Shopping Tip

theorie shampoo

Hello! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I’m happy to say it’s because we are expecting another little one! I’m due in the early spring. I’ve been really tired and working to get Buddy’s big boy room ready so we can move this new one into the nursery.  The blog is going to be a bit sparse in the coming months but I will try to drop in occasionally with a small post.

In addition to this update I want to give a little tip that most people are probably aware of, but I’ve never realized. Discount stores are a great place to look for earth friendly and organic products! I usually see food containers in the dishware, but I’ve never thought to check the hygiene aisle for lotions, shampoos, make-up, etc. I stopped by Marshall’s Home Goods the other day and thought I would look through that section since I’m in need of a new shampoo. Before this baby, I started slowly switching to more organic personal hygiene products since it can be pricey. I already use Dr. Bronner’s soap and a sulfate free shampoo that was running low. I found, what I think, is a big score. A 28.6 fl oz bottle of Theorie shampoo for $15! This is going to last a long time. Just look at the label to see how earth friendly it is.

theorie shampoo

The price tag said it is normally $30 and what I found online seemed to confirm that. I just started using it and it seems to work just as well as traditional shampoo. I might just have to keep buying it, even at full price.  Have you found any good deals in unexpected places? Any recommendations for a safe deodorant?

DIY Home Cleaning Products

Once I was pregnant with Buddy I became more aware of the products we were using in our home. I made sure not to use any harsh cleaning products, and left that stuff up to the husband. I switched our laundry detergent to All Free and Clear and then eventually started making our own. I’ve also made a room scent which doubles as a sort of all purpose cleaner. I’m gradually adding more homemade cleaning products to our home, and hope to eventually eliminate all the ones we typically buy from the store. Here’s a list of what I’ve tried and hope to try in the future. Links go directly to the post.

I made my own felted wool dryer balls and did a how to post about it here. I’ve loved using them. They don’t seem to have cut down on drying time, but definitely help with static.

I’ve been using this laundry detergent for over a year. I even use it on cloth diapers with no problems. Make sure to grate the soap on fine. I prefer to use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap for ours.

I made this all-purpose cleaner and also use it as a room spray. I sprayed it in the microwave and wiped off with a Magic Eraser with no scrubbing!

I think making my own hand sanitizer is next on my list. I’m not a germophobe, but I like to keep it handy after I go thrifting. Yuck!

This mosquito repellent will come in hand for those of us in the south. It has been especially rainy this summer, and they are out in full force!

I didn’t make my own baby wipe solution with Buddy because I thought it would be too much work. It seems so simple and I will definitely try it when we have another.

YumEarth Gummy Bears and Lollipops Review

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Hello! We had a wonderful week at the beach and it’s taken me a bit to get back into the swing of things. I thought I’d do a quick review of one of our favorite treats. I found YumEarth Gummy Bears at TJ Maxx a few months ago and was hooked. These are hands down the best gummy bears I’ve eaten and they’re not bad for you! Well, relatively speaking. They are a bit high in sugar at 15g for a snack size bag, but that really is the only downside. They are certified organic and free of all major allergens, including peanut and dairy. There is no HFCS and they use all natural flavors. There isn’t any food dye either. I have no problem giving these to Buddy when he’s wanting something sweet. I just make sure I brush his teeth extra good that night.

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I recently discovered their lollipops and love them too! In addition to all the wonderful qualities of the gummy bears, the lollipops are also kosher. Buddy loves these too and are a great, simple treat to bring on the go.YumEarth lollipops

Check out the YumEarth site for info on all their yummy products!

I was not paid or perked for my review. Yet another product that I love and want to spread the word!

Playing with Food

playing with fruit

One day I was thawing out some frozen blueberries for Buddy and noticed how pretty the paper towel looked after the juice had soaked in. I thought it would be fun to take several fruits and let Buddy play with them on some cardstock and see what kind of print he could come up with. I used strawberries, blueberries,cherries, and an orange, but the possibilities are endless.

playing with fruitI just sat them on the paper to give him the idea of what to do, and he took it from there. Of course, he had to take a few bites every now and then.

playing with food

He kind of used it as a stamp. You could probably cut some of the softer fruits into shapes if you think they’ll also use them like a stamp.

final food printYou can see that the orange didn’t do much. Maybe a dark grapefruit would work better? It was a fun, easy activity and Buddy enjoyed eating his “paint”.

DIY Watercolor Paints

I used frozen blueberries since that's what we had and it's much cheaper than fresh.

Little ones seem to love to paint, but many paints on the market aren’t safe for kids that want to put everything in their mouth. I  remembered seeing some websites around Easter using food to make dyes for eggs. I thought I would try something similar to come up with some watercolor paint that Buddy could use to paint. I used red onion skins, lemon zest, and blueberries. I didn’t have all these at the same time so I made them as I could, poured it into ice cube trays, and then froze them until we had (what I thought) three colors. I don’t have measurements, but I think the color intensity will be better if you have more food than water. I will show you pictures of the blueberries. Simply put blueberries in boiling water!

I used frozen blueberries since that's what we had and it's much cheaper than fresh.

I used frozen blueberries since that’s what we had and it’s much cheaper than fresh.

Once the water was boiling I used a fork to mash the blueberries against the side. This helped to release the juice and darken the water. I let it boil for about 10 minutes. For the red onion skins, I boiled until they started to become transluscent. The lemon zest didn’t get too dark. I just boiled until it was a faint yellow. I strained the water to try and get the blueberry bits out, and let it sit until cooled. It made a beautiful dark purple color.

blueberry paintOnce we were ready to paint a couple of weeks later, I put a cube of blueberry water in a ramekin and microwaved it.

diy watercolor paint

The bottom one is the red onion skin. The color is identical to the blueberry paint.

If you have a surface that you don’t want to get dirty or will stain easy, make sure you put some paper down. The blueberry will definitely stain. I just put some tissue paper over Buddy’s high chair tray. You can see that the red onion skin paint is the same color as the blueberry, but when you put it on the paper it will be brown, then turn to yellow as it dries. Kind of neat.  It ended up being the same color as the lemon paint. The blueberry paint made a really pretty slate blue color.

buddy with diy watercolor paintThe colors are pretty faint here, but darken up as it dries. The paper did tear in the middle, but he didn’t care. After a few minutes he wanted me to paint with him and here are the final results.

final diy watercolor pictures

Buddy’s masterpiece is on the left.

The yellow is a bit more lime in real life. The colors were really pretty together. They did fade a bit over the next few days, but still look good. I would like to try this with strawberries or cherries in the future. I wonder if pomegranate would make a pretty color, although that would be expensive to try. Buddy really enjoyed this activity and actually painted longer than he does with finger paints. We will definitely do this one again in the future.

The Dangerous Ingredients of Plastic Toys

Toys are something children can never live without! In fact, if you are the parent of a little one, you are expected to find and buy the toys of your tiny tot’s liking. But is it good enough if you buy some random toy you find in a shop? That would definitely satisfy your kid; but the fact is that you might be indirectly giving your kid a toxic substance!! Yes – you are reading right! Almost every plastic toy contains toxic chemicals and by-products that can harm your child and cause serious health issues. Read on, to know more about the toxic substances a plastic toy may contain.

You would be surprised to learn that each step in the process of making toys involves chemicals, some less harmful than others, but there are some that can cause serious health issues. The main purpose for using chemicals is to save the time and money during the manufacturing process for these toys. Lead is one of the major toxic substances found in most plastic toys available today, as has been seen recently in toys being manufactured in China. Lead is actually a component of the paint used to color the toys. The paint containing lead can cause severe health issues even in a fully grown adult. And this paint, which can peel off from the toy with time, can cause severe lead poisoning to your child. This can lead to terrible defects in the body or even death if the level of lead is too high.

Phthalates are the next type of toxic substances found in plastic toys. These are substances that are added to the normal plastic material, to increase its flexibility and durability. As far as plastic toys are considered, flexibility is very important, mostly because children love to play with something that moves and bends. But if this flexibility is attained by the use of phthalates in it, you should definitely say NO to those toys, as they can harm your child and cause health issues. Sucking or chewing a toy containing phthalates can cause this toxic substance to be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause serious problems. These substances can actually affect the development of your child, cause an early onset of puberty, cancer, stunt growth or otherwise negatively influence them.

BPA or Bisphenol A is yet another toxic substance in toys which can harm your child. These substances, if ingested through chewing or sucking of the toy, can imitate the body hormones and cause various unpleasant and unwanted activities in the body of the child, including retarded growth or early growth and development of the child’s body.
The presence of polystyrene in toys also cannot be disregarded, when looking for safe toys for your child. This chemical is present in most toys and has the ability to cause cancer in the body. It is also known to affect the nervous system, thereby damaging the nerves in severe cases.

PVC plastic, the 3rd most commonly used plastic in the world, is another material you should be conscious of. Due to its nature as a hard and brittle material, numerous chemicals must be added to it to make finished vinyl products. Whenever your child plays with toys made out of PVC and puts them in their mouth, they can potentially end up ingesting these toxic chemicals.

Testing has been done on PVC toys designed for very young children, which included teethers, for the presence of hazardous additives known by the scientific term phthalates, which are used to soften plastic. All soft PVC products contain these hazardous chemicals.
It is also important to point out that there are very little regulations on the manufacturing and distribution of toys and the harmful substances they are made of.

There are no stringent tests a children’s toy product must pass before being put on the market in most countries, including the U.S., unlike crash tests that new cars must endure before being allowed to be sold. Do NOT fall under the assumption that if it made its way onto a store shelf or is simply being sold that it is safe. You MUST do your due diligence and understand what is in the product.

So now that you are aware, make sure that you choose wisely when looking for your tiny tot’s favorite toy! If you want SAFE toys that are chemical-free, made by environmentally and health conscious companies, check out the store over at: www.earthfriendlytots.com

How to Teach our Kids to Go Green?

tree

Don’t you think it’s time to teach your tot’s to go green?  Because of people littering everyday, factories polluting, and not enough recycling, it seems like our planet is going one direction-and that’s down.

Here we list some ways to help teach you children to be environmentally friendly.

1. Replace the forest: Our forest are being taken down one at a time. When there are fewer trees there is less oxygen, and more pollution. Teach your children the importance of keeping and planting trees.

2. Teach your children to recycle when possible instead of littering. Explain how littering pollutes our land and water.

3. Buy eco-friendly toys: they are safer and most of the time last longer-and your children can hand them down to their children.

4. Reduce time using electricity: Teach your children the importance of spending time outdoors, explain to them why they shouldn’t leave the lights on, or leave their electronics on when not being used. Not only will your electric bill go down, but there will also be a reduction in energy used.

5. Use the library: Teach your children to use the library or download books when possible. Not only will you save money, but you will protect our forest and cut down on waste in our landfills.

 

DOES YOUR CHILD NEED HELP WITH BALANCE AND MOTOR SKILLS?

car

Are you looking for a way to help your child with balance and motor skills? http://earthfriendlytots.com/PushAlong-Hybrid-Car could be your answer. The Push Along Hybrid Car aids young children in balance and motor skills. Shaped from a single piece of earth friendly Rubberwood, with smoothly finished edges this whimisical toy is a delight to hold and play with. Rubber wheels will protect your floor.  Measures 5x4x1

WE NEED YOUR HELP SAVING THE PLANET!

dump truck

Need help hauling a big load while helping save the planet? The Green toys dump truck is ready to get working.  Made from 100% recycled plastic milk container this really is the most energy efficient vehicle on the entire planet. The super cool eco-design has a workable dumper and no metal axles. Your little boy is going to love this dump truck. http://earthfriendlytots.com/Dump-Truck.

TRAVELING?

Bead Maze

Is your family planning on traveling during the holiday season? Children will delight in our bead maze while developing visual skills, eye-hand coordination, and color and shape recognition, made of rubberwood, and earthfriendly hardwood, these colorful toys provide hours of  play! Handcrafted and hand-painted using child-safe paints. http://earthfriendlytots.com/BeadMaze-Frog