine how dangerous this is for your dental hygiene. My mouth kind of stays pretty moist all day. You need the saliva in your mouth to wash away debris.
  2. My mouth felt fresher for longer periods of time after brushing. Fresh mouth, fresh breath!
  3. I didn’t have a weird and filmy build up on my teeth at the end of the day. They actually feel just like they did after I brushed. Most times after using conventional toothpaste, my teeth would get that grimy feeling after eating something.
  4. I have a sense of accomplishment in my own abilities to be a good steward of my resources and in my abilities to make useful homemade things.
  5. I am not totally sure if this is as cost efficient with the current recipe since you typically get a new tube of toothpaste once every 2 months or so, BUT I have comfort in what is going in my mouth. Even some natural toothpaste brands have ingredients that are questionable. One brand that is very popular contains Sodium Laurel Sulfate. I make sure to not even wash my hair with that, so I definitely don’t want that in my mouth.

I added a few more ingredients to my stash so that I can make deodorant. That’s next! Seem like I am going to need a regular vlog schedule soon.

Homemade ToothPaste (Base Powder)

SOOOOOO… Creations by Cupcake is back in action post-Christmas, y’all! This year I wanted to make more of a health impact on what I am doing for my health. I get a great sense of gratification when I make things, and I want to translate that into taking care of my body with homemade things. Toothpaste is something I have been researching, so I decided to take the plunge in creating my own. I made a video of myself making. It’s about 12 minutes long, so get comfy. Also, I think I was a bit nervous with this being my very first vlog post (I may have called baking soda, baking powder at some point lol).

 

Here are my recipes if you would like to try them for yourself. I don’t use coconut oil in my recipe because I do oil pulling in the morning with the coconut oil. Also, I am so accustomed to spitting my toothpaste in the sink, I felt that I would forget about the oil. You can use coconut oil in your toothpaste, but you will need to be sure not to spit it in the sink since oil can clog your drain.

Toothpaste (Base Powder)

  • 1/4 c. Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp Xylitol
  • 1 tbsp Bentonite Clay

Whitening Toothpaste (Base Powder)

  • 1/4 c. Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp Xylitol
  • 1 tbsp Bentonite Clay
  • 1 tbsp Activated Charcoal
  • 1 tbsp Cacao Powder

I will add my essential oils and trace minerals when I brush in the morning.

What about you? Do you have any recipes or tips you would like to share?

The Year Of Hope: 2017

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This year is the year that I am declaring and standing in the gap for myself that HOPE will be restored.

2016 was tough, 2017 will be victorious. I am claiming this because how else can it come into being unless I believe it to happen?

My verse for the year? Hebrews 6:19:

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”

I am holding on to this truth. My Heavenly Father has made this possible. For me to believe and know that the future is bright, no matter what circumstances occur.

 

 

 

Preparing for Victory…

Hey readers – thank you for reading! I am blessed that I have this cathartic outlet. Though I haven’t met many of you, I am thankful for your support.

The past year has been very hard.  Many of you have read through my laments and my desperate reach for God during those times. Sometimes it seems like when I get ahead in one way, I have a set back in another.

The past weekend, a couple of unfortunate events took place in the life of my family and myself that I am still working through and processing.  I am not sure when I will have the courage to write about them here in detail, but I am looking forward to seeing God transform this. I mean, he has to! His word says that he will turn all things for good for those who are called by him according to his purposes!

There is healing. There is peace in the broken pieces. There is restoration. There is victory!

I am praying that God will help me to keep my eye on his promises for me. He has not forsaken me. I am not alone. I am loved. I am purposed.

At Last…

My People!!!! I have missed you! Two months without a blog post is something that hasn’t happened in three years since this blog was erected.  A lot has happened, and  must say, it’s been a whirlwind.

As you read in my last post, I finally found a job. God has blessed me tremendously with this opportunity. My schedule has changed, obviously, and my body is more tired than usual so, blogging was not at the top of the priority list. I am currently on vacation and wanted to take some time to update you. I have missed writing so much! It’s cathartic, but it takes mental space, which I haven’t had a lot of these days.

Currently, I am in Beaufort, South Carolina. I am vacationing with my dear friend Cami from Florida. We used to work together at 4KIDS of South Florida. During our sojourn to Savannah, we met up with David, who has been deployed for almost two years in the Middle East. He is finally home and was visiting some of his friends in  Jacksonville. David and I hadn’t seen each other in two years due to his military commitments and my move back to GA.

I am really thankful for what’s transpiring in my life. There have been times over the past year where I have hated my life. I know hate is a strong word – I was in deep, deep disarray and despair. Being in that kind of a pit is one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. Not knowing when relief will come, not knowing what to do other than keep doing what you know to do in that moment. It’s hard. Though there were a lot of laments (many I posted on this blog), one thing that never waned was the belief that God was going to make things OK.

See, when we pray, our prayers are answered immediately. Mark 11:24 states:

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours.

Where we get caught up and disappointed is when we are looking for that answer to show up in the moment of our prayers. Not to say that won’t happen sometimes, but it shoudl not be the expectation. The answer shows up when it’s time. See, our timing is not God’s timing. He knows the whole story, not just the current event that we are experiencing. God know the perfect time for the answer to come to fruition. God does not hold out on us. He is, however, orderly and will allow the answer to our prayer be apparent in our lives when the time is right.

Just an example:

I pray for a job last year in July 2015 after I decided that Real Estate was not for me (as a sales agent – I still love the industry). I asked specifically for God to allow me to have a job that utilized my skills, talents, and giftings (inherent and spiritual). I also asked that my next venture would be in a place where I would not get bored, be challenged intellectually, be part of a healthy work environment, and have opportunity grow. I spent days and hours looking for jobs through that summer, winter, and the next spring. When I was finished with my lingering transactions, I was on the verge of depression because I was feeling isolated and I had cut out a lot of the extras in my life, like my gym membership, since I was not working as much with my part time position and I needed to make sure I wasn’t wasting money. I didn’t know when I was going to start working, but I kept praying the same prayer and continued to look for jobs daily. It got really hard around February. I gained some weight and my health was poor. Despite this, I still knew God had answered my prayer and the time had not yet come for me to see the resolve.

Fast forward to April, I received an email for an interview with a company called Trees Atlanta. I had an interview and subsequently got the job. When I started, I knew that my exact prayer had been answered. I am learning a lot and I am getting the opportunity to be stretched in other professional areas like Human Resources and IT. God gave me abundantly more than I could have ever imagined. This new position not only met a need, but it met all of my wants. The timing aspect – my first interview was the last day of work for the person who was occupying the position. Additionally, when this job was posted, the company received over 250 applications, yet mine was one of the top three contenders. That’s God’s favor. Also, the position wasn’t available when I prayed for in In July of 2015; however, in April 2016, the vacancy was announced. Before that time came, God already knew I would be the perfect fit. He already knew what was in the heart of the individual who was leaving and that they would be leaving even before they knew. I may have wanted this job back in July, but there were things that still needed to be done before I could move on to this new season.

My nephew was starting a new school and I was needed to help with that transition. My step dad was going to need help with transportation where my car that God has been so gracious to provide, would be needed to fill in the gap. My mother needed respite to do the things that she loves and God would use me to help with making sure my nephew was picked up from school and taken to events. None of these things could have happened if I started working at the exact moment of my prayer. God saw this before I knew it was going to be, and he made everything work out in their appointed time.

I can’t brag enough on my God. He is amazing! We may get anxious, but those are the times to allow God to do what he does best. As Philippians 4:4-7 tells us, be grateful and praise God! Don’t be anxious, just pray. Let God know what we need and be thankful for what we already have. When we do this, we will have peace that goes beyond any human understanding. That peace is invaluable. That peace is precious. That peace is what gets us through the uncertain times. It takes work to maintain the peace because it requires our mind be continually focused on what God says is true, and being obedient to what God says is right. The struggle is real, but the results are worth the struggle.

I am so grateful. I am sure that my world will continue to be rocked, but I know God is there in the boat to calm the storm when I look to him and not at the circumstances that surround me.

Light at the End of the Tunnel…

Back in February, I wrote about some of my frustrations with this season of life. I was in a bit of funk because I was feeling majorly rejected.  While I was still trying to keep hope alive in my heart, I will admit that I was feeling very disheartened. You see, I graduated number seven in my high school class. Through college, I was on the Dean’s List each semester and graduated Suma Cum Laude. I went on to have great job experiences while traveling the world.  I earned a Master’s degree in Higher Education. My relationship with God also grew exponentially. It was in 2011 that I told God that I would surrender my will, and follow his. This meant that I would give up my chosen career and go where he placed me to utilize my gifts and talents.

It was in 2011 that I told God that I would surrender my will, and follow his. This meant that I would give up my chosen career and go where he placed me to utilize my gifts and talents. I never thought I would be working in full-time ministry for the next five years. In 2014… God said, “Go home, be near your family.”

That was weird for me because by that time I had been away from them for well over nine years. I was comfortable and had no desire to move back to Georgia.

I obeyed anyway.

The summer of 2014 began a whirlwind of emotions, experiences, miracles and sweet moments that are priceless memories. I am so glad that I obeyed God. I am so glad that I took the chance in the familiar, yet unknown, world that I never thought I wanted.

Many know that I have been looking for work. I wanted God to yet again give me a position that utilized my gifts, abilities and talents that would be fulfilling in more ways than a paycheck. I tried to find position in Higher Education – my chosen field. Yet, doors constantly closed. I couldn’t understand how someone who had accomplished so much couldn’t get an interview. I had hiring managers tell me to my face that though I had an impressive resume, I am not a desirable candidate. Basically, I had too much experience for entry level positions and not enough for  a lot of other fields.  I was in a funk, and I was fighting depression (something I am prone to having). The depression was starting to take over until I really began to realize that there was joy in this.

The joy was that I was given time to experience and be part of the making of someone else’s breakthrough.  My family. Everyone’s transition was interlocking. Had I been working full-time I would not have been part of the work God was doing through me (what I asked him to in so many prayers). God didn’t, doesn’t and never will need me to complete any of His plans; however, he CHOOSES to use me to do his will. He gladly allows me to be involved, though I do not deserve the privilege.

God’s command for this year was to grow. Growth is painful. Groth is uncomfortable. Growth requires getting up after falling down. Grow demands discipline and persistence.

Growth demands grace.

Oh how I wish I were grace-filled every day! It’s a daily struggle, but that’s the point. I am my worst critic, and I am very hard on myself. Lord, please show me how to have grace for myself the way you freely shower on my daily!

So now, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A new season is beginning. My Florida chapter is closing. As of May 17th, I will begin a new position at a new nonprofit in Atlanta. It’s not in ministry, and that’s OK. I believe that my time in ministry was an incubation period and now I am back out in the secular marketplace to be a light to others. God had refined some things in me, yet I am still a work in progress.  I believe this new position will completely utilize everything that I have experienced professionally. God has strategically prepared me for this. He’s done and continues to do a new thing for my life. I really had no clue when this day would come. Now that it’s here,  I’m glad that God orchestrated it in the way he did.

I pray that I learn how to endure the times while I am waiting a little better. I think this time sent me almost over the edge. My ego was severely bruised. But, it has helped me to see that this experience is not about me. It’s about God and his work. My mind needs to say on what he has promised me – eternity, and that is yet to come. The purpose right now is to be the best steward of the time I have been lent and be as flexible as possible.

Perspective of Miracles…

Happy Resurrection Day! I hope and pray that you have done something that warmed your heart on this day we remember the victory of Christ. My mom and I had initially planned to climb Stone Mountain in Stone Mountain Park, but because of the crazy rain the day before, I didn’t think it would be a good idea (the terrain is slippery even if it hasn’t rained in months).

Side Note: Stone Mountain is an iconic landmark in the Metro Atlanta area. It’s actually a solid piece of granite (think of a rock that you get from the lake and multiply the size times a bagillion). The surrounding area has been made into a park that bodes a lot of family attractions and accommodations. There are laser shows in the summer, lots of cool events and sky buckets! In the winter, they make snow and turn it into “Snow Mountain,” complete with tobogganing. You can also climb to the top of the mountain on a trail, and it was our intention to climb to watch the sunrise for Easter.

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So, no Stone Mountain – it was OK. I decided to serve at Church. I usually serve every Sunday except for second Sunday; however, this day I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my mom since I don’t get to see her every day. Due to the Easter services, the program that I usually serve with was cancelled, so I ended up serving in other areas as needed. Service was amazing, and I am glad that I was able to go and take part of celebrating my Lord and Savior! My mom wanted to see the movie Miracles from Heaven, and I thought that it would be a good day to go (it was nasty, half way drizzling, and overcast). I am so glad we went to see it this afternoon.

Without giving the story away, you should know that the main theme of the movie is “miracles.” HAHA! I guess you could tell that by the title, but it’s so much deeper than that. We need to be mindful and watchful for these miracles. My mom and I left the theater in tears today. I mean ugly face, can’t breathe tears. The movie was a nod from God about our current situation. Right now my mom is living in another town during the week so my nephew has the opportunity to go to a private school. I am looking for work and it seems like doors are closed in my face on a daily basis. We shared tidbits of how God is showing he is working everything out.We described what we believed to be daily miracles. Miracles and winks from God that let us know we are right where he wants us. The expression of these things made us weep.

These weren’t sad tears. They were tears of overwhelming mixed emotions consisting of gratitude, exhaustion, excitement, frustration and joy (hey look – Joy is still showing in 2016…wink!). As we talked about how God has paved the way with events leading up to today, it was affirmation that we are incredibly loved, cherished and honored. The thought that God would think so much of my mom and I to make these puzzle pieces fit together so perfectly is overwhelming. Why us? Why me? Why anyone? People in general are so horrible and hateful, why does God even want anything to do with us?

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:4-10 (emphasis mine)

God is rich in mercy. He loves us so much. He gave us life and saved us by his grace. WE ARE HIS MASTERPIECE! Us – one sixth of his creation. Anything that a person would consider a masterpiece would have immense value, maybe even immeasurable. Someone would go through great lengths to protect a masterpiece. Someone would go through great lengths to restore a masterpiece (think of the great lengths of the continuous restoration of the Sistine Chapel). God died. He died for us, and he raised himself from that death to show death that nothing can come in between him and his creation. He did this so that we could have a choice. He DIED so that we could have a choice. And, should we choose him, the floodgates burst open with provision and a path of more than we could even imagine.

Right now, this experience, as difficult and frustrating as it is, is far better than I ever could have imagined. God is good. He is so good to me. I will not lie, nor will I try to give you platitudes about my life right now. It’s unbelievable easy, and it’s the most difficult period I have ever experienced in my life.  It’s easy because I am in a period of waiting and I don’t want for anything. I don’t have any unmet needs. I do have unmet wants and desires that God is using to teach me to be a better steward of all aspects of my life.I have an incredible safety net in my family. I am loved and well kept as I am wrapping things up with my current assignment. I pretty much have a cushy life and lots of flexibility.

This is the most difficult time because for once I don’t really have a next step. I am completely baffled about myself, and uncertain about who I am professionally. I am experiencing a lot of insecurity about my experience, education and goals. If someone were to ask me today to describe where I see myself in five years in the workforce, or even where I would aspire to be, I don’t think that I could answer confidently.  I simply don’t know what I want anymore. I can’t see a vision right now. I feel confused. This is the part that concerns me because God is not the author of confusion. I know that this is spiritual warfare, but I am not sure I am fighting well every single day. This is the area where I am of greatest need of prayer and strengthening in the Lord.

Deep down, I know there is a resolve to this current season that will usher me into the new one. It’s coming. It has to or it would mean God is a liar, and he has already said in his word that he never changes nor does he lie (see Numbers 23:19 and Titus 1:1-3). I want to continue to enjoy this time of rest and reconnection. It has been such a sweet experience, and I feel it would grieve the Lord if I allow my joy to be tarnished because I lack proper perspective.  We have to fight for our joy. Satan wants it to be stolen, lost and clouded by day to day circumstances the normal disappointments of life. God wants us to be able to see the entire forest, not just the group of trees that are directly in front of us. This mean we need to climb a tree so we can see that the forest is at the edge of a beautiful waterfall flowing with promise, replenishment and resources. I need to climb a tree, and quickly!

New things are coming… he is making something new…I just need new perspective, strength and faith…

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

 

 

An Unexpected Letter…

I went to Passion City Church’s Good Friday service at the Verizon Amphitheater and had an amazing time with some friends. Lacrae, David Crowder and also Passion City’s own worship team gave spectacular performances and we had an inspiring message by Louie Giglio. In between the music performance and the sermon, there was a presentation of this video. It was pretty amazing. Listen to the whole thing. There is victory in the name of Jesus!

Nostalgia From Academia…

Today, I went back to one of my Alma Maters, Georgia State University, to celebrate a good friend’s departure from the school where she has worked for the past 14 years. The last time I spent any significant amount of time on was in 2005 prior to graduation. Yes folks, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree over 10 years ago! Before her celebration, I walked around a little bit. It even smelled the same! So many memories… I miss academia! I miss being on a college campus. Here are a few pictures. This isn’t even half of the campus. It’s very localized to where my destination was today. The campus as grown sooo much since I went there. I learned we even have a beach volleyball team….yep….#winning.

 

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