Stocking Stuffers for Baby: Natural Teething Products

natural teething remediesHylands - Teething TabletsBeyond blankets and booties, parents always appreciate getting functional stocking stuffers for their babes—especially when those little ones are up at all hours of the night with aching gums.

My favorite teething remedy is Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets.  They dissolve quickly when placed on the tongue and provide immediate relief.  We stash a bottle of these in the medicine cabinet, the diaper bag, and in our travel bags to use while on the go.

Since so many mainstream teethers come with BPA, an ingredient of flexible plastic that has been linked to several illnesses, it’s wonderful to give baby a BPA free toy that they can gnaw on for hours.  The Lifefactory Multi Sensory Silicone Teether is made entirely of silicone and has several textures for baby to experience while she chews.

Save on LED Christmas Lights at Home Depot

Most of us are faced with an environmental conundrum  when considering an upgrade to LED Christmas lights.  We could save eighty percent more energy with the LED variety, but that would mean tossing our tangled green strings of lights into the trash.  How is that eco-friendly?

Luckily, Home Depot has a deal that will help us save energy and recycle those pesky old ones—even the defunct strands with burnt out bulbs.

led-Christmas-lightsUntil November 15, take your strings of old holiday lights to Home Depot and receive a $3.00 credit toward a strand of LED lights.  Why would you want to go to all this effort to switch out your stock of holiday lights?  Here are just a few benefits of LED lights:

Deals on Organic Foods for the Holidays

tasty baby saleAs our holiday grocery lists grow longer and the expenses mount, it’s tough to stick with our organic ideals.  Luckily, there’s a resource that can help us save while buying organic.  My sister, a mother of five and professional bargain hunter, just introduced me to Organic Deals, “Helping moms go organic without going broke.”

For example, the site is currently featuring a post on Tasty Baby organic baby food for fifty percent off! You have until the end of November to stock up on pureed pumpkin for your babe’s Thanksgiving feast.

Scan her blog entries for the latest online deals and also check her organic coupon index for great deals on the things you need for your Thanksgiving feast.  Enjoy the sweet taste of organic foods at a much sweeter price!

Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Recipes

We’ve collected and adapted a few of our favorite pumpkin recipes so that you can savor the taste of autumn while sneaking a vegetable into your child’s diet.  If you double the cookie recipe, stir up the scones, and whip up a batch of pancakes, you’ll use up a large sized can of pumpkin with not a bit to spare.

Hearty Pumpkin Cookies

These nutritious cookies are made with oats and wheat flour. I found the original recipe at and then tweaked a bit to make it healthier.  In just a few days I shall take steaming plates of these to my son’s preschool Halloween party!pumpkin oatmeal kid friendly cookies

Choosing a Small Home for Economic and Environmental Reasons

Do green homes always come with solar panels? In fact, the six thousand square foot eco-homes of the rich and famous aren’t as earth-friendly as cozy abodes with smaller footprints.

smaller, greener homeWe didn’t just buy our thousand square foot home with a small apartment attached in the back for environmental reasons.  In truth, it was the only thing we could afford and we loved the location.

By the way, the incredibly cool picture in this post is not our home.  Ours is a grey, low-ceiling three bedroom unit that’s just about as simple as it could possibly be.  Still, regardless of its design, I now often ponder just how green it is to live in a smaller home—and the benefits go beyond the environment.

The Long Term Rewards of Under Indulgence

Is under indulgence the same thing as deprivation?  We think not!  Buying fewer, thoughtful gifts and treats for your child will allow him or her to have an enhanced sense of appreciation, plus you’ll be helping lighten the load on our planet and your pocketbook.  But beyond the immediate rewards, you’ll also reap benefits for years to csaving money and environment by under indulgingome.

  • Less financial stress: The leading cause of arguments between spouses is money.  When you co-commit to set more aside for the future, you’re also giving your baby a family with less conflicts.
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Pellet Stoves–A Cleaner, Greener Alternative to Wood Fires?

For those of you on the edges of your seats waiting to find out if we chose a gas stove, wood stove, or pellet stove insert for our wood burning fireplace, I’ll end the suspense: we went with the pellet stove. (Read my  wood fire post here and my fireplace insert post here.)  At first I was worried that a pellet stove insert would look strange in our 1924 house, but we found a model with a vintage feel to it.  Here’s what the fireplace looked like before:

fireplace before inserting the pellet stove in a 1924 house

(This photo is from last winter. Don’t worry; I haven’t hung up the Christmas decorations already!)

Fire Place Inserts: Wood, Pellet, or Gas?

As I mentioned in this post, we had a few pangs of eco-guilt about using our wood fireplace.  Wood not only emits more pollutants into the air than other fuels, it doesn’t even do a good job of keeping our house warm during the cold winter months.  We started looking into a fireplace insert that would allow us to sit by a greener, cleaner fire.

First we looked into a gas fire insert.  We already have a gas line to our house, so we thought this might be the way to go.  Natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel out there.  However, we were not big fans of the fake-looking logs or coals that come with gas fires.

The Multipurpose Nursery

The multipurpose nurseryWho needs a nursery?  We thought we didn’t. We moved the changing table and dresser into our bedroom, co-slept for the first few months, and stubbornly held onto our idea of having an office in our home.

It worked for awhile, but we reached a point of frantic sleep deprivation when our baby girl reached four months.  She needed to sleep in her crib and the co-sleeper wasn’t doing the trick.

We decided to opt for a creative solution.  It was tempting just to head out and buy several items to accommodate our new plan, but we decided to first try to work with what we had to avoid the expense or environmental impact of buying more stuff.

The Upside of Deprivation

When we fill out those long registry lists and stockpile our homes with newborn garments, our thoughts often fall along the lines of “I want the best for my baby.”  After all, how could you scrimp on your infant?

simple baby less stuff more mom timeThe funny thing about babies, however, is that the monetary value we assign to things is totally foreign to them. They’re like little aliens who perceive a wooden spoon as being just as valuable as a fifty dollar bamboo teether. Often they’re more impressed with a cardboard box and wrapping paper than they are with the pricey stuffed animal inside.  Most importantly, they would rather have our time and attention than any gadget under the sun.