Saturday, April 30, 2011

Microwaves and the Dirty Truth

A years ago as a young bride I was heating a seed filled “boo boo” pad in the microwave and it had a small explosion. Needless to say after that the unit was toast and the tiny apartment we were currently living in had an odd smell for a few days. At this point I was not very “green” and my motivation for not replacing the microwave was monetary...just not worth it! Fast forward a few years and I have been transformed to a green guru. Now my reasons for a microwave free kitchen are more grounded in fact. So here is the deal on microwaves,
The food molecules are transformed
Heating from the inside out. My favorite example is the burrito. The middle heats up faster then the outside so to the touch it appears to be uncooked and in need of more time. Then you bite into the beast and the middle is boiling lava hot, ouch! This process was enough for me to stay away from the unit but then I found that the process of microwaving food causes certain carcinogens. It shifts around the molecules causing the food to become unrecongizable by your body and / or toxic. In fact, in 1976 the Soviet Union banned the use of microwave ovens! (
Not good for baby
Mothers are told in parenting classes, by seasoned mommies and by breastfeeding literature that breastmilk cannot be heated in the microwave. Have you ever wondered why? Why would it be okay for me to heat cows milk and drink it but I shouldn’t heat up human milk? It is because the process destroys important properties of the milk. On top of that it is recommended that formula should also not be microwaved,
“Microwaving baby formulas converted certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic cis-isomers. Synthetic isomers, whether cis-amino acids or trans-fatty acids, are not biologically active. Further, one of the amino acids, L-proline, was converted to its d-isomer, which is known to be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system) and nephrotoxic (poisonous to the kidneys). It's bad enough that many babies are not nursed, but now they are given fake milk (baby formula) made even more toxic via microwaving." - Dr. Lita Lee of Hawaii
It changes your blood
This is truly creepy, here is what happened. “In 1991, there was a lawsuit in Oklahoma concerning the hospital use of a microwave oven to warm blood needed in a transfusion. The case involved a hip surgery patient, Norma Levitt, who died from a simple blood transfusion. It seems the nurse had warmed the blood in a microwave oven. This tragedy makes it very apparent that there's much more to "heating" with microwaves than we've been led to believe. Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed, but not in microwave ovens. In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood and it killed her.” - Robert O. Becker's The Body Electric, and in Ellen Sugarman's book, Warning, the Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health.

What’s a Green Guru To Do?
Get rid of the microwave! I have happily lived with out one for about 5 years. Yes, it does take a little longer to cook foods but if you have a working oven, a nice toaster and several pots then you will learn quickly how to deal. I have found that food just plain tastes better when it is heated in the conventional oven. So here is the dirty truth about that magical heating box in your kitchen, do with it what you may.

Robert O. Becker's The Body Electric, and in Ellen Sugarman's book, Warning, the Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health.

Make sure to check out my 1st ever Spring Sale in my Etsy store on hankies and baby items. Also come on over and enter my latest organic giveaway!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grandma’s Laundry - Small Retro Steps for Clean Clothes

My passion for eco-friendly laundry happened by accident. I am allergic to...well it is easier to say what does not give me hives. Years ago I had a battle of the dirty clothes, laundry detergents and dryer sheets were constantly giving me hives no matter which brand I used. I became so frustrated that I abandoned laundry soaps all together for a while and washed my clothes with baking soda. That got rid of the hives but did not leave my clothes with that yummy clean smell and it was not enough for messes that a baby could throw my way. Here is how I clean my clothes using products that leave me hive free, smelling great and with zero residue.

For laundry soap I love Biokleen products. They are so concentrated that you only need a tablespoon of soap for an entire wash cycle. For baby messes I add a scoop of baking soda and run the water on a medium temperature. I have also recently discovered a brand called Nellie’s which sell soap in small squares that last for a few loads. I am still on the fence about that product because I finally found something that does not flare up my allergies but I thought it was worth mentioning because it is the brand that I use for my dryer balls.

White Without Bleach
Bleach, just say no. Bad, bad, bad...get rid of it. There are natural ways to bleach your clothes and clean your home. The combination of baking soda and vinegar naturally whitens and hydrogen peroxide will also work. For washing machines just use your soap as normal but add some baking soda then pour a little vinegar into the bleach drop off for your washer. You can also whiten your clothes by line drying, for more on that see below.

Machine Drying
In the past I used Method dryer sheets because they were closer to nature and did not make me itchy. When I was visiting Eco Carmel a few weeks ago I found Nellie’s Dryerballs. I had heard of dryer balls before but never took the time to research why they are used. These stood out from others I had seen before because they came with lavender oil fragrance sticks which are placed inside one of the balls to give that yummy laundry smell. Here are some reasons to switch to dryerballs. 1) They are reusable which means they are better for our planet then dryer sheets. 2) They reduce the needed drying time saving you money and resources. 3) They naturally soften fabrics. 4) They reduce lint and wrinkles - this was a BIG selling point for me. I really hate wrinkled clothing and sheets but I rarely have time to iron! 5) They last about 5 years and each fragrance stick will last for 10 loads.

Line Drying
The best way for you to dry your clothes is line drying, it is easier on the wallet, leaves your clothes smelling great and naturally takes out stains. The down side is waiting for the sun! For me living in a foggy coastal beach town does not allow for outside line drying. For those of you in a similar location there is a solution. For indoor drying you will need to buy a laundry rack, these usually are more vertical then horizontal and work well for laundry rooms. The only downside is having enough space and heavy fabrics take forever to dry. The upside, other then saving money, is your clothes will last longer and colors will stay brighter.

Small Steps, Big Results
You do not have to have a complete laundry overhaul, small steps have a large impact. You could change just your laundry detergent or add dryer balls or line dry just a few items. You will be surprised how much money these simple steps will save and if you are full of allergies like me you will be hive free!

Online Resources
How to use dryer balls:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Green Clean Outdoor Fun

This week was dedicated to organic and eco-friendly toys. Don't forget that the two giveaways end on Monday the 11th! Today’s post will focus on outdoor play. For fun in the sun I love a good imagination. I remember the hot summer days when the neighborhood kids and I would play “archiologist” and unearth shells from the sea cliff. I am not a fan of play ground equipment but I often find myself there. It always seems dirty and no matter what material is chosen for the ground it always seems to have a draw back. One of my book resources goes into detail about playgrounds but I can only be paranoid to a certain degree. I included the reference if you are wanting a scary read. Even with letting some small things that bother you go you still have to draw a line. Recently baby Paul and I went through a stage where he liked to eat the wood chips...Oui Vey! To distract from fun treats like wood chips and licking the monkey bars I would bring items from home to play with like toy cars and side walk chalk. Usually this scenario brought many other curious kids from the play ground and new games were invented. Here are some of my favorite types of outdoor toys and why I love them.
Wooden Cars and Trucks
Toys made from untreated wood are healthy for baby and better for the environment. An added bonus is their cuteness factor and the retro appeal. I also love that they are so much more durable then plastic toys and you do not have to worry about tiny pieces getting lost. Many play grounds have tables with car race tracks, our local parks have at least one at each location. Bring at least two, these are bound to get some attention! For examples of these cute little toys visit my Etsy organic toy treasury, I have some great finds there!
To decorate your driveway, sidewalk or playground chalk is just plain fun. It is easy to carry with you and you do not have to worry about a mess because rain will clean up for you. Just like any art supply, choose your products wisely. Chalk dust is often consumed by accident so picking a natural brand is important. For eco-friendly chalk I love supporting small businesses like Rose and Rockers.
~ Meet ERIN of Rose and Rockers ~ artist, wife, mother of 3. ~ Purpose ~ she has a giving nature so giving to her own children and others drive her cause. ~ Products ~ from crayons to watercolors to chalk her art supplies are safe and non-toxic, some are organic. Even her packaging is repurposed or recycled! ~ Her Favorite ~ the Comin’ Home crayons are her favorite because she loves the color combination. ~ Find her Products ~ on Etsy,, use coupon code ONE4ONE to get 10% off!

Green Babies, Sage Moms by Linda Fassa
Etsy Organic Toy Treasury:
Rose and Rockers:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Indoor Art - Review and Giveaway

This week is dedicated to organic and eco-friendly toys. Today’s post will focus on our little indoor artists. From crayons to paint our children love color. Sadly it always ends up on their clothes and sometimes in their mouths. Even though most children’s art supplies say non-toxic they should still not be in baby’s mouth. It is best to go with an earth friendly and healthy alternative. They are not much more expensive and are fun and easy to use.
Paint Review...for our Little Picasso
I was walking in a cute town next to my home last weekend and stopped into a shop one of my friend’s recommended called Eco Carmel. Not only was this shop earth friendly, it also had some of the most unique eco items I have ever seen. When I saw these Glob paints I just had to try them out, I knew I was gearing up for the toy blog and thought I would give these a try so I could tell all of you how they work and it was perfect timing because these paints are great for egg decorating.
Glob paints are made from botanical extracts and natural food-grade ingredients. The colors smell good enough to eat! All you have to do is add water. Based on how much water you add the paint can be used as watercolors, paint for Easter eggs, wood stain and play dough. Once you mix your paint you can put it in the fridge for a few days and it will still work.
When I used these paints I mixed them in tiny glass jars and added water until I had the consistency that I wanted. I painted the top of my box where I keep my embroidery floss, as you can see they were easy to use! I highly recommend this product. You can follow the link below to their site to order your own or if you are close to Carmel, CA you can stop in to Eco Carmel.
Crayons...hopefully for paper and not walls
I love crayons, they are the perfect thing to pack in your play bag to keep the kids happy during “boring” moments. Even though I do love crayons I do not love the idea that the baby will put it in her mouth and receive some questionable chemicals. The solution? All natural options like soy crayons. For these I turn to Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy. Not only are these products natural, they are adorable!
   ~ Meet MELISSA of Earth Grown Crayons ~ artist, wife, mother of 3. 
  ~ Purpose ~ her grandfather’s farm began her love of soy, years later she uses it to create all-natural and biodegradable crayons. ~ Design Inspiration ~ her love of animals and life. ~ Products ~ her crayons are from American grown soy and are free of herbicides and pesticides and the pigments are non-toxic, even the packaging is from recycled materials! ~ Her Favorite ~ the fish crayons, they are fun and popular! ~ Find her Products ~ on Etsy, ~ Win a Set of Fish Crayons ~ to win these fun fishy crayons become a follower of this blog and comment below that you want to be entered to win! You can enter up to 5 times, see extra entries.

For extra entries:
1. add earthgrowncrayons to your favorites on Etsy by following this link,
2. add Anya’s Green Baby to your favorites on Etsy by following this link,
3. Purchase an item from either of the stores
4. Bring a friend to the blog and have them follow too!

Glob Paint:
Eco Carmel:
Earth Grown Crayons:
Anya’s Green Baby Etsy store:

Come back for my next blog post on outdoor toys!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Play Time - Organic and Eco-Friendly Toys with Reviews and Giveaways!

This week is dedicated to organic and eco-friendly toys. I have to admit I hate toys, those plastic monstrosities are everywhere! Invading your living room, under your foot in a dark hallway and always on the floor of the bedroom. I feel that there is a time and a place for toys. My mother was a single mom who took me everywhere. I had to learn how to entertain myself for long periods of time. Together we came up with the play pack. I would pack a bag of goodies, crayons with coloring books, my favorite dolly, paper doll books a get the idea. I would be fine by myself for hours. When I took my first nanny position I continued this practice and had the children pack a play bag. To this day you will find crayons, paper, a snack, a drink and boo boo aid in any of my purses!

So as you can see I actually love toys, I just hate the plastic with tons of tiny pieces that breaks the minute you take it out of the box and was made in China by child labor toys! I fear holidays and birthdays to come when I have to lay down the law for presents but what else is a green momma to do? Over the next week I will review my favorite eco-friendly toys with NO plastics! I will also profile some of my favorite artists who hand create some amazing products and I will have two toy giveaways! Please visit my treasury on Etsy, to see other organic toys that I love.

Today’s blog is for the babies and for that we turn to simple objects like stuffed animals and mobiles.

Stuffed Animals
I love simplicity and stuffed animals are in our life in moderation. One for the bed, one for the car and play bag. In my experience a baby quickly decides which is the favorite and then curses of plagues to you if you ever, ever loose it! To avoid this, buy two! Until then I like to have one at all times, it can be a nice distraction on those car rides when baby has had enough.

We have two, one that rattles and one that does not. Toys that make sound are heavily considered before entering our family, only soft noises are allowed. We have a small stuffed giraffe by Gund that makes a very soft, non-annoying rattle. It is made and stuffed with organic cotton. This one works well for distracting at grocery stores, restaurants and car rides. The other one is little monkey by miYim, he is also made from organic cotton and all-natural organic dyes. He is small enough to be leashed to a car seat or stroller for that cuddly toy on the go. As you can see in the picture, even the packaging is eco-friendly.

I once nannied a child who hated diaper changes. This baby would run from me and say “no, no no!” as his little poopy diaper sagged. The only way I could get him to cooperate was to become the tickley “Poopy Monster” so it became a fun game and to distract him with a mobile above the changing table. I still love mobiles, there is something so charming about them. If you are looking for that perfect statement or you have a willful child like I did a mobile is the perfect solution. We ordered the most beautiful mobile from The Starcraft on Etsy. When I contacted them about an interview and a giveaway the answer was YES! Here is a little information about those works of art and how you can win one for your baby (or just for you!)

~ Meet FRANCES of The Starcraft ~ artist, newlywed, mother of 2 little boys.   ~ Inspiration ~ her grandmother’s vintage creations and her customer requests. ~ Products ~ her adorable mobiles are all handmade with love using recycled papers from books, newspaper, vintage map papers and music papers. 
~ Her Favorite ~ her natural no-wax star mobiles.  
~ Find her Products ~  on, use coupon code “musthavemore” to get 20% off! 
 ~ Win a Mobile ~ to win this adorable mobile from The Starcraft become a follower of this blog, follow the link above to add thestarcraft to your favorites on Etsy and comment below that you want to win. ( The winner will be randomly chosen from the entries on Monday 4/11 at midnight (PST). Believe me, this one is worth it!

Come back tomorrow for some information on artistic toys like crayons, chalk and paint...and of course, more giveaways!

Etsy toy treasurey:
Frances at The Starcraft: 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Favorite Morning Glory Muffins

On my way out to visit my mother the other day I stopped into Earthbound Farms for a much needed snack. Browsing through the options I saw their amazing Morning Glory bread and quickly bought a slice. Driving through the beautiful valley eating pieces of this mouth-watering bread I was reminded how much I love these! A few years ago I adapted their recipe to my own taste and I used to make large batches at a time for breakfast on the go. It is packed with SO many good foods that I can feel my body soaking up the nutrients. My adaptations made it easier to make and even more healthy! I thought I would share this recipe with you and hope that it becomes a favorite for you as well! I also provided a link at the bottom if you want the original Earthbound Farms recipe.

3/4 cups coconut sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups oat flour
1 cup qunioa flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup un-sweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup raisins (I like to mix blond and regular)
1 cup of applesauce
2 cups grated carrots (or grated sweet potato)
1/4 cup chopped pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup almond slivers
3 large eggs (if you have an egg or dairy allergy you can increase the applesauce and oil as a substitute)
1 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of grated ginger root or one spoonful of ginger powder

Directions: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and vanilla.
Whisk together the all other ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the eggs and vanilla into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well.
Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Depending on your altitude bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. Or pour batter into two bread loaf pans, depending on your altitude bake 40-60 minutes. This should make two loafs.

Earthbound Farms original recipe,