Benefits of Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup SM

I always want to share my favorite finds with you guys. Things that my family has grown to love and see make a difference in our lives. With cold and flu season approaching one of the “must have’s” in our medicine cabinet/refrigerator is Elderberry Syrup. As soon as I feel or see a cold or flu coming I make sure to start adding or have the kids add Elderberry Syrup to their daily routine. Elderberries have been used for centuries and are known to help naturally boost the immune system, decrease mucous production and treat upper respiratory infections. I usually just purchase our Elderberry Syrup but for those that like a good DIY/Recipe here is a great one I found over at WellnessMama.

Have you ever made your own Elderberry Syrup? If so share your recipe with us in the comments below.


Please keep in mind the information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.



Sincerely Mama + Freshly Picked Giveaway

Freshly Picked Moccs 1

One of my goals on Sincerely Mama is to share and introduce great brands and companies that hold a special place in my heart. One company that needs no introduction is Freshly Picked. I’ve personally been a fan since early 2011. When JJ, my first kiddo was born. I looked everywhere for that perfect shoe. I wanted something that was extra comfy, would grow with his feet, stylish and a shoe that could potentially be passed down to any other kids we planned on having. Well two and a half kids later we are still rockin’ with Susan and her Freshly Picked brand. I am beyond thrilled for Susan and the success of her business. I’ve watched as an adoring customer for the last four years as Susan built her brand from the bottom up. I admire everything from the quality of these shoes to the woman and employees behind it. Read more about Susan and her company here.

Freshly Picked 3

Freshly Picked 2

Freshly Picked 4

I am over the moon to announce that Freshly Picked is offering one Sincerely Mama reader a chance to win a pair of Freshly Picked Moccs (winner picks the color & size). To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below, also do not forget to leave a comment telling me what your favorite color of Freshly Picked Moccasins are. The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run from Friday, August 22nd, 2014 through Wednesday, August 28th, 2014 at 12:01PST. Good luck! And remember you can enter once a day! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


DIY Laundry Detergent

DIY Laundry Detergent


One of the best decisions I’ve made for my family was recently saving money by making our own laundry detergent. It’s seriously so quick and easy and another way to rid my family of potential toxic chemicals that can be found in everyday laundry detergent. Do you know what’s in your current laundry detergent? Below i’ve included a chart from on what harmful ingredients to avoid along with my quick and easy recipe for DIY Laundry Detergent.



+ 1 Cup Baking Soda

+ 1 Cup Citric Acid

+ 1 Cup Castile Soap Bar

+ 1 Cup Arm+Hammer Washing Soda



+ Shred entire bar of castile soap into jar.

+ Add all ingredients and mix.

+ Optional but you can 1 cup of distilled vinegar to fabric softener tray; this helps to brighten clothes.

+ Optional you can add a few drops of an essential oil to the load to add additional natural scents.


And thanks all, super easy and takes less than 15 minutes!!! Let me know how you like it or if you have any suggestions or other recipes for DIY laundry detergent.



DIY Laundry @


DIY Laundry Detergent 3




Ingredient to Avoid Found In Potential Health Risks
Benzaldehyde Laundry bleach, perfumes Irritation to mouth, throat, eyes and skin
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid Fabric softener Reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies
Artificial fragrances Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener Irritation to skin and eyes; many are toxic and are
suspected carcinogens
Diethanolamine Detergent Irritation to skin and eyes; linked to liver and kidney tumors
and developmental and reproductive toxicity in animal studies
Quaternium-15 Detergent Releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that causes
rashes and skin inflammation
2-Butoxyethanol Dry cleaning chemical, stain removers Birth defects and reproductive and developmental effects
in animal studies; carcinogen
Chlorine Laundry bleach Potent irritant to eyes, upper respiratory tract and lungs
Perchlorethylene (Perc) Dry cleaning chemical Liver and kidney damage; irritant; possible carcinogen
Ethyl acetate Fabric softener Neurotoxin; irritant
Nonylphenol ethoxylate Laundry detergent, dry cleaning aids Hormone disruptor
ER, KSN, OB, OB-1 Common trade names for optical brighteners Possible developmental and reproductive effects
Linear alkyl sodium sulfonates
Detergent Skin and eye irritant; can be toxic to aquatic life; can
produce toxic fumes during production
Petroleum distillates
(also called naphthas)
Detergent Chemicals linked to cancer and lung damage



Vaccinations… My Most Dreaded Mama Decision



Days like this I sit in bed with tons of anxiety dreading that long ride to the doctors office. I have such a love/hate relationship with vaccinations. Actually more of an anxiety stricken, sick to my stomach, am I a bad mama type relationship. I pride myself in research and trying my hardest to provide my kids with the safest, purest and non-toxic lifestyle as possible. I’m far from perfect and my kids aren’t completely raised in a 100% eco-friendly & organic home but we do believe in balance and trying our best. With balance comes understanding. The understanding that I cannot completely rid their lives of the “unhealthy stuff” always.

One decision that weighed heavy on my heart since I first became pregnant was the choice we’d have to make regarding vaccinations. I went back and fourth for months. Looking into ways to avoid them, researching on the benefits, the side-effects and the dangers of our decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate.What a challenging decision! Well long story short we decided as parents to vaccinate. I believe I don’t know enough to make the decision to not vaccinate. I wish there was a course to take or a conference to visit to learn more about the pros and cons. I wish this conference had a panel of parents, some who believed in vaccinations and ones that didn’t. That way I could hear both sides and not the literature side as much as the parental side. If any of you know about this “magical” conference please let me know, I’ll be the first to buy the ticket and fly to the location!!!

However, since we’ve decided to vaccinate and both my kids have been through these type of shots multiple times being that they are ages 3 & 2 I use a tip chart complied by The Texas Oil Mama of helpful before/after steps to help their little bodies prepare for these shots. DoTerra Essential Oils have been such a great investment for my family. We use them for everything from burns to avoiding/treating common colds.

Suggested Oils to use before/after vaccinations:  

Lavender on injection site pain.
OnGuard starting one month before vaccines to build immune system.
Lemon in water to help protect the brain from neurotoxins. 
DigestZen to ease “tummy trouble” following vaccines.
Breathe Essential Oil Blend to open airways following vaccines. 
Cilantro Essential Oil* to rid the body of heavy metal toxins contained in vaccines. 1 time a day for 7 days.
 (scroll down for Heavy Metal Cleanse)
Zendocrine essential oil blend and DDR Prime diluted in fractionated coconut oil on the abdomen over the area where the liver is located to help with detoxification and cellular healing.

Heavy Metal Cleanse

Dr. Susan Lawton offered this advice for chelating (whisking away) HEAVY METALS: Put these drops in a roller bottle and apply to Eustacian Tubes and neck in downward motion:
  1. Frankincense (4 drops) — breaks down alien matter and helps body remember to be whole/perfect
  2. Helichrysum (5 drops) — facilitators for fluid balance
  3. Cypress (3 drops) — clears it all away
  4. Lavender (3 drops) — soother

* Make sure to rid your child’s exposure to toxic chemicals found in everyday common household cleaning supplies, processed foods and synthetic products found in lotions and soaps.

* Lastly, I’m not sure if this helps based on reading conflicting reports but we choose to space our children’s vaccinations out. So instead of them receiving four shots in one day they get two and the remaining two on a future visit. We also avoid the flu shot. Most doctors understand and support the parent’s decision.

Please keep in mind the information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.



Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract


One of the many benefits of being a member of the blogging community is learning new things through other mamas & parents. You seem to have a direct insight into their family choices and what has or hasn’t worked for them. This applies to medicines, parenting styles, clothing choices, recipes and much more. It’s so fun to learn and try out products based on another mama’s review. One of my favorite areas of research is natural living. I’m constantly on the search for natural products that help reduce the use of traditional medicines and products.

Recently I was introduced to Grapefruit Seed Extract. Grapefruit Seed Extract is a natural compound derived from the seed and pulp of grapefruit. The great thing about GSE is that it’s a natural antibiotic and acts against a variety of bacterial infections. It’s known to heal and treat everything from sore throats, flus, colds, vaginal yeast infections, gastrointestinal infections and tooth/gum infections. GSE can also be used topically to treat acne and infected cuts while also serving as a disinfectant that can be used to clean fruits, veggies, meats and even cleaning your kitchen cutting boards.

Being that it is not recommended for daily use we typically use it to fight common infections. Basically at a point in which we would need an antibiotic we first grab GSE. Now don’t get me wrong, I still believe in traditional western medicine but believe it’s best to try the natural route first. I use my mama instincts and gauge if it’s something we can handle or if it’s something that needs immediate attention. You can follow the directions on the bottle by adding 10 drops into a glass of water or juice (5 oz. or more), 1-3 times daily, with or without meals.  One thing that I have not really looked totally into but I’m definitely interested is, is it’s ability to help with IBS. I’ve read that it helps to kill off yeast build-up or bad bacteria in the colon. Being that I am very familiar with gastrointestinal issues this is a very important issue to me and will be a direct topic I revisit soon with my personal experience of treating gastro issues with GSE.

Please keep in mind the information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.




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hello + welcome to Sincerely Mama


Family Photo

hello + welcome to Sincerely Mama. I know I mentioned this in my “About” page but my name is Kelly McKnight. I am married to the man of my dreams Jason and together we are raising two little ones ages 3 & 2 and another is due to arrive this December.  Although this is the “official” launch of Sincerely Mama this little space has actually been a dear diary of mine since 2011. This is actually the re-launch of  Sincerely Mama. Back in 2011 I launched Sincerely Mama and truly loved the outlet it gave me. I was able to express and release so many feelings, connect with so many fellow moms and introduce my readers to some amazing brands. I owe so much to Sincerely Mama, it was the platform that inspired me to create our store Mothers Organic.

Once we made the decision to launch Mothers Organic I had to choose my workload. I knew trying to balance two small toddlers, a home, a business, a blog and a marriage would be a difficult task to take on. So I decided to take a break from blogging and focus on my priorities at hand. I knew that when the time was right I would make my way back to this small space and begin again with my form of therapy…writing. I know that sounds dramatic but Sincerely Mama is more than a blog to me. I created this space as a form of a diary that one day my kids can look back on. Somewhere they can go and read about all the memories we shared and see how mama navigated through this beautiful life with her wonderful husband and precious babies by her side. This is why this space is titled Sincerely Mama. This is my story, my journey and our moments. I hope you all enjoy reading my experiences as I grow, learn and navigate through this beautiful gift called motherhood. Here you can expect to hear all about my families greatest memories, my recommendations on my favorite items including style post, green living tips and some DIY for those mamas who love all things arts & crafts.