Our House Feed

🎅🏻 Santa Caught on 📸 Camera!

It was Christmas Eve: to my great disbelief, there was He, ... I snapped my camera as fast as I can be ...

"T'was the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads ... 

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter ...

 And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound."

                                                 C.C. Moore, H. Livingston, Jr.  

DSC_0179Santa went straight for the cookies!

DSC_0179Julia also made a snow-globe and a Thank You note for Santa.
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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wishing you a Magical Holiday Season!


🍂Fall 🎃 Decorations

Autumn is our favorite season!

We love the vibrancy of the deciduous trees as its foliage change color and eventually descend gracefully, revealing peacefulness and serenity of bare branches which are to revive with life once the spring season comes around. The weather is perfect: not hot or humid and not too cold, luring us to be outdoors as much as we can. And the season is full of family holidays, filling us with anticipation of cuddles, burning fireplaces, hot cacao, storytelling and more. So, we try to decorate our house to reflect our spirit, where children are engaged fully in all the decorating activities!

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HAPPY FALL!


Adrian's Bathroom

We designed Adrian's bathroom with his needs in mind:

DSC_0054-001Low towel stand to hang his towels or clothing; a child-sized chair for getting dressed; a potty and books. 


DSC_0054-001The cut-out handles on the chair's sides are very useful for getting up.

DSC_0032.JPG-001Have you heard of a biodegradable toothbrush made out of cornstarch?  Well, now you have :)  

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My children love the cute characters, the matching cups and toothbrushes. Rinse cups are made from bamboo and rice husks, and both a cup and a brush handle are biodegradable within 90 days in commercial compost! (All Jack & Jill products are BPA and PVC free.) Adrian received a Blue Bunny matching set, while Julia a Pink Hippo


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The toothpaste has certified organic ingredients, and is rich in Xylitol and Calendula to soothe sore gums, and it is yummy! It is also FREE of fluoride, sugar, color, SLS, and preservative, and features a safety seal and easy open flip top cap. The result: Adrian is looking forward to the "task" of brushing his teeth, which he can do independently from the beginning to the end! He actually enjoys it so much, that I have to limit the brushing to three-times a day, otherwise, he would be brushing them all day long:)


DSC_0032.JPGa laundry basket for dirty clothing


DSC_0049-001Make sure to set the water temperature to a level that will not burn your child even if turned all the way. 

DSC_0107.JPGAdrian likes to use these Ocean Animals during the bath time.

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We also use Jack N' Jill Buzzy Brush, which has 3 modes with memory function, and one of the modes is a Buzzy’s original instructional song, which kids love to sing to - it makes brushing so much fun! The toothbrush comes with the cutest stickers, and replaceable brush-heads, so Julia and Adrian are sharing the handle, and just switching the brush heads.

Buzzy-retail-display Toothbrush

 

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Some other toothpastes we use:

  • Earthpaste Natural Toothpaste - all ingredients (clay, salt, essential oils) come from the earth! It may take some time getting used to it, since it has a peculiar taste, but, in my opinion, it is the most natural toothpaste on the market - no titanium dioxide to make it white, nor any foaming agents.
  • Tom's of Maine Anticavity Fluoride Children's Toothpaste, Silly Strawberry
  • Natural Dentist Child Toothpaste, Berry Blast
  • JASON Natural Toothpaste, Peppermint (Julia just started using it, but for Adrian it is too "spicy" as he says)
  • Children also love Weleda Children Tooth Gel - it is a German company, and at first, I was a little skeptic since it does not say "organic", but Weleda uses the highest quality natural ingredients, and I totally trust all their products.

To sum up, the teeth-brushing routine:

  • Julia and Adrian each brush their teeth independently first (to get the big chunks of food out if any) using a 2 minute sand-timer;
  •  flossing  (well, I floss them; I started to floss Adrian at around two years old);
  • then it is my turn to brush their teeth (with Adrian, I alternate regular toothbrush and Silicone Gum Brush);
  • they each clean their tongues with a stainless steel tongue cleaner
  • lastly, they rinse with Anticavity Fluoride Rinse (after rinsing, the only liquid they can drink is water)

I would love to hear your ideas on toddler-bathroom-setup.  

p.s.  You can read here about the Ocean books we are reading and on more ways we use ocean animals


Whole House Water Filtration System

I have been asked many times - what are we drinking? Mainly, water - a lot of it! And I wanted to make sure that my family is drinking the healthiest and best-tasting water we can possibly drink, considering our location. 

After conducting a tremendous amount of research, I had chosen AQUASANA' s 1 million gallon whole house water filter system because, amongst other things, Rhino System is NSF Certified on BOTH: Media and System (which is rare).

We use 5 Stage Aquasana EQ-1000 Premium Whole House Water Filter System, which came with Pro-Grade Installation kit*. The System is guaranteed for 10 Years by a Warranty (if you use not more than 274 gallons/day). After doing my calculations, I realized that the system would last us well beyond 10 years as we do not use that much each day. Why WHOLE HOUSE System? The municipal water supply is heavily chlorinated - chlorine is used to combat microbial contamination, but it can react with organic matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. According to Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD, in Moseby's Medical Dictionary, "Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison". So, your body will absorb chlorine like a sponge during showers. Also, each time you run a faucet during teeth brushing and dish-cleaning, or when flush a toilet, the chlorine evaporation negatively affects your indoor air-quality. Also, I do not trust the pipes through which the municipal water travels (:

Pipes

The Aquasana Rhino's unique up-flow, dual tank design increases water contact time with contaminant grabbing media and prevents clogging or media channeling. System is tested and proven to remove 97% of chlorine for 1,000,000 (1 million) gallons or 10 years.

            AND we combine EQ-1000 with Aquasana 3 Stage RO System for DRINKING water only to re-mineralize it.


 

Below is a table summarizing the stages of filtration, the type of filters, its functions and performance.

STAGES

TYPE of FILTER

DESCRIPTION

REMOVES

1st

  PRE-FILTER

20” Pre-Sediment Filer

rust, dirt, sediment, debris & silt down to 5 microns

2nd

  SOFTENER*

Aquasana Descaler Tank –Softener

Simply Soft Descaling System

NAC salt-free softening technology

prevents minerals from binding and forming scale build-up on internal pipes and plumbing without the use of harsh salt or chemicals: protects plumbing from adverse effects of scaling (calcium and magnesium buildup) which can literary eat up piping & appliances. SF Certified media proven to reduce up to 99.6% of scaling in plumbing, thus extending the life of pipes and appliances

3rd

MAIN

Tank

 

     MAIN

TOP:COPPER-ZINC & MINERAL STONE

copper/Zinc mineral coated tank –inhibits bacteria and algae growth

reduce chlorine 97% for 1,000,000 gallons, water soluble heavy metals & scale

EQ 1000

    MAIN

BOTTOM: Activated Carbon Filter – high-grade coconut granular carbon: leaving in all natural minerals (calcium, potassium, and magnesium)

50 contaminates: pharmaceuticals/drugs, VOCs, SOCs like herbicides, pesticides and other industrial solvents or chemical compounds that may be present. 

4th

 POST-FILTER

SUB-MICRON POST-FILTER

reduces any remaining sediment and organic particles down to 0.35 microns (60 times smaller than what the naked eye can see).

5th

   UV FILTER

120V UV Post-Filter 8gpm UV Tank

POWERFUL UV FILTRATION KILLS 99.99%OF VIRUSES, BACTERIA LIKE E. COLI, AND CHLORINE RESISTANT CYSTS LIKE CRYPTOSPORIDIUM AND GIARDIA, especilly during “boil water” alerts

UNDER

COUNTER

       RO**

OPTIMH2O™ REVERSE OSMOSIS/RO + CLARYUM®: comes with 2 main Filters (Carbon & Stage 3 Claryum filter) + Re-Mineralizer +Membrane

Fluoride & Mercury 95%; chlorine & arsenic 97%; radioactive heavy metal 96.6%; lead & asbestos 99%

AND

Remineralizes water by putting back the healthy minerals lost in the RO process like calcium, magnesium, and potassium for optimally alkaline, pH balanced water

 

**RO is sufficient to be used alone, without the whole-house, filtration system, as it does is all: 

  • REVERSE OSMOSIS reduces 14 impurities including fluoride, nitrates, nitrites, lead, radium and arsenic.†
  • SELECTIVE CLARYUM® FILTRATION reduces 60 contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides.
  • REMINERALIZATION is designed to provide healthy amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium for optimally alkaline, pH balanced water.

* Pro-Grade Installation kit upgrades your components for a professional grade filtration system: 20” pre-filter, post-filter, brass fittings

Below are the picture of pipings with and without the Aquasana Descaler Tank –Softener:

Scaled

 Scale and corrosion without NAC protection can buildup in your plumbing and appliances

 

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pipes with SimplySoft whole home solution

 

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SPECIFICATIONS BASE UNIT SIMPLYSOFT UV
LENGTH: Please see chart on right
HEIGHT: 46" 46" 15"
DIAMETER: 9" 9" 4"
FLOW RATE (GPM): 7.0 7.0 7.0
CAPACITY (YEARS): 10 6 1
CAPACITY (GALLONS) 1,000,000
10" PRE-FILTER LASTS 1—3 MONTHS, 20" PRE-FILTER LASTS 2—3 MONTHS
 
Pro Rhino + UV + Softener69 inches wide

 


Lastly, a "must" for any household in my opinion is a Berkey Over-the-Counter Drinking Water Filtration System, which is a gravity fed carbon-filter dispenser. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate your household needs. These filters are being used by U.S. military and are great for emergencies. If there is any power outage, or in a case of a crisis, since this filter does not require any electricity, you are assured your family will be getting clean water.

Berkey

What type of water is your family drinking?