Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review & Giveaway: YesterYear Soap Company

    

As mentioned on a previous post, our family has recently gone non-toxic. We removed anything and everything that didn't contain organic or all-natural ingredients on their labels. Since then, we have only purchased Earth-friendly products or made our own. So far, we haven't turned back. We feel great about the choice to surround our children with only things we know are safe and healthy.


With that said, one of the products that I have had an opportunity to review and introduce to my family are handmade soaps from YesterYear Soap Company. I received a 3-pack consisting of Mississippi Mud, Cherry Almond, and Orange Patchouli. They smell absolutely AMAZING!


I love how each one is made by hand, giving every single piece their own unique look and feel. There is no guessing as to what is in YesterYear soaps, since they are all made with all-natural vegetable oils and mixed with pure essential oils and organic herb colorings. Nothing more! The simple ingredients make the products suitable for everyone in the family, even those with sensitive skins. That is perfect for my children as they have evidently inherited my dry skin. These are the first soaps I have used that have not dried out my skin and have not left me needing lotion or any kind of moisturizer afterwards. My skin is left clean, soft, and smelling great all the time.

For as long as I can remember, most of our hand soaps were purchased or gifted from a country-chic bath & body store or from a secret lingerie shop that are to remain nameless. I love how I was able to choose from so many colors and scents to match each bathroom in our home. And there was always some deal going on, so of course, I was always getting the most bang for my buck. But as we shifted our lifestyle to purchasing less abrasive products that contained ingredients that I can't pronounce, we have been on the hunt for other alternative soaps that did their job and still looked pretty enough to "display."


I must confess - I was never a fan of soap bars.  They stick to whatever container you lay them on, and they leave a gooey mess. And to be honest, YesterYear soaps are no different. BUT, my kids love them. I don't know if it's because they like to play with the soap, but if it gets them to wash their hands, I'm all for it.  We have soap pumps at every sink in the house, and I could never get them to wash their hands as often as they do with YesterYear soaps. I know that's not exactly a great way to conserve water, but I also don't like germs, so I'm a happy Mommy when I hear the water running, knowing the kids are getting their hands cleaned. I think my daughter just loves the beautiful colors, especially the deep pink of the Mississippi Mud soap. And as mentioned earlier, their little hands are always soft after using the YesterYear soaps. It could just be because they don't contain any of the other harsh ingredients that other soaps have, and that is just fine by me.


YesterYear Soaps were first made with the history and culture of the 19th century settlers of Mississippi in mind. Having purchased a land in the Holly Springs National Forest, YesterYear preserved what was left of the property, including the existing pine trees and log cabins, establishing the YesterYear Lodge, available for private event and vacation rental.


While getting "settled" into their new home and getting accustomed to their surroundings and the way of life of the inhabitants who used to occupy the land, YesterYear made it their goal to introduce some of the same natural products from generations past to the public today. Learning the correct way to make by hand all-natural soaps is what sets YesterYear apart from the brands you find at big box stores, drug stores, or mall shops. You can find their products online or at local boutiques in your area


They offer a lot of different soap bars and sets that are perfect for yourself or for gifts. They are all unique cosmetically and having each soap being made with only all-natural, organic ingredients makes any gift to a family or friend even more special.

Even now, as I am working on this review, I am happy and pleased with these soaps. I applaud and congratulate YesterYear with achieving their mission on bringing forth the traditions of generations past and products that will continue to bring to life the history of soap making and the importance of green living. 


Aside from soaps, YesterYear also offers hand and body lotions. With a variety of fragrances to choose from, you can satisfy your senses and moisturize your skin with these lovely body care creams without the worries of parabens, phthalates, and petroleum products. How many of the sweet smelling lotions in your purse, cupboard or cabinet say that on their labels?


School starts just around the corner, so if you've got a child who's college bound, start their year right by sending them with products that are good for them and for the environment. These  soaps and lotions will also make great hostess gifts, birthday presents, and stocking stuffers.

Don't forget to follow YesterYear on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and read up on some of their blog posts for product updates, deals, giveaways, and green tidbits.

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BUY:  You can purchase any of YesterYear product on their website.  They offer a gift basket for less than $10 with sample chunks of their best soaps. The hand and body lotions are $12 each or $30 for a collection of 5 scents.

WIN:  YesterYear Soap Company is giving one (1) lucky The Green House follower a 3-bar set that includes Mississippi Mud, Cherry Almond, and Orange Patchouli.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory task first, then complete the other tasks to get as many entries as you'd like.  Good luck!  **If the Rafflecopter form does not show up, please refresh your screen, or click on the post title!

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Healthy Cooking: Ginger Lemonade

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, eating in and cooking wholesome meals is not always the easiest or most convenient task to tackle.  Healthy dishes do not have to be complicated, time consuming, or expensive to make.  I hope my Healthy Cooking recipes will help you choose to cook and eat in more often. Bon app├ętit!

I found this recipe on Pinterest when I was looking for refreshing summer drinks. Not only is it thirst-quenching, but it's also a healthy detox. Apparently it also helps with maintaining a flat belly and having clear skin. I've only been drinking it for a couple of days, so the only thing I can account for is the detox.

You will need:
  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 10-12 spearmint leaves

Combine all ingredients in your favorite pitcher or caraffe, steep for a few hours or overnight, and enjoy this inexpensive and pleasant drink everyday.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Minimalist Monday: Bike Riding

My family and I currently live in a city where the temperatures during the summer season are unbearable, and by season, I mean more than the normal 3 months. It's probably closer to 5 months, maybe even longer. To be able to ride in the car with the windows down, in traffic, with children, during these "heat advisory" months is uncomfortable, unhealthy, and definitely not recommended. If you want to do that, you can, as long as it's after dark or before light. Same with bike riding. Before we hit the 90-degree mark over here, we enjoyed our family rides in the morning. Now, we can't even go outside for too long before the kids are sweating their butts off, and I'm worried about them getting heat exhaustion. 

We currently have two vehicles. My husband drives a 2004 Mazda 3 (our first car we bought together) one hour each way to and from work every day. And this is one hour in traffic for a little over 20 miles! It gets about 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles on the highway. Then we have our family car. It's a 14-year-old Mazda MPV that gets 15 miles to the gallon in the city, 20 miles on the highway, and only gets used if, and ONLY IF, we absolutely need to use it. Not even a year ago, I had a dream of one day after all our debt is paid off to get a (used) Honda Odyssey. I was determined to be a cool Mom driving in one someday. We are now debt-free, and we have come to a point where we can now start playing with the idea of "upgrading" to another vehicle as our MPV has just about had it. But in the last couple of months, our thinking on what vehicle is best for our family has changed. Our priorities have shifted, and our outlook for the future has been altered. We have gone from a mindset of "we have outgrown our home and cars" to "we don't really need these things." We've become parents who wish that everything we needed and everywhere we had to go to, including our jobs, were in walking distance.

If we could have it our way, we would have one vehicle...a biofuel car...a vehicle powered by used vegetable oil. That would be our one method of transportation to go long distance driving. And for everyday outing? Bikes! One day, I would love my minimalist life to consist of just that. One veggie family car and bikes for all family members. I would like to have a garage of nothing but that. I would love to not worry about the price of gas, or have my husband pay out the wazoo just to sit in traffic. I would like for us to walk to the park or to the farmer's market, or to ride our bikes to church or friends' house, or to drive to another state on a tank of recycled restaurant veggie oil. One day, it'll happen! We already have the bikes, so now we just have to work on the vehicle. 

Can you picture your life like this? Do you already live this way? Share your incredible simple life with me, so I can, for now, live vicariously through you and be in amazement of your awesomeness!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sustainable, Made In The USA, and On Sale This Week


Review & Giveaway: Ergobaby Organic Baby Carrier, Backpack & Teething Pads

Before Little Peanut was born, I had made the decision that he was going to be the first child that I was going to "wear." I had received a baby wrap at my baby shower, so I was pretty excited about trying it and possibly liking it. With our previous two children, my husband and I didn't find a carrier that we were happy with. And there were two of us, so it wasn't as challenging to tackle the kids when we were out and about.


I used the wrap until Little Peanut reached about 18 pounds, after which I decided he had gotten too heavy for my own good. I could have kept carrying him until he is about 35 pounds, but my back felt like it was screaming, "What the heck are you doing?" at me, and at this point, I only carried him when I absolutely had to, which thankfully was very rare. It was actually perfect timing, because about a week later, Ergobaby had arrived at my door. I received the organic baby carrier in twill navy with midnight lining, matching organic backpack in navy, and a pair of organic teething pads in a natural color. Talk about an awesome bundle to review! 


The organic baby carrier is just like the original carrier except that this one is made with 100% certified organic cotton. With padded straps to fit comfortably on your shoulders, and a waist belt to help your little bambino sit naturally between your shoulders and hips, baby carrying has never been more enjoyable and less stressful. You can choose from a number of colors, but I love that I was sent the dark blue shade, because 1) it's my favorite color, 2) it's suiting for my baby boy, and 3) my husband can't object to it's "manly" look.

When the package arrived in the mail, my baby boy was taking a nap, so I ended up showing them to his older siblings. I was joking around asking my son if I can put him on my back. He immediately declined and expressed very strongly that it was only for babies. So, I took his Curious George doll and proceeded to put him in the carrier. I showed my son what I was doing, and he quickly decided that if George did it, then so should he. Big mistake!!!

Although the carrier supports children up to 45 pounds, and my 3-year-old son weighs considerably less, I regretted asking if he wanted to try it. After that, he would not get off. He just thought it was the best thing since ice cream. I think I carried him for about 30 minutes, until I somehow convinced him that he needed to get down. Granted my back wasn't hurting, and it was actually pretty comfortable carrying him, but I learned my lesson and made sure he was aware that the next time I carried him, it would only be for a few minutes. Talk about getting a monkey off my back!

While communicating with Christina Soletti, Ergobaby's Social Media Manager, I had been giving the hubby heads up on what was to arrive. He was not a big fan of the wrap I had previously used. He loved that I was carrying our son, but he never once wanted to use the wrap himself, not even in the house. But when the Ergobaby carrier came in, and he saw that it had a more rugged feel and look to it, he was more open to trying it and has actually now become the designated baby carrier. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that whenever he wears it to the store or the farmer's market, women just love looking at him, saying, "Oh, how cute!" or "That's the best backpack I've ever seen." I know he is aware that they are gushing over our son, but I'm sure he secretly loves the attention he's getting from other women.



The organic backpack is an absolute must-have tote to carry all things necessary and then some. I have been using it nonstop for the past few weeks. Also made with 100% organic cotton, this matching backpack has 3 outside pockets perfect for your cell phone, keys, sunglasses, small camera, or anything else you may need to access quickly; 1 side pocket for your (or your child's) reusable cup; 1 side zippered pocket for flatter items like a small wallet, notepad, changing pad, or wipes; 2 inside zippered pockets for your smaller essentials; a huge middle section to carry diapers, books, small purchases, and so much more.  There is also a pocket in the back enclosed by Velcro that you can use as extra storage or to store the straps of the backpack.

I am not kidding when I tell you that all of these items fit into the backpack.


My daughter insisted in demonstrating that she can carry the backpack, but I did take out some things before hand so that it wouldn't be too heavy for her to carry. What a trooper!

The teething pads are super soft and have snaps as opposed to Velcro, eliminating any worries that baby's soft skin could be harmed or scratched. It didn't take long for Little Peanut to find the carrier straps and chew on them as that is his new thing these days.  I'm so glad that the teething pads and the rest of the organic line are made with 100% organic cotton, making them chemical- and pesticide-free, perfectly safe and healthy for young babes and tots.


I love how the backpack attaches to the carrier via Velcro to easily become a hands-free tote. I wouldn't suggest putting a lot of heavy things in the backpack though as it can start to pull down on the carrier fairly quickly.


On the Ergobaby website, you can also find other great products such as papoose coats that can be used solo or with your baby, changing pads, and doll carriers for the little tykes that want to be just like Mom or Dad.

BUY:  You can purchase any of the awesome organic products on the Ergobaby site.  The organic baby carriers starts at $135, the backpacks at $64, and the teething pads are $20 for a pair.

WIN:  Ergobaby is giving one (1) lucky The Green House follower the Bundle of Joy in organic navy. $163 value! It includes an organic baby carrier and matching organic infant insert that allows you to carry baby from the moment he is born. This duo makes the Ergobaby the only carrier you'll ever need. Win this prize for yourself or for an expecting friend. 


This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory task first, then complete the other tasks to get as many entries as you'd like.  Good luck!  **If the Rafflecopter form does not show up, please refresh your screen, or click on the post title!

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Wearable Fabric Stickers by evREwares

Fact:  I LOVE stickers!  I remember growing up having a sticker book that I enjoyed filling with reward stickies, cartoon characters, price tags, fruits and veggies stickers, anything and everything that had a sticky back to it. I also remember putting stickers everywhere around the house, and let me tell you, my Mom was not a happy person.

Another fact: Now that I am a Mom, I know exactly how she felt. It drives me up the wall finding stickers on doors, table tops, walls, mirrors (oh my gosh, that probably takes the cake!), library books, toys, dolls, cabinets, etc. The worse part isn't that they are everywhere, but that when I want to take them off, they DON'T come off! And if they do, all this gooey sticky mess is left behind for - you guessed it - ME to clean up.

So when I was contacted by Ellie Brown of evREwares to review their stickers, I jumped at the opportunity. Why?! Because these stickers can actually be removed and placed elsewhere...and all over again...without the gunk! Genius! 

evREwares are wearable fabric stickers that are non-toxic and biodegradable, making them 100% safe for our children and our planet. AND they are designed and made in the USA - my favorite kind of products! I received a ginormous pack of samples for the entire family to try: ties for all the boys, cute pocket stickers for my daughter, drink labels, and extra stickers to go on just about anything.


Founded by Jennifer Pittman and Becca Nelson, these amazing women knew exactly what children wanted and what parents didn't care for when they created these staple- and residue-free clothing accessories and home (or school, car, work station, etc.) decors. Unlike traditional stickers, evREwares are made from woven material, not paper, so they won't tear. 

The adorable little boy ties are super cute additions to any outfit, and as my husband said to me one time, "The tie made the shirt!"




Waterproof and water-resistant, these stickers can still be usable if mistakenly put in the dishwasher. They can be wiped clean, and as long as they are applied on surfaces that are smooth and lint-free, they can be used over and over again. I love how there are so many different stickers to choose from. They are a perfect for labeling drink cups at parties or picnics, identifying children's personal belongings at school, daycare or camp, decorating kids' rooms, lockers, school binders, bikes, or toys, and accenting a plain shirt, jeans, jackets, or dress. There is something for everyone in the family! And the great news is, this will be the first time you won't want to pull your hair out if you find an evREware sticker on your car. They will come right off without damaging the paint.


On clothing, the stickers can last up to 10 wears as long as they are used properly. Don't expect for them to be wearable again though if you get dirt or sand on the sticky area. It'll be time to get new ones. No fret, because there are a lot of sticker designs to choose from on the website. These are some examples.

    

        


Just this year, evREwares came out with these studly Big Guy ties. I love the one that says "Cancer Sucks." These are definite attention-getters and conversation-starters. Designed the same way as the above items, these ties can be used on plain shirts and give it the WOW factor it was lacking. Men will no longer have to depend on YouTube to figure out how to tie a necktie or bow tie correctly. Just pick out an evREware tie of your choice and go. Easy as that!


Have a special occasion or day coming up? Or perhaps you are wanting a fresh and cool fundraising idea. evREwares will work with you to customize whatever design you need or want. These are one-of-a-kind items that will surely make any event special and memorable.

BUY: You can purchase evREwares wearable fabric stickers at retail outlets, including The Container Store and various boutiques. Find a store near you or just purchase it right off the website. StickyBowties are $5 each, Drink Labels are $9 for a set of 30, and StickyPockets are $4 each. Check  the website for prices on other items.

WIN: evREware is giving one (1) lucky The Green House follower a prize pack worth $60! It includes 1 Big Guy Sticky Tie, 2 Lil' Guy StickyTies, 2 sets of reusable Drink Labels - 1 for Mommy and 1 for the kiddos, 1 StickyBowtie, 1 StickyPocket, 1 Baseball REstickers, and 2 Feather Locker decors.


This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory task first, then complete the other tasks to get as many entries as you'd like.  Good luck!  **If the Rafflecopter form does not show up, please refresh your screen, or click on the post title!

You can find more information about evREwares and the amazing women behind these awesome stickers on their blog, as well as like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Pinterest.

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Frugal Living Friday: The Cost & Savings of Going Green

Making the choice to go green is one of the biggest decisions you (and your family) will ever make. When you choose to become Earth-conscious and begin purchasing more sustainable products and being more eco-friendly in your home and community, it impacts you, your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and random people you may come across during your daily activities. And yes, it will impact your budget as well!

When we first decided to start purchasing organic foods, we were on the verge of welcoming our 3rd child, we still had quite a bit of debt that made it difficult to jump with both feet in. We started shopping at farmers' markets, Whole Foods and the organic sections of grocery stores. But most of our shopping cart contained processed foods and other non-organic items. We still ate at fast food restaurants, thinking if we just chose healthier (or at least we thought they were healthier) alternatives, then we'd be better off than not doing anything at all. It wasn't until about a couple of weeks before Little Peanut was born that we said, "Let's do it! Let's just dive right in." And we did.

We stopped eating out, or if we did indulge, it was once or twice a month, and it was only at a couple of places that we knew offered organic foods. We shopped exclusively for organic and unprocessed foods. Our first checkout receipt was mind blowing! And we went through the food so much more quickly then before. But, we immediately noticed the difference in how we felt. We felt cleaner, less guilty, and more alive. We don't know if it was a coincidence, but regardless of what "it" really was, we had a decision to make. Should we continue to live this way, paying more for food and cutting out any kind of "extra" we could have for the month, including any extra activities for the kids? Or should we just go back to purchasing less expensive food and products so that we can feel "normal" again and get out of debt faster? 

When we decided to become more active in being mindful of our carbon footprint, we also, for the first time, chose to use cloth diapers on our newborn child. With the other two children, we didn't have any information about these products, let alone have any family or friends who could have possibly turned us on to the idea, and we were just sure that we couldn't afford it at all. We were fortunate enough to receive most of our diaper stash now from our baby shower. There was no going back once we made up our minds.

Our decision to continue going the organic route, however, was still up in the air. Luckily, the choice was made for us when we sold our rental condo. What was once supposed to be an investment-for-profit thing quickly turned to a money pit that drained us financially every time my husband had to fix something or pay someone to do it. In the long run, we ended up not making anything from the condo.

But we were free and clear from any further obligations, being certain that we no longer had to have this "cushion" for repair emergencies. Knowing that made it easier to go 100% forward in purchasing Earth-friendly products. In the following months, we slowly started switching out our personal products for sustainable and cruelty-free alternatives. And a few months back, we removed all of our toxic cleaning products and made our own safe solution. We have not purchased any more new items since, and we still have lots of our homemade "stuff" for months to come. I got rid of all of my old makeup and personal items and now use only cruelty-free and vegan products. I've never felt more content and satisfied with what is going on my face and skin. We've bought only Earth-friendly products for the children as well, knowing that these items initially cost more but are in the long run, safer for them and for the environment. We've slowly come to the realization that there is nothing more important than our children's well-being. That means making sure their surroundings and foods are healthy and safe. In turn, we're thinking about their future in the present, same as we are about our planet. 

In making the choice to go organic, we spend more up front for whatever we need and want, but a lot of our on-going Earth-conscious decisions save us money to make it possible to live this way. Changing out our light bulbs for CFLs, adjusting our thermostat by a couple of degrees seasonally so that it's not freezing cold in our home during the summer months or sweltering hot in the winter, growing our own herbs that we use daily, cooking our favorite foods and eating in more, making our own smoothies and ice cream, using our car only when it's necessary, using cloth instead paper towels or napkins or disposable baby wipes, all add up to financially living better and helping our environment.

So, if you have been struggling with the thought that you want to be (more) pro-active in keeping our Earth green but do not know if whether or not it will financially benefit you (and others) in the long run, here's a little more info to help you. Keep in mind - as our family is learning and figuring out almost every day - once you make that leap to greener pastures, everything else will follow: becoming debt-free, living simpler and more minimal, choosing different adventures and activities that are fun but also mindful of our planet, and engaging yourself in books or the WWW for further information. There will always be something else you and I could do. It's just a matter of whether or not we're ready to make that first small step in that direction.


Go Green (Infographic)


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Library Books


Top L-R: 
  • "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn (we've been trying to follow a plant-based diet after watching the documentary with the same title, and when our daughter saw the book on the shelf, she was so excited!)
  • "The Wholesome Baby Food" by Maggie Meade
  • "Happy Chaos" by Soleil Moon Frye (check out my review of her organic clothing line on my blog, plus there's a 15% off promo code good until July 15)


Bottom L-R: 
  • "The Green Book" by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen
  • "Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy" by Greg Pahl (really excited about reading this one since we're looking for our first bio-fuel car)
  • "Mom, Incorporated: A Guide to Business + Baby" by Aliza Sherman and Danielle Elliott Smith



Monday, July 09, 2012

Minimalist Monday: The 100 Thing Challenge

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing around Craigslist just checking out random things, and I came across a posting titled "We're Selling Everything!" I was immediately intrigued, because sometimes people will go into great detail as to why they are getting rid of everything. Most of the time it's because of a divorce or they're moving out of state or out of the country. Now that I think of it, it's kind of sad that I want to read that stuff, right? Crazy me! Anyhow, I clicked on the posting, and it turned out that this husband and wife team decided to take on The 100 Thing Challenge.


I'm sure there are other versions of this challenge, but this one in particular was started by Dave Bruno. Created for the purpose of minimizing his home and getting rid of things that didn't have a place in his life anymore, he challenged himself to only keep 100 things.
The goal of the 100 Thing Challenge is to break free from the confining habits of American-style consumerism. A lot of people around the world feel “stuck in stuff.” They feel like their closets and garages are too full of things that don’t really make their lives much better. But how to get unstuck?
                Reduce (get rid of some of your stuff)
                Refuse (to get more new stuff)
                Rejigger (your priorities)

So what does my family of 5 that is continually looking to better our lives and our planet decide to do? Well, we accepted the challenge, of course! We're still working out the logistics as far as what is considered personal to us, and what is in our "Absolutely Do Not Touch" pile, but we're definitely ready to get started. In the meantime, we're asking ourselves all sorts of questions:

  • Is this 100 items per family member?
  • Do collections (like old baseball cards or unopened Barbie dolls) count as one item or are not to be touched at all?
  • Are clothing accessories (like belts, hats, scarves, etc.) considered as one thing?
  • What about photos and the albums or boxes they are in - are those off the list as well?

Are you curious as to whether or not this may be something you'd be interested in participating in? Whatever you decide to keep is all up to you. This challenge is not just for families or couples, so if you're single, your questions may be different all together. With kids, it's easy and hard at the same time. If it was up to me, I'd get rid of all their toys. Sad, but true! I can't step into any room of our house without finding at least one toy in there. Scattered toys have become a huge pet peeve of mine! But, I know the kids love their toys, and I would never take away things that give them joy, except for maybe 99 of them. Just kidding!

So this week, the hubby and I are coming up with our list of things to get rid of, and we're hoping to get started as soon as possible. I'll write another post when we've put our list together and share it with you. If you are thinking about taking on this challenge, share with me your list. I'd love to see what you've decided to not keep anymore. Good luck!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Review: Organic Children's Clothing From The Little Seed (Plus Promo Code)

What comes to mind when you first hear or read the word sustainable? Farmers' markets? Recycled and recyclable products? Solar panels? Perhaps maybe even cloth diapers or biodiesel vehicles? How about organic cotton clothing?

I was completely ecstatic when I made contact with The Little Seed from Los Angeles, California and received three simple, yet adorable pieces from their own clothing line. Little Peanut, as my baby boy is known in our home, has been dressed comfortably and oh-so-handsomely in a yellow Ant jumper, orange onesie, and green pants. All of these clothes are made from 100% raw cotton right here in the good ol' US of A - two very awesome reasons alone to purchase from The Little Seed.





This is The Little Seed promise, according to their website:
We believe that our planet's future is our children's future. By employing the lowest carbon footprint methods to manufacture our product we stand by that belief. Our garments are produced with low-impact dyes on raw/organic cotton, 100% made in the USA with love and care for the healthiest lifestyle possible for our families and yours... Because a little eco goes a long way!
In past years, I have become more and more concerned and careful about the items that I purchase for my family, our home, and practically every aspect of our lives. I respect individuals and companies who make it a priority for their business to provide the public with goods that are safe and eco-conscious, at the same time still being what is known as fashionable or trendy.

I immediately fell in love with the bright colors of the clothes I received from The Little Seed. They are eye-catching and perfect for all seasons of the year. All three items are so soft and light-weight, providing comfort and room for a growing boy who is soon to become very mobile. The Ant jumper is by far one of my favorite clothes for Little Peanut to wear.  It has received so many comments from people we know as well as from passersby. The lone Ant on the jumper goes to show you just how big of an impact the saying "less is more" carries from this one item. I have paired the orange onesie with jeans and shorts of different colors, each time looking as if they were sold together. And although it's been really hot here in the South, Little Peanut still wears the green pants. It's sheer  material keeps him fresh-feeling without getting overheated. I love that the clothes are tagless - something that I wish more designers would consider for their clothes. It's great that there is nothing sticking out that would in any way disrupt the comfort of my son, whether he's napping, eating or playing. My only disappointment with the clothes is that since the fabric is so delicate, the snaps are prone to coming off easier. One of the snaps from the onesie tore off after one wash. I sewed it back on, but it came off again right after the next wash. I would definitely suggest hand washing and air drying to extend the color and wear of these clothes. Plus, it's better for the environment, too.

Okay, mid-review pop quiz: who is this 80's TV icon?


If you guessed Soleil Moon Frye, better known as Punky Brewster, you would be right!  Can you believe that nearly three decades later, the child star who stole hearts on-screen with her spunky attitude towards life has become a beautiful wife, Mom of 2, published author, Twitter megastar with more than 1 million followers, and most awesomely in my book, co-founder of The Little Seed?! 


Along with her friend and environmental activist, Paige Golberg, the dynamic duo opened up their boutique in 2008 in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Larchmont, offering eco-friendly clothes, books, and toys worldwide. Having children with sensitive skins and being concerned for their health, both Paige and Soleil made their personal issues relatable to other parents with the same situation. They wanted to offer clothes for little ones that is fashionable AND non-toxic, at the same time keeping the well-being of the planet in mind. 


Their own organic line came to life in 2010 and quickly became recognized for being "Green in Every Color," evident in their brightly-colored dresses, burp cloths, swaddles, and more. Their clothes run in sizes 0-6 months up to 8 years, and you can't go wrong with picking one or two items to match any of your child's existing wardrobe. One shirt in a solid color of your choice can easily be paired with a girl's flowery skirt or shorts. Your little boy's jeans or pants can be joined with a hoodie or long-sleeve shirt, both silk screened with a white silhouette of our planet. You can also find other sustainable items from Green Toys, Seedling, and Topozoo on their website. And now until July 15, use the promo code GREENHOUSE15, and you can save 15% off your entire purchase on The Little Seed website.




You can find more information about Soleil, Paige, and The Little Seed shop on their blog, as well as like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

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