Category Archives: Things that aren’t food

Dyeing with Turmeric, or The Day I Got Sick of My Daughter’s Pink Clothes

People, I am so sick and tired of EVERYTHING made for girls being pink. Pink is great. It’s a pretty color. It happens to be my 6 year old son’s favorite color. But, having a one year old daughter,  I am frankly tired of looking at it.

This weekend I was mixing up some Golden Drops and decided to take matters into my own stained yellow hands.  I searched Google for instructions on how to do it right. This one looked good, so away we went!

I started with a pile of clothes that looked like this:


The instructions I followed suggested I wet my clothes thoroughly and then use white vinegar as my fixing agent. I didn’t have any. I used Apple Cider Vinegar and powdered Turmeric, approximately 3 tablespoons of each.


I filled a large pot with water, added my ingredients and my wet clothes. I simmered for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally, and then let the whole pot rest while I went out for the day.  It did not smell nice. It did not look delicious.


But at the end of the day I had some very cute, orangey-yellow clothes for my baby. To finish the process, I washed twice, warm. I threw in a white diaper with each load to determine if the turmeric dye would come off on the rest of the load. IT WILL. The dye continues to shed on other light clothes, so only wash these little golden babies with dark colors or with other turmeric-dyed things.


I was so excited by these results that I thought I’d experiment with other natural dyes: purple cabbage for grey, blueberries for blue. I thought, OOH! Beets would be beautiful. They turn everything they touch a lovely shade of… Oh yeah: PINK.

How about you? Have you tried working with natural dyes? Comment below!

Warm wishes,


Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world wellness coaching for people who want to beat the blues and build self-esteem using nutrition and holistic lifestyle methods. Her popular online seasonalCraving-control Real Food Detox is for anyone who wants their body to feel and look its best. She also offers holistic skincare and coaching  for anyone who is tired of the beauty hype and is ready to have vibrant health and glowing skin from the inside out.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, home-schools secularly, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and nurses on demand in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more about her here.




Prevent Flu with Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is delicious. It’s a proven anti-viral that kids will line up to take, but it’s also expensive and usually full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  At $8-10 for a whole pint, depending on how you source your ingredients, this recipe costs a lot less than the store-bought kind.  And it’s sugar-free and packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and the anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial power of raw honey. It also takes less than an hour to make. It keeps refrigerated for a few weeks and the vanilla I add makes mine smell like some kind of fruity Christmas pudding. It’s so delicious. I know I sound like my Italian grandma, but, Try it! You’ll love it.




What you need: a small lidded sauce pan; a strainer; a funnel; a small glass jar;  1 cup raw honey; 1/2 cup dried elderberries ; one tablespoon grated fresh ginger; a few shakes of organic cinnamon or a cinnamon stick. Optional: an organic vanilla bean.

How you make it:

1. Put 1/2 cup elderberries in two cups of water and bring to a boil.

2. Add minced or grated ginger, cinnamon, and optional vanilla bean. Cover and reduce heat to simmer.

3. When liquid is reduced by half- this should take around 30 minutes – remove from heat and strain liquid into a bowl.

4. When it cools slightly, add 1 cup raw honey and stir until blended.

5. Pour or ladle your mixture into your jar using a funnel.

For prevention, adults get 1-2 teaspoons a day, kids get 1/2 -1 teaspoon a day. Take an occasional break for a day or two, and increase the dosage to a few times a day if you are sick or feel a sickness coming on.

Stay healthy!


Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.




Non-toxic Deodorant that Actually Works

IStinkIf you visit us for holistic skincare you know that the stuff we use has always been free of Parabens and synthetic chemicals and fragrances. What about those products you don’t become acquainted with in the course of a skincare, massage, or coaching session? For instance, what about your deodorant? Continue reading