Giveaway! Win an adorable wooden baby toy from Papa Don’s

I like to imagine Diana and Garth of Papa Don’s sitting in a snug little cabin next to a wood stove, whittling toys by hand. Their cabin looks like something out of Hansel and Gretel, with a thatched roof and gingerbread walls, protected by gigantic firs and pines. When they’ve polished up one of their hardwood toys–a wobble pull puppy, for example–a team of elves swoops it from their snug little Oregon cabin and delivers it to a deserving young child.

The amazing thing about my story is that it’s all true. I mean, maybe not the part about the gingerbread or the elves, but Diana and Garth really do live in the coastal forests of Oregon, crafting their heirloom-quality toys out of locally-harvested alder. “We make them with joy and hope that they bring countless hours of delight to the children in your life,” they say about their products.
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Pumpkin Waffles, Diaper Talk, and Our Wooden Toy Giveaway: the Sunday Round-up

5 Dollar Dinners published a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip waffles.  Delicious!  (Or, as Audrey would say, “dewishiss.”)

Grow Baby Green is the newest addition to our blogroll.  Tara has a lot of helpful articles for new parents.  Recent posts include 7 Reasons Why to Stop Using Tap Water to Mix Formula, Massaged Babies Sleep More and Cry Less, and Tips for Eliminating Junk Mail.

Our Home on the Range has a great post about diapers, which includes her reviews of gDiapers, Kissaluvs, bumGenius 3.0, and many other cloth diapers.

Don’t forget to enter our wooden toy giveaway.  Simply post a comment and you’ll have a chance to win these great natural stacking rings from Natural Pod.

Alternatives to Dishwashing Liquid: Bar Soap, Baking Soda, & Homemade Dish Soap Recipes

I just spent a year of trying various eco-friendly dish soaps to wondering if eco-friendly soaps were any better for the environment than conventional soaps.  After all this research and number crunching, I still haven’t figured out a way to please my pocketbook and the planet.  With even the SDA claiming that there is no environmental advantage to using “eco-friendly” soaps, perhaps the best solution is to stick with a concentrated conventional liquid that will keep some plastic bottles out of the recycling bin.

But what if you want to use something more natural, less toxic, unscented, or just . . . less mainstream?  Here are a few more alternatives to liquid dish soap:
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