Sunday, November 28, 2010

Veggie Mind Tricks

It's simple and could be simply zany, but one way to increase your veg intake is to make them too accessible to miss. I recently swapped my fruits for veggies in my more accessible fridge drawer (in my left handled unit, that's the left hand bottom drawer). My kids are constantly accessing that left hand drawer and now they get a rainbow of beta carotene, vitamins E, C, et al. And guess what, they're magically delicious (with a little steaming, butter and/or brown sugar!).

And don't forget to make some of those veggies organic. Check out The Daily Green's Dirty Dozen to keep kiddos (and you!) healthy and green.

Bon appetit!

image courtesy of Full Circle Farm a NW CSA

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let's hear it for Cool Moms! If you’ve got the urge to purge in Seattle, CoolMom would love to receive your gently-used toys, games, books, puzzles and kid gear for our used toy sale.

They'll have donation barrels in place until next Thursday, November 11th. They promise your toys will go to loving hands and the proceeds will go to fund things like our car seat recycling drives, walking school buses, and Earth Day activities like the Green Lake pinwheel wind farm. A portion will also go to FamilyWorks food bank and resource center.

Donation barrels can be found at:
PCC Fremont
PCC Green Lake
• John Stanford International School (42nd Street entrance)
• Greenwood Elementary
PCC Green Lake
Phinney Neighborhood Association - foyer of blue building
• Small Faces Child Development Center - 9250 14th Ave NW

The sale is from 9:30- 1:30 on Saturday November 13th at the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club.

Thanks for keeping your toys out of the landfill!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Locally Lavish Fashion from Seattle's Top Eco-Designers

EcoLavish returns for its third year as the only eco-friendly fashion show in Seattle. Half Past Lavish Event Production could not be more excited to bring this event’s unique style and flair to Seattle. EcoLavish features local fashion and jewelry designers and encourages guests to consider shopping locally in an effort to be eco-conscious. $25 GA ticket.

The EcoLavish Fashion Show will be held on Thursday, November 11th, 2010. The doors will open at 7pm with the show beginning at 8pm. The first 50 guests will receive eco-swag bags. Each year EcoLavish continues to grow and this year will be no exception. Designers already confirmed include Cameron Levin Couture, Vian Hunter, based in Madison Valley, and Twice Blushed, located in Ballard.

Premiere sponsors of EcoLavish include Herban Feast Sodo Park, MODE Organic Salon, Bamboo Beats, and Grand Event Rentals.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recycled Rainwear!

Kamik Kid's SLOSH Rainboot, shown in Plum.

Is your family on the prowl for some fantastic new rain boots?  If the answer is yes, or even if it’s no, I urge you to check out the Kamik website.  Whether you’re in the mood for classic yellow, or something with a little more funk, they offer stylish recycled rain boots for the entire family.  What better way to keep your little one’s toes dry and cozy than to slip them into rain boots made from recycled materials?  This particular brand of boots is unique (besides their wide array of colors, styles and sizes) because when you outgrow your pair of boots, they can be sent back to the manufacturer for recycling!

Even if you prefer to stay indoors when the weather conditions are less than desirable, check out their line of slippers made from recycled boiled wool.  I’ve worn and LOVED their women’s slippers.  They’re unbelievably comfortable and lasted for quite some time.  Much like their rain boots, they offer a multitude of colors and are available for the whole family.  Slip your sweetie into this beige pair of slippers decorated with a tiny puppy appliqué.

Photo courtesy of Kamik

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Bedtime Blues.

It seems many of the babies and young children in my life are having trouble sleeping.  I decided to research some tips to help during nap time.  My first step was a call to my mother because I am more than aware that I was a "difficult child" and therefore was certain my sleep habits fit into this "difficult child" persona.  Her advice was simply to swaddle the baby in a soft blanket and try different rocking techniques.  She also found some relief in a few aromatherapy solutions (chamomile, rose and lavender essential oils to name a few).  Even as a seasoned child-care provider, I still have yet to perfect "the swaddle".  Companies like Satsuma Designs and Swaddle Designs have created the perfect size swaddling blanket taking away the complications involved with wrapping up your little one.  If you're in the market for a new swaddling blanket check out Satsuma Designs' brand new flannel swaddling blanket, perfect to keep your baby stylish, comfy and cozy this winter!

My second step was a trip to the library and found a fantastic book:  Rock-a-Bye Baby: 200 Ways to Help Baby (and You!) Sleep Better.  This book is jam packed with great ideas.  This book has everything from schedules and swaddling techniques to uses of aromatherapy and body positioning.  There is surely something in there for every mother and child.

Third (and final… for now) came my quest through the depths of the World Wide Web.  I came across the Nap Nanny.  The site claims “The Nap Nanny mimics the contours of a car seat, the comfort of a baby blanket and features maximum stability”.  With a safety strap and waterproof lining this seems like the perfect way to get those fussy babies to sleep.  Like any other product it is important to read and follow the safety recommendations (don’t put carrier on counter, table, or inside the crib).



Photo courtesy of Satsuma Designs LLC

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Gifts Galore!

So excited about the launch of the new Satsuma Designs' baby gift sets and new products.

The Bamburp is a one-of-a-kind burp cloth fashioned in soft organically grown bamboo velour paired with ultra-absorbent bamboo terry cloth to keep baby messes (cute as they are!) to a min. $10 or $18 per pair.

Bambibs are the most eco-luxe dining accessory in bamboo velour and soft organic cotton flannel to keep every clean and cozy. Extra long satin ties keep the business in place. $12.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow: Big, Small or Italian, Tomatoes Are The Way To Go

The Baby Grows Green garden planting day was followed by a day of drizzle to soak those little roots. This gray Monday called for a soak under the Happy Lamp, but the dreary weather was great for the veggie patch.

Our tomatoes loved the rain the most. As mentioned in the inaugural garden post, we put down two kinds of tomatoes - Roma and Sweet 100, a juicy little delicacy that we grew heartily last year. Aside from being adorable and delicious, ounce for ounce, tomatoes are a super food for everyone.

With their bright red features, tomatoes boast lycopene, an antioxidant, and beta carotene, the same good stuff found in carrots. What's more is the incredible concentration of Vitamins C and A and their helpful dash of potassium and iron.

To get the most from these little gems when planting, consider investing in a $3-5 dollar tomato stand or circular 'trellis' to get them up off the ground and producing right away. We staked and strung our tomatoes last year, which worked 'okay', but we sadly sacrificed some of them to the slugs et al. This year we're doing it right!

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow? Easy, Organic Veggie Planting

Mother's day was a beautiful day in the northwest! The weather was perfect for planting a modest, but abundant selection of veggies to start the season. We hope to share our bounty with you, dear readers, and show how easy and cost effective organic gardening can be.

At the Baby Grows Green veggie patch we started with a raised bed approximately 4'x8' (32 sq feet), tilled up the soil with our metal rake, amended it with a $10 bag of 15% chicken manure mulch and went to town.

Here's what we bought, planted and spent.

- 4 plants - Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tomato stands

- 1 bag onion sets (approx 50 set) These are little gems! They're already seeded and sprouted onions that when harvested early make nice scallions and held a little later a nice small scale onion for salads and sauteing.

- 4 small spinach plants

- 3 Roma tomato plants

- 8 mesculun mix lettuce plants - great salad starts with a mix of green and purple lettuces

- 8 Paris lettuce plants - bright green, soft leaves - think mix of butter with romaine leaves

Grand total = $50 at our local nursery

We can't wait to share our harvest with you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

All Natural Window Cleaner: Really Streak Free

I've tried nearly every home-made, kitchen concocted all natural cleaner out there, but have never done glass cleaner. Maybe it's because I never clean the windows or could be I'm more counter and frig handle obsessed.

Either way, this morning I got fed up with the little streaky mits on our back door and set to work. I used my trusty mix of 1 part water, 1 part distilled white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works great too and smells a bit nicer), and a few dashes of tea tree oil for its naturally antibacterial properties.

I spritzed a little of this over the window panes and wiped away with a sheet of yesterday's newspaper to fabulous results. Really!

I'm convinced and won't it be nice to see through those windows for once?

Happy Monday from Satsuma Designs!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pass on the Grass

It's Holy Week and it's easyto forget that this time in sacred. But don't you agree that there's no forgetting that it's Easter Basket a Makin' Time! We'll play along and decorate the eggs. This year with homemade dye and natural decorations, but we will resist the grass.

You know Easter basket grass. The stuff that you find mid-summer in the couch whose half-life is 1,000 years and goes straight to the landfill. Look, I know it's a buzz-kill, but there are alternatives.

Here are a few ways to make Easter basket giving just as bright and bunny-ful sans the day-glo colored grass. Consider using:

- Shred up some all magazine pages. If you don't have a shredder or paper cutter, use a pizza wheel or head down to Fed Ex/Kinkos and use theirs.

- Make your basket sizzle with your own zizzle and fold up accordion-style a few sheets of seasonal construction paper and cut into 1/8" strips. It's fast and easy. Use these cut up again as confetti for the next birthday card you send to Grandpa.

- Abandon basket grass or filler altogether and give one gift wrapped item. Use an old scarf or a scrap from the fabric bin.

I know you can think of other great solutions, just keep on walking when you approach your local 'Easter Extravaganza' aisle.

Have a Blessed Easter.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No More Nail Clipping Cries!

Did I mention I don't really miss the end of my pinkie that my Dad nicked off while clipping my nails as an infant? Oh, no, I didn't? That's because I DO MISS IT!

Satsuma Designs has an organic and affordable solution to the anger, guilt (Dad?) and anxiety that clipping baby's nails can evoke. Check out our brand spanking (no necessary) new Organic Bamboo Baby Scratch Mittens ($8/pair). These little gems fashioned with an adorable gros grain ribbon tab for easy on/off will keep baby's gnarly nails from inflicting permanent damage on that soft, fragile little skin.

Come on folks, protect the next generation!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eco-Chic Expo Blooms on May Day in Seattle

Extra! Extra! There's exciting news from Seattle’s sustainability community. This May 1st marks the first Eco-Chic Expo: an interactive green lifestyle event at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center.

Co-founded by Satsuma Designs and two other eco-chic companies, Tread Light Gifts and, the event is sure to be a great May Day full of tips, tricks and products to live a little greener the event.

Eco-Chic Expo is free to the public and will feature products, services and demos some of Seattle’s leading sustainable lifestyle companies from every part of life: design, home, fashion, food, baby, beauty, and more.

Come join us in May!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day!

As commercialized as Valentine's Day has become I still love it. It is yet another reminder for me to show the special people in my life how much I love them. Most holidays leave me with a gaping hole in my wallet, and sadly this one is no exception. This year I was determined to do Valentine's Day on a budget (ahh, the life of a college student!) while making a conscious effort to make sure my choices are good for the earth too. I made collage/mosaic cards from scraps of paper and words from old magazines and newspapers. I set out with $5 and I was able to get glue, some glitter and a few other decorations.

For those of you with something in mind other than homemade cards I found some awesome gift ideas for moms and babies alike!

For moms:
I have been a fan of LUSH products for years and I love that they make their products from fresh organic fruits and veggies, and safe synthetics. They only purchase ingredients from companies that do not test on animals. The Floating Island Bath Melt is one of my favorite products. I always end my bath feeling relaxed and refreshed. Yet again maybe I just like this bath melt because it's shaped like a cupcake!

For baby:
Inhabitots' "Heart for Haiti Onesie" is made from 100% organic cotton with a sweatshop free design. What's even better than the adorable design is the fact that 50% of the proceeds will be sent to CARE to contribute to the Haitian disaster relief effort.

Photo courtesy of LUSH.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This chore is not a bore!

Well, for some, this might be a bore but my favorite thing to do is laundry. I love shopping for laundry detergent, and figuring out ways to organize dirty laundry. I enjoy spending time folding clothes and organizing them. Don't get me wrong, I love all types of cleaning products but laundry detergent is my absolute favorite. To me there is nothing better than taking a load of wash out of the dryer and seeing all the sparkling clean towels, shirts, and socks. It may seem a bit exaggerated but I speak the truth. I've been noticing the eco-downfalls in my lifestyle and my choice of detergents has been no exception. Until recently I followed the tide (pun intended) but no more! I have discovered some wonderful detergents that are phosphate-free, dye-free, higher concentration, with a biodegradable or plant based container.

My two favorites:

Method Laundry products:
Their products are ultra concentrated and contain a plant-based formula. To top off the quality of the soap, the bottle that holds the detergent is made from 50% recycled plastic. This is by far the most concentrated detergent I have come across and the easy pump feature makes doing laundry less messy-- no more drippy lids with soap residue in the cap!

Seventh Generation:
The Seventh Generation detergents have no dyes or fragrance, no phosphates, are safe for septic and gray-water systems, contain no animal derived ingredients and are hypoallergenic. They have options for 2x concentration as well as a detergent formula specifically for babies!

Both products have pages with coupons on their websites along with laundry and cleaning tips.

Remember when shopping for detergent to consider the type of washing machine you own. If you have a front loader, look for detergent marked with HE (high efficiency). The high efficiency detergents will help keep your washer in working condition (if you use regular detergent on a front loading machine you can cause serious mechanical failures) and keep your clothes cleaner. If you have a top loading machine it works best to let a powder detergent dissolve in a few inches of water before washing your clothes.

If for some reason you are looking for something eco-friendly to wash in an environmentally friendly fashion check out Satsuma Designs' line of blankets and bedding. I can't imagine anything better than a fresh, clean bamboo velour crib sheet fresh from the laundry :)

I enjoyed writing about detergent so much.... I think I'll go do some laundry!

Photo courtesy of Seventh Generation

The toothbrush blues.

I was unfortunate enough to catch the oooogy sickness going around last week. Being a germ-a-phob I make it a point to replace my toothbrush immediately after my ooogy sickness has gone away or anytime my toothbrush is compromised (falls on the ground or in the sink--a simple rinse of water does not suffice!!). I finally realized how destructive my habit could be to the environment, so I set out to find a quality eco-friendly toothbrush, and find I did!! Preserve sells an awesome toothbrush made entirely from recycled yogurt cups. This product is BPA free, made in the USA (meaning less fuels are used transporting from country to country AND it helps keep jobs in the US), and my personal favorite part about this product... it is NOT tested on animals! There are tons of great colors available as well as your choice of bristle firmness. They also have a jr toothbrush for the kids. Their products can be found at Trader Joe's, PCC, Metropolitan Market as well as many other stores. Check out their whole line of personal care products and other awesome recycled items on their website.

If you're in the market for other bath products check out Satsuma Designs' all new, all natural bamboo washcloths. These washcloths are ultra soft, ultra absorbent and a great way to wash up tiny faces after washing tiny teeth :)

Happy brushing!

Photo courtesy of Preserve

Monday, February 1, 2010

$20 or Less to a Great, Green Nursery: Pull One Over On 'Em

One way to sweeten or spice up any nursery decor is so simple, it gets over looked. I'm talking about drawer pulls or nobs on baby's dresser or toy chest. Now before you run to baby's room and start unscrewing those tired and scratched nobs to toss, scan your art supply bin for a few colors of craft paint (non toxic!) and grab sketch pad and pen(cil). Get ready to update your drawer pulls into a custom look just for your little bundle.

Consider spelling baby's name, giving life to your favorite pregnancy doodle or writing baby's first words on individual, updated nobs.

Or search the garage for some thick gauge rope/twine and turn baby's dresser into one fit for the high seas.

And if you want some more inspiration to brighten baby's abode, check out these ADORABLE hand-painted nobs from SweetMixCreations.

Photo courtesy of SweetMixCreations

Create and Eco-Luxe Nursery for $20 or Less

It's not much of a brainstorm, but I'm always thinking about ways to share some easy, yet savvy and affordable sustainable design ideas. At Satsuma Designs we create all natural gifts and gear for baby and home in organic materials. We focus on soft goods - bamboo baby bedding, organic cotton burp cloths, bamboo hats, onesies and more, but we know as well as any parent that cute bedding is NOTHING without a great bed to complement. Likewise a green nursery doesn't have to look like you appropriated garage overflow to baby's room.

With a few updates, each for less than $20, we'll help you create a one of a kind, superb looking nursery that will please even your toughest critic, baby, of course! So, stay tuned for this series that I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy and put to good use.

String Beans for the Long, Lean and Everyone In Between

Leave it to moms to find a solution to anything! Two northwest moms in search of pants that fit their long, lean and growing kiddos launched String Beans Clothing Co. This adorable site features a few styles of pants sure to please young and older shoppers.

What's more is their sustainable approach to clothing. They invented cufflinx(TM) shown here to give their pants or any pair an extra l-o-n-g life. The no-sew solution adds a great looking cuff to any pair of pants. In a couple of dozen print options there's something for every style seeker. It's so green!

Photo courtesy of String Beans Clothing Co.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Would you Like Milk with your Cookies?

Where were Milk Makers when mommy needed them?! I was able to nurse my kids, but I could never make enough milk to pump. I know, I know, supply goes up the more you nurse, pump, nurse, pump. But seriously, when are you supposed to eat, groom and sleep? Oh right, not until your babies are grown!

Now there's a solution to this common connundrum - Milk Makers lactation cookies. A friend introduced me to these elegantly packaged cookies that offer a boost of Vitamin B, flax and all things natural to help with milk production. They're around 200 calories per cookie, but each one is big enough to satifsy and remember you're helping yourself and your little one to healthy and wholesome mommy milk.

If you're not in the milk making market, they make a great gift! I might package my next Satsuma Designs Bento Gift Box with a bag of these babies - yum, yum.

I'm excited to see what's next from Milk Maker's kitchen! Milkcakes, Cupcakes, per chance?

Photo courtesy of Milk Makers

Friday, January 29, 2010

Green Art in a Rainbow of Colors from Lex Modern

Let your junior activist make a sustainable statement with this rockin' collection of kid and baby-friendly art from an inspiring Arkansas Artist Mom! It's Eco-friendly, Eco-art from Eco-excellent Lex Modern. The wall art and assorted ornaments (all customized!) start at $25 and up. Jazzing up the nursery was never so easy and fun.

And complete the green nursery with baby bamboo bedding from Satsuma Designs!
Photo courtesy of Lex Modern

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tic-Tac-Toe.... WHOA!

I have been shopping at Ten Thousand Villages for years. It is a free-trade store with retail establishments all over the United States.

I absolutely love this new spin on a timeless game
. Made from all natural material and vegetable dyes this game is not only eco-friendly but it can withstand even the worst your kids put it up against. Whether giving it as a gift, of purchasing it for your own kids this toy will withstand the test of time AND no two sets are alike making your child's playtime experience uniquely full of fun!

This store has option, after option of great gift ideas for kids, babies, and practically every other member of the family. Items range from musical instruments, jewelry, home decor, and even outdoor. Most everything in the store is handmade from natural materials or recycled materials. You can also find the tastiest chocolate :) I hope you can find many treasures here just like I have. Follow the link to find a location near you!

Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Help Haiti

I’ve been reading and watching the news and all my mind can focus on is the complete devastation in Haiti. As someone who lives a comfortable life with plenty of food, a warm place to sleep and the access to an education it has always been important to me to involve myself in the community. After Hurricane Katrina I spent a week in Mississippi helping rebuild and I have been involved with trips around the local community building, painting and supplying food for those in need. I’ve been racking my mind with ways in which I can help the people of Haiti. Since I cannot leave the country right now (I have school, I've done nothing criminal!) I concluded that I would donate blood. The American Red Cross website is full of information as to where local donation centers are located, as well as other information as to how to help in the Haitian relief efforts. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Catholic Relief Services, Partners in Health, and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) other great sites to learn more about getting involved in helping the people of Haiti.

Photo courtesy of CNN

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Build! Build! Build!

Before I get to blogging I figure I should introduce myself to the Baby Grows Green followers. My name is Kira but I like to refer to myself as "Kira the Intern". I am the latest addition to the Satsuma Designs team and I am really excited to be a part of this wonderful company! I will also be a contributing writer to the blog, I hope everyone is as excited about this as I am :)

I live in Seattle and I am ALWAYS looking for things to do when the weather is less than desirable. Some of my favorite rainy day activities include taking a trip to the local art museum (The Seattle Art Museum offers free admission to all on the first Thursday of each month), a local historical site (The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park is a fun learning experience for kids), or a trip to the public library (The Seattle Public Library offers storytime at most of their locations). One of my all time favorites has to be creating a funky art project. I was putzing around on the internet looking at fun crafts when I came across the Disney website. Disney provides us with a great "green" way to put our recyclables to good use, keep the kids occupied and provide them with inexpensive new toys!

This calls for:
-Boxes (Cereal, pasta, oatmeal containers etc.)
-Paper (Newspaper, wrapping paper left over from the holidays and construction paper work perfectly)
-Tape or glue (Masking tape works best but scotch tape will suffice)
-Drawing equipment (Crayons, markers, paint, it all works!)
-Toothpicks, popsicle sticks, dowels, film canisters, or other inexpensive household items

Cover the boxes in paper and decorate to your heart's desire. You can make "stone" pathways out of bits of paper or a chimney from an old paper towel roll. An old film canister could be made into a mini trash can (or recycling bin).

I love this craft idea and have every intention of using it next time I babysit or next time it rains. I'll just have to wait and see what comes first!

Photo courtesy of Disney Family Fun