Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easy Ways to Enjoy Easter With Your Toddler

  • Plan your own Easter Egg Hunt
  • Create an Easter Craft
  • Dye Eggs With Whip Cream and Food Coloring {roll them around in the mixture and leave them sit in fridge overnight, rinse in the morning}
  • Paint Bunny Faces on Your Face
  • Pick Flowers
  • Read The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Plan an Indoor Easter Egg Hunt
  • Bake Cookies or a Carrot Cake
  • Attend Church
  • Visit Someone With Pet Rabbits
  • Take Them to Take Pictures With the Local Easter Bunny
  • Read Guess How Much I Love You
  • Pray Together
  • Read Pat the Bunny
  • Serve Them Carrots on a Bunny Plate
  • Have a "Tea" Party With Their Stuffed Bunnies and Friends {complete with Easter attire}
  • Write a Note for the Bunny for Their First Easter {and have the Bunny write one back}
  • Have Them Leave Their Basket Out the Night Before
  • Go Outside and Enjoy the Spring!
Posted Here
What Easter activity have you done together?
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter,  Sasha

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Bless You for Choosing Cloth

{This was an original post written by me, featured on Over the Moon Diapers}

Oh you're switching to cloth diapers? Bless you child. Bless you. 

Yes, I heard this quite a few times in my conversion over to cloth. Apparently people are praying over me for diapering my kid in what seems like the only natural way to go. I suppose I get their drift, I mean it is poop we're talking about. And it's poop on cloth. And that cloth has to be washed. And that's a big ewwww right there. How about we bless my washer. My washer machine has seen more crap than it probably ever dreamed of. 

Switching to cloth is definitely a life changing event. Actually no, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Switching to cloth isn't life changing; it is just a change. It is a change that requires some knowledge and unless you're a skilled crap washer and diaper stuffer, then there is a big chance that you will likely be overwhelmed in the beginning.  

Our culture makes it easy for us to choose disposables for our children because our culture and society loves to do things the easy route. Unfortunately the easy route is not always the healthiest or "greenest" route to go. It's hard to find the information out there about cloth diapers. You can't just call up your friend with five kids and ask her all about cloth diapers because chances are she doesn't have a clue. You can't go to your local Wal-Mart and ask the sales associate where to find cloth diapers because 1) some WM sales associates don't always know where many items are 2) Wal-Mart doesn't sell cloth diapers (who would have thought?). 

For me personally I was terrified to switch to cloth. Prior to having my child I had no clue what cloth diapers meant (I just knew it wasn't disposables). After a month or so of our disposable diapers piling up and me realizing that I was wasting money and hurting the environment, I decided to Google cloth diapers. Well let me just tell you that I Googled and Googled; and I You Tubed and I chatted about it and I still had no dang blasted clue about any of it. 

The terms that go along with cloth diapers are words that are unheard of in most baby books. I'm pretty sure I didn't read about prefolds and All In Ones in my What to Expect When You're Expecting book (they should really include a section). I couldn't for the life of me understand how to wash the crap off. I mean's a human pooping on cloths and I'm supposed to do what with it? I think I was most confused about pocket diapers. My vision was that the diaper had a magic pocket that the baby pooped in; a poop pocket. 

It wasn't until I just said "I'm doing it" and went to a new, local store (a Godsend) and started asking my fifty one questions that I decided to just buy some and try it. Actually to be honest my "buy some" was more like $150 dollars worth of my diaper stash. I knew I was going to do it because no matter how much I still had to learn and no matter how much crap I had to wash, I knew that it was the route I wanted to go. I left that store feeling much more knowledgeable thanks to finally meeting someone in real life that had cloth diapered their kiddos. I went home with a goal that night to figure it out and make it work and to just accept everyone's "blessings" on my new journey and make the most of it. 

I am now here to tell you that I didn't really need those blessings (but hey thanks). I didn't really get splattered with crap while washing it off like I envisioned and even though pocket diapers don't really have a magic poop pocket, they are actually my favorite. To be honest using cloth diapers isn't that different than using disposables. They are all the same to me. I've actually had less crap on me with cloth diapers than with disposables (so boo-ya). 

What I have learned so far is that your baby is going to poop no matter what. That's what they are made to do. They are little human poop factories and we are the lucky dogs who get to clean it up. Choosing cloth doesn't mean that I'm making the job any harder or any messier. Choosing cloth just means that I am making things healthier for my baby and the planet and less expensive for my family. Choosing cloth just means that my baby has super cute diapers (cue the boo-ya).

The biggest and most important thing about choosing cloth is to learn about it. It's a crap load of information about a crappy process. Learning about it is intimidating and will make you say, "nah I'll just stick with the disposables." I promise you that once you learn about it and give it a try you will be hooked instantly. You'll kick yourself in the butt for not starting them sooner and you'll want to shout from the rooftops about how cool and easy they are (okay so maybe that's a little bit dramatic). 

But no, really. They are that cool. 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Creating a Healthy Easter Basket for Your Children

Easter is definitely a holiday similar to Christmas, where the true meaning behind the day can sometimes be overlooked. Chocolate and bunnies play a huge part in what we consider "Easter" to be; when the truth is, those things don't really have much to do with Easter. 

As a first time mother, I too get overly excited about the holidays and the "items" that go along with it. I've thought endlessly about my daughter's Easter Basket and planned for the "perfect" one. As a new mom, I constantly battle with myself over trying to simplify things. I don't want my child to grow up in a world of too much toys and too much junk. I often wished I lived a much more "minimal lifestyle" than I do now, but I am only human. With that being said, when you're filling your child's Easter basket for the first time ever, it is hard to not go overboard out of pure excitement. 

Creating a healthy Easter basket really isn't too difficult to do. This year in our home it was very easy to do since my child is only a toddler and isn't walking around asking for Cadbury Eggs and Heavenly Hash. I'm sure the time will come where my child will know the delicious taste that those candies have, BUT that doesn't mean that the basket will be full of those things. 

This year I tried to create as healthy of a basket as I could. We are not in need of any toys and with a birthday around the corner, I knew I wanted to keep the toys simple. From healthy, non toxic bath toys to an American made Sock Bunny, I think I nailed my mission of simple toys. You can never, ever go wrong with books as presents to your children. Books will usually last a lifetime and will teach your child so much more than any stuffed bunny or rubber duck will. Books are always a great way to incorporate the true meaning behind any holiday, as you can almost always find a book that is appropriate for your child's age that will bring light to the holiday. And you can't ever go wrong with a Peter Rabbit tale (yes, he is in there too). 

Since all Easter baskets usually have "sweet treats," ours will have these adorable Peter Rabbit Organic food pouches that will be a tasty break from the homemade food that I make for baby (and they'll likely inspire new recipes). And lastly, I've thrown in a some of Ella's Kitchen organic baby treats (something new for her to try) for our occasional snack time. For older children, consider adding fruit, granola bars, organic treats and less of the chocolate stuff (but hey, throw a piece in there!). 

For the final touch to this adorable basket, I've added a quaint little wooden bunny. This handmade wooden teether was an Etsy find from Montana Solar Creations. Wooden teethers are one of the best teethers you can provide for your child and wooden toys are a timeless, non toxic option that wins my heart over any plastic toy. 

I simply can't wait for this Easter to see my Little Bug's expression when she wakes to find this basket of goodies. There are parts of me that thinks "this isn't enough," and then the simpler side of me says, "maybe I went overboard." In the end, I know it's just perfect and I now know that with some extra thought, you can easily create a healthy Easter basket for your children. While it may not necessarily be the most "eco friendly" basket around, it definitely is a good one!

What do you plan on putting in the basket this year?
"Healthy" or not, I look forward to hearing your ideas!
Thanks for reading, Sasha

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Ways to Honor the Earth!


Welcome to the April 2014 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Honor the Earth. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and Crunchy Farm Baby through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how they honor the Earth year round. Stop by all of the posts to get ideas on how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Visit Happy Mothering and Crunchy Farm Baby to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

Raise your hand if you've ever thought about recycling. Is your hand down or up? Have you ever considered buying one of those $1 reusable totes at the grocery store? Nah, why should you do those crazy things? Well we all should do something to honor this great planet of ours. After all, most of us have children and this is their home too. This is the home that they will grow up in and the world that we will leave behind for them and their children. It's a sad reality that our planet is falling apart due to our wear and tear on it. Life is now all about what is easy and convenient and less about what is real, whole and natural.

Living a greener lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean making crazy, hippie like changes (personally, I like hippies). It simply means that you become more conscious about the environment and the things that you do that can impact it. For me, the kick in the butt that I needed was having my sweet baby (almost) a year ago. She has opened my eyes and given me such a desire to protect her. I want to help start her life off healthy and natural.

So what are some things that we do?

Well it started with switching to natural skin care products and then cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are AMAZING for the environment. I love how some people try to argue that they are bad because of the water you have to use to wash them, but um last time I checked, I had to use water for ALL of my laundry (so your argument is lame folks). Disposables sit in landfills for like 1,000 years -- um that is pretty crappy in my opinion; not to mention the trees and oil that is used to manufacture them as well. Disposables also harm our water ways when they make the cross into our water (from landfills) and because of the chemicals in them, it can harm the life inside of those waterways. I'm saving money and the environment by using cloth!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mama Made Baby Food: Broccoli and Carrots

For some mamas, coming up with baby food recipes may be hard to do; and then on the other hand, there are mothers that whip up some crazy Martha Stewart style dinners for their baby. 

And then there is me. 

While I make up many of my own recipes, many of them are just things that simply go together and other things are just experiments. Nothing that I make is too hard or too fancy and many are inspired by other things that I see. The beauty of homemade baby food is that your baby really doesn't know what's good and what's not good. 

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