A friend tipped me off to this ADORABLE tee shirt collection from Seattle called Hopscotch Tees. The designs are fully customized and the aesthetic superb. I picked one up for my beloved's Christmas morn using our son's name and birth year. Cute. It's a subtle homage to his little one too so he can wear it to play hoops, but not catch flack for wearing a picture of his kid on his belly (I mean 4-pack!).
All tees are soft and natural 100% cotton for babies, toddlers, kiddos, moms, dads, and g'rents.
Mamas, papas and babies hear this! Eco to the People is running a rockin holiday contest and giving away great green gifts for the whole family.
Just share your best, brightest and greenest holiday tip here via 'comment' and you'll be entered to win a suite of sweet swag in the bag at right. Anything goes - celebrating, shopping, eating, gardening, transporting, shipping, living, loving - so share your best.
Don't delay, enter right away (before the 12/17/09 deadline anyway)!
Satsuma Designs has just launched one our newest products for the eco-luxe enthusiast. We know it's a splurge, but this crib sheet, which fits all standard and deep crib mattresses with and without piddle pads is DURABLE, naturally antibacterial, CRAZY soft, absorbent (possibly a moot benefitnow that tears are in the past), and easy to clean.
Late last week I had the good fortune to participate in a panel discussion about sustainable textiles at the ITAA annual conference. The ITAA is the International Textile and Apparel Association. Its membership includes academics, administrators, researchers and other interested parties committed to outreach in textile and fashion eduction and industry.
On the panel I represented Satsuma Designs and small business using sustainable resources in a commercial application, O Ecotextileswas there to share incredible date on green textiles for interiors and the Sustainable Style Foundation (SSF) was in the house too. Rebecca Luke from SSF helped moderate the panel that touched on the entire life cycle of 'green' textiles. I came away really appreciating SSF's mantra that even a little green step, is a step in the right direction.
As they say at SSF "look fabulous, live well, do good". More on SSF to come!
I discovered last night that pie making is an art, a science, easy and a total joy!
As one of two students at Kate McDermott'sArt of the Pie class I learned the classic method for making probably the world's most excellent pie - according to my husband and many others. We floured, rolled, sprinkled, poured and cored our way to happy tummies. Kate's Heritage Organic Apple pie recipe combines a variety of seasonal apples that each has its own sugar and 'bite' profile, which makes each taste of the pie a discovery.
I need to check in with Kate on whether I can share her recipe to spiritual and emotional enlightenment. So stay tuned and eat up!
My pie and ticket to a dozen roses, or something nice above. Photo courtesy of Kate McDermott.
My favorite and greenest mode of transport is walking. I like it because I feel better for it, breathing fresh air makes me happy and I get to keep the car parked on the curb. But as a Seattleite I face the now almost daily drip, drip, shower, squall, drip of our overcast and soupy skies.
I thought it might be helpful to pull together a short checklist of Must Haves to keep you and the kiddos on your pegs (and in the stroller) in spite of inclement weather.
- Stroller hood - doesn't have to be a fancy rain guard, consider jury-rigging an old folding umbrella to the side of the stroller. You'll look thrifty and hip. Others will wonder if that's some great new, but retro mommy-gear. Check out Portland's Shedrain!
- Raincoat with hood or raincoat without hood and hip waterproof hat. And consider making your own up cycled rain slicker from old plastic bags. Found this wicked site that can help you do it - Craftzine.com.
- Boots - check out Hunter Wellies made of 100% recycled material. This pair benefits the earth! Try swapping for a pair on MamaSwap or other barter/consign site.
- All weather blanket for babes. check out Tuffo and WooBee all weather blankets from Rain or Shine Kids (love this company name!)
- To-go cup of Joe and you're ready to rock and roll!
Not a Cadillac, more like a tricked out Prius, is one way to describe Bloom Baby's Bouncer Lounger. This bouncy chair screams sidecars and cosmos, from a bottle, biensur.
It's made of a patented material called stylewood, which basically sums it up. Offered in an excellent array of trend-forward colors, Bloom has upped the standard on baby soothing techniques. My guess is 20 minutes in this and baby is happily dreaming.
A friend told me about tea tree oil. It's used in aromatherapy and is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, which makes it a super all natural cleaner. I picked up a 4 oz bottle of NOW Tea Tree Oil from Amazon, but this stuff goes a LONG way so am recommending a 1 oz bottle here.
In an 8 oz spray bottle I mixed 1 teaspoon tea tree oil with a cup of white vinegar to create my new all purpose cleaner. I tackled the powder room first where my preschooler is learning to use the toilet and it works like a wonder! The vinegar and oil make it smell clean and I feel really good about spraying this cleaner in highly kid-trafficed areas.
Word to the wise, tea tree oil comes with warnings because it's so concentrated. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. I wrote Danger/Poison on the outside of mine and put it in our locked closet. And with that paranoid warning, enjoy!
As CEO of Satsuma Designs I'm so happy to share the news that 5% of every purchase, every day at our site helps Northwest babies in need through the incredible work of St. Joseph's Baby Corner in Seattle.
St. Joseph's Baby Corner provides items necessary for the health and safety of babies and toddlers living in poverty. Started in 1988 by two amazing women, Jeannie Jaybush and RenéeLeet, St. Joseph's Baby Corner has distributed millions of dollars worth of donated and purchased baby items through dozens of local community-based agencies and organizations.
At Satsuma Designs we do what we do for our love of babies and creating cozy, useful gear to keep them happy and healthy. I hope we can do the same for babies who need us most.
You'll see more here about ways you can help. Please standby. Thanks for stopping!
Back to school is a great time for resolutions and that includes healthy parents and kids. Try out a few yoga poses before school or after to tone up and increase flexibility. Try the FLOWER POSE shown here at ehow.com by instructor, Nora Forziati.
Make sure you have the right gear for you and the kids. Stock up on the Lotuspadeco yoga mats. Save 20% today on orders of $75. They're gunk free, cute and made of TPE, the new replacement for PVC in many eco-friendly products. Look for new eco-plastic products from Satsuma Designs.
I know. It's only October, so why is it normal, necessary or healthy to be planning the family holiday card? It's not, but as a busy lady, I get a big dose of 'I'm in control!' from planning stuff like this.
Part of my angst for the entire project comes from the dozens of cards I'll send and receive. I love all the greetings and seeing the beautiful little faces of friends' kids, but that's a lot of paper, stamps and adhesive in the mix and I like to conserve.
To calm my scrooge-like tendencies, I'm considering Green Field Paper Company's Grow-A-Note holiday card selection. These customizable, totally eco-friendly cards can be planted in the spring to grow a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers. The cards and envelopes are made of post-consumer recycled materials, but you're on your own with the stamps! And, they're running a promotion, up to 15% off orders. ($1.24/card with envelope on bulk orders).
Being a baby is hard. I know it's hard taking care of said baby too, but consider the changes for the little one, a la producing teeth! Here's an organic teething treat to soothe even the fiercest snaggle tooth babes.
Satsuma Designs Tasty Teething Pops: You'll need: - 1 soft banana - 1/4 c organic blueberries, washed - 1/2 c plain yogurt (we go full fat FAGE for my beanpole - working to fatten her up) - food mill/grinder (KidCo's is great. $15.99 at Happy Baby Products) - small bowl - spoon - small sized ice cube trays - holes should measure <1" Munchkin mesh teether - $7.59 for a pair at Amazon. Available with PRIME too - free shipping with annual fee)
Please: Send banana and blueberries through foodgrinder, mix with yogurt. It should be juicy enough to then spread out in ice tray (do that). Freeze until hard (couple of hours). Pop out fruity cubes and insert into mesh teething/snack pouch.
Summer is setting as school and work schedules loom ahead. Take the next few days to relax and rejuvenate by planning favorite family outings. Whether fun means hitting the backyard or park with the kids, cooking a new and sustainably sourced meal, or soaking up the last few chapters of the summer read don't sacrifice the lull before the proverbial storm.
And if planning for the transition to fall gives some satisfaction plan to sketch out goals for greening up your lifestyle. September is a great time to tackle a checklist to sort, purge, donate, recycle and organize space and attitudes.
Consider tackling the following Back to School Green Family Checklist:
- Sort, clean and recycle outdoor toys that may have seen intense use these last few months. Get the kids help sort into three categories: Active, Store, Donate. Clean up all three categories with a good scrub down (watch water usage!) and box into totes or bag up for the recycling center. Be sure to Sharpie mark the Store bins for easy retrieval next Memorial Day.
- Compile school supplies at the Home Store by hitting the family junk drawer and mom/dad's office first. Challenge the family to fulfill teacher's supply list with items you already have to save cash and consumption. Highlighters, pencils, erasers, ruler, calculator, notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, binders, crayons, markers (washable), and more could be just a drawer away.
- Fall into fashion by sorting closets. Add some flare to old combinations with new accessories instead of all new apparel. Check out FamilyFun Magazine's great way to re purpose old sweaters by felting them into updated cuffs, bracelets, headbands and more.
- Make a Green lunch routine. Cut out waste during school lunch by getting kids involved in menu planning and packing. Take the chance to talk about recycling and cutting back on waste. Discuss ways to conserve. Consider a bento-style lunch box instead of baggies. Talk about menus to ensure that what gets packed, gets eaten.
And when you've sorted, cleaned, organized and purged let your trash become some one's treasure. For donation and recycling options take your bounty to your local charity or consider a recycle/free-cycle option in your area such as Swap Mamas, a nifty exchange for all kinds of bartering.
I'm a huge fan of Ideal Bite. I appreciate a website whose mantra is A Sassier Shade of Green and sends daily tips on green living backed by facts, figures and a great editorial voice that's not preachy, but peppy.
Today's Bite is all about genetically modified produce and how to figure out what you're buying at your market in a nano-second. Turns out those tacky (I mean sticky) little stickers are really useful. Ideal Bite shares:
Look for the PLU codes on the labels stuck on your fruits and veggies.
A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown. A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic. A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified.
I think there could be entire blogs dedicated to greening up lunchtime. Perhaps there are, but I'm too lazy to Google it right now. Enter, Seattle-based Goodbyn, a company that has created an incredibly stylish (kid-stylish) bento-style lunch box that's very eco-responsible. It's the first product from byndoo, a design braintrust developing healthy kid products.
According to the Goodbyn site, they've spent over a year researching best practices for design, production and more and have launched a lunchbox to meet needs the of kids and care givers alike.
For $34.95 you get a high quality lunch box with trays and top for any lunch combo imaginable. What's more is the cool custom art that each Goodbyn Kid can create with three sheets of stickers. And the whole thing is dishwasher safe (remember to only run full loads).
They also have a school fund raising program that gives almost 15% of the purchase price to your school. Consider looking into customizing stickers for your own school.
I'm in love with Storables. I can always find a solution to my organizing needs; this time it was their Medium Frosted Tote Storage Basket . I needed a handsome way to stage my daily recycling and yard waste in an open kitchen shelf next to the sink/diswasher area. These handy little baskets are $3.95 each and come in a few sizes. You don't need to buy new baskets (better if you don't), but finding a pair of attractive baskets/boxes that will hold juicy food scraps and drippy recycled glass/tin items is key to any easy, green kitchen.
Plan to empty these each night to fend off fruit fly infestions (currently battling one) and you're grinning and green!
I'm lucky or as I prefer, I worked hard to get lucky. I run a business part-time - Satsuma Designs - and get to take care of my kids the other 20 hours a day. My work background is varied and so I get to pull from a lot of different experience to run my business. But when I think about my next life/career phase I think about what I could do part-time, ideally from home. It's a totally green work solution: no commute, low overhead, less consumption (fewer lattes and trips to Anne Taylor). I know I'm not alone in dreaming about this Utopia. And today I took one more step up that ladder and discovered Flexjobs.com.
If you have an email account, then you've received nasty spam offering $700/week to become a mystery shopper or thousands a month to work at home - doing what I know not. And so the concept of finding a nicely compensated part-time, work from home gig seems impossible. Until Flexjobs.com. They're a great resource/recruiter that vets thousands of flex-time, work from home jobs in dozens of categories (sales, writing, tech, transcription...) and takes the fear out of this new work model.
There is a fee. They're running a special for their monthly service and looks like it's $49.95 for the year. They claim a 100% guarantee, which I like. The testimonial (if they're legit) are inspiring and I'm half considering a test drive.
Enjoying leftovers is a great way to 'green' your eating. Whether it's repurposing Monday night's dinner into Tuesday's lunch or doggie bagging it out of your favorite neighborhood haunt, having tasty vittles ready to reheat and eat is easy and yes, renewable.
But what to do with those delicacies that taste MUCH better than they look after a day in the fridge, a la quesadillas or pizza. It may be hard to imagine leftover quesadillas making it into the rotation, but if you're like me, you love a BIG veggie, meat and cheese filled tortilla that may be too much for one meal.
So wrap it up and refrigerate and when you're ready to nibble it again, simply pan fry it without any oil or butter for 5 to 10 minutes and you're back on the beaches of Baja!
Helping the kids go green? One of the easiest ways to share an eco-friendly philosophy with your kids is through meals. Whether recycling food scraps in the compost bin or yard waste container or packing a waste free lunch for school, little hints add up to big results.
There are some great tools to limit lunchbox waste. Here are a couple I love!