About us...

Two moms trying to raise their families a little greener, a little healthier, and with a whole lot of love. All this while trying to save a little green along the way. Product reviews, green ideas, money-saving tips, and more!

Friday, July 24, 2009

eeBoo Tot Tower

eeBoo's tot tower is T's new favorite toy! "eeBoo is about producing beautiful, useful and well made products for children. Using only the original art of well-known and well-loved children's book illustrators we create vibrantly original toys and gifts that hopefully children will affectionately remember". eeBoo recently revamped their tot tower product after a voluntary recall of the previous version of this toy. I recently purchased it on a deal a day site and was planning on giving it to T as a holiday gift. However, when it arrived I couldn't resist letting him try it out. It looks like I will have to find a replacement holiday gift because I don't think I'll be able to pry these blocks from him now. This set includes 10 sturdy and thick laminated board blocks to nest, stack, and tumble down. The dimensions of the largest block is 5.5 x 5.5 inches and the smallest block is 1.75 x 1.75 inches. When the blocks are stacked they are taller than T who is about 30 inches tall. eeBoo's tot tower has also won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award! T has found that the larger blocks make a good spot to rest his heiney! They are obviously pretty sturdy if they can handle 21 pounds sitting on top (not that I would recommend that). I have seen other similar blocks on the market but I am impressed with the quality of this eeBoo product. The recommended age for the tot tower is 2+, but T just turned one and he loves them. I don't let him put the smaller blocks in his mouth and he does need some help stacking. However, I know that he will grow into this toy and will use it for a long time. Wait, it gets even better! These blocks are made from 90% recycled materials and soy based inks. A toy that is fun AND eco-friendly, LOVE IT!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I LOVE getting things for free, who doesn't! Freecycle is one of my favorite organizations. If you are familiar with Craigslist, Freecycle is very similar but everything offered on Freecycle is absolutely free!

Direct from the freecycle site..."Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,770 groups with 7,024,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun"!

I have both offered and received quite a few items. One of my more recent acquisitions was an adorable pair of loafers (The Children's Place brand) for my son that he wore on Easter. Along with the shoes I also received clothing, and all I did was ask for it. Freecycle allows you to post an item that is available or to post looking for something. All posts must be approved by a moderator. I have both responded to offers and have posted looking for items. In order to take advantage of freecycle you must join your local freecycle group. Freecycle groups all work a little differently. The groups I belong to offer the option of being emailed when a new item is posted. I really like this feature because I can respond quickly if I would like an item that seems desirable to many people. I have found that with freecycle you have to be willing to take the good with the bad. You generally don't get to see pictures of an item and if you agree to take something it's poor freecycle etiquette to back out. If I receive a box of toys I go through the box and keep what I like and then donate the rest. Not everything is exactly my style or the quality I would like but I am willing to spend a few minutes sorting. Freecycle is a great way to be green while saving some green!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiny Bubbles!

We've blogged about Tiny Bubbles in the past, but I just have to say, I am SUPER anxious to actually try it! From the makers of Gro Baby, one of my favorite cloth diapering systems, The Natural Baby Company has developed their own detergent for cloth diapers! It looks super safe and I am sure it will be perfect for my little E's sensitive skin. Be sure to check out their website for the full details on this detergent, but with a list of amazing attributes like this, how can it not be awesome???
  • Dye & Fragrance Free
  • Completely Biodegradable
  • Completely Phosphate-Free
  • No Optical Brighteners or Fillers
  • Gentle for Sensitive Skin
  • Low Residue Formula
  • Ultra-Concentrated
  • Low Cost-Per-Wash
  • Recyclable

It is safe to use on all cloth diapers! To top it off, Tiny Bubbles is Phosphate Free!

I have a big old box of Country Save sitting in my laundry room, so haven't justified purchasing a box of Tiny Bubbles quite yet, but am super psyched to give it a shot. Fellow Greenie, Daniella, has 6 (!) boxes of Tiny Bubbles sitting at home and is waiting to finish off her other detergent as well! We will be sure to post a review once we have used it a few times... we promise!

BONUS: A little Cloth Diapering trick I just tried out yesterday... got stains on your cloth diapers??? Let them dry in the SUN after washing. I had several diapers that were fairly stained... 8 hours in the Colorado sun and wouldn't you know, they look good as new!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A slightly healthier cut out cookie recipe

I think we all want our kiddos to grow up the healthiest they can be and we have the privilege of teaching them how to eat... healthfully! I know everyone loves sweets (who doesn't?) so I have tried to improve upon recipes to incorporate whole wheat flour and to reduce the amount of sugar and use the least processed version I can find or use sugar alternatives such as honey (which is completely unprocessed) or agave syrup (lower on the glycemic index). For E's birthday party, I made some safari cut out cookies with the below recipe, which also is also egg free (unfortunately NOT dairy free). They came out delicious and I got tons of complements on the taste- they really turned out great so I had to share!

Whole Wheat Cut-Out Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups traditional whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

Beat the butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, then add the orange juice, vanilla, flour and baking powder. Divided the dough into 2 discs, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Roll chilled dough out and use cookie cutters to cut into your favorite shapes! Bake at 350˚ for about 8-10 minutes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More birthdays in the Gaga Greenies Family!

My son, E, is turning one tomorrow- just a couple weeks after T's big day! Unfortunately, over a month ago, he was tested for allergies after a few scary body-covered-in-hives instances and I had confirmation that he is allergic to eggs, soy, and dairy. FUN! So, I have spent the better part of the last month perfecting a cake recipe that both tastes good AND E can enjoy on his big day! I wanted to share the recipe with you all, despite being a little off topic, because I know there are a lot of people out there dealing with allergies. It was also important to me that I use as little sugar as possible (but still enough so it tastes yummy) and use whole wheat flour.

E's First Birthday Spice Cake- EGG, SOY, AND DAIRY FREE:

Grease cake pans (1 -8-10" round cake pan, or 2 6" round cake pans). Preheat oven to 350˚

Mix together in large bowl:
2 tsp. Baking Powder (I prefer Rumford baking powder, as it is aluminum free)
2/3 Cup Sugar (I used the organic evaporated cane juice)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Allspice
1/2 Tsp. Ginger
1/8 tsp. Cloves
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 1/2 Cup Flour + 2 tbsp +1 tsp (I know, so scientific! ;) I used King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour)

Combine the following in a small bowl:
2 tsp. White Vinegar
1 cup Sparkling Soda or Water MINUS 2 tbsp. (again, very scientific) ;) I tried using Pellegrino and Club Soda; both worked fine. You could also try Ginger Ale at a lower altitudes, but at high altitude the extra sugar messes with the whole chemical make up and causes the cake to flop)
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 tsp vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix quickly until incorporated and immediately pour into greased cake pan(s). Get the pans in the oven quickly- the rising action of Baking Powder is short lived, so this is not a batter you want sitting around while you are waiting for the oven to preheat. Bake for 15 (10"round cake pan) -20 minutes (2-6" round cake pans), depending on the pan size you use- keep an eye on them and check the cake's doneness with a toothpick.

Please note this is not a gluten free recipe and it works perfectly at an altitude of 5280ft! If you are not at a high altitude, try increasing the vinegar and baking powder to 3 tsp., keeping the sparkling soda/water at 1 Cup (do not remove the 2 tbsp) and reducing the flour to 1-1/2 cups.

I'm frosting with a simple maple frosting: Confectioner's Sugar, pure maple syrup, and rice milk for E. For the big cake for everyone else, I'm making a Maple buttercream. I'm frosting later today and will share those frosting recipes if I am able to get some good measurements! ;)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Birthday Parties

We just celebrated T's 1st birthday two weeks ago. The party was great and T had a blast (I hope our guests did too). However, during the planning process I was pretty disappointed with myself and how much waste this party would create. While planning the party I was torn between throwing him an over the top first birthday party and trying to maintain my green philosophies. I really wanted T to have a party with all the bells and whistles. Since T was born we have called him our little monkey so we settled on a monkey theme party. My initial vision for the party was a bit outrageous. Thankfully, by the time the party day arrived we had definitely scaled back quite a bit. When shopping for party decor I decided to try to coordinate colors with themes I may do for next year. I figured if I had left over items I could re-use them the following year. My husband thought I was going a little too far when I washed down the plastic tablecloths so that I could store them and re-use them. He insisted that bacteria would grown and encouraged me to throw them away. I listened, but now wish that I would have held on to the tablecloths. I decided not to put goodie bags together for the kiddos. Instead, I purchased inflatable monkey's to hang around the yard as decor. I then used those monkey's as favors for the kids. Fellow greenie, Jackie, designed T's party invites. I decided to send a photo invite in hopes that guests would keep the picture of T. I have also decided to send a party photo of T as the thank you cards with a note written on the back of the photo. I did keep all the ribbons, bows, and gift bags that T's gifts came in. I will reuse all the bows, ribbons, and packaging for future gift giving or for scrapbooking. Some of the decorations were recycled for a family friend's party. The left over decorations that I won't be able to use next year I will freecycle for someone else to use. While I love the idea of using reusable plates, utensils, and drinkware I cringe at the thought of having to wash everything. T's party was far from being a green party. I hope that next year I can be at least a little more green. I would love to hear your green party ideas! Please comment on this post if you have a suggestion.

(Photo above is of the monkey cupcakes served at T's party)

Monday, July 6, 2009

And the winner is....

Lucia! Congrats! Please email us your mailing address and we'll get your Bodycology tote and products to you asap.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tiny Bubbles Laundry Detergent BOGO Sale

I have spent hours researching laundry detergents that would be safe on my cloth diapers and on my wallet. I was determined not to buy separate detergents for all my laundry needs and I wasn't going to spend a ton of money. I didn't find it an easy task to decide on a detergent to use for the family. Until now...
The Natural Baby Company just introduced Tiny bubbles! This detergent will meet ALL your laundry needs: cloth diapers, your children's clothes, and your own! A detergent that does it all!
  • Dye & Fragrance Free
  • Completely Biodegradable
  • Completely Phosphate-Free
  • No Optical Brighteners or Fillers
  • Gentle for Sensitive Skin
  • Low Residue Formula
  • Ultra-Concentrated
  • Low Cost-Per-Wash
  • Recyclable
  • Not tested on animals. No animal by products.
Phosphate Free - Phosphate detergents are a major cause of pollution in our lakes and streams. Even biodegradable phosphate detergents are harmful to water life. Tiny Bubbles contains no phosphates and is completely biodegradable.

Limited time promotion: Buy one get one FREE! No coupon needed. This offer is valid from July 1-July 3 only. There is a limit of 3 FREE boxes per customer. Visit the company's
website to order. The cost of one box is $12.95.

One box should last for 60 loads with a front loading washer and will cost around $0.22 per load.

I have not tried this detergent yet as it is brand new on the market. However, I have placed my order with The Natural Baby Company and I have very high hopes!