Monday, October 31, 2011

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's SUPER REED

Reed had an absolute BLAST trick or treating for the first time this year! I wasn't sure he was even going to put on his costume since he seems to have come down with a little cold and woke up in the middle of his nap not feeling well. But, after a good nap, he was ready to dress up and then his friends stopped by and we all went trick or treating for a little while. 
I decide to make him his costume this year, a new Super Hero, "SUPER REED". 

I got the idea from HERE, but surprisingly felt it needed a little more embellishment on the shirt & cape. :)

Join me at these Link Parties:

All of us are trying to make positive changes in our lives, whether it is creating a cleaner, safer home for our families, getting healthier, losing weight, and/or staying as youthful and vibrant as we can!  Shaklee provides a HEALTHIER LIFE for everyone and a BETTER LIFE for anyone! 

I would love to speak with you on how Shaklee's products can help you.
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Day 30: green kids

Happy Halloween!!!

As a continuation of yesterday's post on keeping our children's environments healthy, let's talk about ways to make our kids' environments Green.

Pass Up Toxic Toys

These toy brands have a track record for safety:

Sprig Toys
Holgate Toys
Melissa & Doug
North Star Toys

Play Green

I am seeing more and more "living green" inspired toys these days. For example, Reed has a Recycling truck...that sure wasn't around when we were growing up. Also, how cute is this dollhouse?
It has a windmill, solar panels, a rain barrel, and recycling bins starts eco-habits early. 
Green dollhouse, $240;

Here’s an online “green” toy store:

Pack Waste-Free Lunches

Everything in Kids Konserve's kit -- from cloth napkin to sandwich wrap to stainless-steel containers -- can be used again and again.

Be a Green example

Kids learn more from what we do than what we say. If you incorporate green practices into everyday living, they will think this is just what should be done and develop these important habits for themselves. 
Children are like looking into a you like what you see?

Wishing you a safe and Happy Halloween!

If you want to provide a safe and healthy home for your family, I'd love to speak with you.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 29: green babies

Our children...we want to provide them the best, safest world we can.  Healthy Child Healthy World-a national nonprofit that educates consumers on how to create healthful environments.

When you are setting up your child's nursery (or re-doing their room), use no VOC paint, non-toxic furniture and natural rugs that won't off-gas. Use only non-toxic cleaners in their rooms and wash or at least put stuffed animals in the dryer once a month to rid them of dust mites.

Here are some ideas for making your baby's environment as safe and green as possible:

Glass Bottles

I decided to go with good old-fashioned glass bottles even though BPA free is supposed to be safe. I like to take as much plastic out of the equation, then there is never a question.

Cloth Diapers

It's expected that a baby will go through 5000-6000 diapers in their first 2 years of life. That's horrifying to think about the amount of diapers going into the landfill!!!
As a typical mom to be, I was overzealous about doing everything "right". We did use cloth diapers in the beginning while we were at home and did the disposable when out and about. As Reed got older, they seemed to be too small even though they were on the largest size and he fussed when they were on. Oh least I saved some diapers from going into the landfill.

Here are some popular brands of cloth diapers:
You can find them at


Baby Care
Look for bath wash, lotion and diaper cream with safe ingredients, especially no parabens & phthalates.

Try Shaklee's Baby Care line

Make Baby Food 
This can sound daunting...but I assure you, after a few times, you will have it down pat and be so glad you are giving your baby the healthiest food. We felt so strongly about this-and wanted Reed to be familiar with what good food tastes like.

They have fun baby food makers out now:

I must admit though, we did it the "old-fashioned" way with a pot, blender and strainer. At the time, the Beaba Baby Cook wasn't BPA free and for almost $150, I couldn't justify the cost. And I will tell you, I was able to make baby food just fine with my method, I just had more dirty dishes. But, I would just pick an afternoon and blitz out a baby food making session and freeze it all to last weeks. I did buy several storage containers such as these and a cookbook to give me recipes for pureeing for each stage of eating.

For your overall baby needs:
I love this site!

If you want to provide a safe and healthy home for your family, email me:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 28: Viva Terra

Have you heard about the online store Viva Terra? 

It's just recently been brought to my attention again and I realized it's all about Inspired Green Living with eco sensitivities, purest ingredients, sustainable resources and quite frankly some GORGEOUS products!!!!

Here are just a few that I am loving...

Go check them out and start your holiday shopping!

All of us are trying to make positive changes in our lives, whether it is creating a cleaner, safer home for our families, getting healthier, losing weight, and/or staying as youthful and vibrant as we can!  Shaklee provides a HEALTHIER LIFE for everyone and a BETTER LIFE for anyone! 

I would love to speak with you on how Shaklee's products can help you.
Email Me:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 27: recycling electronics

Soon, the holidays will be here and you may be taking advantage of all the great electronic sales available. 
Our laptop is on it's way out, so I was glad to discover we don't just have to throw it in the garbage. 

Here are some simple ways to recycle your unwanted electronics:

If your computer is less than five years old and in working condition, consider donating it to a nonprofit organization such as the National Cristina Foundation, which refurbishes computers for disadvantaged or disabled individuals.

If your computer -- or another personal electronic device -- is not in working condition, Staples offers an in-store recycling program. Staples will recycle used computers, printers, monitors, and laptops for a $10 fee. Small electronics, computer accessories, such as mice and keyboards, PDAs, rechargeable batteries, and all Dell-branded computers and printers can be recycled at Staples stores for free.

Cell Phones 
Old cell phones, working or broken, can be donated along with chargers to the Wireless Foundation Call to Protect Program, which refurbishes phones for survivors of domestic violence.

GreenPhone will give consumers and businesses cash or instant credit toward another device in exchange for unwanted, intact cell phones.

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Healthy Home?
Healthy Nutrition?
Healthy Weight?
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 26: green carpet

Ahhhh, carpet. As much as I love wood floors, I do love the coziness of carpet, especially as we head into the colder months. We have lived in our current home for about 5 1/2 years how time flies and some carpet areas are not looking so good. We went with the popular frieze in a polyester fiber. We have been so disappointed with how it has held up- but now I know that polyester is NOT good for high traffic areas. That's exactly where our carpet is so matted down. I guess it pays to do your research. Someday in the next couple years I know we are going to have to replace it. I have been wondering what our options are to replace without all the off-gassing? (VOC's have made me literally ill twice recently so I clearly have become extremely sensitive to them) I am so pleased to see that we do have safe choices. 

Of course, natural fibers are the ideal choice for no off gassing. Wool carpeting is the Be All, End All of carpeting. That's what was put into homes once upon a time. Then enter the synthetic fibers to mimic wool and be less cost prohibitive. Wool is naturally stain resistant and durable so we would not have to replace it for a long, long, long time (I won't be going for anything trendy, here). The downside is the initial cost although I think it would save money in the long run. I do wonder about it's softness, however. I notice even 5% wool in a sweater, these days.
On the other hand, I am pleased to see that there are finally some green options for synthetic carpets. Many carpet manufacturers are using recycled carpet to make "new" carpeting so this is helping keeping carpet waste out of landfills tremendously. What's recently come to my attention is the Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality symbol that verifies the carpet you are considering is low-VOC and won't emit harmful gases into you home's air.
If you are considering new carpet, you can go to the Carpet & Rug Institute's website to see what brands/styles have this label:

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days to Green Living day 25: green yarn

Sorry I am a day behind...something came up that I was unable to post yesterday, but I will give you all 31 days. :)

Knitting and yarn projects are soooo popular these days. One of these days I hope to actually take a knitting class. There is a store near me that has such scrumptious yarns that they make me want to learn to knit...I am imagining knitted scarves as Christmas presents. Hmmm, maybe next year.

How can you be sure you are purchasing "kinder knits"?

A certified humane or USDA organic raw wool label means the sheep were raised sustainably and humanely, but it doesn't cover the processing of the wool. If the yarn itself is labeled GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), then it was processed with low-impact chemicals. Look for one of three types of dyes: Oeko-Tex certified are free of lead; fiber- reactive won't run off in wastewater; and cold patch dyes use less energy, water, and chemicals. Purchase organic yarns from O-wool or the Green Mountain Spinnery, or find local shops through

Do you want…
Healthy Home?
Healthy Nutrition?
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If so, I’d love to speak with you and share with you how Shaklee can make a difference in your life!

Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days of Green Living day 24: non-toxic nail polish

I love a great nail polish. I am always a sucker for the newest colors of the season. Power Clutch by Essie is my new fave for Fall. These days, I mostly get pedicures by yours truly and I want to make sure I am using a safer polish.
Most of the major polish brands are going "big three free," meaning they've taken the most well known toxic ingredients--formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP)--out of their formulas.
The 2 brands I tend to use are Essie & Nars for both a “safer” alternative and the durability I get with them.
I have heard a lot of press about Piggy Paint being safe as well and it’s water-based. Would be great for little girls, too.

 Do you want…
Healthy Home?
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days to Green Living day 23: recycled bows

Recycled bows
With the holidays upon us…give some thought to doing some creative “green” giftwrap of things you already have around the house, paper bags, newspapers, fabric scraps to name a few. Feeling crafty? I found a clever idea from who else, Martha for recycled magazine page bows. I think these are way prettier than the standard ones you buy at the stores!
Bow 1
Bow 2
Bow 3
Bow 4

You can find the full tutorial HERE.

I linked up to:
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping it Simple Blog

2 shaklee banner for fall
Do you want…
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If so,  I’d love to speak with you and share with you how Shaklee can make a difference in your life!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days to Green Living day 22: reusable party ware

Thanksgiving buffet

Do you entertain family & friends? Are you hosting a holiday this year?

Try thinking about investing in reusable party ware now that will serve you for years and years to come. You don’t have to get everything all at once. We rarely need all these types of supplies for every party. I have just built up the collection over time picking things up here and there when I see a good deal.
Just get what you need for your party/holiday this year. Even if you just switched out one item to reusable, you would be saving a lot of waste and money over the long run. Also, it’s less to think about when you are hosting. It makes having a party that much easier when you know that part is "done".

Here is what we have:

Appetizer plates (24)

Buffet plates (30)

Kid “sized” Melamine Plates (10)
from Home Goods this past summer

Beverage Containers (2)
Something like this…although we got ours at Sur La Table in 2010 summer and they were less money, more oz. capacity and there were stands to elevate the container along w/ cute chalkboard tags to indicate what the beverage was. I really LOVE using these. Everyone always asks about them. One caution with finding a “deal” on this item, I got burned on this before by getting it at Home Goods (now it just sits on a basement shelf until I figure out what “clever” thing I can do with it), spout just dripped the fluid out-check the opening before buying to make sure it’s big enough.

Short & Tall Glasses (24)

BPA free Kid glasses (10)
from Target

Monogrammed Beverage Napkins (30)
from Home Goods a couple years ago

Cloth Napkins (30-dedicated for parties only)
from Home Goods

usually just borrow silverware if needed or buy “green” silverware that’s biodegradable
Home Goods probably has a good quantity of boxed silverware with the holidays upon us
I found “green” silverware at my local grocery store

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Friday, October 21, 2011

31 Days of Green Living day 21: unclog your sink safely

kitchen sink3
Many drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that might include pollutants. The long term effects of these toxic ingredients are detrimental to the environment, your health, and the insides of your pipes. Overly harsh chemicals can strip, corrode, and rust the metal of your pipes. This kind of damage weakens pipes and makes them susceptible to cracking. If you spring a leak, you will end up paying more than if you had just hired a plumber to unclog the drain for you.

Here’s how to keep your drains unclogged, naturally and safely:

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar, down drain, and cover with a plug or rag. The mixture will work to break down any fats into salt and harmless gas. Flush with boiling water. It's a much safer choice than commercial drain cleaners, which can harm skin, eyes, lungs, and the water supply.

To prevent clogs, make sure your drain has a screen that keeps out solids. In the kitchen, never pour fat down the drain. In the bathroom, brush hair before getting into the shower. And go easy on soaps, shampoos, and especially conditioners and products that contain oils.

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Healthy Home?
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Healthy Weight?
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If so,  I’d love to speak with you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yarn wrapped letter

yarn wrapped letter

I finally did it!!! This has been something I have been wanting to do for quite a while and with ‘yarn’ projects being so popular right now, I thought I better get to it. I LOVE to collect tear sheets of decorating, craft projects, entertaining and recipes to try but somehow I always forget to refer back to them unless they are right in front of me. So, you can imagine how much I am in love with PINTEREST!!! Besides having a collective place to put virtual ‘tear sheets’ (it’s ‘Green’ after all…) you can get so much inspiration on almost anything. It’s the best. I pinned yarn letters on Pinterest (come visit all my boards on Pinterest, HERE) and have been setting goals to revisit the ‘I would love to do’ projects and actually do them!
I made it part of a gallery wall I will show you soon and I love the warm, cozy texture it gives to the arrangement. I have 4 more BIG letters that I bought for Reed’s playroom to do now….
I have a bad habit of just looking at something thinking, “how hard can that be?” and not really thinking through the logistics. This wasn’t hard, but you definitely need to think of a strategy before you get started. I referred to this tutorial from the LetBirdsFly blog:

What craft projects have you been wanting to do, but just keep putting off?

I will be linking up to:

2 shaklee banner for fall

Interested in finding out more about Shaklee Products? I’d love to speak with you!

31 Days of Green Living day 20: cook from scratch

cute cooking graphic

Cooking from scratch is a Greener way to eat.

1. Less Packaging
Convenience foods just use more packaging. So, cooking from scratch generates less waste.

2. Less Expensive
In general, you can cook less expensively from scratch than to buy a convenience food. You are paying more for the “convenience” of not having to cook.

3. Healthier and known Ingredients
This is a HUGE thing…
Ever looked at an ingredient list on a box of prepared food? Are you familiar with what everything is?
Take Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix:
Ingredients: Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Blueberries Canned In Light Syrup (Blueberries, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Vital Wheat Gluten, Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Salt, Propylene Glycol Monoesters of Fatty Acids, Mono and Diglycerides, Corn Starch, Maltodextrin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Citric Acid, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Modified Cream.
To this you would add milk, vegetable oil and eggs from your own kitchen.
Here’s a recipe for blueberry muffins from scratch:
Ingredients: 2 Cups all purpose flour, 1/2 Cup sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 Cup milk, 1/3 Cup oil, 1 egg, 1 Cup fresh or frozen blueberries.

4. Avoid allergic reactions
This may not be an issue for most of you, but as a mom who has a son with several food allergies-cooking from scratch is a guarantee that there are no hidden allergens. And, even if food allergies are not an issue for your family , it’s important to avoid ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and food dyes. When you cook from scratch, you are rest assured you are not feeding these to your family.

5. It just tastes better
Even before food allergies were an issue, I have been cooking from scratch. I really feel like it just tastes better and I like knowing what it is we are consuming. I don’t think you have to be some fantastic cook, either. If you can follow a recipe-you can cook great meals. And, cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be time consuming; I often use recipes from Rachel Ray’s magazine or Every Day Food which have a lot of 30 minute or so meals.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days of Green Living day 19: reduce, reuse, recycle

Garage sale pic

I am very excited to write this particular post since it’s the kind of mode I have been in recently (namely the reuse or repurpose part). Last year I got a crazy smart idea that 2011 was a save, save, save year. In previous years, we always allotted some money to go to vacationing and home projects/decorating. We set some new long-term goals and this was just the way to kick-start it off! It’s been an interesting year….not really buying/decorating much (which is soooo hard since I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to do do these things) but what I have learned this year really has been such a blessing! I myself and my savings account are so much better for it. I hope to share with you all that I have learned this year about living with less on a later post. Smile 

1. Reduce
This one is pretty straightforward-going forward, limit what you bring into your home; when you see something you like, do you really need it, do you love it? And purge what you do have. You will feel so much better living with less clutter & “things”.

2. Reuse or Reimagine
This has been a “lightbulb” idea for me. I spent the better part of this year not doing too much decorating because of this whole not buying thing(besides the small spending allowance we each get). When I started decorating for fall I decided to take everything down and reimagine what I had in a whole new way. I have a large shelving unit in the basement that houses all my home accessories that I switch out seasonally and some I haven’t used in years…Once I changed my perspective that I WANT to use what I have, I was so pleased I was able to reimagine accessories when I had been feeling like I needed some “new” stuff for the house. So challenge yourself to see what you can do to stuff you already have. Can you just rearrange it? Paint it? Slipcover it? You get the idea…maybe this would be an idea for a link party??? Your thoughts? Do you have some projects you would love to re-do? I know I have several ideas swimming around in my head on what I am going to re-purpose next!

Besides this being great for your wallet, it’s so much better for the environment not to just dispose of stuff you think you have no use for.

3. Recycle
Of course recycle your trash, papers, etc but also think of recycling in terms of all the stuff you have ultimately decided to "purge”. Sell it or donate it so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill and someone can repurpose your cast offs and not have to necessarily buy new.  No wonder Craigslist is such a HIT! Smile

Shaklee Hand on Grass