Plastic Alternatives in the Household

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Plastic is awful. I mean, it’s convenient and is easy to use and comes in all kinds of fun colors and patterns to seduce us, but underneath all that flirtation is a big skull and crossbones. I know, but my plastic is BPA free! Ok, good for your plastic. But scary new research has come out reporting that “almost all” commercially available BPA free plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren’t exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun’s ultraviolet rays. According to research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were more potent than BPA. AH!!!

Okay, so I glance in my pantry and see that although I know I shouldn’t really be using plastics, I still have quite a bit that I use on a regular basis. Damn. Baby bottles, Continue reading

Must haves for the New Mom

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This is an awesome post, I have to say it. I wish this post existed when I was first pregnant. I have about 10 friends giving birth at roughly the same time this year, so I am inspired to let them know my essential must have list for their new babies. I swear I think we wasted at least a few thousand dollars on unnecessary items that we either never needed or the kids hated. Now, 3 years in and with 2 kids under my belt, I have a perfect honed down list of the items that will change your whole life. I will also write a few tips in here with each item that makes it easier, better and cheaper. And maybe at the end I will include the waste of time and money items as well. I included a trillion links to make your life easier.

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DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decorating

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I love mason jars. We drink from them, we put flowers and plants in them, we store baby food in them, they are a staple in our home. Mostly because it is the one type of glassware we don’t break. Plus, it has a lid and looks really cute. So here are some ideas for the mason jar lover out there who feels like having some fun crafty time with the little ones.

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Replacing your Medicine Cabinet – Essential Oils

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Wow, has my life been changed by using these guys. I’m an idiot. A good friend told me all about these about 2 years ago and while I did listen, I never fully explored or embraced the uses of essential oils. I loved them, I felt that they made my house smell amazing, but I didn’t fully encompass the healing powers until now. Flash forward to my second baby, little to no sleep, desperate, and I am reminded by several other mothers that essential oils may do the trick to help my baby sleep through the night (after I also break him of the atrociously bad sleep habits I had aided him in forming as well). My first night using essential oils on my 6 month old and IMMEDIATELY he sleeps 12 hours through the night and blew my mind. THE FIRST NIGHT. Talk about instant results!!!

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Biodegradable City

We have always used biodegradable diapers in our home and tried to stop using other deposable anythings like cups, straws, paper towels etc. But if you take a look at the amount of plastic that goes into just making the trash bags and zip lock bags we use, it’s enough to make someone cry. Straight into our planet for the next million years for our children’s children to deal with. There are AMAZING alternatives that I have found, and if you have Amazon Prime you get them shipped free, without tax. I just wanted to share some bags that are as good (if not better) than the ones you are using that are killing our planet. Here ya go!

Two alternatives to rock your world (and save it).

Heavy Duty Garbage Bags (for your kitchen bins):

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Freezer Bags:

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Both are right on Amazon and easy as pie to have delivered within 2 days, shipping is FREE. Hopefully these help, I have tried a number of companies with weak bags and these stand the true test. Enjoy!

 

 

Sensory Activities to keep your Toddler Busy

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Being a mother of one is the hardest job in the world. Being a mother of 2 really takes acquiring some kind of super powers. One day is fine, smooth, perfect. The next, you are a raging lunatic in a house filled with 2 more tiny little raging lunatics. I am on a quest to find ways to make things not only easier for ME, but also ways in which I don’t have to sit my toddler down to watch Thomas the Train every time I need time with the baby. I feel so bad resorting to t.v., so here are a few things I found which not only teach your child but give you free time as well. Here we go!

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Glass Bottle Maintenance (a.k.a. Algae Anyone?)

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Last year I switched out all of my plastic from my cupboards for glass mainly because of all the health related research that has been published over the last year about plastic leaching chemicals like BPA and other nasty things contributing to Miscarriages, Alzheimer’s and Cancer etc. The FDA has yet to make a final call on banning some of these chemicals in our plastic so obviously we have to do a preemptive strike and protect ourselves first. No use being the guinea pig! So we switched out all of out Tupperware and drinking containers for glass and it has been absolutely wonderful. I did run into one tiny problem with glass though, in the carafes and water bottles I began to notice a light green film at the bottom, algae. I am not afraid of algae, some is even good for you. But no, no I don’t want algae in my drinking water. And in some of my bottles it is downright impossible to get in there and clean the bottom. So, I googled a way to get the algae out and was SHOCKED to hear advice telling me to use BLEACH!!! Seriously OMG. I would drink algae any day of the week before I put a downright POISON in my beautiful glasses to clean them!! I was laughing out loud, but at the same time I had no solution to my problem. And now I do.

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Toddler Busy Bags

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So now that I am the proud parent of an almost 2 year old, I find the challenges have shifted from lack of sleep and free time for mommy, to constantly keeping my child from running off mommy. This means in waiting rooms, grocery stores, sandwich shops, restaurants, long car rides, wherever. Jack is a mad man and zips off before I can even blink. If we are somewhere that I need to get something accomplished it can get a bit tricky and create tons of unwanted cardio for me. And now that I am expecting a new addition to the family I ask myself “How on earth am I going to do anything for the new baby when Jack needs me 24/7?”

So is this the be all end all solution I am presenting to you now? No. But it will bide some time which is all we can hope for as parents. The Busy Bag. This is a small bag you can take on the go or use at home. You can make one, you can make 20, either way it gives your child something to keep their attention and learn while you can handle your business. It’s wonderful for stimulating their minds and giving you a break at the same time. When you are ready to give full attention to your little one again, you simply put the bag back together again and move on with your day. So, here are some great ideas I’ve stolen from random Busy Bags around the globe. Also, if you are exhausted and don’t feel like making one of your own, Etsy has LOTS you can choose from pre-made and ready to go!

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Toys that your child will actually LIKE (For under $10)

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Since having Jack, I have learned one very important lesson: He goes through toys like the wind. I can buy him any gift in the world and with a few exceptions he will play with it for a day and then it’s old news. So now I have boxes and boxes of toys that he couldn’t care less about. It sucks. And to add salt to the wounds, people buy him new toys all the time. I mean, it’s so sweet, but all I think of is, “Well there is another piece of junk to add to the heaps of other junk.” It’s really is sad. Also, anyone who has kids will agree, kids always LOVE playing with things that aren’t toys, and they NEVER get tired of it. Things like kitchen bowls and spoons, measuring cups, straws, REMOTE CONTROLS, cell phones, you name it. So without droning on and on, I have recently retired all of Jack’s old toys to the garage/man cave (to my husbands dismay) and have started creating toys that keep Jack interested and can also help him learn and develop. Here are a few and I will add more when I can: Continue reading

Diaper Genie – With a Twist

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I didn’t go for the whole Diaper Genie at first. I was like, “Why do I need that? My small trash can with the lid works just fine! Yay me!” And then Jack became older and older and his poops started smelling worse and worse and finally I was like, “Dang boy!” and I buckled and bought one. First thing that came to my mind, besides that I wished I had thought of this genius invention myself and was making millions from it, was that it seemed very un-eco-friendly and that it also seemed a little expensive. I mean, the refills are like $16 (which means about $400-$500 a year), they only last a short time, and none of it is biodegradable. I bought one anyways because of the stink, but immediately worked on figuring a way around both the cost and the anti-earth friendly aspects of my new purchase. BOOM, done and done. Here is the skinny.

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My Morning Chlorophyll

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Each morning when you wake, your body has spent the evening rejuvenating and detoxing from the day before. Common sense: drink a ton of water as soon as you wake up, before you eat any food. This flushes all the toxins from your body instead of having them reincorporated, and you can begin your day clear headed and toxin free. At least two 8 ounce glasses. BUT, if you want to step it up a notch, here is what I have been doing and it has had so many immediate benefits that I am forced to write about it here.

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My pack n’ play savior

The pack n’ play is good for many things, but sleeping is NOT one of them. It comes with a “mattress” made from a board with almost no padding. Laying jack down to sleep on this thing was like Chinese torture, for both him and us. And I don’t blame him! It’s awful! After several trips to baby stores I have found that no mattress is made for the pack n’ play except a flimsy plastic one with no padding as well, which Jack saw right through and again tossed and turned, and cried. A lot. After half of his one year on this planet and zero solutions I had just about given up until BOOM! A fellow mother came to my rescue and asked me to look into the Mamadoo travel mattress. I immediately went home, googled it, and there it was. Angelic voices were suddenly singing all around me. A fold up mattress that was and comfy and incorporated the board mattress that came with the pack n’ play.

Since using this mattress, it is like I put Jack to sleep in his own crib! I don’t even use a sheet on top, it is that comfy. The mattress is made of organic material, and fits in our luggage. How ridiculous is that? In our dang luggage? I can’t speak enough on this subject, just know that it is the be all end all solution to all travel sleep problems and you need to look no further.

Feast your eyes. You’re welcome.

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Stepping it up a Notch

So last week I spent time trying, and succeeding, to go chemical free. It has actually been amazing, the house is fresh and clean and I feel free from a film on my skin of chemicals and perfumes. Jack has been coughing less and we are a happy little unit. I don’t even smell bad from the natural deodorant, although I do freshen up in the middle of the day with a little extra application. My hair is still adjusting to the natural shampoo, and I am trying all natural beauty products. I will write some reviews on what I like and what I hate beauty wise in a later blog, I have to make sure.

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The Diaper Dilemma

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As soon as we had Jack we thought, “Okay, diapers are something we need to think about very seriously.” The reason this was such a serious topic in our home was because we have always tried to do our best to leave as little impact on the planet as we could in life, and diapers are the be all end all of impact on our poor earth. But babies HAVE to wear them, so what could we do????
A child will go through several thousand diapers in the life. An estimates 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used in the United States each year, resulting in about 3.4 million tons of non biodegradable waste that will remain here forever. And forever is a long long time.

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