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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feeding the Reindeer

Santa is almost here.  While he delivers presents and chows down on the treats you and the kids baked, his reindeer are outside starving.  Hello. Ok, well they're hungry, so here's a recipe to fuel em- Mix 1 cup of oatmeal with 1 tablespoon colored sugar crystals or substitute the crystals with colored glitter for the bling effect.  You can even add birdseed to the mix but not with the glitter recipe.  Take the kiddies out and sprinkle on the lawn the night before santa makes his annual round so he can find your casa.  Make the dust with the kids, bag it, and hand it out to the neighbor kids or you could buy reindeer dust on Etsy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Need an original fundraiser or stocking stuffer?  How about a gourmet pencil that smells like watermelon or chocolate? 100% recycled newspaper smencils and smens come in fruit, holiday and valentine scents. To maintain the tasty scent, they come in individual corn-based biodegradable freshness tubes. The verdict - The pencils write well but use a really good pencil sharpener. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

solar christmas

So we set up our freshly cut tree, I turned Pandora on with the "Holidays with the Temptations" and the girls started decorating.  While the fake vs real tree debate lives on, there are options like replanting your tree or just recycling the bugger so it can be mulched.  Save some energy and try keeping the lights on for shorter periods. And check out these solar powered Christmas lights.  LED lights are always better too and easier to find.  Now go make some ornaments with the kids!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

poppie tarts

Confession.  I haven't made these yet but I will tomorrow. You ate them, your kids some how have tasted them either because you bought them or someone gave 'em one.  I blame my girls' pop tart intro on daycare.  They love them.  I refuse to take a nibble.  So I googled a "healthier" version minus the trans fat, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup:  2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tblspn sugar, 1 stick cold unsalted butter, 1 egg, 1/3 cup ice cold water,
jam or preserves (such as Smucker’s Simply Fruit or Polaner All Fruit), and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar. Heat oven to 375 and check the rest of the recipe and frosting out here,  Let me know how yours tastes!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apple Cider Vinegar

Belle has been fighting a cold off and on for a few weeks.  So I tried some ACV.  Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar has some natural bacteria-fighting agents containing stuff like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron, etc.  Feel a cold coming? Mix 2 teaspoons of ACV into a cup of water and chug several times a day. I also threw some carrot juice to mask the taste but you could also add honey. The vinegar will help rebalance the body's acid level. Chest cold?  An old school home remedy touts soaking a piece of brown paper in vinegar then sprinkling one side of it with black pepper. Place the peppered side of the paper on the chest, cover with a towel, and relax for 20 minutes. For better results, purchase the organic ACV or make your own with this recipe.   Here's more interesting things you can do with ACV.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

welcome to crayon town

My good friend Darlene has a crayon town. In her carport.  The little area is all recyclable refrigerator boxes which you can snag from Home Depot for FREE.  Then grab scissors for the windows and doors, crayons, and a little shipping tape to create tunnels and help the town stay standing.  Let the kiddies play, crawl, and draw while you sit and reeee-lax.  Check out these soy crayons or eco-friendly recycled star crayons.  Happy coloring.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Organically Yummy

Ever have your little one eat a whole carrot and say "Thanks mom!"  Every other Tuesday I get a box of organic veggies and fruit from Full Circle Farm for $30. Delivered to my office.  There's something about receiving these boxes that makes my girls go bananas.  And I can customize my box to our favorites or let Full Circle surprise me.  I also get two new recipes featuring items from my box.  Organic costs more of course, but it really tastes better, ask my little carrot eater, and it's better for your fam.  Give it a peek.

Friday, October 15, 2010

pumpkin eater

So you bought a pumpkin for your kiddies, you carved it using a template, it's on what? Eat the inside. Simmer the pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes with salt then bake them for 20 minutes on 350. Seeds are a fab source of zinc and amino acids. Then take the slimy orange guts which are loaded with the good stuff - potassium, fiber, and vitamin E and make pumpkin bars or 36 of these tasty pumpkin recipes. Of course you can compost the carved pumpkin after Halloween. Your dogs can even eat the pumpkin innards, just be careful, it can act as a laxative. Here's other stuff you can do with your orange ball.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

40 ways

There are 40 ways to skin a cat and a few ways to have a pet hamster. Here's one. Janae turned 5 last week and received a pet hamster. I am not a fan of furry small creatures. This one works though because it has 4 wheels, a cute pink piggy nose, and it comes with a name. Jilly. A Zhu Zhu pet. Battery operated at $8 each. All the rage with the kiddies. It even squeaks and of course you can buy scarves, hats and blankets for it, a hamster tunnel, sleeping dome,and other absolutely unnecessary but cute items. To be eco-friendly you could for go the plastic accessories and use shoe boxes for tunnels and sleeping areas for your child's new pet. If your crafty, you could even sew clothes and blankets for it out of left over fabrics or unwearable, ill-fitting play clothes. Peep these at Target, Toy R Us, and any other toy laden dynasty that makes your kiddies run wild.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Flying Fruit - Kid Tips

"Mommie, I'm hungry. I want a snack please." I hear this alot. Like, everyday. More and more, the choices are fruit and veggies. Do you want a banana, peach, cantaloupe or some celery with peanut butter? I ask. I rarely buy fruit roll ups, fish crackers and other easy, processed, cheap options. And with the delicious, nutritional, expensive fruit (sometimes organic), comes the fruit flies. I hate it. Here's how you kill em. Pour 3 parts apple cider vinegar and 1 part dish detergent into a shallow flat dish. Talk about building it and they will come! They love the sweet scent, dive in and die. To mask the scent of the vinegar and to memorialize their quick passing, I usually light a soy candle. Nectarine, anyone?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nanana boo boo - kid tips

My dear mommie made these for us back in the day. We eat them with syrup and lately my kiddies love jam on theirs. Peek a boo eggs. Think french toast without the cinnamon. You take a piece of 100% whole wheat toast or sprouted grain bread and make a whole in the middle. Belle likes when I use the star cookie cutter for the shape in the middle. Place bread in a hot pan with a little melted butter and crack an egg in the hole. The girls like their eggs cooked through so I flip it after the bread browns and begin to poke it so the yolk cooks. Serve with syrup, jam (I love love Smuckers Simply Fruit) or butter. This is a good one for car rides to school or daycare!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Frightful Swap

The last thing I want is another landfill kiddie Halloween costume. That's why I have made a commitment to always buy a gently worn one or snag a freebie. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned through my Facebook friend Cory of Green Halloween that there's now a National Costume Swap Day to encourage eco-mommies to organize or swap out their kid's costumes. Here's more details. Back to planning mine...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

mommy i can't breathe

Janae has had 5 sinus infections and nose bleeds over the past year. Ridiculous. Her symptoms: headaches, stuffy nose and when her nose does drain, it's a fabulous yellow and pea-green color. The band-aid fix was amoxicillin (the stinky pink antibiotic) and when that stopped working, her pediatrician (at my request) put her on a stronger antibiotic. We also tried a sinus rinse for kids, claritin, benadryl, and natural allergy tablets. Nothing worked My poor little girl. So I took her to a Ear Nose and Throat Specialist last week and she prescribed a nose spray with antibiotics to clear her passages and a cream to rub inside her nose to take away the dryness and impending nose bleeds. The verdict - she can breathe! And she likes squirting her nose with spray and most of all sticking her finger up her nose with the ointment.

Friday, July 30, 2010

cheap mommies

I love a bargain and I heart free. Target has their toys at 75% off right now. Seriously. I found out from Thrifty NW Moms. This local blogger knows all the deals and welcomes you to share your tips on freebies, discounts, etc in Washington state. Like them on Facebook and get tweets.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

clothes for play - kid tips

There's a bin of clothes in the girls' closet that's just for outdoor and messy play times. Each time a piece of clothing gets an untreatable stain or unrepairable hole, I throw it in the bin. Going outside to play? Grab an outfit from the bin, I say. Remember...this is the year of consuming less and reusing...and what a great way to salvage a cute outfit that still fits: let them sport it while they paint or create tasty mud pies. Here's and eco-friendly sprout smock and an eco-friendly sand set.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

slinging your junk

We had a g-sale a few weeks ago. I had the girls pick 10 toys to sell and they got to have a lemonade stand. I made eco-friendly sale signs from used cardboard boxes. When I have a sale, I price everything like it's 4pm and I want to go inside. Think dirty cheap. Most of my junk was a buck and the kid's clothes were 3 for $1. My tips on g-selling - Sell when your neighborhood has their annual sale, have your friend, siblings, parents bring their stuff over so you have a nice selection, spread your junk out so people don't have to dig, price it to sell, and buy a dozen donuts to sell for breakfast. I held my sale from 8am-2pm and then gave the rest to charity. Do not bring your cast-offs back into your casa. Here are some more tips on having a fabulous sale.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Repitition - Kiddie Tips

I'm tired of the sock ghost sneaking in and stealing my girls' socks. I can't seem to find sock mates. Ever. This was until I started buying the same brand, the same size, and the same style of sock. I shop Fred Meyer (one stop shopping - less traveling, less gas) and buy the Hanes brand girl socks with cute little pink, purple, green and blue polka dots. This store always has their undies and socks on sale. Always. Last time I bought two packs of socks with four pairs and paid ohhhh...$6.99. Hey, and I'm that kind of mommy who doesn't mind pairing an older sock to a newer one - they just need to be the same style. Here's some eco-friendly feet coverings.

Friday, June 18, 2010

3 whines your out

We have a new rule in the house. Each time you whine you get a warning. On the third warning you get a time out. And mommy gets silence. Mommy like. Seriously, this parenting gem is working. Of course it depends on the kid and if they hate time outs. Mine do. Give it a shot. Here's 6 other ways to stop whining. Cheers.

Monday, May 31, 2010

watch them break down

How about a chemical diaper burn so bad, it's eating your baby's skin? This has been the tale for too many parents and little wee ones including my sis-in-law. Not fair. The culprit? DryMax in Pampers diapers. These bad boys have been on the market for two months and claim to be thinner and "the brand's driest diaper ever". Horrible. My new niece Ivy (pic right) now sports a gDiaper. Biodegradable and flushable. Nice diaper. Here's the recipe: Little gPants are cotton, with a hint of elastene for stretch. Snap-in liners are made of breathable polyurethane-coated nylon, similar to what's used in sports clothing. gCloth inserts are four layers of soft microfleece and hemp/cotton. And yes, they encourage you to flush them. Watch the biodegradable video. And like them on Facebook. Happy planet. Happy baby.

Monday, May 24, 2010

thred up - kid tips

Speaking of consuming's a fab way to swap your kiddie's gently worn, too small clothes with another kid's. And you don't even have to host a playdate. My friend Darlene referred me to this site Thredup a month ago. I'm hooked. Forget consignment stores, this is the new way to shop. Create your log in and grab some of your kid's clothes they refuse to wear or have outgrown. Do not, I repeat, do not take pictures. Post basic info on the clothes, like sizes, what season they are, click on three color themes of the set of clothes, and sit back and wait. If you find a box you like, pick it and pay $13. I got lucky and picked a box with 11 dresses, size 7/8. Yep. Just got them today and Janae about fainted with joy. This was cheaper than going to a garage sale! If someone picks your box, they will pay Thredup by paypal, and you will get a link to print out a free shipping label. Just throw the digs in a USPS medium flat rate box and the postwoman will pick it up from your casa. Check them out on FB and their parent site Shirts.Thredup where you can swap adult designer shirts online.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reading Step 1 - Kid Tips

So we are still on step 1 of "How to Teach Your Baby to Read". Each week I show the girls 25 new words a week. Here's what's working the best: I show a set of 5 words on Monday three times a day. Usually once before they go to school and daycare and then two more times when we all get home. On Tuesday, I add 10 new words and thrown in 10 more new words on Wednesday. Thursday and Fridays are just showing all 25 words again. By Friday the girls have seen the first set of words 15 times. I can tell it's working. Janae begins reading the first set of words as I hold them up by Wednesday. If you have tried to teach your kid and stopped, try again! If you are thinking about doing it, try! Ages 0-5 are the best ages for kids to learn. Be patient and positive. Do not give up. Keep it fun! Keep it short. Do not test your baby, just show them the words.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reading babies - kid tips

I'll admit it. I was curious when I saw some infomercials with 13 month old babies reading. I mean really! So I whipped out my library card and checked out (gotta heart free) How to Teach your Baby to Read. The book explains for example, a 3 year old who is missing part of his brain who learns how to crawl, then walk, then read! When he enters 1st grade he is reading at a 7th grade level. Our kids have so much potential and we wait so long to give them the opportunity to learn! So never one to not pursue some kiddie opps, I am officially teaching my toddlers how to read.

Here's the skinny on step 1: create 100 flash cards of words your child loves, show them in sets of five, one at a time, 3 x a day for a week. Each day add another set of five cards. You show them for one second each, don't test them, just say the word and move to the next. Keep it fun, painless and make sure you give them mad props with a big hug after wards and let them know how proud you are! Step 2 info is coming. Too tired to make the cards? Order some here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Play Station - Kid Tips

In the past two months, we have had a pizza station, burrito station, fruit station, and pancake station. What are these you ask? Food stations are a fun way for your kiddies to create their own meal. Takes an itsy bit more time BUT the kids will love it! Here's my version of a burrito station. It's not complicated. Really. In little bowls or plates set out in a row (organic where you can): taco shells or tortillas, ground beef or cut up chicken, pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, olives, and anything else you can think of. Then ring the bell to start the fiesta. The kiddies will love making their own meal and will more than likely eat what's on their plate. Plus it's never too early to start family style eating and allowing them to help clean up.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Peeing at Daycare - Kid Tips

I thought I would never say this but I am still potty training. Sigh. Daycare and mommie separation have regressed my little Belle to wetting her undies. Frequently. She holds her pee and waits until the last moment to go. Most times she makes it. So to assist her in falling in love with the toilet again, I have introduced a bathroom bunny that she fondly named Mommie. She takes Mommie with her every time she goes potty. This worked for five days but quickly lost it's luster. So today we went shopping. I let her pick out an electronic princess game. Here are the rules: She can only play with this toy at daycare and in the ladies room. Let's see if this works. Here are some eco-friendly potty training products. Por favor share your potty training tips in the comments section.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pink Milk

Somehow another fictitious character has invaded our little space. Lola. As in Charlie & Lola. She loves pink milk, I did, and my girls...well they can't stop talking about it. It really is their "favorite and best" too. As a 70's latchkey kid I mixed the Nestle Nesquik Strawberry powdered mix with milk on a almost daily basis. But as a mostly conscientious mommie, I have refused to buy it. So in my aim to consume less this year, I decided to whip up a healthier version when Janae begged for it yet again. I threw 5 cut strawberries, 1.5 cups milk, and a tsp of sugar into a blender and pureed it for a half a minute. Janae had seconds. Horizons makes a strawberry organic milk too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

biscuits baby - kid tips

I have perfected homemade biscuits. And we can't stop eating them. Really. This is a Paula Deen recipe that requires no crisco. Just butter baby. Here are my tips on making flaky, slap ya kid biscuits: where you can, use organic ingredients; after you cut the biscuits, let them rest in the pan for 20 minutes; let your kids play with the dough scraps and flour. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and they will melt in your mouth. I'm not kiddin'.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

pop up breakfast - kid tip

Belle asks for them almost daily. "Mama, will you make pop up pancakes?" Can't blame her. They are so tasty if your fond of eggs and syrup. I nabbed this recipe from Make and Takes (see their pic). Here's the skinny on the recipe: In a blender mix 1/2 c milk, 1/2 c flour, 3 eggs, 2 tblspn melted butter, & dash salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400* in well greased muffin tins. Here's a gluten free version. We dump jam, butter and syrup on ours. Yum.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cool Signs - Kiddie Tips

Ever been to a potluck and want to know exactly what you're grubbin' on? Ask no more. Pick up one of these Make and Take Baking Dishes with a write and wash dish lid. Very cool. And if you happen to have a teen kiddie in the pad, scoop up a reusable magnetic Student Driver sign. Ummm...good luck with that one.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

like new

I could have bought a new one but I didn't. In my quest to consume less, I chose to contact paper the girls white table. The table was stained from two years of breakfasts, sticky snacks, messy arts and crafts projects, permanent markers, and water colors. The contact paper put a $7 whole in my wallet and the table looks fabulous. Just like new. Milk paint was an eco-friendly option, but I didn't want to fuss with sanding and, well, painting.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Corn Dog Muffins

She became hooked at the fair. So last night when I announced we were having chili dogs. Janae replied "Oh, we are having corn dogs?! Yes!!" Instead of saying "No", I put on my Iron Chef hat and accepted the challenge of creating a healthier alternative to the fried favorite: a baked corn dog. Here's how I retained my title as Iron Chef Mommy: I boiled an all beef Kosher Hebrew National hot dog, shoved a stick into it, and dipped it into a way to runny whole grain cornbread mixture (it needs to be really thick). Upon baking, it just ran all over the greased cookie sheet. But she loved it. I stepped up my Food Network skills and created a few corn dog muffins too. My second attempt to please the kid judges looked like this: I boiled another Kosher hot dog, cut it up a few times, added the remaining runny cornbread mix to lined muffin tins, placed the cut up hot dog into the muffin mixture, and baked for 15 minutes. More love from Janae and Belle. Here's a version where you can add cheese.

Quick and easy, eco-friendly Kid Tips for parents. Email your parenting tips and kiddie tips to