Part-Time Cloth Diapering

What do I say to new moms who have an interest in cloth diapering but don’t know if they’re up for the switch? Buy a few cloth diapers (new or gently used) and try it out! You don’t need to make sophisticated choices about pre-folds or all-in-ones. It’s not necessary to use just one type of cloth diaper for your baby. Talk to some cloth diapering friends (and if you don’t have any, please write us!). If you have a baby boutique that carries cloth diapers in town, go see what your options are. It truly is incredibly easy–and you don’t ever need pins or plastic pants!
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Do you make your own baby food?

I had visions of whirling up organic autumn blends of apples and squash for my babes. And I did, but not for every meal. I made huge batches of sweet potatoes and mashed bananas in my blender, froze them in ice cube trays, and then stored them in zip lock bags in the freezer. It was long process, but I loved reflecting on the fact that making baby food means saving about 90% over the cost of pre-made organic baby food and avoiding the environmental costs of packaging and processing. Still, working nearly full time, not getting enough sleep and having a relatively picky baby motivated to buy jars of organic baby food to save my sanity now and then.
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Last Minute Holiday Gifts for Expecting Mothers

What do you get the woman who is transitioning into motherhood? Should you focus on pampering her or welcoming that new baby into the family? Maybe you can do a little of both!

The Earth Mama, Angel Baby “A Little Something for Mama-to-be” is a terrific gift set for a new mom at a great price! (It’s currently on sale for $15.99.) The company is based right here in Oregon and the products are naturally luxurious. The kit includes organic wellness tea, happy mama-to-be hand to toe wash, happy mama spray, earth mama body butter, and natural stretch oil.
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Top-Rated Green Gifts for Babies and Toddlers

This holiday season, I’ve been searching for the products that new parents are raving about in online reviews. It’s best to trust those currently in the trenches of early child-rearing for the gifts that children (and parents) will really love this holiday.

The Itzy Ritzy Snack Happened Snack Bag is an overwhelming favorite. Families love that it zips shut (unlike other reusable bags that seal with velcro), that it can easily contain an entire sandwich, and that it holds up well after several trips through the washing machine. The product would be perfect for baby finger foods and would easily transition to preschool within a few years. It’s a great stocking stuffer for a child too as parents are reporting that kids love the designs on the bags.
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Family Cookbook Christmas Gift Ideas

Somewhere in the midst of laundry, errands, and picky eaters, I have lost my love for preparing the family dinner. And yet I yearn for mealtime perfection…the image of my children eagerly crowding around steaming dishes of nourishment. Are simple, healthy family dinners even a possibility?

The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time is on my Christmas list. It’s packed with tips, recipes, anecdotes and green tips for a better family dinner. Somehow the fact that Laurie David (producer of An Inconvenient Truth) manages to keep her teenage children at the dinner table is inspiration enough for me.
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Is A Wooden Toy Kitchen Worth It?

For awhile my daughter was quite content to play on her adorable little Alex Wooden Cook Top Playstove. It was a great value at about $30 and also took up just a small corner of her room. Glorious! Now she’s dreaming of a bigger, more luxurious environment in which to whip up imaginary cupcakes. Have you invested in a wooden play kitchen? Was it worth the money and space in your home?

I like the simplicity of the Melissa and Doug Cook’s Corner Wooden Kitchen. It’s smaller than some and costs under $100, but I wonder if its size would limit the span of years she’d be interested in it. Have you tried this one?
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Is The Toyota Prius A Good Family Car?

After much saving and searching, we bought a used Prius a few weeks ago! How is it working out for our family? I love, love, love this car! From pushing the start button to monitoring the fuel expenditure while I drive, this is the most fun I have ever had driving.

The interior is roomy and comfortable for our family, although I don’t think it would be possible to squeeze three car seats in the back. I love the vast amounts of storage and the crazy number of cup holders throughout the Prius.

Are there any drawbacks to this glorious machine? So far my gas mileage isn’t the dreamy 50 MPG I was hoping for. The best average I’ve been able to achieve is about 44 MPG, but I’m sometimes coming in at just 40 or 42. This is still quite a bit better than I was getting with my 2001 Honda Civic, so it’s still fun to buy such small amounts of fuel every month.
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Non-Edible Halloween Treats: Fun Ideas for Trick or Treaters

Are you planning on tucking baby rutabagas or small zucchini into trick-or-treat bags to prevent tooth decay this year?

Here’s some great news, you can think outside of the box and choose some non-edible treasures for your trick or treaters. Pick a few of these ideas and toss them together into a giant bowl of goodies. Then let the princesses and vampires choose their own loot.

Stickers are cheap, fun, and will last far longer than a handful of sticky caramels.

Colorful pencils are another lasting bit of Halloween swag. Maybe they’ll even inspire a bit of art or early literacy!
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Great Maternity Halloween Costumes

The pregnant skeleton maternity costume is one of my favorites, showing the skeleton of the fetus tucked inside of the mother. My friend made her own a few years ago, but Amazon is selling these Halloween Non-Maternity Pullover Hoodie Costumes for just 34.50. Since they aren’t specifically made to accomodate pregnant women, you’ll have to be early enough in your pregnancy for these to fit well.

If you’re showing a bit more, you can go for the maternity-sized skeleton and baby t-shirt, which is equally clever and a bit roomier in the belly region.

Of course thrift shops have incredible options beyond just the costume section. Rebecca scored this “Pregnant Eighties Lady” item in the dollar bin of her local secondhand store. Doesn’t she look dashing?
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Homemade Halloween Costumes: A Family History

One of my all time favorite costumes is this pumpkin suit, purchased for four bucks at a consignment shop and used by both my children in their babyhood.

My son’s infatuation with school buses hit hard the next Halloween, so my husband made him an iron on decal for his shirt and then painted this school bus out of cardboard and attached it to the top of his red wagon. Notice the paper plate for a steering wheel. It makes me laugh to think back on how much time we had to invest in this project. (You’ll see this quality totally degrade once our second arrives!)
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