Kids and Backyard Chickens

chickensWe have had chickens in the past, along with goats, turkeys and ducks, but only when we lived in rural areas. We left our quasi-homesteading life three years ago so we could stop commuting and we now live in town and within a mile of our son’s school and our jobs. We love walking and biking everywhere and really like our neighbors but the thing we missed the most was chickens. So a few months ago I impulse purchased five baby chicks from a feed store when out and about with our son.  Three were Rhode Island Reds and the other two were unknown breeds but we were told they were cold-hardy and good layers.

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Book Review: Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball

Nick’s Very First Day of BaseballNicks-Very-First-Day-of-Baseball

I have an almost-four year old and we recently discovered the book Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball, by Kevin Christofora. Baseball is a big topic around our house even though neither my husband nor I are big fans. I think our son hears about it in school a lot. The book follows a little boy named Nick from when his mom signed him up for baseball to the end of his first practice. The book has little activities in it too. There is one page where the child has to find all the baseballs and at the end is a list of words that might be new and a quiz.
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Product Review: JAWS Cleaners

JAWS Just Add Water System

Just Add Water System

Just Add Water System

We recently received a JAWS – Just Add Water System Complete Home Cleaning Kit to review. JAWS uses reusable spray bottles and little cartridges of highly concentrated cleaning ingredients. You just fill the spray bottles with water and all you need to buy after investing in your first set is the cartridges of cleaning solution.

We tried all four — Shower, Hardwood, Kitchen and Glass. In terms of efficacy, these products are good. My favorite was the glass cleaner. I looked online at other reviews and I am not alone. The stuff really works. It’s way better and more effective than Windex or its generic equivalents. My mirrors are all streak-free and I hardly used any of the cleaner.
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Product Review: Mary’s Gone Crackers

Mary’s Gone Crackers Review

Mary’s Gone Crackers, started by Mary Waldner, sells organic, gluten free, kosher, non-GMO, nut-free and vegan crackers, “twigs” and cookies. If you’re hosting a get-together, you can rest assured that even your special-diet guests will be able to enjoy Mary’s Gone Crackers products.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

marys-chocolate-chip-cookiesI recently had the opportunity to try her chocolate chip cookies, which somehow managed taste buttery while using no dairy ingredients at all. They are to overly crumbly or too dense like lots of gluten free cookies and have a good texture, taste and consistency. They are not low in fat. Two cookies have 15% of your daily saturated fat intake but they are chock full of wholesome nutritious ingredients like chia seeds, carob powder and organic dark chocolate. Which is good because I was not able to stop at two.
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Organic and Chemical Free Mattresses

Organic Chemical-Free AND Affordable!

Organic Chemical-Free AND Affordable!

I am in the market for a new mattress and want this time to get an organic/natural mattress. By law, mattresses have to be flame retardant. Most mattresses are soaked with highly toxic flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether, better known as PBDE. These chemicals have been linked to various serious health issues.

I’ve known this for a long time but I was always under the impression that “natural” mattresses were way out of my price range. Today. I went to a local store that sells only organic and chemical free mattresses and was pleased to find that there are some affordable options. The one we settled on was by a Spanish company called Spaldin.  The mattress is made with a plant-based foam core. Surface layer is made out of Hypersoft plant-based foam wrapped in organic cotton. And it was under $1500. (more…)

Teaching tools for social justice

Friendship

Friendship

Lately, I have been thinking about how to best teach young children about tolerance and social justice. Their brains are hard-wired to take notice of difference and to generalize and categorize. From what I have seen, kids start to start to pay more attention to gender around age 2 and start noticing differences in race and ethnicity around 3 or 4. It is important that we provide context for those observations. I’m on a quest to find good books that teach children about acceptance of those who are different than they are and taking care of the earth and each other.
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