Tag Archives: green mommy

A Friday Full of Good Things

Bah, HUMBUG.

Yes, I can be a bit of a Grinch. I’m not sure why, really,  but I’m just not that into Christmas. 8O

I’m hoping my views change as my son gets older, but the consumer madness (coupled with short, dark days full of ice and snow) really gets me down. I much prefer the lovely “bloomy” feeling of spring! :D

But yesterday, a few things happened that lifted me a bit from my funk and, yes, I just may have felt a twinge of holiday happiness! (But if you tell anyone I said that, I’ll totally deny it!)

1. The local radio station played my Flashback Friday request first, so I got to ROCK OUT to Paul Simon’s Me and Julio on my commute–just me and my big cup of gingerbread decaf! (Usually, it’s Sesame Street or Signing Time songs…over and over and over…)

2. My husband was off with Little Man while I was at the office. Not really a good thing in itself (bummed me out a little), but when I got home, I found out that my two favorite boys took a field trip to a Fair Trade Fair at the local university and brought me back some chocolate! Lots of points for the dada today. He rocked it.

3. The office Holiday Cookie BEER Exchange! Glancing around our biggest meeting room and seeing 24 cases of festive microbrews, imports (and even a homebrew or two) definitely helped with my humbuggery! I now have a lovely mixed case of 24 different beers, and I’m finally at a point with breastfeeding where I feel OK about splitting one unique bottle each night with my husband. Look out! I’m back on the sauce! (Yeah, um, not really. But sampling new beers sure beats the cookies of years past…bleh!)

4. Little Man learned something new that just melted me into a puddle. I said “Kiss, kiss” and he leaned his forehead toward my mouth, so I could kiss it, then erupted into giggles once I did. He did it, like, a hundred times. Too cute! :)

So, since happiness is a’brewin over here, I’m going to pass a little of it along to you! I happen to have a brand new one-size Kawaii pocket diaper in white, and since we can’t use velcro anymore (he’s figured out how to pull it off! ) I’m going to give it away!

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Mandatory Entry:

Just leave me a comment here letting me know one good thing that made a recent day really happy, holiday-related or not. Make them good ones, folks – we still have a few weeks of this holiday stuff to get through, and I need the inspiration!

Extra entries:

  • Follow me on Twitter @ABCGP and tweet this giveaway (may tweet up to 2x daily. At least one hour apart, please!) Leave me a comment with tweet URL for each. Here’s a tweet to get you started: ‘Tis the season to win a one size Kawaii #clothdiaper at ABCs and Garden Peas! Ends 12/30. http://wp.me/pTRQh-xJ
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog and/or post about it on a forum where cloth mamas might see it! Leave me a comment with a link (2 entries for this one if you do both.)

Entries will be open through the end of day on Thursday, Dec 30th. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified via email on Friday, Dec 31th.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize via email or a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to EVERYONE! Good Luck!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering

Could you eat the same thing every day?

When I talk about cooking in batches so that my family can avoid fast food and eat well even when our schedule is out of control, I often get the same response:

“Oh, I couldn’t do that. I can’t eat the same thing 2 days in a row.”

Really? My first reaction is “Sheesh. Picky much?:roll:

Not me. In fact, back when my relationship with food was, well, less than healthy, I ate the same exact thing for 12 weeks straight.

Yup, every day, the same food. I figured out the calories, and in my mind, I couldn’t go wrong. Here was my menu (I don’t think I’ll ever forget it):

  • Breakfast: One double fiber English muffin with one Morningstar Farms meatless sausage patty
  • Lunch: One frozen diet entree (approx. 300 calories)
  • Dinner: 3 oz tilapia and one bag of Steamfresh broccoli

That was it, for 12 weeks straight. It worked, too – I lost a good 25 pounds!

Since then, however, I’ve learned that such monotony is no way to live, and that kind of restriction and deprivation aren’t healthy for my body, mind or spirit. Losing the processed foods and experimenting with more whole ingredients reminded me of the wide world of beautiful food out there that I was missing, and I’ve been on a new, much more balanced path ever since…

But, one aspect of the diet stuck with me: How EASY it was! Admittedly, it was no way to achieve and maintain good health, but knowing exactly what I needed at the store, and exactly what I would be cooking each night, took a ton of weight off my shoulders!

So, now that my schedule is beyond maxed out, I’m calling on the better parts of my old diet plan to help me stay on target! Those prepared, processed and even “drive-thru” foods look SO good on nights when it’s late and I’m tired, but they sure don’t make me feel good at all (and now that little man is eating with us, I have to plan meals with as many natural and organic ingredients that he can enjoy, too.) So my new mission is to write up a menu when I get a little time during the week, shop on Sunday, and prepare as much as possible in advance to help my weekday self out!

Last week’s plan? I roasted a chicken on Sunday and served it with homemade gravy, smashed potatoes and spinach from our winter garden.

On Monday, shredded chicken was tucked into tortillas with a touch of cheese to make quesadillas. We paired them with some fresh organic salsa, guacamole, hummus and a touch of plain Greek yogurt (all of Little Man’s favorites! You should have seen him chow down!

On Tuesday, the small amount of remaining chicken was sauteed in a skillet with some garlic, then layered in a bowl with black beans and the remainder of the salsa, guac, and yogurt.

By Wednesday, we were ready for something different, so we had easy baked salmon, leftover black beans and steamed veggies (an extra salmon filet doubled as lunch at Grammie’s house for 2 extra days!)

Thursday? Pizza piled high with mushrooms and diced veggies from our summer garden harvest. For Little Man, some lentil veggie blend that we had on hand for him (no pizza for him just yet!)

(Sure, you could argue that chicken 3 nights in a row is a lot, but to make a chicken stretch that far, the actual portion sizes need to be really small. We do a lot of meatless nights, but when we do eat meat, we try to make sure it is only a small component in the meal.)

Bonus? There was almost nothing last week that my husband couldn’t help prepare! There wasn’t one night all week that either of us spent more than 10 minutes preparing dinner!

This week? A turkey! I’m thinking sandwiches, followed by soup with lots of fresh veggies!

As a blogger and admitted foodie, I’d much rather be preparing interesting meals off the cuff each night, based on what’s fresh and seasonal and what “food mood” I might be in at that particular moment, but right now it just isn’t an option, and I have to be realistic. There have been too many nights when the day’s gotten away from me and we wind up with no plan for dinner, and that’s when unhealthy foods infiltrate my kitchen. I have a responsibility not only to my family, but to myself as well, to make good, real food a priority.

And to those who say “No” to eating the same thing a few days in a row, I would just say that I’m very thankful to have the choice!

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Do you ever cook in batches, or plan your meals in advance? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

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!)

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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.

4 Comments

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

One Whole Year Event Day 2: Inspired by Finn!

It’s Day 2 of my One Whole Year Event! Remember, there are 7 prizes, and one winner takes all! I’ll be announcing one sponsor each day, but you must enter HERE to be eligible for the whole prize package!

Ready to meet today’s One Whole Year sponsor? It’s….

Inspired by Finn!

Inspired by Finn carries baltic amber teething necklaces, and let me tell you, these things are popular!

It is widely believed that baltic amber can be a great help with teething pain.

Why?

According to Inspired by Finn, baltic amber contains analgesic properties and helps take the edge off of many types of discomfort associated with dental issues, headaches, joint pain, etc.

But that’s not all…

Baltic amber is also believed to:

  • strengthen the body’s immune system
  • restore energy
  • maintain wellness
  • break a cycle of chronic inflammation

At first, I wasn’t so sure that I bought into the hype. But then I tried one!

I have to be honest: Little man isn’t teething hella bad right now, so it’s hard to tell how well the necklace works. But, he IS teething, and he’s getting through it pretty well. There hasn’t been a time that he’s cried with the necklace on, and that says something. Plus, it’s just over-the-top cute on him, and he doesn’t even pull or tug on it because he hasn’t yet figured out that it’s on! ;)

We are really loving our necklace because it seems to be the most natural way to combat teething pain, and I dread the appearance of molars. I had planned to team up my necklace with Hyland’s tablets, but now I’m putting my faith in the necklace alone. Judging by the reviews I’ve seen, I’m pretty confident.

A few frequently asked questions:

Do babies chew on the necklaces? No. These necklaces are not teethers, and are not meant to be chewed on. They are meant to be worn to help ease teething pain.

How does I use it? Just put the necklace on your baby. Some people wrap it around baby’s ankle and cover with a sock. For the amber to be effective, it needs to be placed against baby’s skin so that the stones’ healing oils (succinic acid) can be absorbed by the skin.

Are they safe? Each individual stone is double knotted on the cord so that if it does break, the stones will not fly. Please be sure to supervise baby at all times while he or she is wearing a teething necklace. Inspired by Finn does not recommend letting baby sleep with the necklace on.

Have you tried baltic amber yet? Do you want to? Well, you’re in luck!

Inspired by Finn has offered my lucky One Whole Year winner the in-stock item of their choice! (16 inches or smaller)

AND they have also offered a discount code to help us ALL celebrate!

Just by “liking” Inspired by Finn on Facebook, you can take advantage of the following discounts:

  • TO SAVE 20% on an order, click the “Like” button toward the top of the “Wall” tab. (Your mandatory entry into my giveaway will take care of this part!)
  • TO SAVE 25%, click the “Like” button + use the “Suggest to Friends” link near the top left of this “Wall” tab to suggest the page to your Facebook friends.
  • The discount code is entered/applied during checkout, and the discount is given off of prices on the website – www.InspiredByFinn.com

The codes to use once you have completed the criteria above -

To save 20%: FB20
To save 25%: FB25

Happy shopping, and happy teething! :D

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For an extra entry into the One Whole Year event, visit Inspired by Finn’s website and leave a comment on the original One Whole Year giveaway post letting me know which Inspired by Finn item you’d like to try! Please be sure to complete the mandatory entry on that page first! All giveaway details, rules and ways to enter are featured on the original giveaway post.

Good luck, and thanks for celebrating with me! :)

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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.
Disclosure: I received a product sample from Inspired by Finn for review purposes. I was not compensated for my review, and all opinions stated above are my own, based on personal experience with the product.

8 Comments

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

A few comfort foods…

What’s on the breakfast menu this fine, fall Sunday morning?

Grilled almond butter and banana sammitches, with a drizzle of honey! :Dbrushed with a touch of coconut oil for a crispy outside!

Mmmmmmmm……comfort food!

Admittedly, this is not what we usually eat for breakfast. But I came home on Friday to find a large box waiting for me, and when I opened it? 2 loaves of Nature’s Pride bread! (Thanks, Foodbuzz Featured Publisher Program!)

One loaf of oatmeal and one loaf of honey wheat with fiber:

Yeah, it’s kind of weird to get bread in the mail. We don’t eat a lot of bread, and when I do buy it I usually end up giving half a loaf to the birds. But, I found myself determined not to waste my special delivery “Bread-O-Gram!” So, grilled sammies it was.

Nature’s Pride bread has no trans fat, no artificial colors or flavors, and no HFCS. BO-nus! The oatmeal has 1g fiber per serving, the whole wheat, 2g.

In a perfect world, I’d choose an organic bread with tons of fiber, but you know how that goes. I’d say Nature’s Promise makes a darn good loaf.

So, since I had leftover pumpkin from my little punkin pancake recipe, and quite a bit of bread to utilize, I felt inspired to make some Pumpkin Butter! I love the feeling of making use of what’s already in my kitchen. (Makes me feel so thrifty!)

I combined 3 cups pureed pumpkin, 1/2 cup apple cider, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, brought it to a boil, then reduced heat and simmered, stirring frequently, until it reached the desired thickness.

And there you have it! Easy peasy Nature’s Pride bread with homemade pumpkin butter. Good for mommy and daddy, and good for baby! I think warm toast with spicy pumpkin qualifies as comfort food, too.

Actually, after last year’s food restrictions with my gestational diabetes, just being able to enjoy the pumpkin harvest this year is pretty darned comforting! Enjoying it along with my boy is about as good as it gets.

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What’s your favorite comfort food?

….and here’s a simple but loaded question: Do you eat much bread?

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Filed under Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food