Sunday, November 23, 2008


I think part of being green is being efficient with resources, time, and web addresses. I just love You can turn any URL into a short, efficient, manageable on. Good for send links.

Try it. Copy this great article on green baby showers in which Satsuma Designs is mentioned and paste into the field at

Now make things Tiny!

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Baby: Green of the Green

Whether you're waiting for the arrival of your first and checking out some green parenting tips here, or have a brood of little green kiddos at home, you'll likely remember the last days of pregnancy in one of two ways. Total recall or complete mental block. I find myself in total recall as I'm 1 days into being overdue with our second child. So fun!

Leave it to Google to help ease my pain. If found a great list of 101 things to do when you're overdue (or close). Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE of is right on! My first pick was number 14 - recalculating your due date. I figured, hey, science and the highest grade electronic baby imaging machines might be wrong. Sadly, I found out the due date calculator put my due date one day BEHIND. Calm.

Guess next I'll tick of #69 and avoid #67.
Oh, and check out The Gift Idea blog where you'll find gift ideas like this fun and zany plush toy.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Piperlime Goes Green?

While I could only find a handful of eco-friendly collections at Piperlime that use recycled materials in their products, site such as Terrasoles and Simple, the company (a division of Gap Inc.) has a fantastic partnership with not for profit Soles4Souls. According to Piperlime, they've donated over 3mm pairs of shoes to people in need since starting the program in 2006. Kudos!!

Oh and if you're a recently new visitor, you can do a VERY short 5 question survey and donate $$ to one of five charities - Boys and Girls Club of America, my personal pick Dress for Success, among others.

And you may or may need license to consider an investment in this season's hot new riding trend, there are some great albeit not so green selections at the site. Free shipping and returns too. Forgive me?

Giddy up!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Say Happy Holidays in Green This Season

If you haven't started the annual hunt for your clever, elegant and amply photo-holed holiday card, it's time dear friends. Yes, mid-November is a great time to start searching for designs that inspire and holiday cards that are clean and green.

I was excited to find a pretty large range of 100% recycled paper options in beautiful card stock, along with vegetable and soy based inks, topped off by shops that use 100% renewable energy. That does make for a bright holiday season!

Check out Paper Shouts' holiday collection. Cards are printed on 100% post consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper and ship with envelopes in 50% PCW. You can do better than that for envelopes, but it's a start. Prices range from $1-$2/card.

GORGEOUS Chicago-based Snow & Graham stationers has an elegant offering in which they use 100% PCW paper and vegetable based dyes.

And has a great custom card offering using 30% PCW paper made by 100% renewable energy. They don't saw what kind. Could be offsets, but something's better than nothing.

Now, warm up those fingers, get clicking and practice your penmanship.

Happy green holidays!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to Adopt a Green Attitude (and Drain)

Getting your family and little ones excited about evironmental stewardship doesn't have to mean sacrifice and Saturday's spent with other volunteers hauling away debris from parks, etc. What it can mean though is taking an active role in your micro-community or neighborhood to ensure that green stays green.

A couple tips to make it happen.

- Always pick up litter you see on the sidewalk or roadside. Keep a couple of recyclable plastic bags in your jacket pocket and car so you'll always have something on hand to carry away garbage. Always be careful with what you pick up and let junior identify the litter while you handle it.

- Adopt a Street or Drain in your neighborhood. Seattle has an excellent program that's becoming very popular to protect the over 78,000 storm drains in our city from clogging after our what seems weekly torrential downpours. Participants are asked to adopt at least 4 drains to keep free of leaves and debri. The city provide reflective vests, rakes, yard waste bag and pick up services in return. GREAT idea for a neighborhood group or a few families to undertake. Same thing for adopting a street.

But look, you don't need a bureacracy to get help the environment. If your city or town doesn't have a program in place, make your own program and promote it on local mom blogs, your Facebook page, a flier at the organic produce market you frequent and anywhere else you can reach an audience. Thanks.
So get out there, enjoy the fall colors by adding a little green to the pallette. Stay dry!

Monday, November 10, 2008

We The [Green] People...

...of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


And thanks to our Constitution and the liberties and freedoms it protects for each of us, organizations that promote and support green living can thrive in our economy. One such is Green People, a full and growing database of green minded companies ready to serve.

I found the Search function by category to be the easiest, as opposed to using the Search Field in the upper right of the home page. Here's how:

- Choose your category, click

- Choose your zip code and distance from home/work you prefer, as close as 5 miles, as far as 200 for more rural communities

- Voila! Shop on and Enjoy!

Secret Revealed: Why Scandanavians Are So Beautiful

Well here's one reason anyway - all organic lotions and potions from a great NW based company called KO Denmark. With a growing collection of totally natural bath and body products, KO Denmark makes feeling and looking beautiful pleasant, easy and best of all green.

Their custom blend of all natural neroli and jasmine flowers is totally exotic and has an incredibly soft, but aromatheraputic fragrance. Check out these ingredients: "organic aloe juice, brazilian jojoba oil, organic black willow bark, indian rose water, neem oil, indian jasmine grandiflorum oil, tunisian neroli oil and vitamine e. Also free from paraben, mineral oil, artificial color, artificial fragrance, glycols or animal testing."

It says to apply daily. Well, of course!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Green Holiday Shopping: The Do Not Mail List

Bravo Pier 1! The purveyor of all things bright and seasonal has a great link on their site, which is also listed on the back of their catalogs to make it easy and anonymous to get off their mailing lists. I never have a problem calling customer service of any of the what seems like hundreds of catalogs, but it's nice to just get it done online.
Simply go to the remove link and take care of business.

I personally like Pier 1's offering and am equally impressed by their commitment to customer service and letting green minded (and junkmail-phobic) folks have it their way.

Thanks P1!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You Know You're a Parent When...

You sing the much loved folk song Edelweiss (made popular by the Von Trapps in The Sounds of Music) more than 15 times to help you toddler get back to sleep after a 1:30a crying jag that has him screaming MOMMY and you crying, swaying and singing on his bedroom floor. "Hang in there!", I tell myself

Capturing Junior's FIRSTS the Green and Easy Way

There's no greener way to capture your little one's FIRSTS than through digital media - photography, video, and more. But if you're like me, you're overwhelmed with all of the tools and services available to shoot, edit, share and print (on recycled high quality papers) junior's life affirming antics.

Now there's Media Mamas to help you find your way one click or deleted file at a time. The company was founded by four media savvy mommies and is committed to "...supporting healthy families by using technology as a tool for self-expression, communication, and advocacy. " Nice.

They've just debuted their Seattle-based series of workshops from Video Shooting and Editing 101 to one on how to blog your heart out. The classes are great for beginners through power users. Let's hope they start some online sessions too.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Great Green Gifts

Peekaboo Picks has spotlighted a great list of green gifts and companies to check out in their Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide.

I think my favorite Pick is Luxoskid where creative genius and founder Susi turns mom's (or dad's, grandma's, whoever!) Goodwill or Salvation Army bound garb into one of a kind couture for kiddos. It's an incredible use of otherwise wasted material and oh so green.

Totally brilliant, I say. Check out this knit shift at right. Tres chic, mademoiselle!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Satsuma Designs' founder speaks out about important parenting topic

Yes, best practices for this oh so green and natural ritual - cutting baby/toddler nails! Read on and enjoy.

Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen by DIOR

All right, a little off the green topic, but I realized that this product has given me the energy (or look of it) to go find what is green out there for our families and little ones. For this, I pay homage.

It's Dior's Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen and it's ridiculously great. Here's why I love it.
1. Great form factor. Feels like a nice bold Sharpie in the hand and has a nice heft. The kind of feeling you get when you're holding a good soup spoon. You know, feels classy.
2. Brush applicator. Very soft natural bristles capture the liquid shadow concealer/under eye camouflage and spread it out beautifully below the eye or any other place on the face.
3. Color options. I'm an 002. It comes in three shades that I think would work for most.
4. Name. Radiance Booster. Yes.
Price is high at around $30/$33, but worth the splurge. Enjoy!

You Know You're a Parent When...

You find a nice, half eaten strip of bacon camouflaged in your dark brown family room rug. Yum!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mean, Green Halloween

It's too tempting to shop for costumes these days. With retailers such as Pottery Barn offering a huge range of the cutest get-ups, it feels easy to lay down the Amex (the one that pays 1.5% back to a 529 college savings plan through Fidelity, of course) and buy up a little ghoul ensemble for your little gobblin(s).

But let me share fun, cheap and easy alternatives. Go home grown and green in the process. Even if your kiddos are obsessed with the current Sprout hero/heroine, there are ways to create excellent, one of a kind costumes that will scare the neighbors and your kids when they think back - boo!

Here are a few:

Cowgirl/boy - what you'll need: rope and hanger for a lasso (no 6 shooters here), traditional hat (make one of out of construction paper or brown felt if you don't have one), bandana or red/blue scarf, blue jeans, checked or other shirt. And if you like to sew or glue gun things consider an easy vest or chaps. Yeehaw!!

Ghost - white pillow case - standard, queen or king size (for tall gobblins) - cut head and arm holes, if you like.

Jack o lantern - orange fabric for a hat/hood, black clothing - top and bottom, drama wax to black out top and bottom front teeth, a smiling gobblin

Working woman - dress her up in an old suit and don't forget the attache for candy handling. You could really rock the neighbors world with some rimless glasses and an updo - a la you know who Ms. Palin.

Get the picture? Fun, fun-ee, cheap, easy, gives you a few extra hours back from planning, driving, buying, etc. And it's all green.

Just watch for sugar shock.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You know you're a parent when...

I'm easy to please in general (not really, but I can dream) and find myself chuckling (yes, chuckling) now and again (mostly again) when I realize how different life is with kids. This cliche opening litteraly runs through my mind when I'm struck by an example - you know you're a parent when...So I've decided to make it a bit of running commentary, mostly for me and if you enjoy it - I want to hear about your 'you know you're a parent when...' I'll post and we can chuckle together. fun!

Here goes. The curtain rises.

You know you're a parent when...

You discover a breast/nipple leakage pad (oh, and I'm sure they're green) attached to the back of your favorite black hoodie as you pull it from the drawer. When faced with the mystery of 'how the h***?' you realize it's the crack organizing and laundry sorting of your two year old. (btw, nothing is folded in that drawer either).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shop Til You Drop for a Great Cause - Magnolia Moms

Next Tuesday (10/28), Magnolia Moms is hosting their annual event and winter coat drive. Satsuma Designs will be there to support the cause! It’s a great time to get in a little affordable holiday shopping and support local companies who make up the backbone of our NW economy.

Shop Til You Drop for a Great Cause
Location: Our Lady of Fatima Parish Hall
3301 West Dravus Street, Seattle, WA 98199 US
When: Tuesday, October 28, 6PM-9PM

The Magnolia Mom's Trunk Show & Coat Drive has grown! The 6th Annual event will feature over 30 local vendors & artists, fashions from Vixen, a raffle & silent auction--all in a new location with plenty of parking (Our Lady of Fatima Parish Hall).

Admission: one new or gently used child's warm winter coat or a recommended donation of $15

All are welcome!

An Apple A Day...

Keeps my toddler happy. It's nice when the kids acutally like fruits and veg. It also doesn't hurt that our favorite apple varieties tend toward the sweet - Gala is the best!

But with the fall harvest and all the gorgeous apple displays at our local grocery, we're still given pause when comparing the prices of conventially grown versus organically grown apples. In our area there's about a 100% difference in price $2.99/lb. for organics and around $1.49 or even less for conventially grown. Oh, and we live in Washington, the nation's largest apple producer. Hmmm.

We still opt for the organics and spend a little more time picking out those that don't have any slashes or noticable bruising to ensure a bit longer fridge shelf life. It's worth it to know we're avoiding the chemicals and supporting the growers to keep our lands green. And if you're looking to lower the apple bill, try mixing in other organically grown fruit and getting your kids excited about a fruit salad. You cut and/or peel and they mix. Add some orange juice, fizzy water and/or other fruit juice to give it some zip.

So next trip to the grocery, pick up a few apples and keep your little ones happy and out of the clinic this cold season.

Stay healthy and enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Home Grown Green Carpet Cleaner

Doesn't this picture make you want to go green?

Me too!

One easy way is to tackle stubborn carpet spots and all over cleaning with a home made solution of laundry detergent and water.

For spot removal, mix a tablespoon of eco-friendly detergent with a cup of warm water. Use a fingernail brush or stiff sponge to first dab in your cleaning solution then scrub, scrub.

Mop up excess moisture with your sponge or dishtowel. Comb your fingers through the carpet to get the fibers back up and into shape. Let dry for a few hours et voila! Feel free to comb fingers through at any point in the drying process to give yourself piece of mind that the carpet will come out looking like new.

As always, when trying something for the first time, do a little spot test to confirm it's the best solution for your carpet.

Good luck!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The paradigm shift - BYOSB - Bring your own shopping bag

Just a friendly Sunday shout out to all the thoughtful Safeway shoppers who bring their own bags. It's clear to me that the green consciousness level is rising and everyone seems to be along for the good ride.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Milk it! BPA-free, Glass Baby Bottles for Green Babies

Let's face it, plastic is getting a bad, bad rap especially when related to baby bottles or how about Chinese Baby Formula and for good reason. So to stop the maddness and scare tactics, it's best to just look for a tried and true alternative - glass bottles for babies.

It's likely that you baby's health is the top priority when choosing nursery and feeding supplies, but glass bottles can be expensive. Baby Grows Green did some price checking and here's what we found.

Evenflo - 3-Pakc 8-Ounce Glass Bottles - A steal at $6.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond

Nature Pure - 3-Pack 8 oz. Glass Baby Bottles - $10.99 Direct from the Manufacturer

Dr. Brown - 2-Pack Natural Flow 7 oz. Standard Neck Glass Baby Bottle - On Sale for $12.99 at

Born Free - 2-Pack 9oz. Vented Glass Bottles - $19.99 Direct from the Manufacturer

babylife - Single 9 oz wee•go™ bottle - $18.00 Direct from the Manufacturer - Expensive!, but definitely the cutest of the bunch with a bpa-free sleeve to protect the bottle from bumps and bangs in the diaper bag, car floor, etc.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Go Green, Get Rich

Well maybe not, rich-rich, but there will be more money in the kitty at the end of each garbage, recycling and yard waste collection bill. Consider that the average person generates 4 pounds of garbage per day and what that adds up to for the environment and the family's bottom line. Now consider the alternatives.

Here's a fun Garbage Quiz from the fine folks who run King County, WA to get you thinking and acting!

We just downsized to a smaller garbage can and will save more than 50% of what we were paying. We inherited a larger can from the sellers of our home and got the wind knocked out of us on our last public utility bill about the cost of that large can. I promptly called our utility and requested a can 1/2 the size, which will be delivered after the holiday weekend. Considering we were only using 1/2 or less of the can anyway, we're home free.

But what's more is that we realized we're having an easy and profitable time sorting waste and makin great use of our yard waste/compost bin and our recycling tubs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bonne Maman: Great Jam and Green Living

My other, occasionally better half thinks this is too obscure to count as green living, but here it is. I think the Bonne Maman Preserves jars are beautiful and now have a couple that I'm using as cups, but think they'd make great herb planting containers, vases for the powder room, Q-tip receptacle and Lego or Playmobile holders.
Tell me if you agree. Thanks!

To buy, visit your local grocery or organic, green and good, Fresh Direct.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Salmon Season: Chinook Book is Worth a Cast

I'd heard of this Seattle and its environs coupon book that boasts over $3,000 in savings through their featured enviro friendly merchants and discovered their website today - EcoMetro. They work in 4 other regions and have an easy to use search function by category.

The Seattle Kids section features a good, known and reputable list of retailers, activities, etc. for kids and families. I appreciated the detailed information I found on consignment shops for kids gear.

I hope they expand the service and their Chinook Book coupon model to more cites.

Gone fishin!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Farmers Markets: Helping Baby Grow Green

There's no other response to my discovery of Local Harvest a site that provides zip-code based info on farmers market locations, local CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) groups, Co-Ops and more than total enthusiasm and reverence for the good people who have digitized incredible amounts of local information for use by many.

Serving baby organic, healthy food that's grown locally is a great way to support the environment and fun too! But where to find such manna? At Local Harvest, you simply type in your zip code or city and state to retrieve local (walking distance!) info on where to find your nearest farmers market or CSA. CSAs is the closest I'll ever be to a farmer, but I love the concept that supports local producers using organic farming methods. As Local Harvest puts it:

"A CSA is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become "members" (or "shareholders," or "subscribers") of the CSA. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments. Some CSAs also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season. A CSA season typically runs from late spring through early fall. The number of CSAs in the United States was estimated at 50 in 1990, and has since grown to over 2000."

And each listing gives the location, website if possible and any other pertinent information. They make the caveat too with a message that says when the last update to the informaiton was made, so always good to double check it on your own.

Enjoy thinking globally and acting locally at your own community's farmers market!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where to Shop: Baby Consignment Stores

If you're searching for gear for baby and want to go green by updating the nursery with used items like a moses basket or other merch that can be covered in your own and new organic linens, check out a few of these online baby consignment resources. is a great site that connects buyers and sellers across the country. Plenty of moms with merch looking to offload and update with other like minded greenophiles. While the search function didn't reveal results in my neighborhood for 'moses basket', I found plenty of 'crib' options under the Browse Tab.
Kids Consignment Sales where a click on Sales Directory takes you to a map of the US where you can select your state and all the local retailers and other consignment networks are listed with contact information.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How to Shop and Others

In the interest of keeping used products and merchandise moving through the 'system' and lightening the load of our landfills, Craigslist exists as a great local resource to find new homes for old stuff. I've been using the site in west coast cities for six or seven years and have never had a bad, much less disappointing experience.

Whether searching for home decor, stuff for the baby, Satsuma Designs sales reps around the country, singing lessons or help wanted, the Craigslist community has never treated me wrong.

Until now, and mind you, it's not that dramatic, but there were definitely a few misreps about the 'antique' hutch I went to scope for a new addition to our dining room.

Sadly, the 'solid wood' turned out to be veneer, the 'antique' status (100 years old+) was open for debate and its current location was a haul from home.

And so in the spirit of Caveat Emptor, I thought it wise to post a few buying tips for sites from Craig et al.

1. Always negotiate on price.
2. Don't drive more than 20 miles to a prospective purchase (not only is gas a consideration, but if it turns out to be a bust, you won't be as bummed). Instead try searches on your city and local neighborhoods and try to stay in a 10 mile radius of home.
3. Can pay cash, but get a written receipt even if it's on a piece of scrap paper.
4. Try to speak to the seller before either arranging a viewing or purchase. It's good to get the sound of the person you're dealing with. In the hutch case, the seller sounded like a gem, but obviously not that informed about what he was selling.
5. Ask questions on the phone and take a list on the visit.
6. Bring your measurements of the location it will go or in the case of something that is to hold something else, a sample of what it's to hold. Eg. With the hutch, I took a plate and a wine glass to ensure they'd fit.
7. Take a camera to snap for either later comparison or time to mull over for a final decision.
8. Have fun and feel good about reusing someone's once loved X, Y or Z!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Recycling for Toddlers

When baby grows green it's never too early to teach ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Toddlers as young as two can begin to understand the concept of recycling and taking care of the environment with a little coaching and fun!

Here are a few things to try with your little ones to encourage life long green waste management.

1. What kind is this? Let your toddler help you sort types of recyclable materials. Whether sorting into your city's recycling bins or your own tubs, take time to show the difference between plastics, bottles, newspaper, other paper and food scraps that can either be tossed into a yard waste bin or composted.

2. Green arts and crafts time. Encourage toddlers to color, paint and draw on both sides of his/her paper or sketch pad. Try telling a story with each days new art installations. Monday through Friday should reveal some fun Mad Libs!

3. Please turn off the water, Mommy! Instill good water conservation habits by telling your toddler about the importance of turning off the water faucet when not in use. Whether brushing teeth, washing hands before meals or helping wash vegetables for meal time, show and tell your toddler to use water carefully. Listen to him/her begin to instruct you!

Good luck and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sleep Easy, Little One

Discovered that carries a great line of all natural crib and toddler mattresses from Naturepedic. You've heard the horror stories about the nasty off gassing in adult mattresses. Unfortunately, the same is true for the smaller versions. Naturepedic's No-Compromise Organic Cotton Classic Crib Mattress is the simple and affordable solution to an otherwise daunting buying decision.

CoolerChoices shares, "The No-Compromise™ Organic Cotton Classic is simply the healthiest crib mattress available. It is waterproof, firm and eliminates potentially harmful chemicals from your child’s crib. It will provide your child with a more natural, healthy and comfortable sleep environment."

You don't have to compromise on a restful night's sleep for junior (or you!) any more.

While you're at CoolerChoices, check out Satsuma Designs. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Earth Friendly Goes Junior Luxe!

Think 'green' means scratchy and too au natural when it comes to blankets, wraps and other fabrics? Wrong!

Satsuma Designs' partner B This and That offers an incredible nursery throw and adult throw blanket in a heaven-sent blend of cashmere and silk. Available in baby soft colors - powder blue, baby pink, cloud (ivory), and more, all items are dyed using eco-friendly, Swiss dyes that are good to the environment, ensure a durable blanket and are easy on skin.

Don't miss these sleeping beauties!

Satsuma Designs blog is now Baby Grows Green

Seemed more fitting. You'll discover ways to go green without the pain or guilt. Enjoy!

Defending Baby's Teeth from Green

I discovered these great all natural baby and toddler tooth wipes from My Dentist's Choice at One Mommie Goodie today. What a great idea! My tried and true method for cleaning our son's teeth is to basically put him in a gentle head lock and run the brush over top and bottom in all of 1.5 seconds. With these tooth wipes life could indeed be easier.

It says they're flouride, paraben and sugar free, which sounds like they've taken all the fear out of an already intimidating ritual. Yay!