Friday, December 5, 2008

Incredible Deal!!!

I cannot express to you how much I adore getting a great deal. I always shop clearance racks. Around Christmas I always make a trip to discount stores like Ross, Marshall's, and the like. Last night my Mom and I took a trip to Tuesday Morning. Boy did we hit the jackpot!!!

This year for Christmas I wanted to buy my daughter a dollhouse. There are several earth/kid friendly options out there. I wanted the wood to be natural, the paint to be vegetable based, and for it to be made somewhere other than China. My two favorites are from Ryan's Room and Plan Toys. Well, last week I went ahead and ordered the Plan Toys Chalet. Typically it had been selling for around $130 without the furniture. I found it online, including a starter set of furniture, for $127 with free shipping. I felt pretty good about it...until last night.

I'm walking the aisles of Tuesday Morning scanning for items on my list when all of a it couldn't be...a Ryan's Room dollhouse!!! They are selling a $150 doll house for $70 - no joke. On top of that, they have all of the room sets of furniture (regularly $16-25) for $6-10. It was so hard to not buy one of everything!

Tuesday Morning also has lots of wooden toys and puzzles. Someone please got partake in this deal, it would make me feel so much better!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Try This Product: Kups 4 Kids

Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.

For months I had been fretting over cups. Seriously. I loved the simplicity of the plastic straw cups for my kids. But I was worried about BPA. I didn't want to poison my kids...but every drinking cup available locally was plastic. UGH!

Then I found this.

Man, I love this thing! It is stainless, spillproof, and maintains temperature for 12 hours. They even have blue for my son and pink for my daughter, no more fighting over drinks!

For babies they have a sippy cup. These are available at mainstream super stores and online.

Buy one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Try This Product Tuesday

In this family we love nature walks!!! Every once in awhile on a rainy day the kids go stir crazy. I say, "Why stay inside just because it is wet outside, a little water never hurt anyone!" So out we go. But first we must don the proper rain attire. That is where these come in...


A raincoat is a raincoat. But rain boots...these are special. What makes them brilliant is the adjustable gusset around the calf. Once your child tucks his pants into the boot you can tighten the gusset and voila - no bugs, dirt, or moisture can get inside.

So, take a chance, go out in the rain!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Doin' Our Part

So lately I've been thinking about whether or not we are doing our part to clean up the environment. I feel compelled to do so much more. But here is our pewney list of so-far's...

1. Recycle plastic, paper, and glass

2. Reuse as much as possible. (I have a huge box full of things I don't think anyone would want if I donate it, BUT I don't want to put it in the landfill...UGH!)

3. We have a composter in the backyard and I just started putting all of our leftover and expired food into it. Its gross - but we will use it to fertilize our garden next year.

4. Cloth Diapering. I love it! Big bonus: we save money too. In the words of super hottie Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs, "You gotta go BROWN in order to go GREEN."

5. We use all natural body care and household cleaners that don't pollute our home or the environment.

6. No plastic bags for shopping!

7. We make a constant effort to conserve on electricity. We don't leave small appliances plugged in, we have a programmable thermostat, and so on.

8. My husband takes the bus to work! HUGE one! Plus it saves money! You wouldn't believe some of the stories he comes home with...he should start his own blog.

9. We use toys, clothing, furniture, and so on that are made from natural and renewable resources or recycled materials. (wood, bamboo, cotton)

10. Going paperless! We do as much online as possible - bill pay, banking, party invitations, communications, ect.

11. We buy almost all Organic foods and have cut beef from our diet at home.

Things I want to do to be a better steward...

-Recycle Metal
-Buy locally grown produce & GROW my own produce
-Get a CLOTHESLINE and hang most our laundry rather than using the dryer.
-Use natural make up
-When we finally build our dream home on our land I want to be OFF THE GRID!

*How are YOU going green? Leave a comment and my next post will be a collection of the ways my readers are 'Doin your part'. Can't wait!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Try These Products Tuesday

I confess. I admit it. There was a time when I subscribed to the idea that bleach was the mecca of all cleaners. When I was nesting during both of my pregnancies I went on a cleaning raid. The first time around I wore a face mask and rubber gloves. Yeah, um, if you have to do that its probably not a good idea to expose your brand new baby to a home that has been cleaned with harsh chemicals.

While I was pregnant with my second my sweet friend from church passed a pamphlet on to me entitled Rub A Dub Dub: Is There Cancer In Your Tub. After reading I let out an enlightened, "What?! How can this even be legal? Why does our government allow this?" Yeah well, they do. But I guess its not so surprising when you remind yourself that they allow farmers to inject animals with hormones in turn allowing us to ingest hormones. Oh and not to mention the whole 36 chemical-filled required childhood vaccinations bit. Whatever.

So, once again, I learned. Even more importantly I acted upon that knowledge. We made a trip to our local chemical disposal drop and handed all the cleaning junk over. I also, like most everyone else in America, bought popular brand personal care products from the giant one-stop-shop around the corner. That also had to change. Not only were our household cleaning products dangerous to my babies, but so were the shampoos and body washes and lotions I was using on their bodies. Insane!

We were on the hunt. I spent hours researching which products would suit our needs for cleaning our home and our bodies. Over the last year or so we have sampled several different items. I thought I would share a list of my favorites.

Household Cleaning

We love to clean with all things Seventh Generation. No harsh smell or I feel so much better bathing my children in a bathtub after it has been cleaned with this stuff rather than bleach.

I never realized how laundry detergent can effect both our skin and the environment. We like Planet because our clothes come out with NO SMELL AT ALL...can't stand that harsh floral soapy smell conventional detergents leave behind.

Check out this article on which household chemicals to avoid.

Personal Care

Both of my kiddos have mild eczema (cow's milk induced). I was constantly searching for something to help my son's skin - this was it! We love to recommend this one as much as possible.

THIS IS A HUGE ISSUE FOR ME! Obviously, I don't want to smell bad. But more than that, I would prefer to skip on the breast cancer thing. We went through several natural (aluminum free) deodorants before finding one that actually works. Tom's of Maine

Can't say enough about Thieves oral care product line. It's taste is invigorating, your mouth feels squeaky clean, AND the mouthwash is so safe you can swallow it. Young Living

Who knew that finding a natural shampoo/conditioner could be so difficult?! I went through almost every shampoo they carry at Whole Foods before I found this. It doesn't weigh my hair down and my split ends have vanished.

Check out this article on which chemicals to avoid in personal care products.

Recently I am attempting to make the switch to natural makeup. I'm looking into products made from minerals.This should be interesting!

PS- This summer I discovered I would need an all natural sunscreen and insect repellent for the kids. It is incredible they even sell the traditional ones they are so harmful! These are the two that I love...they really do work just as well, if not better.

Sunscreen & Repellent

Monday, June 30, 2008


Whenever I meet a pregnant Mom I always give her one piece of unsolicited advice - If you ever want to sleep again, breastfeed and co-sleep. Most of the time they will show some concern for the safety of their infant when sleeping in the same bed with Mom and Dad. I must admit I shared the same concerns when my first child was born. In fact, Michael and I originally planned to have our son sleep in a crib. Well, he did end up sleeping in a crib...just not in the traditional sense.

The truth be known I didn't even know the word co-sleep. My Mom actually convinced us to try co-sleeping, she even taught me how to nurse lying down. So we adopted the family bed. Even against the "you'll regret it later" advice of other family members, all we knew was that life was much easier (ie. my baby and I were both happier and well rested) when he slept with us and could nurse throughout the night. I got so used to him suckling that it didn't even interrupt my sleep. Michael and I felt much more at ease having our son close by, knowing he was safe and felt loved.

For many months the baby slept in between my husband and I in our bed. As he grew, we sought out another sleep solution. I knew all I needed to do was visit the MDC ( discussion forums to find what we needed. That is where I discovered the sidecar technique - it has worked wonderfully for both of my babies.

This is a crib that has been sidecared. (Not mine, I "stole" this pic from another crunchy mama.)


1) Remove one side of the crib.
2) Scoot crib next to your bed making sure the mattress heights match up.

3) Secure the crib to the bed rails of your bed with bungee cords.

4) Place a pool noodle in between the remaining crib wall and the crib mattress, to insure there is not room in between the mattresses.

With this setup you get the benefits of co-sleeping AND your own space. This also works great for us now that we have TWO kiddos who like to sleep with Mom and Dad!

If you are interested in finding out more about co-sleeping read this article by Dr.Sears.

PS- Our son is now three and half and we do not regret bringing him into the bed with us. It has been a beautiful bonding experience for us all. We learned that parenting doesn't pause when the sun goes down. We have chosen to continue providing love and sercurity to our children during the night, just as we do during the day. I am sure it has also saved us many hours of needed rest.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Try This Product" Tuesday

Before my first baby was born I had a plan. I read every mainstream baby book on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. (The Baby Whisperer, Baby Wise..blah blah blah.) I had a rough draft of my baby's daily routine drawn up, a list of what to do and one of what not to do. I was over prepared!

I gave birth to my son and my husband and I brought him home. We were both excited and nervous...BUT we had a plan. I nursed the baby, Daddy swaddled him, and we layed him in his bassinet to go to sleep...


Apparently he wasn't down with that. After two days of him disagreeing with the "baby experts" (from our coveted library of baby how-to books), Michael and I decided to throw out our plans AND those silly books and go with our instincts.

At night we brought our son into the bed with us. He slept much better next to Mommy, where he could nurse on demand and feel comforted. During the day when he cried I knew that he was just talking to me and I tried to understand what he was saying and meet his needs accordingly. From then on everything went pretty smoothly.

BUT there was one hitch - he wanted to be held during his naps! I would swaddle, I would shush, I would sway, I would rock...the second I would lay him down his eyes would pop open and he would scream. So, guess what? He was held during nap time for the first 3 months of his life. It was exhausting, but I have never regretted doing it. My son needed to know I was there for him when he was awake AND asleep.


When I was pregnant with my daughter I decided it would be impossible for me to hold her during naps AND wrangle a spirited toddler. But by then I had learned about babywearing. What a blessing! Really, it only makes sense to wear your baby on the outside of your body after birth. Especially when you consider that you've been wearing them on the inside of your body for 10 months.

I, once again, did an outrageous amount of research into baby carriers and discovered this gem - the Moby Wrap.

All I can say is, "GO GET ONE NOW!" My baby girl lived in this thing for 8 months. Now I wear her when I want to get things done around the house and when we go on outings. She is close to me, knows I am present for her and I don't go out of my mind.

Here is a quote from an article I found that says it all...

"Carry our babies to the car in a container, out of the car in a container, through the mall in a container, into the restaurant in a container, back to the car in a container, and home to a container, so that objects define our baby's existence more so than our body, is not just a step away from tradition. It is a cataclysmic change far out of step with the rhythmic pas de deux to which our babies' minds and bodies were choreographed... No species in a hundred years or so can turn the time-tested mother-baby relationship on its head without consequences. In the short term, diminished contact makes babies fussier than they need be and mothers more conflicted than they need be."

The Moby Wrap - the loving solution.

Normal Birthing Threatened


The American Medical Association has CROSSED THE LINE! Doctors are making an attempt to make homebirths ILLEGAL!

Read about it here.

Personally, if this resoulution goes anywhere I say we as women must take action and make our voice heard. I am thinking we should take a trip to DC and have a "Million Mom March".

Are you in?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This is an AMAZING story! In the aftermath of the earthquake in China this police woman, who recently had a baby herself, is nursing 8 babies (all of which became orphans due to the quake). Check out the article. God bless this woman!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Try This Product" Tuesdays

Hey, guys! I know it has been WAY longer than a week since my first post...but I have some good excuses. (ie. we bought a new house and have been spending countless hours painting)

Every Tuesday I will make an effort to dedicate a post to a product I recommend. This week our subject is cloth diapers.

I never really considered using cloth diapers on my babies. I thought that was an ancient practice done away with the invention of disposables. Not so much. When I was a baby my Mom used cloth diapers on me, mostly to save money. These diapers were the traditional chinese fold used with pins and a diaper cover. By the time I learned I was pregnant with my second child I had discovered the new and improved cloth diapering system. Boy was I impressed!

After much research and discussions with my cloth-diapering friends I ordered a jumbo pack of the Bum Genius 3.0 diapers. Oh my Lord! These things have rocked my world!!! Not only are they gorgeous. They are comfy for my baby girl and super EASY. This diaper is just like a disposable except you wash it instead of throwing it away. It is an adjustable one-size diaper, so you can use it from birth through potty training. Washing it is a breeze: you just remove the insert and throw both the diaper and insert in for one cold cycle and one hot cycle. BEAUTIFUL! (My sweet friend Kathryn has a great recipe to make your own laundry detergent. It is great for washing diapers AND is cheap and Green.)

I was a little skepitcal of the extra work it would take to do cloth diapers. But, honsetly, it hasn't been much more work than it was to run to the store every week when I ran out of my disposables. Besides that, I've have already saved a boat load of money. On average a parent will spend about $2000 from birth to age two on diapers for their baby. I spent $350 on all of the diapers and supplies I need for two plus years! Whoa!

Try them. Not only are they better for the environment but they are better for your baby!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day Launch

Welcome to Certified Organic Mom, a weekly blog featuring posts on Organic Family Living!

My journey began in 2004 when my husband and I discovered we were pregnant with our first baby. Pretty scary and pretty exciting. Being a first-time-mom I was only sure of one thing - I wanted a natural childbirth. We attended a Bradley Method class, chose a hands-off type doc, and ended up with a relatively successful hospital birth.

Natural Childbirth was my springboard into Organic Family Living. I found that because I desperately wanted to give my son the best start possible, I also wanted to carry those principles over into parenting. We practiced extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and gentle discipline. When the time came, we made an effort to feed our son organic baby food.

Over the next four years I spent many hours in research trying to make well-informed decisions. In that time I learned about homebirth, vaccinations, babywearing, holistic medicine, and so on. My husband and I discovered we were practicing Attachment Parenting.

Naturally this style of childbirth and parenting bled over into our lifestyle. And thus we became an organic family - organic household products, organic food, organic personal care products, and Green Living in general.


See you next week!