February 21st, 2013
I always consider recipes calling for butternut squash to be a pain in the ass. It’s just the hours of roasting and the cutting at awkward angles that discourages me from buying it. However, I love butternut squash and it’s so good for the whole family. I have overlooked this easy alternative and will make it a staple from now on.
Here is my favorite recipe calling for butternut squash. I put it in the oven, not a skillet, and I substitute corn tortillas for the lasagna since I am gluten intolerant.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA
February 17th, 2013
Eat your greens and organize your Legos! Forget the Container Store and reuse these easy to open and stack containers by Organic Girl.
November 29th, 2012
Sewn Natural Organic Sleeping Bag $295- I love this Etsy shop for its organic bedding, pillows and all around cozy items. This handmade sleeping bag is great for home, sleepovers and camping. Conventional sleeping bags usually contain toxic PVC, polyfill and dangerous flame retardants. Their nap mats are fabulous too!
Angel Baby Bath Blossoms $5.95 - An herbal bath for fussy kids can be the difference between a good or a bad night’s sleep. Packaged in easy to use sachets, filled with pure, organic blossoms of Calendula, Chamomile, Rosebuds and Lavender along with Lemon Balm and moisturizing Oatmeal. Sure to soothe your little one.
Eeko Leeko Organic Sherpa Polar Bear $40- Each doll is filled with all natural kapok fiber and walnut shells for bean bag weight. The dolls are sewn with only organic cotton thread and their faces are made with hand stitched soy/wool yarn.
Resurrected Threads Upcycled Snow Pixie Hat $35- If your child is between 6-18 months, this is an adorable pick. Each of these hats are made of recycled 100% wool felt -soft, warm, and stretchy, with a recycled t-shirt lining and ties.
Aroma Home Snuggle Hottie $30- These heating pads are great for cold nights or when your child comes down with a cold, fever or tummy ache. Insert filled with natural wheat grain and pure essential oils. Aroma Home is now offering hand warmers also.
No Matter What, by Debbie Gliori $6.99- The perfect bedtime story.
Wooly Baby Slippers $29 and up- These upcycled slippers pair nicely with pajamas providing warmth and non-slip safety. Soft enough to be worn to bed and around the house. Ecologically made from densely felted wool sweaters.
Snug Organics Alpaca Sleeper $98- Pajamas handmade in Peru of 100% baby alpaca. Similar to cashmere, alpaca is a silky, soft, durable fiber that has unique thermal properties due to the microscopic air pockets found within it. Festive for the holidays and multifunctional all winter long.
Snug Organics Sherpa Sleeper $58- Warm and cozy romper for sleeping, sledding, skiing, skating and strolling around town. You won’t be able to stop snuggling when you find your little one wrapped in organic cotton sherpa. The perfect holiday gift!
November 2nd, 2012
Sometimes it can be tough to fit healthy nuts, seeds, oils, and grains into a child’s diet. With the endless amount of packaged food kids are accustomed to, I always feel great about my boys snacking on these homemade chewy granola bars. You’ll never want to go back to the packaged bars after being able to incorporate your own ingredients loaded with fiber and brain-boosting omega-3s.
BRAINY GRANOLA BARS
2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cups ground flax
3/4 cups chopped walnuts (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, etc.)
3/4 cups dried cranberries (raisins, dark chocolate, dried cherries, etc.)
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (walnut, avocado, olive or other)
2 egg whites
1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13″x9″ metal baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
2.) In a glass dish, spread oats and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. Stir at 1 minute increments. Oats can also be browned in the oven. Cool to room temperature.
3.) In a large bowl, combine oats, flax, nuts, seeds, dried berries, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in honey, oil, and egg whites until mixed well. Transfer to prepared pan. Use wet hands to press into an even layer.
4.) Bake for 35 minutes until dark golden brown. Cool in pan.
5.) When completely cool, use foil to transfer to cutting board. Cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into halves or thirds. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to one week or in the freezer for a month.
*Adapted from Good Housekeeping
Share your own variations of this recipe in the comments below!
September 25th, 2012
Alpaca clothing’s claim to fame is that it is as soft as cashmere and warmer than wool. It is not prickly and bears no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. In addition to being super cozy, alpaca clothing is also breathable, lightweight and durable. Its superior warmth is due to microscopic air pockets that provide thermal insulation. Alpaca wear is sustainable and eco-friendly. It doesn’t contain the harmful chemical toxins that are often found in synthetic and conventional clothing.
Why Alpaca Clothing for Kids?
Alpaca baby clothes regulate a normal body temperature to prevent overheating or suffocation. Because blankets are not recommended for use in cribs by the CPSC and the AAP, young children need to be wearing their blanket. Children are ultra-sensitive to chemicals such as flame-retardants, and to synthetic materials such as polyester. It is always best to dress babies in natural fibers that are non-toxic and breathable. As far as wool is concerned, baby alpaca is the finest and is naturally flame resistant without having to be snug-fitting, which makes it perfect for sleepwear. Again, it doesn’t contain lanolin, making the material hypoallergenic and ideally suited for babies and people with sensitive skin. We all know how messy kids can be and that’s why it’s important to buy alpaca clothing, which is washable with a low tendency for shrinkage and minimal matting or pilling.
Baby Alpaca Pajamas and Rompers
Snug Organics offers 100% baby alpaca sleepers made in Peru. “Baby Alpaca” is classified not by the age of the animal, but by the diameter of the fiber, this being the finest. We’ve noticed that wearing a thin organic cotton layer underneath results in the most comfort throughout the day and night. Our baby alpaca pajamas are basically wearable alpaca baby blankets for sleeping and as all day rompers during the cold fall and winter months. Most children don’t want to take this multifunctional item off!
Caring for Alpaca Clothing
100% baby alpaca clothing is antibacterial and hypoallergenic. It does not need to be washed often. Spot clean with lukewarm water, vinegar, or lemon juice and air out. For best results, hand wash garment in lukewarm water with baby shampoo for 2-3 minutes and rinse. Gently squeeze water out and lay flat to dry. Alpaca wear can also be machine washed in cool water on a gentle cycle without agitation. Lay flat to dry. Store in a sealed cotton bag with an herbal repellant such as cedar or lavender during summer months.
September 18th, 2012
I had to pass on this great find to any moms out there who ended up with melasma during or after pregnancy. I have always had a difficult time finding the right daily (non-toxic) moisturizer/sunblock combo. With melasma it’s so critical to be completely protected from the sun, but without the ghost-like appearance that most natural sunblocks cause. This one is by Josie Maran and it is a zinc and argan oil combo. It’s light and smells great.
Here’s the official description from Josie’s website:
Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ is your skins first defense against premature aging. This natural formula physically blocks UVA rays that can cause up to 80% of premature aging. It also blocks the harmful UVB rays we encounter on sunny days or at the beach. Unlike traditional sun blocks, this natural formula is infused with Josie’s signature ingredient, Argan Oil, which repairs and reverses damage caused by the sun, fights sign of aging and improves skin tone for a radiant, renewed complexion. This sun block is extra mild and fast absorbing. It can also double as a great makeup primer. Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ is lightweight, Paba Free, and for all skin types.
I’m buying the jumbo size next time and no, I didn’t receive free samples. I’d like some though.
What are your favorite non-toxic beauty products for face?
September 11th, 2012
September is a big birthday month for our extended family. With three of the boys’ ten cousins celebrating another year, I was looking for gift ideas. Birthdays for children have become so excessive. I didn’t want to add to the mountains of gifts they receive at their super huge parties, where everyone in the class must be invited.
I came across the World Wildlife Fund, which offers symbolic species adoptions. There are 100 species to choose from and for a donation of $50 or more, the recipient receives the following:
Soft plush version of your adopted animal
Reusable WWF gift bag
Formal adoption certificate
Full-color photo of your species
Species spotlight card, full of fascinating information about the animal
Personalized acknowledgment letter to your gift recipient.
I see this as a great way to educate kids about helping our planet and teaching them about the needs of endangered species. We just sent my nephew, Rocco, a symbolic adoption of a Darwin’s Fox. We’ll see how he likes it! Giving to this amazing cause instead of adding to the over-consumption of plastic toys seems like a great trade-off to me.
July 13th, 2012
Art Students League of Denver has been a great place to support Finn’s interest in art. Summer is the perfect time to supplement what sometimes cannot be covered in school.
July 12th, 2012
My sons love these Morning Rounds by Ozery Bakery. Apple Cinnamon is their favorite. Pick them up at Whole Foods.