Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Green Bee - Organic Clothing For Kids!

     For any mom who has learned about the massive amount of chemicals on conventional cotton, a quest of sorts begins to find organic clothing. Most mom's don't want to go broke buying organic clothing, but usually organic tends to be more expensive. Why? Because the workers are actually paid fair wages and you are paying for health and a piece of sustainability. It's worth the cost. I am by no means a rich woman, but we manage to wear only organic clothing just fine. And we look good doing it, especially my daughter! :0)

     While scouring the internet for places that sell organic clothing, I stumbled upon the Happy Green Bee website. Here I found some amazingly adorable, totally unique, organic clothes! Everything is 100% organic and fair trade as well, which is always an extra comfort. The clothing is not only beautiful, but it's quality clothing. When our package arrived it was filled with quality cotton clothing, not cheap thin material you can see through and that doesn't last long. The clothes are well made and the designs are very unique - I haven't seen anything else like them. I ordered 4 dresses all with matching pants or leggings. I believe little girls should wear something under their dresses because they are little ladies, and they don't always remember how to sit like ladies! Above is my daughter wearing the A-Line Sundress in pumpkin/butterscotch/radish/bean with matching pants. It's adorable and very soft. We also picked up the Petal Dress in the same color scheme because my daughter just loved the colors! That dress is pictured below.

     We also got the Petal Dress in watermelon/sky as well. That dress and her blanket in the same color scheme match her lovely doll. Now this was my daughter's favorite item in the whole package! She has not let this doll leave her side upon it's arrival today. It's so soft and it matches her watermelon/sky Petal Dress - something my daughter thinks is so wonderful! :0) She's already asking me to get her a sister doll!

     We also got a Blossom Dress in bluebell with matching tights, and two adorable little hats. One hat is the Sock Hat and it's long and got a pointed tip on top which is too cute, and the other is the Muffin Hat which looks like a smaller version of a colorful bakers hat. That's exactly what my daughter decided it was for - her to bake in her play kitchen while wearing her new hat. Lastly we got the Girls Sport Suit bathing suit in pumpkin/butterscotch/radish/bean color scheme. It's adorable! They offer such great organic alternatives to the massive amounts of pesticide covered or synthetic chemical created clothing in most stores. When you find a company that makes good quality organic clothing like this you are so thankful and appreciative! If you haven't already please check out their website:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cous Cous w/ Kale, Mushrooms Dried Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds Recipe *

     I have been taking pictures of my kitchen creations when I remember and just forgetting to post the recipes. :0P So here is another one of our simple but delicious and filling recipes!

     I buy cous cous in bulk because we use so much of it and to cut down on packages. For the two of us I just use one cup of cous cous but for larger families you can use more as needed. I start by putting 1 cup of water and a little oil and salt into a pot. You an add oil and salt to taste. I use olive oil instead of butter or margarine. I put it on high heat and wait until it starts to boil. In the mean time I get out a frying pan, kale, mushrooms, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. I add oil to cover the bottom of the pan so I can sautee everything without burning it. I usually use 3 piece of kale but you can use less or more to taste. You can use the stems if you like, if not just use the leaves. I rinse mine, then I rip it into pieces and put it in my frying pan. I will take 2 big mushrooms or 3-4 little mushrooms, wash them, and then chop them up. I like my pieces chunky. I will set the heat for the frying pan at medium high.

     By now the water in the pot is usually boiling so I remove it from heat and slowly add 1 cup of cous cous. I stir it so it's all evenly covered with water and then leave it alone. I sautee my kale and mushrooms and then add the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries a couple minutes before they are done. I use a handful of cranberries and a handful of sunflower seeds, but you can add the amount you prefer. Once the food in the frying pan is done I add it to the pot with the cous cous. Sometimes because I don't use butter the cous cous can be a little dry so adding the oil in the pan I sauteed with gives it moisture and more flavor. I add salt to taste and then it's done! It's pretty filling and it's child approved - my daughter loves it! :0)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plastic State Of Mind

Here is a great video based on the song Empire State of Mind – but this version has an actual MESSAGE that is IMPORTANT, so check it out! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Our Family Chooses Organic

     I get a lot of questions about why I try to buy mostly organic, if not natural products. It's something I've researched and I feel is very important, not only to my family, but for our planet. When you start talking about the planet people automatically assume you are a hippie, which I am not. But I do believe deeply in living in a sustainable fashion, in being kind to the Earth, and in trying to live as naturally as possible. 60-70 there wasn't as much unnatural stuff on the market. 150 years ago there was even less. With the influx of so many unnatural and chemically created things there has been a lot of damage done to our planet, as well as to us. I feel that the healthiest way to live is as naturally as possible. This does not mean we don't go to the doctor, because we do when it is necessary. I do try to take care of simple illnesses at home before rushing in for an antibiotic or medicine. My daughter does have her shots because I feel the pros heavily outweigh the unconfirmed cons. But with our day to day life I try to live, as much as I can, to how things were 150 years ago.

     What does this mean? Well first and foremost we eat only organic foods as much as possible. Most of the time it's pretty close to 100% of the time. I do allow the occasional deviation from that, but it's few and far between and I feel badly after I do. Not just conscience badly, but physically as well! My body dislikes it and makes that very clear. So we try to keep our "cheats" to a minimum. Instead we try to make our own treats that still stick with our healthy eating habits, like a picnic with food from home, or out to eat a restaurant that serves organic foods. Once you get into the routine of eating mostly organic you really don't want to eat the other stuff as much. I watched a great movie called Food Inc. and I recommend everyone watches it, as well as videos similar to it. It helps you get a look into the food that isn't organic, and it really grosses you out. For us it was just another nail in the coffin of non-organic and non-natural foods. For those of you who think this cannot be done with children - please think again. My 4 year old loves vegetables and fruits! We go to the grocery store and she helps me get the items we need, and we discover new foods together. She loves it! And we both eat the same things for meals, and it appeals to both of us.

     Another thing that bothered me was the artificial colorings in most foods these days. These coloring are linked to horrible diseases such as cancer, as well as lifelong illnesses such as asthma. So we cut out foods with them in it. But they aren't just in foods. They are in vitamins, pills, and personal care products! So if you are trying to avoid those things you have to keep an eye out for them. Look for organic vitamins, pills that do not have a color coating, make-ups and skin care products labelled as organics. Personal care products are highly problematic because of the massive amount of chemicals in them, again some are are linked to horrible diseases and illnesses. Avoid sodium laurel sulphate! Avoid parabens! So for us, we switch to homemade personal care products for most of what we use, and anything we have to buy is natural and organic. My hair never looks better! And I do not pay $20 for a fancy conditioner or shampoo. There is so much that we have in our kitchens that we can use to take care of the outsides of our bodies.

     Cleaning products are another issue because the chemicals are harsh and very dangerous. I make my cleaners at home now and they work just as well. Plus, I do not have to worry about my daughter dying from ingesting lemon juice and vinegar! I did worry she might ingest a chemical cleaner and die though. Toys - as we all can remember there are recalls on toys every year. Not only should we be avoiding lead, but PVC products as well. So we are replacing toys with organic toys. It's not always a fast process because there are cost considerations. But replacing items here and there when you can, owning less toys but higher quality toys, and selling the other toys, helps a lot with the costs. Do you really want to question what is on and in that toy your toddler currently has in their mouth? No!

     I am not longer buying clothing that isn't organic. I don't want to question what chemicals are against the skin or myself and my child. And it helps keep my clothes spending in check. Generally organic clothing can cost a little bit more, but it is very much worth it. However, it does keep you from impulsively spending because you have a bit of a higher cost to consider. To be completely honest we do not need most of the clothing we buy. How much of it do we actually wear? So I've picked out staple items I like and will wear that are organic. I plan to replace everything in my closet with organic materials, but again this is not an overnight process. It does not have to break your wallet either! Look for sales. Stores such as Wal-Mart and Target now carry many organic articles of clothing. Check eBay, Etsy, and other online retailers. Raid your local thrift stores for organic articles of clothing. If it's like a treasure hunt it will make it all that more exciting to find a great piece! And you can save money not buying new clothes every single time you go to the store. Organic blankets, stuffed animals, toys, undergarments, jewelry - these are all other things I plan to replace with organic or eco-friendly.

     Why organic? Because you are buying a piece of sustainability, you are buying naturalness. You are helping to support products that are better for us and for our planet. The planet does not have an infinite amount of resources available to us. We need to realize that and do what we can to use less of them so that there are more resources available in the future. I have a child, and I want her to have a planet with those resources. :) If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brown Rice w/ Egg and Cabbage Recipe *

     Hopefully the title of this recipe did not scare you off :o) The meal was delicious! This was lunch today. I've found it's much easier to keep a menu planned so I always have something to make, and it cuts down on grocery costs. Usually I stick with it. Sometimes I like to go into my kitchen, look at what I have and then put something together from what sounds good. Today I decided to try something new.

     I had brown rice already made and I had been wanting to try the purple cabbage my daughter picked out from the grocery store. For some reason it sounded really good to add egg to the mix. So I chopped the head of cabbage in half, cut it up and put it to boil, adding a little salt and a little sweetener to the water. Once it reached a boil lowered it to simmer and covered it. I then scrambled 3 eggs, and then added in the rice to heat with the cooked eggs. Once the cabbage was done I strained it over an empty bowl to catch the now purple blue cabbage water. I added the cabbage to the rice and egg mix, then added some of the cabbage water to it for flavor while cooking them together. I added a bit more salt to taste and voila!

     Next time I plan to try this with green cabbage as to avoid the bluish tint it gave the food, which was highly amusing to my daughter. :o) But it was delicious! We both finished off the whole pan full. The meal was a hit and full of protein.