Posts Tagged ‘Green living’

Blogging Hiatus

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9/17/14

 

Dear Friends,

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. That was intentional. I’ve been busy with Back-to-School/Work, the yoga studio, etc. While it’s nice to get back into a routine, it’s just a reminder of how quickly time continues to fly. My baby girl turned 8 last week. She started 3rd grade and absolutely loves her teacher…so do I! It’s going to be a good year for her.  I’ve heard from several friends and colleagues how significant 3rd grade can be. I think it has a little to do with being able to remember more from that year. It was very memorable for me. I don’t have much recollection of anything before 2nd grade….but 3rd? I remember my wonderful teacher Mrs. Pahoundis, the ice cream scoop book report chart, the reading cave in her classroom, my best friend Carissa (who is still my best friend!), my first crush, and a trip to Colombia. I also think that the step from 3rd to 4th is huge…I see it in the kids I teach now. There is something still so innocent and young about the 3rd graders, but as the year progresses you see so much growth…physically, intellectually and emotionally. It’s hard to believe, let alone accept, that my little one is growing up….

All Summer I anticipated writing this post. Last year was so busy for me that I think I stretched myself too thin (almost!). The reality hit me within the first couple days of vacation. When I realized that I had to almost force myself to relearn how to relax, I knew something had to change. So as I basked in the California (hottest!) Summer sun, I vowed that this school year would be different. I don’t want to forget what’s truly important. I don’t want to lose the beautiful connection I have with my baby girl. I don’t want to miss a single beat. I’ve been grateful that the school she started at this last year has been a good fit for her, but I do miss our days of homeschooling, taking field trips and running errands together. The days seemed longer then. I still do hold on to the idea of homeschooling again soon, but for now things are working out the way they are.  I am super proud of her….this year she has joined the Dance Company at her dance school. She is so excited that they will be performing at a 76ers half time show! It’s everything to me to see her face light up when she tells whoever she can. lol. I want her to flourish and be all that she can be and never lose that positive energy and confidence she has. I know that in order to support and guide her I need to make sure that I am truly available to her. So, for now, it means setting aside quality family time, reprioritizing, learning how to say no, and taking a little more time for me.  After all, I don’t want to lose myself either.

So I take this time to thank all of those who have spent a few minutes reading my posts. I truly appreciate the support. I have had an amazing time sharing my thoughts, reviewing products so I can report back, and connecting with other moms out there that are also busy trying to juggle it all for the love of our families. I appreciate all of the opportunities and while blogging has been a fun outlet, many of you know that it can also be very time consuming. Therefore, the time has come for me, not to say goodbye, but see you later. Wishing you all health, love and happiness!

Until next year,

~Dee

 

Clean Water for Your Family

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With all the different water options and filtration systems available, it can be confusing and difficult to decide what the safest, cleanest option is for your family.  Bottled waters range from “perfectly safe” to “no better than tap” to “unsafe for the environment”. In some cities tap water is deemed safe while in others it is said to be polluted with chemicals and possible bacteria. It is important to know where your water comes from and to take the necessary precautions to ensure it is as clean as possible. (You can visit http://water.epa.gov/ for all the latest water facts and information.) Luckily, this does not have to be an expensive task!

I was recently given the opportunity to check out the CamelBak Relay. This water filtration pitcher can deliver freshly filtered water 10x faster than the leading competitor.  It also does a more thorough job. It’s unique design allows it to filter as you fill the pitcher and then again as you pour yourself a glass of water.  Testing shows that 97% of chlorine, taste and odor is removed. The pitcher holds up to 10 cups of water and is designed to be space-saving, fitting inside most refrigerator doors. The lid is very secure with latches that lock on the sides, making it spill-proof.  I really like that the filter is made of plant-based activated carbon and that the pitcher is BPA free and dishwasher safe. Best of all, the Relay Fresh Filter lasts up to 4 months! That is twice as long as the leading competitor. It has a reminder dial on the top of the lid so you know what month you have to change it out.  For only $36.99, the CamelBak Relay is a great value for the price. Not to mention, you will save money and the planet by getting yourself a reusable water bottle…plus you’ll end up drinking more water. It’s a win-win! You can find the CamelBak Relay at Target, Amazon.com or CamelBak.com.

Final Ecocentric Mom Review

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Yes, sadly, this will be my last Ecocentric Mom review. I have had such a great time being a part of the expert blogger team and receiving goodies to review and share with you, but my time has come to move on. This past year was a very busy one and after some R&R this Summer, I’ve realized the need to slow down a bit. With a new school year around the corner, I am looking forward to new projects and responsibilities. However, the focus on my priorities and time management will be much clearer. Family comes first and Ecocentric Mom has played a big role for me in making sure I do not forget that.

As a busy mom it can be difficult to find the time to ensure you are providing your family (and yourself!) with the healthiest and safest options. That’s where Ecocentric Mom subscription boxes can help. Every other month you will get a box of organic, natural and healthy products right at your doorstep. You can discover and learn about some of the healthiest snacks, safest bath products and cosmetics, and so much more.

Being a Birth and Postpartum Doula, I want to make sure I keep up-to-date with what’s out there for new moms and little ones too. So, without further ado, check out the great products I received in my July/August “Mom-to-Be” Ecocentric Mom Box…..

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Cream Foundation ~ this has become one of my favorite make-up lines thanks to Ecocentric Mom. I’ve tried their lipstick and glosses and love them. While I’m not a foundation fan, this stuff works great….super lightweight, all-natural and contains SPF-28. I received a 3 pack travel size worth $1.40.

Savannah Red Lip Balm ~ this balm comes in a variety of flavors. I received the Beautiful Sugar and love how it smells. Best of all, the natural and organic ingredients leave my lips feeling so soft. One tube of lip balm sells for $2.99. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Bears Beauty Belly Balm ~ This organic skincare line will be a great recommendation for my doula clients. Hand-made, chemical free and made with organic hemp oil, this vegan belly balm is a safe choice for your baby. I received a travel size balm worth $1.50 and a 15% online discount code.

Bathtime Baby Hair & Body Wash ~ Another great recommendation for my doula clients, this baby skincare line is free of parabens, glycols, petroleum, sulfates, fragrances, dyes, and all that toxic stuff that can be harsh and damaging to your baby’s delicate skin. It is made with organic plant and fruit extracts, nourishing vitamins, antioxidants, and other ingredients that are safe and gentle and care for your little one. Bathtime Baby is also made in the U.S.A., is vegan and comes in BPA & Phthalate free packaging. I received a 3 oz. bottle which sells for $7.50, along with a 20% online discount code.

Water Wipes All-Natural Baby Wipes ~ This is the second time I receive Water Wipes in my Ecocentric Mom Box…but I’m not complaining! In fact, they are the brand I recommend the most. These are truly the purest baby wipes ever…made with 99.9% water and just a drop of fruit extract. I received a 10 wipe travel pack which sells for 99 cents. They can now be found at most major retailers, including walgreens.com and diapers.com.

Happy Baby Meal Time Board Book ~ This adorable book would make a great gift for any new mom and baby, especially when it is time to introduce solid foods to your little one. The bright pictures and clever words will keep baby entertained and expose him or her to meal time fun and reading. The board book sells for $9.95.

eInvite Sample Personalized Cards & Stationery ~ I received 5 sample fold top cards and a 20% online discount code which introduced me to eInvite.com. The site offers a great line of personalized stationery. You will find baby related stationary, like shower invitations and birth announcements, all customizable and all made in the USA. Visit http://www.einvite.com for more info.

AROMAFLAGE Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellent ~ Now that I’m back on the East Coast for the end of Summer and its humidity, I will definitely be putting this to use to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. It is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and other toxic chemicals. The cedar wood, vanilla, citrus and Vitamin E combination even make it smell good, unlike most natural insect repellents. I received a travel size sample worth $3.75.

The Natural Suburban Spices and Teas ~ I received a sample of “Summer Herb Garden Savory Spice”, as well as “Need a Little Sunshine in my Day Tea.” While I have not used either yet, I love that they are handcrafted, all-organic blends. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Yogavive Apple Chips ~ Last, but certainly not least (considering I opened these first!), I received a regular bag of chocolate flavored apple chips. Not sure if it was the chocolate or the Yoga that caught my attention first. Regardless, this healthy snack is made with USDA certified organic Fuji apples and are 100% fat free…tasty too! A bag sells for $4.49.

There you have it…another box of great finds, thanks to Ecocentric Mom. If you are thinking of signing up for a subscription box service, I highly recommend you give them a try. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

For more information and to subscribe visit the Ecocentric Mom website.

DIY Summer Spruce-Up

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As my vacation comes to an end, I already feel the anxiety of getting back to a dusty home and the back-to-school craze.  I’ve been a student and a teacher practically my whole life, making September a  month of new beginnings for me. Now with a school aged child the end of Summer and beginning of Fall continues to be my New Year and Spring Cleaning rolled into one.  I like to call it time for my “Summer Spruce-Up.”

Last Fall I began experimenting with several different homemade cleaner recipes. After much trial and error I found that all you really need is water, baking soda, vinegar and your favorite essential oil for scent. So as you clean out those rooms and closets to prepare for a new school year and scrub those floors after a Summer of trekking in pool water and mud, consider making your own eco-friendly household cleaners. This step-by-step easy guide to making your own cleaners from www.brightnest.com will help save you money and protect your family and the environment from toxins and chemicals found in conventional cleaning brands.

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Smart Irrigation Month

I’ve been visiting family here in my home state of CA this past month and temperatures have been very high! The idea of slip and slides and running through sprinklers have not been more appealing since childhood. Yet, just taking a few extra minutes in the shower makes me feel guilty. You see, on every major freeway you’ll find the lit up signs announcing the severe drought taking place here. It compelled me to look into the major causes and also share ways we can all pitch in and conserve water.

This isn’t just a problem in CA. Surprisingly, I learned that in the US  we have one of the highest averages of water use per person. Not surprising, I also learned that July is the peak month for water use. Through a campaign started in 2005 by the Irrigation Association it is now also considered Smart Irrigation Month. To learn more about how you can be involved and help support this cause visit their website: www.smartirrigationmonth.org.  You can also visit the EPA website and learn about the WaterSense program and products.

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WaterSense's Save Water Summer Infographic

Plastic-Free with PackSack

A few weeks ago I shared an infographic and my thoughts on the use of plastic bags. (To read: Click Here.) So when I learned about PackSack, I knew I had to check out and share. The PackSack is a reusable, eco-friendly bag that is great for anything from grocery shopping to day outings. The company just started up in San Diego, CA and is making big moves to encourage the ban of plastic bags that too often end up in our oceans.

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I love my PackSack. It is made of durable material and holds a lot…up to 45 lbs! The best part is that it rolls up and scrunches into a convenient little pouch that you can fit into your pocket. You can easily store a few in your glove compartment, which sure beats remembering to bring along big totes or paper bags. They even have their own draw string, making it so easy to carry around and store….

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The PackSack line comes in a variety of colors and is very inexpensive.  You can order them online or find a retailer near you by visiting their website: www.thePackSack.com. They make being green so easy and fun….I highly recommend them!

You can also get more info by checking out the PackSack YouTube channel, following them on Twitter, their Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Debest for Baby

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As a Certified Birth Doula, I am always on the look out for the latest and greatest for mom and baby. When I was recently asked to check out the Debest line of naturally colored baby garments, I couldn’t resist. I received the adorable “Ruffles in Bloom” 2-piece set pictured above and was immediately impressed by the quality. The material is soft and durable to the touch.

A baby’s skin is so sensitive that it is important to consider not just what products you use on their skin, but the dyes and materials in their clothing and bedding as well. The naturally colored cotton in Debest baby garments is organically grown, making it softer to the skin than conventional white cotton. It is also free from harmful chemicals and dyes commonly used in production. With Debest you can protect your baby’s skin and health, while helping to protect the environment.

Over the years I have made an effort to look for organic baby clothing and products to recommend to clients or when shopping for little ones. One thing I’ve noticed is that naturally colored and organic baby clothes tend to lack in variety and style. This is where Debest impressed me even more. I love the colors and flowered pattern of the outfit above. Their other selections are just as cute and stylish. You will find short and long-sleeve options, two-piece sets, sleepers, and blankets in different patterns and styles for girls and boys. Prices and shipping costs are very reasonable and when you sign-up you’ll receive 25% off your first purchase! Whether you’re shopping for a unique gift or buying clothes for your little one, I highly recommend Debest. Your baby deserves only the best!

More Good News! I’ve got an exclusive discount code for TLGP readers…

Purchase $50 or more and receive an extra $10 off. Just enter GREENMAMA10 at check out. Offer expires on 7/15/2014.

For more info and to shop the Debest line visit their WEBSITE,

Follow them on TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST.