What’s wrong with conventional cotton?

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Dressing your new baby can be one of the most enjoyable jobs as a parent. Those tiny onesies, sweet pajamas, and itty bitty socks are irresistible. First item on my agenda when I found out I was having a little girl was to purchase her welcome home outfit and every outfit for the next 6 weeks. I might have gone a little overboard in the beginning.

In the midst of all of the excitement of a new baby or when you are buying a gift for someone else, you may not consider what’s in the fabric you are purchasing. With my first child I didn’t think twice about the fabric initially. Not until my son starting showing signs of skin irritation. Since clothing is in constant contact with a baby’s delicate skin, I now choose items made of organic cotton and non-toxic dyes.

When shopping for baby’s clothing, you’ll find that most items are made out of cotton and/or synthetic fibers that are manufactured with petrochemicals, acrylic (polycrylonitriles), PVC, and esters. Cotton is often treated with harmful chemicals that can’t always be washed away. Which means the chemicals could be absorbed by your baby’s skin.

How is organic cotton better?

Organic cotton represents a return to safe and sustainable practices. It is grown with natural fertilizers and is free from toxic chemicals.

Organic farmers rely on crop rotation to replenish and maintain soil fertility. Mechanical cultivation and botanical or biological means are used to control pests and weeds.

A field must be pesticide-free for at least three years to be certified organic, and the cotton must be processed according to international organic standards.

The standards also set strict guidelines for transportation and storage to avoid cross-contamination. In the U.S., cotton labelled as organic has to be certified by an independent agency recognized by the USDA’s National Organic Program.

What should you keep in mind when shopping or buying gifts?

Choosing clothing made of sustainable fibers with non-toxic dyes are the safest and will keep harmful chemicals and toxins away from your baby’s skin.  Look for clothing that is made out of organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, wool, cashmere, or silk and check the label for no chemical finishes, non-toxic dyes and inks.

How do you find affordable and safe clothing for your kids?

Our favorite brand is Babinca which is handmade with organic cotton by a mom in Israel. We are proud to have partnered with Babinca to bring you not only safe but adorable organic cotton items for your baby. If you’re looking for products for older children check out Kate Quinn Organics.

Why Green Toys Are Important

GREEN TOYS

Parents want to keep their children at bay from diseases as much as possible. While giving them organic foods and vitamins and supplements are two proven ways to boost their health, giving them green toys is another way to make sure that they’re not at risk from the toxic chemicals, specifically lead, BPA, and phthalates, used in most toys these days. While plastic-made toys are cheap and very accessible, they are not always the best choice for our children. The plastic can contain chemical compounds that are found to trigger cancer, asthma, and other degenerative and respiratory ailments. To avoid your child from getting sick start replacing plastic toys with quality green toys by considering play sets manufactured with plant based materials.

 

When it comes to green toys, almost everybody knows about Green Toys, one of the leading manufacturers of toys made from eco-friendly materials and spearheaded by Robert von Goeben. If you think the name rings a bell, it should because he is also the founder of Propellerhead Studios, a top notch company that specializes in the creation electronic toys and games. All products from Green Toys are made of recycled materials specifically plastic milk jugs and sustainable pieces that help reduce wastes in landfills. They also use natural ingredients including its packaging and label, so anxious parents are guaranteed that Green Toys have no traces of toxic substances that may put their children’s health at risk. Aside from that, the toys are locally made in California, and are processed using environment-friendly techniques that require lower amount of energy only. Shop Green Toys here.

 

Green Sprouts promotes holistic early child development with functional feeding and toys. They are made from safe materials designed to protect the health and safety of children. Because babies explore by putting objects in their mouths, only quality materials are used in the manufacturing of Green Sprouts. Shop Green Sprouts here.

How to pick the right sunscreen

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So many sunscreens on the market which one is right for you and your family? Sunscreens contain chemical and/or physical active ingredients. Physical ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide reflect or scatter ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Chemical ingredients like avobenzone or oxybenzone absorb UV radiation, dissipating it as heat.  I do not want to use any chemicals on myself or my children. Our family uses EltaMD and loves it.

All EltaMD sunscreens are formulated with zinc oxide, a natural, mineral compound. Because zinc maintains its protective ability in the sun, it is more photostable than some chemical ingredients that may degrade. Zinc reflects and reduces the broadest range of UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) ultraviolet rays. EltaMD broad-spectrum sunscreens helps protect skin against burning, sun-induced early skin aging and risk of skin cancer. Zinc is safe for even the most sensitive skin types, even that of children 6 months or older.

EltaMD Pure 47 is for families who want natural, chemical-free active ingredients. UV Pure is the ideal daily sunscreen for children and adults. The gentle formula glides on wet or dry skin and rubs in quickly. UV Pure is formulated with purely physical active ingredients which are photostable. Best of all it is water resistant, fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free, dye-free, gluten-free and noncomedogenic. What more could a eco-friendly mom ask for!

Weekly Topic Discussion Overview: Placenta Encapsulation with Valerie Rosas

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Recently we began a series of weekly topic discussions in which we allow our customer and reader base the opportunity to choose a popular “Natural Parenting” subject to discuss with fellow parents on our social media outlet Instagram. We are AMAZED by the feedback and outpouring of suggestions, comments and interaction between parents sharing their personal experience, asking questions and giving great advice of each topic. As promised, a few weeks after our Topic Discussion we reach out to a professional or experienced parent in said field and allow our readers an opportunity to get a more detailed explanation on the subject. 

One of our first topics was Placenta Encapsulation. We received tons of feedback, suggestions and questions on this topic and we are BEYOND thrilled to have Valerie Rosas of The Feel Good Company Placenta Encapsulation touch on the subject of Placenta Encapsulation. The Feel Good Company Placenta Encapsulation By Valerie Rosas is an L.A. based business that offers Placenta capsules, tinctures, salves, smoothies and much more for mommas-to be. Valerie’s motivation, inspiration, and passion for placenta encapsulation stems from the importance of mental health, she believes in the placenta power and is passionate in helping women in their postpartum recovery and assisting them in their transition into motherhood. Along with aiding women post baby, she is also driven to educate women in general about placenta encapsulation through event speaking. Valerie has received training through Full Circle Placenta Encapsulation and Certification, January 2013, and has been certified since March 2013. She has also obtained her Food Handlers Certification and Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate. In this way her clients can feel safe and secure that they are in good hands.

Placenta Encapsulation 101

There are two methods of preparing placenta for encapsulation, the RAW method and TCM method (traditional Chinese medicine). In the RAW method steaming placenta is skipped and placenta goes straight into the dehydrator.  The TCM method gently warms placenta by steaming with slices of ginger. Tincture is a fermentation process that allows preservation of the placenta so that it can be used for menopause and any hormonal transition. A Salve is a super healing, natural triple antibiotic ointment (used for perineal tearing, cracked nipples, eczema, diaper rash and more). A placenta smoothie is a small piece of your raw placenta with your choice of fruits blended to provide you with a turbo boost of energy along with all the placenta benefits instantaneously!… “How’s this for a history lesson, the earliest recorded use of the placenta was in 1578 by Li Shi-Zhen a medical and pharmaceutical expert of China. He included placenta as a medicine in his first TCM Materia Medica publication… Needless to say, I love placenta!”

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There’s a sub-culture of mommies that is rapidly increasing and for a good reason, PLACENTA POWER!!

The possibility of dodging postpartum depression while replenishing iron and lending a consistent flow of oxytocin to get your motherhood started with a feel good vibe has mommas researching for the nearest placenta encapsulator. Hence, The Feel Good Company Placenta Encapsulation By Valerie Rosas. After all, no doctor on this planet can prescribe a vitamin or herbal supplement more perfect than your placenta. Consumption of placenta is known to have been practiced as far back as 1578 as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and though it has surfaced on the mainstream through several celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone and twin sisters Tia & Tamera’s public acceptance, many cultures around the world find it to be common practice to consume placenta as part of a healing process after giving birth. As for Valerie, She knows through her own experience what it feels like to have been swallowed up by baby blues and two weeks after giving birth rescued by the encapsulation of her placenta. Her testimony is very similar to the stories shared on YELP by the ladies that she’s encapsulated for. The Feel Good Company PE is dedicated with the upmost passion to serve Mommas with complete and wholesome care and priding itself in making sure that mommas receive their placentas within 48 hrs, if not sooner so that they may reap the benefits of the medicine that their very own body has created for them. Other services besides encapsulation also consist of Salves, Tinctures, Smoothies and Dream-catchers made from the umbilical cord. For more information please visit…. www.feelgoodplacenta.com

 

 

Family-friendly Local Travel: El Capitan Canyon… Camping done RIGHT! plus BIRDLING BAG & $150 worth of M.O. Goodies GIVEAWAY!!

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We are always looking for fun and exciting ways to incorporate travel, family-time, nature, memories and new experiences into our lives. Being a busy family running a small business you don’t always seem to find time to sit back and just enjoy. For awhile now my husband has been hinting that he would love to do a family camping trip. My husband and I are a lot alike but when it comes to roughing it, I’m just not your gal. Plus having two kids under 3 and another bundle in the oven just made the idea of camping not too exciting. My first thoughts were: no bathrooms, no showers, kids wondering off, bears, bugs and more than anything pregnancy late night “can’t hold water” problems. I know this all sounds dramatic but these truly were my thoughts of camping, especially at this current stage in our lives. Did I mention I’m 6 months pregnant with a two-year old and a three-year old? The idea of camping just didn’t hit the “relaxing trigger” in my mind.

Well boy oh boy was I wrong!!! Recently we were introduced to the idea of “Glamping”. For those still new to the term, “Glamping”, Oxford Dictionary defines it as,  ”A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping”. This seemed more up my alley. An opportunity to experience nature, shower within the comforts of my bathroom, have a potty close by for my toddlers and also those frequent “pregnancy can’t hold water” visits, electricity and so much more. Meet our newest annual family summer vacation spot: El Capitan Canyon.

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Where do we begin? El Capitan Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara along an unspoiled stretch of the California coast, is renowned as an all-season comfort camping destination. Originally a traditional campground, El Capitan Canyon reopened in 2002 as an upscale, outdoor destination and quickly became known for its picturesque canvas safari tents and contemporary rustic cedar cabins. It was one of the first to be coined “luxury camping.”

Nestled against the Los Padres National Forest with access to 3,500 acres of pristine nature preserve, the Canyon is set on 350 acres of rolling hills and creek canyons and is a five-minute walk to El Capitan State Beach. During the summer months, the Canyon becomes a place for families to reconnect as it offers a no-fuss, back-to-nature camp experience with s’mores by the fire, hiking, and outdoor concerts. Family-owned since 1975, El Capitan Canyon provides affordable luxury in nature. Set amidst a grove of California oaks and sycamore trees are six adventure yurts, 26 canvas safari tents and 122 individual cedar cabins, including 13 new Corral Cabins. These comfortable accommodations are arranged in villages.

Truly this place is a campers dream! What we enjoyed most was that we still felt connected to nature. We still felt we were camping and enjoying all the things traditional camping has to offer plus the convenience of “luxury accommodations”. We stayed in one of El Capitan’s Cedar Cabins. The Cedar Cabins feature spacious decks, full bathrooms and kitchenettes. Many have fireplaces. Guests can choose from a Creekside King with soaking tub, Canyon Suite, Canyon Loft, Creekside and Canyon Queens, Creekside Double with soaking tub, Canyon Bunk cabins, or the newest cabin type, the contemporary rustic Corral Cabins, set slightly aside from the main camp for more privacy. All cabins include linens, duvets, towels, picnic tables, grills and fire pits. Another great thing about El Capitan is they also offer other styles of camping for those that prefer the camping experience of a tent.

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Once we arrived we quickly dove right into the many activities that El Capitan has to offer. First we hiked through the camp grounds to explore the property. We were amazed to find all the amenities such as: a playground, a heated pool, a petting zoo, a market full of eco-friendly items and toys and last but not least a staff that was more than accommodating. Like most moms when on vacation hotel staff is sometimes as important as comfy sleeping arrangements. We need to check in fast, have staff that may understand the tired crying baby, staff that greets you with a smile and staff that reassures you that you made the right choice by bringing your family to their location to make memories. We also loved that they mapped out exactly what was offered at El Capitan to make our trip even easier .Truly we can say this was one of the most relaxing, exciting, enjoyable vacations we’ve ever been on. El Capitan truly gets the Mothers Organic family stamp of approval for BEST LOCAL FAMILY TRAVEL.

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*** I know most our moms are curious as to what we packed, how we packed and what was our must-have items to bring. I have put together a short list of items to bring and best of all a GIVEAWAY we are including in our review of El Capitan Canyon.

Let’s start with our luggage!!! I am always on the hunt for the “perfect weekender” bag. You know that magical bag that you can fit everyone’s clothes into? Yeap, the one you’ve desperately always wanted but couldn’t find? As a busy mom of young children packing is always such a hassle. Traveling with multiple bags in tow always seems to make our trips more difficult. That was all until I discovered Birdling Bags. Birdling Bags are proudly made in America and offer the finest quality in materials and customer service. I cannot express to you enough how convenient it was to have one bag for all four of us. YES MAMA’S, all four of us!!! Having one bag for clothes made this mama jump for joy. The best part is the Birdling Bags have cool compartments for separation. Trust me when I say you’ll never need another weekender! Our picks for must have camping items are: Sunscreen, Sanitation Hand Wipes, Sanitizer Spray, Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle, and Snack Storage.

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With all that said, since we are still beaming from our amazing vacation at El Capitan Canyon along with the remarkable experience of traveling so light using our Birdling Bag we want to offer our reader and customer base the opportunity to WIN a Birdling Bag of their own along with $150 worth of “travel must-have” goodies from our store.

To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below, also do not forget to leave a blog comment below. Tell us when and where was your last family vacation? The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run from Thursday, August 14th, 2014 through Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 12:01PST. Good luck! And remember you can enter once a day!

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