DIY Toothpaste…!

I recently became inspired to make my very own, all natural, organic toothpaste. I saw a very interesting DIY blog post about it, and thought I would give it a try. After all, we all use toothpaste so often – twice a day, at a minimum. So, given how often we use it, we might as well make sure we are using something completely toxin free and healthy, right?

Well, while you would think that toothpaste would be pretty free of toxins, the truth is that the toothpastes you find at the grocery store aren’t the healthiest things out there. In fact, accidentally swallowing toothpaste can lead to a tummyache or even worse. Sort of scary to think that we’re putting things like that in our mouth on a daily basis!

I figured that making my own toothpaste would be fun, but not really yield a product that I would want to use on a daily basis. Boy was I surprised! The result of my little production run is a delightful toothpaste that not only taste great, but is also fully edible and does a great job of keeping my teeth pearly white and my breath fresh.

Making it was quite simple, and you can learn about it in this blog post that I found. and which I have linked above. I decided to flavor my toothpaste with pure essential peppermint oil. You can get oil like that quite cheaply at your local health food store. I’m excited to make some more toothpaste in the future and use other essential oils like cinnamon.

Anyway, give it a shot and try to make your own toothpaste – I think you’ll enjoy it!



Dusting Off My Paint Set!

So, I recently had a few days free from work and decided to try my hand at something I hadn’t taken up in years: painting! 

Back when I was a student, I had an easel, a bunch of random paints, a few old brushes, and several canvases that I had picked up at a garage sale. Every now and then, in those student days, I would pick up my paint set and let inspiration take its course.

I always found that those painting sessions were very therapeutic and almost meditative. I would often find that the activity of painting became automatic and my thoughts would seamlessly float to issues that I was trying to resolve in my life. At the end of those painting sessions I would often feel like I had worked through a lot of my issues.

Anyway, flashing forward years to the present time, I decided to take a stab at it again. I set up my old easel, dusted off the canvases and paint bottles, cleaned up my old brushes, and got to work. Wouldn’t you know it, but it was just as soothing, relaxing, and meditative as I remembered. In fact, it probably had even more of a relaxing effect on me given that I hadn’t done it for years.

I painted mostly images of landscapes, such as farms and forests. I must admit that they weren’t particularly good, which is the key reason why I’m going to pass on posting pictures of them on this blog! Ha ha…

I’m thinking that I might go to the library and take out some books on painting so that I can improve my technique. It might also be fun to join a painting class, where I can meet some like-minded people. Also, perhaps not a bad idea to check out some more art galleries – perhaps my experiences with painting will help me better appreciate some of the lovely artists that are displayed in the galleries!

How about everyone else out there in internet land? Do any of you enjoy painting? I would love to hear about your experiences!



Meditation With a Tibetan Singing Bowl

I recently started meditating for 10-20 minutes immediately after waking up as well as immediately before going to sleep at night. At the start, it was very difficult to get into a deep meditative state, as my mind would be bombarded and filled with various thoughts of the things I needed to do that day or the next. I couldn’t believe that some people could actually completely quiet their mind during meditation!

I have become much more proficient at meditation ever since I purchased this lovely Tibetan singing bowl from a company that specializes in them (check them out!). Mediation, as I have learned, is much easier if you have something subtle to focus on to the exclusion of the various thoughts that would otherwise bombard your mind. That’s where my singing bowl comes in!

In particular, when I meditate, I slowly and occasionally tap my wooden mallet against my singing bowl and focus on the angelic tones emanating from the bowl. I find that this makes it so much easier for me to fall into a deep meditative state and avoid getting pulled out of the moment with the thoughts bombarding my mind.

Granted, this type of meditation is a bit different from the type of meditation were you lie or sit motionless. In this form of meditation, one of my hands is moving every now and then to create music with my bowl. However, moving meditation is quite commonly practiced and can in fact permit people to achieve a deeper meditative state as it provides the mind with something to focus on to he exclusion of the thoughts that can bombard our minds.

Do any of you like to meditate? I’d love to hear about your experiences as well as your tips and tricks for achieving deeper meditative states!





Gardening Plans!

While I know that it is still only October, and there are many months to go before the next gardening season, I have been thinking about what I’d like to grow this upcoming spring and summer. While unconventional, I love gardening so much that it occupies my thinking even months before start of the season!

When I started gardening several years ago, I gardened almost exclusively flowers, particularly roses. Growing flowers is such a relaxing, beautiful experience, and, while I still grow plenty of flowers, my efforts have definitely shifted to growing vegetables and herbs, which I can use in the kitchen. That sort of thing can be quite invaluable, particularly as a vegan!

Not only am I vegan, but my diet also has various restrictions, which are intended to keep me away from certain foods that cause certain health issues. In particular, I’m supposed to stay away from nightshades, which include tomatoes. That isn’t a terrible sacrifice, however, especially given that summers in London aren’t particularly hot, which means that they are not very supportive of growing vegetables like tomatoes.

I’m currently very much enjoying growing things like lettuce, cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, peas, kale and an abundance of herbs including mint, chamomile, sage, parsley, rosemary, dill, and oregano. Oh my, just listing these items is starting to make me feel so hungry!

It can be difficult to find a plot of dirt to grow a garden in a big city like London. Fortunately I live in one of the more quiet neighbourhoods with my parents, who have a little plot of land which is perfect for gardening. My parents are gardeners as well, but there is enough space to accommodate a couple raised beds for my gardening needs.

This year I’m thinking of having a winter or early spring garden composed mostly of herbs and vegetables that do fairly well in colder, less sunny conditions. The goal is to have a decent amount of fresh produce from my own garden to use in the kitchen on a daily basis.

Are any of you gardeners? I’d love to hear what you grow and what your plans are for the next growing season!