20 Non-traditional Stocking Stuffers

  1. Air Plant


    These easy to care for house plants will look good sticking out of the top of a stocking, and are a great choice for people green and black thumbs alike!

  2. Refrigerator Magnets


    Cute magnets are perfect for any fridge, whether they are holding up a grocery list, artwork, or nothing at all!

  3. Green Powder

    For the health food nut, or someone trying to be more health conscience, a little of this goes a long way stirred into yogurt or added to a smoothie.

  4. Nail Polish


    A bottle of this season’s hottest color is sure to be appreciated.

  5. Petroleum Free Crayons


    What kid doesn’t love fresh crayons?

  6. Solar Car


    A perfect stuffer for the boy (or girl, or dad) that loves cars!

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Benefits of Eating the Placenta

Placenta in a Jar

Placenta in a Jar

Before Franci was born, I had heard enough anecdotal evidence in favor of eating the placenta (in capsule form, over the course of several weeks) that I decided to give it a try. My midwife is experienced in the preparation and encapsulation and believes in its benefits, so there was no reason not to try it out.

It turns out there is no scientific evidence to support placentophagy, which is the technical term for placental consumption. There is also no evidence to debunk the benefits either. At this point, no one has bothered to look into it at all beyond a small team from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. And all they’ve done so far was interview 189 women who “use the Internet and consumed their placenta”.
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Recipe: Cheesy Sweet Potato Bites

Cooked and Crunchy

Cooked and Crunchy

Feeding a toddler is never easy, even if they aren’t particularly “picky”. A favorite food one day may cause a crying fit the next. Franci is going through a stage where whole vegetables won’t even be given a second glance. No matter how smothered the broccoli is with cheese, she won’t venture a taste.

Ready to Cook

Ready to Cook

Being fall, I thought it was time to try out sweet potato once again. The offering of cooked bite-sized chunks resulted in lots of tears, so I decided to try out a couple of recipes. One in particular was a huge hit, but not with Franci! She thinks they are the devil reincarnate, but her father and I think they are the best thing to happen to sweet potatoes since the fry. Since neither of us like sweet potatoes, I’d say that makes this recipe a winner!
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The Newest Green Baby Has Arrived!

Allison

Allison

Last Wednesday, November 12th, the newest member of the Green Baby Guide was welcomed into the world.  Allison was born at home just before noon with the help of a midwife, assistant midwife and doula (and, of course, my husband and mom).  We are happy to say that this was our second home birth and our first water birth!

Mom and baby are recovering nicely with the support of friends and family. Big sister Franci is still adjusting to her new role and insists on touching her sister’s downy head as often as possible.

We are excited to meet all the challenges that come with a growing family, and I’m sure that Alli will provide plenty of inspiration for blogging!

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

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“Every baby comes out eventually” may be true, but that doesn’t exactly provide comfort at the end of a long pregnancy. Whether you are past your due date or just ready to get that baby out of your belly, there are a few things you can do to speed the process up naturally.

While old-wives tales abound, some of the methods have actual research to back them up:

Sex: Although a recent study suggests that there is no correlation between having sex and going into labor, semen contains prostaglandins that soften and ripen the cervix. Women in the hospital are often given a synthetic prostaglandin at the first stage of inducing labor.
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TBT: Green Laundry Choices

line drying baby clothes

The Original Solar Powered Clothes Dryer

Our new house has a clothes line, and I’ve already put it to good use. I learned a very important lesson the first time I used it: clothes that were dry become less dry once the sun goes down. Unless I want to leave them out overnight to dry again in the morning, the laundry must be collected before dark!

We’ve posted a lot over the years about doing laundry in an eco-friendly way, and here are some of the highlights!

Green Breakthrough: Save Energy by Washing Diapers in Cold Water

The Cheapest Eco-friendly Laundry Detergent
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Best Parenting Advice

Eating in front of the TV? Not on my watch!

Eating in front of the TV? Not on my watch!

When we are about to become new parents, it seems like everyone has a piece of advice to share.  Although we may not agree with all of it, the best course of action is to just smile and nod.  I mean, there’s no point in arguing with the lady in line behind you at the grocery store!  Sometimes I like to pester seasoned parents for wisdom, just to hear what they have to say.  Who knows when that gem of advice will come my way?

Parenting books are another source of advice, and you can find one that suits all parenting styles.  Sometimes they really speak to you, and sometimes not.  I got a kick out of reading sleep books from both ends of the spectrum before Franci was born, since the advice from one completely contradicted advice from the other.
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Expecting a Second Child

Big Sister

Big Sister

The end is near! Of Pregnancy, I mean.  The birthing bed is made up and ready for laboring, the water heater is turned up and ready to fill the birthing tub, and the fridge is filled with coconut water. Bring it on!

I’ve been talking to Franci about her little sister for months, but lately I’ve changed the conversation. It’s not so much about, “there’s a baby in my belly” but how she’ll be helping care for the baby: reading her books, being gentle, doing laundry (her favorite chore).

Since we’re having another girl, there wasn’t really anything to buy. We picked up a case of diapers, but she’ll be in cloth (and infant potty training) as soon as the meconium is passed.
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Entering the NO phase

No!

No!

It happened almost over night.  One day Franci said yes to just about everything.  Do you want cheese? “Yeah.”  Do you want your teddy bear? “Yeah.” Do you want a hug? “Yeah.” Then all of a sudden the answer to everything was “Ye-Oh”, followed by “No” two days later.

If it were just lip-service, it wouldn’t be so bad. But she really does mean “no”! No shoes, no potty, no milk, NO! I realize this is a classic phase that every child goes through, and “this too shall pass” is the typical parental mantra, but still!

How did you deal with the “No Phase”? Since it just started for us, I still need to decide a course of action. Do I let Franci run around the cold house naked (since clothes are clearly a “no”) or do I wrangle a squirmy, squealing little girl into her pants and a shirt? Asserting independence and having an opinion is one thing, but so is having authority and being in charge! Is the struggle easier if you don’t have a full term baby squirming around from the inside?

Recipe: Faux Oatmeal Cookies

Breakfast Cookies!

Breakfast Cookies!

Franci likes to use a spoon to feed herself and, as long as the food is thick or sticky enough, doesn’t drop too many spoonfuls down her front. She isn’t that great at getting the food on the spoon, however. The scoop is either too big or too small and as soon as she gets frustrated or distracted, she starts using her bowl as a drum and the spoon a drumstick. Or she pretends the spoon is a crayon and “draws” on the table.

I’m not really in the mood to sit at the table first thing in the morning and supervise breakfast, and four days a week I’m hurrying to get us both ready and I don’t want to take the time to help her eat or clean up any messes.
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