Tag Archives: Baby

A sustainable gift from the heart

Planning to attend a bridal shower, baby shower or birthday celebration?

Maybe you have a friend who could use some well wishes?

No matter what the occasion, if you have an event coming up and need a gift idea, Pure Designs for Living has just the thing!

Behold the Blessings Box! :) Lovely, isn’t it?


Blessings boxes are my new favorite way to celebrate the people I love. The idea is simple: At special occasions, you just sit this box out much like you would a guest book – only it’s way prettier, and serves as the perfect way to collect thoughts and blessings from friends and loved ones so that your honored bride, mama, or birthday girl (or guy!) can read all the wonderful wishes coming their way.

Each box is made of sustainable bamboo, and is assembled in California.

Inside you also find:

  • an instruction card that can be displayed for guests that explains what to do
  • 20 recycled linen ‘blessed’ notecards for the messages (more cards are available for order)
  • a magnolia & plumeria, hand poured organic soy candle
  • a bamboo pen
  • an engraved white jade ‘blessed’ stone
  • two beautiful silver & white ‘blessed’ bracelets
(contents vary slightly by theme)

Available in Baby, Wedding, Healing, Birthday and Home themes, each box features a sliding lid and a delicate cherry blossom design. (My suggestion? A New Journey theme for people who are leaving jobs, moving, traveling, etc.)

I recently gave one of these boxes to a friend in my office, filled with marriage tips, happy thoughts and congratulatory messages from all of her coworkers. (The box has plenty of room to hold lots of cards from her wedding, too, if she wants to keep them all.)  How nice it will be, years from now, when she can look back, reminisce over her cards and momentos, and revisit her day.  She’s a greenie, like me, so the fact that the box itself is so eco-friendly and sustainably sourced made it just that much better.

Blessings boxes are available at Pure Designs for Living.


I received a Blessings Box at a discounted price in exchange for a product review. All opinions are my own, and based on my experience with the product.


Filed under Green Living, Product & Service Reviews

ABE2 Sponsor Spotlight: The Soft Landing

Every once in a while, you find a company that just “gets it,” a company that shares your values and priorities on a fundamental level. For me, The Soft Landing is that company – and that’s why I’m thrilled to have them as my sponsor for A Blogtastic Extravaganza!


You shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to choose safer products for your family. ~The Soft Landing

If the statement above is music to your ears, we just might have a lot in common. :)

For years now, I’ve been on the hunt for simple, useful products that I can bring into my home without having to worry about the harm they might cause my family. It’s a shame, but today’s market is flooded with toys, baby items, kitchenware, etc. made from plastics that contain  BPA, PVC, phthalates, melamine, cadmium, lead and flame retardants.

So what’s a health-conscious and eco-friendly mama to do? Well, you could search high and low, research into the wee hours of the morning, and shop at 100 different stores looking for safe versions of the many things you need….


you could just do your shopping in one trusted place – The Soft Landing!

The Soft Landing was created to help busy parents navigate the sea of unlabeled mama and baby products. In short, they do all the work for you! They work with manufacturers to locate tons of products (primarily plastics, but also plush toys, mattresses, and more) that are safe, non-toxic and worry-free, and they bring them to you, all in one easy online shopping experience. You don’t have to read packages, or comb through product websites – just browse The Soft Landing’s online selection and buy what you like. It’s that easy! Read more about their commitment to your family’s health here.

And the stuff they sell is super cute! Sometimes, when you want toxin-free for your family, you have to settle for functionality over eye-appeal. Not so at The Soft Landing! You’ll find plenty of things in their online store (like bath toys, popsicle molds, storage containers, lunchboxes, sippy cups, etc.) that are cute, fun, and kid-friendly while still giving you the peace of mind you want.

For example…this Beaba Feeding Set, a Soft Landing exclusive!

I gave this set a test run, and I am just in love with it (and so is my son!) It’s a great quality set, and since it’s from The Soft Landing, I don’t even have to give a second thought to the fact that it’s plastic. I know that it doesn’t contain any of the icky stuff I don’t want.

Why we love it:

  • The bright, fun colors! (A total toddler magnet!)
  • The dish and bowl are deep and roomy, with soft, slip-resistant bases to keep them from sliding – whoops! – right off the table! (check out the close-up of the bases, below)
  • The cup, also slip-resistant, is the perfect size and shape for little hands.
  • The fork and spoon included are rounded and deep to keep food ON, and the fork isn’t so dull that it can’t pick up a bite of food (a toddlerware pet peeve of mine!)
  • The whole set is very sturdy and well-made to stand up to lots of use. And, it’s top-rack dishwasher safe!

This Beaba Tableware set has become a favorite in our house, and since my son has been using it at every meal, I love knowing that it’s perfectly safe for everyday use. As a mom, that kind of reassurance is something you just can’t put a price tag on.

What’s even better? The Soft Landing has offered my lucky ABE winner a Beaba Set of their own! (retail value $29.50)

That’s right! You can win this set during my ABE giveaway as part of my “Hungry Toddler” prize package, starting tomorrow! And, since you’re here now, you can leave me a comment below for an extra entry in the giveaway!

BONUS ENTRY: Just visit The Soft Landing, then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me another safe, non-toxic product you’d like to try from their wide selection, and you’re entered! (Just make sure to come back tomorrow and complete the mandatory entry.)

Good Luck!


Entries on this post will serve as extra entries for my A Blogtastic Extravaganza Giveaway, starting 8.17.11. Comments on this post will be added on at the end of the main post’s giveaway entries, and will be counted as the highest numbered entries. Mandatory entry must be completed or entries on this post will be deleted. Thanks for entering!


Filed under giveaways, Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, Uncategorized

Wordless Wendysday: What a Difference a Year Makes!

Christmas 2009:

Christmas 2010:

1 Comment

Filed under Parenting & Family

One Whole Year Event Day 3: HappyBaby!

Welcome to Day 3 of my One Whole Year Giveaway Event! (Remember, to enter you must visit the original One Whole Year giveaway post, and complete the mandatory entry first. ALL extra entries must also appear on THAT post!)

So far, I’ve announced 2 prizes in the package:

  • One Kawaii Minky Bamboo one size cloth diaper in the new olive green color
  • The in-stock baltic amber teething necklace of your choice from Inspired by Finn!

Are you excited yet? :D

Today’s featured sponsor is HappyBaby!

We love HappyBaby products in our house. Yes, I make a lot of our baby food, but when I do buy it, I always buy organic and I love love love to find unique varieties to feed my son. I’m a firm believer in introducing lots of different tastes and ingredients early on to develop a broad palate, and HappyBaby helps me do that!

Mama Grain with quinoa, banana and black beans? Banana, beet and blueberry? Yes, please!

By far, our favorite product from HappyBaby is the Organic Puffs. We NEVER leave home without them, and the sight of a puff cures most cranky moments in an instant. Sure, lots of companies make puffs. They’re pretty simple, but HappyBaby’s puffs are organic,  contain 1/2 the sugar of many of the other leading brands, are made with whole grains and come in BPA-free containers that are sourced through a green partnership with Method.

By NOT using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically engineered ingredients, HappyBaby supports sustainable agriculture, so I support them. :) Be sure to check out even more reasons to love HappyBaby, including their work with Project Peanut Butter and how your purchase helps feed children in Malawi, on their Our Promise to You page.

The Prize? I’m getting to that… ;)

HappyBaby has generously offered my lucky One Whole Year winner a copy of their book, HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months! (Written by Dr. Sears.) This book is full of answers to all the important questions about feeding baby, and your whole family, well. It also addresses living a greener lifestyle and making your home healthy. Inside, you’ll even find over $100 in coupons!

But that’s not all. My winner will also receive a set of FREE trial coupons for HappyBaby products, a nutrition guide and HappyBaby recipes! 8O

Not bad, eh? Thanks, HappyBaby!

For an extra entry into the One Whole Year giveaway: Visit HappyBaby’s website and leave me a comment on the original One Whole Year post letting me know what you like about HappyBaby! Good luck and thanks for celebrating with us!

**Make sure to complete the mandatory entry first! Mandatory entry and ALL extra entries must appear on the original One Whole Year post! (NO entry comments on this post, please!)


Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the HappyBaby Organic Guide for review purposes. All other products mentioned were purchased by me and are used in my household. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are my own based on personal experience with the product.
Sorry, this contest open to US residents only (Please note: My EcoMom giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada!) Entries will be accepted through 11/18. I will choose a winner via Random.org on 11/19. Winner will be contacted via email (please leave your email address!)  and will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize package or a new winner will be chosen.


Filed under Cloth Diapering, Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews

My 100th post: Reflections and Goals

(Cue balloons and confetti… oh, and presents are OK, too!)

Hooray for my 100th post!! Woooo!

Well, we’ll just pretend this is my 100th post. It’s actually 102, but this has been a thoroughly crappy week so I blew right past it. Today, however, is a better day. :D

I started my blog in March, when my son was a few months old and I was getting back into the groove of things after my maternity leave. I was adjusting to new mommyhood, had just returned to work part-time, and was looking for a way to hold on to my interests, do a little writing and maybe meet some new like-minded friends. And, to be perfectly honest, I really just wanted to learn a little bit about how to use my computer.

I had no idea what I was in for! I can do things with my trusty Mac that I never thought I could (I’ve even had people ask ME for help!), and I’ve learned countless other things from the many blogs I’ve discovered. I’d go so far to say that blogging has affected the way I live down to the very core! Not only do I get to write about topics that interest me, but there are actual people out there –really inspirational, supportive, and amazingly talented people –who share my opinions, ideas and passions! Luckily, you all share your knowledge, too! What a gift to have found you all, especially since my life is not overflowing with people who share my views on most things.

(Plus, every so often, I even get a sample or two of something fun in the mail! Bonus!)

These days, my son is going on ten months old, reaching new milestones every day, and starting to enjoy the foodie action that goes on in my household. I’m considering going back to work full-time, for various reasons, which will alter my lifestyle to some extent. So, I thought it was about time to restate my mission here and clarify for everyone what you’ll be seeing in the coming months!

1. More Food!

Yes, food will still be here.

Old favorites…

and new!

Healthy, natural foods, gardening, and fun kitchen adventures are such big parts of my life that my blog wouldn’t be my blog without them. I’m lucky enough to have a husband that will try anything, and I’m hoping that love of exploration passes on to our son (I have a good feeling it already has…) I will be keeping my personal circumstances in mind when choosing foods, so here are some of the criteria that will guide my way…

  • We are still nursing, and hoping to add another little one to our family, so high nutrient value is very important. Low-fat and low-cal are not so important right now, but folate, calcium, protein and healthy fats sure are!
  • I am still hypertensive, so sodium is a concern. I do find that cutting out processed foods has made the biggest difference, however, so I do use a little salt in my cooking. No biggie.
  • I am still on hypothyroid medication, too. Not sure if diet or lifestyle can affect that, but I’d like to find out…
  • I’m not cutting out sugar, but I am cutting back on sugar. Being so tired and busy has caused me to turn to sugar a little more than I’d like, and given that diabetes does run in my family (and I had gestational diabetes) it’s something I’d like to conquer now. (Don’t think you won’t be seeing holiday cookies, though!)
  • Hydration, hydration, hydration! (More about this in tomorrow’s post! Don’t miss it!)
  • As always, I will continue to strive for a diet that is fresh and natural, with lots of whole foods and very little dairy. I’m thinking that gradually including my son into our family meals will provide even more incentive to stick to it…
  • Even within the restrictions of a busy schedule and tight budget, I will always choose local and organic foods when possible. That said, food also has to be interesting, fun and just plain good

2. Less Food!

That’s right. I know I just described my food mission, but I do have a life outside the kitchen and most of that part of my life revolves around this cute little one.

Just as with food, I strive for all things natural when it comes to raising my son. Most plastics are on their way out of our lives (I say that as I show you a picture of a plastic laundry basket :roll: I’m trying…), as are any other toxins we can get rid of. There are just SO many positive changes that can be made with just a little effort! The more I research and learn, there seems to be a better alternative for almost everything, from toys and diapers to household items and beauty products, and even the way we go about doing things, and I would like to share them as I find them.  

You’ll also see some posts about the struggles and triumphs of parenting. I believe in the concept of attachment parenting, which I look at as a very natural and intuitive way of raising children – a return to our instincts as mothers and parents. I breastfeed,  co-sleep (part-time) and engage in many other AP practices that keep my child close and connected. Attachment Parenting International lists the 8 principles of AP:

  • Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  • Feed with Love and Respect
  • Respond with Sensitivity
  • Use Nurturing Touch
  • Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  • Provide Consistent and Loving Care
  • Practice Positive Discipline
  • Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Nice, eh? But I also have a career that is important to me, and I’m not ready to abandon that at this point. So, while the two might seem in direct conflict with each other, I believe I can find a balance...the right balance, and I plan to share that journey here, too. After all, API describes the long-range vision of Attachment Parenting as raising children that will “become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children, and ultimately helps to prevent violence in society as a whole.” So, it’s worth it, don’t you think?

Check out API for lots more great info on attachment parenting, and feel free to comment if you have any advice or tips for me! I’d love to hear from you! 

So, I’m excited to write my next 100 posts, and to read yours! If you have any friends that might share my interests, please tell them to drop by and introduce themselves. I’ll return the favor! 

I’ll do my best to stay current, but if I happen to drop off for a day or two, it just means I’m focusing my efforts on achieving that balance thing I mentioned earlier, and I’ll be back! Once in a while, a nap, tickle fight or impromptu picnic really can be the most important thing in the world. 

Happy blogging, everyone, and thanks for reading!


Filed under Parenting & Family, The Everyday