Wednesday, January 30, 2008

see you next week!

I didn't want y'all to think I just dropped of the face of the earth and quit posting, so here's an adios post! We are heading on a family vacation to see Mickey! I will be back next week with lots of new green tips!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

yummy organic fruit snacks

Charlie loves fruit snacks. Unfortunately, I am not such a big fan. Most are full of sugar, artificial colors and high fructose corn syrup. Much to his delight, I have found a great organic fruit snack called FruitaBu. Charlie loves the twirly ones and so do I!

Here are some facts about FruitaBu:
  • One twirl is a whole serving of fruit
  • Over 90% real fruit and fruit juice in each serving
  • Organic, all natural fruit snack with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • All sugar comes naturally from fruit

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Friday, January 25, 2008

a great resource for feeding babies

When introducing solids with both Charlie and Gracie, I tried to make a good deal of their baby food. I liked the idea of knowing exactly what they were eating and how it was made. I also liked being able to vary it up and make all kinds of things that you wouldn't normally find on a grocery shelf. And most importantly I couldn't stomach meat in a jar, so I had to come up with something else! I was referred to a great site by a friend called This site breaks down exactly how and what to puree. Another thing I love about this site is its a great point of reference of when certain foods can be given, so even if you aren't into making your own food, there is a lot of helpful information that would still pertain to you. Check out their recipes too! Awesome healthy snacks, that I can still even make for Charlie!!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

great deal for organic formula!

Sass is still nursing but at night she takes a few ounces of formula to top her off. She also takes formula if I leave her with anyone for a while now that my stash is gone and I am so over pumping!! I really wanted her to have organic formula, because I am a firm believer in kids having as much hormone free dairy as possible. The first can I bought was a name brand organic formula....$28 for the can!! OUCH! Well, I did some research and found WalMarts Parents Choice Organic Formula for only $14 a can!! What a difference! I just wanted to share this because I know a lot of moms want to buy organic for their kids, but sometimes it can be so much more expensive. While I am thrilled to still be breastfeeding Sass, I think this is a great option for moms who can't or aren't breastfeeding for whatever reason.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

a chemical free home

One of my goals in going green is to reduce/remove as many chemicals from our home as possible. The biggest thing is going to be just changing my habits. I have recently started buying big jugs of vinegar because its super cheap and has a ton of uses. I put it in my down ball now as a fabric softener (and no your clothes don't smell like Easter eggs!), I put some in a squirt bottle to clean around the house, I even soak my wedding rings in it and it really makes them sparkle!
Check out this site for tons of great vinegar tips! I would love it you would share your favorite tip or one you are currently doing in our comments!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

whole foods is going plastic bag free

I just heard today that Whole Foods will no longer be carrying plastic bags in the near future. You will be able to purchase their "Better Bags" for ninety nine cents that you can reuse. You can read all about it here.

Whole foods "Better Bags" are made from recycled plastic bottles. Here are a few reasons from the Whole Foods site that we should use reusable bags:
  • It can take more than a thousand years for a disposable plastic bag to break down in a landfill.
  • Most reusable bags can be used thousands of times and there are so many reusable bag options!
  • Thousands of customers and Team Members support our Core Value to “care about our communities and the environment.”
You can read more from Whole Foods here.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

surviving life without paper towels

I am married to "King Paper Towel". My husband has a love affair with paper towels that can't fairly be described. And he only like the "good" paper towels like Viva. I was beginning to feel guilty about the amount of paper towels the boy would go through in a week and the toll that was taking on the environment. I wish I had some great statistic proving this, but I don't. I just know lots of paper towels = lots of trees.

Without letting him know, I let our paper towels run out and I didn't buy any more. At first Matt was very perplexed by the situation. The idea of using cloth towels was just too much. But he quickly adapted. We actually started using that big drawer full of kitchen towels. It really didn't make that much more laundry for me, on an average day we go through two towels, sparing any big messes. Now that I have him in the habit of using towels, I bought some recycled paper towels the other day and he was appalled! I save my paper towel usage for things like cleaning glass, and feel good about the trees we are saving by not using so many paper towels.

So my challenge to you, go paper towel less for one week! See if you can adapt to not using them! Leave a comment and let us know how it goes!!

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Friday, January 18, 2008

let's cook!

Imaginary play is so important for preschoolers. One of Bubbie's all time favorite things to play with his is toy kitchen. He really loves the wooden food from Melissa and Doug. All the food velcros together and comes with wooden knives or pizza cutters to "cut" the food. By pretending to cook with him, I can teach him so much about healthy eating and new food choices. My hope is that foods he's afraid to try now will become more familiar through play and eventually less intimidating at the dinner table! The kitchen in the above picture is actually Sass's but in our play room Bubbie has a great little kitchen that we bought from a garage sale for $5! We have definitely gotten our $5 worth out of our little kitchen! You can get wooden food and other fun natural toys from one of my favorite online boutiques
Tender Cargo.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

wear your baby

Baby wearing is becoming more and more popular. When I was pregnant with Charlie the Baby Bjorn was the "thing" you had to have. While I even used my bjorn this time around, once your baby puts on a few pounds they start to get too heavy! So I began exploring more about baby wearing. My next adventure was with a sling. I love my slings, especially when Gracie was tiny, but again, at 17 lbs. I can only wear her for so long! So I discovered something new again (I have a shopping problem.... I am well aware!). I just received my Beco Baby Carrier! I am super excited! The Beco can be worn as a front carrier or a back carrier, but offers much more support than a sling. Its great for older babies and toddlers.

There are many benefits to baby wearing. Being hands free is one of my top reasons. I can wear Gracie and still play with Charlie. Babies also are happier when they are close to you, so baby wearing tends to reduce crying, and we can all use a little less of that! You can read more about the benefits of baby wearing here!

The Beco patterns are super cute and so hard to pick just one. I had to choose though, so this is what I got! ETA: The Beco can carry babies from newborn to toddlers up to 40lbs!

* All Images come from Beco

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

the dirty dozen

Something that is becoming more and more important to me as I do research is feeding my kids as much organic food as possible. Its very overwhelming though because there are so many choice these days. Well listed below is "the dirty dozen". According to the USDA Pesticide Data Program, these food are the most contaminated with pesticides. The list goes from the most to least contaminated. The Sneaky Chef says, "If you eat these foods on a regular basis, you are exposing yourself to more than twenty different pesticides per day." This might give you a good starting point with small changes you can make.

The Dirty Dozen (according to the Sneaky Chef)
Apples (this one surpised me!)
Sweet Bell Peppers
Imported Grapes

All information in the post came from The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a good read for green mamas (or those trying to be!)

This morning Sass had physical therapy and while we were waiting in the waiting room I found my dream magazine!! Kiwi magazine is all about Growing Families the Natural and Organic way. It's super cute and colorful with great product recommendations. I came right home and ordered a 2 year subscription for only $20! You will be getting lots of tips on here from Kiwi in the next few months. Their website is great too, so check it out!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

no more junk mail, lots more trees

Green Dimes is the coolest organization. For twenty bucks they will get your name off all the junk mail lists and plant ten trees! Who couldn't use less junk mail?! This is a very simple thing to do in effort to go green this year, so I challenge all my readers to join Green Dimes. Leave a comment after you join! Let's see how many people we can get to eliminate their junk!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

where the dirty diapers go......

So one of the things people are always intrigued about when they find out I use cloth diapers, is what I do with the dirty diapers when we are out and about. There is a very simple solution to this and its called a wet bag (not the best name, but a great product!). Anyway, a wet bag essentially is a small bag you stick inside your diaper bag to put dirty diapers in and it has a waterproof lining. They come in different sizes, so depending on how long you would be out, you would choose your bag accordingly. Once I discovered these, I knew only a cute one would do, so I was on a hunt. I discovered this awesome girl named Sam, from My Beautiful Girl,who makes cloth wipes and wet bags on hyena cart. Her bags are the best! Great fabric, wash awesome, super cute! I have three bags by her now, small, medium and large. These have come in great use to me for things other than cloth diapers too. I use our large one when we travel to put all of our shampoos, lotions etc in. I like to keep one in my diaper bag for wet clothes in case of a potty accident. I love having one in our swimming lesson bag for the wet suit! So even if you don't cloth diaper, there are great uses for her bags. I have nothing but raves for My Beautiful Girl and for Sam! She is super sweet to work with and I will definitely order from her again (her wipes deserve a post of their own!).

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

diapers go green

Time magazine has a great write up on cloth diapers. Enjoy!,9171,1702357,00.html

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a little sneaky, a little deceptive

I received two copies of Deceptively Delicious for Christmas and my birthday. If you haven't heard of this book yet, it was written by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife). She basically purees veggies and sneaks them into popular kid foods to help get more healthy veggies into her kids. I have made several things from there and so far am impressed, so I returned my extra copy and got a copy of The Sneaky Chef. The Sneaky Chef claims to be the originator of this puree idea and I guess its kind of a bad situation between the two authors. Regardless of the legal drama, I really like both books for different reasons. One of the things I really like about The Sneaky Chef is there is an abundance of information on feeding children, getting children to eat, pros to going organic, etc.

So here is a tidbit that I thought was facinating from The Sneaky Chef:

"An Emory University study asked twenty three children to go organic, and after only three days, the kids' bodies no longer showed traces of two common pesticides: malathion and chlopyrifos. Once the kids went back to their usual diet, the chemicals returned."

We have slowly made the change to eat more and more organic. The more I learn, the more organic we seem to be going!!

I highly recommend both books to encourage your little ones to eat more veggies (and maybe the big people in your house too!).

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

today I am lime green.....

Well my new grocery bags from Publix are anyway! Publix is now offering reusable grocery bags for only 99 cents a bag! I picked up three but as I got to the check out thought I might need one more. I mentioned it to the cashier and he looked at my stuff and said, "no, you can probably get all this in just two bags". REALLY?! Publix claims their Green Bags can hold three to four times what one plastic bag. Not only does this help the environment ....but it also saves me trips to the car! They seem really durable with a reinforced bottom. They come in three colors, bright green, black and one other, maybe the green pictured below, but I don't remember. I am super excited about my new bags and hope you will pick some up

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

going green one month at a time

I found this great website that has one thing you can do a month to go a little greener. This months "challenge": Lower your thermostat by two degrees. By doing this you save 318lbs of CO2. Pretty cool huh?! Check out for more great ideas to do each month!

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let's talk about "fluff"

When Sass was around four months olds, I starting exploring the world of cloth diapering. I was curious about it with Bubbie too, but being a first time mom, too scared to jump out of my comfort zone.

So away I went researching cloth diapers. I discovered this great intro to cloth diapering trial kit at a website called Jillan's Drawers. They have an awesome trial program that lets you try all the different cloth diapers. Cloth, otherwise known as "fluff" has come a long way since folding and pins! This great service Jillan's Drawers offers allows you to put down a $100 deposit and then try everything for three weeks. If you don't like it return it all and lose just $10. If you do you can keep everything or just return the things you aren't fond of for credit towards other new diapers.

So here is the breakdown. There are basically three types of diapers (well four I guess) available now.

AIO's- These are all in ones. The most like your disposable diaper. They either snap or velcro. Use it once and then throw it into your diaper pail. The downside to these is they take longer to dry. To not defeat my enviromental causes, I dry them one cycle and then hang them in my laundry room.
Pockets These are the second easiest. They are just like an AIO except instead of the stuffing being sewed in, there is a pocket opening and you put your own insert in which is usually made of microfiber, hemp or a combo of both. Because you can pull the insert out these dry quicker. Also, people like them because you can stuff them as much as your baby needs to stay dry. (ie. I use more stuffings at night then in the day).
Fitted and Covers A fitted is a very trim diaper that is not water proof, so it needs a cover. The main reason I like these is because I have some very cute covers. You can use the same cover all day long and just change the fitted diaper underneath.
Prefolds and Covers This is the most economical way to cloth diaper but also my least favorite. Fitteds are more like your traditional cloth diaper that requires a water proof cover. The main reason I don't like these is that they are very trim for under clothes. They do hold newborn poop really well though! And the great thing is there is no need for pins now that there is a new invention called the Snappi!

I will do some individual posts on what my favorites brands are of each type of diaper another day, but for now here are a few fluffy photos of my sweetest girl! Seriously, did you think cloth could be so cute!!




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Friday, January 4, 2008

oprah's all about going green!

Now that Christmas has past I am back! Today's Oprah was all about going green. Here are three easy things you can do for 08 to start going green and check out for many more great ideas!!

1. Use one less napkin a day (or go to cloth, even better!)
From Oprah:
"One of those simple things you can do is to reduce your use of paper napkins…by just one a day! "Napkins make a huge difference," Elizabeth says. "We use 2,200 of them a year, per person on average. Six a day. So if we all gave up one napkin a day, we could save a billion pounds of paper waste … from going to landfills a year."

One thing I have done is made a basket full of all the left over party napkins we have. Charlie loves getting to pick out a different napkin at each meal and all these random napkins are now getting used!

2. Use cloth bags for shopping. We throw away more than 380 BILLION plastic bags a year!!
Here's what Oprah has to say:

"It's a question you're asked all the time, "Paper or plastic?" What's the environmentally correct answer? Simran says it's really, "Neither." More than 380 million plastic bags are thrown away in the United States every year, and those plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfills. And while paper bags do eventually biodegrade, an estimated 14 million trees a year have to be cut down to make 10 billion paper bags."

3. Change your lightbulbs!
This is from Oprah:
If every family replaced one bulb with a CFL, Simran says it would be like reducing carbon emissions from 800,000 cars. "I'm asking [America] to have a lightbulb moment and change out one lightbulb!" she says.

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