Summer Fun and Eco Friendly Drinkware for Kids

This eco friendly drinkware for kids post was brought to you by Silikids.  All opinions are mine.

We celebrated the first day of Summer with a trip to the park and splash pad.  The boys had really been looking forward to a family picnic, so we thought it was the perfect time.  I packed some deli meat, cheese, blueberries, and crackers, as well as some juice and water to drink.  We arrived at the park and decided to eat first because we were all hungry.

I have been trying to use as much eco friendly dishes as possible, and our picnic was the perfect time to try out our new drinkware from Silikids.  The boys were excited to drink out of something more "grown up" and "cool."  I was excited that they were drinking from eco friendly glass without BPA and leeching chemicals, that is protected to some degree with a silicon sleeve.

Eco Friendly Drinkware from Silikids

While D is great at drinking out of an open cup, sometimes sippy cups are preferred.  The boys were actually both trying to get to drink out of this 8 oz glass sippy cup because it is colorful and holds 2 oz more than the cups.  
Glass Sippy Cup from Silikids
Silikids Eco Friendly Drinkware
Eco Friendly Drinkware for Kids

Other great aspects of Silikids glassware:

  • silicone grips glass
  • air suction keeps top of sippy cup in place
  • dishwasher safe
  • can be boiled to sterilize
  • easy to hold
  • shock absorption design
  • 2 pack 6 oz. glass cups (in tart or sea colors) sold for $12.95
  • 8 oz. glass sippy cup sold for $12.95
  • replacement glasses only $3 each
  • can be purchased on the Silikids website, Amazon, or find a store near you

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Enjoy your summer and take Silikids anywhere to keep kids hydrated so you can have more of this:

Splash Park Fun

*contains affiliate links*

Eco Friendly Mother’s Day Crafting with Elmer’s Naturals

I participated in this Elmer's Naturals campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Elmer's. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Both of the boys are really into crafts right now.  It doesn't matter what it is, if it involves any kind of paint, makers, glue, etc, they're super excited.  That's why when we received our box of Elmer's Naturals eco friendly glue, this was the genuine expression on the Captain's face:

glue

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Organic Shopping Doesn’t Have To Be Painful

When I first started buying organic, researching foods, and reading labels, I had a really hard time venturing from my couponing, cheapskate  ways, trying to find the best deal on "food," but what I realized quickly was that what we had been buying wasn't really food at all.  Sure I could find cheap junk food, cereals with food dye and dangerous additives, and get great deals on fruit straight from other countries, but when I started examing where our food came from and what was in it, I realized that sometimes paying a higher price now is better than paying for it later.  

Earthbound Farm Organic

I was introuced to Earthbound Farm Organic in the grocery store when I started shopping wisely.  Earthbound Farm Organic has a great guide to shopping on their website, to make green shopping easier.  Here are some great tips from the website:

[Read more...]

The Mosquitos Are Coming..Prepare Your Yard With These Mosquito Repelling Plants

mosquito repelling plants

Last year, the West Nile Virus was a daily topic on our local news.  The CDC reports that as of December 11, 2012, 48 states had reported cases of the West Nile disease in people, birds, or mosquitos.  A total of 5,387 cases in people were reported, including 243 deaths.  [source]  While there's truly nothing we can do to prevent the spread of West Nile 100%, there are a few things we can do to help.  Make sure you have good screens on your doors and windows, dump out any standing water, wear long sleeves and pants at dusk and dawn, and wear a safe  homemade insect repellent when going outdoors during dusk or dawn.  I'm not a fan of the trucks and planes that spray who knows what to kill  mosquitos, but we have little control over that, too.  Since now is the time for planting gardens and fixing up your yard, I was curious as to what plants might deter mosquitos from coming into our yard.  Here are a few suggestions for mosquito repelling plants!

mosquito repellent

Marigolds – great flowers that aphids and mosquitos both hate!

Lemon geraniums – rub the leaves to release the scent that repel mosquitos.

Ageratum – beautiful dwarf flowers that repel mosquitos.

Rosemary – An herb that can repel mosquitos and be used in your cooking!

insect repellent

Catnip – Cats love to rub up against this plant, which is great for releasing the scent.

Citronella – One of the most popular ingredients in mosquito repellents.

Basil – Multi-use herb, great for the kitchen, smelly enough that mosquitos stay away.

[source]

Lemon Grass – great plant to grow in flowerbeds, landscape areas or containers to repel mosquitos.  Just rub the grass to release the scent.

I have also been seeing these Mosquito plants.  I wondered what these were, and ehow says:  "Mosquito plants are actually a scented African geranium with genetic material from Chinese citronella grass injected into it. These goal of mixing these hardy plants, available every spring at garden centers, is to repel mosquitos. As with most herbal solutions, the effect of this relative of the garden geranium is subtle."  Hmm…interesting.
.

Use these plants in your gardens and flowerbeds, all around the house and where pesky mosquitos might find human skin.  Adorn your patio with potted plants and rub the leaves before any gathering to keep mosquitos at bay.  

Do you have any great suggestions for naturally repelling mosquitos?

 

 

**contains affiliate links – photos courtesy of morguefile.com**

What Does Being Green Mean?

green

There are a LOT of variations of the term "green," I've come to find out.  It's popular to be green in today's society, but what's funny to me is that people who all claim to be "green" can think other people going "green" are not "going green" at all!  But, there are different variants of "green" and making little changes are all that matters, in my opinion.

You've heard me talk about how some companies love to use the word "natural" or "green" when there's really nothing natural or green about them.  Just because a company claims to be natural (or simple,) you really have to read the label.  When something is popular, companies take advantage of it and try to sell us stuff that isn't in line with the true meaning of green or natural.  I've been duped, too, it's okay.  We live and learn!

Back to the question - what does being green even mean?  Well, green can mean totally giving up fast food, processed foods, foods treated with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and GMOs, while recycling, planting a garden, giving up your car for a bike instead….the list goes on and on and on.  For me personally, going green is a mindset.  Before a purchase a product, I'm careful to inspect the label.  If it's a food item, I don't buy it if it contains high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, BHT, and I other ingredients.  We have a tiny garden, but we also buy produce from the grocery store.  We buy organic food, but we also buy non-organic food sometimes.  For us and our bank account right now, it's a healthy mix.  I really admire the green people who have their own garden, cows, goats, chickens, and more.  Right now, that's not for us, but who knows…maybe some day!

So to sum it up, going green is just a frame of mind.  It's a process.  It's about making little changes to do the best you can possibly do for your family within your means.  It's about tossing the chemicals and reading labels.  It's about looking for alternatives.  It's about not simply trusting big companies and doing your own research.  BUT…and I really stress this….it's about NOT turning up your nose to others' choices that may not be so green.  Who am I to judge what someone else feeds their family?  We haven't totally sworn off fast food and soda and some stuff that I don't approve on DOES sneak into our diets.  We're just doing the best that we can!

What does being green mean to YOU?

 

April Blog Writing Challenge

Wordless Wednesday: Dyeing Eggs

IF

The Captain and Baby D loved dyeing eggs with our eco-friendly kit

Get Green For Spring! {giveaway closed}

 
The "Get Green For Spring" Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mommy's Favorite Things and Mama's Baby Cupcakes, is here!  This event is focused on items that are either green in color or green/earth friendly for the environment. After you've visited my giveaway, visit other blogs in the linky below for more great prizes!
 
 
Be sure to check out the Grand Prize at Mommy's Favorite Things for a chance to win a $250 Gift Certificate for Cellular Window Shades as seen in the above photo. They offer a great way to keep costs down and look great in the process!
 
Here's my prize:
 
Audra's Sweet Tingly Mint All Purpose & Glass Cleaner Concentrate Set
 
 
audras
 
AND
Benecos Loose Mineral Powder from Love True Natural, in winner's choice of shade.

benecos

 

Enter in the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

Giveaway has ended and Terri T. is the lucky winner!

Eco-Friendly Easter Gifts

 

eco-friendly gifts

Since becoming a parent, I've become amazed at all the candy and gifts we parents give our kids at every possible opportunity.  We like to celebrate Valentine's Day, Easter, birthday, Christmas, Halloween, and more, all with candy and stuff our kids don't really need.  Here are some of my suggestions for the best eco-friendly Easter gifts this year!

1.  Rainbow Plush Fabric Alphabet Letters from Crunchy Farm Baby  - $38 – handmade with 100% cotton fabrics – super cute, educational gift for toddlers and preschoolers!  Get the magnetic version for $50.

eco friendly Easter

2.  Bunny Natural Wood Teether from Montana Solar Creation – $10.95 – Handmade with natural, untreated hard wood, and will not splinter.  What a great eco-friendly gift for a teething baby or toddler!

eco-friendly Easter gift

3.  Nature's Magic Egg Dyeing Kit from Wee Can Too – $16 – The dyes are all natural and edible, made with fruit and vegetable powders.  

 

we can too

4. Organic Easter Honey Bunny Soft Doll from Jen Galaxy Designs - $24 – This adorable little bunny is handmade with organic cotton and filled with poly-fill and rice.

 

Jen Galaxy Designs

5.  Travel Chalkboard Mat from Mommy Loves Maddy – $9-$15 – Super cute way to keep the kids entertained in the car!  It rolls up nicely for storage and you can pick out the fabric, too.  Just add chalk and imagination!

 

Mommy Loves Maddy

6.  Eco Kids Natural Plant Dye Molding Dough – $17 – This dough is made with plant, fruit, and vegetable extracts.  It contains no chemicals, artificial dyes, or metals.  

 

Easter

7.  Indie Candy large chocolate bunny - $10 – allergen free, free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

 

easter chocolate

8.  Resurrection Eggs – $11 – Okay, maybe this is a stretch because these plastic eggs aren't really "eco-friendly," but when you compare them to other Easter gifts we give, these Resurrection Eggs are loved and well used by my kids, to teach the story of the true meaning of Easter.  Each egg contains a small "trinket" to teach different parts of the Easter story of Jesus' death and resurrection.

 

gifts

9.  Haba Wooden Eggs in a Carton – $10 – These wooden eggs are perfect for pretend play!

 

eggs

10.  Organic Easter Egg Blend Radishes from Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. from – $2.25 for 100+ seeds – I love these beautiful heirloom, organic radishes that look like little Easter eggs!  Any gardener or child would love to grow these pink, red, purple, and white radishes!

 

seeds

11.  Lastly, if you need a few eco-friendly gifts for yourself, your child's teacher, or a friend, Tropical Traditions carries Organic Fair Trade coffee at only $8.99 a bag.

 

eco friendly

 

 

**contains affiliate links**

Grab Great, Green Discounts with GreenDeals and GoGreen Marketplace!

daily deals

I'm sure you're already familiar with all of the daily deal sites, but I want to introduce you to a daily GREEN deal site, GreenDeals.  If you want consistency in a deal site offering products that are eco-friendly and good for you, this is your one stop shop.  New deals are added every week, and they have plenty to choose from.  For instance, if you're looking to save on organic tea, check out this deal.  You can save 28% on a four pack of tea plus sweetener:

esutra

Or save 30% off of a organic travel pillow:

pillow

And if you're looking for eco-friendly Valentine's gifts, save 30% on recycled sterling silver jewelry:

jewelry

green deals

If you'd rather have access to great green products all the time, then the GoGreen Marketplace by GreenDeals is open for you!  The GoGreen Marketplace has everything from books, beauty products, vitamins, kitchen cleaners, personal care products, and much, much more.  They also offer FREE shipping with a $50 purchase and you can earn points with every dollar you spend.  Get all of your eco-friendly and sustainable products for everyone in your household and office.  GoGreen Marketplace offers great deals on eco-friendly brands like Green Toys, Clean Well, Bambu, and more!

Coupon Code Alert:  Save $5 off of your order at GreenDeals and GoGreen Marketplace!  Just enter code "fussybuckets5" at checkout!

Follow Green Deals on Twitter and Facebook.

Enter to win a $25 credit to GreenDeals in the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends on February 23, 2013.  Good luck!

The giveaway is over and Sam D. is the winner!

*disclosure:   This sponsored post contains affiliate links.*

Green Kid Crafts

gift ideas

logo

Captain Fussybuckets loves to get mail and he loves to do crafts.  And his mommy likes for him to learn about reusing, recycling, and not being wasteful.  What's the perfect gift for him?  Green Kid Crafts, the discovery boxes for kids ages 3-8.  GKC is a socially responsible, green company that provides educational crafts for kids while being eco friendly at the same time.

When we received the Food Adventures Box from Green Kid Crafts.  The Captain was so excited to get crafts that were specifically for him.  He chose the fishing game first.  All of the supplies needed were right in the box, except for scissors:

Green Kids Crafts

We read the directions together and quickly we had our fun Fishing Game set up.  (He chose the fishing location.)

Green Kids Crafts

The Fishing Game was fun for both the Captain and Baby D.  The Captain helped cut out a fish from the recycled felt and both boys enjoyed fishing for the felt fish!

green kids crafts

The next day, he wanted to make the Ceramic Tile Coaster.  Again, the directions AND materials were listed on the page:

green kids crafts

I really like that Green Kid Crafts utilizes everything, like the back of the directions.  They include pictures and games on the back of every directions page.  This game was a healthy food matching game:

green kids crafts

The Captain really enjoyed playing with the ceramic tiles and sorting them by color:

green kids crafts

After they were sorted, he set to work on his coaster that he decided to give to Daddy:

green kids crafts

Isn't it beautiful?  We used a little too much glue, but it dried well and Daddy just loved his gift for his office!

green kids crafts

Green Kid Crafts has projects that kids can do by themselves or with a little bit of help, but that they can be proud of!  The last craft in our box was the Basil and Sprouts growing project.  Again, we followed the directions and the Captain was able to do just about everything by himself, with me (and Baby D) looking on.  

green kids crafts

I couldn't be more happy with our Green Kid Crafts box.  I would have been completely happy with the three projects/crafts, but there was MORE in the box!  This was Baby D's favorite extra – Annie's Cheddar Bunnies!!!

Green Kid Crafts

There were also some coupons and recipes for great organic food from Mambo Sprouts!

Subscriptions to Green Kid Crafts are available on a monthly basis or in 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions.  The GKC boxes would make a great gift and a subscription to GKC would be, as well!!  The monthly subscription cost is $19.50 and includes shipping.  The Food Adventures kit is $25.50 if you want to buy one individually.

From now until December 15th, you can take 15% off of your entire order by entering code "BLOGGY" at checkout at Green Kid Crafts.

Follow Green Kid Crafts on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to stay up to date on information and discounts!