St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! Here are a few eco-friendly ideas that caught my eye. Most of the projects can be done with items already in your house. The craft projects use a lot of scrap pieces of fabric and paper. Food is healthy and green. Products are “green” in nature. Try not to o.d. on green food coloring this weekend, but raise a green beer in the spirit of this fun Irish holiday.
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Finally, a beautiful Sunday to start the week. I hope that means winter’s grasp on us is loosening a bit. After getting another foot of snow last week, I’m so ready for spring.
I am currently reading the Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes cookbook, courtesy of our local library. Anyone else get cookbooks out of the library? It’s a great way to test drive some new ones to see if they work well with your style of cooking. I know I have a good one if I add a ton of post it notes while reading, or I try to renew it. My friend Christy has a good rule: If you try to renew it at least three times, then it’s probably worth investing in.
Here is the menu for the week ahead…
Sunday~ Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna. This was a hearty Sunday dinner, although not a favorite with the kids. I would make it again and just save some sausage crumbles and raw spinach for the kid’s dinner next time.
Monday~ BBQ Chicken in the slow cooker. Make BBQ sandwiches with corn on the side.
Tuesday~ CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)…Mom’s going out!
Wednesday~ It’s my birthday so I’m going with one of my favorites, Taco night! This will be a make your own creation with some rice and beans on the side. My in-laws arrive for a visit so it will be a festive night. Now…which cake to buy?
Thursday~ Turkey Pesto Meatballs from the Weelicious cookbook. I found some of our homemade basil pesto from the end of the summer tucked away in our deep freezer. I’m happy to use it up in this new recipe. Linguine on the side, plus a salad.
Friday~ Pizza night! I finally found a good pizza dough recipe for the break maker.
What’s on your menu plan this week?
For more inspiration, see my past menus here, or the Pinterest board here, or OrgJunkie for a link-up of meal plans.
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I find myself perplexed sometimes when I hear the latest eco-news. Sometimes it scares me, other times it confuses me. This week there were so many articles I found interesting I thought I would share a few plus some advice.
This article shares which Tervis cups are BPA free, and which are not. The popular tumblers have been BPA free since 1/1/11. I received a set of Tervis cups when I got married in 2005 so I think they will be moved to the top shelf so we don’t use them often. In the article, a representative from Tervis responds in the comment section discussing when each type of cup made the switch. I’m pretty skeptical of most plastics these days so I’m slowly converting all cups over to glass. Even the kids are using glass; Duralex Cupswork great. They have been dropped numerous times and haven’t broken.
Are you going to drink artificially sweetened milk?
Buying milk is already complicated. Organic, hormone-free, raw milk, local, and conventional. These are just some of the choices we have to make. This week, a petition filed by the dairy industry is under review with the FDA to let them add artificial sweeteners to milk and other milk based products (yogurt, cheese, etc) and avoid having to label them. If you don’t let your kids have aspartame, which is a rule for my house, it will be really difficult to figure it out. The sweeteners will be listed as “optional ingredients” and require no special labeling. A few months ago, we switched to buying our milk from the local dairy farm. (We use Thatcher Farm.) I like that we are supporting a local business, the milk is super fresh, plus our glass bottles get reused.
Food Fight You Tube video
This little video takes aim at the world of processed food and beyond. It’s a story of urban gangsters fighting grocery store crimes. Makes me appreciate how easy it is for me to get access to healthy and fresh produce.
Although some news is scary, other times it’s positive. One company making plastic drink holders for the beach is making an effort to switch to a biodegradable plastic. I wouldn’t call this an essential beach item by any means, but at least if people are going to buy them, they won’t end up in the ocean forever.
This is one of those articles that is frustrating, but raises some issues. Even if you eat an organic diet, you still may end up with high levels of BPA/endocrine disruptors in your bloodstream. The two big culprits here are milk and spices. Two possible ways to fix it~ buy milk in glass bottles and switch spices to glass containers. Spices just look prettier in glass jars anyways.
https://emilyroachwellness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_3515.jpg15361536eroachwellnesshttps://emilyroachwellness.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Emily-Logo-header-1.pngeroachwellness2013-03-01 08:53:132013-03-01 08:53:13Eco News of the Week Feb 2013
This is the week to talk about Green Eggs and Ham and The Lorax with your kids. Why? Well it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd. Dr. Theodore Geisel’s wonderful story books deserve a special time to celebrate the silliness of them. Our own collection of Dr. Seuss books are hand-me-downs, some from my own childhood and others from my younger cousins. I love sharing them with my kids and laugh at their questions about all the funny things everywhere. We had a fun Dr. Seuss party and here’s some fun food and decorating ideas.
No question the best way to celebrate Dr. Seuss book’s is to read them. You may be reading aloud with your little ones like us, or you get to listen to young readers work their way through funny phrases. Read Across America Day is this week and there are numerous events to get involved. “Grab Your Hat and Read with the Cat” is the theme of Read Across America week for 2013. Pottery Barn Kids will be hosting a special story time and craft activities to celebrate Dr. Seuss. A “Cat-a-Van” will travel the country stopping at 17 cities to promote literacy and giveaway more than 20,000 books.
Be green and borrow Dr. Seuss books from your local library. If you want to fill in your own collection, Toys R Us has a special buy 2 get the 3rd free sale this week. We also have the Dr. Seuss app from the Apple Store. It’s a collection of stories and it has both the read aloud or read to me functions. I love having these books on hand when we travel!
My kids are PBS kids and they love watching The Cat in the Hat. My daughter calls Nick and Sally “friends.” This Friday, there will be two new episodes on PBS Kids. THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! will feature two brand new episodes. “Rumbly Tumbly / Planet Name Game” features a super shrunken trip into Thing One’s stomach as well as a whirlwind trip to each of the eight planets, and “Top of the Sky / Jiggle Bones” follows the Cat, Nick and Sally as they travel to Audrey the Astronaut’s space station and visit Dr. Giggles to see why bones are important.
Use the books as inspiration to do a project with the kids. Here are a few I came across that look fun!
Create silly photo props. Let the kids take some pictures with their Thing 1 and Thing 2 hair.
Make Silly Socks. We may need these for “Wacky Wednesday” at preschool this week.
One question I get asked often is, “How did you learn how to be green?” For me, it’s an ongoing learning process. However, most of what I do was taught to me by my parents. If anyone could live off the land, it would be my Dad. He taught our family a lot about making the most of our resources, reducing our waste impact, and growing much of our own food in the summer months. One could also say he is really frugal, which spearheaded a lot of these routines. Totally true, but he taught me many valuable lessons about how be eco-responsible well before it became the trendy thing to do.
I walked around the house the past few weeks looking at all the ways I encourage and teach my kids to be green. Some are simple words we use, others are the systems we have in place for our family. The list below is ways that work for our family, with children four and under. As they grow, I expect this list will change and hopefully expand as they take on more responsibilities.
Recycling station is accessible and easy to understand. The kids also learn what can and can’t be recycled.
Compost is a part of their vocabulary; they know to save their banana peels and apple cores for the shiny bucket under the sink.
Walk to do errands instead of driving
Offer paper from the recycling bin for coloring. Explain the importance of using both sides of a paper.
Turning off lights when we leave the room.
Conserving water. We encourage this while brushing teeth, washing hands and while washing dishes.
Use a shower timer. Both kids love showers and they know that when the timer is up, it’s time to get out.
Not wasting food. Still tough for them to understand, I’m trying to be more mindful of reducing their portions and let them ask for seconds instead.
Spending time outdoors instead of in front of the TV
Explaining the idea of making donations when we have too much toy clutter.
Saving clothes that are too small for younger family members. (JJ thinks his girl cousin will wear all of his too-small clothes!)
Reusing the same glass throughout the day.
Teaching the kids how to cook and talk about where ingredients come from. We had a great conversation the other day when Madison asked if we could make maple syrup as our afternoon project.
Involve them in gardening if you have the space. Even if it’s just a pot of basil on the windowsill, let them help water and nurture the plant.
Reuse their artwork as wrapping paper or use what’s on hand, like newspaper.
What else do you practice in your home to educate kids to be green?
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In light of all the sweets and treats my daughter is going to bring home from school today for Valentine’s Day, I decided to take a different approach. Together we decided to give out healthy apples and oranges as a treat for her preschool friends.
I found the fruit tags on Pinterest and printed them out from Craftaholics on card stock. The tags were cut out using my paper-cutter for the sides and scissors for the top. The heart cellophane bags are from my local party store for $.39/each. Oranges and apples came from Trader Joe’s. I have a giant roll of red baker’s twine and I love any excuse to use it.
My little helper decorated the oranges with a face using a black marker. Then she wrote her name on the back of each tag. It was an exercise in patience for me as I watched her write her name and struggle when she made a mistake. Although I didn’t want to waste tags, I knew it was important for her to take the time to make them just right for her friends.
I know she will come from school today with a goodie bag filled with candy full of artificial ingredients. She will be happy and I will let her have her candy in small doses. (Read why we try to avoid artificial dyes.) At least if my daughter and her friends learn at a young age that there are other fun gifts to give besides candy at Valentine’s Day, there is hope for them to make their own healthy decisions down the road.
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Prior to the arrival of Blizzard Nemo, our friend Susan hosted a wonderful Valentine’s Day party for some little preschoolers. It was a cute morning filled with craft projects, cupcakes, glitter glue and coloring.
All he remembers from the party is this cupcake.
Card making craft time for the kids. Stamps, glitter glue and stickers for their special Valentine.
Who says gingerbread houses are just for Christmas time?
Lunch time with heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sammies.
Who can resist using some fun pom poms.
Use paper to cover the table for toddlers, they can decorate it themselves!
They are trying to make hearts with their hands.
How cute are all those tights!
One very happy girl!
Adorable goodie bags!
The perfect parting gift~ a personalized coloring page from Frecklebox.
Thank you Susan for hosting a wonderful party! It was great to watch the girls make some masterpieces, both with their Valentine’s day cards and their cupcakes. Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day this week! If you still need some inspiration, stop by and see what’s new on my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board.
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Sometimes as a blogger you just get lucky. You meet the right people at the right time. One of those meetings was with the people from Stonyfield Yogurt. I love their company’s commitment to organic food and creating healthy products for kids. When we don’t make our own yogurt, we buy organic Stonyfield. My kids are huge fans of the YoKids yogurt tubes, which I can’t make myself. When my friends at Stonyfield said I could review the new Stonyfield Blends yogurt I was excited. Then they said I would also get a Blendtec blender. Oh, my. I was giddy with excitement to test out the blender.
The yogurt arrived first. My kids think it’s normal to get yogurt delivered to their door. I still think it’s really cool! There was a big fuss as the kids picked out which Stonyfield Blends yogurt flavor to test out first. It’s fruity yogurt, without all clumpy “fruit on the bottom” flavoring of the past. No high fructose corn syrup or artificial food dyes either. Each flavor was a success in our house, plus I used one of the French Vanilla cups to flavor our homemade yogurt. It was delicious.
The smoothies we created with the Blends yogurt made us fall in love with the Blendtec. Our old blender was fine, but it doesn’t make smooth smoothies like the turbo powered Blendtec Wildside blender. No more ice chunks, no more leafy spinach in each cup. We have made some with and without yogurt, depending on the recipe. The pumpkin smoothie made with the French Vanilla Blends yogurt is my favorite so far. (Here is the recipe post!) The coolest thing is getting the kids to drink green smoothies. Green veggies are hit or miss at the dinner table so it feels great to see them drink up a spinach smoothie and ask for seconds.
Stonyfield wants to celebrate the launch of the new Blends yogurt line by giving one of my readers the opportunity to enjoy a case of the new yogurt AND a new Blendtec Blender, valued at $455!!
The giveaway will be open until midnight Feb 18th. US residents only. Winner will be notified via email. Please enter using the form below.
Disclosure: I was provided the blender and yogurt to help facilitate this review as part of my participation in the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club campaign, focused on providing healthy recipes for families. This in no way influenced mine, or my children’s, opinions shared here.
After a week of birthday celebrations, we feel very blessed to have two healthy children in our lives. We are excited to share the news that we will be welcoming Baby #3 to the family in late spring. A few of my local readers saw me recently without my coat on and were totally surprised about our news. Guess it’s time to share the news “officially” in the world of social media.
Before you ask, no, we are not finding out what we are having. There is just nothing better than that wonderful surprise at the end. Finding out if it’s a boy or a girl is such a major motivator to keeping pushing through delivery! Plus we would miss that phone call to the grandparents to tell them if it’s a boy or girl. We are lucky to have both already and look forward to meeting our new addition in a few months.
And now Giveaway Time! $200 value!
I’m excited about this giveaway since it’s a lot of items that I would love to receive as an expecting mom. It would also make a great gift! Thanks to the generous sponsors, you can win some gift certificates from Annee Matthew ($100 ea) and A Mother’s Boutique ($50 ea) to use toward nursing apparel as well as a nursing hat from Moboleez and breastfeeding baby apparel for your little one from One Creative Mama.
Some Favorite Things About the Prizes:
Huge selection of bras and nursing apparel at A Mother’s Boutique
Annee Matthew nursing apparel has some of the most stylish nursing clothing on this planet!
One Creative Mama breastfeeding advocacy baby shirts speak for themselves and break the ice
Moboleez nursing hats make nursing in public so much easier and more convenient, especially helpful when you’re new to breastfeeding and a nursing cover just makes things harder
Purchase: You can shop Annee Matthew and A Mother’s Boutique for a great selection of nursing bras and nursing apparel. They carry some of our favorite brands like Cake Lingerie, Bamboobies, and Bella Materna. You may also acquire a Moboleez hat and check out the adorable baby apparel from One Creative Mama (pictured below).
Win The Package! Our sponsors are blessing two of you with the entire package as outlined above.
Special thanks to AnaB Social for hosting this giveaway. Huge thanks to all participating bloggers as well! Giveaway ends February 27th at 12:01 am, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Thank you!
Disclaimer: AnaB Social, Eco-Babyz, and all participating event bloggers are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. I did not receive anything for hosting this event, just thought some of you might like to enjoy these products.
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Happy February! I’m relieved this is a quiet week for us. After two birthdays, two cupcake parties at school, one Princess and Pirate party and a Superbowl, we are ready for a little detox. This week we are trying to clear out the freezer meals and start tackling the pantry stockpile. It’s always better to keep your dry goods cycling through and I realized we have a little corner that hasn’t gotten much love lately.
Sunday~ Daddy made calzones for the big game. Delicious!
Monday~ Chicken Lime Fajitas. (Wildtree freezer meal) Brown rice on the side made in the pressure cooker.
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