Tag Archives: natural

Breastfeeding Blog Hop: A Dear Jen Letter

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, founded by Jen at Life with Levi. Check out the archives hereLast week, the reigns were handed over to a new host, Erin at The Slacker Mom. (Hi, Erin!)  This week’s topic is “Celebrating One Year of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop! We did it!”

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Green Living, Parenting & Family

A Green Gift: Conscious Box Review and Giveaway

Writing a blog has some fun perks.

Once in a while, I make a few dollars, and every so often, I get a free product to try out. That’s fun. But, the true treasures are found when I happen upon a new friend–a fellow conscientious greenie. No matter what your priorities are, life can get a little lonely when you don’t know many people who share them, so finding like-minded friends…well, it’s a gift.

So, when Jameson Morris contacted me to try out his new offering, the Conscious Box, I jumped at the chance. It was apparent to me right from the get-go that Jameson is 100% dedicated to introducing his customers to the best in eco-friendly, conscientiously and sustainably produced products. There’s no greenwashing here…the concept behind the Conscious Box is from the heart.

What is the Conscious Box?

“Conscious Box is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care for the planet.” These products are carefully vetted by the folks at Conscious Box, and meet their strict criteria. A pretty, seasonally decorated box arrives at your doorstep, complete with an inspirational, heartfelt message and filled with sample sizes of pure and natural products from ethical businesses you can trust.

Sounds like a fun thing to find in the mail, huh?

I received the November and December boxes to review. Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first. Samples sizes don’t excite me all that much. I guess I just feel like you don’t get much of a chance to really try a product from a tiny sample. Well, when the boxes arrived, I found that these were no tiny samples. Many of the products seemed nearly full size, and the ones that weren’t were still generous enough to really give them a good try.

Here’s the November box:

…and December:

I couldn’t possibly provide a thorough review of all the products I received – there were too many of them! But I can tell you that there were several that I already purchased faithfully, and a few that have become new favorites.

Good Earth lollipops, Honest Kids organic juice pouches, Kind fruit and nut bars, Eat Cleaner wipes, Justin’s nut butter – they were all staples in our home already, and I was happy to see them among my Conscious Box loot. (A huge sign that Jameson and I are most definitely on the same page.)

Several new products that piqued my interest, and then FAR surpassed my expectations, include BerryPlus laundry soap (made from soapberries!) and EarthFriendly Products cinnamon-scented room freshener spray. Love, love, love…LOVE!! Scented products are one thing that many toxin-conscious folks miss, and I was thrilled to be able to spray and scent my living room (and cinnamon is my #1 favorite scent!) SCORE! These two will definitely be joining my regular arsenal of household products. :D

I saw a few differences in the 2 boxes I received, and they told me a lot. The November box was great, but the December box was even better. More products, bigger samples, coupons…that tells me that the folks at Conscious Box are working hard to find more and more companies to share with their subscribers, and they are succeeding. This is a company focused on growth, so, in my opinion, this is the time to subscribe. I would bet that these monthly deliveries are only going to get better and better! :)

Get your Conscious Box!

Gift yourself or a greenie friend with the gift of sustainable surprises each month! Visit Conscious Box to subscribe now, and be sure to like them on Facebook where you just might find fun opportunities to get extra goodies added to your next box just by leaving a comment or sharing ideas on how to reuse the delivery box.

Win it!

Jameson has generously offered one lucky ABCs and Garden Peas reader their own December Conscious Box! (Trust me…you will LOVE it!)

Enter using the easy Rafflecopter form below.

The only mandatory entry is the first one on the form – Visit ConsciousBox.com and let me know what you’d like to find in a future delivery!

 


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

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.

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Filed under Green Living, Product & Service Reviews

My son, a cupcake, and a major parenting dilemma.

We just finished our third week of daycare, and things are swimming right along beautifully! :D

(Can you tell we’ve been watching a lot of Nemo lately?)


I expect that there will still be bumps in the road, and yes, there is a lot of crying in the morning during the dropoff. But – and this is pretty dang amazing, if you ask me – the director of the daycare has been sending me a text message when little man settles down (which is usually about 5 minutes after I leave) and she’s even been sending me photos on my phone! I’ve been able to steal of glimpse of art projects, snack breaks, and big smiles throughout the day, and it’s made SUCH a difference in my adjustment (it’s harder for us than it is for them, right?)

For this mama who works 60 miles away from that daycare, a photo to calm my nerves midday is absolutely priceless!

But then, on Friday, I got a different kind of text message. It struck fear into my very soul.

“Project today is decorating cupcakes. We’re going to eat them at lunch. Wanted to check with you to see if its OK. We can take him into another room if you want.”

Oh dear. Ohdearohdearohdear. What do I DO!?

Well, I say NO of course! I tell her to take my son as far away from those evil things as she can. Wrap him up in bubble wrap and don’t even let him hear you say “cupcake”!

Yeah, right. If only. (I did NOT tell her that.) I chilled out for a moment, and thought about it, and ran it by my coworkers (One of whom called me a food freak and mocked over the cubicle wall in his best teacher voice “Oh no, little man, you go into the closet by yourself and play with a carrot.” Haha. :| )

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I go to pretty good lengths to make sure my family eats the most natural diet possible. We fall off the wagon once in a while, but when it comes to my son, I’m pretty vigilant. He gets his fair share of treats, but they’re always healthy, “real food” ones, and he really hasn’t had any cake other than on his first birthday, 11 months ago.

But it’s not the cupcake itself I have an issue with. Really. As I’ve explained to my mom a bunch of times – he can have cupcakes. And cookies. And ice cream. And all the good stuff that I sure as heck grew up with and loved. He just gets pure, natural versions of them.

THIS is my real fear:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll admit: Cupcakes are happy food. Ingredients ending in “5 & 6″ are not. :(

And even though I knew (as my coworkers dutifully pointed out) that one cupcake never hurt anyone, there was one thought I just couldn’t escape: If you say you believe in something to your very core, what does it say about you if you buckle when that belief is challenged? Who are you, really, if you let that happen?

_________________________

Can you guess what I did? Cupcake or no cupcake?

What would you do?

 

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

A new life for us.

Well, my small break from blogging ended up being a whole lot longer than I had expected.

Even though I had tons to write about, I honestly just didn’t feel like it.

I’m not sure why. I should be jubilant. We’re finally in our new home, and a whole world of possibilities awaits us, but I’m feeling… weird. :???:

Maybe it’s because we still have the old place to deal with, and we have to replace the entire septic system to the tune of about $10,000 before we can sell (which I have NO idea how to even start.)

Or, maybe it’s because we gave up TV, my internet service is spotty, and I’m really, really not used to having a long weekend away from work. Although I should relish the break, I’m feeling seriously disconnected. :(

It could be because we’ve discovered our new pink-rose encrusted bathroom is merely a facade, and it doesn’t work at all. Until we can renovate, I’m resigned to using the basement shower, which is nice – except for the creepy crawly centipedes down there. Yeah. Not cool…not one bit.

It doesn’t help, either, that we missed out on this year’s garden due to trouble with our settlement date, and now it’s nearly fall. All our really big plans for the new homestead won’t start taking shape until the spring…which seems lightyears away.

There are lots of reasons why the past week has left me feeling a little funky. I had no idea where to begin a blog post, because I couldn’t wrap my head around what exactly was bugging me.

But then yesterday, I think I figured it out.

We went back to the old place to tend to the lawn and pick up a load from the garage, and it hit me.

Like a ton of bricks, actually.

An overwhelming sadness for what I was losing. Who knew I’d care AT ALL about leaving that old, raggedy, broke down shack? I hated that place! Truly hated, at times. My husband and I fought over it. We never had people over, because there just wasn’t room. We had spiders galore, I didn’t trust the safety of the heat or electrical systems. The ceiling almost fell in on my head. The kitchen was awful. I could go on and on…

But, when faced with leaving, I remembered. I remembered the first time I went there with my husband-to-be after I hadn’t seen him for nearly 2 decades, and I remembered remembering the love I had for him as a silly teenager.

I remembered the summers we spent there, getting to know each other again, planting the garden and seeing the fruits of our labor, talking about how, someday, we hoped to raise our children to share that same love.

I looked out at the overgrown garden, teeming with weeds and who knows what else, and I remembered the day he proposed to me there, under the trellis filled with purple-flowered yard-long beans.

But most of all, I reminisced about the last time I had seen the little nursery quite that empty. It was when we were getting ready to welcome our son. I sat in there and rocked, dreaming about him, in the same chair I would sit and rock him in for endless hours over the next 2 years, nursing his little self all hours of the day and night.

The first two whole years of his life were spent there. I became a mother there. The most important, life-changing, self-affirming moments of my entire life happened there. My son’s first days, first steps, first words. And yes, my little boy’s love of being out in the garden, plucking the first pear tomatoes and eating berries by the fistful started there, too. He didn’t know it was a rickety old house that his mama was ashamed of. He just knew it was the place where kitties played, birdies sang, fish swam in rain barrels and good things to eat grew abundantly.

We moved further out into the country with very specific intentions, and we look forward to fulfilling our dreams here. But that doesn’t help so much this week, when the isolation is very new, my community seems so very far away, and my memories are locked up in an old, empty mobile home with only a few odds and ends hinting at the new lives that were started there.

As we got ready to leave, my son bolted up the hill toward the garden as he always has, looking for tomatoes to steal. I followed behind, stopping at the blueberry patch on the way. A sweet surprise – the last handful of the season’s berries – waiting for me. I choked back not just tears, but a full-blown sob as I picked them. My little man squealed with delight as he popped them all into his mouth, and I realized that while we planted many seeds at that old place, we get to take the most important ones with us.

Now, back to blogging. Onward and upward!

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Filed under Green Living, Home & Garden, The Everyday, Uncategorized