15 Minutes Outside: A Book Review and Giveaway

Books sit on my nightstand for weeks before they are ever cracked open, but I was aching to read 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Outside and Connect With Your Kids.

Why did this little gem get preferential treatment? The title alone tells me what I wish we were doing on a daily basis around here. It’s fine to skip the paper towels and embrace cloth diapers, but what do all those things mean to my kids if they don’t have an intimate relationship with the world outside their door?

The rain has been  relentless lately and we don’t seem to take the time to slip on our boots and brave the weather. We could save a stranded earthworm or find a budding pussy willow or perhaps slosh through a dozen puddles.
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Enter Our Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway Extravaganza!

We’re celebrating the arrival of our brand new baby, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, by showering one lucky winner with ALL of the gifts listed below!

Book Review and Giveaway: Super Baby Food

One of the first natural baby food cookbooks to hit the mainstream, Super Baby Food, is still enjoying relative fame.  I was thrilled to find the first edition in its purple cover in a pile of garage sale books and happily paid a quarter to make it mine.

Super Baby FoodI eagerly rushed home and began reading, but found myself disappointed.  The book is loosely organized, full of anecdotes and often difficult to follow.  Although it’s over 500 pages long, there are really only about thirty critically important pages of information to read.

To be fair, I do love those thirty pages. Ruth Yaron challenges our ideas of traditional baby food by offering up other ingredients for home-blended meals.  She explains how to whirl up vegetables and fruits in your blender and then dump it into ice cube trays to freeze and store.  As baby gets older, she has tips for including egg yolk, beans, kale, and a variety of other healthy foods into a “super porridge” that can be inexpensively prepared.
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The Grandparents Handbook (+ Giveaway!)

Sure, your parents have changed a diaper, but it’s been a few years. Now they’re going to be grandparents. Perhaps they’re left wondering what, exactly, they will do when the baby cries or how they’ll spend a rainy afternoon with their darlings. In comes The Grandparents Handbook by Elizabeth LaBan.
grandparents handbook

The handbook includes intriguing-sounding recipes to try with kids (overnight pickles and chocolate-covered pretzels, for example) and activities grandparents can enjoy with young children (why not create a family newspaper or hold a mock election?).The book is packed with ideas, tips, and advice for new or seasoned grandparents. It’s a cute little hardcover book, complete with adorable retro illustrations.
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Make Better Packed Lunches with a Copy of Vegan Lunch Box (Giveaway!)

Are you stuck in a lunchbox rut but don’t think tempeh, bulgur, and sprouted mung beans are going to go over so well with the kids?  If you’re familiar with the Vegan Lunch Box blog, you already know that vegan lunches can be creative, tasty, and even beautiful.

Just look at one of the entries from a recent Vegan Lunch Box contest:

 

(This makes me feel pretty bad about the crumpled sack lunch Audrey lugs to daycare.)

Jennifer McCann’s popular blog is also a book: Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!

According to the publishers, Vegan Lunch Box includes . . .
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