Friday, November 11, 2011

Tiny Prints Christmas Cards!

You know how much I love Christmas cards!  It seems like you can never have quite enough for all the people in your life.  Between family, friends, and the mailman you can always use a few more.

I love, love, love Tiny Prints so when they had an opportunity to review their Christmas cards, I was so excited! I giddily hopped on their site and chose a few of my favorites.




If you haven't already ordered your Christmas cards, hop on over and let me know which cards you like the best.  Be warned, there are SO many cute ones to choose from that you might have trouble deciding!

Also, between now and November 21st, Tiny Prints is running a photo contest!  You can head on over to enter your baby or family in a contest to win up to $1000 in prizes!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Newborn Cloth Diapering


It’s day 23 of my baby’s life outside of the womb, and I am already altering my cloth diaper plans.  After Sarah has had so much success with Grovias, I purchased a set to use for my baby.  They are an adjustable size and I figured it wouldn’t be long before my little guy would be big enough for them.  What I didn’t count on was that I would be birthing a tiny little guy!  At 6 lbs., 3 oz, the Grovias would swallow him whole.  

 Several of my friends have had babies lately so they have passed me their leftover newborn disposable diapers.  I had a pretty good stash, but know that I will need them longer than I had thought.  I was looking at the price of a pack of newborn diapers and an 84 pack of Huggies is about $20.00.  I also looked up how long it’s going to be before my baby hits 8 or 9 lbs which should get him into the Grovias.  Newborns gain an average of 6 oz. a week, so at this rate it will be probably about a month before he hits 8 lbs.  Since he shoots through about 10 diapers a day, that’s at least 300 diapers or $70 worth of Huggies. 

I hadn’t wanted to buy newborn cloth diapers since I thought he’d be in them for such a short time, but this changed my mind!  I ordered 12 preemie prefold diapers by Bummis for $19.  They fit up to 9 lbs, so he will hopefully be able to use them for 6 weeks or so.  I ordered two x-small Thirsties covers that fit up to 12 lbs. for $11.25 a piece.  
So for $42, I figure I saved a few bucks, am helping the environment, and can start getting used to cloth diapering.  I still have some left over disposables from my friends that I think I’ll use at night until I run out.   

So far, I love the prefolds and Thirsties covers!  Here’s my little man in his first cloth diaper.  He's crying because I put him down, not because he hates his new cloth diaper!




Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cool Like a Celebrity. . .

I read an article that made me feel like a celebrity today. . .

Guess what Alyssa and I have in common with all these famous people?

 Alyssa Milano

 Bethany Frankel

 John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Matt Damon


We all use GroVia diapers. . .

How sweet is that?  Not that I did it for the celebrity status, but it's still pretty cool.  Also, probably the only thing we will ever have in common. . .

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GUEST POST: Soap Nuts

I have a confession.  I have not always cared about “green cleaning”.  I grew up thinking bleach was the end- all and never gave a second thought to how chemicals in the home could affect your health and well being.  This is until I had a home—and children—of my own. 

When my son was born, it became evident very quickly that his skin was extremely sensitive.  We tried every laundry detergent we could think of, especially those marked suitable for baby’s sensitive skin; nothing worked.  I began researching various “natural” detergents, and was disappointed to find that many differed very little from the typical brands.  With resolve, I began making my own laundry detergent, but was less than thrilled with the time and effort it took, and the poor quality results. 
Then, I discovered Soapnuts.  Soap nuts, or soapberries, are literally the fruit from the Sapindus trees.  These berries contain saponins, which is a natural soap that has been used for thousands of years for everything from washing hair to washing clothes.  The berries are harvested and either dried for later use, or cooked to render the saponins in a concentrated form.   I first heard about them through a green living blog I had begun to read, and honestly thought there was no way these little berries could clean my clothes.  The more I read, however, the more intrigued I was.  I ordered a sample.

I must say I forced myself to remain skeptical throughout my “trial period”.  It was hard.  These little guys not only did the job, they did it well.  My clothes had literally never been as clean.  What stuck out the most was the change in my towels and my husband’s undershirts.  I had a love/hate relationship with my towels prior to using Soapnuts.  No matter how much detergent I used, how many dryer sheets, my towels always came out of the wash smelling musty.  I just could not get rid of it.  That all changed when I began using Soapnuts; the difference was substantial.  My towels actually smell clean!  The other big change was in my husband’s undershirts.  These white t-shirts developed yellow stains in the underarms from his deodorant, and even after being washed, the fragrance of his deodorant would still be there.  Again, Soapnuts performed above and beyond; the stains began to diminish and the smell was gone; his t-shirts smelled clean.  I have used both the dried berries as well as the concentrated, and while I prefer the concentrated, the effectiveness of both cannot be understated.
 
More importantly, this is the one laundry detergent I’ve used that does not aggravate my son’s skin.  Not only my son’s, but mine as well.  To find a laundry detergent this gentle, yet this effective is worth it’s weight in gold.

Andrea Sutton is a stay-at-home wife and mother who blogs about the joy she finds in those areas, at Loving the Ordinary.   

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make A Meal Monday: Honey Lime Enchiladas

This is one of my favorite recipes.  You can adjust it to how healthy of a dish you would like by using whole wheat tortillas, or making your own.  You can also use organic dairy products, like we do!

Honey Lime Enchiladas


Ingredients:
Marinade -
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1. Whisk the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken in a Zip-loc bag.
2. Let it marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, but preferably a half day or so.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
4. Fill the tortillas with chicken, saving marinade, and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
5. Put tortillas in 9x13 pan as you go.
6. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (if there is any).
7. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas.
8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.
***
It is more Tex-Mex than true Mexican, but so, so, so delicious.  It would be really good with some yummy diced tomatoes and avocado on top as well.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frugal Friday: Cooking Ahead

My husband and I started doing something when we were first married that I didn't even realize was frugal at first.  Two to three times a week, I would freeze half of whatever we were having for dinner.  Pretty much any time we had a lasagna, enchiladas, or any other recipe that was made in a 9 x 13 pan.

For us, it was just practical.  While we don't mind leftovers, we don't necessarily want to eat them for a week.  So I started buying disposable containers whenever they were on sale so that my pans weren't always tied up in the freezer.  I would make the recipe, but put half into a storage container marked with the contents and reheating instructions.
It has been great!  Now, on busy nights or when I just don't feel like cooking I can just pull something out of the freezer!  I did this for a month and a half before we had our daughter as well.  I didn't have to cook for the first two months we had her because of our frozen meals, meals from friends, and visiting relatives.  

An added bonus is that I always have a meal to offer a new mom or sick friend. . .

How is it frugal?  Well, you're getting two meals for the price of one.  Most people make the whole meal, eat the leftovers for a few days, and then throw away the extras.  This way, your are using everything over the course of two meals.  This makes me especially happy because of how much organic food we buy.  Nothing makes me feel more sick to the stomach than throwing out those leftovers knowing full well what I paid for that meat and dairy!

Do you have any good freezer recipes?  I will try to share some of mine over the next couple Mondays. . .

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My First "Green" Book

Back in 2000, I read my very first "green" book.  A girl I waitressed with during college recommended it to me when I asked why she was a vegetarian.  After reading Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe, I began my own vegetarian experience which lasted six years (in varying degrees from vegan to pseudo-vegetarian).

Diet for a Small Planet

If you have never read it, you ought to check it out.  While I have changed a lot in my thinking on healthy living, I still think back on Diet for a Small Planet with fond memories. . .