Thursday, July 28, 2011

Red Alchemy: Basil Oil

The following is a list of uses and recipes for basil oils in pagan rituals.

Stimulates the conscious mind, reduces fatigue and is used to clear your mind allowing the correct path to reveal itself.

Basil is also used in spell crafting and Rituals involving money and joy.

Basil should not be used for children under 16, or for pregnant or nursing women. It can also irritate sensitive skin.

Banishing and Exorcism Oil - Cloves, garlic, and basil oil

Money draw -
Anoint a green candle with the oil and light it until you have only what you need.

Pour one part basil oil and three parts water into a spray bottle and spray the entrance to your place of business.

Lightly anoint the paper of a proposal or financial request with the basil oil or basil oil and water mixture.

Astral Travel-
Add Dragon's Blood to the oil and use the mixture to anoint your pillow or your skin or a candle to assist in astral travel. Do no sleep with the candle burning. Dragon's blood will stain.

For a video on one way of how to make basil oil, visit my YouTube channel.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Great Formula Debate

Which is better, Similac or Enfamil? It has been the debate since they both came into existence. There are some bottom lines that make them both start on the same level playing field.

First, all formula is the same price based on size and style.

Second, every parent should know that the FDA has a minimum standard for the ingredients in and the production of baby foods and formulas. Certain conditions must be met and minimum ingredient standards must be upheld. This is a big deal because it causes confusion. Many parents are told that all formula is the same. The reason is that all formula must meet the same minimum standards. Formulas may all meet the same minimum standards but that does not make them the same.

Minimum means the bare basics of the products are the same. That doesn't mean that the producers of formula cannot go above and beyond the quality standard dictated by the FDA. That is a good thing considering the FDA's standard for what qualifies as beef at Taco Bell. I recently had an experience at WIC that disturbed me enough to write this blog. I requested Similac rather than Enfamil for my baby. The "nutritionist" asked me why, and I repeated the advice of my pediatrician. My pediatrician states that Similac is easier on the stomachs of babies who were previous breastfed with success. She then argues with the advice of my pediatrician. No parent should listen to anyone other than themselves and their pediatrician. The pediatrician is the provider of regular medical care for your baby. The nutritionist at WIC is trained to offer the lowest cost option for vouchers. It is not a medical program.

In deciding which is better there are some guidelines that will help you make the decision.

1. Vegetarian- If you went vegetarian or vegan during your pregnancy or while you were breastfeeding, a soy or organic formula will work best for your baby as it mimics your diet and the ingredients of your breastmilk.

2. Preemies- If your baby was born prematurely use a formula intended for preemies.

3 Age- Follow the age of your baby. Don't use a toddler formula for a 6 month old.

These 3 guidelines will considerably narrow down the selection for you. Now for the brands.

I asked 100 breastfeeding moms and 100 non-breastfeeding moms which formula worked best for their baby. Non-breastfeeding moms are defined as moms who never breastfed their babies or who were unable to breastfeed up to and including their babies 2 month check-up and inoculations. Of the breastfeeding moms, 87 said Similac was best, 6 chose Enfamil and the remaining 7 used a different formula. Of the non-breastfeeding moms, 62 chose Enfamil as their favorite and 27 chose Similac. The remaining found a favorite in another brand.

So if you go by my survey, you will find that my pediatrician was correct. Similac seems to be easier on breastfed babies than Enfamil. One might make a decision based on that. However, with my son, He wasn't initially breastfed. He vomited Enfamil everyday. We switched him to Similac and it never happened again. Perhaps my family is just a Similac family. After all, I was raised on Similac as well. Perhaps it is genetic.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Favorite Things: Medicine Wheel Tutu Skirt

I did a Google, Bing, and Yahoo search for a Medicine Wheel Tutu Skirt and realized that there was nothing in existence. I do mean nothing. I have never seen a search result in no results. So of course I had to make one for myself. Actually, I had to make one for my daughter. But I couldn't stop there. I had to make a fascinator headband to go with it.

You can see the outfit up close and personal at the Rain Tree Boutique on Etsy. A truly unique boutique!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Learning

My 5 year old is transitioning from preschool to kindergarten this August. He was enrolled in a paid daycare/preschool for over a year. Thanks to the attention of the teachers at his daycare, he is not only ready for kindergarten, but he is ready for a combination class. This fall he will be in a class with kindergartners and 1st graders. I was very proud of him when I heard this, then I panicked.

During the summer children can lose up to three months of what they've learned in school. This could be especially detrimental to my son as he is going to a combination class. I went to GW School Supply to see what they had for him. The clerk suggested workbooks. The workbooks that you buy in the store are the same workbooks that the worksheets come from that teachers use in class. There were many different types of workbooks. Some were subject specific and others were grade specific. One in particular stood out for me as it went beyond the written pages of learning.

Summer Fit Learning focuses on reading, writing , math, fitness, nutrition, and values. My son was used to learning through play all day in a daycare/preschool. Now he was going into a system that regulated recess and learning throughout the day. This workbook made it easy for a stay at home mom like me to simulate the learning and recess schedule at home so it won't be a shock for him at school. In my son's school district, kindergarten isn't from 9am to noon like many kindergarten schools. Instead, he will be in school from 8am to 3pm, learning the entire time minus lunch and recess.

The Summer Fit Learning workbook comes with free online games and physical goals for your child. For example, on day 1 he can choose his exercise, tree sprints, jumping jacks, or cross country skier. He can watch videos online to see how each exercise is done. In this same section there is an Incentive Contract. This is where the parent writes in the incentive for the child and signs her name. As mind and body exercises are completed the parent marks off the progress. Then the child or the parent is to write down three things the child did that week to show his weekly value. This was a great feature of the workbook because it holds both parent and child responsible. The worksheets cover everything from colors to people in history that exhibit a specific value like honesty.

Of all the workbooks I bought my son this summer, The Summer Fit Learning K-1 workbook is my favorite.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sunbeam Convertible Steam Iron Review

My old iron no longer has the brand name printed on it. I couldn't begin to tell you what kind it is. But I know it came with a matching fish shaped ironing board 10 years ago. It would frequently tip over when you rested it on its end. Eventually the little spout that allows the steam to escape chipped off. So much for the steaming feature. The other thing I noticed is that my iron was beginning to leave stains on my clothing. That coupled with the fact that I had to jiggle the cord to make it work sometimes or that I would forget to turn it off and find it scorching 3 hours later led to my decision to buy a new iron.

I was watching television and I saw a designer styled commercial about a new iron. The background was black and there was steam all around. So much steam. I am a sewing addict and always need my iron nearby to press seams etc. Then there are times when I really need a hand held steamer for those fabrics that can't be ironed. This iron seemed perfect. It irons and converts to a steamer. It looked really expensive so I ignored it for awhile. Finally I stumbled into a different Target location than I normally visit and there it was, the Sunbeam Convertible Steam Iron. It was $49.99 and it wasn't on sale. I grabbed it and went straight home to my pile of laundry to try it out.

The first thing that I noticed was that the water reservoir was transparent. So there were no surprises when the time came to fill it up. The second thing I noticed was that there was a cooling plate to the rest the iron on. This was a bonus for me since the act of balancing my old iron on its end is what caused it to fall and break. When the iron is on the pad the auto shut off is activated. If I leave it and forget to turn it off, the auto shut off takes care of it for me, yet another plus. The iron should be called a presser. It didn't iron my clothes when on the dry setting. It actually pressed my clothes with the same quality of the presser at the dry cleaners. My children are always complimented for being well dressed, something I attribute to the neatness of their matching outfits. Now those same outfits looks freshly pressed.

Next I tried the steamer. This is where the iron lived up to the commercial. The amount of steam was almost frightening for me. But I was done with my garment in half the time. The iron slid smoothly over the decals on my son's graphic tees without melting or smearing them.

So, even though I'm not being paid to do so, I highly recommend the Sunbeam Convertible Steam Iron. It makes ironing so easy and makes your clothes look so nice you'll look for things to iron just to have an excuse to iron.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Netflix Alternatives

Many of you are wondering what happened to the Netflix Pix I used to post. I no longer post a list of Instant Watch recommendations every Friday for "two distinct" reasons. Those of you who have received the email that I received from Netflix understand why there are quotation marks around my words.

The main reason I stopped posting Netflix Pix was that the selection was growing too dismal to recommend anything of substance. I found that most of what I was watching was either on DVD or on one of the premium channels on UVerse cable. This leads me to reason number two.

Today I received this email from Netflix:

We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.

Your current $14.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:

Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 2 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $11.99 a month

Your price for getting both of these plans will be $19.98 a month ($7.99 + $11.99). You don't need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.

These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.

You can easily change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, by going to the Plan Change page in Your Account.

We realize you have many choices for home entertainment, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to call us at 1-888-357-1516.

–The Netflix Team

At this point, it's cheaper to choose a Starz package or HBO, Showtime or Cinemax. The advantage that Netflix had was that no matter what I watched on Netflix, for $15 a month I only watched what I wanted to watch. With premium channels, someone decides what to watch for me. Even the On Demand options are left up to the network. Now the thing fueling my decision is money and not the quality of the entertainment.

So what can I do instead of paying too much for Netflix and it's terrible streaming only options? Do I really have to pay for premium channels? It's only a matter of time before the pricing for the premium channels go up. That's bound to happen before Netflix prices go down.

The options are:

Cut television. Start going to the movies more so that you don't miss out on so many new releases.

Buy more dvds.

Go to Redbox and pay all of those bank fees for those "missing" dvds you know good and well you returned.

Blockbuster, dear God no.

Reduce your Netflix package.

I'm going with the last option for awhile. My current plan is $14.99. If I only take out 1 dvd at a time and have unlimited streaming, I only pay a dollar more. Yes I am getting less for the money but the alternatives are not quite appealing yet. Eventually, Netflix will either charge too much and I will run to the premium channels or they will lower their price and I can increase my plan.

Let's all hope Netflix pulls it together or another company capitalizes on this opportunity.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Acetamenophin Chart

Those little Tylenol Infant Drops bottles don't say how much to give a child under 24 lbs. So here is the chart for smaller babies.

Courtesy of

Those little Tylenol Infant drops bottles only give you information for a 2 year old baby. So here is the chart for the little babies out there.

Your child's weight: 6 to 11 lbs

Dose: 40 mg

Infant drops: ½ dropper (0.4 ml)

Your child's weight: 12 to 17 lbs

Dose: 80 mg

Infant drops: 1 dropper (0.8 ml)

Children's liquid: ½ tsp

Your child's weight: 18 to 23 lbs

Dose: 120 mg

Infant drops: 1½ droppers (1.2 ml)

Children's liquid: 3/4 tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 1 1/2

Your child's weight: 24 to 35 lbs

Dose: 160 mg

Infant drops: 2 droppers (1.6 ml)

Children's liquid: 1 tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 2

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 1

Your child's weight: 36 to 47 lbs

Dose: 240 mg

Infant drops: 3 droppers (2.4 ml)

Children's liquid: 1 ½ tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 3

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 1 ½

Your child's weight: 48 to 59 lbs

Dose: 320 mg

Children's liquid: 2 tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 4

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 2

Your child's weight: 60 to 71 lbs

Dose: 400 mg

Children's liquid: 2 ½ tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 5

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 2 1/2

Adult regular-strength tabs (325 mg): 1

Your child's weight: 72 to 95 lbs

Dose: 480 mg

Children's liquid: 3 tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 6

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 3

Adult regular-strength tabs: 1 to 1 ½

Your child's weight: 96+ lbs

Dose: 640 mg

Children's liquid: 4 tsp

Children's chews or meltaways: 8

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 4

Adult regular-strength tabs: 2

Active Ingredients

Infant drops: 80 mg/0.8 ml per dropper (shake well before using)

Children's liquid: 160 mg/5 ml per teaspoon (shake well before using)

Children's chews or meltaways: 80 mg each

Junior-strength chews or meltaways: 160 mg each

Adult regular-strength tablets: 325 mg each

5 Safety Tips for Acetaminophen

1. Don’t give it to a baby under 3 months without a doctor’s approval.

2. Always use the measuring device that comes with the medicine – not a spoon from the kitchen.

3. Never give it to a child who's taking other medicines unless directed by a doctor. The other medicine may also contain acetaminophen, creating a dangerous overdose.

4. Don't confuse infant drops with children's liquid. Infant drops are much more concentrated. Hint: Drops come with a dropper; children's liquid doesn't.

5. Don't exceed five doses in 24 hours.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

JC Penney Portrait Studio Review

My beautiful baby girl has been baptized. What better way to memorialize the event by taking her to the nearest portrait studio for professional portraits?

My appointment was at 10:10 am today. I woke up at 8:00am to start getting everyone ready. I fed my baby girl her first bottle and supervised the brushing of my son's teeth. I fed him breakfast and pressed his suit. I changed my daughter's diaper and gave her teething tablets. Carefully I slipped her tiny little feet into her lacy white socks with the matching satin slippers, both embroidered with a cross. I eased her into the white satin and pearl Cinderella dress she was baptized in and draped her in a protective blanket. I managed to earn her cooperation when the time came to brush her pixie styled hair into a bow clip just big enough for an ant to wear. She left it on, didn't drool and didn't wrinkle her dress. Even in her car seat, she behaved herself. We were going to make this a double session, one with my daughter by herself and one with both of my beautiful children together. So my son tolerated his French cuffed and collared shirt with the vested suit to match. There was no boy dressed as sharply as my son today. My husband took the time to properly moisturize his waist length hair and braid it tightly. My husband and me were barely cognizant but we managed to fall into our rez truck and drive over to the JC Penney Portrait Studio.

We walked in 5 minutes early. We stood at the registration desk...and stood, and stood, and stood. Finally being acknowledged, a short brunette asked me if I had an appointment. Answering affirmatively I awaited instruction. None came. She proceeded to ask the next customer how she could help him. He was a walk-in that wanted some information about scheduling an appointment and package pricing. She politely smiled and took the time to show him a list of overpriced portrait packages. We stood by and waited. It was now 10:15 am. She then asked us for a coupon. I hadn't printed it from the internet as the coupon never stated that we needed to do so. It merely redirected us to the appointment page. The employee wasn't too pleased with that.

"You need to get on your phone and get me the coupon."she ordered sternly.

I obeyed, and waited another 5 minutes for her to finish checking her emails to take the code from me. We sat down with our calm, behaved children. They were still the picture of perfection, but not for long. I could feel the window for optimum photography closing fast. My daughter began smacking her gums and drooling. We had given her the teething medicine but what she needed was a nap in about 30 to 45 minutes. 10:25 came around and we were asked to present our card, some card that I had for 5 years that I never used and didn't know expired. The same clerk spoke as loudly as she could.

"This card is expired. She needs to either pay the sitting fees or buy another one. So what are you gonna do?" She called out to me from across the room, mispronouncing my name for the fourth time regardless of my correcting her. I looked at my phone for the time. It was 10:35 and my baby was turning pink and rubbing her nose. The pain was setting in. I never got the chance to answer her question because she then decided to call the other JC Penney Portrait Studio that I bought the card from and verify that the card was expired, despite the fact that the date was clearly printed on the card.

"Seriously? I said, all this over twenty dollars? I can pay that now if you want, so I can get these pictures done now. My daughter is ready now." No one acknowledged me. They continued to hold on the phone.

One woman came to me with a clipboard and told me, yes, told me which background to choose. I wanted white. My son was wearing a Sean John suit in purple and white pinstripes with white cuffs and collar with a charcoal gray colored, double breasted vest and matching pants. My daughter was in true white. I intended for him to hold her in his lap thus making the white background the best choice. The photographer didn't think so. She decided for me that the brown background with the fake stained glass windows was best. At this point, I didn't care. My daughter was now fussing and tugging at her hair.

We finally make it to the sitting, it's 10:40 am. My daughter has now decided she doesn't want to be photographed. But being the trooper that she was, she was willing to do so if she was allowed to stand. For those who don't know, teething can cause uncomfortable bm's for babies. They don't want to sit down at times. This was one of those times. That was fine by me. Let her stand and be happy. The photographer insisted she sit on the floor. She could have snapped her photo as she smiled at her silly brother from across the room who did his best to help her pose. Instead she tried to force her to sit, making her cry. Five minutes in, my daughter had enough. So had we. We rescheduled for two hours later and left quickly.

Disgruntled, we called another studio, a competitor, and were able to make the same appointment. We called JC Penney Portrait Studio again to cancel. We called three times, each time, there was no answer. We went to another studio and took the most beautiful photos I have ever seen.

Subsequently, out of curiosity, I researched JC Penney Portrait Studio online and found that I was not alone in my experience. I was unable to find a positive review of their studios in any city. Lesson learned. The Red Housewife will never return to JC Penny Portrait Studios for photography again.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Red Alchemist: Money Draw

I was asked for my recipe for Money Draw incense. Here it is. If it doesn't work, at least your house will smell nice. Always use this during a waxing moon, never a waning moon.

You will need:


Orange Peels (dried)




Charcoal (not for barbecue)

Matches or a lighter



Combine the Patchouli, Frankincense, orange peel and cinnamon using your desired method. You can mix it in a jar or vial, or use a mortar and pestle to grind any ingredients not in burnable powder form.

Fill your incense burner with salt to prevent the heat from burning the surface under the holder.

Carefully fill the center of the charcoal (the indent) with the incense.

Place the charcoal on a metal fork and light the charcoal.

Place the charcoal into the incense burner and cover.

For a step-by-step tutorial, visit my YouTube channel, Red's House.