3 Things 10.8.16: Michigan, This American Life, & NOW Toothpaste


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Welcome to another 3 Things post where I share a bit about my life. This week, I’m sharing our recent trip to Michigan, an episode of This American Life that really impacted me, and NOW Foods Toothpaste!

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3 Things 10.8.16: Michigan, This American Life, & NOW Foods Toothpaste

3-things-1 1. Visiting Michigan

Last week, my husband and I drove to the north Detroit suburbs of Rochester Hills for our semi-annual meeting with a group of home remodelers from around the country. We joined this group, The Rhinos, when Sara was 6 months old and took her to the meetings with us until she was almost 3. Joining a peer group of non-competing builders and opening every detail of our own company to helpful eyes has been one of the best decisions we’ve made for our remodeling company, Oak Tree Homes.

We love the members, traveling to new locations twice a year, and the friendships and business contacts we’ve made over the years. Every year we visit businesses belonging to group members, and this year was Detroit. I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’ve only been to Michigan once and that was on accident. (I got lost driving around Chicago on my way to New York…)


A few things I learned on our trip to Detroit – you will stick out like a sore thumb if you drive a foreign car. We drove my Honda and I felt very self-conscious as I saw very, very, very few foreign cars in Detroit. The Clarkston Union Restaurant (pictured above), located in an old church is Clarkston, Michigan, really does make the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever tried. And, since we were pretty close to Flint, I was nervous to drink the water. Sadly, Flint isn’t the only area that has problems with their water. I’m getting more and more worried about water quality every where I travel.

this american life

3-things-2 2. This American Life – The Problem We All Live

We listened to this podcast on the way home from Detroit and I thought it was interesting on so many levels. First, it deals with a school district in Missouri, and I graduated from high school in Missouri after we moved there at the start of 9th grade. The school I attended before we moved to MO was a DoDDS school in Germany which was full of army brats. One of the things I noticed first when we moved to Missouri was how segregated my new school was. We didn’t have race problems in Germany and kids were friends regardless of skin color. Sadly, that wasn’t the case in Missouri.

This episode of This American Life podcast is amazing. It spoke to me on so many levels and made me so mad for the society we live in. We have to do better. If we really want to stop racism in the United States, we have to educate our people equally. I was so sad listening to this podcast and can’t believe we still have race problems in the twenty first century. If you have a spare hour, I encourage you to listen to the podcast that deals with the accidental desegregation of the school district Michael Brown attended. I find it so hard to believe that these events took place in 2012. Let me know what you think.


3-things-3 3. NOW Toothpaste – 

Do you have a favorite healthy toothpaste and have you ever looked at the ingredients in the toothpaste you use? Sadly, but not surprisingly, lots of toothpastes use toxic ingredients that I’d really rather keep out of my body. Tricolsan, aspartame, artificial colors, microbeads and more are often found in toothpastes. You can read more here, if you’re curious about why these ingredients should be avoided.

We started using NOW Foods Toothpaste after my trip to visit NOW Foods in Chicago earlier this summer and I’m really happy with the quality and taste. I’m pleased that they use xylitol instead of fluoride and that there are no artificial colors or other artificial ingredients. If you’re looking for a healthier toothpaste, check out our two favorites: Xyli White Bubblegum Splash for kids and Xyli White Refreshmint for adults.

That’s it for this week. My thoughts are on my friends impacted by Hurricane Matthew. <3 Have a great weekend, my friends.

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Great post, Michelle. I also listened to this episode of This American Life just a couple weeks ago and was really stunned. I’m not sure what it looks like yet for my family but we want to be a part of making a difference in desegregating schools.