Green Team Giveaway- Enter to Win Imse Vimse Stay-Dry Nursing Pads & Earth Mama Nipple Butter

Enter this weeks giveaway for a chance to win:

1- Imse Vimse Stay Dry Nursing Pads – 3 pairs

1- Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter 2oz

Open to the USA and Canada only. By entering this giveaway you are signing up to receive our newsletters. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize after being notified. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.

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Breastfeeding and Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapering is a personal choice that a parent needs to make. Just like breastfeeding vs formula, co-sleeping vs not co-sleeping, etc. etc. As a cloth diaper advocate and a Mom that is obsessed with cloth diapers I have to continually realize that the rest of the world just might not choose to cloth diaper.

Just like political views and religious beliefs; styles of parenting and choices that parents make need to be respected. It may be hard to do; especially when you are so passionate about something that has to deal with our babies.

This post will be focusing on breastfeeding and cloth diapering and my experiences. Again, whatever choices you decide for you and your baby are your choices and are to be respected and remember you are a GOOD Mom or Dad no matter what you decide!

I have 3 children and one on the way that is making her debut in a few weeks. I have breastfed all my children. My first born took the most adjustment (as with anything you do for the first time.) I had all the intentions to cloth diaper my first born (born in 1997) and had what most think of when you mention cloth diapers- the traditional cloth rectangles that you swish around in the toilet. The ‘modern’ cloth diaper industry had not been born at that time and there was very little educational material (written or otherwise). After 5 changes in cloth I quickly converted to disposables.

My 2nd child was born in 2000 and I breastfed and used disposable diapers until he was a year old. At that time I had started an online baby clothing business that quickly switched to selling cloth diapers and I switched to cloth diapering as well. What an amazing difference in just 3 years. Not only were the cloth diapering options improved but the education and written material was widely available.

My 3rd child was born in 2008 and I breastfed and used cloth diapers from birth. Having access to almost every style and brand available was a luxury and I quickly learned what cloth diapering systems worked best for me and my baby. When initially choosing cloth diapers (whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed) it is much like trying on a pair of jeans to get the perfect fit. My best suggestion is to start with a sampling of styles/brands before you commit to 24-36 of one style of brand. With most companies offering quick shipping it shouldn’t take long to get your cloth diaper stash in its entirety but it is wise to wait until baby arrives and you try a few options before making a big purchase.

So more about breastfeeding and cloth diapering– I am just going to be candid here. POOP is dreaded by most. Runny poop, sticky poop, semi-solid poop, peanut-butter chunk-style poop (i know GROSS), colored poop- it WILL happen and ‘It is what it is’. The one thing I can guarantee you is that if you exclusively breastfeed (and after the first few bowel movements of meconium past- the bowel movements of thick, tar-like poop) the bowel movements will be like a mustard colored water. They are completely water-soluble- no need to use flushable liners or a diaper sprayer during this time- are virtually odorless (sometime even sweet smelling- weird, huh?) I am not sure if I grossed you out by my initial description of poops or have relieved you letting you know that breastfed poop is the easiest to deal with? (Hopefully the latter.)

To wrap up here are my initial suggestions if you plan to breastfeed and use cloth diapers:

Sample- Sample at least 5-6 styles/brands on your baby first before making a large purchase. For example:

2- All-in-One Diapers (one-piece systems -easy to use like disposables)

2-Pocket-Style Diapers (2-piece system with a pocket cover and insert)

1-Diaper Cover and Prefold Diaper

Cloth breast pads and Nipple Cream- Usually 8-10 pairs of breast pads to start. (Yes, these can be washed with the cloth diapers. If that makes you uncomfortable hand-washing and line-drying is just fine.) Purchase a jar of lanolin free, non-toxic nipple cream to help with sore or cracked nipples.

The wash cycle- Wash on hot and set machine to an extra rinse if that is available. Line-dry or set cycle on medium/high.

Troubleshooting- If you have fit issues, washing problems, etc. contact the manufacturer of the brands of cloth diapers you are using or reach out to reputable cloth diaper retailer.

Be patient- Be patient with yourself. Especially if you are a first time Mom..everything is new. There is no test to pass. Get rest. If you use a few disposables…it is OK. Ask for help.

Bottom line- do what is best for you and your baby in the moment. ALWAYS remember…YOU are a GOOD MOM!

 

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Green Team Giveaway- Enter to Win Skeeter Skidaddler Bug Repellent and Episencial Sunscreen

Enter this weeks giveaway for a chance to win:

1-Skeeter Skidaddler 100% Natural Bug Repellent Microfiber Towelette

1-Babytime! by Episencial Sunny Sunscreen SPF35

Open to the USA and Canada only. By entering this giveaway you are signing up to receive our newsletters. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize after being notified. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.

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What is EWG’s Skin Deep?

What is in the products we use everyday? What about the environment around us? Cleaners, soaps, soil, pesticides, the air we breathe-what dangers and benefits are unseen? Well, that is exactly what the Environmental Working Group, or EWG do. They do what few organizations do: educate the public about some of the most common elements we encounter in day to day life. Non-partisan and non-profit, the EWG actually care about the health of the public. Founded in 1992, the EWG is more important as ever, especially as the state of the environment becomes more and more of a pressing issue.

If you have ever purchased health-conscious, environmentally friendly products, you may have seen the little green ‘e’ on the bottle or package. This means that the product is verified ‘green’ by the EWG. It isn’t easy to be certified to be able to put the mark on a product. Companies have to list all of the ingredients, including details of how their product was made. The EWG mark is relatively new, started in 2015, so products that are EWG verified are beginning to become more commonplace. Look closer at the environmentally friendly products you buy, the EWG label is one of the best they can have.

Unfortunately, not all the products you buy can be 100% natural and safe. However, EWG created something called Skin Deep-which, contrary to its name, goes beyond the surface of products and the ingredients in them to show you what’s really dangerous and what isn’t. Skin Deep is a database for almost 70,000 cosmetic products. 70,000! Considering most people know hardly any chemicals or ingredients found in the average product, that number is truly amazing. The most common ingredients and products have detailed and easy to understand descriptions and are graded on a 1-10 scale of how hazardous they are. Simply putting an ingredient into the search bar shows everything you need to know about it. EWG and the Skin Deep database are true proofs that green leaves are far better than those with faces on them.

Sign up today to get a downloadable PDF version of EWG’s Quick Tips for Choosing Safer Personal Care Products – delivered right to your inbox!

 

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Green Team Giveaway- Enter to Win Earth Mama Angel Baby Sleep Little One Gift Set

Enter to win this weeks giveaway for:

1- Earth mama Angel Baby Sleep Little One-A Naturally Calm Gift Set

Open to the USA and Canada only. By entering this giveaway you are signing up to receive our newsletters. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize after being notified. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.

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5 Health Benefits of Lavender

There is nothing that smells quite like lavender. The soothing floral scent is a pleasure to most, and is found in many natural products. Although its fragrant properties are well known, the benefits of using lavender largely aren’t. Lavender essential oil is currently the most used in the world. It has stood the test of time, with early uses dating back more than 2,500 years! From its calming ability to its healing properties, here are five health benefits of using lavender.

  1. Antioxidants

You may have heard of free radicals-they are highly dangerous to the body. What are they exactly? In simplest terms, free radicals are highly reactive molecules that are a natural byproduct of chemical processes in the body. The more they build up, the more dangerous they become. Antioxidants are natural enzymes that prevent free radicals from damaging cells further. Lavender essential oil has been found to help the body produce more antioxidants, lessening the amount of free radicals present and improving health. Scientists also have found that lavender helps protect cells from cancer!

  1. Skincare

Sunburn or dry skin? Use lavender! Lavender is a great natural antimicrobial, thus helping its skincare characteristics. Lavender soothes the skin, helping it maintain a healthy feel and appearance. If you’re worried about those wrinkles and age spots, lavender is commonly used as an effective, natural remedy!

  1. Helps Heal Cuts and Scrapes

Lavender has been used as an anti-fungal and antibacterial for centuries. It also speeds up the healing process in burns, cuts, scrapes, and other wounds. Paired with other beneficial oils such as clove, tea tree and cinnamon, it is very effective in stopping infection and heightening the pace of recovery.

  1. Sleep

There is a reason why lavender is so commonly used to help people relax-it works! Lavender has natural calming and soothing properties to ease the upset or restless. Many have difficulty getting to sleep, or simply have insomnia. Lavender’s properties help sleep come easier and improves the quality of it. One of my favorite lavender oils is made by Balm Baby-high quality and it comes in a small vial that makes it easy to apply. I even use it in my diffuser/humidifier in my bedroom when I’m feeling the need to relax! My little guy, Riley can be antsy and restless sometimes-I tried a few drops of the oil around his neck and wrist before bedtime and now he loves it!

  1. Improves Mood

Side effects of most medicines to turn people off of them. Not lavender! Lavender has been commonly and effectively used to help treat neurological issues for hundreds of years. It has been proven that lavenders properties are viable treatment options for Alzheimer’s, strokes, stress, anxiety, depression, and many more! Have a cranky baby? Use lavender shampoo-Episencial Peaceful Bubbles is a 3 in 1 body wash, shampoo, and conditioner that is awesome to use. It smells great and helps soothe even the most irritable little one, making bathtime and the rest of the day easier for mom, dad, and baby.
Try incorporating lavender into your day, you might be surprised at the sweet-smelling perks!

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Green Team Giveaway- Enter To Win an ImseVimse Organic Cotton Swaddling Blanket & Bandana Bib

Enter this weeks giveaway for a chance to win:

1- ImseVimse Organic Cotton Swaddling Blanket & Organic Bandana Bib

Open to the USA and Canada only. By entering this giveaway you are signing up to receive our newsletters. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize after being notified. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.
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Five Baby Shower Gifts Under $40

A family member or friend has just announced they are expecting a baby! A baby shower is soon approaching, and you want to get something that shows you care, but oftentimes baby shower gifts can be rather pricey. Oftentimes people overspend on baby shower gifts, but it doesn’t have to happen to you-here are five baby shower gifts you can get for under forty dollars.

  1.  Imse Vimse Bandana Bib and Swaddling Blanket Set– Cost: $29.99

Babies, as we all know, are equally as messy as they are cute. Simply leaving them with some baby food spells a kitchen disaster, with food all over the place! With ImseVimse’s cute bandana-style bib, baby can make as big as a mess as they want, without having to make mom clean everywhere. Adjustable popper fastening and a variety of colors and patterns make this bib perfect! The set also includes a 100% cotton swaddling blanket-great for keeping baby warm and can be used in so many ways. Not to mention that the set is wallet-friendly, at only thirty dollars. The set is a great gift to make any expecting parents and their baby happy.

 

 

  1. Earth Mama Little Something for Baby Gift Set– Cost: $19.99

Dirt, spit, and food are just some of the things that will be discovered at bathtime. Sensitive skin and eyes make gentle shampoos and soaps necessary for scrubbing the daily grime off baby. Earth Mama’s kit includes lotion, oil, and bottom balm for post-bath skin care in addition to shampoo and body wash. Gentle and all-natural, health-conscious parents will be delighted when they see you got them this set, and it’s less than twenty dollars!

 

 

 

 

  1. Wean Green Baby Starter Set– Cost: $30.00

Looking for something unique and functional as a baby shower gift? Look no further with Wean Green’s glass storage containers-excellent for storing snacks, baby food, and anything else you can think of! Durable and compact, these containers have dozens of uses, and at only thirty dollars, they are an awesome way to help parents and baby be more organized.

 

 

 

 

  1. Hip Peas Welcome Home Set– Cost: $29.99

Baby’s hair is soft and fragile, Hip Peas’ baby wash and wooden brush help keep it healthy and clean. The wash is foaming, non-toxic, and has no artificial colors. The wooden brush is eco-friendly and cruelty free, with soft bristles to keep those wispy heads of hair in place. The set also comes with a moisturizing lotion that’s hypoallergenic for the most sensitive of skins. An excellent gift for sensitive little babies!

 

 

 

 

  1. Earth Mama Angel Baby Sleepy Little One Gift Set– Cost: $39.99

Tears and restlessness come just as much with a baby as does the laughter and cuteness. Long nights where baby just cannot rest plague parents everywhere. Earth Mama’s Sleepy Little One Gift Set is awesome at helping alleviating this. The set includes body wash, lip balm, lotion, and a cute heart plush. All of these products include the natural calming properties of lavender, perfect for helping clean and care for baby while keeping them happy. The parents will thank you after receiving this super-helpful set and your budget will thank you too, at forty dollars, this kit is a fantastic gift for any baby shower. Any of these gifts are an affordable, quality way to help expecting parents introduce their bundle of joy into the world!

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Green Team Giveaway- Enter to Win a SOPHi Nail Polish Set

Enter to win this weeks giveaway for:

1- SOPHi Dance Lilac No One’s Watching Polish & Prime + Shine + Seal System

Open to the USA and Canada only. By entering this giveaway you are signing up to receive our newsletters. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize after being notified. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.

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Four Toxic Ingredients Found in Nail Polish

There aren’t a lot of things that can rival a trip to the nail salon-who doesn’t like crisp, painted nails? Unfortunately, nail polish is yet another substance with toxic components. Most of the time all ingredients are not listed, or we don’t bother to read them. This unawareness makes nail polishes all the more dangerous, not to mention the fact that simply because it is applied to nails doesn’t mean that health issues are not a concern while using it.

Here are four toxic ingredients found in nail polish: (the EPA, National Cancer Institute especially recommends staying away from polishes that contain the “Toxic Trio” ingredients: Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde.)

1. Toluene

What makes nail polish have that smooth sheen and sleek finish? Found in the majority of nail polishes, toluene is responsible for just that. It isn’t just found in nail polish, either-it’s found in nail polish remover, one of the causes of that sweet smell. The vapors it produces are highly toxic, as prolonged exposure has been proven to cause brain damage, hearing loss, nausea, and abnormal fetal development. Not only that, it has been linked to several types of blood cancer. It possesses a rap sheet far too long for one ingredient.

2.  Dibutyl Phthalate

Have you found a great type of nail polish that just doesn’t chip? Well, dibutyl phthalate, or DBP is probably the culprit. Being a phthalate, it is found in vinyl flooring, building materials, nail polish, and dozens of other products. It is used for its durable properties, hence the anti-chip aspect in nail polish. Since phthalates are seen as estrogen by the body, it can cause hormonal issues, including decreased fertility, organ damage, and hindered fetal development. The longevity of your nail polish simply isn’t worth the health risks, it’s actually been banned in the European Union.

3.  Formaldehyde

Used in embalming dead people and animals, formaldehyde has long been labeled as a known carcinogen. It is an important ingredient in nail polish as it strengthens, hardens, and is a preservative. The versatility of it makes it too common in nail polishes, especially considering how dangerous it is. Repeated exposure can cause cancer, nausea, lung fluid buildup, and asthma, not to mention more minor side effects. It is banned or limited from use in the European Union, Japan, and Sweden.

4.   Parabens

If a cosmetic product seems to have an abnormally long shelf life, it is most likely parabens. Found in nail polish as well, parabens are commonly added to prevent mold and bacterial growth. It does its job, but it blocks sunlight and air from reaching the nail, which is necessary for strong and healthy nail growth. It also has been linked with breast cancer in women. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather a shorter shelf life than have weaker nails.


Considering nearly every nail polish that you may buy contains at least one of these ingredients, it may make you want to give up chic nails entirely! However, Piggy Paint is a great solution. Its an odorless, hypoallergenic, and water-based nail polish company that is made in the US-they offer dozens of cute colors for kids, entirely toxin free! More recently they have come out with an adult line of polishes called SOPHi, so natural nails can be available for everyone!

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