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DIY Darth Vader and Baby R2D2 Costumes

Whelp here is one whopper of a #latergram.  I meant to post these costumes last October but ended up working on the baby’s until you know, midnight on 10/30.  Then I intended to post as a May the 4th celebration.  And now here we are, a full year later.

But hey, Star Wars mania is in full force, and these are two kid costumes you can literally turn out at the last second if you ha.

My older son was dead set on Darth Vader for weeks ahead of time so I was prepared for that one.

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What you need for Preschool Darth Vader:

  • Black t-shirt and sweatpants (got mine at Wal-mart)
  • Black gloves (Target has these for $1)
  • Embellishments: I used cheapo craft felt, plus a section of black strap I found on the cord aisle at Joann.
  • Black satiny fabric for cape
  • Velcro
  • Lightsaber (which we already had) and helmet (which cost more than the entire rest of the costume but it gets a lot of use.  It does the Darth Vader voice effect, so yeah, worth it.)

The cape is velcro’d on at the shoulders so it can come off if needed.  The felt decor and belt were just pinned in place then slowly sewed right around the edges with my sewing machine.  Boom.  Most impressive. (That is a Darth Vader quote, Bethany.)

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For poor Davis, we had decided to stick with the villain theme and make him a Jabba the Hutt tail to wear.  At that point in his life, Davis and Jabba sort of had similar body types. You know, the “rolls on top of rolls” look.  (I miss those rolls!!)  But then it was turning chilly and the Jabba tail just wasn’t coming together well.

And I ran across a picture of an R2D2 onesie on pinterest on approximately 10/29 that was just too cute.

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So for this Baby R2-D2 costume you will need:

  • White onesie
  • Gray pants (Also wal-mart)
  • Gray knit fabric to make your own infant cap
  • Blue, black, gray, red felt for decorations

Decorating the onesie is easy: cut out the felt, pin it in place, and then sew around the edges with coordinating thread on the sewing machine.  I had to sew the pieces on the arms by hand because the sleeve of the onesie was too tiny to fit my sewing machine. The sewing by-hand is a little tedious, but with the machine its shockingly easy.

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Now about the hat… I searched the tri-county area for a gray infant cap but alas the ONLY available colors are pink, blue, and yellow. After panicking a bit, the fog cleared and I realized that such a thing could be made from scratch.  Here is the tutorial and pattern I used, although I upsized it by about half an inch to fit a 6-month old (sniff sniff). The hat probably took an hour to figure out, and as any DIYer knows, an hour is practically nothing at all. I believe the entire R2D2 outfit took from about 9pm-midnight on Halloween Eve with at least 2 scrapped hats along the way.

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And that’s what we did in 2014.  I’ll be back in a year to show you what I’m sewing this week. (more capes, duh!) Happy Halloween and may the force be with your sewing machine between now and then!

Unsubscribing

A little over a year and a half ago, in effort to meet the book reading portion of her Thirty By Thirty checklist, Mary-Hall read and reviewed a book called 7:an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker.  (Read Mary-Hall’s original blog entry by clicking here.)  Coincidentally, about 3 months later my boss and I headed to a conference in Michigan where she had been hired to be one of two key-note speakers for the weekend…Jen being the other one.  I, of course, made several awkward blubbering remarks about how my best friend had just read her book and said it was awesome, etc. etc. but fortunately Jen is just as super and awesome and gracious and hilarious in person as you would expect her to be from her writing, and was completely un-phased by my temporary fan-girl moment.  Anyway.  Before I packed up and headed out, I purchased my own copy of “7” from her product table along with another of her earlier books.

And then I put them on my bookshelf at home.

And didn’t pick up either of them for over a year.

Until two days ago.

Keith was deep into a book of his own and the house was full of the peaceful sounds of birds chirping outside (plus an occasional chicken squwak or two) and the cat purring and the hum of passers-by outside headed to eat popsicles and fancy burgers from one of the fabulous joints at the end of our street.  Basically, and all around reading haven, and so I went into our library and carefully considered the many books on the shelves I’ve never read.  And from the middle of the “H” author section, “7” called my name and I’m ever so glad it did.

The short synopsis of the book is that the author went on seven different “fasts,” each one a month long, focused on simplifying life for the purpose of allowing Christ to reveal areas in her life that needed re-aligning.  It’s hilariously written, but the depth behind it has had me in tears on more than one occasion.  It’s the kind of book that made me want to make some changes, some of which may or may not happen. Changes like going more green. I spent about 20 minutes researching the possibility of setting up a self-waterer system for my chickens that involves the water we collect in our rain barrel.  (The jury is still out  whether or not that is a safe thing for the chickens to drink so I’ll need to do lots more research first.)  I’d love to finally try a CSA (community supported agriculture). I’m also motivated to clean out some of the like-new-condition housewares from our shed and find an organization that works with refugees instead of donating them to GoodWill or selling them on Craigslist.  I’m considering instituting a personal rule with housewares and clothing that if I buy an item, I give one away.  For example, if I buy a new sweater, I choose a sweater to give to a women’s shelter so that I never exceed the amount of clothing I have now.  I want to try my hand at composting again.  (I can already hear Keith groaning as he reads this.)  While financially our spending and saving are both on the right track, I think there is more we could be doing to plan for retirement.

My brain got overloaded with ideas and so I put the book down for a minute and opened up my laptop to check my email.  I had 13 new ones in the hour since I’d checked it (!) and as I checked the first one, from a marketing list I’m on, I clicked over to an Etsy shop that sold expensive, beautiful leather laptop bags.  Ten minutes later, I found that I was in the midst of an internal dialogue trying to rationalize the purchase of a super cute retro style bathing suit that was “on sale” from another shop that had sent me an email.  (No matter that I haven’t once this summer donned swim attire, have zero plans to go anywhere involving water for the rest of the summer, and that in addition to a few cute, relatively new-ish suits of my own, a friend recently sent me a box of almost-brand-new bathing suits that she wasn’t going to use post having given birth to twins.)  I kept clicking and suddenly realized that 12 out of the 13 emails were marketing emails from stores and that I’d wasted about 45 minutes and been tempted to purchase LOTS of things that I neither needed, or should spend money on.

And then it hit me.

I didn’t have to only eat 7 foods for an entire month (an actual chapter of the book) or sell my home and live in an trailer park or anything crazy drastic.  I could start small.  I could unsubscribe from marking emails that do nothing but flood my inbox, steal my time, and fill me with all sorts of consumerism that really at the end of the day only led to covetous thoughts and discontent with the many many many material things I am blessed with.  So I opened up my trash email folder and started unsubscribing and changing email settings.  When I was finished, I believe I had unsubscribed from a grand total of 47 different emails.  FORTY-SEVEN.  What in the world?  I was baffled at how many times a day I plug in my email address without thinking about the barrage of junk email that will ensue.  The Home Depot Garden Club from when I was comparison shopping rain barrels and hoped there would be a coupon.  CNNSports.com from when I was in a Final Four Bracket Challenge 5 years ago. (Five!  And I’ve just been hitting “Delete” all these years!)  The Red Dress Boutique from when, well, which I don’t even remember signing up for.  Most of them (Papa John’s Pizza, for instance) were no-brainers to pull the plug on.  A few were trickier.  Anthropologie was the hardest to unsubscribe from and I even tried to rationalize not unsubscribing because I actually shop there.  But I realized that I have tons of super cute clothes and I do NOT need the temptation (or the time waste) of browsing their emails daily.  And on and on it went.

I know it’s not drastic or revolutionary.  But I’m excited to see what this electronic purge does to my time management, satisfaction level, spending habits and online productivity.  And who knows.  Maybe it will be the first step in bigger things.  Like a social media fast or a shed clean out.  And I challenge you to figure out from what you need to unsubscribe.  I think we all have something we could use less of in our lives.

The Perks of Framing Wallflowers

Two Novembers ago my dear friend Jessica and her husband came to visit us.  Jessica has home decor style oozing out her very pores and so I naturally mentioned to her that I was stumped on what to hang above my desk in our office/music room/library.  She suggested that I needed a colorful painting and showed me some floral pieces online by a favorite artist of hers that I loved but couldn’t even begin to afford.  But Jess was completely unphased and said she’d painted a similar piece for her house…what colors did I like?  She bet she could make me one.  Barely 3 days after she got home, a gigantic package showed up on my front porch with a beautiful and bright painting inside.  I loved it and immediately hung it above my desk.  It made me smile every day as I worked.

My happy flower painting by my dear friend Jess.  Girl has an eye for decor...AND some mad painting skills.

My happy flower painting by my dear friend Jess. Girl has an eye for decor…AND some mad painting skills.

Ever since then, I have wanted to make some sort of whitewashed frame to make the happy painting pop even more against the chocolate brown walls.  But as I’m sure many of you have experienced, it just sort of sat at the top of my “to do” list and never got done.  Until I had the trifecta of perfect circumstances that made me put my intentions into action.  First, I had a rare free afternoon. Second, Keith had a few yard projects he wanted to knock out so I was hunting for a DIY to do and third, we’d just gotten some Hatch Show Prints framed on sale at Michael’s so we were in the picture-hanging mood.

I knew that I wanted something with a slightly whitewashed appearance.  Something similar to when my friend Amy and I made a decorative shelf for her bathroom.  I also really love the look of variegated planks (like on our chicken coop) so I decided that instead of doing a frame around the painting, I’d do one behind it out of slats of wood.  I wanted something a little sleeker than palate wood and not as heavy as lumber, so I headed to Michael’s craft store and straight to the model-plane making aisle where I chose 6 slats of ultra-light weight Balsa wood.  I got lucky because my painting was 20″ x 20″ and the Balsa wood slats were 4″ x 24″ inches which meant that 6 of them made a 24″ x 24″ square leaving 2 inches on each side of the painting.  The boards were $3.49 each so with tax the wood for the project cost less than $25.

Balsa wood planks from Michael's.

Balsa wood planks from Michael’s.

I laid out all the planks on a sheet of plastic and decided to go with a light grey paint instead of the minwax stain that I’d used on the shelf project as I felt like it complimented the white flower accents better than a stain would have.  However, I diluted the paint with water to it wouldn’t be so thick and would give more of a stain appearance than a paint appearance.  It worked really well and I painted all the boards with two thin coats.

Painting the boards

Painting the boards

The hardest part about the project by far was centering the boards on the back of the painting.   I laid the painting face down and then measured the slats and the painting to make sure that all sides were equal.  Then starting in the middle and working out, I nailed each slat to the wooden frame of the canvas using tiny tacks and a hammer.  (Make sure your nails are tiny as balsa wood splits easily.)  Then I attached a picture hanger to the back (we had one in the shed, but they are only a dollar or two if you have to buy one) and voila!

The finished product!!  So excited about how it turned out!

The finished product!! So excited about how it turned out!

The Hatch prints we’d gotten framed (that I mentioned at the top of the post) were originally intended to be hung in our living room which has gotten a bit of a facelift as of late.  But as seems to often happen with redecorating, hanging one print turned into an all-out fruit-basket-turnover of wall art throughout the house.  While I loved having the painting from Jess above my desk, I also wanted it somewhere that everyone would see it…not hidden in my office.  So we gave it a home on the most prominent wall in our living room where it will make everyone who comes through our doors smile.  Hanging next to it is my Nickel Creek reunion tour Hatch Print from the Ryman show, while my Eucharisteo painting adorns the wall to the left and a wood-mounted photo of a piano by local photographer Eden Frangipane (it’s the first photo you see if you click here) hangs on the wall opposite.  And our living room is now officially the happiest place to be.  There are definitely perks to having wallflowers.

My happy painting and my favorite chair.  The perfect nook.

My happy painting and my favorite chair. The perfect nook.

 

Out With The Old, In With the…….Older

By now, you’ve probably realized that I can’t keep anything the same for too long when it comes to furniture.  I love swapping out items for something cuter and more functional, particularly if I can get it at a bargain.  But my quest for something new doesn’t always mean actually NEW….just new whatever place in the house needs something different.  In fact, some of my most favorite pieces in our home are old, like a dresser that I’ve been using since just after college.  It was my grandfather’s dresser when I was a kid and sometimes I expect to find his clean white hankies carefully folded in the top left-hand drawer when I open it.

But as all you married folks out there know, one dresser, no matter how fabulous, is not enough for two people.  We’ve been on the hunt for a second dresser for a while now, limping along with a cool, but impractically designed inside, chifferobe that I bought at an antique store for cheap in college.  The problem was that we loved my grandfather’s dresser so much that we didn’t want to give that up, but finding something that matched was impossible and even something that merely complimented it was proving a monumental task.  I was about to just throw in the towel and buy a dresser, any old dresser, just to be able to put my laundry away.

A few weeks ago when Keith and I were in Mississippi helping with the garage sale at my grandmother’s house, my mom was trying to figure out what to do with the “good furniture.”  We’d been able to sell anything that lacked sentimental or actual value, but there were several pieces remaining in the living room that were legitimately antique,  were still in fabulous shape, and that quite frankly, no one could bear to part with because there were just too many memories attached.  We were able to make space in my parent’s house for a couple of them by rearranging and selling a bookshelf of my mom’s, and several things were earmarked to go to my uncle’s apartment, but a few pieces still needed a place including a beautiful buffet that has been in my grandparent’s dining room as long as I can remember.  It had been given to them by my great-grandmother who had used it in her house, so while I’m not sure exactly how old it is, I’m thinking that 75 years or so at least is a safe estimate.

And then it hit me.  Just because it was intended to house dishes and silverware, china and goblets, didn’t mean it couldn’t be the perfect home for socks and t-shirts and running clothes.  And while my grandmother always adorned the top with a teapot and tea cozy year round and tins upon tins of pecan sandies and other cookies at Christmas, that didn’t mean I couldn’t set all my perfume bottles and jewelry out on an old mirror.  I bought some dark wood Old English scratch cover and polish, gave it a loving coat, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  And love that not only is it practical, but it’s a little piece of history as well.

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So Your Child Wants to Quit Violin Lessons….

So we’ve been slacking a little bit on the blog this week.  Mary-Hall, as you all know, has been busy with her first week of being a mom of TWO sweet boys, (if you missed the big news, check it out here!) and I don’t really have an excuse.  I’ve just been lazy.  So today I’m doing something that we never really do….I’m re-posting a blog that was originally posted on my music website, www.bethanybordeaux.com.  But I really love this particular post because my mom has some great words of wisdom.  So here you go!  I hope you enjoy the read….and the bonus picture of me playing the violin as a tiny munchkin.

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I love getting to meet people on the road and talk and hear their stories and questions.  Often times I get asked how I started playing violin as a career, my stance on music education, etc.  But then sometimes I meet moms of tiny violinists and the question comes up…“If my child isn’t as excited about lessons as they used to be, do I make them keep going? Do I let them quit?”  I always share my experience as best I can to encourage them.

Then a few weeks ago, a mom sent me a message on Facebook.  I’d met them at an event a few years ago and we had talked…I’d encouraged her that violin could be a great thing for her then 6 year old daughter and she and her husband had felt that it might be exactly what the Lord had for them and their little girl.  And apparently the little girl had the same idea.  Lessons were begun with a beloved teacher and it was a great experience all around.  Well, for a while.  Then she’d been moved to write me a letter.  Her daughter is now on the verge of turning 12 and they feel at a crossroads.  To quote her letter, “She has a natural gifting so there’s not that desire to practice, which I’m sure that’s totally normal for her age. But we aren’t going to let her quit because at this point we feel like we’d be letting her out of what we know God spoke. But I don’t want it to be miserable for her!!!  My question is, did you ever go through that? How did your parents encourage you to stay the course? What could I be doing to really make the violin something she loves?”

I felt a tiny bit at a loss. I can cheer-lead for music education all day long as I’ve been both a student and a teacher.  I know the impact it’s made on my life.  But there was a key element missing here as I’ve never parented a child at ALL, let alone through the decision to persevere or call it quits with an activity.  But fortunately, I DID know someone who had been through this, not only with violin lessons, but with a myriad of extra curricular activities that I chose to be a part of as a child, adolescent and young adult.  My own mom.  So I emailed her asking if she’d be willing to sit down and write a response.  Fortunately not only was she willing, but the letter she wrote was excellent.  So excellent that it seemed a shame not to share it with you all.

Dear Fellow “Violin Mom”,
I’m Bethany’s Mom.  Bethany passed your message on to me, thinking that perhaps I could give you some feedback from the point of view of a Mom whose “been there, done that.”

Now, believe me, I’m not claiming to possess the wisdom of the ages, just a little bit that comes from experience.  Here are some things I’d consider, although you may already be aware of all these:

  1. Is your daughter actually asking to quit, or is she just at the stage where the novelty of playing violin has worn a little thin?  Maybe her playing needs a little “new life” breathed into it through attendance at a special workshop or a few lessons into a different genre of music – some bluegrass or Celtic fiddle (which is usually pretty lively, fun stuff that can expand a player’s overall ability).  If she is actually asking to quit, find out why.  Sometimes at that age, kids get teased about their activity, if it isn’t the “cool” activity of the day. Also, that is the age at which girls’ lives are really beginning to open up and they see other activities and opportunities that compete with their music.  Bethany primarily took violin and piano up until age 11, at which point her schedule began to truly burst with other interests (horseback riding, 4-H, a theater group for children that she founded, show choir, jazz ensemble, etc. etc.).  These all had merit and gave her great experiences. There were many times all the way through high school when she barely had time to practice violin, but we plugged away at lessons from week to week.  After all, a girl may play soccer for a season in her life, but music can be taken THROUGH LIFE.  If she wants to “try other things,” allow it, if you can possibly afford the time and money for it all.  Not having to choose between violin and another activity may make it easier to stick with her music, even if her progress plateaus for a while.
  2. I’m assuming she takes not just private lessons, but has the opportunity to play [music] with other kids?  If she’s not in a group class of some sort, playing violin can be an “isolating” experience, and I’d recommend a class, workshop, etc. so she can develop camaraderie with other young musicians.  Also, help her find ways to use her violin playing as a ministry – at church, at nursing homes, etc. (Bethany even “sold songs” at a church bazaar to help with the fundraiser.) Using her talent may be key to maintaining interest.
  3. It’s difficult to think of an 11-year-old going through hormonal changes, but the fact of the matter is, a girl that age is changing internally, and whether or not you can see the transformation just yet, her endocrine system is cranking up and can cause mood swings that may make her act like she’s “miserable” one minute and perfectly chipper the next.
  4. It’s difficult to know whether God was speaking about your daughter’s entire life, but she’s now had 5 or 6 years to gain a valuable musical education and all that goes with that (fine motor skills, listening skills, brain development, poise, etc.).  Just like riding a bicycle, IF she did take a break from violin, she has already benefited from the training and she could pick it up again without having lost too much – although again, sometimes we just have to plug away and maintain.
Let me share my own experience. As an 8-year old, I wanted to learn the guitar.  I was so small, and my parents unable to afford much, so they bought me a ukelele – which doesn’t sound much like a guitar.  However, I taught myself a number of chords and still desired to learn the guitar.  At age 13, I was almost tall enough to handle my aunt’s guitar, which we borrowed. But it was just a difficult age at which to start. I wanted to go out with friends, and for other reasons, I stopped lessons after only a few months.  “Life got in the way,” but in the back of my mind I still desired to learn to play the guitar, even while I learned the violin alongside my daughter (as you may know, part of the Suzuki Method is that a parent learn along with the child).  Anyway, to make a long story short, I always WISHED I had persevered with the guitar back when I was a teen, and finally, about 2 years ago – at age 60, I again took up the instrument.  I’m never going to be a “Chet Atkins,” but I sure have fun with it.  I always wonder, though, how accomplished I could be now IF I had plugged away when I began at 13.  But those chords I learned on the ukelele and during my 3 months of guitar lessons stayed with me and gave a little jumpstart.

I sure hope your daughter will hang in there – not necessarily to become a professional (that was not our goal with Bethany – just that music would be beneficial to her overall development) – but to have a skill she can enjoy throughout her whole life – and use to the Glory of God on many occasions.

Best wishes to you both!
Barbara Daniel

Kitchen Desk

We have accomplished another goal, nursery-wise.  We finally finished the built-in kitchen desk {that we started in January}!  I’d like to blame this delay on Ransom but honestly we’ve always been a little slow in the construction department.  Chalk it up to 14 combined years of engineering school – we think about things from EVERY angle.  Then one of us continues to deliberate about very small details.  Then the other one has to argue with that one about why we should ignore that particular issue, move on, etc etc.  And then finally we make progress.

8 weeks later we have a perfect little desk.  How is this nursery related?  Well, this computer that was sitting right in the middle of the nursery.  I like its new home here, easy access to online recipes, pandora, etc, right in the main family area.

So, what was once a spot for a stand-up freezer in the “laundry room” is now a built-in desk with two drawers.  I use “quotes” because the laundry room is right in the kitchen, separated only by some air.  In general, we wanted to make this desk simply ‘fit in’ with the rest of the space, so the countertop roughly matches the floor, and we used the same paint color from the cabinets.

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Its sort of a narrow hallway that makes it near impossible to take pictures of.  Oh PS, Ransom is enjoying healthy snacks of course, as per usual – popcorn dipped in sour cream.  I’m kidding about the sour cream, there are actually choco chums in that bowl. 

Also, you can see the much deliberated ‘off-white’ paint in action, next to a healthy dose of ‘butter’ up top.  We’ll bust out the ladder one of these days.

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The desk has two drawers that are pretty useful for storing staplers, pencils, highlighters, etc. There is more work to be done, but at least we’ve got functionality.  First, we need a new printer, either a wireless one that can be tucked away somewhere else, or one that can fit in the adjoining broom closet, perhaps?  How many brooms does one family really need?

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Either way, the current “printer on the floor” solution is just temporary.  The other problem situation is the rat-nest of cords behind the chair.  You can’t see it all that well in this pics, but its there. And finally, we want to add either open shelving or some sort of shelving/mail sorting/router hiding unit up high.  Something like this:

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All in all, we do kind of love little carpentry projects.  Even if we take forever.  Perfectionism is worth the wait?  It is what it is?  Something like that…

Oil Pulling

I first discovered the joys of coconut oil when Keith and I started our journey into the Paleo eating plan.  It was a recommended alternative in cooking to butter or other fats and so we bought a jar and started using it in our cooking.  Then my mother-in-law mentioned that not only did she use it in her cooking, but she often used it as a makeup-remover or in place of facial lotions.  My love for the stuff was cemented when I got a painful sunburn on our trip to Mexico last year.  I rubbed coconut oil into the burn, went to bed, and it was almost completely gone the next morning!

But then I started to see things online about a mysterious thing called “oil pulling” that was being credited for solving just about everything except world peace.  What could this magical cure-all possibly be?  So the other day armed with some spare time and intrigue, I did some research.  Since the list of potential benefits is high and the cost is low, I decided it was worth giving it a try so this past Friday night I purchased a gigantic tub of coconut oil from CostCo for $14 and Saturday morning I started my regimen.  But I’m getting ahead of myself and you’re probably thinking, what the heck IS it?  I’ll give you a brief run down.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is a practice supposedly rooted in some ancient medicinal practice from Asia.  You swish the oil around in your mouth and it supposedly absorbs or “pulls” all the toxins from your mouth into the oil, then you spit it out.  You’ll want to use the highest quality oil you can find, of course as it is the purest and has the most benefits.  And just what benefits does this practice have?  Well, here’s a list of what I’ve found online:

* Helping to strengthen the gums, jaws and teeth.
* Helping to prevent gum disease, cavities and even gingivitis
* Helping to prevent bad breath
* Provide a holistic method and remedy for dealing with bleeding gums
* Helping to prevent dryness of the mouth, throat and the lips
* Helping to prevent general soreness around the area of the jaw (such as TMJ sufferers)
* Relief for migraines and headaches
* Reducing arthritic inflammation
* Helping to reduce the signs of eczema
* Helping to reduce insomnia
* Reducing the effects of a hangover after consuming too much alcohol
* Helping to support the normal function of the kidneys
* Helping to reduce the symptoms of bronchitis
* May help to reduce pain
* Some oil pullers have even reported that it helped to improve their vision

How-To Steps

  1. Oil pulling is apparently most effective when you do it first thing in the morning before you eat, drink or brush your teeth.
  2. Take a teaspoon (approx) of coconut oil and stick it in your mouth.  (I stick it in there in its room temperature state and it quickly melts in your mouth.  However, it does make me gag a little at first, so if you have serious texture issues, you might want to melt it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
  3. Set a timer for 20 minutes (no more, no less) and swish the oil around in your mouth.  (This would be a great time to take a shower, read your morning devotional, cook breakfast check your email, whatever.  Doing an activity makes the time pass quickly!)
  4. At the end of 20 minutes, spit it into the trash can.  DO NOT SWALLOW (remember, it’s got all those toxins in it!).  DO NOT SPIT DOWN THE DRAIN (or your drains will quickly clog.)
  5. Brush your teeth and go about your day.
  6. Repeat each morning.

Opposition and Disclaimers

Because I do my research carefully, I checked out both sides of the story before trying it, or bringing this blog to my readers.  And just as there are millions who claim it heals everything from acne to cancer, there are an equal number of folks who say it’s total malarkey.  I checked out what Snopes.com had to say  (they think it’s neither helpful nor harmful) and also found this blog of a girl who had a crazy-bad reaction after “pulling” for 2 days with coconut oil (she had done 2 treatments a day, so 4 treatments).  Other folks have said that while they had a reaction to or couldn’t handle the texture of coconut oil pulling but have had positive results with safflower, sunflower or olive oil (the blog author referenced above switched oils and did fine!).  However, a note of caution, the Paleo guidelines recommend you avoid safflower and sunflower oils at all costs, so there’s that to consider too.

My Experience

Granted I’m only a few days in and I don’t have any particular horrible maladies.  I’m not sure that it will really affect the dry scalp that I battle in the winter (although I certainly hope so) and while I do think that my teeth look a tiny bit whiter, that could really honestly be the power of suggestion.  But here’s what I DO know.  My mouth feels cleaner than it’s ever felt.  Like straight-from-the-dentist clean.  And it lasts most of the day even after I’ve eaten.  And it’s amazingly relaxing.  I’ve been using the time spent oil-pulling to read my Lenten devotional and pray and that combined with the swishing is such an amazing way to start my morning.  So if I have a super clean mouth and a relaxed mindset going into my day, that’s enough reason for me to keep doing it.

I guess the bottom line is that oil-pulling, like ANY out-of-the-ordinary health practice, probably isn’t for everybody. Listen to YOUR body! If you have a particular health condition you might want to check with your doctor (or dentist as well in this case) to make sure they don’t know of anything that might conflict or react with your medicines or illness.  And know that results can vary….something that cures one person might not cure another, etc.  But so far…my experiences have been positive.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Have you tried it? Liked it? Heard of it? Hated it?

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